Friday, April 30, 2010

Canon Movie Review: Super Mario Bros.

So I got off early from work tonight. Instead of watching some TV or reading a book or playing a video game, I decided that the best way to spend some of my newly found free time was to watch one of the first, if not the first, movies based off of a video game. In this case, the movie was the 1993 Film Super Mario Bros. The movie stars Bob Hoskins as Mario and John Leguizamo as Luigi. Why the producers of this movie decided to cast an Englishman and a Columbian/Puerto Rican as two Italian brothers is a mystery, but what are you going to do? The plot has the two brothers meeting Daisy (Samantha Mathis), a college student or something who is leading a archeological dig after a meteor which supposedly destroyed the dinosaurs is discovered. However, the Dinosaurs weren't destroyed, instead they were somehow banished to a parallel world and also evolved into humans. I'm going to just leave that whole quagmire alone for now. Anyway, Daisy actually is from the dinosaur world, and was put on our earth just before hatching by her mother with a piece of the meteorite that sent the dinosaurs packing. That piece, if in the right hands, will merge the two worlds together, which is exactly what King Koopa (Dennis Hopper) wants in order to rule both worlds. Oh and King Koopa became King after turning Daisy's father into a giant pile of fungus. Got it? I didn't think so. Well, here's a few notes about this film anyway.

- One thing that this movie did well was the graphics and effects, as well as making creatures like the little raptor Yoshi and the Goombas (who, in this movie, are about eight feet tall with shrunken heads, not even close to how they are in the video game) look. It doesn't look cheesy or anything like that. Say what you want about this movie (and I will), but the special effects, graphics, and makeup departments really did quite well.

- Dennis Hopper plays King Koopa in the movie, and he possesses a rather interesting hairstyle to say the least. I can't really describe it accurately, so I'll show you a picture instead. As for his performance, well, I'd say that he mailed it in, but that would be too kind. (image from

- Whenever you play a Mario Brothers game, the setting is usually a bright, sunny setting, unless you are inside a castle or something. In this movie, everything is so dark, and it always seems to be night time. Also, unlike the game, the two brothers find themselves in some sort of underground metropolis, with people everywhere. There's even a disco that's crowded to the gills. I must have never gotten to that level in the Super Mario Bros. games.

- It was rather interesting to see what they did with some of the characters. For example, Toad is a mushroom in the games, but in the movie he's a man on the street singing protest songs against King Koopa. He eventually gets "de-evolved" into another Goomba, except for some reason he's given a harmonica. Toad was played by Mojo Nixon, a psychobilly singer who has performed such songs as "Destroy All Lawyers", "Burn Down the Malls", and "Elvis is Everywhere".

- By far the most annoying characters in this movie were Iggy and Spike Koopa, King Koopa's cousins and henchman who spend most of the movie bumbling around. Played respectively by Fisher Stevens (who once dated Michelle Pfeiffer) and Richard Edson (the original drummer for Sonic Youth), these two numbskulls supposedly become smarter due to Koopa's evolution machine, but yet they still act like buffoons, bicker like five year olds and generally suck up to every person they come across, even Mario and Luigi, the same men they were assigned to capture. I guess they were supposed to be funny, but they did nothing but grate on my every last nerve for me.

- This movie was apparently a mess behind the scenes. There were four directors (including the future director of Firestorm), and the plot was rewritten so many times that the actors mainly came to ignore the rewrites. Bob Hoskins, who played Mario, said that this movie was the worst thing he has ever done as an actor, and both Leguizamo and Hopper expressed similar feelings about the movie as well. It also doesn't help that the movie cost 42 million dollars to make and only brought back 21 million in box office revenue.

Overall, this isn't the worst movie of all time, but it was a disappointing flick on a lot of fronts. The directors (all four of them) couldn't make up their minds about whether to make this a film directed towards kids or adults, or whether to make this movie match up to the video game or make a whole new story which just happens to be based off of the Mario Bros. The result is a giant mess of a movie that makes little sense, with flat characters and a storyline that is confusing at best. There are some people out there that will defend this movie, saying stuff like "you should turn your brain off and just enjoy the movie, it's fun" Well, fun movies don't have to be stupid and jumbled, and many of them aren't. Bottom line, you'll get a heck of a lot more enjoyment just playing one of the many Mario Bros. video games than spending two hours trying to make heads or tails out of this movie. I'll give it a 2.99 out of 10, as I didn't completely hate it, but there aren't many redeemable factors of this movie either.

Thanks for reading, and if you have any ideas for future posts, than either leave a comment or send me an e-mail at Or if you have anything to say about this post, feel free to express those thoughts as well. I'll leave you with the trailer for this movie, but even the trailer makes no sense, so be prepared.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The State of The Canon Review

Well, it may be hard to believe, but it has been about three months since the debut of The Canon Review. What started out as some sort of basketball blog has turned into a blog reviewing anything and nothing in particular. Heck, one day I might review a pencil I find on the street, who knows? (not likely). The Canon Review has turned into a runaway success, if by runaway success you mean over 400 views and over 1 dollar made on Google AdSense. Usually, after three months of plugging along with a blog, I tend to get tired of it, but this time it has been different, as I still want to make original posts and entertain the few people that read this blog regularly or the people that may stumble upon this here corner of the internet.

However, due to a lot of reasons, production has slowed down at The Canon Review over the last couple of weeks. For one thing, I got a job recently, so that has cut down some on the time I can dedicate to this enterprise. Another problem is that I have found that, when you have the ability and freedom to write about anything, no matter how mundane and obscure and ridiculous it may be, it's kind of hard to narrow it down to one topic and sticking with it. There have been many times where I think about reviewing this or that or writing about whatever and then all of a sudden I just decide not to not it and go with something else. I guess you could say that I lack focus at times, but I also feel that the lack of focus on one particular topic keeps things interesting. Or at least I hope so.

But enough about my problems, what I really want to know is, what do you, the reader, think about The Canon Review? What would like to see? What changes should I make? How can I make The Canon Review better? If you want, you can even tell me how I can make it worse. I would also like to know what ideas you have for me to review or blog about. I am always looking for new ideas and things to write about, and in a way I almost prefer it because then it gives me a certain topic to focus all of my energy and attention on. Finally, if for some reason, you would like to contribute a post to The Canon Review, than let me know about it and I will do what I can to allow you to do just that. Remember, it can be about anything, from your top five candy bars to a review on a broom you bought at Family Dollar. So, whether I'm doing a good job or boring you to tears, let me know about it and any other feedback you have about The Canon Review at large, either by a leaving a comment on this post or by e-mailing me at I want to think anybody and everybody that has even glanced at this page over the past three months, and especially the few people that regularly read this blog. Well, I'm tired, so I think I'll go to bed, but before I do, here's a video of Terry Bradshaw singing. Actually, Terry doesn't sound too bad in this clip, so see for yourself.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Canon Review List-A-Mania: Top Five and Bottom Five MLB Stadiums

The idea for this post came from reader Dickson S., who asked me to reveal the best and worst baseball stadiums. Before we begin, I must say that I've only been to two Major League Stadiums in my lifetime, so the results of this list is largely based on what I have seen on television. I know it's not the same as being at the actual stadium, but nevertheless, I will complete this list to the best of my ability. So, without further adieu, here is The Canon Review's list of the best 5 and the worst 5 stadiums in Major League Baseball.

5. Petco Park - San Diego, CA

The home of the Padres, Petco Park is a fairly new park, having been completed in 2004. What I like about this park is the view of the big buildings of downtown San Diego from home plate, as well as the incorporation of an old warehouse as part of the ballpark, as an old Western Metal Supply building serves as part of the left field wall. Bottom line, this is one of the most attractive stadiums in baseball. (image courtesy of


4. AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA

The home stadium of the Giants is everything that their old stadium, Candlestick Park, isn't, charming, attractive, and what generally seems to be a heck of a place to watch a ballgame. Built on the coast of the San Francisco Bay, this stadium has many unique features, including the "World's Largest Baseball Glove" and a chance for power hitters to hit homeruns in "McCovey's Cove" over the right field fence, an inlet of the San Francisco Bay where many boaters park each night hoping to catch a souvenir. (Image courtesy of

3. Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL

The longtime home of the Cubs, Wrigley Field is a landmark in Chicago, home to baseball for almost 100 years. There are quite a few unique qualities in Wrigley Field, from its brick walls covered in ivy to its "rooftop seats" where fans can climb up to the roofs of their apartment buildings and take in all of the action, to its giant green scoreboard in centerfield, one of the few hand controlled scoreboards left in the major leagues. Wrigley Field is often considered the most enjoyable place to watch a ballgame, and for good reason. (image from

2. Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD

Even though the Orioles play there, Camden Yards has always been a great place to watch a ballgame in. Debuting in 1992, Camden Yards is known for being the first of the many "retro" parks built, and its success inspired nearly every other baseball team to get their own brand new stadium. A unique feature of this park is the incorporation of an old building, the B & O Warehouse, into its design, as the warehouse serves as the backdrop for the right field bleachers. The park also features a great view of downtown Baltimore, although that has been altered to the building of two new skyscrapers which impair that view. (image from

1. Fenway Park, Boston, MA

I'm not a huge fan of the Red Sox, but I am a huge fan of its ballpark. In fact, if there is one stadium I want to attend a ballgame at, it would be this one. Built in 1912, Fenway Park is the oldest park still in use by a Major League team. The most famous feature of Fenway is the "Green Monster" the 37 foot high fence in left field. Another thing that makes Fenway unique is its wacky dimensions, as the left field fence is only 310 feet away, while the fence in right center is 380 ft away. The dimensions, lack of foul territory, and weird angles off the Green monster and the angular center field fence make games at Fenway an adventure for outfielders, and add a unique factor to games that aren't seen at other games. Another feature exclusive to Fenway is the hand operated scoreboard that resides at ground level on The Green Monster. Although there was talk of replacing Fenway, Red Sox brass wisely have decided against it, meaning that this great stadium will continue to host the Red Sox and their devoted fans for years to come. (image from

Well, that's the five best, but now it's time to get negative and name the five worst baseball stadiums. Unlike the last list of all current stadiums, this one will contain ballparks that are no longer hosting ballgames, so consider this the five worst baseball stadiums I have seen in my time following baseball.

5. Tropicana Field, Tampa, FL

I'm not sure why the people of Tampa Florida decided to build a dome for a baseball team, but that's what they did. Built in 1986, although not used for Major League Baseball until 1998, Tropicana Field often seems like a dull, lifeless place to watch a ballgame. It's indoors, there's nothing really to set it apart from other stadiums and is painted in drab, lifeless colors. The Rays are hoping for a new stadium soon, hopefully it will be better than this one (image courtesy of

4. Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN

The Twins opened up their new ballpark this year, meaning that there will be no more baseball inside of the HHH Metrodome. Personally, I find that to be good news, as I never liked how dark it appeared inside the dome. Not to mention the right field wall, which looked as if it was made of trash bags. On the other hand, the Atlanta Falcons finest moment took place in this building, so I guess I can't completely hate it (image from


3. Veterans Stadium - Philadelphia, PA

The old stadium of the Phillies had all of the charm of razor-wire. The only thing this stadium was known for was its artificial turf, considered to be the worst playing surface in baseball. The park was huge and cavernous, to the point where some seats required binoculars in order to see the action. The Phillies moved to their new ballpark in 2004, and it is a vast improvement over this one (image courtesy of

2. Minute Maid Park - Houston, TX

Formerly known as Enron Field, this park probably doesn't deserve to be on a list of worst stadiums, but it's my list, and I must admit that I've never enjoyed the quirks of this stadium. For one thing, why in the world is there a hill and a flagpole in play in centerfield? Also, I've never been a fan of the advertising on the foul poles, and the dimensions are so weird that balls off the wall can be considered home runs, provided they hit over a certain line, as the Braves found out in their 18 inning extra inning marathon in the 2005 NLDS. Actually, that game is probably a large factor in this stadium''s placing on this list (image courtesy of

1. Candlestick Park - San Francisco, CA

Candlestick is remembered by many baseball fans for its swirling winds, which made night baseball a challenge to stay warm, even in the summer. Add to that a field far away from even the closest seats, due to its expansive foul territory and outfield walls some 20 feet away from the stands, the chain-link outfield walls, and a drab, lifeless atmosphere, and Candlestick Park is my choice for the worst baseball stadium. It's no coincidence that attendance at Giants games improved dramatically after the Giants moved to AT&T Park (image courtesy of

Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any ideas for future posts, than let me know either by leaving a comment or by sending me a e-mail at

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Canon Movie Review: Back to School

What better way to spend the wee hours of Sunday Morning watching a movie with Rodney Dangerfield, Sam Kinison, Ned Beatty, William Zabka and Robert Downey Jr.? There is no better way, or at least I couldn't think of any, so I watched Back to School just a few minutes after watching a totally different film, The Third Man. Will I like this movie better? Well, let's see.

The movie's plot is rather simple, as Rodney Dangerfield's character (Thornton Melon) is a rich owner of over 100 tall and fat clothing stores nationwide. After getting a divorce, Thornton decides to pay his son Jason (Keith Gordon)a visit at Great Lakes College. When Jason wants to quit, Thornton implores him to stay, and then decides, since he never went to college, to attend school with his son. In order to get in, Thornton makes a huge donation to the school, which will go to the new school of business. This pleases Dean David Martin (Dean Martin, get it?) but the head of the buisness school, Philip Barbay,(Paxton Whitehead) is not amused. For the rest of film, hyjinx ensue, and Thornton starts to get cozy with the English professor, Diane Turner (Sally Kellarman), who Philip is also interested in Meanwhile, Jason has his own feud with fellow diving teammate Chas Osbourne (Zabka) over a girl named Valerie (Terry Ferrell). Robert Downey Jr. plays the strange roommate of Jason, Derek Lutz. Got all of that? Good. A few notes.

- Originally, the plot called for Dangerfield's character to be poor, but they decided to change that and make him rich. Which is great, because it was quite funny seeing Thornton throw all of his money around by buying books for everyone, having his personal bodyguard Lou whoop up on the football team, and get his paper about Kurt Vonnegut by none other than Kurt Vonnegut. It was even funny hearing Thornton tell off Vonnegut after he failed the paper.
- Robert Downey Jr. was all over the place as Derek Lutz. He had a different hairstyle in nearly every scene he was in, and was talking about 100 mph. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Downey was under the influence of something during the filming of the movie.
- I have a hard time believing that Jason Melon could knock out the much larger Chas Osbourne. I kind of wished that Zabka, the actor playing Osbourne, had whipped out some Karate moves he learned while playing the main bad guy in The Karate Kid. Zabka the's perfect jock jerk, not just in this movie, but in Karate Kid 1 and 2 and in Just One of the Guys. The guy was born to play a jerk. Too bad he's been stuck in movies like Shootfighter 2, Hyper Sonic, and The Man in the Silo since this movie.
- Sam Kinison is also in this movie, as the crazy history professor Mr. Terguson. Not surprisingly, Kinison yells for most of the few minutes he's on the screen. It's quite an interesting scene, I would say, so check it out for yourself.

- The ending might be one of the most ridicolous in cinema history. Not only does Melon have to take an oral exam and pass it (which, obviously, he does), he's also asked to do the world famous Triple Lindy dive after Chas fakes a leg injury just because he's a jerk. The scene is one of the most ricockulous scenes I've ever seen, but because it's such a crazy plot to begin with, it does fit in nicely.

Overall, this movie was never going to win an Oscar, and it was never meant to do that. But as a comedic farce, it does quite well for itself. There are many laughs to be had while watching this movie, and if you in the mood for that, than Back to School will do just fine. I'll give it an 8.1 out of 10. Well, thanks for reading.

Canon Movie Review: The Third Man

There are times where I see something one way, and it seems like the entire world sees the same thing I'm looking at in a completely different way, and I have no idea if they are wrong or I'm wrong. For example, all of my friends praised the movie Little Miss Sunshine up and down, and when I saw it, I really did not see what all the fuss was all about. Well, The Third Man is another example of me not seeing things the same way as the general perception would suggest. Many people consider The Third Man one of the greatest movies of its era, one of the finest examples of the film-noir style, with excellent cinematography and a style years ahead of its time. To me, The Third Man was a boring film with bland characters that never got interesting until Orson Welles showed up on screen. A few notes from this film.

- The main character is an out-of work Western novel author named Holly Martins (Joseph Cotton), who has been invited to work in post WWII Vienna for his long-time friend Harry Lime (Orson Welles). When Martins arrives in Vienna, he discovers that Lime has been killed in a suspicious car accident. Because of his sudden death, Martins takes it upon himself, despite the protest of the British cops stationed in Vienna, to investigate the murder of his friend. Martins meets Lime's girlfriend, Anna, and a few of his business associates. Which each step he takes, Martins finds himself deeper and deeper into the mess that is the life of Harry Lime, who turns out not to be the man Martins thought he was.
- At first, the movie kind of crawls along at a snail's pace. Martins asks some of Lime's associates questions, but there isn't a whole lot happening. Mainly, Martins argues with the police chief Calloway and pontificates Harry's life with his girlfriend Anna, an actress at a local theater. The main point of this movie seems to be if Martins can find the "third man" carrying Harry off the street after he was struck by a car. He meets two of them, but a porter tells Martins and Anna that there was a third man carrying Harry off. Not surprisingly, the porter winds up murdered before he can reveal the third man's identity, and to make matters worse, the mob (including a fat, annoying German kid) accuses Martins of murder.
- Just when Martins is about to leave, he sees a man following him, and it turns out to be the man thought dead, Harry Lime. This is when the movie finally starts to get going, as Welles and Cotton have great chemistry in their few scenes together, which if you have seen Citizen Kane you would know, and finally Cotton finds an actor who can keep up with his skill.
- From there, the movie starts to take off, as both Anna and Martins must decide whether or not to help their friend or to betray him due to things that he has done. Since Anna was caught with an illegal passport, she is arrested, but Holly agrees to help catch Harry if she is released. This does not please Anna, who is still loyal to Harry even if he's not quite as loyal. Some might thought her decision to not take the train out of town was unwise, but I could see her not willing to be the ransom for having her boyfriend caught. Give her credit for standing by her man, I say.
- The score of the film is either charmingly different or takes away from the whole suspense mood, as it's mainly zither music. Personally I didn't have a problem with the score, but I could have done without all of the overhead and slanted camera shots. Some people loved it, but to me it seemed like the filmmakers were trying to be too cute with all of that stuff.

Overall, I may have been a bit harsh in my introduction, as The Third Man is at least a decent movie. But I just don't get why the movie gets so much praise and regard. The plot has holes as big as I am, the acting, with the exception of the three main characters, is hit or miss, and the producers seemed to sacrifice plot for a bunch of camera tricks that, while they may have been ahead of their time, didn't really do anything to make the movie that much better. It's not the finest example of the film-noir genre I've ever seen, as Strangers on a Train, Sunset Boulevard, and The Maltese Falcon blow this film out of the water. Overall, I'll give it a 5.3 out of 10, and if you think I've missed something or am horribly mistaken with my opinion, than feel free to let me know.

Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any future ideas for posts on The Canon Review, than let me know either by e-mail at or by leaving a comment. Here's the trailer to The Third Man.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Let's talk about Beer Money

No, I'm not talking about actual Beer Money. I'm talking about the TNA Tag Team Beer Money, comprised of James Storm and Robert Roode. See, they're called Beer Money because James Storm drinks a lot of beer and Robert Roode has a lot of money, or at least that's what the storyline says. Anyway, some people consider Beer Money to be the best tag team in the world. Those people probably don't watch too much Japanese or Mexican wrestling, but then again I hardly watch any wrestling these days so I'm not qualified to say who the best tag team in the world is. However, I have to give Beer Money its due for being one of the few homegrown acts TNA has created that has actually succeeded, instead of their usual policy of pushing guys that use to wrestle for the WWE and WCW. Since I haven't seen enough of Beer Money to judge them properly, I decided to watch a few of their matches over the past couple of years and see just how good Beer Money is.

Match 1: Beer Money (w/Jacqueline) vs. LAX (Homicide and Hernandez, w/Hector Guerrero and Salinas), World Tag Team Title Match, Hard Justice 2008

The story coming into this match was that a week before the PPV, Beer Money put Homicide through a glass table (or rather, a table with a pane of glass on top of it). Because of this, Homicide has his eye taped up. LAX has some rapper named F.I.L.T.H.E.E. come out with them and sing their theme song. It wasn't my type of music, but whatever. LAX decides to waste no time and go after their opponents with brawling tactics. LAX dominates the first few minutes of the match, and Hernandez hits an awesome suicide dive on Beer Money where he lands on his feet. Not bad for a guy that weighs 280 pounds. Back in the ring, Homicide has the advantage until Storm spits beer in his injured eye. Beer Money uses this opening to attack and gouge Homicide's injured eye. They get a couple of two counts after a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker from Roode and a brainbuster from Storm. Back in, Roode mocks Hector's late brother Eddy with his version of the "three amigos" suplexes. He even does the chest slap and everything, the bastard. Roode misses a top-rope splash, which allows Homicide to get the hot tag to Hernandez, who starts taking out people like a wrecking ball. Beer Money uses a double team on Hernandez to get a two-count, but Hernandez recovers and tags back Homicide. Homicide hits a big splash from the top on Storm for two. Everybody's in now, but LAX eventually get control of the ring and send Beer Money to the apron. Homicide and Hernandez argue about their next move, and Hernandez picks Homicide up for the Border Toss (Outsider's Edge). He launches Homicide over the top rope onto both members of Beer Money, taking out all three men. Hernandez must have thrown Homicide at least 10 feet on that move. Back in the ring, Hernandez tries to avalanche Roode, but Roode moves out of the way and Hernandez goes flying to the outside. Roode follows him out, and after a low blow on Hernandez from Jacqueline, the two seconds get into a skirmish. Meanwhile, Homicide sets up Storm for the Gringo Killer (vertabreaker), but Roode hits Homicide in the face with a beer bottle, allowing Storm to get the cover and the win. Pretty good match between two good teams, and the psychology of this match was quite sound. I'll give it a 3.4853085 out of 5.

Match 2: Beer Money vs. Lethal Consequences (Consequences Creed and Jay Lethal) vs. Matt Morgan and Abyss, World Tag Team Title, Genesis 2009-

The show prior to the PPV, Lethal Consequences cashed in on a "Feast or Fired" tag team title shot and won the belts from Beer Money. Because Morgan and Abyss were already the number-one contenders, the powers-that-be decided that this would be a three-team tag team match.  Storm comes to the ring riding a cooler on a Razor scooter. He has deemed the contraption the "Boozer Cruiser". Very clever, I must say. This match probably would have better off if it was just Beer Money vs. Lethal Consequences, as they did about 90 percent of the work anyway and the other two guys just stood there most of the match. At least Morgan did a dive off of the top rope to the outside on both opposing tag teams, an impressive looking dive for a seven foot tall man, I must say. Abyss and Morgan aren't bad wrestlers, per se, but their opponents moved at a much faster pace than they could possibly keep up with, especially Lethal, who is probably the quickest wrestler on TNA's roster. Speaking of which, I really wish he would drop the whole "Black Machismo" act, as while it was funny at first and helped him stand out, it's kind of played out even by this point and especially now. The match was decent, although the ending was dumb, as Abyss caught one of the tag belts thrown in by Beer Money, walked around for half a minute, and accidentally hit his partner with the belt while swinging at Roode. Morgan got pinned and Beer Money regain the belts. I'll give this match a 2.42 out of 5.

Match 3: Beer Money vs. Team 3-D, World Tag Team Title Match, Slammiversary 2009

Team 3-D are the champions heading into this match. Storm once again comes out on his Boozer Cruiser. Mike Tenay brings up the fact that Team 3-D, due to having a match in Japan, are coming off of a 20 hour flight back to Detroit for this match. If they were jet-lagged, than it certainly didn't look like it, as Team 3-D looked sharp in this match. The match starts with Team 3-D in control, delivering blows to their opponents. Bubba Ray does a overhead German Suplex on Roode, and poor Roode lands on the back of his head. Ouch! It seems as if Beer Money is taking most of the bumps in this match, as Team 3-D is getting twice as much offense in the match than Beer Money. Bubba hits some of his trademark spots, including the Bubba Bomb, and Team 3-D hits the WAZZUP!? headbutt they've been using for a decade now. D-Von goes to get the tables, but takes too long and Beer Money gains the advantage. They hit their trademark double suplex and scream BEER MONEY!!, as they are wont to do. The British Invasion comes out to do guest commentary. From there, the match pace really picks up, as the two teams exchange a series of two counts, including a top-rope hurracanrana/money shot combo from Storm and Roode, and a Doomsday Device from Team 3-D on Roode. Eventually, the British Invasion get involved, and Bubba dives from the top onto two of the members, while Doug Williams, the third member, gets shoved off of the apron and through a table by D-Von. But the distraction allows Storm to hit the Last Call (superkick) on D-Von, setting him up for the DWI (simoultenious powerbomb and neckbreaker). Beer Money gets the tainted victory to become Tag Team Champions for the third time. Good match, but I could have done without the outside interference. I'll give it a three out of 5.

Match 4: Beer Money vs. The Band (Kevin Nash and Syxx-Pac), Genesis 2010

This match is a result of The Band (Nash, Syxx, and Scott Hall) attacking Beer Money backstage on an episode of TNA Impact. Nash and Syxx represent The Band, while Beer Money comes out fired up. Storm spits beer in Nash's face, and it is on. Beer Money starts out in control of Syxx, hitting a couple of double team moves on their opponent. Nash comes in and proves hard to knock off of his feet, but a flying clothesline from Roode finally gets the big man down. The two members of Beer Money use the wishbone on Nash, and fight off Syxx until Nash finally takes control for the Band by nailing Storm. The next five minutes or so are spent with Storm getting beaten up by his advesaries, including taking elbows in the corner from Nash and the Bronco Buster from Syxx. Tazz keeps calling Syxx X-Pac, which amuses Mike Tenay greatly.  Storm finally gets control by hitting the lungblower on Nash, which gives him enough time to make the Hot Tag to Roode. Roode gives Syxx a series of clotheslines and a back drop. Roode also hits a spinebuster on Pac, but Nash comes to break up the cover. I haven't mentioned this before, but Robert Roode may have the best spinebuster in American Wrestling, much better looking than Triple H's or Batista's. Anyway, Beer Money does their double suplex and signature BEER MONEY! taunt. Scott Hall comes out, and Nash clothesline both Storm and Roode down. Hall attacks a fan for some reason, which distracts Syxx. Nash sets up Roode for the Jacknife, but Storm hits the Last Call on Nash, and Roode covers Nash for the three count. Nash doing the job? Will Wonders ever cease? Wasn't too bad, but nothing to write home about. I'll give it a 2.41 out of 5.

So, what did I learn from all of this? That Beer Money is actually a solid tag team, even if their name is kind of ridiculous once you first hear it. Of the two, Roode's probably the better wrestler, and Storm's got the most charisma, but each man brings enough to the table, and they work really well as a team. TNA may get a lot of crap for the booking decisions they have made over the years, and most of it is well deserved, but putting Storm and Roode together was one of the best decisions they have made.

Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any ideas for future posts on The Canon Review, than let me know about them, either by leaving a comment or by e-mail at, or if you see me sometime and have an idea, than let me know about it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Canon MST3K Review: Kitten With a Whip

So, I got home from work this morning, and I decided, what better way to recover from a hard day of labor than to watch a bad movie mocked by a man and two robots? Well, I couldn't think of anything else, so I watched the Mystery Science Theater episode of Kitten With a Whip. This movie, made in 1964, stars Ann-Margret and the late John Forsythe. The plot starts simple enough, as Ann-Margret is a juvenile delinquet running from the law in San Diego, and sneaks into a US Senate candidate's house while he's not home. The candidate, played by Forsythe, finds her in his daughter's bed (who, btw, is conveniently on vacation along with the man's wife). The man takes pity on the runaway and tries to assist her by buying her clothes and giving her enough money for a bus ride to LA. But Ann-Margret, or rather her character Jodi, decides to come back to the man's house to antagonize him because she's mad at the world or something, I'm not exactly sure. Unlike many of the movies featured on MST3K, this movie had some elements of a good movie, but ultimately the movie was just too over the top to be considered a quality film. A few notes from this flick.

 - John Forsythe's character, David Stratton, makes at least 12 major lapses of judgment in the movie. I mean, every time you think this man couldn't get any dumber, he manages to surprise you by making an even dumber move. It doesn't help that most of the film he acts in a bland, emotionless manner. Then again, I guess there wouldn't be much of a movie if he had just done the smart thing and call the cops once he discovered her in her house.

- Jodi seems to have a lot of mental problems. Her moods changes as quick as a hiccup, she seemingly is willing to make anyone with any sympathy towards her hate her, and most of the movie she's either pitying herself or lashing out at the world around her. At the least, she's bipolar. Because of the way the character is written, you have a big contrast between the laid-back acting of Forsythe and the manic, almost overacting of Ann-Margret.

- The main reason why David doesn't call the cops is because Jodi threatens to charge him with rape and assault. So he does what he's best at and does nothing. However, considering that he's a pillar of the community and she's a delinquent on the run after stabbing someone and setting fire to a house, I think the police would buy Stratton's story over Jodi's, considering the circumstances. But if he had called the cops, I guess the movie would last 25 minutes instead of 90, so here we are.

- Both Mr. Stratton and Jodi do have something in common, a tendency to befriend annoying people. David's friends in this movie are a sycophant named Grant whose as dry as, um, drywall, and a annoying woman named Peggy. Peggy is David's wife sister and spends the few minutes she has on screen either ordering around servants or interrogating people like she's Columbo with prying questions. With every word she said, Peggy became more and more annoying. But these two are a treat compared to Jodi's friends, which deserve a paragraph of their own.

- So Jodi decides that she wants a party, and decides to call up a few of her friends while David is trying to get rid of Grant and Ms. Sipowicz. The three people she calls friends are Midge, who's as dumb as a doornail but seems to be nice enough, Buck, a young man driven by rage, and Ron, a wanna-be philosopher and college graduate who looks like he's thirty and dresses like the late Payne Stewart. After about five words from Ron's mouth, you wanted him and his ham-fisted attempts at being deep to go away as quickly as possible. How Jody made friends with a rageaholic who she obviously despises and a wanna-be philosophical guru is beyond me. At least Ron gets stabbed in the arm with a razor. Normally I don't wish for violence, but I wasn't exactly broken up when Buck stupidly swung an old razor and accidentaly stabbed Ron in the arm. This also allowed Ron to say the best line in the movie "I'm dying in a rush".

- One of the more curious things about this movie is the hip lingo the young people and the 30 year old college graduate use. For example, if things are good, they are "creamy" or "shiny good". Jodi describes David at one point as thinking he's a "smoky somethin' when you're nothing painted blue". I'm not sure what exactly that means, but whatever.

- I know it's silly to bring this up, but if I were running from the law and had the fortune of getting some help from a stranger whose house I broke into, the last thing I would do is go back to that same house and torture the poor guy that helped me in the first place. I think I would keep running, but maybe that's just me. Then again, if anybody in this movie had done anything that made sense, than there wouldn't be a movie at all.

This movie could have been decent, I suppose, but it fell short. The acting was either over the top or non-existent, most of the characters were annoying and unsympathetic, and the plot was so convoluted that in order to keep the movie going, they had to make David Stratton look like the dumbest man ever. Not to mention that the ending is so pat and cliche' that it adds to the unbelievability of it even more. However, this movie is easy to mock, and the MST3K guys do that quite well. So while the movie isn't good (it's also not terrible, it just isn't good is all) the episode was quite enjoyable. I'd give the movie a 3.4 out of 10 and the episode a 7.2.

Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any ideas for future reviews, than either leave me a comment or send me an e-mail at

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Worst NFL Draft Picks: 2000-2009

With the NFL Draft just three days away, The Canon Review is compiling a list of the worst draft picks over each of the past 30 years. This is the third of a three-part series. Before I begin, I must say that these selections are as of today, as players picked over the past three or four years still have a good chance of developing into solid players. So, without further adieu, here are the worst NFL Picks over the past 10 years.

2000: Courtney Brown, Cleveland Browns, DE, 1st Pick in the Draft

Brown and fellow Penn State teammate LB Lavar Arrington were the top two picks in the 2000 Draft. While Arrington had a star-crossed career, he at least made a couple of Pro Bowls and was generally considered an impact player during his tenure with the Washington Redskins. Brown, however, was never on the field long enough to make an impact, as he battled injury after injury during his pro football career. When he was on the field, Brown showed signs of the talent that made him an All-American at Penn State, but like a few others I've mentioned, Brown just could not stay on the field. After five years in Cleveland, Brown spent two years with the Broncos, missing one due to a torn ACL, before retiring in 2007.

2001: David Terrell, Chicago Bears, WR, 8th Pick

Coming out of Michigan, David Terrell was considered the best wide receiver prospect in the 2001 Draft, and some thought that other than Michael Vick, Terrell was the player most likely to become an NFL superstar out of this draft. Even more than LaDanian Tomlinson. Terrell did not become a superstar, or even a good NFL receiver. In five NFL seasons, Terrell caught a total of nine touchdown passes. To make matters worse, Terrell was the first receiver picked in a draft class that included wide receivers such as Santana Moss, Steve Smith, Chad Johnson (nee Ochocinco), Reggie Wayne, and Chris Chambers.

2002: David Carr, Houston Texans, QB, 1st Pick

I didn't want to put Carr on this list, as I feel like he got a raw deal. But when your a quarterback picked number one in the draft, and fail to lead your team to the postseason at least once, than you've got to be considered a disappointment. Carr was the Johnny Unitas Award winner for best college quarterback in 2001 for Fresno State, and had the size, arm, and mobility that all NFL teams look for when picking a quarterback. The expansion Houston Texans made Carr the first pick in the draft, and made Carr the starter instantly. In his first year, Carr was sacked a record 78 times, due to playing behind an inept offensive line, and over the next few years, Carr would continue to take a beating, partially due to a bad offensive line, and partially due to his tendency to hold on to the ball too long. In his five seasons with the Texans, Carr threw more interceptions than touchdowns and compiled a 22-53 record as a starter before the Texans moved in another direction. I wonder how Carr would have done with a more established team with a better offensive line, but I guess we'll never know.

2003: Charles Rogers, Detroit Lions, WR, 2nd Pick

Rogers was supposed to be the next Randy Moss after coming out of the draft from Michigan State, where he set all sorts of school records and won the Fred Biletnikoff Award for best collegiate wide receiver in 2002. Rogers instead became a spectacular failure. First, his first two seasons were ended due to a broken collarbone. Add to that a poor work ethic, and a drug problem which led to a suspension in 2005, and Rogers managed to flame out in three years, finishing his career with 36 catches and 4 touchdowns. Later, Rogers would admit that he smoked pot and drunk alcohol nearly every day during his playing days, which a judge would rule that, because the admitted drug use violated the terms of his contract, Rogers must pay the Lions back six million dollars. To make matters worse for the Lions, Andre Johnson was selected a pick after Rogers, and Johnson is now considered one of the best receivers in the NFL.

2004: Reggie Williams, Jacksonville Jaguars, WR, 9th Pick

The third wide receiver in the past four drafts to be featured, Williams was a huge target with the deep speed NFL teams covet from their wideouts. While Williams had a good season in 2007 (10 TDs), he largely failed to deliver on the promise that made him a first round pick. Williams has battled injuries, and has had multiple incidents with the law, mainly due to drugs. After five seasons in Jacksonville, the Jaguars let Williams go after the 2008 season. Just 26, Williams recently signed with the Seattle Seahawks, where he will try to make the team during training camp.

2005: Adam Jones, Tennessee Titans, CB, 6th Pick

The artist formerly known as Pacman has shown a lot of skill when on the field, as his three punt return touchdowns in 2006 show. The problem is, Jones hasn't been on the field too much, and didn't play at all in 2009. The reason why is simple, as Jones has a rap sheet at long as one of Manute Bol's legs. He was suspended for the 2007 season after one of his entourage members shot up a strip club, in which Pacman had assulted a stripper earlier that night. Like any normal person, Jones used this setback to his advantage, as he signed a contract with the wrestling organization TNA, where he was one-half of the world Tag Team champions. In 2008, Jones played for the Dallas Cowboys, and is looking to sign on with another team for the 2010 season. If he's serious, Jones still could become a very good player, but it remains to be seen if he can stay out of trouble.

2006: Michael Huff, Oakland Radiers, S, 7th Pick

Huff is still on the Raiders, but up until this point has not become the player the Raiders felt would solve their problems in the secondary. An All-American and the winner of the Jim Thorpe Award for best collegiate defensive back in 2005, the former Texas Longhorn was thought to have the versatility to play either cornerback or safety. The Raiders stuck him at safety, but by 2008 Huff had lost his starting position, due to a lack of big plays and poor tackling. 2009 was a step in the right direction, as Huff set a career high with three interceptions. Entering the 2010 season, Huff might not have a lot of chances left to prove that he is not a bust.

2007: JaMarcus Russell, Oakland Raiders, QB, 1st Pick

Russell was considered the next great quarterback coming out of LSU. He's a huge guy, with some mobility, and may have the strongest arm among all quarterbacks in the NFL. He was supposed to breathe new life into the Raiders, but instead all Russell has brought is a triple dose of frustration to the Raiders and their fans. While Russell can throw a pretty deep ball, he can't throw with any accuracy, has trouble dealing with a pass rush, and hasn't shown a great ability to read defenses. There have also been questions about Russell's conditioning and commitment to the game. Other than all of that, JaMarcus Russell is everything you could hope for in a quarterback picked number one. Coming into the 2010 season, Russell is now in a battle for his starting job with Bruce Gradkowski, a man with the fraction of Russell's talent but unlike Russell, he understands the game and seemed to gain the trust of his teammates last year.

2008: Vernon Gholston, New York Jets, OLB, 6th Pick

I suppose I could have put Darren McFadden or Glenn Dorsey on this list, but at least those two have shown glimpses of excellence, even if they have yet to meet expectations. Gholston, on the other hand, has spent his first two years buried on the Jets bench. Gholston was expected to use his considerable speed and 260 pound frame to become the next great pass rusher, but in two years, Gholston has yet to record a sack. It's still early, but due to a lack of confidence in Gholston by Jets coach Rex Ryan, it may take a change of scenery for Gholston to receive an opportunity to realize his potential.

2009: Jason Smith, St. Louis Rams, OT, 2nd Pick

Even though it's only been one year, I had to choose somebody, and Jason Smith did not have a good rookie year. In 2009, Smith played in only eight games, five of which he started, due primarily due to injuries. But there's no reason to fret yet, as in 1997 the Rams used the number one pick on OT Orlando Pace. Like Smith, Pace struggled his rookie year, but he bounced back and became one of the best offensive lineman in football. The Rams are hoping for deja vu with Smith.

Well, thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy the final part of our three part series on the worst NFL Draft Picks over the past 30 years. If you have any feedback on this or other posts, or have an idea for a future post, than share them either by leaving a comment or by e-mail at

Monday, April 19, 2010

Worst NFL Draft Picks: 1990-1999

With the NFL Draft only a few days away, I decided to take a look at the worst pick in each NFL Draft during the 1990s. In each NFL Draft, there always seems to be at least one high draft pick that just doesn't work out, either due to injuries, attitude, legal problems, or some team just simply overrated the talent of their pick. So, without further adieu, here are the worst NFL Draft Picks in the 1990s.

1990: Blair Thomas, New York Jets, RB, 2nd Pick in the Draft

Just like the 1980s, our list starts with a New York Jets draft pick. Thomas was an All-American from Penn State University, rushing for over 1,400 yards his senior season. While Thomas's rookie year went well, averaging 5.0 yards a carry, a combination of fumbles and injuries contributed to Thomas's quick downfall, and he never became the lead running back the Jets expected him to be. After four seasons in New York, Thomas finished his career playing as a backup with the New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, and Carolina Panthers over the next two years. Now, Thomas and The Canon Review's worst pick for 1984  Kenny Jackson co-own a few sports bars in Pennsylvania.

1991: Bruce Pickens, Atlanta Falcons, CB, 3rd Pick

Bruce Pickens was such a bad pick that nobody seems to remember just how bad of a pick he was. The Falcons expected Pickens to team with Deion Sanders to form an excellent cornerback tandem. Instead, Pickens first engaged in a lengthy holdout, during which he threatened to sue both the Falcons and the NFL. After finally signing, Pickens shows up out of shape, to the point where after the first day of practice, he winds up puking on the sidelines. In three seasons with the Falcons, Pickens winds up only starting eight games and finishes his career with only two interceptions. After being released by the Falcons, Pickens plays a year with the Raiders in 1995 before calling it a career. Just two picks after the Falcons selection, the Rams take cornerback Todd Lyght, who has a solid 11-year career in the NFL.

1992: Steve Emtman, Indianapolis Colts, DT, 1st Pick

The Colts had the first two picks in the 1992 NFL Draft. As it turned out, it was probably the wrong year to hold the first two picks, as this was one of the weakest draft classes of all-time. The Colts picked Emtman with the first pick and LB Quinten Coryatt with the second pick. While Coryatt had a modicum of success, Emtman wasn't on the field enough to be successful. Entman was college football's most dominant player in 1991, winning both the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Award for College Football's best lineman. He also finished 4th in the voting for the Heisman Trophy, a rarity for a defensive tackle. When Entman was on the field, he played very well. However, he suffered major injuries to both of his knees and his back over the first three years, and was never able to stay healthy throughout his career until he retired in 1997. Too bad, as it would have been very interesting to see what would of happened had Emtman avoided the injury bug.

1993: Rick Mirer, Seattle Seahawks, QB, 2nd Pick

In 1993, there were two quarterbacks at the top of draft, Mirer, from Notre Dame, and Drew Bledsoe from Washington State. The Patriots picked Bledsoe first, leaving the Seahawks with what many experts thought was the next Joe Montana in Rick Mirer.  After the 1993 season, it looked as if Mirer was going to be the better player. Unfortunately, Mirer never really got any better, and Bledsoe went on to lead his team to the Super Bowl in 1996, which happened to be Mirer's last year in Seattle. Mirer would play for seven teams over this 12 year career, but he never came close to becoming the next Joe Montana, or even the next Joe Kapp.

1994: Heath Shuler, Washington Redskins, QB, 3rd Pick

The 1994 Redskins had a rookie quarterback that would go on to play 15 years in the NFL. That man was seventh round pick Gus Frerotte, who eventually became the starting quarterback for the Redskins over Shuler. Coming from the University of Tennessee, Shuler finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1993 and looked like the next great quarterback to come to the NFL. Instead, Shuler never spent one full season as a starting quarterback, and finished his career with 33 interceptions and 15 touchdown passes. He spent his final season with the New Orleans Saints in 1997, where he thew a shocking two touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 10 games that year. However, Shuler enjoyed his time in Washington D.C. so much that he decided to pursue his next career there, as a congressman from North Carolina.

1995: Ki-jana Carter, Cincinnati Bengals, RB, 1st Pick

The Bengals traded up from the fifth selection in order to nab Carter, an All-American running back at Penn State who ran for nearly eight yards a carry in his final year in Happy Valley. In his first preseason game, Carter tore his ACL, and missed the 1995 season. After that, Carter was never the same explosive runner he was at Penn State, and spent the majority of his career as a backup. Like Emtman, Carter never really got the chance to prove whether or not he was worth the hype, but sometimes that's how it goes.

1996: Lawrence Phillips, St. Louis Rams, RB, 6th Pick

Normally during this list, I go for the highest pick to never make an impact, and while Cedric Jones was selected a pick ahead of Phillips and is widely considered a bust, I made an exception and went with Mr. Phillips in this case. Lawrence Phillips is one of the worst human beings to ever play professional sports. I suppose he's not worse than OJ or Rae Carruth or Chris Benoit, but other than murderers, Phillips is among the most despicable athletes in the history of sports. Despite character issues, which is another way of saying that he push his girlfriend down a flight of stairs and seems to have a homicidal temper, the Rams selected Phillips with the sixth pick in the draft. To make room for Phillips, the Rams traded a man named Jerome Bettis to the Steelers, who will one day be in the Hall of Fame. While everybody said that Phillips was the most talented player in his draft class, he never translated that talent into NFL success, averaging only 3.4 yards a carry over a three year NFL career. To make matters worse, Phillips could not seem to stay out of trouble. Today, Phillips is serving a 31 year prison sentence for, among other things, choking his girlfriend into unconsciousness and running down three teenagers with a car after a pickup football game.

1997: Tom Knight, Arizona Cardinals, CB, 9th Pick

As bad as Michael Booker was for the Falcons, I must go with Knight because he was selected two picks higher. As I recall, Knight was considered a reach by the Cardinals at the time, but the Cardinals needed a cornerback across Aeneas Wiliiams, so they chose Knight ahead of future Pro Bowlers RB Warrick Dunn and TE Tony Gonzalez. Knight didn't make much of an impact, as he had only three interceptions in a career which lasted six years, five with the Cardinals and one with the Baltimore Ravens. He wasn't as bad as Heath Shuler or Blair Thomas, but Knight failed to deliver what the Cardinals expected from the number nine pick in the draft.

1998: Ryan Leaf, San Diego Chargers, QB, 2nd Pick

There were two quarterbacks at the top of the 1998 Draft. One was Peyton Manning, whose name has become synonymous with excellence. The other was Leaf, whose name has become synonymous with the word bust.  Leaf couldn't play, didn't work hard, and generally was a jerk to everyone who came across his way. Needless to say, he wasn't a popular player with his teammates. In three years with the Chargers and Cowboys, Leaf threw for 36 interceptions against 14 touchdowns. His teams would go 4-17 in games he started. Quite frankly, Leaf nearly killed the Chargers franchise, and these days it seems hard to believe that some people thought he was a better pro prospect than Peyton Manning. Today, Leaf is serving 10 years of probation, after being picked up on drug charges.

1999: Akili Smith, Cincinatti Bengals, QB, 3rd Pick

I suppose I should of picked Tim Couch here, as he was the first pick in the draft. However, at least Couch led his team to the playoffs once, and he was more of a victim of other people's stupidity than anything else. Smith, however, did absolutely nothing to justify his high draft selection. Smith had a big arm, but wasn't very accurate and seemed to have trouble reading defenses. Smith completed 46 percent of his career passes, and lasted four season with the Bengals before they decided they would rather have Jon Kitna. Smith bounced around the NFL and CFL before his career ended in 2007.

Well, thanks for reading. Tomorrow I hope to have the worst draft picks for the past ten years. If you have any ideas for future posts, than give them to me, either by leaving a comment or by e-mail at

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Canon Review of Clash of the Champions XVI (16)

Today, I was in the mood to watch some old-school WCW action. So I did, and decided to watch Clash of the Champions XVI: Fall Brawl 91. This show took place in Augusta, GA on September 5, 1991. Our announcers for the evening are Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone, with interviews to be done by Eric Bischoff, Missy Hyatt, and the Man that won't pay Mike Thor himself, Paul E. Dangerously. Let's get to the action

The first match is a 15 man battle royal deemed the "Georgia Brawl". The participants are the World Six Man Champions, Z-man, Dustin Rhodes, and Big Josh (apparently WCW drew three names out of a hat and gave them the titles), along with PN News, Bobby Eaton, TV Champion Steve Austin, Barry Windham, OZ, El Gigante, Tracey Smothers, One Man Gang, Buddy Lee Parker, Ranger Ross, Thomas Rich, and Terrance Taylor. An eclectic mix of talent in this match, to be sure. This battle royal was about 10 minutes too long, which is not good considering it went 15 minutes. The production team also missed at least three eliminations. Anyway, the final four were Oz, OMG, Dustin Rhodes, and El Gigante. Oz and the Gang team up to eliminate Rhodes and celebrate near the ropes, allowing Gigante to come in and double clothesline both men over the top, although it took Oz quite a while to get over that top rope. The crowd goes mild for Gigante, the first and probably only winner of the Georgia Brawl. Even if you love battle royals, I wouldn't recommend this one.

The next match is a semifinal match in the WCW Light Heavyweight Title tournament, Badstreet comes to the ring first, wearing a ridicoulous black costume and mask with crazy neon colored lines all over it. Mr. Badstreet (Brad Armstrong) comes out with the Freebirds. His opponent is the newly reinstated Brian Pillman. The ref orders the Freebirds to the back so we can have a fair fight. These two wrestlers were ready for this match, as the match was quick-paced and interesting throughout, plus Pillman took some heinous  bumps. Pillman took a suplex off the ring apron to the outside, and both men nearly landed on their heads. After both men got up, Badstreet kicked Pillman off the apron, and Pillman took his trademark chin into the guardrail diving bump. The match kept going, with Pillman doing all sorts of high-flying manuevers that few men in American wrestling could do at this time. At one point, with Badstreet on the outside, Pillman did a tope suicida and rammed himself head-first not only into his opponent, but into the guardrail as well. Remarkably, Pillman was unharmed. After an exchange of two counts, Pillman blocks a Badstreet superplex, and hits his Air Pillman bodypress for the finish. A heck of a match, easily the best one of the night.

We get a look at the WCW Top 10, which the announcers referred to at least 49 times throughout the broadcast. I don't exactly remember the order, but El Gigante and the Diamond Studd were on it, so good for them. Anyway, our next match is United States Champion Sting against Johnny B. Badd, in a rare face vs. face match. These two start out at a breakneck pace, as the two combine for three top rope moves and three near falls in the first 90 seconds. However, the match slows considerably, and when an eight foot tall refrigerator box wrapped up is wheeled to the ring, the match screeches to a complete halt. At one point, Sting goes to whip Badd into the corner, but for no reason whatsoever, Badd just stops and drops to his knees. The end comes after both men are staring at the box, and Sting uses the distraction to roll up Badd sloppily for the three count. Afterwards, Cactus Jack comes out of the box, slams Sting on the outside of the ring, climbs up the turnbuckle, and does an awesome looking flying elbow over the ringside announcers table right onto Sting's chest. Cactus celebrates while Ross and Tony are concerned about Sting.

The second semifinal match of the WCW Light Heavyweight Title is next, and it features Richard Morton (w/ Alexandra York) going against Mike Graham. Graham was never that good to begin with, and Morton's not much of a heel, so this match is rather boring. I was amused by Tony Schiavone putting over Mike Graham at every opportunity, even if he was taking punches, he would compliment Graham on trying to stand up. Anyway, the match mercifully ends after York distracts the referee, which allows Morton to launch Graham head first into the turnbuckle and roll him up for the three count while holding the tights. So the finals of this tournament would be Pillman vs. Morton. Try to guess who won that match.

Bill Kazmier's got a big tag team title match with Rick Steiner against The Enforcers, Arn Anderson and Larry Zbyszko. But first he wants to bend a long steel bar with his head and neck, because he's the World's Strongest Man, and has won the World's Strongest Man competition to prove it. He's also got traps the size of Eric Bischoff's head, so bending the bar proves easy. But WAITAMINUTE! Anderson and Zbyszko come out and hit Kazmier in the ribs with a 45 pound weight that someone brought in the ring for some reason. Steiner comes out, but the damage has been done. Will Kazmier be able to fight tonight?

The next match is a tag match between The Freebirds (Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin) and The Patriots (Firebreaker Chip and Todd Champion). The Patriots are billed as being from WCW Special Forces. I spend the rest of the match wondering what missions the WCW Special Forces go on and what training one must go through before becoming a member of the WCW Special Forces, because this match is quite boring and I am easily distracted. Also, Ross compared the Patriots to the Atlanta Braves because they were a young team on the rise and the Freebirds to the Mets because both teams suck or something. Or maybe that was my interpretation. From what I remember, Chip took most of the offense, and The Patriots looked as if they were wrestling there first match, as they were quite clumsy and awkward looking in everything they did. The finish was good, as the ref was trying to hold back Champion, Chip got the cover on Garvin, and Hayes dropped an elbow right on Chip's noggin, allowing Garvin to get the win, showing that the Freebirds were the savvier team.

Paul E interviews Cactus Jack, who congratulates Sting on a stellar career that is now over thanks to Cactus Jack. Another giant box is wheeled out, and Cactus, thinking it's his partner Abdullah the Butcher, goes to give him a big ol Cactus Jack hug. Instead Sting comes out of the box and whoops up on Jack, hip tossing him off the entrance ramp and dropkicking him off the ramp as well. The two fight to the back, and somehow a trash can gets involved as both men take turns hitting each other with it before security finally separates the two. 

We get a statement from Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, congratulating Ron Simmons on his upcoming title shot against World Champion Lex Luger. After that, the Diamond Studd (Scott Hall) comes out to face Simmons. After the Studd hits a few moves on him, Simmons takes control, and hits the spine buster and the shoulderblock for the three count. Quick match, but I do wonder how good a match between these two would have been if given 10 minutes. Might be interesting. Afterwards, Paul E. interviews Simmons, who calls out Luger but instead gets Luger's manager Harley Race and Luger's enforcer Mr. Hughes. Simmons then goes to the back to find Luger.

Van Hammer makes his debut here against Terrance Taylor. The crowd is actually very into Van Hammer's act, even if it does seem kind of forced, and Hammer gets a quick squash over the Taylor Made Man after the world's weakest looking top rope knee drop. To the back with Missy Hyatt and Lex Luger, but Ron Simmons interrupts and eventually goes through the door after launching himself from a three-point stance. Chaos ensues.

The next match is for Steve Austin's Television Title, as he takes on the Z-Man. I was really looking forward to this match, but in the end I must say it was a disappointment. It wasn't a bad match, per se, but it was very slow paced and plodding, and quite frankly I was looking forward to something more. Then again, it was the second best match of the night, so perhaps I shouldn't complain too much. The match picked up towards the end, as Z-Man hit a sweet looking suicide dive on Austin on the elevated ring ramp. But after missing a flying body press, Austin is able to gain the advantage and hit the Stun Gun on Zenk. Interestingly, Austin doesn't go for the cover, as he goes to pick up Z-Man and nearly gets rolled up for the three for his troubles. Z-Man catches Austin in a sleeper hold, and Austin scoots towards the ropes, allowing Steve's manager Lady Blossom to sneak him some brass knuckles. Austin counters a back suplex by tapping Z-Man on the noggin with the knucks, and gets the victory. The announcers are not happy about this, but Austin and Lady Blossom sure are.

Next is the contract signing for Halloween Havoc's main event, between WCW Champion Lex Luger and Ron Simmons. They really are pushing Simmons here, as a video is shown of him giving a speech to a bunch of kids, and later taking two busloads full of those kids to the arena to watch him wrestle. Simmons, his wife, and for some unknown reason Dusty Rhodes is seated at one table, while Luger, Race, and Mr. Hughes are at another table. Simmons changed into his suit rather quickly, I must say. Things go smoothly until Luger offeres Simmons a job as his personal driver, and Simmons does not take too kindly to that job offer, as he chases Luger and Race to their limo. The two drive off into the night with Simmons giving chase on foot until he wisely elects to give up on that idea.

It's main event time, as this is the finals of a tournament for the vacant WCW Tag Team Titles. The titles became vacant after an injury to Scott Steiner, and Rick Steiner has a chance to regain those titles with a different partner this time in Bill Kazmeir. Kazmeir does come out to wrestle this match, although his ribs are heavily taped up. Steiner starts by attacking both of the Enforcers, but eventually Anderson and Zbyszko get the advantage. Steiner won't give up, as he hits the Steinerline on one opponent and suplexes the other to the mat. However, the numbers prove too much for Steiner, and since he refuses to tag Kaz in, it looks bleak. After a couple of minutes, Kazmaier tags himself in and starts cleaning house. He lifts Zbyszko over his head, but Arn headbutts him in his already damaged ribs, causing the big man to collapse and Zbyszko gets the cover to crown new Tag Team Champions. Afterwards, Arn states that "If you can't breathe, you can't win". Match was way too short for a main event, but then again, I don't think Kazmaier could last 10 minutes without sucking wind. I would have much rather seen the Steiners against the Enforcers, as that could have been one heck of a match.

Overall, this was a below average show, as there was one good match and one decent match. I will say that the commentary was very good, especially by Jim Ross. Say what you will about him, but at least on this show, Ross was able to keep up with the action quite easily, was able to both preview the upcoming matches and call the in-ring action without any trouble, and did his darnedest to get everybody over with his commentary, especially Cactus Jack, Pillman, and Simmons. Schiavone wasn't too bad either, even if he did love him some Mike Graham. But even their excellent commentary could not make up for a bad show. Overall, I'll give it a 3.530 out of 10, and the only match I'd recommend would be the Pillman-Badstreet match.

Well, thanks for reading. If you have any ideas for future reviews about well, anything, then send them to me either by leaving a comment on this here blog or by e-mail at Here's two videos from the Clash of the Champions XVI if you want to see them.

Flyin Brian vs Badstreet-WCW Light Heavyweight Semi Finals
Uploaded by TSteck160. - Check out more sports and extreme sports videos.

Arn Anderson & Larry Zbyszko attack Bill Kazmaier
Uploaded by TSteck160. - More professional, college and classic sports videos.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Canon Review of two The Bradys episodes

So last week, I watched the SciFi original movie Mega Piranha. I would recommend that you do all that you can to not watch this movie, as it is bad. The premise of this movie is that some scientists, including one played by former teen idol Tiffany, have accidentally populated a Venezuelan lake with giant piranhas, who have both male and female organs, can reproduce quicker than a hiccup, and eventually grow into the size of Cadillacs with impenetrable skin. Eventually, the Piranhas grow and grow and number, taking out everything in sight, including battle ships and nuclear subs, and it's up to Tiffany, her scientist friend, and some wannabe Jean-Claude Van Damme to save the earth. If you want, you can see the trailer right here:


So, what does this crapfest have to do with the short-lived 1990 series The Bradys? Simple, they both star Barry Williams, aka Greg Brady. In Mega Piranha, Williams plays some sort of government agency whose main contribution is to tell his operative to get away from the Mega Piranha. The guy spent most of the movie talking into his walkie talkie and was frankly quite useless. But at least Mr. Williams got paid, and was probably the best actor in the film, which doesn't speak well of any of his co-stars acting skills. Meanwhile, in The Brady, Williams plays Greg Brady. How about that?

Before we begin, I must share a little background on the series. As you've probably figured out, "The Bradys" is based off of the "Brady Bunch" sitcom from the 1970s. After CBS produced a TV Movie called "A Very Brady Christmas", the network, pleased with the movie's high ratings, decided to make a TV series chronicling the Brady's, now all grown up with problems of their own. Unlike the original light-hearted affair where everybody shared a laugh and learned a lesson, "The Bradys" was an hour-long drama which featured very serious situations. For example, in the first episode, Bobby Brady became a paraplegic after a wreck in an auto race. The show lasted six episodes, mainly due to low ratings, which Barry Williams would later blame on its poor timeslot. I will now attempt to watch 2 of these episodes right now, and more than likely complain about it.

Episode 1: A Moving Experience

There's trouble at the Brady House, as a new freeway is being built, and the zoning commission has given Mike and Carol six months to find a new place.  Mike organizes a meeting with the city councilman to present an alternative route for the freeway, but the councilman says it's not going to happen, but good luck. However, Mike's speech interests some politicians, who are looking for a candidate for city council, and think Mike can do it. Mike turns them down at first, but at the end of the episode he changes his mind. Meanwhile, the Brady's inspired by an idea from Marsha's kids Jessica and Mickey, decide that instead of moving to another house, they will move their house to a new location. Brilliant! Meanwhile, Cindy, a radio station DJ is dating her boss, a widower, and meets his kids, who are not happy about this idea at all. Peter is having trouble finding a woman while managing his new job at People for a Better Planet, and Greg and his family are also moving, as Greg recently received a promotion. While the Brady's wait for the construction of their house to be completed, Mike, Carol, Marsha and her husband Wally and their two kids move into a smaller apartment for one month. Unfortunately, the place is in a flight path, and many airplanes fly right overhead. Also, it's Mike's birthday, and the whole gang show up at the smaller house to celebrate, including the Korean girl Jan and her husband adopted, who made some seaweed soup. Sounds yummy. A few more notes.

- Greg has decided to grow a mustache, and the result is that he looks a lot like Jason Lee from My Name is Earl, only dorkier.
- The Brady clan have some awfully annoying kids, Greg's son Kevin acted like a bit of a brat, and tried to push the house on the truck while it was being moved. But Kevin's nothing compared to Marsha's son Mickey. Normally, I don't wish for harm to come to children, but in Mickey's case I made an exception. The worst part was when he was jumping on the bed while Mike and Mickey's dad Wally was trying to sleep, and the kid had the nerve to say that he wasn't going to stop no matter what Wally or Mike did. If I were them, I would have forcefully voiced my desire to have him stop jumping on the bed and go to sleep, but instead a pillow fight broke out, at first between the three men, and then somehow the ladies got involved. Anyway, everything Mickey said and did made me loathe him more and more.
- Interesting note, well, maybe only to me, but still. The part of Bobby's wife was played by former MTV VJ Martha Quinn. I found that curious, but I'm sure most people probably couldn't care less. Anyway, Bobby and Martha Quinn moved into a new house that just happened to be owned by a paraplegic, just like Bobby is now. I guess Bobby gets all the breaks.
-All of the original Bradys returned for this show, except for Maureen McCormick, who played Marsha. McCormick was pregnant at the time and did not want to devote all of her time to a TV series and be away from her family, so the part of Marcia was played by somebody named Leah Ayers, who was the journalist that hounded Jean-Claude Van Damme in Bloodsport.

Episode 2: Party Girls

This was less excruciating than the last episode, but still nothing I would recommend. In this episode, Marsha, Greg's wife and Martha Quinn decide to start a catering buisness. They get help from Marcia's husband Wally, who suddenly is interested in public relations work, and Alice's husband Sam the Butcher sells his old shop to them so the "Party Girls" (their business name) have a place to cook. Meanwhile, Greg and Peter get into a dispute after Greg has to cancel previous plans to go to a PTA meeting, and Peter totally overreacts and flips out, making for a very awkward situation. They try to reconcile, but further misunderstandings take place and both men promise to never speak to each other again. Meanwhile, Mickey continues to annoy. Everything comes to a head at an Austrian themed party hosted by the Party Girls. Greg and Peter have to be waiters due to the size of the party, and when Peter chokes on some food, Greg comes over and saves his life with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The two make up, and Mike introduces the Australian dignitary to the Austian themed party, which was due to the fact that Mickey messed up taking the phone message. Nevertheless, the Australian is quite surprised at this turn of events, and is relieved that he won't have a bunch of ignorant Americans saying "g'day mate" and referencing Crocodile Dundee. The episode ends with the Party Girls moving out of the butcher shop, and Sam moving back in because he's bored with retirement. A few notes.

- Sam's never seen in any of the episodes, as the producers must have decided not to bring his character back in an on-air role. They could have, as the actor that played him, Allan Melvin, was still an active actor at the time this show was filmed, but for reasons unknown, they did not.
- I didn't recognize it until this episode, but the role of Greg's son Kevin was played by none other than Johnathan Taylor Thomas, who as most of you probably know, went on to star as Randy Taylor on the show Home Improvement. Meaning that he is the only person to play the son of Tim Taylor and Greg Brady. What a career.
- Even though this is supposed to be a drama, the producers of this show added a laugh track whenever a humorous moment occurred (there was not a laugh track in the first episode I saw). This made for a rather weird dynamic, as one moment Peter and Greg are fighting, and not a few seconds later somebody makes a quip and off goes the laugh track.
- This ended up being the last episode of "The Bradys", as the show went on hiatus for retooling, and ultimately CBS decided just to cancel the show altogether. Sadly, it would also be one of Robert Reed's (Mike Brady) last appearances, as he died in May of 1992, some 18 months or so after the airing of this episode.

Overall, I can definitely see why this show lasted only six episodes. For one, I wasn't really sure whether this was supposed to be a drama or a comedy. If it was a comedy, it wasn't very funny, and I have a hard time believing that the audience would want to see the Brady's in serious, tragic situations. I'm not really sure what they were going for here, and I'm not sure if the producers knew either. For both shows, I'll give a score of 1.69 out of 10, as quite frankly, it was hard to watch, and I'm sure that this post will be hard to read through because of that. But if you make it this far, than thanks for reading, and if you have future ideas for future reviews, than you know where to reach me. I leave you with the opening credits for "The Bradys" series righchere:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Canon Review List-A-Mania: Top Eight Stand Up Comedians

Today's post comes from an idea by reader Maggie W. who wanted a list of the top stand-up comedians of all-time. So here is the list of The Canon Review's Top Eight Stand-Up Comedians. Why eight, you ask? because eight was the first number that popped into my mind. Like other lists of this ilk, this list is just my personal opinion, so if your favorite comedian is left off or you want to create a list of your own, than feel free to do so. I must warn you that some of the accompanying video clips will have some strong language.

8. Denis Leary

This may be a controversial selection, but when he was doing stand-up, Leary was one of the funniest comedians around. I know that people have accused Leary of stealing Bill Hicks' routine, but it's not as if Hicks was the only angry comedian to ever exist. Yes, there may have been some similarities, but there are also a lot of differences and Leary's material and ranting style gives him a unique style all of his own.


7. Chris Rock

Rock's taste in movie roles may leave something to be desired, but there's no doubt that he's one of the most popular stand up comedians of the past 20 years, and for good reason. Rock is edgy, perhaps a bit too in-your-face for some audiences, but he also is a very entertaining comic. 

6. Jerry Seinfeld

 I will admit that my love for the show Seinfeld has influenced his placing on this list, but it is my list so oh well. Besides, if Seinfeld wasn't so good at stand-up, he never would have gotten his own sitcom in the first place. Still, judging by his stand-up alone, Jerry Seinfeld is quite humorous.

5. Bill Cosby

One of the few comedians on this list that doesn't swear a lot, Cosby has built a legendary career with his wit and excellent storytelling skills. A true legend, even if he did star in Leonard Part 6.

4. George Carlin

Nearly every stand-up comedian over the past 40 years, including a lot of people on this list, were heavily influenced by the wit and style of George Carlin. His biting, angry style often dealt with social issues and language, and about how much he despises people and their rules and regulations. A hell of a funny man, I even read a book of his (Brain Droppings) and it was probably the funniest book I have ever read, although I haven't read many funny books, so take that with a grain of salt.

3. Bill Hicks

A little like Carlin, although Hicks talked more specifically about the government and the media's negative influence on society. Hicks would often make people think, as well as laugh. Unfortunately, Hicks died young at 32 in 1994. One must wonder what material Hicks could have come up with during the George W. Bush presidency.


2. Rodney Dangerfield

The man still gets no respect, as he only gets number two on the list. Dangerfield's schtick is probably the most imitated comedy act ever. Dangerfield's routine was self-depreciating and pessimistic, but he told his jokes and one-liners in such a snappy fashion that you couldn't help but laugh at them. Plus, he was Al Czervik in Caddyshack, the funniest character in one of the most hilarious movies of all time.


1. Sam Kinison

Our number one comedian made a name for himself at a show for young comedians hosted by our number two comedians. Like Dangerfield, Kinison was also self-depricating, but unlike Dangerfield's use of snappy one-liners, Kinison would rant and rave and often sounded like a "fire and brimstone" preacher, which, oddly enough, he was before becoming a comedian. Kinison was also known for his trademark yell and his anti-religious rants. Unfortanetly, Kinison died young in a car accident at the age of 38 in 1993. Nevertheless, he's number one on The Canon Review list of top stand-up comedians.

Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any ideas for future posts on The Canon Review, than by all means let me know about them so I could get cracking on them, either by leaving a comment or by e-mail at

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Canon Review on a pack of 2010 Topps Baseball

I just got home from work, but before I did, I bought a pack of 2010 Topps Baseball from Wal-Mart because, well, that's where I work, so it makes sense. So, like just about every baseball card blog ever, I'm going to open this pack up and make smarmy comments of the people on the cards I just bought. Ready or not, let's do this thing.

#60 David Wright - I'm conflicted here, as on one hand Wright is a good ballplayer, even though his power dipped last year. On the other hand, he's a Met, and the Mets suck. Maybe the Mets will be stupid enough to trade Wright to the Braves after Chipper hangs his cleats up. Since this is the Mets we are talking about, I wouldn't put it past them.

#135 Ryan Dempster - Dempster's a pretty good starting pitcher who also happened to be a good closer when given the opportunity and he's Canadian. He also plays on the Cubs, but we can't all be perfect.

#54 John Lackey - There's a bend in the upper left corner of the card, which really sucks. Actually, there seem to be a few with bent corners, which grinds my gears. I mean, I spend 2 dollars on a bunch of cards that are probably worth 50 cents, and their all bent. That's not cool. Anyway, Lackey recently took a lot of money to be the Boston Red Sox' third starter. Nice work if you can get it.

#284- Ross Ohlendorf- Ross pitches for the Siberia of baseball, the Pittsburgh Pirates. He had a decent year last year, and is a bit of a media favorite because he graduated from Princeton and is a pretty sharp guy. Perhaps when's he done, Ohlendorf can become one of ESPN's 115 baseball analysts, although he's probably too smart a guy for that postion.

#4 National League Batting Leaders- This card has pictures of the NL's top 3 leaders in batting average, which are Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandovol, and Albert Pujols. They're all great, but I bet you didn't know that Miguel Tejada was eighth in the league in batting average, and Nyjer Morgan was 10th. That is, if you know those people at all.

CMT-6- Frank Robinson 1957 Topps- This is a reprint (the front is, the back has information about the card and player on it) of Frank Robinson's rookie card. In case you don't know, Frank Robinson was one of the greatest hitters of all time, and his rookie card is worth hunderds of dollars. This card will probably be worth about 10-15 cents, at most, especially because of the bent corner.

Topps Million Card Giveaway- All right, I got a code for an older Topps baseball card. Chances are it will something I already have, like a 1991 Topps Jeff Montgomery or something, but maybe I'll get lucky. Since these codes come in one in every six picks, I was somewhat surprised to get one. I wonder what card I will get.

TTT15- Miguel Cabrera - This is basically a code to become a member of Topps' internet site, Topps Town. I think I'll pass, as I just don't have the time and interest to join yet another online community. As for Cabrera, he's a potential MVP Candidate, if he can curb his alcohol consumption.

#229 - Daniel McCuthen - Dang it, I was hoping for Daniel's teammate and namesake Andrew McCuthen instead. Well, them's the breaks. Daniel's a mid level prospect at best for the Pirates, whose best hope of making the big leagues on the major leagues is in middle relief or a back-of-the rotation starter. This is his rookie card (or so they say) but there's not a lot to get excited about here.

#166 Eric Byrnes- Byrnes had two good years for the Diamondbacks, signed a 30 million dollar contract with them, and promptly went out and played terribly in 2008 and 2009. Now Byrnes is trying to come back to his previous form with the Mariners, but I would bet against that happening, no matter how hard he works.

#285 Kurt Suzuki - Suzuki was on three of my four fantasy teams last year. Part of that was due to performance, and part of that was due to the fact that there aren't a whole lot of good catchers fantasy-wise, so I drafted Suzuki low and never found a suitable replacement for him. Suzuki is a good hitter though, as he drove in 88 runs and hit 37 doubles last year.

#239 Juan Uribe - Juan's uncle is former Giants shortstop Jose Uribe, and now Juan plays on the Giants. What a coincidence. Juan's a 230 pound middle infielder who is one of the few Giants power threats, therefore he will get a lot of playing time even though he doesn't really have a consistent place to start. Don't expect him to slug at a near .500 clip this year, though, as last year's success was a bit of a fluke.

And now, finally, the moment I've been waiting thirty minutes for. A chance to register for Topps' Million Card giveaway and get my 18th copy of a 1990 Topps Allan Anderson. So I put in the information, put in the nine digit code and what do I get but a 1988 Topps Carlton Fisk. On the one hand, I already have this card, but at least Fisk is a Hall of Famer, so it's not all bad. Here's a picture of the card, courtesy of the Topps website:

Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any ideas for future posts, than let me know either by leaving a comment or by e-mail at I'll try to have something up later today, but I can't make any promises, so we shall see.