The Boston Red Sox are 2018 World Series Champions

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The Boston Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games on Sunday night to win their fourth championship in the last fifteen years and ninth title in franchise history while cementing themselves as one of the greatest teams of all time. The Red Sox were historically dominant this year, winning 108 games in the regular season en route to their third consecutive AL East title. They then cruised through the playoffs by disposing of the 100 win Yankees in four games, 103 win defending champion Astros in five games, and defending NL Champion Dodgers in five games. They went 11-3 in the playoffs and 7-1 on the road. Now that the season is over, it’s time to reflect back on the incredible journey that led the Boston Red Sox to the 2018 World Series Championship.

 

October 27, 2017: Alex Cora signs three year deal to become manager of the Red Sox

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Despite winning the 2013 World Series title and back to back AL East division titles in 2016-2017, there was always a feeling that the Red Sox were winning despite John Farrell and not because of him. The decision to fire Farrell and hire Cora was the first important step in the success of the 2018 Red Sox. Cora was previously a bench coach for the Houston Astros, and instantly made an impact when he joined the Red Sox. All of the players spoke very highly of him and he had a great relationship with the team. Cora brought the best out of everyone this season and his impact was undeniable.

 

February 26, 2018: Boston signs free agent J.D. Martinez to a 5 year $110 million deal

J.D. Martinez

After David Ortiz retired in 2016, the Red Sox were dead last in the AL in home runs in 2017. There was a clear gap in the lineup, and Boston knew it needed to address it if they were seriously going to contend. Although it took longer than everyone expected, the Red Sox finally agreed to a deal with J.D. Martinez a month before the season started. Martinez was coming off a season in which he hit .303 with 45 HR and 104 RBI between the Tigers and Diamondbacks. However, given the many big name free agents that have come to Boston and failed miserably, there was no guarantee that J.D. could succeed in the ultra competitive AL East in a big market. Martinez more than proved everyone wrong by making a run at the triple crown by batting .330 with 43 HR and 130 RBI. He came up clutch in the postseason as well by hitting a HR every single round.

 

April 11, 2018: The Red Sox and Yankees reignite the rivalry

The 2018 season was the first in a long time in which both the Red Sox and Yankees were legitimate World Series contenders, so it was only a matter of time that the two teams would clash over the course of the season. On April 11th, Joe Kelly hit Tyler Austin and the benches cleared, reigniting a rivalry between the two teams that would eventually lead to a clash in the postseason.

 

April 20, 2018: The Red Sox win to start the season with a historic 17-2 record

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The Red Sox historic start was foreshadowing of what was to come. After blowing the lead against Tampa Bay in the season opener, Boston was 17 of its next 18 games and was firing on all cylinders in late April. After being the only team to not hit a grand slam in 2017, the Red Sox hit six grand slams in April.

 

June 28, 2018: The Red Sox trade for veteran 1B/OF Steve Pearce from the Blue Jays

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In what seemed like a relatively minor deal at the time, the Red Sox traded for veteran Steve Pearce to add some depth to their bench. The 35 year old had played for six different teams before joining the Red Sox, including every team in the AL East. Pearce went on to become an unlikely postseason hero by hitting three home runs in the World Series and earning World Series MVP.

 

July 25, 2018: Boston trades for Nathan Eovaldi from the Tampa Bay Rays

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Another mid-season trade that didn’t seem overly significant at the time turned out to pay huge dividends. The Red Sox acquired Nathan Eovaldi from Tampa Bay in exchange for Jalen Beeks. Eovaldi had great potential as a pitcher, but there were questions about his health after he underwent Tommy John surgery and missed all of the 2017 season. Eovaldi turned out to be a reliable starter down the stretch while Eduardo Rodriguez was on the DL and Drew Pomeranz had been demoted to the bullpen. He came up even bigger in the playoffs. With the Red Sox tied 1-1 and having to go into Yankee Stadium for Game 3 of the ALDS, Eovaldi turned in a masterpiece with 7 innings of 1 run ball to help the Red Sox retake control of the series. He would also go on to do the same thing in the ALCS, pitching another gem to help the Red Sox grab a 2-1 series lead against Houston.

 

August 1, 2018: Brian Cashman’s “Damage Quote”

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Before beginning a four game series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, Cashman was asked about the Red Sox to which he replied with his now famous quote. At the time, the Yankees were 5-4 against Boston and outscored them 52-50, hardly a significant advantage in the series. The Red Sox would go on to use that mantra as motivation throughout their postseason run, and even trademarked the phrase “Do Damage.”

 

August 5, 2018: Red Sox complete four game sweep of Yankees

The Red Sox entered this showdown with a 5.5 game lead over the Yankees in the AL East, meaning that the Yankees had to have a split at the very least to stay in the race. After taking the first three games of the series, the Red Sox came back from three runs down in the 9th to win it in the 10th and establish a commanding 9.5 game lead in the division, all but ending the race. It was the Red Sox first four game sweep of an opponent who was at least 30 games over .500 in nearly 80 years.

 

September 11, 2018: Red Sox clinch postseason berth
September 20, 2018: Red Sox clinch third straight AL East title at Yankee Stadium
September 24, 2018: Red Sox clinch best record in MLB, win franchise record 106th game

 

October 9, 2018: Red Sox defeat Yankees in 4 games to win ALDS

In what was probably their closest series of the postseason, the Red Sox defeated the Yankees in the teams’ first postseason clash since the legendary 2004 comeback. The two teams split the pair in Boston before the Red Sox handed the Yankees their largest postseason loss ever by winning 16-1 behind the first ever postseason cycle by Brock Holt. The Yankees became just the second team ever to have a position player pitch in the postseason in Game 3. Craig Kimbrel struggled in the series but was able to barely hold on in a thrilling one run victory in Game 4 to send the Red Sox to the ALCS.

 

October 18, 2018: Red Sox defeat Astros in 5 games to win ALCS

The Red Sox entered the ALCS against the defending champions as underdogs despite having the better record. After defeating Chris Sale in Game 1, it looked like Houston had all the momentum. A Game 2 win against the struggling David Price would send the Astros back home with a 2-0 series lead. However, Price was able to pitch just well enough and the Red Sox got to Gerrit Cole to earn the split in Boston after Jackie Bradley Jrs three run double gave Boston a 5-4 lead. Bradley again came up huge in Game 3 with a grand slam off Roberto Osuna to seal the 2-1 lead. With Chris Sale battling illness, David Price took the mound against Justin Verlander in Game 5 on short rest and delivered a performance for the ages to send the Red Sox to the World Series.

 

October 28, 2018: Red Sox defeat Dodgers in 5 games to win World Series

After facing tough tests against two 100 win teams, the Red Sox entered the World Series as a considerable favorite against the Dodgers. Boston took a 2-0 series lead before an epic Game 3 in which the Dodgers won on a walkoff home run in the 18th inning, the longest game in World Series history. The Dodgers looked to tie the series at 2-2 when they had a 4-0 lead in Game 4, but future MVP Steve Pearce tied the game in the 8th with a home run and then hit a 3 run double in the 9th to clinch the game and give the Red Sox a commanding 3-1 lead. Behind 7 strong innings from David Price and home runs by Betts, Martinez, and Pearce, the Red Sox won Game 5 and clinched their 9th title in franchise history.

The Red Sox were the best team from start to finish this year, and will go down as one of the greatest teams in MLB history.

-Jeff

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2018 World Series Preview and Prediction

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The 2018 Fall Classic is here, as the AL Champion Boston Red Sox will take on NL Champion Los Angeles Dodgers for a chance to take home the ultimate prize.

 

World Series: NL Champion LA Dodgers @ AL Champion Boston Red Sox (-135)

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In a matchup of two of the most iconic franchises of all time, the Boston Red Sox will face off against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a rematch of the 1916 World Series. The Red Sox won a franchise record 108 games this season en route to the MLB’s best record, and have gone 7-2 so far in the playoffs by defeating the Yankees in 4 games in the ALDS and the Astros in 5 games in the ALCS. The Dodgers struggled early on in the season, but rebounded down the stretch to win their second straight NL pennant by defeating the Braves in 4 games in the NLDS and the Brewers in 7 games in the NLCS. Rookie manager Alex Cora will face off against Red Sox hero and Dodger manager Dave Roberts. The Dodgers look to avenge last year’s World Series loss while the Red Sox are hoping to finally get over the hump after two straight first round exits.

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This World Series should feature some great pitching matchups, beginning with Chris Sale against Clayton Kershaw in Game 1. Sale is already one of the top pitchers of all time, but will look to cement his legacy with some big pitching performances in this series, while future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw will look to make up for past postseason demons. Likely pitching matchups in the rest of this series include David Price vs Hyun-Jin Ryu, Nathan Eovaldi vs Walker Buehler, and Rick Porcello vs Rich Hill. David Price is coming off his first postseason win in the ALCS clincher, and will make his first World Series appearance since 2008. The Dodgers rookie pitcher Walker Buehler has been sensational this year and started the deciding Game 7 of the NLCS. Both teams have great closers as well, with Craig Kimbrel for Boston and Kenley Jansen for LA.

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In addition to great rotations, both teams feature monster lineups as well. Likely AL MVP Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, Xander Boegarts, and Andrew Benintendi power Boston’s lineup while Cody Bellinger, Yasiel Puig, Justin Turner, and Manny Machado set the pace for Los Angeles. Betts and Martinez have been somewhat contained this postseason, but damage from the bottom of the lineup and ALCS MVP have played a key role in the Red Sox postseason success. Defensively, there is no better outfield in baseball then Betts, Benintendi, and JBJ. Yasiel Puig and Cody Bellinger have had some big hits in the playoffs for the Dodgers, and Justin Turner is arguably the key piece in the lineup that makes things click. The Red Sox will meet Dodgers midseason acquisition Manny Machado once again as well, who was a nemesis when he played in Baltimore.

 

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I think both teams are very talent and well-rounded, which should make for a very entertaining World Series. However, the Boston Red Sox are simply too good on all sides of the ball and are on a mission to win it all this year. Red Sox beat Dodgers in 7 games and JD Martinez wins World Series MVP.

 

Let me know your predictions in the comments down below.

-Jeff

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2018 ALCS and NLCS Preview and Predictions

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Major League Baseball’s version of the final four is upon us as four teams will compete for two berths in the World Series. Two of these teams will be looking for repeat appearances, while the other two hope there is a fresh face in this year’s Fall Classic.

 

NLCS: #2 Los Angeles Dodgers @ #1 Milwaukee Brewers (+130)

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Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers return to the NLCS for the third straight year while Christian Yelich and the Brewers are making their first appearance since 2011. The Dodgers defeated the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS in four games, while the Brewers disposed of the Colorado Rockies in a sweep. Likely NL MVP Christian Yelich has been on a tear in the second half of the year and that has carried right into the playoffs, posting a .571 on base percentage in the first round. The Dodgers MVP Clayton Kershaw was outstanding as well, putting up eight shutout innings with two hits and no walks in a Game 2 win against the Braves. Overall, I think the Dodgers have the edge in the pitching matchup. After Kershaw, LA has Hyun-Jin Ryu (who threw seven shutout innings against the Braves, and Walker Buehler, a rookie who posted a 2.62 ERA this year. With closer Kenley Jansen in the bullpen, the Dodgers staff can go start to finish with great pitching. The Brewers, on the other hand, have the edge in offense. Yelich has been on a tear, but Jesus Aguilar, Travis Shaw, Lorenzo Cain, and Ryan Braun also contribute to a high-powered offense. In the end, I think pitching wins out in the postseason, and the Brewers staff simply doesn’t match up to Los Angeles’. Dodgers win in 6 games.

 

ALCS: #2 Houston Astros @ #1 Boston Red Sox (+125)

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Despite winning 108 games and having the MLB’s best record, the Red Sox opened as underdogs against the defending champion Astros in a rematch of last year’s ALDS. Chris Sale will face Justin Verlander in Game 1, followed by David Price and Gerritt Cole in Game 2. The Astros pitching staff is loaded from top to bottom, and they feature an explosive lineup as well. Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, George Springer, and Alex Bregman are a fearsome combo at the plate while Verlander, Cole, and Keuchel are dominant on the mound. The biggest question for the Red Sox is their pitching staff, particularly David Price and the bullpen. Price is still looking for his first career postseason win and has an opportunity to make up for past losses with one or two clutch starts this series. Sale, Eovaldi, and Porcello were outstanding against the Yankees and will need to turn in good starts against a great lineup once again. Mookie Betts will also need to have a great series after a lackluster start to his postseason career dating back to 2016. He performed better in the ALDS but is still capable of reaching another level. Overall, I think these are the two best teams in baseball but now that the Astros are healthy I don’t think they can be stopped. Houston wins in 5 games.

 

Let me know your predictions in the comments down below.

-Jeff

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2018-2019 NBA Preview and Predictions

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The 2018-2019 NBA regular season will open up on Tuesday, October 16th with a double header between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers and the Oklahoma City Thunder and two time defending champion Golden State Warriors. There are many interesting headlines going into this season after another exciting offseason, so here I am to break down all of the biggest storylines and make some predictions as well.

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Many people are expecting the Celtics and Sixers, who met in the second round of last year’s playoffs, to be battling for the top seed in the East throughout the season. With a healthy Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving returning, the Celtics are the favorites to win the East and will look to take care of some unfinished business after coming within one game of the NBA Finals last year. Philadelphia took a huge step up last year, and with a healthy Markelle Fultz to go alongside Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, the Sixers have their eye on an Eastern Conference title. I think these teams will have some great battles throughout the year – they play four times including on opening night and Christmas Day. However, Boston disposed of them in the playoffs last year without Kyrie or Hayward, so I think the Celtics will have the upper hand for now.

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The biggest wild card in the East this year will be the Toronto Raptors. They finished as the #1 seed in the East last year before getting swept by the Cavs and firing Dwayne Casey, who won coach of the year. Then they took a huge risk by trading away franchise player DeMar Derozan for disgruntled Spurs superstar Kawhi Leonard. If Leonard buys into Toronto, is healthy, and plays up to his potential then the Raptors could be a serious threat in the East. However, with just a year left in his contract and having expressed the desire to play in LA, it’s also possible that Leonard mails it in this season and just wants to get to next summer healthy in order to land a huge contract. If I had to guess, I think the Raptors probably end up as a mid-tier playoff team.

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One of the most stunning moves of the offseason was the Golden State Warriors signing Demarcus Cousins to a mid-level exception one year deal for $5 million. Cousins tore his achilles in New Orleans last winter and is not expected back until January or February. If Cousins returns and is healthy, the Warriors will be able to boast a starting lineup of five all stars that are each in the prime of their career. Winning a fourth title in five years, and winning 73 games the year they didn’t win the title, would cement this Warriors dynasty as the greatest of all time. The only threats to the Warriors success are their own motivation and injuries. On paper, this team is still clearly the best in the NBA and odds on favorites to win yet another title.

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Seemingly tired of playing in Cleveland and losing to the Warriors in the Finals, Lebron James signed a 4 year deal to join the Lakers this offseason. Unlike his prior decisions, this one seemed more about non-basketball related decisions than basketball ones. The Lakers are not a good team and will not compete for a championship for a few years. Young stars Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram have yet to break out yet, and veterans Lance Stephenson and Rajon Rondo aren’t going to provide more help then Kevin Love and JR Smith. It’s clear that Hollywood and Magic Johnson played a big role in the move to LA, so it will be interesting to see what type of season Lebron has this year. Despite having shown no signs of slowing down, he will be 34 in December and likely won’t play at the level he did in Cleveland over the next four years. I still think the Lakers will make the playoffs, but will be a first or second round exit at best.

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Paul George surprised everyone by resigning with OKC this offseason after having previously said he wanted to play in his hometown of Los Angeles. The Thunder finished fourth in the West last year after another triple double season from Westbrook, but were bounced in the first round by the Utah Jazz. Oklahoma City will have to make another move if they really want to contend, otherwise they may end up becoming the Chris Paul/Blake Griffin Clippers that were good every year but never made it to the Conference Finals.

On Basketball Jimmy Butler

Lastly, Jimmy Butler has made it clear he wants out of Minnesota. The Timberwolves finally made the playoffs last year after Butler was traded from the Bulls to the T-wolves, but he was clearly unhappy with the effort and mentality of his teammates and has made it clear he wants to be traded. There were reports that he almost went to Miami before a deal fell through, and the Clippers have emerged as another destination for Butler as well. Wherever he ends up, I don’t think it’s going to make a big difference in the Western Conference playoff picture, but he is an All Star and therefore worth keeping an eye on as the season approaches.

FINAL PREDICTIONS

EAST
#1 Boston Celtics
#2 Philadelphia 76ers
#3 Milwaukee Bucks
#4 Toronto Raptors
#5 Indiana Pacers
#6 Washington Wizards
#7 Charlotte Hornets
#8 Detroit Pistons

WEST
#1 Golden State Warriors
#2 Houston Rockets
#3 Oklahoma City Thunder
#4 Utah Jazz
#5 Portland Trail Blazers
#6 Denver Nuggets
#7 Los Angeles Lakers
#8 San Antonio Spurs

Rookie of the Year: Luka Doncic (DAL)
Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Davis (NOP)
MVP: Kyrie Irving (BOS)
Coach of the Year: Brad Stevens (BOS)

NBA FINALS: WARRIORS OVER CELTICS IN 6 

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2018 MLB Division Series Preview and Predictions

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October is here which means the MLB postseason is underway, and after a pair of wild card games were determined, the division series matchups are set to kick off.

 

ALDS: #3 Cleveland Indians @ #2 Houston Astros (-163)

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The defending champion Houston Astros will host AL Central champion Cleveland Indians in what could be the most exciting matchup of the first round. Both teams are loaded with starting pitching. Houston can throw out Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Dallas Keuchel, and Lance McCullers jr. while Cleveland can counter with Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, and Trevor Bauer. Both staffs have postseason and World Series experience, so I expect some excellent pitching duels in this series. These teams aren’t short on offense either. Jose Ramirez for the Indians is an MVP candidate, and short stop Francisco Lindor had one of the best seasons ever as a shortstop. The Astros boast a strong top of the lineup with George Springer, Jose Altuve, and Carlos Correa. Both these teams have talent on both sides of the ball so I think this will be a close series until the end with the Astros winning in 5 games.

 

ALDS: Wild Card New York Yankees @ #1 Boston Red Sox (-165)

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In the most anticipated series by far this postseason, a rivalry is renewed in the postseason as the New York Yankees clash against the Boston Red Sox in a matchup of 100 game winners. The Red Sox has a historic season, winning 108 games and breaking their franchise record in Alex Cora’s first year as a manager. Free agent acquisition J.D. Martinez had a monster season in his first year with the team, and Mookie Betts is the likely AL MVP. Chris Sale had yet another dominant season and will look to avenge last year’s poor start in his postseason debut against the Astros. David Price also has something to prove by showing he can finally win a game in the postseason. The one question mark for the Red Sox is their bullpen outside of Craig Kimbrel. If one of the starters struggles early in the game, the bullpen will be relied upon and will have to perform better than they did in the regular season. With a healthy Aaron Judge back to go alongside Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees feature a record breaking home run hitting lineup. The starting rotation has been up and down with Severino and Tanaka, but J.A. Happ has pitched well since being acquired at the deadline and will start Game 1 against Boston. Anytime these two teams match up, it seems like something epic is going to happen. I can’t see this series going less than the distance, but I think the Red Sox will clinch at Fenway and win in 5 games.

 

NLDS: #3 Atlanta Braves @ #2 Los Angeles Dodgers (-230)

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The Dodgers are no stranger to the postseason and will begin the postseason after winning a division title for the sixth straight year. Clayton Kershaw has yet another chance to add to his legacy by winning key games in this series and throughout these playoffs. This year’s team is hungry for a title after coming so close the year before. Cody Bellinger, Manny Machado, and Yasiel Puig headline the offense while Kershaw, Walker Bueler, and Rich Hill make up a solid starting rotation. The Dodgers have one of the best closers in the game in Kenley Jansen as well. Meanwhile, the Braves are led by their young stars after a surprising division title run in the NL East. Rookie Ronald Acuna jr. and Ozzie Albies have provided a huge spark to the team while veterans Nick Markakis and Freddie Freeman have stepped up as well. I think the Dodgers experience and hunger will win out in this series as the Braves could fall into the happy to be here mindset. Dodgers sweep 3-0.

 

NLDS: Wild Card Colorado Rockies @ #1 Milwaukee Brewers (-155)

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After a shocking turn of events where the Cubs collapsed at home against both these teams, the Rockies and Brewers find themselves going head to head in the NLDS. Likely MVP Christian Yelich has gone on an absolute tear for Milwaukee, so much so that he nearly won the triple crown in the process. Ryan Braun, Jesus Aguilar, Lorenzo Cain, and Travis Shaw could all break out in this series as well. On the other hand, Milwaukee’s pitching staff is going to be an interesting story. They have already announced they are going with the bullpen game approach for Game 1. This strategy could be hit or miss. The Rockies have one of the best players in the game in Nolan Arenado. He has consistently been the cornerstone of that team for the last several years. Veterans Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gonzalez, and DJ Lemehiu spark a high powered Rockies offense while Kyle Freeland leads the pitching staff after a breakout year. In the end, I think the Brewers have much more talent and will win this series in 4 games.

 

Let me know your thoughts and predictions in the comments down below.

-Jeff

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Movie Review: Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom is the sequel to the 2015 movie Jurassic World. When volcanos on the island threaten to wipe out the dinosaurs from Jurassic World, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) reunite to help the save them. However, they soon realize that the group they travel with on the expedition to save the dinosaurs have alternative motives for rescuing them from a fiery extinction.

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I thought this movie started off a little bit slow and corny. Claire goes out to convince Owen to help her save the dinosaurs, and at first Owen isn’t interested but then conveniently changes his mind without too much convincing. The love interest here is pretty obvious and not much effort really goes into hiding it or trying to make it more genuine. However, once things started picking up during the rescue mission on the island it became genuinely entertaining to see what the fate of the dinosaurs was going to become and what this mysterious alternative motive for the rescue was for the crew responsible for bringing the dinosaurs back. With addition of a few new characters, I thought this movie did a great job of providing action, comic relief, and even addressing some ethical considerations relating to genetic testing.

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I enjoyed that the dinosaur Blue, who was a key character in the first Jurassic World, returned in this movie and played a pivotal role. The battle scenes between the dinosaurs were epic and fun to watch, and the movie ends by hinting at what could be very intriguing third installment to the Jurassic World series. Overall, I wouldn’t say this movie had the most elaborate plot of all time, but if you go into it expecting to be entertained and have a fun time then I think it is worth seeing.

IMDB: 6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 51% critic, 54% audience
My Rating: 6.7/10

Let me know what you thought of this movie in the comments down below.

-Jeff

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TV Review: Westworld Season 2 (2018)

*WARNING THERE ARE SPOILERS FOR BOTH SEASON 1 AND SEASON 2*

 

Westworld is back and just as confusing, fascinating, and entertaining as ever. Season 1 ended with the assassination of Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins), Park Director, by Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood), the park’s most notable host who has come to realize what the nature of her reality is. From this point on, it is a battle between the hosts, who want to escape Westworld and destroy it, and the humans, who want to regain control of Westworld and destroy the hosts. Within this battle, there are several storylines involving the main characters from Season 1. William aka the Man in Black (Ed Harris) is trying to win Ford’s “game” as he searches all over Westworld to find the true meaning behind it. Meanwhile, Dolores and Teddy are rounding up the other hosts as they try to battle back and escape Westworld. Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) finds Elsie, a Westworld employee in the programming division who was lost in Season 1, and the two try to figure out what is causing the abnormal behavior of the hosts. Finally, Maeve (Thandi Newton) is on a mission to find her daughter once she realizes her past.

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One of the most interesting things about this season is the revelation of the true purpose of Westworld. The idea of Westworld is not solely a park where guests can do whatever they want consequence-free, but rather a venue in which to collect data about the hosts experiences and decisions. All of this time, it wasn’t the hosts that were being monitored and studied, it was the guests. What the was the reason for this? Something that humans have been trying to figure out since the dawn of time: how to achieve immortality. By obtaining a comprehensive data set of an individual’s every move and decision within a world where that individual does not know they are being monitored and there are no consequences, the Westworld scientists can develop an accurate profile of who that person really is. Once that profile is created, it can be programmed into a host body effectively allowing that person’s consciousness to live forever in a body identical to their physical one but indestructible. However, we see during the season that experiments to make this happen repeatedly fail – the human consciousness cannot survive long-term within a host body. The reason for this is revealed in the season finale, which is one of my favorite episodes of television.

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In the season finale, Bernard and Elsie discover The Forge within Westworld, where all of the guests data is being tracked and stored. In The Forge, they meet a host version of Logan Delos, son of James Delos of Delos Inc., the company that owns Westworld. He explains the reason that the experiments to recreate humans in host bodies failed was because the code in the hosts was too complex. Humans, he says, have a very simple code and are not as complex as we might think. This idea also leads into the main theme of this season overall: free will vs. determinism. Westworld argues that it is in fact the hosts that have free will and the humans that have a predetermined destination. This helps explain why the hosts were ultimately able to become self-aware and change their destiny from a repeated loop of timelines within Westworld to one where they chose to break out of that loop and seek the real world. On the other end, the experiments to replicate humans in host bodies always resulted in that human arriving at the same destination every time, suggesting that we don’t have the ability to determine our final destination even if we do have the ability to make choices along the way.

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Once again, Westworld does a phenomenal job in exploring the very fundamental concepts of human nature in a way that we have never seen before. The show takes a deep dive at exploring what truly makes us human, and questions what the line is between human being and artificial intelligence. I think this is a fascinating concept to think about while living in a world where virtual reality is becoming more and more enhanced, slowly blurring the line between what is real and what isn’t. Throughout this whole season, you began to question who was real and who was a host. You couldn’t make any assumptions, but instead had to really pay attention to every move and every decision that was being made. This season was certainly very confusing at times, constantly jumping between different timelines, so I often had to read articles and analysis after each episode explaining what happened. However, I really enjoyed the season overall and am very excited for Season 3.

Let me know your thoughts about this season in the comments down below.

-Jeff

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