Rock’in Around the Christmas Tree Extra: “Shawn” We Now Our Gay Apparel, Pure Country: Pure Heart Review

Today, I’m taking things in quite a different direction. Pure Country: Pure Heart is a country musical that was put out by Warner Bros. and WWE Studios back in August of this year. It’s about the Spencer sisters who want to find out information about their late dad, a former Marine, who also happened to be a singer. Their mother, Elizabeth, played by Amanda Detmer (Final Destination) has kept details about their dad from them.


Their journey takes them to a veteran’s home where they meet CJ Simms, a Korean veteran, played by Ronny Cox. You may know Cox as Dick Jones from Robocop (1987) or Cohaagen from Total Recall (1990). Ronny very rarely takes roles in films nowadays and focuses on his music career and he sure can sing.



Their journey also takes them to Nashville to seek out a friend of Simms who reveals to them that their father sang with Marq Dunn, a famous female musician. Marq’s bodyguard, Ted, is played by none other than former WWE Superstar, Shawn Michaels. This happens to be Shawn’s second film, his acting debut, The Resurrection of Gavin Stone was released on DVD back in January 2017.


Shawn Michaels Pure Country Pure HeartShawn Michaels as Ted

This movie is a heartwarming tale and it is quite the emotional roller coaster. It also stars Willie Nelson. If you’re looking for something to watch this holiday season with your friends and family and they are a fan of country music then you certainly could do no better than this film. I’m not the biggest fan of current country music but this movie was enjoyable and all the music was wonderful. I’d be remiss to not inform you that this is indeed a sequel to the 1992 film Pure Country,  it is actually the second sequel being preceded by the movie Pure Country 2: The Gift. However, it doesn’t seem to be necessary to watch the first two to enjoy or understand this one. So settle in with some cocoa and enjoy this film if it seems you would enjoy it.

Rock’in Around the Christmas Tree: Good “Scorpion” King Wenceslas

Today, I’m covering The Rock’s first major foray into Hollywood, The Scorpion King. This was not his acting debut as he appeared on an episode of Star Trek Voyager in 2000 and he played the Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns a year later. However, he was just the villain in The Mummy Returns and was mostly CGI. Here in Scorpion King, a spin off of the The Mummy series, Dwayne has the starring role as Mathyus.



The movie opens with a daring rescue by Mathyus of his brother Jesup, played by Branscombe Richmond, from a band of Barbarians. Branscombe would later star alongside Dwayne in the movie Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. It just so happens that the Barbarian Chieftain is played by Tyler Mane. Tyler is a former professional wrestler turned actor. He was trained in the infamous Hart Dungeon and wrestled in Japan for AJPW and in Mexico for CMLL. You may know him as Big Sky, his role in WCW, where he wrestled alongside Vinnie Vegas, better known as Kevin Nash. Nash himself is no stranger to film.


Tyler Mane.jpgTyler Mane as Barbarian Cheiftain

Mathyus is among the last of the Akkadians, an almost mythical tribe, he along with his brother are hired by a local chieftain to kill Memnon’s sorcerer. Memnon, evil ruler and main villain is played by Steven Brand, mostly known for voice acting and TV roles. On the way to kill the sorcerer there is a scene where a horse thief is being tortured. One of the torturers is played by Nils Allen Stewart. Stewart had a brief stint as a wrestler in Eddy Mansfield’s IWF, as The Stomper. IWF is known for producing stars such as Billy Gunn and Rob Van Dam. Stewart is known for his many roles in film, however, much more is known about his son “BooBoo” Stewart, famous for his role in the Twilight Breaking Dawn films.


This movie is an action packed romp through the desert and a perfect vehicle for The Rock to strut his stuff action wise. You’ll notice some mannerisms in this film that will later be hallmarks in his other films. You can even see a bit of his comedic timings that would be more fully realized in a series of family films and more recently Central Intelligence. If you’re a fan of action films, or a fan of The Mummy franchise, it’s really a must watch. Although The Rock never would reprise his role as Mathyus , The Scorpion King would spawn three sequels; The Scorpion King: Rise of a Warrior which starred UFC star Randy Couture, The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption starring WWE star turned actor, Batista and the late Kimbo Slice, boxer, mixed martial artist and once to be professional wrestler, the most recent sequel The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power, starring Royce Gracie UFC super star, former WWE superstar Eve Torres, and UFC Star Antonio Silva.

I’d also like to take the time to share that I had the privilege to write for local Pittsburgh Wrestler Shirley Doe’s movie blog B&S About Movies this month for Christmas Cinema Week. Although the movies I reviewed do not star pro wrestlers, if you’re interested in reading about what other stuff I like to watch you can check those out below. As of the posting of this only two of my reviews are up there but one for Mother Krampus is coming soon.

23846532_10155232731064397_222194057_nNight Before Christmas


25437103_10155290246094397_1878957089_nThe Elf


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.

IMG_7499After the film I was all smiles!

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


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.



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.

Buford_PusserBuford Pusser





                                                              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.



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