By Justin Hopkins
I have often been critical of DC in the past. Some of the movies in recent years have been among the worst I have ever seen. They have been making some good strides, with Wonder Woman and Aquaman ( Haven’t seen Shazam, I know, horror junkie in me demanded I go see Pet Sematary) but when I think of the future for the movies I still have a bit of pause because I don’t want them to slide down hill. Casting is so vital and can derail a movies momentum. Now, we have all heard the news on Robert Pattinson being brought in to play Bruce Wayne in the upcoming reboot, and I can’t believe that I am about to do this. Can’t believe I am the one who has to come to Pattinson’s defense. Lets get this over with.
First off, lets get this one over with quick. Yes, he was Edward from Twilight, a movie for teen girls that have been blasted endlessly for the damaging vampires as a whole ( could be a whole other blog) He is far from the only strange casting decision in the Batman movies. You know that guy from Beetlejuice, of course it was great, but there was not a whole lot of fate in Keaton pulling it off. That rom-com guy didn’t have much either. Yet those two are pretty close to being top favorites amongst the fans. Keaton has a bit of competition in that other guy people weren’t to high on Christian Bale. I am not even going to humor the fact that he will be the worst either. Not with Val Kilmer and George Clooney in play.
He is 33 years old. Young enough to get into great shape to perform as Batman and brooding enough to play Bruce. Along with proving he has the range to bring the two worlds together. So lets all take a deep breath and wait to see what happen with this signing. Matt Reevees has had a lot of time to perfect his script and still another 2 years before it’s in theaters. This movie can set the bar for Batman movies. Lets just see what happens. Alright, lets get on to what I want to talk about, but have very little to say, The DC Universe, I love so much, The Arrowverse.
As much as I loved Batwoman’s cameo in Elseworld’s crossover event. Showing her as the ass-kicker that she is, but was unbelievably frustrating how little they shown. Leaving me wanting more, and finally got the trailer, and am stoked so much more for this show to happen. Ruby Rose did a phenomenal job bringing Kate Kane to life and looks to flesh Kate out just as much as Batwoman. Villain line-up is impressive. Drawling a fair amount from the comics, which is always a plus. I am just excited to see more. All the new things that can come from this. Going against the likes of Black Mask and Scarecrow. Along with team-ups with Batgirl and Wonder Woman. Maybe even the likes of Cassandra Cain and Tim Drake. Fully expect this show to blow away expectations and it’s great times ahead for Batwoman and The Arrowverse.
Thanks for reading
By Justin Hopkins
The time is upon us, for one of WWE’S most innovating and rather interesting PPVs in Money In The Bank. Mad that way, by the Money in the bank ladder match itself. The winner hasn’t always had the smashing success such as Edge, RVD, or CM Punk found, but always creates a stir and conversation of when and where will they cash in the briefcase. To go along with that, we have a pretty stacked line-up so lets go ahead and take a quick run through and what I predict will happen at tonight show.
Kick-off show – The Usos vs Rowan and Daniel Bryan
A potential great match, with so many questions. Why is this, possible match of the night, stuck in the kickoff show? Why are the titles not on the line? Why are The Usos not going against the Revival? Perfect example of their sloppy booking, but should be enjoyable, till The Revival gets involved and costs Usos the win.
Winners- Rowan and Daniel Bryan
Cruiserweight Championship match- Ariya Daivri vs champion Tony Nese
I don’t really follow 205 Live so I’ll make this quick. Know Tony Nese just won it at Mania and looked impressive doing so. It’ll be a good, fast paced match that I am looking forward to. Don’t see a title change happening so soon, so going with a successful title defense.
Winner- Tony Nese
United States Champion match- Rey Mysterio vs champion Samoa Joe
This is another good match with strange booking. Have been vocal against the reasoning behind Dominic being apart of this. Tired of seeing family drama being apart of story lines, and we already have it in The Miz and Shane. Granted Joe has made it work and both of these two are extremely talented and can put on a good show. Hoping that Joe continues his dominance and brings prestige to the much needed U.S Title
Winner- Samoa Joe
Roman Reigns vs Elias
In a perfect world, this would have been on the Kickoff show. Calm down Reigns fans and look at this subjectively. Elias always loses and is more attraction for others to beat on. Posses no threat to “The big dog.” Can’t even say it will be good, like the tag match can be. It’s boring and vanilla and roman will win because I got no faith that Elias can win, without some outside interference, that’ll drag this down that much more.
Winner- Roman Reigns.
Steel Cage Match- Shane McMahon vs The Miz
I feel that this is a must win for Miz as a good guy. Coming off the fluke loss at Mania he needs to get his revenge within the cage to be able to leave with any resemblance of momentum to carry him to the next rivalry. Another loss and his face turn might not survive much long after. I do think he’ll win, but something fluky will occur. Interference gone wrong or he gets launched off the top. Something to keep Shane’s villainous side going and Miz gets the W.
Winner- The Miz
WWE Championship Match – Kevin Owens vs Champion Kofi Kingston
This match is pretty difficult to predict. I love Kofi as champion. His victory was a highlight of Wrestlemania, and is hugely entertaining. At the same time though, Kevin Owens is an amazing bad guy who always puts on top tier matches and.. I think he would be a better champion at the current time. Plus, with them hurting for Tag Teams right now. The New Day is needed back in the ranks. So, I am going with K.O for the win.
Winner- New Champion Kevin Owens
WWE Universal Match – AJ Styles vs Champion Seth Rollins
Please let this match end clean. I fully believe one of these two are going to turn into a villain. My money is on Styles. Perhaps bringing back The Club, with The Good Brothers. I don’t see him leaiving with the strap though, especially if certain rumors are true. Going to be a great match though. Fully believe it can be somewhere between a four to five star match. Just let the turn happen after the bell and match end clean.
Winner- Seth Rollins
Men’s Money in the bank – I.C Champion Finn Balor vs Sami Zayn vs Drew McIntyre vs Randy Orton vs Ricochet vs Baron Corbin vs Ali vs Andrade
This could be a stellar classic or a complete dud, with a lot of potential depending on who walks away. Corbin, just to give meaning to his victory over Kurt Angle at Mania, otherwise you had the Hall of Famer lose for nothing. Andrade since they are big on him at the moment. Sami being a top heel could use it to get more under the fan’s skin, but I feel only one of these combatants, needs this win, and that is the Scottish Psychopath, Drew McIntyre. Between losing constantly and being booked to thrown together tags and trios. He really needs something to build his monstrous side back up. Especially, if they keep Seth as a good guy.
Winner – Drew McIntyre
Women’s Money In the Bank Ladder Match – Bayley vs Naomi vs Carmella vs Ember Moon vs Mandy Rose vs Dana Brooke vs Nikki Cross
Again another, toss-up in the prediction with none of them really having much in the way of momentum going in. Going to go about this that Sasha will not be making a surprise entrance. Might happen, but don’t want to make a prediction around a maybe. So, I am going to go with Bayley for a little bit of a security blanket. If Sasha does leave for greener pastures, they might worry that her friend Bayley may soon follow. As much as it pains me not to go with Nikki Cross, love her craziness and a program with an irate Alexa Bliss, when she is cleared, would be great for both of them, but going to go with Bayley, and we have not seen the last of her tonight.
Winner – Bayley
Raw Women’s Championship – Lacey Evan vs Becky Lynch
This is the women’s match I am looking forward to, because it’s actually something new and their back and forth have been entertaining. Really like how dominate they have made Lacey and think these two can put on a solid showing. If it went on second may actually be tempted to give it to Lacey, but believe it will be first and Becky will successfully defend.
Winner – Becky Lynch
Smackdown’s Women’s Championship – Charlotte Flair vs Becky Lynch
I am done talking about this fued. Know it’s suppose to be the last one, but that is dumb since Becky already has a match and you are closing a feud at the same time. Yes, Charlotte is talented, no she should not have had this match.
Winner Becky Lynch
Money In The Bank Cash in – Bayley vs Becky Lynch
Bayley seemed to hint at a possible turn in her Smackdown debut and she really needs it. Something to spice up her character. Cashing in on an exhausted Becky and just beating her down afterwards will make Smackdown a must see event.
Winner – new Smackdown Champion – Bayley
This can either be a tremendously great event or a complete dud. Matches need to have clean cut victors and rivalries have to come to an end. How things go here, will vastly change shows for either the good or bad.
Thanks for reading
By Justin Hopkins
I don’t actually want to write this blog. Doesn’t bring me much join in complaining about a product that has been a part of my life for over two decades. Have been delighted by some of the great moments, death defying acts, and five star matches. To some low brow moments, tasteless attempts of comedies and some that could hardly be called a match. Still, never wanted to change the channel and walk away as much as I do know a day…Jeez I sound like a whiny internet troll, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Only one way to change things, and that is to actively say what the issues are, and here are a few things that I feel is what is dragging the shows down.
Going to start off with an easy one, and that is how little the titles are actually worth. Now this is starting to turn around with the reigns of Seth Rollins as Universal and Kofi Kingston carrying the WWE Heavyweight belt, and to a point Becky Lynch is carrying the Raw and Smackdown Championship with prestige, which the Smackdown Women’s Title needed desperately, after they cared so little about the title, they couldn’t be bothered to book Asuka in a Mania match, but simply took it off her and chucked it into an already jammed main event story. I know Asuka is getting a push toward the women’s tag team title, but look at what they have done with those belts since they debuted at Elimination Chamber. Sasha more or less left the company, due to her worry over the belts not getting a prestigous first real run, and since the IIcconics, A team I generally enjoy, have barely won any matches going into Mania, and don’t think they have won a match since. How can we, as viewers, take them as a threatening, successful team, when they can’t even cheat out a victory. Even if Asuka and Kari Sane get the straps, they have their work cut out for them to make something of them. The Intercontinental Title and U.S are in the same boat. Finn Baylor and Samoa Joe are more then capable to make these titles worthy again, but they have to be booked that way. Joe is in a less then thrilling rivalry with Rey Mysterio, who he already lost to when he needs to look like a dominate force and while Finn has been more successful with the I.C belt, instead of having a defending match at money in the bank; he is in the ladder match. Taking a spot that could go to someone like Aleister Black. Someone who has been getting pushed for months, and is now just doing speaking vignettes.
WWE has never been sporting a more talented roster then now. Not counting the obvious; Kofi Kingston, Seth Rollins, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair. Off the top of my head, they have Kevin Owens, Sammy Zayn, Aleister Black, Bray Wyatt, Robert Roode, Chad Gable, Shelton Benjamin, Rusev, The Good Brothers, The Revival. On The women’s side, you got Ruby Riott, Sarah Morgan, Liv Taylor, Ember Moon, Bayley, Alexa Bliss, Sasha Banks, Nikki Cross, Lana, Alicia Fox, Fire and Desire, you get were I am going. Yet, they continue to fall back to the same old ways of old time and/or part time wrestlers, burying them and taking their well earned spots. News came out recently that Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, and Undertaker have all got big money contracts to come back, surely would be part time work. Two of which are well, well past their prime, and all three taking time away from those who can still go in the ring, and may very well end up burying a few of the names up above. Gone are the days where any of these three can make new stars, but only bury them further. And as much as people clamor for the shows to drop the brand split, doing so well come at the cost of more of these wrestlers losing screen time, and more of what we have been getting, since most of the names up there, have been booked so bad, that it’s hard to see their star potential that they deserve to be at by now.
All of this comes down to just how bad the booking has been. I get it, writing is in fact very hard, but that’s why they have teams working on each show. Most have some experience in wrestling and what the crowd likes vs what they don’t. Take what happened last night. We got a continuation of Samoa Joe and Rey Mysterio, with Rey’s son Dominic working his way back into the feud because it worked so well before. When they could have swapped Rey, with Braun Strowman. We’d have a fun and exciting clash of beasts between Braun and Joe, with the two slugging it out, that would add authenticity to Joe if he overcame the monster among men, and the U.S Title in the process. While Rey working as the voice of the crowd against the critic of the critics. Win or lose, at least Zayn wouldn’t have been dumped into a dumpster.
We get the same matches over and over again. Promos that are so heavily scripted that they suck the emotion out of them. Lay off them just a bit. They all know what they are doing. Give them a little of freedom to tell their stories. Arm them with some bullet points. Not asking for swearing, because they can do that without swearing. Have a hard time believing they want to beat them to a pulp, when their words are flat. Let them brawl in the back without breaking it up, or pit them together in tag matches, or just don’t let them touch one another at all. Letting their hate build until the ultimate payoff. Instead they drag on and on. Contract signings and forced tag teams and reminding us what they did a week ago. We know what they, did, we suffered through it. Doing the same over and over again, with flatter and flatter results, and their comedy is worse.
Going to stop know before I start in on Commentary. I want WWE to turn their luck around. They have so many good wrestlers and future rivalries that can be so great. Instead of that stupid prank from the Usos, let us see The Revival take on The Good Brothers, because that would have been great. Two teams that are criminally under utilized. Instead of Charlotte Flair going for the Smackdown Women’s title again, give us Ember Moon, Bayley or Nikki Cross. Dare to be different. Trust in your wrestlers WWE. Let them do their promos and build their cheers or boos for themselves, and the wrestlers being overlooked so heavily, can be the stars you so badly need, and the ones we want to see more.
Sorry for the rant. As Always, thanks for reading.
By Justin Hopkins
This was one of the movies I was looking forward to the most going into this year, and was getting seriously worried going into it. Was a big fan of the first two movies and as good as they were, did not want to see a third one be made. The last scene of Liz saying she was pregnant with twins and his shocked look, didn’t leave much hope that a third would have been anywhere near as good as the first two, and there has been enough awful part three movies to add to it. Have read a few comic, not enough to be a die-hard like some of my friends are, but more than enough to get me excited. Started to get really nervous as I started avoiding one bad review after another, and went and saw on Saturday, and have to tell you; this movie, this movie was an amazing, thrill ride that kept me hooked from start to finish, and left me wanting so so much more.
Movie started out, with a flashback of when the Blood Queen reigned during the Dark Ages and her downfall to King Arthur. Narrated by Ian McShane, which was a fun way to go, because of how much energy and started to show that this professor Broom was going to have an attitude and an edge to him. Then you make the jump to present day where Hellboy is tracking his friend, in Tijuana. A simple job turned tragic when he finds his friend had been turned into a vampire, and while trying to reach him, accidentally kills him. Leaving him in a rattled and confused state. That set off the Arc Hellboy would travel on throughout the movie. Where he is frustrated and conflicted over where he stood in this world. Wanting to be more than just a weapon and wanting to explore more peaceful way for monster and humans could coincide together without bloodshed and death. While at the same time, Gruagach was working to reassemble the Blood Queen Nimue, to seek revenge on Hellboy. While she is conspiring for something much grander of her own.
There is so much I like about this movie and I’ll kick it off with the Storytelling. While they didn’t do everything the way they did in the comics, but was blown away by how much they drew from them. The Wild Hunt and Alice especially. Where he was went on the Wild Hunt and was stabbed in the back by the Osiris Club to stop him from bringing about the Apocalypse to his fight with the giants was shocking and exciting to see played out, and loved the intensity he had during the flashback where he was uncovering the changeling that took baby Alice’s place. Gave me one of my favorite scenes of him yelling up the furnace, threatening to come to the fairy home world, if they did not bring the baby back was so believable and great scene to have. In a desperate attempt to avoid anymore spoilers, I’ll move on from scenes but there were so many more great moments. Plus I would absolutely watch a Lobster Johnson movie, as cheesy as he was, I want to know more.
There was an abundance of actors and actresses in this movie. Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim. Milla Jovovich played Blood Queen to perfection. Even when she was in pieces, made you believe she was the most dangerous person in the area. but I will point out two. One of which of course, is David Harbour. Had big shoes to fill following Ron Pearlman, and he blew it out of the water. You felt for him when he was drunk at the bar, having just lost his friend, and wanting to just be alone. His struggle to find his place was captivating, and his interactions with new characters were fun and always kept you wondering what he was about to do next. Next, was Troy James’s Baba Yaga. Wow, was it disturbing and twisted. Wanted to look away but kept your eyes forward at the same time, and have no idea how he moved the way he did, but bravo to him. Joel Harlow deserves a world of credit of his own, for making the prosthetics and make-up bringing Baba Yaga out of the comic, and Troy James brought her to life in horrifying fashion. Teased just enough to want more, and in the event this movie can get a sequel. Hope Troy James and David Harbour, are the first two signed on.
It is unfortunate that Hellboy is dying in the Box Office, because this movie was stellar. It was a thrill ride through and through. There were some questionable CGI moments, but not nearly enough to effect things. Loved the giants and the monsters at the end were beautiful and screamed something out of a Mike Mignola comic. definitely, not like the first two. May not follow the comics religiously, but take large, whole parts and twist them together to perfection. Giving those who do follow a real treat. Going R rated was definitely the right call. I don’t normally add a rating, but this is easily, 4.25 out of 5 and well worth the watch. I do strongly suggest checking this out in theaters, and coming up with an opinion of your own.
Thank you for reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
Welcome to the first blog of something I like to call, Remake Vs Original, and it’s very much what it sounds like. Going to take a remake and an original of a movie and discuss each one of them separately. Saying the things I like about each and whatever negatives there may be about them, and then give my verdict on which was better and why I came to that conclusion. Simple as that. As easy as it would be to start this thing off with Pet Sematary, since it’s fresh in everyone’s mind. Decided to make things more interesting and much more harder, and go with Evil Dead. Now, without further ado, lets dig a little deep and see if the remake was able to take the crown from the original, or if the original is still head of the franchise, as far as this Blogger’s opinion is concerned.
There will be spoilers going forward. Most of these movies are years to decades old. If you haven’t seen it and don’t want things spoiled, stop now, and come back later.
Remake – Evil Dead 2013- starring Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, and Jessica Lucas and Directed by Fede Alvarez
This movie revolves around a recovering heroin addict being brought to an isolated cabin in the woods to detox. When one reads from the Necronomicon and unsuspected, unleashed and evil demonic force, who begins to possess, torture and kill each of them in brutal and gory ways. Story focusing on Jane Levy who was brilliant in her role as Mia. taking the crowd on an emotional roller coaster. Feeling sorry for her she struggled to overcome her addiction, then becoming terrifying once she becomes possessed. Just becoming completely demonic and intense, and sexually perverse. Stealing the screen every time she was on. A dozen moments come to mind just thinking about it. From her taunting them from the basement or the tongue splicing scene with the box cutter. Then, did a complete one-eighty back to sole survivor and fighting the demon in the final conclusion. Keeping you on the edge of your seat all the way through.
Original – Evil Dead 1981 – Staring Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, and Betsy Baker
The 1981 classic, that had five friends go off to an isolated Cabin in the woods, to party, get high, and to enjoy themselves. After getting lured into the basement and played a cassette that recited a passage from the Necronomicon, and unleashed an ancient evil into the world. Starting to possess, psychologically torture, and finally kill them one at a time. Taking a unique approach of making you think the main survivor would have been Scott, but killed him off rather quickly, and coming down to the one and only Ashley J. Williams. Having him alone and being tortured by just everything from the cabin, and having to kill his reanimated friends. Shedding out of his cowardly persona, and to that of a determined survivor. rooting for him like no other, wanting to see him survive and fight another day. The practical effects were something to behold, and went wild with the fake blood. Spawning two sequels, and gave us an iconic hero in the process, and what can I actually say about Bruce Campbell that we don’t already know. Long moments where he was the only one around, still made it must watch.
Final verdict, and winner of the first Remake Vs Original is – Evil Dead 2013
Before you yell and lose your minds. This was far from an easy decision. Can totally see why you would think otherwise, but for my money, The remake trumps the original in every possible way. For starters they did what every remake should always do. Take the spirit of the original, but make an original idea from it. Directors who choose to make a remake, should look at this for influence. Practical effects were spot on and the torture and scenes where a character was being attacked was terrifying and made you feel sorry for each of them, even the jerk of the story. He takes such a pounding and in an organic way, no longer want to see him punished, but to survive. Toned down the campiness that turned the original from a horror attempt; to horror comedy. When Demon Mia is verbally abusing them from the basement, is so much more intense than funny. Comedic elements were used seldom and felt more deserved, and that death-blow at the end of the movie, is as iconic and memorable as anything the original has to offer, and should be held in horror movie legends for death scenes. Lastly, as much as I enjoyed Ash. He was much better in the sequels then the first, and Jane Levy’s performance won the day, and this head to head.
Thank you for reading
By: Justin Hopkins
We got a lot to get into so I will make the intro quick, and a little bit of a heads up. Due to just how much there actually was to at Wrestlemania last night, I am not going to go into every match, but my top three, with a handful of Honorable mention moments. If I tried to rundown every match, this wouldn’t be a blog, but a short story. So, just a little heads up on the change.
I am not going to lie, kind of eating my words this morning. Didn’t have the highest of hopes going into this event. After some serious bad story-telling decisions or overall lack of stories for some of these matches. Had to really hope for some great matches, and they gave just that and a hell of a lot more. Turning what I thought would be a lackluster Mania, into one of the best. Lets jump right into things with the pre-show.
I almost thought the worst right from the start when the lead off with the Women’s Battle Royal started off on the wrong foot. There was several stand out moments from Zelina Vega, Dana Brook, and a returning Ember Moon hitting the eclipse from every possible vantage point. They gave us such a twist, by having the favorite, Asuka, being lasted eliminated by Sarah Logan. Appearing to be start the night off with an unexpected victor for someone who deserves the push, only to pull the rug out from under us, by having Carmella enter behind her, having hide out by ringside the entire match, and win the match. Taking away from an actual pop from the fans and a way to say that anything can truly happening. Doubling down by using the exact same tactic in the Andre the giant battle royal, by having the SNL guys do the exact same thing to end up against Braun Strowman who decimated them to end the comedic segment between the three. Match was at least entertaining watching Strowman plow his way around the ring, and am glad to see Luke Harper back in action, and hope he gets a decent push of some kind, or team him back with Braun. Both of which are more than capable of putting on excellent matched. The real star of the Pre show was easily the Raw tag team title match, between Cut Hawkins and Zac Ryder vs The Revival. A match that wasn’t even on the card until Wednesday and thought it was a joke, but once it got going, was far from it. Often forgetting how talented Ryder is and the longer the match went, the more Curt took center stage. The prospect of him finally winning after a defeated 269 losing match streak began to build and the fans got behind him and was a great moment to see him pick up the win for the team. Didn’t feel like the Revival getting buried, but giving a workhorse, who has done everything that has been asked of him, a Wrestlemania moment.
Before I delve into my top three matches, going to give out a few honorable moments, because there was so many moments that were great and it was generally difficult to just select 3. Starting off, with The Miz vs Shane. This was storytelling to a T. Miz being driven by pure emotion the entire time, and Shane just goading him along. The Miz Dad getting involved and Shane tormenting him by setting up his fighting stance was gold, and the superplex off the scaffling was something to behold. Shane getting the win only because of the way they landed was a great way to carry the feud forward. Definitely looking forward to the re-match. Brock Lesnar vs Seth Rollins was a great way to kick-start the event. Fast and to the point, but set the bar for the rest of the way. The return of the Doctor of Thuganomic was always a welcome sight and great callback, and finally, The Kurt Angle Farewell. I was legitimately surprised to see not only was it actually, Corbin, but Corbin getting the win, but I understand why. Kurt’s way of passing the torch to the next generation, by putting over a younger star. Especially, a heel, which is where Kurt shined the brightest in his career. It has been a privilege to watch him throughout his career, and am hope he finds happiness in retirement.
My number three for match of the night, was the fatal four way for the Women’s Tag team championship, between Sasha Banks and Bayley defending against The IIconics vs Beth Phoenix and Natalya vs Nia Jaxs and Tamina
I really was nervous about this one going in. From Nia and Tamina botching constantly, to Beth being rusty, and these types of matches being difficult to pull off in general, but these ladies brought their A-game to the match. High spots and double team moves pulled off to perfection. Moments throughout that really had me second guessing who was going to win, and the Glam Slam looked so incredible off the top that I didn’t even see the tag from Billy, and was so lost when the switch came and utterly elated to see the IIconics win the straps, from just being better on the Mic and the fresh matched that will come from this, especially if you pit them against the Riott Squad.
Second match of the night, The Main Event Ronda Rousey vs Charlotte Flair vs Becky Lynch
Sticking to what I said leading in, this story didn’t need Charlotte to get to the main event and dampened the emotions going in by having her apart of it, but the match itself was simply spectacular. These three women went at each other with all the hate in the world. At times, it was just two of them slugging the hell out of one another, and the baseball slide from Becky to an upside down Ronda was a hell of a sight, but that was far from the highlight. Becksploder off the top rope, and a spanish fly from the top that I was sure would be it. Trading submissions right and left and a quote of Ronda shouting Tables are for bitches had me howling. The only thing that stopped this from being match of the night, was the ending. No reason to end with controversy. Ronda needed to lose clean and show Becky as the definitive Champion. Other than that, this historic match blew away all expectations and set the bar for matches to come.
Number one, and should be no surprise, WWE Championship Daniel Bryan vs Kofi Kingston
This is how a match should be told. You had a top-notch Villain and an underdog tale of the ages. Kofi coming in with an explosion of fast high octane moves and Daniel came back and slowed it right down. The crowd hanging on to every shift in emotion and not enough credit can go to The New Day outside of the ring. Their emotions and reaction to what was happening in the ring and cheering on their team member along. Willing him to get back up and fight added so much more. Despite me predicting Kofi, never in a million years did I think he would actually pull it off and when the three count came and his arm was raised. You felt the emotion shared by all members of the New Day, happiness and excitement that has been sorely lacking, and am thrilled that Kofi Kingston has his time to shine with the WWE Championship, and can’t wait to see what happens on this Smackdown.
Now my negatives, and one is more nitpicky than the other. The first being the Triple H vs Batista match. Honestly, this would have been a perfect match for Triple H to retire one. Wrestling a friend, while his best friend watched from ringside. His parents were there and made a point to show them taunting Batista. The Batista Bomb with Triple H holding on to the sledge all the way would have been an iconic moment. Match at times tried to be more brutal when it had to be with the toolbox, but would have been better had Triple called it a career on. Felt more like a moment lost than anything else.
Next, this event ran way to long. From Pre-show to Becky winning the belt, was seven and a half hours. It was so long and had so many emotionally charged moments that you become exhausted and it was too long. The matches between Kofi holding up the belt to the main event were just blah, because you were exhausted. How do they solve this problem, I have no idea. Would say nix a battle royal but then you have a ton of talent doing nothing, but it is a problem that needs to be addressed eventually.
This was definitely a top-notch event that was wildly more exciting than the story lines going in and it’s all thanks to the amazingly talented roster they have. I can not wait to see where things go from here and am genuinely thrilled with the new Champions being The IIconics, Kofi Kingston, and Becky two belts. Final verdict, 4.5 stars out of 5.
Thank you for reading
By Justin Hopkins:
The struggle was real, going into this movie. Remakes have an uphill challenge as it is, with people who love to complain about the reasoning behind making a remake to a beloved movie as the first one was. Normally, a successful remake keeps the spirit and tone of the first and change just enough to keep an audience guessing what is about to happen. unfortunately, whoever made the trailers and TV Spots, didn’t care about that second part and not only ruined the twist, but beat you over the head with it. Leaving just the spirit and tone, were the able to duplicate the magic of the first? Lets find out shall we.
The movie opens very similar to the first one, with the family looking to escape to a quieter life out on the farm and away from the city. Enjoyed the little changes they made to the story, by adding the kid’s funeral procession for a lost pet. Show that Pet Sematary has not been forgotten. At the same time though, they didn’t spend time building a friendship between him Louis and Jud. Which was vital to the story. Just felt like neighbors and they were together by force half the time. You’ll find that this is a problem going throughout the movie. That don’t invest enough time to one thing or the other. Just slow-paced itself through the first two acts, on multiple angles and flew through the third act at such a hectic pace and hoped you caught on to the Wendigo angle. Which was quite creative, but not clear enough, because the Mom did not just fall asleep, but was being screwed with by the Wendigo. Needed to be explored more than just a passing footnote, because if you didn’t understand Jud’s mumbled explanation, then it was missed and the repeated dream sequences are going to come off as dumb.
My favorite part of this was easily Jete Laurence’s performance as Ellie. Most of this movie really weighed on her shoulders, being the bridge between them and Jud, her relationship with Church, and just making you care about her character so that when she was hit by the truck, you felt bad for her, and when she came back from the grave, really gave a haunting performance. Being a little older than Gage, they were able to play with her vocabulary and her strengths. Knowing full well what had happened and what she was. Aware of the power she had and ran with it. Whether it was the bedroom scene where she was laying next to Lewis and he had that look on his face where he knew he messed up and she was just calling him out on everything he had done or scene where she was stabbing her Mother and saying how much of a failure she was and that she was nothing more than that and would be going to hell very shortly went way to fast and wished their was more to it. A lot of props to Jete Laurence for making the best of it.
Amy Seimetz was tremendous as her role of Rachel. The Zelda character was grossly under utilized for sure, but felt her fear in the third act. How terrified she was of the dead coming back for her, and then seeing Ellie return from the grave sent her into a spiral and the terror on her face that it might happen to herself. Like I said before, her death scene was haunting. Again, they needed to give her more time to shine, because they could have had a classic moment if given the chance.
I did enjoy Jason Clarke’s portal of Louis here. He didn’t quite live up to the bar set by Dale Midkiff, but worked well for me. Didn’t have the broken down by grief emotion, but was fueled and determined his grief and sorrow. He had no reservations and was just a man on a mission. It was serviceable for what it needed to be, but needed to be more than just serviceable.
Outside of that, this movie has so much flaws. Between miss handling of the Zelda character, to piss poor time management and moments that happen that make you wonder if something important was edited out. No to mention the twist of Ellie being the one to be killed instead of Gage, especially since the way it was shot, looked like it very well was going to be Gage. Even used Church as the way to get her out into the road. Building the guilt Louis had over bringing Church back and not putting the Cat had when he had the chance. All of which was ruined a head of time and lost the emotional weight behind it all. The ending tried to be a little more than it needed to be. Where Gage was the last one alive, and the reanimated bodies of his family coming after him, and felt it could have been better.
I will say, this movie is something you have to see for yourself, but I wouldn’t suggest running out to theaters. Check it out on Netflix or Red box, before deciding it is worth buying. It will end up in my collection despite it not nearly as good as the original, but was a fun movie, with tension and a great performance from a very creepy girl, and if you weren’t a fan of or seen the first one, you’ll enjoy this one.
Thank you for reading
By: Justin Hopkins
I’ve been a wrestling fan for 21 years. Been through a lot of good and bad and in between. I’ve seen some of the best moments and some pretty poor ones, but this WrestleMania lead up has not only been frustrating, but has seemed to suck all the joy I had after the Royal Rumble left me on an all time high. Have been thinking long and hard about how this blog and having to wait till they got close to a complete card and they still don’t seem to have a raw tag title match, but I digress. This is my full rundown and what I expect from the matches.
AJ Styles vs Randy Orton
Actually have high hopes for this match. Due to time restraints they didn’t have much time to build their fued but both should how great they are in building excitement and name value alone carries weight. Expecting them to tear it up and exciting like only they can. At least 3 stars with a potential to steal the show, going with AJ, but could go either way.
Winner AJ Styles
Roman Reigns vs Drew McIntyre
I mean..okay guess they need something to do. Roman getting cheers off his return from beating cancer and Drew being a monster heel. Haven’t watched a Roman match in over a year and a half so there’s that. Want to see Drew get the win to continue his monsterous heel run, but have a feeling Roman will get the win from a departing Dean Ambrose.
Winner Roman Reigns
Shane Mcmahon vs The Miz
This has been a fun ride. Glad to see a heel turn for Shane O’Mac and The Miz just oozes charisma and has been absolutely intense on the mic. Shane is a walking highlight reel and The Miz can get a good match from anyone at this point. Throw in falls count anywhere and it’s promising to be a thrilling ride. Looking forward to Miz getting his payback and having a massive Mania Moment.
Winner The Miz
Triple H vs Batista (No holds barred and Triple H career on the line.)
I have no problem believing this will be good because these two have torn it up on multiple occasions. I have enjoyed the promos but do feel it should be reversed since Triple H never defeated The Animal, but with that said, GIVE ME WHAT I WANT, a Batista victory.
Intercontinental Championship- Finn Balor vs Bobby Lashley
The Demon Balor will be there. That’s about it. They screwed the pooch with them having Finn win at Fastlane and drop it back 2 weeks later and with The Demon being undefeated, guessing it’s going back to the Demon.
Winner New Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor
US Title Rey Mysterio vs Samoa Joe
These two are capable of putting on good matches. Have no idea why Dominic is back though. One of the worst and uncomfortable storylines in recent memory and he’s back again in a story similar to what Miz and Shane did. Hopefully Joe maintains since he just now got a chance to shine with a title.
Winner Samoa Joe retains
Smackdown Tag Team Championship- Ricochet and Aleister Black vs Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura vs The Bar vs The Usos
First of many multi person matches and perhaps will be the best. This match was literally made an hour ago and has absolute no build. Guess they couldn’t be bothered. Just a tag team title match at their biggest shows. Going with the champs to retain.
Winner The Usos retain
Kurt Angle vs Baron Corbin
I wouldn’t actually mind seeing this match. They have been picking at one another back since Angle was GM and Corbin is capable of having a good match, but with their talk of a swerve being possible and I feel like it’ll be John Cena to have Kurt’s last match and that is the way he should go out. Thank you Kurt Angle, for all the memories and hope you go out the way you should, a winner.
Winner Kurt Angle
Women’s Tag Team Championship – The Iiconics vs Beth Phoenix and Natalya vs Nia Jaxs and Tamina vs Sasha Banks and Bayley
While I wish this could have just been 2 on 2 due to multi person matches being overloaded at times. Would have liked it more if they would have not included Tamina and Nia. They have so many blotches and I get that wrestling is tough and I could never do what they do, but they really borderline wrecklace and any other team would have been better. I hope it’s a good one though because I like what Sasha and Bayley have done since Elimination Chamber and Beth looks fantastic going into it.
Winner Sasha Banks and Bayley retains
Women’s Battle Royal
You know what would have been better then this. Since Vince seems to love them all of a sudden. Have Asuka defend her title in one instead of saying screw it and give us this instead.
Andre The Giant Battle Royal
Match really means nothing to anything. Who cares.
Winner Apollo Crews
Universal Title match- Seth Rollins vs Brock Lesnar
Seth really deserves this moment. He’s been the highlight of raw for years and his matched are always must see. He’s really carried this rivarly and can not wait for him to slay the beast.
Winner and new champion Seth Rollins
WWE Championship- Kofi Kingston vs Daniel Bryan
Wow am I excited for this match. Kofi has turned it up so much these last few months and the feeling of hope and belief is one that has been absent for a long time. While Bryan has been a text book example of stellar Villain. My brain tells me that it’ll be Bryan walking out victorious but I can’t do it. LETS GO KOFI! Kofi! Kofi!
Winner New WWE Champion KOFI KINGSTON
Main event Triple threat winner takes all Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair vs Rhonda Rousey
This rivalry died so damn fast. The raw after the rumble and the confrontation between Becky and Rhonda was magical. Made me so excited for the two of them to build a fantastic rivarly and be a legendary moment and deep down knew they had to be the Main Event and ever since then, the writing and direction they went has done everything in it’s power to ruin it all. Adding Charlotte, who is extremely talented and one of the very best, but has no reason to be here. Then Becky had to win her way back in, diluting her victory at the Rumble which is only the second women’s Rumble and they botched it up already, and you haven’t made Becky look strong either. She won by DQ. Then to top it off they take the title off Asuka and put it on Charlotte to do a unification with no time to build a story for it. All they have done is give a giant middle finger to everyone who was so excited to see Becky vs Rhonda for the sake of adding to a story that didn’t need the weight of Charlotte and the wasted Smackdown Women’s title spot. The only thing that’ll make it better is to have Becky win because if I have had to deal with all of this Bullshit. The hero better walk away the victor.
Winner and new Smackdown and Raw Champion Becky Lynch.
I know this was long and got kind of preachy at the end. Thank you for reading along.
By Justin Hopkins
Going to go ahead and warn you all that this is going to be a little more spoiler heavy then I tend to like to go. I’m going to try and keep it down the best I can but I’m probably going to go a little further. So if you haven’t read it yet or are planning on picking it up. Click back and come back after because this was such a good read and don’t want to blow anything for you.
With that out, wow was this good. Had a little reluctance with this book because how let down I was with Action Comics. The had an all star class of writers and artists to come in and worried about how much they would get to put together their vision, and they all really delived. Worst being just okay and going up to just emotional charged and just perfect and reason why they are amongst the best. Giving us stories worthy being in 1000.
Kicking us off with the talented Scott Snyder, in the Longest Case. Which was a fun little tale of Batman closing in on him solving a case that goes all the way back to the start. Going into every bit of a process and walks in and finds that it has all been a test, and that his reward is exactly what he longs for and that is more riddles. It was a good, fun way to kick things off and got the book going in the right direction.
The three stand outs were Warren Ellis, Brian Michael Bendis, and Kevin Smith. Geoff Johns was pretty close but these three were just so epic for only 8 to 10 pages a piece.
Warren Ellis was just haunting at showing how methodical he was at taking down this group of criminals. Positioning them exactly where he needed them to be and the final showdown between him and the suicide bomber and his speech over already being dead and haunting the living was awesome. Just adrenaline charged from start to finish.
Bendis was just fun all the way around. Showing and old man penguin squaring off with an old man in a wheelchair. Telling the story of how he discovered Bruce Wayane was Batman, and how he was so close to simply killing him but didn’t. Going back and forth between that and the old men. Turning out the wheelchair bound man is I’m fact Bruce. Penguin getting to the point where he was berating him about being smarter then him and gets zapped by a stun gun from his chair. Sitting forward and called him a coward and he always knew penguin knew and didn’t ever fear him trying to do anything. Which was just funny and great wit and good middle story.
But in my opinion, the best story was Kevin’s Smith. Not going what happened because you need to experience it yourself, but was not ready for a heartfelt story that really hit home. Really got to the heart of things and made you feel bad for Batman and really just hit hard. Classic example of what drives him, and Kevin Smith is just a genius for doing so much with a simple action. If you check this out for one reason; this is it.
The art work was beautiful and everyone really brought their best out. Each unique style blended together so well and as much as I liked the Bat family picture they took together I loved the photo made by Jason Fabox and Brad Anderson. Had the heroes on the left and the villains on the right with Catwoman smack in the middle with the pages having her split in two. Which is what sells this picture for me. Such a fun small detail which was smartly utilizes her walking the fine line between them.
My only real negative is Paul Dini and it hurts just writing that. I love Paul Dinis work so much but this was just bad. The twist was dumb and the jokes fell flat and the last panel was cringe worthy. Wasn’t a bad story the playful art style and did Ivy and Harley well but expected more.
All around I strongly suggest you go out and pick it up. For the historical value alone. It’s 80 years and 1000 issues and was such a gift to us all. Stories were great fun. Action packed and had plenty of heart felt moments we have come to expect from these masterful story tellers. Go out and pick it up and tell me what your favorite story is, or better yet, what cover did you get. I got the Frank Miller 80s Dark Knight and it looks sweet.
Thank you for reading.
By Justin Hopkins
I’m not going to lie. Wasn’t the most excited for this PPV as I was for the rumble. Until the week leading up to it there wasn’t much to be that excited for outside of the women’s tag team title match. Yeah the rivalaries were set and going, but didn’t have that much hype that the PPV deserved to have. In the last few minutes I decided to tune in and while everything went kind of as expected, what they got right, was not only special, but spectacular. Going to start things off with the regular matches and save the chamber matches for later.
Starting off with the second match of the evening with Shane McMahon and The Miz lose the Smackdown Tag Titles to The Usos, which was a pretty decent match in itself. All four getting a chance to shine at some interval of the match. Nothing really special about it, but kind of expected more of a clear turn from either Miz or Shane to set up the Mania match these two seemed destined for. All in all there isn’t much to say about it though, Negative or positive. A solid match following the first chamber.
While I’m glad to see them finally put a title on Finn Balor, the 2 on 1 handicap match was such a dud. They really would have been better off just keeping it a singles match between Balor and Lashley because the constant tag in and outs with Lio Rush got old fast and continuously slowed the flow of the match. While a single match would have told a better story and still could have lead to the same place of Lio costing him the title in an distraction gone wrong and Lashley crushing him afterward. Since I am excited to see the Incontinental Title going on Finn Balor, someone who can consistently put on top tier matches more frequently though, I am perfectly fine with the end results which is far more then I can say for the next two matches on this list.
Ruby Riott is the biggest loser in this whole fiasco of a segment. She is a good talent who could have put on a really good match with Rhonda. Sure no one believed she had a chance going in, but they could have had a real match. The second Charlotte came out though, this match became a joke. The crowd left the whole match and changed for Becky immediately, and Ruby was a distant after thought. Becky finally getting a one up on the two at the end didn’t make up for how frustrating it was to see Ruby Riott get forgotten in this whole mess. She deserved so much better then this and hope they make it up to her in the near future.
You know is they Baron Corbin vs Braun Strowman down to three minutes, could have used the extra time for Ruby to have offense in her match since this ending did nothing and is going in an ugly direction. As much as I would love to saw this will come down to Drew McIntrye Vs Strowman at WrestleMania or Strowman vs Corbin rematch with a real ending. A three on one beat down to a Corbin win just seems like they are headed toward a six man tag match which is a wasted opportunity.
Alright, going to apologise for sounding like a crying fanboy now, and let’s delve into the good stuff, with the Women’s Tag Team Elimination Chamber Match and there was plenty of action to go along with this match up. The Icconics looked really good for the first time in a while and that roll-up combo they did to eliminate Naomi was so well orchestrated. Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan had me really pulling for them for a while. Having the best showing of any of the teams in my opinion, and sad to see them eliminated. Delighted to see Nia and Tamina being knocked out fourth leaving it come down to Boss and Hug vs Fire and Desire. While it was kind of predictable that Baley and Sasha would pick up the win. Knowing the legacy and hard-working and times these two talented women have put on in their careers to get to this point, I am happy they are awarded the title First WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, and sure they will put on tremendous matches going forward.
Now, the main event, which stole the show and then some. Everyone put on great moments and high spots and bravo to everyone but when Kofi knocked out Orton, and it was down to him vs Daniel Bryan, I truly believed in Kofi. I believed in him more then I have believed in anyone in a match, in a serious long while. Every pin fall he kicked out of had me on the edge of my seat and holding my breath when he hit Bryan with an SOS and Trouble in paradise, hoping for the miracle of a lifetime. One that would not come but wow was it so thrilling. Right to the end these two wrestlers put on a masterpiece, in the form of Psychological story telling. Although Kofi came out on the losing end. For a time, he made believers out of us all and reminded us of how great these shows can be.
Thank you for reading.