Here comes the money!

I rarely write about professional wrestling.  For a couple of different reasons.  First of all, it matters to such a small part of the population that I don’t know who would want to read about it.  And second, I have become so disappointed with what has happened in storylines in the past six months in WWE that I only watch about 1/3 of the Monday Night Raws anymore.  Mostly I just read the recaps the next day, and if something exciting happens, I will watch.  Otherwise, it’s a straight delete.

But this week.  This week was one of the most amazing weeks I have seen in years.  It was the return of the prodigal son.  The greatest non-wrestler wrestler ever.  Shane McMahon came home.  If you don’t believe it was a big deal, just listen to the crowd reaction.  THAT is the sound of a roof blowing off a building.  That was the reaction of everyone watching.  The face that Stephanie makes is the same face that everyone made when they heard the entrance music.  It was the biggest return in probably… 10 years?  In today’s wrestling world, there is no rumor that doesn’t slip through.  Every surprise, every big signing is known before they show up on screen.  Shane has been gone for 7-8 years.  And no where I have read, did anyone see this coming.

For me, he has the second greatest finishing maneuver in history, after Stone Cold Steve Austin.  Austin has the Stunner, and Shane -O-Mac has the Coast to Coast.  It’s basically just as simple as it sounds.  He jumps from one turnbuckle to the other.  It always ends with a garbage can to the face!

Even though he was the bosses son, he always felt like one of us.  A regular guy among giants.  Willing to take beatings for our entertainment.  And wow, did he take some beatings.  There is a rumor that WWE is releasing a Shane McMahon DVD later this year, and you can bet your ass that I will be getting that.  As a wrestler, he wouldn’t make my top five all-time.  As an on screen performer, I find it hard to think of five people I love seeing more.

And if you still don’t understand why the people love Shane McMahon so much, well maybe you need a Leap of Faith:

 

11.22.63

I was on the fence to watch this Hulu Event Series when it came on. First of all, event series?  What arrogant douche came up with that title?  Come on. I read the book about a year and a half ago or so and really liked it. Until the end. The end is terrible. But I had a vision of the story in my head, and didn’t want that destroyed on TV. “Well don’t watch it,” you say?  Screw off, there was no chance I wasn’t going to watch it.

Then there was the James Franco factor. I am not a Franco fan. Unless it’s Freaks and Geeks. That show had EVERYBODY!!!  But whatever, I don’t see his appeal and certainly don’t see his name on a marquee and say “Wow, Franco!  I gotta go see it!”  So that was already two strikes against it.

But before I saw episode one, I read an article with show creator, Bridget Carpenter, who said that while it would move faster, the show would stay very true to the book. And my mind was put at ease. There’s a lot in this book and obviously some creative liberties were going to be taken but this?  I’m just gonna come right out and say it. Bridget… you are a f**king liar.  You have taken something that I quite liked and butchered it.

It is like the book in title and concept only. How Stephen King approved this garbage is beyond me. Supposedly he was there everyday watching this get made, but that was probably something Carpenter was lying about too.

I fully admit, I am comparing it to the book and not judging it on it’s own merit, but I can’t watch the show without wondering why they did this vs. that.  In the first episode, the story jumped around so much that it was impossible to follow without questioning everything.

For instance, I was wondering, is Jake just never going to go back for a reset to see what happens?  We ignore Florida entirely?  He’s not going to bother saving the first girl (addressed so pathetically in episode two that I assume the show creators just sat back and said, “let’s see how many people this pisses off.”)

Oh my god, episode two. There isn’t one thing that happens in episode two that happens in the book outside of the last 5 minutes. Like I said, I haven’t read the book in a while, but I don’t remember where Jake goes cow murdering.  Show me where it is, and I will write an apology post.  I was so bored I just started playing on my phone. Wake me when something remotely close to the actual story happens.

In the “Next time..” it looks like our hero gets a sidekick for the rest of the series!  That’s fun. Now he has someone to pal around with.  I will keep watching because it’s only six more episodes. But holy crap this is the most disappointing thing I’ve seen in a while.  At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me if they forgot about Kennedy entirely. Since nothing else is out of the book, might as well get rid of the entire premise.

If I’ve said it once…

…I’ve said it 1,000 times. Ryan Reynolds can do no wrong. He is great in everything. I am the person who bought the Green Lantern movie.  And there’s a stack of VHS tapes that have the entire series of Two Guys and a Girl on them.  Who doesn’t love that show?  Well apparently everyone except me.  They STILL haven’t put it on DVD.  But it has Ryan Reynolds AND Nathan Fillion!!  I mean seriously.  The good news is, Reynolds would do a reunion show.  Even though it’ll never happen.

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Me all by myself

This past weekend I spent an evening watching the latest Ryan Reynolds masterpiece, Deadpool. In fact, I was so excited to see it, I had to get there early to get in line.  I got there so early in fact, I was first in line!  By about 15 minutes.  Totally worth it!  I thought maybe they were letting people in so I walked into the theater. Nope still full of people from the previous showing.

Ryan plays Wade Wilson. A former military man who now works as a low level enforcer who enjoys booze, hookers, and foul language. After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, he undergoes a procedure to attempt to remedy his fate. After the serum takes effect and his mutation is complete, he takes on the mantra of Deadpool and swears to find the man who scarred his body to seek his revenge.  During this time, Francis, played by Ed Skrein, finds out who is the “Merc with a Mouth” and kidnaps his fiancee, Vanessa.

Ah, Vanessa.  I didn’t know that Morena Baccarin was in this movie.  It was another great surprise on top of a hundred great surprises in this film.  I will admit, that I do not know her entire filmography.  But she was brilliant.  It was nice to see her play a character so different than what I am use to.  My familiarity with Morena is strictly from Firefly.  Which also has Nathan Fillion.  Yes, everything relates to Firefly.  It’s that good.  Here, she is the hooker Wilson falls in love with.  In Firefly she is…a companion.  Okay so that sounds like a hooker but it’s totally different.  She is so sophisticated and appalled at the thought of being called anything less.  So yes, it’s different.

My favorite superhero movie ever is Batman Begins.  I may have to rethink that.  This movie is so damn good.  Okay, I thought about it.  It’s not better than Batman Begins.  But it’s better than any movie that Marvel or DC has put out in the past couple years.  I do enjoy seeing justice done to my villains, and seeing them put behind bars.  But sometimes I just want to see their heads explode.  Sometimes I want my heroes to have chiseled jaw lines and billions of dollars, then there are times like this where I want them hanging out in dive bars and have a face that looks like my marshmallows when I make s’mores.  And I want to see a movie that cannot possibly be played on regular cable because half the language will be changed.  I’m a very simple man.  It’s foul, it’s violent and I cannot possibly oversell how good this is.

Reynolds has been trying to get this movie made for years. It is much different than the movies Marvel has put out so far in their Universe.  And both the time put into the film, and the hard R it is rated were well worth it.  For me, the most important thing was that it was R rated.  The movie didn’t try to conform to the superhero playbook and go PG-13, which it easily could have.  And it would have been ruined.  That trust has been greatly rewarded, as it is the highest grossing R rated movie ever.  EVER.  Deadpool had a budget of $60 million.  Last I checked, it was up to $260 million worldwide.  That’s a nice return on their investment.  Will Marvel or DC look at this and go the way of the R rated superhero movie again?  Maybe.  But probably not.  They know what works, and what is going to get them to the billions and it’s PG-13.  But it’s great to know that R rated movies, when done well can bring in big box office numbers.  It would be nice to see movies go back to R ratings.  I have been screaming about PG-13 horror movies for years and how terrible they are.  Now, I understand that horror and superhero movies are completely different and will never bring in the same money, but make a damn good movie and people will see it!  It’s not that freaking hard!!  Thank you Ryan, and thank you Deadpool.  THIS is the movie we all deserved!!  Now don’t f**k up Deadpool 2.

Movies

Well, there have been a few movies I saw since we last spoke.  I’d like to get caught up on my thoughts here.  I can’t even remember what I’ve spent my time watching.  Some good, some not so good.  Let’s get the theater movies out of the way.

First of all, I spent two hours standing in line to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  I saw it the second night it was out.  So it was a while ago.  It was cold that night.  People kept coming up, asking what we were standing in line for, and then trying to get past the line, and then were told by theater management to get to the back of the line.  What the hell?  Why are you so damn special?  Like you’re gonna get in front?  Jerk off.  Anyway.  Phil and I discussed, and had very similar thoughts on the movie.  If for some reason you haven’t seen the movie yet… SPOILERS!!  SKIP AHEAD!!  We agreed the film was very solid.  But the problems I had with it were that it was exactly like A New Hope.  Was it a retelling of Episode IV?  Was it lazy writing?  I don’t know, but it was blatantly obvious.  I had a bigger problem with the fact that Rey was so good with a light saber and defeated Kylo Ren in their battle even though he was a trained Jedi.  There was one more.  What was it?  Damn it, Phil was right.  We should have done this right away so we could have remembered.  Well, whatever it was, it didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the movie.  It was really good.  It’s certainly not better than IV or V.  I need to let it sink it before I rank it.

I recently went and saw Sisters, starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.  Anyone who knows me, knows of my love of Tina Fey.  Also Amy, but not like Tina.  So I was a little biased going into this one.  Parks and Rec and 30 Rock are two of my favorite shows of the last 10 years.  30 Rock makes my list of favorite shows ever.  So you won’t find me saying a bad word about this.  But I could have written this review before I saw the movie.  They KILLED it.  Amy and Tina play sisters who go home to Orlando because their parents are selling their childhood home and have one last party.  I came home and immediately pre-ordered it on Blu-Ray.  It’s pretty typical adult party movie.  It’s also very typical writing that you would find in a movie with Fey and Poehler.  It turns into a touching love story between them as family, which was always going to happen.  Every movie has to have a point!  And it was perfect.  Including Star Wars, Sisters might be my favorite movie of the year.  Well, in the last 12 months.  Whatever you want to call it.

I finally saw Draft Day.  I swore I would never watch it.  I am a huge football fan, and this looked like a horrible pile of garbage.  Even though it had Kevin Costner.  Yeah, I consider that a positive thing.  It…wasn’t…as….horrible as I expected.  Still not good.  It might be the most obvious movie I’ve ever seen.  There’s no suspense at all.  It’s clear as day what is going to happen 10 minutes into the movie.  There was a scene between Costner’s character (the movie was so dull I don’t even have any idea what his character’s name was) and his mother that I thought to myself he should have said “Hey mom, wanna have a catch?”  And that would have been the best part of the movie by far.  The less said about this movie the better.  Moving on.

I saw the second half of Horrible Bosses 2.  Here’s my question about this movie.  If the cast had been the same but the title was different, would anyone had noticed?  Maybe there was something in the first half that I missed?  I didn’t get it.  And I still don’t understand what was so bad about Charlie Day having sex with Jennifer Aniston in the first one.  What made her such a horrible boss?

Last night I watched Trainwreck.  Because Amy Schumer rules the world.  And she’s amazing.  Trainwreck is not.  I was so disappointed about what I saw.  Amy hates relationships, but falls in love with a doctor she is interviewing for an article she is writing.  I’m almost positive I looked at the clock more than I laughed.  The title was apt.

I swear there is one more I saw.  It must not have been very good.  Damn, what the hell was it?  Oh well.  Here’s to February 12 and Deadpool!

All Things Must Pass

Wow, it’s been a while. Where have I been?  I haven’t written since my Star Wars post. Well, we moved shortly after that. So most of my free time has been spent unpacking and trying to figure out which box has which things in it.  Turns out, I’m not so good at the labeling of boxes.

The rest of my time has been spent taking care of my youngest daughter.  She hates preschool.  Screams for anywhere from 5-60 minutes. So we decided to pull her out for the year and try again in the fall. I am constantly exhausted. She has 100% energy at all times.  We just got gone with her gymnastics class and are now waiting to pick up her sister at kindergarten. And she is full of energy. She HAS to be moving.  So I choose to go to bed when I can.  (Note:  This was written in the morning.  Posted at night.  She doesn’t have kindergarten at night time.)

But I need to get back into this. What better way than a documentary about a transcendent company that started right here in Sacramento, California!!  All Things Must Pass is a film about the legendary Tower Records and its rise to dominance and its even faster fall to bankruptcy.  Growing up in my part of the greater Sacramento area, there were two places to get music. Dimple Records, and Tower Records.

I’ve mentioned before how much Dimple means to me as the place I first heard and fell in love with Reel Big Fish. But Tower was the big time. I remember it was where people would camp out for concert tickets (before the internet and Ticketmaster, you actually had to to get tickets to things you young a**holes).  I thought that was the coolest thing ever. Not that I would ever be allowed to go sit there all night for concert tickets, but still cool.

ATMP was directed by Colin Hanks, who, as a native Sacramentan, has a unique perspective on the subject. And did an amazing job with this film. There is no narration. The movie flows along simply with stories from the owner, to former employees, to major stars Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, and Dave Grohl.

Started in the ’60s, Tower was opened in a drug store in downtown Sacramento.  After it moved to it’s main location, it spread across the world. Once music changed from records, to CD’s, to digital, it just wasn’t necessary to have actual stores anymore. The need to go into a store for music just isn’t there. Especially when it’s so much cheaper to get it on Amazon or ITunes (or stealing it free online).

If you’ve never been to a Tower, or have never spent money in an actual store buying music (Best Buy, Target, and stores like that absolutely do not count), you probably won’t get this movie or find it as riveting as I did. Maybe it was because I was so proud of this Sacramento institution that became a global phenomenon. The end of the movie and the downfall was heartbreaking and did bring me to tears. But I think it could be a nostalgia thing about a place I spent a lot of time in my youth. Either way, this film is brilliant and anyone who wants a look at what music was like and what buying music was like for damn near 40 years should definitely see this movie. Then come visit Sacramento and go to Tower Theater!  It is still here, but don’t come looking for Tower Records.  It, like a number of other things in this town have come and gone.

The Force Awakens

OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!  It’s finally here!  It’s Star Wars week!  I don’t know what to do with myself!!  There are five days until the movie opens. Luckily for me, I have six Star Wars t-shirts.  Oh!  And one sweatshirt!  The dilemma is deciding which shirt to wear on which day. IMG_3424[1]

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The bigger problem is which day am I going to see the movie?  There are showtimes on Thursday, but they’re all sold out. There are tickets available all throughout the weekend, but of course that’s the weekend we are moving. Stupid wife picked stupid Star Wars weekend to move!!  I’m gonna be soooo tired to see it on the weekend. But if I wait, it’ll be at least Tuesday. And Tuesday is cheap movie day at the theaters here.  Everywhere is super packed. So it makes more sense to wait another day and see it Wednesday. WEDNESDAY?!?!  I CAN’T WAIT TILL WEDNESDAY!  That’d be like telling my daughters that Santa came but we are waiting a week to open the presents.  IMG_3425[1]

Presents!!  Aw damn it!!  Looks at calendar… okay so if I don’t see it Wednesday, Thursday is Christmas Eve. So those next two days are out. Holy crap, the more I think about this the worse it gets.  How the hell am I going to make this work?

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Update: There is a theater near by that sells reserved seats. The wife liked this idea because we wouldn’t have to stand in line for hours. But it’s way more expensive.  She doesn’t want to stand in line because I’m supposed to be moving boxes all weekend and standing in line AND the movie takes up a lot of the day. So while I was in the process of grabbing these way overpriced tickets, someone snaked them from me!!  What a butthole.

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Update 2: Okay tickets purchased!  S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y!  Night!  (Bay City Rollers?  So I Married An Axe Murderer?  Geezus you all are young).  But yes, Saturday the 19th at 8pm I will be seeing The Force Awakens.  Just gotta decide what time I want to go get in line. Day 2, at night, gonna be a big line.  Not like I care.  If I’m at home, I’m just gonna be standing around waiting to go.  I might as well be standing in line.  Okay so that’s my plan.  I invited Phil, but he wanted to go with his brother closer to his house.  Pfft.  What a jerk.

Update 3: I started watching the whole saga again in preparation for the new movie. I decided to watch it in The Machete Order. I’ve never done this before. Very excited to see how I feel about it without Episode I.

Update 4:  Yeah, Yeah I know.  There are tons of updates to this post.  Screw off, this is my post.  I got an early Christmas present!!  A SEVENTH Star Wars t-shirt!  Now I have one every day of the week!  Yay!

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The Martian

A couple months ago, right before this movie was released, I made it a priority to read the book. And I did it!  In like a week!  It was really quick for me. I’m always tired and have trouble staying focused on a book. That’s why there are at least two dozen books sitting on my shelf right now waiting to be read. And also why it took me a year to read 11/22/63. What a horrible ending that book had. Left me so unsatisfied. And now it’s going to be a mini-series!  But of course I don’t have Hulu. I already told my friend Greg I’m coming over those days to watch it. He’s made plans to mow the lawn.

Where was I?  The Martian!  Yes!  Okay so after reading the book, I was concerned that the movie would take too many liberties and make it too Hollywood. There’s a lot of science in the book. I didn’t think it would translate very well to the big screen. Also, the character in the book, Mark Watney, is alone on Mars. A lot. For a really long time. Sort of like Castaway. But without a dumb volleyball. But the movie was really well done. It stayed as true to the story as was possible. They even through in some science!!

Matt Damon is Mark Watney. After a storm on Mars, the mission he and five other astronauts were halfway through completing is aborted. During the storm, Watney is knocked out of sight from the other astronauts, and presumed dead. The ship takes off without him, and he needs to figure out how to survive for the next few years until NASA can send another mission to come get him.

There were some problems with it.  First, my friend Ryan reads everything. And always tells me the book is better than the movie EVERY. F*CKING. TIME. It’s annoying. So don’t tell him I said this. But the book was so much better. It was so much funnier. They cut out most of the good parts of Watney’s video diaries.  They also cut out what I thought was a pretty significant part of the end of the book.  Apparently, it wasn’t that big of a deal.  I told my wife what was cut out, and she didn’t care in the slightest that she missed this part.

I also thought the characters from NASA were much better written than they were portrayed in the movie.  What was the point of having a megastar like Kristen Wiig (yes.  MEGASTAR) in this movie to have her be barely a background piece?  And the fact that Vincent Kapoor, played very well by Chiwetel Ejiofor was actually a character of Indian decent in the movie really bugged me.  As it did Aziz Ansari.  I’m not trying to start anything, I’m not smart enough for that.  But Aziz is right, and they could have found someone to play the role the way it was intended.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with the movie.  Although I think this whole, read the book thing first sucks.  I knew what was coming the whole time.  That blows.  And the parts I really liked in the book didn’t go over as well in the movie as they did in my head, like a great Iron Man joke that I thought was really funny.  But no one else in the theater did.  I think for 2.5 hours of running time, they could have found a little more time to get more out of the book, but what they did get out of it was really great.  Not as great in the theater as I would have hoped.  But I’m glad I saw it after spending all that time reading the book.  Hey a week for me is considered “all that time!”