‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’ Review

If you feel like hanging out with Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt for 3 hours, then this movie will be for you. This is a classic “hang” movie, with Brad Pitts greatest performance.

A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age

1969 Hollywood, a time and place of wonder. The air was cleaner, the sex was dirtier and Charles Manson was on the loose. Just an all-around magical time for Hollywood. At least that’s how Quentin Tarantino feels with his 9th film and an absolute masterpiece, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.

It’s now been almost 30 years with Quentin Tarantino making movies for this world and he’s become one of the most discussed and polarizing directors we have ever seen. Before Tarantino came along, there was a certain mold and certain way that you crafted a film. Well, he literally tossed the rule book out the window and decided he would make his own rules and do things his own way. The rules in film making are what you make it, and that describes Quentin to a tee. That’s one of the best aspects of Tarantino. The fact that this guy loves cinema just as much as we do, in fact, he loves it more. When you have a filmmaker that’s this passionate about making movies, it’s a mixture for a fantastic product, and that’s why I love every single one of his films. They are so personal and so detailed that you can’t help but respect this guy so much. He reinvented how characters act and speak in movies. It’s like we are watching just a group of our friends hang out, and talk about whatever.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is no different. As we sit and watch Rick Dalton (Leo) a struggling partially over the hill TV actor trying to deal with the fact that he might be washed up. Along side him, his best friend and his stunt man Cliff Booth (Pitt). Now both of these characters are made up, and they are placed in this alternative reality of 1969 Hollywood, where they become intertwined with one of the most notorious and shocking events in American history, the Charles Manson murders. Cliff and Rick do everything together, and we are along for the ride. We even get to watch them watch a television program that Rick is apart of. In a very interesting scene, where for about 3 minutes you’re watching a fake television program and in the background hearing DiCaprio and Pitt colour commentate the whole thing. That’s why, whether or not you’re a fan of his work, this movie won’t be for everyone. It’s slow like I mentioned this is a hangout movie. It’s a day in the life kind of movie with a bunch of different perspectives. You’re watching a behind the scenes look at how television shows were made back in the hey-day. But this is what’s so fascinating about it. Leonardo DiCaprio, one of the greatest actors, is playing this vulnerable and at times kind of pathetic actor, and it’s so weird to see this side of him. But here’s the thing, Leo is so good at what’s he’s being asked to do, a guy who is just trying to stay relevant and a guy who used to be at the top of his game, feels threatened by younger stars and at times reminds the world that he is a brilliant actor. It was quite interesting to watch unfold. As for Brad Pitt, I personally believe this is his greatest role and performance. He’s the definition of cool, and just some of the things he does in this movie will be a talking point for a long time among moviegoers. Both Leo and Brad should be nominated for Oscars and I would love to see one of them bring home the gold.

Going in I thought this would heavily lean on the Mason murders and Sharon Tate, but that’s not what this movie is about, like at all. It’s a sub-plot that comes to a whirlwind of a conclusion in the last 20 minutes, but this is a movie about two friends who happen to fall in the middle of something. Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate was great. She isn’t given a lot to do or say, but it doesn’t mean she’s not a force when she’s on-screen. She’s so full of life and joy and brings such a ray of sunshine in every scene she’s in, that at times you forget about the horrific fate that she received. I can’t say anymore because knowing what I know now, and what I thought this movie was going to be about, were two totally different things, and I’m so glad this movie was marketed the way it was.

You really do feel that you’re being transported back to 1969 because every last detail in this thing is spot on. Another crowning achievement from Quentin. The cinematography, the colours, costumes, even the radio ads that you hear while our characters drive were apparently the exact radio ads being played that day in Los Angeles. Now if that isn’t dedication to your craft I don’t know what is. All of that, plus this insane cast of people, giving classic Tarantino performances, where you have this 8-year-old girl explaining in the movie to Leo, about her craft and why she can’t eat lunch because it messes with the way she acts, is so damn good. Julia Butters, an 8-year-old, blows Leo off the screen for 5 minutes and then you realize it’s because Tarantino is better than anyone at getting the most out of his cast. He writes dialogue almost better than anyone.

This is Quentin’s love letter to Hollywood, a place that he adores and admires, and it shows through his work. This is, without doubt, the most personal and compassionate thing he’s ever made. You never know what you’re getting when you walk into a Tarantino film, and you certainly don’t know how you’ll feel when you walk out. I was stunned and thrilled by what I watched, and this is certainly so far my favourite film of 2019.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood = 94/100


New ‘Ad Astra’ Trailer

Liv Tyler needs to stop being involved with people that go on dangerous space explorations.

It feels so good to have “movie star” Brad Pitt back in our lives doesn’t it? When was the last time he was even involved in a movie with this much magnitude? Everything about James Grays Ad Astra is simply stunning.

Can we all just stop and appreciate some of the visuals we are getting in this trailer. Gun fights in space, you now have our absolute attention. The whole thing feels so large in scale, yet so mysterious. We haven’t even really seen Tommy Lee Jones in the flesh in either trailer just in a video recording and he is the focal point of the mystery. Just two phenomenal actors working as father and son, I know if they get to share the screen together, Pitt and Jones are going to crush it.

Now can we as a population not make this 2019’s First Man. Another great and beautiful space movie that no one decided to see. I guess you can debate who can carry a film better Pitt or Gosling, but the world needs more great space movies and in order for that to happen, they need to succeed at the box-office. So that’s make that happen, because Ad Astra looks special.

Hits theatres September 20th!


‘The Kings Man’ Trailer

Matthew Vaughn is bringing this franchise back to its roots. A sleek and stylish trailer, that appears to be a step up from the Kingsman sequel.

Who knew that we needed a Kingsman prequel. I’m sure not many people asked for it. After the success of the first, yes fans wanted more Eggsy and Harry Hart. The Golden Circle was a let down to say the least, I think Vaughn let this franchise get away from itself a little bit. With too much style, not enough substance.

Well now here we are, the first trailer for the prequel, the telling of what seems to be the origin for how the Kingsman came to be. Vaughn has one of the best sense of action, and its on display here in the trailer. Much like the previous two films, it focuses on over the top, slow motion action, but it always works so well. This feels and looks a little more grounded and definitely less colourful, but seeing the time and setting of the film, it makes perfect sense.

The cast is just incredible, a ton of star power and just terrific actors. Ralph Fiennes, who could be playing the founder of Kingsman, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Matthew Goode, Daniel Bruhl and Rhys Ifans, with many more. I’m hoping the really go deep on why the Kingsman came to be and hopefully have some tie ins with our cast in present day.

Overall a solid first glimpse at what appears to be a great rebond from a movie that is all but forgotten.

Hits theatres in 2020!


‘The Lion King’ Review

It’s only a matter of time before Disney runs the world. The Lion King is fun for the whole family, but some people might have a hard time moving on from the flawless animated film.

After the murder of his father, a young lion prince flees his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery.

It’s official, the cash cow that is Disney has hacked the system. At this point, it’s almost becoming unfair that they have all these properties and for the foreseeable future we will be getting “live action” adaptations of all the animated Disney classics. When Jon Favreau decided he wanted to take a break from directing Iron Man and throw his hat in the ring with The Jungle Book, at that time it was, his words, the most technological advances movie ever made. The visuals were stunning, and on top of that, he managed to capture and bring the jungle to life. Now here we are, he’s tackling yet another classic and to some, the greatest Disney film to date. The Lion King, the movie that made every single human being on earth cry. So pure, so perfect, it’s hard to imagine anything but the original. How can you improve on something that is already perfect?

What an opening, it’s almost frame for frame with the animated classic and you’re instantly shot up with a dose of nostalgia and transported to a time where things were much easier in your life. Right off the bat, you realize how spectacular the visuals are within this film. Sometimes it’s so lifelike you forget that you’re watching a movie and not the discovery channel. The biggest concern I think people have going into the new Lion King is comparing it to the original. Now, it’s extremely difficult to compare something that is animated to something that is supposed to be lifelike. You can’t capture the same emotions and colours and overall essence that can go into animation. The world is essentially your oyster when it comes to creating something that is animated. If you can separate to two, I believe you can totally enjoy this. But if you sit down and dislike this movie because it’s not as bright and as colourful and these characters don’t have as much life in them, you will miss out on a movie that is so incredible and so much fun, it will be something you will regret.

Much like the original, the voice acting is perfect. The voices match their counterparts so well, and at times it’s mind-blogging how well they cast this movie. John Oliver in particular as Zazu was so fantastic, that every time that bird opens his mouth you can’t help but giggle. There is so much star power sprinkled throughout the film, which helps carry it. Seth Rogan and Bill Eichner as everyone’s favourites Timon and Pumbaa. Who have a lot more to say in this, which only makes sense? They add to the script quite a bit, because whenever you adapt something that is animated the run time will always increase. With everything that is added feels necessary and doesn’t over bloat the film at all, and it all just comes off as very natural.

As for the musical numbers, they’re great. When you have talents like Donald Glover and Beyoncé singing songs in your movie, it’s going to work out. They seemed like they had a ton of fun voicing these characters. The best musical number was “I Can’t Wait To Be King” where that felt like the most cartoonish sequence in the film. It was by far the most colourful and fun moment of the movie because people tend to forget that the second half of The Lion King is pretty dark and bleak. A lot of criticism will be placed on how much joy and fun are packed into the original and this doesn’t capture that. In fact, there is hardly any colour throughout the film, but it’s supposed to be lifelike. Animals don’t interact and look the way they do in animation and I think it’s so unfair to Favreau and everyone involved. Instead, the focus should once again be on the level of achievement on bringing something like this to life and making you feel like you’re watching real-life animals talk to one another.

The biggest flaw within the movie is the level of emotional attachment to the characters you feel. Since they themselves can express all of the emotions an animator can draw, it’s hard to feel the same level of weight during those scenes that pull at your heartstrings. For instance the stampede sequence. It just doesn’t come across the same in a heart-crushing manner.

This is going to divide fans alike and be so decisive. It’s an enjoyable time at the movies. It’s chalk full of great laughs, no thanks to Seth Rogan and John Oliver, the visuals are some of the best I’ve ever seen and the voice acting is spot on. Just like our little friends Timon and Pumbaa tell us. “You gotta put the past behind ya.” So if you can’t move on from what is one of the best and most precious animated Disney films of all time, then this movie will have a hard time sitting well with you. But if you can move on and take this for what it is, there’s no way you don’t walk out of that theatre satisfied.

The Lion King 75/100


‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Review

Once again Tom Holland shines as the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man, in an overall enjoyable MCU experience

It’s been quite the year for Marvel and all of their fans. People are still recovering from the events that unfolded in Avengers: Endgame, much like the very heroes that star in the movie. One of those heroes is Tom Holland and his excellent portrayal of Peter Parker aka Spider-Man. Losing someone close to you is never easy, and losing someone who gifted you the responsibility to be the next lead Avenger, even worse. So you can only imagine how Peter is feeling after the death of his friend and his mentor Tony Stark at the end of Endgame. It’s hit him pretty hard, and Peter is looking forward to being a regular teenager this summer and chasing girls and touring Europe with his best friend. You know that’s never the case when you’re a superhero and before Peter knows it, his summer vacation is being hijacked by Nick Fury himself as he is on deck once again to save the world from total annihilation.

Much like Spider-Man Homecoming, this feels very much like a high school teen comedy mixed with ith a superhero movie. I’ll start off by saying I do enjoy this incarnation of the character, but at times I wish it felt a little more mature like the Sam Raimi version because I do believe at times that’s what’s missing from these films. That being said, I love Tom Holland in this role and think he’s doing such a fantastic job, but at times, I wish they would pull back on the immature material. I hope the next solo Spider-Man movie can make a little bit of a time jump so we can see him in a mature relationship with MJ and deal with being a superhero as well as tackling the complications of being an adult.

Jon Watts who directed Homecoming once again does a fantastic job at capturing the essence of this character all while showing us stuff we’ve never encountered in the 6 other solo Spider-Man movies. This time around Peter is battling wits with Quintin Beck aka Mysterio. Most known for having a giant fishbowl on his head. A goofy villain, to say the least, the master of illusion, but when he’s being played by Jake Gyllenhaal, well it’s a home-run, to say the least. Michael Keaton’s Vulture was an adult and I think it’s awesome to see the difference in age with these villains. They could easily make them closer to Peters’s age, but I rather enjoy seeing him do battle with grown men. I won’t really go into much of Mysterio because that will be spoiling the movie, but he’s awesome and is involved in the best Spider-Man sequence we have ever gotten in a movie. He was a really fun villain to see come to life and I hope we get to see more of him in the future. Peter turns immediately to Quintin to replace the mentor role in his life when he believes he is a hero and sees what he saw in Tony. Tom and Jake had terrific chemistry together and I honestly wish somehow Mysterio didn’t end up being a bad guy because Jake is such a great actor and it would have been a cool spin on the character if he was good and became part of the larger MCU picture. Sharing a similar backstory as the Vulture, a disgruntled former employee of Stark Industries, I feel like people will either hate this or love it. Tying in Tony, to Peter villains is a nice new spin on them, and it makes Tony still relèvent in his life. You have to remember that this Spider-Man joined a large universe where Tony Stark was the centerpiece of that universe. It only makes sense to combine his world and Peters.

Zendaya and her portrayal of MJ is top-notch. She matches Peters’s awkwardness to perfection, I just want to see this at a little more mature nature, but overall Tom and Zendaya are right alongside Tobey and Kristin and Andrew and Emma for the Spider-Man power couple. This whole Spider-Man universe is so far removed from anything we’ve really seen before it, I can understand why some fans might be upset. But when you’ve gotten two iterations of Spider-Man before this version, I think it’s not only necessary to switch things up, but it’s very refreshing. At the end of this movie, something happens that you’ll either love or actually despise because just the way the character is built and has been put in front of us since 2000 might make you scratch your head.

Overall, this is just another solid outing from Tom and the entire cast, with some stellar visuals, a really great villain, played by one of the best actors in Hollywood and we got to witness the best Spider-Man sequence in a movie. They build on Peters’s story really well, with what was built in Homecoming and everything that occurred in the last two Avengers movies. There’s so much that’s going to be explored with this character and Tom Holland is going to be Spider-Man for the next 10 years. I’m throwing it out there right now. I want Rob McElhenney as Venom or Dacre Montgomery both would be perfect. Hopefully, McElhenney, let’s make that happen Marvel.

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Spider-Man: Far From Home = 83/100


‘Knives Out’ Trailer

Well isn’t this just refreshing after a terrible summer blockbuster season.

Finally! The wait is finally over. The trailer for the highly anticipated Knives Out, directed by Rian Johnson is here. Name a famous person, go ahead, name any famous person and I bet they are in this movie. What a cast! This is one of the best all around casts I’ve ever seen. So much talent across the board, all bringing their own sense of style and personality to the table.

After their father mysteriously dies on his 85th birthday played by the legend Christopher Plummer, it’s up to a few detectives to solve the case. We have a whodunit on our hands! I can’t believe Rian Johnson stoke this idea from Adam Sandler, kidding, but kind of a cooky coincidence that we are getting two murder mysteries in a 5th month span. Obviously this one will be much better. Rian Johnson the man behind The Last Jedi and one of the most underrated movies of this decade, Looper.

The cast alone, which is way to many people to name should bring audiences to the theatres, and Johnson’s great track record should help as well. I feel like trailers for these sorts of movies are hard to pull off because you can’t show too much and don’t want to spoil anything. For being a nurse mystery, there was an awful lot of humour within the trailer and it all landed pretty well. Everyone involved is just so talented I can’t see this being a complete mess or a misstep on Johnson’s part.

See for yourself. Hits theatres November 27th.


‘Toy Story 4’ Review

Toy Story has a legit chance at holding the franchise championship belt after this latest outing.

When a new toy called “Forky” joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy

You’ve got a friend in me. Those lyrics immediately hit you right in the feels. Much like this entire film franchise. Pixar and this misfit gang of toys have always packed an emotional punch. Everyone’s favourite collection of toys is back, it’s been 9 years since Toy Story 3, which I can’t believe. It kind of feels like yesterday that we all watched those toys almost become nothing but melted plastic. Remember how crippling that scene was? Seriously, 9 whole years, it’s shocking really, that Pixar can create 4 movies over the span of almost 30 years and still have the attention of essentially the entire world.

We all know that Pixar tends to deal with adult themes in their movies. They are meant and made for children, but they can touch on some serious deep-rooted themes and emotions. Toy Story 4 is no different. In fact, it could very well be the most adult film they have ever made. The soul of the movie is Bonnie creates a new toy in class and names it Forky, voiced by the talented Tony Hale. Once Woody meets Forky, he immediately does not understand why he was created and feels like he had no decision in this matter and he feels like trash. Forky doesn’t know his purpose in life and feels that Bonnie created him without his consent. That’s some serious and heavy stuff right there folks. So Woody is trying to teach Forky the meaning of being a toy and how important it is that he is there for Bonnie because he’s the most important thing in her life right now. You see, Woody has been sidelined with Bonnie, being left in the closet during playtime, so even Woody himself doesn’t know what his purpose in life is anymore. If he can’t be there for his kid, what is his purpose? When he meets Forky and discovers just how much Bonnie needs him to get through a difficult time in her life, he ultimately makes it his mission to protect and care for Forky at all costs.

When Bonnie and her family hit the road for a family road trip, Forky and Woody end up getting separated from Buzz and the rest of the gang. Let me be clear, this is Woody’s swan song, this is his movie. Yes, the Toy Story films have always been centered around Woody, but this installment, I felt even Buzz was being sidelined a bit. When Woody and Forky stumble upon Bo Peep who was sent away 9 years prior, some new feelings start to arise in Woody. For the first time in his life, he is contemplating what being a toy is truly about. Bo Peep lets him know just how wonderful being a lost toy can be, and you don’t need to be attached to a child to have a purpose in your life.

Buzz meets a few new toys himself, while he is trying to find his “inner voice” he meets Ducky (Keegan Michael-Key) and Bunny (Jordan Peele) without doubt the standouts of the film. From the very first trailer, you knew these two guys were going to be coming in hot, and they didn’t disappoint! I’m sure we will get a future spin-off because their voice work was so well done, and their friendship and chemistry in the movie made every scene they were in hilarious. One in particular, where they are giving ideas on how to retrieve a key from an old lady. Also, everyone’s favourite Canadian Keanu Reeves voices stuntman Duke Kaboom, who is also a highlight in the film.

This film seems smaller from previous incarnations, the hour and 40 minutes really flies by. It’s simple, the toys are trying to reunite Bonnie and Forky while all learning lessons along the way. Some of the minor characters barely have lines in the film. More like they are just in the background, because like I mentioned this is Woody’s film. It’s dealing with serious subjects and that’s why it felt more mature and at times there is hardly any humor. But when the humour arrives, it really knocks you on your butt.

It’s hard to say if this will finally be the final outing for these toys, but they introduced so many fantastic new ones, including the film’s villain/ sympathetic figure Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks). That seems almost impossible we won’t be seeing some sort of spin-off or in another decade a Toy Story 5. But even the last line of the movie makes you believe that this was it for Tim Allen and Tom Hanks. If it is, it’s been one incredible journey and if not, well I can’t wait to see where they go next.

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Toy Story 4 = 89/100


‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ Trailer

We’ve got Dwayne Johnson pretending and acting like Danny DeVito. Just take all of our money now.

Remember when this came out a few years back and was actually really fun and entertaining. Mostly due to the stellar cast and hilarious new concept of the film? Well, they are running it back, but this time, everything isn’t as what it appears.

Continuing on from our last adventure, we have Spencer feeling a little bit lonely, and missing his friends. So when he stumbles upon the broken Jumanji game, he is sucked back into the world of Jumanji, where everything is essentially trying to kill you. Here’s the thing though, this time around, some true legends and veterans in Danny Glover and Danny DeVito are joining in on the fun. DeVito is placed inside Dwayne’s body and Glover is being placed in Kevin Hart’s body.

The big reason why this works so well is the cast. Jack Black and Karen Gillan shined in the first, and they really carried much of the comedic load. No surprise here, everyone is back and they look like they all have the most amount of fun making these movies. That can go along way in helping your movie seem more authentic and overall just more entertaining. Martha is the only one who goes back into their previous body from the first where everyone else is trapped inside a new body. We don’t even get to see where Spencer and Bethany end up. So expect so awesome twists and turns and maybe even a few surprise cameos that we aren’t aware of yet.

This was a fantastic first look at the new Jumanji, they seem like they haven’t skipped a beat. Hits theatres December 13th!


Toronto Raptors – What It All Means

So much salami and cheese

Wow. They actually did it. The Toronto Raptors are NBA World Champions. Still has a weird ring to it. It’s even weirder typing that out. So I’ll say it again, the Toronto Raptors are World Champions. Canada hasn’t tasted victory this sweet since the “Golden Goal.” It hasn’t won a professional championship since 93. In 93′ if someone were to tell you that a basketball franchise would win the next big 4 title for Canada, you would be ridiculed to no avail. In 93′ Canada didn’t even have an NBA team, let alone the sport itself was still a baby in this country. My god, how the sport and this team have grown since the turn of the century. Hockey is something that Canada is known for around the globe, it’s part of who we are as a nation, but watching this country come together to support a team and a sport that quite frankly isn’t for everyone was truly something special. Basketball is now the second biggest sport in the world, and I believe it’s closing in on soccer to become number 1.

It took just a mere 24 years, seems like a life time, and for some fans it’s honestly longer than that. As for this guy, well I’ve been around long enough to remember Isaiah Thomas running through that Raptors logo, as our first ever GM. Or even when they announced the name of this beloved organization. Shout out to Steven Spielberg for making dinosaurs cool again in 1993 with Jurassic Park. If I could pick one person to not be my first ever GM I think Isaiah would be pretty close to the top of that list. A dog on the court, one of the best pure PG’s the league has ever seen. But when it comes to anything other than his basketball talents, the man was kind of a train wreck. Some could argue he was the worst GM in the history of the NBA with his combined efforts in Toronto and New York.

It was kind of a rocky start to the franchise. Playing out of the Skydome, no one knew anything about Canada and even our team name “the Raptors” was mocked. It took a few years to get going, the highlight in the beginning was beating MJ’s Bulls in the season they went 72-10. Kind of a sad highlight reel if you ask me. Then something changed. It was the night of the 1998 NBA draft and the Raptors had the 4th overall pick and selected Antawn Jamison from the university of UNC. A great college player no doubt, but his teammate at UNC went one pick later to Golden State, Mr. Vince Carter. We swapped picks with Golden State and everyone knows the rest. VC or Air Canada himself put the team and this country on his back and on the map. If you’re old enough to remember where you were during the 2000 dunk contest. It’s one of the most memorable nights in the history of the game. We all watched perfection occur in midair. Something else happened that year too. Our first trip to the NBA playoffs. Standing in our way. The New York Knicks, who were kind of basketball royalty at that time, I know that’s so strange to hear, but coming off a finals appearance, the Raptors got their asses kick and were swept out of the first round 3 games to none. Not to mention Vince was a deer caught in the headlights for the entire series. Do you all remember how bad VC was in that first playoff series? I remember because my father I think lost his voice every few days from yelling at the television so much. Back in the day where we hardly got any NBA games broadcasted here in Canada. A time before NBA league pass, all we really got to see was Christmas Day games, the playoffs and the Raptors. It’s weird. I’ll never forget that first playoff run, because maybe it was how close to the television me and my dad would sit and it was the first time, as a country and fans that we all thought “this could really happen for us someday.” Raps get eliminated, T-Mac goes to Orlando and Butch Carter gets fired (thank god). True story about Butch. He tried to sue Marcus Camby during the 2000 playoffs. That’s right a coach tried to sue a former player and this was making headlines when we WERE TRYING TO COMPETE IN OUR FIEST PLAYOFF SERIES

The following year, VC becomes a superstar, arguably the most entertaining basketball player on planet Earth, and we made it back to the playoffs. Standing in our way yet again, the New York Knicks. 5 games later, the Toronto Raptors had won their very first playoff series. Pure bliss, we had beaten the Knicks in a playoff series and were now going to face Allen Iverson and the Sixers. We all know what happens next. Game 7 arrives, VC decides to attend his graduation at UNC that morning, and misses a shot at the buzzer to propel us into the ECF against the Bucks. Everything changed after that……..

Injuries pile up on Vince, he starts to feel the pressure, he starts to not have fun anymore playing basketball for Toronto. “I don’t wanna dunk anymore.” An actual quote from the greatest dunker the game has ever seen. It was a messy breakup, but one that had to happen. We shipped him off to our rival the New Jersey Nets for essentially a basket of muffins. Not. Fun. Times.

We’ve had arguably a few of the worst head coaches in the history of the league. Some of the worst draft picks. Like this franchise was laughable. But at the time so was the city. They both have come far in the last 15 years. Toronto has made some history with coaches, we’ve had coaches that have gone on to never ever have head coaching jobs again in this league. Do you know how difficult that is? Coaches are recycled yearly, but some of ours were so bad, all it took was one job. Darrell Walker and Kevin O’Neil, remember Kevin O’Neil, aka Larry David. The Raptors had Larry David for a head coach at one point in history. We drafted, Andrea Bargnani, Rafael Araujo, Charlie Villanueva, Aleksandar Radojevic. How could this team build any sort of fondation when we were the laughing stock of the draft? No free agents wanted to come here, Toronto wasn’t even cool yet. It was so hard to get going after VC left because the Raptors were simply the worst run organization in the NBA. Until we got Bosh and DeRozan nothing was happening within this team. Bosh was just wasted as a Raptor and I never faulted him or any other star for wanting out. Toronto wasn’t ready to handle a star and it’s not the city it is today. They all helped pave the way for this moment and we should be thanking them. We hated on VC for far too long, and I was even apart of that in the beginning. It’s time to just accept our past and now move towards an even brighter future.

Then it all changed. Masai Ujiri decided to take his talents from Denver to Toronto and that’s when everything started to happen. We drafted better, go back and look at our draft picks from 2012 onward. Every single player is still a relevant NBA rotational player. Even Bruno sprouted his wings this year in Memphis. Ujiri didn’t just change the team, he transformed the culture. His biggest move was simply. Trading Rudy Gay and keeping Lowry. THEY WERE GOING TO TANK FOR ANDREW FUCKING WIGGINS. Could you imagine watching Wiggins and DeMar shoot long 2s for years on end. If that would have happened, I don’t know what kind of shape my life would be in regards to me being a Raptors fan. We didn’t trade him and that year. That year was game 7 against Brooklyn and who took the shot at the end of the game.? It wasn’t DeMar……

The day and moment I pinpoint this whole organization changing is January 27th, 2014. The Raptors were on the road in Brooklyn and they were down 1. Remember this game? Patrick Patterson steals the inbounds and we get to go ahead layup? That moment, that game, changed the entire season. It built so much confidence in this newly built team post Rudy Gay trade, and it impacted the standings where the Nets never caught the Raptors in the end and we ended up winning our first Division Title in a long time. All the playoff success, I call it success. Would you rather not make the playoffs, be the Charlotte’s, the Knicks and the Sacramento’s of the world? We went to the playoffs year after year and have some pretty good runs. It just wasn’t ever enough. We were never enough….

Someone had to go. Something had to be done. One day we all woke up and DeMar DeRozan had been traded to the Spurs for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. Kawhi Leonard, the cyborg, one of the best players in the NBA, a finals MVP. He was now apart of our team, and a man who we watched grow up before our eyes and shaped this franchise into an almost contender. It was bittersweet to watch DeMar leave our team. We needed a change and we needed a makeover. So Masai dumped coach of the year Dwayne Casey and DeMar DeRozan. He scarified them to the basketball gods, in order to acquire two new gods. Nick Nurse a basketball prodigy, who was a player coach at the age of 23. Young enough where he wasn’t even able to drive the team van. On that team, Masai Ujiri. The other, Kawhi Leonard himself. The superstar who was forgotten by everyone. A man who was single handedly destroying the Golden State Warriors in the WCF before his devastating ankle injury. Things didn’t end perfectly with the Spurs, and Masai saw that as potential. Potential to acquire one of the best two-way players this game has ever seen for our most loyal soldier. As heartbreaking as it was to some, it turned out to be the greatest trade in NBA history, and perhaps sports history depending on if Kawhi decides to stay or not. Having one of the most dominant playoff runs ever, Toronto finally got to experience what it feels like to have a legit “superstar” on their roster. Something that is very rare in sports. I embraced every single second of Kawhi this post-season, in fact with about 20 games left in the regular season, I just wanted the playoffs to get here because I knew we wouldn’t see Kawhi fully unleashed until the playoffs.

The Raptors won a title and we are in the drivers seat to resign one of the games most dominant players, have a young stud in Pascal Siakim getting better each passing day and it cements Lowry as the greatest Raptor of all time. We ended one of the greatest dynasties ever. It wasn’t LeBron who took down the Warriors it was the Baby Dino’s. The team that was built this year was one for the record books. Not one top ten drafted player. Could be the first time in NBA history.

I don’t know about you, but like Drake said, this whole thing has me thinking “back to back”


‘Ad Astra’ Trailer

In the year 2019, Brad Pitt is not only conquering Hollywood, but he’s also conquering space.

It’s been on people’s radars for 2019, but we finally got our first look at James Gray follow up to The Lost City of Z with Ad Astra. It’s Brad Pitt in space, need I say more?

Everyone and I mean everyone loves a great space movie, it’s something about the unknown that captivates people’s minds. Ad Astra proves to be no different, in fact, it’s adding a little extra layer to the space genre where we have some sort of mystery and a missing father going on. Roy McBride (Pitt) became an astronaut for one reason, his father Clifford, who is being played by Tommy Lee Jones. Unfortunately for Roy his Dad has disappeared in a mission that was exploring the outer edges of our solar system. Turns out that dear old Dad might just not be dead after all, and is not only alive, but could be the secret to unlocking a mystery to could threaten human life as we know it.

It’s basically a whodunit in space.

What draws an audience to a space film is the visuals and judging from the trailer, they seem rather impressive. Parts of this trailer have off a pretty large Gravity vibe, while other smaller bits had that Life, Contact vibe. This is a space movie that will be exploring potential extraterrestrial life. It’s just not about space exportation. Ad Astra will definitely contain more than meets the eye, and anything space and anything Brad Pitt should get people excited.

I’m officially starting the petition to get Leonardo DiCaprio in a space movie. He’s the only handsome Hollywood star left not to go. Damon, Clooney, Pitt and Affleck have all been. It’s time to get Leo into space!

Ad Astra hits theatres September 20th!