Seventh Seal

Santo y Atlantis vs Rubio y Guerrera

For whatever reason, I still continue to watch American pro wrestling on TV and still find things to like or even some cases love about it. It's not perfect, but I think a large reason why I haven't gotten as sick of it as some of my fellow wrestling buddies is that I usually tend to try to watch a wide variety of wrestling just to keep it all balanced. This past year, I've gotten really deep into lucha libre and just immersed myself in the style. It's paced differently, they sell differently, they have a different psychology to their style, and they bump differently. It's understandable if some may have a bit of difficulty getting into it at first, but give it a shot. Here is a review of a classic I saw recently:

El Hijo Del Santo y Atlantis vs Lobo Rubio y Fuerza Guerrera: This happens to be El Hijo Del Santo's Arena Mexico debut, where he tagged with Atlantis vs Fuerza Guerrera and Lobo Rubio on November 25th, 1983. Santo was at this point just an year into his career, and Atlantis was about 5 months in his career and may be the guy who picked it up the quickest. So yeah, I don't think I've ever seen rookies as impressive as Santo and Atlantis looked here. If you dig lucha mat work and awesome technicos outsmarting the rudos with elaborate sequences you'll really love this match. At this point in the world, Tiger Mask was having his series with Dynamite Kid in New Japan Pro Wrestling that people called revolutionary, but honestly the work in this match was of a much higher caliber, much more impressive, cooler spots and it flowed better too! Santo was hitting these blind armdrags that I had never seen before, that both him and Fuerza had to time perfectly and of course they did, and they looked beautiful. Fuerza and Atlantis also did that spot (many years later, Rey and Juvi have done it in AAA, Casas-Dandy in EMLL, and Danielson-Quackenbuch in ROH in 2007) where they tie each others legs, then they roll over to do a headstand while their legs are interlocked and they proceed to slap each other. I won't spoil the way the 3rd fall ends, but the finish is perfect and totally satisfying. I'm not much for star ratings but I would rate this around the ****3/4 to ***** range. - Here is the match in case anyone is interested.
Seventh Seal

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Pretty much every year I tend to discover new favorite filmmakers of mine, I remember 2006 fondly since I discovered Ermanno Olmi's great films, and this year I was able to immerse myself in even more great filmmakers. This year I finally saw films from Chantal Akerman, Shindô Kaneto, Aki Kaurismaki, Guy Maddin, Mario Bava, Fernando Arrabal and Satyajit Ray. All those directors produced so much great work, but it's Ray's work that lingers in my mind constantly. The images and sounds of the Apu Trilogy are just sublime and it's one of those films like Kurosawa's Red Beard that has this feeling of total beauty. So lucky me, I got a Satyajit Ray box-set from that was released a few weeks ago, so some cinematic treasures await me.

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JA1 Presents: King of California (2007)

Starring Michael Douglas, Evan Rachel Wood, et al
Rated PG-13, 93 minutes

16-year-old Miranda (Wood) has had to do things on her own for quite a while. Her father was committed, and a web of lies kept her by herself in the family home, working at McDonald's to make ends meet. When her dad Charlie (Douglas) was finally let go from the asylum, he raved about some lost gold left around California. Miranda gets dragged into the adventure, digging up backyards and golf courses, looking for pottery shards and dubloons. Eventually, it takes help from an old friend and infiltration of a major American business institution to claim the big hit.

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World Champion Eddie Guerrero

Top Ten Eddy Guerrero Matches

I felt like writing about Eddy Guerrero since this past Summer, I pretty much watched his whole career unfold. An internet acquaintance of mine makes essential comps of various great workers around the world of pro wrestling, and in June he finally completed an epic Eddy Guerrero set that was an astounding 36 discs. So, yeah a few days ago I finally finished the set and had some thoughts on Guerrero's best work.

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JA1 Presents: Wag the Dog (1997)

Starring Robert De Niro, Anne Heche, Dustin Hoffman, et al
Rated R, 97 minutes

Conrad Brean (De Niro) is a master strategist for the president – finding ways to divert media attention from the commander-in-chief’s major foibles. Just days before election night, news of a sex scandal breaks, threatening the president’s try for a second term. Conrad decides to stage a full-fledged war to get it out of the headlines. Enlisting the help of major Hollywood producer Stanley Motss (Hoffman), America locks horns with who-cares-what-country on the soundstages of Tinseltown. Challenging candidate Senator Neal makes it hard for the team to just march back to Oval Office; so the lies get even more twisted.

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JA1 Presents: Requiem for a Dream (2000)

Starring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans, et al
Rated R, 102 minutes

Adapted from a novel by Hubert Selby Jr. and directed by Darren Aronofsky, Requiem for a Dream is a story of addictions. Harry Goldfarb (Leto) is young and out of high school. He and his friend Tyrone (Wayans) begin to push drugs on the street – in part, to finance Harry’s girlfriend (Connelly) in her quest to make something of herself with a clothing store. Meanwhile, Harry’s mother (Burstyn) suddenly gets a call to be a contestant on television. Now a widower, with her son away from home, the phone call means more to her than perhaps it should. She begins taking speed to lose weight. Our characters, as one might expect, go on to experience some mighty big ups and downs.

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JA1 Presents: Art School Confidential (2006)

Starring Max Minghella, Sophia Myles, Joel Moore, Jim Broadbent, Matt Keeslar, John Malkovich, Ethan Suplee, et al
Rated R, 102 minutes

Jerome (Minghella) has always aspired to be an artist. His idol is Picasso. Now he’s finally in college to pursue his dream. Jerome absorbs the culture at the direct of two new acquaintances – his would-be film director roommate Vince (Suplee) and fellow classmate Bardo (Moore). Bardo gives him the rundown on how to score art school pussy, as well as an introduction to a washed-up artist living in the slums (Broadbent). This artist makes it clear Jerome should work on some other skills besides artistry in order to make it.

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