Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Remember That One Time Chucky Cut A Promo On WCW?

You’d think having Chucky from the Child’s Play movies show up on a wrestling show would be considered jumping the shark, right?

Well, technically I suppose it would be, if not for the fact that it basically already happened by the time 1998 came rollin’ along… More than once.

That being said, guest stars, fictional or otherwise, have been commonplace in wrestling for some time now.

WCW in particular, during the Monday Night Wars, seemed to have a penchant for populating it’s telecasts with all manner of larger than life non-wrestlers.

Chuck Norris, Jay Leno, a number of NBA players, and even fuckin’ Robocop all made guest appearances on the show at one time or another, with predictably hilarious results.

Yeah, that actually happened.

So, when you take into consideration all the bullshit that came before it, having Chucky cut a promo during an episode of Nitro actually isn’t all that silly after all.

… That is until you take a minute to listen to what he’s actually saying.

With Leno, WCW actually went to great lengths to write him into a storyline.

Believe it or not, it was actually a big fucking deal.

DDP, Hogan, and Eric Bischoff actually showed up on the Tonight Show and caused a ruckus, creating significant cross-promotional buzz.

Sure, the actual in-ring pay-off was horrendous, but it’s hard to deny the cleverness of their marketing strategy.

Which brings us to Chucky.

Near as I can tell, Chucky showed up to promote his film, as is typically the case with any movie stars/homicidal doll monsters that guest star on wrestling shows, however WCW went the extra mile and had him pick a favorite to win in the upcoming Halloween Havoc.

It should be noted that the main event of the Halloween Havoc in question, Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior; would go on to be regarded as one of the single worst matches in all of televised professional wrestling.

Yeah, that also really happened.

Now, as far as I can recall, Chucky never physically appeared on WCW, but for whatever goddamn reason, the writers saw fit to have him favor Scott Steiner over his brother Rick in their upcoming match.

Last time I checked, Chucky was more concerned with reclaiming his body and killing stupid bitches than he was the daily affairs of professional wrestling, but hey, this was the same team of writers that thought having the slowest goddamn Robocop in the history of slow-ass Robocops appear on their show was a good idea.

Anyway, at some point, Chucky mentions something about wanting to be a film director, and that he wants Scott Steiner to win because he’s hoping to cast him as his leading man.

There is so much fucking wrong with that last sentence, that honestly, I’m not even gonna’ go into it.

The really sad part in all this, is the fact that they actually got Brad Dourif to voice Chucky.

I mean, yeah, Chucky isn’t Chucky without Brad Dourif’s considerable vocal talents, but come on, the man deserves so much better than to get paid to do wrestling promos and super-liminal advertising.

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

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…

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Let’s Play Robocop, Part RAWK!

Well folks, it’s been a long time coming, but the Azn Badger has finally redeemed himself.

Ladies and gentleman, after weeks of diligent Rocky IV-esque caveman training, the Azn Badger has finally beasted the ever-loving fuck out of Robocop on the NES.

Just like Rocky, true victory (not that pussy-ass moral/spiritual victory shit) eluded me until the unnecessary, but awesomely over-the-top 10 minute rematch fight.

Rocky II: Stupid Movie, Great Fight...

Not that the final boss fight takes 10 minutes to complete, but you know what I mean…

Anyway, despite suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of a RED ED-209, (10 times as dangerous as the normal one!) prepared to wowed as the Azn Badger claims his revenge in form of a quick and brutal pwn-session!:

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A Tribute to the “That Guy’s” of Action Cinema

I’d like to take a moment to honor Danny Trejo in recognition of his remarkable achievement of going from being little more than a “That Guy” in action movies throughout the 90’s, to landing his first legitimate starring role in Robert Rodriguez’s Machete.

In my early childhood I knew him as “that ruddy-complexioned guy that dies all the time.”

Danny Trejo on the set of Anaconda upon being handed his paycheck.

Later on I knew him as a much friendlier personality in the form of the voices of Enrique on King of the Hill,

He's so friendly!

and well; himself, in the videogame Def Jam: Fight for New York.

Well, it’s about 20 years overdue, but finally the day has come that we can all say we know Danny Trejo as the star of his own movie.

Anyway, in honor of Danny Trejo and the host of other perpetually typecast actors, I’d like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the “That Guy’s” of action cinema.

What is a “That Guy,” you ask?

According to Google Images, THIS is a "That Guy." I vehemently disagree.

A “That Guy” is one of those actors that is consistently typecast in various bit-roles, typically along the lines of “ugly thug #1” or “dude that gets shot.”

It goes without saying, that the vast majority of “That Guy’s” end up playing villains throughout the entirety of their careers.

Think of it this way:

If you’ve seen an action movie actor enough times that you know their face, but not their name; chances are they’re a “That Guy.”

Take Noel Gugliemi for instance. You probably saw him in S.W.A.T., Training Day, or The Fast and the Furious, but you probably didn't know his name.

Over the years there have been a handful of “That Guy’s” that have ascended to legitimate celebrity, though every case is essentially a million to one shot.

For the most part though, a “That Guy’s” claim to fame generally springs from the list of big name action stars that have killed them throughout their career.

Take Sven-Ole Thorsen for example:

The funniest pic I could find.

A veteran of an ungodly number of action films, the big Dane got capped to shit by Leonardo DiCaprio in The Quick and the Dead,

he got offed by Steven Seagal in On Deadly Ground, he got the everloving-shit kicked out of him by Russell Crowe in Gladiator,

Yup, that's him on the left.

and to top it all off, he’s been torn apart by Arnold Schwarzenegger more times than I care to count.

Best of all though, not only has ‘ole Sven been killed by Ah-Nold more times than I’ve used the word “fuck” on this blog, he’s also accomplished the astounding feat of being killed by Arnold twice in the same movie franchise.

Said franchise would of course be the Conan series.

Sven was in both films, playing 2 different characters, though in Conan the Destroyer he was fitted with a dorky looking helmet, most likely to hide his appearance.

Not this dorky, but close enough.

No article about “That Guy’s” can be made without mention of the uber-prolific Thomas Rosales Jr.

You may of course remember him as the deaf as fuck Hispanic mercenary, Carter, from The Lost World.

You're gonna' get Spielberg Spite Killed so bad...

Well, beyond that, chances are you also remember him from Raw Deal, The Running Man, Last Action Hero, (Arnold killed him a few times) and the sci-fi sequels, Robocop 2 and Predator 2.

Any man that takes a bullet from Robocop, and gets skinned by the Predator, definitely deserves special mention.

Robocop likes to be thorough. Shooting people 3 times is standard practice.

Another example of the quintissential “That Guy” I’d like to point out is the classic “Azn That Guy,” Al Leong.

As seen in Die Hard.

If ever there was a need for an Asian “That Guy,” in any action movie ever, chances are Al Leong was considered for the part.

With his distinctive beard and outrageous bald spot, Mr. Leong made in appearances in such classics as Bill and Ted’s Excellent adventure (as Genghis Khan no less) and Big Trouble in Little China, as well as achieved the honor of being killed off by industry greats like Mel Gibson (Lethal Weapon),

Tee hee, that was silly.

and Bruce Willis (Die Hard).

Mr. Leong about a half second before Mr. Willis put half a clip through him.

Though in my eyes he’s nowhere near as accomplished as either of the other 2 men above, Patrick Kilpatrick is a “That Guy” that deserves mention, if not for his awesomely-badass  name, then for the sheer strength of his performances.

Whenever I look at him, words like "rapist" and "pedophile" spring to mind.

Few “That Guy’s” can match Kilpatrick’s ability to stand out from the crowd with his creepy mannerisms and borderline down-syndrome kid facial structure.

That being said, Mr. Kilpatrick’s been killed by Steven Seagal in Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, Bruce Willis in Last Man Standing, Arnold Schwarzenneger in Eraser, and he even got to be the primary antagonist in the Jean-Claude Van Damme prison actioner, Death Warrant.

Not only that, he got to fight Treat Williams in The Substitute 4: Failure Is Not An Option.

What?

I happen to like Treat Williams…

How could you not like him!?

Anyway, I don’t want to overstay my welcome with this tribute post, so I’ll just finish by rattling off a few more “That Guy’s” that deserve to be known somewhere on the internet.

Nick Chinlund AKA Billy Bedlam from Con Air, thanks for having the raunchiest, slimiest voice of any “That Guy” EVER.

Should've put the Bunny back in the box...

Robert Z’Dar, thanks for having the biggest fucking chin on the face of the planet.  Oh yeah, thanks for making Tango and Cash suck just a little bit less too.

Just so you know, he's not wearing any makeup or prosthetics. Seriously.

Tommy Lister, thanks for being the president of THE WORLD in The Fifth Element, and giving us Deebo in Friday, and Zeus in No Holds Barred.  Foh’ real man, I don’t think anyone else could’ve done so much with so little.

THAT, my friends, is a unibrow.

Michael Berryman, sorry about the Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia, but think of it this way, you saved many a filmmaker a shit ton of money on makeup effects.

That's him on the left, stupid.

and Brian Thompson, thanks for reminding me of Michael Berryman when you’re head’s shaved, and for the Buffalo Bob sequence in Joe Dirt.

Brian Thompson in drag = Funny.  Spade without Farley = Sad.

Anyway, there’s a shit ton of other “That Guy’s” deserving of recognition, and perhaps we’ll get to them another day, but for now, here’s to hoping they all know they’re appreciated.

Remember, just ’cause I don’t know your name doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate what you do.

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Let’s Play Robocop, Part FAIL

Let it be known, Robocop on the NES is a MEAN-ASS game.

It’s honestly not that difficult a game, not even worthy of being mentioned in the same sentence with The Adventures of Bayou Billy or Battletoads, but that doesn’t make it any less MEAN.

ASS.

Seriously man, just take a look at the bullshit ass-fuckery that the folks over at Data East decided to throw at me in the last stage:

Fuckin’ bullshit…

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Let’s Play Robocop, Part IV

Well, after the surprisingly anti-climactic battle against ED-209, we’ve reached yet another pivotal moment of Robocop lore:

Robocop’s revenge killing of Clarence Boddicker and his gang.

Yup, that spike's about to go in his neck.

Anyway, this time around I can promise you that the battle is indeed epic, though once again, hardly as epic as it was in the movie:

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Let’s Play Robocop, Part III

Well folks, we’ve reached stage 4:

OCP headquarters.

In my youth, I was never able to get past ED-209, who just happens to be the big bad boss of this level.

In the movie of course, Robocop managed to get past him by, well, outsmarting him a little; then running like a little bitch:

Not there’s anything wrong with that, I mean c’mon, this is ED-209 we’re talkin’ about.

Running from a giant robot that can wreck your shit til’ next Tuesday is probably the only viable tactic.

Anyway, let’s see how I fare against Mr. ED this time around:

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Let’s Play Robocop, Part II

Today we tackle Stage 3, the Cocaine Factory!

For those that don’t remember, this level is supposed to represent the classic sequence wherein Robocop single-handedly raids a coke factory in pursuit of Clarence Boddicker:

Yes, it’s nowhere near as epic as it was in the movie, but even so, it’s a pretty fun level.
Oddly enough however, unlike in the movie, where Robocop shrugs off thousands of bullets without so much as flinching, in the game he gets seriously fucked up by only a single bullet hit.
Oh well, enjoy:

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

Let’s Play Robocop, Part I

In honor of our recently crowned winner of The Top 10 Overkills in Movies, I’ve decided to once again brave the task of making a Let’s Play of Robocop for y’all.

My brother and I played the piss outta’ this game back in the day, and believe it or not, it’s still collecting dust in our parent’s basement.

As far as I can recall, Robocop is a relatively short game, though I could be wrong being as this is another one of those games that I never beat as a kid.

Hopefully that will change over the next few days…

Anyway, hopefully thing’s will go a lot smoother than they did with my disastrous Godzilla Let’s Play from awhile back:

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The Top 10 Best Overkills in Movies, #1: Robocop

Paul Verhoeven’s sci-fi masterpiece, Robocop, has the dual distinction of not only being one of my favorite films of all time, but of also featuring THE Best Overkill in Movies.

Come to think of it, overkill is something that Robocop has a great deal of.

There’s the famed ED-209 overkill sequence:

There’s the slightly more obscure, but no less brutal “melt man” overkill:

But standing head and shoulders above it all, putting all of the competition to shame, is the horrendously brutal death of Alex Murphy (Peter Weller):

While many of the other overkills on this list have a sense of excess that could be considered humorous by some, (I.E. me) the death of Alex Murphy is an overkill that has a sense of urgency and dramatic weight that goes a long way towards legitimizing  it.

Unflinchingly brutal and perhaps more importantly, graphic; watching Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith) and his gang torture, humiliate and ultimately, dismember Alex Murphy always brings a haunting, and alarming sense of wrongness to my conscience.

I love Robocop, and in particular, I love this scene; but that doesn’t keep me from understanding that this sequence was intended to be regarded as

Without a doubt; the death of Alex Murphy is easily the most greatest, most brutal, excessive, and utterly fucked-up Overkill in Movies.

That being said, what say we do a play-by-play of the carnage?:

The scene begins as Officer Alex Murphy stumbles into an ambush.

Surrounded by 5 armed men, Murphy is forced to give up his arms as Clarence Boddicker beats on him a little to try and get him to spill the beans on the whereabouts of his partner, Ann Lewis (Nancy Allen).

Best Shitty Haircut in Cinema History: Nancy Allen, Robocop (1987)

After whacking Murphy in the leg, and bashing him in the spine with the butt of his shotgun, Clarence finds himself interrupted as his fellow gang member, Joe (Jesse D. Goins), walks into the room declaring Lewis previously deceased by his hand.

Pictured: Joe's only contribution to the movie.

Yeah, Joe’s a dick…

With the threat of any remaining police presence now completely removed, Clarence and his gang lighten up and decide to have some fun with Murphy.

Kicking Murphy onto his back on the floor, Clarence paces about and starts talkin’ shit:

Throughout this sequence, it’s worth noting that Clarence, despite sounding downright chummy at times, consistently keeps his gun trained on Murphy’s head.

Placing one foot on the inside of Murphy’s forearm, Clarence stands up, looks down the barrel of his shotgun, and points it at Murphy’s groin.

While making a faux computerized targeting system tone, akin to the tone of a jet fighter’s missile lock tone, Clarence slowly brings the gun to bear, first on Murphy’s head, and then down to his still pinned right arm.

"Eagle One, Fox-3!"

The first shot of our overkill results in Alex Murphy’s right hand being rendered into chunky red mush.

If you look close, you can actually see the prosthetic hand being yanked out of the scene to simulate it's severing.

Being as Clarence Boddicker is a certified, grade-A DICK, a pun is his natural response to the violence:

Clarence Boddicker: DICK of the Ages

Following this, Clarence steps back for a smoke, leaving Murphy’s fate in the hands of his underlings.

...But first we have to watch Murphy bleed for 10 minutes.

Most likely in shock from having just lost his hand, Murphy lurches to his feet and immediately begins to slowly walk away from his assailants.

Being as Clarence’s gang is made up of coke-heads and Junior DICKS, their first act is to ask Murphy where he’s going, and then yell at him to turn around.

For whatever reason, Murphy does just this:

Like any great heel in wrestling, Clarence’s gang pick a body part and work it until it’s nothing but a bloody stump.

Well, being as these guys are using SHOTGUNS instead of submission moves, said process takes only about, oh, one shot.

Now missing an arm, the very same arm that he was previously missing a hand on, Murphy does just about the only thing he can:

Unfortunately, like bullies teasing a fat kid at the pool, Clarence’s gang are truly relentless, as with that they open fire with, literally, everything they’ve got.

First, they shoot him in his kevlar vest:

Then they shoot him there some more…

Then Lewis (who is not dead) stumbles into the room and watches them shoot Murphy in the vest…

Yup, she just stood there. Did absolutely nothing...

And they finish things off by shooting him enough times in the vest to tear it to ribbons and take some tasty chunks out of his torso to boot:

These have all been direct quotes by the way

Now, on any normal day, Alex Murphy would’ve been dead long before Clarence’s gang ran out of ammo, but this is a Paul Verhoeven film, so we’re not allowed to question the violence.

That being said, Murphy finally falls to his knees just as the gang pumps the last of their shells into his poor vest.

Seriously man, that thing had 2 days til retirement…

*Sniff* Don't worry friend, we'll remember you...

With Murphy left lying in pool of his own bodily fluids, one of Clarence’s gang, Emil (Paul McCrane), takes this opportunity to state the obvious:

"Hi, I'm Emil. I die a horrible death in this film!"

Not only that, but *GASP!* Joe takes this opportunity to be a DICK!

"Hi, I'm Joe. I, along with everyone else in this film, also die a horrible death in this movie."

Despite all the laughter and hijinks of his underlings throughout this scene, to his credit, Clarence finally steps forward and decides to put Alex Murphy out of his misery.

Well, either that or he was done with his cigarette and wanted to go home…

"The Tigers are a playin' a game, TONIGHT! I never miss a game..."

Either way, Clarence promptly walks up to Murphy, and casually puts a bullet through his head to call it a night:

Thusly concludes, the Best Overkill in Movies.

It’s brutal, it’s equally difficult and entertaining to watch, and in my mind, it’s simply the only top choice for this particular Top 10 list.

Anyway, thanks for reading, maybe we’ll do another Top 10 sometime.

With that, I’ve decided to go out on a high note by leaving you with this Robocop Rap:

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

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