Zach’s Blog: The middle of madness

Welcome to another edition of Zach’s Blog, a collection of random thoughts, stories, opinions, and whatever else comes from Zach’s brain and fingertips. These blogs range from hot fire takes that are purely satire, to insightful thoughts. It’s your job to determine which is what. With that, enjoy the blog…

Zach’s applicable quote for the weekend

Money often costs too much.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

The NCAA tournament: a glorious month for sports betting and organizational hypocrisy. Nothing crazy from the first two days thus far, but we’ll see what the Round of 32 brings this weekend. Whether you’re just doing brackets or betting on the games, have fun. And don’t expect to win.

Goodbye to a legend: Ichiro

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Arguably the greatest hitter of the 21st century, Ichiro was absolutely incredible to watch. I remember being at Fenway Park in 2001, his rookie season, he was fielding batting practice in right field prior to the game, and he was catching fly balls with the glove behind his back and bending over. Oh, and then throwing it to third base on a line. Just a stud and basically a cheat code in MVP Baseball 2005.

Here’s the best video of him, being asked what his favorite American expression was…

“August in Kansas City is hotter than two rats fucking in a wool sock.”

Movie Review: Wonder Park

The lady wanted to see “Wonder Park,” so what did I do? I took her to see Wonder Park on her birthday weekend. Yeah, I made her 27th birthday a weekend, what of it? Did I use movie passes I got for Christmas to save money? Sure, but it shows her I’m smart and (try not to) waste money. Just good boyfriend type of stuff is all, no big deal.

We went on a Saturday afternoon during the St. Patrick’s Day festival at Gillette Stadium, so you can imagine how uncomfortable I felt in a movie theater surrounded by a school’s worth of children. One little girl sitting a few seats from us asked us after the movie what our favorite color was. For the record, it’s green, and hers was pink.

Alright, getting off track. Movie review time. Will I spoil it? Maybe.

First thing’s first: this movie is depressing. Very, very sad. “But Zach, it looks so cute, how could that be?” Well, June (the main character) and her mom form a close bond over an imaginary amusement park called Wonderland. To side track for a second, my brain was in an absolute pretzel when I saw this. I thought I asked for the wrong movie when I said “Wonder Park” and not “Wonderland” at the ticket counter. Turns out, Nickelodeon pulled a fast one on us and used different names. Anywho, June and mom make a park out of toy sets, and then her mom gets cancer. Or something like it. Either way, she has to “go away to doctors for a while.” Be more depressing. You can’t.

So June gets sad and angry, gets sent to math camp (nerd), and runs away to the woods. To her surprise the park is real, but abandoned. The plush dolls she’s played with, the bear & all, are real as well. And they talk.

I won’t spoil the rest of the story, because it’s not my job to give a transcript of  children’s film. I just write this stupid blog for the hell of it, so don’t expect much else for the story line.

To give an actual review of the movie, Wonder Park suffices as a film to throw on for younger kids to be entertained by the silly animals running around the park. However, there are a TON of depressing moments (mom getting sick, the park being abandoned, June’s literal depression, just to name a few) that overshadow the lighthearted moments of the movie. Balancing complex emotions in a kids film is a very difficult task, and the only one that comes to mind to successfully do so is Disney’s Inside Out. Wonder Park tries to deliver the message of holding on to passions through difficult times, but it’s a bit messy.

Zach’s Rating: 2/5  –  It works to keep kids busy, but the down/sad moments might disinterest them. Adults will probably get annoyed by John Oliver’s voice (the porcupine). Wonder Park also falls flat especially after watching the entire “How to Train Your Dragon” trilogy in three days. Now those are great movies.

BONUS SECTION: OVERUSED MOVIE REVIEW CLICHES

When Lynds said she wanted to see Wonder Park, I naturally looked up the trailer and reviews. I knew the movie would be mediocre at best given the reviews. And I don’t mean in-depth articles or video reviews. No, I mean the clichés in trailers used hype up a movie that isn’t great.

Two thumbs up: We have to give credit where credit is due, as the term ‘Two Thumbs Up’ originated from the show “At The Movies” with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert. It was like the “First Take” of movies and they’d give their reviews with either a thumbs up or thumbs down. And if they agreed, it was two thumbs up. Boom, simple. But now jabronis left and right are giving their reviews of crappy movies with “two thumbs up!” Just a slap in the face of Siskel and Ebert.

(Insert actor/actress) at (his/her) best: Sometimes this rings true, but a lot of times, this is said for movies that feature a great acting job but the film sucks. Best example? “The Judge.” This featured Robert Downey Jr and Robert Duval. The movie was poop, but Duval got an Oscar nod for his performance. But let’s be real: it’s Robert fucking Duval, of course he got nominated for an Academy Award. The guy’s an incredible actor. Same goes with Leonardo DiCaprio in “J. Edgar.” So be weary of trailers that just point out a single performance.

…the whole family: Whether it’s fun, laughs, or any other descriptive word, this movie is sure to be great for the whole family. A short way of saying no matter the age, you’ll enjoy it. But in reality, you won’t.

The most fun you’ll have at the movies: The grand daddy of them all. The worst cliche of all movie reviews. When you see this, it’s a sign to turn away. Tell me, when’s the last time you had fun at the movies? Sure, I”ve enjoyed movies, choked up, laughed. But fun? I’m sitting on my ass for two hours watching a screen while gorging myself with popcorn. Wouldn’t call that fun. Enjoyable, sure. But “the most fun you’ll have the movies?” No. Trailers will continue to include this in commercials, including sponsored Facebook ads…

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Zach’s Universal Horoscope

Spirituality

Don’t know your sign? Can’t remember your birthday? Zach has you covered no matter who you are!

Lucky numbers: 12, 16, 32, 69

Word of the Day: Gamble

Your Horoscope: The changing of seasons may have affect your well-being and focus this week, but it is up to you to make it positive or negative, not in between. Well, this is true for gambling on unpaid student-athletes playing basketball, but maybe not for house chores or relationships. Regardless, remind yourself it is spring and that this means warmer weather is coming… at some point. When exactly, who knows, but it’s coming. Also, go for a walk. It’s good for your health.

Hey dummy, I’m on Twitter. Tweet me your thoughts or tell me how much I suck @zacharyadamgray, or if you’re old, send me an email to zacharyadamgray@gmail.com