January 4, 2017

Harry Potter Ranked

Permalink: harrypotterranked Tags: Movie, Ranking Date: January 4, 2017 16:12

✖︎ Harry Potter Movies, Ranked

I spent the New Years weekend watching all eight Harry Potter movies since I had previously only seen the first two. Some were pretty impressive, others fell extremely flat for me. And for the record, I have only ever read the first four books.

  1. Prisoner of Azkaban
  2. Deathly Hallows, Part II
  3. Sorcerer’s Stone
  4. Chamber of Secrets
  5. Half-Blood Prince
  6. Order of the Phoenix
  7. Deathly Hallows, Part I
  8. Goblet of Fire


January 3, 2017

2016 Albums

Date: January 3, 2017 19:51 Permalink: toptenalbums2016 Tags: 2016, Top Ten, Music, Albums

✖︎ Top Ten Albums - 2016

10. Weezer (White Album) - Weezer

  • Weezer has had its ups and downs in the last ten years but I thought this was a pretty solid addition to their discography. It might not be groundbreaking but there are quite a few songs that you can drive to with the windows down in the summer and just bask in it.

9. RR7349 - S U R V I V E

  • This was a surprise for me as I had never heard of this group before Stranger Things and have never really been into any sort of electronic music besides the occasional video game or movie soundtrack.

8. untitled unmastered - Kendrick Lamar

  • Kendrick Lamar has been the best rapper throughout the last three years and the fact he can release a bunch of B-Sides that are this good just goes to prove that. Nothing here is going to blow you away but they are all solid tracks.

7. Coloring Book - Chance the Rapper

  • Although I said Kendrick is the best rapper throughout the last three years, I think Chance is poised to be right there. He has so much potential but still tends to put out a few tracks on each release that make me question some of his decisions. Overall, he is still putting out great music and will really be someone to reckon with once he is able to get a complete vision wrapped up in a release.

6. Stranger Things: Original Soundtrack - S U R V I V E

  • I’ve already mentioned S U R V I V E with the their own release that came out shortly after this but given the fact that this was what put them on a map for a lot of people and just meshed so well with the actual show and can still be listened to on repeat almost gets this a spot in the top five for me.

5. I Had A Dream That You Were Mine - Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam

  • I was completely ignorant of this album until I started to read a few other top ten lists that came out a couple weeks ago and it quickly got stuck in my head and moved up the ranks in my list. If I had more time to dive into it, it might have ended up even higher.

4. Tidal Wave - Taking Back Sunday

  • I already wrote an entire review of this album and how much I loved it and thought it was a return to form for Taking Back Sunday here.

3. We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service - A Tribe Called Quest

  • This was everything that I could have hoped for. I think they absolutely delivered on their final album and the whole thing just flows together so fluidly as a single production to be admired. RIP Phife.

2. Blonde - Frank Ocean

  • There was a lot of hype around this album. More so than any other in recent history that I can think of. It is hard to say if it delivered on all that hype or not, as I still prefer Channel Orange to this but I think Frank Ocean is far superior to a lot of other musicians and his second effort still had me listening over and over.

1. Awaken, My Love!” - Childish Gambino

  • By far and away, this was my favorite album of the year. I was a big fan of Bonfire but thought that Because the Internet was a step backwards where he was just trying to do what everyone else was doing. With Awaken, we get an entirely different thing altogether. It is more a funk and soul album than it is a rap album and I love it all the more for it. Other rappers have tried to do similar things before, but I have to believe that Childish Gambino was working with some great musicians to put this together. Everything from the composition to the lyrics just feel so fluid, and on top of it the songs are a blast to listen to with the volume turned all the way up.

Honorable Mentions

  • First Ditch Effort - NOFX
    • I’ve never really gotten too into NOFX but listening through this album there were quite a few songs that I really enjoyed and it has inspired me to go back through their catalog a little more in depth.


January 3, 2017

AirPods

Tags: Apple, Tech Permalink: AirPods Date: January 3, 2017 19:30

✖︎ AirPods

It’s been only six days since I received Apple’s AirPods and they are, by far and away, the best product I’ve purchased in years.

I’ve been eagerly anticipating completely wireless earbuds since first seeing the original Bragi Dash. Although the AirPods are the first completely wireless earbuds I’ve tried, I can’t imagine anything else out there performing on the same level or better.

When it comes to the AirPods, it’s all about the little details. The way it handles knowing whether one, both or neither are actually in your ears is perfect. You can play music using just one of them and it knows to play the music in mono through that single AirPod so you get both the left and right channels of whatever you are listening to. Drop the other one in and it switches over to stereo. Pull an AirPod out of your ear, whether you are listening with one or both, and the music automatically pauses. As someone who typically uses just one earbud when at the office to listen to podcasts, they work exactly how I would naturally want them to work in an ideal world.

The case is perfect too. I haven’t had any issues with battery life, but I will make the caveat that if you are someone that uses earbuds with both in, all day, without ever stopping for thirty minutes at any point, the battery life may be a problem. I don’t think that is the case with 99% of people though. Each AirPod gets around five hours of battery life and the case holds another 24 hours of charge. They charge pretty quickly on top of that. I tend to charge the case most nights but I could easily get more than three days without a charge seeing as most of the time I only use one AirPod and drop it into the case to charge at any point that I stop listening to something.

Already, this is one of my favorite tech products, let alone Apple products, in a very long time. The utility of it far surpasses my Apple Watch. Not since my first iPhone have I been so pleased with any product as a whole with all of it’s little, well thoughtout details.



December 31, 2016

2016 TV Shows

Date: December 31, 2016 Permalink: toptentv2016 Tags: 2016, Top Ten, TV

✖︎ Top Ten TV Shows - 2016

10. People of Earth - Season 1

  • I tend to only watch shows that I love (or ones that are on the front page of Netflix when I fall into a binging mode on a Saturday night), so it was kind of difficult to fill a list of ten shows that I felt deserved to live in infamy. Luckily, People of Earth came around on Halloween and I’ve been pleasantly surprised with every single second. It’s not a groundbreaking show but the characters are fun to hang out with and there are bits of cleverness sprinkled throughout.

9. Silicon Valley - Season 3

  • This is hands down the funniest cast in television today. You could probably throw this cast in any story, plot, or show, and it would make my top ten list. They just bring so much charisma to the screen and add so much to an already funny script that it is hard not to laugh every second.

8. Game of Thrones - Season 6

  • I will be the first to admit that this deserves to be higher. It continues to be one of the best shows on television and season six is the best season yet. Now that they are able to loosen up on the published material, since they have surpassed Martin’s glacial writing speed, things are just on another level. If it weren’t for so many good, new shows that excite me for the future, this would probably be number 1.

7. Black Mirror - Season 3

  • Season three of Black Mirror is actually the first that I’ve seen (I am planning on going back to the others though). It about met my expectations. With all the hype that has been around it for the last year or two I expected every episode to be a hit but obviously no show is perfect. Of course, episode four, San Junipero, was amazing but Ialso loved episode two, Playtest. The first episode, Nosedive, was really interesting but something felt missing. I loved the final 30 seconds but didn’t really feel like they did anything to make us relate to the character.

6. Catastrophe - Season 2

  • The worst thing about Catastrophe is the length of the seasons. Six episode seasons are just not enough. At least give me eight. Please. This was probably the funniest show that I watched this year. It just has this feeling of realness that doesn’t seem to come across in other shows.

5. Atlanta - Season 1

  • The fact that this is as low as five just shows how much good TV there was this year. I’ve been a fan of Donald Glover’s since Community (he is also featured in another top ten list that I am working on). Atlanta is very similar to Aziz Ansari’s Master of None or Louie but there is so much else going on, like the invisible car, that you really have to pay attention to get. Even if you don’t notice those little subtleties, it’s still on par with those other shows.

4. High Maintenance - Season 1

  • I had started to write an entire review for this back when the season ended because of how much I adored this show but just never got around to finishing it up. The entire premise of this show is hard to explain but it is well worth giving both this and the original web series a shot. The main character is the Guy, a.k.a. the weed dealer, but he is rarely the focus of what is actually going on. It’s more of an anthology show than anything else, where we get introduced to new people, or go back and revisit someone from six episodes ago. In one episode, and probably my favorite episode, the main character is a dog, just to show you how different this really is. The show really has nothing to do with drugs or weed other than the fact that all of these diverse and interesting people buy their weed from the same guy.

3. Dirk Gentley’s Holistic Detective Agency - Season 1

  • This was entirely unexpected for me. I didn’t know anything about it until the show creator, Max Landis, tweeted, mentioning something about it’s first episode. I’ve been a pretty big fan of everything that I’ve seen or read of his so I was looking forward to this and it exceeded my expectations by a long shot. There is so much fun craziness happening all over the place and little Easter eggs placed throughout that tie things back together. Dirk Gently has some of the most exciting, interesting, and intriguing characters that I’ve seen throughoughly fleshed out in a single season all together in a exquisite and detail-oriented way.

2. Stranger Things - Season 1

  • I really don’t see the flaws that other people saw when it came to Stranger Things. l’ve seen many complaints about how they spoke in a way that kids in the 80′s just wouldn’t. I was never around in the 80′s so I wouldn’t know. It’s an homage, and a great one at that, to the John Carpenter, Stephen Spielberg, and Stephen King worlds that I loved as a kid and continue to love. These are all extremely evident throughout the entire season, but I thought it was done in a way that showed love rather than just trying to make something quick and easy. I’m skeptical about a second season but I have faith that the Duffer Brothers will keep the same spark that made the first season so great. Oh, and the soundtrack was amazing.

1. Westworld - Season 1

  • I understand the issues people have with Westworld, but I just had so much fun with it. It was everything that I could have asked for when I first heard about who was going to be behind the show and it became an event every Sunday for me, even more so than Game of Thrones. There may be some recency bias, especially considering my top five for the year are all first season shows but the combination of sci-fi and western just does everything for me and I thought the way the show runners built in mysteries and played with the audience in a typical Nolan fashion was just brilliant.

Honorable Mentions

  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
    • I love this show, it’s just plain old fun and I belt out the theme song every time it comes on.
  • Insecure
    • I haven’t finished this yet but Issa Rei is absolutely great and I am on my way to finishing this as we speak.


December 15, 2016

Craig Sager was NBA Family

Chris Ryan, The Ringer:

But Sager’s touch was subtle. He was a consummate everyday entertainer — the Bob Barker of the league — and he brought an essential bit of extra showmanship to the most mundane part of an NBA broadcast: the sideline interview.

Sager has been a staple of the NBA on TNT. It always felt like something was missing when he was on leave and it just won’t be the same without him and his colorful attire moving forward. RIP Craig Sager.


Basketball Link
December 14, 2016

► Movies with Mikey: Fury Road

In a sense, this is sort of like a two part video. In the first eight minutes, we get a great breakdown of a few scenes that really show the artfulness on display in Fury Road. I would have never noticed small things like Max’s shoe, but there are other, larger plot points that are on display as well.

The second part might make you think this video was put out in the last month given the political climate but it was actually posted in April of 2016. There are a lot of parallels to our current situation and I love that he just comes out speaks bluntly. There is right and there is wrong, it’s really black and white. As a society, we should focus more on working together and sharing ideas rather than pushing lies and our own agenda onto others.


Video Film