Sunday, 30 September 2018

Ross's Movie Reviews: Halloween (2007)

So the new Halloween movie is coming out in about a month so I thought I'd take a look at some (hopefully all) of the movies in the series. Well the ones featuring Myers at least.

This one is the first remake of the series and is directed by Rob Zombie who has not been one of my favourite directors to be honest.

I'm not even sure if this got a good reception when it came out, so I thought I'd check it out to see how it holds up.

No major spoilers and as always, check out Chew Bubblegum and Kick Ass on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @rossd9711

Also I reviewed the very first Halloween a while back so take a look:

The very first movie started with Michael killing his older sister. This movie starts just a bit before that because this time we have more of a character study than we've ever had for Myers before.

Straight away it's obvious that this aims to look more at the childhood that turned Michael into the devil we all know in love.

At home he has to deal with an asshole of a sister, a dirty home, his mom's abusive boyfriend and is made fun of by the other kids at school for the fact that his mom is also a stripper. It does a good job trying to make him more sympathetic for the most part even if he himself does just seem like an evil little fucker.

Of course his emotions take a dive off a cliff on Halloween night and he decides to kill everyone in his house that night.

It's at this point in the original where we move straight to Halloween night where Michael returns to continue his murderous rampage, but here we stay with him while he's still a child and going through therapy sessions to find out why he became a killer. We don't actually get to the point where he becomes the true Shape until almost an hour into the movie.

I think this was a complaint amongst fans as they wanted to get straight to classic Michael Myers killing people, but this movie takes its time and in my opinion it's all the better for it. You get a good chance to know the real character who still just seems like any normal young boy, whose mental state starts to slowly decay the more he's kept out of the public.

Here we also have Dr Loomis played by the brilliant Malcolm McDowell and we have a slight twist on his classic character. While he does act like the kind therapist throughout, it appears that he's milking the whole situation by releasing a book and using his sessions with Michael to make money.

A couple of annoying Rob Zombie tropes make an appearance as well, such as making so many characters come across as horrible people to the point that it just becomes an irritant. For example when he attempts to kill his older sister, this should come off as intense but because his sister has been as asshole the whole time, I didn't really mind seeing her biting the dust.

Zombie also uses his trope of characters using unnecessarily shocking dialogue to try and get a reaction out of the viewer. I mean the Halloween story is already pretty shocking enough as it is so I'm not sure why this needed.

Once we do eventually get to the return to Haddonfield as expected, this movie does get surprisingly fun. We get some homages to the original with scenes like Laurie thinking she sees Michael outside her school staring at her, only for him to just vanish. There's also moments where you can just see him standing in the background, watching and waiting, and it is pretty creepy.

Without spoiling anything it does follow a close blueprint of the Carpenter classic, but it takes a slightly different route and stands out on its own because of this. While it's not totally frightening it does have a couple of decent jumpscares and you may not feel safe in your own house for a little while. Remember to check behind those doors....

Surprisingly I had a lot of fun with this and this is honestly one of the better horror remakes I've seen as it kept the original film in it's heart while doing it's own thing. Not to mention that it did a good job of fleshing out the Myers character and bringing back the classic monster.

I'd recommend giving it a look.

Rating: 7/10

Monday, 17 September 2018

Ross's Movie Reviews: The Predator

It's been 8 years since the last instalment of a Predator movie with Predators (one I'll need to look at some time) and it has quite a bit of hype especially as it's directed by the critically acclaimed Shane Black who also happened to have a big part in the original movie. Did it live up to the hype? Lets's take a look.

As usual no major spoilers and make sure to check out Chew Bubblegum and Kick Ass on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @rossd9711

So this movie follows a soldier by the name of Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) as the movie starts off with his group's contact with a crashed alien spaceship that happens to inhabit a Predator. I think this is also the first movie that actually calls them by that name and actually makes a funny joke out of it so kudos.

Anyway Quinn ends up sending parts of the spaceship back home so that the government can't take it from him, and his son accidentally activates it, calling forth the deadliest Predator we've seen yet in order to bring back the cargo. And from here we have our Predator movie.

As this film has now been out for nearly a week, you've probably heard from others that there is quite a bit of comedy in this movie and you would be correct. Although a lot of people have been saying this in a way that makes it sound like it's a hindrance on the movie and I would need to totally disagree with that as the humour is one of the best parts of this.

If you've seen any other Shane Black movie like The Nice Guys then you kind of know what kind of movie you're getting into as this is basically that movie but with Predators added in. Hell, even the Predator gets a couple of chuckles.

This isn't a totally comedic movie though obviously, as we have Predators here and they're here for anything other than a laugh.

There are some gory moments here, maybe the goriest we've seen of any of the movies and it's glorious to watch one of these Predators go to work. There's one scene in particular that has an unarmoured and unarmed Predator having to take out a room full of people and he does it like he's the world's deadliest version of Batman. It's fantastic.

The Predator dogs even make a return but they're disappointingly ineffective in their one 'threatening' scene are basically used as a joke for the rest of the movie. Although they do get some funny scenes so I'll give them a pass.

Just like the original we have a group of soldiers as our heroes and they're surprisingly well fleshed out for the most part. The only one that really disappointed was Lynch (Game of Thrones' Alfie Allen) as I can't remember anything that he actually did in the movie.

On the memorable side we have Coyle (Keegan-Michael Key) and Baxley (Thomas Jane) who have what would appear to be a bit of a double act going on and the get the funniest parts of the movie by far and even a couple of sentimental ones that surprised me.

This is more of a fanboy nit pick but I was kind of annoyed that the Predators didn't really get to do any of their stealthy antics that we've seen in every previous movie as they preferred not to sneak around and got involved right in the action.

Still though I had a blast with this film and I have no idea why there seems to be so many negative reviews as I would definitely recommend seeing it whether you're a fan of the franchise or just want a fun Friday night out. This is one worth watching.

Rating: 7/10

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Ross's Wrestling Ratings: NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima 2018

So this is the first of the major Destruction shows in NJPW which will be followed by Destruction in Beppu in a couple of days. Here's my ratings for the show

Roppongi 3K & Rocky Romero vs Jushin Liger / Tiger Mask / KUSHIDA : **1/4

Toa Henare vs Bad Luck Fale : *

Killer Elite Squad vs Michael Elgin & Ayato Yoshida : **1/2

Kota Ibushi / Chase Owens / Yujiro Takahashi vs Will Ospreay / Chuckie T / Beretta : ***

Bullet Club OG vs Juice Robinson / David Finlay / Ryusuke Taguchi (Never Openweight 6 Man Tag Team Championship) : ***1/4

Taichi / Takashi Iizuka / Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Hirooki Goto / Toru Yano / Gedo : **

Los Ingobernables De Japon vs Suzuki Gun : ***1/4

Kazuchika Okada / Jay White / Yoshi-Hashi vs Hiroshi Tanahashi / Togi Makabe / Tomoaki Honma : ***

Kenny Omega vs Tomohiro Ishii (IWGP Heavyweight Championship) : ****3/4

Pretty good show overall as most of the tag matches were fun if inessential and the main event was just crazy and I loved it. Check out the main event for sure.

Ross's Movie Reviews: The Nun

Hey an actual movie in the cinema for me to review! That's a first. I know this one's a bit late but I only got a chance to see it the other night after deciding to brave it alone.

This is the fifth entry into the Conjuring series and while I love those two movies, the spinoffs have been pretty hit or miss with 2014's Annabelle being highly disappointing and 2017's Annabelle being surprisingly good.

The Nun definitely showed potential as we didn't get to see much of her in Conjuring 2 and whenever we did it was a highlight. So did the movie live up to expectations? Let's take a look.

No major spoilers and make sure to check out the Chew Bubblegum and Kick Ass page on Facebook where you can find the latest podcast that also takes a look into this movie. Definitely worth a listen.

Also make sure to follow me on Twitter @rossd9711

So the movie starts off in an Abbey in Romania where two nuns appear to be looking into a potential demon in the bowels of the building. It's unleashed and one of the nuns dealing with it decides to commit suicide rather than face it.

The Vatican hears of this and decides to send Father Burke and Sister Irene (the future Lorraine Warren) to investigate why this occurred and to see if the Abbey can still be considered holy. And we now have our horror movie set up.

First off I have to note it's a bit of genius casting to have Vera Farmiga's younger sister Taissa cast as Sister Irene as she genuinely does look like a younger version of Lorraine and plays the part well.

We also meet a local villager near the Abbey who is known as Frenchie and is probably the most memorable character in the whole thing due to being the only comedic character around.

So remember how the first Annabelle movie was just a bunch a jumpscares thrown into a piss thin plot in order to capitalise on the popularity of the demon? This is basically the exact same deal here. Although I do put this one just slightly higher than Annabelle for a few reasons but not by much.

I mean for a movie titled 'The Nun' she barely makes any appearances here aside from the disappointing climax and some sections in the middle of the movie but that's about it which is a shame because the character is awesome and I wanted more of her.

The rest of the time it's just her undead minions that seem to be trying for the scares, including a little boy known as Daniel from Father Burke's past who decides to make a couple of appearances but he's really not that scary and the story goes nowhere. Burke just seems to forget about him as if he's nothing.

Without spoiling it, I did enjoy the backstory of how the demon known as Valak came into our world and formed the blasphemous image of a nun as it does explain how such an evil monster could come into this world.

The scares are pretty awful as they go for the obvious jumpscares that just get annoying after a while with so many scenes involving the camera panning back and you know that there's going to be something there to jump at you every single time. The other Conjuring movies did this way better.

There is one scene that I found creepy involving Frenchie in a graveyard as it turns out that zombie nuns are just as scary as demon-possessed nuns but this is the only creepy scene that stuck out to me.

I can't fault the actors performances in this as it does feel like they're trying even with the obstacle of a stunted script. I think Frenchie is the only one that knows he's in a dumb movie and just hams it up when he can and I thank him for that.

Speaking of Frenchie though, the movie does try for some comedy moments almost in the vein of what you would hear in a modern Marvel movie, but it does it at the weirdest times like another scene involving the zombie nun which should come across as frightning but just ends up being funny due to a Frenchie punchline. It can be kind of off putting when the movie is trying to be scary and funny at the same time.

While the ending was disappointing, it did tie into the future Conjuring movies in a way I enjoyed and does explain quite a bit about The Nun.

Overall this was a pretty bland movie that had it's moments but did disappoint overall especially with an interesting premise like this one. Hopefully we see the Nun again and like Annabelle, the sequel will be way better. Other than that, there's way better movies out there that can scare you. Some of which I may be reviewing soon.....

Rating: 4/10

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Ross's Wrestling Ratings: Hell in a Cell 2016

Match Ratings:

Roman Reigns vs Rusev (Hell in a Cell match / United States Championship) : ***1/2

Bayley vs Dana Brooke : 1/2*

Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows : **1/4

Kevin Owens vs Seth Rollins (Hell in a Cell match / Universal Championship) : ****

TJ Perkins vs Brian Kendrick (Cruiserweight Championship) : **1/4

The New Day vs Sheamus & Cesaro (Raw Tag Team Championship) : ***1/2

Sasha Banks vs Charlotte (Hell in a Cell match / Raw Women's Championship) : ***3/4

Quick Thoughts:

Surprisingly good show I enjoyed more the second time around. All the Cell matches delivered and even exceeded expectations in certain places. Nothing was terrible outside of the Dana Brooke match but at least that one was kept short.

Recommended for a pleasant viewing.

Monday, 3 September 2018

Ross's Movie Reviews: Predator (1987)

It's been a while since my last movie review hasn't it? That won't be the case anymore as I'll be doing way less wrestling reviews and focusing more on movies and games.

So I was planning on looking at other movies but then the new Predator movie kind of snuck up on me and releases in just over a week, so I thought I'd take a look at the original that started it all over 30 years ago. How does it hold up? Let's take a look.

No major spoilers and as always be sure to check out Chew Bubblegum and Kick Ass on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter for review updates @rossd9711

The movie follows Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger), the leader of a troop of badass commandos, well known for their fantastic tactical skill, as they have been brought in by Dillon (Carl Weathers) on a rescue mission to find survivors of a helicopter crash in a South American jungle.

Unfortunately the survivors appear to have been butchered and some taken hostage by a group of rebels. Even more unfortunately, there appears to be something deadlier lurking in the forest that will become a bit of a problem.

This movie was released a year after the fantastic Aliens and its set up has a similar feel in that we're introduced to this group of tough soldiers that seem untouchable, only for them to go up against impossible odds. The major difference being that this group actually gets a proper chance to show off their skills, specifically in a shootout in a village against some of the rebels.

This part of the movie is terrifically fun with Arnie throwing around some of his awesomely cheesy one liners (Stick around!) and the rest of the team gets to shine, including legendary wrestling star Jesse Ventura. In this part he gets what is one of the coolest lines ever as one of the team notes that he's bleeding and he replies with "I ain't got time to bleed". How can you not love that? Plus he has a pretty sick minigun that is used quite a bit.

What's also an interesting fact of the film is that one of the troops, Hawkins, is played by great director Shane Black, who is now directing the 2018 Predator film. I think we may be in good hands come release day.

Although I think we all know who the biggest star of the movie is: The Predator.

If the Alien is the perfect organism, then this thing is definitely the perfect hunter. I love this creature and it's one of my all time favourites. It just looks so unique and it's methods of killing are so fun to watch. Gory as well mind you, as it doesn't mind some dismemberment, and tends to skin victims once he's finished killing them in brutal fashion. It can also go invisible at will, meaning it always feels like it's there, watching and waiting to pounce on the next unfortunate soul that comes across it. Pretty scary.

Sadly some of the special effects to bring the creature to life have dated quite a bit, especially when it's invisible as it almost makes me wish that they'd done some George Lucas magic and redone them. I will say though that the heat vision sections do look really cool and actually give some decent jumpscares at the same time as the moments in which it's used come out of nowhere.

When it comes to Arnie vs The Predator it's some of the best action scenes you'll see as Arnie uses all his knowledge of how the creature operates to try and take it down once and for all, so he can end the killing and avenge the dead.

The only real criticism I have is a side plot involving Dillon's real intentions for the troop but it's only really there to cause a bit of drama and is never really brought up again so it adds nothing to the main story and ends up being completely forgetful.

Still though this movie is a stone cold classic. It's one of the best action movies you'll get to experience and I implore you to watch it if you haven't seen it before as it's one that can't be missed. Plus it has Arnie screaming "Get to the choppa!". Need I say more?

Rating: 9/10

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Ross's Wrestling Ratings: All In

Zero Hour:

SCU (Scorpio Sky & Kazarian) vs The Briscoe Brothers : ***1/2

Over Budget Battle Royale : ****

Main Show :

MJF vs Matt Cross : ***

Christopher Daniels vs Stephen Amell : ***

Tessa Blanchard vs Britt Baker vs Chelsea Green vs Madison Rayne : ****

Nick Aldis vs Cody (NWA World Heavyweight Championship) : ****

Joey Janela vs Hangman Page (Chicago Street Fight) : ***3/4

Jay Lethal vs Flip Gordon : ***1/2

Kenny Omega vs Penta El Zero : ****1/2

Kazuchika Okada vs Marty Scurll : ****1/2

The Young Bucks & Kota Ibushi vs Rey Mysterio Jr / Rey Fenix / Bandido : ***3/4

Quick Thoughts:

Holy crap this show was a blast to watch and I was never bored. No bad matches here and some even exceeding expectations. Check this one out ASAP.