Thursday, April 23, 2015

Olsen Twins Open To 'Fuller House'

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen didn't find out about the Netflix Full House reboot, Fuller House, until everyone else did. They've since been asked about the show, and are open to reprising their role of Michelle Tanner, but aren't certain. Mary Kate said they'll talk to the creators, and Ashley said she's going to call Bob Saget and get his perspective.

If they decide not to join the series, the creators could always explain their absence in multiple ways. The best would be to say that Michelle slipped into a coma following repercussions from her head injury when she fell off the horse in the series finale and had memory loss.

So far returning to the series will be Candace Cameron Bure (DJ Tanner), Andrea Barber (Kimmy Gibbler), Jodie Sweetin (Stephanie Tanner) & the ageless John Stamos (Uncle Jesse). The others are all still possible for a return. The premise of the show will revolve around DJ being a recent widow with three boys, calling upon Kimmy and Stephanie to help out. Basically a flip of the original. Hopefully it will be just as gloriously cheesy!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer 2

Nerds and nerd lovers unite! The second teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has hit the web and you can watch it below. Being a teaser it still doesn't show much, but does feature some familiar famous breathing and a look at two of the returning characters from the original trilogy. Expectations are already high, and will just keep growing with more reveals like this one.



Han Solo & Chewbacca! Darth Vader's charred mask! You can bet with the next trailer we'll see Luke & Leia, and maybe a first glimpse at some of the new characters we haven't seen yet (like Lupita Nyong'o).

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is out on December 18, 2015. It stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Lupita Nyong'o, Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Gwendoline Christie, Andy Serkis, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Contenders

The 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup comes at us from Canada in June, and qualified teams have begun preparing for the big tournament through the Algarve Cup and friendlies. It'll be the first World Cup broadcast by FOX in the US, who will be devoting more time on the main broadcast channel than any World Cup (Men's or Women's) previously has. Besides the 16 matches on FOX, every match will also be on FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports 2. Time to break down the Twenty Four teams that will be featured at the Cup.

Favorites:

Japan - The defending World Cup champs are just as technically sound as they were when they won in 2011. The main difference this time is nobody will be caught off guard by them. Everyone knows its hard to repeat a championship, but Japan have the team to pull it off. There is a question if Homare Sawa (Japan's version of Mia Hamm in popularity) will be in Canada. She famously scored the tying goal against the United States in the 2011 Final before winning FIFA World Player of the Year in 2011. The 36-year-old was not taken to the Algarve Cup. A veteran presence could be a boost coming off the bench, which is something they'll have to decide.

United States - USA are looking to capture their first World Cup since the famous 1999 Title won on Brandi Chastain's penalty kick against China in the Rose Bowl. They also won in 1991. Its been an up-and-down year for the squad with losses to Brazil, France, Denmark, & Sweden as well as ties with China, Canada, Brazil & Iceland. However, they finished the Algarve Cup strong by beating France. They were drawn into the Group of Death with Sweden, Australia and Nigeria. Winning the group would be ideal, as the 2nd place team would likely face Brazil in the Round of 16. As long as Alex Morgan stays healthy, this team should be just fine. This will most likely be the final World Cup for Abby Wambach, Hope Solo, and Christie Rampone (the only remaining player from 1999).

Germany - The 2003 & 2007 champs were probably the #1 favorite a few weeks ago, but they just lost their best player and 2014 Player of the Year, Nadine Ke├čler, to a knee injury that required surgery. As one of the best teams in the world they have the depth to get through injuries, but you never want to lose a star player. They were also beaten by Sweden & France recently, showing they are mortal.

Sweden - They are the best and most consistent country to never win the World Cup, losing the final in 2003 to Germany and finishing 3rd in 2011. They're coached by Pia Sundhage, who coached the US to Olympic Gold Medals in 2008 & 2012, as well as 2nd place at the 2011 Cup.

Brazil - Marta and Co have become more of a team as of late, which could be scary for the rest of the field. However, they still lack the all around aspect that they always have due to not playing together as often as the other top squads. The Brazilian federation have given them much more support in the lead up to this World Cup and the Rio 2016 Olympics though, so they could easily mesh well enough to win one of the two tournaments. The lost the 2007 final to Germany and will be looking to get back.

France - France has taken the world by storm as of late with some big wins against top teams, finally beating Germany in October after years of losses. They've risen to an all-time high of 3rd in the FIFA Women's Rankings. They can do everything well on the field. However, they have yet to win a major tournament, though this could be their year.

Dark Horses:

Norway - The 1995 Women's World Cup champs have fallen behind the pack since being eliminated in the Group Stage in 2011. However, they are still a force, and gave the US some tough competition at the Algarve Cup by playing well defensively and countering. They do lack the fitness of the top teams which could hurt them in the knockout round later in games.

England - While its unlikely they can do enough to win it all, they have a good squad that could make a deep run to the Semifinals and possible upset there. They lost in the Quarterfinals in 2011 by typical English fashion - a Penalty Shootout, which they were leading before some botched shots did them in. In friendlies against Germany they went on the attack too much, and against the US they played too much defense, so they'll need a better balance in Canada.

Canada - Their outstanding & controversial Olympic semifinal game against the USA lifted hopes for Canadian soccer glory after they nearly made it to the Olympic Final, losing in the final seconds of overtime. If Christine Sinclair is in top form they will be a tough team to beat on home soil.

Australia - They've reached the Quarterfinals of the past two tournaments, and have the talent to possibly make it one step further. They do have the challenge of being in a group with the US and Sweden. The top four 3rd place teams move onto the Round of 16 though, so that gives them a shot. The bad thing is that also means they'd have to face a group winner right away in the knockout stage.

China - One of the women's soccer powers of the 1990s (along with USA & Norway), they've struggled more in recent years. However they seem to be working their way back. They recently tied Brazil, USA & Japan. They play good defense, but scoring it an issue when they face top opponents due to a young and inexperienced team, which has made wins tough to come by. They can make it out of the group, but draws obviously won't be enough in the knockout round. I'll still keep them here, they may have a small chance to figure it all out enough to pull an upset, though it's unlikely they can make it too far in the knockout round.

New Zealand - They can hang with top teams, but like some others just lack the experience to be able to string together enough wins against them to make it to the final. But they have talent, and if everything fell into place they could cause an upset in the knockout round even if they don't make the final.

Spain - They upset England at the 2013 EURO's and qualified for their first Women's World Cup by finishing ahead of Italy last year. Vero Boquete, who plays for Portland Thorns in the NWSL, will be one of the more exciting players to watch. One thing is for sure, they should have a better finish then the men did in the 2014 World Cup.

Netherlands - The Oranje will also be making their debut at the Women's World Cup as they continue their rise in the women's game. However, 2015 may be too soon for them to make it to the final four, especially in a pretty tough group with Canada, China and New Zealand. Every team in Group A is capable, without a weak link in the bunch.

Good, But Unlikely To Go Far: 

Switzerland, South Korea, Nigeria, Mexico, Colombia

Switzerland and South Korea have a good shot to make it to the knockout round due to their groups giving them an opening to pick up points. South Korea will be contending with Spain for a guaranteed 2nd place spot, but whoever finishes 3rd has a chance to pick up the needed points and goal differential. Nigeria is talented enough to go to the knockout round, but being in the Group of Death their only chance would be to beat Australia. Mexico should finish 3rd in their group behind France & England, but Colombia could pose a challenge. Mexico also struggled in Qualifying, finishing behind Costa Rica in their group and needing overtime to beat Trinidad & Tobago.

Happy To Be There:

Thailand, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Cameroon, Ivory Coast

All of these teams are making their debuts and will just be looking to improve their play by facing the world's best. Thailand is actually appearing in its first ever major FIFA tournament, men or women. They benefited from traditional power North Korea being banned for PED use in 2011. Ecuador defeated Trinidad & Tobago in a playoff that saw both teams fill big stadiums. Costa Rica may be the most talented of the bunch, but still have lots of work to do.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Best of SNL 40

Saturday Night Live celebrated 40 Years with a Sunday Night special...live from New York, of course. Overall it was an enjoyable show, and quite amazing to the crew that pulled it all together in what was probably a pretty crazy week. The show was big on nostalgia with plenty of clips from 1975 to the present.

My one gripe is that there weren't quite enough sketches, yet there were three musical performances. And one of them was Kanye West and his Auto-Tune...yawn. So if you tuned in expecting to see 3 hours full of new versions of your favorite sketches from the 1970's to now, you were kind of out of luck. Here are the best moments:

1. Wayne's World. Possibly the most famous recurring sketch was thankfully brought back to life towards the end of the special to deliver one of their always fun Top 10 lists. The best was when they ran through the list of musical performers. Three of The Beatles, U2, Nirvana, Beyonce & Beck were some named. And of course, Garth mentioned how he thought Beck was a better performer than Beyonce. Cue Kanye West jokes, which he was in on, having "security" hold him down.

2. Weekend Update. Tina Fey, Amy Poehler & Jane Curtin came together for a funny and entertaining version of the SNL staple. It featured some tributes to classic SNL characters portrayed by former stars who have since passed away (such as Emma Stone playing Gilda Radner's "Roseanne Roseannadanna"). Stefon made an appearance, and he and Seth Meyers are parents now! But the highlight goes to Curtin: "I used to be the only pretty blonde reading fake news. Now there's a whole network devoted to that." Then the Fox News logo pops up.

3. Jim Carrey. This was technically before the show, but Carrey asked Matt Lauer & Savannah Guthrie if he could ask them something. His question: "Where are you hiding Brian Williams?" Lauer awkwardly responded, "Oh, look at the time." Carrey followed with, "In his defense, if the helicopter in front of me gets hit, I'm taking the story." Perfect!

 

4. Celebrity Jeopardy. Will Ferrell & Darrell Hammond did battle again as Alex Trebek & Sean Connery and it was just as good as it always was. Kate McKinnon also did her perfect Justin Bieber impression, and Norm Macdonald brought back Burt Reynolds.

5. Martin Short & Maya Rudolph (as Beyonce). They paid tribute to the musical sketches of SNL, with perfect use of a fan on Maya-Beyonce. It featured Will Ferrell & Ana Gasteyer as their desperately trying to be hip church singers, The Culps. Adam Sandler brought back Operaman and the Blues Brothers showed up.

6. Justin Timberlake & Jimmy Fallon Opening. The dynamic duo did a musical rundown of the most memorable characters in SNL history. Molly Shannon showed up as Mary Katherine Gallagher and then Rachel Dratch appeared as Debbie Downer to bring down the mood just a little bit as only she can. Always remember - Feline Aids is the number one killer of domestic cats.

7. Ellen Cleghorne. Jerry Seinfeld did a segment which we see a lot of on SNL, taking questions from cast members & others sitting in the audience. He called Sarah Palin Tina which provided an amusing skit between the two. But, Larry David and former cast member Cleghorne were the best, with it going something like this:
Cleghorne - "Why aren't there more black women?"
Seinfeld - "On the show?"
Cleghorne - "No just in general. There should be black women popping out of drawers." Jerry agreed that there should be more, and then she asked where they were on his show Seinfeld. Burn!

8. Betty White & Bradley Cooper Kiss. The Californians went way too long, and there were so many other sketches they probably could have done instead. It did however feature a fun performance from original cast member, Laraine Newman. And it also had a long kiss between Betty White and Bradley Cooper, which wasn't just a peck on the lips. That's something you might never see again!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Kanye West: Douche

Kanye West was at it again at the Grammy Awards, a few years after interrupting his first victim (Taylor Swift). He ran on stage after Beck won for Best Album, only to run back down to his seat. It seemed like a joke at first, by poking fun at himself. Great. Then he goes on E! and starts ranting that it wasn't a joke, saying Beck should give his award to Beyonce and to "respect artistry". Beck responded by saying he thinks Kanye is great and talented. I don't really listen to Beck much, but its nice to see someone so humble & naturally talented win.

Even his wife Kim Kardashian was incredibly uncomfortable during the whole ordeal, forcing a smile. I mean, he made Kim Kardashian uncomfortable on camera. And she did a porn!

Personally, I think Kanye West should heed his own advice to respect artistry and creativity. Its 2015 and he is still overusing Auto-Tune (since he can't sing) 17 years after it was first used by Cher as a gimmick in 1998. Real artistic & original there, Kanye. And what is his obsession with Beyonce? I'm surprised more people don't find it odd, especially Jay Z and Beyonce.

I think Shirley Manson of the band Garbage said it best by writing to him, You are making yourself look like a complete twat. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Patriots Caught Cheating (Again)

As everyone has heard by now, the NFL is investigating the New England Patriots for deflating 11 footballs used by their offense before their AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts. Nicknamed "Deflategate" and "Ballghazi" by some, its quite the distraction heading into Super Bowl XLIX, which also features the Seattle Seahawks.

Some have brought up that other teams may have done it before. They haven't been caught though so there is no proof of it, and I really doubt anyone has done it before an AFC or NFC Championship Game like the Patriots did. This also isn't the first time the Patriots have been caught cheating, and we all know Bill Belichick is no stranger to controversy. Should the Patriots really have broken the rules again after Spygate where they got caught illegally taping opponents?

People can bring up how the Patriots dominated the Colts, so it didn't matter. Its not about the result, we all expected them to win. Yet, they still broke the rules, and deflated the balls before the game. One also has to wonder just how many times they've done this before, and did they do it against the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round, a game they only won by 4 points? There is almost no way this was the first time the Patriots have tried this.

Bill Belichick lacks the integrity to get any benefit of the doubt. As a coach who once cut a player (Tiquan Underwood) the night before a Super Bowl, this really couldn't have happened to a better candidate.

At the end of the day, it doesn't seem like such a huge deal overall, but then again, why would they deflate them if it didn't make a difference?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2015 Anniversaries

How has it been 20 Years since 'Toy Story'?
Can you believe we are already halfway through the 2010's? 2015 unbelievably kicks off the second half of this decade, even though many of those Back To The Future II predictions didn't come true (although some did, like big flat screen TV's and video chatting).  There are also some hard to believe anniversaries this year.

2010, 5 Years Since... Lebron James joined the Miami Heat and oddly became a media "villain". Cavs fans burned his jersey, but now that he's made his return to Cleveland, love him again. Funny how sports work. The Chilean miners were freed and one famously kissed his mistress. The double rainbow also became a hit viral video, and now everyone searches for one.

2005, 10 Years Since... YouTube debuted. Before 2005 it was harder to find shareable videos where you can watch people make fools of themselves. You could still find them, though you had to search a bit more depending on which site people used. YouTube made it easy for everyone to use one site. Xbox 360 was launched, and its still going strong today despite the updated generation of video game consoles being released recently. August will see the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, one of the most devastating natural disasters in American history.

2000, 15 Years Since... The last Subway Series. I mean the real Subway Series, during the World Series, not that interleague stuff. The Mets and Yankees squared off in the first Subway(All New York) World Series since the 1950's. Looking back, this was also New York in the final year before 9/11, and America as a whole was a different place in 2000. People also said "The Year..." before 2000. Why did so many people say "The Year 2000" again?

1995: 20 Years Since... Toy Story. That's right, this fall will mark 20 years since Toy Story hit theaters and launched Pixar into the huge studio it is today. Feels like yesterday when it came out and jaws dropped at the sight of the first fully computer animated movie. Clueless also came out, and perfectly encapsulates the style and lingo of the time. It was also the year of the OJ Simpson trial, one of the first times a trial became a television phenomenon thanks to cable news, and people are still obsessed with these today.

1990: 25 Years Since... Home Alone. The Christmas favorite will be a quarter of a century old. I wonder what Buzz's girlfriend looks like now? East & West Germany finally reunited. And now we get Angela Merkel pantsuits. "U Can't Touch This" was released and popularized parachute pants. Thankfully those have not stood the test of time.

1985: 30 Years Since... Live Aid took place on July 13, 1985, simultaneously from London and Philadelphia, becoming one of the biggest TV broadcasts and satellite link-ups ever. Bono sported quite the show stealing mullet when he moved down to the crowd during U2's 14-minute performance of "Bad".  The Breakfast Club and The Goonies came out. It has really been 30 years since the Truffle Shuffle.

1980: 35 Years Since... John Lennon was sadly shot in December 1980, but his timeless music and memory live on today. The Empire Strikes Back took over the world and had people waiting in long lines for tickets, which is a rare thing now thanks to the internet and apps.

1975: 40 Years Since... Saturday Night Live began, launching many careers and providing some late night laughs. Sonny and Cher divorced, which made "I Got You Babe" a bit awkward. Jaws started the summer blockbuster movie craze and scared tons of people from going in the water.

1970: 45 Years Since... The Beatles broke up and released their final album, Let It Be. I'm sure lots of people were sad, but they all went on to have successful solo careers anyway. Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin both dies at age 27, which gave rise to the "27 Club" of famous musicians who tragically passed away at the same young age.

1965: 50 Years Since... The Beatles performed at Shea Stadium and the New York World's Fair took place in Queens. The NY World's Fair was not a money maker, but still has become quite a famous event which is still talked about.