Movie Review: ‘Warcraft’ Starring Travis Fimmel and Paula Patton
Jun 2016 10

Warcraft_Teaser_PosterIt’s no secret that movies based on video/computer games have never fared too well. Just glancing through the list of movies, the various Rotten Tomatoes scores read more like a senior class’s ACT scores than a rating. The mere mention of the name Uwe Boll makes film critics and video game players alike cringe in sheer terror. Year in and year out, we watched as some of our favorite game franchises (Tomb Raider, Hitman, DOOM, Far Cry) were butchered in various manners. One game-based film franchise, Resident Evil, has managed to do well enough to warrant several sequels, but it’s the exception rather than the rule.

And now we have Warcraft, the latest effort from Duncan Jones, whose directorial debut was the phenomenal indie film Moon. Jones, the son of David Bowie, tackled a certainly risky endeavor. The original Warcraft game, along with Warcraft II, were nothing short of revolutionary when they were released, helping kick-start the real-time strategy genre. With the subsequent release of World of Warcraft, the most popular MMO of all-time, Blizzard’s flagship franchise, the collective eyes of the gaming world descended upon Jones’s effort. Ten years after the project was initially announced, the result is here. The result is an entertaining, if not flawed, fantasy.

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Review: ‘If/Then’ at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis
Mar 2016 22

If Then Musical 2016 PosterHave you ever wondered, in your daily life, “what if?” For most people, thousands of decisions are made at regular, without a thought going to what might happen if they were to choose differently, or how the smallest choice may have vastly different outcomes if made differently. “If” I do this, “Then” this might happen. That is exactly the premise for “If/Then,” an original and fascinating look at one woman’s life which splits into two very different paths – all based on what seems like a trivial choice. The outcome is a brilliant new musical that makes you think harder about your own decisions, and just how life may turn out upon travelling a different route.

The story follows Elizabeth (JACKIE BURNS), a recently divorced woman who moves back to New York after over a decade in Phoenix. One day while meeting up with her old boyfriend Lucas (ANTHONY RAPP) and neighbor Kate (TAMYRA GRAY) at the park, she is forced to make what would seem like a trivial decision. Jackie Burns IF THEN musicalShould she go listen to music in Brooklyn with Kate, or protest a city development project with Lucas? Yet either decision will shape here entire future into drastically different circumstances, and it is here where the show is split into two stories: one following “Liz” who dons her glasses while riding the subway with Kate and her girlfriend Anne, and one where “Beth,” with her perfect vision (or contacts), joins Lucas for his protest. The glasses or lack thereof are how we keep the stories straight, and are a quite effective tool.

With music by Tom Kitt, the man responsible for one of my favorite musicals of recent years – Next to Normal (Read our reviews of the Fox and New Line performances) – the songs throughout the show are extremely catchy, and quite memorable. Being a newer show, I hadn’t had the opportunity to hear any of them previously, but was delighted to find so many instant hits. Listening back to the original cast recording after the show, I realized that this would be one I’d instantly want to add to my musical playlist.

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160: ‘Deadpool’ Box Office Report (2/12 – 2/14)
Feb 2016 17

This week Joe marvels at the fact that we made it to episode 160, while the rest of us marvel at the fact that we let Joe make to episode 160.

We also learn that the secret to internet fame is shipping people poop, Tom meets The Maltese Falcon and laments the fact that it’s an old-timey reference. And our guest (Chris Frank) has seen Lincoln’s blood.

It’s Reel Spoilers 160: ‘Deadpool’ Box Office Report (2/12 – 2/14).

You’ve been warned.

Starring: Tom O’Keefe, Kevin Brackett, Dan Graney, Joe Buttice
Guest Host: Chris Frank
Run-time: 50min

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A Rivalry Renewed: Cards and Cubs Set to Do Battle in Playoffs
Oct 2015 09

The start of October, all the yearly  telltale signs that fall has begun are everywhere:  the days are shorter and nights cooler, the high school down the street is having their homecoming bonfire, and the St. Louis Cardinals are preparing for the playoffs.  Well, the later may not happen every year, but as the Cards prepare to enter their 12th season in the playoffs in the 2000s, it has come to be an autumn expectation in St. Louis.  MLB postseason logo 2015 transparentAt nearly 40 games over .500 the 2015 iteration of the Cardinals boasts baseball’s best record and are the top seed in the National League.  The Cardinals hit the 100 win mark for the ninth time in team history and the first since 2005, drawing more than 3.5 million fans for the fourth time.

Early season ending injuries to ace pitcher Adam Wainwright, and first-baseman Matt Adams coupled with significant injuries to veteran outfielders Matt Holliday and Jon Jay meant that four of the Cardinals nine opening day starters would miss considerable playing time during the season.  This should be enough to doom most teams.  Instead, the Cardinals have put together one of the best seasons in recent memory.  The team played over .500 baseball every month of the season (with October still pending), and even their worst month, September, saw them winning games at a .536 clip.   Their 19-6 start was the best by a St. Louis franchise since 1899, one year before the team even adopted the “Cardinals” as their name.  (They were known as the St. Louis Perfectos in 1899.)  In their 74th game, the Cards racked up their 50th win, making them only the 18th team since 1965 to win 50 games before losing 25.

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Jun 2015 22

We, as human beings love violence.
There is just something about watching two guys, and now women in some cases, get into a cage and go at it.
However, there is more to the sport of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) than just fighting.
Like any sport, it takes talent and mental toughness.
On Friday, June 19, Bellator 138 aired live on Spike TV from Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
The main event was Kimbo Slice vs. Ken Shamrock.
The fight was being billed as “Unfinished Buisness”, as it was 7 years in the making.
While some viewed the fight as more of a circus, the other fights on the card were worth watching, as there was a strong Midwest presence on the card.
Pacific’s own, Justin Lawrence returned home for the first time in 5 years, in what would be his first fight under Bellator.
Lawrence delivered quite a show for the fans, who gave him a raucous ovation.
Lawrence defeated Sean Wilson by TKO in a featherweight bout. Lawrence improved to 8-2 and looks to be on his way to breaking into the Bellator main card.
Former Mizzou All-American, Michael Chandler, returned home, as he hails from High Ridge, Mo. Chandler opened the main card on Spike TV by defeating Derek Compos by choking him out.
The crowd chanted MIZ-ZOU throughout the fight.
Bobby Lashley, who attended Missouri Valley College, easily won his heavyweight fight against Dan Charles, by tossing him around like a ragdoll.
The fight of the night belonged to featherweight champ, Patricio Pitbull and challenger, Daniel Weichel.
Weichel appeared to have Pitbull knocked out as the bell rang at the end of the first round, however, the ref did not step in until after the bell.
The fight would continue into the second round.
Pitbull needed just one punch in the second round, as he knocked out Weichel, to retain his belt. It was a stunning turn of events.
The main event featured Shamrock vs Slice.
Shamrock was led to the cage by his family and Animal, former WWF Wrestler of Legion of Doom.
Slice walked to the cage by himself.
As the fight started, Shamrock appeared to have Slice in a choke hold. The arena was waiting for Slice to tap, but he did not.
Instead, Slice broke the hold, got up and pummeled Shamrock with a flurry of punches. The fight was stopped, just over 2 minutes in, as Slice won.
Overall, it was quite a fun evening, as many of Bellator’s other fighters were run to speak with. Tito Ortiz was in attendance, as was Granite City’s own, Matt Hughes.
Many St. Louis Rams players were seen in the crowd as well.
Former WWE wrestler, MVP, was also in the crowd.
Bellator President, Scott Coker, said the promotion would be returning to St. Louis, as it was a great crowd for the event.

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