NCAA Tournament: Final Four Predictions

It’s the final countdown.

We are just hours away from the official tipoff of the NCAA Tournament. Ok, the play-in games have already started, but none of the teams participating in the play-in games will pull a 2011 VCU and make a run to the Final Four. Besides, the only question most people ask in regards to the tournament is this: Who’s in your final four? Well in an effort to answer this question, here are my picks to make it to the Final Four and win the National Championship.

Final Four:

1. Villanova V. 2. Arizona, Winner: Arizona

1. Kansas V. 2. Kentucky, Winner: Kansas

National Championship:

2. Arizona V. 1. Kansas, Winner: Arizona

East Regional Winner: 1 Villanova

Villanova is back in the NCAA Tournament to defend their crown as the number one overall seed in the tournament. Head coach Jay Wright deserves a lot of credit for the job he’s done at Villanova. He’s taken a team that has been known to choke under the bright lights of the tournament and transformed them into a perennial power house. Led by senior guard Josh Hart (18.9 PPG), Villanova is once again one of if not the best teams in the tournament. Their defense has been outstanding this year, allowing 62.8 points per game, ranking 17th in all of Division 1 Basketball in Scoring Defense. Villanova will make it out of the East Region to get to the Final Four, but they won’t make it past Arizona.

South Regional Winner: 2 Kentucky

Head coach John Calipari has expertly set himself up to look like an overachiever again this year, just like he did last year. Once again right before the start of the tournament, he complained about the selection committee’s process of seeding the teams. This is all an effort to mask some of the problems that his Kentucky team has, such as the fact that his team shoots only 35.9% from the 3 point line. However, they have a tremendous freshman guard in Malik Monk (20.4 PPG), the 29th leading scorer in the nation. He’s just enough for Kentucky to get past the number 1 seed in the South North Carolina and make Kentucky’s season appear to be successful. However, a freshman guard alone won’t be enough to topple Kansas in the Final Four.

 

Midwest Regional Winner and Runner-Up: 1 Kansas

There’s always one top team in the nation that appears to be more lucky than they are good, and that’s the Kansas Jayhawks. Kansas has played in countless close games this year, and they’re able to pull them out due to having one of if not the top coach in all of Division 1 basketball, Bill Self. It also helps that Kansas’ backcourt may be the best in the tournament. They’re led by 5-11 senior guard and Wooden Award (*award for the best play in division 1 basketball) candidate Frank Mason III (20.8 PPG) and 6-8 freshman guard Josh Jackson (16.4 PPG, 7.2 RPG). These two will help carry Kansas all the way to the National Championship Game, but their luck will run out come April 3rd.

West Regional Winner and National Champion: 2 Arizona

What can be said about the Arizona Wildcats? Head coach Sean Miller consistently has his team atop the PAC 12 Conference, and this will be the year he takes his team over the top to not only the Final Four, but to the mountain top as National Champions. They have the size and length of an NBA roster, most notably 7 foot tall Forward Lauri Markkanen (15.6 PPG, 7.1 RPG). Guard Allonzo Trier (17.3 PPG) has also found his groove after a frustrating season, and his play is trending upward at the right time. And like any good team, their defense can shut opponents down, as they allow opponents to score just 65.4 points per game, good for 37th in the Nation. Oh, and they’ll be playing in Phoenix, Arizona, the ultimate home-court advantage considering they play just down the road in Tucson. All of these ingredients will result in some home cooking for the Wildcats, as they will be crowned as the national champions once the final buzzer sounds.

 

 

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March Madness: Tips for a Good Bracket

The NCAA Tournament is here, let the madness that is March begin.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, it’s not Christmas, its mid-March. That means the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament has arrived! Which also means we can now begin an age-old tradition, filling out a bracket. Whether it’s for fun, money, or just plain bragging rights over your bros, filling out a bracket has become as American as apple pie. Many of us, myself included, do struggle with filling out a bracket, and this year figures to be one of the most unpredictable tournaments we’ve had in a while. But have no fear, Bros Can’t Hang is here to help! Here are some tips to consider while filling out your bracket.

Don’t Have a “Chalk” Bracket… Until the End

A novice mistake when filling out a bracket for the tourney is picking only the favorites for every game, or a having a “chalk” bracket. Avoid this! Not every higher seeded team is going to win. It’s the NCAA tournament, upsets are going to occur. However, don’t avoid picking the higher seeds entirely. The teams with the 1-5 seeds are seeded this high for a reason, and they will ultimately be the teams playing in the later rounds of the tournament. Your bracket (*or brackets, depending on how into it you are*) should have plenty of higher seeds come the Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final Four, and National Championship game.

Don’t Have All Number 1 Seeds Make it to the Final Four

Another rookie mistake is to pick all of the number 1 seeds to make it to the Final Four. Not only is it boring, but it could result in you losing your bracket pool, badly. Not every team can be a one seed, but the 2, 3, and 4 seeds are good teams too, and have favorable match-ups if they come to blows with the number 1 seeds. Have no more than two number 1 seeds in the Final Four, as none of the number 1 seeds this year are that dominant to the point that they will all meet come April 1st (*I’m looking at you Gonzaga*).

Pick Upsets Involving 5 and 12 Seeds

It’s a simple fact of life, a 12 seed always takes down a 5 seeds. Since 1985, a 5 seed has been upset by a 12 seed 49 times.  The actual rate a 5 seed wins these match-ups is 66.9%, the worst among the higher seeds. This year’s 5 v 12 seed match-ups include Virginia V UNC Wilmington, Notre Dame V Princeton, Iowa State V Nevada, and Minnesota V Middle Tennessee State. According to those odds, you should pick at least one 12 seed to beat a 5 seed.

Only Go Upset Heavy in The Early Rounds

The upsets occur in the early rounds of the tournament. If you’re one of those people who loves to pick the underdogs, do so in the first round. Other than the 5 and 12 seed match-ups I mentioned above, it’s perfectly fine to have a 3 lose to a 14 seed, a 4 lose to a 13 seed. If you want to be bold, go ahead and pick the first ever 16 seed to beat a number 1 seed. The first couple of rounds are primed for upsets.

Have 1 Team Seeded Higher than 4 go to the Elite 8

While I have said to stick with mostly “chalk” in the later rounds of the tournament, have at least one of the lower seeds go far. No, don’t pick the 16-10 seeds to go too far, but pick a 6 or 7 seed go to the Elite 8. This will be your “Cinderella”team, the one nobody expected to make it this far, but the one that could result in you winning in your bracket pool.

Follow these tips and you’ll have the bracket that all others in your pool will envy. You have been warned, however, as this year’s tournament seems like the most unpredictable one in years. Come back soon and I’ll have my late round picks!

 

 

Bro-Commentary: The 5 Moves the Oakland Raiders Must Make In Free-Agency

The Oakland Raiders are just a few moves away from solidifying themselves as Super Bowl contenders for years to come.

The Oakland Raiders enjoyed a return to prominence last season, making it to the postseason for the first time since 2002 when they reached the Super Bowl. For the last decade and a half, free agents in the NFL avoided the Raiders at all costs, seeing it as a destination where careers go to die. This off-season, however, the Raiders appear to be a premiere destination for free agents, seeing the Raiders as a team on the rise. On top of that, the Raiders don’t have as many glaring needs as they’ve had in past off-seasons. That being said, if the Raiders want to legitimize themselves as Super Bowl contenders for years to come, these are the 5 moves the Raiders must make this free agency period.

5. Sign a ILB

One position the Raiders have played musical chairs with the past few seasons has been the Inside Line Backer position. They drafted Ben Heeney in the 2015 NFL Draft, but he has had injury issues and has been a liability in coverage situations. Curtis Lofton was a bust free agent signing for them in 2015, and was promptly released. Perry Riley Jr. played well for the Raiders this past season, but it seems the Raiders are comfortable letting him walk. Same goes for Super Bowl 48 MVP Malcolm Smith, who had a career year in 2015 for the Raiders, but regressed mightily in 2016 and has become a major coverage liability for the Raiders.

The Raiders should take a look at Patriots ILB Dont’a Hghtower, but not overpay him. Hightower is a tremendous talent, but has an extensive injury history. Pittsburgh Steelers ILB Lawrence Timmons, while 31-years-old, could also be an option. The Raiders need to add a play-maker as it pertains to the ILB position, as it will bolster their defense that needs to improve.

4. Sign DT Calais Campbell or NT Dontari Poe

While the Raiders have already tendered DT Denico Autry, they still need help along their front seven. Adding a veteran presence like Arizona Cardinals DT Calais Campbell (8.0 Sacks in 2016) would not only improve their pass rush which ranked last in the NFL with 25 Sacks, but also add a locker room leader as well. If he’s not available or too expensive, the Raiders should poach NT Dontari Poe from the Kansas City Chiefs. He had a down year last season due to a back injury, but he’s younger and would still improve the Raiders’ defensive line. Plus, he’d be one less player to fret over when playing the Chiefs.

3. Add to the Secondary

The Raiders thought they struck gold by signing CB Sean Smith last season. While Pro Football Focus ranked him as the 18th best CB in the NFL last season, he recorded only 2 interceptions and got beat BADLY at times in 2016 (*see Week 1 98-yard TD allowed against Saints WR Brandin Cooks, Week 2 against Atlanta Falcons WR  Julio Jones, Week 15 47-yard TD allowed against Los Angeles Chargers WR Travis Benjamin*). CB David Amerson is a solid 2nd string CB, but at times he was asked to play like a 1st string CB, a position he is at best average. CB D.J. “Toast” Hayden is not getting re-signed due to injury issues and being burnt like toast one too many times since being drafted 12th overall in the 2013 NFL Draft. The Raiders need to add another CB to assist their secondary. There are options out there for the Raiders, namely Houston Texans CB A.J. Bouye, New England Patriots CB Logan Ryan, and Jacksonville Jaguars CB Prince Amukamara.

2. Sign RB Adrian Peterson, For the Right Price

Rumor has it the Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has narrowed his interest down to two teams: the Raiders and the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks are a viable option for Peterson, but have an offensive line that needs a lot of work, not exactly a dream scenario for a veteran RB. The Raiders on the other hand, have one of the best offensive lines in football, and ranked 6th in the league in rushing offense with 120.1 yards per game in 2016. Yes, Peterson was limited to only 3 games and rushed 37 times for 72 yards last season due to a knee injury. Yes, Peterson is 31-years-old. This is why I caution the Raiders not to overpay Peterson should he choose to sign with them. He’s looking for $4-$6 million per year, a significant reduction in salary considering he was due to make $18 million this season had he remained with the Vikings. If he can stay healthy, the Raiders would add another weapon to their already explosive offense should he choose to join the Silver and Black.

1. Extend DL Khalil Mack and QB Derek Carr

Some moves don’t need that much explaining.The 2 pillars of the franchise, DL Kahlil Mack and QB Derek Carr, need to be locked down for the long term.

Defensive Player of the Year winner Khalil Mack ( 73 tackles, 11 sacks, 5 FFs , 1 INT, 1 TD) has a 5th year option, which the Raiders should have picked up… yesterday. After doing so, they need to sign him to an extension. It’ll more than likely make him one of the highest paid defensive players in the NFL, and he’s worth every penny.

QB Derek Carr (3,937 YDS, 28 TDS, 6 INTS,  63.8 CMP%) was an MVP candidate before breaking his Fibula in Week 16 against the Indianapolis Colts. He’s the franchise QB the Raiders have searched desperately for since their Super Bowl season in 2002, when QB Rich Gannon was under center and won NFL MVP honors. There may now be questions as to whether or not he can stay healthy, but he makes the offense go. He should be rewarded a contract extension this off-season as well.

 

 

 

 

Bro-Reviews: Logan

The Wolverine we wanted. The Wolverine we deserved.

To some, comic book movies are the plague of the earth right now. With the exception of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, which even at this point have somewhat of a cut-and-paste feel to them, there appears to be an over-saturation of comic book films. One outstanding example was last summer’s X-Men: Apocalypse, an overlong special effects-fest that featured actors who flat-out didn’t care even though the film centers around their actions (*cough* Jennifer Lawrence *cough*). Even I find myself at times wondering if there will ever be an end to comic book movies, and have prayed for something different to come along to revitalize the genre.

It seems my prayer has been answered, and its arrived in the form of a new Wolverine movie, Logan, based loosely on the popular comic “Old Man Logan”. In the not too distant future where mutants are all but extinct, Logan finds a past his prime, sickly Logan AKA Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) slumming through life as a limousine driver. When he’s not driving his limo, Logan hustles for prescription drugs in an attempt to care for the now senile Charles Xavier AKA Professor X (Patrick Stewart) with the help of fellow mutant Caliban (Stephen Merchant). He then encounters a nurse named Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodriguez), who enlists his help escort a mysterious 11- year-old girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) to a supposed safe haven for mutants in North Dakota called Eden. As a result, Logan becomes entangled in a deadly circumstance, as Zander Rice (Richard E. Grant) along with the assistance of the leader of the Reavers Donald Pierce (Boyd Holdbrook) are looking to capture Laura for unknown purposes. A reluctant Logan finds himself having to protect Laura and Professor X while on the run from the deadly duo.

Lets face it, with the exception of X2: Men United and X-Men: Days of Future Past, the X-Men franchise doesn’t have an illustrious history. 2000’s X-Men, 2006’s X-men: The Last Stand, 2011’s X-Men: First Class and 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse all fall in-between mediocre and awful on the comic book movie greatness barometer. The franchise has been especially weighed down by the fact that it’s most recognizable anti-hero, Wolverine, has never gotten a great stand-alone film. 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine was not only one of the most underwhelming comic book films ever made, it’s one of the biggest middle fingers to comic book fans after the filmmakers bungled the mythology of Deadpool. 2013’s The Wolverine was solid, up until the last 30 minutes which featured its titular character battling a giant samurai transformer in its climax. Logan, however, finally rights the wrong of not only previous Wolverine films, but also past X-men films as well.

Logan isn’t your typical comic book film. It’s a character study. Logan is Hugh Jackman’s finest hour as Wolverine. Jackman aptly embodies a harden man who wants to be left alone to die, but still has enough of a conscious left to care for those in need. We feel Wolverine’s pain throughout this film and sympathize with him greatly, probably the most since his origin was explored further in X2: X-Men United. Sure, the character is essentially a mirror image of  Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name and/ or Dirty Harry, but Jackman’s performances as Wolverine have always been the strongest of his career.

Not to be outdone, however, is Patrick Stewart as Professor X, whose dementia has rendered him a walking nuclear weapon if he is not medicated properly. Stewart is a classical actor, so we expect this of him regardless. More surprising is Stephen Merchants’ performance as Caliban, a tortured albino mutant who aides Logan. Known more for his comedic roles such as in Hello Ladies, Merchant puts his acting abilities on full display, which should result in him obtaining more serious work in the future. Boyd Holbrook continues to show he’s a rising star with his performance as the villainous Donald Pierce, and injects the humor into the film (*because God forbid there not be any humor in a comic book movie*). But the real showstopper here is Dafne Keen as Laura, who barely speaks throughout the film, but gives the performance of a lifetime. You want this girl to make it to Eden, and she doesn’t come off as an annoying kid like most kids do in comic book movies (*cough* Iron Man 3 *cough*). It also helps that she kicks butt too. We haven’t seen such rooted characters in a Marvel Comics movie in quite some, and when something does happen to these people who you’ve grown attached to, it’s as if Wolverine himself claws you in your gut.

Now while Logan is a character piece, it doesn’t forget the main aspect of why people come to see comic book movies: the action. No longer are the days when Wolverine would stab someone and hardly any blood was shown. Logan takes full advantage of its R-rating by showcasing numerous ways to stab people in the head, stomach, and neck. Logan’s action sequences finally quenches my and the audiences’ blood thirst we have begged to see from Wolverine for years, and once the action starts, the blood doesn’t stop dripping. The film also has the feel of a classic western as well, most notably in the film’s scenery. The barren wasteland of Wolverine’s hideout in Mexico, the sequences that take place in Oklahoma City, and the final battle in the woods of North Dakota add an element we haven’t witnessed in a comic book movie. Think True Grit but with claws.

While I have to this point praised the film immensely, Logan shares a flaw like its other Wolverine stand-alone film predecessors: the big bad final boss. X-Men Origins: Wolverine had a mutated Deadpool that had sword Wolverine claws and numerous other mutant abilities. The Wolverine had a giant samurai transformer. While I won’t reveal the seemingly unstoppable force that Wolverine cannot overcome by himself, its one of those moments where you just look at the screen and say, really? That’s it? That’s the best you could come up with? For one reason or another, the standalone Wolverine films find a way to fumble the ball as it pertains to the final boss, and Logan is the franchises’ latest victim.

However, that’s not enough to hold myself back from proclaiming Logan as not only the best Wolverine and maybe even X-Men movie ever made, it could one day be regarded as the pinnacle of comic book films. It delivers on everything we’ve ever wanted in a Wolverine/ X-Men film and more. We get the character depth. We get the action. We get the blood and gore. We get the Wolverine movie we’ve always desired despite its one major blemish. One can only hope that after its successful theatrical run, Logan will be the new gold standard in how to make comic book films for years to come.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 4 stars. Pay Full Price.

Bro Commentary: Kevin Durant’s Injury, the Bro-Valuation

Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors is out for 4 weeks with a knee injury. But this isn’t the end of the Warriors’ championship aspirations, unless they decide it is.

Last night against the Washington Wizards, Warriors’ leading scorer, rebounder, and blocker F Kevin Durant (25.3 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.6 BLK) exited the game after being hit in the knee by the ever clumsy Warriors C Zaza Pachulia. The Warriors went on to lose 112-108 to the Wizards, and this morning we’ve learned the Warriors may have lost more than a meaningless regular season game. It is now being reported by The Vertical’s Andrian Worjnarowski that Kevin Durant suffered a grade 2 MCL sprain and a bone bruise in his knee, and he will be re-evaluated in 4 weeks.

SOMEONE SOUND THE ALARM! PUT A FORK IN ‘EM! THE WARRIORS ARE DONE. THEIR BIG FREE AGENT ACQUISITION IS A BUST AND WON’T WIN THEM A CHAMPIONSHIP!

Not so fast, people. Yes, any time a team loses their leading scorer and rebounder, there is cause for concern. While this will be a nagging injury that will affect him for the remainder of the season, Durant will be back in time for the playoffs judging by the timetable of his injury. But make no mistake, the Warriors never needed Kevin Durant to win a championship in the first place.

This was a team that was a blocked shot and a dagger of a go ahead three-point shot away from being the greatest team in NBA history last year. Don’t you recall? 73-9? Greatest team ever? They did all of that without Kevin Durant. Not to mention the fact the Warriors hoisted the Larry O’Brien trophy in 2015, and Durant wasn’t on that team too. Even sans Durant, the Warriors still have their big 3 in tact. You know, the core group of players that got them to the pinnacle of the NBA the previous 2 seasons? Yes, he’s only shot 2-20 from behind the arc the last 2 contests, but PG Stephen Curry (24.8 PPG, 6.8 APG) is still the reigning 2-time MVP. SG Klay Thompson (21.9 PPG, .415 3P%) is still the best pure catch and shoot player in the NBA. F Draymond Green (10.8 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 7.3 APG), when he’s not flailing and kicking his opponents, is still the motor of this team. Do you have any recollection of those 3 guys? So long as the Warriors don’t lose any of these 3 All-Star gentlemen for an extended period of time, the Warriors will be fine.

That is, unless the Warriors are defeated by their worst enemy other than LeBron James: themselves. As I was watching ESPN’s Sports Center last night, I was troubled to hear Warrior’s reporter Ethan Strauss compare the atmosphere in the Warriors’ locker room last night to the locker room atmosphere in the playoffs last year when Stephen Curry was injured in game 1 of the first round against the Houston Rockets. Strauss stated that while the loss may have played a role in it, the atmosphere in the locker room was much more somber last night than it was last year when Curry got hurt in the playoffs. You mean to tell me a team that never needed Kevin Durant in the first place was more upset about losing him for the remaining 4 insignificant weeks of the NBA season than they were when they lost the first ever unanimous MVP in NBA history in the postseason last year?

Listen, Kevin Durant has been a great asset for the Warriors, as he’s contributed to the Warriors’ 12.8 average scoring margin this season. That’s better than last year’s 10.8 average scoring margin, and that team won 73 games. But around this time last year, the Warriors were 55-5 and looking like an unstoppable force. This year, the Warriors are 50-10 and have at times looked vulnerable even with the addition of Durant. However, this season isn’t about setting a new record for regular season victories. It’s about winning a championship.

This year it’s not as easy for the Warriors. Somewhere, Cleveland Cavaliers F LeBron James is licking his chops. The Cleveland Cavaliers have added the play-making role players James requested in PG Deron Williams and C Andrew Bogut. While Williams and Bogut are not the same players they once were, the Cavaliers are making it to the NBA finals, you can take that to the bank. While the Warriors remain atop the West for now, Greg Popovich’s San Antonio Spurs and MVP candidate James Harden’s Houston Rockets are lurking in the background of the Western Conference. If the Warriors have convinced themselves they need Kevin Durant so badly to the point that even Stephen Curry was praying Durant’s injury wasn’t significant, not only will they fall to the newly revived Cleveland Cavaliers, they might not even make it out of the Western Conference.

 

 

The Oscars: Who Will Win, Who Should Win

The Oscars are here, but not everyone gets to go home victorious.

The Oscars are one of those meaningless topics that is always hotly debated. It starts with the nominations: who got nominated, who should’ve gotten nominated, and who shouldn’t have gotten nominated. Now, with the Oscars only hours away, I’ll tell you who will and who should go home with the golden statue in the major categories come Sunday Night.

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis, Fences

Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Nicole Kidman, Lion

Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Who Will Win: Viola Davis

Who Should Win: Naomie Harris

Viola Davis has been nominated in the past for her work in Doubt and The Help. She’s a tremendous actress, and she will win her first Oscar Sunday night. However, it should be Ms. Harris who goes home with the award. Harris expertly plays an abusive, drug addicted mother in Moonlight. She’s not in the movie much, but it’s the kind of performance that aptly describes the best supporting actress category. Some of you may cry foul, but I’ll make up for it later.

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Dev Patel, Lion

Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Who Will/ Should Win: Mahershala Ali

Mahershala Ali is a lock. He is the darling of the awards season, and deservedly so. Even though he is only present for the 1st 3rd of the film, Ali delivers a captivating performance as a drug dealer with a heart of gold in Moonlight. I really enjoyed Jeff Bridges’ and Lucas Hedges’ performances, but they have no shot against Mr. Ali this year.

Best Director

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Denis Villenueve, Arrival

Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge

Who Will Win: Damien Chazelle

Who Should Win: Barry Jenkins

Damien Chazelle masterfully crafted the best movie musical since Dreamgirls. He will be rewarded for his work and commitment to bringing the musical back into the mainstream. However, I believe the award should go to Barry Jenkins. It’s clear Jenkins works well with actors, as he gets the most out of his talented cast in Moonlight. Jenkins also delivers some beautiful shots in Moonlight, the kind that bring straight-up tears to your eyes. Jenkins should be the man of the hour come Sunday night, but Mr. Chazelle is going home as the winner.

Best Actress

Isabelle Huppert, Elle

Ruth Negga, Loving

Natalie Portman, Jackie

Emma Stone, La La Land

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Who Will Win: Emma Stone

Who Should Win: Viola Davis

Emma Stone, the girl you’ve had a crush on since her star turn in Superbad, will walk away the big winner Sunday night. She does a fine job of acting, singing, and dancing her way through La La Land. But not only should Viola Davis be nominated in this category, she should win it. She is the only significant female actor in Fences, and she delivers a powerhouse performance that will stand the tests of time.

Best Actor

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington, Fences

Who Will Win: Denzel Washington

Who Should Win: Casey Affleck

The last 13 years, the winner of the Screen Actors Guild award for best actor has gone on to win the Oscar in the same category. Denzel won the SAG, and he will add another Oscar to his legendary career for his gripping performance in Fences. While I will be happy for Denzel, I think the Academy will unjustly snub Casey Affleck. Affleck handles the material he is given very well, making you empathize with a character you’re not entirely supposed to like. Denzel may be my idol, but its Affleck who is most deserving of the award.

Best Picture

Arrival

Fences

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land

Lion

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

Who Will Win: Hidden Figures

Who Should Win: Moonlight or Hell or High Water

Somebody put La La Land on upset alert. Hidden Figures is going to win Best Picture. Typically, the Academy loves to reward films that celebrate the industry, and La La Land seems primed to win. But with all of the controversy surrounding the Oscars the last 2 years for their lack of diversity, I think the feel good movie of 2016 Hidden Figures will shock the world due to its racial themes. Personally, my vote would go to either Moonlight or Hell or High WaterHell or High Water is an engrossing modern western, meaning that it has no chance in hell of winning. But it has great performances and high re-watching value because it’s so entertaining. Moonlighis a tour de force in film, featuring tremendous performances from the ensemble cast, and a story that pulls you in from the start. Hidden Figures is a good movie, and it would be a worthy winner any other year. While Hidden Figures will pull the upset of the evening (*maybe even of the century as it pertains to this awards show*), Moonlight or Hell or High Water should be regarded as the finest films 2016 had to offer .

 

 

 

 

The Bro-cademy Awards: The Bro Alternative to the Oscars

Forget the Oscars and the Razzies. Welcome to the Bro-cademy Awards, the annual (?) awards post celebrating the finest and worst in film.

We’re only days away from the Oscars and the Razzies, the annual award shows that honor the best and worst film had to offer every year. This is the Bro-cademy Awards, however. And here at the Bro-cademy Awards, we’ll commemorate the good and bad 2016 had to offer in film all in one post.

Now here’s the criterion: NO ONE IS SAFE.

Enough talk, let’s get down to business.

The Bro, It’s a Good Movie, But I’m Totally Straight Award: Moonlight

Seriously guys, are we not comfortable enough in our sexuality to the point that we need to defend ourselves when we like movies that feature characters that are attracted to the same-sex? Well, sorry if I spoiled the movie for everybody, but Moonlight is a great coming of age story about a young man’s journey through life. I highly recommend it.

The Bro, If He Can Make a Movie, So Can I Award: Marlon Wayans, Fifty Shades of Black

Marlon Wayans has gone so far down this path that he can’t even get his brother Shawn Wayans to make spoof movies with him anymore. Fifty Shades of Black is one of those movies that makes you wonder why you aren’t famous and making movies. Because if Marlon Wayans can make a feature-length film based on a piece of feces he once took, so can you.

The Bro, Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? Award: Gods of Egypt and Pride And Prejudice Zombies (Tie)

Gods of Egypt is a movie that features a predominantly white cast battling each other for power in Egypt. It of course stars Gerard Butler, because why wouldn’t it? If those two sentences alone don’t tell you that Gods of Egypt was a bad idea, maybe the fact that it had a production budget of $140 million will.  And while Pride and Predjudice Zombies is based on a popular book, I’m struggling to find who exactly was begging for it to be adapted into a movie.

The Bro, I Know You’ve Never Heard of It Award: Midnight Special

I saw this movie without knowing anything about it. I didn’t watch the trailer, any interviews, nothing. Just went in not knowing what to expect. Do yourself a favor and do the same with this film, and you’ll witness one of the best movies of 2016 that got no love.

The Bro, This is Donald Trump’s America Award: London Has Fallen

If you wanted to see a premonition of what was to come in November of 2016, look no further than last March’s London Has Fallen. It’s a sequel to 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen, and of course, stars Gerard Butler, because why wouldn’t it? The film is so insensitive to the Middle East it’s not even funny. All this film is missing is “America, **ck Yea!” playing in the background and you would’ve had a full-fledged documentary about what the future of America would look like under the leadership of Donald Trump. On a separate note, I liked the movie.

The Bro, Nobody Does It Better Award: Marvel Comics/ Studios

Marvel has an impeccable track record as it pertains to making entertaining films. Marvel did it again this year, as Deadpool enchanted audiences everywhere, Captain America: Civil War was what we wanted the 2nd Avengers movie to be, and we learned what the hell was a Doctor Strange. Bravo Marvel, just don’t make another Fantastic Four movie. And after Logan, stop making X-Men movies.

The Bro, Get Your Act Together Award: DC Comics

Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Suicide Squad. You better get it together in time for Wonder Woman and Justice League DC.

The Bro, Why Didn’t You See This Movie? Award: The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys is set in 1970s Los Angeles. It stars fat Russell Crowe and the guy you want to be Ryan Gosling as private detectives. The plot centers around the assassination of an adult film star. WHY DIDN’T YOU SEE THIS MOVIE, BRO!?  Based on the synopsis above, you should’ve.

The Bro, She Made Me Go See It Award: The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train is the movie your girlfriend makes you go see because she sat through your stupid movie about a guy running around in an American flag outfit. I feel sorry for all the poor souls who were dragged to go see this movie. Watching this film makes you re-evaluate your relationship.

The Bro, I don’t Know Who You Are Anymore Award: Robert De Niro, Dirty Grandpa

Yes, I’m talkin’ to you De Niro. Robert De Niro has been the star of not only some of the best bro movies of all time, but legendary ones as well. Taxi Driver. Goodefellas. Heat. Then, he decided to say screw it and do movies for the money. The Fockers trilogy (*did I seriously just call that a trilogy?). Showtime. The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. But De Niro stooped to a new low with Dirty Grandpa. So low that I don’t even recognize him as one of the finest actors in Hollywood anymore. At this point, he’s done more critically panned films than critically praised ones, and Dirty Grandpa stands out above the rest as his worst work.

The Bro, I’m a Social Justice Warrior Now Award: The Birth of a Nation

You said you were going to go see The Birth of A Nation after hearing the rave reviews it received at the Sundance Film Festival. You then proceeded to protest watching it upon learning its star/ director/ writer Nate Parker was acquitted of sexually assaulting a female student while he was attending Penn State. It’s a shame, because The Birth of a Nation is one of the best movies of the year. But when you don’t follow Oprah’s advice, no one will go see your movie. And everyone will give themselves a pat on the back because they didn’t, feeling like they are now a social justice warrior. They’ll also pat themselves on the back for seeing it thinking that by doing so, racism is over, thus making them a social justice warrior. This is why we can’t have nice things.

The Bro, NO I’M SERIOUS, WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA!? Award: Max Steel and Ben-Hur (Tie)

WHO WANTED A MOVIE TO BE MADE BASED OFF OF A LAME 90s CARTOON? Well, at least the excuse can be made that since it was re-booted in 2013, maybe there was something to gain by attempting to turn Max Steel  into a franchise. That being said, it was still an awful idea. Ben-Hur, on the other hand, is just plain inexcusable. I would’ve loved to been at Paramount for the production meeting of this film. HEY GUYS LETS REMAKE A CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD BLOCKBUSTER WITH NO MAJOR STARS. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?!

The Bro, It’s The Worst Movie of the Year Award: Ghostbusters

The filmmakers thought if they put a bunch of “funny” women in a movie and slapped the name “Ghostbusters” on it, everyone would go see it and laugh. The movie has the nerve to boast a “WE DID IT!” attitude because they made a Ghostbusters movie with an all female cast. The movie sucks. The special effects suck. The cast sucks and has no chemistry. They drag the old cast of the 1984 classic into it. And before you call me a sexist, they could’ve made this with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill and called it 23 Ghostbusters Street and it still would’ve been unwatchable. Ghostbusters had its time. Let it die.

The Bro, I Love This Movie Award: Hell or High Water

Since you won’t proclaim Moonlight the best movie of the year for fear that your masculinity will be questioned, I have the perfect alternative. Hell or High Water. It’s about 2 brothers robbing banks in Texas while being chased by THE DUDE himself, Jeff Bridges. It’s a modern western that is quite honestly not only one of my favorite films of the year, but also one of the best films of the year.

The Bro, What Did I Just Watch? Award: Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice

When I was asked how this movie was upon seeing it, I only had one response: IT WAS INCOHERENT. Why Doomsday? Why did Batman have a “knightmare” about Superman and giant mosquitos turning the world into Mad Max: Fury Road? Why did Lex Luthor pee in a jar? For crying out loud, my mom was even asking why  Batman and Superman are even fighting? None of these questions get answered. All you get is a loud, overlong, incoherent film that my brother liked.

And there you have it! THE 2017 BRO-CADEMY AWARD “WINNERS”! Let’s give everyone a round of applause! We hope you’ve enjoyed this look back at the year in film that was 2016. We’ll (*maybe*) see you here next year at the Bro-cademy awards!