RIP Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali passed away yesterday.

Known the world over as the face of boxing, he was also politically outspoken.

Starting his career during the civil rights era, his presence helped to break down barriers.

In the 1960’s, Ali openly refused to serve in Vietnam, citing his then recent conversion to Islam as one of several reasons for being a conscientious objector.

During the 1970’s and 1980’s, Ali’s fame grew. Diagnosed with Parkinsons in the early 1980’s, he slowly withdrew from public life.

Remembered as a boxer, a political activist and a very wise man, Muhammad Ali is and will always be the greatest.

RIP, sir.


X:Men Apocalypse Review

Summertime, for better or for worse, is known as both blockbuster and sequel season at the movie theater.

Last weekend, the most recent movie in the X-Men prequel series, titled X-Men: Apocalypse was released.

The film starts off ten years after the last film ended. The characters have gone their separate ways. Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) is running his school for gifted children in upstate New York with the help of Hank McCoy/Beast (Nicholas Hoult). Eric Lenhnsherr/Magneto (Michael Fassbender) is living in Poland under a new name and a new identity. Living as an ordinary man, he is married with a young daughter and working as a metal factory.  Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) is hiding in plain sight while looking for new mutants to add to Professor Xavier’s school.  Their past seems to behind them and all is right with the world.

Then En Sabah Nur/Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) is woken up. An ancient g-d believed to be the first mutant, Apocalypse is displeased with the state of the world and wants to make the world in his own image. As usual, that means killing millions and destroying the world that currently exists. Aiding him in his quest are his four followers: Magneto, Ororo Munroe/Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Psylocke (Olivia Munn) and Angel (Ben Hardy).

It is up to the X-Men to stop Apocalypse. Lead by Professor Xavier, Beast, Moira McTaggert (Rose Byrne) and Mystique, the newest recruits are Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Scott Summers/Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver (Evan Peters) and Kurt Wagner/Night Crawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), the team must pull together and save the world once again.

The critics are wrong on this movie. While the narrative is not as strong as it was in the previous prequels, it is still strong enough to balance out the action scenes.  From a writing perspective, I found Magneto’s plot line to be the strongest. Once again ruled by anger and grief, he is easily pulled to the dark side.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

X-Men: Apocalypse is presently playing in theaters. 

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