Infrequent 411 Music and Wrestling Zone contributor. Part-time Music News reporter. Chain Restaurant Manager. Devoted husband. Father of 6.
Former 411 Music Editor/Columnist/Reviewer/you-name-it; Raw and SD! Recaps, occasional columns and even a News Report there for a bit for 411 Wrestling.
Damn near every Zone here save for Boxing/MMA. That was after my heyday (although I'm starting to dig on UFC, so we'll see...)
It's always funny until someone gets hurt, and then it's just hilarious.
From an outspoken writer to the occasional piece when I have something to say. I've kinda morphed into the Jim Cornette of 411. Or, with as many times as I've "retired" and come back, maybe Terry Funk would be more accurate. Hell, I'd probably answer to either one.
Geekery As Therapy, Episode 02 - 08.01.2008
I stand corrected – it’s Aronofsky. So be it.
Time for a little more geeking out before I let a night like I had tonight get to me and I start thinking about creative ways to destroy things I really shouldn’t...
If you’re the type that still likes to partake in eating ‘shrooms and dropping acid, then have I got a movie for YOU!
I got the chance to see Speed Racer a few days ago. Pretty decent flick, all-in-all. Once you get used to the visuals, anyway. Definitely a hallucinogenic paradise.
Other than that, it played pretty solid. Bonus points for Trixie; she reminded me a lot of my wife (a good thing) – smart, capable, tough, and stands behind her man. What more could you ask for. A few more points for keeping the “triple-swoosh” sound effect whenever the Mach-5 used the jump jacks. A small touch of nostalgia goes a long way.
Also finally got to see 16 Blocks recently. Bruce and Donner can still turn out a good flick when needed, and Mos Def has impressed me as an actor now. It’s not often I find myself actually on the edge of my seat rooting for the good guys (I’m a sucker for a good villain and a better tragedy), but I did here. Solid stuff.
Next up is probably Near Dark (Kathryn Bigelow’s first flick, I believe), as well as finally taking in Sweeney Todd. Further bulletins as events warrant.
A Tale Of Two Matches
...involving the two same competitors.
Back in 1994, Mike Awesome (RIP) faced Kenta Kobashi under the All-Japan banner. Got to see that and their decade-later rematch in NOAH this evening and realized I may have had my eyes opened to the Japanese style a little more than I already did.
See, it’s not that I don’t like the puroresu style at all. I’m normally to absorbed by what the US has to offer (particularly the indie scene as of late) to watch a lot of the Japanese product. I may have to go back for the older stuff, though, after this.
Awesome and Kobashi circa ’94 was, to me, everything that Joe and Kobashi should have been in 2005. Granted, ’94 was Kobashi’s prime and all, but the match between he and Awesome back then was just that. 20 minutes of two powerhouses pounding on each other in a power match clinic. Kobashi took (almost) everything Awesome had and came back for seconds. Great stuff.
Fast forward 10 years to NOAH, where Kobashi defends the GHC Crown against the “Gladiator”. Clocking in at 10 minutes longer, it was very similar to their last match with a lot of the same spots. Differences here were that they played the epic feel with a slower (NOT “methodical”; that sort of thing is reserved for Mark Henry and Great Khali matches) pace top play off of each other more. Awesome hit the top-rope Awesome Bomb this time (~!), as well as another from the apron to the floor through a table. In the end, Kobashi still emerged victorious in a harder-hitting but still slower version of their match a decade earlier.
Just Because I Want To - 07.29.2008
If I can be not-so-serious for a minute...
Sorry – been hearing a lot about Lance Storm lately and his appearance at the Ring of Honor show this past weekend in Toronto; just glad to see ya back, Lance.
Anyway, all seriousness aside – wait, that’s the point. There’s been enough stress, apprehension, tribulations, insert-noun-of-choice-describing-tension-here that I just need to vent in a completely different manner. And that would be by geeking out for a minute.
In particular and in release date order, three that I’m excited about now that I’ve seen The Dark Knight (five-star awesome job by ALL involved!):
The Spirit – Hurrm. Now, I’m no expert on Will Eisner’s “The Spirit” at all, so I can’t comment on all the characters and that; only what I see. What I see in this fuller trailer is...different. At some point, Samuel L’s Octopus looks pretty cool, but then, in other shots, I’m wondering how he got talked into something like this. Still, with the Sin-City-meets-Dick Tracy look of the whole thing (both of which I’m marks for, I ain’t gonna lie), it still looks like something I definitely want to check out.
Oh, and I do hope that someone has the bright idea to let Miller direct his own “Hard Boiled” adaptation. That would be off the page.
Watchmen – To use a Matt Groening line from waayy back...o mais, oui. I lost count of how many times I’ve read this, arguably the greatest graphic novel not starring one of DC’s core characters ever. And the thing that knocks me out is that Zach Snyder is apparently serious as a heart attack in his faithfulness; just about every single shot and scene showed in the trailer (which, for 2 minutes, is quite a bit~~) I can pinpoint directly from the story and when, how, and why it happens.
Ye General Populace may or may not get it when it hits. I could give less than a thimbleful of damn if they do; to see a book I’ve always loved faithfully recreated like this gives me the chills every time I watch that friggin’ trailer. See if I don’t ask for the night off from work just to go see it opening night.
TR2N – Yeah, hey, look, I know the trailer quality isn’t that great. What can I do? – no one’s released an “official” version yet (although Disney should get on the ball because this won’t go away now).
Outside of that...very nice. I’m probably in the target demo for this since I used to have the action figures, read-along books and play the arcade game every time I crossed its path when I was younger because I dug the hell out of this movie. And now it’s back, with Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn in tow. Yeah, sing me the hell up for a seat to this, too.
Sad thing is, though, I’m looking at a potential timeline of a year and a half-plus before all 3 of these are out...and these are the only three I’m that excited to see. Yeah, I know all about GI Joe and Transformers 2...as well as Darren Aranofsky (sp?) remaking RoboCop (no disrespect to Aranofsky (sp?) because I haven’t seen any of his movies, but...”Who booked this crap?”) and an “Escape From New York” remake in the works (GROAN), but those I can wait for DVD or some time when I have a spare moment*. The three above, I can’t.
* - If I find out, however, that the GI Joe movie is done in the vein of the recent ”America’s Elite” comic series, then I’ll get good and geared up for that one, too. Devil’s Due does with GI Joe and Cobra what should have been done years ago.
Now then, on to tonight’s (07.28.08) “Raw”. Hey, if Jake “The Snake Roberts can talk about it online (in much cooler fashion than I ever could), then why can’t I?
Don’t worry – this won’t be a straight recap or review or any of that crap that several hundred people could probably better than myself, anyway. Just some thoughts that stand out is all.
- Believe it or not, WWE has hired actor Freddie Prinze, Jr. (Scooby-Doo, She's All That, I Know What You Did Last Summer) as a new member of the creative team. He was at the RAW/Saturday Night's Main Event taping last night and has attended several WWE events over the past few months including WrestleMania. He has been a big fan for awhile and has also been a "celebrity blogger" on the WWE Fan Nation site. Prinze is married to actress Sarah Michelle Gellar.
First of all, no, I don’t. But that’s just because I kinda don’t want to. Because, secondly, I’m almost afraid of the havoc Freddie Prinze Jr., of all people, could wreak on the booking committee.
On with the show.
Giving away Cena vs. Batista this soon isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but they’d have been better served putting it off until WM XXV. This is one of the few BIG-money matches WWE has left to build right now; they could make some serious bank by building for that long. Alas, someone felt the need to pull the trigger.
Main event was what I thought it may be, but I’d have made one stipulation: The winner of the fall meets CM Punk at SummerSlam for the World Title. AT least give them a reason not to trust each other aside from ye olde “they all want the same thing” party line.
I’ll be honest about it – when Michael Cole was announced as Lawler’s partner, I laughed. I needed the mirth, really. The desire to see him get worked comes not from an intense hatred of Cole or because I’m some JR-supporter that wants to see him back on “Raw”, but simply because, to me, that’s the kind of comedy they should book more often.
I was hoping against hope that they wouldn’t start a feud among commentators (they certainly hinted at it for a second), but in a way, I guess they did...
I know I don’t know much about discerning the difference between a “promo or a money promo” (heard that on one of Raven’s Shoot Interviews recently...decent stuff), Jericho’s Highlight Reel felt to me like a “money promo”. Raven has a point about people being able to talk people into the arenas to see the matches, and Jericho is great with that.
Mike Adamle as General Manager. Why? I can’t say that I hate or love the idea, and that’s the problem in and of itself. I couldn’t actually care any less that Adamle is the GM now. I was hoping for a little more exciting payoff, although I should know better by now. Judging by the live crowd reaction, I’m not alone in thinking that, which is why they have made a mistake here.
And we're rolling... - 02.13.2007
That's right, Larry - I'm stealing your shit. But know that it's done with the best of intentions and that it stays right here - you know, in the blog that no one reads, anyway. That's gotta be some comfort, right? Oh, and Happy Birthday, ya big lug!
Anyway, for the rest of you...I may do this regularly or not. (Kinda depends on how bad Larry wants to kick my ass.) But, as for now, there's a specific reason that each of these things (well, except maybe the last one) is On Notice:
And we're rolling... - 10.28.2006
As of today, I'm back in an Editorial capacity with 411 Music. This time, however, I have two very deserving and hard-working gentlemen - Mitch Michaels and Brian Berry - on either side. Let the good times roll and the ass-kickings begin.
And we're rolling... - 01.25.2006
Sent: Mon 1/23/2006 10:47 PM
From: Michael Melchor
To: Ashish Parabi
CC: Brandon Ratliff
Subject: The Long Awaited Sabbatical...
...well, not by you guys, probably. But by me, for sure.
Now comes the time that I have to step away from 411 for a wee bit. The plan all along has been to install Brandon as the sole 411 Music Editor, and that time has come. With the new system in place, it has been easier for him to take over (although longer to learn as we all had to adapt to it). I'm proud of what he's been able to do in such a short time and I look forward to seeing how my "home Zone" does under his guiding hands.
The reasons I'm taking a long break are professional (a new, 50 hr./week job in construction with the goal of helping run the company), personal (child #6 is only a few months away - literally) and academic (on top of all of this, could yeh believe I'm also keeping up a full-time college schedule?!). All of this has been piling up for quite some time, and it's become overwhelming. Something has had to give, and I think my very scant presence on the site lately shows what has.
This isn't enjoy something I enjoy or am even looking forward to. I've had the time of my life the past 28 months following my passion for writing, interviewing people I thought I'd never get to talk to, meeting some great people (as far as e-mail conversations pass for "meetings", anyway), and generally being part of something great that grew bigger than anyone had a right to expect. I'm very proud to have been a part of that--
--and to continue to be one, really. I don't want to leave 411 outright, never to look back. In fact, once things settle down some, I would still like to continue contributing to the site. The schedule may be infrequent or, at the most, irregular, but I would like to continue on after the break I have to take to take care of business on all fronts.
I want to thank you again, Ash, for letting me be a part of this. It was you who hired me on after seeing a sample SmackDown Recap and it's been a blast since. Thank you again in your faith in me as a writer and an editor to have me on board.
There are a couple reviews and other items of business that I have to do yet before I disappear altogether. Those will be done within the week.
And, with that, I'll handle my remaining business in the next few days and then off I go for a while. I'll check back in to let you know how things go - and to eventually beg for a spot back to write in.
411 Music Interview: Dave Lombardo of Slayer
Slayer’s Dave Lombardo talks about the current leg of the "American Carnage" tour, what’s to come on the second leg, the re-issue of three classic Slayer live DVDs, and the future of the band.
Sunday Morning Coming Down News Report 07.18.10
Waters and Gilmour together again (and again), the future of Black Sabbath, a Live Aid TV movie, the return (kinda) of Scribble Jam, and a three-way brawl erupts on the internet involving MIA. All this and a brand new segment to celebrate going back to the old school.