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A Hands-on Preview of "Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr"

A Hands-on Preview of "Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr"

It’s already been a long night for you and the rest of the Palliative Care Team. The sun is rising when the Head Nurse calls you into a side ward. ‘This one’s tough,’ she says as you enter. ‘Here,’ – she hands you a chart. Patient’s name, Billy Kerr; age, 60; taken off a flight from Sydney to London following a massive heart attack. ‘A weaker man would be dead already. I think we have to be prepared for the worst. I want you and your team to make sure his remaining days are as comfortable as they can be.’

-Opening lines of the “Holding On:
The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr” rulebook


Very few times have I attended a gaming convention and felt the need to actually reserve a spot to demo a game. However, when I heard about the unique game “Holding On – The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr” coming from HUB Games, I knew I needed to give this a shot. The game looked to me as part “story discovery” and part “hospital simulation”. I was able to get a chance to sit down in a playable demo on Friday morning of the Origins Gaming Convention this past June. Michael, who demoed the game for us, stated that there are 10 parts of the story to play through, all being fully replayable. In a world where legacy games exist, with tearing up of pieces, as well as secrets/spoilable information, having a game with story that you can play with different people at different times is a great feature to have.

After getting a full play through of the first scenario, I thought I would share a little about how the game works, along with some of the features I thought really shined in the demo.


The Hospital Simulation

via Boardgamegeek.com

Where this game initially clicked with me was in the rules regarding managing and staffing the hospital. I think this is one of the few medical “sims” that actually gets managing your shifts at the hospital correct. My wife is a doctor and medical resident, so I hear often about changing over on shifts, as well as the stress involved in the long days when you’re needed for more than you’re scheduled for.

In any given round/day (at least in the first scenario) of Holding On, one player takes the role of the shift manager. Each “day” consists of a morning, afternoon, and night shift. The shift manager will flip over the first card for the morning shift, and will have to assign 1-3 players to the shift, based on the severity of Billy’s needs. The players assigned to that shift are the only ones who can make the decision on how to treat Billy that turn, whether with medical or palliative care. Once per day, you must perform medical care on Billy, otherwise the hospital gives you a warning (two warnings and Billy gets transferred to another ward and you lose). Then, you do the same for the day and night shifts, assigning staff and performing medical or palliative care.

You care for Billy with Care Tokens. When performing medical care, you cover the necessary spaces with care tokens to prevent his health from getting worse. Sometimes Billy will be stable, and if you cover the stable markers with care tokens, his health gets better. You can acquire more care tokens during palliative care, being on night shift, or any for unassigned staff in the break room at the end of the day. When performing medical care, you need to be able to cover each red deterioration slot with a care token. For each one that you can’t cover, Billy goes down in health. If his health ever reaches zero, he dies and you lose the scenario.

Earlier I mentioned stress, which is a big feature in this game. If you are ever required to cover more than one shift in a day, you gain stress. Sometimes Billy has medical emergencies that need multiple nurses to even perform medical care… and you have to answer the call. When a nurse gains stress, a red ring is placed over the pawn, which physically symbolizes bearing the load of the stress on your shoulders. Such a small touch, but a wonderful visual representation. When you gain stress, you must get rid of care tokens, partial, or clear memories, setting you back in the game. If you ever become “overstressed”, at the end of that work day, you are sent home and are unavailable for the next day. If the person to be shift manager next round is sent home, you get a warning from the hospital.


Discovering Billy Kerr’s Story

via Boardgamegeek.com – m1ke_best

If the hospital management portion wasn’t already exciting enough, we do all of this work so that we can find out more information about the life of our patient, Billy Kerr. In fact the very first scenario objective is “Unearth some basic information about your new patient.” The goal of the objective is that we must find at least 1 CLEAR memory in each timeline (1-5) of Billy’s Collected Memories.

When performing palliative care (as opposed to medical), you are usually presented the option of either taking a care token, or talking to Billy. If you take the opportunity to talk to Billy, a different player other than yourself will take the deck of partial memories, which represent Billy reluctantly telling you about himself, with the cards bearing pictures that are hazy apart from the actual image of Billy. The player with the partial memory deck will shuffle the cards, draw the card from the bottom of the deck and keep it face down, but will read Billy’s quote of his recollection. These will be revealed at the end of the round, unless you have to give it back due to taking on stress.

At the end of the round, you will flip over any revealed partial memories, and place them in their designated timelines under the board in a 5×6 grid.  Each timeline represents a particular moment in Billy’s life. Throughout the game, you try and flesh out this grid with partial memories, until you feel comfortable enough to try for a Clear memory. Some shifts allow you to inquire about Billy’s partial memories to uncover the clear memory. If you do so, another player will take the clear memory deck, and after you you say which timeline you are trying to inquire about, they will take cards one by one until they find one from the chosen timeline. You keep that face down to the end of the round, at which point, you will secretly look at the clear memory, and if it matches with a partial memory you have already uncovered, you place it on top of that partial memory in the timeline. If it doesn’t match, you show it to no one and put it back in the deck.  There are other rules about continuing to inquire, or inquiring about other timelines.

Sometimes when uncovering Billy’s memories, an event will pop up. You must take the event immediately and based on Billy’s condition, it will tell you what to do next. Sometimes it allows you to draw another memory card, but sometimes Billy will have a quiet moment of contemplation, where it counts as a card drawn -OR- Billy refuses to talk, which stops your conversation or inquiry dead in its tracks. It was at this point Michael, who was demoing the game for us said “you really haven’t played a full game until you’ve either cried or you’ve sworn at Billy at least once. Like ‘damn it Billy, just keep talking.'”

In a game of Holding On, you’ll never fully see an entire timeline of Billy’s memories, and all scenarios are fully replayable, as you’ll probably see different memories each time you play.


via Boardgamegeek.com – m1ke_best

After demoing the first scenario, I walked away from the table very interested in playing this through the entire 10 scenario campaign. Part of it had to do with how pleased I was with just the day to day shift management of the nursing staff. With the options that appear throughout the shift, each day always looked different, and was a unique challenge in staffing your nurses. On the other side, the puzzle of trying to figure out what was going on in Billy’s life was intriguing enough to want me to learn more. You really don’t learn TOO much about Billy in the first scenario, but you see little threads of what you might find out in the future. I’ve certainly bought in to the story enough at this point to see it through to its conclusion. While I did swear at Billy a few times in the first scenario, I’ll be interested to see what will make me cry later on in the campaign.

Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr will be releasing in October at Essen, I believe, but should also be available worldwide at that time. If this has interested you at all, check out HUB Games at their Website or on Twitter.


Movie Review Friday: Uncle Drew

Movie Review Friday: Uncle Drew

Here in the heat of summer, breaking news in the world of sports slows down in a major way. UK basketball, football, and baseball games have come to a close. The only professional sports are MLB and golf, with the World Cup being thrown in there this year (without the United States, nonetheless). We have the NBA Draft, free agency, and the summer league, with BBNBA members sprinkled throughout.

Beyond that, the vast majority of UK-specific news comes from AAU basketball events, football recruiting, and whatever practice updates we get from John Calipari and Mark Stoops.

We always strive to pump out quality content here at KSR, but sometimes we have to put on our creative thinking caps to make that happen around this time of year.

So with that, I bring you my latest and greatest idea… *unnecessary drumroll* Movie Review Friday.

Thanks to the most beautiful invention in the world, Movie Pass, I usually see at least one movie in the theaters per week, sometimes two. When I’m bored, I like to Google “best movies of all time” and go down the list to see what I agree with, and which “masterpieces” actually sucked. (I’m looking at you, Shape of Water)

I’m no self-proclaimed movie connoisseur by any stretch of the imagination, but I dabble in it a good bit for fun. And so I feel less awkward in social settings when hit movies are topics of conversation.

On Thursday night, I went to see the premiere of the Uncle Drew movie, featuring Boston Celtics superstar Kyrie Irving and former NBA legends Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie Miller, and Chris Webber, among others.

Let me preface by saying my expectations going into the film were not high. At all. I’m a diehard Celtics fan and adore Kyrie’s on-court abilities (he kind of freaks me out off the court), so my hand was forced. I’d be a bad fan if I DIDN’T see it on opening night. I knew it was probably going to be a mediocre film, and I was cool with that.

If you don’t know the plot, it’s essentially about a group of old men trying to relive their glory days as streetball legends by winning the Rucker Classic tournament in Harlem, New York. The head coach of Uncle Drew’s team is in need of money and has eyes on the $100,000 prize.

The idea comes from Irving’s “Uncle Drew” character developed back in 2012 when he would disguise himself as an old man and destroy the competition at local street basketball venues.

And after leaving the theater, it’s exactly what I thought it would be.

It’s not a sports classic like Remember The Titans, Rudy, or  The Blind Side. It wasn’t even a light-hearted fan-favorite like Space Jam.

It was, however, an entertaining basketball movie with a “meh” plot, carried by star athletes with (surprisingly) decent acting skills. Irving was polished and stole the show, O’Neal and Webber had several funny moments, Nate Robinson was solid, and Lisa Leslie was an impressive sidekick. Reggie Miller wasn’t good, though. At all.

If you had to guess, you could probably come up with the overarching themes without watching a minute of the movie, and the ending was laughably predictable. But not in a cringey way, if that makes sense. Most of the characters were likable and put on solid performances (more on that later), Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic was a solid final level boss like we see in the video games, and the basketball talent was fun. The rims in this film may or may not have been a full foot shorter than regulation size, allowing for guys like O’Neal, Miller, and Webber to still dunk aggressively, but who’s counting.

Kentucky head coach John Calipari also made his major acting debut in the film, a pleasant surprise as a Cats fan. At the end of the movie, Coach Cal approaches Uncle Drew (Irving) and asks him if he has any college eligibility remaining.

“You should have four years (of eligibility) left, right?” he says.

Calipari followed it up with a question about whether or not Uncle Drew would be interested in playing for the Wildcats and what his SAT scores looked like, an obvious jab at the Derrick Rose scandal at Memphis.

Irving responded with an unfortunate hat-tip to the Duke program, saying, “I’m more of a Blue Devil guy, myself.”

Coach Cal even has an IMDB page now for his efforts (and an acting credit on something called N-Secure released back in 2010).

Calipari sent out a few social media posts back in September when he was on the set during filming.

The man himself, Uncle Drew.

A post shared by John Calipari (@ukcoachcalipari) on

Calipari may have a future in this acting thing.

As far as things I didn’t like about the movie (beyond the predictable and cliché writing), Nick Kroll’s villain character easily took the cake. He is meant to be the childhood rival of Uncle Drew’s head coach, a guy who will do whatever it takes to get under his skin and win the tournament. Almost immediately, though, he reeks of arrogance and try-hardness. Very unlikeable character. Very punchable. Very weasely. Easily would be Coach K’s favorite character in the movie.

If you love basketball and have spare time on your hands, go see it. If you have Movie Pass, go see it. If not, it’s probably worth waiting for on DVD/rental/Netflix/cable television.

I was entertained and I had fun. But it didn’t exceed my expectations, nor did they fall short of them.

Overall score: 6/10

That’s all for this edition of Movie Review Friday. If you have any other movies you’d like to see reviewed, let me know in the comment section.


@JustJared

Jon Snow Marries Ygritte, Which Fictional Couples Should Wed?

@JustJared

They found love in a hopeless place cave.  Now Kit Herrington and Rose Leslie are husband and wife.

America’s favorite couple north of The Wall, Jon Snow and Ygritte had quite the fling on season three of Game of Thrones.  Their love produced on off-screen affair that turned into a marriage, and the greatest YouTube mash-up in the history of the show.

Game of Thrones nerds love to see the short-lived on-scren relationship survive, even though it’s probably the least entertaining match in seven seasons of HBO television.  One’s heart is warmed to see Herrington and Leslie make it outside of the show, but there are other pop culture couples that deserve it more.

Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski

Kelly was the peanut butter to Zack’s jelly.  Even though they had an off-and-on relationship at Bayside High, every person who watched Saved by the Bell knew they were meant to be together forever.  Besides, who else could keep Zack in line?  Nobody, that’s who.

Cory and Topanga

Fred Savage wishes he could land a girl as good as Topanga.

Will Smith and Jackie Ames

The Fresh Prince had quite a few girlfriends.  The playboy was eventually tamed by Lisa, but she can’t hold a tee to Jackie.  Tyra Banks’ character was the first female to play hard to get, and it drove Will absolutely nuts.  No other character on the show could bring the same amount of sass to combat Will’s hysterics.

Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky

It took 25 more years before John Stamos could finally be tamed.

Marshall and Lilly

The best relationships have a ying to the other’s yang.  This couple from How I Met Your Mother had all of that and more, as well as the best nickname since Bennifer, “Marshmallow and Lilly Pad.”

Jim and Pam

In hindsight, the world has revealed Pam to be a complete fraud, but The Office wouldn’t be the same without the tension between this cute, semi-awkward couple from Scranton, PA.

Kelso and Jackie

Actually, that did happen.


The Funkhouser Situation E31: Country Slow Jams

Chaotic summer schedules have finally criss-crossed to create another episode of The Funkhouser Situation.  Chris Tomlin and Lee Cruse catch you up on all the most popular topics in the world of pop culture, while also discussing general nonsense, like…

— An odd interaction with blue jays.

—  Were you scared of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds?

—  Did Homer Simpson transform the TV Dad?

— The Truth Examiner’s 25 best movies of all-time.

—  Billboard’s Top Five Country Music Songs; do any make Lee’s hot rotation?

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to The Funkhouser Situation podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.

This week’s episode is brought to you by:


Funkhouser’s Origins Game Fair 2018 Preview

Funkhouser’s Origins Game Fair 2018 Preview

Starting today, Wednesday, June 13th, Origins Game Fair will be underway in Columbus, Ohio. Origins’ origins began in 1975 in Baltimore, Maryland, at Johns Hopkins University. Since then it has grown into a destination for gamers, residing in Columbus since 1996. In 2017, 17,001 unique visitors made the trip to Central Ohio to take part in this amazing gaming convention.

I will be in attendance at Origins 2018 for Funkhouser on Thursday and Friday, so if you see me come say hi, or come play a game with me. I’ll be posting some images on our Twitter account: @funkhouserKSRso be on the lookout for those.

As I get prepared for the event, I thought I might showcase some of the things that I’m looking forward to seeing/doing in Columbus at my favorite gaming convention. These are in no particular order:


Mashup Meet-up featuring Blue Peg, Pink Peg, The Brawlin’ Brothers & Man vs. Meeple

OK, I lied. This is #1 on my list of everything happening at Origins. The wonderful people behind Blue Peg, Pink Peg Gaming Podcast, and the Brawlin’ Brothers Boardgaming Podcast are getting together Thursday night for a massive gathering of listeners and friends (new & old). I attended Blue Peg, Pink Peg’s meet-up last year, and I can genuinely say that it was the most fun I’ve had at a gaming convention, ever. I went to work the next morning with no voice…

The two (of my favorite) podcasts, along with the guys behind the YouTube channel Man vs Meeple, are hosting an epic night of laughs, gaming, drinking and debauchery*, at Callahan’s Columbus at 7pm on Thursday night. Druid City Games and Skybound Games are sponsoring the event, while 25 or so other gaming companies have donated games to be given away to some of the attendees of the meet-up. If you’re coming to Origins, want to meet fellow gamers, and instantly feel welcome, this will be the event for you! Just head over to the Facebook event page and RSVP (not required, just appreciated) Oh, I also think there’s a 90’s dance party afterwards…

*Debauchery not guaranteed (but likely)*


Reef

Next Move Games had a major hit on their hands when they released the (now) 2018 Spiel Des Jahres nominee, Azul, a beautful, chunky tile drafting game. The game has enamored gamers of all levels, based on how easy the game is to teach, as well as an inherent need to try and eat the tiles that look like Starbursts. However, in 2018, Next Move Games is releasing the second game in their line, Reef by Emerson Matsuuchi. In Reef, players have a grid in front of them which they will fill with different colored reef pieces. On your turn you either draw a card from the display or play a card, which will allow you to draw reef pieces (which you must place) – AND – score your reef if possible. However, after placing your pieces, to score the patterns, it only matters from the top down view, so you need to try and plan ahead on how you’ll stack and build your reef to build up combos during the game. This one looks simple to teach, but could have some pretty good depth to it.


Escape Plan

Twitter: @ianotooletweets

I’ll be perfectly honest, I do not know entirely too much about Escape Plan, other than the fact that it has a theme I love. I’ll let Board Game Geek’s description give you an overview of what the game’s theme entails:

After a successful bank heist, you and your fellow thieves are laying low and enjoying the good life. Most of the cash has been hidden away, and the rest has been invested in businesses throughout the city. Everything is going according to plan until the police get a breakthrough in their investigation. Accusations are made, fingers are pointed, and after a heated argument, you decide to go your separate ways.
Chaos ensues as the SWAT team is called in and start to close off the city’s exits. Your only choice now is to escape the city before it is completely locked down. But you need a plan — a good route that allows you to leave the city while recovering as much of the money as possible.”

Oh, come on!! You play thieves, but your moves affect the cops each turn. Players can take missions during the game, play cards to aid their escape, and you can take actions to engage gangs, mules and snitches. If that doesn’t pique your interest… The game is not for sale during Origins, but I’m hoping to get a demo of the game and will definitely report back on the gameplay.


Gorus Maximus

While I have already gotten to play Gorus Maximus, I’m looking forward to seeing other players thoughts on the game. Designed by Conor McGoey, with incredible art by Kwanchai Moriya, Gorus Maximus is a trick-taking game for 2-8 players, with a couple of twists. Like a traditional trick-taking game, a hand will start with a lead suit (trump), where players must follow that suit, and the highest card in the round takes the trick. However, in Gorus Maximus, you can change the trump suit by simply playing a card of the same value of the previous card played. Trump can change multiple times throughout the round. Also, certain cards have point values on them. If you take a trick, you claim the points that are on the card. But you have to be careful, some cards have negative point values, so you might want to sluff those cards off in a trick you might not win to sabotage your opponents. I was a big fan of Conor’s first game Summit, and I’ve enjoyed getting to play Gorus Maximus. The game is not for sale at Origins, but currently on Kickstarter for $15/$20


Holding On: The Troubled Life Of Billy Kerr

When I heard about this game, it seemed so interesting and endearing to me. In Holding On: The Troubled Life Of Billy Kerr, you play cooperatively as a team of nurses caring for Billy Kerr, who is terminally ill. When the game starts, all you know is his name and that he has been given days to live. As medical emergencies develop, you must work together to take care of Billy, while also finding out about him, piecing together some fairly foggy memories that Mr. Kerr has.  The game plays over 10 “fully replayable” scenarios, which doesn’t necessarily make it a “legacy game”. From pictures I’ve seen on BoardGameGeek, in each game, you’re sort of piecing together a patchwork of images from Billy’s memories, which are a little hazy from where he’s a old dying man. Apparently, when you play each scenario, based on the cards that come up, you might not see exactly the same parts of his life as someone who plays that same scenario differently, which just sounds amazing. Very much looking forward to seeing this one in action.


As always, there are tons of games to be seen at Origins, 263 as of this morning’s BoardGameGeek preview. I’m hoping to have lots of pictures to share next week of what all I saw from the convention, but that’s all dependent on how the Blue Peg, Pink Peg/Brawling Brothers Meet-up goes. If you’re in Columbus at the convention, come find me!


(A24 Studios)

KSR Movie Reviews: Hereditary

(A24 Studios)

Horror is a tricky genre in cinema today.

When a supposed good one comes around, we all hear the same exaggeration: “This is the scariest movie of all-time!!” When it’s not that phrase, you usually hear people say: “That horror movie was not scary at all!”

We live in a world that is defined by extremes so it comes to no surprise that the way we see horror movies is also defined by such drastic opinions. Of course, we are all afraid of different things in life so maybe this genre should have an array of different viewpoints.

As you may have heard, a new movie by the name of ‘Hereditary’ has come around and it is being hailed not only as this year’s scariest movie but also as, “This generation’s ‘The Exorcist’.”

Yupp. A positive reaction to a horror movie does not get much more extreme than that. And of course this movie is receiving its fair amount of criticism from the public as it currently has a D+ CinemaScore.

So let me be very clear before I get into my overall review of this film. If you come into this movie expecting something like The Conjuring, Paranormal Activity, IT, or Insidious then you might as well get right up and leave the theater.

This is not a horror movie thrill-ride which employs the use of effective and fake-out jump scares to frighten you. All those movies above do that successfully and that’s great for them. They really are good scary movies, especially The Conjuring.

Hereditary on the other hand features only one, true jump scare. That’s it. And I would actually argue that this movie is considerably scarier than all of those movies previously mentioned or any other horror movie that has came out in our generation.

Yea, I’m going there.

I think Hereditary is the very first horror movie in the 21st century that can truly be compared with the all-time best in the genre. I think it does this for three reasons: 1. The masterful performance from Toni Collette (she will get an Oscar nomination) 2. The overall direction from Ari Aster 3. It made me experience true terror.

Collette carries this movie for the majority of its run time. As the mother of a family that has experienced unspeakable levels of grief and mental illness, she descends into utter hysteria, and I completely believed every second of her performance. I never once felt she was over-the-top. Instead, I thought every one of her reactions is exactly how she should have been acting.

I’ve never watched a movie with this kind of direction. Pretty much the entire movie is filmed in wide shots. As my eyes were constantly surveying the screen looking for something scary, I eventually found those scary things.

This movie is indeed a slow burn as the scary stuff gradually starts to happen. But WOW when you start noticing things, you do NOT want to look at the screen again. For full transparency, my hands started cramping during the last half of the film from holding them in front of my face.

This is where the feeling of true terror comes into play. There are two scenes that occur in this movie that I will never forget. They are just that disturbing and memorable.

One of which is what everyone will be talking about when they leave the theater. It occurs around the 30 minute mark, and it will completely emotionally break you. This movie dares to go to a place that I’ve never seen another movie go. I will not spoil anything else, but when it happens you will know.

The second is the most memorable scare in the movie, and no it was not a jump scare. When it happens my entire theater groaned in terror, and I openly cursed out loud. That’s when I knew I was watching a new classic.

My only nitpick of this movie is that I think the ending will be too “out there” for general audiences which is really a shame. This movie takes a really strong supernatural turn in the final act, and boy do they realllllly go for it.

I understood what was happening and it was not too much for me, but if you didn’t pay much attention during the film, then you will leave completely lost. This probably explains the D+ CinemaScore grade.

Hereditary deeply scared me on an emotional and mental level. To be clear, jump scares when used effectively can scare me. But what truly scares me is the type of terror that lingers within yourself. The only other time I ever left the theater feeling that type of dread after a movie was when I watched The Conjuring.

The difference is, however, that I would love to watch the Conjuring again. It’s a really good, entertaining scary movie.

Hereditary on the other hand deals with real horror in the realms of mental illness, family issues, and eventually even the supernatural. This movie made me feel absolutely terrible after watching it, and I genuinely don’t want to watch it again.

The bad news is that does not even matter, because the scenes and images I witnessed are still at the forefront of my brain and are still upsetting me.

And that is what true horror in its purest form should accomplish.

Overall score: 9.5/10


The Funkhouser Situation E30: Tales from the Infinity Pool

Chris Tomlin returned to The Funkhouser Situation to discover that Lee Cruse continues to have issues with swimming with dudes.  Lee shares his odd encounter before KSR’s dynamic duo discusses a variety of pop culture topics, like…

— Netflix dropped a pair of comedies on consecutive days; can their model remain profitable?

— An Arrested Development Pitch

— Do people still like Tim Allen?

— Roseanne Barr: awful, crazy, comparable to Kathy Griffin?

— Two very different reactions to Solo.

— In a shocking twist, Lee adores Ryan Reynolds.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to The Funkhouser Situation podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.

This week’s episode is brought to you by:


The Funkhouser Situation E29: Lady Psycho Killer

Royal Wedding Fever wrapped up The Funkhouser Situation so much, the guys needed a brief break to soak in all of the euphoria.  Now Chris Tomlin and Lee Cruse are back to talk about their ridiculous watching rituals, and…

—  Chris corrects Lee’s awful Animal House memory.

—  Lee’s side of the story from the KSR Bowling League Debacle.

—  How HBO’s Barry is the perfect combination of comedy and violence.

—  There’s a new mesmerizing Elvis documentary.

—  SO. MUCH. EXCITEMENT. FOR. SOLO.

—  Is John Krasinksi in every Disney movie?

—  Questions about The Quiet Place.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to The Funkhouser Situation podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.

This week’s episode is brought to you by:


Deadpool 2 (Fox Studios)

Deadpool 2 Review and Analysis (SPOILER ALERT)

Deadpool 2 (Fox Studios)

KSR writers Brad Morris and John Reecer both watched Deadpool 2 this weekend. Here is their analysis and conversation over what will possibly be the biggest R-Rated Movie ever made. SPOILERS ARE AHEAD. DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE YET!

1. What is your short, immediate takeaway from the movie? 

Brad: This film is thoroughly enjoyable and on-par with the first Deadpool. The first movie expertly used the structure of a love story and this one used the structure of a “family movie.” It was a stroke of genius.

John: Deadpool 2 falls victim at times to being too overstuffed like almost all sequels do, but when this movie is good, its great. Not quite as good as the first, but it’s pretty darn close.

2. Let’s talk about the new character Cable in this movie. Did he work? 

Brad: He is no Thanos, but I liked Cable. I liked the direction Josh Brolin took him in. I liked how he partnered with Deadpool in the end. Their chemistry was spot-on and was similar to the comics when those two worked great together.

John: This is officially Josh Brolin’s summer. After nailing the part of Thanos and now nailing the part of Cable I’m convinced he can do no wrong. I thought they handled him teaming up with Deadpool in the end well. However, I thought that Brolin worked a bit too well, and I think a Deadpool/Cable buddy-cop movie would have been somewhat better than what we got here.

3. What were the film’s biggest weaknesses? 

Brad: For me it was Russell and Cable flip-flopping back-and-forth between antagonist and protagonist pretty much for the entire movie. It reminded me a little bit of other Marvel movies (with the exception of Black Panther and Infinity War) in which the way they handled the so-called villain took down the stakes of the overall movie and it became predictable in the end.

John: The first act of this movie is way too slow and it was the only time where I felt the negative effects of sequels. I was reminded way too much of the first movie when Deadpool was taking us back-and-forth through time with his beginning narration, and it took me out of the movie. Overall, it was a little too overstuffed but I thought they handled the movie mostly well.

4. Lets’s get to the humor. What were your favorite jokes in the movie? 

Brad: The entire scene where Deadpool is growing back baby legs had me and my audience in tears from laughter. That Basic Instinct joke T.J Miller gives was spot on. That entire 10-minute scene was comedic gold. Also, the cameos were perfect. The X-Men cameo with McAvoy, Beast, Quicksilver and the rest of the team showing up was awesome. Brad Pitt showing up in his cameo was also hysterical.

John: For whatever reason, I laughed the hardest at the “Fox and Friends” joke. It was a perfect joke that really nailed home with today’s time and culture. The entire sequence where the X-Force is killed off will go down as one of the most iconic moments in this movie. Every single death was unexpected and completely hilarious in true Deadpool fashion. Also, the “Brown Panther” joke at the end was just perfect considering the recent success and pop-culture impact of Black Panther.

5. As we often see in comedies, not all the jokes land. What were your least-favorite jokes? 

Brad: Personally, the Dave Matthew Band joke hit too close to home for me. I see them once every year so I really disagreed with Deadpool’s analysis of their great music.

John: I though they beat of us over the head with the dub-step joke a bit too much. It was just an alright joke and they kept going back too it. Also, the gross-out jokes used with Russell’s pen prison shank were a bit too sophomoric even for Deadpool.

6. The movie’s big surprise was the reveal of Juggarnaut. How did you feel about how the movie handled him?

Brad: The look and feel of Juggarnaut was a little off. He should have been even bigger honestly and his helmet was also a bit off from the comics. They essentially just did the character from X-Men 3: The Last Stand and just made him taller. I just thought his look was lazy although I did like the surprise.

John: It was a nice surprise, and I LOVE how this was not spoiled in any trailers. That was genius. However, I think his addition gets into the over-stuffed sequel criticism I have. He was basically in the movie just to give everyone a reason to team up which, as Deadpool would say, just felt like lazy writing.

7. Were there any moments or performances that stood out for you? 

Brad: Domino really was great and they gave us a good taste of her. I cannot wait to see her in more movies. Also, I liked that Negasonic Teenage Warhead had a girlfriend in this movie. Its true to her character and I liked how inclusive the decision was without the writers making it a big deal. They mention it, we get a joke about it, and we movie on. Very well done.

John: I loved how they essentially gave Domino Final Destination-type powers to make use of her being so lucky. It provided the movie with some really great sequences and the actress Zazie Beetz was perfect as that character. She was the character that I wished we got a little more from. The taste they gave us should have been a full meal…if you get what I am saying.

8. Where should the future of this franchise go? Do we need an X-Force movie next? 

Brad: Deadpool 3 first would be great. I’m envisioning Cable possibly being the leader of the X-Force in the future. They could even do the Deadpool 3 movie and an X-Force movie side-by-side year-wise. Like we could get Deadpool 3 one year and then like 10-11 months later we get X-Force. If the merger with Disney does happen, the third Deadpool movie could have him killing all the Avengers like he does in the comics. That would be something else.

John: Personally, I think the potential merger with Disney should give the MCU the original X-Men and the Fantastic Four, and the X-Force can be Fox’s cinematic team.  Deadpool does not belong with Disney at all, and they should not ask for his rights. I think Fox can flesh this out nicely, give each of these characters their own movies and then have big X-Force team-up movies. Hopefully that is how it all goes down, but who knows what Disney can pull off.

9. What is your overall grade of Deadpool 2? 

Brad: I give it a B+, or a 8/10. This movie had great jokes and how they used Cable at the end was really thought-out well.

John: 8/10. We are in complete agreement on this one. This was the rare comedic sequel (SMH Hangover movies) that is actually good. That post credit scene is the best post credit scene of all time.


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Today on KSR: Good-Bye, New Girl

Jennifer Clasen | Fox

After seven seasons and almost 150 episodes, Jessica Day and the rest of the gang will move out of loft 4D.  The two-part series finale begins tonight at 9:00 on Fox.

Starring Zooey Deschanel, what made the ensemble comedy one of the funniest shows on television is that there was no star.  At its height, you could make a sound argument that the funniest character was Schmidt, Nick, Winston or Jess (but if you made me choose, I’d roll with Winston, mostly for the bird shirts).

A show that was not afraid to show its sweet-side, slap-stick comedy always remained at its heart.  It often manifested in a fight, or the drinking game True Americans, a game that will likely cause physical harm if you try to play at home.  To see its more clever comedic side, look no further than Schmidt’s Douchebag Jar, an item that perfectly symbolizes the show’s sweet silliness.

Like all “coming of age” shows starring people in their mid-20s, it was time to end New Girl, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be a little sad when its run ends tonight.  One of my top five favorite shows, if you’ve never given it a try, it’s not too late to hop on the bandwagon with Netflix.

The Cats Land a Quarterback

Last night Eddie Gran found a quarterback for his 2019 recruiting class.  Nik Scalzo committed to Kentucky over Illinois, UNLV and a handful of Ivy League schools.  A three-star prospect, he’s ranked by 247 Sports as the No. 16 dual-threat quarterback in America.

His 5’11” size scared off many of the big schools, but Darin Hinshaw saw a winner.  Playing in Broward County, Florida, home to arguably the best high school football in America, he threw for more than 2,000 yards as a sophomore and a junior.  In the camp circuit, he quarterbacked the same 7-on-7 team Teddy Bridgewater used to lead to an Adidas National Championship. If you compared him to Baker Mayfield, he would not mind.

Will Sports Gambling Happen in Kentucky?

The Supreme Court opened the floodgates for states to legalize sports gambling.  New Jersey, West Virginia and Mississippi are just a few that are already acting.  Meanwhile in Kentucky, crickets.  Public sentiment is overwhelmingly in favor of bringing sports books to the Commonwealth, but will politicians act?  To use my mother’s advice, I will expect the worst and hope for the best.

NBA Draft Lottery

Tonight we will discover who is picking where in the 2018 NBA Draft.  De’Aaron Fox will represent the Sacramento Kings when the action begins tonight at 7:30 on ESPN (even though we will not know the final order until about 8:30).

The Warriors are going to win The NBA Finals

The Houston Rockets had everything set up for success against the Golden State Warriors, and still lost by double digits.  James Harden scored 41 points, yet the Rockets weren’t even within striking range in the game’s final five minutes.  The Warriors are just too great.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Don’t Laugh Too Hard

If you think it’s funny the first time around, un-mute the 10-second clip.

The KSR Food Bracket Begins Today

But the bigger question is, will it be finished?

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The Replacements

How “The Replacements” Compares With UK Football

(The Replacements)

When you think of the best football movies of all-time, you probably think of Remember the Titans, Friday Night Lights, or Brian’s Song. Those are some of the best football movies ever, however, there is one movie that is so underrated that it is NEVER brought up the conversation.

That particular movie is The Replacements which happens to be one of my favorite sports movies. Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: this film does not belong in the conversation with the incredible movies mentioned above but that does not mean it is not underrated.

As far as plots go, you can see the end of The Replacements coming from a mile away. This is a film that is incredibly simple in its execution and critics buried it because of that.

It’s a classic underdog story where NFL Players go on strike for a short time during the season, and the owners have to hire replacement players to keep the league afloat. That’s it. By its very nature, it is not trying to be the Citizen Kane of football movies. Instead, The Replacements is just an incredibly entertaining and hilarious film that you simply just enjoy watching.

If you don’t believe me, just watch the best overall scene from the movie that absolutely nails how to handle serious and moving subject matter while still being very funny:

After watching this group of ragtag athletes overcome the odds, I could not help but to see the similarities between them and figures from Kentucky Football. Of course, not all these comparisons are perfect, but the sheer number of these that come close is impressive.

Jared Lorenzen is Shane Falco

Falco is the replacement quarterback for the fictional NFL team the Washington Sentinels. He is the main character of the movie who just happens to be a left-handed quarterback who loves to scramble, has a rocket arm, and is also battling inner emotional demons.

Sound familiar?

While they may look different as far as body size, just look at their playing style. It’s essentially the same player (shout out to Keanu Reeves for being impressively athletic).

CJ Conrad is Brian Murphy 

How does this sound? In the movie, Murphy is a tall tight-end with amazing hands who is arguably the most talented player on the team who some say has first-round talent.

Sounds exactly like CJ Conrad to me. In fact, Conrad might just be the first tight end taken in next year’s NFL draft. The big difference between these two players is that Murphy just happens to be deaf which is why he never got drafted and is a replacement player.

Also an amusing side note: Murphy wears No. 86 and Conrad wears No. 87. The comparison is just THAT close.

Kash Daniel is Danny Bateman

This was bar-none the easiest comparison for me to make. Bateman is the team’s middle linebacker who is completely insane on the football field. No, really. He is certifiably insane on the football field.

I’m convinced at this point that Kash Daniel and Bateman are essentially the same person. They wear the same number, play the same position, have the same attitude, same body size, and are very good football players. Just watch the scene above and compare that with this play that Daniel made against Tennessee:

Yupp. Same Guy.

Austin MacGinnis is Nigel Gruff

At first, the Sentinels are very, very bad on the offensive side of the football. So bad that their main scoring threat is their kicker who has incredible leg strength despite his overall average-looking physical appearance.

In fact, it was such a rarity when they scored that everyone made a huge deal when Gruff would make a field goal. It would be the high point of a few of their games.

Sadly, the resemblance here with UK Football is just painfully obvious. MacGinnis is an incredibly talented kicker despite his average-looking appearance and at times he was the lone bright spot on the team.

To make the comparison even more complete, they both hit huge game-winning field goals that were over 50 yards long in victories that helped change the course of their team’s seasons.

Bear Bryant is Jimmy McGinty

You might have already noticed this connection in the clips above, but as the head coach of the Sentinels McGinty (played by legend Gene Hackman) has a throwback approach to coaching.

Motivational speeches, common sense, and classic football ideologies develop his coaching schemes, and he gets all of these throw-away players to play their best possible football.

However, the most obvious comparison that can be seen between him and Bear Bryant is the fact that they both wear suits and old-fashioned hats while they are coaching. I would not be surprised at all if Hackman’s character is completely inspired by Bryant.

They are a few other connections (yes there are more) in the movie with UK Football, but hopefully this post will convince you to watch The Replacements and find these other similarities yourself. Give this movie a watch if you have not yet, and enjoy a simple sports movie that has a lot of heart and laughs.


Pam Beesly: Villain

Oh Pam.  Pam-a-lamma ding dong.  The sweet receptionist that stole hearts with her witty shenanigans in The Office is one of the most beloved characters in television history…or is she actually a villain?

A self-proclaimed expert on a generation’s best comedy, the thought never crossed my mind until today.  I blame it all on Ryen Russillo.

The revelation rocked my world.  Is up actually down?  Does Louisville actually have morals? Surely it cannot be!

The first show I ever binged through, the tension Pam created had me hooked from day one.  A college freshman who was perpetually locked in the friend zone, I desperately sought to find a perfect connection with my Pam.  But who wants to be a Toby Flenderson?  Nobody.  It turns out that it wasn’t a me problem; it was a Pam problem.

Once a beloved fan favorite, Russillo exposed Beesly for the fraud she is.  Beesly is a villain, one who deserves to fall down The Office Character Power Rankings:

1. Creed Bratton
2. Dwight Schrute
3. Michael Scott
4. Kevin Malone
5. Jim Halpert
6. Darryl Philbin
7. Meredith Palmer
8. Phyllis Vance
9. Ryan Howard
10. Kelly Kapoor
11. Stanley Hudson
12. Oscar Martinez
13. Pam Beesly
14. Angela Martin
15. Andy Bernard
16. Toby Flenderson

Feel free to disagree.  Just know it’s okay to let the hate out of your heart for Pamela Beesly Halpert.


The Funkhouser Situation E28: Smell the Infinity Glove

A little more than a week after the world’s biggest movie hit the big screen, Chris Tomlin and Lee Cruse break down Avengers: Infinity War on The Funkhouser Situation.  There are plenty of spoilers in this discussion, but they do not happen until the end of the show.  Before they talk about Thanos and infinity stones, KSR’s dynamic pop culture duo discuss…

—  Lee’s Most Enjoyable Kentucky Derby

—  Westworld’s Similarities to Lost

—  Game of Thrones is the Best Show HBO has ever Done (duh)

—  Why are we constantly remaking movies?

—  Bob Newhart is Underrated

—  What’s the last original character to launch a franchise that didn’t come from a book?

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to The Funkhouser Situation podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.

This week’s episode is brought to you by:


The Funkhouser Situation E27: Hans Gruber and Sexual Alien Imagery

Lee Cruse took time off from a busy Kentucky Derby week to join Chris Tomlin for another exciting edition of The Funkhouser Situation.  Before things get a little weird, the dynamic duo discusses…

—  What it’s like to interview Al Roker.

—  A sentimental salute to Alan Cutler.

—  New sexual misconduct allegations surrounding Tom Brokaw.

—  Lee Cruse shares some strong words about the Derby (and a few infield stories).

—  A spoiler-free analysis of Avengers: Infinity War.

—  That time Lee ran into a Chris Tomlin comment in The New Yorker.

—  The psychology of horror films: Chris presents some strange sexual metaphors.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to The Funkhouser Situation podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.

This week’s episode is brought to you by: