The Sheik

Rated: Not Rated | Running Time: 96 Minutes
From: Dark Sky Films
On DVD March 1, 2016 : Via Digital Download Now

The most hated, and at the same time beloved wrestler of all time has a story that can simply be summarized as “The good. The hated. The ugly. The survivor. The star.” He is Khasrow Ali Vaziria, he is The Iron Sheik, and the documentary “The Sheik” tells it all without pulling any punches, or camel clutches as it would be, in a fascinating look at The Sheik’s roller coaster of a life.

Starting at the beginning, “The Sheik” traces Khasrow all the way back to his story in Iran, born in 1942 and becoming a wrestler, a star athlete in the Olympics, and a bodyguard for The Shah. Seeing his star rising yet not as high as fellow wrestler Takhti, when Takhti supposedly “committed suicide” and rumors abounded that it was The Shah who didn’t like the gold medalist’s popularity thereby “taking care” of the national hero, Khasrow realizes he needs to leave his beloved Iran for his own safety, and he heads to the United States.

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Carole King: Natural Woman

Rated: Not rated. | Running Time: 53 Minutes
From: Virgil Films
On Digital Download, Blu-ray, and DVD.

The line in the publicity release pretty much sums up Carole King: Natural Woman – “A celebration of the legendary singer-songwriter’s life and career…” I wish I could write something more descriptive but at the end of the 53 minute documentary there isn’t anything shocking, there really isn’t anything controversial, but rather it’s a tidy look at mostly nice things in King’s life, with a lot of accolades from those she associated with, and you get a glimpse at how a songwriter’s life is way different from the person who craves the spotlight on stage.

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Is It Okay for My Mother to Punch Your Mother Any Longer?

As I was working on my never-ending project of finishing the book I started like five years ago about when I posted a word a day on Facebook, a project I constantly wrestle with “Who would actually buy this thing? Dammit, I’m going to finish it anyway.”, I came across the word “decision.” As a spoiler I posted that word way back on November 10, 2011, and it was really about my wrestling with the decision if I should shut down my website, Entertainment Ave!

Obviously it’s still here, although, from time to time, I do still wonder if I should just pull the plug, but one of the comments for that day was from my sister, Janet, and it was “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.” It made me think that as a kid there wasn’t really the randomness in picking things if you could quickly do the math, but it also made me think how we were kind of violent. I mean, you had “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Catch a tiger by the toe. If he hollers let him go. Eeny, meeny, miny moe.” Continue reading Is It Okay for My Mother to Punch Your Mother Any Longer?

The Promotional Calendar Isn’t Dead?

Do you have a calendar on your wall?

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Ah, the middle of February. By now most of us have given up on our New Year’s resolutions, lost the excitement of changing our future, and it’s back to our normal, mundane lives where come December we’ll be like, “Where did the year go, and why didn’t I learn guitar like I said I would?”

But why? Why do we stop? Why can’t we keep the focus throughout the year?

I’m blaming it on the death of the paper calendar.

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Then It’s a Habit

How long does it take to declare a habit a habit?

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In my never-ending quest to better myself one of the thoughts that enters my head is the development of habits, both good and bad, and how I can build the better ones while eliminating the things in my daily life that are a little more detrimental. Now, as a Catholic at that almost time of Lent, there is the challenge to come up with something I should “give up” for the Lenten season. Yup, 40 days of eliminating something and in doing so remembering the suffering of Jesus prior to holy week, even though it’s really more than 40 days, and you may or may not be able to use Sunday as a cheat day depending on if you want to justify in your head that “it’s okay to have this chocolate bar because it’s Sunday,” instead of just sticking it out for the entire Lenten season. Many people use the time to try to eliminate a bad habit, some people to just “calm down” some badness, and others twist it the other way of adding something good during the season. It’s a timeframe that seems workable, gives a nice start and end date, and a belief that if it’s possible to change during Lent it will be easy to continue that change for the rest of your life. And, oh yea, don’t forget the Jesus suffering stuff.

My greatest success in Lenten abstinence was the year I decided to eliminate adding artificial sweeteners to my beverages, namely to my iced tea and coffee, which I’m happy to say was a successful habit removal development as I didn’t resume the practice after Lent was over. I also stopped drinking diet pop during that time, though that habit did kick back in for a few years until recently when all of the stories about the badness of artificial sweeteners finally got to me, and unless desperate for a carbonated beverage to sooth my upset tummy, the desire for my daily Diet Pepsi is now gone.

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The World of Kanako

Rated: Not Rated | Running Time: 119 Minutes
From: Drafthouse Films and Cinedigm
Available February 2, 2016 on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Download

Poor Akikazu (Kôji Yakusho). He used to be a great police detective, but after a few mis-steps of alcoholism, drugs, and beating up people, being fired, and getting no respect by the lollipop-sucking younger’ detective, his life is in shambles. Bad enough, but then he gets sucked into a gang, turf war that eventually leads back to his missing daughter, Kanako (Nan Komatsu).

Oh, and his daughter is evil. Such is “The World of Kanako.”

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I Am Thor

Rated: Unrated | Running Time: 84 Minutes
From: Dark Sky Films
On Digital Download, Blu-ray, and DVD January 19, 2016

Who knew having a smaller wiener than your co-worker might be a blessing in disguise? For Jon Mikl Thor, nature’s short givings put him in a position to follow his dream. And follow his dream he has.

You see, early in the documentary “I Am Thor” we learn that Jon lost his job as a naked waiter because his wiener wasn’t long enough. He was doing well as a naked waiter, or so it seemed, but then the new guy came, longer schlong and all, and suddenly Jon was back to his quest of music domination, a quest that never left the man who would be Thor.

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Maybe I’m Finally Old

Do you sign up for every, new, social media platform?

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I signed up for last night. I’m told it’s the latest thing, like Facebook was the latest thing, like Twitter, like Snapchat, like Vine, like MySpace (Do the kids even know what MySpace is, or Prodigy, or AOL?), and because I want to be hip I had to be a part of it. Yup, you can find me with my username, @aplabis, which is also where you can find me on Twitter. You can also find me on MySpace at, hmm, what was I on MySpace? Oh, yea, The Dude on the Right. But don’t look for me on Snapchat, you’re better off looking for my mom-in-law, GrandmaEleanor, she’s a hoot.

Anywho, I signed up for Peach, made a quick post, found a cute GIF of puppies, and posted my weather, but as I write this I still have no friends. I could probably have friends, most likely searching for people I follow on Twitter by using their Twitter handle, or using some phone number search thing they have on Peach, but then I’m just now following the same people on Peach that I now follow on Twitter, which are also some of the same people I have as friends on Facebook, and a few of the people I know who use SnapChat.

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Beware of Old People Who Can’t Hear

It started with a simple comment about underwear. My dad-in-law was over, along with my mom-in-law, for Christmas Eve dinner. The evening was filled with light conversation and a wonderful meal filled with Osso Buco, rissoto, and wine. With dinner over and us now gathered in the living room, he excused himself to the bathroom. It was upon his return and his simple questioning about “armor underwear” that I realized we are now in for a world of change where we can no longer talk about old people behind their backs, or in front of them, or when they go to the bathroom.

And it’s all Steve Jobs’ fault.

Some short backstory.

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A Star Wars Quest

Would you spend a day in a theater for a movie marathon?

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I was fairly content in my lack of planning to see the new “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” but then came the Facebook taunts. Thank God, as I wrote on my Facebook post, for “Best. Wife. Ever.”

Like many a Star Wars fan, as the publicity machine began, every new trailer brought the hope of the return of the franchise to the greatness it once was, the “Please don’t give away too much of the story” moments, and built the excitement in me to see the movie. Pre-sales for tickets were announced, but I was too big and slow, like the dinosaurs, in getting initial tickets for the Thursday night screenings, let alone the opening weekend. A little bummed I figured I would see it eventually, and then some jealousy would hit me when my nephew mentioned he was going to the Star Wars marathon.

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