Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Went to see The X-Files: I Want to Believe


    Went to see The X-Files: I Want to Believe (Chris Carter, 2008). Written by Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz, just like the movie The X-Files (Rob Bowman, 1998). I was a huge fan of the TV series. I thought the Bowman movie was acceptable. But this? How could you? What a disaster. What a dreadful appalling abominable failure, an utter failure in every possible respect! Bad story, badly filmed, boring. Talk about stretching your willing suspension of disbelief, there's nothing even remotely believable, and I'm not talking about monsters or aliens. This movie clearly stems from the notion that every viewer is a brainless moron. It's insulting to the FBI, to the medical profession, to gays, to moviegoers worldwide, etc.

    BE CAREFUL: SPOILER. STOP READING HERE:

    Scully is suddenly a brain surgeon, and guess how she prepares for an operation: she googles it! A pedophiliac priest molests a choir boy, the choir boy becomes a homosexual (of course, everybody knows that pedophiles and homosexuals are the same thing, right?), and then falls in love with a guy and, get this, marries him in Massachusetts, so that they can become married twisted mass-murderers (of course, everybody knows that murderers and homosexuals are the same thing, right?). Even the love story between Scully and Mulder is boring and utterly unconvincing. What has happened to genius Chris Carter? Has he been abducted by aliens and replaced by some evil untalented pod? Did David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson need money that desperately? And I don't even want to talk about the pseudo theological bits, ugh. Give me The House of Mirth (Terence Davies, 2000) and Californication any day. I am angry.

Post Title

Went to see The X-Files: I Want to Believe


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2008/07/went-to-see-x-files-i-want-to-believe.html


Visit justin bieber for Daily Updated fashion photography Collection

Watched DVD: Turistas



    Watched DVD: Turistas (John Stockwell, 2006). No, this is not a movie about unruly bowel movements linked to eating or drinking in untoward countries. It's a horror movie of sorts. Not uninteresting storyline. Gorgeous Latin American scenery. Good-looking people wearing little. Josh Duhamel and Aussie Melissa George, mostly.

Post Title

Watched DVD: Turistas


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2008/07/watched-dvd-turistas.html


Visit justin bieber for Daily Updated fashion photography Collection

Watching DVDs: The OC Season 2






    Watching DVDs: The OC Season 2. Highly addictive. Not as tame as Gilmore Girls, but almost.

Post Title

Watching DVDs: The OC Season 2


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2008/07/watching-dvds-oc-season-2.html


Visit justin bieber for Daily Updated fashion photography Collection

Watched DVD: Dirty Deeds


    Watched DVD: Dirty Deeds (David Kendall, 2005). Perfectly useless and vulgar American-Pie-level teen movie, quite entertaining. Mostly for Milo Ventimiglia. Also a nice cameo by Zoe Saldana, who was in Guess Who (see below).

Post Title

Watched DVD: Dirty Deeds


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2008/07/watched-dvd-dirty-deeds.html


Visit justin bieber for Daily Updated fashion photography Collection
Sunday, July 27, 2008

Watched DVD: Miss Potter



    Watched DVD: Miss Potter (Chris Noonan, 2006). I suppose it makes some kind of sense that Aussie Noonan made Babe (1995) and then Miss Potter. I love biopics. This one is quite acceptable. Pity they forgot about Beatrix Potter the mycologist. The rest seems quite accurate (based on the little I know of her) and rather charming, Renée Zellweger being of course one of the 5 American actresses who can do an English accent.

Post Title

Watched DVD: Miss Potter


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2008/07/watched-dvd-miss-potter.html


Visit justin bieber for Daily Updated fashion photography Collection
Friday, July 25, 2008

MechaGonira by Amapro

    MechaGonira (メカゴニラ) by Amapro (アマプロ) is just a little different than the other gorilla toys I have written about so far. What we have here is essentially a mashup of King Kong and a lesser known monster named Garuban.

    This toy is actually based on a diecast toy from the 1970s. You can see the toy here to the right. I'm not entirely sure what company produced this toy... or what the toy is even called, but it shares a body with the diecast Garuban figure made by the same company. Since the head is attached only via magnet, I guess it was very easy to somply sculpt a new plastic head for the existing metallic bodies.

    Fast forward to today, and you have Amapro creating a vinyl toy paying homage to this obscure little toy here.

    Header //2 out of 5//:
    I like the fact that this header is bigger than would normally be on this size figure. I also like the artwork found on the front... the style is immediately recognizable.

    But the header is a generic header for Amapro apparently, and the name of the figure within seems to be simply stamped in the upper right corner. The back is just plastered with information and a cheesy spacescape.

    Sculpt //3 out of 5//:
    For me this is the strongest element of this toy. While it is lacking articulation, which is pretty significant (only the arms move... not even the head turns!), it is an interesting sculpt and a great homage to the obscure toy.

    The textures all come together well here, with the chunky garbage limbs and torso meeting the smooth metal-like surfaces of the chest and shoulders, to the organic face and nicely molded hair. The sculptor elected to go with a simple star on his chest as opposed to a door like on the diecast. I'm not sure I like the star all that much because it seems out of place to me.

    The horn on the forehead as well as the tusks protruding from his mouth are a nice touch I think. And the bejeweled eyes are just great, as they were on the old toy.

    The vinyl isn't the best quality, but it is nice and solid. The figure is also well balanced, which is good since you cannot position the legs at all.

    Paint //4 out of 5//:
    Nice, classic kaiju style giving highlight where needed and not going overboard. There are quite a few colors here surprisingly with the darker blue laid over the lighter blue vinyl, as well as the nice gold and silver metallics as the main highlight, and even some darker, sludgier silver on the knees and elbows.

    Value //?? out of 5//:
    I cannot remember what I paid for this as it has been quite some time! I don't really see them pop up all that often, which either says it's a nice, solid release, or that no one cares to see them. I'd think if it ever showed up, you could find it for retail or so.

    Overall //3.5 out of 5//:
    Positives: Nice paint, interesting character, cool homage to an obscure Japanese toy.

    Negatives: No articulation except for shoulders, vinyl isn't nice and smooth

    I've decided to get rid of the Coolness category because it sounds lame. I can just talk about it here!

    This toy isn't the greatest, but it's quirky and cool nonetheless. I like the paint, and gorillas and junk monsters are always OK in my book. You won't regret picking this one up if you like what it looks like here.








Post Title

MechaGonira by Amapro


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2008/07/mechagonira-by-amapro.html


Visit justin bieber for Daily Updated fashion photography Collection
Thursday, July 24, 2008

Went to see The Incredible Hulk


    Went to see The Incredible Hulk (Louis Leterrier, 2008). Frédéric J. you must go see it for your MA dissertation. I didn't like it as much as Hulk (Ang Lee, 2003). Of course, not everyone can be Brokeback Mountain Ang Lee, although French director Louis Leterrier did a very acceptable job within the limits of the genre. When you remember the AWFUL Hulk TV series of yesteryear, with Lou Ferrigno (which I watched, obviously), you have to admit we've come a long way. As a huge Marvel Comics fan (going way back to 1970), I can say with unblemished joy: finally tremendous Marvel comic book superheroes can make acceptable-to-good movie superheroes, mostly thanks to computerized special effects and the end of naïveté. In the 1980s they made the most appalling superhero movies, with guys in untight tights that came down to between ther thighs. Now they make S&M leather queen Batmen (DC though) and black spandex evil Spideys, gee.

    I liked the cognoscenti jokes and hints (Ferrigno doing the voice of the creature and a security guy, Hitchcockian Stan Lee making his usual uncredited appearance, Robert Downey Jr. / Tony Stark / Iron Man coming to see the general at the end, etc.). The writer is Zak Penn, who's written lots of superhero stuff and is working on The Avengers (!).

Post Title

Went to see The Incredible Hulk


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2008/07/went-to-see-incredible-hulk.html


Visit justin bieber for Daily Updated fashion photography Collection
Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Went to see Le Premier Jour du reste de ta vie




    Went to see (with Danielle & R.) Le Premier Jour du reste de ta vie (Rémi Bezançon, 2008); with Jacques Gamblin, Zabou Breitman, Déborah François, Marc-André Grondin, Pio Marmaï, and Roger Dumas. Amazing Marc-André Grondin, Quebécois-accent-free this time, from C.R.A.Z.Y (Jean-Marc Vallée, 2005). He had the Ziggy arrow on his face in C.R.A.ZY. In this movie he moves to "Time" from Aladdin Sane (there's even Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" at the end). It's all very 1973. Not bad at all (for a French movie). Well acted. Jacques Gamblin always good.

Post Title

Went to see Le Premier Jour du reste de ta vie


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2008/07/went-to-see-le-premier-jour-du-reste-de.html


Visit justin bieber for Daily Updated fashion photography Collection
Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Watched DVD: In & Out


    Watched DVD with R. and Danielle: In & Out (Frank Oz, 1997). Frank Oz directed the good Death at a Funeral (2007) and the uninspired The Stepford Wives (2004). Script: Paul Rudnick, who wrote Addams Family Values (1993).
    Very funny (although I laughed more when I saw it on the big screen eleven years ago). Great gay jokes (Streisand, Midler). The masculinity tape scene perfect for a Gender Studies course. Good acting by most. Of course, the Dead Poets Society (1989) type scene at the end now feels like it's been done to death.

Post Title

Watched DVD: In & Out


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2008/07/watched-dvd-in-out.html


Visit justin bieber for Daily Updated fashion photography Collection
Friday, July 18, 2008

Watched DVD: Guess Who


    Watched DVD: Guess Who (Kevin Rodney Sullivan, 2005). Monstrous French title Black + White [sic]. Inspired by Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (Stanley Kramer, 1967), with Sidney Poitier. This time it is a white boy (Ashton Kutcher) in a black family. Just part of my I-need-to-see-every-romantic-comedy-with-Kutcher campaign (and R really digs him). Totally predictable and quite entertaining.

Post Title

Watched DVD: Guess Who


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2008/07/watched-dvd-guess-who.html


Visit justin bieber for Daily Updated fashion photography Collection

Went to see El Rey de la montaña




    Thursday July 17, 2008. Went to see El rey de la montaña (Gonzalo López-Gallego, 2007). Silly French title Les Proies. Not bad at all. Scary for a long while. Somewhat interesting twist (no spoiler on this blog). Its most interesting feature is the Argentine actor Leonardo Sbaraglia, who was in the excellent Intacto (Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, 2001) and the amazing Plata Quemada (Burnt Money, Marcelo Piñeyro, 2000) with Eduardo Noriega.

Post Title

Went to see El Rey de la montaña


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2008/07/went-to-see-el-rey-de-la-montana.html


Visit justin bieber for Daily Updated fashion photography Collection
Thursday, July 17, 2008

Giant Gorilla by Marusan

    As promised, here I bring you these fugly guys: Giant Gorilla (ジャイアントゴリラ) by Marusan (マルサン). These are virtually the same across all colorways, so I will write about them all at once. Come to think of it, that is probably a better idea than how I have been doing it if i plan to show off the same sculpt in different colors right around the same time.

    I had a quote in the Buta No Hana Gorilla article explaining Toho's hesitancy in allowing companies to make toys called King Kong, and instead the vinyl toys manufacturers made giant gorillas to avoid any potential legal problems with Universal.

    I found some Marusan history in the Super7 Mook (a great resource for these as well as Secret Base and Real Head toys by the way) that was released late last year.

    Marusan was in the midst of a kaiju boom in the mid-1960s thanks to many movies and the Ultra-Q show on television, and Marusan moved from tin and plastic toys to the cheaply and quickly produced vinyl toys. The company produced vinyl toys from 1966 to 1969, but eventually closed and were bought out by three former employees who went on to form Bullmark.

    The Giant Gorilla was made in 1967, originally in a dark blue color and perhaps others that I do not know about. All of my Giant Gorillas are reproductions that Marusan produced from the original molds in the 1990s. There is a large brown one out there that I have yet to come across, but I have a spare blue one so maybe I'll just get to painting!

    This gorilla rides the border between official Toho monsters that Marusan released and their completely original offerings that came later on. Masusan not only released these, but other of their original sculpts in the 90s.


    Header //3 out of 5//:
    While the painted header is really cool, Marusan really just offers up what seems to be a generic header with the name of the toy inside printed in the top right corner on the front. On the front you get to see a Thor type character giving a swift flying chop to an evil chicken, then some generic monsters swooping in to fight or fornicate on the back.

    The header is larger than most I have seen... similar width but about twice as deep.

    If the header had more to do with the toy inside, I would like it a lot better. The imagery is very cool.

    Sculpt //3 out of 5//:
    Despite my simian bias, I will be the first to admit that this is a pretty crude sculpt.

    The mouth is not quite a mad roar and not quite a smile. The facial expression does not say angry as I expect a giant gorilla to be. He just looks kind of bored or possibly like he is singing off key....

    ...about gorilla stuff...

    I like the bulky look of the hands and feet, but the arms in particular feel crooked in a way. The hands come off the forearms less like a menacing fist and more like he is saying YAAAAY while shaking his fists in excitement.

    It seems perhaps that the sculptor was going for some semblance of realism with the sculpt as evidenced by the legs. Gorillas have very small hind legs compared to their arms, and walk using not only their feet but their knuckles. The legs here seem so be aiming for that shortness with a giant ass (common theme with gorilla toys?). Since the gorilla is standing on two feet as opposed to two feet and two knuckles, it makes the legs a little crooked and awkward.

    All of this said, the sculpt is very endearing to me. This toy was not made for geeky collectors like me, but rather for kids to buy en masse and tear up in their sand boxes and bathtubs. And for this, it is great! It is stylized enough to be fun and original and not just a gorilla statue, and the small details like the tiny teeth, fur, toenails, nipples etc. bring it all together.

    It is very solid and well balanced. The arms are positioned perfectly to lay a big punch on an invading Godzilla... the mouth is open for roars and bites. These apes would make great playthings.

    Paint //3 out of 5//:
    Average all around. These gorillas were originally mass produced, so simple, direct paint jobs were going to work best. Lots of paint would just get chipped off on the playground anyway. These reproductions are made to just reflect the paint jobs of the originals.

    The blue gorilla is obviously cast in blue vinyl, and from what I can tell is the closest to the original color (which was a darker blue). There is yellow on the chest for contrast, and red eyes and tongue.

    The gold might be my favorite with the silver spray on his chest and red eyes and tongue here too.

    And the pink has a very similar color scheme to my pink Buta No Hana gorilla with yellow on the chest as well and gold eyes! The yellow on the chest here is a little oversprayed onto the armpit, which is always a little disappointing.

    All of them have the same silver teeth.

    Coolness //4 out of 5//:
    I like that they are awkward and ugly... and knowing the history of these adds to the coolness for me. I can totally geek out and talk about it with someone who might ask.

    Value //5 out of 5//:
    These do not seem all that popular or hard to find (except maybe the brown one floating around. You should be able to find these for 10-15 dollars each which is a fantastic price for such a solid piece. I have never seen a vintage one, but be prepared to pay much much more for one of those.

    Overall //3.75 out of 5//:
    Positives: Bulky, fun to play with, history, can find them on the cheap

    Negatives: Awkward gorilla shapes, generic paint jobs, take up a lot of space

    These are great to have for the history behind them, or if you want them to punch the shit out of your other monsters. If you like the look and can find it for cheap, it's definitely worth the pick up. But otherwise, you won't miss it much in your collection.














Post Title

Giant Gorilla by Marusan


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2008/07/giant-gorilla-by-marusan.html


Visit justin bieber for Daily Updated fashion photography Collection
Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Watched TV: Saw Bonneville


    Watched TV: Saw Bonneville (Christopher N. Rowley, 2006). A kind of chick flick for older chicks. Geriatric Thelma & Louise. A road movie of sorts (one of my very favorite genres). You don't yell genius but you don't scream murder either. Some good acting by Kathy Bates and Jessica Lange. Lovely landscapes.

Post Title

Watched TV: Saw Bonneville


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2008/07/watched-tv-saw-bonneville.html


Visit justin bieber for Daily Updated fashion photography Collection

Watching DVDs: The OC






    Watching Season 1 of The OC. With Peter Gallagher, Benjamin McKenzie, Adam Brody, Chris Carmack and Mischa Barton.

Post Title

Watching DVDs: The OC


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2008/07/watching-dvds-oc.html


Visit justin bieber for Daily Updated fashion photography Collection
Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Watched DVDs: Gilmore Girls Season 3



    Finished watching Season 3 of Véronique's Gilmore Girls. I am angry. In 03x13 they show (in unnecessary flashbacks) an unattractive brainless-looking boy who's supposed to be a young Christopher Hayden (David Sutcliffe) and an unattractive brainless-looking girl who's supposed to be a young Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham). Sutcliffe and Graham are gorgeous. How could anybody change so much, beyond recognition? Even the color of their eyes? When you think of the zillion gorgeous waiters and waitresses in LA, half a zillion looking more like Lorelai and Christopher, it makes you wonder about the sanity of the casting people responsible for this debacle. Mind you, it could get into the Guiness Book of Records as the most uninspired piece of casting in the history of television. Otherwise, Season 3 is as delightful as Season 1 and 2, if not more.

Post Title

Watched DVDs: Gilmore Girls Season 3


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2008/07/watched-dvds-gilmore-girls-season-3.html


Visit justin bieber for Daily Updated fashion photography Collection
Sunday, July 13, 2008

Watched DVD: The Holiday


    Watched DVD: The Holiday (Nancy Meyers, 2006). Romantic comedy with gorgeous Jude Law and delightful Cameron Diaz (the others are OK too I guess). Very much a chick flick (nothing wrong with that). It's got some of the ingredients of Notting Hill (Roger Michell, 1999) but doesn't work quite as well (and of course Notting Hill didn't work quite as well as Four Weddings and a Funeral; besides, how many more romantic comedies are we going to get about a transatlantic love affair with the accent thing played up?). There's a lovely twist when Amanda discovers an amazing aspect of Graham's life (no spoiler here, be reassured). I shed a couple of tears, although not as decorously as Jude's shedding a couple of tears.

Post Title

Watched DVD: The Holiday


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2008/07/watched-dvd-holiday.html


Visit justin bieber for Daily Updated fashion photography Collection
Saturday, July 12, 2008

Watched DVD: The Fog




    Watched DVD: The Fog (Rupert Wainwright, 2005). Tolerable remake of the John Carpenter 1980 movie. It's got Smallville's Tom Welling and Lost's Maggie Grace and Selma Blair, who was in Hellboy and A Dirty Shame and a zillion other things.

Post Title

Watched DVD: The Fog


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2008/07/watched-dvd-fog.html


Visit justin bieber for Daily Updated fashion photography Collection

My Blog List

Blog Archive