This week’s edition of Monday Night Raw was, in my mind, a pivotal episode for the WWE. Not only did the WWE deliver a solid show, they got fans excited for the granddaddy of them all, WrestleMania 30.
Raw kicked off with The Immortal, and leathery looking, Hulk Hogan making his way to the ring. The Hulkster still looks good for his age, 60, but he needs to drop the boa, it’s very unmanly. I was expecting Hogan to be a bigger part of the show then he was, unfortunately, all he did was pimp out the Network. So, the first 10 minutes of Raw was Hogan selling the Network and announcing he was named the host for WrestleMania 30. Not exactly what I expected from the Hulkster, but anytime the greatest professional wrestler alive can return to Raw, it’s a good thing and a ratings grabber.
The first match of the night was a rematch between Alberto Del Rio and Batista. Yes, a rematch from the Elimination Chamber pay per view, because the match was just so thrilling the first time around, right? The Animal is going to have to turn heel. The crowd absolutely hates Batista. They booed him the entire match. After Randy Orton came out to the stage, Batista was distracted and Del Rio rolled him up for the win. Following the upset, Batista let loose one of the funniest quotes of the night. “If they cheer me, I cheer them back. If they boo me, I boo them back.” Really? I guess it’s hard to come up with a good comeback when you have all that muscle. On a serious note, I am praying they change the main event of WrestleMania. It will be a nightmare if the WWE decides to go ahead with the main event without Daniel Bryan. Fans may riot if that happens.
So who doesn’t love football movies? More Communists.
Thankfully, here at ReviewSTL, we’re all about freedom, so in honor of the Super Bowl, we brought out some of our favorite (American) football movies.
We bring up some classics (“The Longest Yard,” “Brian’s Song”) and some more recent hits (“Any Given Sunday,” “Varsity Blues,” “The Waterboy,” “Friday Night Lights”). The Super Bowl may have ended as a blowout, but there are still plenty of football movies to tide you over until next season.
Mince a large cut “Titanic”, without the emotional resonance, tenderize a hunk of “Gladiator”, leaving out all that pesky action and visual pizazz, then season liberally with “Conan The Barbarian”, being sure to leave out most of the gore, throw them all together and bake. Ta-da, you have “Pompeii” – a movie that couldn’t be any cheesier if Vesuvius erupted and covered the ill-fated city in cheddar.
Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, “Pompeii” attempts to build a story of ill-fated, star-crossed lovers amidst catastrophic tragedy in much the same way that James Cameron did with “Titanic”. Sadly, held up to “Titanic” – which does have some shortcomings in hindsight, like many of Cameron’s films – “Pompeii” is about as dramatic as pile of old hotel box springs in the city dump.
Super-buff and perpetually shiny Celt slave Milo (Kit Harington, “Game of Thrones”) catches the eye of the beautiful and privileged Cassia (Emily Browning, “Sucker Punch”) after playing sympathetic horse whisperer to her injured animal and drama ensues. They stare at each other from across the room – or arena, as he’s a ruthless gladiator dripping in blood which, in turn, makes him even shinier and dreamier – while that fun spoiling Roman, Corvus (played by Kiefer Sutherland, testing out a revolving door of accents, and missing only a handlebar mustache to twirl) cuts in on the action. Rounding out the cast of wildly mismatched accents are Jared Harris (“Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”), Carrie-Anne Moss (the Matrix trilogy) and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (“Lost”). Oh, there’s also a giant-ass volcano that’s about to blow.
Hayao Miyazakio is truly one of the greatest animation directors of all time. I still remember watching KiKi’s Delivery Service and My Neighbor Totoro as kid for the first time. The stories and characters that he creates captures the audience’s attention and allows them to escape reality for a little while. Some of his recent films are Spirited Away, Ponyo, and Castle in the Sky. The Wind Rises is nominated for an Oscar for best animated feature; this puts him up against Frozen, Despicable Me 2, and The Croods that were also nominated (I really believe Frozen has a lock on the award but it is great to be nominated).
The Wind Rises takes place in the early 1900’s Japan following a young boy named Jiro Horikoshi (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). The young boy dreams of someday flying airplanes. He is inspired by an Italian aeronautical engineer Caproni (Stanley Tucci). Due to his nearsightedness, he decides to design airplanes after waking from a dream with Caproni. He then sets on his journey to change airplanes in Japan forever.
Throughout a given year there will be an ample amount of action movies. The categories in which they fall could consist of growing chest hair after watching it (probably a sign you liked it a lot), making a serious effort to rent it after somehow missing it at the theater, it holds your attention (at least for a little while) when it airs on television despite commercials, and then there is the dubious honor of an action movie that with one viewing makes you seriously question the decision making capabilities of all parties involved. This begs the question of what category of action movie does 3 Days to Kill fall under? Well….
In this tale of espionage, we’re looking through the eyes of Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner), a grizzled CIA operative who has a penchant for…..wait for it…. killing. Nobody would have ever guessed that with the title. Anyway, Ethan is sent on a mission to take out the dastardly villains known as The Wolf (Richard Sammel) and The Albino (Tomas Lemarquis). Yes, you read that correctly, a villain named The Albino. Someone, somewhere is offended. The mission is looked on by afar from CIA agent ViVi Delay (Amber Heard) as to evaluate what Ethan is capable of. As it goes, wiping The Wolf and The Albino off of the face of the Earth is not checked off of Ethan’s to-do list as he suffers from a malignant brain tumor. Deciding to return to his home in France to visit his estranged wife, Christine (Connie Nielsen), and daughter, Zoey (Hailee Steinfeld), he clearly does not receive the warm and loving homecoming most would hope to receive. With his days numbered, he had the intention of leaving the clandestine service for good and live it out with his family. As fate would have it, ViVi shows up offering up the task of finishing the task he started with The Wolf and The Albino, in exchange for an experimental drug that could at least stall the effects of the brain tumor.