Tuesday, July 31, 2012

FUBAR (2002)

 Directed by Michael Douse

In the spirit of mockumentaries like This is Spinal Tap and The Comic Strip Presents: Bad News, comes a rough, faux documentary that celebrates the life of the “headbanger”. From its description, this low budget, independent flick from Canada seems so simplistic, but it is actually one huge laugh riot with a different feel to the same style films that have preceded it. Even the topic of cancer and accidental death is tastefully portrayed in a comedic light within a film that is considered anything but tasteful.

In-film documentary filmmaker Farrel (Gordon Skilling) decides to chronicle the lives of two twenty-something headbangers Terry (Dave Lawrence) and Dean (Paul Spence), or “Deaner” as he is affectionately referred to by Terry. This is his film but it is their story. Terry makes money at a table shop where he claims to make tables for a living, going to get lengths explaining the table-making process. But the factory owner informs us that all he really does is load the tables onto the truck because he is too incompetent to do anything else of value at his shop. As incompetent as Terry is, Dean is ten times useless, not even understanding his right from his left hand. He is an out of work guy living at Terry’s pad who has a child with a chick named Trixie (Tracey Lawrence), to whom he has no romantic relationship with, and plays bass in a little (and terrible) garage band.

Although their teenage years are well behind them, the duo live the headbanging lifestyle of listening to loud music and drinking beer like there is no tomorrow. They shotgun Pilsner like it’s their job and party hard while neglecting any and all adult responsibility in life. Even their fearless leader Tron (Andrew Sparacino) has earned employment as well as decent woman to be with and totally left their whacky lifestyle. But that doesn’t stop the guys from trying to pull him back in any chance they get.

When Farrel discovers that Dean has an enlarged bump on his testicle, he informs Trixie who then forces Dean to see a physician. The doctor informs him that the testicle must be removed, so Terry and Dean embark on one last wild weekend before his surgery and following chemo treatment. And boy what a zany weekend it turns out to be. 

If Beavis and Butthead were binge drinkers from the Great White North and mated with Doug and Bob McKenzie, this would be their spawn. Terry and Dean are two characters you will fall in love with, even though you really shouldn’t but simply can’t help the fact that you do. They drink, which leads to smashing up and burning objects, including themselves. Their vernacular is a trip as well. Besides dropping the F-Bomb as much as they spout real words, they repeatedly recite the catchphrase “Give’er!”, which apparently is the Canadian version of Get ‘Er Done!”

Lawrence and Spence are either Oscar-worthy actors or they really are hammered in the scenes where they have ingested copious amounts of Pilsner. In fact, they are very good in blurring the lines between reality and the film in which they are starring in due to their overall performances. Early in the film, you will begin to forget you are watching a mockumentary and keep thinking you are watching an actual documentary. Skilling’s turn as Farrel continuously sells this confusion, executing his straight man character to perfection. 

This line is well blurred despite the fact that there is a disclaimer at the beginning, which hilariously states that this film is a documentary and apologizes to those who appear in the film who were told it was real. Evidence of this can be seen during a segment where two drunken Canadians scrap in a real life, bare knuckles boxing match leading to one of them getting a tooth knocked clean out of his head.

This is a film that can be enjoyed whether you are Canadian, Australian or are from the States. Probably one of the best low budget mock-ups you probably have not heard about, its cult success spawned a bigger budget sequel eight years later. Don’t miss out and “Give‘er” a try!

3.5 out of 5 Drunken Dogs


Monday, July 30, 2012

Red State (2011)

Renowned director Kevin Smith, the genius behind the Jersey Trilogy and Dogma, throws his hat into the realm of horror with last year's offering Red State. Hyped as being independently funded, Smith's story deals with a renegade religious sect whose sole purpose is to rid the world of sinners not following the ethic codes of their hard-stanced religious beliefs. Following the box office failures of the heavily panned Zack and Miri Make a Porno and Cop Out, did State get Smith's career out of the red?

In Middle America, three horny high school buddies (Michael Angarano, Kyle Gallner and Nicholas Braun) set up a three-way trust with a married older woman (Melissa Leo) via the internet and travel out to meet her for a night of getting down and dirty. Of course, the meeting is a trap that leads to them being kidnapped by controversial Pastor Abin Cooper (Michael Parks), along with his whacky ministry of the Five Points Trinity Church, and taken back to their commune for execution. Apparently, the group are behind a recent string of murders against homosexuals and other "sinners" that do not follow the ways of the Lord. After he hears his deputy murdered through the police's C.B., the area's blackmailed homosexual sheriff contacts the feds to investigate Cooper's property. They have been needing a reason to inspect Cooper's base ever since they received a lead that he was harboring illegal automatic weapons, so now their cause is met. Led by agent Joseph Keenan (John Goodman), the feds accidentally open fire on the Five Points ministry, who are armed to the teeth with enough weapons to supply a small army, and a bloody shootout commences.

For a film that was hailed as a controversial horror film at Sundance, Red State continues Smith's recent run of extremely disappointing projects. It is actually a real shame because the film begins as an unnerving horror film before shifting into an all-out shoot 'em up once the feds get involved and goes down hill very quickly. After so much time is used to build our interest in the three male leads, the focus completely shifts away from them once Goodman gets on screen and the trio become mere afterthoughts.

Maybe Smith's intention was to go unconventional and shock us by doing so, but the shift instead comes off as completely disjointing the film in the process. It is almost like two films in one, with the second film not being a very good one. Smith was trying to mock both over radical religious cults found within the U.S. Bible Belt during the first 30 minutes before then knocking the competency of the federal government for the remainder of the running time. However, the satire is ineffective because of the final product. If his intent was to mock both parties, a better idea would have been to do so in separate pictures instead of doing it all in one. There are lingering stories online about how he made this film on a bet and other weird factors that led up to its creation, but the main goal should have been to just make a good film without having the history be the most interesting thing about it.

The most notable aspect of the overall film is Parks' powerful performance, which he hits out of the park. In all honesty, it should be deemed Oscar worthy. His sermon at the church is so twisted, yet you might think Parks himself really believes the monologue he delivers as Cooper, with the pacing and dramatic vocals of those you'd hear given by a real minister. It is actually rather unsettling dialogue without being over the top. That is why it is tragedy that the movie's nosedive happens with the inclusion of the feds, even though Goodman is great as always in his role. This could have been a very likable film, but Smith's decision to abandon that which he established in the first half does not come across as edgy and breaking the mold of the standard horror flick. It is simply just the wrong move by the usually clever director. And labeling it as a horror film is way off base, even though the situation bizarrely resembles the Koresh-Waco situation in the early 90's.

Smith marks will probably defend this movie to no end, but a majority of horror fans out there are going to hate it...and rightfully so. His older works should always have him held him in the highest regards as a filmmaker, but Red State is honestly a major letdown. Maybe it was the hype and marketing, but this is just not the film everyone was expecting. Add in an anti-climatic ending with an equally ridiculous and awful epilogue explaining what happened instead of showing it. All in all, this film loses focus with the only positives being Parks' performance, sermon and otherwise, plus Goodman's veteran skills on hand. Here's to hoping this talented filmmaker can get back on track and does what he does best real soon. Next time he wants to make a horror film, maybe he should make an actual horror film. Even as much of a longtime fan as The Man-Cave is of Kevin Smith, the recommendation would be to skip this film. There are way better indie flicks out there that deserve your time and support right now.

1.5 out of 5


Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Directed by Christopher Nolan

At long last, the final installment in director Chris Nolan's Dark Knight franchise has hit theaters, rounding out a summer full of superhero blockbuster films. After Universal-Marvel and Joss Whelan's Avengers set new records and defined comic book cinema nirvana, how would DC-Warner Bros. be able to counter?

In the aftermath of the events in The Dark Knight, Batman took the fall for the wrong doings of Harvey Dent in order to protect Dent's vision to clean up Gotham and buried his Two-Face persona in the process. Many years later, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has become a recluse with his crime-fighting duties long gone and Wayne Enterprises nears financial ruin. After he is robbed by super-thief Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Anne Hathaway), Wayne gets back in the saddle in an attempt to thwart a private force threatening to use his abandoned clean energy project as an atomic bomb. The muscle behind this movement is Bane (Tom Hardy), a physical and strong-willed menace who is always two steps ahead of his foes, moreso than the villains of the franchise's past.

Against the wishes of his loving Alfred (Michael Caine), Wayne decides to get back in the saddle, or should we say the costume, to track down Kyle and face his new enemies head on. Alfred has always wanted Bruce to find love, start a family and leave the vigilante business in the dust, so when Bruce re-opens the Batcave, Alfred abandons him fearing that he will fail his promise to Bruce's folks to keep him safe. That loss on top of Wayne Enterprises willingly given over to Miranda Tate (Marion Cottliard), in order to kickstart the energy project for good uses, leaves him destitute and alone. However, he might find an unlikely ally in Selina, who has a lot more in common with him than she realizes, and he will need someone in his corner because Bane is by far his toughest opponent yet.

The strength of this film lies in how Nolan tackles the inner struggle of a comic book superhero coming to terms with the normal everyday life they crave and the insane parallel in which they are forced to exist. Essentially, Bane is not really Wayne's worst enemy, but he himself is his own toughest villain to overcome. This issue is handled in a better fashion here than in Superman II, Spiderman II (sorry Sam) and Batman Forever, with does not come across as corny at all. Years later, Wayne is still not over his choice to sacrifice Rachel Dawes for the good of Gotham's citizens, and thus his heart and intensity are no longer at the same level it was in the two previous films. His spirit is frail and he needs to regain his swagger if he is to be successful this time around. 

Morality plot aside, TDKR is full of the fun you'd expect from a Batman blockbuster. The Bat has some cool new gadgets and there are special effects galore. Not to mention that this one is action-packed and does not rely on having too much Batman to feel confident in being successful. The action scenes are exhilarating and the special effects are mind-blowing. So you are given a deep plot with the comic book fantasy allure you go to see these types of films for in the first place. Getting cake and eating it too, so to speak.

The main cast is back firing on all cylinders. Bale is perfect again as Wayne, this time portraying him as a damaged soul in need of desperate repair, while Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Caine delivering the stellar performances you'd normally expect from these legendary vets. Hathaway and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Blake, the officer who knows Batman's true identity, are also excellent ingredients to Rises' winning recipe.  Be on the lookout for a certain character, whose identity will not be spoiled here, that returns in a somewhat comedic cameo.

As dead on as The Avengers is a true comic book come to life, TDKR is a fantastic cinematic masterpiece that does not need 3-D technology to transcend its magic onto the viewers. Avengers is still top dog, but this Batman is an extremely close second and fitting end to Nolan's Dark Knight universe. This is a must-see peeps.

4.5 out of 5 Bale Yells


Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Man-Cave Hall of Fame: Bill Moseley

For many years, I have spoken about The Man-Cave Hall of Fame and its many inductees. All of the time, people ask me if it is real or something I made up? Oh no my friends, it’s real. It's damn real. It’s just as real as the fact that people are way too obsessed with reality TV shows about singing competitions. Therefore, it is time to list these inductees on my site so that you will know those who proudly carry the honor of being a true “Cave Hall of Famer...and who better to be the first officially inductee placed onto The Man-Cave's hallowed halls than Mr. William Moseley. Ladies and Gentlemen, please allow me to introduce tonight's inductee...


(clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, hoot, hoot, hoot, whistle, whistle, whistle)

It was 1986, when I first saw Bill as the beloved Chop-Top in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 as he lit the end of a metal hanger to sterilize than scrape away at the skin around the exposed metal plate in his head. Lasting longer than the icon Leatherface in that installment, you were the last family member to be taken down by Caroline Williams. But at the end of the day, Chop-Top was a true hero and a new horror icon that should have been the subject of his own franchise.

In 1990, he was cast in the horrible Full Moon Production Crash and Burn and was the only thing besides Megan Ward that made the film watchable. Once again, he played a psychotic killer not to be messed with, only this time as an evil cyborg ala The Terminator without the accent of muscles.

In 2000 (but we had to wait until 2003), you shined once again as a psychotic killer named Otis in Rob Zombie’s classic House of 1,000 Corpses. It was then that his first scene was another prime example of the Mose’s staple: delivering a monologue filled with nonsensical lunacy that we just cannot help to listen to in awe.

The fans asked for it and he delivered when he returned as Otis in the 2005 sequel to 1,000 Corpses entitled The Devil’s Reject. It was then that he finally was under the microscope of mainstream Hollywood in a lead role. Never before has anyone made Lynard Skynard’s sing Freebird, so epic on celluloid, even more so than Robin Wright in Forrest Gump.

In 2006, he had a cameo in Evil Bong… and let’s leave it at that. Thankfully, he had another cameo in the Halloween remake when Mr. Zombie recruited him once again for his extraordinary talents in yet another mainstream picture.

In 2010, I had the pleasure of meeting Bill at the Monster-Mania con in Cherry Hill, NJ. All I said was that I have loved him since TCM 2 and that Chop-Top is a cooler villain than Leatherface. Then without the least bit of solicitation from me, he starting quoting Chop-Top’s greatest lines while I could barely stop laughing long enough to pose for my picture with the great one. And trust me, To Pose With The Mose is next to Godliness.

Ladies and Gentlemen…please rise and show Mr. William Moseley the respect he deserves as he becomes the first official inductee into The Man-Cave Hall of Fame. Thanks for all you do, Mose, and see you back on the big screen soon. Dog will hunt.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hobo with a Shotgun (2011)

Directed by Jason Eisener

2010’s The Taint was probably one of the best Troma-inspired films in the last five years. That film was grotesque and demented, but its sole focus was not trying to make you vomit every 30 seconds and boring you silly like Hanger. It contained a goofy premise with a loose plot and the depravity was done in such a way to be darkly comedic, but it kept you entertained for the mosr part. Originally a short and a faux trailer for 2007’s Grindhouse, Hobo with a Shotgun developed into a full length feature that rides the same train as The Taint and is a better experience than its Grindhouse fake trailer companion, Machete.

Screen veteran Rutger Hauer plays a hobo who hitches a train into a random town overrun with the scum and villainy, just like Mos Eisley but worse. Our Hobo is tired and just wants to raise some money to buy a lawnmower so he can go along his merry little way. That is until he meets The Drake (Brian Downey) and his equally morally corrupt sons, Slick (Gregory Smith) and Ivan (Nick Bateman), who rule the city and its inhabitants with fear and violence. After seeing some of their dastardly work for himself, Hobo decides to take matters into his own hands once the golden son Slick attempts to hurt sweet prostitute Abby (Molly Dunsworth), who is a better human being than her choice of employment implies.

Hobo learns the hard way that Drake is able to have a free reign of crime because he has local law enforcement in his pocket, once Hobo goes to them for help and is beaten to a pulp. Abby takes him in to tend to his wounds, developing an unlikely strong bond between the two in the process. The next morning, Hobo earns his money and heads down to the Pawn ‘Til Dawn (love that name!) to finally purchase his lawnmower when the store is suddenly robbed. Pushed to the edge, Hobo grabs a shotgun, which he pays for instead of the lawnmower, and goes full-on vigilante against the wrongdoers of the town, including The Drake and his boys, with his new trusty boomstick. Wow, a Star Wars and an Army of Darkness reference in one review…word!
Things start off pretty crazy, but become completely insane as soon as Hauer becomes one with the gun. Then there is The Plague…and wait until you see those two characters. One word: Awesome! Saying anymore about this film will ruin it, so here is the cutoff.

Writer/Director Jason Eisener has just become an instant inductee into next year’s The Man-Cave Hall of Fame after watching this one. He pushes the envelope but he knows who he is addressing and mailing that envelope to. The gore is so exaggerated that it is meant to make you howl “WTF?!” and not “Barf!” while you cheer on our lovable Hobo in quest to clean the streets. In fact, Eisener inserts one scene that caused some controversy, involving a flamethrower, but everyone should realize that he shot this scene to rile his audience up and make sure the villains get what is coming to them. In a clever way, he makes you want to see all of the proceeding brutality that unfolds much like the classic Death Wish, but with more blood and guts spilling. If you can separate reality from fantasy, like you should with all of cinema, then you will look past that scene. Not to mention, the first 5-10 minutes will tell you what kind of ride you are about to endure, so pack your strongest stomach. 

Cinemax is currently running it, so those with cable can go check it right now if you don’t have Netflix. Spare some change for the greatest Hobo to grace the silver screen and go watch this one right now!!

Released by Magnet

4 out of 5 Creeper Santas


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Survival of the Dead (2010)

Directed by George Romero

George Romero brings us the fifth installment of his official "Dead" franchise with Survival of the Dead. This follow up marks 41 long years since Romero's zombies first frightened moviegoers in the original Night of the Living Dead. Since then, he released the classic Dawn of the Dead, the unfairly panned Day of the Dead, the laughable Land of the Dead, the boring Diary of the Dead, and now we have a story of "survival". Or so that is what he would like us to believe.

On Plum Island off the coast of Delaware, two feuding Irish families are in a struggle over what to do with the recent living dead plague. You have Patrick O'Flynn (Twin Peaks' Kenneth Welsh), who wants to put the zombies down and rid the locals of their terror, versus Seamus Muldoon (Richard Fitzpatrick), who wants to keep them alive in hopes that they will be saved by the Lord and be tamed for normal living again. With the Muldoons heavily outnumbering O'Flynn, whose own daughter Janet (Kathleen Munroe) is even against his ideologies, he is forced to leave the island and head back to the mainland.

This already sounds like a winner, huh? Yeah.

Back on the mainland, we see the same small military group, who we are reminded as the ones that raped our protagonists of their goods and sent them into ruin back in Diary of the Dead. Led by "Sarge" (Alan Van Sprang), the main army goon who led the pillaging of those poor kids, the militant group includes suave Francisco (Stefano DiMatteo), goofy Kenny (Eric Woolfe) and lesbian Tomboy (Athena Karkanis). As much as we wanted to see them get their comeuppance but didn't in Diary and already hate these guys, even though the latter three were not part of the treachery, they are our heroes. Making matters worse is a cocky and snarky "Boy" they pick up along the way, played by Devon Bostick - who always plays a cocky and snarky guy to the utmost annoyance that he makes you groan whenever you see this actor in any film he appears in.

They find a video on the internet (the 'net still works?) of good old O'Flynn promising a safe haven if you meet him at the port leading to Plum Island. Of course, it is a trap, but our "heroes" are able to use the ferry to escape, even as the cunning O'Flynn is able to sneak aboard. Once O'Flynn tells Sarge and the group about Muldoon's ridiculous beliefs, they all decide to unite in order to take the island back from him and live safely away from the flesh-eaters.

But when they arrive, they learn that Muldoon has completely lost his bonkers by chaining up undead to live uselessly. O'Flynn is also demoralized when he sees that other people he sent to Plum Island were only used as zombie food by Muldoon. Sure, O'Flynn would rob them of all their belongings at the port before sending them to the island, but he did provide them passage to Plum Island where they would be safe under Muldoon's reign. However, he was unaware that he was unknowingly leading them to their slaughter. Once he sees his now-zombified daughter Janet riding around aimlessly on her precious horse, O'Flynn and the group decide to take down Muldoon no matter the cost.

Oh Romero, why has tho' forsaken me?! Some things should remain dead, and that is not meant to be punny. If Land and Diary didn't give enough reasons, Survival proves that Romero has indeed lost his mojo. The once great, untouchable horror master of such works as Martin and Dawn of the Dead has now been reduced to putting out films that are on par with another once great filmmaker fallen from grace, John Carpenter. In fact, this movie feels as far disconnected from his great first three Dead films and feels more like a direct sequel to Diary - and that is not a good thing at all.

Each of the dead films were always made with some powerful social commentary in mind. Survival seems to focus on people not burying their grudges and allowing themselves to coexist with different beliefs even as chaos has come upon the world. And this is a very lame social commentary and an equally lame film that makes you forget you are watching a Romero flick most of the time.

The characters are awful, except O'Flynn as Welsh's portrayal of him is the only highlight and keeps it somewhat watchable. There is too much wannabe comedy to allow even the least bit of tension, making this seem like a horror-comedy not worthy of the Dead franchise tag. Add in the fact that Romero has replaced old school gore and effects with a barrage of CGI and you have yourself a pointless clunker not worth the time.

When something like a cable TV show using your idea (The Walking Dead) is a better product than what you are currently putting out, it is time to hang it up. As a Romero loyalist, that is a tough statement to make and even a tougher pill to swallow. Your time is better spent going back and "surviving" the dead in the original Dead trilogy before the zombies hit "land".

1 out of 5 Sad Creeper Santas



Monday, July 23, 2012

Dr. Pepper Ten's Not as Manly as Advertised

You've probably seen the many commercials with Rambo wannabes cruising around in jungle jeeps telling you that drinking diet soda is effeminate. To be a real man, you need real soda taste, so you should buy Dr. Pepper Ten - a "real" soda with only ten calories. Then you can travel through rugged territories and strike fear in the hearts of your adversaries. Umm, ok.

This is one of the most ridiculous marketing positioning from the minds at Dr. Pepper. First of all, when has anyone segregated another man, as far as calling him "girlie" for drinking diet soda (which is a girlie thing to do in and of itself)? The Gene Simmons KISS ads from last year for Cherry Dr. Pepper were definitely attention grabbers, but this campaign truly feels like it is forcing an angle to lure in the male demographic. The result is lame-o-rama in a can.

So The Man-Cave decided to take the taste challenge. As a longtime lover of Diet Dr. Pepper, and those who truly know me can attest to my addiction, it was time to see what all the hoopla is about.

The result: it tastes EXACTLY the same as Diet Dr. Pepper. In fact, if you would have slipped this Ten formula into a can and sold it as Diet Dr. Pepper, no one would even know the difference. Not even an addict like yours truly.

Here's an idea for Dr. Pepper product managers to lure in the male demographic the right way without all of the make vs. female nonsense that has no place in 2012.

Step One: Abandon this idea that reeks of the same mindset as Crystal Pepsi and Pepsi One miserably tried to generate more revenue with some years back. No one's buying that type of concept any more than they are buying the actual product. Yet, the girlie Diet Dr. Pepper is always sold out, thus why The Man-Cave's storage area is stockpiled with cases of them for when those 4 for $10 sales end. Gotta save up to last through these sellout droughts.

Step Two: Change the branding colors from white to a more neutral color. The only good thing about Dr. Pepper Ten is the dark gray color. That should replace Diet Dr. Pepper's much needed update to the look and feel of the bottles/cans.

Step Three: Hire some X-Games' champ or MMA superstar to endorse it by being the "face" of the brand. Using the "Extreme" angle is the same way Mountain Dew got back in the soda wars. Instead of positioning a new drink with few calories and trying to make it seem "manly" in the same sense as an Old Spice commercial that does NOT star Bruce Campbell (#2007reference), stop calling your current best seller "girlie" so that dudes who drink it don't start getting a complex and switch to another soft drink. But first and foremost, make the drink seem X-treme!

Step Four: Along with Step Three, make sure to mention how much caffeine is in the Dr. Pepper formula, because it's slightly less than Mountain Dew and still packs a huge wallop. This is sure to draw in the same Dew marks who down Monster Energy drinks like water and film themselves doing life-threatening stunts for YouTube and Daniel Tosh to exploit for us all to enjoy.

Rant over. Lesson learned today: Dr. Pepper Ten is Diet Dr. Pepper with gray colored bottles/cans. The Man-Cave has come up with a solution to making Diet Dr. Pepper seem manly (a problem I was never aware existed considering how many dudes I know drink it). Dr. Pepper, give me a call to get on your marketing team pronto and readers, please buy Diet Dr. Pepper instead of Ten. 10-4.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fright Night 3D

Directed by Craig Gillespie

Remakes are still running rampant in Hollywood and do not look to be slowing down anytime soon. There are some that are good and some that are really bad, but they will always spark controversy in fans of the originals the second news of a remake is announced. Today’s focus into the sea of horror remakes is last year’s Fright Night 3D, a remake of the 1986 hit starring Chris Sarandon, Roddy McDowell and William Ragsdale.

Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) is a nerdy kid who made the leap up the social ladder to coolness at his high school, leaving his fellow nerdy best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) in the dust. Living with his single mom (Toni Collette) and dating his hot girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots) in the suburbs of Las Vegas, Charlie’s life takes a turn for the worst when hunky and charming new neighbor Jerry Dandridge (Colin Farrell) moves in next store. Jerry introduces himself as an overnight construction worker, but the audience knows otherwise and that he is indeed a creature of the night.

As Charley’s classmates and friends start disappearing, Jerry sets his sights on him, his mom and Amy for the next Vegas buffet. Once he uncovers Jerry’s little secret, Charley heads to the Strip to seek assistance from the popular and self-proclaimed master of the dark world, stage magician Peter Vincent (David Tennant). Although Vincent’s home is surrounded by evil artifacts spanning the planet, Charley learns that he is a cowardly drunk and a total fraud. With nowhere else to run and no other way to protect him and his loved ones from a powerful 400-year vampire, Charley must face the monster alone.

At first glance, this appeared to be another lame and unneeded Hollywood remake made just to cash in on the original Fright Night’s success. Well, only half of that statement is true. The Hollywood machine absolutely created this movie to generate some bucks, but it is actually not as lame as the trailer made it seem. In fact, it is a funny and exciting take with a thin connection to the 1986 film, which makes it less of a rehash as it is a complete re-imagining.

But there is no middle line on the fence here in terms of how everyone feels about it. Diehard fans will hate it because of the total re-creations of their beloved characters, while others will appreciate it for the silly B-movie camp it actually is. One example is the Peter Vincent character. While holding a candle to the late, great McDowell is totally unattainable, Tennant is actually very likable in his performance of a character built more for the 2000’s rather than the importance of a late night horror host would hold in the 80’s. Another major difference that probably will incite hardcore fans is the treatment and use of the “Evil” Ed character. And this is actually one of the very few flaws in the film. Mintz-Passe was selected for the younger crowd based on his popular McLovin role in Superbad, but he is nowhere near as important or effective of a character as the one Stephen Geoffreys’ played in the original. Ed receives no real screen time for us to believe that a strong inner bond once existed between Charley and him. Meanwhile, Collette’s role as the mom is heightened and has a stronger relevance this time around.

Farrell might have called this film s*** in his highly discussed international TV interview, but he looks like he is having a great time hamming it up as Jerry Dandridge. Look-wise, he fits the bill perfectly as an attractive, seductive vampire whose build is a bit more physically intimidating than that of Chris Sarandon. But no comparison should attempted to be made between the two. Sarandon was more of an eerie, cerebral assassin where Farrell is more of an unstoppable monster who uses his wit and abilities to enforce his character’s level of danger.

There is no way that this remake is better or worse than the original, but if you can look at it as a flick separate from the one in 1986, you will appreciate its humor and action. Even though the film exists in its own universe, director Gillespie still throws some bones to celebrate the original. One example would be a joke that would have been great in 1986 and was a missed opportunity: “Jerry…the vampire?” What a very passive name for a 400-year old powerful killing machine!! Then of course there is Ed’s famous “You’re so cool Brewster” line delivered by Mintz-Passe but nowhere near as effective or memorable as Geoffreys’ delivery. Finally, there is a somewhat funny cameo from original the Jerry Dandridge, Chris Sarandon, who shows up to meet his replacement face-to-face.

One has to wonder why producers put a title on a film that is instantly going to upset fans of the original, when they could simply just give it a different title and character names, especially when their remake is completely estranged from the source material. And doing it to the loyal. Of any type of remake, a horror remake already has two strikes going against it even before it hits theaters, even if it does wind up being good after all.

Fright Night can be enjoyed on its own merit of being a fun, goofy vampire flick. Yelchin has always been a good actor in previous films and does well in the lead role here. Plus, there is plenty of action and excitement to keep you entertained. If you can just keep your love of the original at bay for a little over 90 minutes, you will find that this is one remake that was worth the effort.

3.5 out of 5 Creeper Santas


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Second Best Sports Siblings: Ozzie Canseco

Professional sports are filled with some great sibling athletes who have left a mark on their individual sports. You have Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning, Serena and Venus Williams in tennis, NHL's Henrik and Daniel Sedin plus Eric and Jordan Staal, and MLB's Roberto and Sandy Alomar as well as Moises and Felipe Alou. Their accomplishments and notoriety are well documented with a billion sports stories you can find everywhere on the web.

Then there are those siblings who have black eyes on their sport and are clearly the child who are least talked about at family get togethers around the holidays. Today we explore these little talked about pro sports never-were's and give the poor peeps some shine that I'm sure Dad hasn't given them since they graduated high school.

Today's Induction: Ozzie Canseco

Jose Canseco sure had his share of legal problems, but he will always be remembered as a World Series winning member of the Bash Brothers with Mark McGwire during their days together with the Oakland A's. He had public trysts with (in her prime) Madonna, had good looks that made the chicks melt and most of all, was one of the premier players in the game for many seasons. Of course he was totally (admittedly) on 'roids during his career and is also a main highlight for two huge MLB blunders while has a member of the Texas Rangers. He misplayed a pop up that bounced off his head for a home run and then he blew out his arm pitching in a game when he had no reason to be pitching in the first place. Later in his life, he boxed Danny Bonaduce and ratted out every MLB player who did steroids in his best-selling book, Juiced. But again, during his career, he was a monster power hitter and became a household name, even if his character is in question nowadays.

Then, there is his identical twin brother Ozzie. But looks is where the similarity ends between the two and does not continue into athletic ability. In fact as much as Jeremy Giambi was dogged as a previous Second Best Sports Sibling inductee, he was a superstar talent compared to Ozzie. Ozzie played 24 MLB games for the Oakland A's (more A's nepotism) and the St. Louis Cardinals that spanned from '90-'93.

What was his biggest claim to fame? Doing absolutely nothing in the majors and making Jose's legal troubles seem like jaywalking. Like the "Jeremy Giambi Effect", Oz must have been snorting the placebo while his bro was shooting the oxen strength juice.

Ozzie's most recent claim to fame, outside the legal issues, was his appearance on the reality show The Surreal Life. In a blink or you'll miss him cameo, Ozzie pigeoned off his hermana once again when he appeared as a Jose Canseco impersonator while Jose was in the cast that season.

Like Bill Murray's character in Caddyshack receiving total enlightenment when he dies by the Dali Lama, at least Ozzie has that going for him.

JOSE CANSECO, OF/DH ('85 - '01)

                                 Career Stats:   .266 AVG.  462 HR  1,407 RBI  
                                 Accolades:      Two-time World Series winner, '88 AL MVP
                                                        Six-time All Star, Four-time AL Silver Slugger

 OZZIE CANSECO, OF/DH ('90 - '93)

                                 Career Stats:   .200 AVG.  13 HITS  4 RBI  
                                 Accolades:      Impersonates his brother; Hardened Criminal
                                                        Worse A's sibling than Jeremy Giambi

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Echo’s Revenge (2012)

Written by Hart Getzen

As the massive popularity of online video gaming continues to dominate the free time of both young and old generations, author Hart Getzen attempts to rope in those demographics off online servers and into the literary playground with his new book, Echo’s Revenge. It is his first in a new literary series (ECHO HUNT) dedicated to the massively popular online gamer community that hopes to make them still feel like they are running wild in cyberland, but within the confines of a book. 
Reggie and Jeremy are pre-teen brothers who escape their harsh reality of a neglectful mother and her abusive boyfriend Asa by playing in a hugely popular online gaming series called ECHO by AAARG (AAA Reality Games). The ECHO games’ style is a hybrid of a tactical warfare games such as Call of Duty combined with MMORPGs like World of Warcraft, where users team up to complete the goal of destroying the villainous ECHO - described as a giant demonic cyborg resembling something like a dinosaur. Reggie is the top dog in the latest edition, ECHO-6, and is recruited to attend a focus group to provide some input for the series’ next installment. 

Against the wishes of Asa, Reggie sneaks off to AAARG headquarters for the group session and meets many other famous gamers in person that he only previously knew from playing online. As the AAA focus group leaders listens on, the group of youngsters engage into discussions concerning what they like about the game and what could ultimately make it a more horrifying experience. When Reggie makes it home and thinks his sneak out to AAARG is a success, Asa discovers the souvenirs he brought back from the facility and physically roughs up both of the brothers for Reggie’s deceit.

Tired of the spacy mother and her drunkenly aggressive beau running the show in Washington, the boys pack some supplies and decide to leave home. Their destination is their real father’s house further south in California. Little do they realize that a real ECHO has materialized outside of the AAARG facility and is kidnapping all those who play ECHO-6 online. But is it really a giant yet stealth robotic menace chasing them, is Reggie in some weird mental fantasy or is his online stalker HAKr somehow just messing with him? Learning the who, what, where, how, and why on the brothers’ exciting road trip is part of the fun, so you should read the book and indulge into their high stakes adventures. 

The first couple of pages might lead you to believe that you are reading a book for the under-20 crowd until you start getting a little further into the story and events begin to unfold. The plot is extremely complex and will keep your noggin delightfully reeling the entire time. Sure the under-20 can enjoy it, but so will the over-20 equally as well. Getzen has an engaging writing style, has composed an intelligent plot with a unique story structure, so remove any semi-comparable material such as Lawnmower Man or Virtuosity out of your head. 

Echo’s Revenge is an action-adventure/road trip/horror/sci-fi/drama mash-up that is quite an enticing read and leaves you with a huge cliffhanger for the next book in the series. Something else that gives the book a lot of depth is the established relationship and interactions between Reggie and Jeremy, the Ying to each others’ Yang. Getzen's word crafting with these two characters feels so real, as if he were writing it with himself and his real-life little brother in mind.

In all honesty, a great deal of creativity and thought went into creating the entire experience surrounding the book in order to give it a more realistic vibe. For one thing, Getzen is listed as the author in this review and that is the author's real name, but he writes the book under the persona of Sean Austin, a mysterious video game programmer investigating the virtual shape-shifting terror known as ECHO. He takes it a step further by listing Austin as the author on the book's cover and on the Amazon.com listing as well. As an added bonus, the adventures are not just limited to book's pages as there is also an ECHOHUNT website that escalates the experience tenfold incorporating sleek viral tactics for readers to enjoy, such as testimonials, live journal updates, photo evidence of ECHO's existence, and so forth. The of course, social media is also integrated with a Facebook page for AAA Reality Games and Twitter account for Sean Austin

If you want more information about the book and ECHO HUNT series, make sure to check out the site, get a copy book and get engaged into the ECHO HUNT universe! Live it like our book characters' mantra...HUA!

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man in 3D (2012)

Directed by Marc Webb 
(Webb...Spider-Man...was this a planned joke?)

Hard to believe that Sam Raimi proved to us that a man could freely swing from a web and a comic book franchise could be a Hollywood heavy-hitter just ten years ago. After two sequels in 2004 and 2007, Raimi and Sony decided to go their separate ways in favor of Sony's reboot inspired by the Ultimate Spider-Man comic and television series rather than Raimi's deriving of the original source. That brings us to the new union of director Marc Webb and star Andrew Garfield to take us into the next generation with this summer's The Amazing Spider-Man.

Garfield takes on Peter Parker this time around as a messy-haired shutterbug with an affinity for scientific genius built more for the Hipster phenomenon running wild right now. While he is still a bit of an outcast, he is not as nerdy as the Parker we are used to. He has a bit of a wit and stands up to school athlete/bully Flash (Chris Zylka) to stop a lesser nerd from getting his butt kicked fully knowing that Flash can squash him like a bug. His act of heroics draws interest from resident hottie Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) who works at Oscorp under Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans).

When he was a little boy, Peter was left to the care of his Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) after his mom and dad needed to leave town for some unexpected reason relating to Parker Sr.'s work. They died in a plane crash, so he was treated by his aunt and uncle as their own son, yet he never learned too much about his real parents as he aged into his teens. That is until one day when he finds some of his father's old belongings in Ben's basement. One of the items is an algorithmic formula that his father and Dr. Connors were working on until his untimely death. Apparently, this is the last piece needed to complete a limb regeneration formula that Connors was developing to help amputee victims and those without limbs, like himself, grow them back.

When Peter infiltrates Oscorp to gain an audience with Connors and discuss the algorithm important to Connors' research, Peter is bitten by a genetically mutated spider from his father's previous work, which produces webs of steel-like proportions and are developed by OsCorp. This transforms Peter into Spider-Man, but he has a hard time adjusting to balancing normal responsibilities and helping Connors finish the cure for limb regeneration to complete his and Peter's father's old initiatives. 

What follows is another spin on Ben dying due to Peter's negligence, which sets Peter into a rage to find and kill his Uncle's murderer. His home life with his aunt is at a major low, but his relationship with Gwen strengthens - even though her father (Dennis Leary) is on the force and out to stop the "masked vigilante" known as Spider-Man. Meanwhile, pressures for saving the dying Oscorp founder Norman Osbourne (dun-dun-dun!) cause Connors to move to the human trials of the regeneration serum, starting with himself. Not only does his arm regenerate, but he turns into the aggressive and evil Lizard. Now Peter must save the city against The Lizard's evil agenda, keeping in mind that the well-meaning and caring Dr. Connors is trapped underneath those vicious scales. 

Comparing Raimi and Webb's version is like trying to compare Burton's and Nolan's take on Batman. They are totally different films that use the same main character but different source materials. So which version is better? They are both "better". Raimi's version will always hold more true to the more traditional story of Spider-Man and he had the vision and technology to make Spider-Man swing around the streets of New York. In 2012, Webb pulls from the Ultimate Spider-Man universe with a more modern-day version of Peter Parker and has ten more years of technological advancements to improve on what Raimi had at his disposal in 2002.

Even if you are a hardcore Raimi fan, you have to realize that he made his mark with the franchise and is now finished with it. That stated, you really need to go into this film with an open mind because you will be pleasantly surprised with what Webb has lined up for you in his web shooters. Garfield is a different breed of Parker and actually pulls off the character rather well. Ifans has always served as a better villain than hero in previous films, so it is really good to see him balance a sympathetic villain with well meaning yet disjointed intentions for mankind. Stone looks as beautiful as ever here showing off her natural blonde hair and her acting is definitely a step up from Kirsten Dunst's (aka the Achilles Heel of Raimi's franchise) Mary Jane. It also helps having some proven vets like Field and Sheen around as well.  

The special effects, including the 3D work, is incredible! From Spidey's webs to his wall climbing efforts, it is all top notch. Another positive to Webb's film making is his direction and vision through his use of POV shots when Spider-Man is swinging and bouncing between buildings in NYC. It is close as you will get to feeling like Spider-Man, if only for a few fragmented seconds.

Before judgement can be laid onto The Dark Knight Rises in August, this is second best superhero flick of this summer and one worth seeing in 3D on the big screen. Go in with an open mind and a willing heart and get ready to be amazed by this new version of our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man!

4 out of 5 Spidey Santas




Sunday, July 15, 2012

WWE Money in the Bank 2012 PPV Recap & Results

Here's comes the money...money...money!! Live from the US Airways Center in Phoenix, AZ, it's time for WWE's coolest gimmick PPV in the middle of a hot summer and right before Summerslam next month! Two world championship matches and a potential Brock Lesnar appearance aside, the real gems of this card are the matches for which the PPV is named, the Money in the Bank ladder matches. The drama surrounding this event is nowhere near the one from last year, with the Summer of Punk angle overshadowing the two gimmick matches, but we are all here reading about it because we are still interested in the product, right? So maybe Vince and company have a surprise for us...and maybe I'm a Chinese jet pilot (#armyofdarknessreference). Now, let's head down to ringside...

YouTube Pre-Show Match:  
R-Truth & Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Hunico & Camacho

R-Truth should get an award for fastest athlete back from a broken leg! It was broken, right? They could have put the titles up for grabs just to give this one a little more intrigue, but this should be a decent free match to get ready for the show.

Truth/Kingston win after Truth nailed Camacho with the What's Up!

Decent match on the level of a RAW or Smackdown tag match. Nothing much more to add here except it was funny when Hunico was beating up the invisible Little Jimmy.

Now on to the matches you needed to pay for...

World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank Ladder Match:
Santino Marella vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Christian vs. Tensai vs. Damien Sandow vs. Tyson Kidd vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Sin Cara

Not really sure the logic of having two midcard champs in the MITB match when their talents would be better spent defending their titles in separate matches, but this one has to go to Rhodes or Ziggler. (Speaking of which, Santino is great but please get the U.S. Title far from him and make that title mean something again) Both have done more than just deserve it. Rhodes dropping the IC belt was supposed to equal a push into the world title scene and ignoring a push for Ziggler is just turning a deaf ear to the WWE audience's chants (cough-cough Zack Ryder and Daniel Bryan until Wrestlemania). No one else makes sense. Lastly, here is hoping that Tyson Kidd receives a legitimate push shortly after MITB and is not only in this match to play the "Shelton Benjamin" role. Finally, let's hope Sin Cara doesn't fail another drug test before this year's show.

Dolph Ziggler pulled down the briefcase to win the MITB contract

What a way to start of MITB! Kidd really showed off a lot great spots, had the crowd popping and was definitely the workhorse of the match. Sin Cara took the same powerbomb on the ladder as last year, but this time it was from Tensai and it didn't bend in half. Ouch! Christian and Ziggler also took some huge bumps off the ladder. Exciting match through and through that surpassed last year's WHC MITB ladder match. Lots of "Dolph" chants the entire time and the crowd erupted when he was snatched the case!

BACKSTAGE SEGMENT: Sheamus talks up his match against Del Rio later and Ziggler winning the briefcase.

IN-RING SEGMENT: The Miz has a new, non-fauxhawk haircut and states that he has been gone for two months because he was filming a movie and is now a bonafide movie star. He also states that he had success in cashing in the MITB briefcase for the championship. And that is why he is here, to enter that match. So tonight the 4-way MITB WWE Title contract match becomes a 5-Way...because he is The Miz...he is a movie star...and because he is AWESOME!!!! 

1,000 RAW Special Moment Video: Mick Foley beats The Rock and wins the title. WCW giving away the results made millions click over to watch him win. Same video they showed on RAW this past week.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match   
Sheamus (c) vs. Alberto Del Rio

This is the match we were supposed to see at last month's Over the Limit, but did not due to Del Rio's real life concussion injury. Del Rio...never has a star fizzled so quickly. After two failed runs as champ, his personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriquez is now more popular than he is. After recent backstage buzzing that he threatened to quit WWE due to his current status, ADR might be thrown a bone for another run, only to have babyface Sheamus win it back at Summerslam. More likely, Del Rio is fodder for Sheamus before moving into another program with someone else for August.

Sheamus pinned Del Rio after the Brogue Kick. Afterward, Del Rio and Rodriquez attacked Sheamus, leading to Ziggler come down to "cash in" but their interference allowed time for Sheamus to recover Brogue Kick Ziggler thwarting the opportunity.

About as good as can be expected between these two. Lots of early stalling really messed with the match's pacing and the crowd was never really into it until the end because it was slow, plodding and boring. Luckily, Ricard Rodriquez's reactions outside the ring and the attempted "cash in" made it somewhat watchable, but it was still bad. The WHC scene truly needs a shakeup, so hopefully Ziggler-Sheamus can do that.

Commercial: Shameless plug for 1,000th Raw. Then, they replay Daniel Bryan's interview from the Pre-Show where he called AJ her soul mate and said she will help him walk away with the title and AJ's heart. YES-YES-YES!!!

The tag champs, Truth and Kingston, head to the announcer's booth with their titles and dressed in suits. AW announces his Prime Time Players of Darren Young and Titus O'Neill as the next tag champs of the world. Looks like it is time for a surprise match...

 Tag Team Match:
Prime Time Players vs. Epico and Primo

Can it be...a legitimate tag team angle continues? Unbelievable! Epico and Primo and the Players make their consecutive PPV match against each other as Epico and Primo look to continue their revenge tour against All World Promotions and the Prime Time Players. Listening to a mic'ed AW makes one fondly relive the memories of the AW Show from a couple years back.

Primo pinned Young with a victory roll.

Both of these teams have talent and continue to put on entertaining matches, but it looks like it is time for the heels to battle for the belts. Hopefully this leads to more prominent tag team angles in the future after Truth threw his water bottle in AW's face during some post-match jawing.

BACKSTAGE SEGMENT: In ref gear, AJ states that she is in total control of her facilities and that CM Punk broke her heart while Daniel Bryan is her first love and is trying to use her to advance his career. She goes back and forth between happy and sad like a true person with Bi-Polar disorder.

  WWE Title NO DQ Match (w/ AJ Special Guest Referee)
CM Punk (c) vs. Daniel Bryan

It's hard to imagine that this time last year, Punk was white-hot after cutting his "promo" and legitimately was ready to leave the WWE and that the product was going to change. Twelve months later, Punk is on top with a huge Cena-esque title run and in a love triangle feud with Daniel Bryan and AJ. The Summer of Punk this is not as his WWE Title match is once again not the main event. Even though a true fan cannot get enough of these Punk-Bryan classics and cute-sexy AJ should receive an Emmy for her portrayal as a crazy obsessive chick, this has to be the end of the feud. No matter what, news leaked that Cena is getting the belt at Summerslam, so whoever wins this one will have to lay down for Super Cena in a few weeks anyway.

Punk retains title after back body dropping Bryan through a table from the top rope.

What a match!! Guess this had a No Countout stipulation as well since they spent a majority of the time wrestling outside. Is Daniel Bryan the most over heel in the WWE in recent memory or what? The AZ crowd exploded when he was introduced. A few minutes in, AJ was accidentally hit and knocked to the outside and was taken to the back (mind you it was a "story line accidental hit"). A new ref was inserted, until AJ came back out during the end, in which it became an Extreme Rules match with kendo sticks, chairs and tables! AJ didn't favor either side, so maybe this is not the end of this story as there was no definitive payoff. How is this going to play into Summerslam?

PSA: Don't re-enact WWE wrestling moves at home, jabronis! Find a better and more stable form of income. 

Commercial: Shameless plug for Tout. WWE wrestlers are going to be putting videos on there. #wwewhoringthemselvesoutagain

 Handicap Match
Ryback vs. Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks

I hope Hawkins and Reks learned their lesson from the Midcard Mafia animated video debacle because they are the latest fodder for Ryback in yet ANOTHER squash match following the WWE title match!!! McMahon, please remove head from your anus! Once again, Ryback received a mocking "Goldberg" chant, followed by (non-heat) boos! People hate him Vince so stop stuffing him down everyone's throats especially when they are dropping $50+ This is the kind of stuff that makes you want to watch TNA instead.

Ryback yet again in boring fashion with Shell Shocked, of course.

No comment. He is a waste of air time and his character is straight out of 1985 AWA. Thus Vince is sure to give him the world title in a couple months. Can't wait to hear him cut a promo in his best "Feed Me More" Captain Caveman voice.

1,000 RAW Special Moment Video: Y2J debuts on RAW and confronts The Rock!

Divas Tag Team Match
Layla/Kaitlyn/Tamina vs. Beth Phoenix/Natalya/Eve

Divas tag match to fill time. Enough said. At least Beth's back.

Layla wins by pinning Phoenix after her Neckbreaker finisher.

Yawn. Kharma of GTFO! Good to see Kaitlyn on TV, let alone a PPV. Wait, Tamina is still on the roster? Can't wait for the pointless Layla era to end. 


WWE World Championship Money in the Bank Ladder Match:
John Cena vs. Big Show vs. Kane vs. Chris Jericho vs. The Miz vs.  vs.

Only former WWE champs are allowed in this contest. And as of this writing, there have only been four contestants named in this MITB match? Four??!! Doesn't matter. WWE let the cat out of the bag that Cena was going to win MITB and then challenge defeat CM Punk at Summerslam...so is there any point to writing an intro to this one? Over the past few weeks, Jericho and WWE commentators have been hammering down the point that Cena has never won a MITB match and he does not know what it takes it accomplish that feat. Wow...major foreshadowing. Although this is one of those times, people should hope that the WWE is using social media to swerve the viewers and unveil a surprise. Earlier in the might, The Miz stated that he would add to the match's body count but are there more contestants to come? 

Cena grabbed the briefcase to win the MITB contract.

As advertised, Cena prevailed and the WWE Champ's days are numbered. Not sure why they need to put the belt back on Cena since he has been main eventing the last several PPV's and killing any title's credibility in the process. That's right - Vince knows best! The best part of this match was the giant ladder Big Show. Like Michael Cole said, it did look like railroad tracks.


Average. Very, very average with only two matches worth a damn. It would have been nearly impossible for this year's MITB to be better than 2011's edition. It had one of the hottest angles in the last decade and felt about as "real" as pro wrestling could ever get. This year, MITB is just another PPV on the way to Summerslam with more excitement going to the ladder matches this time around. A great move was having Ziggler win the briefcase and hopefully it leads to a much deserved world title run for Dolph. The boring WHC match was made up for by the exciting WHC MITB match, especially Kidd, Christian and Ziggler.  Meanwhile, the WWE Title MITB ladder was totally upstaged by the WHC due to lesser talent, lesser spots and a predictable outcome. Just a typical tune-up for Summerslam, so this one was skipable minus the opening match and the WWE Title match. We will see you next month in Sunny California for Summerslam!