Friday, April 27, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War Movie Review

I really liked this movie, and for everyone who has been watching super flicks for years you'll probably like it too.

It's not a spoiler to say that this movie is about the Infinity Gauntlet, as the title suggests, and thus it's about Thanos. Thanos owns said gauntlet. And that's where the movie really shines, Thanos is a super cool bad guy, done really well here, and they made the great choice to center the movie around him.

Most of the big emotional downturns and payoffs involve the villain, and that makes this movie different than a lot of supers movies where the villain is a rage spewing backdrop to the quippy  heroes.

This movie can be a bit of a downer in parts, but that's okay, Thor: Ragnarok was also a downer and I really liked it.

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.