10 Things That I Enjoyed About Watching 'Creed II'

10 Things That I Enjoyed About Watching 'Creed II'

You'll be racing to renew your gym membership after watching this movie.

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Warning Spoilers are going to be in this article review.

So this movie has been on my watchlist for the whole year and when the trailer dropped, I was ready to go reserve my seat at the movies. I went to see Creed 2 during Thanksgiving break twice in different theaters and the second time, the power went out right in the third act before the second fight is about to start. Thank god they gave us all free tickets to use to see the movie again once the power came back on. The first time I saw it with one of my friends and she had never seen Michael B. Jordan or the first Creed movie. When I tell you the thirst was real, I can't even go into detail.


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If you haven't watched the first Creed movie or seen any of the Rocky movies, I'll give you a recap. Rocky was a boxer and his best friend, Apollo Creed, was killed in the ring by Ukraine boxer Ivan boxer. Adonis is Apollo's secret child who was born right after his death. Thirty years later, Adonis wants Rocky to train him to become a boxer and escape his father's shadow. Now in Creed 2, Adonis faces off with Viktor Drago, the son of Ivan Drago, in a revenge-style match. Caught up to speed, cool. Now let's get into this review and the best parts of this movie.

1. This was more a "Creed" movie than a Rocky movie

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The first Creed movie was more of a continuation of the Rocky movies. In this sequel, the story of Adonis Creed is the focus and Rocky is more of a supporting character but still brings the same heart and wisdom he has been giving for the last seven movies. Adonis is not only challenged in this movie professionally but also personally as he becomes a husband and a father while going into this fight and recovering from the aftermath of it.

2. The Dragos are actual villains with a score to settle.

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The beef between the Dragos and the Creeds is real. Not only do we see them behind the scenes of these fights but also see what happened after Ivan Drago killed Apollo Creed and lost to Rocky Balboa. He lost the respect of his country of Russia, his wife left him, and he was basically exiled. He raised his son Viktor to be a fighter and was constantly putting pressure on him to be the best fighter in the world. Basically, he lives vicariously through his son and all that Viktor wants is to have the love and approval of his father. You actually start to feel sorry them throughout this movie even though they're the villains.

3. The Rocky and Adonis Father/Son Relationship

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The surrogate father-son relationship between Rocky and Adonis is powerful and a fan favorite between men and their own sons. We see there is a rift between them when Adonis takes the fight with Drago against Rocky's wishes. He refuses to train him in fear of him dying in the ring like his father Apollo. We see them later in the film have a heart to heart moment when Rocky takes a three-day train from Philly to Los Angelas, something he never does, to be there for his boy and becomes the godfather to Adonis's daughter.

4. Michael B Jordan gives an Oscar worthy performance.

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Michael B. Jordan has been having the best year and he's closing out 2018 with his most iconic role to date. Adonis Creed is on top of the world but when he's challenged by Drago, he does a lot of self-exploration and evaluation of himself. He spotlights how the pressure of living up to the legacy of his father and having his own legacy he made on his own. We see him recovery physically and mentally after his first fight with Drago. He was motivated through anger and ego but when the second fight comes around, he's motivated by the people in his corner. His surrogate father, his mom, his fiance, they all in the ring with him during this fight.

5. Tessa Thompson is more than just the token boxer's girlfriend.

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Tessa Thompson took more control over the role of Bianca this second go round. She looked to artists such as Jill Scott and Rihanna for inspiration for her character. Bianca isn't just another girlfriend on the sideline who complains why her man isn't at home with her. She rides or dies for her man and checks him when he goes off the deep end all while she has her own rising career as a singer. My favorite scene is when she sings one of her songs during Adonis's walk into the second fight. I was clapping and yelled "Wifey Goals" in the theater. We also see how her progressive hearing loss is taking a toll on not just her life but her relationship with Adonis and their new family. She has her own goals and ambitions that she wants to achieve and I loved seeing that.

6. Adonis and Bianca are Relationship Goals.

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Having Black love in a mainstream movie just warms my heart. Michael and Tessa wanted to expand the story of their characters and give the audience a millennial love story. In the first movie, we see them have a meet-cute moment, an unofficial first date, they support each other through their personal struggles while they pursue their dreams. In the sequel, we see them get engaged, go through setbacks and come ups, all while expecting their first child. There were so many moments watching you think "this is the breaking point. Is she going to leave? He's gonna go off the deep end." But that isn't the case. They got each other's backs and by each other's side through the good times and bad as if they're already married.

7. Baby Creed gives you all the feels

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We all knew from the trailers that we were going to get a Baby Creed. The few scenes this baby has is still so important to the story and the characters. Baby Amara inherits her mother's progressive hearing loss and is born deaf. This is a gut punch to the heart to both her parents and the audience. We see Bianca be devastated and brave during her daughter's hearing test, having the immediate instinct to protect their daughter. Another great scene is when Adonis is trying to get the baby back to sleep in the gym and he breaks down and finally releases his emotions that he had been keeping in for so long. He finally holds his daughter and is able to soothe her to sleep, finally gaining the strength to fight again.

8. The training montages are phenomenal

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The training montages Adonis endures in preparation for the 2nd fight is insane. Rocky takes him out to the desert where they basically call "The Gate To Hell". He tested to his limits and wants to give up but he keeps fighting and finds the determination. He goes from regular fighter to full-blown boxing machine.

9. The boxing scenes are epic

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We get two main fights between Adonis and Viktor. We see Adonis be brutally pummeled by Drago with so many hits. Viktor loses due to being disqualified for hitting Adonis as he was on the ground. The second fight, Adonis is stronger and has a different motivation this 2nd round. He TKO's Viktor twice and ends up winning the fight and kept his championship title.

10. The meaning of family is the main plot.

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This whole movie has a central theme, family. You see father and son relationships, love for your children through generations, the love and support of your partner. It runs so deep in the movie and it wraps the whole movie in a perfect bow at the end where you see Adonis visit his father's grave for the first time and introduce him to his fiance and his daughter.

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If You Remember 'Shazaam,' The Movie That Doesn't Exist, You Aren't Alone

A scientific phenomenon or a massive conspiracy?
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Anyone who has ever misplaced an item or gotten in a feud about what really happened at the last party they attended can affirm that sometimes our memories can be unreliable. Misremembering an event is by no means unheard of or uncommon, but what if it was not just you who misremembered that event. What if a whole bunch of people misremembered the same exact thing even if there is no evidence to support it?

If you were a kid or teenager growing up in the '90s, you might remember a movie called ‘Shazaam’ with popular television comedian Sinbad playing the principle role of a genie. As the plot goes, two children (a pre-teen boy and his younger sister) find a genie in a lamp and decide to use their wishes to restore love to their single father’s life. It is a comedic tale involving the genie and children who use their three wishes for domestic activities, often failing comically. The culmination of the movie takes place at a pool party related to the father’s work in which the children successfully use their final wish to make their father happy. What a marvelously cheesy ending!

Some of you reading this might be nodding, recalling having watched this movie, and you are not alone. There is a large community of people who can remember quite vividly watching this movie with their friends and family. So what seems to be the problem? Well, the movie ‘Shazaam’ does not exist, and it never has. The rumor of its existence has gained so much traction that even Sinbad himself had to set the record straight on Twitter.

You can scramble the Internet and old video stores nationwide, but you will not find any proof that there ever was a movie named ‘Shazaam’ with Sinbad playing a genie. If you are at all dismayed by this fact, you are not the only one.

An ever-growing number of confused '90s kids have flocked to the Internet to adamantly insist that there was indeed a movie called ‘Shazam,’ and Sinbad was definitely in it. Just peruse the countless threads about it online, and you will find that there are hundreds of people who can provide their own accounts of having seen the movie. Most people agree that the movie was released in 1994 and concur with the supposed movie plot described above.

How is it that so many different people can all recall specific details of a movie that does not exist? The ‘Shazaam’ case has come to be known as a famous example of the "Mandela Effect," a term coined by author and researcher of the paranormal, Fiona Broome, creator of mandelaeffect.com, which is defined as “a collective misremembering of a fact or event."

The name “Mandela Effect” came from the most famous case of the Mandela Effect involving the shocking amount of people who believe that former South African President Nelson Mandela died while in prison, when the truth holds that he was released in 1990 and died in 2013.

Another famous example of the Mandela Effect is the common misremembering of the Bible verse Isaiah 11:6. A large amount of people, including many priests who were interviewed, will swear that the verse reads “The lion also shall dwell with the lamb...” but pull out your trusty Bible and the correct verse is “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb.” This verse discrepancy makes many Christians uneasy because the protective image of a lion is replaced with the crafty and destructive image of a wolf. Some even believe that the verse change is a sign of the existence of the antichrist.

There is even scene in the 1941 movie ‘Sergeant York’ in which the character Gracie walks past an old man in a rocking chair who recites the Bible verse using the lion, which has many people firmly insisting that the correct version includes a lion, but that something in recent history has caused it to be changed.

Some examples of smaller instances of the Mandela Effect are the common misrememberings of the name of the classic animated TV show, “Berenstain Bears” (most people remember it as “Berenstein Bears”), the existence of a dash in the brand name “KitKat” (there has never been one), and other misspellings of logos.

Many conspirators believe that the Mandela Effect is the result of a jump between parallel universes in which slightly different alternate realities exist, but Snopes.com, a famous reference website dedicated to documenting and debunking urban legends, has offered some more logical explanations for instances of the Mandela Effect.

“A leading psychological theory holds that memory is constructive, not reproductive,” Snopes says, “— i.e., the brain builds memories out of various bits and pieces of information on the fly as opposed to playing them back like a recording. Memories aren’t pure. They can be distorted by any number of factors, including bias, association, imagination, and peer pressure.”

For example, the common misconception that Nelson Mandela died in prison might be a case of a faulty connection of two isolated facts —(1) Nelson Mandela went to prison and (2) Nelson Mandela is dead. Or with the Berenstain Bears, it is quite rational to believe that people just assumed that the name was spelled “Berenstein” because that is a far more common spelling of the name.

So what about ‘Shazaam’? A reasonable explanation is that people are simply mistaking it with the 1996 movie ‘Kazaam’ in which Shaquille O’Neal plays a genie and helps a teenage boy who happens to have a single mother (similar to how the children in the alleged ‘Shazaam’ had a single father).

Additionally, other shows and movies at the time could further muddle people’s memories. There was a movie called ‘Legend of the Seven Seas’ with a character named Sinbad the Sailor and a Hannah Barbera cartoon called ‘Shazzan’ about the adventures of a genie and the two children (a teenaged boy and girl) who released him.

There was even a sketch in the wildly popular Nickelodeon show “All That” about a foreign exchange student dressed in genie-esque garb, and who was the actor? You guessed it...Sinbad! It seems perfectly reasonable that all of these similar media products could easily mix together after a certain amount of time, causing mis-memory that has been perpetuated by all of the hype on the Internet.

Another explanation that can be layered on top is the idea of 'memory conformity,' which states that people can remember events that they were told about or that were described to them as if they had experienced those events. In this way, many people may agree that they remember something that happened simply because someone else said it was so.

Pictured: The VHS cover for 'Kazaam' (left) next to a supposed VHS cover for 'Shazzam'


This may be a perfectly acceptable and scientifically logical explanation for the strange occurrence, but the plot thickens. When the theory was presented that people were simply mistaking the movie ‘Shazaam’ for ‘Kazaam’ and the like, the people who claimed to remember ‘Shazaam’ pushed back, vehemently claiming that they were well aware of Shaq’s movie ‘Kazaam’ and were certain that ‘Shazaam’ was a separate movie that preceded it. One woman named Meredith who was interviewed on the subject claimed:

“I remember thinking Shaq’s ‘Kazaam’ was a rip-off or a revamp of a failed first run, like how the 1991 film ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ bombed but the late ’90s TV reboot was a sensation...I am one of several people who specifically never saw ‘Kazaam’ because it looked ridiculous to rip off ‘Shazaam’ just a few years after it had been released.

Additionally, there was a reference to 'Shazaam’ on a TV show called ‘A Different World’ (1987-1993) in which Sinbad played Coach Walker Oates. In this scene (appearing in season 5 episode 13) the character Freddie is trying to hide a scarf with the initials “SZ” on it that she is making for her boyfriend, Shazza Zulu, from her friends, but when they discover it and ask what “SZ” stands for, she responds that it “could be for someone who loves Shazaam.”

So do you think the Sinbad movie is real or an urban legend?

Cover Image Credit: Slate.com

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Every Woman (And Man) Needs To See 'Captain Marvel,' ASAP

How I liked "Captain Marvel" and why you need to see it.

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SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for "Captain Marvel"

"Captain Marvel" came out this past Friday, March 8, and I went to see it. I was blown away by the movie, and inspired by a beautiful, strong, female lead. The movie was everything that I expected and more.

I have recently gotten into the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) within the last year, so I was pretty happy to hear that Marvel would be releasing a female-lead movie in 2019. To be quite honest, I didn't know if I'd enjoy "Captain Marvel" as much as "Spider-Man" (Tom Holland, need I say more?) or any of the Avengers movies. While the trailers looked good, I didn't have as much of a connection to the character as I do with Peter Parker or Tony Stark. But that all changed once I got into the movie on opening night.

First off, female leads are more of what we need in Hollywood. A female lead can never go wrong; try and fight me. Second, the badass way that Carol Danvers handles everything in the movie is just inspiring. In the past, I never felt any connection to the military, but seeing Carol in the Air Force, has got me thinking that it might be cool to fly planes in the armed forces.

This movie made me laugh out loud numerous times, and is up there with "Thor: Ragnarok" in terms of comedic Marvel movies. Nick Fury, Carol Danvers and Talos (a Skrull that seems to be the antagonist for the first half of the movie) make quite the comedic trio. They need their own spin-off series in my opinion. Plus, who didn't love Goose? What a cute cat, and he scored a special place in my heart since he looked like my childhood cat.

I was very blindsided by the plot twist that the Skrull were seeking a home instead of invading the Kree (the race that Carol thinks she belongs to), the way that it had been set up for the audience to believe. I was also very touched at the Skrull storyline and how the Kree had been invading their planet and killing off the Skrull population. I couldn't help but make a connection between what's happening with the Palestinians and Israelites in the Middle East right now.

When I heard that "Captain Marvel" broke records at the box office, I wasn't surprised. It scored the biggest ever opening for a female lead film and sixth highest all time with $455M at the global box office. Female-led movies always do good and don't disappoint. These records show that a woman can do a man's job just as well or sometimes, even better.

Overall, "Captain Marvel" was an amazing movie and if given the option to see again, I would 100% would. If this movie came anytime during the franchise timeline, I think it would do equally well. Plus the end credit scene for "Endgame" was well done and left me wanting more. Who else is excited for that storyline to be continued?

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