Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 5 (I Like Heels Now)

February 3rd, 1989 - The moment which altered my perception of pro wrestling forever.  It was the second annual Friday night WWF special, The Main Event.  Like the previous year, the WWF used this live primetime broadcast to set the stage for WrestleMania.  This time however it was The MegaPowers vs. The Twin Towers - a match/angle that would be the catalyst for WrestleMania V. 

For months the company had been building to the eventual breakup of Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage, throwing in subtle hints of dissension before eventually staging multiple in-ring arguments.  The Main Event would be the night their partnership would dissolve.

During the bout, Savage was thrown out of the ring and landed on Elizabeth, knocking her to the floor.  Hogan spent the next several minutes seeing to her care and brought her to the dressing room for medical attention (Watching this segment now is positively guffaw-inducing, mostly due to Hogan's ridiculous overacting, but to my 13-year-old eyes at the time it was intense drama.), leaving Savage alone against his two massive opponents.  When Hogan finally returned to the ring, Savage abandoned him after slapping him in the face, much to the shock of the crowd.

So goofy by today's standards, but man this angle was brilliant.

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Wrestling Mid-Year Report

Welcome back to Enuffa.com, and a special Wrestling Mid-Year Report!  Today I'll be taking a look back at the first half of 2015 and examining what worked and what didn't, where the major companies are going, and I'll give my unofficial picks for the best of the year thus far.  Let's get on it.



2015's been a roller coaster for WWE so far; for the second straight year their planned direction for WrestleMania season was met with a mixed-at-best response.  Vince's choice for the next top babyface, Roman Reigns, failed to galvanize the fanbase.  Quite the opposite in fact; when it became evident Reigns would likely be given the ball at WrestleMania, he was met with a harsh backlash to which even The Rock wasn't immune.  After a pretty terrible Royal Rumble show where WWE seemed to completely bury the few babyfaces who were actually over (Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler), it looked like we'd be in for a pretty rotten WrestleMania season, particularly since WWE Champion Brock Lesnar seemed to be on his way out of the company. 

WWE addressed the elephant in the room at February's new PPV FastLane, by having Roman Reigns defend his WrestleMania spot against the fans' top choice, Daniel Bryan.  In what was both a very strong match and a good indicator that Reigns could handle himself in a singles main event, Roman retained his 'Mania spot and was seemingly confirmed as the next big star.  Also at FastLane rising heel Rusev got his first real main event-level match against John Cena, and actually beat WWE's posterboy somewhat decisively. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dan's Top 9: Fictional Drugs

Ah, Drugs. Can’t beat 'em when it comes to having a night out on the town that lasts for 4 days and ends in St. Louis. But we are getting screwed here in the real world. In the fictional world there are countless drugs out there with incredible powers that can only be brought to you be the very best special effects artists. Here now are the best of the best.


DAN'S TOP

FICTIONAL DRUGS

9. Nuke (Robocop 2):  The only real power this drug has is turning an awesome Sci-Fi action movie into a shitty, muddled mess of crap WITHOUT Kurtwood Smith’s evil Clarence Boddicker character…so pointless.

AWESOME

8. ALZ-112, ALZ-113 (New Planet of the Apes series): Erases Alzheimer’s AND empowers monkeys with smarts & less poo flinging. Which is quite remarkable as the feces toss is paramount to a good time in the primate world. And I, for one, welcome our new Ape overlords.

Friday, June 19, 2015

RIP My Playstation 3: How To Deal With The Loss Of A Loved One

(Editor's Note: Let's all offer our condolences to Dan Moore in his time of heartbreak.  I'm here for ya buddy.....)

Yesterday was a dark day in the Moore household. There I was, minding my own business, and John Marston's business as well; a standard game of Red Dead Redemption on the good ol' PS3, when BEEP...then blank screen. 'The hell? Glitches happen, what can ya do? I calmly (not at all calmly, I was swearing like a sailor with the clap) restarted the system and then I saw it. The light. The yellow light.  The awful, terrible yellow light of death.  I had heard about this horrible light before and was now experiencing its awfulness. It stared deeply into my eyes, taunting me. This was the light that signals a fatal problem with the motherboard, a death sentence for the system. I was devastated. My old friend was dead. 

Beautiful, isn't she?
RIP PS3: Summer 2007-June 18th, 2015

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 4 (I Love the NWA)

As WrestleMania IV loomed I eagerly anticipated my hero Hulk Hogan winning the WWF Title tournament and once again becoming the Champion.  My #2 choice at the time was Randy Savage, but in my mind the ideal place for him was as the Intercontinental Champion (partly because I still saw the World Title as a Big Man Belt).  I once again didn't get to watch the PPV, but my friend Greg went to see it on closed-circuit TV and called me with a full recap immediately upon returning home.  He was ecstatic to see Savage emerge with the Title, and while he wasn't my first choice, I was relieved the belt didn't end up around Ted Dibiase's waist (I absolutely hated him. HATED. HIM.).

With Savage as the Champion I was definitely interested to see where things would go.  It was a real change from Hogan's perennial David vs. Goliath feuds, and Savage got to bring his technical prowess to the WWF's main event scene.

The First Couple of Wrestling

The most emotionally charged feud of that period was Rick Rude vs. Jake Roberts, which was sparked by Rude unwittingly propositioning Jake's wife at ringside.  It was a great way to start a feud and was first time I can recall seeing a wrestler's real-life spouse being part of a storyline (Miss Elizabeth excepted).

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Game of Thrones Review: Mother's Mercy

Howdy all, Dan Moore here. I'm a huge fan of Game of Thrones, the TV show, so if you're one of those book know-it-alls, BEAT IT. I like when my imagination is shown to me, so screw you.

Well folks, another GoT finale, another kick to the groin for characters we love. It seems every year the creators decide that they've had enough of a fan favorite character and bump that person right off. It's brutal. RIP Myrcella Baratheon. You will be missed.

She was...probably cool.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Dan's Top 9: Pain in the Ass Girlfriends in Cinematic History

DAN'S TOP

PAIN IN THE ASS GIRLFRIENDS IN CINEMATIC HISTORY

In about every movie where our intrepid male hero is on some sort of adventure, there is inevitably a broad, be it a wife, girlfriend or mistress, near him berating him to be careful. Sometimes, she’s just getting kidnapped to become bait before the final reel. Women. They’re the worst. So here is a very scientific list (meaning I wasn’t that drunk when it was composed) of the cinematic equivalent of period blood.

9.  Fabienne, ‘Pulp Fiction': Jesus Christ, lady, you couldn’t have just grabbed the watch, huh? Instructions too difficult for ya? Bedside table, on the kangaroo. But noooooooo, you forgot, forcing our pugilist hero Butch to hit and run a black man, crash your Honda, and almost get deliverance’d in his bung hole. Thanks a lot, dummy.




Thursday, June 11, 2015

WWE Money in the Bank 2015 Predictions!!

Welcome to what has become a biweekly tradition at Enuffa.com, the WWE PPV Predictions column, where my associate Dan Moore and I break down WWE's upcoming "special events."



After a pretty great Elimination Chamber show, WWE has assembled another strong on-paper lineup, and while the build has been uneven as usual, I look forward to several of the bouts.

Justin leads Dan 20/30 to 19/30.  It's a real horse race we've got goin'!


Preshow Match: King Barrett vs. R-Truth


Jeezus, Barrett's in a career free-fall.  I don't understand a) why they can't just push the guy as a dominant midcard bully and b) why having anyone win the King of the Ring tourney ruins that person's life for at least six months.  Anyway, this feud's pretty pointless and these two have wrestled each other about a million times on free television, with Truth usually getting the upset win.

Justin's pick: Christ, give Barrett a win, will ya?
Dan's pick: POINTLESS. How do you make a half assed, on the fly KOTR tourney, pick a guy to win it & then just bury him? I don't get it. The Truth will set you free.



Tag Team Championship: New Day vs. Prime Time Players


I found it odd that PTP was the last team eliminated in the Chamber two weeks ago, being that they just got back together and hadn't really been built up again.  That said, I'm glad Young and O'Neil are a team once again, since they're 2014 split was utterly useless for both guys.  This match should be solid.

Justin's pick: New Day retains
Dan's pick: Yup



Divas Championship: Nikki Bella vs. Paige


The Divas division is still a clustermess, with no clear moral alignment from anyone.  Are the Bellas heels or babyfaces?  Which one is Paige?  None of this shit makes any sense.  Is the entire division stuck in the "shades of gray" Attitude Era?

Justin's pick: Nikki retains, probably until she eclipses AJ Lee's record-breaking Title run.
Dan's pick: I think they'll have Nikki break the record. Just so Mrs. Punk is outta the record books. (BTW, they should really be making a bigger deal of Nikki's streak here, right? Make it sound like a big deal, get some intrigue & suspense into this thing)



Intercontinental Championship: Ryback vs. Big Show


Really?  This is the best challenger you could come up with for Ryback?  You are aware Ryback is taking up Daniel Bryan's old job of restoring the IC Title to prominence and prestige, yes?  Fuck me.....

Justin's pick: Ryback
Dan's pick: Dude, enough with Paul Wight. Goldberg II will win.



John Cena vs. Kevin Owens


After a near show stealing match at EC, these two have the stiff challenge of topping themselves.  I think they can do so now that they'll be more comfortable with each other in the ring.  Owens has been booked superbly, so let's hope WWE doesn't screw this up.

Justin's pick: I'm guessing Cena wins in non-decisive fashion to set up a rubber match.
Dan's pick: Cena by DQ



Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Neville vs. Kane


On paper this looks like a fine Ladder Match (though again I'm pretty burned out on this concept and it needs to be a once-a-year-at-most kinda thing.  I'm not sure why Kofi is suddenly being thrust into singles action when he's got a great three-man team going, but I'm sure he'll pull off some spectacular stunts, as will Neville.  What the flyin' hell is Kane doing in this match?  I guess if Kane were to win he could use that as something to hold over Rollins' head, which could be entertaining.  But fuck, man, the guy's almost 50 years old.  He needs to be phased out as an active competitor.

Justin's pick: Roman Reigns is the obvious choice, and Sheamus is the dark horse.  I guess Reigns presents more creative options than Sheamus, so I'll go with Rock's cousin.
Dan's pick: Yeah, the only entrants with a shot are Sheamus and RR. I prefer when a heel has the briefcase so he can score a title shot in nefarious ways, but I think Reigns takes it.



WWE Championship Ladder Match: Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose


These two stole the show at Chamber and I fully expect them to do the same here.  I could watch Ambrose and Rollins pretend to beat each other up all day long.  Unlike the multi-man Ladder Match, I still really enjoy the one-on-one variety, as they can actually tell a story while taking sick bumps.  This should be great.

Justin's pick: Rollins retains and gets his strap back after Ambrose's theft of said item.
Dan's pick: Seth for the win here (though here's what I'd like to see: RR wins the briefcase. Seth & Dean go at it in a vicious brawl, with Ambrose coming out as champion, to be congratulated by his friend Roman...who promptly bashes Ambrose with said case, and pins him for the heel turn and the win. Sets up Reigns v Ambrose for the belt for summer slam, and Brock comes back as a good guy to get revenge on Rollins in the co-main event. BOOM - perfect booking)


That's certainly a popular scenario - a lot of folks are predicting exactly that.  I'd be okay with it, but I dunno how likely a Reigns heel turn is.


There's our MITB picks.  The show looks like another solid piece of bidness from WWE.  Let's hope it lives up to the promise.  See ya next time!

The One Thing Wrong with Jurassic Park, by Dan Moore


Jurassic Park is an incredible film. You don't need me to tell you this. It's science. Look.


I'm not here to point out any of the myriad of plot holes, technical gaffes or implausibilities in this film. There's plenty of articles out there showing this stuff.  I'm of the belief that if I can buy people bringing back fucking DINOSAURS, then sure, I can believe a T-Rex can sneak up on a group of raptors and people in a building.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 3 (Earl Screwed Hogan)

By the summer of 1987 I became an avid reader of the WWF Magazine.  There was a grocery store in my town called Iandoli's, and it was the only place I could consistently find said periodical.  Every single month I made sure to accompany my mom on a grocery trip just so I could pick up the newest issue.  The first one I ever bought was the Feb/March '87 issue with Randy Savage on the cover, proudly holding the Intercontinental title.  That Christmas my sister gave me a year's subscription to the magazine, which I renewed every year until 1998.  I still have a massive twelve-year stack of them at my parents' house.

The cover of the first WWF Magazine I ever bought.

My first house show took place on August 1, 1987.  By this time I was very familiar with the local promos they aired on Superstars every week at the end of each segment, advertising the upcoming house show cards.  The Worcester Centrum was the closest arena to me, so I always paid close attention to what matches were coming up in my neck of the woods.  I'm not really sure why I asked my parents to take me to this particular house show, as it was a pretty weak C-show lineup.  Maybe it was just a case of "I've waited long enough to check this out, so let's do this!" My stepfather somewhat reluctantly took me to the show (He had watched wrestling as a kid but unlike me he actually outgrew it.).

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Game of Thrones Review: The Dance of Dragons

(Editor's Note: My associate Dan Moore is back to review the latest Game of Thrones episode.  As always the content of this review is Greek to me, being that I've never seen a single episode of this show.  Seriously, I haven't the slightest fucking idea what he's talking about......)


Howdy all, Dan Moore here. I'm a huge fan of Game of Thrones, the TV show, so if you're one of those book know-it-alls, BEAT IT. I like when my imagination is shown to me, so screw you.


This weeks episode was a torture chamber of emotions. Whereas last week's hour put the Night's Watch through a physical ringer, 'The Dance of Dragons' put the viewer through the emotional ringer. A lot happened in many locales this week so I'll break it down by region.


DORNE

Ok, let's recap this story: Jamie, with the help of sell sword Bronn, heads to Dorne to rescue his diece (that's daughter/niece, people) Myrcella from danger. Meanwhile, dead (Goddammit) Prince Oberyn's children, the Sand Snakes, led by their mother Ellaria Sand, decide they have to kidnap Myrcella to start a war with the Lannisters. It all goes to hell, Jamie, Bronn and the Sand Snakes all end up in the clink. One of the girls gets naked, Bronn is poisoned for like eleven seconds, and then The reigning Dornish Prince, Doran, decides to let everyone go. He not only lets Jamie take Myrcella with him, but also her betrothed, his son Prince Trystane to serve on the small council back at King's Landing.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Dumb Action Movie Reviews: Escape Plan

Welcome to another edition of Dumb Action Movie Reviews, wherein I, Dan Moore, traverse the cinematic wonderland that is Netflix, Youtube and various other websites looking for crappy action movies. The ratings are based on 1-4 Indiana Jones whips, as he's the premier action movie character ever and the whip is AWESOME.



NOTE: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW BECAUSE THERE HAS TO BE. BUT DONT WORRY, THE SPOILERS ARE POINTLESS, JUST LIKE THE PLOT TWISTS IN THE MOVIE.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Awesomely Shitty Movies: Hannibal

Welcome to another edition of Awesomely Shitty Movies, here at Enuffa.com, where I examine a movie that I want so badly to fully enjoy, but like a crappy, unreliable boyfriend/girlfriend, it just won't get its shit together and commit.


Such a description is very fitting of the film Hannibal (2001), the much-anticipated sequel to the iconic Silence of the Lambs, which saw Anthony Hopkins return to the role that made him a gazillionaire, Hannibal Lecter.  Hannibal had been planned for several years, after Lambs author Thomas Harris announced he'd be writing a follow-up to the massive hit.  Hopkins, Jodie Foster, and director Jonathan Demme jumped right on board, and the world waited patiently while the novel came to fruition.  Unfortunately by the time of its publication in 1998, Demme declined to participate due to the novel's lurid tone, and Foster had already decided to direct her own film and would not be available.  The scramble was on to replace two of the three integral pieces of the puzzle, and eventually Ridley Scott was attached to direct, with Julianne Moore replacing Foster as Clarice Starling.

So why does this movie qualify as Awesomely Shitty?  In short, I find Hannibal a pretty infuriating example of a movie I was absolutely pumped for and ready to love, but so many things about it were executed just plain wrong.  And a few of these things could've been fixed so easily, either with a quick rewrite or an edit.  Before I get to all that negative stuff though, let's talk about what worked.



The Awesome

Julianne Moore

Excuse me for a moment.....JULIANNE, I F*CKIN' LOVE YOU!!

If Clarice had to be recast (and she did), I can't think of a better actress to inherit this amazing character than Julianne Moore.  I've been a big Juli-fanne (TM pending) for a couple decades now, and so despite my reservations about Jodie Foster not returning I was pretty stoked to see Moore take the part.  Julianne is one of the most versatile and consistently great actresses working today, who for years was undeservedly snubbed by Oscar until finally taking home the gold in 2015.  Where Foster's Clarice was young and idealistic, Moore's incarnation of the character has become cynical and untrusting after a decade of petty FBI politics and unsavory treatment at the hands of the Old Boy Network.  Over ten years she has earned the dubious honor of having more kills to her name than any other Agent, and at the start of the film she is forced to shoot yet another suspect when the uncooperative DC police undermine her authority in a drug raid.  The Bureau uses this incident as an excuse to take her out of the field, and she's reassigned to the seemingly futile case of the long-disappeared Lecter.  Moore plays Clarice as a woman who once dreamed of being an FBI agent, only to later find that the Bureau doesn't share her virtuous nature and in many ways isn't worthy of having her.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Game of Thrones Review: Hardhome

**Editor's Note: I have never seen a single episode of Game of Thrones, so I'll have to take Dan's word for it that this week's show was the greatest thing since the discovery of the orgasm.  I didn't understand a word of this review Dan, not a fuckin' word......**


Howdy all, Dan Moore here. I'm a huge fan of Game of Thrones, as most people nowadays are. I've also only watched the TV show, so if you're one of those book know-it-alls, BEAT IT. I like when my imagination is shown to me, so screw you.

Anyways, this weeks episode was INSANE. The first 40 minutes were quite good, moving along the various plots of Westeros. Arya continues her training in the House of Black & White. Sansa has learned from the artist formerly known as Theon that her brothers are, in fact, alive. Tyrion has finally had his meeting with the Khaleesi, and these two put on a fine back and forth to see if they can work together to possibly bring peace to the Five Kingdoms.

But FUCK ALL THAT. Ice Zombie War!!! Holy SHIT that was awesome.

Cinema Showdown: Manhunter vs. Red Dragon

"I am the Dragon. And you call me insane. You are privy to a great becoming, but you recognize nothing. You are an ant in the afterbirth. It is your nature to do one thing correctly. Before me, you rightly tremble. But fear is not what you owe me.....You owe me awe!"

These chilling words from serial killer Francis Dolarhyde, the fearsome villain of Thomas Harris's novel Red Dragon, sum up perfectly his deranged mindset and motivation for murder.  He believes that killing families and arranging them like dolls will transform him into a god.  FBI Agent Will Graham, possessing a gift for empathizing with murderers, has been assigned to chase down Dolarhyde with help from famed sociopath Dr. Hannibal Lecter.


Red Dragon has twice been adapted for the screen - first in 1986 as Michael Mann's thriller Manhunter, starring William Petersen, Dennis Farina, Tom Noonan, and Brian Cox; and again in 2002 as a direct prequel to the suspense classic The Silence of the Lambs, starring Edward Norton, Harvey Keitel, Ralph Fiennes, and of course Anthony Hopkins.

Manhunter was met with mixed reviews and anemic box office receipts but has since become a cult favorite on home video.  Red Dragon was fast-tracked following the massive financial success of Hannibal, and itself made a hefty profit and garnered generally positive reviews.

But which version is superior?  I will assemble a case, comparing the various aspects of each film, from casting/performances to sets to music, and decide definitively which adaptation works better.  Note: Interestingly both directors used Dante Spinotti for cinematography.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Elimination Chamber Is the Best WWE PPV So Far in 2015

What's up gang?  Just wanted to share a few thoughts about the Elimination Chamber PPV we all watched last night. 



First off, I really enjoyed this show.  There wasn't a bad match on the card and the two big singles matches delivered huge.  For a show thrown together in the span of two weeks, WWE did a tremendous job of making it feel important and assembling a strong, entertaining card.

The Tag Chamber was a really fun way to kick things off.  There are few things in wrestling that warm my heart quite like the sight of a full-fledged tag team division.  While not every team on the roster has a direction right now, just the fact that there are enough viable duos to fill a Chamber brings to mind the wonderful tag divisions of the late 80s.  Five of the six teams got at least a few moments to shine (Los Matadores kinda got the shaft, but El Torito got some highspots in), and The Ascension looked better than they ever have.  Cesaro/Kidd of course did the lion's share of the work to hold the match together, and I was a little disappointed they weren't in the final segment with The New Day.  But make no mistake, this was enjoyable from start to finish while also making the Tag Titles seem important.  The New Day continues to be one of the best acts on the show these days.  What a difference two months has made for them.