WWE

Podtalk: Director Stephen Merchant for ‘Fighting with My Family’

CHICAGO – Stephen Merchant is well known for his hilarious takes on über-tall (he’s six-foot-seven) and awkward comedy. He helped create the British “The Office” TV series with longtime collaborator Ricky Gervais, and HBO shows like “Extras” and “Hello Ladies.” He writes and directs his first major feature, the pro wrestling film “Fighting with My Family.”

Exclusive Portrait: Chyna of World Wrestling Federation Fame Dies at 45

Chyna copy.JPG

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – She was an actress, model, bodybuilder and even adult film star, but Chyna – AKA Joanie Laurer – will always be remembered as the “Ninth Wonder of the World” during her undefeated reign as World Wrestling Federation (WWF) Woman’s Champion and gender crossover WWF Intercontinental Champion. She was found dead on April 20th, 2016, in her Redondo Beach (California) home at the age of 45.

Video Game Review: ‘WWE 13’ is the Ultimate Playground

WWE 13

CHICAGO – Wrestling games have always been a curious genre. They’ve always treated matches as if they’re actual athletic competitions, where one guy is attempting to beat the other guy within an inch of his life and pin him or make him submit. This is problematic since we all know that a real pro-wrestling match is more akin to a heavily muscled dance number than an actual fight (though they both get colorful outfits) and the excitement of a match - innovative moves, heightened drama, near falls - are all but absent in the “wrestling is real” gameplay model because simply put, the better you are, the shorter and less fun your matches will be, especially against the historically brain-dead AI you find in wrestling games.

Interview: Director Adam Gacka Chronicles Hulk Hogan’s Ultimate Fan in ‘Sadermania’

Sadermania

CHICAGO – For anybody that remembers the 1980s, remembers the flamboyant fame of professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, and his army of “Hulkamaniacs.” Behind the glitz of it all was one particular Hogan fan named Chris Sader. The circumstance behind the fandom, and his subsequent relationship with Hogan, is the subject of director Adam Gacka’s documentary, “Sadermania,” which will screen at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday, April 3rd.

Exclusive Portrait: ‘Extra’ Co-Host Maria Menounos For New Book ‘The EveryGirl’s Guide to Life’

Maria Menounos, photo by Joe Arce.

CHICAGO – Celebrities rarely are as multi-faceted as Maria Menounos. The Greek American ex-beauty queen is the current co-host – with Mario Lopez – of “Extra,” the popular entertainment news program. This is after correspondent duties on “Access Hollywood,” appearing on the “Today” show and acting in TV’s “Without a Trace” and “One Tree Hill.”

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