maandag 23 januari 2017

The Fantasy Movie Marathon overview

And so it has come to an end, two weeks of watching fantasy themed movies in order to reduce my backlog a bit.

The series had some duds, but also some unexpected gems, and discovered classics...

The worst of the worst has to go to Grimm Snow White, a low budget movie that was a whole effort to watch, and I rated it with a measly 2 out of 10.  This one as such was followed by Red Sonja, which definitly was worse then how I remembered it fromm 25 odd years ago, and a 3 / 10 was it's share.

For a variety of well intended, poorly executed reasons, Beowulf and Grendel was the only other movie not to make the halfway mark, stranding at a 4 out of 10 in my opinion.

At the other end of the spectrum, there was the discovery of Sorceress, a far better movie then I had expected with 6.5, and the classic Jason and the Argonauts, a cult movie which was better then I remembered decades ago.  I guess with growing older, you learn to appreciate things other then special effects, and become more critical in how you look at movies.

But the "winner" was Hogfather, which was the one I enjoyed the most over the past two weeks, and took along an 8 / 10 for me personally.

So for completeness sake, from high to low, here are the results of the subjective, single man jury ;-)

1. Hogfather - 8 / 10
2. Jason and the Argonauts - 7.5 / 10
3. Sorceress - 6.5 / 10
3. Ironclad - 6.5 / 10
3. Maleficent - 6.5 / 10

6. Alice Through the Looking Glass - 6 / 10
6. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters - 6 / 10
8. The Huntsman: Winter's War - 5 / 10
8. Dragon's Nest Warriors Dawn - 5 / 10
10. Beowulf and Grendel - 4 / 10

11. Red Sonja - 3 / 10
12. Grimm Snow White - 2 / 10

Inspirational Lego #106

Hello everyone and welcome to another monday filled with 10 awesome Lego builds from all over the internet.

And we begin this week with the Katana, a large spaceship / battlecruiser in the Battleship Yamato style anime.

This vessel was part of SHIPtember, and really transfers the look of a big bad ship, stacked with gigantic cannons.



Meteor-1A was one of the early test rockets build to look for a way to launch humans into space.

This rendition of the Ideas Catherham Super 7 is scaled for minifigures, and would look awesome next to the real deal.

The Red Crowned Crane is making excellent use of various Technic parts and plates, to give it it`s royal look.

Arkbri Irrigation is part of Guilds of Historica's Kaliphlim setting, reflecting nicely the way fields where irrigated about 2000 years ago.

Bad Dobby is from the 2nd Harry Potter movie, where the little house-elf is trying to keep Harry away from Hogwarts and the dangers of the Chamber of Secrets.

Next, we have a great looking Basilica, making use of various parts to create some excellent "greeblings" on it`s walls.

This Gundam mobile suit is sporting one of the typical huge swords rife in the anime series.

We have a fearsome looking Cyclops here as the next build, complete with a terror imposing club to swat the flies that bother him.

The final build this week is the Harrower, a vessel from the expanded Star Wars universe and a sort of evolution of a regular star destroyer.

That`s it again for this week, see you all again next monday for another 10 great internet finds!

The Huntsman: Winter's War

In a year dominated by high profile blockbusters (Civil war, Dr Strange, Suicide Squad, Star Wars, Fantastic Beasts...) we come to the final type of the Fantasy marathon: the box office bust.

The first Huntsman movie was "okay" but not much more, and last year we saw the swquel come out... and speed down the drain.

Where the first movie told (in some way) the tale of Snow White, it seems now we move to the popular Frozen as inspiration.  The main villain of the film is Freya, younger sister of Queen Ravenna and carrying icy powers.

When she suffers personal loss, she starts her own kingdom and has children abducted to train and become her personal army of huntsmen.  And explains the origins of the titular Huntsman of the series.

Fast forward to after the defeat of Ravenna, and queen Snow White (Kristen Stewart appears only through archive material though) orders the magic mirror to be taken to Sanctuary, where it's Dark magic cannot be used to strengthen Freya.

It`s not to bad a movie, but as I said at the opening, it pales compared to what was released this past year.  The special effects are great, and Chris Helmsworth puts in a good performance, but ultimately this can't hold up the movie.

Rating: 5 / 10

zondag 22 januari 2017

The Haul Report # 65: a truly spectacular week

Well, as the title says, between last week saturday and past friday, a lot of awesome goodies have arrived from a variety of sources.

Ranging from promo material over exclusives, I can`t complain at all.

The most awesome thing of course for me remains this huge vinyl movie poster of Harley Quinn, for the upcoming The Lego Batman movie.  Many thanks to my american channel for sending it to me.


But I had some more Harley goodness, as a custom figure of her Suicide Squad appearance had also arrived.

Last sunday I went on a flea marker trip, and there I found some excellent items to boot.  I love the micro blocks Saint (though I kind off expect, even sealed, some parts to be lacking, it's a "thing" with those chinese brands these days).

I payed a measly 5 euro for this sealed Wex Snapley set.

And for Chu, I found this little Belleville one, which I only bought pure for the fairy figure for her.

I also picked up some little stuff there, so I could finally complete my old Space set.
And this limited Beach people set for a 10er

Continuing with mail arrivals, there was the rare MSC Miraviglia set thanks to a german connection, and the old TUI travel agent mouse pad came in as well.


A Facebook find for my investing test is the next thing.  These two Hero Factory sets where sold in a group for 5 euro for the both of them... and they are worth about 40 both together, so that's a good find.

The Beyond the Brick KS DVD arrived as well earlier this week, with a lovely brick badge piece that came with it.  And of course, as a backer I could stare at my name at the credits... the ego needs feeding as well now doesn't it ;-)



The final haul where some minifigures together with two more Lake Guard polybags, in an exchange with a friend of mine for a Dimensions Green Arrow.

Quite a spectacular week indeed...

Sorceress

The penultimate movie in the marathon, fantasy films where actually a thing in the first half of the 80s, in part due to the popularity of the Dungeons and Dragons game and the Masters of the Universe successfull toyline.

This resulted in movies of all "levels" of quality, and some reached cult status.  One of those is Sorceress.

This mexican / american coproduction is full of the genre cliches, ranging from undead warriors, horned vikings, not so fantastic special effects even for the time, and a strong amount of naked boobs.  Not really a suprise witha Playboy twin couple in the lead.

The story goes that "two are as one" are born and said to overthrow the evil tyrant Traigon.  Hidden until they grew up, the girls didn`t even know they where girls at all, until their adopted parents are killed and they team up with a barbarian and a viking on their quest.  And a satyr.

The film is actually enjoyable to watch, and while the swordfighting at times is "stiff", the story actually moves decently forward and the acting isn`t hopeless.  And that is saying something, as it was often a problem in these kinds of movies over the past days.  Though the scene when one of the siblings loses her virginity while the other feels it as well...

Rating: 6.5 / 10

zaterdag 21 januari 2017

Poppunkmunky Custom Printed Harley Quinn (Suicide Squad)

This excellent version of the Harley Quinn, as portrayed by Margot Robbie in the 2016 Suicide Squad movie arrived yesterday at my doorstep.

Printed by the Canadian company Buygofigure, she comes reasonably priced at 18.88 USD, which incl shipping to Belgium took me around the 30 USD mark all total.

The figure has some very nice, detailed printing.  For example, the "Rotten" tattoo on her cheeck is excellently readable, as is the "Lucky You" above her, yeah, you know where.

Another great touch is that her bat has actually got "Goodnight" on it, like in the movie. 

The plastic is the same as LEGO itself, as these are "blank" parts from their range that have been imprinted.  It says "LEGO" on every element so that's fantastic. 



Perhaps the only slight downside is that the sides of the legs aren`t printed, making the lovely front and back fishnet design "open" at the sides, but that is something common with a lot of official and custom prints anyways, and nothing I can`t be bothered about.

This is just a fantastic minifigure, and one I`m glad I have in my collection. I have some more of his range (for example, the 8th Doctor I had signed at FACTS past spring), and I definitly have my eye on some more of his models, Psylocke being noted with a big "number 1" for me personally at the moment.

Testing Light Stax

Last november, at Brick Mania Antwerpen, the contributors to the show received a gift set of Light Stax, sponsored by Dutch LEGO trader BRiCKiZiMO.

Now, this is a system to light up your creations by, well, as the name suggests stacking elements inside a build.  And they are compatible with both LEGO as well as Mega Blocks.

The bricks have LED lighting inside, and by using connectors top and bottom, you can build whole creations and then light them up. 

This is done by ways of a 2x4 or 4x4 battery element.  This element has a Micro USB entrance (you know, like on about every modern day cellphone), so it can be charged through your PC, laptop, even a PowerBank if you use it in builds at conventions.
The button regulates the three speeds, being constant light, flickering light, or glowing light, of the elements.  I build a small minifigure display especially for testing it out (I`ll do a post on that one once it`s completely done) but that way I can show the different speeds.


The build is a simple podium, and I surrounded the 4 transclear parts with LEGO trans-red elements to give it a more Harley like appearance.  But you can see it gives off enough light to easily pass through those bricks.  The battery element is at the base of those trans-red elements, so you can see it fits in nicely in the whole build.



The final sort of bricks included in the gift parcel are non trans elements, in the form of a red and a yellow 2x4.  These have the connections to build on in your moc`s, so they "guide" the current to the light bricks, without giving off light themselves.



It was a nice little gift parcel, and the elements do fit on LEGO parts without to much hassle, so I' going to have a look and get some more of those in the future for a Tolkien build I have in the pipeline and add some light works to it.


I can recommend this especially due to the fact you won't have to look out how to incorporate cabelling and the likes into your builds, so that is a great bonus.  Just make sure the battery element is easily accessible for charging, or detachable for switching out with a charged one, and you're good to go.