Monday, 24 December 2012

Raja's Movie Ramblings: My Favorite Classic Christmas Movies

 SCROOGE (1951)

British actor Alistair Sim played the Most Iconic version of the character in this the Most Definitive version of Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol.

When we grow up we tend to forget the meaning of the Holidays with all the hustle & bustle. It's a child's wonder that reminds us again what truly matter. That's what young Natalie Wood's character does for the entire city of New York.

Bing Crosby sings the title so beautifully in this movie that it became apart of every Christmas since. Good Job Bing.

The Bishop's Wife (1947)
Wow, Cary Grant plays the most suave angel ever to make on the screen. Don't know how David Niven's character kept his beautiful wife played by actress Loretta Young with Him around. Definitely  Divine Intervention.

Jimmy Stewart plays in perhaps director Frank Capra's Greatest film ever.

~ Raja Devilman74


~ Raja Devilman74

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Pro Wrestling Ramblings: 2011 PWI Female 50, 20 to 16

20. Winter (aka, Katarina Waters)

5'8", 140 lbs., 11 yrs. pro, not rank in 2010

This German-born English beauty was formerly known as Katie Lea during her time in the WWE & it’s former developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling where she was a 2 time Women's Champion. Prior to signing with WWE, she spent many years on the independent circuit as Nikita.

Finishing moves: (As Winter) Blood Mist (Asian mist); Swinging side slam, sometimes dropped into a backbreaker.

19. Lufisto

5'3", 150 lbs., 14 yrs. pro, rank 33 in 2010

A French Canadian gal who’s called herself "First Lady of Hardcore" & "Super Hardcore Anime" on such all females independent promotions like SHIMMER & nCw Femmes Fatales, where she serves also as head trainer. Made a comeback after suffering a stoke in April 2010.

Finishing moves include: Diving Star (Swan dive headbutt); Inverted Death Valley driver; Konnichiwa-Goodnite / LuFisto's Law (Rear naked choke); & Sitout side powerslam

18. Ayako Hamada

5'4", 140 lbs., 13 yrs. pro, rank 20 in 2010 

Born of mixed Japanese & Mexican descent, a second generation wrestler (father is Gran Hamada, older sister is Xóchitl Hamada), Ayako has notably worked for Pro Wrestling Wave in Japan & Shimmer Women Athletes in the United States. Has also been a 2 time TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champion with Awesome Kong.

Finishing moves include: AP Cross (Fisherman driver); AP Cross Diamond (Samoan driver); Hama-Chan Cutter (Elevated cutter) – adopted from her father; Hamada Driver (Sitout scoop slam piledriver) – TNA; La Ayakita (Wrist-lock with neckscissors); & La Ayakita 2000 (Catapult transitioned into an Indian deathlock surfboard)

 Imagine that Landing on you guys out there.

17. Velvet Sky

5'3", 118 lbs., 8 yrs. pro, rank 21 in 2010

Always the athlete in high school, Sky / Szantyr competed in cheerleading, softball, cross-country, and track, but didn't forget to also feed her inner geek with comic books & video games, being a self confess "fangirl" & "gamer" (like that's a bad thing).

S he is a former TNA Women's Knockout Champion & TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champion with her former Beautiful People partners Madison Rayne & Lacey Von Erich, with the 3 defending the title under the Freebird rule. She works outside of TNA as Talia Madison & Miss Talia.
She is currently in a relationship with WWE Superstar Mason Ryan (Lucky Guy).

Finishing moves include: (As Velvet Sky) Beauty Mark (Double knee backbreaker); Beauty-T (Spike DDT); In Yo' Face! (Sitout double underhook facebuster);& Skyliner (Straight jacket sitout rear mat slam).
(As Talia / Talia Madison) Blonde Ambition / Diva Drop (Diving neckbreaker); Re-Talia-tion (Straight jacket sitout rear mat slam)

16. Serena Deeb

5'4", 130 lbs., 6 yrs. pro, rank 30 in 2010

She is best known for her time with WWE, appearing on the SmackDown brand as a member of C.M. Punk’s Straight Edge Society (sporting a newly shaved head) and for her time with the WWE developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling under the ring name Serena. Deeb also made appearances in Ohio Valley Wrestling, where she was a six-time Women's Champion, and in Shimmer Women Athletes.

Finishing moves include: (As Serena) Fireman's carry gutbuster – WWE; (As Serena Mancini / Mia Mancini) the Spear; Mancini Code (Inverted front powerslam)

She also fills out a t-shirt quit nicely ;)

~ Raja Devilman74

Rock 'N' Roll Ramblings: MY Top 10 Favorite Bands of the 1990s

This was a list that I posted on my Facebook many years ago for my Friends with plans to update and put on my Blog. I figure now that such great bands should be rediscovered by today's young generation. They are not in any particular order by the way.

10. The Bare Naked Ladies 
How could you not like their album Gordon? Their one of those fun bands to listen to that make you feel good with such great songs as "Brian Wilson", "Be My Yoko Ono", & "If I Had a Million Dollars". Their Debut Album quickly became #1 in their homecounrty of Canada, but sadly found little success in the U.S.A.

9. Live. 
In the Summer of 1995 I moved to a new town & one of the 1st persons I met was a guy named Joe who introduced me to Live’s album Throwing Copper, & I Love Every Song.

8. The Tea Party
When I 1st heard "Save Me" from their 1993 album Splendor Soils thought it was The Doors, Hell! The Lead Singer Jeff Martin even looked like Jim Morrison! Plus They Were Canadians! Which was Cool!
They were nominated for Best Hard Rock Album & Best New Group that year at the Juno Awards (the Canadian version of the Grammys).

7. Soundgarden
In 1994 I pick up Superunknown cause I was searching for something "Dark & Depressing", I found it in this album. Songs like "Blackhole Sun" & "Spoonman" became regular songs I recorded on mix-tapes for years.

6. Alice In Chains
They were one of the 1st of the "New Bands" that were coming out at the time in 1990 when my older brother pick up their debut album "Facelift". They were marketed as a new Heavy Metal band, but sounded different from the others. Little did I know that it was the start of the "Seattle Sound" & the New Grudge movement. It was the 1st Grunge album to make platinum, then double platinum and appear in the Top 50 in Billboard 200.

I totally "marked out" when I heard for the 1st time ECW pro wrestler Tommy Dreamer used "Man In The Box" as his entrance music.

5. Red Hot Chili Peppers
Although the Alternative Rock band had already release a few previous albums, it wasn't until their 1991 release of Blood Sugar Magik that they reached mainstream success, peaking at #3 on the Billboard 200 when I & everybody else took notice.

Douglas & Lancaster in Tough Guys
Previously I just remember them as the band that made a cameo in the 1986 movie Tough Guys starring Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, & Dana Carvey.
Most fans consider this their best album ever with great songs like "Under the Bridge", "Give it Away", "Suck My Kill", "Breaking the Girl", & "If You Have to Ask".

4. Pearl Jam
The band had a dark beginning as it was formed as when Mother Love Bone frontman Andrew Wood died from a heroine overdose in 1990. 2 of the surviving members Jeff Ament (bassist) & Stone Gossard (guitarist) joined up with vocalist Eddie Vedder & drummer Dave Krusen to create Pearl Jam.
Their debut album Ten helped popularize Alternative / Grunge Rock into the mainstream, peaking at #2 on the Billboard 200.

Songs like "Jeremy" brought forth the realities of school bullying & teen suicide back into discussion. The music video predated the events of the Columbine Massacre in 1999, almost as an eerie warning of things to come. 

3. The Smashing Pumpkins

It was their 2nd album release "Siamese Dream" that rocketed the Alternative Rock band to mainstream success with such songs as "Cherab Rock", "Today", "Disarm", & "Rocket", making it one of the best albums of the 1990s. Even Rolling Stone magazine listed it as 360 on it's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003.

The Smashing Pumpkins would continue to headline such festivals as Lollapalooza for many years & be on the playlist of every Gothkid out there. I was happy that they reunited in 2005.

2. Green Day
 Their 1994 album "Dookie" reintroduced me to Punk Music that was FUN, in the tradition of such bands like the Ramones, with their short, poppy sounding songs that you could just sing along with like "When I Come Around", "Longview", "Welcome to Paradise", & "Basket Case".

Billie Joe Armstrong in 1994
Anyone remember their appearance at Woodstock '94 with their infamous mudfight with the crowds. Every Teenager is naturally Basket Case Right? Well now they have a big hit on Broadway play. Who would've thunk'it back in 1994?

1. Nirvana
They where "the Shot Heard Around the World" with the unexpected success of their single "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from their 2nd Album release "Nevermind", the Band found themselves headlining what the Media dub "the Grunge Movement". Frontman Kurt Cobain was now called "the spokesman for a generation" & Nirvana "the flagship band" of Generation X as they not only influenced music but fashion as well, with every High School adopting the whole "Grunge Look" from Seattle.
No Band meant more to me in my youth than Nirvana, I was devastated when I heard about Cobain's death in 1994. I found it hard to listen to Nirvana for many years afterwards until the release of their compilation album in 2002 with the single "You Know You're Right", which reminded me of my love for the music of "My Generation".

~ Raja Devilman74 

Friday, 7 December 2012

Remembering The "Date Which Will Live In Infamy" and a Movie to Go With It

The View of the Attack for Japanese plane

It has been 71 years since U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed December 7, 1941 as "A Date Which Will Live In Infamy", when the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the United States Pacific Fleet and its defending Army Air Forces and Marine air forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, causing a declaration of war upon Japan by the United States the following day on December 8, 1941.

U.S.S. Arizona

 Being "Pearl Harbor" has now become part of the vocabulary when anyone does a dirty sneak attack.

U.S.S. West Virginia

My Father was a big World War II history buff. He collected & read books, watched Movies & Documentaries on TV. Through him I learned about the events of Pearl Harbor. In school sadly I thought we didn't spend as much time learning about this important event. Reasoning being a Canadian school the main focus should be on Canada's efforts during the War (which Canada entered in 1939). Talking with kids nowadays I fear that such facts are totally ignored.

Interestingly, One of my favorite Movies uses the Attack on Pearl Harbor as the backdrop to it's story. The 1953 film adaptation of James Jones novel FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, directed by Fred Zinnemann, starring Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra, Ernest Borgnine, Deborah Kerr, & Donna Reed.

Sinatra and Monty Clift with author James Jones

The movie won 8 Academy Awards out of 13 nominations, including for Picture, Best Director (Fred Zinnemann), Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Frank Sinatra) and Supporting Actress (Donna Reed).

Monty as Prewitt

Although I still feel that actor Montgomery Clift should've won Best Actor for his part as Private Robert E. Lee "Prew" Prewitt. But he lost out to William Holden in STALAG 17. Perhaps due to his reputation of being somewhat of a "Hollywood Rebel & Nonconformist".

A Hollywood Urban Legend had that actor George Reeves, who played the part of Sgt. Maylon Stark, had his role drastically edited after preview audiences recognized him as TV's Superman, thus killing his dramatic movie career. 

~ Raja Devilman74