Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Looking Forward To Ultraman Zero: Super Decisive Battle! Belial’s Galactic Empire!

Remember my scene-by-scene dissection of Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy The Movie?

Remember how I poked fun at it’s paper-thin plot and absurd action-to-dialogue ratio?

Well, as fate would have it, Mega Monster Battle just got a theatrical sequel, and near as I can tell; it’s a helluva’ lot better than it’s predecessor.

Check out this review by the always reliable (and thorough) folks over at Sci-Fi Japan.

Despite tokusatsu film’s tendency to seem phoned-in when it comes to film adaptations of TV series, (especially in regards to sequels) I can honestly say that, even at a glance; the production art and character designs for Ultraman Zero had a level of investment and detail to them that suggest a lot of care was put into the project.

While Mega Monster Battle made use of Tsuburaya’s extensive collection of monster suits previously used in their Ultra Galaxy TV series, I was surprised to note a staggering number unique characters and costumes featured in the promotional material for Ultraman Zero.

In a clever homage to some of the older and more obscure characters in their extensive production history, several of the new hero characters are intentionally designed to resemble said characters.

Combine this, with the director of Ultraman Nexus, (my favorite series) even better effects work, and composer Kenji Kawai, and you have the makings of an Ultra film that I’m proud to be looking forward to seeing.

So what if the acting is shit?

So what if the live-action sets look hokie and cheap?

So what if the trailer shamelessly rips-off scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and Star Wars Episode I?

As long as the movie is competently put together and has an ounce of the spirit that makes Ultraman so special, (as well as a awesome fight here and there) I’ll gladly pony up to see this one.

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Hidden Treasures, Part I

My old Dino Riders VHS... Know how you can tell you're cool? When you've got motherfuckin' Dino Riders sitting on your living room shelf, that's how.

Today I went on a little adventure.

Said adventure took me deep into the bowels of my parent’s basement, specifically a cozy little closet space underneath the stairs.

Within that cluttered space, I was fortunate to find a treasure trove of nostalgic goodies from years past.

Given, most of this stuff is utter crap, and probably wouldn’t be worth anything to anyone, but even so, it brings me a warm feeling to know that a lot of the neat stuff I had as a kid is still buried in the house somewhere.

First up is Power Ranger crap:

In this box I found the remains of just about every Megazord of the original “Mighty Morphin'” era I.E from the original Megazord to the the Thunder Megazord

I didn’t bite for the Shogun Megazord, thought it looked ghey.

I also went ahead and skipped the Ninja Megazord from the movie too.

That thing was bullshit.

Good God that thing's a pile...

Amid the wreckage, I was also fortunate to find most of Drago from Super Human Samurai Syber Squad AKA Gridman.

Yeah, you better believe Drago was the shit.

Did you ever see that show?

Most people I mention it too give me weird looks.

Hell, most people I talk to give me weird looks, so what’s the difference, eh?

It had that one asshole from Boy Meets World in it, and was actually pretty good too, despite the retarded name.

ASSHOLE.

Anyway, after digging around for a bit, I was pleased to find that my prized White Tiger Zord remained virtually unscathed:

RAWR.

Oh yeah, and I also found a bunch of those crappy ass Power Ranger action figures that nobody ever liked too:

Yeah, you better believe most of them were broken, no doubt on purpose.

Buried at the very bottom of my Power Ranger box I found traces of the great, Titanus the CarrierZord.

Near as I can tell, he might be missing a head, but goddamn he was the coolest fucking part of that show.

I would’ve pulled him out for a closer look, but he was buried pretty deep and I was in a hurry so… maybe some other time.

Regardless, this is what he was supposed to look like for those that may not remember him:

BRACHIOSAUR OF ULTIMATE PWNAGE!

On top of all the Power Ranger toys and what not, I also found a cache of VHS tapes, specifically the first 5 episodes of the series, plus the entire Green Ranger Saga!

Rest assured, I’ll probably be re-watching these in the near future.

I’m especially looking forward to the Green Ranger business, ’cause near as I can recall; that was some legitimately good storytelling.

Plus it introduced us to Jason David Frank, the man so nice they named him THRICE.

And this is the part where all the ladies in the room start fanning themselves.

Feel free to change your underwear after that one, he’s known to have that effect on the crotch bid’ness.

Tune in tomorrow for more basement dwelling adventures!

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A Few Thoughts on Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legend

Ladies and gentleman, let it be known that when it comes to crafting an Ultraman film, there is such a thing as too much action.

Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legend clocks in at a trim, 90 minutes in length, with about all but 10 of those minutes being devoted to over-the-top fights and flashy, green-screened eye-candy.

Like most Ultraman and tokusatsu features, Legend’s dialogue consists almost purely of cliches and “isms” of the genre, none of which is spoken at a volume that could be described as anything less than “epic.”

“If we all try our best, anything is possible!”

“Everyone, distract the final monster with your trademark attacks so the brand new, crazy-overpowered guy can go Super Saiyan and land the final blow!”

*Everyone exchanges nods*

“Un!”

*Final monster is killed*

“NOOOO!!!! THIS CAN’T BE! I’M INVINCIBLE!!!!!”

Go ahead, sit down and watch the film with a checklist. If it’s been said before in a kid’s anime, I guarantee you it’s in there somewhere.

Okay, so we’ve established that the film is action-packed, flashy as fuck, poorly written and acted, but what does that all add up to?

Um, not quite, but it shows your thinking.

Basically, the movie amounts to little more than fanservice, and lights with sound.

Not exactly the best description a movie could hope for, but entertaining in its own right.

While movies like Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen desperately plead for their audience’s attention with scene after scene of unfunny comic relief loosely stringing together scenes of robots fighting, Galaxy Legend takes the road less traveled and delivers an experience virtually devoid of dialogue, comical or otherwise, but is instead packed to the brim with action and fighting.

I’ve heard some people say that the Transformers movies were a let down in the sense that the one thing a movie based on the franchise should’ve been able to promise it’s viewers, was scenes of robots fighting.

Despite this, both films in the series largely dropped the ball in delivering on this promise.

Though Galaxy Legend is not a good film, and is definitely not a whole lot better, if at all, than any of the Transformers movies, I will say this:

The makers deserve a pat on the back for actually delivering on what they promised to give us, even if it wasn’t much.

On the inside cover of the DVD case there is a movie program printed on heavy cardstock.

Inside this program, there is a list of 5 key points that the makers of film outlined as it’s finest acheivements:

(Apologies for mistranslation on my part, my Japanese ain’t so hot)

1. Pitting the Ultra Heroes against 100 monsters.

2. Creating a villain born on the M-78 Nebula, Ultraman Belial.

3. Giving Ultraseven a son, Ultraman Zero.

4. Creating an entry in the Ultra series with state of the art visual effects and “hard” action.

5. Creating a story based exclusively around the Ultra characters and the Land of Light.

Despite the overall quality of the movie being pretty “meh”, the guys at Tsuburaya managed to complete every goal they established for themselves.

Oh yeah, and the effects and fights were easily the finest in franchise history.

Well done gentleman, well done.

Sorry for the late post today, got held up by Iron Man 2 and Mother’s Day stuff!

Stop by tomorrow for a massive, scene-by-scene summary of Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legend!

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