Star Wars The Last Jedi Review (No spoilers)

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Well kids, it’s Christmas time for us all…unless you’re Jewish.  The new Star Wars film is here which is something EVERYONE can celebrate.  The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive.  What do I think?  Glad you asked your favorite film snob cause I have many thoughts.  And before we get started, here’s my rankings of the films so you know my preferences:

4, 6, 5, Rogue One, 3, 7, 2, ——————1.  That’s how bad Phantom Menace is, lower than Batman V Superman or Suicide Squad.  Hell, I’ll put the punching bag known as the Star Wars Christmas above PM.

We start TLJ off in a dark time, the Resistance is getting decimated by the First Order (a La Empire Strikes back but don’t worry, this film isn’t an Empire reboot as Ep 7 was like Ep 4).  Rey is about to meet Skywalker and learn about the path of a Jedi.  And of course, cry baby Kylo Ren is back being tormented by Supreme Leader Snoke how he’s not much of a man with that mask.  Ren then destroys the mask and then destroying my wishes that he’d keep the mask on so we don’t have to look at his stupid face.  And they say bullying is bad, bullying gets shit done…to a degree.  Good news in this installment, not many emo temper tantrums out of Ren!

The Resistance, led by Princess Leia (yes, you’ll spend most of the time guessing if and where she gets killed off to coincide with Carrie Fisher’s death) needs a codebreaker to crack the code of being able to track a ship through hyperspace.  Speaking of Carrie Fisher, they must have paid her for the Force Awakens in gallons of gin and Virginia Slims.  Her voice sounds huskier than mine.  Folks, it’s been a LONNGGGG time since she wore that metal bikini.  But I did enjoy her having a larger role here than she did in Episode 7.  Anyway, the ships’ shields can only hold up for so long as Finn and new character Jane escape to find said codebreaker.  I’ll tell you now that you’ll find Jane ALMOST as annoying as Jar Jar Binks.  Not a fan.  She is going down in the Star Wars annals as one of the most unlikeable characters, I’ll guarantee it.  And there’s a whole 15-20 minutes with Finn and her that on their search for the codebreaker that could’ve been cut.  Meanwhile, Rey attempts to learn why Skywalker became a hermit and no longer a teacher of the Jedi.  We also learn more why Kylo Ren made the choice to commit to the dark side and I found it to be a nice twist.  

Chewbacca doesn’t get much screen time in this one and you’ll find yourself saying, “Where the hell is Chewie?”  There’s also very little from R2 and some of 3PO.  BB-8 does get a solid haul of screen time and he’s enjoyable as usual.   BUT, you also get a couple of cameos, including one great surprise that will easily put a smile on your face.

I will say that this film is a lot funnier than most BUT after the halfway point, I felt that the jokes were becoming a bit overkill.  I don’t need comedic lines like Caddyshack in a Star Wars film.  I just want good story and good action.  By all means, sprinkle a few throughout the film.  But this has a LOT more; maybe more than all of the films combined.  So that was a bit off-putting.  

Let’s also talk about Daisy Ridley playing Rey.  She’s fantastic and for everyone trying to shove female heroes down our throats for the sake of, take note of this.  You know why this works?  Cause it’s natural.  You BELIEVE that this girl can be a Jedi knight and enjoy her journey.  But when Hollywood forces all female reboots or DEMANDS we have more female superheroes just to check a box, people seize up.  When you feel like you’re trying to be sold something, you freeze up and reject it, right?  Well Rey doesn’t do go that route, bravo!

The action scenes are great.  Dogfight scenes are rock solid and the lightsaber battles?  Top notch, top notch!  

Without delving too deeply into the story, a lot of shit goes down in this film that you would’ve expected to happen in the final film.  TLJ will definitely throw you a few unexpected curveballs, some pleasant and even an, “Ahhh shit” moment.  A lot of people were worried that this would be too much like Empire and there are a couple of moments that there are similarities but overall, it’s quite independent of Ep 5.  

This film does drag a BIT; as I said above, there’s easily 15-20 minutes that can be cut.  And you’ll wonder during the final battle why it’s going on so long but it does pay off nicely.  

And now, the verdict.  I really liked this film and I think it’s better than Force Awakens.  Why?  Because it wasn’t a “greatest hits” like Ep 7 was.  It’s dark.  And they do answer some questions but you’ll wish they expounded on more of the story.  The stage was set relatively well and I’m hoping they just close the loops nicely with episode 9.  

I give it a 7.5 out of 10 and in the rankings, I put it after Rogue One and before Force Awakens.

Week 16 NFL Picks Against the Spread ATS

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5-4 last week, worst week I’ve had in a while but still over .500 for the week so the streak continues.  But first, Merry xmas and happy hannukah. The picks are coming early as they are a shitload of games tomorrow vs Sunday. Hopefully you have a betting day than Carrie Fisher’s recent plane ride. I have a lot of facts for you but doesn’t meant I’m taking ALL of these games. Check my fb video with my little Aryan offspring tomorrow for the official picks. But I guarantee that the picks I make are from this list.

I’m a student of trends and gut calls. That’s why I’m almost at 63% for the year.  So let’s get down to getting you (and me) freeeeee money!

You know the Jets are garbage and they proved that Sat night against the Dolphins. This week, they face Tom Brady and the Cheatriots. They already locked up a first rd bye. But I don’t see the Jets getting blown out. Jets are 7-0 ATS against the spread vs the pats and  Pats are 12-25 ats when they are favored by double digits. 17 points are wayyyyy too many. Pats will take their foot off the gas by halftime and I don’t care if Ray Lucas is quarterbacking. 

Take the Jets and a mountain of points.

I really like the Colts in Oakland this week. Indy destroyed the Vikes and their playoff chances last week.  Visitors are 15-2-1 ATS in Oakland and the Raiders as a home favorite are 10-24-1. Indy is 4-1 straight up against Oak and they’re getting 3. Shockingly, the Colts still are in the playoff race so this game means something for them.  And surprise, I like the over too. The Indy defense is trash and we know the Oak defense can be suspect. I loved Oak over last week but those assholes fumbled twice in the red zone as well as had to settle for a FG when they were first and goal on the 1. How about cold, hard facts? Indy has hit the over in 6/7 road games. Oak has hit over in 6/7 home games. overwhelming evidence like that has me plunking down cash on both.

Indy plus 3.5 and over 53

The Ravens let the Eagles score 9 points in 10 minutes last week to screw that bet. Then Doug Pederson in his infinite wisdom cuts it to 1 with a TD with :04 left and then goes for 2?  UGHH.  At least I could’ve had a shot in OT.  People shit on Eli for coughing up the ball but Flacco isn’t far behind; if not equal, in this department.  A fumble and pick in 2 different trips in the red zone sure didn’t help last week.  The line is Pitt -5 and that’s just way too high for them. No gut call here, 11/15 of their games have ended in 3 points or less.  Pitt is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 but this train stops cold here. 

Take the silly purple uniforms plus the 5.

The Bears are on fire and Matt Barkley is proving me wrong every week. Bears are 5-0 ats in their last 5 and in comes in Washington off a short week and a complete beating administered by the Carolina Panthers. Bears getting 3 at home after nearly upsetting GB? Why not?

I’m going with the Bears +3

Tampa covered for me last sun night against Dallas. In fact, they almost won. They beat the Saints 2 weeks ago in Tampa. Hence why everyone loved them this week, which scares the hell out of me.  I hate being on the public’s side and I think Saints can win -3 but not confident enough to take them. But here’s another stat: 11/13 of the games between the have resulted in an under. And it’s high this week, 52.

I’m taking the under Tampa 52, yet again.

Didn’t think I would be wagering on these idiots again this season but the time is right. The Rams are home against the Niners and Jeff Fisher is no longer the coach to screw things up with that 80’s porn mustache. The Niners are trash and the Rams came close to knocking off the Seahawks last Thursday. Nine days to prep for a team that hasn’t won since…beating the Rams week 1. I’m inclined to take the Rams -4 but here’s a few more numbers for you: Rams at home have hit the under 6/8 and 5/6 times vs the Niners.

For sure, taking the Under 40 and maybe Rams -4

Seattle has been off for 9 days as well and they’re up against an AZ d that got scorched in New Orleans. Sea on a 2nd straight home game is 22-7 and they’re also 19-4-1 ATS in Dec. the line is 8 and Carson Palmer can poop it up like no other. Here’s another fun fact: az is over 5/5 and 5/5 over on the road.

Probably taking Sea -8 and maybe over 43

Carolina on a short week and when Car and ATL play, 6/7 times are on the under when both teams play.  

I’m going with the under 51.

Packers are 13-1-1 against the spread at home and the Vikings are limping in and without Adrian Peterson.  

I’m taking Green Bay -7

And now, it’s time for my Stone Cold Lock of the Week.  (That’s a big lock)

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A lot of people are liking Miami in buffalo. Do I trust Matt Moore on the road? He destroyed the Jets last week, BFD. I have Landry in my fantasy championship so I hope he does it again. Let’s see him do this for 2 weeks straight. LeSean McCoy has been crushing run defenses like I was crushing puss a single dude. Those were the days, sigh. BUT let’s talk over/under. Buffalo has hit the over in 5 straight home games. Buffalo has hit the over in 9/10 games. And Miami has went over in 7/8. Those numbers are good enough for me.

Take Mia over 42

 

 

Star Wars Episode 7

I loved it.  JJ Abrams did a great job with the story.  Yes, there are some shoutouts to the earlier films with characters or props.  SPOILER ALERT: 95% of the audience in the theater didn’t use deodorant; it smelled like a Syrian refugee camp in there.  Nerds, save your money on just 1 action figure and buy a couple Speed Sticks.

I smelled a couple of the angles right out but still found it enjoyable.  I also had a bunch of questions, one of them being how is Carrie Fisher’s voice deeper than mine?  I understand she probably downed a quart of Bombay a day since ’83 but Jesus Christ, she sounds like 85 year old truck driver with emphysema.

Here’s how I rank the 7:

Star Wars, Jedi, Empire, Force Awakens, Revenge of the Sith, Attack of the Clones, and the biggest piece of shit to grace the screen, the Phantom Menace.

Here’s my impression if Hayden Christiansen called JJ Abrams, asking him for a part in the new film.

Hayden: JJ, it’s Hayden, what’s up?

JJ: Who?

Hayden: Hayden Christiansen, you know…I played Anakin in the prequel trilogy

JJ: Ummm…Right…what can I do for you?

Hayden: Well, I was wondering if there was any role for me in the new film you’re directing.

JJ: Sure, we can always use an intern or some help on craft services.

Hayden: I was thinking more of an on-camera role, maybe a flashback scene with Vader or earlier memory of Anakin.

JJ: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAH!!

Hayden: You don’t need to be mean.

JJ: Awww, come on, this isn’t Hayden.  Did Harrison put you up to this?  Man, that old goat has a sense of humor; despite being married to that bulimic wife of his.

Hayden: No, Harrison didn’t put me up to this.  I’m serious, would you have a part.

JJ: (Shouting to no one) JJ, Alec Guiness is the other line. Hayden, I gotta take this call from Alec Guiness.

Hayden: JJ, he’s been dead for over 30 years.

JJ: He’s calling collect, gotta go.  Good luck in Jumper 2.

 

My rating, I’d give it a 7.5 out of 10.  I’m dying for the next film and thankfully, it’s only another year and a half to episode 8.