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A Beginner’s Guide to the Royal Rumble

The Royal Rumble is finally here! While most wrestling geeks like myself countdown the days until the Royal Rumble or some people who watched the event as kids tune in every year to watch WWE’s most beloved match stipulation, I’m sure some of you out there who will be in attendance at KSBar tonight who probably have no idea what’s going on.

No need to fear, I’ve got you covered.

Let’s start with the pay-per-view itself. First things first you need to know the run time for this show is a doozy. The pre-show will likely begin around 6:00 pm sprinkle in some championship matches that could go from about 15-30 minutes, then two royal rumbles that last about an hour to an hour and a half each, you’ll be watching wrestling for near five to six hours. Despite the long run time, it’s enjoyable throughout and trust me the time flies by.

Tonight you will see the likes of Rhonda Rousey taking on Sasha Banks for the Raw Women’s championship, Brock Lesnar taking on Finn Balor for the Universal title, and AJ Styles fighting Daniel Bryan for the WWE championship. Shane McMahon will also be fighting in a tag match before the Royal Rumble.

Now the Royal Rumble match itself. The Royal Rumble is a match where 30 wrestlers compete at one time, and the goal is to stay in the ring and outlast 29 other wrestlers. Each superstar enters at a different time throughout the match. So entrants one and two will start the match, and they have a minute and a half before the next wrestler enters the match. If you were competing in this match, which some of you will be by drawing a number at KSBar, you would want to pull a number in the 20-30 range.

The only way to be eliminated from the Royal Rumble is if a wrestler is thrown over the top rope with both feet landing on the floor. Essentially, throw your opponents out of the ring — a simple concept, but incredibly fun.

Another component that makes this match, so fun is you never know who the next entrant will be. It’s essentially random for the viewer at home so you never know who could enter the match. It could be anyone from John Cena to Hulk Hogan, or it could be someone who is debuting in the WWE for the first time. Those surprises are what make this match unique, it gives people a taste of nostalgia when legends return while keeping it fresh with new superstars popping up seemingly every year.

The winner of the Royal Rumble goes on to main event Wrestlemania in a World Heavyweight Championship match. So, high stakes are on the line.

For the just the second time in history and presumably for the rest of the future, WWE will be holding two Royal Rumbles. One for the women and one for the men.

Since the women main evented last year’s Royal Rumble, the men’s match will likely be the main event tonight. At KSBar to win one of the coveted five belts, the drawing will be based off the Men’s match as well. So for the sake of punctuality, let’s just break down the Men’s Rumble.

The Favorite: Seth Rollins

Image result for Seth Rollins 2019

Seth Rollins has been deserving of a victory like this for a long time. Competing in a match for over an hour last year on Monday night Raw, having a match nearly every single night (sometimes two), Seth Rollins is the clear workhorse for the WWE. He has the physical attributes and fan popularity to win the rumble tonight, so if you draw Seth Rollins’ entrance number, you’ll likely be walking out of KSBar with a championship belt.

Who else will be in the Match?

Image result for john cena

As of this moment, there are 19 confirmed entrants in the royal rumble match. Those entrants include John Cena, Dean Ambrose, Samoa Joe, Drew Mcintyre, Jeff Hardy, Bobby Lashley, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Jinder Mahal, and Rey Mysterio. There are a few mid carders sprinkled into the mix as well, but those are the names you need to know.

Who could show up?

Image result for the undertaker

With 11 more spots to be filled in the rumble, anyone could show up, but who? It’s almost for sure that Braun Strownman will show up and he’s on the main roster so that would bring us to ten more spots. It is rumored to believe that Kurt Angle, The Undertaker, and Bray Wyatt may all make an appearance in this match and I assume there will be a few NXT superstars as well. Velveteen Dream I feel like is a lock to show up, and Paducah’s Ricochet may make an appearance. It’s all just speculation.

If you do go to KSBar tonight for the Royal Rumble, it will be an absolute blast. Be a kid for a little while, and enjoy one of the most fun nights in wrestling.

The Funkhouser Situation E47: An Indian Jake Gyllenhaal

The Funkhouser Situation is BACK!  Listen to Lee Cruse and Chris Tomlin talk about the latest from the world of pop culture, like…

— Pete Holmes and Judd Apatow take on Louis C.K.

— PC attitudes toward comedy.

— Lee shot down a Chris Tomlin movie recommendation.

— There’s another new Ghostbusters, are they interested?

— Is a Men in Black remake necessary?


You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to The Funkhouser Situationpodcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.

Today’s episode is brought to you by Jake’s Cigar Bar. 

The Funkhouser Situation E46: Holiday Movie Recap

It’s been a crazy holiday season for movies, and The Funkhouser Situation is here to dissect all the madness! Your hosts Chris Tomlin and Lee Cruise dive into movies such as The Mule, Bumblebee, Mary Poppins, The Predator, and much, much more.

Here is a breakdown of what you can expect from the show:

  • Lee’s sultry voice is a great addition to today’s episode
  • Lee is not a fan of The Favourite
  • Lee gives his take on Clint Eastwood’s The Mule. Lee originally told Chris he didn’t like it. What changed?
  • Did Chris like Bumblebee?
  • Lee gives an interesting backstory on the absence of Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins Returns
  • Chris isn’t sure about the Meryl Streep scene in Mary Poppins Returns
  • How did seeing Mary Poppins Returns lead Lee to go home and watch Paddington?
  • What is up with Holmes & Watson?
  • Chris was expecting more from The Predator but still worth a watch
  • Lee is a big fan of Jeffrey Dean Morgan
  • Chris recommends The American Meme to Lee
  • Chris and Lee debate latest controversy surrounding Louis C.K.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to The Funkhouser Situationpodcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.

Today’s episode is brought to you by Jake’s Cigar Bar. 

The Top 10 Movies of 2018

The Top 10 Movies of 2018

(Image from “A Star Is Born”)

Let’s get this out of the way first: you will more than likely disagree with this list. In fact, I encourage disagreement when it comes to movies. This is a medium that is meant to be subjective. Everyone’s favorite movies should be different because we are all individuals who like different things.

This list is solely what I believe to be the very best movies that I watched this year and trust me when I say that I saw a lot (27 to be exact). Of course, I did not get around to every single supposedly good film just yet (Bohemian Rhapsody, Aquaman, Eighth Grade, The Favorite, etc.), but thanks to my Movie Pass I was able to see a very well-rounded group of films.

What stood out the most to me this year was just how many non-terrible movies I watched. Out of the all movies I watched I saw only a few that were sincerely terrible (I’m looking at you Jurassic World:  Fallen Kingdom, Venom, and Bird Box).

Without further ado, here are the very best films of 2018.

Honorable Mention: Green Book, Creed II, Ant Man and the Wasp, and Deadpool 2

10. Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

I know starting this list off with a documentary isn’t exactly the sexiest pick but trust me on this one. I can’t urge you enough to take time out of your day to watch this beautiful film.

This documentary about the life and philosophy of Fred Rogers from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is the perfect film for 2018. The current social and political discourse of this year has been fueled so much by hate and negativity, and it is so incredibly refreshing to see a picture that displays perfectly to us all why it is so important to simply be kind to your fellow man.

There are so many moments in this documentary that will have you reaching for the tissues but allow me to give you what is without a doubt the most moving sequence of the film and possibly the entire year.

If that wrecked you then just be ready for the full-length documentary. Possibly more than any other movie on this list, I urge you to show this to your family and to your children. We will all be better for it. Here’s to you Mr. Rogers. We miss you dearly.

9. A Quiet Place

Ohhhhhh man this might have been my personal favorite movie of the year. I positively loved this movie as its everything I look for in a suspense thriller. The idea behind this movie is ingenious: A family must survive in the woods without making any noise or terrifying monsters will come and kill them.

The result is a mostly silent movie. There is maybe a paragraph or so of overall spoken dialogue as the family often communicates to each other using sign language. This provided me with one of the most unique film experiences I’ve ever had. The audience around me was completely silent (until the scary stuff happened). I could feel the entire room tensing up through the silent parts as if the monsters would come get them as well if they made any noise.

However, A Quiet Place isn’t a truly a great film because the premise is so great, or that the performances and direction are perfect, or that it’s great incredibly entertaining. It’s one of the best movies of the year because the film deals with the toughest kind of family issues such as overcoming tragedy, acceptance, and forgiveness. Every parent should go see A Quiet Place just for the moral given in the film’s poignant climax alone. It never once felt preachy, but this movie has something very important to say.

Of course, this isn’t a perfect flick. There are a few fake-out jump scares spread throughout the runtime which was frustrating and unnecessary. Also, the very last shot of the film was incredibly cheesy.

Only time will tell if this film will be deemed as a horror classic, but I won’t be forgetting A Quiet Place anytime soon. When I walked out of the theater I found myself thinking about the relationships in my own life while I was admittedly still not trying to make any noise out of fear. It turns out that the old saying is very true – nothing is louder, or more effective, than the sound of silence.

8. Hereditary

Hereditary deeply scared me on a mental level. To be clear, jump scares when used effectively can scare me. But what truly scares me is the type of terror that lingers within yourself. The only other time I ever left the theater feeling that type of dread after a movie was when I watched The Conjuring.

The difference is, however, that I would love to watch the Conjuring again. It’s a great and entertaining scary movie. Hereditary on the other hand deals with real horror in the realms of mental illness, family issues, and eventually even the supernatural.

Which is where my one nitpick comes in to play. The ending will be too “out there” for general audiences which is really a shame. This movie takes a really strong supernatural turn in the final act, and boy do they realllllly go for it. I understood what was happening, but if you didn’t pay much attention during the film, then you will leave completely lost.

However, there are two scenes in that I would argue are all-time great horror movie sequences. The first being the legendary surprise that happens around the 30-minute mark, and the second being Toni Collette’s devastating wall crawl in the film’s finale.

This movie made me feel absolutely terrible after watching it, and I genuinely don’t want to watch it again (which is a good thing). The bad news is that does not even matter, because the scenes and images I witnessed are still at the forefront of my brain and are still upsetting me. And that is what true horror in its purest form should accomplish.

7. Avengers Infinity War

This is the movie that absolutely should not have worked on any level. Dealing with so many characters and plotlines while still making an entertaining and emotional movie should be impossible. But this is Marvel and the Russo Brothers we are talking about here. The impossible is possible for them.

By mainly focusing on the villain Thanos (played masterful by Josh Brolin) we get one of the MCU’s best overall villains. How Marvel actually made me sympathize with someone who wants to kill trillions of people, is both disturbing and amazing. His story is just so compelling. It’s the best aspect of this movie.

Infinity War also manages to be at times hysterical (WHY IS GAMORA???) and of course always so entertaining. This movie also contains one of the very best scenes in superhero movie history: Thor’s entrance into Wakanda.

Overall, this is a very hard movie to review. The problem is that it does not stand on its own well at all. That may sound obvious but imagine not watching several other MCU movies before this. You would be completely lost and more importantly you would not care as much about any of the characters.

That may not sound fair, but that’s why it is not higher on my list. If it stood on its own better (which I think Avengers Endgame will do) than it would have been higher.

6. Roma

Look, I know I’m not winning any fans by putting a black-and-white foreign language Netflix movie higher than Infinity War, but some men just want to watch the world burn.

In all seriousness, Roma is a literal piece of art. This is the most beautiful-looking picture of the year as the camera work by director Alfonso Cuaron might just be the best of this decade. This may win best picture at the Oscars, and honestly, I wouldn’t mind if it did.

From a technical perspective, this film is close to perfect. The editing, directing, and acting is all at the highest level possible. The negative aspect of the film is that its overall story is just lacking when compared to my top-five. I’m not saying that it isn’t incredibly emotional or important, because Roma is those things.

Also, the first 20 minutes of this movies are incredibly hard to sit through because it really is that boring before the story really gets moving. If you don’t mind having to read subtitles, then I fully recommend Roma. As an art film it’s basically perfect. As a movie with an emotional story it might just move you to tears in its climax.

5. Black Panther

Look, I know I’m not winning any fans by putting what might just be the most divisive MCU movie ever over that universe’s hugely important Infinity War, BUT SOME MEN JUST WANT TO WATCH THE WORLD BURN.

You can get mad all you want, but I genuinely think that Black Panther is one of the five best movies I saw this year. If you are mad now, just wait until this movie gets an Oscar nomination for best picture because that will happen folks.

This movie fixes all of Marvel’s biggest flaws. Unmemorable soundtracks? Pulitzer Prize-winning artist Kendrick Lamar fixes that here. Bad Villains? Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger is the best villain in this entire universe. Lack of strong female characters? This movie has the strongest female characters in the MCU.

Black Panther engages with intense themes such as isolationism, colonialism, the legacy of slavery, immigration, and OH MY GOD HOW DID MARVEL SUCCESSFULLY MAKE THIS MOVIE ENTERTAINING??

The best movies give something back to its audiences while also being incredibly entertaining. Black Panther does that easily while transcending its own genre. You will think about your place in the world after watching this movie. This isn’t just the pinnacle of MCU movies, it might just be the peak of all superhero movies.

4. BlacKkKlansman

For some context here, I’m honestly not a very big Spike Lee fan at all. I think “Do the Right Thing” is really his only masterpiece and all his other films are anywhere from decent to just bad.

That changed completely for me when I watched BlacKkKlansman. I think this is sincerely Lee’s best movie, and he will easily earn his first Oscar nomination for directing with this picture. This was one of the most emotional movies of the year as scene after scene completely leveled me.

Lee takes a story about a black police officer who infiltrates the KKK and perfectly translates it to our current political state. This leads me to my warning for you: BlacKkKlansman is unapologetically political.

The film has some very, very serious things to say and Lee pulls no punches at all. The movie is better for it. There is no tiptoeing or missed opportunities to showcase powerful opinions. It delves head first into these and creates a powerful dialogue about race in our country that I believe everyone should at least hear.

Aside from the serious aspects of this movie, Lee’s film is surprisingly hilarious at times on purpose. Actors Adam Driver and John David Washington (Denzel’s son) work off each other amazingly well as their comedic timing is perfect. This is easily Lee’s most entertaining movie which is another reason why it’s so high on my list.

The biggest reason this movie is so high on my list is because of the ending. It’s so impactful because of its brutal honesty and timeliness. Just be ready for it. No matter what your political stance is, it will create some type of emotional reaction out of you and that’s what the very best films accomplish.

3. Mission Impossible: Fallout

I’ve only seen the first three movies in this series and I just thought they were solid action films. I haven’t even seen the fourth and fifth installments because in all honesty I just wasn’t that interested in doing so.

But WOW was “Fallout” not only the year’s best action movie, but it is hands down the best action flick of this decade. To be clear, this movie follows the same basic formula that most high stakes action films do. However, what makes it the best is the amazing real stunts that are pulled off and how they are filmed.

Every single action-packed scene is filmed in beautiful wide shots, so the viewer can clearly see what’s happening. There is little to no CGI used at all which makes every moment feel real. There is one scene towards the end of the movie which features an awe-inspiring helicopter chase which has some of the best real stunts ever put to screen.

However, the real moneymaker here is a bathroom fight featuring Tom Cruise and Henry Cavill that will go down in cinematic history as perfection.

Cruise is over 50 years old and the fact that he does all his own stunts in an insanely good action movie is just unbelievable. This is his film and he is having the time of his life. Henry Cavill also eats up every bit of the scenery as the best villain in the entire franchise.

Coming into 2018 I had zero intention of putting “Fallout” as one of the year’s best movies. However, it completely blew me away with wall-to-wall action and amazing cinematography. It really is that good.

2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Yes, I’m completely serious, and I couldn’t be happier to put this movie as my second favorite film of the year. Allow me to start off my argument with the following scene:

Spider-Verse is an absolute experience as the animation might be the most creative I’ve ever seen in a theater. Within the first few minutes you will be fully immersed in the world of this movie without even realizing it.

I firmly and honestly believe this animated superhero movie has earned all the following accolades: the biggest surprise of the year, the best superhero movie of the year, the best Spider-Man film ever made, and the second-best superhero movie of all time.

Of course, it isn’t all those things just because of the outstanding animation and action. It’s a truly great film because of the story that Sony has created. It’s so moving and inspiring in the way that a Spider-Man movie should be. Spider-Verse is never afraid to be completely unique in its hysterical comedy and heart-rendering moments.

I cannot urge you enough to go watch this movie with your entire family because it truly is a movie for everyone. Spider-Verse’s beautiful main point is to show that anyone can step-up and be a hero. Anyone can be Spider-Man. However, I now prefer my Spider-Man to be wearing Nikes as he flies across the New York skyline to save the day.

1. A Star Is Born

This is hands-down the movie of the year. In today’s time you really don’t find a film that is universally loved by everyone, but that’s exactly what director Bradley Cooper has given us with A Star Is Born.

Let’s start with Lady Gaga. I can say confidently that I’m not a fan of hers, but wow did she give the performance of a lifetime here. It will be an utter disgrace if she does not walk away with the Oscar. The same can also be said for Cooper and Sam Elliott who give their career-best performances as well.

I’m expecting close to a clean-sweep at the Academy Awards. This should easily win best picture. The acting and directing is so amazing in this movie that it truly feels as if you watching real-life moments taking place.

However, this is the best movie of 2018 because of how it managed to affect me personally. Cooper created a story which deals with investigating relationships particularly between a man and a woman in love and what happens when the man is crippled by something is his past that won’t let him go.

This hit me at my very core by coincidence as I was going through something like that in my own life when I watched the film. Movies hit us in different ways at different moments in our lives. I just found myself completely taken back by Cooper’s character Jackson.

Luckily for me, A Star Is Born managed to touch me on a personal level in ways that I was not prepared for, but I needed. The very best movies successfully entertain us, move us, and shatter our emotions all at once. That’s exactly this film did, and I’ll always be thankful I watched it.

This was sincerely a great year at the movies, and I hope it was for you as well!

Review: Bumblebee

Review: Bumblebee

Reviewing the standalone prequel Bumblebee, which takes place in 1987 and exists as both part of Michael Bay’s loud, noisy Transformers universe and yet someone cozily outside of it, is the equivalent of the misogynistic 1980s teen-movie trope of taking overalls and glasses off a teen girl and finding she’s a beauty the whole time. Here, all this time, this long-beloved universe of toys had inside it a fantastic film potential; it simply needed to be spotlit and given some attention — and a dreamy 1980s soundtrack doesn’t hurt.

The fact that Bumblebee’s 1980s kindhearted-alien-who-befriends-a-young-earthling conceit works so well has to, I would imagine, be attributed to executive producer Steven Spielberg, himself the master of that very convention in the actual 1980s. But the real reason Bumblebee seems so breezy and digestible is that whereas Bay filled his five films with ear-splitting explosions, breakdancing robots and overstuffed storylines (They’re on the moon! There’s a robot dinosaur! There’s…King Arthur?), Travis Knight’s prequel is content to drill down and focus essentially the titular robot and the two bounty hunter-type robots who’ve come to track him down. Meanwhile, a government team led by John Cena is similarly trying to find the yellow Autobot. Oh, and there’s a young girl (Hailee Steinfeld) who’s just turned eighteen and coming of age.

Those three simple, familiar storylines stay pretty rote, and that’s not a terrible thing for Bumblebee — in fact it’s refreshing — as it gives the title character room to breathe, charm and show off a personality often lost in Bay’s special effects showcases. It’s all very Spielbergian, and for light, family-friendly holiday fare it pretty much works. Sure, there are still big, dumb, robots-punching-robots scenes; the difference is that we care a little bit more because there feels like an investment is involved.

It’s not perfect, and it certainly doesn’t reinvent the Transformers wheel. It does, after all, still exist in the same universe as Bay’s films, so hands are tied a bit there — but there’s a heart here which didn’t previously exist, along with some effective humor (a quick moment where Cena actively questions whether the US military should be working with beings who actively introduced themselves as “Decepticons” is particularly wry), and a bit of emotional heft.

Thought at the end of the day Bumblebee may eventually be lost to the Transformers canon along with all the other boisterousness and bluster, there’s hope that it can live on its own as an oft-visited family film that finds some legs long after its season is over. I hope it will and think it will, if nothing else than because it’s the both type of film you can casually drift in and out of and one the family can enjoy together. That remains to be seen but certainly, this Christmas, Bumblebee  doesn’t deserved to be seated at the same table as it’s loud, goofy cousins.

Review: Mary Poppins Returns

Review: Mary Poppins Returns

Walt Disney Pictures

Editor’s note: The following piece was contributed by Beth Dunston: Librarian, book critic and begrudging sister to Camerman Daniel. She might not know sports but she knows Mary Poppins. Enjoy!

Mary Poppins Returns is a movie that was probably written by a committee in a Disney office tower, but boy did that committee have a blast.  The film will tap into your nostalgia with scenes directly inspired by iconic moments from the 1964 classic, but it will also entertain younger generations with a more action-packed plot, a sinister villain, and a CGI upgrade.

In Returns, Michael, the little boy from the original movie is a recent widower facing financial trouble while raising three kids of his own with some help from his sister Jane. Into this doom and gloom swoops Mary Poppins, here to help teach the kids (and their now-adult counterparts) to have fun and use their imaginations to process their very real anxieties. This in itself is a great lesson – life is hard, and sometimes people, especially kids, need a little bit of magic just to get through the day.  Mary Poppins accomplishes this, of course, through magical shenanigans, colorful feasts for your eyeballs, and catchy musical numbers.  The songs themselves are all delightful earworms and the cast performs them with infectious delight. An early scene (shown in the trailer) involving a trip through an enchanted bathtub is particularly wonderful.

Disney clearly adores the original film’s ground-breaking set pieces, but it also doesn’t trust them to hold a modern audience’s attention.  This means there are a few awkwardly-inserted action scenes, one of which might be a little scary for younger children.  But truth be told, no one, child or adult, in my theater ever cheered or laughed out loud at scenes that were clearly supposed to generate those reactions, and, while it’s fun, I’m not sure the movie will succeed in being a modern classic, or even memorable.  Furthermore, these action-packed scenes and a more adult-centered conflict sometimes work against the film’s charming musical numbers, making the story feel a little unfocused, overlong, and cluttered, to the point that it will test both you and your kids’ patience (and bladders).  A scene involving Meryl Streep becomes particularly tiresome very quickly.

Walt Disney Pictures

The film’s minor flaws are balanced out by Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda, who shine throughout the movie.  Blunt in particular is electric, channeling Julie Andrews in a performance that feels just as larger-than-life as the character she’s playing. Miranda is having a blast as Jack, a stand-in for Dick Van Dyke’s chimney sweep Bert.  The pair’s chemistry crackles across the screen, making their duets a delight.

For better or worse, Returns has it all – action, romance, comedy, social commentary – even subtle sex jokes (Don’t worry, they’ll all go over your kids’ heads.)!  Ultimately, this attempt to make every fan happy collapses under its own weight.  You (and your kids) will likely still have a great time singing along to the songs, and there’s certainly a lot to enjoy.  It’s just like a holiday candy bar: a fun and sweet treat that will leave you feeling vaguely unsatisfied. It’s not necessarily a must-see, but you ought to go if you’re a huge fan of the character or of the family musical genre.  I rate this film 7 out of 10, and I rate Dick Van Dyke’s dance moves 10/10.  That man’s still got it.