Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #20 Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk (I Quit Match, NWA Clash of the Champions IX: New York Knockout)

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(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v32289067?contextType=wwe-show&contextId=clash_of_the_champions&contentId=73071322&watchlistAltButtonContext=series )

What do Ric Flair and Terry Funk have in common? They’ve both retired more than a few times! We’ve seen Ric Flair a lot in the Best 100…List. But Terry Funk? Terry Funk? This is his first and only entry on the Best 100…List. He’s known for his hardcore antics (often in conjunction with Mick Foley) rather than his in-ring expertise. But this match (and the feud leading up to it) is surely his finest moment in the squared circle. I’ve said it before, but Flair plays a great babyface as well as a great heel. Here, Funk plays the crazed heel, Flair plays the valiant hero, fighting for his career. What they produce is a very good, but not great, ‘I Quit Match.’
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Review: Wonder Woman (2017) (The Best Comic Book Film since The Dark Knight?)

“I used to want to save the world…”

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I’m always weary when a film is either critically acclaimed or critically mauled. I do try to avoid reviews where possible. But in this day and age, it’s almost impossible. The word on the street was that ‘Wonder Woman’ was a great film. One review even called it the best comic book film since ‘The Dark Knight.’ High acclaim indeed. Fortunately, I had no expectations for ‘Wonder Woman’ whatsoever. Of course, I was piqued a little by the almost universal critical acclaim. What I saw was a good film, but certainly not a great one.

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Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #21 Randy Orton vs. Mick Foley (WWE Intercontinental Title, Hardcore Match, WWE Backlash 2004)

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(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31345329?contextType=wwe-show&contextId=backlash&contentId=67696346&watchlistAltButtonContext=series )

According to the WWE Network’s Best 100…List, this is Mick Foley’s best match. And who am I to argue with The List? Out of all the matches of Foley, is this really his best match? I’d argue that his match against Shawn Michaels is his finest in-ring work. But that’s at #44 (click here for my review). However, as a close second best from Foley, this one against Randy Orton is spectacular. Yes, it follows the beats of a usual ‘no holds barred’ Foley match, but there’s more than enough twists and turns to elevate it to something extremely special.
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Review: Baywatch (2017) (Nothing Glistens In Emerald Bay)

“Our team is the elite of the elite”

Sometimes you need to see a bad film to appreciate the good ones. Of course, with cinema prices nowadays, one can only afford to see the good ones. Why waste ten pound (at the least) on a naff film? However, once in a while, a bad film is good for the mind’s equilibrium. And, let there be no doubt about it, ‘Baywatch’ is a bad film. Not even The Rock can save this update of a nostalgic property from sinking. Yes, Dwayne Johnson has been in some terrible films. But he’s shone through, his natural charisma curtailing the gap between the screen and the viewer. Here, however, he’s lost among the flotsam and jetsam of awful jokes, dialogue, plot, direction, editing…I could go on.

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Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #22 The Royal Rumble Match (WWE Title, WWE Royal Rumble 1992)

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(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31345295?contextType=wwe-show&contextId=royal_rumble&contentId=67733236&watchlistAltButtonContext=series )

I’ve never enjoyed the Royal Rumble as a match. It’s all about the excitement of who comes next, the surprise entrants, and who will win. Yes, there may be a few memorable moments (the past few years, for example, have seen Kofi Kingston avoid elimination by innovative means). The final five minutes are always tense (unless Roman Reigns is involved…). But much of the match involves wrestlers attempting to lift other wrestlers over the top rope in unconvincing ways. I can only name a few Royal Rumble matches that I’d watch more than once. The Royal Rumble 2001 is one of them. #22, Royal Rumble 1992, is now another one. But does that mean it should be in the Best 100…List?
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Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #23 The Undertaker vs. Triple H (No Holds Barred, WWE Wrestlemania XXVII)

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(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31294205?contextType=wwe-show&contextId=wrestlemania&contentId=66743782&watchlistAltButtonContext=series )

At #56, we saw the sequel to this match. The Undertaker and HHH fought in a Hell in a Cell, to consecrate the ‘End of an Era’ (whatever that meant!). That match was spoiled by excessive selling and a strange story being told in the ring. Here, however, the selling is just right (if a little overboard at times) and the story is solid. Out of their three WrestleMania bouts, this bout at WrestleMania 27 is surely their best… Continue reading

Review: Prometheus (2012) (Or…How NOT To Do A Prequel!)

“It must feel like your God abandoned you”

I recently caught ‘Prometheus’ on television whilst holidaying at Llandudno (don’t judge me!). It was fortuitous, considering ‘Alien Covenant’ was due out at the cinema. My experience watching it at the cinema was not a pleasant one. More than anything, the film was dull. Yes, it may have been inexplicable, unsuccessfully fusing horror with pseudo-philosophical questions about the beginning of human life. It may have been riddled with stupid characters making stupid decisions (but isn’t that the core of most horror films?). It may not have answered any questions it posed. But, most of all, I found myself bored throughout the entire film. Would a re-viewing change my mind about it? Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #24 Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage (WWE Title, WWE Wrestlemania VIII)

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(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31348403?contextType=wwe-show&contextId=wrestlemania&contentId=67734570&watchlistAltButtonContext=series )

The match every wrestling fan wanted to main event WrestleMania VIII was Hulk Hogan vs Ric Flair. It’s the dream match that many thought might never happen. Would Flair ever go to WWF? Go to WWF he did, but Hogan and Flair never fought on TV during Flair’s first turn in WWF. Instead, we received the awful main event of Hogan vs Sid Justice. However, we were still treated to one of the all time great WrestleMania matches: Flair vs Randy Savage. With two of the best wrestling talents ever going one on one, could we expect anything less than greatness? Bolstered by a blistering feud, Flair vs Savage was everything a wrestling fan wanted…

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Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #25 Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels (WWE World Heavyweight Title, Ladder Match, WWE No Mercy 2008)

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(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31277487?contextType=wwe-show&contextId=no_mercy&contentId=66740026&watchlistAltButtonContext=series )

Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels had one of the greatest feuds of all time in 2008. Yes, it started five years before that in 2003 (culminating in their WrestleMania XIX match positioned at #76), but the feud erupted like Krakatoa in the summer of 2008. It involved a Jeritron 6000, a damaged eye, HBK’s wife and much more. The latter feud culminated in this ladder match at No Mercy 2008. At the time, I didn’t think much of it. An obvious botch midway through the match dissolved my suspension of disbelief. And, I wondered, why did two veterans have a ladder match? In a ladder match, you expect the frantic, risk-taking actions suited to younger wrestlers. I was disappointed. However, viewing it now, I see it in a better light.

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Review: Ghost in the Shell (2017) (Another Dodgy Remake of a Japanese Classic?)

“It’s okay, just breathe”

Within a month or two, we’ve had two live action remakes of classic animations. The first was ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ which recreated the original faithfully but felt wholly unnecessary. Now, we have ‘Ghost in the Shell,’ a remake of the beloved 1995 Japanese anime. Yes, there were concerns about ‘whitewashing.’ Why cast Scarlett Johannsen as the main character? Why not a Japanese actress? But the whitewashing is one of the many problems that one encounters whilst watching ‘Ghost in the Shell.’ A lame script, an irritating Westernisation of the original’s plot and endless shots of the (admittedly impressive) futuristic city are among the other big problems. Continue reading