12 Years A Slave

Not to diminish slavery, but this movie didn’t do a good job at portraying the horrors of slavery. There were only a few scenes that made me go “my God that’s terrible”. Overall the main character pretty much coasted to the end of his servitude. Chiwetel Ejiofor gave an Oscar worthy performance as Solomon Northup, a freed slave violinist.

After being betrayed, Northup finds himself thrown back into slavery and sold to a plantation. This movie does change my views on how slavery was back then.I had the image of the slaves up at that crack of dawn and working until a small lunch and then back to the fields. This movie wasn’t that at all. The slaves had free range of the plantations and could even go into town and buy supplies, at their master’s request. Northup found ways to stay under the radar and on his master’s good side.

The cast of the movie deserved nominations all around. Lupita Nyong’o won an Oscar for her spectacular performance as Patsey, a young slave girl. Patsey was a slave on the same plantation as Northup and was often abused by slave master Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender). Epps showed the brutality of slavery by whipping Patsey until chunks of skin exploded off her back. This was the only real eye opening scene of the movie to me.

Overall I did enjoy the movie. I don’t think it was this year’s Best Picture, but the individual Oscars were well deserved. The movie was a tad slow at times, which was expected. There was no “on the edge of your seat” moments. Even when Epps chased Northup around with a knife I wasn’t worried for a second.

A 3/5 is how I felt about the movie. Don’t get me wrong, it was a well put together film, but didn’t really catch my interest that much. The power performances of the actors are what drove this movie, not the deep storyline.
Joe Reyes


DeSean Jackson

Career numbers, new coach, playoff bound…..and he’s cut because of gang ties. When I heard Jackson was being traded or released, most people thought it was because of contract issues. I would’ve thought Jackson would have a new contract by the end of the day when I heard he was released. Now, after hearing about the gang issues, I’m not so sure.
I could see a very long, and prying, free agency for Jackson as the media picks apart his life and we find out what kind of a person he really is. A secret gangster like Aaron Hernandez? I wouldn’t think that farm but who knows. The sports world is crazy like that.
I thought a good fit for Jackson would’ve been the Minnesota Vikings. They already have a good receiver in Cordell Patterson and in the draft the Vikings will be looking for a Quarterback. With A.P at running back Jackson could find himself in some one on one situations where his speed could win games alone.

Joe Reyes

Crysis 3

Before I go into this review I must first state that I did not play the previous Crysis games in the series. I picked this game up randomly at a game store and never even heard about the game. That being said I liked the game a lot. The only problem I had with it, was that the game didn’t explain fully what happened in the previous 2.
You are just thrown into what seems like a changed world and barely get any knowledge of what is going on. Now again, I never played the previous 2 games, but I’ve played sequels before. I picked up Mass Effect 2 before playing the first one and knew everything I had to about the previous game.

Crysis 3 had everything you could ask for in a first person shooter. This game would’ve received a perfect 5/5, but the lack of knowing what was going on killed it for me at spots. You play as Prophet, a soldier strapped into an alien suit of armor. The suit gives you Predator like abilities. Enhanced strength, invisibility, shields and enhanced leaping ability.

There is a large amount of customization in the game from different power-ups your suit gets and also the different weapon modifications you can do on your guns. You even get a bow and arrow with different modifications. You can even set how much torque is in the bow when you pull back. Different torque leads to faster or more powerful hits with the arrows.
AGAIN this game is PERFECT, but I don’t know WHT THE HELL IS GOING ON! I thought Prophet was an alien working with the humans. You are with a squad mate Michael, who apparently was also in a suit, but was taken out for some reason.

You’re fighting this group of random human grunts called CELL, but their intentions are pretty unknown. Also aliens called Ceph, which I think is where the suit came from. There is little information about them except a few written texts you find along the way.
This game gets a 4/5, but can easily have been a perfect game if they would’ve had a few flashbacks that explained what was going on or just a character to explain what was going on. And it’s not laziness or sheer neglect on my part. I don’t think I HAVE TO play to previous two games to know what was going on in the third.
I hate to dwell on it, but it’s not hard to explain something to people who haven’t played the previous games before. The way I would’ve done it is simple and quick. It’s a rough idea and I’m writing off the top of my head so this isn’t elaborately thought out.

Show the Earth, aliens invade, soldiers fight back, how does Prophet get the suit, a little about the other characters, what CELL is, aliens getting wiped out, something significant that happened in the second game and what leads you to the opening scene of the third game. SIMPLE!

I don’t even know who ran CELL. Who is in charge of it? For all I know they were random grunts that I wanted to see how many I could kill before someone fired a shot at me. Baring my rant, I give this game a great 4/5 and a must have for previous players of the game and fans of first person shooters.
Joe Reyes


Just (Insert Here) Enough

Well you might as well crown the NY Jets Superbowl champs now because Eric Decker is coming to the Jets! After having great success with that mediocre Peyton Manning, Eric Decker can now come to the Tri State area and play real football…..is what every dumb Jets fan is probably thinking.

35 million dollars, last I checked, is the contract that Eric Decker received from the Jets for just being on the same team as Peyton Manning. Is the word “overpaid” blunt enough? Decker isn’t a great receiver. He’s not even a very “good” receiver. He is what I entitled “just enough”. What does that mean you ask? Let me explain.

He is Just Big Enough to get over cornerbacks.

He is Just Fast Enough to get separation.

His hands are Just Good Enough to catch a pinpoint Manning pass.

Being Just (Blank) Enough aren’t the qualities of a top Wide Receiver, let alone the Number 1# Receiver on the Jets roster. They’re paying him to be the top Receiver on the team, but he is nowhere near “Top”.

I think it was a terrible move grabbing Decker and even worse paying him the amount that they did. Jets management will be in question after this season and this move will certainly hurt Geno Smith or Michael Vick, whichever Quarterback starts the season. Neither one can make Decker look like the deep threat target that Manning made him to be.

If I recall Decker was a drafted pretty high in Fantasy Football Leagues, but again…that’s because of Manning. Look for another mediocre Jets offense this season as they waste more money. Their only saving grace is the draft, but I can only imagine that they will find a way to screw that up as well.

Joe Reyes


Lone Survivor

There were only 2 things with this movie that I didn’t like. The first being the title. Kind of gave away the ending. It’s called Lone Survivor not We All Lived. The second being that the movie opened with the soldier who survived. Not giving it away, but it was pretty obvious who it was. Still, I would’ve rather have been surprised.


The movie was based on a real life mission in 2005 about 4 soldiers deployed to stop a Taliban leader, Ahmad Shah. Mark Wahlberg has an incredibly badass performance as Marcus Luttrell. All the actors give it their all and would make the soldiers they portrayed proud. Sadly again only one character made it out alive.

There is a lot of buildup at the start of the movie. Even though most scenes are gun fights, there is a lot of build up to the first shots being fired. We are shown the soldiers at the military base relaxing. Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch)spends the opening scenes looking at wall paper pattern that he and his wife are deciding on. Matt Axelson (Ben Foster) sends cheesy emails to his wife and tells her “I’ll talk to you in a few days. Gotta go to work,”. Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch) debates what a bridesmaid is to Luttell and explains his wedding plans.   Even the minor characters had backstory, which makes it even sadder. Shane Patton (Alexander Ludwig) is an aspiring solder waiting to be deployed into the fight.

There are moral aspects to this movie and makes the viewer think “What would I do in that situation?”. As the four soldiers have Shah’s Taliban town in site, a group of goat herders stumble upon them. The Soldiers are faced with three options laid out by Murphy. “1. Either we let them go. 2. Tie them up and they’ll probably wolves will get them or freeze to death.3. We terminate the compromise”.   *I will be writing an extensive article on this moral dilemma later on in another article.

(Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, and Eric Bana star in "Lone Survivor.")

The men decide to go with option 1 and hightail it out of there and decide to fight Shah another day. They don’t get far before the firefight begins. Even through the four men are highly trained soldiers, the numbers are hysterically not in their favor. The men, after all being shot multiple times, decide to run.


The scene that follows is what I call The Most Brutal Falling Scene Ever! It’s amazing three of the four didn’t die in the falling scene. We’re talking rocks, trees, and snakes. Yes, when Luttell awakens and regains his senses, a giant snake is right in front of him.

From that scene on its all action, followed by a little peace and quiet, followed by more action. This movie didn’t disappoint at all for me. I do disagree with only sending four soldiers. Yes, more were waiting for deployment at the base, but you can ask so much of only four people.

This movie gets an easy 5/5 and makes me want to pick up novelization written by Luttell. What makes this movie even more amazing is that it’s a true story. Hard to believe that these men were put through all of this and one came out alive. The tag line of the movie poster sums the movie up perfectly “Based On True Acts Of Courage”.

Joe Reyes

Sherman’s Rant

After the biggest play of his career, Cornerback Richard Sherman made headlines not for his play, but for his post-game rant. Sherman got into an argument with 49ers Wide Receiver Michael Crabtree before the game proceeded to ridicule Crabtree after the game. Sherman used the words “sorry excuse for a Wide Receiver” and “mediocre at best” to describe Crabtree.

The next day I knew that Sherman’s rant would be the talk of the sports world. Many sports analyst on TV and radio debated the severity of Sherman’s rant. It was a mostly a 50/50 split. Some argue its part of the game. Others said it was highly disgraceful to the sport.

My opinion is simple. It was a distraction and unneeded. There was no point for Sherman to say such things. In his rant he started off by saying “I’m the best Cornerback in the game”, why say that? Sherman is regarded as the best in the league, so why say that?

Does LeBron James say in post-game interviews “I’m the best in the world”? A great player, let alone the best at his craft, doesn’t have to say how great he is. That’s a sheer inferiority complex. But wait! Sherman was a late pick. Maybe he is showing everyone who didn’t draft him how good he is….so? Tom Brady is borderline the best ever. Brady doesn’t say that after every game. Even when he lost in the Super Bowl he didn’t say something like “well we lost but I am still the greatest”.

Here’s what many analyst aren’t talking about and it really confuses me. Sherman’s rant isn’t good because it was a distraction from the Seahawks comeback. The Seahawks were practically losing the game until the end of the 4th quarter.

The Seahawks went for it on 4th and 7, they scored on that play. That’s what people should be talking about. The coaching, the comeback, the defense as a whole, Sherman’s game winning play…..not him on a microphone.

I want to hear what the coach thinks. What do Sherman’s teammates think about the rant? Are they saying “wow Richard you are the smartest man in the world for that”. No one thinks this was a good intelligent thing for Sherman to do.

I think all it did was make the team look bad and make Peyton Manning curious. I think Peyton will try his luck with Sherman. And I think Manning can get a few big passes on Sherman. I know that’s not Manning’s mentality, but I think he can take a few shots in Sherman’s direction and be just fine.

Joe Reyes





Only God Forgives

                I’m never a fan of movies that I have to watch them a few times to understand all the hidden meanings to it. I had to watch this movie twice and also watch a review about this movie to understand all the movies elements and have a better understanding of it.

                There is a split mixed review for this title. Either you love it or you hate it. There is no middle ground. The movie deserves a lot of credit for its cinematography and the directing, but has many lapses of judgment in a few scenes.

                The movie isn’t meant to be an action packed thrill ride, even though the trailer suggests otherwise. There is a slow-paced flow to it that will either intrigue you or force you to fast forward some scenes.


                Does this scene really need to be that long? Yes, only a 46 second clip, but that’s what I am talking about. This movie has many slow moments to it.

                Ryan Gosling plays Julian, a British mobster who runs an underground fighting arena. Julian is a very quiet character that has many emotional issues based on a (what I can guess) sexually abusive relationship with his mother. Gosling plays a very deep and disturbed character even though he doesn’t have a ton of lines.

                Julian has an older brother who gets killed by a vengeful father. Julian’s mother wants Julian to seek revenge. The man who killed his brother is a retired cop named Chang. Chang deals out his own brand of justice in both a brutal and yet forgiving manner.

                At times he will take the hands off criminals and spare others based on their crimes and if they are truly sorry for their actions. There is a much bigger meaning to this, but I don’t want to make this is a 10 page review.

                Julian at times doesn’t even seem like he wants to seek revenge. His brother killed a young hooker and Chang brought the girl’s father to the brother to see what the father does. After the father kills Julian’s brother, Chang takes the fathers hand.

                I started off in the category of hating this movie, but after seeing it a second time and seeing the review, I changed my opinion to in the middle. I give it a 3/5 because of that. It is a very interesting movie when you figure out everything for yourself.