Movie Review: ‘Max’

Movie Review: ‘Max’

Written by Juan Ramos

MaxI’m a sucker for dog movies, I admit it.

I cry like a little bitch at the ASPCA commercials, so maybe my take on “Max” isn’t as reliable as some heartless asshole’s take.

“Max” is 100 minutes of dog love, pure and simple.

Dog lovers will devour this movie and be left begging for seconds.

“Max” is a German shepherd, that was trained by the military to assist in weapons finding missions.

It just so happens that Max’s trainer/owner is shot and killed early on in the movie.

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99: ‘Inside Out’ Starring Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling

inside out movie poster largeSharon Suchoval joins us this week for Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out. Sharon runs the website AdviceForMyDaughter.com which seemed appropriate since the movie is about the inner workings of the thought process of an 11-year old.

But don’t let the presence of a “mommy blogger” scare you. Sharon’s worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry. She’s not just handing out coupons for free appetizers at Olive Garden. (But if you happen to have any coupons for free appetizers at Olive Garden send ‘em our way. We’re not proud.)

All this plus Tom takes a trip down T-ball Memory Lane, we might or might not offend two major religions and Kevin and Tom admit to liking Magic Mike.

It’s Reel Spoilers #99 – Inside Out. 

You’ve been warned.

Starring: Sharon Suchoval, Tom O’Keefe, Dan Graney, Joe Buttice, Kevin Brackett
Run-time: 1hr 57min

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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.

Chandler 2

By Juan Ramos
Michael Chandler (12-3) has always embraced competition.
The former Bellator light heavyweight champion began his wrestling career at Northwest High School.
The High Ridge native and former Mizzou All-American said MMA seemed like a more attractive route than wrestling internationally.
“MMA would be a better avenue than wrestling internationally,” Chandler said. “It was a change, so I figured I would try it. I haven’t looked back since.”
Chandler’s MMA career skyrocketed, as he won his first 12 pro MMA bouts.
However, Chandler suffered a split-decision loss to Eddie Alverez in 2013, losing his title.
Chandler dropped a second split decision, to Will Brooks, in a fight for the interim belt.
In November 2014, Chandler lost his rematch to Brooks by TKO.
The 28-year-old is looking to end his skid at Bellator 138, Friday, June 19, at Scottrade Center.
Chandler will face Derek Campos (15-4) in a co-headliner slot, which will air live on Spike TV.
A four-time NCAA qualifier at Mizzou, Chandler’s last wrestling match of his career was in St. Louis during the 2009 NCAA Championships.
Chandler defeated Matt Moley of Bloomsburg in the fifth-place match.
In Chandler’s eyes, his wrestling background gives him a big advantage over his opponents.
“It’s very massive,” he said. “Aside from the physical aspect that I can pick guys up and put them down, I learned a lot from wrestling. The mental aspect of what wrestling has taught me and, more important, what wrestling at a Division I program like Mizzou has really made me the man I am today and the competitor I am today. It’s helped me in so many ways that I can’t even begin to describe.”
The former Mizzou wrestling standout said defeating his opponent will be no easy task.
“He’s a tough guy,” Chandler said. “He’s got good cardio. He’s always in fast-paced fights and so am I. I think I’m better on my feet and on the ground, in the wrestling department. I fully intend to go out there and put on a dominant performance.”
Before his three losses, Chandler was widely viewed as the face of Bellator, but after three losses and a change in leadership with the promotion, some feel he has lost his top spot.
Chandler disagrees.
“I think I’m one or two fights away from getting another title shot,” he said. “When I win that title, I will still be the face of Bellator. It’s great to be part of that. I’m just looking forward to getting this train rolling. It all starts June 19.”
Being a wrestler by trade, it may be easy to assume Chandler prefers taking a fight to the ground, however, he has no preference.
“I have finished fights standing and finished fights on the ground,” he said. “Both are great ways to finish fights, as long as you do it in a dominant fashion. So, I think it’s a tie. Obviously the fans love a knockout more.”
The light-heavyweight division in Bellator features some strong competition from the likes of current champion Brooks, but Chandler still feels he is one of the top dogs.
“I think I’m one of the elite guys,” Chandler said. “It’s not to brag, but I’ve put a lot of dedication into this. I’ve put my heart and soul into this sport. I think I train harder than anybody else and have made sacrifices that other people won’t make. I’m more disciplined than so many other guys. I feel like I deserve to be the best.”
Once again, Chandler pointed to his wrestling background as a tool that has enabled him to be more successful than other fighters.
“I have that drive to constantly improve and get better,” he said. “With that attitude you should have no other choice than to be successful and be elite. That comes from my wrestling background at Mizzou.”
While at Mizzou, Chandler was known for putting on strong performances in front of hometown crowds. While some fighters may get nervous fighting in front of a home crowd or on television, Chandler doesn’t let it affect him.
“I think you got to separate yourself from all that other stuff,” he said. “You have to realize that a fight is still a fight against another man, your same size. The cage door is going to close and you’re going to go into competition-mode to try to win the contest.”

chandler

98: ‘Jurassic World’ Starring Chris Pratt, Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jake Johnson

Jurassic-World-Poster-OfficialJurassic World has scored the highest opening weekend in history ($208.8 million domestic and $511.8 million worldwide), but that won’t stop us from spoiling it.

We answer all the important questions like, “How does a place like this get insurance?” and “Can Dan come up with a Video Recovery that Tom won’t ruin during the course of the show?”

It’s Reel Spoilers 98: Jurassic World.

You’ve been warned.

Starring: Tom O’Keefe, Dan Graney, Joe Buttice, Blake Fehl, Kevin Brackett
Run-time: 1hr 49min

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MAX‏ Opens June 26! Enter to Win Passes to the St. Louis Advance Screening!

Enter for your chance to receive a pass for two to a special advance screening!

Max War Dog Movie PosterA dog that helped US Marines in Afghanistan returns to the U.S. and is adopted by his handler’s family after suffering a traumatic experience.

Cast: Robbie Amell, Lauren Graham, Thomas Haden Church
Director: Boaz Yakin

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ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL‏ Opens June 12! Enter to Win Passes to the St. Louis Advance Screening!

Enter for your chance to receive a pass for two to a special advance screening!

ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL PosterWinner of the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is the uniquely funny, moving story of Greg (Thomas Mann), a high school senior who is trying to blend in anonymously, avoiding deeper relationships as a survival strategy for navigating the social minefield that is teenage life. He even describes his constant companion Earl (RJ Cyler), with whom he makes short film parodies of classic movies, as more of a “co-worker” than a best friend. But when Greg’s mom (Connie Britton) insists he spend time with Rachel (Olivia Cooke)—a girl in his class who has just been diagnosed with cancer—he slowly discovers how worthwhile the true bonds of friendship can be.

Cast: Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, RJ Cyler, Nick Offerman, Molly Shannon, Jon Bernthal, Connie Britton
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

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Movie Review: ‘Jurassic World’ Starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard

Jurassic-World-Poster-Official22 years exactly after Jurassic Park comes Jurassic World, the fourth film in the franchise, and possibly the best one since the original.  Jurassic World takes us back to the island from the first film, where the idea of cloned dinosaurs has been resurrected and expanded. Audiences flock from over the world to see wondrous exhibits presented by corporate sponsors.  The park is owned by an eccentric billionaire (as if there is any other kind), and run by the bullheaded and independent Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard). Despite having finally introduced the world safely to animals once thought to be extinct, the thrill just isn’t there any more. The park is seeing less growth every year as the novelty fades. Audiences want more danger, and bigger spectacle. Jurassic World intends to deliver by genetically modifying a new dinosaur, more dangerous than one we’ve ever seen before. As you can guess, things go pretty awry from here, and only Veloci-whisperer (Chris Pratt) can hope to stop it. Oh, and just for giggles, a subplot about Claire’s nephews is thrown in so younger audience members can find a character within their wheelhouse.

Jurassic World, come for the story, stay for the spectacle. The story is just really an excuse to throw the audience into a modern day monster thriller. The characters aren’t particularly deep, but really is that what you came to this movie for? Sure, Chris Pratt continues to show after his breakout in Guardians of the Galaxy, that he is in fact a enthralling leading man. Pratt has the comedic chops to keep audiences entertained, and the dramatic chops to make even a far fetched character believable.  His counterpart in Bryce Dallas Howard manages to hit the right notes, despite her character being a mesh of somewhat offensive female-centric tropes. Howard makes the best of it, despite not changing out of her heels for the duration of the film. Supporting the two leads are Ty Sympkins and Nick Robinson, who play much the same role as the children from the first film. Adults might find them a bit grating at times, but they are essential to some of the dangerous elements of the plot.

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Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock Ready To Fight

KimboVsKen.0.0This fight has been seven years in the making.
Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock will finally square off Friday, June 19 at Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
“This is a fight that should have happened many years ago,” Bellator President Scott Coker said. “I know that it’s a fight that’s been under everybody’s skin for several years.”
Shamrock and Slice were scheduled to fight in 2008, but just days before the fight, Shamrock suffered a cut during training and was forced to withdraw.
“I’m not even going to comment on that,” Slice said. “I just hope he fights. I hope he don’t pussy out. You do stuff like that when you’re scared.”
Shamrock, 51, said training for this fight was the most difficult thing he’s ever had to endure.
“I’ve always trained hard and been in pretty good shape,” Shamrock said. “This was the toughest and most difficult thing I’ve had to do in my career. I’ve been tested more than I’ve ever been tested training for a fight. Any athlete who has ever been in this position is either made or broken in the training.”

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97: ‘Love & Mercy’ Starring John Cusack and Paul Dano as Brian Wilson

Love and Mercy PosterThis week we welcome Randy Raley, the owner and proprietor of Planet Radio.

If you grew up in St. Louis you probably know him from his tenure at KSHE-95 or Kansas City folks might remember him from his time with KY 102. Either way he’s spent the better part of 40-years playing rock records (longer if you count the time he spent his bedroom as a child). And since this week’s movie is the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy we figured who better to discuss The Beach Boys and their place in the rock pantheon.

So join us for a tangent filled discussion about some of the best music ever written and its impact.

It’s Reel Spoilers #97 – Love & Mercy

You’ve been warned.

Starring: Randy Raley, Tom O’Keefe, Blake Fehl, Kevin Brackett
Run-time: 1hr 50min

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