Week 1 NFL picks ATS

Can you smell it? It’s not what the Rock is cooking, it’s FREEEEEEE money! And you better believe I’m excited to get started on my second income season. 62% ATS last year so let’s pick up right where we left off. And if you want to follow my team totals for the year, here there are:

Eagles under 9.5

Lions over 7

Jets under 6

I thought I put in the Giants under 6 but apparently, I didn’t.

Bears under 8

Falcons over 7.5

Thursday night was opening kickoff and the Cookie Monster and I teased the Chiefs down to 3 and the over down to 48.5. Thank god I teased the over down as you would’ve lost by .5 So 1-0 to start the season, here we go:

The Seahawks have started off slow BIG time in recent years: see last year when I had them in a teaser down to -3 at home against the Bengals…and THEY DIDN’T COVER. Just did some research and yep, Sea 0-4-1 ATS in week 1 games. Oh yeah, the offensive and d lines for Seat lost a lot of people this off season. And they fly cross country, with masks on due to covid, and play a 1pm (10a west coast). Sea 1-4 ATS in last 6 and 1-4 against ATL. Matt Ryan 5-2 against Pete Caroll, rating over 100. 16 TDs 4 INTs is 6/8 and last 4. Top 5 offense at home. ATL 4-1 ATS and SU in last 5. 6-2 vs NFC and 10-2 vs NFC west. Falcons are getting 2.5 at home? Sign me up…for another teaser! Give me the Falcons plus 8.5 at home and with all the stats in the world backing up the Falcons? Even if they’re down by double digits late (I think they can even win), 8.5 is EASILY backdoor able. I just made that word up unless Sam Champion and Mike Piazza already coined it. So what else to tease it with…

The New York Squatters are going to be bad this year. No one on offense scares you and they traded away Jamal Adams to Seattle. They’re going up to Buffalo and off the bat, the Jets are 4-16 SU on road. 3-10 ATS against AFC east, 0-6 SU in September. Bills 4-2 ATS in september, 11-4 ATS week 1, 10-5 SU on sundays, and 8-1 SU in last 9 as favorite. This game is going to be a snoozer and as much as the Jets want retribution, they’re not going to find it in the land of fans who jump through tables and awful accents.. Second half of the teaser, Bills -.5 so a pick em.

The Rams open up their new stadium to no one in particular. However, the Rams start off on FIRE. McVay in season openers 3-0, averaging 36 points. Dallas 7 INTS last year, not getting much pressure on the QB to make bad decisions. Rams are 13-6-1 ATS, 12-4 SU in last 16 at home, 12-3-1 against NFC. 8-1 SU in september, 4-1 ATS in week 1. Wow. New coach for Dallas as well so unfamiliairty added to those stats equals a problem for Dallas. Dallas 4-2 SU and ATS against the rams. BUT 2-5 SU on the road and 1-4 against NFC west. I like the Rams at +3 but you know what’s even better? The Rams +9! And what shall I tease it with? Perhaps another near lock, the over. Dallas has gone over in 13/19, 5/6 over against the Rams, 6/7 vs NFC, Rams 4/6 over, 5/6 home over against Dal, 5/6 over against NFC East.

Arizona 4-0-1 ATS against SF, 4-1 SU in SF, 8-2 SU of their last 10. You might be saying those are some key stats. And would you look at that, Arizona is getting 8? But wow, that’s -140 to take Az! Orrrrrrr, you could do what I did and that’s take Arizona to +13 IN ANOTHER TEASER. And that’s how you avoid the higher vigs on a game you like, tease it and another game you like to get to the usual -110. Arizona covers a ton against SF plus SF with no real WR. Deebo Samuel is a question mark as is Aiyuk. The only pass catcher is Kittle and then they have their running game. Bad air quality also due to California fires and homeless peoples’ shit on the sidewalks keeps this thing within 2 scores.

Who to tease this game with? Easy one. I’ve loved this game since the schedule was announced. My NY Giants have a rookie head coach and a shaky o line and defense. Pittsburgh comes to town with a healthy Rothliesberger and solid defense. In what world do the Giants win, let alone cover, with no training camp games nor a rookie head coach with zero HC experience against Tomlin who runs a well oiled machine sans the playoffs? Pitt 4-2 SU against Giants and 4-2 SU in NY. Pitt 7-1 ATS against NFC. Giants 4-2 ATS in last 6 but 2-10 SU in last 12 and 1-5 ATS at home. Also 1-5 SU agains AFC. Second half of teaser, Pitt teased down to pick em.

New Orleans in an empty dome is a welcome sign for visitors. And would you look at that; everyone’s newest darling comes a knocking, Brady and the Bucs. You think Brady ever snuck Giselle down to the 50 yard line, had his way with her while making neighing sounds while yelling “giddyup” in every stadium he played? TB has gone over 12/14, 6/7 on the road over, 10/10 over vs NFC. Over 4/5 playing each other. Saints over 5/7 in NFC south as well as 12/18 in NO in September. Mike Evans is questionable going into this game but even in the rare case he doesn’t go, they still have a ton of weapons. Kamara got his extension so he’ll be running with $ falling out of his pocket. It’s week 1 and Brees’s last hurray, plus his arm hasn’t turned to wet fettuccine yet so get ready for points. And I got the total at 48.5, anything below 50 with these two going at it is a fucking blue light special bargain. Saints over 48.5

Film review: Tenet

Hey everyone, it’s been a minute or 5 months since we had more than a handful of new films to talk about. I sure as hell wasn’t paying $25 for Bill and Ted 3, King of Staten Island, or the Mulan reboot. But thankfully, on 9/4, theaters in NJ reopened and I made sure I was at the earliest possible showing of Tenet so as to avoid large crowds of people that talk amongst themselves or spread contagion.

This was one of the films I had circled as Nolan ALWAYS gets my $15 but as we’ve said on http://www.guttingthesacredcow.com podcast (And for god sakes, go to the website to buy a shirt, bag, hat, etc as well as follow our articles every M-F. Shame on you if you’re missing out on the best movie podcast out there. And Kevin Israel and I have guested on enough to know we’re better than all of them.) that we were both worried about Tenet from the trailer.  Hell, even the actors in the film didn’t understand the story.  https://screenrant.com/tenet-movie-plot-time-travel-inversion-confused-actors/

I mean, that can’t be good but hell, that’s not stopping me.  And even Nolan’s last 3 films (we’ve done Interstellar and Inception on the podcast, make sure you give them a listen!) were beautifully shot but man, those story lines missed the mark.  So even with all the odds stacked against it, I anxiously awaited this along with the opportunities to eat overpriced pretzel bites with synthetic nacho cheese in a semi-reclining chair.  So what did I think?

So what is Tenet?  It’s a combination of time-reversal and inversion.  It’s kinda sorta like the Matrix where you can manipulate physics.  But unlike the Matrix, I can’t fully explain how Tenet works.  John David Washington (Denzel’s kid and boy, does he have the same voice as his old man) plays, “The Protagnosist” who passes a test to be recruited for the Tenet organization.  He needs to meet up with an arms dealer and is escorted by Robert Pattinson, without diamonds in his face for a change, to Mumbai.  Then they need to break into a holding area for an artwork at the Oslo airport but hell, let’s use an airplane crashing into said area as a diversion.  Huh?  Why?  

And then, this story becomes even more convoluted than Interstellar and Inception combined.  Then the Protagonist and Edward the vampire goes after Russian arms dealer because he found as a teenager in Russia a missing plutonium case placed back in time by the Tenet organization to create an algorithm to destroy the world? Yeah, that was a run on sentence as this whole plot is a complex, run-on MESS.  You know what else they don’t have in this film?  Character development.  Insanely little backstory regarding their arcs so you feel nothing for them or care about them in the least.  

 I’ve never walked out of a theater with more questions in my history as a film fan.  I must’ve said to myself, “huh, what, why” in that order at least 10 times throughout this film.  Nolan went ABOVE and BEYOND testing my patience with all of these subplots, backstory, and choices he made.  I’m not going to list all the questions I had because if you see this, you’ll have the same ones I did.  I think I’m a reasonably smart guy but I was lost from the end of the first act onward.  I picked up a few things here and there but the majority of this film, I spent trying to piece together the answers.  I suppose if I see this again, I’ll have a better understanding.  But EVEN with all of the answers, I highly doubt the payoff is worth it.  I looked at my watch at least 5 times through this 2.5 hour affair.  At least Inception and Interstellar had some very cool effects/scenes whereas this one doesn’t.  We’ve seen time reversal in Dr. Strange.  And notably absent from this film is Hans Zimmer as Zimmer chose to score the Dune reboot instead of this.  Not saying that Zimmer’s score would’ve saved this debacle by any stretch.  I promise you that the people who say they love this didn’t understand the process but want to seem intelligent to others by liking it.

I absolutely hated this film and wish my return to the theater would’ve been more enjoyable but hey, even Babe Ruth didn’t bath 1.000.  Let’s cross our fingers that the new Bond meets expectations.

I give this a 3/10, major disappointment and easily Nolan’s worst film to date.   Here’s hoping he breaks his 4 game losing streak with his next project.

Film Reviews: Bloodshot and the Hunt

God, NOTHING puts a smile on one’s face than going to a movie theater and seeing few or NO one in a theater.  Corona virus=empty movie theaters.  There was NO ONE in the theater for the Hunt with me.  And just 2 people besides be for Bloodshot, euphoria.  Since the NFL season is over and baseball is suspended, I might as well gamble on my health.  The early reviews on Bloodshot and the Hunt were good so I said, what the hell.  Time to douse my seat and popcorn in Purell and do a double dip.

bloodshot

Bloodshot starring Vin Diesel (The Pacifier and the Last Witch Hunter) as a Green Beret, gets killed with his wife, resurrected, and gets fitted with nanotechnology.  Guy Pearce (Count of Monte Cristo) plays the scientist in charge of bringing him and other fallen soldiers back with robotics and enhancements.  Vin’s hell bent on revenge for his wife as much as we’re seeking the same revenge for the last 3 Fast and Furious films.  Folks, they’re bad.  Just admit it.  Well guess what, Vin keeps doing a Groundhog Day of seeking his wife’s killer but with different people as the killer.

I’ll save you time for the reveal, GUY PEARCE IS NOT A GOOD GUY.  He keeps one of his henchwomen, (Elza Gonazalez, an absolute smoke show) attached to an electronic asphyxiating governor.  He keeps recreating the scenarios where Vin Diesel’s wife is killed via an internet web base wired into Diesel’s head.

Here are the problems with this film:

  1. The dialogue is beyond atrocious.  Lazy dick jokes that are more flaccid than Kevin Spacey watching Christina Hendricks jump on a trampoline.
  2. We’ve seen this film before: Universal Soldier, Robocop, Inspector Gadget, Short Circuit.  Just seeing if you’re paying attention.  How does this differentiate itself?  Great action sequences?  No.  Memorable characters?  Barely.  Anything unique in this plot than the other films mentioned?  Only Vin Diesel grunting and Grooting his way through this dirty needle landfill.
  3. I almost walked out of this.  Only reason I didn’t is how was I hoped the final battle would’ve been worth it.  Not only it wasn’t, it was a negative effect on me.  As in, I should’ve walked out before the end and I would’ve had a higher opinion of this film.

There are many other problems with this film but I don’t feel like getting into them here as this film deserves as little real estate in our minds or this column.  This film stinks.  The trailer sucked me in with promises of a different cyborg story but left me worse for wear.  The action was pedestrian, the script was horrendous, and the characters were downright awful.  Quarantine is a fate better than this; avoid this like a soccer stadium full of Corona virus sufferers.

Bloodshot gets a 1.5/10 and I don’t know why I still didn’t walk out.

the hunt

The Hunt is not about the WASP-y horse race in Far Hills, NJ but if it was, I would only hope it showed the guy with a baby arm who chased down a guy who swiped a bottle from our bar.  That was high comedy and a definitely, “you had to be there moment.”  The Hunt is about a group of liberal minded people kidnapping those who are conservatives.  That’s right, hunted.  As in released in an open field with a crate of weapons to chose from and then avoid bullets, arrows, land mines, and people trying to hoard toilet paper.  Get ready for a cast of  “Isn’t that the guy from It’s Always Sunny” and “Holy shit, Uncle Buck’s girlfriend really aged poorly or that’s a hell of a makeup job” and, “Wow, Hilary Swank has 2 Oscars but she needs the money THIS badly?”

I went into this with zero expectations and enjoyed it because of such.  This isn’t torture porn like Saw was nor does it have the intricacies that the first Saw film had.  It can be obviously predictable at times and a couple of minor yet fun twists with Crystal, a bad ass woman from Mississippi who may not be who people think she is.

The Hunt was pushed from last September to March because of political ramifications.  Why?  The already politically charged climate we live in may have been sent to a stratospheric level if this came out, loosely proposed by Trump’s camp.  After seeing this film, will it send those to round up people they disagree with to hunt down?  Hopefully this isn’t a copycat issue like Natural Born Killers was.

90 minutes later and you’re out of the theater no muss, no fuss.  It’s an enjoyable romp with some good satire and some decent action.  You don’t need to drop $15 on it but solid netflix for sure.

I give the Hunt a 6/10

 

 

Super Bowl bets and props!

Tis everyone’s favorite time of year for betting and also the saddest as it’s the end of football.

Not burying the lead so let’s get past the date and head right to the sex in the car at a Chili’s parking lot.

Chiefs -1

Rule 1 when handicapping.  Who has the better QB and head coach?  Chiefs have both.  Here’s another X factor: Sometimes it’s just someone’s time.  Unfortunately, it was just Philly’s time 2 years ago.  Andy Reid has been the bridesmaid a ton of times and never the bride.  I think this is his time.  Can you imagine that feast he’s going to indulge in after a SB win?  He’s going to give Kobayashi and Rebel Wilson a real run for their money.  We all know the Chiefs weakness is their running game BUT in the past few weeks in the playoffs, they’ve shored up their D.  4.3 YPC allowed by KC D which is above average in the NFL.  Derrick Henry didn’t have a rush above 13 yds when they played them 2 weeks ago.  To be fair, that was the 3rd straight week of Henry getting over 30 carries in a game.  He lit up the first half against the Chiefs but was silent for the next 3 quarters.  Surprisingly of late, the Chiefs D has allowed 18 PPG and the Niners allowed 24 PPG.  Niners have also allowed 26.5 PPG in 9 games, ranking them 24th.

We all know Reid after the bye is numero uno.  You know what else is numero uno?  Andy Reid ATS 19-9 ATS and 23-5 SU after the bye.  KC 8-0 SU as well as ATS in a row and of those 8 in a row, they won by at least 7 ppg.  Larger sample size?   14-4 SU and 13-5 ATS.  Mahomes 22-11-2 ATS and 17-11-2 ATS as a favorite.  We all know the Niners play a zone D and how does Maholmes fare against it?  91 QBR…BEST in the NFL.  Super Bowl favorites are 33-19 SU.  Dogs have been ruling of late, 13-5 ATS.  However, since this is a 1 point game, go with the SU numbers.  The SU winner of the SB is 44-6-3 ATS and the underdog has NEVER covered a spread with a line <6.  Higher playoffs seed is 2-13-2 ATS.  Team with the better record of late is 9/10 in the Superbowl.  Niners had 13 wins, Chiefs had 12 wins.  Niners are 3-15 ATS after 2 consecutive ATS wins.

Bottom line is this.  If the Chiefs O Line holds up against a solid Niners pass rush, the Niners are dead.  If he gets out of the pocket, he’s taking off or catching Hill or Hardman on a busted coverage play.  Niners MUST run this ball and take time off the clock to win this game.  I don’t think if they’re down 10 or more that they can come back with Garappolo.  And we know the Chiefs can rally from down a bushel of points.  This isn’t an easy game to call but I’m on the Chiefs for all the reasons and stats above.

Prop bets? Got em.

Tails…never fails.  Just been lucky with it the last several years.

Under 2.5 players that attempt a pass.  I just don’t see either teams’ punters getting cute; especially when Colquitt had issues successfully punting.

Kittle Over 75.5 receiving yds.  Was quiet last week against GB only because they could run the ball down their throats better than Paris Hilton took it down her throat in Predator night vision.

Maholmes over 36.5 rushing yds.  Ran for over 50 in the last 2 games and now faces a zone defense?  Heidy-ho!

I never take props like these but I heard it was in and Vegas is steaming (everyone jumping on it) but PURPLE is the color of the Gatorade in honor of Kobe Bryant.  It went from +600 to -160 so yeah, why not?

More scoring in 2nd half than the 1st half -145

3rd quarter more scoring than 1st quarter. -150

Why?  And why the heavy juice? Chiefs are notoriously slow starters.  Halftime is obviously longer than usual plus teams love to take the governor off and let loose.  Kind of like a bunch of dudes at the Jim McGreevey rest stop, heigh ho!

Good luck and let’s end this season with even more FREEEEEE MONEY!

Film Review: Bad Boys 4 Life

January has always been the dumping ground for films and relationships.  Which is why when I saw they were releasing BB3 at this time, that didn’t really instill confidence.  I’d say the same amount of confidence Mets fan of having Diaz come in from in the bullpen.  Anyway, let’s bring you up to speed.  Marcus Burnett and Mike LAAAA-RHY are back in Miami and 25 years old than when they made their initial appearance.  Will Smith barely looks any older while Martin Lawrence looks like he’s allergic to shellfish and just polished off 10 lobsters and then got stung by 10,000 bees.  Marcus is a now grandfather and fully into Roger Murtagh, “I’m getting too old for this shit” territory.  Marcus is ready to retire and Smith is not.  Things change when the son of a Mexican drug lord shoots up Mike LAAAA-RHY because Mike and other public figures sent Papi to prison.  Mike recovers and it’s vendetta time but not for Marcus, he’s in full Murtagh mode.  THE PLOT THICKENS….

So what’s different with BB3 than the others?  No Michael Bay at the helm but new directors Bilal Fallah and Adil El Arbi do not change the playbook when it comes to action choreography. Definitely see the slowed down 360 shot after a terse moment or 2 and fantastic cinematography as well.  Joey Pantaliano (Ralphie Cakes) reprises his role as Captain Howard so you know a few, “Don’t break the rules and fuck me” speeches are coming.  We also get the same ribbing back and forth between Smith and Lawrence which feels like those old, comfortable slippers that always put a smile on your face.  And what Bad Boys film would be complete without Theresa Randle as Marcus’s wife giving him an earful.  Seriously, you think she would divorce him by now or he would tell her cut the shit; he’ll never stop fucking up and the department will keep buying them new houses or cars whenever bad things happen to them.  Women?  AmIright?

What’s new?  We also get a new team working with Mike and Marcus within the Miami PD, the AMMO squad.  Vanessa Hudgens from High School Musical (never saw it, won’t bother) plays one of the squad and goshdarnit, she’s too damn cute to be shooting bad guys.  And let’s cue in the old guy jokes by the other dudes in the task force.  The creation of this task force beautifully sets ups the franchise for sequels or even a spinoff.  But don’t get cute with the spinoff idea, this group doesn’t have the charisma or humor to get people to drop $15 without Smith or Lawrence as the driving forces.

I liked Bad Boys but felt #2 dragged on.  This one was solid; top level action and had a John Wick feel to the fight scenes to it.  A couple of twists including a BIG one.  The soundtrack wasn’t as good as the first 2 but that’s because hip hop music has gone down the shitter in the last 10 years.  Example?  There are TWO Black Eyed Peas songs in here.

One more fun observation.  DJ Khaled has a scene where he plays a butcher and Mike has a few questions for him.  Mike uses a meat hammer on his hand to get some answers.  I feel Mike should’ve smashed his hand a final time while saying, “This is for your shitty music, ANOTHER ONE.” Now that kids, is a smart, well-written joke.  You better fucking acknowledge greatness when you see it.

Bad Boys For Life:

7 out of 10.  What you gonna do? Turn your brain off and enjoy shit blowing up for 2 hours.

Film Review: Star Wars Episode 9 The Rise of Skywalker SPOILER FREE

star-wars-rise-of-skywalker---button-082019-03-1566704469507

Here we are, the “Avengers Endgame” to the series that formed the childhood of billions of kids from the 70’s and 80’s.  But here’s something to ponder on as you read this review on the toilet at work (that’s right, your companies should pay YOU to poop):  After starting my new podcast, “Gutting the Sacred Cow” (If you like my reviews and standup comedy, enjoy other comedians coming onto the show and arguing why some of the most beloved, successful, or acclaimed films stink or are overrated.  Shameless plug over.   GTSC link on iTunes )  I’ve had to re-watch the latest Star Wars films and boy, this latest trilogy thus far is failing in the rewatchability department. The Force Awakens is like a watery lobster bisque with 4 big chunks of lobster but no real substance or base.  And the Last Jedi, wow.  Was I wrong when I wrote my initial review.  Man, that film has tons of faults compounded with a bunch of hard choices that had better pay off in 9.  Do they pay off? Well, see below and of course, no spoilers.  But before you do, go google Adam Driver as a Marine.  Kevin Pollak said his face looks like a cab with the doors open.  Hilarious.

JJ Abrams back at the director’s helm after Rian Johnson sent Last Jedi to the bottom of the discount DVD bin.  BTW, hearing the opening music and seeing the opening scroll really hit me as this is (for now) the END of the Skywalker story.  Also, it’s the last time we’ll hear anything new from John Williams as this was his final film.  And this man is without question the GREATEST film composer to have ever lived.  He’s on Mt Rushmore in the George Washington slot, zero debate allowed.

Kylo Ren finds his way to the Emperor; yes, that Emperor we loved from Return of the Jedi, and is told he has to kill Rey.  Now, let’s stop here.  Do we learn how in the living fuck he survived being thrown down a reactor AND THEN EXPLODING IN THE DEATH STAR?  We do not.  Which is problem number one for me, a BIG ONE.  How are we going to skate over one of the BEST villains in film history just magically reappears on a Sith planet that reminds me of the final battle in the last Matrix film?  BTW, a hidden planet of Sith?  Remember the rule of Sith?  There are only 2 at all times; no more, no less.  So less than 10 minutes, we’re pissing all over rules and skating past premises that need REAL explanation.  BTW, there are 2 sentences that mention the recently departed, Snoke.  Just two.  I’ll let that simmer with you for a few minutes.  How about some good news? Adam Driver thankfully puts his Kylo Ren back together so we don’t see his face as much in this film.

Rey has been training and became insanely strong in the Force, almost Jedi Knight status.  The Rebels are still a small band lead by CGI’ed Princess Leia.  Apparently, they had some unused footage of Carrie Fisher from Last Jedi and why not squeeze in a few scenes with her in the final chapter.  Rey and Kylo Ren continue to FaceTime via the Force as he taunts her with the knowledge of her parents and her lineage.  Their interactions are always good as he’s continuing to enlist her to join him and become part of the Dark Side.

My next complaint is when the both find their way to the Death Star ruins where Rey seeks out a tracker to find the planet of the Sith.  They battle it out (relax, you see them doing this in trailer where they’re soaking wet) and at the end of the battle, there’s a REAL problem with the result.  Not spoiling it but I completely disagreed with it.  I even leaned over to my buddy and said, “Nope.  But we know how this will play out later.”

There are a couple of surprises and appearances that are enjoyable but this film is mostly disjointed.  Too many new characters are introduced but I wish they spent the screen time interacting more with the established ones AND giving a modicum of backstory.  And DEFNINTELY not enough of Lando Calrissian!  We dig BDW and his Colt 45 million dollar smile out of retirement to have him in 3 or 4 scenes?  No thank you, I demand more of him; especially when original characters like Han Solo and Luke are dead.  Instead, we’re dealing with Poe and Finn who we never get to REALLY embrace and form a bond with.  We learn a LITTLE more about Poe as the crew goes to a planet to get a droid to hack 3PO’s memory and Poe runs into a former smuggler/lover.  But not enough where he or Finn makes anyone’s favorite character list.  Again, this recent trilogy did a watered down version from all aspects while trying to replicate the original.  With the exception of Rey and Ren, no characters have any layers.

Lastly and without getting into gory details, I hated the ending.  INSANELY anti-climactic.  The final battle had ZERO pathos like Return of the Jedi did.  You FELT for Luke as he learned Vader wanted to turn his sister.  You FELT for Vader as he weighed his decision to either serve the Emperor or save his son.  And that lightsaber battle in Jedi was just simply amazing.  This was much shorter than I felt was deserved.  And of course, the question still burns, what happened with Rey and her parents on Jakku?  After the reveal, I again turned to my buddy after the reveal and said, “Insanely fucking lazy.”  I was floored it came down to this decision because there is/was ZERO groundwork laid for this choice.  Sorry, here’s one spoiler, the Rebels win.  Like you didn’t think that was going to happen.  The final celebration scene felt muted.  I’ve seen more emotion from a night manager at Burger King closing up at 3 AM.  No one was REALLY stoked that the Empire was finally gone.  You see TWO Ewoks celebrating at the end of this one!  The ENTIRE VILLAGE ON ENDOR was hooping and hollering.  Statues fell when the Empire did.  Ships shooting off fireworks.  People dancing in the street.  Pure jubilation.  This felt like the last day of school instead of winning a massive battle.  Tons of unanswered questions or poor answers litter this film and that just doesn’t sit well with me.  But I’ll end this review with some good news: MUCH LESS ROSE than the Last Jedi.  She’s the 2nd worst character in the Star Wars Universe next to Jar Jar.

I definitely to rewatch this to fully digest everything but in short, I was very disappointed.  The critics were wrong, the people are right.

4.5 out of 10

Current order of Star Wars films (subject to change after I rewatch TROS)

  1. Star Wars
  2. Return of the Jedi
  3. Empire Strikes Back
  4. Rogue 1
  5. Revenge of the Sith-Severely underrated, people lump it in with the first 2 sequels when it should be separated from them.
  6. Attack of the Clones- the 2nd half is solid.  Whiny Anakin first half, awful.
  7. Force Awakens
  8. Rise of Skywalker
  9. Solo
  10. Last Jedi
  11. Phantom Menace-You take out Darth Maul and the final lightsaber scene, this film is a 2/10.

3 Film reviews: Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Knives Out, and the Irishman

Oh, hi there you tickle monsters.  It’s been awhile since I had a film to review but let’s be honest, it’s been a collection of student films, garbage passion projects, and blatant cash grabs.  Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I saw 3 films that bear worth reviewing.  But before you read my critiques, why not download our new podcast, “Gutting the Sacred Cow.”  If you love movies and want to see other comedians try and trash well loved or successful films, you’ll love this.  We’re on iTunes, Iheartradio, Google play, Stitcher, Spreaker, and Spotify.

beautiful day

Bottom line: if you hate Mr. Rogers, you’re a communist that needs to be immediately deported and then set afire in a cage while in transit to Burma.  He TRULY is the closest human to being faultless.  And if that theme music doesn’t bring an immediate tear to your eye, you’re more robotic than the T-1000 from T2 or the guy who played Oz from American Pie.  Tom Hanks, who can honestly do no wrong, plays a fantastic Fred Rogers.  If you don’t know his story, I’m not going over it now.  However, this film doesn’t make Mr. Rogers the focal point of this story.  It’s about the journalist assigned to do a small piece on him, Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys).  Lloyd is dealing with his father (Chris Cooper who looks like Sebulba from Star Wars Episode 1.  Don’t believe me, google it) and Mr Rogers somehow gets Lloyd to open up about his tarnished relationship and of course, tries to help him.

If you didn’t see the outstanding documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”, you better get off your ass and watch it.  Because you’re not going to get as much insight about Mr. Rogers in this film.  Although, I had a great laugh when Mr Rogers comes over to visit Lloyd’s ailing father and his sister’s new husband blurts out, “Are you a Navy Seal?”  That was one of the urban legends that was going around for years.  There are great Mr. Rogers moments: the opening show segment with Hanks walking in, singing the song, and flipping the shoes.  My eyes watered up and had the nostalgic smile a mile wide on my face.  You also see several show re-enactments with Hanks CGI’ed in that you may remember from the show or have seen in WYBMN.

This film is good but again, I’m not as interested in the journalist’s story as much as I am seeing Tom Hanks chew up scenery and seeing kids with disabilities have breakthroughs.  Who knows if the documentary didn’t alter the script for BDITN as they didn’t want two biographical stories in 2 years.  I wouldn’t have liked BDITN as much if there wasn’t the doc to get into the nitty gritty material.  This film is good, the doc is better.

I give it a 6.5/10

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How many “whodunits” have there been in recent memory?  Memento?  Pretty good.  Clue?  That was such a campy yet fun ride?  Too bad they’re remaking it.  LA Confidential? FANTASTIC.  Murder on the Orient Express (original and reboot SUCKED)?  So I was quite glad to see “Knives Out” invigorate the genre.  Great cast but you know what scared me?  Seeing Rian Johnson wrote and directed this.  Cause last we saw of ol RJ, he went out and gave us a C- Star Wars film in the Last Jedi.  He also did Looper which gives him some credibility back.  Was this worse than dinner theater murder mysteries?  Let’s find out.

Christopher Plummer plays Harlan Thrombey, who looks like he could’ve been one of the brothers from Trading Places.  Don’t worry, he doesn’t uses racial slurs.  Harlan is an uber successful mystery writer who after celebrating his 85th birthday, falls victim to murder.  His children and daughter in law all have had reason to off him as they’ve been cut out of his will.  But his caregiver/nurse, Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), suddenly finds herself as the sole benefactor of the will.  Daniel Craig is the detective hired by an unknown source to find out who did it. Zod from Superman, the mom from 6th sense, Laurie Strode, Captain America, and Sonny Crockett play the kids/in laws who are in question.

Obviously, I’m not getting into details to not spoil it but the cast perfectly hums along.  Daniel Craig was fantastic as the smarmy, know it all (most of the time detective) who really has a ball with this role.  You may figure out who did it (I did) but you’ll NEVER figure out the how or why.  I changed my logic at least 4 times and was still wrong.  And that’s why this film is amazing.  Anytime you get a layered story and can’t figure out AND buy the process/conclusion, it’s a fantastic investment of time.  Run, don’t walk, to see this film.  And then when you get out of the theater, download our latest episode of Gutting the Sacred Cow.

This film is fantastic, 8.5/10

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And now for one of the most anticipated films of 2019.  The last time we saw Scorsese, he got Margot Robbie topless several times in a film.  And we owe him a debt of gratitude for that.  But now he returns to the genre in which he created and inspired tons of knockoffs and a few winners.  The man who gave us Casino, Goodfellas, Mean Streets brings back several of the actors who shot to the stratosphere.  DeNiro, Pacino, AND he got Pesci out of retirement.  Can’t go wrong, right?  Well, let’s see.

First off, prepare yourself.  This is a 3.5 hour film.  But thankfully, you’re watching it at home now so you can pause to pee, get some food, or complain on social media about how long it is.  And for all of those who complain about the length, no one seemed to have a problem with Godfather 2 and that was 4 minutes shorter than this.  This is the story of Frank Sheeran (Robert Deniro, the man who hasn’t turned any film down since 2003), the guy who painted more houses than Dutch Boy.  Ba-dum, ching!  First things first: Scorsese CGIs all of the older actors and it’s sometimes quite amusing.  My FAVORITE part was when a “younger” DeNiro sloowwwwwly beats up a grocery store own.  I mean, it looks like he was in quicksand while giving the guy a beating.  DeNiro finds himself working for Russel Buffalino (Welcome back, Joe Pesci!),

DeNiro earns his stripes doing errands for Buffalino and eventually finds himself working with the Teamsters and Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino).  Shoutout to my buddy Jeff Paul who has few scenes with Pacino as a one of his crew.  Hoffa climbs to power while bringing Sheeran along for the ride.  Blah, blah, blah, mob stuff happens.  But without question, my favorite scene is Pesci explaining to DeNiro why Hoffa has to go.  It’s quite reminiscent of the Goodfellas scene is when DeNiro gets the phone call that Tommy is dead.  And there’s nothing he can do about it.

Again, people are shitting on this for the length.  Does this lag at times?  You betcha.  Could they have cut some down?  Without question.  But this is almost a mini series in a film as it tells the entire tale of Sheeran.  This is a great switcharoo of roles; a more mellowed Pesci leads the pack and should be nominated for supporting actor.  I’ll never compare this to Goodfellas because that’s as close to a perfect film as you can get.  Is this better than Casino?  No.  Departed? Not really.  And is this a film you immediately stop changing channels when you see it on?  For me, not yet.  But this is good and if you like seeing a lot of the old gang together again, this is for you.  It’s solid and enjoyable.

I give it a 7/10.

NFL Week 8 picks ATS

Hey everyone,

I’ve been lazy with the picks on the blog of late as I’m trying to force you to watch everyone’s favorite fantasy football/gambling show, Fantasy Football Jibber Jabber.  Here’s the link to make it easy on you lunkheads: FFJK FB page.  And for the love of god, we need some help.  We’re no longer with Be Terrific so we’re going to have to start funding everything out of our own pockets.  So if you’d be so kind to take us up on our services such as we’ll do your daily fantasy lineup for you or give you access to my top plays of the week, that would help out with the expenses.  For love of God, we have made you a TON of free money.  You’d be doing us a solid; here’s the link to do so: FFJJ Patreon

ATL is 0-5 SU and 0-5 ATS, 1-6 ATS.  1-4 ATS vs NFC and 3-7 SU in October.  Matt Ryan with limited practice all week after leaving the game early against an angry Seattle team who got curb stomped.  Sea 7-1 ATS on the road, 11-4 SU of late.  Cincy 1-4-1 vs the Rams, 0-9 SU on the road.  Rams 9-3 ATS and stayed in Georgia holding a minicamp and not going back west to have to fly over to London.

Sea in a teaser with the Rams.  Sea to -1 and Rams to -6

GB 2-6 SU and ATS against KC.  2-4 SU in KC.   Fun fact, Rodgers .500 ATS on the road.  Andy Reid now has an 3 extra prep days.  Matt Moore 20-10 ATS as a starter.  KC 12-5 SU at home and 5-2 SU of late.  KC will run the ball at the awful GB run defense and keep the ball out of Rodgers’s hands.

KC +3.5

Explain to me how a backup QB is laying TWO TDs and I don’t care it’s at home.  Miami 2-7 ATS of late, 0-9 SU of late.  But they’re 4-2 ATS against Pitt, 1-4 SU in Pitt.  Wayyyy too many points for Mason Rudolph who just came back from a Mortal Kombat fatality.  Dolphins almost upset the Bills last week; they’re not lying down at all.  Pitt has yet to score 27.  Home teams 18-21-2 home teams off a bye  Fitzpatrick gets them fired up to cover.

Dolphins +14.5

 

 

Film reviews: Rambo Last Blood and the Joker

Hey you silly smelly sailors.  It’s been awhile since a film review and since I saw the Joker last week and one of the few who saw Rambo, let’s talk movies.

rambo

Rambo took a beating by the critics and at the box office.  Who fucking cares?  You want someone old as Bernie Sanders blowing up shit for 90 minutes.  And that’s exactly what you get.  Rambo, his niece, and her aunt live on a ranch in the middle of nowhere, Arizona.  Which is somewhere the Bang Bros should a new location to film, what a challenge to find someone walking down the road that’s not an escaped convict.  Rambo’s niece gets word that her estranged dad lives in Mexico and she heads down; despite Rambo’s pleas not to go as the dad was an awful person.  She gets kidnapped by a sex trafficking gang.  Rambo catches word and decides to write poetry to give his angst an outlet.  Just kidding, he hates poetry and general sentence formation.

He heads on down, bent on revenge and uh oh, gets outnumbered and beat up.  BTW, there are people complaining that this film makes Mexican people look bad.  Oh, I guess the SJW forgot about the cartels when they decided to find something to get fake offended on a Tuesday at 11am.  Rambo gets back to America to heal up then back down to Mexico to cast a new version of Menudo.  Just kidding, we already have a new version of Menudo.  He goes back down to start a tickle fight (bloody carnage) and let them know he’s still around.  Well this of course doesn’t strike the Mexican gang’s fancy so they head up to Rambo’s house and that’s when this becomes Home Alone on steroids.  He preps his house and tunnels with weapons, traps and bombs; like he’s going to receive a visit from his in-laws.  The last 15-20 minutes make this film completely worthwhile and at a brisk 90 minutes, it’s a enjoyable watch.  Yes, you’re going to have a few “eye roll moments” but c’mon, we’ve enjoyed those since Rambo 2.  As most of my Italian friends say, it is what it is.  You get what you expect; a lesson or 2 sprinkled in with weak dialogue and action.  And make no mistake about it, this is the last Rambo.  Is it the best sign off for Rambo, John J?  No but you’ll find enough to enjoy of this Viking funeral.

Last Blood 6/10

 
Last time we saw Batman, he was played by Ben Affleck on the tail end of one hell of a alcoholic bender.  And the last time we saw the Joker; he was a tatted up gangster with zero charisma that people rightfully rank him as the worst Joker of all time.  Even worse than Beto O’Rourke.  I mean, who’s taking that guy and his extremely punchable face seriously?  So when DC said, “let’s wash suicide squad out of everyone’s mouth,” we all said sure.  And when River Phoenix’s brother was announced the Joker, it was met with cautious optimism.  Because if a guy that played a gay cowboy can KILL the role of the Joker, we can give anybody a chance.  Anyone except the guy who played the Sherminator in American Pie.

We learn about Arthur Fleck and his tough life: mentally unstable, living with his delusional mother while he tries to make a life out of being a clown for hire as well as standup comedian.  Fleck isn’t respected by anyone; he gets beaten up by kids and manipulated at work.  You truly feel bad for him.  Fleck eventually goes all Bernie Goetz and shoots a few Wall St guys who mess with him on the subway.  Add him bombing on stage at Dangerfield’s (this is the last time you’ll see that place full in awhile) sends him right down the toilet.  And in a counterclockwise motion if you live south of the equator.  He loves watching Murray Franklin (Robert DeNiro) every night and manages to catch Murray’s eye as he plays a tape of Arthur bombing on a comedy show.

I kid you not, I tried to see if I can start getting money in on Phoenix to win as best actor.  He’s nothing short of brilliant and every bit as good as Ledger was in Dark Knight.  He digs in DEEP to this role; I loved the uncontrollable laugh he has and claims it’s because of a neurological disorder.  So many great choices pay off in this film, especially by Phoenix.  He doesn’t try to be Heath’s Joker but it’s just as creepy and boy, is the third act an absolute ball of fire.  His full transformation as the Joker cashes in every set up that director Todd Phillips puts out there.

Obviously, we don’t have any Batman but we do get a couple of Bruce Wayne scenes.  And an Alfred sighting too!  But my biggest (not really that big, nitpicking here) is that they make Thomas Wayne look like an a-hole.  Every story and film has him as a charitable doctor who tirelessly gives to Gotham.  He’s running for mayor here and quite unlikeable so that inconsistency didn’t sit as well with me on that.  It definitely warrants the R rating with some of the violent acts and good for Phillips he didn’t water this down.  And yes, there’s a nod to DK in this film, it’s a can’t miss camera shot in the end of the film.  This film definitely winks to Falling Down, Taxi Driver, and King of Comedy to name a few.  The mental health tone is so loud that Helen Keller’s ghost could hear this.  And being in standup comedy, I see this behavior all the time in the trenches.  Thankfully, some of these frustrated comics didn’t go into a theater and do their 5 minutes.  And then shoot up the place.

Todd Phillips made Road Trip and the Hangover films.  How he made a pivot to such an unknown territory of the greatest villain of all time in comic book history and made it dark with perfectly placed dabs of humor also should put firmly put him as a solid contender for best director.

Love this film and anyone who says otherwise needs a flower squirting acid in their face.

The Joker is a 9.5 out of 10.

NFL Picks Week 2 Against the Spread

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Guttentag!  I’m back from Vegas after a 5-3 weekend: hitting Denver under, Packers, Vikings under, Pats under, and Baltimore.  Lost the KC under, Dal/Sea teaser (Dalton throw for over 400 yds in Seattle???), and Denver.  This year, we’re still doing the picks with the Cookie Monster on Facebook but I’m not giving you all of my picks.  I’ll give you some of the ones I really like but I’m saving those for the Patreon account.  Yes, I’ve sold out because A) We need seed money to promote Fantasy Football Jibber Jabber and B) I was 61% against the spread last year.  I made you a lot of money last year, why the hell can’t I get paid for my services?  So for $50 a week, you get my locks of the week.  And that money goes right back into Fantasy Football Jibber Jabber.  If you want fantasy football advice or we’ll do your DFS game, here is the link for the Patreon info:  https://www.patreon.com/fantaryfootballjibberjabber

Venmo me @Kevin-Gootee $50 and I’ll give you my locks of the week.  I’ll post the screenshot of my picks from previous week so you can verify that I’m telling the truth.  And here are 3 picks I’m liking this week.

Cluster injuries for Chargers.  Derwin James out, Mike Williams is a ?, Russel Okun out, and Hunter Henry is out. Chargers 2-4 SU in Det.  West coast team coming east for a 1pm game after playing OT on Sunday.  Houston 11-4 SU in last 15, 4-1 SU home vs Jax,  Jax 1-4 ATS, 2-11 SU, 2-8 SU vs Hou, 1-4 SU in Hou. Detroit also played to a tie against Arizona.  Not happy if you’re a Lions fan but happy if you have AZ under 5 for the year as I do!  Backup QB Gardner Minshew (perfect name for a yacht club or rowing crew guy) is back under center after looking respectful, albeit against a porous KC defense.  Houston just coming off a monday night heartbreaker after losing via the last second field goal shall come home and rebound.  If they can’t win by 2 or more, they should bring in Dr Watson from Sherlock Holmes and fire Deshaun Watson.

Teaser: 7 point teaser Houston down to -2 and Detroit +9.5

Because Sam Darnold must have licked a subway pole to get mono or he’s making out with women on the Hampton Jitney, I’m taking the Brownies.  If Baker Mayfield wants to earn some of that hype, he better win and cover after getting blown out.  Some stats to back up my argument. Jets are 2-8-1 in last 11 and 1-10 SU.  Jets 4-11-1 vs AFC.  Jets 6/9 under VS Cle and 6/9 in September and 4/6 on a Monday.  Just remember, all Odell Beckham Jr has to do is take that 350k watch and reflect the stadium lights into the eyes of the CB in front of him.  

Cle -6.5

Atlanta is 9-1 SU in week 2 games.  Big fact.  Atlanta got embarrassed last week against Minnesota (had the under, you’re welcome) and now they’re home.  Yes 2-5 at home and 2-7 ATS but the Eagles lost Malik Jackson and rallied to beat the Skins.  BUT PHILLY JUST LET CASE KEENUM THROW FOR 385 YDS AGAINST THEM.  Teasing up the Falcons to 8 is a key number and I highly doubt they lose by more than a TD.  Denver up to 8.5 because who knows the Bears better than Vic Fangio?  Den 6-0 SU vs NFC north.  Trubisky in Denver? No thank you.

6 points teaser: Den to +8.5, ATL to +8.