I forgot leap years existed.
Robot Replica Jazz arrived today. Apparently the line is a bit like Revoltech. I don't see the similarity!
See, Revoltech has good joints. Robot Replicas do not.
Revoltech can be pulled apart but are relatively sturdy. I've had more trouble making the arm bend down than pulling it clean off.
Revoltech are designed so their body parts don't get in the way of their range of movement. Guess what Robot Replicas forgot to think about!
I'll be fair: For a movie figure, it's nice looking. It gets Jazz's robot mode accurately without the need to actually make him transform into a car, what with the abundance of panel shifting and all that in the movie transformations. He hasn't got much of a face, though, as everything below his visor is just a swirly mass, but it's okay as far as aesthetics go.
But, yeah, I don't like the joints. When everyone talked about Revoltech, I imagined this to be the same level of quality. Hyped up disappointment! The arms can rotate well enough, and have a relatively decent range of motion when it comes to going inwards and outwards (aka: The hands can reach each other!), but the legs are a letdown. Due to the chunky thighs, they're only good for rotating, and the knees and feet don't bend well enough to make him do much more than squat. You can make him look like he's jumping, but you can't give him a running pose without looking like a dipwad.
He comes with a shield that replaces his arm, but it also looks rather silly. He can use it like it actually is a shield, but it's just weird having it replace his arm, see. His hands are big ol' claws that aren't good for holding anything, so it's understandable, the whole arm needs replacing, but it just doesn't help it's case any more, y'know?
I got it for 70p less than the regular RRP, but yeah, mild disappointment. If the figure had been made to fit higher quality joints then I'd be happy, but I'd probably just be content with a poseable figure based off G1 Jazz. Fuss fuss fuss!
In news that isn't related to toys, I've been playing Mega Man Legends again lately. I forgot how fun the game was! But at the same time, I forgot how slow it was. I absolutely despise talking to people because of how slow the text scrolls and how long it takes until you can move to the next window. It's not that bad, but in PAL slowdown it's just ungodly. But still, fun times!
A very big box arrived today, meaning I've received a parcel ninja who's going to slice my throat or it's going to be more Transformers. It was Transformers! Phew. Dodged a bullet.
20th Anniversary Optimus Prime is incredibly, incredibly badass. I haven't made him into a truck yet, but good lord is that robot mode awesome. The one I got is missing all his weaponry, but he can still wrestle Iron Man to the death with ease. Highly recommended!
Generation 1 Megatron. Hoo boy! Wave this around in public and you'd get shot, or at least clubbed or mugged.
This really is quite possibly the best transformation Megatron has had. It's a disturbingly lifelike Walter P38 with a ping-making trigger and all, with the chrome and little squiggly details and all. It's incredible.
Then you see the robot mode. The handle becomes the legs, the cannon becomes the torso and the bit behind that becomes the arms and head. The rest of the gun is just left to sit there and look awkward. The arms are on very fin rotating levers that make me feel uncomfortable just tinkering with it, and the barrel just sitting there always feels like something bad's going to happen to it; not to mention that his profile is all kinds of ungainly. At best, it's got an odd charm, but it just feels awkward and vulnerable to damage so I just keep him in his gun mode. I'll probably sell him, because as great a transformation it is, the robot's not that great so to keep him in gun mode kind of defeats the point for me.
Classics Megatron is a bit here and there. His basic appearance invokes that of the original Megatron, but the colour scheme used and the elements changed to make him more politically correct kind of made him look like a bit of a fruitcake. He's traded in his red optics for lime ones, the purple he had as an Action Master has taken over his body, and his arm cannon is now an underside-of-the-arm cannon, meaning it's more of a club than anything. His appearance is slightly asymmetrical, what with his different shoulders and the fact he's got a honking big cannon on one side of his body, plus he's got those long curved legs that almost give a ladylike appearance to him if standing in a certain way. Not to mention that he's taller than Jetfire.
This bothers me. Thanks to the cartoon, I always imagine Jetfire as being a fair bit bigger than the average Transformer, but here he's just the same size as the leaders. Considering he's meant to be transport, that's just uncool. =(
I haven't managed to get him into gun mode yet as it involves splitting his body in two, putting his shoulder where his head is and then mimicking an origami structure before wrapping the gun halves around him. I don't have the instructions and neither does the internet, so I can't pose with him all cool yet. =( x 2
And I also got tiny statues of Laserbeak and Ravage. They're incredibly detailed, but the box they come in is really misleading; by the box you've expect them to be the side of Classics Bumblebee, maybe, but they're about the size of the Mini Vehicles.
Seriously, look at that. That is blatant false advertising.
They're decently sized with Titanium Soundwave, but otherwise they're kind of pointless. Which is a shame, as they're lovingly detailed and Ravage certainly looks better than his real toy, but they're too small to display on their own. They'll probably get sold.
All this for the remarkable price of £49! Considering Prime goes for £50, G1 Megatron is no less than £20 and Classics Megs goes for the same price (if not more), it's a truly swell bargain!
Today's observation: I don't know how long I've had this Bumblebee toy, but I can't believe it's only now that I realised the thing on the back of his car mode is meant to be a spare tire.
Seriously! I thought it was like a turbo engine or a shiny decoration or something that simply wasn't a spare tire. Good grief.
So apparently Random Action Hour was linked to at Kotaku. I know jack about today's modern gaming sites, so whether I should be ashamed or amazed is something I don't know yet. I fear this place may actually get popular, though!
In news I may actually care about, even more Transformers have been revealed! If this keeps up my bladder may pop.
New Legends figures in the Universe line, it seems. Hopefully we'll actually see them in stores this time, as seriously, I can only find them in eBay's international sales, and for ludicrous prices. Onslaught's rather meh, Red Alert's car mode is okay, and Starscream is admittedly the best looking of the lot. Doubt I'll bother with any, though.
Animated Jazz is looking very, very awesome. Sure, it's really just the original one's car mode with extra pimped out modifications, but I'm afraid that's precisely why it looks great. I'm a sucker for blatant homages! The robot mode is similarly sleek, though I admit I'm not a big fan of the head. Well, more the face, really. Every Jazz should have a grin. It is law! But that's nothing a very crude scrape with scissors can solve, or with more effort a head swap. He still looks great.
Oil Slick, a new Animated character actually looks pretty bodacious too! Love the ram skull on his bike mode, and the fact he's got a chain to use as a weapon is pretty wild. That's it, really.
Snarl is also looking pretty darn radical, and if the other Dinobots are of the same quality I may pick them all up. So long as they don't bloat to ludicrous prices like all other Dinobot figures. Though to be honest about the Animated line, a number of figures aren't looking as good as I thought they'd be, though this is to blame with seeing the cartoon and the best Prime toy first. Hurf.
And I'm afraid I may actually have to start collecting the Robot Heroes, as Hound and Blitzwing are two characters I have nonsensical loves for, and to have them in the same package is just awesome. Galvatron also looks rad, but his grin's a little too dopey for my liking.
Watched The Beastmaster last night. Tacky fun!
Now let's be honest here: it's total male fantasy fulfilment. The main character Dar's family and village get slaughtered, but conveniently after he's discovered his ability to communicate with animals and having gained major muscles. Then he befriends two ferrets, a black tiger and an eagle, and gets the hots for a slave girl he happened to see in the nip, getting her trust by making his animals pretend to be dangerous, and then with the help of your typical kid prince person and black guy with a staff, he overthrows the bad dude who's sacrificing people. They kill the bad guy and his army, the prince becomes the rightful ruler and Dar gets the girl. I'd like to say there's more to it than that, but for being two hours long there's a surprising lack of plot, instead having lots of silent, unmoving scenes where the heroes sit around and do nothing. To make up for it, there's lots of awesome painted backgrounds, a technique I wish was still used today.
I have to admit I was expecting a guy who can communicate and bond with animals to be all above the need for basic human love, but then I remembered it was made in 1982 and the woman had to be claimed by the man. Oh well! People probably would've thought he was gay if he turned down the offer. It was Tanya Roberts with her bosom visible as day, after all.
New Transformers Universe images! It's just what we've seen before but now with colour!
Sunstreaker's robot mode is awesome, and the little details they've added are superb, but his vehicle mode bores me. That's my problem with the Classics line; it's all sports cars. Sports cars are great, but there's only so many robot shapes you can make out of sports cars, you know? It'd be nice to see someone different like Brawn or Beachcomber or Trailbreaker made in the line. Especially them, as they don't get any respect. =(
Prowl is sexy. He's... it's just an awesome figure. I love it. I want it. No complaints. It's perfect. I'm sorry, as I'd like to provide a real opinion, but it's just awesome!
Octane/Tankor's paint additions have kind of lessened my feelings on him. His robot mode is ugly since it's a vaguely humanoid shape made out of assorted plane and truck parts, and the mostly monochrome paint job does little to make him look nice. Which is understandable considering it's what makes his vehicle modes look better. However, robot modes are essentially what seal the deal for me, so I'll likely give him a miss. Nice to see him remade, though.
Powerglide's looking very swanky! The bright white really brings out how great his robot mode is, the red highlights working well, and his vehicular mode is just superb. If there's one complaint I'd have, it's... not Powerglide enough. As I've said before, Powerglide is an itty bitty Autobot who's somehow smaller than a camper van, yet here he's one of the bigger toys and will probably tower over Jetfire. For anyone else, that's fine and dandy, but Powerglide's good because he's small but got this huge bombastic ego. Give him a new head and call him an Aerialbot, and that'd be fine, but making it Powerglide just feels wrong somehow.
It's a great head, though.
Onslaught's paint has made me see him as "eh" again. His robot mode looks good at some angles, but the image used isn't a good one, while his vehicle mode is "alright" at best. If he were a smaller figure then he'd be a "perhaps" purchase, but as the biggest size class then I'll give him a miss. Maybe if he were a combiner, though.
And new repaints, Blaster and Roadblock! Blaster is ugly as sin. Give him a new head and he may be okay, but as he is he's just very very ugly. He'd work better as a van or another sports car. Heck, a retooled Rodimus would work well for him, but in his current state I'm just not appealed.
Roadblock is relatively inoffensive. He's got a new palette and both modes are decent, but I probably wouldn't get him. Still a nice looking figure, though.
As if having an awesome Prowl wasn't enough; awesome new Galvatron! They're not the greatest images in the world, but they're enough to get my interest quite considerably piqued. And it also means I won't have to pretend I know how to pain and get an Energon Galvatron to fulfil my demand for show accuracy! And he comes with a honking big cannon!!
So in a nutshell, the line-up's a bit here and there. Prowl and Galvatron look supremely awesome, whereas Sunstreaker and Powerglide are almost there but not quite, and the rest can just fall into furnaces or be bought by other people for all I care.
I'm afraid I may have to squee.
Ah, Valentine's Day. Yet another of those capitalist holidays that are meant to simply make people express love towards their significant others through the sharing of cards, candies and soft toys, but meets scorn by cynical layabouts whose cynical natures are precisely what prevents them from getting a companion and subsequently a life, which by the ideals of society is really just getting a girlfriend and therefore devoting all care and attention towards them, turning your life into nothing more but a self-centred bubble for yourself and spouse, which is never adequately explained in terms other than "you'll know why when it happens" as to why getting love and a life subsequently makes you a variety of asshole to everyone else on the planet.
Good ol' Valentine's Day!
I personally don't see why nerds get so uptight about the holiday. It's just another day, except with more peer pressure. If it weren't for everyone on the internet mentioning it, I'd never have known! Yet, either way, I wouldn't have cared!
Watched the 1998 Godzilla movie. It was fun!
As that look at the Game Boy game says, kaiju movies are not my forte, my métier or my raison d'etre. I haven't seen a Godzilla movie in donkey's years. I watched it because dad brought it up after we saw Cloverfield, and I admitted that I had never actually seen the movie, so we righted that wrong. I enjoyed it!
When I hear kaiju movies, I'm supposed to think of giant strange monsters giving each other high jump kicks and stomping on hollow buildings, but the most I actually can remember from the Godzilla movies I saw were long, dreary, talky bits with humans before the big man G showed up. And then whenever a giant monster showed up, the fights never really felt intense, making it build-up to nothing. Sort of like Transmorphers! Lots of dialogue, and then fight scenes that were just very embarrassing.
1998 Godzilla's no different, admittedly. There's lots of talking and human interaction, but it's actually done with intentional humour and not the variety that either ends up lost in translation or simply comes across as a non sequitur. The difference here is that the action is fun. As much as I love people in rubber suits punching each other (or people without rubber suits punching each other), it never really felt rewarding, y'know? This Godzilla is rewarding. It's fun and exciting and intense and emits a very Jurassic Park vibe, which is almost something you'd never expect from Godzilla despite the connection of a giant dinosaur wrecking shit is kind of similar, slightly. And it's got Roger Ebert running as mayor. I give it two thumbs up because I'm shallow and really kind of making comparisons from vague memories, but the main point is that it was an enjoyable two hours and I don't see why there's so much hate. Not every movie's a Citizen Kane, yo.
Would've been nice for Mothra or one of those fellas to show up, though.
Jeremy Beadle has been dead for a week.
This is news to me.
I feel like such an asshole. =(
Here's hoping this isn't a You've Been Framed host curse. Television isn't worth watching without Harry Hill!
Got to that creative writing group, but it's more of a creative group rather than creative writing. Huge difference!
In a nutshell, ideas were thrown about for deaf awareness, how lack of hearing effects their lives and how things could be down to fix that. It was actually kind of interesting, as ideas were suggested for it to be done in four one-minute movies showing hindrances in the life of a deaf person, like plane departure notices and so on, but it wasn't what I was expecting, see. I was just expecting a small creative writing group with a theme, like that Vagina Monologues art place (where I was unaware of the theme and drew dragons). Movie making about deaf awareness is interesting stuff, but it's actually for a cause and I don't work well with that stuff. As the whole site shows, my forte lies in that of the irrelevant.
But yeah, it wasn't bad. Worst part was trying to work out how the hell to scroll down the contacts list on a mobile phone, where the main button that looks nothing like a control stick is actually a control stick. I hope the mobile phone market crashes, just as spite for what a horrendous design that is.
Saw Cloverfield and got eggs. It was great! The movie, not the eggs. Don't like those.
Actually caring about people for once, there'll be here so look out
The problem with my reviewing is all that I find positive I don't mention, as I expect people to assume my nags are the only nags and the rest is either good or at least acceptable. Say if a game had good jumping physics. I wouldn't mention that, thus leaving any reader (if any) oblivious to the fact that I believe the jumping physics are good. That's how I feel about Cloverfield. Great movie, but not enough to nag about.
Handheld camera? Not nauseating. I felt woozy from playing Sonic Adventure for the first time, but this didn't faze me at all. Sure, I felt Hud (camera dude) turned to inappropriate things at the wrong time; in one instance he gets a view of the monster, but then turns to look at the army for longer than he should, but like a lot of flaws, the movie's played as realistically as a giant monster movie can get, so who knows what one would do in that situation! The camera also made for a great reveal in the subway.
The monster? Pretty rad! It's very big and kind of gangly and even in the clearest view you get of it you still don't really get a clear picture of it. It's awesome. However, it drops little insect things from it's body, and I personally found those to be a cop-out. They're like the face huggers from Alien; well, not like, may as well be the face huggers from Alien, and they just seem to exist for the sole purpose of showing up when the monster has no reason to. I was hoping for the monster to stomp a claw through the ceiling of the subway, but that's just when the little face huggers show up. Makes sense, what with the monster being occupied up above, but come on, giant monster in an enclosed space. However, they do make one of the characters explode, so that's worth something.
The story? Nonexistent, and for good reason. It's just some average joes who happen to find themselves in the middle of a monster attack. It's prefaced at the start with it being a withheld government document, but that's it. There's no narration to show why it happened or any details like that, it's just the people only. And it works! After all, people watch monster movies for the monsters and the people getting killed, so to bog it down with story would be criminal. Which was precisely why I couldn't wade through Transmorphers; so much goddamned dialogue! Dialogue is good, but I bought it for the robots and was treated to resistance generals shouting at each other in redubbed voices. You don't know what the hell's going on and that's why it's entertaining. That and Hud says the darndest things.
Is it worth it? As said, it's a brainless monster movie. You can look into it further with clues and viral marketing and all that hoopla, but I went for the giant monster action and I got what I paid for. Well, what dad paid for. 2-for-1 ticket boyee. Cinema experience for reals. Wouldn't work on TV.
Of course, if you've bought into all the hype then I imagine it may not be as good, but the most I heard of it was a trailer before The Simpsons Movie and all the forums and blogs on the internet suddenly talking about it so it remained pretty fresh for me.
The ultimate question, however: Better than Blair Witch? Honey, anything's better than The Blair Witch Project. A good experiment at best, but seeing a rhino's ass would be more entertaining.
In typical Transformers news, I swagged Classics Bumblebee for £8 on Saturday. I'm not a big fan of how the flip-down car roof is the only thing that gives his body girth, so he looks like a skinny robot in a fat suit, and his jetpack is a bit wonky. However, he's Bumblebee, and he's adorable! He's got giant feet and an adorable head and since his car mode can lug a waterski around it's just awesome. If you can get him cheap I recommend it.
Almost went to a creative writing group today. Turned out I thought it started at 7pm but it ended at 7pm so whoops.
Almost saw Cloverfield today. But the cinema was bunged to the gills so I didn't bother.
Almost saved myself from the horrors of Transmorphers. I gave in to temptation.
It cost us under £3, but my dad and I only watched the first twenty five minutes before deciding we had better things to do with our time, but if anything, it's only two minutes before you see robots! Certainly quicker than the real Transformers movie. I'd like to say I could give support to the movie or at least cover it in some way, but those twenty five minutes didn't leave a good impression. The special effects weren't too horrendous (I thought they were pretty rad in their own way), but the reason I picked it up was because giant robots. I don't want to hear people making cracks about being cryogenically frozen for five years or complaining about commands!
Maybe a full review if I can slog my way through it all? Who knows!
So as you can see, Random Action Hour's been getting the star treatment lately. What's new?
I've been dying to get something done here, whether it's just a quick General Writing or one of those month-long epics that I usually end up hating, and especially doing something with video games, particularly a walkthrough. However, I just haven't got the "click" yet. The click that makes me able to write semi-original things without simply having to make observations on cartoons, or even the motivation to work up the power to generate that click. I've got a review of Robot Masters Optimus Prime kicking about since the middle of January that just needs pictures, and I still have that semi-diary thing I wrote when I was in Grenada back in December, but I may actually be caring about what I put up and I'm wary if anyone besides Galvatron or my family actually cares about those! Not that I'm overly fussy with tending to a fanbase. I can't imagine anyone was clamouring for me to document drawings I did when I was about eight or desperate for a walkthrough of Spin Master.
It doesn't help that cartoons are what's primarily on my mind. See, Random Action Hour was started to cover what everyone else had neglected to, or did so in minimal detail (ironically, looking back at the Mega Man overviews is hilarious at how much I skip over them). Of course, starting with two video game cartoons essentially made everyone ask "hay cover Mortal Kombat will ya," even though the real goal was just to bring attention to what nobody else paid much to. Like Ruin Explorers and Street Sharks.
Lately, however, I've been thinking about more obscure things; stuff that wasn't on TV. Not unreleased pilots or anything fancy like that, but just old shows on tapes that nobody remembers now. Like Funny Bones. Totally unnoteworthy show, but I've been tempted to cover it just for giggles if I could get the episodes onto my computer. However, what's higher on the agenda is something a little more dynamic.
Finding information on this gem might as well be impossible aside from a basic summary or review here and there, and actually getting it is harder, what with it only existing on VHS and the only download being a Spanish dub. When something is that badly treated, what reason is there in hunting for it anyway?
Plenty of reason.
As I mentioned in one of the blog entries from last year (good luck finding it!), my original exposure to anime was from VHS tapes borrowed from friends of my dad, who were mostly rockers and role-players and all kinds of wacky people.
Funny unrelated story! My dad told Steve about one of his role-playing games as if it was what happened when he went to work, talking about blasting demons away with shotguns and all kinds of totally badass Doom-like activities. And he worked in a school. I was sorely disappointed when I went there myself.
What this meant was that we got videos totally inappropriate for our age range and most of them were totally bizarre and obscure and barely any got DVD releases. One of them was Ultimate Teacher. Starring a plucky young heroine as she overthrows the tyrant principal of a school using the power of her Velvet Pussy Panties and the willpower of her friends, all kinds of crazy shit goes down. That's really the only way I can describe it without going ludicrously in-depth. An afro superhero comes to help her out; the principal makes an Egyptian-like kingdom out of the students (which is then converted by the heroine showing up in her underwear and posing dramatically); there's a fight scene in a shop with a scuba diver residing in with the ice creams, a guy with a microwave on his head and a coin-shooting shopkeeper; and there's a false ending where the bad guy is impaled on his staff and there's a montage of everything going back to normal, only for him to have survived and go wild again.
It is incredible.
Yet Manga Entertainment seem to have no record of publishing it at all on their website.
That is despicable.
Naturally, I feel the need to overcome this drawback and get it covered in some way, even if it requires a thousand images and enough words to fill a phone book, and aim to recover the VHS tape I have and get it computerised. To have something so incredible get lost to the ages is something I would never wish upon anything, so if all goes well then I'd like to see this and any other awesome movie I still have preserved for the future. In wisecracking summary format.
All this and I still need to work on season 2 of Transformers plus plan to also cover season 4, which contains a ludicrous amount of characters, and still have time to have something vaguely resembling a life, as well as all my other oddball plans. Oy vey!
Watched Bridge to Terabithia. Was pleasantly surprised!
See, it came about after The Chronicles of Narnia and was even made by the same crew, so I was under the impression it was one of those things where something's hip and does well so everyone else decides to have a go. The marketing didn't exactly make itself stand out from the crowd, and once you've seen one movie with very nice visuals, seeing another with the same quality of visuals just doesn't have the same punch, y'know?
Thus, my balls were thoroughly bored off during the first half hour. Where were the epic battles and giant demons and nonsensical story, ala Wardrobe? Then I kind of realised that it was more about social standing and being yourself and fight tha powah and all that motivational inspirational lyrical nonsensical jibba jabba. Which, in turn, actually makes it better than Narnia. It's got heart and soul, see. Totally beats Narnia's wonder and Dawn French voicing a beaver.
Of course, actually getting to realising that was difficult, as the first half of the story is mostly in school, which reminds me of the wondrous features of life such as mob mentality, peer pressure, arseholes and being timid. Perhaps it's just the wisdom of hindsight talking, but why did no one bother rallying a group to say "hey, this dame's being a right dickhead and it's all very blatant. Why are we being such pussies and having assholes shitting all over us?" Of course, you'd have to have seen Team America: World Police to say that specifically and you'd probably get detention or something if you said it in a school environment.
Would you believe I never saw anyone get detention, ever? My class were consistently called the worst class that year's teacher had ever dealt with, yet nobody got detention. It always seems like something you only see on TV. Like rope climbing.
Ignoring what utter dickheads children are, I think it's a fun film and definitely better than all the more generic fantasy fare you see, though it really is more just imaginations running wild than fantasy.
Of course you could tell me a list of reasons why it sucks and if they're well made then I'll probably agree.
I'm easily convinced when it comes to things I don't feel strongly upon.