[AZ Central] Madison Bumgarner remains sharp in Diamondbacks' loss to Padres - “It’d be tough to say, but I want to say that was as good as I’ve been all year, really, as far as command and efficiency and putting all of it together,” Bumgarner said. In five starts, Bumgarner has logged a 1.97 ERA across 32 innings. His control has been impressive. His velocity has been solid. His change-up, a rarely used fourth pitch, has been making appearances more often than usual. “Great effort,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “He continues to get better with each outing since he returned from the IL.”
[dbacks.com] Madison Bumgarner loses pitching duel against Padres - "I want to be respectful," Lovullo said of Snell. "But I believe in our hitters enough to make some adjustments and attack some of the best pitchers in the game. To get to where we want to go, we have to beat pitchers like this. You fast forward into an October series, and you're going to have two or three of these types of guys. I feel like our guys were locked in and trying to put up some good at-bats. It just didn't unfold the right way for us."
[MilB.com] Josh Rojas’ three homers lead Reno past Tacoma 10-6 - The Reno Aces topped the Tacoma Rainiers today 10-6 and moved to 49-33 on the season, thanks to a three-homer afternoon from Josh Rojas and all nine Aces batters registering a hit. Rojas, who’s playing in Reno on a major league rehab assignment, had not hit a homer in Triple-A since August of 2019. The three homers marked the first time an Ace hit three in a game since Kevin Cron in 2019.
As the above shows, very little in the way of Diamondbacks stuff. Hell, I even called off our round table, mostly on the basis of so many people being away or otherwise engaged this weekend. And the most exciting thing that happened in baseball yesterday was learning that, if you’re going to try and attract the attention of the Rockies’ mascot, you really need to enunciate clearly... So, instead, have my promised review!
The Suicide Squad
Dir: James Gunn
Star: Idris Elba, Margot Robbie, John Cena, Peter Capaldi
I may be one of the few people on the planet who didn’t hate the original Suicide Squad. It wasn’t great, for sure, but Robbie’s Harley Quinn just about carried the movie to acceptable - certainly, more so than she did in Birds of Prey. What’s odd is, while she was easily the best thing in the 2016 version, she’s perhaps the weakest link here, with Harley feeling like tacked on fan service. She could easily have been removed entirely, and I don’t feel the film would have suffered. That is, however, perhaps a testament to how much else is going on in Gunn’s script, which is less sequel, more of a reboot that pretends the original never happened.
It begins with a massive red-herring, setting up Suicide Squad 1.0 who gets destroyed as a diversionary tactic in order that Suicide Squad 2.0 can proceed without anyone noticing. We then flash back to the latter’s creation, under the unwilling leadership of Bloodsport (Elba). Their mission, not that they have much choice in accepting it, is to infiltrate Jotunheim, a secret research project on a Latin American island, run by Dr. Gaius Grieves (Capaldi). The country has just undergone a military coup, and destroy its contents before they can fall into the new regime’s hands. Except, it’s not as simple as that. Is it ever? When the shit hits the fan, the Squad have to decide on which side of the moral fence they stand.
Their choice is not much of a surprise, and that goes for much of the film. It seems more intent on playing at being subversive, rather than actually being subversive. For instance, the reality of the super-patriotic Peacemaker - best line, “I cherish peace with all of my heart. I don’t care how many men, women, and children I kill to get it” - is no shock to anyone who has seen The Boys and its similar character, Homelander. It’s now entirely as expected, as is the anti-authority stance. If Gunn really did have full creative freedom here, that’s disappointing, with the end result a pale shadow of some of his earlier work, in terms of inappropriateness. Go watch Tromeo & Juliet, then get back to me.
This is still a decent amount of fun. Though, again, it’s perhaps telling that the character we loved most, didn’t exist: the CGI Nanaue, a voracious land-dwelling shark voiced by Sylvester Stallone, which was so deliciously dumb and, fortunately, impervious to damage, that it was a joy to watch. [You know us: we love our shark mayhem] Give us a Nanaue spin-off, stat. The finale... Well, we certainly didn’t end up in the spot I expected this to go, and it provides the best kaiju smackdown I’ve seen since Godzilla, King of the Monsters. However, like most comic-book films, I’m not sure how much rewatchability there is here. R-rating or not, it feels thoroughly disposable, and I suspect will largely be forgotten quite quickly. Maybe they’ll get someone else to remake it again, in 2026.