Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gagliardi impresses in MMA victory at Mohegan

Domenic Gagliardi stepped into the octagon Saturday night and gained a huge victory in his Mixed Martial Arts career.
The 28-year-old Bristol resident took on undefeated Stafford Springs native, Mark McLaughlin in the Mohegan Sun Arena.
The fight started with Gagliardi landing several punches and knees making his opponent stagger early.
“In the first few seconds I hit him with a huge over hand right, setting him back into the cage and was able to climb on top,” Gagliardi said. “I then threw a few short elbows to his head but he managed to get back to his feet.”
After McLaughlin recovery he was able to get Gagliardi’s back to the cage. McLaughlin tried taking him down, but Gagliardi knew just from his first attempt that he couldn’t.
“I figured I’d stay calm and let him burn energy trying,” Gagliardi said.
Gagliardi then caught McLaughlin with some hard knees to the ribs, which broke them apart. As they broke they both swung haymakers at each other and McLaughlin landed a left hook.
The crowd went wild for McLaughlin’s move, but it only infuriated Gagliardi and caused him to only want the victory more.
Gagliardi moved to the mount and faked a jab, landing heavy leather. McLaughlin worked a sub from half guard, but Gagliardi then got the back and performed the rear naked choke. That move gained Gagliardi the victory 4 minutes and 10 seconds into the first round.
“My opponent came out and I never took my eyes off of him,” Gagliardi said. “I was just going to start by feeling him out, but went there to fight and the crowd wanted to see a show,”
This was a welcome win, not only for Gagliardi but also for his corner men, William Seaver, Jake Pajor and John Roderick, who came up with a game plan that led to victory.
Yet, this fight was never suppose to happen for Gagliardi, because four months before he had hung up his gloves.
“I had no intention of fighting again,” Gagliardi said. “Being that I’m older and have a lot more responsibilities now, I had to think about it. But the opportunity to fight in my home state is what made me take the fight.”
Ten years ago Gagliardi had no idea where this sport would take him. He always knew that he might never make a living at it or be the best fighter, but he gave MMA his best shot.
“Ten years ago I had no idea about this sport and ten years from now I have no idea where I’ll be,” Gagliardi said. “I’ve always been one to live in the moment and concentrate on what’s in front of me.”

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Bristol Native Set For MMA Fight

BRISTOL — For Domenic Gagliardi, his time to step into the Mixed Martial Arts spotlight has finally arrived.

Tonight, the 28-year-old Bristol native will travel to Uncasville and head into the octagon for the biggest fight of his MMA career. Gagliardi will take part in one of the 15 bouts during Reality Fighting’s A Night of MMA Fights at Mohegan Sun Arena.

It’s a night Gagliardi has dreamt of since he first stumbled upon the sport when he was going from gym to gym trying to find that one thing that would build on the passion for wrestling he gained while at Bristol Central High School.

After bouncing around, his search finally ended when he walked through the doors of a small gym in Plainville — New Century MMA. It was then he began to learn the sport from owner and trainer Jake Pajor.

“Jake, who was a professional kick boxer, began training me and showing me the basics of striking and boxing,” Gagliardi said.

It was just a year into their training when Pajor got tickets to a professional MMA fight at Mohegan Sun. It was at that moment while watching from the stands that Gagliardi fully realized he wanted to be the one in the ring, not in the crowd.

The next day he was back in the gym hungrier than ever to compete. Trying to feed that hunger, he placed a resume online stating he was a new fighter looking for a match. Two weeks later, Gagliardi, a 2001 graduate of Bristol Central, received a call from Richmond, Va. asking if he was interested in a fight.

“Right away I agreed to the fight and started training,” Gagliardi said. “After working 40-plus hours I had to put any last energy I had into training.”

Now, he hopes all the hard work over the years will lead him to victory on the biggest stage of his MMA career.

Gagliardi is set to do battle with undefeated Mark McLaughlin. The 170-pound McLaughlin has been impressive in his three professional fights. His last bout lasted just 2 minutes, 19 seconds as the referee stopped the contest, earning him the technical knockout victory over Joe Soucy.

McLaughlin’s other two fights went the distance, winning both by decision.

The Night of Fights at Mohegan Sun will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $35.

Although Gagliardi feels he is fully prepared to meet tonight’s challenge, he can’t help but admit there will be at least a small sense of anxiety as he heads to the ring. To him, that’s OK. If there weren’t, he said, he would feel there was something wrong.

“From my first fight to my last fight the feeling before you walk in to the cage has always been the same. Your mind is racing through a million different things, but the second the bell rings your only thought is what’s in front of you,” Gagliardi said. “You can never plan on an opponent, because usually what you’ve heard or read or even saw in his flaws, chances are he has been working on them in the gym.”

As a fighter, Gagliardi is certain that McLaughlin is also aware of his flaws. That’s why, he said, he’s worked harder than ever preparing for this fight.

While he has years of grappling experience, Gagliardi has recently turned his attention toward becoming a better striker. But most importantly he hasn’t forgot the No. 1 ingredient when it comes to the recipe for Mixed Martial Arts success.

“Cardio is one of the most important parts of MMA because no matter how good you are, if you’re tired, all that knowledge goes out the window,” Gagliardi said.

Win or lose tonight, Gagliardi will walk out of the octagon a happy man. He knows he will continue to have the support of all the people in his corner, especially his parents, who have always been behind him.

“My parents are my drive to do well in life, regardless of what I’m doing,” Gagliardi said. “Their struggles in life have made it possible for me to even be able to chase my goals and dreams by giving me the life they never had.”

Monday, May 16, 2011

New 'Fright Night' Trailer Hits The Web

I honestly don't think that Fright Night should have been remade. The original was perfect and what exactly are they looking to improve upon?
I'm done fighting against horror remakes or just remakes in general, it has become pointless because it's never going to stop. Yet, I don't think remakes are a bad thing all the time. I believe if you can take a movie that had an interesting idea but didn't execute it properly then you can remake it. This does NOT apply to Fright Night.
I'm not going to go crazy. The trailer didn't thrill me, but I'm not going to rip the movie apart. I need to see it in order to form an opinion on it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Star Wars Blu-Ray Sets

Since this is May 4th (Star Wars day), Lucasfilm has released the details on their upcoming blu-ray collections. There will be a complete saga collection, an original trilogy collection and a prequel trilogy collection.
Here is some the the special features the complete saga set will have:

Including: deleted, extended and alternate scenes; prop, maquette and costume turnarounds; matte paintings and concept art; supplementary interviews with cast and crew; a flythrough of the Lucasfilm Archives and more

Including: deleted, extended and alternate scenes; prop, maquette and costume turnarounds; matte paintings and concept art; supplementary interviews with cast and crew; and more

Star Warriors (2007, Color, Apx. 84 Minutes) - Some Star Wars fans want to collect action figures...these fans want to be action figures! A tribute to the 501st Legion, a global organization of Star Wars costume enthusiasts, this insightful documentary shows how the super-fan club promotes interest in the films through charity and volunteer work at fundraisers and high-profile special events around the world.

A Conversation with the Masters: The Empire Strikes Back 30 Years Later (2010, Color, Apx. 25 Minutes) - George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Lawrence Kasdan and John Williams look back on the making of The Empire Strikes Back in this in-depth retrospective from Lucasfilm created to help commemorate the 30th anniversary of the movie. The masters discuss and reminisce about one of the most beloved films of all time.

Star Wars Spoofs (2011, Color, Apx. 91 Minutes) - The farce is strong with this one! Enjoy a hilarious collection of Star Wars spoofs and parodies that have been created over the years, including outrageous clips from Family Guy, The Simpsons, How I Met Your Mother and more -- and don't miss "Weird Al" Yankovic's one-of-a-kind music video tribute to The Phantom Menace!

The Making of Star Wars (1977, Color, Apx. 49 Minutes) - Learn the incredible behind-the-scenes story of how the original Star Wars movie was brought to the big screen in this fascinating documentary hosted by C-3PO and R2-D2. Includes interviews with George Lucas and appearances by Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.

The Empire Strikes Back: SPFX (1980, Color, Apx. 48 Minutes) - Learn the secrets of making movies in a galaxy far, far away. Hosted by Mark Hamill, this revealing documentary offers behind-the-scenes glimpses into the amazing special effects that transformed George Lucas' vision for Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back into reality!

Classic Creatures: Return of the Jedi (1983, Color, Apx. 48 Minutes) - Go behind the scenes -- and into the costumes -- as production footage from Return of the Jedi is interspersed with vintage monster movie clips in this in-depth exploration of the painstaking techniques utilized by George Lucas to create the classic creatures and characters seen in the film. Hosted and narrated by Carrie Fisher and Billie Dee Williams.

Anatomy of a Dewback (1997, Color, Apx. 26 Minutes) - See how some of the special effects in Star Wars became even more special two decades later! George Lucas explains and demonstrates how his team transformed the original dewback creatures from immovable rubber puppets (in the original 1977 release) to seemingly living, breathing creatures for the Star Wars 1997 Special Edition update.

Star Wars Tech (2007, Color, Apx. 46 Minutes) - Exploring the technical aspects of Star Wars vehicles, weapons and gadgetry, Star Wars Tech consults leading scientists in the fields of physics, prosthetics, lasers, engineering and astronomy to examine the plausibility of Star Wars technology based on science as we know it today.

Yet, these sets have been met with intense negativity. Fans, including myself, are demanding that Lucas releases the original theatrical releases of episodes IV, V and VI. They could have been easily placed with the set but there nowhere to be found.
Many fans are saying that they will boycott the sets until they get the original releases. Come on, Lucas, give the fans what they want.

The Confessional

Here is a short film I was sent. It's interesting and it has zombies.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mortal Kombat Is Reborn

Fatality lives in this reboot of the classic fighting series – Mortal Kombat.

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a decent Mortal Kombat game. The first three in the series were very good but once we reached Mortal Kombat 4 the series started going downhill. Now, with this reboot we are given back a useful d-pad, characters we loved and the bloody fatalities that made the game different. Yet, does returning to the series roots save the franchise?

Let’s just get into the review, starting with the actually fighting. The game brings back 2D gameplay while sticking with 3D graphics, just like Street Fighter 4 did. This helps the game out tremendously. If you played any of the 3D Mortal Kombat games then you know it didn’t really feel as fluent as the 2D games did. I hated how you needed to side-step in the 3D environments, it might have just been me but side-stepping was annoying.

The fighting is very, very similar to older Mortal Kombat games. If you’ve played any Mortal Kombat game in the past you’ll feel right at home with this one. You’ll find it very easy to pull off special attacks and dominate with your favorite fighters.

They’ve also brought back the fatalities and babalities, which are always welcome. The fatalities return to their graphic roots, delivering some extreme gore and the babalities return to turning your opponent into a baby, not as exciting as the fatalities.

They’ve also introduced the X-Ray move, which is great. This move can be performed when you fill up your X-Ray meter (I don’t know if that’s the proper name) and it shows you breaking your opponent’s bones in gruesome ways.

Moving on, let’s talk about the Story Mode. This is a very lengthy part of the game; it spans 16 chapters and retells the stories of the first three Mortal Kombat games. The story might get campy in some areas but this is a great addition and allows new players to get to know the universe and the characters that inhabit it.

I do have some negative things to say about the story mode and the first thing is how some of the fights seem unbalanced. I’m talking about the fights where you’re going up against two opponents and you don’t have a partner to back you up. I thought, since they already had a tag team mode in the game, they should’ve used that in the Story Mode. I hated the fact they left this out and it would have been something so easy to have in.

The other thing I didn’t like about Story Mode is being unable to skip cut scenes, what the hell is up with that? I like watching cut scenes to follow the story, but if I play through the story a second time I want an option to skip over them.

Besides the Story Mode there is a wealth of other content to keep you busy. There is of course the tried and true Ladder, the new tag team Ladder, which allows you to play with two fighters against two other fighters, the challenge tower, which has 300 challenges for you to complete, test your might mode, test your sight mode, test your strike mode and test your luck, which is the most interesting.

In test your luck you have to spin a slot machine, which decides who you’ll be fighting against and how you will fight them. You might be fighting them with the screen upside down and with jump disabled or you might be fighting them without arms. It’s an interesting mode and poses some great challenges.

Now, let’s talk about the online, a part of the game I have some beef with. The biggest peeve I have with online is players who spam one attack and get a cheap victory over you. These people need to stop doing one attack and learn how to use a fighter or don’t play online at all.

The other thing that annoys me is lag. There have been matches where the lag was so bad that it wasn’t even playable. It doesn’t happen all the time but it happens often enough to make you not even want to continue to play online.

Now, when those two things aren’t dragging your online experience down, there is a lot to love about it.

One mode that I continuously play is King of the Hill. In this mode you go into a room and challenge the king. The king is the person who won the last match or last several matches. The biggest plus about this mode is being able to be a spectator on all the matches, so you can try to build up some strategy when your turn comes around. You’re also able to rate the match when it’s finished.

Online also gives you just classic fighting and tag team; all the modes are good but like I said they can be dragged down by inexperienced players and lag.

There is a lot of content in Mortal Kombat and because it embraces its roots it’s definitely worth the $60. It does have its shortcomings, but those problems aren’t enough for me to say stay away.

8 out of 10