Saturday, 31 May 2014

Coming Soon...

This week hasn't gone so smoothly, so, I figured I'd quickly tell you about some bits and pieces that you can expect to see in the near future... Allons-y!

Currently, I am testing a custom phone case from a company called Mr Nutcase, with the intention of writing a review, along with this review, I will also be releasing a code to get a 10% discount on orders. (Now up HERE)

If you read my brief, Toys R Us haul, you will know that I also have three action figure reviews coming up. As well as these reviews, I also have some Playmobil Blind bags to review.

As well as these reviews, and any other reviews that crop up, I will also be continuing my 'alternate perception of video games' and, 'Terrible films I love' series, and, I will also be introducing a new series, looking back at old gadgets, gizmos and toys.

Hopefully today, or tomorrow, there will be a recap of the season finale of Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, written by Jan to upload.

Apologies for the lack of posts these past few days, normal, geeky service will resume shortly, with all the usuals, and, some added extras.

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

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Spoils Of A Brief Reconnaissance Trip To Toys-R-us

Recently, Jan and I made a brief stop into Toys-R-us to take a look around, we had no intention of getting anything, our intention that day was purely to look around, see what they had, so we had an idea what we could potentially get, on a future trip. As is always the case, things didn't quite go to plan... Allons-y

Unlike a lot of 'haul' posts on the net, and more than likely, unlike future ones from me, this one is very short... three products short to be exact. As I said, we had no intention of getting anything, however, this products were all under £3 each (around $5 US) so we figured, what the heck, they probably won't have them next time, and, if they do, the price will have gone back up for some reason.

First up, I got a 3 3/4 inch scale figure from the Thor: The Dark World line by Hasbro, I got this fella...

Kurse, from Thor: The Dark World

Next up, I got a figure from, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 6 inch Collectors figure series, I got...

Thorin Oakenshield, from The Hobbit (films)

Finally, also from, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 6 inch Collectors figures series, I got...

Tauriel, from The Hobbit (films)

As soon as I can, I will unbox the figures, takes some pictures, and, get a review written and uploaded, until then...

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

Sunday, 25 May 2014

The Alternate Perception Of Video Games - 01: Pokemon

Whilst writing my 'Top 10 Game Boy Games Of My Childhood' article, it occurred to me, what if our current perception of a video game was turned around... and so, a series was born, 'The Alternate Perception Of Video Games'

For this inaugural post, we are going to take a look at one of the games from my article, Pokemon... Allons-y!

To illustrate this post is about Pokemon...
If I was to add a shot of all Pokemon titles,
we'd have the War & Peace of blog posts!

No doubt, if you haven't played a Pokemon game, you will, at least, have heard of them. You may have even caught a glimpse of the tv shows, movies, or, seen the toys and trading cards in your local shops. The premise of the game is quite simple, collect at least, one of each of the Pokemon in the world (you need multiple in the later titles, as, you can breed them), attend a number of gyms, beat each gym leader, gain medals, then, win a tournament to become the greatest trainer there is.

It all sounds fairly harmless, your goal is becoming a master trainer, Mr Miyagi trained Daniel-san, he was lovely, so, in the game, you must be too... think again!

If you think about the alternate perception of portions of the game, you come to some alarming conclusions, lets take a look at a few...

In the game - Local prof wants you to collect info on all Pokemon...
In reality - Child labour

See, you're a child!
Quite a cocky looking one at that!

In the game - Collect all the pokemon...
In reality - Enslave as many harmless creatures as you can

In the game - Explore areas of grass, sea, desert, cave...
In reality - Stomp around, startling wildlife, with the intention of, attacking and trapping it

In the game - Keep your Pokemon in, genius, scientifically created devices called, Pokeballs
In reality - Cram your Pokemon, which are normally larger than a grown adult, into a ball that is small enough to fit in a childs hand

In the game - Train in gyms and, compete in the tournament...
In reality - Force your Pokemon, against their will, to physically assault other Pokemon

Poor birdy, forced to attack that rat!
In the game - Heal your fatigued and fainted Pokemon at a Pokecenter...
In reality - Pump your Pokemon full of drugs so you can force them to fight again, straight away

There you have it, Pokemon... not quite as innocent as you thought it was. Next time you play, spare a thought for those poor little mites, who you enslave, after destroying their home and attacking them... or, better yet, play Pokemon Snap, all you're doing then is taking pictures of them.

Much more Pokemon friendly game... all you're doing is
taking pictures!

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

Coming soon, I will be flipping the perception of more of yours, and my, favourite video games.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D S01E21 recap 'Ragtag'

Well hello! I'm Jan, Ian's wife and fellow geek! I'll be popping over here once in a while to post some stuff  that may interest you all! First, of course, is Marvel....

You have noooo idea how much I geeked out when we found out they were making this show! Coulson Lives!

Having seen the entire season, I thought I'd recap the last 2 eps for those who are playing catch up.


First up, there's a nice little round up of ep 20....Ward and Garrett have Skye captive on the team's stolen bus. Deathlok is trying to find out how to decrypt the hard drive to which Skye transferred all the data on Coulson's resurrection and her recovery. Nothing works until he shoots a device at Ward's chest, which promptly stops his heart. Skye watches in shock as he writhes, Garrett knows Ward is still her weak spot. She tells Deathlok that Ward is a murderer, he then asks 'are you?' She caves to save Ward, tells Deathlok how to decrypt the drive and he restarts Ward's heart. Coulson gets on the bus thanks to a diversion from Maria Hill and Trip. He grabs Skye, tells her to get into Lola and they make the most epic escape imaginable! Coulson tells Hill they need backup, she says there is none, that S.H.I.E.L.D no longer exists.

Onto ep 21......

The ep starts with a flashback sequence, fifteen years to be exact. Garrett is visiting a young Ward, who is locked up in juvie for trying to burn his family home down. Garrett makes him an offer he can't refuse. He promises to make Garrett a man, someone nobody would mess with.....early brainwashing much? Then follows the prison break.....

The younger team members are sat on motel beds watching TV news. Deathlok has killed a top Colombian drug dealer who had no ties to Hydra. Coulson and May are in the next room, Coulson calls the others in to look at their old school white fancy tricks now but they still kick ass! Cybertek is connected to all the different players they've come across. Garrett has been developing the Centipede serum all this time, he now just needs GH325 as the final ingredient. Luckily for our heroes, Skye left a little present for the bad guys in the form of a Trojan horse which has been slowly mapping every system they uploaded it to....yay Skye! One small problem, she didn't have time to build it, so now she needs to plug a drive into one of Cybertek's computers to activate it, and they haven't been able to find!

Coulson and May decide to go into Cybertek in the guise of now unemployed S.H.I.E.L.D scientists in order to find a computer, cos surely there must be some at Cybertek right? Coulson points out to his loyal team that they have no authority to do what they are planning. He starts to say something about how 'we are now..' which point Fitz interrupts him by shouting 'Vigilantes!' To which Coulson replies 'I was going to say doing this because its the right thing, but, yeah'. Love this team!

Ward and Garrett are on the bus, Ward is pissy and Garrett is nuts. Deathlok shoots hate vibes at both of them, which Garrett chooses to ignore, and as a reward for Mike doing a good job killing the drug lord, he tells someone to stream Mike some video of his son. Flowers (Raina) is a happy little psycho camper, as she's close to replicationg GH325. Ward is mostly still sulking that Garrett made Mike almost kill him.

The good guys are gathered by a relatively nice looking motel pool. Fitz is worried about the Cybertek mission, Skye tries to reassure him by telling him that nobody will be able to see through their new ID's. Coulson gets a call, its official, he and May are going to Cybertek's R&D department. Fitz is not liking the idea that they are about to share their designs with the bad guys. He is also still convinced that Ward is good....Skye just tells him that Ward is evil. Fitz doesn't believe in being born evil. Poor Fitz. Trip arrives with a suitcase, which I want by the way, of his grandaddy's old Howling Commando gear....apparently S.H.I.E.L.D's old spy tech was funky steampunkesque bits and bobs which looked innocent so that the spies didn't get oh so dead when caught with spy ware. Coulson wants a full inventory....oh until he gets his geek on when he sees a hand held hypno beam....not just any hand held hypno beams but an original beta model with the switch on the bottom. Now the the production models had the switch on the side dontcha know? Adorable! Skye is unimpressed by the goodies, until she finds a seemingly joke buzzer which she finds out, when she presses it, is an EMP. Boom goes the electrics! Fitz demonstrates how innocent the tech looks with a cigarette....which turns out to be a laser and promptly sets the lace curtains on fire! May's deadpan delivery of 'Watch out Hydra, here we come' was just perfect!

Another flashback....fifteen years ago in the woods of Wyoming. Garrett and Baby Ward strolling through the trees with a gorgeous chocolate lab called him! Baby Ward is worried about police finding them, Garrett takes the opportunity to tell him that nobody is looking for them, and that basically nobody else cares about Ward. Baby Ward isn't too bright, as he didn't see the fact that Garrett was going to leave him in the woods coming a mile off. He pouts and complains that its not fair, that if he'd known he would have packed tools and food instead of just clothes. Another lesson Garrett wants to teach Baby Ward is not to blame anyone else for his own failings. From now on Baby Ward earns EVERYTHING. He tells Ward he can quit and go back to juvie, confirming what everyone thought of him, that he was weak and worthless. Garrett tells Baby Ward that he'll be back in a couple of months and that he believes Ward can do it. Further along the path to brainwashing we skip!

Back to the future, in Palo Alto, California, Coulson and May are all geeked over in adorable checked shirts and waistcoats, Coulson rocking a snazzy tie and May looking uncomfortable in her glasses and meek scientist persona. Now for the names....Theo Tiddle and Dr Rome? Oh yes! Our attention is drawn to the stenographer in the corner, puzzling our good guys....surely a high tech company like Cybertek would be more up to date? Cybertek are underwhelmed by previous former S.H.I.E.L.D scientists, unlike Hydra scientists who are apparently younger. Cut to a shot of a cleaning services van, with Fitzsimmons in the back communicating with Coulson and May and bickering as usual. Simmons takes great offence to the idea that Hydra's scientists are younger saying 'May barely looks a day over 30! You're gorgeous!' which prompts May to switch off her comms device with an awkward smile. Trip and Skye are in front seats, scanning the building on UHF thanks to more of Grandad Trip's gadgets. Oddly, she can't find any data signatures, so needs Coulson and May to stall for longer. Fitzsimmons take up the torch by telling Coulson and May to show the icer bullet. Thanks to repeating everything Fitz says Coulson ends up slipping into a Scottish burr which he then has to shake off. May has her own problems meanwhile, as Simmons has just gone off on one about the fact that Fitz should have consulted her before he made the moulds as it was a challenge to condense the dosage to fit....nice nod back to the early season eps. Fitzsimmons end up bickering, of course, as do May and Coulson. Cybertek have seen an icer bullet before, used with a 'Sleepy Sleep gun'....oh Fitzsimmons are pissed! Back to Skye who is now checking building permits and sees something hinky about the fourth floor, one way in or out and reinforced security door.

Coulson and May leave their meeting and get into the lift with a security guy....cut to a shot of lift doors with sounds of fighting. The doors open and Coulson and May leave with nary a hair out of place, dragging security guy between them....'does your sweater itch?' says May, 'little bit' returns Coulson. Deadpan and wonderful as ever. They get to a long corridor with a lovely red phone on the wall halfway between them and a single security guard. Cue May backflipping her way to the phone, kick boxing the security fella out of her way and catching the handset without breaking a sweat. Hangs up and pushes her glasses back into place as Coulson strolls up and tells May he's glad she's back....which gets a very cute smile as a reward. Coulson whips out his spy cigs and May tells him not to set fire to the drapes. After lasering the door open, they are confronted with a sea of filing cabinets.Turns out there is no mainframe, everything is on hard copy, hence the stenographer. They decide to have a nosy anyway and find Mike Peterson's file. Turns out that Project Deathlok started in 1990, Garrett was the first Deathlok! Shock! Coulson tells Trip and Skye to be ready for a large file transfer then promptly chucks the filing cabinet out of the window....very Coulson! Team jumps to it and retrieves the cabinet and Trip whips out another Grandaddy Trip toy, and shoots a line for Coulson and May to slide down.

More flashback action now....pouring rain and a soaked Baby Ward and Buddy snuggled up together. Then we hear Ward's voiceover, he's back to shouting at Garrett about the whole heart stoppy thing. Garrett wants him to use his indoor voice....he's a psycho but he gets snappy lines. Ward says that since the day they met he has done everything Garrett asked, to which Garrett replied that he knew Skye wouldn't let him get hurt. He says she's a soft touch, like Ward. Ward is no longer a scared kid anymore, Garrett tells him to stop acting like one, to stop being weak and playing the victim. He says he sometimes wonders why he bothered then promptly collapses.Ward gets him to the lab and kicks everyone out, then plugs Garrett in.

The team have finally discovered that Garrett was patient zero and wants GH325 for himself as well as for the supersoldiers. Fitz still wants Ward to be good bless him, he wonders if Garrett did the same to him as he did to Deathlok. Skye turns round and says that she wishes she'd let Mike finish him off, she says she's stupid and weak. Coulson disagrees, tells her she had compassion which is harder. Then PIZZA for Pablo Jimenez....ha.....which Coulson eventually realises is him!

Back on the bus Garrett is all better, Ward is relieved until Garrett tells him that his organs are shutting down and he has 1 or 2 months left to live.

Trip has ID'd a number Cybertek shipments all ending up in the team is off to Cuba!

Raina is all disillusioned that Garrett isn't a true believer like she is, but she shares the fact that Skye's DNA matches that of someone she heard about years ago with Ward. Adds the fact that the monsters who were looking for Skye in her home village were actually her parents, to the info we learned earlier in the season.

Flashback! Still in the woods! Turns out that Garrett was gone for 6 months, which was slightly longer than he'd promised Baby Ward...oopsy. Tells Ward he knew he could do it....oh so much brainwashing!

Raina hands Garrett the single existing vial of 'pretty much' GH325 serum.

Trip gives Fitz a homing beacon, which is lucky considering what occurs later! The team splits, with Fitzsimmons heading off to find the bus and the others are off to the barbershop. Fitzsimmons are under strict orders not to engage....hmmm did everyone else know what they meant was going to happen? The barbershop is deserted yet its giving off huge amounts of energy....suspicious. Fitzsimmon's have found the bus, but tell Coulson that by the time the rest of the team arrive the bus will be long gone. They decide to send on of the Dwarves in, Sleepy as he is the best listener next to Simmons. As Fitz heads off to get Sleepy Ward steps forward. Skye wants in to the bunker to plug her drive in, as she is convinced there will be a terminal in there. Seems logical.

Flashback to 10 years ago with non Baby Ward sat with Garrett and still snuggling with Buddy.....not a good sign *sniffle* Garrett is busy whining about trust and being deserted by S.H.I.E.L.D in Sarajevo. This was enough to turn him nutty  and wanting revenge. He decides to tell Ward about Hydra....Hydra understands the importance of survival. Yup still brainwashing.

Ward brings Fitzsimmons onto the bus and to Garrett. Fitz promply sets off the EMP he has in his hand which drops Garrett....yay Fitz!

More flashback....Ward has been accepted to Operations Division. Finally seems to decide that the brainwashing is complete and cuts the strings. Tells him to take care of Buddy *sob* he doesn't mean give him belly rubs and treats! Ward says it isn't a problem, no weakness. Flash forward to Ward trying to fix Garrett's innards....he then tells Ward to cross off Fitzsimmons. 'Its not a weakness is it?' plucking Ward's strings as usual.

The gang have made it underground...but we're still worried about Fitzsimmons. They evade their guards and make a run for it. They end up locking themselves in the cube where they have another chat with Ward. Fitz continues to try and get through to Ward but is wasting his breath as Garrett knows which buttons to press. He cares for Fitzsimmons, and that is a weakness. He jettisons the box.

Raina is pulling inside robot bits out of Garrett, they realise they need to use the serum, so she injects it into what could be his heart...possibly, not sure! He starts to go mental, seizing and spitting, then he calms and looks beatific when he says he's feeling the universe.

Back underground Trip is using Grandaddy's tools to scan the walls. Finds a secret door, 'they're kind of my thing' says Coulson. Open sesame, computer, yay! Oh balls.....Centipede soldiers! The team are surrounded....

Quinn is in DC meeting Armed Forces chiefs, offering to sell supersoldiers....yep plural. Not 1 but one small problem he doesn't know about yet is that Garrett has used up all the serum! Dun dun duuuuun!

Hope you enjoyed my epic recap!

Thanks for popping by!


Friday, 23 May 2014

Top 10 Game Boy Games Of My Childhood

Today, we take a strole down memory lane, and, take a look at the top 10 Game Boy games of my childhood... Allons-y!

Although, this is a 'top 10', the list is not actually in any order, these are just 10 games, I played the most, when I was younger.

10. Double Dribble 5 on 5 - Not a game about excessive saliva, despite how it sounds, Double Dribble was a Basketball game. Compaired to todays sports games, the graphics, gameplay and pretty much everything about this game was... useless, however, I would spend hours, frantically mashing the keys, trying to perform a slam dunk, to trigger the now laughable, animations. Pointless Fact - Double dribble, was known as Exciting Basket in Japan.

09. F1 Pole Position (known in Japan as - Satoru Nakajima F-1 Hero GB '92 The Graded Driver) - A relatively simple, racing game, based on F1 racing... not much really I can say about this game... If memory serves, it had a similar style gameplay to, Outrun.

08. Kirby's Pinball Land - Anybody who has played the Super Smash Bros games, will, at some point have seen Kirby (the little pink ball with feet). Back on the Game Boy Kirby had a few games, one of these games was Kirby's Pinball Land... It's pretty much what it sounds like! On a side note, if anyone knows of anywhere in the UK with good pinball machines, leave a comment below, I love pinball machines.

07. Killer Instinct - This was, one of my first forays into the world of fighting games. Despite the relative simplicity of the Game Boy console you could achieve quite an array of moves, all things considering. Also a big reason for my playing it so much, was, the characters. Unlike many fighting games back then, and now, Killer Instinct had a colourful cast of characters, including... an ice-warrior alien, a werewolf, a cyborg, and, a skeleton to name a few.

06. Ghostbusters II - One of my favourite film franchises as a child, well, to this day actually is, Ghostbusters. This game provided me with a way to live out my childhood ongoing fantasy of becoming a Ghostbuster. The packaging boasted of 'The best graphics ever for the Game Boy' which, let's face it, wasn't saying much, however, the game had Proton Packs and Ghost Traps, so, I was a happy Ghostbuster.

05. Tetris - I should think, pretty much everybody will know what Tetris is, it has graced pretty much every console since the dawn of time, and, nowadays it either comes on, or is easily available for mobile phones and tablets.

04. The Legend Of Zelda: Link's Awakening - Almost everybody who has played/plays a Nintendo console will know about the Zelda series, and, most people who don't will probably have heard the name. Despite obvious differences to most of the Zelda games, Link's Awakening had a lot of the charm, and feel that makes the other games so popular. Although the Game Boy had a simple, direction pad and two button setup, Link's Awakening was extremely playable and offered quite an array of weaponry for battling your enemies.

03. Pokemon Blue Version - One of the original, two Pokemon games that started off the 18(ish) year, and counting, attempt at world domination... they were originally released in 1996 in Japan as Red and Green, with Blue released as a special edition before getting released in US & EU in 1997/1998. Pokemon, for those who don't know, saw you assume the role of an oddly proportioned little boy (or girl) and wander around, capturing (against their will) creatures, called Pokemon, who you would then train, and, make battle for you, either against other wild Pokemon, so you could capture them, or against other 'trainers'... If you think about it, it's quite barbaric. Pokemon, played my OCD against me, telling me I've 'Gotta catch 'em all!' so that is what I set out to do... crafty gits, neglected to mention at first that you either needed Blue and Red or, you had to trade with people, so, I had to also get...

02. Pokemon Red Version - As mention on the Blue version, you needed access to both to collect all of the Pokemon, subsequently, I bought them both. My OCD, coupled with, my inability to wait for friends to get the Pokemon I needed made it a necessity.

01. Super Mario Land - My first ever game on the Game Boy, Super Mario Land, is pretty much, solely responsible for my computer game addiction. Despite it's simple, side scrolling gameplay, Super Mario Land was not only highly enjoyable, but, also addictive. I spent, many car journeys playing, Super Mario Land, fighting off enemies, collecting coins, and, trying to save Princess Daisy.

What games did you used to play on the Game Boy? do you still play on a Game Boy? what games do you play? leave me comments below.

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

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review

After the hugely successful rebooting of the Spider-Man franchise with, The Amazing Spider-Man, the bar for the inevitable sequel was set very high, lets see how ASM2 lives up to it... Allons-y!

Disney, at present, do not own the rights to Spider-Man, meaning, he cannot turn up in the Avengers, which is a shame, that would be so cool... This inability to crossover means, the team behind ASM2 have to set up their own spidey-verse. Therein lies one of my biggest issues with ASM2, it feels more like a set up, a two and a half hour pre-credit sequence if you will, rather than a movie in it's own right.

Multiple aspects of ASM2 add to the feeling that this is purely a filler... a means to get number 3, and, the Sinister Six film made. For example, Harry Osborne, exiled heir to the Oscorp empire, returns half hour into the film because his father is dying. He's told, he too has the condition that killed his father and, also learns, from some unexplained piece of technology that is brought to life by pricking/shocking? Harry that Spidey's blood could cure him. Cue, brief moment of Harry asking Spidey for blood, Spidey telling him to wait, for safety reasons, Harry going all Anakin Skywalker, letting Electro out, having brief fight with Spidey, getting locked up and setting up plot for future films. To me, this aspect of the film feels, unnecessary. Don't get me wrong, I personally prefer this Goblin to the Sam Raimi version, however, I think the Goblin story could have waited until the next film, or the Sinister Six film. Despite my reservations about the Harry/Goblin involvement in ASM2, Dane DeHaan does quite a solid job as Harry, and, in my opinion surpasses Willem Dafoe's Goblin...we won't mention James Franco's Goblin (it's just dawned on me, how rude that sounds), that was just terrible, although, that wasn't down to Franco, you can only work with what you're given after all.

Aleksei Sytsevich/Rhino, is, in my opinion, the same as the Goblin situation in this. In total, Aleksei/Rhino is not in the movie for more than 10 minutes. There is a couple of minutes at the start before he gets his Rhino garb, then, a couple of minutes at the end. Now, either the makers have gone for some record for, shortest supervillian screen time ever, or, as I suspect is the case, they are setting up another film. I'll tell you how short it is, it was so short, Jan didn't notice that he was played by Paul Giamatti.

The only, future character set up, which I'm assuming is a future character set up, that didn't feel too forced, or, over the top, is Felicia Hardy. Now, I'm assuming she is Felicia Hardy, she doesn't reveal her surname as far as I am aware, however, something about the way they get Harry asking her name, and, her knowing things she probably shouldn't make me wonder, will we be seeing Black Cat soon?

Someone who probably won't be making another apperance in the Spidey series is, Electro. Now, you would think that the story of how, the meek, mild mannered, Oscorp worker, Max Dillon turns into a murderous, Emperor Palpatine, Smurf hybrid, would get a resonable amount of explanation... you would be wrong. You get a sequence showing him having a workplace accident, that, would make hardened Health & Safety Executive's run out of forms, however, the only explanation for his new found rage is a throwaway line, in which, he mentions a feeling of anger. Either, we are to assume that the shocks he received turned him into a wrong'un, or, as I am guessing is the case due to his behavior as Max, he suffered from some grandiose delusional disorders.

I realise, the past few paragraphs will lead you to arrive at the conclusion that I didn't like the film. Far from it, I very much enjoyed it. Andrew Garfield, again, makes both a brilliant Peter and Spidey. He brings a likability to the role of Peter, you find yourself wanting him to succeed, wanting him to win, wanting things to go well with Gwen, all these things, if I'm honest I struggled with, with the Raimi films. In his role as Spidey, he brings all the aspects he does to Parker and, he also brings a wise cracking, quick witted, cheeky nature.

Emma Stone, as was with the first film is a perfect on screen match for Garfield. She is constantly putting Parker/Spidey in his place, and, her comic timing is right on the money. For any fans of the Gwen character, there is an incident, towards the end, that will infuriate you, as it did Jan and myself. 

The action sequences in ASM2 are, in my opinion, the best of all the Spidey films to date. I know some people have complained about the amount of greenscreen work, however, I disagree. All the action is filmed extremely well, the greenscreen and CGI, whilst in abundance work well and is blended relatively seamlessly with the physical elements. Electro ran the risk of looking naff (think Scorpion King, in The Mummy 2) however. he was done with tremendous skill, and, looked quite believable, well, as believable as a person made from electricity can.

Overall, the film is an enjoyable watch, and, it contains all the necessary elements to be a good superhero movie, however, it does stumble sometimes along the way.

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

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Simpsons Lego Minifigures Review

This year sees Lego release new product lines based on programs, games and films. One such release is a new set of minifigures, based on, The Simpsons. Here I take a quick look at them... Allons-y!

Costing £2.50 each in the UK, ($4.00 in the US I believe) the Simpsons minifigures are, as was the case with the Lego Movie minifigures, a little more pricey than the standard minifigure releases. This price hike, whilst annoying, will also run the risk of moving them out of 'pocket money purchase' range I would have thought, although, I suppose this is to be expected when you slap a name on something.

For this new range, Lego have kept the normal body shape, however, they have moved away from the traditional head shape. When this change was announced, opinion was divided, some liked the idea, however, many believed that they should stay with the traditional head mould. Having got a few, and having seen the whole range online, I personally think that the decision by Lego is a positve one. Despite the fact that I am a fan of the traditional heads and the amount of faces, expressions etc they can create, I think, due to the stylised nature of the Simpsons, that the normal lego heads would not have done them justice and, would risk making them look like cheap knockoffs.

The detailing of the figures is very impressive. Despite the inherently boxy, simple nature of Lego, they manage to replicate each of the characters outfits with great accuracy, from Bart's simple blue shorts and red t-shirt, to Homer's beer gut and Apu's swirling chest hair.

As well as the figure, and obligatory stand, each pack contains at least one accessory for each character. Each accessory, to anyone who has seen the show, is easily identifiable as belonging to the specific character it comes with, for example, Bart's skateboard, Lisa's Saxaphone, Nelson's baseball bat and, one of my favourites, Mr Burn's bowl containing Blinky (in reality, a clear head with Blinky painted on).

One gripe I have with all minifigures, not just the Simpsons minifigures is the skirts, more specifically, the fact that they never fit correctly. I have never understood why, instead of the current fabric fitment, they don't use the rubber fitment that they use for parts such as Scratchy's tail... maybe something to think about in future Lego?

Hopefully, some time in the near future I will be able to review the Simpsons playset, whether I am able to buy it, someone has it and allows me to take a look... or Lego send me one *cough* *cough* *wink*

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

Friday, 16 May 2014

Michael Bay - hero(ish) Or villain?

The 'done' thing is to slag off Michael Bay and,  I'm kinda jumping on the bandwagon I'm afraid... Allons-y!

With Transformers: Age Of Extinction hitting cinemas in a couple of months time, it got me wondering... does Michael Bay really deserve the hate he receives? Well... he does, sort of.

Let me preface the rest of this post by saying, I am a huge Transformers fan, I am also a fan of the films, with the exception of two things... Shia LaBeouf and (stop reading if you have somehow not seen it already!!!) needlessly killing Ironhide in Transformers: Dark Of The Moon.

Now, I have a large amount of respect for Bay for bringing Transformers to the big screen, although, techincally it was Steven Spielberg who made it happen. I had wanted a live action version for quite some time and was tremendously excited that it finally happened. Also, I am a big fan of Armageddon, minus the end, that always reduces me to tears (you ever wonder if you're sharing too much?), The Rock, despite Nic Cage's inability to act different, ever! (that will be another post, no doubt) and I will probably enjoy Pain & Gain when I get around to watching it, although, that may soley be down to Dwayne Johnson's envolvement.

That pretty much covers the 'positive' portion of this post I'm afraid... now, let the Bay bashing begin (ooer!)

To illustrate my first point, let's start with my favourite of his works, the Transformers films. The lead character of your film should, be likeable! Yes, they can, and, more often than not, should be flawed to provied a story arc, a growth of character but, Sam Witwicky is one of the most unlikable characters I have ever come across, also... how the hell did he pull not only Megan Fox but also Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in the films. Anyway, Sam, is obnoxious, self-important, ungrateful... (I could go on), and, not once in the space of three films, does he show any sign of growing as a person, hell, Megatron grows more!

Continuity is a major bugbear *salutes* (How I Met Your Mother reference for you there) of mine when it comes to Bay's films. I realise, not everyone has OCD like I do, however, how hard is it to make sure even simple things match from one scene to the next, for example.

Similar to the continuity issues, Bay's films are full of factual inaccuracies. A quick Google search, of Pearl Harbour for example, brings up a page showing, at least 132 factual inaccuracies... surely you would have advisors who know the subject matter.

I feel I should leave it at that for now. They are three of my many issues with Bay's films, I fear if I get into all the issues with his films we will be here until Transformers 6 is released, at least.

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

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles... Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles... Heroes in the half shell Turtle Power - Some of my toy photography!

Not really a long post, just a little one to show a little of my photography... Allons-y!

As I have mentioned before, I am a geek, nerd, call it what you will. One of the things I enjoy is collecting toys, these toys have a tendency to crop up in my photography, which, is what happened here with Donatello, Iron Man and Green Lantern.

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

Monday, 12 May 2014

Terrible Films I love - 01: Super Mario Bros.

With the recent passing of Bob Hoskins, the internet was awash with countless lists of his filmography, whilst perusing one such list, I stumbled upon one of his old films that, as a child, I loved and it gave me an idea... A series about terrible films (box office flops, universally ridiculed etc) that I, myself happen to love... Allons-y!

As this 'Terrible Films I Love' series is, in reality, thanks to Bob Hoskins, it is only fair that I kick it off with one of his films, the film in question is, Super Mario Bros.

Released in 1993, with an estimated budget of $42,000,000 Super Mario Bros was a flop, grossing not even half that at the American box office. On IMDB it has 4 out of 10 stars, having received ratings from around 31,000 users. It regularly appears on worst film lists, when I say worst film lists, I don't just mean worst video game adaptation, I mean, worst film ever kind of lists.

All that aside, I love it! When the film was released I was 6 or 7, which could, in some way, go towards explaining how I came to love it, either way, I do! By the time it came out I had owned a Game Boy for some time, for you younger readers this is a Game Boy, it's something like the 3DS' great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great,  great, grandad...

One of my favourite games to play, especially on long car journeys, apart from Tetris, was Super Mario Land (look at those ground breaking graphics)...

The film, whilst very cheesy and quite poorly made did bring to life the games that I loved. It had the daft, over the top story from the game, a plumber tasked with saving a princess, of all the people you'd want trying to save you, plumber has to be low on the list, somewhere down there with a binman or David Cameron (may I take this opportunity to apologise to plumbers and binmen for listing you with David Cameron). It had most of the characters from the games, albeit, most of them far more humanoid than they appear in the games and, in my opinion, it somewhat captures the feel of the games.

Despite the films flaws, of which there are many according to lots of people, I still to this day, find watching it an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours and, it brings back fond memories of hours spent on my Game Boy which is why, it has found it's way onto my, 'Terrible Films I Love' list.

Thanks for stopping by, I do hope you enjoyed yourself... Oh, I nearly forgot. Leave a comment below with films you love that are widely regarded as terrible.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Just like the queen & best birthday cake ever!

Now, I'll be the first to admit I'm a little camp, very if you ask my wife, however, yesterday things got taken up a notch, allow me to explain... Allons-y!

Before I start, I should explain, I didn't have the best of upbringings, so, where this is normal to most, to me, this is quite a big thing. I shall leave it at that for now, if in the future enough people are interested, I may address it, especially, if it may be helpful to someone who is experiencing similar situations.

In three days time, I turn 28, and, as you would expect I will be celebrating my birthday with my family, nothing fancy, just a little gathering, eating food I like, having birthday cake and having a nice day. Like I said, to most, this is 'normal' for a birthday, to me it's still a big thing.

Yesterday, I spent the day with my wife, my mum and my Gran. They are actually my in-laws, however, in the short time I have known them, they are more like you would expect of a 'proper' family, so, I have never bothered with the term in-law, to me, they are my mum and my gran, the same goes for my dad and my other gran. Anyway, that bordered on rambling, sorry about that. As I was saying, yesterday I spent the day with my wife, my mum and my gran, they had decided to have a birthday thing for me. My mum and gran bought us dinner, nothing too fancy, KFC and a cake.

The fact that they were doing this meant a lot to me, then I got there and saw the cake, that made it even more special... to me anyway, I may have reverted to a small child when I saw it.

Look at it! It's a cake and it's Avengers... could it be any more perfect?

So, this year I will have had two birthdays... Just like the Queen, so henceforth, I should expect I will be refered to by my wife as, a queen (for those who don't know, the Queen has her actual birthday and, she has an official birthday so people can celebrate).

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

Friday, 9 May 2014

Exactly four years ago... Yesterday!

Just a quickie today... get your mind out of the gutter! anyway... Allons-y!

Four years ago yesterday, in what can only be described as, an event that changed my life... that doesn't sound too pompous does it, it was a very important event in my life, however, I don't want to sound like Gwyneth Paltrow describing her 'perfectly planned' conscious uncoupling.

Anyway... four years ago yesterday, I met my wife Jan for the first time, click her name, it's her blog, it's good! Since that day she has, made me feel loved, inspired, filled me with confidence, pushed me to fulfill my potential etc, and who, despite battling various conditions (sadly there are a few), insists on doing as much as she can to further my photography.

I know you probably haven't really gained anything by reading this post, truth be told I didn't write it expecting you to, really, I just wanted to brag a little about the woman I love to as many people who would listen.

Thanks for stopping by, I do hope you enjoyed yourself... Oh, for those of you interested, this is us (a few years back, in Edinburgh, visiting a friend of ours)...

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Wasps & Terry's Chocolate Orange Donuts

Thank's for coming back, allow me to regale you with a tale, a tale of my escapades the other day, a day which involved me having to partake in an unthinkable act... Allons-y!

The other day, Monday I think it was, I'm rather incompetent when it comes to knowing what day it is, a little strange considering my OCD... anyway, the other day I had to do something terrible, something unthinkable, I had to get up early! Now we're not talking still dark, people staggering home from clubs after closing time early, we're talking around 8am early, which considering my fondness for sleeping is a little like telling Britney Spears she can't lip-sync at her concerts. As the weather was pleasant I decided to take my camera out with me to see if I could find anything to shoot... and I did, which brings me to the point of this post... look at some of these pictures of mine!

Thanks for stopping by, I do hope you enjoyed yourself... Oh, before I forget, Terry's Chocolate Orange donuts, try them, they're a taste sensation! (For British readers Asda sell them, for everyone else, you're on your own, sorry!)

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

So, I'm blogging now... Always late to the party!

So, here we are, my first blog post... Allons-y!

When online, when I'm not working on my photography or watching countless hours of YouTube videos I spent some time reading blogs, during this reading it has come to my attention that most of these blogs seemed to start around 2009... with this in mind I have today, in 2014 decided to start a blog... I'm always late catching on to these 'fads' as you will find out when I review my first pair of crocs, my first Tamagotchi & have a go giving my hair the 'Rachel'. Apparently, the hairdresser responsible for the 'Rachel' was higher than the voice of a Bee Gee who had taken a blow to the nuts when he created it... this is the sort of random & pointless trivia you can expect on a regular basis folks.

The reason for my blogging is actually my wife Jan's fault, she seems to think that somebody out there may be as interested as she is in things I have to say. It's kind of a double edge sword when you think about it, on the one hand it would be lovely if people read & enjoyed what I write and on the other hand, she won't let me forget it.

As this is my first post I thought I'd just talk a little about my plans for the blog. The blog will be a hodgepodge of various different things, it will contain a plethora of all things geeky, nerdy, funny, foody, crafty, arty, booky & a whole host of other things ending with 'y'... and some things that don't. I have no intention of it turning into something overly serious, there will no doubt be the occassional serious post but life is far too serious most of the time, people need an escape and hopefully my musings can help provide that for you.