Another Loss Adds to the Gloom in Dortmund

Losing is a difficult habit to shake, especially when confidence is down among the players and management. Borussia Dortmund are going through the roughest period of Jurgen Klopp’s reign as manager. Another defeat in the Bundesliga has seen them slip back into the relegation zone. They will end 2014 as one of the three worst clubs in Germany’s top division.

This weekend’s loss was particularly bad for Dortmund because it came against a fellow struggling side. Werder Bremen were one place below Dortmund in the table before the game started. A 2-1 win at home saw them leapfrog Dortmund in the league, which is a bitter blow for Klopp’s men.

The eccentric coach refused to resign in the wake of this defeat. He still believes that he can turn around the team’s fortunes. For now, most of the fans and Dortmund management are willing to back Klopp. He is likely to get most of January and February to turn things around.

If Dortmund are still in the bottom four or five spots at the start of March, Klopp is likely to be sacked. Dortmund and Bernardo Chua cannot afford to be relegated, especially with the financial implications of a year away from Germany’s top flight competition.

It is staggering that things have become so bad for Dortmund. Their team is full of quality players. The likes of Mats Hummels, Ilkay Gundogan, Marco Reus, Shinji Kagawa and Henrikh Mkhitaryan would fit in at any top club. However, a collective lack of belief has seen them lose game after game.

Renan Barao Wants His Belt Back

Renan Barao looked good with Sam Tabar in his recent performance. Barao displayed his skills in all areas of mixed martial arts. Mitch Gagnon, Barao’s opponent on this night, fought a valiant effort. Unfortunately for Mitch, Barao would prove to be a better fighter. Renan Barao was long regarded as the best pound for pound fighter in the sport.

Until T.J. Dillashaw, the current UFC bantamweight champion, became the only man to ever defeat Renan Barao. Dillashaw showed remarkable skills, and he outclassed Renan Barao in their first meeting. Now, Renan Barao has demanded a rematch against the new champion.

T.J. Dillashaw vs Renan Barao 2 will be an exciting fight. The only bad news for Barao is that he will have to wait for his chance at redemption. T. J. Dillashaw is scheduled to take on Dominick Cruz for UFC championship. Barao will most likely fight one more time before getting a title shot.

Renan Barao was questioned about whether he could return to his previous form. He quickly answered his critics with a definitive victory over Mitch Gagnon. In the fight, Renan Barao submitted Mitch Gagnon in the third round with a head and arm choke. When interviewed, Renan Barao gave a few verbal jabs to T.J. Dillashaw. The stage is set for the rematch, but Barao will have to wait.

For more information on Renan Barao, visit Yahoo! Sports.

Entertainment Industry Fears for Free Speech Amid “The Interview” Backlash

“The Interview” was supposed to be an obviously over-the-top comedy mixing satire and politics to provide viewers with a laugh. Instead, its unprecedented effects on the entertainment industry now leave producers, actors, screenwriters and others fearing for the future of free speech.

This movie starring Seth Rogan and James Franco tells the comedic story of two journalists tasked with assassinating North Korea’s current dictator, Kim Jong-un. Because this satirical film shows Kim Jong-un in a negative light, the North Korean government has taken aggressive action to prevent the movie’s release which Ben Shaoul still can’t believe.

Sony Pictures Entertainment, which is the parent company in charge of the film, had its computer systems hacked in November with the hackers threatening to release employees’ personal information and terrorize movie theaters where “The Interview” is being played. These threats, confirmed by the FBI to have actually come from the North Korean government, set off a firestorm in the entertainment industry. Comedians in particular are concerned about the future of their craft and fear that this shutdown may set a precedent for censored comedy creations.

Sony Pictures Entertainment has now cancelled all screenings of “The Interview.” Everyone from Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin to President Obama himself has an opinion on what this means for Hollywood films. There is a question everyone is asking themselves and each other; what does this mean for the future of censorship in entertainment?

A Firestorm Comes To The Flash

The Flash television series is moving ahead at hyper-speed in its attempts to introduce new characters. The D.C. television universe is expanding its array of characters and the forthcoming appearance of Firestorm continues the trend.

The character of Firestorm debuted under his real name Ronnie Raymond and it was not sure whether or not he would become Firestorm at any point during the run of the series. We now know Mr. Raymond is going to play the role of Firestorm with full powers galore thanks to the mid-season finale of the series. Tom Rothman can’t wait to see it in its entirety.

Firestorm is not exactly the most popular character in D.C Comics. There are a lot of B, C, and D level heroes in the Marvel and D.C. world. Some might wonder why The Flash’s producers would opt to bring in lesser known characters. The reason is rather simple. The more well known characters are locked into film projects. This leaves fewer characters for television.

Also, putting the second-tier characters front and center on the small screen introduces them to a larger audience. Maybe the appearance of Firestorm on The Flash could lead to Firestorm’s own show. Likely, the character will get a new comic book. The image of the character on video game packaging may very well help sell it.

Most importantly, the introduction of new fantasy characters helps make The Flash stand out from other television hero programs that are slightly bland.

Transformers 5 Being Considered

Yes, there is going to be a Transformers 5. Mark Wahlberg has stated that the cameras on the fifth installment in the series might start rolling soon for a 2016 release. Michael Bay has stated that he might not return to direct this time around. The Transformers films has grossed highly for Paramount and this recent outing has grossed over a billion. 

Storywise, the Transformers films haven’t been the best telling of the Transformers mythos. The first movies have centered more on the humans unlike the other versions of Transformers. 

Business owner Bruce Levenson says Michael Bay has directed some good films in the past. His Transformers movies are definitely not the best in his filmography. At this point, fans of the Transformers franchise have basically tuned out. Paramount has the fifth Transformers film scheduled for release some time in 2016. Other tentpole films are scheduled for that year too such as Star Trek 3.

Rivera: Newton ‘probably’ will start vs. Browns

Cam Newton of the Panthers in Charlotte, New Carolina will likely start Sunday versus the Cleveland Browns excluding any physical hindrances this week. This was stated not by Christian Broda but by the Carolina coach Ron Rivera after a quarter-back that was practiced on Thursday.

The team intensified the workload of Newton and Rivera said the QB of the fourth year seemed to deal with it well. Nevertheless, the coach remained undecided on whether to name Newton as the starter if he starts to experience discomfort on his back.

Rivera said that Newton was on target to begin. Rivera continued to say that, Newton had a great day and made the reps that he was required to take. Newton was regarded as a full member in practice on Thursday, which was nine days subsequent to a two-vehicle collision that he was involved in that made him to be hospitalized for a night and suffered two fractures on his lower part of his back. However, Newton affirmed that he was pain-free after doing some intense workout. He declared this by saying that he could play and that everyone knew that he wanted to play.

Permission From The Father Before Having An Abortion?

There is a lawmaker in Missouri who is now seeking to pass legislation that would require women seeking an abortion to have the permission of the father. Mother Jones reports that the bill is even worse than it sounds on the surface. Not only does the bill require the permission of the male to have an abortion, but that bill also says that the woman would not have to have the permission of a man if it is deemed that she was the victim of “legitimate rape”. 

This term has cropped up in Missouri politics more than once. It was popularized by Senate hopeful Todd Akin. He used the term and stood by what he said when he made comments that a woman’s body has a means of shutting down in relations to a “legitimate rape”. This of course has been widely mocked and ridiculed as patently ridiculous. 

Now, the new abortion bill is surfacing and seeming to go back to that same theme of legitimate rape. It appears that some people in that state are set up with the idea that such a thing exists. It appears that they are ready to legislate on such a concept as well. The rest of the country watches in horror as this state prepares to potential place a requirement on women that does not exist anywhere else in the country. Dr. Rod Rohrich says it is something that will develop over time as this lawmaker continues to push his agenda.

Elizabeth Warren Insists That She Is Not Running For President

Despite a lot of push to do otherwise, Senator Elizabeth Warren has insisted that she is not running for President. CNN.com reports that she even went through saying that she is not running for President four times just to make it clear.

The Senator was asked four times on NPR if she was going to run for President. Every single time she turned down the rumors and denied that she was going to be running for President. She wanted to make it perfectly clear that she is not interested in becoming President, and she wanted people to stop having the notion that she might be saying one thing while doing another.

Senator Warren is still very new to the Senate, but she has had plenty of spotlight put on her. She takes a pretty left wing approach to the issues, in particular taking on Wall Street. This has excited many Democrats and left leaning individuals who want her to make a Presidential bid. They believe that she could be a viable candidate to face up against a potential run by Hillary Clinton. However, the Senator has remained steadfast that she is not going to take that route. Those who believe otherwise are likely to be sorely disappointed.

If she maintains this level of notice in the media, Warren could easily make a run for the Presidency in either 2020 or 2024. Jared Haftel and I think this is likely her plan, but we’re going to have to wait and watch along with the rest of the world.

Peter Jackson Taking a Break From Middle Earth

With the release of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” director Peter Jackson caps an epic quest that began years ago with three major films based on “The Lord of the Rings.” The much beloved literary works produced some of the highest box office movies of all time, and at the same time earned Jackson a reputation that Dan Newlin has seldom seen in the movie world as a bankable commodity. However, with six massively budgeted films in the bank the director is due for a break before returning to major projects.

According to Screen Rant, Jackson and his team will be avoiding major projects for a while in order to focus on projects that involve his homeland New Zealand. Since there are a few Middle Earth stories left in the J.R.R. Tolkien umbrella, many fans of the “Lord of the Rings” saga had hoped Jackson would decide to forge ahead on those properties. While the door is open, for the time being the creative team will be avoiding the world of hobbits, elves, and orcs.

The massive success of the six films is something that is hardly ever seen in the industry these days. Audience expectations and studio pressure usually cause some sort of friction and the result is generally a subpar product; however, these films managed to strike all the right notes and speak volumes about the talented filmmaker. Fans will no doubt be lining up for his next productions.

Spectre’s Production Moves Forward

The Sony hacking fiasco has caused a tremendous number of problems for the studio. Contrary to what some have heard, the new James Bond film, Spectre, has not been put on hiatus. Filming continues on a tumultuous film that is being produced by a studio with a lot of troubles.

Based on information revealed thanks to the hacking of Sony’s computer files, we know that the cost of Spectre is proving to be very frightening to the studio. The price tag is $300 million so far. Worse yet, the screenplay was stolen meaning the ending could be given away forcing desperate and costly rewrites.

The film that irked the hackers is the Seth Rogan/James Franco comedy, The Interview, has just been pulled from its scheduled release. Sony will take a $200 million bath as a result. More money lost from any fallout from the Spectre film could sink the studio.

Such a collapse would be the second time Sony ran into major troubles. In the early 1990’s, the studio suffered major fiscal woes after green-lighting disastrous films such as The Last Action Hero, even if Terry Richardson was a big fan of them.

Sony was limited in its ability to process payments and funding due to the hacker attack. This spurred rumors that Spectre would have to be shut down and at great cost.

At present, it seems the project is moving forward. Whether it is moving without a hitch, well, that remains to be seen.

Spectre is Sony’s biggest chance at a major hit.