Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Ghost Rider 2 Trailer Looks… Meh.

I’ve never really considered myself a fan of Ghost Rider.

His design has an undeniable “cool factor” to it, what with the flaming skull and tricked out hellcycle n’shit; but for the most part the actual character of Ghost Rider has never really done it for me.

I grew up occasionally reading Ghost Rider comics, however given my status as a 90’s kid, the stories I ended up getting were of the Daniel Ketch version of the character, not the Johnny Blaze original.

For what it’s worth, I’ve always preferred the Ketch hellcycle to the more Harley Davidson-esque original, however at the same time; most of the Ghost Rider comics I read in my youth failed to leave an impression on me.

Well, except for his pimp-ass fiery Akira-bike.

Maybe it’s just because I read all the wrong books, but in my eyes; Ghost Rider is one of those great ideas, and great designs that rarely gets used properly.

In that sense, it should come as no surprise that the Nic Cage Ghost Rider movie from a few years back stunk something horrible.

The movie was dull and boring, and while the effects work had a surprising amount of love put into it, the physical performances of the title character and his demonic opposition were stiff to the point of being embarrassing.

Maybe it’s just me, but in my mind I don’t picture Ghost Rider moving like Frankenstein after a few dozen choco-laxatives.

"Hold up guys. I have to poop... NOW."

To be fair, I’m guessing the technology used to create the “flaming head” effect was kind of iffy at the time, forcing the actors to restrict their actions to broader and more deliberate movements; but even so, it was more than a little distracting, at least to me.

Batman not being able to turn his head for 18 years is forgivable.

Ghost Rider walking with a rod up his ass and having CGI’ed abs is a whole ‘nother story.

Even Cameron Poe wasn't this cut...

Despite horrid reviews, color me surprised when it was announced awhile back that Marvel would be producing a Ghost Rider sequel titled Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance.

Check out the trailer here:

I really don’t care enough to look up a synopsis for the film, if it exists; but based entirely on the trailer above, the sequel honestly looks like it could surpass the original.

Not that that should be looked upon as any sort of achievement.

Truth be told, I kind of like the new design aesthetic for the Ghost Rider character.

The melting leather jacket, and charred skull add some much needed texture to what was originally kind of a sterile design.

Still not great... But hey, at least this time he can bend his fucking knees.

On top of that, the stunt work looks a little bit more imaginative, largely because; unlike the first film, there actually appear to be stunts at some point in the movie!

I can’t say I’m enthused at the idea of another Ghost Rider movie, however the best compliment I feel I can muster for this trailer is that fact that it doesn’t seem terrible to me.

I’d prefer to see Marvel dump their money into something else, like, I don’t know, A FUCKING MOON KNIGHT MOVIE; but oh well, that’s why they’re the high powered execs/producers and I’m just an unemployed blogger.

Good DVD sales revenue I.E. The Punisher and Ghost Rider, SHOULD NOT drive a studio’s decision making.

The desire to create good product SHOULD.

*AHEM!* Getting back to the subject at hand, in all honesty, the Ghost Rider 2 looks kind of “meh” at this point.

It obviously doesn’t have the funding that Marvel’s A-list character films have been getting as of late, and it has the stigma of being a sequel to a shitty going against it.

To say such a film looks “meh” as opposed to “crappy,” is actually kind of nice when you think about it.

Anyway, fingers crossed for Nic Cage having at least one epic freak-out in this movie, no CG abs, and please God; tell me the fire pissing sequence doesn’t make the final cut of the film.

It was funny when the dog pissed fire to resurrect Freddy in A Nightmare on Elm Street IV.

It was cool when Gabriel Byrne pissed oil in End of Days.

Ghost Rider peeing flames… Well, not only is it out of character, it’s just plain stupid.

 

Pictured: The most expensive flaming piss sequence in all of film history.

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Batman: Arkham Asylum Is Good. Like, Really Good.

So, Arkham Asylum is a good game.

Like, really good.

Last night I parked my butt in front of the TV for a good solid 4 hours straight playing it, and by golly, I enjoyed every minute of it.

4 hours might not sound like a helluva’ long time to some of the more hardcore gamers out there, so allow me to elaborate.

These days I’m what is commonly referred to as a “casual gamer.”

Pictured: The Exact Opposite of A "Casual Gamer."

Not only that, I have this weird personal issue where after about an hour or so of playing videogames, I start to feel anxious; like I need to get up and do something else RIGHT NOW.

More often than not, I tend to prioritize activities like working out, going to bed early, or writing this fucking blog, over playing videogames.

In the case of my maiden voyage on Batman: Arkham Asylum last night though, this was not the case.

Near as I can tell, the game’s greatest success, is the constant feeling of progress and accomplishment that the game imparts to it’s player.

Last night I mentioned how I really don’t care much for Metroid-style games.

Like many non-Metroid fans, my biggest objection to the structure of those games, is not the fault of the designers, but rather my own stupidity.

Thought I’ve always said that Zelda games made me feel dumb as a kid, Metroid games made me feel downright “special.”

Like, helmet “special.”

Stone Cold demonstrating the image crippling power of The Retard Helmet.

Something about the layout of the map, and how the player was expected to wade their way through shit storms of enemies and hazards without knowing where to go, just never did it for me.

Though I’ve heard Arkham Asylum referred to as a Metroid-Vania style game, (a description which is fairly accurate) the experience is nowhere near as lonesome, nor the map layout as cryptic as either of those games.

Trust me, having Oracle on staff to order you around via radio every now and again is a godsend for exploration newbs such as myself.

Well hello there madam. Feel free to call me on my Bat Phone anytime you like...

In short, it’s similar to a Metroid-Vania game, but with a more structured and objective based progression.

Which is a good thing, seeing as I can think of no dumber element to a Batman game than having the player get lost.

Think about it, would the fuckin’ Batman ever get lost, much less at Arkham?

Pictured: Batman upon realizing he is in fact, a retard.

Batman is a man on top of shit in any situation, so I feel it is a wise decision on the part of the developers to have made the game’s structure reflect this.

Aside from the strength of the layout of the game, I feel that the games 240 or so collectibles really add a lot to making the player feel like their making some headway into the game, even in it’s early stages.

While part of me wants to say that, like Mega Man X3, there are in fact too many hidden items in the game, to the point in which you literally can’t turn a corner without accidentally bumping into something useful, thus far I think I actually like this element of Arkham Asylum.

It is kind of silly, walking into a room and finding Riddler trophies n’shit strewn about; but in a game with a map as large as this, any form of progress, no matter how minute, goes a long way towards making neurotic players like myself feel like they know what their doing.

Near as I can tell, this is Batman’s greatest success:

Spoon-feeding the player little rewards throughout the entire game so as to effectively stamp out the possibility of frustration.

It’s an incredibly elementary approach to game design, but it’s working for me so far.

As of writing this, I have had firsthand encounters with 2 major supervillains of Batman’s rogue’s gallery:

The Scarecrow, and Bane.

The developers take on Scarecrow was mighty impressive.

Both the level design and his costume for his sequence reflect a definite Freddy Krueger-esque sensibility, but given the seedier nature of Arkham Asylum’s art design, I feel it works very well.

Ninja + Freddy Krueger + Batman Begins Scarecrow + Psycho Mantis = Arkham Asylum Scarecrow.

From a gameplay standpoint, I found this “boss fight” (wasn’t really a fight…) to be quite entertaining.

Shifting the game into 2-D sidescrolling mode so as to allow for more streamlined movement and coordination really worked, and I applaud the efforts of the developers.

Bane, on the other hand, was a fun battle on a visceral level, however the comic fan inside me was kind of miffed by his brutish persona.

Bane as envisioned by the marketing department of the UFC...

As a kid that grew up reading Knightfall, Bane has a special place in my heart as one of my favorite Batman villains, and yet every time he’s used in media other than the comics, his character is grossly misinterpreted.

Um... No. Just, no...

Bane isn’t a massive brute or meathead, he’s a cunning and wily villain that could be called Batman’s equal on almost every level.

Oh well, my inner-comic dork’s objections aside, I’m happy that Arkham Asylum took a few seconds to at least explain why Bane suddenly went retard, not to mention Hulk-ed out beyond the realm of believability.

Essentially, Bane serves as key element to the game’s plot, not as a mastermind, or even hired hand; but as an instrument forcibly implemented by the combined will’s of The Joker and a mysterious Dr. Young.

From what I know at the 4 hour mark, the plot involves Joker using Dr. Young to extract and deconstruct the Venom Derivative from Bane, which they then mutate and enhance to create a more powerful Titan Formula which causes people to Hulk Out.

Basically, Joker plans to use the Titan Formula to create an army of Hulk-ed Out thugs to let loose on Gotham.

It’s kind of stupid, in a Silver Age comic-y sort of way, but the real experience of a game is playing it, and the minute to minute experience of Arkham Asylum thus far goes a long way towards making up for a slightly retarded plot.

Anyway, I’ve said about as much as I feel I can about Arkham Asylum for now.

I will say this though:

The combat system is a little simplistic for my Devil May Cry trained thumbs, but it’s rewarding in a “look what I just did with 2 buttons!” sort of way.

Now excuse me, I’m gonna’ go beat the shit out of some more Bat-Villains…

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The Top 10 Best Overkills in Movies, #8: Freddy vs. Jason

In case you haven’t noticed as of yet, the bottom tier of our Top 10 Best Overkills in Movies list is largely made up of odd and/or controversial kills.

In keeping with this trend, #8 is from Freddy vs. Jason, a slasher movie.

Though one would think that overkill would be commonplace among slasher films, in my experience; this is simply not the case.

Slasher movie kills tend to be gory and over the top, but rarely enacted in the prolonged manner that would suggest overkill.

That being said, while I have a decent background with slasher and horror flicks, I am no expert; so I would like to take this opportunity to apologize if my choice of overkill is not best example the genre has to offer.

All formalities and introductions aside, let’s get to overkill #8: Jason Voorhees killing the ever-living fuck out of a young man named Trey.

Now, what we have here, is the classic: “dude chilling in bed with a beer while his woman’s in the shower, only for Jason to show up and wreck his shit like no other.”

Okay, maybe it’s not a “classic” per se, but seriously man; Jason goes to town on this guy like he stole from him or some shit.

Let’s run a play-by-play:

Trey’s layin’ in bed, watchin’ the game; havin’ a Bud’, nothin’ special,

Man, you better hope that's one TASTY fuckin' beer, 'cause you don't know it, but that's just about the last thing you're gonna' enjoy in life...

then outta’ fuckin’ nowhere, an exceptionally zombie-like and rotted to shit Jason FUCKIN’ Voorhees appears right in middle of his bedroom, lit by a conveniently timed thunderclap!

Man, is it just me; or does he look bored out of his mind?

Gaping in horror at the modern spectre of walking -fucking-death looming over him, trademark machete at the ready; Trey does what any self-respecting man in his position would do:

First he screams like a little bitch,

LIKE A LITTLE BITCH.

and then rolls over onto his stomach.

In the Animal Kingdom, this is what's known as presenting rearward. Either that or being dead. Seriously man, that ain't right...

Hang on, what?

Now, I don’t know what sort of kinky shit Trey and his girlfriend were into, but where I come from; turning your back to a machete, or any danger for that matter; is never a good idea.

It only serves to give those who may be wielding said machetes ideas as to where they could “insert” such instruments.

Thankfully Mr. Voorhees is not as creative as the Azn Badger, otherwise this overkill would probably have to be ranked #1.

No, instead, Jason decides to the go the more traditional route, and simply ram his machete up and down, repeatedly; into poor Trey’s back and spine like he’s playin’ “Jerk-Off the Elephant” on the mother fuckin’ Wii.

Yes, I went there.

By my count, Mr. Voorhees rams that sucker into that that, uh, fucker, no less than 12 times.

To say that Jason gets a little carried away with the machete ass-rape is, of course, not doing this particular episode justice.

In and out... In and out... In and out.....

Cut to Trey’s girlfriend in the shower looking off in the distance, quizzically.

"What's that? I sense... machete rape."

Somehow I doubt this particular lady even knows what the word “quizzical” means.

Anyway, after being impaled about a dozen times or so, Trey’s very likely recently expired form lies on the bed doing that which he undoubtedly valued most in life:

Holding a cold beer.

Seriously, for whatever reason; we’re given a random shot of Trey clutching a beer like it’s the fuckin’ Holy Grail or some shit.

"He did not choose wisely..."

Trey twitches for a bit, and it would seem the deed has been done.

No, as fate would have it, on this particular night; the typically straight-laced and almost German-ly efficiency minded Jason Vorhees, was struck with a sense of artistic inspiration.

With that, Mr. Voorhees plants his machete into the floor, and prepares to put the finishing touches on his masterpiece of overkill-ery…

DUDE!!!!

Seriously man, HOLY FUCKING SHIT THAT WAS AWESOME!

Who the fuck knows why Jason had to do that to poor Trent, but count me among the people that are glad he did!

Honestly folks, that is the definition of overkill.

Doing the deed, but going the extra mile to make it something special.

Kind of like an extended session of two-player Elephant Jerk-Off on the Wii…

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

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