Monthly Archives: June 2016

NBA Finals: Your Finals MVP is LeBron James

2016-NBA-Finals-678x381At this point in the NBA Finals, it should be obvious: LeBron James is the MVP. Steph Curry was the best player during the regular season but a locked-in LeBron James is still the most dominant force in the NBA. The Cavs have an uphill climb to win their first title but even if they come up short (but count a LeBron-led team out at your peril) LeBron should be declared the MVP. He should have been MVP last year and he should be even more so this year. Last year is said and done but let’s build the argument for this year: Continue reading

REVIEW: Warcraft

MeetingTitle: Warcraft | Rated: PG-13 | Runtime: 123 min | Theaters nationwide

Movie adaptations of video games must be cursed. Okay, I may be exaggerating, but there’s something to say about the genre when there isn’t a single film that critics, fans, and general audiences like. You can come up with so many reasons why this is the case: some are poorly made; some are made for fans; some bastardize the source material; some video games feel like movies in the first place; some video games aren’t meant to be made into movies because there’s nothing to adapt. The odds seem stacked against the genre, and yet, it pumps out films fairly regularly, with some being lost causes looking for easy cash, and others actually wanting to prove that there is hope in making such pictures. Warcraft belongs in the latter category, and while it’s up to the challenge of being a good film, it unfortunately falls short of its mark. The film is clearly a project from the heart that ultimately sinks under the weight of adapting its lore.

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NBA Finals: Thoughts from Game 5

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 13: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates with teammate Kyrie Irving #2 after defeating the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals with a score of 112 to 97 at ORACLE Arena on June 13, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The head was right, the heart was wrong. The Cavs, riding two of the most exhilarating Finals performances in NBA history from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, stole the game and the celebration from Oracle Arena last night. However, if I’m the Warriors, I don’t start panicking. They are still up 3-2 and have won convincingly in Cleveland as recently as last Friday. Also, as poorly as they played, they were still down only six points with an opportunity to win late in the fourth. Here are some observations from game 5 and what they mean for game 6. Continue reading

NBA Finals: The Dubs without Day Day

hi-res-871d88404497c8e1b3c9897fc6be55d0_crop_northYesterday the NBA announced that it had upgraded Draymond Green’s non-foul against Draymond Green to a Flagrant 1. That led to a hilarious day on Twitter with people talking about “hurt feelings” and “taking the high road” culminating it what may have been the most hilarious tweet of the day from NBA First Lady, Ayesha Curry:

“High Road. invisible bridge used to step over said person when open floor is available left to right.”

My only comment is that the high road is usually taken without declaration. I’m pretty sure that by letting people know that you’re traversing said road, you immediately get booted off by high road patrol and land on either the mid-level or low road… Continue reading

NBA Finals: Closeout Time

LeBronDraymondGame 4 went about as expected. The score belies how close the game was. However, that’s the thing with the Warriors – you can’t let them stay close. They either get blown out or they win. If you thought their 38.6 clutch rating in the regular season was insane, try wrapping your head around a 49.3 rating in the playoffs (For those who don’t know, a 49.3 rating means that the Warriors would outscore a team by 49.3 points if they played at that level for 100 possessions, the average amount of possessions in an NBA game). They just don’t lose close games. The Cavs did not play a particularly terrible game, in fact, during the quarter where the flow shifted, they held the Dubs to 36% shooting (giving up 6 threes to the Splash Bros will do that to you…). But to beat the Warriors, you have to play great for 48 minutes. And sometimes, even that’s not enough. Now the Cavs face a closeout game in Oakland – where the Warriors have lost only once during the playoffs and three times during the entire season to this point. What do they need to clean up to get a win? Continue reading

QUICK TAKE: The Wailing

Cast StoneTitle: The Wailing | Rated: Not Rated | Runtime: 156 min | Theaters limited (expanding)

If you want to explore world cinema, I cannot recommend South Korean films enough. Being Korean myself, I admit my bias, but there’s no denying that this nation’s film industry has progressed in leaps and bounds since the turn of the century. Auteurs like Bong Joon-ho, Kim Jee-woon, and Park Chan-wook have gifted cinephiles with pictures that are as exquisite as they are twisted, and as moving as they are weird. Filmmaker Na Hong-jin, who made a big splash eight years ago with his thrilling tale The Chaser, now joins their ranks. His 2010 follow-up, The Yellow Sea, is decent if not emotionally distant and forgettable, though it does offer glimpses of his storytelling sensibilities and vision. However, it’s his latest feature, The Wailing, that firmly cements Na among the great modern Korean auteurs; he’s at the top of his game here, mastering tone to craft an engrossing story, and he comes close to making his best film to date.

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NBA Finals: Thoughts after Game 3

2016.06.09 Finals Game 3

That’s just nuts right there… he dunked that.

The Cavs turned in a dominant performance and throttled the Warriors to the tune of a 30-point victory in Cleveland last night. As good as the Warriors have been, it’s incredible to think that the Warriors are 2-6 in game 3s during the Kerr era. They lost Game 3s to the: Grizzlies, Rockets, Cavs (twice), Blazers, and the Thunder. They have now lost five straight game 3s. This is all to say that as a Warriors fan I am not too concerned. The problems in last night’s game are easily fixed by stronger rotations (Kerr… DEATH LINEUP) and even more so, better effort and execution. Much will be talked about the scoring efforts of the Cavs but the more interesting adjustments happened on the defensive side of the ball. Here are some quick thoughts on how the Cavs put the hurt on the Warriors: Continue reading