Monday, June 18, 2018

In 'Barry', Bill Hader Solidifies the Case that He's Way More than Just a Comedian

Ex-marine Barry Berkman is unsatisfied with his life as a contract killer.  Having just finished a hit, he’s quickly given another assignment by his handler, requiring him this time around to travel to Los Angeles, which he acquiesces to.  While tailing his mark, he stumbles into an acting class, where he ends up getting fascinated with the art and being befriended by the students who are all dreaming of making it big in Hollywood.  Finding a new passion and purpose in life, he begins aspiring of becoming an actor, enrolls into the class, and decides to quit being a hit man completely.  However, he learns that shedding off his criminal life won’t come easy.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

I'm Not a Football Fan, but I Guess I Now Have to Root for Cristiano Ronaldo

I’m perplexed of how football a.k.a. soccer is such an internationally beloved sport. No disrespect whatsoever, but outside of a few highlight videos, I find it terribly boring to watch in general.  Hence, I couldn’t care less whoever wins the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

That said, I can’t help but admire this masterpiece…

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Top 10 Moments of the 2018 NBA Finals

Finals recap:
Other memorable moments of the 2017-2018 NBA Season:

This year’s Finals was pretty short due to a partly disappointing sweep.  Nevertheless, I thought it didn’t lack entertainment value, and there was a couple of memorable moments – amazing ones, fun ones, disappointing ones, weird ones.  Here are my ten-ish favorites (as well as thoughts on why LeBron isn’t the Greatest Of All Time yet):

10.) Love and LeBron’s Recurring Facial Expressions in this Series

It was like each time Durant or Curry put up a shot, Love was expecting a heart attack to happen.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Nick Young Is a Friggin' NBA Champion!

After the Golden State Warriors signed Kevin Durant during the 2016 free agency, the 2017 NBA title was basically as good as theirs.   And indeed they won it.  But for the 2018 title run, they decided to give the other 29 teams a slight fighting chance by giving themselves a handicap, and that is, they used their 2017 mid-level exception to sign Nick Young – a player whose most iconic NBA moment is this:

Monday, June 11, 2018

Sanrio's Office Comedy Anime 'Aggretsuko' Is Surprisingly Great

Sanrio is a Japanese company that is known for creating cute characters – the most popular of which is Hello Kitty – that aren’t essentially intended to be used in storytelling media, but to serve as marketing brands applicable for various kinds of merchandises.  Even when it ventures into creating anime content featuring its characters now and then, the purpose and the endgame have always been strengthening them as brands.

Thus, Aggretsuko a.k.a. Aggressive Retsuko, its recent anime web series that has been released through Netflix, has been surprisingly unique.  It doesn’t feel like a promotional ad masked as an anime series.  It feels like a legit anime.  Moreover, it’s not necessarily crafted to be attractive to kids, whom the company usually targets its products for.  Though kids may still find it adorable at a superficial level, its deeper appeal is mostly for adults to enjoy.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

The Warriors Put LeBron Out of His Misery in Game 4

My other Finals recaps:
Down 0-3 entering Game 4, the Cavs fought gallantly until the end with a never-say-die effort.  LeBron James was a monster with his six turnovers and five fouls.  Rodney Hood took a team-high 14 shots, and scored a whopping total of ten points.  Kyle Korver was a scorching 0-of-5 behind the arc.  Most importantly, their unselfish team play and balanced scoring were so impressive as multiple Cavs scored in single digits.  Meanwhile, their defense was so suffocating, it held Zaza Pachulia to just 2 points.

Just kidding.  The Cavs were pathetic.  No grit.  No heart.  They took this lying down.  They played as if they had already accepted their fate, and Game 4 was just the coup de grace.  They played as if they had already made their vacation plans and couldn’t wait for this to be over.  Thus, the Warriors never really met any resistance in completing the sweep, which granted them back-to-back championships and their third title in four years.

'The Tale' Is a Powerful, Meaningful Film about an Utterly Disturbing Subject Matter

So far, The Tale is the most terrifying film I’ve seen in 2018.  Now, it’s not a horror movie at all, nor is it a thriller.  It’s a drama based on the real-life experience of the writer and director of this film, Jennifer Fox.  But what she underwent is utterly disturbing.

Friday, June 08, 2018

For the Second Straight Year, Game 3 Saw KD Lead the Dubs in Pushing the Cavs to the Brink of a Sweep

The Finals shifted to the Cavs’ home court for Game 3, and as expected, the role players did a much better job helping LeBron James, who had 33 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds.  Kevin Love had a solid 20 points at 46% shooting along with 13 rebounds.  Game 1 MVP J.R. Smith had 13 points.  And Rodney Hood got unleashed, shooting 7-of-11 for 15 points in 25 minutes of play.  They were physical and active for most of the game.

Meanwhile, the Splash Brothers were awful.  Klay Thompson only managed to take 11 shots and score 10 points within 40 minutes.  And Stephen Curry, fresh from setting a Finals record for most three-pointers made, was an abysmal 1-of-10 from behind the arc, and just scored 11 points overall.

Didn’t matter.  Warriors still took a 3-0 lead.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

'Sherlock Gnomes' Is Mediocre, but I Still Enjoyed It

There are two reasons why I just had to watch Sherlock Gnomes.  First, I love Sherlock Holmes.  He’s probably my most favorite literary character ever, and not only that, I’m also fond of checking out different re-imaginations of him in various media, even those that are far-fetched or silly.  Second, even though it seemed like a Toy Story knock off, I actually enjoyed Gnomeo and Juliet, the 2011 animated movie it is serving as sequel of.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Stephen Curry Showed in Game 2 that He Should Be Finals MVP This Time Around

In comparison to Game 1, Game 2 was really uneventful.  The Warriors fans hilariously trolled J.R. Smith by giving him a loud stading ovation during player introductions and “MVP” chants when he was on the line, and Stephen Curry jawed with Kendrick Perkins at the end of the third, but there was no real, notable drama in this game.

The Warriors were in total control all throughout the game, and ended up with a blowout win.  There were stretches where the Cavs hanged around, but the home team would make demoralizing plays that would extinguish fires before they could even get started.  The Cavs failed to use their frustrating Game 1 loss as drive to come out angry, and play energized, gritty basketball.

'Re:Born' May Be 'The Raid' of Japan

Re:Born is a Japanese action film that was initially released in 2016, but it’s only being seen my most international audiences this year.  It caught my attention when I stumbled upon a trailer of it on my Facebook news feed.  Based on that trailer, it looked like The Raid of Japan, and since I love The Raid movies, I quickly checked it out.

It's Disappointing that 'Tomb Raider' Has to Be an Origin Story

Tomb Raider is the film adaptation of the famous video game of the same name as well as the reboot of the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider movies.  It stars Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft, the heiress of a wealthy businessman/adventure who vanished years ago.  After being forced to claim her inheritance, she gets her hands on a clue that sets her on a journey to a mythical island off the coast of Japan, which may finally help her solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

'Unsane' Is a Solid Psychological Horror Film Shot Entirely on the iPhone 7 Plus

I decided to check Unsane out because of its gimmick: it was entirely shot on a smartphone.  It’s not the first time that smartphones are exclusively used to film a movie, but it’s the first time with the iPhone 7 Plus.  Regardless, it might as well be my first experience with such filmmaking approach.

And I’m impressed.  It’s obviously not as visually and aurally sharp as those films shot through the typical manner.  But the thought that a solid movie can be made even with just a smartphone is quite exciting.  Moreover, the technique meshes perfectly with the tone and premise of the movie.

J.R. Smith Overshadows LeBron James in Game 1

For the fourth straight year, the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers are meeting in the Finals.  And just like every one of those past meetings, the former enter the series as the favorites to win it all.  In fact, much more so this time around as the Cavs no longer have Kyrie Irving, and this team is really the weakest LeBron James has ever had since 2007.  However, this is also probably the most impressive postseason run LeBron has ever had.  Without any consistently reliable help from teammates, the 33-year-old James, at his fifteenth year in the league, had to perform on an unbelievably godlike level almost every game in order to get out of the East and into his eight straight Finals.

Nevertheless, though he’s the best player in the world, the Warriors are an all-time great team.  Thus, most expected an easy Game 1 win for the Warriors.  However, that wouldn’t be the case.  Though they won, it wasn’t easy at all.  They needed an extra period and a couple of lucky breaks to secure a victory.  How come?  For LeBron James went Ultra Instinct on them.