Stupid Horoscopes (April)

It’s a new series! Horoscopes!

In honor of April Fool’s Day, this edition tells your parents you’re pregnant.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20)

It’s 1983 and Tony from Miami has just snorted an enormous amount of cocaine. BUT HE DIDN’T BECAUSE IT’S REALLY A MOVIE SET AND YOU JUST CAN’T DO THAT THESE DAYS.

Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

It’s 2015 and Barrett from Seoul has just gotten married to Taylor Swift. BUT HE REALLY DIDN’T BECAUSE HE BROKE UP WITH HER LIKE ALL HER OTHER BOYFRIENDS AND THEN SHE WROTE “SHAKE IT OFF.”

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

It’s 2011 and Ethan from [redacted] has just been told his mission is impossible. BUT IT IS ACTUALLY POSSIBLE BECAUSE WHY WOULD YOU MAKE A MOVIE ABOUT IMPOSSIBLE STUFF BEING IMPOSSIBLE.

Leo (July 23 – August 22)

It’s 1984 and a cyborg from the future has just convinced people he is a human being. BUT HE ISN’T AND YOU SHOULD RUN BECAUSE HE GONNA KILL YOU.

Virgo (August 23 – September 22)

It’s 2001 and Tony from New Jersey is super annoyed because Ralph Cifaretto is obsessed with Gladiator and can’t stop quoting it. BUT HE ACTUALLY FEELS GREAT BECAUSE HE’S THE MAIN CHARACTER ON ONE OF THE BEST TV SERIES IN HISTORY.

Libra (September 23 – October 22)

It’s 2006 and Dwayne from New Orleans is, unlike Tony from New Jersey, really happy about his tattoo choices. BUT HE ACTUALLY FEELS BAD BECAUSE WHY WOULD YOU GET TEARDROP TATTOOS WHY WHY WHY.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)

It’s 2013 and Aubrey from Toronto is rapping about starting from the bottom. BUT REALLY HE KINDA STARTED FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE MIDDLE AND THE BOTTOM SO STOP EXAGGERATING AUBREY.

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)

It’s 2004 and Shawn from Brooklyn is trying to solve his 99 problems although a female dog isn’t one of them. BUT ACTUALLY HIS FEMALE DOG JUST DIED AND OH NO HE’S CRYING SOMEBODY GET THIS MAN A TOM FORD HANKERCHIEF TO WIPE HIS EYES WITH.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)

It’s 2010 and LeBron from Akron has just told the Cleveland Cavaliers he’ll resign with them. BUT PSYCH BECAUSE MIAMI IS WAITING AND YOU DON’T PASS UP MIAMI AND THE LADIES AND THE LIFESTYLE AND THE PARTIES FOR A BUM TOWN LIKE CLEVELAND.

Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)

It’s 2013 and William from Mississippi thinks UOENO. BUT ACTUALLY WE ALL KNOW ABOUT THAT ONE REALLY SKETCHY PART OF THAT SONG ABOUT THE MOLLY IN THE DRINK AND TAKING THE GIRL HOME.

Pisces (February 19 – March 20)

It’s 2015 and Justin from the depths of Hell has been roasted on Comedy Central, leading to everybody liking him. BUT ACTUALLY EVERYTHING IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS BEFORE AND YOU KNOW WHAT THAT ROAST WASN’T THAT GREAT GIVE ME MY TIME BACK YOUTUBE.

Aries (March 21 – April 19)

It’s 2007 and Peyton from New Orleans is happy for his brother. BUT NOT REALLY BECAUSE HOW EMBARRASSING IS IT TO LET ELI MANNING WIN A SUPER BOWL BEFORE YOU.

We Need to Talk About “Community”

Is Community still worth watching? Should you start it if you’re new to the study group?

The first five seasons of Community yielded more drama than all of your Thanksgiving dinners combined. Consistently low ratings, the pain of going from a unique new show to a cult classic (which is basically a backhanded compliment), and a collective realization among male and female viewers alike that Alison Brie might be a perfect human being were only some of the subplots to be found during the show’s run on NBC.

Now, Community has moved on from the peacock pastures of NBC for the tenuous terrain of Yahoo! Screen. The sixth season premiered in March and is halfway through as of this writing.

Because of its low ratings and dubious status as a cult TV show, the question to ask here is less “Should you keep watching?” and more “Should you invest your valuable time in this show that’s already in its sixth season, when there are so many other shows out there?”

Well, it depends. Community is a little polarizing and something of an acquired taste, with its greatest and most distinct strength also being its greatest weakness. There’s a very specific demographic that should watch a quirky, pop culturally inebriated show like this – not many shows dedicate entire episodes to spontaneous animated parodies of G.I. Joe, after all.

Of course, the idea that “appeal” is relatively subjective is nothing new, especially in pop culture’s context. Pretty much everything from books to movies are all created with an ideal audience in mind – It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia appeals to those who are in touch with their crass, immature, and adolescent side while The Sopranos appeals to those who want a more well-rounded and (allegedly) more realistic portrayal of Mafia life.

As for Community, there are some people who think it should instantly connect with community college students, just because the show is about a group of them basically wreaking havoc while they’re at school. Well those people are wrong… but not completely wrong.

The show is constantly walking right up to the cliff’s edge and looking down at the swirling waters of pretentiousness while a bunch of hipsters wait at the bottom with black-framed glasses and welcoming arms partially covered by rolled up cardigan sleeves. That kind of reputation can rub a lot of people the wrong way.

And like I said before, the tidal wave of pop culture references in each episode and the meta-humor are unconventional, and what’s too different makes people uncomfortable.

On the other hand, there are some comforting aspects of the basic community college experience that seep through, like meeting psychos and inexplicably becoming close friends with them, teachers that are a little shaky in the whole “qualified to teach” area, and a general naivety to what’s going on outside of your little bubble, or study group.

Aside from the show’s insane drive to be different, the fundamentals are all there. Acting, directing, you name it – all excellent. The transition from NBC to Yahoo! Screen has gone well too, aside from a bizarre aesthetic downgrade where the sets look too fake at times.

But make no mistake: the Community of today isn’t the Community of yesterday. The cast is different, with Chevy Chase (Pierce), Donald Glover (Troy), and Yvette Nicole Brown (Shirley) gone. Ken Jeong (Chang) and Jim Rash (Dean Pelton) have larger roles, while Paget Brewster (Frankie) and Keith David (Elroy) are new.

The show appears to have calmed down as well, although the absence of crazy shenanigans hasn’t deterred the show from continuing to be excessively meta (and condescendingly smug). There are still a handful of episodes left this season, so who knows what will happen? With series creator Dan Harmon, anything is possible.

Madden NFL Mobile: The Final Roster Update?

With a roster like this, I’m not sure I have the resources to get the players even better than the ones I already have.

NOTE: THIS IS LAST YEAR’S GAME. FOR THIS YEAR’S (2015-2016), CLICK HERE.

So here we are. It’s been a month since the last update and how things have changed. In early March, I was bemoaning the lack of opportunities to improve my already decent roster without using real money. It’s the middle of April now and I’m almost on the verge of having 99 problems like my friend, Jay-Z.

I’ve already done the job of replacing 99 Aaron Rodgers because his deep ball was oddly flat, often resulting in unnecessary interceptions or incompletions. So far, 99 Tom Brady has been doing well, and Rodgers’ physical superiority over Brady has been largely irrelevant thanks to the game’s continued lack of a scrambling option for quarterbacks (which is also why 99 Michael Vick ain’t so hot anymore).

My offensive line is trash. But the best linemen are super expensive. Damn!

This is going to be a pretty short post, unless I decide to update it later. I’ve already talked about a lot of problems with the game in my previous two pieces about Madden NFL Mobile. It’s just a shame everything is going to be erased sometime during the summer when the game inevitably resets itself for the upcoming new season.

My general blasé attitude is precisely because of that fact: Madden NFL Mobile is not forever. It will, at some point, reset and everybody will have to start over again. Is that the best idea? Maybe not. Does it make sense? Only on a superficial level.

Honestly, the only positive is that it keeps the game interesting. If EA allowed people to keep their players year after year, not only would there be too many super teams, but the ceiling on a team would become very reachable.

The best we can hope for is improvements – improvements that may never come because EA is EA. But we can hope. Because hope is a good thing.

I hope special teams actually matters in the next game.

I hope special teams actually matters in the next game.

For viable upgrades to my team, I can see myself getting another 99 CB and maybe a better 99 QB – the Positional Heroes, as they’re called. I already have, what, seven Positional Heroes? What’s two more?

This is sort of irrelevant, but I’ve been thinking about the insanity that would occur if a team quietly went into the offseason and free agency, didn’t make much news, then started the preseason with an absolutely ridiculous team.

I mean, can you imagine if the Atlanta Falcons actually had a team like this? People’s minds would be blown! They might not even have to filter artificial crowd noise throughout the stadium!

It’s just funny, I guess.

Here’s a June 2015 update.

Family Is Forever in “Furious 7”

Everything you could ask for in Paul Walker’s final film appearance.

Say what you will about this franchise, but there are three truths all must be aware of: the cars, the girls, and the family. Those are the only guarantees in the fictional world of The Fast and the Furious, where every movie has taken those three mighty pillars to build Universal Pictures’ most Ludacris – excuse me – lucrative franchise with over $2 billion earned worldwide.

Furious 7 certainly has the cars and the girls, but I think we all know family is the most important – and poignant – pillar in this installment (more on that later). After all, this is Paul Walker’s final film appearance after a fatal single car crash in 2013 (unrelated to the filming of this movie).

After his death, there were rumors that the film would be outright canceled. Obviously, it was just delayed as the filmmakers had some reworking to do, including figuring out a way to finish the rest of Walker’s scenes. They ended up using his two brothers, Caleb and Cody, along with physically similar actors and CGI.

I have to say, aside from a few scenes where his face looked a little off, it was a seamless move. It certainly looked better than Young Jeff Bridges in Tron: Legacy. Not only did Paul Walker look like Paul Walker the whole time, but the entire movie was a gorgeous visual spectacle.

One of the most annoying trends in filmmaking is the notion that a shaky camera somehow brings something to the table. An infamous example is the Bourne movies starring Matt Damon. Those had some excellent fight scenes, but they were marred because the camera decided to get all twitchy. That’s not the case in Furious 7. The fight scenes are clean and crisp – you get every Ronda Rousey grapple and every Tony Jaa kick.

Of course, The Fast and the Furious is about cars, and this movie has enough expensive cars to make Ferris Bueller’s head blow up. So choice, perhaps. The locations are also varied, as the gang travels everywhere from Azerbaijan and Abu Dhabi to, of course, home in LA. Speaking of Abu Dhabi… we need to talk about ridiculousness.

If you’ve seen the trailer, you know there’s a scene where a car literally flies out of one of Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Towers and crashes into the adjacent tower. It then drives through THAT tower, flies out, and crashes into the final tower.

Even when taken into context with the rest of the crazy things the gang survives through, that scene was so unrealistic I had to lean back and pinch myself. Nobody goes into these films for realism, but it would be nice if they weren’t so brazen about it. And leave it to these guys to decide that, of all people, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson ends up in the hospital at the beginning of the movie. Whatever. I loved the action sequences even though I had to roll my eyes a few times.

At the end of the day, all you really need to know – and this is something you probably suspected – is that Furious 7 takes nothing off the table and simply amplifies what happened in the previous movies. My friend was joking that Furious 10 would have to take place in space at this rate.

But let’s end this like the movie ends: with family. Emotion has never been a focal point of these flicks, but Furious 7 fully embraces real world emotions and creates something surprisingly nuanced. The last couple of scenes (not including one with Jason Statham) are poignant and show how the cast of this franchise has perhaps the best chemistry out of any other film franchise.

That’s why an emotional Vin Diesel had to briefly take a moment of silence to compose himself when he was talking about Paul Walker at an early screening of the film. That’s why he named his newborn daughter Paulina. That kind of bond translates onto the screen and extends to all the other individuals, like Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, and Michelle Rodriguez. They are a real family.

At the beginning of Furious 7, Jason Statham says the future can be seen by looking at the past. While one family member is retired forever, I have full faith the rest will continue to live – and drive – fast and furiously in his honor.