Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

The IdentityHawk Is Kind Of A Prick


Yesterday I posted an example of what I’d consider to be a truly awful TV commercial.

Given that I’ve been starved for writing inspiration for the past few days, I figure one more “bad commercial post” wouldn’t hurt.

Let’s just hope this doesn’t become a regular “thing” on this blog…

Anyway, I’ve been watching TV a little more than usual lately, particularly the local networks, and as such; a few frequently aired commercials have been nagging on me as of late.

One of them was the StopBuggingMeNow commercial from yesterday, and the other is the IdentityHawk one at the top of this post.

While nowhere near as piss-poor as yesterday’s epic crap-fest, the IdentityHawk commercial is fairly poor in terms of scripting and overall production values, though it was shot at or near HD quality; so you can tell they at least tried to produce it semi-professionally

Despite this, there’s some aspects to it that are giggle, or at least sarcastic snort worthy.

For one thing, I love how the music makes a 180 degree tonal shift from America’s Most Wanted eerie, to Walmart wholesome pretty much at the drop of a hat.

Despite this though, the real star of the show is the no-nonsense IdentityHawk mascot.

For whatever reason, the poorly rendered (though not unbearably so) CG hawk has a few quirks to him that make me smile.

More specifically, his ultra straightforward manner of speech and rather severe case of cerebral palsy make me laugh.

Something about the idea of a douchebag hawk swooping in and yelling “HEY! WHAT ARE YOU DOIN’!?” to some guy picking through peoples’ garbage just seems humorous to me.

I love how the fuckin’ hawk basically cuts through the dude’s bullshit and doesn’t really give him a chance to explain himself in the slightest.

In fact, now that I think about it, the IdentityHawk really seems like kind of a prick, as had the “identity thief” character not voiced his intentions out loud, there’s a good chance he might’ve just been some homeless guy picking through garbage cans for food.

For an identity thief he has a splendid head of hair. Jus' sayin'...

I’m all for identification security and what not, but does protecting one’s information really mandate the use of asshole-ish, talking, CGI hawks to protect one’s garbage cans?

Seriously man, if this IdentityHawk shit hits the big time, we could be looking at a grim future where neighbors end up routinely murdering each other with their IndentityHawks over dumping shit in each other’s dumpsters.

Shit, if my neighbors had a douchy CGI hawk in their yard, my dad and I probably wouldn’t last a week.

IdentityHawk, keeping your identity/garbage safe from thieves/homeless people ’cause it’s the ‘Merikuhn way.

 

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

The Worst Music Video I’ve Ever Seen

Music videos are a strange form of media.

Despite being essentially an expensive promotional tool for a band or song, music videos often have a reputation for being some of the most visually creative and bombastic examples of short films.

I used to joke that whenever you see a visually over-the-top film come out I.E. The Cell, The City of Lost Children, or The Crow; in most cases it’s been directed by someone with a background in music videos.

Either that or the French… Lord knows the French love fucking peoples brains with pretty pictures.

... Or really, really, REALLY, fucked up pictures.

Anyway, as any young medium tends to do, music videos didn’t start out as flashy or outrageous as they are today.

The earliest music videos the pre-MTV era were shot in largely static fashion, with very little in the way of props or creative imagery.

In most cases, it was enough to simply film the band playing, (only applicable if they played their own instruments.  Sorry Monkees.) and then maybe have a dancer or 2 prance around and mug for the camera.

The evolution of the medium of course came with advances in technology, increased budgets, and the burgeoning popularity of MTV, though as you’re about to find, not all video producers would take advantage of said advancements.

Which brings me to subject of “the worst music video I’ve ever seen.”

I spent some time (Read: 5 minutes) poking around on the Google looking for the worst music videos I could find, and surprisingly; I didn’t find a single mention of the one video I always felt was my personal worst.

Mostly I just found “bad” shit like this, a Finnish disco-esque tune called “I Want To Love You Tender”:

Truth be told, I fail to see how this is all that shitty.

Yeah, the dancers are more than a little out of sync, and yeah, the spaceship set has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the song; but in all honesty, I don’t see anything about this video that makes it extraordinarily bad.

Hell, maybe it’s just because I’m a disco kind of guy, (not gay) but I actually kind of like the tune of the song, crappy phonetic English included.

Besides, I ask you, how could a movie that features disco He-Man be the worst of all time!?

Anyway, the worst video I ever saw was aired on late-night MTV in the early 90’s, and I remember laughing at it with my friends all the time.

It was stupid to the point of being ridiculous, and to this day I don’t know how a production company actually arrived at the decision to shoot it, let alone have it be aired on national television.

Seriously man, I could have shot a better video than this drunk, and I’m allergic to alcohol.

And by “allergic,” I don’t mean itchy rash allergic.

I mean wrath of God, opening of The Ark of the Covenant allergic:

Pictured: The Azn Badger + A Beer.

Anyway, without further ado, here is the worst music video that I personally have ever seen, “The Plant Man”:

The song was regularly featured on the music video interludes on Beavis & Butthead, though oddly enough the 2 characters had little to say about the actual video.

My best guess is, the thing was so crappy that Mike Judge decided it would be best not to harp on it any further and just let it’s innate crappiness do the talking for him.

Looking at the singer, (Gary Young) and listening to the lyrics of the song, I can’t help but suspect that the guy was probably a street performer some producer brought into the studio on a whim ala Trading Places.

The man clearly has very little talent, and he certainly has no charisma, but oh well, I guess he was good enough for my friends and I to laugh at when we were in grade school.

Anyway, hopefully you all enjoyed this little stroll down memory lane.

I wanna’ say I did, but to be perfectly honest, this brought back some shitty memories… of shitty music videos.

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And Now, For Something Uncharacteristically Adorable


I’m not much of a “surfer” when it comes to internet-ing.

In general, I stick to my regular sites, rarely going out of my way to be “up” on things outside of my interests.

Having said that, the above video represents a rare instance in which I stumbled across something on the internet, and was happy to have done so.

Anyway, hopefully you’ll enjoy watching the little Korean girl roll over and pass out for the next few minutes, I know I did.

Just don’t expect these kind of posts to be commonplace around these parts from now on…

 

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The 2nd of July – Azn Badger Style

The above clip was taken yesterday (or very early this morning if you want to get technical about it) out in the woods of Redmond, where some friends of mine own a plot of land.

Of the many activities we partook of out there, airsoft, bonfires, and fireworks took up the bulk of our time.

That being said, the clip above shows what happens when a bunch of idiots venture out into the woods with Roman Candles and zero common sense.

I apologize for the volume of my yelling, however in my defense; one of those projectiles came literally within a few feet of smacking me square in the chest.

Hopefully you all had as fun a 2nd of July that I did!

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Heavy Rain: The Playthrough

Sorry, I couldn't resist slipping this one in...

Heavy Rain is one of those games that I’ve been this close to picking up for a long time now.

Essentially a long-form interactive cutscene/choose your adventure game, the game has always struck me as an intriguing, if not unique; gaming experience.

While I’ve heard many complain about Heavy Rain’s slow start, and distinctly hands-off approach to gameplay; based on the hour or so I’ve seen of the game, I feel that my personal opinion of the game remains mostly positive.

It’s taken me a long time, but recently I’ve come to realize that I tend to favor games that tell stories, even if said games can often be intensely linear or tedious.

I’m a completist, so open world games tend to intimidate me with the breadth of options they present to me.

At the same time, first-person shooters tend to bore me with their largely one-note gameplay mechanics and twitch oriented gameplay.

These days, story driven action-adventure games with a clear cut A-B-C progression seem to be my what appeals to me.

While it’s supposedly very far from a linear experience, the core concept and mechanics of Heavy Rain appeal to me for perhaps the simplest, and most base of reasons:

The objective of the game lies within unraveling it’s story, a story that I just happen to be somewhat interested in.

While I probably will in fact get around to playing Heavy Rain at some point, the real point of this post concerns a little blip I happened on Kotaku.com.

Apparently someone went out of their way to create a 12 hour playthrough of Heavy Rain, with the strictly gameplay oriented segments removed in favor of presenting the story in a straightforward cinematic fashion.

Think of it as viewing Heavy Rain as if it were a long-ass movie or TV series.

Here’s a link, and bear in mind this is a playthrough, so be ready for *EVERY HEAVY RAIN SPOILER IMAGINABLE*:

http://www.youtube.com/user/direx1974

Anyway, while I myself won’t be viewing this playthrough, for fear of spoiling the gameplay experience for myself; it does in fact sound like the kind of thing I would watch after I’ve played through the game once or twice.

In any case, consider this post a heads-up for those who might be interested in checking out something like this.

One thing that’s kind of neat about a project like this, is the fact that the game is known to contain so many branching paths, making for a video compilation that very well may differ drastically from the gameplay experience of those who’ve played through Heavy Rain following a different route.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for tonight, see yah’ tomorrow!

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

Thoughts On The Dead Island Trailer


For the past week or so, the gaming world has seemingly been up to it’s knees in news AKA dick-sucking festivals regarding the announcement trailer of a new videogame titled Dead Island.

Developed by the Polish studio, Techland; and incorporating first-person, open world play mechanics, married with some RPG elements, Dead Island is nothing if not an ambitious undertaking.

I suppose it’s also worth noting that the game has been in development for over 5 years at this point.

Curiously enough, a quick look at Techland’s portfolio of games reveals that the vast majority of their products were racing games, with notable exceptions being the first-person action/adventure games of the Chrome and Call of Juarez series.

While I haven’t played either of the Chrome games, from what I’ve read and been told, the Call of Juarez series has been consistently good, but unfortunately; not great.

That being said, I’m not here to speculate on how Dead Island will or won’t succeed, rather I’m just here to lend a few of my thoughts regarding it’s much hyped/publicized trailer.

In short, I found the trailer to be both clever, and technically impressive.

And this is coming from someone who regards zombie games/movies/TV shows/muffins as being overplayed these days.

Taking advantage of it’s brief running time, the trailer is effectively, and cleverly arranged in such a way as to reach out to it’s viewers on a visceral level in the form of showing us a dead kid, while playing out it’s content in ultra-smooth reverse motion.

While it might sound, um, “wrong” of me, I’ve always felt that kids should be fair game in movies.

Seriously man, nothing pisses me off more than watching a movie and getting that nagging feeling that some kid was spared getting his head torn off just because some producer or PR guy felt it would hurt ticket sales.

Thank you Feast, for killing a child. With considerable zeal, no less.

Tangents aside, my point is that the trailer does a good job of working from a short running, while managing to tell a very complete story despite itself.

Curiously enough, said story, that of a family going on an island vacation only to be killed by rampaging zombies; (or is that, be killed by rampaging zombies only to end up going on vacation?) feels largely familiar despite very likely being unique.

This most likely stems from visual and tonal similarities to other, pre-existing films.

Case in point, the theme of having an “innocent” child turn against her family as a result of becoming a zombie is something we’ve seen in many other zombie stories, most notably the original Night of the Living Dead, as well as the opening sequence of the Dawn of the Dead remake.

I know there are very likely a billion other zombie films that utilized this plot element, however I haven’t seen them, most likely won’t ever see them, and sure as hell don’t need you posting some fatty complaint about how I failed to represent them on this blog.

It’s not often I take opportunities to say “fuck you” to whoever might be reading this blog, however consider this my way of saying just that to all the zombie-whores/hipsters across the globe.

*Ahem!* All tangents aside, let’s get back to talking about stuff that reminds me of other stuff.

It’s a minor element, but the “found footage” segment at the end of the trailer seems to bears some resemblance to the closing moments of Cloverfield.

A quick Google search also reveals that some people believe the whole trailer bears some resemblance to a Coldplay music video as well, but at this point I’m done being an ass, so don’t expect me write about that, let alone even watch the fuckin’ Coldplay video to confirm the validity of said claim.

Coldplay and the Azn Badger…. Let’s just say they don’t mix…

Such resemblances to pre-existing shit throughout the trailer may in fact be intentional on the part of the production crew, however that doesn’t change the fact that I found the home video portion of the trailer to be more than a little extraneous.

I get it, they’re a family.

It’s sad that they’re dead.

You don’t have to spell it out for me.

On a side note, the minimalist piano score of the Dead Island trailer deserves just as much credit as it’s animators, as it manages to hit all the right notes, making for an experience that feels much more genuine than it likely should.

Make no mistake, the Azn Badger is not one to get emotional over a trailer for a fuckin’ zombie videogame, however I tip my hat to the production team, as despite the core concept of the game they were working from, they did a pretty swell job of balancing the fun and serious in this clip.

Did I really just use the word “swell” in a sentence?

Anyway, I think I’ve just about run out of steam on this one.

It’s a neat trailer, worth checking out if you’re into digital art, videogames, or *sigh,* zombies.

I don’t see why it’s success was deemed significant enough at this point to dictate a purchase of the Dead Island movie rights, long before the game has even debuted; however such is the arcane world of business and marketing.

Anyway, thanks for reading!

 

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

“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…

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

The Mamushka!

Well, guess who got bored this evening!

Anyway, this card has it’s origins in the excellent Addams Family movie from the early 90’s.

I watched that movie way too many times in my youth, resulting in me having an unhealthy appreciation for all things Raul Julia.

Why the fuck did this guy have to die!?

That being said, The Addams Family had an incredible number of hilarious and quotable moments, but if you ask me; The Mamushka is the one scene that will always stand out the most.

If you haven’t seen this sequence, or worse yet; have somehow allowed yourself to forget it, be sure to watch the clip below, you won’t reget it:

http://movieclips.com/dC5n7-the-addams-family-movie-the-mamushka-dance/

Anyway, Addams Family = Awesome.  And don’t you forget it…

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

“What Do You Know, Blu-Ray Really Is Better…”

When it comes to home video mediums, I’m not a fan of changing formats.

For the first half of my life, VHS was the end all be all home video format.

If you wanted to buy a movie, you did so in the form of purchasing a fuzzy, artifact ridden VHS cassette.

Well, that is unless you were one of those hipster-douchebags that had a Beta player, or worse yet; a fuckin’ Laserdisc…

Anyway, the point is; for most of my life, there was one way to watch a movie.

All of that changed around the time I was just getting into high school, with the advent of DVD.

While DVD had been already been around for some time, from my perspective, it really hadn’t “caught on” with the general public until the early 2000’s.

Kind of like how CD’s have been around forever, but it wasn’t until sometime in the early 90’s that it truly became mainstream.

Being as I was a very young badger of 13, with no income of my own; DVD failed to capture my interest in any way.

Everyone knew the image quality was superior.

Everyone knew the sound quality was clearer.

Everyone knew that DVD was, on paper; better than VHS.

Only thing was, no one I knew, myself included, ever actually watched a movie on DVD.

While many of my friend’s families would go on to hop on the bandwagon and purchase DVD players, my household would remain without digital video for little longer than most.

That all changed in 2001, when my mother surprised my brother and I with a Playstation 2 that Christmas, despite preemptively outright telling us that we weren’t going to get one.

Mothers:  You can grow up all you want, but they still fuckin’ own your ass…

I’ll never forget that Christmas, as it was a particular emotional time for our household, and I suppose the PS2 helped a little too.

Anyway, as you probably know, one of the pluses of owning a Playstation product, is the fact that it doubles as a media player.

The original Playstation served as my CD player, (not that I had any CD’s…) and the Playstation 2 would go on to serve as my first DVD player.

True, it was a shitty DVD player with some of the muddiest and darkest fuckin’ image quality imaginable, but it was a DVD player nonetheless.

Despite having never really given much thought to the idea of owning a DVD player, my Playstation 2 took my thoughts and considerations on the matter and basically shouted in my ear:

LET ME TELL YAH’ SOMETHIN’ BROTHER!  YOU’VE GOT A DVD PLAYER WHETHER YAH’ LIKE OR NOT NOW, BROTHER!  SO GET OUT THERE AND BUY SOME DVD’S DUDE!  SHOW ‘EM WHAT HULKAMANIA’S ALL ABOUT, BROTHER!”

Okay, so maybe my PS2 wasn’t possessed by the wayward spirit of the still-living Hulk Hogan, but you get my meaning.

With the tools to explore the medium now at my command, I set out into the world to grab a DVD, and finally see what the big fuckin’ deal was.

I’ll give you one guess as to what my very first DVD purchase was.

If you guess Rocky, Godzilla, or some form of kung fu movie, *BUZZ!* you’d be wrong!

The Azn Badger’s very first DVD, was in fact:

Transformers: The Movie.

Haha!  I know, awesome, right?

Watching Transformers The Movie on DVD for the first time was like seeing it for the first time.

For one thing, my original VHS copy of the movie was in fact just that, a ratty-ass copy recorded from an original rented from Blockbuster.

The difference in image and sound quality was like night and day.

Despite the perks of the enhanced audio and video, by far my favorite innovation that DVD brought to home video, was the chapter select function.

Being able to skip to your favorite parts, without fear of stretching and ruining the tape, was a godsend.

Seriously, do you know how many movies I have in my DVD library that are good for only 1 or 2 scenes?

Let me put it this way:

Without chapter select, I probably wouldn’t own half the movies I do.

Anyway, the point of this post, is to point out that, for maybe the 3rd time in a row, a Sony Playstation has served as my “ambassador” to a new medium of digital entertainment.

I’m of course referring to the new standard HD video disc medium: Blu-Ray.

As was the case with DVD, I wasn’t all that thrilled at the prospect of switching to Blu-Ray.

I loved my big-ass DVD collection, and the idea of turning my back on the medium I had grown so comfortable with, just felt wrong.

Then something inside me changed.

As I sat watching my very first Blu-Ray, Iron Man 2; on my Playstation 3, I came to realize that my reservations were unfounded.

Just as was the case with DVD, I was blown away by a format that, on paper; was regarded as “better.”

From a visual standpoint, Blu-Ray really was something to behold.

Like with VHS and DVD, it really was; night and day.

While Blu-Ray has yet to bring a major innovation like chapter select to the table, it still needs to be said; the visual one-up is downright spellbinding.

Now, don’t write me off as some videophile fanboy for Blu-Ray, as that’s hardly the truth.

As of now, I’ve only seen 1 Blu-Ray movie, and it was a brand new and intensely visual film, perfect to test the strengths of the medium with.

I’m sure Blu-Rays of older, less visual films are far less impressive.

At present, I’m thinking of maintaining my purchases of DVDs for films that aren’t deserving of the extra graphical fidelity I.E. dramas or comedies, while reserving Blu-Ray purchases for “louder” shit like Avatar or Iron Man.

While I’m not ready to go all-in on Blu-Ray as of yet, my reasoning behind this post, is that I want to point out that this is a road I’ve been down before.

I switched from cassettes to CDs.

I switched fromVHS to DVD, and willingly at that.

While I’m not sure I’ll be switching from DVD to Blu-Ray wholeheartedly any time soon, the point is; I’m no longer afraid to.

Change is not always a bad thing.

It may be uncomfortable, or worse yet; inconvenient, but the point is, we’ve all done it before and the world kept turning regardless.

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

Let’s Play Contra III: The Alien Wars, Part V

Let it be known folks, I hate stage 5 of Contra III.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this game; but stage 5 can eat a dick.

 

And not in the fun way mind you...

 

It can put a penis in it’s mouth, chew it to shit, and swallow for all I care, ’cause stage 5 is a sack of fuck-sauce that I’d prefer not to touch with a 10 foot pole.

That being said, I had a little meltdown (or 12) during the recording of this video, so please excuse the harshness of my words.

Enjoy watching, knowing full well how much I was forced to suffer to produce it:

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

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