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Entries in Andrew Meola (26)

Wednesday
Jun062012

In Defense of LeBron James

Can we all give this guy a break?

There has never been a more scrutinized, analyzed and criticized athlete in my lifetime than LeBron James, and it’s approaching the point of unfair because the primary reasons for the hatred hold no water.

Most people, two years later, STILL point to “The Decision” and the Miami Heat’s premature celebration as the reason that they hate LeBron. (Note the number of dislikes on that video.) Odds are good you’ve heard someone say something like, “I didn’t like the way he handled the whole thing. How could he embarrass Cleveland like that? It wasn’t right!”

But why does the blame for The Decision fall squarely on LeBron? How about some blame to his agent? Or PR people? Or family and friends? Or all of the above? Why don’t we blame all the people who advise him for not doing their jobs?

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Thursday
May312012

Minecraft is Amazing and I don't know why

My friend Paul idly suggested to me one afternoon last week that I play the free trial of “Minecraft” on XBOX 360. Being the adventurous and sporting fellow that I am, I gave it a shot.

Warning, my friends. Do NOT play this game unless you are prepared to lose several hours of your life. Minecraft will suck you in and hold you in its gullet until its good and ready to spit you out. And you’ll love every minute of it.

Some background: Minecraft was released in its earliest alpha form on PC in 2009 (and in its final form in late 2011) but only saw a release on 360 in early May. More than 400,000 people downloaded the 360 version within 24 hours and more than one million did so within a week.

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Thursday
May172012

The D has Indeed Rizen

Tenacious D’s third album, Rize of the Fenix, officially hit shelves this week, though the album has been available for streaming recently. After the disappointing “Pick of Destiny” in 2006, many had pronounced The D as D.O.A.

Alas, what fools we were. ‘Twas written in the ancient stone that a band would rize, and rize it has, just like the Fenix. The D is back.

Before we dive into the track-by-track review, let’s start with the album cover, which is essentially a penis-shaped bird with wings. It just wouldn’t be Tenacious D without a copious amount of references to male genitalia. I guess the Fenix rises in more ways than one when listening to this album.

Rize of the Fenix:

The D starts the album by letting us all know that they, too, thought “Pick of Destiny” was a “stinky pile of chee.” But, as they say, “one thing no one thought about was the D would rise again.” And they’re right.

 

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Thursday
Apr192012

Book-to-Movie Adaptations Should Be Split Into Two Parts: Part One

Spoilers for “The Hunger Games” books and movie within. Proceed at your own risk.

I know I was late to the party, but I finally finished “The Hunger Games” trilogy early last week, and I loved every page. The writing was fast-paced and engrossing and the end of each chapter made me want to read just one more before I put the book away for the night. Bravo, Suzanne Collins.

(Quick side note: I have absolutely no idea how these books garnered a “Twilight”-esque, 12-year-old-girl-ish reputation. The body count in those 1000 pages rivaled Operation Barbarossa in World War II. The amount of blood and gore surprised me, especially for a book that’s supposedly aimed at the young adult audience. I get that there’s a love triangle in there, the main character is female and the author is female, but still. How many 12-year-old girls want to read about people getting flayed alive?)

Something funny happened as I read the third and final book, “Mockingjay.” I played a game with myself. I tried to pinpoint where the third movie would stop and the fourth movie would begin (the plan is for a four-movie series).

It’s becoming commonplace for book-to-movie adaptations to split their final acts into two parts. The reason, as with everything else in our world, is money. Why make one movie and charge $15 per ticket when you can make two movies and double your profit?

But let’s get past the obvious money grab for a moment and focus on the creative positives of this method. I’m actually okay with the “Last Book in the Series: Part 1” approach because it allows the director to put much more detail into the film than would be possible otherwise.

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Thursday
Apr052012

America's Pastime 

The baseball season opened Wednesday night (I’m not counting that B.S. series in Japan). Personally, I’m excited. Baseball is my favorite sport and I’ve been anxiously anticipating the summer months so I can get to the ballpark.

Unfortunately, my favorite sport is far from perfect. Attendance is up, but the general consensus is that baseball’s popularity is waning. NFL Live is on in June, but Baseball Tonight is not on the air in January.

Baseball is America’s pastime, but football has become the national sport. So in defense of my sport, I offer some improvements baseball should employ to bring itself back to prominence. Most of these will never happen because of the almighty dollar, but a guy can dream.

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