Friday, September 28, 2018

Awesomely Shitty Movies: 300

Welcome to another edition of's Awesomely Shitty Movies, where I pick apart a beloved cinematographical (is that a word?) feast and shatter its aura of watchability for everyone.  I'm probably overestimating my influence, but you get the idea.

Today I'll be dissecting the 2007 battle epic 300, directed by Zack Snyder and based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller.  300 recounts The Battle of Thermopylae, where the Spartan King Leonidas, along with 299 of his ruthlessly tough soldiers, stood against a massive Persian army led by King Xerxes.  And, well, that's it.  That's the entire plot of the film really.  In flashback we learn that, like all male Spartan children, Leonidas experienced a childhood of intentionally-inflicted cruelty designed to harden him, that he might one day be a great king and soldier.  There are also subplots involving a corrupt religious cult called the Ephors, who order Leonidas not to move against the Persians, plus one of the Spartan Council is revealed to be in Xerxes' back pocket.  Other than that though it's basically an extended two-hour battle sequence.

So what are the pros and cons of this Frank Miller-inspired film?  Let's take a look, because.....THIS! IS! ENUFFA!!!  See what I did there?

The Awesome


Like Robert Rodriguez did with Sin City, Zack Snyder took Frank Miller's stunning comic book panels and recreated them for the screen, assembling an almost shot-for-shot adaptation that looks absolutely gorgeous.  The colors are almost exactly like the graphic novel, the characters have been brought to life in painstaking detail, and the action is stylized to reflect the over-the-top movements depicted in the book.  The film adaptations of both Sin City and 300 proved to be very influential in creating these impossible comic book worlds.  If you're going to make a CG-heavy film, this is how you do it.

Whatever the movie's flaws, this is a gorgeous shot.

Battle Scenes

As I said above, the combat is heavily stylized to echo Miller's drawings and give the characters and events a sort of mythic quality.  The blood and gore are turned way up as well, mimicking Miller's explicit visual approach.  It's a good thing the battle sequences work so well, because this film has a lot of them.  A LOT.


Snyder has literally translated Miller's artwork in the costume department as well.  All the characters are dressed exactly like their two-dimensional counterparts, and they look great.

Effects & Makeup

There's a theme going on here - when it comes to the visual aspects of the film, everything is first-rate.  The special effects and makeup are no different.  Snyder uses CGI not as a substitute for reality, but as a way to heighten and distort reality.  The backgrounds are murky and flat, bathed in yellows and browns, just as Miller drew them.  The Spartans all have CG-enhanced six-pack builds and brandish perfect bronze shields.  But when practical effects were called for, Snyder used traditional prosthetics as well.  The Ephors are wart-covered and repulsive, the deformed Ephialtes is a grotesque hunchback, the Executioner is an enormous, clawed being resembling the Cenobites from Hellraiser.  The makeup and effects perfectly capture Miller's bizarrely-rendered characters.

Give that man a Baby Ruth!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Mass Music Review #1: Mission of Burma

Welcome to a new feature called Mass Music Review, where Chris Gillespie, nephew of our own Dan Moore, takes a look back at some of the influential bands to come out of Boston.  Today it's Mission of Burma!

The debut release of Boston band Mission of Burma, the EP Signals, Calls, and Marches has quite the legacy in rock music, as everyone from Pearl Jam, Nirvana, R.E.M., Sonic Youth, and even Fugazi cite the band as an inspiration. Many critics laud it as a landmark in alternative and indie rock, citing its heavy instrumentals harkening to hardcore punk accompanied by thoughtful lyrics and musical sophistication not traditionally found in the fast and loud punk bands littered throughout America at the time (1981, to be specific). The EP features two of the band’s most commercially accessible songs: "That’s When I Reach For My Revolver" and "Academy Fight Song," along with underrated songs like "Max Ernst" and "Fame And Fortune."

The band from left to right: Martin Swope, Roger Miller, Peter Prescott, Clint Conley

Mission of Burma began as a trio with Roger Miller (guitar), Clinton J. “Clint” Conley (bass), and Peter Glen Prescott (drums) in 1979, with their first show being on April 1st of that year at the now-closed Modern Theater. Later that same month, Miller wrote a new song that he believed would be improved by a tape loop (loops of magnetic tape used to create repetitive, the rhythmic musical patterns or dense layers of sound when played on a tape recorder) and contacted Martin Swope, with whom he had previously written some pieces for piano and tape. This led to Swope contributing to the band’s music more and more until he was considered an integral part of the band, receiving equal credit on the group’s recordings and appearing in group photographs along with the trio.

The band received a lot of help and support from the city, with local magazine Boston Rock printing a lengthy interview with the band prior to the release of their first record and MIT’s community radio station WMBR playing their song “Peking Spring” repeatedly in 1979 until it became their most played song of the year. The band even planned to release the song as a single but felt it had run its course by the time they had signed to Boston-based record label Ace of Hearts in 1981.

After signing with the label, the group released their first single “Academy Fight Song” written by Conley, with the Miller-penned “Max Ernst” (named for the painter) as the B-Side. The production on the single was much more refined and cleaner than the ragged and chaotic live performances of the band. Initially, they objected to such a drastic change but changed their minds after the single’s first pressing sold out quickly. By the end of that year, the EP would sell out its initial pressing of 10,000 copies.

NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed Preview & Predictions

New Japan's PPV schedule is becoming a lot like WWE's, with too many events slated right on top of each other.  I know their top revenue driver is live attendance, but jeezus guys.

Anyway, coming off of three Destruction shows featuring a couple ****1/2 main events, it's another visit to the States, as New Japan returns to the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach for Fighting Spirit Unleashed!  Seems a bit hasty to already be back, and ticket sales are reflecting that a bit.  But hopefully they'll get a decent turnout in the end.

The show itself looks pretty fun, with a couple title matches, the second Jr. Heavyweight semi-final, a great on-paper tag team main event, and a slew of multi-man tags as usual.  So let's get to the picks....

Jushin Thunder Liger, Ryusuke Taguchi & ACH vs. Roppongi 3K

Man, when is RPG3K gonna win back those Jr. Tag belts?  The hell's going on with those straps?  Anyway this should be a fun little opener that will hopefully give Sho and Yoh a win to get them back into contention.  It'll be short but energetic.

Justin: RPG
Landon: RPG3K

The Addiction vs. Hangman Page & Chase Owens

The first of a handful of guest spots on this card, it'll be interesting to see Daniels & Kazarian on a NJPW show.  Again, this should be a fun tag bout with solid work all around.  Page vs. Daniels should be an entertaining pairing.

Justin: I'll go with the Addiction
Landon: Page and Owens

Jeff Cobb, Chris Sabin & Flip Gordon vs. Hirooki Goto, Beretta & Chuckie T

Cobb vs. Goto is the money match here, but Sabin and Gordon should have some nice exchanges with Beretta and Chuckie as well.  I'd say this could set up a Goto-Cobb NEVER Title match, but they had to go and give that belt to Taichi of all people.  The fuck??

Justin: Team Goto
Landon: CHAOS

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The History of NJPW King of Pro-Wrestling (2012)

From the guy who loves wrestling "more than I love air" as our friend B-Cuddy puts it, welcome to another series of PPV History, here at!

This time we're tackling the relatively new annual NJPW event, King of Pro-Wrestling.  Unlike say a WrestleMania or the January 4th Tokyo Dome shows, KOPW has only been in existence since 2012, when the company made its debut on iPPV.  But man, did New Japan kick things off with a bang.  The inaugural King of Pro-Wrestling show garnered loads of praise, winning the Wrestling Observer award for Best Major Show of 2012, as well as Match of the Year.

From then on, KOPW took its place as one of New Japan's "Big Four" PPV events; given its placement on the calendar relative to the Dome, you could liken it to a Survivor Series.  The show has had its share of classic matches and stories, and it's always the most anticipated event of New Japan's fall season, perennially headlined by an IWGP Championship bout.

So let's take a look at the brief but noteworthy history of this annual PPV....

KOPW - Sumo Hall - 10.8.12

The inaugural event is still considered one of New Japan's finest PPVs, no small feat considering how many spectacular shows they've delivered since.  A loaded card featuring numerous championship matches and one for the G1 Climax briefcase (the first year that the G1 winner was guaranteed a Tokyo Dome main event), this show had a ton of star power and variety, and one of the hottest bell-to-bell crowds I've ever seen on a Japanese PPV.  This audience sounded like 80s NWA.

The opening contest was a six-man tag pitting Yuji Nagata and Muscle Orchestra (Strong Man and a returning Manabu Nakanishi) against three members of the CHAOS stable, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano and Takashi Iizuka.  This match was a wild brawl, with participants tagging in and out quickly and plenty of outside the ring shenanigans.  Of note in some of these bouts was the ringside presence of two young lions named Hiromu Takahashi and Takaaki Watanabe, better known today as Evil.  The action here was solid if unspectacular, but the highlight took place roughly midway through when Ishii and Nagata began chopping the shit out of each other.  Eventually the heels (CHAOS were solidly a group of bad guys at this point) got a cheap victory after Iizuka hit Nakanishi with his iron glove, allowing Yano to roll him up for the pin.  Nothing amazing in-ring, but this crowd was electric from the opening bell.  **

The first really notewothy match was the Jr. Heavyweight Tag Championship, with Forever Hooligans defending against Time Splitters.  This was fast-paced and crisply worked, with both teams getting virtually all their spots in, including the Hooligans teased dissension followed by a hug-out (a hilarious bit they used to do).  Rocky Romero and Alex Kozlov were a great mix of athleticism and heel comedy, while Time Splitters were one of the great underdog babyface tandems.  After fourteen-plus minutes, Romero countered a corner double-team move by pushing Alex Shelley over the top rope to the floor and countering a Kushida powerbomb into a sunset flip, into a roll-up, retaining the straps.  Not the best finish ever, but the rest of the match was splendid.  ***1/2

Monday, September 17, 2018

WWE Hell in a Cell 2018: You've Succeeded Despite Your Best Efforts

Well in spite of its faults and WWE's "best efforts," Hell in a Cell managed to be one of the best top-to-bottom PPVs the company has put on this year.  All seven matches were at least pretty good, a few were outstanding, and most of the booking was inoffensive.  I mean, it's sad WWE's standards have fallen so far, but I'll take a consistently entertaining show from them whenever I can get it.

I should note that Renee Young's presence in the announcing booth is such an improvement over Coachman.  Renee isn't Jesse Ventura or anything, but unlike Coachman she has a passion for the business and actually understands it.  And since Cole and Graves actually like her there's no distracting bickering going on.  So for the first time in ages, RAW's announce team actually enhanced the matches rather than hurt them.  Kudos to Renee for being the first-ever full-time female announcer.

The festivities began with Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton in the Cell.  Now, it made basically zero sense for this match to be in the HIAC format, but these guys made the most of it, sidestepping the type of Cell brutality WWE no longer allows for a few new ideas.  This was worked like an old-school No DQ match, methodical but rugged.  The usual Hardy high spots were sparse, but in their place were things like Orton wedging Jeff's head between ladder rungs and stomping the ladder, both guys whipping each other with Jeff's studded belt (which perforated Orton's back in several dozen places), and of course Orton taking a screwdriver and twisting Jeff's pierced earlobe (which made me cringe like I was watching thoracic surgery).  At the end of the match Hardy set up two ladders and a table for his leapfrog spot, but instead climbed to the ceiling, swung like a gymnast, and dove for the table.  Problem was Orton had moved (way too early), and Jeff crashed through the table.  The referee inexplicably called for medical help, despite this hardly being the worst bump we've seen in one of these matches.  But Orton insisted he count the pinfall, and he did so.  Then Jeff got stretchered out.  The injury angle was goofy and absurd considering Hell in a Cell is supposed to be the most brutal match type, but overall I liked this match a lot.  Not too shabby for a match I didn't care about.  ***1/2

Next up was Charlotte vs. Becky for the Smackdown Women's Title.  This match was intricate, fast-paced, and really well-worked.  A few slip-ups aside the action here was crisp and athletic, reminding us all what a women's match was supposed to look like post-Women's Revolution.  Months of Carmella train wrecks robbed us and the division of serious contests, so it was refreshing to see these two get the chance to tear it up.  The crowd was into it too, solidly behind Becky (despite her being positioned as the heel).  After 14 minutes Becky countered a spear with a rollup to upset Charlotte and capture the title.  What I wanted to see next was Becky extending her hand to try and renew their friendship, only for Charlotte to reject her and turn heel.  That would've been in line with fan reactions to this feud.  But instead, stubborn WWE booked the opposite, where Charlotte went to congratulate Becky and was rebuffed with extreme prejudice.  Whatever, at least the match was really good.  ***1/2

The show stealer took place third, as Dolph & Drew (Drolph ZigglIntyre?) defended against Seth & Dean.  This 23-minute match started out basic but quickly built in pacing and intensity, with the final third chock full of wild near-falls.  All four guys worked their asses off and the crowd went right along for it, buying nearly every false finish.  This is the kind of match that revives a dying division; imagine going from Matt & Bray vs. The B-Team to this, in the span of two months.  After throwing basically everything at each other, Seth superplexed Dolph, floated through and went for a Falcon Arrow, but was interrupted by Drew's Claymore Kick.  Dolph fell on top of him to score the pin.  Goddamn helluva match and easily the best thing we've gotten from this Seth-Dolph feud.  ****1/4

Friday, September 14, 2018

WWE Hell in a Cell 2018 Preview & Predictions

And we're back!  Welcome to another round of WWE Predictions here at!

This month is WWE's Hell in a Cell PPV, where the most demonic structure is used not so much to settle a blood feud, but to fulfill an annual obligation.  Everyone's on the edge of their seat!  This year we have two Cell matches, neither one of which really warrants the Cell gimmick.  And we have a very personal regular match that might've actually lent itself to an appropriate use of the Cell.  But what do I know?

I will say this show looks quite good on paper, which is more than I can say for most WWE shows lately.  I certainly don't care about every match on here but even the ones I'm not that interested in have potential to be solid.  So there's that.

Let's get to it.

***Dan is in the lead with 65% accuracy (43/66), Dave and I are tied in second with 62% (41/66), and Landon is pulling up the rear with 56% (37/66)***

Smackdown Tag Team Championship: The New Day vs. Rusev Day

It's the battle of Days!  Whenever I have a battle of days, sick days usually win.  Anyway, I'm disappointed to once again not see The Bar going after the belts, but maybe they're saving Cesaro & Sheamus for another time.  This match doesn't interest me much since I don't see Rusev Day as a serious threat so soon after the New Day won the belts.  This'll be ok I guess.

Justin: New Day retain
Dan: Yup
Landon: New Day
Dave: New Day

Hell in a Cell: Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy

Really?  THIS warrants a goddamn Cell match?  This recycled feud from ten years ago, based on essentially "I'm jealous because Jeff is more popular than I am?"  Cheer up Randy, at least you're not Roman.  Meanwhile AJ and Joe have had a very personal feud over the WWE Title, but they just get a regular match.  Makes sense.  Is anyone terribly invested in Hardy-Orton, because I sure ain't.  As I feared when Orton got involved with Jeff, Nakamura, the US Champion, has been reduced to an afterthought.  Fuck this place.

Justin: Orton wins
Dan: Seems pointless to even have this match but I guess RKO.
Landon: Wait, this is actually happening??  Uhh.....Randy?
Dave: Orton I guess

Mixed Tag Match: Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse

I don't care much for this.  Maybe my concept of mixed tag matches is stuck in the 80s, but aside from Ronda's debut at this year's WrestleMania I can't remember any truly strong examples of this match type.  A feud that's been main eventing Smackdown week after week should culminate in something better than what has traditionally been a sideshow throwaway match.  Remember Savage & Sherri vs. Dusty & Sapphire?  That's the first thing that comes to mind when I think "Mixed Tag."  Maybe the Danielsons and the Mizanins will redefine it here, I don't know.  But I'm not terribly excited about this.

Justin: The Bryans stood tall at the end of Smackdown which usually means The Mizes win here.  But Miz also won the first match of this feud at SummerSlam.  So it's a coin flip.  Heads.  I'll pick the Bryans.
Dan: Miz & Missus
Landon: Daniel and Brie
Dave: The Mizes

Thursday, September 13, 2018

NJPW Destruction 2018 Preview & Predictions

It's September, and that means it's time for New Japan's triple PPV!  Destruction will once again emanate from three different cities on three different days, with only one or two really important matches on each show.  With that in mind, Landon Wayne (@LSWayne21) and I are back with our picks for the top nine matches of the tour.

It goes without saying, but NJPW offers an incredible product.  2018 has been, by and large, just as much a banner year for New Japan as 2017 was (financially moreso), with numerous five-star matches, fantastic major shows, and an absolutely stellar G1 tournament.  The fall months are typically when things wind down a little and build toward the Tokyo Dome, but that doesn't seem to be happening this year.  The Destruction shows feature two of the biggest and potentially best matches of the year, both of which could've reasonably been saved for King of Pro-Wrestling in October.  I'm curious how big that show is going to be, given the scheduled Destruction main events.

Anyway, let's get to the picks....

Destruction in Hiroshima

Tetsuya Naito, Sanada, Evil & Bushi vs. Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr., Taka Michinoku & El Desperado

These shows, as always, have no shortage of multi-man tag matches, so I limited this preview to the biggest few.  This one pits the active members of LIJ (Hiromu Takahashi is sadly out with a neck injury until mid-2019) against four of the Suzuki-Gun thugs.  All three Destruction shows feature this feud in some form.  This'll be fun and chaotic, with both stables making liberal use of rulebreaking tactics.  I'll go with SG to win the first round.

Justin: SG
Landon: SZGN

Hiroshi Tanahashi & Great Bash Heel vs. Kazuchika Okada, Jay White & Yoshi-Hashi

A preview of the briefcase match in Kobe, Tanahashi will team with his old pals GBH against Okada and two of his stablemates.  I suspect we'll get a Tanahashi-White rematch in October since White did defeat Tana in the G1.  Stands to reason I would say.  With that in mind I think White scores the pin on someone here.

Justin: CHAOS
Landon: CHAOS, who is still trusting Jay White for some reason

IWJP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega vs. Tomohiro Ishii

Oh man.  This match stole the entire G1 tournament for me.  What in god's name are Omega and Ishii gonna to do each other when the title is on the line?  This is basically an automatic five-star match.  If The Greatest Match Ever hadn't already happened at Dominion I'd say this had a good shot at Match of the Year.  Might have to settle for second-best.

Justin: Omega retains obviously
Landon: Omega retains, but there's this shred of me that still wants Ishii to win.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Jaws Movies, Ranked

by Dan Moore

In honor of the Jaws franchise all being available via streaming, here now are all the Jaws flicks ranked in order, from worst to best. Bear in mind, I have an unhealthy obsession with one of them. I’ll let you decide which.


Easily the worst of the bunch. This one was made back when 3-D was the next hot thing but also the next hot garbage because the technology SUCKED. Bland performances, forgettable 3-D effects and the worst use of Dennis Quaid and Lou Gossett Jr. ever.  You wanna see these two masters go at it, go find a movie called Enemy Mine that has Quaid in a bad fake beard and Jr. covered in makeup resembling some sort of fish pussy. It’s TREMENDOUS.

A homeless man and a squid walk into a bar...


The least offensive of the sequels. It’s got most of the original actors playing their original parts. Even though Roy Scheider was forced to make this movie against his will, he doesn’t phone it in. His Chief Brody is still a determined and downright awesome public official. Sure, it’s ridiculous. Here comes another killer shark eating folk around Amity whilst the local bureaucratic bigwigs don’t believe the Chief. The funniest parts about this one are when Brody goes to the Mayor and tells him they might have a shark problem AGAIN. Larry Vaughn wants NO part of this insane man’s ramblings about a great white eating more people. Just get the fuck out of his office so he can get a handy from Tabitha the secretary.

Jesus Christ, again with this shark shit, Marty??

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

TV Review: Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan - Season 1

by Michael Drinan

Amazon’s new series, Tom Clancy’s: Jack Ryan, is the latest version of the “Ryanverse” that includes Tom Clancy’s best selling novels and the films The Hunt for Red October (1990), Patriot Games (1992), Clear and Present Danger (1994), The Sum of All Fears (2002) and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014). Let’s just say, the “Ryanverse” has been a little shaky since 2002. 

John Krasinski is the latest incarnation of Jack Ryan, a CIA analyst who uncovers a suspicious trail of bank transactions from Lebanon. He presents the findings to his new boss, James Greer, which begins a pretty cantankerous working relationship that causes Greer to throw Ryan into the field to chase down an ambitious and fanatical Islamic fundamentalist named Suleiman.

The show is a fun ride showcasing both the analytical, information gathering side of CIA work while mixing in some action sequences and explosions with a few twists and turns. Even though there are some scenes throughout the series that seem a little cartoonish, it doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of watching it play out. The characters are fleshed out with great care in a way where you don’t really need to be told outright their backstory or what’s going on in their heads, you can just pull it out from what you see on the screen. 

Krasinski, in my opinion, makes a really good Jack Ryan and I hope he continues playing him. It is said that this version of Ryan is drawn from Harrison Ford’s take on the character which is exactly how I want him to be played, very straight forward, professional, emotional but not irrational. He’s vulnerable but keeps his head and works the problem out. There is one fight scene in the entire season and Krasinski doesn’t overplay it. He fights like a former Marine turned CIA analyst would fight. There’s still that everyman, regular guy charm about Krasinski that shows perfectly in this role, because Ryan is a regular guy. All this show does is make me like and appreciate Krasinski’s talent as an actor even more. 

Wendell Pierce is also a joy to watch as James Greer. Even though there are sharp contrasts to James Earl Jones’ take on Greer in the films, it works very very well. He doesn’t take any bullshit and isn’t interested in having a friendship with Ryan at all, but you can tell here and there throughout the season that he does care about him and likes him a lot. There is one scene where he calls Ryan at 3 a.m. for a briefing with the President and tells him to wear a tie. When Ryan walks into the briefing room, filled with CIA officers, he notices everyone is dressed casually and noticing Greer with a slight smirk on his face once the prank hits home. Just like Krasinski, I hope Peirce continues in this role. He does a great job with the character.

There are some things that had me rolling my eyes. Having the CIA chase down an Islamic fundamentalist turned terrorist as a premise is a little played out. During the first episode, when it revealed who they were after, I sarcastically said out loud “Of course it’s an Islamic terrorist we’re after.” Hopefully they can find a more creative plotline for the second season. Also, I wish they would show a little more of the analyzing data and collaboration with other officers instead of cutting to out in the field to hunt down a lead. One of the most interesting moments in Patriot Games is Ryan at the CIA headquarters going through leads and scenarios with his team of CIA analysts, pouring over files and photos. That’s mostly what happens in Zero Dark Thirty and that was just as thrilling as any action sequence. It would allow the show to expand on characters and the plot a little more. 

All in all, the first season of Jack Ryan was really good. Aside from the slight changes to some of its characters, it still maintains that Clancy feel. It made me want to watch Patriot Games and Hunt For Red October just get more Jack Ryan! Everything from the acting to the writing was good. If you’re into the Jack Ryan character and the stories, I recommend giving this series a go.

I give the first season **1/2 out of ****

Monday, September 10, 2018

Girls Night In #1: Grease (1978)

Join us for a special PNI spinoff, GIRLS NIGHT IN!  Our friend Shannon crashes the party, joining Kelly to talk about one of their all-time favorite movies, Grease, while Justin, having never seen the film in its entirety, rains on everyone's parade....

Thanks for watching - click Like and Subscribe, and join us on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter (@EnuffaDotCom)!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Dissecting Rolling Stone's Top 100 Bob Dylan Songs

By Mike Drinan

Alright, so Rolling Stone put out a list where they ranked the 100 greatest Bob Dylan songs in celebration of the man’s 75th birthday, and for anyone who is suspicious of the list (because RS has put out some horrid lists) let me just say it’s not completely horrible. It’s not perfect but I only really got upset at one entry which is pretty unbelievable.

Before we dive in let me explain something. I view the rankings of songs very general. I don’t wage wars and get all moody because one song was put three spots above another. I have a range of ten spots in which I allow wiggle room for interpretation. Going to war over placements within ten spots, in my opinion, is simply splitting hairs. It doesn’t really matter. However, over ten spots then it’s fair game to bitch and moan.

Rolling Stone segmented the list with five groups of twenty songs, so I’ll give a summary of each group. Alright, let’s dive in!


The list kicks off with “Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)" from Street Legal. This group is made up of some pretty deep cuts. At #96 is “Farewell, Angelina”, a song that appeared on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991 and is a favorite of mine, with a great melody and very powerful, evocative imagery in the lyrics while also containing a despair for leaving the woman he loves. I think it should’ve been ranked higher but that’s my personal bias talking.

The 80s are rife with underappreciated Dylan songs. Starting at #88 with “Tombstone Blues”, followed up with “Most Of The Time” (#87), then “Meet Me In The Morning” (#86) which is one of my favorite songs off of Blood on the Tracks and ending with “One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)” (#82). A good collection with my only problem being “Meet Me In The Morning;" that should be in the fifties somewhere.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Our New YouTube Channel URL: - Subscribe Now!

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Check out our film commentary videos and more, and don't forget to hit that Subscribe button!

Daniel Bryan's Staying in WWE - Five Things I Demand's official.  Daniel Bryan has committed to spending three more years in the WWE penitentiary.  I can't say I'm surprised, but I am disappointed.  I have so little faith that this company will ever fully appreciate this one-of-a-kind talent or use him to his full potential ever again, that it's hard to get excited about this situation, despite what I'm sure was a big money deal for him.  I just hope he got the lighter schedule he was hoping for, and I hope he took that goddamn company for every penny he's worth.  But there's something seriously wrong when I'm actually sad about one of my favorite wrestlers on the planet staying in the biggest wrestling company for the most money.  This is how creatively backwards the WWE machine has become.  It's not the way this is supposed to work.  The idea of Bryan being at the forefront of the "All In" movement, participating in next year's WrestleKingdom, the MSG show, and especially the G1 was so promising, it feels like he'll always be in the wrong place at the wrong time now.  I was hoping he'd at least take a year of free agency and pull a Chris Jericho, and maybe WWE would make him a bigger offer to come back next year.

Well, enough mourning I guess.  Since Bryan's sticking with the three-ring circus, here are some things that need to happen for him, that WWE better not screw up.

1. Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz for the WWE Title at WrestleMania 35

This feud with Mizanin is just getting started, so let's do it properly.  We're getting a mixed tag match at Hell in a Cell (pretty lame if you ask me), and then in Australia there's a #1 contender match between the two.  So the logical move from there I guess would be for Miz to win and defeat AJ Styles for the belt at Survivor Series (though I still want to see a proper AJ-Bryan match as well).  Then Bryan should win the Royal Rumble (since he was robbed of that honor in 2014) and challenge Miz at 'Mania, giving him both another big WrestleMania moment (it doesn't have to be in the main event slot necessarily) and a real WWE Title run, something he still hasn't had.

2. Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles for the WWE Title at a later PPV

Since Bryan's return these two have only had one match, on Smackdown, that lasted 13 minutes and ended in disqualification.  Either shortly after WM35 or maybe at SummerSlam 2019 let's see these two for the belt in a real 25-minute match.

3. Daniel Bryan vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

One of the primary reasons Nakamura jumped to WWE was for the chance to wrestle Daniel Bryan.  Then Bryan was forced into retirement a month later, and it looked like that dream match would never happen.  But now both guys are active members of the same roster, on the same brand, and WWE would have to be complete idiots not to book this as a major feud.  Doesn't have to be for a championship necessarily (though if Bryan does win the title at 'Mania this would be a good program for next spring), but it does need to be presented as a huge deal and kept free of the stupidity that more or less sank the AJ-Nak feud.  Just put them in a ring together and let 'em go.

4. Daniel Bryan vs. Samoa Joe

Just like with AJ Styles, this is another potentially great match we haven't gotten a proper look at in WWE.  Bryan and Joe had a tremendous feud in Ring of Honor 12 years ago, and since they're both on Smackdown at the same time it would be silly not to take advantage.  If Joe fails to unseat AJ for the title this fall, maybe in a year he could be the guy to dethrone Bryan.  Or maybe you book Bryan vs. Joe later this year, from November through February.  Either way this needs to happen.

5. Daniel Bryan vs. Finn Balor

As of now these guys are on separate shows, but since Balor's doing basically nothing on RAW, let's get him moved to the blue brand sometime soon.  This would be an excellent first-time match that would raise Balor's profile and give Bryan someone suitable to work with.  It's another case of "They'd have to be insane not to."

If at least three of these five things happen over the next year or so, and WWE doesn't saddle them with stupid gimmicks or bad finishes, then they'll have somewhat restored my faith that they deserve a unique star like Daniel Bryan.  If not, then I guess I'll be counting the days till September 1st, 2021 when his contract is up again.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

All In: Cody Rhodes Pulls Off a Coup

Well I wasn't sure what to expect with All In.  I was pleasantly shocked when it sold out in under an hour and really happy for Cody and The Young Bucks for actually pulling off such a feat; the biggest-selling non-WWE show since WCW.  But would the show deliver with such an eclectic roster and matches that were mostly inconsequential in the traditional sense?  Turns out, yeah.  It delivered big.  And all that variety worked in the show's favor.  Lucha spotfest?  Check.  ECW-style hardcore match?  Check.  Traditional old-school wrasslin'?  We got it.  NJPW match?  You bet.  Dream match spectacle?  Sure.  Comedy match?  Yup.  I can't remember a show that pulled off so many divergent styles so well.  All In took a little while to really get going, but from the fourth match on there was nothing below ***1/2.  I didn't see any MOTY candidates, but the last six matches for me either approached or exceeded four stars.  When was the last WWE PPV that accomplished that?

Anyway, let's get to it.

Things kicked off with Matt Cross vs. MJF, a fun if superfluous little opener with Cross showing off his acrobatics and MJF doing good character work.  Cross won in nine minutes with his shooting star press.  A nice bit of fluff to warm up the crowd.  **

The weakest match on the show for me was Christopher Daniels vs. Stephen Amell.  This was okay, especially considering Amell's inexperience, but wasn't quite as tight as it could've been.  Amell clearly loves doing this and has picked up the basics strongly, and wants to be taken seriously as a wrestler.  If nothing else you have to applaud his enthusiasm.  There were a few miscues and Daniel's BME was off the mark both times, but this was fun.  Amell did a couple big moves, a coast-to-coast dropkick a la RVD, and a missed elbow through a table.  This should've been a little shorter but it wasn't bad.  Daniels picked up the win on the second BME.  **

The lone women's match featured Tessa Blanchard (who has the same "it" factor as Charlotte Flair), Chelsea Green, Madison Rayne, and Britt Baker, in a sprint with slightly messy action in the first half, but that gelled pretty well in the second when everyone started hitting their big moves.  It was a tad unwieldy but an easy match to watch overall.  The finish was kinda out of nowhere as Tessa hit the hammerlock DDT and barely got the pin before it was broken up.  **3/4

The first big match of the night was Nick Aldis vs. Cody for the NWA Title.  Pretty shocking how early this went on considering Cody was the mastermind behind this show.  With cornermen on both sides and Earl Hebner doing formal ring instructions, this felt like a big-fight main event.  As a match it was very good, heavy on the sports-entertainment with DDP getting involved, Cody teasing being unable to continue after being busted open by an elbow, and Brandi diving on top of Cody to protect him from a top-rope elbow drop.  But the storytelling was strong, with Cody playing the babyface in peril to perfection and going on to win the big one for his dad.  It was a nice moment to pay off a swell old school NWA Title match, and the crowd really made it feel special.  ***3/4