3 Fantastic Family Resort Vacations

 

3 Fantastic Family Resort Vacations

By Burt Carey

When mom and dad need a break, so do the kids. Finding just the right balance of kid-friendly and adult activities, hundreds of resorts across the United States have geared up to make your next family vacation just as peaceful or energizing as you want.

family destinations, resort vacations, Amelia Island, Ojai, Port St. Lucie, Florida, fun in the sun

As you make travel plans for the coming summer, you might want to consider these three world-class destinations.

Club Med Sandpiper Bay

Port St. Lucie, Florida

Two- and three-story bungalows are spread throughout Club Med’s Sandpiper Bay, plus another 310 rooms and 27 suites in the St. Lucie River House. Programs are age-appropriate for kids aged 4 months to 13 years. All of this is situated just about a two-hour drive north from Miami.

Staff counselors here are carefully selected and must be at least 21 years of age. Activities at the lone all-inclusive Club Med in the continental U.S. include tennis, beach volleyball, golf, bocce ball, basketball, table tennis and sailing. There’s also a huge water park and four lifeguard-attended swimming pools. Kids camps are operated year-round with day and evening sessions. There’s late-night group childcare available along with dive-in movies, and teens can go to Latitude 27, a supervised club experience.

Adults can enjoy luxuries such as an adults-only pool, the Club Med Spa by L’Occitane, deep-sea fishing, riverboat cruises and golf.

If you’re not sure the kids will have enough to do, children ages 4 and older can attend Circus School, where they lean to walk a tightrope and fly through the air on a trapeze while comfortably and safely harnessed. Other activities include a hip-hop dance program for kids 4 and older, a happy gym for toddlers, and an opportunity to play musical instruments and listen to international music.

The Ritz-Carlton

Amelia Island, Florida

Located on a grand stretch of pristine coastline, the Ritz-Carlton at Amelia Island in northern Florida is the perfect resort for families to reconnect. The kids will love it right from the get-go. They can learn all about the fun activities at the check-in desk while they enjoy a complimentary cookie.

What was once a pirate harbor on a barrier island is now a bustling vacation destination with water sports and beach activities sure to make every family member smile. Child counselors here don pirate and princess costumes to tell stories and host sing-alongs by bonfire. They also host pirate hayrides and puppet shows. One family trip you’ll want to take is the five-mile boat ride to Cumberland Island National Seashore to see the wild horses that live there.

The resort’s base is a U-shaped building with 47 suites, three specialty suites, and 446 rooms, all with an ocean view and a private balcony.

While the kids play, adults can indulge in sunrise tai chi on the beach, play on a championship golf course, and then relax for a romantic evening next to a portable clay fireplace called a chiminea.

You’ll fondly remember your time at Amelia Island by taking home a complimentary 8×10 family photo.

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

Ojai, California

Dating to the 1920s, the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa has been a retreat for Southern Californians for generations. This is the place to go when you want to combine luxury with an enriching experience for every member of the family.

Camp Oak provides kid-friendly activities for ages 4 through 12 such as bike riding, fishing, dive-in movies at the Pixie Pool, and themed programs at Undersea Adventures and the Camp Oak Laboratory. Teens here enjoy rock climbing, geo-caching, surfing and golfing. The property also has an 800-acre ranch and stables, featuring a big red barn and silo, a petting farm and 36 horses. Wranglers take kids on pony rides.

The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa sits on 220 acres surrounded by mountains 35 miles south of Santa Barbara. It has 19 buildings with courtyards and walkways. The 305 guestrooms and suites are restored to their original Spanish Colonial style. Accommodations are residential in style with contemporary décor. The Olivella dining experience celebrates fresh California produce. There’s also The Oak, Wallace Neff Bar, Jimmy’s Pub and the Spa Café.

As you would expect from a family resort, mom and dad can sneak away for some time of their own. The property has four luxury pools; the Indigo Pool & Bar is for adults only and boasts of a luxurious environment for pure relaxation. Mom is going to love the 31,000-square-foot Spa Ojai, and one or both parents can play the 18-hole championship golf course.

Image:  Ritz-Carlton

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

Saudi Economic Moves Indicate Oil Prices Will Stay Low Into 2016

 

Saudi Economic Moves Indicate Oil Prices Will Stay Low Into 2016

By Burt Carey

Saudi Arabia’s budget moves this week signaled the kingdom’s willingness to allow low oil prices to remain in place into 2016.

Oil prices, Saudi Aribia, OPEC, Aramco, cheaper crude pricesIn a news conference Monday, Saudi Aramco Chairman Khalid al-Falih indicated that the Saudi Arabian government’s choice is to allow surplus oil to remain in the market, keeping the cost of crude at levels not seen in more than a decade. The kingdom will cut domestic spending and energy subsidies to maintain its share of the world oil market. Aramco is the world’s largest state-run oil company.

“We see the market balancing sometime in 2016,” Falih said. “We see demand ultimately exceeding supply and soaking up a lot of the excess inventory, and prices in due course will respond regardless of when and by how much.”

“We don’t see any changes to Saudi Arabia’s oil policy in the context of oil production,” said Energy Aspects analyst Amrita Sen. “The budget changes suggest they are expecting oil prices to stay low for some time and the reforms are a small step toward addressing that.”

In response, the Saudi budget for 2016 calls for spending just 840 billion riyals (about 224 billion US dollars). It spent 975 billion riyals in 2015, the equivalent of about $260 billion in US currency. Domestically, Saudi Arabia’s budget deficit in 2015 was about 367 billion riyals. Government officials aim to cut that deficit to 326 billion riyals in 2016.

Saudi Arabia pushed the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to flood the world’s oil market with excess crude in 2015 and was behind the organization’s decision in early December to continue the trend. Crude oil is currently trading at its lowest prices since 2004.

“Over the last year we have seen the down cycle in the oil markets have a significant impact on both supply and demand,” Falih said. “Supply has plateaued in North America and started declining by significant amounts and we expect that to continue or perhaps accelerate in 2016. Saudi Arabia more than anyone else has the capacity to wait out the market until this balancing takes place.”

The price of Brent crude, which traded at $115 per barrel in June 2014, was about $36.85 a barrel Tuesday.

cc.largeImage: Dana Robinson

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

Cal’s Jared Goff Breaks Pac-12 Passing, TD Records

 

Cal’s Jared Goff Breaks Pac-12 Passing, TD Records

By Burt Carey

Quarterback Jared Goff threw for six touchdowns and 467 yards to lead the California Bears past Air Force 55-36 in the Armed Forces Bowl Tuesday at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas.

Jared Goff, TD Records, California Bears, 2016 NFL draft picksWhat a way for a college quarterback to punch his ticket into the NFL, if that’s what the junior signal caller chooses to do. You can bet there were plenty of NFL scouts watching his performance.

Goff’s crazy 2015 season pushed his season total to 43 touchdowns, passing the record 42 TDs set by Oregon’s Marcus Mariota last year. And his 4,719 yards for the season eclipsed the 4,662-yard record set by Sean Mannion. He also holds the school record for pass completions in a season at 341.

The numbers would easily make Goff a heavy favorite as one of the first picks in the 2016 NFL draft. His credentials are even more impressive when Goff’s numbers are compared to the last great quarterback to come out of Cal, Steve Bartkowski. All Bartkowski did is pass for 2,580 yards in his final season with the Bears. The Atlanta Falcons selected him No. 1 in the 1975 NFL draft and promptly signed him to the biggest contract in league history at the time.

Oh, and there’s another quarterback to come out of Berkeley you might have heard of: Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay Packers fame. He was selected No. 24 overall in the 2005 NFL draft, led the Pack to victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, and was the league MVP in 2011. Goff’s 467 passing yards in the Armed Forces Bowl is also a school bowl record, besting Rodgers’ mark of 394 yards.

Mariota was selected No. 2 overall by the Tennessee Titans in this year’s NFL draft. Mannion, from Oregon State, wasn’t selected until the third round of the 2015 draft by the St. Louis Rams.

At 6’4”, 215 pounds, some football analysts believe Goff should play his senior year for Cal and get bigger and stronger before making his professional debut. Goff hasn’t indicated yet whether he’ll return for his senior season.

Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun was singing Goff’s praises following the Armed Forces Bowl: “The amount of protection changes, route changes — he sees leverage of defenders, run-pass options. Pretty unique skill set.”

 

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

Eco-Documentary Offering Solution for World’s Water Shortage Out on DVD

 

SlingShot

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Eco-Documentary Offering Solution for World’s Water Shortage Out on DVD

Dean Kamen is a genius inventor from the R. Buckminster Fuller school of design science, meaning his mission in life is less to maximize profits than to create gadgets to enhance the quality of life of the least of his brethren. Until now, he is probably best known as the Eco-Documentary Offering Solution for World's Water Shortage Out on DVDcreator of the Segway, the self-balancing two-wheeler which was supposed to supersede both the car and the bicycle in mass popularity.

Dean’s new gizmo is the SlingShot, a water purification system he hopes will afford all of humanity access to potable drinking water. The machine is basically a vapor compression distiller capable of extracting pure H2O from everything from urine to sludge to seawater.

Thus, it should come in handy to billions all across the planet, since approximately 50% of illness comes as consequence of consumption of water borne pathogens. The only reason Dean hasn’t already delivered his lifesaving device to those in need is because of interference on the part of foot-dragging politicians and multinational corporations solely concerned with their bottom line.

Perhaps this optimistic documentary will inspire a grassroots effort on behalf of the miraculous godsend. Directed by Paul Lazarus, SlingShot divides its time between making infomercial-style sales pitches and weaving a reverential biopic. But whether focusing on  Dean’s eccentricities or on his latest pet project, the picture proves pretty fascinating from beginning to end.

A compelling character study of a likable do-gooder whose only regret is that he has but one life to devote to his fellow man.

Very Good (3 stars)

Unrated

Running time: 88 minutes

Distributor: Passion River

To see a trailer for SlingShot, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FlM9EEQfvU

To order a copy of SlingShot on DVD, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B015ZMV8S0/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Source:  Baret News

Top Ten DVD List for December 29, 2015

This Week’s DVD Releases

by Kam Williams

This Week's DVD Releases, Top Ten, December 29, 2015Top Ten DVD List for December 29, 2015 

 

The Barefoot Artist

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B017CIEZ62/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Bone Tomahawk

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B014HDTT84/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

The Perfect Guy

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0159OSQK2/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

A Bucket of Blood

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0171RC31I/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Shameless: The Complete Fifth Season

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B013JBJ8T0/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

A Walk in the Woods

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B015YYC4C8/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Slingshot

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B015ZMV8S0/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

The Dealers

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B013UY2DHA/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Like You Mean It

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0162CMIWC/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

The Bat

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0171RC3PE/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Source:  Baret News

What to do in 2016? Bring on the Green!

 

What to do in 2016?
Bring on the Green!

by Amy Lignor

 

As Christmas departs, some are left with a White Christmas that never happens (AKA: Snow in Roswell, NM? What?) And, soon, the next holiday will be upon us all. The clock will count down the last ten seconds, a mighty ball will fall, and we will cheer for the incoming year of 2016. All colors of fireworks will be shot into the sky, and one of those colors (green) should hit a chord within the minds of millions. In other words, they should realize that the slate is wiped clean on January 1st, 2016, and those who have not yet hopped aboard the “green” recycling train can do just that.

07dc156be1a78bcacab498183346cdca-da53badbeaffd076f89255ae2dfdeca3Yes, the New Year can become one of the best and brightest years for everyone, as they save energy, clean the environment, and realize that even doing the most minor of things can allow the planet to live a whole lot longer. The biggest resolution will most likely be that old “losing weight” theory that everyone wishes they can keep longer than they do. But what should be a very close second is finding ways to save the world for the next generation to come. And, yes, there are extremely easy ways to do just that. Another benefit? All of these save you cash.

So you wish to erase carbon footprints? Leave bottled water in the stores. Using an at-home filtering pitcher goes toward erasing the 1.5 million barrels of oil that is used to make plastic water bottles (yup, that much). Oil and water should not mix, so take oil out of the equation. Add in a reusable bottle for the on-the-go situations and you will always be prepared. The money saved? Depending on the brand you constantly buy, you will be saving anywhere from $800-$1500 a year along with saving the planet.

Stop with the Starbucks. Now, everyone knows Starbucks will not go out of business, nor will other merchants who sell coffee in those cups (with sleeves, mind you), that are thrown out each and every day overflowing landfills. An insulated mug with perhaps a coffee brand that supports our very own farmers saves the environment by reducing all that waste.

This one green idea has caught on and grown over the years, yet some still seem to forget that you need to use those 4527744948_f9a8a5452creusable bags. After all, that’s what they’re there for. One million+ plastic bags are being thrown in the trash (per minute, by the way). Taking your reusable bags with you to the store, however, is the easiest and most effective way to reduce your carbon footprint. So, remember, when you get back from the store and unpack everything, put the bags back into the car. That way, you never forget them.

Put together resolution one and two and get some exercise while saving the planet by taking the bike instead of the car for those short jaunts. You don’t have to be a super-lover-of-the-workout to do this; you can literally be lazy, if you want to. Those short trips, like picking up milk at the grocery store or meeting friends in the area for coffee – any trip that’s one or two miles at most, by using the bike, will save money on gas and provide a workout for you to increase your own better health. If you don’t have a bike, here’s a thought: walk.

No one says meat eaters have to turn into broccoli eaters. But what about taking meat out of your family’s diet for just two days a week? This will decrease your personal carbon footprint by about one-third of a ton, and meat-free meals are most definitely just as good. Don’t shake the head. What about pancakes, soups, veggie pizzas…and the list goes on.

And when it comes to really hitting big and erasing a whole lot of your carbon footprint, look at your technology. No. You don’t need to grab your cell phone and hold it to your chest as if someone is about to say throw it out. What I mean is that it takes less than a second for you to unplug the charger for your cell phone, but most don’t bother as they run out the door. There are power strips, people, for everything in your household. Just by plugging that charger into a power strip along with your TV, DVD player and even stereo, you will have a timer that will automatically shut them off overnight – taking care of that energy loss if you just happen to forget to unplug. The energy bill coming into your home will be cut as much as 10% per year, and you won’t have to do anything to achieve it.

Last but not least sounds like a much larger project, but worth it when it comes to saving massive amounts of cash. Switch to green power in your home. However, you do not have to make this a super-huge project. No solar panels have to be attached to the side of your home. Why not just call your local energy company and ask about “renewable options.” They will have some, and you will feel better about jumping aboard that “green” train that, in 2016, will hopefully become packed with passengers.

 

Happy New Year, Everyone!

 

Source:  Baret News

With the New Year Comes a Need for Fiction

 

With the New Year Comes a Need for Fiction

by Amy Lignor

 

America’s TV culture has changed over the past few decades. What used to be the mighty thirty-minute sitcom has mostly disappeared. And now, drama may be headed right down the very same path.

Jennifer Lopez, 2016, Shades of Blue,reality, sick of reality, Sherlock Holmes, Sci-fi, CBS, Fiction is inDon’t get me wrong. There will be those TV shows coming early in 2016 that will spotlight the men and women with badges who work far too hard and put their lives on the line. There is always at least one TV show to do just that. This time, there are even mega-stars already in the show, as opposed to unknowns who became household names because of their roles. It is Jennifer Lopez who will star in “Shades of Blue” in January. Perhaps it will end up that singing is the career she should concentrate on most, but viewers who are die-hard fans of those CSI’s, Law & Order’s, NCIS, etc., can become truly loyal to the “blue” once a new show begins. We’ll just have to wait and see on that one.

And, yes, there are gazillions of those supposed “reality shows” continuing to air on all stations. Of course, the reason these are loved so much is because they are as far from reality as you can possibly get. I think we all agree that the “real” housewives in any location have a very thin grasp on what “reality” actually is.

But what is the largest sector to have taken over the airwaves? And why? A sector that actually shows no signs of stopping anytime soon? Well, it’s absolute fiction. The distant lands; the characters that are found in the most famous novels of all time, yet have been resurrected and updated to become modern marvels. Maybe it is the power of “Star Wars” and that Millennium Falcon re-appearing once again to take flight, but the fantastical is what all Americans seem to want to grab and hold on to as tightly as possible. You can’t really blame the culture. Reality is everywhere, and people are sick of it.

Just think: when “Once Upon a Time” was offered up, most laughed. They thought it would be a dumb show aimed at their daughters, and nothing more. But adults ended up flocking to the show like birds needing sustenance – a welcome break from the real world.

Sherlock Holmes has never been as famous as he is now, yet he is actually played by an American actor. Watson is a woman, and their team has a dynamic that has made people fall in love with them. Another famous fictional character to become a huge fan favorite is Ichabod Crane on “Sleepy Hollow.” A sci-fi, no-way-that-would-happen storyline has old Ichabod on a new path that fans are drawn to, because it is a complete escape for the mind. “Sleepy Hollow” allows everyone to go “out there,” which is exactly where people want to be.

Sound too easy? Not at all. Think about this: when speaking of “out there,” FOX says that the truth still is, and millions of watchers are drooling over the fact that the team of Mulder and Scully will be back in business very soon. The “X-Files” returns, offering the completely hard-to-believe conspiracy theories that will have people glued to the TV. Proving once again that watching this “out there” fiction is taking the sting out of reality.

Jack Bauer in “24” was a thrill…at one time. FOX (the station that heralds “Sleepy Hollow” and the “X-Files”) always receive the most thrilled fan base because they think outside the box as often as possible. But in 2015/2016, “24” is too close to reality. It was action-packed – it was the bad guy getting his due delivered by the hand of one person. Unfortunately, terrorism is now an everyday occurrence, making “24” a show that would be too hard to sell now.

So…since FOX wants a bad guy who is completely unbelievable, they are tossing out Lucifer to the nation. Seems a funny Lucifer will be that next bad guy fans fall in love with. Why? Because this is one “bad guy” who we know. He is not a terrorist. He will be portrayed as more of a pain who likes to get into trouble, which is fiction we can stand.

And the “good” side of things will even get their own naughty character in 2016. An angel who likes to spout perfect sarcasm played by an actress that is sorely missed on TV. God knows CBS needs a real hit, and Jane Lynch of “West Wing” fame is certainly the woman who can bring it to them, playing an angel named Amy who is bound and determined to make herself known to viewers.

Bottom line, people are tired. They do not need more drama in their daily lives. And ending the work day by sitting down in front of the TV and watching news that makes most everyone sick, just to then watch more drama, will not be the path for 2016.

The culture has spoken: Fiction is in.

 

Source:  Baret News

Eagerly-Anticipated Sequel Proves Well Worth the Wait

 

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Film Review by Kam Williams

Eagerly-Anticipated Sequel Proves Well Worth the Wait

The Force Awakens is a splendid sequel to Return of the Jedi, the 1983 finale of the original Star Wars trilogy. This offering follows the uneven prequel trilogy released over the intervening years, the low point being the introduction of a jive Jamaican character named Jar Jar Binks.

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, Film Review, sequel to Return of the Jedi, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

Episode VII, which also marks the launch of another trilogy, just might be the best Star Wars installment yet. This is no surprise when you consider that it was directed by Spielberg protege J.J. Abrams (Super 8), who’d proved himself worthy of being entrusted with the storied sci-fi series by virtue of his prior success with the tent pole franchises Star Trek and Mission Impossible.

The Force Awakens represents an ingenious mix of the old and the new, as it features familiar faces like Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, as well as fresh ones in John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver. The same can be said of the adventure’s robotic cast members, with anthropomorphic android BB-8 joining in the fun with much beloved R2-D2 and C-3PO.

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, Film Review, sequel to Return of the Jedi, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

  An engaging plot interweaves all of the above in a way which never feels forced. Credit in this regard goes to Abrams for collaborating with three-time Academy Award-nominee Lawrence Kasdan (for The Big Chill, The Accidental Tourist and Grand Canyon) and Oscar-winner Michael Arndt (for Little Miss Sunshine) in crafting an engaging script frankly imbued with a little more depth than expected. Betwixt the hi-tech battles between good and evil, the tale exploits breaks in the action to serve up a fair amount of nostalgia and sentimentality.

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, Film Review, sequel to Return of the Jedi, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

It all unfolds a few decades after the events in Return of the Jedi, opening with the trademark conceit “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” followed by a crawl explaining what’s transpired since we’ve last met. At the point of departure, we learn that the New Republic is joining forces with the Resistance to fight the Stormtroopers of the First Order, an intergalactic dictatorship led by the diabolical Snoke (Andy Serkis).

Soon thereafter, intrepid protagonists emerge in rebel fighter pilot Poe (Oscar Isaac), renegade Stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega), orphaned scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley) and reliable veteran Admiral Han Solo (Ford). The good guys have a seemingly inexhaustible army of adversaries to vanquish en route to making the universe safe again for freedom and democracy.

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, Film Review, sequel to Return of the Jedi, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

  The hostilities inexorably build to a spectacular, light saber battle best appreciated in 3-D and on an IMAX screen. Nevertheless, for my money, the movie’s most inspired moments are the ones designed to tug at the heartstrings, like the touching reunion of Solo and Princess Leia (Fisher).   

A thrilling outer space epic breathing new life into a once flagging franchise!

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated PG-13 for violence

Running time: 135 minutes

Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures

To see a trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tt08BH9COsI

Source:  Baret News

Great Expectations

 

Great Expectations

by Amy Lignor

 

This was one heck of a BIZARRE weekend of football.

 

The first fact that must be stated is that the Carolina Panthers’ unbeaten season is no more. What’s even worse is that the loss was not served up by the Patriots, the Packers, the Seahawks, or any other actual “good” team. No, they lost to NFL, Panthers, Great Expectations, Rex Ryan, Patriots, road to the Super Bowl, AFC, dazed & confused, Human Growth Hormones, Amy's Anglethe Atlanta Falcons (20-17), who showed everyone in the NFL that Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers do not have shells made of steel. Whether or not the Panthers were simply believing this one was a given and would be easy as all get out to win, no one knows. But whatever the case may be, there is no longer ANY unbeaten team in the NFL.

 

But as 2015 heads on out and the New Year comes straight at us, there are those in the NFL who started out with great expectations and ended up failing miserably.

One of the great expectations that turned hideous came from Buffalo. Rex Ryan has many problems, but the ONE thing everyone could agree upon was his absolute skill when it came to producing defenses that could not be beat. Rex Ryan signs on as Head Coach of the Bills, however, and produces one of the worst teams Buffalo has ever seen. This week they played another great expectation that failed (without Tony Romo, that is) – the Dallas Cowboys. Does anyone even care? The Bills did win (16-6), but this was a whole field of dogged faces who basically looked like they wished this season was over. For these teams, it is.

 

Talk about BIZARRE!! The New England Patriots are a lot like the odd weather patterns. First, they’re the best; then, they’re mediocre just hoping for a spot in the playoffs; then, they are yet again the best in the AFC. They didn’t really start out as a great expectation, even though they were the defending Super Bowl Champions. The “deflated” stupidity in the off-season had people assuming that QB Brady would be tired. Thing was, he wasn’t. He was mad. Even though he keeps losing team members, the man doesn’t seem to stop. Today, the Jets played the Pats. If the Pats won they would have home field advantage throughout. After this game, the road to the Super Bowl for the AFC will, perhaps, still go through Massachusetts – but the laughter over the Patriots may be inflated this coming week. This game was a mess. OT comes, flip of the coin occurs, the Pats win and elect to…kick it away? No, says Slater of the Patriots. I said receive. The ref says, no you didn’t, and would not let the Pats correct themselves. The Jets received the ball only to immediately win the game. Bill Belichick did not seem angry at his man for calling to kick. He may just have had a plan. But after this game, with all the new injuries atop all the previous injuries, the Pats could deflate once and for all, even under the best of QB’s.

 

When it comes to the NFC “Least,” the Redskins win the crown. Yes, it seems silly to say that. The Redskins were a great expectation that failed when it came to QB RGIII, but Kirk Cousins came in and proved that they do have the will to fight and the talent to win. It probably seems like an episode of the “X-Files” for the New York Giants, considering they were the shoe-in to clinch the division.

 

Baltimore Ravens expectations? Not even worth talking about. God, they ended up bad. But they did ruin the Steelers this week.

 

The 49ers? QB Kap is as dazed and confused as all the fans out there, wondering why this once sparkling team went right into the gutter.

 

The Eagles paid mega-bucks for a RB that brought the Cowboys a stunning year last season. They should have kept their money.

 

Steelers versus Ravens today was, in fact, a big game. QB Big Ben and the Steelers had been cropping up in conversations to go all the way to the end. Unfortunately, the Steelers failed (20-17) and Pittsburgh’s season is basically over.

 

An honorable mention needs to be given to QB Drew Brees, who is looking more and more like Jack Bauer from “24.” He is hurt. He most likely needs to sit down and wave 2015 goodbye, while sitting in his living room and resting his aching body. Will he? Not a chance. This guy refuses to go down and the New Orleans Saints should thank heaven for him.

 

Most bizarre and worst thing in the NFL this week didn’t come in the form of a great expectation that failed – it came in the form of something fans always expect bad things from: a so-called journalist. Peyton Manning is actually trying to do battle now while attempting to heal and come back for the playoffs. He is dead center in a storm of a whole lot of stupidity surrounding a journalist’s report that Human Growth Hormones (HGH) were sent to Peyton’s home while he was recovering from neck surgery in 2011. Some undercover reporter interviewed a man who says that HGH was mailed to Peyton’s home under his wife’s name. But…the journalist actually said the story was a lie. So…why the story?

 

First the NFL tries to kill one legend with deflated balls, and now a reporter wants to kill another with hormone delivery? All football fans want is a delivery of aspirin to combat the headaches that these moronic reports continue to cause.

 

Source:  Baret News

Wahlberg and Ferrell Compete for Kids’ Affections in Dysfunctional Family Comedy

 

Daddy’s Home

Film Review by Kam Williams

Wahlberg and Ferrell Compete for Kids’ Affections in Dysfunctional Family Comedy   

Brad’s (Will Ferrell) been a model stepfather, ever since he married Sarah (Linda Cardellini) eight months ago. He’s always lavishing attention on her children, whether picking them up from school, coaching their Little League team, offering a shoulder to cry on about bullying, or tucking them in at bedtime. In that respect, he’s the polar opposite of their biological dad, Dusty (Mark Wahlberg), an unreliable narcissist who was rarely around to attend a school function or help with homework.Daddy's Home, Film Review,Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell, Comedy

For that reason, you might think that little Megan (Scarlett Estevez) and Dylan (Owen Vaccaro) would appreciate all the TLC now being lavished on them by Brad. Think again. He’s been having a heck of time winning them over, despite doting on them 24/7 since Dusty’s been out of the picture.

The kind of thanks Brad gets is being referred to as “Mr. Fletcher” by Megan. And to add insult to injury, she doodles drawings of him with poop on his head and being stabbed in the eye with a knife. The problem is that she and brother miss their real dad, his flaws notwithstanding.

So, you can just imagine the effect it has on the household when he shows up unannounced. For, he soon decides to compete with his replacement not only for the affection of his children but for that of his ex to boot. It doesn’t help matters any that Dusty is a virile hunk while Brad is flabby, sterile and unable to get Sarah pregnant.Daddy's Home, Film Review,Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell, Comedy

Directed by Sean Anders (Sex Drive), Daddy’s Home is a dysfunctional family comedy which basically pits a nerdy nice guy versus a bad boy alpha male. The movie reunites Will Ferrell and  Mark Wahlberg who generated tremendous chemistry as ill-matched police partners in the action comedy The Other Guys (2010).

This collaboration as adversaries proves equally-inspired, as it allows for both actors to play to their strengths. The film seizes on as many excuses for a shirtless Wahlberg to flex his beefcake as it does to showcase Ferrell in silly slapstick sequences.

Perhaps the picture’s funniest bit, already spoiled in the trailer, finds Brad losing control of Dusty’s motorcycle, riding into the house and up the stairs before becoming wedged in a bedroom wall. When asked by his worried wife, whether he’s okay, he responds with, “No, I’m in the wall (Duh!)… and I’m scared!” Priceless!

Disposable, dopey humor designed to make you laugh out loud in the theater but to leave no lasting effect once the closing credits have rolled.  

Very Good (3 stars)

Rated PG-13 for profanity, crude humor, suggestive material and mature themes

Running time: 96 minutes

Distributor: Paramount Pictures

Source:  Baret News