M. Night Shyamalan the director probably gets too much shit from the general public.

M. Night Shyamalan the writer wholeheartedly deserves everything thrown at his head.

The Village and Lady in the Water were ungood. I can’t force myself to watch The Last Airbender or After Earth. But until my last breath, I will defend The Happening. Those who attempt to categorize The Happening as one of the worst movies ever made have no sense of fun and need to stop taking themselves too serious. The Happening was definitely dumb, but it managed to be entertaining.

The fatal flaw with The Happening was casting Mark Wahlberg as someone with a shred of intelligence. Marky Mark is perfect when playing the stupid manchild who never grew up. Trying to pass Mark Wahlberg off as even a high school science teacher is an unforgivable mistake. Listening to him fumble through science speak and lecture to students about bees still makes my ears bleed. Coupling Wahlberg with Zooey Deschanel’s permanently zoned out gaze only made things worse. John Leguizamo was definitely the best actor, and I usually can’t stand his rat face. But The Happening had some haunting imagery and inventive kills that will continue to live in my brain. The unintentional comedy of the bad acting clinic by Wahlberg and Deschanel along with the sublimely ludicrous twist was entertaining.

I watch so many bad movies and most are so awful that I completely forget about them.

There’s something to be said about a bad movie that’s so bad you enjoy it.

The Visit lives in a similar category for me. While a lot of people are proclaiming The Visit as M. Night Shyamalan’s best movie in years, I would continue to defend The Happening and argue that 2008 effort is better. But there are a handful of good things about The Visit that deserve attention.

In typical M. Night fashion, the directing outdoes the writing in this movie.


Found footage horror movies need to die. Although there are a few rare gems, it is an outplayed gimmick that is used to compensate for a lack of skill and technique. The main character Becca—played by Olivia DeJonge—is an aspiring documentarian, which is the bullshit excuse for why this trip to see their estranged grandparents needs to be captured on film. An accomplished director such as M. Night Shyamalan shouldn’t be slumming it with shaky handheld cameras, but at least he uses the gimmick well with this movie. There’s a hide-and-go-seek scene under the porch with grandma that is especially creepy.

Olivia DeJonge has impressive command and puts forth a quality performance reacting to all the odd chaos the kids encounter. While DeJonge is adorable as Becca, her likability is balanced out by her completely excruciating brother Tyler—played by Ed Oxenbould and his punchable face. I don’t know if it’s a Jack Gleeson case (Joffrey from Game of Thrones) where the young child actor is so good at portraying these awful, annoying traits that you hate him. Or maybe my visceral reaction to his voice and fivehead just conjures up rage. I was actively rooting for this character to die—at least for bad things to happen.

And this is what I’m talking about with M. Night’s unbelievably bad writing. Tyler self-imposes the nickname T. Diamond Styles because that’s what you do when you’re an over-privileged white kid who claims to be a freestyle rapper. Instead of saying curse words, this little douchefuck says names of pop stars like Shakira and Katy Perry when he’s angry. It is as unjustifiable and terrible as it sounds.


How could you think that is a good idea? Too many confusing choices and bad ideas strewn together.

The best part of The Visit is the star, Nana—played by Deanna Dunagan. I’m not going to pretend that I’ve ever heard of Dunagan before, but she is fantastic as the creepy and ominous grandma. If you avoided the media blitz when this movie came out in theaters, then you missed an allusion to Hansel and Greta in a ridiculous yet gripping scene. Longs instances of boredom punctuated with interesting setups

Seriously, there are several substantial plot holes that Shyamalan ignores or glosses over. But I’ll forgive the questionable set-up and reasoning for the titular visit. To a certain extent, the downfalls of The Visit are forgivable because of the entertainment value. Watching Deanna Dunagan lose her shit is worth the price of admission alone. However, I could do without the two (yes, two) grandma ass flash scenes.

Nana No No!

Naturally, there is a twist forced into the story. Of course, you see it coming a mile away.

The twist is telegraphed with a heavy hand in a scene very early in the movie. Although a failed twist typically dooms the movie by rendering everything before it meaningless, that’s not the case with The Visit because the build-up was the best part. Despite the movie’s flaws, feeling the creepiness of meeting the grandparents was hair-raising. While the humor elevates this movie, there are several swings and misses. I wish M. Night infused more horror into the story to the detriment of its teenager appeal. I shared a theater filled to the brim with talkative little twats who thoroughly enjoyed the rapping of T. Diamond Styles.


As with most found footage horror movies, the ending seems slapped together. Nothing egregious, but I expect better from M. Night because he made The Sixth Sense. That’s like the equivalent of Michael Jackson making Thriller. And Unbreakable is phenomenal—possibly even better than The Sixth Sense.

About half of the movie works and the other half is excruciating. I cringed on several occasions.

I won’t go as so far to say that The Visit proves M. Night Shyamalan is back.

But it was a nice enough visit with the grandparents.


2.5 out of 5 stars

Overall: 32-16
Last Week: 14-2

Ravens @ Steelers

Pittsburgh went from having a QB that is a rapist to one that is a dog murderer. Somehow, the shitty Steelers bandwagon fans are still the worst part of this franchise. Total idiots waving their Terrible Towels while foaming from the mouth. Even if Michael Vick manages to turn back the clock, I let go of those dirty deeds and I’d much rather actively root against the Steelers. As much as I dislike the Ravens, Baltimore can’t fall to 0-4 and drop out of the playoff race this early—they’re always annoying late into the season.

Win: Baltimore Ravens

Jets @ Dolphins

London Alert! It’s nice that news has leaked of Miami possibly leaving Joe Philbin in London if the Dolphins lose. Hopefully that means the Ndamu-Diddy Kong Suh continues to roll over and the entire defense allows Ryan Fitzpatrick to dink-and-dunk the Jets to a win. Under Todd Bowles, New York’s defense is much improved and Ryan Tannehill will find it difficult to complete passes against Darrell Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Buster Skrine, and company. Rest assured the Dolphins will be eager to get back to South Beach after this forced overseas “home” game. It’s a good thing these games are never worthwhile matchups. England must hate us for thrusting Jaguars and Dolphins football on them year after year.

Win: New York Jets

Texans @ Falcons

Atlanta is good. Houston is bad. The Falcons aren’t that good. The Texans aren’t that bad. This game will be closer than most will probably expect, but I wouldn’t trust Ryan Mallett on the road with any odds. I’ll continue to enjoy J.J. Watt trying to push this miserable Houston team with his hard work and commitment. Keep chopping those logs with your pure grit, you grating asshole. I can’t believe people like J.J. Watt—hard selling his dedication and everyman appeal has made him insufferable.

Win: Atlanta Falcons

Giants @ Bills

Even without Sammy Watkins and LeSean McCoy, there’s not much reason to think Buffalo will blow this home game against the “in-state” rival Giants. Karlos Williams could dominate New York on the ground with dual-threat Tyrod Taylor continuing to extend plays and move the offense. The Giants defense is aggressively average and they desperately need to give Jason Pierre-Paul a half-thumbs up so someone can rush the passer. Somehow, I think Eli Manning will pull this road win out of his ass. New York is destined to go 8-8 and inexplicably beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl again. This is fate.

Win: New York Giants

Raiders @ Bears


You might have heard that every single Bears offensive drive last week ended in a punt. A perfect 10-for-10 in ineffectiveness. Jimmy Clausen is historically horrendous. Chicago mercifully traded Jared Allen to a team where he can do his job. Matt Forte has become the face of the Chicago Bears since the retirement of Brian Urlacher so he’s damned to die on the Bears. The Raiders would be moronic if they don’t stuff the box to remove any running room for Forte and put all the responsibility on Clausen. Oakland has a chance to be decent this year and a connection is being developed between Derek Carr and Amari Cooper. With Chicago willingly trading away what defense talent remains, you can expect impressive performances from Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, and Latavius Murray. Let’s be honest, 10 points probably seals the win for Oakland—unless Chicago can score a defensive TD or two against the Raiders.

Win: Oakland Raiders

Chiefs @ Bengals

People can continue to make fun of Peyton Manning’s arm strength all they want. But it’s a miracle Manning is still playing after his neck surgeries. What is Alex Smith’s excuse? Kansas City cannot connect on downfield passes beyond 20 yards, and worse, they don’t even try. I have no idea how Jamaal Charles carries the Chiefs, but Kansas City’s ceiling has clearly been established. Pacman Jones will rip off someone’s head and jump a pass for a pick-6 against Alex Smith. Andy Dalton predictably doesn’t have my trust, but Cincinnati is strong enough to secure the lead and force Alex Smith to beat them.

Win: Cincinnati Bengals

Jaguars @ Colts

Did anyone remember Matt Hasselback was still in the NFL? Andrew Luck has struck fear in the hearts of Colts fans by possibly being doubtful/questionable/probable. Even if Luck slaps on his Abe Lincoln beard and goes to work, the offensive line cannot keep him upright. Matt Hasselback may certainly be a corpse at this stage in his career, but a respectable backup should be able to manage a win at home against the Jaguars. Jacksonville is doomed to suck forever—well, until they leave for London. Indianapolis has zero depth at running back, but the Colts need to rely on Frank Gore for most of this game and look for a few downfield shots with T.Y. Hilton (avoid Andrew Johnson at all costs) to escape with the victory.

Win: Indianapolis Colts

Panthers @ Buccaneers

Jameis Winston’s ceiling is probably Cam Newton. And I feel like Cam Newton has been better than anyone could have reasonably expected. With no talent in the supporting cast, Cam Newton is tasked with carrying the entire team on his shoulders. Miraculously, Carolina has a chance in their shitty division because of Cam. Black Superman has literally done a full head-over-heels flip into the end zone while leading the Panthers to 3-0 and more of the same should happen in a rout of Tampa Bay.

Win: Carolina Panthers

Eagles @ Redskins

A mysterious foot injury to Colt McCoy has forced RG Knee into active backup duty in Washington. I’m sure he’ll only end up playing over the dead bodies of Kirk Cousins and Jay Gruden. Don’t put it past Dan Snyder to kill both of them with his bare hands. Kirk Cousins is so terrible that Griffin could seriously see the field. Kirk Cousins aspires to be Alex Smith. I doubt Chip Kelly has learned anything and the offense is still likely in disarray. But not even Washington fans want to show up at home so maybe the team follows suit. While Matt Jones has injected life into the Redskins, Philadelphia has more talent.

Win: Philadelphia Eagles

Browns @ Chargers

A lot of unwatchable games on the NFL slate, but this is the winner. Cleveland predictably regressed to boring the minute Josh McCown was re-inserted as starting QB. The Browns should be finding out if John Football can succeed as a starter instead of dicking around in the guise of coddling him. Take the reins of Li’l Romo and allow some excitement in Cleveland for once. If you’re going to suck, be interesting. Look at San Diego: the Chargers legitimately suck this year, but I stupidly keep picking them to win because Philip Rivers used to be good. San Diego can’t field a healthy offensive line and the team isn’t above-average in any aspect. I shouldn’t expect them to win, but Josh McCown is going on the road and that’s reason enough for me. Watch Rivers proceed to get carted off in the 1st Quarter. Actually, that wouldn’t be so bad if his jaw is wired shut and Philip Rivers finally has to shut his fucking mouth.

Win: San Diego Chargers

Vikings @ Broncos

While I’m clearly biased, the Vikings/Broncos matchup is the best game of the week. Despite being at home, Denver will face an imposing challenge against the Minnesota defense. With the Vikings bottling up the run in the last two weeks, C.J. Anderson is going to continue to struggle like he’s running in quick sand. Why would defenses not drop back and look to pick off Peyton’s wounded ducks? But Manning is making things work and the Broncos are working through their difficulties while being undefeated. Teddy Bridgewater isn’t a substantial threat throwing the ball, but Adrian Peterson could make life difficult for Denver. Like with Alex Smith, what is Teddy Bridgewater’s excuse for weak arm strength?

Win: Denver Broncos

Rams @ Cardinals

Arizona has been unreasonably unstoppable on offense and defense. With the Rams being served on a platter, expect the Cardinals to continue feasting at home. I live in Arizona and it’s clear that the fair weather fans are out in full force with the Cardinals actually being good under Bruce Arians. But it’s ridiculous to refer to University of Phoenix Stadium as The Red Sea. Let’s not try to self-impose that stupid nickname. Jeff Fisher will have the Rams ready to compete in a tough road game against a division rival. However, Todd Gurley isn’t at 100% strength and Nick Foles is working with a mediocre receiving corps. Arizona is always one Carson Palmer injury away from complete collapse.

Win: Arizona Cardinals

Packers @ 49ers

Time for the annual reminder for 49ers fans that California native Aaron Rodgers could have been their starting QB instead of Alex Smith. Perhaps Rodgers would have failed as well with Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary as head coach. With Colin Kaepernick lofting interceptions, San Francisco doesn’t have a prayer against Green Bay with Rodgers putting on a weekly QB clinic. The 49ers have been embarrassed back-to-back weeks against the Steelers and Cardinals—Ben Rapistberger and Carson Palmer aren’t even in the same category as Aaron Rodgers. It is going to be a long year of Jim Tomsula press conferences.

Win: Green Bay Packers

Cowboys @ Saints

Ahmed 1
Ahmed 2
Ahmed 3

Anyone remember Ahmed Johnson of wrestling fame in the WWF Attitude Era? Turns out that Ahmed Johnson (real name of Anthony Norris) was a middle linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys in 1990 and 1991. In the spirit of the brick shithouse, I am going to name the Brandon Weeden era as the Pearl River Plunge—because watching Brandon Weeden as an NFL QB is like being powerbombed by a big scary black guy. Luke McCown didn’t embarrass himself last week, but New Orleans only has a chance as long as Drew Brees is healthy. Former Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is frothing and foaming for the opportunity to ruin Dallas, but that’s a double-edge sword because the Saints aren’t talented enough to cover anyone. Watch, Cole Beasley will have a monster game for some reason. But Brandon Weeden is susceptible of folding under pressure and being destroyed like the Spanish announcing table.

Win: New Orleans Saints

Lions @ Seahawks

Have we come to the realization that Matt Stafford may not be very good? Sure, he could be dealing with injuries at not at full capacity, but he’s underachieved for years. Calvin Johnson is still dominant at times, but his prime (the absolute pinnacle of his career) was wasted. Jim Caldwell will remain resolute and unblinking in the face of pressure, but that’s just because he’s a black mannequin. Seattle started to get healthy last week against Chicago and the Seahawks want to continue that dominance against Detroit. The Lions will put up a better fight than the Bears, but Detroit is in for a long failure of a season.

Win: Seattle Seahawks


The Gift is impressive only in the sense that it’s written and directed by Joel Edgerton—who also co-stars opposite Jason Bateman. Do not mistake this for a good movie. The fact that The Gift shares the same score with less rotten reviews as Sicario on Rotten Tomatoes is an infuriating joke.

And this is a prime example why a lot of critics are terrible. I’m not touting myself as anything special, but I provide my honest opinion on each movie. I don’t get that sense with some critics. Case in point, critics are inventing reasons not to like Sicario even though it is legitimately great in every facet imaginable. Meanwhile, this same crop of shitty, self-obsessed critics on Rotten Tomatoes can’t stop themselves from fawning over this mediocre movie. You’ve seen The Gift and many other similar movies before.

There is nothing special about The Gift. The script is uneventful. The acting is decent. The directing isn’t particularly noteworthy, and you can say the same thing about everything else. It is a thrilling mystery that fails to thrill or captivate with the supposed mystery. You know where this is going the whole time.

Or maybe it’s just me. Perhaps I am the stale fart stench lingering in the room.

In my opinion, I think that odor is emanating from The Gift. When you build your entire movie around a twist (or series of twists), the whole set-up is rendered meaningless if the twist fails. I learned that lesson from M. Night Shyamalan movies a long time ago. This movie lost my faith long before the turn.

The Gift borders on interesting, but wanders nowhere and meanders to a semi-resolution.

Jason Bateman

I don’t enjoy talking about bad movies. However, there are very few redeeming qualities and virtually nothing memorable about The Gift. One of the best parts of this movie is Jason Bateman’s performance as Simon. Bateman lays it on thick with his character’s dickish nature, but I still found him more likeable than Gordo—played by writer/director Joel Edgerton. Gordo is an annoying oddball.

The unraveling is unsatisfying, and the story lazily ventures into a routine damsel in distress rut. The Gift is essentially an uncomfortable pissing contest between two pricks. Simon’s wife, Robyn—played by Rebecca Hall—is the only person nice to Gordo, but she becomes a way to hurt Simon. A means to an end. I’m sure that made feminists real happy that the woman is a pawn in a man’s game. I don’t care about that, but Rebecca Hall was just the worst and easily the weak link in terms of performances.

Why hurt or even threaten to hurt the one caring, compassionate person?

Rebecca Hall

I imagine the intention of Edgerton was to create an ambiguous moral play. However, the character decisions are stupefying and downright dumb at times. Although I feel like the adoration is undeserved, clearly The Gift has found an audience. This movie is not in the same stratosphere as Sicario.

If you like run-of-the-mill horror mysteries, then by all means enjoy the bland, flavorless taste of The Gift. I don’t want to mimic the long, drawn-out proceedings of The Gift so I’ll just say you can find a better movie. The aforementioned M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit is flawed in its own manner yet mildly better and considerably more entertaining than this joyless romp that gave me no gift.

Joel Edgerton shows that he’s capable with The Gift—more importantly, capable of better.

No Gift

2 out of 5 stars


Holy fuck. Those are the only two words that will come out of your mouth after watching Sicario. An early favorite for Best Picture at the Oscars, Sicario is well-crafted with amazing acting performances from Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, and Josh Brolin. If there’s a better movie coming out later this year, I can only imagine it being double the pleasure, double the fun with Tom Hardy playing twins in Legend.

Calling Sicario a tense action thriller is an understatement.

My breath was hastened. There was a weight on my chest. Sprawled out in a cozy recliner, I squirmed around uncomfortably. This fucking movie gave me anxiety. Trust me, I’m familiar with the feeling. Somehow, merely driving through the streets into Mexico and back across the border managed to become insanely intense. No need to fret, there’s a payoff for all that fierce tension too.


From the very first scene—a raid on a suburban home in Chandler, AZ—you know you are in for a ride. It is bumpy and uncomfortable at times. The stakes are established early. This is the war on drugs where raids and busts are simply scratching the surface. But be careful of what you might find when you go deeper. This is awful people doing awful things—the stuff white of people’s nightmares.

A veritable game of chess, the important pieces like kings and queens are kept out of sight. For the most part, everyone we see are pawns in one army or another. On the American side, there are Department of Justice advisors Matt Graver (played by Josh Brolin) and his mysterious partner Alejandro (played by Benicio Del Toro). However, the audience experiences the action through the eyes of FBI agent Kate Macer (played by Emily Blunt). Just like Kate, we’re along for the ride through this hellscape.

Emily Blunt

Emily Blunt is predictably fantastic, which you should expect if you watched her in Looper and Edge of Tomorrow. You see Blunt’s vulnerability and feel her emotional state deteriorate the deeper they delve into the business of the drug trade. Any normal person would have broken down a long time ago.

In my own personal game of recognizing actors from my favorite TV shows, Jon Bernthal (Shane from The Walking Dead) pops up in an extended cameo. As usual, Bernthal is just grand and he brought more to the role than the flat character that was written on paper. From the Fifteen Million Merits episode of Black Mirror, Daniel Kaluuya plays Reggie Wayne, friend of Kate and fellow FBI agent. Kaluuya is surprisingly enjoyable as the skeptic. The supporting cast elevates the content even in mundane scenes.

Benicio Del Toro

With such an incredibly well-rounded movie, even the cinematography demands your attention with its dramatic presence. I live in Arizona and the only Southwestern landscape that I find breathtaking is the red rocks of Sedona. But the wide angle shots of the desert and barren wasteland along the border are beautiful in this movie. The framing of several scenes depicts a strong sense of foreboding.

The doom is impending for a reason. And it is always inevitable.

Sooner or later, it all catches up to you. The river of shit is unavoidable. In a sense, that’s a recurring theme in Sicario. Although Emily Blunt’s character Kate wants maintain her moral compass, it’s hard not to spin out of control when you realize that the most effective response to terror is terror. Hidden bodies in a suburban home is just the beginning. Moving beyond the surface only reveals more evil. The water in the deep end is dark and murky. While everyone else is doing whatever necessary to get the job done, all Kate wants to do is follow procedure. In this world, following procedure will get you killed.

Sicario is sick and twisted, but it is wisely infused with some levity.

Josh Brolin

Josh Brolin’s character Matt Graver is shockingly humorous with his dickish persona. You never quite trust him, but he still comes off as likeable. Benicio Del Toro is sneaky great with a raw, mysterious performance. Everything—writing, casting, acting, directing—works together harmoniously. The score made my heart pound during the right moments. At this point, I’ve only watched Sicario once, but it won’t stay that way for long. I look forward to uncovering more nuances in future viewings. Sicario doesn’t have the same philosophical underpinnings as No Country for Old Men, but it belongs in the same stratosphere of great movies. Director Denis Villeneuve has a phenomenal piece of art here with Sicario.

Expect Sicario to at least garner Oscar nominations for Best Cinematography, Best Director, and Best Picture this year. Emily Blunt could be in the competition for Best Actress and there are other fitting categories as well. Sicario excels by giving its stars the room to breathe in their roles.

If Sicario is any indication, the war on drugs is an unbreakable cycle of horror. There’s no winning. We are all losers in this game. You might want to take a shower after this cinematic experience.


5 out of 5 stars

Overall: 18-14
Last Week: 6-10

Redskins @ Giants

Eli Face
I can sleep easy at night knowing that when Peyton retires at the end of the year, I’ll still have Eli to hold me over until I have to wait nearly 20 years for Peyton Manning’s twins—Marshall and Mosley—to enter the NFL. For years now, I’ve made the argument that Eli is a Top 10 QB. While Eli seemingly enjoys mirroring his career after a teeter-totter, I still believe he can elevate a mediocre team and make enough plays to be elite. The Giants aren’t as bad as their recent blunders suggest and no one wants to see insufferable Redskins fans with their racist owner enjoying an undefeated start.

Win: New York Giants

Raiders @ Browns

Cleveland was threatening to become interesting under John Football. As a result, no more fun can be had so it’s back to the bench for Li’l Romo. I like Josh McCown, he seems like a cool enough guy—maybe it’s because he’s a Dolph Lundgren impersonator. But having Josh McCown as your starting QB is a sign to get ready for the coming football apocalypse. Watch out, the Raiders are verging on punchy. This will be a horrible game to watch, but it’ll give Oakland a reason for optimism if Derek Carr can lead the Raiders to a victory against a stout Cleveland defense—a week after pulling off a surprising upset against Baltimore. At least the Browns can learn how well Johnny Manziel can hold a clipboard.

Win: Oakland Raiders

Falcons @ Cowboys

Weeden 1

Weeden 2

Weeden 3

Oh my God, that’s BRANDON WEEDEN’s theme music! Cue the hilarious montage of Brandon Weeden moments. With Tony Romo and Dez Bryant out for lengthy stints, the Cowboys place all the pressure on the shoulders of Brandon Weeden and notorious shoplifter Joseph Randle. Staked with a 2-0 start of the season, Dallas will probably be fine. But in the meanwhile, we get to enjoy Brandon Weeden doing Brandon Weeden things. Atlanta might be getting overhyped now after a fluky win over the Giants last week—combined with their opening domination of Philadelphia, which could’ve been because the Eagles suck. Matt Ryan better take care of business on the road and beat Brandon Weeden.

Win: Atlanta Falcons

Colts @ Titans

Ryan Grigson looks like a used car salesman. At the least, he looks like a sleazy insurance salesman. Whatever he’s selling, I’m not buying. Adding Frank Gore and Andre Johnson has aged Indianapolis’ offense 10 years. The offensive line is and has always been utter shit. After Boom Herron provided some moxie last year, the Colts now have zero depth behind Frank Gore—who I love, but it’s a miracle his career actually happened considering how blown up both of his knees were in college. They are so desperate that re-signing Ahmad Bradshaw is an option. And he would be an improvement. Until his leg snaps again. Andrew Luck deserves better. His development has been stunted since Bruce Arians left. Pep Hamilton is just awful. Somehow, the Colts have two above average tight ends that never get used, and it’s not like they’re busy railroading in the run game. But still, Indianapolis is playing Tennessee. If the 0-2 start extends to 0-3, then there will be a mutiny. Jim Irsay might have a few belts with some magic pills and fire both Grigson and Pagano before flying back home. In that case, Jim Irsay becomes King as GM/Coach of the Colts. Daddy would be so proud! Please free Andrew Luck from this tyranny.

Win: Indianapolis Colts

Steelers @ Rams

St. Louis shit the bed on the road against Washington. If the Rams buck up at home and beat the Steelers, then I give up. Although my hatred for bandwagon Steelers fans is steadfast, I do love that Mike Tomlin has decided to forgo standard NFL conservatism in favor of exploiting the advantage of going for 2 points instead of a 1-point field goal. I would hope the same of Jeff Fisher, but that mustache screams conservative and his growing belly screams for more food.

Win: Pittsburgh Steelers

Chargers @ Vikings

A bland matchup between two equally boring teams. Both are okay. I don’t give a shit about this game. So let’s just say the AFC is better than the NFC and call that the reason San Diego wins.

Win: San Diego Chargers

Jaguars @ Patriots

This seems like the game where LeGarrette Blount lumbers to 4 TDs. Fuck Tom Brady.

Win: New England Patriots

Eagles @ Jets

Do you smell that? The tire fire in Philadelphia has such thick, black smoke pluming that the shitcloud is moving over New Jersey this weekend. I sincerely hope that the Eagles continue to suck. It’s just so entertaining to see Chip Kelly fail miserably. He’s an angry little Cabbage Patch doll with an undeserved sense of arrogance. Unfortunately, things have to balance out eventually. Right? If the Jets defense continues to swarm and overwhelm Sam Bradford, then that sound you hear in Philadelphia is every sports talk radio host orgasming at the same time. But I don’t trust Ryan Fitzpatrick with anything important, and New York could be operating with a wounded running attack.

Win: Philadelphia Eagles

Saints @ Panthers

Remember what I said about having Josh McCown as your starting QB is a sign to get ready for the coming football apocalypse? Well the football hellscape has already swept through Louisiana. Drew Brees’ shoulder was held together by staples, voodoo, and the souls of young children. Last week, a fatal blow befell Brees. Now the star of Verizon’s current commercial campaign, Luke McCown, is your starting QB of the New Orleans Saints! Shine, you little star! The apocalypse has begun in the bayou. Carolina should be so embarrassed that they cease to exist if they lose to the little McCown reject.

Win: Carolina Panthers

Bengals @ Ravens

Baltimore blows off their own foot last week against Oakland. It doesn’t make much sense to expect a better showing against the Bengals, but I’m betting against Andy Dalton nearly every time. Even without Suggs, the Ravens should be able to scheme themselves into a win by pressuring Dalton.

Win: Baltimore Ravens

Buccaneers @ Texans

Enjoy your shit sandwich, local NFL fans in Tampa Bay and Houston! This artisan turd will leave a horrific taste in your mouth. By my NFL Chaos Theory, the Texans will win this home game and the Colts will take care of the Titans on the road to give us a 4-team tie in the AFC South. Parity!

Win: Houston Texans

49ers @ Cardinals

Will there reach a point when Cardinals fans stop cringing at every shot Carson Palmer takes below the belt? Even if Palmer makes it off the field against San Francisco in one piece, there’s always the chance some 49ers fans will attack him in the parking lot. Never discount that possibility.

Win: Arizona Cardinals

Bills @ Dolphins

Who could have imagined Ndamukong Suh would be so terrible after having trucks of money pull into his driveway? Did we learn nothing from the Albert Haynesworth debacle? Suh has no incentive to be any good. He’ll continue to swim in money in South Beach. Miami is the worst. I never gave any thought to the Dolphins imploding against Jacksonville. I mean, it’s the Jaguars. But the choke job is proof they aren’t a serious contender with Joe Philbin coaching. Buffalo is still the same mediocre offense and incredible defense. I hope the Bills enjoy being the new Jets. Who cares who wins this?

Win: Buffalo Bills

Bears @ Seahawks

Congratulations, Chicago. You managed to gather together the most unlikable quarterback duo possible with Jay Cutler and Jimmy Clausen. That overwhelming wave of depression hitting the Windy City is what I like to call the Clausen Effect. Seattle gets to use Jimmy Clausen as the sacrificial lamb in their slaughtering ritual that starts them on the right path back to becoming a Super Bowl contender.

Win: Seattle Seahawks

Broncos @ Lions

In Peyton I Trust. Sure, he needs a couple people to undress him after games. That’s what all that sweet Papa John’s money is for—he can afford to be bathed like Eddie Murphy in Coming to America. I don’t trust Gary Kubiak with anything, much less the end of Peyton Manning’s career. The one positive out of the Kubiak hiring is that ex-mall Santa Wade Phillips is coaching up that Denver defense. I don’t know what he’s doing, but that jolly fat man sure is fun to watch on the sidelines. Hopefully, this is the week that C.J. Anderson gets healthy and helps restore balance to the force. If not, then we’ll be in store for another 50+ shotgun passes from Peyton while the defense is tasked with winning the game.

Win: Denver Broncos

Chiefs @ Packers

Aaron Rodgers is an absolute joy to watch. Those starry blue eyes. That cannon firing off at odd angles. Blessed with the ability to turn water into wine, the Packers trot out scabs and scrubs that are somehow playmakers like James Jones’ corpse. Kansas City turtled against Denver and choked away last week’s game. The Chiefs specialize in close games, but Aaron Rodgers will find some way to will Green Bay to victory. If Eddie Lacy misses the game, then expect James Starks to inexplicably run for 100 yards.

Win: Green Bay Packers


The opening montage of Chappie appropriately sets the stage by introducing the audience to the new robotic police force that is tasked with cleaning up the rampant crime in Johannesburg, South Africa. If you watched District 9, the faux documentarian approach employed early on is familiar territory.

While effective, it’s indicative of the movie as a whole and writer-director Neill Blomkamp’s work.

By now, we’ve all grown accustomed to the imagery.

The look and feel of District 9, Elysium, and Chappie are mostly the same. South Africa is a horrifyingly beautiful place stricken with poverty and blessed with pretty landscapes. I can certainly understand why Blomkamp is comfortable with using his home country of South Africa as a foundation for his movies. But people have reached a point where they want more diversity discovering new stories.

Although Chappie isn’t necessarily groundbreaking, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.

Unfortunately, Chappie didn’t seem to find its audience here domestically. An early release in March seemed like odd timing as Chappie feels like it should have been closer to the string of summer releases—somewhere around late April/early May or at the tail-end of blockbuster season near August. Both District 9 (2009) and Elysium (2013) were August releases. Pure armchair speculation, but those studio decisions are typically indicative of their own opinions on the movie.

Maybe they were right, to an extent. Disclaimer: Chappie is not for everyone. And that’s fine.

This is not a movie that would likely sit well with test audiences. I can understand why studio executives wouldn’t get it either. Squares in suits with ties cinched around their necks are not going to enjoy Chappie. Clearly, this movie is intended for Blomkamp’s well-carved out niche audience. I count myself amongst them. Chappie is dumb, entertaining fun with a heart. Do not try to think too much or else the plot holes will hurt your brain. If you want a thinking man’s movie about artificial intelligence, then watch the terrific acting performances of Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson in Ex Machina. Both of these movies are great in their own right, just in different ways. Ex Machina should be an Oscar contender in some respect.

Hugh Jackman

That’s right, I think Chappie is great. And that’s not because of Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel, or Sigourney Weaver. While I enjoy Ripley as much as the next person (and we can probably credit Chappie for the eventual creation of the next Alien movie), Sigourney Weaver was wholly useless in this movie. It wasn’t her fault, but that role of Tetravaal CEO was so bland that literally any man or woman could have filled out. That was a bit of a disappointment. Dev Patel was solid yet unspectacular as Deon, the genius inventor of the robotic police force. A number of actors could have done as serviceable of a job as Slumdog Millionaire. Hugh Jackman was delightful as the prickish, jealous ex-military co-worker of Deon who wants to watch the world burn if it means his massive remote controlled MOOSE robot can come in and wreck shit. His haircut was ridiculous and Jackman seemed to revel in the freedom of the role.

Sharlto Copley deserves immense praise for giving life to Chappie—both voice and motion-capture. At several points, I had to remind myself that it was the same person that played the lead in District 9 and was relatively terrifying as Kruger in Elysium. Copley bring a humanity to Chappie that I didn’t expect. There’s one particularly heart-wrenching scene where Chappie is in danger in the slums of Johannesburg while still trying to understand the world. Copley captures the spirit of every situation perfectly.

But no, none of these actors are the highlight of the film. I feel confident in saying that whether or not you like Chappie hinges on what you think about the gangsters Ninja and Yo-Landi.

If the purpose of Chappie was to thrust Die Antwoord on the American populous, then I consider Chappie to be a resounding success. Ninja and Yo-Landi stole this movie and made it entertaining. Die Antwoord is interwoven into the fabric of Chappie—this movie couldn’t work without them. Several production sets are clearly from Die Antwoord’s music videos, which brings an awesome sense of surrealism. Die Antwoord’s music is dropped in at perfect, opportune moments to add some levity and zef style.


It’s been six months now and I’ve watched Chappie on three separate occasions.

I still haven’t escaped the rabbit hole that is South African rap group Die Antwoord’s ridiculous music. Such classics as Cookie Thumper!, Enter The Ninja, Fatty Boom Boom, Happy Go Sucky Fucky, I Fink U Freeky, Raging Zef Boner, and Strunk. And I hate almost every electronic dance music song I’ve ever heard. But the fat beats and zef raps of Die Antwoord will seep into your brain and infect you.

In Chappie, the gangster duo of Ninja and Yo-Landi are accompanied by Amerika—their Yankee cohort played by Jose Pablo Cantillo, best known as Martinez in his run on The Walking Dead. Chappie has a limited story, which is set into motion by these lovable gangsters needing to pay off a $20 million debt in a week to the not-so-lovable Hippo—a steroid freak with a hilarious haircut played by Brandon Auret. I think Auret is a weak link in a very good cast, but he serves as an imposing figure in his few scenes.

I was shocked that I enjoyed Chappie as much as I did. Several people were probably turned off by a shitting marketing campaign, but this movie deserves better. Blomkamp apparently already has a trilogy planned out, it seems completely unnecessary in terms of pure storytelling. While the foreign market at least balanced the budget, Chappie probably isn’t long for a sequel. And that’s fine.

Although I truly hope Blomkamp’s contribution to the Alien franchise comes to fruition, I don’t want to see Blomkamp return to any of his works. We’re done with the world of Chappie. The story comes to a nice resolution that we don’t need to revisit. It’s time to move along to a new story and different world.

Story Time

Die Antwoord made this movie with real, human performances that I connected with—surprisingly enough. It seems unlikely that Chappie even got off the ground with the unknown rap duo practically starring with more screen time than Hugh Jackman. You can see that Blomkamp leaves a window open with the ending that he could squeeze through for a sequel, but let’s just close that shut now.

While this movie is nowhere near Oscar-worthy in any category, Chappie is great in its own right. It’s much more entertaining than it had any right being. With an odd blend of charisma and panache injected by Die Antwoord, Chappie manages to be unique—something all movies should strive toward.

Give Chappie a chance. Maybe it won’t touch your heart, but you should enjoy the ride regardless.

Fist Bump

4 out of 5 stars

Overall: 12-4
Last Week: 12-4

Broncos @ Chiefs

Despite all the heartbreak, Peyton Manning has personally given me so many football memories. I’m going down with the ship. Obviously, Peyton Manning isn’t the same. How could he be? His neck surgery threatened Peyton’s way of life as a father, let alone as a football player at the most important and demanding position. He still cannot feel his fingertips. And that sensation is not coming back. Can we please appreciate at the medical marvel that is Peyton Manning? Even if Peyton is 75% of his old Hall of Fame self, his diminishing capacity is considerably better than what backup Brock Osweiler would provide for Denver. Peyton’s Week 1 struggles were the result of an atrocious offensive line that could neither keep Peyton upright nor could they generate any semblance of push to create holes for the running game. The 2015 season will not be easy for Manning and the Broncos. Denver will have to fight for every single win and the onus is on the defense to make them a Super Bowl contender. I still believe. The Broncos need luck on their side, but the window is narrowly open one last year.

Win: Denver Broncos

Patriots @ Bills

I hate the Patriots. And I hate Tom Brady. My appreciation of Rob Gronkowski is steadily growing into annoyance. New England should beat Buffalo handily. But I cannot root for that. As unlikeable as I find Rex Ryan, my hatred of everything about the cheating abomination in New England is much more intense. Does anyone truly believe Tom Brady did anything wrong? You can get away with cheating without consequences, but that doesn’t absolve you from guilt. Let’s all just remember that when the media is giving Brady a golden shower of praise later this year. Without polar bear Gronk rumbling and grumbling over everyone, this Patriots team would be merely average with a mediocre Tom Brady. I want to live in a world where Buffalo can win this game. Considering the bleak dystopian landscape of Buffalo, this matchup has probably been elevated to the most important game in the last 20 years of Bills football. Rex Ryan teams have a penchant for playing New England tough. I don’t think Tyrod Taylor is much more than a knockoff version of an older, less athletic Michael Vick, but I could see his athleticism extending plays to give the Patriots problems. I doubt LeSean McCoy is healthy enough to inflict serious damage, but there’s enough talent on Buffalo for the Bills to make this a close game.

Win: Buffalo Bills

Cardinals @ Bears

Another new coach has brought another new season of guarded optimism among Bears fans. Could this finally be the year that Jay Cutler puts it together? No, no it’s not. The new leadership of John Fox and Adam Gase will do their best to prevent Cutler from making stupid decisions. But this is Smokin’ Jay Cutler we’re talking about. Chicago couldn’t hang with the Packers last week despite a heroic effort from Matt Forte. This week, the Bears will feature Matt Forte once again against an Arizona defense that is stout versus the run. However, the Cardinals got shredded by running back screens against New Orleans last week, which Chicago will use as a blueprint. As the Bears have found out, you can only ride a running back so far. Jay Cutler will likely need a clean performance with 3 TDs today to outpace Arizona. Carson Palmer will bank impressive numbers against Chicago’s hot garbage defense. Unless the Cardinals kill themselves with mistakes, this seems like a close game early that gets out of hand later in the second half after Cutler implodes under pressure.

Win: Arizona Cardinals

Chargers @ Bengals

It’s tough to find a matchup of quarterbacks that I find more unlikeable. Who do I hate more: Philip Rivers or Andy Dalton? Although Andy Dalton has his own sense of undeserved self-esteem, I feel like that ginger knows he isn’t good deep down in his soul. Or maybe it’s true that gingers don’t have souls. When I see Philip Rivers jawing at opposing teams, I can’t fight the urge to shove my foot in his stupid face. I’ve never grown accustomed to the way he throws like a girl and his awful personality is why I want him to get swallowed up in an earthquake. San Diego is the same mediocre team they’ve always been and will be with Philip Rivers. On the other side, Cincinnati is similarly hamstrung by their own quarterback as well. The Bengals will continually fight for a playoff spot and the right to an early exit with Dalton airmailing passes and stalling and otherwise steady offense. Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard should dominate the opportunities in this game so Dalton only needs to connect on a few passes to A.J. Green in order for Cincinnati to secure the victory.

Win: Cincinnati Bengals

Titans @ Browns

Ugh, I never know what is going on with the Tennessee Titans. Over the past few years, the Titans have been mostly terrible yet somewhat unpredictable. Tennessee can appear impressive against good competition and then proceed to shit the bed against inferior teams. Could this week serve as another Jekyll and Hyde performance? Right now, I’m going to bet on Marcus Mariota stabilizing the sinking Titans ship. Captain Ken Whisenhunt could still steer the ship into an iceberg, but I’ll certainly side with Mariota over Manziel for this game at least. Cleveland is a dumpster fire of a city and football franchise.

Win: Tennessee Titans

Lions @ Vikings

So much for all of that Teddy Bridgewater hype. I wasn’t buying it, but I expected more from Minnesota in the late Monday night game against San Francisco. The Vikings made Jim Tomsula look competent for a week. I don’t know what Norv Turner was thinking trying to feature Bridgewater from the shotgun. Especially when it came at the expense of Adrian Peterson. Detroit and Minnesota are equally matched division rivals, but neither are in the same stratosphere as Green Bay. Maybe one of these teams could challenge for a Wild Card spot in the NFC, but you aren’t going very far with either Matthew Stafford or Teddy Bridgewater. In this matchup, I’ll give the benefit of the doubt to Stafford since he has the better offensive weapons and defensive supporting cast. I wouldn’t be shocked if Minnesota wins at home, but this is an unremarkable game that people only care about because of fantasy implications.

Win: Detroit Lions

Buccaneers @ Saints

You are out of your element, Jameis. Tampa Bay needs to be prepared for a long, arduous season. After getting embarrassed by fellow basement dweller Tennessee last week, expect the Buccaneers to get shredded by Drew Brees and a New Orleans offense starving for some numbers.

Win: New Orleans Saints

Falcons @ Giants

A tantalizingly boring matchup of slightly above average teams. Atlanta showed more than I expected in the opener, but the Falcons wouldn’t be a contender in any other division. On the other side, New York already gave away their first game of the season. Since Atlanta surprised Philadelphia and New York giftwrapped the win to Dallas in Week 1, I’ll go with the law of averages in Week 2 and predict an illogical victory for the Giants at home. It doesn’t make much sense and I don’t have any faith in Tom Coughlin to remember to take his pills—let alone guide an NFL team. But a lot of stupid shit happens in the NFL. Even after a dominant performance last week, Atlanta’s defense could easily fall on their face.

Win: New York Giants

49ers @ Steelers

Jim Tomsula

Similar to the theory above, Pittsburgh can’t be as bad as they were against New England and San Francisco can’t be as good as they were against Minnesota. Perhaps the 49ers could be better than we all thought after nearly every defense starter either left or got arrested. But I’ll bet on the Steelers showing something more than their terrible Thursday night NFL kick-off opener.

Win: Pittsburgh Steelers

Rams @ Redskins

St. Louis is the early favorite for the overhyped sleeper that falls apart later in the season. But I have to give the Rams credit for once again pulling out all the stops and riding some amazing special teams plays to an overtime upset against Seattle. Playing a division foe extremely tough is a staple of a Jeff Fisher team. While I concede St. Louis might be a little better than I thought, the Rams aren’t going anywhere in the NFC West. I hope Jeff Fisher has the balls to once again send out every player St. Louis acquired in the RG Knee trade to the coin toss. And the perfect troll move would be for the future Los Angeles Rams to pick Griffin up from the scrap heap next year so they can add him to the group every time they face Washington. Dan Snyder continually needs his nose rubbed in his own shit. I will be thoroughly disappointed if Washington pulls off the win in front of their rapidly diminishing home crowd. It would be perfect poetic justice if this is the week where RG Knee is thrust into action and St. Louis injures him to trigger that ridiculous clause where Washington has to guarantee all his millions next season. I can dream.

Win: St. Louis Rams

Texans @ Panthers

Another contender for shittiest game of the week. Regardless of whether Ryan Mallett or Brian Hoyer starts, Houston isn’t any good—especially without Arian Foster. Unless J.J. Watt manages to play the part of Bane by snapping Cam Newton’s back, Black Superman should be able to put the Panthers on his back for the victory. Then again, Carolina isn’t very good and occupies the same status as Atlanta—a contender in their division only. It’s possible the Texans could eek out a win. But I wouldn’t call it probable. Maybe questionable at best.

Win: Carolina Panthers

Ravens @ Raiders

Baltimore will be hungry for a win after choking last week in Denver. Oakland is without David Carr, which puts Matt McGloin in at quarterback for the Raiders. Yes, that is a true statement and not a pitiful simulation of reality in a Madden video game. The Ravens would need that human pelican Joe Flacco to shove footballs in his gullet to choke badly enough to lose against this pathetic Raiders team.

Win: Baltimore Ravens

Dolphins @ Jaguars

By definition, every game involving the Jaguars is guaranteed to be an awful television experience. Fortunately for Jacksonville, the Titans/Browns game is the shittiest matchup of this week’s slate. If Miami cannot dominate their in-state competition, then we will know the Dolphins are pretenders rather than contenders. After nearly giving away last week’s game to Washington, my level of faith in Miami is fading. Ryan Tannehill’s ceiling may simply be that of a more mobile Alex Smith. Even at his worst, Tannehill is substantially better than what Blake Bortles has shown in his stint as an NFL QB. I cannot even envision what would need to happen for the Jaguars to win this game. Ryan Tannehill would basically need to have the worst performance of his career. Even career backup Matt Moore should be capable of guiding the Dolphins to a victory.

Win: Miami Dolphins

Cowboys @ Eagles

It was so satisfying to see Chip Kelly’s offensive philosophy fail so spectacularly last week. On the other hand, it would have been nearly as satisfying to see Dallas choke even after New York put them perfectly in the position to win last week. Again, these things seem to balance themselves out sooner than later. If the Cowboys can get out to an early lead and control the clock, a victory would be a monumental early step distancing themselves from every division foe. Somehow, it doesn’t seem like it will be that easy.

Win: Philadelphia Eagles

Seahawks @ Packers

Just copy + paste my rant about the Patriots here. Let’s not forget about the rampant PED abuse in Seattle over the past few years. Cheating and being unlikeable is a bad combination. Although Seattle seems likely to even their record, it won’t be easy on the road at Lambeau in Green Bay. The Packers will need to ride Aaron Rodgers and his health is back to normal compared to the last time Green Bay gifted Seattle another stroll to the Super Bowl. Hopefully the rest of the supporting cast is up to the task of helping Rodgers secure a 2-0 record with a home victory on the not yet frozen tundra.

Win: Green Bay Packers

Jets @ Colts

After predictably embarrassing themselves against Buffalo, the Colts better be ready to play the same type of swarming defense that gave them trouble. Indianapolis still has an offensive line patched together with Frankenstein parts protecting the most indispensible NFL QB. Oh, and the defensive is just as awful. Fortunately, Ryan Fitzpatrick is the Jets starting QB and the team has little to no talent in the supporting offensive cast. If Indianapolis doesn’t want Marcus Mariota cruising to a division crown, then the Colts need to prove they can beat the Jets.

Win: Indianapolis Colts