Rock’in Around the Christmas Tree: We Wish You a Jumanji Christmas

About a week back I wrote about my reactions to the Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle trailer. Not too long after I received an email inviting Amazon Prime members to an advance theater screening of the film. Today is December 8th, 2017 and although it was bitter cold outside, I loaded up on Sheetz pizza, and made the trek to the nearest Regal Cinema to watch Jumanji with my father.

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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a sequel to the 1995 Jumanji film starring Robin Williams. This time around, however, the board game adapts to the times and evolves into a video game cartridge. Now I really don’t want to spoil too much about this film other than what it is shown in the trailer. Four teens end up in detention and get sucked into the video game Jumanji and must reverse the curse of Jumanji to return home. On the way throughout each level, they learn to trust one another, and discover who they really want to be. It’s absolutely hysterical at times and employs dick jokes and low brow humor extensively through out its brisk 1 hour and 59 minutes run time.

The Rock plays the avatar of the main character Spencer. His avatar in the game, Dr. Smulder Bravestone, is nothing like Spencer in physical appearance or demeanor but seeing the Rock portray Spencer’s transformation from scared nerd to a competent, brave, and even confident young man was fascinating. Of course, Bravestone, does all kinds of crazy things during the game giving the Rock the chance to show off what he does best, charm audiences and do action scenes. The rest of the cast who play the avatars all add their own brands of humor and drama to the film. Jack Black, playing popular girl Bethany’s avatar Professor Shelly Oberon is especially funny due to her not being able to even, and discovering her new found “organ”. Kevin Hart plays Fridge’s avatar Moose Findar. Fridge is a jock through and through and being the diminutive Moose is a hard pill to swallow. Lastly is Karen Gillan playing Martha’s avatar Ruby Roundhouse is also a sight to behold seeing her transform from shy nerd to a girl who recognizes her worth.

Altogether this film is highly entertaining, it may find fans of the original Jumanji disappointed because it just isn’t the original but it’s a very well done modern take on the popular book and the film it begat. Fans of any of the actors who play the avatars are sure to be pleased by their performances. The Rock may play the main character but it wouldn’t be what it is without the rest of the cast. If you’re a fan of video games you may enjoy this, it’s what I imagine an Uncharted movie adaptation would look and feel like visually. Give this a watch when it hits theaters nationwide on December 20th 2017.

From me here at Wrestling With Film, I’d like to wish you a Jumanji Christmas and a happy new year. It may seem odd that this movie is being released during the holiday season instead of as a summer blockbuster but rest assured it has a connection to this jolly season

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Rock’in Around the Christmas Tree Extra: Psych the Movie

I’ve never been a huge follower of Psych, mostly due to the fact that I did not watch it regularly. Psych has been off the air for about 3 years so when I heard there was a movie coming I wasn’t overly excited.  However, my father enjoys watching the show and I do as well so I made a plan to watch it with him. A few nights ago, I found out that Charlotte Flair and John Cena also star in it and that is when it became a priority watch. The reason for this is that this is Charlotte Flair’s acting debut.

Psych follows Shawn Spencer who pretends to be a psychic and his friend Gus who work as psychics for the Santa Barbara police force. It follows their weekly wacky adventures as two nerds try to figure out the crime of the week. Psych is no stranger to wrestlers appearing on their show, over the years it has starred; the Bellas, Mickie James, John Cena, Miz,  Big Show, and last but not least Stacy Keibler.

 

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Psych the Movie sees the gang back together trying to figure out the murder of O’hara’s partner Samuel and a manifesto titled The Crimes of Juliet O’hara during the holiday. Plenty of movie references are used and it’s basically a two hour long episode of Psych. Now seeing as I haven’t watched the entire series, I am not the target audience. I’m fairly certain those who watched the entire series and have been missing it these past three years are bound to love this.

I enjoyed it because not only is it a holiday movie in a round’a’bout way but Charlotte Flair really does a great job with the stunts she performs as the hunch person Heather Rockrear. She also has a great line about how her milkshake brings old bald guys to the yard. John Cena returns as O’hara’s brother Ewan as well in a hilarious bit part. The movie doesn’t feel overly long like some movies that are continuations or sequels to television series. It hits all the right notes that Psych is so well known for and it was a perfect stepping stone for Charlotte Flair to get her feet wet in the wild and crazy world of acting. Here’s to many more roles for Flair and fun time for die hard fans of Psych. Psych the Movie premiered on the USA network at 8 pm EST on December 7, 2017 but it will be followed by an encore at 11 p.m. tonight as well as 6 am on December 12th.

Rock’in Around the Christmas Tree: Walking Tall

I hadn’t planned on writing about Walking Tall (2004) this month even though I find it an enjoyable revenge film. However, this past weekend they showed Walking Tall starring The Rock on TV. I’d had a few drinks and was feeling extra jolly so I decided to keep it on while I did some research online. Well, it turns out the original 1973 film that this one is a remake of is based on Sheriff Buford Pusser, a real life bad ass who set out to clean up his town of Adamsville, Tennessee from crime, especially the Stateline Mob gang. Now the reason I bring this tidbit up is that Buford also was a professional wrestler; originally only wrestling for a little extra scratch in the Chicago area,  he wrestled under the name of Buford the Bull. Buford would pass away in 1974 but the film franchise of Walking Tall would continue. Today happens to be what would be Buford’s 58th wedding anniversary if his wife, Pauline, and him were still alive.

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                                                              HaggertyAlso of note is that Final Chapter: Walking Tall also stars professional wrestler H.B. “Hard Boiled” Haggerty

 

 

Starring none other than our leading man of the month Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. This remake, much like the original film is about a sheriff, Chris Vaughn, who tries cleaning up his town of unwanted crime. This time around the source is local rich boy Hamilton’s casino and it’s many criminal endeavors.  Chris catches one of the table runner’s switching dice and all hell breaks loose. He gets beat almost to death in the aftermath. After his recovery and a local trip to the casino yet again, he eventually starts cleaning up his town.

 

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All things accounted for it’s a well done remake for more modern audiences and it’s a great vehicle for The Rock to look like the meat mountain he is and beat up some baddies. If you enjoy action movies, you may enjoy this one. Although not as graphic as the original film, it’s a good revenge film for someone who has not dipped their toes into the graphic wasteland that is 70’s revenge flicks.

Rock’in Around the Christmas Tree

It’s officially December, one of my favorite times of the year. Amidst the chilly, snowy conditions of Pennsylvania, a man stares intently at his Television. The warmness of a CRT long past, his LED TV shines aggressively in the dark. On the screen, a movie trailer plays; a group of kids sent to detention find a mysterious video game called Jumanji in the basement they are cleaning as punishment. They choose their characters and are sucked into the game world.

Now it may not actually be snowing and the temperatures may be a little warmer than usual but in my head this is the ideal scenario that is playing out. You may have seen the TV spots half a dozen times by now for the film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. You may have no desire to see it due to your love of the first film starring Robin Williams, or you may like me, love the original but have a strong to desire to see Welcome to the Jungle because it stars the one and only Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

This former WWE star has seen his fair share of films come and go on the big screen and this foray looks like my cup of tea. I love video games, action films, movies with jungle settings, and I love The Rock. This month I’ll be looking at some of The Rock’s films and roles over the years on my blog for Rock’in Around the Christmas Tree. I hope you join me as I cover his films as well as other random Christmas goodies.

You can check out the trailer for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle here Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Trailer. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle hits theaters December 20, 2017 in the USA

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Ferdinand Trailer

This Christmas season sees an interesting film released in theaters. Ferdinand is an animated film about a bull who is mistaken for a dangerous beast and his  journey to reunite with his family. It hits theaters December 15th.  You can watch the trailer here, Ferdinand trailer. John Cena is no stranger to animation as he voices Ernie the Elephant in the Wonderful Pistachios commercials, he also voices himself in the Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age Smackdown, as well J.C. in Surf’s Up Wavemania. If you’re a fan of John Cena you may enjoy this. Looks like it will be fun for the family. It hits theaters December 15 in the USA.

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WCW- The Italian Connection

What can a 1995 Bruno Mattei film made for television movie titled Fauci Crudelli (Cruel Jaws) possibly have to do with World Championship Wrestling? Well it turns out Hulk Hogan’s stand in for the Shadow Warriors movies happens to star in it. Richard Drew played Dag Snerensen in Cruel Jaws, a shameless Italian rip off of Jaws released in 1995. When I first watched this film I became confused. I knew Hulk hadn’t starred in this particular film but who was this man that looked like him? After a bit of searching the web I came to find out that Richard Drew was a Hulk Hogan impersonator. Richard also happened to be slated to do stand in work on Thunder in Paradise, a Hulk Hogan led show about a pair of ex- Navy SEALS and their adventures. Unfortunately, Thunder in Paradise was canceled before that came into fruition. Cruel Jaws is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you enjoy cheesy films or a fan of Italian rip offs it is a must see.

 

Richard Drew                                 Richard Drew plays Dag Snerensen in Cruel Jaws

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Rampage Trailer

So by now you’ve probably seen the trailer for the new action movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Rampage. If you haven’t check it out here; Rampage (2018)

Rampage posterRampage is supposed to be an adaptation of the popular 1986 Midway Games arcade game of the same name. My first video game console was a Nintendo Entertainment System handed down to me by a cousin when I was 7, along with the system was Rampage. The movie seems to be very loosely based on the game but that’s par for the course with film adaptations of video games. It’s from the director of the “The Rock” fronted film San Andreas which was especially well received by me. I think the monsters look plausible in the trailer and I think we’re in for a fun, meaningless romp through jungles, forests, and cities with some monster mayhem. If you’re a fan of The Rock I’d say give it a shot when it hits theaters. If you’re a fan of giant monster (Kaiju) films I think this will be one you won’t want to miss. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how it works on the big screen.

#DocTerrorForever and January through April Haul

So it’s been a bitter sweet month. I lost my good friend and supporter of my dreams; James Harris. You may have known him as Doc Terror. James’ passion for horror was something I shared with him and he encouraged me to start my blog. I’ll miss him deeply and not a day will go by where I don’t think of him. If you can please help out and donate to the Doc Terror GoFundME it would mean the world to his friends and family. Film-a-Mania was pushed to the side as I was dealing with the loss of this awesome dude.

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Tonight I’m sitting down to do a haul update while watching one of my favorite films, Superfights.

Vhs 1First up is a quarter of films on VHS starring luchadors. Santo vs los villanos del Ring stars El Santo, Wolf Ruvinskis, El Nazi, and Ham Lee. Huracan Ramirez y la Monjita Negra stars Huracan Ramirez, El Nazi, El Matematico, Doctor Zee, Tony Salazar, El Aguila, Valentino, El Mosca, and Sheik Mar Allah I’ve never seen such a weird portrayal of black woman on a VHS cover. Vampiro Guerrero de la Noche stars Vampiro who for some unknown reason is completely dubbed by another Mexican actor despite Vampiro speaking Spanish in the film. It also stars Pirata Morgan, Pierrot Jr, Norman Smiley,  and a luchadora who’s name escapes me. It is worth seeking out for Pet, the luchadora’s companion who is a monkey bear hybrid who talks like R2D2 on quaaludes. Lastly is El Triunfo de los Campeones Justiceros which stars Blue Demon, Superzan, and El Fantasmo Blanco.

vhs 2.jpgWe continue with even more VHS; Ningen Kiyoki Ai to Ikari no ringu also known as A Human Murder Weapon, this is Takashi Miike’s first of many manga adaptations and it stars, Atsushi Onita, Megumi Kudo, Combat Toyoda, and Crusher Maedomori. I’m hoping to get this and Mothra 3 signed by Onita when he is at CZW in August. Next up is tonight’s viewing and a personal favorite Superfights, Superfights is actually a re purchase as I sold my other good copy like a dumbass. Now I have an extra not so great copy. It stars Rob Van Dam and Virgil. American Angels stars Susan Sexton, Magnificent Mimi, Black Venus, and Luscious Lisa. Last but not least is Alien Fury a made for TV movie that aired on SciFi back in the late 90’s that stars the late Chyna. I had been after this tape for many a year. I found a sealed copy on Amazon for $200 but when I inquired about it the listing was taken down. I also found an Italian and Swedish copy but I couldn’t watch them. I finally found it through an online buy/sell page. It is signed by Chyna and by the few people I know who have her auto it seems legit. This is a cherished piece in my collection.

FullSizeRender (4).jpgOnto the DVD’s we have The Bet; a hilarious comedy with cameos from the late Roddy Piper, Diamond Dallas Page, and Jake the Snake Roberts. I highly recommend this film because of two words, Gourmet Condoms. The Reconciler stars Roddy Piper as well. The two signed DVD’s are Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl  and Forgotten Tales. Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl stars Shawn Phoenix;a wrestler we should all be keeping our eyes on. He has a very small part but the movie itself is great and worth getting. Forgotten Tales stars Shotzi Blackheart who I interviewed on the site here.

FullSizeRender (5)Enter… Zombie King stars Sinn Bodhi, El Fuego, Beth Phoenix, Jim Niedhart, Tyson Dux,  The Hacker Josh Lessard, and J.B. Destiny. The Dead Sleep easy stars Vampiro. Anamorph has a cameo by Mick Foley who will be at Wrestling Under the Stars in Niles, Ohio along side Jerry Lawler who starred in Girls Gone Dead, Cody Rhodes who has a few Tv roles, and Jimmy Hart who was in a wacky dumb fave of mine Monster Brawl. Sinbad War of the Furies stars John Morrison (Johnny Mundo).

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FullSizeRender (6).jpgPrecious Cargo stars Torrie Wilson. Marauders stars Batista. What Happened Last Night stars David Otunga. A Wish for the Dead stars Ben Woods.

FullSizeRender (7).jpgThe Last Witch Hunter stars Kurt Angle. The Marine 5 stars The Miz, Maryse, Naomi, Heath Slater, Curtis Axel, and Bo Dallas. Isle of the Dead was a great little zombie film with nods to the Resident Evil video game franchise starring Maryse. It was a SyFy presents film. Fallen Angels stars Christy Hemme and Kantemir stars Stu Stone, a Canadian color commentator who also happens to do voice acting. You may know him as Ralphie from the Magic School Bus.

IMG_6657Eliminators and Dead Man Down both star Wade Barrett. Sharknado has a Seth Rollins Cameo. Check Point is a terrorism in the hometown film starring, Goldberg, Bram, The Maestro, and Tyler Mane. Don’t forget you can win a copy of this and a digital copy of Get Hard by sharing any post from this month or next month as I’m extending my contest until June 1.

 

 

Finally don’t forget there is still 8 days left to support Powerbomb!

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Film-A-Mania Begins, Contest, and PowerBomb Announcement

Here we are, it’s been almost a week removed from WWE’s Wrestlemania 33. It was a great event but now it’s time for Film-A-Mania. I plan on covering at least one movie a week until the end of April. I will also be running a contest. You can win a DVD copy of Checkpoint starring Goldberg, The Maestro, and Bram and an HD Digital copy of Get Hard starring Taryn Terrell by sharing this post or any other written during Film-A-Mania on facebook and tagging  Wrestling With Film. The winner will be announced May 1.

However, right now I have some very important news. Sickening Pictures and Turnstyle Films are going to be filming the movie Powerbomb. According to the IndieGoGo campaign;

Powerbomb is the story of an independent wrestler on the verge of breaking into the big time, but he’s contemplating leaving it all behind to spend more time with his family. When our wrestler’s biggest fan hears the news, he decides to take matters into his own hands to ensure that his champion gets to the top by any means necessary.

PowerBomb will star the independent wrestlers; Matt Cross, Dick JusticeBritt Baker, and Gregory Iron. It’s centered around the Cleveland Independent scene. You can support the film on IndieGoGo by clicking here PowerBomb A Feature Thriller About Wrestling. I know some of the folks behind the camera on this film and if you support this film I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in the end result. So please donate and make PowerBomb a reality.

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Pauls to the Wall with the Ballsy Badass Shotzi Blackheart

I had the chance to talk to the Ballsy Badass Shotzi Blackheart last night at Absolute Intense Wrestling‘s Girls Night Out 19 where she went on to win the Phoenix of RISE championship!IMG_6350

 

We talked about our love for horror films, her cameos and leading role as a scream queen and what movies we’ve recently enjoyed in the genre. If you want to check out some of her film work make sure to watch Mrs. Claus, Forgotten Tales, and Hetja 3. Also keep an eye out for a review of Doll Murder Spree where Shotzi is the leading lady sometime in the future. I think I have mistakenly called the series World of Death which features Mrs. Claus and Merry Christmas (not Santa Claus) in the interview  World of Horror. You can follow Shotzi on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Shotzi is located in California and is often on shows in So Cal but has been taking bookings in other parts of the country as well. Make sure to check out RISE and subscribe to Hoodslam for $1.99 a month over on YouTube to witness the awesomeness that is Pizza Cat. If you want merch follow her Facebook, send a message and she’ll ship you the shit. Here’s the audio. Check out some pics from the match below after giving it a listen.

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