*Movie Recap: Terminator-Dark Fate (Spoilers)

First of all, this is a Mexican Terminator movie, and that is a beautiful thing to say. A Terminator film with a Latino twist, in the spirit of Logan (2016). Because I feel like both of these films shared some similar themes. Specifically, the notion that the heroes or saviors of these two films are Latin characters. Female Latin characters to be precise. In both films, they are here to save humanity or in the case of Logan; to be the last hope and future leader of mutants.

Hollywood has always refused to cast Latinos positively or create stories where the narrative paints Latinos in a positive light. And although this is a step in the right direction, we are still way off from changing the Latino stereotypes Hollywood has bestowed upon my people. My main issue here is in the lack of diversity in the writing team, they were six writers credited, and none of them was Latin or female. You cannot presume to write about Latin culture in general without having experienced our culture first hand by actually being one of us.

Nevertheless, I digress, in this brand new installment, James Cameron finally makes his return to the Terminator franchise. However, this time around, not as a Director. This time, he serves as a producer tasked with properly rebooting the franchise and align it with the first two original Terminator films, which is something the last three Terminator films failed to accomplish. Although, I must note that I did enjoy Terminator Genisys a lot more than some critics did. In the last few years, Cameron has been focused on his Avatar sequels, so I suspect that taking some time off to direct a Terminator movie was not an option. Directing duties were given to Tim Miller of Deadpool fame.

Terminator: Dark Fate is a straight sequel to Terminator 2 Judgment Day. Furthermore, they are overriding all of the sequels after T2, similar to how they rebooted Halloween (2018). As a fan of Terminator, Linda Hamilton coming back was a huge selling point for me. She is incredible in this movie. She reminds us that after all these years away in semi-retirement from acting, she can still carry a film as the lead. The new timeline as it stands now is that Skynet was stopped after T2, and judgment day was prevented. Dark Fate picks things up very similar to how the first two Terminator movies began, with two naked time-traveling killing beings dropping from the sky, beating up, killing anyone in their immediate surroundings, and taking their clothes. Then, we are in Mexico, where we are introduced to our Heroine of the story Daniela Ramos (Dani). Her story arc is similar to Sarah Connor in the original Terminator film. She is young, weak, working a minimum wage job.

Meanwhile, there is a shapeshifting Terminator sent back to kill her, (played by Gabriel Luna), and a non-Terminator sent back to protect her (played by Makenzie Davis); in this case, an enhanced human from the future (similar to how Reese was sent back in Terminator 1 to protect Sarah, except he was not enhanced). We shockingly find out that a Terminator killed John Connor just a few years after the events of T2. We are shown a T-800 Terminator, (A young version of Arnold Schwarzenegger), succeeding in killing John Connor. So we assume that he was sent back into the past before Skynet was destroyed and spent years tracking down John and Sarah, until eventually completing his mission. Skynet is no longer the threat to humanity; instead, it has been replaced by a new threat in the form of Legion, an AI created in the future for cyberwarfare. Legion eventually turns on humanity, and Dani becomes the leader of the human resistance.

One of the coolest things about this movie was how they re-introduce Sarah Connor as this “Terminator Killer.” Where she goes around killing Terminators as soon as they drop from the sky. She is filled with rage and grief, avenging the bastards that killed her son. The mystery angle here is that she receives encrypted messages from time to time with location, time and day where a Terminator will show up and with a signature text saying “For John.” I thought that was a neat touch. We later find out that those messages come from the same T-800 Terminator who killed John. Since his mission has been completed, he finds himself free of any programming. He begins to develop free will and consciousness, which prompts him to seek a way to find a purpose for his existence. He also explains that when time displacement occurs, it sends a ripple effect. Because he is from the future, he can sense those ripples a couple of days before it happens. So, he knows when a terminator is coming from the future. This means that Skynet before it was destroyed, sent multiple Terminators through different timelines to increase the chances of killing John. Then, Sarah shows up and destroys them the moment they arrive.

The special effects were cool; my only issue was with the fighting sequences, all the hand to hand combat action sequences were sped up to a degree where they were somewhat unwatchable and blurry. It cheapens the action; it blurs it. Makes it feel like a video game, they need to stop making action sequences like that, especially in action movies. The Dani Character was very refreshing, to say the least, especially when she has to make her way into the US running away from the Terminator trying to kill her. She has to cross the border with a bunch of other immigrants, turning her into an undocumented Mexican immigrant, and essentially an undocumented Mexican immigrant is the savior of all humanity. There are some recycled concepts from the original Terminator movie. However, those concepts still work, and I have no issues with that. The lesson to learn here is that somewhere in our future, AI will get turned on, and at some point, it will turn on humanity and seek to wipe us out from existence. So, in a way, we are being told that it is inevitable that the machines at some point in our future will rise against humans. I know the Box Office numbers have not been too kind to this movie, and that is unfortunate. Because even if you are a casual fan of the Terminator series, you will enjoy this movie. It is a fun and entertaining film. The best since Terminator 2.

Three out of Five Popcorn Bags 🍿🍿🍿

*NFL WEEK 12 (2019 Season)

My Redskins won their second game of the season. Final score Redskins 19- Detroit Lions 16. A game where there were many missed chances to put up more points on the board, but the execution was not there. Terry McLaurin is now officially our top wide receiver, Harmon is surging, Sims is an intriguing player with tons of potential. We have to continue to feed Guice and establish a second complementary running back better. I expected Adrian Peterson and Guice to develop into a dual-threat, but it has not happened. Next season, Peterson might end up walking, so we need to start establishing depth in our backfield. Haskins is a work in progress, and I think we might have something special in him. There are many positives here; he has a powerful arm, he stands poised in the pocket, can take hits, and when he breaks free, he can be elusive and fast enough to make plays — excellent tools to build an offense around.

So, as the season is coming to an end and with only four weeks of regular season Football left, the calls for changes and the firing of Bruce Allen will only get louder and louder. Dan Snyder needs to understand that the entire franchise needs to be reinvigorated somehow. The Redskins franchise as a whole is in life support. Home game tickets are selling for record low prices. Nobody is showing up for games. The NFL has to get involved somehow. The Washington Redskins were one of the top five highest sources of revenue for the league, even in seasons when they were bad, they were still pretty damn profitable, but now, that is no longer the case. We need to win out the remaining games in the schedule and have something positive to show the fans for 2020. We should not worry about dropping off from where we currently seat in the first round of the draft. It does not matter what our record ends up being, we will still have a first-round draft selection somewhere in the top ten. 

My Overall disposition regarding my Redskins: FIRE Bruce Allen

And now for the rest of the league…..

Bears 19-Giants 14: Danny Dimes is not the answer at Quarterback for NY, but I hope they stick it out with him for a while so my Redskins defense can feast on him next season. 

Patriots 13-Cowboys 9: The weather was terrible, Brady was terrible, Dallas was terrible; everybody was terrible. These two teams are overrated, it was an uneventful, boring game, so the score pretty much tells the whole story. 

Seahawks 17-Eagles 9: Carson Wentz was not effective in this game and has been inconsistent with his play. Maybe the Eagles need to reevaluate things regarding their future at the QB position. Rusell Wilson struggled, but his defense kept him within range, and it was all they needed to put away the Eagles.

Jets 34-Raiders 3: This was a bad loss for the Raiders, they did not seem ready for the Jets. The Jets are showing flashes of what they can potentially become next season. Not entirely sold on Sam Darnold. 

Texans 20-Colts 17: This was a very close game, but Houston ran away with the game in the final quarter of the game.

Ravens 45-Rams 6: Lamar Jackson is making every team the Ravens play look bad. The Ravens scored on their first seven positions, think about how insane that is. Jared Goff is playing like garbage. The Rams were a Super Bowl team just a year ago, and now they look awful. 

49ers 37-Packers 8: The packers had nothing to offer against this 49ers team. It was one of Aaron Rodgers’s worst game in years. The 49ers are 10-1 and are probably the best team in the league alongside with the Ravens, which coincidently, they will play each other this upcoming Sunday. 

Saints 34-Panthers 31: This was one exciting game, and it ended on a field goal with only a few seconds left. A great divisional win for the Saints, a heartbreaking divisional loss for the Panthers. 

Browns 41-Dolphins 24: Kareem Hunt made his presence felt in this game. The Dolphins are playing better towards the final home stretch of the season, but they are still far from being a dangerous team. The Browns are still a disappointment, and they always look good against teams with losing records.

Steelers 16-Bengals 10: AFC North Divisional games are always nasty and close, but the Steelers could not afford to lose to the winless Bengals. 

Bills 20-Broncos 3: The Bills needed this win badly to stay in the wildcard race. The Broncos will be making massive changes in the offseason. 

Buccaneers 35-Falcons 22: If your team is playing Tampa, then Jameis Winston will always give you a chance to be in the game no matter what the score is, and in this game, he once again had multiple turnovers. The Falcons are trying to save whatever is left of the season and playing for their head coach’s job.

Titans 42-Jaguars 20: Titans are finding a new life under Ryan Tannehill. Maybe they have their answer at quarterback and will part ways with Mariota. Derrick Henry had an excellent game. The Jaguars are struggling all over, not just at the quarterback position, and their defense is not stopping anyone. 

* NFL WEEK 11 (2019 Season)

My Redskins looked pitiful against the Jets on Sunday. Dwayne Haskins struggled for most of the game but showed us some flashes of potential greatness. He has a powerful arm; he made some impressive throws and some not very impressive throws. Terry McLaurin made some fantastic catches, including one that was called back due to an offensive hold, but he looked great. Derrius Guice played and showed some solid moves running the ball and even scored his first rushing touchdown in the NFL. Here is the thing, once the current coaching staff or the next coaching staff can install an offense catered around these three guys (Haskins, Guice, and McLaurin), then this offense will be something exceptional for many years to come. I wish Snyder would sell the team or fire Bruce Allen and get a real General Manager who knows how to build a winning culture. 

My current overall disposition regarding my Redskins: Waiting for this season to end….

Cowboys 35-Lions 27: Without Matthew Stafford, the Lions put on a valiant effort against the overrated Cowboys who always seem to get lucky calls and manage to win close games. 

Patriots 17-Eagles 10: Tom Brady is not looking good, maybe father time is finally catching up to him. We will see what happens to New England. They have a pretty good defense, so they need Brady to manage the game and make enough plays to get them back to the Super Bowl, but I do not think they will get there this year.

Vikings 27-Broncos 23: Minnesota was down 20 to nada against Denver, but Captain Kirk took them back into the game with 20 unanswered points in the 4th quarter. 

Chiefs 24-Chargers 17: Steve Spagnulo’s Defense stepped up big. The game was close, but the Chiefs intercepted Philip Rivers in the end zone to beat the Chargers by one score. Massive win for the Chiefs, heartbreaking loss for the Chargers. 

Falcons 29-Panthers 3: Atlanta steamed roll through the Panthers. Kyle Allen had 4 interceptions. McCaffrey had over 100 yards receiving but could not score any points; the only points Carolina could score was a field goal that came in the 4th quarter. Maybe we were singing Kyle Allen praises a bit too soon. 

Browns 21-Steelers 7: Everybody knows what happened at the end of this game. Myles Garret has been suspended for the season and the playoffs, which the Browns will not make. Look, I think the Browns caught the Steelers napping the same way they got lucky when they beat the Ravens. Baker Mayfield is overrated, and the Browns hype machine is imploding. 

Ravens 41-Texans 7: Baltimore appears to be unstoppable, and at this point of the season, Lamar Jackson is without question the MVP of the league. Enough said. 

Raiders 17-Bengals 10: Oakland is making a run at a wildcard spot, while the Bengals are officially the worst team in the league at 0-10. Will they win any games this season? Probably not. 

49ers 36-Cardinals 26: Going into the 4th quarter Arizona was leading the game 19-17, but Jimmy G brought San Francisco back to take the lead, and their defense scored on a fumble to take the victory. The 49ers needed to win this game badly since last week they lost a divisional game to the Seahawks. Arizona is significantly better than what I expected. They are an improving team. 

Rams 17-Bears 7: The story here was the benching of Trubisky in the 4th quarter, although the Bears claim that it was due to an injury. Nevertheless, Trubisky will probably end up getting released from Chicago by the end of the season. Their defense is way too talented, so they require a productive and competent quarterback to complement this defense. Jared Goff still not playing up to expectations, which is cause for concern if the Rams want to make a strong playoff run. 

Saints 34-Buccaneers 17: Jameis Winston had 4 interceptions and was rough up through the whole game. The Saints are playoff-bound and seem to be a well-balanced team. 

Bills 37-Dolphins 20: Josh Allen had a good game against a resurgent Miami team. The Bills had to win this divisional game to continue to build momentum for a wildcard spot.

Colts 33-Jaguars 13: Jacksonville could not get their running game going, Fournette only had 23 yards on the ground. If the Jaguars want to make some noise they need to get their running game going, Nick Foles is a competent quarterback, but he needs help. The Colts are 6-4 and are still in the hunt. 

*Movie Recap: The Joker (Spoilers)

Finally, I got a chance to watch Todd Phillip’s The Joker, and it is a remarkably well-made film. Joaquin Phoenix gives an exceptional performance. I notice how Todd Phillip’s movies have gotten progressively darker and darker, and this is probably his best film yet. The Joker was supposed to be a stand-alone film, but it should not be. There is plenty of meat on that bone to make a few sequels. Especially since this is an origins story, and an excellent origins story to be precise. It gives a deep and profound character study into one of the most iconic comic book characters ever.

And although this is a studio movie, it has the air of an independent film. The film borrows heavily from Taxi Driver (1976), The French Connection (1971), and The King of Comedy (1983), which I think is a thing of genius to draw from those classic films. Right from the opening scene, you get the sense that this movie is set in the late ’70s or early ’80s. New York City and parts of Newark were used as locations for Gotham city. If you commute between NYC and New Jersey as I do, you can tell that most parts of Queens, Washington Heights, and most of North Bergen can easily be used as locations to recreate the feel and vibes of the ’70s and ’80s. It is like those places are architecturally stuck in time. Even the subway shots look outdated. If you ride the subway in NYC as I do daily, you can see how the trains, platforms, and train stations have a very dystopian feel to them, and this movie captures it impeccably.

Arthur Fleck (The Joker), is not a criminal mastermind in this movie, unlike previous Jokers in other movies, those other movies established Joker as a criminal mastermind from the start of those films. In Todd Phillip’s film, he is frail, sickly, weak, sensitive, and insecure. He daydreams of making it big as a stand-up comedian. Any criminal intentions or any anarchist tendencies do not seem to be part of his nature. You cannot help but root for him throughout most of the movie until you get to the point where you can no longer root for him, that is the genius of this film.

Fleck, finally snapping and making the heel turn, is brilliantly executed. The chaos that follows in the streets and uprising of the people towards the establishment due to Fleck’s actions has an air of V for Vendetta where the masses took to the streets wearing Guy Fawkes masks to take on the state. We see something very similar here. We also get to see the connection between Fleck and the Wayne family. We see from where his hate and anger originates. We see a young Bruce Wayne, a young Alfred, and the moment when Bruce Wayne loses both his parents in an alley. All the origins marks are met. However, most importantly, we see how the system lost Arthur, how the system created this monster, how the lack of empathy and understanding of mental health issues led to Arthur Fleck to lose his sanity and become The Joker.

Four out of Five Popcorn Bags 🍿🍿🍿🍿

*NFL WEEK 9 (2019 Season)

Dwayne Haskins made his first NFL start, and it went kind of like I expected it to go. The current active offense is devoid of talent due to all the injuries. Jordan Reed has not played all season, Vernon Davis has been inactive for most of the season, but when he did play, he made substantial contributions in the passing game. Not having tight ends hurts badly. Not having Trent Williams has been crucial. Haskins could benefit from having the best-left tackle in the NFL playing, especially since the protection has been bad this whole season. Adrian Peterson is running wild under Callahan, I can only imagine how special our running game could be if Chris Thompson and Darius Guice were healthy enough to be part of Callahan’s run heavy schemes.

The good thing from this game was that Haskins was not awful at all; he played well, considering the lack of weapons. Colt McCoy can probably run the offense better than Haskins and Keenum, but it is time to let this kid play and get him some live NFL game experience. If the Redskins front-office wants to figure out a way to excite the fan base, or at least to pique their interest, then they should let Haskins be the starter for the rest of the season. He is a local product from the DC area, and they need to emphasize that fact as much as possible.

My current disposition regarding my Redskins: Let the kid play.

And now for the rest of the league….


Eagles 22-Bears 14: Trubisky needs to get benched, and the whole offense sucks. They have a good defense, but they are struggling as a team. The Eagles are bouncing back nicely heading into their bye week. Since my Redskins are pitiful this year, I am pulling for Philly to take the division away from Dallas.

Cowboys 37-Giants 18: The Cowboys are still smoke and mirrors, they only beat teams with losing records, rebuilding teams. They will lose next week against Kirk Cousins and the Vikings. Daniel Jones scrambles like a snake trying to make plays or extend them, he takes off running when he sees daylight, but it does not always work out in the Giant’s favor. It is excellent that he is more mobile than Eli, but his mobility has cost them interceptions, fumbles, and many lost opportunities to make plays. I am still not impressed with Danny Dimes.

Raiders 31-Lions 24: The young talent from this Raiders team is beginning to pay dividends; they are now 4-4 and making some noise in their division. The Lions lost another close-heartbreaking game, but they are also a rebuilding team, and they will be contending for the division next season.

Ravens 37-Patriots 20: Lamar Jackson is everything RGIII was supposed to be. He is obviously the future in Baltimore, and likely the most dynamic Quarterback the NFL has ever seen since Michael Vick. The overrated Patriots got their first loss of the year and silenced all the talking heads in sports media crowning them as the best defense in the league.

Panthers 30-Titans 20: McCaffrey ran wild all over the Titans picking some serious yards and scoring three TDs. Ryan Tannehill is an upgrade from Marcus Mariota, but it will take the off-season to improve this team.

Steelers 26-Colts 24: Jacoby Brissett got hurt in the 2nd quarter and replaced by Brian Hoyer, who struggled to get the offense going. If Brissett is going to miss time due to his injury, then Hoyer will start going forward, so we will see if this derails the Colts playoff chances. The Steelers are now 4-4 and have a chance to make a run at the playoffs, especially with the Browns and Bengals stinking up the division.

49ers 28-Cardinals 25: San Francisco is the only 8-0 team this season, and they are finally beginning to get everyone’s attention. I have been saying since pre-season how good this team is, and they should be SuperBowl favorites. Kyler Murray and the Cardinals were able to hang in there with probably the best team in the league, and it shows the potential this team has. Next season they will be making some noise.

Texans 26-Jaguars 3: This game was played in London, so I was up earlier than usual to watch this game, and it was a good one. Jacksonville could not catch any breaks, and Fournette was unable to get going. Houston’s defense without JJ Watt did not allow any TDs, only a field goal. Gardner Minshew mania seems to be coming to an end. This game was awful for the Jaguars, and it seems Nick Foles might be ready to return.

Chiefs 26-Vikings 23: Matt Moore was out of the league last year, and now he looks like a starter. The Chiefs defense stepped up and made crucial stops when needed. The Vikings play the overrated Cowboys next week in primetime, which is a game they should be able to win easily.

Dolphins 26-Jets 18: Miami won its first game at the expense of the disappointing Jets. I expected the Jets to be much better than what they have shown so far this season. If Sam Darnold does not show considerable signs of improvement, then Adam Gase will likely be let go by the end of the season.

Broncos 24-Browns 19: Baker Mayfield is overrated, and most of the sports media seems to be leaning that way now. They only had one good game (against the Ravens), they are now 2-6 for the season, and next week they play the Bills, which will probably be another loss for a team that seems to be falling apart week to week. Denver got it done with a third-string quarterback, which says a lot about both teams.

Chargers 26-Packers 11: Nobody expected the Chargers to win this game decisively as they did. They needed a victory, and they got it. The Packers got caught napping, and they could not get anything going.

Seahawks 40-Buccaneers 34: James Winston had a good game, but his defense could not stop Russell Wilson from throwing a party all over Tampa Bay’s secondary. The Bucs are building for the future, and it shows. Seattle plays the 49ers on Monday Night next week, which should be an awesome divisional game.

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