August 24, 2010

Project Playlist... is it safe!?

So I was up at something like four in the morning yesterday, way before work starts since I can't sleep (you know how it is, right?), and I did what I usually do: Jerk off, and view all of my favorite blogs. Not at the same time mind you, but my mind does drift sometimes so who knows. I clicked on one of my all time favorites, Cory's Crappy Cinema and I hit the shower before the page loaded, but when I came back I'm hearing this strange fucking music. I stop, and say to myself, that I recognize this music. Not only do I recognize it, but I'm rather fond of this tune. Why? Because it's HORROR movie music! You slick bastard.

Consider me tuned in. I've uploaded the torture device below.

August 15, 2010

The Expendables (2010)

Dare I say that The Expendables is far too action-y for its 103 minute run time? That doesn't correctly convey what I'm intending to say. I'm not saying that any action should have been removed, far from it, after all this is an action film. But I feel that the film could have benefited from being fifteen to twenty minutes longer, giving more screen time for scenery chewing and character development. Quite a few scenes could have been about a minute or two longer, spread throughout to make it less noticeable and that perhaps could have been enough to make a some of the "all star cast" seem more than just cardboard cutout characters. Maybe that's all an illusion though, since the film is the dinner equivalent of eating a salad bowl full of loaded mashed potatoes. Yeah, it's good if you're drunk and stoned, but then again it'd be best to just ignore what just happened and enjoy the gluttonous behavior. Each character does at least get his moment to shine, but it all seemed a bit rushed like Stallone didn't want any of those scenes getting in the way of the action. I'm not asking for full back stories or anything like that, just an extra two minutes for the other characters, perhaps something introspective in nature. It was rather nice of the director however to get the full team together for the finale, not to say that I didn't mind the Stallone, Statham and (lesser so) Li show.

During the opening credits I noticed that there were two editors listed. I haven't checked, but by the looks of things there might have been more, even if it's simply Stallone himself. While there were a lot of very nicely framed shots, the editing seemed to be all over the place, especially when it came to shaky-cam hand-held scenes. I guess that's what the norm has become so there's nothing to do but deal with it. Then of course when they slow things down, there's Rourke's lingering blue-hued close up and the blurry after shots of Stallone's reaction... a strange decision, but I'm just nitpicking I suppose. The movie is definitely gritty looking, and not to mention seemingly more realistic compared to newer action films which is a plus (a lot less show off CG). A very nice throwback to the old school days where you didn't need super inventive obstacle-like near death experiences to wow the youth (think the nearly crushed by a spinning airborne car scene in Die Hard 4). Just a long shot of Terry Crews mowing down twenty or more South American soldiers with an Auto Assault-12 Gauge with a drum magazine full of explosive rounds! Check out the guns from the film HERE! Even the plane stunt with the machine guns and napalm death was straightforward, yet extravagant in a way. It wasn't over the top (no pun), but a rather exciting moment in itself despite the fist pump of awesomeness that occurred seconds later.

It was interesting to see what looked like actors seemingly ripped right out of other films to stop by this one. Kind of funny to see Rourke painting that guitar with the same intensity that Whiplash created his electrified armor, dirty locks, shiny teeth and all. Eric Roberts is pretty much the same dude from Dark Knight, and Stallone is still wearing that jungle eyeliner. Statham, Li, Stone Cold, and the rest of them basically play themselves. It was nice to see a few actors who had nothing on their plates getting back into the action. Shame that Van Damme didn't just say fuck it all and join the team for the new Rambo film... er, I mean... and don't you just love how would-be rapists always get the most gruesome and graphic deaths in Stallone's films? Sure, there were some other nasty deaths, but those two guys were served up somethin' special. It was definitely the best kill scene in the film. And the non-kill scene worthy of mention would have to be a line delivered by Bruce Willis to Arnie and Sly as they took not so subtle jabs at one another:  "You two aren't going to start sucking each other's dicks, are you?" That line alone is more badass than any explosion they could have come up with, and not to mention that it's funny as hell.

I've never really been a serious Action nut. I've seen all the essentials, and many of the lesser films (including new offerings) but have never really been a collector of the stuff. Honestly speaking, I'd rather go see something like Vicky Christina Barcelona than Rambo IV. Luckily for me in regards of The Expendables, I didn't go in with any sort of expectations. It was cool to see them all get together, no matter how brief or wink nudge it got. With a little more time given to the script, and a bit more running time it could have been a slightly better film. I'm not saying go Christopher Nolan style or anything, but hopefully the extended version will give a deeper presentation. I'd like to see a scene of the guys sitting around a table in the tattoo shop with a pizza in the middle of them, where Stallone in his sunglasses takes a slice and cuts the tip off of it before taking a bite. That would have been classic. And weird. But after it's all said and done, you can always count on Stallone to bring a little Ultra-Violence to his new films, and for that, I can totally recommend that you see The Expendables. It didn't really blow me away, and is an imperfect film (poor CGI, Willis not returning for another minute later after plot developments, hot spanish chick didn't get naked, ect) but it's a fun time waster with an extra dash of brutality (in more ways than one).

August 10, 2010

TF's: Valkyrie (3rd Party Arcee) Bot...

Well, I suppose the sour taste in my mouth is from the mix of rum and brew, but I'm at a strange place right now as I admire my newest acquisition. See that up there aside that single pack of Miso flavored ramen is a 3rd Party product action figure of what is obviously Transformers' Arcee, yet aka 'TRNS-01 Valkyrie' for copyright reasons. I don't see why using an exact to the point likeness wouldn't be a copyright reason, but I guess since Takara and Hasbro refuse to make the girl public, who really gives a shit? The closest that the official brand has ever come to this came earlier this year with their release of the TFAnimated Arcee. This was the very first official Arcee that was (somewhat) mass produced and actually for the first time resembled the old-school character, though with artistic differences. Even with this, many a young nerdlings longed for an Arcee figure from the film and/or 1985 television series. There were prototypes (customs?) from undisclosed locations about ten years back, and since then, Nothing!

Yeah, it happens, right? Sure it does. But why wait to put your product out when people could have been paying for it ten years ago, or even say, back in the mid 80's when the movie originally came out? I've always wanted an Arcee fig. Why? Because I like chick figs. The pinker the better. I see these test shots for an incredible G1 accurate figure online, and can only dream they make it official. But that day doesn't come, and long time pass. Other official products are painted as if they are Arcee for conventions, and the Alternator line got a bulky repaint of a Guy character which never should have seen the light of day. Then after all that, when the movie comes out, she's a motorcycle, looking like something that's been shit out of Optimus Prime's exhaust. It seemed as if there was no hope, but things are about to get expensive. ImpossibleToys just released the figure above, and Arcee fans rejoiced. For a short while, at least...

I got her and the first impression was (and I don't know if I should post the absurd picture of the huge ass shipping box this came packaged in with the little thing inside) that of shock. My eyes haven't opened that wide since I originally saw Peter Jackson's Bad Taste back in 1995. This baby is SMALL! And 70$ for her is rather big. After I opened her box up, I found out just how delicate the figure is. I'm genuinely scared to actually hold the thing. If pressure points on official figures scare you, which they should, then this thing is like that part in Indiana Jones where he's gotta replace the treasure's weight with that bad of sand. You know that face he gets when he fucks it up? Yeah, I don't wanna make that face. I could probably smash this figure into sand with a tight squeeze of my fist if I wanted to, and that's scary.

So there definitely are PROS and CONS which are immediately recognizable. Cons first, being there are no snapping-in points of the robot mold, which means that she doesn't "stay together" as well as normal figures do. You can't really position her without her chest plate rising up, which in turn raises her back junk and leaves her arms to flail. That sucks balls. Two, is that she is hard to balance considering her back weight, and yet, no ass. Which brings me to three, her waist does not move at all. Bad. The toy is also quite light. On the plus side, for one, she looks pretty damn sweet. Two, she's actually scale despite at first feeling disappointingly small. Yes, whoever designed her made it so she'd be able to stand alongside figures from 1984, and it worked out perfectly. Rather amazingly actually. This is possibly the major saving grace of the girl. Three, it just feels good to hold one of these, despite the "sour taste".

Some early purchasers complained that the paint job on theirs was rather shoddy. They may have been reviewers with free test runs, and I don't know if that's the case with many people, but the paint application on mine is Hasbro quality. Meaning it's not perfect, but it looks a lot better than on those online complaint pictures and videos. Maybe I got a "good" one, I don't know. All the joints are solid. In fact, the neck is so solid that I was afraid to move it sideways, but I did, and yes, the head actually moves. Left, right, up and down. The waist doesn't move but the hips have a ball joints and they swivel which doesn't do too much, but definitely helps. Arms are on ball joints, with a swivel and bend at the elbow but no wrist movement. She bends at the knees, ankles, and she's got two guns which are small but removable. Colors are simple pink, white, black and a transparent blue windshield. No stickers as of yet, but who knows if ReproLables will be working on some for the future. 

The price is way too high for this figure, and cannot be recommended by me unless you're seriously hardcore into this sort of thing. Even then, when I hold her in my hands, it feels like she should be thirty dollars or less. I'm not exactly regretting anything yet, but a couple days after this arrived news was posted by I-Gear regarding another Not-Arcee figure: Delicate Warrior, by another 3rd Party Company is out. Sadly, it is looking far superior to this version of the figure (better head mold, little bit of a buffer bod,  more details, some Die Cast to weigh her down... but similar problems?), even though they're both based on the same custom design. If 70$ wasn't bad enough, this other one is 100$. If I had been patient, I would have got this one instead. Still may have gotten both, but probably wouldn't have been feeling mental spasms right about now. Come on with that Masterpiece figure Takara and put an end to my suffering!

August 5, 2010

I fucking hate cupcakes... but oh well...

Thanks to Professor Brian O'Blivion over at The Cathode Ray Mission for the mention on this, what appears to be some sort of Blog Award slash Shoutout slash  Get To Know Your Blogger slash Chain Letter. I apologize in advance for not continuing the chain, but I regretfully cannot name names by force of nature.  There are many cool as all hell bloggers out there that I like / love and have known for a while and perhaps in a future post I'll write about it (or even make my own award - no chains attached), so don't worry. After all my bad luck is bottom barrel, so if I miss this one, I'm out nothing. I will say however that Senior O'Blivion is one cool motherfucker and all shall bow down. Crimson Ghost, beyotch! Rep-re-sent.

10 Things that bring me Joy.

Opening Something New. You know that feeling after you've had something for a while? Sure, you played with it at first, and everything was great. That  certain something was all you could talk about for a week, or even all you could think of. And then it happens: Maybe you put it aside, perhaps you've been  neglecting it, or hell, maybe you've just gotten plain sick of it. You know that feeling? Yeah, that's not the feeling I'm talking about. What I'm talking  about is the day that special day when you crack her open... err, I mean, well, you know what I mean. The wait definitely does make it more exciting. Say for  instance you've been waiting on some rare Japanese Devilman figures to come in the mail. You get home after a rough day of scoping out that cute girl at the  Dairy Queen in the mall. She's dishing out those swirly ice cream cones by the minute and all you want to see is her just take one slow lick as she locks  eyes with you. Only problem is how's she gonna see your eyes through those spy binoculars, or let alone notice you hiding behind that frilly plant in the  corner. So you go home, yet again and sans one sweet Oreo Blizzard that you brought a coupon for yet didn't have the guts to disobey the restraining order to  get. But alas, what's this!? A box with my name on it? Kanji in the return address? It was either open up a case of harakiri, or this, and baby it looks like  there's still some sweet time to be had opening up new things. Not that it has to be that difficult, don't get me wrong.

Cold Water. I could have even gone as far as to say simply, The Cold... or as an extension of the thought, Snow. But Cold Water is specifically something  that I need to feel and brings me immense joy. I'm not really talking about drinking cold water, I'll get to drinking later. What I speak of here now is  about the feel of cold on the skin. When that isn't easy to come by for whatever reason, cold water is the most easily accessable. Cold water is soothing,  calming and it helps me relax. To say that warm water on the skin disgusts me would be an understatement. Can't stand the stuff. Give me a cold shower and  lay me naked in a room full of air conditioners. I'll even cover my up junk with the wet towel just in case someone's peeking through the blinds. A fond  memory of cold water is one of my growing up on the California beaches. After spending all day there, depending on which beach you're at, there are these  outdoor public shower stations for rinsing off. You hit the button and get sprayed full blast for thirty seconds with the ice cold goodness as the sun goes  down. Every time I take a cold shower after a hard day's work I just close my eyes and imagine I'm there.

Lounging. I love to lounge... to relax. Suffice to say, I hate doing shit. When everything is all done and I've got nothing on the agenda, that is truly the  best moment. That moment however is not very often, so what do I do in the meantime? Ignore! That's what. When I awake at four in the morning and I'm laying  there completely feeling like total Boo Berry with a blanket half-draped over a leg and the AC blasting in my face, I think to myself "this is the best I'm  going to feel all day. It's all downhell from here..." and that is true until the next morning when I get to feel it again. Unless I'm dead, that is probably  the best I'm ever going to feel these days. Meditation. Sensory Deprivation. Relaxation. Some people call it laziness. Those people are usually girlfriends.

Drinking. It makes me feel good. And wise man say, "If it makes ya' feel good do it!" Heh. Don't drink, kids! But seriously, is there nothing better than  taking a stroll down to the local dive after a shitty day of work and being greeted by a beautiful woman with two large jugs... of beer waiting for you? I'm  talking an ice cold sixteen ounce in a frosty glass, service with a smile that makes you smile back. And you can't beat good company, especially when they're  buying you drinks left and right. Then aside from teh local pub, there's so much to enjoy in the privacy of your own home. Take a stroll through the big  daddy liquor store if you've got one nearby and pick up a case of Guinness, a case of Sapporo, some Cherry Flavroed Brandy, an 18 pack of Bud Ice, thirteen  Capitan Morgan 100 proof nips and you're set for the whole weekend. On the way home say fuck it and make it a party by picking up a High Society mag, a Cheri  for backup, and a pack of Djarums for afterward. I'm also fond of chugging non-alcoholic drinks such as Tropicana Grovestand orange juice, spicy V8, Fresh  Lemonade, ice cold Sprite, Soy Sauce, Pickle Juice, you name it.

Beautiful Women. Let's face it, beautiful women are everywhere. You ever see one? How'd she look? Fuckin' beautiful right? Of course she did... Beautiful  women are great. While a beautiful woman in real life may be a double edged sword in terms of how great, or devastatingly awful she makes you feel, it cannot  be denied that a sexy woman on screen is a most joyous thing. Hot chicks make everything better. Check this out, you're at the beach and it's a totally sweet  day. The wind is lightly blowing, it's cooled down, your toes are in the damp sand and you're feeling nice as shit with a cold brew in your hand. What could  possibly make this moment any better you ask? How about all the HOT CHICKS in bikinis everywhere?! Or take this one as an example: It's movie night (what  night isn't?) and you're getting ready to watch a video. I wonder what it could be...? Oh shit, you've just rented The Unborn! This night is most surely  guaranteed to suck balls now, but wait, what's this? Odette Yustman constantly parading around in her underwear? Problem Solved. I'm telling you, she saved  that movie for the most part, I feel like it fell off during the "exciting climax". When I think about how to describe 'beautiful women' as something that  brings me joy, I envision the film Malèna starring Monica Bellucci, for I find that relateable. Or on a lesser note, how Deuce Bigalow asks that hot girl in  the pet store to get the fish at the bottom of the tank so her t-shirt gets all wet and nipply. Mmmmm... highlight of the day.

Going to the Cinema. It's not easy for me to feel inner peace. I've got a lot of shit going on up there and it's not all happy, but I'm not going to bore you  with the dreaded details. We've all got problems. But you may be noticing a theme here in the things that bring me joy. There is a lot of Escapism in what  I'm writing about. When I'm not all here is when I'm happy, that's pretty much what I make of it. I feel so incredibly at peace when I'm sitting there in the  cinema and the previews are about to start. Why? Because I've got nothing to bother me at that moment, aside from the thought of bloodthirsty Demons going on  a rampage. Everything from the previews through the credits, buying the tickets to pondering what I have just seen, it's all an exciting and relaxed time to  be had. Plus, I've gone to quite a few midnight showings and special event playings where the people are either on drugs, or on drugs. And it's a damn cool  time when you get to hear those reaction roars... one reason why more movies should have audience tracks (ala Freddy Got Fingered and Sin City). There was  one year when I saw a film at the theatre every weekend. I learned a little bit more about quality over quantity regarding setting film goals, but it was  worth it I think.

1980's Cartoons. Have you seen what kids these days are offered as 'entertainment'? I am not only flabbergasted, but thoroughly shocked and appaled at the  state of children's programming these days. Are they intentionally trying to make the future stupider? Hey, that sounds like a good name for a new cartoon on  Nicktoons: Future Stupider. But seriously, are they doing this intentionally? And who are "they"? Obviously someone who wants the future population more  controllable. They've been perfecting this for years, ever since the early 30's, continuously altering the recipe as times change. Have you heard of this  thing called facebook twitter? Youngsters lining up like cattle at a battle to let everyone know where they at, what they doin' and when they doin' it. No  thanks Gattica. What's next you're going to rid the world of brown eyes through DNA stealing? Sounds like a good idea until they get hungry for murder  burgers when something goes wrong. Would you like to fit our new ideal of perfection, well then, why don't you step into this chamber for one moment and  experience complete and utter bliss. What's with the big skull and bones on the utter bliss chamber door? Oh, don't worry about that because there's a TV on  in there playing Fanboy and Chum Chum. Oh goody, I can't wait to AAHHHHHH!!!! My skin is melting! And so on. So forth. So my point is this: Watch  ThunderCats. And Transformers. And even, yes, GIJoe... you know, just for the cool Cobra shit that goes on.

Ramen Noodles. Ramen is my favorite food. It is perfection in a bowl. Even at its most simple form of block noodles and broth, the power this dish holds is  mesmerizing. Add to that the variations, alterations, additions, and recipes you can serve and you've got a versitile noodle dish. I like things simple, but  have yet to delve into the most extravagant of ramen dishes. For instance I keep reading articles and seeing shows about Ramen Bars and it's driving me nuts.  I've got to have it! I'm dying to go to some gourmet ramen shop and taste heaven, but for now, it's the home cooked goods. I like a very spicy broth, noodles  perfectly cooked to slurping delightality, and yes, dried veggie packets are more than welcome. I've become quite obsessed with ramen actually, in the manner  that I collect and shelve the stuff like GhoulBasement Jayson hoards VHS tapes at the local swap meet. Since I've tried nearly everything here I can find,  I've been searching online ramen shops to get my fix of what's out there and how it'll bring me joy. Yes, there are specialty ramen shops online, and when I  get a whole pocket full of dimes it's ordering time baby.

Chili Cheese Fries. Are you f'n kidding me? No Wienerschnitzel way. I like Poutine too. It's rad.

Horror. It's a way of life. Normals sometimes say, "Hey, let's watch a scary movie today. It'll be fun." That's how you know. A Horror kid, when presented  with a film option that isn't horror says, "What the fuck? That's not horror." When you were younger and stepped into the video store, did you run to the  horror section and stare with wonderment at the Grim Reaper big box release? Did you rent Frankenstein '80 and Faces of Death IV back to back? I sure as fuck  did. I grew up renting VHS horror films at two different mom and pop shops as well as the big chains. Horror kids born in the early 80's, like me, they miss  those shops. Holy hell do I miss those video stores. I could spend an hour in there before renting only two videos and the next week do the same thing, and I  did on multiple occasions. I must have read each tape box about twenty times, and looked it over hundreds. I remember renting Troll 2, Bad Taste, Gothic,  Panic (think big soft clamshell box with gross guy in the sewer), Monster Shark, Warlock, all that shit... things didn't get too much worse in terms of  owning horror films however. As time went on my DVD collection climed to more than 10x the amount of VHS I had. But keep in mind that I wasn't just  collecting VHS horror from the shop down the street, but rather I was indeed ordering dupes from catalogs. My early teen years of watching horror films  taught me that I'm not really much into homegrown stuff, but prefer the italian flavor instead. Dario Argento, Lucio FUlci, Mario and Lamberto Bava, and  Michele Soavi for the most part really geared my shit in a certain direction. My cousin Shane once told me as we sparked up a doobie back in 1999, that he  watched American Beauty and Fight Club recently and those films "changed his life." I as a devote horror fan (strictly, I mean, I've since come to accept  other genre offerings and these two films are favorites of mine) I cold-shouldered his words, stating that I had seen Tenebrae and Cemetery Man and those  changed my life. Perhaps I was being a dick, but he bought me Taco Bell after we blazed so I gave his movies a chance and found that they were pretty damn  good. Not to say that I was close minded but I did have a touch of teh elite-ism-ness that some horror kids may develop. I quickly put that to rest though.  Now, I find that I can enjoy all versions of horror. Be it a sparkling vampire with a strong gaze but no touchy rule, to a guy lubing up and fucking a dead  corpse while he video tapes his insatiable act. I'm open to new horror, and I'm cool with that. Nightmare on Elm Street will always be in my top 5 films, as  will Alucarda, Demons and Tenebrae. The fact is that horror kids got that different state of mind. Though many of us now consider the state of horror to be  slipping downhill drastically, remember that many of the horror films that we had to seek out and research years ago are readily avaliable at these kid's  disposal. The remakes will not all be new classics to everyone, because horror fans are smart and they want more. The smartest of the bunch will search for  something they've heard about, something that's fucked up... something like Burial Ground for instance. Zombie kid bites off his mom's nipple, and what's  worse, zombie kid isn't a kid, but a weird looking old dude who looks like a kid! Tell that shit to me when I'm fourteen and I'm fuckin' sold. I don't know  if it's a mission or what, but to un-corrupt the new flock, should be a joy, in itself.

August 1, 2010

Upcoming KO Conehead Seeker Spotlight

What you're looking at here are prototype shots for the three I-Gear Masterpiece Conehead Seekers, PP03E (Not Dirge) PP03J (Not Ramjet) and PP03A (Not Thrust). I-Gear, a third party accessory shop, is now acting as "distributor" to these Third Party KO toys created by "Partner Products". These jets are based off Customs using the original Masterpiece Starscream mold. There have been major wing-remolds, new weapons, new heads, and character specific paintjobs.

I've got to say that I've always loved the look of the MP Starscream mold. I'm not sure how far I would go to call the MP Jet the perfect figure, but it's a definite 10/10 me thinks. So far I've got only the US Version MP Skywarp (30$ Reduced at Walmart), but I've got plans on getting the whethered Starscream with Cartoon Acurate Colors. MP Starscream was first released in Japan sans Red, White(Grey) and Blue... just a blue-greyish tint throughout. Very displeasing to the eye, I would say. Twas later released by Hasbro as a Walmart Exclusive in his original colors, and afterward, Re-Relased in Japan by Takara-Tomy. Thundercracker and Skywarp were both released in Japan, and since Skywarp has been released in the US with what I feel to be a better paintjob. Thundercracker has not made his way over yet for some reason. Also, just recently, another MP Starscream was released in Japan, the Ghost Version! (Click HERE to see the video from TFsource).
And now, the re-tool KO's are set to be released by I-Gear, no doubt either making certain individuals unbiasedly giddy or extremely pissed off. I'm not going to go into legalities here, but some are claiming this is WAY over the line. Hasbro has yet to comment, and the overall feeling is that they just don't give a shit about these things really. Personally, I'm f'n excited! No matter what your stance is you can't seriously look at these photos and say that they're not absolutely beautiful figures. They're lean, mean and full of cream! The only questions now are A) Will these truly be released? B) What will the prices be for each? I'm guessing 100$ a piece, but there might be a three pack deal so who knows if there will be a discount for that. And C) What will the quality be like?

I'm hoping they'll be 60$ a piece like most official Masterpiece releases, but I doubt it. After all, they've got to make money somehow and who knows... maybe it's the high prices of these "collectibles" that keep Hasbro from worrying so much. I'm awaiting any type of review, more pictures, more info and ordering information to be readily available until I even consider buying these. Do I want them on my shelf to fondle and drool over? You bet your sweet ass. But I'm not made of cash, plus I just purchased a Third Party figure and two official Re-Releases that's putting me out just about 300$. And no, that's not even including the upcoming US Masterpiece version of Grimlock. Japan is really going off with their 2010 line, and Hasbro seem to be making advances as well. Not all of it looks shite like it did a few years back, and the wallet is taking a pounding.

My words are my own and as of posted from their creation forward I hereby claim originality to them. Pictures may prove to be promotional items and are the sole possessions of their respectful owners and/or companies. I do not sell, nor do I buy. I only rent, so therefore, nothing I own is truly mine.