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WWE: Greatest Rivalries - Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart [Blu-ray]
WWE: Greatest Rivalries - Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Shawn Michaels
Offered by Sunday River
Price: $10.99
34 used & new from $3.49

4.0 out of 5 stars a rare happy ending..., October 31, 2011
Bret and Shawn are pro wrestling's version of Leno/Conan and Shaq/Kobe. Two great performers in a bitter real life rivalry that fascinated hard core wrestling fans ending with one of them ultimately being pushed out. At the 1997 Survivor Series in Montreal Bret Hart lost the WWF championship to Shawn Michaels when WWF boss Vince McMahon, Shawn Michaels and referee Earl Hebner executed a pre-planned finish to the match that was known to all in the ring except Bret Hart. Dubbed the Montreal Screwjob it's one of pro wrestling biggest backstage controversies that's sparked years of debate about who was right and who was wrong between wrestling fans.

Hart would eventually return to WWE after 12+ years away, reconciling his relationship with both the company and with Shawn Michaels in a public handshake on a televised RAW in Jan 2010.

The main feature is a 2 hour sit down interview with both Bret and Shawn with Jim Ross serving as the interviewer. The first thing is this is about as close to a shoot interview you'll ever get from an official WWE release. Shawn and Bret speak with inside perspective. You hear a lot of wrestling terminology that probably more dedicated wrestling fans would be familiar with. For exmaple Bret talks about dropping the title to Shawn and putting him over at Wrestlemania 12 and the planning of the match that occurred the morning it happened. I'm not sure if WWE has ever allowed such an open perspective to any of it's DVD releases and it's pretty mind blowing to hear Bret and Shawn talk like that.

The meaty portion is both men discussing their real life feud and the cover a lot of topics...

* WM11 - Bret talks about how he felt Shawn turned himself babyface at the expense of Kevin Nash.

* WM12 - Bret goes over with how he wasn't happy with how he was portrayed as champion heading into the match. Also they go over Shawn telling Bret to "get the F out of my ring" at the end of the match and Hart storming out of the Anaheim Pond.

* Feb '97 - Both talk about Shawn dropping the WWF title w/out jobbing to anyone due to what most think was a fake knee injury. The knee injury threw out plans for a Hart/Michaels WM13 main event.

* Bret talks about his disappointment at having to face Steve Austin instead of Michaels WM 13.

* They do talk briefly about the various promos they gave on TV and how it ended up with both men working themselves into a shoot. Sunny Days is one of the more infamous promos from Michaels and it is mentioned but not really talked about in great detail.

* The angle where Shawn superkicked Bret in his wheelchair to close Raw and how it made things just a whole lot worse between the two.

* Montreal - the definite highlight of the interview. They go over a lot of things like exactly why Bret refused to drop the title at the '97 Survivor Series, how the screwjob was planned out with Shawn and why he agreed to go along with it and whether Bret had a hint it was coming.

* The post Montreal years are touched briefly. With Bret it's his WCW years, his stroke, hall of fame induction. With Shawn it's his back injury suffered at the '98 Royal Rumble and 4 year retirement until returning to WWE in 2002 as an active performer.

* Than the reconciliation on Raw in Jan 2010 and how much of what they did in the ring was pre-planned.

* It closes with thoughts from both of what could've been had they handled the situation much better back than.

JR as the interviewer is awesome. He doesn't show favoritism to either man and asks poignant questions to both at various times in the interview.

The only criticism I can think is Bret does most of the talking and Shawn stays silent quite a bit. I suppose it's Shawn giving Bret his time to get burdens off his chest but I did wish Shawn chimed in a little more on a couple topics.

Another small negative is they do "fast forward" through certain portions of their careers to fit the 2 hour time frame, meaning they don't cover every single topic. Off the top of my head they don't talk about...

* The backstage fight in 1997 where Bret ripped a clump of Shawn's hair.

* Summerslam '97 Bret vs Undertaker match. The finish involved Bret spitting in Shawn's face.

* Booking Davey Boy Smith to drop the European Title to Shawn at One Night Only '97 in front of Bulldog's dying sister.

* Bret's contract situation in the months leading to Montreal (his 20 year contract that Vince McMahon wanted out of and his promised "30 days of creative control over his Hitman character")

* What finish was Bret expecting at Survivor Series '97.

* The post Montreal angles on Raw (the Bret Hart midget, Jim Neidhart joining DX for one night)

The way the interview is done it's geared towards the wrestling fans who are familiar with the history between the two men. So if you're new or are a casual fan and just getting caught up on who Bret Hart was, than this would probably be a rental. If you were a 90's kid who grew up watching Shawn and Bret every weekend on the old syndicated WWF shows, than this is highly recommended. I'm not sure if it's the greatest WWE DVD release ever, but it ranks high up there because the Hart/Michaels reconciliation is one of the rare happy endings you'll find in pro wrestling.


NBA 2K12 (Covers May Vary)
NBA 2K12 (Covers May Vary)
Offered by Exuby
Price: $18.01
216 used & new from $1.05

51 of 61 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun and Frustrating..., October 10, 2011
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Fun and Frustrating...
This is only the 4th NBA 2K game I've played (2K, 2K1, 2K11 now 2K12). I haven't gone through everything in 2K12 but here are my impressions on what I've played so far...

I play My Player mode the most so I'll start off with that...

- It's a lot easier to jump into than 2K11. You play 1 pre-draft game, not the 7 or so in 2K11 that you had to grind through.

- You are interviewed by three different GM's and you can "pick" what team drafts you by answering negatively or positively. The questions themselves sound pretty realistic. I made a power forward and told the Rocket's GM I wasn't happy with being Scola's backup so they didn't draft me. I also turned down the 76ers but told the Wizards I'd like to be part of their young front court and got drafted by them. The minor downside is you don't know which three teams are going to be interviewing you, but it'd be silly if you were able to choose what teams to interview with. I also made a shooting guard and it seems the interview teams range from decent core of talent (suns, sixers) to rebuilding teams (wizards, pistons).

- Draft night, you watch virtual David Stern announce all draft picks. You can't skip his announcements. If you're picked #21 you have to watch him announce #1-20, which sucks.

- You start the NBA season and there are a few changes. You start out at a higher player rating than last year. I started at 62 while 2K11 had me start in the low 50's I think. You upgrade offensive and defensive attributes just like last year with the skill points earned in games. This year they also added an area to upgrade abilities, these would be the special moves you can do in the game (fade away, cross over, post hook shot, etc...) but they're ridiculously expensive. It costs ~10,000 sp to do an ability upgrade.

- This year you can also buy stuff with the money you earn from your contract. You can buy additional skill points, increase the cap of your offensive/defensive attributes, but it's pricey. ($50K for 50 measly sp).

- Post game conferences are the same. You're still ranked in league wide popularity, team chemistry and fan support but you can track where you stand in these categories. If you need a boost in these categories there's a menu where you can spend your money to host a b-ball camp (boost fan support), give to charity (boost league popularity), or host team parties (increase chemistry). I'm not sure if any of these actually affect anything though. Like will a high team chemistry score actually get you the ball more? Will low fan support mean the GM wants to ship you out?

- Game play is still frustrating (in my player mode at least. I haven't played too many regular mode games)

a) The aggressive pass defense is back this year. It doesn't bug me too much cause I think I've just accepted that I need to be smarter about where I throw the ball to. Lead passing and Total control passing are back this year to help with that. But it's annoying seeing the CPU complete full court passes with no problem.

b) You're team mates are still idiots. Examples are taking dumb shots (shooting when double teamed, driving into a crowded paint and throw up an off balance shot) and standing with the ball as the shot clock counts down and either pass it to you with 5 seconds left or shoot from wherever they're standing at. Basically it feels like they all must have "F" ratings by the end of the game.

c) Moving around feels a bit smoother than last year. However you'll still get stuck to an opponent when you collide into them while trying to run past them and jumping to block is in slow motion (by the time I reach the peak of my jump the guy I was defending is already starting to run back on defense).

d) There are a lot more bounced foot animations and they happen pretty frequently. My PG tried to drive into a crowded lane and the ball bounced off someone's foot, I threw a fast break pass up the court and my teammate dropped the ball and it rolled off his foot.

e) A lot of attempted threes are made. Yes you can adjust sliders but I've always hated going through that trial and error process of finding the right settings.

f) The grade penalties are the same as last year (hogging the ball, call for bad pass, allow man to score, etc...) and they're as annoying as last year.

g) The typical 2K physics are still there and seem to be standard for the game. My teammate threw a bounce pass in the paint to the other big and in the replay you can see the ball actually travel through the defenders body.

h) Dynamic goals are new and they're basically impromptu goals given to you during the game. Some are easy (commit zero turnovers rest of the quarter) and others feel impossible (score next 10 points for your team) since they require you to demand the ball and the teammate won't give it to you.

i) I'm 11 games into the season and the past 2 or 3 games I'm starting to notice that my power forward keeps getting the ball stolen while posting up. I get the ball near the key, push Y to get to post up, as soon as I attempt to start backing down the big guarding me just swipes and picks the ball away. This has happened at least 4-5 times the last couple games, I hope this doesn't happen every game or else I'll need to start my player over with another position.

Greatest Players Mode

- This mode has 15 different matchups between two classic NBA teams. You unlock these teams for normal play by winning these matchups. I'm glad they included even more legends (they went way back and included Bill Russell's Celtics and Wilt's Lakers) but there's not much to accomplish in this mode. It doesn't have any objectives like last year with Jordan where you had to repeat his famous moments. All you do is win and unlock the teams. Some probably like this better because some 2K11 Jordan achievements were a pain to accomplish (like 4 steals in his last bulls game). But it just feels like a step down from 2K11.

- I gotta say the attention to detail on presentation is staggering. 2K made presentation to be true to the era that you're playing in. When playing as Russell's Celtics the game is shown in black and white, there's no 3 point line and jump ball happens every quarter. It's amazing how they tried to re-create 60's basketball.

- The commentary is weird. Throughout the game you'll hear the commentators call the game but switch to recalling their favorite memories of the superstar. So when playing Bulls vs Hornets from '92 you'll hear commentary about the game in progress than they suddenly start reflecting back what a great player Jordan was in his time.

Online
- Haven't tried any of it because servers were down this past weekend and didn't seem like it was anything 2K announced ahead of time, if you play online a lot than you'll probably be pissed cause the servers seem to be unstable again this year.

Training Camp for Controls
- The 2K controls are infamously complex and take lots of practice. 2K added this training camp mode and I think it's a god send. The computer literally shows you how to pull off all the moves contained in the game. I found this insanely helpful because I never mastered the 2K11 controls. In 2K11 you'd get instructions of how to pull off a move but kind left to yourself to decide whether you actually did it correctly. The training camp presentation is pretty nice, a CPU controlled legend will demonstrate the move and have you control a current star and try to mimic the move.

Presentation
- 2K maintains their high standard here. Minor complaints would be I haven't found the classic Bulls Sirius entrance from last year (not sure if it's in 2K12 at all. The substitution windows still take up a good chunk of screen space but I haven't seen it block viewing the game after inbounding the ball. The slam cam replay comes up after a big play and I've turned off action replays in the options menu but the slam cam still pops up. The commentary is still great and sounds like a TV broadcast. You still get repeated lines but that's a minor point. One thing that I hated from 2K11 was if a ball rolled to mid-court, you had to wait for the ref to grab the ball, walk over to the end of the court and hand it to the guy inbounding the ball. You couldn't skip straight to the inbound pass. I haven't seen this yet & hoping it's not in 2K12.

To get the game or not, it depends on what you're looking for. Personally I was hoping for an improved My Player mode experience. I love the GM interviews, it's great you get drafted right away but the annoying game play quirks are still there. In the end I still like the game because of my player and I found 2K11 my player a lot more tolerable once you're player actually develops and starts putting up all star numbers.

But if you love playing online a lot you might want to wait a while `till the servers become more stable. If you're a casual sports gaming fan and didn't like 2K11 last year you'd probably give this a rental at best. If you're a hardcore NBA fan it's probably worth getting the game as there's no other option this year other than NBA Jam OFE. There so many modes to play that you'll probably be able to invest a lot of time into the game and get enjoyment out of it somewhere.
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 1, 2012 1:49 AM PDT


Dane-Elec 8 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive DA-ZMP-08G-CA-N4-R (Black)
Dane-Elec 8 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive DA-ZMP-08G-CA-N4-R (Black)
Price: $5.95
60 used & new from $5.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars cheap and decent, October 9, 2011
I got this up from Target for $12 and it's a decent flash drive.

It uses a sliding piece of plastic to protect the usb connector and
has a flashing blue light in the back to let you know when it's reading/writing.
(the light is visible when plugged into your PC)

My only complaint would be that the write speed is pretty slow (~ 1 - 1.5 mb/sec),
but $12 for a 8gb drive is still a bargain.

If you're looking to transfer large files like videos than you might want to look at other options.
otherwise this one works just fine for moving around smaller sized files like music and office documents.


Randy Orton: The Evolution of a Predator
Randy Orton: The Evolution of a Predator
DVD ~ Randy Orton
Price: $9.96
76 used & new from $2.18

4.0 out of 5 stars This is worth seeing..., September 26, 2011
The documentary is ~90 minutes and goes in cycles. It'll cover a segment of the feud with CM Punk from early this year, than jump to a personal issue Randy talks about, than jump to talking about a career milestone and keeps repeating like that until the end.

What makes this documentary is how open Randy Orton is when speaking about all the negative issues that he's had in his life. These include going AWOL while serving in the Marines (Orton explains his reasons for going in and going AWOL), being an immature jerk backstage (you get a definite affirmation of that from John Cena), and a drug addiction which lead to an over dose that almost took his life (his wife speaks about Randy in that phase of his life in a very touching interview.)

There are also a lot of "off tv" footage that's pretty cool. Stuff like choosing which color of trunks to wear before a match, going to media appearances, hanging out at home and backstage at RAW with his family, rehearsing his WM27 entrance etc... kind of reminded me of the the backstage WM9 moments they showed on "the true story of wrestlemania" dvd.

As for negatives, there is a bit of WWE fluff, but that's to be expected. The CM Punk/Orton feud is covered with Kayfabe maintained so they're talked about like they're mortal enemies. You'll hear "WWE Universe" a lot. There's a segment where Orton tells the story of wanting to enter pro wrestling and approaching his dad in 1999 with the question "Do you think I can become a WWE superstar?" It just sounds so scripted with "wwe superstar" in there instead of "wrestler."

Career wise the major points are covered: OVW, Smackdown debut, joining evolution, and winning his first world title at the 2004 Summerslam from Chris Benoit. Benoit is completely censored. I can understand why WWE does it but it causes the segment to be weird because all you see are close-ups of Orton never knowing who his opponent was.

After that the doc kind of jumps to the Legacy portion of Orton's career and interviews with Cody and Ted talking about Randy as a mentor. This is a good overview but I felt like they skipped over a lot of key periods in Orton's career, mainly...
* Legend killer gimmick (mentioned very briefly but rushed through)
* IC title reign in 2004 & his first great match against Foley at Backlash `04
* 2005: working with his dad and feud with Undertaker
* 2006: first wrestlemania world title match at WM22 & working against Hogan at summerslam.
* 2007: Rated RKO with Edge, winning the WWE title at No Mercy and starting the change from legend killer to the
viper character.

I won't comment on the matches since match listings are never perfect, but even if you're not a Randy Orton fan the documentary is a must see.


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