Author Archives: ryanfoges

Black Thought Capped Off A Great 2017 With A 10 Minute Freestyle On Hot 97

Black Thought is a talented man. He’s the lead singer of The Roots, one of the most gifted and influential hip hop bands in music history. As lead singer of the The Roots, he’s also the main voice for Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show house band. Mr. Trotter is also capable of doing remarkable things like this:

Black Thought Hot 97 Freestyle

I’m always fascinated by people who do things I could never dream of. I would have major issues talking for 10 minutes straight, never mind creating a coherent, entertaining freestyle. In addition to the freestyle, he also somehow pulls off the fancy hat and sunglasses look. The more I think about it, I’m not sure which feat is more impressive. Those are just a few of his many talents, and 2017 was a landmark year for the artist. He and The Roots continue to thrive on The Tonight Show, and he starred as Reggie Love on season 1 of The Deuce. Tonight Show house band, lyrical genius and starring on an acclaimed HBO show is a good career for most people. That’s just a year’s work for Black Thought.

-Ryan

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HBO Released The First Look At It’s David Bowie Documentary: The Last Five Years

David Bowie was an enigma. He managed to be a pop culture icon and a mysterious figure at the same time. Since his death in 2016, fans have wanted an insight into the man that was David Bowie. While his peak was during the 70s and 80s have always fascinated fans, HBO is focusing on his final years in it’s new documentary.

The Last Five Years will chronicle Bowie at the end of his life and career. The main focus will be his last two albums: The Next Day & Blackstar, as well a musical he co-wrote, Lazarus. The doc will also focus on Bowie’s unwavering commitment to his artistic abilities even after he was diagnosed with cancer. With a subject as deep as Bowie and a production company as talented as HBO, this doc should be fantastic. David Bowie: The Last Five Years premieres January 8th, which would have been Bowie’s 71st birthday.

For all of our trailer alerts, click on the trailer alert tab on our home page.

-Ryan

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Ranking The Three Best Sketches From James Franco’s SNL

James Franco hosted SNL for the fourth time this past Saturday, and it was a wild episode. The cold open featured a slew of children on live television, which is a recipe for insanity. Some of the kids were great, some of them froze, but I’ll take it over another Donald Trump sketch any day. Franco brings a lot of smiles and positivity everywhere he goes, and I enjoyed the episode overall. Here are the three best sketches from Saturday night.

3. Reunion

One of the main themes running through this episode was James Franco playing James Franco. He did it in Christmas Charity, and he did it in the final sketch of the night, Reunion. The reason I picked Reunion over Christmas Charity was Heidi Gardner, who played Pretty Mandy. This is Gardner’s first season on SNL but she’s getting a lot of screen time and more importantly, she’s delivering. Angel from Weekend Update was dynamite, and Pretty Mandy’s odd accent and fixation on darts and bull’s-eyes killed me. I wouldn’t mind seeing Pretty Mandy show up again, preferably when Davey Franco hosts (that needs to happen ASAP).

2. Gift Wrap

Gift Wrap is one those over the top sketches that Will Ferrell perfected during his time on SNL, and it really set the tone for Franco’s show. The cold open was off the rails due to some of the children forgetting their lines, and this was sketch was off the rails because of the excessive fake blood. Franco played an overexcited gift wrapper who wasn’t go to let some missing, bloody appendages stop him from wrapping customer’s gifts. The gag got funnier and funnier, and if you’re wondering why Leslie Jones couldn’t get out her lines, it’s because she almost threw up in her mouth. Franco also confirmed this was his favorite sketch from the show, and you could tell he was having a blast.

1. Spelling Bee

My favorite type of SNL sketches are when they take normal scenarios and turn them on their head. That’s why Spelling Bee was the top sketch for me. James Franco plays the moderator who decides to make the words, definitions and usage a little too personal. Franco nails it too, until Little Pig Boy. It’s tough to blame him for breaking when his character has to deliver the definition and usage of Little Pig Boy with a straight face. I’ve watched this sketch four times and it just gets better.

-Ryan

Five Stars Of WWE Raw 12/11/17

WWE Raw was live from Cleveland, Ohio last night. The main event featured Kane vs. Braun Strowman in a Universal title #1 contender’s match. Samoa Joe, Cesaro & Sheamus were all in singles action against members of The Shield while WWE had to pull a 180 with the cruiserweight division due to Rich Swann’s arrest. As usual, I’ll be spotlighting the five best things from last night’s show.

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And now, the five stars from the 12/11/17 edition of WWE Raw.

5. Samoa Joe

Joe vs. Ambrose was my least favorite of the three Shield matches, but I’d be a stupid idiot if I didn’t give Joe the praise he deserves. Raw opened with Joe in the ring berating Roman Reigns and talking about how he’s beaten and/or injured each member of The Shield. Joe always talks with a purpose and shy’s away from the cookie cutter language that a lot of other guys use. When Joe speaks, it sounds like something he would say rather than something that was written for him. That’s as high of a compliment you can give a WWE promo nowadays. I also love the pairing of Joe and The Bar, and the 6 man with The Shield sometime down the line is going to be off the charts.

The Joe/Ambrose match was OK, but fell short compared to Rollins/Sheamus & Reigns/Cesaro. Jason Jordan continuing to stick his nose in everyone’s business is a nice addition to the story, and gives the crowd an actual reason to boo him. I could’ve went without the ref distraction being the reason Ambrose lost, because his top rope offense couldn’t do maximum damage to a newborn baby. I will take the Joe choke out win though, because Samoa Joe should always win.

4. Finn Balor

Finn Balor picked up another win against the Miz-tourage, this time defeating folk hero Curtis Axel. It’s far from the best use of Balor, but I’ll take this over losing clean to Kane any day. It’s a little mind boggling that WWE doesn’t know how to use Balor, especially since he debuted and immediately won the Universal title. If these matches against Dallas & Axel lead to a Balor/Miz feud, I will be very happy. The Miz is WWE’s miracle worker and it’d be as pure of a baby face/heel matchup WWE has had in a while.

3. Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus

My second favorite Shield match last night was Rollins vs. Sheamus. These two have great chemistry whether it’s a singles or tag match, and I loved Sheamus’ strategy. Rollins is quicker and can take Sheamus out with high flying moves. How does Sheamus counter that? Brutalize Rollins knee, which is the same body part Seth uses for his finisher. It’s a simple story but it works, and Rollins is always better when he’s fighting from underneath as a fan favorite. His move set caters to the live crowd, specifically the top rope Suplex into the falcon arrow, which should be a finisher. Fun, competitive match with a clean finish. You can’t ask for much more than that.

2. Cesaro vs. Roman Reigns

Speaking of fun, competitive matches with a clean ending, Cesaro vs. Reigns was the best match of the night. Every time Cesaro is given time he shines, and I can’t explain why he’s not consistently in a main event spot. Similar to Sheamus working Rollins’ knee, Cesaro worked Reigns right arm, which is the key to his Superman punch and almost all of his offense. Once again Reigns was stellar as well, and his run as IC champ has been successful so far. You know he’s not losing the title on a random Raw, but his title defenses have all been great, and he’s elevating everyone he’s in the ring with.

I don’t know how long The Bar will be a thing, but WWE could do a lot worse than to make Cesaro IC champ. His physicality in this match was great, which always brings out the best in Roman. Cesaro deserved to win the match, but the time isn’t right for a title change. Hopefully he’s in the conversation when it’s time for Roman to move on to the Universal title again.

1. Cedric Alexander (and the rest of the cruiserweights)

So. A few weeks Kurt Angle set up a multi week storyline to find a new #1 contender for Enzo Amore. It consisted of two fatal 4 way matches, with the winner from each match facing each other. The winner of that match would be the new #1 contender. Rich Swann won one fatal 4 way and Drew Gulak won the other, so they would be one of two guys to fight for the cruiserweight title. The only problem with that is Rich Swann was arrested over the weekend for kidnapping and false imprisonment. Slight hiccup. Swann has been indefinitely suspended, so a second chance fatal 4 way took place on last night’s show with the winner of that match moving on to face Gulak. Got it?

The match was once again a standout moment for the cruiserweight division. They’ve proved for three weeks in a row that if you give them time, they will shine™. While Mustafa Ali is a personal favorite of mine, it’s hard to argue that Cedric Alexander doesn’t deserve to be a star in the cruiserweight division. He’s so dynamic and every move he executes has a beautiful crispness to it. I think he and Gulak will be put on a good match as well, and I like that they’re teasing some dissension within the Zo Train. It’s also nice to have the cruiserweights be an important part of Raw. There is way too much talent for them to be an afterthought.

Supplementary Stars

In case you missed it, I wrote about the potential the Matt Hardy/Bray Wyatt feud has. Hopefully they move beyond dueling backstage promos soon, because both guys are too good to be boring.

-Ryan

Trailer Alert – You Were Never Really Here

Trailer – You Were Never Really Here Starring Joaquin Phoenix

You Were Never Really Here is basically a mix between Man on Fire & Only God Forgives. Need another reason to watch it? The film stars Joaquin Phoenix as Joe, a brutal and tormented enforcer on a rescue mission. If you need more ammo than that, I don’t know what to tell you. The rest of the cast is unknown, but the film is based on the Jonathan Ames novel of the same name. Watch this trailer and cherish it. You Were Never Really Here premieres April 6, 2018.

For all our movie trailer write-ups, click the trailer alert tab on our home page.

-Ryan

Music Monday: Dean Martin – Walking In A Winter Wonderland

Dean Martin – Walking In A Winter Wonderland

This Music Monday pick was an easy one. Rhode Island got it’s first snow of the season over the weekend, so this song was playing on a loop in my house all weekend long. The only thing Dean Martin did better than drinking martini’s was singing songs, and that’s a scientific fact. Have a great day on purpose everybody.

Bonus picture of my dog running in the snow happier than any living being will ever be.

Dean Martin

Photo: Facebook

-Ryan

Paul Rudd Playing Mac & Me Clips On Conan Taking You Into The Weekend

Paul Rudd on Conan

Paul Rudd is a national treasure. He’s been going on Conan’s late night talk show forever, and he’s one of the funniest guests (not as great as Dirk Nowitzki, but no one is). His best appearances are when he has a movie to promote. Instead of showing a clip from the movie, Rudd always sneaks in the same clip from the movie Mac & Me. Some beautiful soul on YouTube mashed all of Rudd’s appearances together and it’s a legitimate YouTube gem. Have a great weekend everybody.

-Ryan

“Woken” Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt Are A Match Made In Wrestling Heaven

From Matt Hardy To Broken Brilliance

Matt Hardy has been a household name in pro wrestling since the late 90s. He and his brother Jeff first rose to fame in the WWE Attitude Era as the Hardy Boyz. They had classic matches with Edge & Christian/Dudleyz and revolutionized the tag team division with their TLC matches. When Matt and Jeff split, Jeff was the one who attained singles glory and championship gold. Matt had a great, personal feud with Edge and his Version 1 character was entertaining, but something was missing. After he left WWE, Hardy wrestled all over the map, including ROH and Impact Wrestling. It would be in Impact where he would find his next great gimmick: Broken Matt Hardy.

In May 2016 Hardy turned on his brother Jeff and revealed himself to be ‘Broken’. He looked, talked and acted differently, but it was impossible to look away from him. The Broken character would become the focal point of Impact, and with Hardy given total creative control of his character, it flourished. Broken Matt, Brother Nero, Senor Benjamin & King Maxel were the highlight of almost every episode of Impact. Whether it was in ring promos, the reincarnation lake or the insane Final Deletion, the Broken Universe was the hottest thing in wrestling.

He Is Woken

When The Hardy’s made their shocking return to WWE at WrestleMania 33, fans wondered if we’d ever see the Broken Universe invade the WWE. It’s taken some time, but thanks to the end of a frivolous legal battle, it looks like Matt Hardy has finally transformed into his new, “woken” self. After Bray Wyatt beat Hardy on Raw two weeks ago, Hardy snapped. He was talking to himself and performed his trademark DELETE hand gesture, and it was magical. Hardy was transforming all over again, and his tweets signaled the dawn of a woken man. All that was left for Hardy was to find a new victim to delete. Enter, Bray Wyatt.

Bray Wyatt

On Monday’s Raw, the trademark sounds of a Bray Wyatt dark room promo bummed me out. I’ve loved Wyatt since his debut and will forever believe that he should be the modern day Undertaker. He’s the perfect mix of an engaging promo and in ring ability, but unfortunately WWE has booked him like a bum for years. He ALWAYS loses the big matches, and even if he does win, it’s because of children singing or a exploding TV’s. Wins and losses aren’t the only measuring stick for a wrestler, but it’s tough to take someone seriously who loses all the time.

Another big issue he’s had are his opponents. The Undertaker had Mankind and Kane, two psychological and demented wrestlers, to play off of. Wyatt has had John Cena and Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. While those three are great in the ring, they’re just normal guys from a character standpoint. Wyatt needs someone as weird as he is to keep things interesting, and a new ‘woken’ superstar is the perfect fit.

Woken Matt Hardy is the opposite of a normal guy, and has the perfect personality to feed off of Wyatt. He is the ideal dancing partner for Bray, and this is a feud I’ve wanted to see since July 2016 when they first started tweeting each other.

A Perfect Match

While we got a small preview of Hardy’s character two weeks ago, he showed up in all his woken glory on Monday. If the dueling promos and the laugh off are any indication, this feud will be a ton of a fun. Hardy’s new persona can give new life to Wyatt’s words and I want to see more from these two. This will also give Wyatt someone weird and wonderful to work with, which is something he’s never had. I hope these two feud and then join forces, because a woken Bray Wyatt could be something special. Here’s the full promo from Monday, including that maniacal Hardy laugh.

-Ryan

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