Good evening! I thought it might be a good time to write some more sports coverage, even though many people don't consider professional wrestling a true sport because everything is scripted and choreographed. Perhaps, sports entertainment would be a good label for the WWE. Clash of Champions was the WWE's most recent pay per view and it featured a card of title matches. That means every belt was on the line. I'll give you a short post about my favorite elements, disappointments, and biggest surprises. Let's see what happened at last weekend's event.
Clash of Champions opened with a triple threat match for the Cruiserweight Championship with Drew Gulak, Lince Dorado, and Humberto Carillo. I won't make you feel confused with a long list of wrestling moves. Basically, I felt a little bit disappointed because this match wasn't memorable. Usually, I enjoy the cruiserweight matches with faster and more acrobatic wrestlers. I thought Carillo might take the belt, but Drew Gulak retained it with his signature finisher and a pinfall. In a way, I appreciated that part because Gulak's title run is pretty cool, but the overall match was slow and boring.
After that, AJ Styles defended the United States Championship against Cedric Alexander. This match was much better with a fun set of moves, athleticism, and plenty of energy. Alexander is getting more screen time this year and I'm glad. He's a talented wrestler who moved from the cruiserweight division to the main roster, but that can be a perilous transition because many newcomers become an afterthought. Ultimately, Styles retained the title and I figured it would happen. The match showcased Styles as a heel, but I'm not crazy about that part because he's not an effective villain. Regardless, the match was great.
Fan favorites, Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman, defended the Raw Tag Team Championships against Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler. Shockingly, Roode and Ziggler took the belts from Rollins and Strowman. I actually like Robert Roode, but he and Ziggler aren't popular wrestlers, whereas Rollins and Strowman are wrestling staples. The match was pretty short and I felt somewhat perplexed. Perhaps, management could have a future storyline for this title run.
Bayley defeated Charlotte Flair by pinfall to retain the SmackDown Women's Championship. Personally, I found this match unmemorable too. I expected a lot more from two wrestlers who have a lot of skill, experience, and talent. The match wasn't bad; however, it seemed more like a typical feature on a house show instead of a pay per view. I'm tired of watching Charlotte lose, but the WWE obviously has big plans for Bayley. Recently, her tag team partner named Sasha Banks resurfaced, so we're probably going to see a lot of action with them in the future.
The New Day defended the SmackDown Tag Team Champion against The Revival. Wrestling fans might get upset at me, but I didn't care about this match. It was really short and I don't care about these teams. Lately, the WWE tag teams have been lackluster. Both of these teams have really lame gimmicks. Surprisingly, The Revival took the titles away from The New Day. I thought The New Day would win because they're insanely popular, but it seems like the WWE is giving opportunities to some of the company's underdogs. I guess we'll see what happens.
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross defeated Fire and Desire (aka Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville) to retain the Women's Tag Team Championship. Actually, I think this was one of the better matches. It was fun to see Bliss and Cross win. By the way, Bliss was sporting a Harley Quinn outfit. It seems like their onscreen partnership is progressing and Cross seems to have a likeable persona. Bliss might be manipulating her tag team partner, but an interesting storyline seems to be cooking.
Shinsuke Nakamura defended the Intercontinental Championship against The Miz and won by pinfall. This match was also forgettable. The Miz used to be one of the WWE's most prominent wrestlers, but he rarely wins matches anymore. I'm not sure what's happening. Overall, the match was short and unimpressive. I guess this match was on the card because all of the championships were on the line.
Luckily, I was really entertained by the Raw Women's Championship match between Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks. This match was a combination of great wrestling moves, power, skill, and aggression. Both of these superstars are very talented. Lynch is probably the most popular superstar in the WWE and this match also played up Banks as a heel. In the end, Lynch lost the match via disqualification for hitting Banks with a steel chair. By the way, Banks had it coming. Fortunately, champions don't lose their belts from disqualifications, so Lynch retains the Raw Women's Championship. However, that wasn't the end of the confrontation. Lynch continued to throw her opponent all over the place, including outside the ring, backstage, etc. It was incredibly entertaining. I have a feeling we're going to see a big feud between these two wrestlers.
After that, Kofi Kingston defeated Randy Orton by pinfall to retain the WWE Championship. It was a very strong match with a lot of contrast. Kingston is a high flyer and quick on his feet while Orton is really strong and difficult to wear down. Even though I enjoyed the match, it was pretty much a throw away. I figured Kingston was going to retain the title because the WWE is still running his main storyline. Honestly, I don't think he's going to lose the WWE Championship until WrestleMania or another pay per view further down the road.
The penultimate match was the only fight without a championship on the line. Roman Reigns faced Erick Rowan, building off a feud that was created on Raw and SmackDown. The match wasn't particularly impressive, but I appreciate the storyline. Reigns is a great wrestler, but Rowan isn't very impressive. For some reason, Rowan tried to injure or kill Reigns backstage during several house shows. It's kind of like a soap opera plot that's still going on. I didn't care about the match, but it would be nice to see what happens to this story as the house shows continue.
Finally, Seth Rollins battled Braun Strowman for the Universal Championship. Yes, they fought along side of each other to defend the Raw Tag Team Championships. These guys are allies and foes at the same time. This match was quite exciting and impressive. Rollins is a faster and more atheltic wrestler while Strowman is powerful and intimidating. It was a lot of fun, although I figured Rollins would retain the championship. Naturally, he won, but the next part was unexpected. A character called The Fiend showed up and attacked Rollins after the match was done. So, Rollins kept his title, but The Fiend beat him up. Basically, The Fiend is a wrestler who wears a creepy mask and randomly attacks some of the WWE's most popular superstars. It definitely seems like a major pay per view match is being set up for Rollins and The Fiend. I wouldn't be suprised if The Fiend takes the Universal Championship at some point.
Well, Clash of Champions ended on a peculiatr note and some of the matches were disappointing. But some of the matches were very good and I'm looking forward to more storylines that are still developing. The WWE is also facing major changes in the near future. SmackDown is leaving USA and moving to FOX. NXT recently left the WWE Network and premiered on USA. There's going to be a huge draft for Raw and SmackDown starting on Monday because the brands aren't going to cross over anymore. I assume the two brands will only mix on the pay per view events. We probably won't see NXT superstars on the flagship shows anymore unless they move to the main roster, but that part will become more clear within the next few weeks. Are you a wrestling fan or do you simply fail to see the appeal? Leave a comment. Stay tuned for more sports posts and my usual content, such as steampunk, movies, games, etc. Thanks a lot for checking out my blog and have a good week. Bye!
Welcome back! Hollywood is still churning out a bunch of movies this year and I’ll gladly tell you about them. Programs like AMC Stubs A-List, Regal Unlimited, and Cinemark Movie Club are making the theater experience more affordable, but it’s still quite pricy to take family members or friends out to the movies. Concessions and tickets really add up. So, it’s important to figure out what movies are worth seeing in theaters. I can always help you with that part. Keep reading to see what I thought about Angel Has Fallen, Don’t Let Go, and It Chapter Two.
Let’s begin with the third installment of Fallen series, starring Gerard Butler as Mike Banning. Overall, it’s an action film that focuses on a member of the United States Secret Service. Mike Banning saves the President from an assassination attempt, but he is ultimately framed for the crime. Our protagonist escapes, fends off government soldiers, tries to clear his name, and searches for the real culprits. It’s a very challenging task for one man, but he might have enough wits and skills to succeed.
Truthfully, I didn’t like this movie at all. It has a lot of action and that’s the best part. This film is similar to popular action flicks from the 1990s. It has car chases, espionage, political intrigue, explosions, helicopters, and every gun imaginable. Therefore, action fans might be entertained. Just don’t expect a lot of substance or variety.
The rest of my review is pretty negative. Granted, this film probably won’t land on the bottom of my 2019 list because it’s less offensive than a few other releases. Angel Has Fallen is predictable in every way shape and form. The story tries to hide the main villain’s identity through most of the movie, but I could figure it out right away. In fact, this film has two major villains and they’re super obvious. I could even predict most of the action scenes and major plot points. This film is just a string of action clichés and scenes from other movies. Even though this film has tons of action, I became bored very quickly because the story is so predictable. One character’s death surprised me and that’s it.
The characters are lame too. I’m sorry, but Gerard Butler is aging out of this genre. Granted, age is an important theme in this film, but it’s just not very effective. He’s still a hotshot military sniper and combat expert. Banning kills dozens of men who are half his age with minimal effort. At this point, it just looks silly. I wasn’t a fan of Logan either, but it worked because the movie borrowed material from the Old Man Logan comics. This is a different situation because the character is clearly an older guy who’s trying to make the audience believe he’s much younger. None of the other characters are memorable either. They’re just basic stock characters from the action genre.
For the record, I really enjoyed Olympus Has Fallen and London Has Fallen. They were really fun popcorn movies. However, I don’t think audiences were begging for a third installment. I’m not sure why this film was created. It doesn’t seem to have much depth, heart, or creativity. If a studio is going to continue a franchise, they should try to make the fans happier. This one just seemed like a cheap cash grab.
Obviously, I’m not recommending Angel Has Fallen for a viewing in theaters. You can check it out on Netflix or Amazon Prime one of these days if you enjoy the series. On a more positive note, I’m not giving up on the franchise entirely. Maybe they’ll make a fourth movie with some new characters and a better story. It could happen.
Now I’m moving on to a sci-fi crime thriller called Don’t Let Go. The film opens with Jack Radcliff, a homicide detective who has a good relationship with his niece named Ashley. Jack’s world turns upside down when his brother, sister-in-law, and niece are brutally murdered. Some time later, Jack receives a phone call from Ashley several days in the past. Jack might have a chance to prevent his family’s murder, but the situation is very dangerous, confusing, and there’s no guarantee his plan will work.
I actually believe this film is okay. It’s not amazing, but certainly not awful either. The lead performances are great and that’s the main reason why this movie works. David Oyelowo is a strong leading man as Jack Radcliff and he brings a believable dramatic flare to the film. It’s really easy to identify with him and the audience will probably feel quite sympathetic. The story also puts his sanity to the test, which is pretty interesting. He has a really good rapport with Storm Reid as Ashley. They have nice family chemistry and it’s traumatic when her character dies early in the film. Ashley seems like the girl next door and she’s highly likeable. She plays her part in the detective work and it’s pretty cool.
In general, Don’t Let Go is an interesting movie. The mystery elements works very well and it kept my attention. Unlike Angel Has Fallen, I couldn’t predict everything in the plot. It kept me guessing without being confusing. There’s also a lot of tension in this film. Multiple scenes are suspenseful and intense. I wouldn’t call it a horror film, but the story has legitimate peril. The time travel element is interesting as well. I find it considerably less confusing than the time travel elements in Avengers: Endgame. This movie doesn’t have a logical explanation for the riff in time, but that’s not the point. In the end, the important thing is changing the future, if it’s possible at all.
This film definitely has some flaws, most notably, huge pacing issues. Don’t Let Go is very slow at times. The entire movie is a slow burn. It works overall, but the slow pace could easily lose audiences. This film doesn’t have a lot of action and Jack spends considerable time talking to his niece on the phone. The sci-fi and mystery elements take center stage and it doesn’t push things along very well. I find this movie quite interesting, but some people will just feel bored.
It’s not a particularly memorable film either. 2019 is packed with entertaining and unique movies, so this one simply can’t compete with more exciting releases. Don’t Let Go is a tiny little thriller with familiar ideas. Frequency already introduced communication across time and death. So, the general concept isn’t new anyway.
This would be a good movie to watch on streaming services. In fact, I’m surprised it got a theatrical release. It seems more like a streaming film. Unless you have AMC Stubs A-List or something similar, don’t waste your money on a ticket. The big screen doesn’t enhance the experience anyway. It’s just not that type of movie.
The grand finale is It Chapter Two. I know it was a highly anticipated film for many people. The kids from the first It movie are now adults and most of them have moved away from Derry. They’ve forgotten about Pennywise and everything that happened, but their memories come back when Mike, Derry’s local librarian, calls them to return. The creature has returned and the Losers Club must defeat him once again. Hopefully, they’ll make it out alive and destroy It forever.
Overall, It Chapter Two is an entertaining viewing with many original ideas. The pacing is quite brisk, even though the runtime is two hours and forty-five minutes. It has a series of weird creatures, scares, and action sequences. This movie uses a blend of horror and fantasy elements that defy logic. It’s actually a fun experience, albeit strange. I don’t agree with some of the directing and screenwriting choices, but the film is still enjoyable.
This movie has terrific actors. Critics are giving huge praise to Bill Hader as Richie, but I thought everyone was great. Keep an eye on the main cast, played by Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, and James Ransone. The adult members of the Losers Club have a lot of similarities to their younger counterparts, both physically and in terms of personality. I can tell the adult actors studied the first movie a lot. They brought humor, drama, and horror to this film. Believe me, the actors brought the best elements to this movie. The script certainly didn’t bring out the best material.
Surprisingly, It Chapter Two can be quite funny at times. I thought the humor worked very well. Richie and Eddie bring some comedic relief to an otherwise dark and gloomy film. The humor has good timing and I found it rather charming. I have to admit, this movie is incredibly long, so a little humor can help the pacing. Humor is a staple in the horror genre anyway.
Even though I have some positive feedback, this wasn’t one of my favorite movies this year. The visual effects are horrendous, especially regarding a couple of important things. First, the film has a bunch of flashbacks with the kids. Those actors are somewhat older now, so the studio used de-aging effects with CGI. It looks absolutely terrible and distracting. Ben looks like a cartoon character. Richie resembles something from Picasso’s abstract period. Beverly was probably the best presentation of the de-aging effect, but the boys were super noticeable. Also, the CGI monsters aren’t scary at all. They were poorly made and a huge step down from the previous It film. I find it difficult to feel scared of goofy and cartoonish monsters.
Unfortunately, the plot and characters have something to be desired. Yes, I gave praise to the actors, but that doesn’t mean the characters were crafted well. They did great with middle of the road material. Basically, the story is loose, confusing, and disorganized. It’s also very inconsistent. The film can’t decide what it wants. For example, the plot gives the audience conflicting details about Pennywise. One scene says he’s an alien from another planet or dimension. Yet another scene implies that Pennywise has a human backstory. Well, you can’t be human and an alien invader at the same time! The characters are less charming and likeable in this chapter. They also have some inconsistencies that don’t match with the first movie. The script tries to build a mythology, but it doesn’t make any sense. This film really lacks direction. It also has tons of filler content. The movie is stuffed with flashbacks and I don’t even know why they’re part of the story. That’s actually why the runtime is nearly three hours long.
Is this film scary? Only a little bit. I’m sorry. Occasionally, It has some frightening moments, but they’re few and far between. The film largely relies on jump scares and bad VFX. In fact, Pennywise isn’t in the movie very often. Most of the time, he takes the form of other monsters. Overall, It Chapter Two isn’t very scary and that’s a real shame.
Let me address one more thing. I have a big problem with the ending because it’s sending questionable messages to the audience. In a way, this film is sending pro bullying and suicide messages. Resort to bullying to get things done and committing suicide could make the world a better place. Seriously? I’m not sure if these messages are intentional, but the filmmakers should have made better decisions. Again, it comes down to poor writing. Maybe you won’t see these hidden messages in the film, but it seemed quite obvious in my opinion.
I’m not sure if you should watch this film in theaters or not. It’s a tough call because the movie has a ton of problems. But it’s also quite entertaining. If you really enjoyed the first It film, give it a shot. By the way, you definitely have to see the first movie. Otherwise, you’ll be completely lost.
Well, this wasn’t the most impressive list of films, but it happens sometimes. Have you seen any of these movies yet? Did you enjoy them or feel disappointed? Tell me about it in the comment section. Thanks a lot for visiting. I’m still posting more content throughout the year. Keep your eyes peeled and I’ll see you next week. Bye!
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