Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

The Old Spice Guy Wants To Play Luke Cage? Fine By Me…

Celebrities (or in this case, pseudo-celebrities) going way out of their way to petition themselves for movie roles isn’t a new thing.

If you remember, Sean Young ran into the offices of Warner Bros. dressed in a homemade Catwoman outfit when she caught word the character was going to be featured in Batman Returns.

Another, similar example of this, was of course Thomas Jane’s ploy in auditioning for the role of Jonah Hex by hiring makeup FX technicians to take headshots of him as Jonah Hex.

Haha, he looks like Christopher Lambert... 20 years ago.

Personally, I’m kind of glad he didn’t get the role, as I’ve always kind of liked Thomas Jane ever since I saw him in Deep Blue Sea.

Shut up.  Deep Blue Sea was awesome.  Renny Harlin can suck a dick though…

Moving on, I remember being somewhat shocked by the debut of Kevin McKidd’s “action reel,” a short video meant to distance the actor from his Grey’s Anatomy and Rome pedigree, and toss his hat into the fold as an action star in training:

The reel may not be the best demo of all time, but just the fact that the man, a Hollywood actor; would go out of his way to put it together on his own time, always impressed me.

Not that Kevin McKidd’s really at all on my radar as a major Hollywood actor…

Anyway, as you may have guessed by the title and subject matter of this article, Isaiah Mustafa AKA The Old Spice Guy From Those Random-Ass Commercials; has gone ahead and made a fake trailer, casting himself as Marvel’s perennial “super strong, super black dude,” Luke Cage:

The trailer is short and sweet, and does well to hide it’s very likely sparse production values with clever lighting and minimalist sets.

As with the case of Kevin McKidd’s fight reel, I can’t help but be impressed by the initiative and drive exhibited by Mustafa by going ahead and making this video.

I can’t speak to the man’s acting ability, as outside of his on-screen charisma in the Old Spice commericials; I’ve yet to see him act, but he has the size and the look to pull it off, and given that he went out of his way to make this video, it’s hard to argue that he probably wants the role more than anyone else at this point.

Truth be told, outside of Thunderbolts and Iron Fist team-ups, I’ve never really paid much mind to Cage.

The character has an intriguing story, and close ties to virtually every major player in the Marvel universe, so it’s inevitable that a movie adaptation is going to be made at some point.

Knowing Hollywood, they’ll probably end up giving the role to Tyrese or some shit…

In any case, they’d be crazy not to at least offer the role to Michael Jai White, given that he has the physicality, acting talent, and is rapidly becoming a known element in Hollywood… Again.

Anybody remember Spawn?... Bueller?

Regardless of what happens in the casting of this film, my only hope is that it’ll turn out better than Elektra

Or Catwoman

Or Fantastic Four

Or Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Aw, who am I kidding, we all know who the reigning champ of suck is...

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Cool Movie Idea

I’m an “idea” guy.

I’m one of those guys that can come with some of the coolest shit you’ve ever heard of, ON A DAILY FUCKING BASIS; though I rarely ever sit down and actually carry said ideas from conception to reality.

In case you couldn’t tell, it kind of sucks to be an “idea” guy.

That being said, today I had another idea for a movie; though as always tends to be the case with everything I post on this blog, I’m really hoping to try and make something of it.

You see, a friend of mine has access to several acres of empty forest and unobstructed farmland.

Part of the problem with most of the films I’ve wanted to make in my life, is the fact that I’ve rarely had ready access to a reliable location.

None of my friends have homes that are easy to maneuver a camera in, and most of the stuff I’d like to film outdoors is on the more violent side; making it somewhat inappropriate to film in public parks.

In that sense, having access to the aforementioned farmland should serve to win us half the battle.

Anyway, the basic premise my friends and I started from today in a brainstorm, was that of a classic Western sort of film.

Based on the fact that we don’t exactly have much money or people to work with, it was decided that a minimalist Western or post-apocalyptic film would be a good genre to work from.

I myself am leaning towards the idea of portraying the film as being “out of time,” meaning time and place are essentially irrelevant or intentionally inconsistent.

My reasoning for this is the fact that decent looking period clothing and accessories are not something I have ready access to, and I’d rather not make a fool of myself trying to pretend I do with cheap knock-off materials.

That being said, my idea casts a mysterious hero as a wanderer through a purgatory of sorts.

Basically, the movie would involve said protagonist waking up in a barren wasteland, neither alive nor dead.

Trapped in limbo, the hero is informed by a longtime resident of the doldrums that the only way to escape from purgatory is to retrieve A MACGUFFIN from a number of men wandering the wastes.

Of course, being as this is a movie idea from the Azn Badger, retrieval of said MacGuffin’s will ultimately involve much fighting and violence.

Oh yeah, and luchador masks… Lots and lots of luchador masks…

The real catch however, is the fact that it’s not certain what reward awaits the hero at the end of his journey I.E. heaven or hell or maybe even a return to Earthly existence.

The fun of this premise, to me at least; is the fact that the rules of the world it’s set in don’t have to be clearly defined to work as an entertaining story.

Said premise allows the viewer to come up with explanations of their own, while at once allowing me to approach it with my own concrete ideas in mind.

In my mind, the purgatory of this film is meant to be a transitional plain of existence, one that many visit; but none permanently reside in.

The MacGuffins represent fragments of a previous form of authority in purgatory, one that was previously destroyed by those that carry them currently.

This has the effect of cutting purgatory off from the other supernatural realms, resulting in no one being able to move on to heaven or hell.

The carriers of the MacGuffins aren’t exactly evil per se, rather they are simply selfish individuals that have chosen to obstruct the natural order of things in order to claim dominion over purgatory.

In a sense, they take on the mindset of a convict, choosing to carve out a place for themselves in prison despite their circumstances.

The fun part of all this explanation though, is the fact, should I actually get around to filming it; I don’t think I’d include much of it at all.

The end result would probably be the equivalent to a Metal Gear movie, with a hero that wanders around for awhile, only to end up fighting really cool “boss characters” in between story beats.

Oh yeah, and let’s not forget the cryptic-ass plot that nobody gets…

With enough enthusiasm, and some cool characters, I think this movie could really work.

I’m gonna’ keep working on it, but so far I think I’m off to a good start.

What do you think?

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

The Top 10 Manliest Man Moments #6: “Remember Jefferson, 20 Seconds!”

Today we reach the halfway point in the Azn Badger’s list of the Top 10 Manliest Man Moments in movies.

That’s not to say the MANLIEST MAN moments covered today and previously aren’t worth their weight in MANLINESS; rather they’re simply MANLY to a degree that makes them not quite worthy of the Top 5.

That being said, it causes me actual physical pain to rank it below the Top 5, but in any case our 6th MANLIEST MOMENT comes from perhaps the MANLIESTof WWII movies; The Dirty Dozen:

Or if you were on the other side of the conflict: "Das dreckige Dutzend!"

As with seemingly every entry on this list, The Dirty Dozen represents a drastically different school of MANLINESS; namely that of the classic “LEATHER-FACED MEN OF EPIC HARDNESS” subgenre that was prevalent in the 60’s and 70’s.

Whether you blame it on the fairly recent emergence of PC culture, or the government slowly poisoning our water supply with “pussy-fying” drugs; it’s hard to argue that the MANLY MEN of generations past bore a “harder” and more world weary image than those of today.

Drover or not, I'd put my money on Bronson...

It’s this HARD image that The Dirty Dozen thrives on.

As is evident from the title of the film, virtually the entire cast of major players in the film are made up of lowdown dirty bastards that are serving time for war crimes.

The vast majority of the Dozen are impetuous and irredeemable sons of bitches that probably should hang for the shit they’ve done, but at the end of the day; they’re all exactly the breed of HARD MEN that are needed to do what must be done.

In this case, the mission at hand happens to be a (fictional) mass assassination of several high ranking Nazi officials just before the D-Day invasion.

Despite the action-packed conclusion, by far the strongest aspect of The Dirty Dozen, is the fact that despite most of the cast being bigots and murderers; at the end of the day you end up caring about what happens to them:

Pictured: The appropriately named "Maggott," who nearly blew the entire mission.

Well, most of them anyway…

Being as there really are over a dozen fucking MANLY MEN in this movie, there really isn’t time to cover everyone; but at the very least I feel I should mention some of the more prominent heavy hitters in the roster.

First off there’s Lee Marvin, the MAN so MANLY even Toshiro Mifune was forced to acknowledge him as his equal.

Trust me, if this guy says you're cool; you're fucking COOL.

Marvin’s Major Reissman serves as the badass leader of the group.

While not a convicted a man like the rest of the Dozen, Reissman demonstrates, on more than a few occasions; that he’s every bit as SAVAGE as they are, and if anyone wears the pants in their relationship, it’s him.

Like Tom Selleck and his mustache, Lee Marvin made an entire career of being a tough-as-nails army dude; and The Dirty Dozen serves as an perhaps the finest example of his acting method.

Expect maybe The Delta Force. The Delta Force was the shit...

Next up is Charles Bronson as the German speaking Wladislaw, who as we all know can’t help but be a BADASS FUCKING SPHINX of a MAN even during something as sedate as a word association therapy session:

BADASS. FUCKING. SPHINX.

Throughout his lengthy career, Bronson played the LEATHER-FACED HARD MAN bit to the point of self-parody.

It’s not his fault, I mean fuckin’ look at him!

How could you ask a man with a MANLY FUCKING CATCHER’S MITT for a face to be anything but HARD in whatever role you cast him in!?

More importantly, what self-respecting MAN would pass up an opportunity to make use of said MANLINESS in a movie?

Apparently none, hence the reason the world has 5 Death Wish movies.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

In addition to Marvin and Bronson, I feel it’s worth mentioning that The Dirty Dozen also featured the EPIC MANLINESS of Cool Hand Luke and The Naked Gun’s George Kennedy, as well as the always awesome Ernest Borgnine and Robert Ryan of The Wild Bunch fame.

Pictured: A DAMN MAN.

It’s unfortunate that all 3 of said EPIC individuals are only in the movie for a few short minutes, but even so; their presence did a lot to bolster the palpable air of MANLINESS that permeates every frame of The Dirty Dozen.

Now, I’ve spent a great long while sucking the cock of this movie, and yet, up until now; I’ve actually made no mention of the MANLIEST MAN moment contained within it.

Said moment belongs to none of the awesome individuals mentioned above, nor any sort of big-time movie star; but rather to football legend turned actor, Jim FUCKING Brown:

Whatever movie this image is from, I haven't seen it. Looks fuckin' savage though...

As the only black member of the Dozen, Jim FUCKING Brown’s Robert T. Jefferson spends much of the movie at odds with the majority of his comrades.

The target of bitter racism during the early portions of the film, Jefferson responds in kind with hate of his own.

Despite this, Jefferson demonstrates a clear sense of duty and commitment to his mission that rivals even the most steadfast of the Dozen, as evidenced by he and Bronson’s Wladislaw going out of their way to prevent John Cassavete’s Victor R. Franko from deserting, thereby scrapping the entire mission.

It’s this sense of duty that ultimately leads to Jefferson’s death, which also happens to be our 6th MANLIEST MAN moment:

At this point in the movie, the Dozen’s forces have been cut down to a mere half-Dozen; and things are starting to get down to the wire.

Having succeeded in forcing the Nazi officials into the bomb shelter area beneath the mansion, our heroes work frantically to throw grenades into the air ducts that lie just above the bunker.

... And based on the big-ass grin on Jim FUCKING Brown's face, I'd say they enjoyed it.

As enemy forces rapidly bear down the mansion, members of the Dozen simultaneously work to provide cover fire to those prepping the explosives, and secure a half-track to use as their getaway vehicle.

Eventually, the half-track is readied and the machine gun crew begin to displace, however one thing remains out of place:

The explosives need to be detonated, and the only man in position to do so is:

JIM. FUCKING. BROWN.

Before he can make a move though, Jim FUCKING Brown is ambushed by a sniper, who proves to be a terrible shot; thusly prompting Mr. FUCKING Brown to dispose of him in decidedly MANLYfashion:

Following this, Jim FUCKING Brown strips off his extraneous gear and steels himself for the task at hand one of the Dozen yells:

“Remember Jefferson, 20 seconds!”

20 seconds?

The man runs 100 yards a game, I would think he can run a Nazi driveway in 20 fucking seconds!

With that Mr. FUCKING Brown clenches a pair of grenades in his hands and steels himself for the task of EPIC MANLINESS that lay before him.

Chucking his first grenade into the air duct beside him, Jefferson breaks out into a trademark Jim FUCKING Brown sprint towards destiny…

Run Jim FUCKING Brown! Run!

With enemy fire incoming all the while, he reaches the 2nd duct and puts a pineapple in there without skipping a beat.

Making his way to the 3rd and final duct, Jefferson fumbles with his last grenade, costing him precious seconds as he struggles to dislodge the spoon.

Looks like somebody got caught with their hand in the cookie jar...

With all of the explosives in place, Jim FUCKING Brown runs down the homestretch of the mansion driveway; when from out of nowhere, hidden just beside a nearby bridge, he is gunned down in mid-sprint by a Nazi soldier.

As his body collapses against the brick driveway, the remaining Dozen members call out to Jefferson in both agony and anger.

Mere seconds later though, all emotions are put on hold as the massive fireworks show that would be Jefferson’s parting gift springs to life, thereby solidifying the exploits of the mission; no matter how chaotic or disorderly, a job well done.

BOOM.

As the of the mansion cuts a fiery swath across the night sky, all the fighting and gunfire seems to pause for a moment.

Despite this, with the memory of his fallen friend and comrade still fresh in his mind, Lee Marvin turns to the bridge and revenge-kills the fuck out of the Nazi bastard that took out the Dirty Dozen’s Ambassador of MANLINESS, Jim FUCKING Brown.

Make that, "Overweight Nazi Bastard."

Pair this immediate revenge/spite killing of the Nazi soldier with the fact that Jim FUCKING Brown is the only member of the Dozen to get a sad music cue as a result of his death, and you have a MANLY moment worthy of the Top 10 MANLIEST MAN moments of all time.

If all that isn’t enough to convince you, I present to you the heap of forlorn reaction shots that show up as soon as our boy Jefferson goes down:

Anyway, thus concludes our 6th MANLIEST MAN moment in movies!

Check back tomorrow for MANLY moment #5!

Filed under: Movies, The Best Track in the Game, Top 10 Manliest Man Moments, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Top 10 Manliest Man Moments #8: Han Solo, Army Of One


Yesterday we covered what I would argue was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s MANLIEST MAN moment in cinema history.

Said moment involved exclamation of the word “bullshit,” followed by the Austrian death machine hurling a steam pipe through an Australian girlie man’s torso.

Just in case you needed a visual aid...

That was MANLY MAN moment #9.

Now I ask you, just what the fuck kind of Top 10 MANLY MAN moments would place something as epic as the finale of Commando at #9?

A really MANLY fuckin’ list, that’s what!

While the next MANLIEST moment may be somewhat lacking in epic savagery when compared to it’s predecessors; it more than makes up for it in epic ballsy-ness and courage.

In that sense, our 8th MANLIEST MAN moment happens to be that one time in A New Hope when the apex of pimp himself, Han Solo, literally went solo and randomly bum rushed the fuck out of a battalion of Stormtroopers:

(Apologies for the very much unwarranted Chariots of Fire, it was the best I could find.)

You see, while Arnold utterly dominates the MANLY realm of badassery and epic savagery, Harrison Ford’s Han Solo represents a different school of MANLINESS.

Sure, Harrison Ford can’t throw a decent punch to save his life, but that’s why it’s called “acting.”

Han Solo’s what you’d call a “loveable asshole.”

Pictured: An asshole minus the "loveable" part.

He’s a silver-tongued pistolero that wears his ego on his sleeve and tries his damndest to put his foot in the cooch whenever the opportunity presents itself.

While any other character would just seem like a epic frat boy douche-rocket in behaving like this, perhaps Han Solo’s greatest strength as a character is that, while he’s certainly one scruffy looking scoundrel; there’s an inherently heroic and admirable person visible beneath all of it.

I suppose it’s also pretty awesome that his MANLINESS gives him the power to SHUT PEOPLE THE FUCK UP just by raising a finger:

Translation: "You shut your fucking mouth, son."

MANLY powers aside, the one thing that always put Han Solo over the top in my book of MANLINESS, was his ability to improvise and succeed on gut instinct alone.

When faced with the threat of having his ship blasted to pieces by a surprise attack from incoming TIE fighters, ‘ole Han just kind of shrugs his shoulders and says:

When forced to impersonate a Stormtrooper over an intercom in a desperate attempt to salvage his and the other Rebel’s infiltration into the Death Star, Han doesn’t just manage the task; he even takes the time to casually throw in a courteous “We’re fine, how are you?”:

That’s just how Han Solo rolls.

Off the cuff or from the hip, he rolls with the punches and always seems to come out on top.

Which brings us to the MANLIEST moment in his career, and the 8th MANLIEST moment in all of movies.

Not long after the above sequence wherein Han, Chewie and Luke utterly beast the shit out of the security staff of detention block AA 23, the 3 of them rescue Princess Leia and flee into the sewer duct.

After much hilarity and drama involving a nasty dianoga getting frisky with Luke,

Watch in horror as the dianoga claims it's next love sponge...

as well as the walls of the chamber being set to “compact,” the 4 heroes escape into the main corridors of the Death Star.

Unfortunately, the section of the space station that they happen to escape to just happens to be crawling with Stormtroopers.

While most men would turn tail and run in the face of overwhelming odds like this, Han Solo immediately caps one of the troops square in the chest and then proceeds to CHASE AFTER the remaining half dozen or so HEAVILY ARMED soldiers!

If that wasn’t badass enough, ‘ole Han doesn’t just run the sons a bitches down; he charges after them screaming at the top of his lungs like some crazy-ass William Wallace motherfucker.

It may take some serious balls to single-handedly face down a whole squad of armed soldiers, but it takes giant-ass titanium gonads of MANLINESS to fuckin’ rout them and then successfully chase their asses down.

Unfortunately, as is often the case for people who aren’t Arnold Schwarzenegger, the MANLIEST course of action proves to be far from the wisest for Han Solo.

After chasing the Stormtroopers for some time, wailing like a fuckin’ Jewish banshee all the while; Han turns a corner to reveal horrifying sight:

Note: This is one of the few scenes Special Edition actually made MANLIER.

Unfazed by the pants shitting-ly terrifying white and black wall of blaster toting death before him, Han attempts to overwhelm the Stormtroopers with the power of his MANLIEST of MANLY faces:

Despite the awesome power of Han’s MAN-FACE, the Stormtrooper’s collective morale holds fast, allowing them to miraculously power through it’s demoralizing/penis shrinking effects.

Immediately sensing that his gambit has failed, the ever resourceful Han Solo quickly falls back on his go-to plan “B”, that of shooting first and aiming/asking questions later:

Han Solo: Shoots So Well His Lasers Explode From The Inside Out.

With yet another Stormtrooper felled, Han makes the wise choice not to get greedy with his kill-streak, instead choosing to fall back and regroup with his compatriots.

Narrowly escaping from a hail of laser fire, Han Solo meets up with Chewie around the corner, and the 2 escape to the annals of MANLY sci-fi/action movie history.

Thanks for reading MANLY MAN moment #8, check back for #7 tomorrow!

Happy Easter everyone!

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“Oh My God, The Quarterback Is Toast!”

I love Die Hard.

To me, it’s one of those special action movies that I don’t ever think I’ll get tired of.

To this day, it’s endured as one of the tightest, and consistently enjoyable action blockbusters of all time; no small feat given that it’s also one of the earliest examples of the genre.

Anyway, like most any movie that the Azn Badger deems “special,” Die Hard is chock full of quotable, or otherwise memorable scenes, with “Oh my God, the quarterback is toast” ranking in as one of the lesser, but otherwise still worthwhile quotable phrases in the film.

For the truly sad, that is; the Die Hard deprived, here is a clip for the sake of providing context:

My reason for starting with this most embarrassing of Die Hard moments, is that I see myself digging from the Die Hard mine for card-worthy material for quite some time, so I figured it would be in my best interest to start from the bottom of the barrel and work my way up.

Trust me, we’ll get to the A-grade Hans material eventually.

Anyway, thanks for takin’ a look!

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

The Legend of Harrison Ford’s Punches

While I’m guessing it’s been thoroughly documented elsewhere, I feel I need to say a little something about the nature of the above Magic card.

Harrison Ford made his livings as an “action star” for a good portion of the 80’s and early 90’s.

Despite this reputation however, it doesn’t take a genius to notice that he’s by no means a physical specimen.

Pictured: Harrison Ford prepares to undergo a procedure to become a physical specimen.

Let it be known, in the world of Hollywood films, a “rugged” appearance, a team of good stunt men, and some creative camera angles can go a long way towards making an action star out of even the most ordinary of people.

That being said, while I loves me some Harrison Ford, and would never go out of my way to talk shit about him or his career, I feel it needs to be mentioned that the man never fully grasped the mechanics involved in throwing a decent punch.

While that may sound like nitpicking to some, (it is) I’ve always found this to be hilarious, being as Mr. Ford has a reputation for decking people in an alarming number of his films, much to my approval.

Hell, I even remember him clocking somebody in Witness, while disguised as an Amish guy no less.

Damn, that's one savage MAN FACE. Hey look, Viggo Mortensen!

Watching Harrison Ford draw back and punch somebody, is akin to bearing witness to a violent seizure or dry heave.

Near as I can tell, the man has no fucking clue what he’s doing, nor any real control over his actions; yet somehow, he’s pretty damn consistent about doing it the same way every time.

You see he doesn’t really punch, per se.  It’s more like he sticks out his arm like Superman and falls fist first into people’s faces.

"Aw shit, get to cover people! Harrison Ford's winding up!"

My guess is, this particular technique is unorthodox and unpredictable to the point of being utterly impossible to avoid.

Think of it like drunken boxing, only sloppier and more Jewish.

Fortunately, Mr. Ford’s punches have the benefit of being backed up with some of the greatest punch sound effects in the history of film:

That’s the magic of filmmaking for yah’.

You can throw the ugliest punches known to man for 20 or 30 years, but in the end; all it takes is the combined awesomeness of a character like Indiana Jones, and some awesome sound effects, and you have the makings of an action movie legend.

Thus is the difference between an “Indiana Jones Punch,” and a “Harrison Ford Punch.”

The former has the benefit of Spielberg-ian/Lucas-ian cinematography and sound engineering, while the latter displays the sad reality behind all the flash.

Anyway, that was “The Legend of the Harrison Ford Punch.”

Hopefully this has been an educational, and intellectually stimulating experience.

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

Thoughts On The New Spider-Man Costume

Pictured: Andrew Garfield wearing the new Spidey suit.

A few days ago, we got our first glimpse of actor Andrew Garfield wearing the new Spider-Man costume for music video director Marc Webb’s upcoming reboot to the film series.

Pictured above is a promotional image I snagged from the most awesome of film news sites, Twitchfilm.com (Sorry/Thanks!).

While I honestly can’t say anything as to Garfield’s acting ability, as he’s yet another one of those up-and-coming “young” actors that I don’t know a thing about; my initial reaction to seeing him in the Spider costume were almost 100% positive.

To be fair though, I’ve always had a thing for Spider-Man’s costume, in all of it’s iterations; so me being happy with this really isn’t that big a deal.

 

Tee hee, John Romita Sr. Spider-Man looks like he's wearing pajamas...

Anyway, Garfield’s trim and straight body type lends itself well to the “nerdy everyman” nature of the character, but more importantly; the design of the suit is quite striking, and more than a little original.

The etching and fine details in the texture of the suit are truly inspired, and while the “web” pattern is significantly downplayed from previous iterations of the suit; in some ways I view this as a plus.

As with the “web” pattern, the spider emblem in the center of the chest seems more thinner, more splindly, and ultimately less impactful; a design choice that works well given that it matches the narrow frame of the actor wearing it.

While I’m on the topic of the chest emblem, I feel it’s also worth noting that the bottom legs of the spider emblem, that is; the ones that angle straight downward, seem weak to me.

I think it has something to do with the fact that the other 6 legs on the emblem are all angled or curved, but that pair of straight legs just looks silly to me.

I don’t know, maybe it has something to do with the fact that they’re pointed at the guy’s crotch:

Jus’ sayin’ is all…

Anyway, probably my favorite design element of the suit is the unique detail put into the forearm and hand portions of it:

If you look close, there’s a few neat little deviations from the norm to be found, like streaks of blue running through the top portions of the forearm area and along the thumb joints range of motion.

Also, the “web” pattern seems to fade out completely in the hands; making for a seemingly more “practical” spider suit.

I really like this design, though the lighting (and bloody makeup effects) in this promotional image feels a little “dark” for my tastes.

Though, my worries could very well be for naught, being as the previous Spider-Man films also featured these elements in it’s aesthetic, albeit only in small doses.

Here’s hoping this proves to be the case in the reboot as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a regular reader of Batman and The Punisher, so “dark” is something I’m very much accustomed to dealing with (and enjoying); but when it comes to Spider-Man, “dark” is not the design aesthetic that comes to mind.

Same goes for "Emo"...

Spider-Man, to me; has always been about celebrating the “gee-whiz” factor of the comics of old, y’know; the more colorful and zany stuff as opposed to the dark and brooding.

For this reason, I found that I really liked Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films, particularly the 2nd one.

The Train Sequence: The Best Spider-Man Fight EVER

The storytelling could get muddled at times, and Raimi’s insistence on diverting the story in favor of silly asides (see “Emo Spider-Man” above) could get tedious, but from a visual and casting standpoint, I found the film’s look and frenetic energy to be well-suited for bringing Spider-Man to the big screen.

He kind of dropped the ball on 3, at least in the second half anyway; but nobody’s perfect.

I don’t know anything about the new Spider-Man reboot, other than the fact that one of my favorite villains, The Lizard; once again might be in it, but my biggest hope is that it retains the “fun” that has always made Spider-Man a standout among superhero franchises.

Really, that’s all I ask from a Spider-Man story.

Fun, action, and a little bit of heart, nothing more.

They’ve got the costume down, now let’s see if they can make a decent movie around it…

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

How Could I Forget Merantau!?

Merantau got a US home video release a few weeks ago.

I know what you’re thinking:

“What the fuck is Merantau, and why the fuck should I give a damn?”

Merantau is an Indonesian martial arts film, and you should be mindful to give a damn because it’s a martial arts film I’ve been eagerly anticipating for some time now.

Showcasing the Indonesian martial art of Silat, as performed by the film’s breakout action star-in-the-making, Iko Uwais; the film looks to be a solid entry in the martial arts subgenre.

I've heard talk of "next big thing" surrounding Iko Uwais. He's already got another movie lined up, so we'll see...

The trailer (from over a year ago) gave me the impression that the film was of the classic “country boy goes to the city, is forced to beat the shit out of city-folk” storyline, but with the added (and welcome) twist of being extremely well-shot, and possessed of surprisingly imaginative and varied fight sequences.

See for yourself:

Pretty impressive, eh?

To be perfectly honest, the first thing that aroused my interest when I caught word of Merantau, was the simple fact that it was an Indonesian production.

In my youth, I was fascinated by Indonesia, largely due to the famed Komodo Dragon being a fixture of the archipelago.

Pictured: The Godzilla of the Animal Kingdom.

While my interest started with the wildlife, I went on to study some of the culture, food, art, and even shared class time in college with a gamelan group.

Of course, me being me; I also took time to look into Silat, a beautiful and stylistically varied martial art that hasn’t gotten much exposure in the states.

I have my dad to thank for introducing me to Silat, as he was the one that first told me of it.

Merantau stands as the first Indonesian film I’ve had any reason to get excited about, and more importantly; the first I believe I will have seen.

For whatever reason, the release date of this film slipped my mind; but rest assured, I will seek it out, and I will (hopefully) enjoy the shit out of it.

The movie got Best Film at Action Fest 2010, so in the martial arts movie community; it’s a major player.

My expectations are high for this one, so expect a very critical review in the near future.

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Writer’s Block… Time For More Farley.

At the moment I’ve got about 4 articles swimming around in my head, and no motivation to sit down and type them.

I suppose it doesn’t help that Christmas is just around the corner, not to mention I just got my new Donnie Yen movie:  Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen.

In other words:

I’m watching Donnie Yen, so no blog for tonight.

That being said, while I have no reason to celebrate at the moment, here’s another Farley clip to tide you over for tomorrow:

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So… I Just Ordered Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen

*GASP!* Donnie Yen!? Kicking people!? Since when?

Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen is not supposed to be a good movie.

For that matter, it’s not even supposed to be a good Donnie Yen movie.

Given the often times mercurial range in overall quality throughout Mr. Yen’s film career, I’ll leave it up to you to interpret that statement however you like.

Though it supposedly features the golden kung fu-to-xenophobia ratio that seems to be working so well for Hong Kong films these days; I’ve honestly yet to find a review that makes it sound to be anything more than average at best.

This, my friends; represents one of those few instances wherein the Azn Badger casts aside his particularly, uh, particular standards for film purchases, and concedes to the will of his inner fanboy.

“It’s Donnie Yen.  It’s new.  It’s a sequel to a Bruce Lee movie than in no way required a sequel. I’m buying it.”

Bear in mind, I may be a Donnie Yen fan, but I don’t go about buying his shittier movies indiscriminately.

I didn’t bite for The Twins Effect.

I certainly didn’t bite for An Empress and the Warriors.

I did bite for 14 Blades, but only because of Donnie Yen’s pimpin’ facial hair in it.

PIMP.

If it’s worth anything towards salvaging what little reputation I have, please note that I purchased the DVD version of The Return of Chen Zhen, as opposed to the Blu Ray.

Hey, HD is fuckin’ amazing, but there’s no way my inner Azn would allow me to spend that kind of money, much less on something that is very likely pure ass.

Moving on, The Return of Chen Zhen represents an odd case of a movie being made (in this case a sequel) that no one asked for.

 

*Cough!* Not that Hollywood would know anything about THAT...

Meant to act as a sequel of sorts to Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury/Jet Li’s Fist of Legend/Donnie Yen’s Fist of Fury TV show, Return of Chen Zhen follows the exploits of and, dare I say; return, of fictional Huo Yuanjia disciple, Chen Zhen.

I honestly don’t know the plot of the film, but I’m sure it involves those sneaky Japs being, well, sneaky and Japanese.

 

Fine. Don't talk about your job when I'm around. Guess I'll just have to boil your children now...

It’s a strange feeling, anticipating feelings of joy at the sight of a little Chinese man beating the ever-loving shit out of your own people…

Being as The Return of Chen Zhen is in fact a Chinese film, I anticipate little to no historical accuracy to be apparent in the film’s plot or characterization.

Especially since from what I’ve read and seen in trailers, Chen Zhen apparently practices parkour, not to mention dons a Kato-esque masked vigilante get-up.

Disguise or not, Donnie Yen's ego manages to give him away every time...

Never mind that Chen Zhen was shot 50 bajillion times at the end of Fist of Fury…

Oh well, it’s a Chinese movie, and we all know Chinese heroes don’t die until they’re damn well ready to.

Anyway, I honestly don’t have anything else to say about this one.

Hopefully it’ll be better than I’ve read, though I did hear rumors that Donnie Yen made frequent, and visible use of stunt doubles in the film, to the point in which it’s kind of hurt his reputation.

It’s never a good thing when the star of the film, a man that can’t act worth shit and is really only good for hitting people; starts relying on others to do the hitting for him.

Anyway, expect a review of this one once I get my hands on it.

In the meantime, check out the trailer below:

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

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