MGM drives its revenue in the following 3 segments:
Las Vegas Strip Resorts (Resorts located in Las Vegas): 48%
Regional Operations (Resorts located in other parts of the U.S.): 29%
MGM China (Resorts located in Macau): 23%
More than 50% of domestic revenue is driven by non-gaming operations. The revenue model differs greatly between the Las Vegas and Regional Operations. In Las Vegas, non-casino revenue leads casino revenue 3:1 while in regional segment this relationship is the opposite. In China, both segments are about the same.
MGM has kept consistent revenue at ~$10B over the past decade. While the operating cash flow has shown consistent growth, the company was losing money between 2012 and 2015. While the company runs with a manageable Debt to Equity (D/E) ratio of 1.67, the interest rates consume the entire 10% of the company's revenue - a costly expenditure that shows itself big at a time like now - COVID. This year, the business is generating 30% of what it did in the past on average. While the company pays a considerable 3% dividend, the management shows great inconsistency in its share repurchasing plan, moving up and down from year to year with an overall uptrend. Please review these consolidated financials for additional information.
This portfolio tracks MGM's performance in the past year alongside its major public competitors. Evidently, MGM's stock price has rebounded since the COVID to its earlier levels, despite financial downturn and significant upcoming annual losses. The company trades at 57% its tangible assets, the best ratio among its competitors. Its current PE is 7.78 against its last year's earnings - the all time low of the past decade. However, given the unreliable nature of MGM's income, this metric is less meaningful than its price to tangibles, which I consider to be attractive. Putting it all together, the company is taking a 70% cut on its revenue this year with respective effects on its balance sheet, major throw back on the income and immediate financing arrangements while the stock is trading at the pre-COVID levels. The future is most certainly uncertain, which makes the pricing undeterminable.
MGM is one of the key players in the resort business with somewhat attractive financials and possibly fair pricing. However, nothing in particular stands out to me about this stock at present time. The uncertainty of the future and fully rebound stock price, one the other hand, make it a hard no for me. Thanks for reading! Checkout vitddnv's page for more.
Howdy there partners, and welcome to the Wasteland’s finest rodeo! Down here in Texas and good old Oklahoma, things work differently from the rest of the Wasteland. Oh yes, you see here we’re a fine folk, a refined folk, the kind of people who greet you with smiles and a face-full of buckshot if you even think about whipping out your tire iron. Yes, life here is simple, rustic, and downright apocalyptic... The region in all its glory! That’s right Wastelanders, it’s time for another exciting dev diary! Today, we’re focusing on just some of the map changes and additions brought to you by the team. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll reveal more about the factions you see before you, more of our other map changes, and give you some tasty insight into the way things work past the Legion’s border.To begin with though, why don’t we delve deep into the twisted guts of the map itself, and pull back the veil on this beautiful view you’d love to call home. Aren't provinces beautiful? Every map expansion begins here, the province map. For this update, a big focus for me was returning to my roots when it came to province design. More small, organic provinces, built up into many states that a great number of nations can occupy. The new playable region brought forth in 3.0 feels as dense and lively as the West Coast, without having nearly as many provinces dotted along its shoreline. There’s a vast variety of terrain in 3.0, from jungle, to marsh, to plains, urban, and deserts. 3.0 feels and plays like a small microcosm of the larger map, an area rich with lore from a game many people don’t even know about.Before we talk about that, though, let’s take a look at the states. Dare you count all these states? If you took the arduous time to count all of that before reading, let’s see if you were right! That’s 96 new states. Oh yes my friends, that’s right, your faithful friend here didn’t stutter now, did I? We’ve got 96 new states for you to control, conquer, and explore in 3.0: and they’re full of interesting characters.Why don’t we get on to that, actually? In 3.0, we’re representing the lore of the often hated and forgotten Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, as well as it’s cancelled sequel; Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2. Many of you may have never heard about these games, let alone played the first, so it’s time for a little history lesson. After the defeat of Unity, the super mutant army of the Master fractured into many pieces. Two leaders arose from the ashes, and they led large hordes of mutants out of California to greener pastures for plunder and glory. The important one is Attis, who led his new troops to Texas, in an attempt to uncover the secrets of FEV. A brotherhood detachment had already left to face off against the first mutant general, and with Attis’ departure, another group inside the Western Brotherhood wanted to chase them down. The Council of Elders said no, fearing another disaster like that which had happened to the first group, but ultimately a splinter faction formed. It was led by none other than High Elder Rhombus, and he led a group of scribes and paladins to chase down the largest super mutant army in the West, forming what would later be known as the “Texas Expedition.”Settling into the heartland of Texas, this new offshoot developed themselves, recruiting from the local population. They ran them through a training course utilising hologram technology, turning them into initiates. One of these initiates became the protagonist of Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, and went on a large journey, tracking Attis all the way to his target destination: the Secret Vault. The Secret Vault was the holy grail for Attis, a place where the secrets of FEV were laid bare, and the secret headquarters of Vault-Tec. Built under the nose of the US, it was the control centre of all Vault-Tec infrastructure, designed to facilitate what Vault-Tec promised thousands of Americans: a safe life underground. The Vault was equipped with state of the art facilities to conduct unethical experiments, and was staffed by unique robots unlike anything the player had ever seen before, or since. Attis would eventually turn himself into a true abomination, an amalgamation of flesh and FEV, taking after the Master’s image in a final face-off against the protagonist. Thus ended Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 1. We must now go more than a hundred years into the future, a mere decade before OWB starts. The Brotherhood have consolidated their power, but outside threats are pressuring their organisation. Attis Army has split into two halves, led by two mutants respectively. Shale, a die-hard mutant supremacist who wants to reform the Army, and Keats; a super mutant who wishes to create a place in which super mutants and humans live and work together in harmony, free from oppression. But underneath the surface, a great plot is brewing. Reese, a former member of the Cyphers, a group who despise technology in all its forms, has acquired a broken GECK. This GECK has the ability to mutate anything it touches, twisting the world around it into a mockery of life itself. It is the Corrupted GECK, and Reese has big plans for it. He seeks to destroy the Texan Brotherhood, and plunge the region into chaos. The protagonist of the cancelled Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2 went across Texas, on the hunt for many things, but eventually Reese himself. They entered Lone Star, where they found evidence of his tampering, and scouts of the Legion. They travelled throughout Brotherhood territory, watching as the group was set upon by numerous raider gangs, all coordinated and persuaded by Reese. They visited Austin, where the tensions between the two super mutant factions was growing. Originally, Keats would always die. You could choose between Shale or Keats, but ultimately, he was always assassinated during a speech. But we decided that was boring. Scarlet (our protagonist of choice) saved Keat’s life, becoming bros for life in the process, and Shale was exiled from Austin alongside his goons. They then travelled, finally, to The Corpse. Within the ruins of a sunken Corpus Christi, Reese’s lair waited in the harbour, and there a final battle ensued. Everything up until now, barring Keat’s survival, is canon. Now, let’s jump into the juicy OWB fanon. Ultimately winning the fight, Scarlet took his GECK and hauled it across Texas, travelling a great distance to a remote location, far from large and established communities. She put the GECK down in what was to be its final resting place, and became its guardian and protector. Over the decade, its influence spread, creating a beautiful but deadly blood red canopy of mutant fauna, a place the natives of Texas refer to as Eden. Any and all who enter the twisted jungle without permission wind up dead, victim to the protagonist’s legendary assassination skills. So, there’s your juicy jet high of lore. Now, how about we get onto the region as a whole in OWB’s 2275? Many nations in Texas and Oklahoma, such as Carbon, Los, Shale's Army, Unity of Austin, Lonestar, the Texan Brotherhood, and others are all based in Fallout lore. Since we’re here, let’s go over them all in some more detail. Pecos: a collection of settler communities from Mexico, who primarily trade with the RRG and Las Granjas. Having struggled to maintain their independence over the last few decades, recent events have continued to destabilise their peaceful towns. Los: The Church of the Lost has recovered since the fall of the Secret Vault and the death of their old leader Blake. These survivors from Necropolis hope to live out the remainder of their days seeking nirvana within the hallowed streets of Los. Carthage: a civilised raider nation built over the ruins of Carthage, a town built atop a gigantic and largely untapped natural gas reserve. They use flame to do everything, from powering their cities to cooking their enemies alive. Carbon: The town of Carbon has been destroyed and rebuilt many times. Recently the town is on an upswing - yet there are some that worry that the raiders that once destroyed their small town may come back again. The Pursuant: a vicious hunting lodge of civilised raiders who hunt the greatest monsters the wasteland has to offer, from terrifying, legendary Deathclaws, Horrifying Mirelurk Queens, and the most exclusive game of all: man. Traders must constantly be aware, as they are always on the hunt. Unity of Austin: led by Keats, the ever charismatic super mutant politician and every man, the Unity of Austin is a staunch ally of the Brotherhood, seeking to create a Wasteland in which mutants and humans live side by side through mutual cooperation. Houston Rockets: the remnants of NASA and Houston’s entertainment industry made a deal. One side made money off of sports, and the other side used the profits to launch rockets into orbit. The Patrolmen: a group of “protectors” who patrol the I-10 religiously, fighting off raiders and outside threats, while exploiting the communities who exist under their thumb. Bayou Motors: a trader nation that specialises in, produces, and sells boats and shipping equipment to most of the Gulf. Gatormaws: a group of violent tribal communities who’ve made the Bayou their home, and make use of their extensive expertise to raid traders who sail along the Red River. Desperados: a ghoul cartel who split off the Sinaloa after a brutal coup, they’ve taken up shop in Shreveport, demanding “protection fees” from passing traders, lest they die to “local raiders.” Assassin City Rollergirls: a raider gang steeped in roller derby culture, they skate around the urban sprawl in atomic skates, cleaving heads and splitting Brotherhood power armour like tin cans. Tubeheads: a cult of raiders and engineers led by the charismatic Mr. Entertainment, the Wasteland’s only late-night variety show host. Cooking segments, raider gladiatorial combat, special guest interviews, all from the pleasure of your own home: courtesy of the Tubehead’s mandatory TV and satellite installation package. The Last Lodge: a nation of peaceful settlers, draped in masonic imagery, with an outward focus and an emphasis on community. Scrappers Compact: an alliance of territorial but loyal junkyard settlers, who make a living out of scavenging and selling valuable scrap to the outside world. Shale’s Army: a warband of first generation super mutants exclusively, led by Shale, one of Attis’s fiercest commanders. Their hatred for all non super mutants is readily apparent, and they make a living out of claiming the lives of their neighbours, ultimately aiming to rebuild Unity from the ground up. The Chained Choir: a nation of former inmates; ghouls who were subjected to testing by the US army, for research into the potential psionic implementations of FEV. The Last Patrol: a regiment of national guard who were directly exposed to a nuclear blast, and now patrol the region around their compound, fiercely protecting the rights and liberties of the communities under their charge. The Texan Arms Association: a coalition of arms barons and factories in the northern Rio Grande who never fully assimilated. Motivated by dreams of liberty and greed, they sell weapons to anyone, and have continued to destabilise the RRG’s politics since its inception. 3.0 will see the TAA exist on game start, and their association’s bid for independence may be welcomed by some of its neighbours who see it little more than prey. Painted Rock: a group of noble tribal warriors, unwavering combatants who test their young among jagged rocks, and prove their worth against the Wasteland’s toughest foes. Cypher Warband: a clan of luddites who hold a deep hatred for the old world, and in particular, the Brotherhood of Steel’s core doctrines. They’ve been fierce opponents for decades, but during the events of the cancelled Brotherhood of Steel 2, they disowned their most extreme member—Reese—who left in an attempt to destroy their archenemy once and for all. Lubbock: a settler community of ghouls and humans, attempting to work together despite their differences. Supported by the Lubbock Expedition, a military effort by Lone Star to secure the highways across Lubbock’s territory, securing their border and reaping the economic benefits of the partnership. The Ironmongers: a group of mutants who’ve taken over former TAA factories, regularly plundering their gunsmith neighbours. Unlike many other mutants, they construct massive vehicles of brutal machinery, backed up by giant guns and the strength of iron. They’re feared by many, and their iconic “Battlewagons” bring terror and destruction in their wake. Eden: lead by Scarlet, a protagonist from the protagonist of the cancelled game "Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2", who dragged Reese’s GECK from The Corpse to a remote location, to contain the spread of its taint from the outside world, and all who would covet its ruinous strength. Lone Star: the largest trade hub in Texas, all traders pass along its roads and through the gates of its capital city. Its emphasis on sustainable partnerships, justice, and profit have made it a veritable Wasteland boomtown. Texan Brotherhood: a brotherhood outfit who’s roots stemmed from a desire to crush Attis once and for all, in 2275 the Brotherhood look entirely different to their counterparts out west. Civilised, peaceful, just: they seek moral victories over material, a direction some among their ranks find fault with. The First People: the combined nations of the Choctaw, Cherokee, and Chickasaw-Muscogee Coalition have banded together in an alliance, protecting one-another from outside threats and developing their communities in a Wasteland sorely lacking hope. Many of them emerged from vaults, and they rebuilt the casinos, infrastructure, and social venues that made their little corner of Oklahoma the darling it was. In 2275, beyond New Vegas, the Big Spend is the premiere destination for tourists, traders, and soldiers looking to experience the best service in the Wasteland. Live music, tasty food, refreshing drinks, and refurbished hotels continue to entice visitors year after year. In the words of everyone’s favourite doctor, “Well, that’s all she wrote.” Our dev diary has wrapped up, and boy, what a diary it was! What did you think? Are you excited for what you’ve seen of 3.0? Got any thoughts, comments, or suggestions to share? Let us know in the comments below, or on our Discord! Mapping is a labour of love, and I love doing it. Take care during this difficult time for all of us, and stay safe and healthy!
A Vegas Miracle - how I won $129,000 in my 3rd tournament ever
This is how I won $129,000 in my 3rd ever poker tournament. Note: don't try this, it probably won't turn out well for you. I spent about 6 months grinding up a $5,000 bankroll playing home/casino games ranging from .5/1 to 1/3. The week that I hit that $5,000 mark, Matt, one of my best friends from college informed me that his job had placed him in Las Vegas for the next month and that I could crash with him for a few nights if I wanted to come on out west. I had frequent flyer miles for the flight and some Mlife/Fremont hotel comps for the rest of the trip. My grand total for flight and lodging for 10 days came to $200. Now, I’m not going to bore you guys with low-level cash hand histories. The next 10 days were filled with me playing lowstakes poker for 10-12 hours a day. It’s as fun as it sounds – it’s not. I was having a good time in Vegas otherwise – but towards the end of the trip I had a realization: 1/2’s the same everywhere. I didn’t have to fly out to the desert to raise to $7 preflop. After 10 days, my grand total from poker (and a fair amount of dumb degenerate shit on Fremont) was -$186. That wasn’t what I came out to do — I knew that I was a better player than my recent results had indicated. The morning of my return flight, I decided I was going to play tournaments until I either busted my $5,000 bankroll or hit something worthwhile. I impulsively decided to not get on my plane at 11:30am. Checkout time from Luxor was at 11:00 – and I didn’t know where I was going yet. I had 30 minutes to pack up my stuff and figure out where I was going before they’d charge me a fee. I sorted TripAdvisor by cheapest first – I’ve stayed in crappy hostels/motels before and overall am a very low maintenance person. I figured that by staying somewhere for $20 a night, I’d be able to maximize the amount of shots I could take before flying back home. I accepted that there was a real chance I’d go back broke – but I didn’t really care. If I didn’t take my shot now, then when? I booked the cheapest bed in Vegas - a 6-person shared hostel just past the Stratosphere. Let's just say you get what you pay for — it was not a happy place. A fair amount of the people in there were bordering on homelessness and there was barbed wire surrounding their outdoor gym. In addition to this, I had the constant stress of knowing that all that separated my bankroll from the rest of my roommates was a tiny lock. I took the Deuce to the strip, lived off food comps, and turned down invites from my friends to hang out. I was in town to play poker, nothing else. Disclaimer: I had never played tournaments prior to heading out to Vegas. My only knowledge of hand ranges was from watching televised events. I downloaded a free Nash chart app on my phone while on the Deuce to the strip and studied it for 5 minutes – whatever, I get the jist of it. Let’s play some cards. The first day of doing this I played the $140 daily at the Aria. Top 13 spots paid -- I finished in 15th. It was depressing to say the least — I felt as if I was at rock bottom. Before the first night of sleeping at the hostel I called the airline to see if I could get on the flight that I had deliberately missed the day prior. I couldn't. I made it my goal to at least cash something so that I could get a decent hotel room. I couldn’t have slept more than 2-3 hours the first night there. One of my roommates was loudly vomiting all night, the sheets itched, and I was going through an existential crisis... like dude, you’ve got a finance degree and you’re really doing this shit? While on the bus to the strip, I opened Poker Atlas and saw that there was a $200 satellite to win a seat into the $1,600 Venetian main event. I decided that I was going to go take a shot at that. I was at risk twice in the satellite but after studying the GTO method on how to win coinflips, I persevered and won a seat to the main. The first day was surreal – once again, I was running on minimal sleep due to my housing arrangements, but I remember the following hands from day 1:
Button opens to 2.2x, I’m in the BB with Q9cc. SB folds, we go HU to a flop of 832c. He c-bets, I call. Turn 4x, x/x. River Ax. I check, he bets, I x/r to like 3x his bet, he insta folds. I take it down and show air.
UTG+1 opens, MP calls, I flat on the button with K10ss. 3 ways to a flop of Qs43xx. UTG+1 bets 40% pot, MP calls, I call. Turn is the Js. UTG+1 bets 60% pot, MP calls, I flat. River comes the 8s. UTG+1 snap bets 80%. MP flats, I flat. I announce king high flush, they both muck.
Folds to the SB, he limps, I look down at Q10o, and check. Flop comes KQ6r. He leads 35%, I call. Turn 10. He bets, I call. River comes a J. He bets, I tank for about 45 seconds then flick in a call, he shows 76o… ship it.
The average stack after day 1 was around 40k, I bagged like 65k. I walked back to the Deuce stop outside of the Venetian and headed on my 30 minute ride back home. I kept thinking to myself, someone’s gotta win this thing, why not me? I had to get in the money for this tournament to be able to get the fuck out of there. A min cash here was over $3k – that was more than enough for me to get a suite on Fremont for a few nights and party for a bit, then get home with my head held high. Day 2: I get up at 7am after already being completely awake for the past 4 hours. There’s no way I slept more than 3 hours last night. I hit the Denny’s by the Stratosphere then get on the Deuce. I get to the Venetian and feel like I’m about to fall asleep. I go to the self-serve coffee/tea dispenser in the middle of the room and make myself an iced coffee. I get to my table, and the cocktail waitress comes around. I ask for another iced coffee and toss her a fiver. Here are some highlights from the 1st half of day 2:
I open 97ss on the button, BB flats. Flop comes AK3s. BB checks, I bet 35%. He throws out a 5k chip – which I interpret as a x/r to my bet. I groan, make a joke about it being the first hand of the day, and start to muck. The dealer stops my cards midway before hitting the muck, and informs me that he didn’t raise, that he called my flop bet. Everyone laughs, I go silent and wait for him to make change. Turn is the 2s. He thinks for a second and bets 30%. I tank for like 30 seconds, then flat. River is a blank. He thinks for a second, then checks. I bet like 30% pot. He tells me that I’m an angle shooter and mucks. I tell him I’m not an angle shooter and show my 9 high. Everyone laughs, we get on with playing.
CO opens, I 3b 87dd in the SB to 4x, he flats. Flop comes 1032d. I check, he checks. Turn is the 6d. I bet 55% pot, he flats. River comes the Kd. I bet 60%, he tanks, tells me he thinks I backdoored diamonds, then folds. Damn, these players are pretty good.
I open KK UTG to 2.5x, UTG +1 flats. Heads up to a flop of K43r. x/x. Turn 8, I bet 40% pot, he calls. River 3, I bet 80% pot, he tanks, then calls with AK.
I bring my 3 racks of chips to the new table and immediately get some comments – whatever, I’m just on a heater, it happens. At this point, my body was giving out. I was trying my hardest not to fall asleep in between every hand. Cutoff opens, I’m in the SB, I look down at KK. I put in the 3b, folds back to him. He puts in a healthy 4. We’re the two big stacks at the table – I’d guess he was 50bb effective while I was around 65bb. God damn, am I good enough to fold kings here? No, I’m not. I shove, he snaps, I know that I’ve just fucked up my tournament. He shows the aces. The dealer puts a king in the window, and I hold. I’m for sure the chip leader now. I lose a few 40/60 and 60/40 flips and chip down a bit. I still have a very healthy stack, probably around 80bb. The next 3 hands are from the second half of day 2:
Aggro Asian guy on the button. Folds to him, he opens to 2.2x, SB folds, I look down at 43ss and raise to 7.5x, he flats.
Flop comes 894cc. I check, he bets, I call. Turn’s another 9. I check, he bets 75% pot, I call. River’s the 10c. I check, he bets 1.2x pot. I ask the dealer for a count of the bet – meanwhile, villain looks like he’s going to shit himself. I flick in a chip, he throws down KcQx. I laugh a little, show my 43ss, and obnoxiously say ship it.
I open KQo UTG+1, MP 3bets me. I figure that a 4b from UTG+1 could take it down a fair amount of the time, so I decide to go for it. He thinks for a second and flats.
Flop comes AK4r. I check, he checks back. Turn is a 6, goes x/x again. River’s another brick. I put in a 30% value bet. He does a little grimace and tanks for like 20 seconds. It looks like he’s going to fold so I start verbally telling him that his queens are good. The dealer informs me that you’re not allowed to talk about your hand to another player. I inform him that I’m not talking about my hand, I’m talking about villains’ hand. Dealer laughs and lets me continue to antagonize villain. MP starts talking back, asking if I’m really bluffing. I inform him that once he folds, I’ll show the bluff. He ends up calling, I snap show, he pays me then gets up from the table to go for a walk.
We’re playing 6 handed. UTG opens, MP flats, I flat TT on the button. 3 ways to a flop of AT9ccc. UTG bets 50% pot, MP folds, I put in a medium sized raise. He thinks about it and flats.
The turn is the Kd. He pauses for a second then checks. I figured AxKc was his most likely combo. I didn’t think he could fold AxKc to any sizing – I decide to overbet jam 2x pot. He tanks for like 5 min and eventually lets it go. He tells me later he folded AxKc. Nice fold sir. I finished day two 2nd in chips out of the 64 players remaining. More importantly, I was in the money. My friend Matt offered to give me a ride to the hostel to grab my stuff. On the way to the hostel I’m telling Matt how trash the place is and he’s kind of like yeah man, whatever, it can’t be that bad. We gather my belongings and head on out. Matt remarked to me that the hostel reminded him of jail mixed with a summer camp. I open a same night hotel app and see a room at the Four Queens available for $110. The lady at check in was nice enough – however, she informed me that the only room they had available at my price point was a smoking room overlooking the Fremont St. experience. I paid the $20 to upgrade to a non-smoking in the quiet part of the hotel. Vegas man, I swear. It’s like 2am at this point -- I get to my room, sit on the bed and close my eyes. I open them and it’s 11:00am. Ah fuck man, I gotta get to the Venetian. I hop in the shower, brush my teeth, and freshen up. Even if I don’t have clean clothes, whatever, I’m second in the main, who cares. Some interesting hands from the first part of Day 3:
I had two inexcusable punts in this tournament. This is the first one: I open 5h5c from LP, BB calls. Flop comes J62hhh. x/x. Turn is a 4x. x, I bet 50% pot, BB jams 15bb. I called – and immediately realized I fucked up, big time. He had 2 big chips in his stack that I didn’t see, making his shove effectively like 25bb. In addition, I didn’t have the 5h, I had the 5d. I really didn’t ask for a count or double check my hole cards. Villain turns over 64o and holds. In my defense, I literally didn’t know what ICM meant at the time. Whoops.
Someone who I recognize from poker TV jams 22bb UTG. I’m in the CO with JJ, I ask him how much it is, he’s talkative and seems genuinely comfortable/down for me to call. I fold – I run into him a few days later at the Aria, he tells me he had AA there. I believe him.
CO opens, button instantly jams 30bb effective. I’m in the SB with TT and 25bb – live reads, we’re flipping. I call for all in my effective stack, CO folds, button has AQ. I hold. He’s not happy I called with tens. Oh well, sorry bro, gg.
MP opens, CO 3 bets to 7bb, button jams 20bb. I look down at 2 black aces in the big blind. I reshove, MP folds, CO calls off his 20bb stack. I’m up against AQ and QQ. I hold.
Even with my atrocious punt earlier in the day, I’m the chip leader again. We’re down to about 15 left in the field. UTG opens, I 3b AKo on the button, he jams 20bb, I call. He has 99, a king comes on the flop and he’s gone. It’s day 3 of the main and we’re playing 5 handed with 12 people left. Let’s fucking go.
Button opens to 2.5x, I’m in the BB with A8dd, I flat. Flop comes A104r, I check, he bets, I call. Turn is a 7, x/x. River A, I bet 1.2x pot. He tanks, calls, I show, I’m good.
CO opens to 2.5x, I’m in the BB with 108dd, I flat. Flop comes Kd4x2d, it goes x/x. Turn is a Kx, I check, he bets 60% pot, I flat. River is the 4d. I check, he bets pot. I tank and let it go. He tells me later he checked back a weak king on the flop.
SB completes, I’m in the BB with J9o and I check my option. Flop comes Q108r. The SB donks out into me for 60% pot. I flat. Turn comes a brick and he leads into me for 60% again. I raise to 3.5x his turn bet, he thinks for a while then flats. River is another brick. He bets 80% pot into me. I tank for a while, then shove. He starts laughing and folds QQ face up.
Less than a week ago I was grinding buffet comps at Planet Hollywood. Now I have guys correctly folding top set to me. I’ve made it to the final table. I pick up a few small pots and the two shortstacks at the table get eliminated in quick succession. This is without a doubt the most pointless and just plain out stupid punt of my entire life: I open J2dd on the button into a ~18bb SB and a GTO robot with mid 7 figures in career earnings in the BB. Don’t do this, this is quite literally lighting money on fire. SB folds, BB flats. Flop comes Kh8h3d. I cbet, BB calls. Turn is the Kd, goes x/x. River comes a 7h, he leads into me for half pot. Whatever, I’m going for it – I put in a raise. He thinks for all of 5 seconds then calls me with KQh. Wow, I just punted away $50,000 in ICM. Jesus Christ dude, what the fuck. For the next orbit or two, I’m clearly pissed at myself. I get up after my button and do a lap around the poker room – I’m good. The monkey tilt is gone, and I’m ready to get back to playing normal ranges. Anyway, nothing else really happens for a while – I look down at AKo UTG and raise it up. Folds around to the BB, he thinks for a while, then jams for about 20bb. I snap, he has AQo. I hold. I’m now second in chips. We go on a 10-minute break. When I get back to the table, the prospect of a 5-way chop comes up. We’re all tired – and the pay jumps are very significant. If you couldn’t tell from this story, I’m a degenerate, but in this spot, I’m willing to reduce variance a bit. We run the numbers and come to an agreement – we all agree to take a very slight ICM bump to give 1st place a bit more money than his stack is worth. I just won $129,000 -- huh? This was my second tournament cash – not too bad considering that it was my third tournament ever. Maybe I should start learning how to play MTT’s now. I take $124,000 in a check and $5,000 in cash. I’m leaving Vegas in 4 days and don’t plan on coming home with any of the cash. The winner of the tournament’s a pretty cool guy and he asks if I want to crash in his guest room tonight… like yeah, if that’s a real offer, I’m down. I pick up my toiletry bag from the Venetian concierge and we hit the Uber. The next morning Matt picks me up at his house – I hit the Chase bank and deposit the $124,000. I take Matt and my other friend, Spencer out to the Sterling Brunch over at Bally’s – the entire time, Spencer just kept repeating “Davis, what the fuck”. I don’t know dude, seriously, what the fuck. I get a suite at the D downtown that night and (very) long story short I end up hitting $100 on a number at roulette at 5am. It’s time for bed. Here’s a link to my Hendon Mob, verifying my tournament result. Hopefully I see some of you guys at the WSOP in 2021. https://pokerdb.thehendonmob.com/player.php?a=r&n=783521 Davis
Hi all :) In these posts I’ll be sharing some of the fun bits of dialogues from the Swimsuit Swordsmasters summer event. They are mostly short and fun exchanges between the characters that you can enjoy reading along with the summaries of the chapters that you can find down here. Here are the summaries of the Las Vegas summer event from last year, done by various good souls. With the exception of the translations by pplovesk and shinyklefkey , most of these were summarized by Itqan Madani on their Facebook. They used to be posted on reddit by kakarot12310 but since the posts have been removed for some reason I'll link directly to Itqan Madani instead. Main chapter summary part 1 Main chapter summary part 2 Main chapter summary part 3 Main chapter summary part 4 Main chapter summary part 5 Main chapter summary part 6 Main chapter summary part 7 Main chapter summary part 8 Main chapter summary part 9, and part 10.Alternative summary with additional tidbits by pplovesk. Main chapter summary part 11alternative summary with additional translation of the final boss’ dialogues and fun tidbits by pplovesk. Extra: Drive in Las Vegas Extra: Fun Jet Tennen Rishin-ryū Extra: Losers’ Lullaby Extra: Gambling Saint Extra: Playing With The Weather (featuring QSH and Iskandar) by shinyklefkey. The new Chaldea Director's first swimsuit event: Goldolf: “I heard you need permission for leyshift so I came to see. What exactly is this? Swimsuit? Swordsmasters? Don’t do pranks more than twice a month. Or has the Japanese heat wave got to you that badly? Ah well, I do understand the wish for a summer vacation. A commander’s job is to ensure the subordinates’ welfare. No benefits, no labor, right? However, however, you see...” “AREN’T WE! IN AN EMERGENCY! SITUATION! RIGHT NOW!? Hasn’t the surface been wiped blank! Where are you gonna find a beach, let alone walking around in swimsuits?! Do you understand!? We ain’t gonna have a summer of our dream where we mess around in some five star resort, are we!” Gudao: “Got it.” Gol: “LIKE HELL YOU DID. YOU GOT NOTHING! Can’t have Swimsuit Swordsmasters if you don’t leyshift to America, how the hell am I supposed to swallow that ludicrousness!? I’m not swallowing that! You’re lucky I haven’t questioned your sanity!” Vinci: “Now now commander, calm down. There there~” Gol: “Telling me to calm down is one thing but stop patting my belly already...” Vinci: “C’mon, haven’t things been like that always? As long as there is a wish to a Holy Grail-equivalent of magical resource, a singularity can emerge. It juuuust happens to be Swimsuit Swordsmasters in America this time. What’s so strange about that? Gol: “... ... hey, am I that guy? Am I the crazy one here?” Holmes: “Ha. Ha. Ha. Well then Commander, you will grant permission, won’t you?” Gol: “Why can you smile with such a straight face... SCARY! YOUR SMILE IS SCARING ME!” Upon arriving at Las Vegas: Siegfried: “This city is false. Everything here is formed from the battle of the Swordsmasters. This city is not unlike a battlefield itself. I feel the call of battle rousing my blood. It’s not within myself, but this Heroic Outfit is speaking to me” Hoku: “(this guy is so cool! I wanna imitate him...) y-yeah, I also feel excited. It’s not me. It’s the swords speaking to me.” Sieg: “I see, you too are burdened by the whispers of the swords. Must be painful.” Hoku: “(No good, too cool! I might be taken away if I let my guard down! No, I can’t let this get to me yet! I still need to become the best swimsuit swordsmaster! I’ll defeat anyone, ancestors, please watch over me!)” Mashu: “why is she all silent now...” Sieg: “she’s facing her destiny. Let us treat her gently.” Mashu: “r-right.” Gudao: “destiny...” Sieg: “that’s right, destiny.” Hoku: (tremble furiously!) Sieg: I understand. Her trembling stance is what the orientals call the battle trance! Hoku: (this man, how much more is he going to make me shaken!?) Hoku: Hehe. (playing cool) Sieg: What a fearless smile. As expected, donning four swords is naught a matter to you. Hoku: (blush more furiously!) Sieg: Oh, she’s in a battle trance again... “The sunlight, the tan, the wet skin, the cute little boys! Summer is the best!!!” (Musashi, being an open onee-san, 2019) Apparently Musashi has been trekking on foot half a day from Grand Canyon to Las Vegas. “No udon, no burger, just walk and walk and walk...” And then she is ashamed to show up in front of us (because event spoiler blah blah blah) so... “H A I, K O N I C H I W A, tourists-S A N! I’m just a regular American Heroic Spirit D E S U!” Sieg: “you’re American...?” Musashi?: “Y E ~ S U! Check out this W E S T E R N bikini, perfect as a cowboy gunman right? K A T A N A & P I S T O L double wielding! O H Y E A A A!” Guda: Option 1: nope nope nope nope nope nope Option 2: nope nope nope nope nope nope And this little gem: Gudao: A bunny suit? / Umm, aren’t you supposed to be a Swimsuit Swordsmaster too? Bunny king: I am Swimsuit Lion King. The great owner of the Casino Camelot. There is no mistake. Why because, my suit... is water resistant.
HIMEJI SURVIVAL CASINO
Anne and Mary scene where Kotaro is able to record their battle tactics (that you definitely want to read): Gang member: wheeze… wheeze… wheeze Finally caught you now. Damn cheeky girl, took me ages to track you down! (perverted laughs) But it was worth it hehehee… Anne: Kyaa~ Don’t~ (monotone) What kinds of depravity would you subject me to? Gang member: What do you mean, what kinds… Hiihiihii, don’t play dumb! Samurai: (menacing giggles) Kukuku… It goes without saying… (WHIPS OUT KIARA P0RN!) We’ll have you read out loud this phantasmal book “Compilation of the Eiten School’s Dharma of Sensations!” Anne: (dumbfounded) Samurai: Of course, you have to read this in a tsundere-like voice that hides the inner ZUKKON LOVE of an osananajimi love interest, understand! Anne: (What the heck is ZUKKON) (TL: “zukkon” means “madly in love”) Anon Warrior: Ah, then I would like to request an onee-san voice pleeze. Lemme explain, you see, I recently became a working adult, and everyday feels like a constant grind full of social responsibilities… So-how-about-a-scenario-where-I’m-a-high-schooler-who-lives-alone-for-some-reason,-then-this-onee-san-would-cling-to-me-and-rant-with-beer-in-her-hand:-“Working-life-sucks~-But-how-can-a-kid-like-you-understand~”-But-when-I-protest:-“Don’t-treat-me-like-a-child!”-she-would-go-ara-ara-fufufu~-then-turn-towards-me-with-a-charming-smile-no-bratty-high-school-chick-could-pull-off-and-whisper-playfully-into-my-ear:-“Want-me-to-treat-you-like-an-adult-then? ♡”-pretty-please! Gang member: You turn into a real motormouth as soon as people ask you about your delusions… Samurai: My bad. Pretend you didn’t hear anything just now. Mary: (dash into the scene!) Seriously! You got me lost in that lengthy rambling too! Mob enemies: Wut!? (promptly get ambushed) Anne: Umm lemme see lemme see… “Indeed. Let us head to the temple.” Mary: Please don’t read that book for the love of God. Gang member: W-Wait… Why do you guys have more members…? Mary: I act as Anne’s equipment. So we’re two people, but still one Servant. Yaaaay. (cute grin) Gang member & Samurai: T-That’s cheating… (drop dead) Anon Warrior: …for the new lady who just appeared… a scenario where an osananajimi that I treated like an imouto who used to hang out with me plea… (dead) Mary: You wouldn’t stop until you die!? (blush) And about that request, why does it have to be an imouto… I’ll do just fine as an onee-san too! Anon Warrior: (crawl up from his grave with a shit-eating grin) Mary: One express ticket to hell for you! (kick him away) After Kotoro’s recording stops, Gudao has an option to respond: “Nevermind their tactics, can I know who that cultured Anon Warrior is?” Later, to trick Anne and Mary using their own tactic, Gudao also disguises himself as equipment to act as baits for the 2 thirsty pirate onee-san. Mashu: Are you going to be okay, Master… Gudao: Please pick up my bones after they finish me. mUSAshi: You’ll be fiiiiine. Neither meat nor bones will go anywhere! Execution stage: Mary: …h-huh? Master! What are you doing here? Gudao: I’m lost… Mary: Geez, you’re hopeless. Wait, if you’re here then you’re also a player right? …huh, equipment? I see, just like me… (blush) Yeah that makes sense. If I fit, then Master should also fit… But… playing the role of equipment… alone all by yourself… Mary: Hmmm~ (scoot closer) Hmmm, mmm hmmm~ (scoot much closer) Anne: (barge in) Hey, I found you! Mary: (startle!) Yikes, Anne! Anne: Hmph! It’s unfair to steal a move on Master in secret. Mary: I’m not doing anything like that. To begin with, aren’t you supposed to be our lookout? Anne: Teehee~ :D I heard Master was in the bamboos, so I just acted on my own without thinking. Mary: Aww, what am I going to do with you :D Welp, all the more fun with just the 3 of us here! Anne: I know right ♪ Anne: (thirsty mode ON) Let’s. Get. It. On. Then ♡ Master, you’re supposed to be equipment, right? In other words, it’s natural to treat you like our belongings, right? Ah. Non non. Of course we won’t go rough on you. We’ll juuuuust gently… Mary: (invade personal space) Hug you… Anne: (invade personal space) And press our cheeks on yours… Mary: (dominate personal space) And do things we normally can’t do with you… Anne: (dominate personal space) Do them lots and lots and lots ♡ Mary: Now, keep your eyes closed okay, Master? ♡ Gudao: Guys… look… The girls: ? Gudao: Sorry. And then of course you gotta beat them up cuz god forbid we ever get laid. MechaEli: (landing down) I have confirmed the tournament announcement. So Mary and Anne have been defeated, right? Gudao: Since when can you fly!? MechaEli: Since forever. This skill was installed as soon as I was manufactured. This is better than summoning the sea with some Noble Phantasm right? (Getting flashback of dolphin railgun: Jeanne: “Yaaay~ I’m gonna filled the world with dolphins! :D” Reese: “DO PHI PHI PHI PHI PHI PHIN!” – translation: incredibly foul-mouthed dolphinspeak that mustn’t be transcribed) Gudao: ...Yeah, you got a point.
(For this part I just wanna comment that Schez takes up the role of the security chief of Pharaoh Casino to help Nito who is currently being possessed by Medjed-sama. Brown girl finally grew a spine for her friend 😭) Gucchan just came out of a date with Xiang from the casino when Carmilla suddenly asks her to join Gudao’s band of phantom theives, so she just beats you up. But then we win instead so she’s like “fine fine what the hell do you want to talk me into”. Carmi: “I know from my research, you lost a big sum in the casino just now right? The lover date just barely healed the salt. Don’t you want to get back at them? This heist will benefit you, because you see, what we’re after is the arrogance of a concept like casino itself.” Gu: “...yeah, now that you mention it, what rubbish. Casino or whatever, rubbish. Why would I have to humiliate myself in puny humans’ rules for play pretend? Getting them back for making fun of me in front of Xiang-sama... very well, such detour may be fun” (cute fang grin) Gudao: (Oops, paisen / She’s surprisingly...) Hoku: Hey hey, wassup with this girl, she’s surprisingly easy to fool! Mashu: No Hoku-san blurting that out is no good! Be flexible, Gu-san! Flexible! Well, their plan to infiltrate the Casino is actually making Gu explode into a bloody mess to scare Schez off. Planning stage: Gu: “So what’s the big plan? As long as it’s not on the level of “No choice but to self-destruct right here!” that some purple-headed strategist’s been doing lately, I’m fine with anything.” Carmi: “...” Gu: “Say something! You’re pissing me off!” Execution stage: Gu: “excuse me, I feel ill...” Schez: “oh no, this is not good ma’am! We must give you medical assist right away or else you might die...” Gu: “...now that I look at it, this place is filled with nothing but white and slippery-looking guys (Medjeds). Wouldn’t it be more fitting to have strong intimidating guys around? This is too all-age for what I’m about to do. Schez: ?? Gu: “I feel ill, ah really ill... Wait this is exactly what that strategist likes to do isn’t it! Hey what the hell I’m pissed!” Carmi: (psst! Stick to the plan!) Gu: “OH YEAH YEAH FINE I’M THE KIND OF WOMAN ONLY GOOD FOR THIS SORT OF THINGS RIGHT HUH?! EXPLODE RIGHT, I JUST GOTTA EXPLODE IS THAT IT?! Fine, here we go. [ETERNAL LAMENT!]” (Splat! Blood rains everywhere) Schez: I-I’m going to dieeeeee! Wait she dieeeeeessss??! And then later when they bait Cleo out she’s all like what the hell is with all the ruckus and why the hell are the patrons screaming “meat...! meat...!”
Assassin Creed: Lip edition #1: Carmi: “QP farming is for plebs. I’m staying in the hotel for beauty treatment. Rather, why would you ask a phantom thief to do anything but to steal. I have no business with Sutengui. “There are no hidden treasures in Sutengui. Only the sound of cheering and empty holograms...” That’s what my Mistress Sensor has whispered to- (rocket punched, dead) Lip: “Failed to detect a surprise attack from behind... is your sensor only good for detecting jewelry? Were you really an Assassin? That’s what you get for wearing a swimsuit not your age... I mean for turning into a Rider.” Assassin Creed: Lip edition #2: Okkie: “GO GO GO! You’re dumb for running alone! No mercy for you, assault from 3 sides! Yep yep, survival games are the best! Sorry Maa-chan, I gotta stretch my limbs sometimes! To begin with, isn’t Sutengui like, that evil casino run by Lambda? There is definitely an evil aura well hidden there... even Hime can see darkness there... Kurohi (black Kiyohime? Third ascension?) said “it’s kinda scary” too... Ah well, today Carmi and Nero let me loose so I’m just gonna de-stress in the woods~! Ora ora, your back is wide open! You’re 10 years too early to join the battlefield beibii!” Lip: “Same goes to you tho. Must be because your belly fat causes you to get slow.” Okkie: “Whaa!? Whatcha mean, I took boxing class and went on a diet properly to prepare for summer you kno- (rocket punched, dead) Lip: “You talk too much. If you’re aiming, keep your breath down and be quite. Were you really an Assassin? I don’t think you can join the cool Archer club with that much meat on your belly...” Assassin Creed: Lip edition #3: Fuuma: ... Lip:... Fuuma: ... Lip:... Fuuma: ... Lip:... Fuuma: ...excuse me. You’ve been following me for quite some time, anything you wanna say? Lip: ... sigh. Assassin class is truly cunning. Noticing me tailing like that... I just wanted to put you down gently... (not sure if rocket punches are considered gentle 🤨) that would have been a hat-trick... could you please read the mood here...” Fuuma: (...but man, that’s really some dress she’s wearing... I can’t look straight... sasuga Vegas... no calm down Koutaro, calm as still water... at times like this, lord Kintoki would keep his cool and look straight without fail...!) (pretty Kinbro would just go beet red too tho) Fuuma: Sorry but I’m in a hurry so I can’t dawdle here. Maybe if there are taxis around... Lip: Oh that won’t be necessary. I have class advantage against Assassin after all ★ Fuuma: A giant...!? (about to say “fist” but he ded) After capturing our Servants, Lip leaves us a threat letter: “I have to wonder how you’d challenge Sutengui with such lame Servants. The “distiny” of annoying flies are to be squashed flat. I’ll be using the three I captured at the beachside. PS: Splitting watermelons is fun.” Then you find out she actually buries those three in the sand to play watermelon splitting with their heads… Lip: At the moment due to some circumstances Melt has turned into a Lancer, so I would prefer that only Saber people would beat her to a pulp. Fuuma: Umm, aren’t you guys sisters? Carmi: What are you on about. This is what siblings are like. Fuuma: :C (Aren’t family members supposed to get along!?) Hoku: Saber class is fine right? Then no need to worry, I’ll take her on! Leave this to us. There is no need for you to concern yourself anymore. Lip: No role for me to play anymore? Isn’t this kind of situation where you recruit me into your party! Right, Gudao? Gudao: If we leave her alone, it might be dangerous... / Lip is definitely our trump card. Lip: Rogue! Passionlip will do her best! Given enough time, I can turn anything into a cube. If push comes to shove, the whole casino can just go poof! Okkie: Yep, she’s a monster. On our side or not the level of danger is the same, Maa-chan T__T Announcer: Welcome to Sutengui. We’ll now perform belonging inspection. Please spare the time to cooperate with us. Gudao: it’s dark... / security is strict... Mashu: yeah... if we don’t hold hands in this darkness we might get separated... Sieg: (boing~) Where are you Hokusai? Are you there? (boing~) What is this smooth and elastic material that the more you hold it the more your hand digs in... (boing~) the texture is so soft, if I have to say... don’t tell me this is... (boing~) the breast muscles...? Hoku: Dummy, that’s Octodad, stop grabbing his head! You can stop holding onto my belt now! After getting out of the dark security check, Siegfried has squid ink on his face... Melt’s casino is pretty hardcore. It converts your EXP into slot tokens without asking and if you lose you’re basically EXP food for Melt. Looks like the day before Gudao gang gets to Sutengui, Blackbeard and Columbus gambled their EXP away and died. Bart: Each coin here is worth 1 million QP. Instead of fraud, they just play big. Returns are big too. If you get a triple the slot machine will eject 10 coins, a jackpot 1000. Do you know what this means? Hoky: Each coin a million... then 1000 would be like, 10 billion QP!? Sieg: No, on the other hand... we could lose 1 million QP in exactly 3 seconds!? Gudao: This woman makes 1 million QP a second...! / This man loses 1 million QP a second...! Koutaro being too much of an good guy: Fuuma: That Alterego (Protea) must originally be a kind hearted girl, she’s just been deceived by that evil factory manager. If we defeat that rider, there shouldn’t be a need to fight her anymore! Columbus: ?? ??? After we kick Columbus’ ass: Protea: uu~ mister factory manager was too noisy, that woke me up...~ but he already kicked the bucket...? He didn’t even seem like he put up a fight... but I’m glad everybody else is okay! ... so let’s p l a y a w h o l e l o t, o k a y? Even if I make a little mess, Melt will fix it for me! Fuuma: Huh!? Shouldn’t she be a good girl at heart?? Gudao: To begin with why would you even have that kinda idea / (oh, right, he didn’t know she went nuts on the skate ring earlier) Melt’s plan getting sabotaged and her losing her cool is funny xD Melt: The day has finally come... In just an hour everything will be mine. Though some little things remain, everything must come to an end. A star is destined to retired as a star. A bird never fouls its nest before abandoning it. For a swan like me, this is the perfect way to end things. ... Hehe, hahahahahahaha! Ah geez, this is awesome! Nothing beats how happy I’m feeling right now! The biggest nuisance BB is gone, no other annoying boss characters left either! Yay! And then... Announcer: Fire broke out at the factory. The manager has run away. Protea, scouted to be the giant kaiju has been put down. Cannot compress EXP points to Melt-sama. Recommend starting all over. Melt: Hey Siri, come again? My brain couldn’t compute that just now. Announce: Repeat. You lost everything. Please redo the whole thing. Melt: .......that so. Well, what happened happened. No I’m cool, I’m perfectly cool. This is Gudao’s masterplan isn’t it. I expected no less. (menacing lip licking) But I still have my turn you know? Right now I’ll go upstage and drain each and every member of the audience. Should be enough of a level-up to beat you pests into a pulp, right? Announcer: I think you should say “Hey Siri, tell me the bad news” now. Melt: ...Hey Siri, tell me the bad news. Announcer: For some reason all the audience is gone. Currently, all Melt-sama has in your possession is a flat (read: pettanko) zero. Melt: Hey Siri, eat shit and die! Turns out the Gudao group shout to the audience that not only should they should leave because of danger, since Melt is unable to perform, they will instead host an equally beautiful “golden songs from Her Majesty Nero, or rather 10 songs, no make it a 3-day 3-night all-you-can-listen-until-you-faint show!” Nero: wow! To be able to convince the audience to leave so quickly, the MC must have conveyed my direction really well! Fuuma: (looks to me they’re running away in fear, but I should probably avoid pointing that out...) Part 2 will prolly cover Jeanne's dolphin railgun and Okita's ridiculous backstory :D
Throughout the 1960s the G-men eavesdropped on the private conversations of Meyer Lansky by bugging his personal residence where he lived with his wife in Hallandale, FL and the hotel rooms in which he stayed when in New York City according to FBI files. Although Lansky may have had a mind for numbers in handling the casino skimming and money laundering rackets of the Genovese mobsters for whom he worked, his own words reveal a small-minded man who was both embittered by and self-deluded about his station in life. Perhaps the most shocking revelations from the recorded confessions involved jealous rants about the Kennedy family and racist tirades against minority groups. There seemed to be few in the world whom Lansky liked, and perhaps least of all was himself. During his life Lansky was perceived by the press and the public as a wealthy man — some estimates put his net worth at $300 million — who was among the most powerful gangsters in the country. However, the reality is that Lansky was just a work horse harnessed by the Genovese family in its various incarnations as reflected by his own unguarded admissions and corroborated by other evidence. After Prohibition the Italians began consolidating their control over the underworld, and by the end of World War II the Jewish gangsters were either working for the Mafia, retired or dead. The bosses assigned capo Vincent “Jimmy Blue Eyes” Alo to keep a close eye on Lansky in Hallandale, FL, and everywhere that Lansky went Alo was sure to follow. After Vito Genovese took over the crime family from Frank Costello in 1957 Meyer Lansky dutifully stepped into line under the new boss. Congressional testimony by flipped mobster Joe Valachi in 1963 suggested that Lansky was a proxy for the Genovese family as paraphrased by the FBI in a January 19, 1968 memo:
Joseph Valachi, an admitted member of La Cosa Nostra, in testimony before the United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Committee on Government Operations, during 1963, stated that Vito Genovese and Meyer Lansky had common holdings in gambling casinos in Las Vegas and Havana, Cuba. Valachi, a close associate of Genovese, testified that Lansky and Genovese were very closely associated in racket activities over the years and that wherever Lansky operated, Genovese had an interest.
No doubt vast sums passed through Lansky’s hands but little of it was his to keep. His lifestyle hardly suggested any accumulation of great wealth. He owned a modest home in Hallandale, FL and drove a rented Chevrolet. The simple living was not an elaborate ploy to keep the IRS at bay but an accurate reflection of his financial means. Indeed, in conversations secretly recorded by the FBI Lansky made it clear to associates that he worked out of necessity. For example, while staying at the Volney Hotel at 23 East 74th Street in New York in May 1962, “LANSKY complained that the necessity of making a living was taking a lot out of him,” and “remarked how lucky people are that ‘fall into it.’” In another conversation he remarked how “some people became millionaires since the War,” and “they shouldn’t hold a job.” Lansky clearly did not consider himself a man of independent means who could afford a life of leisure. Of course, whatever personal wealth Lansky may have accumulated likely was wiped out when Fidel Castro chased the mobsters out of Cuba in January 1959 after overthrowing corrupt dictator Fulgencio Batista. Upon returning stateside with his tail between his legs Lansky solicited a meeting with the FBI for the avowed purpose of providing intelligence on the communist infiltration of Cuba. The meeting took place on May 22, 1959, and Lansky stated that he “could lose heavily unless the situation changed,” and “he could not deny that the possibility of this loss contributed to his decision to discuss the Cuban situation.” Lansky’s own losses were likely insignificant compared to the reverses suffered by his Genovese bosses, and perhaps he was required to make a financial settlement with them for failing to read the handwriting on the wall. After all, it was Lansky’s job to be on top of such matters. Although Lansky later would rewrite history by telling associates that he warned the feds in 1958 that “Cuba was going Communist” the fact is that he did not do so until May 1959, and even then had nothing meaningful to offer. The G-men expressly noted that the mobster stated only the obvious, and “all of LANSKY’s comments were general in nature”:
When pressed for particulars LANSKY advised he was not in a position to furnish facts. * * * He stated he could not name any individuals in the present government who had publicly described themselves as Communists nor could he offer any facts which would set one person aside from the others as a Communist.
Frankly, Lansky’s purported concern about a communist Cuba is laughable. Neither Lansky nor his Mafia overlords cared a wit with whom they conducted business. In fact, while still in Havana, on January 5, 1959 Lansky gave an interview to Alan Jarlson from The Las Vegas Sun who reported that Lansky “talked freely” about his hope “that the new government will emerge from Fidel Castro’s liberation of Cuba and will continue to permit American gamblers to operate.” Similarly, when Lansky left Cuba on January 7, and arrived at Miami International Airport, the casino operator told Joseph Manners, a Special Assistant to the Attorney General, that “he expected to continue in business, and did not anticipate trouble from the new government.” Lansky developed his anti-communist animus only after it became clear that Castro was refusing to allow the American mobsters to continue their exploitation of Cuba. If Lansky thought his new-found anti-communist fervor — feigned or otherwise — would curry him favor with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover he sorely miscalculated. Instead, the feds exploited his gambling losses as an opportune time to investigate him. A March 23, 1960 memo from the Director to the Miami Field Office states:
You now have residing in your territory one of the very most important individuals in the national crime picture in the person of Meyer Lansky. Information developed in Bureau investigations over a period of many years indicates strongly that Lansky is a very important individual in a segment of the criminal element. In pursuing investigations in your Criminal Intelligence Program, you should not overlook the possibility of employing extraordinary investigative techniques with reference to Lansky. Because of the loss of the lucrative Cuban gambling situation, Lansky is presently in a position of having to make decisions as to his future course of action. This may be a propitious time for close coverage of Lansky.
The memo further reflects Hoover’s lingering questions about the existence of the Mafia, and its relationship to non-Italians such as Lansky. Already contemplating the distinction between a mob member who must be Italian and a mob associate who can be of any ethnicity Hoover writes:
It is desired also to point out to you the need of continuous alertness to develop the existence or nonexistence of the “Mafia.” Persons who furnish information in this field should be thoroughly interviewed for a determination of what they mean by the use of the term “Mafia.” It is the Bureau’s desire to determine whether or not this is a mere term used to characterize criminal groups made up of a preponderance of persons of Italian birth or extraction, or whether it is a term denoting something of greater significance. Complete details of any facts available should be obtained from any persons contending that it is an actual organization which can be characterized as being a “Mafia.”
The federal investigation on top of his Cuban losses added insult to injury for Lansky, and was a constant source of stress for Lansky and his wife. When the G-men visited their South Florida home on May 2, 1961 for a spot check Mrs. Lansky “went into a tirade about the ‘harassing tactics of the FBI,’” and when agents again returned on May 17 the mobster “said he felt he was being persecuted because of his name.” FBI bugs caught Lansky routinely kvetching about the prying eyes. For example, in May 1962 while staying at the Volney Hotel in New York City Lansky described the G-men as “racketeers” and the “new mafia”:
They’re nothing but racketeers, every one of them. After five years they get out, get on a big corporation’s payroll. Now what happens, you and I . . . let’s say I work for IBM. You came. They say [redacted] is doing the same business. He has no FBI guys working for him. Pop, they chop his legs off. They find him with a sweetheart, they find him with this, they find him with that. This thing’s gonna get an investigation. It’s a new mafia. The investigators are going to get investigated. It’s just a matter of time. It’s the same with those senate investigators. You remember those McCarthy hearings. That lying (obscene) with the pictures.
Lansky directed most of his anti-government enmity towards the Kennedys which was fueled by Bobby Kennedy’s mob busting campaign and Jack Kennedy’s refusal to back the Bay of Pigs invasion to topple Castro. However, Lansky also was a terribly insecure man who undoubtedly felt like a bug under the long-cast Kennedy shadow. Lansky grew up poor on the Lower East Side in New York City, his education topped out at the 8th grade, he was a national pariah with whom no person of good standing would associate, and the poor thing was short, slight and ugly. Lanksy was nothing more than a greedy troll living under a bridge in the Kingdom of Camelot, and his bitterness was palpable at the mere mention of the revered Kennedy name. For example, FBI eavesdropping on the Lansky couple at their New York City hotel room in May 1962 captured on the following conversation on the Kennedys:
[Redacted] in discussing wiretapping bill presently pending, remarked that wiretapping is okay against the Communists, but otherwise is most sickening. She stated she believed the “KENNEDYs” were acting sincerely and in their best beliefs. When LANSKY disagreed, she reminded him that he came up “on the wrong side of the fence,” to which subject replied that he was brought up on the “unhypocritical” side.
On another occassion Lansky referred to Bobby Kennedy as “an arrogant punk” who had no right to judge the mob life:
Let me tell you something. Anyone who hasn’t lived, hasn’t the right to tell anyone else anything. He’s a young boy, 37 years old. He hasn’t lived yet and he wants to tell others how to live. He’s an arrogant punk.
“Arrogant punk” or not, the mobsters feared Bobby Kennedy. An FBI bug installed at the Lansky home in Hallandale, FL picked up an associate telling Meyer on August 18,1962 that “the person everyone is afraid of is BOBBY KENNEDY. ‘He is the hatchetman.’” In order to prop up his ego Lansky routinely pontificated before others on a variety of subjects, and sounded as much a bore as the insufferable Polonius from Hamlet who missed the irony behind his quip “brevity is the soul of wit.” For example, on June 5, 1962 Lansky held court for sycophantic groupies at his room in the Volney Hotel, and told everyone what a literate man he was even though he had “no education”:
LANSKY bragged about his ability to read several books at one time. He stated he is presently reading a history book, a grammar book, and a book on French quotations. He stated these are the things you need with no education because you can get mixed up. LANSKY expounded on various subjects and his listeners expressed awe at his knowledge.
On another occasion during his stay at the hotel “MEYER remarked that Saturday or Sunday he intends to go over to the museum and buy a photograph of ‘Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer’ which is selling at $12.50.” Apparently Lansky hoped that a little culture would mask his mob stench. The self-delusion which gripped Lansky was shockingly apparent when on multiple occasions he savagely spoke with racial slurs of blacks and Latinos as “lousy minority groups” who are criminal by nature. For example, in June 1962 when discussing race with some associates at his New York City hotel room, Lanksy said the following with respect to blacks:
If you find a person stealing who doesn’t have enough to eat, there a reason. But tell me why you steal if you’ve got money in your pocket. You see these n***** [n-word] kids stealing. Their parents are ignorant, no education. There’s a certain spark in them.
He further stated that “n****** [n-word] are getting even with white people through welfare and they’re laughing at the white people.” And then when comparing Scandanavians against Latinos he stated:
They’re not only physically healthy, but their lives are more healthy. They’re cleaner. They’re not as criminal as some of the other nationalities. The Latins are more criminal. They had to steal to subsist.
Apparently Lansky conveniently forgot during these racist tirades that he was a former enforcer with Murder, Inc. Lansky may have read the classics and got his nails manicured but he still was nothing but a common thug with blood on his hands. Indeed, when Israel sent Lansky packing from the Promised Land towards the end of his life one wonders whether he had the courage and honesty to ask “what profit it a man to gain the world but lose his soul?”
OVER BLACK: BLART (V.O.) The road of life is always under construction... FADE IN: SUNRISE.* (* fromthe first movie) BLART (V.O.) ... thejourney is hard, but once you reach the top, the view is amazing. Amy and Blart getting married.* BLART (V.O.) And that view is even more beautiful when you have someone to share it with... Blart and Amy DANCE ON SEGWAYSat their reception.* INT. BLART’S MOM’S FRONT DOORWAY - DAY22Blart opens the door and is handed a LETTER by a STERN MAN. BLART (V.O.) ...forsix days. INT. BLART’S MOM’S HOUSE - LATER33Blart sits in his Mom’s living room, holding the letter. She rubs his back as he CRIES HYSTERICALLY. BLART (V.O.) My beautiful wife of almost a week let me know by letter that she had, what I like to call “some regrets.” Her doctor called it, “uncontrollable vomiting.” Her lawyer... “dissolution of marriage.” He looks up at his Mom, cries a little more... and then RUNS out of the room. BLART (V.O.) That’s okay, I needed a little time to myself. Like the song says: I’ve been to paradise, but I’ve never been to me. (MORE) David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALSPE CONFIDENTIAL // That’s okay, when life knocks Page 2/88 you down, calmly get back up, smile, and very politely say, “you hit like a small boy.” And... (then) At least I still had the one thing that never seemed to let me down... security. INT. WEST ORANGE PAVILLIONMALL - DAY3A3AWe see Blart at the mall, throwing himself into his work. He rides through the mall, UP-NODDING to passing customers. BLART (V.O.) I spent the next two years losing myself in the sweet escape of keeping the West Orange Pavilion Mall safe. Blart spies a SMALL CHILD who appears lost. He rolls up to him on the segway and takes his hand, leading him to find his mom. Seeing the MOM, Blart reunites her with the boy. The mom is overjoyed. MOMThank you! (then to boy) Now give the fake cop a hug Andy. Blart is flattered and leans in for the hug. Andy is having none of it. Blart goes in again -- nothing. MOM (CONT’D) (getting agitated) Andy... hug him. BLARTUh... he doesn’t want a hug that’s okay. Blart is now frozen in the hug lean position. MOM(still to son) You are embarrassing me. Blart back away and leans in one more time, but the kid just BELTS HIM and runs away. The mom runs after him. Blart awkwardly gets on his segway and rides away. BLART (V.O.) (CONT'D) Salmon (05/02/2014)2. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL BLART (V.0) And, on the home front... I always had Mom. Page 3/88 EXT. BLART’S MOM’S HOUSE - MORNING44Mom, in a fuzzy bathrobe, walks out into the street... BLART’S MOMOh, here’s the paper. ...and is DRILLED by an old-fashioned MILK TRUCK. BLART (V.O.) That is until she got drilled by a milk truck. Didn’t know they even had those anymore. INT. BLART’S MOM’S HOUSE - DAY55Blart once again sits in his mom’s living room looking at a FRAMED PHOTO of his mom... CRYING, uncontrollably. Maya, who is now 19 years old, rubs his back. He once again gets up and RUNS out of the room. BLART (V.O.) Besides my Maya, it didn’t seem like I had very much to look forward to. // INT. BLART’S MOM’S HOUSE - MORNINGBlart once again sits in his mom’s living room looking at a FRAMED PHOTO of his mom... he begins to CRY, uncontrollably. In the picture, we see: His MOTHER standing in a sun dress and big, floppy CHURCH HAT, surrounded by AFRICAN HUNTERS on SAFARI in AFRICA. Salmon (05/02/2014)2A. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL BLART (V.O.) That is until her church group travelled to Africa, where she went on safari, and while snapping pictures, and getting a little too close, caught the business end of a Dicerosbicornis... a black rhino. Maya, who is now 19 years old, rubs his back. He once again gets up and RUNS out of the room. INT. WEST ORANGE PAVILLIONMALL - DAY66We see a melancholy Blart as he rides through the mall. BLART (V.O.) I guess I was the last one to get the memo -- Paul Blart had officially peaked... INT. DINING ROOM - DAY77Blart is opening mail at the table, he reads a LETTER that Page 4/88 has SECURITY OFFICERS TRADE ASSOCIATIONletterhead. INSERT LETTER: selected to join us for an all expense paid trip to the Security Officers Trade Association Expo and Award ceremony in Las Vegas, Nevada.” BLART (V.O.) ... orhad I? INT. MAYA’S ROOM - CONTINUOUS88Maya reads a different LETTER with UCLAletterhead. INSERT LETTER: accepted to the incoming freshman class.” BLART (O.S.) Maya! Come down here! I have some great news! MAYAMe too! Maya excitedly runs out of her room. INT. DINING ROOM - MOMENTS LATER99Maya bounds in. Blart can’t contain himself. Buff (04/30/2014)3. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL BLARTHoney... we’ve been invited to the Security Officers Trade Association Expo and Award ceremony, in LasVegas, Nevada! MAYAVegas? Wow! BLARTI think they’re finally recognizing me for getting the mall out of that jam. MAYAJam? Dad, you savedthe mall! They shouldhonor you. I’m so proud of you. Maya hugs him. BLARTThank you honey. Blart breaks the hug and then holds Maya by the shoulders. BLART (CONT’D) I’ll tell ya, times have been tough, but no matter what happens as long as I have you by my side, I’ll be okay. (then) Alright, enough about me... what’s Page 5/88 your great news? Maya realizes it’s not the time to tell her dad about UCLA. She secretly tucks the letter into her back pocket. MAYAYeah, umm... BLARTWell, c’monSweetie, you got me on pins and needles here. // yougot me on top of the roller coaster here. MAYAI just remembered that... we have left-over baked ziti. Blart stares blankly at Maya... Is he on to her? Then... BLART(even bigger smile) What a day!! // Weeeeee!! What a ride!! 4. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL The heroic MALL COP SCORE kicks in and we... CUT TO: CREDITS wiping behind the dented and worn SECURITY OFFICER 1010BADGE rotating through space. Finally settling on... TITLE: FLY-OVER1111The resort is bathed in golden sun, surrounded by the beautiful Las Vegas strip. EXT. WYNN HOTEL SOUTH VALET AREA - DAY1212Blart and Maya slam the trunk on their tiny RENTAL CAR. Blart, struggling with four bags of luggage, is dressed in tourist civvies and has a large laminated SECURITY OFFICERS TRADE ASSOCIATION EXPO pass hanging around his neck. A sweet faced valet, LANE (18), approaches. LANEMay I help with your bags, sir? BLARTNo, no. That’s how they get’cha. I’ll be fine on my own, thank you. LANENo problem, sir. Lane notices Maya and gives her a slight smile. Maya BLUSHES. INT. WYNN HOTEL SOUTH ENTRANCE LOBBY - DAY1313Blart and Maya enter the spectacular lobby. Blart drops his bags in AWE. For Blart, this is like going to the SUPERBOWL. BLARTTake it in, cupcake... 400,000 square feet of casino and retail Page 6/88 space, sitting atop 215 luxurious acres... all protected by the finest security this side of the//Uh... I got nothin’. Top notch security though. // Mississip... andthe other side, actually. Both sides. (then) Welcome to the show. // Showtime. 5. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL BLARTYeah, I definitely would stand down for Robocop. DONNA ERICONEHe’s not real. BLARTNo, I knew that. Wow, glad I packed my dress whites. DONNA ERICONEGood thing. Just don’t tell anyone I told you. BLARTTell anyone what? DONNA ERICONEAbout the keynote -- (realizing) Oh, you got me... She punches Blart in the arm, hard. DONNA ERICONE (CONT’D) ... You done gone and gotme! I’ll see you tonight. BLARTRoger that, Officer Ericone. Donna exits. Blart turns to Maya, rubbing his arm. BLART (CONT’D) You were right princess... things just keep getting better. MAYA(feeling guilty) That’s great dad. An energized Blart strides up to a male RECEPTIONIST. BLARTYello-ha. RECEPTIONISTGood afternoon sir, welcome to the Wynn Resort. Blart hands him his ITINERARY. He reads it. Taps on his computer. BLARTChecking in. Page 7/88 7. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL RECEPTIONISTAbsolutely... Mr. Blart. BLARTMr. Blart... (chuckles to himself) I’m sure you were thrown by the travel wear. It’s actually Officer. People often forget there’s a human face to law enforcement. Maya’s horrified. RECEPTIONISTOh. Okay... sorry about that. (then) Oh, yes... “Officer” Blart, I see we have you in a partial mountain view and you requested a “bottomless” bowl of Peanut M&M’s... BLARTI didn’t... my doctor probably... it’s strictly medicinal. Unfortunately, I am cursed with hypo-glycemia. “The hidden hell.” Sugar level drops and so do I. RECEPTIONISTOkay. BLART(not letting it go) It is okay because... fun fact for ya... Author Stephen King and comedian Sinbad, // R&B diva Patty LaBellealso have hypo-glycemia. So, I’m in pretty good company. RECEPTIONISTOf course. (taps a few more keys) Ooh... I’m sorry, but your room isn’t ready yet. In fact, we don’t have you checking in until three. But you can leave your luggage and I will have it delivered to the room. MAYADad, I’m starving. Can we just get some lunch? BLARTWhoa! Hold the mayo. (to receptionist) Page 8/88 (MORE) 8. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL I’m sure you didn’t know this, uh... (reads name tag) Heath, but if you check the Grand ballroom and see what group’s booked there tonight, I think your tune might change a wee bit... The receptionist HITS A KEY, reads the screen. RECEPTIONISTMini-Kiss... the cover band. BLARTWow, they’re good. RECEPTIONISTYes, they are. BLARTYeah, I’m not with them. Is there a manager, I could talk to? RECEPTIONISTI’m sorry she’s not available right now. Blart makes a decision... SIGHS. BLARTAlright... I hate doing this. Blart reaches in his SHOULDER BAG. MAYAOh no, Dad... not the maga-- BLARTSorry dumplin’, got no choice. MAYA(to receptionist) Terrace Cafe open for lunch? RECEPTIONISTYes it is. MAYAI’m out. Maya goes. Blart drops the MAGAZINE on the counter and then with GREAT FANFARE turns it to face the receptionist and SLOWLY SLIDES it towards him. BLART (CONT'D) 9. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL RECEPTIONISTI’m sorry sir, what am I looking at? BLART“Perimeter Check,” the official trade journal of the security industry, Feb. ‘09. RECEPTIONISTDid you print this yourself? Page 9/88 BLARTAbsolutely not -- it’s published biannually. Big seller in Canada. (then) Take a gander at the inside of the back cover, I think it should clear things up. RECEPTIONIST(reading) “Say goodbye to toenail fungus...” BLARTOpposite page... toward the bottom. RECEPTIONIST : Oh. (then) Is that you? BLARTIt is. (leans in) This is not public information, but it seems I’m going to be delivering the keynote speech at the Security Officer convention, tonight. RECEPTIONIST(remembering) Oh you know, I think they cancelled that... (checks computer) Wup, no, they didn’t. But it was downsized to conference room “C”. Nope, “F.” The Receptionist retrieves a MAP, and opens it. RECEPTIONIST (CONT’D) Okay, here’s a map of our property. Blart looks at it quickly and slides it back. 10. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL BLARTThank you. RECEPTIONISTNo, that’s yours to keep. BLARTDon’t need it. It’s been scanned. (re: It’s all in here. Locked and loaded. Time for lunch. Blart exits. After a beat: RECEPTIONISTSir, your daughter and the Page 10/88 restaurant are that way. He points in the opposite direction. BLARTYup... themap was upside down when I scanned it. Blart exits the other way. OMIT 1515INT. TERRACE CAFE / (EUROPEAN POOL) - DAY1616Blart arrives at an outdoor table to find Lane talking to Maya, who is already in the middle of an appetizer. LANEWas I lying about the conch fritters? MAYAYou were not! They’re amazing! With just the right amount of zip! LANEGotta love the zip! MAYAOh, I do... I was born to zip! LANEPut my hand up on my hip, whenI zip... MAYA...youzip, 11. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL MAYA (CONT’D) ...we zip. LANE...we zip. They share a LAUGH. There’s obviously a little connection between them. Blart clocks this. Lane turns to him. LANE (CONT’D) Oh, you forgot your valet ticket sir. He hands Blart the TICKET and then turns back to Maya, smiles and exits. Maya blushes once again. Blart plops down and stares at Maya. MAYAWhat? BLARTYou were bornto zip? Since when do you use the word “zip?” MAYAI always use the word zip. BLARTI don’t like it. Hipster talk. Maya shakes her head. MAYALook, Dad... you’re gonnahave to get used to the fact that I’m a big girl now. BLARTOkay, first of all, we’re all big... we’re Blarts. Wide hips, thick ankles and a low center of Page 11/88 gravity, that’s how the good Lord made us. That’s why we’re so good at moving furniture. Blart pulls something from his pocket. It’s a MECHANICAL VIBRATING FORK. He begins to pick at the conch fritters. MAYAWhat is that? BLARTMy vibrating fork. It forces me eat slower. You think I eat fast at home? On vacation, I’m like a greyhound chasing a bunny. Blart takes a QUICK TWO BITES and it indeed VIBRATES and a RED LIGHT light FLASHES. 12. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL BLART (CONT’D) See? Blart waits for it to STOP vibrating, and the light to turn GREEN. He then takes another bite. This time slower. BLART (CONT’D) There we go. (quietly to himself) It’s just fuel. Just fuel. VOICE (O.S) Mr. Blart? Blart turns around WAY TOO FAST for the situation. BLARTSHANGHAI! But it’s only the smoking hot general manager, DIVINA MARTINEZ, who has two ROOM KEYS in her hand. DIVINAOh. Sorry to startle you, sir. BLARTIt’s okay, sometimes it’s just hard to turn off. // You hit the trip wire is all. Divina has no idea what he is talking about. DIVINAOkay. Well, I’m Divina Martinez, the hotel’s general manager. I wanted to apologize about the confusion regarding the convention and let you to know how happy we are to have your group staying with us. (beat) And good news -- I upgraded your Page 12/88 room. It has a view of the strip, it’s ready right now, and I wanted to give you the keys personally. Divina sets the keys down on the table and accidentally BRUSHES HER FINGERS against Blart’s. DIVINA (CONT’D) Oh, sorry about that. (having fun) Although, I must say you have very soft hands. Blart immediately reacts. 13. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL BLARTWhoa. Pump the brakes. // Whoa, pffffffffft... airbag! DIVINAExcuse me? BLARTI sense what you’re doing... (off her name tag) Divina. DIVINAWhat am I doing? BLARTTruthfully? Being a bit transparent. DIVINA(confused) I’m sorry. I don’t follow-- BLARTLook, I understand it’s the 21st century and a woman can go after hers just like a man. Maya is now dying a slow death. MAYADad, I really don’t think she was-- BLART(puts his hand up) This is grown-up stuff, tadpole. (back to Divina) Look, it takes two to tango and my dancing shoes are currently out for repair. DIVINASir... I’m sorry if I -- BLARTApology not needed, just know I’m working my way through a maze of personal fire and until the flames of chaos subside... I’m just not ready for public consumption. Divina decides it’s best to just let the customer be right. Page 13/88 DIVINAUm... I understand, sir. Have a great stay. 14. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL Divina walks off. BLART(to Maya) It’s not just me, right? She was relentless. Divina, still totally confused, turns back to look one more time. EXT. WYNN HOTEL SOUTH VALET AREA - CONTINUOUS 1717A custom Harley Davidson MOTORCYCLE blows into the valet area and comes to a stop. The rider takes off his helmet to reveal... EDUARDO FURTILLO, HEAD OF SECURITY for the Wynn Resort and Casino. He is immaculately dressed in a GREY SUIT, with an EAR PIECE inconspicuously tucked into his collar. Two AGENTS from Casino Security join his side as Eduardo confidently enters the hotel. One wears a BLACK SUIT, AGENT PARSONS The other wears a PURPLE SUIT (like the one Henkwore,) this is AGENT JENKINS. EXT. TERRACE CAFE (EUROPEAN POOL) - MOMENTS LATER1818Divina stands there, lost in thought. Eduardo strides up. EDUARDO : Hola, mi amor. Divina, still a tad thrown, gives Eduardo a little kiss. He senses something is off. EDUARDO (CONT’D) What troubles you, my pet? DIVINAI just had the strangest exchange with that guy over there. Divina points to Blart. P.O.V: EDUARDOEl Gordo? DIVINA(this is absurd) Yeah -- he accused me of hitting on him. 15. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow Page 14/88 SPE CONFIDENTIAL EDUARDO(chuckles) Funny -- they say overweight people use humor to achieve affection. DIVINAYou know what? Okay, yes -- I also heard that. // -- that makes sense. They share a laugh, as they both look at Blart. P.O.V: VIBRATING and the LIGHT to turn off. A VIP RECEPTIONIST arrives and clears her throat. VIP RECEPTIONISTExcuse me, Ms. Martinez, our VIP guest has arrived. INT. WYNN VIP RECEPTION AREA - MOMENTS LATER1919Divina and Eduardo enter. Divina extends her hand to... VINCENT SOFEL, 40’s, TWO DIFFERENT COLORED EYES, a three piece suit, sits in a chair, sipping an espresso. A BRIEFCASE sits at his feet. Behind him is ROBINSON, mid 30’s, African American and Vincent’s bodyguard, SCOTT, tall, black suit. Vincent stands. DIVINAWelcome back to the Wynn, Mr. Sofel. We have the accommodations you requested all ready for you. If you need anything at all, please don’t hesitate to call either myself or our head of security, Mr. Furtillo. Divina points to Eduardo, who nods. VINCENTYou guys took me for a lot of money on my last visit. DIVINAWell, I hope you’re able to turn that around this time. Vincent smirks. VINCENTOh, I plan to. 16. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL INT. WYNN BASIC SINGLE ROOM -- LATER2020Blart finishes unpacking and notices that there is one QUEENSIZE BED and one folded ROLL AWAY. He calls to Maya. BLARTI don’t know how this is an upgrade. You take the bed, I’ll Page 15/88 take the roll away. MAYA (O.S.) Dad, this is your convention, you can’t sleep on the roll away. BLARTI certainly can. I once fell asleep in a hurdler’s stretch. // climbinga fence. // rakingleaves. // duringa snowball fight. MAYA (O.S.) We’ll figure it out later. I gotta get going. Maya comes out wearing a ONE PIECE BATHING SUIT, with puffy flowers. She’s holding her beach bag, and heads for the door. Blart panics... BLARTWhoaaa, okay, thanks for telling me, Victoria’s secret! (averts his eyes) What do you think you’re wearing young lady? MAYAUm, a bathing suit? BLARTMaybe for an elf // maybe for a cabbage patch doll... how about leaving a little to the imagination. // leavinga little for your wedding night. MAYAI was going to hang out by the pool. BLARTNot in that. Maya rolls her eyes, grabs a COVER UP and puts it over her bathing suit. MAYAFine. Then I’m going exploring. 17. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL Maya starts for the door. BLARTHold up. You got your extra phone battery? MAYAYup. BLARTFlashlight? MAYAAlways. BLARTHot pepper spray? MAYACheck. BLARTPocket knife-key chain, window Page 16/88 smasher? MAYAI do. BLARTBaby road flares? MAYAYes! I’ve got it all! Finally, Blart produces a small consumer WALKIETALKIE. BLARTHere take this. It’s set to monitor, so I can hear everything that’s going on. MAYANo way -- I already feel like a SWAT unit! BLARTMaya, security is a mission, not an intermission. Blart looks long at Maya, until this sinks in... Yellow (04/22/2014)18. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL BLART (CONT’D) Okay. Head on a swivel. She exits. INT. WYNN PRESIDENTIAL SUITE - DAY - HIGH CEILING2121We are in a beautiful, two story suite. There is a flurry of activity as several people (NADIA, CARLOS, KIRA, and Scott) move DIFFERENT SIZE WOODEN CRATES into the suite. Vincent hands Robinson the BRIEFCASE he’s been carrying. Robinson opens it and places it on the coffee table. He then unfolds three pencil-thin COMPUTER MONITORS from the case, revealing a KEYBOARD. We see that the briefcase has now become an elaborate COMPUTER SYSTEM. Robinson looks impressed. Vincent leans over Robinson’s shoulder. VINCENTLet’s see if I bankrolled the right NSA agent. Robinson hits a few keystrokes, then a PASSWORD and we see that he’s hacked into the entire Wynn surveillance system. ROBINSONHow’s that? VINCENTSo far, so good. Suddenly there is a knock at the door. All activity stops dead. Scott pulls a SILENCED PISTOL, puts it behind his back and opens the door. A Wynn security agent, HENK, enters. He wears the signature WYNN, PURPLE SUIT with a NAME TAG and an EAR BUD. HENKWe had a complaint about the noise. Page 17/88 Robinson stands and approaches the security guard. He looks him up and down for a tense beat, then... ROBINSONThat’s why we have you. Vincent steps up. VINCENTI gotta say Henk, -- nice uniform. 19. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL And Henk, the fake security agent, smiles wide. HENKYou don’t want to know what it took to get the real deal. VINCENTI don’t -- The activity once again starts. Henkwinks and... HENKGotta get back to keeping the Wynn Resort safe. Henkshuts the door behind him. Nadia, the art expert, holds up her phone as she approaches Vincent. NADIAThey’ve moved several of the pieces in the last few days. Here’s the new locations of all thirteen. On the screen is a hi-tech “3DRENDERING” of the entire hotel with RED DOTS marking the locations of the art. She hits send on her phone. Vincent then gathers his troops. VINCENTPerfect. I want to be in and out in less than nine hours people. Robinson holds up his phone next to Vincent’s, a timer is CLICKING DOWN from 9:00:00... 8:59:59... 8:59:58, etc. Robinson hits a BUTTON and the TIMER on Vincent’s phone perfectly syncs up. We now see the crew start to change their clothes into Wynn “EMPLOYEES: Even Robinson puts on a PURPLE security coat and EAR PIECE. INT. WYNN CASINO (ENCORE CASINO) - DAY2222Blart strolls through the casino, when he hears an ERUPTION of CHEERS at a nearby CRAPS TABLE. He weaves his way over. BLART(to gambler) What’s all the hoopla friend? GAMBLER # 1(re: This guy’s crushing! I’m literally running out of room for my chips! Page 18/88 20. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL WAITRESSIt’s complimentary, sir. BLART(keeps getting better) Complimentary? (signaling for all) Then root beers around the horn! She stares at him. BLART (CONT’D) (sotto) Just one. She exits. BLART (CONT’D) I have never felt more alive! The High Roller THROWS the dice. CRAPS DEALERSeven! Craps! A HUGE GROAN from the crowd. Gambler # 1 GLARES at Blart. GAMBLER # 1Boo. The dealer turns to Blart. CRAPS DEALERYou lost everythingBLARTBut, don’t I get -- CRAPS DEALEREverything. Devastated, Blart stares straight ahead and slowly backs away from the table. Just then his complimentary ROOT BEER arrives. Blart blankly grabs the mug, CHUGS the entire thing and slowly walks away in a daze. EXT. WYNN SOUTH ENTRANCE LOBBY - DAY2323Still stung, Blart walks through the lobby when he sees Maya talking to Lane at the Valet stand! He stealthily makes his way to get a better look, when Maya notices him. Busted, Blart tries to get away but he just slams into a LUGGAGE CART. 22. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL INT. WYNN HOTEL SOUTH VALET AREA - CONTINUOUS23A23ALane notice Blart, struggling with the luggage cart. LANEHey, is that your dad? MAYAI wish I could say “no” right now. Page 19/88 (then) I’ll be right back. Maya leaves and approaches Blart. MAYA (CONT’D) Dad, are you spying on me? BLARTSpying? No, I’m -- I just wanted you to know something... MAYAWhat? Beat. Thinks. BLARTThe door to safety swings on common sense. MAYAGo. Please. BLARTMaya. MAYADad! You are embarrassing me. BLART(heartbroken) Sorry you feel that way. I’ll leave you alone. MAYAPlease. Maya returns to talk to Lane, as Blart walks away, crushed. Just then, Blart is approached by SAUL GUNDERMUTT, a poorly dressed man with a mouthful of huge VENEERS, a thick Afro of RED HAIR and sporting large GOLD FRAMED EYE GLASSES. 23. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL SAUL GUNDERMUTTBlart. Saul Gundermutt, head of the Security Officers Trade Association. I catch you at a bad time? BLART(recovering) No, no, it’s a pleasure, sir. SAUL GUNDERMUTTPleasure’s mine and I just want you to know, I got you sitting at my table tonight. Blart can barely contain himself. This confirms it! BLARTWow, I’m just so excited. I heard rumblings.... Saul looks CONFUSED. SAUL GUNDERMUTTRumblings? BLART(leading) About the keynote... SAUL GUNDERMUTTOh... with good reason -- NickPanero’sgiving it. Great guy. Great guard. Page 20/88 Blart looks gut punched. He quickly tries to cover. BLARTYeah, no. NickPanero. Those were the rumblings. That’s terrific. That is SO good. (then) Love to meet him sometime... pick his brain... SAUL GUNDERMUTTLooks like your lucky day, here he comes. Saul nods in the direction of.... Officer NICKPANERO, 40’s, GOOFY, JITTERY wearing a MALL OF MIAMI T-SHIRT, and Officer GINO CHIZETTI, 50’s, wearing an ill-fitting TANK TOP. They approach Blart. Pink (04/21/2014)24. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL SAUL GUNDERMUTT (CONT’D) Blart. Officer NickPaneroand Officer Gino Chizetti. BLARTOfficer Manero. Nice to-- NICKPANEROHold the applesauce, hot shot. I heard‘ayou. Rumor has it, you thought youwere giving the keynote tonight. (turns to Chizetti) He thought he was giving it. GINO CHIZETTIYou thought you were giving it? BLART(covering) No. I didn’t -- NICKPANEROMan. You gotta stop bringing up that Black Friday thing, Blart. It was six years ago. GINO CHIZETTIGotta let it go. BLART(confused) I never brought up Black Friday. GINO CHIZETTIYa did... ya just did. SAUL GUNDERMUTTActually, the Black Friday thing’s why you’re here, Paul. BLARTHmm? SAUL GUNDERMUTTTo show some appreciation. Let you check out the latest in security technology and sit at the table of honor when Nick gives the keynote. Page 21/88 BLARTAnd what an honor it is. (to Nick) I’m sorry, what did you do again? Pink (04/21/2014)25. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL NICKPANERO(incredulous) What’dI do? GINO CHIZETTI(incredulous) What’dhe do? NICKPANEROLast year I thwarted a ring of frozen yogurt thieves. You know those punch cards where if you hit a certain amount you get a free yogurt? BLARTSure. SAUL GUNDERMUTTWe got ‘em in the mid west. NICKPANEROWell, these animals made their own hole-punch, and next thing you know the place is hemorrhagingyogurt. I had no choice but to take ‘em down. GINO CHIZETTITake ‘em down. NICKPANERO(to Chizetti) You gotta stop that. GINO CHIZETTIYup. SAUL GUNDERMUTTPretty impressive, huh? BLARTYeah, bad day to be a yogurt thief. NICKPANEROThat’s right, slingshot. Well, no hard feelings. Tell you what. After I bring down the house tonight... Chizetti and I’ll take you out for a cold one. BLART(through the pain) I don’t drink. That’s when a Segway EMPLOYEE rides behind them and pulls up to a Segway RENTAL KIOSK. Pink (04/21/2014)26. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL Blart’s eyes GO WIDE. Gino Chizetti leans in... GINO CHIZETTIHeard you’re pretty good on one of Page 22/88 those. BLARTI’ve been known to dabble. Blart jumps on the Segway... BLART (CONT’D) (trying to appear humble) I really shouldn’t. SEGWAY EMPLOYEEActually sir, you can’t. I would need a valid driver’s license if you want to take it for a test drive. Blart holds his LAMINATE in front of his face. BLARTI think if you peep the laminate, you’ll see I’m all access. Let me just nudge her out of whisper mode. Blart hits a BUTTON and the Segway gives off an acceptance CHIRP. SEGWAY EMPLOYEEOkay, well I see you know your way around a p133. BLARTI do, but this old gal’s a bit tired... I have a modified i2commuter myself. SEGWAY EMPLOYEEWow, that’s really cool... still gonnaneed a valid license though. Blart easily does a couple of quick moves. Growing in confidence... BLART(re: Whoa... THAT just took place. // Whoa... THAT was valid. SEGWAY EMPLOYEESir, please be careful. It’s about weight distribution. Make sure both hands are firmly on the grips. 27. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL BLARTOh, really? So I’m guessing you wouldn’t want me to do THIS! Blart takes BOTH HANDS off the Segway and leans forward taking off towards the Valet stand and Maya. Blart WINKS at Maya, she’s horrified. MAYAPlease don’t... Blart aggressively executes a series of impressive, ONE-ARMED SPIN MOVES, gaining speed and confidence. Blart takes off BACKWARDS into the driveway. Page 23/88 The crowd is impressed, until a SHUTTLE VAN pulls up and everyone GASPS... It’s going to DRILL Blart... But NO! Blart pulls off the move of the century and avoids certain disaster!! Just as he looks over to the impressed crowd and cracks a sly smile... he backs the Segway directly into a moving CONVERTIBLE! Blart back flips into the back seat and the car pulls away. Maya’s mortified. Lane is stunned. After a beat... LANEWell, I better get back to work. I’m off in a half hour. Maybe I’ll see you around. MAYAI’d like that. As Blart drunk-walks his way back into the valet area... BLART(mumbling) Shuttle van...// Still got the laminate... INT. WYNN BASIC SINGLE ROOM - AFTERNOON2424Blart, still in pain, lays on the ROLL AWAY. Maya enters from the bathroom wearing a Wynn robe. BLARTLottafun today... great fun! MAYADad, you okay? You should really get checked out. 28. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL Blart musters the courage to tell her. BLARTPumpkin, my body’s fine... it’s my ego that took a hit. Turns out I’m not giving the keynote tonight. Maya feels terrible. MAYAWell you know what? You should call a cop, because you got robbed. BLARTThanks kitten... but technically I wouldn’t need a cop -- MAYAIt’s a figure of speech, daddy. BLART : I know, it’s just, cops think they’re all that. Don’t like it. Do not... like it. Blart checks his WATCH. BLART (CONT’D) Page 24/88 Whoa, we got a meet-and-greet in fifteen... we should get a move on. Blart painfully gets off the roll away. MAYAAs exciting as that sounds, I think I’m just gonnatake a bath and a nap. I’m kindatired. BLART(a bit hurt) Sure. Right. You should get some rest. (beat) I’ll come back to get you for dinner at Bartolotta. We have reservations at six. It’s supposed to be the real deal. MAYA(short) Gotcha. Blart deflates, opens the door. MAYA (CONT’D) Hey dad... Yellow (04/22/2014)29. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL MAYA (CONT’D) Sorry about the speech. I’ll see you later. I love you. She gives Blart a KISS and heads into the bathroom. He can’t help but SMILE. EXT. EUROPEAN POOL/ CABANA BAR - AFTERNOON2525Blart stands with Gino and Donna listening to Nick. They all hold FRUITY DRINKS. NICKPANEROSo I got this one kid against the wall and I turn to the other and say, “hand over the yogurt.” It was over that fast. Lights out. GINO CHIZETTILights out. (turns to Blart) Hey, how much you pay for your belt? BLART(confused) Um... I don’t know it was a gift. GINO CHIZETTIYou gotta guy? ‘Cause I gotta guy. Page 25/88 BLARTA belt guy? No, I don’t have a belt guy. Just then an older, Indian man, KHAN MUBI, joins the group. As he greets each one of them, he HUGS them... KHAN MUBIKhan Mubi. Nice to meet. (hug) Khan Mubi. Nice to meet. (hug) Khan Mubi. Nice to meet. Blart takes the hug. BLARTThank you. It’s been one heck of a day. That embrace helped. Khan pulls Blart in for ANOTHER hug. BLART (CONT’D) Yup. First one warmed me up... but this one brought it home. Pink (04/21/2014)30. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL Khan releases the hug. BLART (CONT’D) We should probably go... They all make their way into the... INT. ENCORE CONVENTION HALL - MOMENTS LATER2626Where many KIOSKS are set up under banners...“NON-LETHAL WEAPONS... ETC.” Blart is impressed. BLARTWow... INT. WYNN BASIC SINGLE BATHROOM - SAME2727Maya lights a CANDLE and sets it on the edge of the tub. She takes out her acceptance letter, sits and reads it again. She is interrupted by her phone BEEPING. It’s a text from Lane. ON SCREEN: EXT. WYNN ASIAN SCULPTURE HALLWAY - SAME2828An incredible ASIAN SCULPTURE is being admired by two TOURISTS. Nearby, an attractive WOMAN drops her PURSE, scattering her belongings onto the floor. We’ve seen her before in the presidential suite, her name is Kira. KIRAOh, no! As soon as the tourists move over to help her, Robinson, dressed as purple coated security, takes out a REPLICA DOME and hits “play.” Page 26/88 ON SCREEN: He quickly moves under the SECURITY CAMERA and ATTACHES the replica dome, so it’s broadcasting what’s playing in a 360 degree field of view. He then holds out what looks like a hand held metal detector. A BLUE LIGHT emits from the device and SCANS the glass case. A light on the back of the device turns GREEN. Robinson then NODS to Kira. She nods back and Robinson moves off. 31. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL INT. ENCORE CONVENTION HALL "F" - SAME2929Blart, Khan, Gino and Donna move to the first kiosk where REP #1 lifts up what looks like a SAWED OFF SHOTGUN. Nick heads off in a different direction. REP #1I’d like to introduce you to “The Big Sticky Mess,” a sawed off shotgun that shoots glue foam. You get this on you and it’s stickier than a work shoe in an IHOPbathroom. The group moves to the NEXT KIOSK: Blart greets REP #2. BLARTWhat’s the latest, friend? REP #2Marbles... you release this tie, and two hundred marbles are at your disposal. It’s your best answer to crowd control. You can’t run with these under your feet. Heck, you can’t even stand. THE NEXT KIOSK: BLARTFlashlight? REP #3Nope. The VitruSonic Taser. Renders your assailant incapacitated for five seconds at a time. The group walks along, when Blart notices... THE KIOSK ACROSS THE WAY: Saul Gundermutt attends to a large CURTAINED BOX. Blart drifts away from the group and up to Saul. SAUL GUNDERMUTTHey Paul. BLARTHey Saul. What’chagot there? Page 27/88 SAUL GUNDERMUTTIt’s getting revealed tomorrow at the luncheon. It’s a prototype. Not supposed to show anybody. (looks around) (MORE) 32. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL But since you’re into gyroperformance vehicles.... takea gander. Saul peels back the curtain. We don’t see what Blart sees. SAUL GUNDERMUTT (CONT’D) Things will never be the same. Blart is shaken to the core. NEXT KIOSK: rejoins the group. REP #4When it’s time to make them pay the price, reach for “The Finisher,” * the most effective, non-lethal bean bag firearm on the market. The officers are impressed. The Rep turns to Blart. REP #4 (CONT’D) Why don’t you take her for a spin. BLARTMe? Um... sure. The Rep hands the gun to Blart who takes careful aim. There are FOUR TARGETS set up. Blart fires off four quick shots... MISS. MISS. MISS. MISS. We hear a CHUCKLE off screen. The group turns to reveal... Eduardo, Agent Parsons (black coat) and Agent Jenkins (purple coat). EDUARDOPaul Blart, Mall Cop. BLARTYes sir. EDUARDOEduardo Furtillo, Headof Security for the Wynn Resort and Casino.. BLARTOh, nice to meet a fellow brother in arms. (then, to his group) Fun fact for ya. You may notice that Mr. Furtillo here, being the head of security is in a grey coat. While... I’m sorry son, I didn’t Page 28/88 get your name. SAUL GUNDERMUTT (CONT'D) Cherry (05/13/2014)33. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL The security agent next to Eduardo speaks. AGENT JENKINSJenkins. BLARTWhile Jenkins here is wearing a purple coat. See, they have a hierarchy of coat colors based on their security responsibilities... Grey, black, pine, and then finally... purple. (to Jenkins) Sorry. No offense. AGENT JENKINSYou’re wearing a polyestershirt with spanxunderneath. BLARTYep. Good catch. // Today I am... yes. (then, to Eduardo) By the way, as a professional courtesy, happy to keep my eyes peeled for any irregularities while I’m here. JENKINSOh, I think we’re good. BLARTYou’re great, the best -- just honoring the code of the badge. If you’re ever in my barn, I hope you’d do the same. EDUARDO(to Jenkins) He’s adorable, right? Jenkins and Parsons share a laugh. EDUARDO (CONT’D) (back to Blart) I see you admiring the “non lethals”. Guess they don’t trust you with the real stuff. I mean what are you really “guarding” anyway? Cell phone covers and Cinnabon? BLARTWell, there’s also three ATM’s and a Dave and Buster’s, so -- Pink (04/21/2014)34. Page 29/88 David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL EDUARDOHey. (motions to Blart) Closer. Gonna let you in on a little secret. Since I was named head of security five years ago, we have not had so much as a towel go missing. The Wynn hotel is the most secure place in the entire world. Without breaking eye contact, Eduardo GRABS the bean bag gun and fires off FOUR SHOTS with one hand, KNOCKING DOWN all four targets. EDUARDO (CONT’D) We don’t need your help, amateur hour. But please, have fun at your little get together tonight. Eduardo drops the bean bag gun and walks away. Blart turns to the group. BLARTWow, that was impressive. And is it me, or did he smell like tobacco and vanilla? INT. WYNN BASIC SINGLE ROOM - AFTERNOON3030Blart enters his hotel room. BLARMaya... you still in the bath? (knocks on door) Sunshine? Concerned, Blart opens the door to find... the BATHTUB FILLED, candles STILL LIT, her ROBE lying on the floor. BUT NO MAYA! He grabs the phone in the bathroom. BLARTGET ME SECURITY! EXT. ENCORE BEACH CLUB POOL BAR - AFTERNOON3131As several youngpeople hang out, wefindMayaand Lane each enjoy a SODA. LANEIt’s so cool you got into UCLA. You must be stoked. 35. David Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIALDavid Kaminow SPE CONFIDENTIAL MAYANot really. I haven’t been able to tell my dad. Page 30/88
Film Rankings with Explanations, Ratings, and Tiers
During quarantine, I've had the opportunity to rewatch every movie in relatively short succession. I've seen them all 2-10 times and have been a lifelong Bond fan. I enjoy every Bond film, even the "bad" ones, but I wanted to try and rank them. I used a scoring system to help me, but ultimately went with my gut (e.g. License to Kill MUST be better than The World is Not Enough). I thought a tier system of ranking was useful, because it really is splitting hairs to rank some of these. Feel free to critique my ratings, my ratings weightings, and opinions! You could say I have too much time on my hands Tier 7: The Worst
Die Another Day: Best Sword Fight
- Why it's not irredeemable: For being the lowest ranked film on this list, it's not without its moments. Bond getting caught, tortured, then escaping from MI6 was interesting and novel. The ice hotel was neat, as well as the chase scene. I'll even defend the much maligned invisible car, as the Aston Martin Vanquish is quite a car. - Why it's not higher: Personally, I think Halle Berry is a terrible Bond girl, alternating between damsel in distress and super woman as the plot demands it. Moreover, Graves and the plot in general is pretty cheesy and boring. Perhaps most damaging is the deadly serious tone of the movie, which doesn't even provide the fun and excitement Brosnan's films generally provide the viewer. - Most under-appreciated part: The fencing scene is the best action scene of the entire movie. It's surprising it took Bond this long to fence, but seeing them go at it across the club was a blast. Tier 6: Disappointing
Quantum of Solace: Best Car Chase
- Why it's this high: The action is quite good, likely meriting the distinction of the best car chase in the entire series (the pre-credits sequence). Mathis is a good ally and it is sad to see him go. - Why it's not higher: My biggest beef with Craig's Bond films is that they are too serious, so when the plot and script isn't top-notch, the movie watching experience is just kind of dull. Quantum of Solace takes a bold risk in making the first Bond sequel, but unfortunately it's just not that good. Greene seems like a rather pathetic Bond villain, and his henchman (the worst in the series?) ends up in a neck-brace after getting tripped by Camilla. Also, the shaky cam is distracting and exhausting. - Most under-appreciated part: I actually thing the theme song is pretty good! Maybe I'm just too much of a Jack White groupie, but I think it rocks.
Moonraker: Best Locales
- Why it's this high: I'm pleased to see Jaws making a return, as he is an amazing henchman. On that note, the pre-credits sequence with Bond and Jaws falling out of the plane is exhilarating. Holly Goodhead is a very good Bond girl, beautiful, smart, and competent. Roger Moore always does an excellent job playing the role with suavity and wit. - Why it's not higher: Gosh it's cheesy. Particularly egregious is Jaws' love story. The theme song is terrible and Bond doesn't have any solid allies besides Goodhead and Jaws. - Most under-appreciated part: They really go all out with the settings here. Obviously, space is pretty polarizing, but I think Bond clearly should go to space at SOME point during the series. In addition, Italy and Brazil were gorgeous views, while Drax's estate is magnificent.
Spectre: Best Shooting
- Why it's this high: Rewatching this for the second time, I realized Lea Seydoux does a good job as the Bond girl, and it's actually quite believable she and James could work out, as she is the daughter of an assassin and can understand him (as Blofeld points out). Seeing Bond show off his marksmanship was quite satisfying, especially that one long shot during the escape from Blofeld's compound. Bonus points for Bond's DB10 and resurrecting the DB5. - Why it's not higher: The fatal flaw of this film is making Blofeld Bond's adopted brother. How did Bond not recognize him? How is Blofeld able to keep himself secret from British intelligence yet every criminal worth his salt knows of him? The worst part is that it actually cheapens the plot of the other Craig movies. I believe the Bond franchise should stay clear from sequels from here on out. Yes, they can weave a great story if done correctly, but it's so much more difficult to make great sequels (e.g. Star Wars only made two worthy sequels in seven tries) than to do one-offs. As usual for a Craig film, Bond has little charisma (save for his surprisingly good rapport with Moneypenny) and little in the way of jokes to lighten the mood. - Most under-appreciated part: The train fight scene with Dave Bautista is great! Gosh it was awesome to see them go at it, break through walls, and a priceless expression on Bautista's face when he knows he's done. Bautista is the first decent henchman since the 90s, so glad to see the series go back to this staple.
The Man with the Golden Gun: Best Potential, Worst Execution
- Why it's this high: This Bond movie frustrates more than any other, as it has the potential to be an all-time great. Bond's debriefing starts off with promise, as it turns out the world's top assassin is gunning for Bond! For the first time in the series, Bond seems vulnerable! M makes a hilarious quip as to who would try to kill Bond ("jealous husbands ... the list is endless"). Furthermore, the legendary Christopher Lee is possible the best Bond villain, a rare peer of 007. - Why it's not higher: Unfortunately, the movie opts to change course so that it's just Maud Adams trying to get Bond to kill Scaramanga. Goodnight is beautiful, but maybe the most inept Bond girl of all-time. They used a SLIDE WHISTLE, ruining one of the coolest Bond stunts ever (the car jump). - Most under-appreciated part: Nick Nack is a splendid henchman, showing the role can be more than just a strongman.
Diamonds Are Forever: Great Beginning and Ending, but Bad Everywhere Else
- Why it's this high: Is there another Bond with such a great contrast between the beginning/ending and everything in between? Connery shows his tough side, as he muscles his way through the pre-credits scene. Particularly good was the part where he seduces the woman, then uses her bikini top to choke her. At the end, Bond expertly uses his wine knowledge to detect something is amiss, then dispatches Kidd and Wint in style. Other cool scenes include Bond scaling the building to reach Blofeld and Bond driving the Mustang through the alley. - Why it's not higher: This is one of the films that I find myself liking less and less over time. Vegas, and especially the space laboratory scene, just seem cheesy. Connery is officially too old at this point, and Jill St. John just isn't a very compelling Bond girl. I would've preferred to have seen more of Plenty O'Toole, but alas 'twas not meant to be. Leiter is uninspired as well. Having Bond go after Blofeld for the millionth time just seems tired at this point. - Most under-appreciated part: Mr. Kidd and Wint are the creepiest henchmen in the Bond universe, but I'd argue they are some of the best. Their banter and creative modes of execution are quite chilling and thrilling.
A View to a Kill: Best Theme
- Why it's this high: Is it a hot take to not have View in the bottom five? Let me explain. I contend Duran Duran's theme is the very best. The ending fight scene on the Golden Gate Bridge is actually one of the most iconic ending set pieces in the series. The plot is stellar on paper, as the horse racing part was a very Bondian side story, and the idea of an attack on Silicon Valley actually seems even more plausible today. - Why it's not higher: It's self-evident that Moore is way too old for the part. Some parts are just mind-blowingly ridiculous, such as the fire truck chase scene through San Francisco and the part where Stacey is caught unaware by a blimp behind her. Speaking of Stacey, she may be beautiful, but she spends most of the movie shrieking whenever something goes wrong. - Most under-appreciated part: The scene with Bond and Ivanova is cool (I always like it when he interacts with other spies) and quite entertaining how he fools her with the cassettes. Tier 5: Below Average
Octopussy: The Most Characteristically Roger Moore Bond Film
- Why it's this high: Maud Adams has great screen presence as Octopussy, and her Amazonian-like women are cool to watch fight. Bond's deft swipe of the egg was nicely done. On a related aside, I wish Bond films would emphasize Bond's intellect more, as it seems the 60s and 70s films would allow Bond to showcase his vast knowledge more frequently than he does today. Gobinda is a fierce henchman, while India in general is a cool location. The plot is realistic, yet grand (war-mongering Russian general tries to detonate a nuke to get NATO to turn on itself). - Why it's not higher: This is the first Moore film where he simply was too old and shouldn't have been cast. Yes, it's too cheesy at times, most infamously during the Tarzan yell. Bond also doesn't use any cool vehicles. - Most under-appreciated part: People tend to focus too much on Bond dressing as a clown, but the scene where Bond furiously tries to get to the bomb in time to defuse it is one of the tensest moments in the series. Moore's "Dammit there's a bomb in there!" really demonstrated the gravity of the situation (I get goosebumps during that part).
Tomorrow Never Dies: Most Tasteful Humor
- Why it's this high: Brosnan really settles into the role well here. He gives the most charismatic Bond performance in 15 years or so. His quip "I'm just here at Oxford, brushing up on a little Danish" is an all-time great Bond line. Teri Hatcher is stunning as Paris Carver, delivering a memorable performance with her limited screen time. The plot is original and ages well, highlighting the potential downsides of media power, while Carver is an above average villain. - Why it's not higher: Wai Lin is good for action, but the chemistry between her and Bond is non-existent. By the end of the movie, Pryce just seem silly (especially the scene where he mocks Wai Lin's martial arts skills). There aren't any good Bond allies, as Jack Wade doesn't impress in his return to the franchise. In general though, the movie has few things terribly wrong with it, it just doesn't excel in many ways. - Most under-appreciated part: Dr. Kaufman is hysterical. At first, I thought "this is weird," but by the end of the scene I'm cracking up. I genuinely wish they found someway to bring him back for World, but c'est la vie.
The World Is Not Enough: Less than the Sum of its Parts
- Why it's this high: According to my spreadsheet, this is a top 10 Bond film, while on my first watch on this film I thought it was bottom five. I think the truth is that it's somewhere in between. I like the settings, everything from the temporary MI-6 headquarters to Azerbaijan. Elektra is an all-time great Bond girl, with a nice plot twist and character arc. The glasses where Bond sees through women's clothing are hilarious. The sense of danger is strong, with everyone from Bond to M being in danger. The return of Zukovsky is a nice plus. - Why it's not higher: I think two things really doom this film. First, Renard is totally wasted a henchman. The idea of him not feeling pain is a cool one, but he just seems boring and extraneous. I don't even think Carlyle acted poorly, he was just misused. Secondly, the ending (after Bond killing Elektra which is quite good) is rather terrible. The whole scene in the sub just isn't entertaining or engaging. - Most under-appreciated part: I'm going to defend Denise Richards as Christmas Jones. Although no Ursula Andress, Richards is absolutely gorgeous and did not actively make Bond's mission more difficult, which is more than some Bond girls can say *cough Britt Ekland. In particular, I found her introductory scene to be quite memorable and convincing. Also, the Christmas quip at the end is quite cheeky. Tier 4: Solid
The Living Daylights:
- Why it's this high: Dalton brings a breath of fresh air to the franchise here. His more serious take makes for interesting movies that seem more unique than most. I'm happy to see this subreddit appreciate Dalton more than the casual fun does, but I wouldn't go as far as the Dalton fanboys and say he's the best Bond or anything like that. I do wish he got the role sooner and did more films. Moving on to Daylights, it's got a good intro for Dalton and good plot in general. Surprisingly, Bond's fidelity doesn't bother me one bit, as it actually makes sense that Kara falls in love with James by the end, given all they've gone through. - Why it's not higher: The biggest reason is that the villain is just terrible. Whitaker seems silly and pathetic, a terrible contrast to Dalton's serious nature. I think Whitaker might be the worst in the series, and a Bond movie can't be great without a good villain. Also, Dalton doesn't have much charm and is abysmal at one-liners, which, in my opinion, IS a facet of the perfect James Bond. - Most under-appreciated part: The Aston Martin Vantage is a beautiful car, and the chase scene across the ice is great! It's both exciting and funny! Not sure why people don't talk about this chase scene and this car more; it's arguably the highlight of the movie for me.
Thunderball: The Most Beautiful
- Why it's this high: Thunderball used to be top five for me and here is why. The underwater scenes, the setting, the score, and the Bond girls are beautiful even to this day. Domino is excellent, while Volpe is a tour de force, oozing sexuality and danger. I think the underwater parts are interesting and novel, creating a staple of sorts for the franchise. The DB 5 is always welcome, and the jetpack use was quite cool for the time (and to some extent now). - Why it's not higher: Some would say it's boring, while I would more generously admit the plot is slow. Furthermore, the theme song is all-time bad (apparently they could have used Johnny Cash!!!), and there is no great henchman for Bond to dispatch. - Most under-appreciated part: Two plot ideas I liked a lot: Bond being injured and needing rehab, plus the part where all the 00s meet up and then are sent to the corners of the globe.
Never Say Never Again: Guilty Pleasure
- Why it's this high: Rewatching Never for the third time, I was struck by how fun this movie is. It's exciting, funny, and fast-paced. Basically, it's a more exciting version of Thunderball, with better pacing and better humor. I think Irvin Kershner did a great job managing this star studded cast. Carrera is a firecracker as Blush, Sydow is a convincing Blofeld, and Basinger is a classic Bond girl. Connery clearly has a blast returning to the role, doing a great job despite his advanced age. If anything, this one might not be ranked high enough. - Why it's not higher: The music is terrible. Normally I don't notice these things, but one can't help but notice how dreadful this one is. The theme is awful as well. I'd argue this is the worst music of any Bond film. - Most under-appreciated part: The humor! This is one of the funniest Bonds, as I found myself laughing out loud at various parts (e.g. Mr Bean!).
The Spy Who Loved Me: Best Intro
- Why it's this high: There's a lot to love about this one, so I get why this ranks highly for many. It is simply the best introduction, starting with Bond romancing a woman, followed by a skii chase, then jumping off the cliff and pulling the Union Jack parachute! The Lotus is a top 3 Bond car. Jaws is a superb henchman. Triple X was an excellent Bond girl, deadly, charming, and beautiful. Of course, Moore is charming and the locations are exotic (Egypt was a cool locale). If I had to pick one Moore movie for a newcomer to watch, it would be this one. - Why it's not higher: The theme song is bad, and Stromberg is a below average villain. I also think the last 45 minutes or so of the movie kind of drags. - Most under-appreciated part: The whole dynamic between Bond and Triple X is great. Whenever Bond movies show Bond squaring off against other spies (see View to a Kill, Goldeneye) it's just a pleasure to watch.
Live and Let Die: Most Suave
- Why it's this high: Roger Moore superbly carves out his own take on Bond in an excellent addition to the franchise. The boat chase is my favorite in the series, and Live and Let Die is my second favorite theme. Jane Seymour is a good Bond girl, while Tee Hee and Kananga are a solid villain/henchman duo. Unpopular opinion: I find J.W. Pepper to be hilarious. - Why it's not higher: The introduction isn't very good, as Bond isn't even included! The second climax with the voodoo isn't great. Bond blowing up Kananga has aged terribly. - Most under-appreciated part: When Bond is visited in his apartment by M and Moneypenny, Bond rushes to hide his girl from his coworkers. Finally, when they leave and he unzips the dress with his magnetic watch is one of the best uses of a Bond gadget in the series, showcasing why Moore might be the most charming Bond of them all.
You Only Live Twice: Best Blofeld
- Why it's this high: Just your classic, fun Sean Connery Bond movie. It was a great decision to send Bond to Japan for his first Asian visit, giving the movie a fresh feel. The ending set piece battle is potentially the best of this staple of 60s/70s Bonds. Tiger Tanaka is one of Bond's cooler allies. Pleasance killed it as Blofeld; when I think of Blofeld, I think of his take. In what could have been cheesy, he is actually somewhat frightening. - Why it's not higher: The whole "we need to make you look Japanese" part seems both unrealistic (who is he really fooling?) plus surprisingly impotent coming from Tiger Tanaka who seems to be a competent and connected man otherwise. Honestly though, this movie doesn't have a major weakness. - Most under-appreciated part: The fight scene with the guard in the executive's office is probably the best hand-to-hand fight in the series up until that point. Tier 3: Excellent
Dr. No: The Most Spy-Like
- Why it's this high: Nearly 60 years later, this film is still a blast to watch, due in no small part to its focus on the little things of being a spy. I adore the scenes where Bond does the little things spies (presumably) do, such as putting a hair across the door, or showing Bond playing solitaire while waiting to spring his trap on Prof. Dent. I also enjoy the suspense of Bond sleuthing around the island, while he and the viewer are completely unaware of whom the villain is until quite late in the film. It's easy to take for granted now, but this film established so many series traditions that were ingenious. My personal favorite is Bond's introduction at the card table: "Bond .... James Bond." - Why it's not higher: The film just doesn't have the payoff it deserves. Maybe it's just a result of the time and budget, but from the point Bond escapes on, it's just mediocre. Particularly egregious is the "fight" between Dr. No and Bond where No meets his demise. - Most under-appreciated part: Ursula Andress was a surprisingly well developed Bond girl, with a shockingly violent backstory (she was raped!). Obviously, she is beautiful and the beach scene is iconic, but I was pleasantly surprised to conclude she is more than just eye candy.
License to Kill: The Grittiest
- Why it's this high: On my first watch, this was my least favorite Bond film, as I thought it was too dark and violent to befit 007. By my third time watching, I've decided it's actually one of the best. Fortunately, I don't have to go on my "Ackshually, Dalton did a good job" rant with this subreddit. I liked the wedding intro and the concept of a revenge arc for Leiter (although come on he should've been killed by a freaking shark). Also, Lamora and (especially) Bouvier are great Bond girls. Bouvier is both competent and beautiful, and it's great to see Bond choose her at the end. - Why it's not higher: The theme song is atrocious, Dalton is so angry (dare I say charmless?) the whole time it's almost puzzling why Bouvier and Lamora fall for him, and Bond doesn't use any cool vehicles. - Most under-appreciated part: Sanchez is actually a sneaky good Bond villain.
For Your Eyes Only: The Most Underrated
- Why it's this high: I think Moore is a bit underrated as Bond. Yes, he was too old towards the end and yes, his movies were at times too campy, but he himself played the role admirably. He was the most charming and witty of all the Bonds, so by the time he got his first relatively serious plot to work with, he hit it out of the park. Anyhow, the climactic mountaintop assault is one of my favorite Bond action climaxes. Columbo is one of the best Bond allies, and the plot twist where he turns out to be good and Kristatos bad was well-done. - Why it's not higher: The intro is just silly. Bibi's romantic infatuation with Bond is just ...er... uncomfortable? - Most under-appreciated part: The theme song is a banger. What a chorus! Tier 2: Exceptional
Skyfall: The Sharpest Film (From Plot to Aesthetics)
- Why it's this high: One of the best plots of the entire series. The idea of an older Bond who had lost a step, along with making M the focus point of the movie, works very well. Seeing Bond's childhood home is also pretty cool. Bardem's take on Silva is delightful and a lot of fun to watch. Even the cinematography is a series peak, while Adele's them is excellent. - Why it's not higher: One thing most Craig Bond films suffer from is the lack of a Bond-worthy henchman. Skyfall is no exception. More importantly, Bond girls are mostly irrelevant to the film. Yes, Severine is both beautiful and interesting, but she's scarcely twenty minutes of the film. - Most under-appreciated part: Setting the new supporting characters up nicely. The Moneypenny backstory was well-done. Casting Ralph Fiennes as the new M is a great choice in of itself, but he also got a nice chuck of background story to help us going forward.
Casino Royale: The First Bond Film I'd Show a Series Newcomer
- Why it's this high: Craig's take on Bond feels like a breath of fresh air. In particular, his hand-to-hand combat scenes are so much better (and more believable) than any other Bond. The parkour chase scene is one of the best chase scenes in the series. Le Chifre is an excellent villain, but, more importantly, Vesper is an all-time great Bond girl. The conversation between Vesper and Bond on the train is probably the most interesting of any film. Bonus points for Jeffrey Wright as Leiter and the Aston Martin DBS. - Why it's not higher: There are hardly any humorous parts or much charm displayed by Bond in general. More importantly, the movie should have just ended when Bond wakes up in rehab. The rest of the movie feels confused and superfluous. - Most under-appreciated part: The decision to change from chemin de fer to poker makes for much better (and understandable!) cinema. The poker scenes are the best of Bond's many gambling scenes throughout the series.
Goldeneye: The Most Fun
- Why it's this high: Wow, rewatching Goldeneye I was struck by how entertaining the whole thing is. The opening jump is breath taking, the scene where Bond drives his evaluator around is hilarious, and Xenia Onatopp is a livewire. Sean Bean is a formidable villain as 006, and a great foil to James. Bond and Judi Dench's first scene together is amazing. Goldeneye feels like the first modern Bond, yet so true to the predecessors. Wade and especially Zukovsky are excellent allies. - Why it's not higher: Simonova is a forgettable Bond girl. She's not annoying, unattractive, or acted poorly, but is just below average in most regards (looks, back story, chemistry with Bond, plot). - Most under-appreciated part: the action is just so much better than any Bond before it
From Russia with Love: The Best Henchman (Red Grant)
- Why it's this high: Interesting settings, beautiful women, and an engaging story make this a classic. I'm not the first to point out that the scenes with Grant and Bond aboard the train are some of the best in the entire series. Grant is one of the few villains who feels like a match for 007. Furthermore, the addition of Desmond Llewyn as Q was crucial and Kerim Bey is one of the better Bond allies. - Why it's not higher: The helicopter scene should've just been omitted, especially when combined with the subsequent boat chase. It's just awkward to watch. - Most under-appreciated part: The gypsy scenes are quite exotic and entertaining.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service: The Most Heartfelt
- Why it's this high: James and Tracy's love story is charming, and when she dies at the end, this is the one and only time in the entire series where the viewer feels genuinely sad. Diana Rigg did an excellent job convincing the audience Bond could finally fall in love with one girl. The skiing scenes were beautifully filmed, and the score was exemplary. Personally, I quite liked Lazenby's take; however, some of his lines and jokes fall flat. To his credit, he looks and acts like Bond more than any other actor. - Why it's not higher: Honestly, it does drag at times in the first half, plus there is no theme song! - Most under-appreciated part: Bond's Aston Martin DBS is a beautiful car, combining 60's sports-car beauty with Aston Martin's elegance. Tier 1: The Best
Goldfinger: The quintessential Bond
- Why it's this high: From the opening ("Positively shocking") to the seduction of Pussy Galore at the end, this film has it all. Goldfinger is an all time great villain, while Odd Job is an exceptional henchman. Connery delivers a master performance, and drives THE classic Bond Car, ejector seat included. The reason I put it #1 is not necessarily because it is the best film (although it is great), it checks all the boxes of what a perfect Bond film should do. - Why it's not higher: I cannot think of any notable imperfections. - Most under-appreciated part: The golf scene between Bond and Goldfinger is a delight to watch, demonstrating Bond's wits for the first and only time on the golf course.
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. PREVIOUS YEARS ARCHIVE: 1991 • 1992 • 1993 • 1994 • 1995 • 1996 • 1997 • 1998 • 1999 • 2000 Hi everybody! Man, I missed y'all. So in case you missed my explanation for why I took the last 2+ months off, basically my whole life changed recently. Wife got a new job that required us to move to a new city. Which meant I also had to find a new job, we had to sell our house, find a new place to live, get settled in a new city, and all that fun stuff. It's been a really hectic and crazy couple of months, but everything has worked out great and we're all good now. A million thanks to everyone for all the nice messages and well-wishes during all this. You guys are awesome and SquaredCircle is by far my favorite corner of the internet. In the midst of all this, I finally managed to get caught up on writing these things. My plan is to hopefully keep the usual M/W/F at noon EST schedule that has worked so well for the last couple of years. But full disclosure, that may not always be possible. My last job was pretty comfortable, I could sit at my desk and surf Reddit while working at the same time and it was never a problem. My job situation has changed so this will probably be posted during my lunch breaks and that might vary. So while I will always try to post at around the same time as everyone is used to, that may not always be possible. So just bear with me while we make this work. That's pretty much it. And now, let us begin....the final year of the Observer Rewind! Oh yeah, one other thing. I hate to come back after such a long absence and drop a turd. But this issue kinda sucks and there's almost nothing major happening this week. But don't worry, they get better from here!
Dave opens the first issue of 2001 with a look back at the top wrestlers of 2000. The Observer award votes are still being tabulated and whatnot but Dave decides to look at the top candidates and give his own personal thoughts.
Kurt Angle had a star-making year. One of the best talkers in the business and already one of the best in-ring guys after only really one full year. Dave says if he continues to improve at this rate in 2001, barring injuries, he may be the best in the world by this time next year (yup). Chris Benoit is probably the best in-ring guy in wrestling today and his jump from WCW to WWF (along with the other 3) pretty much tore the heart out of WCW and they've never recovered. Benoit was going to be a main eventer and likely multiple-time world champion in WCW, headlining PPVs and TV, and who knows what may have been different if he had stayed. They almost certainly would have still self-destructed, but at least the matches would have been better. Triple H is the likely Wrestler of the Year winner and Dave wouldn't argue it. He spent 2000 as one of the top guys (alongside Rock) in WWF and had numerous MOTY-quality matches, was a top draw for PPV, tickets, ratings, everything. Held the title repeatedly. An incredible feud with Kurt Angle that unfortunately fizzled out but was great while it lasted, etc. Hard to argue that Triple H had the best 2000 out of anyone in wrestling. Toshiaki Kawada. Without him, AJPW ceases to exist in 2000. His star power and that alone is the only thing keeping that promotion alive and the feud with NJPW has put Kawada in a position of having dream matches that will sell out the Tokyo Dome. His match with Kensuke Sasaki was one of the biggest matches in the history of Japanese wrestling. And in ring, he's a Benoit-level worker. You could argue that other wrestlers were better this year, but nobody was more valuable to their promotion than Kawada was to AJPW. Mitsuharu Misawa didn't really have the kind of amazing in-ring year that he's been known for in the past. But the importance of the NOAH split from AJPW is hard to overstate and was likely the biggest business story in wrestling all year in Japan (worldwide, Dave thinks the slow death of WCW is a bigger story in the long-term). If this award was for most influential wrestler outside the ring, Misawa would get it due to the successful start of NOAH. The Rock should probably be the favorite. He's not the in-ring talent that Triple H has, but he's still pretty damn great and has had some classic matches this year. He was the top draw for WWF by far and kept the company afloat with Austin out injured for most of the year. Plus, his sheer celebrity and mainstream value to the company is huge. Kazushi Sakuraba is a controversial pick and there's been a lot of debate over whether he qualifies, since he's MMA and not pro wrestling. Dave argues the case to why he should be eligible but it's hard to make a fair comparison to wrestling. But Sakuraba's historical legacy in MMA was cemented this year when he started beating members of the Gracie family one-by-one in PRIDE. Speaking of......
Kazushi Sakuraba added another Gracie head to his mantle last week, defeating Ryan Gracie at PRIDE 12. It was controversial because Gracie came into the fight with a shoulder injury suffered in training a few days earlier and doctors had told him not to fight. Gracie agreed to still do the fight but only if it was limited to a 10 minute time limit, which fans didn't find out about until the day of the show and booed the shit out of it. There may have been an agreement made before the match because though Gracie's injury was well-known (Gracie cut a promo about it before the fight, about how their family is tough and they don't listen to doctors and yada yada. Basically, giving themselves an out if/when Gracie inevitably lost), Sakuraba never went after it in the fight. But he dominated the match and won by decision after the 10 minute time limit. He has now beaten Royler, Royce, Renzo, and Ryan in the span of the last 13 months (and that's why they call him the "Gracie Killer").
The next major story is a recap of the recent RINGS show, and then a brief note that TV ratings aren't available and then....that's it for the top front page stories. We're already halfway through the bulk of the issue and there's not much on actual wrestling at all so far. Just a bunch of MMA recaps. Let's see what the second half brings us...
RVD will likely be appearing at the AJPW Tokyo Dome show in late January. No word if he'll work a match but he's at least hoping to be there for the Stan Hansen retirement ceremony, since Hansen helped him a lot in his earlier years when Van Dam worked for AJPW in the early 90s.
The biggest show in Pro Wrestling NOAH history took place last week, selling out a 12,000 arena. Shinya Hashimoto debuted, pinning Takao Omori. Kenta Kobashi beat Jun Akiyama in a match many are calling the best of the year. Hashimoto is expected to work a few more shows for NOAH but he isn't signed.
A couple of rookies in NOAH are getting a lot of praise. Takashi Sugiura is already being compared to Kurt Angle, because he's a former amateur wrestler who is making a good transition. And the other is Kenta Kobayashi (later KENTA and then Hideo Itami), who will actually main event a show next month, teaming with Kobashi (the names are SO similar) against Misawa and Marufuji.
Dave saw NJPW's latest show (which aired on PPV in Japan) featuring an inter-promotional match against with AJPW's Masa Fuchi and Kawada against NJPW's Takashi Iizuka and Yuji Nagata and he gives it the full 5 stars. Which is funny because on most lists you find online, this match isn't listed. Most people thought NJPW didn't get a single 5-star match between 1997 and 2012 but in a throwaway paragraph reviewing this show, he calls it a definite 5-stars and potential MOTY. So there ya go: the lost 5-star classic.
Antonio Inoki will have a 5-minute "exhibition match" at his New Year's Eve show (Dave is seemingly unaware at this point that Inoki's opponent will end up being Renzo Gracie).
Legendary wrestler Johnny Valentine is on death's door. Back in August, he broke his back falling off his front porch, which nearly killed him. In September he nearly died from a lung infection. He's been in and out of comas throughout that time and now he's back in the hospital again for the same reason (he ends up hanging on until April).
Dave saw the latest TV taping from the UPW indie promotion in California. WWF sent the Hardyz and Lita to work the show. Juventud Guerrera, Christopher Daniels, and Michael Modest were on it as well. WWF developmental wrestler Nathan Jones recently started there. Of all the guys working for UPW, Prototype (real name John Cena) shows the most promise. He's got an incredible look and superstar charisma, but he's not that good in the ring yet. Dave hopes he won't be rushed to the big leagues too soon because he will be exposed and it's hard to overcome the rep as a bad wrestler. Lots of people have been comparing Cena to a young Sting. Either way, Dave thinks the guy has a ton of potential to be a star if they don't fuck it up.
RVD seems to have accepted the idea that he's not going back to ECW and has said at some point in the next few months, he'll decide whether he's going to WWF or WCW. His agent has had talks with both companies. WWF is interested but they're more interested in Jerry Lynn because apparently the wrestlers in WWF who have worked with both of them prefer Lynn (RVD kinda had a reputation for accidentally hurting people). WCW is interested but can't do anything because there's a hiring freeze right now. RVD is probably the most marketable free agent on the market right now but there's still no guarantees of anything for him.
Randy Savage will appear in the Spider-Man movie as villain named "Saw Bones McGraw" (close enough, Dave). They're filming scenes with him and Spider-Man in a cage match.
ECW held a show at the ECW Arena that was said to be somewhat of a weird show. The crowd was down from usual, only about 1000 people, rather than the usual over-packed crowd. Everyone on the roster were given checks post-dated for the following Tuesday, which now leaves them 6 weeks behind on pay. But there's no more shows scheduled until the PPV next week. Super Crazy returned, even though his father died the night before. And during the main event, Sandman tried to recreate the famous chair incident from a few years ago, asking fans to throw chairs in the ring, which many thought was pretty negligent considering how dangerous that is for all the fans at ringside. Justin Credible caught a chair in the head that he wasn't prepared for and several fights broke out in the crowd during the incident also, due to fans getting hit by other fans. Then security ended up attacking fans and it was a whole mess for awhile there. (And that, folks, was the very last real ECW show ever at the ECW Arena. Pour one out for the end of an era.)
Notes from the latest ECW Hardcore TV: neither the Dudleyz match or the Tazz promo from the tapings aired. Dave assumes WWF wouldn't allow it. Joey Styles talked about Mikey Whipwreck having 17 documented concussions which Dave thinks is pretty scary. That's basically it.
Notes from Nitro: Kevin Nash, DDP, and Sid Vicious all returned and none of them were punished for walking out last week, nor was Scott Steiner punished for his off-script promo. Nor were he or DDP punished for their backstage fight. Eric Bischoff flew out the day before and basically sat down with everybody to hash out their problems. He gave everyone the impression that he'll be taking over the company in 2001 and is trying to start things with a clean slate. Needless to say, there was a lot of resentment from the undercard wrestlers about top stars being able to just walk out of live TV tapings, shoot on the mic, and get into fights and not only go unpunished, but be put right back on TV the next week in their same top positions. Lex Luger walked out earlier this year and came back in a stronger position than when he left. Buff Bagwell has been in and out of trouble all year, is hated by much of the locker room, but still gets significant TV time in the uppercard. Meanwhile, guys like Lance Storm and Mike Awesome are out there every night busting their asses (with Awesome fighting to overcome the career-killing 70s guy gimmick) and they're barely a focal point of the show. Some in management wanted to punish everyone who walked out, but with Bischoff expected to take control any day now, they were afraid to because it's no secret that DDP and Bischoff are close friends, as are Bischoff and Nash. So it was believed any punishment levied against them would just be overturned by Bischoff anyway. Anyway, this is the Nitro that isn't airing in the U.S. but was still taped for international markets. Not much in the way of storyline progression, mostly just matches.
Former wrestler Tom Zenk was on a radio show discussing the potential WCW sale to Bischoff, calling it "a fire sale to the arsonist" and saying Time Warner is selling the company because it's not profitable, to the guy who made it unprofitable to begin with.
Remember an incident last year where Bagwell punched a ring crew member and got charged for it? Bagwell plea bargained out of it and was ordered to pay a $500 fine, one year of probation, and perform 20 hours of community service. At the time, Bagwell was suspended for 30 days over it, which cost him approx. $45,000 in pay. A rare example of WCW actually punishing someone.
WCW sent a few guys (David Flair, Mark Jindrak, Sean O'Hair, and Jung Dragons) to work the NWA Wildside show, which is their developmental territory. Speaking of, wrestlers Air Paris and AJ Styles have been stealing the shows at the Wildside events lately.
Road Dogg was sent home from the Smackdown tapings and was suspended indefinitely without pay. At this time, there's no plans to bring him back. He showed up in bad shape to the tapings and had a match teaming with K-Kwik against Lo Down that was said to be an embarrassment because of his performance. WWF wants him to get his life in order before they even consider bringing him back. He's gone through rehab a couple of times but it never took. Dave says the difference between WWF and WCW is that chances are, you're not going to see Triple H and X-Pac going on TV for the next few weeks doing Road Dogg's catchphrases and trying to go into business for themselves on his behalf, unlike some people. (Here's the match. I dunno, doesn't seem any worse than Road Dogg's usual bad matches. But you do hear the commentary talking about Road Dogg looking out of it and hinting that maybe he has a concussion. And you can definitely tell that he's a little off his game, but if you didn't know to specifically look for it, I doubt you'd really notice. He was never Ric Flair in the ring to begin with.)
Notes from Raw: they had a hardcore match with Blackman, Holly, and Raven that ended up outside in the 9 degree winter weather. Dave feels sorry for those guys out there in tights and no shirt wrestling in that. The RTC cut a promo talking about how bad the internet is. (I went on the Network and watched this and it's great. Bull Buchanan cuts a promo on the APA's "Always Pounding Ass" shirt and then Goodfather finished it off with this quote: "The internet has become a harbinger of nothing more than filth and decay. The world wide web is there to trap you until it slowly strangles all the goodness from each and every one of you!" Well, he's not wrong.)
WWF officially sold the hotel and casino they bought in Las Vegas a few years ago. The original plan was to remodel the hotel as a WWF theme hotel, with a TV studio and small arena so they could hold live shows. But they quickly realized that it just wasn't feasible and have spent the last two years trying to sell it. They finally unloaded it for $11.2 million which is about $2 million more than they paid for it in 1999, so at least there's that.
There's been talk of bringing Bobby Heenan back to WWF to do commentary on one of the B or C-level shows, but that discussion seemed to go nowhere. Larry Zbyszko will also be getting an announcing audition soon and has pitched himself to be the new WWF on-screen commissioner as well.
The Rock was supposed to be doing announcing for the Orange Bowl Parade but WWF pulled him out of it. The company is being extremely protective of Rock right now and want to make sure he looks good in any non-wrestling mainstream thing he does, and there was concern about him doing commentary on a parade since, I mean, wtf does Rock know about parades? They didn't want him to look out of his depth or put in a situation he wouldn't be good at.
Update on WWF possibly moving out of Titan Towers: right now, many of the employees are doubled up in offices because they've outgrown the building and are out of space. There's been talk that they may sell the building and move to a new location soon.
Davey Boy Smith had another hearing for allegedly making death threats towards Bruce Hart. He pleaded not guilty. Bruce's estranged wife Andrea is now living with Davey Boy. His previous charges stemming from threats against Diana Hart Smith and Ellie Neidhart were dropped. Smith now says he's been clean since July, that he wants to open a wrestling school, and that he's no longer in the WWF. In a Calgary Sun story, Smith said, "I was involved in that (Hart) family for 20 years and I'm sad to say it was the worst 20 years I ever had." That led Bret Hart to speak out to defend his family name, and he said, "If it wasn't for my family and the opportunities my father gave him, Davey would still be working in the Wigan mines. He's talking about a dysfunctional family at the same time he has taken off with my brother Bruce's wife--you're right in the thick of it, buddy." (It's amazing how much of the Hart family drama played out in the Calgary Sun over the years.)
The Chyna issue of Playboy reportedly sold more than a million copies, while the first Sable issue did around 800,000. Dave expects a lot more WWF women in Playboy considering those kinds of numbers.
WEDNESDAY:Paul Heyman in talks to sell ECW, Antonio Inoki's New Year's Eve show, Vince McMahon Playboy interview, WCW fires Mark Madden, and more...
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