Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Donaire vs. Montiel: Vengeance By Proxy

A funny thing happened way back in 2005.

You see, I’ve been a fan of boxing ever since the first time I watched Rocky with my old man; but up until 2005, there were no active Asian, or more specifically; Japanese fighters that caught my interest as being noteworthy in the sport.

Sure, Toshiaki Nishioka and Daisuke Naito were, and are pretty good fighters; but nothing about them ever seemed competitive on the world stage I.E. the elite level of the sport.

The simple fact of the matter is that boxing simply isn’t all that popular in Japan, nor do I believe the Japanese physiology is all that well-suited for the sport in the first place.

We’re short, we’ve got stubby limbs, we’ve got a reputation for being pillow-fisted, and we have a tendency to grope/fondle others in public.

Pictured: How we say "hello."

Bullshit aside, a major factor in the stunted progress of Japanese boxing, is the simple fact that the country is an island nation.

Combine the insane travel arrangements required to put fights together on Japanese soil between a foreigner and a national, with the public’s general lack of interest in the sport; and you have an equation that results in Japanese fighters rarely having the opportunity to test their mettle against the world’s best, nor having the in-house competition available to them to prepare them for said contests.

Needless to say, most of what I read (I never got to see an Asian boxer on TV until Manny Pacquiao’s HBO debut) about Japanese fighters consisted of Ring Magazine articles about them getting flattened by Mexicans, or worse yet, beaten by their countrymen in boring 12 round jab-fests.

For most of my life, hall of famers like Khaosai Galaxy, Gabriel Elorde, Pancho Villa, and Masahiko “Fighting” Harada would serve as my only “Azn Boxing Heroes.”

That all changed for me when I discovered the Kobe based bantamweight, Hozumi Hasegawa.

Not a handsome man by any standard, but a good fighter nonetheless...

Hasegawa first caught my attention when he dethroned long-reigning bantamweight champion, Veeraphol Sahaprom.

To put things in perspective, Sahaprom had held the bantamweight title since 1998, not to mention had fought Toshiaki Nishioka 4 times prior to this, drawing and decisioning Nishioka on every occasion.

While the man had the kind of bloated record that only Thai fighters can produce in this day and age, few could argue that Sahaprom was a stiff challenge to any bantamweight of the time.

Seriously though, only a Thai could be so audacious as to defend his world title against debuting fighters, or worse yet, 0-1 fighters; on multiple occasions no less.

Hasegawa’s victory over Sahaprom would serve as the first of many happy moments I would be proud to witness as a half-Japanese boxing fan.

Pictured: The face of a half-Japanese boxing fan. That's right, we do exist!

For the first time in my life, I had found a contemporary Japanese fighter that was not only winning consistently, but seemingly growing and improving with every bout.

The funny part was, aside from being left-handed, Hasegawa never really seemed all that different or special compared to other Japanese fighters.

For most of his career he was a defensive minded out-boxer with with quick yet economical hands, sharp straight punches, and a good eye for counter-punching.

He wasn’t a powerhouse, he wasn’t a physical specimen, he was just a good Japanese fighter that, for whatever reason; was on a helluva’ winning streak.

Following his victory over Sahaprom, Hasegawa would go on to win their rematch by TKO, as well as defend the bantamweight title more than any other Japanese fighter in history, all while amassing 7 KO’s, more than he had accrued in his entire career up until 2005.

Despite all of my apparent dick-sucking of Hasegawa, I feel it’s worth mentioning that there’s another little element to my hero worship of the man.

You see, way back when, my brother actually went to live in Kobe for a year.

While he was there, he joined a boxing gym headed by trainer Senrima Keitoku, the man who would one day go on to train Hozumi Hasegawa.

While it’s a loose connection at best, for whatever reason, it means something to me to know that the same goofy old Korean-Japanese that my brother told me used to cane fat kids in his gym, just happens to be same one that trained one of my personal sports heroes to world champion status.

Pictured: A pennant my brother back with him from Kobe.

Like I said, it’s hardly a connection, but to me it means something special.

Anyway, before I let things totally veer off into weird touchy/feely bullshit, I think it’s time we actually got down to addressing the subject heading of this post:

This evening, Filipino bantamweight superstar Nonito Donaire challenged stalwart Mexican champion Fernando Montiel.

This is called a "filler" image. It bears no purpose other than breaking up the text in an eye-pleasing fashion.

Coming into the bout, the 2 men represented the top-tier of the division.

While a bantamweight tournament is currently being hosted by Showtime, a tournament which both Donaire and Montiel were invited to participate in; both opted out in favor of fighting each other due to the general belief being that they were “above” the majority of the other participants in the first place.

It was one helluva’ big deal, and a bout that I was very much anticipating.

On paper, both fighters were quick-fisted and fleet of foot, with Donaire having a slight edge in both categories, while Montiel held the more intangible advantages of caginess, fundamentals, and; arguably, tenacity.

Perhaps the most attractive aspect of the bout however, was the fact that both fighters were known to possess extraordinarily heavy hands for their weights.

Maybe not Carlos Zarate “heavy,” but heavy nonetheless.

Goofy 'stache or not, this man wrecked so many people's shit it wasn't even funny...

Despite all this, my interest in this bout came not as a result of their skill sets or attributes, but rather as a consequence of their previous in-ring achievements.

While Donaire had indeed caught my eye with with his revenge KO of his brother Glenn over Vic Darchinyan back in 2007, Montiel was the one that really got me invested in this match-up.

You see, Fernando Montiel actually fought Hozumi Hasegawa this past April.

While Hasegawa looked to be on the way to a comfortable points victory in the early goings, Montiel caught him on the point of the chin with a savage left hook.

Thoroughly knocked onto Queer Street, or rather; 2 blocks down the road onto the even queerer street that is “Queer Manor,” Hasegawa got hung up on the ropes and was brutalized for several seconds longer before the match was stopped, his titles were stripped from him, and his winning streak and reputation were sent down the shitter.

Despite how much I hate to watch it, here’s a clip:

Regardless of what Hasegawa’s gone on to accomplish, coming back to win a bout 2 weight classes North at featherweight and generally staying out of trouble; my heart sunk the day I saw the man utterly destroyed at the hands of Montiel.

While I would go on record saying I bore nothing but respect for Montiel, after all not that many Mexicans are willing to fly all the way out to Japan just to claim an alphabet title, I would be lying if I said I came into the Donaire/Montiel bout not hoping to see the man knocked silly.

Seriously, I wanted to see Montiel knocked the fuck out almost as much as I wanted to see Ricky Hatton get Pacquiao-ed in every fight he ever had.

Fortunately, tonight I had Nonito Donaire AKA “The Other Filipino” to sub in for tonight’s Pacquiao-ing of Montiel.

From the opening moments of the fight, it was quite clear that there was a palpable disparity in overall speed between Donaire and Montiel.

Both guys looked a little pensive, an expected consequence given both fighter’s punching power; however Montiel seemed almost too relaxed, holding his arms outstretched as if expecting to deflect the majority of the incoming punches.

Not exactly a sound tactic when the other guy is clearly the faster fighter.

Despite this, only about 2 punches of note were landed in the first round, a counter left hook to the chin, and a heavy body shot, both of which were landed, quite authoritatively I might add; by Donaire.

In 2nd (and final) round of the contest, Montiel rushed out the gate, landing a few decent shots here and there, and generally looking to set the pace of the fight.

Then, as if answering my prayers; Donaire flattened Montiel as I have seldom seem a fighter flattened.

Charging in and pressing the action, Montiel let loose with quick straight right hand, unaware of the monster left hook that Donaire had begun the process of uncorking just a millisecond earlier.

In short, Montiel landed his shot, and fairly cleanly at that; however in the process of doing so he overextended himself and quite literally ran chin-first into the sock full of quarters that is Nonito Donaire’s left fist.

Splayed out on the mat, eyes unseeing, and brain thoroughly checked at the front desk, Montiel rolled about like a turtle on it’s back, a very drunk and/or “special” turtle; for half of the referee’s count.

Like this, but on his back. And y'know, almost half-conscious.

Why the ref even bothered to count, or allowed Montiel to continue, even if it was only for a few seconds; is beyond me.

Despite my feelings leading up to the bout consisting of wanting to see Montiel punished, and my hero avenged; I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Fernando Montiel…

For about 2 minutes.

Seriously though, he’s a terrific fighter, that sadly doesn’t (and probably won’t) receive the press or fanfare that he likely deserves, but tonight, Nonito “The Master of the Revenge KO” Donaire was by far the better man.

Anyway, thus was the tale of the Azn Badger’s boxing hero, Hozumi Hasegawa; and his vengeance by proxy via the fists of Nonito Donaire.

Thanks for reading, I know it was long; but hopefully it was worth the trouble!

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The Azn Badger’s One Day Weekend Itinerary

Azn Badger got hit by truck… Truck was from company called “Wreck Your Shit Co.” Driver was named “Fatigue McRagealot.”

  1. Have looked like bum for some time now…  Shave and haircut = Priority.
  2. Tabemonos*….
  3. Beat Batman: Arkham Asylum.  Was knocking on the Joker’s door last time I played the game… A week ago… Will beat insane clown’s ass and complete game with all Riddler whatchamacallits acquired.
  4. Squander potential purchase of cheap Christmas gift in favor of using 40% off Borders coupon on comic book for self.  Azn Badger works hard, he deserves to be selfish every once and awhile…
  5. Tabemonos*…
  6. Watch shitty movie I’ve already seen 50 million times, only this time watch it on Blu Ray.
  7. Hang out with Mencius.  But only for awhile…  Azn Badger too tired to deal with people…
  8. Tabemonos* while watching Guy Fieri stuff his fat, greasy face for the 50 millionth time.  Thankfully, not in HD.
  9. WRITE FUCKING BLOG.
  10. Watch Amir Khan vs. Marcos Maidana, and Timothy Bradley vs. Devon Alexander on the HBO with the old man.  Khan’ll probably box circles around Maidana, but like they say; Maidana always has a puncher’s chance… Here’s hoping he puts the Brit to sleep, and Bradley ekes out another victory…  The Azn Badger also happens to be an Irish Badger, so hatred of Brits is to be expected…
  11. Attempt nocturnal activity known in most circles as “sleep.”  Most likely fail…

 

What the fuck did I do to my can? I tried to open it and the, uh, "opener thingy" bent all funny...

*Tabemono: Japanese word for “edible object.”  Pronounced Tah-Bei-Mo-No, though in this case the term is pluralized in the English manner of adding an “s” sound for the sake of cheap laughs.  My roommate and I used to do a lot of stupid shit like this to keep ourselves busy…

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The Top 10 Runner-Ups of the Azn Badger’s Top 25 NES Tracks, Part I!

Before the dust settles on the epic event that was the unveiling of the Azn Badger’s list of the Top 25 NES Tracks, I feel it’s my duty to take a moment to discuss some of the tracks that almost made it on the list.

Yes, ladies and gentleman, today we’re going to be talking about the:

“Top 10 Runner-Ups of The Azn Badger’s Top 25 NES Tracks.”

Epic fucking title, am I right?

Anyway, hopefully the following ruminations will help shed some light on my process for selecting the tracks for this list, as well as hopefully uncover a few hidden gems for the less game music savvy among us.

That being said, let’s get to it!:

#10. Zanac

“Stage 1”


Zanac is a vertical scrolling shoot ’em up that I received as a gift in my pre-teen years.

You see, despite the Playstation and Nintendo 64 already having risen to prominence by this time, my father; good intentioned thrift store shopper that he is, saw fit to give me NES games up until around my 13th birthday, when I’m pretty sure he gave up giving me gifts altogether.

 

 

Pictured: Birthday's at the Azn Badger's house...

 

While this was admittedly kind of strange, looking back I think it helped me to better appreciate the older generation of games, not to mention my dad’s yearly efforts to go out and get me something unique and different every birthday.

Thanks dad, for, uh, bein’ my dad, and filling my room with goofy outdated shit that only you and I can appreciate.

 

 

Dad's most recent random gift: A VHS-C camcorder!

 

Anyway, Zanac is a game I know nothing about, other than the fact that I played it a lot during middle school.

It’s reminiscent of Space Megaforce on the Super NES, with sharp graphics and a surprisingly action-packed experience despite the limitations of the NES hardware.

Anyway, the details of Zanac are a mystery to me, but it was tons of fun and “Stage 1” had awesome music that was this close to making the lower-tier of the Top 25.

#9. R.B.I. Baseball

“Game Music 1”

*TUNE TO :23 FOR THE PART OF THE MUSIC THAT MADE THE LIST*

My brother LOVED R.B.I. Baseball.

A neighbor of ours owned the Tengen “black cart” version of the game (my dad also gifted it to me at some point…) and most of my memories of the first 5 or 6 years of my life involve watching my brother play it.

In fact, despite being able to play it at our neighbor’s house basically whenever he wanted, I can actually recall several instances where my brother went out and rented it.

Let it be known boys and girls, my brother loves him some baseball.

 

 

A logical hobby for him given that he fuckin' IS baseball.

 

I never really played R.B.I. Baseball.

To be honest, I’ve never really played any baseball videogames besides the occasional game of Base Wars or Super Baseball 2020.

 

Boobies, Robots and Baseball: FUCK YEAH.

 

Something about robots playing baseball just tickles my fancy…

Anyway, up until Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball on the Super NES, I can recall no other sports game that had my brother so engrossed.

Perhaps the best memory I took away from R.B.I. Baseball, was the music, which would loop constantly throughout every game.

That and the delightfully rotund players, whose husky builds and slow-footed nature fit the music perfectly.

 

 

SOOOOO FAT!!!!

 

It may not be the most intricate or bombastic of tunes, but nostalgia goes a long way…

Even if your only experience with the game consisted solely of watching it over your older brother’s shoulder.

#8. Gauntlet

“Title Theme”


This one was suggested by a friend of mine.

Honestly, I’ve never actually played Gauntlet on the NES.

I own Gauntlet 2, (another random gift from dad) but I never liked or played it much.

I played a lot of Gauntlet Legends in the arcade, mostly because it was fuckin’ hilarious; but that’s a story for another day…

 

 

Ladies and gentlemen, the heroes of Gauntlet Legends!

 

Anyway, while I was compiling this list, I took the time to look up the Gauntlet “Title Theme,” as I honestly couldn”t recall the melody.

To my surprise, my buddy made a pretty good pick.

It’s a nice little diddy, reminiscent of a medieval minstrel’s tune, making it all-too appropriate for a sword and sorcery game like Gauntlet.

I actually had this one on the Top 25 up until my final revision, where I removed it in favor Super Dodge Ball.

Listening to them side by side, I feel I made the better decision…

Sorry buddy, had to go with my gut on this one.

#7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project

“Super Shredder’s Theme”


The reason for this particular track being on the Top 10 Runner-Ups list is kind of silly.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project was a game I played exclusively at one of my spoiled friend’s houses, and just happens to be the game with the longest fucking title on this list.

While in many ways superior to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game, Turtles III was the unfortunate victim of being released around the time most of us were just starting to jump platforms to the, at the time; brand spankin’ new Super NES.

 

 

"Bummer dudes! Your game came out 2 years too late!"

 

Like I said though, it’s a great game, actually better than #2, it just didn’t get enough exposure is all.

Anyway, the reasoning behind the selection of this track for the Runner-Ups being silly, is the fact that it’s only on here because it’s the original version of “Super Shredder’s Theme,” which would go on to be remixed for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time.

 

 

2nd Best Beat 'Em Up EVER.

 

“Super Shredder’s Theme” from the Super NES version of Turtles in Time is HANDS DOWN one of my favorite boss themes of all time, making the original 8-bit version, while in fact vastly inferior; still pretty fuckin’ good.

Here’s the Turtles in Time version for reference:

Anyway, it’s not deserving of a spot on the Top 25, but it laid the ground work for what would become one of my favorite pieces of game music EVER, and as such such it gets a nod in the form of a spot among the Runner-Ups.

#6. Little Nemo: The Dream Master

“Mushroom Forest”


I fuckin’ loved Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland back in the day.

I didn’t find out about the old comic series, or Winsor McKay until sometime in middle school, but regardless; that was a great fucking movie.

The world was colorful and inviting, the songs were pretty decent, and Nightmare Land and all of it’s denizens were suitably creepy and stunningly well-imagined to boot.

 

 

Jesus fuck this guy was awesome...

 

Because of my love for the movie, naturally I went out and rented the game at some point.

While the game was not nearly the work of genius that the movie was, it was a pretty solid platformer nonetheless.

The monster costume gimmick was cutesy and fun, and the scepter was very much a thinly veiled Mega Buster, but the thing I remember most; was the music!

The music was, like the movie, whimsical and grand in scale to an extent that few NES games aspired to, let alone movie tie-in platformers.

While the Nightmare world theme and the Final Boss themes were pretty fuckin’ spankin’, like most memorable game tracks, the best piece was from the first stage, the “Mushroom Forest.”

Don’t be surprised if you see a Let’s Play of Little Nemo posted here someday…

Wow!  This post ended up being a whole helluva’ lot more involved than I was expecting it to!

That being said, I’ve decided to split it in half, so tune in tomorrow for the Top 5 Runner-Ups, as well as the ultimate, absolute and final post in the Top 25 NES Tracks series!

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Impending Review: The Expendables

It pains me to do this, but I had a obscenely LONG day today, so you’ll have to settle for a teaser post for today.

Sorry!

Anyway, aside from maybe Ip Man 2, this is just about the biggest movie of the year for me.

Fuck me, if Donnie Yen was in this movie, I’d probably blow my load right there in the theater…

Although it would appear he beat me too it...

Anyway, my brother and I have been anxiously awaiting Sly’s epic for the past 2 years, ever since rumors started popping up that he was shopping the script around post-Rambo.

Remember when I said Rocky was my brother and I’s way of bonding with my dad as a kid?

Well, you can bet Sylvester Stallone was one of our biggest hero’s growing up.

Pictured: Family of the Azn Badger.

While my expectations for The Expendables are, perhaps; unreasonably high, I have no doubt in my mind that it will thrill me as few films before it have done.

Mark my words:

It WILL be awesome.

I have no doubts, I have no worries.

The Expendables WILL be an awesome film, there’s no way it can’t be.

For fuck’s sake, it’s gonna’ be the goddamn Justice League of action movies!

Anyway, consider this a taste of things to come, as I’ll definitely be typing up a review for this one the moment I walk out of the theater.

My only hope is that there is at least one old-school action hero cameo that hasn’t been publicized.

I know Van Damme already made it clear that he wanted nothing to do with the project, but it would definitely make my day if Steven Seagal, or Chuck Norris, or Mark Dacascos, or hell, even Billy Blanks made some sort of appearance in any capacity.

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Yesterday’s Movie Quiz

Well, here are the answers to yesterday’s (retarded) movie quiz:

#1.  “The one where the bunny throws up and the hippo shoots everyone.”

Answer: Meet the Feebles.


I remember it was sometime when I was around 10 or 11 that I walked in on the ending sequence of Meet the Feebles.

You see, my brother and his friends had been going through their Quentin Tarantino/cult cinema phase of life for the past few years, so it was only natural that I’d walk in on them watching something fucked up at some point in time.

Anyway, the phrase I used to sum up the movie really is just about all I know of it, and will probably never forget for years to come.

#2.  “The one where the alien jumps out of the guy’s chest.”

Answer: Alien (duh).


Come on now, we all know this one, right?

To be honest, I actually saw Aliens before the original Alien, and to this day I still like it better.

The iconic scene in Alien, where John Hurt has a xenomorph bust through his ribcage, is something that is bigger, and better known than the movie as a whole.

Thanks to things like Animaniacs, and Spaceballs, which parodied this sequence, I knew of this key scene long before I ever saw the movie.

Man, what it would’ve been like to have seen Alien without knowing what was coming…

#3.  “The one where the alien’s chest opens up and he pulls out a ray gun and kills everyone.”

Answer: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

To be fair, this one is pretty much impossible to get unless you read my post about E.T. awhile back.

In case you missed it, check it out HERE.

Anyway, this was how I knew E.T. until I was in my teens, ’cause up until then I never made it past the opening sequence to disprove my brother’s bullshit (yet oddly superior) description of the opening sequence.

#4.  “The one where Godzilla bleeds (for the first time).”

Answer: Godzilla vs. Gigan.

Well now, this is one that is common knowledge to me, but might be a little bit obscure to others.

The early 70’s was a bloody time for Godzilla movies, as it seemed like the Big G was squirting body fluids like a pedo in a pre-school playground.

*Ahem!* Anyway, in case you didn’t know, (YOU SHOULD) Godzilla got his head cracked open as a result of multiple blows to the head from one of Gigan’s bladed hook arms.

"AND IT'S ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL OVERRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!"

It was a traumatic experience for me a child, almost as bad as when Angilas got his jaw torn open by Mechagodzilla in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla.

Let’s hope those American film producers don’t fuck Godzilla up again in 2011, like they did back in 1998

#5.  “The one where the guy gets his head stepped on.”

Answer: Bloodsport.

Gotcha!

Let me guess, you probably thought this one was American History X, am I right?

Well, fuck you, YOU’RE WRONG.

Bloodsport and Kickboxer were the elusive holy grail of R-rated movies for me when I was a little kid.

My brother and his friends talked them up all the time like they were the coolest, and most violent movies ever made.

Well, having seen both Van Damme movies about a billion times, I can honestly say that, while hardly violent by modern standards, both are in fact just as awesome as my brother thought they were way back when.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Anyway, there is a scene in Bloodsport, where the big dude that played Ogre in Revenge of the Nerds get’s his head stomped on by the villain, Chong Li.

Chong Li, post head stomp.

I remember overhearing my brother talk about this scene once or twice, and for some reason, that’s what I chose to know Bloodsport by for the first 11 or 12 years of my life.

Then I actually saw the movie, and now I simply know it as “The Greatest Thing in All of Existence.”

#6.  “The one where Batman says, “Eat floor.””

Answer: Batman Returns.

Aw, come on!

Seriously, am I only motherfucker on the planet that remembers this!?

Just like every Batman movie, Batman Returns was hyped to shit, even going so far as to spawn the creation of the oh-so-wonderful Batman: The Animated Series.

Oh yeah, and Happy Meal toys, lots and lots of Happy Meal toys…

I had the 2 on the left...

Anyway, don’t ask me how, but I remember someone telling me that Batman was fighting Catwoman in the movie at one point, and he told her to “Eat floor.”

To this day, I still think that’s fucking awesome.

Only Keaton Batman could get away with saying something so juvenile and bland, and yet still be Batman in my eyes.

Definitely check this one out, ’cause he really says it, and it’s a fucking awesome movie regardless.

#7. “The one with the black rock.”

Answer: 2oo1: A Space Odyssey.

Yeah, I know, this one is just a little bit too vague to be considered a fair quiz question.

You remember the big black monolith that was one of the key elements of 2001?

Well, that’s the “black rock” that I was referring to.

All I knew of 2001 as a kid, was that there was a big, black rectangular “rock” somewhere in there, and that the movie was really fucking long.

To this day, I really don’t care much for 2001.

I guess you have to one of the cool kids to appreciate Kubrick.

#8. “The one with the train that goes too fast.”

Answer: Speed.

Obviously, I labeled this one as a “trick” question because I knew no one would get it.

When I saw the commercials for Speed in the theater and on TV, for whatever fucking reason, all of the snippets taken from the train sequence at the end stuck out to me.

Take a look at this commericial:

The train sequence is like the last 15 minutes of the movie, but it’s featured in quite a bit of the trailer.

Regardless, I know that I was a retarded kid with a limited attention span, so I better not get any nasty comments over this…

Even though I remember Dennis Hopper talking about a bomb on a bus or some shit, my young mind latched onto those images of the train, and filed them away as the key components of the film in Azn Badger land.

I remember the day I actually got to sit down and watch the VHS of Speed, my dad asked me if I wanted to see it, and I said to him:

“Oh, the one on the train right?”

I remember him giving me one of those, “maybe I shouldn’t have fed him paint chips as a baby” looks, and then promptly corrected me.

Pretty much...

Sadly, the amazingly awesome version of Speed that I crafted in my imagination, the one that took place on a train, was smashed that evening, only to be replaced by the amazingly awesome version that is the real Speed.

Anyway, hope you had fun with this, I sure as hell.

So many retarded childhood memories…

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