Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the category “Review”

Doug Bradley’s Spinechillers Volume 3

As I write this, Halloween is 55 days aways. To celebrate one of the most fun holidays of the year, people have already started watching at least one horror movie a day. Why not listen to an audiobook of classic horror tales as well? If you’re wanting to do just this, then look no further than Doug Bradley’s Spinechillers Volume 3. As with the first two installments in this formidable franchise, you’ll find a top-tier collection of classic horror literature to enjoy.

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My WWE ThunderDome Experience

On the August 21 episode of SmackDown WWE launched ThunderDome, a state-of-the-art set, video boards, pyrotechnics, lasers, cutting-edge graphics and drone cameras, within Orlando’s Amway Arena. Both SummerSlam and Monday Night Raw took place in the WWE ThunderDome, and I found it to be a brilliant concept because it’s a way for fans to visually be present in the arena using technological means. It is the perfect way to engage the WWE audience on a deeper level, while also intriguing fans who may have not watched WWE for some time. Despite the hefty investment WWE had to put into this, registration is completely free. I have to applaud WWE for making this a free service, as they could have easily charged fans even a nominal amount to attend. I registered for WWE ThunderDome for the August 24 Monday Night Raw and received confirmation that I was in. However, I never got a link to join. This issue affected many other people as well. Nevertheless, I registered for the August 28 edition of SmackDown. Not only did I receive confirmation, but I got a link to join! So, what was it like in the WWE ThunderDome? Read on for my thoughts, including photos and videos from my point of view.

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Audible Review: A Deadly Shade of Gold

A Deadly Shade of Gold is the fifth book in the Travis McGee series. In this entry, McGee picks up the phone and hears a voice from the past, he can’t help it. He has to meddle. Especially when he has the chance to reunite Sam Taggart, a reckless, restless man like himself, with the woman who’s still waiting for him. But what begins as a simple matchmaking scheme soon becomes a bloody chase that takes McGee to Mexico, a beautiful country — and one from which he hopes to return alive. John D. MacDonald has really gotten the hang of writing for this character, and it shows. The dialogue is entertaining, and there are action-packed events throughout this Audible Original.

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The Hardy Boys: The Tower Treasure

I’m a huge fan of thriller and mystery books, and I grew up watching Murder, She Wrote on TV. For whatever reason, I’ve always enjoyed twisty tales that make me wonder, “Who commited the crime?” I didn’t get into reading until I started consuming professional wrestling autobiographies in high school, followed by James Patterson thrillers. Once I dove into these books, I realized that reading could be fun! They made me want to explore more books, and now I read about 50 books a year. At this point in my life, I’ve decided to revisit books that I owned and either only read a little bit or didn’t read at all. First up, The Hardy Boys!

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Audible Review: Hardcore History

Hardcore History: The Extremely Unauthorized Story of the ECW is an excellent Audible Original. Writer Scott E. Williams has pored through records and conducted dozens of interviews with fans, company officials, business partners, and the wrestlers themselves to bring listeners the most thorough account possible of this bizarre company. As someone who has watched numerous documentaries about ECW, I learned a lot while listening to this audiobook. It provides an excellent, and sometimes detailed, overview of major events related to ECW and its various incarnations.

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Walter Day’s Superstars of Gaming: Volume One

Walter Day is the founder of Twin Galaxies, the oldest video game scorekeeping and adjudication service in history. He is known as the creator of e-sports and has often been called “The Patron Saint of Video Games.” His remarkable efforts to find, verify, and catalog video game world records has led to a decades-long partnership with Guinness World Records. Walter Day’s Superstars of Gaming: Volume One is an excellent book celebrating Day’s life and legacy as a living legend in the video game industry.

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Review – The Elder Scrolls: Call To Arms

The Elder Scrolls is one of my favorite video game series of all time. I enjoy all entries in this franchise, including the spinoffs and The Elder Scrolls Online. While many of The Elder Scrolls games have been successful, Skyrim is the one that practically everyone knows. The fifth entry in the series, it has sold over 30 million copies across various systems since its release in 2011. This summer I completed the main quest in this game, along with numerous side quests, on the Nintendo Switch. I also sunk more than 150 hours into The Elder Scrolls Online on my PC – which is an excellent game that I highly recommend. When I read that Skyrim’s open world was coming to a tabletop game created by Modiphius, entitled The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms, I was intrigued.

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Audible Review: Nightmare in Pink

Released in 1964, Nightmare in Pink is the second book in John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee series. In this entry, Nina — a career girl living alone in Manhattan — offers the protagonist companionship and the first loose thread in the elaborate fabric of a gigantic swindle. She leads McGee on a wild and tortuous chase into the decadent world of high society, the ruthless world of big money, and the weird world of hallucinatory drugs.

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Batman: The Definitive History of the Dark Knight in Comics, Film, and Beyond

As part of Batman’s 80th anniversary, Insight Editions released a massive book to celebrate any and all things related to the Caped Crusader. This book, Batman: The Definitive History of the Dark Knight in Comics, Film, and Beyond, is gigantic! It’s 400 pages in a beautifully bound hardback book that chronicles all facets of The Dark Knight. It is truly the most exhaustive and comprehensive tome about my favorite superhero, and it belongs in your home if you love Batman just as much as I do.

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The Resurrection of Jake The Snake

The Resurrection of Jake The Snake is one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen, and it’s easily my favorite. I’ve watched it several times and it still makes me cry. That’s how powerful it is — I know what’s coming, yet the tears always flow. This riveting cinematic experience chronicles professional wrestling legend and founder of DDP Yoga Diamond Dallas Page helping his mentor, friend, and fellow wrestling luminary, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, topple addiction over the course of 18 months. It’s a perilous journey with disheartening lows and unimaginable highs. What I love most about The Resurrection of Jake The Snake is how it perfectly captures the triumph of the human spirit. Not only does DDP inspire Jake to turn his life around, he also gets Scott Hall — another one of pro wrestling’s ticking time bombs — to move in with them at the Accountability Crib so he can also transform his life for the better. Keep in mind that these are the two pro wrestlers that people thought were going to wind up dead at any given moment. Both of these men are friends who helped Dallas get his big break, and he never forgot what they did for him. Rather than have their lives cut short by self-destructive behavior, DDP stuck out a hand and helped Jake and Scott rise above the maelstrom of sadness and pain their lives had become so they could achieve their full potential and find true happiness.

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