The Top 8 Gambling Destinations in ... - Sports Betting Dime

[Share] My Collection Index (646GB)

Sharing my library. It's a mixed bag, from some truly atrocious quality to some hi-res titles. I don't have a huge online storage as I'll just be using the free Mega account (It just went down to 15GB from 50GB). Please comment on any specific titles you'd like me to upload and I'll reply with the link once uploaded.

-If there's no quality specified in [], then it's 16/44.1
-Sample rate is only listed when it's higher than 44.1/48
-[16 or 24] is 16-bit or 24-bit
-[When this # is 3 digits] Indicates MP3 and the number is kbps
-[96] MP3 at 96kbps, stay away from these. I told you it's a mixed bag lol



2 Chainz - Based on a T.R.U. Story
2 Pac - 2Pacalypse Now, Strictly 4 My NIGGAZ, Me Against the World, All Eyez on Me, Americaz Most Wanted
8 Mile Original Soundtrack
8Ball - Lost
21 Savage - Slaughter King [320], Savage Mode, Savage Mode II [24]
50 Cent - Get Rich or Die Tryin', The Massacre
112 - 112, Room 112
A Boogie wit da Hoodie - The Bigger Artist [256], Artist 2.0 [24]
A Great Big World - Is There Anybody Out There? [320]
A$AP Ferg - Furious Ferg
A$AP Rocky - Live.Love. ASAP, Long. Live. ASAP
Aaryan Shah - In the Making, The Arrival: Part II [24]
Ace Hood [320] - Studio Album: Gutta, Ruthless, Blood Sweat and Tears, Trials & Tribulations
Mixtape: Ace Won't Fold, All Bets on Ace, Final Warning, Street Certified, The Preview, I Do It.. For the Sport, The Statement, Body Bag Vol.1, Sex Chronicles, The Statement 2, Body Bag Vol.2, Starvation, Starvation II

ACG:
.hack_Sign OST 1+2 [320]
Castlevania - Akumajo Dracula Best Music Collections Box
Curse of Darkness - Prelude of Revenge
Harmony of Despair
Lament of Innocence
Lament of Innocence Limited Edition Music Sampler
Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate
Symphony of the Night
Death Note OST 1+2+3 [320]
Detective Conan OST 3
Final Fantasy Symphonic Suite
Final Fantasy VII OST
Final Fantasy VII Reunion Tracks
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy X
Gensomaden Saiyuki - OST, Single Collection
Guilty Gear X - Heavy Rock Tracks, Rising Force of Gear Image Vocal Tracks
Guilty Gear XX OST
Guilty Gear XX - Sound Alive/A.S.H.
Hikaru no Go - Theme Song Selection
Howl's Moving Castle - OST, Symphony Suite [320]
Hunter x Hunter - OST 1+2+3, The Last Mission
Joe Hisaishi - Dream Songs/The Essential Joe Hisaishi
Koudelka
Legend of Mana [320]
Madlax
My-HiME - OST 1+2
Neon Genesis Evangelion - Single Collection
NieR:Automata
Noir - OST 1+2+3
Ragnarok Online Complete Soundtrack
Rurouni Kenshin - OST 1 [320], OST 2+3+4, CD BOX [320], Director's Collection, Premium Collection, Songs, The Best Theme Collection
Shaman King - Comics Image Album, Melody of the Spirits, Osorezan Revoir ~au revoir~, Osorezan Revoir ~prologue to shaman~, Single Vocal Album, Vocal on Parade!!
Slayers TRY Treasure BGM
Spirited Away [320]
The Legend of Zelda - Majora's Mask, Ocarina of Time
Tsubasa Chronicle - OST 1+2+3+4
Yu-Gi-Oh! Theme Song Single Collection
Z.O.E. - Zone of the Enders, Anubis: Zone of the Enders
Zenki - Character Song Collection 2, OST 2 Raigou Shourin!!
軒轅劍三外傳:天之痕 - 三個人的時光
風色幻想 - 1+SP+2+3+4+5

Adam Ben Ezra - Discography
Adam Lambert - Trespassing
Adam Lopez - The Popera, Showstopper, Till the End of Time
Adele - 21
Afek-T - Les brumes
Agnes Obel - Philharmonics, Aventine, Citizen of Glass [24], Myopia [24]
Akon - Trouble
Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls [320], Sound & Color [192~320]
Alejandro Fernández - de noche - clasicos a mi manera, Confidencias [320]
Alicia Keys - Songs in A Minor
Aloe Blacc - Shine Through, Good Things, Lift Your Spirit
Amber Run - 5am [320], For a Moment I Was Lost [320]
Amy Winehouse - Frank [160~320], Back to Black [196~246], Lioness: Hidden Treasures [320]
Andrea Bocelli - Romanza, Verdi
Angra - Discography (1992 - 2010)[160~231]
Anita Baker - Rhythm of Love
Anthony Ramos - The Freedom EP, The Good & The Bad
Ariana Grande - My Everything [24], Dangerous Woman [24], Sweetener [320], Thank U, Next [24]
Arvo Part - Various works
Aurora - Discography (2015-2019)[24, except Infections of a Different Kind which is in 320]
AZ - Do or Die
Az Yet - Az Yet [320]
Babyface - The Day
Bad Meets Evil - Hell: The Sequel
Ballet Class Music [320]
Banks - Discography (2014-2019)[16~24]
Basso Profondo from Old Russia
Belly [320] - Another Day in Paradise, Inzombia, Mumble Rap
Beyoncé - 4, Beyoncé, Lemonade
Bilal - 1st Born Second
Bill Evans Trio [320] - Explorations, Sunday at the Village Vanguard, Waltz for Debby
Bill Withers - Lovely Day: The Very Best of Bill Withers
Billie Eilish - Discography
Birdy - Discography [320]
Bishop Briggs - EP [320], Church of Scars, Champions [24]
Black Hill - Discography (2014-2019)[16~24]
Stvannyr - Secrets of the runes 
Black Panther - Original Score [24], The Album [24], Wakanda Remixed [16]
Blindspotting - The Collins EP [320], The Miles EP [320]
Bloom - Sinses [320]
Blue - All Rise
Bob Marley & The Wailers - Legend
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony - Creepin on ah Come Up EP
Brent Faiyaz - A.M. Paradox EP, Sonder Son, Lost EP, Fuck the World
Bruno Mars - Discography (2010-2016)
Busta Rhymes - The Coming
Call Me By Your Name OST
Camila Cabello - Romance
Cardi B - Gangsta Bitch Music Vol.1 [128], UnderEstimated - The Tour Album [128], GBMV2 [128], Invasion of Privacy
Carolina Eyck [320] - Theremin, Waves
Case - Open Letter
Céline Dion - All the Way.. A Decade of Song, Courage
Charlotte Cardin - Big Boy EP, Main Girl EP
Charlotte Cardinale - Florescentia
Chase Holfelder - Major to Minor (Vol. 1)
Chet Faker - Thinking in Textures, Built on Glass [320], Lockjaw
Childish Gambino - Camp, Because the Internet, 3.15.20
Chingy - Jackpot
Chloe x Halle [24] - Sugar Symphony EP, The Kids Are Alright, Ungodly Hour
Choral: Aliqua, Chor Leoni Men's Choir Discography, Christmas with The Princeton Singers, The Manitou Singers - Repertoire for Women's Voices, Vol. 2
Christina Aguilera - Christina Aguilera [320], Stripped, Back to Basics, Bionic, Lotus [320], Liberation [24]
Cirque du Soleil - Discography (1992-2015)[128~320, 3 albums in 16]
Clann - Kin Fables, Seelie

Classical:
100 Great Symphonies
Bach - Selected Organ Works, The Famous Cantatas, The Six Motets
Beethoven - Complete String Quartets, Piano Sonata No.8 op.13 'Pathetique', Piano Sonata No.14 op.27 'Moonlight', Piano Sonata No.23 op.57 'Appassionata'
Brahms - Brahms on Life and Love, Requiem, Symphony No.1
Bruckner - Te Deum
Chopin Complete Piano Music [192]
Dvořák - Mass in D, Requiem, Symphony No.7+8+9
Fauré - Requiem
Glazunov - Violin Concerto in Am op.82
Grieg - Piano Concerto op.16 in Am
Liszt - 10 Hungarian Rhapsodies, Piano Works
Mendelssohn - Symphony No.4, Violin Concerto in Em
Mozart - Clarinet Concerto in A, Concerto in C for Flute, Harp, Orchestra, Horn Concerto No.4, Piano Concerto No.20, Piano Concerto No.21, Requiem
Paganini - Salvatore Accardo plays Paganini's Guarneri del Gesu 1742
Schubert - Piano Sonata No.14+19
Schumann - Piano Concerto op.54 in Am
Tchaikovsky - Piano Concerto No.1, Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, The Symphonies [192]
Verdi - Requiem
Vivaldi - Concerto in C for Violin and Double Orchestra, Concerto in D for Violin and Double Orchestra, The Four Seasons

clipping - CLPPNG [24], There Existed an Addiction to Blood
Coco OST
Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise
Corey Payette - Children of God, Les Filles du Roi
Craig David - Born to Do It
Curtis Clearsky and the Constellationz - Indigifunk
D12 - Devil's Night, D12 World
Daley - Those Who Wait [192], Days & Night [320], The Spectrum [320]
D'Angelo - Brown Suger, Black Messiah [24/96]
Darren Hayes - Spin
Daveed Diggs - Small THings to a Giant, Seven Nights in Chicago [320]
David Morin - Every Colour
Deen Squad Mixtape 2015 [320]
Destino - Forte, Beginning Again
Destiny's Child - Destiny's Child, #1s
Disclosure - Caracal
DJ Danger Mouse - The Grey Album
DJ Drama - Quality Street Music 2
Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony No.1+2+3+4+5+6+8+9+12+14+15, Violin Concerto No.1
DMX - It's Dark and Hell is Hot, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, ...And Then There Was X
Dr. Dre - 2001, Compton
Drake - So Far Gone [320], Thank Me Later [320], Take Care [320], Nothing Was the Same [320], If You're Reading This It's Too Late
Dream Theater - Discography (1989-2019)[16~24/96]
Dream Warriors - Subliminal Simulation
Dru Hill - Dru Hill, Enter the Dru
Dumbfoundead - We Might Die [320], Inside/Outside [24]
Dylan Brady - All I Every Wanted, Choker [128], Dog Show [128]
Eagles - Hotel California
Eazy-E - It's On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa, Eternal E
Elijah Blake - Bijoux 22 [128], Drift [253~276], Shadows & Diamonds [320], Blueberry Vapors [320]
Eminem - The Slim Shady LP, The Marshall Mathers LP, The Eminem Show, Encore
En Vogue - Funky Divas
ES Posthumus - Unearthed [320]
Evanescence - Discography (2003-2017)[16~24]
Fantastic Negrito [320] - The Last Days of Oakland, Please Don't Be Dead
Far East Movement - Free Wired
FKA Twigs - LP1, Magdalene
Flipsyde - Discography (2005-2012)[128~320]
Florence + the Machine - Discography (2009-2018)[16~24/96]
Flume - Skin [24]
For vance - From Muscle Shoals [24]
Frank Ocean - Discography (2011-2016)[16~24]
Frank Sinatra - Ultimate Sinatra
Frozen OST
Fugees - The Score
Future - Beast Mode [24], Future [24/96]
Gallant - Zebra [320]
Game of Thrones - S1-8 OST, Various Orchestra Albums, For the Throne
Ghost - Meliora [24]
Ginuwine - Ginuwine... The Bachelor, 100% Ginuwine
Gorillaz - Gorillaz [24], Demon Days [24], Plastic Beach [24], Humanz [24/96]
Grace VanderWaal [24] - Perfectly Imperfect, Just the Beginning
Guru - Jazzmatazz Vol. 1
GZA - Liquid Swords
Hamilton: An Americal Musical - Cast Recording, Hamildrops, Instrumentals, The Hamilton Mixtape
Hans Zimmer - The Dark Knight [24/96], Inception [24][5.1], The Dark Knight Rises [24], Intersteller [24], The Classics [24/96]
Harry Potter OST
Hercules [192]
Higher Brothers - Black Cab, Five Stars
Hozier - Discography (2013-2019)[16~24]
Igorrr - Hallelujah [320]
Il Divo - Discography (2004-2018, except A Musical Affair)(320~16]
In tha Beginning... There Was Rap
Ingrid Michaelson - Discography (2005-2014)
J.S. Ondara - Tales of America (The Second Coming) [24/192], Folk n' Roll Vol.1: Tales of Isolation [24]
Jacques Loussier Trio - Vivaldi- The Four Seasons
James Blake - Discography (2011-2019)
James Vincent McMorrow [320] - Early in the Morning, Post Tropical
Janelle Monáe - Discography (2010-2018)[16~24], Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase) EP
Janne - Meeting the Wolf EP
Jay-Z - Discography (1996-2017)[16~24]
Jeremy Dutcher - Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa [320]
Jessie Ware - What's Your Pleasure? [24]
Jhené Aiko - Chilombo [24/96]
Jimi Hendrix - Experience Hendrix- The Best of Jimi Hendrix
JMSN [320] - Priscilla, Pllajë, JMSN
Joe - All That I Am, My Name is Joe
John Coltrane - Both Directions at Once/The Lost Album
John Legend - Discography (2005-2016)[320~16]
Jon Mcxro - The Fifth of Never [287~310]
José Tomás Molina - Discography (2014-2019)[16~24]
Josh Groban - Discography (2001-2015)[320, except Stages in 16]
Joss Stone - Introducing... Joss Stone
Juice OST
Justin Timberlake - Discography (2002-2013)[16~24]
k.d. lang - Ingénue, Invincible Summer
Kadebostany - Pop Collection
Kanye West - Discography (2003-2019)[320-24]
Kendrick Lamar - Discography (2011-2017)
Kerry Muzzey - Trailer Music 3, The Architect, Trailer Music 4: Neo
Kid Cudi - Discography (2008-2013)
Kiel Magis - Kiel Magis
Kieran Fearing - Reprieve
Kieran Martin Murphy - The Painter's Hand, Theatrics

Korean:
DJ Doc - 4th Album
eAeon - Guilt-Free
H.O.T. - We hate all kinds of violence, I yah!, Age of Peace OST, Outside Castle, The Best
Rain - First Drop
Shinhwa - First Mythology, My Choice, Wedding

k-os - Exit, Joyful Rebellion, Atlantis: Hymns for Disco
Krizz Kaliko - Son of Same [239~270], Go [320]
Kwabs [157~246] - Wrong or Right, Pray for Love, Walk
La La Land - The Complete Musical Experience [24]
La Quinta Estación - Sin Frenos [192]
Ladysmith Black Mambazo [192~257] - The Very Best of
Lana Del Rey - Discography (2012-2019)[16~24]
Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Le Flow - The Definitive French Hip Hop Compilation
Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares - Vol.1+2 [320]
Le mystère des voix Corses - les plus belles polyphonies [320]
Led Zeppelin - Discography (1969-1982), Remasters [24/96]
Lenny Kravitz - Greatest Hits
Leonard Cohen - The Future
Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien - The High Road to Kilkenny
Leslie Odom Jr. - Leslie Odom Jr. [24], Mr.
Lhasa de Sela - La Llorona [320]
Lil Dicky - Hump Days [256], So Hard [320], Professional Rapper [128]
Lil Uzi Vert - Eternal Atake
Linkin Park - Discography (2000-2017)[16~24/96]
Lionel Richie - Back to Front
Loïc Nottet - Selfocracy [320]
London Grammar - If You Wait [24/96], This is a Beautiful Thing [24]
LP - Lost on You [320]
Ludacris - Chicken-Beer, Release Therapy
Ludovico Einaudi - Echoes: The Einaudi Collection, Divenire [320], Nightbook, Islands: Essential Einaudi [320], Elements [320], Seven Days Walking [24]
Luniz - Operation Stackola
Mac Miller - Circles [24]
Madredeus - Various albums (1987-2005)[128~320]
MAGIC! - Don't Kill the Magic [320]
Maksim - Discography (1999-2010)[320, except 2 albums in 16]

Mandarin:
5566 - 1st Album
Energy - E3, 無懈可擊, 米迦勒之舞
F4 - 煙火的季節
IPIS 蟑螂 - 第四蟑
RuRu - 美麗心情
S.H.E. - 青春株式會社, 美麗新世界, Together
不能說的秘密 OST [148~224]
伍佰 - 夢的河流, 冬之火 九重天演唱會特選錄音專輯
伍思凱 - 分享
南拳媽媽 - 南拳媽媽的夏天
周杰倫 - Discography (2000-2004)[16 except 同名專輯 in 320]
宋岳庭 - Life's a Struggle
張信哲 - 精選, 從開始到現在
張學友 - 走過1999, 張學友音樂之旅Live演唱會
張智成 - 凌晨三點鐘
張衛健 - 齊天大聖孫悟空
徐婕兒 - 愛之初
戴佩妮 - 怎樣
手牽手大合唱
林俊傑 - 樂行者, 第二天堂
海豚灣戀人 OST
王心凌 - Begin...
臥虎藏龍 (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) OST
范逸臣 - 同名專輯
蔡依林 - 看我72變, 城堡
薔薇之戀 OST
許慧欣 - 孤單芭蕾, 幸福
謝霆鋒 - VIVA, 了解, Viva Live 謝霆鋒演唱會
郭富城 - 目眩城迷 全精選
陳冠希 - Edison Chen
陳小春 - 抱一抱, That's Mine

Mandido - Time on Our Hands
Marc Anthony - Discography (1993-2013)[320]
Marian Hill - Act One [24], Unusual
Mario Frangoulis - Various Albums (1998-2014)[128~320]
Marques Houston - MH
Mase - Harlem World
Master P - Ghetto D
Max Richter - Discography (2002-2020)[16~24/96]
MC 900 ft. Jesus - Welcome to My Dream, Open Step Ahead of the Spider
Meek Mill - Dreams Worth More Than Money [24], Championships
Metallica - Discography (Remastered)(1983-2020)[24]
Metro Boomin - Not All Heroes Wear Capes [320]
Miah Luz - The Coming LP
Michael Bolton - Only a Woman Like You [320]
Michael Bublé - Discography (1995-2013)[96~320]
Michael Conway Baker - Four Musical Portraits
Michael Jackson - Discography (1972-2014)[320 except Invincible in 16]
Migos - Discography (2015-2018)[209~24]
Miguel - Discography (2010-2017)[16~24]
Miles Davis - Birth of the Cool [24/192], Bitches Brew [24/88], Kind of Blue
Mirah - Discography (1997-2009)[198~256]
Misha Mishenko - Discography (2016-2019)
Missy Elliott - Under Construction
Moana OST
Mobb Deep - The Infamous
Mos Def - Black on Both Sides, The Ecstatic
Moulin Rouge! OST
Muddy Waters - Anthology
Muse - Origin of Symmetry [24/96], Absolution [24/96], The 2nd Law [24/96], Simulation Theory, Drones [24/96]
Musical Theatre - Various Musical Cast Recordings (1934-2017)[170~202, except Come From Away and Hamilton in 16]
Nahko - Dark as Night, On the Verge, Hoka [320], My Name is Bear [320]
Namie Amuro - Break the Rules, Genius 2000
Nas - Illmatic, It Was Written, Stillmatic, God's Son, The Lost Tapes, Street's Disciple, Life is Good
Naturally 7 - Discography (2000-2015)
Naughty by Nature - 19 Naughty III
Nav - Good Intentions [24]
Ne-Yo - Discography (2006-2012)[320~16]
Night Lovell - Discography (2014-2019)[320]
Nina Simone - The Essential of Nina Simone [24/96]
Nipsey Hussle - Crenshaw, Victory Lap
Niykee Heaton - Bad Intentions, The Bedroom Tour Playlist
Norah Jones - Come Away with Me, Feels Like Home, Not Too Late, Pick Me Up Off the Floor [24/96]
Notre-Dame de Paris (Musical) Cast Recording
Obie Trice - Cheers
October London - Discography (2016-2018)[320]
Omar LinX - A Cold Welcome [320], City of Ommz [320], The Living Dead EP [128], Victor [320], M.O.R [320]
Omarion - O, 21, Ollusion
Once OST [96]
Onegin (Musical)
Opera Babes - Beyond Imagination
P. Diddy - No Way Out, The Saga Continues...
PartyNextDoor - PX3
Pentatonix - Various albums [128~320]
Peter Gundry - Discography (2016-2019)[16~24]
Pharrell - Girl [24]
Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon [24/88][DSD64], Pulse
Playboi Carti - Die Lit
PNL - Deux frères [320]
Portishead - Discography (1994-2008)
Post Malone - Discography (2016-2019)[16~24/88]
Prince - Discography (1978-2019)
Pusha T - Daytona [24]
Putomayo - World Reggae, Asian Lounge
Quavo - Quavo Huncho [320]
Queen - Greatest Hits
Rae Sremmurd [320] - SremmLife, SremmLife 2
Raincity - Tell Me, Stuck on Replay, Raincity EP
Raleigh Ritchie - You're a Man Now, Boy [320]
Rick Ross - Discography (2006-2017)
Ricky Martin - Ricky Martin, Música + Alma + Sexo [192]
Rihanna - Anti
Rockapella - 2
Roscoe Dash - J.U.I.C.E. [320], Dash Effect [160]
ROSK - remnants
Ruelle - Up in Flames, Madness, Emerge
Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2, RTJ3 Instrumentals [24/96]
Sade - The Best of Sade
Sam Cooke - Portrait of a Legend 1951-1964 [123~252]
Sam Smith - Discography (2014-2017)
Sandra van Nieuwland [320] - And More, Banging on the Doors of Love
Santino Le Saint - Cloud 304, Xeno, Blue Pill [24], Rage of Angels
Sara Bareilles - Discography (2007-2015)[320, except What's Inside - Songs from Waitess in 24]
Scorpions - Discography (1972-2015)
Scott Leonard - 1man1mike
Sevdaliza - Discography (2017-2020)
Shai - If I Ever Fall in Love [128]
Sia - Discography (1997-2017)[16, except OnlySee + Healing is Difficult in M4A260, This is Acting in 24/96]
Sigur Rós - Discography (1997-2013)
Snoop Dogg - The Doggfather, Tha Last Meal, R&G (Rhythm&Gangsta): The Masterpiece, The Blue Carpet Treatment
Solange - A Seat at the Table
Southern Journey - Bad Man Ballads (Songs of Outlaws and Desperadoes, Vol. 5)
Stacey [128] - Stacey, Stacey (Reconstruction), First Move
Stevie Wonder - The Definitive Collection
Stromae - Cheese [256], Racine carrée [24]
Sun Kil Moon - Discography (2003-2017)[320, except Benji + Common as Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood in 16]
Swollen Members - Bad Dreams
SWV - It's About Time
System of a Down - Toxicity
SZA - Ctrl
T.I. - Trouble Man Heavy is the Head
Tamia - Tamia
Taylor Swift - folklore [24]
Tech N9ne - Discography (1999-2013)[192~320], The Storm, Enterfear
TGT - Three Kings
The Beatles - Discography (1963-2009)
The Carters - Everything is Love
The Chorus OST
The Chronicles of Narnia OST
The Cinematic Orchestra [320] - Every Day, Man with a Movie Camera, Ma Fleur, To Believe
The Game - The Documentary, Jesus Piece [320], Blood Moon: Year of the Wolf [320], The Documentary 2+2.5 [320]
The Godfather I+II+III OST [320]
The Great Gatsby OST
The Great Tenors - Vol.1+2, In Concert
The Lion King - Complete Score [128], Return to Pride Rock [128]
The Lord of the Rings OST [24]
The Lumineers - Cleopatra [24/96], C-Sides [24], Live Tracks [24], III [24]
The Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die, Life After Death, Born Again
The Nutcracker (Ballet) [24/96]
The Pink Panther OST [320]
The Savannah Leigh Band - City of Grey
The Tango Project - The Tango Project
The Tenors - Discography (2008-2015)[156~254, except Under One Sky in 16]
The Tony Rich Project - Words
The Weeknd - Discography (2012-2020)[16~24/192]
The xx - Discography (2009-2017)[320, except I See You in 16]
Three 6 Mafia - Most Known Unknown
Timbaland - Shock Value
Tinie Tempah - Demonstration [320]
Toni Braxton - Toni Braxton, Secrets
Tony Bennett - The Essential Tony Bennett, a wonderful world (with k.d. lang), The Absolutely Essential 3 CD Collection, Duets II [320], Tony Bennett Celebrates 90
Tory Lanez - Discography (2010-2020, except Daystar)[160~320, except Chixtape 5 + The New Toronto 3 in 24]
T-Pain - Discography (2005-2012)[192~16]
Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman
Travis Garland - Discography (2011-2015)[160~320]
Travis Scott - Discography (2015-2018)[24~24/88]
Trey Songz [320] - Trey Day, Passion, Pain & Pleasure, Chapter V
TroyBoi - icekream [128~320], SoundSnobz [128~320], Left is Right [128], V!BEZ [128], V!BEZ, Vol.3
Tsar B - The Games I Played [320]
Tyga - Discography (2008-2016)[320], Legendary
Tyrese - I Wanna Go There
UltraVillain - Lost in You [320]
Ulvesang - Ulvesang [24], The Hunt
Unity: Athens 2004 (Olympic Games Album)
Usher - Discography (1994-2018)[16~24]
Van Morrison - Moondance
Vitas - Discography (2001-2009)[128~256, except A Kiss as Long as Eternity+20th Century Hits in 16]
Waka Flocka Flame - Flockaveli
Whitney - Light Upon the Lake
Whitney Houston - Whitney Houston
Wisin & Yandel - Discography (2000-2012)[320]
Wiz Khalifa - We Dem Boyz [320], various songs [320]
Wiz Khalifa & Curren$y - 2009 [24]
Wyclef Jean - Carnival, Vol. II- Memoirs of an Immigrant
X Japan - Discoraphy (1988-2017)[16~24/96]
XXXTentacion - Revenge [320], 17 [24/192], ? [320]
Xzibit - Restless
Yann Tiersen - Discography (1995-2003)[96~160]
YG - My Krazy Life, Still Brazy, My Life 4Hunnid [24]
Young Bleed - My Balls and My Word
Young Buck - Buck the World
Young Thug - Barter 6 [320], Slime Season [24], Slime Season 2 [320], I'm Up [320], Slime Season 3 [320], Jeffery [320], So Much Fun
Yuki Kajiura - Discography (includes side projects: FictionJunction/YUUKA, Kalafina)(Anime soundtracks 1996-2018)
Yuna - Chapters [320]
Zed Yun Pavarotti - French Cash [320]
Zeina [320] - Odd One Out, various singles
submitted by SardisSailphare to riprequests [link] [comments]

Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ May 13, 2002

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
PREVIOUSLY:
1-7-2002 1-14-2002 1-21-2002 1-28-2002
2-4-2002 2-11-2002 2-18-2002 2-25-2002
3-4-2002 3-11-2002 3-18-2002 3-25-2002
4-1-2002 4-8-2002 4-15-2002 4-22-2002
4-29-2002 5-6-2002
  • Okay, look, here's the deal. The obituaries, as sad as they are, contain some of Dave's best work. But good lord, they are looooooooooong. And they never contain anything newsworthy that is relevant to 2002 or anything. But they're always super interesting from a historical perspective. But last week, Dave wrote a brief obit for Lou Thesz (only 5,000 words, ahem) and promised to go into more detail this week. So this week, we open with a 16,000+ word obituary for Lou Thesz and I just can't. Sorry. It's really good though, you should all go read it. But I've got, like, a family and a job and responsibilities and stuff. I can't recap this. It's an incredible piece of work though.
  • The World Wrestling Federation is no more. On May 5th, the company unveiled its new name, World Wrestling Entertainment. Dave recaps the history of the company briefly (was originally called "World Wide Wrestling Federation, or WWWF, until 1979 when it was shortened to WWF, which is has remained for the past 23 years). But as of this week, the company has been rebranded to WWE. The website domain was changed to WWE.com and all references to "WWF" were changed to "WWE." The scratch logo was also changed, with the F being removed, so now it simply looks like "WW" (which, honestly, never really did make much sense to me. Even though the logo has changed, it's still "WW" to this day). Anyway, this all stems from the World Wildlife Fund lawsuit over in the UK, in which the WWE lost every court case and appeal. They were planning to appeal the ruling in the UK's highest court, their final last-ditch effort to save their name, but the reality is, they weren't going to win that case. Vince McMahon and the company blatantly and repeatedly violated the agreement they signed in 1994. It was 1000% obvious they were in the wrong here and they had gotten spanked by every single court before, often losing their appeals by unanimous decisions. So they weren't going to win this final appeal either and they knew it. So they dropped the appeal and threw in the towel and finally agreed to just change the name. The WWE has until May 15th to remove all references to "WWF" from their shows and merchandise. Any merch with "WWF" on it can no longer be sold after that date. All video packages and posters will have to be changed and any "WWF" mention or logos after that time on television or in past footage will have to be censored. Last year, during the court case, the WWE claimed it would cost them more than $50 million to change their name and to deal with all the legal and rebranding headaches that come with it. But this week, they backtacked on that and said it wouldn't be that expensive after all. Who knows if that's true, but the idea of this costing $50 million was enough to make the shareholders shit themselves, so Dave says they claimed it won't cost that much in order to keep the stock from plummeting. Anyway, none of this had to happen. In 1994, Vince McMahon and the Wildlife Fund signed an agreement that the wrestling company would not use the "WWF" name for promoting itself outside of the U.S. (since the Wildlife group is based overseas) and that worked well for a year or two. But then Vince McMahon apparently decided, "Meh, who cares about agreements?" and began repeatedly and blatantly violating it, constantly, for years, at which point the Wildlife group finally got upset enough to file a lawsuit. Anyway, on the first Raw since the name change, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler repeatedly stumbled over the new initials, accidentally saying "WWF" multiple times. Gonna take time for everyone to get used to calling it the new name.
  • The buyrates for Wrestlemania 18 are in and it appears the event will have to settle for being the #2 biggest money show in wrestling history after it came up short and failed to surpass Wrestlemania 17. Final numbers aren't in yet, but latest estimates put it somewhere around the 800,000 buys range (ended up being about 880,000) which is quite a bit down from WM17. It was also #2 in total revenue from live gate and merch. Internally, it's actually being seen as something of a disappointment because with the power of the Hogan/Rock dream match, they were hopeful this show would top 1 million buys but unless something drastic changes with these buyrate numbers, it looks like the final total will be a good bit short of that.
  • NJPW's latest Tokyo Dome show is in the books. The show drew a sellout crowd of 57,000 fans, there to see the Masahiro Chono vs. Mitsuharu Misawa dream main event (which ended up going to a 30-minute draw). It was the biggest non-Jan. 4 crowd NJPW has drawn to the Dome in 2 years. So that's the good news. The bad news is that the show flopped in the ratings on TV. A big part of that is because the Chono/Misawa match didn't air as part of the show (due to the Asahi-TV/Nippon TV network issues discussed in past issues) so the televised show was built around the Shinya Hashimoto/Naoya Ogawa vs. Scott Norton/Hiroyoshi Tenzan match and man, the fans sure didn't seem to give a fuck about that. In fact, the rating was so bad that there's concern that this will be the end of pro wrestling on prime time TV in Japan for the foreseeable future. But there are justifiable reasons for the rating. The show went head-to-head with the Kirin Cup soccer tournament, which was a huge deal and did more than double the rating the NJPW show did. Unlike the U.S., wrestling and "real" sports in Japan have a major crossover audience, so having real sports competition severely hurt NJPW's show. Also, while Ogawa is a draw as a singles star, putting him in a tag match against Norton and Tenzan isn't exactly setting the world on fire. The show lasted 6 hours, which was way too long and the crowd was burned out before Misawa vs. Chono even started.
  • Other notes from the NJPW show: it opened with an hour long 30th anniversary ceremony. They had a 10-bell salute for Lou Thesz and brought out a bunch of legendary NJPW names from the 70s and 80s. Then they did an angle where Antonio Inoki came out to give a speech, but he was attacked by Tiger Jeet Singh. But then Chyna made the save, attacking Singh, running him out of the ring, and challenging him to a match. Inoki's ex-wife, famous Japanese actress Mitsuko Baisho then made an appearance, getting a huge pop, and she and Inoki did his famous catch phrase to kick off the show. Minoru Suzuki of Pancrase (who started with NJPW as a pro wrestler) was also there. Jushin Ligher and Minoru Tanaka won the IWGP Jr. tag titles and then Liger challenged several NOAH wrestlers who were at ringside (most notably KENTA) and they all jumped in the ring and it ended with a staredown. The Steiner Brothers reunited to face Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kensuke Sasaki, with Chyna as the special referee. Tanahashi was working hurt, but he still worked. They did a spot where Tanahashi ran into Chyna and he went down off the bump instead of her and Dave seems annoyed by this since Tanahashi is a guy they really need to be pushing who can be a huge star for this company. Dave doesn't like him selling bumps for Chyna. Anyway, decent match but the Steiners basically steamrolled them and Tanahashi was pinned by Scott Steiner. Chyna then challenged several All Japan Women at ringside as well as Scott Steiner, Tanahashi, Sasaki, and even IWGP champion Yuji Nagata, saying she wanted a title match. Dave thinks this company has lost its damn mind. Speaking of Nagata, he retained his title in the next match. And then, of course, the main event. Usually during interpromotional matches, the crowd is always super pro-NJPW but this time, they went insane for Misawa and it was clear there were a ton of NOAH fans in the building. Chono did some Inoki moves and Misawa did some Great Baba moves, to kinda have a spiritual "Baba vs. Inoki" tribute in the match I guess. Ended in a draw and by the time it was over, no matter how big the dream match was, the crowd was burned out and weren't as hype for the match as you might expect once the entrances were done.
WATCH: Misawa vs. Chono highlights
  • Goldberg has received a full buy-out of his WCW contract from Time Warner and as of this week, he is now an unsigned free agent. Goldberg did not request the buy-out, the decision was made by the Time Warner side after the most unprofitable quarter in their history. The company was looking to cut expenses, even at a loss, just so the books can look better in future quarters. Goldberg reportedly received almost all of his remaining salary (more than 90% of the nearly $3 million he was still owed) in order to get him off their books. When Goldberg realized he's going to be a free agent a year earlier than expected, talks with WWE started up. But as usual, they went nowhere. WWE (I feel like I'm having to get used to typing that all over again. Really does feel like 2002 again) has interest in him, especially given the way ratings continue to plummet lately. But Goldberg has always wanted more than WWE is willing to pay. Plus, they're feeling burned right now after signing Hall and Nash to big money, long-term contracts for part-time work, only to have Nash get injured and Hall likely to get himself fired at any moment (that moment is coming sooner than you think), and neither of them really getting over in any meaningful way. Even Hogan, who is also making big money for a reduced schedule, was hot for a minute and boosted ratings and buyrates. But after only a few months, that train already seems to be out of steam and TV ratings are back to floundering with Hogan as champion leading the shows. So WWE is kinda gun-shy on opening the checkbook and paying out the ass for these big stars, futilely hoping that one of them is the quick-fix that can stop the bleeding.
  • There's also the question of how Goldberg would fit within the WWE locker room. He hasn't been shy about his dislike for Triple H, dating back to WCW when Triple H trashed Goldberg in a radio interview and saying that even if Goldberg was available, they wouldn't want him (which, at the time, when WCW was still alive and Goldberg was the biggest star in the company, is just about the dumbest thing he could have said. In 1998, WWF would have gladly traded 10 Triple H's for Goldberg). Anyway, Goldberg took the comment personally and even confronted Triple H face-to-face at the Toy Fair convention in New York a couple of years ago, in a bit of an ugly scene where Goldberg was yelling at him and Triple H and Stephanie kept their heads down and said nothing. Goldberg also has a lot of dislike for Scott Hall, which is another of Triple H's good friends, so ya know. The latest on Goldberg is that he's considering working some in Japan but he's just fielding offers right now. Word is he's interested in working with PRIDE as well as NJPW. Of course, if he's looking to maximize his money potential, WWE is still the place to go if you want to make big bucks. If promoted right, matches against Rock, Austin, Triple H, and others could do huge buyrates. And if they keep Goldberg and Austin apart for a year and build to a match with them at Wrestlemania, well, needless to say, that show would set records. Dave talks about how Goldberg got nuclear hot in 1998 and even in 1999, he was the biggest drawing wrestler in the business. But by 2000, the company was dying, Goldberg was injured, and "Jesus Chris with an Etch-a-Sketch" couldn't have drawn in WCW. Dave again does the math and talks about how WWE should have brought Goldberg in for the Invasion angle. Yes, it would have cost them a lot of money and upset the salary structure, but he would have more than made up for it with the kind of buyrates he could have drawn with those dream matches and the Invasion angle might have had a chance. But alas.
  • And of course, who's to say how WWE would use Goldberg? They already have Brock Lesnar and they're currently giving him the unstoppable monster push. Lesnar is bigger, younger, and a more legitimate athlete (for whatever that's worth). And WWE probably isn't going to give Goldberg an endless string of jobbers to beat. In WWE, he's going to be expected to work longer matches, sell for people, etc. They won't book him the way WCW did so who knows how he'd get over in WWE? If they wanted to build to an Austin/Goldberg match, it would make sense that Goldberg first has to plow through guys like Triple H, Undertaker, etc. And politically, that just ain't gonna happen. Dave doubts NJPW can afford him for anything more than one or two big shows. As for PRIDE, he could probably make a lot of money there, but the problem is.....PRIDE is a shoot. They haven't had "worked" matches in a couple of years and doing so now would kill their credibility. Which means Goldberg would have to go into a legit shoot and one embarrassing loss there would severely hurt his future earning potential. In the end, Dave thinks it's inevitable that Goldberg will end up in WWE, but probably not any time soon. But he's certain it will eventually happen. There's too much money on the line for both sides and WWE's ratings woes are making them desperate, so it'll happen some day (yup, less than a year from this).
  • And the moment is here! For those of you who had "under 3 months" in the "How long will Scott Hall last?" pool, come collect your prize. Scott Hall was released by the WWE this week due to misbehavior on the European tour. Firstly, he went on a drunken binge during the entire tour and was even worse on the plane ride home (much more on that in a bit). Dave says this was inevitable. WCW fired him. Even ECW stopped using him when he got arrested at one point. And even though he was seemingly behaving during his Japan tours, even NJPW cut ties with him shortly before he went back to WWE because they were fed up with some of his antics. And now WWE has fired him. Dave talks about how Hall made a drunken spectacle of himself in the locker room on his very first day back in WWE, before the NWO even debuted on TV, then he showed up in Toronto for Wrestlemania in no condition to perform (later came out that he was hungover from the night before), which caused Austin to insist on ending their feud at WM (which was the plan, but Dave says Austin has continued working with Hall afterwards simply because they don't really seem to have any other credible opponents for him). Hall's match with Bradshaw at Backlash was an embarrassment and the night before that show, agents had to help him back to his hotel. Just endless incidents like this. In Europe, Hall was such a blatant drunken mess that even the other wrestlers were calling for him to be fired. Hall was 45 minutes late for the bus they all took to London and then passed out in the locker room during the show. On the plane ride back, he was starting fights with people and eventually passed out and it got to the point that people were worried about his health. When they got back to the U.S. for Raw, they literally had to wake him up from a drunken stupor backstage to send him to the ring to do his segment (and yes, he wrestled). After the show, they fired him. No one came to his defense, and even Hall's closest friends are now admitting that he simply can't handle the pressures of being on the road and being released is the best thing for him right now. Dave talks about how a lot of wrestlers have been fired in the last couple of years for drug and alcohol issues and that's all well and good, but the big problem is why hire them in the first place? Scott Hall's issues were not a secret. It wasn't like he cleaned himself up before he came to WWE. He was getting in trouble and collecting arrests like Pokemon all the way up until the day they brought him back. Anyway, Hall had a 2-year deal, believed to be worth $600,000-per-year downside for only 10 dates per month. So a really sweet deal, but it's gone now.
  • Hey, speaking of that European tour, turns out there was a bit of trouble on the flight back to the U.S. Perhaps you've heard of it. Most of the trouble wasn't even due to Scott Hall. Turns out Vince McMahon didn't make the trip and lots of people decided that was a good reason to cut loose and have fun. Plus, since everyone has seen Hall get away with being drunk 24/7 for the last few months, they figured nobody would get in trouble. So....folks got DRUNK. Among the various incidents on this flight: Goldust got on the speaker system and began drunkenly serenading his ex-wife Terri with love songs. Terri was extremely uncomfortable and begged him to stop and then Jim Ross had to go sit him down. Ric Flair also "started to get wild" but Jim Ross calmed him down as well (Dave doesn't seem to know just yet exactly what Flair "getting wild" entailed, but if you don't know, it involved getting totally naked except for his robe and started helicoptering his dick at flight attendants. And it gets worse if you feel like researching it. The flight attendants later filed a lawsuit against Flair and accused him of sexual assault). Curt Hennig was spraying people with shaving cream and he kept trying to get Brock Lesnar to fight him. Lesnar, being a newcomer, didn't know how to handle it and didn't want to get in trouble, but he ain't gonna let Hennig talk shit to him either. So anyway, Lesnar got up and basically annihilated Hennig, repeatedly taking him to the ground and embarrassing him because, well, of course he did. It's Brock Lesnar. At one point, Lesnar slammed Hennig up against the side of the plane, right into the emergency exit door, which freaked everybody out for obvious reasons. Michael Hayes got into a scuffle with Bradshaw and then tried to pick a fight with Hall (although everyone on the plane said Hall had it coming). Anyway, Hayes was apparently obnoxious as hell and annoyed everyone. But then he made the mistake of falling asleep and someone (believed to be X-Pac) cut his hair off. When Hayes woke up, he was furious and tried to fight several people. The next day at the Raw tapings, his entire mullet was in a plastic bag, pinned to the wall of the locker room for everyone to see. Gerald Brisco, Arn Anderson, and Hayes all caught a ton of heat from Vince afterward since they were the people who were supposed to be in charge. Anderson and Hayes especially, since their jobs are to keep the boys under control, but they were apparently having just as much fun as everyone else. Everyone's waiting to see how Vince is going to handle this situation. As noted, Hall was already fired and Hayes got an earful from Vince, Stephanie, and JR at Raw the next day, but there will likely be more fallout. Undertaker was also said to be furious over how out of hand everything got (I'm sure we haven't heard the last of this).
  • Anyway, while they were in Europe, WWE presented its latest UK PPV, Insurexxtion. As usual with the UK PPVs, this was little more than a glorified house show. They announced the show as sold out, but there were empty seats everywhere. RVD vs. Eddie Guerrero for the IC title was the show-stealer according to every report Dave heard, and was said to be far better than their Backlash match. Brock Lesnar teamed with Shawn Stasiak (lol wut) and lost to the Hardyz. Brock beat up everybody after the match. Triple H beat Undertaker in the main event and Dave doesn't know why since Undertaker is the one challenging Hogan for the title at the next PPV. The top rope broke during the match when they did an Irish whip into the corner and when the rope snapped, a metal piece broke off from the corner and flew into the crowd and barely missed hitting a small child in the face.
  • Smackdown on 5/2 drew the all-time lowest rating in the history of the show. Dave says that's the scariest thing to happen to WWF in the past 5 years. It was also the 3rd lowest rating for any Smackdown or Raw dating back to 1998. The rating was a full 18% drop from the week before, which was already scary. The rating was even lower than previous holiday episodes. So what was the problem? Well, it was headlined by Hogan defending the WWF title against Chris Jericho (as it turns out, the final time the "WWF" title was ever defended). Dave says the title has been meaningless for years now and Hogan's steam is running out. And Jericho hasn't recovered from spending the first part of the year being emasculated and playing second fiddle to Stephanie McMahon in the Wrestlemania feud. Add all that together and you've got a recipe for a shit ratings night. Among other things. Dave isn't blaming this all on Hogan and Jericho by any means, there's a lot of problems with the company as of late, from bad storylines to failing to make new stars, and it's all starting to come home to roost.
  • Keiji Muto wrestled a match in AJPW under his alternate gimmick of Kokushi Muso. Turns out "Great Muta" isn't his only other persona. The Kokushi Muso gimmick is basically like Hakushi in WWF, where he's covered his entire body in Japanese writing. He originally debuted the gimmick in Michinoku Pro last year, when teaming with....Hakushi (Jinsei Shinzaki, who occasionally brought back the old Hakushi gimmick in Japan). Anyway, same thing here. He teamed with Hakushi for this match, while using that gimmick (Muto would use that gimmick a handful of times throughout the years, always when teaming with Hakushi. It's like that was only his gimmick for that team. The last time he used it was in 2009, also in a tag match with Hakushi).
  • Former NOAH Jr. champion Naomichi Marufuji underwent knee surgery this week and should be out around 6 months (ends up being 9 months).
  • NJPW is doing an angle (according to Dave) similar to the Vince/Flair angle last year where Antonio Inoki and Masahiro Chono are battling over control of the company. Although it's more realistic. Inoki is in the press talking about how many of NJPW's shows aren't doing well and is pushing for them to use Naoya Ogawa more, while Chono doesn't want to. Inoki is also saying Chono needs to retire from wrestling and focus his energies on managing the day-to-day business of the promotion full-time. Dave says this is an angle, but it doesn't sound like much of one to me, and I think later years have kinda proven there was a lot of blurring between fiction and reality here, because there was a ton of behind the scenes turmoil in NJPW during this period.
  • Will Smith appeared alongside Antonio Inoki at the Japanese movie premiere for the film "Ali" based on Muhammad Ali's life. Crowd went absolutely insane for Inoki (I've tried like hell and can't even find a picture of them together. But then again, I can't find a single pic from the premiere at all).
  • When reviewing the recent Dos Caras Jr. shoot fight in Japan, Dave talks about the guy's potential as a wrestler. He has a strong amateur background, legit shoot skills, and a famous name. Dave thinks, if he's even halfway a decent worker, he can almost be a guaranteed star in Mexico (based on his name alone) and probably Japan too, if he decides to pursue that career (indeed he did, and indeed, he was fairly decent at it. Of course, he later became Alberto Del Rio, accused rapist and pretty much confirmed all-around piece of shit).
  • Former long-time WCW referee Randy Anderson passed away this week after a long battle with testicular cancer. Back when WCW was still around and he first got diagnosed, they did an angle out of it where Eric Bischoff fired him and then laughed at his wife and kids when they begged him to give Anderson his back. Of course, he was later re-hired when Flair became on-screen commissioner and continued to referee until 1999 when the cancer forced him to retire.
  • Random news and notes: Bobby Heenan is said to be in good spirits and is especially excited because WWE recently contacted him about doing a WWE Magazine feature on him. Verne Gagne's wife Mary passed away from cancer this week. Goldberg will be appearing on this week's Wrestling Observer Live show to be interviewed. Mil Mascaras is releasing an autobiography (in Spanish of course) and man, I'd love to find an English translation of that because I bet it'd be interesting. Chyna appeared on "Sabrina The Teenage Witch" this past week.
WATCH: Chyna on Sabrina The Teenage Witch
  • Bruno Sammartino turned down an invitation to attend the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame ceremony in New York (yes, that HOF existed and still does, in a different city now). Bruno did an interview with the local paper and said "Wrestling is how I made my living and supported my family, but it's over. I don't want anything to do with it anymore." Bruno managed to turn the discussion to the WWE, despite them not having any affiliation with this HOF and grumbled about how Vince McMahon blocked him from being inducted into the Madison Square Garden Hall of Fame. However, the new MSG owners have apparently promised Bruno he'll be inducted this year, since he sold the place out 200 times (Dave jumps in here to correct it and says the real number of sellouts is closer to 45. Bruno only main evented the Garden 127 times and by no means were they all sell-outs. But it's one of those myths that has been perpetuated for so long that Dave begrudgingly recognizes that people are always going to believe the 200 number is true, but it's not even close. He compares it to the claim that Andre The Giant was 7'4, which also wasn't true but people repeated the lie so often that it became accepted as fact).
  • Afa Anoa'i Jr., the son of the legendary Wild Samoan, is a star football player at his high school and is being recruited for Penn State. He also sometimes wrestles on his father's indie shows (that would be Manu, who was very briefly part of Legacy with Orton, Dibiase Jr., and Cody).
  • Former WCW announcer Scott Hudson will be doing commentary for Jerry Jarrett's new promotion, and Bob Ryder is said to be in a major front office position.
  • Jarrett has put out a press release saying that his new promotion has had talks with Randy Savage and Ultimate Warrior. Word is Warrior wanted a 15% ownership stake in the new company, which pretty much ended those talks right there. They're also apparently interested in Scott Hall now too, with the idea that since they're only doing 1 show per week, he won't be a screw-up here. Dave is skeptical. Anyway, currently Road Dogg and Brian Christopher expected to be some of the company's top stars and Dave's not optimistic.
  • XWF wrestlers were told last week that a television deal should hopefully be finalized this week. But Dave has been told no chance it's happening that soon. The rumors are that the deal is either with the FX or Fox Kids networks. Ted Turner had inquired about buying this promotion a few months ago, but when he learned how much it would cost to get them off the ground and make them competitive, he lost interest (TV deal never materializes, company is already dead, etc. etc.).
  • The Scorpion King slipped to 2nd place this week, falling to the new Spider Man movie which did a record breaking $114 million opening weekend. Randy Savage has a small role in that movie.
  • Speaking of, The Rock worked his first match in about a month at a Fort Lauderdale house show, teaming with Hogan to beat Jericho and Angle. After the match, Hogan tried to get Rock to pose with him, but Rock wouldn't do it. Rock thanked the fans for the success of Scorpion King and said it would likely be his last match for awhile. There was a ton of local media there, but Rock didn't talk to any of them. Basically, the house show was in his neck of the woods and he simply decided to show up and work it just so he could see his friends and hang out with the locker room, he had no interest in doing interviews. He was just there because he wanted to be. Backstage, Rock was telling people that Hollywood higher-ups have told him he has to leave the wrestling business if he wants to be taken seriously as an actor. Those in the company feel it's a certainty that Rock really is leaving and he's likely going to break out of wrestling into Hollywood and actually become a rare success story (yeah, you could say that).
  • Look how long this is already. Imagine if I had covered that Lou Thesz obituary in full. JUST IMAGINE!
  • Notes from Raw: Dave compares it to an episode of Thunder, with the crowd half-dead for everything. Also, the roster was exhausted after just returning from the Europe trip (and the plane ride shenanigans) and that was apparent too. Brock Lesnar won his match via pinfall instead of the usual ref stoppage and Dave says that word is Triple H got in Vince's ear and convinced him to end the ref stoppage gimmick for Brock. Sure, why not? Hogan was supposed to ride off on Undertaker's bike at one point, but then the motorcycle wouldn't start. It was one of those awkward live-TV moments where time stood still and nobody knew what to do. Flair finally turned heel on Austin, to a shocking lack of heat from the crowd. Nash returned, etc. Dave recaps the rest of this show and it sounds like a lot of bad WCW stuff, coincidentally enough with a lot of the same people.
WATCH: Hogan can't start the motorcycle
  • The man who played the effeminate gay guy applying to be Vince McMahon's secretary on Smackdown a few weeks ago was new creative team member David Lagana. He recently joined the company and has written for several other TV shows, including "Friends" and has a strong knowledge of the industry (Dave says if you've been reading the Observer closely for the last few years, you're probably familiar with him, he's written in to Dave a lot over the years).
  • Dave goes on a brief rant about how to use older stars. In the past, everyone, even Vince McMahon, talked about how you should use guys like Hogan and Flair in small doses and how WCW's reliance on older stars like that is what made them less special. Dave talks about back in the day in Memphis, Jackie Fargo would come back once or twice a year and he was always the biggest star in the company when he did. Because he was used sparingly. But WWE has pretty much built its company around Hogan and Flair (and to a lesser extent, Vince and Undertaker) over the last few months and they've been totally overexposed because of it. Just 6 weeks ago, Hulk Hogan was getting some of the largest crowd reactions in the history of the business. Now, he and Undertaker are practically hearing crickets during their on-screen interactions.
  • Lita underwent neck surgery this week and isn't allowed to do anything physical for 9 months. Scotty 2 Hotty also had neck surgery and is expected to be out for about a year. Both are expected to make full recoveries though.
  • Jesse Ventura admitted this week that he received WWF stock options as partial payment for some work he did with them. Dave doesn't know if it's related to the Summerslam appearance a few years ago or the XFL announcing gig. Ventura says he has 10 years to exercise those stock options but wouldn't give any further details.
  • Scott Steiner told WWA he will work their next UK tour but after that, he's going to WWE. Dave is skeptical. Reports are that Steiner was in horrible pain after every match he worked on the last WWA tour and there's significant doubt that his body will hold up to a WWE schedule.
  • The new Steve Austin "What!" DVD has a lot of WCW footage, including the full Austin vs. Steamboat match from WCW Bash at the Beach 94. Dave doesn't say so, but I believe this is the first time WWE used any of the WCW library for commercial release after they purchased it the year before.
  • Someone writes in and asks Dave to stop spending so much time writing about steroid use in wrestling and instead says he should write a story about racism in the business. This person writes about the allegations from years back of Dusty Rhodes using the N-work with impunity, or the time DX parodied the Nation by wearing blackface. The WCW discrimination lawsuit, the embarrassing angles they've done with Mark Henry such as Sexual Chocolate, etc. This guy is asking why is it white wrestlers outnumber black wrestlers by 35-to-1 ratio in the U.S. (70-to-1 in Mexico and 80-to-1 in Japan). He wants to know why Dave isn't writing about that stuff. Dave responds and agrees that the blackface DX promo was racist, and it was racist when Buff Bagwell did it in WCW and when Roddy Piper did it in the 80s. Dave says wrestling, especially from the 70s through the 90s, had a horrible history of exploiting stereotypes and/or saying and doing racist things. You can argue it's gotten better, but no doubt the problem still exists. Dave lists some examples but he also pushes back on some others. For example, he's heard people complain that Booker T isn't being used properly due to his race and Dave disagrees. It's true that Booker T probably deserves a bigger push, but you can make the same case for guys like RVD and Jericho and Raven or DDP (when he first debuted, at least) and that didn't happen either, so Dave doesn't necessarily think Booker's lack of top-star push can be blamed on his race (we're less than a year away from Triple H definitively proving otherwise).
  • There's also 2 letters about the Rock/Hogan match at Wrestlemania and they couldn't be more different. One guy writes in and he can't understand why people are praising that match because if you put aside the hot crowd, it was awful, everyone's moves looked bad, it was embarrassing, etc. and says Hogan should have retired afterward. Then someone else writes in and says he was there live and, taken as a whole, Rock vs. Hogan was the greatest match he's ever seen. Basically the same "love it or hate it" opinion people have about that match to this day. Also, someone else writes in about the recent Low-Ki vs. American Dragon match from an ROH show and puts it up there among some of the greatest matches of all time (listing off several classic WWF matches like Shawn/Razor and Owen/Bret at WM10 for example). So there ya go.
NEXT WEDNESDAY: more fallout from the Plane Ride from Hell, more on the beginning of Jarrett's new NWA-TNA promotion, more on the NJPW Tokyo Dome show, and more...
submitted by daprice82 to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]

Freedom Fighters #3 (of 6) - Seeking Starheart

DC Next presents:

FREEDOM FIGHTERS

Issue Three: Seeking Starheart
Written by PatrollinTheMojave
Edited by AdamantAce, Fortanono
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Dan walked the halls of Fort Slocum, a pack of cigarettes in one hand and a candy bar in the other. He didn’t like how familiar with the fort’s layout he was becoming. It’d been weeks since SHADE volunteered him to fight in the ‘Quraci War of Liberation,’ and though he considered himself a patriot, Dan chafed under orders.
He rounded the corner to the barracks of the elite unit they’d placed him in, The Freedom Fighters. His teammates were lounging around their bunks, swapping old war stories. Sergeant Frank Rock dominated the conversation, while Pennyworth, Dr. Scott, Terrill, and Heywood were arrayed around him.
“...And that time we went radio silent in the desert, dragging that terrorist on the makeshift sled? We rationed his water, the sun was beating down on him, and he still wouldn’t shut up!” Rock broke into laughter and was soon joined by Terrill and Pennyworth. Alan, meanwhile, was buried in his notes.
“Hey,” Dan said.
“Oh look!” Rock glanced up at the door frame. “The superhero’s back.”
Dan smiled. He’d give them that one for free. “You know, Sergeant, I keep hearing all these old stories. I’m starting to wonder if the Freedom Fighters still do anything worth talking about.”
“If we did, we’d be a damn awful covert unit.”
Dan sat down in his bunk. “How’s Marc doing?” Marcus Silvera - after surviving a biological weapon, he’d been in the base hospital for weeks. Dan only met the guy a handful of times, but the whole squad seemed to have nothing but respect for him.
“Good. Still adjusting to the tin can, but better every day.” Alfred said. “Did you pick up my fags?”
Dan tossed Alfred the pack of cigarettes. “Those things’ll kill you. Cancer.”
Alfred shrugged. “Pray that I live long enough to care.”
Hank Heywood leaned forward. “So, Dan… I’ll bet you have some good stories. What kind of scraps have you gotten into?”
Dan’s eyebrows perked up. It was tough to compare stopping muggers and saving school buses to fighting a war, but the Scarab had gotten him out of some sticky situations. Dan started to speak, but Rock interrupted.
“You’re out of luck. Danny’s already sold all the good ones to the radio serials.” Rock put on a theatrical voice. “The friend of the unfortunate, enemy of criminals, the mysterious Blue Beetle!”
Dan stood up and took a step towards Rock. “Have I done something to annoy you, sergeant?”
Rock rose up to meet Dan’s eyes. “You don’t exactly hide the fact you don’t want to be here. And I’m not surprised - you belong on a cereal box, not in a warzone.”
“I fought in Vietnam, Rock.”
Rock responded, his voice cool. “Yeah, I read it in the pulps. You fought as a one man wrecking ball, not a soldier.”
“Alright guys-” Langford started.
“You’re right, I’m not a soldier. Unlike SHADE, I’m willing to stand up for my principles.”
Rock turned harsh. “I need to know that when it comes down to the wire, you’ll follow orders.”
“As long as they’re orders I can follow.” Dan balled his hands into fists, trying not to do something he’d regret.
Just then, someone knocked at the propped-open barrack doors. A fresh-faced college kid with thick-rimmed glasses and a clipboard.
“Uh - pardon me?”
Alan pulled himself from his notes in surprise. “Terrence? What are you doing here?”
“Right-” Terrence adjusted his glasses. “Director Darhk sent me about a new mission for you all. We’ve tracked an artifact known as the Starheart to beneath the Quraci town of Zubayr, population 14,000. ”
Dan’s eyes went wide. “The Starheart is real?”
Langford stood. “You know what that thing is?”
“I was an archaeologist before the Scarab attached to me. I assumed it was a legend. It’s supposedly a living weapon made of green metal that ancient warlords used against one another.”
“And you want us to grab spades?” Alfred asked, raising an eyebrow.
Terrence shook his head. “You need to guard the dig site while Dr. Scott performs the delicate excavation.”
Rock shook his head. “Respectfully, kid, we’re fighting a war. We have more important things to do than help the researchers dig up rocks. We need to figure out Kobra’s next move.”
“Well sir -” Terrence flipped through his papers. “I’m afraid Kobra is excavating the site as we speak. The Starheart is extremely volatile, leading us to believe Kobra is using highly precise mechanized equipment.”
“And you didn’t lead with that?” Dan asked.
“Terrence.” Alan asked. “How volatile is it, exactly?”
“We’re not certain, but our best guess - its destruction could output destructive power equivalent to an atomic bomb.”
The room sat in stunned silence for a moment. Then, Rock spoke. “Grab your shovels. I guess we *are digging up rocks.”
Terrence nodded. “I’ll inform the director you’ll be en route shortly.”
≛≛ 🦅 ≛≛
“This place doesn’t look like the postcards.” Commander Steel overlooked the town of Zubayr from the mine shaft entrance just a half mile away. Once a world-famous vacation destination, Zubayr was reduced to plumes of smoke and half-destroyed buildings.
“It’s hard to believe 14,000 people still live there.” Blue Beetle said.
Rock shook his head. “A damn travesty is what it is. Those terrorists forcing Quracis to live like this.”
“Sorry to interrupt the fine conversation.” Alfred dropped his cigarette and ground it into the sand. “But there’s a perfectly good weapon of mass destruction down there - and it shouldn’t be kept waiting.”
Dr. Alan Scott was already at the foot of the tunnel, unloading small handheld electronics from his messenger bag. “Pennyworth is right. We need to get moving. These tunnels are a maze, SHADE’s developed these radios that should allow us to locate one another in case we get separated.”
“We should split up.” The Ray said. “If this thing is half as dangerous as SHADE says it is, we’ll need to cover as much ground as we can.”
Rock nodded. “Good thinking. You, Steel, and the doctor are with me. Pennyworth, you think you can keep the wrecking ball to task?”
“Yessir.”
Blue Beetle said nothing, instead grabbing a communicator from the bag and descending into the cave. Alfred followed after him at a brisk pace to keep up.
≛≛ 🦅 ≛≛
The pair walked the labyrinth of hewn stone in silence for minutes, their path lit only by the occasional oil lantern along minecart tracks.
With the tunnels stretching ever deeper into the bowels of the Earth, Alfred broke the silence. “Nice suit.” He gestured to the bright blue scaled outfit Beetle sported.
Blue Beetle’s head snapped back. “For God’s sake, you too?” Not even Beetle expected the amount of venom in his voice. His peppy exterior had been worn down by weeks of ‘pulp hero’ and ‘wrecking ball’.
“Not an affront. That’s good stitchwork. I’ve mended enough tears to recognize it.”
“Oh-” Beetle felt a dryness in his mouth. “Sorry then. Rock’s been digging at my last nerve.”
“Mhm.” Alfred knew better than to criticize a commanding officer - he didn’t have superpowers to fall back on. Still, he was plenty familiar with the sergeant’s attitude. “Who made it?”
“Pardon?”
“Who made the suit? You said you were an archaeologist - not a tailor.”
“Oh - Have you ever heard of Kord Enterprises? They’re an R&D house in Chicago - space age materials and the like. I have an arrangement with their president, Jarvis Kord.”
“Some arrangement you have. Did you stop a mugger from stealing his wallet or something?”
“Nothing so dramatic. You’d be surprised how far a smile and a firm handshake can go - except in Qurac, apparently.”
Alfred nodded. “Right. I’ve been meaning to ask you about that. The letters I got from the frontlines - they said you were a regular boy scout in Vietnam. Said you brought entire platoons back from enemy lines.”
Blue Beetle smiled, glancing down at the rock under his feet. “Well… the war correspondents tended to exaggerate, but yeah - I did my part.” He sighed. “It started in Egypt. I was studying at Midwestern U at the time - apprenticing under an archaeologist. We were excavating the tomb of Kha-Ef-Re on a government grant. I didn’t know it at the time, but the grant came from SHADE. It took weeks, but at the center of the tomb was the mythic Scarab of Kha-Ef-Re. Overnight, the digsite swarmed with suits. It became pretty clear that the Scarab was headed for a military base, not a museum.”
Alfred showed a rare grin. “So you nicked it right under SHADE’s nose.” He shook his head. “Crazy yank.”
“Something like that. I was carrying the Scarab out in a backpack when the damn thing tore right through. I blacked out. When I came to, it was dug in.”
“Good a reason as any not to trust SHADE, but I’d rather these artifacts end up in their hands than those of Kobra.”
“That’s not all. Those early days as the Beetle? I was stronger, but hardly superhuman. I didn’t notice it at first, but the Scarab’s getting stronger. I think it might be repairing itself, or recharging, or - well -” Blue Beetle threw his hands up in the air. “Well, I’m not sure. But if this Starheart can level a town now, imagine what it could do in five years, in SHADE’s hands.” Beetle paused. “But you’re right. What’s most important right now is the mission. Which reminds me, you heard about me in the papers?”
“Not quite. An old friend of mine was a G.I.”
“Really? What’s his name? I might’ve served with him.”
A pensive look came across Alfred’s face before he finally admitted, “Thomas Wayne.”
Blue Beetle perked up. “The Thomas Wayne? Of Wayne Enterprises? And I thought I had friends in high places.”
“I’m afraid it’s not that simple.”
“What, did you two have a falling out?”
“It’s not-” Alfred stopped himself. He considered fabricating some excuse, some lie to escape the situation. But then, he asked himself if there was any point hiding the truth from a man like Dan, who seemed physically incapable of deception. “I wrote Thomas letters for years. We were… close. And for years after the war, I didn’t get a response. Every letter I wrote without an answer was a slap in the face, like I wasn’t worth his time.”
“That’s billionaires for you.” Beetle shrugged.
“Except, I received a letter from him last week, for the first time. He said his father was intercepting my letters. Well now his father’s dead, and it sounds like Thomas wants to repair things between us.”
Blue Beetle picked up on Alfred’s uncertain tone. “And that’s good, right?”
“I’ve held onto this anger for years. Not a word of contact from him and over time, the resentment just built up. Am I just supposed to let all of that go now like it’s fine?”
Beetle cocked his head, surprised at the line of questioning. “Do you think he’s lying?”
“God no. I’m well aware of the kind of man Thomas’s father was.”
“Then what’s the problem? If you’re taking him at his word, and you care about him, I don’t see what choice there but to try to reach out.”
“Hm.” Alfred furrowed his brow. “Dan-” He was interrupted as the communicator crackled with Rock’s voice.
“We’ve got eyes on the excavator. You’ll want to get here - and fast.”
≛≛ 🦅 ≛≛
Alfred crept through the tunnel beneath Zubayr, Beetle just a few paces behind. Dr. Scott’s device made finding the sergeant possible, but the tunnels were still treacherous to navigate. With time dragging on, Alfred finally gave into frustration. “This rubbish is useless! Can’t see a damn thing anyway in this dust.”
“Wait.” Blue Beetle said, mainly to himself. “The dust! Alfred, this is an active excavation! If they’re using heavy machinery, it has to be kicking up a lot of dust. If we move deeper into the dust cloud, where it’s thicker, it’ll lead us right to them!” Blue Beetle looked Alfred up and down, already he was coated in a thin layer of ashy dust all over. “Hm - The Scarab should be able to purify the air in my lungs, but you might want to fashion yourself a mask.”
“You’ll have me fighting gangsters in the streets next.” Alfred pulled off his dark over-shirt and jabbed two holes in it with his knife. Then, he tied it around his head as a crude form of protection. “You’d better be right, Beetle.”
“I was an archaeologist, remember?” The Blue Beetle nodded at Alfred, then took off deeper into the tunnels. It was minutes of running through the increasingly dense clouds before their method bore fruit. Up ahead, the sounds of a struggle echoed through the tunnels.
The tunnel brought them to the foot of a massive cavern. The floodlights of the digsite illuminated one section, but there was no way of estimating the dimensions in the inky blackness. In the center of the lit area, nearly two dozen Kobra goons were locked in a melee with Rock, Commander Steel, and the Ray. The trio stood around Dr. Scott, protecting him from the militants.
But the feature of the room most demanding of attention was the massive stalagmite. The rock formation pulsed with an aura of emerald light, bathing the chamber. A complex machine of drills and electronics was anchored to the side, being operated by a familiar face. The head of Kobra, Jeffrey Burr grimaced as the other two Freedom Fighters entered.
Already, Alfred’s Walther PPK was aimed directly between Burr’s eye.
“Wait!” Jeffrey shouted. “A gunshot could detonate the weapon! It would destroy all of us - and Zubayr - in the blink of an eye.”
“Seems like a fair deal to save the country - the world even.” Alfred shrugged.
Sergeant Rock punched a man square in the nose. He went down. “Agent Pennyworth, do not fire your weapon. That is an order.”
Alfred kept his pistol trained on Jeffrey for a few tense seconds. Then, the Walther slid back into Pennyworth’s holster and Jeffrey smiled. “Rock! Order your men to stand down and you’ll be treated with dignity.”
The Ray punched a man in the jaw. The insurgent managed to stay on his feet despite the searing wound on his face. That is, until Rock stamped on his ankle, sending the fighter to the ground. “You first, terrorist bastard. Either way, you’re ending up a footnote in the stories of better men.”
“Kill them!” Jeffrey shouted. “Kill the Ray, Kill Blue Beetle! Kill the Freedom Fighters!”
No sooner than the words left his mouth, Kobra soldiers were mobbing Pennyworth and Blue Beetle. One of them, dressed in dark green flowing fabrics, charged forward. Pennyworth sidestepped the man and forced him to the ground. His head bounced against the rock. “Outnumbered five to one underground. I don’t like these odds, Beetle.”
“You’re the Freedom Fighters, I’m sure you’ve fought worse odds than this before.” Beetle threw a man into the wall, then glanced at his teammates. The silence didn’t fill him with confidence.
As the fight dragged on, Alfred found himself growing wearier. These Kobra grunts were poorly trained, but even he struggled against the never-ending supply Burr managed to throw at them. One managed to get in a lucky jab, striking Alfred in the chest before he went down.
“You said this thing is dangerous, Beetle. Maybe more dangerous than your Scarab. Can we let Kobra get their hands on it?” Alfred didn’t wait for an answer before pulling his pistol on the Starheart again.
“No!”
A blast of light shot through the cavern, striking Alfred in the hand. He recoiled in pain. The Ray shouted from the far wall, “It’s not your call to decide for everyone topside. We can still do-” A Kobra fighter sliced into the Ray’s side with a knife. Thanks to his reflexes, it was just a flesh wound, but it bought enough time for another two to restrain him.
From there, the Freedom Fighters fell like dominoes. It all happened too quickly for Beetle to respond. In moments, his compatriots were subdued by the dozen Kobra fighters still standing. One leapt for him, but he dodged out of the way. He wasn’t quick enough to evade the next one, nor the following three who brought him to the ground.
With the Freedom Fighters subdued, Jeffrey Burr approached. He beamed with satisfaction, “You know, when I came to Qurac, I was just a regular guy. Wisconsin farm boy, liked climbing mountains, as American as you could get. Then, I met some people who showed me that not everyone is like us. Some people don’t have freedom like we do. And it makes me wonder, if firefighters fight fires and crimefighters fight crime, what did the Freedom Fighters actually fight in the end?”
Jeffrey raised a gun to Blue Beetle’s forehead - he didn’t have an answer for him. A few pithy sayings and patriotism, but nothing real. Then, just as the metal barrel made contact with the Beetle’s forehead, a spark of blue electricity jumped from his frame.
“Wh-” Was all Jeffrey managed to get out before the sparks exploded into streaks out lightning in every direction. Cacophonous thunder filled the chamber. A large chunk of rock shook loose from the roof of the cavern and crashed to the ground.
When the chaos finally subsided, Kobra’s great leader Jeffrey Burr was crumpled on the ground alongside a half dozen of his men. The smell of burnt meat filled the room. Though no longer restrained, Dan Garrett was paralyzed by the sudden outburst of power. He held his hands in front of him, staring.
Rock, on the other hand, kept his wits about him. He shouted to no-one in particular, ignoring the two insurgents holding his arms. “Your leader is dead! Surrender now!” There were a few tense moments. Glances exchanged that would decide the lives of everyone here.
A Kobra fighter raised his hands to the sky in surrender. Then another, and another. Rock rose to his feet. “You’re making the right choice. We’re here to bring liberty to you people, one way or another.” He looked to Alan, “Dr. Scott - deal with that machine.”
Alan rushed to the excavation machine. His eyes scanned the readouts. “Starheart is stable.” His hands ran over the console, flicking switches and pressing buttons. “They were close - another twenty minutes, I can have it out.”
“You came through in the end, Beetle.” Sergeant Rock said. “You’re a regular Freedom Fighter now.”
“Thanks.” The Blue Beetle didn’t look at him. His eyes were focused squarely on the Starheart.
≛≛ 🦅 ≛≛
Blue Beetle slammed his fist against the table in Dr. Scott’s laboratory. “It’s dangerous!” Since the Freedom Fighters returned from their mission to Zubayr, Alan had been hard at work analyzing the Starheart.
Rock’s arms were folded across the table. He didn’t flinch at the dent in the steel table. “We’re under orders to turn it over to SHADE just as soon as Dr. Scott’s done looking at it.”
“You all must know what SHADE’s capable of at this point, don’t you? This kind of power isn’t safe with anyone.”
Commander Steel furrowed his brow. “Except you?”
“Excuse me?”
“You said earlier the Scarab is an artifact like the Starheart. You seem to manage it fine.”
“If you wanted to-” The Beetle was interrupted by Pennyworth.
“Hey - we know next to nothing about that rock. Those techs guessed it was volatile. It might not do a thing.”
Rock shook his head. “If Kobra was willing to die for it, they sure thought it did something. We have to assume it’s a weapon of mass destruction.”
“Sergeant?” Blue Beetle asked, hopeful.
“...Which is why it’ll be safest in government custody, behind lock and key. I understand where you’re coming from Beetle, but the Starheart is leaving the only way the Starheart is leaving this fort is in the hands of a SHADE employee.”
Blue Beetle tightened his fists. He wondered for a moment if he could get the Starheart out. Then, his grip loosened and he nodded. “Fine. Rock. But you tell your commander I’m on the first train out of here!”
“The mission’s not over yet.” The Ray said. “Kobra’s still out there.”
“No.” Rock shook his head. “Word from brass is that with their leader gone, Kobra’s already started to crumble. There’s mopping up to do, but I’d be surprised if they lasted the month. Dan - I’ll see what I can do about your discharge.”
“Thank you, sergeant.” Blue Beetle had nothing more to say. The Freedom Fighters headed for the door.
All except Alan Scott, who cleared his throat. “Garrett, you said you were an archaeologist? I think the Starheart might’ve been utilized by the Egyptian New Kingdom, but it’s out of my expertise. Could you look at it?”
“I-” He faltered. “I guess so.”
Rock, Pennyworth, and the Ray left the laboratory, pulling the door shut behind them.
“So what makes you think it’s Egyptian, Dr. Scott?”
“You’re right.”
“I am?” Blue Beetle had no idea what the doctor was talking about.
“If SHADE gets their hands on this, they’ll put together a thousand Freedom Fighters, or develop some superweapon, or worse.”
“Sorry - don’t you work for them?”
“For years, but… they’ve changed. Director Darkh is taking the Special Hardline Association in a different direction. One I refuse to be a part of.”
“So what? We’re going to fight our way off the base with that thing?”
“Even simpler. I’ll use my clearance to walk it off. Tell everyone I’m bringing it back to SHADE HQ in Nevada, then do everything in my power to keep it out of their hands. Hell, I’ll even make it look like you tried to stop me.”
An enormous grin spread across Blue Beetle’s face. “You’re doing the right thing, Alan. But - are you sure you can keep it away from SHADE. They’re resourceful.” He turned his back to grab the specially-lined briefcase.
“I know how they operate. Wait- What are you doing?”
Blue Beetle turned with the briefcase in hand. Alan shook his head. “There’s obviously a tracker in there. Do you want me to get caught?”
Blue Beetle’s face screwed up. “So what are you going to use?”
Alan opened a nearby cabinet and pulled a railway lantern from it.
“Uh, Doc? Why do you have that in your lab?”
“What? I like trains.”
≛≛ 🦅 ≛≛
Alan Scott sat in the train terminal with untold power beside him. He’d already planned out his journey. Fort Slocum to Cairo to Jerusalem, then London by plane, Moscow, Tokyo, then finally back home. It was weeks of travelling, but Alan just hoped it would be enough to throw SHADE off his scent.
“All aboard!”
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[OC] What if every world cup team had the same population? - Group C

Hello again all, trying to distract myself from the fact that it’s already May, I’ve put my matching Friday pants and socks set on to bring you another edition of the alternative World Cup. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the premise of this series why not indulge yourself in the last two groups.
Group A, Group B
Whilst yesterday featured a group with sprinkles of quality throughout, I’m afraid to say this gathering is a little one-sided. One African team dwarfs three squads of an Asian persuasion, so with more utopian island spots than full time pro’s on display, I’ll try my utmost not to drift into a Thomas Cook holiday blog, no promises though.
Group C
West Africa
Togo, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinnea Bissau, Senegal, The Gambia, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Western Sahara, Algeria, Morrocco
Population (millions): 240.19
When it comes to brainchildren it’s strongly advised not to have favourites, but between you and me this is the funnest squad of the lot.
Similarly to Eastern Europe, West Africa has often been a hive of sporting talent restrained by the labyrinth of borders within its confines. George Weah, Emmanuel Adebayor, Yaya Toure, Didier Drogba and Abedi Pele are some notable stars of the past, but the conveyor belt of sporadic world-class attacking talent over the last 30 years appears to have crescendoed into a full blown production line of stars in every outfield position.
Something that my hypothesis can’t fairly simulate is what affect an open plan Africa would have on the decision making of some of our games Euro-Africano elite. N’Golo Kante is of Malean descent whilst fellow Parisian Paul Pogba boasts his Guinean parentage. It would be a safe bet to assume at least some juggling would take place with the region's newfound affluence, but until I am able to read the minds of millionaire athletes I’m not going to touch the subject with a barge pole, besides I think I’d go for the sort codes well before I look at their national preference.
What we DO have however is a terrific squad on paper that will continue to improve as the years continue, with 17 year old Barcelona wunderkind Ansu Fati hailing from Guinea-Bissau, as long as he doesn’t succumb to a Spanish inquisition.
Goalkeepers Birthplace FM20 Value Age
Edouard Mendy SEN Rennes GK Montivilliers, France 65 €4.40 28
Yassine Bounou MAR Sevilla GK Montreal, Canada 68 €10.00 29
Defenders
Faouzi Ghoulam ALG Napoli LB Saint-Priest, France 72 €17.10 29
Dakonam Djene TOG Getafe CB Dapaong 74 €26.80 28
Kalidou Koulibaly SEN Napoli CB Saint-Die, France 84 €64.30 28
Achraf Hakimi MAR B. Dortmund RWB Madrid, Spain 72 €23.30 21
Eric Bailly CIV Man United CB Bingerville 72 €31.40 26
Salif Sane SEN Schalke 04 CB Lormont, France 69 €9.00 29
Serge Aurier CIV Tottenham RB Ouragahio 70 €19.90 27
Kwadwo Asamoah GHA Inter Milan LWB Accra 74 €21.10 31
Midfielders
Riyad Mahrez ALG Man City RW Sarcelles, France 77 €62.00 29
Hakim Ziyech MAR Ajax CAM Dronten, Netherlands 79 €42.80 27
Thomas Partey GHA Atleti CDM Krobo Odumase 76 €33.40 26
Naby Keita GUI Liverpool CM Conakry 78 €52.20 25
Ismaila Sarr SEN Watford RW Saint-Louis 67 €22.20 22
Pepe CIV Arsenal RW Mantes-la-Jolie, France 76 €45.60 24
Idrissa Gana Gueye SEN PSG CDM Dakar 75 €28.80 30
Amine Harit MOR Schalke CAM Pontoise, France 69 €10.07 22
Forwards
Sadio Mane SEN Liverpool LF Sedhiou 90 €92.40 28
Wilfried Zaha CIV Crystal Palace CF Abidjan 77 €59.60 27
Moussa Marega MLI Porto ST Les Ulis, France 70 €16.80 29
Islam Slimani ALG Monaco ST Algiers 68 €19.80 31
Average/Totals 74 €712.90 27.13636364
A difficult pick but I’ve settled on a squad that could play in numerous formations, Sadio Mané and Riyad Mahrez are two of the Premier Leagues most potent wide players whilst the midfield is a superfluity of athleticism and technique.
The likes of Feghouli, Kessie and Gervinho didn’t survive the longlist but the competition was stiff. I’m not overly happy with the inclusion of goal starved Islam Slimani but the area is surprisingly scarce of talented out and out forwards.
If this team fails to collect all nine points in this group it would be the worst thing to happen to West Africa since Di Caprio’s accent in Blood Diamond.
South India & Arabian Sea
6 Indian provinces (Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Goa), Sri Lanka, Maldives
Population (millions):239.70
Another region that practises footballing atheism, this was one of the most difficult to research. But if any documentarians want to make this into a series then I’d be happy to take some time out to fly out and research the Maldives for a while.
The two island nations donate their services to an uninspiring mess of Indian nonentity. Including the world’s sixth highest scoring active player Ali Ashfaq, never heard of him? Nah me neither.
Goalkeepers Birthplace FM20 Value Age
Kamaljit Singh IND Hyderabad GK Goa 24 €0.02 24
Chathura Ekanayake SRI Eagles Malé GK Sri Lanka 22 €0.00 27
Defenders
Anas Edathodika IND ATK CB Kerala 33 €0.03 33
Adil Khan IND Hyderabad RB Goa 32 €0.02 31
Mandar Rao Dessal IND Mumbai City LB Goa 31 €0.02 28
Lenny Ridrigues IND Goa CDM Goa 24 €0.02 32
Mohamed Imtiyas SRI Renown CB Kotahena 25 €0.01 24
Akram Abdul Ghanee MDV Valencia (MDV) CB Maafaru 28 €0.01 33
Edwin Sydney IND Chennaiyin RWB Kerala 21 €0.01 27
Asikur Alawadeen SRI Pelicans CB Kurunegala 23 €0.01 26
Midfielders
Brandon Fernandes IND Goa CAM Goa 33 €0.03 25
Rowllin Borges IND Mumbai City CDM Goa 32 €0.02 27
Sahal Abdul Samad IND Kerala Blasters CM Kerala 34 €0.04 23
Michael Soosairaj IND ATK CM Tamil Nadu 32 €0.03 25
Nikhil Poojari IND Hyderabad CM Karnataka 29 €0.02 24
Ahmed Razeek SRI Berliner AK CDM Berlin 44 €0.06 26
Mohamed Umair MDV Maziya CM Malé 27 €0.01 20
Romeo Fernandes IND Odisha RM Goa 23 €0.02 27
Forwards
Ashique Kuruniyan IND Bengaluru CF Kerala 35 €0.04 22
Jobby Justin IND ATK ST Kerala 28 €0.02 26
CK Vineeth IND Jamshedpur ST Kerala 27 €0.02 31
Ali Ashfaq MDV Club Green Streets ST Malé 27 €0.01 34
Average/Totals 29 €0.47 27.04545455
Ali Ashfaq has officially netted 463 times in his now 19 year career. Haters will say most of that was in the Maldivian league but I think I’d only be able to score half that amount so fair play to him.
The most notable islander is German born Sri Lankan Ahmed Razeek, the Berliner came through the ranks at now-Bundesliga team Union Berlin, but finds himself playing fourth tier football at the time of writing. At 25, Razeek only dedicated his services to Golden Lion in 2019, a bit of European experience may help the nation who have commanded just four wins in the last five years.
India’s most promising contribution to the side is 22 year old Ashique Kuruniyan, the young forward lacks goals but is known as something of a playmaker, Kuruniyan to Ashfaq could be the new Ozil to Ronaldo, but realistically I think this team will be lucky to find the net at all if the ratings are anything to Goa on.
Oceania and Southeast Asia
Australia, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Cambodia, Singapore, Phillipines, Malaysia, 11 Indonisian Provinces (Papua, West Papua, Maluku, North Maluku, Sulawesi Island, East Nusa Tenggara, West Nusa Tenggara)
Population: 231.57
I almost broke the comma button on my laptop writing out all those islands, and it still doesn’t quite reach 240m. The pacific islands are home to some of the worst national teams out there, none more infamous than American Samoa who hold the record for the biggest ever defeat in international football, a 31-0 loss to Australia. If anyone hasn’t seen the documentary that was inspired subsequently to the loss, ‘next goal wins’ is perhaps my favourite football film and couldn’t recommend it highly enough when trying to explain the humanity of playing football in this part of the world.
The antagonists of the Samoan’s defeat, Australia have since changed confederations from lack of challenge. Joining the Asian Football Confederation in early 2006, the Socceroo’s have since won the Asian Cup on home soil and qualified for each of the previous four iterations of the World Cup. In 2006 a ‘golden generation’ fronted by Harry Kewell and Tim Cahill narrow missed out on a quarter final berth being beaten by eventual champions Italy in the 95th minute thanks to a controversial penalty.
While the likes of Kewell, Cahill and Mark Schwarzer have long since retired, the Aussies produce a modest yet constant procession of pro’s. Along with fellow anglophone New Zealand, the select Oceanic islanders often choose a path of playing in England’s football pyramid, with a few Premier League stalwarts found within the squad below.
Southeast Asia has a curious footballing culture, a strong general interest in the European game with seemingly little rewards for their appropriation, no malaysians manage to sneak into the selection whilst the Phillipines’ most famous athlete behind Manny Pacquiao only makes back up keeper.
Goalkeepers Birthplace Football manager Value Age
Matthew Ryan AUS Brighton GK Plumpton 66 €15.80 28
Neil Etheridge PH Cardiff GK London, England 64 €11.00 30
Defenders
Winston Reid NZ West Ham CB Auckland 66 €14.50 31
Milos Degenek AUS Red Star CB Knin, Croatia 62 €1.30 26
Trent Sainsbury AUS Maccabi Haifa RB Thornlie 60 €0.88 28
Bailey Wright AUS Bristol City CB Melbourne 59 €3.30 27
Wesley Lautoa NCA Dijon CB Epernay, France 62 €2.20 32
Aziz Behich AUS Basaksehir LB Melbourne 60 €2.20 29
Brad Smith AUS Bournemouth LWB Penrith 63 €9.50 26
Stephan Schrock PHI Cares RB Schweinfurt, Germany 57 €0.77 33
Midfielders
Aaron Mooy AUS Brighton CM Sydney 70 €26.70 29
Tom Rogic AUS Celtic CAM Griffith 67 €11.90 27
Mathew Leckie AUS Hertha Berlin CM Melbourne 65 €4.80 29
Robbie Kruse AUS Mebourne Victory RM Brisbane 64 €1.30 31
Awer Mabil AUS Mitdtjylland RW Kakuma, Kenya 63 €1.50 24
Craig Goodwin AUS Al-Wehda LM Adelaide 58 €4.60 28
Ryan Thomas NZ PSV CDM Te Puke 65 €6.50 25
Massimo Luongo AUS Sheffield W CDM Sydney 62 €7.80 27
Forwards
Chris Wood NZ Burnley ST Auckland 67 €23.40 28
Adam Taggart AUS Suwon Bluewings ST Perth 62 €0.84 26
Aposrolos Giannou AUS AEK Larnaka ST Nousa, Greece 63 €1.30 30
Daniel Arzani AUS Celtic CF Khorramabad, Iran 60 €8.20 21
Average/Totals 63 €160.29 29.68181818
As you can see the team is dominated by Aussie and Kiwi men, but there is some polynesian persuasion in the way of Wesley Lautoa who takes restbite trying to defend the likes of Neymar, Mbappe and Depay by bullying semi-pro strikers playing for New Caledonia.
Daniel Arzani is the best bet for a future talisman, despite really struggling to make the grade in Europe he’s still only 21 and could yet fulfil his potential. The Celtic forward has impeccable technical ability and has an eye on one day becoming a regular at his parent club Man City.
Chris Wood has a Premier League goal record that any striker would be proud of and is the archetypal Sean Dyche forward, but I would suggest that his physical play style precedes his genuine international quality. New Zealand famously exited the 2010 World Cup as the only side to leave undefeated, and part of that was due to the defensive talents of Winston Reid, who at that time was a 21 year old padawan learner to Blackburn hero Ryan Nelson. Now 31, The former West Ham captain Reid leads this sides defensive line where he’ll do his best to make the younger lads do most of the legwork.
Neil Etheridge is unlucky not to be the standout number one in this team, the keeper come underwear model caught the eyes of English fans saving three penalties in the 2018-19 season, although when on loan to Bristol Rovers he caught a free-kick and stepped backwards into his own goal, don’t think we’ve forgotten Neil.
Western China
9 Chinese Provinces (Feng Jin, Gansu, Shaanxi, Sichaun, Tibet, Xinjiang Uygur, Ningxia, Qinghai)
Population (millions): 256.25
A little over the limit for this one but you wouldn’t notice from the squad. The west of China is the least densely populated region and the one with the least investment in the club game, so it is no surprise that there is correlation to the talent, or lack thereof.
Every metric I’ve used in research points to this being the Chinese team that will struggle the most, the bulk of the players hail from Sichuan, which since we’re on reddit may give most of you PTSD of Rick and Morty fans standing on McDonalds counters.
None of the following players featured in the most recent Chinese national squad. In a sporting wilderness that hasn’t been invited to the game of Monopoly out east, you can’t blame this side for underwhelming.
Goalkeepers Birthplace FM20 Value Age
Wang QI CHI Shaanxi Athletic GK Shaanxi 35 €0.60 27
Yerjet Yerzat CHI Chongqing Lifan GK Xinjiang Uygur 36 €0.72 27
Defenders
Yang Xiaotian CHI Jiangsu Suning LB Shaanxi 40 €1.40 30
Wang Erzhuo CHI Shaanxi Athletic CB Shaanxi 28 €0.24 33
Alishat CHI Xinjiang Sport Lottery CB Xinjiang 40 €0.43 25
Zhang Ao CHI Xinjiang Sport Lottery RB Shanxi 28 €0.37 29
Liu Yu CHI Shanghai Shenxin CB Sichuan 30 €0.44 25
Zhou Xuri CHI Dalian Yifang CB Sichuan 29 €0.30 21
Otkur Hesen CHI Sichaun Jiuniu LB Xinjiang 20 €0.00 27
Bari Mamatil CHI Qiangdao Huanghai RWB Xinjiang 39 €1.50 31
Midfielders
Peng Xinli CHI Shanghai Shenhua CM Shanxi 47 €2.60 29
Mirahmetjan Muzepper CHI Shanghai SIPG CAM Xinjiang 46 €3.30 29
Zhang Xiuwei CHI Guangzhou E CM Sichuan 46 €2.70 24
Luo Senwen CHI Hebei China Fortune CDM Sichuan 44 €2.10 27
Li Yuanyi CHI Shenzhen CM SIchuan 42 €1.30 26
Zhang Chiming CHI Tianjin RW SIchuan 38 €1.10 31
Shewket Yalqun CHI Guangzhou E LW Xinjiang 33 €0.94 27
Yehya CHI Xinjiang Tianshan CM Xinjiang 24 €0.24 32
Forwards
Yan Dinghao CHI Gondomar CF Sichuan 45 €2.40 22
Li Fang CHI Chongqing Lifan ST Sichuan 34 €1.30 27
Gan Yingbo CHI Sichaun Longfor CF Sichuan 24 €0.16 35
Abduhamit Abdugheni CHI Jiangsu Suning CF Shaanxi 35 €0.75 23
Average/Totals 36 €24.89 27.59090909
Finding a 22 was a real struggle and there is an imbalance of positions to show for it. The only true striker is Chongqing’s Li Fang, who is officially listed as a striker-come-right back which is an oddly specific duology of skills.
The squad is predominantly composed of players from the nations second tier CL1, which to enlight the general reader means they probably aren’t going to win the tournament.
Another day another group, tomorrow we finally see one of the long anticipated Western European megasquads, and play a game of spot the Uzbekistani. Thanks again for reading, let me know if you think I've missed anyone from the squads or made an error and try to have a stab at the starting XI’s for today's teams.
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Oscars 2021: An inside look (like, really inside) to 50 possible contenders in the next awards race

Another Oscar ceremony happened, and we got our fair share of joy and disappointment. After Parasite surprised the world and took Best Picture, it seems like the game has changed for the awards race, now that non-English speaking films can actually fight and be recognized as well as classics as… Green Book. The Oscar race is still full of pain and glory, and even though the year has barely started, we have a bunch of movies that are fighting for air. And here’s 50 of them. Yes, I had some free time in my hands and this is a cool hobby, so I took the liberty to introduce most of the movies that will have Film Twitter entertained for the following 12 months. I say most, because there are always contenders who come out of nowhere later in the year, so this is the starter set. Here we go.
-Annette: Since Parasite’s road to the Oscars started at Cannes, it seems fair to talk about a movie that is circling a premiere in the world stage that is set in France. After delivering weird, indie classics like Mauvais Sang and Holy Motors (yes, the kind of movies that make you seem like a snob when you recommend them to people), Leos Carax is making his first movie spoken in the English language… and it has a musical screenplay written by the cult rock duo of Sparks. Recently robbed Adam Driver and previous Oscar winner Marion Cotillard sing in this tale of a stand-up comedian and a famous soprano singer who rise and fall in Los Angeles while their daughter is born with a special gift. It seems like a wild bet, but we already know that Carax is a master with musical moments, so this is one of the most intriguing question marks of the year.
-Ammonite: It’s time to talk narratives. On the one hand, we have Kate Winslet, a known name who hasn’t been very successful in the Oscar race since her Oscar win for The Reader over a decade ago (with the exception being her supporting performance in Steve Jobs, where she had a weird accent). On the other, we have Saoirse Ronan, a star on the rise who keeps collecting Oscar nominations, with 4 nods at the age of 25, including her fresh Best Actress loss for Little Women. What happens if we put them together in a drama set in the coasts of England during the 19th century where both of them fall for each other? That’s gonna be a winning formula if writedirector Francis Lee (who tackled queer romance in his acclaimed debut God’s Own Country) nails the Mary Anning story, and Neon (the distribution company founded three years ago that took Parasite to victory) is betting on it.
-Benedetta: We know the Paul Verhoeven story. After isolating himself from Hollywood for over a decade, he took Isabelle Huppert to an Oscar nominated performance with the controversial, sexy, dark and funny thriller Elle. Now, he’s back with another story that perks up the ears, because now he’s covering the life of Benedetta Carlini, a 17th-century lesbian nun who had religious and erotic visions. If you know Paul, you already can tell that this fits into his brand of horniness, and a possible Cannes premiere could tell us if this has something to carry itself to Oscar night.
-Blonde: With a short but impactful directorial credits list that takes us from Chopper, to The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford to Killing Them Softly, Andrew Dominik is back with a film about Marilyn Monroe, a woman who has transcended the ideas of fame and stardom, in ways that are glamorous and nightmarish at the same time. After failing to launch with Naomi Watts or Jessica Chastain,the rising Ana de Armas takes the lead in the retelling of Monroe’s troubled life based on Joyce Carol Oates’ novel, which is said to be covered in the screenplay as somewhat of a horror movie. We don’t know what that means yet, but Netflix is gonna push hard for this one, especially considering how the Academy loves throwing awards to stars playing previous stars, and that also can possibly include co-stars Bobby Cannavale and Adrien Brody.
-Breaking News in Yuba County: While he hasn’t gone back to the heights of his success achieved by the box office and award success of The Help (a movie that did not age well), Tate Taylor is still enjoying himself economically due to recent thrillers like The Girl on the Train and Ma. For his next movie, he’s made a dramedy that once again reunites him with Oscar winner Allison Janney, where she plays a woman who has to keep appearances and a hidden body when she catches her husband cheating on her, and then he dies of a heart attack. With a cast that also includes Mila Kunis, Regina Hall, Awkwafina, Samira Wiley, Wanda Sykes, Jimmi Simpson and Ellen Barkin, this could be a buzzy title later this year.
-C’mon C’mon: You may love or hate whatever Joaquin Phoenix did in Joker, but you can’t deny the benefit of playing the Crown Prince of Crime in an Oscar-winning performance. The blank check that you share with indie directors afterwards. Now that Joaquin’s cultural cachet is on the rise, Mike Mills gets to benefit with this drama that stars Phoenix and Gaby Hoffmann, with him playing an artist left to take care of his precocious young nephew as they forge an unexpected bond over a cross country trip. We only have to wonder if A24 will do better with this movie’s Oscar chances compared to 20th Century Women.
-Cherry: After killing half the universe and bringing them back with the highest grossing movie of all time, where do you go? For Joe and Anthony Russo, the answer is “away from the Marvel Cinematic Universe”. The Russo brothers are trying to distance themselves and prove that they have a voice without Kevin Feige behind them, with a crime drama that’s also different than their days when they directed You, Me and Dupree or episodes of Arrested Development and Community. To help them in the journey, they took Tom Holland (who also needs to distance himself from Spider-Man, lest he ends up stuck to the character in the audience’s eyes) to star in a crime drama based on former Army medic Nico Walker’s memoir about his days after Iraq, where the PTSD and an opioid addiction led him to start robbing banks.
-Da 5 Bloods: After bouncing back from a slump with the critical and commercial success of BlackKklansman, Spike Lee is cashing a Netflix check to tell the tale of four African American veterans who return to Vietnam to search for their fallen leader and some treasure. With a cast that includes Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Isiah Whitlock Jr, Paul Walter Hauser and Chadwick Boseman, this sounds like an interesting combo, although we still should remember the last time that Spike tried his hand at a war movie, with the dull Miracle at St. Anna.
-Dune: If you are on Reddit, you probably know about the new film by movies’ new Messiah, Denis Villeneuve. While the epic sci-fi novel by Frank Herbert is getting a new chance in the multiplexes after that David Lynch movie that was forgotten by many, some are hoping that this will be the beginning of a new franchise (as seen by the release date of December 18, taking the spot of the usual Star Wars opening), and a return to the whole “remember when stuff like Return of the King or Fury Road were nominated for Best Picture?” question. Timothee Chalamet will be riding a lot of hope, and sandworm.
-Everybody’s Talking About Jamie: As you start to see, there are several musicals that are gonna be fighting for attention over the next year, and Annette was the first one. Now, we also have this adaptation of the hit West End production, that centers around a gay British teenager who dreams of becoming a drag queen and get his family and schoolmates to accept his sexuality. With a cast that mixes young unknowns, familiar Brits (Sharon Horgan, Sarah Lancashire and my boy Ralph Ineson) and the previously nominated legend that is Richard E. Grant (who is playing a former drag queen named Loco Chanelle), the creative team of the stage musical will jump to the big screen with the help of Fox Searchlight (sorry, just Searchlight), who has clear Oscar hopes with a release date right in the middle of awards heat, on October 23.
-Hillbilly Elegy: Even though the Parasite victory gave many people hope for a new Academy that stops recognizing stuff like previous winner Green Book… let’s be honest, the Academy will still look for movies like Green Book. This year, many people are turning their eyes towards Ron Howard’ adaptation of J.D. Vance’s memoir about his low income life in a poor rural community in Ohio, filled with drugs, violence and verbal abuse. If this sounds like white trash porn, it doesn’t help to know that Glenn Close, who has become the biggest living Oscar bridesmaid with seven nominations, will play a character called Mamaw. And if that sounds trashy, then you have to know that Amy Adams, who follows Glenn with six nominations, is playing her drug-addicted, careless daughter. I don’t want to call this “Oscar bait”, but it sure is tempting.
-I’m Thinking of Ending Things: After his stopmotion existential dramedy Anomalisa got him a Best Animated Feature nomination at the Oscars but at the same time bombed at the box office, Charlie Kaufman is getting the Netflix check. This time, he’s adapting the dark novel by Iain Reid, about a woman (Jessie Buckley, who is on the rise and took over the role after Brie Larson had to pass) who is taken by her boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) to meet his parents (Toni Collette and David Thewlis), in a trip that takes a turn for the worse. If Kaufman can deliver with this one, it will be a big contender.
-In the Heights: Yes, more musicals! This time, it’s time to talk about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first Tony-winning musical, that was overshadowed because of his other small play about some treasury secretary. Now, his Broadway ensemble tale about life in a neighborhood in Washington Heights is jumping to the movie screen with Jon Chu at the helm, following the success of Crazy Rich Asians. This Latino tale mixes up-and-comers like Anthony Ramos (who comes straight from Hamilton and playing Lady Gaga’s friend in A Star is Born), names like Corey Hawkins and Jimmy Smits (who is pro bits), and Olga Merediz, who starred in the Broadway show as Abuela Claudia and who could be the early frontrunner for Best Supporting Actress, if Chu allows her to shine like she did onstage.
-Jesus Was My Homeboy: When looking at up-and-coming Black actors right now in Hollywood, two of the top names are Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield, who already appeared in the same movie in Get Out, which earned Kaluuya a Best Actor nomination. This time, they share the screen in Shaka King’s retelling of the story of Fred Hampton (Kaluuya), an activist and Black Panther leader… as well as the story of William O’Neal (Stanfield), the FBI agent sent by J. Edgar Hoover to infiltrate the party and arrest him. With the backing of Warner Bros, this will attempt to make an impact with a clash of actors that will have to fight with an August release date, not the ideal time to release an awards movie.
-King Richard: Starting with Suicide Squad, Will Smith has been trying to prove that he’s back and better than ever. Some attempts to get back to the top of the A-list (Aladdin, Bad Boys For Life) have worked, while others (Gemini Man, Spies in Disguise)... have not. But Will is still going, and now he’s going for his next prestige play as he plays Richard Williams, the coach and father of the tennis legends Venus and Serena, who pushed them to their full potential. While it’s weird that the father of the Williams sisters is getting a movie before them, it does sound like a meaty role for Smith, who has experience with Oscar notices with sports biopics because of what he did with Michael Mann in Ali. Let’s hope director Reinaldo Marcus Green can take him there too.
-Last Night in Soho: Every year, one or two directors who have a cool reputation end up in the Dolby Theatre, and 2020 could be the year of Edgar Wright. After delivering his first big box office hit with Baby Driver, the Brit is going back to London to tell a story in the realm of psychological horror, which has been supposedly inspired by classics like Don’t Look Now and Repulsion. With a premise that supposedly involves time travel and a cast that includes Anya-Taylor Joy, Thomasin McKenzie, Matt Smith and Diana Rigg, Wright (who also co-wrote this with Krysty Wilson-Cairns, who was just nominated for Best Original Screenplay for her work in 1917) is making a big swing.
-Let Them All Talk: Every year there’s more new streaming services, and that also means that there’s new players in the Oscar game. To secure subscribers to the new service, HBO Max has secured the rights to the next Steven Soderbergh movie, a comedy that stars Meryl Streep as a celebrated author that takes her friends (Candice Bergen, Dianne Wiest) and her nephew (Lucas Hedges, again) in a journey to find fun and come to terms with the past. The last time that Soderbergh and Streep worked together, the end result was the very disappointing The Laundromat. Let’s hope that this time everything works out.
-Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom: Now that Netflix got the deal to adapt August Wilson’s acclaimed plays with Denzel Washington’s production company, the next jump from the stage to the screen is a meaty one. Viola Davis is playing blues singer Ma Rainey in this tale of a heated recording session with her bandmates, her agent and her producer in 1927, with a cast that also includes Chadwick Boseman, Glynn Turman and Colman Domingo. The Tony nominated play talked about race, art and the intersection of the two, and it’s gonna be explosive to see that unfold on screen, even if director George C. Wolfe’s previous filmography isn’t very encouraging.
-Macbeth: In a shocking development, the Coen brothers are no more. Well, just this time. For the first time in his career, Joel Coen is making a movie without Ethan, and it’s a Shakespeare adaptation. Denzel Washington is playing the man who wants to be king of Scotland, and Frances McDormand is playing his Lady Macbeth. While this just started filming and it will be a race to finish it in time for competition in the awards race, the potential is there, and this project has everybody’s attention.
-Mank: After scoring 24 Oscar nominations and only winning 2 awards last Sunday, Netflix has to wonder what else must they do to get in the club that awards them. They tried with Cuarón, they tried with Scorsese, they tried with Baumbach, they tried with two Popes, and they still feel a barrier. Now, the big gamble for awards by the streamer in 2020 comes to us in the hands of David Fincher, who is basically their friend after the rest of Hollywood denied him (Disney dropped his 20,000 Leagues adaptation, HBO denied the US remake of Utopia, and Paramount drove World War Z 2 away from him). In his first movie since 2014’s Gone Girl, David will go black and white to tackle a script by his late father about the making of the classic of classics, Citizen Kane, with previous Oscar winner Gary Oldman playing the lead role of screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz. Will the Academy fall for the ultimate “power of da moviesshhh” story?
-Minari: Sundance can be hit or miss with the breakout films that try to make it to the Oscars. However, you can’t deny the waves made by A24 when they premiered Lee Isaac Chung’s new drama there, ending up winning the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the US Dramatic Competition. If Parasite endeared Academy voters to Korean families, Steven Yeun hopes that the same thing happens with this story, where he plays a father in the ‘80s who suddenly decides to move his family to Arkansas to start a farm. Even though the reviews have been great, we must also remember that last year, A24 had in their hands The Farewell, another Sundance hit about an Asian family that ended up with no Oscar nominations. Let’s hope that this time, the Plan B influence (remember, that’s Brad Pitt’s production company, of Moonlight and 12 Years a Slave fame) makes a difference.
-Next Goal Wins: It’s a good time to be Taika Waititi. Why? Taika Waititi can do what he wants. He can direct a Thor movie, he can win an Oscar for writing a comedy set in WW2 about a Third Reich boy who has an Imaginary Hitler friend, or he can pop up in The Mandalorian as a droid. Taika keeps winning, and he wants more. Between his press tour for Jojo Rabbit and his return to the MCU, he quickly shot an adaptation of a great documentary about the disgraced national team of American Samoa, one of the worst football teams known to man, as they try to make the cut for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Everybody loves a good sports comedy, and Searchlight bets that we’ll enjoy this story led by Michael Fassbender as the new (and Dutch-American) coach in town who tries to shape the team for victory.
-News of the World: Seven years after their solid collaboration in Captain Phillips, Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks reunite for more awards love in what seems to be Universal’s main attraction for the Oscars. This time, Hanks stars in a Western drama based on Paulette Jiles’ novel where he plays a traveling newsreader in the aftermath of the American Civil War who is tasked with reuniting an orphaned girl with her living relatives. With a Christmas release date, Universal is betting big in getting the same nomination boost that 1917 is enjoying right now, and the formula is promising.
-Nightmare Alley: Following his Best Picture and Best Director wins for The Shape of Water, everybody in Hollywood wondered what would Guillermo del Toro do next. Well, as Del Toro often does, a little bit of everything and nothing. Some projects moved (as his produced Pinocchio movie on Netflix, or his Death Stranding likeness cameo), others stalled and die (like his proposed Fantastic Voyage remake). But now he’s rolling on his next project, a new adaptation of the William Lindsay Gresham novel that already was a Tyrone Power film in 1947. This noir tale tells the story of a con man (Bradley Cooper) who teams up with a psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett) to trick people and win money, and how things get out of control. With a cast that also includes Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Rooney Mara and more, this could play well if it hits the right tone.
-Nomadland: There’s breakout years, and then there’s the amazing potential of Chloe Zhao’s 2020. On the one hand, after making Hollywood notice her skill with the gripping story of The Rider, she got the keys to the MCU kingdom to direct the next potential franchise of Kevin Feige, The Eternals. And just in case, she also has in her sleeve this indie drama that she wrote and directed beforehand, with two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand playing a woman who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad. If Chloe nails these two films, it could be the one-two punch of the decade.
-One Night in Miami: Regina King is living her best life. Following her Oscar win for Best Supporting Actress in If Beale Street Could Talk and the success that came with her lead role in the Watchmen show on HBO, the actress is jumping to a new challenge: directing movies. For her big screen debut, she’s adapting Kemp Powers’ play that dramatizes a real meeting on February 25, 1964, between Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown.
-Over the Moon: After earning praise and Oscar nominations with I Lost My Body and Klaus, Netflix will keep its bet on animated movies with a film directed by the legendary Glen Keane. Who? A classic Disney animator responsible for the design of characters like Ariel, the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Tarzan and more](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jRkx2PNVr8), and who recently won an Oscar for Best Animated Short for Dear Basketball, which he co-directed with the late Kobe Bryant. Now, he brings us a musical adventure centered around a Chinese girl who builds a rocket ship and blasts off to the Moon in hopes of meeting a legendary Moon Goddess.
-Passing: It’s always interesting when an actor jumps behind the camera, and Rebecca Hall’s case is no exception. For her directorial debut, Hall chose to adapt Nella Larsen’s acclaimed novel set in Harlem in the 1920s, about two mixed race childhood friends (Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson) who reunite in adulthood and become obsessed with one another's lives. With a premise that explores tough questions about race and sexuality, it looks like a tricky challenge for a first timer, but it would be more impressive if Hall manages to rise over the challenge.
-Prisoner 760: An interesting part of following the awards circuit is looking at when it's appropriate to talk about touchy subjects in recent history. I’m saying that because this next movie tells the real life tale of Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Tahar Rahim), a man who, despite not being charged or having a set trial, is held in custody at Guantanamo Bay, and turns towards a pair of lawyers (Jodie Foster and Shailene Woodley) to aid him. Based on the famous journal that the man wrote while he was being detained, the movie (that also counts with Benedict Cumberbatch) is directed by Kevin Macdonald who, a long time ago, helped Forest Whitaker win Best Actor for The Last King of Scotland. Could he get back in the race after almost 15 years of movies like State of Play?
-Raya and the Last Dragon: This year, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ bet for the Oscars is a fantasy tale set in a mysterious realm called Kumandra, where a warrior named Raya searches for the last dragon in the world. And that dragon has the voice of Awkwafina. Even though they missed out last Oscars when Frozen II got the cold shoulder by the Academy in Best Animated Feature, this premise looks interesting enough to merit a chance. One more thing: between last year’s Abominable, Over the Moon and this movie, there’s a clear connection of animated movies trying to appeal to Chinese sensibilities (and that sweet box office).
-Rebecca: It’s wild to think that the only time that Alfred Hitchcock made a film that won the Oscar for Best Picture was with 1940’s adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s psychological thriller novel, more muted and conventional than his more known classics. Now, Ben Wheatley and Netflix are giving the Gothic story a new spin, with Lily James playing the newly married young woman who finds herself battling the shadow of her husband's (Armie Hammer) dead first wife, the mysterious Rebecca. The story is a classic, and we have to see how much weird Wheatley stuff is in the mix.
-Red, White and Water: Between 2011 and 2014, Jennifer Lawrence was everywhere and people loved it. She was America’s sweetheart, the Oscar winner, Katniss Everdeen. But then, everything kinda fell. Those X-Men movies got worse and she looked tired of being in them, her anecdotes got less charming and more pandering to some, she took respectable risks that didn’t pay off with Red Sparrow and Mother!, and some people didn’t like that she said that it wasn’t nice to share private photos of her online. Now, she looks to get back to the Oscar race with a small project funded by A24 and directed by Lila Neugebauer in her film debut, about a soldier who comes back to the US after suffering a traumatic brain injury in Afghanistan. Also, Brian Tyree Henry is in this, and it would be amazing if he got nominated for something.
-Respect: You know what’s a surefire way to get Academy voters’ attention? Play a real singer! Rami Malek took a win last year for playing Freddie Mercury, Renee Zellweger just won the gold after portraying Judy Garland, and now Jennifer Hudson wants more Oscar love. Almost 15 years after taking Best Supporting Actress for her role in Dreamgirls, Hudson will try to get more by playing soul legend Aretha Franklin, in a biopic directed by first timer Liesl Tommy that practically screams “give me the gold”. How am I so sure? Well, see the teaser that they released in December (for a movie that opens in October), and tell me. It will work out better for Hudson than Cats, that’s for sure.
-Soul: Unless they really disappoint (I’m looking at you, The Good Dinosaur, Cars 2 and Cars 3), you can’t have the Oscars without inviting Pixar to the party. This year, they have two projects in the hopes of success. While in a few weeks we’ll see what happens with the fantasy family road trip of Onward, the studio’s biggest bet of the year clearly is the next existential animation written and directed by Pete Docter, who brought Oscar gold to his home with Up and Inside Out. The movie, which centers on a teacher (voice of Jamie Foxx) who dreams of becoming a jazz musician and, just as he’s about to get his big break, ends up getting into an accident that separates his soul from his body, had a promising first trailer, and it also promises a score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, as well as new songs by Jon Batiste. The only downside so far for the marketing was the fact that the trailer reveal led people to notice a suspicious trend involving black characters when they lead an animated movie.
-Tenet: When Leonardo DiCaprio finally touched his Academy Award, an alarm went off in the mind of a portion of Internet users, who have made their next crusade to give themselves to the cause of getting Christopher Nolan some Oscar love. And his next blank check, an action thriller involving espionage and time travel, could pull off the same intersection of popcorn and prestige that made Inception both a box office hit and a critically acclaimed Oscar nominee. It helps to have a cast of impressive names like John David Washington, Elizabeth Debicki and Robert Pattinson, as well as a crew that includes Ludwig Goransson and Hoyte van Hoytema. In other words, if this becomes a hit, this could go for a huge number of nominations.
-The Devil All the Time: As you may have noticed by now, Netflix is leading the charge in possible Oscar projects. Another buzzy movie that comes from them is the new psychological thriller by Antonio Campos, a filmmaker known for delivering small and intimate but yet intense and terrifying dramas like Simon Killer and Christine. Using the novel by Donald Ray Pollock, Campos will follow non-linearly a cast of characters in Ohio between the end of World War II and the beginning of the Vietnam War, with the help of an interesting cast that includes Tom Holland, Sebastian Stan, Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, Eliza Scanlen, Bill Skarsgard, Jason Clarke and Riley Keough.
-The Eyes of Tammy Faye: After being known as a sketch comedy goofball because of The State, Wet Hot American Summer and Stella, Michael Showalter reinvented himself as a director of small and human dramedies like Hello, My Name is Doris and The Big Sick. For his next project, he’s gonna mix a little bit of both worlds, because he has before him the story of the televangelists Tammy Faye Bakker (Jessica Chastain, who has been really trying to recapture her early ‘10 awards run to no avail) and Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield, who was previously nominated for Hacksaw Ridge, instead of Silence, because why). With a real life tale that involves Christian theme parks, fraud and conspiracies, this is the kind of loud small movie that Searchlight loves to parade around, especially as an actors showcase (Jojo Rabbit being the most recent example). The first image looks terrifying, by the way.
-The Father: It’s weird to be in the middle of February and say that there’s already a frontrunner for the Best Actor race at the next Oscars. After its premiere in Sundance a couple of weeks ago, every prognosticator pointed in the direction of Anthony Hopkins (recently nominated for Best Supporting Actor in The Two Popes), who delivers a harrowing portrayal of an old man grappling with his age as he develops dementia, causing pain to his beleaguered daughter (recent winner Olivia Colman, who also got praised). With reviews calling it a British answer to Amour (in other words: it’s a hard watch), Florian Zeller’s adaptation of his acclaimed play not only benefits from having Hopkins and Colman together as a selling point, because it was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics, a distributor with experience in getting Academy voters to watch adult movies with heavy themes. If you don’t believe me, watch how they got Julianne Moore a win for Still Alice, as well as recent nominations for Isabelle Huppert for Elle, Glenn Close for The Wife, and Antonio Banderas for Pain and Glory. They know the game, and they are going to hit hard for Hopkins and Colman.
-The French Dispatch: If you saw the trailer, we don’t need to dwell too much on the reasons. On the one hand, we have the style of Wes Anderson, a filmmaker who has become a name in both the critics circle and the casual viewer, with his last two movies (The Grand Budapest Hotel and Isle of Dogs) earning several Oscar nominations, including Best Picture for the one with Gustave H. Then, we have a long cast that goes from the director’s regulars like Bill Murray to new stars like Timothee Chalamet, and also includes people like Benicio del Toro. The only thing that could endanger the Oscar chances for this is that the story, an anthology set around a period comedy with an European riff on The New Yorker, will alienate the average Academy member.
-The Humans: There’s the prestige of a play, and then there’s the prestige of a Tony-winning play. Playwright Stephen Karam now gets to jump to the director’s chair to take his acclaimed 2016 one-act story to the big screen, and A24 is cutting the check. Telling the story of a family that gets together on Thanksgiving to commiserate about life, this adaptation will be led by original performer Jayne Houdyshell (who also won a Tony for her stage performance), who’ll be surrounded by Richard Jenkins, Beanie Feldstein, Amy Schumer, Steven Yeun and June Squibb. If it avoids getting too claustrophobic or stagey for the cinema, it will be a good contender.
-The Last Duel: Always speedy, Ridley Scott is working on his next possible trip to the Oscars. This time, it’s the telling of a true story in 14th-century France, where a knight (Matt Damon) accuses his former friend (Adam Driver) of raping his wife (Jodie Comer), with the verdict being determined by the titular duel. It’s a juicy story, but there was some concern when it seemed that the script was only being written by Damon and Ben Affleck (who’ll also appear in the film). A rape story written by them after the Weinstein revelations… not the best look. But then, it was revealed that they were writing the screenplay with indie figure Nicole Holofcener, who last year was nominated for an Oscar for her script for Can You Ever Forgive Me? Let’s hope that the story is told in a gripping but not exploitative way, and that it doesn’t reduce the role of Comer (who deserves more than some of the movie roles that she’s getting after Killing Eve) to a Hollywood stereotype.
-The Power of the Dog: We have to talk about the queen of the indie world, we have to talk about Jane Campion. More than a decade after her last movie, Bright Star, the Oscar and Palme d’Or winner for The Piano returns with a non-TV project (see Top of the Lake, people) thanks to Netflix, with a period drama centered around a family dispute between a pair of wealthy brothers in Montana, Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Burbank (Jesse Plemons), after the latter one marries a local widow (Kirsten Dunst). According to the synopsis, “a shocked and angry Phil wages a sadistic, relentless war to destroy her entirely using her effeminate son Peter as a pawn”. Can’t wait to see what that means.
-The Prom: Remember the Ryan Murphy blank check deal with Netflix that I mentioned earlier? Well, another of the projects in the first batch of announcements for the deal is a musical that he’ll direct, adapting the Tony-nominated show about a group of Broadway losers (now played by the one and only Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannells and, uh, James Corden, for some reason) who try to find a viral story to get back in the spotlight, and end up going to a town in Indiana to help a lesbian high school student who has been banned from bringing her girlfriend to the prom. The show has been considered a fun and heartwarming tale of acceptance, so the movie could be an easy pick for an average Academy voter who doesn’t look too hard (and you know that the Golden Globes will nominate the shirt out of this). It’s funny how this comes out the same year than Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, and then it’s not funny realizing that Film Twitter will pit the two movies against each other.
-The Trial of the Chicago 7: After getting a taste of the director’s taste with Molly’s Game, Aaron Sorkin wants more. For his second movie, he’s tackling one of his specialties: a courtroom drama. And this one is a period movie centered around the trial on countercultural activists in the late ‘60s, which immediately attracts a campaign of how “important” this movie is today’s culture. To add the final blow, we have a cast that includes Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jeremy Strong, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Frank Langella, William Hurt, Michael Keaton and Mark Rylance. If Sorkin can contain himself from going over the top (and with that cast, it would be so easy to surrender to bouts of screaming and winding speeches), this could be one of the top contenders.
-Those Who Wish Me Dead: Having made a good splash in the directorial waters with Wind River, Taylor Sheridan (also known for writing the Sicario movies, the Oscar-nominated Hell or High Water or that Yellowstone show that your uncle raves about on Facebook) returns with yet another modern Western. For this thriller based on the Michael Koryta novel, Angelina Jolie stars as a survival expert in the Montana wilderness who is tasked with protecting a teenager who witnessed a murder, while assassins are pursuing him and a wildfire grows closer.
-Untitled David O. Russell Project: Following the mop epic Joy, that came and went in theaters but still netted a Best Actress nomination for Jennifer Lawrence, the angriest director in Hollywood took a bit of a break (it didn’t help that he tried to do a really expensive show with Amazon starring Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore that fell apart when the Weinstein exposes sank everything). Now, he’s quickly putting together his return to the days of Oscar love that came with stuff like The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, with a new movie that is set to star Christian Bale, Margot Robbie and Michael B. Jordan. Even though we don’t know many details (some people are saying the movie is called Amsterdam) except for the fact the movie hasn’t started shooting yet, David is a quick guy, so he’ll get it ready for the fall festival circuit. If there’s one thing that David O. Russell knows (apart from avoid getting cancelled for abusing people like Lily Tomlin, Amy Adams and his niece), it’s to make loud actor showcases.
-Untitled Nora Fingscheidt Project: When Bird Box became one of the biggest hits on Netflix history, the streamer decided to keep itself in the Sandra Bullock business. Sandy’s next project for Ted Sarandos is a drama where she plays a woman who is released from prison after serving time for a violent crime, and re-enters a society that refuses to forgive her past. To get redemption, she searches her younger sister she was forced to leave behind. With the direction of Fingscheidt, who comes from an acclaimed directorial debut with Systemsprenger (Germany’s submission to the last Academy Awards), and a cast that also includes Viola Davis, Vincent D’Onofrio and Jon Bernthal, this will also hopefully try its luck later this year.
-Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project: We don’t know if this movie will be ready for the end of the year (although last time, he managed to sneak Phantom Thread under the buzzer and earn several Oscar nominations, including Best Picture), but PTA is apparently gonna start to shoot it soon, with the backing of Focus Features. After several movies with prestige locations and intricate production design, Film Twitter’s Holy Spirit will go back to the San Fernando Valley in the 1970s, to tell the story of a high school student who is also a successful child actor.
-Stillwater: Tom McCarthy’s recent career is certainly puzzling. After delivering the weird lows of The Cobbler, he bounced back with the Best Picture winner that was Spotlight. And following that, he… helped produce the 13 Reasons Why series. And following that… he made Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, a Disney+ original movie. Now, he’s back to the award race with a drama starring Matt Damon, who plays a father who rushes from Oklahoma to France to help his daughter (Abigail Breslin), who is in prison after being suspected for a murder she claims she didn’t commit.
-West Side Story: To close things, we have to see one of the possible big contenders of the season, Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the iconic musical that translates Romeo and Juliet to the context of a street gang war in 1950s New York. While the decision to adapt again something that has been a classic both in Broadway and in movie theaters almost 60 years ago is a challenge, the idea of Spielberg doing a musical closer to the stage version with Tony Kushner as the writer is too tempting for the average Academy voter, who is already saving a spot in major categories in case Steven nails it in December. However, there’s two question marks. First, how well will Ansel Elgort and newcomer Rachel Zegler stand out in the roles of Tony and Maria? And second, will In the Heights steal some of the thunder of this movie by being, you know, more modern?
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Bears vs Raiders Predictions [10-06-2019] Chicago Bears vs Oakland Raiders (Week 5 NFL Picks) Ryan Merkley talks about joining the London Knights New Orleans Saints vs. Miami Dolphins in London  Sports BIT  NFL Picks Royal Ascot betting preview with Martin Girdwood Free Picks NFL Week 4  Las Vegas NFL Betting  Sports Bit with Teddy Covers  Friday, Sept. 29

Arguably the UK’s most notorious sports bettor, Tony Bloom, is the owner of Starlizard, a company that describes itself as a betting consultancy. Starlizard is also the sole adviser for Bloom’s betting syndicate who, every weekend, have £1 million riding on any given football game. His short but impressive stint in the sports betting game pushes his name to sixth place on our list of the most famous sports bettors. 5. James Holzhauer. Up next on our list is the infamous Jeopardy stud James Holzhauer. Holzhauer won 32 games of Jeopardy and claimed $2,462,216 of winnings in the process. Online & Vegas sports betting odds & lines, betting news & picks for 2020. Covers the most trusted source of sports betting information since 1995. Sports fans have plenty to choose from, with a sportsbook in almost every Reno casino. You can easily wander from the Blackjack table to the sportsbook to bet on the big game and watch all the action on huge, state-of-the-art HD TV screens. 5. London, England. London is a gambler’s paradise, with no rigid anti-gambling laws to worry about. The most famous betting syndicate is certainly the one run by Tony Bloom. Tony is a PHD in economics, multimillionaire entrepreneur, owner of Brighton FC, professional poker player and who knows what else. His betting syndicate operates legally as a betting consultancy company located in center of London.

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Bears vs Raiders Predictions [10-06-2019] Chicago Bears vs Oakland Raiders (Week 5 NFL Picks)

This game has much more replay controls than the last game. Give this vid a like, subscribe and hit the bell icon for more stadium tours and other sports gaming content. Also check out my other ... MLB Pennant Race was the prequel but this is the real beginning of the MLB Sony Franchise that would later become MLB The Show. I only have the intros because there's no replay in this game. Also ... Martin Girdwood discusses Royal Ascot betting tips with Archant London sports reporter Ned Keating. On the Friday, Sept. 29 Sports BIT show, Teddy Covers and Pauly Howard break down four games from the Week 4 in the NFL: Saints vs. Dolphins in London, Steelers at Ravens, Raiders at Broncos, and ... On the Friday, Sept. 29 Sports BIT show, Teddy Covers and Pauly Howard analyze the Week 4 matchup between the Saints and Dolphins in London. New Orleans appears to have a huge edge at quarterback ...

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