Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

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The Resurrection Of Jake The Snake Roberts

January 18, 2016

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Steve Rockamaniac joins Tony Stabile of The Rowdy Wrestling Podcast to review The Resurrection of Jake The Snake Roberts documentary. Spoiler alert: We loved the film!

Not much to say here other than go download this epic documentary and support a man who has pulled himself from the brink of death.

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Download The Resurrection of Jake The Snake Roberts

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Film Review : Damage starring Stone Cold Steve Austin

October 14, 2009

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Film / DVD Review : Damage starring Stone Cold Steve Austin

Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

This past April, Stone Cold Steve Austin was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, capping off a career that left a huge imprint on the world of professional wrestling. Now with his wrestling career behind him, Austin is attempting to launch a new full time career in the acting world.

Austin’s first foray into the movie business was with the WWE when they produced The Condemned in 2007. The film received a mixed reaction and it did not fare well in the box office,  Personally I think the film should of done a bit better than it did, but then again I’m a self admitted Austin mark, Although I have heard others say that about every WWE Film which was released in theaters,so  perhaps it’s a stigma, people see the name WWE Films and they think to themselves this is going to be  some cheesy film made by a bunch of wrestlers. Whether you think The Condemned was a good movie or not, Steve Austin has never been one to quit that easily, so Austin worked out his departure from WWE Films and has set off on his own path, and the first film to be released on that new path is an action flick entitled Damage which wont open in theaters in North America until January, however it has been released on DVD in the United Kingdom.

The film stars Austin as John Brickner, a prison inmate serving  7 years for manslaughter. Brickner apparently choked a man to death and plead guilty.  No, this isn’t The Condemned all over again as 4 and a half years later Austin is granted parole and a new leash on life where he plans to seek redemption for his past acts, This is where The Condemned comparison’s end.

Once out of prison, Brickner stats to put his life back together. Finding a job at the local construction site, he gets little respect and little money.  Soon enough he falls into a second job as a bouncer at the local bar when he stands up for the lead female character Frankie, who is a smoking hot waitress who gets little respect from the patrons of the bar. Brickner’s imposing physique and obvious skill for fighting catches the eye of Frankie (played by Laura Vandervoort)  Soon enough Frankie and friend Reno (played by Walton Goggins) attempt to recruit Brickner into a underground fighting league with promise of major money making potential. Initally Austin’s character shrugs it off as he is attempting to turn over a new leaf. However when the widow of the man Brickner killed contacts him with a way for him to pay his debt to her and her family he quickly finds himself in a situation where he needs money and fast, so  into the underground Brickner heads and allows Austin to do what he does best… Whup some butt!

The film itself is not a blockbuster but plays into Austin’s strengths of being a serious / strong character who can fight. Throughout the movie however you do get a sprinkle of other shades of Austin, the actor. Some moments are comedic, others dramatic. Austin does not come off as a superstar, but shows some potential considering this is only his second film.

The movie could of gone down the road of just being all about the fights but it does not sell itself out completely to that theme, instead It opens up just enough to have a story around the actual fight scenes and makes for an enjoyable film.

In regards to the fight scenes they are action packed and action film fans get their dose so to speak as the blood does spill in a variety of different fight scenarios as Austin climbs the ladder of the underground fight scene.

Overall I enjoyed this film for what it is, An independent action film that attempts to tell a story while also giving the action marks what they came for. I think it is slightly better then The Condemned movie because of the fact that it provides more depth around the main subject than the condemned did. I am somewhat surprised that the film has been released on DVD in one part of the world months before it is slated to hit theaters in another. In this day and age that can and will hurt box office business whether it be because of downloads or those paying for duty and shipping fees to have it right away. I think the film is worthy of checking out on DVD but might be a pass when it comes to theatrical viewing but im not a movie industry expert so ill leave that up to them.

Austin is scheduled for a role in The Expendables next summer which stars Sylvester Stallone, he also has a role in a action thriller entitled The Stranger in which an FBI agent is on the chase for a important material witness in a ongoing investigation. Both these roles could be huge steps for Austin’s film career, meanwhile Damage is film that should be regarded as a learning step for Austin as he begins to expand his acting abilities

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DVD Review : Timeline – The history of the WWE : 2000

August 13, 2009

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Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

The year 2000 was quite the busy one for the WWE. It would turn out to be the final full year of the Monday Night Wars, and the company was in the midst of an expansion that would see the opening of its own restaurant, the launch of its very own radio show, and even an announcement of plans for what would turn out to be a short lived football league.

Meanwhile on the wrestling side of things, Triple H, The Rock, Steve Austin and The McMahon’s were ruling the top spots, but one midcarder who was on the rise and would see himself involved with some of those big names by year’s end was none other than Rikishi.  So who better to host the latest installment of the Timeline DVD series from Kayfabe Commentaries than the big samoan himself as he and Sean Oliver take you on a ride of the history of the WWE in the year 2000.

Rikishi is quite the laid back character who is openly honest with his opinions throughout the DVD while not coming off as someone who is bitter because they find themselves on the outside looking in. When tackling subjects such as his run as the IC champion that year, or his questionable heel turn, the ever changing hardcore championship, or Triple H’s spot in the company, Kishi comes off as genuine as opposed to kayfabey or crybaby. This is always a welcome breath of fresh air on DVD shoot interviews.

The big samoan also touches on Too Cool, the origin of the stinkface, what he thinks of Johnny Ace, jokes about Pat Patterson, and shares his thoughts and memories on the death of fellow samoan family member Yokozuna. He also shares a very interesting story on how he helped former WWE Diva Victoria get her start in the business.

Topics that don’t directly involve Rikishi that are discussed include : The Radicals jumping ship to WWE, Taz winning the ECW title while under WWE contract,  the XFL, and even Goldberg / Gillberg!

It’s hard to believe that nearly a decade has passed since the events discussed in this DVD. The Timeline series is a welcome walk down memory lane and Rikishi turned out to be a great host. If you haven’t picked up the first installment with the Honky Tonk Man covering 1987, Id recommend getting both as this series will eventually be a very cool collection to have.

Timeline – The history of the WWE : 2000 is available now from Kayfabe Commentaries. For more information or to order your own copy head on over to www.kayfabecommentaries.com

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DVD Review : Andy Kaufman’s My Breakfast with Blassie / Im From Hollywood Special Commemorative Edition

April 25, 2009

 

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Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

It has been 25 years since the passing of comedy legend Andy Kaufman, but to this day some question whether or not he faked his own death. While some have refused to accept this unfortunate fact, it was at the far too early age of 35 that Kaufman passed away following a battle with lung cancer. One of his dying wishes was for friend and film director Lynne Margulies to complete and release the I’m From Hollywood documentary that chronicled his time in the wrestling world feuding with women from across the world as well as WWE hall of famer Jerry Legend. Kaufman was proud of his time in the wrestling world and according to Margulies, he considered it one of his greatest accomplishments in his career. Now more than two decades later both of Kaufman’s wrestling classic films are being released on DVD, completely uncut, and packed with bonus features.

It all begins with My Breakfast with Blassie, originally released in 1983. The one hour film see’s Kaufman hop a Hollywood bus en route to a rendez vous with the one and only “King of Men” Freddie Blassie. The two sit down for breakfast in a real life restaurant and discuss life in what is often described as a classic piece of performance art. The footage which was shot over a quarter century ago does show some signs of aging but holds up well enough to be featured on DVD, while the audio is still well intact.

The driving force behind this DVD is the strength of it’s bonus features. For My Breakfast with Blassie, we begin with lost and deleted footage from the film. Director Johnny Legend introduces the 50 plus minutes of footage, which includes alternate takes, outtakes, and raw footage of the shoot. You get to see actual interaction between Kaufman and the crew, and you get a feel  for just how much Kaufman cared about the film.

This is followed up by a feature called “Blassie Graffiti“, It begins with some classic 1960’s black and white footage of Blassie from something called Wrestling Workouts. A interview and short match is shown, which is then followed by director Johnny Legend introducing the footage of Blassie’s match with Ricky Dozan where he lost the world title. Legend then introduces highlights of the Blassie Cage match with Jon Voulis from Los Angeles. The featurette completes with footage of Freddie Blassie shortly before his death, he is at a independent wrestling show, mid ring, singing his infamous pencil neck geek theme song.

A featurette on the director Johnny Legend is next which begins with an appearance on the Art Reiner TV show talking about his relationhip with Andy Kaufman. This is followed by some 1960’s footage of Freddie Blassie hanging out on the beach with some wrestling friends and Johnny Legend. This featurette wraps up with a look in at Legend’s wrestling career as a manager as he lays down a challenge live on the Jon Stewart show, and highlights of the resulting match is then shown.

The plentiful extras continue on with footage from the film’s Hollywood premiere, a photo gallery, and as if that wasn’t enough, it wraps up with a half hour  discussion between co creators Johnny Legend and Linda Lautrec which was filmed shortly before the release of the man on the moon film. The pair discuss the making of the Breakfast with Blassie.

Moving onto Disc 2, Lynne Margulies who is the writer and director of Im From Hollywood provides an introduction to the documentary explaining how the video came about, why Kaufman wanted to make it, and just how much it meant to him.

Celebrities getting involved in wrestling has been seen numerous times over the years but none that I recall got to the level than that of Andy Kaufman.  The feud he had with Jerry Lawler came at a time where kayfabe was still alive and well, people thought it was real. This documentary gives you some prime examples of that as news footage reporting he had been sent to the hospital as a result of a Lawler’s piledriver leads it off and the next hour not only chronicles a legendary feud but also a remarkable career that Kaufman led.  Andy wasn’t politically correct nor did he care to be, his challenges and insults toward women pushed the limits at a time where the idea of being politically correct was only starting to be accepted. Jerry Lawler would eventually poke his nose into Kaufman’s business defending the women Lawler was insulting and assaulting, and this would lead to the feud between the big Hollywood star and the Memphis wrestling legend. It’s wrestling gold from there on, and in my opinion something every wrestling fan should see. Much like breakfast with Blassie the video footage shows its age at times but the audio is still clear.

There is also a plethora of DVD Extras for Im From Hollywood. A feature length commentary from the afformentioned Lynne Margulies kicks it off.  Margulies, who acquired much of Kaufman’s possessions following his passing is also able to offer up some very intriguing pieces for the rest of the extras, including scans of actual letters and photos Kaufman received during his open challenge to women from across the country. Also two full length matchups between Lawler is Kaufman with boxing stipulations are offered both with original audio and alternate commentary.

We then wrap up with a 35 minute Q & A session with Jerry Lawler and Lynne Margulies following a screening of Im from Hollywood at the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian theater on November 6th 2007. It is moderated by See No Evil writer Dan Madigan. Lawler gives a lot of insight into exactly how the feud came about and how and why Vince McMahon turned it down at the time.

For the wealth of extras alone this DVD is well worth the 24.98 suggested price tag. Add to that the chance to put these Kaufman classics into your wrestling DVD collection allowing you to relive them time and time again, to me it makes this DVD an absolute must buy. Thank you very much! (for reading)

Andy Kaufman’s My Breakfast with Blassie / Im From Hollywood Special Commemorative Edition will be available on DVD on May 12th. For more information check out www.videoservicecorp.com or pre order your copy from Amazon, Highspots or wherever you buy your wrestling DVD’s.

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Film Review : 12 Rounds starring John Cena

March 28, 2009
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Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com
Leading up to the release of 12 Rounds starring John Cena the WWE refused to screen the film for film critics. Similar treatments were given to their previous film’s however See No Evil premiered at film festivals before it was wide released and thus fans got a chance to know what to expect. For 12 rounds we instead faced a barrage of promo’s and commercials on WWE television trying to convince their dwindling number of marks to show up in droves in hopes of this not being another one of their films “Condemned” to major financial loss. A review in the Herald Sun in Australia called the film “a big dumb lug of an action movie fronted by a big dumb lug named John Cena” and went on to say acting was no friend of the professional wrestler. Despite this I decided to head out and watch the film and although its far from being a smash hit, its not as bad as those at the Herald has made it out to be. For those wondering there are no major spoilers in my review, there is some details on how the story forms but nothing that would ruin the movie for you so please feel free to read on.    

I arrived at the theater while the previews were rolling and took a quick look around couting about 15 to 20 heads in the large Montreal theater I was watching the film in. With the way the cinema industry is nowadays I was not too surprised but I thought more Cena marks would of shown up that 15. Irregardless the film begins as the FBI is in the middle of an attempted capture of crafty criminal named Miles Jackson, who has eluded the FBI’s reach for years. It does not take long for the action to get going, the opening 15 minutes of the film is pretty much a non stop blitz of chasing action. Cena, who is a local police officer in the lower 9 of New Orleans eventually plays a major role in the capture of the criminal, but not without the casualty of the Jackson’s accomplice. It’s because of this that Jackson (played by Aidan Gillen) swears that he will get revenge. Flash forward a year later and Cena’s character is now a detective of the New Orleans Police department, and his life quickly spirals into hell when he gets the call from Jackson informing him that he has escaped from prison, and has just kidnapped Cena’s girlfriend, and if he wants to have any chance of seeing her again he has to enter a game of 12 deadly rounds through the city of New Orleans.

Running an hour and 48 minutes the film is definitely action packed. Most action films will have its spurts of action followed by a slow down but 12 Rounds almost never takes a breather. It’s evident that the WWE wanted to keep the viewers on the edge of their seat and if you’re an action mark then the action itself will not let you down. Of course there is those moments where you say to yourself what you just saw is impossible, but much like watching wrestling you need to suspend your beliefs every once in a while and let it slide.

The acting on the other hand is a whole other barrel of monkeys. Much like The Marine this film is made by the strong performance of the villain. Aidan Gillen’s character is sophisticated and twisted. Your likely to remember his performance more than anything. Meanwhile John Cena’s performance, while not horrible, is nothing special either. I feel as though they went to great stretches to make sure that Cena’s character stay typical to avoid any sort of major criticism, but in the end it caused him to be outshined by Gillen.

Ultimately I would call this a “wait for the DVD” movie. The film is unlikely to rake it in from the box office numbers but is likely to move a decent amount of DVD’s and while some may question why the WWE would even bother to continue putting out theatrical releases instead of straight to DVD, as long as it breaks even with DVD sales it really doesn’t matter what the critics say.

12 Rounds starring John Cena is in theaters now. For more information check out http://www.12rounds-movie.com

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DVD Review : The Great Debate 08 – Race vs Sammartino

November 19, 2008

THE GREAT DEBATE 08 – HARLEY RACE VS BRUNO SAMMARTINO

Coming off of the historical presidential race, Kayfabe Commentaries treats us to pro wrestlings version of the presidential debates with The Great Debate 08 Harley Race vs Bruno Sammartino. During which these two legends of the ring sit down to discuss and debate a variety of topics and luckily for the viewer, host / moderator Sean Oliver does not pull a Tom Brokaw as the rules are relaxed with no constraining time limits, allowing for real answers as opposed to rushed or pre written ones, men can take opposing sides or agree on the topics, and no winner is needed, instead the hope is to have the fans be the winner by being entertained witnessing these two men express their ideas on some of the longest standing questions in the pro wrestling world.

The 85 minute debate covers a lot of ground and amongst the questions asked are : Qualities of a great pro wrestling champion?, Can you consider the WWWF championship a real championship at the time compared to the NWA title? Can Ric Flair even be considered as the greatest champion of all time? Who is the greatest champion of all time? Great Heel/Babyface qualities? Harder to become successful heel or face? What does paying your dues mean? Why was Vince Sr. a great wrestling promoter? Great Referees in the business? Greatest Announcers in the business? Do you like the idea of Boxer vs Wrestler matchups?

Certainly for those who grew up and watched these two legends in their heyday your going to want to see this DVD, However if youve seen and heard these men discuss such topics in numerous interviews over the years then this is nothing groundbreaking. For the newer generation of fans this is an interesting watch as it provides for a look in at the territorial days of the NWA and WWWF and serves as a prime example of the differences between today and yesteryear.

The Great Debate 08 Race / Sammartino is available now from Kayfabe Commentaries, For more information or to get your own copy check out www.kayfabecommentaries.com, and to read my previous DVD reviews check out www.maineventradio.com/reviews.htm

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DVD Review : TNA’s Ultimate Matches

October 17, 2008

DVD Review : TNA’s Ultimate Matches

Reviewed by : Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

When you hear of a DVD entitled Ultimate Matches one could jump the conclusion that it is sure to offer some of the best matches the company has had to date, in many ways that is true with TNA’s latest dvd release, but the best way to describe this DVD is TNA’s Ultimate “Gimmick” Matches as the entire lineup is comprised of the innovative and over the top matchups that TNA’s creative team has come up with over the years.

Complimented with short interview clips explaining and hyping each match, the 2 Disc, 6 and a half hour feature serves up a look at some of the unique type of matches TNA offers to its fans, some confusing at first look, but usually highly entertaining.

Matches include : King Of The Mountain 3,4, & 5 from Slammiversary 06-08, 5 Ultimate X matchups (Final Resolution 05, Destination X 05, No Surrender 06, Victory Road 07, and Bound For Glory 07), 3 Six Sides of Steel matches including the infamous  Turning Point 04 match where Elix Skipper nearly killed himself walking along the top of the cage and pulling off the hurricarana, Also AJ Styles vs Abyss from Lockdown 05, And Abyss vs Christian Cage from Lockdown 06,  Then TNA’s version of Tables Ladders and Chairs, adding in Chains for Full Metal Mayhem featuring Jeff Hardy vs Abyss from Against All Odds 05 as well as Abyss vs Christian Cage from Sacrifice 06, Then we have 2 Monster’s Ball matchups from Bound For Glory 05, and 06, all capped off with the excellent ladder match between Christian Cage and Kaz from Genesis 07.

Id recommend this DVD mainly to those new to TNA or those who are thinking of getting into the company. Within this one dvd you get to know all the major players, and the special matches these feuds  build up to. For the hardcore TNA fan if you don’t already have most of these matchups on DVD whether it be the PPV dvd’s or the other best of releases then ultimate matches is worth the add to you collection as the amount of footage for the price is worthy.

TNA’s Ultimate Matches will be available on DVD across the continent on October 21st, Check out ShopTNA.com or TNAWrestling.com for more details, and to read my previous DVD reviews check out http://www.maineventradio.com/reviews.htm