2016 might have been the worst year in quite some time. It’s really hard to defend the year as being great when everyone can agree it was abnormally terrible.
In fact, I’m breaking a tradition with this recurring post and eliminating the “in-between” section from my annual list because very few things were redeeming enough to lift our spirits this year.
If there’s anything to end the year on a good note for me, it’s writing my annual Best & Worst look back at the year. Keep in mind these are things that I thought were awesome (or bad) but feel free to weigh in on your personal best/worst of 2016 either on here or on the Facebook/Twitter talkback! Onto the list! (READ MORE)
Last Friday Metallica released Hardwired… To Self-Destruct. Now that a week has passed and the “newness” has worn off and I was able to listen to it a few times I feel now I can accurately review it. I feel that since St. Anger, Metallica has made it a mission to return to form. With Death Magnetic, they took a step in the right direction and while this album is a better return to form it does seem at times that this is Death Magnetic part 2. With a few interesting projects between Death Magnetic nearly 10 years ago such as the odd Lou Reed collaboration album LuLu and the concert film/ action film mashup of Through the Never. It was pretty fun as a fan to see Metallica return with a new album. (READ MORE)
Growing up in the late 80s, and early 90s I was at the right age when Power Rangers first arrived on TV. It was a great show and had a lot to offer: Fighting, monsters, robots, developing a crush on Amy Jo Johnson (100% why I watched the Disney Movie Suzy Q).
Now that the Power Rangers are returning in a gritty movie, we’ll be back to seeing Putty Patrol, Rita Repulsa and Goldar soon enough! To be fair the Power Rangers haven’t gone anywhere because they milked that cash cow for the better part of 2 decades but nothing came quite as iconic as the original run.
While the new movie will return to the fun days of the Dino-Zords and Zordon, it does look like it’s gone in the gritty direction. The Rangers look quite Iron-Man-esque, Rita trades her silly hat for a more sultry look, and we’ve only heard whispers of Zordon or Alpha 5. Since Pacific Rim released, many fans wanted to see a Power Rangers movie along the same tone and that appears to be the case with the new trailer. So come next year we’ll see what a more serious Power Ranger movie looks like this side of Ivan Ooze.
While details have been scarce about the movie, we still don’t know who or what the giant monster will be. There must be a giant monster to prompt the MegaZord to throw down so I thought it’d be fun to list a few monsters I’d like to see get updated and put on the big screen. (While I am a geek about things, I barely remember any of the monsters, let alone their names so Googling things like “Power Ranger Pig Monster” or “Power Ranger Fish Monster” became my “research” for this). Anyway here’s who I’d like to see them brawl against. (FULL STORY)
This past weekend nearly 60,000 people packed into the Colorado Convention Center over the course of 4 sessions for the annual craft beer pilgrimage that is The Great American Beer Festival (aka GABF). Here’s my dispatches from the biggest beer festival in America….(READ MORE)
If you caught this weekend’s episode of Game of Thrones, you may understand why some fans came to work on Monday really bummed out. If you’re not caught up just stop reading now and come back later…this article will wait for you.
Sundays’ episode “Hold the Door” sent shockwaves so strong that you merely have to simply ask someone to “hold the door” to see if they are a Game of Thrones fan or not. If they comply, they are not but if they curl up into a ball and sob like a baby, you’ve got a heart-broken fan on your hands.
So given how depressing Sunday’s episode “Hold the Door “ turned out being for fans of Game of Thrones, I thought it’d be fun and a good way to get over the grieving process to go through other times a TV show brought on the man tears….or at least brought one to the brink. Let’s bring on the sadness: (READ MORE)
Captain America: Civil War has been a box office juggernaut since releasing 3 weeks ago and now that I’ve seen it, it’s time to talk about it. The movie takes its name from a 2006 Marvel Comics event in which a team of superheroes destroys a small town. A superhero registration act immediately passes in congress requiring all super-powered individuals to come forward, publicly revealing their identities and register as a super-powered individual and work for the government. The movie follows it somewhat but instead following the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Avengers are made to be held accountable for their actions since most of their identities are already known. Like the comic, those in favor join Iron Man and those opposed joined Captain America. Some fighting happens naturally. This in a nutshell is how the 3rd Captain America film gets rolling (or Avengers 2.5 as it really felt like). I couldn’t recommend the movie enough as a fan and since I’m still in crazy fanboy mode I wanted to talk about the 5 moments that made me lose my shit while watching! Spoilers obviously follow so if you haven’t seen it just come back and read after. (FULL ARTICLE)
This week the Reinheitsgebot turns 500 years old. If you’ve ever been on ANY brewery tour, the Reinheistsgebot always comes up but most of us refer to it as the German Beer Purity Law. By this law, beer legally could be made only with 4 ingredients: Water, Barley and Hops (Yeast would be added later once it was understood). Back then, beer was actually safer to drink than water (maybe still is). In fact, way back around 1080 an Abbot by the name of Arnold of Soissons saved many would-be-plague victims by having them drink the beer he made instead of water (the water used for the beer would be boiled and the harmful pathogens would be killed) as a result many people that followed his instructions survived and he would later become Saint Arnold- patron saint of hop pickers and brewers (I also learned on a tour in Belgium that his statue is in every brewery in the country). Several years later in 1516, to make sure beer remained safe the Reinheitsgebot was adopted and any brewer that violated the purity law would be punished by being arrested and their beer confiscated and destroyed.
Today many of your favorite beers are made following this law. Pilsners, lagers, stouts, porters, bocks, ambers, IPAs, ect all use water, barley, hops and yeast. However, in this day and age innovation is the name of the game and you can only do so much with base grains and hop varieties. So this Saturday when this law becomes 500 years old, by all means have a glass of beer (most German beers strictly follow the Reinheitsgebot and are stellar) but also if you want to raise the devils horns and make Judas Priest proud and “Break the law” here’s a few to check out: (READ MORE)
Just a week before my 32nd birthday, my wife Stacey wanted to go on a vacation abroad somewhere to celebrate and to satisfy a travel itch. We talked before of Italy to follow our England Trip just a year or two after but a few life changes caused that plan to not really take place when planned. Once we were able to do another journey Italy was strongly considered as was Iceland but then the question was asked “where would you like to go?”. For me, being a beer nerd over the last few years, Belgium always had an appeal to me. It’s where some of my favorite beer is imported from, it has a lot of history, and it just sounded fun. We originally planned 4 days and 3 nights in Belgium visiting Brussels, Bruges and Ghent and then we would fly up to Copenhagen to visit a friend and spend 2 days there prior to coming home. Unfortunately, just merely a day after we landed in Brussels, a terrorist attack carried out by ISIS bombed the very same airport halls and train we rode on less than 24 hours after we safely left to visit Bruges. We were lucky to avoid such a fate. It’s something that definitely altered our plans, and sort of hung over constantly the entire time. We ended up visiting places (and countries) that were not planned at all but in an ultimate “making lemonade outta lemons” scenario we went with where the wind (or more accurately airline plans) took us and had quite the adventure as a result Here’s my journal for our Belgium (mostly) trip. (READ MORE)
Next weekend, a movie that seemed highly unlikely to ever happen will finally hit the big screen. Since Ryan Reynolds was announced to play Wade Wilson in Wolverine Origins, fanboys hoped for a spin-off featuring Deadpool. However the film’s confusing 3rd act gave us “Deadpool” (read my rant here) and killed nearly all hope for a spin-off. Fortunately, now that the Cinematic X-Men universe has been reset and everything we’ll finally get to see a proper Deadpool in his own movie.
Deadpool has been a beloved character since his debut in The New Mutants #98 back in 1991 and his solo/co-staring series throughout the 90s and 2000s and launched into mega-popularity over the last few years. If the trailers and awesome marketing for the movie wasn’t enough, some fans may want to know a little about Deadpool before he makes his (proper) silver screen debut.
Mostly, all you’ll need to know is that Wade Wilson is a skilled mercenary that gets cancer, he enters the Weapon X program (same program that made Wolverine) to cure it and instead he becomes indestructible like Wolverine and horribly disfigured. Throw in some insanity (or as the film will go to avoid a PC fight: dark sense of humor) and you more or less get a feel for who Deadpool is. With a little over a week to go, there’s plenty of time to get acquainted with the Merc with the Mouth via his numerous stories. Here’s 6 that I think would make for a great introduction to the character: (READ MORE)
2015 was…let’s face it…a pretty rough year as far as news goes, but it was also a year that brought us Star Wars, Jurassic Park and more adventures with The Avengers. Traditionally, I like to use the last weeks of the year to take a look at the Best and Worst parts of 2015, but not everything is bad or good, so I like to look at the “meh” moments as well. It’s no secret that since starting this blog 5 years ago, the “Best, Worst and “In-Betweens” list is my absolute favorite thing to write for my site. It’s a great way to talk about things I didn’t dedicate an entire article to and it’s a great way to spark conversation as well. So without further adieu, Here’s 2015’s Best, Worst and “In-Between” list (READ FULL ARTICLE)