Thursday, December 29, 2016

REVIEW: Top 10 Movies of 2016

At the beginning of the year, I made a list of the 10 movies I was most excited for in the coming year.  That year is now drawing to a close, and I thought it would be fun to see if my excitement was warranted at the beginning of the year.

So here they are, my reviews to my top 10 movies of 2016!

10. Ratchet and Clank (8/10)
I was cautiously optimistic about this movie at the beginning of the year.  Video game movies don't tend to fare well, but this movie exceeded my expectations.  It perfectly captured the fun of playing the games, and it took me back to playing the original game back in 2004.  The tie-in video game was also tons of fun.

9. Lights Out (8/10)
I had been looking forward to this movie for over a year, and I think that hurt my reception.  I liked it, but I just didn't love it as much as I wanted to.  I think it was a combination of how short the movie was and how the characters didn't seem to be fleshed-out enough.  But I guess that's what you get when you make a feature film out of a three-minute short.

8. Gambit (NA)
Well, that went well.  I had one movie in 2015 that didn't come out, so this is that one this year.  I want this movie to be good, and I hope they do end up making it with Channing Tatum in the titular role.  But for now, we'll keep waiting.

7. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (10/10)
There really isn't much to say about Rogue One, other than the fact that it was my favorite movie of 2016.  I loved it from start to finish.  Everything in it was amazing, and I had the biggest smile on my face leaving the theater.  I loved how they used CGI to put in Tarkin and young Princess Leia (Rest in Peace Carrie Fisher).  This movie was everything I'd hoped for and more.  I am very confident the other non-numbered Star Wars movies will be amazing.

6. X-Men: Apocalypse (9/10)
I really enjoyed this movie, and it may be one of my favorite X-Men movies ever.  I love the younger versions of the X-Men, and this movie looked like it may set up for the Dark Phoenix Saga with Jean Grey, which would be awesome.  I also really liked Oscar Isaac's portrayal of Apocalypse.  That guy seems to be popping up in everything lately.

Doomhead is the heaviest hitter in Rob Zombie's "31."
5. 31 (10/10)
This was one of my favorite movies of 2016.  I loved this so much, and it was everything I wanted and more.  This was the movie Rob Zombie fans wanted him to make, and he sure delivered.  I wasn't a huge fan of Lord of Salem, but this movie is like House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Reject ramped up by about 100 percent.  I loved it, and I can't wait to watch it on repeat.  It is now available exclusively on Shudder, an online streaming video service for horror movies.

4. Doctor Strange (9/10)
If anyone has seen the original Iron Man, then they've seen Doctor Strange.  It sticks to the Marvel formula, and it could almost be a clone of Tony Stark's origin story.  This movie was one of the most beautiful movies I've ever seen.  The effects really ramped it up to another level, and it was fun to watch.  Take that, Dormamu.

3. The Conjuring 2 (10/10)
This movie was fantastic.  It perfectly built on what had been seen in the first Conjuring in 2013.  If you know anything about the Warrens' story, you know that they didn't die while on this case, but I was still on the edge of my seat towards the end of the movie.  Also, the Crooked Man was straight-up terrifying.

2. Captain America: Civil War (10/10)
Civil War was everything I'd hoped it would be.  The fight scenes were bigger and more spectacular, and the storyline was awesome.  I think my favorite part of the whole movie was seeing Spider-Man, though.  We've finally found the perfect Spider-Man in Tom Holland.

1. Deadpool (10/10)
I fell in love with this movie when I first saw it.  It was everything I'd ever wanted in a Deadpool movie, and they perfectly captured the essence of the character.  I hope we get to see more Deadpool in the future, and hopefully they won't ruin the character.  For now, go watch this movie a few times and try not to laugh.

Thanks for reading!  What do you think of my ratings for my top movies of the year?  Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Weekly Pull List: 12/28/2016

All the comics available this week can be found on ComicList, and any comic book news is on CBR.

BOOM! Studios
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers #10

Saga #41

Carnage #15
Civil War II #8
Deapool Too Soon #3
Extraordinary X-Men #17
Rocket Raccoon #1
Spider-Man #11
Spider-Man Deadpool #12
Spider-Woman #14
Star Wars #26

Monday, December 19, 2016

Weekly Pull List: 12/21/2016

All the comics available this week can be found on ComicList, and any comic book news is on CBR.

Back to the Future #15

Amazing Spider-Man #22
Deadpool and the Mercs for Money #6
Spider-Gwen #15
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #2
Star Lord #1
Thanos #2
Unbelievable Gwenpool #9
Uncanny X-Men #16
Venom #2

Monday, December 12, 2016

Weekly Pull List: 12/14/2016

All the comics available this week can be found on ComicList, and any comic book news is on CBR.

BOOM! Studios
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Pink #5

All-New X-Men #16
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #2
Deadpool Back in Black #5
Foolkiller #2
Guardians of the Galaxy #15
Gwenpool Holiday Special Merry Mix-Up #1
Inhumans Vs. X-Men #1
Silk #15
Spider-Man #10
Star Wars Poe Dameron #9

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Weekly Pull List: 12/7/2016

All the comics available this week can be found on ComicList, and any comic book news is on CBR.

The Walking Dead #161

Clone Conspiracy #3
Deadpool #23
Nova #1
Slapstick #1
Spider-Man 2099 #18
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Weekly Pull List: 11/30/2016

All the comics available this week can be found on ComicList, and any comic book news is on CBR.

BOOM! Studios
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers #9

Saga #40

Deadpool: Back in Black #4
Extraordinary X-Men #16
Guardians of the Galaxy #14
Inhumans vs. X-Men #0
Star Wars Annual #2

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Weekly Pull List: 11/23/2016

All the comics available this week can be found on ComicList, and any comic book news is on CBR.

Chew #60

All-New X-Men Annual #1
Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1
Civil War II #7
Deadpool Too Soon #2
Death of X #4
Marvel Tsum Tsum #4
Spider-Gwen #14
Star Wars #25
Star Wars: Han Solo #5
Venom #1

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Jimmie Johnson Wins at Homestead to Win 7th Championship

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Jimmie Johnson won his record-tying seventh Sprint Cup Series Championship on Sunday by winning the Ford 400 from Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Johnson had to start last after his team was sent to the back for unapproved body modifications prior to the green flag.  Johnson avoided a late-race accident to move to the front, and he held off Kyle Larson and fellow Chase driver Joey Logano to win the race and the championship.
Sean Gardner (Getty Images)
“I didn’t think the race was unfolding for us like we needed to be the champs,” Johnson said.  “Some luck came our way and we were able to win the race and win the championship.”

Johnson said he didn’t think he would be able to win after running behind Logano, Busch and Carl Edwards most of the day, but that he was able to stay calm all day and was strong when it counted.

“I had this crazy calmness over myself all day long and leading into this,” Johnson said.  “Even with us running fifth, and the championship not looking like it was going to be there, I just felt something.”

Johnson is now tied with NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty with seven Sprint Cup Series championships.  Johnson said the record was something special to be a part of.
“It’s big…number seven has a special place in my heart,” Johnson said.  

Rick Hendrick, Johnson’s team owner, said he was excited to see one of his drivers stand among NASCAR’s elite.

“To see him tie Richard and Dale…it’s unbelievable,” Hendrick said.  “To do it through all these different formats has been so special.”

Unofficial results:
1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Kyle Larson
3. Kevin Harvick
4. Joey Logano
5. Jamie McMurray
6. Kyle Busch
7. Matt Kenseth
8. AJ Allmendinger
9. Denny Hamlin
10. Michael McDowell
11. Chase Elliott
12. Austin Dillon
13. Kurt Busch
14. Paul Menard
15. Brian Scott
16. Alex Bowman
17. Greg Biffle
18. Casey Mears
19. Danica Patrick
20. Trevor Bayne
21. Landon Cassill
22. Tony Stewart
23. Clint Bowyer
24. Chris Buescher
25. Ryan Newman
26. Ryan Blaney
27. Matt DiBenedetto
28. Michael Annett
29. David Ragan
30. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
31. Jeffrey Earnhardt
32. Reed Sorenson
33. Ty Dillon
34. Carl Edwards
35. Brad Keselowski
36. Martin Truex Jr.
37. Kasey Kahne
38. Regan Smith
39. Dylan Lupton
40. Aric Almirola

Sean Gardner (Getty Images)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Weekly Pull List: 11/16/2016

All the comics available this week can be found on ComicList, and any comic book news is on CBR.

Invincible #131

Amazing Spider-Man #21
Carnage #14
Deadpool #22
Silk #14
Spider-Man #9
Thanos #1
Uncanny X-Men Annual #1

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Logano Wins at Phoenix, Will Fight for Sprint Cup Title

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Joey Logano won the Can-Am 500 from Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday afternoon to clinch his spot in the Championship Round next weekend at Homestead.

Logano came into the race needing a good finish to make the final round of the Chase, and the race was decided over two late restarts.  Logano took the lead on the final restart in overtime, and was able to get to victory lane.
Jonathan Ferrey (Getty Images)
Logano said the win was one of the biggest of his career.

“I’m speechless right now, I feel like I just won the Daytona 500 again,” Logano said.  “I never felt this good about a win before, and with so much on the line.”

Needing a finish no worse than second, Logano said his team stepped it up with the season on the line.

“Everyone brings their ‘A’ game when it comes to winning championships, and this team did it,” Logano said.  “We did exactly what we had to do; we get to go to Homestead to do the same thing.”

Over the final run of the race, it looked as if Matt Kenseth was going to win to clinch a spot in the final round.  But after a caution sent the race into overtime, contact with Alex Bowman sent Kenseth into the wall and out of the Chase.

Kenseth said he was disappointed his team couldn’t get it done.

“We had that race in control, even that last restart, and ended up giving it away,” Kenseth said.  “[Bowman] was laying way back on that restart…and I got out at the start/finish and it looked okay.”

“I got turned and was headed towards the fence.  I really don’t know what happened.”

On that late restart, Bowman threw a block on Kyle Busch, which sent Bowman’s car into Turn 1 with more speed than it could handle.  Busch said he didn’t mean for the contact to take out his teammate, and that he didn’t think Bowman would block him when he had such a big run.

“I got a little bit better restart than [Bowman] did, and I felt like I got a run on him,” Busch said.  “I got enough to the inside of him that if he chopped me he was going to get hit and wrecked, and that’s what happened.”

“It carried on into the 20 [of Kenseth], so I guess I essentially wrecked a teammate.”

Next weekend at Homestead, the Championship 4 will fight for the Sprint Cup Championship.  Logano, Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards will fight for the championship, and the top finishing driver will be crowned the champion. 

Unofficial results:
1. Joey Logano
2. Kyle Busch
3. Kyle Larson
4. Kevin Harvick
5. Kurt Busch
6. Alex Bowman
7. Denny Hamlin
8. Ryan Blaney
9. Chase Elliott
10. Paul Menard
11. Jamie McMurray
12. Ryan Newman
13. Kasey Kahne
14. Brad Keselowski
15. Tony Stewart
16. Greg Biffle
17. AJ Allmendinger
18. Casey Mears
19. Carl Edwards
20. Landon Cassill
21. Matt Kenseth
22. Aric Almirola
23. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
24. Clint Bowyer
25. Matt DiBenedetto
26. Michael Annett
27. Regan Smith
28. Trevor Bayne
29. Danica Patrick
30. Brian Scott
31. David Ragan
32. Chris Buescher
33. Jeffrey Earnhardt
34. Michael McDowell
35. DJ Kennington
36. Reed Sorenson
37. Gray Gaulding
38. Jimmie Johnson
39. Austin Dillon
40. Martin Truex Jr.

Robert Laberge (Getty Images)