Saturday, 30 August 2014

Doctor Who - Moffat has broken my favourite show.....

Jan here again... As it is Saturday (formally, woohoo, Doctor Who day!), I thought I'd share with you my Doctor Who themed post... Enjoy!




For the first time in my life I wasn't excited for the return of the DoctorSteven Moffat has systematically destroyed my favourite TV show. Don't get me wrong, he's a great writer, BUT he is a terrible showrunner. He writes himself into corners, and, when he can't extricate himself, he then changes his own canon. He starts storylines without knowing where he wants it to go, so it becomes ever more convoluted and complicated. Oddly enough, he has written some of my favourite episodes in the new Doctor Who run. I love Blink and I love the concept of the Weeping Angels, they are truly creepy. My other favourites are The Girl in the FireplaceSilence in the Library and Forest of the Dead. You may notice that all my favourite episodes are from when Russell T Davies was showrunner. Moffat is much, much, MUCH better as an occasional writer rather than showrunner. I also dislike the throwaway nature of the show now. You get to love characters and companions, only for them to leave, and the characters are forever banished and unable to see or speak to the Doctor again. This bugs the crap out of me! Why don't they sign people up for a minimum commitment?? Why don't the BBC tell Moffat to pull his finger out and put out a full seaon, without making the fans wait for a year, only to have a few episodes before another lengthy break?? The same goes for Sherlock, the amount of time between seasons is ridiculous! Then we get 3 episodes....3????!!! Drives me mad!

My favourite Doctor from 'New Who'!


Now, onto the new Doctor, Peter Capaldi. He's a great actor. I would have little problem with his casting but for one thing....he has already played other characters in the Whoniverse!!!! That, to me, is completely unacceptable, specifically in the years since the revival. We have so much more access to information about the actors and actresses, if we recognise an actor/actress we just go online and find out their entire CV.  Capaldi is too noticeable, too famous to sneak in under the radar. When Karen Gillan turned up as a soothsayer in The Fires of Pompeii, she was virtually unrecognisable and she just wasn't very well known, so it didn't matter too much when she turned up as Amy Pond. As you can see from the photos below, Capaldi is immediately recognisible, and a main cast member in both episodes/series. The reason that David Tennant and Matt Smith worked so well as the Doctor, is that they weren't particularly well known when they began the role. My objection to Capaldi isn't based on his age, or on the fact that he's not as good looking as the 2 previous incarnations. I couldn't care less what the Doctor looks like, I love the character and I'm not a teenage girl swooning over hot actors. I just seriously object to such a stupid move.


Capaldi as John Frobisher in Torchwood: Children of Earth
Capaldi as Caecilius in The Fires of Pompeii









Having watched the first episode, I'm still unconvinced. Yes I like the intensity of Capaldi's portrayal, but that is not unique to the actor. There are unknown actors out there who could do a brilliant job, and they don't carry any associations or expectations into the role. The episode was ok, but this show was never only ok....well, not until Moffat took over as showrunner. He's great at writing episodes, but he needs someone there to keep him on track. He simply changes any canon he feels like, even the ones he put in place! My enjoyment has been declining ever since he took over.....he has now managed to kill all my excitement, anticipation and enjoyment and it makes me sad.

Thanks for popping by!

Jan
x

Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Love Child Of Mark Ruffalo & Lou Ferrigno

A little while back I posted about my first attempt at customising an action figure, well, I seem to have caught the bug and I've been at it again... Allons-y!

This time around, I decided to attack Hasbro's 3 3/4 inch, Avengers Gamma Smash Hulk. Unlike my first attempt (in which I just did a little wash over the figures factory paintwork), I decided to do a full repaint of the figure.


AS HE APPEARS STRAIGHT OUT OF THE PACKET

As was the case with Leonardo, I quite liked Hulk as he was straight out of the packet...minus some issues with the paint application on his pants, and his legs not matching the rest of him. I decided however, I wanted to have a go at making him a little more like the Lou Ferrigno and cartoon incarnations...



I gave him a base coat of a green that I mixed up...I'm not gonna lie, there was no rhyme nor reason to the mix, I just made it up as I went along. After the base coat had dried, I dry brushed a lighter mix of green to accent his muscles, finger, toes, etc. When his body had dried, with a tiny, nail art brush I painted the whites of his eyes, followed by a green, applied with a cocktail stick for his iris (this took a while, I have incredibly unsteady hands). For his pants I decided on the classic purple from the cartoons...as I did with his body, I applied a base coat of my chosen colour, then dry brushed a lighter coat on top to accent the creases, and texture of the fabric.


I have to admit, he has come out a little darker than I planned (as Jan says, he's been on holiday and has a tan!), however, for the most part, I am quite pleased with the results.

So there you have it, my second foray into figure customisation. I'd love to see your customs, please leave me links to them below.

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

(EDIT 11.09.14 - Hulk has received a repaint to give him lighter skin, more reminiscent of the cartoons and TV show... Images of Mark II coming soon!!!)

Monday, 25 August 2014

'The Expendables 3' Review

Stallone and the gang are back in one of this summer's, big action blockbusters, The Expendables 3...is it as pumped as Terry Crews' pecs, or, have the gang become expendable... Allons-y!

It should go without saying, SPOILERS FOLLOW!

THE GANG... 'OLD' & 'NEW'


The Expendables 3  opens with Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), and the 'old' gang, rescuing former member Doc (Wesley Snipes), to assist them in an upcoming, routine mission. As this is the first 15 minutes of an action film, said routine mission is anything but routine. Ross comes face to face with the presumed dead Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), a former ally turned enemy.

After Ross' face to face with Stonebanks (which, by the way, results in a mass firefight, car chase and, Stonebanks not only dropping a bomb on the gang, but nearly killing Hale Caesar (Terry Crews)), Ross is then hired by Max Drummer (Harrison Ford) to bring in Stonebanks, alive. Ross decides this is pretty much a suicide mission and he refuses to lead his team into it. He opts instead to retire them and bring in some 'new blood' with the help of his old friend, Bonaparte (Kelsey Grammer)...slightly questionable ethics don't you think Mr Ross?

Ross and his 'new', tech-savvy gang, set out to capture the world's most dangerous war criminal...which they do, briefly! In a rather obvious turn of events however, Stonebanks is sprung from Ross' custody, the 'new' gang is captured, and Ross and the 'old' gang have to rescue them. The latter part of the film, after the 'new' gang is rescued, sees both gangs, 'new' and 'old' fighting alongside one another, lending weight to rumours that this film is, in fact, a torch passing ceremony.

A sizable portion of the movie is spent introducing, and fleshing out, the 'new' gang. As nice as I am sure these actors and athletes are in real life, I feel their inclusion is detrimental to the movie. I realise the popular rumour is that this movie is to pass the torch, so, if true, they need to be in it. However, this is a perfect example of 'too many cooks spoil the broth'...take for example the action sequences, especially towards the end, you have to keep up with, at times, up to, 13 different fights...it's almost headache inducing.

The Expendables 3  has a 12A rating (PG13 - USA), and this is probably my main issue with the movie. Anyone who has heard the names Stallone, Schwarzenegger, or Lundgren, will probably know films such as Rambo , Terminator , and Universal Soldier. Films like these are, to this day, some of the biggest ever action blockbusters (obviously, there are many more!). One of the reasons they did so well was that the action looked real. They had a 15 or 18 rating (R - USA) so, when someone got shot, you knew it. When someone got stabbed, you knew it. I'm not saying that it should turn into a Saw  film, however, considering the amount of guns and bladed objects in the movie, you would expect a little blood from time to time. At least as an indication as to who has been shot/stabbed/maimed for life! I'm not blaming the makers of The Expendables 3 for this, it isn't a new thing. Take this year's Robocop  reboot for example, they effectively made that fit to show on The Cartoon Network! FYI, The Expendables 3 shares it's rating with Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, a film based on children's books, and that has blood in it...quite a lot of blood...and deaths of beloved characters!

I could, if I was so inclined, pass judgement about the movies lacklustre storyline, or, at times, questionable film making, however this would be somewhat unfair. The film isn't supposed to be a modern day Casablanca, it's a no frills action flick that you watch scoffing popcorn and guzzling fizzy pop...all whilst wishing you had something near Terry Crews' dedication to working out.

The enjoyment the cast had making the film is quite obvious and it shines through onto the screen. The action sequences, whilst action-y (it's a real word!), are fun and often filled with comedy, even during the most dire of situations. Despite the movies obvious flaws, it's quite an enjoyable throw back to 80's action. If you are looking for a fun, easy on the brain, action flick to watch for a couple of hours, you could do a lot worse than The Expendables 3.

Have you seen the movie? What are your thoughts on it? Leave me some comments below.

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

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Visions by Kelley Armstrong - review

Its Jan again, with another guest post.....enjoy!

First off, I must confess that Kelley Armstrong is my favourite author. I can read all 13 of the Women of the Otherworld series, and all the short stories, over and over again. In fact, I read them and finished them in time to read this new book....now I've finished I've started Otherworld again! I'm not sure why I love her books so much, I just love the characters and the universes she builds. Suffice to say I was gutted when Thirteen came out and the series ended....sulking may have occurred! Luckily, I discovered Omens, which is the first book in the Cainsville series (not sure if it's a series or a trilogy mind) which I enjoyed, it just didn't quite grab me like Otherworld did though. I've just finished Visions so here is my review....



The book opens pretty much where Omens ended. Olivia and Gabriel have managed to exonerate her birth parents for 2 of the murders of which they were convicted. There is very little investigating of the other murders her birth parents were imprisoned for, which strikes me as rather odd. Surely, now there is a chink in the armour of their convictions, Olivia and Gabriel would try to press their advantage. They do visit Olivia's birth mother once, then she refuses to visit again because her mother wouldn't share why Olivia sees omens. Olivia is still trying to get permission to visit her father, Todd, but she is being thwarted by missed letters and ignored calls. Todd does write her a letter though, which Olivia reads at the end of the book, leaving her extremely emotional as he seems to genuinely love his daughter yet he respects her new name and family.

The thing that irks me most is that we're 2 books in and we still don't really have answers to anything! Oh, we get some tantalising snippets of who/what the characters are, but not enough to stop me feeling frustrated. I'm the sort of person who reads the ending of books first! I gave up on Lost in the first season because I couldn't cope with not getting answers! Its a real shame that this series bugs me because I love the premise, and I love Celtic mythology and culture, so these books should be a dream come true....

Having said all that, I did enjoy Visions more than Omens, as obviously we needed an origin story to start us off. It didn't flow as easily as Armstrong's other books, but then she has become familiar with the Otherworld universe. I recall reading that she didn't expect the success of Bitten, and wasn't planning a series at the start. The universe was built slowly through each book, with the introduction of new supernatural races and cultures, so the first books didn't feel as weighed down as Omens did. However, I do love her characterisations, she writes likable people, women I would be friends with. She also writes great relationships, there wasn't one pairing or group in Otherworld that I didn't love. Armstrong manages the same in the Cainsville series. While there appears to be a love triangle (or a love square if you count the ex, I wouldn't, he has no chance!) between Olivia,  Gabriel and Ricky, there is no 'instalove'. Olivia finally breaks free from the suffocating life and relationship she used to have, and begins to have fun. As she should! She's only in her mid twenties!

Now, the plot....its a tad chaotic, but it is intriguing none the less. The book starts with Olivia returning to her former home to pack up some of her belongings. Whilst there she decides to take a swim, which apparently provided the time for someone to put a dead woman, dressed like Olivia, in her car. The body then disappears while Olivia is waiting for Gabriel to come to her aid. It turns out that the dead woman is Ciara Conway, who is originally from Cainsville, before she became an addict and went missing. Ciara's severed head is placed in Olivia's bed while she sleeps, and she is knocked unconscious while, once again, the evidence is removed. She doesn't know if these are threats or clues to the mystery of Cainsville. TC ('The Cat') goes missing and is eventually discovered in the basement of a house which turns out to have been the home of Olivia's family. Following TC, Olivia discovers a spot which allows her to fall into visions....and Ciara's body in the attic. Ciara's family receive an anonymous call telling them to check her DNA, and it turns out that she is not their biological child.....which leads Olivia to research about changelings, as you do. Turns out that Cainsville is a haven for fae and the elders have been swapping children for many years.

Late one night, Olivia gets a call from a panicked young woman named Macy, who tells her that she has been drugged and kidnapped by a man wanted to get a message to 'Eden' (Olivia's birth name). Olivia has to go to an address and find the girl, which she does with the help of Ricky, and later, Gabriel. Macy has been taken to an old mental hospital, and Olivia keeps seeing things that aren't there. She meets a man/being named Tristan, who gives her more teasing tidbits about the two sides that want Olivia, for some as yet unknown reason. She was also approached by a man at a dinner with James, who is another otherwordly being, who gives her a tusk for protection. Olivia decides to confront someone from Cainsville, when she realises that she and Gabriel are experiencing a form of mind control, to prevent them from asking questions which would provide them with the answers they want. She fights the compulsion and talks to Patrick, who she has discovered is a lot older than he looks. He implies enough that Olivia gets some of the answers she seeks, including one shocking revelation about Gabriel. We also find out a little more about Gabriel's troubled childhood and how it continues to affect him to such an extent that he hoards supplies and keeps them hidden around his home.

After swiping some hairs from Macy's brush during a visit, Olivia and Gabriel have her DNA tested against the Conway's and they discover that Macy is their biological daughter. Olivia becomes suspicious of Macy when she discovers that she worked in a funeral parlour and knows how to embalm a body, which would explain why Ciara's body didn't decay while they moved her around. On the way to visit the funeral parlour where Macy worked, they are involved in a car crash, injuring and trapping Gabriel. After managing to extricate him from the vehicle, and dragging him to a safe distance, Olivia attempts to find help, but is stopped when bullets start flying. Macy is the shooter and had been working with Tristan all along. She is furious that she had Ciara's crappy family while Ciara got to grow up with a comfortable family life. Gabriel manages to regain consciousness and rescues Olivia by shooting Macy, ensuring that he hit nonlethal body parts, but Macy turns her gun on herself and commits suicide.

 As I mentioned before, Olivia finally ends her relationship with James, which does not go to plan, and exposes James' true nature, much to her shock. Despite his best efforts, James fails to drive a wedge between Olivia and Gabriel, in fact his tricks push her further away from him and strengthens Olivia and Gabriel's friendship/relationship. Olivia also gets involved with Ricky Gallagher, the son of the leader of the biker gang, Satan's Saints (love that name!), who also happen to be Gabriel's biggest clients. Ricky's father, and Gabriel are unhappy about the relationship, but Ricky and Olivia don't care. He's just what Olivia needs after a passionless engagement to a man she believed she should marry, in order to fit in and not be an outcast, in a society where she feels she doesn't belong.

So, overall, better than Omens but nowhere near as good as Otherworld! She's still my favourite author though!

Thanks for popping by!

Jan
x









Thursday, 21 August 2014

Marvel Legends Spider-Man Infinite Series Amazing Spider-Man 2 Action Figure Review

Today, I have for you, a review of the Marvel Legends Spider-Man Infinite Series Amazing Spider-Man 2 action figure... Allons-y!

Nowadays, it's rare that we Brits see the likes of the Marvel Legends 6 inch figures on our shelves (aside from in independent comic book shops), for some reason, Hasbro and the like don't feel the need to sell in UK shops anymore... Sort your act out Hasbro, start shipping to the UK again! Anyway, you can imagine my delight when I found that Toys-R-Us currently stock the Infinite Series Amazing Spider-Man 2 line here in the UK.

Sadly, despite needing them all (it's not that I want them all, I NEED them all!), I had to behave and choose only one so, as a long time Spidey fan, I had to get him.



The Sculpt

Having researched extensively (I Googled!), I believe this Spider-Man to be a brand new mould, don't quote me though!

Unlike some of the previous incarnations of the Spider-Man figures, of which, there is a lot (I think Batman is possibly the only hero that beats Spidey's numbers!), this Spidey looks more like a gangly teenage boy (which he is) and less like a WWE wrestler . Whilst researching for this review, I came across complaints about Spidey's chest looking 'odd' or 'too small' because of the upper body articulation... I have a couple of issues with these complaints. Firstly, this figure is based on Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man, he barely has any meat on him so, he too, doesn't have much chest. Secondly, and more importantly, this is a Spider-Man figure, it's not designed to be stood up straight!

The detailing on the figure is phenomenal, everything on him is moulded rather than just painted, adding to the overall effect and, making him look even more like the films, comics, and cartoons. On this Spidey, the webbing is engraved (as apposed to raised) and, it works very well... I have to admit, when I first read about the engraved webbing, I was dubious about it however, it looks great and, I hope they use this method again on future figures!

The only slight issue I have (I don't believe it is just mine, I've heard others mention it) is, the legs and boots don't quite line up correctly... It's not out by much and, unless you're a really looking, it's not too noticeable.




The Paintwork

The paintwork on Spidey is, some of the best I have seen in a long time. Despite the simplistic nature of Spidey's colouring, it still has to be executed well to look good and, on this figure, it has, with the exception of some minor issues...

The paint on the eyes is a little misaligned (I think this is a common problem) and, there are a few little instances of red showing through the blue and, a little blue making it's way onto some of the red. Non of these issues though are immediately obvious, the only obvious issue is, the white serial number on Spidey's leg... This however, is not limited to Spidey, this seems to be the norm on action figures, which is annoying!


Articulation

Articulation on Spidey is in abundance with around 34 points of articulation, assuming I counted correctly, I did run out of fingers though... Unlike like some heroes, such as Thor, Spidey needs to be able to contort into many weird and wonderful positions and, Hasbro seem to have kept this in mind when giving him his articulation.

As great as his articulation is and, at the risk of sounding ungrateful, I believe he could have benefited from 2 more things. Firstly, better neck articulation so he could look up more for better aerial poses. Secondly, I believe he would have benefited from, toe articulation, it would have offered up greater crouching and crawling poses, something a Spidey figure needs!




Accessories

I suppose, technically, the build a figure parts are an accessory so... You get the right arm of the 'Ultimate Green Goblin' build a figure... For those who don't know, basically, he's a flame covered, Hulk-esc Green Goblin.

Spider-Man, unlike like some heroes, doesn't really use much in the way of weapons or accessories so, when it comes to the figure, Hasbro are limited as to what they can give you. Such as with toy lines like Revoltech, Hasbro have gone down the swap-able hands route, giving you two sets of hands. Firstly, you get a pair of closed fists for punching the likes of Green Goblin or Electro. Secondly, and more importantly as it's Spidey, you get a pair of web-shooting (thwipping) hand... Sadly, you don't get any webbing to make full use of said thwipping hands. I guess it's onto YouTube to look for tutorials on making some!


Overall

I have seen many reviews that state this is one of, if not, the best Spidey for a few years now and, I have to agree!

Everything about the figure is extremely well executed, the only issues been, minimal paint errors and, minor articulation issues (the lack of neck movement and toe articulation). It would be a great addition to any action figure collection and, it is most certainly a must for any Spidey fans!





So, there you have it, my review of the Marvel Legends Infinite Series Amazing Spider-Man 2 action figure...

Do you have this figure and/or the others in the series? What are your thoughts on them? UK readers... Where do you get your figures from that doesn't break the bank? Leave me some comments below.

Collectors/customisers, do you have any figures and/or fodder you are thinking of throwing or selling, please send me a message, I am looking into getting into customising and need supplies.

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

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Cop Town by Karin Slaughter - review

Ian's had a busy day (its the fortnightly day out for the disabled person!) so he's borrowing one of my posts! Normal service should resume tomorrow.....
Jan



Karin Slaughter is back - yay! - with a standalone novel. Cop Town is set in 1970's Atlanta, at a time when the Civil Rights movement had started the gradual shift in attitudes towards women and those born into a different race. The story takes place in 1974, and focuses on a rookie cop, Kate Murphy, as she takes her first steps in the brutal new world of policing. Kate is a widow, her husband killed in Vietnam, she is also Jewish, her gender and religious background both counting against her in an era where white men ruled. We are also introduced to Maggie Lawson, a woman with a cop for a brother and for an uncle. Neither of which wants her on the force. Maggie has a troubled past, she was the victim of an assault as a teenager which she is blamed for by her family. Her uncle is a bully, and desperate to keep his stranglehold on Atlanta's policing.

Cops are being murdered in Atlanta. The city is living in fear of a serial killer. The police are quick to lay the blame on a black man, but, having tried once are reeling from their failure. The book opens with a star police officer, Jimmy Lawson, carrying his dying partner to hospital. The two have been attacked by the cop killer, but only one man was shot. Jimmy's sister Maggie knows that this doesn't add up, but is dismissed by her brother and her uncle Terry. Kate is due to start her first shift on the force the day after the latest shooting. Even the female officers show no mercy to rookies, so Kate has to tough it out on her own. Maggie and Kate end up working together, despite the treatment from their male colleagues, and work to solve the case. Secrets are discovered, lives hang in the balance, and the case gets too close for comfort.

I love Karin Slaughter, no really, truly LOVE her. She is immensely talented and isn't scared of tackling difficult subjects. There are times in the book when you feel so filthy after wading through the language and the treatment of people, yet you never want to stop reading. The storyline, as always, is excellent. The book is relentless. It never eases up to let you process what you've read, because if you do you may never be able to continue. You might guess the culprit, you might not, it doesn't really matter because seeing how the characters work everything out is worth the read alone. If you haven't read any of Slaughter's (yes, that is her real name!) work before I highly recommend that you do. You won't be disappointed!

Thanks for popping by!

Jan
x

Sunday, 17 August 2014

I Got Bored, So I Painted A Turtle...

So... Yesterday I painted a turtle... Allons-y!

When I say I painted a turtle, I don't mean I went to a pond, snatched a turtle and, started painting the poor little thing... On a side note, I have always wanted 4 turtles and to have them wear the TMNT bandanas, oh, and a rat too. Anyway, where was I, oh yes, I painted a Nickelodeon TMNT Series 1 Leonardo. I have wanted to have a go at customising for a while now, I watch a lot of customising videos on YouTube and admire greatly people who do it.

As money is, shall we say, lacking (thank you, Department For Work & Pensions and ATOS Healthcare for looking after disabled people the way you do!), I had to use figures and materials that I already had. Also, I figured, as this was my first foray into customising, it might be best if I tried a basic repaint before attempting parts swaps and sculpting.

The figure is great straight out of the box, it is quite posable and, the paintwork is nice, basic but nice.

AS HE APPEARS STRAIGHT OUT OF THE PACK

Don't get me wrong, I liked Leo as he was however, I wanted to try make him look more gritty, almost graphic novel like in appearance...



As I said before, I figured I best start with something simple so, Leo had a little repaint. To achieve the look I wanted I used washes in black and green. I allowed them to dry quite a bit before using cotton buds (q-tips) and a little nail polish remover to create the affect you see above.



I have to say, I am quite pleased with my results, obviously, as it is me, I am not totally satisfied with it and, I will be trying to perfect it. Hopefully soon I will be onto parts swapping and sculpting... That said, I need to get some figures and fodder before I can do that.


What do you think to my first attempt at customising? What was your first attempt? Leave me your thoughts, and links to your customs below.

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

Saturday, 16 August 2014

My Top 5 Nintendo 64 Games...

Whilst writing my '5 Things All... Ok, Pretty Much All Gamers Have Done'  post it got me reminiscing about my N64, so, I figured I'd share with you my Top 5 N64 Games... Allons-y!


I miss my N64... :'(


For this list, I have tried to place them in an order pertaining to how much I played them...


05 - Super Mario 64

One of the N64 launch titles, Super Mario 64  came as part of a bundle with my console... Admittedly, I only bought the bundle as the Golden Eye bundle was sold out. Anyway, Super Mario 64  took the already, hugely successful Super Mario games and made them three-dimensional. Super Mario 64 was in fact, one of the earliest 3D open world platform games ever made. Despite this however, it did practically everything right and, to this day, it's influence can be seen in many games.


04 - WWF Wrestlemania 2000
THE GUY ON THE LEFT, WITH WHAT LOOKS LIKE DETACHABLE ARMS IS, BELIEVE IT OR NOT...
DWAYNE JOHNSON

Based on WWE (formerly WWF, before a dispute with the World Wildlife Fund) wrestling, Wrestlemania 2000  took it's name from the biggest night in the WWE calender Wrestlemania... For those who don't know, wrestling is basically Eastenders but with baby oil and spandex. As a fan of wrestling, especially in the late 90's early 00's, this game, to me, was almost perfect. It had a massive roster, it even put some of the newer wrestling games to shame (I'm looking at you WWF Royal Rumble), you could create your own titles, you could create your own wrestlers and, you could also modify all the pre-loaded wrestlers on the game so you could keep them more show accurate. Wrestlemania 2000  also had various game modes and, quite an impressive array of match types again, putting some newer games to shame (again, I'm looking at you WWF Royal Rumble!).


03 - Mario Kart 64

Despite been a little easy in single player mode, Mario Kart 64,  due to it's multiplayer function is, quite possibly, one of the best racing games ever released. Incredibly easy to pick up, Mario Kart 64  was not just enjoyable but, it was also incredibly competitive and addictive when you got your friends involved... Many a time, Mario Kart 64  marathons would last at least 24 hours as we tried besting each other... There are only two other racing games that this has happened to me, Gran Turismo 4  and Forza Motorsport 3.


02 - The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time

This may come as a shock to many as, The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time  tops most 'Top N64 Games' lists on the net. Truth be told, if this list wasn't ordered by the amount I played them, it would probably be top. The gameplay in Ocarina Of Time  was incredible... The combat system worked seamlessly and, the lock on system worked without hindering you, something which modern game makers could learn from. Visually, it was also stunning, the kingdom of Hyrule looked incredible... Despite only reaching number 2 in this list, it is still one of my favourite games of all time!


01 - Golden Eye 007

Quite possibly the best first person shooter (FPS) ever made and, without doubt, the best Bond game ever made, Golden Eye 007  tops my list. Released around 2 years after the movie, Golden Eye 007  lets you become James Bond and reenact all the action you saw in the movie. There is no denying that the gameplay was amazing however, the reason it gets top spot on my list, and appears on so many 'Top' lists on the net is, the multiplayer. Golden Eye 007  allowed you and three friends to become various characters from Bond films and, compete in various multiplayer deathmatch games... These multiplayer sessions often resulted in days going by without you realising. The multiplayer gaming, despite it's obvious flaw, was a pioneer in the FPS multiplayer genre and, despite the many advances in gaming, has not, in my mind, been bettered.
Fun Fact - The multiplayer in Golden Eye 007  was added as an afterthought.


There you have it, my top 5 N64 games. Do you agree with my list? What is your favourite N64 game? Leave me your thoughts below.

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

Thursday, 14 August 2014

A Little Of My Photography - Doctor Who, Marvel, TMNT, Halo...

I'll be honest, I've kinda got writers block today, so, I thought I'd share with you a little of my photography... Allons-y!

As Jan and I collect toys, I often end up photographing them... Sometimes in our house with backgrounds I have knocked up out of card, sometimes out and about. You can get some odd looks when you're laying on the ground photographing toys, I can tell you. Anyway, I hope you enjoy looking at them...


First up... A little TMNT action with Donatello:


Next up...  A little Halo with Master Chief on the hunt:




Now... Some Marvel with Iron Man, Hulk and Bruce Banner:






Last, but by no means least... Don't Blink!



So there you have it, a little of my photographic work... I hope you enjoyed seeing it. If you want to see more of my work, please head over to my photography Facebook page.

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

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Rise Of The Tomb Raider An Xbox Exclusive?

It's looking like Playstation owners may have to fork out £400 for Rise Of The Tomb Raider... Allons-y!



Reports from the Gamescon video game event in Germany are stating that, Rise Of The Tomb Raider, the sequel to last years hugely sucessful, second reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise, will be an exclusive for Xbox.

Last years reboot of a reboot, was a multi-platform release, seeing it released on both Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 (and PC and MAC), it seems however, Microsoft has somehow (I'm not saying payoff, you can, but I'm not!) managed to convince Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics to only play ball with them.

It is unclear as to whether this exclusivity is for a set amount of time after it's release or, if it is permanent. Either way, this could be an attempt by Microsoft to try make some sales of their console, after all, figures at the moment show the Playstation 4 is outselling it by around 2 million units.

Whatever the case, Playstation fans are understandably p****d by this move, after all, Tomb Raider started it's life on the Playstation back in 1997, back in the days when Lara was more Lolo Ferrari and less Gal Gadot.

What are your thoughts on this move by Microsoft? Leave me your thoughts below.

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

Yesterday, The World Became A Lot Less Funny!

Yesterday, the world became a lot less funny when Robin Williams passed away...



I've toyed with the idea of doing this for a few hours now... I'm always a little wary of posting tributes to celebrities, after all, I never actually knew them. Having said that, despite having never met him, Robin Williams played quite a large part in my childhood.

As I have mentioned briefly in the past, I didn't have the best of upbringings (admittedly, it was probably far easier than many people had or, are currently going through) and, one of the ways I used to 'escape' from it was to immerse myself in films. This is where Robin Williams entered my life... His films, such as Jumanji, Aladdin and Mrs Doubtfire, to name but a few, provided me with this escape and, more importantly, provided me with laughs and happiness in dark times... I knew I could rely on his films to provide comic relief when times were tough, I know I will always be able to, and for this, I will be forever grateful!



The phrase 'at least something good has come from this tragedy' has always struck me as a little odd, however, in reading tweets, Facebook posts etc about Robin Williams passing, it kind of makes sense. Since his passing (from apparent suicide as a result of depression, for those who don't know), people are reaching out to one another, people are discussing depressions rather than shying away from it like it's some embarrassing rash, it may even save a life. I realise that this may not bring comfort to his family and, it won't bring him back but, I hope it eases their suffering, even a miniscule amount knowing that he has, quite possible, helped people.

Really, this somewhat shambles of a post, that I have now written three times, is really just a long winded way for me to say...

RIP Mr Williams and, thank you for the happiness your talent has brought my life, you may be gone but your genius will live on forever!



If you are suffering with depression, you are not alone, please try to talk to someone, be it, a friend, a family member, a teacher, a colleague etc... If you feel you can't talk to someone you know, there are many organisation you can contact, please, please contact one of them... I have listed some below (if you know of one I haven't listed, please leave it in the comments below so we can help people!)

UK & ROI
Samaritans (UK)  08457 90 90 90
Samaritans (ROI)  116 123

USA
Suicide Prevention Life Line (USA)  1-800-273-8255

Canada
Suicide Action Montreal 514-723-4000
Toronto Distress Center 416-408-4357
Manitoba Suicide Line 1-877-435-7170

Monday, 11 August 2014

5 Things All... Ok, Pretty Much All Gamers Have Done

When it comes to games, there are usually multiple ways to go about reaching your goals, meaning, most peoples experiences are different. That said, there are some things, whilst not necessarily things the developers intended us to do, that, at one point or another, pretty much everybody has done. Let's take a look at 5 of them... Allons-y!


05: Lost After Attempting A Shortcut - 
Mario Kart 64

Strictly speaking, messing up most of the shortcuts in Mario Kart 64 will not leave you lagging in last place, that is of course, with the exception of Rainbow Road... We've all done it, performed a rocket start/completed a lap, steered over to the left on the first hill just after the line, jumped the barrier and drifted slowly through space... Soooooooo sloooooooowwwwwwlllly! You get the point... You drift slowly towards the track (roughly, a good halfway around the course), only to realise you have overshot it. At this point you are helpless, all you can do is watch as you slowly drift, for what feels like an eternity, past the track. Eventually, you get picked up by a Lakitu, deposited neatly back at the start line, just in time to see that your opponents are where you would be if you had landed your attempt... With the exception of your rivals making some major mistakes, that's pretty much your race over.



04: Locked Winston In The Freezer - 
Tomb Raider 2

In the early days of the Tomb Raider franchise, it was quite well known for a few, well, a couple of reasons. Firstly, and probably mainly was, Lara's urm, how to put this carefully, proportions. I get the feeling, the Tomb Raider developers still hadn't come to terms with the idea that girls, or gir...gir... girls, as they probably refered to them, played games so, aimed them at boys. Tomb Raider's other point of fame was, when Lara exerted herself, or died, she sounded like a porn actress... For my sweet, innocent readers (and liers trying to convince their girlfriend/wife etc that they've never seen porn), she sounded like modern day female tennis players. These two facts combined spawned legend of a nude cheat, which sort of gets me onto my point. Another legend that floated around was, the ability to kill Lara's butler, Winston. All you had to do was lock him in the walk-in freezer, for an unknown amount of time and he would die... Cue hordes of gamers locking Winston in the freezer the spending hours running around the mansion... The makers really didn't seem to like Winston, you could lock him in the freezer in Tomb Raider 3 and, use him as target practice.



03: Killed Your Sims - 
The Sims

You spend hours, days, weeks, building up your house and family, what's the only logical thing to do... That's right, destroy it, destroy it all... For some reason, whenever people play The Sims, an evil, from somewhere deep inside them starts to rear it's ugly head... Think I'm wrong? Consider this... Practically everybody who has played The Sims has, at some point... Removed the Sims means of escape, then, instructed them to cook, before they completed it, told them to walk away and... Hey presto, fire. They then sat back and watched them burn (sometimes adding wicker baskets to speed it up). Not convinced? Another age old method to dispatch of annoying Sims is to, let them swim in the outdoor pool then, remove the ladder and wait for them to drown. Despite the fact The Sims is designed as a family friendly game, at one point or another, most Sims players have commited murder... Virtual murder of course!



02: Watching Your Opponents Screen - 
Goldeneye

Whilst not limited to Goldeneye, I'm using it as reference as it is one of my all time favourite first person shooters... Goldeneye's multiplayer, as is the case with any consoles offline multiplayer match, has a major flaw, the ability to see each others screen. I could go on about people having an honour system, promising to not look at each other screen but, lets face it, that would be bull. Nobody wants to come last in a multiplayer matches, it's an embarrassment so, we've all spied our opponents screen to see where they are and, used this to get a couple of sneaky kills.



01: Acted Like A Law Abiding Citizen - 
Grand Theft Auto (Any)

There's only so long you can spend on Grand Theft Auto, blowing things up, murdering people, stealing cars etc, before you need a rest or you want to try something new... And, what is it you do then you ask... Well, you act like a law abiding citizen. Now, this may come as a shock to the newspapers but, at some point or another, players of Grand Theft Auto have acted like decent human beings in the game... You there, from the Daily Mail, I'll give you a moment to recover before I continue... Believe it or not, players have bought cars, not stolen them, driven courteously, obeyed traffic lights, instead of shooting people, players visited a firing range, the list goes on... Players have even been known to partake in taxi driver jobs where, safe, considerate driving is rewarded... Admittedly, this doesn't last long, lets face it, we don't play games to do stuff we do in everyday life plus, blowing stuff up is cool!



So there you have it, 5 things pretty much all gamers have done. Have you done any or all of these thing? What other things do you think all gamers have done? Leave me your thoughts below.

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

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Terrible Films I love - 03: Freddy Vs Jason

It's about time I did another 'Terrible Films I Love'. For this entry, I am going to take a look at a film that mostly received, less than positive reviews from critics... Freddy Vs Jason... Allons-y!



As was with the case with my previous 'Terrible Films I Love' entry Halloween, Freddy Vs Jason was in no way a financial flop. On an estimated budget of $30 million, it made an estimated $115 million at the box office which, has to be said, is great for a 'slasher' flick. It is however, disliked by a large portion of critics, with an approval rating of less than 40% (at time of writing) on Rotten Tomatoes and, that is why it is on my list.

Freddy Vs Jason is a crossover between A Nightmare On Elm Street  and Friday The 13th,  pitting the movies antagonist's against each other in a violent, bloody showdown... It also happens to be the last film in each movie franchise before they were rebooted... Coincidence?

In the movie, Freddy Krueger, played by horror legend Robert Englund, has grown incapable of entering the dreams of the teens in Springwood, Ohio. This is, in part, due to the passage of time however, it is mainly due to the towns adults incarcerating, and drugging, any teens with a knowledge of him in order to keep the other teenages unaware of his existence. In order to regain his power, Freddy manipulates Jason Voorhees, played by Ken Kirzinger, into resurrecting himself, travelling to Springwood and murdering it's teenagers. This causes fear, panic and rumours of Freddy's return thus, empowering him to return. Despite Freddy having regained his power, Jason doesn't (or is it can't?) stop killing, this deprives Freddy of potential victims, which angers him, and this, ultimately, causes the showdown between the two... No offence to Ken Kirzinger but (I realise saying that doesn't mean it isn't offensive), I personally wish they had Kane Hodder as Jason, it would have been amazing to see the two slasher legends face off!


IS IT JUST ME OR, DOES THIS LOOK LIKE IT COULD BE A ROMANTIC
MOVIE POSTER WITH A LITTLE TWEAK???


Many reviewers have issues with the storyline and, whilst there is undoubtedly flaws, lets face it, we don't watch slasher films for the storyline, it isn't Forrest Gump.

Whilst most of the kills in the movie aren't anything new (with the possible exception of the 'bed' kill), they are still entertaining and reminiscent of the slasher films of old, which I like... Also, Jason's killing spree, through a corn field rave, whilst on fire, is well executed and very entertaining!

The films last 20 minutes or so is the showdown we have all waited to see since Jason Goes To Hell and, it doesn't disappoint. Freddy and Jason slug it out to the bitter end, not only using their respective weapons (Freddy's razor glove and Jason's machette), but anything and everything they can get their hands on... Jason even using Freddy's razor gloved hand!

Whilst the movie will never be perfect for all Freddy and Jason fans, it is still an enjoyable, bloody battle between two giants of slasher movies... What more could you want?


So there you have it, another 'terrible' film I love. Have you seen Freddy Vs Jason? What did you think of it? Leave me your thoughts below.

Oh... Nearly forgot, I stumbled upon some shots I took a while back, on my Facebook page. I thought you may like to see them as a little 'bonus' for reading my musings!






















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

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Warner Brothers Announce 9 Upcoming DC Comics Movie Release Dates...

Warner Brothers have recently announced, 9 upcoming release dates for movies based on DC Comics... Allons-y!



DC fans can rejoice, Warner Brothers have recently released some information regarding 9 upcoming DC movies... I say information, they have released the dates...

05th August 2016 - Untitled DC Film
23rd June 2017 -  Untitled DC Film
17th November 2017 - Untitled DC Film
23rd March 2018 - Untitled DC Film
27th July 2018 - Untitled DC Film
05th April 2019 - Untitled DC Film
14th June 2019 - Untitled DC Film
03rd April 2020 - Untitled DC Film
19th June 2020 - Untitled DC Film

As you can see, Warner Brothers haven't identified any of the movies, leaving fans, guessing for the time being. Judging by the amount of casting news coming thick and fast for Batman V Superman it's probably a safe bet that some of the slots will be taken up by Justice League members... This is possibly bad news for Sheldon Cooper as it means we might see an Aquaman film.

Which DC characters do you think we will be seeing? Leave me your thoughts below.

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

Arachnophobia... The Film That Turned Me Into A 6'1" Wimp!

How often have you heard people say something like 'that film was so scary, it's made me afraid of...' or, 'that could really happen, now I'm scared of...' and thought to yourself, idiots? I have to admit, I used to think it quite often. I recently however remembered a film I saw when I was younger, a film that I am relatively sure caused me some issues, Arachnophobia... Allons-y!



Released in 1990, Arachnophobia  is a horror comedy (Comedy? Seriously? That s**t's scary!) about a newly discovered Venezuelan spider, accidentally transported to a small American town, it produces a new, deadly race of spiders that kills the towns residents... The evil eight legged b*****ds!!!

When Arachnophobia  came out, I was only 4. Obviously I didn't see it at 4 years old, not through any form of parental intervention, it was just I had better things to do, like run around (oh how times have changed). I must have been around 8 or 9 when I saw Arachnophobia, for the life in me though, I don't know how me seeing it came about. Before seeing the film, I had no issue with spiders, I could quite easily deal with them (in a non-lethal way) with no fuss. Since seeing it, well, that's a whole other story... Now if I see a spider, or sometimes just an image, I sweat, I shake, I get panicky and flustered. Generally, if there's a spider, I'm a useless mess until it's either, a sufficient distance from me that I know it won't get me (I know, it sounds pathetic), or, it's dead (I know, it's cruel). Having racked my brain about this, the only conclussion I can come to is, Arachnophobia  is responsible for my arachnophobia.

Oh well, just avoid spiders you might think, it's easy enough isn't it... I wish! I have two phobias spiders and heights... Well, landing after falling from a height (incidentally, I don't know when or why that came on). Anyway, I don't know if it's just my brain, or others with phobias suffer it too but, my brain insists on making me 'confront' them. If I'm parked in a multi-story car park, I have to look over the edge, if I'm walking near a drop of some sort, I have to look over... My brain is a d**k! Avoiding spiders is just as hard! As a photographer, something I love doing is going out, photographing nature. I love to photograph birds, animals, flowers, insects etc and, without fail, I will end up seeing a spider and, my brain will insist I shoot it...

See!!!


It's not just a one off... My brain likes to torture me!!!

So there you have it, my somewhat embarrassing admission about the one and only film that has ever truly scared me... What film has truly scared you? Do you have a phobia? If you have a phobia, does your brain insist you 'confront' it? Leave me your thougts below.

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