Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"Arise...Rodimus Prime"

A heads-up to any fellow Transformers-fan toy collectors out there:  Takara is going to be releasing a Masterpiece Rodimus Prime/Hot Rod figure.  It can represent both versions of the character; in robot mode, there's a face swapping feature and an adjustable length for the legs to represent the size difference between the two.  The figure by itself can transform into Hot Rod's sports car mode, looking almost identical to the animation model.  How exactly Rodimus Prime's "space RV" mode is incorporated remains something of a mystery.  The trailer is confirmed as a separate piece as there are photos of it displayed in a battle station mode reminiscent of the old G1 toy.  The front end of the vehicle is the unknown part though; it shares a similar but not identical design to the front end of the sports car, so whether it's contained in the robot or in the trailer is, at this point, unknown.
I had pretty much stopped collecting but this thing is just too beautiful to pass up, high price or not.  Nuts to the naysayers, Hot Rod/Rodimus Prime has been my favourite G1 character for as long as I can remember.

Anyway, enjoy some of the images I've found (I take no credit for these photos, I am just sharing them).
The only inaccuracy I can find with the car is that you can see his wrist decals midway along the side of the vehicle.  There are identical decals at the very back, where they are on the animation model.  The ones in the middle are his actual wrists though, due to some necessitated 'cheats' for the transformation to work.
I've actually got quite a bit more, but you get the idea.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Couldn't Think of Anything Else to Post

So yeah, just reached another full post-less week.  This last week's been busy, mostly with friends now that everyone's all a bit closer together.  In any case, I figured I should post something...it just might not be popular.  I'm going to talk about how I felt about The Expendables.
Well for the most part, TheSpoonyOne was right.  It was honestly one of the most disappointing movies I've seen.  It's certainly not the worst I've ever seen (which is probably Transformers 2), but it's still pretty damn bad.

Now, I should preface what I have to say by noting that I am not in any means the target audience for action movies.  I can't lose inhibitions and not think about what I'm seeing, it's just not in me. I fully understand people who do it and I have nothing against it, but it's not me.  What I don't understand is why even the target audience likes this movie so much.
But first off, everything aside from the action was just plain awful.  Which I expected, but it's worth mentioning because it was probably a good 5 times worse than I was expecting.  The plot/story, script and vast majority of the acting was all terrible.  Plus I always hate it when an overstated subplot shows up in a movie and has absolutely no payoff (in this case, a subplot involving Lee Christmas; Jason Statham; and his girlfriend); similar to the hackers in Transformers (2007).
The one good performance was from the one character that did nothing:  Mickey Rourke (obviously the actor; I don't remember the character's name).  Truth be told, I enjoyed Stallone's performance just for being...'one-note, but in a good way' is probably the best way to put it.  Rourke was the only one who actually performed skillfully though.  I really couldn't take Giselle ItiĆ© as Sandra, AKA standard hottie, seriously. As soon as she came on screen, my mind just said "...really? That's the 'hottie' of the film? She has a jawline that could rival Schwarzenegger's."
Then there were unfortunate attempts at humour.  There are 2 funny lines in the movie, and they're really funny so they saved the humour for me.  All I'll say about them is that they are real-world references, one much more subtle than the other.
There was a really unusual running...gag, I guess, that was basically mild ribbing of Jet Li's height.  Now, the reason I'm hesitant to call it a 'gag' is because it was never funny.  It provided occasional banter but never any sort of actual joke or humour.  It's also a little unusual how overdone it is because he's not even that short.  One scene shows Li and Stallone standing side by side and there's at most a 4-inch difference between them.

Now for the big part, the action.  Like I said, I don't understand why even the type of people this movie was made for would like it.  There are 3 parts of the action truly worth watching, which were really cool, and they total probably about 20 seconds.  Every other bit of the action was entirely average, and horribly filmed; you can thank both shaky cam and horrible understanding of cinematography for that.  And even though the action is "average", which makes it the best part of the film, it bothers me more than any other aspect.  Wasn't the whole point to make a big budget film starring the biggest action stars of the last 3 decades?  With that in mind, why the hell is the action just so average?
Speaking of 'big budget', a lot of the special effects were...astoundingly terrible.  For the sake of avoiding more confusion, I'm going to attribute that to being a reference to old cheesey action flicks.
Every other action movie I've seen (which admittedly is limited to only the Die Hard Anthology, Taken, and a few others I can't remember right now) has been much better.

It just seems really unfortunate that this movie is what it is.  Truth be told, while (again) it's definitely not the worst movie I've ever seen (by a long shot), it makes me more angry to think about than any other movie I've seen.  This is the one bad movie I know of that I can't think of any good reasoning for it being so bad.  I actually didn't sleep the night after I saw it because I couldn't stop rambling to myself about all it's problems and being unable to understand why.
One more thing:  Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis are in a single scene of the movie that lasts about 2 minutes.  A disappointment and a fair warning for anyone still planning to see the film and hoping to see these actors.

Well, hopefully sometime soon I'll get out to see Scott Pilgrim.  Here's hoping it does a much better job with the action.  Once again, I won't expect much in plot, but knowing ahead of time it's pretty much 'If Relationships Worked Like Video Games' I'm sure it should be a bit of fun to watch.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Aaannnnd Done

Well, I've more or less finished my future entry to the art competition on DragonBallToys.com so have a look.

This is a scaled-down version but you get the point.  I wasn't entirely sure what to do besides Gohan and Cell but I think a blank background works well enough; though I'll be sure to add something if I come up with a good idea.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Small Visual Update

Well, in the something like 7-8 months I've been doing this blog, I just now decided I really needed some sort of banner.  So there you have it.

And one more thing; the line art of Gohan that I posted a little while back has now been clean, coloured and shaded.

I'm likely to start doing some Street Fighter-themed art for the sake of selling prints at tournaments my brother will be participating in during the coming semester.  And that's really all there is to say for now, ciao.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Spoils of the Console War

Not really, just stuff I own.  A few days ago, I decided to upload a couple albums to my facebook account of my games and DVD/Blu-Ray collections; so I took all the pictures, though forgetting a few select items, and put them up.  In any case, it seemed like good material to post here as well.  Enjoy.

The Games.

Not pictured:
Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans (DS)
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (Wii)
Guitar Hero World Tour (Wii)
Guitar Hero 5 (Wii)
Transformers War For Cybertron (XBox 360)
Batman Arkham Asylum (XBox 360)
Street Fighter IV (XBox 360)
Prototype (XBox 360)
And I should say that I don't own everything pictured.  All the Wii and DS games are mine, but not all of the older stuff; in any case, it's all been sitting in my room over the years.

And the DVD/Blu-Ray Collection.

The only set shown here that doesn't belong to me is the season boxsets of Dragon Ball Z; they belong to my brother.  I own Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball GT however and am personally leaning towards getting the sets for Dragon Ball Z Kai.
On my facebook profile, I took the time to list off what was in each picture to help with anyone who may have found them too blurry.  Currently I am very tired and won't be doing that, at least not right now.
I took all of these photos with my DSi.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Preparations for a Contest

So, dragonballtoys.com is starting talks of an art competition.  Reading up on that, and just liking the way most of the community there acts, I decided to sign up.  My account has yet to be approved, which is apparently a common issue new members have, but that hasn't stopped me from beginning work on some art to submit.  So here's a quick preview of the drawing of Gohan that will appear in the final image:

There will be more than Gohan; notably a larger image of Cell in the background.  This is what I'm showing just for the time being.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Additional Self Promotion

So, in the confirmation of my long suspecting that I would love to be a voice actor, I was cast earlier today as Optimus Prime in another Transformers fan series.  Though in that case, it's just a one episode thing.  The guy's doing an 'original' fan story centered around his own created characters.  I didn't put 'original' in quotes to be derogatory, just to note that it's still a series based on a licensed franchise and is thus original only to an extent.  Anyway, I definitely respect the idea as it's one I would really like to see the official franchise try out.  The same names and almost identical personalities for so many myriad series has gotten pretty tiring.
And, for the ultimate in self-appreciation:
Well, what did you really expect from a person who consistently adds 'The Awesome' to the end of his name?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Jobs For Fun

Well, just two little stories of my personal life for today.  For one, I'm going to be doing a caricature of my aunt and uncle which they've commissioned me to do (in other words, I'm getting paid for something finally).  More exciting, to me anyway, I've been cast as the voice of the lead role in an upcoming YouTube stop-motion Transformers series.  Of course I'm not getting paid for it but hopefully it will help me open up some more opportunities to do voices.  In this case, I'm playing a character named 'Optimus Major'; the person making the series listed the available roles and said this one was to just sound like Peter Cullen's Optimus Prime, a voice I consider myself quite good at impersonating.
And that's all.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Look Into What I've Been Doing

So in light of the realization that I've gone yet another full week without making a blog post, I've decided I should do something a little special.  As any readers know, I've been working on a project that's changed mediums a couple times; currently I'm working towards it being a role-playing video game.  With that in mind over the last few weeks, I've been working on graphics for it.  And since for a project like this it only makes sense to play to my strengths, it will be a 2D game which allows me to draw everything.  But don't worry, I've got a small 3D treat coming at the end of the post.
So here are some of the graphics I've made so far (note that all of these are tiles for drawing maps, I haven't done any of the sprite work yet).  The image files are larger than the graphics will ultimately appear on screen just for the sake of getting a better look and making it easier to ensure the graphics can be tiled as when they're scaled down, any seams will be pretty much invisible.

Now, about that 3D treat.  Something else I've worked on in the last few weeks, just to make sure I wasn't too shabby in modeling in Maya, was to make a model of the Transformer Ultra Magnus, based off his toy that came out as part of the 6" Titanium line.  And yes, I know I've already mentioned that.  Anyway, what I have is the model, nearly completed (lacking a head and hands), transforming.  See here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rn5a0I_-3g8