After a few weeks of no WWE Raw column, I’m back, and with good reason. Let’s face it, the last few weeks of WWE television has been lackluster, and that’s being kind. My mother always taught me that if I didn’t have anything nice to say, not to say anything at all, so I stayed quiet. Thankfully, the WWE started what looks like an upward trend at last Sundays pay per view, Payback, which carried over onto Raw.
First of all, it’s no secret that I have been critical of the three-hour shows that WWE has opted to go with on Monday nights. It just seemed that there was a lack of talent and poor writing that made the show drag on. That seemed to change on Monday, as the show flew by and was quite enjoyable. The one positive thing that I can say about WWE television in the last few weeks is that there have been a number of quality matches. That trend also continued on Monday night. There was also great storyline development, which is a great thing.
The start of the show was effective, playing off Alberto Del Rio’s heel turn the night before at Payback and also hitting on C.M. Punk’s face turn. I love the fact that Del Rio was so vicious in his attacks on former champion Dolph Ziggler at Payback. He justified this in his opening promo. Having Punk come out to challenge him, and in turn, create a rift between his longtime friend Paul Heyman was awesome. It only foreshadowed on a big surprise to come later in the evening.
The next segment of the show featured a return of a WWE star after a 10 month hiatus. The return of Christian should be welcomed by many. I am not much of a Christian fan, but to throw him into the mid-card fray for the Intercontinental and U.S. titles can only help WWE TV.
When I first heard about The Purge, I was very interested in the plot concept. I thought it seemed original and had the possibility to be a movie that actually had the nerve to speak on the social cliques and stereotypes that widely go unmentioned in our nation. Sadly, my hopes were dashed, as this film is nothing more than a cheap, uninspired, rip-off of Straw Dogs.
Director James DeMonaco gets the most out of his cast that includes Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane, and Edwin Hodge. The problem with the film isn’t with the characters; it’s with the poor writing. The film comes in at a paltry 85 minutes. I’m sorry, but in the day in age where a movie ticket costs umpteen dollars, I expect at least 95-100 minutes in a movie.
The premise of The Purge is a good one, it just lacks the proper follow-through. We pick up in 2022, where the night of The Purge is upon us. In America, for one time per year, the government has allowed its citizens to hunt, kill, rape, steal; basically do anything they want. This was instituted as a way to keep crime down, and it has worked. It just happens to not work out so well for Hawke’s family in the film. Let it be known that Hawke’s family is very wealth, as he designs security systems, which all his neighborhood has. His family seems to be the envy of the entire neighborhood.
Limp Bizkit was once one of the biggest bands in the world. Turn back the clock to 1999, and they were selling out arenas, similar to the Scottrade Center. In fact, I remember seeing them play there. It’s amazing how fast times have changed. Bizkit returned to St. Louis on Saturday night, to a sold out crowd, not at an arena, but at Pop’s Nightclub.
Despite being widely irrelevant in the music industry for nearly 10 years, Fred Durst and the boys showed that they can still bring the noise and rock a crowd as they took the stage at 10 p.m. on Saturday night.
While the crowd, made up of mostly late-20s and early-30s males, was not let into the venue until 8 p.m., the line was one of the largest for a concert I have ever seen at Pop’s. When I arrived around 7 p.m. the line stretched from the entrance of Pop’s, to the right of the building, all the way to the parking lot and wrapped around The Oz. It was clear that people are still interested in Limp Bizkit. Most patrons that I spoke with in line were there for the same reason I was, to relive a bit of our youth, while some wondered if Bizkit would be a trainwreck.
Fast and Furious 6 is ridiculous, totally illogical, and probably one of the best action movies of the summer. Justin Lin hits a homerun with the 6th installment in the FF franchise, thanks to great characters and some of the most over the top action sequence to ever hit the big screen.
The focus of this movie is evident from the start, as stated by Dom (Vin Diesel) – family and home. While Diesel is a part of some of the most gravity and physics-defying action sequences, he makes no qualms that the purpose of Fast and Furious 6 is to save his family. His family consists of characters from each of the first five films. Brian, played by Paul Walker, is still up to his same old tricks; trying to play a criminal cop, while bumping uglies with Toretto’s sister, Mia, played by Jordana Brewster. Mia and Brian now have an infant son named Jack, who is already getting lectured by Dom and Brian on what type of racing machine he will drive when old enough. Also back for the 6th film are Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges and Tyrese Gibson. The pair make for a good source of comic relief in quite a few scenes in the film. Letty, Dom’s girlfriend, played by Michelle Rodriguez, also returns. Letty was thought to be dead at the conclusion of Fast 5. However, she has amnesia, which is explained between car crashes and explosions in the film. She is working for the wrong set of criminals when Dom finds her. Finally, the man who was mainly responsible for the fifth installment being so entertaining, Dwayne Johnson, returns as Luke Hobbs, the muscle-bound officer of the law. While Hobbs was after Dom and his crew in FF5, in the new film, he is working with them to stop a world renowned criminal, played by Luke Evans.
When The Hangover exploded onto the cinematic scene in 2009, it was the surprise hit of the year. It was without a doubt, one of the more original, and funny movies I had seen in a number of years. It made Zack Galifianakis a household name, along with Bradley Cooper.
Then, came the stinker, Hangover 2. To say it was a letdown, for me, would be an understatement. I honestly thought it was one of the worst movies of the year in 2011. I understand that Scott Armstrong and Todd Phillips were trying to emulate the structure of the first film very closely, when writing the second, but it didn’t work. While the sequel made money, it was largely met with disappointed audiences.
So, going into the third installment, and reportedly the final one of the franchise, I was skeptical. Would this be another stinker like the second? Or, would it be similar to the first, and make me laugh so hard, I missed parts of the film? It’s hard to give a clear answer on that, but I will say, it’s way better than the second, but not as good as the original.
As soon as the film opens, you know it’s going to be different from the first two. The third opens with Chow, played by Ken Jeong, escaping from prison, Shawshank Redemption style. I found that homage to one of my favorite films, quite laughable. The film then immediately skips to Galifianakis’ character Alan. Alan is enjoying a drive down the highway after buying a giraffe. What happens next can only be described as something out of a Final Destination film. Let’s just say, it’s not a good day to be a giraffe, but how funny it is to see the events transpire. By the way, Galifianakis shows his comedic chops in this film. He steals the show from everyone. In my mind, if there is one reason to see the third film, it’s because of Galifianakis’ performance.