Pro Wrestling Gets New Respect Thanks To The Booker

Courtesy:  Indiepix Films

Courtesy: Indiepix Films

Professional wrestling is one of the biggest businesses in the world today. From America to Mexico and all the way to Japan, professional wrestling brings in millions of fans and dollars every year. This is despite the reputation that it still bears even now in the twenty-first century. Most of that business is brought in by the powerhouse that is World Wrestling Entertainment. However, WWE is not the only wrestling brand out there. Any number of tiny indie brands exists throughout the world. In the brand new documentary The Booker: Saving The Art of Pro Wrestling One Match at a Time, audiences will see the fight of just one brand to try and make a name for itself in the huge market that is pro wrestling. It has already been noted that there is still a stigma attached to pro wrestling and its legions of fans. So why watch this documentary? The first reason that anyone should take the time to watch this documentary is that in watching it, they will see that it isn’t just a documentary about wrestling. It’s a documentary about a business. Secondly, audiences will see just how hard hopeful wrestlers work especially at the indie ranks. Lastly, audiences will see just how hard hopeful promoters (one in particular in this case) work to get their brands off the ground. All of this taken into consideration, audiences that give The Booker a chance will see what makes both this documentary and pro wrestling as an art so important.

The Booker: Saving The Art of Pro Wrestling One Match at a Time is a surprisingly interesting documentary for what it is. On the surface, it’s a documentary about an indie wrestling brand trying to make a name for itself in the multi-million dollar world of pro-wrestling.  On a much deeper level though, audiences get a much more in-depth story in the course of the documentary’s run time.  It clocks in at just above the ninety-minute mark.  That in itself is another positive to the overall presentation on a side note.   Getting back on topic, audiences get a story here about a business trying to get off the ground; a traveling theater group even as one interviewee reveals he has come to learn. It could be argued that it is just one of so many models of a small business just trying to get its foot in the door. Viewers see the struggles and hurdles that have to be overcome by the business’s head in order to try and get the business above water. If audiences can take in the documentary from this angle, they will see that pro-wrestling is more than just pro-wrestling.  It is a business and a way of life for so many.  Speaking of a way of life, audiences will take away a new appreciation not just for pro wrestling in watching this documentary, but also for those that make it their life.

Audiences will have a new appreciation not just for pro wrestling in watching The Booker.  They will also gain a new respect for those that make pro wrestling their life.  Audiences will see that for those trying to make a name for themselves in the business, life isn’t easy.  Many, if not all, upstart wrestling hopefuls have to balance being on the road doing shows with their regular workaday lives.  And many of those workaday lives are quite mundane to say the least.  The juxtaposition of the two lives is itself intriguing.  To top it off, many of these people also have families.  That’s one more factor that many hopefuls have to consider.  As is shown here, all of these considerations have led to some casualties.  Some of those hopefuls admit in interviews that they simply couldn’t try to balance it all and chose a normal life.  In an odd way, it’s heartbreaking to see those struggles and casualties.  It makes the entire feature all the more worth the watch.

The struggles of those trying to balance their everyday lives with their in-ring lives is just one part of the human drama that makes The Booker such a surprisingly interesting story.  Just as interesting to behold are the emotional struggles of PCW’s head Paul Scarborough/Paul Platinum.  Scarborough is so dedicated to getting his brand off the ground.  And it shows both when he is working with his wrestling hopefuls and when he is by himself.  It presents a man who is not just a wrestling head or promoter but a struggling businessman trying to make his business work.  At times, viewers will feel for Scarborough.  At others, they might yell at him.  One of those points comes when Scarborough tells his wrestlers that their success or failure at a particular show means whether or not he and his wife would have to take out a second mortgage on their home.  That was rather harsh.  And he could have taken another route to motivate them.  But one can really see his desperation to get the best out of his team.  Taking that into consideration, it will have viewers feeling for Scarborough even more.  It shows again how dedicated he is to what he’s doing.  That dedication ties in with the dedication of PCW’s wrestlers and the very premise of this documentary to make The Booker a piece that both those inside and outside the world of pro wrestling will appreciate after having watched it.  Outsiders will hopefully gain a new respect for the business and those trying to make it in the business, too. Insiders will hopefully smile at the very real portrayal of the lives of those in the business.  It shows in the long run that pro wrestling isn’t just a hobby.  And it deserves far more respect than it gets today from outsiders.  The documentary is available now on DVD.  More information on The Booker is available online at http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Booker/301962783176574.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Fozzy, Saxon Announce Fall Tour

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Saxon Fozzy Tour PosterFozzy and Saxon are set to hit the road this Fall.  The bands will hit the road beginning Thursday, September 12th on the “Sacrifice and Sin Tour.”  The first performance of the tour will be at The Emporium in Patchogue, New York.  The twenty-one date tour will take the bands almost into mid-October and will wind down in Vancouver, Canada.  VIP Meet & Greet packages are available online at http://www.fozzyrock.com

Fozzy front man and WWE Superstar Chris Jericho noted in a recent interview, his excitement of not only touring again, but also of touring with the legendary British metal outfit.  “After our highly successful US tour last summer on UPROAR, we’ve been chomping at the bit for the right opportunity to return to North America…and now it has arrived!” he said.  “To tour with the legendary Saxon is a metal dream come true and the perfect way to satisfy all of our amazing fans in the US and Canada and to make tons of new ones in the process. Get ready for Sacrifice and Sin…we’re gonna tear your heads off and leave u screaming FOZZY, FOZZY, FOZZY!!”

Both bands will be touring in support of new releases.  Fozzy will be touring in support of its most recent release, 2012’s Sin and Bones.  Saxon will be touring in support of its latest release, Sacrifice, which was released March 26th of this year.  Saxon’s Biff Byford shared Jericho’s sentiments of the bands touring together this Fall in a recent interview.  “So far, the Sacrifice World Tour has taken us from the Bahamas to South America and back to Europe for the festival season,” Byford said.  “Now it is time for us to return to North America for a series of dates with the one and only FOZZY. We have been friends with Chris Jericho for years so there has never been a better time to hook up with FOZZY for a tour that will take us from the east coast to the west coast and finally winding up in the Great White North.” 

A full listing of the bands’ tour dates is available below.

SAXON / FOZZY tour dates

Sept 12- Patchogue, NY @ The Emporium

Sept 13- New York, NY @ BB King

Sept 14- Montreal, QUE @ Corona Theater

Sept 15- Toronto, ONT @ The Phoenix

Sept 17- Reading, PA @ Reverb

Sept 18- Cleveland, OH @ Peabody’s

Sept 19- Dayton, OH @ McGuffy’s

Sept 20- Flint, MI @ Machine Shop

Sept 21- Joliet, IL @ Mojoes

Sept 22- Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave

Sept 26- Dallas, TX @ House Of Blues

Sept 27- San Antonio, TX @ Backstage Live

Sept 28- Houston, TX @ House Of Blues

Oct 01- Tempe, AZ @ Club Red

Oct 02- Long Beach, CA @ Gaslamp

Oct 03- Ramona, CA @ Ramona Mainstage

Oct 04- Los Angeles, CA @ House Of Blues

Oct 05- Corona, CA @ M15

Oct 06- San Francisco, CA @ DNA Lounge

Oct 08- Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven

Oct 09- Portland, OR @ Mt Tabor

Oct 10- Vancouver, BC @ The Venue

More information on Fozzy, its tour schedule and more is available online at http://www.facebook.com/FozzyRock and http://www.fozzyrock.com.  Fans of Saxon can follow the band online at http://www.facebook.com/saxon and http://www.saxon747.com

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

3rd Rock At Its Best In Its Fifth Season

Courtesy:  Mill Creek Entertainment/NBCUniversal

Courtesy: Mill Creek Entertainment/NBCUniversal

NBC’s hit sitcom 3rd Rock From The Sun was one of the greatest sitcoms of the 90s.  Now nearly twenty years after it first debuted, it still stands as one of the funniest sitcoms to have ever been created, despite what some critics might want audiences to believe.  And thanks to Mill Creek Entertainment, fans can now own all six seasons of this laugh riot comedy.  Audiences who remember the series in its original airings will each have their own favorite season(s) and episode(s).  But there’s no denying that of the series’ six seasons, its fifth season marks one of the series major high points.  From the general writing to the guest spots, 3rd Rock From The Sun Season Five is an example of everything that used to make sitcoms great in television’s modern era.

3rd Rock’s fifth season is an exemplar of great comedic writing and timing right from the get-go.  The triple-disc set’s first disc offers what are two of the series’ best episodes in “Dial M For Dick” and “Sex and the Sally.”  In the first of the pair of episodes Dick and the others attend a mystery dinner theater.  Obviously being aliens from another world, they have no idea that the murders in question are just an act.  That is, they don’t know until something quite unexpected happens.  Audiences will have to find out what exactly that is for themselves.  Along the way, Dick thinks himself a sleuth and tries to pin the blame for the murders on one of his own group.  This alone will leave audiences laughing no less with each watch.  Speaking of laughing, audiences might find themselves laughing so hard that they’re crying in “Sex and the Sally.”  Sally discovers the dangers of sex and ways to keep from getting pregnant.  Along the way, the side effects of her using birth control will undoubtedly leave audiences laughing uncontrollably.

The set’s first disc offers more than its share of laughs, as is already noted.  But the laughs don’t end there.  The second and third discs are also front-loaded with more than enough comedy for audiences to enjoy over and over.  The return of guest star William Shatner as The Big Giant Head in “The Big Giant Head Returns” leads to a love triangle as Harry admits to Mamie that he loves her.  At the same time, Tommy tries to hypnotize Sally in order to get her to stop buying shoes.  It doesn’t work.  But it does work on Harry, resulting in some hilarious physical comedy on his part. 

If the solid writing and the physical comedy aren’t enough to keep audiences engaged, then maybe the bevy of guest stars will.  William Shatner returns not once, but twice this season.  Also Star Trek TNG star Jonathan Frakes makes an appearance along with then WWF/WWE wrestler Chyna, Larisa Oleynick (The Secret World of Alex Mack), “The Hoff” himself, David Hasselhoff (Baywatch, America’s Got Talent, The Spongebob Squarepants Movie, Pirana 3DD), and many others.  The continued revolving door of guest stars proves just how popular the show was.  Though, Shatner shined brighter than any others with both appearances this season.  Audiences will love seeing Shatner poke fun at himself when he brings Dick (John Lithgow) to a club and The Big Giant Head decides to do some “singing.”  This is just one of so many moments that will stick with both long-time audiences and newer audiences.

Whether for this moment or the loads of others peppered throughout all three discs of Season Five, 3rd Rock From The Sun has proven once more that it is still one of the greatest sitcoms in modern television history.  It’s available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online via Mill Creek Entertainment’s online store at https://www.millcreekdirect.com/3rd-rock-from-the-sun-season-5.html

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Action Flick Fans Will Enjoy Anchor Bay’s Newest Home Release

Courtesy: Anchor Bay

Anchor Bay’s newest straight to DVD and Blu-ray flick, Maximum Conviction is a good turn off your brain action flick.  It’s very much in the same vein as most of Steven Seagal’s other movies.  Add in retired WWF/WWE Superstar-turned-actor Steve Austin and the movie’s target audiences get more than their share of butt kicking, bullets flying, bloodshed, F-bombs and every other mandatory action movie standard ever crafted.The story behind Maximum Conviction is pretty simple.  Steele (yes that’s really his character’s name) and Manning (played respectively by Seagal and Austin) are a pair of former Special Forces soldiers turned private security contractors.  Because of their experience and expertise, they’ve been enrolled to help decommission a “top secret” military prison in Oregon.  There’s just one problem.  It’s revealed early on that Steele has shut down vital portions of the prison’s security before the prisoners have been removed.  It’s not quite explained why Steele has done this.  But thanks to this move, this is where the action starts.  A pair of high priority female inmates are being kept in the prison.  Being that much of the prison’s security has already been taken down, a group of mercenaries has gotten into the prison and intends to get the inmates.  When one of the prison’s guards goes on break and leaves his station empty and password access field open, it allows the action to really start.

Courtesy: Anchor Bay

The mercenaries do have a motivation toward getting at least one of the women.  But audiences have to sit through well over half of the story to finally find out exactly why.  By the time audiences find out why, the story has a little over half an hour left.  That last half hour is spent primarily with Austin and Seagal trying to rescue the young woman from someone who turns out to be working with the mercenaries.  What’s more, audiences have to wait until the movie’s final minutes to actually find out who is really behind everything.  The problem is that this should have been revealed far earlier in the story.  To the story’s defense though, at least it does keep the action moving.  There’s no lag at any point throughout the movie.  For those audiences at whom this movie is targeted, that’s a good thing.  In general it makes the movie worth at least one watch for any action movie fan.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.