Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

CM Punk States The Obvious

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The Amazing Spider-Man Just Went From “Meh” To “Bleh.”

Pictured: The kind of shit I'd probably do if I had a Spider-Man costume.

*SPOILER ALERT!* If you prefer not to have the appearance of The Lizard from The Amazing-Spider-Man spoiled for you, stop reading NOW! *SPOILER ALERT!*

As goofy as the photos above may be, sadly, they aren’t responsible for my rapidly darkening mood in regards to the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man movie.

It’s funny actually, despite being a reboot of a major Marvel franchise, amid all the buzz surrounding The Avengers, Man of Steel, and The Dark Knight Rises, the production of The Amazing Spider-Man has been somewhat of an enigma as of late.

Unlike fuckin’ Turn Off the Dark

*Shiver* Spider-Man villains putting on a fashion show… The stuff of nightmares I tells yah’.

Truth be told, aside from the infamous “Mirrors Edge trailer,” and a quick article I did a few months back regarding the new costume design, The Amazing Spider-Man has been almost entirely off my radar.

Sure, I grit my teeth a little over the prospect of rebooting a barely 10 year old film series, however outside of that, I really could care less.

I lied. Officially, I care less about Ghost Rider. Don't tell anyone I said that though.

That being said, the one thing that could’ve got me excited about this movie, has just been ruined by a leaked image of a goddamn Pez dispenser.

Allow me to explain.

In my youth, animals were one of my greatest passions, in particular lizards and other reptiles.

At one point the Komodo Dragon was my favorite animal, prompting me to do a number of school projects based around them.

I used to flip through my (vast) collection of Zoobooks just about every fucking day, in particular the reptile and special edition dinosaur issues.

Godzilla was, and still is, one of my biggest heroes.

And when it came to comic book characters, in particular Spider-Man villains, you can sure as hell bet The Lizard was my favorite.

BAAAAADDDD-ASSSSSSSSSSS.

In truth, he was kind of a lame character, particularly in regards to his power set, but even so, I’ve always liked him regardless.

That being said, seeing Dylan Baker cast as Dr. Curt Connors (The Lizard, dumbass) in Spider-Man 2 and 3 was cute in the sense that it paid homage to the greater Marvel universe, (something that has since become widespread) however I’m not gonna’ lie, it sucked some serious balls being teased with the prospect of a Lizard story arc over 2 movies only to end up with the lame-ass, cluttered finale of Spider-Man 3.

Imagine my surprise when it was announced that The Lizard was going to be a/the(?) villain in The Amazing Spider-Man.

Being a Lizard fan, my initial reaction was that of:

“Fuck yeah!”

Despite boasting some decent acting credentials, I still think it’s funny that Welshman Rhys Ifans AKA the Welsh guy from Little Nicky and the Welsh kicker from The Replacements, is going to be playing Curt Connors.

By the way, did I mention he was Welsh?

Seriously though, I really don’t have much of a frame of reference as to whether he’d make a good Lizard, but oddly enough, it’s not him that has me less than thrilled about The Amazing Spider-Man.

Which brings us back to the aforementioned Pez dispenser:

Pictured: An unfortunate shaved monkey dipped in green paint.

While it may not be an official rendering of the character’s design for the upcoming film, or even a reflection of what the character’s final appearance, given the possibility that his transformation in the film may in fact be done progressively instead of all at once; the fact of the matter is:

This looks like fuckin’ garbage.

Seriously man, aside from the green skin, the features of the character don’t even look reptilian to me.

Last time I checked, reptiles, lizards in particular, are noted for their rigid facial structure and beady eyes.

This fuckin’ lizard has his eyes on the front of his face, and doesn’t even have so much as a goddamn snout.

I know they were probably trying to humanize him for dramatic purposes, or more likely, made him more human shaped to make animating his lip movements somewhat easier, but even so; this ain’t the fuckin’ Lizard.

Jesus fuck man, even if you were to put all of my “science-y” gripes aside, at the end of the day this design looks just plain fuckin’ boring.

Probably the worst part though, is the fact that this thing bears an uncanny resemblance to the Goombas from the Super Mario movie:

Cosmic...

And we all know how well that little venture worked out, right?

To whoever designed this Austrian dispenser of confectionery FAIL, congratulations, you have succeeded in making a superhuman lizard-man look boring.

My guess is they recruited the guy that did the Time Ninja cover to do the concept art for The Lizard:

Just in case you forgot...

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

Remember That One Time Chucky Cut A Promo On WCW?

You’d think having Chucky from the Child’s Play movies show up on a wrestling show would be considered jumping the shark, right?

Well, technically I suppose it would be, if not for the fact that it basically already happened by the time 1998 came rollin’ along… More than once.

That being said, guest stars, fictional or otherwise, have been commonplace in wrestling for some time now.

WCW in particular, during the Monday Night Wars, seemed to have a penchant for populating it’s telecasts with all manner of larger than life non-wrestlers.

Chuck Norris, Jay Leno, a number of NBA players, and even fuckin’ Robocop all made guest appearances on the show at one time or another, with predictably hilarious results.

Yeah, that actually happened.

So, when you take into consideration all the bullshit that came before it, having Chucky cut a promo during an episode of Nitro actually isn’t all that silly after all.

… That is until you take a minute to listen to what he’s actually saying.

With Leno, WCW actually went to great lengths to write him into a storyline.

Believe it or not, it was actually a big fucking deal.

DDP, Hogan, and Eric Bischoff actually showed up on the Tonight Show and caused a ruckus, creating significant cross-promotional buzz.

Sure, the actual in-ring pay-off was horrendous, but it’s hard to deny the cleverness of their marketing strategy.

Which brings us to Chucky.

Near as I can tell, Chucky showed up to promote his film, as is typically the case with any movie stars/homicidal doll monsters that guest star on wrestling shows, however WCW went the extra mile and had him pick a favorite to win in the upcoming Halloween Havoc.

It should be noted that the main event of the Halloween Havoc in question, Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior; would go on to be regarded as one of the single worst matches in all of televised professional wrestling.

Yeah, that also really happened.

Now, as far as I can recall, Chucky never physically appeared on WCW, but for whatever goddamn reason, the writers saw fit to have him favor Scott Steiner over his brother Rick in their upcoming match.

Last time I checked, Chucky was more concerned with reclaiming his body and killing stupid bitches than he was the daily affairs of professional wrestling, but hey, this was the same team of writers that thought having the slowest goddamn Robocop in the history of slow-ass Robocops appear on their show was a good idea.

Anyway, at some point, Chucky mentions something about wanting to be a film director, and that he wants Scott Steiner to win because he’s hoping to cast him as his leading man.

There is so much fucking wrong with that last sentence, that honestly, I’m not even gonna’ go into it.

The really sad part in all this, is the fact that they actually got Brad Dourif to voice Chucky.

I mean, yeah, Chucky isn’t Chucky without Brad Dourif’s considerable vocal talents, but come on, the man deserves so much better than to get paid to do wrestling promos and super-liminal advertising.

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Remember That One Time They Let The Big Show Talk?

Yeah…. The Big Show was never very good on the mic.

He could be pretty damn funny, as was the case in his appearance on SNL, but for the most part; he’s not much of a talker.

The funny part is, this promo would be most likely be considered racially stereotypical/insensitive if it wasn’t spot on perfect.

Seriously man, every mannerism and inflection you see in the clip above, as silly and repetitive as it may seem, is actually pretty much a 100% accurate imitation of Booker T.

That’s right, the same Booker T that went and yelled “the word” on national television:

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Remember That One Time The Rock Threw Stone Cold Off A Bridge?


Honestly… I think the context of this clip is better left unexplained.

All you need to know is:

Yes, The Rock did indeed throw Stone Cold off a bridge.

Yes, they tried to sell this as the “Death of Stone Cold.”

And yes, I miss the Attitude Era just as much as you do.

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Small Victory On Black Friday

Pictured: A big pile of crap, for half the price!

Today marked only the second occasion in which I decided to set forth into the wild and brave the insanity that is Black Friday.

Oddly enough, both times my intention in doing so was not to capitalize on the various sales events, but rather to simply take in the spectacle of watching others step over each other in hopes of acquiring a precious Tickle Me Elmo-like gift, or in the case of this year, an incredibly cheap 40″ TV.

It’s funny, whenever I think of Black Friday and other Christmas/holiday related shopping insanity, there’s one image that comes to my mind.

Said image was from one of my brother’s old Mad magazines, and to date, it serves as the definitive vision of Christmas carnage in my mind:

Pictured: "The Last Parking Space At The Mall."

It might be kind of hard to tell, as the image is kind of small, but basically “The Last Parking Space At The Mall” is a brilliantly rendered Norman Rockwell-esque painting depicting a man shooting another man in a snowy parking lot while his wife attempts to pull him back into the car.

Mad Magazine is usually good for a snicker or 2, but this painting was easily one of the most brilliant fuckin’ comedic images I can recall from my youth.

Sadly though, I didn’t see holiday mayhem of any kind this time around.

I did however get to laugh at the people standing in line surrounding the Best Buy.

Seriously man, I spent close to 3 hours in the general area, and I never once saw that line shrink an inch.

Needless to say, I never even got to set foot in Best Buy this morning.

Oh well, thanks to holiday “tent culture,” virtually all of the really good deals in there are literally impossible to acquire without spending the night outside the building.

Or at least without bringing one of these...

Which brings me to the deals that I actually did get a chance to capitalize on.

I initially set out to “do” Black Friday with a friend of mine around midnight.

Said friend ultimately ended up walking away with 2 boxes of half price golf balls, while I bought absolutely nothing.

Fortunately, there were some other sales going on in the U-district at a reasonable hour that I ended up checking out after catching a few much needed hours of sleep.

First, I went to Zanadu comics, where a 50% off everything sale was going on from 8AM to 12PM.

In case you couldn’t tell from the image above, I ended up getting a softcover copy of the absolutely massive X-Men/Dark Avengers: Utopia, as well as the first volume of Ed Brubaker’s The Immortal Iron Fist.

Truth be told, I’m not exactly salivating over the prospect of reading either of these books, however Utopia will serve to complete my Dark Avengers trade collection, and Iron Fist is a book that, given my status as a rabid kung fu movie fan, should’ve been in my collection years ago.

All together now: "WAATAAAAAHHHH!!!!"

I’m a little wary of Utopia, as X-Men books haven’t been kind to me in the past, I don’t know, 15 goddamn years; but I’m hoping the Dark Avengers stuff will help to round things out a little.

Yes. I am in fact still made about this.

As for Iron Fist, I’ve read nothing but good about it, and I’ve been putting off reading it for a really long time; so I’m pretty sure it’s gonna’ be awesome.

Anyway, 2 good to great books for 50% off = Definitely worth it in my book.

Next I went to Pink Gorilla to check out their highly variable collection of used/retro videogames.

While I haven’t found anything too special there in a few years now, I was surprised to find a perfectly good copy of Super Castlevania IV.

Outside of that though, I didn’t find anything else exciting, or failing that; worth the asking price.

Despite this, I was surprised to be given a randomized coupon at the register, with the one I drew being a buy1 get 1 free!

Upon scanning the wall, I decided to pick up Donkey Kong Country 3, a game that, while inferior to the sequel (which I already own) is somewhat rare, and often prohibitively overpriced.

Lucky me, I got it for free.

Oh yeah, and I got a free poster too.

Anyway, while I’d like to say I made it through the day without spending a decent amount of money, I’m proud to say that I at least managed to save more than I spent this Black Friday.

How did you do?

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Happy Thanksgiving From The Azn Badger!


That is all…

Filed under: Movies, , , , ,

There’s Never Room For Pie…

So… Remember that whole “fuck you, I went to Portland” post from awhile back?

I might not have explicitly made mention of it, but I spent my time down there helping out Sean Parker and Austin Hillebrecht on a Thanksgiving video for Hapstance Films.

The finished product is that which you see at the top of this post.

Helping out on this short was buckets of fun, at least for me.

I’ve never been in a room with nearly 30 actors before, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little intimidated by the whole experience.

It was a helluva’ fun getting to see people take on their characters wholeheartedly, staying in character between takes.

At the same time, it was a little unsettling being cast as the universally hated character of “Broccoli,” as on occasion it was difficult to discern between the real and faux expressions of revulsion everyone was throwing my way.

Even so, I had a shit ton of fun and I met a lot of really nice and interesting people, many of which I’d like to keep in touch with.

I think one of the better experiences I had at the filming, was getting to sit down and chat with Austin Hillebrecht and Dennis Fitzpatrick.

It’s kind of silly, given the super-indie nature of the film, but having previously watched and reviewed the 2 of these actors performances in Coup De Cinema made meeting them in person kind of surreal.

I think shooting the shit with them and chatting about horror movies was probably the perfect way to end the evening after all the “organized chaos” that preceded it.

Anyway, awhile back I thought to myself about the prospect of maybe moving down to Portland semi-permanently.

Though I honestly wasn’t particularly happy with my performance in the video, (everyone else did great) I had so much fun that I know in my heart that it’s something I’d like to keep doing.

That being said, though I thought I’d given up on the idea, working on this latest Hapstance short got me thinking about Portland again.

Time will tell where the next curve in the road takes the Azn Badger…

 

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Evaluating The Rock’s Return To The Ring

Pictured: The Rock is back, and he brought his new salt and pepper beard and gaudy-ass tattoos.

So, I watched Survivor Series this past Sunday.

I haven’t watched Raw or Smackdown in at least 5 years now, but like many seasoned wrestling fans; I’m always looking for an excuse to get back in the loop.

Unfortunately, given the general dearth of genuinely interesting or talented wrestlers in the organization these days, said reasons are scarce at best…

That being said, when it came to tuning in to Survivor Series this past weekend, much like Rikishi, I did it for The Rock:

If memory serves me, and I know it does, I believe it’s been about 7 years since The Rock last stepped into the squared circle for a legitimate wrestling match.

Sadly, despite sporting a spectacular physique, the years have not been kind to ‘ole Dwayne’s in-ring coordination.

That’s not to say his main event performance wasn’t all that bad, (it wasn’t) rather it was just a little bit disappointing to see one of my heroes slowly succumb to the horrors of bad knees and premature old fart-ism.

Despite lacking the same explosiveness and distinctive spasmatic body language, The Rock did about as well as one could expect following a 7 year layoff.

Upon entering the arena, I was kind of shocked with how little applause The Rock garnered from the live audience.

Maybe it was just my puny speakers, but it seemed to me like the crowd should’ve been louder given the gravity of the situation.

Then again, maybe my expectations for contemporary wrestling fans are a little too high given the current state of the WWF.

In any case, The Rock milked his entrance and got more applause than John Cena, so it’s all good in my book.

As one would expect in a tag match featuring a returning legend of the industry, The Rock entered the ring last, served as the initial tag partner of his team, and finished the match.

Facing off against The Miz and R-Truth, The Rock’s first moments in the match were, in my opinion; his best.

By the way, if you had asked me if the man formerly known as K-Kwik would ever headline a pay-per-view in the 21st century, I’d have told you “no fucking way.”

Funny how shit works out like that.

Anyway, in matches like this, where 2 mid-tier heels are pitted against a legend with an aura of invincibility, there’s really no logical way for the heels to build momentum against him without resorting to dirty tactics or shenanigans.

Pictured: "Shenanigans."

In going with this line of thinking, The Rock did well to cast an imposing shadow in the ring, bulling his neck and standing rigid and tall.

Basically, he straight up looked untouchable when standing next to the 3 other A-listers in the ring.

At the opening bell, The Rock cut loose with a series of rapid fire armdrags on both of his opponents.

I’ve always said there needed to be more armdrags in wrestling, so this brief sequence did well to satisfy the Rick Steamboat fan in me.

From there, The Rock basically cleaned house, knocking both men out of the ring at one time or another, and employing the first of his many signature move in the form of a somewhat flacid DDT.

It wasn’t so much the DDT itself was lacking, rather it was the gut kick preceding it that, quite literally; fell short.

Fell short as in straight-up missed the mark ala Randy Orton:


This failed gut kick would do well to sum up the whole of The Rock’s in-ring performance at Survivor Series.

To be blunt, he seemed tentative to me, like he held concern for potentially harming his fellow performers.

Strange, considering the amount of contact and brutality that was commonplace during The Rock’s heyday.

In any case, following the DDT, The Rock would later go on to execute a slow, but ably performed kip up, followed by a impressive, and very likely MMA inspired leg submission on R-Truth.

I’ll have to find out what that move was called, cause quite frankly, it was awesome.

Oh yeah, around this time the crowd started shouting, “You still got it!”

That was also awesome.

From there, the match turned into a snore fest for me, as once The Rock tagged in John Cena, the match degenerated into a one-sided beat down of the no-selling wonder.

Seriously man, I paid to see The Rock, and instead, I got stuck with 30 minutes of John Cena failing at getting his ass beat, bookended by 2 minutes of awesome Rock action.

That being said, I’m writing this article about The Rock, so I’ll be foregoing any detailed explanations of the non-Rock segments of the match.

All you really need to know is that it sucked.

Oddly enough, The Rock’s big finish at the end of the match was actually probably one of his weaker moments.

As tends to be the case with big-time wrestlers, The Rock has an ungodly number of signature moves and finishers.

During the climax of a match, many wrestlers like this *cough!* Hulk Hogan *cough!* tend to run through all their big moves like a series of bullet points.

Everybody knows it’s coming, but it’s a big part of what you pay to see when it comes to pro-wrestling.

In the case of The Rock, this involved his trademark slap punch combination, a DDT, a Rock Bottom, and a People’s Elbow to top it all off.

The weird part was, and this may have had something to do with a lack of energy in the room, but The Rock’s big finish seemed a little bit lackadaisical.

Once again, it may be a combination of bad knees and improper conditioning, but The Rock’s punches lacked the same jittery energy they used to.

As also mentioned before, his DDT fell short of the mark a second time, with the gut kick once again whiffing by a country mile.

His Rock Bottom felt wimpy.

And most electrifying move in sports entertainment or not, his People’s Elbow failed to get a rise out of me.

Despite performing well overall, The Rock seemed most uncomfortable doing the simplest and most familiar moves in his repertoire, the ones that made him famous.

In all, The Rock seemed at his best during the more heavily choreographed portions of the match at the beginning, which isn’t surprising given his recent time spent performing action scenes in Hollywood films.

He didn’t embarrass himself, and he certainly did well enough to make me glad to see him back in the saddle, but at the end of the day, it was strange to see a Rock faded to the point of being, almost human.

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

Remember That One Time Rikishi “Did It For Dah’ Rock”?

Oh, how I long for the days when wrestling was still fun.

These days it seems like the WWF is more interested in plugging it’s seemingly endless supply of Twitter feeds than it is the art of pro wrestling, steel chair shots, and vehicular assault…

Oh well, as they say:

Back in the early 2000’s, the WWF made the somewhat bold decision to push the previously semi-mute Rikishi.

Originally Fatu of the Headshrinkers back in early 90’s, Rikishi’s path through the WWF saw him play a number of stereotypical heel characters ranging from Samoan to Middle Eastern, however it wasn’t until the early 2000’s that he would gain a significant following.

Joining forces with the Backstreet Boys inspired tag team Too Cool, Rikishi gained popularity largely due to his surprisingly fleet-footed dance moves involved in the crew’s victory dances.

Somewhere down the line though, Rikishi began to eclipse the popularity of Grandmaster Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty, (yes, those were in fact their names) resulting in him distancing himself from the group and being given the privilege to speak on the mic every now and again.

In a shocking heel turn, it would later be revealed that at Survivor Series ’99, Rikishi had run Stone Cold Steve Austin over with a car.

Boldly playing the race card, this story angle would involve Rikishi lashing out at the WWF backstage politics, alluding to the ongoing tendency of Samoan wrestlers to be cast as mid-tier “monsters” while white performers enjoyed the spotlight.

While many could look at this storyline as being silly and over the top, it’s impossible to deny the historical truth of his statements.

Probably the most entertaining thing to come out of this incident, (well, besides the whole vehicular assault thing) was the moment when Rikishi confesses to having “done it, for dah’ Rock.”

You see, Rikishi and The Rock, along with most of the Samoans on the planet, are actually cousins in real life.

Playing up this angle, Rikishi was revealed to have hit Stone Cold with the car as a means of bolstering The Rock’s popularity, and putting a fellow Samoan in power.

While I actually didn’t mind this angle all that much, given the fact that nearly a year passed between the time when Stone Cold was hit, and the time they actually revealed who the perpetrator was, it’s more than likely that the behind the scenes writers put the whole thing together out of desperation or lack of ideas.

That being said, at the very least, this whole incident provided The Rock with a shit ton of material for promos and smack talking.

To this day, “I did it, for dah’ Rock.  I did it, for dah’ people” forever sticks in my mind as one of the funnier things The Rock’s ever said, as well as perhaps my fondest memory of Rikishi as a character.

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