video review : Jake Paul versus Ben Askren at Triller Fight Club

video review : Jake Paul versus Ben Askren at Triller Fight Club

Even ignoring all the annoying theatrics; the dancing robot, the epilepsy lights, the gay commentary; this fight leaves much to be desired. Jake Paul lands a right hook near the middle of the very first round, Ben Askren falls down but stands back up, albeit a little wobbly, and the referee stops the fight.

It’s an unwarranted stoppage from what I can see; Askren looks poised and ready to continue by the time the ref calls it; but nonetheless another ignominious loss on his once immaculate fighting record. Perhaps the reported half-million he’s earning makes up for it. Snoop Dogg apparently bet on Jake.

my rating : 2 of 5

2021

video review : Cassidy versus Hitman Holla at Max Out

video review : Cassidy versus Hitman Holla at Max Out

It’s a nice surprise what Hitman Holla does at the end of his third and final verse, but Cassidy wins this battle handily. Neither rapper has the skills to justify their inflated egos, but Cass is consistently better.

The “half to death” bit from his second verse would be a classic if he had the gumption to delivery it right. No such quotables from Hitman Holla, the rambunctious little brother of whom needs to be put in time-out.

my rating : 3 of 5

2021

audio review : Basket Case [ Original Motion Picture Soundtrack ]

audio review : Basket Case [ Original Motion Picture Soundtrack ]

The only music that matters here is that of the End Credits and all of its interpolative preludes. That is the Basket Case theme song and it’s epic; much better than the movie itself actually; which makes this official Soundtrack, composed by Gus Russo and released about 35 years late, the opposite of anticlimactic.

my rating : 3 of 5

2017

video review : Ghost

video review : Ghost

The Ghost is Sam Wheat, a New York City banker with a girlfriend named Molly he plans to marry. Those plans are ruined one night when he’s targeted by a mugger. That’s the point in which this movie goes from a boring romantic prelude to something interesting. Sam is shot during the attack but still chases the guy until he realizes he’s lying on the ground behind himself in Molly’s weeping arms.

The plot has to do with his efforts to save Molly; her boy-haired look suggests her next “ditto” will be in the arms of another woman; from a similar fate. Sam’s killing wasn’t random; a reveal that begins a crafty balance of drama, action and comedy. That latter genre, which makes for the best parts, comes almost solely at the hands of Whoopi Goldberg as a “spiritual” medium named Oda Mae Brown.

my rating : 4 of 5

1990

This Is An EP Release ( EP ) … Digital Underground

This Is An EP Release ( EP ) ... Digital Underground

The first song, Same Song, is a good song. They, rather Underground frontman Shock G, should’ve saved it for the next album. It seems a little out of place here as one of only three new cuts; the other two are merely decent; on an oddball EP that should’ve never been Released.

Parts of it are from the soundtrack to the movie Nothing But Trouble. Others serve as a Remix companion to Sex Packets. There’s a tamer version of The Way We Swing and a dub version of Rhymin On The Funk in which Shock G and alter ego Humpty Hump Argue about said music.

The best song though, not just of the Remixes but the whole set, is a new and improved version of Packet Man. The original basic beat is replaced with the kind of horny piano ensemble Vanessa; uh-uh, not the X-rated video queen; might sing to and it sounds quite gratifying.

my rating : 3 of 5

1991

video review : UFC 260

video review : UFC 241

You know you’ve been hit hard when you have to wait till Bruce Buffer officially announces the results to find-out how long your fight lasted. That’s the situation Khama Worthy finds himself in after getting “caught” by Jamie Mullarkey in the very first round. UFC 260 would, in fact, be a night of finishes if not for Miranda Maverick; I’d love to see this woman fight Maycee Barber; earning a decision victory over Gillian Robertson.

Sean O’Malley is still undefeated (ha) with a relatively easy win over a much smaller Thomas Almeida. The knockout comes in the third, but he could’ve pulled it off in the first if not for his showboating antics. Tyron Woodley lets his hands go fast and early on Vicente Luque, damn-near knocking him out at one point, but Luque hits back. I really wanted Woodley to win here as a fourth consecutive loss probably ends his UFC career.

I didn’t really care who won the main event, but I would’ve bet on Francis Ngannou; the “scariest contender” in the organization. Stipe Miocic, who’s a bit overrated with all the heavyweight “goat” talk during the build-up to this bout, finds that last bit out the hard way. “Out cold”, Joe Rogan declares, though I’m not sure if he’s referring to Stipe’s loss of consciousness or how wrong Ngannou did him by punching him in the face like that.

my rating : 4 of 5

2021

video review : Contact

video review : Contact

Like observing deep space via satellite, waiting for some sign of intelligent life, this movie is boring for a long time. About a third of its two-and-a-half hours goes by before the catch of the plot finally beams in and things start to get interesting.

Based on a Carl Sagan sci-fi novel, Contact propels itself with a wonderous concept, brilliant visual effects and mind-bending philosophical undertones, but the story, bogged down by extraneous love themes, doesn’t reach good fast enough.

my rating : 3 of 5

1997

audio review : 2000 ( album ) … Grand Puba

audio review : 2000 ( album ) ... Grand Puba

I don’t know why Grand Puba’s so obsessed with the year 2000; that concept would’ve made a lot more sense if this were released that year or just prior; but he seems to be stuck in the future. The beats; raw boom-bap produced by the likes of Mark Spark and Minnesota; are anything but. They’re also the one good thing about the album.

Puba’s often trying to amuse; cracking jokes and pausing his raps to interpolate old soul songs; but his sense of humor is usually more corny than funny and his skills aren’t Special enough to make up for it. Still the set is a thoroughly decent listen if only for the aforementioned beats, the best of which include I Like It and Change Gonna Come.

my rating : 3 of 5

1995

audio review : Funplex ( album ) … The B-52s

audio review : Funplex ( album ) ... The B-52s

They got the title right. This album, which marks the return of The B-52s, including Cindy Wilson, after a long hiatus, is all about Fun. That comes mostly in the form of Dancing and Partying, though wacky wordplay at times make for sexually suggestive undertones. “There’s a G-spot,” Fred Schneider announces, “Pull the car over!”

That car might as well be a Mercury Lynx as the band, with the help of New producer Steve Osbourne, rocks out in 1980s retro fashion. The best parts are some of the catchy, at times refreshingly unconventional, hooks they stumble across along the way. Juliet Of The Spirits and Eyes Wide Open are particularly pleasing.

my rating : 4 of 5

2008

video review : Jan Błachowicz versus Israel Adesanya at UFC 259

video review : Jan Błachowicz versus Israel Adesanya at UFC 259

Even if this were a three-round fight, I’d give Jan Błachowicz a close decision victory. Israel Adesanya seems a little off (slow/hesitant) here, probably because he’s fighting in a higher weight division than normal. The final two rounds, in which Błachowicz takes him down and holds him there till the ends, just reinforces it.

I thought Adesanya would win this, but I also thought it was a bad idea to risk his undefeated streak for the Polish powerhouse. Doing it and potentially becoming double champ for Jon Jones would’ve made a lot more sense. Now that epic showdown, one of the most anticipated in UFC history, seems a lot less competitive.

my rating : 3 of 5

2021

video review : Amanda Nunes versus Megan Anderson at UFC 259

video review : Amanda Nunes versus Megan Anderson at UFC 259

There’s a video of Megan Anderson looking like the walking dead when she first arrived at the Apex arena; not in a sinister Undertaker kind of way but the way a death row inmate might look on the last day of her stay. The method of execution? A one-woman firing squad.

“Amanda hits so damn hard,” Joe Rogan observes; Daniel Cormier also provides funny commentary; as the purported WMMA “goat”; I still don’t know if I’d put her above Cris Cyborg; goes on to win her easiest fight yet. Ronda Rousey at least landed a punch before her pummeling.

my rating : 4 of 5

2021