Earlier today, Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp announced he would step down at the end of the season. Klopp is famous for establishing Dortmund as one of the biggest sides in world football, despite their financial limitations compared to the rest of the top bracket. Klopp’s tenure at Dortmund also wasn’t short of silverware, as Dortmund was able to capture 2 Bundesliga titles in the time he was at the Signal Iduna Park despite Bayern Munich’s domestic dominance. Most famously of all, Jurgen Klopp was able to take Borussia Dortmund all the way to the Champions League final in 2013, eventually losing to Bayern Munich at the death. (more…)
Yesterday, I wrote about how all of the teams with good midfielders ended up being victorious over the weekend. The interesting thing, though, is how just 3 hours after the article was posted, Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace executed a tactical system that is able to mask a poor midfield.
Going into the match against Manchester City, Pardew knew that Yaya Toure and David Silva would have Palace’s midfield duo in knots. He also happened to know how to get a smash and grab despite all this. (more…)
Wednesday’s action in the Champions League wasn’t as close as Tuesday’s in the Champions League, and 3 of the 4 teams in the action showed exactly why domestic form is vital in the Champions League race.
Borussia Dortmund saw devastating 5-1 aggregate defeat to Juventus after the Italians comfortably put 3 past them at their home stadium, the Westfalenstadion. Manchester City was incredibly lucky on the defensive side, as Joe Hart comfortably saved them, but City was only able to get forward in the 2nd half, a half that just happened to be a poor showing from Sergio Aguero. (more…)
Moneyball (2011): Slow, insightful, inspiring. The story takes a long time to pick up and could have used some humour to carry it into the second half, but it gives a fascinating perspective into the game behind what baseball spectators see. Recommended? For anyone interested in baseball or a good underdog story.
American Psycho (2000): Gory, confusing, psychological. Christian Bale’s talent is the best part of this movie, which otherwise manages to be unique from other serial killer films by having no tangible ending and a plot that takes so long to develop that viewers must sit through never-ending unintelligible rants and blatant misogyny to get there. Recommended? For those who enjoy films whose explicit content outweighs the overall plot.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010): Humorous, fantastical, quirky. Despite a few minor inconsistencies and a few blunders in the special effects, the story and adventure present Ancient Greece in an accessible and interesting way for young people. Recommended? To people of all ages with a basic knowledge of Greek mythology who wish to indulge in such an interest.
In the Heat of the Night (1967): Slow, mysterious, interesting. While the pace could have used some work, the mystery itself is quite intriguing and the overall tone shows viewers the everyday struggles for Blacks in 1960s USA. Recommended? For those who like classic cinema and/or mystery stories.
The Iron Lady (2011): Insightful, confusing, dark. Meryl Streep does a fantastic job as Margaret Thatcher, but that is the highlight of this monotone and often pessimistic film. Recommended? Not the best, but worth a try.
Jurassic Park (1993): Stunning, imaginative, unintelligible. The bizarre science and stupid decisions comprising the first portion of the movie border disaster film cliché, but the action shots and exemplary special effects make this movie an adventure like no other. Recommended? Don’t watch this for the story, but for the incredible accompanying visuals.
The Black Cauldron (1985): Enchanting, dark, forgettable. Certain elements of this film are signatures of Disney, though some of the characters are exaggerated, and the film is neither as timeless nor memorable as the true Disney classics. Recommended? Not bad, but a complete childhood does not require this film.
Paranorman (2012): Hilarious, unique, entertaining. The variety and depth in the humour and story allows the content to resonate among different generations. Recommended? Even though it’s an animated film, the movie is definitely meant for young adults.
Identity Thief (2013): Funny, interesting, entertaining. Behind the often excessive attempts at humour and sometimes illogical decisions is a good message, loveable characters and lots of laughs. Recommended? Not a 5 star movie, but a good laugh nonetheless.
Psycho (1960): Scary, dramatic, exemplary. Classic films like this show that horror films can have a deep plot and good character development. Recommended? Psycho is like a history lesson for fans of horror movies.
Reservoir Dogs (1992): Mysterious, excessive, violent. The movie has a good premise and structure, but unfortunately, Tarantino’s obsession with cramming as much explicit and unnecessary content as possible into his films elongates the film and makes it irritable at times. Recommended? This film would be most enjoyed by those who share the director’s fetish for explicit content and nonsense.
Rear Window (1954): Witty, mysterious, predictable. Hitchcock manages to maintain tension and suspense without gore and horrific gags, but with clever use of dialogue and implications. Recommended? A very good drama that is also funnier than expected.
Pitch Perfect (2012): Funny, light, entertaining. Despite some plot holes and excessive jokes, the one-liners and some of the musical numbers make this film memorable. Recommended? Good laugh, but this film’s main appeal is to women and music students.
White House Down (2013): Intense, humourous, entertaining. Despite being riddled with clichés associated with “American-action-disaster” films, the humour and action sequences are enjoyable. Recommended? Not the best movie, but the pure escapism makes it fun to watch.
The Impossible (2012): Gripping, emotional, frightening. The reality that this film is based on a true story of recent events takes this tale of disaster and survival to new depths, though beyond the story, viewers are captivated by breathtaking visuals and mature performances. Recommended? A powerful film, not for the faint of heart.
Jaws (1975): Scary, dramatic, engaging. The plot holes do not detract from the film that proves that Stephen Spielberg can make horror movies seem classy. Recommended? Anyone who is not afraid of sharks will be after seeing this.
Despicable Me 2 (2013): Hilarious, fun, entertaining. If the well-cast voice actors aren’t enough, this comedy is a laugh a minute, focussing on but not overplaying the humourous aspects that audiences loved in the first movie and introducing new ones as well. Recommended? Don’t think, just watch it!
Gandhi (1982): Fascinating, inspiring, slow. Some parts of this 3 hour historical piece seem to drag on, but Ben Kingsley gives an incredible performance and audiences can learn a lot about Gandhi’s unique methods for fighting injustice. Recommended? For anyone interested in learning more about this historical figure.
Back to the Future (1985): Light, entertaining, humourous. Alongside feeding fantasies of time travel, a good crop of characters and a loveable story, this film crosses over into many different genres, allowing a varied audience to appreciate and enjoy it. Recommended? This one is truly a classic and a must see.
The Fifth Element (1997): Strange, dramatic, artsy. This dystopian action drama is quirky and questionable at first, but the eccentric characters prove to be oddly entertaining amongst the vivid visuals and simple story. Recommended? For those interested in an everyday SciFi action film.
Precious. Gripping, upsetting, inspiring. Through somewhat trashy dialogue and lackluster cinematography is brilliant direction and storyline. Recommended? Not a family film, but a must see for those who think they are living a troubled life.
Chicago. Feisty, engaging, entertaining. Fantastic story, music and visuals make this more than just another Broadway to film adaptation. Recommended? For all age appropriate audiences, the musical that women want to see and men will still enjoy.
Shakespeare in Love. Comical, amusing and somewhat witty (in a Shakespearean way). Despite a slow pace and an unsettlingly modern look for Shakespeare, a decent film overall. Recommended? A must see for aspiring actors, a red flag for Shakespeare’s haters and a coin toss for everyone else.
Thor. Enchanting, somewhat predictable, but overall enjoyable. More effort could have gone into editing, lighting and cinematography, but a fun film for the most part. Recommended? Purely as a mode of escapism.
Little Shop of Horrors. Cheesy, horrific, somewhat funny. Mix of good and bad special effects, though generally entertaining, with some effective, but only a few catchy, musical numbers. Recommended? Some things were meant more for stage.
North by Northwest. Confusing, suspenseful, very slow. The ending is lazy (albeit clever), there are some big editing blunders, and the plot could have been better executed; nevertheless, there was a decent story overall. Recommended? Only when wide awake cause it will take full attention to follow this one.
Tootsie. Hilarious, eye-opening, entertaining. A comedy with a deep storyline that manages to be enjoyable without unnecessary filler. Recommended? There’s a little something for everyone in this movie.
The Matrix. Clever, intriguing, entrancing. Laurence Fishburne’s sunglasses are just a tiny piece of a well-devised plot and engaging non-stop action. Recommended? 1000x yes, especially for the sci-fi and thriller audiences.
The Blues Brothers. Clever, very funny, overall entertaining. First half was hilarious, second half had nice music. Recommended? For a good laugh from the classic writers from SNL.
Rango. Somewhat funny, decent plot, though quite slow. While an attempt at making classic western films accessible to younger audiences is noble, the outcome is barely entertaining, though as always, Johnny Depp’s quips add some colour. Recommended? If interested, but not worth making an exception for.
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? Emotional, heartwarming, empathetic. What this film lacks in action, it makes up for in brilliant acting and an intense storyline. Recommended? This film will double anyone’s respect for Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Spirited Away. Enchanting, a bit disjointed, but overall enjoyable. Great story and lovable, but sometimes creepy characters. Recommended? Thoughtful story that will touch people of all ages.
Take the Lead. Intriguing, entertaining, inspiring. Great story and dancing, humbling message, though the ending could have been a bit less open ended. Recommended? A good film for everyone, especially those who love dance movies, poor kids turning their lives around, and anything with Antonio Banderas.
Ben-Hur. Exciting, intriguing, classic. Despite being a bit slow at times and having an open and somewhat confusing ending, the film makes up for in stunning visuals and frequent action sequences (including a now timeless chariot race). Recommended? A true epic well worth the time spent watching it.
When Harry Met Sally. Funny, light, very entertaining. Quirky characters and catchy dialogue make this an all round fun movie for everyone. Recommended? A great film for anyone to help wind down after a long day.
Rocky. Slow in the first half, but nevertheless inspiring and heartwarming. Story could have used more depth, but overall a feel good film with likable characters and a classic soundtrack. Recommended? While often considered a bucket list item, this film would be most enjoyed by sports film fanatics, as there is not much more for everyone else.
Memento. Suspenseful, thought-provoking, but a bit overwhelming. While a fascinating story is put together, the film’s length and information overload become too much to process, especially the twist at the end. Recommended? Only for those who could process the complex and often disjointed storyline.
Closer. Simple, quite crude, monotone. The acting in the film is great, but the overall film lacks a major plot line outside of who’s dating who and when. Recommended? Not really, maybe if there’s nothing else to do.
Erin Brockovich. Engaging, clever, funny. The inspiring and easily comprehended story is only further enhanced through its real-life basis, not to mention Julia Roberts as the rash and insistent title character. Recommended? This film has a little something for everyone, mystery, law, a little romance, and even some comedy.
An Officer and a Gentleman. At times funny, at times meaningful, but mostly lighthearted. A military film with more romantic scenes than military ones, but a good love story about characters evolving and changing for each other. Recommended? A good date night or girls night film, but not much appeal outside the rom-com audience.