Sunday, 29 June 2014

Life As A Carer - What is ME?

So, I have toyed with the idea of writing about my life as a carer for some time, I want my blog to be quite whimsical however, I am a carer and, I suppose this blog somewhat revolves around my life, so, I think I should probably talk about it, plus, hopefully it may help people out there who are going through something similar. With that in mind, I figured, my first post about my life as a carer should probably explain, why it is I am a carer... Allons-y

Now, quickly for people whom haven't seen my about page, I am married to Jan, and, for some time now, Jan has suffered with a plethora or ailments, one of which, is ME.

Many people reading this, whilst they may have heard in passing, the acronym ME, will not know (myself included before Jan's diagnosis) what it stands for. ME stands for Myalgic Encephalopathy (formally Myalgic Encephalomyelitis), which, is quite a mouthful, hence the handy name ME.

Before going any further, I should explain, there are a number of different names floating about out there for, what is in effect, a condition that the medical world know absolutely nothing about... put it this way, science knows more about real life Kryptonite than it does about the true cause of ME. Anyway, ME is also known as, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, and, probably many more, those are the main ones I can think of off the top of my head.

As I touched upon before, the true cause of ME is unknown, and, to people who are living with it/caring for someone with it, it seems to be that research into the condition is severely lacking, however, it is estimated to affect some 250,000 in the UK alone.

The symptoms of ME can vary greatly from patient to patient... think how rare it is for 2 of the X-Men to share powers/abilities. In a small number of sufferers the effects of the condition are minimal, it may simply be that they tire quicker than normal, however, they can lead a relatively normal life. Sadly, in a large portion of sufferers however, Jan included, life is changed drastically. Some of the symptoms can, and often do include, debilitating fatigue, extremely painful muscles due to muscle spasticity and joints locking (having to be physically manipulated by someone), bowel and bladder issues, poor memory, difficulty concentrating... to name but a few. ME is a non-discriminatory condition, it can, and does effect people of all ages causing many issues for the sufferers... children often miss a large portion of schooling, often having to drop out, thus missing out on both education and social development. For people of working age, employment often becomes impossible, family and social life becomes difficult, and, in some cases impossible and, in severe cases, sufferers become house or bed bound for months or years at a time.

The prognosis of ME, as is the case with everything else to do with the condition, is somewhat of a mystery. Some people may return to normal health (it is a small number of sufferers whom this happens to), some people with it suffer in a fluctuating pattern, they have good periods and bad periods, sometimes knowing what is causing the bad spell, sometimes however, it is quite random. A number of people remain severely affected by it, with no real ups and downs, needing a large amount of support and, in a few cases, people continue to deteriorate... I have read reports of people ending up in a coma and, in some cases they have died due to complications with the treatment of symptoms.

Due to the lack of knowledge surrounding ME, treatment of the condition itself is non existent, the only option available to the many people affected is to manage its affects with painkillers (even going so far Morphine), supplements, exercise, diet etc, whilst these methods can help, they do not always.

There you have it, a little info about ME... It's difficult writing about something that nobody truly understands, however, I think I've covered all the main points of the condition. If there is anything you would like to know about ME that I don't seem to have covered, or, if you have any questions about life as a carer that you would like answered in future posts, please leave me a comment below.

I'm sorry again this wasn't my usual daft nonsense, normal service will resume shortly.

Thanks for stopping by, I do hope you enjoyed yourself.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Awesome Toy Deals June/July 2014

Whilst I was out and about shopping the other day, I came across some great deals on toys and thought I'd share them with you... Allons-y!

Before I continue, I should mention, the store I am about to mention, to my knowledge is a UK only store so, to anyone who isn't UK based, I'm sorry.



At present, Home Bargains have a great selection of Halo 4 Series 1, The Hobbit, Man Of Steel and Transformers toys, all at great prices.




Although their website only shows Master Chief and Spartan Warrior (This Is Sparta!!!) sorry, it's out of my sytem now... their stores carry the full selection of, McFarlane Halo 4 Series 1 figures for you to select from, priced at £2.99. Compared to the prices of £10 up on Amazon (I have even seen one priced at £40), this is an amazing deal, also, as they are from McFarlane, they are uber detailed and posable.




Are you a fan of The Hobbit? Home Bargains also carry in store, at present, a range of Hobbit action figures, prices ranging from £2.99 for single 6 inch scale figures, £3.99 for twin pack 6 inch scale figures and £4.99 for the 3 3/4 inch scale figure triple packs.




If, like me, you are a massive Transformers fan, this next little snippet of info will be most exciting to you. Both instore, and online (they have far more instore than they do online) they have quite a sizeable selection of various Transformers Deluxe Class figures for £6.99, these same figures retail for £15 normally elsewhere.




This last one, I have not found on the Home Bargains website, however, in store they are currently selling, Movie Masters Man Of Steel action figures for £4.99, a saving of around £5-£10 depending on which you get. Like with the McFarlane Halo figures, these figures are uber detailed.

There you have it, my first of hopefully many to come, toy deal news thingy (snazzy name coming soon!). As you can imagine, with prices like that, I will also have a couple of reviews coming up, I shall leave you guessing what I will be reviewing for now, that way you have to come back... get me, all crafty, forcing my audience to revisit! anyway...

Thanks for stopping by, I do hope you enjoyed yourself.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Thor: The Dark World - Kurse 3 3/4 Inch Action Figure Review

A little while back, in a 'coming soon' post, you may remember I mentioned reviewing a Thor: The Dark World - 3 3/4 inch Kurse action figure, today, finally, I review it... Allons-y!



Now, I don't know about you but, when I watched Thor: The Dark World, I was more intrigued by Kurse than I was by Malekith, I figured it was because he looked awesome although, truth be told, it may be down to Christopher Eccleston's inability to act different ever, actually, I'll give him his due, he wasn't bad in Doctor Who... anyway, when I saw Kurse at my local Toys R Us for a couple of quid, I had to pick him up.

Kurse, in the comics is an Asgardian trapped in a suit of amour, a giant gold and red suit of armour... think, if Hulk and the Predator had a baby, and the offspring had an Iron Man suit, that's pretty much what it looks like...

Kurse from the comics...
Hulk and the Predator must be such proud parents!

 Thankfully, the makers of The Dark World decided to shy away from this and, they gave him a more live action friendly look...

Kurse in The Dark World...


The Sculpt




Admittedly, I am not sure if Kurse is supposed to have armour or if his flesh is armour like, a bit like Hulk, except more weathered and stonelike in appearance, all I do know is, Hasbro have done a damn fine job matching the on screen incarnation of Kurse. His plated, stonelike flesh (that's what I've decided it is, for now) is sculpted very similar to how it appears on screen, even including scratches and scars on his flesh. His armour plates on his shoulders are sculpted quite nicely, although, and this is probably only an issue for me, he doesn't have the same number of spikes on his shoulders that he does in the film, nor are they the same shape, granted, they couldn't be as spiked as in the film for fear of kids, or some adults such as myself, taking an eye out on them. His head sculpt, while good is a little off, to me, something just doesn't seem right with it. Overall though, the sculpt of the figure is very good.

The Paintwork

Kurse's paintjob is my largest bugbear with the figure. In The Dark World, Kurse is relatively monochrome so, shadows play a large part in showing depth and shape. When a figure is relatively monochrome, drybrushing and washes need to be used in order to achieve a realistic look, they don't seem to have bothered when it came to the figure. The majority of the figure is done with one shade of grey, with nothing really to highlight the cracks and creases in his skin. His horns and spikes have had a creamy, yellow colour drybrushed over them to try give the illusion that they are real horns, however, they are far too yellow, especially when you compare them with the film.


Now, the face... As you can see above, in the film, Kurse's face and shoulders have hints of red, when it came to the figure, as you can see...



Hasbro seemed to have had an abundance of red left after painting Spider-Man figures so, decided to just slap that on with no regard for shading, or accuracy... In the words of the legend that is Stan Lee 'nuff said!'

Articulation

As we have come to expect nowadays from Hasbro's 3 3/4 inch figures, articulation is somewhat lacking, especially compared to their larger figures. His arms have a decent range of motion, they move out as well as foreward and backward with relative ease, he also has elbow joints which are certainly needed when it comes to posing as he doesn't have any wrist articulation which, considering his accessory, is poor. His head is on a ball joint so it offers the usual range of motion, although, his horns can limit this somewhat. His hips are ball jointed however, his sculpt infringes on the range of movement you can get out of them. His knees are single jointed as opposed the the double jointed knees that you get with most of the 6 inch figures and some of the older 3 3/4 inch figures. The lack of articulation means you have to get a little creative in order to pose him well.

Accessories

All of Hasbro's 3 3/4 inch figures come with accessories, and Kurse, sort of keeps up the tradition. Whereas Thor comes with his hammer and Loki comes with his frost dagger... Kurse, Kurse comes with a tiny ball. This tiny ball is supposed to represent Kurse's black hole granades, which are kinda awesome, however, due to the fact that the source material is a ball with nothing much to identify what it is, the resulting accessory is, well, a tiny ball.

Overall

This figure is decent enough. It is in no way, up to the standard of Hasbro's 6 inch scale figures, however, it never will be, these figures are designed to be Hasbro's 'pocket money range' so, cheaply made and relatively cheaply sold, having said that, I got this on sale for less than £3, however, it didn't show the original price so I had to check online, and, most places seem to be selling it for around £10 which is a little steep for 'pocket money' range. Overall, if you a fan of the film, or a fan of Marvel in general, it's certainly worth you considering picking up if you too find it on offer somewhere, I personally don't think it's worth it's full RRP, especially when for not much more, you can presently pick up Marvel Legends Infinite Series: Amazing Spider-Man 2 - Ultimate Green Goblin build-a-figure, figures at Toys R Us.

Do you have this figure? What are your thought? Are you wanting to get it? Leave me your comments down below.

Thanks for stopping by, I do hope you enjoyed yourself.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Coming Up...

Do you ever sit down to write something and your thoughts just swirl around and disappear like water down a sinks plug hole, that's what has just happened to me so, in order to keep this post from turning into a load of gibberish, I'll shall just write a brief whats coming up post... Allons-y!

Firstly... Currently, in my draft posts folder, is a review of Hasbro's 3 3/4 Thor: The Dark World - Kurse action figure that I picked up recently from Toys R Us, you would be reading it now however, it doesn't presently have any pictures with it and, a review of something without pictures is a tad counterproductive don't you think?

Also, I am currently in talks with a very nice lady at LootCrate about reviewing their June Crate, which, has the theme 'Transform', as you can probably guess from the theme, most of the contents are based around Transformers, so, if all goes well, you will probably here me squeel with joy wherever you are.

My 'terrible films I love series' will be continuing to highlight films that many consider to be, as the title suggest terrible yet I, personally, happen to love.

The 'do you remember' series will also be continuing, showcasing many weird, wonderful, obscure, sometime rubbish gadgets, gizmos and toys from days gone by... as in things within my life time, I have to know about them to write about them, although... keep your eyes peeled for a potential new series where I learn about older stuff I don't know about!

There will also be my usual top lists, my views on recent movie/geekdom news, reviews of movies, books, dvds, music, games, etc and much more of my own personal brand of geek and randomness.

Is there anything you would like to see on my blog? is there anything you'd like me to review? leave me your suggestions in the comments below, or, contact me using any of the methods listed in my contact page.

Thanks for stopping by, I do hope you enjoyed yourself.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Which Is My Favourite Avenger From The 2012 Movie The Avengers

With all the hype surrounding the current filming of Avengers: Age Of Ultron, it's made me rewatch (like I need an excuse!) The Avengers and it got me wondering... which Avenger in the film is my favourite? Allons-y


Before I begin, the ground rules I've set myself... The list is limited to the the six who fight in New York. As much as I love Nick Fury, or should I say, Samuel L Jackson as they seem to be one and the same, he is excluded from the list, he isn't an Aveneger, Maria Hill, also quite cool but not an Avenger. Also, having thought about this for some time, seriously, I've pondered this for days, I've come to the painful conclussion that I also have to exclude Coulson. Now, don't get me wrong, when Jan and I watched it we both instantly said he was an Avenger, and, in the Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D finale Fury himself calls Coulson an Avenger, however, in the film, he is just a S.H.I.E.L.D agent, a badass agent who verbally puts down a god before blasting him through a wall, but sadly, just an agent... FYI, he would have come top of the list!

Anyway, on with the list...

06. Clint Barton/Hawkeye

I feel a little bad about this, after all he is Loki's gopher for most of the film, however, my least favourite Avenger is Hawkeye. I've never really gotten into the whole Hawkeye character, don't get me wrong, he is sort of cool and, he doesn't have powers or a kick ass protective armour, yet he's willing to get into the fight against a god and his army but... the best way I can describe it is, I just feel blah about him. Hopefully, he'll get a bigger role in Age Of Ultron and I can maybe change my mind about him.


05. Steve Rogers/Captain America

This is quite possibly a controversial choice for my number 5 spot... Captain America. Don't get me wrong, he's a good hero, he'll fight to his last breath (or turn himself into a capsicle!) and you would certainly want him on your side, however, I have always found him a little... boring.


04. Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow

Number 4 on my list is taken by, Black Widow. Like Hawkeye, she is without superpowers, well, apart from having the ability to wear a skin tight outfit thus turning fanboys into a blithering mess. Despite this however, she is always ready to get into the action. Not only does she kick Chitauri butt on the ground but, she also takes to the air, hoping from one Chitauri craft to another. Even before the battling truely starts, she has a run in with a slightly p****d off Hulk and comes out of it relatively unscathed, how many people can say they have done that?


03. Thor

Choosing my last 3 was quite tough, I love all three of them, each is unique and cool however, after much deliberation, here we are... I suspect, I may be in trouble with Jan for only putting him at number 3, however, at 3 I have Thor. I have get this out of the way now, he is not at number 3 on my list due to a jealousy over his physique or his impossibly good looks... that is purely coincidental. Not only does Thor kick butt in Avengers, and act all godlike but, he also has quite a few comedic moments which is nice considering, as a character, he is quite serious. I can't really explain why Thor is at this position instead of higher, it's just, I prefer the other two more, as daft as it sounds, it's that simple.


02. Bruce Banner/Hulk

I have always had a love of the character, the Hulk, so, it was somewhat obvious that he would be within my top 3, so, here he is at number 2. I could go into some deep reason about why I like him, something about his internal struggle and learning to control his Hulk side... it would be a load of rubbish, I like him because of the destruction he can, and does cause. Off the top of my head, in Avengers he takes down a plane (in his defence, they were shooting at him), he takes down a Chitauri Leviathan, he takes out countless Chitauri soldiers, he saves Tony Stark... he even manages to have a comical moment with Thor in the midst of the battle. Also, at the risk of bordering on something deep and meaningful about him... despite his appearance, and obvious temper issues (we can all get angry) he is ultimately good due to Bruce Banner's humanity and will fight to protect people, as proven by his envolvement in the battle in New York, so that's good!


01. Tony Stark/Iron Man

Relatively obvious choice, not in the least because I've already run through all the other Avengers but, my number 1 spot is taken by... Tony Stark aka Iron Man. Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist Tony Stark has remained one of my favourite Marvel character for quite some time now. I have always liked his determination to right his wrongs, protect both the innocent and the ones he loves, his ingenuity, oh yeah also... his suits are badass! Although I didn't mention it on the other five, I think that all the people cast to play them were a damn fine choice and non show this better than Robert Downey Jr, it's like he was born purely to play Tony Stark... it could be what happened, he was born a couple of years after Iron Man's first appearance (if Wiki is right!).

So there you have it, the Avengers in order of my preference for them. Which is your favourite and least favourite Avenger? leave it in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by, I do hope you enjoyed yourself.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Shredder Revealed, Transformers 5 Confirmed And Han Solo Possibly Out Of Action For 8 Weeks?

So, this past week has seen it's fair share of movie news, lets take a look at some of it... Allons-y!

Firstly, lets take a look at some news revolving around the possible destruction of a piece of my childhood... the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. A couple of days ago, the TMNT_Fansite posted an image to their Twitter feed of Shredder in the upcoming movie.

Shredder, from the TMNT_Fansite Twitter page...
 
I don't know why but, I have never found Shredder to be visually intimidating. Even at such a young age when watching the original cartoon, I never thought he looked particularly scary... 

Shredder, from the 80's cartoons...

When the original films came out, the film makers seemed to stick to a similar principle for Shredders outfit, again not scary...

Shredder, in the original film...

Now, this new outfit, the one you see at the top of this section... sorry words eluded me for a moment having seen it. It looks ridiculous! Shredder is a master of Ninjutsu, how the hell is he supposed to do anything other than chop vegetables in that damned suit? There's just so much wrong with it that my brain can't process quick enough to get it down in writing, it's physically making my head hurt... If that image is anything to go by, Bay's movies is not going to be a reimagening of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, it's going to be it's murder.


Another piece of news that caught my eye this week is regarding another of Bay's films (possibly), I'm sorry! Paramount announced recently that they are scheduled to release Transformers 5 in 2016. Now, Bay has said countless times that he was doing no more Transformers films, and here we are, at number 4. The timing of this announcement would suggest that Bay is probably onboard to do another outing with the Autobots and Decepticons as, to get their usual summer release for 2016 shooting would have to start quite soon and hunting out a director can be a very lengthy process.


The last piece of news for now, doesn't involve Bay thankfully, although, it's not really good news. Reports are saying that, Harrison Ford's injury that he sustained from the door of the Millenium Falcon, may keep him away from filming for around 8 weeks. There are conflicting reports however that state he may be able to continue filming, as long as they film his scenes that are from his waist up. All I know is, I hope he makes a full and speedy recovery.


Have you heard any geeky or movie news, leave me a comment below.

Thanks for stopping by, I do hope you enjoyed yourself.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Terrible Films I love - 02: Halloween (2007 Rob Zombie Remake)

For this, the second post in my 'Terrible Films I Love' series, I'm going to take a look at a film which appears in many 'most hated' lists in both print and on the web, a film that is the remake/reimagining of a 1978 horror cult classic... Rob Zombie's Halloween!... Allons-y!


Rob Zombie's Halloween was, in no way, a financial flop. Made on an estimated budget of $15 million, it is estimated to have made around $80 million, granted, compared to the 1978 original having an estimated budget of $325 thousand and it making an estimated $70 million, technically, that is a bit of a flop. This however is not the reason for the movie gaining 'terrible' status, Rob Zombie's Halloween or Zombieween, as I shall henceforth call it, has gained terrible status by it's inclusion in so many 'top ... most hated films' lists, lists that are voted on by the movie going public.

I have had a love of horror films for many years, probably more years than I should, especially Halloween. I'll be honest, when they announced the intention to do a remake/reimagining I was worried, they are after all, notoriously hard to pull off, especially when the source material is so iconic.

When I found out that Rob Zombie was to make it, my worries subsided, a little. Having seen his films, House Of 1000 Corpses and Devil's Rejects, or rather, having seen the 'making of' documentaries for both films, I realised he had, for a long time, loved horror films, so I figured, well, I hoped this would be a good omen for Zombieween.

In Halloween, after young Michael Myers kills his sister, the film skips 15 years. In Zombieween however, Zombie shows more of the psychological downward spiral that Michael goes through, and, his years in Smith's Grove - Warren County Sanitarium. Personally, I think this delving into Michael's psyche makes for a scarier killer, it makes him seem almost more believable, almost relatable.

Most people agree, the first half of the film is a welcome addition to the Halloween story, however, it's the second half of Zombieween that most people seem to have issue with. Having read quite a few scathing reviews, the main issue people seem to have is, the level of violence. In Halloween, although you saw 'violence', you never actually really saw violence. People got stabbed however, you didn't see blood, shadows and suspence played a large part of the films horror. Now, don't get me wrong, I love the originals method of creating suspence and horror, I think it's a masterstoke, however, in the world we live in today, we see worse than that daily on the news, so really, for a horror film to be successful at creating shocks, that sadly isn't usually enough anymore. Also, both directors have very different styles so, it would be most unusual for both films to share the same style.

Zombieween contains many things in homage to the original Halloween, which again, shows Zombie's love of the horror genre and, the source material. I personally believe his appreciation adds to film, if they had just got a director who had not seen Halloween, or maybe seen it once, by chance on tv, the film would probably have felt like 2010's Clash Of The Titans... B******s trying to ruin one of my favourite films from my childhood, also, how the hell did it get a sequel?

All in all, as the name of this series suggests, I love Zombieween... admittedly, I love Halloween more, but nobody said that was against the rules!

Do you like Zombieween? What's your thoughts on remakes/reimaginings? leave me your comments below.

Thanks for stopping by, I do hope you enjoyed yourself.

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Thursday, 12 June 2014

Do You Remember - 01: M.A.N.T.A Force

So, here it is, the inaugural post in a new series looking back at toys, gadgets and gizmos of days gone by. For this first post, I thought I would look at a line of toys that played a large part of my childhood however, most people I mention it to have no idea what I am on about, M.A.N.T.A Force... Allons-y!

M.A.N.T.A Force (Multiple-Air-Naval-Terrain-Assault Force) was a line of toys, produced by a British company by the name of Bluebird PLC, and was available in stores between 1986-1991.

Before getting onto the toys, it would probably be beneficial if I provide you with the strory behind them...

The year is 2012 (soooo futuristic!), humans have colonised many planets within the solar system, including Mars, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn... although, I'm not sure about Uranus (I'm so incredibly childish, I apologise). Earth has become over populated and polluted and, in an attempt to save mankind, the president (who I can only assume was the president of the world) ordered the creation of the M.A.N.T.A ship. This ship is the most advanced ship ever built and is designed to work in any environment and, it's engine is fueled by a substance called Thorium... poor Thor, ground up and turned into batteries (incidentally, after my sarcasm/lame joke, it is named after Thor, oh, it's also radioactive).

The launch of the ship is successful so, the World Government create Red Venom (what could possibly go wrong with that name?) to aid M.A.N.T.A Force colonise New Earth. However, on Saturn many people are not happy, they are fed up living under such retraints and, believe that New Earth should belong to them. During a test run of Red Venom it is overrun by a group called the Viper Squad and is used in an attempt to hijack the M.A.N.T.A ship in a bid to colonise New Earth for themselves.

M.A.N.T.A and Viper battle it out for some time however, they are later forced to join forces to repel attacks from an alien named Karnock who, is served by an army of robots. Once this enemy is repelled, another alien? enemy emerges (poor things have no luck!) by the name of Stinkhorn (insert your own jokes here!) who, leads a group called the Stenchoids.

There you have it, that's the story, now onto the toys...

As you can imagine, considering the subject matter and, how futuristic it was, the main part of the line was space ships. The M.A.N.T.A ship, the flagship vessel of the World Government was a big, grey, monstrosity with a huge blue cockpit window and, go faster lightning bolts down both sides... I'll give it it's due, the back end almost, looked like the back end of a Star Destroyer.

M.A.N.T.A Ship
Image courtasy of http://www.mantaforce.co.uk

The top of the ship could be removed to reveal the interior, containing crew members and about 8-10 smaller, multi-terrain vehicles (at present, I can't find a picture of this, pictures of this stuff seem to be as rare as rocking horse muck).


Another 'good' guy ship was the Astro Shark which, you guessed it, was designed to look like a shark... sort of. This ship was quite a bit smaller than the M.A.N.T.A ship, it was all white with a few hints of blue and red, and, on the front they gave it shark eyes and teeth. This ship also contained other, smaller ships however, to reveal these the front opened like a pair of doors, as did the back.

Astro Shark
Image courtasy of http://www.mantaforce.co.uk


The Red Venom, which played such an integral part in the story, as you can image from the name, was a little... red!

Red Venom
Image courtasy of http://www.mantaforce.co.uk

This ship, despite the fact it was a lot sleeker than the M.A.N.T.A ship, also contained about 8 smaller, multi-terrain vehicles. In the back it contained a Troop Carrier and a Hoverfly (whatever that is) and, in the wings there was a Aquapod, a Skipod, a Molepod and a Skypod (as you can tell from me remembering the names, this was my favourite) and a couple of sleds.


As well as these main three, I say main three, those are the three I had...

There was also the M.A.N.T.A base, otherwise known as a big chunk of plastic with flappy things, firey things and a crane.

There was the Black Barracuda, this was a prison ship, robot factory, multiple strike ship used by Karnock. This ship looked like it used a similar mould to the Astro Shark however, was painted black to look menacing, and at the front had bright red 'missiles' not so menacing. This ship also opened revealing other, smaller ships and a prisoner capture/transport thing called a Gutz.

Stinkhorn's ship was known as, the Bog Rocket... you couldn't make this stuff up! Now I have to admit, until researching this post, I didn't actually know about this ship. From what I can gather, unlike the other ships, this one you stand up before opening to create a multi-level interior. As Stinkhorn and the Stenchoids are vile, alien creatures this ship features goo as well as vehicles etc.


Whichever ship you purchased, they supplied you with crew members. These crew members were frankly, terrible. The easiest way I can think to describe them is, think of a Lego Minifigure... with less articulation. The mould of them wasn't bad, it was your stereotypical 70's/80's comic book 'space suit' however, the arms had a permanent bend in them so however you had them it looked daft, I don't think the heads rotated and, the feet had a small piece of plastic connecting them so you couldn't move the legs independently of each other. One thing I will say for them though, each squad had a different colour suit which, considering my OCD tendencies was good, for me anyway.

So there you have it, a post about a toy series that the majority of you reading will probably know nothing about. Are you one of the few who know it? if you didn't know about it what do you think about it having read this and having seen the limited pictures I could find? leave me your comments below!

Thanks for stopping by, I do hope you enjoyed yourself... Oh, as a bonus for you, how about the trailer for M.A.N.T.A Force, for your viewing pleasure!


Monday, 9 June 2014

Mr.Nutcase Custom Mobile Phone Cases: A Review

I've had my iPhone 4s case from Mr.Nutcase for a couple of weeks now, testing it out, so it's about time for my review... Allons-y!

Before I get into my review properly, in the interest of full transparency, like Jessica Alba in Fantastic Four full transparency, I was given a case in return for a honest review of their products.

Anyway, now that is out of the way, and now that I've made a mental note to watch the Fantastic Four films, they may be a bit naff but I like em! on with the review...

Mr.Nutcase is an online retailer of cases for various brands of mobile phones and tablets. You have the option of selecting either, one of their designs, a design uploaded by someone who is part of their 'artist affiliate' program (anyone can join... that is the extent of my knowledge about that I'm afraid), or, you can create your own design. When selecting my case, I perused through the quite extensive list of models that they cater for. I have to admit though, I was a little disappointed to find that quite a large portion of this list stated 'no cases available'. Now, this may purely mean that they are out of stock or, it could be they are models that they are getting soon so are adding to to site ready, I don't know... if I hear why then I shall add an addendum to this post. When you pick your phone you then get to choose your style of case, you can go for 'ultra light weight slimline' which is priced at £14.95, 'executive flip leather style' priced at £19.95, or, 'full wrap around premium edition' sadly I couldn't find any available to find out the price.

I selected my iPhone 4s a 'ultra light weight slimline' and proceeded onto the designing phase, rather than using a ready made design I chose to design my own. When you design your own case, you get to choose from 19 layout designs. These layout designs range from the standard single photo, to a half love heart made of 26 images, they do both halved, so you and a loved one can have a whole heart made from images of you both... I decided to go for one large image to see how some of my photography would fair on it, this is the image I chose (part of)...


Once you have selected your image, you can adjust the size and position of it, and, you also have the option of adding text and/or some clipart, you can even change the background colour if you wish. The whole design process is really very simple, it is all simply a case of dragging and dropping elements on your case design. Once your design is finished, you preview it to make sure you have it just as you wish then you go to the final phase, the checkout. I won't bore you with the details, it's all very easy and self explanatory, what I will say though is, at the end of this review, there is a code for you to put in during the checkout phase to get 10% off a case. I found delivery to be very quick, they shipped my order the next working day after I ordered it and, I received my case the day after that.


When you use a company that provides services like this for the first time, you are always a little apprehensive as to how the print will turn out... I have to say, in this instance it turned out great, I am very happy with the way my image looks on the case. I have also showed the case around to friends and family to get their opinions and, they are all in agreement as to how good it is.

The 'ultra light weight slimline' case as you can image from the name, is thin, unlike some cases that can feel cumbersome, this does not. Despite how thin the case is, it is made from a reasonably tough plastic... we have two accident prone dogs and so far it's standing up very well to knocks from them and, more importantly, it's protecting the iPhone from them. The fit of the case is also excellent, it fits onto the iPhone very securely, there isn't any sign of wobble or loosesness, you don't feel like you have to worry about it falling off.


With some cases, you find that it doesn't fit so well around buttons etc, however, this case fits around the iPhone's buttons and camera lens very nicely as you can see in the shot above, it's molding matches up with the panelling on the iPhone's body.

Overall, I would certainly recommend Mr.Nutcase custom phone cases, the process of creating is very easy, the delivery time is outstanding (obviously if you aren't in the UK delivery times will vary), the build quality and durability is excellent, the prices are very competitive with others I checked on the web to compare with and, most importantly for me as a photographer, the print quality is very good.

A custom phone case makes for an excellent gift, either for a friend, a loved one, or yourself if you feel like buying yourself a gift... If you wish to get a case yourself from Mr.Nutcase use the code "Thanku10" to get yourself 10% off.

Thanks for stopping by, I do hope you enjoyed yourself.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D S01E22 'Beginning of the End' recap

Hello! Jan here again with another little guest post, I hope you enjoy...

I know this is a tad late, even for the UK air date, but I had a bad week ok?! Anyway, better late than never....



We left our heroes in differing states of peril. Coulson, May, Skye and Trip are trapped in the underground lair beneath the barbershop in Havana, surrounded by Centipede soldiers. Fitzsimmons are sealed in a box which has just been ejected from the Bus by Ward. Add in Garrett's new supersoldieryness, and apparently even greater batshit craziness than before, and our 'ragtag' team do not seem to be winning the good fight! Luckily though, this is the Marvel universe, so we know that at least good will prevail.....eventually...albeit with some gutwrenching moments along the way.

Rather than, you know, easing our suspense from last episode's 'cliffhanger of peril', they decided to recap it for us and then go to a scene in an office with two randoms. Thanks Marvel! Anyway, the aforementioned randoms are in an office, The Bossman is giving a new employee the office walk through. He explains how it all started with just him on his own in the basement and now they were growing fast. Normal office chatter and surroundings. So far, so ordinary. Well, that is until the Bossman asks Newboy if he's 'just really into this sort of thing? Or what brings you to the company?' hmmm odd, no? Newboy responds, nervously, with 'the incentive programme', again, slightly odd but no alarm bells just yet. Bossman then looks pensive as he replies, almost sadly, 'noone's turned that down yet' ding ding ding, alarm bells a'ringing! With that over, normal conversation resumes, with Bossman telling Newboy that each operator is in charge of one 'unit', some are volunteers but others are also there for this mysterious 'incentives programme'. A woman then calls to Bossman across the office saying that they're 'in position'. Bossman tells Newboy that this is a good learning opportunity for his first day. We see the team on the monitors, still surrounded by Centipede soldiers. Bossman indicates the screen and says to Newboy 'These guys? We don't like these guys'. He then makes a call to someone to inform them that they have the team in sight, he then tells his team to 'let em have it'.

Cut to title sequence....noooooooo, more suspense! Ok, brief suspense.

Coulson and the team are still surrounded. Coulson throws a good few quips at the Centipede guys and the shooting begins. Skye runs to a computer terminal to insert the drive while the others cover her. One Centipede fella is facing off with May and, rather unwisely as we have previously learned, sarcastically calls her 'The Cavalry'. As we know, she does NOT like to be called that. She displays her displeasure by chinning him with the Asgardian Beserker staff from ep 8, then telling him not to ever call her that. Yay team! Skye completes her computer task and Coulson tells May to 'bring the house down' as they retreat. May follows that order and starts to demo the building like a good team member. She chucks the staff and follows our guys out, leaving the Centipede soldiers to get buried.

On the stolen Bus, Garrett is on the phone with the guy we now know is the Cybertek Bossman, who is telling Looney Tunes that the team got away and their men are still digging their way out of the wreckage. May is gooood! Garrett is supremely uninterested and chucks the phone away as Bossman is still waffling. He goes to the glass door of the lab, and wrenches it off its hinges, Fitzsimmons will be pissed! He then proceeds to demand a nail, which he uses to scratch odd patterns onto the glass. Ward is worried. Quinn is pissed AND worried. Raina is all misty eyed about Garrett's new outlook. Deathlok just keeps glaring at everyone like he wants to destroy them, which he does. Overall, a very dysfunctional little band. Ward wants to know whats next, because as far as he is concerned they've achieved what they wanted, which was to save Garrett. He's no Hydra true believer and isn't keen on being part of a coup, but he'll follow Garrett wherever he goes. That boy needs to grow some balls. Garrett isn't planning a coup, he is planning an uprising, and it will be even bigger than Hydra. Overcompensate much? He placates Ward somewhat with promises of giving Ward what he wants, when he's decided what that may be of course. He calls him 'son' twice in the space of about 2 minutes so the brain washing is still ongoing. Ward may have a tiny sliver of backbone as he still looks rather unsure, but its enough for now to keep him with Garrett.

Back with the non-Fitzsimmons part of the team, on their backup Bus, or rather Minibus as its teeny tiny in comparison. Skye is extremely chuffed as her trojan has worked and she now has eyes on all of their operations. May is tending to Trip's wounds when Coulson enters looking shellshocked. He has to deliver the news that Fitzsimmons' tracker has crossed the ocean and the Bus, which they managed to tag,  is in New Mexico. Fitzsimmons, however, aren't answering. They risked everything to tag the Bus so they have to focus on getting to Garrett, as he is the only hope of finding them.

Then we see the dynamic duo, stuck in a box on the ocean floor. Fitz has his arm in a sling and Simmons is lying unconscious next to him. When she comes to he explains the predicament, basically they're trapped, no amount of maths or science has helped Fitz come up with a way out. Even if they did get out of the box, they would be stranded in the middle of the ocean suffering from the bends, not good.

Back to the Minibus, Coulson is going over the plan with his remaining team. He throws in some card play jargon (which foreshadows something that happens later in the ep) and May tells him its a solid plan, but it hinges on a gamble (see, more card stuff?). Coulson agrees and also helpfully points out that there is also no backup and that they are outmanned and outgunned. The pep talk does improve when he quotes Fury's favourite 'one man' speech (again, more foreshadowing) 'A man can accomplish anything when he realises he is a part of something bigger. A team of people who share that conviction change the world. Are you ready to change the world?' to which May responds 'No but I'm ready to kick some ass'.....'That works too' replies Coulson. I am shipping them so hard!

Back on the Stolen Bus, Ward is asking Raina to talk to Garrett, he's worried he's lost it. Um, Ward, keep up! We knew he'd lost it ages ago! She agrees to have a chat with the Mental One and enters the room to find him fascinated by the Gravitonium. He and Raina now live on the same crazy wavelength so when he says he sees her 'soul' she isn't freaked out like, oh say, everyone else would be. She was disappointed when it turned out he wasn't clairvoyant as she had a question. She's obsessed with evolution, specifically of 'special' people apparently. She wants to know what she will become....um even more crazy maybe? Just a wild guess!

Fitzsimmons are having a chat at the bottom of the ocean, they're both 'scared and hungry' apparently! They then have a very sweet conversation about what they think and hope happens after death. Simmons is gazing out of the window as Fitz gazes lovingly at her. Simmons likes to think of the first law of thermodynamics, that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can be transformed into something else. She hopes this means that every part of her will go on to give life to other things, that way she will never die. She then has an epiphany. The window seal can be ignited using some of the materials they luckily have to hand, the pressure from outside would then blow the window. This still doesn't solve the issue of being stranded with the bends but its a start!

At the Cybertek manufacturing facility Quinn is showing around a group of Armed Forces chiefs, waxing lyrical about how the Centipedes will replace all special forces. Army guys don't seem overly enthralled with the idea of giving him money without seeing something.

Outside the facility, Coulson and Trip are scouting for a vehicle. Trip decides on a big ass Humvee (do they come in any other sizes?), but then something even bigger shows up....boys and their toys. Coulson asks him if he brought a 'Noisemaker'. Trip's response is just perfect 'sir I bring the noise AND the funk wherever I go' love it!  I also love the Noisemaker! Its a 40's cheery chappy voice which says 'hey ho friends! The enemy approaches!' so brilliant! Now that the naughties are distracted, Coulson and Trip take the bigasstruckwithrocketlaunchers (no clue what it actually is!) and storm the compound, blowing a handy hole in the wall for Skye and May to get inside.

In with the Army fellas, Quinn is desperately trying to calm everyone down, with the Army fellas demanding to know why the alarms are going off. Garrett saunters in and tells everyone to shut up and then bangs on about his crazy shit. Quinn suggests a demonstration, in the hopes of keeping the money men interested. Garrett agrees and proceeds to shove his hand into Head Army Man's chest, waffles for a bit longer, then rips out a rib and stabs him with it. Nice. Ward is, once again, unhappy, plus disgusted this time, yet he still doesn't have the balls to tell Garrett where else he can shove that rib! Next we see Quinn rather hurriedly loading the Gravitonium into the back of a van, Raina not far behind him. Ward stops Raina and kicks off about how Garrett is a feckin nut job. Raina doesn't think he's insane, in fact she believes in him and his whacky vision, but that Ward just follows him wherever he goes. She says he should keep following now, as they both need the same thing, which is also the same thing she needs. Skye. She tells Ward that Skye is what he's always wanted, and that she'll be a part of this 'evolution' they keep taling about. She tells him that the world is going to change, and when it has he could have Skye. Ward tells her that she's crazy, that Skye despises him and thinks he's a 'monster', to which Raina responds 'Are you? Is that your true nature? Or is that what Garrett made you to be?'. Ward doesn't know, but Raina tells him that 'darkness lies inside Skye'....have we just witnessed the birth of a real bad guy now? He thinks that nothing he could do would persuade Skye to love him now, so maybe he should just become truly evil and work towards unleashing Skye's bad self? Or will they try for a redemption story? Who knows!

May and Skye bust their way into the Cybertek office that we saw at the start of the ep, with Skye telling everyone that she has a 'bomb'. The Bossman tells them that they won't be able to hijack the Centipedes, that they have thought through every emergency scenario, including the one they're in right now....'Don't tell me you just switched the soldiers to default directive?' says May. 'Yeah!' says Bossman.....then...oh shit! The penny drops.

Turns out that the default directive is to protect John Garrett at all costs, thus halting the Centipede's assault on Coulson and Trip in the bigasstruckwithrocketlaunchers, and leading Coulson straight to Garrett. Result!

Ward tells Garrett that the compound is being hit. Garrett then gets a call, answers it to find Skye at the other end all snarky and smart arse, which lasts until he mentions Fitzsimmons. Garrett does a little flirting, ew, which seems to rub Ward up the wrong way, but is quickly forgiven when he's tells Ward to go after Skye. Garrett taunts Deathlok/Mike Peterson with the fact that he's been ordered never to leave his side. Foreshadowing.....

Fitzsimmons are still preparing to blow the seal on the window. Fitz tells Simmons that there is just enough concentrated air to get her past the pressure and get her to the surface. She is horrified by this and they argue about who should take it until Fitz finally admits he loves her and asks her to let him show it. She is heartbroken, finally relents and the Fitz sets off the explosion. We hear Simmons scream 'Nooooooo!' then the shot cuts outside where we see the window blow. Eventually we see Simmons swimming out of the window, towing Fitz! Yay!! They reach the surface and Simmons does her best to hold the unconscious Fitz out of the water, but they are still stranded. Until.....Simmons reaches out and Nick Fury grabs her hand from a helicopter hovering just above the surface! What a rescue! Then we cut to a shot of Simmons lay in a decompression chamber on a jet. Fury comes to talk to her, Fitz's heart is beating, but....She did save his life though.

At Cybertek, Skye is busy threatening the Bossman and asking what the incentives programme is, when Ward strolls in. We get some back and forth between them, with Ward attempting to dangle knowledge of her parents in front of her, she calls him weak. He tells her he knows she won't detonate the bomb to which she responds 'I have a weapon much better than a bomb that will destroy you' and when he asks what she gets to deliver this 'You slept with her and she's really pissed off!' cue May flying in to kick some traitor ass.

In the hangar area, with all the prototype stuff, sounds another Noisemaker. Coulson sneaks up on Garrett and punches him. Sadly for Coulson, Garrett punches him back and sends him flying, 'Thats new' is his only reaction. Then he sees feet enter his field of vision and looks up to find Fury looking back at him, all casual. 'Sir?' says Coulson, 'You don't have to call me sir, Coulson. Look at me, I'm dressed like I live under a bridge' says Fury, then. 'I went to great pains to make sure you didn't die the first time'. Coulson responds with a very Coulson line, 'Now's probably not the best time but I'd like to have a lengthy conversation about that. It might get loud.' and Fury admits 'And I owe you that, but right now we owe Garrett a punch in the teeth, wouldn't you say?' then pulls the huge weapon that Coulson used against Loki in The Avengers out of thin air. Now thats talent! He tells Coulson that it 'packs a pretty good punch' to which Coulson replies 'I know what it does' and starts shooting Centipedes. Meanwhile, Fury shoots at Garrett with a regular gun, which he soon finds out does bugger all. Garrett gets up, heals and grins in his crazy ol' way. Fury and Coulson look at each other in a 'huh' kinda way...Clark Gregg and Samuel L Jackson are so great together!

May and Ward are still battling away. Ward manages to pin May to a table saw by straddling her, May has a length of iron pipe but Ward has her hands trapped. Ward makes the oh so unwise mistake of telling May that it reminds him of the old times....'You were never on top' she replies. Oh snap! She then manages to shift the hand holding the pipe sideways so that it connects with the saw blade, which jars it upwards and she clocks him in the head with it.

Garrett, Deathlok, Fury and Coulson are all stood looking at each other. Garrett asks 'When was the last time anyone saw a tag team wrestling match with four dead guys?' as crazy as the character is, Bill Pullman has great fun delivering those lines. Coulson tells him that he sees only one dead guy to which Garrett responds 'The power is all on this side'. Don't speak too soon mate! He then bangs on about his new batshit crazy visions, says that he and Coulson are blood brothers and they knew the same things, that Phil should be helping him blah blah blah. Fury tells Coulson 'You didn't tell me he'd gone this crazy' to which Coulson responds 'He's really stepped it up a notch' love it!

Ward appears to get the upper hand in his fight with May, that is until she nail guns his foot to the floor. Really lucky that Cybertek were doing so well that they had to expand or else May might have lost without the building site and tools. Who am I kidding? She'd still have kicked his ass! He tells her to wait, and she responds by punching him in the throat....wish I'd have thought of that way to shut my ex up! She then tells him she's waiting long enough for this and boom, Ward is down!

Skye is apparently down in the basement with Bossman, who she's strapped with the 'bomb'. She unlocks a door to find Bossman's wife....ah the incentives programme! She starts looking for someone else and Bossman asks who she's trying to find, she answers 'Our Ace in the hole'. She opens a cell to find Mike's/Deathlok's son Ace....told you there was foreshadowing!

Garrett is still talking. Turns out he'd mangled Fury's 'One Man' speech and turned it into 'One man can achieve anything once he realises he can be something bigger'. Fury looks irritated, saying 'A part. A part of something bigger'. Garrett seems unpeturbed, saying 'Is that how it went?'. Coulson points out that Garrett is not a great listener and Fury tells Garrett 'If you tell me this whole Hydra path thing you took is because you misheard my damn 'One man' speech...'.Garrett starts ranting that he is the 'key to the future of the universe' and 'the origin of all things' yada yada until Fury interrupts him by asking Coulson 'You got it, right?' and Coulson responds 'Totally. Loud and clear'. At this point Garrett seems to have got bored of trying to impress/intimidate his audience with his craziness and signals to Deathlok to take them out.

Skye is kneeling in front of Ace, reassuring him. She then goes to the 'bomb' on Bossman and takes out a Hulk action figure. Bossman is relieved and irritated all at the same time.  Skye goes back to Ace with the figure and tells him that they need a message that his dad knows could only have come from him. Bossman tells her that it doesn't matter because they can't communicate with Deathlok from there. Skye holds up her phone and tells him that she's been in communication with him all along.

Coulson tells Garrett that he only thinks of himself, and that is why the good guys will always win. A message appears on Deathlok's cybernetic eye saying 'Dad, what are we? We're a team', tying us in nicely with the first ever ep. Deathlok turns and blasts Garrett who goes flying across the room. Garrett is still waffling about how they need him to translate the language of creation, and appeals to Coulson to back him up and stop Deathlok. Coulson responds by saying 'Mr Peterson is free to do whatever he wants' which is apparently stamp on Garrett's head. I suppose that was the best way to shut him up. Fury asks if Coulson thinks that Garrett has learned his lession, and Coulson says that he's learned something.

Garrett is in a nice metal box, wouldn't even say coffin cos that sounds a bit too grand. Centipedes are in cuffs and being led away. Apparently they'll go back to normal without regular injections and without the cybernetic eye, 'Minus an eye of course' says Trip. Good point there lad. Ward is walked in by May, looking all sulky and beaten up. Coulson asks if she had the chance to express all her feelings, May responds with 'Is he still breathing?' and Coulson concludes that she must have kept some to herself. Turns out that May fractured Ward's larynx when she punched him in the throat, so he's having trouble speaking. This pleases Coulson immensely, and he takes the opportunity to let Ward know that he failed to kill Fitzsimmons, but that Fitz may never be the same again. Coulson will make Ward pay for that for the rest of his life, along with finding inventive new ways to get Hydra intel from him. He tells Ward's torture will be internal, but May adds 'And a little bit external'. Coulson tells Ward that he now has the rest of his life to decide who he is without Garrett. I'm guessing it could go either way, but for some reason after this ep I'm leaning more towards baddie.

Deathlok is stood outside the buildings watching Ace be reunited with his aunt, Mike's sister. Skye approaches him and asks why he doesn't go to him, but Mike doesn't want him to see what he has become. Skye thinks he means his burns, and tells him Ace won't care. Mike is talking more internal though, he was turned into a killer. Skye tells him that Coulson wants her to bring him in but Mike says he's going away to make amends. He tells her to watch his every move by tapping into his hardware if she likes, but all she'll see is him trying to atone.

Back where all the action happened, we see Garrett's box empty and a dead body of a tech lay beside it. Ruh Roh. Garrett is, shockingly (yes, sarcasm) not dead and drags himself into the prototype Centipede machine and repairs himself. He smugly stands up and starts to say 'Now I will be unstop....' at which point he is blown to smithereens by Coulson who has come looking for something. He turns and walks out of the room calling to the others that he's found the weapon. So very Whedon!

Finally back on the Bus and Coulson and Fury are having that loud conversation they talked about. It consists of Coulson shouting 'Stupid, stupid, stupid, and cruel, anc very stupid!' at Fury. Fury listens, unpeturbed, until Coulson is finished. Coulson wants to know why they brought him back, after he warned them that people lost their minds afterwards. Fury says that he had May watch Coulson to make sure it didn't happen, and he'd had no problems (uh oh, foreshadowing). Fury tells Coulson that it was a 'break glass in case of emergency' situation, to which Coulson replies that it was meant for the fall of an Avenger. Fury responds with 'Exactly'.....*sniffle* we all knew Coulson was an Avenger but its nice to have it confirmed! Fury goes on to tell Coulson that he is his strong foundation, that S.H.I.E.L.D was founded to protect. Men like Coulson are the heart of S.H.I.E.L.D, and now he is also the head, as he hands him a tiny box. Fury wants him to start over and rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D! Yay! Director Coulson! Fury goes to leave the room and then turns back and pulls down his shades to reveal his damaged yet oddly glowy eye, cybernetic maybe?....he may be gone for a while but he'll still know everything!

The team wait in the cargo hold as the landing ramp lowers, to find Simmon's awaiting them. They have an emotional reunion and they ask about Fitz, Simmons tells them he is 'alive', we need more than that dammit! The reunion is interrupted by a Koenig lookalike/clone/identical twin (?) welcoming them to The Playground, with the same speech as the previous Koenig gave. The rebuild will now begin.....which is lucky as they were renewed! Phew.

We see Raina being led through a ruin of a building, to a room with a man sat with his back to the camera. She lays a photo of Skye on the table next to him, which he reaches for with a hand oozing and dripping blood. Raina tells him that she has found his daughter....I'm guessing Skye got the non-blood oozing from her mother's side of the family....

Coulson wakes up in the middle of the night and goes for a wander through some storage areas. He then proceeds to scratch the same symbols that Garrett was making on the glass door...including ones about 2 feet above his head which he couldn't reach but we'll let that pass! This does not bode well for our hero!

I'll do more recaps when the US TV season starts in September/October....I'll try and make sure they aren't quite as late as this though!

Thanks for popping by!

Jan
x

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Top 10 Superhero Movie Duels

Today, I take a look at my (current) Top 10 Superhero Movie Duels... Allons-y!

Before I get into it, I want to point out a couple of things about the list... Firstly, each movie selected had to be a live action movie, and, each movie has to have been released on DVD, to reduce the chances of it containing too many spoilers, so, I have had to exclude the likes of, Amazing Spider-Man 2 and, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Now... On with the list.



Hardy's 'Bane', punishing Bale's 'Batman' for, that voice!


10. Batman Vs Bane: The Dark Knight Rises (2012) - Somewhat of an ultimate showdown for DC fans, we kick things off with Batman Vs Bane, finally battling it out on the big screen (we'll ignore Batman & Robin, and, those nipples). While the sheer brutality of the physically imposing, impervious to pain, Bane (ha, that rhymed, I'm so easily pleased) is enough to get this showdown onto the list, the reason I have put it on, possibly somewhat controversially, is the fact that Bane kicks Bat's behind (trying to be as PG as possible here folks). Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a massive fan of Batman, always have been, however, that voice, the voice that is parodied so much (non better than Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory) is, unforgivable. Besides, Bat's wins at the end of the film, retires? with Catwomen and, lives happily ever after... Until the Ben Affleck, Batman universe starts that is.


"hey dude, this is no cartoon"



09. Turtles Vs Shredder: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) - After defeating hordes of Foot Soldiers, the heroes in a half shell find themselves face to face with Shredder atop a New York City Building. Despite the speed in which they fling insults, such as Michelangelo's 'I bet he never has to look for a can opener', their speed, and skill fighting, one by one, and, as a team, are sadly no match for Shredder whom, has a mastery of Ninjutsu on par with that of Master Splinter, who, thankfully turns up just in time to save the day. Whilst the fight is fairly one sided, with the heroes getting their shells handed to them on a platter, their quick wit, unwillingness to give up, and, my general nostalgia for this film get it onto my list.



Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman!


08. Batman Vs Catwoman: Batman Returns (1992) - Less like a fight, more like rough foreplay for this pair (cue awkward conversations with some parents!), number 8 on my list is Batman Vs Catwoman from Batman Returns. During an attack on Gotham by the Red Triangle Gang (sworn enemies of the Green Circles and Yellow Squares), Catwoman blows up the bottom floor of a store, belonging to, the boss of her alter ego, Selina Kyle. This action, puts her into conflict with Batman for the first time, and, they fight it out on some rooftops. During this battle, Catwoman makes good use of Batman's unwillingness to hit women, however, eventually his hand is forced, when, stabbed in the abdomen, he swipes at Catwoman, knocking her from the roof, into a open backed lorry containing kitty litter, losing her the second of her nine lives, and, making her leather all dusty. Whilst nostalgia also played a part in this selection, this duel could have made it purely on the merits of the fight, Catwoman's seduction of Batman, playing his morals against him, and, an ammusing moment with Catwoman on a near vertical roof, scrambling, somewhat reminiscent of cats on freshly polished floors.



Nomak really enjoyed his Strawberry Daiquiri!


07. Blade Vs Nomak: Blade II (2002) - Human/vampire hybrid, Blade faces off against, the Reaper (an evolved Vampire, who feeds off Vampires and humans) Nomak, at number 7 on my list. The culmination of a family fued (granted, his dad was a massive... naughty person, experimenting on him as a child), Blade and Nomak battle it out, but not before, Nomak has ripped his father's throat out (ok this entry isn't very PG), and, bitten his sisters (whom Blade has a soft spot for), effectively, condeming her to death. In a rather bizarre situation for Blade, he very rarely has the upper hand during this, extremely violent confrontation with Nomak. That is, not until he realises where Nomak's armour like skeleton has a gap, leaving access to his heart. Blade uses this chink in Nomak's armour to his advantage, and, promtly stabs him through the heart, ending his reign of terror against the world (technically, Nomak finishes himself off, he shoves the blade the last of the way).





06. Wolverine Vs Lady Deathstrike: X-Men II (2003) - Until meeting Lady Deathstrike in X2, Wolverine had thought, with his regenerative abilities, superhuman strength and Adamantium skeleton (to name a few of his powers), he was one of a kind... oh, how wrong he was. With powers that rival that of his, Lady Deathstrike also has to her advantage, superior speed, martial arts skills, and, 10 extending Adamantium claws that would make Freddy Krueger green with envy. Despite Lady Deathstrike's obvious size disadvantage, she has the upperhand for quite a portion of the fight, constantly surprising Wolverine with her speed, strength and resilience. Wolverine only manages to overcome this formidable adversary by, pumping her full of Adamantium, turning her into an oversized paperweight.



General Zod wants to know, "do I have something  in my teeth?"


05. Superman Vs General Zod: The Man Of Steel (2013) - The final showdown in Zack Snyder's 2013 reboot of the Superman franchise, comes in at number 5. The destruction caused whilst they work out their issues, is on a par with that of a whole Michael Bay film, and, it doesn't just take place on land. During this, near 10 minute battle, they duke it out in the streets, in the air, and, they even take their fight into space. On a side note, during this duel, the LexCorp and Wayne Enterprises logos make apperences, paving the way for future apperances (which are now confirmed with, Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice). The sheer visuals, and brute force of this land/aerial/space slugfest get it onto my list... it would have got a higher ranking than number 5 if, it wasn't for Superman killing Zod at the end. now, I realise that Zod was about to kill people, however, Superman doesn't kill and he could have thrown him away from the people or subdued him somehow.



Abomination, always working with the photographer, "this is my good side"


04. Hulk Vs Abomination: The Incredible Hulk (2008) - Bruce Banner's alter ego Hulk facing off against Abomination in, 2008's The Incredible Hulk takes my number 4 spot. The culmination of Emil Blonsky's obsession with gaining Hulk's power, Abomination is a result of Blonsky receiving a combination of super soldier serum and gamma radiation. When the might of the US military proves ineffective against Abomination, Bruce Banner drops, parachuteless from a helicopter, hoping the fall will trigger his change... thankfully it does and, battle ensues. Due to the size, and strength of the combatants, their fight through Harlem, causes quite a lot of damage, mainly, due to the fact that each uses, anything and everything, they find to hand, to throw at, and, hit each other with... there's a point where Hulk, is wearing a police car as a pair of boxing gloves. It's not as skilled fight as many on this list, however, the sheer force of these two get it onto the list, also, Hulk gets to say his, not very witty, but, to the point catchphrase "HULK SMASH!" during the fight, so that's a bonus!



Doc Ock... How does he put that coat on?


03. Spider-Man Vs Doc Ock: Spider-Man 2 (2004) - Following a failed experiement, which involved, the wearing of robotic tenticle arms which possess artificial intelligence, like you do, and, the death of his wife, Dr Otto Octavius becomes the villian, Dr Octopus (Doc Ock). Doc Ock abducts Mary Jane, after throwing a car at her and Peter through a coffee shop window, forcing Spidey to track him to the top of a bell tower. The battle quickly starts with each combatant trading blows and, both using a clock hand as a projectile weapon. Quickly the battle tumbles down to one of the city's trains, the pair battle on top, on the side and, through the train. Doc Ock fights dirty throughout, throwing people off the train, forcing Spidey save them. When these tactics don't work for Doc Ock, he resorts to destroying the trains brakes before fleeing, leaving Spidey to have to save the train full of people.



Zod, Ursa and Non... proving, there are people like Gwyneth Paltrow on Krypton
naming kids!


02. Superman Vs General Zod, Ursa and Non: Superman II (1980-1981) - Nostalgia strikes again at number 2 on my list. Having given up his powers to have a mortal life with Lois, Clark Kent is forced to undo his transformation at his, Fortress Of Solitude when, General Zod, Ursa and Non take over control at the White House. In a rather polite invertation to do battle, Superman shows up at the Daily Planet and, utters the somewhat iconic line, "general, would you care to step outside?". After a brief tantrum, demanding Superman kneel before him, Zod, Ursa and Non fly out after Superman and the battle begins. The first few moments of the battle are relatively aerial, with each of Superman's adversaries attacking him, one by one. That is, until Zod realises Superman's feeling for humans and, he, and his cohorts proceed to endanger people as a means to distract Superman. For some time after, Superman has to fend off attacks from the dastardly trio, whilst also protecting people from fire, explosions, falling debris, and, a whole host of other things caused by Zod and pals. During one of Superman's attempts to save people on a bus that Non and Ursa throw, it appears as though Superman has finally met his maker. This causes the people in the streets to pick up arms and, make a move for Zod, Ursa and Non. Managing to escape the wreckage, Superman emerges to see what the people are doing and, realising that fighting in Metropolis, will cause unimaginable damage and, endanger the lives of people further, he comes to the decision that, the only way to stop Zod and his gang, is to lure them to the Fortress.



Thor, rather helpfully charging Iron Man's iPhone!


01. Iron Man Vs Thor: The Avengers (2012) - To anyone that knows me, this is probably not a surprise. Number one on my list is, rather oddly, a battle between, two good guys, both trying to do 'good' things. Having gone to Germany and, assisted Captain America in capturing Loki, Iron Man, Cap, and their prisoner, Loki are getting transported back to the Helicarrier when they get a visit from a god. Thor has come to take Loki, and the Tesseract, back to Asgard, to put an end to yet another of Loki's schemes. Due to Thor and Iron man/Tony Stark's nature, this causes a little friction between the two at first, and, they end up leveling quite a few trees trying to sort their differences. The fight starts, as is usually the case with Iron Man, with some witty, sarcastic remarks made towards the god of thunder. Clearly this displeases Thor, as, Iron Man soon has a meeting with Mjolnir. Despite the fact that Thor, is a god, Iron Man manages to hold his own, matching the blonde giant blow for blow, at one point, Iron Man's is armour supercharged thanks to a blast of lightning from Thor, giving him a slight advantage. The fight doesn't stay on the ground either, with the pair, careening through the air, trade blows, scrapping up a sheer rock face before, hurtling back to the ground. The two continue to work out their differences, even exchanging headbutts amongst other things, but, before long, Cap steps in, like a responsible parent braking up fueding siblings and, the fun is over.

So there you have it, my Top 10 Superhero Movie Duels. What's you favourite duel? leave me a comment below!

Thanks for stopping by, I do hope you enjoyed yourself.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Marvel Vs Edgar Wright, Friday the 13th sequel/reboot and Stargate reboot...

This past week or two has had it's fair share of movie news, here is a brief selection of some that have caught my eye... Allons-y!



Firstly, news about Marvel's Ant-Man... Marvel and Edgar Wright have parted ways. Wright has reportedly been working on Ant-Man since 2006 (one report I've read says 2004), however, Wright and Marvel or, more accurately, if reports are accurate, Wright and Kevin Feige have come to a disagreement, a disagreement which they couldn't work through. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the reason behind Wright's decision to leave was, Marvel deciding to commission an independent rewrite of the screenplay that Wright had developed for the best part of a decade along with Joe Cornish. Whilst no official comment, to my knowledge, has come from either party envolved, it wouldn't be the first time a studio has pulled a stunt like this. If reports about the reasoning behind the 'break-up' are correct, it's quite appauling behaviour on Marvel's part, especially when you consider, Wright has worked on Ant-Man for longer than Feige has been president of Marvel Studios.

This move has sparked quite a wide spread condemnation from fans of Wright, and wrightly so (see what I did there?). Wright is an impressive talent, his understanding of all aspects of movie making is hard to match, his talent and love of creating rivals that of Joss Whedon, another director who doesn't get the credit, or exposure he deserves.

I hope I am wrong, however, I fear this move by Marvel could turn Ant-Man into their, 'jumping the shark' moment.




Reports on Coming Soon state that Friday The 13th will open on Friday 13th November, instead of the initial Friday 13th March date that it was originally given (these are 2, of the 3 Friday 13th's in 2015 that they could choose from). While this information is probably accurate, what is not clear is how accrate the other rumours floating around the internet are. The first rumour surrounding, FT13 is that the 2009 film is going to be totally disregarded, it never happened! a little like how people wish the Twilight films never happened (I'm sure they'll reboot them soon!). Now, this rumour, if it turns out to be true, doesn't really bother me, by the nature of the FT13 films, each one is like a mini-reboot anyway.

The rumour, if it turns out to be true, I do have issue with, is, the style choice that the makers are considering. The makers of FT13 are considering turning the 2015 release into a, found footage movie... oh no, not another one, has this gimmick not finished yet? 

Not only have I not yet seen a found footage movie that I have enjoyed, I have yet to find one that I find the least bit realistic, which is what they're going for isn't it? Also, I can't get my head around why, when getting chased by a huge maniac with a machette, you would film... my camera would have bounced off his face (or nuts, he's trying to kill me, dirty tactics are allowed) shortly after seeing him for the first time.




The last piece of news I want to talk briefly about today is, MGM/Warner Brothers are rebooting Stargate. Now MGM/Warner Brothers big 'selling point' of this reboot of the 1994 sci-fi legend (I think it's a legend anyway) is the fact that, they are bringing back Roland Emmerich (the original films co writer and director) to direct and Dean Devlin (the original films co writer) to produce... Surely it's going to be great, what could possibly go wrong revisiting a sci-fi film so long after the last one, adjusting aspects of it, especially when you have the original makers on board... I have one thing to say to you... Star Wars I-III.

Anyway, that's a few movie related stories that have caught my eye of late, what movie news has caught your eye, let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by, I do hope you enjoyed yourself.