What To Expect From Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald

The wait for J.K. Rowling’s second installment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise is nearly over. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will premiere next week on November 16th and boy are we excited.

 

 

For those of you who haven’t watched the first film, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, it’s based in the same world of wizardry that Harry Potter is later born into but follows a different set of characters. The main protagonist in Fantastic Beasts is a Magizoologist named Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) who is a competent wizard that loves, well, fantastic beasts.

 

 

At the end of the first Fantastic Beasts film the main villain is revealed to be the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp). Grindelwald is basically the original Lord Voldemort; he’s obsessed with dark magic and wants the world to be ruled by pure-blooded wizards. He was defeated and taken into custody by MACUSA, the Magical Congress of the United States of America, but we can safely assume that his stay behind bars was quite short. Do they even have Dementors in U.S. prisons?

 

 

The Crimes of Grindelwald takes place in 1927, just a year after the first film, but this time the story takes us away from America and back to England, Paris, and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Fans will be delighted to know that, “Going back to Hogwarts is a very important function to this story,” according to the film’s director, David Yates.

 

 

There have been numerous trailers for the film and they’ve given fans more and more to chew on the closer it gets to opening day. Most of the information pertaining to The Crimes of Grindelwald has been extracted from a combination of these trailers and interviews conducted with its actors, writers, and producers.

 

 

Of course, all details regarding the movie’s plot remain speculatory, but the general storyline will involve a young Albus Dumbledore, played by Jude Law, acquiring Newt’s help to stop Grindelwald’s plans of exposing the wizarding world and enslaving all non-magical beings under the rule of pure-blooded wizards. This will be the first time we’re seeing a young version of Dumbledore and the movie’s producers assure us that he’s nothing like the ancient headmaster we are accustomed to in the Harry Potter films. The movie’s producers went out and hired a handful of young actors during the filming process so there’s a good chance we’ll get to see a teenage Grindelwald as well.

 

 

We can expect Grindelwald to escape from his magical prison by hijacking a Thestral chariot using the Elder Wand, which tells us that Dumbledore hasn’t won its ownership at this point. Dumbledore’s homosexuality and affection for Grindelwald are hinted at in the Harry Potter books, but it seems likely that it will be made blatant in this film. In one of the trailer scenes, Dumbledore is shown standing in front of the Mirror of Erised, which shows what your heart most desires and Grindelwald is seen staring back at him. Dumbledore’s feelings for Grindelwald may be the reason why he sends Newt after him instead of doing the job himself.

 

 

For one reason or another (Grindelwald was probably seen here) a large part of each trailer emphasizes a wizarding circus. One of the more surprising, exciting tidbits of information that the trailers gave us was that one of the women in the circus is actually Nagini, one of Lord Voldemort’s Horcruxes. It has also been revealed that Nagini, who turns into her python form in the trailer, isn’t an Animagus, or someone who can transform into an animal by choice. Rather, Nagini is a Maledictus, or a person who has a magical blood curse that will eventually transform her into an animal for good.

 

 

It wouldn’t be a part of the Fantastic Beasts series if the film didn’t include a plethora of amazing magical animals. The trailers alone show off Thestrals, giant dragon-cat hybrids, a weird Groot looking creature that can only be revealed with magical dust of some sort, and a sea dragon made out of seaweed. Newt will also be accompanied by his returning friends, the Bowtruckle named Pickett, and his greedy little Niffler. There’s another scene in one of the trailers that reveal the leg of some kind of beast stomping into the ground and in the split second it looks like the claw of a hippogriff, but don’t quote me on that.

 

 

Along with Newt we can expect to see the No-Maj gentleman Jacob (Dan Fogler), sisters Tina (Katherine Waterston) and Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol), MACUSA President Seraphina Picquery (Carmen Ejogo), and supervisor Abernathy returning in the sequel. Ezra Miller’s character Credence will also be returning despite his apparent death at the end of the first movie. Credence lived in a household where magic wasn’t accepted so he repressed his power and eventually developed an Obscurus. An Obscurus is a dreadful, uncontrollable force, so we’ll have to wait and see what role he plays in the story.

 

 

A couple of new faces we can expect to see include Newt’s older brother Theseus (Callum Turner) who is the Head of the Auror Office at the British Ministry of Magic. Theseus is engaged to Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz) who was introduced through one of Newt’s photographs in the first movie and has a familiar last name. Other new character names include Bunty, Spielman, Torquil Travers, Rosier, and Arnold Guzman, according to Pottermore.

 

 

Another interesting character addition that we haven’t seen before in the Harry Potter universe is that of Nicolas Flamel, the creator of the Philosopher’s Stone. Flamel will be played by Brontis Jodorowsky and it will be intriguing to see how he plays into things.

 

 

Rowling, the incredible writer of the Harry Potter books, wrote the script for The Crimes of Grindelwald herself, so we should be in for an absolute treat. If you haven’t already, go check out our social media feeds and enter into our Fantastic Beasts 2 early screening ticket give away.

 

Are The Top Rated 2K19 Players Living Up To Their Ratings?

Every year the world of gaming and professional sports work together to create the most realistic versions of football, soccer, and basketball video games that technology can offer. Athletes willingly travel thousands of miles to each company’s headquarters and wear funny looking suits that mold virtual versions of themselves for millions of people to play.

 

Thanks to these professional athletes, games such as 2K, Madden, and Fifa have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years.

 

When it comes to basketball video games, the 2K series is a consensus frontrunner, but NBA Live tries its best to keep up. The creators at 2K keep it real and every year they give each player a rating based on their real-life skills and attributes on the court.

 

It’s always interesting to see how each NBA player is ranked and it’s fair to say that practically no player feels that they’ve been given an accurate rating. As a basketball fan, there are constantly players that you’ll feel are rated too high, or too low.

 

The NBA season started last week and it’s fun to look back and assess how each of the top players is performing through their first few games. Here are 2K’s top five rated players and how they’re stacking up to their ratings so far:

 

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo – 94 Overall 

Yes, this is a real name. Giannis, also known as the “Greek Freak” is, as his nickname surmises, an athletic freak of nature. He’s a 6’11”, 220-pound forward, with a 7’3″ wingspan that can play any position on the court. Last season he averaged 26.9 points per game, 10.0 rebounds per game while dishing out 4.8 assists. The scariest thing about him is that he’s only 24 years old.

 

So far this season Giannis is averaging 27.3 points, 5.7 assists, AND 16.0 rebounds per game. Obviously, that rebound average is going to go down as the season goes on, or maybe it won’t and he’ll just defy the laws of what basketball players should be able to do. Either way, the Greek Freak is continuing his evolution of dominance and looking like a prime contender for ‘King of the East’ now that LeBron has moved West.

 

His Bucks are currently 3-0.

 

 

Stephen Curry – 95 Overall

Already widely considered the greatest shooter of all time and the best point guard in the league, Stephen Curry is one of the five All-Stars on the Golden State Warriors. It wasn’t long ago that Steph was the back-to-back unanimous MVP and the most unguardable player that we’ve ever seen.

 

Last season Chef Curry was often injured but still averaged 26.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game and won an NBA championship, so you can chalk his season up to a success. This season Steph seems absolutely determined to silence any doubt that the Warriors are his team, already averaging 30.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 7.8 assists.

 

The Warriors are currently 3-1.

 

 

James Harden – 96 Overall 

Personally, it’s hard to imagine how you can be a fan of the way that James Harden plays basketball, but it’s also hard to debate that he’s a great player. Harden feeds off of off the dribble isolation play. He always leads the league in dribbles per game and on almost every Rockets possession you’ll see him display a series of elaborate moves before finally driving to the basket.

 

Last year Harden’s Rockets were arguably the best team in the NBA, finishing 65-17 in the regular season, battling their way into the Western Conference Finals and ultimately losing in a tough Game 7 against the Warriors with their superstar point god, Chris Paul, sidelined with a hamstring injury. Harden won the Most Valuable Player award for the season and had an incredible stat line of 30.4 points, 8.8 assists, and 5.4 rebounds per game.

 

So far this year Harden’s Rockets are off to a rocky start, going 1-3 thus far, but Harden is still putting up big numbers of 28.3 points, 9.7 assists, and 6.7 rebounds per game.

 

 

 

Kevin Durant – 97 Overall 

As much as the internet hates to admit it, Kevin Durant is the second-best basketball player in the world. He’s always been one of the best scorers in the league, but since joining the dominant Golden State Warriors Durant has turned himself into an unstoppable 7-foot point-forward who can score in every way imaginable and lock you down on the defensive end.

 

Last year the Warriors finished 58-24, but it’s never really about the regular season when you’re as good as Golden State is. KD averaged 26.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game and coasted into the playoffs. When he got there he absolutely dominated the competition and led his team to back-to-back championships.

 

So far this year the Warriors are off to a 3-1 start and KD is taking a back seat to Steph, but don’t let that fool you, he definitely deserves his 97 overall rating. He’s currently averaging 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 5.8 assists.

 

 

LeBron James – 98 Overall

 

LeBron James, King James, The Chosen One, LAbron, it doesn’t matter what you want to call him; he is the best player in basketball and arguably the greatest to ever play the game. Last year was his 15th season in the NBA and he turned 33 in the middle of the season; it was his best year yet.

 

Bron averaged 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 9.1 assists last year for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the numbers don’t fully do him justice. Every performance last year was legendary, from beginning to end. He stuffed the stat sheet in every way possible, hit game winner after game winner and dunked on too many people to count. LeBron’s season of excellence was culminated by a 51 point performance in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, but it was unfortunately for naught as JR Smith managed to make the most boneheaded play in basketball’s history.

 

The Lakers are predictably off to a rough start, going 0-3 so far, and LeBron is clearly adjusting to his new role on his new team. I’ve watched every game so far and there’s no arguing, it’s messy. That hasn’t stopped him from putting up 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game.

 

 

Photo Credit: NBA, Sporting News, Yahoo Sports

Are The Top Rated 2K19 Players Living Up To Their Ratings?

Every year the world of gaming and professional sports work together to create the most realistic versions of football, soccer, and basketball video games that technology can offer. Athletes willingly travel thousands of miles to each company’s headquarters and wear funny looking suits that mold virtual versions of themselves for millions of people to play.

 

Thanks to these professional athletes, games such as 2K, Madden, and Fifa have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years.

 

When it comes to basketball video games, the 2K series is a consensus frontrunner, but NBA Live tries its best to keep up. The creators at 2K keep it real and every year they give each player a rating based on their real-life skills and attributes on the court.

 

It’s always interesting to see how each NBA player is ranked and it’s fair to say that practically no player feels that they’ve been given an accurate rating. As a basketball fan, there are constantly players that you’ll feel are rated too high, or too low.

 

The NBA season started last week and it’s fun to look back and assess how each of the top players is performing through their first few games. Here are 2K’s top five rated players and how they’re stacking up to their ratings so far:

 

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo – 94 Overall 

Yes, this is a real name. Giannis, also known as the “Greek Freak” is, as his nickname surmises, an athletic freak of nature. He’s a 6’11”, 220-pound forward, with a 7’3″ wingspan that can play any position on the court. Last season he averaged 26.9 points per game, 10.0 rebounds per game while dishing out 4.8 assists. The scariest thing about him is that he’s only 24 years old.

 

So far this season Giannis is averaging 27.3 points, 5.7 assists, AND 16.0 rebounds per game. Obviously, that rebound average is going to go down as the season goes on, or maybe it won’t and he’ll just defy the laws of what basketball players should be able to do. Either way, the Greek Freak is continuing his evolution of dominance and looking like a prime contender for ‘King of the East’ now that LeBron has moved West.

 

His Bucks are currently 3-0.

 

 

Stephen Curry – 95 Overall

Already widely considered the greatest shooter of all time and the best point guard in the league, Stephen Curry is one of the five All-Stars on the Golden State Warriors. It wasn’t long ago that Steph was the back-to-back unanimous MVP and the most unguardable player that we’ve ever seen.

 

Last season Chef Curry was often injured but still averaged 26.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game and won an NBA championship, so you can chalk his season up to a success. This season Steph seems absolutely determined to silence any doubt that the Warriors are his team, already averaging 30.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 7.8 assists.

 

The Warriors are currently 3-1.

 

 

James Harden – 96 Overall 

Personally, it’s hard to imagine how you can be a fan of the way that James Harden plays basketball, but it’s also hard to debate that he’s a great player. Harden feeds off of off the dribble isolation play. He always leads the league in dribbles per game and on almost every Rockets possession you’ll see him display a series of elaborate moves before finally driving to the basket.

 

Last year Harden’s Rockets were arguably the best team in the NBA, finishing 65-17 in the regular season, battling their way into the Western Conference Finals and ultimately losing in a tough Game 7 against the Warriors with their superstar point god, Chris Paul, sidelined with a hamstring injury. Harden won the Most Valuable Player award for the season and had an incredible stat line of 30.4 points, 8.8 assists, and 5.4 rebounds per game.

 

So far this year Harden’s Rockets are off to a rocky start, going 1-3 thus far, but Harden is still putting up big numbers of 28.3 points, 9.7 assists, and 6.7 rebounds per game.

 

 

 

Kevin Durant – 97 Overall 

As much as the internet hates to admit it, Kevin Durant is the second-best basketball player in the world. He’s always been one of the best scorers in the league, but since joining the dominant Golden State Warriors Durant has turned himself into an unstoppable 7-foot point-forward who can score in every way imaginable and lock you down on the defensive end.

 

Last year the Warriors finished 58-24, but it’s never really about the regular season when you’re as good as Golden State is. KD averaged 26.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game and coasted into the playoffs. When he got there he absolutely dominated the competition and led his team to back-to-back championships.

 

So far this year the Warriors are off to a 3-1 start and KD is taking a back seat to Steph, but don’t let that fool you, he definitely deserves his 97 overall rating. He’s currently averaging 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 5.8 assists.

 

 

LeBron James – 98 Overall

 

LeBron James, King James, The Chosen One, LAbron, it doesn’t matter what you want to call him; he is the best player in basketball and arguably the greatest to ever play the game. Last year was his 15th season in the NBA and he turned 33 in the middle of the season; it was his best year yet.

 

Bron averaged 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 9.1 assists last year for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the numbers don’t fully do him justice. Every performance last year was legendary, from beginning to end. He stuffed the stat sheet in every way possible, hit game winner after game winner and dunked on too many people to count. LeBron’s season of excellence was culminated by a 51 point performance in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, but it was unfortunately for naught as JR Smith managed to make the most boneheaded play in basketball’s history.

 

The Lakers are predictably off to a rough start, going 0-3 so far, and LeBron is clearly adjusting to his new role on his new team. I’ve watched every game so far and there’s no arguing, it’s messy. That hasn’t stopped him from putting up 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game.

 

 

Photo Credit: NBA, Sporting News, Yahoo Sports

What’s The Geekery? An Interview With One Of The Coolest Geek Stores Around

Sometimes the greatest places to shop online are smaller and independently run.

You’ll often find that the customer service of new up and coming online shops are amazing, the buying process is quick and easy and the items are chosen by popularity so you will almost always find something of interest. These characteristics perfectly describe The Geekery, an online nerd-culture inspired merchandise shop created and operated by Katrina Darwin.  

 

 

Darwin, 24, started The Geekery a little over a year ago with the goal of creating a “one-stop shop for all sorts of nerdy and geeky goodies.” The shop includes everything from jewelry to stuffed animals and everything is affordable.

 

She describes herself as an eccentric person who is passionate about all things geek related. I recently had the honor of interviewing her via Skype and we discussed everything from her current interests to her favorite fandoms.

 

Ever since Darwin was 14 years old she knew that she was going to work for herself; she just wasn’t sure of what that work would look like during the time. In high school, she stumbled upon a group of people discussing the video game World of Warcraft and she knew right then that she had an interest in nerd culture.

 

That interest would culminate while Darwin was in college. She explained that the idea of The Geekery first came from her passion for comics, anime, and video games, but she also knew that she wanted to love what she did for a living. Darwin put the two together and came up with the idea of an online geek merchandise shop.

 

She figured the first step towards opening The Geekery was earning a degree, which she did in 2016 when she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Vancouver Island University. Just a year later The Geekery was born.

 

Darwin’s company launched in January 2017, but the site became fully operational four months later in May, which is when she became fully self-employed.

 

When you visit The Geekery, the first thing you’ll notice is its products; they’re all related to anime, movies, and cartoon series’ that currently popular. The website is clean and professional and all of Darwin’s products are broken down into four main categories: wallets, keychains, plushies, and purses. There are currently six full pages worth of geek-inspired “gifts and goodies” including Adventure Time wallets, Batman plushies, and Charmander keychains.

 

 

 

Darwin admitted that the process hasn’t been all rainbows and sunshine. After graduating, she quickly realized that it would take more than what she learned in school to make her business successful.

 

“It’s been a very interesting experience because I found that although the business school is wonderful, it teaches you how to go into a corporate job, not how to open your own business. So I made a lot of mistakes, and just all of the mistakes that you’re not supposed to make when starting your own business, I’ve done pretty much made all of them, so that was fun,” said Darwin.

 

One significant mistake she made in the opening days of The Geekery was not doing enough market research before investing money in a product. Darwin invested money into a certain item and it didn’t sell as much as she would have hoped, which set her back. However, she also explained that it’s all been a part of the learning process that has led her to her current success.

 

Some of Darwin’s current interests outside of running The Geekery are the shows Supernatural and Doctor Who. She attributes much of her success to having similar interests to the people that she sells to. However, she also notes that she has a great network of friends who she can rely on for advice in areas of nerd culture that she may not be as familiar with.

 

Darwin explained that she has one friend who helps point her towards the most popular video games, while another can list all of the anime characters that are the biggest fan favorites. As an independent business owner, there are only so many topics that Darwin can be up to date on, so her network of friends is a crucial part of keeping her up to date on what’s trending and what’s not.

 

 

Currently, her biggest sellers are the Sailor Moon purses, which have an adorable, yet simple design. These sell at such a competitive rate that The Geekery and Darwin have a hard time keeping enough of them in stock. The stores most recent additions include Deadpool keychains and plushies.

 

As for future plans, Darwin hopes to continue growing her business and for it to become a place for people to regularly visit to see what kinds of new items she has in stock. Darwin’s dream is to run a business and have fun doing it, which is exactly what she’s doing.

 

The Geekery is still a small yet growing entity, but it’s unique geek inspired products already make it a worthwhile stop during your next online shopping session.

 

TI 2018 – A Cinderella Story

Some would say this year’s ‘The International’ winner, OG, was a long time coming. And by some I mean the lucky fools who somehow predicted this outcome despite all odds, not to mention the overwhelming strong presence of Chinese teams at this year’s TI. I mean what did people do, consult a ouija board?!

 

I have always been a huge fan of DOTA. Starting back during the original version of the game, which was a Warcraft 3 mod, and then scoring a beta key for DOTA 2 back in 2012, I haven’t once lost interest in the game.

 

So it was only a matter of time before I finally decided to attend The International. The International is the final professional DOTA 2 event of the year and this time it was hosted in Vancouver, unlike its previous iterations which took place at Key Arena in Seattle, Washington.

 

 

The International (TI) brings the top teams from every region to compete against one another for the chance to be called the best in the world and win a portion of the tournament prize pool of $25,532,177. This year’s IT had the largest prize pool in esports history with the first place team receiving $11,234,158.

 

That being said, it’s quite easy to see why this tournament is regarded as the most intense tournament of the year. It is also considered by many pro players to be a measure of success. A team could lose every tournament or major of 2018, but win the TI and call it a successful year.

 

However, this year’s TI was much different from previous ones. In fact, it felt like more than just a tournament. There was more substance than just the matches being played or the rivalries between players, it showcased the DOTA community.

 

VANCOUVER, BC – AUGUST 20: Hundreds of gaming fans stand in line outside Rogers Arena as they wait to enter on the first day of The International 2018 DOTA 2 Championships on August 20, 2018 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

 

While everyone is there to watch their favorite team win, what people sometimes forget is that there is a community; the non-pro players that make the game what it is. For example one of the casters, Jake Kanner, who goes by the name SirActionSlacks, had the opportunity to visit Japan and explore the DOTA community. There he learned of a unique tournament called the Mara Cup, also called the Oyster Major. The Mara Cup tournament rewards its winners not with money but with food, more specifically oysters and other fresh seafood.

 

While the scene is still small in comparison to the overall DOTA community, it definitely made a fan out of me and the next time I’m in Japan, I am definitely checking it out. It’s these stories brought out to the public that makes the tournament as a whole a memorable experience.

 

Perhaps the biggest story of them all was the story of this year’s winner, Team OG, who has been dubbed as the Cinderella team. This all started back in May of this year when players Gustav “S4” Magnusson and Tal “Fly” Aizik would leave the team for team Evil Geniuses.  Fly helped co-found OG with his best friend Johan “N0tail” Sundstein.

 

 

Not only was this shocking news to the whole community but it also meant that the team would not only need to replace two key players but would need to do so in a couple of weeks before the open qualifiers for the European region. Normally they would have been invited to the regional qualifiers, but because of the roster shift, they had to play through the open qualifying rounds, which meant they would have to face more teams.

 

The most interesting aspect of this surprising run of events was the players recruited to join team OG. Normally with the deadline being a matter of weeks away, a team would be hard pressed to find anyone decent enough to fill their roster, let alone win with the players that that are new to the team.

 

 

But on June 3rd as the DOTA world waited in anticipation, they announced their lineup. It would be the two remaining OG members, N0tail and Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka, their coach Sebastian “7ckngMad” Debs, alongside retired member Anathan “Ana” Pham, and newcomer Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen.

 

Topson, an untested player who had never competed in a big tournament like TI was about to step onto the biggest stage of his life and compete for millions of dollars.

 

What OG achieved was nothing short of pure brilliance. Not only did they prove they could perform at the highest of levels, but they could do so convincingly. They got through the open qualifiers and were placed in the upper bracket during the group stage. What’s even more surprising is that they had to face off against team VGJ Thunder, one of the top performing teams during the group stage.

 

There was also the rivalry between OG and Evil Geniuses in the semi-finals.

 

By combining a display of bold tactics and unique strategies they would eventually arrive at the grand finals against PSD LGD, a Chinese team that was highly favored to win. They would end up taking the match in a 3-2 series to become the best team in the world and win the 11-million dollars.

 

 

While it wasn’t the final matchup I was hoping for, nor was it the one people were expecting to see, it was without a doubt the best possible outcome anyone could have hoped for at such an event.

 

I for one cannot wait to see what the next TI will bring when it’s held in Shanghai, China.

Movie Review: Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle

Welcome to the Jungle

What do you get when you have Jack Black pretending to be a teenage girl who’s obsessed with her social image? A hilarious mix of humorous dialog and a strange impersonation with impressive accuracy.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, a sort of sequel to the 1995 original which starred Robin Williams and Bonnie Hunt, is a hilarious movie filled with plenty of jokes for both the young audiences as well as the older generation that can appreciate good sexual innuendos.

The Story

Robin Williams in Jumanji

 

The film follows the lives of 4 young teenagers; Spencer, Fridge, Martha, and Bethany as they all end up in detention, each for different reasons. Each character represents some sort of stereotype with Spencer being the smart, awkward nerd who is unable to talk to girls. Fridge a football star who is in danger of being kicked off the team for poor grades. Martha is your typical social outcast who struggles judges everyone for fear of being judged herself and then finally there’s Bethany the dramatic beauty queen who spends more time on her looks on social media than everyone else. These 4 individuals must share detention by spending time in an old rundown facility that the school wants to turn into a computer lab. They stumble upon an old video game console. Conveniently enough there’s an old tv that supports it and the 4 of them start playing. Immediately after selecting their characters they are literally sucked into the game as the character they chose.

I won’t spoil any more of the movie because I think that it’s something worth watching with friends or family, but the first few minutes of being introduced to the game avatars were a bit weird.  Though once you get past the introductions of who is who, the jokes start rolling in and they do not stop. I found myself laughing out loud, something I usually try not to do often, throughout the movie.

Finding Jumanji

The plot was pretty straightforward, complete all the levels in the game and you are allowed to go back the real world, but the thing that I thought was interesting was that the movie pays homage to Robin Williams and the first Jumanji movie.  Welcome to the Jungle is supposed to take place 20 years after the events of Alan Parrish, played by the late Robin Williams.  The game is found by someone at a beach that’s near Brantford, New Hampshire which is where the events of the first movie take place.  We later see the man give the board game to his son Alex, played by Nick Jonas, where the game adapts itself to a video game so that people will play the game. I thought this was an interesting take on how to keep things relevant to an age of computers. If a board game can trap a young boy inside for decades, it’s not that much of a stretch to think that it can change itself into a video game.

The Characters

The main characters were for the most part believable, maybe a little too stereotypical for my taste, but it could be that this movie isn’t supposed to be taken seriously so having the typical nerd act insecure about himself only to find his inner courage after inheriting the body of a rock is acceptable.jumanji cast

Dwayne Johnson, who is one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood, is not hilarious in his role but also can be very motivational when he wants to be, which turns out to be all the time.  If there’s one thing he does very well as an actor is giving any scene no matter how dull or cliche, a lot of energy. A prime example is when Dwayne’s character Dr. Smoulder Bravestone – who is the avatar representing Spencer – has to explain how the game works and that each character will have special skills and weakness. I think that this scene was in particular very cliche of an actual video game, which is weird since it’s usually the video game that will try explain the mechanics. But whatever, this is an immersion and Dr. Bravestone was hilarious to watch talking about video games while giving off several smolder stares into the distance.

Though I think the true hero of this film is Jack Black. Suffice to say I am a big fan ever since his School of Rock debut. It was almost scary seeing a full grown man act out the emotions of a teenage girl who has to deal with the pressures of an ever high school drama. Now I’m not saying what I know or begin to understand the realities that a high school has to deal with, but in my honest opinion I could very clearly visualize Jack Black, I mean Professor Shelly Oberon, embody the mind of Bethany; it was a very convincing performance.

Next is Kevin Hart’s character Franklin Moose (that’s pronounced mouse, not moose) Finbar aka your everyday item mule. This character is supposed to be the avatar of a high school football star nicknamed Fridge who’s over 6 feet tall, strong but has the mind of a stereotypical jock.  However for me, I felt like it was just Kevin Hart being typical Kevin Hart, not that he wasn’t funny mind you, but I didn’t feel like as a game avatar who’s supposed to actually be a high school football jock he was that convincing.  For me personally, I think it was just the tone of voice and the way the jokes were delivered didn’t sound like how I imagined Fridge to say them, but rather it’s just Kevin Hart laying out the jokes the way Kevin Hart does. So for that, I thought it could use a little work, but hey who am I to complain when I enjoyed interaction and reaction with Dr. Smoulder Bravestone.

Last but not least we have Ruby Roundhouse played by the ever so talented Karen Gillan. Karen Gillan as you may all recognize from Guardians of the Galaxy, who played the villainous Nebula, is the avatar for young Martha. I thought that out of all the characters she had some of the best scenes in the movie.  I liked how she at first a little uncomfortable with herself and asked rhetorical questions that normal people would be thinking when first pulled into the game such as why was her character wearing really high shorts and a revealing top. Let’s also not forget the fact that she kicked some serious ass. It’s always refreshing to find a strong female lead that’s more than just eye candy.

The Verdict

As long as there are no expectations, sort of how the first movie was, it is a family-fun movie that’s filled with a lot of exciting action scene, interesting enough characters with enough one-liner jokes to keep thing interesting. I think that it did the Jumanji franchise justice and could easily be a cult hit for young kids to reference much later on in the future. For the most part I liked the movie enough that I would recommend it to my close friends and family. Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart are hilarious as usual together and surprisingly their humor fits in well with both Jack Black and Karen Gillan. I give this movie a solid B.

 

 

Goodbye Net Neutrality

It’s the end of times, kiss net neutrality goodbye! Riddle me this. Can the internet truly be the internet if someone is preventing you from watching someone stream an entire USC fight by pretending to play the game?

In recent news, the FCC and its chairman Ajit Pai announced that they have voted to repeal Obama Era net neutrality rules. Now if you’re anything like me, you may have heard all this buzz about how taking away net neutrality is a terrible thing, but may not necessarily know what that means.

What is Net Neutrality?

To put it simply net neutrality basically gives people the right to freely access information on the internet without any restrictions.

Think phone lines.

The telephone company can’t dictate who or when you can call, much the same way your ISP can’t dictate what content you interact with.

So for example, say a person like Ajit Pai wants to look up some excellent dog photography with adorable captions. Right now he can do that freely, but let’s say that net neutrality is gone – all of a sudden – ISP companies like AT&T or Spectrum can start throttling or block his connection speed to the site because it’s not a part of their network.

Why is Net Neutrality so important?

Net neutrality is important not only to young trolls but it is vital to businesses and organizations as well. As detailed by The Free Press, businesses of all sizes, both profit and essentially non-profit are heavily reliant on an open and free internet.

Small businesses need it in order expand and non-profits need it because they rely on awareness of their programs.  A perfect example would be this website you’re reading this article on, www.metahumanent.com. As a small business, how can we expect to grow or even start our market if the internet that we advertise, promote, and produce content on is suddenly regulated by the internet providers who can prevent readers from accessing our website?

If anything else, non-profit organizations who generally do good work in the world by helping those in dire need or bring awareness to controversial topics are suddenly unable to. That would potentially affect the lives of millions. If this doesn’t scare you by now then I don’t know what will.

This isn’t to say we won’t be able to access our Instagram stories or Twitter feeds, so the FCC’s mocking video was correct in that sense. This is because the true danger lies in the freedom that politicians and huge corporations have, that if left unchecked, can change the internet as we know it.

Who guards the guardians?

Not all is lost, however, just because of the FCC (the ones who are supposed to protect our dank memes) voted to repeal net neutrality, doesn’t mean the fight for equality is over.  An ever-growing collection of senators have vowed to sue the decision. Senator Charles Schumer from New York said he will force the Senate to vote on the FCC’s ruling under the Congressional Review Act and argue overturning the decision. Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii says their goal is to use the CRA to not only repeal the ruling but also prevent the FCC from making the same repeal in the future, much like how it was done to repeal a  set of regulations accepted by the FCC in the final months of President Obama’s term. Others have also come out with strong support for net neutrality as well.

Senator John Thune has come out asking for bipartisan laws to be passed so that what seems like an endless debate can be put to rest. His hope is that both sides will come together and compromise. While this seems highly unlikely, it will be interesting to see how Democrats and Republicans can create a new regulation that makes everyone happy.

Check back on this topic as this is a developing story with many points to cover, which we will discuss in future articles.

 

Deadpool Meets Pikachu

Remember last year how it was announced that Legendary will be producing a live-action Pokemon movie? We don’t either, but The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Deadpool’s alter ego , Ryan Reynolds, will be voicing the character of Pikachu in the upcoming live-action film. As strange as it sounds, Reynolds will be giving life to Pikachu who will be “motion-capture in nature

The movie is slated to start filming early next year January in London, England and will also star Justice Smith from “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” and Kathryn Newton who stars in “Big Little Lies. The show will be directed by Rob Letterman who is known for his work on “Goosebumps” and “Monsters vs Aliens” and is scripted by Nicole Perlman and Alex Hirsch.

The story will follow the kidnapping of Smith’s character’s father and Smith’s character teaming up with Detective Pikachu to find him. Newton will portray a journalist who shows up to help the duo solve the mystery.



Unsure why this is happening? Us too, but at least we won’t have to see Reynolds don a life-sized CGI Pikachu costume because that would be ridiculous.  What we do get instead is the iconic Pokemon wearing a Sherlock Holmes hat, as this movie will reportedly follow the story of the video game Detective Pikachu.

“Great Detective Pikachu” was developed by Creatures Inc and was distributed by Nintendo for the 3DS in Japan on February 2016. The plot follows the adventures of a talking Pikachu teaming up with a boy named Tim Goodman as they go around the city solving various mysteries.

Reynolds recently starred as the foul-mouthed anti-hero mercenary last year which grossed over $360 million domestically since release. Due to its overwhelming popularity, a sequel was announced and will star Josh Brolin as Cable. It is expected to hit theatres in May of 2018.

Here’s the original trailer for the game.

Deadpool Meets Pikachu

Remember last year how it was announced that Legendary will be producing a live-action Pokemon movie? We don’t either, but The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Deadpool’s alter ego , Ryan Reynolds, will be voicing the character of Pikachu in the upcoming live-action film. As strange as it sounds, Reynolds will be giving life to Pikachu who will be “motion-capture in nature

The movie is slated to start filming early next year January in London, England and will also star Justice Smith from “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” and Kathryn Newton who stars in “Big Little Lies. The show will be directed by Rob Letterman who is known for his work on “Goosebumps” and “Monsters vs Aliens” and is scripted by Nicole Perlman and Alex Hirsch.

The story will follow the kidnapping of Smith’s character’s father and Smith’s character teaming up with Detective Pikachu to find him. Newton will portray a journalist who shows up to help the duo solve the mystery.



Unsure why this is happening? Us too, but at least we won’t have to see Reynolds don a life-sized CGI Pikachu costume because that would be ridiculous.  What we do get instead is the iconic Pokemon wearing a Sherlock Holmes hat, as this movie will reportedly follow the story of the video game Detective Pikachu.

“Great Detective Pikachu” was developed by Creatures Inc and was distributed by Nintendo for the 3DS in Japan on February 2016. The plot follows the adventures of a talking Pikachu teaming up with a boy named Tim Goodman as they go around the city solving various mysteries.

Reynolds recently starred as the foul-mouthed anti-hero mercenary last year which grossed over $360 million domestically since release. Due to its overwhelming popularity, a sequel was announced and will star Josh Brolin as Cable. It is expected to hit theatres in May of 2018.

Here’s the original trailer for the game.

Deadpool Meets Pikachu

Remember last year how it was announced that Legendary will be producing a live-action Pokemon movie? We don’t either, but The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Deadpool’s alter ego , Ryan Reynolds, will be voicing the character of Pikachu in the upcoming live-action film. As strange as it sounds, Reynolds will be giving life to Pikachu who will be “motion-capture in nature

The movie is slated to start filming early next year January in London, England and will also star Justice Smith from “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” and Kathryn Newton who stars in “Big Little Lies. The show will be directed by Rob Letterman who is known for his work on “Goosebumps” and “Monsters vs Aliens” and is scripted by Nicole Perlman and Alex Hirsch.

The story will follow the kidnapping of Smith’s character’s father and Smith’s character teaming up with Detective Pikachu to find him. Newton will portray a journalist who shows up to help the duo solve the mystery.



Unsure why this is happening? Us too, but at least we won’t have to see Reynolds don a life-sized CGI Pikachu costume because that would be ridiculous.  What we do get instead is the iconic Pokemon wearing a Sherlock Holmes hat, as this movie will reportedly follow the story of the video game Detective Pikachu.

“Great Detective Pikachu” was developed by Creatures Inc and was distributed by Nintendo for the 3DS in Japan on February 2016. The plot follows the adventures of a talking Pikachu teaming up with a boy named Tim Goodman as they go around the city solving various mysteries.

Reynolds recently starred as the foul-mouthed anti-hero mercenary last year which grossed over $360 million domestically since release. Due to its overwhelming popularity, a sequel was announced and will star Josh Brolin as Cable. It is expected to hit theatres in May of 2018.

Here’s the original trailer for the game.