Monday, April 9, 2018

Wrestlemania 34 - Charlotte Flair

The Queen

If you are a person of refined tastes you are into professional wrestling. If not, let me catch you up a bit. Charlotte Flair is the daughter of Ric Flair, the consensus greatest wrestler to ever live. People like Hogan and Andre, or Stone Cold, may have been better known, but ask any of them who the best is. It's Ric Flair every time.

So Charlotte's character is The Queen, and she has a ton of Ric Flair's old moves and mannerisms. There's the constant angle of trying to live up to her father, how to differentiate herself at the same time, and then she's attacked by her opponents for being nothing more than a daddy's girl. Like she didn't get anything on her own, no personal achievements, it was all handed to her.

Here's the best part though, she's probably the best worker in the game. In this weekend's Wrestlemania (WWE's biggest annual event) she not only hit a moonsault (hardest move in wrestling, at least the hardest that's normally done) but she pulled a spanish fly off the top rope (flip, with your opponent, flying through the air, very uncommon and dangerous). So far tonight these have been the best technical moves, even after watching Balor and Rollins. To be fair Rollins/Balor hit a superplex and Rollins hit a couple of insane heights in their match, but that's NOT a moonsault or spanish fly, they are more difficult.

Tonight, in a surprise move, Charlotte went over on Asuka. Asuka was on a 900+ day winning streak, everyone thought they'd continue the streak and have a dominant champion in Asuka, but nope. They are keeping Charlotte as a dominant champ. She's finally starting to shine on her own outside of her father's shadow.

People will say, "Uncle Jo, it's all fake."

And I will say, "So is Game of Thrones, but you still cried when Snow died."

I will also point out that getting over with the crowd, becoming popular and putting up compelling performances, isn't fake. It's a competition. A competition to see who can put on the best show. If you put on the best show then they'll write you into a championship. Sometimes you are so over (popular) that the crowd will demand you be given the title. This has actually happened, booing and hissing and people getting pissed if the best performer isn't getting recognized with belts and title shots.

Right now, the best show in town is put on by The Queen, so she gets the Smackdown Women's Championship.

People often underestimate the powerful stories that can be told in the wrestling medium. That's sad, cuz I love it. It's way more fun to me than the manufactured narratives coming out of other sports, at least in wrestling we know it's a reality style TV show and not a legit sport with drama tacked on in an effort to create story lines (see NFL, and especially UFC).

I want to go on and on about The Golden Lovers right now, the best story in wrestling, but this post is already too long. I'll do the Golden Lovers later, it's a worthy story to dissect and analyze.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

My Oscar Picks 2018

Well, I can't pick Logan or Blade runner, they weren't nominated, so my pick for best picture of the year is I, Tonya.

It won't win, it's too fun. Oscar likes boring and overwrought. I'm not sure which movie fits the bill this year but 3 Billboards was probably boring enough with a lame enough ending to win. I kid, it was good, but you know the Oscar voters have particular tastes.

For best actor I have no preference, but I'd like to see Sally Hawkins win for Best Actress. Honestly though, anyone but Ronan or Streep and I'll be happy. They are well respected actresses but this wasn't Streep's year. And Ladybird, with Ronan, was the only movie this year that the performances annoyed me.

For supporting actor I'm pulling for Christopher Plummer, just because of the whole Kevin Spacey situation.

Allison Janney for best supporting actress. She was great as the mother in I, Tonya.

For best screenplay, let's call it 'best story' overall, I'll go with The Big Sick.

The technical awards, I don't know much about them. But Blade Runner was the best looking movie this year so I hope it wins stuff.

Monday, February 26, 2018

WolfCop - Review

This poster pretty much sums it up.

Trouble sleeping tonight, figured I'd watch something mind numbing and dumb. Well, here it is, the perfect movie for this situation. WolfCop.

It's all about exactly what you think it's all about. There's a cop. He turns into a wolf. There's some gore, some banging of hot chicks, tons of humor, all the schlock one could want.

I recommend this movie to anyone into "so good it's bad" types of horror comedy. There's a sequel out recently, Another WolfCop. I'll be watching that one soon I'm sure.

For writers, I'm not sure there's much to learn here. How to be over the top and still be good? If you are putting together a horror/comedy project, especially something graphical like a movie or comic book, you might check this out. It's a good example of how to go full cheese mode and be entertaining without crossing too far into cringe territory and ruining the fun.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

50 Shades Free - Movie

Don't do it bro! Don't do it!

So my little buddy Lacey and I went to go see this thrilling tale of love and banging. I was bored of my hermetic existence, she has been locked in new born baby land for months, so going to the theater to see this was just what we needed.

I can't recommend this movie for everyone, but if you know anything about the series you know exactly what to expect, and this movie delivers on that.

We had fun mocking all the musical montages, it's like dance music but a bit too slow played over slow camera pans and little life vignettes. Hilarious. There were a few sex scenes, a couple action scenes, and a TON of people trying their best to pretend to be interested in acting in this movie.

Good times. Happy Valentines Day!

Friday, January 12, 2018

The High Crusade by Poul Anderson

Sweet Old Timey Cover

I just read Poul Anderson's 1960 novel, The High Crusade. It was a solid science fiction read. Lots of battles and flitting around in space ships.

What impressed me was the different way it was written. The POV is a character in the story, but also the chronicler. So the story is told as if being told orally some years later by a guy who was there, filling in portions that he wasn't present for but subsequently heard about. Some of the telling is of the 'from a mile up' variety, not so much deep in POV but rather a summary of events.

It's an interesting style and it fits the elements of the story well, since it's about a group of crusaders from Medieval England being whisked away on a galaxy spanning crusade.

Another interesting thing about the book, and I'm not sure if this was in the original edition or not, is that there's a prologue story largely disconnected from the rest of the book. A side quest at the end. Was the book too short? It needed some padding? I dunno. It's a strange choice though. [EDIT: I looked it up, yes, The Quest at the end of The High Crusade was a stand alone short story in the same universe, it was appended to the end of my edition of the book. Cool!]

I'd recommend this book to any fan of sci/fi, especially if you are into that classic high adventure style 1960's sci/fi was known for.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Favorite Films of 2017

I watch a lot of movies. Probably too many. Here are some that I liked this year, this is not an exhaustive list, there could be some I'm not remembering, but here are six that I recommend.

1. I, Tonya: For us Oregon white trash she's a hero. This movie does her justice.
2. Get Out: Horror thriller with a wacky racial overtone. High recommend.
3. Logan: Best supers movie of the year. High drama, not as much bubblegum as other supers movies this year.
4. Wind River: Brutal. Brutal serious. Brutally violent. Trigger warnings all over.
5. Colossal: Featuring a burnout, female adult child, learning to grow up. With Kaiju. Very cool.
6. Blade Runner: Maybe a bit slow, but there's some great sci/fi here. You don't need non-stop action for an SF/F movie to be great.

There were also a bunch of fun action hero movies this year. Thor, Guardians, Wonder Woman and Bright. Bright is a bit controversial maybe, the critics panned it, but I liked it.

What movies did you like? Did I miss anything?