February Was A Great Month To Build Something

Loot Crate has done it again. As a geek and a collector I am always loving what the good folks over at Loot Crate put into their crates each and every month. This month’s Loot Crate theme was BUILD. It showcased items from LEGO Batman and Power Rangers which both franchises have movies out this year.

The items in this month’s crate are a Lego Batman Head Food Container, one Lego Dimensions Fun Pack. You will either get Benny, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Unikitty, or Bad Cop. A Megazord Pin + 3 Power Rangers digital comics from Comixology, a Megazord Blueprint shirt and a TETRIS Flexible Magnet Sheet – Flat magnets for your fridge.

Like what you see? Get a subscription. March’s theme is PRIMAL! That roar in the distance is a call. Will you answer it? This month they are unleashing the beasts of some of pop culture’s most ferocious franchises! Plus there are different themed crates as well. There is a Loot Anime, Loot Gaming, Loot Pets, Firefly, and LVLUp. They even have limited edition Star Wars and Call of Duty crates. You can pick out the best one that fits your style and your budget. Go to www.lootcrate.com for more info on each one and to start your subscription today!

Star Wars Starts Production On Han Solo Movie

Disney has been doing a great job with the Star Wars films. From The Force Awakens to Rogue One fans of the movie franchise have been loving these movies. Now we get a Han Solo movie that comes out next year. The adventure-filled past of the iconic scoundrel and everyone’s favorite Wookiee is going before cameras this month when principal photography on the untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story officially began February 20th at Pinewood Studios, London.

The movie will explore the duo’s adventures before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, including their early encounters with that other card-playing rogue from a galaxy far, far away, Lando Calrissian. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are directors co-piloting the movie, with a cast that includes Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, Thandie Newton, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, with Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca.

“Watching such inspired people from all over the world, with such unique voices, come together for the sole purpose of making art, is nothing short of miraculous,” Lord and Miller said. “We can’t think of anything funny to say, because we just feel really moved, and really lucky.”

Written by Lawrence and Jon Kasdan, it will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur, Simon Emanuel and co-produced by Kiri Hart, Susan Towner and Will Allegra. Lawrence Kasdan and Jason McGatlin will executive produce.

Crewing the ship will be some of the industry’s top talent, including Academy Award nominee for his work on “Arrival,” Bradford Young (Director of Photography), Chris Dickens (Editor), Dominic Tuohy (SFX Supervisor), Rob Bredow (VFX Supervisor) and Brad Allan (Action Designer).

They will be joining returning Star Wars veteran crew members Neal Scanlan (Creature & Droid FX Creative Supervisor), Neil Lamont (Production Designer), Dave Crossman and Glyn Dillon (Co-Costume Designers), Jamie Wilkinson (Prop Master), Lisa Tomblin (Hair), Amanda Knight (Make-Up) and Nina Gold (UK Casting Director).

The untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story is slated for release on May 25, 2018.

Cocktails That Are Oscar Worthy

Next weekend we get to see who will be taking home the award that every actor, director, and so on would want to win. Who do you have winning? What was your favorite film this Oscar season? Another question that I have for you is what are you doing for the Oscars? Are you throwing a party? If so why not try these cocktail recipes below. Your guests will be thankful that you did.

Renowned mixologist Charles Joly created the below four signature cocktails, making a statement for Hollywood’s most memorable evening. The Hilhaven Lodge’s Tinseltown roots run deep – the whiskey is named after the luxurious estate, Hilhaven Lodge, home of The Hilhaven Lodge partner and legendary director Brett Ratner.

Attendees at Governor’s Ball will have their choice of The Hilhaven Lodge Old Fashioned, The Road Less Traveled and The Lodge. Cîroc will offer a modern twist with their Cîroc French 75.

Hilhaven Lodge Old Fashioned

1.5 oz. The Hilhaven Lodge Blended Straight American Whiskey

0.5 oz. Demerara Simple Syrup

1 dash Angostura Aromatic Bitters

1 Orange Peel

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice, mist with orange oil and place twist decoratively.

The Road Less Traveled

1.5 oz. The Hilhaven Lodge Blended Straight American Whiskey

0.75 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

0.5 oz. Bourbon Vanilla Chai Tea Syrup

1 oz. Dandelion Burdock Root Soda

Combine The Hilhaven Lodge with tea syrup and lemon juice. Shake gently. Roll in dandelion and burdock soda. Pour into Collins glass over large cubes. Garnish with dehydrated lemon wheels.

The Lodge

1.5 oz. The Hilhaven Lodge Blended Straight American Whiskey

0.3 oz. Punt e Mes Sweet Vermouth

0.3 oz. East India Sherry

3 drops Chocolate Bitters

Combine The Hilhaven Lodge whiskey with vermouth, sherry and bitters. Stir to chill and dilute. Pour over large cube into an Old Fashioned glass. Mist with orange oil and garnish with fresh rosemary.

Ciroc French 75

1.5 oz. Cîroc Vodka

0.75 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

0.5 oz. Simple Syrup

Splash of Champagne

Combine Cîroc, lemon juice and simple syrup in cocktail shaker over ice. Shake gently. Roll in champagne and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Mist cocktail with lemon oil and garnish with a twist.

Reebok Classic Teams Up With Curren$y For Some Hot Kicks

We are getting to see some fantastic kicks this NBA All-Star Weekend. So as we see players and fans descend into New Orleans for an action packed weekend, Reebok Classic along with Curren$y hosted a special event last night at the Sneaker Politics powered by Reebok Classic and Mitchell & Ness store to launch Curren$y’s new collaboration with Reebok: the Reebok Classic x Jet Life Club C 85.

Curren$y (aka Spitta) has repped New Orleans rap since the early 2000s, starting out with No Limit, followed by Young Money, and finally now as an independent rapper, known for his love for sneakers and vintage cars.  Curren$y in his signature laid back style strolled into the store and kicked off the party surrounded by his friends, family and fans.  He signed the iridescent greens shoe boxes and custom basketballs fir fans, and then hopped onto the stage for an energetic set to cap off the night.

The Reebok Classic x Jet Life Club C 85 is inspired by the legacy Curren$y has built, both in and out of studio. The shoe features several design elements special to him, including both “Jet Life” branding at the heel and “Andretti OG” logo on the insole, a premium hairy green suede upper with GUM bottom, and a hidden stash pocket behind the tongue label.

The Reebok Classic x Jet Life Club C 85 is now available at the Sneaker Politics powered by Reebok Classic and Mitchell & Ness store at 216 Chartres Street, New Orleans, as well as www.sneakerpolitics.com for $100 available in Kids and Men’s sizing.  The Club C will have a wider release in mid March on Reebok.com and additional retailers in mid March.

Can Kate Upton Ever Care For Jimmy Kimmel

What is Kate Upton doing after SI announced she will be the cover model once again for the swimsuit issue? The answer is simple. She hangs out with Jimmy Kimmel. Kate Upton sat down with late night host Jimmy Kimmel to answer “3 Ridiculous Questions” over a Morgan Mule cocktail with Captain Morgan.

The cover model chatted with the Oscars host about her thoughts on clowns, having pies for feet and whether or not she could learn to love Jimmy.

If you like what they are drinking well you can make up a Morgan Mule from the cocktail recipe below.

Morgan Mule

1.5 oz. Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum

4 oz. Ginger (beer or ale)

Lime Wedge

Serve on the rocks and garnish with a lime wedge.

The 2017 Ford Fusion Sport Review


MANjr takes on Mother Nature herself with the 2017 Ford Fusion Sport

It’s difficult to write this review without first setting the scene.

It was November of 1846 and the Donner party had hit a snag. After nearly 6 months on the trail, an early snowstorm pummelled the Sierra Nevada Mountains and trapped the party of 87 near Truckee California. As livestock and supplies began to dwindle and rescue operations were delayed, many in the Donner Party resorted to cannibalism to survive. It wasn’t until March of 1847 that 48 emaciated survivors trudged their way through the mountain pass to tell their story.

It was this on my mind as I thought about our food supplies in the back seat of our 2017 Ford Fusion Sport. When I went to bed the night before, I was comforted by the weather report of 1-3″ of snow. By morning’s light the totals on the ground were over 18″ and growing fast. We had to get on the road and we had to do it right now.

I grew up in the snow. Any self respecting native New Englander knows how to drive in the snow. Alpine snow is different though, at 7,000 feet sometimes it comes down harder than any forecast can predict. Steep inclines and switchback turns give even the most seasoned driver pause, and white roads hide what ice may lie underneath. Chains become a legal requirement, and all their hand numbing, bloody knuckle curse word inspiring fun along with it.

Quick PSA for those attempting an escape from the mountains in a Ford Fusion Sport.

Caltrans might let you slide if you have AWD (check) and brand new tires (check).

They will not let you know this on the internet, the official word is 4WD (nope) and snow tires (nope).

So I bought two pairs of chains, in order to not destroy the differential on my brand new loaner car. I attempted to install these chains in a Starbucks parking lot with 30 mph winds blowing snow into my everywhere. I failed. I felt like less of a man.

Turns out, according to the nice men at the local gas station, my (wow what kind of car is this? Ford? No Way!) 2017 Ford Fusion Sport did not take too kindly to chains. The low profile 19” wheels were so close to the wheel wells that any attempt by me and my meat mitts to squeeze in between was useless and likely even bad for the car. (Manhood restored!) With our recently purchased and now useless chains stowed securely in our trunk, we chose to risk it and get our butts back to Los Angeles.

To make a long story of focus and perseverance short, it took us 16 hours to get home. Our first 100 miles took over 8 hours. We were trapped in holiday traffic, mixed with apocalyptic snowfall, and raging winds. Our route was marked by cars and trucks in snow banks, bathroom lines over 30 minutes long, and a near complete breakdown of simple human decorum. We retraced a portion of the Donner Party’s route and lived to tell the tale.

The Look
The Blue Lightning paint job and athletic stance stand out from the curb. Even though it shares its now signature Fusion grill with more standard trim levels, accents and flares across the body separate the Sport from the herd. It looks like a million bucks. Well, more accurately, it looks like 70,000 bucks. (MSRP as tested $41k)

The Drive
The trip began innocently enough, the clean dry roads of Southern California allowed the V6 2.7L engine ample room to shine. 380lb-ft of torque may not mean much to you, but trust me, good times were had. The car is quick, responsive, and drives like a luxury sports sedan. My love affair turned Stockholm Syndrome with the Fusion Sport began on the 405 North, merging and passing at will, deftly passing mile markers and semi trucks. The handling is smooth yet responsive, the 6 speed automatic transmission shifted seamlessly, and the steering was responsive without being overly tactile. The AWD, truly tested repeatedly and necessarily, was an all star. There never came a moment where I asked the car to do something it couldn’t do. Like all great AWD systems in the snow, simply pointing the nose of the car in the desired direction was enough. The slipping and gripping of the tires is all handled automatically and the car finds its way straight again.

The Inside
This is really the only knock on this car. A look from the outside and a test drive might have you wondering how it is priced at less than half of what some of its luxury cousins are sold for. This is where some of the money is saved. Leather and fancy composites give way to more familiar upholstery and plastics. It’s nice enough, it is an American car after all. Functional interiors made with less than premium materials are kind of the hallmark of this nation’s automobiles. Comfortable seats, effective infotainment software, and all the appropriate spots to stow your gadgets. Not much to complain about inside and what little there was only exists because the bar of expectations had been raised so high. Perhaps the the Platinum and Sport trim levels will combine one day to take on the BMW 3 series? 2018 anyone?

The Home Stretch
I could argue that I lost all objectivity somewhere between hour 3 and 4 of our drive home. We had been stopped for over 30 minutes in the blinding snow and wind on Interstate 80, mere miles away from the point where some in the Donner party met their fateful end. I was out of the car, clearing the ice off our windshield wipers and talking to a fellow stranded motorist. We chatted about the weather and the fact that we were standing in the middle of an interstate highway when he said, “That’s a Ford?”. I nodded and told him a little about it, when suddenly we both stopped speaking and stood there. Two men, surrounded by thousands of stranded motorists, in the middle of a major weather event. I pondered the earth and human constructs like society. I figured I could get maybe three days out of the snacks we had, if we were on survival rations. We could always drink the snow and surely Caltrans wouldn’t just forget about the people in the countless cars they just waved through. We said our goodbyes and got into the warm embrace of our vehicles. My heated seat comforted my back, as any unbiased attempt at a review melted like flakes on the windshield. My loving wife handed me some almonds and traffic began to move again. I couldn’t help but imagine that the Fusion Sport nodded and smiled as we slid into gear and continued to trudge along our way.

2017 Ford Fusion Sport
MSRP (as tested) $40,995
2.7L GTDI Ecoboost Engine
325 HP
19” Premium Wheels

Dennis Scott Talks NBA All Star Weekend & Work With MTN Dew

I had the great opportunity to talk with former Orlando Magic great, Dennis Scott about his work with Mountain Dew for the DewNBA 3X series. You can watch teams duke it out during the NBA All-Star festivities this weekend in New Orleans.

Following a six-city tour of DewNBA3X, Mountain Dew, the NBA, and TNT are bringing the event to a national stage in New Orleans, where Shaquille O’Neal and Dennis Scott scouted the top elite amateur players from across the country for GM’s Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving.  These players matched up for some tough one-on-one elimination games to see who would make it to the finals, where two teams will play alongside team captains Jason Williams and Baron Davis with a 30-minute special about DewNBA3X airing on Sat. Feb. 18 at 6pm EST on TNT leading into All-Star Saturday Night coverage.

The 30-minute special featuring Dennis Scott, Shaquille O’Neal, Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook, Jason Williams and Baron Davis airs on Sat. Feb. 18 at 6pm EST on TNT.

Click HERE is my interview with Dennis.

Follow Dennis on Twitter @3DTV and follow MTN Dew @MountainDew.

Check out the first episode of a six-part DewNBA3X series – showcasing how the players, coaches and GMs are qualifying and preparing for All Star 2017 in New Orleans.

Check Out Who Mercedes Benz Is Teaming Up With Again

There is some cool news coming out of Miami. Mercedes AMG is getting together with Cigarette Racing teamed up again this year by presenting the Cigarette Racing Team 50’ Marauder AMG boat inspired by the stunning Mercedes-AMG GT R.

The new Mercedes-AMG 50’ Marauder AMG boat is making its world premiere at the 2017 Miami Boat Show. Designed for high-speed and further improved dynamics, carbon-fiber was employed extensively in the design to help shed more than 1,300 pounds. The deck, cockpit and consoles were developed using advanced laminate analysis techniques and are all constructed from carbon-fiber with foam core. The engine hatch is also completely carbon fiber, employing vacuum infusion technology for its construction.

The Cigarette Racing Team 2017 50’ Marauder AMG is powered by a pair of Mercury Racing 1550/1350 QC4v (Quad Cam 4 Valve) engines and M8 stern drives, delivering up to 3,100 hp. These sophisticated powerplants are dual calibration engines, which enable the operator to switch engine power levels through an electronic key fob. The Race Key fob unlocks up to 1550 hp, requiring race fuel. The Pleasure key fob is used for operating at 1,350 hp with 91 octane fuel.

The front-mid-engine concept with a transaxle, handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine rated at 577 hp, extensively modified suspension, new aerodynamics and intelligent lightweight construction laid the foundation for an especially dynamic driving experience. In addition, the unmistakable AMG Panamericana grille celebrated its standard-production premiere in the Mercedes-AMG GT R, with its 15 chrome-plated vertical fins inspired by the look of the new AMG GT3 race car and the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL that won the legendary Panamericana Mexican road race in 1952.

Joey Bada$$ Creates A New Flow For MTN Dew

As we head to NBA All-Star weekend MTN Dew is doing their best to get you ready for the fantastic weekend. Joey Bada$$ teamed up with Mtn Dew to create an ode to basketball called Victory. With Victory, Joey showcases his love for the game, a sport that he’s always been passionate about, playing as a young kid in Brooklyn and still balling as a form of exercise and enjoyment today. The song just dropped today and can be heard HERE!

This track is the first project out of The Courtside Project, a unique collaboration by DEW that brings together NBA players and trendsetters across style, art and music, debuting at All-Star 2017.

To celebrate the release of Victory, Joey Bada$$ will be in New Orleans at Courtside HQ – Dew’s consumer experience at NBA All-Star Weekend – to help launch The Courtside Project and to film a music video for the exclusive track while performing it live for the first time. The music video will be released later this NBA season.

The NBA And Gatorade Team Up Once Again

We have all seen players in the NBA rehydrate with Gatorade when they are on the bench during a game. Now the partnership is going even further. Beginning with the 2017-18 season, the NBA Development League (NBA D-League) will be renamed the NBA Gatorade League (NBA G-League) as part of a multiyear expanded partnership announced today by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Gatorade. This marks the first time a U.S. professional sports league has named an entitlement partner.

As part of the partnership, the NBA and Gatorade unveiled a new NBA G-League logo that will be featured across all game balls, team jerseys, on court signage and league digital assets.  Additionally, Gatorade will incubate its latest product and equipment innovations into NBA G-League locker rooms, and teams will have the opportunity to collaborate with Gatorade to help players maximize their athletic potential and on court performance.

Through the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI), the sports fuel company will collaborate with the NBA G-League on programs to enhance player sports performance and recovery.  Since 1985, GSSI has helped athletes optimize their sports performance and well-being through research, education, innovation and providing high-caliber sports nutrition science services.  GSSI scientists will partner with the NBA G-League on player nutrition and training programs, incorporating the newest technology and innovations in Gatorade testing, product and equipment.

The partners will also collaborate on custom, behind-the-scenes video content which will capture NBA G-League players on their respective journeys, highlighting a shared commitment to enhancing performance through innovation.A founding partner of the NBA D-League, Gatorade will continue to present the league’s Gatorade Call-Up platform.  Since 2001, there have been nearly 500 Gatorade Call-Ups from the NBA D-League to the NBA.