Monday, May 30, 2016

NHL Predictions 2015-16: The Stanley Cup Final

So... most so-called experts are saying the San Jose Sharks will win against the Pittsburgh Penguins, usually in six games. I agree on the number of games, but I favour the Pens, who've been there before.

Both Matt Murray and Marc-André Fleury are better than Martin Jones.

Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby are better than Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture.

Phil Kessel is better than Patrick Marleau. Kris Letang is a more complete defenseman than Brent Burns, though a tad less effective on the way forward due to Burns' extremely physical game.

The Pens don't have a Marc-Édouard Vlasic, though - then again, no other NHL team does, as he is the most effective defensive defenseman in the league right now. But he can only be on the ice for 25 of every 60 minutes, and the Penguins, depth will take advantage of every single second he's off the white surface to attack relentlessly.

That's where head coach Mike Sullivan's game plan differs the most from his predecessor Mike Johnston - instead of playing to hide Pittsburgh's weaknesses, he gets them to play to their strengths - and when you've got the luxury of having Kessel and Nick Bonino on your third line, that spells nine top-six players, including a world-class elite superstar on each line. It's too much depth to face without a goalie that's in a state of grace.

Again, Pens in 6.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Video Of The Week: Dead Messenger

I'm not preaching, I'm the choir; this week, I'm featuring Dead Messenger again, this time with Master Plan, off their new record, The Owl:

It was co-directed by Liane Thériault (who also shot and edited the footage) and Helen Simard (who also choreographed and conceptualized the piece).

In a totally unrelated way, I'd dubbed my plan for "Happiness (both at work and in my life) By The End Of The Year" The Masterplan, so having my favourite band release this on lead singer Roger White's birthday was just too many coincidences to pass up.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Hell's Club 2

I'll post the first one later this week, but here's the second Hell's Club, a monster editing job by Antonio Maria Da Silva featuring clips from over 30 films edited into one short segment taking place in a club where the DJs are Daft Punk, i.e. somewhere I wouldn't be caught dead in.

Unlike, say, Jack and Rose.

I'll try to name all the movies referenced herein later this week, but off the top of my head, after one viewing (18 minutes): Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet (Titanic, 1997), Johnny Depp (Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas, 1997), Eddie Murphy (Beverly Hills Cop, 1984), Ewan McGregor (Star Wars Episode II: Attack of The Clones, 2002), Mark Hammill and Anthony Daniels (Star Wars: A New Hope, 1977), Harrison Ford (Blade Runner, 1982), John Travolta (Saturday Night Fever, 1977), John Travolta (Pulp Fiction, 1994), George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino (From Dusk Till Dawn, 1995), Will Smith (Bad Boys, 1995), Will Smith (Bad Boys 2, 2003), Aliens (Alien, 1979), Aliens (Aliens, 1986), Aliens (Alien 3, 1992), Aliens (Alien: Resurrection, 1997), Aliens (AVP: Alien Vs Predator, 2004),  Aliens (Alien Vs Predator: Requiem, 2007), Al Pacino and Steven Bauer (Scarface, 1983), Al Pacino and Penelope Ann Miller (Carlito's Way, 1993), Sharon Stone and Robert De Niro (Casino, 1995), Kurt Russell (Escape From New York, 1981), Kurt Russell (Escape From L.A., 1996), Wesley Snipes, (Blade, 1998), Wesley Snipes, (Blade 2, 2002),  Wesley Snipes, (Blade Trinity, 2004), Denzel Washington (The Equalizer, 2014), Bruce Willis (The Last Boy Scout, 1991), Tom Cruise (Cocktail, 1988), Tom Cruise (Collateral, 2004), Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis (Beetlejuice, 1988), Samuel L. Jackson (Formula 51, 2001), Peter Weller (Robocop, 1987), Peter Weller (Robocop 2, 1990), Liam Neeson (Third Person, 2013), Sylvester Stallone (Cobra, 1986), Sylvester Stallone (Judge Dredd, 1995), Arnold Schwarzenegger (Terminator, 1986), Arnold Schwarzenegger (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, 1991), Mike Myers (Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery, 1997), Mike Myers (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, 1999), Robert Englund and Ken Kirzinger (Freddy Vs Jason, 2003), Patrick Swayze (Ghost, 1990), Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing, 1987), Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver and Harold Ramis (Ghostbusters, 1984), Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump, 1994), Daniel Craig (Skyfall, 2012), Pierce Brosnan (Goldeneye, 1995), Paul Rudd (Ant-Man, 2015), John Travolta (Grease, 1978), Al Pacino and Johnny Depp (Donnie Brasco, 1997), Doug Bradley (Hellraiser 3: Hell On Earth, 1992), Mark Wahlberg (Boogie Nights, 1997), Arnold Schwarzenegger (Predator, 1987), Jean-Claude Van Damme (Kickboxer, 1989), Jean-Claude Van Damme (The Hard Corps, 2006), Sean Connery (Dr. No, 1962), Jamie Foxx (Miami Vice, 2006), Michael Douglas (Basic Instinct, 1992), Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan (A Night At The Roxbury, 1998), Jennifer Beals (Flashdance, 1983), Marlon Brando (Apocalypse Now, 1979), Dennis Quaid (Innerspace, 1987), Sissy Spacek (Carrie, 1976), and Chloë Grace Moretz (Carrie, 2013).

Saturday, May 14, 2016

NHL Predictions 2015-16: Round Three

Wrong again in Round Two, only accurately predicting one of four series. Two of hem went to 7 games, however, and could have gone either way, so I was very close to being right on three out of four.

Eastern Final:

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Pittsburgh Penguins:
Matt Murray is for real in nets for the Pens. Then again, so is the Bolts' Ben Bishop. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were silenced by the Washington Capitals in the second round and a big part of me doesn't see that happening again, but Tampa's depth should also be accounted for. Any team with the luxury of having Alex Killorn in its middle-six and getting to the Conference Final without playing Steven Stamkos in a single game deserves some credit, and Victor Hedman is better than Kris Letang.

Bolts in 6

Western Final:

San Jose Sharks vs St. Louis Blues:
Here are two teams that are tired of choking come playoff time and are playing way above their heads this Spring. San Jose beat a contender in the Los Angeles Kings and a fighter in the Nashville Predators; St. Louis beat the reigning champions in the Chicago Blackhawks and the Western regular-season champs in the Dallas Stars, both times in seven games.

So it's all about finding out of the Blues will be exhausted from over-performing or if they can run on adrenaline and confidence for one more round.

I think they can. Brian Elliott is the better goalie in this series, and all respect due to Joe Pavelski, Vladimir Tarasenko's still the best forward standing in the West. Brent Burns is a force on defense for the Sharks and Marc-André Vlasic is there to actually defend, but the Blues have three top-level defenders who can actually do both at a level just under those two in Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk and Jay Bouwmeester, with Colton Parayko also proving he can take on that type of role. And four 7.9/10s beats two 8.1/10s any day of the week.

Blues in 7

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Just A Thought About U.S. Politics

Republicans and Democrats usually get an even split at 47% of the vote each, with independents and undecided voters deciding the election in three to five "swing states".

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are now widely expected to be those parties' nominees.

Both have a strong anti-them movement going in each party, with a lot of Bernie Sanders supporters saying they wouldn't endorse Clinton and the Republican establishment being widely against Trump. Each party could lose approximately a third of its voters.

Wouldn't this be the perfect situation for a Michael Bloomberg to come in as a right-wing independent to steal votes from both of them and become the first non-affiliated President?

I bet he would make it an interesting race... and - I hate saying it - perhaps a cleaner one, too.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Video Of The Week: I Am Snow Angel

I Am Snow Angel released a video today, for the song Keep You Out off of her forthcoming EP, Desert. It was directed by Lauren McCune:

This is one of my favourite Julie Kathryn songs, ethereal and dreamy - darkness and hope intertwined.