Spartans Will: My Journey Through A Season to Remember


Eat, sleep, football, repeat. For millions of college football fans across the country, from September to early January, this is everything and more. Twelve Christmases, twelve chances at something much larger than individual achievements, and a shot at immortality. This is my story about how one season for my beloved Michigan State Spartans, changed my perception of what’s possible.

First, let’s wind the clock back to January 1st, 2015. The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic is one of the six premiere bowl games played each year, aptly dubbed as “The New Year’s Six”. Another opportunity to watch some football up in Chicago with the fam.

This day would feature a first time matchup between two high-powered offenses with Bryce Petty and the Baylor Bears, versus Connor Cook and the Spartans. For both teams, this was something of a consolation game for being left out of the inaugural College Football Playoff, a four-team tournament to decide the national champion. Nevertheless, the stage was set for what would be an epic shootout between two elite programs.

For three quarters, it appeared as though Baylor would emerge with a breezy victory. MSU’s secondary defense had given up too many big plays. At one point, my nephew Luke asked if he could change into a Baylor shirt. I encouraged him not to because me, ever the optimist, suggested the game wasn’t over until the clock went to all zeroes. On the strength of a tremendous performance by junior quarterback Connor Cook, and some phenomenal clutch plays, MSU would go on to upset the Baylor Bears. which leads us to…

In any blood sample I’ve ever given, green and white have never shown up, but I’m sure they’re present. Despite the illustrious resume head coach Mark Dantonio has built in 9 full years at Michigan State, no season has ever held higher expectations than the 2015 campaign. “Reach Higher” would be the battle cry and mantra of a team that in a five year span, accrued more wins than any other team in school history. Turn on the local radio station. Playoff or bust. That was it. And I had to do my part.


College football is steeped in tradition, and for this particular season, I started what I think are some fun, to a point superstitious new rituals. From the very first game in the season, up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the formula was: hip hop music and Daft Punk, Irish Coffee, pizza, and football. Any deviation from this algorithm certainly would be looked to as the reason for a potential loss. After all, you have to go with what works. For the really big games, I’d go to the sports bar Ale House with my friends. On Saturday, October 17th, 2015, one such outing became legendary.

Entertaining my college buddy Matt on a day of “getting hype”,  the two of us looked on in horror as the final seconds began to tick off the clock. In what was sure to be a narrow win for the Michigan Wolverines, and for Jim Harbaugh, the first time in forever a Michigan head coach had beaten the Spartans in his first year.

Then, the unthinkable happened.  MSU brought all eleven of their players up to the line of scrimmage for a last ditch attempt to obtain the ball and run it back for a game-winning touchdown. And with a little assistance from Aussie born Michigan punter Blake Oneil, that’s exactly what happened. Jalen Watts-Jackson became a household name in the blink of an eye, and as I ran up and down the isles of an Orlando brewery my voice hoarse as Sean McDonough, I realized this was going to be a year I’ll never forget.

As it turned out, I got to do that a few more times, each time calling my parents late at night to belt the Michigan State fight song for the whole world to hear. This season meant everything, and it changed everything too. Make no mistake about it, I’m not trying to be hyperbolic or tell you how cool my year was, the message I’m trying to send is about belief.

Overcoming adversity just means you have invest in a little more contemplation. Knowing where to move the next chess piece. If you don’t believe it,  just look to the 2015 Michigan State University football team, and learn how the difference between agony and ecstasy, can be a chain gang inch. The team has room yet to reach even higher as it still was unable to get past the ceiling.

That ceiling being the Alabama Crimson Tide, in the CFP Semifinal. Alabama carried that day due to a balanced and disciplined attack on both sides of the football. A national title is necessary for the Spartans to cement their place in history, but we’re close. Uncommon success only comes from the belief that you’re never out of it.  I’ll leave you with some of the sights  from the season that was. Sparty On.


lj scott

Aaron Burbridge, Kalon Baker, Dexter Walker






Your Uber Is Arriving: The MegaApp That Takes You Places

A blog by: Thomas Williamson Domol

Marco Rubio Speech On Innovation At Uber's DC Offices

Marty McFly didn’t see this coming. In an age where every product or service makes a claim to being the “next big thing”, it’s easy for people to be skeptical about any offering from Silicon Valley. We have apps that tell you new songs, apps that get you healthy, and even apps that tell you if the girl in line at “Five Guys” wants to go out with you. And now this.

We’ve all got places to go and how we get there, namely how efficiently we get there is paramount. I’m of course talking about the most popular taxi App in the world, Uber which cut its teeth on fast, safe rides for everyone from New York to Kyoto.

With origins dating back to 2008 in Paris, France, founder and creator Garrett Camp has turned Uber Enterprises into a multi-pronged corporation which is always expanding and coming up with new ways to serve its users. Here’s how Uber works: download the app (making sure location services are turned on), enter a valid credit or debit card to establish payment, then simply enter your desired destination and an Uber driver picks you up and takes you there.

The user gets an estimated wait time for pick up, the name of the driver with a picture, and the make and model of the car they are driving. In theory, anyone can be an Uber cabbie, so long as your vehicle is new enough, and you’re an upstanding citizen with a clean record. I don’t feel the need to divulge any further into what that means.

Uber is useful for any situation. I use it for everything. Whether I’m heading to Publix or checking out the bar scene in downtown Chicago, Uber is always with me to make things much easier, and to to make not having a car tolerable.

With the Christmas season in full swing, a lot of folks will be partaking in “Kris Kringle Crawls”, “Secret Santa Suarez”, or just a garden variety  Christmas party. For all of them, you’re going to Iwant to tap the button on your smart device and summon a friendly neighborhood Uber cabbie, they may actually be your neighbor.

For getting around with remarkable ease, you really only have one option. Don’t splurge for the executive “Uber Black”, try to avoid the higher rate “surge pricing”, and most importantly, BE POLITE, because the drivers rate you just as you rate them, it goes a long way. If you haven’t already, maybe it’s time to call up a new kind of cab ride.




It’s Not Crazy: Bonding Through Sports

A blog by: Thomas Williamson Domol

The first sporting event I can remember attending featured zero teams I support. It was a college football game at Michigan Stadium up in Ann Arbor between the Michigan Wolverines and my sister Lisa’s alma mater, the Miami of Ohio Redhawks. Beyond that, I can’t remember the most vivid moments of the day other than the fact that Michigan won. I may not have known it at the time, but if adult me had been in attendance that day, he most assuredly would be privy to the fact that he was there to support his sister, and not necessarily either team on the field.

You see, as the human species, we are some of the best at creating meaningful and lasting long-term memories that we use to build a rapport with one another. We bond with our families in a plethora of different ways; anything from holiday dinners to sharing your analysis of what really happened to Jon Snow on Game of Thrones. One of the cornerstones of bonding with both family and friends is sports, which happens to be one of the most common threads in human existence.

Being as that I live roughly a thousand miles away from my closest immediate family members, trips to the cider mill as a form of bonding are no longer an option. But when Michigan State kicks off from Spartan Stadium against the Purdue Boilermakers next week, I’ll get to share that experience with my mom and dad in Detroit, my sister in Chicago, and my brother in Green Bay, as it unfolds in real time. Over the past five years, no team has provided my family with more thrilling moments MSU Football, including the 2014 Rose Bowl win over Stanford.

Image result for msu rose bowl champions

In 2014, CNN and Grantland both ran articles about the cognitive and emotional benefits of watching sports, and what they found was surprising to say the least. See, in our 24 hour, always on news cycle, you will find nary a story preaching the positive consequences of watching anything. But what ESPN and CNN found was that not only can watching sports be good for your health, it can actually improve it. This is due to a phenomenon in the brain that causes an individual to fire the same synapses while watching sports, as he would playing sports.

This is to say that when you see Mike Trout hit a walk-off home run, your body feels the same effects of hitting the home run yourself, to an extent. The physical side of it is obviously not felt. Two sterling examples of how this relates to bonding with friends and family both came from baseball; once in 2004, and once in 2006. Imagine October 2004, the Boston Red Sox desperately swinging away in the ALCS versus their archrivals the New York Yankees, down 0-3 in the series, and moments from prolonging the 86+ year “Curse of the Bambino”.

With grit, moxie, and a whole lot of luck, the Red Sox, powered by David Ortiz, Johnny Damon, and some stellar pitching, were able to claw back into the series and pull off one of the most stunning comebacks in sports history. It was one of those moments where you always remember exactly who you were with, and exactly how long your commute home was that day. This was a bonding moment for my dad and I, whom as suffering Tigers fans could empathize with losing, and were able to appreciate it as a “remember when?” moment from a historical perspective. Then, in 2006, when the Detroit Tigers, just one season removed from one of their worst seasons in franchise history, shocked the baseball world with an improbable run to the World Series. My buddy and I ended up at an East Lansing McDonald’s at 2 in the morning leading a “Let’s Go Tigers” chant. It was dream-like, and really fun.


These are my moments, and could be yours too, but perhaps for different reasons. Some sports moments have the power to bring an entire nation together, like in any Olympic year, or in 2014, where Tim Howard and the United States Men’s soccer team captured the imaginations of millions around the country and around the world with a sparkling run at the World Cup in Brazil.

This is the stuff people live for. A place where drama, heartbreak, passion, and elation all converge. The best part about bonding through sports its perpetuity, new memories are created, year after year to keep brining people closer together. What matters most to you? What gets you out of your seat? Call your mates over, and start watching sports together, then remember how you felt while doing it.

Weeknd Warrior: R&B Megastar Taking Over Summer

A blog by: Thomas Williamson Domol

“I can’t feel my face when I’m with you, but I love it.”- The Weeknd, “I Can’t Feel My Face”

It’s a Monday, but I’ve been listening to The Weeknd all day, and based on radio play and iTunes sales, so have you. You already know the legends, so I don’t need to spare time to reiterate them to you, but you know as well as I do that large portions of the good music we hear today exists because of Motown. The era of such greats as Al Green, Diana Ross, and Marvin Gaye are bygone. Or maybe they are coming back born anew. Enter one Abel Tesfaye, known by his stage name “The Weeknd”, one of the prides of Toronto, Canada, along with Drake. During these summer months, The Weeknd has exploded into your road trips, company picnics, and gluten-free barbeques. What I hope to do is give you some reasons as to why he deserves to be there.

111212-music-evolution-weeknd-5.jpgWith each passing summer, a proper anthem is required to capture the spirit of the moment and act as our soundtrack for each triumph, celebration, stolen kiss, and cornhole victory that comes our way. No one artist is having better luck with this than our new best friend The Weeknd. He exhibits MJ-like tendencies with his vocal range with can be observed on his other two hits of the Summer, “Earned It”, off of the 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack, and “The Hills” off of his album “Beauty Behind the Madness”. Take a look at the videos beneath this paragraph to get a better sense of what I’m talking about. Since 2013’s Get Lucky” by the robot duo Daft Punk, I’ve not played a song on repeat more times, or referenced in every day conversation, more than “I Can’t Feel My Face”.

Now that you’ve listened to the song again, lets dissect a little. It’s got everything: the driving beat and production on the song has this post-apocalyptic, “End Of the World” party quality that makes it an intriguing listen, with the lyrics gushing from his mouth like the Canadian side of Niagra Fall (because he’s from Canada). Not only that, the song is ridiculously accessible, because it’s both upbeat and has partially SFW lyrics that should not force you to lose favor with your superiors because odds are the song came up on their shuffle as their Tesla was parked at a stop light. TGI it’s The Weeknd, which, if you’re wondering, “The Weekend” was already taken when Mr. Tesfaye threw his proverbial hat into the proverbial ring. Just a little fun fact for you to sink your teeth into.

Good music isn’t just about what makes people happy, it’s about what doesn’t make people happy, and has the power to stir up some “no such thinig as bad publicity” controversy that takes up air time on Fox News. Consider the sultry “Earned It”, a song penned to coincide with the equally sultry and arguably tawdry erotic film adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey.

In retrospect, his song was unquestionably the best part of the film, which was universally panned by any critic not on the payroll for the film. It’s an awesome “mood” song for when you have your special person over for marinated pork shoulder, or you need a little musical pep talk before asking out the individual whom you would like to be your special person. Either way, you’re gonna like it. Now I usually don’t do this, but since I like you and the cut of your jib, I’ve decided to authorize a viewing  of the video for the song being discussed. This video is NSFW so with that in mind, I’m also posting just the audio so you can listen to the song on your lunch break.

Okay, we’re back, so wipe the sweat from your brow and let’s bring this puppy home. No one else in music is doing what The Weeknd is doing this year. With an eclectic style and a refusal to get muffled amidst a mess of rehashes bass drops. At 25 years of age, The Weeknd is just getting started, and will be featured alongside other big names of right now including the sophomore album of rapper Meek Mill. Whether you hate him or love him, or even if it’s a Tuesday, you will have to get used to The Weeknd.

All Expenses Paid: Nostalgia, Strong Cast Deliver for Jurassic World

A blog by: Thomas Williamson Domol

“Welcome to Jurassic World.”- Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire in “Jurassic World”

Everyone likes dinosaurs. Even though if around today, these Paleolithic creatures would gobble up all of mankind like a Taco Bell Crunch Wrap at 2 in the morning, we still like them. Through several mediums we’ve been able to come face to face with dinosaurs; like right here in Central Florida at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park, which hosts the attraction bearing the namesake of the original film in this franchise.

Twenty-two years have passed since we first visited Isla Nublar, billionaire John Hammond’s venue for a prehistoric theme park where 70 million years in the past is brought to life through astonishing science and technology. Chris Pratt takes the starring role as Owen, main protagonist and raptor whisperer, his reluctant love interest Claire, is played by the affable Bryce Dallas Howard.

The banter between the two main characters is often entertaining if not contrived and a bit shoe-horned in for the sake of having a typical love story in the midst of the larger, and we’re talkin’ dinos here so they’re quite large, action themes in the film. So let’s talk about them for a moment. Steven Spielberg has no motivation to put his reputation as a filmmaker on the line for an amateur film exhibition. The visuals are stunning in every scene, breathing life and vibrancy into all the vegetation on the island. The dinosaurs themselves look and move perfectly, a practical effect they are not but they appear as though they could be. They play alongside a brilliant cast bolstered by the show-stealing Vincent D’Onofrio, whom many of you recall for his portrayal as Kingpin in Marvel’s Daredevil series on Netflix. He is fantastic as the antagonist of the feature.

What is not fantastic, however, is the beat-you-over-the-head-with-it product placement found throughout the runtime of the film. I found the types of products placed especially disruptive to the storyline. Random mentions of Verizon Wireless and frequent cuts to the Mercedes emblem in car chase scenes, only deterred my desire for the services these corporations provide. Though I’d probably buy a Mercedes SUV if I could, so on second thought maybe I will.

This movie was far from perfect, but one element I felt was perfect came in the form of call backs and references to the original 1993 film. They were well-placed and made me feel like a kid again, such as in the “spare no expense” line. I suppose this is one of the reasons why the film is collecting such staggering sums of money at the box office, because of the “Mad Men-esque” longing for and pain nostalgia. It takes us to a place we want to visit, just to reconnect to our past selves. You should see this movie because it’s not too long, the action sequences are breathtaking, and because the temperatures outside are, much like the rent, too damn high. As far as indoor Summer activities go, you could do a lot worse than spending two hours at the cinema watching this film. See you next time.

Score: 8.5/10

Now Streaming: Netflix, HBO, And the New Golden Age of Television

A blog by: Thomas Williamson Domol

“Put your hands on the wheel, let the golden age begin.”- Beck, “Golden Age”

The opening quote has nothing to do with television. It’s a line from a Beck song that sets the table for the basis of my blog tonight, that basis being that there has never been a better time to be a fan of television viewing. I’m purposefully understating that last bit because the shows I will offer up to you as official evidence of the fact that premium streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, et al. are not only making the overall experience exceptional for consumers, but have in fact, saved television from certain doom. The following lines, paragraphs, and stanzas will explicitly convey why this trend is so strong, what to invest in, and why cable and networks should stick to the news and Lakers games.

knock knockSo let’s start with the obvious, that word premium, meaning that yes, you pay for it. Services like Netflix and Amazon Video cost around 8 dollars per month for access to a dearth of content ranging from exclusive miniseries, blockbuster films, documentaries, and the current major selling point, original series. This is the category in which the streaming services hold the largest advantage. For one, Netflix and HBO are not prohibited by content restrictions, that means a show like Game of Thrones can get as graphic as it wants to be. And it does preservation of art and the omission of censorship is of the utmost importance for shows that want to make the audience feel the gravity of a situation, or at least in the case of a drama, they want to make it last.

That’s one of the shows that started it all, House of Cards, the David Fincher political thriller about Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood, and his ruthless quest to control Washington DC. The complexities and nuance of a program like this could only work on a streaming service where you get 52 minutes of uninterrupted storyline, 13 times each season. This, along with the ability to “binge watch” one episode after another, make the impact of this program and others like it, resonate with the viewer long after the credits roll. You feel as if you have much more at stake with these characters whose lives you’ve become so invested in. For me, this began when I decided to embark on the unexpected journey of catching up on AMC’s mesmerizing Breaking Bad. The tragic saga of Walter White, is one of the greatest ever told in the history of television.

For the better part of a decade, the video game publisher EA Sports has claimed exclusive rights to release its ubiquitous “Madden NFL” franchise, one of the best selling games of all time, without any completion from any other publishers or developers. EA’s legal monopoly in the world of virtual pigskin is the opposite of what we’re witnessing in the rise of premium video services like Hulu, the newly minted HBO Now, and Amazon Video. The fierce competition between all of these players in the field leads to better actors, better writers, and better entertainment for you to take with you on the city bus.


To my next point, why then, do networks and cable even bother trying to compete with this new generation? The short answer is pride, but the real answer is, they’re not. You see, most network shows like Castle or The Blacklist are fully available on Netflix. The American pop culture institution known as Saturday Night Live, has its entire run of shows and specials up to this point available to subscribers of Hulu Plus. As with any business in which one entity wishes to make a profit, one entity must have a proper hook. After all, you’re not just going to gleefully fork over your hard earned cash to just any service. or maybe you are, we’ve possibly never met, so maybe you would. Another way networks are trying to stay relevant is in the introduction of shows based on comic book superheroes like Gotham, The Flash, and Marvel’s Agents of Shield. These are franchises with already large installed fan bases, resulting in a higher probability of success.

These programs are actually critically acclaimed, and satiate the desires of fans to see their favorites like young Bruce Wayne, on the small screen, while waiting for the next blockbuster film to arrive. What’s funny is that Daredevil, one of my new favorite shows, is one of four Marvel series airing exclusively on Netflix. Hopefully you watched the trailer above this paragraph. I’ve mentioned Netflix a lot, that’s because it undoubtedly holds the “cream of the crop” title at the moment. I mean they essentially forced HBO to create an online streaming only service, because the way we consume media is simply a lot different from what it once was. If I want to watch Silicon Valley in a Chipotle parking lot, I should be able to.

silicon valleyThis, friends, is the new golden age of television Never before have we been given so much high caliber, upper echelon content so easily accessible. From fascinating and thought provoking documentaries, to gut wrenching dramas, the time to jump on board is now. If you can’t find something you like, you’re just not looking. You’ll discover so much you never thought was there.

Now That’s More Like It: The Force Awakens

bb8ep 7A blog by: Thomas Williamson Domol


I love films of course. I review a lot of them, and several of you read the words I pour out to this blog in a mutual and respectful exchange that forms a beautiful intellectual bond. Getting to have a voice in the global community and the discourse therein, is a great thrill for me, even more so when the topic is a ubiquitous icon like Star Wars. We’ve known this was coming for some time now, ever since Disney went ahead and pulled off the largest acquisition of an intellectual property in the history of mankind through its 4 billion dollar purchase of Lucasfilm. Now, we’re starting to see that the tree is starting to bear fruit.

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I hated the prequels. I know a cash grab when I see one, and with the baffling continuity gaps, the awful character development, and the fact that somehow, even though this was a prequel, the technology was more advanced. Also, Jar Jar Binks is the worst character in the history of film. There, I said it. Now when the world found out that JJ Abrams would be at the helm for the first film of this epic reboot, it was met with trepidation. But not by me. Abrams is a guy who lives to make fun films. He understands that the world needs Star Wars and needs blockbuster movies to provide escapist experiences.

So there is that new trailer everyone is talking so much about. I hope you took a moment to enjoy it and savor the visual feast bestowed upon us by the benevolent folks at Disney. So let’s talk about what we just watched. This is the second teaser released for the film leading up to its December 2015 release. From the moment I saw the downed Star Destroyer I was excited because of the warm feeling of nostalgia. It looks like since Abrams has decided to go with more practical effects, in place of cgi, that he is bringing this world to a fuller realization. The aesthetic just feels right, and it’s the sign of a filmmaker who is taking painstaking effort to do right by the millions of fans this franchise means so very much to.

The mix of old and new is fantastic as it sort of bridges the gap between eras. R2, is there, the X Wing is there, and yes, so are our old friends Han and Chewie. We’ve also learned, however, that we will see many new faces, like Finn, John Boyega’s character, in some places we have yet to visit.

The time to go on a new adventure is fast approaching. This type of article is out of the ordinary for me, because I think it’s kind of silly to review something that’s not even out yet. My main takeaway from this is that for the first time in a while, the world is collectively excited about something…

And that’s pretty cool. May the Fork, I mean Force, be with you.

“Pick Up the Phone”: “Better Call Saul” Dials Up the Right Number


A blog by: Thomas Domol

“Money is not beside the point, money is the point”- Bob Odenkirk as James McGill in “Better Call Saul

These days, hype can make or break a television series before it even begins. This is in part due to the 24 hour cycle that is social media, and, in this particular case, due to the sterling pedigree of the program for which this particular series is a spinoff. As the above photo explicitly indicates, I’m talking about AMC’s hotly anticipated “Breaking Bad” spin-off “Better Call Saul”, featuring everyone’s favorite fleabag attorney, Saul Goodman

A lot of questions preluded the arrival of this series. Questions like: Is this a good idea? What identity will this show have? Can I stream it on my Roku stick? Well, I am pleased to announce that while that the two-part series premiere is not without its flaws, Vince Gilligan and company have largely delivered on bringing viewers back into the beloved, if not ultimately tragic universe of “Breaking Bad”.

good to be bad

If you have not watched the original series, first off, what is wrong with you? You’re missing out on one of the greatest American dramas of all time. But secondly, in the case you have not seen “Breaking Bad”, there really will be nothing for you here as the series is predicated on the viewer’s prior knowledge of established characters and events. That said, if you are familiar with this program’s predecessor then there is quite a bit to sink your teeth into right from the pilot’s opening scene.

Fans of “Breaking Bad”, the saga of chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin and monster Walter White, surely know where the characters on “Saul” are headed, even ones that have not yet been introduced to the show. But more fascinating is how we get there, and the inherent heart break in witnessing characters who wish to be decent men, to do right by the people they hold dear, descend into a world of utter chaos and despair. By the way, did you get over to your local Cinnabon yet?

The character of Saul Goodman, whom at the outset of the program is seen in a “flash forward” working at a Cinnabon in Omaha, Nebraska, was at one point James McGill, a mild mannered low level criminal lawyer, struggling to make ends meet in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He does anything, largely within the confines of a strong moral compass to attempt to improve his lot in life, while being emotionally available for his recluse brother Chuck, played by legendary comic actor Michael McKean. Therein lies one of the most impressive aspects of the show, in the fact that our two main protagonists in a show that will certainly trend darker over time, are played by two of the funniest men on the planet.

Odenkirk is known for his work with David Cross on the HBO comedy series “Mr. Show”, while McKean starred alongside Christopher Guest in the classic “Mock rock doc”, “This is Spinal Tap”. The two actors have superb on-screen chemistry and together serve as the emotional backbone of the show.

“Better Call Saul” looks amazing. This will come as a surprise to no one who is familiar with the work of Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, who own a mesmerizing command of each desert, strip mall, and concrete slab that make up the composition of Albuquerque, New Mexico. As a viewer it shows me a place I do not wish to go yet makes me feel as if I’ve been there before.

This is a show intended to be for fans of “Breaking Bad”, so most the compelling moments from the first two episodes will be lost on anyone without a framework to go off of in terms of who these characters are, and why we should care about them. Taking that notion into account however, knowing that an awful lot of you watched the original series, you will adore this program. For as long as this series runs, the audience will be treated to an enthralling and tragic tale that shows even those with the best laid plans, can see their lives descend into an unfathomable nightmare.


Let’s Take a Look: What I learned from Interstellar

A blog by: Thomas Williamson Domol

“Do not go gentle into that good night”- Interstellar


I am going to level with you right off the bat: I said I was going to review this film, and I am not. No, this time around, I’ve opted to take a slightly different approach, and discuss what the film means for the industry as a whole. Before I do that, let me say that I loved every minute of this nearly 3 hour film. Christopher Nolan is the true definition of a visionary director and has singlehandedly changed the way we should perceive movies as an integral part of the public discourse.

Like many of his films before it, Interstellar was a project shrouded in mystery in the time leading up to it’s release. Sites like simply referred to it as “A Christopher Nolan science fiction film.” And in this regard, that very vague synopsis is accurate. Interstellar is a very high concept, dizzyingly so, scifi film about a dying planet earth. Here we are dealing with topics like time travel, wormholes, and entering into a black hole  coming out of the other end in a 5th dimension. You, know, lighter fare.

In my opinion, it’s two movies, one with McConaughey and his daughter, the emotional backbone of the story, and the other spent in the outer reaches of our cosmos and beyond. The film is visually arresting. Nolan has never been one to lean on big budget special effects, and while obviously the cast and crew did not fly a spaceship to Jupiter, the cinematography kind of makes you believe they did. Everything has an organic feel to it in this film, from the aesthetics, to the plot itself. After all, if we could pack up and move to a new planet to continue life as we know it, and could bend the laws of space and time,  probably would..


After some time, this film will upset a lot of people because of its implications. Nolan does not pen “happy endings”, he pens open endings that force the audience to draw its own conclusions about the fate of key characters.This is the type of film you talk about with your roommate at 2am, when you feel like you have obtained the power to decipher all the world’s mysteries.

Nolan obliterated the mold of what a Hollywood film is supposed to be. With the holiday movie season already upon us, his films stick out as a beacon in the midst of predictable, bankable, tentpole features that are meant to up lift and bring things to satisfying full circle. And you have to be close to infinitely talented to pull off an ambiguous film during the feel good stretch of the year.

There is a lot we can take away from this film, like the fact that Michael Caine is still one of the coolest life forms on this or any other planet. What we also can and should take away from the film is the notion that it is ok to think big, to challenge our preconceived theories of why life exists and our role in it, Through some very skilled filmmaking and breathless action sequences, Nolan has taught us a lesson about demanding answers about what’s up above us, about what lies behind the stars we see when we look up at the sky. No matter what your beliefs, you have to admit that there is a thrill to the unknown of space exploration.

I have met my match. I cannot justly explain to you what transpires in this film. I have my own take on the film, but you almost certainly will develop your own theories. I guess that’s one of the beauties of film critique. Keep your eyes to the sky.

Rickie and Rory Headline Epic New Era Of Golf, and You Should Be Excited

The new face of golf

The new face of golf

A blog by: Thomas Williamson Domol

A trophy still shines bright, even at night. Do me a favor, turn to the person to your right, and say Rory McIlroy. Did you do it? Good. Now,  turn to the person to your left, and say Rickie Fowler. Now, sit back and let those two names get comfortable in your household, because golf fan or not, sports fan or not, you’re going to be hearing them about them a lot and or a long time to come. And that’s a good thing.

You’re thinking it so let’s talk about it, golf is a game of records and names, names like Tiger, Phil, and Jack, and the sport needs those names, along with epic play like what we’ve seen from McIlroy in the past 3 weeks, to stay on people’s minds.

With four major championships, McIlroy, at age 26, is the fourth youngest golfer to reach that number, and he shows no signs of letting up. Throughout this past weekend at Valhalla Golf Club, he played terrific golf with some of the best the game has to offer,  and he did it with consistent swagger and confidence, in the Dark on Sunday. He’s a great kid with a lot of pep, and he says all the right things.

First name basis. Two syllables. And your new future favorite American hero.

First name basis. Two syllables. And your new future favorite American hero.

Then, there’s Rickie Fowler, a part native American best known for his signature orange Puma attire on Sundays. He hasn’t won a major title yet, but he’s come awfully close, with top ten finishes in the last two majors of this season, The Open Championship, and the PGA Championship. Plus, he made this Sportscenter commercial…

So clearly he’s got a great sense of humor, but it really matters because the guy can flat out play. Golf needs that, guys that can flat out play, and do so with a measure of pizzazz and whimsy. We want to see these guys have fun, something that not every player on tour does.

Let’s bring Rory back into the picture because he has now set the tone for an epic battle to wage on for years to come. We will be treated to playoffs, improbable bunker shots, and heartbreaks that will make your eyes well up. America needs a great story, we just do, and we don’t even know it until the first page is read to us.

This is one story you are not going to want to put down.