Friday, April 26, 2013

Did the Bengals make the right first round draft pick?

Yesterday, the Cincinnati Bengals drafted Notre Dame Tight End Tyler Eifert. Hold on. The Bengals already have a good tight end in Jermaine Gresham, a guy they drafted first in 2010. And there were needs at safety and running back. So what
where the Bengals thinking?

First, let's take a look at Tyler Eifert. He's big. 6'6". 255 pounds. Of course, he's a tight end, so he better be. He's the cream of the crop. He can block. And most importantly, he catches any ball thrown near him. He'll exploit the seams in a defense. That means he'll be clutch.

Okay, so why pick Eifert when you've got a good tight end and depth at the position? The only thing I can think of is that the Bengals are going to use the two tight end offense more often. They better or else this pick is a luxury.

Fox Sports Analysis

Tyler Eifert Highlights

Jon Oliver looks at gun control in America and Australia, part 3

Jon Oliver of the Daily Show takes a look at gun control in Australia and why America doesn't pass reasonable gun control. Guess what folks? Gun control works in Australia.

Jon Oliver of the Daily Show takes a look at gun control, part Two

Here's part two of Jon Oliver's Daily Show piece on gun control in Australia and America.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Stephen Colbert's hilarious remote reporting bucket

Using his iPhone, iPad, intern and two garbage cans, Stephen Colbert creates a remote reporting device that allows him to stay in his office and report from the outside. Very funny stuff. Check it out.

Jon Oliver takes a look at gun control in Australia

Jon Oliver of the Daily Show interviewed gun nut Phillip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. He goes to Australia to a country where gun control exists and finds it works. Funny stuff.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Oblivion review

We're in a nice period where smart science fiction movies have been coming out. District 9 (2009); Inception (2010); Source Code (2011). So it remains to be seen if the coming of a new Star Wars movie in 2015 will have any effect on science fiction cinema. But what about actor Tom Cruise's new movie, Oblivion? Where does it fit in?

Based on director Josef Kosinski and Arvid Nelson's graphic novel of the same name, Oblivion takes place in 2077. According to Jack (Tom Cruise) an alien species called Scavengers have invaded earth. They destroy the moon which causes natural catastrophes. In response, humans nuke the planet and defeat the invaders. But the planet is not habitable so humans fled to Jupiter moon of Titan. Earth is used to make energy for the survivors. Jack along with his lover Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) maintain the drones which guard the machines from the remaining Scavengers. They seem like a happy couple but Jack is haunted by a woman (Olga Kurylenko) in his dreams. Later, he investigates a probe which has fallen to earth. It contains humans which are destroyed by the drones but Jack is able to rescue one of them which contains a woman named Julia (Kurylenko), the woman in his dreams.

The screenplay by Joseph Kosinski, William Monahan, Karl Gajdusek and Michael Arndt, Oblivion has a taut, fascinating story which gets the audience to ask questions. Why was Jack's memory wiped for security reasons? What is aboard the gigantic, enigmatic space station orbiting the earth? Is the mysterious Malcolm Beech (Morgan Freeman) a good man or villain?

But this movie is more than a science fiction mystery. There is action. And director Kosinski (Tron: Legacy) stages the action set pieces well. There are epic visual scenes as we follow Jack's ship fly above the remains of earth. Unfortunately, the devastated earth offers very little in visuals. And one of the final firefights is a little confusing with all the fast cutting. Still, these are minor flaws.

Tom Cruise gives one of his best performances. He know his character well. And he doesn't go over the top. This is a mature Tom Cruise; he could not play Jack in his thirties. Warning. If you hate Tom Cruise, you might hate this movie. If you love Cruise, you'll probably love this movie due to a plot twist that I won't tell you. There's a sadness in Andrea Riseborough's Victoria. The same could be said for Olga Kurlenko's Julia. Victoria likes to say "Another day in paradise" but we know life on future earth is anything but. Morgan Freeman reminds me of his Science channel show "Through the Wormhole." He's got that gravitas and the willingness to teach Jack and the audience.

I sat fascinated by Oblivion. But it wasn't the action. It was the mystery of this future earth. If you like smart science fiction, you'll like Oblivion. The grade is A.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Stephen Colbert looks at the Rollie Eggmaster

What? There's a product that cooks an egg in the shape of a tube. I'm not kidding. Stephen Colbert has great fun with it.

Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger covers sex cereal and the GOP's new website

Stephen Colbert's Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger covered a breakfast cereal that promotes sex and the GOP's new website. It's a website that is designed to be hip. Yeah, right. Great fun for Colbert.

Stephen Colbert salutes Boston

Addressing the terrorist bombing, Stephen Colbert saluted Boston in a warm and funny way. Check it out.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Jon Stewart examines why Republicans can't get the African American vote

Jon Stewart of the Daily Show takes a look at why Republicans can't get the African American vote. Ahhh, for the last fifty years, Stewart points out the Southern strategy designed to appeal to white racists to win southern states in presidential elections and there was Texas governor Rick Perry's ranch called "Nig__rhead" as reasons. Well, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) went to Howard University and made a fool of himself. He brought up the fact that southern Democrats opposed the civil rights but forgot to mention that these southern Democrats became Republicans. See Dixiecrats and the late Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) Anyway, Jon Stewart does a sharp and funny piece. Larry Wilmore adds to the fun with his commentary.

Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog visits the Real Housewives of Atlanta

Okay, I don't watch a whole lot of reality television. Frankly, I think it's lazy because there's barely any writing. Anyway, my dog, Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog made a visit to the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Check it out.

Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog at the 47th Grammy Awards

In 2005, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog had an album nominated for a Grammy, I'm guessing it's comedy because I think he's supposed to be funny. I keeed. I keeeeed. Anyway he got relegated to the part of the awards program that is not broadcast. You know. Great music like classical, jazz, etc. I hate the Grammy Awards. No, I take that back. It's a wonderful and honest awards program ... for me to poop on!

Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog at the 2009 Bonnaroo Music Festival

Here's Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog at the 2009 Bonnaroo Music Festival.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Anthony Weiner goes all in

I think I'm fair when a liberal messes up. And when former congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) screwed up, I posted videos from Stephen Colbert and The Daily Show having fun with Weiner. In case if you don't remember, Weiner sent pictures of his um, junk to various women. That led to his resignation. Now, it looks like Weiner is going to get in the New York's mayor's race. Great comic fodder for Stephen Colbert.

Stephen Colbert's Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger Gun Edition

Okay, say there's an U.N. Treaty that the United States backs but Syria, Iran and North Korea are against. Would you believe that the NRA, and conservative Republicans agree with those totalitarian nations? Yep. Of course it has to do with guns and their erroneous perception that the treaty will interfere with the Second Amendment. Stephen Colbert does a very funny Tip of the Hit/Wag of the Finger piece. He also covers the stupid idea that video games lead to gun violence.

Stephen Colbert takes Exxon's attempt to silence oil spill news

Previously, I posted a Stephen Colbert piece on the Pegasus pipeline oil spill. Well, it seems that Exxon is trying to silence the press coverage. Colbert covers this new twist with a funny piece.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Stephen Colbert looks at Obama's BRAIN Initiative project

President Obama is asking Congress to spend one hundred million dollars to map the human brain. It's called the BRAIN Initiative for Brain Researching through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies. And the hope is that it could lead to cures for diseases like Alzheimer's disease. Anyway, this pissed off Stephen Colbert's character and here his funny take, along with an interview with Dr. Francis Collins.

Reds take two series by beating the Angels and Nationals

When it comes to baseball, the adage of winning in April that it's early is true. That being said, April baseball games still count. But the month of April is not going to wreck a season unless you lose a lot of games.

Well, the Cincinnati Reds have started the season by winning the first two series by beating the Los Angeles Angels and the Washington Nationals. Folks, you win divisions by winning baseball series, that is, taking two out of three games. And the Reds didn't just beat two bad teams. The Los Angeles Angels are big spenders. They have just recently spent a ton of money on outfielder and former Red, superstar Josh Hamilton. And don't forget about first basement Albert Pujols and left fielder stud Mike Trout. Yet the Reds pitchers struck out 36 of the Angels batters in shutting down that vaunted offense. And today the Reds defeated the Washington Nationals 6-3. That sealed the series. The Nationals won 98 games last year, the best in baseball Both teams are predicted to win their divisions. Some say they might win the World Series. But the Reds handled both teams without much of a problem. This means two things. The Reds are defeating great teams. If they beat bad teams, the Reds will win a lot of games. Second, the Reds are proving they can beat any team in baseball.

Yes, it's only April. But one can dream of a Reds October.

Jon Stewart takes on Fox News over Rutgers basketball video

Only Fox News could find nothing wrong with the Rutgers basketball coaches abusing players. Jon Stewart of the Daily Show gives his funny take.

Bill Maher rips Republican Libertarians

Bill Maher on Friday's Real Tine ripped Republican Libertarians. Okay. A couple of things here. The two Republican libertarians he takes on are Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senator Rand Paul. (R-Ky) And while I agree that they do have some libertarian views, they're not really libertarians. I means these guys oppose abortion rights. That's a libertarian idea. Get government out of woman's bodies. I mean if both were libertarians, they would be members of the ACLU. Anyway, courtesy of Mediaite and HBO, here's Maher's New Rule.

Stephen Colbert takes on the Pegasus Pipeline spill

Stephen Colbert looks at the Exxon pipeline spill in Arkansas. The problem is that it's analogous to the Keystone pipeline that may be built from Canada and travel the United States. Funny stuff.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Jon Stewart takes a look at recent Republican bigotry

Recently, Republicans have been making some prejudicial and stupid remarks. And folks, I can't make this stuff up. Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska) used the term "wetbacks" to describe Hispanic migrant workers. And Dr. Ben Carson, rising Republican star, compared gay marriage to bestiality and pedophiles. Of course, when it comes to insane Republicans, you've got to have Congressman Louie Gohmert. (R-Texas) He also has a thing about bestiality, only this time it's with gun support. Jon Stewart of the Daily Show has some great fun with it.

Roger Ebert passes away

If you get the 2003 special edition of Casablanca (1943), you'll get commentary from film critic Roger Ebert. Casablanca is one of the greatest films ever made. And it is my favorite movie. But if you're going to have a film critic comment on the greatest movie ever made, which one do you get? There was only one choice. It was legendary film critic Roger Ebert. Today, Roger passed away.

Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel ignited my love for film. It started with their PBS show Sneak Previews. Then they followed it up with a syndicated television show Siskel & Ebert & The Movies. Of the two, Roger Ebert was the least stuffy but they both loved smart, great cinema. But Ebert didn't talk down to readers and movie fans. He communicated his criticism in a easily digestible manner. That meant Ebert could educate the mass audience about film. And he made us appreciate the art of movies as well as the entertainment value. But I remember in the late seventies that they did a show called Guilty Pleasures. It was a fun show where they admitted their enjoyment of movies that other critics thought were no so good. It was one of my favorite of their review episodes.

Roger Ebert's film criticism didn't start with some ivory tower elitist thought. He knew movies. He wrote a screenplay for one, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. (1970) He turned his experience and intellect into a source of astute film criticism. In 1975, Ebert became the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize. Filmmakers should read Roger Ebert's reviews to find out what makes bad cinema and what makes great movies. He will be missed. God speed Roger Ebert.

Opening from Siskel & Ebert.

Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert take a look at the best films of the 1980s'.

Stephen Colbert takes on Kim Jong-un of North Korea

On Tuesday, Stephen Colbert took on the belligerent language of North Korea and its leader Kim Jong-un. Colbert also interviews North Korean exert Victor Cha, Funny stuff.

The Daily Show's take on the North Korean crisis

Jon Stewart of the Daily Show covers the North Korean crisis and their leader Kim Jong-un. Funny stuff.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Stephen Colbert interviews Sigourney Weaver

I've been in love with Sigourney Weaver since I saw her in Alien. (1979) By the way, if you see Annie Hall (1977), look at Woody's date at the end of the movie. It's Sigourney. Anyway, check out this fun interview with Ms. Weaver by Stephen Colbert.

Utah celebrates Earth Day by praising oil, gas and mining

It's a good time for satirists. Why? How about this? Utah celebrates Earth Day by asking kids in a poster contest , "Where would we be without oil, gas and mining?" Stephen Colbert has great fun with more crazy conservatives.

Healthcare, Republican style

I can't make this stuff up folks. In Tennessee, there's a plan to replace Obamacare with a lottery for healthcare. Good luck, and good health. Stephen Colbert has great fun with this insanity.

The Daily Show looks at crazy gun supporter

There's a gun supporter in Arizona, who thinks guns are like people. The guy's name is Charles Heller and he's upset that Tuscon has a gun buy back program and destroys the guns it buys back. In other words, he is upset about the guns being destroyed. Folks, I can't make this stuff up. Conservatives have gone crazy. Jon Oliver of The Daily Show reports.

Stephen Colbert covers Easter

America's favorite Catholic satirist Stephen Colbert rips Fox News rage over Google for honoring Cesar Chavez instead of Jesus on Easter Sunday. He also covers Easter. Funny stuff in the video below.

Some observations on Opening Day

Hey, here in Cincinnati, Opening Day for baseball is a holiday. And on Monday, the Cincinnati Reds played the Los Angeles Angels in the first inter-league Opening Day game for major league baseball. The Reds lost 3-1. And well, it's one game out of 162 games. Not going to give up on the season yet. :-) Anyway, here's some observations for Opening Day for the Cincinnati Reds.

1. We have a kick ass parade. Yeah, there could be nicer floats but is there any city in America that has the community involvement for baseball's opening day? Cincinnati does it right. Those are neighbors marching on the streets of downtown Cincinnati.

2. Reds manager Dusty Baker really loves Opening Day. I was watching the game on TV and the camera had a shot of Reds manager Dusty Baker. From the joy on his face, I could tell he was excited about the day. I know Dusty loves baseball and this day obviously is important to him.

3. The Reds were terrible with runners in scoring position. The Reds went zero for ten with runners in scoring position according to Lance Mcalister of 1530 Homer. That was like last year. Folks, you're going to have a hard time winning and getting to the playoffs if you can't hit with runners in scoring position.

4. Opening Day Cincinnati Reds fans suck. The Cincinnati Reds fan who goes to Opening Day is usually all about the party. Yeah, there are some real baseball fans but a whole bunch of the Reds fans at the park didn't really care about the game. It' just time to party. My proof? The game went into extra innings. The camera panned the seats. And it looked like half of the park was empty. Yeah, I know it was cold but it wasn't that cold. I mean I went to a Cincinnati Bengals game where the temperature was in the teens with a wind chill factor. The Reds were tied with Angels who again were big spenders during the off season. And half of the park couldn't endure temperatures in the forties?

5. Reds centerfielder Shin-Soo Choo can get on base. Choo was on base three times. Too bad, nobody drove him in. I mean the run he scored was on a wild pitch with Choo hustling.

6. Johnny Cueto is fearless. In the seventh, he loaded the bases with one out. He then struck out the side to get out of it.

7. Reds closer Aroldis Chapman destroyed Angels Josh Hamilton. Chapman struck out s the vaunted Hamilton with four pitches. Two fastballs and two sliders. Bye, bye.

Reds Nation, one down. One hundred sixty one to go. Reds still can win the World Series.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The 2013 Cincinnati Reds Preview

Opening Day is here. It's time to preview the 2013 Cincinnati Reds.

1. Pitching. As broadcaster Alan Cutler would say, "Baseball is about pitching, pitching, pitching... PITCHING." And he's right.

a. Starting Pitching. The rotation starts with Johnny Cueto, last year's Cy Young candidate. Following him is power pitcher Mat Latos and Homer Bailey who threw a no hitter last year. That's a pretty good first three. Veteran Bronson Arroyo will give you two hundred innings and keep you in games. The fifth starter will be first round draft pick, Mike Leake. That's not a bad fifth starter since I believe Leake will do much better this year.

b. Relief Pitching. The Reds have decided to make one hundred mile an hour fast baller Aroldis Chapman, the closer. It's probably the right decision since Chapman has expressed his desire to now close. Plus if he was in the rotation, you would probably lose that blazing fastball. That means Jonathan Broxton will set him up. Broxton was a former closer. Sam LeCure is gutsy long man and will keep the Reds in games. Rounding up the bullpen will be left hander Sean Marshall and J.J. Hoover.

The grade for the ptiching staff is B.

2. The Infield.

It all starts with first baseman Joey Votto. He should be fully recovered from knee surgery. Votto hits for average, power and with runners in scoring position. Second baseman Brandon Phillips is one of the best defensive second basemen in the game. He can also hit for average and with runners in scoring position. Shortstop Zack Cozart must improve on his batting average from .246. Third baseman Todd Frazier must continue to hit for average and power. Catcher Ryan Hanigan is solid at his position. Catching prospect Devin Mesoraco had an excellent spring and he should push for more playing time.

The grade is B.

3. The Outfield.

Gone is weak hitting and strikeout leader Drew Stubbs. In his place, is Shin-Soo Choo. Now he's not going to have the range in centerfield as Stubbs. But he has a .373 OBP along with a .283 batting average. He'll lead off and set the table for Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto.

Ryan Ludwick had a renaissance with the Reds. He hit .275 and blasted 26 home runs. And if Jay Bruce can not be fooled by outside low breaking pitches, he'll be more than an All Star. He'll be a MVP candidate.

The grade is B.

4. The Bench.

Outfielder Chris Heisey can hit for power and is an excellent back up for the other outfielders. Infielders Cesar Izturis and Jack Hannahan are veterans. They should give solid support. The grade is b.

5. Management. General Manager Walt Jocketty has an eye for talent. He's put together great teams in St. Louis and a world champion. Manager Dusty Baker gets a lot grief from misinformed fans. He knows how to motivate players and since he's been here, the Reds have made two playoff appearances. The grade is B.

6. Player to watch. Todd Frazier. If he is the real thing, he's the type of player that will put the Reds over the top. Check out the prodigious home run below.

7. Projection.

The Reds are good at all positions. I expect them to win the N.L. Central and make the playoffs. Is there a World Series championship? I can't say. But they certainly have the talent to win it all.