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The Top 10 Manliest Man Moments #4: Rocky Ends Communism


Yesterday we popped the cherry on the Top 5 of the Azn Badger’s Top 10 Manliest Man Moments list with a scene from a Godzilla movie.

That right there should tip you off to the fact that this list is very much my list of MANLY moments, and not just some cookie-cutter list for spoon-feeding to the masses.

That being said, our next moment comes courtesy of another one of my personal heroes, Sylvester Stallone.

Yeah, I made this. Damn proud of it too...

Now, as fucking awesome as Stallone movies can be, it’s common knowledge the majority of his filmography could be described as “hit and miss.”

When it comes to Stallone though, at the end of the day it all comes down to his 2 biggest characters and franchises:

Rocky and Rambo.

*GASP!* You mean Cobra wasn't one of Stallone's biggest hits!?

While I wouldn’t discover the MANLY majesty of the Rambo series until a bit later in life, the saga of Rocky Balboa was something I just couldn’t get enough of in my childhood.

Now, the character of Rocky Balboa might not be the cigar chomping paragon of MANLINESS that some of the other MEN on this list are, but make no mistake; Mr. Balboa is all that is MAN.

He’s the epitome of the classic underdog trope in cinema:

A big lovable retard with titanium MAN-BALLS of COURAGE, obsidian fists of AMERIKUHN JUSTICE, and a bionic heart pumped full of unflappable juices of MANHOOD.

ALL THAT IS MAN.

If all of that doesn’t spell AMERIKUHN HERO, I don’t know what does.

Over the course of his colorful 30+ year boxing career, Rocky Balboa did it all.

He fought and defeated the previously undefeated and undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, after losing to him by a narrow margin in their previous bout:

... Then had a "moment" with him on the beach.

He defended his title several times, only to amazingly lose and regain it in stupendously entertaining back-to-back bouts with Mr. T:

Pictured: Mr. T taking one in the nuts.

He dumped a shit ton of his winnings into buying his brother-in-law a horny robot maid:

I don't wanna' know what goes on between these 2 after hours...

He avenged the death of his best friend by beating the ever-loving fuck out of the Dolph-inator himself, Dolph Lundgren:

And he even took the time to grow a pimp-ass beard!

He trained a rough-edged prospect to world championship status, only to later end up beating the shit out of said pupil in a random and highly illegal street fight:

Man, Tommy Morrison makes for one ugly fucking action figure..

And at the end of it all he ended his career by once again losing to a world champion half his age by a narrow split-decision:

... And succeeded in effectively ending Antonio Tarver's real-life boxing career.

Somewhere towards the middle of all this though, after buying the horny robot but before beating the piss out of his pupil; Rocky found time to do something truly MAN-great…

Something worthy of being ranked our 4th MANLIEST MAN moment in all of movies…

Something MANLIER than any mere boxing ring could contain…

Something…….. POLITICAL.

My greatest hope is that everyone reading this blog has seen Rocky IV, or failing that; at least knows the story of it.

Should anyone reading this blog not match any of these criteria, congratulations; you are both a pussy and a failure at life.

*ANYWAY* being as the beginning of Rocky IV deals with Rocky’s best buddy Apollo Creed getting killed in an exhibition match with the Swedish, I mean, COMMUNIST RUSSIAN death-machine Ivan Drago; naturally the final act of Rocky IV involves Mr. Balboa flying over to the USSR to pound some AMERIKUHN MAN JUSTICE into the giant Arian fuck’s face.

Unfortunately, unbeknowst to Rocky, Drago is packin’ the ‘roids; making the ensuing battle a clusterfuck of MANLY mayhem the likes of which the Eastern and Western world alike have never known:

CLICK FOR THE FIGHT

For nearly 15 rounds and nearly 10 minutes of screen time, Drago and Balboa slug it out; with Balboa falling to the mat no less than 7 times throughout.

Despite Drago out-landing Balboa about 10-to-1, someway, somehow; the Italian Stallion manages to power through the EPIC FIST-STORM of COMMUNIST RUSSIAN FACE-FUCKERY and do some damage of his own.

As evidenced by the announcer team making note of it just about every 30 seconds, the COMMUNIST RUSSIAN crowd seriously want Balboa’s nuts in their borscht.

Aw, how could anyone hate Rocky?

Also made apparent by the announcer team making note of it every 30 seconds though, is that part way through the fight, Balboa’s MAN-COURAGE in the ring is starts to win over the hearts and minds of the COMMUNIST RUSSIAN crowd.

Well okay then, I guess I'll have to take your word for it on that one.

At the end of the night, it all comes down to the 15th and final round, wherein Drago, is touched by the spirit of Rocky’s AMERIKUHN SPIRIT; turns his back on THE FUCKING POLITBURO, and says “Fuck it!” to fighting for the state in favor of fighting for MANLINESS.

Pictured: Russian Politics.

Despite possessing an incredible height and reach advantage, as well as being ahead on the scorecards by an absurd margin; Drago opts to fight the final round standing toe-to-toe with Balboa, thereby insuring his failure as a COMMUNIST MAN.

Sure enough, Balboa gets some good shots in downstairs, punches some WOMANLY MAN-tears out of Drago’s guts; and ends up flattening the big, Russian, Best-Friend Murderer in spectacular fashion.

The ref’s count reaches “10” and all the previously anti-AMERIKUHN RUSSIANS in the crowd rush into the ring and drape the triumphant Rocky Balboa in an AMERIKUHN FUCKING FLAG that, I guess they just happened to have on hand…

Such is the MANLY-POWER of Rocky.

He can travel to a HOSTILE nation, inexplicably defeat a physically superior opponent as a massive underdog, and then end up winning over the crowd to such a MANLY extent, that they KNIT AN AMERIKUHN FUCKING FLAG during the course of an hour long fight.

Amerikuhn hero or not, that has got to be one stinky-ass armpit...

Equally, uh, inexplicable; is the fact that, after trouncing their champion, the living symbol of their people’s achievements in physical conditioning; the COMMUNIST RUSSIANS offer the marble-mouthed Rocky Balboa the opportunity to voice his thoughts on the fight over the PA system.

Realizing the EPIC-NESS of the opportunity presented to him, Balboa digs deep within his recently brain-damaged mind, and summons an unrehearsed MAN-SPEECH of world-changing POLITICAL MAN-POWER:

In one night, Rocky Balboa won the most physically demanding fight of his life, and single-handedly ENDED COMMUNISM in the USSR.

Thus concludes our 4th MANLIEST MAN moment.

We’ve got 3 more to go folks, with all the EPIC MANLINESS being slung around here, it’s hard to say whether or not we’ll all survive the experience; but godddamnit I’m gonna’ give it my best shot to see it through to the end!

Check back tomorrow for MANLY MAN moment #3!

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Filed under: Boxing, Movies, Tokusatsu, Top 10 Manliest Man Moments, Uncategorized, Wrestling, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rocky IV: The Russian Edit

I dug a 4 foot deep hole in the ground yesterday.

It took several hours, and the air reeked of shit throughout the entire ordeal, but it had to be done so… I went ahead and did it.

Unsurprisingly, I’m a little sore today, and as such; I really don’t feel like writing today.

That being said, I stumbled across a fun little fake trailer for Rocky IV had it been screened in the USSR.

Check it out over at Cracked.com here:

LINK

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

Gee Willikers Batman! 50,000 Hits!?

... It's better if you don't ask.

SUPER SPECIAL BROWNIE POINTS TO ANYONE THAT RECOGNIZES THE DUDE IN THE HELMET IN THE TOP RIGHT CORNER!!!

Well folks, today the Azn Badger’s blog officially breached the 50,000 hit milestone.

For those that are keeping score at home, that’s a fuck-ton of hits.

Seriously man, I started this blog as a means of keeping myself busy while I was between jobs, but I never expected things to take off as much as they have.

That being said, it recently occurred to me that I’ve been writing this blog every day for over 200 days straight now; and yet I’m still going strong.

 

Pictured: Azn Badger after completing a blog post.

That’s a pretty impressive accomplishment in itself if you ask me.

Every time I have one of these milestone posts, I end up writing about what I feel I need to improve on, or what I need to change, or more often than not; how I’ll probably stop posting every day in the near future.

This time though, I’m gonna’ skip all that.

This time I’m just gonna’ say “thanks,” and go on doing what I’ve been doing for the past 50,000 hits.

So, with that I say thank you again to all who have been reading, and enjoy the communist Totoro celebratory image!

Here’s to 50,000 more hits in the near future!

Filed under: Boxing, Comics, Games, Movies, Uncategorized, Wrestling, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Azn Badger’s Top 25 NES Tracks, #15-11

After 2 days and 10 tracks of preliminaries, today we finally get to the real meat of the Top 25 NES Tracks!

That’s right folks, today we’ve reached: THE MIDDLE-TIER.

 

Pictured: The Middle-Tier.

 

That being said, what say we get to the crazy-awesome music, eh?:

#15. Shadowgate

“Main Theme of Shadowgate”


Shadowgate represents one of the very few point-and-click adventures that I ever really got into.

You remember that one scene in the movie Big where the young Tom Hanks character gets pwned by the wizard for attempting a seemingly logical course of action?

Hey, I would've said "melt wizard" too if I were playing...

Well, for the most part; that scene was indicative of my experience with adventure games as a child.

In fact, pretty much every graphic adventure game made prior to the revolutionary LucasArts SCUMM interface was simply too cryptic for me to grasp.

Shadowgate, while indeed released sometime after Maniac Mansion and it’s SCUMM system, was a graphic and text based adventure game that really drew me in, clunky interface and all.

I find it's always a good idea to "Hit" EVERYTHING. Y'know, just in case...

While most of my memories of the game were of dieing seemingly unfair, and unwarranted; deaths, I honestly never felt any frustration over this.

Shadowgate was a game that set out to be creepy and moody, and in the eyes of my very young self; it accomplished this in spades.

Playing a huge part in this accomplishment, was of course the haunting soundtrack of the game.

While there actually weren’t that many tracks to be heard throughout the course of the game, the overarching “Main Theme” of Shadowgate was a track that you never got tired of.

Equal parts foreboding, energetic, and mystifying; the “Main Theme” of Shadowgate is a wonderful piece of gaming music that, once heard, will never be forgotten.

Especially when you’ve died to it 40 billion times…

40. BILLION. TIMES.

#14. Super Dodge Ball

“Doppleganger Match”


Super Dodge Ball is yet another SUPREMELY BADASS effort from the folks over at Technos.

Like many games on this list, Super Dodge ball was a game that my brother used to rent quite frequently.

I remember getting my ass pwned by him in Bean Ball games over and over and over again, largely because, like any good older brother; he never taught me how to do the Super Shots.

Kind of hard to tell from the pic, but those 2 guys in the air? Yeah, they just got knocked across the ENTIRE FUCKING PLANET with a dodge ball.

Anyway, Super Dodge Ball was a crazy-fun game, that while a little bit too easy for it’s own good, played host to one of the coolest final battles in NES history.

Essentially, the final match of the game has your team USA pitted against the COMMUNIST and therefore, EVIL dodge ball team from the USSR.

After a (presumably) epic match, the sky suddenly turns a devilish shade of purple while the court is occupied by dopplegangers of your team!

EPIC.

Despite the game being based around fucking dodge ball, for whatever reason I thought this final battle was just about the coolest thing ever when I first saw my brother get to it.

Maybe it’s just ’cause I was there to see and listen to it with my brother, but this match, and this piece of music will always stick with me as one of my favorite NES boss themes.

#13. Bionic Commando

“Area 1 Theme”


Bionic Commando was a great ass game that I wish I had gotten a chance to have played more of as a kid.

I loved the main character’s design, and his bionic arm, so much so that I used to draw him on my place mat in elementary school.

No, you don’t get a pic for that one…

The problem was, I only ever got to play the game when I was at my neighbors house across the street, however most of the time I’d get kicked off the NES so they could play Sid Meier’s Pirates.

Arr!!! Shiver me timbers! Yo, ho! A Pirate's life for... I fuckin' hate pirates...

That being said, I never really got much of a chance to get very far in Bionic Commando.

Thankfully, all I had to do was play the first stage to hear the best piece of music in the whole game.

“Area 1” is a very primitive sounding, (even by 8-bit standards) but extremely well composed piece of music.

With a military-ish cadence, and a heroic melody, “Area 1” is a terrific track that is well-deserving of the #13 spot on this list, as well as the honor of being considered the theme music for the entire Bionic Commando franchise.

#12. Adventure Island 2

“Boss Theme”


C’mon now, don’t tell me you thought I’d leave out Master Higgins?

Adventure Island was one of my favorite game series as a kid, and in my opinion, 2 was easily the best in the series.

As previously mentioned, the “Boss Theme” of Adventure Island 2 is fuckin’ badass, so much so that it got my nod as being one of the Best Boss Musics in gaming.

That being said, among purely 8-bit competition, the “Boss Theme” of Adventure Island 2 is definitely deserving of a place on the list of the Top 25 Best NES Tracks.

I love the build up of this track, how it starts out slow, then explodes into a frenetic cacophony of kooky, island-y badassery.

It’s the perfect piece of music for killing giant plants and or crabs to.

Or better yet, CONQUER THE WORLD TO!

#11. The Legend of Zelda

“Overworld Theme”


*Ahem!* Fanboys… You may suck it.

That’s right kids, the “Overworld Theme” from The Legend of Zelda didn’t crack the Top 10!

While it may seem blasphemous to some, bear in mind; this is my list, and as such, it caters to my particular tastes.

Pictured: My Particular Tastes.

That being said, I didn’t place Zelda and Final Fantasy where I did for the sake of being cruel, or worse yet; “counter-culture,” I simply did so because there’s a shit ton of other music tracks out there that I genuinely hold in higher esteem.

Now that I got that out of the way, let me say this:

The “Overworld Theme” is a beautiful piece of music.

Despite it’s 8-bit nature, the “Zelda Theme” has gone on to grow well beyond the realm game music and become widely regarded as a classic tune worthy of universal praise.

While all that may be true, it doesn’t change the fact that virtually every memory I have of The Legend of Zelda is a bad one.

Getting lost, killed, and just plain frustrated was the order of the day just about every time I played Zelda, and I’m sorry to say, it’s left me negatively biased in regards to it.

The “Zelda Theme” is a great piece of music, that I listen to on my Ipod every now and again, and enjoy a great deal.

Unfortunately, it’s also an older arrangement of the 8-bit days, and as such, it leaves a little to be desired in terms of the fidelity of the music.

While skillfully composed, the “Zelda Theme” still hasn’t really lived up to it’s potential in my eyes, and has yet to have a proper rendition to capture the full glory of the music.

And that, my friends, is why the “Overworld Theme” gets dumped in the #11 spot on this list.

Oh yeah, that and there’s exactly 10 other pieces of music I think are better.

Duh.

Well folks, today we cleared the middle-tier of the list!

Tomorrow we’ll be cracking the Top 10, and with 2 classic tunes of gaming history already ranked unusually low,  there’s no telling what’s coming up next!

Filed under: Games, Movies, The Top 25 NES Tracks, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wolverine – Weapon X: Adamantium Men Review

By now, it should be fairly obvious to most that I’m not much of an X-Men fan.

Like any self-respecting 20-something year old, I loved the ‘ole X-Dudes in the early 90’s, but soon after that, things just got too fucking complicated.

As mentioned previously, I genuinely enjoyed reading the X-Family’s fateful confrontation with Magneto in 1993’s Fatal Attractions story arc, but as soon as the writer’s decided to follow it up with the horrendous bucket of moose cum known as Onslaught, I dropped the X-Men like a ugly-ass fat kid on “Drop a Child On It’s Head Day.”

Well, looky here...

In the years since then, I’ve kept my eye on the X-Men, and I’ve yet to find a reason to hop back into the fray.

I’ve been told Grant Morrison’s run on the series was pretty good.

Oh Xorn/Magneto, how you made me laugh with the dumbfuckery of your storyline...

Too bad I don’t care much for Grant Morrison’s writing.

I’ve also been told that Joss Whedon’s fairly self-contained series, The Astonishing X-Men, was also pretty good.

Next on Extra!: Steel Man and Ghost Girl sex tape scandal!

Too bad I truly stopped giving a fuck long before that series came about.

After I shot myself in the foot by foolishly purchasing the festering ass-polyp known as Messiah Complex, I came to the decision that, until a truly great, must-read story arc comes along for the X-Men, or any of their related books (X-Force, X-Factor, etc.) I’m pretty much done with the ‘muties outside of stories written in the early 90’s or earlier.

Congratulations Messiah Complex! You're not only the worst comic I own, (I seriously want to burn it) you were also single-handedly responsible for turning me against the X-Men!

The X-Men: overpopulated with whiny-ass, juvenile characters, and cursed with a nigh impenetrable continuity…

Despite my general contempt for the X-Men, there’s one character in particular among their ranks that has always struck my fancy.

That character would be the nigh indestructible canuckle-head, Wolverine.

C'mon, you knew this was coming...

I admit it, I’m a Wolverine whore.

Wolverine is one of those characters that appeals to pretty much everyone with a penis.

I have no idea what the fuck I'm looking at...

He’s tough, he’s tenacious, he’s the best at what he does, but more importantly, he carries with him the finest and most desirable traits of the spirit of “the loner.”

Honestly, pick any example of a cowboy/Western hero archetype, and your bound to find an homage to it in most any Wolverine comic.

Clint = Wolverine. When he's written well...

The point is, in a team like the X-Men, Wolverine usually serves as a highlight to the experience, but at the same time, he often comes across as being somewhat subdued.

He’s a raging berserker with fucking savage-ass claws!  How can you expect him to live up to his bad-ass potential in a colorful book for tweens!?

The New Mutants: The Stupidest Fucking Shit EVER.

On his own however, Wolverine is a wonderful character to both read and watch.

Provided the writer and artist are up to standard.

Which brings us to writer Jason Aaron, and penciller Ron Garney’s Weapon X – Adamantium Men story arc.

Simply put, this particular writer/artist duo get Wolverine.

While I genuinely enjoyed Mark Millar’s Enemy of the State and Old Man Logan stories, I’ve always found Millar’s writing to be a little bit too hammy and over-the-top, and these 2 arcs were no different.

I’m not going to lie, much of it felt almost like fan-fiction at times.  Really fucking entertaining fan-fiction, but but fan-fiction nonetheless.

Why is he fighting ninjas again? Oh yeah, 'cause you haole kids fuckin' love ninjas...

What can I say, John Romita Jr. and Steve McNiven’s art can do a lot to get me to buy decently written comics.

Steve McNiven = Automatic Buy.

In a similar vein, though I don’t read Marvel’s Ultimates line, I pick up Damon Lindelof’s Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk trade awhile back, and I found it be a so tongue-in-cheek it almost hurt.

Pictured: THE reason myself and many others bought Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk.

While undeniably entertaining, Lindelof’s story arc was impossible to take as anything more than a joke.

Jason Aaron’s Wolverine is just as enjoyable, if not moreso, than either of the authors mentioned above, but the main difference lies in the quality of the writing.

In short, it’s much better.

The first arc of Jason Aaron’s Wolverine that I ever read, was the brief, but wonderfully straightforward chase storyline, Get Mystique.

Seriously, this was fuckin' awesome.

I was so impressed by Aaron’s writing, and Ron Garney’s brutal and just detailed enough art, that when I heard that the 2 had been installed as the lead writer and artist for the fairly new Weapon X book, I had to check it out.

I was not disappointed.

NOT DISAPPOINTED.

Like Get Mystique before it, Adamantium Men is a storyline told in a gritty, Western-inspired, narration heavy, almost Garth Ennis Punisher-esque style.

I know I've used this before, but goddamnit, it sums up the Punisher so fuckin' well...

Aaron’s Wolverine is a character that says little, but whose thoughts truly read like a man that’s literally been in the shit for a hundred years.

While this gritty style and tone might be a bit overbearing to some, I’ve been reading Punisher-speak most of my life, and as such, I just happen to like it.

Anyway, the basic plot of Adamantium Men surrounds a PMC (Private Military Contractor) that has somehow acquired the old research files of the original Weapon X program.

The very same Weapon X program that birthed Wolverine among many other notable Marvel universe heroes and villains.

YES, that includes Deadpool, yah' fuckin bunch ah' hipster doofuses... DEADPOOL IS NOT THE COOLEST CHARACTER EVER. Get over it!

Wolverine is informed by his former Weapon X buddy, Maverick/Agent Zero, of said situation, which of course results in our hero getting pissed off and deciding to put a stop to the PMC’s plans.

Unfortunately, he discovers quite early on, that the PMC was able to crank out about a dozen or so soldiers with physical capabilities on par with his own, right down to the adamantium skeleton and healing factor.

Pictured: Wolverine turning an anti-healing factor "cancer gun" on it's user.

That last sentence right there, was exactly what baited me into loving this book.

Hell, once I got to this page, I wanted to slap myself for having waited as long as I had to pick up this book:

FUCK YEAH!

Watching Wolverine tangle with a whole squad of guys that do what he does, just as well as he does, was truly inspiring.

While the storyline is fairly standard “man on a mission” fare in that you generally know how things are going to end before you even open the book, the real beauty of this storyline is Ron Garney’s artwork during the action sequences (of which there are many), and Jason Aaron’s interpretation of Wolverine’s thought process.

Pictured: An early fight scene.

My only 2 complaints are:

The story ends well enough, but had it’s biggest climax just a little bit too early (the fight shown in the splash page above).

The Adamantium Men of the title aren’t exactly all that well defined.

Sure we’re told that they’re basically Wolverine clones with laser claws, but we never get any details as to why or how they have laser claws and green eyes.

In short, of all the Wolverine’s I’ve read and seen, I think these guys managed to put together the one that feels most right.

Anyway, this ended up turning into more of an advertisement than an actual review, but whatever.

I really liked Adamantium Men, kind of sad that Ron Garney didn’t continue for the second arc, Insane in the Brain, but you can sure as hell bet that book’s next on my reading list.

Also, in doing Wikipedia searches for this article, I learned that Jason Aaron was the author of the most recent Punisher MAX storyline, which means I’ll be back in Punisher Land a lot sooner than I thought!

Take care everyone, happy reading!

Filed under: Comics, Kung Fu, Movies, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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