Inside Pulse A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Mon, 25 May 2015 00:46:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse no A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse New Poll: Who Will Will Win Big Brother Canada 3? Mon, 25 May 2015 00:46:14 +0000

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Murtz On The Scene: Exclusive Interview With Big Brother Canada 3‘s Pilar Nemer Mon, 25 May 2015 00:38:26 +0000


When Pilar Nemer was nominated by Sindy Nguyen in the first week of Big Brother Canada 3, it didn’t appear like she would be in it for the long haul. Her bubbly personality and unassuming nature made many believe that she didn’t possess the fortitude to make it to the end. In fact, it’s safe to say that her fellow houseguests and fans of the show all seemed to write her off. Pili then entered into a showmance with one of the best players this season (Kevin) and together, they formed the Diaper Alliance with Zach, Ashleigh, and JP. It was a strong squad and one in which Pili definitely carried her weight, even going on to win an HOH competition for the group. While she was clearly having the most fun in the house, Pili seemed like she would almost certainly be dragged by another player into the Final 2 so that they could argue that she didn’t play much of a game, but the fact of the matter is that whether she meant it or not, Pili played a pretty solid Big Brother game. I caught up with Nemer to discuss the future of her relationship with Kevin, if she felt like she was underestimated and if she regretted not turning on the Diaper Alliance.

Pilar Nemer: Hi!

Murtz Jaffer: Hey Pili. How are you?

PN: I’m good. How are you?

MJ: Very good. I want to jump right into it. Do you feel like you were underestimated in the house?

PN: I definitely feel like I was underestimated in the house. I’m a tiny girl, I’m all bubbly, and like goofy. Yeah. People definitely didn’t think I could actually play the game. I think my fellow houseguests probably thought I was a floater or… I mean I played the game socially the way I am, but yes, I was definitely underestimated in the game.

MJ: When you won HOH, it looked like Kevin had a lot of control over your decisions. Was it your plan or his to get rid of Sindy?

PN: It was both of our decisions. We, Kevin and I, played the game together like we were working together. We’re best friends. He would agree with my decisions and vice versa. I wanted initially to get Sindy out though. She was a huge target. She was my target from ever since she got back into the house. She’s a threat to me. I knew I couldn’t beat her at comps. She’s an amazing competitor, strong physically and mentally. She’s a great talker. So, yeah, like she was my… She was my target. She knew that. She came along and dropped the bomb on the Chop Shop Alliance in the morning. First thing in the morning, she did. I had no idea about this. Yes, of course, it got me thinking like ‘oh my gosh. What am I going to do? Like, am I going to change my mind?’ But I just went with my gut. I talked to Kev about it. We both agreed with the same thing… to get her out. It was best. Best thing to do for both of our games. It didn’t matter what else she told me. I just went with my gut and got rid of her.

MJ: After she won the veto in the first week, Sindy decided to name you as the replacement nominee. Did that have anything to do with your decision to nominate her when you had the chance?

PN: Absolutely not. I mean, you… you forgive and you don’t forget but that was just a forgiven thing. I mean, I don’t know if she actually like just chose me as a replacement nominee just because she couldn’t remember anyone else or if it was because actually I was the last one talking to her. I don’t know the reason and I really… I don’t think it matters anymore. I just decided to move forward and just looked at game-wise, and not like a on a personal level. So no, it did not matter.

MJ: Typically showmances are targeted on Big Brother. How did you and Kevin avoid this?

PN: I’m honestly not 100% sure how we avoided it. But I knew being a showmance if people were going to go after us, they were going to go after Kevin first before they would go after me because Kevin is such a good competitor. He’s a great player. So he was a big target from Day 1 for a lot of people. And I wasn’t. I was only on the block first week because Sindy put me up but I went through a lot of like weeks and weeks without being on the block, without it being a target and Kevin was. So I feel like I didn’t have to protect him or he didn’t have to protect me but in order for people to break us as a couple, they had to go after him and not myself.

MJ: In your opinion, what was the turning point of the season?

PN: The Triple Eviction, absolutely. I never expected to be sitting on the block next to half my alliance, especially Kevin. Like I never saw that one coming. I didn’t think he was going to be leaving the house that night. It was very unexpected. It was very hard mentally and physically for me because my best friend left that night. And, of course, it changed the game; the true colours of people came out that night. So of course after that eviction, the house is totally… everyone flipped the vote like the house split in half. So going to that HOH was extremely important. It wasn’t like… I couldn’t fool around anymore like I was before. But it was like I had to win that. In order to be saved you couldn’t not win.

MJ: When you were sitting next to Zach on the block in last night’s episode, he was dressed quite formally while it looked you were wearing gym clothes (presumably to get ready for an endurance HOH). Did you know you were safe?

PN: Well honestly, in the Big Brother house, you never know when you’re safe. You’re only safe for… Like you’re only safe either when you’re HOH or when you have the Power of Veto. Those are the only reasons you know you’re safe. So my fellow houseguests told me I had the votes and I knew I had them. I… I believe that… I took their word for it and so I knew I was staying unless there was any twist thrown at us. So that was the only… the only reason I would think I would be leaving the house but other than that, I knew I was staying. I didn’t know yet that it was going to be a Double Eviction. If I had known that, I would probably done something different maybe. I don’t know. But yeah, I knew I was staying in the house for sure.

MJ: Was there any time in the game where you felt that turning on the Diaper Alliance and joining forces with Sarah and Brittnee might be a good move?

PN: I mean it could have been. I don’t know but I’m happy that I stuck with the Diaper Alliance. I was loyal to them. I didn’t want to turn my back on them. I trusted them. In the Big Brother house, it takes a long time to trust someone. Like trust is earned in there. You don’t join an alliance just to be in an alliance. You have to start trusting people and then you become part of the alliance. You can’t just get thrown in an alliance… it doesn’t work that way. So I chose to be in the Diaper Alliance because I know I could trust JP, Zach, Ashleigh, and Kevin. So I chose to stay true to them. I was loyal to myself and to my alliance, of course, so I have no regrets for not being in an alliance with Brittnee and Sarah.

MJ: While it is bittersweet for you to leave the game, how excited are you to see Kevin in the jury house?

PN: I’m really excited! I’m not going to lie! I really like him. He’s a great guy. He’s such a great friend. I couldn’t have asked for a better friend in the house. We just created a great huge bond. We are so alike, like our personalities… I think that’s why we connected and we clicked so well. Yeah. I really like him and I hope we get to work things out after this whole thing but yes, I’m definitely looking forward to see him. He’ll be surprised but hopefully it’s a good surprise!

MJ: Do you see that relationship continuing after the show?

PN: Yes I see us working it out for sure. I mean we’ll see what happens. We’ll go with the… we’ll go with it. I can’t plan ahead of what’s going to happen. But we’re just going to… we’ll… we’ll… we’ll work it out. We’ll see what happens. But yes, I am willing to try.

MJ: I asked Kevin this question and I want to as you as well. Do you prefer your relationship with Kevin to be referred to as ‘Kevlar’ or ‘Kili?’

PN: I’m going to go for Kili. [Laughs].

MJ: That’s funny because he said Kevlar! Amazing!

PN: I knew it!

MJ: Thank you so much!

PN: You’re welcome. I appreciate it.

MJ: Thank you so much. I’ll see you at the finale. Thanks a lot.

PN: Alright. See you!

]]> 0 Here's my interview with Pilar! Here's my interview with Pilar! Inside Pulse no 8:34
The Classy Ring Attire Podcast #171: “Basically Anybody Who Plans to Stop Watching Wrestling Now is a Fool Sun, 24 May 2015 23:06:46 +0000 So we get a pretty quality Payback show, and that’s followed by a great episode of Raw that features the debut of Keven Owen. And not only that, but later in the week we got the amazing event that was NXT Unstoppable. Boy this would be just the worst time to swear of wrestling for a month or so.

]]> 0 So we get a pretty quality Payback show, and that's followed by a great episode of Raw that features the debut of Keven Owen. And not only that, but later in the week we got the amazing event that was NXT Unstoppable. So we get a pretty quality Payback show, and that's followed by a great episode of Raw that features the debut of Keven Owen. And not only that, but later in the week we got the amazing event that was NXT Unstoppable. Boy this would be just the worst time to swear of wrestling for a month or so. Inside Pulse no 1:20:00
Murtz On The Scene: Exclusive Interview With Big Brother Canada 3‘s Zach Oleynik Sun, 24 May 2015 21:43:07 +0000


Before Big Brother Canada‘s third season kicked off, I had the chance to analyze the biographies of the new houseguests. When I read that Zach Oleynik was a university quarterback, I presumed that he would remind me of all the guys that I didn’t get along with in college and that his ego would be his biggest downfall in the house. That said, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Zach became one of my favorite players this season as he effectively managed to hide his physicality by building very strong social relationships. While his decision to put his best ally on the block will be remembered as one of the worst moves of the season, Zach’s ability to put together an army of allies at any given moment has to be appreciated. This was highlighted by Bruno choosing to use his POV to save Zach during the Triple Eviction. While Bruno and Zach had butted heads over the course of the season (with Bruno being instrumental in the vote that sent JP home), Zach’s ability to maintain working relationships with both allies and enemies alike certainly saved him in the game on more than one occasion. I caught up with Zach to discuss his eviction, his decision not to remove JP from the block and his relationship with Bruno in the house. He also offered some details about how he sees his relationship with Ashleigh progressing outside of the house.

Zach Oleynik: Hey!

Murtz Jaffer: Hey Zach. How are you?

ZO: Pretty good. As good as I can be after being evicted. Thank you.

MJ: There is no question that your decision to keep JP on the block after you won the veto is ultimately what turned the tide against Newport and your game in general. Can you explain why you decided to keep your best ally on the block and do you feel like that move is basically responsible for the success that Sarah and Brittnee are currently enjoying?

ZO: Oh. Yes. It has definitely, you know, given Brittnee and Sarah success. What would I say? Yes. Absolutely I regret doing it. The reason that we kind of did it was we were right at the middle of the game, 5 and 4. Jordan had the 4 on the one side, I have the 5 on the other side. And we just tried to dance the fine line of, you know, not burning a bridge with either side. And being able to keep our sides at bay and vote to get out Godfrey. And the thing that we didn’t do is keep the 2 parts aside, you know? They conversed one night and flipped the house. And that is the crazy thing about Big Brother is sometimes you get a little too fancy with it.

MJ: For the majority of this season, it looked like you had things on lockdown and that this game was basically yours. Can you tell me where things went wrong?

ZO: Well. Other than my HOH where Jordan left… I think that, you know, we got hit with some twists and now was hard to get past (the Triple Eviction). You know? I snuck through that and then, you know, just not being able to stay in power. Kind of got myself exposed at the later part of the game and that eventually just kind of burned me to the ground. And as much as I tried to hang on, it was just inevitable that if I didn’t win a competition, I was going to be kissing those doors.

MJ: The Newport strategy that you just talked about to basically work both sides of the house (with you getting information from the Chop Shop and JP working the other side) seemed to be such a great idea. At what point did this strategy stop working?

ZO: Well. Yeah. Exactly. That’s the thing is it stopped working at the point where we got in power and kind of had to expose ourselves, you know? At that point, did we want to win an HOH? Not really. But Godfrey up there scared me a lot because I thought that I would’ve been that guy that he wanted to hit. So I had to take that HOH and then still try to damp the fine line of kind of playing in the middle and of being on both sides. But unfortunately, you do have to expose your cards when you’re an HOH. So that’s kind of what happened. I tried… we tried to stay, you know, set-up all over the house and what eventually happened was we didn’t expose our cards. We put up… I put him up as a pawn and he went home which completely sucked.

MJ: In the triple eviction, you voted to save Willow instead of Kevin or Pili who were both members of the Diaper Alliance. Can you explain why?

ZO: Good question. Bruno used the Veto on me. And basically what happened was when we were in the pantry, I told Bruno, I said ‘I owe you this vote. You just saved my game. You kept me here and I want to vote with you. I owe it to you.’ And basically, his reasoning was, if we kept Pili, she would’ve been tied to Ashleigh and me. And essentially would have made me stronger than him. And then he said, ‘I want to keep Willow’ and I said, ‘I owe it to you to vote with you and keep Willow.’ And what happened was Godfrey flipped. Kept Pili. And the next week, Bruno went before me because of my relationship with Pili. So it ended up hurting him anyways. So the crazy thing is that essentially what happened was the move he wanted to keep Willow, you know, ended up burning him. Pili stayed and I ended up staying because of it. It’s the craziest thing to think about now but yeah! What a crazy turn of events!

MJ: In your opinion, who are the villains of this season. You and the Diaper Alliance or Sarah and Brittnee?

ZO: Oooh. See… That’s a very interesting question because it’s hard for me to see Ashleigh and Pilar, you know, labeled as ‘villains’ because they’re the two kind hearted, easy-going girls. So I think of me and Kev as villains or Sarah and Brittnee. I know Sarah and Brittnee are a little edgy and they like to, you know, spice it up. So I would play them more as villain cards than me and Kev, but you never know. I think it was a good little rivalry.

MJ: There have been so many twists on Big Brother this season with the biggest one being Brittnee being able to replace both of Ashleigh’s nominations. Because of these twists, do you think that this season’s winner will be the best player or simply the luckiest?

ZO: Oooh. Very good question. Brittnee’s… Brittnee’s power was something that flipped my game a 100% because I was really, really set-up going in to that Final 5 with Ashleigh and Pilar and Bruno. Do we think the winner [is the best or the luckiest], you know, I think… I think both. I think that you have to still play a good game, no matter what to get to the end of Big Brother. You have to play a good social game. You have to win competitions, make moves, etc. But you have to have luck on your side. So the twists add a heavy element of luck and so do the competition this year. But, you know what, you still got to be a good player to beat through these twists. So definitely, a good heavy dosage of both.

MJ: Your relationship with Bruno was one of my favorite parts of the season. Can you talk about how it started and how shocked you were when he decided to use the Triple Eviction veto on you?

ZO: Hmm. Yes. This is a very, I love answering questions with this, Bruno was a very loyal guy and he had that sense of just… you know, he wanted to grab on to a guy in the game and just roll together. And I saw that develop throughout the game. Me and him always had a pretty good relationship throughout the Chop Shop, etc. And I saw him the way he campaigned for Graig, when he was tight with Graig. Then he moved onto Bobby. And the thing is when I realized Bobby was going, the night before I pulled Bruno in and I said, ‘you know what. I owe it to you to give some loyalty back to you in this game. You are very loyal guy.’ And I knew that he was going to be alone in the game once Bobby left. So I pulled him in the night before the Triple Eviction. I said, ‘I want to do that.’ I don’t know if people saw that or not but it was in a room upstairs and I just said, ‘hey Bruno. Me and you… a little side thing.’ And the next night, the Triple Eviction happened. Bruno won the Veto and used it on me. And yes, I was very, very surprised at the same time. I kind of had that little hidden side deal in my pocket that nobody in the house knew about. And it ended up saving me, I couldn’t believe he actually was very loyal to it as he was saying the night before. But I was very, very happy. Surprised. And felt blessed to be in the house that night.

MJ: You seemed to rub Godfrey the wrong way and his speech where he said that he wanted to be the one to get your blood on his hands was a definite highlight. Can you elaborate on your relationship with Godfrey and if you feel he is a good player or one who is simply in the right place at the right time?

ZO: Yeah. You know. It depends what you define a good player as because Godfrey, you know, he didn’t really seem to play for the first long portion of the game. And then he kind of got digging away at a couple of girls saying that he wanted, you know, the guys out and me out. And that was right before my HOH so I kind of started to just see him as a wild card, you know? I pretty… I had a pretty good read on most of the house. On where their heads were at and who they were aligned with but Godfrey? Never had a read on the guy. Because he never really grabbed onto anyone. He just kind of solo rolled the whole game. Call it a floater or call it, you know, maybe good gameplay. Whatever it is, it worked for him. And it just kind of got to the position where I wanted to get him out because I wanted wild cards out that I didn’t have a read on. And if they won, my life was in jeopardy. So that’s where it started. I put him on the block and essentially wanted him out that week and then from there on out, you know, I was never really that scared of him. Because he was such a… he never really wanted to expose his cards. He didn’t really like competition or do well on them. So for the most part, he was just there and there was bigger fish to fry at that point. So now, I would be very surprised if he is not in the Final 3 with these girls battling back and forth now. And he might win second place. I don’t see him winning first though.

MJ: With regard to your relationship with Ashleigh, is it one that you plan on continuing after the show?

ZO: Yeah. I think I’m going to just see what happens with Ashleigh. She’s a very, very good girl. Kind-hearted, genuine and just the type of girl that I usually date in the real world. That’s why we kind of magnetized in the house. We just… I just… Just kind of happened. And I was trying to balance game and showmance because I was a game player first, I really was. But that was something that was very very nice and genuine to have in the house. And I’ll see what happens outside the house.

MJ: And finally Zach, who do you think is playing the best game right now?

ZO: Brittnee, Sarah and Ashleigh are all playing very good games. And they all have their own arguments. I think that Ashleigh has picked it up over this end of the game and she’s winning competitions. She’s showing people that she’s a legitimate player in this game. Yes, I’m tied to her, I have a bias thinking that, you know? If she gets to the end, she deserves it. I think Sarah’s social game is unbelievable. She’s done a lot of work in this house without actually getting her hands dirty. So credit to that and at the same time, Brittnee, 5 times on the block. Got rid of 5 people. I think that argument right there from a game player standpoint is something that deserves to win the game. Just with how many people she’s got out. Her HOHs runs plus her power. So her being the leading runner right now.

MJ: Amazing. Zach. Thank you so much. I look forward to meeting you at the finale.

ZO: Right on. Thank you very much. Great, great questions.

]]> 0 Here's my interview with Zach! Here's my interview with Zach! Inside Pulse no 9:40
Spain’s WWE SmackDown Report and Results for May 21st 2015: So Many PPVs, So Little Build… Sun, 24 May 2015 12:48:55 +0000 Hi there, SmackDown fans. Well, it’s been less than a week since the last PPV, but only, what, like, two weeks until the next one? In which they try to cram as many Elimination Chambers into an event as possible, I’m guessing.

We recap RAW including Ambrose holding Rollins hostage. I swear, WWE would make Batman into a cringing wuss if they turned him heel. On the other hand, I do love me some Ambrose vs. Rollins. Oh, and why in God’s name did they ban the Curb Stomp? Because not enough people have the superkick as their finishing move?

Bleh, onto some SmackDown.

We’re kicking things off with Roman Reigns approaching the ring. When his t-shirt creases, it looks like the words on the back read ‘BELIEVE TWAT’, which gives me a bit of a giggle. Also, apparently this is Roman Reigns’ ‘return to SmackDown‘, despite being on this show last week: I know, because I reviewed the damn thing.

So, we’re here to discuss ‘what’s next’ for Roman Reigns. I don’t know, maybe a feud with Lesnar where he doesn’t come out of it looking like traffic accident. Reigns tells us that he didn’t win at Payback. Gawrsh, Roman, is that right? Is that why you’re not wearing the fucking belt or nothing? But Reigns loved doing what he did at Payback, which is what’s important, right? Better than being champ or making your family proud, really. He says that, with Rollins, it’ll never ever be a fair fight. So…he’s entering the Money In The Bank ladder match. Oh dear Christ, no.

Ambrose comes out, hopefully to talk Reigns out of his ridiculous scheme. I mean, the guy clearly needs help. Dean talks crazy for a little, then says he won’t have to be in the Money In The Bank ladder match, because he’ll be the champ by then. Reigns compliments Ambrose on his sneaky scheme this Monday, but then tries to convince him that he needs an exit strategy.

Before anyone can say anything else, Kane comes out, and mocks Ambrose for getting his ass kicked on Monday, saying that the Authority always wins. Reigns says that Kane can’t know that, because he’s always unconscious. Kane gets a little riled, telling Roman that he ain’t in the motherfucking ladder match, because he’s a loser who loses at every single PPV, like ever. Dude, he’s the prettier Ryback. If Reigns wants to be in that match, he’s got to earn it. Ambrose insults Kane because, come on, it’s Kane, and that leads to him getting a match against the New Face of Fear, Bray Wyatt. And, as a punishment for being a smartass, Reigns gets a night off. Wow, seems like this is pretty sweet operation if you’re a smartass. Roman’s apparently chill with having a night off, but makes some sort of threat involving him keeping tabs on how the show’s going. So…he’s going to be Roger Ebert?

Like Eurovision Up In This Bitch

Apparently, Titus O’Neil is the 2015 Celebrity Dad of the Year. I don’t know why that’s a thing: it probably shouldn’t be. But at the next PPV, we’ll be seeing a Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber match. I’m going to go ahead and say that this will be at best hilarious and at worst an absolute clusterfuck (so, hilarious in a different manner).

And this is your Four Corners Tag Team match, because someone up there loves me. Kidd and Sin Cara start off together, exchanging some holds with chain wrestling. Warning: I’m not be going to be able to call a fucking thing about most of this, so let’s both do our best, shall we? Viktor tags in, clubbing Tyson to the floor, and then Fernando tags himself in, only to immediately get caught in the Sharpshooter. Natalya assaults El Torito on what I assume is a general principle. Torito manages to hurricanrana out of it, allowing Fernando to gain the upper hand. Konnor comes in to add to the damage, standing tall as we go to the break.

Back from the commercial break, Tyson’s gamely still getting the crap kicked out of him, but is able to slide away from Konnor, allowing Sin Cara to come in and start knocking Konnor all over the shop. Handspring elbow puts the Ascension member down, but his attempt at a Lionsault brings him down onto a pair of knees. Viktor tags in, and the Ascension begin laying a beating down on the masked man. I’m really sort of hoping that the Ascension can look less like jokes due to this, but my hopes aren’t high.

Diego tags himself in, which angers Viktor, and he pulls the Matador off his pinning attempt on Sin Cara. A stare-down is imminent and we’ve got a stare-down! And now it’s a shove-off and now it’s a brawl! Everyone’s smacking the hell out of everyone; Sin Cara gets tagged out by Cesaro and Viktor takes a train to Uppercut City! As Tyson and Cesaro hit their finishing move, Diego tags himself in, but Cesaro stops him from stealing the win. Cesaro eats a boot from Konnor, but gets hurricanrana’d by Diego! Calisto tags himself in, taking Diego down with a splash from the top rope!

Calisto hits his face-first hurricanrana, only for the pin to get broken up by Konnor! Everyone’s getting thrown out of the ring, and then Sin Cara splashes down on them! Calisto and Diego are left in the ring; Calisto manages to roll Diego up and they’ve got the win!

Great match: the action was fast and furious. Not sure how the hell they’re going to do this in a Chamber, especially with no tagging in and out, but I look forward to their attempt. 3.5 Stars.

We replay Ziggler getting a smooch from Lana which, let me just say, came right out of Bumfuck Nowhere. I mean, if it gets Ziggs into a feud with Rusev, bitchin’. I just think there was fuck-all build to that. And apparently WWE sent some interviewer to show the footage to Rusev again, which means that they’ve started dabbling in human sacrifice.

Renee is backstage with Dolph, asking for his reaction on Lana wanting to make a baby with him. He seems to regard this as a typical week for him, which makes it sound like Dolph’s got a pretty awesome life. Tonight, he’s got a match against King Barrett, and then Lana comes out to wish him good luck. Her nervous grin is hilariously awkward. Wait…is Ziggler telling Lana about why she needs feminism?

All Hail King Barrett

Barrett makes his way down to the ring, ready to face Dolph Ziggler. And Ziggler makes his way to the ring, persisting on dressing like a gay Nebraskan trucker despite being billed from Hollywood. Yep.

The men get themselves ready, and we got a match. Ziggler picks the leg of Barrett, then gets a facelock. They roll themselves around with some chain wrestling, then Wade sends Ziggler reeling with an elbow. Beatdown in a corner for a moment, and Barrett’s got the advantage early. I type too soon, though, because Ziggler hits a jawbreaker, then dodges a charge from Wade into the corner. Dropkick, Stinger Splash, neckbreaker, elbow: Ziggler could be looking to end this early, but Barrett shuts down his momentum, hitting a suplex.

Back from the break, Barrett has Ziggler in a sleeper. Dolph fights out, finally knocking Barrett into a corner, but a missed Stinger Splash leaves him stumbling into Waste Land. As Wade argues with the ref about the count, despite the fact that Waste Land hasn’t pinned anyone for years, Ziggler rolls out of the ring. There’s no place to run and no place to hide, however, and Dolph gets the shit kicked out of him on the outside before Wade flings him back into the ring.

Wade knocks Dolph the fuck out with a superkick, because God knows we need more people using that, and it gets two. Now the Brit’s calling for the Bullhammer, but he runs into a superkick from Dolph! He avoids the DDT, but eats the Zig-Zag!

Solid match, and a nice promise for the Elimination Chamber. Looks like it could be a great contest. 2.5 Stars.

Lana is on the entrance ramp, applauding Ziggler and giving him the old bedroom eyes. I assume, anyway: never known what that expression meant.

We replay Nikki’s beatdown and Paige’s return, and did we just see some competent writing for the Divas Division? Terrifying.

Here’s Paige in the ring, fresh from shooting a movie. She calls England her ‘home town’, which is just how you Americans think of us, isn’t it? She condemns Naomi for doing the exact same thing that she would have done, because nobody ever remembers the sick shit they did as a heel, but then congratulates her for getting what she wants. She also calls Tamina a dude, which is kind of insulting. This is her division, her championship, her house.

Naomi and Tamina show up, and apparently Naomi went to the Rollins’ School of Entitlement, but the Reigns School of Promo Delivery. She blames the WWE Universe, when she should probably blame WWE Creative. Naomi makes it a point of pride that she’s been around for a long time without being relevant, rather than having a so-far short and illustrious career which is continuously growing.

Paige goes back on the offensive, and can we just get back to smacking each other around? Jesus, you’re wrestlers. Finally, Tamina and Naomi rush the ring and kick the crap out of Paige. Nikki makes the save, and is able to catch a fleeing Naomi and Tamina whilst tripping over. She flings Naomi back in the ring and deals with Tamina, but as Paige is about to deliver the Rampaige, she takes her down, hitting the Rack Attack to stand tall. I’ve seen worse Divas storylines.

Here’s Bray Wyatt, standing next to a smoke machine, as you do. He bemoans how lunatics are treated, and I can see where he’s coming from: Bray’s not been handled well by Creative. Blah blah: he’s going to beat Ambrose and then do nothing for a while. He says that Dean’s in his way, and his way to what? What exactly is Wyatt going to do?


Oh Christ almighty, it’s R-Truth. There’s no way that this ends well. I mean, for any of us. Oh, and he’s facing Stardust. Goody.

They circle each other, and Stardust goes on the attack, but gets hip-tossed by Truth. Stardust hangs Truth up on the apron and hits a springboard dropkick before choking him. Stomp to R-Truth’s head, then a big clothesline sending him to the mat, and then back to choking. R-Truth clubs his way out, but his suplex attempt his countered, and Stardust hits Dark Matter for two. Stardust rips off his gloves, but then they get used to distract him for Truth to score the win.

Can’t decide whether that’s dumb or smart, but considering it’s Truth, I’m sticking with dumb. 1.5 Stars.

Renee’s got another interview, this time with Ryback. She asks him about the Elimination Chamber, and he says that whilst he doesn’t know what he should expect, he’s looking forward to it. And he has a message for the other five men in that Chamber: Feed Him More.

We replay Kevin Owens making a good portion of the IWC need to take a cold shower this past Monday. I’ll admit to watching the replay again, for the erectional value. They’ll be fighting at Elimination Chamber, which is intriguing to me. And it’s not for the title, which immediately makes it a far better match.

You Know What? I Don’t Need This

Oh dear, Sandow’s still doing his Randy Savage tribute. And here’s Axelmania as well. Starting to regret finding amusement at this. They are facing Adam Rose and Heath Slater, which is a whole new, lower rung on the ladder. I feel like I shouldn’t have to review this match, because it’s more comedy than wrestling and not really comedy at that. Suffice to say, the Mega Powers won after an uninspiring match.

I might start a trend of not reviewing comedy matches. For giving me the idea to do this, this match gets 1 Star.

Renee’s still doing interviews, and this one’s with the terminally smiling Bo Dallas. She asks him about beating the crap out of Neville. Have to admit, I was so relieved that the injury is either an angle or isn’t serious enough to sideline Neville. Also, a feud for Dallas? Awesome.

Does This Make Ambrose/Wyatt A ‘Storied Rivalry’?

Bray and Ambrose both make their way to the ring, and the match is on. They lock up aggressively, with Dean getting the headlock; he runs off the ropes and right into Wyatt, only to then take him down at the leg and wrench the limb. He attacks the leg on the ropes before running into an uppercut from Wyatt. Ambrose manages to regain control once again, sending Wyatt out of the ring, but then gets hurled into the steel steps by Bray. Ambrose is down as we go to break.

As we come back, Wyatt is on top of Ambrose, wrenching his head back. Dean tries to get out of it but takes a bodyslam for his trouble. Wyatt misses the back splash, but Ambrose just runs right into him, falling to the mat. Bray wants to suplex Ambrose off the apron onto the outside, but Dean manages to counter, turning it into a tornado DDT on the outside! The ref’s counting as Dean throws Bray and himself back into the ring, and Ambrose is looking serious right now.

Ambrose’s bulldog is reversed, but Dean comes right back with a clothesline. Dean takes a bunch of shots at Bray, and he’s in firm control right now. Bray’s on the outside, and Ambrose tries to dive out on top of him, but he leaps right into Sister Abigail against the barricade…but Ambrose reverses it, clubbing his way out of the situation! Bray tries to throw Dean back into the ring, but eats the big clothesline instead!

Back in the ring, Dean climbs back up to the top; he jumps into an Uranage attempt, reverses it. There’s an exchange of reverses and counters, but the Uranage finally gets delivered. Ambrose comes back with a low dropkick, climbing up to the top, but J and J Security are out there, distracting Ambrose. Nevertheless, Dean almost manages to roll Bray up; Wyatt hits an uppercut, and Dean takes the two of them down with a clothesline!

Rollins’ music hits, and he comes out, but then Roman comes out as well, cutting Rollins off at the pass. He takes down both Noble and Mercury, then Superman Punches Bray, allowing Ambrose to hit Dirty Deeds for the win!

This was pretty good, but I’d have preferred a match sans interference. I guess that’s not on the cards for Ambrose matches, now that he’ll be facing Rollins. Still pretty good. 2.5 Stars.

This SmackDown worked out pretty well. I think another PPV so close is an absurd idea, particularly as Payback wasn’t really anything that special. Maybe instead of hurling content at us, they need to really plan what’s going on here. Take a month and think about things. Seven.

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Murtz On The Scene: Exclusive Interview With Big Brother Canada 3‘s Willow MacDonald Sun, 24 May 2015 08:31:30 +0000


There is no doubt that Willow MacDonald’s vibrant personality on Big Brother Canada had an almost infectious quality to it. The Nova Scotia-born tomboy seemed to be the houseguest that was the most into the Big Brother experience and relished every competition, task, and challenge placed in front of her. An original Chop Shop member at the start of the game, MacDonald’s allegiances began to shift as her feelings for Sarah Hanlon seemed to intensify during the course of the season. One of the victims of this season’s triple eviction twist, I caught up with MacDonald to discuss her emotional reaction to being voted out, her feelings for Sarah and why she seemed so bubbly all the time.

Willow MacDonald: Hi Murtz, it’s Willow!

Murtz Jaffer: Hey, how are you?

WM: I’m good. I can’t believe you are interviewing me! I used to watch all your YouTube videos and your backyard interviews. This is awesome!

MJ: Your reaction to being evicted was one of the most emotional reactions I have seen in reality television. Can you take me back to that moment and if you felt safe even when you found out that it was a triple eviction?

WM: Ohhh, Murtz. I’m not going to lie. When Brittnee won that HOH, it was the best case scenario. We were laughing in the pantry, I don’t know what you guys got to see or what you didn’t get to see but we were doing flips and rolling around. I was like, ‘this is the best ever, this is perfect!’ Sarah and I then get to play the next week. I told them ‘tomorrow is probably going to be endurance, I have got you, this is our time.’ And Sarah and I? We don’t get any blood on our hands. Really, this is perfect.

Out of nowhere Bruno saves Zach and I’m okay with it because Zach will never come after me, Bruno is not going to come after me… I’m actually still like, ‘okay, this is still fine.’ And Britt looks at me and just goes, ‘I’ll go with Willow.’ I couldn’t believe it! But right then and there I was like, ‘I’m on that block I’m going home.’ I knew it, as soon as she said my name I was like devastated. It was horrible. I still can’t believe it. I’m not supposed to be here!

MJ: Things seemed to be going quite well for you, Willow. It looked like you had protection from the Chop Shop and also from Sarah and Brittnee. In that regard, do you feel like your close relationship with Sarah was both an advantage and a disadvantage in the sense that it provided you with a strong ally but also put you on the outs with Brittnee?

WM: Absolutely. I love Sarah. We had such a close relationship. I was so lucky to play like with my best friend but I gave all my time and energy and information to Sarah and I should have brought B in a little closer. Should have gave us like an alliance name, should have made her feel like really a part of it but she’s all about Sarah. B and I definitely butt head sometimes but…

Sarah and I would try to fake fight but we couldn’t stay away from each other. I know that bit me in the butt. I should have kept playing both sides but I started to put all my marbles into one basket with Sarah and I know exactly like B was like… When B put me up there, I know it was strategically (a little bit). Of course she was probably like thinking ah, she might be safe but deep down she was like, ‘I need Sarah all to myself, Willow has weaseled her way in there…’ which I was!

So this was definitely detrimental for my game, trusting and caring for Sarah so much. I should have stepped back a bit, but what can I do?

MJ: You seemed to share a very close relationship with Sarah. Were you guys just friends or something more?

WM: Sarah and I have an amazing relationship. Coming into this house, I was not the person I am now (leaving the house). I didn’t like to show, affection or emotion or really like, everything was joke to me, and to let somebody in was never something I liked to do.

Sarah, I love that girl more than life itself. It wasn’t like a romantic relationship, but it was definitely like, I don’t even know what to call it, it’s definitely a unique relationship. I love that girl, I’m so happy I got to play with her, open up with her.

I literally got to play with my best friend but we have a bond that nobody else will have. I love her but, I don’t even know what to call it! we will just call it Willah! We had this Willah relationship and I’m so grateful that I have that.

MJ: You had very big reactions to all of the different tasks and competitions in the house and often discussed how important it was for you to be liked by Canada. Can you explain why this was so important to you?

WM: I LOVE Big Brother! Since I was 10 I was like, ‘I’m going to be on this show and I’m going to win it.’ I never thought for some reason that there was going to be a Big Brother Canada. I always thought I was going to have to move to the U.S. Marry a U.S. guy and get on the show. And then I got to represent my country and then I got to represent like Nova Scotia and I was like, ‘this is big, I need Canada to be behind me.’

I wanted people to look up to me because I know there are so many players that I looked up to my whole life (from all the Big Brother seasons). So I wanted to make sure I had a good impact on all the superfans, on all the fans that weren’t too sure. I wanted to make sure that when I went into that Big Brother house, I was representing everyone because not many people get to do this and I have the chance. I don’t want to take it for granted.

I was excited about everything! Tasks! Punishments! Have Not’s! I wanted do it all! I loved everything about Big Brother!

MJ: East Coasters have done quite well on Big Brother. Jillian and Jon both won. Was there any kind of a pressure on you to do just as well?

WM: Absolutely. I put so much pressure myself. Again, one of my huge downfalls I did… going into this I was like, ‘okay, I gotta make Emmett and Jillian proud, I gotta make John proud… I have to go and kill this! I have to, I am an East Coaster!’ Seeing Pili in there with me too, I was like, we have to represent. There were no new Newfies this year! We had no Newfies… the only people from the East Coast were the two people from Nova Scotia, so I was like ‘we have to represent for all four of them, we have to!’

I didn’t want to let the East Coast down, wanted to make John proud and I was like, this is it. We are going for a triple right here. I truly believed that but I definitely put way too much pressure on myself. I think that it shows in how I did in the competitions and stuff. I just wanted to win so bad when I should have just been like ‘go with it’ but what can I do? Murtz, this is killing me!

MJ: There was a point in the season where you decided to jump from the Chop Shop to Sarah. Can you take me back to that moment and when did you decide to switch allegiances?

WM: This was one of the best days for me in my life and in the game. For a while I noticed that Zach was not being true to the Chop Shop. I just wanted to make a Brigade alliance. I just wanted to get to the Final 5 or get to Final 6 and then play it from there.

I was like can’t we just have this one alliance? But no, it never works out! It like never happens! Stupid Willow. I would think of ways. I’m like okay… (and I was really close to Sarah). Probably from like week one. We connected, we had a lot in common, I knew that girl was a genius and I was like, ‘I need to work with her.’ But people would feed me stuff. So I watched a lot, people would talk to me a lot and I was just waiting for the perfect time. I wanted JP out and they did it for me and that’s when I knew, I was like, ‘this is perfect.’ Then the Chop Shop got blown up and I was like, “this is literally the fire under my butt.’ Sindy pretty much told me like, ‘no one thinks you are playing, pretty much you suck, wake up, and pick a side.’ And I was like you know what, ‘I don’t have anyone right now, Zach is not my boy. I’m giving it all to Sarah. I’m putting my life on the line but at least I played the game, at least I tried, at least I made a big move.’

So I gave Sarah all of my information, which was a ton. I think we talked for two and half hours in the have not room and I gave her everything and she gave me everything and we were laughing. We knew everyone’s game and that’s why I did it, because Zack wasn’t being true, they got out JP and I started to realize that the Chop Shop is not loyal. Nobody is really loyal, take one person and go with it.

MJ: There were a lot of twists on Big Brother this season and I am sure that there will be many more. As the victim of a twist, do you feel like they add a necessary element to the game or do you feel like a player who was in a fairly good position such as yourself can be unjustly evicted?

WM: These twists were crazy this year! I can’t wait to watch the season! I love the twists, and they are a part of the game. You take the twists out it’s not Big Brother right? Yeah it sucks. It hurts to go out on in a triple eviction (which I did call), I knew it was going to be a triple eviction. To be out like that, part of me kind of feels like, ‘okay well, that’s how they had to get you out.’ So I feel a little better. I like to call that “a backdoor on a triple eviction.” Whether it was planned or not, I don’t know but I’m going to say that to make myself feel better but I love the twists. Yeah that’s how they get you but I mean that’s Big Brother. You have to ride it out.

If you can live a week in the Big Brother house, you are doing well. The twists? Keep them coming. I loved them. I’m not mad at the twists. That’s the game. I love how they keep getting like harder and crazier… like nuts!

MJ: Who do you think voted to keep you safe in the Triple Eviction?

WM: Oh Murtz. Oh my god. Okay well, let me break this down for you. Again, I don’t know what you guys saw, but when I went into the pantry and I begged for my life, Godfrey was pretty much straight up and like, “Yo man, I don’t know man.” But Godfrey, Zach and Bruno were straight up and were like, ‘we’re going to keep you, we’re going to save you. You are okay.’ And a part of me was like that was too easy but I don’t know.

My heart just thought that Sarah would give me her vote. That’s my girl, she would give it to me. I just had a feeling it was like ‘no, they are going to keep Pili.’ It was a smart decision to keep Pili. I’m looking at this logically and looking this as like a superfan. I’m looking at this as a player and I’m like, ‘no, like I’m going, I’m going’ and then I didn’t get to hear the votes.

The whole time though, I thought that Sarah was the only one that voted to keep me safe… maybe and then I was like, ‘no, maybe she didn’t to save her butt too.’ Bruno has come into jury and has let me know that him, and Zach had voted to save me, that was the plan and Sarah didn’t. She voted for Pili and I’m devastated.

I still need more answers though. Like I can kind of see why Sarah had done that. I don’t know if Zach really did but why would they lie? I needed to talk to everyone. I need more information but at least I know now that Bruno voted for me and it’s looking like Sarah is the reason I’m sitting here. I need more information, I need talk to them, I need to know what was going on, people coming into the jury!

MJ: If you could have done anything differently, what would it have been?

WM: If I could have done anything differently, I wish that I put down a 30 instead of a 75 in retribution and I probably would have won that HOH and put up Zach and Kevin (with Zach going home hopefully). B would have seen I was loyal, I was working for them and then I would have got her trust again. Again I would have had an HOH win helping me. Show that I am a player, that I am trying to play this game, I am trying to make big moves, trying to get these people, and I’m working with these girls. Also, I wish I would have been a little closer with B again. Just pulled her in and gave us an alliance name rah rah. That’s the one thing I wish I would have done.

MJ: You are such a superfan of Big Brother. Do you feel like your knowledge of the show helped or hurt you on the show?

WM: For the first little bit, I think it kind of hurt me. I would like overanalyze everything. I would like jump in and be like, ‘oh no but they didn’t do this season and they didn’t do that.’ I was always overthinking things and people who didn’t really get to watch the show or know what was coming… they kind of were just like, ‘I’ll just ride this out’ which was good. The anticipation of them I think was less. I think that’s why John did so well last year. He didn’t know much about the game and so he was just like, ‘give me this surprise!’ Me? I was trying to figure out every single thing and every single move. It was driving me nuts! I don’t know if you guys noticed that, I literally wouldn’t sleep and just be ‘oh it is triple eviction, oh somebody is coming back…’

I’m giving myself anxiety in that house already on top of the anxiety I was feeling. So it was definitely just hurting myself but I think being a superfan in there and being around other superfans helped me bond with them. I could understand certain game moves and it helped myself in the game for sure. 100%. It definitely came with pros and cons but I’m happy I’m a superfan and I’m a superfan till I die. If you are a super fan you should definitely try and you should definitely play the game!

MJ: What was the best part about being on the show?

WM: Oh my God, the best part? The best part was just playing the game. I love Big Brother. I got to play it 24/7 for 49 days, seven weeks. Not many people can say that. I love Big Brother so much! Always on live feeds, always trying to figure it out.

I would play the game even when I was at home, I actually got to play them! I played in the HOHs, I played in the vetos. Everyday I was working, trying to…you think we are not really playing; you are always playing that game. It’s never a rest day. It’s never like ‘oh we are not talking game.’ Even when you think you are not talking game, you are talking game. The whole part was just being on the show and playing Big Brother 24/7.

MJ: Amazing Willow, thank you so much!

WM: Thank you Murtz, I can’t wait to meet you!

MJ: Very soon! Only a couple of weeks.

WM: Can’t wait!

]]> 0 Here's my interview with Willow! Here's my interview with Willow! Inside Pulse no 13:02
Rabblecast 402 – Wrestling, Comics, and Movies! Sat, 23 May 2015 21:26:39 +0000

This week, Hernandez does a fill-in episode all by his lonesome. What’s on his mind? Glad you asked. Wrestling, comics, movies… what more could you ask for? Covered in this thrilling episode: The debut of Samoa Joe at NXT’s Unstoppable special, Destination America cancelling TNA’s Impact Wrestling, and the ongoing development of Marvel and DC movies and TV shows.


We are The Rabblecast!


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Pope of Greenwich Village/Desperate Hours & Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man Sat, 23 May 2015 19:43:14 +0000 While kids today might find it hard to believe, Mickey Rourke was once a handsome leading man who enjoyed playing edgy characters. He had that smoldering badboy look that worked so well for Humphrey Bogart and Robert Mitchum. Nowadays Rourke looks like a canned ham that’s been rammed by a forklift. Before he gave up acting to be a professional boxer/punching bag, he had good looking mug. Sure he’s done well with roles in Sin City, The Wrestler and Iron Man 2, but there’s a nostalgia for the Rourke that made ladies swoon. Rourke had stolen Diner with popcorn secret. Now three films from his pre-punching bag face days are hitting Blu-ray. You can enjoy a double feature of The Pope of Greenwich Village and Desperate Hours along with Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man in a resolution that won’t make you wince at Rourke’s face.

The Pope of Greenwich Village/Desperate Hours is a double dose of Rourke on both ends of the outlaw scale. Pope teamed him up with Eric Roberts when the duo were the next big things. Rourke had stolen Diner‘s big moment with his unique popcorn trick and scored the lead in Francis Ford Coppola’s Rumblefish. Roberts given a career making performance in Bob Fosse’s Star 80. They seemed like a perfect match for a tale about two cousins hustling for a big score in New York City. Charlie (Rourke) runs the front of an Italian restaurant. He’s a snappy dresser with a hot girlfriend (Darryl Hannah) and dreams of owning a restaurant. His cousin Paulie (Roberts) is a waiter without scruples. This mixing doesn’t work well when Paulie’s ways leads to the duo being fired. Out on the street with problems mounting up, Paulie presents a fantastic get rich scheme. They can rob a safe that’s filled with cash. Charlie is just desperate enough to follow his screwed up cousin’s plan. Naturally he forgets a simple detail that the cash might be mobster money. The local mafia chief (Rocky‘s Burt Young) isn’t happy. The film works because Roberts and Rourke perfectly tagteam the screen. Director Stuart Rosenberg also helmed Cool Hand Luke, The Amityville Horror and Brubaker. He captures the comic touches as well as the abject horror of what happens when the mob wants its money back. Watching the movie in Blu-ray gives a glimpse of a time when a dreamer could open up a restaurant in Manhattan that wasn’t a Bubba Gump Shrimp Company franchise.

Desperate Hours was a remake of the Humphrey Bogart film with Rourke playing Bogey’s role. He’s Michael Bosworth, a killer who uses his lawyer (Kelly Lynch) to escape from jail. He hooks up with his old gang of Wally (Elias Koteas) and Albert (David Morse). Not wanting to get tracked down so easily, the trio randomly choose a hideout at a house for sale. This leads to them taking Anthony Hopkins and Mimi Rogers hostage. Rourke is menacing as the worst Airbnb customer ever. The movie became the last major theatrical release for Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter). The big highlight of the film is Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) playing a cop. Norris hasn’t aged a year since this came out in 1990. As a double feature Pope is the better film.

Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man is a gem from the era of big dumb action films. The movie teams up Rourke right at the end of his handsome era with Don Johnson the time between Miami Vice and Nash Bridges. The duo attempt to be an update of the partners from Easy Rider. Harley and Marlboro live to ride their motorcycles and get into trouble. They are living in a not quite futuristic Los Angeles watching their favorite bar on the verge of being bought by a real estate developer. In order to save the joint, they wisely decide to rob a bank truck. Their plans goes off like clockwork except instead of cash, they’re stuck with a futuristic drug. Turns out the bank isn’t so clean. The bank also wants their drugs back. Since the bank is run by Tom Sizemore, they’re not merely sending strongly worded letters. They’re a thrill to a movie that’s just so brilliantly over the top before The Expendables arrived. Director Simon Wincer would survive the film to make Free Willy. The movie has aged better than Rourke’s face.

The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic for all three films. The 1080p transfers bring out the detail in Rourke’s old face. The audio is DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. You’ll get to hear the slow simmer of Rourke’s voice. The movies are subtitled.

Bonus features on The Pope of Greenwich Village/Desperate Hours:
The Making Of the Film (7:36) tells about how the producer mortgaged his house to get the movie rights on the book. This is a vintage electronic media kit.

NYC: New Hollywood on the Hudson (2:07) is a fake newsreport about movie making in the Big Apple that plugs The Pope.

Taking a Risk (2:01) looks at how the writer and producer took big risks on the project.

The Anonymous Art of the Character Actor (2:08) shows off the familiar faces of supporting players.

Mickey Rourke (1:57) predicts he’ll be like Pacino and DeNiro. Rourke bought all of Charlie’s clothes.

Eric Roberts (1:56) reminds us that Julia Roberts’ brother was a star. His tanktop is fascinating.

Original Trailer (2:30) shows how these two guys could go bad.

Desperate Hours Featurette (5:32) calls the movie a modern American nightmare. A piece of personal trivia, I worked on Candid Camera with the cameraman who shot Michael Cimino’s interview. He recalled how the director refused to get out of his Jeep.

Original Trailer (2:01) reminds us that this could have been any family taken hostage.

Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man bonus features:
Theatrical Trailer (1:51) pushes them as colorful outlaws in an action comedy.

Featurette (6:55) allows screenwriter Don Michael Paul to show off the film he wrote. He’s go on to write and direct Half Past Dead and Who’s Your Caddy?

This triple dose of Mickey Rourke spread over two Blu-ray releases explores the enigma that had to get beaten up in the middle of his career.

Shout! Factory presents The Pope of Greenwich Village/Desperate Hours. Directed by Stuart Rosenberg & Michael Cimino. Starring: Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, Mimi Rogers and Anthony Hopkins. Boxset contents: 2 movies on 2 Blu-rays. Released: June 2, 2015.

Shout! Factory presents Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man. Directed by: Simon Wincer. Starring: Mickey Rourke, Don Johnson and Tom Sizemore. Running Time: 98 minutes. Released: May 19, 2015.

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Tomorrowland Looks Pretty But Doesn’t Tell Much Of An Interesting Story – A Review Sat, 23 May 2015 15:00:04 +0000
Brad Bird’s Alexander

It’s always interesting to see what kind of films George Clooney picks. Clooney’s an odd movie star in that he has the classic good man looks, an Oscar and a screen presence few can match but he doesn’t have any film as the sole, starring actor that has a substantial box office presence to it. Either he’s second banana to someone else, i.e. to Sandra Bullock in Gravity, or stars in a franchise with lots of others. It’s very rare for Clooney to get close to $100 million for a project on his own … we have to amend the definition of “movie star” for Clooney because he’s popular and people like him but he doesn’t have a propensity to bring in audiences.

Which is why Tomorrowland on paper looks like an odd choice. Clooney is an actor who goes for daring, not comfortable, and the Brad Bird helmed Tomorrowland seems like the choice of an actor looking for a hit and not to stretch out the acting muscles. Clooney hasn’t done anything that isn’t challenging since the final Ocean’s 11 sequel almost a decade ago. Tomorrowland‘s Frank is a role he’s one of a handful of actors could pull off, of the friendly curmudgeon inventor, but it’s not one that genuinely challenges him.

It feels like a role he took so he could have a fairly big hit under his belt, nothing more, and the film isn’t much beyond its exceptional visual acumen.

Simple premise. Frank (Clooney) and Casey (Britt Robertson) both find ways to visit the mythical Tomorrowland at various times in their life. For Frank it’s as a child, and now he’s a recluse inventor living alone in upstate New York. For Casey it’s as a teenager in modern day, where she’s observing her father help tear down the final remnants of his job at NASA. They have a tenuous connection via a young girl (Raffey Cassidy), who appears to Frank as a younger man at a World’s Fair and to Casey in the modern day. Their task is simple: the world is going to end and the two need to help save it via Tomorrowland.

The thing that stands out most about this film is that it utilizes visuals in the same spectacular way that Mad Max: Fury Road did a week ago. This is a spectacular looking film, first and foremost, and Brad Bird continues his run with great visual shots behind the camera. When all is said and done this might be one of the best, if not the best, film of the year when it comes to pure visuals alone. Bird has a knack for brilliance in how a film looks when he’s behind a camera and Tomorrowland is a visually spectacular film.

If there was a way we wish the future could look, then Tomorrowland is it. This is a film so visually powerful that it’s one of the few that deserve to be seen in as large a format as one can. This is a film, much like the latest Mad Max sequel, that deserves to have that in theater experience because of its visuals alone. It’s powerful and arresting in a way that feels real … despite obviously being CGI.

The problem is that the film has substantial story-telling problems en route to getting Casey and Frank together, which is when it really begins to take hold on a story-telling basis. The first hour of the film is establishing the mythos of the film and Tomorrowland as this destination, eating up a substantial chunk of the film’s length. By the time George Clooney is introduced, as we see a huge chunk of Frank as a youth (with Thomas Robinson in the role), the film feels nearly over.

The film feels like it was savaged in the editing room because it has a three hour, slow pace for the film’s first act and then suddenly explodes once George Clooney enters the picture. It feels like Brad Bird was going for an epic, three hour sci-fi film when it was trimmed down substantially to fit into a two hour window. There are substantial tone and pacing shifts once the second act begins that make it off-putting; the film makes it easy to get into during the first act and then jars you right out of it once we get past the fairly substantial opening act.

Tomorrowland feels like it’s going to be the sort of film that Alexander wound up being: One with a handful of releases with different cuts of various lengths trying to get it right. Because this version feels like it’s almost there … but not quite.

Director: Brad Bird
Writer: Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird
Notable Cast: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie, Raffey Cassidy

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Why You Should Be Reading… Throwback… Marvel Comics’ Maximum Carnage…. Sat, 23 May 2015 13:00:02 +0000 Welcome back everyone for another week of Why You Should Be Reading…

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I decided to switch it up this week and write a throwback article about something classic I revisited… Maximum Carnage!


Truth be told, this all started with a retro night of Super Nintendo. I never actually beat the game Maximum Carnage, and thanks to ebay I was given another chance to finally do so. Spending hours re living my childhood years (still haven’t beaten that d**n game) it dawned on me this was indeed a comic series first. I also remembered I never really finished the comic series back in the 90’s, which promoted me to start a search effort to collect all the issues. It wasn’t until Seattle Comicon I found the series in its entirely, and in well enough condition to pay the asking price. After reading through every issue carefully, I noticed some of the panels were directly taken from the comic for the game, I also realized how awesome this series really was as a whole. With that being said I decided to take this week to bring us back to those 90’s I loved so, thus giving you all a little…..


We should all know the story of Peter Parker by now, saving New York all the while keeping the ones he loves happy and safe.The great thing about this series is, of course all of Peter’s notable issues come into play, continuing the epic story of Peter Parker Managing his responsibilities. However the villain work is what takes the cake as we follow along with a deranged psychopath named Cletus Kasaday, as he builds a family atmosphere around destruction and chaos. Now before we get into that, you must understand Kasady has already been defeated, and as the comic begins we find our crazy antagonist occupying a prison compound. Fully subdued and at the mercy of Prison guards, Kasaday seems in too cheerful a mood making his happiness extremely suspect. We see him taken to the on site doctor for tests to run and blood to be drawn, once the doctor finishes taking a sample of his blood, his symbiote costume seems to return from the puncture wound the syringe left in his skin. As we see Kasaday re united with his symbiote costume, it is explained somehow the parasite has bonded to its host’s DNA and has regenerated itself from Kasaday’s blood re creating CARNAGE.


“It Has Become A Living Part OF Me…. And We Were Merely Biding Our Time…” – Cletus Kasaday

Carnage is unleashed on the unsuspecting prison killing everyone he can get his hands on, he is building strength for his indefinite battle with Spiderman and Venom, claiming the practice is a necessary course of action. Without hesitation or remorse Kasaday continues to Hack and slash his way throughout the compound seemingly enjoying every second of the assault. Once he comes across a mind just as crazy as his the story takes a drastic turn. Shriek, who is being held in the prison has intrigued the murderous villain by egging him on through his path of bloodshed. Finally confident, Cletus confronts her busting her out in the process. They make an alliance, along with plans to reek terror on a much larger scale, and once they leave their former place of captivity, they acquire a “family” of sorts beginning their course of destruction. Carnage’s plan is simple, find Spiderman and Venom, before they find him and create as much chaos and destruction as possible…..


The series stretches for 14 issues and some of them came out pretty hefty, you will not feel as though you have a lack of content on your hands. The issues are physically thick but also rich and packed with story. Spiderman along with Venom, and a sprinkle of Marvel heroes must save the city along with the lives of many, and as the issues go through we see Peter trying to cope with facing his foes along with Marry Jane’s fear of losing him. He must also battle the dynamic which is working with Venom. They most definitely need each other if they hope to survive this situation, so putting aside their differences is a must. To top everything off there is another dynamic that shapes the unique nature of this series, shriek who has the power to control sonic waves, is using her power to transmit dangerous sonics vibes throughout the city, causing the residence of New York to turn on each other. This essentially makes the city itself a war zone, and destruction and chaos seems to be plaguing and devouring the city from the inside out. Our Heroes must ban together and stop the cancer from the source, and it all begins with Carnage….


Crossing over into 5 different Spiderman titles, Maximum Carnage’s initial release was in 93, following much deserved success, it was compiled and re released via trade. It is amazing the series holds up today, and subtracting the dated adds in the book you would swear this is a current Spiderman storyline. I love how each character plays a significant roll in the story, and we also get to dip into the much intriguing past of Cletus Kasaday, being the key to everything diving into his backstory is a must and makes the story much more compelling. Giving ua insight as to why he  is so obsessed with Chaos is a real treat and seeing somewhat of how this man ticks is quite entertaining. We explore notable locations such as Cletus’s boys home, as well as the grave site of his mother. The history of hatred between Venom and Carnage is also explored and much insight as to how they met and how Carnage was indeed created is also re visited and explained.

I loved everything about this series and I see why the game was so popular. They had a gem of a storyline to use as a guide and this also explains why the sequel to Maximum Carnage didn’t do so well for Snes, and a lack of storyline is a contributing factor. To say this a is a must read is an understatement especially if you are Carnage fan, and I say take the time to do so, I personally got through all issues in about 2 days because I was sucked into how this was going to end and how Peter would fair moving forward. Once finished I was felt heavily rewarded and I feel a sense of closer in a comic chapter of my life, now if I can only beat that D**n game that chapter that is Maximum Carnage can be fully closed, until its time to be revisited again….

– Grainbelt Jones×120.jpg

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