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  • Lack Of Education: The Horrific Truth Behind 2016's Presidential Outcome

    Much can be said about the two candidates that waged war against each other as the nominees of their respective parties. What has gone unsaid is that catastrophic failure a nation has sustained in the view of the world simply because of its horrendous record on education. Exit polls showed that educated individuals who took the time to vote on Tuesday were split right down the middle in terms of their education levels. An overwhelming number of voters who either held a bachelors degree or a graduate degree voted blue, an overwhelming number of voters who voted red lacked said credentials. While the cry has been over jobs one can't help but wonder if better education as little as a decade ago wouldn't have made a difference. It can be argued that Donald Trump is a successful businessman or better yet someone how has parlayed himself into a position where developers simply pay to use his name to sell luxury housing, it can also be argued that he is a failed businessman with ties to fraud, sexual assault, and countless bankruptcies. What cannot be argued is that Mr. Trump has no idea how the other half lives and therein lays the problem with poverty stricken states full of under educated workers voting in favor of promised jobs. What is the reality here is that we saw America vote in a first time politician who was incapable of being loyal to the actual workers who helped him become the mogul he became.

    Unfortunately millions of American's woke up this morning to learn that the country had voted in the most unqualified nominee in history and the numbers do not lie. When does buyer's remorse kick in? Probably within the next two years we shall see the remorse of millions who voted for this candidate when reality finally sets in. Perhaps sooner as justices step down and need to be replaced, quite possibly replaced by candidates of extremely conservative views. This does not bode well for us as a nation who thrives on progress and suffers from regression, with civil liberties already in violation in so many ways the under educated may not see it that way until it affects their bottom line. It realistically takes a level of ignorance so deep to vote into a office an individual who was the face of a fraudulent institution of education. This wasn't an institution for your children but instead for working class parents who sacrificed so much to simply improve their lives only to be shirked out of their loans and left with empty hands.

    Education offset this election because as we've continued to grow in global dominance our budgets for the military keep growing at a pace that is astronomical while we continue to be ranked fourteenth in the world for education. An educated society makes conscious decisions, identifies facts by doing their own research and go beyond the catchphrases and witty one liner jabs that got Mr. Trump elected. This can be clearly evidenced by discussions on social media with people talking about "we'll be great again." Is that so? Once upon a time calling America anything but great was considered treasonous, yet the under educated seem to have forgotten that again because of their contempt for a politician who wasn't selling them hate and empty promises. Perhaps its time to move beyond the election and start focusing on how to right this ship because quite frankly the Trump and Pence chapter in the history books is going to contain many glaring mistakes that will haunt us for decades to come and perhaps then after most of the hopes have been reduced to ash and reality sets in we can start looking at the root cause of this failure in the fact that as long as we allow education to lag behind other programs we will keep repeating these kind of mistakes that take the honor of being American right out of us.

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  • Boxing: The Pussification Of A Combat Sport (Part 1)

     

    Boxing has always been a business from the days of bare knuckle fighting to the current point where we stand today, boxing has always been controlled by outside entities who have looked to maximize the profitability of their involvement in the sport of kings. This has never been more true than it is today with boxing's landscape fragmented more than it ever has and while political power has always had its place within the combat sport for the first time ever it is actually starting to cripple it beyond recognition. Many legends have been born between the posts of a ring and many legends have fallen between them, mythical status has been achieved and has also been taken within those same parameters. The sport which slowly is evolving into more of a choreographed placement of chess pieces by men in suits with talking and selling points, while the actual talent becomes less important in this most crucial of times.

    Boxers have never been great businessmen but have always been warriors willing to go endless number of rounds in the gym in preparation and assuming risks that can not only alter their earning power but also their standing among what the public considers the elite class of the sport. Today's fan of the sport doesn't know it's ass from its face and sinks its chompers into every narrative presented to them because of course they fall for the sale pitches offered up to them like the finest choice cut of meats. Considering themselves elitists because they support this boxer or that boxer and standing behind that fighters record as if it's a shield that makes them any more knowledgeable than the other fan. Floyd Mayweather's Jodanesque dominance of the sport has fanboys alike in a fog of misconception and lack of understanding as to what this sport really is, any real fan of Mayweather's would remember his own rise and challenging of notable names when he had easier options, yet Floyd's power moves put him in a very unique position to dictate terms unlike the sport had ever seen. This is not something 99% of the boxers to lace them up will ever accomplish. Casting aside Floyd's dominance over the sport he recently retired from we have a new generation of up and coming fighters that embraces that position and are attempting to manipulate their way into a similar situation without having earned the right to or having paid the cost associated in order to reach that point. Many of these same fighters are backed by investor power which cares more about reward than risk and while I support smart moves in life I do believe there is work to be done before even the best investor can actually expect little risk to their dollar. 

    How many of these suit wearing faceless backers of any promotional company actually care about the fighter? None, its no different than  a team that drafts a talent places them under contract they value until that athlete can no longer produce. Then it's on to the next one and this is where both fans and pro boxers miss tamehe reality. A million dollar purse for a tune up is great, I love to see boxers make their money but when does the tuning up come to an end? Why would a fighter demand to fight the best when he can make the same amount of money fighting lets say a  wasguy like Rod Salka? Therein lays the problem as it stands. Boxing has now become a game of purses and positioning and not about the fan, earning the fan base by showing your mettle. Some champions literally climb divisions and face off for titles usurping the other nine candidates who have been busting their behind trying to get that same shot. Money rules boxing and its really destroying the sport. Multi divisional champions such as Adrien Broner have taken shortcuts supplied to them by promoters to literally bypass other contenders simply because they are a marquee name. The best example of this was Miguel Cotto's sneak steal of Martinez's WBC belt although he had never set foot in a ring to face off versus another fighter in that division. A check book, ludicrous weight demands on an aging fighter coming off a 14 month layoff and two surgeries within two years and a few months later Cotto is the lineal champion at 160lbs. What followed what a similar move, another check book opened, another fighter who was not even ranked at the weight and we have a new champion. Boxing is becoming a game of musical chairs where the path of least resistance now makes legends in the sport. While I criticize Cotto for his shrewd business maneuvering I do not take away from his earlier accomplishments, yet I today see him as another case of working the politics of the sport to benefit himself.

    Fighters without promotional power backing seem to be lost in the fray, when they finally do end up with a shot at a strap they usually end up on the wrong end of a decision, poor Mauricio Herrera fights that one twice over. The worst of his robberies coming at the end of a one sided beating of Danny Garcia, a fighter who has fought 30 plus times but managed to log a total of 5 resume enhancing names in total. Garcia is another classic example similar to Adrien Broner, Garcia has managed to position himself for high tier purses against more than his share of no hopers, and yet this Saturday after beating the likes of Paulie Malignaggi somehow gets the possibility of becoming WBC world champion simply for fighting two fighter who are beyond shot as athletes. I can't just blame the athletes they would be stupid to pass up these options if they are there, the trouble isn't just their management either, people that run these commissions who are more than just happy to hop into bed with promotional companies regularly are allowing this to happen. Amir Khan a while back moved to 147 and was ranked within the top ten before actually even taking a challenge. He is now the mandatory challenger to the winner on Saturday between Garcia and Guerrero. While idiots love to toss fighters like Golovkin under the bus because they can't actually convince fighters to get in the ring against them, these guys get a pass, so do the commissions, and so do the promoters. Instead of tuning out on such farces as Saturday's fight for a vacant championship belt neither fighter has earned a shot at they'll tune in and support it. Yet a year from now they'll complain about the lack of heart in boxing. Tune out...watch something else, let those ratings hit record lows and you will see how fast that same low risk promoter gets his shit together and starts looking for a good match up worthy of your viewership.

    The case of Golovkin who I just mentioned is a classic example of the political game, since the fighter was first mentioned as a potential opponent for the WBC crown three different fighters have held that title, all three have seemingly elected to completely avoid him in favor of "money fights" two of these fighters have had him listed as the clear cut mandatory and yet neither one has developed the will power to face him and yet the WBC keeps making exceptions. I confronted Mauricio Sulaiman about this recently and simply got a smile in response to my question. This situation smells of horseshit just like it did with Sergio Martinez a few years back during his Chavez Jr drama, different man, different belt holder same pile of shit. Yet it seems that Mr. Sulaiman can change his word at the drop of a dime but continually keep presenting other undeserving fighters the opportunities he absolutely refuses to enforce for others. Why haven't guys like Bradley been named a mandatory for the WBC title? Why does K2's Loeffler need to grovel at the feet of Oscar De La Hoya for a fight they earned with their nearly record breaking ko and defenses streak? Why are guys like Guillermo Rigondeaux and Lara not afforded these same opportunities others seem to just fall into? Because they are high risk fighters that would certainly upset the investment of those same people in suits who could care less about the sport or the athlete themselves.

    The upcoming fight between Porter and Thurman is only happening because Porter's dad trashed his sons opponent so hard it forced them to make the fight or risk losing stock on Thurman. Thurman who with his sick punching power has made quite a few sound choices in his career has seemingly been happy to play the game of feed me and pay me which again is fine until you hear his sylvester the cat mush mouth answer to the question "who do you want to fight next?". His next opponent typically does not fight the words "I want to fight the best." While the argument of "politics" not permitting some fights being made, there are many in-house fights that can be made. You don't see these happen until its a necessity to hoist one man above the rest of the stock and usually by then I have personally given up on said fighter. Guys like Ward still hold ground because of their past,  yet a man who has not faced a top ten challenger in the past 3 plus years is somehow still ranked top ten.

    I will end this for now and finish my argument on what's wrong with this sport in part 2 soon enough...Sport journalists you are next on my shit list.

     

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  • Samsung Gear S2: The worst Tech launch day in recent memory

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    If you were one of the many who looked forward to October 2nd 2015 rolling around to get your hands on the new Samsung smartwatch the Gear S2 sport or classic you were in for a very rude awakening. Morning saw thousands of buyers scrambling for retailers that carried the devices, with stores such as Best Buy being limited to 5 total watches for the entire customer base. Even Samsung Studio in Soho didn't have the watches to showcase much less sell. The situation got so bad that Best Buy in New York flat out stopped answering calls and whose system turned into an endless loop of press 1 to speak to a representative, ring, press 1 to speak to a representative. Techies took to reddit to express their disdain at this product launch. Most stores actually were limited to the Gear S2 Sport in gray, no white, no classic. Most retailers had no explanation for the lack of stock beyond delayed shipments. Samsung which has had production issues in the past certainly pissed off a ton of consumers willing to fork over several hundreds of dollars to get their hands on this new design they had been hearing about. It seems Samsung is more in the business of creating the illusion of demand rather than actually delivering the products on the dates they are supposed to be in stock. This is almost exactly like the situation with the Galaxy S6 where it seems Samsung wanted to create an insane buzz that everyone wanted their phone and nobody could find one, thus creating a faux "must have" mentality. It didn't work, the phone in the end undersold and was quickly overshadowed by the S6 Edge. As someone who is typing this while sitting a foot away from an S6 edge that he uses, the experience today has been quite a turn off.  Retailers like Macy's don't have it in stock but want to charge $50 more than other retailers with no guaranteed ship date. Best Buy has the Classic listed as coming soon. B&H Photo has the phone shipping on the 16th of October. Samsung itself is stating 3-4 weeks for them to ship, not from the U.S. but from overseas...let that sink in. October 2nd rolled around and some folks were able to get the white version of the sport watch, most could only find it in black, it seems none could find the classic in the states. I guess that's just $350 I was saved from wasting.

     

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  • Mayweather vs Pacquaio: The fight not worth the wait or the price

    With all the hoopla and questions that plagued both fighters for the better part of six years most of the world came to a screeching halt in order to shatter records of attention paid to one single event between combatants. Many tuned in to see if their arguments over the past six years held any weight, would these guys be too far gone, could the Filipino warrior dethrone the undefeated? So much fanfare had been made over this fight that there was no way it could live up to the expectations shy of a stoppage by either fighter. Mayweather for some reason decided that stepping onto the scales on fight night made no sense, of course him doing so would probably end all the nonsense that he himself does not put on ten or more pounds between the weigh in and fight night which is obvious to anyone with a brain. Secondly the cable networks completely screwed the pooch by letting their networks come crashing down just before the main event was said to start. I still stand by the fact that Kenny Bayless was indeed the wrong man to select for the officiating of this bout, while some may argue that he did a decent job there were plenty of illegal veteran tactics he practically played blind to. I'm not a fan of Bayless because he floats about the ring in unusual positions that prevent him from looking at the action straight down between his two charges and misses a ton of stuff in the process.

    As if those issues weren't enough we come to the two fighters of the night, both fighters who have obviously seen better days. One known for his amazing defense and the other known for his almost maniacal offense. This was supposed to be a barn burner of sorts, all the talk about Floyd chopping wood and teaming up with Alex Ariza led to absolutely nothing but more of the same. We got more of the usual Floyd Mayweather Jr recipe of boxing, jab, check hook, right hand, back peddle. It's a recipe that has worked now in 48 bouts and is for some reason heralded by his most ardent fans and the most vocal of all fans. Manny Pacquaio for his case had promised to shatter Mayweather and end the reign once and for all. What we got was a fighter who had his moments but had truly lost the fire in his belly for the sport. In other words this was a paycheck bout for both men and nothing more. Today we learn that Pacquaio was actually injured for the bout and had needed the approval of medications to deal with a tear in his shoulder from the group at USADA. Pacquaio's people claim they considered cancelling the fight but weren't allowed to due to contractual obligations. The only problem I have with this is that had they put that information out back in March when the injury occurred the public would've demanded the fight be put off and the fighter given time to heal. Nobody would've chucked out a hundred dollars to watch a fighter of his caliber fight the biggest bout of his career at half mast, and I do mean nobody. Is it an excuse? No, there is proof that such an injury did occur despite the denial of NSAC, considering there was a strong testing method for this fight all medications had to be disclosed to that entity and that entity has confirmed that they did indeed get informed of the situation. The difference between USADA/VADA/WADA is that the first of the bunch has a clause that prevents them from disclosing anything to the public before a fight takes place. This was evidenced by the situations with Erik Morales a few years back.

    The fight certainly did not live up to the hype for a number of reasons, personally I never wanted this fight to happen after 2012 as I didn't believe either boxer was at their top form anymore and I still stand by that regardless of how good Floyd looked sauntering around the ring last night. Second, the size disparity was known even back in 2008 when the earliest rumblings of this fight started. The only way I wanted this fight to happen is if there would be a stoppage. One man can't make the count, that to me is worth the hype of this magnitude. I wanted and expected Floyd Mayweather to beat up on his opponent and send a message and instead I was treated to sights of a man just comfortable enough to do just enough to win a fight.  I like both fighters, I have enjoyed both fighters tremendously as athletes with their outside of the ring antics ignored completely. The fact remains that I have seen more action at golden glove bouts than I saw from the #1 and #2 boxers of the sport. People may argue about the sweet science but the sweet science has a place and time. Its time is not at the biggest event of your sports history. Prime example is Vasyl Lomancheko a fighter who is arguably the best amateur fighter in the history of the sport, yet as a professional fighter he's changed his style to suit the platform he fights at. Utter dominance is hard to argue against when you beat on your opponent to the point even he is convinced he's fighting 3 or 4 people. While Floyd is an amazingly talented fighter he had all the tools to do exactly that and instead we got the opposite. How are you such a big man and yet so cautious as to not even want to get in the pocket and trade with a man who looks so inferior to you physically? For all the arguments of greatest ever, he sure didn't look like it last night. Even before this fight I stated this wasn't a legacy fight, it was a generational standing fight and he had the chance to change that but did not. Watching Mayweather follow the count of the referee would've made it a legacy fight but instead coasting and running down the clock seemed to be his idea of showing he's a class above any other generation. I can't picture anyone in my top 5 list historically not going for the kill,I just don't see them satisfied with winning on points when they had almost every advantage possible to win a fight and moreso against an opponent they knew two months in advanced was injured. Floyd will undoubtedly go down as the greatest fighter of his generation but realistically it's an achievement he could have and should've easily eclipsed. The result of this fight leaves more questions than answers but in the minds of each individual fans one has to wonder if they are actually satisfied it happened.

     

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  • The Wire: The harsh reality of Baltimore's urban communities (a look back)

    *I'm going to try and write this with as few spoilers as possible. That is no easy task because this show was so full of detail that skating around them has been rather hard. For those who have watched I would love some feedback on who your favorite characters and/or scenes were.*

    When HBO's The Wire was at it's height somewhere along the second season where most of America caught on to this show I had the fortune of working with a Baltimore transplant who introduced me to the show via his weekly animated discussion with other co-workers who were into the show. Having access to him gave me the opportunity to ask him many questions after binge watching the first season. Surely this show was simply going for a shock value and couldn't possibly reflect what life in urban Baltimore was like. It was genuine, he vouched for it and he himself had spent parts of his childhood on many of the streets seen on the show. He had lost his father to the game and had a brother serving time in prison for it, his move to New York was to escape it. It was then that I realized this was more than just a show, it was the story of Baltimore's many faces plastered on the canvas provided by HBO. Having grown up in Harlem I was familiar with the environment of drug trade and the lore of drug dealers who ran it all, looking back now I realize that I had it easier than those who spent their childhood in Bodymore.

    David Simon the shows creator and lead writer teamed up with former police officers, drug dealers, and some of the brightest writers to deliver one of the most realistic experiences someone unfamiliar with this world will ever have. What they captured was a realistic and troublesome representation with alarming accuracy what politics, policing, and street life can do to a generation. Most of the cast of the wire was a melting pot of non-actors who simply had a connection to the area, from retired drug dealers who had survived the late sixties and seventies to those who had spent decades in the system. Most of the shows authenticity comes from those elements, unlike other shows where they cheat their way through a narrative the wire took you deep into the emotional roller coaster that is the life of an addict, a police officer, a drug dealer, and a politician. They also did a great job of sprinkling other vultures who prey on these situations to make their mark in the world, the real estate developers on the show as well as the money launderers. The show was so realistic that law enforcement actually had to step in and request that some details of their procedures be removed from the show altogether because they feared actual criminals watching the show could use this to their advantage. Things such as surveillance and devices to track phones caused issues between the creators and law enforcement, most of this made it's way  into the show because many of the consultants on the show were retired Baltimore detectives. The reality is that the wire wasn't supposed to survive, it's straight in your face approach wasn't supposed to pull you in according to television standards at the time, what became of it has been a shock to many in the industry and given birth to creative freedoms networks would otherwise not be willing to take on otherwise. It's five season run is owed to it's authenticity and the attachment viewers experienced watching as the scales of power constantly shifted.

    One of the things that pulled me into the show was how they transitioned from the drug riddled streets into the seat of a police officer, from a police officer to the drug dealer with each having a tie to the others fate. The complexities of a Jimmy McNulty, the hunger and arrogance of Avon Barksdale, the thin line that Idris Elba played as Stringer Bell. Idris in my opinion gave the show balance because he was written for in a way that showed he loved the game but also wanted more out of life, he was more of a centralized force that seemed to hold everything in place. His desire to transition into more than just a drug dealer but his oath to bringing his brother with him and the price he ultimately paid for it all. Characters like Bunk and Bodie offset the pace of the show by showing one a good detective trying to do right and the latter a young man trying to follow footsteps of men he considered his role models. Bubbles was the character that I would imagine most developed an attachment to because his was the most emotional role of all, from drug addicted fiend, to puppet for both criminals and police, to the guilt of his own actions he's the one character that stays true to the show throughout every single season. Over the course of the shows run we see one generation thin out giving passage to those who would follow in their footsteps, this was the focal point for one entire season itself and with good reason. You see the spawn of these drug dealers either follow suit or simply find themselves incapable of filling the shoes of the guys who "have the game by the balls", within this group you will find one of the saddest moments of the show one that has spawned an meme and hashtag of it's own, you'll know which one it is. Friends will have to choose sides and let's just say the first time around the result is not easy to digest. It doesn't stop there though characters like Clay Davis cause you to loathe those elected to power more than you find yourself hating the criminals themselves at time, it's a great portrayal of the vultures I mentioned earlier. Those who help make laws to seem strongly against crime to the voting public but are just as dirty as the criminals they swear to put away in private.

    If you haven't seen The Wire yet you've been missing out on a great piece of television history and I really hope you go ahead and give it a try. It wasn't as heavily criticized for no reason, sometimes people can't handle the reality that they've let things spiral entirely to out of control and would rather live in denial. The shows success has helped transform Baltimore in many ways, it has brought new money to the area via tour groups that bring fans of the show to locations where the show was shot. It has helped former criminals at crossroads tell their story and has given retired police the honor of telling their story in the struggle to save a generation from itself. I wish I could get into a deeper conversation about many other aspects of this show but it would end up ruining it for those who may not have been of age when it was on the air or those who just entirely missed out on it's run for any number of reasons. I do believe even then the justice it deserves couldn't be captured within a few thousand words and somethings have to be experienced rather than read.

     

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  • Looking back on Rome 8 years later and why the show is still amazing

    I admit that I didn't catch on the hbo's Rome til years it had ended, it was one of those shows I discovered by mistake and just couldn't get enough of. The show was split between the story of the two Caesar's Julius and Octavian each getting a focal point in each of the shows two seasons. Julius played by Ciarán Hinds set the tone from the opening scene of the show that this was not some half attempt to tell the story of  one of the most tumultuous periods in Roman history. One of the best parts of this show is that every character on the show had a supporting character, Julius had his wing man Mark Antony phenomenally portrayed by James Purefoy who set the two of a batman and robin sort of relationship. Lucius Vorenus played by Kevin McKidd had Titus Pullo played by Ray Stevenson who mixed well as complete opposites in every regard beyond the similar love for their republic. This formula of matching two great characters kept the show from becoming too bland as other roman period pieces tend to suffer. The show was well paced for the first season in a fashion that you looked forward to each episode with the same excitement you shared watching the one that just ended. Watching Julius' rise to prominence in his battle with Pompey was beautifully arced and filmed in a way that showed each man's strengthens and weaknesses. Spending time between Julius, Mark, Lucius, and Julius' niece Atia of the Julii kept the show fresh and engaging. Each characters actions seeping their way into the outcome of each others fate.

     

    Rome Season 1 - Trailer

    The show did a great deal to teach us just how cutthroat the senate of Rome truly was and did an even better job showing us just how bad slaves and servants had it an era where class was everything. Between the debauchery, politics, war, and chasing of power the show did a great deal of weaving in and out of each topic with relative ease. Sadly the cost of the show made it hard to keep going on HBO's end so we got a second season post Julius that seemed to dash for the finish line at a dizzying pace. Personally I wish they had extended Julius' story beyond the first season, Hinds delivered an air that fit the role unbelievably well and had the pace for his story been drawn out a bit more some of the crucial lesser known details of how Julius defeated Pompey could've been better told. The journey into Egypt was a lengthy one for Julius and the show summed it up in a matter of two or so episodes only addressing minimal detail of Egypt's own climate at the time. The focus was on establishing the story line of Cleopatra that then ties into that of Mark Antony but failed to deliver the power Julius had to enforce in Egypt to make this happen. Outside of those few hiccups the show was fantastic and it's why I have rewatched the seasons countless times. For me the relationship of Pullo and Vorenus is what steals the show, two characters who you never expected to evolve as they did carry it well throughout both seasons and create our biggest emotional attachment to any of the characters of the show. Vorenus a brooding legionnaire who lives his life by the book and chases victory for the republic at all costs and Pullo a soldier who loves the drink, the brothels, and not living by the rules. It still shocks me how they wrote these characters to be so enjoyable and so complicated without making the act boring. 

    The second season of Rome is post Julius' demise on the floor of the senate and the rise of his heir Octavian who seeks revenge for his fallen uncle and to destroy those who stand in his way. Sadly Octavian's long story is summed up into one season as well, he ruled Rome longer than the story lets on and gave birth to one of Rome's greatest periods. His iron will is caught well on film but it also presents him as a man disconnected from normal emotions in pursuit of glory. Octavian plays the role of sympathetic horribly which is realistic to the story of the man and the actor who plays him has a dead pan expression pretty much all the way through that lends heavily to this fact. All in all the show is one of the best pieces HBO has ever put out and I could drone on and on about it but the reality is that you should watch it yourself and see for yourself why 8 years later this show still holds up exceptionally well.

     

     

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  • Is Ip Man 3 really necessary or is this a flat out cash out?

    The first two Ip Man films were cult like classics that expanded beyond it's martial arts genre into the watch list of fans of time pieces and general underdog story narratives. Donnie Yen who starred in the two original films had become disenfranchised with the idea of further continuing to work on I.P. Man films after the success of his films spawned a bunch of low budget spinoffs which were not of the same caliber as the films he had worked on. It seemed that at the end of Ip Man 2 they had closed the chapter on the man's life by giving us a run down of what the rest of his life entailed and even the circumstances of his death. When Ip Man 3 was first announced many of us fans were left scratching our heads which was only made worse by the fact that leaked details of the film showed the introduction of gimmicks to sell tickets. First it was the CGI version of Ip man's real life student and best known martial artist ever Bruce Lee, this has since resulted in lawsuits and litigation by the Lee estate over who has a rights to Bruce's image. As if that wasn't bad enough we then got word that former heavyweight champion of the world Mike Tyson will also be making an appearance and taking part in a fight scene with Yen, Tyson will be playing some sort of real estate developer who somehow gets sucked into the tensions of China's disdain for outsiders (both Ip Man films addressed this).

    As much as I love Donnie Yen's body of work I can't understand why he would want to be part of this project, he recently turned down quite a few roles in big budget American films that would've helped him cross over and replace the now vacated positions left by both Jackie Chan and Jet Li (the latter due to a crippling illness). Some have speculated that this film will then span off into another franchise based on Ip's two sons who were part of the story in both films, both of which went on to be teachers of Wing Chun for decades following their fathers passing. Will this be any good? We won't know until the film finally sees the light of day but the attention they are trying to put into the filming of it in 3D indicates that fans of the first two films will end up critiquing it heavily. Wilson Yip is a fantastic Director but not so great that he can't deliver a dud, he has in the past and it's hard to see how this new film will not fall into the forgettable bin.

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  • New changes to Cinema Haven

    We are in the process of updating our backend to make all features of the site easily accessible. You'll soon be able to sign in and submit videos with accounts from google, twitter, facebook if you choose to not create an account. So we hope this simplifies your life. You can also now submit videos you host or found on facebook. We have removed VK videos due to the piracy taking place on that service and to avoid receiving anymore dmca requests for removal which reflects negatively on our service. We want to remind our users again that we will not tolerate piracy of any kind whatsoever, things have gotten so bad that we've received piracy complaints for things provided by hulu. Yes Hulu licenses content from the networks and yet the networks (FOX) have hit us with DMCA complaints for Empire. We are looking to avoid having to waste time explaining to companies such as FOX that this is not a source of piracy, nor is any of the content listed here hosted here, or submitted from sites circumventing hulu's licensing rights or it's players. With that said we are adding new video sources throughout the rest of the year to expand what sites you can submit from but will first make sure that pirated content cannot be submitted or hosted there.

    If you have a site you want to see added to our submission list please name it in the comment section and we will work on adapting their api so you can submit their content.

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  • Boxing: A reflection of old racism in a modern setting

    Boxing was once a sport followed by Kings in many regions of the world, it was considered a sport in the most natural basic form. Survival of the fittest, two men face off against each other with only their fists and heart as their weapons. Boxing has always been kept at a distance by the upper crust throughout history who enjoyed it's barbaric nature for the moment but rarely something they actually ever cared about it beyond the event of the spectacle they watched. Anyone who has ever taken the time to study the history of boxing knows that it has been riddled with racism in many ways, even back when newspapers first started covering the sport racist terminology and imagery was used in reference to negro and fighters of non Caucasian descent. This same practice went on for decades until media decided to tone it down and evolve to gain a larger audience. So this would lead one to think that racism in the sport of boxing is now minimal, but you would be wrong.

    It isn't hard at all to find racism inserted into many facets of the sport today from the fans, to the marketing, to the way some fighters get talked about. A sport that at it's core has always been more of a plebeian form of entertainment continues to still insert it's ignorance to this very day. For a long time the top fighters in the world were American boxers, the vast majority of dominant world class boxers were African Americans who used the sport to propel themselves from all walks of life to larger than life celebrities. This was justification for all of the hardships the legend Jack Johnson endured en-route to becoming the first Heavy Weight champion in the world. Johnson's achievement opened a door that we have not looked back from and it served to slowly bridge the gap between the races who are fan of the sport for the decades that came. One would think that with all the documentation on Johnson's struggles people would come to appreciate that a man of any race could take himself from the gutter of any corner of the world and carve his path to greatness on a road paved with fists and much bloodshed. One would think.

    The last twenty years have given us the emergence of some amazing fighters from many regions of the planet. Fighters from the congo, fighters from Russia, fighters from some of the most ill stricken and poverty stricken locations you can imagine. One would think that these guys would be embraced with open arms for the same reason that made guys like Johnson, Dempsey, to name a few amazing heroes. The reality more often than not these fighters are torn down by fans for some of the most ridiculous reasons you can imagine. Taking a week to sit back and browse the most popular of boxing news sites can give you a general idea of what I mean. There are tiers of acceptance for boxers, in many cases it's fans who identify to someone based on their race, followed by what country they originate from, followed by their personality, followed by their fight style. Why is the fight style the final marker and not the first? It seems that the old adage of "Stick to your kind" is well and alive in boxing over a hundred years after Johnson made his historical climb to the top of the sport. That doesn't mean all boxing fans are like this but a large number of them are and many aren't the least bit shy about making this painfully obvious, many will openly admit this if asked. I'm pretty sure some of them might even read this article and call it "bullshit". Then there is the crowd of boxing fans who just love the sport and love the story of coming from the bottom to the top without any bias whatsoever. Those fans get stuck in the middle of mud slinging fights that can easily be seen on any number of Floyd vs Manny articles.

    As a boxing fan i've done everything in my power to find a single site that doesn't have this problem, let me tell you that finding a site of pure boxing discussion without the homering and racial undertones is extremely hard. It gets old reading about how Golovkin should fight Ward because he's some how a coward, despite the fact both men have different ambitions and fight in different divisions. It gets old watching former foreign Olympians and fantastic amateur fighters get ripped to shreds as if they are somehow less special than our  own home grown ones. It get old watching one guy tear down Floyd Mayweather get trashed for being flashy only to see you go praise a hispanic fighter who is doing practically the same but on a considerably smaller budget. The chicken eating, vodka drinking , dog eating insults get old to legit boxing fans. I wish boxing fans took a pause for a moment and reflected on the vast majority of commentary they publicly list on boards across the internet and tried to understand how it reflects. There are classes of fighters based on talent and that is the only benchmark we are to judge these men on, at the end of the day a race, a complexion, a personality does not win a fight. Heart, Strategy, Dedication, Love for the craft, Respect for the craft, and level of opposition makes a fighter great.

    I know the world has expected to boxing fans to be some of the dumbest individuals on the planet, it doesn't mean we have to act like it. This is a sport where even the biggest of rivals meet each other in the center of the ring and embrace each other after the match has ended. If two men who beat the crap out of each other can show respect and appreciation for each other why can't we as boxing fans move beyond our own prejudices and embrace every fighter the same way? It's time some fans start being honest with themselves and realize this may actually apply to them even if they haven't been self aware before. The same blatant racists didn't think a hundred years later the world would view them as despicable for comments made over boxing, yet they do. A hundred years from now someone will be looking at your comments and thinking the same thing we think of those people one hundred years ago. Whether black, white, asian, purple, green, tall, skinny, fat, long, short....it doesn't matter a fighter wins or loses just like any other man when the results are in, he bleeds like any other man when the fight is on, he strives to come out on top like any other man, and we as boxing fans need to respect that without prejudice or bias.

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  • RANT: Jets wouldn't spend when they had Rex Ryan but now spend like drunken sailors for new coach?

    I've been a life long JETS fan, I came along way after Broadway Joe had called it a career thus thrusting me into the laughing stock of fans in New York. We had some years full of hope, we got within breathing room of reaching a superbowl only to see the team owner instantly turn into an economist a short time later. I left the world of being a JETS fan the moment they fired Rex Ryan, not only because they fired a great coach but because as usual the coach becomes the scapegoat for the imbecility of it's owner Woody Johnson. They let go of Revis, Cromartie was too expensive, bringing in aging receivers on the cheap some how made sense (tell us how well that worked out!). Honestly you could've had Joe Montana in his prime handling the pocket duty for the jets in 2014 and they would've done just as bad as they did. Yet let's blame the coaches, from Mangini, to Edwards, to Ryan, it should say that the greatest coach in recent NFL history headed for the highway almost instantly after he became the coach of the team (Yes Patriot fans, it all could've been ours!). Guys like Bellichik know a trainwreck when they see it and he certainly saw enough to jump ship and look how it turned out. Would it surprise me to see the new coach of the JETS ousted within 3 years, in fact I came almost guarantee it if the jets win more than 8 games this year. Expect the current roster to last two years before the front office paper pushers decide we've roped in the fans enough to dump some expensive players and spend the next three years making empty promises. This is the same JETS team that sat back and watched Chad Pennington treated like a dog's chew toy rather than spend some money to protect him in the pocket. This is the same team that spent countless millions bringing Favre to NY Football just to steal thunder from the Giants and dominate the sports section of local papers, improve the team? Why would we do that, it's more profitable to spend for two years and then operate on the cheap. The fact that Johnson let Idzik run the JETS into the ground without intervening on his head coaches behalf speaks volumes of what Todd Bowles can expect, oh they'll love him the first year. They will support him the first year, and the moment the stadium is full to the rafters again they'll start pulling the carpet out from under his feet. The JETS have been in a position to be contenders every years of almost the last decade but of course since the coaches power is extremely limited that all gets undone by the front office. So while it's good news that they just spent $127 million they claimed just last year they didn't have don't expect to see many of those contracts get ridden to their end because of course it's all business and it's easier to sell out games and have an early vacation every year than to spend money long term to win. Yeah they gave Sanchez more money than he deserved, while also using that as an excuse to not sign a top five receiver. Yeah they gave him an extension and used that as an excuse to not spend a dime more. Now the focus is on defense while Geno Smith is expected to take an anemic offense and turn it into a powerhouse. Makes a whole lot of sense, only in the mind of the JETS front office.

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  • Judd Apatow and Netflix team up for 'Pee Wee's big holiday'

    Paul Reubens will return as the eccentric Pee-wee Herman in Netflix's next feature film "Pee-wee's Big Holiday." This is the first standalone theatrical Pee-wee feature since 1988's "Big Adventure" sequel "Big Top Pee-wee," with the beloved kids' series originally on CBS "Pee-wee's Playhouse" and a handful of made-for-tv specials and stage appearances since. Judd Apatow, who honed the project with Reubens, will produce John Lee's ("Broad City," "Inside Amy Schumer," whose lead comedienne stars in Apatow's upcoming "Trainwreck") directorial debut. Reubens co-penned the film with Paul Rust, a story editor on Netflix's season four restart of "Arrested Development." Here's the official synopsis, with production set to begin in March 2015: "A fateful meeting with a mysterious stranger inspires Pee-wee Herman to take his first-ever holiday in this epic story of friendship and destiny." No »

     

    - Ryan Lattanzio

     

    See full article at Thompson on Hollywood

     

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  • Jessica Chastain signs up for "Huntsman"

    “Snow White and the Huntsman” spinoff “The Huntsman” has added Jessica Chastain to star opposite Chris Hemsworth. Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, who received an Academy Award nomination in Visual Effects for his work on 2012’s “Snow White and the Huntsman,” which starred Kristen Stewart, Hemsworth and Charlize Theron, will be making his directorial debut on the follow-up. Also Read: TheWrap’s 25 Most Anticipated Movies of 2015: From ‘Fifty Shades’ to ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Spectre’ Joe Roth is returning to produce, while Palak Patel will executive produce. Vice president of production Maradith Frenkel and creative executive Chloe Yellin will oversee the project for the studio.

     

    See full article at The Wrap

     

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  • Amazon orders 'Mad Dogs' full season

    Amazon has made decisions on its latest batch of pilots, giving series orders to "The Man in the High Castle," "Mad Dogs," "The New Yorker Presents" and kids shows "Just Add Magic" and "The Stinky & Dirty Show." "Mozart in the Jungle" also got picked up for a second season. "Mad Dogs" and "Man in the High Castle" were easily the best scripted adult shows of this batch of pilots, and I interviewed both "Mad Dogs" producer Shawn Ryan and "Man in the High Castle" producer Frank Spotnitz about their plans for each show if they got series orders. "Mozart" also turned out to be very enjoyable over its first season, so I'm glad it will be back.  What does everybody else think? Were there other pilots from the latest batch you're disappointed won't continue? » - Alan Sepinwall

     

    See full article at Hitfix

     

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  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Begins shooting

    Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales has set sail! Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films' comedy adventure began production in Queensland, Australia, Tuesday, the studio announced. The movie will be directed by Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning and is the fifth entry in the $3.7 billion franchise inspired by the Disney Theme Parks attraction. Johnny Depp is reprising his Academy Award-nominated role of Captain Jack Sparrow. Of course, he isn't the only person returning for the journey: Geoffrey Rush (Barbossa), Kevin R. McNally (Joshamee Gibbs) and Stephen Graham (Scrum) are joining the 51-year-old actor for more danger on the high seas. Newcomers include Javier Bardem, »

     

     

    See full article at E! Online

     

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  • Top things to watch on Netflix February 2015

    1. Mash: I know this show might not be everyone's cup of tea but this was the number one show in America for so long it's become sort of a cult of it's own. This is the first time M.A.S.H will be available for digital streaming, i'm not sure how netflix pulled this off but we tried to license this show for streaming years ago and ran into a brick wall. This show has an amazing cast that mixes comedy, drama and suffering all into 23 minute episodes that stand the test of time. Starring Alan Alda as Hawkeye Pierce and featuring many actors who made appearances on the show only to go on and have successful careers of their own (Pat Morita, George Wendt, Shelley Long). I'm not sure how many of the eleven seasons will be available right away but rest assured that however many episodes they give us it'll be worth your time to watch.

       

    2. Spartacus: This show was a monstrous success for both Starz and Netflix, it was easily the most watched series ever on Netflix prior to the releases of House of Cards and Orange is the new black. Spartacus follows the story of a Thracian man forced by Rome to serve in it's ranks only to be betrayed, enslaved, and forced to become a gladiator. The show features lots of drama, gore, betrayal, and sex. I am a fan of this show for it's supporting cast more so than the lead characters. Lucy Lawless and John Hannah absolutely steal this show, add to the equation perfect acting execution from the non-gladiators and you have a great recipe that provides one hell of a ride start to finish.
    3. House of Cards Season 3: Kevin Spacey returns (February 27th) in an all new season of the award winning and critically acclaimed series that pits him in the halls of the White House. At the end of the last season Spacey's character ascends to the position of Vice President all while the walls and crimes of his past seemingly are closing in on him. How will he manipulate himself out of this situation? One can only wonder but based on the amazing team behind the show you can expect it'll have you watching closely the whole way through

     

     

     

     

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  • Mayweather vs Pacquaio: The fight that will come too late

    Since late 2008 boxing fans across the world have been clamoring for a fight between two of the most marketable names in boxing history. In the years since there have been a myriad of reasons why the fight never took place. Everyone has an opinion on this and everyone thinks their opinion is right. The reality that neither fan base can stomach is the fact that fault falls squarely on both fighters and on the fans themselves. Pacquaio and Mayweather were both content to rake in millions of dollars generated by pay per view sales and from guaranteed price purses without fighting each other. As long as they could keep cashing in huge paydays with lesser talented opposition why bother taking the risk? In ways this saga has turned boxing into a wrestling fan mentality where fans of each man are eating up facades of narratives purposely put out there by them or those who manage their careers. The reality is both men had everything to lose by answering which of the two was the better man, gone would've been the near mystical aura that surrounds this fight, gone would be the plethora of free advertising both get by simply being mentioned in the same article as the other. The reality is that both men did not want this fight despite what has been said publicly for reasons already stated, the failure to accept the inherent risk of losing is to be completely blind to reality. Mayweather has enjoyed much fan fare for his talents but talents alone do not bring in tens of millions per fight to his pocket. He can negotiate insane purses for himself because he has the undefeated title to pitch and it comes with a hefty price tag. Losing that takes one bargaining chip off the table. While Pacquaio has lost a few times in his career as long as he's viewed as the man that can dethrone Floyd people will tune in to see if he still has it and if he still merits all the hope placed on his shoulders by his fans.

    Now there are rumblings that this fight is close to actually being made, but does it actually matter? Yes and No. Yes because it will satisfy one fan bases arguments for the past six years. No, because these are shells of athletes now potentially facing off. We will not be seeing the best version of either man if this fight is ever made, that time has come and gone. They are still very dominant but they are also openly acknowledging the years catching up with them. Both men have publicly shown the changes they've made towards training and fighting, their natural abilities from six years ago are heavily dulled. The Mayweather from six years ago would've never been rocked by Maidana with that overhand right down the middle. The Pacquaio of six years ago would've left Chris Algieri a steaming heap of man gathering his wits at the end of a ten count. While the tank for both men still has some gas left in it, no fan can realistically think that the outcome of this fight genuinely holds any weight historically. It won't, at first it may but overtime the argument will be the real one "it came too late". To me dt doesn't matter who wins, i'm fully aware they aren't the same. They'd be pretty much beating on today's faded version of each other which to me holds little to no weight as a fan. The only reason for this fight to happen today is to satisfy those fans who still view these men as the 2009 version of themselves and to finally put to rest the ever existing argument of a fight being made about them. When that final bell rings one side will be happy, the other side will not.  Both men will be considerably richer and boxing fans robbed of fighting two giants of the sport who waited until the milk went sour before stepping into the ring against each other. At 36 and 38 years of age their primes are long gone, so AARP may consider sponsoring this event because in the world of combat sport which is boxing 36 and even moreso 38 is practically senior citizenship. People can use Bernard as an example of fighters fighting beyond their late 30's and late 40's but that doesn't apply here, Bernard is only answering questions about himself. He isn't trying to prove he's the greatest of all time nor the best of his generation.

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  • Heroes: Reborn? No thank you!!

    So the geniuses over at NBC who let the super hero show Heroes die a horrible death in search of ratings discovered the show was actually popular after it became one of the most streamed shows via services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Now that CW and other have jumped into the comic book realm successfully here comes NBC with the bright idea of bringing back this show. Personally I find this choice a huge slap in the face, let's not be so quick to forget that NBC would not even green light a closing episode to the series. They flat out gave up on Heroes while it was on the air, the network itself put so much strain on the creative team to be a ratings winner that it veered so far from it's trajectory that by the end of its final season fans began to cry "put old yeller out of its misery".

    The best thing NBC could've done was to let this show go into the hands of someone who would show it proper respect via creative as well as it's fans. I was a huge fan of Heroes and it pained me greatly to watch such a great show become another piece of network tv fodder. Can't draw in the audience we want? Why not go completely off the rails and perhaps insulting the audience might help get us viewers. Heroes served a huge lesson to me as a viewer to never become too enamored with a show because ultimately some suit is going to decide he or she will cave in and dump a show and instead replace it with some cheaply made tried and true generic comedy sitcom. The demise of Heroes actually pushed me away from broadcast television and into more of a streaming person. The death of Heroes made me a compulsive consumer of full seasons in a sit down or two. I rarely watch a show as it airs now because again someone pushing papers holds the shows fate in their hands and simply because it's Monday may decide to kill it off. Another example of this was Alpha, a show loved by its audience yet cancelled without closure. Ironically Parks and Recreation got a bigger chance to survive than something as ground breaking as Heroes.

     

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  • Top five things to watch on Netflix this month January 2015

    As we've been doing we are back with our top suggestions of things currently available on Netflix this month.

     

    Peaky Blinders WikipediaPeaky Blinders: Two full seasons are available of this Netflix original starring Cillian Murphy and Liam Neeson. The show takes place just after the first world war featuring Cillian Murphy as Thomas Shelby the head of a traveling family involved in the gambling hustle. The show is staged well around a set that looks authentic and a cast of characters that make this show enjoyable. We highly suggest you take a look at it.

     

     

    Hercule Poirot Wikipedia

    Agatha Christie's Poirot Seasons 7-11: Hercule Poirot is back for more, watch as the little grey cells unravel cases for the famous Belgian private detective. If you enjoyed the first six seasons fret not the show never loses it's subtle humor and it's well acted scenes. Although some characters are not as prominent in this phase of the long running show, new ones come to the fold guaranteeing new chemistry throughout new travels.

     

     

    The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)Wolf of Wall Street (2013): Martin Scorcese brings the flash bang of fast living and fast money in this tale of ambition, greed, and over indulgence. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the role of Jordan Belfort notorious a stock trader that rose to the greatest heights of power, sex, drugs, and money only to see it end from behind the bars of federal prison. Jonah Hill brings hilarious acting as his right hand man Donnie Azoff who met Jordan by coincidence and followed him all the way up along the way participating in some of the most outrageous moments in corporate history.

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  • Final "Hobbit" movie crushes Friday box office

    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies dominated the box office on Friday, while Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Annie essentially tied for second place.The final installment in the Hobbit trilogy added $16.58 million yesterday, which brings its three-day total to $51 million. It was up 67 percent from Thursday, which is a bigger jump than any of the Lord of the Rings movies had at the same point.For the three-day weekend, Battle of the Five Armies should earn at least $50 million. That would translate in to a five-day opening at $85-million-plus, which is a very solid result.Playing at 3,785 locations, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb opened to an estimated $5.63 million on Friday. That's a fairly disappointing number for this big-budget threequel: in contrast, the first Night at the Museum earned $12.1 million on opening day back in December 2006. This opening puts Secret of »

     

     

     

    See full article at Box Office Mojo

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  • Amazon fire tv stick is officially now out in the wild

    Amazon decided to continue it's trend of one upping it's competitors by jumping into the battle for your living room tv with its own direct competitor to Google's chrome stick. Amazon came out swinging from the gate, unlike many of it's competition by having a plethora of ready to use apps on day one. As most consumers know apple tv, Google chrome, roku, and others had rocky launches due to the large variety in licensing conflicts they encountered. Amazon who has also jumped into the original series game via it's prime video service worked out all of these conflicts ahead of time. Due to it's size and what it offers the device is a legitimate threat to all others. The other media hubs that match it in size don't have the amount of content amazon offers, and those who could match it come in bigger products. Hopefully Amazon keeps making strides to separate itself from the pack as this item will be a hot one with Christmas gift seekers.

     

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