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Posts Tagged ‘freakin’ awesome’

I. Want. This.

February 12th, 2009 No comments

A real-life Warhammer 40,000 Rhino transport, built to promote the next Dawn of War PC game.

Categories: Games Tags: ,

How Awesome Is This?

February 9th, 2009 No comments

Really, how awesome is this scene from last Friday’s Battlestar Galactica, in which Mary McDonnell’s President Roslin faces down Tom Zarek, leader of the coup against the Colonial fleet?

 

Frakkin’ awesome.

Oh, and I love the irony of Richard Hatch, the star of the original Galactica and the guy who tried to launch his own sequel series before being pre-empted by the folks who actually owned the rights, attempting to literally take control of the new show.

Yes, Oh Yes

October 16th, 2008 No comments

The first photo of the new Star Trek film cast in costume on the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise.

Fuck, yeah.

Categories: Sci-Fi Tags: ,

Even Better Than "Pyramids Of Mars"

September 12th, 2008 No comments

Take some kids, a video camera, a cardboard Dalek suit, a bunch of willing exterminat-ees and a bit of post-production magic, and what do you get?

Quite possible the best piece of Doctor Who ever committed to video!

“I’m regenatin! Aaaaaaaaaah!”

And don’t stop watching before you reach “Mr. Happy.”

You May Fire When Ready

September 10th, 2008 No comments

Look what just arrived in the mail!

OMG SWEET SWEET LEGO DEATH STAR

Categories: Toys Tags: , ,

Adventure’s Waiting Just Ahead!

May 9th, 2008 No comments

One of Speed Racer’s greatest challenges was posed by the Gang of Assassins, featured in the episode “Gang of Assassins.” Another ninja-themed group, they had a couple of clear advantages over the previously-seen bat boys: sheer numbers and bitchin’, death’s head cars. Also a flying dragon submarine, but more on that in a minute.

They had been hired to disrupt the International Peacemeal Conference, the name of which was probably as close to political satire as the American translators of Speed Racer ever got. The Mach 5 happened upon the scene of their next assassination attempt, but when Speed used the homing robot to give them the bird, one of the gang retaliated by throwing a million, billion ninja stars.

Speed and Trixie gave chase in the Mach 5, but the assassins’ cars proved to have an overwhelming array of weapons: machine guns, spike strips and flamethrowers.

Later, Racer X, who had been in town for the Fujiyama Grand Prix, was standing on a lake shore watching a boat full of delegates to the Peacemeal Conference when he was ambushed by the assassins. Who were buried in the dirt beneath him. That’s how kick-ass the Gang of Assassins were: they could burrow. They snagged the Masked Racer’s wrists with chains, but he gave them a spin.

Racer X learned that the attack was just a test: they wanted to recruit him into the gang. Just then, a dragon-headed submarine reared out of the water and a whirlpool sucked the delegates’ sightseeing vessel below the surface!

After a series of adventures, Speed, Trixie, Spritle and Chim-Chim all found themselves in the underground lair of the worldwide assassins’ organization.

The assassins deliberately kept their lair chilly.

Speed met their leader, Professor Anarchy, who offered Speed a job on the team. When the racer refused, Anarchy threatened to make him his 2,708th victim. (That’s right, he kept track.)


Even’s Anarchy’s eyepatch was twisted.


The conversation was cut short by the arrival of Racer X, seemingly in cahoots with the villains. Rex was put in charge of murdering Speed, Trixie and the captured delegates. Indeed, he blasted away with a submachine gun…and, in what was arguably the greatest feat of precision ever achieved by a racer-turned-secret-agent, shot off their ropes.

Not even Speed is buying it.

A fracas ensued, and, as this was Speed Racer, it involved submachine guns, and lots of ’em.

After that, it all got a bit insane. Racer X led the freed delegates out of the underground complex, then went back to blow it up with a time bomb. Spritle and Chim-Chim stowed away aboard the dragon sub. Speed and Trixie raced off in the Mach 5 in hopes of intercepting the remaining assassins before they could reach the Peacemeal Conference.

Then, because no Japanese adventure series was complete without a flying submarine, the dragon lifted off and began pelting the fleeing Speed with fireballs. Once again, Spritle and Chim-Chim saved the day by sabotaging the sub and parachuting out as it made a final, fatal power dive smack into the highway, demolishing the killers’ cars. Suck that, assassins.

“Aieeeeeee! I dishonor my ancestors!”

The fate of Professor Anarchy was unrevealed, but I believe that surely his sinister eyepatch would once again endanger world peace.


This brings me to the end of my less-than-comprehensive retrospective of Speed Racer. The movie opened today, and I’ll be seeing it this evening. While it’s being savaged by the critics, their descriptions make it sound as if it’s exactly what’s promised in the trailer: an eye-searing visual display that’s relatively faithful to the cartoon in both tone and level of sophistication. (Make of that what you will.) Fortunately for me, that’s exactly what I’m looking for.

Getting ready for tonight.

You Bet Your Life Speed Racer’s Gonna See It Through

April 22nd, 2008 No comments

Second only to the “Mammoth Car” episodes, my favorite Speed Racer storyline was “The Fire Race.” This was the one in which the writers decided that driving near active volcanoes was for pansies; why not drive through one?

It began, as so many professional races do, with an international border dispute. The League of Countries demanded that the tiny nation of Kapetepek open itself to visitors, but Chief Zuma was concerned (correctly, as it turned out) that doing so would invite thieves to steal its national treasures.

The argument was settled when it was decided that an auto race would be held. If the winner was an outsider, Zuma would open the borders, but if a Kapetepekan racer won, the country would remain isolated forever. Kapetepek was to be represented by the infamous Kabala, a driver so badass that his home was full of portraits of the racers he’d killed.

Kabala also won the “pointiest nose” trophy every year.

When the racers arrived, it was only then that they learned that the course would take them through an erupting volcano. The mountain blew its stack every 100 years like a lava-riffic Old Faithful, and by sheer coincidence, it was about to go off. Furthermore, the entrances would only remain open during the brief period of eruption, after which they would seal shut for another century. (How anyone was certain that there was a traversable passage through to the other side was left unexplained.)

As a bonus, the winning racer was to be given Chief Zuma’s smoking hot granddaughter Silvana in marriage. Neither Silvana nor Trixie was happy with this arrangement. Speed was noncommittal.

As the race began, Speed noticed that Racer X was nowhere to be seen. However, there was no time to ponder this, as he would have to maintain an average speed of 160 mph to escape the underground tunnel in time.

Some participants began to rethink that “race through the volcano” thing.

It turned out that the track wound its way through petrified forests and other strange sights. Stopped by an underground lake, the drivers were startled to see a sea monster emerging as the waters were sucked down in a whirlpool. However, the dinosaur was only a statue, which didn’t stop it from killing one of the racers when its head unexpectedly plopped off. Kabala shot through the legs of the collapsing sculpture, followed closely by the rest of the pack.

Things were further complicated, as usual, by the presence of a team of evil racers: treasure hunters led by Kadar. After whittling down the other competitors, most of them met their end thanks to an unexpectedly frisky vine plant. Kadar himself was done in when his car, overloaded with gold and jewels, failed to jump a pool of lava.

Kadar gave one hell of a shoulder rub.

Prior to his demise, Kadar confronted Speed and Kabala in the ruins of an ancient palace. In the fracas, Kabala’s goggles fell off, and…

…was revealed to be Racer X. Wearing a mask. Over his regular mask. Racer X (who, as we recall, was secretly Speed’s older brother Rex, who ran away from home years ago) had pretended to be his old racing mentor, who had died some time earlier. The Masked Masked Racer wanted to preserve Kapetepek’s borders.

Speed, however, thought the whole thing was silly; he only cared about winning. And so, the race furiously continued with the two driving underneath the skeleton of the biggest fucking dinosaur ever.

As Trixie, Zuma and Silvana waited at the end of the course, the volcano erupted a second time. The only two survivors (out of an initial 96) drove for the closing exit…

In case you were wondering, Speed Racer did not end with Speed being buried underground for a hundred years, eventually dying in starvation and madness.

The race resulted in a tie, though Zuma was adamant that Kabala was the winner. In return, Speed revealed that Kabala was not Kabala. Racer X unmasked (well, one mask anyway) and said “I’ve risked my life to save your treasure. Now, you gentlemen must come to some agreement. Compromise. Open your borders to the world some of the time.”

And so, in the years to come, international jewel thieves poured into Kapetepek, but only some of the time.

He’s Gaining On You So You’d Better Look Alive

April 16th, 2008 No comments

I was jazzed that the most recent Speed Racer trailer included a nod to my favorite installment of the cartoon series, a two-parter called “Race Against the Mammoth Car.” While the truck-sized vehicle attacking Racer X in the trailer is considerably less mammoth than the true Mammoth Car, it’s obviously inspired by the original.

“Sieg heil, Mammoth Car!”

The Mammoth Car was one of the entrants in the “No Limit World Race,” and its team took the “no limit” thing to heart. Essentially a truck cab pulling ten trailers, it dwarfed the other vehicles.

Before the race could begin, however, the drivers were paid a visit by Inspector Detector (seen below). I was never certain whether “Inspector Detector” was his title, or whether Mr. and Mrs. Detector urged him to enter the field of law enforcement.

Inspector Detector’s razor-sharp beard was a vital weapon in his one-man war on international crime.

The police had arrived because $50 million in gold bars had recently been stolen, and it was believed that one of the race cars would be used to smuggle it out of the country. Inexplicably, suspicion immediately fell upon the Mammoth Car and its owner, gangster Cruncher Block (below, left). Yet a tour of the car revealed no sign of the gold, and so the race got underway.

Needless to say, it wasn’t long before the Mammoth Car began smashing its competition. This is Speed Racer, after all, and fiery death wasn’t going to cause itself. Soon, Speed himself became the target of the juggernaut after he attempted to take x-ray photos of its interior with his homing robot. Encircling the Mach 5, the behemoth belched submachine gun fire from its previously hidden gunports.

Speed survived the fusillade and raced the Mammoth Car to a dead heat at the finish line. However, the monster failed to stop and continued at breakneck speed toward the pier. The chase ended in a fiery crash (what else?) as it collided with a fuel tank. And that’s when we learned that the Mammoth Car wasn’t carrying the stolen gold…it was the gold.

And as Cruncher’s car melted into a goopy mass, absolutely no one stopped to ponder the cost of engineering a 200-yard-long truck made of solid gold, but that’s exactly as it should’ve been.

Kick Ass!

April 7th, 2008 No comments

Nothing much to say about the following except that the season premiere of Battlestar Galactica continued the series’ tradition of ass-kicking space battles. Here’s a six-minute clip of the Battle of the Ionian Nebula, as the Galactica faces down an overwhelming Cylon force.

I Am SO There

March 12th, 2008 No comments

Two new international trailers for Speed Racer. An entire squad of overall-wearing monkeys couldn’t keep me away from this one.