Netflix Shuffle: Episode 1- “The Raven”

Within this blog, I am going to also right movie reviews three times a week, submitting my opinions of movies randomly picked on Netflix. This will allow you to read up on movies on Netflix now, making it easier for you to choose movies to watch.

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In the first episode of Netflix Shuffle: Movie Reviews, I will be reviewing the movie The Raven by James McTeigue.

In all honesty, going into this movie I was a little skeptic. This seemed like an over-the-top gore fest, filled with cliche horror movie elements and corny dialogue, something I’ve grown very annoyed with over the years.

However, I was pleasantly surprised with this movie. There were many moments throughout the movie where I was at the edge of my seat, keeping my attention fully. There were also times that seemed to drag, although there were only a couple of moments of that and they were bearable.

John Cusack, another turnoff for me in this movie, was great as Edgar Allen Poe. He seems to make great movies but I never thought he was THAT GOOD of an actor. For me, aside from Being John Malkovich, this was his best performance. There were times however I didn’t know if he was speaking British or English, but it didn’t matter.

The plot was so well done, having a killer copy Edgar’s gruesome poems, and Poe needs to help the investigators find the killer and prevent the killings from happening.Throughout the movie, we learn that Poe is an alcoholic, trying to find some inspiration and create stories as good as his past works, but has found himself in a writer’s slump. He’s in love with a rich man’s daughter, Emily, who loves him back. Poe seeks her father’s approval, but to no avail.

In about a half-hour through the movie, the first murder happens. Poe gets pulled into the investigation, coming in as a suspect. But when another person gets killed, by the way of The Pit and the Pendulum, Poe becomes the main source to find the killer. Working with Detective Fields, played by Luke Evans (very well done), Poe begins to get intertwined in the killers game. He begins to lose control of reality and fiction, slowly becoming lost in his own imagination.

If you’re looking for a good popcorn movie thriller, with full of twists and turns, The Raven is the movie for you. It was so much better than I expected. Gory, but it wasn’t shoved down my throat. Suspenseful, keeping my eyes glued to the television.

Rating: ***

–Eric Landro

Why Television Has Ruined the Standards of Movies

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Movies have been the most important source in entertainment, showcasing the greatest stories, performances, and state of the art technology. It wasn’t until the early 2000′s where television has emerged as a power in the entertainment circuit. Back in the day, actors who have acted in movies and then moved to television, would be looked upon as “taking a step back”. Now, more and more actors and actresses jump at the opportunity for showcasing their talents on the smaller screen, generating a huge success in the television business.

Now, I am not saying that movies are on a decline. Movies are booming just as much as television, yet there are key elements that a television show has over a movie, creating more and more arguments of which screen has the better acting, directing, stories, etc.

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For me, the transition began when the show 24 came on, which started in 2001. Television was never something I would consistently watch, besides the occasion sitcoms (FRIENDS) and sporting events. But my friend had told me there was an incredible show called 24, and I needed to watch it.

I gave in, and watched the first episode on the internet. My mind was blown. From start to finish, I was on the edge of my seat, already excited for the next episode.

As I watched 24, I began becoming attached to Kiefer Sutherland’s character, Jack Bauer. The whole world was against him, and we as the audience were the only ones who knew he was right.

Now I know what you’re thinking. There are countless characters in movies who have that same characteristic, the helpless hero fighting off the demons the world brings by himself.

But here is the significant difference. In 24, the director had 24 episodes (an hour each) to develop the character of Jack Bauer. He was able to show us season after season of slowly getting deeper of who Jack was. It was like peeling an onion, disposing layer after layer until we found the core of who Jack was.

When you look at movies, the director has roughly an hour and a half, two hours where he has the beginning, the middle and an end, also trying to convey his message, and develop the main characters. For years, that has been enough for audiences around the globe, because we weren’t used to these deep characters we see in television.

With the television shift, we now have stories we would never have imagined on the small screen. Each year leaves us with cliffhangers, leaving us salivating for more. They leave us with unanswered questions. TV directors have the ability to take risks, changing their direction year by year, having us be a part of the story.

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Sons Of Anarchy happens to be the new TV obsession of mine (changes every few years or so). When I watch this show, I feel like I am a part of this motorcycle club, due to its long lasting run on TV, spanning years.

Movies don’t grasp me as much anymore. Now, after watching all these shows, I feel this constant need for more. I need more story, more character development. They almost seemed rushed. I’m not asking them to make 10-hour movies, it’s not their fault. It’s more so the fact my preference has shifted to the television realm.

When you think over the years, you have shows like LOST, House M.D., The Shield, Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Mad Men, The Sopranos, etc. These were shows that consumed years of my life, birthing some of the most unforgettable, deep and complexed characters in the last 12-15 years.

When I think back on movies, there are plenty of great characters (Alonzo Harris, Tyler Durden, The Joker, Tony Stark), but the complexity of the characters simply don’t reach the height of what TV characters reach.

This is just me thinking out loud, and I am surely not complaining. But I feel movies are not really giving me new and unique stories than TV shows seem to bring yearly. I feel like it’s mostly superhero movies, rated-R comedies, and the occasion action and chick flick. I don’t mind them, but I am happy television has been consistent in keeping my attention.

 

–Eric Landro

The Top 20 Movies Of The 90′s

I was born in 1989, so the 90′s were my childhood. Since I was young, I missed out on arguably the best decade in movie making. As I grew older, I looked back on the decade that birthed some of the greatest cult classics, indie films, actors, directors, etc. We saw the emergence of Tom Hanks, one of the greatest actors who ever lived. We saw the maturation of Steven Spielberg films, taking on more daring projects. The 90′s also birthed the emergence of Quentin Tarantino, which led many other filmmakers to try and copy his unique way of story-telling. Cult classics were a huge emergence in this decade, shooting out movie after movie that were not appreciated during this time.

I strayed away from comedies and animation. You had the start of Pixar (Toy Story) and the emergence of Kevin Smith (Clerks), which could have easily made the list. But I like separating comedies and animation because I feel they should be in their own separate categories. If an animated film ever won Best Picture in the Oscars, it’d be pure outrage (in my opinion). That’s why they get their own separate category in Best Animated Feature.

In making this list, I thought about the movies that I felt were the most influential in my OWN life. These aren’t necessarily what I think are the BEST that were made in this decade, but more so the most important and my preferable favorites in this decade. So please keep that in mind while reading this post.

These are the honorable mentions that didn’t quite make my Top 20.

Independence Day (1996)- Roland Emmerich

Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)- James Cameron

Malcolm X (1992)- Spike Lee

L.A. Confidential (1997)- Curtis Hanson

Casino (1995)- Martin Scorsese

Fargo (1996)- Joel Coen

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20. Braveheart (1995)- Mel Gibson

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“Every man dies. Not every man really lives.”

Mel Gibson was my favorite actor growing up. The Lethal Weapon series, Maverick, Ransom, The Patriot and We Were Soldiers will always be on my list of classic movies. But Braveheart topped them all. Mel Gibson directed this as well as starred, and won the Oscar for Best Picture and Best Director. Gibson plays William Wallace, a scot who leads his men against the ruthless English leader Edward the Longshanks, who is looking to take the crown for himself. The gorgeous scenery of Scotland illustrates beautifully behind the dark, gruesome battles between the Scots and England. Sprinkle in some tremendous acting by Gibson, you have a classic for the ages.

19. American Beauty (1999)- Sam Mendes

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“I feel like I’ve been in a coma for the past twenty years. And I’m just now waking up.”

Lester Burnham is one of the most relatable and interesting characters in the 90′s. He is the father and husband who has the perfect family, living in the perfect neighborhood and seems to have the perfect life. But deep down, Lester is dealing with demons of depression, going through a mid-life crisis. He begins to act out, doing everything he wants to do, affecting is workhorse wife and rebelling daughter. Kevin Spacey gives a performance of a lifetime, illustrating to all of us how a man who’s trapped in the suburbia lifestyle, begins to reach out and break out of the everyday, boring suburban life. With Sam Mendes’ direction, lined up with a cryptic, yet affective score, this movie was one of the most favorable movies of this decade.

18. Con Air (1997)- Simon West

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“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. I have the only gun on board. Welcome to Con Air.”

Nothing like a good action movie. In 1997, Con Air was one of the better ones in this decade. Nicholas Cage played Cameron Poe, a decorated Marine who came back to see his wife. At a bar, three drunken thugs made inappropriate passes at his wife, and he unknowingly killed one of them using his war tactics. He was sent to 7 years in prison. After his sentence, he was on his way back home with some of the most dangerous criminals. He was on the plane when the criminals took over the plane, planning to move out the country with it. Cameron must try and stop this from happening, while trying to play along as an alleged “criminal”. This movie is filled with clique action film one liners and over-the-top action sequences, but hey, who doesn’t love that. This movie stood out to me as one of my favorite movies of the 90′s.

17. Jerry Maguire (1996)- Cameron Crowe

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“Show me the money!”

Jerry Maguire is one of those feel good stories, that makes us question our life and make us want to strive for more. Tom Cruise plays Jerry Maguire, a popular sports agent who has it all. He has the top clients, a beautiful fiancee, and so much money he doesn’t know what to do with it. One night though, he decides to want more in his life and questions who he is as a person. He writes a mission statement for the agency, and begins to feel like he has control of his life, shining a nicer light on his morals. However, he realizes no one agrees with his sentiment, and he loses everything. The only thing he has is one client who is unknown in the world, and one woman who has an interest in him. Throughout the movie he tries to figure out the right way to do things, at the same time trying to make a name for himself again. With great jokes, deep feelings and extraordinary acting, Jerry Maguire comes and touches your heart, demonstrating that life can be so much more than what you have.

16. The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)- Jonathan Demme

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“A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”

Arguably one of the greatest horror films of all-time, with arguably one of the greatest villains of all-time, The Silence Of The Lambs makes the list at #16. It took home 5 Oscars, including Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins), Best Actress (Jodie Foster), Best Director (Jonathan Demme), and Best Picture in the 1991 Academy Awards. Different from most horror films, Hannibal Lector was not the main villain in this film and Anthony Hopkins only had a few scenes. But he stole the show. Jodie Foster plays Clarice Starling, an FBI agent trying to find a missing girl taken by a psychotic serial killer, played by Stuart Rudin (who was severely under-rated in this film). Clarice interviews Hannibal in order to get a better understanding of the mind of a serial killer. The eery feeling that Jonathan Demme casts is extraordinary, leaving audiences blown away. It was an instant classic and one of my favorites of all-time.

15. Apollo 13 (1995)- Ron Howard

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“Houston, we have a problem.”

One of the most important stories in our history, Ron Howard brought the story of the Apollo 13 astronauts who were on a damaged ship in Apollo 13. Tom Hanks play Jim Lovell, pilot of Apollo 13, making a routine trip to the moon. When they ship off, something explodes on the ship (equipment malfunction), releasing the oxygen from their ship. The movie is based on the true story of the three astronauts trying to get back home. It is the ultimate survival story, filled with heart-dropping emotion and thrills. Hanks was surrounded by a star-studded cast, including Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Ed Harris and Gary Sinise. This movie was one of my all-time favorites, and really opened my eyes to the real story of Apollo 13.

14. Reservoir Dogs (1992)- Quentin Tarantino

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“The choice between doing ten years and taking out some stupid motherfucker, ain’t no choice at all. But I ain’t no madman.

This movie kick-started the career of directing genius Quentin Tarantino, who made his breakthrough in the 90′s. In Reservoir Dogs, you have six criminals who are strangers to each other assembled by their boss to do a routine jewelry heist. Something goes horribly wrong, and the cops are on the scene rather too quickly. When the five criminals meet at their rendezvous point, losing one at the scene, they begin to suspect that one of them is an informant for the police. People didn’t appreciate this film at first, but after Tarantino released his second movie Pulp Fiction, which was a huge success, Tarantino fans came back to this movie and made it an instant cult classic. He used a retrospect as his story-telling device, something that was rarely scene in cinema. Reservoir Dogs was an important film in the 1990′s.

13. Goodfellas (1990)- Martin Scorsese

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“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.”

The lowly, blue-collar side of New York’s Italian mafia is explored in this crime biopic of wiseguy Henry Hill. As he makes his way from strapping young petty criminal, to big-time thief, to middle-aged cocaine addict and dealer, the film explores in detail the rules and traditions of organized crime. Watching the rise and fall of Hill and his two counterparts, the slick jack-of-all-trades criminal Jimmy Conway and the brutish, intimidating Tommy DeVito, this true story realistically explores the core, blue-collar part of the mob. Martin Scorsese has been in the business forever, creating classic after classic. This movie was his most pronounced in the 90′s, which is one of the more quotable movies of our lifetime. With Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, and Ray Liotta, this movie was one of the best in the 90′s by far.

12. The Boondocks Saints (1999)- Troy Duffy

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“Never shall innocent blood be shed, yet the blood of the wicked shall flow like a river. The Three shall spread their blackened wings and be the vengeful striking hammer of God.”

Another one of the 90′s cult classics, The Boondocks Saints is now one of the more popular movies of the decade. Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus play Irish brothers who accidentally killed some mafia thugs. They turned themselves in and came out heroes. They saw it as a calling from God, and they begin taking out criminals one by one. The detective on the case, played brilliantly by Willem Dafoe, tries to find these guys. But as he gets closer in catching them, he starts to believe that maybe what they’re doing isn’t so bad after all. The Boondocks Saints is a fun-filled ride, with deep biblical beliefs and hilarious jokes. But above all else, it is one of the greatest movies of the 90′s.

11. Jurassic Park (1993)- Steven Spielberg

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“T-Rex doesn’t want to be fed. He wants to hunt. Can’t just suppress 65 million years of gut instinct.”

Jurassic Park made huge strides in the movie-making business. Steven Spielberg made one of the best adventure movies of all-time. On a remote island, a wealthy entrepreneur secretly creates a theme park featuring living dinosaurs drawn from prehistoric DNA. Before opening the attraction to the public, he invites a top paleontologist, a paleobotanist, a mathematician/theorist, and his two eager grandchildren to experience the park — and help calm anxious investors. However, their park visit is anything but tranquil as the park’s security system breaks down, the prehistoric creatures break out, and the excitement builds to surprising results. With twists, turns and plenty of laughs, Jurassic Park became a huge phenomenon and is now being re-released in 3D.

10. Forrest Gump (1994)- Robert Zemeckis

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“My momma always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You’ll never know what you’re gonna get’.”

Forrest Gump is a simple man with a low I.Q. but good intentions. He is running through childhood with his best and only friend Jenny. His ‘mama’ teaches him the ways of life and leaves him to choose his destiny. Forrest joins the army for service in Vietnam, finding new friends called Dan and Bubba, he wins medals, creates a famous shrimp fishing fleet, inspires people to jog, starts a ping-pong craze, create the smiley, write bumper stickers and songs, donating to people and meeting the president several times. However, this is all irrelevant to Forrest who can only think of his childhood sweetheart Jenny Curran. Who has messed up her life. Although in the end all he wants to prove is that anyone can love anyone. One of the better stories of our generation, Forrest Gump was an important movie in the 90′s.

9. American History X (1998)- Tony Kaye

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“Hate is baggage. Life’s too short to be pissed off all the time. It’s just not worth it.”

One of the more daring movies of the 90′s, Edward Norton gives the performance of a lifetime. He plays Derek Vinyard, a former neo-nazi skinhead who tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did. Shot beautifully in black and white (flashbacks) and in color, this movie provides depth and delivers a strong message. Tony Kaye didn’t hold back on the racism and prejudices that people hold, and it demonstrates how there needs to be change in this world, or else we are headed down a fatal path. This was an extraordinary film.

8. Se7en (1995)- David Fincher

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“This isn’t going to have a happy ending.”

Se7en goes down as one of my favorite crime movies of all-time. It’s about two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, who hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his modus operandi. David Fincher, one of my favorite directors, made film so dark and grisly that it was hard to watch some of the aftermath of the killings. But that being said, this movie was also poetic in a sense. There was deeper meaning hidden behind the faces of the characters and killings that made the viewer ponder them. It was a nail-biter, and the ending was nothing short of a masterpiece. Truly recommend this movie to anyone who hasn’t seen it and it was definitely one of the best movies of the 90′s.

7. Fight Club (1999)- David Fincher

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“This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time.”

Fight Club was another one of those movies that wasn’t appreciated until a couple years after release. Chuck Palahniuk wrote the book, which was one of the biggest sellers in history. David Fincher, back on the list, made this movie perfectly, casting Edward Norton and Brad Pitt as his stars. It’s about an insomniac office worker looking for a way to change his life, when crosses paths with a devil-may-care soap maker. They form an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more. Deep, moving, exciting and dangerous, Fight Club takes you to the edge of your seat, solidifying its place as a top movie of the 1990′s.

6. Schindler’s List (1993)- Steven Spielberg

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“Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.”

Steven Spielberg makes the list for the second time, and with this one he doesn’t disappoint. Even with such a sensitive issue like the Holocaust, he gives such a respectful and inspiring view in Schindler’s List. Liam Neeson gives the performance of his entire career in his Oscar nominated performance as Oskar Schindler. He is a vainglorious and greedy German businessman who becomes unlikely humanitarian amid the barbaric Nazi reign when he feels compelled to turn his factory into a refuge for Jews. It’s based on the true story of Oskar Schindler, who was able to save over 1100 Jews from the Germans. With Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley playing the supporting roles, this picture becomes a timeless piece of art, poetically telling the true story of one man’s heroics during World War II.

5. The Sixth Sense (1999)- M. Night Shyamalan

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“I see dead people.”

M. Night Shyamalan sort of busted after Signs in my opinion, but nevertheless, gave us one of the most unforgettable movies in the last generation. The Sixth Sense was so unique and so well put together. It also gave us one of the greatest twists in cinematic history. Bruce Willis plays Malcom Crowe, who is a child psychologist who receives an award on the same night that he is visited by a very unhappy ex-patient. After this encounter, Crowe takes on the task of curing a young boy with the same ills as the ex-patient. This boy “sees dead people”. Crowe spends a lot of time with the boy (Cole) much to the dismay of his wife. Cole’s mom is at her wit’s end with what to do about her son’s increasing problems. Crowe is the boy’s only hope. It’s sprinkled with funny moments and scary moments, through a story that is much deeper and powerful than the usual horror flick.

4. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)- Frank Darabont

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“Get busy livin’, or get busy dyin’.”

Frank Darabont, now turning heads with his AMC original series The Walking Dead, made one of the greatest and most talked about movies of all-time. Originally written as a short story by Stephen King, Darabont made his story even better on the big screen. Tim Robbins plays Andy Dufresne, wrongfully convicted man who is sentenced to life at the Shawshank prison. He befriends Red, played by Morgan Freeman. The two men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency. The characters are incredible and the story flows like a paintbrush on a canvas, narrated brilliantly by Morgan Freeman’s crazy awesome voice. When you speak of greatest movies of all-time, The Shawshank Redemption will be on your top 5 almost every time.

3. Good Will Hunting (1997)- Gus Van Sant

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“You’re not perfect, sport, and let me save you the suspense: this girl you’ve met, she’s not perfect either.”

The start of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s career started with a screenplay they had written, which turned into one of the most inspirational movies of the 90′s. Damon plays Will Hunting, a genius who’s living a rough life in South Boston. While being employed at a prestigious college in Boston, he’s discovered by a Fields Medal winning professor who eventually tries to get Will to turn his life around with the help of his friend Sean Maguire, played brilliantly by Robin Williams. Will begins to realize that there’s more to himself then he thinks there is. Gus Van Sant directed this movie perfectly, showing the group dynamic of four Bostonian friends, capturing the lifestyle and mannerisms of beautiful Boston. It’s one of my favorites and when it’s on, I have to watch it.

2. Saving Private Ryan (1998)- Steven Spielberg

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“Earn this.”

“Earn this.” This was the perfect quote to sum up this World War II masterpiece by Steven Spielberg, who made the list for the third time. Tom Hanks plays Captain John Miller, who sets out in the dangerous war to find Private James Ryan, played by Matt Damon, because his four brothers died in combat and for the sake of his mother, the army wanted him to be sent back home safely. The rescue mission is a dangerous one, slowly tearing down at the very core of the soldiers sent to save Private Ryan. Whose life is more valuable? Why is the army risking the lives of these men for just one man? These questions burn inside the minds of these soldiers. The war begins to peel Captain John Miller like an onion, slowly revealing the life of the mystery soldier, who just wants to earn his right back home to his wife. The ultimate, epic story, filled with all emotion, and illustrates how brutal and terrifying World War II really was.

1. Pulp Fiction (1994)- Quentin Tarantino

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“Oh man. I shot Marvin in the face.”

The quote above doesn’t really exemplify the theme of the movie, but I had to put it up there because that was my favorite scene in the movie. Pulp Fiction was a ground-breaking movie in any decade, but it fits perfectly with the theme of the 90′s… indie great, and a cult classic. This is my favorite movie of ALL-TIME. Quentin Tarantino gave us so many beloved characters, quotes, and moments in this movie. The movie is simply about the lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster’s wife, and a pair of diner bandits, who intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption. But it wasn’t necessarily the story that made this picture flawless, it was how the story was told that was so unique, which became a trademark of Quentin Tarantino. He divided the movie into chapters, which were presented in a non-linear form, something that’s rarely done in cinema and gives it such a unique taste. This movie, to me, was the closest thing to perfect story-telling in the history of cinema.

So there you have it. Comment on my page and let me know what you think, and let me know if I missed anything. Thanks for reading.

Top 15 Eminem Songs Of All-Time

Eminem is one of the most renowned rappers of all-time. He is my favorite artist, and he has made us countless classics. I have so much respect for what he’s done, what he’s gone through, and now, I’m breaking down his top 15 songs of his career.

15. No Apologies

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Album: Eminem Presents: The Re-Up (2006)

Why It Made The List: A beat and a continuous piano tune; that’s all that this song really needed to make the list. But lyrically, like all of his songs, it was amazing. He attacks his critics and illustrates the stress that follows from being famous. With the eerie undertone and hostile rapping, this is clearly one of Eminem’s greats.

Best Line: “My head hits the pillow, a weeping willow, I can’t sleep, a pain so deep it bellows, But these cellos help just to keep me mellow, hand’s on my head, touched knees to elbow”

14. Guilty Conscious

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Album: The Slim Shady LP (1999)

Why It Made The List: Not the strongest lyrically, but the concept was incredible. Having Dr. Dre on the track was just an added bonus. They had three different guys in three different difficult situations, and they had Dr. Dre as their good conscious, and Eminem as the bad conscious. The back and forth rapping was amazing, and the beat was great. This deserved to be on the list on so many levels.

Best Line: “Uhhh-aahh! Temper temper! Mr. Dre? Mr. N.W.A.? Mr. AK comin’ straight outta Compton y’all better make way”

13. Soldier

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Album: The Eminem Show (2002)

Why It Made The List: Simply put, this was just a badass song. I believe The Eminem Show was Eminem’s best complete album. He found his voice, his comfort zone and it sparked so many classics. Soldier was one of his lesser known works, but I found it one of his best tracks. He was the angry Eminem on this track, and it was fantastic.

Best Line: You motherfuckers could never do it like I could do it,  don’t even try it, you’ll look stupid, do not pursue it”

12. Infinite

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Album: Infinite (1996)

Why It Made The List: Eminem’s first album, was a feeling out process for him. The first track on the album, Infinite, was an incredible first song. We learned early on that Eminem had incredible flow, and Infinite had incredible flow. This song was so important for Eminem’s career and kicked started a career that would change hip-hop forever. It wouldn’t make sense to not put it on the list.

Best Line: “My pen and paper cause a chain reaction, to get your brain relaxing, a zany acting maniac in action”

11. Marshall Mathers

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Album: The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)

Why It Made The List: Eminem is known for going after artists, and in this song he goes after a whole bunch. From New Kids On The Block to Vanilla Ice, Eminem showed the world that he wasn’t afraid of anyone. Marshall Mathers demonstrated Eminem’s lyrical genius, his funny side and also the dark that followed him all his life. This song has everything.

Best Line: Pissed off, cause Biggie and ‘Pac just missed all this, watchin’ all these cheap imitations get rich off ‘em
and get dollars that shoulda been there’s like they switched wallets”

10. White America

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Album: The Eminem Show (2002)

Why It Made The List: It was such a solid track to kick off this album. Eminem slowed the tempo down on this track, but he was basically yelling about everything that made him angry. Eminem went after the government, and the parents who allowed their kids to buy his album. He has been under scrutiny by the parents of the kids who bought his albums, and this was a song that went after them completely. It was another badass song.

Best Line: Lyrics up under this microscope, searchin’ with a fine tooth comb, its like this rope, waitin’ to choke, tightening around my throat, watching me while I write this, like I don’t like this, nope”

 

9. Criminal

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Album: The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)

Why It Made The List: I love angry Eminem, and this was one of his angriest. Critics and people got on Eminem for his profanity and hate towards different groups. Eminem, though, didn’t hate anyone and said things for fun. This song was directed towards those people and basically told them that if they wanted him to be a criminal, he would be. This is one of the favorites from the fans.

Best Line: I’m the bad guy who makes fun of people that die in plane crashes and laughs as long as it ain’t happened to him”

 

8. Run Rabbit Run

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Album: The 8 Mile Soundtrack (2002)

Why It Made The List: What made this lesser known song so good was the fact that this was one long verse. There was no hook, no collaboration, just Eminem doing what he does best, and that’s rapping. The flow was great, continuous and he didn’t skip a beat. He went for around 3 minutes of sheer aggression, precision, and lyrical genius. This was definitely one of my favorite tracks by Eminem.

Best Line: “The pen explodes and busts, ink spills my guts! You think all I do is stand here and feel my nuts! Well, Imma show you what, you gon’ feel my rush if you don’t feel it, then it must be too real to touch”

 

7. My Name Is

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Album: The Slim Shady LP (1999)

Why It Made The List: This is known as Eminem’s first hit, and his big break. This song hit mainstream and became such a big sensation for Eminem, and everyone began to take notice in his abilities to bend words to rhyme. He displayed so much skill in this song, and many consider this an instant classic.

Best Line: Ninety-nine percent of my life I was lied to I just found out my mom does more dope than I do (Damn!)
I told her I’d grow up to be a famous rapper make a record about doing drugs and name it after her”

 

6. Nail In The Coffin

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Album: Shady Invasion (2006)

Why It Made The List: Eminem has been known as one of the best dissers in the rap game. The beef he had with Benzino was a classic. The two rappers went at it for a long time, but when Nail In The Coffin came out, it was pretty safe to say who won the beef. Eminem absolutely destroyed Benzino, and is considered one of the best disses in hip-hop history.

Best Line: You can even get the clearances cuz real lyricists don’t even respect you or take you serious its not that we dont like you, we hate you – period”

 

5. Till I Collapse

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Album: The Eminem Show (2002)

Why It Made The List: This song was insane. You had soldiers marching in the background, an incredible beat, and Nate Dogg singing the hook. Eminem was incredible in this song. He went after Kim, his estranged wife, his critics, and demonstrated that he would never give up in his career. It was such a good song, a song everyone has blasted in their car at one point in their life. Overall, an incredible song.

Best Line: This is your moment and every single minute you spend trying to hold onto it ’cause you may never get it again”

 

4. Cleanin’ Out My Closet

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Album: The Eminem Show (2002)

Why It Made The List: This is one of Eminem’s most popular songs. It was on the radio forever, and it really took a deep look at Eminem’s life before he became famous. He attacked his mother, who treated him poorly throughout his life. It was such an emotional song, and it really demonstrated all his talents. Absolutely incredible song.

Best Line: All this commotion emotions run deep as ocean’s exploding, tempers flaring from parents just blow ‘em off and keep going”

 

3. Lose Yourself

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Album: The 8 Mile Soundtrack (2002)

Why It Made The List: This song was Eminem’s most successful song. It won a Grammy, was the theme song to his own movie, and even won an Academy Award. It is pretty much an anthem in the hip-hop world and it is considered one of the most listened to song of all-time. It was nothing short of amazing.

Best Line: I’ve got to formulate a plot or I end up in jail or shot, success is my only motherfucking option, failure’s not”

 

2. Stan

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Album: The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)

Why It Made The List: Such a unique song, it was something that had never been done before. He rapped in the perspective of an obsessed fan of his, trying to get in contact with him. He tries vigorously, and ultimately drives himself to his death. Eminem then rapped as himself responding to the fan. It was truly amazing, and Dido singing the hook was incredible. It’s on everyone’s top rap songs list, and is truly a classic.

Best Line: Anyways, I hope you get this man, hit me back, just to chat, truly yours, your biggest fan, this is Stan”

 

1. The Way I Am

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Album: The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)

Why It Made The List: This is the number 1 song of Eminem. He goes after everything in his life. It brought on such realism that all rappers began to show their respect to Eminem. This was the song that gave birth to the icon known as Eminem, and it was the one of the hardest tracks in hip-hop history.

Man Of Steel Review

 

 

 

 

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*SPOILERS*

DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE

 

Finally, there was a revamp of Superman that wasn’t a bust. The 2006 Superman movie “Superman Returns” was an utter disgrace to the Richard Donner classics. Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan made a Superman movie for our day and age, and I appreciated it. I grew up idolizing Superman, and I watched the Donner movies on loop. I gave this movie a solid “8 out of 10″, which is great for an origin movie like this. It didn’t eclipse Donner’s first Superman movie, but it was still enjoyable. Here are my likes and dislikes about the movie.

 

Dislike: The Death Of Jonathan Kent

I was very disappointed in how they killed Kevin Costner’s Jonathan Kent. It was unbelievable in a sense. They had Clark watch his step-dad get sucked in by a tornado, which clearly he could have saved. It was one of those life lessons where they made Jon so adamant about keeping Clark hidden and not showing how special he was, which was an approach I would’ve done differently. In Superman: The Movie, they had a young Clark racing his dad to his house, and his dad dying from a heart attack. That was such a more powerful way for Clark to lose his father because it shows him that there are things that even Superman can’t prevent. In this movie, he could’ve easily prevented his demise from happening, and it made it seem very cheesy and unnecessary. That was a big issue I had in the film.

Like: Casting

I thought the cast really gave powerful performances. Henry Cavill (again, I will be continually going back to the Donner movies) really reminded me of Christopher Reeves in his mannerisms. To me, Christopher Reeves will always be THE Superman, but Henry Cavill’s performance as Clark and Superman was incredible. Russell Crowe as Jor-El was brilliant. He gave the Brando role a more edginess to it. He was a huge highlight in the film. Michael Shannon as General Zod was brilliant, as he always is. Amy Adams, like Russell Crowe, was equally brilliant and edgy, something that lacked in the originals. And Costner and Lane were great as the Kents. All around great performances.

Dislike: Action Sequences- A Bit Much

I get why they hired Snyder to direct this movie. They wanted a more “in your face”, badass approach for this new age of filmmaking. I get that. But the ending of that movie was way too much. It was like the end of Avengers and 300 on crack. I thought the movie was over with the black hole. I would’ve been fine with that. But of course, Michael Shannon was still alive and we had another half hour of just sheer destruction and it came to the point where I was like “Okay, we get it. Now let’s get back to the story.” I feel it was way to in your face and it wasn’t necessary to go over the line on the ending.

Like: A More In-Depth Opening Of Krypton

I actually enjoyed the more in-depth story of Krypton in the beginning. It allowed the viewers to have a better understanding of the background of Superman and allow us to see how the destruction of Krypton came about. It showed a more badass Jor-El, and really set the tone of the movie. I thought it was a little much with the dragon thing and the special effects but overall I thought that aspect was well done.

Dislike: Superman Doesn’t Care About Killing

I mean come on. This was the biggest gripe of the movie. Superman is the ultimate savior, the man who continuously tries and save every single person in the world. In this movie, he probably kills more innocent than bad guys. His fight in Metropolis is absolutely devastating. They’re literally flying and crashing through buildings, explosions everywhere, and I’m pretty sure killing is a last resort kind of thing for Superman. Even at the end when General Zog has the red beams coming out of his eyes aiming towards the people, Superman not only kills him, he breaks his damn neck! Like, for me, the sort of strayed away from what Superman is in this movie which really disappointed me.

Like: The Score

When I heard that they weren’t going to use the theme song created by John Williams, I was so disappointed. That theme song was my childhood, the anthem if you will. It was such an iconic song that it made it synonymous to Superman. But then I heard Hans Zimmer’s score, and immediately fell in love with it. It was beautifully done and it fit the movie perfectly.

Dislike: Lois Lane Knowing Who Superman Is Early

It may be just me the the love triangle between Lois/Clark/Superman was a huge part in the Superman stories. Lois fell in love with Superman, but totally friend-zoned Clark because he was clumsy and had glasses, but obviously he’s the same fricken dude. Having Lois already know Clark is Superman takes that away and right out the window, which to me, takes away from the Superman story. It shows the extremes of Clark and Superman being so opposite that it allows his identity to be hidden. It’s so dire to the story and was really disappointed they went a different direction with it.

Like: Flashbacks

At first, I thought the flashbacks kind of chopped at the flow of the movie but looking back on it, it was really well done. I’ve always loved flashbacks (thank you LOST) and I thought him periodically remembering certain instances in his past was a cool way of doing it. 

 

So, in conclusion, I feel this was a very well done “set-up” movie and that’s how I’m going to view it as. The 2nd movie better be 100x better than this one, because the way it was set-up, it seems like it will be. It also looks like there will definitely be a Justice League which I am thrilled about. A great effort overall.

NHL: “The Calm Before The Storm” Rangers Still In Trouble

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The New York Rangers, SURVIVED last night. That’s the word I think of in this series. Survival. Washington is bigger, stronger and more skilled in this series. The Rangers are getting beat up, out hustled, and we look depleted and hurt half the time. Last year, we played the 8th seed Senators and the 7th seed Capitals and SURVIVED 14 games between them. We were too tired to do anything against the Devils in the Eastern Conference Finals, and we exited after 6 games. I’m getting that same feeling this year.

The Rangers have the talent and skill to manage the puck and tempo better. But the way we’ve approached these last three games is something that may haunt us in the next few.

These are the reasons why the Rangers are in major trouble against this Washington team.

Power Play:

Yes, we scored on the power play. We took more shots, which I liked, and we had the right guys in front in Boyle and Callahan. Took us a while, but we did it. But we were still 1-6. And we still look like we’re playing on sand. There’s no movement. We don’t bait the defenders to follow us around and open up the ice for more chances. We take shots that get blocked because they’re stand on their heels and give the defender plenty of time to stand in our way. I saw glimmers of movement last night, but if we had a continuous force of movement, we would’ve scored 3 goals instead of 1. This needs to change.

Brad Richards:

I just don’t know what he’s doing, and more importantly, I just don’t know if HE knows what he’s doing. He looks lost, he looks tired and his confidence is completely gone. Not many teams can say they have a Conn Smythe winner on their team this year, and quite frankly, the Rangers aren’t one of them. He needs to lead the way for us. He needs to shoot when he needs to shoot and pass when he needs to pass. That is one of the qualities Brad Richards can bring to a team. His decision-making. We need to see the Richards he’s capable of being or else we have no chance in this series.

Penalty Kill:

People will want to disagree but for me, this is something I feel needs to change. The Rangers always want to hang back on the power play. Yea, we block shots well and yea, we’re great with our sticks, but if we are on the players more frequently, we prevent the lethal Washington power play to set up and do some damage. We need to get physical, play up against them and suffocate them into making bad shots and passes. Even when it’s 5 on 5 and their pressuring us I see the Rangers playing back and looking for the block shots instead of preventing shots. We’re making it too easy for them to get shots in, and the result is a fluke goal my Hillen right off the face-off. We need to man up as a team, and pressure them when we’re in our end zone.

Line-Ups:

I think Tortorella is a great coach, but he is terrible with line changes. I don’t understand why he can split up Hagelin-Stepan-Callahan when they were one of the hottest lines in April. Again, wanting Nash to get better opportunities is something I can understand, but it hasn’t happened and we need to get back to what works.

Hagelin-Stepan-Callahan: Quick, forechecking and skilled.

Brassard-Richards-Nash: Skilled, play-making, and dangerous.

Clowe-Boyle-Pyatt: Skilled, big, forechecking.

Zuccarello-Dorsett-Asham: Up-tempo, size, forechecking.

This is, of course, if Clowe comes back and he has been missed. I feel these lines can boost confidence in Nash and Richards, and open more opportunities for Brassard and Boyle. We need forechecking, it’s been a characteristic of this team for years now.

Forechecking:

This is what we were built on. We got rid of depth for Nash, but made some great moves in the trade deadline and picked up players to get some depth back (Brassard, Clowe, Zuccarrello). We were the hard-working team in the East. We had the dump-and-chase mentality and worked behind the net as opposed to trying to make the big play. We have some size now, we just need to use it. We need to start working hard in the offensive end rather in the defensive end. We’re getting tired and beaten up around Lundqvist. We need to start creating offense off the forecheck now. This is our identity and we need to get back to that.

Shots:

I don’t see the hype in Holtby. He made Boyle look like Malkin with that goal last night. We need to get quality shots on net and be around for some rebounds. Make this goalie earn the hype he’s been getting. He’s been a thorn in our side but a majority of his saves are easy ones in my opinion. We need to just keep shooting.

If the Rangers can do all that, we can make a difference in this series.

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