After last night’s Smackdown broadcast, Daniel Bryan joined Renee Young for ‘Talking Smack’ like he always does. During the final segment, the Miz interrupted Young and Bryan and asked why he and his IC title haven’t been featured more on Smackdown. Well The Miz got his answer, and it was a real one: Daniel Bryan thinks the Miz fights like a coward, and embodies that soft style that WWE used to be known for. Now, there’s going to a lot of discussion about what happened next, and my opinion on it is that it went down pretty much exactly as it what supposed to. You don’t have a guy interrupt a segment asking why he isn’t featured, then get called out for being a coward AND then have him cut the promo of his life by accident. Daniel Bryan walking off and Renee Young not knowing what to do made the entire segment that much more compelling, and this is the type of realistic stuff the WWE should be doing. If someone calls you a coward in real life, that is how you’d respond. I’m not saying everyone will be able to handle cutting this type of promo, but you know Miz can, and he went out and delivered. The only thing that would’ve made this better is if Daniel Bryan wasn’t seriously hurt and could get back in the ring and rip Miz’s arms off.
For those of you who like fantasy sports and movies, like myself, have I got a thing for you! Such a cool thing! It’s called Fantasy Movie League.
Here’s the long and short of it: You manage a theater with 8 screens. Every week you have $1000 dollars to spend to fill those screens with current movies. Each movie, depending on popularity and previous box office totals, is priced out with a dollar amount. You have your $1000 to spend on any combination of those movies that you want. You can pick as many of the same movie that your budget can handle. For example: in this week’s picks I have Jason Bourne (total value pick this week) three times and five other movies.
Once your lineup is picked (make sure you do it before the weekend) it is locked until Monday when box office totals will be added up. Person with the most money, wins. It’s that simple.
Want to play? I know you do. Join my Paul Walker Memorial FML by clicking the link and putting in the password “paulwalker”. The Paul Walker memorial FML starts in the fall season (Week August 29 with 1st picks locking September 2) and goes for 14 weeks.
May the odds be ever in your favor.
-Matt aka TSG
Full disclosure, this is a shameless plug. Having said that, this is the best trailer of the SUMMER! Watch it in daylight, because you won’t be able to sleep if you watch before bedtime.
Red Friday is a short film that two buddies of mine and I started working on early this year. Right now it’s being shopped around at film festivals (how official does that sound) so we can’t show you the full thing, but never fear! 11.25.16 is the day it will be released on the 401 Films (that’s us) vimeo page. Stay tuned for some behind the scenes footage and stories!
– Matt aka TSG
Ok, i’m not sure if this is a new movie, or just found footage of Shia LaBeouf’s life since in 2015.
All kidding aside, Shia LaBeouf looks awesome in this flick. I’ve been a big Shia fan since Even Stevens and noting has changed. Indiana Jones? Loved it (well…loved some of it). Transformers franchise? Own them on blu-ray and hate that they switched to Marky Mark. Disturbia?? Come on, if you don’t think Disturbia is a legitimate good movie then get the fuck off my blog. That shit was chilling and suspenseful as fuck.
This is one of those movies/movie trailers that twists my stomach. Guns, youngsters drinking and driving, cowboys in a convertible Cadillac?? Get the EKG machine, my heart rate is off the charts. All of it feels incredibly authentic, which brings me back to Shia. Dude looks like he’s on another level when it comes to acting. I recently read a story about how him and James Corden were asked to read for the movie War Dogs (Which ended up starring Miles Teller and Jonah “Fluctuating Weight” Hill). The night before they were set to read. Shia got picked up by police and spent the night in jail. Not letting that stop him, he showed up to the audition with his shoelaces in his hands (for those of you not familiar with prison, they take anything you can harm yourself with away from you) and read for the part with his shoelaces strung over his glasses. While the method was unorthodox, James Corden said it was the most incredible interview he’s ever seen. How someone with shoelaces over his eyes was able to stay razor focused. In short, i’m excited for the LaBeouf renaissance.
-Matt aka The Space Ghost
The biggest party of the summer is once again emanating from Brooklyn, New York, as the WWE holds their annual Summerslam pay per view this Sunday night. This year’s card is pretty incredible, and that shouldn’t surprise WWE fans, as more times than not in the recent past, Summerslam has been a very good show. Summerslam 2013 featured Daniel Bryan winning the WWE Championship, only to have special guest referee HHH take him out and allow Randy Orton to cash in his MITB briefcase. That kicked off one of the more memorable Road to WrestleMania’s, which culminated in Daniel Bryan putting on the best one man show in WM history and winning back the WWE Championship in the main event. Summerslam 2014 featured one of my favorite matches, as Brock Lesnar surprisingly decimated John Cena on his way to winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. While last year’s Undertaker/Lesnar main event fell flat, the overall card was solid, and it officially brought Seth Rollins to the big boys table after he defeated John Cena. What will this year’s event bring? Let’s get to the preview and predictions!
Eva Marie, Natalya and Alexa Bliss vs. Carmella, Naomi and Becky Lynch
So Sami Zayn doesn’t have a match at Summerslam but Eva Marie does. Nothing against Eva Marie, but that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Anyway, this match was made after last night’s Smackdown, and it’s should serve as a nice showcase for the six women who will eventually be fighting for the Smackdown’s Women’s title (if that ever becomes a thing). The positive side of not having a bunch of titles on each show is that it forces the creative team to come up with storylines that don’t revolve around two people vying for a championship. This should create more personal feuds, and whether it does or not will depend on the Smackdown writing team. As far as this match goes, it will be Carmella and Alexa Bliss’s first WWE pay per view, so it’d be cool to see them involved in the finish in some way. With Ms. All Red Everything involved though, I can see Alexa or Natalya landing a knockout blow during a fracas and Eva Marie sneaking in for a pin to claim the victory.
Prediction: Eva Marie, Natalya & Alexa Bliss
Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens
These four guys have been given the opening segment for the two out of three Raw’s, and have given us a thoroughly entertaining feud. 2016 Jericho continues to be great, and somehow gets better when you pair him with Kevin Owens. I love that Owens has hated Enzo and Cass since NXT, and that hatred has only gotten stronger now that they’re all on the main roster. The dynamic of Enzo and Cass works well too, as Enzo runs his mouth and clearly isn’t afraid of anybody, but doesn’t pose much of a physical threat until Big Cass gets involved. While I’d like Enzo & Cass to be in the tag title hunt, I’m perfectly OK with them mixing it up with two guys who know how to bring out the best in them. I have to assume that this Jericho/Owens tag team won’t last long, but I’m ok with it either way. Jericho is a tag team chameleon, so if they do stay together, why not let them make a run at the titles? If they don’t stay together, I’m all in for a Jericho/Owens feud, especially in the promo department.
Prediction: Enzo & Cass pick up a big win at a marque pay per view, continuing their rise to the top of the tag team division
IC Title Match: The Miz (C) vs. Apollo Crews
Now that the Miz’s fantastic feud with Darren Young is over, it’s time to give Apollo Crews something to work with. He came into NXT as a big new signee, but was never given much of a character and stalled out. He came onto the main roster as a fresh new thing, but was never given a character and is starting to stall out again. I’m a huge fan of the Miz, and he’s one of the best characters WWE has (especially with Maryse), but it’s time to get Crews going. He’s got a million dollar smile and for his build, he does some pretty amazing things. I have complete confidence that Miz can bring out the best in Crews, and put him over big time for what is hopefully a semi long title run.
Prediction: Apollo Crews
US Championship Match: Rusev (C) vs. Roman Reigns
This is a classic heart vs. brain match for me. My heart is, and will forever always be, with Rusev. He’s the most underrated guy on the roster and every time they’ve given him something to work with he’s knocked it out of the park. HE RODE A TANK TO THE RING AT WRESTLEMANIA. While I understand having Cena beat Rusev for the US title, they backed themselves into a corner by giving Rusev a long undefeated streak. Undefeated streaks in pro wrestling are the worst thing in the world because there is no good way to end them. The best example of this is Goldberg. The guy was the hottest thing in wrestling, held both the US and Heavyweight titles at the same time, and eventually lost because Scott Hall tazored him. Now Rusev finally has some momentum again and I have that feeling I had before WrestleMania 31 where WWE is going to have the hero come in and defeat the evil Russian, even though Rusev has been the good guy during every single moment of this feud. Remember last week when Rusev and Lana were innocently reenacting their wedding and Roman Reigns came out, unprovoked, and called Lana a mail order bride and made fun of Rusev because he couldn’t please his wife sexually on their wedding night? Remember when Roman Reigns complained and was just handed another title match? How does that make Reigns the hero in this feud? Add in the fact that Reigns is so goddamn boring, and I see no reason why Rusev should lose. Which brings me to my prediction…
Prediction: Roman Reigns. Let’s just move on.
Cesaro vs. Sheamus: Best of 7 Series Kickoff Match
While I love this move by GM Mick Foley, I do wish this had been set up prior to Cesaro and Sheamus already fighting twice on Raw. If Cesaro loses this series, shouldn’t he be furious that Foley basically ignored two hard fought, clean victories? I understand you can’t start a best of 7 series 2-0, but why not start this up a few weeks ago when Foley said he wanted to see who the better man was? If you make the best of 7 series then, you could make the Summerslam match number 3 or 4 in the series, and possibly continue it through the fall. Instead, WWE hits the reset button and we’re just supposed to forget that Cesaro has already beaten Sheamus twice. With that said, we should get a great match at Summerslam with a decent story behind it, so I’m all for it. While Sheamus is very good in the ring, his character is so bland it’s tough to care about him either way. Cesaro has all the talent in the world, but WWE just won’t let him get any continued momentum, so it’s tough for the casual fan to root for him. Hopefully this is the start of an extended showcase for both wrestlers with Cesaro eventually coming out on top.
John Cena vs. AJ Styles
Since coming to the WWE, AJ Styles has been one of their best performers. He had a great feud with Jericho, then slid into the #1 contenders spot and put on a few classic matches with Roman Reigns. Now he’s going up against Mr. Superman and even though he’s already beat him once (CLEAN) they’re having a rematch. I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen here. It’s almost the same thing as Rusev/Reigns, except on a much bigger scale. Styles has a chance to be one of if not THE top guy in WWE, but he has to go through John Cena to get there. Kevin Owens tried, and failed. Rusev tried, and failed. Bray Wyatt tried, and failed. Why would Styles be any different? A classic John Cena feud has him lose at a B pay per view, then get his win back at a bigger show. Guess what? AJ Styles beat John Cena at MITB, and now they’re fighting at Summerslam, a much bigger show. History tells us John Cena is going to win, and there’s a reason I use that picture above for every Cena match I preview. While I’d love to happily be proved wrong, I’m going with Superman.
Prediction: John Cena
Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton
If you held this match before UFC 200, Brock Lesnar would eat Randy Orton for lunch. Lesnar was as unstoppable as anyone in recent memory until he decided to go back to the UFC and fail a few drug tests. While WWE doesn’t have the power to suspend him, they have to be embarrassed and upset at Brock to act as carelessly as he did, especially given the circumstances of WWE suspending Reigns shortly afterwards. Regardless of UFC fights and drug test failures, Lesnar steps back into the ring for the first time since WrestleMania as he takes on Randy Orton at Summerslam. While Lesnar hasn’t fought since WM, Orton is coming off of an almost year long hiatus due to injury, and although he’s fought a few matches on Smackdown since coming back, nothing can really prepare you for The Beast Incarnate. As much as I’d love to see Brock destroy Orton a la John Cena at Summerslam 2014, I just don’t see it happening. The WWE loves that ‘RKO Outta Nowhere’ talking point, and it really fits into this storyline perfectly. Whether Lesnar wins or loses, he should dominate the match, until an RKO Outta Nowhere surprises him and gives Orton the win. As I said before, I bet the original plan for this match was for Brock to return and destroy a worthy competitor in Orton, but now I’m not so sure. Vince McMahon was kind enough to let Lesnar fight in the UFC while under contract with the WWE, and Lesnar basically spit in his face. The Beast is going to have to pay for that.
Prediction: Randy Orton
Tag Team Championship Match: New Day (Kofi & Xavier) vs. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows
This is an interesting match, and it has rematch written all over it. As much I love Xavier Woods, the best in-ring version of New Day is Kofi & Big E. Now that Big E has suffered a ‘contusion to his groin area’ at the hands of Anderson & Gallows, New Day is forced to defend the tag titles with the team of Xavier and Kofi. Does Big E make a surprise comeback and help New Day retain? Or do Gallows and Anderson take advantage of the weakened unit and win tag team gold? New Day has done a lot of good as tag team champions, but they are way overdue for a loss. Similar to having Styles beat Cena, having Gallows and Anderson go over the longest reigning tag team champions of the modern era at Summerslam would be huge for them. Why bring these guys in from Japan if you’re not going to do something with them? Plus, you have a built in excuse for a rematch with the Big E injury, so why not give your new tag team a big win at a major event? Give Karl Anderson and his hot Asian wife a reason to celebrate.
Prediction: Gallows & Anderson
Women’s Championship Match: Sasha Banks (C) vs. Charlotte
‘Women’s Championship’ has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? After suffering through the Diva’s division for so long, its nice to see the women slowly but surely making headway on the main roster. If there’s any two women the WWE Universe can thank for that, it’s Sasha Banks & Charlotte. They (along with Bayley and Becky Lynch) tore it up in NXT and forced WWE to start recognizing women for their in ring talent and not just because they looked good in a bikini. Sasha & Charlotte had the best one on one main roster women’s singles match on Raw a few weeks back, so if this match is anything close to that, it’ll be fantastic. Dana Brooke being banned from ringside is an interesting twist, and I can see either Ric Flair coming out or Dana dressed as Ric to try and cause some interference. Regardless of outside interference, the title has to stay on The Boss here. Sasha is not only the best in the ring, but she has a strong connection with the fans which goes back to her time in NXT and her look and personality give her a strong mainstream appeal. If the rumors of Charlotte taking time off are true, that’s just another reason to keep Sasha as the champion and to develop a new round of challengers for The Boss to dispatch. Don’t be surprised if Nia Jax makes a post match appearance as well to set up the next Women’s championship feud.
Prediction: Sasha Banks
WWE World Championship Match: Dean Ambrose (C) vs. Dolph Ziggler
This has been one of the more enjoyable feuds on the card, and it’s safe to say no one is enjoying the brand split more than Dolph Ziggler. He’s looked like a star since the first Smackdown Live and hasn’t looked back. I really like Ambrose as the figure head for Smackdown as well, because he’s a great talker and while he might not be the greatest threat in the ring, he figures out a way to get the job done. When Ziggler became #1 contender, it was an interesting dynamic because both wrestlers were baby faces, but Ambrose has slowly been turning heel over the last few weeks. While I doubt he goes full heel, it does give this match a little more suspense than before. Will Ambrose cheat to win? Ziggler is a good guy based on fan reactions, but is he above cheating to finally stand alone at the top? I expect this to be an expertly wrestled match, and as much as I’ll be rooting for Ziggler, I think Ambrose deserves a longer title reign.
Prediction: Dean Ambrose
WWE Universal Championship Match: Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor
While I’m pretty sure Orton/Lesnar will go on last, I think that’s a mistake. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor to crown the first ever Universal Champion should absolutely be the main event, and the WWE is crazy if they do anything else. Balor is the MAN. He’s got the entrance, the charisma, the look, the in ring skills; whatever you’re looking for, Finn Balor has it. He’s made every promotion he’s ever worked for better just by being in it, whether it be NJPW or NXT. If WWE gives him a real shot, he’ll do the same thing for Monday Night Raw. Balor had one of the best in ring debuts ever a few weeks ago, and he can’t ask for a better dance partner than Rollins at Summerslam. Since separating from The Shield and cashing in his MITB briefcase at WrestleMania 31, Rollins has been the standard bearer for the WWE. While they wasted his talent by turning him into a cry baby champion, Rollins still made the best of it and turned into a heel who was impossible to boo. His injury came at an inopportune time, but he busted his butt to get back, and now finds himself right back where he belongs: fighting for a title. If this was Rollins vs. Balor, I’d give the edge to Rollins and have him be the first Universal Champion. Unfortunately for Seth, Finn Balor is bringing The Demon with him to Summerslam. While The Demon has lost in NXT, it’d be a mistake to have him lose his first appearance at a major pay per view. The fact that Rollins is focusing so heavily on The Demon gives me hope that Rollins will unleash a demon side of his own at Summerslam, but either way, I’m going with Finn.
Prediction: Finn Balor
I am 100 million percent on board for this movie. I need more Sci-Fi movies in my life and I need them yesterday. The only thing that bugs me are those space ships. No Alien is gonna land on my turf looking like they are driving a skipping stone and expect not to be blown to bits. Stop your game up, Aliens.
4:30 p.m., last Tuesday. Giddy, I sprinted home from work to find my copy of No Man’s Sky (NMS) laying at my back door in a shipping box. I take it inside and tear the Amazon Prime Box to shreds. To my surprise, and terror, the disc seems to be loose inside the case (I HATE when that happens). I rip off the plastic to find my copy of NMS unharmed. I breathe a sigh of relief and pop it into my Ps4 (PC Master Race, leave me be! Can’t I live?!). It’s now 4:45 p.m. and NMS is installing updates on my Playstation. Time ticks by like a slow dribble of sap down a pine tree’s bark (look at me getting mother-fucking poetical on your ass). Then, a flash of light. Eureka! The download is finished and I boot up the game; it’s 4:56 p.m….Then, in the blink of an eye it’s midnight and I have no idea where the time went. That’s what NMS is.
I’ve been playing these “black out” NMS sessions for about a week now and here are my first reactions.
NMS takes the training wheels off the traditional “tutorial”
Was I confused as fuck for like the first 45 mins of playing? You’re damn right I was, but i’d rather be confused than coddled. Games that hold your hand during their tutorial periods are the bane of my existence. There’s nothing worse than being force-fed ways to play the game, especially for a game like this! If you are taught a certain way to play an open-world game, like NMS, then it forever impacts the way you play the game. With literally limitless possibilities, it would suck to be led down one path, when you could have found a more enjoyable way of playing on your own. NMS’s tutorial gives you the basics and you figure out the rest for yourself.
You start the game on a randomized planet in a randomized part of the NMS universe. Your ship is damaged and unable to take off. In order to get off your planet you’ll need to mine for resources and craft parts that will fix your ship and other pieces of tech you carry. A pretty useful and well-fitting tutorial, wouldn’t you say? I would.
Species of flora and animals are noticeably similar
Do I notice, even after a short time of playing, that some animals and plants are just re-skinned with different names? Sure I do. Does it take away from my experience? No it does not. If you really thought you were going to see brand new species on every planet in a 18 quintillion-planet universe, you’re mad. With limitless combinations of terrain, climates, planet sizes, plants, and animals it doesn’t matter.
Open inventory spots are like gold
NMS is one of those games that makes you collect all these items with no space to store them…at first. Over time you can upgrade how much your ship and exosuit can carry, but early on, managing your inventory is a puzzle game all its own. It’s a challenge I welcome rather than resent.
Name all your planets, because reasons
Do you get extra coin? Nope, Does it change the planet at all? Nope. Will it be seen by someone other than yourself? Maybe, but probably not and you wouldn’t know about it anyway. Is it awesome to name your own planet? HELL YES IT IS. Name the planets, flora, animals and solar systems you discover. Name them after your pets, family members, favorite movies, your goldfish, whatever! Just do it! You’ll go back in your log sometime in the near future and have yourself a little giggle.
It’s my first week, I still have TONS to learn and discover, but I can tell you this: Play this game and make it your own. The story is lacking, because that’s the way the game was made, so make your own story. Throw on some jams, get in your starship and explore the galaxy! Make a narrative all your own. Me, personally, i’m a a space pirate in search of wealth beyond measure in the form of comic books and vintage toys………..and in No Man’s Sky I’m a weird alien in search of a girl aliens and beer.
-Matt aka The Space Ghost
Whenever a movie breaks into a musical number in the first minute, they’ve got me. Hook. Line. Sinker. I’m in. It was a hilarious number that really set the tone for the rest of the movie. Like an overture…a really hilarious and fucked up overture. Ok, enough about the musical number. The rest of the movie wasn’t bad either. Let’s talk about that. I’m not planning on writing anything spoilery, but who knows, I don’t plan these out. Let’s see where my fingers take us…you’ve been warned.
First off, the animation was really great. Top notch Pixar-type stuff. It looked and played like Toy Story. Which added a whole other dimension to the movie that I did not anticipate. It’s like visiting your grandma’s house. You’ve been there a million times. You know the sights, smells and intricacies. Then all of a sudden you’re in high school, grandma goes away for the weekend and you throw a kegger. It feels weird…in a kind of an awesome-weird kind of way. A simpler analogy would be running in the hallways of your elementary school after hours, but I somehow wanted to work in keg parties, because i’m super cool. Anyway, same feeling here. It’s cute animations that swear and have weird food-sex with each other. It’s refreshing.
Speaking of refreshing (nothing like a smooth transition), It was nice to see a movie that wasn’t a sequel or that was part of a larger cinematic universe. DO NOT mistake me here. I’m a huge fan of sequels and big hollywood films, maybe too much of a fan (I saw the most recent Transformers movie three times… in theaters). All i’m saying is, it was nice to come in, suck down some popcorn and enjoy a contained story that didn’t require me sitting through the credits in fear that I might miss an easter egg scene and want to drive off a bridge on the way home. That was a welcomed change.
So what do you get in Sausage Party? Lavash and a Bagel parodying the tension between Israel and Palestine? Check. Bath salts? Check. A Douche that’s a total Douche? Check. Seth Rogan as a sausage? Check. Honestly, half the fun of the film is hearing familiar voices coming from food and other supermarket items.
Should you go see it? As always, I encourage you to see for yourself instead of reacting to reviews. However, this flick has been getting stellar scores across the board. And if the Rotten Tomatoes that run the movie business can all agree that a movie is good, then you should probably go see it.
Seven blessings to you all.
– Matt aka The Space Ghost
Scanning through Netflix for the one millionth time with no prospects? Can’t find anything good on TV? Watched your blu-ray of Pacific Rim one too many times and now it doesn’t work? If you’re in any, or all, of these scenarios, put that clicker down and heed my call. The movie I have for you this time is a little diddle titled “Donald Cried“. Here’s a synopsis and teaser; indulge yourself.
Peter Latang left working class Warwick, Rhode Island, to reinvent himself as a slick, Wall Street mover and shaker. Fifteen years later, when he’s forced to return home because of his grandmother’s death, he loses his wallet on the trip. Stranded, the only person he can think of to help him out is his next-door neighbor and former childhood friend Donald Treebeck. Donald hasn’t changed a bit, and what starts off as a simple favor turns into a long van ride into their past.
A fun tid-bit: The writer, director and star (Donald) of the film is Kris Avedisian. He is a native Rhode Islander (my home state) and he shot the short and feature right here in RI. In the dead of winter. If you’re watching this flick somewhere that is sunny and beautiful for the majority of the year, I promise that Rhode Island doesn’t always look like a desolate winter hellscape.
In short, this movie has a ton of heart. The characters, at least for me, are all people i’ve met before. They are people I see around town, guys I went to high school with. I’ve always liked Tony Soprano, and it’s not for the reasons you may think. Sure, his mob antics were awesome, but I liked Tony Soprano because of what a real person he was. If I ever met James Gandolfini (before his passing) I would completely expect to be dealing with Big Tony, and there’s nothing you could tell me to think otherwise. That’s what a great character should do for an audience. Donald does that.
That was a long-winded way of saying “GO SEE THIS FUCKING MOVIE”.
How can you see it? It’s playing at film festivals around the USA right now, but you can also view it FO’ FREE at Festival Scope. Just make a free account and you’re in. Don’t say I never did anything for ya.
– Matt aka The Space Ghost