Ramblings – E3 2018 Preview

Hey all! This is Brandon Myers, back with a new Ramblings.  Now, 2018 has been a rather off year for Ramblings in general, but it’s time for E3, and I wouldn’t miss doing my annual articles.  E3 is one of my favorite times of the year.  So today I’ll be doing my typical preview of the events.  I may do a single recap article next week once all the press conferences are over.  Probably on Friday or something, once the event and all the official news coverage is done.  Anyway, let’s get to the preview! More


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Logan’s Movie Reviews – Atlanta, Season 2, Episode 6: Teddy Perkins, 2018

Darius answers an ad off of a message board for a piano and ends up at a mansion owned by an pale, idiosyncratic man with a mask-like face named Theodore “Teddy” Perkins, who also cares for a mute, wheelchair-bounded individual named Benny Hope whom he claims to be extremely photosensitive and his brother.
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As I’ve stated several times over the course of this column, we are living in a new golden age of television. Never before has so many wonderful takes on comic book superheroes, both in motion pictures and television, have occurred at the same time. 2018 has been an incredible year for the Marvel Universe on the big screen with the incredible success of both “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War.” That being said, it is the Marvel Universe portrayed on Netflix that has captivated me even more.

“Daredevil” was the first Marvel show on Netflix that set the tone for the rest of their shows on the streaming channel. Fifteen years ago, “Daredevil” the movie starring Ben Affleck as blind lawyer Matt Murdock during the day and vigilante at night was, despite doing big numbers at the box office, panned by critics. It wasn’t the casting that killed the movie, as Affleck, Jennifer Garner as Elektra and Michael Clarke Duncan as Kingpin were more than capable in their roles, but the writing and directing that resulted in just an even more disastrous prequel “Elektra” starring Garner. The Netflix series was a different story.

Charlie Cox as the lead character brought an intensity to the role that Affleck didn’t. Cox was made to play the role, and his scenes with Elodie Yung, the actress portraying his love interest Elektra, captivated the audience with the intensity and desire that both characters have for each other. You want to see these characters happy, but circumstances continue to get in their way, culminating in Elektra’s death. Vincent D’onofrio is devilishly evil as Daredevil’s archenemy Kingpin. Daredevil also was the introduction to another great Marvel franchise on Netflix: “The Punisher.”

Jon Bernthal was born to play The Punisher/aka Frank Castle. With his rugged looks and piercing eyes, Bernthal was the perfect actor to portray a man who’s grief stricken after seeing his entire family murdered in front of him. In the second season of “Daredevil,” Castle murdered the entire crime family he thought was responsible for their death and then faked his own death. Castle reappears in “The Punisher” as a construction worker under an assumed name. He is still mourning over the loss of his family when he discovers that it was the United States military that killed his family as a way to silence him because of an illegal mission he was involved in Afghanistan.

Castle teams up with a National Security Agency analyst who is also believed to be dead, David Lieberman, played by the excellent Ebon Moss-Bacharach. Together the two fight evil U.S. intelligent officials attempting to keep the truth from coming out. The ensemble cast is tremendous; especially Ben Barnes and Jason R. Moore as Castle’s best friends Billy Russo and Curtis Hoyle. For those who have yet to watch “The Punisher,” the tension and action through the entire 13 episodes of its initial season keeps viewers in suspense. Bernthal’s expression of his pain and angst, as well as his vulnerability due to the fact he has no superpowers, has the television audience rooting for him.

Before “Black Panther” premiered this past February, Netflix premiered “Luke Cage” in September of 2016, the first Black superhero television series. Based and filmed in Harlem, the show is authentic because the backdrop of Harlem itself is a central character of the show. It also, like the aforementioned shows, consists of a tremendous cast. Mike Colter as Luke Cage has incredible charisma and is built like a tank. Colter’s character Cage was wrongfully imprisoned and like Castle, his wife was murdered. It was his wife that as a prison doctor helped arrange Cage being a guinea pig in a prison experiment that gave him his superpowers, which include being bulletproof and superhuman strength.

The rest of the cast has major star power. Oscar winner Mahershala Ali and Emmy award winner Alfre Woodard play cousins who are phenomenal as Cage’s primary adversaries, Cottonmouth and Black Mariah. Rosario Dawson as Cage’s love interest, Nurse Claire Temple, lights up the screen as the chemistry between her and Colter is sizzling hot. Finally, Simone Missick as Detective Misty Knight is not only a Black detective, but a Black female detective who assists Cage in battling evil in Harlem. Creator Cheo Hodari Coker has created a masterpiece and assembled a cast that makes this Black superhero series one of the greatest superhero television series of all time. It is the first time that a dramatic television series with a predominantly Black cast has been given a golden opportunity to shine and prosper.

Netflix has set the standard with its Marvel lineup of superhero shows, which also include “Jessica Jones,” “Iron Fist,” and “The Defenders.” Cox, Bernthal and Colter are perfect in their roles because of the vulnerability each man portrays when faced with adversity. Each hero has had loved ones murdered and they use that grief in exacting revenge against the evil perpetrators of those murders. Despite being considered vigilantes, all three men are true heroes as they do their best to bring justice to the men and women who wronged them.

Logan’s Movie Reviews: Logan, 2017

In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X, somewhere on the Mexican border. However, Logan’s attempts to hide from the world, and his legacy, are upended when a young mutant arrives, pursued by dark forces,

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World Championship boxing presents the 3 GREATEST PERFORMANCES OF EDDIE MUSTAFA MUHAMMAD

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Today marks the fourth anniversary of my “Silva Linings Playbook” column. To celebrate this anniversary, I will revisit the state of the Black Athlete, the subject of my very first column.

Four years ago, I heavily criticized Black athletes for not speaking out on issues that affected the Black community. Today, no longer are Black athletes sitting on the sidelines just collecting a paycheck while young Black men are being targeted by the powers that be. Beginning with Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem at the start of the 2016 NFL season, Black athletes such as Michael Bennett, LeBron James, Malcolm Jenkins and Eric Reid have spoken up against racial injustice and give their support to the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

Not since Muhammad Ali’s stance against the Vietnam War over 50 years ago has a Black athlete been both ostracized and blackballed by the media and the powers that be. The reason for his refusal to stand for the anthem was eloquently system by Kaepernick in August of 2016. Kaepernick wanted to shed light on the growing injustices against Black people in America, especially young Black men that continue to be unjustly murdered by the police. As he put it, he wanted to “use his voice to speak for the voiceless.” What followed were conservative politicians and members of the media criticizing Kaepernick non stop.

During the midst of his campaign for the presidency, Donald Trump suggested that if Kaepernick refused to stand for the anthem, he “should try another country.” Kaepernick’s response? “He always says make America great again. Well America has never been great for people of color. That’s something that needs to be addressed. Let’s make America great for the first time.” As we all know, Trump went on to win the presidency and since winning, he has upped his bigotry and ignorance. He ripped NBA star Stephen Curry for refusing the customary tradition of the NBA champions to visit the President at the White House. To save face, Trump rescinded his invitation to the Golden State Warriors. The fact remains, Curry and his Warriors had no intention of visiting.

Kaepernick‘s political stance has been the catalyst for several athletes, both Black and White, to speak out against racial injustice, including the biggest American sports star today, LeBron James. James has consistently used his superstar status to call Trump on the carpet for the way he attempts to divide the country and scapegoat immigrants and people of color. Laura Ingraham of The Fox News Channel, an ultra conservative and champion of everything Trump, used her show on the network to tell James to “just shut up and dribble.” New York’s sports radio station WFAN two most widely listened two shows had the host of both shows, Boomer Esiason and Mike Francesa blasted Kaepernick‘s refusal to stand for the anthem. Boomer called Kaepernick’s actions “unpatriotic and a slap in the face to the men and women serving in our military.” Francesa felt that NFL teams shouldn’t sign Kaepernick because he “wasn’t worth the headache.” None of the aforementioned members of the media understand the everyday struggle of being oppressed and/or being discriminated because of the color of their skins. Yet, that is no excuse. The last two years, two of the most prominent coaches in NBA history who happen to be White, Steve Kerr and Greg Popovich, have supported political protests by athletes of color. Kerr is the coach of the Golden State Warriors and he supported not visiting the White House and Trump. He was extremely critical of Trump last fall when Trump called any NFL players who refused to stand for the anthem “sons of bitches.” Kerr’s response? “He used the words ‘sons of (expletive)’ to talk about NFL players who have made it clear they’re protesting racial inequality and police brutality,” Kerr said. “Those are sons of (expletive)? Really? You’re the President of the United States and you’re going to call them sons of (expletive)? And you’re going to call (Colin) Kaepernick out for non-violent protests, a staple of American democracy? That’s really hard to deal with.”

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, a middle age White man who served in the military, is the most poignant in his comments regarding Trump and his divisiveness,”Obviously, race is the elephant in the room and we all understand that. Unless it is talked about constantly, it’s not going to get better. ‘Oh, they’re talking about that again. They pulled the race card again. Why do we have to talk about that?’ Well, because it’s uncomfortable. There has to be an uncomfortable element in the discourse for anything to change, whether it’s the LGBT movement, or women’s suffrage, race, it doesn’t matter. People have to be made to feel uncomfortable, and especially white people, because we’re comfortable. We still have no clue what being born white means. And if you read some of the recent literature, you realize there really is no such thing as whiteness. We kind of made it up. That’s not my original thought, but it’s true.” What is also true is that Trump, who’s quick to verbally assault any prominent persons of color, has never responded to the criticisms and concerns raised by Kerr and Popovich. He has always been a racist coward. Google “Trump and The Central Park Five” and see for yourself.

Since becoming a free agent at the end of the 2016 season, Kaepernick has yet to be signed by a NFL team despite the fact that he has been an all star and led a team to the Super Bowl. He is only 30 years old and considerably better than the majority of quarterbacks in the NFL. He has been unofficially blackballed. Despite the inability to ply his God given talent, Kaepernick remains steadfast and strong. He has donated over one million dollars to charities that are invested in helping the oppressed. Prominent Black athletes such as Curry, Kevin Durant and Serena Williams have donated over $10,000 each to those same charities. Last week, Kaepernick was awarded Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience award, an award given to him for his public protest against social and racial injustice. Despite losing millions of dollars in endorsement and NFL deals, Kaepernick has made a monumental difference for Blacks in America. He has continued the struggle against injustice in the tradition of Paul Robeson, Jackie Robinson,Muhammad ALI, Tommie Smith and John Carlos. There is no athlete I admire more in sports today. In the long run, the truth will win out.

Logan’s Movie Reviews: To Live and Die in LA, 1985

When his longtime partner on the force is killed, reckless U.S. Secret Service agent Richard Chance (William L. Petersen) vows revenge, setting out to nab dangerous counterfeit artist Eric Masters (Willem Dafoe). Along with his new, straitlaced partner, John Vukovich (John Pankow), Chance sets up a scheme to entrap Masters, resulting in the accidental death of an undercover officer. As Chance’s desire for justice becomes an obsession, Vukovich questions the lawless methods he employs.

Logan’s Movie Reviews on Twitter: @logansmovie