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Feb 24

The Front Page and Other Shenanigans: Your weekly guide of what to look for, and what to look away from 02/24-03/01

Spring Training games start on Tuesday, March 1, when Pittsburgh plays Detroit, Baltimore plays Atlanta, Toronto plays Philadelphia, and Cincinnati plays Cleveland. While the games are little more than a warm-up and an opportunity to see prospects fight for an MLB spot, it does signal the beginning of the 2016 MLB season, which is so exciting I needed to change my pants after I typed that. The Chicago Cubs are heavy favorites this season, and it IS an even year, meaning the San Francisco Giants will be in the mix. There are plenty of teams looking to end postseason droughts, notably the Seattle Mariners (14 years) and the Miami Marlins (12 years). The aforementioned Cubs hold the longest championship drought, sitting at 107 years. Seattle joins five other teams (Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Washington Nationals) to have never won a World Series. Opening Night will be Sunday, April 3. Keep an eye out for every MLB Division Preview over the next four weeks, and good luck to your team.

The NBA season hits the final stretch in March. If the season were to end today, Cleveland would have the top seed in the Eastern Conference, with Golden State owning the #1 in the West. The biggest surprise continues to be Boston, who would currently hold the #3 seed in the East. Friday, Cleveland is at Toronto and Chicago is at Atlanta. On Saturday, Miami is at Boston, Portland is at Chicago, and Golden State plays at Oklahoma City. As a reminder, the regular season wraps up on April 13.

NCAA basketball is just weeks away from Selection Sunday. Villanova still holds the top spot on the AP Top 25, with Kansas, Virginia, Oklahoma, and Xavier rounding out the Top 5. Wednesday night, #1 Villanova will take on #5 Xavier in a (rare) important regular season matchup. On Saturday, #1 Villanova will be at Marquette, #11 Louisville is at #12 Miami (FL), #3 Oklahoma is at #25 Texas, #9 Arizona is at #22 Utah, #10 Maryland is at #20 Purdue, and #7 North Carolina is at #3 Virginia. Selection Sunday is on March 13.

This week in theaters includes quite the list of questionable action flicks. Remember when Gerard Butler was super badass in 300? I barely remember, as well. The point is, the rest of his career looks like a porta-potty at an outdoor music festival. Butler’s filmography is so bad you have to look away. It’s almost a wonder he never delved into the horror genre. Upon looking at his newest release Gods of Egypt, I was forced to browse his other 52 maxresdefaultcredits, and I can assure you, I’ve learned my lesson. Butler’s highlights since 300 include RocknRolla, The Ugly Truth, Gamer, Law Abiding Citizen, The Bounty Hunter, Machine Gun Preacher, Playing for Keeps, Movie 43, Olympus Has Fallen, and the miserable sequel, London Has Fallen. It really makes me wonder why I’ve been so hard on Robert De Niro, lately… No, no it doesn’t. They must have the same agent. Alex Proyas is the director for Gods of Egypt, previously having directed several movies, including The Crow and I, Robot. Unfortunately for Proyas, his movie stars Butler and includes and all white cast of “Egyptians.” This has to stop. Moviegoers still head to the theaters over Oscar weekend, so when no one shows up for this, he won’t have the Academy to thank. Eddie the Eagle is the biopic of Eddie Edwards, the British underdog ski jumper who charmed the pants off of the 1988 Winter Olympics. Hugh Jackman and Christopher Walken are on-board for this funny bio, and despite the less-than-spectacular reviews, this Cool Runnings-esque movie may still charm the pants off of the box office. Triple 9 stars Casey Affleck, Anthony Mackie, and Aaron Paul, and is about as assured to find success this weekend as The Revenant. The critics haven’t embraced the film, but the combination of the talented Affleck, a heist, and director John Hillcoat (The Road, Lawless) make this a must see.

The 88th Academy Awards will air this Sunday, and despite the “all white” tagline and a being a vanity project, it doesn’t have anything else in common with Gods of Egypt. Say what you will about the Oscars, but I’m a fan. This will be the year Leonardo DiCaprio finally brings home the well-deserved statue and a very entertaining group of eight will be featured as Best Picture nominees. The Revenant will win, but I was still more impressed by Spotlight and The Big Short, AND more entertained by Mad Max: Fury Road and The Martian, so at least there is a rooting interest. The epic award’s show begins with the red carpet at 7PM ET on ABC.

“I didn’t get into film to win Academy Awards. I wanted to have a conversation with the audience.” ~ Kevin Smith

Cheers! Cha Cha

About the author

Chad

Chad has a Bachelor's Degree from Marquette University in Broadcast Journalism & Electronic Communications. Currently living in Seattle, WA, he takes every opportunity he can to go to a game, partake in the nightlife, laugh with friends & family and root for the Nebraska Cornhuskers.