You can hear Johnny every week on Wresting Uncensored. He's our top reviewer of books, film, DVDs and video games. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/northgenesis

Maleficent review

MV5BMjAwMzAzMzExOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTcwMDA5MTE@._V1_SX214_AL_Evil is born with a broken heart and a lust for revenge in, Maleficent, a different twist from the Disney classic Sleeping Beauty featuring glorious 3D fight scenes and landscapes.

Angelina Jolie stars as the legendary villain who in this version of the story was the true hero. King Stefan (Sharlto Copley) was the villain that betrayed her and stole her heart. Stefan gave her companionship as a child and her first kiss. Greed kept Stefan away for a time. Greed brought him back and turned Maleficent’s heart cold.

The curse scene stays true to the original, powerful acting by Jolie and Copley during it.

Afterwards lots of revisions. Maleficent is one taking care of Aurora (Elle Fanning) while her protectors argue. She changes her mind on the curse but cannot break it. All the while Stefan grows in paranoia and insomnia.

Disregard how the original played out and enjoy the adventure presented. Lord of the Rings grand-style fight scenes, dazzling lively backgrounds and magical creatures galore. Despite a PG rating there is some dark and violent moments. The torture the twisted king and demented fairy put each other through is accompanied with chilling music and hateful intentions.

Disney usually delivers when it comes to bringing back classic characters with a fresh look. Worked for the wizard of Oz with evil also created with a broken heart and human greed. The special effects are so good the story does not have to be filled with character depth. 97 minutes goes so by so quick because the movie is highly enjoyable just to look at.

Children not easily tormented by nightmares can watch this. Teens and adults can definitely enjoy the action, fantasy, and the intrigue on how this revised tale ends up. Disney is going in the right direction with films like this.

 

 

Million Dollar Arm review

ddWith his career as a sports agent on the brink of collapse, JB Bernstein pitches a radical new idea for a reality show called Million Dollar Arm to find MLB pitchers in India.

The movie starts off with Bernstein (Jon Hamm) losing his top client to competition and begins to create doubt in his staff and himself that his agency can stay float. While watching a game of cricket and switching channels to see the rise of Susan Boyle, Bernstein gets the idea of how he can save his business. Bernstein starts a talent search for TV giving two kids in India a chance at playing in MLB. The search is aimed at finding cricket players and trying to convert them into baseball players after the two throw the fastest and most accurate pitches.

However, Rinku (Suraj Sharma) and Dinesh (Madhur Mittal) the eventual winners of the competition do not play cricket and do not even like the sport. A minor detail that Bernstein hides from the media.

The transition for the players to the North America lifestyle  and Bernstein having a relationship with his tenant Brenda (Lake Bell) are the focal points for the rest of the film. Bernstein is use to dating models while Brenda finds a random hunk at the hospital she works at. They have their differences in terms of values, but they clearly have a lot of similarities. The language, understanding baseball, and getting the attention of Bernstein are the main issues for Rinku and Dinesh.

Jon Hamm is the main selling point of this movie. His struggles, failures, mistakes, take up the most of the run time. He’s no Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise that can deliver a performance everyone will remember, but he still delivers a solid character that can make you feel for him.

 

The Official Fight Promoter Playbook review

61KznSF2ImL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Creating a million or billion dollar sports franchise from scratch is daunting yet in the fight world Tony Shultz believes the market is ripe for the taking in his new book, The Official Fight Promoter Playbook.

Shultz, who has been around boxing since he was eight years old, has released his second of five book series. This is considered the blueprints to creating your own fight promotion as Shultz gives you every bit of information, seating charts, sponsorship proposals, forms, and much more. Who you need to get, who you have to deal with, the supplies you need, it’s all covered. The information is the same used by top Vegas fight promoters today.

Before you are looking through the blueprints, Shultz gives you guidelines, motivation, and strategies in order to make your business successful. Shultz stresses market research and social media awareness as vital for getting your fan base established. This section feels generic to any business starting up but all are necessary and needs to be taken into consideration if you are truly serious about this. Less than 20 pages, but a part of the book that is just as important as the rest.

Besides the important data contained in this read, Shultz states you also need fighters. He could easily write another book on trying to pull that off. Creating new stars has become a major problem in all forms of combat. Shultz gives an example of a home team and how they are able to sell out. Creating a hero or heroes along with villains is a great way to spark interest, but you also need fighters that deliver what fans are craving. Easier said than done.

If you have aspirations to get into the fight game business you are helping yourself greatly by picking this up. So many mistakes and blunders can be avoided by having this by your side.

 

Neighbors review

Neighbors_(2013)_PosterMilking tits, clay penises, shooting fireworks at a police car, baby playing with a condom, there is a lot of sexy violence as a family and fraternity go to war in the new flick, Neighbors.

Mac and Kelly Radner (Seth Rogen & Rose Byrne) have just bought their new house and are trying to have sex all over it without their baby Stella (Elise & Zoey Vargas) watching. Their dream life hits a detour when a fraternity led by Ted (Zack Efron) and Pete (Dave Franco) move in next door.

At first there is peace as Mac gives the boys some of his weed. His wife awkwardly tells them to keep it down at night, and of course they don’t. After calling the cops and breaking the trust they tried to establish, the Radners are on the receiving end of some nasty pranks.

Juvenile in their own way, the Radners plot to get the fraternity kicked out of their residence by destroying their place, making them turn on each other, and eventually invading the house with explosive results.

From start to finish this is a bunch of silly skits put together to make a long movie. Rogen and Byrne have the best and most skits together with Efron and Franco having a few memorable ones. There’s a bit of drama involved, but overall it’s too silly to take seriously for any long stretches. This was the best way to go with the film’s direction as the outrageous parts are what make this so enjoyable.

You’re always wondering how funny this can get it and it delivers spectacularly. It’s hard not to laugh. Best comedy so far this year and one of best featuring Seth Rogen in the lead role. Neighbors might be too edgy and offensive to some. Yet, if you’re watching a Rogen movie you should expect absolute chaos.

UFC Ultimate Fighter 18 DVD review

the-ultimate-fighterSexual tension, childish pranks, and bloody fights are to be expected when for the first time ever in the history of reality show, Ultimate Fighter, men and women compete for UFC contracts.

Released today in a five-disc set, includes all 13 episodes and the Finale show of the 18th season. All the foul language is uncensored, although the rare captions are not.

Bonus content features deleted scenes from both teams training and moments at the house. Liz Carmouche training with Team Rousey is the best part of the extras. Besides Rousey complaining more on how fake Misha Tate is, there is nothing else involving their beef in extras.

UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey, and Tate are bitter rivals. Their personal issues outside of the cage makes for entertaining television. Problem is the show starts to become about them instead of the fighters. Even though the show tries to help push the captains to interact, once the war of words gets heated immediately UFC staff breaks up a possible fight between the two. The UFC is usually confident both coaches will keep their cool, but not in this case.

You can tell the UFC has gotten better at producing this show if you have watched past seasons. Every aspect has improved. From telling each fighter story to the performance replays, the raw emotion of the show feels more real than ever. You can tell by the first episode if you are going to like this or not.

Disappointing to see the Rousey Tate fight is not included in this set. You get all the build and drama but you have to see another UFC event to witness the long awaited battle.

This DVD release is a major step forward for women’s MMA. It’s a different experience unlike the past seasons which is incredible to say.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier review

captain_america__the_winter_soldier___poster_ii_by_mrsteiners-d6fb15tA Soviet killing maniac known as ‘The Winter Soldier’ and the uncertainly of who is friend or foe are the main challenges for Captain America in the new Marvel film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Cap (Chris Evans) is joined this time around with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and reunited with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) on missions with S.H.I.E.L.D. Cap immediately clashes with Widow due to their different attitudes and her having a secret agenda led by Fury. Cap begins to question his purpose in this new world when he cannot trust Fury to tell him what’s really going on.

Cue in The Winter Soldier and absolute chaos breaks out.

In the confusion and anarchy caused, Cap ends up getting attacked by his own teammates in S.H.I.E.L.D. Cap is hunted down like a wanted criminal. In order to survive and try to figure out who has compromised the powerful agency, Cap puts his differences aside with Widow and enlists Falcon (Sam Wilson) to his crew.

The action scenes look spectacular in 3D. Breathtaking at times and so good you wish they would never end. While the story of The Avengers is not too important to this one, the first Captain America is. The past comes back to haunt Cap whether he likes it or not. The banter between Cap and Widow helps lighten the darker parts of this movie.

Georges St-Pierre playing Georges Batroc, a French villain, is a small but entertaining role. Fans of GSP will be demanding more as his screen time is limited. Intense fight scene with Cap though.

This continues the trend of fantastic superhero movies released by Marvel recently. Decent character development, funny moments and the best action adventure in Hollywood today. Chris Evans is not as charming and over-the-top like his rival IronMan. However, despite Cap’s dull personality, there’s more than enough excitement in this flick. Easily the best watch in theatres today.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

PG-13

Marvel Studios

136 minutes

In theatres now

 

 

The Pirate Fairy Blu-ray combo pack review

51RkeZU9wRLCaptain Hook and his crew for the first time have invaded the Fairies series of movies turning one of Tinkerbell’s friends against her in the fifth DisneyToon Studios installment, The Pirate Fairy [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Bilingual)
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Before he became Hook (voiced by James Hiddleton) he was James the cabin boy taking orders from Zarina (voiced by Christina Hendricks). Zarina started out as a dust keeper fairy, but her questions and experiments with pixie dust ended up getting her fired from her job. For one year she left Pixie Hollow behind.

She came back the following year and put everyone except Tinkerbell and her friends under a deep sleep. Zarina was able to steal the blue dust allowing her pirate crew to create their own pixie dust and allow them to fly with their ship out of Neverland and into many heists undetected. Tinkerbell and her friends try to stop Zarina, but have to deal with the Zarina changing all their special abilities.

This is the most enjoyable entry in the Fairy series as it is closest they have gotten to the original story of Peter Pan. Along with the pirates is the birth of the Croc and a visit to Skull Rock. Hiddleton’s Hook is arguably the most intriguing character. Watching Hook before he became a captain is different at first, but eventually you start to see the Hook we all know come into play.

Blu-ray extras include a featurette on the creative process behind this adventure, a quirky documentary on actual crocodiles, deleted scenes, Hiddleton describing his experience on set, and sing-alongs to the main songs in the film.

Surprised that it took this long for pirates to be introduced to this prequel series. Stretching the boundaries of the Peter Pan universe and paying homage to the classic makes this even more enjoyable. There will be another Tinkerbell movie made and hopefully they continue in this direction.

The Pirate Fairy

 

Walt Disney Studios

Run time of 90 minutes

Available now

WWE 50 book review

9781465419231Jam-packed with powerful, funny, emotional, and sexy photography on nearly every page best describes WWE 50, the new read from DK Books chronicling the vast history of the sports entertainment empire.

Written by Kevin Sullivan (not the wrestler) with large photos and quotes from WWE staff and Superstars from all the eras to tell the tale. Sullivan does a considerable amount of storytelling when introducing key moments in WWE history. The Early Years, National Expansion, Hulkamania, Wrestlemania, The New Generation, and so on. The pictures are visually stunned with over 1,000 Superstars. All WWE Pay-Per-View posters until Extreme Rules 2013 are shown on the first and last pages.

Special graphics are featured in certain sections. There is a ratings timeline graphic for the entire Monday Night Wars. Cards of the 1960s with results to the shows included. A tribute page is given for Owen Hart. Chris Benoit and the tragedy with his family is also surprisingly mentioned with Pat Patterson commenting on it. Each WrestleMania is retold with all the results given with at least one quote from someone involved with that particular show.

This is not your usual WWE history book as there is a lot of Thence moments addressed. The steroid scandal where Linda McMahon was scared for her husband’s safety. “Vince said, ‘If I go to prison, I’ll never come out alive. They’ll kill me when I’m in there.’” A-Team star Mr. T getting an employee fired from WWE. “In my opinion, and I’ve told him this to his face, Mr. T was the most unprofessional piece of work I have ever had the displeasure of being associated with,” says Mean Gene Okerlund. This is only just a taste of shocking comments you will discover.

A great backlog of WWE memories for long-time fans and educational for newer fans. If you have watched the WWE 50 Blu-ray or DVD you will find a lot of the same material covered, but there’s a different feeling watching and reading about WWE. Personally find this a great way to rekindle interest in WWE matches or segments before trying to find them and relive it again on the WWE Network, when that finally comes to Canada.

Disappointed there was not a section for Superstars of the early 2000s and Superstars of today. I, like many, wish certain Superstars and certain aspects were highlighted, however, the amount of quality and quantity is so great it is difficult to complain. In the end this is a great buy for any wrestling fan, casual or smart.

WWE 50

DK Books

Written by Kevin Sullivan

226 pp.

$26.00

Find it here

 

 

 

 

UFC: Best of 2013 DVD review

ufc-best-of-2013-dvd_500The fall of Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre from their untouchable reigns while most of the other champions remain unbeatable in UFC’s new DVD release, UFC: Best of 2013 Year in Review.

For years Silva and St-Pierre have dominated their weight divisions like no other. In 2013, the contenders finally caught to them. Silva suffered his first defeat in UFC getting knocked out after not respecting the power and skill of Chris Weidman. In the rematch, he unfortunately broke his leg in one of the disgusting injuries in UFC history. St-Pierre was able to defeat long-time rival Nick Diaz but following the beating he took from Johny Hendricks, St-Pierre decided to walk away.

UFC had another first with the introduction of female fights to the cards. Ronda Rousey successful defended her championship in an exciting bout against Liz Carmouche. The other title change last year saw Anthony Pettis against Benson Henderson. A rematch from WEC that Henderson had been wanting to avenge. Unfortunately, he was submitted in the first round, setting up a possible super-fight of Pettis against Jose Aldo.

Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos scored impressive KOs on their path to their trilogy fight. Once and for all, Velasquez put an end to the doubt on who is the best heavyweight in the world. Demetrious Johnson also enforced his dominance in the flyweight division knocking out his rival Joseph Benavidez in their rematch championship match.

This DVD is just highlights of these fights, if you want full fights you want to get the multi-disc set releases. This is recommended for those that just want to see the end of big fights and enjoy a great recap of the main UFC moments last year. Every is enhanced in high definition and you get unique camera views that you do not get in typical UFC DVDs. When you get the top fighters back-to-back it’s difficult to stop watching it all until it’s over.

UFC: Best of 2013 Year in Review

Anchor Bay Entertainment Canada

Run time of 300 minutes

Available now

Delivery Man Blu-ray review

DeliveryManBoxArt_zps98e2e2edFather of 533 children, owes $80,000 to people that want to drown him, and an angry pregnant cop girlfriend, sums up the mess Vince Vaughn finds himself in the new DreamWorks Pictures Blu-ray release, Delivery Man.

Vaughn plays an incompetent meat truck driver named David who tries to do the right thing, but always ends up creating a bigger mess. Hence, the huge debt, his girlfriend upset with him about being reliable, and deciding to get a lot of money quick by donating 693 times to a sperm bank.

His best friend and lawyer, Brett (Chris Pratt) advises him to keep quiet as the majority of his children want to know his true identity. However, with an envelope filled with profiles, David decides to check in on a few of his kids. Acting as a guardian angel, David does his best to get to know his own blood and help them with their life problems. Meanwhile, David tries to juggle his normal life and the approaching doom awaiting him.

If you have ever watched a Vince Vaughn movie recently, you know the type of character he plays and the kind of comedy he delivers. What makes this film stand out is his serious attempt at trying to be a father. Watching his kids struggling, trying to commit suicide, or being confined to a wheelchair, brings out an emotional side of Vaughn that makes you feel for him in a different way than usual. The story feels a little too surreal to take it completely seriously, but the difficulty of fatherhood David goes through are emotions that feel very real.

Blu-ray extras include a making-of-documentary, Vince Vaughn going off script and shooting out extra lines, bloopers and one deleted scene that would have complicated the story even further. Watching the bloopers it seems like there were more deleted scenes that will probably be in a future release.

Recommended for fans of Vaughn and parents interested in a unique funny dramatic tale of raising kids. The demands of hundreds ends up being a fun trip through different lives pulling Vaughn into different scenarios, one’s that would be difficult for a parent once in a lifetime. Vaughn & Pratt bouncing off each other are the best parts.

Delivery Man

DreamWorks Pictures

Run time of 105 minutes

In stores today