TV Review: NWA Ten Pounds of Gold (2017- )

Original Run: 2017 – current
Created by: William Patrick Corgan
Directed by: David Lagana
Cast: Tim Storm, Nick Aldis, Cody Rhodes, Eli Drake, James Storm, Marty Scurll, Billy Corgan, Harley Race, Dusty Rhodes (archive footage)

A Lightning One Production, 59 Episodes (so far), Minutes Vary Greatly (per episode)

Review:

As a lifelong wrestling fan, WWE is kind of dead to me. Over the years, I kept watching it because it was the only thing that was regularly accessible. And every few years I’d get excited about new signees like Shinsuke Nakamura, Asuka or Finn Bálor only to see them misused and wasted because Vince McMahon is an out of touch old man.

However, as of late, things have changed. We now have AEW, as a legit alternative. But in the shadows, a once great wrestling promotion has been building steam and making an impact once again and that company is the WWE’s once greatest rival: the National Wrestling Alliance.

With just a few marquee events and only a few episodes of their new YouTube series NWA Powerrr under their belt, they are making real waves and have reignited my love for professional wrestling and not “sports entertainment”.

I immediately fell in love with Powerrr just two weeks ago but it made me want to support the company as much as I can. So I picked up their Ten Pounds of Gold DVD, which is a three disc set of their reality YouTube series that follows the journey of the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship and the men who possess it and fight over it.

This series has been streaming on YouTube since 2017 and I’ve checked out episodes, here and there. However, seeing them in order and now as a complete body of work, this is a really awesome series for fans of old school wrestling.

This primarily focuses on the journeys of Tim Storm, Nick Aldis and Cody Rhodes but it also features a ton of great wrestlers and other personalities with lots of commentary and input from the Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan, the owner of the NWA since 2017.

If you miss the days of old territory wrestling or the era where it felt like it was actually a sport that was dominated by manly men and not kamikaze millennials trying to emulate better wrestlers before them, than this is definitely worth a watch.

Rating: 8/10
Pairs well with: other wrestling documentaries.

Film Review: San Francisco International (1970)

Release Date: September 29th, 1970
Directed by: John Llewellyn Moxey
Written by: William Read Woodfield, Allan Balter
Music by: Patrick Williams
Cast: Pernell Roberts, Clu Gulager, Beth Brickell, Van Johnson, David Hartman, Dana Elcar, Tab Hunter

Universal Television, 96 Minutes

Review:

“I said the wheel felt mushy!” – Ross Edwards

It’s been a really slow few weeks for me, as I’ve been on a sabbatical from work, life and all things that come with this site but I did squeeze in at least one movie over the last few weeks. But mainly because I was on a flight, the movie selection sucked and I felt like watching some Mystery Science Theater 3000 to make my overcrowded and testy flight more tolerable.

Granted, this is a terrible film and it has nothing to offer, apart for being bad enough to be riffing fodder.

Anyway, this isn’t really even a movie. It’s a two-hour pilot for a failed television show.

This stars a bunch of recognizable B-list actors from the era but they all look like they are dialing it in and care about this production as little as I do.

Ultimately, this is an ensemble piece with a bunch of subplots, none of which are interesting.

I wish I could actually say more about the film but it’s like nothing even happened in the slow and mind numbing 96 minutes that this took up. It certainly doesn’t build towards anything that anyone would care about and I guess that’s why this failed and a show never really developed beyond a few episodes that I don’t think even aired after this dud.

Rating: 2.75/10
Pairs well with: I guess other failed TV pilots of the ’70s and airplane disaster movies.

Comic Review: The Orville: The Word of Avis

Published: September 11th, 2019 – October 16th, 2019
Written by: David A. Goodman
Art by: David Cabeza, Michael Atiyeh
Based on: The Orville by Seth MacFarlane

Dark Horse, 44 Pages

Review:

I was pretty happy with the first story arc for The Orville comic book series.

Now this one is the second tale and I thought that it was pretty consistent with the first in tone and delivery.

The comic series gets what the show is and it does a fine job of bringing it into a new medium, which hopefully helps this franchise reach out to new fans, as it’d be a shame if The Orville was just a short-lived television show.

This story revolves around the ex-lover of LaMarr and how she and some of her colleagues are trying to use the Orville to sneak into Krill territory due to their newfound religious beliefs.

Like the first arc, this is told over two issues but it has the pacing and feel of a full one hour episode of the show. Honestly, these feel like lost episodes and since they take place between other events we’ve already seen play out in live action, these stories just come together with the larger narrative pretty well.

Eventually, I’d like to see bigger stories and maybe even big events told within the comic book format but The Orville in this form is off to a pretty solid start.

These comics actually remind me of what it was like when I was a kid in the ’80s reading the best Star Trek comic books. Frankly, that’s all I really wanted this to be and it hits those notes for me.

Rating: 7.25/10
Pairs well with: I’m sure future story arcs for The Orville. Also, IDW’s Star Trek comics.

Video Game Review: Ninja Gaiden (NES)

I loved Ninja Gaiden back in the ’80s.

But playing it again now, the first time in quite some time, I realized that my love of the game is more about the story and the incredible cut scenes that were, at the time, better than just about anything presented in the 8-bit NES format.

I love the world, the mythos and was so captivated by it that I used to draw my own Ninja Gaiden comics. But this was also during the ’80s when cultural ninja mania was at an all-time high, especially in the minds of elementary school aged boys.

The gameplay itself is pretty shitty. And I remembered how frustrating this game was. When I was a kid, I dealt with it and pushed through because the story was just so badass. As an adult, I had to push through because I wanted to properly review it and because I had the benefit of playing it on an emulator with save states and with a few game genie codes activated.

But man, even for cheaters like myself, this is still a hell of a bitch to get through. The game physics are terrible, if I’m being honest. Some of these physics would be tweaked and improved upon in the sequel but you get so overwhelmed by monsters that you often times get knocked out of the air, mid-jump, or knocked off of pillars and platforms.

Also, none of the boss battles are very fun. They’re mostly frustrating, don’t require much strategy other than not getting hit and they aren’t something you even look forward to, which is a failure in game design and player engagement.

These games were made to be damn near impossible to beat. While I did beat this one without cheating, as a kid, it probably would’ve made me start drinking if my mum actually kept real booze in the house.

But complaints and frustration aside, the story and cut scenes are still fucking cool, even in 2019.

Rating: 5.75/10
Pairs well with: all the other Ninja Gaiden games for the NES.

Vids I Dig 121: Midnight’s Edge: Conan Deeper Integrated Into the Marvel Universe – Could a Movie Be Next?

From the Midnight’s Edge YouTube description: On September 11th, The Hollywood Reporter could reveal that Marvel Entertainment have expanded their agreement with Conan Properties, the corporate owners of Conan the Barbarian. This expansion will see more of Robert E. Howard’s characters, such as Solomon Kane and Dark Agnes, appear in the pages of Marvel comics – where we’ve since learned that they will all be crossing over with Moon Knight, in a miniseries called Serpent War. Could there be more to this than it seems? Could even a new Conan movie co-produced by Marvel possibly be on cards further down the line?

In this editorial Andre Einherjar will begin covering by how Conan has fared with Marvel Comics so far, and who Solomon Kane and Dark Agnes are. Then he’ll address the speculation of what this crossover could lead to, and give an update on the current state of Conan on film.

Talking Pulp Update (10/21/2019): Sorta Back From Sabbatical

I guess my full sabbatical from work and the real world is over.

However, I’m just posting here and there at the moment, as you may have noticed earlier today.

I don’t have a full slate of stuff written and scheduled for the week, so I will just be posting what I have, as I work towards building up more material for a regular posting schedule. But then, I kind of like taking it easy and don’t know how heavy I’m going to jump right back in.

I’m still relaxed from the time off but I also have a lot of shit to do at the real job and in my personal life, as I was pretty much off the grid (and off the wagon) for nearly two weeks.

Anyway, as I know more and some time passes, I’ll keep TP readers in the loop.

For this week, at least, I’ll post a bit each day but not at the frequency of what is probably expected.

However, I probably should locate my bottle of Excedrin Migraine before I do anything else.

Comic Review: The Complete Frank Miller RoboCop Omnibus

Published: December 7th, 2016
Written by: Frank Miller, Ed Brisson
Art by: Korkut Oztekin, Juan Jose Ryp
Based on: RoboCop by Edward Neumeier, Michael Miner

BOOM! Studios, 400 Pages

Review:

This collection is really just two stories, it is Frank Miller’s versions of RoboCop 2 and RoboCop 3.

The comics here are adaptations of the screenplays that Miller wrote but went unused by the studio. However, there is a ton of stuff in these stories that were actually used in the final films. Also, I believe that these are reworked to a degree, as Ed Brisson cleaned up some of the writing and there are things that feel like homages to the two RoboCop sequels more than they were actually in Miller’s script. For instance, a cameo by the Kane robot from RoboCop 2 but with a different brain.

Overall, this was enjoyable but it was bogged down by mostly crappy art. I understand that this style may appeal to some and I think it was chosen because it had an ’80s outlaw comics feel to it but it wasn’t fluid, was often times hard to look at and understand and it put a halt on the narrative’s momentum quite a bit.

Additionally, this was so over the top and edgy boi cringe that I can see why Miller’s scripts were completely reworked and polished into something more palatable for the mainstream. And sure, RoboCop is an over the top, edgy movie for its time but this pushes the bar way too far. Miller seemed to have no restraint and went for shock value and absolute absurdity over writing anything that seemed to build off of the original film in a meaningful or logical way.

The tone is just wrong. I can see where Miller though it was right but these stories are really devoid of the humanity that made RoboCop a much better movie than it should have been.

I can’t say that this is a waste of time for hardcore RoboCop fans. It is at least interesting because it shows you what the sequel films could have been and both of these stories are better than the final film that was RoboCop 3. However, I’d put the final cinematic version of RoboCop 2 well above either of these strange and baffling tales.

Rating: 5.5/10
Pairs well with: the old Marvel RoboCop comics run.