I had a very entertaining Batman evening today, beginning with playing a bit of Batman: Arkham Asylum and finishing the game (unremarkable climax!) and then following it up with watching Batman & Robin. I am going to enrage so many fanatics with these following words.
I thought it was pretty awesome!
No, seriously. This is the first time I've seen the film since I saw it in the cinema about thirteen years ago, and my only memories of it are Mr. Freeze destroying a brontosaurus, how Bane is defeated, and the bat-nipples. Everything else is a nondescript blur, and since then I've heard nothing but bad things about the film. I'd like to say I intended to rectify that, but it was simply a case of my dad offering me a movie to watch and I said yeah, go for it.
I'm not a big DC guy. I'm not a big comics guy in general, since I've read a whopping two superhero issues (one issue of Spider-Man where he partnered up with Daredevil who made a joke about eating carrots, and something about Superman that was a completely nonsensical mess because I knew jack shit about anyone in it) so I really shouldn't be in any position to talk, but Batman's the only DC guy I really know, and I only know him as a comedy goldmine. My dad explicitly said that he had no real interest in Batman until he saw me playing Arkham Asylum, as beforehand he just saw the guy as some wacko with pointy ears. You could say the same about most superheroes I guess, but in essence this entire paragraph is just saying we're not big Batman fanatics. Enjoyed the movies and cartoons, yes, but I wouldn't take a bullet for him.
And that's probably why I loved Batman & Robin so much. I like superheroes, and I like camp, and therefore the 1960s Batman remains my favourite incarnation of the caped crusader. & Robin has the dark, mist-filled, selectively-coloured visual style of the films, but the story and antics are just completely frigging oddball. The movie is a hurricane of corny lines and wince-inducing puns, a plethora of scene-chewing actors in outrageously silly outfits, a waterfall of... stupidity. But I love it for that very reason. People argue that superhero movies are stereotyped along the lines of the 1960s Batman, full of campy situations and silly plot developments, and are little more than mindless fluff, and this stereotype is an insult to superhero media that takes itself seriously and with relevance to society. Batman's comics discuss the nature of law and order, the criminal mind, the life of a vigilante and all manner of subjects, and although superheroes are often immediately paired up with "brainless tat," there's much in the way of fiction that makes for legitimately entertaining and thought-provoking stuff.
I'm all for that. I am also all for dudes in stupid outfits beating the shit out of each other with harebrained gadgets and making horrible one-liners.
What do you think of when you hear the word "hero?" Today's society seems to imply we should think policemen, firemen, doctors, and other such people who do a good job at protecting people (my first thought is Bonnie Tyler, and by that connection I also think of Metal Slug 7). But they're people who only specialise in one particular field. Thus, when I think "superhero" and complete ignore the rest of the connotations surrounding the word, I expect someone who can solve anything and is equipped to deal with every possible threat. And by that backwards logic, Batman & Robin is the perfect superhero movie. Or more precisely, the perfect superhero cartoon.
Seriously, it's a living cartoon! I had a grin from ear-to-ear for the first twenty minutes because of just how completely silly the whole thing was. There's no waiting around or wasted time, the film just starts with them suiting up, making stupid jokes, and then heading out to fight the villain, who has an army of stupidly-themed goons at his disposal and a completely badass vehicle, as well as a plan to defeat Batman that... I didn't even know what I was witnessing when the Freezemobile just sprouts a goddamned rocket and blasts into space with the intent of nuking Gotham City. This is in the first ten minutes! And then they surfboard out of the exploding rocket. It's inconceivably moronic, and I love it! I would dare say I fucking love it! (because gratuitous swearing just proves your point twice as much)
Yes, I've been spouting completely random nonsense out of my mouth on the subject of superheroes, comics and other media that's basically a reminder that, hey, I'm a pretty open-minded guy and I thought Watchmen was so awesome I saw it twice, but, I'm sorry, I still get my kicks through the completely corny style of superhero fiction. Batman: The Movie remains my favourite superhero movie of all time, and & Robin seems to do its darndest to try and top it from a different angle. I mean, the casting! I forgot how much I love old Arnie, and the amiable Austrian just hams every single line he has, and he's the recipient of some truly incredible fashion sense. I've never been a big fan of Poison Ivy (sorry, but every Batman: The Animated Series episode with her just bored me, and her boss fight in Arkham Asylum was Metroid Prime levels of crap), but Uma Thurman plays it up like a Rocky & Bullwinkle villain, practically looking like a living cartoon with her hilarious outfit and the hammy acting (plus, is it just me, or did she look more attractive with those oversized novelty glasses?). Even incredibly minor people like the scientist who worked on the telescope ("it's just one of those days!") and Commissioner Gordon just steal the show by their mere presence. I would be lying if I denied the fact that almost every other line in the film had me in stitches, just because of how over-the-top the acting is. Heck, every thirty seconds was enough for something to appear that had me stifling a chortle.
I cannot capture in words just how much I enjoyed the movie. I didn't enjoy it because it was terrible, but I didn't enjoy it because it was a masterpiece - I enjoyed it because it is beyond categorisation. It's in a field of its own, baby. I don't know what that does for actually explaining how or why I had a ball of an evening with it, but, well, I'm pretty sure everyone by now is aware how terrible I am at actually conveying my thoughts clearly and comprehensibly.
Yes, I am aware I have lost all credibility (if any existed beforehand). I mean, I hated Batman Begins and loved Batman & Robin? The internet tells me this is unacceptable. Kinda unfortunate, as I was hoping to write a review about a book sometime. Who's going to take me seriously when I try to analyse the cultural clash of rural Japanese villagers after the end of the second world war?
A random tweet by Sardius reminded me of a game that I had seen many times in many places years ago, but had never placed or even known the title of it, and I am not enlightened. It was Radikal Bikers!
Seriously, I went abroad quite a few times years ago and stumbled upon many arcades, and that game was in all of them from at least 1999 to 2002. My brother played it a whopping once and it didn't appear to leave much of an impression on him, but there was something just intriguing about the game. It could be Virtua Fighter syndrome where it was just the ludicrously blocky graphics that entranced me, but I don't think I could say no to a game that was all about delivering pizzas either, yet I somehow never played the game. My mind works in odd ways. Though I will admit it wasn't that memorable to be lodged in my head for years, but I am at peace now that I know what it is. And there's a PlayStation version too? Hell yessssss.
Now if only I could
find the title of another arcade game involving a bike. The one I'm thinking of
was about a kid riding a flying bicycle along a predetermined path, achieved by
literally pedalling pedals. The bike was bright yellow and the setting involved
floating islands, castles and other things. I only ever saw the Japanese
version, even in the Belfast Airport.
There's no way in hell it could be
comfortably emulated, but just knowing the name of it would put my mind at ease
- the friggin' cabinet artwork had an English title, man!
PROP CYCLE. The
motherfucker eluded me! Seriously, it resided in the Belfast Airport for a good
three to four years if I recall correctly before being ditched, which was a
serious shame, and I think I only played it once. It was always a mesmerising
sight, if just for the whirring of the pedals and the digitised gusts of wind.
I think I've now realised there are no arcade games that spring to mind that I would want identified. My life has suddenly become hollow.
Watched Nightmare on Elm Street 3. I've heard a lot about this one thanks to the I-Mockery articles on the top 10 best kills and the video game based off it, and I'd probably say it's the most entertaining so far.
The bad dreams aren't just limited to Elm Street this time, as a group of kids from all locations are brought to a psychiatric ward due to their trouble with suicide, nightmares and other heebie-jeebies, and it turns out they're hunted down because their parents took part in the burnination of ol' Fred Kreug'. Nancy, the girl from the first movie, enrols as staff in the ward and tries to help them conquer the fiend, while the other staff member enlists the help of Nancy's dad to bury Kreuger's remains. Imaginative deaths ensue.
The imaginative setting is really what makes the series appeal to me. I've no doubt said before, I'd be interested in seeing at least one Friday the 13th instalment just out of curiosity's sake, but, well, a dude going about hacking people with a machete doesn't sound dreadful, but it doesn't sound incredible either. If Freddy were just a regular dude then stabbing people with his glove would get a bit tiresome after a while, so the ridiculous scenarios he throws the poor saps into is what makes it worthwhile. Likewise, the interesting scenario of the main girl having the ability to transport other people into her dreams really livens things up, and although it's not until the end that's it really used (and even then everyone just ends up getting doors and walls plopped between each other so hurf), it's cool to see that Freddy isn't the only one with control over the situation in their dreams. Of course, everyone ends up being a complete dork - ex-junkie becomes "beautiful... and bad!" and when the walls are closing in on her she's still holding onto her knives in the vain hope that doing so will accomplish something; wheelchair kid becomes the wizard master and chooses to run towards the guy with the stabbing claws. I was almost expecting Kincaid to get offed for having a similarly dorky outfit (it's a charming kind of dorky, mind you) but he managed to survive, though I'm doubtful he'll live through the sequel, if he shows up in it, that is.
What makes this one work so well is the story. I always feel like a fraud when applying the word "story" to a horror movie, but there's a nice sensation of stuff actually happening in this one. The second movie had a nice theme of Freddy taking over the kid's body, but most of it was wasted on him just being a whiny bastard; this one has a very nice flow, first meeting the kids in the ward and the relatively quiet goings-on there, which is slowly made worse when two of them are killed, Nancy's practises getting her and her co-worker booted out, that co-workers chats with the weird nun, then meeting Nancy's dad... simply recapping it in this manner doesn't really mean much, but in the film it builds up very nicely and really gives the impression that things are going to hell. Yeah. It's a pretty good movie!
Yeah, my apologies for always crummily ending blog entries lately, my head's just a bit of a mess. It's been a long day.
Normally when I go to bed each night, I like to feel that I've achieved something that day, even if it is incredibly minor. I have no idea what I've been doing for the past few days, and even less idea what I'm doing at work. My mind is currently in a state of flux that can be accurately defined as mildly discombobulated.
I didn't mention it, but back in January or February someone had gotten the song Baker's Street stuck in their head thanks to a frequently-played commercial, and thus chose to do the same for everyone else in work by playing it endlessly on loop. I'm serious. It's a good song and I get wet whenever that saxophone bit flares up, but you'd think having it endlessly on loop would spoil your appetite for it, wouldn't you?
Apparently not, as I've been trying to find the song. I've found several versions of it online, but they're not quite the one I heard. The tempo seems to be different on all of them I find, and none of them quite match the perfection of the one I heard on the guy's MP3 player. It's... frustrating. I mean, I could actually buy the song, but if I don't know if it's going to be the perfect one I'm looking for, that's just going to be doubly disappointing.
I watched the third and fourth episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It's still good! (amusing fact: I almost spelt the title as Vampire Splayer) They're both basically Xander's time to shine, and I finally saw what his proper niche was. In the first two episodes... well, he was there, but he seemed like surplus to requirements, and if it weren't for the cool name and the fact that I knew he was a main character, I would have otherwise expected him to get killed off. Now I know he's a loveable loveless dork, and that's cool.
And now that I'm editing together that recording, I'm creatively drained again. Fuck you, world!
The day after I say I'm creatively drained, a bunch of chums and I get together to do an audio recording of a story I wrote. Isn't life grand? Merriment was had, laughs were used in healthy doses, and we all made unique input regarding the story's output. An entertaining hour and a half. Certainly a great way to end the day after I couldn't find a good hat.
I'm creatively drained. Life just has its ways of being pretty uncool, y'know.
I watched the first hour of The Thirteenth Warrior. It didn't go well, both because it was incredible impromptu (incromptu?) as I was in the middle of writing something when I was offered to watch it, but I missed the first minute of it, which is bad when the first two/three minutes are solid narration. So my attention was very suddenly taken away to this movie I was now watching and I'd missed the entire premise summary. In a nutshell, what I saw was totally incomprehensible and I ultimately gave up because the DVD later degenerated into a stuttering mess. A perfect end to a perfect day.
Whoa whoa whoa HOLD THE PHONE
crocodile man please do not be so literal
also that phone belongs back in the 90s
put it back where it came from
There's an A-Team movie... and nobody told me about it?
More precisely, I didn't even find out about it in a sensible manner like, say, reading film news or seeing a trailer on TV, but through a bloody mobile phone ad?
Seriously man, I like to be told.
It's amusing how any mention of The A-Team generally gets me mildly excited, even though I've barely even seen the show. My brother borrowed a few tapes from a friend years ago (which still need to be given back to him. I've relocated them to my window sill for the explicit purpose of reminding myself to get in touch with the guy, but I seem to prefer just forgetting about it. I mean, they've been in our hands for at least a decade by now, I don't think he's in a rush to get them back, though I will acknowledge that doesn't make this any less of a jerkass thing to do) and usually TV stations near the more northern part of Northern Ireland have it on a fairly frequent basis, along with the likes of Airwolf and other sources for irrelevant pop culture gags on Family Guy, but aside from the basic clichés of the show, you could say I'm not too familiar with it. If IMDb isn't lying, I must say the casting seems pretty neat - the new B.A. fits the look just fine (I could comment that it's not the same without Mr. T, but I think it's hard to look at the guy in any acting role and not expect him to just be ridiculously in-your-face, thanks to the Snickers and World of Warcraft ads he does), and Liam Neeson as Hannibal? I'd dare say that's worth a frig yeah. Whether the movie will be any good is a different matter, mind you, but I don't think it takes much to at least keep me entertained for an hour and a half.
There used to be a time when the blog when let people know what was going on with the site if there was anything notable or wacky going on. It's been nearly two weeks and I haven't commented on Galvatron's departure to his own space. Is there a conspiracy afoot?
Galv' just told me one day he had asked Flying Omelette for his own space, and I was cool with that. That's really as far as it goes. I think there were a few other reasons that led up to it, like people often mistaking us for the same person and emailing me with queries about his content, how ludicrous long the URLs were getting, and so on. I think it's for the best, both because he's got a way past huge amount of content to fill an independent site, and also because it means he can take care of himself without me casting a shadow over him. Seriously, I feel like a bit of a prick when it comes to Galv's input here! For the entirety of the TenchiOnline period he had to send all his RAH updates through me, which I would then modify a bit to go with my "house" format though quite often I would fuck things up (it wasn't until we moved to Flying Omelette that he finally added a link to a HNK characters page that had been finished for months); then I gave away all of our OMGWTCT content to X-CulT without even discussing it with him, and I'm pretty sure there's a million other terrible things I can bring up again.
I wasn't lying when I said I'm a bit of an asshole. No wonder everyone preferred his version of Roll For It over mine!
But naw, we're still cool, and it definitely gives him more freedom to work with. Having his own site which he can split into sub-sections as he pleases simply makes more sense than his giant site being a mere sub-section on my site. I think before he got the Corner Shop I even offered him, if he wanted it, to buy him his own webspace. But nothing came of that either. Not because I'm an asshole, I think both of us just forgot about that subject.
So, yeah, there you go. Answers.
I miss exciting blog entries.
So, how am I? I'm doing fine, thanks for asking. It's lovely weather over here.
I started playing Castlevania: Circle of the Moon a few days ago. I realised that the game is nearly ten years old, and I still haven't completed it. That saddens me. As my 2009 game waffle article showed, I've been trying to finish off old games I never made much progress in; some of them go down easily, some are still reasonably taxing, and then there's Maximum Carnage which I still just don't have the patience to sit down and finish. Little things like that just bug me a lot, y'know.
Although I've never gotten beyond the third boss before, there's always something kinda charming about the game, and I'm really getting into it. Playing it is just like the first time I played Super Metroid - no idea where to go, dying horribly but having a reasonably good time about it - plus I'm using a Classic Controller, so it's even closer to being like a SNES game, if you ignore how it's missing a good chunk of the vertical resolution! It's a really good game for just sitting down and playing it for a fair few hours in one sitting, preferably with some good hot chocolate or something. My only real beef is the fact that the batteries will inevitably die. It hasn't happened yet, but I always dread it. I can't help but wish for a DS Player to come along; I don't care if you still have to use the console as a controller or the screens were wonkily presented on a TV, playing Portrait of Ruin on a big screen is the only way I can imagine actually getting anywhere fast in the game. I've had the game for half a year now and I still only play it to pass time when I'm scanning stuff.
Totally unrelated, but I received an email back in January and I planned to do what I usually do - not actually reply to the person but instead talk about it elsewhere, because I am a terrible man for being direct with people. Instead I ended up forgetting to talk about it and, well, here I am now. But the email was a person expressing praise for my Legend of Zelda not-quite-Lets-Play and was anxious to see more instalments in the series. Which is a message I appreciated! I've run this site for nearly five years and I barely get any feedback about it regarding my actual writing and not just sprites or Metal Slug unused crap, so stuff like this always makes me feel chuffed. And then I go and ruin it all by not actually replying to the person. I... I'm sorry. I'm a terrible person.
But I just found it amusing how after sprites, Metal Slug: Missing in Action, Bomberman, Mega Man cartoons and all those other attention-attracting subjects, I get emailed about a silly little ditty where I fail miserably at the Legend of Zelda and add more vowels to swear words. I was always expecting to get emailed with a complaint about the title of "Greenland is shitty" before receiving any comments about that one. Funny how the world works. Then again, I got in touch with two very interesting people thanks to the more obscure video gamey shit I do (until one of them disappeared off the face of the earth. That, or I forgot to add her to my MSN contacts list after changing address. One or the other!), and somehow I've made at least three fans who felt the need to say Motorbike Man was awesome. Man, back in the day that was the reason to come to Random Hoo Haas! I've probably broken their hearts for no longer caring about it. Though, seriously, I tried at least three times to have an epic tenth episode and nothing came of it. Maybe next year!
So, in summary, thanks for the email, Matt! Maybe I will finish that thing sometime.
Regarding the site, what's planned for the future? Well, I've finished a General Writing on a Capcom arcade game that I'll upload in a few days because I like being lazy, and I had huge plans to do coverage on Bomberman Jetters that would span across both Random Action Hour and the Bomberman Shrine Place, but it's kinda stalled until I can get a good source of clean screenshots (I've been tempted to pester that guy at Anime Kraze who provided the source videos for the fansub, but I don't like harassing strangers!). I've been tempted to make another game shrine, either one for Goof Troop or to totally revamp the Captain America page (seriously, that thing has bugged me since the day I wrote it), and there's a fair few things I've been meaning to do for Random Action Hour, but that site's kinda at the bottom of my priority pile. I'm also pretty sure I promised another writing piece for Scary-Crayon, though I also promised Wes I'd buy him a 1968 Cyberman figure. I haven't accomplished either of those. Forgive me!
And what better way to round off a needlessly long post than with a movie review? I watched Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge. I was worried it would just be a repeat of the first movie with a new director, but its new plot was actually pretty interesting, wherein Freddy is still alive but needs to re-enter the world via a human host, so some poor kid ends up becoming Freddy against his will. It's an interesting take on the premise and the special effects are fantastic, with plenty of gruesome shots towards the end (freaky man-dogs! Frightening collapsing landscape with a bus on a cliff! Freddy literally tearing himself out of the kid's chest!), though it didn't quite have the enticing punch of the first movie, personally. I can forgive the lessened number of deaths if the suspense was good, but... it wasn't.
Some quite notably weird shit does go down, such as the hilariously outlandish gay bar and the budgie bursting into flames, but the main story of Freddy taking over the kid is very slow-going and a lot of the time it just seems to be padding itself out so it'll have less time to fill the dramatic conclusion. The first movie, once it got going, remained lively and engaging all the way through, but this one was very, very slow until the pool party, and then it sinks down to a crawl once more for the face-off in the power plant. It's a shame because I love the main theme, but it seems like it actively doesn't want to be explored; I'm well aware that it can be hard to have characters express their ridiculously supernatural problems to someone without just dropping all suspension of disbelief, but at the same time it seemed unrealistic for him to be so incredibly aversive to his problem. Also, I never normally care about acting in a movie, doubly so for a horror movie, but the acting seemed kinda wooden a lot of the time; the gym teacher's anguished cries of "no!" seemed like a bad impersonation of bad acting. There's other examples but the movie's a bit of a hazy blur now.
I enjoyed the film, but I couldn't help but feel a lot of the running time could've been used for other things.
I brushed my teeth and shaved at the same time. Is there anything I can't do?
(do a good job of it, it seems)
THIS SCREENSHOT IS NOT EXCITING ENOUGH
WHERE ARE THE BADNIKS
THAT HAD BETTER NOT BE A BOTTOMLESS PIT DOWN THERE
THOSE RINGS DON'T LOOK LIKE THEY'RE ANIMATED ENOUGH
I DON'T TRUST THAT CAMERA IT'S GOING TO GET STUCK BEHIND THAT HILL IN THE BACKGROUND
SONIC'S HANDS ARE TOO SMALL
BLUB BLUB BLUB BLUB BLUB BLUB BLUB
(I feel like a broken man seeing a screenshot of a new Sonic game and having absolutely no opinions on it.)
Rather than watching a movie, I watched the first two episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My dad was a mega huge fan of it when it broadcast and somehow managed to record every single episode on VHS, though I think his interest dwindled towards the end - from what I've heard, season 6 is pretty terrible. My only real familiarity with it is the intro theme. It's a pretty kickass song!
And for the hour and a half to start off the show, it works pretty well. I've been more tempted to watch the original 1992 film than the TV show (it's got Paul Reubens, I've heard!), but it was nice to see it being explicitly referenced vaguely (explicitly referenced vaguely. Fuck me, my vocabulary gets worse and worse with every passing day) rather than the whole thing being a reboot where Buffy has to learn her slaying skills all over again, and instead gives her some naive chums for that to be passed onto. One thing I've always lamented is that some lines of dialogue can be incredible on paper, but when spoken they can become a little stupid - the delivery of "sunrise - it's in about nine hours, moron," is just perfect. The episodes greatly establish the kind of action and antics the rest of the series will hopefully include, and all the characters are entertaining and with potential character development ahead. So, yeah, pretty good pilot! No idea if I'll actually keep up with the rest of the series, but I'll see what happens.
After nearly a month, I finished watching all of Bomberman Jetters. It's one of those things I knew I had to watch because I run a friggin' Bomberman site, but I just seemed to prefer to distract myself with other things. I'd seen the first two episodes a few years ago and it looked okay at best; nothing fancy or truly intriguing. The first thirteen episodes are no more than typical monster-of-the-week stories, and although they're entertaining, having to slog through 52 episodes of this stuff didn't really look that promising. If it were like a western cartoon and the status quo was held firmly in place so each episode could just focus on having entertaining plots, I probably wouldn't mind, but when it's got explicit continuity going on then I inevitably end up hoping for something new to happen.
The series hasn't really got a true ongoing plot or anything, it's mostly just the Hige Hige Bandits stealing some stuff, the Jetters trying to retrieve it, and the inevitable antics that ensue. The "true" ongoing story revolves around the fate of Mighty, the older brother of the main character who disappeared but since he was so awesome everyone thinks he's still out there somewhere. More is revealed about him as the series progresses, and it ends up becoming almost farcical - is he alive? Is he dead? Could he actually be alive-- no wait, something unfortunate happened to him. But could he survive through that? Since Shirobon, his younger brother, is so passionate and emotional about the whole thing, I couldn't help but think "for god's sake, just kill the sucker and let the kid move on!" It really toys around with everyone, and to be quite ashamedly honest, I was quite caught up in the drama. Yes, the main stories are childish and pretty stupid, but the drama was very engaging, personally; Shiro reminiscing about his brother to someone who he doesn't know is his brother is very cute and touching, and the series has an odd emphasis on being chums with people you're enemies with.
The ending was a bit ehh, though. The drama and intensity piles up, there's some epic duels, and friggin' A, the planets are going to collide! All possible means of stopping it are futile! Holy shit, what are we going to do?! No problem, a hologram plays, Shiro throws a badge into it, and then the planets are returned to their original locations. I smell a cop-out~
(okay, it is a little more sensible in the actual show, but it still requires you to make do with some weird metaphysical burning heart of justice resolution than something that's a little more tangible)
It doesn't help that the loose ends are tied up afterwards - Shiro gets over his desire to be like his brother, Shout's moving on from her mother's death, Birdy's no longer looking for ways to heroically sacrifice himself, and Misty joins the Jetters. And then the status quo is restored with the Jetters and Hige Hige Bandits abck to their usual antics, without so much as any input from Misty. She was a thief with a history with the Jetters and their former leader and now she's working with them! Why do we not get to see that? Maaaaan.
As a whole I'd say I enjoyed Jetters. There's a rather humongous amount of filler (in the sense that for every important plot revelation the show proceeds to ignore it for at least five episodes) and since it takes so long for important events to happen viewers might get sick of the main character pretty quickly, but I guess since I have a large investment into the Bomberman franchise, I'm mandated by law to like it. And I can't say I've any problems with admitting that.
Covering it for the Bomberman Shrine Place and Random Action Hour is going to be a slog, though. Odd names to translate, episode titles to make sense of, and most importantly, clean screenshots. I can either buy the incredible rare DVD boxsets for 2k monies or use screenshots that are filled with subtitles. It's days like this that I almost regret being an utter fanatic for the franchise.
After a thoroughly miserable day, I went to the cinema with some chums to see Ninja Assassin. I'd never heard of the movie before, I just saw the title and thought "there is no way I cannot watch this movie." I wouldn't have even needed to think that if it had been called Ninja Bloodbath, or maybe Ninja Battle Orgy.
So, present day world, except there's fucking ninjas, and they're murdering people who know of their existence. Except there's this one ninja who betrayed his clan and he's a bit miffed at their beliefs and practises and wants to beat them all up, so, yeah, he does that. There's drama and emotion and a primary plot about the history of ninja, them being paid 100lbs of gold to assassinate politicians and other whatnots, but it's mere dressing to give context for the ninja flip-out battles. These aren't the traditional Hollywood ninja who are just dudes in black pyjamas and have masks for one scene before they go the rest of the movie without them just to show who the actor is, these are real ninjas, and they're every bit as disposable as in anime. Who thought a blade on a chain could saw dudes in half?
J. Michael Straczynski wrote this. Seriously. The plot isn't bad but it's about as filling as a cup of helium, so seeing him right on the first screen of the credits was a bit of a shock. Not that I know him for anything other than The Real Ghostbusters, but still. It's a reasonably forgettable flick, but dude, the action scenes! It also prompted lots of ninja related jokes for the rest of the night, and one in particular was Bobbies Vs. Ninjas. "Flamin' nora, there's some bloody ninjas oot and aboot!"
We went to La Boca afterwards, a very nice little restaurant/bar place that has live performances on Tuesday nights, including a surprise show from The Midnight King, so that was quite entertaining and really rounded off the day nicely. There was a fellow seated at the bar who was more or less harassing everyone near him, and sitting from the far side of the bar I couldn't help but think, "he's an interesting character." He was getting very close and personal with some shaggy-haired individual, and from afar I couldn't tell if he was drunk, foreign, or just very passionate. Then he decided to get friendly with my group. Turns out he was all three.
He was a Polish guy called Rafael but also dubbed himself "The Warrior," and basically accosted the whole lot of us in a frightening drunken stupor. He was a little too friendly with my dad, enquiring if he was "the boss," drinking from his cup without so much as asking and talking about buttsex. I managed to avoid some confrontations by appearing very entranced with my hot chocolate, though he did comment that I had a familiar face (I rarely ever go to Belfast!) and eventually recognised me as the ninja who murdered his brother. I was just stroked my beard in a menacing manner and hoped that would scare him off. Quite frankly, I was surprised the encounter was relatively harmless, aside from dad getting another man's germs on his cup; I was just anticipating him to either flick out a knife or vomit all over me in mid-conversation. He was shouted at by a singer for being a loud-ass mofo, and that sent him into a rather frightening silent state, where he just sort of held his head in his hands and it almost looked like he was having traumatic flashbacks like a retired ex-soldier in your traditional blow-shit-up movie. He later got himself friendly with another group and that was the last I saw of him; I think he was later approached by the barman and thrown out, but I was avoiding eye contact at all costs.
So... yes. That was something to remember the night by! We had plenty to crack wise about the fellow, like his stupefied state was actually him when he was sober, and he'd become the Polish equivalent of Oscar Wilde once he got himself plastered, or if he had three similar-acting siblings named Donatello, Michelangelo and Leonardo. It's funny because we were mildly smashed. Bars and pubs just aren't my scene, really.
I had a dream where I was talking to someone at a bus stop and he revealed himself to be Jeremy Parish. This is odd both because nobody talks at bus stops, and I rarely even read Parish's stuff. He does decent reviews, but if I was going to have a dream encounter with a mild internet gaming reviewer celebrity, it'd probably have to be Danny Cowan. I've loved his shit for years and I've somehow never had a dream encounter with him. My psyche just loves to dick with me.
Just a head's up, there's probably a few January entries that I didn't upload before this set were up. They're in the archives now, though I can't imagine you're missing much.