Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers, NFC Championship Game, January 14, 1990

Well, I was ready for some football today, so I decided to take in a game from the past. This particular game was the 1989 NFC Championship Game between the Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers, played at Candlestick park in San Francisco. The 49ers went 14-2 during the regular season and had to be considered the favorites, but the Rams seemed to be getting hot at the right moment, winning two straight road games against the Eagles and Giants to get to this point. Not to mention that Los Angeles had beaten San Francisco, at Candlestick, earlier in the season, and nearly beat them again in Los Angeles. This game featured two teams that are very familiar with each other, with both teams having top notch offenses that few other teams had been able to stop during the regular season. This could have been a heck of a game. Instead, the 49ers completely dominated and made the Rams look terrible. A few thoughts from this game.

- This was actually a close game for a while, as the Rams stopped the Niners on the first drive and drove down the field for a 23-yard field goal. If there was one play that could have completly changed the game, it came late in the first quarter with the Rams up 3-0 and at the San Francisco 40 yard line. The Rams faked a reverse, and quarterback Jim Everett fired deep to an open Willie "Flipper" Anderson. It looked like a sure touchdown, but free safety Ronnie Lott raced from the other side of the field and got to the ball just in time to deflect it out of bounds. It was one of the better plays you will see a safety make, and if Lott hadn't made that play, the Rams are up 10-0 and who knows what happens from there. Instead, the Rams were forced to punt, and the rest is history.

- Joe Montana, the 49ers quarterback, just carved the Rams' defense up all day long. Montana completed 26 out of 30 passes for 262 yards. The Rams seemed determined to not let the deep ball beat them, so what did Montana do? Well, he did an excellent job of finding the weakness of the Rams coverage nearly every time he went back to pass. The Rams were forced to start a young James Washington at safety, and while Washington would later become a good player with the Dallas Cowboys, it was clear that he was overmatched in this game. Montana zeroed in on Washington, constantly picking on him and working the middle of the field with a lot of success.

- If there was one drive that summed up the game, it came with two minutes left in the first half. With the score 14-3 San Francisco, the Niners started at their own 18 yard-line, and from there Montana went to work, spreading the ball out to different recievers, from star running back Roger Craig to wideout Mike Sherrard, who was only playing his second game in three years due to injuries. Even after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty (which was unwarranted, by the way, as the Rams were more at fault) pushed the Niners back fifteen yards to the Rams' 18 with 14 seconds left, Montana and the 49ers calmly and cooly came right back, as Montana found John Taylor in the end zone after Taylor burnt Leroy Irvin on a slant route for a touchdown. After the extra point, the 49ers were up 21-3 and never looked back.

- Tom Rathman, the 49ers Fullback, was quite simply a beast. He was one hard man to bring down, and when you did bring him down he would make sure it would be a painful experience for the defender. At one point he dragged Washington a couple of yards downfield before going down, and Rathman was constantly running over defenders. Oh yeah, Roger Craig wasn't any easier to bring down either, as his high-kicking running style usually left defenders with a knee in the face. The two backs combined for 245 yards from scrimmage and made life tough for Rams defenders.

- You know what you don't see at all anymore? Kickers that kick the ball barefoot. The Rams had one in Mike Lansford, who wore a shoe on his plant foot and left his kicking foot bare. Even when the field was cold or muddy, and this game featured quite a muddy field, Lansford left the foot sans shoe. Since he lasted nine years in the NFL, I guess it worked for him, but I doubt if we will ever see another barefoot kicker again in the NFL. It seems like kicking the ball with a bare foot would hurt like hell, but what do I know?

- This was not a good game for Rams QB Jim Everett, and in many ways his performance in this game affected him for the rest of his career. Everett started out okay, but the 49ers pass rush was getting to him, and Everett started to make mistakes, throwing constantly into double coverage, not stepping into his throws for fear of getting hit, which led to underthrown passes, and throwing three interceptions, two of which I wondered just what the heck he was trying to do, as there were at least three 49ers around the area he threw it. The lowpoint for Everett, and the play that ultimately defined his career, came in the third quarter. On third down, Everett dropped back to pass. With no one really close to hitting him, Everett dived on the ground with the ball, eventually being touched down for a sack. Check it out for yourself:

- From that point on, the Rams and their fans never truly believed in Everett, a quarterback who by the way, led the NFL in touchdown passes in 1988 and 1989. Although Everett put up good stats in 1990, the Rams fell to 5-11 and both Everett and the Rams went downhill from there until Everett was shipped to New Orleans and the Rams left L.A. to go to St. Louis. If only Ronnie Lott hadn't of gotten to that ball, than Jim Everett might be a Hall of Fame quarterback in the Rams might still be in Los Angeles. Funny how one single play can change everything, isn't it?

Bottom line, the Rams got licked, and this game is just classic Montana, as he leads the 49ers with machine like precision. At times it just looked too easy, as if Montana and his receivers were just playing catch in the backyard. From here, the 49ers would crush the Denver Broncos by a 900-10 margin (actually 55-10) and win the Super Bowl, while the Rams would have to leave town before reaching the NFC Championship Game again. Today, Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, and the rest of 1989 49ers are remembered as one of the greatest teams of all-time, while Jim Everett is remembered mainly for this video:

Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any comments about this or previous posts, or ideas for future reviews or posts, than share them either by leaving a comment or by sending me an e-mail at Next time on The Canon Review should be fun, provided you're a fan of the former wrestler Van Hammer. Otherwise, well, you have been warned.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Canon Movie Review: 2:37

I just finished watching the Australian movie 2:37. Coincidentally, I was watching 2:37 at 2:37. 2:37 is a film made in 2006 and was shown at both the 2006 Cannes Film Festival and the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival. The movie was directed by Murali K. Thalluri, who was 22 when the film was released, and stars Teresa Palmer, Sam Harris, Frank Sweet, and Marni Spillane. No, I haven't heard of them either, but that's all right. A few thoughts about the movie, and yes, there are going to be some spoilers:

- The film starts off with a teacher and a janitor discovering that some one in a high school has committed suicide at 2:37 p.m., hence the title, but we don't know who. From there, the movie follows six kids during what seems to a typical day at high school, but things aren't what they seem, and the events of 2:37 pm will change their lives forever.

- The movie follows six students, Marcus, an academic overachiever who is pressured heavily by his father to be successful; Melody, Marcus's sister who has a deep and disturbing secret, Sean, an anti-authority type who does drugs and has come out of the closet, Luke, your typical jock who seems to be confused about his own sexuality, Kelly, a girl who seems to have a thing for Marcus, Sarah, Luke's girlfriend who is insecure about her looks and seems totally devoted to Luke, and 'uneven' Steven, who walks with a limp due to having one leg shorter than the other and who was born with two urrethras, which causes him to urinate uncontrollably. Since you know the ending, the movie takes on a "whodunit" feel as you try to sift through all the events and figure out just which person killed themselves.

- Thalluri uses a few interesting techniques in the film. One of which is the constant use of tracking shots, as the camera follows different characters as they walk through the hallways of the school. The shots are used to show the perspective of different events of the movie through different perspectives. Another technique the director uses is splicing in personal interview clips with the characters which show them expressing their personal thoughts. These interview clips are shot in black-and-white and gives the film a bit of a documentary feel, and also gives the audience more insight into the motives and personality of the characters.

- I must warn you, this movie is definitely not for the faint of heart. For one thing, the movie drew some criticism for it's graphic suicide scene at the end of the movie, and I can certainly see why. There's also one other scene that is rather disturbing as well, so be warned.

- Man, this is one depressing movie. From beginning to end, it's kind of hard to see a silver lining in the story, especially the last 20 minutes or so, which just depressed the heck out of me. The saga of Melody, in particular, really makes you feel bad, even if her storyline seemed a bit over the top.

-Thalluri wrote and directed this movie because a close friend of his had committed suicide, and this film was not only an outlet to deal with the pain of losing a friend, but also to serve as somewhat of a warning towards high school students. That's fine, but I fear that the message may not reach the right people due to the graphicness of the film turning some viewers away. But that's just my opinion.

Overall, the acting is very good, and all of the different camera and production techniques give the movie a unique feel. However, some of the characters weren't fleshed out enough (Sarah, for one, seemed to be a one-dimensional character, and that seemed to be more of a fault of the script than the actress). The ending is just heart-wrenching, though, and had quite an effect on me. Overall, I'll give 2:37 a 7.32 out of 10, as it was a good movie, even though some might find the subject matter and a few of the scenes unpleasant to match.

Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any thoughts on this or other posts, or ideas for future posts, than share them either by leaving a comment or by sending me an e-mail at

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Canon Restaurant Review: La Parrilla Mexican Restaurant (Flowery Branch, GA)

In any aspect of life, there are certain things that are so overhyped by people around you or on television or whatever that you think there is no way it could possibly be as good as they say it is. Sometimes, the hype is actually worth it, and other times you end up disappointed, like how many people were disappointed with Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy, or how I was disappointed by The Matrix Reloaded. Now, you're probably wondering why I am bringing all of this up during a restaurant review. Well, I have a very good reason, because everything I have heard about La Parrilla is that it is the best by golly Mexican restaurant in the stratosphere. A lot of that talk has come from my good friend and Canon Review reader Dickson S., who is quite fond of the place. But he doesn't seem to be the only one. Go ahead and Google La Parrilla, and you will see a lot more positive reviews than negative reviews. Anyway, today Dickson, my sister Maggie and myself made the trek to Flowery Branch and I finally got to experience the majestically of La Parrilla for myself. Will it live up to the hype, or will it make me feel as if I had once again seen that crappy Matrix film?

We get there, and the place is packed, so we have to wait a few minutes for a table. Although it's a bit annoying, it's also a very good sign because the place wouldn't be so crowded if the food was terrible. There was an open bench outside the restaurant, so I decided to sit my butt down. We waited for about a couple of minutes, not too long, and were seated at a booth not too far away from the bar. The place is decorated like, well, a typical Mexican Restaurant, I suppose. They had a couple of big-screen televisions on the wall, and I was fortunate to sit near one of those TVs, so that was nice. Of course, I couldn't hear anything because they didn't have the sound on, but whatever. There was also a mariachi band in the restaurant, and while it may had added some authenticity, there loud playing also annoyed the heck out of me. The band plays different standard songs and even played a couple of mariachi versions of popular mainstream songs, like "Margaritaville" and Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child of Mine". I wanted to request a Nickelback song, but neither one of my dining companions liked that idea at all.

Like a lot of Mexican restaurant, La Parrilla provided a free bowl of tortilla chips and some salsa. The chips were good and fresh, and the salsa was decent, although I wouldn't have minded a bit more spice, to be honest. The menu at La Parrilla was at least 10 pages long, and there was quite a wide variety of Mexican flavored foods available. If one were so inclined, they could try the Mexican Cheeseburger or Mexican Chicken Sandwich, or they could order a steak or different seafood or chicken dishes. They also have a selection of vegetarian dishes as well. Well, since this was my first time here, I decided to order something simple, so I went with combination number 2: one taco, one enchilada, and one chalupa. Meanwhile, Dickson ordered his favorite dish, a Burrito a La Parrilla with steak, while Maggie opted for the Seafood Burrito.

To my surprise, the wait for our food wasn't too long at all, especially considering that the place was packed. Actually, the service was very good overall, although I have a feeling that our waiter may have been a bit flustered, as he forgot what drink I had ordered at first and later seemed to forget a refill of Maggie's drink. But he tried hard and was attentive, so overall I have no problem with the service. As for the food, I wasn't all that crazy about the taco, as it tasted no different than a taco you might get at Taco Bell or something. The chalupa was pretty decent, as the beans were good, but there wasn't a lot of cheese on it, which was disappointing. I will say that the enchilada was very good, and if I ever eat here again, I'll probably end up ordering one of their enchilada specials. That was by far the best part of my meal, as the sauce was just right and the meat was cooked very well. Plus, unlike the other two dishes, they loaded up the cheese on the enchilada. Of course, Dickson liked his dish a whole lot, and Maggie seemed to like hers as well, although I found it odd that her rice looked as if it were dumped out of a can and served on the plate. I can't attest to how it tasted, because I didn't have any and I never did ask Maggie how it tasted either, so chalk that up as a mistake on my part.

Even though I probably shouldn't have, I ended up ordering some dessert. I thought about ordering some churros, but instead I went with the fried ice cream dish, which was served with bits of granola and honey and came in a flour tortilla shell, and the whole thing was topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and had a cherry on top. The dessert tasted very good, but it was quite rich and even though I ate it all, I kind of felt sick to my stomach for a few minutes after eating it. That's not the fault of La Parrilla, but still I feel as if you should know these things. It was quite a sizeable portion as well, so if you ever want to order a dessert from La Parrilla, make sure you are able to eat it first, or just do what I did and share it with someone (in this case Maggie).

Overall, did La Parrilla live up to the hype? Well, not really, but then again it was hyped so much that I was led to expect the greatest meal of all-time or something from there. La Parrilla was a very good Mexican restaurant, though, and I certainly wouldn't mind if I had to go there again. I'll probably order something different though. My final score for La Parrilla of Flowery Branch, GA is a 7.43 out of 10.

Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any ideas for future reviews, or thoughts about this and previous reviews, than feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at Now, for no good reason, here's a music video from Savage Garden:

La Parrilla Mexican Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Canon Review of Starrcade 1994

After reviewing the brief WCW tenure of the Honky Tonk Man a couple of weeks ago, I found myself interested in watching more of World Championship Wrestling, circa 1994. This can't be a healthy interest, as most wrestling fans are not big fans of that particular time period, and for good reason. Well, I don't care, I'm going to watch and review Starrcade 1994 anyway. Starrcade 1994 is notable because the main event featured WCW World Champion Hulk Hogan taking on his best friend Brutus Beefcake, going by the moniker of "The Butcher" for some reason here. Yes my friends, WCW's biggest show of the year is main-evented by Brutus freakin' Beefcake. But wait, there's more, as the other big matches include Sting vs. Avalanche (John Tenta), Vader vs. U.S. Champion Hacksaw Jim Duggan, and in what was likely the match of the year, Kevin Sullivan wrestles Mr. T. This looks to be quite the show. Actually, I've seen it before, but that was like 10 years ago and besides, a show like this should be rewatched at least 9 times. So, in the words of Tazz, here comes the pain.

We open with a rundown of the card and the introduction of our announcers, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Gene Okerlund doing the interviews. Great, I'm going to have to suffer three hours of Bobby telling jokes and Tony refusing to laugh at any of them. Bobby makes some joke about Nashville being full of rednecks which Tony ignores and Gene chastises Bobby for. Aaron Tippin sings the national anthem, wearing a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey for some reason. After that, we see clips of Randy Savage promising to confront Hogan at Starrcade and Hogan accepting the Wrestler of the Year award from Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazine. After all of that nonsense, we are finally ready to start this show.

Up first is the first of tonight's "Triple Main Event", between Vader and Hacksaw Jim Duggan for Duggan's United States Championship. Duggan comes out ready to fight tonight, as he constantly beats Vader to the punch and keeps his opponent off balance for the first few minutes of the match with a variety of clotheslines and punches. Duggan even pulls out a cross-body block and bodyslams the 450 pound Vader at one point. Eventually, Vader takes control, and gets a two count after the Vader splash off the second rope. A short while after, Vader attempts the moonsault, but Duggan moves out of the way. Duggan gets back up, clotheslines Vader a couple of more times, and catches and slams Vader down after Vader jumped off the middle rope. Duggan's got the cover, but referee Nick Patrick is distracted by Vader's manager, Harley Race. Duggan goes into the three point stance and charges his opponent, but Vader throws Duggan into Race, who puts Duggan's 2 x 4 in the air and Duggan runs into it. Duggan's down, but Vader picks him up off the ground, and slams him face first with an inverted powerbomb type maneuver. That gets three, and Vader's the new United States Champion. Not a bad match, and Duggan got the crowd fired up early, even though a lot of people cheered when Vader eventually won. Too many clotheslines in this match, though, and Vader didn't seem all that interested, to be honest. I'll give it a 2.5 out of 5.

Mean Gene's in the back with the Faces of Fear (Butcher, Kevin Sullivan, and Avalanche). Sullivan's the only one that should talk, but everybody gets some mic time and Butcher ends up flubbing a couple of lines. Up next is a matchup of two young superstars. One of which would become arguably the biggest star in the business, while the other had a few years of employment, but by and large was out of the sport a few years later. It's Alex Wright vs. Jean-Paul Levesque, better known today as Triple-H. I suddenly became very sleepy while watching this match. A LOT of chin locks and mat wrestling that really goes nowhere. Levesque used a spinning wheel kick at one point, which I don't think he's done since. The end comes after Levesque whips Wright into the corner, Wright backflips behind his opponent, schoolboys Levesque and gets the victory. After watching the match, it was clear that Levesque was the better worker, but both men were very inexperienced at this point and the match basically killed the crowd dead. Afterwards, WCW kept pushing Wright as it's hot young superstar, while Levesque soon left WCW to go on to bigger and better things in the WWE. In hindsight, I think WCW might have made a mistake here. Match gets a 1.2 out of 5.

The next match is supposed to be the third Honky Tonk Man-Johnny B. Badd match, but HTM walked out on the company just before the show, so mercifully I am spared from watching that debacle. Instead we get Arn Anderson vs. Johnny B. Badd for Badd's television title. Heenan states that they should have bombed Nashville instead of Horishima, which just horrifies Schiavone. I guess Heenan's not a fan of the Music City. The match starts with a bunch of tie-ups, Badd pulls off a move, and Arn quickly backs away sequences. Johnny B. gets the advantage with a few punches, but Arn hits the spinebuster, but doesn't cover Badd because he's still dazed from the punches. From there, Arn takes over, using the abdominal stretch, and a sleeper hold. Badd gets out of the sleeper, puts on his own sleeper, but Anderson gives Badd the jawbreaker to get out of it. Both men get back up, and Badd counters out of an Irish whip with a nice-looking headscissors. He gets a couple of two counts, than attempts the sunset flip from the top rope. Badd hits it, but Anderson once again kicks out at two. Anderson rolls up Badd and has his foot on the ropes, but the referee saw it and gets Arn off of him. Arn thinks he's won for some reason, but Badd sneaks up behind him and uses the same finish as the previous match, a schoolboy that gets the three count. Anderson is in shock and Badd retains the TV title. Probably better than anything HTM and Badd could have put together, but I wouldn't go out of my way to watch this match again. I'll give it a 2 out of 5.

The Nasty Boys are presented with the 1994 PWI Award for Tag Team of the Year, which leads us into our next match featuring the Boys and Harlem Heat, who are accompanied by Sister Sherri. The match starts off as a brawl between the two teams, but quickly becomes an honest to goodness wrestling match. That's not really a good thing, though, as basically the Nasties do a lot of arm work on Harlem Heat, but that's quickly forgotten, so we basically got four minutes of mat wrestling for no real reason. Stevie Ray drags Jerry Sags out of the ring, and gives him a pump kick out in the aisle, giving Harlem Heat the advantage. However, Booker T's the legal man, so we have to wait for about a minute before Stevie drags Sags (hey, that rhymes) back to the ring. From there, Booker T delivers a scissor kick, but only gets two. Harlem Heat slows the match down even more, because clearly that's what this show needed, another slow match. Sags delivers a DDT to both men and gets the hot tag to Brian Knobbs, who gets in there and brawls with Stevie Ray. Sherri gets on the apron, goes to spray Knobbs with some sort of aerosol product, but she "accidentally gets Stevie Ray instead. I say accidentally because Knobbs ducked some five seconds before Sherri used the spray. Booker gets on the top, but Knobbs throws him off and Sags hit a big elbow drop. Cover, but Sherri dives off the top to break it up. Somehow, the Nasties see this and move, making Sherri land on Booker T instead. The ref calls for a disqualification, and the Nasties have Sherri cornered. They then stick Sherri's face in Sags' arm pit. Well, that's disgusting. After the match, both teams are shown in the back delivering promos about how they'll continue to fight or whatever. The promos looked very ECW-ish, if that makes any sense at all. This match kind of sucked, I'll give it a 1 out of 5.

Sting is presented with PWI's most popular wrestler of the year. We go to the back with Sting and Gene. Sting says he's tired of hearing everybody talk about what they're going to do at Starrcade, so naturally, he talks about what he's going to do at Starrcade. I wish he would have talked more, because up next we have Kevin Sullivan wrestling Mr. T. Sullivan comes out, and we get another ECW-style promo of Sullivan clawing at the wall backstage because he's crazy. Mr. T has decided to dress like a prisoner, with a black-and-white striped shirt and stocking hat on. T gets the first moves in, but Sullivan gets the advantage with some brawling. They go the outside, a cameraman trips over the stairs, and unfortunately for him, T and Sullivan decide to wrestle in the exact same area, so the poor cameraman is under Mr. T, who is getting beat down by Sullivan. It was actually funny, at least to me. Santa Claus comes out, somebody in the audience pulls off his hat and Jimmy Hart gives him a megaphone to put in his bag. Santa's actually Evad Sullivan, Kevin's "brother" and he wallops Kevin in the back with the sack. Mr. T covers, and wins the match. Evad celebrates with the fans outside the ring, but Kevin comes up from behind and beats him up. He takes Evad to the ring, and Evad's pants are falling off. Luckily, he had his wrestling gear underneath, or otherwise that would have been a quite unwelcome sight. Kevin piledrives Evad, takes Santa's belt off, and whips his "brother" in the face with the belt. That looked like it might hurt. The match gets a 0.3 out of 5, as T really couldn't do anything and well, it just sucked.

Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart are in the back with Gene. Hulk addresses both the Butcher and Randy Savage and promises to rip all of his opponents in half. Jimmy Hart says he'll never leave the Hulkster's side. Well, that turned out to be a lie, didn't it. Avalanche comes out for his match with Sting, and naturally, Sting follows. What transpires after this is one of the sloooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwweeeeeeesssssssstttttttt matches you will see. Avalanche does hardly anything and is blown up about five minutes in. All Sting can do with Avalanche is kick him in the leg and wait for Avalanche to get his breath back. Sting tried, but it just was not going to happen. Avalanche stalls a lot and does a bunch of side headlocks with the occasional leg drop or clothesline thrown in. Sting finally starts to get some momentium, knocking Avalanche down with a clothesline. He backs the 'Lanche into the corner and hits the Stinger Splash, but the referee was trapped behind Avalanche and he goes down as well. Sting turns over Avalanche for the Scorpion Death Lock, but Kevin Sullivan interferes. Sting has some success fighting them off, but the numbers are too much for Sting. Avalanche uses his patened sit-down splash on Sting, and goes for another one but Hogan comes out and chases his two enemies out with a chair. Sting wins by disqualifaction, marking yet another unsatisfying and cheap finish on this show. I almost fell asleep during this match at least twice, so I'll give it a 0.5 out of 5.

We see Jimmy Hart win the Manager of the Year Award from PWI. Whoop-dee-damn-do. We then get a recap of the events that led up to Hogan wrestling his best friend. See, a masked man kept attacking Hogan, and at Halloween Havoc, that man was revealed to be Brutus Beefcake. So, here we are. Butcher comes out with Sullivan and Avalanche, while Hogan comes with Jimmy Hart and a chair. Michael Buffer makes the introductions, which takes up about three minutes of time, Avalanche and Sullivan are sent to the back, and off we go. This match set the record for most back rakes used in a single match, as 80% of both men's offensive repertoire was the dreaded back rake. Hogan even pulled out the dreaded chest rake as well. Hogan uses a chair, but the match still continues. Hogan starts biting the Butcher, but again, the ref lets it go. Butcher does something, I don't remember, but it ends with a nerve hold on Hogan. Butcher then puts his patented sleeper on Hogan. Hogan's arm drops twice, but he just barely holds it up the third time. Butcher thinks that he's won, but he has not, and Hogan begins to Hulk out all over Butcher. Sullivan runs out, and Avalanche struggles to jog out. They both get blows from Hogan, so they hang out on the apron and watch Hogan legdrop Butcher for the three count. Afterwards, the three Faces of Fear surround Hogan, but here comes Randy Savage. Savage shakes Sullivan's hand, but WAITAMINUTE! Savge attacks Sullivan and teams with Hogan to run the threesome off. Savage shakes Hogan's hand and the two celebrate. To the locker room with a post-match interview with Savage and Hogan. They talk about this and that, but here comes Vader, who calls the Hulkster out. Chaos then ensues as wrestlers and security struggle to hold the two men apart. Looks like we've got a main event for the next WCW Pay-Per-View spectacular. I don't know what to give this match and I never want to see it again, so I'll just say a 1 out of 5 and leave it at that.

Well, that was not very good at all. Most of the matches either disappointed or sucked as much as you thought they would. The first match was the best of the night, and even that was just ok. So I strongly recommend you not watch this show unless you are having trouble falling asleep one night. I'll give the whole show a 2.4 out of 10. Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any better ideas for reviews than this, then for goodness sakes send them to me. You can send them either by e-mail at or by leaving a comment on the blog.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Canon Restaurant Review: Downtown Cafe (Lavonia, GA)

Earlier today, my friend Dickson S. and I went to The Downtown Cafe in Lavonia, GA for an early dinner. The place has been open for over ten years, but for some reason, I had never dined there until today. Why, you might ask? Well, it's because I tend to go out of town whenever I want to go out to eat. To be honest, I had not heard a lot of strong recommendations about this place, but I was in the mood to eat some Italian food and was curious to see what it was all about for myself.

So we get there and enter the building. Not surprisingly, since it was 5:00 on a Wednesday, the place was nearly empty, as there were a mere three people there eating when we got there. We stayed there about 45 minutes, and not many other people came in during the time we were in there. I don't know if that was because of the time of day or because of the quality of the food, but since they've been open so long I guess they're doing something right.

Anyway, we get there and take a seat at a table next to a koi pond. The decor is rather basic, but not too shabby, and there are plenty of tables there. Plus the place has a little bar that diners can sit and eat their food at if they so wish. The menu reminded me a lot of the menu from Royston's Italian Garden, which I reviewed a few months back (and has unfortunately closed since then). In fact, there wasn't much difference at all, as both places served Greek and Italian dinners, traditional American dishes like hamburgers and steaks, and a variety of subs. The waitress took our drink orders, and I asked for Dr. Pepper but I was told that they were out. Well, I found that a bit odd, but I just ordered a Mountain Dew instead, while Dickson ordered some pink lemonade. Once I got a look at the menu, I decided on ordering Spaghetti a la Venus, which basically was a giant bowl of spaghetti topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese, along with sliced peppers, onions, and mushrooms. The dish came with a side salad and some garlic bread. Dickson ordered the chicken Parmesan dish, which I actually almost ordered before settling on my choice.

The salad came rather quickly, and came with two slices of tomato and a green chili pepper. Normally, the salad also would come with cucumbers, but they were out of that as well. Since I don't like cucumbers, I did not mind too much, but still it was a little odd. The salad was decent enough, and unlike other places, at least the lettuce looked clean and tasted somewhat fresh. After that, our meal came, and I was surprised at just how big my bowl of food was. It was quite a generous portion of spaghetti, I must say. The meal was really just ok, as the sauce wasn't very flavorful and it was a bit runny. Other than that it was all right. Dickson really didn't say much about his food, but from what I could tell he wasn't very fond of it. I will say that our waitress was quite attentive and friendly, so that's a positive.

Afterwards, we were bored so we decided to walk over to the Lavonia Antique Mall to see what kind of stuff they had in there. It was packed was stuff, most of which I would have no idea what it's worth or what to do with it, but it had a little bit of everything. After a half an hour or so, I ended up by a book (Billyball, by Billy Martin with Phil Pepe) and two comic books from the X-Factor series from 1987. Dickson purchased a giant aquamarine change bank so he can keep his change and fight his enemies with. Well, that's my version of things anyway.

Overall, if you're in the mood for eating out and are limited to staying in Lavonia, well there are worst choices than the Downtown Cafe. It's not too bad, and I suppose I would go again if somebody I was with wanted to go there, but it's rather mediocre I would say. Overall, I'll give the place a 4.6 out of 10. Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any ideas for future reviews, than send them over to me at Tommorow, I think I'll watch and review Starrcade 1994, so that should be excruciating for me, but it could be entertaining, so we will see.

Downtown Cafe & Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Unhealthy Burger Review: Wendy's Triple Baconator

A few days ago, Men's Health released their list of the seven worst burgers for you in America for 2010. While most people would look at a list like this and rightfully steer clear of any of these burgers, I take it as a challenge, a quest if you will, to survive and thrive after eating all seven of these burgers, because by golly, I do love me some hamburgers. Will I do it? probably not, because a couple of those burgers are served in places that aren't very close to where I live. But by golly, I will try to conquer each and every one of the Worst Burgers in America. Up first is the Wendy's Triple Baconator, which ranked number 7 on the list and was named the "Worst fast food burger". Since I happened to be in the happening town of Royston, GA tonight, My sister Maggie and I decided to go to the Wendy's drive-thru and I prepared to conquer the Triple Baconator.

The Baconator is a burger designed for those that want a lot of bacon on their burgers. A regular Baconator is made out a quarter bound of beef, three strips of bacon, a slice of cheese with ketchup and mayonnaise topping the whole thing off. That's enough for one man in of itself, but the Triple Baconator is that multiplied by three. So that's 3/4ths a pound of beef, three slices of cheese, nine slices of bacon all in one burger. The burger in of itself contains a mere 1,350 calories, 90 grams of fat and over 100% of the daily recommended intake of sodium, cholesterol, and protein. Wow, I'm just glad I exercised before eating this burger, so at least that should counteract the effects somewhat.

Well, as bad as it may be, a quest is a quest, so I ordered the behemoth, along with a small order of fries and a Coca-Cola. The whole meal cost me about nine dollars, so I wouldn't exactly call it a bargain. We went to the drive-thru, Maggie dropped a quarter on the ground and had to open the car door to pick it up, but otherwise we had no issues and we drove our food back to Canon Review reader Dickson's house. The first impression I got from opening up the wrapper, and this probably doesn't speak well of my dieting habits, was that I expected it to be bigger. But once I started eating it, I quickly realized that it was more than big enough.

Before I get deeper into the burger, I must say something about the drink and fries first. The coke was not very good at all. Fast-food sodas are always a little hit or miss, and this coke would qualify as a miss. It was flat and had a weird taste to it as well. The fries were at least hot, but these fries had probably been under the heat lamp a little too long, so they weren't quite what I would call fresh, but at least they were better than the drink. Now onto the burger. The bacon was cooked at a proper level, not too cripsy but not all rubbery either, so that was nice, since I really never know about the quality I get from Wendy's (it seems like every other time I go there, something just doesn't taste right, and I guess tonight was no different). The beef was cooked quite well I must say, and all the cheese added a lot to the burger. As far as taste goes, it was actually very good.

After I finished eating the burger, I really didn't feel any different that usual, except for the fact that I had developed a headache somehow. But I guess I was blessed with a strong stomach or something, because other than that headache which has gone away, I haven't felt bad at all, no upset stomach or heartburn or anything like that. I'm not going to eat it again any time soon to see if that was a fluke or not, though. Overall, if you want nine pieces of bacon and half of a cow, than by golly the Triple Baconator is for you. I can't really reccomend the burger, however, unless it was going to be like your only meal of the day or something, and for seven dollars (the cost of the burger alone), you could probably get something better. But as far as taste and flavor go, I'll give the burger a 7 out of 10, and the other parts of my meal a 2.5 out of 10. One thing's for sure, if I'm going to continue with this list, I probably should exercise a lot. Just a thought.

Well, thanks for reading my tale of gluttony. Remember, if you have any ideas for future reviews, than send them to me either by e-mail at or by leaving a comment on the blog.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Canon Book Review: Tip-Off: How the 1984 NBA Draft Changed Basketball Forever

Recently, I finished reading the book Tip-Off: How the 1984 NBA Draft Changed Basketball Forever by Filip Bondy. This book is surprisingly about the 1984 NBA Draft and how the players selected changed the sport of basketball forever. The 1984 Draft featured arguably four of the top 25 players in NBA history; Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and John Stockton. The first three players were picked in the top 5 of the draft, while Stockton, a little-known point guard from Gonzaga, was picked by the Utah Jazz with the 16th pick. Bondy, an NBA beat writer for many tears, tales the tale of the 1984 Draft focusing on six players, the four greats along with Sam Bowie and Sam Perkins, and how they ended up with the teams they did. A few thoughts about this book:

- One thing that I found interesting was just close that teams such as the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, and Philadelphia 76ers were to drafting Michael Jordan, only the best basketball player of all time. For example, the Mavs owned the Cleveland Cavaliers' first round pick that year, and the Cavs finished exactly one game ahead of the Bulls. If one game had been different, than the Mavericks would have the third pick in the draft, which is the pick the Bulls used to select Jordan. The same goes for the 76ers, which had the San Diego Clippers' first round pick. The Clippers finished one game ahead of the Rockets that year. If the Clippers lost one or two more games, Philadelphia would be guaranteed one of the first two picks of the draft due to the Clippers having the worst record in the Western Conference. As for the Rockets, the Bulls considered an offer which would send the third pick in the draft to Houston for Ralph Sampson, who at the time was considered a can't miss prospect at center. If the trade had gone down, the Rockets would have Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon on the same team, and who knows how many titles the team would have won. Wisely, the Bulls decided to keep the pick.

- So Houston selected Olajuwon with the first pick, which was a no-brainier because not only was he a can't miss big-man prospect, but also because Hakeem played his college ball at the University of Houston. The Rockets, behind last year's number one pick Sampson and Olajuwon, instantly became a dangerous team, making the playoffs in Olajuwon's rookie year and the NBA Finals in his second year. Of course, Sampson was brought down due to injuries and other players on that team lost much of their careers to drug use, but Hakeem remained in Houston, and was the main man on two NBA Championship teams. Some pundits may say that Houston made a mistake in taking Hakeem over Jordan, but I don't see how it's a mistake to pick one of the four of five best centers in history, even if you do pass on Jordan. As the book illustrated, the Rockets brass at the time was tickled pink that they landed the big man, and Olajuwon proved to be everything a 1st overall pick is supposed to be and more.

- The big mistake, and probably the most famous missed draft pick in NBA History, was perpetrated by the Portland Trailblazers, a team that needed a center at the time, and felt that Bowie was the man that would push them over the top. Before we get into all of that, keep in mind that the Blazers were a playoff team that year, and had the second pick because of an ill-fated trade with the Indiana Pacers three years prior, for which Indiana got one season out of journeyman center Tom Owens. Nobody brings this up, and really the only person in this book to bring it up was Stu Inman, Portland's general manager at the time. Basically, the Pacers traded the chance to draft the greatest player of all-time for one year out of an average center. With hindsight being 20/20 in all, that has got to rank among the worst trades in NBA history.

- Of course, the Blazers didn't make the right call either, as they selected Sam Bowie. The prevailing wisdom at the time said that you always pick a very good big man over a great guard. Well, that wisdom changed not too long afterwards. Bowie actually seems like a good guy, and in the book he takes his particular place in history in stride, not seeming bitter or anything like that. Sam Bowie's problem was not his play, it was that his body just couldn't handle the strain of being a top-level NBA player. Of course, the Blazers probably should have realized this after Bowie missed two seasons of college ball with a serious shin injury. Or maybe the fact that they needed a seven-hour medical exam to clear Bowie medically before the draft should have been a red flag. But Portland needed a center, and was set at the shooting guard position with Jim Paxson and future Hall-of-Famer Clyde Drexler, so Bowie was their man. In his first year, Bowie played well enough to make the All-Rookie team, but things quickly fell apart from there, as Bowie reinjured his left shin and fractured his right shin twice over the course of three years. In a four year stretch from the 1985-86 season until 1988-89, Bowie played a grand total of 63 games. The Blazers gave up and traded Bowie to the Nets, where he stayed relatively healthy for a few years and played decently, but not at the same level of Jordan or Olajuwon.

- Throughout the book, people defend Inman's decision to draft Bowie over Jordan by saying that nobody was quite sure of Jordan's potential. Well, that's all fine and dandy, but I'm just not buying it. For one, both Dallas and Philadelphia offered major trades to get the third pick, Dallas offering Mark Agguire, who was only the second leading scorer in the NBA the previous season, and Philadelphia owner Harold Katz offering the legendary Julius Erving, perhaps one of the three most famous basketball players on the planet at the time and still a great player, straight up for the third pick in the draft. Adding the Sampson for Jordan rumor (although in the book, the Rockets claim that it never was a serious trade offer), and it was pretty clear that a lot of NBA executives knew that Michael Jordan was a special ball player. Hell, watch the video of Michael Jordan being drafted by the Bulls, and listen to the announcers gush over his potential.

The book also touches on Charles Barkley, who was selected by the 76ers with the fifth pick. Barkley was a larger-than-life character who was considered a bit of a question mark due to his height (listed at 6'6" but closer to 6'4", short for a post player) and weight (somewhere around 300 pounds). Barkley showed up at the 1984 Olympic team tryouts, along with Jordan, Perkins, Stockton, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, Joe Dumars, Jon Koncak, and every other major college player at the time excluding Olajuwon (not a U.S. citizen at this time) and Bowie (who turned down his invitation to focus on the draft). From all the accounts given in the book, Barkley was, other than Jordan, the best player at the camp, which raised his draft status immensely. According to the book, Barkley's goal wasn't to make the team, but dominate the first two weeks when NBA scouts were watching in order to improve his draft stock, and coast from there. That makes a lot of sense considering that the coach was Indiana University's Bobby Knight, who was not easy on any player, to be sure. Knight wanted Barkley to come in at 215 pounds, which was a ridiculous request to make, all things considered, and Knight was a hard-ass on everyone, even Jordan. To be honest, Knight comes across as a cranky man who was never satisfied, and picked players he could control (such as Vanderbilt's Jeff Turner and Indiana's Steve Alford), over more talented players like Barkley and Stockton, who also made quite an impression during the camp. The 76ers' thought process is also dissected in this book, as the team really didn't want Barkley, but due to the needs of the roster and his immense talent, could not pass on him.

- Sam Perkins and John Stockton are also profiled in this book. Perkins and Stockton came from opposite spectrums of college basketball, as Perkins was an All-America center at North Carolina, winning national championship and spending most of his college career in the limelight, while Stockton was a point guard at little known Gonzaga, playing in relative obscurity. Oddly enough, they both seem to share a lot of qualities, as both men were humble and praised for their loyalty. Perkins was a starter for many seasons who was considered too laid-back to lead a team, but he definitely contributed and worked as hard as any other player, while Stockton became the all-time assists leader through a mixture of talent, durability, and basketball smarts.

Overall, this book is a fine read, but it doesn't really go into how the draft changed the NBA until the very end of the book, where a few pages are devoted to it. Even then, I'm not sure if it was the draft that changed the game or Michael Jordan that changed it. Either way, it is an interesting look back at the events and the people that shaped up what would become maybe the most important draft in NBA History. Because of the Rockets and other teams "tanking" games to gain draft position, the NBA Draft Lottery was put into place the next season. Because of Jordan's success, the idea of drafting a big man over a guard every time was no longer in vogue, and largely due to Jordan's success, the game has evolved from a battle of the big men into a game where players such as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Dwyane Wade can dominate the game just as much, if not more, than centers such as Dwight Howard. Today, a Sam Bowie type player would never be selected over a Michael Jordan type, no matter if the team selecting needed a center and was set at guard. Now, 26 years later, Jordan, Barkley, et. al have all retired, but their impact on the game is still being felt today.

If you are a fan of the NBA, than this book will prove to be very interesting to you. My only complaint is that the book kind of skimmed through the actual draft itself, focusing more on the actions of the teams and players before the draft. It also didn't go into a whole lot of depth on other stars selected such as Otis Thorpe and Kevin Willis. But these are minor complaints, so overall I'll give the book a 7.9 out of 10. Thanks for reading, and remember if you have any ideas for future reviews, than send them to me at and I'll see if I can fulfill your request.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Canon Video Game Review: Incredible Crash Test Dummies (Sega Genesis)

Today's classic video game under review is The Incredible Crash Test Dummies game for the Sega Genesis. The game also was released for the Super Nintendo and the Nintendo Entertainment System, and a different game with the same title was made for the Sega Master System. Crash Test Dummies was a line of action figures based off of some public service announcements featuring actual crash test dummies that was designed to illustrate the dangers of not buckling up. For some reason, the folks at Tyco saw the next big craze for kids, and designed some action figures of crash test dummies with removable body parts. They also came with their own vehicles, so if you so desire, you could your dummy in the vehicle, crash into various things and see body parts fly everywhere. The figures must have sold well, because soon after that there was a cartoon movie made of the Crash Test Dummies, and that cartoon serves as the basis for this game. I must say that I remember hearing about it being on Fox and seeing commercials for it, but I have no idea what names the characters had or anything really about it. I do remember the figures, since one of my friends had a couple of them, and, well, they were fun for a while, but crashing into walls kind and seeing body parts fly does actually get old after a while. At least they did for me. I was curious about what a game about the Crash Test Dummies would entail, so I decided to give it a shot and see what happens. To start, here is a picture of the game cover (courtesy of

That one dummy seems awfully happy considering he's losing his leg due to a powerful stream of water coming out of the ground. The game was developed by Gray Matter (which also developed games based off of the movies Crow:City of Angels, The Terminator, and Wayne's World) and distributed by Acclaim, a source of quality games such as BMX:XXX throughout the years. The game starts and these two particular dummies, named Slick and Spin, are conversing with a doctor dummy known as Dr. Zub, who is worried that a guy named Junkman is going to build a T9000. A T9000, What is this, Terminator? Anyway, Junkman comes and abducts the good doctor, leaving one of the dummies (I can't tell the difference between the two) to go out and save Dr. Zub while the other looks after the place. That's a bit odd, considering that there main enemy has just come in and kidnapped the doctor, and now there's somebody watching the place? That's like watching over the barn after the cows have escaped, but whatever.

The game is a platform game, mainly a horizontal game but later levels get more vertical. Your dummy must avoid enemies such as cars, tires, parking meters, and evil crash test dummies designed to stop your goal of rescuing Dr. Zub. You get five lives to start, and with each hit you lose a limb, starting with the legs and moving on to the arms. Once you take a hit without any arms or legs, you lose a life. You can stop your enemies either by jumping on top of them Mario Bros. style, or by throwing wrenches at them. You can pick up wrenches throughout the game, as well as hazard stickers and screwdrivers. If you pick up a screwdriver, you recover a body part, which comes quite in handy, I would say. Not too hard to figure out, huh?

The graphics for this game aren't too bad for their era. Everything at least looks sharp and clear. However, there is a problem with the graphics once an object makes impact with your character and you lose a limb, as it kind of skips a frame or two. It's kind of hard to describe, but there is something not quite right about it, and you can probably tell if you happen to play this game. Other than that, the rest of the game's graphics aren't too shabby. The background music is rather bland and unremarkable, but at least it wasn't too annoying. Something I found odd was the fact that even without arms and legs, the dummy still can jump and throw as if he had all of his appendages. How does one throw a wrench at full speed without any arms? Then again, the game is about a crash test dummy who has come to life and can jump over moving cars, so I guess I shouldn't ask too many questions and just let it go.

I didn't beat the game, didn't come close in fact. I got to the third level a couple of times and I nearly beat that level once, but died just before the end. Or at least I think it was just before the end. The controls are easy to master, but a constant source of frustration was the hit detection problems on the game. On more than one occasion, a tire or something else would come nowhere close to me, and I would lose a limb anyways. What the hell? Is the force of an object coming within a 20 foot radius of the dummy enough for him to lose a limb? If so, that's just poor craftsmanship, and that dummy needs to be taken back to the shop.

Overall, this game is not a classic, but for a simple platform game based off of a line of action figures, it's not all that bad. You may get a little frustrated by a couple of elements of the game, and the game probably wouldn't take a skilled player too long to beat, but it's not bad if you are in the mood to play a simple, non-complicated platform game. Plus, there's not many games where can control a character without legs, so that's an added bonus. I'll give the game a 4.4 out of 10, as it's not remarkable in any way, but it doesn't flat out suck either.

Well, thanks for reading, and remember that if you have any ideas for future posts to The Canon Review, than send them to me either by e-mail at or by leaving a comment, and I'll see what I can do to fulfill your requests.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Canon Video Game Review: GTA IV: The Lost and the Damned (XBOX360)

Recently, I purchased the Grand Theft Auto IV: Episodes from Liberty City expansion disc for the XBOX 360.  The disc contains both "episodes" of extra content that Rockstar produced using the Grand Theft Auto IV engine. This review will be about the first episode: The Lost and the Damned. In The Lost and the Damned, you play as Johnny Klebitz, Vice President of the Lost motorcycle club. If you played Grand Theft Auto IV, you may remember Klebitz, as he made an appearance during a few missions during the game. Interestingly, in TLATD, you get to play those same missions, only this time it's from Johnny's point of view. Anyway, the story takes place during the same time period as the events from GTA IV and mainly focuses on Johnny and his gang, the Lost. The president, Billy Grey, has just been released from prison, and seems determined to make up for lost time by picking fights with everyone and starting wars that had stopped during his incarceration, including one with the Lost's main rivals, The Angels of Death. Johnny, meanwhile, is trying to keep Billy from going too far, and the two constantly butt heads over the direction the group is taking. Johnny has some serious backup in Jim, the Lost's treasuerer, Terry, the Sergent-at-Arms, and Clay, the Road Captain. These men prove to be quite handy throughout the game, escpecially Clay, who can get you any bike you want at any time during the game. Johnny also runs into to various crooks and theives and criminals throughout the game, and from time to time will work with them to enhance his own standing, as well as The Lost's standing. A few notes about this game:

- One thing I liked about this game was that they didn't just make a new story and stick all the same stuff from GTA IV in there. By that I mean, there are new weapons available to Johnny, including an automatic pistol, combat shotgun, a grenade launcher, and pipe bombs. Since this is a game about a motorcycle gang, it makes sense that Rockstar would give you a lot more motorcycles to ride, including Johnny's personal ride, the Hexer. Another change in this game is that the motorcycles are a LOT easier to handle than they were in GTA IV, so missions involving motorcycles won't have you cursing in frustration the whole time.

- Also, changes have been made to the radio stations, which feature all new songs from the originial and a couple of new stations as well. The rock station is much better in this game, at least in my opinion, and the soundtrack seems to fit the whole motif of the game. There's also new activities your character can do, including playing air hockey with your friends, racing motorcycles (in which you're given a bat, and you can whack your fellow racers with, Road Rash style), gambling in a card game known as "High-Low", and even arm-wrestling, although I wasn't too good at that.

- Like GTA IV, you can hang out with your friends and do a variety of activities with them, including playing pool, going to the strip club, getting drunk, whatever. Unlike GTA IV, your friends won't bug the hell out of you and ask to go bowling for the 17th time this week. Also, they won't be hurt if you go a while without doing anything with them, and each character's ability is unlocked at the beginning at the game, so you don't have to do anything with them, really, but it is a nice option to have.

- Your friends also come in handy during missions and in 'gang wars', a side mission not unlike the gang wars in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. You and a group of your brothers go out and attack various other street gangs. Some of the lesser gang members will parish during these battles, but if they live long enough, they'll get more experience points and get better weapons and more health with each battle. The main beneficiaries are Terry and Clay, since they can't be killed off and you do most of the missions in the later stages of the game with backup from both men, so you're not just taking on 75 guys by yourself all the time.

- One of the complaints that I've most heard about GTA IV is that the missions weren't different enough. I'd like to say that things are different in TLATD, and although there are a few different types of missions not seen in GTAIV, a lot of the missions are the same basic scenario, shoot a bunch of guys and run from the cops type of missions. Well, at least you get different guns to use, so it's a little different, but still.

- If you want to play this game, you had better know what you are doing, as the game assumes that you've played GTA IV before and throws you right in the thick of things early on. However, I am pleased to say that there isn't one mission that is super difficult in this game, unlike the Snow Storm and Three Leaf-Clover missions in GTA IV which frustrated a whole lot of gamers to no end.

- There are 23 missions in the main story of the game, so TLATD is a lot shorter than GTA IV, which could be a chore to complete. If one were so inclined, you could beat this game in about 5 or 6 hours. However, I got caught up in all the races and gang wars and other extracurricular stuff so it took me quite a bit longer to beat it.

- One of the complaints that my friends had about GTA IV is that they didn't like many of the characters in the game, particularly the protagonist, Niko Bellic. Well, Johnny is kind of like Niko in that he tends to complain a lot and has some sense of morality even though he's a murdering thief, but unlike Niko, at least Johnny seems to realize his own hypocrisy. However, Johnny's supporting cast is a lot more likeable than Niko's, partly because they don't bother you as much and partially because they are interesting characters on their own accord, particularly Jim, who was my favorite character on either GTA IV or TLATD.

Overall, if you're like me and really like GTA IV, than if you haven't played this by now, I recommend that you do so as soon as possible. If you weren't crazy about GTA IV, than I wouldn't spend the 20 bucks to download it on your X-Box, and I would recommend that you either rent it or find the Episodes from Liberty City disc real cheap somewhere if you're curious about the game. Although there were some changes, if you didn't like GTA IV, than you're probably not going to like this game either, although I will say that this game seems to be more "action-packed" than GTA IV, which started out slow in my opinion. But I liked both games, and I'll give The Lost and the Damned an 8.3 out of 10. Well, thanks for reading, and if you have suggestions for future reviews, than shoot an e-mail my way at or find some other way to give me your idea.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Let's talk about Takeshi Morishima

Today's random wrestler feature will focus on Takeshi Morishima. Morishima has accomplished a lot in his short career, winning titles in Japan with Pro Wrestling NOAH, in America with Ring of Honor, and in Mexico with the AAA promotion. He also is highly praised for his brawling skills, even winning the Brawler of the Year award from the Wrestling Observer in 2007. So, with that in mind, and because I'm suddenly in the mood to watch some Japanese wrestling, here are just a few matches featuring Takeshi Morishima, who looks like this (photo from wikipedia):

Match 1: Takeshi Morishima vs. Naomichi Marufuji, December 2, 2007

Morishima comes out wearing a fur lined black jacket. Marufuji is wearing gold pants. They start by exchanging basic manuevers, but Marufuji gets the advantage by putting an arm bar on his opponent and holding it for a looooooooooong time. Morishima escapes, but Marufuji continues working on the left arm. Finally, Morishima has had enough, and clotheslines Marafuji off the apron. Morishima runs off the ropes, and does a suicide dive between the ropes, knocking his opponent to the ground. Morishima gains the advantage and beats down his opponent. Eventually, Marafuji gets back the advantage with a dropkick, sending the bigger man to the outside. He then tries to hit a dive attack, but barely clips Morishima, who sells it anyway even though it looked like crap. From there, it's a back and forth battle for the next eight minutes or so, as Marafuji tries to counter his opponent's size with speed, although he was able to lift him up for a falling power bomb off the middle rope and a german suplex with a bridge. Marafuji almost gets the countout win after hitting the C-4 off the entrance ramp to the mat on the outside of the ring, but Morishima gets back in at 15 (count-outs go to 20 to Japan, in case you are unaware). Morishima uses a variety of power moves, including a bunch of clotheslines, but shows some agility with a missle dropkick. The end comes after Marafuji gives his opponent three superkicks, but is short-arm clotheslined and backdropped for his efforts. That only gets two. Marafuji goes for his finisher, the Shiranui Kai (a.k.a. Sliced Bread #2) but Morishima counters, and clotheslines Marafui for the ninth time this match. Marafuji gets back up, but Morishima gives him a backdrop driver and gets the three count. Match had its moments, but it was far from an all-time classic. Still, it was overall a good match, so I'll give it a 3 out of 5.

Match 2: Morishima vs. Mitsuharu Misawa, GHC Title Match, March 2, 2008

Morishima comes out wearing a cowboy hat and a full-length leather coat, looking like a fatter, Japanese version of Cowboy James Storm. Misawa comes out with the belt in his traditional green coat and green tights. This is a hard hitting match, as both men use their signature strikes with alarming frequency (Misawa the forearm shot, Morishima the lariat). The match is a back and forth affair, as both men seem to be trying to outslug the other. Both men also use the tope suicida during the match, with the camera getting an impressive visual of Morishima's dive on Misawa, making it look as if Morishima is coming right at you. Basically, the story of the match is that Misawa tries to throw everything he has at his bigger, stronger, and younger opponent, including not one but two Emerald Frosions, but Morishima is able to absorb all the punishment and dish out some of his own. At the end, Morishima gains the advantage, winning this match the same way he won the last match, with the clothesline-back suplex-clothesline-Backdrop driver combo. Misawa landed right on his neck on the backdrop driver, which made me cringe considering that Misawa died last year basically because he took too many bumps on his neck. Morishima gets the three count, and Misawa's seconds come in immediately to apply ice packs on Misawa's neck.  Morishima gets presented the belt and addresses the crowd. Match was decent, but all the clotheslines and forerarm strikes become tiresome after a while. I'll give it a 2.68 out of 5.

Match 3: Takeshi Morishima & Mohammed Yone vs Shinjiro Ohtani & Kazunari Murakami, November 25, 2006

The teams are introduced, and Ohtani and Murakami waste no time, attacking their opponents as soon as Mohammed Yone's name is announced. The match goes to the outside and it's a real "slobberknocker" in the beginning. Ohtani and Murakami isolate Yone, with Yone being put in the tree of woe and dropkicked in the head by Ohtani twice. Then Yone and Morishima get the advantage and Morishima does a flying butt attack on the outside of the ring. Morishima uses his weight to his advantage by sitting on Murakami. Eventually, Murakami gets the tag to Ohtani, who is angry and starts whipping up on fools. He delivers a few face washes to Morishima, and isn't above kicking him when he's down. Murakami comes back in, and since he's got fighter's gloves and kick pads on, you know instantly that most of his offense is strike based. But at least it looks good, so I've got no real complaints. The match looks over after Murakami puts Yone in a sleeper hold, while Ohtani holds off Morishima, but Yone somehow gets to the ropes. Yone is still in trouble, bot Morishima has had enough, so he gets in there and delivers a lariat to Ohtani. Tag in to Morishima, he gets in and delivers a lot more lariats, which by this point I'm tired of seeing. Murakami comes in, starts kicking some ass, but misses an attempted kick to the head on Morishima, who ducks and does a sloppy-looking schoolboy rollup to get the victory. Ohtani was fun to watch, but this match was not very good other than him. I'll give it a 1.958 out of 5.

Well, I'm all lariated out at this point, and since the lariat seems to be about 75% of Morishima's offense, I think I'll stop here. From what I can tell, Morishima's not a bad pro wrestler, but I can't see why anybody would consider him to the be among the best in the world today. Maybe I just haven't seen enough or watched the wrong matches. If there are any huge fans of Morishima out there, than feel free to tell me what I'm missing, because while I don't dislike his wrestling, I don't think he's anything special either.

Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any Morishima match recommendations, or recommendations for any other subject for that matter, than feel free to share them either by leaving me an e-mail at, or by leaving a comment on the blog.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Canon Review List-A-Mania: Top Ten Third Baseman in MLB History

Earlier today, I had planned to continue my one-man celebration of the 100th post on The Canon Review by watching the 100th ranked movie on's bottom 100 list, but after seeing what it was, I quickly lost enthusiasm for that project. Maybe I'll do that another time. In the meantime, this post comes from a discussion on today's episode of Sportscenter about Chipper Jones, who may or may not retire at the end of this year. While discussing the matter, ESPN's Tim Kurkjian said that he considered Jones to be the 5th best third baseman of all-time in his opinion. Well, that got me to thinking about who I would rank the top third basemen, so here we are. Below is a list of the top 10 3rd baseman in Major League Baseball history. I have decided to exclude Alex Rodriguez from this list mainly because I don't know whether to put him at third or short stop. I also limited it to major league third basemen, so Negro League stars Judy Johnson and Ray Daindridge do not make the list, mainly because I'm not 100% sure how to rank them. Maybe both men are among the top 10 third basemen of all-time, but like I said, I'm just not sure where to put them. So, without further adieu, here is the Canon Review's list of the top 10 third basemen in Major League Baseball history.

10. Stan Hack (career: 1932-1947)

Originally, I had Pirates great Pie Traynor at this spot, but after comparing Hack to Traynor, I found that Hack had the better credentials. Traynor was regarded by many during his time as the best third baseman in the game, and he was quite a ballplayer, finishing his career with a .320 batting average. Hack finished his career with a .301 average. If you look at the two players' career, you might conclude that Traynor was the better player. For example, take a look at each player's 162 game averages:

Traynor: .320/.362/.435, 99 runs, 202 hits, 31 2B, 14 3B, 5 HR, 106 RBI, 13 SB, 99 Runs Created
Hack: .301/.394/.397, 104 runs, 183 hits, 30 2B, 7 3B, 5 HR, 54 RBI, 14 SB, 95 Runs Created

It's close, but Traynor's huge edge in RBIs makes him look like the better player. But here's the catch, Traynor played in an era where anybody worth his salt could hit .300, while Hack played during a time where runs were harder to come by. Now, let's look at the difference if you neutralize both players' stats to an average offensive environment (162 game-season, 4.42 runs per game) Stats courtesy of

Traynor: .306/.348/.416, 90 runs, 190 hits, 29 2B, 13 3B, 5 HR, 96 RBI, 12 SB, 90 RC
Hack: .304/.398/.400, 106 runs, 186 hits, 31 2B, 7 3B, 5 HR, 54 RBI, 14 SB, 97 RC

Yes, Traynor keeps his advantage in RBI, but the reason is not because of performance alone, it's because Traynor usually hit in the heart of the order for his teams, while Hack was utilized as a leadoff man for much of his career and therefore, had less opportunities for RBIs. Both were solid defensively (although Traynor seems to be more regarded for his defense than Hack). If I were to pick between them to play for my team, I would go with Hack, primarily because he got on base at a much better rate and had about the same amount of power that Traynor possessed. Traynor is in the Hall of Fame, and deservedly so, yet Hack is still on the outside looking in, even though, as you can plainly see, he is at the very least similar to Traynor in quality.

9. Scott Rolen (1996-) 

The NL Rookie of the Year for 1997, Rolen has put together a career that could one day lead him into the Hall of Fame. Rolen is a five time All-Star and has won a Gold Glove seven times due to his work on defense. At the plate, Rolen has been a consistent run producer, average 27 home runs and 105 RBIs per 162 game, and he has a career slugging percentage of .501. Rolen struggled with injuries for a few years, but he's gotten off to a great start in 2010 for the Reds, rediscovering his power stroke to rank among the league leaders in RBIs, Home runs, and OPS. If he keeps that up for the next couple of years, the 35-year old could move up a couple spots on this list, but for now, he'll have to settle for being number nine.

8. Ron Santo (1960-1974)

The second long time Chicago Cub on this list, Santo, much like Hack, is a player who's Hall of Fame induction is considered long overdue. Santo was named to the All-Star game nine times, and won five Gold Gloves for the Cubs. A player with prodigious power, Santo had four 30 home run seasons, and four 100 RBI seasons, despite playing in the toughest era for hitters since The Deadball Era. Santo led the National League in on base percentage twice and in walks four times during his career, and finished in the top ten in home runs seven times, in RBIs eight times, and in walks nine times during his 15 year career. Santo provided excellent defense and a powerful bat for over a decade, and for that, he is number eight on this list.

7. Brooks Robinson (1955-1977)

Brooks Robinson was a great player, no doubt about it. He was named to 18 All-Star games, won 16 consecutive Gold Gloves, won the 1964 American League MVP Award and the 1970 World Series MVP Award. He is considered to be the greatest defensive third baseman of all-time. He is a baseball legend and a first-ballot Hall of Famer. However, Robinson ranks seventh because as a hitter, he was actually quite average, finishing his career with an OPS+ of 104. In other words, Robinson was a mere four percent better than the average hitter, while Scott Rolen and Ron Santo (125 OPS+) were much more productive hitters compared to the average hitter. I ranked Robinson above both of those men because of his defensive prowess and his clutch play in the postseason (.303 BA in 39 games). But I can not rank him higher than seventh on this list.

6. Frank "Home Run" Baker (1908-1922)

The man named after baseball's most famous hit, Home Run Baker was among the better hitters of the 1910s. He led the American League in home runs for four straight years (1911-1914) and led the league in RBIs twice. Baker was a money player in the World Series, sporting a .363/.392/.560 line in six Fall Classics. In fact, Baker earner the nickname "Home Run" by slugging home runs in back to back games during the 1911 World Series, which was a much more difficult feat back then than it is now. For his career, Baker hit .307, and finished with a career OPS+ of 135. Baker is the best pre-WWII third baseman of all-time, and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1955.

5. Chipper Jones (1993-)

Hey, what do you know, Chipper is the fifth best third baseman of All-time, at least according to this observer. Chipper's defense would be considered average at best, but he has made up for it by pounding the stuffing out of the ball. Jones won the NL MVP Award in 1999, and was the batting champion in 2008. For his career, Jones has had 10 seasons with a batting average .300 or better, 10 seasons with an on-base percentage of .400 or higher, nine 100-RBI seasons, and six seasons with 30 or more homeruns. Among third baseman with 1,000 games or more at the position, Jones's 142 Adjusted OPS+ ranks third All-time. Bottom line, Jones has had one heck of a career, and whenever he decides to retire, a Hall of Fame induction will soon follow.

4. Wade Boggs (1982-1999)

Wade Boggs is a living legend, and not just because he allegedly drank 72 beers on a single cross-country flight or inducted Mr. Perfect into the WWE Hall of Fame. Boggs also was very handy with a bat in his hand, winning five AL batting titles, and leading the league in on-base percentage five times six times. During a seven-year stretch (1983-89), the 12 time All-Star had over 200 hits in each season, and his lowest single season batting average during that stretch was .325. Boggs finished his career with 3,010 hits (25th all time) and 15 seasons with an average of .300 or better, and his .328 career average ranks sixth amongst player who played primarily after World War II. Although not fleet of foot, Boggs was a solid defensive player as well, winning two Gold Gloves during his career. A typical Boggs season would feature a bunch of hits, a bunch of walks, a bunch of chicken consumed (Boggs ate chicken before every game), and probably a lot of beer as well.

3. Eddie Mathews (1952-1968)

Mathews is one of two third basemen to finish his career with over 500 home runs. Mathews was one of the premier power hitters of his era. For his career, Mathews had 10 seasons of 30 or more home runs, four seasons of 40+ homers, and led the league in home runs in 1953 and 1959. The longtime Brave also was patient at the plate, leading the league in walks four times and constantly finishing amongst the league leaders in on-base percentage (10 times in the top-ten, leading the league in 1963). The nine time All-Star teamed up  with Hank Aaron to form the most powerful duo of teammates in the history of baseball, as the two combined for 863 home runs while playing together, the most of any two teammates ever. With 512 career home runs over 17 seasons, there's no denying that Mathews deserves to be high on this list.

2. George Brett (1973-1993)

George Brett may not have hit for average quite like Wade Boggs, nor did he have the power of Eddie Mathews, but he had enough of both skills, as well as some speed and combined all of those skills with a tenacity very few people could match to become one of the greatest players of all-time. A 12-time All Star who spent his entire career with the Kansas City Royals, Brett is the only player to ever win batting titles in three different decades (1976, 1980, and 1990), and is one of only four players to finish his career with over 3,000 hits, 300 home runs, and a .300 batting average (the others are Stan Musial, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron). In 1979, Brett joined Stan Musial as the only two players to finish a season with over 40 doubles, 20 triples, and 20 home runs (42, 20, 23). Brett led the AL in OPS and OPS+ three times, and in 1980 hit an incredible .390 en route to winning the MVP award. Currently, Brett ranks 15th all-time in hits (3,154), 13th in extra base hits (1,119), and 6th in doubles (665). All of this in spite of the fact that Brett spent part of nearly every year on the disabled list. If Brett had been healthier, he might have very well been number one on this list, but instead that honor goes to:

1. Mike Schmidt (1972-1989)

I've mentioned this before, and I'll say it again.  In 16 seasons, Schmidt managed to lead the National League in home runs in eight of those seasons, a remarkable feat. His 548 home runs and 147 Adjusted OPS+ are the most amongst third basemen, and he (along with Brooks Robinson) were the only two third baseman named to MLB's All Century Team in 1999. A 12 time All-Star, Schmidt won 10 Gold Gloves, 6 Silver Slugger Awards (despite the fact that that award wasn't invented until 1980, in the middle of Schmidt's career), and was named the National League MVP three times (1980, 1981, and 1986). Schmidt had 13 seasons of 30 or more home runs, 9 with 100 or more RBIs, and eight with 100 or more walks. Not only did Schmidt lead the NL in homers eight times, he also led the league in on-base percentage three times, in RBIs and walks four times, and in adjusted OPS+ 6 times during his career. I could go on and on detailing Schmidt's greatness, but I'll just stop here by saying that he is clearly the best third baseman in the history of Major League Baseball.

Well, thanks for reading. If you have any opinions about this list, than feel free to share them, and if you have any ideas for future posts, you can send those over to me either by e-mail at or by leaving a comment.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Canon Movie Review: Slumdog Millionaire

In continuing with our celebration of 100 posts at The Canon Review, I decided that it would be interesting to look up the 100th ranked movie on the IMDB Top 250 list and watch that movie. As of today, the 100th ranked movie is Slumdog Millionaire. Slumdog Millionaire won 8 Oscars in 2008, only the eighth film to win that many Oscars. The movie is directed by Danny Boyle (28 Days Later, Trainspotting) and stars Dev Patel, Frieda Pinto, Madhur Mittal, and Anil Kapoor. Here are a few thoughts of mine about this film, and there are probably going to be spoilers, so you have been warned.

- The movie is about a kid from the slums of Mumbai, India, Jamal Malik (Patel) who appears on the show Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, and does quite well at it. Because of his social status, he is suspected of cheating and arrested. The police try to draw a confession out of him through torture, but Jamal eventually gets to explain how he knew each answer. As it happened, each question seemed to relate to a very important event in Jamal's life, a story which the police chief describes as "bizarrely plausible" before letting Jamal go. Now, I wonder what exactly are the odds of those questions asked synching up so compatibly with Jamal's life story, but since this is ultimately a story of destiny, I'm not going to spend too much time questioning it.

- The portrayal of life in the slums of Mumbai is just brutal. Without revealing too much of the plot, I'll just say that Jamal, as well as his brother Salim (Mittal) and their friend Latika (Pinto), do not have an easy time of things. They find themselves having the scratch and claw for whatever they can find and are constantly at the mercy of people that, shall we say, are evil. Particularly evil is Maman, a man who tricks kids into joining his begging syndicate. Maman's most despicable act in the movie is taking kids that show a talent for singing, and then blinding them with acid so that they could earn more money. That scene was quite troubling, I must say.

- The movie's story focuses on the relationship between Jamal and Latika, and how the two are somehow destined to be together, no matter the circumstances. That's fine, but one slight problem that I had with the film is that we really don't know a whole lot about Latika. I guess it's because the story's told from Jamal's point of view, but Latika just seemed to come and go whenever it was convenient in the storyline, and the result is that she ends up being an underdeveloped character. That's just my opinion.

- After Jamal keeps getting question after question right, even the one where the host gave him a fraudulent answer, the host (Kapoor) turns him in for cheating. Two things here: First, I wonder if cheating on a game show is such a crime that they had to put a bag over Jamal and whisk him away in a helicopter, and second, after Jamal is released and allowed to come back on the show for the final question, I would think things would be really awkward between Jamal and the host.

- Speaking of the host of Millionaire, Kapoor does an excellent job of playing him. He plays the host with the right amount of personality and flash, while at the same time he brings a subtlety in his performance that lets you know even from the beginning that he's not exactly fond of Jamal and looks down upon him due solely to his status. Also, the kids playing young Jamal, Samil, and Latika do an excellent job as well, playing their characters with both seriousness and childlike wonder whenever the script called for them to do. 

- The credits had Jamal and Latika along with a whole bunch of others doing a dance number to the song "Jai Ho", which won the Oscar for best original song in a film. It's not awful or anything, but to me it seemed kind of odd because it didn't really fit in with the rest of the movie. It's not as if Jamal was dancing and singing the whole movie. Eh, maybe I'm just reading too much into it.

Overall, this movie has some minor flaws, as the story is kind of slow to develop, and it seems impossible that all of the questions asked to Jamal would not only directly relate to his life, but do so in chronological order. However, the movie in whole is just great, I think. The story may not be exactly realistic, but it is compelling and powerful, the directing by Boyle was top notch, and there wasn't a bad performance by any of the actors. The movie really draws you in and makes you root for Jamal, Latika, and Salim. Overall, I'll give the movie an 8.5 out of 10. I don't know if it deserved to win 8 Oscars, but it was one heck of a film.

Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any ideas for future posts, than let me know about them either by e-mailing me, or by leaving it in the comments section.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chicago Bulls vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, Game 4, 1993 Eastern Conference Semifinals

It is our 100th post at The Canon Review. To celebrate this milestone, I will do a post much like the first one, where I watch and review a classic NBA game. Because this is the 100th post, I decided to review a game which featured the 100th leading scorer in NBA History, Larry Nance. The game I have chosen is probably one Nance wouldn't mind forgetting, as this game featured the Bulls closing out a four-game sweep of the Nance's Cavaliers on a last-second shot by Michael Jordan. Interestingly enough, this would prove to be the last playoff game that Larry Nance ever played in, as the 6'10" former Slam Dunk Champion was injured and missed the 1994 playoffs, then retired after that season. Anyway, the Bulls won this game 103-101 on Jordan's last second shot, even though Cleveland outplayed the Bulls and led for the majority of the game. The game ended the series, and marked the third time in five seasons that the Cavaliers were eliminated from the playoffs by the Chicago Bulls. A few notes from this game:

- At the beginning of the game, the announcers speculated that if Cleveland were to lose, than this could be the last game for coach Lenny Wilkens. Sure enough, the Cavs lost, and Wilkens was fired the next week. Wilkens wasn't out of a job long, as he accepted the head coaching position with the Atlanta Hawks. Meanwhile, the Cavs replaced Wilkens with former Hawks' coach Mike Fratello, who the next year led the Cavs back to the playoffs, only for Cleveland to be swept in the first round by none other than the Chicago Bulls. Which just goes to show, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Or something like that.

- The Cavaliers of this era were, and still are criticized for being too soft and passive. Well, they came out in this game trying to disprove that, as point guard Mark Price elbowed B.J. Armstrong, and center Brad Daugherty hit Michael Jordan hard on one shot attempt, drawing a flagrant foul because it was obvious that Daugherty just wanted to make contact instead of going after the ball. Nevertheless, the message was sent and the Cavaliers were quite aggressive, particularly in the first half. However, as the game wore on, the Cavs, with the exception of Nance and Gerald Wilkens, went back to their old, passive ways, as the Bulls would become the aggressor as the game went on.

- The announcers kept giving Daugherty a hard time for his performance during the first three games of the series, and for good reason, as his points and rebounds averages were down from his regular season totals. In this game, Daugherty played 3/4ths of a good game, as he scored 25 points and grabbed 13 boards. However, he didn't score at all in the fourth quarter, and kept committing dumb fouls and eventually fouled out of the game with less than two minutes to go. Daugherty was actually a heck of a player in his heyday, an athletic 7-footer who was known as the best passing center in the league and constantly put up 20 and 10 each night. His main problems were a lack of shot-blocking skills (although he had three in this game, Daugherty averaged 0.7 shot blocks a game for his career, rather low for a center) and that he couldn't put his team on his back during tight moments. He just never could be the superstar Cleveland needed, but he still was a fine basketball player.

- Mark Price was also a heck of a player, heck, he was named to the All-NBA first team, ahead of Joe Dumars, John Stockton, Gary Payton, Tim Hardaway, and every other guard not named Jordan. You wouldn't have guessed that from this game, as B.J. Armstrong was too quick for Price, and Price just could never shake the Bulls point guard. Because of this, Price only played 25 minutes, and backup Terrell Brandon got much of the crunch time minutes at point guard for the Cavs. Brandon played well, but he made a huge turnover that cost the Cavs the lead late in the fourth quarter. Even though he struggled early, Price was their best player all season long, and for Wilkens to keep him on the bench for that long of a time, in the most important game of the season, was a rather curious move. Put it this way, I wouldn't have stuck with Brandon (who, btw, wasn't a bad player himself, although at this point he lacked experience) for as long as Wilkens did.

- Jordan and Scottie Pippen actually struggled in the first, combining to shoot 7-20 during that half. The announcers kept bringing up the fact that Jordan had a bad wrist, which played a part in his struggles. However, by the second half, it seemed as if Jordan forgot about the pain and went to work, finishing with 31 points, 23 of which came in the second half.

- Other than Daugherty, the Cavs' best player in the game was Gerald Wilkins, a swingman who was signed to help stop Michael Jordan. We'll get to that in a moment, but for the game, Wilkins scored 22 points, had 6 assists, and generally made life difficult for both Jordan and Pippen on the defensive end.

- However, Wilkins, anointed the "Jordan stopper" by the media, drew the fateful assignment at the end of the game. With the score tied, Jordan received the ball at the right elbow with seven seconds left. Curiously, Cleveland decided not to double team Jordan on this play, even though everyone watching knew he would be the one shooting. Wilkins actually defended Jordan well on the play, knocking the ball loose and keeping Jordan from driving in. At the last second, Jordan took a difficult turnaround jumper of Wilkins and an on coming John "Hot Rod" Williams, and like many times before and after, Jordan swished the bucket, giving the Bulls the series.

Overall, this was an entertaining game, not only in the sense of the game itself, but also because it would represent the end of an era for Cleveland, as Wilkens was fired, and Daugherty, Nance, and Price, the core of the great Cavaliers teams of the late 80s and early 90s, would soon be broken up as well (Price would be traded after the 1994-95 season, while both Nance and Daugherty would end up retiring after the 1993-94 season, Nance due to age, and Daugherty due to injury). The Cavaliers of that time were a very good team, that could beat nearly anyone across the court from them, just not the Chicago Bulls. As for the Bulls, they would go on to beat the New York Knicks and the Phoenix Suns to win their third straight NBA Title. Then Jordan retired and came back and we won't get into all of that right now.

Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any ideas for future posts, than send them to me either by e-mail at or by some other means. Sorry for the lack of activity in the last week or so, but I promise that that is going to change, so keep your eyes peeled for constant updates to Canon GA's number one blog, the Canon Review.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Canon Restaurant Review: Lavonia Moose Lodge

I don't know if I could technically call it a restaurant review, but since this is about a public place that served meals to its patrons, I'll guess it will count. On Thursday, I was invited to go eat at the Moose Lodge in Lavonia, GA, by my friend Dickson S. and his dad, who I believe is a member of the Loyal Order of the Moose. If not, than I wonder how we were able to get in, because I'm not a member and neither is Dickson, and this is a private club. Anyway, I agreed to go and see what was happening up at the Moose Lodge.

So we get there and take our seats. Most of the people in the lodge were sitting around the bar, which had an oval shape and served a variety of American beers. Dickson and I decided to take a seat at one of the side tables. The place was about half-full, but the way the sound carried in the building, it sounded as if 259 people were in that place. You could hardly hear yourself think in there. The lighting in the building was rather dim, at least at the table where we were sitting. This was also karaoke night at the Moose Lodge, and let me tell you, some people did a fine job of murdering some country music classics in there. That's all I'm really going to say about that.

Anyway, it takes about a couple of minutes before a server notices us. Dickson orders the special of the day, which are salmon patties, served with green beans, mashed potatoes and two biscuits. I'm not a huge salmon fan, so I ordered the chicken strip plate with a side of french fries and honey mustard. You had to order whatever drinks you wanted at the bar, which wasn't a big deal, I had a can of Dr. Pepper while Dickson got a bottle of Mike's Hard Lemonade. The menu wasn't too big, as they had the special, three different plates, and about six or seven side dishes, including chicken wings, fried mushrooms and pickles, and cheese sticks. They had Friday night's menu on the back, and it seemed to have a lot more variety, including a steak platter and a shrimp platter. In hindsight, maybe I should have waited a day to eat here.

After about a 19 minute wait, we get our food. I found it somewhat curious that my fries did not come with ketchup. I also found it curious that my meal came with a piece of buttered toast, so I guess in the end it evened out. Perhaps I should of asked my server where it was, but once she delivered our food she became a ghost, as I didn't see her the rest of the time I was in the lodge. Maybe she pulled a Houdini and disappeared, I don't know. The chicken was battered and fried, and while I wouldn't necessarily call them strips, at least the chicken was cooked well enough and it wasn't dry. The fries were just your generic crinkle fries that are normally found in your grocer's freezer, and to be honest, could of used a little more salt. It's impossible to screw up toast, and they didn't, so that's that. Dickson did not seem impressed with his food, saying that his salmon patties were better and noting that they burnt the bottom of one of his biscuits to the point where he just picked off the non-burnt parts with a fork. He seemed to also want desert, but since our server disappeared, eventually we just gave up on that and decided to leave.

Overall, I will say that the price (5 dollars for mine, 6 for Dickson) was right, but it just didn't seem like my kind of place. Perhaps if I had came on a Friday, or been a member, or something else, I might have 'gotten it' more, so to speak. The food was decent, but nothing spectacular. Overall, I'll give my experience at the Moose Lodge of Lavonia, GA a 4.2 out of 10. Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any ideas for future reviews, than send them to me either by e-mail at or by leaving a comment.