Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Haunted House 2 Review

    I have to admit that I'm a fan of the first A Haunted House. I love parody movies and I think the Wayne's brothers put on a good show when making fun of the movies that can be considered "Horror" these days. The first movie hit about two years ago and it became a hit so much like Scary Movie, a sequel was a given but this time, the buck stopped short. There were several problems with this movie that just destroyed what was special about the last one. In the wide range of sequels I've seen over the years, this one is by far the worst I've seen in a very long time. 
    One thing that made the first movie special was the original jokes that were used and the spontaneous moments and cameos. In this film, the jokes were the same old ones but just molded for the movie and over used way too much to probably add film time. The jokes also had a wide range of racial humor that again was extended and used time and time again. This made the movie more boring than funny because of the failure to stop after already making a joke.  
     The only good and original element in this movie is the involvement of fellow stand up comedian, Gabriel Iglesias. He brings his own style of comedy to the movie that keeps it fresh and the patron in their seat but unfortunately, it's only for a brief time. Following a similar pattern in the first movie, the main character Malcolm, moves into a home with a new family. Shortly after that, paranormal activities start to happen again and Malcolm begins to look for help. One thing leads to another and the ending is similar to the ending of the first movie but there is an unexpected twist in the ending I'll add. 
    Overall, this movie deserves a 5 out of 10 because while this movie is funny, the moments are short and unsweetened. With a running time of only 85 minutes, this sequel falls very short of it's predecessor but since this one made money, I'm sure there will be another one coming. When it comes to sequels, there's always going to be one or more bad ones and that's a give in. When ever the next one is made, it shouldn't have a problem outdoing this movie because it wasn't worth the friday night price I paid for it. I wouldn't have even paid for the matinee price. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Word of Advice

    Socrates says, "Beware the barrenness of a busy life." Instead of worrying about how long you have to live, worry about how much fun you can have before you have to start life over again. It's sad most people seem to just live to work instead of living to enjoy life. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Religious Poem.

A Fallen Angel

An angel is falling from the sky.

She is in a vortex, helplessly

going down a downward spiral,

screaming for help in mid air.

She looks so pure and innocent.

She is an angel, but she can’t fly.

And, as I look with a hawk’s eye, I see

her wings are broken.

I wonder why she has been sent to this realm,

a realm of my vision,

an endless forest were disruption meets oblivion

and lost souls meet renaissance.

She lands in the lake of my forest.

She is 5 foot 2 and about 130 pounds,

But, like a small stone, makes no splash,

just ripples in the water.

Yet, the impact sounds like that of an atom bomb.

I get on my stallion, the eternal mustang,

and ride to the lake where I see her

floating on her back like a flower.

I pull her out and go back to my cabin in the forest.

I put her in my bedroom

because there is no other.

I sleep in front of the fireplace

and wonder where to start.

The next day, she wakes up,

and I come in with breakfast.

She is startled, but I calm her down.

I tell her that I am a friend.

“I am one who cares for all.

I give comfort and shelter to those in need.

You may simple call me friend

because that’s all I’ll ever be.”

She eats the eggs I’ve made for her and

drinks the water that I’ve purified.

After a while, I finally ask her,

“Angel, why did you fall from the sky?”

She says, “I lost my way.

I just got bored with eternity,

so I wanted to leave.

I got my wish, and now I have nothing.

That’s why I guess I’m here,

to be forgotten.”

I say to her, “He doesn’t forget, and he does forgive.

Somebody so beautiful should express happiness, not fear.

In time, you will learn to smile again

and never again feel sorrow.”

With her wings wrapped and her body healed,

she begins to live with me here in the forest.

We take walks in the morning to see the sunrise and

have dinners in the front window of the cabin to see the sunset.

I cook her all my favorite recipes

from lasagna to baked ziti.

But when we get to the desert --

freshly made cherry pie -- her favorite.

Weeks after her arrival, she asks me,

“Why are you here?”

I tell her the truth.

“I was once lost like you were.

I fell just as you did, but found my way.

But unlike me, you still have a choice.”

She asks, “What kind of choice?”

I say, “You’ll know it when you feel it.”

She gets confused, but, months later,

confusion turns into compassion.

Many times, she welcomed me to bed with her.

Every time I declined, not because of un-attraction.

It was just going to make it easier on me in the end

because I knew the day was approaching.

A year has passed. Her wings are healed.

She flaps them up and down

and gets herself off the floor.

I smile at her success, but she can see

my invisible frown.

The time has come, and I say, “Let’s go to the lake.”

But when we go, there is no lake,

just an open field with a ray of light in the middle.

She sees now the choice that must be made.

Leave or stay?

There is no turning back.

But, before she makes the choice,

she asks me with a heart-broken voice,

“Why did you stay?”

I say, “I wasn’t the first.

I knew I wasn’t going to be the last.

I made the choice to stay

and help other angels like you and I.”

She asks, “What if I stay with you?

Help other angels by your side?

I can’t image eternity alone.

I don’t want that to be your fate.”

I say, “That’s not your choice to make.

This realm is of my vision.

This is my eternity, and this is how I choose to spend it.

If you decide to stay, I will be the one that goes.

Either way, one of us is leaving, and it’s going to be you.”

She says, “How do you know?”

I say, “Because you’ve learned again what’s most important.

Eternity is what you make of it.

This is mine, and I do it with pride.

Now you can go and find something to take pride in.”

Angel says, “I will miss you.

You gave me back so much.”

I say, “You’re welcome.

That complement is why I do this.

Now, it’s time to fly.”

She hugs and kisses me goodbye

then slowly moving towards the light,

never taking her eyes off me.

With new wings, she heads back to paradise.

As she disappears into the light,

I say, “Lord,

your child has returned to you.

My love and wishes go with you angel.”

I turn back and head for my cabin.

My energy is now spent.

My body is weak.

My head is light as a feather.

I now go to bed and sleep

until the next is sent.

Sample from my eBook on sale on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Madness in a Recession just search for Anthony Labson. Enjoy and until the next is written.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Prayers for the Jewish People in Eastern Ukraine

    It's been reported today that anyone of the Jewish faith residing in the Russian controlled portion of Ukraine is require to register with the government. Now what that means is if you're Jewish then you will have to let the government know that you are a Jew and list anything connected to you. That means they will know the car you drive, the business you own, and property you live in. The troubling thing about that is much like in the holocaust, that's where it all starts. It's a terrifying step down a slippery slope. 
    What happens now that this is going into effect? We can only speculate but if things start going downward then I fear for the Jews in that region of the country. It does seem like history is indeed repeating itself doesn't it? Nations are on the brink of war, the U.S. and Russia are at odds with one another again, and now Jews are being oppressed again. It's amazing because as much as the Holocaust is on the History channel, it seems that either nobody is paying attention or we just don't care anymore. 
    When will we stop doing this to each other? It seems no matter what age we enter, we still can't leave people alone for some bullshit reason. The fact that people are still being discriminated against because of their religion, race or gender is an insult to today's generation. When I was growing up, things were suppose to be like the Jetsons with the flying cars and homes levitating high in the sky but here we are. Still stuck in the ground and being covered in the mud by the filth of those who drag civilization down. 
   Hopefully, things will get better but since we seem to be repeating history, I will start preparing for the worse. With factors like economic sanctions, unstable state relations and all eyes on every move that's being made by Russia and the U.S. nothing is certain. We lost millions of lives, nations where destroyed and people had seen the worst of humanity. I know some of you may be thinking that I'm going way out there but just remember one fact. One of the factors that ultimately lead to the Holocaust were the Jews needing to be registered so if we start seeing restrictions on them, then all good hearted people better start praying. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Why I'm a Friend

Healing a Broken Heart
By Anthony Labson
Why do you do this to yourself?
You rather live with heart ache
and never know joy or passion
because you can’t get out of this hole.

You were dragged down
by an iron ball and
got wrapped up in the chains.

You sunk down to this level
and you never left.

You drown yourself in drink
and spend more time in the past.
Your children only know dysfunction
and every day you become a stranger
to them.
Well I’m here now
and I want to give you hope.
If you’re so scorned and don’t trust me
then that’s fine but here is my hand.

What do you have to lose?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Pennsylvania School Stabbing. What We Know and What This Means

    For those that haven't been following, there was a massive school stabbing in a school in Pennsylvania. Over 20 students were stabbed and one adult, most of them will be okay and return home soon after sustaining wounds but some will be remaining in the hospital needing more surgeries. The knife wielding maniac that tried to kill everyone is 16 year old Alex Hribal who brought 2 kitchen knives with him to school and now is going to be charged as an adult for his crimes. Many of his classmates describe him as a quiet kid who always kept to himself and never caused any kind of trouble. The summary of everyone's testimony is "nobody understands what caused this."
    Many people are jumping on this subject already. People who believe that schools aren't secure enough and more money is needed by taxpayers to up the security. People who believe that prayer is needed back in the schools because students have lost their way. Now the people who are for guns are using this as an example that gun control isn't the problem with violence in schools. I have a solution, instead of jumping on the issues, let's get all the facts and give the victims time to move on before we come to conclusions.
    More work is going to be needed before everything becomes clear because right now, everything is merely speculation at this point. While his family claims to be a strong household, there's still holes in everyone's story. The question now is what happens now that Alex Hribal is going to be charged as an adult? Well Alex Hribal is facing multiple accounts of assualt with a deadly weapon, one count of bringing a weapon on school property and 4 counts of attempted homicide. Odds are he'll spend the rest of his life in prison because of the number of counts against him alone.
    Alex Hribal could get a life sentence alone on the 4 attempted murder charges and assault with a deadly weapon carries a sentence of 1-5 years and this boy has 21 charges against him. I'm sure Hribal's lawyer will enter a plea of not guilty by reason of mental defect but fact is, there's no clear defense. When there's eye witnesses and most of them being the victims, Alex's case will be thrown out the window even with the fact that he went insane. Luckily nobody lost their life in this attack which we can all be grateful for but this event will bring back the questions we ask ourselves about safety in schools.
    Are schools across America safe and will they ever be safe? Should we invest more tax payers money in school security? These are questions we should ask later on when everything is investigated and we know all the facts. Right now, let's get the victims home where they belong and not on a hospital bed. I'm sure people will use this to say guns aren't the problem, people are the problem and I like to personally say I agree. However this is not about gun control or school security right now, it's about getting things back to normal and understanding why this happened.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Phenomenal Streak Ends

    Last night at WWE's 30th WrestleMania, the Undertaker lost to WWE and MMA superstar Brock Lesner ending a streak that will most likely never be beaten. It started at WrestleMania VII when the Undertaker took on Hall of Fame Legend Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka and now it ends after years of defending the streak against icon legends. Many have stood up over the years to challenge the Undertaker such as Rick Flair, Kevin Nash, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Triple H and Shawn Michaels but none of them could keep the "Deadman" down long enough for a three count. It's a record that spans over two decades and it was bittersweet to see it end tonight, I must admit that I was in tears. This is hands down, the most shocking event of the year for WWE and that's saying a lot.
    WrestleMania is considered, "The Showcase of the Immortals" and that means history is expected to be made on this night. Brock Lesner carved his name in stone when he gave his signature move, the F-5, 3 times to pin the undertaker. I've never seen so many dropped jaws in my life watching a WWE pay-per view. In a way, I don't even think that Brock Lesner believed it and I'm pretty sure he was in on the fact he was going to win. This in my opinion was the match that stole the show from the main event. If you haven't seen it then I'll stop there because I've spoiled enough but this was a great pay per view. The best that the WWE has produced in a very long time.
    It was nice to finally not see what I was expecting from the WWE. Watching the WWE for many years, I've come accustomed to seeing a script play out before it comes to fruition but when Brock Lesner won, I was taken completely by surprise. The rest of the matches that took place were equally entertaining, especially with The Shield vs. Kane and the New Age Outlaws  and the Andre The Giant battle royal was a wonderful addition. Hopefully we will be seeing another one next year.
    What I'm worried that we won't see next year, is the Undertaker. This loss makes me wonder if this was his last match because this isn't the first time a wrestler has decided to end his career at the mecca of wrestling events. The Undertaker is well known for retiring "Mr. WrestleMania" Shawn Michaels 3 years ago and Shawn Michaels retired the legendary Ric Flair in his last match. I think it's time we may have to prepare ourselves to wave goodbye to one of the biggest names in wrestling history.
    The Undertaker has left a legacy that can never be touched because he's the only character that actually made the fans believed he was from another place. The only wrestler I've seen that's put people in body bags, caskets and empty graves. When he was beaten, he would rise and transform into something better than before. He was an unstoppable force and he's become a name that will always be connected to words like immortal and greatness. The Undertaker's streak is dead but his legacy will live on because people like myself were fortunate enough to see it and will remember it.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review (No Spoilers)

    As much as it pains me to say it as a DC Comics fan, Marvel knows how to do their movies right. I went to the midnight release of the new picture, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and I left the theater thinking one thing. How did this become the best sequel I've seen since The Dark Knight? Yes it was that good because for a movie that is 2 and 1/2 hours, everything that went on made it feel like it was only 90 minutes. It's a shame that this movie wasn't released in May because this movie would've been a great start to the summer.
    There is a good understanding though because next month will be the release for the next Spiderman and X-Men movies. Not to mention the awesome looking Godzilla remake in between them. But I digress because this blog is about the return of Marvel's first superhero and in a way, America's first superhero. Unlike DC's first superhero, Superman, Captain America is actually an American who joined the army in WW2 as a frail man but when given a super soldier serum became the ultimate weapon against the Nazis. Because of the success of that comic, Marvel began to roll out it's other heroes as time moved on.
    Now we move forward to the present with this film beginning where Marvel's The Avengers left off with Captain America still working for global law enforcement agency, S.H.I.E.L.D. After a successful mission, the movie shows the captain trying to adjust to life in the present considering he's been frozen for over 70 years. The captain would soon find however that much like any idea, nothing is truly ever dies and that includes the captain's long forgotten enemies... Hydra. For those of you that may not follow, Hydra is an organization created by Captain America's arch-nemesis,  The Red Skull. Even though he was defeated in the last movie, like the saying goes, "Cut off off one head, two more shall rise."
    Hydra has come back and they are using their greatest weapon to take down S.H.I.E.D. and Captain America. Now with the Avengers disbanded and Nick Fury unable to help, the Captain is short of friends until he runs into fellow army man, Sam Wilson. Befriending the captain while doing a morning routine, the two find a special bond and with the help of Black Widow, Sam Wilson gets his hands on a prototype jet pack with wingspan known as "Project Falcon." Now with friends to help, Captain America begins to fight back against Hydra which reveals a dark plan that would cost millions of lives. Just when that amount of pressure is on, the captain has found something about The Winter Soldier that strikes at his very heart.
     Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a non-stop emotional roller coaster and Chris Evan does a great job portraying the fame superhero. The story line I found was well written and the ending completely catches everyone off by surprise. For those of you that may be wondering, there are two different scenes that happen with one during the credits and one after. The first one I believe is a sneak peek for the much anticipated Avenger: Age of Ultron and the second is something that will promote a third installment that Disney currently wants to release on the same date as the Batman vs. Superman movie. While I believe that will be a mistake on their part I can't deny one fact, this movie was fantastic and I anxiously look forward to the third movie.  

Thursday, April 3, 2014

PS4 vs. Xbox One: Who wins?

    I recently bought the Sony Playstation 4 after having the Xbox One for some time now. After analyzing both systems, I've written down notes to compare and decide for myself which system is truly better. Now if you're a PC gamer than go ahead and just move on because I'm pretty sure you're thinking to yourself, "Nothing beats PC." In certain situations, you're right but both these systems have advantages that draw in the gamers depending on their desires. Price is not a factor because if you really think about it, the only reason the Xbox is more is because it comes with the Kinect and Microsoft will be releasing an edition without it so cost is irrelevant.
    The first round I feel has to go to the Playstation 4 for their design. The Playstation 4's design is smaller and thinner than the bulky Xbox One. If you're someone who has the space to spare then this isn't a big deal but there's more to it then space. Both systems store 500 gigabytes while delivering high definition performance and if Sony can deliver it in a much smaller space, why does Microsoft make the Xbox so big. This isn't surprising since Microsoft made the same move with the Xbox 360. Later on, Microsoft made improvements by making the 360 smaller and smaller so why they went back to big, I have no idea.
    Speaking of improvements, I feel that round goes to Microsoft's Xbox One. Anyone whose had the Xbox 360 classic version remembers the "3 Red Rings of Death" well. I've encountered absolutely no problems with the system and that also includes the Kinect system. The Kinect is more accurate with the movements and recognizing the human control. Even with these improvements however, the strongest performance still goes to the PS4.
    The one thing that pisses me off a little is the fact that when you put in a new game, you have to wait a while for the game to upload into the system. When I uploaded Titanfall it took a good couple of minutes when uploading into the Xbox but when I played Injustice: Gods Amongst Us, it only felt like a couple of seconds. Plus bringing up the issue of storage space, while both offer 500, it's actually less because of data and other stuff that has to be downloaded for the system to work. So really the Xbox One has only about 360 gigs free while the PS4 has 400 free allowing for more games to be used.
    Also with performance comes the uses of other features like Blu-Ray. A big handicap for this Xbox is while Sony has this integrated with their system, the Xbox One has to download a Blu Ray app. Without it, you can't play the disc but it goes beyond more than that. Another handicap is the inability to play 3D Blu rays which is a plus for anyone who has a 3D television. This round delivers a heavy blow to the Xbox One but it recovers in the next round with it's internet access.
    The one reason I felt the PS3 was awesome was the fact that you didn't need a membership to play online with others, that's not the case anymore with the PS4. Don't be scared though by the membership requirement though because you don't have to pay for it to play games by yourself nor watch online content like Netflix. However if you're impatient like me then the Xbox One is better because it will get all the content earlier and I've found its better getting an HD signal from the Xbox One than the PS4. So I'm willing to pay more for better quality so the Xbox One wins this round.
    I know the commercials say free games every month but in reality, their just games either you've beaten already or indies trying to make a name for themselves so this does nothing for me. For those developers making the Indie games, I wish you all the luck in the world coming from someone else who is following their passion. The Internet access is one of the main factors on whether a game console will succeed or not but another is features. What is it about a game console that not only draws gamers but makes it superior to it's predecessor. In that regard, Xbox One wins with it's key feature, voice activation.
    The voice activation feature is to gamers what the remote control was to couch potatoes for their televisions and is the reason Xbox One has something more to offer. The PS4's only method of control is their controller which made an improvement by adding a touch pad but I find it ultimately irrelevant. Speaking of controllers, the Xbox One controller is a vast improvement from the Xbox 360 controller. The reason I say that is because on the 360 controller, I felt like I spent more time charging it than actually playing with it but the Xbox One controller is the opposite.
    Graphics go to Microsoft judging from what I've seen in games like Injustice, Forza, Titanfall, and Call of Duty: Ghosts. The PS4 fights back with it's update capability, by that I mean the ability to update while you're playing the game or watching a movie. Plus I find the multiplayer experience a lot more smooth on the PS4 than the Xbox One and the party chat on the PS4 is a lot less confusing. It only asks who do you want seeing your stuff and that's it. The PS4 comes with a Passcode feature that also prohibits anyone from using your profile, a useful feature for gamers who are always afraid someone is going to rob them for their system.
    Taking everything into account, I have to be honest and say that I feel that both systems are awesome but the PS4 slightly wins because of the features I like. Those features being quick uploading, more free space, non-interrupting gameplay, and access to 3D content. Microsoft still dominates as far as graphic quality and internet capabilites but overall, it still lacking in certain applications. There is a clear reason that the PS4 is winning in sales over the Xbox One, while price is a factor, I feel I get more out of the PS4 than I do the Xbox One right now. PS4 wins but not by much so don't be nervous about getting an Xbox One because both systems are fantastic but it ultimately comes down to what you want in your system.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Leo Trilogy Has Begun

Do people ever really change? When they do, what causes that change? An inspirational song, a meeting with a random stranger, or the love of a friend or partner? Finally when that causes is gone and that person isn’t inspired anymore, can they keep the change or do they go back into their state of familiarity. That’s the main focus of the main character in this trilogy. Leo Clarkson, a professional killer whom goes through a rapid transformation in order to save a life instead of taking one. This time, Leo is trying to save someone’s life instead of taking it.

Being hired by the most powerful mob boss in New Orleans, Tony Giovanni, Leo is contracted to kill one of the people committed to putting him behind bars, Sara Casserly. Leo finds that the contract is harder to carry out when he realizes that the person means something to him. Because of the personal history the two share, Leo goes against everything that a professional should do and fights to protect her from the crime lord. Now Giovanni must call upon another professional to handle the situation before Leo attempts to kill him and save Sara from a grim fate. With Leo fighting the odds and his own personal battle, he must find a way to show that this time he can be a hero, not a killer.

This is the first part of The Leo Trilogy. Enjoy what you read and hopefully by the end we will see if Leo, a man who has only known violence and death can find salvation and peace. It will be a long journey but at the end of it all, we will see how one person can change a person for the better. The real question is, will Leo be able to be the hero he wants to be or go back to being a ruthless killer? Enjoy Leo: The Cold Killer and if you like what you read then keep in touch when part two, Leo: Government Issue is released.

Until the next is written.