If you spent even ten seconds on either Facebook or Twitter today, you were probably inundated by a series of reposts about Ryan Reynolds’ tease of the new Deadpool costume. Sexy as all hell, am I right? Of course I am. This has caused a lot of talk about the production and I figured it might be a great opportunity to go over how we got here. Deadpool has had one of the most treacherous transitions to film of any of the upcoming comic-themed productions to date.
Last week I railed against the lackluster booking that has led up to the biggest show of the year. But now all that is behind us, the hype is over, and all that is left is the show itself. And it doesn’t look too bad when seen in isolation; sure, there are lots of better ways that things could have gone, but, looking forward, we have some interesting possibilities. So here we go! It’s the Wrestlemania breakdown!
Welcome to Bi-Monthly B-Movie, an article where we look at the very best of the very worst movies we can get our grubby paws on. We’re aiming for the sorts of things made by studios you’ve never heard of, and starring people you don’t want to. Why are we looking at these films? They’re fun to heckle. Just ask the Gentleman Hecklers, who are professionals. For those looking for a more amateur experience, or some light (very light) entertainment, these are the very best in quality.
Ranking comes in five categories, but they’re a little skewed because these movies are never good. Never, ever, good. Well, rarely. Still, acting, direction, sound design, script, and entertainment are things that these movies presumably have, so we figure they’ll be noted using a single symbol that can be broken into four pieces, like so: , , , and .
We’ll provide links to Amazon for these movies. We’ll also misquote some things we heard in these movies. Feel free to reply with your own quotes should you suffer through these films. We’ll pick a winner every couple weeks, and send you an e-prize.
Everyone on board? Cool.
When it comes to Video Game movies, there are basically two categories: movies based on video game franchises (Tomb Raider, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Super Mario Bros.) and movies that are ABOUT video games (The Wizard, Wreck-It Ralph, Tron). The most recent iteration, in the latter category, is the upcoming Pixels, a comedy/adventure featuring the acting talents of Adam Sandler, Josh Gad, Kevin James, and Peter Dinklage.
Wrestlemania this year feels flat – why is that, and is there anything the WWE can do to bring some more interest and urgency to its biggest show of the year? The last couple years have lost a fair amount of steam with regards to the Wrestlemania buildup, but this year is the first in a long while where there is genuine apathy towards the grandest stage of them all. This week, I’ll be looking at what has led us to this malaise and how other years have avoided the same fate.
Interview with Peter S. Beagle
Date: April 21, 2014
(Back in April of 2014, Aaron Golden and Gregory Milne were lucky enough to get a chance to sit down with legendary writer, Peter S. Beagle, and his agent, Conner Cochran. They sat down and talked for a couple of hours about everything surrounding the creation, loss, and claiming of the Last Unicorn, but, sadly, the sound file of the interview was damaged. A lot of effort was put into saving that file, and we finally managed to get it transcribed a couple of months ago. At the time, we sat down and wondered about when the best time to release it was, now that we’d had to delay the interview so long, and considering what a gift we thought this interview was, it made sense to us, for us to release it as a gift to you. So, without further ado…)
I have an unnatural addiction to political drama. It started way back in 1999 when my new friend (and now God) Aaron Sorkin took me inside of The West Wing. Over the course of 7 seasons, I developed a love for the cast, world, and writing of the series. It branched into a need for more and I sought out all of Aaron Sorkin’s works, then and now. Still I needed more.
We’re back with the second part of our look at the best and worst gimmicks currently being used in the WWE. The first part is right here, and without further ado here’s…
Worst – The Big Show
I hesitated when putting Show on this list because in many ways he doesn’t really have a gimmick beyond his genetics. He’s a big, lumbering guy with not much in the way of discernible characteristics. Every now and then his character will solidify into something either worthwhile (angry insomniac that throws Ric Flair face-first into thumbtacks) or, more commonly, worthless (sad, broke guy with an ironclad contract). My guess is that The Big Nasty will be retiring sooner rather than later so it doesn’t seem all that likely that we will see him turn around and have a fleshed out character. I just hope he doesn’t have to partake in too many more embarrassing angles between now and then.
Best – Seth Rollins
In the lead-up to the dissolution of the Shield, there was a lot of concern that Seth Rollins would be the odd man out and that he would flounder, directionless in the midcard. Turns out, we were wrong, that gig went to Dean Ambrose. By contrast, Seth Rollins has blossomed into a beautiful piece of garbage. He has massive volumes of ego that betray his (kayfabe) inexperience, he has two former champions around at all times to help him out of any match he may be losing, in addition to two massive world champions just past the curtain. Not to mention the COO has been in his corner ever since the hounds of justice split up. Add leather pants and a filthy mean streak and you have a top quality heel.
Worst – Adam Rose
Getting over is universally seen as a good thing, but I think that when it comes to getting over in NXT, it’s a double-edged sword. With the exception of the Wyatt Family, it seems that those who become favorites in NXT flounder and die on the vine when they move up to the main WWE roster: Emma, Fandango, the Ascension, Summer Rae, etc. This speaks to the theory that there are certain things that get over to a crowd numbering in the hundreds and very different things that get over to a crowd that is thousands strong. The novelty of coming to the ring with a dozen drug addicts certainly falls into the former. I don’t think he is completely dead in the water, however, there is still plenty of room to salvage this gimmick. Beating up the bunny was a good start. If his drug-fueled abuses can alienate him from the rest of his rosebuds, we can see him spiral downwards like Bob Geldof in The Wall. That would be worth watching.
Best – Rusev
The only gimmick lazier than the foreign heel is the rich heel. This makes Alberto Del Rio’s gimmick the laziest the world has ever seen. But if done right, these classic gimmicks can still work just fine. Rusev is a great example of how to make this gimmick sing. He says almost nothing, he wins through dominance and his mouthpiece is an interesting character unto herself.
The difficulty in a gimmick like this is twofold: First, you must find the right nation to lambast. Santino Marella was supposed to be a semi-serious competitor after his initial heel turn, but there is no tension between the United States and Italy. Santino didn’t stand in for anything, nor did he hold up a mirror of judgment to the US so there wasn’t much material to work with and he quickly became a comedy figure with a funny accent. The second thing one must do is take a real conflict between the gimmick nation and the US and try to play that out in a wrestling context. Muhammad Hassan, while technically not a foreign heel, was great at this. He was able to take the all too real islamophobia that was sweeping the United States at the time and addressed it in a way that made his motivations very real, without making him too sympathetic.
Rusev is knocking it out of the part on both these fronts. Firstly, while talk of a “new cold war” is certainly very premature, the saber-rattling coming from Moscow is all too real as they re-establish themselves as an international power. As the majority of the WWE fans have never known anything but the unipolar world with the USA in charge, having a wrestler embody this stress and emasculation is a work of genius.
That’s it for this week! We’ll see you again soon when we check in on the road to Wrestlemania!
Drawing upon history to create entertainment is nothing new. Shakespeare himself was fond of crafting historical fan-fiction with works like MacBeth or Julius Caesar, and every writer before and since has added to the stock pile. Most of the time, these works are meant to add a cultural slant to whatever period is being covered, and have less to do what actually happened than what we’d like to think happened. It’s an excuse to laugh at our forebears, to laud ourselves for how far we’ve advanced.
An interesting gimmick is a major part of any successful wrestler’s career. Without a quality character to fill in the blanks to the audience, even the best wrestlers can look sub-par. This week, I will be looking at the best and the worst gimmicks currently in the WWE and break down how the help or hinder the man behind the character.