Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Merry Christmas From The Azn Badger!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Like the tree?

Sadly, it’s an artificial one, as the Azn Badger’s mother has allergies to Christmas trees of the real variety.

Even so, I think it looks pretty snazzy.

Anyway, here’s some more photos of the Azn Badger’s Christmas decorations:

Behold, the mound of gifts!

Pictured: The Azn Badger's brother's train set.

Pictured: The distinguished passengers of the Azn Badger's brother's train set...

Hope everyone had a happy and a healthy, see you tomorrow!

 

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

Boxing and the Azn Badger

Boxing is just about the only professional sport I pay attention to.

That’s not to say I don’t enjoy watching sports, I simply haven’t devoted as much time to appreciating and learning the subtleties of them as I have in the case of boxing.

SUBTLETY.

The first time I can remember seeing boxing, was when I was really young, maybe 5 years old.

My parents were watching the end of Rocky III on TV, and I walked into the room (past my bedtime) thinking it was a real fight.

I remember yelling “Jesus!” every time Rocky got, um, clubbed; by Clubber Lang.

"JESUS!"

After 3-4 cries of “Jesus,” my mom ushered me out of the room and told me to go to bed, but not before telling me to say “jeez” instead of “Jesus.”

Now that I think of it, that was kind of weird.

I remember going to church every now and again as a kid, but my parents never enforced any sort of religion in the house.

Oh well, my best guess is that, at that point in my life my parents hadn’t yet decided if I was going to be raised with a religion, so they didn’t want me taking the Lord’s name in vain just in case.

To this day, I have yet to establish any religious affiliations.

Although I did spend some time in the Kamen Rider Kult for awhile... Does that count?

That awkwardness aside, Sylvester Stallone and Mr. T’s climactic brawl at the end of Rocky III served as my introduction to the sport of boxing.

That fight also ranks as one of my favorite in AMERICAN film history, so it’s gonna’ get posted below for your enjoyment:

I remember years later, during Mike Tyson’s big comeback in the mid-90’s, my brother and my dad would “watch” some of the scrambled Pay-Per-Views.

You see, this was back in the day when Pay-Per-Views came via a cable box, (which my home didn’t have until my brother started ordering WWF Pay-Per-Views) but the channels they aired on could still be accessed in “scrambled” format.

That’s right, my brother and my dad cared enough about boxing that they would plop down in front of the TV and watch a scrambled snowstorm just to get the live audio.

"Oh, LOOK at that crushing right hand from Arguello! Boy Jim, that sure LOOKED painful, didn't it!?"

It was around this time that I came to realize that boxing meant something to my family, primarily my dad.

My dad loves all sports, don’t get me wrong; but boxing has always seemed to have a special place in his heart.

When I was little, and would sometimes sit in and watch the fights with him, he’d always amaze me with his ability to predict the outcomes of fights.

I didn’t know it then, but it turns out my pop had done a bit of boxing in his youth.

Pictured: My Dad.

That’s not to say he was some retired legend of the ring or anything, but even so, he managed to do a few neat things during his time in the sport.

For instance, in his youth he competed in the Philadelphia Golden Gloves tournament, even going so far as to the reach the semi-finals.

He was eliminated by a young fighter named Willie “The Worm” Monroe, a man who would later go on to defeat middleweight legend, and easily one of my favorite fighters of all time; Marvelous Marvin Hagler.

Sum' bitch, beat mah' daddy...

Oh yeah, and get knocked the fuck out by Hagler a few years later.

Click below for vengeance by proxy:

During his time in the Vietnam War, my dad made his way over to Thailand once or twice.

While staying there, my dad was invited to participate in a friendly exhibition match with a local fighter.

Nobody told my dad who he was fighting before the match, but as it turns out, his opponent was Chartchai Chionoi.

The same Chartchai Chionoi that had been sitting on the world flyweight championship for a few years by the time my dad met him.

According to my dad, the fight really did play out as a friendly exhibition for the most part, with neither man getting hurt for the most part.

My dad always said he was just glad he on his feet the whole time and didn’t end up embarrassing himself.

He and Chartchai exchanged holiday cards every now and again for years after that.

According to my dad, Mr. Chionoi got kind of pudgy at one point, so my dad used to poke fun at him for it.

Pictured: Chartchai Chionoi in the twilight of his career.

It was my dad’s love for/knowledge of boxing that drew me into it.

I always wanted an excuse to hang out with my dad and shoot the shit, and boxing was the venue I chose to do it from.

I spent my youth listening to the little fundamental tidbits my dad would throw out during the fights, and by the time I was in high school, I felt I knew the sport pretty well.

That’s one of the major differences between boxing and other sports for me.

I get boxing.

I didn’t really pay much attention to other sports as a kid, and as a result, I don’t know them as well.

It makes a huge difference, knowing what you’re looking at, and knowing “how” to appreciate it.

Art....?

When he was in high school, my brother went to live in Kobe, Japan for a year.

During this time he took the time to join Senrima Keitoku’s boxing gym, the same trainer that would go on to train recently dethroned world bantamweight champion Hozumi Hasegawa.

In a bizarre twist of fate, Hasegawa is a Japanese boxer that is actually GOOD.

I don’t know the extent of my brother’s training in Japan, but I think he did it for the same reasons I wanted to:

To have something in common with dad, and to say that he “did it.”

These guys "did it" too.

Seeing as boxing was one of the few things I could really relate to my dad on, I was always envious of my brother for having that connection.

Unfortunately, I was not in the best of shape as a kid, and I always thought I’d never make it in a gym, so I never really tried.

Pictured: The Azn Badger in his youth.

As fate would have it, I found myself faced with a school project that required one to join a community and do what is called “appreciative inquiry,” I.E. giving and taking while never really implying that you’re overtly “taking.”

Yeah, I know, hippie-dippy-gobbledy-gook at it’s best, right?

Because the project was sprung on us with little notice, I took it upon myself to take advantage my my newly in-shape self, and I joined the local Police Athletic League to try my hand at boxing and do my project at the same time.

I had a lot of fun at the gym, in fact I still miss it to this day, largely because of all the time I got to spend helping out the little kids.

Not in THAT way, you perv.

This way:

At the gym, I was surprised to find that I was more than able to keep up with the training regimen, however my eyesight was a huge problem.

Let it be known, that people that wear contact lenses or glasses should never, ever consider pursuing boxing as anything more than a workout.

Don’t be an idiot like I was, you’ll be better for it.

In sparring, I never told my coach that I was wearing disposable contacts that would come out after getting hit about, oh, once.

As a result, I was blind for most of my sparring sessions, though I did alright anyway.

Never got hurt, anyway.

On my last day in the gym, when my class and the project attached to it ended and I was forced to get back to my normal schedule, I got my ass torn up by a new arrival at the gym.

The guy was about 17 years old, 2 inches taller and 10 pounds heavier than me, and had a few years experience under his belt.

It's true, it's true. I did in fact fight Ivan Drago.

All I had going for me was a thick skull and ridiculously big hair.

Oh yeah, and I'm a FUCKING DOCTOR.

I got my face pounded in that night, and even though it was my last night there anyway, it truly felt like the world was telling me to get out of the ring.

Some of us are made to be fighters, some aren’t.

AREN'T.

I can’t say which I am, but I will say this, starting out in boxing at 21 years of age is not the way to find out.

I never got a chance to fight in a real match, however I was scheduled for one, which I made weight for and everything.

At 152 lbs., there were a lot of other fighters vying for the same spot as me on the card, so I ended up getting pushed aside in favor of more experienced guys.

That match will always be a big “what if” I’ll have in the back of my head, but such is life.

These days I play armchair quarterback with my dad.

I prefer to watch fights alone, or with my dad; rowdy crowds tend to make me nervous on account of how they sensationalize the fight.

Kind of like these guys.

I’ve always said that, in boxing, I never applaud violence, (unless I HATE the guy getting his ass torn up) I’m just there to see what happens.

It’s for this reason that I also prefer to watch fights after they’ve already happened.

I don’t really care about being surprised, I just like sitting back and evaluating, and learning from the situation.

Boxing is a sport that encourages it’s fans to review it’s long and colorful history.

I have spent most of my life doing this, and for that reason I guess I’ve been conditioned to know what is coming ahead of time.

Some would call my preference blasphemy, however in my eyes, boxing is something I “appreciate” more than I care about “being there” for.

I’m not sure if I should thank my dad for getting me into a dieing sport that no one really seems to talk about these days, (try finding a boxing magazine among all the gun, bodybuilding and MMA ones, I dare you) but I will say this:

I am thankful for my father and everything he’s taught me in life.

Sure, I can’t ride a bike, but I can tell you the names of probably 80% of boxing’s hall of famers.

Life skills, that’s what dad’s are for.

Thanks dad, here’s to sittin’ around watching the fights together for the rest of our days.

Happy Father’s Day!

Filed under: Boxing, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

MASSIVE Summary of Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legend, Part I

Alright everyone, here it is, the article that set me 2 or 3 days behind schedule with my writing.

Yesterday I posted pretty much the closest equivalent to a review of Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legend, that I possibly could.

The movie is pure eye-candy, and was definitely made for fanboys and kids.

Being as I consider myself pretty much both of those things in regards to Ultraman, I don’t feel qualified to write a full-on review for this movie.

Nah, that’s bullshit.

Truth of the matter is, I’ve never encountered a film so entirely devoid of structure and plot, while at the same time so visually exciting; and to be perfectly honest, I simply don’t know how I feel about the experience.

That, and this took a crazy long time to write, and frankly I don’t feel like putting any more time into Ultraman stuff right now.

Oh well, get settled in, ’cause what follows is a MASSIVE scene-by-scene summary, almost like a slideshow (if I could use plug-ins with my blog, I would hella’ make one).

*Ahem!* Spoilers Ahead.

Man, it's like their language was created specifically for making awesome title screens...

The story of Ultra Galaxy Legend is very straightforward, and is pretty much explained to us over the course of one exposition heavy scene.

Unfortunately this scene doesn’t come until a half an hour into the film, so bear with me until then.

The movie begins with an homage to the original Ultraman TV series, by dropping us into a fight between Ultraman Moebius and Bemura, the first “monster of the week” featured in the very first Ultraman episode EVER.

"From off the top rope!"

After a somewhat awkward battle, wherein the choreography is much faster and less pose oriented than in perhaps any other Ultra movie, we’re treated to a montage sequence explaining the who’s who and what’s what of the Ultra and Ultra Galaxy universe.

A scene from the opening titles of CSI: M-78 Nebula.

The whole montage bears a striking resemblance to the one featured in Godzilla: Final Wars, complete with similar synth-heavy background music and flashy posing by all of the featured characters.

Now THAT'S a posse.

In fact, the whole movie bears a certain resemblance to Final Wars, but that’s a discussion for another time.

In between beats we are treated to a few brief scenes of life in the M-78 Nebula, in the Ultra homeworld of the Land of Light.

The Land of Light

These scenes do a wonderful job of showcasing just how far the visual effects have come for the Ultra series, as well as do a fair amount to flesh out the previously only barely seen M-78 Nebula.

Watching Ultraman Taro oversee the training of a bunch young Ultramen brought a smile to my face, as well as a few bad memories of the Star Wars prequels‘ jedi academy scenes.

I wish my teachers wore fucking capes...

Moving on, our story begins with Alien Zarab, a shape-shifter that famously terrorized the original Ultraman way back in 1966, showing up at the Ultraman equivalent of the Phantom Zone, with gadget called the Giga Battle Nizer in tote.

After storming the Ultra prison, Zarab frees an evil Ultraman named Belial, (you can tell he’s evil ’cause he’s black and red and has claws) apparently with the intent of joining forces with said evil Ultraman.

Um, not sure if I would trust that guy...

Yeah, Zarab gets to speak maybe 3 sentences before Belial shoves the Giga Battle Nizer up his ass and out his mouth.

Before Belial can leave the prison however, Taro and a bunch of no-name Ultra’s show up with the intent of putting the bunneh’ back in the box.

"Why couldn't you put the bunneh' back in the box?"

Of course, with Cameron Poe nowhere in sight, Taro and his troops get smacked around something awful.

I swear, Taro’s Ultra goombas get flipped and thrown into pretty much every wall and all-around hard surface available during this fight.

Yup, whole lotta' this...

Like watching a WWF tables match where everybody’s a Dudley Boy… and the ring is made of tables.

With this, Taro gets desperate, chugs a 5 Hour Energy, and spears Belial right off the fucking cube, down through the atmosphere, and down onto the Ultra homeworld’s surface.

Then things really get cool.

Okay, maybe not THAT cool, but still pretty cool nontheless.

Belial takes on virtually every Ultra character from the M-78 Nebula, all at once.

The choreography is hard-hitting and well shot, with very energetic camerawork that is creative, but never dizzying or confusing.

Most impressive however, is the fact that fanservice is kept to a minimum during this scene.

Well, kind of anyway.

Belial tangles with Ultraseven 21 and Ultraman Neos. Oh yeah, and some no-name Ultra Grunts too.

Despite nearly every Ultra taking part in the fight, only a scant few actually pull out any of their trademark moves, and for the most part, everyone is portrayed as nothing more than chaff getting in Belial’s way.

Color me surprised when I saw Ultraman Powered and Great kicking around in there.

Yup that's Great about to get kicked there on the left, and that's Powered on the right doing more than he ever did with an entire season of his own show.

Would’ve thought Tsuburaya would prefer to forget about those two…

Anyway, somewhere amid all the chaos, Ultraman Moebius gets tossed up into the stratosphere.

With most of the lesser Ultras cast aside, the original Ultraman, Zoffy, and Seven show up in their pimp capes and get a few nice moments to shine, as they should.

Pimp to a degree only the truly PIMP can acheive.

Ace, Jack and 80 do too, but 80’s appeal consists of being able to put both the balls and the cock in his mouth at the same time, so needless to say, I really didn’t care.

Plus, none of them had pimp capes.

After flattening all the Ultras, Belial makes a move to steal the Ultra Spark, which is apparently the source of all Ultra power.

"OH, MY BELOVED ICE CREAM BAR...."

Before he can get to it though, Ultra Father shows up and is all like:

"Git' yo' fingahs' out my cookie jar, son!"

Belial ain’t havin’ none ah’ that, so they throw.

Father lands a few nice knife-edge chops, but eventually Belial gets pissed and starts no-selling his bumps.

Belial manages to get the upper hand, and after SHOOTING TARO IN THE FACE, and bitch-slapping Ultra Mother, saunters over to the Ultra Spark and straight up jacks it.

Now, apparently the Ultra Spark really is the source of all Ultra power, ’cause once it’s gone, the whole damn planet starts to freeze over. Like, real fast.

It's like "The Day After Tomorrow", but with Ultraman!

With the Ultra planet freezing fast, Taro takes drastic measures and sets himself ON FIRE (don’t worry, he does that sometimes) so he can preserve the last vestiges of the remaining Ultra Spark power.

With that, Ultraman and Ultraseven manage to shield themselves from the wave of ice, while everyone else, Father and Mother included, gets frozen solid.

Yeah, the two most popular characters in franchise history manage to avoid getting frozen. Didn’t see that coming.

We are now 20 minutes into the film.

Check back tomorrow as we move into the 2nd act!

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

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