Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Hot Toys MMS 156 ~ Captain America.

Dr. Abraham Erskine: So, you want to go overseas? Kill some Nazis.
Steve Rogers: Excuse me?
Dr. Abraham Erskine: Where are you from Mr. Rogers? Mmm? Is it New Haven? Or Paramus? Five exams in five different cities.
Steve Rogers: That might not be the right file.
Dr. Abraham Erskine: No, it's not the exams I'm interested in. It's the five tries. But you didn't answer my question. Do you want to kill Nazis?
Steve Rogers: Is this a test?
Dr. Abraham Erskine: Yes.
Steve Rogers: I don't wanna kill anyone. I don't like bullies. I don't care where they're from. Well, there are already so many big men fighting this war. Maybe what we need now is the little guy, huh?

Col. Chester Phillips: General Patton has said that wars are fought with weapons but they are won by men. We are going to win this war because we have the best men. And because they're gonna get better. Much better. The Strategic Scientific Reserve is an allied effort made up of the best minds in the free world. Our goal is to create the best army in history. But every army starts with one man. At the end of this week we will choose that man. He will be the first in a new breed of super-soldiers. And they, will personally escort Adolf Hitler to the gates of Hell.

Steve Rogers: You know for the longest time I dreamed about coming overseas and be on the front lines. Serving my country. I finally get everything I wanted, and I'm wearing tights.

Col. Chester Phillips: Son, who approve those colors on your uniform? The enemies gonna spot you from miles away as you're brighter than Rudolph's nose in the foggiest night. And that "A". Damn it, you're gonna be a walking target for the snipers!
Steve Rogers: Senator Brandt, sir. He said it would be a good representation of our American fighting spirit.
Col. Chester Phillips: Well, don't mind me saying but I wonder what that pencil pusher in a plush office would say if you were to come back covered in American flag!*

Dr. Abraham Erskine: So many people forget that the first country that the Nazi's invaded was their own. You know, after the last war the...my people struggled. They...they felt weak. They felt small. And then Hitler comes along with the marching and the big show and the flags and the...and the...
Dr. Abraham Erskine: And he...he hears of me, my work and he finds me. And he says, you...he says you will us strong. Well, I am not interested. So he sends the head of Hydra, his research division. A brilliant scientist by the name of Johann Schmidt. Now, Schmidt is a member of the inner circle and he's ambitious. He and Hitler share a passion for a cult power and Teutonic myth. Hitler uses his fantasies to inspire his followers. But for Schmidt it is not fantasy. For him, it is real. He has become convinced that there is a great power in the earth, left there by the Gods, waiting to be seized by a superior man. So when he hears about my formula and what it can do, he cannot resist.
Dr. Abraham Erskine: Schmidt must become that superior man.
Steve Rogers: Did it make him stronger?
Dr. Abraham Erskine: Yeah. But, there were other effects. The serum was not ready. But more important, the man. The serum amplifies everything that is inside. So, good becomes great. Bad becomes worse. This is why you were chosen. Because a strong man, who has known power all his life, will lose respect for that power. But a weak man knows the value of strength. And knows compassion.
Dr. Abraham Erskine: Whatever happens tomorrow, you must promise me one thing. That you will stay who you are. Not a perfect soldier, but a good man.

Johann Schimdt : Du zirkus affen! Bow before me!
Steve Rogers : Circus ape? Have you look into the mirror lately?
Johann Schimdt : All ze time, ihr blue suited affe!
Steve Rogers : No wonder you're nuts!*

"Dum Dum" Dugan: You mean to tell me that you can leap over a tall building in a single bound, or stop a speeding train like that comic character caped superhero I read?
Steve Rogers: Only in fiction.*

*own addition.


A (mis)-interpretation :

Name : Steven "Steve" Rogers.
Age : 18 years old (as of 1944).
Alias : Captain America.
Abilities : Physical, senses, intellectual attributes enhanced to the peak of human potential; expert martial art artist and hand-to-hand combatant; all-terrain acrobatics; master tactician and field commander; prolonged life and slow aging.
Std. armaments : Vibranium-steel alloy shield, Thompson M1928A1 "Tommy Gun", Colt. 45automatic pistol.
Current status : Active.

Chronology :
June 1918 - December 1920 ~ Outbreak of the Spanish flu pandemic. German epidemiologist Dr. Abraham Erskine begins research on the influenza virus. His study results in the creation of the super serum which amplifies a human physical and intellect to peak possibility.
July 4, 1924 ~ Steven Rogers is born in Brooklyn, New York, the only son of Joseph Rogers, a watchmaker and Marilyn Johnson, a full time housewife.
October 29, 1929 ~ Collapse of US stock market. The Great Depression begins. Steve is diagnosed with gastrointestinal disorder. Health related problems would continue to plague Steve into his teenage years.
August 2, 1934 ~ Adolf Hitler becomes Führer of Germany.
October 1, 1934 ~ Creation of German air force and expansion of army and navy. Establishment of Deep Science Weapons Research, a division of the Schutzstaffel (SS) under the command of Standartenführer Johann Schimdt. Schimdt later establishes HYDRA, a clandestine, self preservation group within the SS itself.
March 3, 1935 ~ HYDRA agents discover Dr. Erskine super serum formula. Schimdt forces Dr. Erskine to apply the serum to him.
September 15, 1935 ~ Nuremberg Laws announced by Hitler which deprived Jews of German citizenship, political and civil rights.
November 12, 1938 ~ Dr. Erskine and his family escape to Britain after the Kristallnacht pogrom against Jews. He takes his super serum formula with him. Schimdt and HYDRA agents begin manhunt for Dr. Erskine.
January 29, 1939 ~ Discovery of nuclear fission. Hitler orders the creation of Germany nuclear energy project, Uranverein. Schimdt is appointed to supervise the entire project.
September 1, 1939 - June 9, 1940 ~ Germany invades Poland, signalling the beginning of World War 2, follows by invasion of Scandinavia. HYDRA establishes a nuclear weapon development research center in Norway to utilize the heavy water produce by the Vermork Hydroelectric Plant located outside of Rjukan in Tinn, Telemark to breed plutonium.
May 10 - June 25, 1940 ~ Germany invades the Low Countries and France.
October 16. 1940 ~ US announces military draft, followed by first ever peacetime draft lottery by end of the month.
March 1940 - July 1941 ~ Germany initiates the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. Dr. Erskine and scientists of other occupied nations are evacuated to US. The Battle of Atlantic is also being dominated by German U-boats. Italy begins attack on the Mediterranean, Northern Africa and Middle East, follows by Germany attacks on the Balkans and Crete. In July 1940, the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) is established.
June 22 - December 6, 1941 ~ Germany launches the invasion of Soviet Union under Operation Barbarossa.
December 7, 1941 ~ Japan attacks Pearl Harbour, resulting in US and Britain declaring war against Japan the following day. As part of the Tripartite Pact, Germany and Italy declare war on US on December 11, 1941. Japan synchronises the Pearl Harbour attack with the start of the invasion of US, British, Dutch colonies across Southeast Asia.
March 1942 ~ British army begins a series of campaign against Germany and Italy in North Africa with success.
May 7 - June 6, 1942 ~ US victory over Japan in Battle of Coral Sea and Midway marks the first in a series of naval and air battles which would results in change of initiative to US from Japan in the Pacific War.
June 13, 1942 ~ US intelligence agency, Office of Strategic Services (OSS) is established. Information obtained from SOE and Norwegian resistance agents that Germany is nearing completion of producing weapon grade plutonium. The Scientific Reserve Division is established by Allies to undertake scientific projects which include, amongst others, Dr. Erskine super serum to produce "super soldiers".
November 19, 1942 - March 18, 1943 ~ Soviet counter-offensive successfully drives back the German army from Stalingrad to Kharkov. In February, Germany launches a counter-attack which recaptures Kharkov and Belgorod.
April 5, 1943 ~ Steve Rogers, after being rejected for military duty on numerous occasions due to his health and physical issues, is personally enlisted by Dr. Erskine for his super serum experiment and potential test subject. Steve and other candidates are sent to Fort Benning for military training. Steve is chosen after Col. Phillips, the commander supervising the selection of individual for the experiment, is convinced by Dr. Erskine and British SOE agent Peggy Carter that Steve Rogers possesses the right aptitude for the test.
May 12, 1943 ~ Steve Rogers, designates as "Weapon I", undergoes the super soldier experiment successfully at an undisclosed laboratory in New York. Dr. Erskine is assassinated by a HYDRA agent under the guise as one of Senator Brandt's bodyguard at the end of the experiment. The agent is captured by Steve Rogers, who chases him on foot through at least five city blocks whilst the former escapes driving a car. The HYDRA agent commits suicide by biting a cyanide capsule hidden in his tooth cavity. A Daily Bugle photographer takes a picture of Steve Rogers and publishes an article the next day, propelling Steve into public popularity. The super serum formula is lost together with the death of Dr. Erskine. Samples of Steve Rogers blood is extracted to replicate the serum, which would take minimum 5 years to complete. Under Senator Brandt recommendation, Steve Rogers joins the United Services Organizations (USO), touring US under the alias "Captain America" to help raise war bonds. As Captain America, Steve Rogers proves to be popular, increasing the purchase of war bonds by at least 20%. He would later join celebrities like Bob Hope and Marlene Dietrich to entertain front line troops overseas.
July 5, 1943 - May 12, 1944 ~ Germany begins retreat on the Eastern Front from Soviet Army after the failure of Operation Citadel. In July 1943, the Allies land in Sicily and begins the Sicilian and Italian campaign, resulting in resignation of Italian dictator Mussolini and signing of armistice by Italy to the Allies.
October 12 - November 16, 1943 ~ Two operations, Operation Grouse and Operation Freshman, with objective to sabotage and destroy the Vermosk hydroelectric plant in Norway is undertaken by Combined Operations. The mission is carried out by the SOE trained Norwegian commandos with assistance from the US special team, the Howling Commandos, which is led by Steve Rogers close friend, Sgt. James "Bucky" Barnes. The first operation is successful in its objective of provision of the area blueprint. Operation Freshman, however, ends in failure and several members of both commando teams are captured and killed by HYDRA. Surviving members from both operations, including Bucky, hide out in the mountains, where they subsist on moss, lichen and reindeer.
November 17, 1943 ~ Steve Rogers learns of the incident through Peggy Carter while entertaining front line troops in Italy. In an unsanctioned mission, he embarks on a solo rescue operation by flying a plane to Norway. The successful mission re-instates Steve Rogers for active duty in the military. He is promoted as captain, and new commander of the Howling Commandos. Schimdt not only learnt about the interest the Allies have in their nuclear weapon development project but also of the presence of the second recipient of the late Dr. Erskine's super serum. Steve Rogers and the Howling Commandos carry out a series of clandestine, sabotage missions against the Axis as well as providing armed assistance to the occupied nations local resistance movements.
February 16, 1944 ~ As part of Operation Gunnerside, Drs. Adelind Zola, the head of the scientific weapon research of HYDRA, and confidante of Johann Schimdt, is captured by Steve Rogers and the Howling Commandos during a raid on board an armored train carrying parts and critical components related to the production of nuclear bomb. Zola, under intense interrogation, reveals that Schimdt intends to simultaneously bomb not only Washington, New York, London and major Soviet cities with nuclear devices but also Berlin and the Far Eastern nations. She also shares that ultimately HYDRA intends to annihilate their enemies and the Untermensch (sub-humans) by bringing about a global nuclear holocaust codename Götterdämmerung. Survivors would be selected as part of the Lebensborn program, which would be implemented through application of the super serum, to create a true Aryan race to occupy new, racially hygiene Lebensraum (living space). It is also learnt that Schimdt is actually "Weapon 0", the first human test subject of Dr. Erskine's super serum. Whether Schimdt or Zola is aware of how a post nuclear holocaust would affect the human population remains unknown.
June 6, 1944 ~ Operation Overlord commences with the "D-Day" landings in Normandy by the Allies, opening up the Western Front in WW2.
June 10, 1944 ~ Soviet Army launches Operation Bagration, a massive offensives along the entire Eastern Front against Germany. German army now takes a defensive position.
June 20, 1944 ~ US achieves victory at the Battle of Philippine Sea, cutting off Japan's line of communication with their Southern Resources Area. Japan is beginning to be deprived of their crucial raw materials to fuel their war productions.
July 9 - 11, 1944 ~ Operation Doomsday commences, consist of two airborne divisions, two infantry divisions, one armored division, the SOE, the Howling Commandos and with support from Milorg, the Norwegian resistance movement, against German occupied Norway. The Allies successfully breakthrough on day two against strong German coastal and infantry defenses, and secured defensive perimeters. Proceed towards the primary HYDRA base near the Norwegian-Finnish border on the third day, three completed atomic bombs are discovered being loaded on board Horten Ho 666 flying wing fortress bombers. Both forces sufferred heavy casualties. Two bombers are prevented from taking off. The third bomber slips through, with Schimdt personally onboard, accompanies by a company of HYDRA commandos. Steve Rogers gets on the bomber, and personally neutralised the entire HYDRA commandos. Engaged in a hand to hand combat with Schimdt himself. Severely injured, Rogers overwhelmes Schimdt and kills him. The bomber plane is automatically lock on course towards London, with countdown timer on the atomic bomb. Rogers overrides the auto pilot to manual but could not un-arm nor dissable the timer. He steers the bomber beyond the Artic Circle whereby the entire plane explodes with a blinding light and sheer destructive force.


Hitler commits suicide on April 30th, 1945 during the Battle of Berlin in his underground bunker. Mussolini is killed on April 28th, 1945 by Italian partisan. Germany surrenders unconditionally to the Allies on May 8th, 1945 (VE Day) and is divided into four zones, with all former territories return to its former owners. Japan formally surrenders to the Allies on September 2nd, 1945 (VJ Day) after the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, marking the end of World War 2 and the beginning of the Cold War between the Western Powers and Soviet Union. A series of military tribunals are held to prosecute prominent members of political, military and economic leadership of the defeated Third Reich Germany, known as the Nuremberg Trials, held between November 20th, 1945 to October 1st, 1945. Drs. Amelind Zola escapes prior to the "Doctors Trial" in November, 1946. Famed Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal believes she could have been rescued by a combined elements of HYDRA and Soviet Union's NKVD. However, it later evidences later emerged that the CIA exchanged Drs. Zola for Jewish refugees as part of agreement with NKVD. The late Dr. Erskine's super serum is successfully replicated by 1956, under supervision of the newly established counter-intelligence agency, S.H.I.E.L.D., a division of CIA. The first human test subject is Major Bucky Barnes with alias "The Patriot", designation "Weapon II". He would play a major role in a series of proxy wars and cladestine operations against the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War in the 50s and early 60s. The Soviet Union also successfully replicate their own super serum. Unknown to the Allies, Steve Rogers survives the explosion by bailing out during the very last second and suffers from comatose upon landing. A team of Soviet Union researchers found him frozen alive. Through his blood sample (and Drs. Amelind Zola expertise), the super serum formula is applied to Natalia Romanova, alias "The Black Widow", designation "Weapon III". Steve Rogers comes out of his coma but suffers from amnesia. With false history feeds to him, he undertakes the alias "The Winter Soldier" and fight for the side of Soviet Union. After a series of encounter and battles with former friend Bucky Barnes, Steve Rogers eventually regain his memories and returns to US. He also successfully convinces Natalia to switch allegience. S.H.I.E.L.D. continues to secretly apply the super serum to various individuals throughout the 60s and into 21st Century. One of the most controversial subject is Isaiah Bradley, alias "The Liberty", designation "Weapon IV", who is deployed for the Vietnam War, as he is selected during the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiment in Tuskegee, Alabama under the pretext receiving free health care from the government when in fact it is a secret study natural progression of syphilis in poor, rural black US citizen. Bradley, seeing the reality of the war and the atrocities inflict by both forces upon each other and innocent local populations, goes AWOL until his capture by Steve Rogers and the Screaming Eagles Special Squad at the Cambodian border after the war. He is eventually re-convince by Rogers to return to US. He is successfully rehabiliated and is now a member of the Screaming Eagles Special Squad. Another is James Logan, designated "Weapon X", deployed for the Middle Eastern conflict. He went AWOL during a mission in Iran and current whereabout is unknown.


Admittedly, I'm not a fan of Captain America, but the 2011 movie directed by Joe Johnson and starring Chris Evans as the legendary Marvel comic superhero partially changes all that. And loves that costume. This is the eventual version from the movie (Hot Toys has also announced the other version, as well Red Skull in the coming lineup), which I think looks better than the upcoming Avengers movie version.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

U2 ~ Achtung Baby 20th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition.

Ah have a vision! A vision! Television!

~ The Mirrorball Man.

Finally 'ere. The 20th anniversary edition of the album which redefined U2, setting stage for them to reinvent themselves creatively and musically for the 90s. Physically big box set, with revelatory articles about the album by various individuals current and past, plus nice pics within a hardcover book, just like the Nirvana set. 6 CDs in total. Achtung Baby, is well, to my ears, just like the original one. Zooropa, which has had its roots during the Zoo TV Tour, and meant to be an EP expanded into a separate album, also sounded the same. Personally, I think it shouldn't be included within the set and should be given a separate treatment (and I will still stick to the original album version as it does not come with any lyrics). The Uber and Unter Remixes are given the clubbing DJ treatments, and well, I just kinda felt abit awkward when I listened to it. For those who owned the singles, the b-sides are here and the bonus tracks are kinda nice but still growing on me. The gem of the set actually, is the Kindergarten - Alternative Achtung Baby. Not sure when the songs were recorded, perhaps selected from early takes of the original but oh boy, does it stick to me like an ear worm. The songs I'm so used to are given different arrangements, some kinda stripped down thus sounding more rockier and earthy. There are additional lyrical rearrangements, some which sounds inaudible (Bongolese, Bono?) like in "The Fly", but great, lifting the entire experience, at least to me, to another plane. The gem amongst the gems here is probably "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses", a personal surprise as I always thought the original , while good, is not comparatively as great as their other singles. One listen is all it takes to keep me pressing the repeat button. The DVD documentary is alright thought I personally felt it is done to atone for the criticism thrown at "Rattle and Hum". No new facts in the DVD of which U2 fans have not heard before, like how "One", the single which saves U2 career as one pundit said, was born out of "Mysterious Ways" song bridge, the determination to reinvent, redefine and maintain relevant, the tensions which almost led to the breakup of the band as a result of it, the disappointment instead of salvation in Berlin, but all the negative vibes plus lots and lots of hard works which eventually gave birth to one of the greatest 90s albums. The music videos are all here, all seen before as well as the Sydney Zoo TV Tour concert (which I had in VHS format), infamous because the first night, party animal Adam could not make it after a previous night of wild outing, and his bass tech, Stuart Morgan, had to stand in for him. The one filmed 'ere was of the second night. Bonus materials DVD consisted of the MTV coverage of the Zoo TV experience, and true to it's objective, consists of mocking their own popularity, rock stars and others in general, ironic and nonsensical at the same time (the Tour would eventually grew to a circus like atmosphere, a vortex which would sucked in everyone famous from across the spectrum of the society - Bill Clinton, Salman Rusdie, the supermodels of the 90s, of which Adam briefly dated Naomi Campbell (luckily she did not throw a bass at him when they broke up eh ;), various rock stars and bands, actors and actresses, etc. etc.). For the super core fans, they would have settled for the ultimate completist set, the Uber version by now. For average fans, go for this set, even if it was only for the Kindergarten album, it's worth the price of admission.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Ricky Hui Koon-Ying (許冠英)

Ricky Hui ~ August 3, 1946 - November 8, 2011.

Thanks for all the laughter and goofy moments.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Nirvana ~ Nevermind 20th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition.

Spring is here again, tender age in bloom, he knows not what it means, sell the kids for food, we can have some more • The water is so yellow, I'm a healthy student, you're my vitamins • Take your time, hurry up, the choice is yours, don't be late • And just maybe I'm to blame for all I've heard but I'm not sure, I'm so excited I can't wait to meet you there but I don't care • I don't care if it's old, I don't mind if I don't have a mind, get away from your home • Have to have poison skin, give an inch take a smile • Never met a wise man, if so it's a woman, gotta find a way to find a way, I had better wait • One more special message to go, as defense I'm neutered and spayed, what the hell am I trying to say? I got so high that I scratched till I bled • The second coming came in last and out of the closet • At the end of the rainbow and your rope • Don't hurt yourself, I want some help to help myself, she's just as bored as me • I've got this friend you see, who makes me feel, I don't regret a thing • And the animals I've trapped have all become my pets • Our little group has always been and always will until the end, with the lights out it's less dangerous, here we are now, entertain us, I feel stupid and contagious, here we are now entertain us, a mulatto, an albino, a mosquito, my libido, yay, yay, a denial, I'm worse at what I do best and for this gift I feel blessed, I found it hard, it was hard to find, oh well, whatever, nevermind.

"Punk is musical freedom," says Nirvana's guitarist-singer Kurt Cobain. "It's saying, doing and playing what you want. In Webster's terms, nirvana means freedom from pain, suffering and the external world, and that's pretty close to my defination of punk rock."

As for Nirvana's music, it can be described as hard rock riffing with punk rock energy - all within a pop sensibility. "By defination pop is extremely catchy, whether you like it or not," Cobain says. "There are some pop songs I hate but I can't get them out of my head. Our songs also have the standard pop format: verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo, bad solo. All in all, I think we sound like The Knack and the Bay City Rollers being molested by Black Flag and Black Sabbath."

Drummer Dave Grohl agrees: "Yeah, I can see an inverted cross draped with plaid scarves drawn by Raymond Pettibon while he's whistling 'My Sharona." Adds bass guitarist Chris Novoselic: "Pop is the strongest of our sensibilities 'cause god knows we don't have any common sense."

Says Cobain, "People have opened up to an appreciation of hard rock in punk and it's great that they've fused together. Now it's time to appreciate the pop side. Attitude is one thing but a good song is the most important thing, it's the only way to really touch someone."

Therein lies the rationale behind the title Nevermind. "No one, escpecially people our own age, wants to address important issues," Cobain continues. "They'd rather say, 'Nevermind, forget it.' On one hand we're not a political band -- we're just some guys playing music -- but we're not just another mindless band asking people to forget either. There's no rebellion in rock 'n' roll anymore. I hope underground music can influence the mainstream and shake up the kids. Maybe we can change some kid's life and stop him from becoming a welder or a sleazy lawyer. Maybe what we need is a generation gap."

Maybe what we need is Nirvana.

~ extracted from The History passages contain within the box set.


The set arrived. My first CD box set. Did not expect it to be coffee table book size set. Comes with the original album and b-sides from the singles, several alternative mixes, the abandoned Devonshire mix by Butch Vig, the live at Paramount concert and the DVD. Honestly, for hardcore fans only. Most fans would probably got most versions from previous and various releases anyway. I didn't (except for the singles box set). Budget conscious fans should probably settle for the 2-CD Deluxe version, which should be fine. And if wanna save even more, forget about the whole releases. Just stick to the original album. Now where's Achtung Baby...

Dylan ~ Faux Pearl Stuck In Nostril!

No joke. Took half day off. Received call from Mom. Dylan had put one of Esther's synthetic pearl into his right nostril. Initially went to nearby GP. The doc said it was kinda too deep to be extracted using their equipments, highly recommended to see ENT specialist instead. Drove him to ENT clinic, but doc not in. Drove to nearby specialist centre instead. ENT specialist in OT, gotta wait or go to their emergency wing. No choice. The emergency wing doc, together with three other orderlies held down Dylan as he cried. Heartbroken and shed a tear and two. Siti cried too, Chloe looked stun at the situation. Took three attempts, as Dylan was traumatized and had to pee, then second attempt he managed to free himself. Praying, the doc finally extracted the pearl out. Esther arrived in time not to witness the entire personally stressful incident. I hope Dylan learnt his lesson. More importantly, he is safe and healthy again.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Hot Toys MMS DX 05 ~ Indiana Jones : Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Ahh. Another iconic movie character from the 80s. The 80s movies are known for it's slew of one man action hero taking on single handedly foreign speaking third world country army (dominated by Arnie and Sly, and oh, Bruce), sci-fi and action adventure films. Big budget. Lotsa explosion and exploration. Past and future. And gotta be trilogy. That's the 80s trend. Maybe it is the Spielberg-Lucas factor. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of them. Released in '81, it is darn entertaining. One of my fav 80s movie trilogy of all time (the other being the original Star Wars, and Back to the Future), this is the one which introduced Indy and his swashbuckling adventure taking place in the 30s, which mixes some serious non-stop actions, humourous elements on top of searching for mythical and legendary artifacts in between fighting off the forever whipping boys (and girls) of villiany, the Nazis.
Hot Toys released this Indy based on the first movie in DX format, which means more dough being coughed out from my pocket. Everything's fine with this figure, except for the controversial headsculpt. Well, it is like this. Prior to the actual release, there have been lotsa not so nice feedbacks in some toy forums about how it does not look like Harrison and etc etc. When the actual figure is released, to the horror of many pics I saw posted, Harrison seems to be wearing what we call "guyliner" i.e. eye liner at the bottom of the eyes. Now with the figure in hand, there is indeed a visible guyliner but not as obvious (or world ending horrific result as some posts highlighted). In fact, it does not even show up unless I purposely put it on certain "angle" under the light. Otherwise, to my huge relief, it is Harrison as Indy. There is a post which helps those who can't stand it to eliminate the guyliner but I wouldn't sweat it. Also the process is kinda complicated for me. The accesorries are all there (loves those 1/6th Aldens, just pity I could not effort one even now), the hybrid A2 leather jacket etc. except for the fedora. Yes, if there is an issue I would pick on this figure is the @#$% hat! Apart from the whip, the fedora is considered an iconic feature of Indy, and HT got it all out of size. It just could not sit on properly. When put on, it looks like it is "floating" instead of fitting (even though HT is thoughtful enough to provide "with or without hat" hair options). Otherwise, this figure works fine for me. Still no Blade Runner though...

Hot Toys MMS 152 ~ Superman.

Superman is the DC comic cultural icon superhero (beside The Batman but without super power) created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in 1932, and first appeared waaaayyy back in Action Comic #1, June 1938, published by Detective Comic, Inc (as DC was then known). Superman is widely acknowledged as inspiring the creation of the superhero genre. His costume, particularly the "S" symbol on his chest, is also one of the most recognisable design in comicdom, and his popularity spans across all mediums of media, including early radio programs, TV series and films.

Hot Toys released this version of Superman based on the hit 1978 British-American collaboration movie, Superman The Movie (the first of four movies). Directed by Richard Donner, and starring the late Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel himself, it also starred the late Marlon Brando as Jor El, father of Supes, Gene Hackman as human nemesis, Lex Luthor, Margot Kidder as his love, Lois Lane, Ned Betty as Lex's bumbling henchman, and of course, Terence Stamp as General Zod (who will have wider role in the sequel), amongst others.

A number of A-list actors with physique to match the "ideal" Supes were considered before Christopher Reeve is casted, whom is thought to be to "skinny". These include Arnie the former Governator, Sly Stallone, James Caan, Nick Nolte, John Voight and get this, Neil Diamond himself. Christopher Walken was also considered, and I wonder how it would turn out. A chilling, looking Supes I would guess. Reeve got the role with his acting during casting call, but was asked to wear muscle suit which he declined. Instead, Reeve underwent strict muscle building regime under the guidance of David "Darth Vader" Prowes.

The most distinguishing aspect of this movie, is the special effect. Now, remember, this is a movie made in the late 70s, and there is no CGI tech to help out yet. Superman flies and glides effortlessly through the sky. Wow. This is the primary reason why this movie remains nostalgic to me, as a kid then, as of even now. And then there is the soundtrack by movie themes maestro, John Williams, particularly the opening theme. It evokes the feel of heroism and all.

Now, the figure itself. The HS captures the feature of Christopher Reeve exactly in my humble opinion, a fitting honor to the late actor. The box is one of it's kind, quite ingenious of HT. Comes with accessories to resembling part of the Fortress of Solitude as seen in the movie and a transparent stand to pose Supes flying/hovering in mid-air. When I got this figure in hand, kid you not, I just kind of play with it, swapping the hands, imagining it flying around (alone in the room of course, wouldn't want Chloe, Dylan and Esther to think I have finally lost it). And I have never done that with any of my current figure collections before.

I want to write up, as usual, my "mis-intepretation, grammatically incorrect rambling on Supes" as usual but I just couldn't. I could not fictionally, yet, in manner of "Nolan-verse" fact based aspect, how Supes change into his costume (and what happen to its civilian clothes?) for example. And why he wears his underwear on the outside? Many jokes have been made countlessly on his costume. But I remember Supes wouldn't be Supes if not for that costume and cape.

Friday, 4 November 2011

ThreeA ~ Popbot : Tomorrow Queens ~ Princess.

For..um..delicate missions.
- 3A promo write-up.

A (mis) interpretation:
Category: Mass production replicants.
Model type: The Tomorrow Queen - GEN 2.0
Unit type: N/A.
ID: Princess.
Rank: Sukeban.
Manufacturer: The Luthor Bean Jr. Corporation.
Incept date: 28th January 1990.
Serial no.: TQG2FBC28011990.
Longevity: 4 years.
Function: Pleasure / close assault.
Physical level: B.
Mental level: C.
Abilities: Panzer Kunst - anti-armour martial arts; superhuman physiology.
Std. armaments: Monomolecular-edged wakizashi x 2; Ion cyclotron gloves x 2; monomolecular-edged heels x 2. 

...TQ Princess. Honestly, I was hoping that I could score that oh-so desirable chase figure TQ Loper (which is in gray, with a hoodie fur jacket, tattoos and get this, a nipple ring ~ gulp! But the Princess also comes with a c-ring hidden underneath her undie. A first for a 1/6th figure I think ). But any TQ is fine in my honest opinion, and Princess is sure one fine looking sexy Queen. I gotta get use to the thigh joint part on it's legs (looks out of shape but essential for articulation and poseability purpose for a figure on that high a heel). Esther once calls these as expensive Barbies for lonely, old hamsap geeky men. Uh...

ThreeA x BBICN ~ Popbot : Tomorrow King Oya Pathfinder Ono.

A (mis) interpretation:
Category type: Mass production replicants.
Model type: The Tomorrow Kings GEN 2.0
Unit type: Pathfinder.
ID: Ono.
Rank: Oyabun.
Manufacturer: The Luthor Bean Jr. Corporation.
Incept date: 18th June 1990.
Longevity: Four years.
Function: Leadership / Trailblazer / Close assault.
Serial no.: TKG02MAB18061990.
Abilities: Panzer Kunst - anti-armour martial art; leadership; guide; innovation.
Std. armaments: Monomolecular edged katana x 2; carbon nanotube weaved anorak x 1; Ion-cyclotron glove x 2.
Ono is the leader of the Pathfinder TK series. Also known as trailblazers, the Pathfinders primary function is to find new pathways into the Underverse, the Warp rift which bleeds and intertwine with reality within one of the hyperdrive engine of the disused massive planetoid sized interstellar spaceship, Leviathan 1 at Site 7, L1. It is important particularly when Luthor Bean Jr. needs to locate the corrupted or newly raised manufactorum of Queen Mortis which produced the colossal Titans, the bane of humankind living within the spaceship.
...another TK. Got this one coz it more accessible (xl open PO for this figure), rather than waking up at 9am to get one from bambaland as usual for all things 3A. Also, my first Oya (or is it Oyabun? Is there a difference?) TK. As I understand it, an oyabun (which btw, if I am not mistaken, also denote the godfather of yakuza clan) comes with the cool looking jacket. And long side-burns ala Elvis Ronin as TKs are also known as. Oya Pathfinder however, does not come with long sideburn. Alas, now that they have announced the second Seven Bones TK, which is also an oya, also with same accessorries, I should have waited. But then again, I could never get enough of TKs. On hindsight, Ono is practically sporting the same gears as General Showa TK, except for different headsculpt and more weathered.

Depeche Mode ~ Some MTV videos.

...some vids from DM, from top, the original "Its No Good" music video (Anton Corbijn made an appearance early on stage), followed by the alternate version made for their Paris Exciter Tour (as backdrop to the song live), and bottom, the infectious yet heart-breaking "Precious".

Sade Adu.

Sade Adu is the lead singer of the band sharing her first name, Sade. Simply one of the most sensual contemporary, pop R&B infused jazz lead singer out there. The songs are simply irresistibly sensual.

Paula Abdul.

Before she becomes sort of cannon fodder to Simon Cowell as part of the three judges in talent search contest series like American Idol and currently, X-Factor, I remembered Paula Abdul from the Pop R&B dance hit album, the '88 "Forever Your Girl". Songs like "Straight Up" and "Cold Hearted" still makes me wanna shuffle my feets, hehe. And then there that's MTV videos which features an animated cat dancing with her in "Opposite Attract". Believe me, it was a grand thing back then.

Janet Jackson.

She needs no intro...those days of her Pop R&B dance infused albums, particularly the '89 monster hit album "Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814" and sexual theme infused '93 "janet" sure bring back those mammary, opps, I mean memory from the late 80s, early 90s period.