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10 GREAT DOCUMENTARIES YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT: PART 1

By @hmsbeefnuts

I love a good documentary, as much as the next man, in fact, maybe more than the next man (or woman), I suppose it just depends on who they happen to be. Like the next man could be Werner Herzog, or Michael Moore, and they probably like documentaries more than me, probably. Of course I can’t be sure, I haven’t asked them, but it is a fair supposition in my mind, after all, they have made many documentaries between them, and I have only attempted to make one, and failed in spectacular fashion. What I am trying to say is, I like documentaries as an art form, and I don’t care who the next man (or woman) is, I wanted to write a little something about my favourite ones. These are in no particular order, but all are quite, quite brilliant.

KING OF KONG: A FISTFULL OF QUARTERS

This is an old fashioned tale of good vs evil, David vs Goliath, Steve Wiebe vs Billy Mitchell. The basic story is, Mitchell set the Donkey Kong world record in the 80’s, a record that stood for 25 years. Wiebe, a likable unemployed teacher becomes obsessed with breaking the record, and does, only for a bitter rivalry to begin. I won’t spoil anything else about this wonderful film, you need to experience the highs and lows for yourself. This isn’t a documentary solely for gamers, anyone can enjoy this story and I have shown it to many people who didn’t give a shit about Donkey Kong before hand, but at the end, the high score seemed like the most important thing in the world. This doc definitely has a villain, rich, cocky and perhaps crooked Billy Mitchell, matched against our hero, family man, Steve Wiebe, and like the best stories, we invest massively in the characters and story. Watch this film, it is simply brilliant.

BEYOND THE MAT

We all know that wrestling isn’t ‘real’ right? Well, tell that to Mick Foley. Beyond the Mat is a look into many aspects of the world of wrestling, the stars, the WWF/E, the indie scene, the men who put their bodies on the line for entertainment. The star of the show is Mick Foley/Mankind/Dude Love/Cactus Jack, but here we see Mick’s family life, here we see how his kids and wife react to some of the most brutal matches in WWF history. I love wrestling, and seeing this gave me a greater appreciation for the guys in the ring. The doc also focuses on Jake the Snake Roberts, who is very much at the twilight of his career and the problems he has faced by being a wrestler. I recommend this doc to anyone who loves wrestling, and anyone who thinks wrestling is stupid and fake. Yes they know who is going to win, but if you see some of the things that Foley goes through, I don’t think you could call it ‘fake’. One of my favourites, I have watched this numerous times, highly recommended.

SUPERHEROES

Originally an HBO documentary on real life superheroes, I caught this on DVD. This film follows the stories of some remarkable, some clearly mentally ill people, who dress up in costumes and seek to right the wrongs of society, or get drunk a lot and walk the streets. This is at times hilarious and sad, touching and hopeful. The people featured are striving to make the world a better place, and do manage to do some good. I watched this along with Confessions of a Superhero (a doc about the people who dress like superheros on Hollywood Boulevard), and whilst they are both interesting, Superheroes is a far more positive and rewarding watch, Confessions depressed me a little bit. We must have all dreamed of being crime fighting superheroes at some point, and these guys took their dreams, and made it a reality, even if the reality wasn’t quite what the fantasy promised.

GRIZZLY MAN

The man in the picture above, Timothy Treadwell, was killed, along with his girlfriend, eaten by a grizzly bear whilst filming a documentary of his annual summer expedition trying to live with, and protect the bears. Werner Herzog directs the film, as he investigates Treadwell’s motivations, and his last few months of life, that he filmed himself as he tried to live with the bears. Now the footage in this film is amazing, not only stunning landscapes, but footage of grizzly bears that defy belief. Now Treadwell is incredibly brave to interact with these bears, but his bravery comes from his clear mental health issues. It is clear that a man who will stand up and tell a bear off, isn’t all there. This is a fascinating and heartfelt doc, and quite sad, but well worth your time.

THE SHARK IS STILL WORKING

I have only recently watched this, as it comes on the JAWS Blu-Ray release, but it is quite simply fantastic. I am a massive JAWS fan, and obviously this is going to play in my favour whilst watching a doc all about the making of the film, but it is a brilliant look into a movie that wasn’t working, a director that was out of his depth and the ways in which these production problems helped create perhaps the greatest action-thriller film ever made. I can not recommend this enough, and is worth the price of the Blu-Ray on it’s own, but you have to own JAWS on Blu-Ray anyway, because it is genius and amazing.

That’s the first 5 of 10 docs, I’ll be writing up the next 5 in time for Thursday. Catch you then.

PODCASTS THAT ARE WORTH YOUR TIME* *IF YOU SHARE THE EXACT LIKES AS ME.

By @hmsbeefnuts

Four years ago, I didn’t know what a podcast was. Or, if I did, I certainly had no interest in listening to them. Right now however, I’m listening to a podcast, I listen to podcasts when I walk my dog, when I chill out, whenever I can really. I only really listen to music now in my car, the rest of the time, I want to listen to like minded geeks, comedians, journalists and ex pro wrestlers talk about important stuff, or more likely, rubbish for an hour or so. I have found most of the podcasts I currently listen to on my own, for to my knowledge, few of my friends listen to them. I thought then, it was about time I wrote a little something about the shows I never miss, shows that offer free entertainment every week, and who can argue with free?

VIDEO GAMES

Eons ago now it seems, Gaming website Gamesradar.com had one of the greatest podcasts of all time, TalkRadar. Sadly this has gone, but the current crop of gaming goodfellas are back with a new podcast, RadioRadar. Only one episode old, RadioRadar is a serious gaming podcast, with a sense of fun, a great listen for all the relevant gaming news. Here is a link to Gamesradar.com, where you can find RadioRadar, as well as another podcast, and one of my favourites. GamesRadar UK Podcast is quite simply anarchic genius. All the regular hosts are funny, interesting and simply awesome. I always laugh at this, Cundy is a personal hero of mine, top bloke.

The other major video game podcast I listen to, well, it isn’t really about video games at all. Podtoid is a 2 hour glimpse into the mind of games industry hate figure Jim Sterling, as he talks a load of rubbish with his colleges Jonathan Holmes, and others. I can’t really explain what this podcast is about, but expect Willem Defoe movie pitches, Jim’s ideas for crazy schemes that Jonathan Holmes can get involved in, (past adventures have included grave robbery, a one man zoo, and a pirate adventure cove with a rotting corpse). Not for the easily offended, but this is genius, very different, but comfortably similar, every week is a sonic adventure to the dark reaches of the human mind, in a funny way, check it out here.

GEEK/COMICS

When TalkRadar died, the regular crew went out on their own and created Lasertime. Lasertime is a podcast obsessed with nostalgia. Great topics such as WWE, 80’s adverts, movies, food and drink mascots, TV shows, they cover something for everyone, always funny, always interesting, well worth a listen. An offshoot of Lasertime is Cape Crisis, a podcast dedicated to comics and comic related subjects. One again, I can’t talk highly enough about this one, and these guys are partly responsible for my comic obsession. The same guys do Lasertime, so if you like that, you are sure to like this too.

The Geek Box and Comic Conspiracy are both podcasts that are produced by the same people, slightly different casts. The Geek Box discusses all things of a geek nature, usually things in the news, Comic Conspiracy is obviously a comic based podcast, and deals with all the news of a comic bent. Check them out here.

COMEDY

King of Edinburgh, Richard Herring is always doing something podcast wise. He is one of my favourite comedians and is always worth a listen. Currently he is in Edinburgh and doing his daily podcasts from there, as he interviews fellow comedians. Another comedy podcast is The Comedy Button, from some of the same people who bring you The Geek Box. This is always funny, with stories from the cast and genuine tomfoolery.

RANDOM OTHER SUBJECTS

A new one for me, RodPod is Rowdy Roddy Pipers podcast. Expect old school wrestling stories, with no holds barred. Some of the things I have heard on this have shocked and amused me greatly, Piper has met a whole lot of people and lived a life few others could even imagine. Amazing.

Mysterious Universe is a great podcast all about the weird and the strange. From Bigfoot, aliens, ghosts and every other strange thing you could imagine, this is a wry look at the world of science, science fiction and the paranormal. Always interesting.

Good Job Brain is a podcast from the people who brought you The Geek Box etc. Basically QI on the radio, Good Job Brain is a quiz/general knowledge podcast that takes different subjects every week. Very interesting and funny. It is thanks to this that I know what the juice from a Beaver’s anus is used for in food stuffs!!

That’s enough for the time being I think. Hope you like some of these suggestions. Catch you soon.

Worst WWE Superstars

By @hmsbeefnuts

Earlier this week I wrote about the WWE Superstars who I consider to be the best in the company currently. Now, it is only fair that I continue my look at WWE this week, with 5 Superstars who I consider the worst in the company, or at least, the ones I dislike the most. It was very tempting to add John Cena to this list, not because I don’t like him, I think he’s OK, but he should definitely try to improve his wrestling skills, and start to take his job a bit more seriously at times. You can’t deny the guy has talent and charisma, and works his ass off, but he can’t sell moves very well, acts like a dick at times, and can’t even make his submission move, the STF, look like it hurts. Sloppy John, sloppy. Anyway, enough of John Cena, lets look at 5 ‘superstars’ who need to be future endeavoured immediately, in my opinion.

THE GREAT KHALI

It’s not his fault he can barely move around a ring, but lets face it, The Great Khali is a complete bore to watch, poses no credible threat, and is clearly finding it difficult to do even the most simple of moves. He should be no higher than low mid-card, and should never rub shoulders with anyone higher than that. WWE however, constantly use him as a threat for WWE and World Champions. It is simply incredible that they continue to do so. The Great Khali needs to be retired, or reduced to a comedy character, who barely, if ever, walks to the ring. WWE programming would be vastly improved if this was the case.

DAVID OTUNGA

I hate David Otunga. I hate that stupid cape he wears to the ring. I hate his stupid coffee thermos. I hate the fact that he is involved in major story lines because of his association with John Laurenitis. He comes to the ring with more oil covering his body than a seagull after a tanker wreck. He has weak moves, a boring ring style, and even worse mic skills. Perhaps he needs a new gimmick, because he bores the shit out of me. Lucky he stands next to Eve, who is very beautiful, those glasses definitely do it for me.

SHEAMUS

Oh Sheamus. I wouldn’t really like to see this guy get shit canned, he’s not really that bad, but for some reason, I can’t stand him. I can’t quite put my finger on why either. Perhaps it is because he was given the OK to make Daniel Bryan look like a jobber at Wrestlemania, perhaps it is his Bart Simpson hair cut. Not really sure, all I know is when he comes to the ring, I don’t care what he says, I just want him to leave. Sorry Fella, but I hope Alberto Del Rio takes your title at No Way Out.

JACK SWAGGER

I wasn’t watching WWE when Swagger was a champion, and I find it incredible that he was given the push in the first place. Super annoying and partnered with the vastly superior Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger looks like an idiot. Perhaps he needs a new partner, and could do something in the tag division, when WWE remember that they have one. Swagger needs something new, and a drop down the card, where he can establish himself, and maybe work his way back up. I don’t want to see him mixing it up with the big boys any more.

MARK HENRY

Mark Henry has been stinking up the WWE and the WWF before hand for what seems like decades. He has never been any good. He has never posed a credible threat. He has done nothing to deserve his monster heel reputation. He is useless, and should be future endeavoured right now. Or, alternatively, brought into the tag division, and stay there. With the right partner, perhaps he could be of use. Maybe him and Swagger could tag up? Mark Henry offers nothing to the main event roster, and should not be brought into consideration for anything above the tag, or US title.

Top 5 Current WWE Superstars

By Hmsbeefnuts

Once again AGTM’s expensive Geek Radar equipment turns it’s focus to the WWE Universe. I’m still managing to watch RAW and Smackdown every week, and the PPV too, and I’m still enjoying them. As this is the case, I thought it was about time I wrote something else about the squared circle, and the men who battle within it. It is time, Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, for my personal Top 5 current WWE Superstars, in order.

DANIEL BRYAN

My favourite current wrestler, Daniel Bryan has managed to become one of the biggest Stars in the WWE on talent alone. Not the biggest guy in the world, and in fact, probably one of the smallest in WWE, Bryan has reached the point where his catch phrase ‘YES! YES! YES!’ is shouted by fans even when he isn’t on screen. His style is super technical, mixed with MMA like moves. He is able to have exciting and credible matches with everyone on the roster, even Mark Henry, and his mic work is fantastic. He is supposed to be a heel, but is super over with most fans. His battles with CM Punk have been the best things on WWE TV this year. Bryan has gone from strength to strength, and his break up with girlfriend AJ was hilarious. Bryan is the man of the moment, and a shining example to WWE that you don’t need to be a roid head to make it big.

CM PUNK

It was touch or go whether or not I picked Punk as my number 1, but in the end, Daniel Bryan just pipped him to the title. Punk is fantastic as WWE Champ, he has held the title now for around 6 months, and has entered great performances defending it, particularly against the mighty Bryan. Punk is a master of the mic, and of actual wrestling. He has been given the cover of the new WWE 13 game, an honour indeed, which goes to show he is now an established Superstar. I am very much looking forward to his match against Bryan at No Way Out, which at the time of writing, has not happened yet.

DOLPH ZIGGLER

The Show Off is a great wrestler, that has been lumbered with the awful Jack Swagger for too long. He always gives energetic and strong performances and never has a terrible match. Ziggler is one of the new breed of WWE guys, like Bryan and Punk, who aren’t huge, but rely more on skill and building stories with their matches. Ziggler has been excellent recently and hopefully, is looking good for an extended push to the very top of the WWE roster. He even seems to have left Swagger in the dust. Dolph could easily be his generation Mr. Perfect, he has all the skills needed, he just needs the right push.

CHRISTIAN

The veteran has recently returned from injury and straight into a feud with Cody Rodes and the Intercontinental Championship. Christian has done it all in WWE, but has always been a favourite of mine and is always interesting, entertaining and over. Whilst his best days may well be behind him, Christian still has a lot to offer to WWE, and I hope for a heated feud with Cody over the title belt over the summer.

ZACK RYDER

Zack Ryder is not a great wrestler right now, but he has the potential, at least I, think he does. You have to give credit to a guy that has been buried on TV and jobbed out continuously, for being so popular. Especially when he has done it all by himself. WWE aren’t known for liking that kind of thing, they want to tell people who to like, and push people they give the OK to, but the internet champion has made a name for himself all on his own, and you have to respect that. A definite Intercontinental Champion contender, Zack Ryder could go far in the WWE, if only WWE, will let him. I hope they do, he is the personification of Manifest Destiny. WOO WOO WOO. You know it.

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