Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Gaming Overload

That's me on the right...

Before I get started, let me just say that, no; the title of this post does not refer to videogames.

It doesn’t refer to board games, sports, or manly shit like Jenga; but rather it refers to the pop culture game that we play at work, henceforth referred to as “The Game.”

For those that are unaware, “The Game” is something we play in the warehouse wherein one person names a fictional character, any fictional character; and the other player responds by citing the name of another fictional character whose name begins with the last letter in the name of the previous mentioned character.

In example:

Player A says “Superman,” wherein Player B would respond with “Naruto” or any other fictional character whose name begins with “N.”

Generally, “The Game” isn’t played to be “won,” rather the objective is to simply keep the game going to stave off boredom.

Despite this, some players choose their “moves” strategically in the hopes of stumping their opponents.

Examples of said tactics are the intentional use of characters whose names end in tricky letters like O, or uncommon ones like X.

Personally, I play by instinct, saying whatever comes to mind; but like I said, there are many ways to play “The Game.”

Anyway, today I engaged in an epic 1-on-1 duel with a coworker, the likes of which I have never encountered up to this point.

We were almost evenly matched, though in all honesty; I’m pretty sure he would’ve beat me if we kept it up long enough.

You see, in previous games I’ve played against people who are generally in the dark about anime, tokusatsu, or any Japanese pop culture in general.

Because of my opponent’s unfamiliarity with those characters, I took it upon myself to refrain from using them, as I felt it would seem sketchy to constantly cite characters who, in the eyes of my opponent; may as well be bullshit.

This time though, my opponent was extremely well-versed in Japanese pop culture, in fact much more so than myself given his vast breadth of anime character knowledge.

Curiously enough, a huge number of the characters he “played” were actually historical figures of the Sengoku era of Japanese history, all of whom make appearances in videogames like Onimusha and the Sengoku Basara series.

While this doesn’t seem like that big a deal, the reason I feel the need to mention this, is the fact that Japanese names totally change the dynamic of “The Game.”

You see, throughout every other match I’ve played previously, the most common letters played on was N.

O’s, X’s, and N’s are traditionally regarded as the most difficult letters to work from, making N a particularly powerful letter in “The Game.”

The thing with Japanese names that makes them so interesting when incorporated into “The Game” however, is the fact that Japanese names frequently end with A’s, I’s and O’s.

Think about that for a minute, how many O’s or I’s do you know?

That’s what I thought.

A huge factor in how “The Game” works, is that players often acquire additions to their “repertoire” through copying the citations of players from previous matches.

Now imagine you’re involved in an epic, 5 hour match; only to find that many of your go-to characters are now irrelevant given the fact their letters never seem to come up.

You read right, 5 fuckin’ hours.

The match was fun for the first few hours, however by the homestretch both my opponent and I were absolutely beat to shit.

Seriously, working an 10 hour day of overtime in a warehouse is enough to wipe me out on it’s own, but that coupled with 5 hours of tearing through the recesses of your mind for one last fuckin’ O name is enough to drive you nuts.

And wouldn’t you know it, that’s just about the truth of what happened to me on the car ride home.

You see, after playing the game for so long, and with such intensity; my thoughts somehow tuned themselves to work from that pattern.

Words, letters, and names from the radio, billboards, and even license plates all caused me to automatically start searching the recesses of my mind for names that began with the same letter they ended with.

I wasn’t trying to do it, it just sort of happened.

It lasted about an hour, and given that my thoughts were somehow working beyond my control; I found myself a little freaked out over it.

Believe me when I say this, the Azn Badger is not one to lose control of himself.

That being said, I don’t see myself playing “The Game” against that guy, for a good long while.

Maybe I’ll play the movie/TV show/videogame title variant of it instead, that’d probably be less strenuous.

Anyway, consider this a cautionary tale for those who might play “The Game” in the future.

Let it be known, too much dorkiness and pop culture will rot your brain…

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Filed under: Comics, Games, Movies, Tokusatsu, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thoughts on The Legend is Born: Ip Man

The Legend is Born: Ip Man contains scenes of Ip Man fighting ninjas.

Now, before all the haoles and Narutards in the room hop out of their seats with glee and go buy this movie, one should perhaps note that The Legend is Born is not a good movie.

In fact it’s so very far from “good,” that I’d so far as to say it’s “bad.”

That’s right, I called a kung fu movie bad.

You see, this was bad, but it was GOOD bad.

Trust me folks, if you’re looking for signs of the approaching apocalypse, me hating on a kung fu movie is one of them.

While Donnie Yen and Wilson Yip’s Ip Man films were at times melodramatic, and often predictable; both films did so while wielding style and production values that few pure martial arts movies can match.

That, and they had Donnie Yen leading the cast.

Ip Man, starring Donnie Yen's cock!

He might not be the best actor, but he beats people like no other; and in a martial arts flick sometimes that’s all you need.

Sadly, The Legend is Born has none of these various pluses going for it.

While it has a rather large cast of “name” genre actors, the production fails to utilize them properly by giving them a bland script, placing them amid lifeless and fake-y soundstages, and generally making no attempt to film the fight sequences in an interesting manner.

I ask you, just who the fuck is fighting who in this screenshot?

For those that care to know Sammo Hung is barely in it and truly seems like he’s “between projects,” (most likely he was filming Ip Man 2 simultaneously) Yuen Biao does pretty well given his limited role in the movie, and Fan Siu Wong is his always awesome self.

FUCK YEAH!

Despite the cast, it’s a horrendously mediocre film that fails to impress is any area, and ultimately left me feeling robbed of an hour and a half of my life.

To sum up, (as briefly as possible) the plot is basically a horribly fabricated account of Ip Man’s life from childhood to right up until just before the beginning of the first Wilson Yip Ip Man film in the early 1930’s.

In case you are wondering, the whole “Ip Man fighting ninjas” thing was indeed fabricated, as was the vast majority of the events in this film.

The film’s biggest, and most visible disappointment, comes in the form of the casting of Dennis To as Ip Man.

Wipe that smug look off your face... And get a haircut, hippie...

As I mentioned in my pre-screening thoughts on this movie, To did not strike me as leading man material.

Turns out I was right, as To’s performance, both as an actor and a fighter, is as wooden and vanilla as can be.

With enough training Dennis, someday you'll become a real boy!

As an actor taking on a film that bears the same name as his character, most of the story relies on his performance, to which he brings absolutely no spark of life or zeal.

While his Wing Chun form is quite good, and indeed indicative of his background in the martial art, his posture is extremely rigid and more importantly, his strikes lack any sort of weight or power behind them.

While the speed and accuracy of the close-quarters sparring is actually quite impressive, the lack of power behind the strikes is a problem with most of the choreography, that and the cinematography simply isn’t up to snuff.

Okay, this was perhaps the most needlessly over-the-top moves I've seen in awhile, and I for one thought it was hilarious.

Aside from a decent fight between Dennis To and the real life son of Ip Man, Ip Chun, (which makes heavy use of stunt doubles for Chun) and a lengthy and surprisingly physical brawl between To and Fan Siu Wong, there really aren’t any outstanding fights in The Legend is Born.

Though I’ve seen reviews crediting Sammo Hung as the choreographer for this film, I honestly have trouble believing that.

If he was in fact the choreographer, I’m sorry to say, very little, if any; of the movements and camera angles in The Legend is Born bear Sammo’s mark, and as such, the action simply doesn’t hold up to anything in his filmography.

The basic plot of the film is that of your basic “Japanese threaten Chinese culture and property, martial artist rectifies situation with fists” genre trope, however it does so in a very inorganic and just plain stupid manner.

Well, as inorganic and stupid as a plot involving ninja fights can manage anyway...

I shit you not, nearly all of the dozen or so fights in The Legend is Born (seriously, there’s a lot of them) come about as a result of someone literally walking into a room and yelling:

“Your Wing Chun is good, show me some of it!”

Even for a kung fu movie, that’s just plain lazy.

Pictured: An unedited example of the screenwriting process of The Legend is Born.

Anyway, I was initially planning to do a seriously in-depth review of The Legend is Born, much like I did Ip Man 2 and Undisputed 3: Redemption, however I found that this movie simply wasn’t worth the effort.

If you really wanna’ see mediocre fighting, bland acting, and *sigh…* Ip Man fighting ninjas, then by all means, give The Legend is Born: Ip Man a chance.

I for one, am going to be kicking myself over this purchase for some time, being as I knew this movie was going to suck, but still let my hopes and dreams guide my wallet.

If you can identify with this man, than perhaps you'll enjoy this movie!

 

 

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

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