Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

A Nightmare On Elm Street Death Reel

Should’ve figured Freddy’s death reel would end up almost 3 minutes shorter than Jason’s.

I suppose it doesn’t help that the Nightmare on Elm Street series has 3 fewer movies (including the reboots) than Friday the 13th.

Oh well, that doesn’t stop me from liking the Nightmare movies more overall.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s tons of fun watching a hockey mask-ed juggernaut tear his way through non-descript teenage delinquents, but I’ve always found the Nightmare movies’ special effects and more thoughtful structure to be more in line with my slasher movie sensibilities.

As is the case with virtually anything, quality counts more than quantity.

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

Friday The 13th Death Reel

If I remember correctly, the old formula for the pacing of the Friday 13th films was that every 10 minutes:

1.  Someone had to die.

or

2. ┬áSomeone had to flash their boobs… and then die.

I’m not sure how much truth there is to this, as I’ve never sat down and actually timed it, but I’m inclined to believe it’s at least somewhat true.

Especially in the case of Jason X.

If anything, Jason X could be viewed as the overachiever of the series, as I seem to recall a few sequences in there where multiple character were killed off over the course of only a few minutes.

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

And Now, Watson Doing The Jason Voorhees Teleportation Tango

So, I found this clip from Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis awhile back.

From what I can tell, the thing has become quite well known across the vast expanse of the internet since then.

Regardless of whether you’ve seen it or not, I thought this was amusing, and I was feeling kind of nostalgic.

Enjoy!

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

Motion Capture Is Cool…

I was watching my newly purchased Blu-Ray of Avatar tonight, when it suddenly hit me that I forgot to write my blog.

Nah, just kidding, I never forget…

While I’m on the subject of movies though, I figure now would be a good time for me to talk about my feelings on motion capture technology; something that Avatar couldn’t have been made without.

I’ve always been fascinated by the artistry of the human body in motion.

I’m a firm believer in the concept that much of how we communicate our image and demeanor to the the people around us, stems from our body language.

That being said, whether it be in stage acting, professional wrestling, dance, mime, sports, or fighting; a person’s character, both fictionalized or genuine; shines through in the manner in which the move their body.

For me, a person that doesn’t converse with new people often, or well for that matter; being able to understand gesticulations and body language goes a long way towards getting to know people.

Though I can’t pin down the first time I saw it in action, motion capture technology is an amazing tool that I’ve grown to love very much.

The basic concept of it alone is utterly intriguing to the point in which I found myself wanting to be involved with it at some point.

Seriously, if you know anyone with an “in” to the motion capture industry, let me know!

For those who are unaware, motion capture is a technology that uses a specialized camera and computerized tracking system to map out and record the movements of a subject’s form.

Using the data recorded through this process, said movements can then be transposed onto the anatomy of a digital character.

In the context of movie or videogame production, doing so allows CGI animators to save (some) time by using actual human actors to map out a performance for digital characters, which can then be finessed or tweaked further by the animators.

In many ways, it’s the heir apparent to the classic animation technique of rotoscoping.

In many ways, the largest benefit of motion capture technology, is that it grants directors and animators an incredible degree of control over their projects.

If George Lucas is any indication, control is something that is very important to filmmakers.

They say some of the best moments in film history have been the results of happy coincidences, or even mistakes.

While that may be true, CGI stands as a counter to that, as a tool that allows filmmakers a degree of control that makes the word “mistake” seem almost obsolete.

CGI allows directors to create and animate just about any imagery that pops into their head, but motion capture technology allows them the ability to continue to work with actors, while taking advantage of the technology to precisely extract the desired performance from said actors.

While I don’t see live-action movies going away at any point in human existence, the inherent possibilities of producing digital motion captured films are downright incredible.

Think of it this way:

When producing CGI films with motion captured performances, one gains the freedom to set their film anywhere they want, populated by whatever they want.

They also retain the ability to cast big-name actors that put asses in the seats, not to mention gain the capacity to modify the actor’s appearance to their liking.

Not only that, motion capture also allows for stunt actors to be inserted into scenes without having to be shot at distance or from behind, as the whole process would be seamless.

Come to think of it, the whole concept of “stunts” as a whole could potentially be removed when making a motion captured film.

After all, the whole thing is performed in a sound stage, not to mention the actor can be “removed” from scenes whenever necessary, thereby allowing the animators to take over for the dangerous or “un-performable” sequences.

Still, the idea of being able to slip Donnie Yen’s motion capture performance into Tom Cruise’s digitally de-aged body is something that I’m sure a lot of people would pay to see.

To me though, the most interesting aspect of motion capture in film, is it’s effect on the acting process.

Acting in a green room, surrounded by artifice, actors have to dig deep and use their imagination to summon strong performances.

In short, more stress is put on the actor to use their body to convincingly occupy the digital landscape their character inhabits.

From the audience’s perspective, I find it changes how we view these performances as well.

While I myself am normally attuned to the physical aspects of an actors performance, when I watch motion captured performances, I find myself drawn to dig a little deeper.

I can’t tell you how much fun it is to see a digital character walk around in a movie, only to find the tiniest little inkling of evidence of the fact that you are in fact seeing a familiar actor, give a performance in an unfamiliar shell.

In many ways it reminds me of my lifelong love of Godzilla, or any sort of “suit acting” for that matter.

When Haruo Nakajima stomped around in a Godzilla suit, you could instantly tell it was him by the “largeness” and sheer character of his movements.

When Kane Hodder killed bitches as Jason Voorhees in the Friday the 13th movies, we could always tell it was him by how savagely he went about killin’ bitches.

When Peter Weller was switched out in favor of Robert John Burke (the fattie from Thinner) in Robocop 3, we were all up in arms; not just because that movie sucked, but because Burke’s physical performance simply wasn’t Robocop.

While motion captured performances will never beat good ‘ole “man-in-suit” acting, the concept is similar enough that is brings me great joy to watch.

I look forward to seeing the day when Donnie Yen steps into the motion capture studio and shows us what motion capture pictures have been missing out on.

Seriously, why the fuck hasn’t anyone made a martial arts movie in mo-cap yet, huh?

That’s right Robert Zemeckis and James Cameron, I’m lookin’ at you two…

Filed under: Boxing, Kung Fu, Movies, Tokusatsu, Wrestling, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Top 10 Best Overkills in Movies, #7: Universal Soldier

*Note: I am aware that they may be better overkills out there, but c’mon; this is Van Damme vs. Ivan Drago we’re talking about…*

Universal Soldier is not a good movie.

Hell, it’s not even a good Van Damme movie.

Despite this, I doubt any of us will forget the supermarket sequence,

"I kick ass, I kiss ass, and I'm busting heads!"

or watching Van Damme kick the shit out of truckers for absolutely no reason.

"Goddamnt, I'm just trying to eat this tray of popcorn!"

Anyway, this list isn’t about hero worship; it’s about overkill, so let’s get to it.

CLICK HERE FOR CLIP

The overkill in question occurs during the final battle of the film between the 2 crazy, roided-out Universal Soldiers of the title.

Well, maybe Van Damme isn’t, but Dolph is ‘roided out at this point anyway…

Everyone knows the 'roids grant the user He-Man hair...

Being as this is a Van Damme film, the first half of the fight belongs to the villain.

For several minutes straight, Dolph kicks the ever-loving shit out of Van Damme, making the stunt crew and wire team work for their money in the process.

Unfortunately, just as victory seems certain for the uber-Swede, he makes the BIG FUCKING MISTAKE of diverting his attention to Van Damme’s lady friend in the background.

By “diverting his attention,” of course, I mean “chucking a grenade up her ass.”

There are only 3 things in this world you don’t do when Van Damme’s in town.

First, you never throw white powder in his eyes.

That’ll get you kicked in the head, REPEATEDLY.

Second, you never, never, travel through time without the proper authority.

That’ll get your ass Ron Silver-ed.

Yes, that used to be Ron Silver before he touched himself...

And third, you never, ever, EVERRRR, ogle/threaten/rape/blow-up the woman that Van Damme is into, but isn’t actually in a legit relationship with on account of them not fucking, or not having known each other long enough for their feelings to amount to them wanting to fuck.

Seriously Dolph, you were home free until you chucked that grenade up that pretty ladies’ ass…

Jeez, Dolph. I know it was cool n'all, but get over it...

Not only that, but you know that fire your grenade just caused?

Well, it serves to give Van Damme ample opportunity to stand up heroically in front of it, thereby solidifying this part of the fight as his “comeback moment.”

Oh now you've gone and done it...

Needless to say, Van Damme gets back in the fight, managing to land his first noteworthy blows.

I like how 'roids somehow make kicks to the face hurt less.

Despite Van Damme’s angst/kicking power, there’s still the matter of Dolph’s ‘roid enhanced powers…

Due to the vast disparity in strength levels at this juncture, Van Damme still finds himself on the receiving end of a lot of downright silly Full Metal Jacket-esque taunts, in between eating a lot of Swedish knuckle-sandwiches, of course.

In fact, Dolph puts even his ass through a wall at one point.

Goddamn! Somebody ate their spinach...

No matter, Van Damme is in “comeback mode” at this point, thereby making any attacks only serve to enhance, rather than deplete his Belgian man-strength.

At some point, Van Damme manages to snatch an extra syringe of ‘roids off of Dolph’s tactical vest.

Van Damme: Teaching the kids that juicing's the only way to win...

Now, these ‘roids have to be just about the fastest acting chemical substance found on this Earth, as after no more than 5 seconds, Van Damme’s strength level seems to shoot right past ‘ole Dolph.

"Man, you're like half my size! What the fuck kinda' shit you shootin'!?"

With that, Dolph’s days of landing noteworthy blows, or even trying to defend himself come to an end, as things may as well have just shifted from the traditional martial arts movie “comeback mode,” to “Van Damme kicks people in the face mode.”

I'm beginning to see a theme here...

Needless to say, Dolph gets shown all 4 corners of the, uh, barn; and then some.

It all comes to a head when Van Damme gets a hold of Dolph and decides to throw technique and variation out the window in favor of throwing the same punch about 50 billion times.

IN THE FACE x50,000,000,000!!!

Seriously, virtually every drop of blood, and every bruise inflicted on the giga-Swede in this fight were the product of said punches, and seemingly nothing else.

Anyway, the Van Damminator gets his first bit of revenge by putting Dolph through a wall, thusly bringing the fight back outside into the rain.

This leads to a rather bizarre, and very childish bit of banter between the 2:

Well, that was productive.

Anyway, mass face-kicking ensues, resulting in Dolph falling backwards onto a harvester, and the true beginning to our #7 best overkill.

Here are the results of said fall:

Well now, we're regretting that little grenade toss earlier, right?

Wow, that’s a lot of holes!

As one would expect, Dolph doesn’t get up from that one.

Well, not in the traditional sense anyway.

Much like a Michael Myers/Jason Voorhees-style slasher, Dolph tries to trick Van Damme by playing dead, although it’s equally possible he simply passed out for a short time after, well, you saw.

I'm dead, soldier...

Anyway, with his un-impaled hand, Dolph grabs hold of the back of Van Damme’s head, and in one final attempt to finally make our hero a “dead soldier,” tries to pull Van Damme’s face into the harvester blade protruding from his own chest.

Bro'mance at it's most intimate...

If that’s not savage, I don’t know what is.

Unfortunately, Van Damme still has some of that ‘roid sauce in his blood, thusly allowing him to deftly snap the big Swede’s forearm out of place.

I know I said it before, but your arm really isn't supposed to bend that way.

Being as Dolph is still impaled and stuck to the harvester blades, and now has no operational limbs, I’d say his threat level just dropped to zero.

Even so, Van Damme doesn’t like loose ends, so being as this is a 90’s action flick, he runs on over to the power switch for the harvester, and unflinchingly turns that sucker on!

While we aren’t treated to the gloriously gory details of the Swedish slice-o-matic extravaganza,, we do bear witness to a tasty little tidbit of the carnage in the form of a shot of the harvester’s expulsion duct blowing bits and chunks of Dolph out into the night sky.

Rest assured, the next harvest on this particular farm will grow inordinately large and blond from the trickle-down effect of laying Dolph’s liquified form onto the fields…

Oh yeah, and it turns out the chick didn’t get blown up.

Fuckin’ figures…

BUTT.

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

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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