Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

PG-13: Good Or Bad?

Earlier today I read an article at Twitchfilm.com that posed an argument regarding the practicality of the PG-13 movie rating.

In this article, author Todd Brown argued against the PG-13 rating, citing that he felt that these days, 26 years removed from it’s inception; Hollywood rarely produces films targeting the 10-13 year old age group, instead opting to focus on the more profitable age groups a few years North and South of it.

Said article can be found HERE.

Truth be told, I found that I agreed with pretty much everything Mr. Brown had to say.

While I can’t say I pay that much attention to the PG and PG-13 releases these days, I’ve always felt that; in general, there seems to be a distinct lack of films targeted at young people that don’t succumb to the “low” tactic of talking down to their audience.

Even as a kid, I always loved Hayao Miyazaki’s Tonari No Totoro for exactly this reason, as despite it’s inherently childish elements; there were also genuinely scary moments from time to time, as well as some seriously complex and realistic events unfolding in the stories’ periphery.

The movie was by no means a PG-13 film, but it was the first movie that came to mind on the subject of “not talking down to kids,” so I decided to run with it.

… Sorry about that, been a long day.

Anyway, the real reason for this post, was simply that I wanted to share this article with all of you, as I found it quite interesting.

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“You Betrayed Shiva!”

I don’t know why, but for some reason I’ve been in a very Spielberg/Lucas-y mood for the past week or so.

For those that don’t get the quote/reference featured on the card, I direct you to this amusing waste of time.

I’m pretty sure it all started last weekend when my buddy Mencius was kind enough to show me the Red Letter Media critique/analysis of Star Wars Episode III.

For those that haven’t seen the video, it’s serves as both an insightful and hilarious look at Episode III, as well as the nature of the entire Star Wars film franchise.

Truth be told, the way the whole thing was structured, it actually kind of reminded me of the writing style I use for posts on this blog.

Y’know, tidbits of information/humor, separated by irreverent and/or stupid images and captions.

Kind of like this.

Anyway, that’s my explanation for all the Harrison Ford/Indiana Jones references as of late.

Seeing as Lucas-ian products serve as a near bottomless treasure trove for retarded (and amusing) quotes and references, I wouldn’t be surprised if this keeps up for some time.

Hey, it’s not my fault I’ve got nothing to write about, not a whole is happening in my particular corner of the woods of dorkiness.

And no, I don’t give a shit that Johnny Storm/The Human Torch of The Fantastic Four died last week.

Johnny Storm, showing us just why he had to die.

I’ve never been a fan of The Fantastic Four, and while I find it interesting that the one member of the team that I had any appreciation for is the one Marvel decided to kill off; I don’t see myself ever owning or reading a Fantastic Four book in a good long while.

Anyway, here’s hoping I find something to write about soon, otherwise I’m just gonna’ keep making Magic cards until I’ve got a whole fuckin’ deck of ’em…

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The Legend of Harrison Ford’s Punches

While I’m guessing it’s been thoroughly documented elsewhere, I feel I need to say a little something about the nature of the above Magic card.

Harrison Ford made his livings as an “action star” for a good portion of the 80’s and early 90’s.

Despite this reputation however, it doesn’t take a genius to notice that he’s by no means a physical specimen.

Pictured: Harrison Ford prepares to undergo a procedure to become a physical specimen.

Let it be known, in the world of Hollywood films, a “rugged” appearance, a team of good stunt men, and some creative camera angles can go a long way towards making an action star out of even the most ordinary of people.

That being said, while I loves me some Harrison Ford, and would never go out of my way to talk shit about him or his career, I feel it needs to be mentioned that the man never fully grasped the mechanics involved in throwing a decent punch.

While that may sound like nitpicking to some, (it is) I’ve always found this to be hilarious, being as Mr. Ford has a reputation for decking people in an alarming number of his films, much to my approval.

Hell, I even remember him clocking somebody in Witness, while disguised as an Amish guy no less.

Damn, that's one savage MAN FACE. Hey look, Viggo Mortensen!

Watching Harrison Ford draw back and punch somebody, is akin to bearing witness to a violent seizure or dry heave.

Near as I can tell, the man has no fucking clue what he’s doing, nor any real control over his actions; yet somehow, he’s pretty damn consistent about doing it the same way every time.

You see he doesn’t really punch, per se.  It’s more like he sticks out his arm like Superman and falls fist first into people’s faces.

"Aw shit, get to cover people! Harrison Ford's winding up!"

My guess is, this particular technique is unorthodox and unpredictable to the point of being utterly impossible to avoid.

Think of it like drunken boxing, only sloppier and more Jewish.

Fortunately, Mr. Ford’s punches have the benefit of being backed up with some of the greatest punch sound effects in the history of film:

That’s the magic of filmmaking for yah’.

You can throw the ugliest punches known to man for 20 or 30 years, but in the end; all it takes is the combined awesomeness of a character like Indiana Jones, and some awesome sound effects, and you have the makings of an action movie legend.

Thus is the difference between an “Indiana Jones Punch,” and a “Harrison Ford Punch.”

The former has the benefit of Spielberg-ian/Lucas-ian cinematography and sound engineering, while the latter displays the sad reality behind all the flash.

Anyway, that was “The Legend of the Harrison Ford Punch.”

Hopefully this has been an educational, and intellectually stimulating experience.

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Farewell To Pete Postlethwaite

Pete Postlethwaite, 02/07/1946 - 01/02/2011

It’s old news to all those who would care to know, but 2 days ago English actor and thespian Pete Postlethwaite passed away.

While not exactly a headlining star in the film industry, Postlethwaite spent the better part of 3 decades as a go-to supporting actor in a myriad of films and genres.

Possessed of an incredibly powerful, distinct, and versatile speaking voice; Postlethwaite was a deeply respected actor whose presence could serve to legitimize most any production, regardless of his lack of household name status in Hollywood.

The first time I remember seeing Mr. Postlethwaite was in the live-action/stop-motion animated film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach.\

Yeah, somebody was on the crack...

The movie was a huge deal at the time, as Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas had recently re-energized stop-motion for mainstream audiences; not to mention my elementary school class was right in the middle of a Roald Dahl reading binge around the time of it’s release.

Postlethwaite played a small, but pivotal role in the film; as the mysterious pixie-like man that gave James the glowing worms to free him from his evil aunts.

While I was a little bit too young to appreciate the art of acting at the time, I have to admit; the character of Postlethwaite’s face, and the way he used to it embody the spark of energy and cleverness of his character, made the 9 year old me believe he really could’ve been magical.

Since my first encounter with Postlethwaite, I’ve gone to run across him in films too numerous to count.

I laughed at him in Dragonheart.

 

Man, Postlethwaite spit some sick-ass rhymes in this movie...

I was startled to seem him so meek and pitiable in Alien 3.

 

He's about 2 seconds from getting his head ripped off...

I was saddened to see him make his exit so hastily in the god-awful Clash of the Titans remake.

 

T

*Sigh* If only Pete had been the main character instead of Sam Worthington...

But for my money, the finest and most memorable role I remember seeing Pete Postlethwaite in; was as the great white hunter Roland Tembo in The Lost World.

Hell, I still have his fuckin’ action figure:

Truth be told, it's actually a stunning likeness.

If you read my Top 10 Overkills in Movies post on the Lost World, then chances are you recall my many (hopefully humorous) asides to Postlethwaite’s character in the film.

I did that, because Postlethwaite was THE SHIT in The Lost World, and that was my way of trying to drive that point home.

"When did you last see him?" "I don't know sir, I'm too busy shitting my pants over how fucking epic you are..."

Seriously, of all the quotable quotations in the Jurassic Park films, (well, the first 2 anyway…) Postlethwaite’s Tembo was one of the best.

Rest assured, if ever I’m asked if I found something/something, my response will always be:

“Just the parts they didn’t like…”

Anyway, rest in peace Pete Postlethwaite, your wild-eyed, strong-voiced, almost Obi-Wan-like wise old manliness will be sorely missed.

Here’s hoping you finally get a chance to bag that male/bull T-Rex in the afterlife, hopefully right alongside Bob Peck on his Raptor hunt.

Thanks for the memories guys. Goddamnit, Jeff Goldblum better not be next...

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Holy Fucking Shit, It’s A Dinosaur.

You’ll have to forgive my laziness, as after spending 2 hours on the freeway just to get home from work; I really just can’t summon the strength to write anything clever or remotely interesting this evening.

Anyway, hopefully you enjoyed the video above, as I’ve found it always puts a smile on my face whenever I watch it.

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll get around to posting the Top 5 Jackie Chan Songs That Keep The Azn Badger From Stabbing People for yah’.

Such passion! How could anyone not like him?

Regardless, sorry for the retarded/non-existent post.

Thanks for dropping by!

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Top 5 Traumatic Deaths in Movies

Today we’re gonna’ be talkin’ about SAD SHIT.

SAD SHIT as in The Top 5 Traumatic Deaths in Movies kinda’ SAD.

Please take note that everything contained in this list is a product of the Azn Badger’s childhood; so don’t expect any movies on here to be made anytime past the mid-90’s.

Anyway, let’s get thing’s rollin’, shall we?:

#5. The NeverEnding Story – Artax Eats Some Mud. Check That, A Lot of Mud…

The NeverEnding Story was a tough movie for me to watch as a kid.

It was long, I didn’t really get it, there was a lot of unintentionally scary imagery, and oh yeah, it was long.

Pictured: One of the INTENTIONALLY scary parts of The Neverending Story.

So long in fact, that I never really finished it as a kid, resulting in me thinking the whole thing ended with the end of the world at the hands of The Nothing.

Pretty fuckin’ sad, am I right?

Thankfully, I went ahead and saw the rest of the movie a few years ago, thusly patching up a few childhood scars in the process.

That being said, while this death doesn’t really count as a death; ’cause if memory serves, Artax is still alive and well at the end of the movie, to the young Azn Badger the fuckin’ horse died in the mud hole.

Anyway, this death marks probably the first and only time the Azn Badger ever felt any sort of emotion in reference to a horse.

It was the fuckin’ kid that got to me, that girlie-boy Atreyu.

Hah! Father Time kicked his ASS!

They’re both standing in them mud, and the fuckin’ kid is blowin’ his lungs out screaming at his fuckin’ horse to “not give in to the sadness of the swamps” n’shit.

Meanwhile, the music is swelling and gettin’ all sad and crestfallen n’shit.

The whole thing was just too much for me as a kid, and for the life of me; I bought into it.

"Artax, you're sinking!" Oh God, make it stop!!!!

While I didn’t really “get” the Neverending Story back then, little episodes like Artax bitin’ the big one stuck with me on a visceral level; in this case, making me very sad.

Fun Fact – The only reason I remember that damn horse’s name is because of his death scene when Atreyu yells it about 50 times.

Repetition:  It works.

#4. The Lion King – Mufasa Gets 50,000 Wildebeasts Rammed Up His Ass

Who's featured most prominently on the poster? That's right, MUFASA.

Mufasa was a pimp.

You take the raw power of James Earl Jones’ voice, and transplant it into the body of the biggest, baddest, most pimp-as-fuck lion in all of existence; and you’ve got Mufasa.

"This, is CNN..."

Needless to say, in my youth; Mufasa’s death hit me pretty hard.

As I hope we all know, Mufasa met his fate at the hands of the combined force of a stampeding herd of wildebeast, and the nasty claws of Jeremy Irons.

Wow. Believe it or not, I think Irons just topped himself...

Any less, and I’m sure his pimp-ass self would’ve survived somehow.

Anyway, Mufasa; pimp that he is, rushes headlong into the stampede to save his pussy-ass son, Simba.

'The fuck was up with kid in the 90's anyway? He was EVERYWHERE.

While he is successful in rescuing the boy, Mufasa takes some serious shots from the fuckin’ wildebeasts, the kinda’ hits that would fold a lesser lion in half.

All the while, Hans Zimmer’s music was goin’ crazy, and all the kids in the audience were either pickin’ their boogers, or hoping against hope that ‘ole Mufasa was gonna’ pull through and not fall prey to “Bambi’s Mother Syndrome.”

That’s right Disney, don’t pretend that us kids don’t know about “Bambi’s Mother Syndrome.”

Disney: Teaching kids that their parents are gonna' die.

Just as Mufasa’s managed to escape the stampede for just a few seconds, out strolls his brother; Jeremy Irons.

Slimey prick that he is, Jeremy Irons busts out his freshly manicured nails; and digs them puppies into Mufasa’s paws; but not before saying something creepy and vaguely savage like:

How ironic that the pimpest of all lions would be felled by a bunch of wildebeast AKA the butt of every Discovery Channel predator/prey joke…

To make matters worse, Mufasa’s death has the added impact of having a 40 minute guilt trip attached to it.

Jeremy Irons tells Simba, straight to his face; that the whole thing was his fault.

This of course results in Simba running off into the wild for the next 10 years to eat bugs and talk to clouds.

Talking to clouds: Useful for convincing one's self to go out and kill their uncle.

Oh well, guess we all have to cope somehow…

#3. The Land Before Time – Littlefoot’s Mom Gets Sharptooth-ed

I betcha' this movie wouldn't have done half as well without the T. Rex on the cover.

The Land Before Time was a special movie for me back in the day.

Come to think of it, while I’m sure how it all worked out, Don Bluth movies were all some of my favorites as a kid.

Not this one though... This one was just plain awful...

While the Secret of NIMH was definitely the cream of the crop, even back in the day, (sword fight!) The Land Before Time had dinosaurs and Spielberg-ian funding, making it a close second.

Although it wasn’t a Disney production, rest assured Mr. Bluth saw fit to work some “Bambi’s Mother Syndrome” into the mix in the form of Littlefoot’s Mom.

Much like the Lion King after it, Littlefoot’s Mother meets her fate partially due to the actions of her son.

Stop smiling, you killed your mother!

In short, Littlefoot and Cera are dickin’ around in the wild, they piss off Sharptooth, Littlefoot’s Mom shows up to save the kids, does so, but is mortally wounded in the process.

Easy to see why, look at that beast! He's a fuckin' Pimp-A-Saurus Rex I tells yah'!

Cue lengthy and heartbreaking death scene wherein parent reminds child that “they’ll always be with them.”

While the actual battle with Sharptooth was awesome to the young Azn Badger, instead of horrifying as it may have been intended to be perceived, the death sequence afterwards was just plain tough to sit through.

Oh no, it's happening again!!!

Even now, I bet I’d have a tough time getting through it without biting my lip or taking a deep breath or 2.

#2. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea – Captain Nemo Succumbs To His ACTING TALENT

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, along with The Adventures of Robin Hood, was one of those terrific “old movies” that as a kid; I never knew was “old.”

I watched the both of them about a million times, and I don’t think I ever got close to getting tired of them.

While Robin Hood had swashbuckling and and ungodly amount of merry laughter, Leagues had Kirk Douglas and a GIANT FUCKING SQUID.

You have no idea how many times I sat through this entire movie just to get to this part.

The epic-ness of these 2 factors made for one of the single most spectacular and enchanting films of my childhood.

That being said, despite Kirk Douglas’ Ned Land being my favorite character, James Mason’s Captain Nemo was a pretty close second.

SO fucking pimp...

Even as a kid, I loved his pimp-ass beard, and the curious way in which he spoke.

His voice was awesome and all, but I loved the pace of his speech, how it was just a half beat slower than everyone else.

Appropriately, it made him seem enigmatic, like you’d never be able to figure out what he was thinking in a million years if you tried.

Anyway, while 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea was yet another movie that I didn’t quite “get” when I watched it as a kid, Captain Nemo’s death was something that I understood all too well.

As with seemingly all deaths on this list, the music made all the difference.

Captain Nemo is running atop the Nautilus, dodging incoming gunfire from the dudes that want his technological secrets.

He jukes left, he jukes right, and all the while the strings in the orchestra are goin’ fuckin’ nuts.

Suddenly, just as he’s within feet of the entrance to the lower deck of the submarine, his body spasms and the music crashes to a halt with a horrifying *DOOOOMMM!*

No squib, no blood spurt, just James Mason’s ACTING TALENT and the power of a music cue.

From there, the rest of the movie has Nemo, resigned to the fate of his eventual death; lurch and stumble his way through the submarine to a couch next to an undersea viewing window.

Nemo’s last moments are spent gazing into the deep blue that he loved so much.

While the death was pretty epic, it was the initial gunshot that hit me as a kid.

As soon as that music cue hit, my tiny heart sunk down to my toes.

*Sniff!* I honestly thought he was going to make it…

#1. Transformers: The Movie – Optimus Prime Becomes One With The Matrix

FUCK YES.

This may seem like a cop-out to some.

A predictable, bandwagon-y ploy to get the nerds to read the blog; however if any of you genuinely think that, then you obviously don’t know the Azn Badger.

As mentioned several times on this blog, I watched Transformers: The Movie, quite literally nearly every day of my early childhood.

My older brother did the same.

Transformers: The Movie was one of those magical films that just did it for me as a kid.

I loved Godzilla movies as kid, but that was because I loved Godzilla as a character.

Man, what I would give to have been one of those kids...

Transformers: The Movie was a case of me simply loving an individual movie more than any human child should.

While I was a little bit too young to have enjoyed the Transformers TV show while it was first airing, The Movie served as my ambassador to the series; giving me a crash-course on the Gen-1 stuff before I even started watching the re-runs.

That being said, the opening battle on Cybertron, that takes the vast majority of the original cast of the show and kills them off in favor of new toys, I mean characters; was truly a thing of beauty.

The battle on Cybertron worked because it had actual stakes.

Lives were lost on both sides of the conflict, such that you truly got the sense that everyone was fair game.

Hell, Ironhide was one of my favorites from the TV show, and he got his head blown off in the first 10 minutes.

"Such heroic nonsense..."

Not only that, Prowl died a few seconds earlier via some hot chili; and Wheeljack, fuckin’ Wheeljack wouldn’t even get the respect of having an on-screen death.

Should probably cut back on those habaneros Prowl...

These were big name guys, characters that were at the forefront of the action in every episode of the TV show, and here they were gettin’ their clocks cleaned in the first 20 minutes of The Movie!

Then they went and killed Optimus Prime.

If the battle between Optimus Prime and Megatron at the beginning of Transformers: The Movie is one of the best fights in cinema history, then the death of Optimus Prime is surely one of the most dramatic deaths.

I love the subtlety of the death sequence.

Everyone is gathered around Prime, their facial expressions communicating far more than words could hope to.

Aw, Kup's sad face is sad!

Perceptor, the closest thing the group has to a doctor, presents his diagnosis with a simple:

“I’m afraid the wounds are, fatal…”

With the silence broken, Daniel; the child of the group, is the first to speak his mind:

"Prime, you can't die!"

From there, the whole thing just gets more and more epic.

We have the passing of the Matrix to Ultra Magnus, the not-so subtle symbolism of Hot Rod catching the Matrix, and Optimus Prime just plain being awesome, even as he’s moments from death.

"LIGHT. OUR DARKEST. HOUR."

At the end of it all, the hammer of childhood trauma drops as Optimus Prime’s entire form turns black, a decidedly fatalistic percussive music cue hits; and Prime commits his final act as his head limply turns to the side.

Shit just got real.

That, my friends; is how you kill an icon.

... And thank you Michael Bay for showing us how NOT to do it.

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Superman/Batman Apocalypse Review

Not long ago, I was planning on doing a review for the DC Animated Universe feature film, Batman: Under the Red Hood.

RED HOOD MAKES BATMAN MAKE MEAN FACE!

My plans fell through on pounding out that article for the oddest of reasons:

After sitting through the movie, I found I had close to nothing to say about it.

To this day I can barely remember that movie, other than the fact that the climactic battle between Batman and the Red Hood was brutally well choreographed to an extent few animated films can measure up to.

Other than that, the movie was totally flat.

Yeah, like that kinda' flat...

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse on the other hand, is a film that I find I can very easily form an opinion of.

In short, I didn’t like Apocalypse.

Meant to serve as a direct follow-up to the (in my eyes) superior Superman/Batman: Public Enemies of last year, Apocalypse is an action-packed, but ultimately light weight exercise in tedium.

I know what you’re thinking:

“But Azn Badger, couldn’t Public Enemies be described in exactly the same fashion?  How can you like one better than the other?”

*Gasp!* That's like saying: "I like peanuts, but not peanut butter."

While I’ll admit this is true, Public Enemies was essentially a film comprised entirely of Michael Bay-esque lights and sound married with ungodly amounts of fan-service, the key difference between Public Enemies and Apocalypse lies within their execution of these 2 factors.

Public Enemies went balls out with it’s over-the-top-ness, pitting it’s 2 heroes against a legion of big name characters from the DC Universe, all while progressively stepping up the urgency and scale of it’s various crises until things, quite literally; reach astronomical levels.

Yes, Batman does in fact drive a giant Superman/Batman robot. Retarded: Yes. Entertaining: Kinda'...

It was stupid, it was fun, and the script was put together in such a way as to “play along” with that mindset.

Throw in some great voicework from the original “Timm-verse” voice cast of Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy, and the always impeccable Clancy Brown, and you’ve got a recipe for a good time.

Clancy Brown = PIMP. Even though he DID kill Sean Connery...

Apocalypse on the other hand, sort of went about things half-cocked.

There’s a great deal of action, with the animation and art design being quite good for the most part, (much better than in Under the Red Hood) but the overall feel of the movie is just plain wrong.

Like Public Enemies, Apocalypse is once again based on Jeph Loeb’s work on the Superman/Batman comic series, with the source material being taken from the second story arc entitled “The Supergirl from Krypton.”

Perhaps it’s the Transformers and Power Ranger loving “boy” in me, but I’ve never found it within me to appreciate the beauty of Kara Zor-El AKA Supergirl’s soul.

Pictured: What happens when the Japanese get their hands on American comic book characters.

She was kind of cool during the 90’s when she was working for the red-haired Lex Luthor and busting heads in the Superman animated series, but other than that, I’ve never paid much attention to her.

Anyway, the story of Apocalypse kicks off very shortly after the conclusion of Public Enemies wherein Batman destroyed a massive Kryptonite meteor on a collision course with earth.

As the last remnant of said meteor make their way past Earth’s orbit, a hefty chunk manages to fall through the atmosphere and crash land in Gotham Harbor.

Goddamn women drivers!

After investigating a bit, Batman (Kevin Conroy) discovers a space pod among the debris, which of course housed our future Supergirl (Summer Glau) who goes through the requisite culture shock of dealing with Earth people for the first time, (in the nude no less) and discovering her vast array of powers granted to her by Earth’s yellow sun.

Yeah, not sure how you "accidentally" shoot lasers out of your eyes, but whatever...

Merry mishaps ensue, much property damage is caused, (it’s okay if it’s on accident!) and Superman (Tim Daly) eventually shows up to lift something heavy and take Kara off to show her his Fortress of Solitude.

The "Fortress of Solitude." Oh wait, they're cousins... THAT'S NASTY!!!

From that point on, the first 20 minutes of the movie see us following Kara as she explores life on Earth with her cousin Kal, (Superman, you big dummy) all while Batman constantly broods about the potentiality of her being a bad omen/villain/secret weapon/fish person.

Cut to the planet Apocalypse, where Granny Goodness (voiced with unbelievable zest by Ed Asner) oversees the training of a potential leader of Darkseid’s honor guard/stable of fucked up bitches, The Female Furies.

As you can see, they're a happy, well-adjusted bunch of females... That just happen to be FURIOUS.

What follows is a lucid and well-choregraphed 4-on-1 cat fight.

The drama is convincing, largely due to the effective pacing, which sees our 1 against the 4 holding their own in the few minute or so of combat, only to eventually be overwhelmed.

Like all of the fighting in Apocalypse, this scene served as a brief highlight among a sea of blemishes.

Cut back to Metropolis, where we are treated to the requisite “teenaged shopping spree” scene, albeit with oddly boring and low-key music.

Haha, it's funny 'cause he's a dude.

With that, night eventually falls and Wonder Woman (Susan Eisenberg) decides to show up to piss off Superman by trying to hog-tie Kara.

I like where this is going. Proceed...

Y’know, like yah’ do.

As it turns out, the Amazons of Themyscira’s (Wonder Woman’s ‘hood) resident prophet, Harbinger (Rachel Quaintance), has been having visions of Kara’s eventual death on a beach somewhere, resulting in Wonder Woman making the decision to take Kara back to the island in hopes of maintaining her safety.

Another good argument for Wonder Woman’s logic is the fact that Kara, for perhaps the 3rd time in the movie, recklessly unleashes her powers on Metropolis during her attempted kidnapping.

WOULD YOU STOP DOING THAT!!

Eventually, Superman grudgingly decides to give in to Wonder Woman’s pleas.

With that, we flash 2 months later and Kara’s been living on Themyscira with the Amazons.

Despite all that time, Superman is still feeling butt-hurt about the whole deal, while Batman and Wonder Woman just kind of look to each other from time to time and wonder just why Superman is such a douche…

Anyway, Kara imparts to us, through the language of teenage angst, that she is feeling cramped by everyone ordering her around the time, and she now wishes to live her own life, by her own terms.

Thankfully, after all of this boring “stranger-in-a-strange-land” meets Jem bullshit, the Darkseid angle of the story hinted not so subtly by, I don’t know, the title of the movie, finally comes to light proper.

A boom tube opens up in Themyscira, teleporting in, not one, but a literal army of Doomsday clones.

Um... You know just 1 was enough to kill Superman, right?

With an army of Amazons at their backs, Batman, (armed with a magical axe) Superman, and Wonder Woman take on the Doomsday army 300 style.

What follows is a pretty decent, if not chaotic battle sequence highlighted by a goofy and melodramatic homage to the muted war sequences made popular by Saving Private Ryan.

"Mike..."

I haven’t read the comic that this movie is based on, but my guess is that the Doomsday’s present in this story were meant to be vastly inferior to the original, as we all know that just one Doomsday probably should’ve been enough to take on all of Themyscira.

Either way, things wrap up as Superman opens up with a Kamehame-I mean, heat-vision blast that levels the entire army at once.

Now I ask you, why the fuck didn't he do that from the start!?

With that, our heroes run off to the beach of Harbinger’s visions, only to discover that Kara is gone, and Harbinger lay dead in her place.

"*Whew!* It's okay folks, it's only that one chick that nobody liked."

Now that we’re about halfway through the movie, the stakes have been clearly laid out for us, leaving the plot with nowhere to go but Apocalypse, right?

Well, not quite.

First, our heroes have to go visit former Female Fury leader, Big Barda; in order to borrow her equipment to boom tube their asses over there.

I always found Big Barda's costume to be, uh, a little bit gaudy for my tastes. Eithert that or, y'know, STUPID.

Barda resists at first, but then opts instead to join our heroes in their crusade, seemingly just for the sake of getting a chance to throw mud in Darkseid’s eyes.

From there, the rest of the movie is action/fighting.

I won’t spoil anything for you, but I will say this:

The second half of Apocalypse, while well animated and filled with fight sequences, is hardly notable among DC Animated Universe productions.

Among the trio of climaxes, (one for each major player) Wonder Woman and Big Barda get the best of the bunch in the form of a brawl with the Female Furies.

Seriously, the choreography in this scene is excellent, nearly as good as the Wonder Woman feature from a few years ago.

For those who are keeping score at home, that’s really fuckin’ good.

Batman and Superman though, sadly have little to offer in terms of awesomeness.

Although I suppose if giant dogs are your thing, then Batman's stuff might be kinda' cool for you...

Once again, I’m not going to spoil anything for you, but the movie has a long and drawn out ending sequence that, while entertaining on purely visceral level, was overblown and utterly pointless.

Like Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King “I have 5 endings!” pointless.

Oh well, at least it gives us a chance to see Superman access his inner Fist of the North Star and bust out blatantly anime-inspired moves like this:

Yeah, that just happened…

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse rests very low on the totem pole for me as far as DC Animated Universe films go.

Wonder Woman, of all things, is at or near the top, with Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths ranking just below it, followed by Green Lantern: First Flight, with Public Enemies rounding out the lower-tier of the “good” movies.

In other words:

Apocalypse ain’t so hot.

The story was petty and unfocused, with the characters not so much relating to each other as covering each other’s asses in battle.

ASS.

Call me crazy, but I prefer my superhero team-ups to y’know, have the characters talk to each other every now and again.

The action, while impressive to behold, felt surprisingly limited in scale given the stakes at hand.

Remember in the Superman cartoon when Darkseid invaded Metropolis with an army and wrecked Superman’s shit with said army.

Remember when he killed Dan Turpin? Yeah, that sucked balls...

Well, in Apocalypse, on Darkseid’s home turf, which by the way was seemingly populated by about 10 people, Darkseid manages to send, I don’t know; 5 guys and some dogs after our invading heroes.

That’s just silly.

A gripe about Darkseid:

Andrea Romano’s work as a voice casting director for Warner Bros. animation has always been regarded as some of the most consistent and praise worthy stuff in the industry, but what in the holy-fuck made her think ANYONE but MICHAEL FUCKING IRONSIDE could play Darkseid!?

Here, just take a look at this:

It pains me to know that this clip, from the script, to the voice-acting, to the music, to even the quality of the animation, however economical, is better than any of the DC Animated Features.

Andre Braugher has a wonderful voice.

Hell, if it’s any consolation I liked him in Glory

But the simple fact of the matter is, he was horribly miscast.

For one thing, he speaks far too fast, but moreover; his voice simply lacks the timbre and menace of Ironside’s.

I suppose it doesn’t hurt either that the script for this movie couldn’t hold a candle to anything from the DC animated series’…

Though it may seem minor to some, for me, I found it utterly impossible to take Darkseid seriously in this movie.

You know it's bad when you can't take THIS GUY seriously...

Another gripe.

Apocalypse contains a great deal of useless “asides.”

That is to say, the movie mimics the time tested anime trope of cutting away to pointless shots of everyday life/nature as a means of transition.

In anime, this works.

It’s an undeniably Japanese approach to story pacing, and when used in a long-form series consistently, it just plain works.

Here it’s a just goddamn waste of time, something that a slim; hour and a half long production should be conscious of.

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse is not a Japanese production, nor is it a long-ass series where wasted shots can be used to pad out episodes.

I don’t know what the fuck is going on with American animation these days, but the power and influence that anime has had over it’s character designs, animation techniques, and now even storytelling techniques, is just plain fucking grotesque.

I understand that anime and manga are currently the bees knees among the younger crowd, but c’mon folks, stick to what you’re best at.

The Batman and Superman cartoons were animation classics.

Now we’ve got shit like Teen Titans, shit that truly feels like pale imitations of something that is, culturally; quite foreign.

YOU SEE!!? THIS is why we have weeaboos and Narutards!

Anyway, I’ve said far more than I ever intended to about this movie, so I think I’ll cut things here.

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse – A movie that doesn’t try hard enough at being dumb and loud, but ultimately leaves it’s viewers with no entertainment value other than those 2 elements.

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Playstation Move + Sports Champions Review

Today I spent a good portion of my afternoon kickin’ it with my Korean buddy from up the street.

Pictured: Said Korean. He made this, not me.

Being as he’s a gadget oriented person, he saw fit to purchase the new Playstation Move on the first day of it’s release.

I was fortunate to be invited to christen the mighty motion control device along with him.

Color me surprised when I discovered that it was actually kind of fun to play.

Bear in mind, my impressions are, of course; derived solely from the Sports Champions disc packed with it.

Azn chick with a bow. Now that's not cliched imagery...

Like most gaming peripheral pack-in games I.E. Wii Sports, Super Scope 6, etc., Sports Champions could be viewed as little more than a tech-demo for the device, however in the case of the Move, it just happens to be a surprisingly deep and full-featured tech-demo.

FUCK. YES.

The game contains 6 different styles of play:

Archery, Ping Pong, Volleyball, Bocce Ball, Disc Golf, and a sword and shield Gladiator Duel.

I leave it to you to guess which game I insisted on playing most often.

"ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!?"

While I didn’t have the opportunity (nor desire) to try the Volleyball game, I was pretty impressed with most of the others.

The Archery was pretty straightforward, and definitely favored speed over accuracy.

Much like how I favor this Robin Hood over any other.

I have to say, requiring the player to actually have to reach over their shoulder to pull the next arrow from their quiver was a nice touch.

Other than that though, the Archery game was definitely lacking without the use of a second Move controller to properly simulate the tensile strength on the string of the bow.

The second controller tracks the distance between the 2 to determine the strength of the shot. SCIENCE.

My friend is a gadget guy, but he’s also Azn, so I don’t expect he’ll be shelling out the cash for another controller any time soon.

Moving on, Ping Pong was definitely a standout among most of the games.

Ping Pong was the first game I was privy to trying my hand at, and as such, it served as my introduction to the technical capabilities of the Move.

TECHNICAL.

My first action in the game was to turn over my wrist before the serve, just to see how well the Move could track my motions.

I have to say, it was quite satisfying to see my on-screen avatar (some douche in sunglasses named Dallas) actually match my wrist gesticulations move for move.

Here’s a video of someone (who sucks) playing the same character:

Once I started the game, I found the controls to be quite intuitive and surprisingly true to life.

I was perhaps most impressed by the controller’s ability to keep up with my movements despite my wonky style of playing Ping Pong.

I play right-handed, but in a Southpaw stance… And I also play back-handed with the racquet held at my waist.

Pictured: The Azn Badger playin' Ping Pong.

Goofy yes, but effective against lower-tier players like myself.

Despite all that goofiness, the Move managed to keep up just fine, allowing me to actually get a win in Ping Pong before my friend, the owner of the device, even got a chance to.

Bocce Ball was kind of a mixed bag.

I played it hot-seat style with my 2 other friends, and we found that:

A): Bocce Ball is a game that is probably more fun when someone in the room knows the rules/objective of the game.

And B): Bocce Ball is a game best played in the presence of old people or feebs.

Pictured: The correct people to stomp on in Bocce Ball.

While pretty fun, especially whenever someone managed to accidentally make a nice shot, the real problem with Bocce Ball was the Move’s inability to simulate the weight of a Bocce Ball in your hand.

Trust me, when you’re trying to determine just how much man-force behind your Bocce throw, more often than not you’ll find yourself overthrowing.

This same problem was present when playing Disc Golf with the same 2 friends.

Thankfully, no one I know owns one of these.

Although in this case, the problem was much more pronounced.

Disc Golf was kind of like the Wii Bowling of the Sports Champion disc.

Once you “get it,” that is, figure out how to position your wrist and how much man-force to put behind your shots, for the most part you’ve pretty much figured out the game.

Though my friends and I didn’t come close to mastering Disc Golf in the short time we played it, I can say this:

Those of us who could straighten their wrists properly (not me) were consistently the victor in every match we played.

That being said, let’s cut through the bullshit and get down to talkin’ about the only game in Sports Champions that really matters:

GLADIATOR DUEL

I’ve played Gladiator Duel for about 4-5 hours total now, and I’ve gotta’ say, at least against the computer; it’s pretty fuckin’ fun.

The basic gameplay of Duel is that of a motion controlled sword fight.

Yes, you do in fact look THIS dorky when playing.

Remember how utterly weak-sauce the controls of Wii Boxing were?

You know how he landed that shot? By flailing around for 5 minutes and getting lucky, that's how.

Well, Gladiator Duel blows that shit outta’ the water.

Remember how every swing you performed in Wii Tennis, regardless of power or direction, would always result in a canned animation?

Pictured: Steven Spielberg spite-killing Shigeru Miyamoto at Wii Tennis.

Well, Gladiator Duel spreads it’s cheeks and drops a log all over that shit’s face.

Remember how Rocky successfully ended the reign of the communist reign of the USSR using only his fists and the magnificent man-force of his man-fists?

BOW BEFORE YOUR GOD.

Well, that has nothing to do with Gladiator Duel, but it was fuckin’ awesome…

Anyway, when playing Duel, swinging the Move controller results in any number of attacks, while doing the same motions while holding the trigger on the controller results in manipulation of the player’s shield.

Parries, that is defense using one’s sword are possible and indeed recommended, as are the use of lateral movement and backsteps.

There are numerous context sensitive actions available in the game, so many in fact that I found myself wondering how fun Gladiator Duel would be to play online with human players.

Here’s a clip, I don’t feel like fishing for pics right now:

Trust me when I say this, the game is far more intense once you step up the difficulty level.

I was quite impressed by the sheer volume of content available in Sports Champions, well, at least the Gladiator Duel portion of it.

Near as I can tell, there are 10 racially diverse player avatars to choose from, with apparently an additional six unlockable after completing all of the challenges for each sports event.

Pictured: The 2 Azn characters. Both are Japanese. Go figure.

My buddy and I managed to unlock Titus, the Roman gladiator-garbed boss character of the Gladiator Duel game.

Pictured: Titus and his trident wielding friend.

In addition to this, different weapon skins and costumes are unlockable for each character, but perhaps most importantly, many characters possess their own movement animations, with only a few being reused here and there.

Thankfully there wasn't a whole lot of this in Sports Champions...

Little details like that were certainly not necessary for the developers to release Sports Champions successfully, however they are ultimately what kept me from holding all that much against it.

I can honestly say that I’ll probably never invest in a Move, (I’d need a Playstation 3 first now, wouldn’t I?) however that doesn’t stop me from having a lot of fun playing it at a friend’s house.

A few words to potential purchasers:

My buddy was telling me that he tried using the Move in conjunction with the game Tiger Woods 11, only to find that the motion controls were stunningly inaccurate.

Also, the same buddy is still trying to find a game that stands out as being a must purchase for the Move.

To top things off, as mentioned earlier, many games seem to need a second controller to work properly, so that’s an extra $40 if you seriously wanna’ get the most out of your experience.

Oh well, that doesn’t stop me from pestering my buddy to buy another controller so we can try The Fight: Lights Out

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In Memoriam: Robert Muldoon

"JP: Jurassic Park! Something, has survived!"

I fucking love Jurassic Park.

As a child raised with the perception that dinosaurs were absolutely the coolest shit ever, Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park was, and still is, the perfect film to appeal to my young dinosaur loving self.

Pictured: My young, dinosaur loving self.

I suppose it also helped that the movie was legitimately good too.

Anyway, this post isn’t about Jurassic Park as a whole, if it were you’d have to pack your sleeping bag just to read it.

Seriously, this is one movie that I really can talk about FOR-EV-ER.

No, today, we’re going to be talking about a man among men.

A man so manly, even the biggest and most clever of Velociraptor pride leaders wouldn’t dare challenge him without the aid of a comrade.

That's right bitch. Shake in 'dem fossilized bones a' yours...

A man so manly, every hat he owns, even his baseball caps; flip up on one side like a slouch hat.

Pictured: Australia in hat form.

A man so manly, even the mighty Samuel L. Jackson dare not challenge his authority when told to be “quiet.”

"'The fuck told ME to shut up?..."

A man so manly, he can drive stick.

"Get off the stick! Bloody move!"

That’s right ladies and gentleman, today we pay tribute to the manliest of manly men, the paragon of pimp, the head game warden and “great white hunter” of John Hammond’s (Richard Attenborough) Jurassic Park:

Robert Muldoon.

In short, Muldoon is THE SHIT.

You thought Donnie Yen was badass?

Next to Muldoon he’s a fucking choir boy.

A CHOIR BOY.

Though he was only in handful of scenes, Muldoon nevertheless made a huge impression on me, even as a child.

Personally, I think most of that had to do with the fact that he wore a slouch/Aussie hat, which was something I just happened to think was really fuckin’ cool back in the day.

Still kinda’ do, now that you mention it…

Anyway, Muldoon is a hard-ass throughout most of Jurassic Park, but he’s a loveable hard-ass.

Y’know, he’s that kind of asshole where you’re all like:

"Man, what a dick..."

But after a few seconds you’re all like:

"But goddamnit, he's AWESOME!"

He was the rock of the major players in Jurassic Park.

While everyone else panicked, he just kind of gritted his teeth and toughed it out.

Oh yeah, and then licked his lips, involuntarily twitched his eye, and seemingly intentionally tried his best to scare the ever loving shit out of everyone around him.

"I've got her..."

Y’know, hero stuff.

Anyway, as we all know, Robert Muldoon met his demise at the hands of yet another blatant case of a Spielberg-ian spite killing.

That is, he tracked a Velociraptor in the jungle, only to be flanked by a second raptor much in the same way that Alan Grant (Sam Neill) flat out TOLD US this would happen to someone at some point in the movie:

Poo poo on Muldoon for missing Grant’s informative and decidedly not kid-friendly paleontological spiel at the beginning of the movie.

I suppose it didn’t help either that he decided to wait until the absolute last moment to set up the stock to his SPAS 12.

In retrospect, he probably should’ve done that before he even set foot in the jungle, or failing that, he probably could’ve at least tried to fire it sawed-off style.

Either way, shoulda’ woulda’ coulda’ doesn’t mean a whole lot when you’re gettin’ mauled by one seriously pissed off raptor.

Actually, for all I know that might be his "Can I have a cookie?" face...

Oh well, at least he got to kill the Tyrannosaur and a shit ton of raptors WITH A FUCKIN’ GRENADE LAUNCHER in the book.

FUCK YEAH.

Oh yeah, and then there was that whole part where, y’know, he lived at the end of the book.

Thanks for that Michael Crichton (R.I.P.).

Anyway, the real reason for this post, is to honor the memory of the actor who portrayed Robert Muldoon, Bob Peck.

Good God he's badass...

I was informed today by a co-worker (the same one that inspired me to take on the Top 100 Goriest Films) that Mr. Peck had died of cancer on the 4th of April, 1999.

I may be 11 years or so late, but this post is my way of honoring his memory.

Sadly, I can’t say I’ve ever seen Mr. Peck in any other film’s or TV series, as most of his roles were in British exclusive productions.

Even so, I don’t think I’m alone when I say that, his performance as Muldoon was pretty much all I needed to see of him to forever believe he was THE SHIT.

That being said, Bob Peck, Robert Muldoon, you shall henceforth be forever remembered as one in the same, a shining example of what it means to be the manliest of manly men.

With that, I shall close with Mr. Peck’s, and therefore Robert Muldoon’s; official theme song:

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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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