Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fantasy Football League Week 13

Well I think I'm just going to forget about last weeks picks.  I went 2-4 which is easily my worst week of picking for the year.  My yearly record is still pretty good at 43-18-2 but I was hoping to hit 50 wins, which was a secret goal of mine this year.  Well, looks like I'll have to extend the tally into the playoffs now if I even have a chance at that mark.

Anyhow, I'm not going to recap specifically the 4 losses.  I will however make mention that I was shocked at the 165 Clean Slate dropped on Cinderella Story.  I saw the score before the Patriot game and thought the mockery would continue, where Cinderella laces up old Donavan McNabb with starting QB's sitting on the waiver wire.  But despite the amazing game NE-PHI was for Cinderella, the glass slipper is lost and will not be found again this year.  Clean Slate is alive in the playoff picture, which is:

1.  Blood and Thunder secured a first found playoff bye with his win over DreamKiller.  He keeps the #1 seed with a win or a Repeal Obama loss.  If he loses and RO wins then it'll come down to the tiebreaker, which RO will need to make up the 37 points separating the two teams.

2.  Repeal Obama's win makes him, in all likelihood, a lock for a first round bye.  I already mentioned how he can secure the #1 seed above, but he can lose the bye as well.  If he happens to lose and Mission:Repeat wins and wins by more than 42 points than RO scores he'll lock up the bye.  While not likely we've seen many routs this year, so who knows.

3.  Mission:Repeat keeps the #3 seed and has the previously mentioned shot at a bye with a win.  If he loses then playoff positioning depends on a number of things.  First, if 6Wide wins he'll get #3 seed and then M:R would either get #4 or #5 seed, depending on Thug Life.  If Thug wins then it'll come down to pts scored, which at present M:R only has a 1pt lead over Thug.

4.  6Wide  Locks up the #4 seed with a win and as mentioned can still move back into the #3 seed.  If 6 Wide Loses he can move down depending on Thug Life winning.  Actually he can slide all the way to the #6 seed if he loses and both Thug Life and Clean Slate win.

5.  Thug Life.  He's sitting here at the #5 seed and can finish at a number of seed positions.  As mentioned he can move into the #3 or #4 seeds but he can also be eliminated as well. If thug life loses to Manning Vs. Food he then needs a Clean Slate loss or he's eliminated.

6. Clean Slate.  He's in if he wins.  If he loses he needs some help from Thug Life.  The only way he makes it in with a loss is if Thug beat MVF, in which case would clinch Clean Slate in the #6 Seed.

Manning Vs. Food will make the playoffs with a win against Thug Life.  It is the old Win and In scenario and playoff game #2.  Last week was his first playoff match that he happened to beat the F Philly squad, sending them packing.  He cannot make the playoffs with a loss, but a win, coupled with a Clean Slate loss would give him the #5 seed and then allowing #6 to be filled by Thug Life, who would literally back into the playoffs if this scenario occurs, which I think it will.

Cinderella Story, Dream Killer, Iron Pigs and 7 QB's deep don't even have the spoiler play to look forward to, as Cinderella plays DK and IP plays 7QB's in what amounts to playing for pride and pride alone.

F Philly though, while out of the playoff mix can affect the playoffs with a win over Mission:Repeat, so his game this week at least offers him a but of that spoiler play.

As for this weeks games themselves:

Cinderella Story Vs. Dream Killer

Dream killer is on fumes and I think McNabb will outscore some of his players this week.  Now that Vick is officially eliminated he'll have to go with Palko, which isn't very pretty against Chicago, that is, if Orton doesn't get the nod.  Cinderella 95 DK 50

Iron Pigs Vs. 7 QB's Deep

Not much to say about his one.  It looks like the Pigs have headed to the pen as he started Jay Cutler last week despite Caleb Hanie, the new starter being on the WW.  So I'll pick the 7's here.  7QB's Deep 111- Iron Pigs 94

F Philly @ Mission:Repeat

McGahee and Rice may be the keys to this game for M:R.  If these guys come up small I think F Philly takes the pleasure in spoiling M:R's aspirations of a high seeding.  But I think both those backs will do fine and see this one as.  M:R 106 F Philly 103

Repeal Obama Vs. Clean Slate

The real Cinderella Story this year has been Clean Slate, just trying to get over the AP loss.  That one injury really hurt his team as bad as any could hurt a team.  He was there, in position to beat B & T when the injury took place two weeks ago.  So now he's just clinging onto life support, heading into a game where his opponent has some of the types of match-ups you hope to have in the playoffs.  Victor Cruz has been going nuts, and I can't see how he doesn't do the same this week, but if AP doesn't go, well I can't see a possibility he scores more points than RO's top 6, not to mention he has Jordy Nelson and Laurent Robinson in his flex spots.  RO 128 Clean Slate 100

6Wide Vs. Blood & Thunder

A really good match up on paper.  Some high quality in-game matches for both teams.  This one will surely come down to the MNF game where I see B & T needing about 24 points from MJD in that one, not impossible but to be realistic, it's a pretty lofty score to need here.  6Wide 132 B& T 129

Thug Life Vs. Manning Vs. Food

This is the main event.  As big a week 13 game as you can get.  For this reason I'd like to go through each of these teams rosters:


Thug life goes with Big Ben @home for Cincinnati & VY @ Seattle  Potential points 30

MVF goes with ELI @ home for GB and Drew Brees @ home for Detroit. Potential Points 40


Thug life goes with Lloyd vs. SF, Boldin vs. Cleveland and Holmes Vs. Washington.  Potential Points 30

MVF goes with Simpson vs. Pitt, Garcon Vs. NE and Meachem Vs. Detroit.  Potential Points 15


Thug Life goes with a very questionable LeSean McCoy Vs. a very difficult Seattle run defense and Michael Turner vs. a pretty solid Texans defense.  Potential Points 36

MVF goes with Marshawn Lynch vs. a Philly run defense that gives up RB points to RB1's and Johnny White vs. Titans.  Possible Points 17

At TE:

Thug Life goes with Vernon Davis vs. STL  Possible Points 13

MVF goes with Tony Gonzalez vs. Houston Possible Points 13


Thug Life goes with W/T Denarius Moore vs. Miami, who is not listed here as questionable but I have heard from good sources that his being inactive is a possibility as of 3 hours ago.  W/R Cedric Benson vs Pitt.  Potential Points 16

MVF goes with W/T Scott Chandler vs. Tennessee and W/R Greg Jennings Vs. NYG's suspect secondary in what should be a high scoring game.  Potential Points 26

AT K and DEF:

Thug Life goes with Gould vs. KC and Giants Defense Vs. GB  Possible Total Points 4

MVF goes with Rackers vs. Atlanta and Bears Defense Vs. KC  Possible Points 20.

According to this outlook, which I'm sure will change by Sunday:

Thug Life 129

MVF 131

A couple points of advice if either team chooses to listen.  Thug Life, if I were you I'd pay the closest of attention on McCoy's status leading up to tomorrow nights game.  If he can't go, you need to have a capable backup ready to fill in. Also keep an eye on Moore, as I mentioned there are reports out there that his status is in jeopardy for Sunday.  I would probably play Hasselback vs. Buffalo if he's healthy, but then again I'm a jaded Bills fan who thinks our secondary is the worst on the planet.  I would also go get a different defense, it'll be -4 if you stick with it, which, if my outline goes right, would cost you the game.

MVF.  You can't roll with Simpson, Chandler, White, Meachem and Garcon.  I know looking at your recent transactions you don't intend to, but yeah, white can't be used, I do like the Helu and Jones pick ups as they are much better than any of your other options.  I'd scour the waiver wire for other options as well, there has to be better options out there.  I love Chandler, but he's risky, either boom or bust, but that said I might use him just the same, been missing a TE in our offense for so long, he was one of the highlights this year. Take the recommendations with a grain of salt, if you use them and you lose, just ask RO, I will not be responsible or take the blame-lol

Anyhow, I find this match-up the most intriguing, not just because it's a win and in type of game, but the fact the MVF was on fire early, loses his best 2 players and is still in this thing, pretty impressive.  Thug Life has had a great team on paper all year but as many of us know from our own rosters, variables and underperformance just sucks.

So, I think the Playoffs will shake out like this:

1. Blood & Thunder
2. Repeal Obama

3. Mission: Repeat vs. 6. Thug Life
4. 6-Wide Vs. 5. Manning Vs. Food

Enjoy the week of football

NFL Week 13 Game Predictions

With each week I continually am reminded how close the teams in the NFL are matched.  This makes picking accurately rather difficult.  I did go 11-5, including the exact score in the Viking-Falcon game last week which is pretty good about 80%, which of course improved my yearly pick record, advancing it to 117-59, which I thought brought me back up and over the .750 marker.  Yet I just realized that my math was off and I'm still a few good weeks away.  Anyhow, the five losses last week:

I was probably one of the only people insane enough to actually believe that Detroit would beat the undefeated Packers, but I made that call and the loss was all but sealed when Suh got himself ejected.

Arizona-St.Louis was one of those toss up, close type of games.  Really thought the Rams would pull it off, but Beanie Wells' 228 rushing performance and Pat Peterson's RTD sealed this one for the Cards.

Titans-Buccaneers game kind of hit me sideways.  I really thought Freeman would build off the game he had in GB the week before, but nope, didn't happen, instead Chris Johnson had his second quality game in 3 weeks.

Washington-Seattle, well I don't believe in the Skins and I thought Seattle was showing signs of life with Lynch running hard, and they had a strong Defense, or so I thought.

I have to hand it for 15, he's getting it done, and reminding me why I never missed a Gators game while he was under center.  Pretty surprised this Read Option Offense was able to outscore the Chargers.  I know they are having their issues, but Von Miller for DROY anyone?

Onto Week 13:

Thursday Night Football

Philadelphia Eagles @ Seattle Seahawks

The Eagles will be without Mike Vick again this week as the short week didn't offer enough reps in practice.  So VY will take the reigns again and he did actually look decent and then really good at times last week.  Who knows what to think about Seattle.  I can see them shutting the doors on the Eagles in this one at home, but I also can see Philly running amok.  Eagles 30  Seahawks 20

Sunday Games

New York Jets @ Washington Redskins

I know the Jets pulled off a big win last week, but Sanchez was awful.  And I say this despite his 4 TD's.  He was the sole reason the Bills were even in a position to pull this one out.  That said I'm not buying into anything being sold from Washington these days, especially when it comes to their football squad.  Jets 21  Redskins 14

Kansas City Chiefs @ Chicago Bears

Palko or Orton vs. Hanie.  NOT a pretty offensive matchup, and that's being kind.  We know Chicago's defense has been pretty solid to elite all year and KC has also shown flashes of having a very good defense as well, most recently last week limiting the Steelers to 13 points.  So I look for the team with the best Defense to win here, and at the moment I think this belongs to Chicago. Bears 13 Chiefs 9

Tennessee Titans @ Buffalo Bills

If Sunday is anything like today there could be some snow for the game, which really helps the Titans here.  The Bills are decimated on both sides of the ball with Injuries.  Yet, that said, they played a pretty good Jets Defense last week and looked good doing their thing.  They've been strong in all but one of their home games this year, and despite a blackout looming locally I think they'll perform valiantly at home again.  Bills 31 Titans 28 on a last second or OT FG

Oakland Raiders @ Miami Dolphins

The Miami feel good story came to an end in the last seconds of their Thanksgiving Day game against Dallas.  While I don't think Oakland is Dallas, I do think they are much better than those teams the Dolphins beat the several weeks prior to last Thursday.  Raiders 20 Dolphins 7

Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers

This was a close game earlier in the year.  This was the game that Cincinnati came out on fire, a fire that would die down just as quickly when AJ Green went down on his TD catch.  Yet the game stayed pretty close.  Without Joseph at CB though I think Big Ben should attack the Bengal secondary and have a big game here, giving the Steelers another victory.  Steelers 24 Bengals 14

Atlanta Falcons @ Houston Texans

I want to pick the Texans here, as they've been playing inspired defense and dishing out an amazing running game each week.  These things should continue, but they always had a few plays each game where Schaub would sling the rock, moving the chains and adding that extra dimension.  They seemed confident last week when Matt Leinart got the gig but he went down too, so now, TJ Yates, a rookie, will take the reins.  I think this glaring weakness will be enough for the Texans to fall to the up-and-coming Falcons.  Falcons 24 Texans 21

Denver Broncos @ Minnesota Vikings

AP or no AP.  It doesn't seem to matter, seeing Denver has 15 lining up for them.  Denver wins another ugly yet effective one.  Broncos 23 Minnesota 17

Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I think this will be a game that Tampa offers a heavy dose of LeGarrette Blount.  Hopefully they'll get some effective passing from Freeman.  Newton's been a bit down lately in his performance, but he's got all the talent in the world and an elite WR in Smith, so this one is really arguable in either case.  Buccaneers 28 Panthers 27

Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots

Only five more games Colts fans.  Patriots 42  Colts 13

Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns

I know Colt McCoy had a pretty good game last week but he really doesn't have any wideouts to speak of, and that is what you need to beat the Ravens.  Ravens 24 Browns 10

Green Bay Packers @ New York Giants

Will the Packers go undefeated?  That's the big question going around these days and rightfully so.  They look unbeatable and while the Giants haven't been playing quality ball since they took it to the Patriots in Foxboro, Eli Manning and Victor Cruz have shown they can put the points up each week.  GB's defense has been giving points up in large chunks as well.  So this game will be as simple as this, Can the giants keep up offensively with the packers.  I don't really see this as anything but fantasy.  Packers 42 Giants 34

Dallas Cowboys @ Arizona Cardinals

Sure the Cards look to be getting Kevin Kolb back but I can't pick them.  Beanie won't run wild against the boys and I think the Romo-led passing attack will do just that against the terrible Arizona defense.  Cowboys 35  Cardinals 14

St. Louis Rams @ San Francisco 49ers

I can't see the rams doing it this week, not after they couldn't get it done twice against the Cards.  49ers 17 Rams 6


Detroit Lions @ New Orleans Saints

Should be another fun game to watch.  Should see a lot of points scored here.  I just see the home field advantage to be the differences maker in this one.  Saints 45 Detroit 34


San Diego Chargers @ Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars just fired their coach.  They just sold their team, which seems to be staying put, and they just are horrible offensively.  They do have an above average defense and Rivers and company have struggled.  They did beat the Ravens though.  As much as I try I just can't picture MJD getting 50 carries here, which is what I think it'll take to win on MNF.  Chargers 27 Jaguars 20

Enjoy a great week of football.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fantasy Football League Week 12 Game Predictions

Week 11 solved a lot of questions and opened the door for a whole bunch more.  The final two weeks of the Fantasy regular season should be very interested as nine teams out of 12 are in this thing still.

I went 4-2 yet again last week, bringing my season record up to 41-14-2.

Going to do the post a bit different this week, so bear with me.

After Week 11 victories, Blood & Thunder, Repeal Obama and 6 Wide have clinched playoff berths.  Mission:Repeat is a virtual lock to make the playoffs, yet there is a scenario, albeit unlikely, where they fail to get their dancing card.

So we have four teams, for the most part, in already.  This leaves two spots up for grabs.  Thug Life looks like they'll make it in based on opponents and match-ups, but that said, things will get really dicy for them if they fail to produce a W this weekend.  But I'm going to include them as the fifth team, which leaves but 1 space open.

F Philly, Manning Vs Food, Cinderella Story and the current 6th seed, Clean Slate are all fighting for the final playoff slot.  And It will come down to Week 13 to settle all the dust here.

A brief rundown of events to come:

Blood & Thunder needs 1 win, either this week against DreamKiller or next week against 6 Wide to secure a first round bye.  He'll secure the first place seed by winning both, or winning one and a Repeal Obama loss.  If both teams finish with the same record it will come down to points scored, which currently are separated by I believe 12 points.

Repeal Obama doesn't clinch a bye with a win this week, but will make big strides towards that goal with a victory over 7 QB's Deep.  If he wins and 6 Wide loses he locks up the 1st round bye.  If not it'll come down to his week 13 match against Clean Slate.  He'll be watching the scoreboard as well, to see the B & T-6 Wide score, as any  6Wide loss in this scenario also locks him the 2 seed at least.  His possibility for the 1 seed was listed above.

6 Wide is in an odd situation having a tie in his record.  This tie can help him, which it already has, in regards to the playoff clinching, but it can work against him as he tries to move to a higher seed.  There are a few scenarios available to him, but to get into the first seed he needs 2 B & T losses because of that tie.  He can move into the second seed with two wins and two losses by Repeal Obama, or two wins and one loss by Repeal Obama, where points will then be the deciding factor, but he's currently more than 100 points behind in that respect.  Of course a couple of losses could push him down as well in the playoff seeding.  He plays Mission:Repeat this week and Blood & Thunder in Week 13.

Mission: Repeat is in with a win, on the virtue of the teams he would be battling for the playoff spot would be playing each other, thus knocking each other down.  If he wins this week, Yahoo may not recognize the clinching but he'll be in.  If he loses both games though things get dicy.  As he'll be looking at the scoreboard and hoping MVF or F Philly aren't the teams he's vying for a spot with as points could get interesting in such a case.  He plays 6 Wide this week which is a tough one for him and he finishes the season off against F Philly in Week 13.

Thug Life will get oh, so closer to locking up a spot with a win over Iron Pigs this week.  If needed he has the tough match-up against MVF in week 13.  As you can tell from these past few entries a lot will sort itself out over the next two weeks as teams fighting for playoff positioning are battling each other this year.  If Thug Life falls both weeks he'll probably be out, yet that's there's still a scenario for a berth if that happens, as if he finishes tied with Clean Slate, and the lowly points total they tote around, he'd win out in virtue of points.  But all this can be null if he takes care of business against the Iron Pigs this week.

Clean Slate, despite his current spot in 6th place, can't lose another game this year.  This is due to the teams around him and their match-ups, combined with the low point total his team has put up so far.  He's scored 1077 points while most teams are in the mid 1200's, meaning he'd have to outscore those teams by 250 points this week or next week, that is if he only won one of the next two weeks, and we know that scenario is next to impossible.  This all said though, if he wins his last two weeks, he'll be in.  It's really in his own hands.  But one loss and he's done.  He plays Cinderella Story this week and then Repeal Obama in Week 13, so his prospects don't look good.  The only thing that might save him, is a but on the collusion side, but it's still worth mentioning.  If RO locks up his bye this week, he could, and extremely unlikely for him to do this, he could punt week 13 if Clean Slate wins this week and is in the win and in scenario next week.  Will be interesting, but the fate is in Clean Slates hand.  And did I mention that he'll be without AP this week, and the Bills play the Jets.

Manning Vs. Food is in the 7th seed right now.  Barely outside looking in.  He plays F Philly this week, where the loser is out and the winner is still in contention.  MVF plays Thug Life next week so his future is clearly in his own hands.  Win both weeks and he's in.  Lose once and he's out.

F Philly is in the same boat as MVF. He must beat MVF this week and then beat Mission:Repeat next week.  One loss and they're done due to the various match-up scenarios involved here.  Although, if tied with Clean Slate for 6th seed, he'd get the nod because of points.

Cinderella Story is in 9th place right now.  It's truly remarkable that there is a scenario he makes the playoffs, as he's been starting McNabb each and every week and McNabb hasn't played in over a month.  Last week he picked up P. Manning, who probably won't play this year, when there were, albeit terrible options, starters available to pick up.  Instead he pulled this win off and is in position to at least have a shot to make the playoffs.  Obviously a loss in either week is a killshot.  He needs to beat Clean Slate this week and then Dream Killer next week.  Then he has to hope Clean Slate beats Repeal Obama in week 13 and that Thug Life loses both weeks with F Philly beating MVF this week and M:R beating F Philly in week 13.  If this perfect storm takes place, well then a Cinderella story this indeed would be.

Iron Pigs, Dreamkiller and 7 QB's Deep are obviously solely in the spoiler role right now, as each team has been eliminated for a few weeks now.

How I think this week will pan out.

Blood & Thunder Vs. Dreamkiller

I don't like B & T's team, yet they seem to win in outlandish mannerisms.  AP going down, S-Jax held to 3 pts, The Bills players Clean Slate had scoring 1 point for 3 players.  Really?  Anyhow I can't pick B & T, just can't.  DK gets his revenge.  119- 114

Repeal Obama Vs. 7 Qb's Deep

7 QB's have been competitive the past 4-5 weeks and should be again, yet RO should still this one out.  But, if Jordy Nelson and Megatron come up low tomorrow, we could have an interesting Sunday to watch. RO 122 7QB's 111

6 Wide Vs. M:R

Have to go six wide 118-117.  But, if Shonn Greene fails against the bills I can see it going to M:R.  I have Greene rocking out a cool 20 points against Buffalo this week

Clean Slate Vs. Cinderella Story

Too many injuries and guys on teams playing poorly will effectively end Clean Slates playoff aspirations and keep Cinderellas open a bit longer. Cinderella 1 105- Clean Slate 88

F Philly Vs. Manning Vs. Food

This is the match to watch this week.  Winner is in business as I see it.  any other week I'd take MVF 99 out of 100 times, but the perfect scenario befell F Philly.  He has half a roster full of Jets, that's a losing philosophy in and of itself....but not when they happen to be playing the Bills.  F Philly 120 MVF 115

Thug Life Vs. Iron Pigs

No cutler for Iron Pigs hurts their chances.  I can't see Thug Life losing here.  101-80

So you can figure out how things fit in to the above listed playoff scenarios.  Everyone have a happy Thanksgiving.  Enjoy the food and the games.

NFL Week 12 Game Predictions

Well my picking has been pretty consistent the past few weeks, just barely making it over the .500 hump.  This past weekend I went a paltry 9-5, bringing my yearly record up to 106-54, two games under the .750 mark.  The 5 games I picked incorrectly last week were, well, for the most part pretty terrible.

I took Buffalo to win 31-30 and they got drubbed all over the joint 35-8.  I took the Giants to rout the Eagles 28-6 and Philadelphia wound up winning 17-10.  I had St. Louis winning a close one over Seattle, who wound up routing them 24-7.

The other two losses were somewhat toss ups in terms of the score.  I actually watched most of these games and am still shocked the Jets lost to the Broncos last Thursday night, but it just shows that Tebow only needs 5 minutes to get the W.  Go figure.

Also the Jags looked in control of their game most of the afternoon, but because they have a pretty terrible offense they keep the other team in the game each and every week.  Pretty sad, as they do have a really good defense overall.

On to week 12:

Thursday Games

Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions

The Packers are looking unbeatable.  Their HC has virtually admitted this week that they're looking for the perfect season.  Stafford looked bad the past couple outings and the game that looked like it would be a great one was starting to look bleak.  Well, enter week 11, where Green Bay was in another close one and Detroit came back to life, as QB Matt Stafford threw for 5 TDs and recently re-acquired Kevin Smith brought a running game to the motor city.  I see an upset here.  A good game with a Stafford-Johnson TD in the final minute winning it. Detroit 35 GB 34

Miami Dolphins @ Dallas Cowboys

With Dallas you never know what you're going to get on any given week.  Two weeks ago they decimated the Bills in every fashion, last week they were taken to Overtime by the Redskins, a team that a few weeks back was shut out by that same Bills team.  Miami has strung 5 impressive games together, a streak that sees them on their current 3 game winning streak.  I think the streak ends tomorrow.  Dallas 31 Miami 20

San Francisco 49ers @ Baltimore Ravens

This is the hyped up Harbaugh Vs. Harbaugh game.  But both teams are pretty good and should be refreshing to see a decent game played on NFL network for once.  SF's defense is very strong, probably not a stretch to say league's best.  Baltimore has found their passing game in recent weeks.  I think the Ravens pull this one out at home.  A close one though.  Baltimore 20  SF 19

Sunday Games

Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets

I can't even go into details with this one.  The Bills look horrible again.  Go Bills, but I can't see this happening at all.  NYJ 28  Buffalo 10

Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals

Tough divisional match-up.  If AJ Green doesn't play it'll be closer, but I still think Cincinnati is the better team.  Cincinnati 23 Cleveland 16

Minnesota Vikings @ Atlanta Falcons

Again, I can't see the Vikings winning here.  They've definitely been more competitive since Ponder's taken over the QB position, but without AP this week I don't see it happening in Atlanta.  Atlanta 24 Minnesota 14

Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Tough divisional game for these two teams.  Jacksonville is pretty much out of this conversation but are still trying to play hard each week.  On the Houston side we see their star QB on IR today.  Matt Leinart gets the gig for the rest of the year and he also gets WR Andre Johnson back for this one.  While I don't think Leinart will light the world on fire, I do think he'll be good enough to continue what this team's been doing as of late, running extremely well and timely, efficient passing.  Houston 27 Jacksonville 14

Arizona Cardinals @ St. Louis Rams

This game went to overtime a few weeks ago, seeing Arizona getting the victory off of rookie CB Patrick Peterson's punt return TD.  I think St. Louis was the better team that day and think they'll be the better team this week as well.  Only difference being that they'll actually get the victory this time around.  St. Louis 15 Arizona 10

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Tennessee Titans

No clue how to pick this game.  TB looks bad almost every week, yet they play great in their loss last week to undefeated GB.  Tennessee lost their QB last week, not sure if he'll play or not this week, but I'm just going to take a wild guess that TB will build off of their performance last week and get the win here.  TB 21 Tennessee 17

Carolina Panthers @ Indianapolis Colts

This was the game many had circled for Indianapolis' first win of the year.  I don't see it that way.  Newton looked like a rookie against Detroit and they just got mauled by the Lions.  I think we see a stronger overall effort, as the Colts are that bad.  Carolina 28 Indianapolis 13

Washington Redskins @ Seattle Seahawks

Washington is another one of those erratic teams that you don't know what you'll get each week.  Seattle is not very good.  If this game was played in DC I'd pick the Skins, but it's not so I'm taking Seattle in a lopsided game, as the Seahawks are pretty good when playing at home.  Seattle 24 Washington 6

Chicago Bears @ Oakland Raiders

The Bears have put together a nice streak of games together.  However, the Cutler loss is bad.  I think Hanie will be okay for them as they year continues, but Palmer is getting better each week in Oakland and they're at home.  Oakland 28 Chicago 21

New England Patriots @ Philadelphia Eagles

I really can't stand the Patriots.  But I really dislike Mike Vick.  In any case I want the Eagles to win but see the Pats winning rather easily here.  NE 35 Philadelphia 23

Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers

I think playing 5 minutes of football on a consistent basis catches up to a team, it has to right?  In any case I think the Chargers offense will force Denver to pass the ball, so we'll see.  I like the Chargers here at home.  San Diego 28 Denver 16


Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs

Blowout Pittsburgh Style.  Pittsburgh 42 KC 3


New York Giants @ New Orleans Saints

Finally a really good matchup for MNF.  I'm looking forward to this game as both offenses have shown that they can move the ball.  However both teams have shown their not immune from bouts of the fits.  I like the home Saints here in a shoot-out.  NO 38 NYG 31

So I hope everyone has a good week of watching football and also would like to wish all my readers A Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A face in change

So I was doodling about in Art Rage and noticed the lines somewhat resembled a face, pretty simpson-esque cartooning, but yeah so i thought I'd finish the lines out a bit and then use that first face, which just so happens wasn't saved, but it's just the bottom one hear without any hair or eye coloring, and the teeth weren't put in either.  So from their I just played around with facial hair and hair itself as well as color.  Didn't spend too much time on it, but thought I'd share it, as I found it interesting how one form can take on many different forms when minor alterations are made.  Thanks.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Animalistic Distortion-Merger

Wanted to do a painting that could be viewed in a few different ways.  Not sure I really accomplished the task or not.  I can easily find the 3 animals that are contained here, but then again i'm the one that did the piece, so tell me if you can find the 3.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fantasy Football League Week 11 Game Predictions and Week 10 Recap

Well some of the mess was sorted out last week, but there still is 3 weeks left to play and anything can happen.  Nothing is set at this point and 8 teams still have a realistic shot at making the playoffs and another team is mathematically still alive yet needs some help.  I went 4-2 on my picks last week. This brought my season record to 37-21-2.

The two games I lost last week:

The F Philly comeback was one for the ages.  Iron Pigs seemingly had this one in the bag, but then came the Jets Vs. Patriots game and all momentum shifted in favor of F Philly.  In the end F Philly kept themselves alive in the postseason hunt and effectively ended the Iron Pigs chances of seeing a playoff game.

Blood & Thunder keeps winning these games he has no business pulling off.  Yes, you could say "what to do expect, he played 7QB's Deep," but the 7 Qb's have been playing some good ball the past few weeks and lost a few games earlier in the year that they probably should have one.  While B & T did score 128 points, tied for the most this past week, he has his problems, with a underachieving receiving corps and some iffy QB play as of late.  The game was close 16 points separating the two teams heading into the Vikings-Packers game on MNF.  Late in the third quarter B & T's lead was down to 10 points and B & T Qb Christian Ponder dropped back to pass.  The rookie let the ball go and it hit GB legend Charles Woodson square in the gloves.  There wasn't anyone in his way the rest of the field.  It was a pick six.  An easy pick six.  Yet, just as Julio Jones hamstring prevented points scored for the 7QB's, Woodson dropped the ball here, literally.  That was a 10 point play.  Who knows what would have happened after that if that play had actually occurred.  Lucky, yes, really lucky, hell yes.

On to Week 11.

Blood & Thunder Vs. Clean Slate

The Slate team has dropped another game and saw his security cushion fall to the wayside.  He's now jumbled in the mass of teams fighting for playoff space.  Luckily for him B & T's best players are on bye this week.  If you take last weeks scoring, that's 45 points off the B & T scorecard.  Sure, some crazy play could happen.  Reggie Bush could go off again and newly acquired Damian Williams could have a big game, but B & T doesn't look to be in a winning scenario right now.  Clean Slate pulls away here.  Clean Slate 110 B & T 99

Repeal Obama Vs. Iron Pigs

Too many byes and other problems for the pigs here.  Not much analysis to do with this one.  RO 105 Pigs 75

7QB's Deep Vs. Cinderella Story

If Cinderella is ever going to find that slipper she lost, it will have to start this week.  I mentioned I would never pick 7 QB's again, well I guess I lied.  7 QB's impressed me with his recent play and should win this one out of karma alone.  7 QB's 114 Cinderella Story 94

Mission Repeat Vs. DreamKiller

No dreams being killed here.  Perhaps prolonging M:R's agony, as his team is wavering greatly.  M:R 109 DK 68

6Wide Vs. Manning Vs. Food

MVF needs to pull off another one to keep pace.  He is a deadly team, but without Bradshaw he's just another team.  He needs to bide his team, inch into the playoffs and hope Bradshaw is back in time for another run at this thing.  6Wide pulled off a blockbuster deal with DreamKiller and the results were felt instantly, as Tony Romo had a great game and Chris Johnson, with the change of scenery, looks back. I think this continues.  6Wide 107 MVF 105.  But, if MVF finds suitable replacements for his bye week holes, another story might be told.

Thuglife Vs. F Philly

Thug life needs a replacement for Big Ben.  If he finds someone I think he pulls this one off.  He'll actually have a good idea what he needs to do later tonight, as half the F Philly roster plays tonight.  I'm assuming Thuglife will make the necessary adjustments and pull this squeaker of a game out.  ThugLife 108 F Philly 105

See you for Week 12.

NFL Week 11 Game Predictions and Week 10 Recap

So we had a full slate of NFL games last week.  I went 10-6, which is pretty good considering the upsets and blowouts that went down last week. My record for the season is now 97-49, one game below .750.  I'd like to finish the season above .750 so I'll have to pull off some quality weeks in the next 7, including here in week 11.

The 6 games I missed last week were:

Last Thursday Game really shocked me.  I knew both teams weren't playing all that well, but around this time is when SD traditionally kicks it up a gear.  Falling to the Raiders hurts SD.  Luckily nobody is really out of it yet in the west as nobody seems to want to go ahead and pull away from the pack.  Even Denver's back into the fray.

The Titans blowout of the Panthers came out of nowhere.  Tennessee hadn't been playing all that well and in Carolina, you had a team that was in the majority of their games, largely in part to the spectacular play of rookie QB Cam Newton.  But Chris Johnson finally came to life last week and the team played extremely well in all areas of the game.

The Chicago game stunned me.  Not as in the game went Chicago's way, but in the manner it played out, a manner that saw Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson completely out of sync and with Stafford tossing a handful of picks.

The other two losses were Arizona over Philly and Seattle over Baltimore, just two favorites not showing up to play.  It happens every week, especially in a league where in most cases things are pretty close considering.

On to Week 11.

Thursday Night Football

NY Jets @ Denver Broncos

The Broncos are back in the hunt for the AFC West title and the Jets, despite their blowout last Sunday Night are still only 1 game back of the East lead.  I really don't know how to pick this game.  Logic tells me to go with the Jets, as they are the better team.  My heart tells me to go with the Broncos, as I love the Read Option, and despite everyone saying how running the ball 55 times in a game is overkill, I like the way Tebow runs it.  That said, I think the defensive mind of Rex Ryan will solve the Broncos running game and force Tebow to throw on them, which he may be able to do.  I just don't see it happening tonight.  Sanchez should be able to drive his team just enough times to win this game, even without LT in the mix.  NY Jets 20 Denver 16

Oakland Raiders @ Minnesota Vikings

I don't see the Vikings offense play as poorly as they did on Monday Night Football against the Pack, but I don't think they'll be able to keep up with Palmer and Moore.  Still no DMC, but outside of fantasy it doesn't really matter, as Bush is getting it done on the ground.  I look for a close game until midway through the third quarter, when the Raiders will pull away in this one.  Oakland 28 Minnesota 17

Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins

Really a tale of two teams here.  Buffalo started off the season on a tear, and if it weren't for some terrible officiating in the Bengals game and some bad breaks in the Giants game they could've been undefeated going into their game against the Jets.  Well they weren't, and they played like a terrible team, not only 2 weeks ago at home against the Jets, but even worse last week in Dallas.  Miami on the other hand has played some sound football the past 4 weeks, losing in the last couple minutes to Denver on Tebow's theatrics and then giving the Giants game away late in the third.  They followed those two performances with wins against KC and Washington and now have a reeling and injury plagued Bills team to contend with.  I easily could see the Dolphins adding another blowout to the Bills record, but I just think F-Jax and Fitzmagic will come to play this week, even if Stevie Johnson doesn't play.  Bills win in a close one.  Buffalo 31 Miami 30

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Cleveland Browns

The Browns are not very good and they have their own problems.  The Jags aren't very good and they have their own problems.  But, Jacksonville has a pretty good defense and they have MJD to pound the rock.  Jacksonville 21 Cleveland 14

Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati lost a close one to Pittsburgh last week and the Ravens got beat by a Seattle team in a game they easily should've won.  The Ravens tend to rebound after poor efforts against weaker teams and I see no reason why this trend won't continue this week at home against the Bengals.  Baltimore 21 Cincinnati 17

Carolina Panthers @ Detroit Lions

Could be a fun game.  We get to see how Newton reacts to a poor performance and the same can be said with Stafford.  I think Detroit takes this game to the Panthers and finishes them off early and often.  If they don't they may be in serious jeopardy of falling out of the wild card race.  Detroit 37 Carolina 24

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Green Bay Packers

I'm never picking against Aaron Rodgers and the Pack.  They are the real deal and may not lose this year.  The Buccaneers are not in sync and I can't fathom a way they right their pirate ship this week in Green Bay.  Green Bay 35 Tampa Bay 9

Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins

Anything can happen with this rivalry.  But seriously I'm not picking the Redskins in any shape or form.  Dallas 30 Washington 13

Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49'ers

I'm sold on the Niners defense.  They do just enough offensively to get the wins.  The Cardinals don't scare me here.  Not against the Niners defense.  San Francisco 22 Arizona 12

Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams

I think we get a sloppy game here, not in terms of weather of course but in execution of offense.  I can see Marshawn Lynch having a big game here, but I still think the Rams pull it off, at home, with another week behind Bradford.  St. Louis 17 Seattle 14

Tennessee Titans @ Atlanta Falcons

Could be another good game.  That is, if the Titans play like they did last week.  I do see points scored here but I think the Falcons will come away victorious here.  Atlanta 28 Tennessee 23

San Diego Chargers @ Chicago Bears

I wanted to take the Chargers here, and if they are thinking about getting into the mix for their division they kind of have to.  But I just love the way Lovie Smith has his defense playing and the Chargers can be passed upon.  Look for a big game out of Jay Cutler and Matt Forte in this one.  Chicago 27 San Diego 21

Sunday Night Football

Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants

Will Vick play?  That's the big question.  But if he doesn't who will start Kafka or Young?  I don't think it matters either way.  If the Eagles have a chance at winning this game they need Mike Vick.  I don't see him playing and I see the Giants win this one in a rout.
NYG 28 Philadelphia 6

Monday Night Football

Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots

Tyler Palko will be your KC starting QB.  He'll be going against Tom Brady.  Nuff said.  NE 49  KC 10

Pittsburgh, Houston and New Orleans get their Bye this week.  And for Colts fans, thankfully so does Indianapolis.

Enjoy a great weekend of football and don't forget that there's a game on NFL Network tonight, Jets @ Broncos.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fantasy Football League Week 10 Game Predictions

I only went 3-3 last week as a couple shocking developments cost me two wins.  My season record is now at 33-19-2.  The 3 games I lost:

Blood & Thunder pulled off a stunning upset against Repeal Obama.  RO's GM was fully at ease when Miles Austin went down after a couple of big catches.  But he wasn't counting on the John Skelton and Reggie Bush Factors.  B & T pulled off an 11 point upset, where Skelton gained an improbable 13 points and Bush got the unlikely total of 21 points to secure the underdog victory.

But that game didn't nearly match the magnitude of upset as the winless 7QB's deep 147 to 137 win against Mission:Repeat.  M:R had guys going off all over the place, but so did 7QB's.  Very shocking as the 7QB's only scored 43 points the week earlier.  Also there was the interesting development of a trade that was accepted between Repeal Obama and 7QB's on Friday Night.  7QB's shipped Rivers off to RO for Murray and Alex Smith.  The trade would've pulled a 3 point off for RO instead of the 11 point loss, and a 3 point win over M:R for 7QB's.  The interesting development was that, which I have on good information, that Rivers was informed of this trade just minutes before kickoff.  It's rumored that Rivers called the 7QB's owner personally during warmups, where he apologized for stinking the joint up all year, and vowed to put forth his best effort of the year.  That in fact he did.

Thug Life pulled off a late win over DreamKiller who has since been working the phones, trying to secure some keeper trades before tomorrow's deadline.

On to this weeks action, where there are some huge implications on the line here:

F Philly Vs. Iron Pigs

The Pigs season is virtually done with, after suffering some tough upsets early.  F Philly has reeled lately but they are still in the hunt for a playoff spot, but need to win 3 of the next 4 to have a chance.  If they lose this week they'll need to win out.  I think the pigs put em down this week. Iron Pigs 118 F Philly 111

Manning Vs Food Vs. Dreamkiller

Depending on what DK's team looks like this week it could be a nailbiter for MVF.  MVF is in the same boat as F Philly, needing 3 of 4 to have a shot at the playoffs, but I see him pulling this one out.  MVF 122 DK 115

Repeal Obama Vs. Cinderella Story

Cinderella story needs a win or for all likely purposes they are toast as far as playoffs go.  They need to win out.  While RO is still sitting in pretty good shape I think they'd like to stop the bleeding after seeing an undefeated team drop 3 of 4 weeks.  They've made some serious moves to address their apparent weaknesses.  The previously mentioned Rivers trade offers huge upside potential as does the acquisition of Roddy White from 6 Wide.  White has been overshadowed by the emergence of Julio Jones but has elite potential in his DNA.  He paid the price to get him though, bailing on Shonn Greene to secure the elite Wideout.  I don't like Greene long term, but I think this deal helps both teams immensely.  RO needed another elite WR to accompany Megatron, while 6Wide needed a number one back.  While Greene is lacking when compared to other number 1 backs, he plays many of the rest of his games in the cold, which we all know is RB weather.
RO stops the bleeding in a mercy killing of Cinderella.  RO 110 Cinderella Story 98

6Wide Vs. Thug Life

Must win game for both teams.  While both probably only need 2 of 4 to secure a playoff spot, the winner here will have the upper hand at snaring one of the six seeds.  Should be a tough one, and a high scoring contest to boot.  6 Wide 126 Thug 119

Blood & Thunder Vs. 7 QB's Deep

I've picked against B & T and 7 QB's all year.  I guess I have to pick one here.  I'll go with the upset of all upsets. 7 QB's goes back to back with an unlikely Julio Jones/DeMarco Murray explosion.  B & T is a team that looked elite on paper early, but is only where they are at for hitting the right teams at the right times, making a great use of waiver wire pickups and yes, getting lucky from the TE, K and Defense positions throughout the year.  7 QB's 133 B & T 132

Clean Slate Vs. Mission Repeat

Game of the week.  This game matters in the same fashion as 6Wide Vs. Thug life.  But I can easily see the loser of this game as the odd man out of playoff contention, as they're matchups moving forward and opponents don't look all that favorable.  Unfortunately we have yet another tightly spun game that will hinge on two factors for each team. Will Clean Slate get a huge game out of the Fitzmagic to D Nelson connection, where Nelson will be playing, for the first time all year, in front of his girlfriend, who just happens to be a Dallas cheerleader.  Or does the Denver domination continue for M:R who is starting Tebow and McGahee both, not only with confidence, but expecting huge games from both of these guys.  I like the matchup against KC much better for M:R than I do the Dallas matchup for CS.  M:R 103 CS 101

Enjoy a great week of fantasy football.

NFL Week 10 Game Predictions

Well, in week 9, I posted a terrible 8-6 mark.  I didn't compare past weeks performance, but I am fairly confident this record is my lowest for any of the weeks thus far.  Including last week, my record now stands at 87-43, still slightly above .750, yet 8-6 was very disappointing.

The games I missed on:

Jets over Bills:  Never saw this one coming.  I knew it was a possibility, in fact I thought the teams would split, but I had the loss coming in Jersey.

Denver over Oakland.  Willis McGahee was huge and Tebow came up big in the read option John Fox is running now in Denver.  It's funny, because as poorly Denver began the season, they are now right in the thick of things, only 1 game back of the other teams in the division, who at present are all 4-4.

Arizona over St. Louis.  I believe I said that I thought this game could have gone either way, but went with St. Louis based off their impressive win one week earlier.  Good for the Cards to pull one out the way the did, OT punt return by Peterson was impressive.

Baltimore over Pittsburgh.  Another close one.  I thought it could have gone either way, but with home field advantage and the way the teams had been playing leading up to this one, I didn't think the Steelers would lose.  I was wrong

NY Giants over NE patriots.  I really thought Brady and Co. would come out strong after losing the week before, but they didn't until late.  That comeback drive by Eli Manning was impressive, and as a Bills fan I'm glad it ended the way it did.

Chicago over Philadelphia.  Kind of shocked about this one, I really thought the Eagles would play better, especially Vick, but Cutler and Bennett impressed.

On to Week 10 and a full slate of 16 games:

Thursday Night Football

Oakland Raiders @ San Diego Chargers

First Thursday Night game of the year.  Both teems reeling a bit after back to back losses.  I like the raiders and Palmer long term, but I think the learning curve is great, especially with no DMC.  Rivers had an excellent game down the stretch last week, just coming short against powerhouse GB, so I expect they build upon that here.
San Diego 28 Oakland 20

Buffalo Bills @ Dallas Cowboys

I'd like to pick the Bills here, and with Miles Austin out they do have a better chance than with him in there, but they need to stop DeMarco Murray.  That's the key here, as I think the improved Dallas defense holds F-Jax, Fitz and Co. in relative check this week.  I see a close one, but unfortunately with Dallas winning at home.  Dallas 31 Buffalo 28

Tennessee Titans @ Carolina Panthers

I should probably take the Titans here, but I like what Newton is doing and I see some mismatches with Stewart and Smith against the Titans Defense.  Carolina 21 Tennessee 17

Houston Texans @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Who knows what Tampa offense we get this week.  It's tough to predict.  But what's not to predict is how well the Texans are running the football.  They probably get Andre Johnson back this week, but even if they hold him out another week I see a Houston victory likely here. Houston 31 Tampa Bay 20

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts

Jags win easily.  MJD all day long.  Additionally I like the Jags defense here, they are underrated and should come up big against a Colts team that is not playing well at all.  Jacksonville 27 Indianapolis 13

Arizona Cardinals @ Philadelphia Eagles

Cards get Kolb back most likely, but Eagles will abuse the Arizona secondary and take revenge on their MNF performance.  Vick, Maclin, Jackson and McCoy-start em' with confidence in your fantasy leagues this week.  Philadelphia 34 Arizona 13

St. Louis Rams @ Cleveland Browns

I think this should be the lowest scoring game of the week.  I am tempted to take the Browns at home, but I'm going with St. Louis, as the Bradford to Lloyd connection should just keep getting stronger after a game and a week of practice are now in the books.  Look for a close one though.  St. Louis 13 Cleveland 10

Washington Redskins @ Miami Dolphins

Tale of two teams.  Redskins started hot and are now like ice, and not in a good way.  Miami was terrible and then the flip switched against the Giants.  Yes, they lost that game, but they figured out how to use Reggie Bush and it showed again in KC last week, where they got their first win.  Probably too late for anything this year, but they'll beat the Skins at home.  Miami 21 Washington 10

Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs

Who knows with KC, but I like the read option Tebow led Broncos a lot now and see this game as a rout.  Denver 34 KC 17

New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons

Tough Divisional Match-up.  Atlanta at home makes a lot of sense, but I think Brees and Co. will keep it going this week in a close one, where a lot of points are put up.  NO 33 Atlanta 28

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals

I guess we find out if Cincinnati is for real or not this week.  I think they are, but not up to Pittsburgh's status yet.  Big Ben is slinging the ball all around and will have a tough test against an NFL top defense, but I think they'll do enough to get it done.  Pittsburgh 17 Cincinnati 14

New York Giants @ San Francisco 49'ers

Wow I am really looking forward to this game.  The Cinderella darling niners, where I have to believe Harbaugh is a strong leader for coach of the year right now.  What a defense.  Should be interesting to see how it fares against a pretty hot Giants offense.  I think the Giants pull it out in San Fran.  NYG 26 SF 18

Baltimore Ravens @ Seattle Seahawks

I don't care how great Lynch and Rice are playing.  I can't pick them, even with an above average home defense and a schizophrenic QB in Flacco going against them.  I like Baltimore on the road.
Baltimore 34 Seattle 9

Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears

Detroits rested but they may be without their kicker Hanson.  Could be a big deal as I see this game going back and forth for three quarters, with the visitors pulling it out in the 4th.  Detroit 35 Chicago 31

Sunday Night Football

New England Patriots @ NY Jets

I know the Jets just one a huge game last week and the Pats have dropped two straight.  I'm just not a believer in the Jets offense.  We know the NY defense is great but they can be ran on and Brady is Brady.  I see a good game for the first half with NE making the proper adjustments at halftime and owning the second half of play.  NE 27 NYJ 21

Monday Night Football

Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings

Rookie QB Christian Ponder almost pulled off the upset of upsets in his first ever start, coming close to tying the game late, and that was on the road.  Green Bay has been dominating teams early and letting them back in the game late.  I can't see the Vikings shocking the world here but it should be very much like their first go round.  GB 35 Minnesota 28

Enjoy a full slate of football, and don't forget about tonights game.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas

So, after wasting three hours watching a truly pitiful performance from my Bills, I needed to get my mind to another place; to cheer it up a bit.  So, with that in mind, I thought, what better way than to catch the new Harold & Kumar film.  A bit of mindless comedy was certainly what I needed.

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, is, well what you’d expect it to be.  It is filled with misadventures, drug use, sexual innuendo and a whole bunch of other slacker-inspired attributes.  But it’s funny, really funny. 

I’m assuming you’ve seen the other Harold & Kumar films.  Therefore I’ll simply say that you’re going to get a whole lot of the same type of humor and antics displayed in the previous efforts. 

What I’d first like to talk about is the use of the 3D technology.  I’ve been waiting for a film to take full advantage of 3D, and finally, of all the movies, the best use of this technology is on full display here in Harold & Kumar’s latest offering.  The 3D is at a constant throughout the film, with countless instances of goo, eggs, hands, canes, snowflakes and so forth, escaping the screen, seemingly inches from your face.  This factor alone made the film worth seeing, but there are a few other reasons to see this movie as well.

Briefly, the film is chock full of references to other movies, animation and live action, television shows, music, current events and more.  I won’t detail them all, but will say they poke fun at everything and anyone.  There’s countless stereotypical slants shown in different lights; there are countless knocks on the characters themselves as well.  In Neil Patrick Harris’ brief cameo in this film he says he’s not really Gay, that he only uses it as a front to get more women, obviously using different terminology.  There is also another instance where Adrian, Kumar’s “friend,” tells him that he told this girl that Kumar worked for the white house, to which Kumar replies, “yeah, who’d ever believe that,” a subtle yet obvious allusion to Kal Penn’s previously held role in the Obama administration.

But these types of things we’ve come to expect from the lovable stoners.  In this film however, there are two serious themes underlining the entire project. 

The main theme is how true friendship is incredibly important and can endure any problem that comes along the way, including major philosophical differences on love and life.  Time is of no consequence either when it comes to true friendship.  You can pick up where you last left off, despite the number of years since last seeing one another.  This type of thematic is threaded throughout the film and while spun in their particular ways of doing things, the idea is portrayed wonderfully.

The second theme I’d like to talk about is how the idea of family, particularly parenting is everywhere throughout this film.  In fact, with the amount of attention paid to this theme, I’d be inclined to suggesting it is in fact the main theme of A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas.  This theme is evidenced by:

1.            The idea of familial love:
A.     Harold’s father in-law, played by Danny Trejo, is an     intimidating man that strikes holy fear into Harold.  He thinks his wife’s father simply hates him, but as it turns out, he’s only acting in such a way to ensure his daughter is in good hands, of a man that truly loves here and will do what is needed to make her happy.
B.     There is a scene where the girl that Adrian is trying to “hook-up” with is caught in a precarious position just as her father walks into the room.  This father just happens to be a well-publicized crime boss and sociopath.  He proceeds to put hits out on Harold, Kumar and the rest of the people at the party.  As twisted as this may sound, he did it for the love of his daughter; that he’d do anything to protect her.
C.     Harold and his wife are trying hard to have a baby, which is offset by Kumar inadvertently impregnating his on again, off again girlfriend.  While Harold is shown as ready to take on the responsibility of parenthood, yet not in a position to add that role to his daily duties, Kumar is not ready, still living the immature lifestyle of the slacker-stoner, yet he is the one with this very real responsibility staring him in the face. 
D.     There’s a season, while Harold & Kumar are tripping out, where the duo are warped into a reality consisting solely of Claymation.  In this scene you see a moment where they are, while exaggerated to the nth degree, affection with a young boy they see as a squirrel in the tripping sequence, thus illustrating, albeit in an unorthodox manner, that they are there for that kid, as the evil snowman comes to kill them. 
E.     The protection of children aspect continues.  The duo is in Neil Patrick Harris’ dressing room when he is giving impromptu “acting” lessons to a beautiful dancer.  He is acting wildly inappropriate and eventually she leaves.  But the aside shows Harold & Kumar, while curious as to what will happen next, are disgusted and feel like they must do something to protect the girl from NPH’s appalling behavior.  The fact that they didn’t need to take action is not of importance, it’s that this disgust appeared in them, which shows they are moving closer to the point they’ll need to arrive at, in order to become the responsible and caring parents their “quest” demands.
F.      There’s a saying that any couple trying to have kids should get a pet, particularly a dog, first.  Apparently there is some real scientific data to suggest that pet ownership is a verified primer to parenthood.  While not a pet, Kumar does take offense to NPH’s berating of his waffle-bot.  NPH proceeds to give the wafflebot to him, which Kumar then agrees to this “adoption.”  Throughout the rest of the movie the robot is seen as a surrogate child to Kumar, where mutual “love” is clearly illustrated.  This step furthers Kumar’s transformation from loser-slacker-stoner to responsible-“adult”-parent.
G.     The converse is shown as well.  Todd, a friend of Harold’s, who happens upon this misadventure, has his baby with him.  While innocent in the regards that he personally, didn’t play any role in what happens to the child throughout the film, which I’m purposely withholding as to not spoil it, he’s also guilty of being a bad parent.  He’s guilty because a good parent would never accept a situation where his daughter would enter into situations that aren’t appropriate, let alone dangerous.  But because of his desperate need of friendship and his “pushover” personality he gives in to Harold & Kumar and join, with his daughter, on this much inappropriate journey.

Kumar grows up throughout the film and by the end you can see his maturity, sort of, as fully developed, where he’s reconciled his past life with his future life and in so doing he’s prepared to handle the responsibility of his current life.

Harold grows up throughout the film as well, but in an entirely different manner.  He starts off as the adult, but in so doing a part of him, a part that is still very real to him, is being repressed, and therefore he must learn to take control of his current situation, stand up for himself to his father-in-law, reconcile with his friend and bring back the part of his life he cast aside, the part that was missing.  It’s no coincidence either, that at the very end of the film, after all the atonement has taken place, that he’s presented with the news that his wife is now pregnant as well.

I was actually amazed I saw this theme in this film.  It came completely out of the blue and took me decisively by surprise.  Yet, after thinking about it for a bit, should it really have been that big of a surprise?  After all, the film is about Christmas, and what greater story about parenting is there?

Harold & Kumar deliver yet again.  Is A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas unorthodox, crude, and inappropriate for most audiences? Yes, but its also really funny and surprisingly endearing as well.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tower Heist

There are those movies that live up to their billing.  Then there are those that sneak up on you, throw you a curve ball so to speak, in either a positive or negative manner.  Then you have those films that are just there.

Tower Heist is one of the latter.  With a story snagged from the headlines, a decent plot and a strong cast, a structure was certainly in place.  I’ve found through my years of watching movies, trying to get myself into this world and simply analyzing the heck out of everything I watch, that this particular layout I’ve described can move in one of three directions, which, in part, mirrors reaction itself, in a microcosmic sense.  While current events are a popular idea to play with, it’s rather difficult to catch the timing properly and is a feat accomplished more easily when working on a small-screened project.  Decent plot is almost a given in a good movie and a strong cast, doesn’t have to be one comprised of A-listers but typically this is the initial direction our minds take us when hearing that a film has a strong cast. 

So really what is this all about?  The current events angle is a positive, no matter how you cut it, unless, of course, you’re working on a period piece, but that’s not the discussion at hand.  The Plot will be looked into in a moment.  It’s the cast that creates the most interesting angle of exploration. 

I’ve found that ensemble casts, where big names coexist, regardless of the scale, are either put together out of happenstance, which is highly unlikely these days or as an attempt to increase the likelihood marketing will be a success.   While marketing and increasing the number of tickets sold are obvious in their importance, for profitability as well as exposure, it’s also an expensive way to cover up flaws and glaring weaknesses.  Unfortunately this explanation for the big name casts seems to be the primary reason whenever ensembles are seen.

Tower Heist has this ensemble thing going for it, although not your typical gathering of A-list talent.  I would say that the cast here is built around two main stars (Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller), and then surrounded by an extensive list of B to A- stars (Casey Affleck, Matthew Broderick, Judd Hirsch, Tea Leoni, Michael Pena, and Alan Alda), which seems to be enough to add a bit of box office pop yet not taking any real headlines away from your two big names.  I do believe that if you’re looking to maximize your film’s star power, then doing it in a similar manner to the casting done in Tower Heist, seems to be a smart and effective manner of going about it.

Tower Heist tells the story of how an upscale apartment complex for the wealthy elite in NYC is sent into a whirlwind when the Tower’s most prominent resident is arrested for operating a Ponzi scheme and is confined to house arrest.  Meanwhile it turns out that all the characters who work at the tower have been affected by this scheme, some more than others.  Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller), as apartment manager, takes full responsibility for these people’s losses and it’s this guilt, spurred by a coworker, and friend, Lester’s attempt at suicide after being scammed of his life savings, that sends him into action mode.

The movie then moves into filling in the plot pieces.  Tea Leonia plays an FBI agent, who takes a liking to Kovacs, where she winds up informing him that Arthur Shaw (Alda) has to have approximately 20 million dollars stashed away somewhere.  It’s this piece of information that sends Kovacs on his mission, an inciting incident so to speak.  He feels the responsibility for his employees and friend’s loss, and vows to do what it takes to get it back for them. 

He enlists the help of Mr. Fitzhugh (Broderick), a character who’s fallen on tough times and was recently evicted from the Tower, Enrique (Pena), a new employee who, along with Charlie (Affleck), Kovac’s brother-in-law, were fired for being there when Josh has a meltdown during a confrontation with Shaw.  But this assembly of criminals-to-be are rather pathetic in regards to criminal aptitude, therefore Josh must turn to Slide (Murphy), a guy he just happens to know who seems to be extremely proficient in all things thief-worthy.

The story moves on with the plot falling into place, a few antics along the way, but not enough of what you’d expect out of Murphy and Stiller.  In fact the film hardly highlights them at all, Murphy is not used properly and for all intents and purpose, Stiller’s just a guy in this film. 

There are funny moments, the best being where the inept thieves are prompted by Slide into stealing $50 dollars worth of merchandise from the mall, that really highlights the awkward and inexperience these men have in this regards.  The majority of the other funny parts to this film are hinted at in the trailers.

The film is a film you’ll enjoy watching while immersed in this world.  But it’s also a film you’ll think poorly upon hours after watching it, realizing it didn’t nearly live up to it’s potential and really, in retrospect, left a lot to be desired.  The main problems are the underutilization of Stiller and Murphy and the unlikelihood of this scheme working out.  Normally I suspend my disbelief and let things be as they are, but without risking a spoiler, the man heist is just, well, seemingly impossible, especially by this crew of misfit thieves.

As for the acting, in itself it wasn’t bad.  The problem wasn’t necessarily with the actors themselves, but simply for what each actor had to work with.  The best performances are by Alda, Hirsch, Leoni and Gabourney Sidibe (From Precious).  Each of these actors seemed to bring their particular characters more to life, with each offering a bit of something extra to the film as a whole, something that the others simply can’t say.

What I liked about the film was the story ripped from the headlines, and what this particular headline exposes.  Shaw is by all intents and purposes an elitist scumbag that feeds off the hopes of the downtrodden and economically deprived.  He takes everything they have and doesn’t blink an eye.  The fact that he has seen these folks on a daily basis for over 10 years says another matter altogether, this man doesn’t think twice about stealing from those close to home and it easily could be presumed that he’d steal from his own family if it came down to it.  For Shaw, it’s all a game.  He doesn’t care who he hurts because they are all expendable, replaceable to him.  I also found it interesting how this character was set to walk away from his charges, a point that offers a bit of fear for how the legal system works in general, let alone when it’s obvious to all that a crime has indeed been committed. 

Overall the film is fine. You’ll probably enjoy it as you’re watching it, but it won’t be something you’ll think about chatting up to friends or colleagues.  It’s an ok movie, nothing special, with its compliment of flaws.  Is it worth seeing?  Sure, but if I had the opportunity to do it over, well I’d wait until It hit the $2 dollar cinema or for its release on Blu-Ray.