GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling

After I was done watching the new GLOW series on Netflix, I saw that they also had a documentary on the actual GLOW of the 80s, and so I watched it today. Definitely worth a watch, whether you’ve watched the new Netflix series or not. Strangely, even though I quite liked pro wrestling back in the 80s (as most kids did), I never saw or really heard of GLOW, and so it was a huge treat to be introduced to all of this fantastic backstory. It’s fun to see what they decided to take from the real thing as inspiration for the Netflix series (even that fun GLOW rap was real), although I do wish we could have had interviews with the director and host (they declined to be interviewed for the documentary, which suggests that there are things they didn’t want to reveal). But still, really enjoyed this, and I think it’s a shame that all these ladies haven’t been celebrated more in the pro wrestling world since (although it was fun to learn that the WWE’s Ivory was originally part of GLOW).

Arms

When it first got announced, I liked what I saw in terms of the general aesthetic of the game — the same thing I liked about Splatoon at first — but didn’t think it was a game I’d really want to play, as I just don’t tend to play fighting games a lot. But I kept liking what I saw, the fun character designs, and the graphics that surrounded everything. Then, when they did the first Testpunch, I decided to take it for a spin, and it just took 15 minutes for me to decide that I was going to buy it upon release. More than a fighting game, it immediately reminded of brawler-type games like Power Stone — and I guess the colorful character designs contribute to that comparison as well. But yeah, it’s fun to play, I don’t feel like I need to memorize a bunch of combos to be able to win fights, and I like the variety of modes, and the way the online party mode works. And it’s been a hit at work too, playing with friends on the Switch.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

For some reason it’s been months since I’ve added games played to my Debaser diary, so I’m going to start trying to play a bit of catch up. First up, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which I got on release, and which I still play quite regularly. It’s a testament to how much I love this game that I played it EXTENSIVELY on Wii U, and despite that, I got it again on Switch, and I still keep on playing. It’s been great to play it at work with colleagues the few times I brought my Switch over there, and I still have a lot of fun playing online a few nights a week — and I love being able to play it out on my balcony or in bed. The big addition were the battle stages, which I admittedly don’t really play much, but for me it’s still been a worthwhile purchase, and I’m still hoping that they’re going to continue to support it by releasing new tracks. As I’ve said before, more than a new F-Zero game, I’d be happy for them to just make more F-Zero-inspired tracks for MK8D. I have some friends who find the game to be overrated because it gets praised so much and doesn’t have much in terms of “things to do” (like an extensive career mode). But I think it says a lot that despite all that, I just keep loving playing races online, and playing it with friends when they come over — and that it’s a fairly easy game for people to have fun with, even if they’re playing it for the first time (try doing that with a Forza game).

Heartbreak Ridge

I watched this one over a month ago but forgot to include it here. It’s good in the way that army training movies tend to be (it’s an easy conceit to build something around), and it doesn’t break any new grounds or anything, and other movies have done it better (ahem, Full Metal Jacket), but I still enjoyed it. Some of the homophobic language used is hard to take now — and in fact it’s something that you often come across as you watch a lot of moveis from that era — but you have to imagine also that that’s probably the type of language that was used in that environment/context. Not the best of Eastwood’s movies, and it has its share of 80s cheesiness, but it’s not bad either.

Rad

I think I sorta remember hearing about this movie back then, but I don’t think I had watched it, and it wasn’t something I was planning on watching during my 1986 movie marathon, but it got suggested by a friend of mine, and I’m glad I followed his recommendation. Look, this is not a good movie, but more importantly, it’s a joyful expression of what the 80s were like, and for that alone it’s worth watching. Cheesy scene after cheesy scene, it all feels so innocent, in a way that you just don’t see anymore (sadly). I had a BMX like those kids, and we had a BMX track in our neighborhood that was sort of like the one you see in the movie, and so I could totally see myself in that world again.

Manhunter

Juste like The Name of the Rose, this is another movie from 1986 that has aged very well. It always gets unfairly compared to The Silence of the Lambs (or later Red Dragon, from which it is an actual adaptation of), and Silence certainly is a classic in its own right, but this is great too. Brian Cox plays a fantastic Lecter, and Michael Mann is already showing what a great director he is (and would continue to be). Some of the soundtrack hasn’t aged so well maybe, but I still quite enjoyed re-watching this.

The Name of the Rose

I loved this movie back then (although I’m not sure if I really watched in when it was released in ’86 or a few years later), and it’s still great. It’s an interesting mystery (even if you already know the solution) and I always thought that the setting (medieval monastery) was such a great one. Definitely a movie that has aged quite well.

The Wraith

I quite enjoyed watching this. Although I remembered the title, I didn’t really remember watching it back in the day — which I find pretty surprising — and when I started it I was completely surprised to see a young (and very lovely) pre-Twin Peaks Sherilyn Fenn in this, and didn’t remember that it starred Charlie Sheen (and funny enough, that night I did a double bill with Maximum Overdrive, starring his brother). This movie is one of the most 80s things I’ve watched in my current 1986 movie marathon, and I mean this in a good way, with a soundtrack that really puts you in that era. Sure, it’s cheesy as all hell, but it was really fun to watch.

GLOW

I’ve had a hard time really getting into TV shows of late (other than Twin Peaks and Better Call Saul), and so was pretty excited to see GLOW finally show up on Netflix. The premise sounded great — the making of a women’s wrestling show in the 80s — and the trailer I’d seen looked awesome. I’ve just watched the first episode, but really enjoyed it, and I think this is going to be right up my alley. I haven’t been in love with anything from Netflix since the second season of Master of None (having a hard time getting into the new seasons of Kimmy and House of Cards), so it’s good to get this.

The Lego Batman Movie

I thought this was pretty fun. I definitely laughed a bunch of times, and just like the Lego Movie, it’s neat to see all of these Lego constructs in action — and it’s interesting that instead of doing smooth animation, they again used CG and made it feel more like a stop-motion animated film. I liked Batman in the original Lego Movie, and although I wasn’t especially excited about seeing another Lego movie just about him, I gotta say that I ended up having a good time watching it.