Thursday, January 01, 2009

Zablo's Zone: New Digs

Hey ZONErs, I've moved! Please join me at If you liked swinging by here, then I think you'll really love it there... and don't forget to change your bookmarks!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


The Overview: Hancock [Will Smith] is a super hero with a bad attitude. Of course you’d probably be a bit grumpy if you didn’t have any friends or relatives, didn’t know anything about your past, didn’t know how you got your powers and felt unappreciated for your good deeds. All of that changes when Hancock meets Ray [Jason Bateman] and his wife, Mary [Charlize Theron]. To say more would be to say too much.

The Good: Will Smith, isn't he always? Jason Bateman. The story had some interesting plot twists -- some which you can see coming and others that surprise.

The Bad: The advertising for “Hancock” -- I had no desire to see this when it was at theaters, but heard some good things later from those who’d seen it on dvd. There is much more to this movie than the trailers would have you believe!

The Ugly: What happens to the two guys in prison who push Hancock just a bit too far. Yeech!

The Summary: “Hancock” isn’t a great film, but it’s much better than I thought it would be and there‘s a lot worse ways to spend an hour and a half.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I love traditions. The family get-togethers on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Watching fireworks on the Fourth of July. Bears games in the fall. Trips to see family members in the summer. One of my oldest traditions is watching the ball drop on New Year's Eve.

That tradition started many years ago when I was a youngster. I was spending the night with my grandparents -- my Nanny and Happa as I called them. We ended up watching Guy Lombardo's orchestra [well, I mostly listened and played with my action figures]. Everything stopped as midnight and the New Year approached. We all watched the ball drop with the countdown to the New Year. That began a tradition that continues to this day.

In the early 70's, I started watching Dick Clark's Rocking New Year's Eve. I thought it was cool to see all the hot bands of the day kicking out their latest jams... and then the cut to Times Square in New York to watch the ball drop with the countdown to the New Year. As the years passed Dick Clark continued to host his Rocking New Year's Eve show. I grew up... finished high school... went to college... got married and Dick Clark was still bringing in the New Year from Times Square. I got a job teaching.... we had kids.. and Dick Clark continued to Rock in the New Year. When the boys were younger we would have their cousins for a sleepover on New Year's Eve. We'd make a day of it and then as the night settled in 'd set off fireworks. We'd watch some good tv [Twilight Zone Marathon] or movies and then it'd be time for Dick Clark to take us to Times Square for the drop of the ball.

My kids are grown now and it's been a few years since we've had the sleepovers with the cousins. But all over us, no matter where we are still tune in to check out the ball dropping in Times Square. Dick Clark suffered a stroke in 2004, and turned the main hosting job over to others -- the first year it was Regis Philbin and since then Ryan Seacrest. The stroke left Dick Clark with limited use of his right arm and some trouble speaking and yet he still appears on the show. You have to admire that. I guess Dick Clark loves traditions too.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Underdogs Have Their Day

If you have three minutes to spare, the video called "Underdogs Have Their Day" has some great photos and clips from the post fight interviews from UFC 92.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

UFC 92 Results

Last night's UFC 92 had a few surprises.

Quentin "Rampage" Jackson (28-7) vs Wanderlei "The Axe Murderer" Silva (32-8). Because Rampage had met Silva twice before and lost both times, I thought that the third time would likely end with another win for Silva. Boy, was I wrong, Rampage won via a devastating KO in the first round. Rampage is back and although you might think that he'd want a shot at getting his title again, he's said that he'd rather get the chance to avenge his loss to Forrest Griffin. Now that's a fighter talking!

Antonio "Big Nog" Nogueira (31-4-1) vs Frank Mir (11-3). Mir had less experience and did not sound confident in pre-fight interviews. That, coupled with the fact that Big Nog gets stronger as a fight goes on [and Mir isn't known for his conditioning] led me to belive that Big Nog would probably come out the winner. Boy, was I wrong again. Not only did Mir dominate the first round, he continued to dominate in the second and knocked Big Nog out before the 2 minute mark. Mir KO'd a man who had never been knocked out before and he made it look fairly easy.

Forrest Griffin (16-4) vs "Sugar" Rashad Evans (16-0-1). I picked Griffin to win, but was worried that Evans would once again find a way earn the victory. He did. Griffin had a great fight plan which kept the fight off the mat, and Evans at bay with solid leg kicks. Griffin won both rounds one and two and appeared to be on his way to winning the third as well. That's when Evans was able to catch Griffin's leg and land a hard shot which put Griffin down. Evans followed up with repeated head strikes until the ref was forced to call it.

So congratulations to Rampage, Mir and Evans.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mr. Brooks: A Killer Good Time

The Overview: Mr. Brooks [Kevin Costner] has just been named Portland’s Man of the Year. He is a rich, successful business man with a beautiful wife and a lovely college aged daughter. Life would be perfect if he wasn’t overcome with urges to kill. You see, Mr. Brooks is a serial killer. After his last double-murder, his first in two years, the demon in him is loose again. But Mr. Brooks’ days may be numbered. He’s being blackmailed by a man [Dane Cook] who accidentally stumbled on to the truth and there’s that determined police detective [Demi Moore] hot on his trail.

The Good: The cast. The story. I especially enjoyed all the subplots. Dane Cook trying to control the situation in which he is out of his league. Demi Moore and the escaped killer after her. Mr. Brooks’ daughter’s terrible secret that was slowly unfolding. The way that Mr. Brooks was torn between his urge to kill and the knowledge that it was terribly, terribly wrong. The plot twists. How everything wraps up. And Mr. Brooks’ relationship with Marshall [William Hurt].

The Bad: What happens to those who fall into the path of Mr. Brooks.

The Ugly: The dreams of a serial killer.

The Summary: “Mr. Brooks" is definitely worth a look -- you'll have a killer good time.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Dead Celebrities Live

Have you seen the new ad that John Lennon did for charity? Yeah, you read that right. The new ad. Yes, I know that John Lennon was killed over 28 years ago. But through the wonders of modern technology here is John urging us to give a child a laptop.

I have mixed feelings about this type of thing. On one hand I love the possibilities the technology gives us. Think about how cool it would be to see Sly Stallone, young Marlon Brando, Humphrey Bogart and Lee Marvin acting alongside each other. The possibilities are endless.

On the other hand, we'll probably end up with more of this and this.

UFC 92 Preview

Tomorrow night's card for UFC 92 is stacked. Three fights headline the card and they should all prove to be interesting, competitive fights.

Quentin "Rampage" Jackson (28-7) takes on Wanderlei "The Axe Murderer" Silva (32-8). Jackson is the former light heavyweight champ, with the emphasis is on former. It's still fresh in most folks' minds about Jackson's erratic behavior following the loss of his title. Many are saying that the shake-ups that followed Jackson's run-ins with the law led to good things. He started training seriously, he got rid of those around him who were not the best influences and will come into this fight a changed man. He will need to be. Rampage has met Silva twice before and lost both times. I like Rampage, but plan to give the nod to Silva.

Antonio "Big Nog" Nogueira (31-4-1) matches up against Frank Mir (11-3). Again, I like both fighters. Mir has less experience. Plus, if you've heard him speaking about Big Nog in interviews, you know that Mir is concerned with the fact that Big Nog gets stronger as the fight goes on... and Mir isn't known for his conditioning. I think that Big Nog has the advantage going in and unless Mir makes something happen fast, it could be a long night in the octogon with Nogueira coming out a winner.

Forrest Griffin (16-4) puts his title on the line when he squares off against "Sugar" Rashad Evans (16-0-1). Both of these guys are former winners of The Ultimate Fighter show tourneys. Although Griffin is a slight favorite, mainly due to his popularity, Evans is the more technical fighter due to his extensive college wrestling career. I'm leaning towards Griffin finding a way to win, but am concerned that Evans has ALWAYS been able to do just that.

Free Look at "The Goon"

I've been following Eric Powell's "The Goon" since his self-publishing days. Although it's been eight years and Eric has moved into the big leagues with Dark Horse publishing "The Goon," it's as good as ever. And I'm not the only one who feels that way. This year Eric picked up two Eisner Awards [Best Painter and Best Humor Writer/Artist].

f you're already a Goon fan, then you know what I'm talking about. If you're not a fan, then you should check out's preview of "The Goon #31."
Who knows, maybe you'll become one.