Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Quotable:"The only time I will depend is when I'm seventy years old, that's when I can't hold my ish within so I ish on myself cause I'm so sick and tired of ish on everybody else." Lil Wayne

Lil' Wayne is so sweet, girls want to lick his wrapper. Lil' Wayne spits hot fire! Lil' Wayne is the best rapper in the game! Now all the Lil' Wayne naysayers and haters can lick his "rapper too!" Today marks a monumental day for the Carter, now an inductee into the First Week Million Records Boy Club, Weezy baby surpassed Kanyeezy's 900,000 first week record sales of his junior album release, 'The Graduation' back in September 2007 and has clocked in at a reportedly 1 million sound scans. With 400,000 albums flying off the shelves on the first day, it was clear that a few leaks couldn't kill his pipe dreams.

"I wasn't trippin' about this," Lil' Wayne said. "I didn't have no expectations. That's not only with music, [that's] period. You shouldn't expect anything. You never know what could happen."

Previously not one to out do his self, Weezy's 2005 album release, The Carter II only registered at 238,500 sound scans, premiering at #2 on the Billboard Charts. This time The Carter's ecstacy tongue laced in sizzurp (that's codeine and cough syrup, as if you didn't know) landed him the coveted number #1 slot on the Billboard charts and bragging rights along 50 Cent's 2005 chart topper, 'The Massacre' which also set records at $1 million + in first week album sales.

Looks like third time's the charm for the self-proclaimed "best rapper alive." A fan favorite among mixtape DJs and hip hop heads alike since busting on the scene with his solo album 'The Block Is Hot' in 1999. To the Carter, being placed in the ranks with contenders Kanye West, Jay-Z, Nas, 50 Cent for best rapper in the game is so passe.

"I ain't lookin down but i see no one above me."

Despite mixed reviews including one proclaiming Wayne's third studio effort as glossed over as lip gloss, full of radio friendly fanfare that is more bubble yum than down right gritty, as Lil' Wayne fans will declare "A Milli, Hip Hop IS ALIVE!"

Related Articles
Lil Wayne's Carter III Cracks A Million Sales In It's First Week

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Quotable: “There are aspects of my personality that I can't control. And when I lose control, it's very dangerous to be around me.” Bruce Banner (Edward Norton)

Two words sum up the comic book adaption of one one of the most popular superheroes of all time, the Incredible Hulk…

HULK SMASH! (Yes! Been waiting to say that!)

The CGI infused second installment in the Hulk series started off slowly but delivered an action packed punch that gained the Marvel franchise and Hulk storyline a new audience without alienating long time fans. The story picked up where the first Hulk left off, with Dr. Bruce Banner (Ed Norton, previously portrayed by Eric Bana) now a fugitive on the run from the U.S. Army led by cigar smoking, non-chalant, General Ross (William Hurt) sworn to capture him at any costs to harness the power within as the ultimate weapon for their own selfish gain. Searching for a cure to rid him of his primal green counterpart, Banner fights off soldiers, bullets, his love for Dr. Betty Ross (Liv Tyler) and an enemy equally as menacing, the Abomination (Tim Roth).

Hulk is a classic struggle of the rage that lurks within us all ready to spin us out of control. For most of us it’s contained or kept in check by our own accord or even with the help of loved ones, a hobby, meditation, or some other method that helps us to escape from the stresses of everyday life. Though there is heart pounding action in the form of chase scenes and a tug of war between Hulk and the Army as well as a showdown of epic proportions featuring Hulk and The Abomination, the movie does little else to thrill and at times babbles more than Tom Cruise proclaiming his love for Scientology. Edward Norton does a good job of depicting the torment that riddles Banner and voluntarily confines him to a life of solitude at the expense of being happy. The chemistry between him and Betty is undeniable and not only is it his voice of reason but it keeps alive on quite a few occasions yet also keeps him determined to remain on the run. When the promise of a cure and the discovery of his Brazilian location after a bottling plant incident where he freelances as a factory worker forces him out of hiding, Bruce must test his restraint and push his limits or risk losing control forever. Tim Roth plays a British soldier Emil Blonsky enlisted by General Ross whose awe of Hulk’s rage and his own greedy lust for power ultimately transform him into one of Hulk’s famed nemesis’, The Abomination, a creature of pure adrenaline and aggression.

“As Banner, Norton gives a strong performance. Like “Iron Man’s” Robert Downey Jr., Norton is a former Oscar nominee who brings a wealth of talent to a role one normally wouldn’t consider him for…”

A welcome change from the Ang Lee directed disaster in 2005, the 2008 Incredible Hulk directed by transports me back to the Sunday mornings while getting dressed for church, when my guilty pleasure was watching the animated Hulk engrossed in his signature smashing and bashing. )? While Hulk got a much needed human upgrade, making his character more relatable than his movie predecessor, there was still something missing you “can’t quite put your finger on.” Could it be that sense of morale and social responsibility that was present in ‘Iron Man’? Or could it be the vengeance that drives Batman pre Kilmer (Michael Keaton, Batman) and post Clooney (Christian Bale, Batman Begins)? No wait! Maybe is it the ability to go from ordinary to extraordinary like in Spiderman or better yet the struggle for equality being social outcasts that X-Men represents. The special effects that transformed the medium build David Banner of modest stature into the 8-10 ft tall, green-eyed, muscle ripped, towering Hulk were certainly impressive yet more realistic this go round. His skin was less rubbery and besides the hair color, his height-weight proportions were more on point.

Three things Hulk shares in common with these other super heroes and summer blockbusters however is its fun factor, popularity and high yielding box office revenue. The opening weekend box office racked in $55,414,050 planting it firmly in the #1 box office slot. Since smashing its way on the scene, The Incredible Hulk has racked in $66,226,305 (domestic); $30,766,138 (foreign) with a worldwide gross of $96,992,443.

As the second movie financed and produced by Marvel Studios, Hulk fans disappointed in Lee’s version will be pleasantly satisfied by the action in 2008’s Incredible Hulk. Add a little dash of nostalgia provided by a voiceover from The Incredible Hulk TV series star, Louis Ferragno (Hulk Smash!), a cameo by a reprised Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and you got a green, environmentally friendly (tree bashing and city pummeling were largely done in CGI) superhero movie to tie you over until Hellboy2: The Golden Army(Coming July 11th) and most notably, the long anticipated The Dark Knight (Coming July 18th.)

Hulk In Theaters Now!

2008 Incredible Hulk Trailer

Visit the Incredible Hulk Online

Friday, June 13, 2008


Quotable:"We just wet the bed. A nice big one, too. One of the ones you can't put a towel over. It was terrible." Kobe Bryant (sans Game 4 Lakers loss)

The Boston Celtics got banged around, outscored, and outrebounded but in the course of one quarter, the third quarter, they managed to bring an 18 point deficit within two points heading into the fourth quarter. This series the Celtics have dominated the third quarter making it a pivotal time in which to secure a win for 3 out of 4 games. Strategy? Not hardly.

The Lakers took an early lead, steadily keeping the Celtics at bay by as much as 24 points. With Lamar Odom and Paul Gasol playing off each other in a sequence of touch passes and pick and rolls combined with key plays by Kobe, Sasha Vuyacic, Vladimir Radmanovic and Derek Fisher, Lakers’ offense seemed unstoppable. That is until Paul Pierce launched a three with 6:56 left to go in the 3rd quarter. Watching what transpired from this point on was far from watching paint dry and more like a descent into every Lakers’ fan own personal brand of hell when talking about the rivalry between LA and Boston. Cringe! Another consecutive Boston win and on Lakers’ turf that is.

So where did the Lakers’ go wrong and when did the Celtics’ go right? Point blank when Boston’s status as number one defensive team in the league came rushing back to them. In a chain of events made up of drives to the hole by Ray Allen and off the bench 20 foot plus jumpers by Eddie House of all players, Boston put LA’s legendary triangular offense on LOCK, forcing turnovers and taking advantage of LA’s lack of interior defense. Some questionable calls by Phil Jackson such as benching Derek Fisher and Lamar Odom just when they got the hot hand only fueled the Lakers’ scoring drought. The buckets that previously rained in Southern California dried up as Kobe’s 8 assists for crucial shots by Derek Fisher during the first half just weren’t enough to keep the Celtics from gaining the momentum that the Lakers’ possessed throughout most of the game. Ray Allen was enigmatic and tireless, Paul Pierce caught a second wind that proved crucial to the Lakers’ demise.

The honorary Lakers’ fan in me is as stunned as any other Laker enthusiast. Not only did Boston manage to raise the stakes in the series and gain the competitive advantage but the son of guns overcame the largest half-time deficit in the NBA Finals history in the shot clock area at 18 points. Previous records had been set at 14 points by get this, Lakers’ opponents! If anyone should be calling foul on game rigging should be Jerry West. Take notes Tim Donaghy, no team down 3-1 in the Finals has ever come back to win the championship. With a 5 out of 6 win-loss record against the Lakers’ during the regular season, is it any wonder really that history was made Thursday night? Things don’t look pretty in the City of Angels as Game 5 takes place in the Garden in Boston Sunday. With the Celtics being one game away from their first championship in 21 years, the 0-6 road record epidemic, inconsistent scoring by Big Three members, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in addition to the perils of having a young bench seem almost irrelevant.

Well the bench and Big Three certainly showed up in Game 4. As part of a 21-3 run, Eddie House hit two shots from three point land followed by a 10-1 run highlighted by a dunk by P.J.Brown to close the third quarter. A jumper by Leon Powe tied the game for the first time since the first quarter at 73. Saying it was all downhill from there would be a firm grasp on the obvious.

“We sucked it up. We said we weren't going to back down. At the end of the third quarter I looked up at the scoreboard and told the fellas. We just have to go out there and compete and let the chips fall where they may.'' Paul Pierce said.
While the odds are certainly stacked against them, the Finals’ favorites find themselves in a precarious position to have their asses handed to them yet again. Though the same analysts and fair weather fans are already jumping ship calling for a Lakers’ concession … “It Ain’t Over ‘Til The Fat Lady Sings!”

Game 5 Sunday – Lakers at Boston @ 8:30PM EST

Related Links:

Lakers Have A Collapse For The Ages

Phil Jackson Master of Disaster?
Lakers-Celtics NBA Finals Coverage
Top 10 Best Moments in Celtics-Lakers Post Season History

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Quotable:"At some point you have to realize that you've done all that you can do, all you need to do. It's Over!" Michael Strahan, New York Giants

What is in the water nowadays? Many speculate it's a myriad of things from growth hormones to steroids to good ole yellow no. 5 (a common dye found in most food and beverage products). Personally my theory is that it's a brand of irony that is "forcing" the greats of the sports and entertainment industries into a questionable retirement. Considering ten years ago retirement meant you took the fruits of your 401k and or IRA kicked back and put up your feet, now the announcement of retirement is more of a bargaining chip to up your stock.

First there's Brett Favre in his teary-eyed farewell in an emotional leave from the world's game stepchild, American football. Then Floyd Mayweather Jr. (that's "Money" Mayweather to you) bids ado to the rapidly declining world of boxing and now Michael Strahan (New York Giants defensive end) beaming his signature gap toothed smile declares "it's over!" With a Super Bowl win, seven Pro Bowl appearances and the record for fifth most sacks in NFL history under his belt, Strahan is certainly having it "his way", on his own terms. To his fellow teammates and his agent, his announcement about retiring came as a no surprise. In fact prior to the Giants unprecedented Super Bowl victory, he contemplated retirement after 14 seasons accomplishing every achievement imaginable to an NFL star just shy of a Super Bowl ring.

"Money was never the issue. Really I thought he was going to retire before last season. I'm happy he stayed around." Strahan's agent, Tony Agnone reported to the Associated Press.

Not even an offer by the front office to up the ante in his salary by an additional undisclosed amount on top of his $4 million dollar contract could change his mind. As the 36 year old Super bowl champion revealed, physically he still has plenty of life in him. His actions on the field and accolades by Giants coach, Tom Coughlin and opponents as well as friends speak for themselves. The "consummate" Giant as he is affectionately and jokingly nicknamed by Coughlin, started 15 of 16 times in the regular season while managing to rack up 46 tackles and nine sacks. Strahan is the Giant's career sacks leader in case you didn't know and at one point he set a single season NFL mark of 22.5 sacks back in 2001 as a Packer. Not bad for a second round draft pick from a small time Texas Southern University. Justifiably the underrated defensive end was instrumental in leading underdog to a championship victory. John Mara adamantly claims that the Giants' couldn't have done it without him and the sentiment around the league is unanimous in what the future holds for Strahan – Hall of Famer.

"Michael is not only one of the great Giants of all time but also one of the great defensive players in the NFL history. It was an honor to spend my entire career as his teammate." Former teammate, Tiki Barber notes.

I recall a pre Super Bowl prediction by fellow teammate Plaxico Burress that Patriots' fans and analysts unfairly labeled bold. While the Patriots certainly brought an offensive prowess and a defensive pressure cooker unmatched by many, the Giants will to win and team synergy managed to lock down the Pats power ranking defense 17-14 over New England in Super Bowl XLII. Simply put the Giants brought their A game. Even in the midst of anti-Patriots sentiment, Michael rallied for the Giants from the locker room to the sidelines as well as in the press in the good old fashioned "Ask not what your team can do for you, but what you can do for your team" mantra from taking young Giants' defensive ends under his wing to creating a humorous little jig he good naturedly called the "Strahan Stomp" to commensurate the Giants rise to Super Bowl champions.

Perhaps good friend Jon Runyan of the Philadelphia Eagles said it best. "You think that a situation where the guy exits winning a Super Bowl – going out on top – and if you could write a book, that's the way you'd want to end it."

"Icing on the cake." No small feat for a great guy whose tremendous career was far from on the decline.