Top 10 Best Pro Wrestling Matches of 2018

This year, we have had a chance to witness great professional wrestling matches that were highly praised by pro wrestling journalists Dave Meltzer and Wade Keller and fans alike. The match quality of these ten matches were very rare ten years ago or even further and in today’s age of pro wrestling, it is common to get a great match at least once or twice per month. There are many that I have seen that were from various promotions such as WWE, Impact Wrestling, Ring of Honor, and New Japan Pro Wrestling and I will rank them all in my personal top 10 matches of 2018.

10. Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler (Summerslam)

I was in the crowd for this match at Summerslam and It was a great opener for this long Pay Per View. Rollins and Ziggler has had many matches throughout the year, but this match is their best match of every match they have had this year. There was a mix of everything in this match from the drama, to the athleticism between these two, and the energy of the crowd. There was a few points during this match where I was convinced that the match was over and that Ziggler would retain the Intercontenential Championship but Seth regained the championship in this awesome match.

9. Undisputed Era vs. Ricochet, Pete Dunn, and War Raiders “WarGames” Match (NXT Takeover: WarGames)

Last year, the WarGames match has finally made its way to WWE after many years where the fans would wonder when it would happen and it has finally arrived on WWE’s developmental brand NXT. Last year, it was three teams in this match but that changed this year when the rules reverted to the classic two teams of four. The feud between these two teams has been building up since the summer and the payoff was this excellent match as it was nonstop action from the start of the match to the finish. The War Raiders also showed off how fast these two can move despite being larger than all of the other men in the ring. There was also a camera shot during the match where the two teams are on opposite sides facing each other in the style of Captain America: Civil War. There were also weapons used during this match such as tables, trash cans, chairs, and kendo sticks and the most memorable spot of the match was when Ricochet did a reverse 450° senton from the top of the cage to everyone in the ring. Ricochet’s team got the victory after he pinned Adam Cole of the Undisputed Era to end this fantastic War Games match which is far better than last year’s version of the match.

8. Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy “Hell in a Cell” Match (Hell in a Cell)

It has been a long while since I can say that I liked a Randy Orton match and this is one of them. I have been a fan of both Orton and Hardy for a long time, but they both did not have a good match at all this year before this match. This is Jeff Hardy’s first match inside the Cell and it did not disappoint at all. There were a few moments during the match where it turned into a psychological horror movie such as when Orton proceeded to place a screwdriver right through his open earlobe and twisted it. That was very gruesome to watch as it took me a few minutes to resonate what I have just witnessed. The match ended as Jeff climbed to the top of the inner part of the cell with a ladder, used his hands to go to the middle of the cell like it is a monkey bar, and proceeded to do a body splash to Orton while he is laid on the table but as Jeff fell, Orton moved out of the way and Jeff’s head came crashing through the table as Orton then got the pin fall for the victory.

7. Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas (NXT Takeover: Philadelphia)

This match is the first WWE five star rated match by The Wrestling Observer Newsletter since John Cena vs CM Punk back in Money in the Bank 2011 and this match delivered in every aspect. Not only that it convinced me that Gargano can headline a WWE event one day, but it also proved the critics wrong about Almas at the time since his run as NXT Champion has gotten mixed opinions. Johnny did everything that he could to win this match and the crowd was behind him as well. In fact, there were many times during this match that there was a standing ovation to both of them due to their performances and they were very deserved. Almas got the win, but before the show ended, Tommaso Ciampa returned from his knee injury to attack Johnny thus resuming their feud which was delayed due to Tommaso needing knee surgery.

6. Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada (NJPW Dominion)

This match has been building up ever since their WrestleKingdom match from last year and the slow build has been worth it. These two has had matches on that show along with the G1 Climax as well and every match they have had, outperformed their previous one. It is the modern day Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat with these two as they tore the house down at Dominion this year. This match was a two out of three falls with no time limit and these two went all out during the one hour and four minutes of this classic. During this match, Omega has attempted to use his signature move “one winged angel” many times as Okada has found a way to counter it each time. The only time the move went through is during the final fall of the match as Kenny Omega not only won the match, but also became the new IWGP Heavyweight Champion as well. This match is as brutal as it comes and you will not find a hard hitting match like this anywhere else other than New Japan Pro Wrestling.

5. Buddy Murphy vs. Mustafa Ali (205 Live 7/03/2018)

205 Live from the beginning until the summer of 2018 has been a long afterthought as well as it’s division. Enzo Amore was the best superstar of the division for a while as well until his release and since then, 205 Live has been rebuilding itself and the first match to do that was this one. Mustafa Ali and Buddy Murphy had a no-disqualification match and it was awesome. From the high flying spots, to the innovative ways to preform high flying moves off of the table and even steel steps, and much more spots that has kept my attention to the screen as I was watching it and the fans in that arena as well loved it too and this was the beginning of the relaunch of the Crusierweight division from this point on.

4. Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle vs. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon (WrestleMania 34)

This match is my favorite WrestleMania match this year and many peope whether if it is inside the wrestling bubble or outside of it (You know, the casual fans and the MMA fans) was curious to see how Ronda Rousey would do in her first ever match in WWE and she delivered in this awesome tag team match in which she teamed with Kurt Angle to go against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in a mixed tag team match. Kurt and Triple H had control for most of the match as this was also Kurt’s first WrestleMania match in 12 years and once Ronda got tagged in, she did not hesitate to charge right at Stephanie and also Triple H with a fury of strikes and judo throws. The match finished once Ronda made Stephanie tap out to the arm lock as both Ronda and Kurt celebrated after the match finished.

3. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch “Last Woman Standing” Match (Evolution)

What WWE had done with the women for the last few years has been incredible. Starting way back in NXT when the women’s matches started to be taken more seriously, to WrestleMania 32 when the Divas Championship has been retired for a new Women’s Championship. Now we are at the stage that women are now on the main event of Raw, Smackdown, and even select Pay Per Views and this all lead to the first WWE all women’s Pay Per View, Evolution. Charlotte and Becky Lynch has been feuding since the summer when Becky turned heel at Summerslam. They both had a last woman standing match on this show and it was spectacular to see these two go to war in this match and not hold anything back. My favorite spot during the match is when Charlotte applied the Figure-8 leg lock on Becky as the ladder was also in between both of them. These two gave it their all and I believe this is the best women’s match I have seen this year.

2. Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega (NJPW WrestleKingdom 12)

The idea of this match came from Jericho as he wanted to make pro wrestling’s version of Mayweather vs. McGreggor and once it was announced that Kenny Omega accepted the challenge, the anticipation has blew up very high. Jericho and Omega is a dream match that we did not know that we wanted and it delivered. It was also great to see Jericho wrestle a completely different style since he is used to the WWE style for the last 19 years and this was also his return to New Japan Pro Wrestling. Everything with this match from the brutal table spots, to Jericho picking up a camera and started flipping the crowd and the referee with the finger, to Omega’s brutal V-Trigger knee strikes, and with Omega’s high flying arsenal. These two had the match of the night that night as the drama and the story of the match has not slowed down at all from the start to the finish. It also gave Jericho his first ever five star rated match by Dave Meltzer.

1. Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa “Unsanctioned” Match (NXT Takeover: NOLA)

The match in the year in my opinion and one of the best matches in WWE in the last five years. This match felt like an old school NWA “Lights Out” match from 1980 as the vibe of those matches from that time were transferred to this match. Just like those matches in the past, The referee is only there to make the three count and the other rules are out the window as the referee is not allowed to stop it. Johnny and Ciampa’s feud started way back in Chicago in 2017 and their first match was very crazy. The ring mat was also exposed during this match for the wood to be shown and other than that, there were more dangerous visuals that happened during the match inside and outside the ring and these two put their bodies through war during the match. Johnny did not want to give up at all or hurt Ciampa at all and even his wife did a run in and tried to convince Johnny to end the match. This is also the longest match in NXT history clocking in at 37 minutes. Johnny won this match by submission, but that was only the beginning of their great rivalry.

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Top 15 The Walking Dead Comic Book Moments of 2018

It is the near end of the year and  the comic book series of The Walking Dead has reached new levels of storytelling. From the introduction to The Commonwealth which holds about 50,000 survivors, to the different philosophies between Rick and Pamela, to Michonne finding her daughter, and to Rick and Dwight’s conflicts. This year there were moments that divided the opinions of readers and fans that have been talked about all year and I put together a list of the top 15 moments of the comic series of The Walking Dead of 2018. This list also has some spoilers so if you are not caught up, Read the issues before reading the list.

Before I do, take a look at what made the list last year right here.

15. The Princess has had enough (#178: New World Order 4/6)

After Sebastian tried to make a move on Yumiko, Magna jumped in and tried to stop it. But that did not work since Sebastian pushed her down. Then The Princess points her spear to him as Sebastian orders the Commonwealth soldiers to arrest her. That was not working either as she fought every single one of them. This was a cool scene and by this point, I warmed up to her character much more than her debut last year. The scene stopped when Mercer threw his hatchet towards her hand for her to drop her spear.

14. First look at The Oceanside (#181: Together Strong)

The Oceanside has been first mentioned way back in issue #139 which was about almost four years ago. It has never been seen before until Rick took Pamela over there in this issue. The full two page spread shows a beautiful sight of the ocean with a sunset along with a few houses. While there is a dark setting of the world of The Walking Dead, there are a few high points of scenery and this is one of them.

13. The planning of a trial (#183: And Michonne Without Her Sword)

Politics is something I would have not ever encountered in this series, but it is a reminder that the old ways can still happen even in a post-apocalypse world. Michonne used to be a lawyer before this all happened and Lance thought that it was a good idea to give her a job as a lawyer. When Michonne arrived to another section of The Commonwealth, she and her daughter sees that the soldiers are beating down Anthony who also had an argument with the soldiers before the beat down. It was also here where Michonne realizes that one of the soldiers was Jerome who she has meet earlier in the issue. It is also here that Lance tells her that she has to defend the soldier’s actions in the trial and we have seen the early stages of the trial as of now.

12. Introduction of Sebastian and Mercer (#177: New World Order 3/6)

Sebastian is the son of the leader of The Commonwealth Pamela. He seems to get away with anything and tries to abuse his status to people who are under him and we got a pure example of that when he lashes out at Mercer for not keeping a closer eye on him while he was with Kayla. But little did he know, Mercer already killed the lurking walkers before he even opened his mouth. I so far, am mixed about the character, but there is room to see where his story goes.

11. Maggie and Dante (#177: New World Order 3/6)

After sparing Negan’s life way back in issue #174, Maggie and Dante gets closer and while they were kissing in the barn at the Hilltop, Sophia walks in to see it happen. I will talk more about that in a moment, but to see Maggie finally moving on and wanting to be happy is a good feeling even though she said it herself that she is ashamed about it.

10. The Princess and Mercer are together (#181: Together Strong)

As soon as the cover of this issue was shown three months before it’s release, I had a feeling that these two would get together. Mercer and The Princess were clearing walkers until they realize that they are boxed in and surrounded by more of them. After the rest were killed, Princess suddenly kisses Mercer as the thought that they were having a moment. A few issues after this, they become a couple. Sure it’s odd for a visual standpoint, but love is love.

9. Rick Introduces Pamela to the communities (#182: The Commonwealth Grows)

The comment Pamela made upon arriving Alexandria about how much of a “dump” the outside gates were to what she is used to is eye catching. She has it so good at The Commonwealth that she wants to look down on Rick. But not only that Rick’s vision of a “New World Order” is different than hers, but she sees how the communities survive without too much of a law and order. Rick introduced her to The Hilltop, The Sanctuary, The Oceanside, and The Kingdom with stories about past characters that used to be there. This was very nice to see.

8. Dwight gets arrested (#185: On Guard)

Dwight who has been on Rick’s radar since Issue #169 has gotten arrested by the Commonwealth soldiers. He intentionally did this so he can send a message to Rick that the entire community needs help and that they are just smoke and mirrors. Dwight who has been second in command for Negan for years, sees the same in him as he does to The Commonwealth as he thinks that it is a lust for power and that their leader Pamela is doing this all for show. Dwight and Rick had a few moments talking about their different views of the place, but what is coming for Dwight will prove otherwise.

7. Maggie and Sophia (#178: New World Order 4/6)

Right after Sophia caught Dante and Maggie together, they had a talk and she was upset that Maggie did not tell her about their relationship. Maggie also insisted that she wanted to feel happy and loved again and although she will never forget Glenn, he would have wanted her to move on as well. Timeline wise, it has been almost fou years since Negan killed him and she has not healed from that day until they first spoken a few issues prior. This felt like a mom to daughter talk after the husband dies and it was an emotional one.

6. First look inside The Commonwealth (#176: New World Order 2/6)

This very large area which is made up of communities together in one is a sight to see on The Walking Dead. It feels like a normal day over there to see a football game, people eating out at restaurants, people eating ice cream etc. The survivors that went there were stunned to see all of this and they wanted to know if it was too good to be true. Seeing Lance say to them that there was over 50,000 residents over there made my jaw drop.

5. Michonne giving up her sword (#179: New World Order 5/6)

This is the second time that Michonne gave up her sword and it looks like it is for good this time as she decided to stay at The Commonwealth since her daughter is now there and that she has a job there as a lawyer. Eugene was puzzled by this but he understood her. Michonne gives Eugene her sword right before Pamela and a few others along with Eugene, Magna, siddiq, Yumiko, and The Princess go back to take Pamela to Alexandria.

4. The riot (#183: And Michonne Without Her Sword/#184: Eugene Tinkers)

A riot is something I wanted to see on The Walking Dead for years and we finally got it. Once the news about Michonne having to defend Jerome and the Commonwealth soldiers for killing Anthony come out, the residents did not like that at all. A full fledged riot escalated as the soldiers had to use riot shields and nightsticks to stop the residents from rioting. But that only worked for a while until Pamela arrived to see the riot along with Rick and his group that is seeing this for the first time. Part of the riot mob beat up Michonne and Jerome until it was broken up by Dwight, Mercer, and the soldiers. At the court hearing, Michonne defended the soldiers but asked the judge to drop all charges and the judge will consider it. Talking about this as I am reading it is mindbending for The Walking Dead as never in a million years would I think that a riot and a court trial would take place in this series.

3. Michonne and her daughter reunite (#176: New World Order 2/6)

After Michonne found a missing poster of herself that was written by her daughter Elodie, she did not waste any time to go look for her. Lance thought that she could be dead, but Michonne knew in her heart that she is alive. After the meeting between Pamela and the survivors, Michonne asked her if she can see her daughter. We find out that she works at the bakery and once they seen each other, Elodie dropped her cake and hugged Michonne. This reunion is one of the best moments of the comic series and I loved it.

2. Dwight’s death (#186: The Powder Keg)

I did not see this coming as it was a shocking moment for the last issue of 2018. Dwight who was about to kill Pamela so he can show Rick the way the community should be run was shot in the head by Rick. This whole thing happened because Michonne asked Pamela to come talk to Rick and Dwight without letting the two of them know that she was coming. Pamela overheard the conversation before she and two soldiers entered the room and she asks Dwight to leave the place. Dwight refuses and after some talking, BAM. Dwight was one of my favorite characters since his debut back in issue #98 and to see him go was very unexpected. Rick also blames Michonne for this because Rick could have handled it and he will now never forgive her for this at all.

1. Michonne finds out that her daughter is still alive (#175: New World Order 1/6)

I told myself that this is one of the biggest non death cliffhangers I have ever seen on The Walking Dead and I also said that no moment for the rest of this year will top this. As the group are introduced to Lance, he leads them to The Commonwealth. But on their way there, they stop by “the wall of the lost” as many residents place missing people posters of their friends and families. Of those posters, one of them was written by Elodie This made Michonne cry as she thought that she was dead the entire time and that she wants to look for her right now. The poster also featured a pre-apoclapyse Michonne when she used to be a lawyer and that symbolizes that no matter how long you have moved forward, your past will come right back to hit you. This is an amazing moment and I would love to know how they will pull this off on the television series.

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Fear The Walking Dead News: Daniel Sharman reprising his role as Troy Otto

The fifth season of Fear The Walking Dead started production this week and a key character from season three is now returning to the show as Daniel Sharman will appear on this season as Troy Otto. The news broke out today and it has puzzled fans since his character was killed off by Madison two seasons ago when she hit him at his head with a hammer and he was left behind to get washed up by the strong currents of the water after the bridge exploded. He was not seen since that episode since there was a time jump at the beginning of the fourth season.

Whether if his return is a flashback or not is yet to be determined, but if it is not, how would the group react to seeing him alive and how would he react to not seeing Madison since she was also killed off in season four (although we have not seen her body yet). There are many scenarios that can be made with his character and it has to be explained how he survived and made it all the way to Mississippi since that is the current location of where the group is.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @julianexcalibur for more continued coverage of The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead

 

WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION UNVEILS BELOVED CARTOONS UNSEEN IN THEIR ORIGINAL FORM IN 60+ YEARS

POPEYE® THE SAILOR:

THE 1940S, VOLUME 1

COMING DECEMBER 11, 2018 TO BLU-RAY & DVD

FIRST 14 THEATRICAL SHORTS FROM FAMOUS STUDIOS

TO MAKE LONG-AWAITED OFFICIAL HOME ENTERTAINMENT DEBUT

SINGLE-DISC SET FEATURES NEW HIGH-DEFINITION MASTERS CREATED

FROM 4K SCANS OF THE ORIGINAL NITRATE TECHNICOLOR NEGATIVES

 

BURBANK, CA (November 27, 2018) – One of the biggest animated stars in American history returns to prominence in a specially remastered Blu-ray & DVD presentation with the Warner Archive Collection (WAC) release of Popeye the Sailor: The 1940s, Volume 1, a 14-cartoon set that includes many shorts unseen in their original form for more than 60 years. In stunning 1080p high definition created from 4K scans of the original nitrate Technicolor negatives, and never before officially released for home entertainment, the single-disc Popeye the Sailor: The 1940s, Volume 1 will be available December 11, 2018 through wb.com/warnerarchive and your favorite online retailer.

 

Produced especially for the adult animation collector, Popeye the Sailor: The 1940s, Volume 1 features the first two Technicolor® seasons of Popeye’s animated theatrical shorts (1943-44 and 1944-45) produced by Famous Studios, Paramount’s revered New York-based cartoon studio.

 

Popeye the Sailor: The 1940s, Volume 1, the first authorized Blu-ray release of the color cartoons, covers their initial theatrical release – starting with “Her Honor The Mare” (originally released on November 26, 1943) and extending through the 1945 cartoon, “Mess Production.” Each of the 14 cartoons has been meticulously restored from the original 35mm nitrate Technicolor negatives, which have been scanned at 4K as part of Warner Bros. ongoing film preservation efforts. From these new recombined scans, Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging department has created new masters under the direction of Warner Archive Collection for this Blu-ray and DVD release.

 

Popeye, who will celebrate his 90th anniversary in 2019, made his debut on January 17, 1929 in the comic strip “The Thimble Theater,” created by cartoonist E.C. Segar.  Loved by fans from around the globe as the tough, spinach-loving sailor man who always stands up for the underdog, Popeye is one of the world’s most recognizable pop culture icons who has maintained a loyal following for decades.

 

“This is a landmark moment in Warner Bros. providing animation enthusiasts with the ability to own treasured animated classics from our library with the best possible quality, aimed directly at the adult animation collectors,” says George Feltenstein, Senior Vice President, Theatrical Catalog, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. “Popeye is a beloved character whose popularity has endured for 90 years – starting as a comic strip, continuing as a headliner in motion pictures for almost 25 years, and cherished for decades on television. Warner Bros. has been pleased to bring earlier incarnations, including the renowned Fleischer cartoons, to DVD, and now we continue to cater to animation superfans with this first installment of Famous Studios cartoons.”

 

As part of Warner Bros. decades-long corporate film preservation program, the restoration process on these Popeye cartoons has been meticulous in its mission to address any and all film damage while preserving the original animated frame. Dirt, debris and any film damage has been repaired from the original sources, most of which have not been touched in over 70 years. Warner Archive Collection has ensured great care was taken to keep the animation authentic to its original look as first presented on movie theater screens in the 1940s. The entire Popeye library is currently undergoing this process.

 

“Popeye is one of the all-time great cartoon characters, but he hadn’t gotten a fair shake in the world of home entertainment until Warner released all of his black & white shorts,” said Leonard Maltin, animation historian, and author of Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons. “What came next? The first Technicolor Popeye cartoons were also the last ones made under the aegis of the Fleischer Brothers, Max and Dave. Animation aficionados should welcome the opportunity to see these long-forgotten cartoons in such pristine condition, taken from the original 35mm negatives.”

 

“This is the first time anyone has gone back to the master nitrate negatives to ensure a crisper picture and vivid colors – nor have these films ever sounded so good,” said respected animation historian and author Jerry Beck. “The animators at this time, during the war years, were allowed to push the Popeye character forward, creating particularly zany plot lines and funny situations beyond the classic Popeye/Bluto rivalry for Olive Oyl. I’m particularly tickled over the cartoon where Bluto becomes a pseudo-Superman (courtesy of a licensed tie-in with DC Comics) and another where Popeye and Bluto romance Olive as marionette puppets. This was the ‘Golden Age’ of animation – and these are particularly strong cartoons that have been long in demand by animation buffs.”

 

 

In addition, all cartoons in Popeye the Sailor: The 1940s, Volume 1 are complete and uncut as they were originally seen on movie screens, and retain their original titles (which were removed for television exhibition in the 1950s).

 

The 1940s brought new sights and sounds to America’s favorite cartoon star. In Popeye the Sailor: The 1940s, Volume 1, regulars Olive Oyl and Bluto return, while Popeye resumes his riotous relationship with his shipmate Shorty and his naughty nephews Pipeye, Poopeye, Peepeye and Pupeye. With the addition of full color, cartoonists were now free to let loose with journeys to exotic lands and give Popeye a fresh stock of new friends and foes.

 

But it’s the eternal love triangle, Popeye and Bluto competing for the attention of Olive, that drives the majority of these zany situations – as well as the hilarious action-packed gags. Whether our heroes are posing as circus acrobats or puppeteers or even taking turns at being Superman, these gems from the Golden Age of Hollywood will blow you down with laughter.

 

Popeye the Sailor: The 1940s, Volume 1 includes:

 

  • Her Honor The Mare
  • The Marry-Go-Round
  • We’re On Our Way To Rio
  • The Anvil Chorus Girl
  • Spinach Packin’ Popeye
  • Puppet Love
  • Pitchin’ Woo At The Zoo
  • Moving Aweigh
  • She-Sick Sailors
  • Pop-Pie A La Mode
  • Tops In The Big Top
  • Shape Ahoy
  • For Better Or Nurse
  • Mess Production

 

In anticipation of Popeye’s 90th anniversary year, brand owner King Features Syndicate, a unit of Hearst, unveiled a full slate of new content, exciting merchandise and events for 2019, including dozens of international and domestic partners that will support the salty sailor at retail across all major categories, including apparel, accessories, collectibles, health and nutrition, and publishing.

 

“We are thrilled to include Warner Bros.’ release of Popeye the Sailor: The 1940s, Volume 1 in the rollout of consumer products that will be available to fans during Popeye’s anniversary year,” says Carla Silva, VP and GM, Global Head of Licensing for King Features. “For millions of fans, the long-awaited experience of viewing this content for the first time in their own homes is priceless.”

 

Popeye the Sailor: The 1940s, Volume 1 is intended for the Adult Collector and May Not Be Suitable for Children. Also available on DVD!

 

BASICS

Popeye the Sailor: The 1940s, Volume 1

Run Time – 99:00 MINUTES

Subtitles – English SDH

Sound Quality – DTS HD-Master Audio 2.0 – English

Aspect Ratio – 4 X 3 FULL FRAME, ORIGINAL ASPECT RATIO – 1.37:1

Product Color – COLOR

Disc Configuration – BD 50

 

About Popeye

Sailor.  Tough-Guy. Hero. Legend.  That’s Popeye. An underdog with bulging forearms, a mean uppercut and a love of canned spinach. Unassuming, unsophisticated and undeterred by a challenge, from the minute he walked into the comic strip, THE THIMBLE THEATER, and muttered his famous “’Ja think I’m a cowboy?” line, Popeye the Sailor Man captured the hearts of millions of fans around the globe. As the star of his own comics strips and animated content on the big screen and small, Popeye became quickly ingrained in American culture, and today remains one of the most recognizable pop-culture icons in the world. www.popeye.com

 

About King Features

King Features Syndicate is a unit of Hearst, one of the nation’s largest diversified media, information and services companies, and is a member of Hearst Entertainment and Syndication Group, which includes cable network partnerships, television programming activities, and newspaper syndication and merchandise licensing operations. King is one of the most experienced organizations in licensing and entertainment and represents some of the most recognizable global brands, including Betty Boop™, Popeye®, Cuphead, Flash Gordon™, The Phantom™, Hägar the Horrible, Prince Valiant® and Mandrake the Magician. For more information, please visit www.kingfeatures.com/licensing.

 

About Warner Archive Collection

Warner Archive Collection (WAC) continues to serve as host to some of the most beloved films, television series and animated entertainment in history – and many are now available on Blu-ray. WAC’s canon runs the gamut from restored and remastered Blu-ray classics such as The Americanization of Emily, The Big Sleep, The Great Race, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Victor/Victoria and Yankee Doodle Dandy to adored TV offerings such as Longmire (on Blu-ray), Alice and Family Matters (on DVD) to feature-length animated films, including the recent Blu-ray release of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, to animated TV series headed by recent Blu-ray releases such as Justice League Unlimited and Young Justice and a wealth of classic animated series on DVD including dozens of Hanna-Barbera classics. WAC offerings can be found via wb.com/warnerarchive and your favorite online retailer.

THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 9, EPISODE 8 “EVOLUTION” REVIEW

The final episode of the first half of the ninth season of The Walking Dead ends with a shocking surprise along with a shocking death as well. The episode is a reminder that The Walking Dead is a horror show and for the first time since Negan gave Glenn and Abraham their brutal deaths, the horror of the show has been set in tone as we finally got the brutal attack by The Whisperers. There were also great moments during the episode as well that involved Carol, Megan, and Michonne. Now it is time for me to give my thoughts about the newest episode as The Walking Dead will not return for a few months after this episode.

Over at Alexandria, Father Gabriel has been given the role of taking control of Alexandria after the others leave to look for Eugene. He visits Negan in the cell twice as the first time, Negan kept bouncing a ball off the wall while he talks to Gabriel about Rosita and again later that day as Negan taunts Gabriel. Gabriel wants no part of taking Negan’s humor so he tells him for once in his life to shut up. Negan asks what is going on as Gabriel tells him that he should be out there helping Rosita but he is there with him right now. As they finish talking, Gabriel leaves but the guard that was with Gabriel forgot to lock the cell and Negan escapes later that night when he noticed the door was not locked after his ball went through the cell! I did not think that he would escape this early, but I am glad that he is out now.

Henry has taken Carl’s role from the comic as he wants to learn about crafting weapons. He later meets Endid, Alden, Gage, Addy, and Rodney during dinner. Henry along with Gage, Addy, and Rodney decided to drink alcohol later that night and when Henry notices that Rodney and Gage were toying with a walker that was under some wood, Henry decides to put it down but he is stuck at the pit the walker was in. Henry ended up at the cell in The Hilltop as Earl told him that he will be there for two days for him to think about his actions. Earl also told him that he will speak to Jesus about releasing him early.

Also at Hilltop, Michonne brings Magna and her group there and there is still disdain between her and Tara over the years (which has not been explained why yet, but we will find out) as Tara does not want anything to do with the group, but she does say that Jesus and her will talk about it. Tara also updates Michonne about the status of Eugene and Rosita as Michonne was not aware about what happened to them. As Michonne and Siddiq were seeing Rosita, Siddiq apologizes to Michonne to not letting her know about Maggie and then Rosita wakes up to tell them both that she knows where Eugene is.

Thanks to Daryl’s dog, Eugene has been found at the barn as Eugene thinks that the herd from two episodes ago is looking for him since he said that he heard them circling around a few times. Eugene also mentions that it was not a normal herd at all. Daryl tried to divert the herd by using an alarm earlier that day, and firecrackers at night and even his dog tried as well but that did not work as The Whisperers were directing them. When Michonne, Magna, and Yumiko finally show up at the haunted looking graveyard, the action begins as they help clear the herd. Jesus even showed off his badass looking ninja skills to take down some of the zombies. As Jesus was clearing the herd in the graveyard that was trying too get through the gate, he is viciously and shockingly stabbed to death by a Whisperer which caught him off guard. After Jesus was killed, everyone kills some of the other Whisperers that were approaching them and then goes examine one of the walkers that they killed and they realize that it was a person wearing zombie skin as the group looked in horror. Following this, The Whisperers and the heard circle back around the group as they whisper more words as the episode ends.

This was an amazing episode as the horror and the atmosphere was jumped up more than a hundred times. The surprise attack of The Whisperers was very well done and it was also creepy to see it play out on screen. I also loved that they used the graveyard for that scene because the fog added the terror of what was not coming. With Negan now out, Ezekiel planning the fair, the threat of The Whisperers, and situation with Henry, We are ready for a jam packed second half once it returns in a few months. We also did not get Alpha in this episode, but I have a feeling that she along with Beta will appear within the first few episodes of the second half. The first half of Season 9 has been refreshing and even with Rick Grimes’ exit, the show is still strong while he is not there. What will come in the second half, we will have to see.

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The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 7 “Stradivarius” Review

After last week’s shocking ending of the episode with the debut of The Whisperers as Eugene and Rosita were hiding from them, This week, we have a character driven episode as we witness more of Magna and her group, Daryl and Carol and much more. The Walking Dead usually does great with their character driven episodes and it was no stranger that this one is a very good one which sets up the mid season finale on next week’s episode. But now, it is time to give my thoughts about the seventh episode of the ninth season of The Walking Dead.

Rosita was running in the woods as she was escaping The Whisperers but we do not see Eugene with her. She hears whispers from different directions during this as she was horrified from realizing that the dead were talking. She passes out and while this was going on, Aaron and Jesus found her after they see that a flare was fired. Aaron and Jesus were also trainning as well and it is finally great again to see Jesus acts like his comic counterpart as far as action goes. Rosita mentioned to them that she left Eugene in a barn for him to be safe and for her to alert the rest for help.

At The Hilltop, we find out that Jesus is now the leader, but he seems to not liking the responsibility of leading a community since he was a scouter. He is a leader by name, but Tara is running the place and it is about time that Tara had a better position from what she was in the last few seasons. You would most likely ask yourself “where is Maggie?” Well that question has been revealed as Siddiq revealed to Michonne that Maggie went with Georgie from Season 8 to build another community. This explains the “open ended” way to have her return in a future season. But I wish that she got a better sendoff.

Carol and Henry visit Daryl as he has stayed there for six years. He was originally looking for Rick’s body, but he got used to the area so he just stood there. That is Daryl being Daryl everyone. Carol wants Daryl to help her take Henry to The Hilltop so he can learn how to craft weapons as a blacksmith. Daryl also has a dog now that helps him build traps for incoming walkers. There was also a scene with the dog being trapped in one of the traps as the walkers were about to eat him alive. Daryl tried to save him, but Henry winds up saving them both. As a dog owner myself, I was on the edge of my seat hoping that the dog would not die in that scene. Another thing I liked about Carol and Daryl’s interaction is that these two has had chemistry going back to season 3 and it finally was displayed here once again. Carol also gives Daryl a much needed haircut and I bet that the fans wanted that for the last 5 seasons.

Michonne changed her mind of taking Magna and her group to The Hilltop and decided to do it but once a few scouts from Hilltop notify Michonne that Rosita needs care, she goes.  She still does not trust her after the introduction meeting with the counsel on last week’s episode as Michonne was very suspicious of Magna. When they went back to the area where Judith found them, they discover that everyone else at the camp is dead so they spent a night at an old building until the next morning. Michonne notices that the walker herd is the same one from when Magna’s group were introduced. Magna and her group did not want to put down Bernie since he turned so Michonne did it. It has been a long time since we had a scene like this. Michonne and Magna’s conversation is also very good as the writers of the show did not hesitate to make Magna and her group big parts of the show.

Based on the information Rosita gave to Daryl, Aaron, and Jesus, the three of them go out to look for Eugene and this is where the episode ends.

This episode is worth watching as it is building up to the impending doom of the danger of The Whisperers (especially since the next episode is called Evolution) so how the rest of the group will react to them will be something to look forward to. Daryl and Carol’s scenes were my favorite parts of the episode along with his new dog and once again, it is great that Tara is not taking a backseat anymore. Even Enid is now the new doctor of The Hilltop and I believe the reason for that is the way she saved Aaron when he got his arm injury. This season continues to grow stronger each week.

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The Walking Dead is on AMC Network every Sunday at 9:00 PM EST.

The Second Season of National Geographic’s MARS Premiers Tonight and my interview with Jihae Kim

The second Season of National Geographic’s hit show MARS premiers tonight as we take a trip back to the planet to see how everyone will live and adapt to the planet Mars and how will the relationship of all the characters will play out this season. The new season has a new showrunner who is Dee Johnson who is known as the executive producer of Nashville four seasons. MARS is also based on the 2015 book “How We’ll Live on Mars” as many of The episodes took inspiration from the book. The first season was set on the year 2033 as it focused on the very first human mission to Mars and the second season will feature the extremely private space exploration on the sector. What impact the humans will have on mars after the colony of Olympus Town is found upon will be a mystery, but the strong cast of characters including new cast members Esai Morales, Jeff Hephner, Roxy Sternberg, and Akbar Kurtha will be interesting to see this season.

 

I also got the chance to interview one of the actresses and also rock musician Jihae Kim as she talked about the show, her role this season, what would she do if she was on Mars, what food would she miss and much more as you can catch it right here

MARS premieres their second season tonight at 9pm EST on National Geographic

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The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 6 “Who Are You Now?” Review

Six long years has passed since the disappearance of Rick Grimes as the rest of the characters are moving on. But some of them are still grieving in different ways that I have never thought of. Rick has been the one person to lead the right way for the last few years and it struck me even more when I did not see Andrew Lincoln’s name on the opening opening sequence and we will have to get used to that every week from this point forward. With the end of last week’s episode when we got introduced to Magna’s group and a 10 year old Judith Grimes, it is time to dive deep in “Who Are You Now?”

Michonne visits the area where her and everyone else last seen Rick Grimes as they still think that he is dead. She has a great monologue about how they are pushing forward for the last few years. We are also shown Daryl as he is fishing and living by himself in the woods. Also to add, Carol and Ezekiel are full fledged married and she even has longer hair now. When Michonne leaves the area, she sees the bridge as we found out that it was never rebuilt since the explosion. Michonne is also the new leader of Alexandria as she has toughened up to not let any new survivors in at all. But that will soon change.

Carol has also changed in the last six years as she is much more bold and stronger now than ever and I believe that is what love does for you. She takes Henry (who is now a teenager) to the Hilltop so that he can learn how to craft items as a blacksmith. During the trip, they run into a few Saviors and who would have think that they were still the bad guys six years later. I also wished that there was an explanation on the fallout of the riot before the time jump but that might happen in a few more episodes. Regina and Jed of The Saviors has robbed Carol and Henry and they also took Carol’s wedding ring and Henry was shocked to see that Carol just let them do that. She later tracks down the Savior that took her ring and burned him and the rest alive. That was pretty dark and it reminded me of when Carol burned those Saviors alive way back in Season 6.

There were also scenes of Rosita and Gabriel as Gabriel wants to try to communicate with other survivors via the radio. This was an interesting twist from the comics since Eugene is the one to do that in the comics. When they realize that the signal is very weak, Rosita and Eugene heads to the water tower to place an amplifier to boost the signal. But the trip back will have a shocking discovery with them but more on that towards the end of my review. Also, can we have Gabesita trending because Gabriel and Rosita are now a couple.

Judith Grimes brings Magna and the rest of her group to Alexandria as she also pleads with Michonne to let them stay. Gabriel and the counsel which includes Aaron, Michonne, and others also interviewed all of them and asked them questions about what they were doing before the apocalypse and who they are as a person now. This scene mirrored the one in the comics as Rick Grimes was the one to ask them the questions. Michonne does not fully trust Magna since she lied about her background as she notices a prison tattoo and a knife in her belt (can I also note that Magna has a knife everywhere she goes because she had a few more after this scene). Michonne wants to take them all to the Hilltop. We also find out that Michonne has a son so this must mean that she was pregnant before the time jump. Imagine if Rick comes back from wherever the helicopter took him to find out that he has another son?

We get a nice scene with Negan helping Judith with her homework and he is still in the cell. Negan tried to play a mind game on her to reveal who the new people are but Judith was smart enough to know to not buy into his tricks at all. I would like to see more scenes with these two.

 

The episode ends as Eugene and Rosita tries to camouflage themselves from a zombie herd. But the shocker is straight out of issue #130 of the comics as some of the “zombies” were whispering asking where were the two that they just seen. Eugene and Rosita were shocked to hear this as this is the first appearance of The Whisperers!

This episode moved up the pace from last week’s episode but there are two questions that rings into my head. What was the fallout of that camp riot with The Saviors and where is Maggie and how will her disappearance be explained for the rest of the season? Other than those two questions, this was a great episode that not only dealt with the emotions of the three characters that were tied to Rick Grimes the most, but it gives us more exciting story lines to look forward to especially now since The Whisperers are now here. There are two more episodes left for the first half of Season 9 and we are just getting started.

The Walking Dead premieres live every Sunday at 9pm EST on AMC Network

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Rainbow Rangers review

Rainbow Rangers

Rainbow Rangers is a brand-new CG-animated preschool series that follows the thrilling rescue-based adventures of “Earth’s First Responders” seven 9-year-old girls with distinctive personalities and superpowers, who protect people, animals, resources, and the natural beauty of the world. With the help of their mentor Kalia and pet prismacorn, Floof, the Rainbow Rangers, who live on the other side of the rainbow in the magical land of Kaleidoscopia, band together to save the day whenever there’s trouble for the people or animals of Earth.

Speaking about the team, let’s introduce the characters.

Rosie Redd (Red) is a bold, focused, and determined leader whose power is super strength. Her signature gadget is the Rainbow Tiara-Visor, which lets her see into or through any object.

Mandarin “Mandy” Orange (Orange) is the optimistic, all-inclusive cheerleader who is always happy, silly, and sunny. Her power is super hearing, so she can hear trouble or help from miles away. Her signature gadget is the Hypno-Flute, which hypnotizes a living creature into obeying a single command.

Bonnie “B.B.” Blueberry (Blue) is the scientific logician whose power is super vision – she can see what’s right and wrong, count the molecules in a blade of grass or see inside a crater on Mars. Her signature gadget is the Rainbow Construct-O-Max, an incredible 3D printer that lets her build things instantly.

Indigo “Indy” Allfruit (Indigo) is a small but scrappy, fearless and quick Ranger, who is fiercely protective of her fellow friends. Her special power is super speed and she moves even faster with her signature gadget, Super Sonic Rainbow Sneakers.

Anna Banana (Yellow) is naïve, sweet and kind and sees the best in every living creature. She is able to communicate with animals both on Earth and in Kaleidoscopia. Her signature gadget is a small stuffed animal called a Super Stuffie Wuffie, which makes anyone who hugs it incapable of doing anything beyond sitting and cuddling.

Pepper Mintz (Green) is a knowledgeable yet introverted Ranger and her special power is camouflage. To accomplish her camouflage, she uses the Shimmer Shawl, an amazing blanket that folds up so small and thin it can fit into the tiniest pocket yet can unfold to cover Pepper’s entire body and cling to her so she’s invisible.

Lavender LaViolette (Violet) is super-dramatic with a love for flowers and frills. Lavender’s signature gadget is the Flitter Flower, a bloom she wears in her hair that can shrink her down to the size of a butterfly. Her special power of flying comes out when she shrinks.

Since the show is geared to the preschool age and no one here at AlternativeMindz is even close to preschool, we enlisted our daughter Rebecca who is just a bit older than the target demographic (she is 7).

The first quality that stood out was the theme song. Rebecca, even though this was her first time hearing it, was singing along gleefully, which hooked her to the show instantly.

Rebecca found that the first montage of the characters was nice but is actually a bit too long in the first chapter of the episode. The shorter version was leaps and bounds better because there are 8 characters to introduce, making it hard to keep her undivided attention during that period.

Kalia was Rebecca’s favorite because she liked how she was dressed and how she would point at the mirror to show their mission. Another character Rebecca liked was Floof because he was the comic relief. Her least favorite character was Bonnie “B.B.” Blueberry because her voice was a bit too sharp.

Overall, the stories were perfectly structured and helped the kids learn about the characters and Rebecca loved how they rescued the animals. Very reminiscent to the style of Paw Patrol due to how the characters are introduced when going on a mission. She loved that show.

Our honest opinion, Anna Banana was just too scared all the time for our taste. I think she really overdid the feeling of being scared. We understand why her character is there, but it was better when she started to have a bit stronger presence in the second half.

It’s important to remember what the target age group is for the show, but also that these super heroes are all the same age. They are all supposed to be 9-year-old girls but some act older and a few seem younger.

Also, the pacing was a little slow from the issue that happens to the mission. This was especially noticeable in the first chapter when the cub is in trouble, then the job is sent to Kaleidoscopia, then they’re having Floof create bubbles. The bubbles part was a bit longer than it should have before Kalia summons them.

Our final thoughts are we like it and if your preschooler or child loves shows like Paw Patrol, they will most certainly like this!

Check it out on Nick Jr. starting today!

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The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 5 “What Comes After” Review

Last week, Rick got injured by falling of his horse which leads him to getting impaled on a metal rebar as he loses conscious as the episode ends. This week, not only we are shown the final moments of Rick Grimes on The Walking Dead, but we also see new characters at the end of the episode along with a good twist from the comic series. Time to deep in “What Comes After” which is also the same name as volume 18 of the comic series (the material of volume 18 however, was also most of the first half of Season 7 of the TV series).

Rick gets his way out of the scary situation by pulling himself up with the belt he had on as the double herds of walkers were approaching him. He then gets on the horse to lead the herd away as he is bleeding out on his way. During this along with the beginning of the episode, Rick has hallucinations from previous scenes of his journey starting with the hospital along with the characters that are no longer here such as Hershel at the barn, Shane at the scene of the pilot episode before he was shot, and Sasha. The scenes with Hershel were heart warming as Rick apologizes for what happened to him and his family. It is also important to note that this scene is the very last scene Sott Wilson has ever been filmed as he passed away during the weekend of New York Comic Con. Rick’s scenes with Shane however, were not that very heart warming as Shane makes it known that he himself was a pain in the butt. He also asks Rick about his daughter as well.

Another hallucination during this episode is when Rick is standing over a large amount of characters that are dead (or yet to be dead) and that mirrors the issue 100 variant cover of the same scene.

Maggie finally arrives at Alexandria as her and Michonne are talking about Negan. I love that Michonne mentioned that if Glenn would have wanted her to do what she wanted to do. Michonne lets her see Negan and this scene mirrored the one on Issue 174 which was released last December. Negan wants Maggie to kill him so he can be with his wife but Maggie refused as she would rather let him live and suffer. If Lauren Cohan was not leaving the show this year, I bet this scene would have happened on the next season but I understood why it had to happen.

Jadis is also seen driving the van that used to belong to Heath who went missing back in Season 7 and my theory about what happened to him seems to be coming to light. But more about her later.

Rick leads the herd to the camp as the bridge that we thought was going to break, did not. But as the others are coming to his aid, he thinks that they are part of the hallucination he has seen earlier. He then shoots his gun at the dynamite that he noticed as the bridge explodes. Everyone looks shocked as they (including myself) thinks that Rick has died. But we find out that the helicopter Jadis has been in contact with has been called after she found him by the river as Jadis also tells them that they have a B. I still do not know the meaning of A and B, but I am still curious. The helicopter takes Rick Grimes away as his status after this is missing.

We are then shown another time skip of about 5-6 years as we are finally introduced to Magna and her group as they were trying to get away from a herd until a 10 year old Judith Grimes saved them. She also wields a shotgun and is wearing Carl Grimes’ hat as the episode ends.

In the Comic Series, Magna and her group were introduced almost the same way at issue #127. The few differences is that on the comic series, they were introduced two years after All Out War ended and that it was Jesus and Heath that saved her and her group.

I love this episode. I know that the way Rick’s exit was handled will be up for debate in the coming days and even months since AMC promoted that this will be his last episode. Leaving his exit opened ended means that he might come back in the future. We also know that Lauren Cohan will come back soon as well, but we do not know exactly when. Putting those two moments aside, the callbacks to previous seasons gave me memories of why I love the show in the first place. I just wish that Carl, Lori, Andrea and a few others were shown. Maggie’s interaction with Negan felt like a closure of their story as Negan was not up to his usual mind tricks at all. He was broken and he knew that his time was running thin once he seen Maggie. More questions are also in the way as i think of will we find out more about the helicopter, how will the group move on from Rick not being there, how will Magna’s group react to the communities and much more. This episode is an emotional roller coaster.

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