Showing posts from April, 2017

2017 Broncos Season, Draft Prospects

The 2017 NFL Draft is in the books, and the Broncos picked up eight players to try and help fill the holes on the squad. I looked at the first round pick, Garrett Bolles, a couple days ago. But what about the rest.

The Broncos have had one of the top defenses in the NFL the past few seasons, so it makes sense that they like what they have there. Of the eight picks, only two were on defense, and both addressed an area of need.

The Broncos' one glaring weakness on defense was an ability to stop the run, and a main cause of that was the defensive line. The Broncos let Sylvester Williams go and signed a pair of defensive tackles. But in the second round they grabbed DeMarcus Walker, a defensive end from Florida State. Walker can help bolster the line, which hasn't gotten much outside of Derek Wolfe the past two seasons. He could also play some on the inside.

The other defensive selection was in the third round, cornerback Brendan Langley from Lamar. He will add depth to the No Fl…

Netflix's Powerful, Controversial Series

"I guess that's the point of it all: No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same." — Jay Asher, "13 Reasons Why"

According to statistics, April is the month with the highest instance of suicides. It seems like no accident, then, that "13 Reasons Why," Neflix's controversial new series based on the novel by Jay Asher, was released on March 31. The series, like the book, follows Clay (Dylan Minnette), a high school junior who receives audio tapes from a classmate who took her life.

Over the course of 13 emotionally testing episodes, the story of Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) plays out. At first, it feels familiar to anyone who attended high school. But as the story progresses, the events get darker and more difficult to watch.

Since its release, the show has been a trending topic on Social Media and in the news. And a controversial one, too. Some have…

2017 Broncos Season, the Draft's Opening Round

The NFL draft began on Thursday night, with the first round. Over the course of nearly four hours, the first 32 picks came off the board. And there was plenty of intrigue.

The Cleveland Browns didn't draft a quarterback, but the Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans all paid a King's Ransom to move up and draft the quarterback of the future. Mitchell Trubisky for the Bears, Patrick Mahomes for the Chiefs, and DeShaun Watson for the Texans. Of the three, only the Texans seemed truly desperate, but all paid steep prices.

As for the Broncos, it was a day of a lot of rumors and wonder that ultimately ended up in a kind of safe pick that has fans and analysts split. Early in the day the rumor was the Broncos were in serious talks with the Tennessee Titans to move from No. 20 to No. 5 in the first round to grab Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey.

McCaffrey was a top draft target for the Broncos, which is no surprise. But the move likely would have cost at leas…

Summer Movie Preview, Potential Flops

They can't all be winners... Earlier this week I looked at 10 movies that I think are must-see fare this Summer. Today I'll complete the summer movie preview with five movies I think could be bombs.

I know what you're thinking, that's unfair. Probably true. But history tells us that for every "Guardians of the Galaxy" there's an "Independence Day Resurgence." These are five movies I think are more likely to achieve the later than the former.

May Releases:
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Friday, May 12:
About: Second week of summer and we already have a potential disappointment. I know what you're thinking, on paper this has potential. King Arthur is always a good subject, Charlie Hunnam looks good in the trailer and it's directed by Guy Ritchie. But let's think on it some more. Ritchie's best films aren't exactly summer blockbusters. And his last few films haven't really won people over. His pair of "Sherlock Holmes&…

Best of the Small Screen, Comedies No. 8

Over the next 18 weeks I'll be taking a look at some of my favorite TV series, broken down into three groups (Limited Run Series, Comedies, and Dramas). In my post on March 1 I laid out the ground rules for these categories and this exploration, the biggest of which is no series that are currently airing. To read the whole thing, check out the post "Best of the Small Screen" from March 1.

Today I continue with a very irreverent sports-related show.

The League (2009-2015)
Number of Seasons/Episodes: 7/84
Network: F/X
Starring: Mark Duplass, Nick Kroll, Katie Aselton, Stephen Rannazzisi, Paul Scheer, and Jonathan Lajoie
Creators: Jackie Marcus Schaffer and Jeff Schaffer
Favorite Season/Episodes: Season 3, 1.01 "The Draft," 3.03 "The Au Pair," 3.06 "Yobogoya," 3.01 "The Lockout"
About: This is probably the least traditional sitcom on this list. In fact, when it launched, I'm not sure anyone thought it would get the following that it did…

Spring TV Roundup, Week 5

It's nearly May, but both Networks and cable channels are rolling out new shows. In these weekly posts I look at the pilot and second episode of new scripted series this Spring. Don't see a new show listed below? Check previous weeks.

Tuesday Nights:
Famous in Love, Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Freeform (Premiered April 18)
About: "Famous in Love" is the latest teen soap on Freeform, a 10-episode series about a young college student (Bella Thorne) who lands a role in a big franchise film and finds her life changed. The pilot was fine, and about typical. The world is full of over privledged young actors, most of whom are having affairs with each other. The manipulative adults featured are no better. Then there's the lead and her friends, outsiders to the world who are about to be corrupted. Freeform released all 10 episodes on Hulu after the premier, so fans can binge the whole series (and doubtless many have). It's unclear what that means for the future of the show, b…

Summer Movie Preview, Pt. 2

Summer is coming. In part one, I looked a five movies that have the potential to break out in May and June. Today, I complete my summer preview with five potential gems from July and August.

July Releases:
Spider-man: Homecoming, Friday, July 7
About: I know what you're thinking, "Spider-man" again? Really? It's a fair thought. Since the original "Spider-man" film debuted in 2002, there have been five films with two different casts. But that was before Marvel got the rights back. This latest incarnation first appeared in "Captain America: Civil War" and, frankly, was one of the best things about that movie. Now he gets his own solo feature, bringing Robert Downey, Jr.'s Iron Man along with him. The trailer looks great and I have faith this will be the best Spidey yet.

Dunkirk, Friday, July 21
About: Two words for you: Christopher Nolan. He's a master director, and his films are a love letter to the craft of filmmaking. And let's not forget…

Summer Movie Preview, Pt. 1

On the calendar, Summer begins in mid-June. Conventional wisdom is that summer begins on Memorial Day weekend. But, of course, the Box Office marches to the beat of its own drum. At the movies, Summer begins the first Friday in May, kicking off four months of action blockbusters, outrageous comedies, and plenty of franchise features.

Over the next couple days I will highlight 10 films (five in May-June, and five in July-August) that will be worth checking out this summer.

May Releases:
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, Friday, May 5
About: The first "Guardians of the Galaxy" is, in my opinion, the best of the Marvel films. This one looks to be on par, maybe even better. The trailers are outstanding and there's every possibility this will be THE film of the summer 2017.

Alien: Covenant, Friday, May 19:
About: Released in 1979, the original "Alien" is a sci-fi classic. It's a nearly pitch-perfect horror/thriller. But I was also one of those who wasn't thrilled…

2017 NFL Schedule Release

The 2017 NFL Schedule was released on Thursday night. Though we're five months away from the season, the excitement is building. Here's 16 games to help prepare for a perfect season.

Week 1:
* Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots, Thursday, September 7: The opening game of the season, and a good one. The Chiefs were the AFC West Champs and the No. 2 seed in 2016, and are likely to be an AFC contender again. The Patriots are the defending Super Bowl Champions, and the defending champs have a great record in these season opening games. This outta be a good one.

* Seattle Seahawks at the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, September 10: The NFL tries to beef it up on opening weekend, and this is an exhibit of how they do it. This game pits a pair of playoff teams and division winners, both of whom have aspirations of contending again in 2017. It's just a shame someone has to start 0-1.

* New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, September 10: The opening Sunday night game is a fam…

2017 Broncos Season, Schedule Released

On Thursday night, the NFL unveiled its 2017 schedule. The release is always a big deal, and just one of the ways that, in the midst of April and months prior to the start of the season, the NFL helps football come alive to fans.

But seeing Denver's schedule didn't fill me with joy... Heading into the schedule release we knew it would be brutal. Denver faces the toughest strength of schedule based on opponent records in 2016. That figures. Both the Chiefs and Raiders, who we play twice, were playoff teams with double-digit wins. We also play the Patriots, Giants, Dolphins and Cowboys, four other playoff teams who had good seasons, and the Colts and Redskins who narrowly missed the playoffs. So, yeah, the road will be tough.

On Thursday, we saw how tough. Here's the schedule:

Week 1: Home vs the Chargers on Monday night (final game of the opening weekend)
Week 2: Home vs the Cowboys, the NFC's top seed in 2016
Week 3: At the Buffalo Bills
Week 4: Home against the Raiders

Now Playing

Here's a look at the new movie I saw this week.

The Fate of the Furious
Starring: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Charlize Theron, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Nathalie Emmanuel, Scott Eastwood, and Kurt Russell
Synopsis: In November 2013 the film world was rocked as Paul Walker, star of the “Fast & Furious” franchise, died in a car accident. At that point, the franchise had berthed six films and was well in the process of a seventh film. But Walker’s death posed many questions. Seventeen months later, the seventh film in the franchise debuted, and audiences came out in droves to see “Furious 7.” Released more than a year after Walker’s death, and completed thanks to some film effect work, it was his final film. And it was an incredibly fitting tribute, up to and including the closing sequence, which saw Walker’s Brian O’Connor drive off into the sunset. The film made more than $1.5 billion at the worldwide Box Office and proved the franchise still had…

Best of the Small Screen, Comedies No. 9

Over the next 19 weeks I'll be taking a look at some of my favorite TV series, broken down into three groups (Limited Run Series, Comedies, and Dramas). In my post on March 1 I laid out the ground rules for these categories and this exploration, the biggest of which is no series that are currently airing. To read the whole thing, check out the post "Best of the Small Screen" from March 1.

Today comedies continue with one that might be a bit of a stretch to the original rules.

New Girl (2011-2017)
Number of Seasons/Episodes: 6/138
Network: FOX
Starring: Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris, and Hannah Simone
Creator: Elizabeth Meriwether
Favorite Season/Episodes: Season One; 1.01 "Pilot," 1.15 "Injured," 1.20 "Normal," 2.15 "Cooler"
About: Some might call this cheating. Clearly in the rules I outlined I said no current run series, and "New Girl" was clearly on the air this season. So what gives? First of…

Spring TV Roundup, Week 4

We're into April, but a selection of new shows keeps on coming. In these weekly posts I look at the first and second episode of new scripted series. Don't see a new show listed below? Check previous weeks.

Tuesday Nights:
Prison Break, Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on FOX (Premiered April 4)
About: "Prison Break" ran for four seasons on FOX in its first life, and on April 4 it returned for a fifth installment, or a sequel depending on who you ask. This one sees Michael Schofield (Wentworth Miller) having assumed a new identity and sitting in a prison in Yemen. The rest of his crew, led by his brother Lincoln (Dominic Purcell), are trying to help him get out. And there's the small matter of how Michael, who was believed to be dead, is still alive, and how his identity got scrubbed in the first place. Most of the first two episodes have been about setting the stage and re-introducing or introducing the key players. But the game is afoot, and by the end of the second episode it&…

Filling the TV Void

It's the tail end of April, and suddenly you, like many others, might have hit a TV void. "The Walking Dead" wrapped up its season on April 2. "Game of Thrones," which always appeared around Easter, won't be back until July. The NFL is long over, too, so now you're just wondering what you're going to do to fill that cable-sized whole in your world. And after "Fate of the Furious," we have weeks until the Summer Movie Season begins.

Fear not, there are solutions. I'd like to modestly propose three very good cable shows that can help cure the Spring Doldrums.

Network: Streaming on Amazon Prime
When: Seasons 1 and 2, 10 episodes each, are now available. Season three drops on Friday, April 21
About: "Bosch" is a detective series, but it's not quite what you think. Based on the novels by Michael Connelly, the series follows Detective Hieronymus 'Harry' Bosch (Titus Welliver), a homicide detective in Los Angeles. Eac…

He is Risen

" As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ” - Mark 16:5-7

Today is, perhaps, the most important date on the Calendar. It's Easter Sunday. And it's not the specific date -- April 16 -- that matters, because the date of Easter changes every year. It's what it means. I means He is Risen. It means Jesus, the Savior of the World, has defeated death. It means we, too, who believe have defeated death.

It is a cause for celebration. It is a day to remember. It is a day to be grateful.

He is Risen, and that changes everything.

"Christ is risen from the dead Trampling over death by death Come awake, come awake Come and rise …

NBA Playoffs Preview

The NBA Playoffs kick off today. I decided to make my predictions. Fair warning, these will probably be the worst NBA playoff predictions you read this year.

Eastern Conference:
1. Boston Celtics
2. Cleveland Cavaliers
3. Toronto Raptors
4. Washington Wizards
5. Atlanta Hawks
6. Milwaukee Bucks
7. Indiana Pacers
8. Chicago Bulls

Opening Round: Celtics over Bulls (closer than you'd think); Cavaliers over Pacers, Raptors over Bucks, Wizards over Hawks.

Second Round: Wizards over Celtics; Cavaliers over Raptors

Easter Conference Finals: Cavaliers over Wizards

About: Yes, the Celtics earned the one seed, but they are an inexperienced team. And it's not like they killed it all season. The Cavaliers stumbled to close the season, but they have plenty of talent and LeBron James has been in six straight NBA Finals. I have no doubt they can and will make it back. The door is open, but the Eastern Conference is weak.

Western Conference:
1. Golden State Warriors
2. San Antonio Spurs
3. Houston Rockets
4. …

A Salute to Pot Roast

"It was dark on the plane, and everyone was sleeping. The stewardess was saying 'Pot roast, pot roast' and I raised my hand, as if that was name. The guy behind me was like, 'Yeah, I'm going to start calling you Pot Roast and I'm like 'Yeah whatever.'" — Terrance Knighton

The man they call Pot Roast is calling it a career. Terrance Knighton played defensive tackle in the NFL for eight seasons, including two seasons as the man in the middle for the Broncos. To me, he was an integral part of why the Broncos made the Super Bowl against the Seahawks.

The Broncos, sadly, didn't win that game, and Knighton didn't get to stay on the roster long enough to make it to Super Bowl 50 and get his ring. But he was always one of my favorite Broncos, and I'm sad to see him call it a career.

Knighton began his career with the Jaguars for four seasons then came to Denver and then-defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. Knighton was the man in the middle as…

Now Playing

Here's a look at the new movies I saw this week.

Ghost in the Shell
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Michael Pitt, and Juliette Binoche
Synopsis: Based on the comic book by Shirow Masamune, "Ghost in the Shell" is set in the near future where humans are getting cybernetic enhancements. But that's not the limit of the future. The tech company at the heart of the story is trying to look to the future, and that means creating Mira (Johansson), a woman with a human brain and a completely synthetic shell of a body. That makes her the perfect hybrid, and the perfect weapon. But she also has these "glitches" that she can't explain. Soon, a nefarious figure begins attacking the scientists that worked on the project and Mira begins to wonder what the connection is to her. This film has a very interesting story and look. The scene set by director Rupert Sanders reminds me a lot of "Blade Runner," and the film has a strong cast and engrossing story. It draws …

Best of the Small Screen, Comedies No. 10

Over the next 20 weeks I'll be taking a look at some of my favorite TV series, broken down into three groups (Limited Run Series, Comedies, and Dramas). In my post on March 1 I laid out the ground rules for these categories and this exploration, the biggest of which is no series that are currently airing. To read the whole thing, check out the post "Best of the Small Screen" from March 1.

Today I start my look at comedies. This is a tougher one for me because sitcoms haven't traditionally been my favorite type of TV show and still aren't. Some of the entries on this list came easily, others I wrestled with. And also, next week, I'm taking a bit of a chance with the rules. I believe the show is done and, if it is, would make this list, so I included it.

But today, I'm starting with a classic from the "Must-See TV" era, and my wife's favorite show. In fact, the complete series of "Friends" on DVD was one of the first presents I boug…

Springs TV Roundup, Week Three

It's Spring, baseball has begun and so have shows about baseball! In these weekly posts I look at the pilot and second episode of new scripted series this Spring. Don't see a new show listed below? Check previous weeks.

Tuesday Nights:
Prison Break, Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on FOX (Premiered April 4)
About: Some might argue this isn't a new show. That's fair. It aired for four seasons on FOX from 2005-2009 and even ended with a fitting series finale where the main character, Michael Schofield (Wentworth Miller), died. But, after the successful revival of the "X-Files," FOX went all in on reviving content from a better era of production and ratings. So "Prison Break" is back. Is this its fifth season or a whole new iteration? Who's to say. What's clear is that all the original actors and production is back, including Miller, whose character was magically raised from the dead in the pilot. He's now in a terrible prison in the Middle East. His brot…

America First

"You’re missing it, all of you. It’s happening right now in front of your faces. We have O’Keefe. We have a disinformation campaign designed to discredit the president elect. As of today, we have boots on the ground, like the protesters I had to wade through to get here. Does that seem familiar to any of you? Because it does to me. It’s what we did in Nicaragua, Chile, Congo, a dozen other places, all the way back to Iran in the 50s. And it does not end well for the elected regime." — Saul, "Homeland"

Quietly, and without a lot of fanfare or notice, "Homeland" found its groove again. In its sixth season, the show, perhaps, offered an interesting example of what it could be, and maybe what it always should have been following an explosive first season.

There were twists, bombs, lies, deception and everything you'd expect from a show like this. But there weren't any mental break downs. There wasn't a lot of wine drinking and slow jazz music. Th…

Fast and Furious Entertainment

On Friday, April 14 "Fate of the Furious" will be released in theaters. It will make a lot of money if history is any judge. The eighth film in the franchise, this one will take the franchise in a new direction. Paul Walker is gone, and the trailers make it appear that our hero Dom (Vin Diesel) has turned to the dark side.

Supposedly this won't be the last of the franchise, which has become one of the most bankable. After "Furious 7" grossed more than $1.5 billion at the worldwide Box Office, it's clear people haven't tired of this franchise. And it's got a simple formula: cool cars, cool characters and great action sequences. Plus a few fringe elements that make it hum. Or at least it has since the franchise got put back on track with its fourth installment. Parts two and three, well we don't talk about those much.

With the eighth film about to come out, it's time to look back at the first seven and rank them, in ascending order.

7. Fast an…