Preserving the Phantom Set & Silent Film History


For those of us who grew up loving film, there are certain moments that are engrained in our minds from movies seen on the big and small screens during our youth. Remember ducking your head below the old theater seats when the raptors chased down children in a massive Read more

Evolution of Card Gaming


The history of card gaming goes back thousands of years to earlier civilizations in India, Egypt, and China, the last of which is said to have actually created the playing cards we all know so well. Those are the facts according to HOPC, which also notes that there are Read more

A Christian Contemplation on Suicide


Have you ever heard a truly great preacher? I’m not talking about the stereotypical hell-fire-and-brimstone one the church of olden days churned out. I’m also not referencing the feel-good spiritual gurus who dominate the airwaves now, who seem to be OK with everything except not leaving a donation in Read more

The One that Hurts the Most: Rest in Peace, Robin Williams


Yesterday, we were all shocked and deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Robin Williams. We each simply wanted to share a few words about our experiences with the actor and comedian that brought so much joy and laughter to the world. Some of us talk about Read more

Elvis Week Spotlight: New That's The Way It Is and Viva Las Vegas Digibooks


With this year's Elvis Week kicking off a week from today on August 9 - August 17, The Wise Guise wanted to shine some light on a timely new product from Warner Bros. in the form of an Elvis: That's The Way It Is - Two Disc Special Edition Blu-ray Read more

The Bachelorette Finale: "Why'd You Make Love With Me?"


The Bachelorette finale is in the books. The journey is over. Andi found true love and happiness, and Nick’s hand-drawn storybook found the nearest dumpster in the Dominican Republic. But before we move on, I need to take care of two things. 1) I’m having a hard time writing this post Read more

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The 13 Best Things in Entertainment for 2013

Posted on by Alex Beene in Entertainment, Featured, Movies, Music, Television | Leave a comment

2013 Entertainment The 13 Best Things in Entertainment for 2013

Isn’t 13 suppose to be an unlucky number? Don’t tell that to the entertainment industry. This past year turned out to be one of innovation on multiple fronts.

The cable box took a back seat to streaming services in the pursuit of new TV series. Music artists started offering up full album appetizers for listening before consumers bought the main course. A wide range of fresh devices entered the market, including newly numbered gaming consoles and tablets with more pixels than we could count.

Of course, not everything had the high-quality stamp of approval. Despite crafting a surprisingly solid album, Miley Cyrus seemed more content making shock performances for headlines than art. Ben Affleck being chosen as the new Batman left more than a few of us scratching our heads. Oh, and let’s not even begin to get into Kim and Kanye’s new child, A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” debacle and the epic meltdown of Amanda Bynes.

Instead, let’s focus in on the sights and sounds that left us feeling good. Without further hype, here are the top 13 things that made 2013 a satisfying year. Read more

Remembering My Grandma

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Assorted Wisdom, Featured, Misc. Posts | 6 Comments

hsgraduation Remembering My Grandma

On Christmas night, 2013, my grandmother, Roselyn Joyce Ball, passed away at the age of 85. We received the call after dinner in Memphis, as we were preparing to open presents with my family in Memphis. I had the honor to have a great 30 minute phone conversation with her the week before she passed. We were planning on going to visit her in Springfield, Missouri on December 26th. We still made the journey to my mother’s hometown in the heartland of America, but instead of celebrating with her, we celebrated her life instead. After Jeremy shared his reflections on his grandmother’s life earlier this year, I thought the best way to commemorate my Grandma’s life would be to share the eulogy I gave at her funeral. Goodbye, Grandma. I’ll miss you, but I’ll see you later.

It only feels appropriate that we gather here today, a few days after Christmas, to mourn, remember, lay to rest, and celebrate the life of Grandma. Many of us knew her by different names.

Rosalyn. Joyce. Mom. Grandma. Wild Crazy Grandma… the nickname Derek gave her because we always joked with her that she dressed up nicer than everyone else for her Oasis Ministry (the seniors ministry at their church) adventures, which I always said were just her and Grandpa’s excuse to party like rockstars. Grandma took that as a badge of honor.

grandmagrandpa Remembering My Grandma

But it’s only appropriate that we are here after Christmas because it was this time of the year in which her family would always gather around Grandma and Grandpa and spend quality time together. I have many memories of opening presents on Christmas morning and then hopping in the car within 24 hours to go to Springfield. Or sometimes Grandma and Grandpa would come to Memphis at Christmas time.

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Top Five Albums of 2013

Posted on by Warner Russell in Entertainment, Featured, Movie Reviews, Music | 2 Comments

kanye west yeezus Top Five Albums of 2013

As we wrap up this year and begin a new one, our top music reviewer ranks his top five albums of 2013.

Honorable Mentions: Reflektor by Arcade Fire; Random Access Memories by Daft Punk; Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend; The Lone Bellow by The Lone Bellow

5) Yeezus by Kanye West

Kanye is on a different level than other artists. He’s absolutely crazy, like insane, loose cannon crazy. But there is no question that he is a genius. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was great, one of my all time favorites, but Yeezus is transcendental. It will be the album people associate him with in 50 years.

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Roundtable: Thoughts on 2014 Golden Globe Nominations

Posted on by The Wise Guise in Entertainment, Featured, Movies, Television | Leave a comment

goldenglobes Roundtable: Thoughts on 2014 Golden Globe Nominations

The Wise Guise is honored to have Alex Beene bring his “Awards Addict”, Oscar season awards coverage to our site this year. To bring you up to date, his first two posts were on critics awards and the SAG nominations. But things have kicked into high gear with the full list of Golden Globe nominees in both film and TV. We got a roundtable together to discuss the nominations, so check out our post to see what Joseph, Sutter, Alex, and Jeremy thought.

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Above the Rest: How Beyoncé’s Surprise Album Release lifts her to the Top of the Diva Pile

Posted on by Alex Beene in Entertainment, Featured, Music | Leave a comment

beyonce1 Above the Rest: How Beyoncé’s Surprise Album Release lifts her to the Top of the Diva Pile

Talk about a stunner. No one expected Beyoncé to drop a complete new album – completely unannounced and unhyped – on Friday. No one could have anticipated the insane results of that surprise, either: in 12 hours, the pop superstar had generated 1.2 million tweets.

The financials are even more impressive. While we’re still waiting for final numbers, it’s looking like her self-titled album moved nearly 400,000 units on day one. If confirmed accurate, that number would dwarf debut sales of fellow divas Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Britney Spears, who didn’t even come close to achieving that result in their first complete week on the market.

Early data distracts from the real accomplishment here. “Beyoncé” could be much more than just a one-day internet phenomenon. In fact, the release could signal a complete change in the pattern stars use to debut their content. It also shows an amazing sense of business savvy on the part of Mrs. Carter.

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Nothing Like a Beatdown from Your Tax Dollars

Posted on by Grant Oster in Featured, Misc. Posts | Leave a comment

krawetz Nothing Like a Beatdown from Your Tax DollarsWhen I pay state sales tax and file my federal tax return at the end of the year, I know that my hard-earned dollars are going to educate the future, to upkeep and create roads and highways, to protect American borders, and–heaven forbid it happen–put out a fire if my house was ablaze. That being said, I do not expect my tax dollars to sic a dog on me, force me to have invasive medical procedures, or open fire on any children I may have in my vehicle.

I know what you are thinking: Police officers are our friends; their sole purpose is to protect us. In fact, for generations the public has told their children that they can ALWAYS trust a police officer.

Allow me to share with you the following stories of police brutality, and then you tell me: Will you continue to tell your children to always trust police officers and law enforcement officials?

Selma March 1965 300x186 Nothing Like a Beatdown from Your Tax Dollars

March from Selma to Montgomery (1965)

I’m not looking to put together a complete, historical list of police brutality; however, that is certainly something that could be accomplished. Police brutality has been a growing problem dating back decades.

The National Civil Rights Movement was successful in part because of the national attention brought to the movement by police brutality widespread in states such as Alabama. While nonviolent protesters planned a march from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery, Alabama, police officers gassed marchers with tear gas and beat them.

The name Rodney King has now become synonymous with police violence and brutality. Upon receiving his beatdown from him tax dollars, several “copwatch” organizations came into fruition. With these organizations, the nation has done a much better job of tracking and publicizing the rampant police brutality.

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What Memphis Grizzlies’ Zach Randolph Did For a Special Needs Kid During a Game

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Basketball, Bright Spots, Featured, Sports | 1 Comment

Zbo kia award What Memphis Grizzlies Zach Randolph Did For a Special Needs Kid During a Game

There are several things we’ve always made clear here at The Wise Guise during our nearly two years of blogging.

(1) We love the Memphis Grizzlies. This has been clear from the beginning, when one of our early series was Tuesdays with Tony.

(2) We have a special place in our hearts for the special ones amongst us. I’ve written at length about these exceptional ones in our lives, including my sister, Mary.

Well, Clayton sent me the following video earlier today, which made me reply, “Oh. My. Zbo.”

Clayton’s response? “What a dude. That’s why [the Grizzlies] still have the full support of most of the city despite their on court struggles this year.”

Couldn’t have said it any better myself. Although Zbo himself possibly could. Earlier in the night, he was awarded November’s KIA Community Assist Award.

As Randolph said via NBA.com after he was given the award, “I love to give back to kids in need and from single-parent homes because I was one of those kids growing up, so I feel as though I can relate. It’s a blessing for me to be able to help someone else.”

May we all be able to do the simple things in life the help someone else this holiday season. Timely given the release of the sequel, but it reminds me of a line from Gandalf in the first Hobbit film: “[Some] believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… small acts of kindness and love.”