Monday, 29 April 2013

Film Reaction: IRON MAN 3

Knowing all too well the sight of Pepper's 'bedroom hair',
Tony's suits decide to step out for a late lunch and give the couple some room.
We're really up to the third Iron Man film already?  Wow.  I don't really know how to feel about that; on the one hand, it still feels like barely any time at all since I was astounded to hear that the first would actually become a reality, so this crap is starting to make me feel really old.  But on the other hand, it's testament to the bold (but well-deserved) confidence that Marvel Studios have had with their multi-property 'Avengers Series' movies to date, and I love the fact that they've got so sure a handle on everything about their little universe right now.  Plus of course, Iron Man was and is my nostalgic favourite amongst all superheroes, for admittedly simple reasons - I'd already fallen for both the '80s Transformers series and '90s Spider-Man series before I even knew Tony Stark had his own show, and man, getting Marvel Universe action AND robots at the same time?  Mana from heaven for Junior Craig.  Iron Man 1 remains to this day one of my all-time favourite movies - I gladly forgive its somewhat flimsy 3rd act for how deftly it flies through the preceding 70 minutes, and not since Raimi's Spider-Man had any single comic book movie feel so right, like every single part and piece was operating at full capacity with nary a hint of strain.  And Iron Man 2 was, well, it was alright.  Fun, inoffensive, its greatest crime being...laziness?  3 years on, it seems pretty clear that the sequel was something of a rushed job, made purely since the first had done such good business that Marvel couldn't pass up the chance of lightning striking twice, and though it set up a few elements that bore fruit in Avengers (Assemble) I expect there was already a plan to put those pieces in motion during Thor and Captain America.  Even so, I can't bring myself to hate a movie that realised armour-in-a-suitcase.
But all of that's behind us now anyway, since it's time for 'Phase 2', with the 3rd (last?) solo outing for Tony Stark and his tin can, facing off against his most sinister enemy yet - that unnamed, unknowable force that prevents the 3rd movie in any series living up to its predecessors!
Don't worry though, he kicks its ass.  (POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOLLOW)

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Wrestling: SHINE 9 In Review

Ooo pretty colours!
For someone who cares as much about pro wrestling as I do, you wouldn't know it from the contents of this blog so far.  Let's change that!
Shine Wrestling is a Florida-based all-womens indy outfit, ostensibly started with the aim of providing talent from SHIMMER and similar promotions with more regular work (SHIMMER generally makes its money from DVD sales and tapes multiple releases' worth over a single long weekend per year).  However, the production staff behind Shine - and of course the wrestlers involved - have done such a stellar job with the group that it's almost outgrown its own inspiration, and shows no sign of stopping.  That being the case, it's a surprise that only now, with the 9th monthly show, that the company has begun the road toward crowning its first World...Floridian?...let's just say 'champion', alright?  They'll have a belt.  Doesn't matter what fraction of the globe it claims to cover if there's only 1 of them.
Anyways, I bloody love Shine - it's basically the only wrestling I'm willing to pay actual money for right now (the odd New Japan supershows aside) and it's worth talking about why.  So here's my rundown of Shine 9, which aired live from The Orpheum in Ybor City the night of April 19th, 2013.
(or, for me, really damn early in the morning of April 20th, because timezones)

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Toy Review: G.I. Joe Kre-Ons Wave 1 + Checkpoint Alpha

Let the battle begin!
Also: admire my hamfisted efforts to erect a white background for
better pics.  Blergh.
Long-time readers of this blog do not need to be reminded of my fascination with G.I. Joe - actually, nobody does, since my last post was on the subject...but of all the things I'd previously wished for from the toys, 'get even smaller' was not on the list.  That said, when Hasbro announced the first bunch of Joe products for their Kre-o building block range, I was smitten at first sight, albeit cautiously so.  Lego was an obsession of mine growing up, of course, but I'd also been hooked into buying some of their newer superhero-themed sets - getting some Joes on the same scale who could interact with dinky Superman, Captain America and co.?  Intriguing.
I dub this piece 'Battle of the Ninja Ziggurat'.
I do not entirely know what a ziggurat is.
So I went and bought the cheapest set, Checkpoint Alpha, and...pretty much fell in love with the thing, and with thanks to a very helpful eBay seller I also got my grubby hands on the full wave of 12 mini-figures (Kre-ons) sold individually in blind bags.  None of this stuff seems destined to make it beyond America, thanks to Hasbro having chickened out over marketing the Joe brand internationally after the mess they made with the Rise of Cobra toys (too much early stock clogging up shelves, limited promotion, overestimating production etc.) - which is a shame since, taken on their own merits, I think these little guys have the potential to catch on in a way their 4" progenitors never did.

Monday, 1 April 2013


And what sort of time do you call this...?

Anyone who has been reading this blog since the early days (so, none of you) don't need reminding of this, but I'm one of those weird people that really, genuinely loved 'G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra', and I give that movie all the credit for kickstarting my enthusiasm for all things Joe, which four years and over a hundred 4-inch plastic men later, shows no sign of halting.  Of course, us weird people are in the minority, which explains why it's taken so long to bolt together a sequel (it's still kinda disturbing that a movie can make a $300million+ profit and be considered a commercial dud...) and why, when it was all good and ready to debut, Paramount chickened out and delayed it by nearly a whole year so they could make it 3D.  Part of me - a very vocal part of me - considers it a knock on the Joes' honour that some douchey film execs didn't think they could hold their own against hands-down the worst interpretation of Spider-Man witnessed by a paying audience in history, but then I guess they were right, since that bloody awful reboot killed at the box office and gave me another few thousand reasons to doubt the existence of a benevolent god.

Still, it's here now, at last, and having caught a late afternoon showing on the 28th March with my folks as a belated birthday thing - and let the memories slosh around in my head for a while - I think I'm ready to put some concrete opinions down.  Good ones, thankfully.  (WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW)

(And seriously, f*** everything about Amazing Spider-Man)