Tuesday, June 11, 2013
So here's a story about something that happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I tried to make it funny, because in retrospect it kind of is, to me. To my wife and cousin it was funny at the time too, but I think they were just being mean to me.
You may not realize this, but I have a lot of allergies, and some times they can be really severe, and sometimes, I don't react well to the allergy attacks.
My cousin's main form of income is selling toys on eBay. He buys big lots of toys on eBay, craig's list and yard/moving sales and then stores them in his basement for months because he has far more toys than he could possibly sell in one lifetime.
A couple weeks ago he and I drove an hour and a half to buy some things from a collector that was moving and didn't want to take it all with him. He had lots of great stuff, a couple old, valuable LOTR statues I wanted, some Transformers (mostly movie crap), and a bunch of Aliens and Predators statues, and a ton of collectibles from Peter Jackson's King Kong. My cousin bought a lot of it, some of it he even intends to keep for himself, which is super rare, because he never spends money on himself.
I bought a few things, not much, but the reason I'm bringing this entire story up is because I hate dust. The little bit that gathers on my figures or shelves over a period of a many weeks, to even a few months, that's not bad. It's easy to blow off, or goes away when I move my toys around (my display room is surprisingly free of dust).
Anyway, this guy's stuff was filthy. Like, sitting in the same spot and never moved or cleaned for years. The dust was so thick I felt like it was getting on me just by looking at it, like it was a living, malevolent force. Picking up a toy to check it's condition covered my hands in this thick film of dust that wouldn't come off.
And I started to freak out. Slowly, for sure. I can control my responses for a while, but as I looked at more of his items, the dust growing thicker on my fingers, a panic started to build in me until I was getting ready to burn the house to the ground. Some things can only be purged by fire, after all.
To save himself the hassle of a house fire, the guy showed me the bathroom where I tried to wash my hands and face, but it was too late. I could feel the dust affecting my eyes and my throat. My neck started to itch, my eyes began to itch, but of course I couldn't scratch anything because after washing up, I looked at more stuff so there was again copious amounts of dust on my hands.
Eventually my cousin had made his selections, we both paid the dude, and I got us the hell out of there. But it was too late. I was itching up a storm, and of course I was driving. Hives were developing on my forearms and one side of my neck, and my throat itched inside like hell, and I needed food badly (because I was hungry and also to cleanse the dust from my esophagus) or I was going to drive us into the next concrete barrier I saw.
But as you may surmise, we survived. It was not an easy task though, we skipped the obvious freeway offramp that had food and had to take the next one. The attempt to drive thru town to get back to the food places we had seen at the previous offramp was a disaster, we ended up lost, further away from the food than when we started, but eventually I remembered I have an iPhone with a decent map system, which showed we were going the complete wrong way - I thought we were going North, Rish thought we were going East, and the GPS thought we were going West. It got us back on track, we ate, my allergy attack subsided and the night ended well for us.
But, the trauma of the event meant it was two weeks before I could bring myself to even touch the toys I bought again, but Saturday I gave them a vicious cleaning, and now they are fit to join my collection
DST Voyage Home Kirk and Spock 2 pack.
The DST figures are big, terribly unposeable despite the articulation, but usually have lots of accessories and decent sculpts. Far better than the old Playmates toys anyway. I have a very large collection of these figures, at this point I actually have nearly every single distinct sculpt, just not every repaint of them all, which I don't need. But this was a pair of Kirk and Spock I didn't have, as far as I know, they are new, unique sculpts. Plus The Voyage Home is a fun movie, and they're decent outfits, so I always wanted this set, just not for the prices it normally sells for. Used with no accessories, $6 for the pair? Okay.
Playmates Star Trek 2009 Enterprise
Again, the DST ships are so much better than the Playmates ones, but DST doesn't have the movie license, and this one is decently detailed, has lights and sound, which work, and I got it for $12. And 10 minutes or so of cleaning.
Aliens Warrior Mini Bust
This thing, on the other hand, was complete and total bitch to clean. I spent probably 40 minutes or more with a wet toothbrush lightly scrubbing the entire thing multiple times to get into all the little sculpted crevasses and detailing to get the dust that had been caked on over the years, to the point where it was even sticky in some places. It was not a fun experience cleaning it. But it looks pretty darn swell now. In a sick, disturbing kind of way. All for only $15.
Oh! There was one more thing I got, but I don't know how to clean it, so I haven't dared touch it since I got it. It's a hat, and being covered in dust I was smart enough to not try it on then, so I hope it fits me. But it's an official, licensed Indiana Jones fedora, and it will be awesome, once it's clean.
Friday, March 01, 2013
I was experimenting with my dad's camera, cuz mine is pretty crap. Obviously, I don't know what I'm doing, but I found that in overexposing these shots a little, the light up features look pretty awesome. (click for larger version). The E is my favorite version of the Enterprise, and the B is tied with the D for second favorite version.
Nemesis Enterprise E
All Good Things Enterprise D
While the E is my favorite ship, I really like the third nacelle on the AGT D, and the last shot here is one of the best pictures I've ever taken.
I seem to have trouble posting here regularly, but I'll see if I can't maintain a twice monthly accounting of what I got each month. Starting in March.
But since I got a big ol' box yesterday from a friend that works at a comic book shop and can therefor hook me up with good stuff I can't find locally, I want to share it.
The box is big.
The toy next to it, is 8-9" tall. So the box is really, really larger. And it contained a fair amount of goodies. Starting with three new Star Trek ships from Diamond Select Toys. The Enterprise E, Nemesis version, is a repaint of the Enterprise E they released a few years ago, with a much improved paint scheme, and new, beautiful blue LEDs in the warp nacelles. The Enterprise B and Bird of Prey are brand new ships, just released.
Then we have two new SH Figuarts, DekaRed from Dekaranger and Kintaros from Kamen Rider Den-O. yay!
And a mess of DC stuff. Batgirl bust from Women of the DC Universe series 3, Supergirl bust from the New 52 line, Eaglemoss DC Chess Collection: Special Edition Batsignal, and pieces Black Mask and Man-Bat, and Kotobukiya ArtFX+ Superman and Green Lantern from their New 52 line. There was also the 66 Batmobile from the Eaglemoss Batman Automobilia line that I forgot to put in the picture. All very beautiful items and stuff I'm glad to have. My friend has been storing this stuff up for me for a month, and it's great to finally have it in hand.
Pics of the Star Trek ships to follow!.
Monday, January 28, 2013
I've seen the first episode 3 or 4 times now, since I bought these DVDs, I watched it by myself, I showed it to my girls, and I watched it again, just now. It's a really good introduction to the franchise.
In MTMTE part 1 we are introduced to nearly all of the Transformers I remember as a kid, those that are staples of the franchise, as well as some of my favorites, including Soundwave and his main cassette minions, Starscream, Skywarp and Thundercracker, and obviously, Optimus Prime and Megatron. The introductions are enough to inform us of their personalities (which I imagine don't change much throughout the show), ie Soundwave is awesome, Starscream is a bit whiny and power hungry, Megatron is a maniac, Prime is heroic, etc. They all have distinct voices as well as looks - excepting the Seekers, being redecos of Starscream, but even so, each of them is featured individually, they're not just Starscream and his clones, they're definitely three different characters.
We also get a good amount of footage of Cybertron, with a nifty voice-over to start the episode, explain the Heroic Autobots and Evil Decepticons, the war, and their search for Energon. My favorite part of Cybertron is the cybertronian modes, that in my memory we don't see ever again. They're all decent, the Seekers having the best forms in my opinion, though Laserbeak's is also great, though Soundwave's is pretty darn lame, pretty much being just a 'T'. I'm still waiting for toys of the Tetrajets, in Starscream and Skywarp colors
The Autobots are leaving Cybertron to seek new sources of Energon, the Decepticons follow because anything Prime can do, Megatron must to better, and first. They fight, they damage the ship, it crashes on earth and 4 million years later the ship's computer awakens and goes exploring (Explore! Explore!). The first vehicle it scans is an F-15 jet, and the first Transformer revived (Repair! Repair!) is Skywarp, which I think is awesome, his is the best deco after all. The Decepticons start building a base, and attack an oil derrick to harvest the oil into Energon cubes, for storage and eventual return to Cybertron. The Autobots show up (flying? I didn't think they could fly, and (spoiler) it seems to be forgotten by the end of this three episode story arc), disrupt the Decepticons plans, who flee to their base. And thus is established the basic pattern of the show (or so I'm told).
Unfortunately, we also meet the humans. Ugh. Spike and Sparkplug Witwicki are okay, but damn they have stupid names. Hopefully they won't be too terrible as the show progresses, and maybe we'll meet some evil humans that will team up with the Decepticons, like Cobra Commander or something.
One last thing to mention, the theme song. It's awesome. The lyrics are primitive, and the song just kinda stops, but it is very catchy and I like the instrumentation of it. The first episode was a decent enough hook that I can totally see how it captured the attention of kids, and though it took me 4 years of toy collecting before I started buying Transformers, I was tempted by them on several occasions long beforehand. In the end, it was my love for Skywarp (and finding the Masterpiece figure on clearance for $15) that started me down that dark path, from which there is no return. Anyway, despite some very terrible art in places, the voice acting was decent, the story was interesting enough that so far I can say I enjoy the show, and I'm curious to see where it goes. And of course I cannot wait for the eventual introductions of my other favorite characters, Ultra Magnus, Ramjet and Devastator, all of whom, like Skywarp, I like for their designs, I don't remember them at all as characters.
Oh yeah, and Soundwave's voice is AWESOME.
I have a lot of ideas of things I should be writing about here, so of course it's been around 6 months since my last post, and already the first month of the new year is gone.
I'm going to watch Transformers, the original cartoon from 1984. I've been collecting Transformers with reckless abandon for 3 or 4 years now, seems like I should at least watch the cartoon that sold the original toyline.
I also intend to write a couple of stereotypical Best of 2012 posts, but I'm waiting on trying to learn how to take better pictures. So for now, I'll be trying to focus on Transformers (1984). I'm sure I won't keep to any schedule, but hopefully I can do one or two a week, I'll be trying to keep them short, not doing an entire write up of each episode, but more a short summation of the highlights, good and bad, of each episode. But I'm sure my nifty new game, Dragon Age: Origins, that I can play on my nifty new computer, will do a fair amount of distracting me from my purpose.
But, in that vein, I will now go watch episode 1, More Than Meets The Eye.
Friday, July 20, 2012
I want to see it again. Hopefully sometime this next week.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Wow, there is just so much I could say about this film. I listened to most of the podcast yesterday, didn't get to finish it before I had time to sit and watch the movie, and have just finished up the podcast this morning.
I was running late, I've been trying to pull my bedtime back from 2:30-3am to a slightly more reasonable 2-2:30, but I started the movie late, forgetting it was 2.5 hours, not 2. 2 came around and I half-heartedly started looking for places to stop, but THERE IS NO PLACE TO STOP in this film. There's no lowering of the tension, not break in the movement, at least not of the last hour, maybe there was earlier, I don't remember. I pretty quickly gave up clock watching and sat there entranced till the very last moment.
I really like the climax. I can understand some not finding it to quite be on the same level as the highway chase, with the amazing semi-flipping (and the video on how they did that is awesome), but for me the tension is higher at that point, so even though the action is less, I'm more involved in it. No, we don't know who the people are on either boat, but so what? They're still people; and trust me, this is weird for me to say, because in general I feel nothing for people I don't know, they're almost not even human beings to me. And I FEEL the fear and tension on those boats, and the indecision and moral dilemma, 'do we, as law abiding citizens have the right to execute those lawfully being punished for crimes'?
And believe you me, I would totally vote for blowing up the other boat. And I would totally be the guy that stands up to push the button. I relate to that old guy who stands up and says he'll do it, when he does that. I've often thought that I could totally kill some one to defend my wife or kids, and not have a second thought about it afterwards, because it was the right thing to do at the time. But then, the film grabs me and says, 'Wait, think about it. Could you REALLY kill people to save your own life, and others?" And I contemplate that, and I can see this dude on screen contemplating it. And it's hard for him, he doesn't get to see the innocent people on the other boat like we do, the guards, the ferry operators. Is it right to condemn those people along side the evil people they have to guard. Do the needs of the many truly outweigh the needs of the few, and are you willing to make that choice.
And I have always thought, and even decided last night again, that yes, I would do that. And then the hosts bring up the point I had never considered: Was the detonator really for the OTHER boat, or was it really for their own boat. And talk about a shocking moment of clarity in my mind when you said that. Because, hell yes, the Joker gave them their own detonator. No, it's never said that for sure he did, but when the detonator is discovered that's the first question asked, "Why would he give us the detonator to our bomb?" It is COMPLETELY in keeping with what the Joker has done in this film, switching the street addresses of Harvey and Rachel, switching the doctors and the clowns. I have no doubt the Joker intended to blow up the people who were willing to blow up the other people, and that is super chilling to me, because I was willing to blow up the other people.
And that leads me back to the SWAT assault on the building with the doctors and clowns. That scene is awesome and tense for me, and I might name it my favorite scene, if I was to have to pick a favorite of my children. I completely understand that the SWAT team is ready to go in and kill the clowns to save the hostages, and they are right to do so, it's their job, and the moral thing to do, in my mind. And yet when we discover the hostages have been disguised as the criminal, so the snipers are lined up to blow 3 (or 5?) of them away immediately, it was the most chilling moment of my viewing last night. Even though I knew it was coming.
I love that Joker inadvertently turned Batman into the bad guy at that point, because he has to take out the SWAT team before they kill any hostages (and imagine for a moment, being a SWAT member and discovering that you'd shot a hostage instead of the hostage-taker). And of course, the best part is him tangling the cables up around the guys, and the almost casual way he kicks the one off the building, and they all one by one get yoinked out the window. F-ing amazing. And the looks on the other guys' faces when it happens, priceless.
In the interrogation room the Joker told Batman he would have to break his one rule in order to defeat him. And he was right, though maybe not in the way he originally meant. You talked that he did it when he killed Harvey, I look at that more in a Ra's al Ghul-I-don't-have-to-save-you kind of way, or that Harvey isn't dead and they're covering it up. But that he takes the fall for the people that Harvey killed. He didn't really break his rule, but he lets people think he did, so that Harvey can remain untainted in the public eye. And the way the music is, and the slow-mo and Gordon's voice breaking as he explains to his son that they have to chase him, and the words he uses, the way they're spoken. I don't tear up often, I am just not that emotional, but this ending really gets me.
I know nobody is going to read this because it's so freaking long, but there's one quick thing I want to point out that I noticed last night. What happens to Lao? When listening to the podcast before watching the film you guys say that Joker escapes so he can get Lao, and you never mention him again, and I thought back to my last viewing and didn't remember seeing him after that scene, so I assumed that it was indicated that Joker killed him in the jail. But no, he took him alive from jail. What happened to him?
He's sitting tied up on top of the big pile of money, that JOKER SETS ON FIRE. :o
Some people throw hyperbolic phrases around so often that they're meaningless (my boss says 'that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard' AT LEAST once a day), I strive to not do so, so I mean it when I say, The Dark Knight is best movie I have ever seen. For as much as I love the Original Star Wars Trilogy, Hellboy, Blade 2, Terminator, Predator, The Lord of the Rings, The Dark Knight just blows them all away. Like the podcast kept saying, the story is so dense, yet so tight and coherent, it's amazing just how fantastically great this movie is. It perfectly captures everything I get out of Batman comics, and everything I WANT out of Batman comics. It is the greatest movie in existence.
After Avengers this summer, I didn't know if I could still say that. I loved Avengers so much, it was one of those rare movies I saw more than once in the theater, it's one of those rare ones I'll buy on DVD the moment it is release. It was the best comic book movie, capturing the fantasy feel of the comic book world, and so much FUN, which TDK isn't, and TDKR won't be. But after last night's viewing, I can confidently again say that TDK is still, to me, the greatest film ever made. And I doubt anything will ever top it. They may come close, like Avengers, but this movie is the most perfect film for me that exists.
I almost find it scary just how much I'm anticipating The Dark Knight Rises. The only other movies I can think of that I was this hyped and excited for are Avengers and The Dark Knight, and both movies far exceeded my expectations, so I'm finding it very hard to keep my expectations under control. I'm somewhat fearful that TDKR can't possibly live up to my expectations, especially since it features the two characters have been the mostly royally screwed over in previous films (Gah! Batman and Robin SUCKS SO MUCH!), it can't possibly be as good as TDK, I certainly don't expect it to be better than TDK, or to be as financially successful as Avengers (but it would be awesome if it is, and I'll do what I can to help it out) but I truly thought that about TDK vs Batman Begins. So we'll see. I have tickets for 12:05 am tonight, first showing in my little town, and I cannot wait.