video review : Jon Jones versus Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165

video review : Jon Jones versus Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165

“We recently saw Anderson Silva defeated by Chris Weidman,” Mike Goldberg reminds us after Joe Rogan suggests Alexander Gustafsson could win this fight if he catches Jon Jones “flat-footed”. Jones is more cautious than Silva though; he doesn’t play games in The Octagon; and he “can take a shot”.

He takes more here than any of his previous bouts. He’s even taken down for the first time. It seems Gustafsson is easily his toughest opponent yet. By the end, the Champion does manage to do enough to win via unanimous decision, but it’s a close fight. “One of the best of all time”? Perhaps.

my rating : 4 of 5

2013

Patti’s Good Life Sweet Potato Pie

Patti's Good Life Sweet Potato Pie

Yes, that’s “Patti” as in Patti LaBelle. This is her official Sweet Potato Pie, a market version of what I presume is her own home recipe. The main ingredients, according to the box, are sweet potatoes, butter and spice.

LaBelle recommends warming it in the oven “for that ‘just baked’ flavor”, but I prefer mine; the small ones are the best; cold from the fridge. It’s not only Good but among the best sweet potato pies I’ve ever tasted.

my rating : 4 of 5

video review : Anthony Smith versus Glover Teixeira at UFC Fight Night

video review : Anthony Smith versus Glover Teixeira at UFC Fight Night

I was rooting for Glover Teixeira but damn. I didn’t want to see Anthony Smith get his teeth knocked out. That’s sad. Daniel Cormier blames his garrulous corner coaches, but Lionheart’s main problem here seems to be his stamina. He does well in the first two rounds before being pummeled in the other three to the point of a TKO stoppage.

my rating : 4 of 5

2020

video review : Flawless

video review : Flawless

The news woman is gorgeous, but Laura’s old lady makeup is unconvincing. Those tacky beginning and ending bits should’ve been chipped off. Not that the movie would be Flawless without them; it’s barely good; but it would be better.

The plot spins with feminist undertones around a London Diamond heist, the planning and execution of which provides just enough suspense to keep you interested even as you roll your eyes at the imprudent of the protagonists.

my rating : 4 of 5

2007

video review : Aerial America : Florida

video review : Aerial America : Florida

This Smithsonian Channel documentary, an episode of Aerial America, is all about Florida, my favorite state. It overlooks some notable cities in favor of hot spots like Miami, but it’s an interesting watch all the while.

It’s also somewhat educational as narrator Jim Conrad gives a history lesson on everything from important events like the 1565 settlement of Saint Augustine to trivial newsbits like the killing of Gianni Versace.

my rating : 4 of 5

2012

video review : Tony Ferguson versus Justin Gaethje at UFC 249

video review : Tony Ferguson versus Justin Gaethje at UFC 249

Tony Ferguson should’ve waited for Khabib Nurmagomedov. That’s easy to say in hindsight, of course, but I was thinking it when their latest scheduled fight, which was supposed to take place here, was canceled for the fifth time and Justin Gaethje stepped in as a replacement.

Gaethje might, in some ways, be a harder opponent. The amount of times Ferguson gets popped with power shots clean to the face is staggering. It’s a testament to his “chin”, but, aside from a nasty uppercut at the end of Round 2, he doesn’t have much of an answer for it.

my rating : 4 of 5

2020

video review : Anderson Silva versus Chael Sonnen at UFC 117

video review : Anderson Silva versus Chael Sonnen at UFC 117

Chael Sonnen dominates Anderson Silva for nearly this entire bout. “Is it too early for Chael to start celebrating,” Joe Rogans asks rather rhetorically after the wrestler scores yet another takedown near the start of the fifth and final round. At that point, a victory seems inevitable.

“You know what; you could never count out a guy like Anderson Silva,” the commentator ponders as Sonnen continues to win the fight, “Let’s see how much he’s got left; what kind of weapons he can pull out of his arsenal.” Those are words that, in hindsight, would stand among Rogan’s wisest.

What Silva pulls out is a triangle (“Triangle!”) choke with just two minutes left on the clock. Sonnen struggles to free himself but eventually taps; it takes a video replay to confirm it; which must be devastating for him. Silva, now 12 and 0, remains champ by the slimest of margins.

my rating : 4 of 5

2010

video review : Anderson Silva versus Chael Sonnen at UFC 148

video review : Tony Ferguson versus Kevin Lee at UFC 216

video review : Tony Ferguson versus Kevin Lee at UFC 216

I wouldn’t want to meet either of these guys on a dark street corner; Tony Ferguson looks like Count Orlok from Nosferatu; but Kevin Lee is more muscular and a little more intimidating. It’s his cardio that costs him this fight as he begins to tire in the second round, which eventually opens him up to a triangle choke.

my rating : 4 of 5

2017

audio review : Scarred ( song ) … Verb ( featuring Trick Daddy + Uncle Luke )

I don’t know what’s Scarred. Luke’s erratic bridge suggests he’s referring to a girl’s titties and pussy, perhaps from a violent sexcapade. Captain Dick is certainly forceful in his vocal delivery.

He’s the life of the party though, along with a fun synth loop the song wouldn’t be good without. Verb is a better rapper than Trick Daddy, but the way Trick ends his verse is classic comedy.

my rating : 4 of 5

1996

audio review : Scarred ( song ) … Verb ( featuring Trick Daddy + Uncle Luke )

The Death Of Jack Hamilton ( story ) … Stephen King

Jack is John Hamilton, a real-life member of the infamous Dillinger Gang. This is Stephen King’s depiction of his final days told from the perspective of partner-in-crime Homer Van Meter.

It’s a narrative that reads like an old western à la Louis L’Amour. If it weren’t based on true events, The Death Of Jack Hamilton could’ve made for the start, or end, of an interesting series.

my rating : 4 of 5

2001

The Death Of Jack Hamilton ( story ) ... Stephen King

video review : Anderson Silva versus Yushin Okami at UFC 134

video review : Anderson Silva versus Yushin Okami at UFC 134

Yushin Okami, who reportedly claimed he would beat Anderson Silva up during the build-up to this fight, looks to be an about event match for the champion during the first round. That all changes in the second when Silva begins to, as Mike Goldberg puts it, push the pace.

There’s a moment reminiscent of Silva’s comical slaughter of Forest Griffin as The Spider enters The Matrix. His head movement is “sick”, his punches, which don’t look like much, are accurate and powerful enough to floor Okami, who looks completely overwhelmed, terrified even.

my rating : 4 of 5

2011

Dolan’s Cadillac ( story ) … Stephen King

It’s not really about the car. It’s about Dolan himself; the “high-priced hoodlum” responsible for the death of a woman named Elizabeth. She was going to testify as an eyewitness against him in criminal court and probably have him sent to prison for a long time. This tale is told from the perspective of her widower husband Robinson.

What makes it work is that the goal; to avenge Elizabeth’s car bomb murder by killing Dolan in his Cadillac; is set from the beginning, resulting in a steady drive of anticipation as Robinson plans it out in meticulous detail. The story goes on a little too long at the end, but Dolan’s Cadillac stands as one of Stephen King’s best.

my rating : 4 of 5

1985

Dolan's Cadillac ( story ) ... Stephen King