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May, 2017:

Weekly Wednesday Haul – Toaster Car Edition

Hot Wheels are bad for me.  I don’t really collect Hot Wheels and I don’t buy a lot of them, but they are cheap enough to end up being an impulse buy, especially when things have been dry in other areas.  Primarily I buy movie cars, which includes The Fast and the Furious and every Batmobile.  My Batmobile buying has gotten bad enough that I’ve ended up with some dupes because I didn’t realize I had a particular Batmobile.

I generally can push off oddity cars unless I find something I really want, ie, a movie car.  In this case, I found this Simpson’s Car.

I love the little dent on the front it has.  It’ll go well with my The Homer for sure.  Picking up this little car spurred me to throw a few more on the pile, like this truck that’s also a toaster.

It’s slightly disappointing because, while the toast goes down, it doesn’t lock down and spring load up in any way.  Still, I’m a sucker for these gimmicky cars which is why I also picked up this truck with a toilet attached.

This one ended up being better than expected because the toilet seat flips up and down as it rolls along, which is awesome.

Weekly Wednesday Haul: Out of Town Deals Edition

So last weekend, I went out of town to help my brother move.  After everything was settling down we went out running around his new area a bit and one of the stops was the local Toys R Us (and Ross).  Across these stores, I picked up Marvel Legends Nuke, Sherlock Holmes, and a sweet Classic Adam West Batman with Batcave.  All on some sort of mark down or clearance.

All of these are figures I kind of wanted on some level but didn’t really want want, so finding them for less is definitely fortuitous.  Since Ross has been getting the Giant Man wave in, I’ve been picking them up in order to build Giant Man.  It turns out I needed more of them than I remembered and I can’t find the leg and arm I already had.  They will turn up, they are probably just packed for the move.

Sherlock is neat, but I forgot that he’s a smaller 5-5.5″ scale range, so he’s a little short, but he’ll work.

Batman is really neat, and as simple as it is, the BatComputer is cooler than I expected.  The cardboard wall and computer turn around to become the office entrance to the Batcave.  It’s a simple but neat effect.  Also, having an Adam West Batman will be fun for any future photos.

Review – Movie – Warcraft (2016)

I have to say, I was pretty excited to see the Warcraft movie.  I don’t currently play World of Warcraft but I got pretty deep into the game in recent years.  I played all of the original Warcraft games back in the day as well, especially Warcraft 2.  I also enjoy films such as The Lord of the Rings, which kind of felt like the same idea, a large sweeping epic.

Ultimately, I ended up really let down by this movie.  I’m not sure that it’s really a bad movie, it’s just not particularly amazing, despite the pretty impressive visuals.  The entire film, something just felt really off.  I worry a bit that my experience with the video game series was part of the reason for the sense of distraction I felt throughout the movie.  Warcraft isn’t a straight retelling of the Warcraft story, it’s simply, heavily influence by the lore.

It’s also important to know that the movie Warcraft is intended to be based more on the video game Warcraft, that old RTS game, and not World of Warcraft or the books.  This feels like it shouldn’t be notable, but it is, because World of Warcraft has expanded and mildly retconned things to make them work for it’s story.  It’s also worth pointing out because the original Warcraft didn’t exactly have an amazing, deep story.  Orcs come through the Dark Portal, Orca and Humans battle it out in a series of medieval battles.

All of the proper players are present on both sides, Gul’dan, Doomhammer, Blackhand, King Wrynn, Lothar, Medivh, Khadgar are all characters who would have had some hand in the events of this time period of the Lore.  The movie shows the Orcs baely leaving the area around the Dark Portal, though the game was a large war across several regions and Stormwind was eventually raided by Orcs.  I mostly wanted to mention this because the movie presents a really odd mix of set up for sequels while not quite explaining things that really could be important later in sequels.

The main set up element is Durotan’s Orc baby, who makes several appearances in the film though doesn’t do much, since he is a baby.  This baby orc, in the Lore will grow up to be Thrall, aka Green Jesus, who is the first leader and founder of the modern Horde.  The real missed opportunities though come from what feels like the complete omission of anything before the orcs enter the portal at the start of the movie.

I really feel like even a narrated montage of events leading up to why the Orcs are entering the portal would have really helped.  There isn’t any mention of Sargeras or the Burning Legion that I recall, though Fel Energy is a large part of the plot.  There also isn’t any mention of Grom Hellscream.  Grom isn’t part of the “First War” featured in this film, but he was the first Orc to be corrupted by the Blood of Mannoroth which lead to the downfall and corruption of the Orcs.  He later becomes friends with Thrall and in general is a very pivotal character in many later plot elements.  He is also the father of Garrosh Hellscream, though it would take a dozen movies to get to the events that make Garrosh Hellscream important.  Maybe the plan is to tell his story with flashbacks in a later film.

Like I said, the little things like this kept coming up as distractions, which may have tainted my enjoyment of the film, though there’s definitely more to it.  It’s easy to compare this movie to The Lord of the Rings, both are grand tales of high fantasy with a large following of fans.  Visually the effects, especially the orcs look great, but there’s also this odd factor where everything just feels extremely clean, TOO clean.  You never really get the feel for the grittiness of the war, it just feels, much like the original game, like an excuse to have some Orcs and Humans fight each other.

The other major problem is the schizoid all over the place plot.  This is also part of where a bit more fleshing out of the back story would have really helped a lot.  Giving us some better glimpses as to the corruption that seduced Gul’Dan and Medivh would have gone a long way to show the motivation behind these two.  A montage sequence at the opening of the power of Sargeras (effectively, the devil), and the Burning Legion, and their quest for power and how it led to the fall of the once peaceful and noble Orcs would have done a lot to make characters like Durotan and Garona, who question the actions of their people, more sympathetic.  Instead the movie just opens on a giant portal and Gul’dan sucking the life from a bunch of blue people to power said portal.  No real premise provided.

Ultimately, while I did find this film disappointing, I accept that the early Lore of the Warcraft universe is in fact, kind of bland.  There’s set up in this movie to eventually to run through Thrall’s story, which could easily have interweaving bits setting up the story of Arthas.  Both of these events are really good plot lines and would make incredible movies.  I just hope that the poor performance of this film doesn’t hurt the chances for sequels, because I’d love to see Thrall’s time as a gladiator and his eventual creation of the Horde on the big screen.  I’d definitely love to see the fall of Arthas as well, as his story is such a tragic tale that would work well as a movie.  While Warcraft kind of falls flat as a film, I’m holding out hope that things can get better in some sequels.  It’s just so bad this weak initial story pretty much has to be told first, since it’s the foundation of everything else

DotEMU is Closing

Just  heads up to the gamers out there, if you’ve ever purchased anything from lesser known online game site, DotEMU, the store is closing June 1st.

After June 1st, you will no longer be able to download your games.  Everythinng is DRM, similar to GOG.com so the downloaded install files will work just fine in the future.  I know this isn’t a super popular store front but I was surprised to find I have a dozen or so titles available that I don’t have on other platforms.  So it may be worth checking into if it’s a site you’ve heard of or been to in the past.

What’s I’m Looking Forward to in Marvel TV

As Agents of SHIELD winds down with an uncertain future, there’s still quite a bit to look forward to in the world of Marvel TV.  I worry it may end up being too much.

The Inhumans (ABC)

Instead of giving us the cancelled SHIELD spin off in Most Wanted, it seems ABC has opted to give us The Inhumans.  The Inhumans has been in a bit of production hell for a while now.  Originally it was going to come out as a movie, before Infinity War, back when Infinity war was just one movie, I think.  That hasn’t been the case for a while.  At one point it was going to happen as a movie in something crazy like 2020 (back in 2015-16 this seemed WAY out) which kind of felt like there was no way Marvel could keep up the momentum that long.  SHIELD started featuring Inhuman characters in it’s plots a while ago as well.  The Inhumans has finally found a place, as a TV series, on ABC.

Probably confusing things a bit, The Inhumans show has pretty much nothing to do with SHIELD’s Inhumans.  Quake and Yo-yo probably won’t even get a cameo, though maybe they will get a vague mention.  The Inhumans follows what is known as The Inhumans Royal Family, Black Bolt, Medusa, Karnak, Gorgon, Triton, Crystal, Lockjaw, and Maximus the Mad.  These guys are all sort of the top dogs of The Inhuman world, where characters like Yo-yo and Quake, who were “born” later from Terrigin, are basically nobody scrubs.  Something along those lines.  I feel like even with the lack of references between everything, The Inhumans would have to at least acknowledge what’s been happening in SHIELD on some level.

I am somewhat disappointed Vin Diesel won’t get to be Black Bolt though.  He’s stated Black Bolt is one of his favorite characters and he kind of looks like Black Bolt.  Vin Diesel already does the voice of Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, but Black Bolt never speaks, his voice is so powerful it destroys things when he speaks.  It would work out really well to double dip on Vin Diesel in the MCU.

Runaways (Hulu)

I’m kind of stoked for Runaways, because it is a fun and different sort of story in the Marvel world.  The short of it, all of these kids discover they have super powers, just after discovering their parents are part of a secret group of Super villains known as The Pride.  So they runaway, and vow to stop their parents.  It’s fantastical powers, on a pretty localized level.  There was a teaser video shown somewhere that suggest this is going to be fairly faithful to the comics, at least initially.  The characters and outfits all look pretty much as you would expect them to look.  Molly looks like she might be a bit older.

Speaking of Molly, I believe this is part of the MCU proper, not a spin off or an X-men Universe show like Legion.  Molly in the comics however is a mutant, which is a no-no for the MCU since Fox owns Mutants.  They could fo course change this, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are also mutants, but they just sort of glossed over that in Age of Ultron.  There was a loop hole giving the MCU those two since Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are closely associated with The Avengers, I’m sure something similar gives them rights to Molly, though they still can’t use The M word.  Maybe she’ll be reconned as Inhuman, maybe they will just avoid the issue completely and she will simply, manifest powers, somewhat at random.

The main issue I have with this show is that it’s on Hulu, which I don’t subscribe to.  I guess there is always a One Month trial or something.

Cloak and Dagger (Freeform)

Cloak and Dagger is another one that looks pretty interesting.  I admit, I’m not super sure on the details behind these two, though I do know they had a brief cameo in The Runaways comic, early on, which could easily lead to a brief crossover early on in these shows.  Basically, they have a weird sort of symbiotic relationship using themey light and dark abilities.  Cloak wears a large cloak that acts as a portal to other places and Dagger manifests light shards, or something.

The trailer looks pretty interesting at least.

 

 

The New Warriors

Marvel’s New Warriors is the latest announcement is the Marvel TV world.  I’m actually a bit worried about this one.  I like the line up, but I worry it will be a little too samey to Runaways in it’s presentation.  It also has Squirrel Girl, whos is fun in a meme sort of way but I’m not so sure in an actual manifestation sort of way.  It’s also a bit too bad this show didn’t debute a few years ago since The New Warriors were the catalyst for The Civil War in the comic iteration.  They were effectively a bunch of fuck ups who somehow landed a reality show gig fighting bad guys, who were all nobody level bad guys.  Until they decided to up the ante and attack some actual super powered villains.  During the ensuing fight, one of the bad guys blew up in a massive explosion which wiped out several members of the team and a lot of a small town, including a school full of children.  This spurred on the legislation to track and register super powered individuals, at least in the comics.

I’m looking forward to getting Debrii in the MCU though, I liked her character and powers in the comics.

The Defenders (Netflix)

Then of course, there’s the culmination of The Defenders on Netflix. We finally get the culmination of Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Danny Rand in The Defenders.  It looks pretty fun, and it’ll be interesting to see how they handle things following up.  Maybe we’ll get Heroes for Hire as a followup.  Considering how much people seem to dislike the Iron Fist series, chaining him to Luke Cage might be a good way to keep him around without continuing iron Fist as a series.

 

Recap – Agents of SHIELD S04E19 and 20 – Out of the Frying Pan Edition

Yeah, I’m slacking, I skipped last week.  It’s not even that I missed the episode or didn’t have time, I just, didn’t do the write up.  Like I mentioned a bit in the Episode 18 Recap, while I enjoy the trip down memory lane, there just feels like not a lot is actually happening here, so I’m pretty much just glossing over Episode 19, though more and more Fake Ward seems to understand what’s going on.  I still really want him to pass into the real world.

Which seems possible and likely.

Episode 20 sees what is essentially the culmination of The Framework.  AIDA completed her project and becomes a real girl, though she still seems to have some sort of crazy yet to be explained abilities.  Everyone else except Mack finally wake up and free themselves from the dream.  Mack, pretty expectedly, opted to remain in The Framework, with his daughter Hope.  Daisy didn’t seem to push him too hard, or even take the route taken with Fitz where they just knock him out and drop him in the portal.  I guess she just sort of assumed they could free him from the Outside, though given previews for the next episode, that may or may not happen.

Speaking of Daisy, I was really expecting some sort of Matrix moment involving either her or Coulson, basically,, killed in The Framework, but because they realize it’s fake, they “wake up” and don’t actually die.  Especially considering Daisy was holding the portal open using her Quake Powers (didn’t we do this plot once already).  I figured there wouldn’t be any way for her to pass through the portal while also holding it open.  Apparently the writers couldn’t figure this out either, since it just sort of cuts away and she wakes up.

The real long term consequence here will be that everyone remembers the events from within The Framework.  For Coulson and May, it’s just sort of an odd sort of memory, for Fitz, it seems like it’s kind of fucked him up again, since he now suddenly realize just what he did to Agnes, among others.

I also wanted to mention how great it was for Radcliffe to get his redemption, and how it worked in the overall sense pretty damn well.  Being betrayed by AIDA and seeing the end result of his dream twisted and used against him really made his change pretty convincing.  He was always pretty misguided in his efforts but seemed to mostly mean well.  I mean all he really wanted was to created the perfect VR world for himself and Agnes to live out their days.  Hell that was pretty much the entire point of AIDA originally, to let Agnes live on as a robot.

So it seems there are two episodes left, let’s get some predictions.  It’s been mentioned around the news outlets that Ghost Rider will return for the final episode, which seems like it’s probably going to end up being a showdown with AIDA and a rescue mission to retrieve Fitz.  Next Episode, based on the previews, looks to be mostly a lot of escapes.  Coulson and May on the sub get to escape from the Superior and the apparently sinking sub.  Mack gets to maybe escape from drowning in the real world if he decides to escape from The Framework, maybe he drowns but creates a new body with the machine AIDA used, though considering that machine is on the sub that’s sinking, that might be hard.  There’s also the need for the rest of the remaining SHIELD agents on The failing Zephyr, Simmons, Daisy, Yo-yo and the other flunkies, to escape the impending attack by The Superior’s planes.  Of course having Quake now awake could make short work of that.

The main things that seem up in the air, aside from if there will be a Season 5.  How will Mack get rescued.  I can’t imagine they kill him off permanently.  Maybe Mack dies and the real world end of the transfer device gets destroyed in the sub, but Fitz is able to build a second one, bringing Mack and Hope back.  What role will Ghost Rider play?  I have a feeling it will mostly just be some sort of muscle along side Daisy and Yo-yo to deal with AIDA.  Lastly, will Fake Ward find his way out of the Framework and return yet again for a new season as another different character.  It’s actually kind of a fun and pretty well done gimmick.

Review – S.H. Figuarts Mace Windu

I have a sort of general philosophy I like to follow when writing reviews. I like to give good points and bad points and let the reader sort of make the final conclusion on if something seems good or not.  There are really too many subjective factors to give a definite yay or nay on most things.

SH Figuarts Mace Windu

Unfortunately, I don’t really have much to say about Figuarts Mace Window that is negative.  I really just don’t, the figure is damn near perfect and it’s definitely the best toy Mace Windu us ever going to get.  I suppose that, as a Star Wars Figuarts, he’s a little pricey than some people might want to pay.  Also the cuts for his joints are a little ugly looking in some poses.  But these are kind of nitpicky level complaints.

SH Figuarts Mace Windu

Mace Windu includes 6 sets of hands, and 2 heads, one angry and one more smug/neutral.  He also includes 2 light sabers, one with a peg to hang off of his belt and the other to be held, with or without the blade.

SH Figuarts Mace Windu

The sculpt on everything is amazing, which is helped by the fantastic paint job.  The heads do a spot on job of capturing Samuel L. Jackson down to little wrinkles in his forehead.

SH Figuarts Mace Windu

He pose ability and stability are also great for a lot of really exceptional dynamic posing.  His open hands are great for “force action”.  He can perfectly wield his light saber in one or two hands.  The details on the head and expression work great for attacks and neutral poses.

SH Figuarts Mace Windu

Basically what I’m saying is, if this figure interests you, he’s great and well worth picking up.  It’s every bit as awesome as it looks, probably more so.