Originally released to Paramount Plus last year, this CGI film wasn’t able receive the attention it so deserves. Now that it’s widely available (it arrived on home video in late October), and is streamable on services like Netflix (arriving in Canada Dec 15, 2022) and Amazon Prime USA, it’s possible to see what the fuss is about. I enjoyed it for the kaiju moments–which was sadly very brief–more so than its nod to the universal monsters of yore. Thankfully there are plenty of Easter eggs to laugh at. But not everyone will spot them all. For example, there’s a blink and you’ll miss “Mini Cthulhu” scrolling past.
We get a fairly good nostalgia trip about this sports entertainment business, even before it became a crazy arena spectacle. It doesn’t always reveal how much of an influence they are in other media, but as for learning about the history of this sub-genre, it’s fairly comprehensive.
By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Please check local listings for a repeat schedule.
A&E Network and WWE Studios are partners in Biography: WWE Legends (formerly known as World Wrestling Federation), a new run of biographies about the legends of wrestling. The decision on who to first focus on must’ve been tough. To see true alumni, namely Hulk Hogan, interviewed about their time with the talents from the past two decades, made for a great retrospective.
There are eight specials and the last documentary about Bret Hart aired last weekend. To binge watch these two hour specials isn’t possible, but to watch them over successive days than wait reveals a lot more about the sport turned entertainment spectacle. Although each piece doesn’t get into the most guarded secrets or details that can be read from a Wikipedia styled biography, I found the series to be a terrific primer to get newcomers and the curious up to date on the talents who became Stone Cold Steve Austin, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Booker T, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Mick Foley and Ultimate Warrior.
Not all of these people stood out, but I did find Booker T’s charm a total gem in the spotlight about him. From those who are still living and are looking back, they’re not talking about all the demons they faced or go into huge lengths about their youth which led to them wanting to partake in wrestling as a proper sport (the part of their life I’m really curious about). Randy perhaps had the most problems to deal with. Not even The Undertaker can exorcise them.
We get a fairly good nostalgia trip and history about what this sports entertainment business is about, even before it became a crazy arena spectacle. One nice mention is in how the South East of America operated as fiefdoms, before it eventually became one huge brand. These documentaries doesn’t always reveal how much of an influence WWE is in other media (missing the boat on crossover into comic books and cartoons) and this segment can use an expansion.
If you have seen the Muppisode “Food Fight!” on the official Muppet Studios Youtube channel, than watch the extended cut available on the WWE channel. With 3:42 more footage available, we get to see an extended version of the showdown between Chef Gordon Ramsey and the Swedish Chef. Also ring announcer Michael Buffer appears after being left on the editing room floor in the original 3:02 version.