audio review : I Don’t Want [ The Gold Fire Sessions ] ( mixtape ) … Santigold

audio review : I Don't Want [ The Gold Fire Sessions ] ( mixtape ) ... Santigold

Any of the other songs would’ve made a better album title. Crashing Your Party would be particularly fitting since this set, presented as a mixtape, is mixed more like a party playlist.

Dre Skull is not only the DJ but the main producer as he provides an assortment of dancehall beats; this is hot summertime music; for Santigold to sing mostly about boys to.

my rating = 3 of 5

2018

Java Monster : Loca Moca

Java Monster : Loca Moca

The name is silly, but the gist is correct. This Java Monster is a crazy (Loca) version of a mocha; a rich creamy coffee with a hint of chocolate. The twist is that you drink it cold; its “killer” flavor is indeed good; and get a lot more of an energy boost than your average cup of joe.

my rating = 4 of 5

video review : Death Proof

video review : Death Proof

The best thing about this Grindhouse flick is the song that plays at the end. It’s a cute ditty that fits the plot, about a stuntman named Mike who drives around in a Chevy Nova he describes as Death Proof. By the time the pretty girl in the passenger seat realizes that description only applies to him, she’s about dead.

It’s a two-part story that would be better as one. The first half, set in Texas, at least has sexy stylization going for it. It’s also overlayed with retro movie theater effects. The second (Tennessee) half, which looks more like a regular movie, is closer to a borefest than a joyride as it stalls itself in mundane dialogue.

my rating = 2 of 5

2007

video review : Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Conor McGregor at UFC 229

video review : Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Conor McGregor at UFC 229

The most interesting part of this fight is what happens at the end. After beating Conor McGregor via a Round 4 neck crank submission, Khabib Nurmagomedov hops the Octagon fence and jumps into the crowd to attack Conor’s crew. Joe Rogan calls it stupid and unnecessary. I call it badass.

He could’ve caused a riot; the crowd has McGregor’s back in the figurative sense; but his antics provide this UFC bout with the kind of over the top entertainment you normally get in The WWE, full with members of his crew invading the Octagon to attack an already beaten McGregor.

The fight itself, though nearly overshadowed, provides some excitement of its own when the action isn’t being restrained on the mat with Conor, who’s greatly outmatched when it comes to wrestling. Nurmagomedov also scores a surprise knockdown with a punch to the face.

my rating = 4 of 5

2018

video review : Jéssica Andrade versus Zhang Weili at UFC Fight Night

video review : Jéssica Andrade versus Zhang Weili at UFC Fight Night

Well, that didn’t last long; this fight nor Jéssica Andrade’s title reign. Rose Namajunas, the other former Women’s Strawweight champion, exposed the flaws in Andrade’s striking during their UFC 237 bout. Zhang Weili, fighting in her homeland China, destroys her less than a minute into the very first round.

my rating = 3 of 5

2019

video review : Rose Namajunas versus Jessica Andrade at UFC 237

video review : Rose Namajunas versus Jessica Andrade at UFC 237

This fight ends with Rose getting slammed on her head. That’s what she gets for shaving off her beautiful hair. It could’ve cushioned her head and maybe won her the fight. That’s said in jest, of course, but it is unsettling seeing her get dropped like that. She could’ve easily broke her neck.

Cage fighting is a dangerous sport, but Thug Rose was winning until that unfortunate turn of events. Jessica Andrade is a knockout artist; she sent Karolina Kowalkiewicz on a trip thru the cosmos in her last bout; but Namajunas is faster and more skilled on the feet. On the head? Not so much.

my rating = 4 of 5

2019

video review : Dustin Poirier versus Justin Gaethje at UFC Fight Night

video review : Dustin Poirier versus Justin Gaethje at UFC Fight Night

Head punches versus leg kicks; that’s the story here. It’s Justin who almost cripples Dustin while taking repeated, albeit partially blocked, shots to the face. It’s standup action; the fight goes to the ground for just a second; that pauses only when a fighter gets poked in the eye.

Justin Gaethje gets a stern warning from Herb Dean the first time he does it. He gets a point taken away the second time. Dustin Poirier then gets a poke in of his own before going on to win via TKO in what has to be one of the most enthralling fights in each of their careers.

my rating = 4 of 5

2018

video review : No Country For Old Men

video review : No Country For Old Men

The ending is ambiguous and perplexing if it means anything at all. Perhaps Cormac McCarthy, whose novel this movie is based on, couldn’t think of a proper way to conclude the story and decided to stop while he was ahead. The preceding plot isn’t wondrous enough to spend a lot of time trying to figure it out, but No Country is intriguing, thanks mostly to its villian; a merciless killer named Anton.

my rating = 4 of 5

2007

audio review : What I Feel ( song ) … R Kelly

I like You Are Not Alone, but I wish R Kelly had also given this song to Michael Jackson. It would, with a few lyrical alterations, be the perfect way to end or even begin his next album. The woes R Kelly expresses, having to do with being metaphorically crucified by a world of “haters”, fits M Jackson a lot more than it does R Kelly.

I can’t blame him for keeping it for himself though, considering it’s one of his best songs. Convention crashes thru the stained glass window to make way for a solemn piano that conjures The Young And The Restless. From there, the ballad builds to a rapturous anthem with guitars, thunder and an arena full of cheering fans.

my rating = 5 of 5

1998

audio review : R ( album ) ... R Kelly

audio review : Lover ( album ) … Taylor Swift

audio review : Lover ( album ) ... Taylor Swift

“I Forgot That You Existed,” Taylor Swift tells a past Lover, “It isn’t love; it isn’t hate; it’s just indifference.” If that were true, she doesn’t seem to realize, the song itself wouldn’t exist. Perhaps it shouldn’t, at least not where it is. It’s a decent ditty for my money but an odd way to start an album about the “love” she claims it isn’t.

Cruel Summer, the album’s worst song; it’s the annoying chorus that’s cruel; should also be cut. That would put the lush title track in the lead where it belongs. Not that editing the playlist would make this a Lovable or even likeable set. It’ll Get Better, but not by much. There are maybe a couple of good songs in the whole bunch.

False God resurrects Prince in his prime with its beatific groove and even Taylor Swift stretching “love” out to five syllables can’t ruin the experience. Me, featuring Brendon Urie, is flawed by a cringey pitch change during its otherwise wonderful chorus. For some reason, they decide to go high on the “you” in “fun of you”.

my rating = 3 of 5

2019

video review : UFC 241

video review : UFC 241

Before UFC fans can get over the shock of Mike Beltran’s missing mustache, Ian Heinisch kicks Derek Brunson in the head. Dominick Cruz thinks it’s an instant knockout; you can hear the crack when it lands; but Brunson, fighting smart for a change, goes on to win via decision.

Decisions also go to Paulo Costa over Yoel Romero and Nate Diaz over Anthony Pettis. The former is the best fight; their muscles are impressive and their power is extraordinary; though it’s the latter, specifically Diaz’s return after a three-year hiatus, that was most anticipated.

Stipe Miocic puts on a surprisingly lackluster performance against Daniel Cormier in their Heavyweight Championship title bout; a rematch from UFC 226. He gets punched in the face repeatedly until he finds DC’s weak spot; the liver area Anderson Silva once exploited; and knocks him out.

my rating = 4 of 5

2019