Last Week: 9-7
Overall: 9-7

Steelers @ Ravens

PIT - RFJ

Is anyone else sick of Thursday Night Football? I enjoyed this charade when it originally started around Thanksgiving, but making this a weekly mainstay is significantly degrading the quality of football. On a short schedule, the home team almost always holds a distinct advantage—unless the other team’s QB is substantially better. Despite all of the backtracking Ray Rice bullshit, the Ravens possess the edge against the Steelers after Pittsburgh barely held onto a victory against the Browns last week. Not having Ray Rice won’t impact Baltimore a great deal anyway since the team had already started to transition towards Bernard Pierce as their future at the position. Primed as a “nobody believes in us” team, Baltimore could hang in with the Bengals for the division all year. But in a league where mediocrity is increasingly the norm, the best bet is always on parity. Mediocrity reigns supreme!

Win: Baltimore Ravens

Dolphins @ Bills

Miami unthinkably knocked off New England last week in pretty convincing fashion. The Dolphins are talented enough to compete for a Wild Card spot, but I can never trust them completely. Buffalo beat Miami both times in 2013 without E.J. Manuel playing. However, I continually refuse to put any faith in the Bills, and that must pay off at some point. After last week’s upset over the Patriots, Miami should let Knowshon Moreno should the load again to balance the offense against a tough Buffalo defense. Unless the Bills explode for a multi-TD day on the ground, Miami should outpace Buffalo.

Win: Miami Dolphins

Falcons @ Bengals

A true mirror game. Atlanta and Cincinnati play much of the same as a result of similarly designed teams. Both teams have a good but not great QB that throws to an explosive, dynamic No. 1 WR and a quality above average No. 2 WR option complimented by a decent running game. My disdain for the Red Rocket Andy Dalton is well-known, but the Bengals certainly have the advantage when it comes to running the ball and playing defense. The Falcons performed better than expected last week, but it may just be a case of New Orleans not being as good as anticipated on defense. While the Bengals defense could keep Cincinnati in this game with some Gio Bernard runs sprinkled in, my eyes are convincing my brain that the Week 1 offensive output from Matt Ryan was real and spectacular. If Julio Jones gets loose, it will be up to A.J. Green to get behind the Atlanta secondary if the Bengals are to come from behind and win.

Win: Atlanta Falcons

Saints @ Browns

New Orleans could not get a defensive stop to save their lives last week against Atlanta. Meanwhile, Cleveland predictably didn’t perform well until garbage time, which should be an ongoing strength from the shitty Browns this season. But without Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon out for the year, Brian Hoyer won’t have anyone worthwhile to throw to this week. If the Saints don’t dominate this game, then it’s already time to start worrying about New Orleans. Cleveland’s defense could pose some problems, but Drew Brees should still find open receivers to move the chains even if the running game remains consistently inconsistent.

Win: New Orleans Saints

Cowboys @ Titans

DAL - Mistake

Everyone with a brain expected Dallas to be dominated by San Francisco. I still didn’t envision Tony Romo failing in such epic fashion. Romo seemed as stiff and uncomfortable as Jerry Jones’ face. Both are horrific sights for Cowboys fans. But the real issue is the Swiss cheese defense employed by Dallas. Tennessee surprised offensively in their opener, and Jake Locker could truly create some momentum for the Titans. Ultimately, I foresee Locker keeping Tennessee in the hunt for the playoffs, but I don’t think the Titans are ready just yet. Dallas will need to immensely improve their passing attack in order for the Cowboys to win the shootouts their defense necessitates by their ineptitude.

Win: Tennessee Titans

Patriots @ Vikings

New England never loses back to back games. While everything would have been quite different if Adrian Peterson were playing, the odds of Minnesota pulling off the upset have now become impossible unless Tom Brady implodes. The question for the Vikings now transitions to what will happen with Adrian Peterson? A lengthy suspension is likely on the horizon after he was just indicted for spanking his 4-year old son with a switch. I don’t want to make light of this situation because it is bad—especially coming immediately on the heels of the NFL’s obvious Ray Rice cover-up attempt—but at least Adrian Peterson is involved in the life of his child. Disciplining a child that young in that manner is ridiculous, but I think there’s an argument to be made that the child would be considerably worse off if his father New wasn’t around. While I was typing that sentence, Antonio Cromartie just fathered 7 more children.

Win: New England Patriots

Cardinals @ Giants

With parity rattling around in my head, I’m considering taking the Giants at home in this game against the Cardinals. Arizona didn’t deserve that last-second victory over San Diego last week while New York can’t possibly be as bad as they appeared against Detroit last week. But the Giants might actually be that bad. New York’s offense line is still atrocious and their complementary pieces at the skill positions don’t compliment Eli Manning. Without the necessary time, Eli will continue to rush into poor decisions, but I still wouldn’t say this is the end for Eli. After all, he is a Manning. I’m anticipating a rough start for New York, but the Giants could easily even up their record against Houston and Washington in the coming weeks. If Carson Palmer doesn’t play this week, the Giants could do some damage as long as Eli avoids interceptions. What’s the harm in pounding the run and only allowing Eli to throw 20 passes? With Arizona’s strength being their cover corners, New York would be wise to target the middle of the Cardinals defense.

Win: Arizona Cardinals

Jaguars @ Redskins

WSH - RG Knee

As soon as Jacksonville jumped out to an early 17-0 lead over Philadelphia, I almost had a heart attack. How could the Jaguars be that cagey? Inevitably, Jacksonville played like their city and disappointed their handful of remaining fans. Chad Henne is the absolute, unquestioned King of Garbage Time, but he’s also just competent enough to guide the Jaguars to 6-7 wins. On the other side, everything has just fallen apart for Robert Griffin III. With no confidence and clearly uncomfortable in a new scheme, RG Knee might as well run around behind the line for as long as he can stay upright before he just heaves a pass downfield. Washington already looks in shambles after Week 1, but the Redskins could rebound if they feed Alfred Morris the ball. I have just the right amount of doubt about RG Knee that I don’t feel insane for siding with the Jacksonville Jaguars—otherwise known as Henne and Hurns.

Win: Jacksonville Jaguars

Lions @ Panthers

If you predicted the Panthers would win with Derek Anderson starting instead of Cam Newton, then I would call you batshit crazy or a liar. I certainly didn’t think the scaffold-like structure of Carolina’s team could move the ball and post points against Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers could be one of those pre-season media darlings that sleep their way through the season, but Carolina’s defense could be a Top 5 force throughout 2014. If Matthew Stafford channels Smokin’ Jay and his sloppy footwork spirit, Detroit could struggle immensely against the Panthers. However, Calvin Johnson cannot be covered when facing elite corners so he should run untouched down the field against the thin wispy mustache that is the Panthers secondary. Greg Hardy just threatened someone else’s wife too.

Win: Detroit Lions

Seahawks @ Chargers

Perhaps San Diego isn’t the sleeper darling everyone was predicting. After being embarrassed in the final stages of last week’s game against Arizona, the Chargers will try to tread water versus the defending Super Bowl champions. Seattle isn’t the same dominant force on the road, but It’s Always Sunny in San Diego isn’t exactly the most overwhelming home-field advantage. Unless the Chargers create turnovers, San Diego is going to struggle to keep Seattle from gaining huge chunks on the ground. Russell Wilson is a robot incapable of feeling human emotion, which is probably why his wife left him. The Seahawks could win this game even if they go vanilla on offense. Vanilla is Russell Wilson’s favorite flavor.

Win: Seattle Seahawks

Rams @ Buccaneers

Easily this week’s most boring, unwatchable matchup. St. Louis is the heavy favorite for worst team, and starting Austin Davis should ensure that fate. The Rams have an offense full of men without faces—not in the cool Game of Thrones way, either. In video game terms, all of the offensive players on St. Louis would garner around a 70ish rating in Madden. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay isn’t much better, but Doug Martin and Vincent Jackson are capable of great games. I would like to think Josh McCown isn’t as awful as shown in Week 1, which would give the Buccaneers the advantage with slightly above subpar play at the QB position.

Win: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Chiefs @ Broncos

Kansas City is still devastated after last week’s horrific attack by the Regression Monster. Unthinkably, the Chiefs are asking for more punishment by travelling to the thin air in Denver to wage war with Peytonstein. This won’t end well. In the second half of last week’s game, Denver’s offense and defense went stagnant as the Broncos felt they already had the game won. When you have Peyton Manning, I imagine it’s difficult not to always assume victory. If Denver starts out flat, then the Broncos might find themselves in trouble against this division foe if Jamaal Charles is fed the ball early and often. Expect the Chiefs to fight, but Kansas City will ultimately fall again against an unstoppable monster with a surgically strengthened neck and biomechanical right arm named Peyton Manning.

Win: Denver Broncos

Jets @ Packers

NYJ - Winning Year

Green Bay battled a buzzsaw last week when they faced the Seattle Seahawks—who were looking to prove 2013 wasn’t a fluke. Fortunately, the Packers go against the New York Jets in Week 2, which is quite a competitive difference. Without any noteworthy cornerbacks, the Jets will struggle to contain Rodgers so expect a healthy dose of receptions by Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Even if Eddie Lacy can’t contribute much running, Green Bay should score 27+ this week so New York needs Geno Smith to move the chains. Unless the Jets rip off monstrous runs early and converts touchdowns, expect Green Bay to even out their record while New York questions how long Rex Ryan will remain the head coach.

Win: Green Bay Packers

Texans @ Raiders

In Week 1, the Houston Texans scalped Washington (see what I did there?) and showed why J.J. Watt is such an unstoppable force. Although Houston lacks any difference-makers in the back end of their defense, rookie Raiders QB Derek Carr must get the ball out quickly and accurately to avoid being planted into the ground. Oakland’s best chance to win is if Darren McFadden can roll back the clock to when he was actually effective. Run DMC formerly ripped off formidable runs left and right…and up the middle. For some reason, I fear McFadden could actually post decent numbers with Maurice Jones-Drew likely out of the game. As long as Ryan Fitzpatrick can display Harvard-esque decision making skills, the Texans should dispatch the Raiders fairly early. But if the past few years have taught us anything, Ryan Fitzpatrick’s carriage always turns into a pumpkin eventually after a few good games and Halloween is almost here.

Win: Houston Texans

Bears @ 49ers

Last week, Jay Cutler showed why he’s Smokin’ Jay. Throwing across his body and lofting passes from his back foot are commonplace occurrences. At this point, this Marlboro Man isn’t going to change. But how can an NFL QB still have such shitty fundamentals? Likely without the luxury of his twin tower receivers (Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery), Smokin’ Jay and the Bears will be in trouble against a stout 49ers defense who similarly destroyed the Cowboys in Week 1. Chicago is better than Dallas, but not by enough to make a difference. With the way Fred Jackson trampled Chicago’s defense in OT, don’t be surprised to see Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde embarrass the former Monsters of the Midway again.

Win: San Francisco 49ers

Eagles @ Colts

There is no better matchup this week than the Eagles against the Colts. Oddly, both teams struggled when the gates opened, but then managed to turn things around in the second half—only Philadelphia was able to win, though. Andrew Luck has a penchant for pulling horseshoes out of his ass, and the Colts might need that innate luck to beat Philadelphia this week. The Eagles continue to field a crappy defense, which will be their downfall again this season. After all, Philadelphia almost loss to Jacksonville in Week 1 because the defense just can’t get stops. LeSean “20 Cent” McCoy will run rampant through and over Indianapolis’ dismal defense, but we might already be witnessing the regression of Nick Foles. Somehow, I expect luck to impose its will as Andrew Luck improbably pulls off a comeback win.

Win: Indianapolis Colts

Packers @ Seahawks

GB - Dumps

I love Aaron Rodgers and his starry blue eyes as much as the next person, but he can only carry Green Bay so far this season. The success of the Packers will largely depend on their defense, which hasn’t been a strength in recent years. On the other side, Russell Wilson still isn’t as good as Seattle thinks while the Seahawks are one Percy Harvin injury away from having no one to catch the ball. At some point, Marshawn Lynch will come crashing back down to Earth with all the miles logged on his Lamborghini. And the NFL is supposedly now enforcing the actual rules after allowing Seattle to consistently mug opposing receivers. Hopefully the Regression Monster will hunt down and destroy the Seahawks, but there probably won’t be any evidence of that in this matchup. Without B.J. Raji, Green Bay will be very vulnerable to the run all year.

Win: Seattle Seahawks

Saints @ Falcons

New Orleans is already a popular pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl for those who don’t want to chalk up Seattle for a repeat. But are they really a polished product? Just like their initials: NO. Drew Brees is still trying to cling onto his spot amongst the top QBs in the NFL, but his weapons have grown increasingly mediocre. If the Saints can’t pound the run, I’ll have my doubts about Breezy’s ability to carry New Orleans deep into the playoffs. However, the division rival Atlanta Falcons are coming off a complete mess of a season. No one should have confidence in Atlanta’s head coach Mike Smith, which is the absolute apex of generic white guy names. Matt Ryan will post better numbers if Julio Jones and Roddy White can stay healthy, but the Falcons have serious issues on the defensive side and they’re also willingly counting on 47-year old Stephen Jackson—arguably a contender for most generic black guy names. New Orleans will create enough turnovers to put Atlanta’s defense in a position to make stops. Not gonna work out well for ATL.

Win: New Orleans Saints

Bills @ Bears

Buffalo sucks so bad that they just gave $10 million over two years to recently retired Kyle Orton to be a backup to E.J. Manuel. That does not bode well for E.J. Manuel’s career as a NFL QB, which didn’t get off to such a rousing start considering the Bills broke both arms reaching for him so early in the 1st Round. Buffalo could be a sneaky dangerous team later in the season if the Bills can keep C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson healthy and effective. But the Bears are not a team you want to start the season against. Chicago just needs Smokin’ Jay to place throws where only Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery can reach up and catch them because there’s not a better jump ball receiver duo in the NFL. Matt Forte will continue to be underrated and underappreciated as he registers another solid season in his consistently good career. Whether Chicago can win the division depends on their defensive improvement. The defense will be good enough in this game, but there’s serious questions as to how competitive the Bears will be against the likes of Green Bay and Detroit later this year.

Win: Chicago Bears

Titans @ Chiefs

It’s The Whiz versus The Walrus! Jake Locker against Alex Smith! Somehow, this still isn’t the most boring game on the opening week slate. Kansas City literally has a huge red flag marked on them as everyone expects regression to the mean. As long as Jamaal Charles can stay healthy, the Chiefs could still scratch and claw for a Wild Card spot. But Tennessee is equally mediocre with a chance of being good. Still trying to reclaim the glory of the Jeff Fisher era, the Titans are counting on Jake Locker to be healthy. Over the long-term, I would put more faith in Tennessee vying for a playoff spot, but Arrowhead is such an important home field advantage that it makes Kansas City a slight favorite.

Win: Kansas City Chiefs

Vikings @ Rams

Easily the most boring game of the week. Absolutely no one cares about watching Matt Cassel against Shaun Hill. Whoever wins this matchup of mediocre proportions will depend on the running game that breaks for multiple scores. I might be crazy, but that seems to favor Minnesota and Adrian Peterson—who could also make a difference in the passing game if Norv Turner’s offseason speak can be trusted. St. Louis’ defense is stacked on the defensive line, but the Rams don’t possess enough offense to keep up with most opposing teams.

Win: Minnesota Vikings

Patriots @ Dolphins

NE - Glass

Prepare yourself for another year of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. New England will be there again in the AFC Championship game unless something happens to Mr. Bündchen. Miami is not a threat to anyone aside from Jonathan Martin. They’re actually so incompetent that they think Ryan Tannehill may be their problem. The Patriots should dominate the Dolphins both offensively and defensively, and the fans (or people who happen to wander into the stadium) in Miami won’t care one way or another.

Win: New England Patriots

Raiders @ Jets

Everyone knows by now that no NFL player wants to reside in Oakland with the Raiders. Oakland desperately needs to save themselves from themselves and just fire Reggie McKenzie now. This is the only front office that though Matt Schaub should still have a starting NFL gig. That didn’t last very long. Now with rookie Derek Carr at the helm, the Raiders should just be happy if they manage to keep him upright more often that his brother’s historically awful rookie campaign. Carr will provide glimpses of hope—perhaps even in this game against New York’s shitty secondary—but you can pencil in Oakland for a prime draft position again. Don’t count on the Jets to be considerably better because they’re just a small losing streak away from firing Rex Ryan and becoming a complete dumpster fire. Geno Smith will fail to inspire hope, Michael Vick will play briefly before getting hurt, and the Jets will be forced to turn back to Geno near the end of the year. This story doesn’t have a happy ending.

Win: New York Jets

Jaguars @ Eagles

Even with DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia’s offense is going to be an imposing juggernaut. The defense will surely lose them some close games, but don’t expect the Jaguars to put up that much of a fight unless Nick Foles implodes. I actually wouldn’t be surprised to see a cameo from Mark Sanchez later this season, but the Eagles will be in trouble if Mr. Butt Fumble is starting more than a handful of games. For Jacksonville, the only glimmer of promise will happen when Blake Bortles takes the field in place of Chad Henne. Until that time comes, the Jaguars will be in the same sorry position as the Vikings—just biding their time with a veteran before their future long-term solution has an opportunity. Chad “King of Garbage Time” Henne might get close to 300 yards in catch-up mode, but this competition will not be close.

Win: Philadelphia Eagles

Browns @ Steelers

Will Johnny Manziel play? Will I give a shit? Cleveland has proven to be an incompetent franchise with no real direction or leadership. While the Browns actually seemed to be building something last season, that turned out to only be a bowel movement as the owner Jimmy Haslam excise the waste. With Josh Gordon suspended pending league agreement on a new drug policy, Jordan Cameron at tight end will remain the team’s only receiving threat. If opposing defenses blanket coverage to take away that option, both Brian Hoyer and Johnny Acne face an uphill climb to be competitive. Pittsburgh will continue to own this rivalry as long as Bell and Blount avoid smoking weed on their way to the game again.

Win: Pittsburgh Steelers

Bengals @ Ravens

BAL - Bland

Is there a more boring NFL player than Joe Flacco? The man is like a young Al Gore in football pads. I’m surprised his teammates don’t fall asleep in the huddle when he’s calling plays. There are a lot of signs that point to Baltimore struggling to remain relevant, and the Ray Rice distraction (a.k.a. brutally beating his then-fiancée/now-wife) certainly didn’t help start the season off on the right foot. However, I still can’t trust the Red Rocket Andy Dalton and his dog dick colored hair. Every team in this division might just suck enough to enable all of them to be in the mix late into the season. For now, my faith will reside in Cincinnati’s Gio Bernard—a breakout star if the Bengals don’t bungle his usage.

Win: Cincinnati Bengals

Redskins @ Texans

A strong contender for the “Who Gives a Shit?” designation for this week’s most boring game. However, there’s enough intrigue regarding the health of RG Knee that elevates this turd a level higher on the trash heap. I’m not convinced either team significantly improved this offseason, but the team with Ryan Fitzpatrick as their starting QB is certainly worse. Washington backup Kirk Cousins might even be the best QB in this matchup. Houston’s defense will have to carry them in this game and throughout the season in order for the team to have a winning record. The other storyline in this game is the distraction of the most offensive nickname in team sports. It’s just disrespectful to refer to someone as that, and there should be no debate that the team should change its name. I mean, who wants to be called a Texan? I can’t imagine anything worse.

Win: Washington Redskins

49ers @ Cowboys

SF - Cops

Breaking News: the entire San Francisco 49ers’ defense has just been arrested for running a train on a few women of the night. Roughly 86% of the 49ers have had a run-in with the law this offseason—that might be a lie. But San Francisco is certainly the most vulnerable they will ever be to start the season. Even with the league’s worst defense, Dallas could steal a victory away from an NFC contender by running the ball and picking their spots deep with Dez Bryant. Somehow, I still expect Jim Harbaugh to will San Francisco to a win. Against the Cowboys defense, Harbaugh might even be able to put on the pads and do some damage throwing the ball all over their atrocious secondary.

Win: San Francisco 49ers

Panthers @ Buccaneers

Whether this game is remotely worth discussing depends on Cam Newton’s health. If Derek Anderson is instead throwing to the likes of Jerrico Cotchery, then the Panthers don’t stand a fucking chance. With Cam Newton, Carolina was the team most likely to not reach the playoffs. On the other side, Tampa Bay just needs to give Josh McCown enough time to heave jump balls to the Buccaneers basketball team of receivers. Since the Panthers will have their Superman stuck in the phone booth, expect Tampa Bay to increase the temperature in their hot air balloon with a decisive victory against a division foe.

Win: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Colts @ Broncos

Indianapolis had no business being in the playoffs last year. But that’s the impressive strength of Andrew “The Giant” Luck. With a running attack that struggles to reach the line of scrimmage, the pressure will be on Luck to pull those horseshoes out of his ass again. Barring a miracle, that won’t happen this Sunday night against the Denver Broncos. It doesn’t matter who is catching those perfectly placed passes from Peyton Manning. Denver will post points on the piss poor defense of the Colts, and Luck will have to similarly embarrass the Broncos defense. Especially since the game is at Mile High, Manning will spread the ball all over and lead the Broncos on a string of scoring drives. I’m just happy to have another year of Peyton Manning playing football in my life. I can’t imagine how little I will care about the NFL once he is done…until one of his sons takes the league by storm.

Win: Denver Broncos

Giants @ Lions

The Detroit Lions were so bad and undisciplined last year that they thought it was a bright idea to literally hire a black mannequin as coach. But he’s not just any black mannequin: Jim Caldwell is THE Black Mannequin. An unblinking abomination of plastic with a mustache, Caldwell considers himself a Christian first and foremost (an actual line printed on an old Colts game program). I expect Caldwell to be a doormat for Detroit because I cannot envision a scenario in which any of their thugs would listen or respect him. Let’s be honest, Peyton Manning was the player/coach of the Colts so this really should be considered Caldwell’s rookie year. However, the Giants are struggling to grasp a new offensive system and their defense is still remarkably unremarkable. While New York may very well stay around .500 for much of the season, Eli is the team’s only chance of upsetting the Lions at home on Monday Night Football.

Win: Detroit Lions

Chargers @ Cardinals

How much can the Cardinals overcome? Arizona’s defense has been mangled to shreds of last year’s stout unit, and there are too many “next man up” players populating along the line and linebacker core. Meanwhile, San Diego is the most likely sleeper to cash in on the early pre-season hype. If the offensive line is improved, Philip “Li’l Dick” Rivers might be able to throw outside the tackle box instead of checking down and dumping it off at every opportunity. Expect the Chargers to exploit Danny Woodhead as a backfield receiver and hopefully they’ll have the wherewithal to pepper passes to Ladarius Green on intermediate routes. If enough pressure is put on Carson “#3-INT” Palmer, San Diego can just rely on a mediocre running game to keep possession and control the clock. Arizona has a slight chance if Andre Ellington actually plays, but the Cardinals would be wise to take it slow with their true offensive focal point. This could turn ugly quick if Arizona’s defense is as bad as it appears on paper.

Win: San Diego Chargers

Poster
Lucy is a movie made by an idiot with an 8th grade education experiencing acid for the first time. The writing and directing are so disjointed and jumbled. Nothing makes any logical sense in the world in which we live. I understand this film is a sci-fi fantasy, but it is still supposed to be rooted in the real world.

And yet, I can only imagine the undeserved self-satisfied expression on Luc Besson’s face.

If you managed to avoid this movie, then you escaped an embarrassingly bad, childish writing centered around the bullshit myth that humans only use a fraction of our brain function. The title character Lucy is an unwilling drug mule transporting a substance called CPH4 that’s sewn inside her stomach, which inevitably explodes when she’s kicked repeatedly in the midsection. Of course, this sets off a reaction that leads Lucy to unlocking more of the “mind’s ability” while it’s also rapidly killing her.

This synthetic drug basically makes her Neo before it eventually disintegrates her physical form.

WaxOnOff

It’s all just so stupid and silly.

There’s literally B-roll footage randomly intertwined as if Luc Besson seriously thought it helped emphasize his point. The movie did not need cut scenes of baby animals being born. If no one said this was written by an experienced filmmaker, I could not and would not have guessed it. Lucy is so haphazardly slapped together that it genuinely seems like a rough draft from someone fresh out of film school.

Why do people like this movie? Did I miss something?

I don’t mean to oversimplify, but Lucy is plain dumb and boring. I have never fallen asleep in a movie theater (even when watching that piece of shit Syriana), but I had to fight myself to stop from nodding off near the end. At 90 minutes, this is not a long movie—though it sure feels much longer.

Freeman

The writing and directing are both aimless and uninspired, which substantially limits the cast’s ability to elevate the material. While people seem to praise Scarlett Johansson’s performance, she just drifts through every scene with a blank, robotic stare. It’s not her fault, but she fails to do anything aside from serving as eye candy. And poor Morgan Freeman’s sole purpose is to provide clumsy exposition, which comes in the form of a speech that takes up at least 90% of his screen time. Freeman is on the screen to lend his gravitas to the film and provide a handful of awestruck, dumbfounded expressions.

Lucy is without anything memorable or remotely worthwhile.

Waiting to review a movie is a double-edged sword. If it is a good movie, then I get to bask in all its glory and treasure each moment. If it is a bad movie, then it’s a painful process to express my thoughts because my recollection focuses on the worst parts. At this point, that’s all that remains of this movie.

If there’s a silver lining, you may struggle to keep your eyes open during this dull, drab story.

Eyes

You can’t unsee this ungood movie. Do not watch.

1.5 out of 5 stars

Poster
What would you do during an annual 12-hour period in which all crime is legal?

As a premise, this is such an interesting jumping off point—or at least it should be in the right person’s hands. For two straight movies, writer/director James DeMonaco has missed the mark. The Purge was an abject disaster that almost took pleasure in wasting a great cast (notably Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey) and a promising idea with the events unfolding solely within one family’s house.

However, at least DeMonaco listened to and addressed the criticisms of the first movie because The Purge: Anarchy is the complete inverse with several stories intertwining in the inner city of Los Angeles. Exactly a year after the original, The Purge: Anarchy switches its primary focus from the rich to the poor. While it’s interesting to delve into the psyche of how a nation deals with this period of consequence-free crime spree, the heavy-handed nature of the rich versus poor dynamic reveals DeMonaco’s shortcomings.

God

Apparently, the only crime that people are interested in committing is murder. The Purge: Anarchy isn’t so much about anarchy as it is random, roving groups of marauders seeking to quench their thirst for blood. Who becomes the easiest target? The poor, of course. The rich can afford expensive security systems for protection (as showcased in the first film) while the poor must simply try to survive the night.

The intertwined stories of The Purge: Anarchy revolve around a quarreling couple stupidly caught out in the open after experiencing car trouble, a mother and daughter fleeing for their lives after their apartment complex is attacked, and a man known only as Sergeant venturing out in the chaos for revenge on the man who killed his son. Everyone is unremarkable and replaceable except Frank Gillo as Sergeant Leo Barnes. In fact, all of these flat, one-dimensional characters would have died within an hour if not for Sarge.

Despite its downfalls, The Purge: Anarchy provides some mindless entertainment. In fact, everything leading up to sequence that’s eerily reminiscent of The Running Man is rather enjoyable. But then it all falls to shit. Most of the third act is just unforgivably bad with some maniac named Big Daddy who acts as the de facto villain by shooting everything and everyone to shit. Why? Because it’s his time to purge!

Big Daddy

Throughout the movie, an anti-Purge revolution is teased with Michael K. Williams playing the leader Carmelo. Unfortunately, that whole arc seemed like an afterthought designed primarily to provide a nice bow to end one scene. So much more could have been done with this character. But again, a great actor was wasted. With Michael K. Williams aboard, ripping off The Wire and creating a bastardized version of Omar (arguably the greatest TV character) would’ve infused incredible life back into the third act.

Something, anything should have been done to save this movie from itself.

While the sequel is an improvement, there’s still a lot left to be desired due to a largely unexplored landscape. Still working with a relatively low budget (compared to other summer movies), The Purge: Anarchy gives you enough of a glimpse to provide hope that an expanded pocketbook could truly deliver on this unfulfilled promise in a third attempt. If the scope is expanded, just think of the ramifications.

What the fuck happens to air travel during the purge? How does the entire country contend with the annual aftermath? Unfortunately, this movie still creates more questions than answers, and I don’t see much hope that a sequel in the hands of the same creative mind will result in a substantially better product.

Carmelo

2.5 out of 5 stars

Bud Hawking

Bud Selig | Stephen Hawking

Pulp Fiction

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Sailing Sunset

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