‘Fighting With My Family’ Deserves At Least A Fighting Chance

Courtesy: WWE Studios/Universal Pictures

Underdog stories and movies based on actual events are among the most commonplace staples in the movie industry today.  The genres reach all the way back to Hollywood’s golden age.  Back in February, World Wrestling Entertainment and its movie division WWE Studios joined the ranks of studios that have churned out movies under one banner, the other, or both when it debuted its new movie about WWE Divas Champion Paige, Fighting With My Family. The movie made its way to home release only months later in May complete with bonus content and extended director’s cut.  The bonus content featured in the movie’s home release plays its own important part to the whole of Fighting With My Family and will be addressed a little later.  The movie’s central story is its most important element and will be addressed shortly.  The work of the movie’s cast on screen also plays into its presentation and will also be addressed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way.  All things considered, Fighting With My Family proves to be a movie that has at least a fighting chance with WWE fans and wrestling fans in general.

WWE Studios/Universal Pictures’ recently released dramedy Fighting With My Family is a work that will appeal to a very targeted audience.  Keeping that in mind, it is a movie that has at least a fighting chance (yes, that pun was intended) with those viewers.  That is due in part to the story at the center of the movie.  The story is a work with an all too familiar underdog/coming-of-age base that is itself based on actual events.  It is nothing that audiences have never seen before, even within the sports realm, too.  It follows the story of WWE Divas Champion Paige as she rises through the ranks of the WWE from her humble beginnings in England.  Keeping that in mind, one could even call it another rags-to-riches piece.  Simply put, the story is nothing new in the bigger picture of the movie industry, and not overly memorable.  However, it is still an interesting piece worth at least an occasional watch both among wrestling/WWE fans and audiences in general.  Director Steven Merchant notes in his feature-length commentary that the Knight family was closely consulted for the movie, since it is based on a documentary about the family and real events.  He reveals the movie stays close to Paige’s real story, despite a few liberties being taken.  To that end, it will make the story that much more appealing for viewers.  It is just one of the aspects that makes the movie appealing to the noted viewers.  The work of the movie’s cast adds its own share of interest to the movie’s presentation.

While Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson does appear in the movie – and produced it – he is not the main star in the movie.  The cast that portrays Paige and her family are the main stars.  Nick Frost plays Paige’s dad Ricky, and is so entertaining in the role. Between his comedic moments and his more emotional moment (at the story’s finale) and even his more tough guy moments, Frost manages to keep viewers entertained with ease.  Frost’s co-star Lena Heady, who plays Paige’s mom Julia, plays so well against Frost as a foil.  The chemistry between the pair is obvious in their interactions.  It makes those interactions that much more enjoyable.  Lead star Florence Pugh is just as entertaining as her cast mates as she grows and develops as a character.  Her portrayal of Paige will keep viewers fully engaged as she goes from being that outside underdog figure at the story’s beginning to the confident, proud Divas Champion by the story’s end.  There’s no reason to hide that aspect of the story.  A story of this nature obviously ends with the underdog rising above all obstacles to win the biggest prize.  Between her acting, that of her main cast mates and even the supporting cast, the work on camera by the movie’s cast does just as much as the story itself to make the movie appealing for its key viewer base.  When the two elements are joined, they show even more why this movie doesn’t go down without a fight.  Yes, that awful pun was intended, too.  They are not the movie’s only key elements.  The bonus content that is featured with its home release is just as worth noting.

The bonus content featured with Fighting With My Family includes a feature-length audio commentary with Merchant, a “making of” featurette that features interviews with the cast, deleted scenes and a featurette on how Pugh learned the wrestling moves needed to take on the role of Paige.  The feature-length commentary is the anchor for the bonus content.  Merchant reveals through his commentary, a lot of information.  He points out that Paige’s first NXT match was actually inspired by Eminem’s movie 8 Mile, and adds later, Clint Eastwood’s 1979 movie Escape From Alcatraz played into another scene later in the movie.  That is just the tip of the iceberg.  He also reveals that Pugh’s co-star Vince Vaughan did quite a bit of improving throughout the movie in terms of lines.  The discussions on his improving will be saved for audiences to discover for themselves. Merchant also reveals through his discussions, that parts of Paige’s story were left out for the sake of time, such as the fact that Paige was accepted into WWE on her second try, not her first, and her road to the Divas Championship was far longer than time allowed, even in two-and-a-half hours (the run time of the movie’s director’s cut).  The NXT facility shown in the movie was not WWE’s real NXT facility, either, according to Merchant.  He reveals the facility was a set created in England, though many of the wrestling matches and WWE scenes were shot on set at WWE tapings.  This is just some of the information that is revealed through Merchant’s commentary.  There is far more for audiences to take in for themselves.  Between everything listed here and everything else, Merchant’s commentary proves it is the most important of this movie’s bonus features.

The cast discussions on their interactions with the real life Knight family and the focus on Pugh’s wrestling lessons are enlightening and entertaining in their own right.  They add a little bit more to Merchant’s discussions, but are overshadowed by the noted commentary.  That is not to say that they lack value, but that the commentary holds the most power in this movie’s presentation.

The deleted scenes are interesting in that it is clear why certain scenes were cut.  For instance, the extended cut of the chase between Zak and Ez definitely did not need to be in the movie for any impact.  To that end, the chase scene that is featured works well in itself.  The additional scene in which Paige’s friends confront her for changing when she comes home for the holidays is another scene that was cut.  It definitely was not needed either.  Paige’s weightlifting scene at the NXT facility did not add much to the movie, either, so it is understandable in watching that scene why it was cut, too.  These are just a few of the scenes that were cut from the final product.  When they are considered alongside the rest of the featured deleted scenes, the effect of having cut them makes for more appreciation for what is in the final product – even in the director’s cut.   Keeping all of this in mind along with the notes of the director’s commentary and the other featurettes, the bonus material featured with the home release of Fighting With My Family proves to be, in fact, important in its own right to the whole of the movie.  When it is considered along with the work of the cast on camera and the work of Merchant in fashioning the script, all three elements make the movie a piece that while it may not get its own title belt, at least doesn’t get pinned.  It is a movie that is worth at least an occasional watch that deserves a fighting chance.

WWE Studios/Universal Pictures’ recently released movie Fighting With My Family is an interesting presentation that will definitely appeal to wrestling fans in general and WWE fans alike.  It doesn’t take the championship in the already vast sea of movies from WWE Films, but it does at least deserve a fighting chance.  That is due in part to its multi-tiered story that is easily accessible due to its many all-too-familiar plot elements.  The work of the movie’s cast in front of the lens adds to its appeal, as noted already here.  The bonus content that is featured with the movie’s home release puts the finishing touch to its presentation.  Each item is important in its own right to the whole of Fighting With My Family.  All things considered, the movie doesn’t put the Smackdown on its counterparts in this year’s field of new movies, but at least never gets the three count.  More information on this and other titles from WWE Studios is available online at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.wwe.com/inside/overtheropes/wwestudios

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OfficialWWEStudios

Twitter: http://twitter.comwweuniverse

 

 

 

More information on this and other titles from Universal Pictures is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.universalpictures.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/universalstudiosentertainment

Twitter: http://twitter.com/universalpics

 

 

 

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Adelitas Way Signs New Management Deal With FM Music Management

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Veteran rock band Adelitas Way has signed a new management deal.

The band signed a new deal this week with FM Music Management.  The artist management company’s roster includes other big names such as Nonpoint (whose new album X is scheduled to be released this Friday, August 24 via Spinefarm Records), Kataklysm, Through Fire, Royal Bliss, Deadset Society, Keith Wallen, Spoken and others.

FMM Partner/Manager Dino Kourelis talked about the band’s addition to the agency’s roster in a recent interview.  He said he was glad to have the band as part of the agency’s roster.

“We are excited to bring Adelitas Way in to the FM Management family,” Kourelis said.  “Adelitas Way continues to evolve and push the envelope in rock, and and Rick’s [DeJesus — Adelitas Way front man] passion and work ethic is unrivaled.  We look forward to helping them continue to climb.”

DeJesus shared Kourelis’ thoughts.

“My vision for Adelitas Way is clear and the mission is clear,” DeJesus said.  “We are going to continue to master our craft and grow to a point that is part of setting an example for all artists who see our story!  That takes a great team.  I’m excited for Fuel Music/the Vegas Syn to combine powers with an innovative, forward thinking company with my friend Frank Mastalerz leading the way with FM Music Management.  He has built an amazing team of music peers I’ve been working with for many years, and I’m looking forward to more exciting opportunities to grow.  Let’s do what we do best.”

Adelitas Way originally formed in 2006 and released its debut self-titled album in 2009 via Virgin Records.  That record was followed up in 2011 with its sophomore album Home School Valedictorian, which was released, also via Virgin Records.  Stuck, the band’s third album, was released in 2014, and would be its last for Virgin Records.

Its fourth album, 2016’s Getaway, was its first for The Vegas Syn/Fuel Music.  Notorious followed more than a year later in October 2017.  It was also released via the Vegas Syn/Fuel Music.

Adelitas Way’s music has been featured on television in various ways throughout its career.  That includes being featured in various WWE programs (and even in at least one WWE video game) and NFL programs on ESPN and FOX.  It has even been featured in an episode of CBS’ CSIMiami.

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group/Seek&Strike/Spinefarm Records

Adelitas Way will join Fozzy on the road starting this Saturday, August 25 in Birmingham, Alabama for the latest leg of Fozzy’s tour in support of its most recent album Judas (2017).  Also joining the band as suppor for Fozzy are The Stir and Stone Broken, which will be touring in support of its latest album Ain’t Always Easy (released April 13 via Spinefarm Records).

More information on Adelitas Way is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.adelitaswaymusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/adelitasway

Twitter: http://twitter.com/adelitasway

 

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Fozzy Debuts New Video Ahead Of Tour’s Launch

Fozzy is giving audiences their first taste of its next album.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Judas’ today, which is taken from its next album, whose release date has not yet been announced.  The video features the band performing its new single as it stands surrounded by stacks of amplifiers.  It also boasts a certain element of humor with “stage hands” blatantly holding fans in front of the band to mimic wind while a pair of women stand in the background swinging lights around who eventually move to the fore to dance to the song.

The song itself is a heavy, guitar-driven work that is certain to impress any longtime Fozzy fan.  The lead single and title track from the band’s upcoming seventh full-length studio recording, it will also serve as the theme song for World Wrestling Entertainment’s upcoming NXTTakeover: Chicago pay-per-view on May 20th.  Audiences can experience the song and video online now here.

Courtesy: Century MEdia Records/Loudwire

Fozzy front man and WWE superstar Chris Jericho discussed the video in a recent interview, explaining how the video came to be.

“For such a dark and sexy song like ‘Judas’ we wanted a dark and sexy video to match..and and we got that and more,” Jericho said.  “In one take we filmed a unique, visually stunning masterpiece that combines an incredible song, psycho clowns, how chicks, a man on fire and a great rock n roll band, all I none tasty video morsel.  What more could you want…a giant rabbit holding balloons?  Oh yeah, we’ve got that, too.”

The band’s new song and video are just two of its efforts to promote its new album.  In anticipation of the album’s eventual release, the band will launch its “Judas Rising Tour” beginning Friday, May 5 in Virginia Beach, VA.

The nearly two-month-long tour includes performances at the annual Carolina Rebellion Festival on May 7, River City Rockfest on May 27 and many other dates.  The tour’s full schedule is noted below.  Sons of Texas will serve as support on select dates.

Courtesy: Century Media Records

FOZZY – “Judas Rising” Tour (U.S. Dates)

May 5th – Virginia Beach, VA @ Lunatic Luau*
May 6th – Canton, GA @ The Revival**
May 7th – Charlotte, NC @ Carolina Rebellion*
May 9th – Knoxville, TN @ The Concourse
May 10th – Louisville, KY @ Trixie’s Entertainment Complex
May 11th – Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
May 12th – Ashwaubenon, WI @ Green Bay Distillery
May 13th – Dubuque, IA @ Courtside Sports Bar & Grill
May 14th – Somerset, WI @ Northern Invasion*
May 16th – Pittsburgh, PA @ Diesel Concert Lounge
May 17th – Lancaster, PA @ Chameleon Club
May 18th – Patchogue, NY @ 89 North Music Venue
May 19th – Asbury Park, NJ @ House Of Independents
May 20th – Winchester, VA @ Blue Fox Billiards
May 21st – Morgantown, WV @ Mainstage Morgantown
May 23rd – Flint, MI @ The Machine Shop
May 24th – Joliet, IL @ The Forge
May 25th – St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
May 26th – Pryor, OK @ Rocklahoma*
May 27th – San Antonio, TX @ River City Rockfest*
May 28th – Dallas, TX @ BFD Festival*
June 24th – Auburn, WA @ Pain In The Grass*

* – Fozzy Only
** – No Sons of Texas

More information on Fozzy’s new video, single, tour and more is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.fozzyrock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FozzyRock

Twitter: http://twitter.com/fozzyrock

 

 

 

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Adrenaline Mob Unveils ‘King Of The Ring’ Video; Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Adrenaline Mob is giving audiences their first taste of its new album, and it’s doing it in a big way.

The band debuted the video for the song ‘King of the Ring’ this week via Loudwire.  The song is the lead single from the band’s upcoming album We The People, which is available for pre-order now via multiple outlets here.  The album is currently scheduled to be released Friday, June 2 via Century Media Records.

The video, shot in Long Island, NY and directed by Ron Cote, is a classic style work that features the band performing its new single in a studio setting established to look like a live setting.   It serves as a first introduction for new band members Dave Z (bass) and Jordan Cannata (drums).

Courtesy: Century Media Records/Loudwire

The song itself is a heavy, guitar-driven composition that makes for a solid first impression for the band’s new album. It is meant to deliver a message about overcoming all obstacles and is streaming online now via Spotify.  Considering this and the song’s title, it would be no surprise if it becomes an anthem for any of World Wrestling Entertainment’s upcoming pay-per-views.

Adrenaline Mob will hit the road this summer in support of We The People with an extensive North American tour beginning June 16 in Poughkeepsie, NY. The nearly two-month-long tour also includes dates in North Carolina, Idaho, Pennsylvania and many other cities.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

 

ADRENALINE MOB – U.S. Headlining Tour

Friday, June 16th – Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Loft
Saturday, June 17th – New York, NY @ Marlin Room
Sunday, June 18th – Haverhill, MA @ The Whiskey Barrell
Tuesday, June 20th – Pittsburgh, PA @ Hard Rock
Wednesday, June 21st – Rochester, NY @ Harmony House
Thursday, June 22nd – Flint, MI @ The Machine Shop
Friday, June 23rd – Joliet, IL @ The Forge
Sunday, June 25th – St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
Tuesday, June 27th – Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
Wednesday, June 28th – Salt Lake City, UT @ Royal Bar
Thursday, June 29th – Idaho Falls, ID @ The Gem
Saturday, July 1st – Everett, WA @ Tony V Garage
Monday, July 3rd – San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
Thursday, July 6th – Las Vegas, NV @ Beauty Bar
Friday, July 7th – West Hollywood, CA @ Viper Room
Saturday, July 8th – San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick
Sunday, July 9th – Scottsdale, AZ @ Pub Rock
Tuesday, July 11th – Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey
Wednesday, July 12th – Austin, TX @ Come and Take It Live
Friday, July 14th – St. Petersburg, FL @ State Theater
Saturday, July 15th – Sanford, FL @ West End Trading Co.
Sunday, July 16th – Jacksonville, FL @ 1904 Music Hall
Monday, July 17th – Greenacres, FL @ Piepers Sports Bar
Wednesday, July 19th – Wilmington, NC @ The Throne Theater
Thursday, July 20th – Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Soundstage
Friday, July 21st – Easton, PA @ One Centre Square
Saturday, July 22nd – Clifton, NJ @ Dingbatz

More information on Adrenaline Mob’s new album, live dates and more is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.adrenalinemob.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/adrenalinemob

Twitter: http://twitter.com/adrenalinemob

 

 

 

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‘Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation’ Is An Interesting Piece Of ‘TMNT’ History

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Saban

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Saban

Thirty two years ago Mirage Studios first introduced American audiences to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  The “heroes on the half shell” were created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.  In the years since their creation, Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo (and their rodent sensei Splinter) have gone on to become a worldwide phenomenon with various incarnations on both the silver screen and the small screen.  Some have been hugely popular such as the original 1987 animated series (perhaps the franchise’s most successful incarnation) and the 1990 big screen adaptation of the comic book.  That incarnation even spawned three sequels.  Other incarnations have not been so successful, such as the 2014 big screen reboot and its new sequel Out of the Shadows.  They are not the franchise’s only lesser installments.  In 1997 Saban tried its hand at its own take on the everyone’s favorite reptile heroes in the form of Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation.  That incarnation ultimately proved to be a bust for the company.  It only lasted one season and a total of twenty-eight episodes.  Now thanks to Shout! Factory fans of this short-lived series can own it for themselves on DVD.  That is because Shout! Factory released the series in its entirety early this past May.  While the series was obviously one of the least successful of the TMNT franchise it still is a good addition to any hardcore TMNT fan’s collection.  That is because it serves as a historical document of sorts showing everything that was done right and wrong with the series.  In examining those pros and cons in whole audiences will agree that while it might not be the best of the TMNT franchise’s installments it also is not its worst.  That (dis)honor still goes to Paramount and Nickelodeon’s 2014 big screen take on the turtles.  Keeping that in mind, this installment proves once more to be a worthwhile addition to any TMNT fan’s collection if only for historical purposes.

Saban’s 1997 live-action take on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise is by no means the franchise’s best incarnation.  In all fairness it is also not the franchise’s worst incarnation either.  Keeping that in mind, it is a welcome (and important) addition to any TMNT fan’s collection.  That is because it shows through its twenty-eight total episodes that Saban, with all of its successes, was not invincible at the time of the series’ run.  That is not entirely the fault of the people at Saban, though.  In examining for instance the timing of the series’ debut it had a lot working against it.  The series was meant to follow the events of the franchise’s original cinematic trilogy.  The problem is that that trilogy wrapped in 1993 with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III.  Saban’s live action series didn’t start until four years later in 1997, which was also only a year after the original animated series came to its own end.  When the story lines presented in each are taken into consideration and the timing of their beginnings and endings, they worked wholly against Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation.  Had Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation come earlier—perhaps during the animated series’ run as an alternate universe series of sorts—then it might have had more of a fighting chance.  But because of the timing of its debut and its plot line it is clear why it failed in the long run.  That is just one important part of the show that should be noted in examining what the series in whole.  the series’ writing, in the bigger picture of its presentation, played its own integral part in the series’ failure.  The same can be said of the look and the feel of the series.

The timing of Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation’s debut is a big part of what might have made the series’ run so short.  The timing of its release, when considered alongside the events of the franchises cinematic trilogy and its animated series, put a rather large nail in the series’ proverbial coffin.  The series’ writing is just as problematic as the timing of its release.  The series’ writers opened this series by introducing its key villain—Dragon Lord–early on.  The problem is that he wasn’t the series’ only villain starting out.  The writers incorporated Shredder into the story, too.  However, they wasted very little time taking him out of the story, too.  The way in which they wrote him out was rather anticlimactic to say the very least, too.  It almost leaves one asking why he was even used in the overall story considering how little impact his elimination had on the series’ overall story.  It could be argued that in so randomly eliminating Shredder, the writers were just throwing something out there just to see if it would work and make the series in whole anywhere near feasible.  While the overall story did work, it still ended up being relatively lackluster at best.  The same thing happened when the writers behind the TMNT animated series tried to keep that series going after the turtles eliminated Shredder.  They introduced a new villain—an alien from another world—but it just didn’t work, which ultimately led to the series’ end in Season Ten.  The same sort of mindset led to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III’s failure, too.  With Shredder out of the way at the end of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II it was as if the writers were asking where to go from there.  One can only assume that someone just said, “hey, let’s send them back in time on a quest and see how audiences react.”  While the end result was entertaining in its own right, it is still obvious that the movie’s writers struggled to come up with something to keep the movie (and the franchise) going.  This, again, goes back to the obvious practice of the writers behind Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation.  It is as if, again, the writers went into the series blindly and just threw in what they could as the series advanced.

The timing of Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation and its writing are both key elements that worked against the series in its short run on FOX Kids from 1997 – 1998.  They are not the only elements that should be considered in examining what the series got right and what it got wrong.  The look and the feel of the series are just as important to note as the timing of its run and its writing.  The look of the series will be examined first.  The costumes and the sets that were used in Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation are a stark contrast to those used by Saban’s Power Rangers franchise at the time.  That series had come a long way in terms of its look from the days of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.  Some of the camp was still there in terms of its look.  But that look had also clearly evolved to a point since those days, too.  By comparison Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation took audiences back to the days of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers thanks to the campy look of its sets and costumes.  No effort was made by the people at Saban to make this series look anything like the franchise’s original cinematic trilogy, which again this series was supposed to be linked. Even the look of Shredder’s outfit barely made him look menacing.  He looked more like one of the then WWF’s costumed bad guys than any truly menacing villain.  That is thanks to the design of his outfit.  Even the look of the turtles was a complete change of pace from their look on the big screen and its previous small screen incarnation.  This is again even with the series’ alleged connection to the franchise’s cinematic trilogy.  The only part of the series that really bore any similarity (and that term is used very loosely here) to that trilogy is that of the turtles’ subway lair.  It is obvious that whoever designed their lair for this series did in fact make a concerted effort to connect the two universes.  Sadly it is about the only thing that actually connects the two universes in terms of the series’ look.  The rest of the sets and costumes are more akin to the MMPR series than anything seen on the big screen or any other TMNT incarnations.  By relation, the feel of the series is linked just as directly to MMPR as its look.

The look of Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation is an undeniably important part of the series’ life span.  That is because of how starkly it stands out from that of the rest of the offerings in the TMNT universes and even from that of Saban’s Power Rangers universes at the time.  The series’ feel is just as important to note as its look.  That is because its feel stands out just as starkly as its look.  The feel includes the series’ cinematography and the acting.  The cinematography throws back to the days of MMPR just as much as the costumes and sets that were used throughout this series.  That is evident in the scene transitions, the angles used within given scenes, and even the speed of the shot changes within the scenes, too.  The transitions from the general scenes to those of the dragons’ lair are key examples of that throwback look.  MMPR used very similar transitions when its scenes transitioned from Angel Grove to Rita (and later Zedd’s) moon base.  That is something that was gradually phased out as the Power Rangers franchise evolved over time.  The acting on the part of both Shredder and Dragon Lord plays its own part in the series’ feel.  The same can be said of those that brought Leo, Raph, Donnie, Mikey, and even Venus to life.  The camp in their collective work gives the series a fun, cheesy feel that interestingly enough will keep audiences entertained because of that cheese factor.  Again it is all a noticeable throwback to the days of MMPR.  Again in comparing this to the feel presented in the likes of Power Rangers in Space, the current installment of Saban’s Power Rangers franchise at the time, it is a completely different feel.  Good or bad is in the eye of the beholder.  In all fairness it likely played its own part in the series’ downfall since few programs if any had that same campy feel at the time.  So that probably hurt the series even more.  Between that and the show’s equally campy look, it becomes even more evident why the series’ combined look and feel might have hurt the series more than it helped.  That is especially considering the time at which the series was on television.  Speaking of the time at which the series debuted, it plays its own part in the series’ problems.  The writing behind the series plays its own part in the series, too.  Each element plays its own part in the series’ short run.  That goes without saying.  All things considered it becomes wholly clear why Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation is one of the least successful entries in the TMNT universe.  But when it is compared to those other entries in it still is not the franchise’s worst installment.  Keeping that in mind, it is still a welcome and important addition to any TMNT fan’s home collection if only for its historical value.

Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation is hardly the best offering in the TMNT universe.  It is not the franchise’s worst offering, either.  That (dis) honor belongs, to this day, to Paramount and Nickelodeon Studios’ 2016 big screen reboot of the original cinematic franchise.  Given, this series had (and has) a lot working against it.  But still in comparison to other offerings from the TMNT universe it could have been a lot worse.  Considering all of this it is still a welcome addition to any true TMNT fan’s collection whether for entertainment or for historical value.  It is available exclusively via Wal-Mart and can be ordered online via Wal-Mart at http://www.walmart.com/ip/Ninja-Turtles-The-Next-Mutation-The-Complete-Series/51301759.   More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Presenters, Attendees Announced For 2016 ESPYS Broadcast

Courtesy: ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Next Wednesday night is the biggest night of the year for the sports world.  That is when ESPN hands out its annual sports awards, the ESPYS.  It was previously announced that WWE Superstar John Cena will serve as host of this year’s gala.  And now more information has finally been revealed about the big show.

Organizers with The ESPYS have finally made official the early list of presenters and attendees for this year’s ESPYS broadcast.  The presenters scheduled to appear at this year’s awards broadcast is (in alphabetical order): Chris Berman (ESPN Sportscaster), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors),Skylar Diggins (Dallas Wings), Lisa Leslie (retired WNBA player), David Oyelowo (Queen of Katwe), Usher Raymond IV (Hands of Stone) Lindsey Vonn (American World Skier), Dwyane Wade (Chicago Bulls), JJ Watt (Houston Texans) and Zendaya, among others.

The celebrities and athletes that are currently expected to appear at the ESPYS includes but is not limited to: Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh Steelers), Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys), Kobe Bryant (retired NBA player), Eric Hosmer (Kansas City Royals), Kerri Walsh Jennings (professional beach volleyball player), DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers), Sydney Leroux (FC Kansas City), Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers), Peyton Manning(retired NFL player), Von Miller (Denver Broncos), Danica Patrick (NASCAR driver), JR Smith (Cleveland Cavaliers), Abby Wambach(retired professional soccer player).

Along with all of the regular awards and other happenings, there will also be a very special tribute to boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who just recently passed away.  NBA legend and NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Adbul-Jabar will be part of the tribute.  Crown and the M.O.B. will be the house band for the length of the broadcast.  There will also be a special performance by Andra Day.

The ESPYS will air next Wednesday night on ABC at 8pm ET.  It marks the second consecutive year that the annual awards gala has been held on ABC.  It will be televised live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.  More information about this year’s ESPYS broadcast is available online at:

 

 

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/espys/2016

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ESPYS

 

 

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

John Cena Tapped To Host 2016 ESPY Awards

Courtesy: ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The Champ. Is. HERE!  Or he will be.

WWE superstar and 15-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena has been announced as the host of the 2016 ESPY Awards.  The appointment marks the first time that Cena has ever served as emcee for the network’s annual awards program.  Cena was humble in discussing being named as this year’s emcee opting instead to discuss those who the program honors and its philanthropic roots.  “It is truly an honor to be named host of The 2016 ESPYS,” he said.  “Not only will the biggest names in sports and entertainment come together to recognize some of the most spectacular athletic performances of the year, but we’ll also raise funds for The V Foundation to further much-needed cancer research.”  ESPYS Executive Producer Maura Mandt noted Cena’s celebrity and the positive impact that he has in and out of the ring in discussing his appointment.  “John is not only a superstar athlete and entertainer, but also a motivational force who inspires fans across the globe,” she said.  “John approaches all of his endeavors with energy, enthusiasm and passion so we expect him to bring a new level of excitement to the night’s celebration.”

Along with being one of the top names in WWE today, Cena is also host and executive producer of FOX’s new reality competition series American Grit.  That is just one of his credits outside the ring.  He has also made appearances in the hit comedies Trainwreck and Sisters.  Along with all of that, Cena also works extensively with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  He is the foundation’s most requested wish granter and has more than lived up to expectations, having granted some 500 wishes.  He was recently recognized by the USO Metro as the recipient of the organization’s 2016 Legacy of Achievement Award.  As if all of this isn’t enough, Cena is also deeply involved in Susan G. Komen and its efforts to research and fight breast cancer.

The 2016 ESPN ESPY Awards will air live on ABC Wednesday, July 13th at 8pm ET from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California.  It raises more than $1 million annual for The V Foundation, which was originally established by ESPN and Jim Valvano in order to promote cancer research.  Tickets for the ESPY Awards can be purchased online at AXS.com.  More information on The ESPY Awards is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/espys

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ESPYS

 

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.