Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Lucas Stuck His Chubby Fingers In The Star Wars Pie… AGAIN.

Damn George, lay off the pie...

George Lucas was, at one point in time; a visionary.

Said “point” in time lasted about 5 minutes.

Through films like THX 1138, the man demonstrated his eye for visuals; as well as his weakness in the areas of narrative and storytelling.

Films like American Graffiti, as well as some of the later entries in the Star Wars and Indiana Jones series made clear the man’s love for hot rod/car culture.

Given the ludicrous number of references to pre-existing films that are featured in the Star Wars films, it’s tough to say just how legit the man’s creativity was, but that’s not the subject of today’s article and I’d prefer not to get into to it for the sake of avoiding the inevitable case of carpal tunnel that would likely emerge if I were to attempt to address such an issue at length.

*AHEM!* That being said, despite all the wonderful franchises and stories that George Lucas has given us over the years, ever since the release of the Star Wars Special Edition series in the late 90’s, there’s been a recurring theme of “control freak-ery” regarding Mr. Lucas.

With seemingly every successive release of the Star Wars series (of which there have been many) numerous tweaks have been made, ranging from the major to the infinitesimal in regards to their impact on the overall package.

With the impending release of the Star Wars series on blu ray, (as well as the upcoming 3-D theatrical re-re-releases) it has been confirmed that more minor tweaks are on the horizon.

An article at Topless Robot covering each of these changes in detail can be found here.

Aside from R2-D2 hiding behind rocks that are physically impassible given his proportions, and Yoda being changed to a CGI character in Episode I, (a change I think is actually for the better) the one of these changes that stuck out the most to me, was that of the audio for Obi-Wan’s Krayt Dragon cry that he used to scare off the Tusken Raiders in Episode IV.

In my mind, the original audio had him sounding like a high pitched fire alarm mixed with a Dewback call.

Given, that’s just me going by memory, as it’s been a few years since I’ve seen A New Hope.

Anyway, this new version of Obi-Wan’s scream, sounds just plain weird to me:

I guess Lucas wanted to change it because, let’s face it; despite the series’ unbelievable sound design, Obi-Wan’s yell did indeed sound like a mish-mash of familiar elements, but even so; this sounds just plain odd to me.

It’s like the audio sounds too crisp for the video or some shit.

Oh yeah, and don’t pretend for a minute that it doesn’t remind you of this:

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Remember When Brock Superplexed The Big Show?

For as much shit as I give Brock Lesnar, I have to admit, the clip above is easily one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in wrestling.

Hogan scoop slammed Andre.

Goldberg jackhammered The Giant.

Hell, even that worthless pile of merch’ shilling dumb fuckery, John Cena; F U-ed the Big Show and Edge at the same time.

But at the end of the day, only Brock Lesnar superplexed the Big Show and destroyed THE ENTIRE FUCKING RING in the process.

I’ve seen guys get chokeslammed through the mat before, but this is a whole ‘nother thing altogether.

Usually, when holes get put in the mat, or any sort of damage is incurred on the ring in general; you can plainly tell that the incident was scripted in some way, usually through the use of a trap door/pre-fabricated hole.

When I watch this clip, it’s hard to make a case for it being scripted or planned in any way.

For one thing, I don’t think this was actually the last match booked for the evening in which it aired; making it completely unrealistic to consider the organization having originally planned to destroy the ring before the show was over.

Also, listening to Tazz, a semi-professional commentator scream “HOLY SHIT!” at the top of his lungs, it seems to me that his reaction was likely that of genuine surprise.

Regardless of whether this incident was scripted or not, it brings me unconscionable amounts of joy just knowing that a moment like this exists in the world of wrestling.

If ever there was video evidence to convince the Big Show to lay off the Taco Bell, this would have to be it…

Filed under: Uncategorized, Wrestling, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Remember When Stone Cold Stunned The Entire McMahon Clan?

This was a classic wrestling moment of the modern age that I’m very proud to say I got to see when it first aired.

At this point in time, Steve Austin was basically on his way out of the wrestling industry, such that this moment could be seen as one of his numerous last hurrahs in the WWF.

Stone Cold was a pivotal, if not the pivotal figure in the birth and ascension of the Attitude Era of wrestling that I was raised on, however in all honesty; he was never really a favorite of mine.

I liked his swagger and I admired his wrestling ability, however my allegiance to The Rock, a man whom Austin frequently feuded with; has basically been unwavering since day one.

Like I said, Austin was great for the organization, and a terrific wrestler to boot; but for whatever reason he just never appealed to me as much as some of the other guys out there.

I suppose it didn’t help when the guy adopted “WHAT!?”, perhaps the single most annoying and persistent catch phrase I can recall in recent memory; as his calling card.

Despite whatever problems I might have with Austin, I still watch his shitty direct to video movies out of principle.

I have a weakness for shit-ily titled movies starring former pro-wrestlers.

The clip at the top of this post represents perhaps the finest example of the WWF phenomena that was “Austin Stunning The McMahons.”

Vince McMahon and his family used to get Stunned pretty much twice a week, but the clip above represents perhaps the only instance when he managed to get each and every one of them consecutively in one segment.

Truth be told, he really should’ve Stunned Triple H (Stephanie McMahon’s husband) as well just for good measure; but oh well.

I think the best part of this segment, was the use of Austin’s signature beer toss throughout.

Even if you couldn’t give 2 shits about wrestling, it’s hard not to laugh at the sight of Austin getting progressively more and more drunk as he Stuns his way through the McMahon clan.

Also, it needs to be said that Linda McMahon’s reaction to the Stunner is perhaps the single worst sell of it I’ve ever seen.

The best selling of the Stunner of course belongs to The Rock:

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Laulau Makes My Brain Feel Fat

Pictured: Heaven and Hell, wrapped in taro leaves...

You see that big, steamy, pile of green/brown shit?

That my friend, is a Hawaiian dish by the name Laulau.

Don’t let the friendly, and vaguely baby talk-ish name fool you; Laulau doesn’t just put hair on your chest, it tears it out your ass and then staples it to your fuckin’ sternum.

If you don’t respect the Laulau, I shit you not, by Crom, Pele, and the Masters of the Universe; it will MAKE YOU.

A typical Laulau consists of only a handful of ingredients, most notably fat and pig.

Basically, you take the fattiest chunk of pig-butt and butterfish that you can find, salt both of ’em to shit, and then wrap it all in taro leaves and steam it until fat/grease starts to pour out.

I think the main idea behind the conception of Laulau, and indeed most Hawaiian cooking, was the idea that:

No piece of pig can’t be made better without the addition of copious amounts of fat and salt.

Oddly enough, while I’ve done posts on this blog before about the horrors of traumatic bowel evacuations AKA toilet warfare; curiously enough Laulau is a dish that has rarely given me trouble in this department.

The real challenge in dealing with Laulau, is simply coping with the sheer richness of it’s composition.

In recent years I’ve gotten in the habit of thinking of the after effects of consuming Laulau as being akin to a combination of “brain freeze” and “cheese sweats.”

To the uninitiated, brain freeze is that horrible throbbing pain you get in your frontal lobe when you eat cold dishes too quickly.

The cheese sweats are that greasy, sweaty, and logy feeling that lactose intolerant people (like myself) tend to get when they say “fuck it” in the face of their genetic defects and order the fettuccine.

Eating Laulau results in what I like to think of as a combination of these effects.

Basically, the fuckin’ taro turd is SO goddamn salty, SO goddamn fatty, and jam-packed with SO MUCH fuckin’ pig; that your brain and your belly just can’t cope with it.

Sure, you’ll start off fine, hell; you might even start shoveling the damn thing on account of how FUCKING TASTY it is, but as you start to get about halfway through it, at some point you’ll start to slow…

What follows, is a feeling I can only describe as being akin to having “fat on the brain.”

In short, it feels like you’re body is pumped full of so much fuckin’ fat and pig that it starts to feel like your stomach has run out of room, so it starts booting the shit up into your brain.

That’s when you know the Laulau’s got you by the balls.

When it’s got you under it’s hypnotic, fat and salt fueled spell…

Your thoughts start to cloud.

Your movements become lethargic.

You start to lose interest in everything else on your plate.

And oddly enough, despite intense feelings of fullness radiating throughout your torso; you keep telling yourself:

“I’m gonna’ finish this… I’m gonna’ finish this… I can’t let it win…”

Hahaha!

Silly bitch, there is no “winning” against the power of Laulau.

There is only surviving.

Surviving and waking up the next day to discover you’ve gained 10 lbs. off of a half pound dinner of pig, fish, and greens.

The worst part of succumbing to the effects of Laulau though, is the lethargy inducing grease factor.

The cheese sweats can be rough, but Laulau sweats are a whole ‘nother story.

Like dealing with a T-Rex, who’s visual acuity’s based on movement; you’re fine if you don’t move, but once you try to get up for seconds, (yeah, good luck with that…) or make a move for the rest room, you’ll be in for a nasty surprise.

Basically, any movement, no matter brief or relaxed; will result in your pores barfing up a fresh coat of pig scented sweat.

Not only that, you’ll find that any move you make will tire you the fuck out.

Now personally, I’m in pretty good shape, but if you put a Laulau in my belly; all the sudden I start sweating like Patrick Ewing and panting like Bob Sapp in the 2nd round.

Anyway, consider this article a word of caution to all the potential first timers when it comes to trying Laulau.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need go take a shower to wash the pig stink out of my skin, go into a well-deserved food coma, and then do it all over again tomorrow…

 

Filed under: Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Epic Wrestling Stupidity At It’s Finest

The above clip comes courtesy of Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), a fringe organization in the “hardcore” tradition of ECW.

I honestly don’t know much about CZW, however based on the clip above, I just might have to look into it.

In case you’re wondering the masked wrestling tag team duo goes by the name of The Osirian Portal, hence the Egyptian motif of their costumes.

It makes me happy to know that some of wrestling’s older, and kitschy-er elements AKA hypnosis and superpowers, still have a place in the 21st century.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.

 

Filed under: Uncategorized, Wrestling, , , , , , , , , ,

Shawn Michaels Is Hilarious… But I Don’t Think He Knows It.

Shawn Michaels is easily one of my favorite wrestlers of all time.

His in-ring ability and timing is some of the best of all time, and though he was never on par with the likes of The Rock or Randy Savage on the mic; (to be fair, no one is) few could deny he could cut a good promo.

That being said, as demonstrated in the clip above, no man; no matter how awesome, can escape the hilarious effects slow-motion.

It’s like an undeniable fact of universal physics.

Any voice, sped up or slowed down, automatically becomes comedy gold.

Oddly enough, slow-motion Shawn Michaels is one of the more hilarious examples of said phenomena.

Something about the way he and other wrestlers, most notably HHH; linger on their words, and stretch out their syllables, just makes them sound really fucking funny when slowed down.

Truth be told, slow-motion HBK doesn’t sound all too different from the real thing, however the change in his speech cadence, results in him sounding more than a little drunk.

Just take a look here:

While HBK has always had a goofy side to him, I honestly don’t think I’ve ever laughed out loud at anything he did outside of the edited clips above.

Well, except for maybe that one time when he made a fool out of Hulk Hogan by overselling his moves:

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Donnie Yen MIGHT Have A Role The Expendables Sequel!

Pictured: Donnie Yen doing his best "I make more money than you" pose.

(The following info came via Twitchfilm.com)

Well, Yippie Ki Yay and Get To Dah’ Choppah, this is a surprisingly tasty bit of rumor mill news!

From what I understand, Donnie Yen was recently offered a role in Sylvester Stallone’s upcoming sequel to The Expendables.

While the Yen-Meister has yet to jump on board the production as of yet, just to know that he’s regarded as being culturally relevant enough in the U.S. to rub shoulders with the action movie legends that make up the cast of The Expendables; means a whole helluva’ lot to die-hard Yen fans like myself.

The really fun part, at least for idiots like me; is the fact that unlike a lot of people, I actually kind of liked The Expendables.

Sure, it was dumb, and it wasn’t exactly the action movie masterpiece that it represented on paper; but even so, for what it was I felt it delivered for the most part.

If you’re at all interested, check out my review of The Expendables here.

Anyway, truth be told I’m excited about the prospect of Donnie Yen joining the cast for the sequel, especially since Stallone has been quoted as having said the movie is intended to be a love letter to martial arts movies.

While there’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll end up going to see The Expendables 2 in theaters (and quite excitedly at that), that last bit is like the icing on the cake for me.

One of the best parts of putting Donnie Yen in the Expendables, at least to me; is the fact that it’ll be a chance to see Yen in a contemporary setting, most likely acting more along the lines of his “younger” roles.

Personally, I’ve never really been a big fan of wuxia style films, and I’ve always preferred Donnie Yen in films with a more modern setting, largely because the free license it gives him in choreographing his fights, but also because I actually kind of prefer the arrogant and prick-ish Donnie Yen to the more regal and subdued one we’ve been getting ever since he did Ip Man.

Unfortunately, Jet Li won’t be returning for the sequel, thereby squandering any opportunity we might’ve had to see him and Yen go at it one last time…. At the age of 48.

Despite this, there’s plenty of other enticing match-ups that could come from throwing Donnie Yen into the mix of an Expendables sequel.

Donnie Yen vs. Jean-Claude Van Damme is a match-up I wouldn’t exactly shit my pants over, but hell, if it were to end up in the film; you can bet I’d be excited to see it anyway.

Regardless of how miniscule or poorly written the role created for him is, I honestly hope Yen signs off on The Expendables 2.

He’s only getting older, and lord knows being in the movie would do wonders to expand his already burgeoning influence in the Western film market.

Now let’s just hope the movie doesn’t end up sucking, with or without Yen…

Filed under: Kung Fu, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Conan The Barbarian Review

Hey look! Orange and Blue!

Let’s get one thing out of the way before we start this review:

I liked the Arnold Schwarzenegger Conan.

I liked it A lOT.

Truth be told, I haven’t read any of the original Robert E. Howard Conan stories, nor any of the Dark Horse comics.

To that end, everything I know (and love) of Conan has been culled from the Arnold movies, and the Conan the Adventurer cartoon series.

Fuckin’ loved that show…

*ANYWAY* while the examples of Conan that I’ve experienced may not be the most traditional, they’re all I have; and frankly, I don’t mind that.

Which brings us to the 2011 film version of Conan, the oddly titled reboot/retread; Conan the Barbarian, henceforth referred to as Conan the Hawaiian.

To be perfectly frank, Conan the Hawaiian honestly felt like a double-length episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, both in terms of plotting and tone.

Sadly, no Kevin Sorbo cameos...

Aside from the names of the locations, the origin story prologue, and maybe some of the characters; much of Conan the Hawaiian’s plot could easily have been transposed onto another generic sword and sandals flick with virtually the same degree of success.

Indeed, had the Conan name not been attached to this movie; for all intents and purposes, I likely would not have bothered to go see it.

Such is the power of licensing and iconography.

Despite all this, I came into the film with fairly realistic expectations.

I would never expect a movie called Conan the Hawaiian to have brilliant writing, nor any degree of complex storytelling in it’s plotting.

For the most part, I just had my fingers crossed for a hefty dose of tasty sword related violence, and a decent performance from the lead actor, Jason Momoa.

Way to go bra'! Represent!

Conan the Hawaiian delivered (with varying degrees of success) on both of my expectations for it, so why then is my opinion of the film so negative?

I think it has something to do with the inescapable elements of cheapness that are evident when watching the film.

For instance, do you want to know how you can tell a movie is cheap, even when it’s props and CGI backdrops are of decent quality?

When the film takes place in about a dozen locations, all of which are represented from afar by a CGI matte painting, and in the interior by a dining room sized sound stage.

Few things are more irksome in a fantasy film than being teased by the promise of cool cities n’shit, only to have the interior of said cities be represented by a SINGLE FUCKING ROOM.

Also known as Star Wars disease, wherein we frequently are shown the splendor of a cityscape, only to see maybe 3 locations within it.

Despite this minor quibble, one thing that I have to commend Conan the Hawaiian for; is the fact that it represents one of the rare cases when a shitty movie both acknowledges and revels in it’s shittiness.

As mentioned earlier, Conan the Hawaiian’s plot is pretty lame, not even as complex or engaging as The Scorpion King, (which is a better movie, in case you’re wondering) however one of it’s greatest strengths is the fact that it never attempts to be.

To my surprise, Conan the Hawaiian’s running time is largely dominated by action sequences, leaving little room for cheesy plot or equally cheesy dialogue from what I’d assume was it’s 5 page script.

The action/fighting is executed with some degree of competence, and it’s indeed quite bloody; however in my opinion the goryness of the violence could’ve been dialed up just a notch or 2 for effect.

Watching anonymous bad guys get cut down left and right every 5 minutes is fun and all, but it’s a lot more fun when said instances of cutting are unique and memorable.

I’m just saying, I personally would’ve appreciated a disemboweling or de-limbing here and there to spice things up.

In my book, EVERY movie needs a Mola Ram heart rip!

On that same note though, another gripe I had about the film was the fact that, early on we are teased by the villain possessing an honor guard of sorts, an elite cadre of unique villains who all participated in fucking over Hawaiian Conan at the beginning of the film.

By showing us these characters, and how they figure into Hawaiian Conan’s revenge plot, the movie makes a promise that we’ll see all of these characters meet their fate ala Shurayukihime, Kill Bill, and Conan the Barbarian.

While this does in fact happen, very little care is placed in how each of these characters are dealt with.

In fact, I only remember 2 of the characters receiving names, one of which bears a rather alarming resemblance to one of the other nameless honor guardsmen.

Pictured: A GOOD example of eliminating an interesting character OUT OF FUCKING NOWHERE.

It’s a minor gripe, but it pains me to see a film like this, that has so little going for it in terms of plot; sweep away it’s own breadcrumbs though clumsily eliminating potentially interesting characters with little to no fanfare.

Gripes aside, the one element of the action that I can’t knock at all, was Jason Momoa’s swordplay.

Watching a man of Momoa’s size handle a sword with such grace is truly a sight to behold.

Indeed, he and Stephen Lang’s pair of duels in the film are very much the highlight of the film.

While I’m on the subject of Momoa, it pains me to say that his acting performance was kind of “meh,” though on the plus side; it’s hard to deny that his physical presence is the sort that can largely make up for that.

I think the problem with Momoa’s acting in the role of Conan, is the fact that the temperment of the character, at least in this film; doesn’t seem to fit him.

It’s kind of like Christian Bale’s turn as Batman in the Christopher Nolan films.

Bale does great as Bruce Wayne, and indeed looks the part of Batman, however something about the Batman voice and attitude just doesn’t work.

Momoa has these problems as Conan.

Everything seems to fit pretty well in his quieter and more contemplative moments, though whenever he’s supposed to put on his mean face and get all savage, his voice sounds forced and just doesn’t work for me.

On a side note, Leo Howard, the kid that played the young Conan; was probably the strongest performance in the whole movie.

Seriously man, that kid was a BEAST.

Moving on, despite having some decent actors involved, most of the performances in Conan the Hawaiian feel largely phoned-in.

Stephen Lang’s role as the villain is a little bit more complex than you’d expect given his motivations, however the paltry script affords him very little opportunities to flex his acting muscles or chew scenery.

For fuck’s sake, I can recall an instance when Lang is in battle in Conan and declares:

“I don’t like YOU!”

Really?

You’re the fuckin’ “last boss” of the movie, and that’s your big menacing one-liner?

Anyway, Rose McGowan’s turn as Lang’s creepy-ass daughter had some thought put into it, though it came across as being hammy in the bad way.

The bad way as in Sci-Fi Channel, “bad way.”

She does what she can to play to the morbid nature of her character, as well as her bizarre wardrobe, however at the end of the day she comes across as a shlocky villain in the tradition of The Baroness or Evil-Lyn.

That's right, I made a He-Man reference in a Conan review.

Oh yeah, Ron Perlman was in this movie too.

… That’s about all I have to say about that.

Anyway, Conan the Hawaiian wasn’t a horrible movie, especially if you’re purely in the mood for blood and boobs; however it’s largely uninspired and more than a little cheap.

I will say this though:

In terms of pure entertainment value, it’s better than Cowboys & Aliens.

Filed under: Comics, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Remember When The Rock And HHH Had A Head-Busting Contest?

No explanation necessary.

Just 2 terrific performers at the peak of their powers, giving the crowd a show through some simple; but truly brilliant physical comedy.

At the end of the day, wrestling’s supposed to be fun; and that’s exactly what this clip represents.

Filed under: Uncategorized, Wrestling, , , , , , , , , , ,

Remember When The Big Show Had Diarrhea?

While his in-ring prowess was, and always will be the stuff of legends; Eddie Guerrero’s personality and mic skills were an aspect to his game that would largely remain hidden until the later stages of his career.

During his time in the WWF, Eddie was cast in several memorable storylines, usually as a clown of sorts.

As dumb as it was, I’ll never forget Eddie’s “Latino Heat” team-up with Chyna, as not only did it give us perhaps one of the most awesome entrance themes of all time; but the side-show appeal involved in the idea of these 2 people sleeping together was absolutely unforgettable.

While “Latino Heat” was good fun, the clip above actually comes from Eddie’s “Lie, Cheat and Steal” period, wherein he and his (less talented) nephew Chavo acted as stereotypical Mexican thugs.

The Big Show’s diarrhea in the above clip, was the result of a nasty prank Eddie and Chavo pulled on him via a “spiked” burrito.

It was during this era that Eddie was fortunate to have been finally pushed hard enough by the organization to gain the world title; as well as the time in his career when he was arguably at the peak of his popularity among casual fans.

Sadly, in the last year or so before his untimely death, Eddie would make a major heel turn, feuding with Rey Mysterio Jr. in the process.

Regardless of how he may have finished out his career, I’ll never forget Eddie Guerrero’s contribution to my love for wrestling; as I pretty much spent my entire life watching him up until his death.

That being said, long live “Latino Heat.”

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