Friday, October 26, 2018

So ... what should main event WWE Evolution?

I have a bit of an unusual way to end WWE's Evolution event.

I'm still not happy about the Ronda Rousey vs. Nikki Bella match, but it's obviously happening, so may as well make the most of it right?

I also mentioned the fact that Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch may not have been the best route to go, simply because they've faced each other so many times in the past couple of months.

But that match is also happening.

Again, I may as well accept it.

The question becomes: how do you end Evolution?

Many people suggest that Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair is the way to go.

Others point to Ronda Rousey vs. Nikki Bella being the most logical choice to close the show due to their name value.

I agree on both points.

Becky and Charlotte deserve to close the show more so than Rousey and Bella, but they don't have the name value to the casual fans.

I think there's a way to have the best of both worlds, though.

Becky and Charlotte will compete in the first (actually second if you're counting NXT) Last Woman Standing match at Evolution.

It should be a hard-hitting fight.

What if we somewhat combine their match with Rousey and Bella?

Here's my idea:

Give Charlotte and Becky a good 12-15 minutes to fight all the ringside area before they brawl into the crowd and towards the backstage area. 
The cameras are rushing to follow them, but Nikki Bella's music hits.
She grabs the microphone in the ring. 
Being the conceited heel that she is, she tells the crowd that doesn't want to wait for 
Becky and Charlotte to wrap up their little match.  She's tired of waiting.  She wants her opportunity at Ronda Rousey and the Raw Women's Title right now. 
Rousey, having just been called out and certainly not one to back down from a fight, makes her way to the ring. 
She obliges Bella's request.  A confused referee comes to the ring and calls for the bell.
Rousey and Bella isn't likely to be a masterpiece, so they don't need 20 minutes of ring time. 
They fight it out for about 5 minutes with Rousey getting the best of Bella.
Rousey is toying with Bella, but that plan backfires as Nikki Bella capitalizes (maybe due to interference from her sister Brie). 
Then, Becky and Charlotte return to the ringside area, still brawling.
At this point Nikki Bella is getting the best of Rousey. 
Charlotte has a misfire (maybe she rams herself into the electronic board at ringside) and Becky capitalizes, hitting a big move on her opponent. 
Charlotte doesn't make it to her feet before their referee counts to 10.
Becky Lynch's music hits.  She gets in the ring to celebrate. 
Nikki Bella and Ronda Rousey are still wrestling at this point.  Bella confronts Becky about interrupting their match. 
Becky kind of shrugs her off and pushes her out of her way. 
Rousey takes advantage and applies her armbar on Bella.  She taps out.
Rousey's music replaces Lynch's music. 
Charlotte rolls into the ring, still recovering from her loss.
Brie is consoling Nikki on tapping out. 
Becky and Rousey have a little stare down in the middle of the ring with their championships. 
Becky backs out of the ring, with a smug smile on her face.  She raises her title as she backs her way up the ramp. 
Rousey celebrates in the ring. 
WWE goes to their post-show coverage.

I think that'd be a good way to get Becky and Charlotte a spot in the 'main event,' a way to add a little more excitement to the Rousey / Nikki Bella beatdown, do something different with a Last Man/Woman Standing match and a good way to foreshadow a future Champion vs. Champion showdown at the Survivor Series or the Royal Rumble.

Maybe (hopefully) WWE has a grand plan that will be even better  than this, but that's how I'd like to see it play out.

I think now is the time to run with Becky vs. Ronda.

Let Charlotte chase the title and give her a Rumble victory, setting up Charlotte vs. Ronda for Wrestlemania next year.

But they need to interact a little bit before that.  This gets them in the same ring before that.  Survivor Series is another chance for that to happen.

If Becky vs. Ronda does happen, Charlotte would undoubtedly play a role (maybe as a commentator) there too.

We'll see what happens though ....

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Mistakes the media makes in a tense political climate and how they can fix them

As a former journalist, I watched the entire saga of suspicious packages unfold on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.  Time for a quick sidebar from the superhero and TV blogs I typically post.

It is a scary time to be a journalist, for sure.

I think there's plenty of blame to go around --- both sides of the aisle, both media and non-media.

First of all, President Trump.  He talks about fake news all the time.  I've received viewer phone calls from Democrats who, upset with story coverage they received, told me, 'I don't like Trump, but now I know what he means when he talks about fake news!'

It should be made clear from the top down that violence is NOT the answer and is NOT OK.  Make your memes and throw your critiques out on YouTube comments and on Twitter, but don't incite violence, poke fun at it or accept it as normal behavior.

Unfortunately we've had instances on both sides of the political spectrum where politicians have indicated that it's 'OK' to do that.

  • President Trump --- there are various examples ... take your pick.
  • Hillary Clinton --- she told CNN: "You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about ... That's why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that's when civility can start again. But until then, the only thing that the Republicans seem to recognize and respect is strength."
  • Eric Holder --- he said at a campaign rally a week or two ago: "When they go low, we kick 'em. That’s what this new Democratic Party is about."

That list could go on and on.

People are passionate.  People are angry.  That's OK.  Passion drives people to the polls and gets them involved in a political process that would otherwise go unchecked.

Michelle Obama was right, though.  Regardless of what party you identify with, "When they go low, we go high."  It's a quote that people remember for years.  It was powerful and it's true.

You can't take things into your own hands and go around screaming in the face of senators, imposing your physical will on anyone or encouraging physical attacks --- on politicians, on voters you disagree with or on the media.

If you resort to that, it takes focus away from whatever point you're trying to prove.

Now, I'm not a politician, but I can speak to the media and some issues that they bring on themselves.

The media has been losing trust for a long while, before President Trump took office.

They consistently rank up there with used car salesmen, politicians and lawyers in terms of the least trustworthy professions.

Take a look at the Gallup poll statistics in the infographic here.

They've gone up and down a bit, but since 2002, it's been (mostly) a consistent downfall.

Gallup began asking the question about media in 1972 and on a yearly basis since 1997.

In 1976, the poll indicated 72% of those who took it widely trusted journalism.  The Gallup poll results break down the age demographic that trusts media the least and the voting party that trusts them the least.

Why the distrust?

After spending 10 years in journalism, I've got a few theories.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

My pitch to you: a better card at WWE Evolution

WWE's Evolution pay-per-view / WWE Network live event is this Sunday.

It's the first ever all-women WWE event, so it's been hyped up for several weeks.

Considering the hype, you'd think that WWE would've done a better job shaping the card.

Take a look at what it is right now:

 -    Last Woman Standing match for the SmackDown women's championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. 
      Charlotte Flair

 -    Raw women's championship match: Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Nikki Bella

 -    NXT women's championship match: Kairi Sane (c) vs. Shayna Baszler

 -    2018 Mae Young Classic finals: Toni Storm vs. Io Shiari

 -    NXT U.K. women's championship match: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Isla Dawn

 -    Trish Stratus and Lita vs. Mickie James and Alexa Bliss

 -    Sasha Banks, Bayley and Natalya vs. The Riott Squad

 -    Women's battle royal featuring: Alicia Fox, Alundra Blayze, Asuka, Billie Kay, Carmella, 
      Dana Brooke, Ember Moon, Ivory, Kelly Kelly, Lana, Mandy Rose, Maria Kanellis, 
      Michelle McCool, Molly Holly, Naomi, Nia Jax, Peyton Royce, Sonya Deville, Tamina, 
      Torrie Wilson, Zelina Vega

Not bad, overall, but it kind of feels like a lackluster card when you consider what could be done with it.  The women's battle royal seems like it's gotten the Wrestlemania 25 battle royal treatment rather than something worthwhile.

Nattie, Sasha and Bayley taking on the Riott Squad?  Well, gee.  That's a match that you could see ... on any episode of Raw.

Kairi Sane and Shayna have produced some good matches in their feud, but it certainly lacks the intensity and the interest that Ember Moon vs. Asuka had.

Nikki Cross vs. Shayna would generate more interest in my opinion.  Shayna is fantastic, but Kairi Sane hasn't really had any character development in a year, so she's somewhat stale.

Becky vs. Charlotte happened several times already.  It's a good feud, but multiple matches will wear the feud out quicker than it should be.

And who in the Hell thought Ronda Rousey vs. Nikki Bella was a good idea?  Yeah, I get it.  Nikki is a 'crossover star,' but most people don't actually know who she is.  Most wrestling fans over the age of 15 groan when they see that she's involved in something.

She has worked hard.  I'm not taking that away from her, but she's not competition for Rousey.  Nikki Bella is the Kardashian of the WWE.  She's got her reality shows and she's just a girly girl.  Look at her mannerisms on Raw.

They were feminine.  Nothing wrong with that, but you compare that to someone like Rousey?

She has the stance of a fighter and isn't worried about her skimpy shorts or her hair extensions.  No comparison.

Rousey is the legit fighter here and she's just wasting her time with Nikki BellaThat's the frustrating part about this match.

Alexa Bliss wasn't a match for Ronda either.  She's fun to listen to on the mic and is OK in the ring, but she's tiny and not nearly skilled enough to put up a legit fight against Rousey.  That was a hard feud to sit through as well.

Nia Jax vs. Ronda Rousey?  That's a match that I can get into.

Rousey vs. Mickie or Nattie?  Absolutely.

Rousey vs. Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Asuka?  Please, make it happen!

But Rousey vs. Nikki Bella?  Geesh.

So, today, I'm going to pitch you something different.  I'm going to pitch you a better card for Evolution.  I think it's better anyway.  Let me know what you think in the comments section below.


NXT gauntlet match: MJ Jenkins vs. Taynara Conti vs. Reina Gonzalez vs. Aliyah vs. Deonna Purrazzo vs. Vanessa Borne vs. Lacey Lane vs. Mia Yim
   Time: 14 mins

This allows each woman to showcase a bit of her talent without having a full-on 10-woman match or a dreaded tag match.  I'd probably give Mia Yim or Deonna Purrazzo the win here.

I'm sure all of these women would love the idea of being able to compete on this night, despite the fact that it's a pre-show match.  It's still a chance to compete at a level they haven't gotten to compete at before.


4 corner match to crown the new WWE Women's Tag Team Champions: Bayley and Sasha Banks vs. The IIconics vs. The Bella Twins vs. Mandy Rose and Sonya DeVille
   Time: 12 mins

This match just makes sense.  WWE has been teasing the idea of traveling women's tag team titles for several months now.  Every woman on the roster has seemingly been asked about it in a public forum and has said 'Yes, let's do it!'

The first all-women's event seems to be a good place to bring back the women's tag team titles --- especially since, you know, they have tag matches every week anyway.

Missed opportunity here, in my opinion.

WWE didn't even need to hold an entire tournament.

There could've been qualifying matches on the Raw and Smackdown episodes prior to Evolution.  The Bella Twins vs. Bayley and Sasha vs. The Riott Squad in a triple threat tag match. 

The Bellas win and advance to Evolution. 

The next week Bayley and Sasha face The Riott Squad for the remaining Raw spot in the match.  Bayley and Sasha win and move on to Evolution.

Same thing on Smackdown.  The IIconics vs. Mandy Rose and Sonya vs. Asuka and Naomi. 

The IIconics win and move on. 

Next week it's Mandy Rose and Sonya vs. Asuka and Naomi.  Sonya pins Naomi and her team moves on to this match.

2 Raw teams against 2 Smackdown teams for the revived women's tag team titles.

I think it would've worked, but WWE didn't bite the bullet yet.

To keep with the Daniel Bryan / Miz / Maryse / Brie Bella feud, I'd book Maryse for interference in this match.

Maryse appears and takes out Brie ... the two brawl to the back, leaving Nikki alone in the match. Choose your winner from there (I'd probably go with Sasha and Bayley).

NXT UK Women's Title Match: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Isla Dawn
   Time: 8 mins

Rhea would retain. Match serves it's purpose of introducing fans to the NXT UK brand and showcasing that brand's champion (Rhea).  Nothing too crazy, but hopefully a solid match.

Exhibition Match: Natalya vs. Shayna Baszler
   Time: 12 mins

The Queen of Harts vs. the Queen of Spades. Both are pals with Ronda Rousey.

 The buildup could've included some teases at Ronda Rousey possibly having to choose sides in the future between her former MMA pal (Shayna) and her new WWE best friend (Nattie).

Could go either way on the victory. I'd give it to Nattie since she's been around longer. Shayna could do a post-match attack and stomp on Nattie's arm, injuring her. Beth Phoenix (Nattie's friend who will be ringside for commentary) can check on Nattie while Shayna smiles deviously in the ring.

Nattie gets a feel-good victory on a historic night, Shayna gets some heat and it sets up possible tension between Shayna and Ronda (a money match in terms of the women).  Or it could lead to the WWE's 4 Horsewomen facing MMA's 4 Horsewomen.  Either way works for me.

Mae Young Classic finals: Toni Storm vs. Io Shirai
   Time: 18 mins (including buildup package, entrances)

This should, of course, be a good match.  WWE booked it and I like it.  No changes here.

I hope Toni gets the victory.  Io winning the second year after being signed seems too familiar to Kairi winning the first Mae Young Classic.

Unless Io turns heel on Kairi or Kairi turns heel on Io, I don't think Io should win.  Like I said before, Kairi barely has any character development at this point.  Io would be like Kairi 2.0 (and Kairi is kind of like Asuka 2.0 due to the lack of character development).

6 Pack challenge for the NXT Women's Title: Kairi Sane (c) vs. Bianca Belair vs. Candice LeRae vs. Dakota Kai vs. Nikki Cross vs. Lacey Evans
   Time: 12 mins

Kairi defends against these talented 5 ladies.  NXT has a lot of talented ladies, despite the fact that they aren't the 4 Horsewomen or Carmella or Alexa Bliss or Asuka or Nia Jax.

A 6 pack challenge is nice because it allows everyone to hit their spots and limits the possibility of mess-ups.  It also allows for someone to win without anyone else losing credibility.

I'd throw a title switch in with this match.  Nikki Cross or Candice LeRae or Bianca Belair winning it could be good.  I'd probably go with cross or Belair so that Kairi could chase the title into Survivor Series weekend with a 1-on-1 rematch.

#1 contender women's Battle Royal

    Time: 17 mins (full entrance for each woman and then the match)

Alicia Fox, Alundra Blayze, Carmella, Dana Brooke, Ember Moon, Ivory, Jessie Elaban (NXT), Jinny (NXT UK), Kacy Catanzaro (NXT), Kavita Devi (NXT), Kelly Kelly, Lana, Liv Morgan, Maria Kanellis, Molly Holly, Naomi, Nia Jax, Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, Tamina, Torrie Wilson, Zelina Vega

When WWE first announced that there were going to be 50 or 60 women involved, you knew there had to be a battle royal.  It makes sense.  Get them all out there for some TV time and a little participation in the historic night.

I do like that it's not for a cheap trophy (see Wrestlemania earlier this year), but this is the third battle royal the women have had this year.  Annnnnd the second women's Royal Rumble is happening in less than 3 months.

Granted, the Royal Rumble is a little different due to competitors coming out in two-minute (or 90 second) intervals.

I hope WWE gives these women enough time for separate entrances and enough time to attempt to tell a story in the ring.

I'd keep the match but change up a few of the participants, removing Mandy Rose, Sonya DeVille, Peyton Royce and Billie Kay so they can compete in the tag title match I mentioned above.

Ideally booked, I'd get rid of Maria and Kelly and Torrie first, along with most of the NXT ladies.

Highlights from the match could include:

  • Alundra, Ivory and Molly (the legends) facing off against Ruby, Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan (the newbies).
  • Zelina mouthing off to a Nia Jax or a legend (fits in with her character very well)
  • a fun spot with the pint-sized and speedy Kacy Catanzaro (maybe with Nia Jax or Kavita Devi)
  • Liv Morgan facing off against Kelly Kelly (or maybe Torrie Wilson?)
  • a near elimination with Naomi

I think I'd give the win to Nia Jax.  She may need it the most out of the bunch.

Wrestlemania rematch: Charlotte vs. Asuka
   Time: 20 mins

Charlotte got the victory on Asuka at Wrestlemania and Asuka has kind of floundered since then.  Her tag team with Naomi wouldn't be bad if there were actual women's tag team titles to compete for, but there aren't.  So, it's just a pointless tag team formation at this point.

I'd let them have a great match, but involve Becky Lynch (to further the feud with Charlotte).

Becky brings out an interviewer and says she should be interviewed before her epic match against Ronda Rousey. Yet who is on TV? Charlotte Flair.

 Of course, Charlotte is distracted by this long enough for Asuka to slap on the Asuka lock and get the victory.  Becky heads to the back, happy with the result of the match.

Tag team match: Mickie James and Alexa Bliss vs. Lita and Trish Stratus
   Time: 15 mins

This is only the 3rd match out of all of them that WWE have booked for Evolution that I actually agree with.

Mickie has a history with Lita and Trish. Alexa is WWE's current version of Trish.

 All 4 involved are big enough names to warrant a tag match without any titles on the line or #1 contenderships to worry about.

I don't even care who wins.  I'm just happy to see this match happening.

Champion vs. Champion match: Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Becky Lynch (c)
   Time: 15 mins (including buildup, entrances)

It'd be the master of the armbar vs. the master of the armbar.  While Becky is on a role, she hasn't been pushed to the moon and back like Charlotte has.  Therefore she's not as big of a name as Charlotte.  She doesn't have the lineage (or a book about the lineage or a WWE Network special about the lineage).

However, I think Becky is a big enough name to take on Ronda, especially since they have similar finishers.  Especially since they are both champions right now.  Especially since Becky is a heel and Ronda is a face.

Talk about a wasted opportunity!  Ronda is facing Nikki Bella when she could be facing Becky Lynch.  This is definitely a facepalm moment. 

Give Nikki Bella her own shot at Ronda at Survivor Series or the next pay-per-view (after some build-up with Nikki and Ronda at the Survivor Series ... not a random heel turn).

I'd book it so that Becky may be considering cheating at some point during the match.

Maybe looking to hit Ronda with a chair, but the ref takes the chair away before she can?  Becky is using the ropes to choke Ronda.  She's using the television camera cord to choke Ronda.  She throws Ronda into the barricade and the ring post.

Becky is looking to cheat a little more, but Charlotte comes down to the ring to attempt to stop Becky.

Charlotte yells at Becky from the ring apron. Becky never actually cheats so the match is still ongoing.  Becky slaps Charlotte across the face. 

Charlotte gets into the ring and goes for a spear. Becky moves. Charlotte hits Rousey with the spear instead!!  Rousey gets the DQ victory. 

Becky beats down Charlotte and Charlotte tries to fight back until the ref breaks that up. Becky leaves the ring, frustrated, but happy.

Rousey is not happy about a DQ win.  She confronts Charlotte.

The two have a stare down and look to get physical, but refs break up the fight before it could happen. Show closes with Rousey in the ring with her Raw Women's Title and Charlotte leaving.

How's that for progressing storylines?

  • You continue the Becky / Charlotte feud (Smackdown's main feud over the Women's Title).
  • You get a tease of Charlotte vs. Rousey (which can take place at Wrestlemania).  
  • You get Ronda vs. Becky (a match that should happen while Becky is on the roll that she's on), but both women look good because nobody officially got beat.  You could do a rematch at the Royal Rumble if both are still champions.

Instead we get 'Total Diva' Nikki Bella vs. Rowdy Ronda Rousey --- the match that generates the least interest out of all the possibilities.

That's it.  That's how I'd book the WWE Evolution pay per view by using the same women WWE already has booked.

If I were completely fantasy booking I'd bring in Kaitlyn, Victoria, Melina and more (and probably would've had a couple of matches in the finals of a women's tag team tournament), but I'm trying to keep my pitch within the parameters WWE already have set up.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

10 TV shows and Movies that are FINALLY on DVD

I've posted a few blogs over the past 5 years about television shows and movies that somehow aren't readily available on DVD.

     -   Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013:
           10 TV shows and movies that aren't on DVD, but should be

     -   Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014:
           10 more TV shows and movies that aren't on DVD, but should be

     -   Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017:
           10 TV shows and movies that STILL aren't on DVD, but should be

Some people claim that the DVD is dying, but I don't think it ever will fully go away.  People still like tangible things.  They like to be the owner of something.

Digital purchases just aren't the same as having a physical DVD copy of your favorite show --- at least in my opinion.

Well, good news: some of that has changed!  Let's take a look at some of the TV shows and movies that finally came out on DVD:

Batman (1960s)

This show never won any awards that I'm aware of, but it is kind of a cult classic.

It's campy, it's out there, and the action scenes are cleverly edited with graphic elements and tilted camera angles.

Amazingly, despite the unbelievable storylines and unrealistic dialogue and being filmed on a studio set, this show holds up pretty well.

I can say that because this series was finally released on DVD in Nov. of 2014 as Batman fans of all ages rejoiced.

  -  Best Buy: $68.99
  -  Barnes and Noble: $63.99
  -  WalMart: $54.99
  -  Amazon (Prime): $54.99

The Secret World of Alex Mack (1994-1998)

This was a favorite of mine from the '90s. 

Any Nickelodeon kid will remember it.  It was a fun show about a teenage girl who had an accident that involved a chemical spill. 

The accident resulted in her getting powers. 

She could turn into a liquid-like puddle, she controlled electricity, she could levitate objects and she turned orange when she was nervous.

The complete series was released on DVD in 2017.  I, of course, bought a copy.

  -  Amazon: $16.62
  -  Best Buy: $17.99
  -  Barnes and Noble: $28.07
  -  WalMart: $16.62

The Nanny (seasons 4 through 7)

This show was released a year or so ago -- in complete form and with DVD extras.

It was about time, too.  Seasons 1 - 3 were available for several years, but 4 - 7 never ended up getting released.

Apparently all the issues that were lingering previously were all sorted out because it's now available for fans to purchase and enjoy.

It was released in late 2015.

While The Nanny may not have a spot in pop culture the way Seinfeld or The Office does, it was a damn good show with some great one-liners and physical comedy.

  -  Amazon: $73.99
  -  Barnes and Noble: $143.45
  -  WalMart: $71.99
  -  Target: $73.99

The Wonder Years (1988-1993)

This was the show that so many people wanted on DVD.  There are a lot of TV shows that people were hoping to purchase, but this show wasn't released for such a long time.  I think a lot of people assumed it would've been released alongside many other shows in the early 2000's.

It's the same story you'll see with a lot of these DVD's that weren't released: music rights.  There were issues that had to be resolved and contracts that had to be signed and royalties paid.

These days most shows get the rights to the music right away or have a clause in there for distribution rights, but nobody anticipated DVD's back in the 1980's and 1990's, so it took a while to sort all of these things out.

Thankfully, those issues were resolved and the complete series was released in Sept. of 2014.

  -  Amazon (Prime): $53.23
  -  WalMart: $55.49
  -  Target: $78.19
  -  Best Buy: $98.99

Good Morning, Miss Bliss

Oh my gosh!  After years and years of fans asking for this, we finally got it.  Shout Factory! released The Complete Saved By The Bell series (including Honeymoon in Vegas and Hawaiian Vacation ... but excluding The New Class) on DVD this month.

It does include Good Morning, Miss Bliss.  I blogged about this one in Feb. of 2017, but SBTB fans have been waiting for it for a while.

It's available at various retailers now:

  -  Amazon: $49.99
  -  Best Buy: $49.99
  -  Barnes and Noble: $59.99

The Beverly Hillbillies (kind of)

It seemed like someone was finally going to take control of The Beverly Hillbillies and distribute every season on DVD properly.  There are 5 'official' season available on Amazon, going for between $10 and $15 a season.

There are still the various black and white versions and 'Best of' packs available, but nothing beyond season 5.

I'm not sure what the problem is again.  It was such a classic show and I don't recall seeing it available on Amazon Prime, Netflix or any other streaming services.

Whoever is sitting on the rights to this show needs to get their act together and do the show justice by doing a full and proper release.

There are so many shows out there already on DVD that don't begin to compare to The Beverly Hillbillies.  Very frustrating as a fan.

Season 1:
  -  Amazon: $12.20
  -  Best Buy: $9.99
  -  Target: $14.29
  -  Barnes and Noble: $14.24
  -  Walmart: $12.20

Season 2:
  -  Amazon: $9.96
  -  Best Buy: $9.99
  -  Target: $12.79
  -  Barnes and Noble: $14.24
  -  Walmart: $9.96

Season 3:
  -  Amazon: $11.99
  -  Best Buy: $11.99
  -  Target: $12.79
  -  Barnes and Noble: $16.99
  -  Walmart: $11.99

Season 4:
  -  Amazon: $11.59
  -  Best Buy: $11.99
  -  Target: $11.59
  -  Barnes and Noble: $16.99
  -  Walmart: $11.59

Season 5:
  -  Amazon: $20.59
  -  Best Buy: $22.99
  -  Walmart: $21.74
  -  Target: $20.59


Roger and Hammerstein's Cinderella, starring Lesley Ann Warren, was available way back in the early 2000's, but evidently there weren't a lot of copies made because it became impossible to find at in-store or online retailers. 

Used copies were going for higher than $100 on eBay.

I can take the movie or leave it, but I have relatives who are big, big fans, so when it finally was re-released a couple of years ago, it made for a few good Christmas gifts.

  -  Amazon: $7.99
  -  Best Buy: $7.99
  -  Barnes and Noble: $14.29
  -  Books-A-Million: $14.93
  -  Target: $8.99

Murphy Brown (seasons 2 - 10) -- possibly coming soon?

Murphy Brown is back in the latest of what's becoming a long list of TV reboots.

I have to assume that maybe -- just maybe -- the show's revival means that there will be a complete series released at some point down the road.

I read that music rights were an issue in the past, but they've had several years to square that situation away.  Maybe they figure it's just not worth the cost to make the DVDs due to all of the music rights they'd have to pay out in royalties.

If the DVD doesn't sell well, then I see why it wouldn't be worth it.  I guess it may depend on how well the new reboot season does.  If nothing else, you'll likely be able to buy the rebooted season(s) on DVD.

Season 1:
  -  Amazon: $14.97
  -  Or various sellers on Ebay

Step by Step -- seasons 1 & 2

Season 1 is available!  It was released this year.  Season 2 has been announced as well. 

Now, Step-by-Step may run into the same fate as The Nanny, Mad About You and Murphy Brown did for several years: stopping after just a couple of seasons.  But hey -- one or two seasons is better than none. 

There's no complete series availability that I'm aware of, but here's to hoping it'll happen.

In the meantime, enjoy the first two seasons.

Season 1:
  -  Amazon (Prime): $24.99
  -  Barnes and Noble: $29.99
  -  WalMart: $24.99
  -  Best Buy: $24.99

Season 2:
  -  Amazon (Prime): $23.52
  -  WalMart: $23.52

Unfortunately, there are still several TV shows and movies that aren't available yet.  We'll see if that changes ...


  • Two of a Kind
  • Frozen Assets
  • The Naked Truth
  • Suddenly Susan
  • Yes, Dear
  • Brotherly Love
  • Smart Guy
  • Spin City
  • Still Standing
  • Ready or Not (1993-1997)
  • The Elf Who Saved Christmas (1992)
  • Susie Q (1995)
  • Ocean Girl (1994-1997)
  • Spellbinder (1996)
  • The Torkelsons/Almost Home (1991 - 1993)
  • The Parent Trap III and IV
  • The Golden Palace
  • Flash Forward
  • Empty Nest
  • To Grandmother's House We Go
  • The Boyfriend School / Don't Tell Her It's Me

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Saturday, October 6, 2018

Casting the He-Man movie: He-Man / Prince Adam

Alright, after blogging about who should NOT be He-Man yesterday, I decided to finally go through a list of possible contenders.

There are a variety of actors who already have the look.  Some have the acting ability but don't really have the look.

In some cases all you'd need is blonde hair instead of brown hair.  Maybe some hair extensions, too.

First, a few more who we can rule out:

  • Mark Wahlberg? - too old to be a young He-Man ... good physique, but doesn't have the right presence to portray He-man
  • Orlando Bloom? - doesn't have the physique or the presence to play the hero to the Universe
  • Josh Duhamel? - pretty much the same as Wahlberg except with a less impressive physique
  • Ashton Kutcher? - no. He's comedy. He's more of a TV actor. I don't think he'd do well in this role at all

Before we talk about possibilities, we have to talk about which version of He-Man we're talking about.

There's the Filmation version, which obviously needs to be updated for any kind of movie that happens.  The color scheme can be mostly the same.

The armor can be a mix between Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones.  Some furs.  Some armor.  It'll look pretty cool if any of the fan art pictured here is any indication.

Look at how awesome that Battle Cat armor looks, too!

The hair needs to be shaggy.  Definitely can't be short or a mullet like the 1980s movie.  Blonde or sandy blonde is fine.  I don't think that makes a difference.

The sword should be the classic representation from the Filmation series.  There is no changing that!

Alright, let's move onto some possibilities (though some are very unrealistic ...)

Trevor Donovan

Who? He's a lesser known actor who probably would've had a better chance several years ago. He was on Melissa & Joey, the 90210 reboot and had guest appearances on CSI, NCIS, etc.

He's got the hair color and the size, but his acting ability would probably make this less of a big box office movie and more of a made-for-TV movie.

Better than other options due to the look, but not ideal due to his age and the fact that he's not that well-known.

Sebastian Stan

Sebastian Stan is a maybe not one who comes to mind when thinking of superheroes.  Probably because Chris Evans is the star of the franchise Stan is part of (Captain America).

But Stan has been in almost as many Marvel movies as Evans has. 

As The Winter Soldier / Bucky Barnes, he's been a big part of the Captain America story, whether it was in the Captain America movies, in mid-credit scenes in other movies or as a bit player in the latest Avengers movie.

Stan has the acting ability and the look.  With the long hair he sports as The Winter Soldier, I think you could easily throw some blonde in there and give him an updated He-Man look.  He can act and do stunts and is a familiar face, even if he's not the most familiar name yet.

Not a bad choice at all.

Jake Gyllenhaal

This could potentially work. I really enjoyed Prince of Persia. He looked the part there. Throw in a little blonde dye for his hair and it could work.

He's known for more dramatic movies. I can't remember the last movie he was in that was a commercial success.

I'd guess that his days of trying for 'big box office' movies are over. He'd give the role some credibility, that's for sure.

Not sure it's the right fit though.

Alexander Ludwig

He's not a name I was familiar with, but I'm familiar with some of his work. He was in The Hunger Games and starred in multiple episodes of the Vikings series.

He was in Race to Witch Mountain (too bad it wasn't after The Rock really took off as a Hollywood heavy hitter), Grown Ups 2 (are there still Adam Sandler fans out there?) and a couple of other movies.

I don't think he's had what most would consider a breakout role yet, so maybe this could be it. Maybe he could take this role and run with it.

Considering there are so many actors that wouldn't work at all --- Tom Cruise, Leonardo Dicaprio, Hugh Jackman, Ryan Reynolds, etc., etc. --- I'd at least consider this guy.

He's got a look that would work and could potentially do a decent job with the material.

Jai Courtney

I wasn't too familiar with Jai Courtney until I looked at his IMDB page and realized I'd seen a few movies with him. He was Captain Boomerang in Suicide Squad and he was Eric in the Divergent movies. He was also in Jack Reacher and A Good Day to Die Hard.

I think his hopes at becoming a big box office draw are dwindling.

 He's still getting lots of work, but it's for smaller roles or movies it seems.

He wouldn't be a bad choice, but I'm hoping for someone with: 1) a higher profile or 2) more acting ability.

Stephen Amell

I don't know that Amell can pull off the He-Man character. He's better as the somewhat brooding Green Arrow.

But if it has to be someone with a bigger name, I'd prefer Amell to Channing Tatum or Chris Pratt or Chris Evans or Bradley Cooper or Ryan Gosling.

Some of those guys just don't seem like they'd make a good He-Man / Prince Adam.

Amell wouldn't be my first choice, but he's probably middle of the list --- if we're talking known actors.

An unknown may be the best option.

Jamie Dornan

I'm not too familiar with him. Sometimes I'll run across his photo on a Twitter feed and think, 'Oh, it's Superman!' It's not. Although he resembles Henry Cavill, his star power isn't quite at the same level.

Most women probably know him from the Fifty Shades trilogy. I've never seen the movies, so I can't attest to his acting.

He was in Once Upon a Time, but I've only seen a couple of episodes of that before I had to turn it off.

He will be in Robin Hood --- though that may end up being a Redbox release rather than a movie theater release.

He's got several projects coming up, so his star appears to be rising.

I'm not sure about the acting, but, facially, he has the look.

I could see him hoisting a sword above his head and bellowing, "By the power of Greyskull ... "

Sam Heughan

You may have to look this guy up. I wasn't familiar with him to begin with, but he's got a steady resume that includes TV mini-series for most of the early 2000's.

 He seems to be making the jump to bigger roles -- starring in The Spy Who Dumped Me (with Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon).

Even if he's not breaking records, he's working his way up the ladder.

 Mostly, he has a unique look. He's somewhat slender but still looks like he could fight.

Zac Efron

Eh. I'm not a fan of Efron, for the most part. But he's a bigger name. He's in the shape to do the role.  I'm not sure when he pumped up so much, but he looks like a He-Man, so there's that.

I certainly question his acting ability, but he's done OK in some of the more adult-oriented comedies.

 He's done a couple of dramas.

I don't know that he has the talent of someone like Chris Hemsworth, but I'll grant that he's an OK actor. Not my first choice, but not the worst either.

Liam Hemsworth

I'm not a fan of Chris Hemsworth taking the role of He-Man because he's already Thor. But I'm OK with the other Hemsworth (there's actually three of them, I think ... ) picking up the Sword of Power.

He was in Independence Day: Resurgence (not bady), The Hunger Games (seemed underutilized in a sense), Empire State (movie was 'meh') and The Last Song (I didn't particularly enjoy the movie, but he did a decent job).

 He's got some visibility due to those roles, being Miley Cyrus' lover and being Chris Hemsworth's brother.

I really like that there's at least a little name recognition. His acting ... is a question mark. He could do a really good job. I'm not sure.

I don't know how his physique compares to his brother, but he's tall. He's got some natural size to him.

Plus, I think it'd be cool if two of the Hemsworth brothers played Thor and He-Man.

Charlie Hunnam

I haven't seen enough of this guy. I know he was on Sons of Anarchy on FX, but I've seen parts of about 3 episodes of that. I see that he was in Cold Mountain, but I don't remember him in that movie. He was in Pacific Rim, but I don't remember him in that movie either. Not a good sign!

He's got a He-Man look about him. I'll give him that. The acting in what I saw didn't stand out. I guess it's good that it wasn't offensively bad, but I guess it's not good that it wasn't memorable either.

Still, give him a script read or a tryout and see how he does. He's at least someone to consider.

... and Logan Lerman (as Prince Adam)

I'm not sure how they'll go about the Prince Adam / He-Man thing.  Maybe they'll just change the hair color a bit.  Or use special effects.  After all, Captain America was a skinny kid from Brooklyn in the first movie, but was muscled up by the end of it.

If they do use a different actor, Logan Lerman may be a good option.  Give him some blonde hair and he kind of looks like a young Charlie Hunnam.  Lerman may be recognizable from The Three Musketeers and the Percy Jackson movies.

He hasn't been in any big movies lately, but he's got experience.  He was a pretty good actor.  He could definitely handle the role of Prince Adam.

Scott Eastwood

The son of Clint Eastwood. I've seen a couple of movies that he starred in: Suicide Squad and Trouble with the Curve.

Looking at his resume he's starred in some big budget movies: Pacific Rim: Uprising, The Fate of the Furious, Snowden, etc. Though I'd argue that none of them have been smash hits.

His acting may be a little to be desired, but I think he has the right look. He has a seriousness to him that would hopefully translate well on-screen. It's be nice to have him make this character his own the way others have done with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and Superman.

 If he's successful with his portrayal and the movie is successful, then he could become synonymous with He-Man.

I'm OK with that.

... as for Scott Eastwood's Prince Adam counterpart, how about Colin Ford?

He's been in several shows while growing up in the business.  Most recently he filmed a part in the upcoming Captain Marvel movie.  I'm not sure how extensive a role that is or if it will continue beyond this movie, but he's no stranger to big projects.  Or smaller projects.

He's got a variety of work under his belt.

He's not the spitting image of Scott Eastwood, but he kind of looks like a skinnier, younger version.  At least somewhat.

I think it'd make it a little more believable if they had a younger actor who didn't look exactly like the older actor.  It makes it more believable.  It's kind of like the Superman / Clark Kent situation.

People are supposed to believe he's not Superman because he has a pair of glasses on?

Alden Ehrenreich

I was not a fan of him being Han Solo at all. At all! He didn't have the look. He doesn't remind me of a young Harrison Ford (probably because we already saw a young Harrison Ford in the original Star Wars trilogy!).

 He doesn't have the presence of Harrison Ford (as Han Solo).

It was a no-win situation for him. He was stepping into a big pay day, but also into an iconic role that he didn't have a chance of pulling off.

That said, I did watch Solo. If I pretended that it was a random Star Wars character and not Han Solo, it was an acceptable movie.

Ehrenreich did a good job as an actor. He wasn't Han Solo, but he entertained and delivered on emotion.

I'd give him some dirty blonde, shaggy hair and give him a shot at He-Man.

Let's make people forget about trying to be Han Solo and make them remember you as He-Man!

Chris Pine

If I had to pick one person to play He-Man at this point, I'd choose Chris Pine. He's got good name recognition after three Star Trek movies and success in Wonder Woman. He's very good at the mix of being serious and being comedic and being dramatic.

He's not the biggest guy in the world, but he's got some definition to his physique. They could always make his muscles look bigger through makeup and camera shots.

He seems athletic enough to handle at least some of the stunts that would come his way.

He's really the best one for the job at this point. While he is Capt. Kirk in the Star Trek franchise, I'd argue that that role has kind of subsided a bit after the somewhat lackluster 3rd movie and the delay in the 4th movie. He's not engrained in peoples' minds as 'Captain Kirk' the way Hemsworth is as Thor or Evans is as Capt. America.

That means he could potentially make people remember him as He-Man with a stellar performance and a good script.

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Friday, October 5, 2018

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - reviewed.

The Jurassic Park universe was new to me as recently as 2015.  I'd never seen the movies growing up because dinosaurs weren't a major interest to me.  I was more into spy movies and superhero movies than anything involving a dinosaur.  Maybe Barney ruined them for me!

I decided to watch the trilogy on Netflix and I was pretty impressed.

As it is with many movies, the quality of the movies decreased with each sequel that was released.

But then the franchise was relaunched with Chris Pratt (coming off of his Guardians of the Galaxy success ... see?  It all goes back to superheroes).

I'm usually one to watch movies or television shows in order, so I watched Jurassic World before I could even think about watching Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

It wasn't a bad movie.  There were definitely some 'Sure, like that would happen' moments, but that's to be expected when you're watching a movie about dinosaurs.

After having watched Jurassic World, I watched Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Talk about a disappointment!

Jurassic World gave me hope that the franchise was worth watching again after the awful Jurassic Park 2.

I don't think Bryce Dallas Howard added much to either movie.  I just found out that she's the daughter of Ron Howard. 

She's gorgeous!  She has a great look, but her acting didn't leave me impressed.  It wasn't awful, but was middle-of-the-road for me.

She has more of a role -- or at least it seemed like it -- in the first movie.  She played Claire Dearing.

The second movie kind of started on the path of following the relationship of Claire and Owen Grady (Pratt).  I feel like the writers forgot about that halfway through the movie.  Their little romance was an afterthought.

I don't think I can blame the actors for this lackluster Jurassic World sequel.  The blame falls on the writers / producers / director.

The story was very messy.  I don't mind complicated stories.  Inside Man was a great movie that made you think.  Man on Wire was interesting.  That wasn't your usual movie.  Baby Driver had a lot of double crosses that most probably didn't see coming.

This was just a sloppy script that seemed rushed in order to make a sequel.

I guess there's a Jurassic World 3 in the works, but I predict it going the way of Pirates of the Caribbean, doing worse than its predecessors.

Back to this movie though.

Pratt did a good job as the headliner.  It felt like the script was too crowded though.

Pratt should have been the main draw, but the other characters and script issues made it seem like he was almost in a filler role than the main star of the movie.  Pratt, Howard and the dinosaurs were the main characters that returned.

The movie didn't seem to be about the Owen Grady that was fun to watch in Jurassic World.  It seemed like Grady was just along for the ride.

Pratt's acting was on point.  He brought some action to the movie and a good amount of comedy.

He was believable in a world of test tube dinosaurs.  He made that world seem legitimate and made the silly script seem at least somewhat legitimate.

Who else did we have?  Franklin Webb (Justice Smith) and Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda) were two characters that I just couldn't get behind. 

The actors were fine.  The characters were OK.  There wasn't much to connect me to them or draw me in.

They were disposable characters unfortunately.  They were given their own little side storyline, but I wasn't intrigued by it. 

I think the better route would've been to keep them as bit characters that provided comedy.  Jurassic Park and Jurassic World both had some characters that were there for comedy and it worked very well.

Instead of following that model, these two were supposed to be main characters in the movie, but if you don't care about their storyline, then they were just kind of there --- eating up screen time the way a T-Rex eats its' prey (little dinosaur analogy there).

One problem with the movie is that there were so many bad guys.  Again, I don't mind shades of gray and complex storylines, but Eli Mills (Rafe Spall), Gunnar Eversol (Toby Jones) and Henry Wu (B.D. Wong) all appearing as villains who didn't even really get along with each other was too much.  Just too much going on.

There was the old guy and a little girl in this movie as well.  I don't remember their names.  They didn't appeal to me, so I felt there was too much focus on them as well.

I didn't find myself really caring about either of them. 

The old man was supposed to be a big-time player in the world of dinosaur expeditions and cloning and whatnot.

Yet I don't feel like his background was explained well enough.  It was almost as if the writers said, 'Ok, he's a big deal.  Got it?  Good!' and then moved on. 

I would've preferred a little better of an explanation as to who he was and why I was supposed to care about him for the rest of the movie.

There was a big reveal about the little girl -- or what was supposed to be a big reveal --- but the foreshadowing gave it away long before the movie characters figured it out.

Sometimes movies can weave together multiple stories seamlessly.  Other times, they can't.  This was one of those times where it didn't work out. 

There was a simultaneous problem in this movie: too much going on and not enough care factor for the stories that were being played out.

The little girl probably should've been caught by the bad guys or a dinosaur a couple of times, but somehow she evaded the villains of the movie like a ninja.

Two characters I actually wish would've returned were Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins).  I actually cared about those two characters in Jurassic World

Maybe it was the whole brothers quarreling side story that I liked.  I'm not sure.

I would've rather have seen them somehow introduced into this storyline than the old man and the little girl.

They didn't fit into this story at all.  It would've been odd to interject them into this story.  I realize that, but they would've been a welcome addition.

The story in Fallen Kingdom just wasn't that good. 

The island is exploding so we have to save the dinosaurs, but wait -- there are bad guys who want to sell the dinosaurs!  All the while the humans are still messing with the dinosaur DNA.  They just never learn.

The more simplistic 'dinosaurs break out of their cells' story from Jurassic Park and Jurassic World were much more appealing to me.  Jurassic Park 3 --- rescuing the kid from the island --- made sense, too.  Jurassic Park 2 was sloppy, just like this one.

The ending?  Stupid.  Just stupid.  Howard's character --- Claire Dearing --- made the right call, but then the little girl made the wrong decision.  In the character's defense, she's a little girl.

But how selfish was that?

Jeff Goldblum's character was the voice of reason in this movie.  He spoke logically about dinosaurs.  As much as they are living things, they don't belong in the human world.  It's just not something that can co-exist with us.

The image of the brontosaurus being abandoned on the collapsing island was very sad.  Absolutely.  That's life though.  That's just how things work.  To quote the Lion King: "It's the circle of life."

This felt too much like an activist movie trying to sell us the point that dinosaurs deserve to live instead of being a story about characters whose paths cross with dinosaurs.

Goldblum did a good job at making a lasting impression, despite not having a big role.  I hope that he and Pratt have more screen time and are a bigger focus in the storylines in Jurassic World 3, which I'll probably rent from Redbox.  No theater screening for me, however.

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