James, Williams, Heat Lead The Night At Annual ESPYs Awards

Courtesy: ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Another year, another big night for the ESPYS.  LeBron James and his team mates with the Miami heat were some of the big winners at ESPN’s annual sports awards show.  Also on the list of the year’s big winners were Serena Williams and Michael Phelps.  James led the pack with three ESPY awards.  And his team mates took home the award in the “Best Team” category for the second consecutive year.  James’ awards were in the categories of: “Best Championship Performance”, “Best NBA Player”, and “Best Male Athlete.”  Just as his team mates won their award for the second consecutive year, so did James take home the same awards personally for the second consecutive year, too.  Last night’s win brings James’ ESPY total to nine awards over the course of his career. 

Serena Williams took home two awards on the night.  She won in the categories of “Best Female Athlete” and “Best Best Female Tennis Player.”

Game Six of the NBA Championship finals won the award in the “Best Game” category.  It was in that game that Ray Allen forced the game into overtime with a game-tying three-pointer with 5.2 seconds left in the game.  The Heat went on to win the game and the 2013 NBA Championship.

San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick might not have won the big game this year.  But he did win at the ESPYs.  He took home the award in the “Best Breakout Athlete.”  Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby won in the category of “Best NHL Player.”  The award comes on the heels of a season that saw Crosby score fifteen goals and forty-one assists over the course of the regular season.  And from the world of Major League Baseball, Detroit Tigers player and triple crown winner Miguel Cabrera brought home the award for “Best MLB Player.”  Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps won the award for “Best Record-Breaking Performance.”  He won the award for his record setting the all-time record for most Olympic Medals at a total of twenty-two medals.  He also won this award in 2009. 

In one of the night’s more emotional moments, Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts took home the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.  Roberts, who also played a direct hand in the new ESPN/espnW film series, Nine for IX, was one of ESPN’s first female sports anchors in the 1990s.  Roberts has faced both cancer and MDS yet never wavered in her fight against either life-threatening illness.  The award was presented to Roberts by LeBron James. 

Another of the night’s more emotional moments came in the presentation of the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.  The award was given to the father and son team of Dick and Rick Hoyt.  The pair has competed together in over one thousand endurance events including thirty-one Boston Marathons.  The younger of the duo, Rick Hoyt, is 51-years old.  He was born with cerebral palsy.  The condition left him unable to use his hands and legs.  His father, 73-year old Dick Hoyt, pushes his son in a custom-made running chair during races including 5Ks, 10Ks, marathons and triathlons.  The award was given to the duo by actor Ben Affleck. 

Among some of the nights other notable winners were:  Rick Pitino (Best Coach/Manager), Candace Parker (Best WNBA Player), Floyd Mayweather (Best Fighter), Missy Franklin (Best Female Olympian), Usain Bolt (Best International Athlete) and Thierry Henry (Best MLS Player).  A full list of the night’s winners is available below.

SPECIAL AWARDS

 

ARTHUR ASHE COURAGE AWARD: Robin Roberts

JIMMY V AWARD FOR PERSEVERANCE: Dick and Rick Hoyt

 

BEST IN SPORT

 

BEST FEMALE ATHLETE: Serena Williams

BEST MALE ATHLETE: LeBron James

BEST FEMALE OLYMPIAN: Missy Franklin

BEST MALE OLYMPIAN: Michael Phelps

BEST MOMENT: Jack Hoffman TD at Nebraska spring game

BEST TEAM: Miami Heat

BEST COMEBACK: Adrian Peterson

BEST COACH/MANAGER: Rick Pitino

BEST GAME: Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs, Game 6 NBA Finals

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP PERFORMANCE: LeBron James, NBA Finals

BEST PLAY:

BEST UPSET: 15-Seed Florida Gulf Coast over 2-Seed Georgetown

BEST BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE: Colin Kaepernick

BEST RECORD-BREAKING PERFORMANCE: Michael Phelps 22 Olympic medals

BEST MALE COLLEGE ATHLETE: Johnny Manziel

BEST FEMALE COLLEGE ATHLETE: Brittney Griner

BEST MALE ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY: Jeremy Campbell

BEST FEMALE ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY: Jessica Long

 

INDIVIDUAL SPORTS

 

BEST MLB PLAYER: Miguel Cabrera

BEST NBA PLAYER: LeBron James

BEST WNBA PLAYER: Candace Parker

BEST NFL PLAYER: Adrian Peterson

BEST NHL PLAYER: Sidney Crosby

BEST MLS PLAYER: Thierry Henry

BEST MALE ACTION SPORT ATHLETE: Nyjah Huston

BEST FEMALE ACTION SPORT ATHLETE: Stephanie Gilmore

BEST BOWLER: Pete Weber

BEST DRIVER: Ryan Hunter-Reay

BEST FIGHTER: Floyd Mayweather

BEST MALE GOLFER: Tiger Woods

BEST FEMALE GOLFER: Stacey Lewis

BEST INTERNATIONAL ATHLETE: Usain Bolt

BEST JOCKEY: Joel Rosario

BEST MALE TENNIS PLAYER: Novak Djokovic

BEST FEMALE TENNIS PLAYER: Serena Williams

 

SPONSORED AWARD

 

CAPITAL ONE CUP: North Carolina Women’s Athletics and UCLA Men’s Athletics

 

To find out more about the night’s events, fans can go online to the official ESPN website, http://www.espn.com or its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/ESPN and “Like” it.

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

AI Finalist Signs Motion Picture Deal

Chris Medina first came to national attention during his time on the hit Fox singing competition, American Idol.  Now the singer is taking the next step in his career.  He has officially signed a major motion picture deal with MCS41 (Metropolitan Creative Studio) to star in a movie about himself and his fiancée, Julianna.  For those who don’t know, Medina was a contestant on the tenth season of AI.  His story was one of the more moving of that season.  He revealed to the judges that before coming to audition, Juliana had been in a wreck and had been left with brain damage as a result of the accident. 

The planned movie, What Are Words? is taken from the song of the same name, which Medina had written for Juliana after the accident.  Medina explains the signing in his own words in a video posted to YouTube.  Medina is visibly moved by this new development in his career.  Audiences can view it now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llS0hICCUQA.  After checking out his announcement, fans can also pick up his new EP, Letters to Juliet now on iTunes.  Just go to http://itunes.apple.com/us/artists/chris-medina/id422369479.

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Ice Age 4 A Funny, Heartwarming Finale To The Ice Age Franchise

Courtesy: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

The newest and likely final installment of the hugely popular Ice Age franchise is by far the best of the series.  This franchise started out as being okay at best.  Now with this installment, audiences are presented with a story that combines comedy, pop culture, and even classical literature for a work that the whole family will enjoy.  As audiences will learn in the bonus features of the upcoming home release, it’s a re-telling of the classic tale of Odysseus.  The addition of comedic elements and an all-star cast make it that much more enjoyable for both parents and children.  And it will easily make it the favorite of the Ice Age franchise for the family, too.Ice Age: Continental Drift is the best of the franchise so far.  Far too often in the current era of movie making, the trend has been that sequels have become increasingly worse as time goes on.  This story, on the other hand, has done the exact opposite.  It has shown that it is possible for a franchise to get better as it goes on.  It’s a good movie first and foremost in that it managed to combine Peaches’ coming-of-age story and Manny’s Odysseus story without hindering each other.  Audiences get two stories that eventually intertwine thanks to the writing staff behind them.

Courtesy: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

As the movie goes along, the comic timing of its a-list voice cast will garner laughs both from parents and kids alike.  Wanda Sykes is a laugh riot throughout the story as Sid’s grandmother.  Her jokes about the last time she took a bath and her constant calling out to her pet, “Precious” make for plenty of funny moments throughout the story.  Add that in to John Leguizamo’s still spot on humor as Sid counterpointed by Ray Romano and Denis Leary, and audiences continue to get loads of laughs.  The laughs brought from the entire cast raises another interesting point about the movie’s success.  Considering that this is in its most basic form an ensemble movie, no one character ever outshines the other.  The chemistry between the cast keeps the story moving.  Though it manages to keep itself moving to begin with, making it that much easier to watch.

Audiences will enjoy Ice Age:  Continental Drift thanks to its cast and its story.  They combine to make for a movie that parents and kids alike will enjoy.  There’s at least one more element that makes it a movie worth checking out.  The bonus features included with its new home release reveal that it is in reality a take-off of the classic myth of Odysseus.  Learning this makes for more appreciation as it can be used as a way to introduce younger audiences into the world of Greek Mythology.  It shows how entertaining classic mythology can be.  So in essence, it can actually promote literacy without even trying.  For that, the story and all involved deserve commendation for their efforts.  It’s more proof of the importance of bonus features in home releases of any movie.

Courtesy: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

This is one movie that didn’t necessarily need bonus features to make it more enjoyable.  But the feature showing how this story came to life does add even more appreciation for it.  Fans will see that for themselves when the DVD, BD/DVD combo Pack and 3-D BD sets are all released.  Ice Age:  Continental Drift hits stores and online outlets December 11th, just in time for the holidays.  It can be ordered direct online at http://www.foxconnect.com.

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Steven Tyler leaving “AI”

It’s now official.  Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler is no long on the judge’s panel for Fox’s hit singing competition, “American Idol.”  Tyler has released a statement explaining his reasoning for stepping down.  The following is what Tyler had to say about his departure from the show:   “After some long……hard……thoughts…I’ve decided it’s time for me to let go of my mistress ‘American Idol’ before she boils my rabbit,” said Steven Tyler.  “I strayed from my first love, AEROSMITH, and I’m back–but instead of begging on my hands and knees, I got two fists in the air and I’m kicking the door open with my band.  The next few years are going to be dedicated to kicking some serious ass–the ultimate in auditory takeover… On Nov 6, we are unleashing our new album, Music from Another Dimension on the Earth, Moon, Mars, and way beyond the stars…’Idol’ was over the top fun, and I loved every minute of it…Now it’s time to bring Rock Back. ERMAHGERD.”

It looks like Tyler is leaving the show on rather good terms, as reps from Fox, Fremantle MEdia, and “AI” itself spoke on this huge announcement.  Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment at Fox Broadcasting Company, was quoted as saying, “It’s been a tremendous honor to have Steven–one of the most prolific artists in the world–on AMERICAN IDOL for the past two seasons.”  He added, “He’s been a terrific judge, a true friend and great mentor to everyone involved with the show, and we know he’ll continue to be a huge inspiration to IDOL hopefuls for years to come. We are very sad that Steven has chosen to focus more on his music, but we always knew when we hired a rock ’n’ roll legend, he would go back to the music.  We all wish him all the best and would love to have him back on the show anytime.”

Fremantle Media CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz sang Tyler’s praises, saying of him, “A true music icon, he not only brought rock ’n’ roll to the show, but also his exceptional taste in spotting and nurturing undiscovered talent. We will sincerely miss his poetic phrases, his remarkable creativity and his unique spirit. We’re sad about his departure from the show, but understand his decision to return to music full-time and hope he’ll be back to grace the AMERICAN IDOL stage in seasons to come.”

“AI” creator Simon Fuller added his throughts on Tyler’s time with the show  “Steven Tyler is a real ‘Idol,’ a rock legend. If you had told me 10 years ago he would be a judge on AMERICAN IDOL, I would have thought it impossible,” he said.  He added, “The fact that this became a reality and we had the pleasure of him gracing our stage for two seasons makes me very proud. I completely understand his desire to get back to his life as the singer in America’s greatest-ever rock band. AMERICAN IDOL will miss him!”

Aerosmith is expecting to release its new album, “Music From Another Dimension” in November.  Fans can get the latest from the band online at http://www.aerosmith.com, http://www.aeroforceone.com, http://www.facebook.com/aerosmith, and http://twitter.com/aerosmith.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.