Monthly Archives: November 2015

Movie Review: The Martian

4 The Martian (2015)

Director: Ridley Scott

Cast:  Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover

I’ll be honest, it has been a while since I’ve gone to the movies. It’s not that there haven’t been good movies playing, its just that I haven’t found the time to go. Thankfully though last week I finally got around to watching The Martian, and I have to say it was a very good movie.

I’ve known about The Martian for a while now, my dad and brother both read the best selling novel by Andy Wier and they had both highly recommended it. I already knew the gist of the story so I was already interested in watching the film when it came out. Knowing that it was going to be directed by Ridley Scottt was just the cherry on top.

For those that don’t know the film follows the exploits of an astronaut named XXX (played by Matt Damon) and his struggle to survive after being stranded in Mars by himself. It’s a fairly original story but it did remind me of some other films. Some could say that The Martian is just a mix of Apollo 13, Cast Away & Gravity.  At its core the movie is about survival, and the fact that space is a scary dangerous place. With that being said, the plot is still original enough to keep you interested.

The first thing I have to point out is the amazing cast involved in the film. I can’t remember the last movie that had such a long list of well-known and talented actors. I mean just look at the cast: (Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover) that is some serious acting talent right there.

As you can imagine the acting on the film was quite good. I think Jessica Chastain, and Sean Bean really stood out from the rest of the cast. They both did fantastic jobs at portraying their characters. I especially liked how emotive they were in scenes where tough decisions had to be made. Matt Damon was great as well, it can’t be easy playing a character who is alone for most of the movie, but he pulled it off.

Another great thing about the movie is the amazing scenery and visual effects. Most of the movie takes place in Mars so there are a number of really beautiful panoramic shots of the red planet. This really is the type of movie that is better to watch on the big screen just because of the great shots in it.

Finally, the last thing that I really liked about the film is the fact that it seemed very scientifically accurate and realistic. I’m no scientist but I can tell that some real experts were consulted in the making of this movie. I always appreciate when filmmakers make an effort to present things as realistically as possible and I think Ridley Scott did a wonderful job of that in The Martian.

With that being said there are still a few things that bugged me about the movie. For one, I expected Matt Damon’s character to be a big more broken up about being stranded in another planet months away from any other human being. I know the point of the story is to highlight his ingenuity, perseverance and will to survive but I would have liked him to be a bit more depressed, mad or frustrated during certain events. He was a big too upbeat for my liking, but hey maybe his character really was just that strong willed.

Another thing, I wish we knew more about all the characters in the movie. The film starts off when the astronauts are already in mars and we get to see very little interaction between them . I wish I knew more about their backstories and their relationships with one another. I think audiences tend to care more about a character when they find out more about them, but in The Martian everyone was pretty much defined by their job or role in the mission. It would have been nice to know what exactly they were leaving behind at home, or what motivated them to become the people they are.

Overall though The Martian is still an excellent movie, and I’m really just nitpicking. I wish the ending was less predictable, but you have to expect that from a movie like this. Yes the plot was pretty straight forward, but I still found it quite enjoyable. I wish they had shown more of each characters back story, but the cast still did an excellent job in portraying their roles. The Martian is a visually stunning, and entertaining film, and while it may not be perfect it is still a very very good movie, and I highly recommend it. 4/5

UFC Rankings Matrix – October 2015

Since I posted my last UFC Rankings in September there have been only 2 UFC events, and 22 fights (including 1 title fight).

In the past month we saw an epic battle between two of the best Light-heavyweights of all time. Champion Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson put on one of the best championship fights of all time back in UFC 192. There was also a small show in Dublin on October 24th, and while the fights were fun to watch, the card was so injury plagued that there weren’t really any big ranked fighters who fought that night. October was a bit of a slow month for the UFC, but that’s okay because there are 4 shows scheduled for November and 4 shows scheduled for December so we should see a lot of movement in the rankings in the upcoming months.

I’ve added a new feature this month. From now on fighters in the top 16 that are fighting each other will have their names highlighted in the same color in the matrices.

Here are my UFC Rankings Matrices for October 2015:

(Click on Images to see them Full Size) (Champions in bold):

Past Rankings: (May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015 )


Women’s Strawweight (115lbs)


* I included the fights from the 20th Season of the The Ultimate Fighter even though they were technically “Exhibition” matches because they were part of the tournament that crowned the inaugural champ. The fighters TUF records are in parentheses next to their MMA Records.

Biggest Move

None (This division hasn’t changed much since last month)

Upcoming Fights

#1 Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs #11 Valerie Letourneau on on November 15th @UFC193

#5 Michelle Waterson vs #7 Tecia Torres on December 12th @UFC194

#8 Rose Namajuanas vs #10 Paige VanZant  on December 10th @UFN80

#9 Randa Markos vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz on December 19h @UFConFOX17

#18 Nina Ansaroff vs Justine Kish on January 2nd @UFC195

#21 Seohee Ham vs #24 Cortney Casey on November 28th @UFN79

#26 Kailin Curran vs #29 Emiliy Kagan on December 10th @UFN80


Women’s Bantamweight (135lbs)


Biggest Move

#8 Juliana Peña up 3 spots from #11

#10 Holly Holm up 2 spots from #12

Upcoming Fights

#1 Ronda Rousey vs #10 Holly Holm on November 15th @UFC193

#6 Sarah Kaufman vs #17 Germaine de Randamie on December 19th @UFConFOX17


Flyweight (125lbs)


Biggest Move

#15 Sergio Pettis up 8 spots from #23

#16 Chris Cariaso down 4 spots from #12

Upcoming Fights

#5 Jussier Formiga vs #9 Henry Cejudo on November 21st @UFN78

#13 Justin Scoggins vs #27 Joby Sanchez on December 11th @TUF22Finale

#22 Ryan Benoit vs #26 Ben Nguyen on November 15th @UFC193

#24 Richie Vaculik vs Ryan Martinez on November 15th @UFC193

#29 Fredy Serano vs Zhikui Yao on November 21st @UFN78


Bantamweight (135lbs)


Biggest Move

None (This division hasn’t changed much since last month)

Upcoming Fights

#1 TJ Dillashaw vs #3 Dominick Cruz on January 17th @UFN81

#4 Urijah Faber vs #14 Frankie Saenz on December 12th @UFC194

#6 Aljamain Sterling vs #12 Johny Eduardo on December 10th @UFN80

#8 Thomas Almeida vs #28 Anthony Birchak on November 7th @UFN77

#19 Erik Perez vs Damian Stasiak on November 21st @UFN78


Featherweight (145lbs)


Biggest Move

None (This division hasn’t changed much since last month)

Upcoming Fights

#1 Jose Aldo vs #2 Conor McGregor on December 12th @UFC194

#3 Chad Mendes vs #4 Frankie Edgar on December 11th @TUF22Finale

#5 Ricardo Lamas vs Diego Sanchez on November 21st @UFN78

#6 Max Holloway vs #9 Jeremy Stephens on December 12th @UFC194

#8 Charles Oliveira vs #12 (155lbs) Myles Jury on December 19th @UFConFOX17

#11 Nik Lentz vs #29 (155lbs) Danny Castillo on December 19th @UFConFOX17

#12 Clay Guida vs #19 Thiago Tavares on November 7th @UFN77

#22 Chas Skelly vs Edimilson Souza on November 7th @UFN77

#27 Cole Miller vs Jim Alers on December 19th @UFConFOX17

#29 Sam Sicilia vs Doo Ho Choi on November 28th @UFN79


Lightweight (155lbs)


Biggest Move

None (This division hasn’t changed much since last month)

Upcoming Fights

#1 Rafael Dos Anjos vs #3 Donald Cerrone  on December 19th @UFConFOX17

#2 Anthony Pettis vs #6 Eddie Alvarez on January 17th @UFN81

#5 Ben Henderson vs #9 (170lbs) Thiago Alves on November 28th @UFN79

#8 Michael Johnson vs #15 Nate Diaz on December 19th @UFConFOX17

#9 Edson Barboza vs #10 Tony Ferguson on December 11th @TUF22Finale

#16 Jim Miller vs #25 Michael Chiesa on December 10th @UFN80

#17 Evan Dunham vs #20 Joe Lauzon on December 11th @TUF22Finale

#18 Gleison Tibau vs #28 Abel Trujillo on November 7th @UFN77

#21 Dustin Porier vs #26 Joseph Duffy on January 2nd @UFC195

#22 Paul Felder vs Darren Cruickshank on January 17th @UFN81

#30 Kevin Lee vs Leonardo Santos on December 12th @UFC194


Welterweight (170lbs)


Biggest Move

None (This division hasn’t changed much since last month)

Upcoming Fights

#1 Robbie Lawler vs #5 Carlos Condit on January 2nd @UFC195

#7 Damian Maia vs #13 Gunnar Nelson on December 12th @UFC194

#9 Thiago Alves vs #5 (155lbs) Ben Henderson on November 28th @UFN79

#10 Don Hyung Kim vs #15 Jorge Masvidal on November 28th @UFN79

#12 Jake Ellenberger vs #14 Tarec Saffiedine on January 30th @UFConFOX18

#16 Ryan LaFlare vs Mike Pierce on December 11th @TUF22Finale

#17 Neil Magny vs #15 (185lbs) Kelvin Gastelum on November 21st @UFN78

#18 Lorenz Larkin vs #25 Albert Tumenov on January 2nd @UFC195

#21 Tim Means vs John Howard on December 10th @UFN80

#23 Patrick Cote vs #28 Ben Saunders on January 17th @UFN81

#26 Warlley Alves vs #29 Colby Covington on December 12th @UFC194


Middleweight (185lbs)


Biggest Move

None (This division hasn’t changed much since last month)

Upcoming Fights

#1 Chris Weidman vs #2 Luke Rockhold on December 12th @UFC194

#3 Jacare Souza vs #4 Yoel Romero on December 12th @UFC194

#6 Uriah Hall vs #16 Robert Whittaker on November 15th @UFC193

#9 Vitor Belfort vs #15 Dan Henderson on November 7th @UFN77

#12 CB Dolloway vs #25 Nate Marquardt on December 19th @UFConFOX17

#17 Tim Boetch vs #20 Ed Herman on January 17th @UFN81

#19 Antonio Carlos Jr vs Kevin Casey on December 10th @UFN80

#22 Thiago Santos vs #23 Elias Theodorou on December 10th @UFN80

#24 Josh Samman vs Tamdam McCory on December 19th @UFConFOX17


Lightheavyweight (205lbs)


* Even though #1 Jon Jones is technically not the champion anymore, I still have him ranked as #1 since he was stripped of the title and didn’t actually lose the belt to another fighter.

Biggest Move

#7 Rashad Evans down 2 spots from #5

Upcoming Fights

#2 Daniel Cormier vs #1 Jon Jones on TBA

#3 Anthony Johnson vs #5 Ryan Bader on January 30th @UFConFOX18

#7 Glover Teixeira vs #11 Pat Cummins on November 7th @UFN77

#15 Fabio Maldonado vs #18  Corey Anderson on November 7th @UFN77

#17 Gian Villante vs #24 Anthony Perosh on November 15th @UFC193

#20 Illir Latifi vs #23 Sean O’Connell on January 17th @UFN81

#22 Francimar Barroso vs Abdul-Kerim Edilov on January 17th @UFN81


Heavyweight (265lbs)


Biggest Move

None (This division hasn’t changed much since last month)

Upcoming Fights

#1 Fabricio Werdum vs #2 Cain Velasquez on TBA

#3 Junior Dos Santos vs #9 Alistair Overeem on December 19th @UFConFOX17

#4 Stipe Miocic vs #5 Andrei Arlovski on January 2nd @UFC195

#6 Travis Browne vs #13 Matt Mitrione on January 17th @UFN81

#8 Mark Hunt vs #14 Antonio Silva on November 15th @UFC193

#15 Stefan Struve vs #22 Jared Rosholt on November 15th @UFC193

#17 Mirko Flipovic vs #25 Anthony Hamilton on November 28th @UFN79

#18 Gabriel Gonzaga vs #30 Konstantin Erokhin on December 11th @TUF22Finale


Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any questions, comments or criticisms. Any feedback is appreciated.