Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Concealable Weapons You’re Not Cool Enough To Carry: Codpiece Revolver

What Is It?:

A 12-shot revolver stored in and fired from a leather codpiece.

Who’s Used It:

Tom Savini.

Why Am I Not Cool Enough To Carry It?:

Because you’re name isn’t fucking Sex Machine, that’s why.

From Dusk Till Dawn was a film with many awesome and memorable elements to it, however I think it’s hard to deny that the master of gore himself, Tom Savini’s character of Sex Machine was one of the better parts of it.

That’s saying a lot when you’re talking about a movie that features Salma Hayek in a bikini, Fred Williamson, buckets of gore, and, well Salma Hayek in fucking a bikini.

Pictured: Adolesence.

Like many weapons featured in these articles, the codpiece revolver is far from the more practical weapons one could employ for self-defense purposes, however it’s this element of it’s design that makes it much too cool to be put in the hands of mere mortals.

Think about it:

In order to aim the codpiece revolver, you’d have to walk around all bowlegged n’shit, pointing your cock at things that you’d like to see stop living.

Not only that, while Sex Machine never showed it, on account of being A FUCKING MAN, in firing the codpiece revolver, I’d assume the recoil would do a number on your frank and beans.

I don’t know about you, but if ever I were to wish death upon someone, I don’t think I’d wanna’ rupture my sac in doing so.

I’ll leave that to the Sex Machine’s of the world, thank you very much.

I’m getting ahead of myself though.

You see, the real problem in carrying, let alone handling a codpiece revolver, is the simple fact that, as I indicated in the first sentence of this segment of the article; YOU AREN’T FUCKING SEX MACHINE.

Nor is The Punisher for that matter...

Did you see how he operated the cock revolver in the clip at the top of the post?

He gave Greg Nicotero a dirty look, and then bam!

It opened.

Another dirty look, and the thing snapped shut.

No springs, no pneumatics, just a dirty fucking bastard shootin’ people dirty-ass looks.

By my logic, this can only mean that:

A): The cock revolver responds to psychic triggers.

or B): The sausage cannon fights on behalf of the forces of MANLINESS, thereby lending it’s service only to those cool enough to bear badass names such as “Sex Machine.”

In other words:

Even if you were somehow, against every rule in the natural order of coolness, able to get away with walking the streets wearing a gaudy leather cock basket; you’d have no way of operating the weapon due to your lack of legitimate badass-ness.

I suppose you could install a trigger in your rotating penis blaster and operate it manually, but really isn’t the point of having a dick pistol the fact that you can blast one out hands free with it?

Putting aside the fact that you, being possessed of insufficient coolness, would have no way of being able to physically operate a cock cannon in the first place, the fact of the matter is; you’d look like an idiot even if you could.

You see, chief among the requirements for being capable of carrying a codpiece revolver, is the fact that one has to be able to pull off the codpiece “look.”

Pictured: Sting, being a smug-ass bastard and rocking the codpiece look for the sake being a smug-ass bastard.

I don’t know about you, but metal studded crotch pockets aren’t something I could see myself wearing without looking like some dipshit that got way too into The Matrix or The Crow back in the day.

Perhaps more so than a salmon colored polo shirt with the collar popped, I’d like to think of a leather codpiece as being one of the harder “looks” in male fashion to pull off.

Well, outside side of a bondage/gay club anyway.

That being said, I’m sorry friends, but we can’t all be as cool as Sex Machine.

Now enjoy this clip of the aforementioned machine of sex getting his head blown off in Maniac:

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Filed under: Comics, Concealable Weapons You're Not Cool Enough To Carry, Movies, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thoughts On The Captain America Teaser


Though it hardly qualifies as “big news” in most circles, this past Sunday marked the television debut of the 30 second Captain America: The First Avenger teaser:


Oh yeah, and something called “The Superbowl” happened too.

The Packers won, the Steelers lost, and balance has been brought to The Force; at least until the next season.

Anyway, given that the Captain America preview was a trim 30 seconds in length, and was intentionally edited so as to keep most of the major details of the film foggy at best; here are my thoughts on what I saw:

The CGI used to reduce Chris Evan’s heroic physique to that of the undersized pre-Project Rebirth Steve Rogers appears fairly convincing at this point.

Well okay fine, it doesn't look perfect, but it looks better than young Jeff Bridges in Tron Legacy.

While most likely a minor element of the film, technical gimmicks like this have always fascinated me; particularly when they work, I.E. Lt. Dan’s amputated legs in Forrest Gump.

We’ll see how it turns out on the big screen.

Moving on, I’m pleased to note that nothing looks cheap about the movie as of yet.

Some of the costuming for Thor had an unfortunate, plastic-y look, but the period elements, and overall production design of Captain America seems pretty slick thus far.

Of particular note was the set for the Project Rebirth sequence, not only because it’s the only set we really get a good look at in the teaser; but also because it genuinely looks pretty good.

One thing I was afraid of seeing in a Captain America film, was gaudy or needlessly extravagant production design.

Thankfully, and remember this is just me going by what we’ve seen thus far; this seems to be a non-issue in The First Avenger.

Most everything in the teaser points to an almost Rocketeer-esque (also directed by Joe Johnston) marriage of the pulpy comic book aesthetic and appropriately utilitarian, or at least practical, design elements.

Truth be told, I loved The Rocketeer back in the day, so if Captain America can capture that same gleeful energy, I think we’re in for a good show.

Another thing worth noting in the teaser, is the brief glimpse we get of the Red Skull, as played by Hugo Weaving.

Red Skull is a character who has undergone a great deal of variations in his design.

In his early appearances, as well as the current Steve Epting version of the character; Red Skull had what I like to call a “toad face”.

 

TOOOOOOAAAADDDD FAAAAAAACCCEEE!!!!!

His eyebrows were exagerrated and protruding, like a neanderthal; but the “toad face” part of his design came from his broad, perpetually frowning mouth.

My personal favorite design of the character, was the one featured prominently in the early 90’s (go figure) that featured a very straightforward skull-shaped, well, skull.

In the case of the movie, it would appear that the design was designed primarily to capitalize on Hugo Weaving’s unique facial structure, while retaining some of the classic “toad face” features:

...And he tears off his normal face mask to reveal... A hideous skull mask!

In other words, expect a bug-eyed, big forehead-ed Red Skull that looks more like Agent Smith than, well, a skull.

I already voiced my opinion on the design decisions for the Captain America suit, as posted here; however there’s one last little detail I’d like to add to that, in the form of a comment from a friend of mine.

Chris Evans in the Captain America suit looks like Shaq from Steel.”

No Caption Necessary.

While I was (sadly) inclined to agree in some respects, I still remain hopeful that Captain America will turn out to be a better film than the almost ludicrously ass-tastic Steel.

Even so, if ever there was a comic character that was easy to fuck up, it’d have to be the Cap’n…

At this point, Captain America (along with Green Lantern) is poised to be my big summer movie this year, so keep your fingers crossed people, The Azn Badger commands it!

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

Collaborative Comic Project

A Far Side favorite of the Azn Badger's.

As you might have guessed based on the subject of some of my previous posts, I love comic books.

Though I’m almost exclusively a reader of superhero comics of the DC and Marvel variety, ever since I took a class in “Sequential Visual Narrative” in college; I’ve found myself enamored with the story-telling capabilities of the medium.

That class, with it’s impossibly epic instructor, Jim Blevins; was almost 100% responsibility for getting me back into comics.

 

Pictured: Jim Blevins, on any given Thursday.

While I fancied myself a fledgling pen and paper artist at the time, Blevins taught me how to use some basic techniques and tools that I still use to this day.

Since then, I’ve kept largely to writing most of my story ideas, (of which I have many) though thanks to the artistic confidence/competence I gained from the Sequential Visual Narrative class, I have tried every now and again to make comics of my own.

The problem with making comics, at least for me; comes from managing the workload.

I’m a sketch artist, and a very detail oriented one at that, so when it comes to drawing panels for a comic, each one takes me an ungodly amount of time to manufacture.

In other words:

I think I have it in me to make comics, but I don’t think I could ever do so with any sort of deadline attached.

To date, I have never finished a comic that I set out to make.

 

Pictured: A cover to an unfinished comic.

That being said, in the world of professional comics, the pencillers, inkers, and writers are rarely ever one in the same.

It’s like the movie industry:

With the notable exception of the indefatigable Robert Rodriguez, nobody makes a movie entirely by themselves.

That’s where my buddy Mencius comes in.

As of last week, my buddy Mencius of Another Sunny Morning fame came to me with an idea for a comic.

Though he’s always in the mood for a creative collaboration, I was massively surprised to hear from Mencius that he wanted to make a comic.

The project he had in mind was of the more personal and “indie” variety, much in line with his taste in comics.

While the basic plotline would involve humorous and fairly genuine depictions of ourselves, much of the story would also have a fantastical, hyper-real quality involving exaggerated versions of our desired selves that will likely come across as being somewhat akin to superhero comics.

*Cough!* "Residual Self Image."

While it goes without saying that I was immediately on board for the project, I couldn’t help but feel that this was going to work.

2 creative and motivated friends, with very different artistic and creative styles, working in tandem to write and draw a comic.

While our artistic differences may very well result in the comic book equivalent to a Frankenstein’s monster, (when was the last time you saw characters in 1 panel, drawn by 2 different artists?) I can honestly say that I wouldn’t care.

Working together with friends is fun.

Making comics is a painstaking labor of love.

Put the 2 together, and you have the makings of a project that will drive me nuts and bring me great happiness all at the same time.

It may take awhile to get started on this one, but chances are I’ll start a new website to accommodate the project materials and updates.

Here’s hoping this doesn’t end up like my ill-fated movie project that never so much as reached the pre-production phase…

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

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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Bayonetta: First Impressions

BUTT.

In light of yesterday’s Devil May Cry post, I figure it’s appropriate that I take the time to share some of my thoughts on the similar, but also very different game:

Bayonetta on the Xbox 360.

Please bear in mind that, as of this post, I’ve only got about 2 and a half hours of gameplay under my belt.

Developed by Sega, and directed by the prolific and uber-talented Hideki Kamiya of the now defunct Clover Studio, as well as the original Devil May Cry fame, Bayonetta is, in a word:

JAPANESE.

Every pixel, frame, word and beat of Bayonetta is absolutely gushing with Japanese zaniness and anime-esque melodrama, such that my first few minutes with the game were almost too much to bear.

The aesthetic is way over-the-top, and the story and characters decidedly tongue-in-cheek, and for the most part, not all that appealing to me from a personal standpoint.

Nope, still not appealing. Goddamn she got a tiny head...

Despite this, I will say this:

The artistic design of the game, while not necessarily up my alley; is actually quite impressive.

The costuming and ornamentation of the character designs, while perhaps a little bit too flashy and intricate for it’s own good, are quite unique and certainly praise worthy.

Huh, this I like. Go figure...

In fact, I could honestly see myself owning a coffee table book of the production materials for Bayonetta at some point.

Anyway, the flashy cut scenes of Bayonetta, (choreographed by the always excellent Yuji Shimomura of Versus and Death Trance fame) annoy me much in the same way that Devil May Cry’s do.

They’re overlong, they often show the characters behaving contrary to how they do in-game, (Anybody at all tired of seeing Dante be invincible in cut scenes, only to be a total pussy in-game? Anybody?) and they feel artificial, like flash for the sake of flash.

Kind of like any movie by:

Pictured: "Flash" incarnate.

I guess the cut scenes just frustrate me because they are actually quite intrusive to the gameplay experience.

Like Devil May Cry, Bayonetta is a game all about action, and when the action is frequently interrupted by cut scenes, showing my character busting out awesome moves that I’d like to see myself do in-game, I get just a little bit frustrated.

Bottom line, 2 hours into Bayonetta, I can’t help but feel that the pacing is not quite up to snuff, as the gameplay seems to come in all too infrequent spurts.

Which brings me to my 2nd, and ultimately far more critical gripe:

Bayonetta’s learning curve is just plain mean.

We're talkin' Kobe Mean Face-Mean!

While the game, like any current gen game, comes with the obligatory introductory tutorial sequence that seems to be essential to the illiterate, non-instruction manual reading gamers of today, outside of teaching you the basic button inputs of the game, Bayonetta doesn’t really teach you how to play the game.

Sure, you can put up a good fight, and sure you know what you’re doing for the most part, but at the end of the day, if you’re playing the game straight through as I am, you’re just not given enough time to get a grip on the gameplay before the game starts tossing you some serious shit to deal with.

"Oh don't mind me, I'm just the first boss. Excuse me while I TOTALLY WRECK YOUR SHIT while eating bagels and lox."

This is coming from someone that utterly beasted half of the Devil May Cry series.

My problem is this:

Bayonetta didn’t give me enough time to warm-up to it.

In the Devil May Cry series, the basic enemies are reactive to your blows, staggering and generally being reduced to punching bags the moment you first lay into them.

This is not the case in Bayonetta.

There is no fodder in Bayonetta.

Nope, none of these.

All of the enemies in Bayonetta are able to put up a decent fight, thusly leaving you with nobody hone your skills on.

Every fight is a desperate struggle.

From what I can tell, my complaint may in fact be a result of me having failed to grasp the concept of the dodge system and the Witch Time AKA Bullet Time mechanic.

I don't care what you tell me man. There IS a spoon, and I'm eating my fuckin' Cheerios with it as we speak. Fuckin' new-age bullshit...

Anyway, at this point, I’m tempted to say I like Devil May Cry 4 better, but I’m only a few hours in, so we’ll see.

I’m still having fun with Bayonetta.

I love the gorgeous presentation and liberal use of the context sensitive button mashing segments.

I’m diggin’ the core gameplay, but at this point I truly do suck at it.

Time will tell…

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

Global Operations: The Best Game Ever

What Global Operations is all about: Bruthas' with guns...

Global Operations is a Counter-Strike clone.

Plain and simple.

Despite this, the important thing to remember is that it is a damn good Counter-Strike clone.

Unlike this pile of fail...

Counter-Strike had already been out a few years before the release of Global Operations, and while the former may indeed have ended up being the better game, I personally had more fun plugging away at terrorists in Global Ops.

Looks kind of familiar, don’t it?

Familiar, but AWESOME.

Counter-Strike was, and in some ways, still is a phenomenon in the realm of online first-person shooters.

It’s legacy stretches on for miles, and yet anybody can see after only a few minutes of playing, that the game has it’s fare share of problems and issues.

The round-based respawn system is a pain in the ass.

Oh, man... Now you have to wait 10 minutes on account of all the campers...

The weapons, while nicely varied, are very distinctly grouped into a frustratingly polar system of “good” and “bad” types.

Well okay, maybe none of them are as bad as the Bio-Rifle in Unreal Tournament...

The fact that hopping around was a viable combat tactic was downright mind-boggling.

Global Operations addressed all of these issues and then some, resulting in a fun and fast-paced game that, while lacking the online community of Counter-Strike, was always a good time, both online and off.

The most important change that Global Operations brought to the table in terms of gameplay, was the addition of a Team Fortress-esque class system.

Unlike Counter-Strike, where the players were only differentiated by their equipment, Global Ops both restricted and endowed the player with abilities based upon which class they selected.

In all there were 6 classes altogether:

There was the basic Commando, who could handle virtually every weapon in the game except for complex explosive devices.

The Sniper, who could handle long range rifles.

The Medic, who carried a cache of healing hypodermics that could be used to restore the health of himself and his comrades, as well as resuscitate incapacitated soldiers.

The Heavy Gunner, who could handle heavy machine guns.

The Demo Man, who could handle complex explosive devices, both in terms of planting, and disabling them.

And finally The Scout, who came equipped with a multi-directional heartbeat sensor that when pointed at enemies, would display their location on the entire team’s radar.

Aside from The Sniper and Demo Man, who I honestly didn’t play as all too often, I found pretty much all of the classes in the game to be quite distinct, and very fun to handle.

Who the wouldn’t like to be able to go one round as the Heavy Gunner, tearing the opposition to shreds, only to change it up by switching to The Medic on your next respawn and play a more supportive role?

Well okay fine, I'm sure THIS GUY would ALWAYS play as the Heavy Gunner. Y'know, 'cause he's EXTREME.

It was this sense of variety that made Global Ops hard to get bored of.

Now, I mentioned a lot of issues I had with Counter-Strike, how’s about we take a look at how Global Ops addressed, eh?

When it came to the issues that players may had with the round-based respawns of Counter-Strike, Global Ops fixed it in just about every one could.

When a player is killed in Global Ops, they don’t necessarily die right away.

"There's a big difference between mostly dead, and all dead..."

Instead, players are incapacitated, whereupon they can call for a Medic as their health bar’s total value continually shrinks.

Once the bar is empty, the player dies.

Alternatively though, if the player is aware that there is no Medic around to save them, (often the case when they themselves are the Medic) they can simply choose to bleed out immediately and respawn.

Respawning in Global Ops places the player in a helicopter, or other such transport vehicle in the company of all their fallen comrades.

Yup, just kickin' it in the afterlife here with my buddy Steve...

You see, every spawn point in Global Ops is continually reinforced on a strict schedule, resulting in the occasional lucky death that results in a near instantaneous respawn.

It is during this down-time in the chopper that the player has access to the plethora of weapons and equipment available in Global Ops.

In short, Global Operations had a shit ton of weapons ranging from basic pistols, to savage-ass grenade launchers.

Can you guess all the guns?

Perhaps more importantly though, Global Operations went the extra mile by allowing players to customize their equipment with various attachments.

Like setting your Glock 18c on full-auto?

Buy an extended magazine for it.

Hell, it worked for Larry Fishburne.

Like blinding motherfuckers before you open up on ’em with a shotgun?

Slap a flashlight on that bad boy.

Good times man…

Anyway, in addition to the massive variety of weapons in Global Ops, each of these weapons were remarkably balanced.

You know any other games (besides the original Halo) where cruising around with nothing but a pistol is actually a good idea?

Oh wait, I forgot about The Specialists:

Finally, in regards to Counter-Strike’s hop-happy gameplay, Global Operations went ahead and made the gameplay more, how shall we say, “grounded.”

In fact, that’s really the only gripe that comes to mind whenever I think of Global Ops.

The bot AI was pretty good for the time, the sound effects were powerful and of great quality, the mission types were nicely varied, but the movement controls were a little sluggish.

Jumping in Global Ops resulted in what amounted to little more than a barely noticeable bit of screen jitter, as if your character was glued to the floor, but would mysteriously be struck with bouts of palsy whenever the player saw fit to tap the space bar.

Dude, that's not a wink. That's palsy...

I know, it’s a small gripe, but worth pointing out regardless.

Anyway, Global Operations was a big part of my high school days (and any time I spend hanging out with my Get Stingray cast mates), and as such I felt it deserved to be mentioned on this blog.

Indeed, wrecking people’s shit with the FAL, followed by mass sessions of spamming the “I need a Medic” audio command, were some of the best times I had on my PC…

"Medic. I need a medic. I'm hurt, and need assistance. Medic. I need a..."

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Thoughts on Inception

Movie Poster Fail.

Let it be known, this article is not a review.

Like my article on Splice, I don’t feel adequately qualified to properly review Inception, and as such, I will instead use this post as a vehicle for my ruminations regarding it.

Anyway, let me begin by saying that:

I liked Inception.

I felt it was an entertaining and (conceptually) innovative film, that managed to hold my interest throughout despite it’s sinfully long running time.

Okay fine, the movie isn’t Braveheart long, but hey; you try going to see it in the theater at 10:45 at night and tell me it didn’t whip your ass.

10:45 PM or not, he's gonna' BEAT YOUR ASS.

Inception is a film that I absolutely will not spend time going into detail regarding the plot and other such bullshit.

I say this, not because I don’t want to drop spoilers, but because I honestly don’t remember most of them.

Oh yeah, and it would cause me physical pain to try and explain some of the goofy shit that goes on in this movie.

Seriously, I’d need a diorama, Powerpoint, an old priest and a young priest just to explain the concept of this fucking movie.

Actually, I think Von Sydow would do well enough by himself. Max Von Sydow was BORN looking that awesome.

The basic concept of the movie involves the manipulation and invasion of peoples’ dreams, leading to a story that mirrors that of an absurdly complex and convoluted heist film.

I say “convoluted” because there are moments when, just when you think you’ve got all the rules of the film’s impressively well thought out, and seemingly structured universe, the movie starts throwing you curve balls in the form of changing it’s own logic for the sake of convenience in regards to the plot.

That’s not to say this happens all the way through, however there were at least 2 occasions in which I honestly had to scratch my head and say:

“Huh?  Why the fuck did that just happen?”

Pictured: A film where such a phrase is often uttered by the viewer, and yet no explanations are offered...

It’s interesting to note that, despite the 2 films sharing very little in common, for whatever reason I kept saying to myself in the theater:

“This hella’ reminds me of Flatliners…”

WHY THE FUCK HAS NO ONE SEEN THIS MOVIE!?

Despite it’s complex subject matter and, at times, fuzzy internal logic; it should be noted that Inception is by no means a genius of a film.

That is, unlike The Legend of Zelda on the NES, Inception did not make me feel stupid or lost at any point, rather; it succeeded in making me feel smart.

Let it be known, the Azn Badger is a Badger of barely average intelligence.

Your average Badger.

Azn or not.

An AZN Badger.

That being said, let me just say that the screenplay of Inception, like seemingly every Christopher Nolan film, is very redundant, and much too excessive with it’s incessant dropping of “breadcrumbs” for the viewer.

In example, let’s summarize the scripts for Batman Begins, The Prestige, and The Dark Knight:

Batman Begins:  “FEAR!!!!!!!! JUSTICE!!!!!!!!! I’M BATMAAAANNNNNN!!!!!!”

The Prestige: “REVENGE!!!! MAGICAL DAVIIIIIIIDDDDDD BOWIIIIIIIIEEEEE!!!!!!”

The Dark Knight: “CHAOS!!!! JUSTICE!!!!!!!!! WHERE IS HE!!!!!!!????”

To those of you that don’t habla Espanol, “breadcrumbs” refers to the little droplings, or tidbits of information that are interspersed throughout a screenplay to make those “Ah Hah!” moments seem more logical, and ultimately, more rewarding to the viewer.

Inception’s script is, to pound the metaphor totally into the ground, not sprinkled with breadcrumbs as most films should be, but is instead simply a whole loaf of bread.

Mmmmmm.... Inception.... *Drool*

Put it this way, if you’re paying attention, and are able to keep track of wherever the fuck the film’s logic decides to go throughout the movie, then chances are you’ll be able to figure out most of the major plot points a good 20 minutes to a half hour before I think the movie intended you to.

Anyway, good movie, provocative screenplay, but just a little bit heavy-handed with the exposition at times.

Attention Mr. Nolan: This is not the tool you use to write a script...

The acting performances in Inception were, in a word; “solid.”

I say this because, despite the all-star cast; Inception is by no means an actor’s movie.

Due to the hardened nature of most of the main characters, the majority of the performances consist of muted expressions and flat deliveries.

Hell, even most of the humor is deadpan.

Tom Hardy has an accent, and that’s about all he did for me.

Ellen Page, while looking uncharacteristically fetching in this movie, also failed to leave any sort of impression.

Leonardo DiCaprio is just about the only actor allowed to emote throughout, yet despite this; most of his thunder is stolen by the script’s propensity to spill the beans on it’s big character reveals long before their intended cues.

That being said, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ken Watanabe managed to make an impression based purely on their facial acting.

That and Levitt looks like my brother, but Jewish.

He looks like these two, a little. Those are the only clues you're getting though...

Oh yeah, and Ken Watanabe is pimp, so he gets a pass as well.

One thing I feel that needs to be pointed out about Inception, is that the action is typical of a Christopher Nolan film.

One thing about Nolan that truly confuses me, is that he seems to know what he likes in his movies, and how he likes to shoot it, however, when it comes to framing action, the man just doesn’t have a clue.

Maybe it’s his cinematographer, or his editor’s fault, but regardless, whoever is fucking up really needs to stop it.

RIGHT NOW.

Simply put, Christopher Nolan likes sweeping aerial shots of cities,

Check...

car chases,

Double check...

and gunplay/fighting.

Check-A-Saurus Rex...

Inception, of course, has all of these things, however only 2 thirds of it is done well.

Don’t get me wrong, Nolan’s cityscape shots are always beautiful, as are his car chases, but when it comes to framing human-on-human violence, he sucks donkey balls.

My main issue with Nolan’s action scenes, is the lack of spacial awareness the viewer is given throughout.

You know that thing that the Hong Kong cinematographers do where they shoot the actors from the toes up so you can catch the detail and intent in their movements?

I know, a fight scene is totally different from your standard action scene, but bear with me...

Well, Nolan’s answer to this is to frame everything all loosey-goosey, and then throw the footage into the meat grinder until it makes a Bourne movie look under-edited.

It should be said though, that whoever does Mr. Nolan’s sound editing, should be given some sort of award *cough!* Oscar! *cough!*

Seriously, the sound of the gunfire in both The Dark Knight and Inception is a thing of beauty.

Truly the definition of “ear-popping.”

No, different kind of "ear pop," yah' dipshit...

Compliments aside, I have one more gripe about the action:

I know it’s realistic to choreograph a gunfight as a fairly stationary and controlled series of tactical potshots, but for A MOVIE THAT TAKES PLACE IN FUCKING DREAMLAND, I’d expect things to be just a little bit more colorful.

WOAH!!!!! TOO MUCH COLOR!!!! DIAL THAT SHIT DOWN, SON!!!!

Seriously, what the fuck is the point of having gunfire and explosions in your movie if you aren’t going to go to the trouble to highlight them in any way.

On a final note, I’d like to take a minute to give my thoughts on the soundtrack of Inception.

A lot has been said about the ever so prolific, Hans Zimmer’s, soundtrack of the movie.

Lookit' this smug fuck, with his dick-eatin' lips...

By, “a lot,” of course, I mean a lot of good.

Several of my friends hyped the soundtrack for me, such that I was really excited to hear the soundtrack, much more so than I was about seeing the movie in fact.

After all, my friends and I used to refer to Inception in daily speech as simply, “BWAAAHHHHH!!!” due to the brass blaring teaser trailer.

In example:

“Hey, did you see BWAAAHHHH!!! yet dude?”

Anyway, retarded bullshit aside, Inception’s soundtrack was booming, sweeping, and all sorts of epic, however I ended up leaving the theater with little to no recollection of any sort of themes or melodies played throughout.

In essence, the music was gorgeous, and almost mystifyingly dignified, almost like a classical symphony, however, despite being excessive and overbearing throughout, to me; it just wasn’t all that memorable or engaging.

Seriously, Inception had a lot of music, too much in fact.

The only musical memory I walked away from the film with was bittersweet, in that I realized one of the climax themes played during the last act of the film, was in fact played twice within the same act of the film.

That’s just fucking lazy.

I’ve always said Hans Zimmer was overrated, and while the score for Inception does little to change my impression of him, I will say this:

He’s done better.

Just as Christopher Nolan has done better.

And Leonardo DiCaprio has done better.

Even so, Inception is a good movie, that while lacking in some areas, and full of holes in others, is a film that, regardless of how you feel about it, leaves you with something to talk about.

Just like The Matrix more than 10 years before it, (wow, I’m really that old?) it’s by no means perfect, but something about it just makes us want to sit down talk about it with someone, for better or for worse.

In many ways, I can think of no greater success for a film of this nature.

Now let’s just hope they don’t go and blow it by making a shit ton of sequels…

Although Mr. Nolan can go ahead and make another Batman.

The Azn Badger loves him some Batman…

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

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