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The Heretic

Member Since 24 Dec 2004
Offline Last Active Today, 01:02 AM

Topics I've Started

Black Mirror

16 January 2015 - 05:55 PM

God Bless Charlie Brooker. :cheers:

Last year I started watching this wicked satire Black Mirror and immediately fell in love.

Dystopian stories where technological advances haven't the slightest impact on immutable human nature, except reveal deeper and darker layers.

This thread is meant to discuss the larger issues contained in the anthology.

If you haven't had the pleasure, go see it ASAP and let the Johnathan Swift of the 21st century work his magic. :thumb:

NFL 2015 Playoffs Conference Championship Round picks

15 January 2015 - 11:24 PM

2-2, WTF? Let that be a lesson for you all gamblers -- don't play it safe and pick favorites. But then again what do I know? :whatever:

Packers @ Seahawks (-7.5)

The number one offense vs. the number one defense. History tells us that defense beats offense but then again -- history teaches us that we never learn from history. :doh:

QB Rodgers is hobbled, but he managed to pull the fat out of the fire last week vs a nearly unstoppable Dallas team. Then again, the Seahawks are working on a historic defense, and at the most inhospitable home field in the NFL.

Seattle by 4

Colts @ Patriots (-6.5)

The upstart vs. the veteran champion.

The Colts did beat the Broncos in a classic "passing the Torch" game. Do they have another upset in the making? Smart money says no, because the Patriots are superior to the Broncos -- stronger defense, genius coach and playoff tested veterans.

New England by 6

NFL 2015 Playoffs Divisional Round

07 January 2015 - 07:43 AM

A solid opening weekend, but the only thing we will remember is that picked up penalty flag. If the referee blew it, we all would just be disappointed, but this gave conspiracy wonks free license to bang their drums 24/7. Cue the joke: “I went to an NFL game and suddenly an NBA game broke out!”

Ah well, I will settle for 3-1. :cheers:

Ravens @ Patriots (-6.5)
Patriots fans must be getting tired of getting the Ravens in the playoffs by now. This is the fourth time in the last six years, and the Ravens beat them twice at Foxboro. Should've been three if Cundiff hit that gimmie in 2011. The Pats are quite solid on defense, but the Ravens are actually versatile on offense – Flacco is the best deep ball QB in the league. WR Smith will fire up the Ravens just like Ray Lewis of old did. However, the Patriots' TE Gronkowski is nearly unstoppable, and CB Revis can shut down any WR. Right now I'm leaning towards the Patriots, but take the points.
Baltimore +6.5

Panthers @ Seahawks (-10.5)
The Panthers totally stoned the Cards cold – on both offense and defense. It's just too bad that they're headed to the most overwhelming homefield in the NFL at the Century Link. Locals are setting up seismographs to record potential Beast Quakes. But that Vegas line is just way too high – take the points.
Seattle by 6

Cowboys @ Packers (-6.5)
Yes, the Packers haven't lost at home, but neither have the Cowboys on the road this season. Moreover, they have the right antidote to the best QB in the NFL: a powerful running game that can bleed the clock dry and limit Rodgers' opportunities. He will shred the Cowboys' defense, but the Packers aren't as dominant as the Lions were at the line of scrimmage last week. QB Romo will pull out a clutch win – the Cowboys have been this lucky all year.
Dallas by 3

Colts @ Broncos (-7)
Plenty of people are picking this as the upset game, but Broncos are even more invincible at home than either the Patriots or the Packers. The Colts are the proverbial good bad team – they can beat anyone worse than them, but they struggle against the true contenders. QB Luck is probably by now the superior QB to Manning, but he still needs seasoning. Moreover, that Broncos defense is superior to last year's version.
Denver by 9

Best anime of 2014

02 January 2015 - 08:21 AM

Another tough year down the drain. There were several deserving shows, regardless of the endless flow of mediocrity, and they deserve a mention.

Space Dandy

One of the all-time greatest creators in anime, Shinichirō Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo) returned with a fantastic premise in experimentation: start with a ragtag bunch of bounty hunters (Dandy, Meow, and QT) and throw them into impossible scenarios, and then... reset each episode, wipe it clean for the next one. This is anthology done right as each episode became a showcase for the top animators, directors and writers in the business. That did recycle the overall shtick, but somehow, each episode managed to shoot for the highest peaks in blending or bending genre, mixing parodies and homages. I often applaud creativity over technical execution, especially when ambition and originality plays a huge factor in this surreal and over-the-top series. You could say Space Dandy "saved" anime in 2014, but truth be told - there wasn't much to save in the end. Both whimsical and great, Space Dandy would've been a strong contender in any other year, because there's absolutely nothing like it.


Kill la Kill

Anime is an unique medium that isn't as grounded in mimicry or verisimilitude - and that means the creators should push its boundaries every time, exploit the medium without respect to realism in the slightest. And Kill la Kill is the latest exponent of this philosophy, in a long line that dates back to Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and FLCL - a madcap, hyper-kinetic spectacle with a barely coherent plot and outsized, totally outrageous characters. Absolutely zero filler episodes means this show had impeccable pacing. Admittedly, there were plenty of fan-service-y innuendo and inside baseball jokes (many of the puns are based on Japanese words), so many of the references might fly over your head. Competently animated, and completely slick with its stylized aesthetic, Kill la Kill is a shot of adrenaline to your groin, and doesn't let go until you're pumped at maximum capacity, frothing at the mouth, ready to change the world - or at least blog on the next episode.

And... that's it.

Two. Frigging. Shows. All. Year. Jumping Jehoshaphat. 2014 was a down year in Anime. I mean, we are talking the Leastern Conference bad in the NBA these days. Even my favorite anime bloggers burned out (Psgels) or delegated the burden (Scamp) or started blogging other non-anime shows (Guardian Enzo).

Flops?

PSYCHO-PASS 2
Decent science fiction ideas in the wake of Gen Urobuchi marred by substandard execution.

Fate/Stay Night Whatever Whatever
No matter how great a studio is, it just can't get beyond the ridiculous high school setting.

NFL 2015 Playoffs Wildcard Round

30 December 2014 - 04:33 PM

Cardinals @ Panthers (-5.5)

The Panthers, regardless of their record, are on a roll behind QB Newton and that two-headed beast at RB, and a rejuvenated defense. The Cardinals OTOH have slid ass-backwards into the playoffs, no thanks to an inferior third or fourth string QB. More important is how the Cardinals' defense has been shredded by mobile quarterbacks in recent weeks (Wilson and Kapernick).

Panthers by 4

Ravens @ Steelers (-2.5)

Despite the absence of RB Bell, due to a knee injury, the Steelers should find it easy to pass on that absolutely horrible Ravens secondary. After all, QB Rothlisberger is at the heights of his powers, and WR Antonio Brown is probably the best in the game. The Ravens will keep the game close, cuz they still have a couple of leftovers from their great Super Bowl team in Ngata and Suggs, but QB Flacco isn't as brave in the pocket once he signed that 120 million dollar contract. He can pass on the shoddy Steelers' secondary, but he doesn't have enough weapons.

Steelers by 6

Bengals @ Colts (-3.5)

Had the Bengals beaten the Steelers on Sunday night, they would've hosted a playoff game against a team they owned in the Ravens. Instead, they have to go on the road and play a team that dusted them 27-0 in Week 7. The Bengals will keep the score close behind the power running of RB Hill, but they won't be able to score enough to upset the Colts. WR Green won't be ready after that nasty concussion, and QB Gingerbread inspires zero confidence in the money season, unlike Andre the Giant (see 2014 playoffs). Moreover, the Bengals are incapable of pressurizing the quarterback. Expect a blowout.

Colts by 11

Lions @ Cowboys (-7.5)

The Lions should contain the Cowboys' explosive offense, thanks to that #2 ranked defense, but they won't have all-world DT Suh available to clog the running lanes. The well-balanced Cowboys enter the playoffs at full strength and with chemistry at full yield, making them the NFC favorites. QB Stafford hasn't been performing well lately, and won't be able to keep up with the Romocoaster and WR Dez Bryant.

Cowboys by 7

Last week: 12-4
Season total final: 167-88