Monthly Archives: March 2016

ESPL Week 12 – More Score and Several Weeks to Go

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Big numbers put up in a handful of matches this week, but they were enough to cause some movement on the table. Let’s get to the recaps.

The first match saw Emerald United host Allen FC, narrowly winning 3-2 in the final minutes. Emerald United did not score the first goal but managed to score more than the visitors, making their place in second on the table slightly questionable. Emerald United scorers included Dae Ho Park, Trent Areonak, and Garrett Parker (who has been putting up some numbers as of late). Allen FC scorers included Kord Jurgens and Max Vice. The epic battle is still to come between Gothica and Emerald United for who will be the most likely taking the cup at the end of the season. All in all, this was a great way to kick off week 12’s action.

The second match saw Halo host Gothica, and we were all shocked to see the home side last and stay strong against the visiting side. Halo’s sole scorer was Andrei Ramius, and Gothica’s sole scorer (and equalizer) was Victor Vesselin. There were quite a few yellow cards handed out in this match but nothing that got anyone ejected. Gothica stays stable at the top of the table with this draw but they were really pushing for the win to put some distance between them and the rest of the table.

The third match saw Naval Armada host Knightsquare. Unexpectedly, Knightsquare burst out of the gate to try and change their fortune with three goals in 30 minutes, scored by Alan Marquardt and two by Franz Volstag. Naval Armada managed to recoup one goal by Khan Galaxy, leaving the first half as 3-1 to the visiting side. The second half reversed the fortunes as Nico Capella scored Knightsquare’s only goal… leaving Naval Armada to bring the home supporters to their feet with a five goal, unanswered run by scorers Khan Galaxy (his second), Jesse Davis, Stephan Khan, Xavier Masters, and Pedro Cruz. Knightsquare drew three yellow cards but they only allowed goals to float through.

The fourth match saw Shamrock Celtic host Real Olympia in an epic draw. Celtic’s sole scorer was Shamus O’Mara and Real’s only scorer was Francisco Perez. This one was tense, but both scores came in the second half and Celtic just couldn’t push their win through.

The fifth match saw Sporting Black Cats host Shazam CM, in a scoreless draw that had the visiting side stunned. Shazam CM had a lot of supporters make the trip because they believed Shazam would be rising in the table. Alas, that was not to be on this day.

The final match of the week saw Wordsmiths host Vulcan FC, and once again Wordsmiths can’t score a definitive result in either direction. Wordsmiths’ sole scorer was Shu Liang and Vulcan’s sole scorer was Duncan McBriar.

Week 12 saw some movement but not much. The most significant move was Naval Armada jumping up two places to finally establish themselves as one of the power clubs in the ESPL.

Review of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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I literally just got home from watching Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. As I have started to do with many of the “big release” movies, I am reviewing that for you here on Emerald Specter.com. Let’s get to it.

I am a Marvel fan, have been since I started actually “collecting” comics. While the first superhero I fell in love with was Shazam (aka Captain Marvel), I usually put my hat into the ring with the Marvel cast of characters because they’re a little more realistic in my book. That said, the Marvel movies are a huge hit with me and I’ve been interested in seeing how DC would respond to that for some time. I did write a companion piece about how DC’s cinematic universe would fail, but I didn’t know about what this particular installment would be like.

Spoilers from this point on.

The idea that Bruce Wayne wants to kill Superman for no apparent reason (thinking that he’s saving the planet) bothers me. Building that up over the course of the first half of the movie was a little annoying, like they were trying to justify a reason for Batman to fight Superman. I found Lex Luthor annoying as all get out and the government just allowing him unfettered access to the Kryptonian ship was bordering on the unbelievable. The James Bond-esq nature of Diana Prince’s involvement was a little weird, seemed out of character to me, Bruce Wayne doing all kinds of the cloak and dagger outside of his bat suit, and the fact that Gotham and Metropolis seem to be right across the river from each other was too convenient for me. The critical reception of Man of Steel concentrated on the rampant destruction wrought across the planet (centering on Metropolis) and that continued here as a conveniently uninhabited island and a conveniently abandoned dock are laid waste… oh, and Metropolis takes another hammering.

That said, I think there is more good in this movie than bad.

Doomsday was cheesy, or at least how he was created was cheesy, but they needed something that the DC “holy trinity” would combat and because two of the three of the trinity are superpowered they needed a villain that was powerful enough to give them trouble. We did NOT need Jesse Eisenberg in this movie as the “chicken hopped up on Red Bull” Lex Luthor that we got. He was highly annoying, flighty, and there is absolutely no way anyone with half a brain is going to allow him unrestricted access to an alien ship without supervision. The very concept strains credulity. Remove him from the movie and you’re looking at a solid star increase in a five star system.

Jeremy Irons was a great Alfred. Just like Sean Pertwee in the Gotham TV show, we get an Alfred that isn’t just an old guy that happens to know who Bruce Wayne is at night. His level of involvement was perfect, too. I also like Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, generally, but he was borderline annoying in this movie… he shouldn’t have been such a pushy ass.

Ben Affleck was a great Batman. Michael Keaton was told he wouldn’t be great in the suit and he was, Christian Bale was great in the suit, and now Affleck makes a great Dark Knight. I enjoyed the portrayal immensely and anyone that says he didn’t do a fantastic job is a complete idiot. I can’t wait to see more of him as Batman.

We didn’t need the Knightmare scene, the part where Batman is wearing a trench coat and fighting Superman soldiers and whatever those big things were… it did allow the Flash to pop in with a warning about something or other, which I believe is the red herring to what he was actually talking about, and I know that was needed mainly to put in the trailers to build up the short Batman/Superman fight. Without that scene, we could have had more story building on Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent researching what they really needed to be worried about: Luthor.

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was perfect. Wonder Woman’s movie is going to be great and I’m seriously looking forward to seeing that movie. I’ll be interested to see how DC and Warner Brothers are going to build up the characters rather than continuously reboot them according to movie executives thinking they know better than the source material. Wonder Woman isn’t a hard sell, you just had to do the character right instead of trying to just do the character how you THINK the character would be responded to by the general populace. Superheroes aren’t for the general populace, they’re supported by actual fans.

I left the theater hopeful that my column about DC failing being wrong. There is still a lot of possible ways to screw up but I’m more hopeful now. Jason Momoa as Aquaman is going to be awesome and, while I’m not a Cyborg fan, Im curious as to what the hell that damn cube thing was that started making him Cyborg.

With Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman teased, that gives us six of the “big seven” of DC. Green Lantern would be the seventh and I hope they go with the John Stewart version for the Justice League. We’ll also get to see Shazam at some point, but I wonder if they won’t use him until his actual movie, hoping whomever is cast for that character fills the role of Superman for the “next version” of the Justice League. I can totally see that happening already, replace all the original heroes with different ones so that 15 years into the future, they aren’t relying on Henry Cavill to still be interested in playing Superman.

Out of five stars, I’m going to give Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice a reluctant four. I think it was better than three but would have been closer to five if Jesse Eisenberg wasn’t in the movie. He made an annoying Luthor, and just like my loathing for the Joker, now I have a reason to hate Luthor.

Go see the movie. Critics are dissing it and people are comparing it to other movies that weren’t good but those people and critics are wrong. 4/5, it will be a great movie franchise if they go in the right direction.

Emerald Specter 12: Membership

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Welcome, welcome, welcome back to the Emerald Specter column, which I’m guessing you thought was completely dead and forgotten in a bowl of unwanted cereal.

It isn’t.

What I’d like to pass along this time is that there are a couple new features available here on the site. The first one is a membership option, which will be the basis for the upcoming “gamification” of Emerald Specter. There will be badges and awards for doing stuff, and BIG bonuses for watching the live shows live, but don’t miss out on the chance to do things to earn points to earn badges for stuff.

The second item will reinforce the badge/award system and is a forum, slowly being filled out to reflect all the stuff at Emerald Specter.com. You will be able to post, join in conversations, and get together with other enthusiasts on a forum right here at the site.

Sure, these are little additions, and the badge function isn’t enabled yet. Early members (those who sign up before the badge function is enabled) will be given bonus points/special badges reflecting your early adoption of the new Emerald Specter site.

Join us. Come on… you know you want to.

The Greatest Show: Star Wars Edition!

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The Doctor Who edition was fun, so we thought we’d try a new theme for the next Greatest Show: Star Wars!

Some people hate the prequels… some people hate the originals… well, maybe not… but there are seven movies to discuss, two animated series to discuss, and the future of the biggest franchise on the planet is the subject “anchor” for the 74th edition of the Greatest Show.

We ARE the Greatest Show… don’t forget it.

The Greatest Show 73: Doctor Who Edition

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Join us.

Time to get this going, folks. Time… get it? Time Lord talk with Bob, DJ, Tricia, and Kevin (and possibly even Morgan)! We get together for a show that has the anchor topic of our (some of our) favorite show: Doctor Who!

The Greatest Show: Doctor Who Edition… TONIGHT.

Want to join a show live? Want to talk about Doctor Who? Want US to talk about Doctor Who? Tonight is the night… the Greatest Show, Doctor Who Edition, is live tonight. Check back closer to 10:30 pm Eastern/7:30 pm Pacific for the link and you can join us!

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Doctor Who on the Greatest Show!

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Not doing anything Saturday night? Wait, you ARE doing something? Well, cancel that crap and join us online for the Greatest Show. We are going to have us some Doctor Who discussion, the “anchor” of the show, and we’ll have the usual suspects as well as a special guest planned.

There will be, as always, a Q&A feature that you can send in comments, questions, and we’ll include them in the show. I’d even go so far as to say we’ll include them all because we have yet to be overwhelmed by this feature.

Doctor Who… it’s a great thing to talk about and it’ll be great for us to talk about for at least an hour…

Come on… cancel your plans, join us at 10:30 pm Eastern, 7:30 pm Pacific on Saturday, March 19, 2016.

ESPL Week 11 – Boom Goes the Dynamite

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Week 11 had a lot of surprises and we were very privileged to rebound from such a terrible week into something that had supporters standing for entire matches.

The first match saw Shamrock Celtic host Wordsmiths in a scorefest, which was completely unexpected from the previous week’s activity. Shamrock Celtic scored by Thor Skjelstad, Arak Shemin, Marco Kaspazov, Don Thomas, and two by Tom Johnson. Wordsmiths had only a single goalscorer in Calvin Casey. The final was 6-4, and some are stating that was because Casey was the only one who could score.

The second match saw Vulcan FC host Knightsquare. The only goal came from Vulcan’s Duncan McBriar. Knightsquare was held to nothing and hasn’t managed to come off of the bottom of the table their entire season.

The third match saw Sporting Black Cats host Halo. Sporting Black Cats scored by Nate Havram and Victor Khrushchev. Halo scored by Scott Stennon and Jonathan Lucke. The only draw of the week, in stark contrast to the prior week, was a refreshing change of pace.

The fourth match saw Gothica host Real Olympia. The number one club in the league extended their lead by scoring six times by Hiro Takahashi, Norman Tavez, Pierre LaFayette, and a hat trick by Simon Tarken. The real question becomes: who can stop Gothica?

The fifth match saw Naval Armada host Allen FC, where Naval Armada deal Allen FC with their first lost of the season. Naval Armada scored by Xavier Masters, Piotr Khrush, and Pedro Cruz. Allen FC scored by Charles Alexander and Shawn Rock.

The sixth match saw Shazam CM host Emerald United, in what was sure to be an epic battle between two of the league’s super powers. Shazam CM scored by Linke Rosseau and Carlos Marcos. Emerald United scored by Garrett Parker. Shazam CM managed to hold on to their early lead and take down the league’s number two club, only a notch, but still managed to score a major victory.

Well, we’re going into an off week before getting to the second half of the season and the push to see who can claim the title of Premier League Champions of the ESPL.