Random thoughts: Iron Man 3 and why the Grizzlies could be the next 2004 Pistons

As promised I have been seeing more movies this summer and I just caught Iron Man 3. Here’s what I thought. First things first, the movie was incredible. If you see it, make sure to see it in 3D.

SPOILER ALERT!!!!

Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

Things I liked:

  1. Don Cheadle was a badass in this one. The culminating scene where he and Tony Starks are battling it out with the Extremis soldiers shows that, when no suits are involved, Colonel James Rhodes is the tough guy.
  2. The Mandarin terrorist videos were genuinely scary. They were so reminiscent of Bin Laden’s terror videos from earlier this decade. The scene where he gives the president 30 seconds to save the accountant’s life and then shoots him anyway was so cold blooded. The preceding speech he gave him about his “final lesson” truly made you fear the Mandarin. Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin voice and Bane’s voice from The Dark Knight Rises are one and two on my eloguent-yet-terrifying voice list.

Things I didn’t

  1. Since I loved the Mandarin’s videos in the first half of the movie I couldn’t wait for him and Tony Stark’s first dialogue. That’s why I was incredibly disappointed when he turned out to be an actor. A beer drinking, weird accented, goofball. Not the interaction I was hoping for.
  2. So many one-liners. You kind of have to expect an influx in one-liners in any part three of a trilogy but at times that’s all there was. Fortunately Robert Downey Jr. is perfect in these movies so they pulled it off. One of them stuck out to me though. Stark is clearly pissed off when Pepper “dies” yet when she comes back I think the first thing he says is “I got nothin’”. C’mon, that one was cheesy.

 

On to things that really matter though….

The Spurs advance to their 8th WCF in the last 15 years while the Grizzlies are in their first in franchise history. Just based on playoff experience (Duncan, Parker, Ginobili and Pop) the Spurs are favorites but I think people need to stop sleeping on the Grizzlies. They’ve been the underdog (according to betting lines) in each of their first two series and again in this one. Here’s the main reason they will prove the doubters wrong again.

They are the 2013 version of the 2004 Detroit Pistons. Check this out

The Pistons had elite defenders at 3 of 5 starting spots with C Ben Wallace, SF Tayshaun Prince, and PG Chauncey Billups all making multiple All-Defensive Teams.medium_ben wallace

The Grizzlies have elite defenders at 3 of 5 of their starting spots with C Marc Gasol (Defensive POY and 2nd team All-Defense), SG/SF Tony Allen (1st team and leading vote getter), and PG Mike Conley (2nd team).

This means that the Grizzlies have a lock down defender each for Parker (Conley), Ginobili (Allen) and Duncan (Gasol) which is terrible news for the Spurs. Last series Ginobili struggled mightily and now he has to deal with Tony Allen, an absolute dog of an on-ball defender. Also, quietly, Duncan didn’t have any “great” games last series either. Yes he had four doubles doubles but, I mean, were any of them memorable? He wasn’t exactly the model of efficiency in getting any one of them, shooting below 50% in all but one game last series (and two games this entire playoffs). If that’s what Andrew Bogut can do to Duncan, what is Gasol, a slightly bigger, more mobile defender going to do to him?

Mike+Conley+Memphis+Grizzlies+v+Oklahoma+City+AMPL0odCREdxThe Pistons spread the ball throughout the game but had a late game go to scorer in the front court (Rasheed Wallace) AND back court (Chauncey Billups).

The Grizzlies spread the ball throughout the game and then have PF Zach Randolph or PG Mike Conley to go to late in the fourth quarter.

Late game scoring was the (alleged) knock on this team going into the playoffs but Mike Conley has more than proven himself to be up to the task. And, despite some late missed free throws, Randolph has a reputation as someone who can step up and give you a much needed basket.

The Pistons were great at home, going 10-3 in the playoffs (with one loss coming in triple overtime)nba_g_grizzfans_576

The Grizzlies are undefeated in their five home games so far.

Memphis, like Detroit did, has a loud, passionate fan base and a great home atmosphere. They have rode this to five straight wins at home with their closest loses being by six points. They have to keep this trend alive if they’re going to beat the Spurs, who have home court advantage. But this is status quo for the Grizz, who haven’t had home court advantage yet in these playoffs.

 

In the end, the Grizzlies’ defense will be too much for the Spurs. Pondexter and Bayless need to hit some big threes though. Grizzlies in 7

 

 

Oh, one more thing about the 2004 Pistons. They went to the Finals with no stars and beat an “unbeatable” Lakes team loaded with them…..I’m just saying.

AAGC014  miamiheat3

Summer Movie Preview 2013!!!

Summer-Movies-2013-Most-Anticipated

I used to watch movies all the time in college but ever since I became a stupid adult and have to do stupid adult things I rarely have time to watch any. This summer, that changes. I’m seeing everything. And after taking a brief look at what comes out this summer it inspired me to break away from my usual sports rants and talk about the upcoming summer releases.

Check them out. FYI-each title is a link to a trailer for that movie

Iron Man 3

Already released

I’m so happy that we live in an era of phenomenal superhero movies. We had the three Tobey Maguire Spiderman movies (ok the third one which had weird emo undertones sucked but the other two were great), the X-Men trilogy and a couple spin offs (I still maintain that X-Men: First Class is the best prequel of all time), The Avengers made an estimated 70 billion dollars, and the three Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale Batman movies might be the greatest trilogy ever created. There have been some clunkers (The Green Hornet I’m talking to you) but superhero movies have basically taken control of the action genre if not the entire movie industry. So needless to say I’m jacked to see the next Iron Man movie. I think everyone agrees that Robert Downey Jr. was born to play Tony Stark and makes the dialogue of these movies as entertaining as the do-it-all robot suit he invented in a cave (don’t think too deeply into any superhero movie).

The Great Gatsby

May 10th

We all “read” this book in high school at some point. We all “wrote” a “persuasive essay” on the book’s “theme”, whatever that means, yet I have a weird feeling that no one really knows what this movie is going to be about. The previews look crazy intense but does anyway remember The Great Gatsby being all that gripping? Me neither. But Leo’s in it so I’m in. I would watch him in anything. Everything he touches turns to gold. I have a man crush on Leo and I’m not afraid to admit it.

Star Trek: Into Darkness and Fast & Furious 6

May 16th and May 24th respectively

I’m gonna be honest, I have never seen a single second of anything Star Trek related. That being said, the previews for this movie (and the other JJ Abrams adaptation, which I regret not seeing) look great. There’s a futuristic mega city, futuristic acts of terrorism, a futuristic version of Harold from Harold & Kumar. What’s not to love?! I’m definitely going back and watching the first one just so I can check this one out. Plus this bit on Conan cracked me up. Ok, I’m going to admit one more thing to you. I have never seen a single second of any Fast & Furious movie (see why I paired these together). And since this one looks like how I imagine every other F&F to be I probably won’t ever see it. I do want to comment no one thing though. When are Vin Diesel, Tyrese, and The Rock going to start aging? These guys look exactly the same as they did ten years ago. Except now Rock looks like CGI hulk.

The Hangover Part III

May 24th

So we’re back in vegas, eh? So let’s check out the lines.

Over/under 1.5 times that Zach Galifabolousfunkymonkeyinakis appears shirtless.

Over/under .5 times we see Ken Jeong fully naked.

Over/under 2.5 times an unusual animal is involved (we’re already guaranteed a giraffe in the preview).

Over/under 5 times the first two movies are blatantly referred back to (“Haven’t we learned our lesson!!” or “This never works out for us!” are odds on favorites to be said verbatim)

I’ll take the over on all of them.

After Earth

May 31st

I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic movies. They are probably my favorite genre behind post-Victorian epics. So when I found out Will Smith (another favorite actor) was doing another movie in this genre I was hooked. Remember how cool I Am Legend was? And it’s with his older, now slightly more mature son. Remember how sad and touching Pursuit of Happyness was? I am expecting nothing less than greatness in this movie! But wait M. Night Shyamalan is directing? Dammit. Hold on, the previews say that “Everything has evolved to kill humans.” Does that include plants? Damn you M Night! Look we’re just not into the plants-as-the-killer idea, GIVE IT UP! Ok, I went from being super jacked to see this to uninterested in one paragraph. Curse you M Night Shamalamadingdong!1.

This is the End

(sorry the only trailer I could find on YouTube that didn’t make you sign in first to verify age was backwards…deal with it)

June 12th

The guys from Superbad and Pineapple Express doing what they do best…playing themselves  in  movies. Literally. Seth Rogen, James Franco, etc. will be playing Seth Rogen, James Franco, etc. I know it technically makes them “bad actors” if they only excel as one type of character but I don’t care. Those guys crack me up and I feel like hanging out with them would be no different than watching Knocked Up and wishing I was hanging out with them. If I’m the only one that thinks these things while watching their movies I’m completely okay with that.

Man of Steel

June 14th

10-year old me hated Superman. 10-year old me thought it was unfair for one superhero to have EVERY power. It was boring. 10-year old me wanted some form of vulnerability, a weakness that wasn’t some rock from God knows where. He wanted to be sucked in by the fear of failure, yearn for victory, then cry the tears of redemption (I had very mature taste at that age. It has only regressed since then, I love fart jokes.) . In that sense, 23-year old me still agrees with 10-year old me but 23-year old me knows the greatness that is Christopher Nolan. If Christopher Nolan was a pitcher he would be coming off a perfect game with the Dark Knight trilogy, a 8 IP 9K outing with Inception, a quality start with The Prestige, and a CG, 10K with Memento. Whether my baseball analogy lost you or not, his track record speaks for itself. But at the same time no pitcher has ever thrown consecutive perfect games…just sayin’.

Monsters University

June 21st

Monsters Inc was a staple growing up. Or maybe it was a staple for my little brother in sister. Either way I’ve seen this movie a hundred times and still love it. Just like when I rushed to theaters for Toy Story 3, I will be doing the same for Monsters Inc. I will gladly pay $25-$50 for a ticket, a small bucket of popcorn and a small pop if it means I can feel like a kid again. I can’t wait to see Sully and Mike Wazowski again. I feel all giddy just thinking about it.

World War Z

June 21st

Remember when I said post-apocalyptic movies are my favorite movie genre? Scrap that. Zombies are my favorite movie genre2. And the ones in World War Z might be the scariest ones yet. We’ve seen zombies run in 28 Days Later and the remake of Dawn of the Dead but we haven’t seen them run like this. Imagine a zombie apocalypse where each one has Lebron James athletic ability and Kenneth Faried’s motor3. Terrifying. Absolutely terrifying.

 

Quick comments on other movies this summer that caught my eye:

The Purge (June 7th)-interesting idea for a movie. Better idea for Romney 2016

Despicable Me 2 (July 3rd)- The first one was cute but I was too old when it came out to make a deep connection with it.

Lone Ranger (July 3rd)- finally, a movie where Native Americans are exploited.

Pacific Rim (July 12th)- Transformers meets Cloverfield? I’m sure it’s just gratuitous violence but it could be worth $9.50 in 3D.

Grown Ups 2 (July 12th)- I know his movies are pretty terrible these days (Zohan, Jack and Jill) but the first Grown Ups wasn’t bad for a family movie. With that being said, I think the sequel will tank.

The Wolverine (July 26th)- I can’t get enough X-men movies. But when are we going to get a Gambit movie? That’s the real question.

 

  1. Another thing that bothers me about After Earth’s trailer is how they say humans haven’t been on Earth in 1000 years and that everything has evolved to kill humans. That’s not how evolution works! Species don’t evolve to kill things that don’t exist. As soon as a trait stops helping a species get its genes in the future it works its way out of the genome. The Earth would not evolve into a world of apex predators that wait for Humans to return. Although this does make a good movie plot….oh I get it now.
  2. You can make the argument that zombie movies are a subgenre of the apocalypse genre but I’m not listening. There are two genres in my opinion: Zombie movies and everything else.
  3. C’mon do you really think I can go an entire blog post without mentioning basketball?