Welcome to The Kolb Review; a daily blog covering all the pop-culture you could handle.

Expect some guest posts from our pop-culture liaison Leora Horowitz and sports and movie man Moshe Kolb.
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why I Love NHL Game 7s.

Earlier this year I had written a post about the best Sports Finals of all time. The NHL or any hockey game didn’t appear on that list and I received much flack for it. While I am not here to defend that decision, I am here to discuss Game 7s in the NHL. The NHL playoffs are one of the more riveting and drama filled seasons in sports. With teams and their fans growing playoff beards, keeping to their superstitions and hopefully riding that hot goaltender all the way to the Finals, the Playoffs are often called the second season. In Hockey more than perhaps any sport other than Football, the hot team, the hot goaltender can shock anyone else and make their way toward the Cup. Just look at this year, every lower seed had the opportunity to win in the Eastern Conference and teams like Detroit and Vancouver had early exits in the West. As is often quoted by Sportscasters, there is nothing better than a Game 7. When everything you’ve worked for comes down to one final game to move on or go home, the pressure and intensity is at an unmatched level. As kids we all dream of growing up and scoring that overtime game 7 goal. With my NY Rangers and the local Devils both going into a game 7 tomorrow night, I thought it would be appropriate to take a look at some of the best game 7s in the history of the NHL. (In No Particular Order)

15.2009 Stanley Cup: Red Wings vs Penguins
Old vs Young; Past vs Prime; either way you look at it. This series was great. Detroit has dominated hockey over the last decade with a few Cups. Pittsburg had reemerged with their young budding stars like Sidney Crosby. The two forces collided in the finals as Pittsburg was able to pull off a dramatic game 7 victory, earning them their first cup since the early Jagr days. Pittsburg pulled out the 2-1 victory on then Pittsburg and now Philly star Maxime Talbot.

14. 2009 Eastern Conference Semis: Hurricanes vs Devils
Up 3-2 on home ice with the great Martin Brodeur in net and less than two minutes left to play, the Devils were sitting pretty. But Jussi Jokinen  scored for the Hurricanes with 1:20 to go. Then Eric Staal  shocked New Jersey by beating Brodeur with 32 ticks to spare on the clock. Carolina goaltender Cam Ward made 32 saves as the visiting Canes shocked the usually reliable and defensively minded devils.

13. 1987 Patrick Division Final: Islanders vs Capitals
Almost 7 hours of hockey were played in this game 7. Known as the Easter Epic, the two teams played 69 minuts of extra time and at 1:57am, Pat LaFontaine scored in the 4th overtime as the Islanders moved on. Isles goalie Kelly Hrudey made a stunning 73 saves.

12. 1979 Wales Conference Finals: Canadians vs Bruins
The “too many men on the ice” game. The Bruins had a 4-3 lead against the three-time defending Stanley Cup champions with four minutes left, but got caught with too many on the ice. Guy Lafleur's subsequent power-play goal tied the game with 74 seconds to go. Yvon Lambert delivered the crushing blow with a goal at 9:33 of OT. A killer loss for the Bruins, one that stayed with them for a long time.

11. 2002 Western Conference Finals: Avalance vs Sharks
Can you imagine leading 1-0 for the second half of the game and holding off the opponent? Well that is exactly what Patrick Roy dd. After Forsberg scored in the second, the Avs held off San Jose’s 5-3 in the final 55 seconds to win the drama filled game.

10. 1993 Patrick Division Final: Islanders vs Penguins
The Penguins were two-time defending champions with Jagr and Lemieux but that didn’t scare Glenn Healy. The Islander goalie made 42 saves and held off the Penguins who came back to tie the game after being down 3-1. The Islanders won it in overtime ending the Pittsburg dominance.

9. 2011 Western Conference Semi-Finals: Sharks vs Red Wings
No team wants to lose after going up 3-0 in a series, especially if you have failed over and over again in the playoffs. The Sharks were able to avoid this in the crazy 2011 series. There were six 1 goal games and after the Sharks blew a 3-0 series lead, forcing a game 7, the Sharks were able to hold off the Red Wings on Patrick Marleau’s third period goal.

8. 2011 Eastern Conference Finals: Bruins vs Lightening
In this recent classic, Tim Thomas stopped all 24 shots in a very tense game 7. Nathan Horton scored with 7:33 remaining for the game’s only goal. This paved the way for the Bruins who went on to win the Stanley Cup for the first time in over 20 years.
2011 Eastern Conference Quarters: Bruins vs Canadiens
Nathan Horton was a stud. With more overtime game winners than I count in the post season, Horton put home a slap shot with 5 minutes left in overtime to urge Boston on. After winning 3 overtime games in the series, the Bruins were able to finish off the Canadians who had force the game 7.

7. 2010 Eastern Conference Semis: Flyers vs Bruins
Anytime a team comes back from 3-0 in a series, it is a miraculous event. The Flyers came back from 3-0 against their rival Bruins on Simon Gagne’s third period goal giving the Flyers the 4-3 win. If not for their 2011 Cup, the Bruins may still be scarred form this epic collapse.

6. 2004 Western Conference Quarters: Flames vs Canucks
What a game! In game 6 the Canucks blew a 4-0 lead before Brendan Morrison scored in triple OT forcing a game 7. In game 7, the Canucks were Down 2-1 in the final minute and on a power play with their goalie pulled when they took a cross-checking penalty and then watched as Calgary's Jarome Iginla, who had scored twice, narrowly missed an empty net. Incredibly, Matt Cooke jammed home the tying goal off the rebound of a shot by Markus Naslund with only 5.7 seconds left. But the crowd went home unhappy when Calgary's Martin Gelinas scored 1:25 into OT.

5. 1996 Western Semis: Blues vs Red Wings
Many know this game for Steve Yzerman’s amazing game winner with a slap shot as he crossed into the zone. The game was a double overtime thriller as Detroit won 1-0. What many don’t know is that Waayne Gretzky lost the puck before Yzerman came down scoring that iconic goal.

4. 1994 Stanley Cup Finals: Rangers vs Canucks
After blowing a 3-1 series lead, fear swept the city of NY who felt their 54 year Cup curse was bound to continue. But as the Rangers and Canucks faced off in game 7, the game was a thriller, 3-2, after the Rangers jumped out to an early lead and were able to hold off the Canucks in the 3rd. Amazing moments from the series will always be remembered like Bure’s penalty shot and Lafayette’s shot that hit the post late in te 3rd.

3. 1950 Stanley Cup Finals: Rangers vs Red Wings
After a back and forth series, the two squads partook in the first Game 7 overtime game ever and by virtue, the first double OT game 7 as well. After the game was tied with 4 minutes left in the third at 4-4, Pete Babando was able to give the Wings the win with 8 minutes left in the second overtime. Believe it or not, this was the first Stanley Cup finals where the players picked up the cup and skated it around the ice.

2. 1942 Stanley Cup Finals: Maple Leafs vs Red Wings
Many call this series the greatest comeback in Sports History (others like the Red Sox-Yankees). Down 3-0 in the series and down in game the Leafs made a remarkable comeback. After being outscored 12-6 in the first three games, the Leafs outscored the Wings 19-7 in the next four to win the series. The Wings took an early lead in game 7 before the Leafs took over. The series also ended the then very long Cup drought for the Leafs.

1.       1994 Eastern Conference Finals: Devils vs Rangers
I know I am slightly biased because I am a huge Ranger fan but in the last 50 years, this was probably the biggest game in the Ranger’s history, perhaps ever. After Messier notched a hat trick to bring true his “guaranteed” game 7, the Rangers and Stephane Matteau won the game in 2OT. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Why Flawless is Just a Great Pure Heist Film. (Netflix Jewel #5)

I know it has been quite some time since the last Jewel but with its reduced population of good films, Netflix hasn’t made this segment so easy. Thankfully, our long wait will end but a beauty of a film. Flawless is an understated and underrated heist film starring Michael Caine and Demi Moore.  The film centers around a massive diamond heist with Caine playing the old janitor who wants to get back at the company for refusing to pay an insurance claim for his dying wife. Moore plays the executive within the company who seeks revenge after being mistreated and passed on for a promotion.  Loosely based on real events, the film has a very realistic feel to it. Honestly it was one of the more realistic and refreshing heist films I have seen recently. What makes the film so good is the lack of the bells and whistles. The film has no glitz and glamour but just focuses on these two individuals and what makes them tick. We achieve an in depth look at the psyche of these characters. Moore does a very solid job but its Caine who is the real scene stealer (yes pun once again intended). Caine is superb at any age and plays the old yet sly role better than anyone. Do you ever watch Caine’s films and just think that he always knows more than every other character. Kind of like he knows how the film will play out but lets everyone else figure it out for themselves. (see The Dark Knight and Inception).
The film itself is very slick. Flawless is an intricate, intelligent and deliberately paced heist film. You may not have  heard of it but you definitely won’t forget it.  There are of course those tension filled scenes when you feel the robbers will be caught but they are not over top dramatic and pull at your strings with just the right amount of suspense. The film is about purity. The heist is simple and pure, the acting is delicate and pure and the suspense is subtle and pure. Many reviews say that Moore is the focused character while Caine is understated but I believe that is the beauty of Caine’s character. Caine creates a forgettable “in the shadows” persona that a great robber dreams of. Without revealing too much more of the film I can only say you should definitely watch this film. Though it may seem like the film is moving slow at times, give the film a chance. The pace of the film is one of its most beautiful characteristics. The film may not be flawless but it is pretty darn good.

Sex: None
Violence: None
Language: Brief Strong Language
Drugs: None
Rated: PG-13
Run time: 105 minutes
Grade: 3.5 Stars

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Why I Love Stand Up Comedy.

Uncle Ronnie seems to just know people. Whether being invited to a private restaurant party, getting a private tour of the White House, or simply knowing really cool and interesting people, Uncle Ronnie is quite the interesting man. Never ceasing to amazing me, he recently just dropped a bomb that he is personal friends with Judy Gold. For those of you who don’t know, Judy Gold is a great standup comic, most well known for her short pieces on HBO, Emmy Award winning writing for The Rosie O’Donnell Show and the truTV series World’s Dumbest. For those of you who don’t know me, I am an absolutely crazy fan of standup comedy. I often frequent comedy clubs and have heard most great comedic albums out there. There is something truly amazing about standup comedy. The realism and in your face aggressiveness simply excites me. There are so many funny things in this world and when someone brings these to life, there is nothing funnier. Many people in the industry (clearing pretending to know people in the industry) always claim that standup is the hardest form of comedy because the content and delivery is so focused on that you need to be on point to completely captivate your audience.
There have been some amazing comics throughout the years. I have heard some of the oldies but not all of them so my list here is my favorite comedians. This is my personal list and it may contain some surprises. Without further delay, I give you my favorite standup comics ever.

15. Jon Stewart
Best Bit: Political Rants
Best known for his The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (which I watch every day) and for hosting the Oscars twice, Stewart got his start as a standup comic. Often over the top but always funny, Stewart built up a following with his rants on every topic, the seeds for the Daily Show were clearly planted very early.

14. Frank Caliendo
Best Bit: Impersonation of John Madden and President Bush
Without a doubt the best impersonator ever, Caliendo cannot only imitate any single voice with exact precision; he also transforms his face to look like those he impersonates. If you don’t believe me and doubt impersonators, simply watch his work from the Letterman Show on youtube and close your eyes. You can apologize later.

13. Robin Williams
Best Bit: Cocaine (live at The Met)
I grew up on Robin Williams. After watching Mrs. Doubtfire, Williams was really the first comic that I ever followed. He takes the word eccentric and blows it out of the water. His specialty is going over the top and his Cocaine bit is a perfect example. Arguably the quickest and wittiest comic ever, Williams will forever be a great.

12. Mitch Hedberg
Best Bit: One Liners
Mitch Hedberg is sort of a mythical creature at this point. The 20th century king of one liners, Hedberg is known for his strange humoristic style and amazing delivery. Before his unfortunate drug overdose, Hedberg thrilled audiences with his astonishing ability to perfectly deliver even the simplest of knock-knock and one line jokes. If he has a cult, I am a member.

11. Zack Galifianakis
Best Bit: The Hangover
I know it seems strange to use a movie as his best standup bit but the reasons I said that is because the character that Zack plays on stage is eerily similar to his role from the Hangover franchise. Zack plays the drunk, fat, and disgusting card better than anyone and has astonishing delivery with insane body and face control. Try watching him and you will find yourself dying of laughter and just begging him to break character which he never will. Also recommended, Zack Galifianakis in the Purple Room.

10. Jim Carrey
Best Bit: Saint Bearnard
Best known for his hilarious comedies and film roles, Jim Carrey also got his start in standup. At only the age of 19 he was already headlining tours and was signed very early on by Rodney Dangerfield. After being denied by SNL, Carrey made a name for himself on In Living Color but he will always be known in certain circles for his amazing standup. If you watch his early work you can really see how his future characters came to be.

9. George Carlin
Best Bit: “Seven Dirty Words”
The king of modern day dirty comedy, the late Carlin paved the way with Richard Pryor for all modern day comics. With his death in 2008, Carlin left a record amount of comedy specials and best selling CDs. Unafraid to approach topics such as politics, religion, race and other taboo subjects, Carlin broke boundaries that others refused to. He influenced many comics after him including the amazing Lewis Black, Jerry Seinfeld and Jon Stewart and Denis Leary. 

8. Louis C.K.
Best Bit: Kids
Widely considered the best standup comic today, Louis may just be the best self deprivation comic of all time.  There is no one out there that can stand on a stage and just hold his stomach fat and be funnier than Louis. His rants on his depressing and sad family existence are so realistic and just touches at home. With sparks of Seinfeld’s, day to day observations, Louis C.K. adds such a realistic touch to it, one that is not found in any other comic today.

7. Will Ferrell             
Best Bit: Harry Caray and Robert Goulet
Will Ferrell may be one the funniest film stars ever but he is also one of the best standup and sketch comedians ever. Bringing SNL to heights never seen before, Ferrell became the first major star of the 21st century. Ferrell start also came in standup. I had the pleasure of seeing him on one of his Funny Or Die tours and I peed my pants. Ferrell’s standup is often revolving around impersonations and sketches but that doesn’t take away from his amazing characters and hilarious personas.

6. Blue Collar Comedy Group
Best Bit: “You Might be a Redneck”
The group of Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall, Ron White and Larry the Cable Guy from the funniest group of comedians we have ever seen. These mid-American (hick) comics rip on each other and the American way of life better than anyone. Each one with a different yet familiar style makes this the perfect group.

5. Jerry Seinfeld
Best Bit: Olympics
Very few people can claim to have changed comedy in the 20th-21st century. Jerry Seinfeld is one of those. With the most successful and arguably the best sitcom of all time, Seinfeld revolutionized comedy with his hilarious yet mundane observations. No one can make the simplest thing funnier than this guy. Read his books, watch his show, watch his standup and I promise you that you will fall in love with him. Without a doubt the most financially successful comedian of all time, Seinfeld changed how every comedian and every person saw the world.

4. Chris Rock
Best Bit: Ni**ers vs Blacks
Chris Rock was the first inappropriate comedian I had ever heard in my life and I fell in love. His classic over the top delivery just works for his material. Unafraid to rip on anyone or anything, Rock created a name for himself and has headlined many HBO specialist and even hosted the Oscars. Rock has excellent material and an even better delivery. His rant on two types of Black People may be my favorite bit of all time.

3. Lewis Black
Best Bit: Water/Politics
Often considered a living Legend, Lewis Black is one of my favorite comics ever. Well known for his role in the emergence of Political comedy and his many movie roles, Black is the best senile comic ever. Angry at pretty much everything he has ever encountered in his life, many people have said the F-word was created for Black. There is no comic, and I mean no comic that utilizes curse words better. I saw Lewis live earlier this year and could not stop laughing from start to finish.

2. Jeff Dunham
Best Bid: Walter
I am sure I will get some flack for having a ventriloquist so high on this list but Jeff Dunham may not only be one of the best ventriloquist of all-time, he is one of the best comics as well. His puppets and the characters he has created are amazing. Walter and Achmed the Dead Terrorist are such great acts. With the ability to bring in different characters, Dunham pulls off such a good back and forth with his characters. I have shown his work to many people over the years and every single one of them has laughed so hard they needed to pause the video. Trust me on this one.

1. Eddie Murphy
Best Bid: Delirious and Raw
Drop whatever you are doing and immediately watch Delirious and Raw. These are without a doubt the two funniest comedy specials I have ever seen. I laughed from start to finish and can listen over and over again these hilarious bits. From his impersonations to childhood stories, Murphy wouldn’t shy away from any topic which helped him become so so successful. With his mouth often getting him in trouble, Murphy had audiences dying of laughter and are two of the best selling comedy albums ever. To me, he is the king of standup.                   

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Why Brendan Shanahan Is Getting It Wrong.

While I am always one for conspiracy theories, I won’t be crying wolf when it comes to Anti-Ranger theories around the NHL. What I will gladly complain about is the absolutely inconsistent and absurdity with which NHL Senior VP of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan has disbursed suspensions in the 2012 playoffs. There has been a record amount of fighting and hard and illegal hits this post season and the NHL exec has not shielded away from laying down the law. I used to work one floor away from the NHL and often ran into Shanahan in the elevator or lobby, if I saw him now; I would probably punch his lights out. I have absolutely no problem suspending players who deserve it; but I cannot rightfully justify the inconsistency we have seen in the playoffs.
The playoffs have been brutal with a handful of big name incidents with very varying and puzzling consequences.
1. Matt Carkner was suspended 1 game for physically assaulting a defenseless Brian Boyle.
2. Carl Hagelin was suspended 3 games for an illegal to the head of Daniel Alfredsson.
3. Shae Webber was fined $2,500 for taking Henrick Zetterberg’s head and smashing it into the boards.
4. Andrew Shaw was suspended 3 games for his collision with Mike Smith.

Take a look at these four instances and please tell me what is wrong with this picture. In two instances we have two players with absolutely no history of any violence or malpractice in the NHL who are suspended for numerous games for hitting 2 major players. Hagelin’s hit clearly looked like there was some intent but clearly no intent to injure and if you look at Shaw’s play he had nowhere to go, Smith didn’t defend himself and Shaw tried to get out of the way. Both of these players had no history of any malpractice.  In the other two cases, we have absolute intent to hurt someone violently. Both Weber and Carkner performed horrible acts that outside the rink would be cause for assault charges. If you don’t believe me please watch the video. Webber literally takes Zetterberg’s head and smashes it into the boards while Carkner sucker punches Boyle 3 times in the head before throwing more punches on the ground.
How in any way, shape, or form are these suspensions fair. Please be aware, I am not necessarily complaining that Hagelin or Shaw should have received less time off, I simply feel that the other two should have received much greater punishments.
A few theories I have heard and why they are wrong.

1.       History of Violence
For those who say history of violence should play a role in the decision making just take a look at Carkner. He already has a history of suspensions with the NHL and once again was an aggressor to physical assault on the ice. So the fact that he only received one game makes no sense at all. For those who say that violence shouldn’t play a role at all then what is the whole point of suspending someone one-three games for such violent hits if you will never add onto the suspensions for the history of violence. If Carkner and Webber find out their criminal records will be wiped clean after every suspension then the entire focus of player safety is garbage.
2.       Head injury
Some are saying that the major suspensions were worse because they resulted in head shots. All I will say is that Boyle was punched 4 times in the face and Zetterberg’s face was smashed into the boards. Do I really need to explain this to you?!?!?
3.       Resulting Injury
The biggest argument I have heard for why these suspensions actually make sense is that in the case of Hagelin, Alfredsson had to leave the game while Boyle and Zetterberg continued playing. This is the most ludicrous argument I have ever seen. First of all, to completely disprove the theory, Alex Smith suffered no major injury after being hit by Andrew Shaw. So any explanation of why he got 3 games makes no sense. Second, I feel the entire premise of the resulting injury deciding the suspension as idiotic. If McSorely slashed someone in the neck but that player miraculously was able to play the next day are you going to tell me that he should only get 1 game. Just because Zetterberg and Boyle have hard heads and strong faces doesn’t make what the opposing player did any less severe. So it doesn’t make sense how Hagelin and Shaw’s actions are deserving of harsher penalties than Weber and Carkner.

In Conclusion, I don’t understand the NHL’s ruling in these suspension cases and I hope for the sake of the NHL and its fanbase, Brendan Shanahan and the NHL figure out how to be consistent and fair in their suspensions. Let’s Go Rangers!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Why We All Love A Good Bomb Movie.

As I was munching on tons of Matzah this past Passover, my eating fest was rudely interrupted when on a tip from one of the guests, the police showed up to the hotel I was staying at with a bomb threat on the building. Those who were made aware of the bomb threat immediately evacuated and headed outside as the Police searched the building. As I sat there outside with my awesome girlfriend Zahava Goldofsky and her very cool family (Uncle Ronnie, Aliza and Ari Kalton, Duvidel and the rest of the family), I began thinking of the best Bomb movies ever. These are films that in some way shape or form revolve around a bomb. More than likely these bomb films involve terrorist, whether foreign or domestic. What makes these films so good is the amazing suspense that is built up surrounding the bombs and their forthcoming explosions. Is there anything more dramatic than those final minutes of a movie when you know the bomb is ticking and the fate of the characters and sometimes the world hangs in the balance? I don’t, and that is why I have for you the top 15 Bomb movies of all time.

15. Déjà Vu (2006)
The film sounds fantastic. Tony Scott directs this thriller about an ATF agent who travels back in time to save a woman from being murdered while attempting to stop a bomb from going off. Though the film didn’t receive amazing reviews, I thoroughly enjoyed this film, it didn’t hurt that the film also starred Denzel Washington and Jim Caviezel. The film is definitely intense and provides some of those ticking time moments we all love.

14. Face Off (1997)
One of my all time favorite movies, Face off earns a place on the list but was not rated higher since its bomb story line ends half way through the film. Cage/Travolta play Casper Troy, one of if not my all time favorite villain ever. Troy is a sick and diabolical criminal who deals with anything from drugs to terrorists and the first half of the film revolves around a massive bomb that Troy has placed in downtown LA. Though the classic ticking bomb suspense is lacking, the film is fantastically twisted and for that reason alone, the Bomb storyline has earned a spot on the list. Hallelujah!!!!!

13. The Peacemaker (1997)
With a story line of an Army Colonel and a civilian reporter tracking down a stolen Russian nuclear weapon from a group of a radical terrorist, The Peacemaker was not the most original film ever made. However, with these roles played by a very young looking Nicole Kidman and George Clooney, Director Mimi Leder pulled off a decent thriller here with a NYC bomb threat at its core. Definitely worth a watch.

12. The Sum of All Fears (2002)
CIA analyst Jack Ryan must stop the plans of a terrorist faction that threatens nuclear war between the United States and Russia. With a nuclear weapons set to go off at a football game in Baltimore, the Tom Clancy adaptation starred Ben Affleck as Ryan and Morgan Freeman as the newly elected President. Though this movie was often considered mediocre, any bomb movie with Morgan Freeman can make my list.

11. Blown Away (1994)
An Irish bomber (Tommy Lee Jones) escapes from prison and targets a member of the Boston bomb squad (Jeff Bridges). The film is a 90’s classic ends with a dramatic performance of the Boston Pops orchestra. Will Bridges make it on time? That’s why this is a classic.

10. Fight Club (1999)
Also one of my favorites of all time, this anti-establishment thriller culminates with a series of bombs destroying the downtown financial system. Though the ultimate bomb storyline does not cover the entire film, once the truth about Tyler Durden is revealed, it is a race to the finish for The Narrator to prevent the oncoming disaster from himself. What a film!

9. Angels and Demons (2009)
Based on the best selling Dan Brown novel, Angels and Demons revolves around Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon attempting to solve century old secrets in order to prevent a colossal bomb from going off somewhere in the bowels of the Vatican. Tom Hanks does the most with Langdon and Ewan McGregor is always solid as the Camerlengo. The film is not as good as the novel but the drama is there as the anticipated clock ticks away.

8. V For Vendetta (2005)
This was kind of a strange but also genius film. From director James McTeige, the film revolves around the criminal vigilante known as V who fights against the British Totalitarian government. V played by Hugo Weaving makes a friend in Natalie Portman and thus begins the start of a beautiful friendship that terrorizes and brings down the fictional country with a terrorist bomb to take down the government. We all know the bomb is coming but the buildup is nonetheless memorable.

7. Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Any product from the mind of renowned filmmaker Stanley Kubrick has the potential to be memorable. This film also titled “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” is a classic. As an insane general starts the process of a nuclear holocaust, a board room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to prevent the end of the world as we know it. In the final scene as our crazy Slim Pickens (Major King Kong) rides the nuclear bomb to the ground, a lasting image was forever implanted in our minds.

6. The Dark Knight (2008)
My favorite film of all time is not always seen as a good “bomb film” but it is one of the best. The bomb and subsequent hospital explosion is truly one of the most realistic and amazing movie bomb/explosion moments ever. Considering that Nolan actually blew up a building, we all bought into his genius. Add to that the scene with two bombs on two separate boats with each ship in control to detonate the other and The Dark Knight has definitely earned its place on the list.

5. Sudden Death (1995)
Yes this film has everything great and horrible about those amazing 1990 action films. Jean Claude Van Damme is a firefighter who saves the Vice President, kills some terrorists, stops a major bomb from exploding an arena and makes a game saving save in the Stanley Cup Finals all in the span of an hour and a half. The film is very underrated and is amazingly entertaining. With the clock ticking on both the bomb and the game clock, this classic will forever be frozen in my memory.

4. Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)
The third film in the Die Hard series is a classic film as Det. John McClane must work with a disgruntled Samuel L. Jackson to solve the riddles of a bomb making terrorist name Simon, played by Jeremy Irons. As The duo play the deadly game of Simon Says, the anticipation of the NYC bomb and ultimate diffusion of the bomb is as intense and dramatic as it gets and makes this an instant classic on par with the original film.

3. Speed (1994)
I was once told that no Keanu Reeves film should ever be on a “best” anything list but I couldn’t help it. The film revolving around a young cop who must diffuse a bomb and save hostages is insanely entertaining. The fact that the bomb is on a bus that will set off the bomb if it goes below 50 MPH is a beautiful touch. The film is a bomb lover’s dream and has great big explosions from start to finish. Sorry haters out there, but this film deserves this spot on the list.

2. Arlington Road (1999)
Already seen on thekolbreview for having such an amazing ending, Arlington Road is a fantastic bomb movie. A college professor (Bridges) specializing in counter terrorism, whose wife was killed by domestic terrorist, suspects his neighbor (Robbins) of being a terrorist as well. The film builds the drama and tension beautifully as there is such anticipation that perhaps Professor Faraday is right about his “architect” neighbor. As the story reaches its climax, the truth about the bomb and the terrorist comes to a sad, ironic and amazing conclusion. Arlington Road is forever one of the best.

1.       The Hurt Locker (2008)
The multi-Oscar winning film about a bomb squad stationed in Iraq is without a doubt the greatest and most suspenseful bomb film of all time. As the bomb squad who we come to loath, love, and obsess over makes their way from site to site, the suspense is spine tingling as any person, any object and any moment can turn into a deadly explosion. The tension that award winning director Kathryn Bigelow builds is quite amazing. From start to finish you will be on the edge of your seat just wondering when the next IED will detonate.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Why The Wire is The Best TV Drama Ever. (The Drama Bracket)

The NY Times Magazine recently featured an article discussing the best TV Dramas of the past 25 years. The article inspired  me to produce my own bracket of the best TV Drama’s ever. Enjoy!

Notable Points:
·         Sci-Fi Matchup
o   BG has to go down as the greatest Sci-Fi drama series of all time along with Star Trek. All 4 seasons of this amazing production got better and better as Mankind fought for survival as they searched for earth. Moulder and Skully only dealt with aliens, not killing machines.
·         Cops Matchup
o   If NYPD Blue was real, The Shield was really real. The Shield is arguable the grittiest cop show ever (of course I am not including the wire).
·         Elite 8: The Wire vs Dexter
o   As amazing as Dexter is, there is part of it that is expected and repetitive A quality that the Wire cannot be called.
·         Elite 8: FNL vs Breaking Bad
o   Two of my favorite shows ever came down to one small fact. While I watched FNL I had an underlying feeling that everything would work out and the characters would all be ok, something I have never felt watching Walter White.
·         Final
o   Enough Said!

Why The Masters Will Always be Special.

For those of you who have not already seen it, please go watch highlights of this year’s Master’s Final Round. If you have never played golf you cannot comprehend how amazing some of the shots that we saw were. A double eagle just doesn’t happen and who would have thought the double eagle wouldn’t even be the best shot of the tournament. Bubba Watson’s amazing shot from the trees on the second playoff hole that landed mere feet from the flag stick is one of the greatest moments we have ever seen at the Masters. Here are my top moments of my lifetime.

5. Phil Michelson 2004
I am a Tiger Woods guy so naturally I don’t always root for Lefty, though I do respect him when he wins. The #2 to Tiger, Michelson has some classic moments under his belt, perhaps none more than his 31 on the final 9 to win his first Green Jacket. His dramatic putt for birdie on the 18th hole to win by one shot was a dramatic filled moment only to be topped by Mickelson’s vertical leap of joy. What an image, what a moment.

4. Faldo/Norman 1996
Though I was only ten when this tournament occurred, this tournament has established the term ‘epic collapse.” Nick Faldo was always known as consistent and error free player and his 67 on the final day at Augusta helped overcome a 6 shot deficit to Greg Norman who will go down in history as having one of the worst collapses ever. Norman shot a miserable 78 after going into Sunday with a 6 shot league.
Many point out how crazy the final round really was. His birdie putt on 11 just barely missed, but Norman would eventually miss his par putt and lead him to risking it on 12 and we all know what happened there.

3. Tiger Woods 2005
In 2005, Tiger Woods, up by one shot in the final round of the Masters, pitched his second shot on the par 3 16th hole well above the hole and watched with the golf nation as it slowly trickled down the slope towards the cup.
After his Nike ball appeared to come to a stop on the edge of the hole, the CBS director ordered the technical director to take the camera shot with Tiger's anguished reaction. The TD disobeyed the order, stayed with the shot, and as the ball disappeared, the greatest golf ball commercial ever, and the worst high five, were instantly born. Tiger went on to bogie the last two holes, fall into a playoff, and birdie the first playoff hole to win what may very well be his final Masters.

2. Tiger Woods 1997
Take away Rory’s dominant US Open Win and Tiger Wood’s dominating 12 shot victory in 1997 may be the most dominating golf performance ever. Shockingly, Tiger started out poorly with a 40 on his first 9 but then ending up shattering the 72 whole scoring record while becoming the youngest winner ever. As I have said, when you have rules changed for you, you are amazing. The PGA changed the course to increase the difficulty in 1998. Enough said.

1.       Jack Nicholas 1986
Though I was not even born, I have heard enough about this Masters to say this was the most memorable Masters moment ever. Many feel this was the greatest tournament in history. Nicholas who was 46 and had gone 6 years from his previous victory shot a stunning 30 on the final 9 with 6 birdies and an eagle on his last 10 holes. Let that sink in for a second. Nicholas’ stunning back nine helped him beat Norman, Kite, Ballesteros and Watson.  While the birdie on 17 is the shot that gets the most television play, his nearly holing of a five-iron on 16 (and assuring his caddie/son that it was "right" in the air) is really the number one moment in Masters History.