Superman/Batman: Public Enemies

If you ever wanted to see Batman and Superman pound the crap out of everything that moves, then this is the movie for you. I only have 1 question that seems to happen in every Justice League movie. How does Lex Luthor keep getting elected president? Somehow Luthor got elected and his first act as president, to make Batman and Superman fugitives.

Luthor started a superhuman employment service where they serve the US government. Any hero who refuses will be arrested. Obviously Superman would never join forces with a man who has tried to kill him countless times and Batman is Batman so he would never join up with Luthor.

Luthor puts a 1 billion dollar bounty on the duo and then the all hell breaks through. Every villain imaginable comes after them. The bad guys aren’t a problem, but the heroes that Luthor now employs are the deadliest to the duo. Captain Atom, Power Girl, Major Force, Captain Marvel and Hawkman all joined the US government and are trying to bring them in.

The problems only get worse as a meteorite is on a crash course for Earth. So besides fighting a smorgasbord of other supers, there is a meteorite on its way to kill everyone.

This was a very action packed movie that well worth the watch. The only problem I have is with Luthor getting elected….again. This is a storyline in many Justice League stories that doesn’t make any sense to me.

Besides that, loved the movie. The plot wasn’t so deep, but that was because of the constant action scenes. I give it a 4/5.

Joe Reyes

 

 

Life Of Percentages

We, as a society, try to use words like “beliefs” and “positivity” as explanations of how we overcome certain things. I realized recently that it doesn’t matter how positive or how much you believe in something, things can always take a negative turn.

There are thousands of Self Help Books designed to make us better people. Authors like Tony Robbins talk about how positivity can solve your problems. People use literature and research as methods for constructing positivity.

Let’s use the scenario that I have a life threatening illness and there is a chance I may die. On one hand I am the roaring Ra-Ra confidence of the American spirit. Where I believe I can overcome ANYTHING! Let’s say I live…is it because of my positivity or because I took the right things? People will talk about how confident I am and how nothing can take me down because I believe. Not “just” because I took the right things.

On the other hand I am negative and depressed constantly. I feel like I have no value in this world and will die alone. But let’s say I take the medicine still (which I will go into later on) and I live. Do you think it was my negative attitude that rewarded me with life? Again, maybe me taking the right things cured me and not a mindset.

I had 2 life threatening concussions. I had bleeding in the brain and doctors were shocked that I had no symptoms at all and didn’t miss a step. At the same time of my first concussion, actor Liam Neeson’s wife (Natasha Richardson) hit her head on soft snow and died of a head injury. I hit my head on ice so hard that my skull cracked and I was perfectly fine while she died. So did I overcome my injury with my positive sensibility? Did my body say “Heal now” and it did? Or does this reside in the category of “shit happens”?

Jim Valvano gave one of the greatest speeches in history. He was diagnosed with cancer and gave an emotionally roaring speech at the ESPN awards ceremony about how anyone can overcome anything. A few months after his speech he died…..of the same cancer that he made us all believe that he can overcome. Meanwhile people who maybe have a more serious diagnosis of cancer and who aren’t as positive may live.

The reason I put in parenthesis the part about the medicine was because (even though I am mostly bashing the notion of positive attitudes as methods for success) you still have to have a small notion of positivity to want to take something in the first place. If there is a 1% chance that you may live after hearing that you have a life-threatening illness, then you have a chance. I could be a devout Christian and have my heart filled with the Holy Spirit and still die. Meanwhile, I can be a negative atheist who has the same thing and live. Putting my hands together in prayer isn’t going to guarantee success.

Mercer College beat Duke in the NCAA tournament last season. Are you going to make the argument that Mercer College was more positive and wanted to win more than Duke? Or can you make the argument that Duke’s shots weren’t going in and Mercer had a better game plan? There are 68 teams in the tournament so therefore you have a 1/68 chance of winning it all. There are no certainties in sports. If you make it to a tournament, then you have a chance to win. Don’t let odds makers determine outcomes.

We love the David vs Goliath type of stories. Movies like Rudy and Miracle show us how people overcome impossible odds and come out on top. What a better story? How LeBron James has overcome adversity and has finally achieved all he was predicted to or how Bill Russell has won 11 titles in a row because he played on the best team in the league at that time?

I don’t mean to shit on people’s beliefs or positive energy. I trying to be a best-selling author and overcome disappointment constantly. I get rejection letters from publishers and still I send more out. Why? Because it’s something I want to do for a living. There is a big chance that I may never achieve my dream and have to settle for another career choice.

So I believe in being positive because without taking that first step you might not get what you want or take what you need to survive, BUT I don’t believe that thinking positive or reading the right material will automatically solve your problems.

Like I said about sports and certainties, there are also no certainties in life. If you have a 1% chance of living, then you have a chance of living. If you have a 99% chance of living then you still have a 1% chance of dying.

We love to hope that there is some otherworldly force that can help us in times of peril. That our positive energy can therefore challenge the laws of the universe so we may come out on top, but sadly that is hysterically untrue. Sometimes, to be blunt, shit happens. And there are no guarantees with medicine, self-help books and Ra-Ra speeches.

Joe Reyes

 

Ray Rice Let Go?

After a new video surfaced with Ray Rice seen knocking out his now fiancé, the Ravens have released Rice from the team. I completely and utterly….disagree with their decision to do so. In no means am I defending Rice’s actions. In fact I believe that those who commit domestic violence should be kicked out of the league entirely.

I disagree that this video changes anything in my mind about the whole situation. This is a new video that was released of the incident. Before we only had the video of Rice dragging his unconscious fiancé out of the elevator. He was suspended for “domestic violence” charges brought up against him. So……he did hit her. That much we already knew. Don’t see the point of making a further penalty for reasons that we already knew to be clear.

We all know the act was bad….so why does a video apparently open our eyes to it more? I think this was an overreaction to the new released video. This should’ve been done AT THE START of this whole story and not simply because we now see what happened.

I mean it’s not shocking at all of what this video was. He knocked his wife out. How he did it was irrelevant to me and it should be irrelevant to the Ravens organization. I believe Rice should’ve been let go when he was suspended. They had evidence that he hit his wife at the beginning of the investigation and now they have even more proof. So?

Joe Reyes

 

 

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

 

Far Cry 3 Review

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I played the last Far Cry and I really wasn’t impressed with it. It was kind of cool. A lot of free roaming and you can mostly just go around and kill savages. It was OK to say the least. Now Far Cry 3….AMAZING!

This is THE GAME to buy if you enjoy open world gaming. The story is great and compelling, the action is constant and the amount of things you can do is almost unreal. Sometimes I don’t even do quests. I could just go around and hunt animals and gather plants, but have fun doing it and not consider it tedious.

The story is simple yet complex. You play an American tourist on vacation with your friends and brothers. You get captured by pirates and are going to be ransomed off to your family. You escape and go on a quest to get your friends back before they are killed or sold.

The island your on is controlled by pirates and other factions fighting for control of the island. You do missions like liberate camps and fix radio towers and the villager’s give you supplies and money. There are also a number of other missions like bounty hunter missions and racing games. All this just keeps adding to the never ending gameplay experience.

Now let me discuss why hunting is such a fun feature in the game. In the beginning you only can carry the one weapon. When you get certain types of animal’s skins you can make pouches to expand the amount of weapons you can carry at one time. So in the beginning of the game I found myself hunting for skins to upgrade my character.

With gathering plants you can make medicines and all types of quick enhancements to your character, such as more health for a certain time and becoming faster. Again, you get certain animal skins and you can carry more medicines. So, it’s good to go around hunting to make the gameplay more fun.

You can even hunt sharks too! The easiest way is to get on a boat and literally run them over and get out to get the skin. Just a little tip for new players of the game.

My favorite character is the man who captures you, Vaas. Incredible writing went into this character. He is deranged and smart at the same time. He kills your brother in the beginning of the game and then gives you a few seconds to run before hunting you down. The man is out of his mind at times, going on rants about family and murder.

This game should win game of the year. I thought Skyrim was a great game. The tagline of Far Cry 3 is “This is Skyrim, with guns!” and that’s what it is. You level your guy up, go on missions and can almost do anything you want. Sometimes you can just be walking on a path and a caravan of pirates drive by and you get into a fire fight. You can find yourself walking through the woods and then get attacked by a group of dogs.

The game gets a perfect 5/5, there isn’t anything wrong with this game. The only problem is that it has to end eventually. Oh, I almost forgot, it has Co-Op. great Co-Op missions where you play a separate storyline on the island doing missions and liberating camps. So not only does the game have an amazing single player, it has a Co-Op mode that is just as good. I completely recommend this game and hope you all enjoy.

Joe Reyes