The Punisher is everything we imagined

Whenever I think of Jon Bernthal, I think of Shane from The Walking Dead. Whenever, I see him on television or in a movie I always yell out, “That’s Shane from The Walking Dead!” It’s so odd that one show can decide how people can identify an actor even years after that person no longer stars on that show. Moving forward, Jon Bernthal is no longer known to me as Shane from The Walking Dead. He is now known to me as Jon Bernthal, one of the best actors in Hollywood.

I recently finished watching The Punisher, and Bernthal crushed it as Frank Castle. From start to finish, he was funny, angry, sad, and even an asshole at times. But everything he did was just perfect. We got a taste of the Frank Castle in Daredevil, and thankfully Netflix transformed the Punisher into it’s own show.

Here is what you need to know

This isn’t a John Wick shoot em up for the entire 40 minutes kind of show. There is strong plot, great drama, and superior acting along with some good action involved. All of which have made The Punisher the best of all the Marvel TV Shows on Netflix.

The show begins post-rampage Frank Castle killing 37 people many of who were involved in the murder of his wife and kids. He is now living under an alias because all except for a few believes he is dead. Otherwise, this would be a Grand Theft Auto scenario and he’ll have 5 stars #CopsEverywhere. Anyway, he tries to live a peaceful, quiet life but trouble just seems to always find this guy, and he is roped back into doing what he does best…punishing? Frank finds out that there are people he used to be close with that were involved in the murder of his wife and kids. So, as you can imagine, all goes crazy from here.

One sub-plot that sticks out to me is that there are several veterans, including Frank, that suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is a very authentic subject to add, creating a learning moment for the viewers on what some veterans have to endure once they return from oversees. It was very interesting to see how they struggle to fit into society and their belief that the government has no intention on helping them adjust to living in the country they once fought to defend.

What I wasn’t expecting

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There are a lot of great characters in this show. Aside from Frank Castle, my favorite was actually the antagonist Billy Russo played by Ben Barnes. He is fun and charismatic, but also cunning and deadly at the same time. He proves to be a worthy foe for Frank Castle and all others that opposed him. The entire time I was binge-watching I kept wondering, where have I seen this guy. After continuously drawing a blank, I looked him up and saw Westworld. It’s very interesting to note that the characters he plays in both shows have very several similarities. At the end I was thinking, this guy needs to be the star of his own TV show.

A couple other notable actors are David Lieberman AKA Micro played by Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Dinah Madani played by Amber Rose Revah. The tech-savvy Miro becomes very interesting as he teams up with The Punisher, and the show raises the stakes putting his family in danger. Madani is a very interesting character. As a Department of Homeland Security Agent she continues to struggle between what’s right and wrong while her superiors don’t have any issue bending the rules to achieve their own selfish goals.

Overall, this show is a must watch.

Let me know. Did you watch The Punisher or do you plan to?

Sincerely,

NoFearLavere

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Telltale’s Batman keeps getting better

Since playing episode two of this newest season, I have been patiently waiting for episode three to come out as I’ve been constantly checking online for the release date and avoiding watching my favorite YouTubers as they played the game before it officially came out. This morning as I casually checked to see if the game came out, I was happy to see it did! I am a couple days late, but enough with my first-world problems – here are my thoughts on the game.

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At the end of Season Two Episode Two, I infiltrated Joker, Harley Quinn, Mr. Freeze, and Bane’s group. Joker and I were best friends, and I was pretty much Harley Quinn’s lapdog. You know, she says jump and I jump. If she says hit this person, I’m hitting them. Bane and Mr. Freeze are odd, but you have to get used to them. Actually, you’ll never get used to Bane. Someone please get this guy a Xanax. Either way, I had so much fun hanging out with the bad guys that I almost forgot why I was there in the first place, which was…you know what, I won’t spoil this part for you. Play the game and find out!

As episode two ended/episode three began, Selena Kyle AKA Catwoman unexpectedly showed up. So in Telltale games, you gotta do what you gotta do to get ahead. I flirted with Catwoman and Harley Quinn (to the dismay of Joker) in the past so I was hoping this didn’t turn into an episode of Jerry Springer. Unfortunately, Catwoman wanted to keep things professional (for the time being) and Harley now wants kill me. Still a little like Jerry Springer but at least no brawl between my acquaintances. Yep, just a day in the life of Bruce Wayne.

The Joker and Bruce Wayne continue to be friends, with him bashing a detective in the head for me and then accepting relationship advice from me. He also was able to have his first real encounter with Batman. As the cape crusader, I was a jerk to Joker but since Batman is his hero, I was able to convince him to try to steal a valuable item from Harley Quinn.

Jim Gordon hated me as Batman and Bruce Wayne in this episode. Unfortunately, our goals do not align so he keeps making it a priority to make both my lives a living hell. Luckily, Amanda Waller is his boss but she is more of a nuisance than he is. My decisions are made literally based on who I do not want to hate me today. And so Gordon hated me today and had GCPD “greet” me as I arrived to work as Bruce Wayne.

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Overall, this episode was amazing. Whether I am playing as Batman or Bruce Wayne, each choice I have to make becomes even more stressful than the last time. I do not play this game for the action, which is pretty much non-existent if you are comparing it to non-Telltale Batman games, but I like this as well as other Telltale games for the situations you are placed in and how your decisions affect your character and how others view your character.

This game also does a good job making all of the characters very interesting, even more so than the movies have done. I love the Joker so far. I feel that a big twist is coming and I cannot wait to see it. Also, it appears Harley Quinn has taken a leadership role, which is something I wouldn’t expect over the likes of Bane, Mr. Freeze, or the Joker. And she is doing a good job at it.

Playing this season will make you hate Amanda Waller, if you don’t already do so. She is so easy to hate, but the immoral, selfish, and dangerous things she needs me to do are so much fun. I sometimes feel bad when I side with Waller over Jim Gordon, but as I said, “you gotta do what you gotta do” to get ahead in Telltale games.

Overall, if you play video games and have not played Telltale’s Batman: The Enemy Within or any Telltale games for that matter, you need to re-evaluate your life and download a game now.

Let me know your thoughts. Do you like this game? How does it compare with other Telltale games?

Yours Truly,

NoFearLavere

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Let’s be thankful for a rivalry renewed

Playing against OKC would be “just another game,” Kevin Durant said…

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Sorry, but in the words of Jay Z, “We don’t believe you, you need more people.” Any game featuring Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will never be just another game. Not after going up on the Warriors 3-1. Not after leaving OKC to then join that team after they came back and beat you.

Last night, I was out bowling with some friends during the game and they had the Warriors-Thunder game playing on the majority of the TVs. And then it happened. They switched all of the monitors to show music videos instead of the basketball game. I was not having it. I went to one of the workers and asked him switch my monitor back to the game. As he walked with me, he whispered, “Fuck the Warriors.”  All I could do is giggle as clearly someone was in their feelings last night. Luckily the Thunder were smoking the Warriors, so he switched my TV back to the game. However, unfortunately for him, just about everyone in the bowling alley then asked him to switch their monitor back to the Warriors-Thunder game. As a sports fan, last night was a game that you did not want to miss.

I knew the Thunder were going to beat the Warriors. But, then again, I always think the Thunder are going to beat Warriors. And it was a very satisfying moment when that wish finally came through. Westbrook was a monster, dominating the game in all aspects. And this time he had help from his new teammates Carmelo Anthony and Paul George. Yes, this was a regular season game and though the only thing damaged were some egos, but this is a very good sign for the NBA. Last night proved that the Warriors are beatable and the Thunder currently have the blueprint to beat them.

This offseason, several teams (like OKC) signed and traded for players with the intent to beat the Warriors in the postseason. However, the start of the season has been a struggle for some as the Warriors are not the only team in the NBA and there are several teams they need to prepare for. But as teams start to get their act together and new teammates become more comfortable with one another, these games will become a lot more interesting. Critics like to say Lebron James has an easy road to the finals every year, but other than facing the Thunder in the playoffs a couple years ago, the Warriors road to the finals has been just as easy.  Barring another cheap shot by Zaza Pachulia, the Warriors will have their hands full in the playoffs by several Western conference teams that are geared up to beat them. As Westbrook told Durant last season, “I’m coming.” Yes, he is. And so is the rest of the league.

I hope you all are enjoying your Thanksgiving. It’s warm out here in Miami so I am headed to the beach.

Till next time.

NoFearLavere

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My Top 5 favorite players to watch so far this NBA season

Besides some injuries (Kawhi…still waiting), this has been a fun NBA season so far. Super Teams are proving not to be as “super” as we once thought they would be. The Celtics are continuing to tease Boston fans into thinking they will reach the NBA Finals this year. And there are players who are straight up balling right now.

I’ve complied a short list of players that are fun to watch so far this season. These guys are not necessarily my favorite players or my ranking of the best players in the league, but they are certainly surpassing expectations and wreaking havoc on the league in their own way.

Here you go:

5. Kristaps Porzingis

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As a native New Yorker,  it brings me great pride and joy to see Kristaps Porzingis give us hope in the post-Melo era. Porzingis is playing like he’s from another planet right now. He has all the tools to be one of the best players in the league, and he plays for the Knicks. Now let’s all please knock on wood as this is the New York Knicks we are talking about. Averaging more than 27 points a game, Porzingis has lead the Knicks to their best start in recent memory. Dare I say playoffs? Okay, let’s not get ahead of ourselves but this guy definitely has the Knicks headed in the right direction.

4. Kyle Kuzma

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I am so proud to say I drafted Kyle Kuzma in my 12-team fantasy draft, and yes I will go out of my way to remind you all of this all season long. There has been so much hype around him since the pre-season and he has not disappointed, unlike his teammate Lonzo Ball. Kuzma started the season coming off of the bench and has eased his way into the Los Angeles Lakers starting lineup. He is averaging around 16 points and 7 rebounds and, at power forward, can consistently score from deep. As a rookie, he is unexpectedly looking like the future for the Lakers and is quickly making his case for the Rookie of the Year Award.

3. James Harden

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James Harden has been going hard…on offense. Okay, though he doesn’t play defense and has a coach that’s mostly known for offense, Harden does not disappoint when he steps onto the court. There used to be a debate on who is the top shooting guard in the league. Since Klay Thompson is a great two-way player, he has always been towards the top of the list. There is no longer a debate. Harden can score on anyone and has become one of the best passers in the league. First, Stephen Curry and then Russell Westbrook passed him over for MVP but this has to be his year.

2. Ben Simmons

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Ben Simmons is the future. It might be a blessing in disguise that he was injured all of last season so he can become more NBA ready without having to showcase his skills too early and reveal any major weaknesses. His playmaking and ability to run the floor and get to the rim sets him apart from any rookie and already most players in the league. Averaging 18 points 9 rebounds and 8 assists, Simmons is looking like a future top player in the NBA.

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo

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Giannis for MVP? At the very least he will give Harden a run for his money. The Greek Freak is leading the Milwaukee Bucks to be a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference. Now averaging 30 points and 10 rebounds a game, he has gotten better every year and he is only 22. Sky. Is. The. Limit. Now that the Bucks acquired Eric Bledsoe, Giannis finally has a decent player at his side so it will be interesting to see if he can maintain this pace or if his numbers will start to decrease as the Bucks continue to surround him with better talent.

Though he did not make the list, Russell Westbrook is my favorite player. I’m sure as he begins to figure things out with Melo and PG3, and Lebron and the Cavs finally get serious, this list will likely see some changes.

Let me know..what would your list look like?

As always,

NoFearLavere

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Netflix ruined a good Anime

Over the years, Netflix has become one of the most popular methods to watch television and movies. With so many viewers, Netflix has decided to come out with several Netflix Original movies and television shows. And Netflix has delivered greatness to us such as Stranger Things, Black Mirror, House of Cards, and Marvel TV Shows (Daredevil, The Defenders, The Punisher, etc.) With these shows, and then some, Netflix got it right. Great actors, action, and drama – everything needed to appeal to fans. However, when it comes to creating content based on already established Anime, Netflix has missed the mark. Below is my review on a recent Netflix adaptation of a very popular Anime TV Series.

DeathNote

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I, like many, was excited to see that Netflix came out with a DeathNote film. As a huge fan of the Anime, I was anxious to see Netflix’s adaptation of the show. However, once I saw it, I was truly disappointed. My sadness almost turned into anger because Netflix almost ruined that Anime for me. To start, they changed the protagonist Light Yagami’s name to Light Turner. Of all the unnecessary things, did you have to change the last name of this dynamic character because it was Japanese? Speaking of dynamic, that was everything Light Turner was not in this film. In the Anime, Light Yagami is a genius, clever, arrogant, competitive. In Netflix’s version, Light Turner appears to be average in every way. And the same could be said for the character who plays L. He’s supposed to be just as smart or even smarter than Light, but in the film both characters seem to be two overhyped individuals, weakened by their emotions, as they attempt to “outsmart” one another.

The most exciting sequences in the DeathNote Anime is the back and forth Light and L go through in trying to figure out each other’s identity. In the movie, both appear to be very emotional and never in control. The characters are just less superior compared to their Anime counterparts. Additionally, Ryuk’s personality is scary in the movie as opposed to the comedic aspect he brought to the Anime. A monster that came across as funny and laid back seemed a lot more interesting to follow rather than your stereotypical monster with a scary personality. And then there is Mia. She is not in the Anime, but undoubtedly the most interesting character in the movie.  She has thicker skin and more resolve than Light and at times I was thinking I would rather see her with the DeathNote over Light Turner.

I get it, with this being a movie there is only so much time allotted to tell the story. However, if you can’t do something right don’t do it at all. As I was watching the movie, I seriously wondered if the writers and producers actually watched the Anime before creating the movie. Something I highly doubt. Please, Netflix, think carefully before you ruin our Anime. If something like this were done to favorites such as One Piece, Naruto, or Fullmetal Alchemist, everyone would riot. Fair warning.

I think IMDb also agrees with my assessment…

DeathNote (Anime) IMDb Rating – 9.0/10

DeathNote (Netflix Film) IMDb Rating – 4.6/10

Let me know your thoughts. Are one of the many very disappointed with Netflix’s remake of DeathNote? Or do you think they got it right.

Sincerely,

NoFearLavere

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Lonzo Ball and the Point Guard people are not comparing him to

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Averaging 9.0 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 6.9 assists in the first 15 games of his NBA career,  Lonzo Ball has been the most talked about rookie this season. As the #2 overall pick in the draft, the expectations for Lonzo are higher than any rookie in recent memory. When you think about it, the most recent rookie that came into the NBA with such expectations was Lebron James. So now, with the hype of his father, many are predicting that Lonzo will help lead the Lakers back to their glory days. Well before we get ahead of ourselves, we need to accurately predict the type of player Lonzo Ball will turn out to be.

What we know so far

Though it’s been just 15 games, we all have been able to get a sense of what he can and cannot do. Let’s start with the positive. With the ability to push the ball up and down the court, he has the skill set to be one of the best floor generals in the game. And currently at 6’6, he is also able to get an above average amount of rebounds as well. He’s unselfish, and easily a point guard a lot of scorers would want to play with. Now let’s take a look at the negative. He can’t shoot or play defense, and his free throw shooting leaves much to be desired. Additionally, his body language has been criticized as too laid back, lacking a sense of urgency.

So far, he has been a disappointment based on the expectations set for him and based on how well other rookies in his draft class are playing, including teammate Kyle Kuzma. However, it’s still early. Look at Brandon Ingram. He was terrible in his rookie year. Now he’s looking pretty decent.

What is likely to happen

The longer he is in the NBA, the more he will develop. With that said, he will put on more muscle, which will positively impact his defense and ability to guard his man. His stamina will increase, which will allow him to play offense and defense more efficiently, thus impacting his field goal percentage and ability to run the floor. However, will this be enough to meet the expectations many have for him?

Lonzo Ball is currently being compared to the likes of Magic Johnson and Jason Kidd. You know, arguably the top 2 point guards of all time. The idea of Lonzo being as good as these two is not only is that an unfair expectation, but very likely an unrealistic one. There have been many great floor generals in the NBA, from John Stockton to Gary Payton to Jerry West – each having their having respective unique abilities that made them stand out from the average point guard.

While many have chosen to compare Lonzo Ball to Magic Johnson and Jason Kidd, here is the guy I am comparing him to…

Rajon Rondo

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During, his time with the Boston Celtics, Rajon Rondo was one of the best point guards in the league as a 4x NBA All-Star, 2x NBA All-Defensive First Team, 3x NBA Assist Leader, and NBA All-Rookie Second Team while winning an NBA Championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008 as well as almost carrying his three future hall of fame teammates (Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen) to a second championship but falling in game 7 to Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers.

Though he couldn’t shoot well, Rondo was mainly known for his playmaking ability, rebounding, and basketball IQ. Now a member of New Orleans Pelicans, Rondo is a shell of himself but still has an elite playmaker with a high basketball IQ – such qualities that Lonzo Ball currently possesses. The one difference between the two is that Rondo is a fiercer competitor (just ask Kris Humphries). But as players continue to punish Lonzo on a nightly basis, that fire within him is likely to come out. The NBA is a sink or swim league. Sooner or later, Lonzo Ball will have to show everyone why he is worthy of all the hype.

Let me know what you think. Is this a fair comparison? Or is there someone else you think compares more to Lonzo Ball.

Sincerely,

NoFearLavere

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Date night or Game night: Video Games that will make you want to stay in over going out

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Ever had one of those, it’s a Saturday night and I have nothing to do, moments? OkCupid is slow or not enough money to take your girl (or guy) out? As someone who used to have this issue, I know the feeling of trying to salvage a Friday or Saturday when you are at home and looking for ways to have fun. Below are some binge worthy games if you are looking to have fun and interact with people at the same time.

Jack Box Party Pack 3

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Jack Box is a game best played when you have a group of people over and looking to have some fun. All you need is the console to load the game, and then instructions will be  displayed to have up to 8 players enter the room code on his or her phone to start playing. That right’s, instead of a controller, all that will be required to play is a phone. There is an online component to it too if you want to play with others virtually instead of having everyone at the same location.

Like most games, to win in Jack Box to have to get the highest score. To start, each player is given a prompt which appears on their phone, and each player is given a time limit to enter a reply or draw as necessary. The game collects all replies and, often times, gives players the opportunity to vote for the best answer (excluding their own answer). The game as severals rounds and at the end of each round there is a ranking with each player’s score. There are several different modes you can play: Quiplash 2, Trivia Murder Party, Guesspionage, Tee K.O., and Fakin’ It.

NBA 2K18: Run the Neighborhood

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This fantastic new feature in NBA 2K18 can allow for endless hours of fun as you are playing with your friends online or if you are looking to make friends online. As you log several hours upgrading your created player, you are also giving him unique attributes, hairstyles, and buying or designing his clothing.

From experience, the better your player is the more willing others will be to pass you the ball. The PlayGround and Pro-Am are the most popular when it comes to playing with others online. The former is what most seasoned players remember as MyPark. Your player is in a playground with several basketball courts, amongst at least a few dozen players looking to prove who is the best at the park. There are opportunities to play 2v2 or 3v3 and winner stays on the court. I play with two others, and we typically hop on a call and communicate with each other as we are destroying everyone else on the court.

Pro-Am is just as fun but it is 5v5 games. If you don’t have a team you can play as a Walk-on where you will be playing with random players you don’t know. I’ve played this mode but you sometimes get a point guard who doesn’t pass the ball and takes a ton of bad shots. That alone really just annoys me so I try to stay away from this mode. However, if you know 4 others who are looking to play, you can create your own team, your own arena and jerseys, and keep track of your team’s win-loss record. Definitely a fun activity you can do with some friends.

Rocket League

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This might be a game most enjoyable if you’re knocking back some beers and with some friends as you play. Rocket League is a popular, online-based game where each player controls a car and the aim is to hit the ball into the goal. Yes, it’s soccer but with cars. No matter a persons thoughts on the game, I bought it for $5 and now the price is $29.99. So clearly the game is doing well. Matches can be played from as many as 1v1 to 4v4, and you can play with friends on the same console or with each other online or you can play with random players online.

The game is definitely worth a shot and will make anyone with a competitive bone in their body quickly addicted. Here is a video of my favorite Rocket League YouTubers as they play the game.

Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds

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Imagine you parachuted onto an island all with 99 other people, and you had to scavenge for weapons and supplies, and survive until you’re the last person alive. No this is not The Hunger Games, this is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. You can enter a match solo or with a team of up to four people as you face other players online in a last man standing death match.

As the match progresses, the playable area of the map shrinks causing players outside of the safe area to take significant damage so all players have to converge into the safe area which typically calls for an epic showdown. This is definitely a game that will require strategy if you want to be the last person standing and can also be a lot of fun if you are playing with friends.

Destiny 2

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Date night or not, Destiny 2 is worth the buy. This online-only multi-player game will likely be in the mix for game of the year. You get to choose from three different classes: Hunters, Warlocks, and Titans. As your character progresses, you can obtain better equipment and upgrade attributes. In various modes, you work with other players to kill alien races or you can go head-to-head against other players to test your skills in combat. If you’re interested in role-playing and MMO games, this is the game for you. And this game is definitely most fun when you are in party chat with your online buddies. I plan on getting it this week so I can binge play it on my day off from work this Friday.

Let me know your thoughts. Are there games that should be added to this list? Any that you would take off?

Till next time…

Sincerely,

NoFearLavere

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