Eric Church’s “The Outsiders” Album Review
Feb 2014 13

Very seldom is there an album that comes out that truly gets me excited.

Eric Church The Outsiders Album CoverI guess Pearl Jam’s recent album could count as one that I was stoked about, but that is about it. Enter Eric Church, country music’s modern day outlaw. He’s a man among boys in today’s world of country music. While Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean are selling out arena’s singing about beer drinking, riding trains and break-ups, Church is selling out his own concert’s with songs about whiskey drinking, fighting, and smoking weed. Church’s last album,”Chief,” was a chart-topping success, selling millions, and making the 36-year old a country music star. After touring in support of the album for two-plus years, Church is back with “The Outsiders.”

“The Outsiders” brings a little bit of everything to the table. If you’re a rock fan who first discovered Church opening for Metallica, you will love the lead track, which is the title of the album. While the song feels like it was forced into the new album, it’s a rousing country/rock piece that will surely be a crowd-pleaser at live shows.

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Movie Review: ‘RoboCop’ Starring Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, and Samuel Jackson
Feb 2014 12

robocop posterIn 1987, RoboCop blew moviegoers away (no pun intended) with its blend of over the top violence, revolutionary special effects, and biting social commentary (it was the 80’s after all), all wrapped into a perfect storm of an 80’s action movie.

To me, the original source material was so unique and timeless that it never needed a remake.  Sure the 1987 version looks dated and maybe the technology is now irrelevant, but it’s the guts of the movie that made it so perfect.  So the question I was asking myself as I settled in to see a 2014 version of RoboCop was, “What can they say that hasn’t been said already?” I would soon realize the 2014 version could have just as much to say about the state of our country as the 1987 version.

In this version, director Jose Pahila makes some adjustments from the original so that it fits into what could be a conceivable American future. The film is set in 2028 and one of the biggest issues in the United States is the use of robotic drones for Military applications – as well as on the streets of America.  With many Americans fearing that robots have no emotions or moral code, robotics manufacturer OmniCorp and its CEO Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) are forced to explore a new idea: putting a man inside a machine.

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32: ‘The LEGO Movie’ Starring Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett
Feb 2014 12

the-lego-movie-poster-full-photoThis week on Reel Spoilers everything is awesome. And if you’re one of the people who helped The Lego Movie rack up $69 million in its opening weekend then that song is now stuck in your head.

You’re welcome.

But it’s veritable love-fest on the show this week as we all take turns gushing over a movie that’s based on a toy. We still don’t know how they pulled it off where some many others (i.e. ALL others) have failed. So let’s pick it apart and see if we can kill the goose that laid the golden Lego.

It’s Reel Spoilers #32 – The Lego Movie.

You’ve been warned.

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Movie Review: ‘The Lego Movie’ Starring Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks
Feb 2014 07

the-lego-movie-poster-full-photoThere are certain things in life that instantly recall a sense of nostalgia. The bark of a dog can make one person remember a beloved pet they had years ago. Randomly hearing a song on the radio brings back thoughts of an old relationship. For others, there are toys that, when you see or think about them, you can’t help but harken back to more innocent days.

For me, it was Legos. Man, I loved those things. I probably have over $2,000 worth of old sets stashed away somewhere, and it’s unlikely more than four or five of them are completely assembled. As a kid, I would always build the sets I received as birthday or Christmas presents, then I’d dismantle them to build something new.

What did I build? Anything. Everything. I was really into naval history, so I would build mock-ups of World War II battleships, like the USS Missouri or the Bismarck. I built guns, pretending to be a soldier, recreating famous battles. I built replicas of sports stadiums and replayed some of the greatest games in history. My mom always got mad at me for taking apart all the sets. “All that money on those sets, wasted because you don’t keep them together.” But for me, that was half the fun. Legos were just one thing that could fuel your imagination into creating a new world, and properly placed bricks left in the carpet made for great anti-intrusion devices for when my sister rolled around.

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2014 St. Louis Cardinals Preview – Shortstop
Feb 2014 06

Note: this is an ongoing series previewing the Cardinals. You can find catchers here, first base here, second base here, and third base here.

I rooted hard for Peter Kozma. I really did.

The Cardinals’ first-round pick in 2007, Kozma escalated through the system based mostly on the merits of his glove, which I’ll admit was terrific last year. His bat, though, was never that great to begin with, and I think Cardinals fans were falsely given hope thanks to the small sample size of 2012 and his “what just happened” game-winning hit in the NLDS:

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