Sunday, June 28, 2009

Heath List: Transformers

Here is yet another Heath list. This one lists my top 5 favorite Transformers. Most of my knowledge comes from the movies, both the live action ones and the animated on that came out decades ago. I never really watched any of the cartoons, played with any of the toys or even read the comics. Let me know what you guys think.

5) Soundwave, I know in the comic he was a boombox that had cassette tapes that transformed into different robots, but in the new movies he becomes a satellite in space.

4) Optimus Prime, he did always have a classic look, and his original voice actor is playing him still today in the new movies.

3) Star Scream, mainly because in the original cartoon, his voice was the same as Cobra Commander's

2) Galvatron, in the animated movie, Megatron becomes Galvatron who was bad ass. He also transformed into a cannon, which in my opinion is always better than the pistol that Megatron changed into.

1) Ravage, he was originally a cassette tape that changed into a panther. In the new movie, he is a something that changes into a panther like robot, He is still cool and in the movie, he packs the firepower.

Reading List: Heroes of the Space Marines

Another book Ive read recently is a collection of short stories set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, Heroes of the Space Marines. This book collects 10 stories in total, all involving Space marines and/or their evil counterparts, the Chaos Space Marines. One thing I loved about this collection is the inclusion of a story involving the Death Watch. The Death Watch in Warhammer 40k is a specialised group of Space Marines chosen from different chapters to go on basically suicide missions that have them going up against incredibly insane odds. Most of the short story collections of Warhammer 40k include such a story. Also included in this collection is a prequel story to the Salamander series coming soon by author Nick Kyme. His story really showed promise and got me all excited about reading the series when it is finally available to buy. There were also a few stories included that failed to catch my attention and also a few that were at best decent. But there were several that were outstanding and that alone makes this worth buying for any Warhammer 40k fan.

Reading List: Tyranny of the Night

Glen Cook is one of my favorite authors. He ranks up there right behind Scott Lynch as a matter of fact. Mr Cook brings a stark realism to even the most outlandish of fantasy stories. He does simply by making the story about the people and not the champions like every other fantasy novel does. Tyranny of the Night is no exception. He brings back the style that made him an international best seller with his Black Company series. Tyranny of the Night is about a soldier named Else Tage. He is sent by his Warlord to infiltrate and spy on the lands to the west so that his country can anticipate when the rulers of the western kingdoms will try to raise an army to purge his country from what the world believes to be the Holy Lands. Unbeknown to his leaders, Else is attacked by and actually kills a minor god, one of many that plague this world during the night. Not only does Else have to play the spy game and keep himself from being revealed to his new comrades and employers, but he also has to watch out for the wrath of the gods. It did take me a while to get into this book. Like most of his novels, Glen Cook really develops the characters and their homelands to great detail. One really has to pay attention when reading this book or you can easily become lost in the vast amount of details and actions of the many involved parties int he story. Once I got everyone down, where they were from and what their motivations were, this book become very enjoyable, that and the fact that the plot evolved from the intrigue to actual battles and so forth. It can be a little overwhelming but Tyranny of the Night is a very good read.

Autobots! Roll out!

Finally. After several weeks of comedies, I was ready for a big summer action movie. A movie where there is no real story beyond getting the characters from one location to another. A movie where everything you see gets exploded to hell and there are hot chicks running around. Transformers 2 delivers on all of those fronts with ease. I really liked the first Transformers movie, mainly because it ended up being way better than even the slightest amount of hope I had for it. With this one, I was ready for what awaited me and I think that's the main reason, I didn't like this one as much. This time around Sam and company are trying to find an energy source before the evil decepticons find it and use it to power a machine that would *gasp* destroy the sun and kill us all. Most of the robots are back from the first one and there are many more added to this movie, most notably Soundwave, the former boombox decepticon who in this film changes into a satellite orbiting the Earth. Also appearing in this film is the true Devastator who is made up of 6 separate decepticons and my all time favorite Transformer, Ravage, whose robot form resembles a panther. Most of the human cast return as well for this time around. Missing are the hot chick computer hacker and Anthony Anderson and Jon Voight. The cast performs admirably, Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson are all military, Shia is running around and Megan Fox just looks hot. It was a very enjoyable film. IT made me laugh, awed me with huge explosions, and truly gave me my money's worth. The final battle alone makes up for about 45 minutes of the films 2 hour film time. A great movie to see if you re wanting some good summer blockbuster fun. I give Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen a score on the Heath-meter of 8 out of 10.

Babe of the Week 6/28 - 7/04/09

The gorgeous Isabel Lucas is the babe of the week for the first week of July. She has mainly appeared in television. She appeared in her first major american movie in Transformers 2.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Wow, nothing funny like sacrilege

I have to say, I wasn't all too hyped to see Year One. I thought it would be funny but I could give or take seeing it. I expected to see something that would make me laugh in what was being called the movie about the world's first road trip. Well, I did laugh a few times, but those times were few and far between the moments where I cringed at the amount of time spent making fun of Christianity, Judaism and basic good taste. Now, I'm not a hardcore christian or even devoutly religious, i was however raised in church and I still have a very healthy respect for God. Ive watched other movies that people have said makes them uncomfortable such as Dogma and I saw no problem. This movie however made me feel like I was going to be struck by lightning for watching it. Instead of being the world's oldest road trip, this movie could basically be called The Bible: The gross out joke edition. It starts out in a village of primitive humans. Zed (jack Black) a hunter who is very inept gets kicked out of the village for eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. His friend Oh (Michale Cera) decides to leave with him. On their journey they meet Cain and Abel, Adam and Eve and their family including Seth who is nothing but a 5 minute fart joke. They also manage to meet Abraham and Isaac which leads to many unfunny jokes about circumcision and other basic Jewish tradition. They end up in Sodom which the movie tries to play out like Vegas, even though in the Bible, it was destroyed by fire from heaven for being such an evil place, which they also poke fun at in this movie. All together, I felt wrong for watching this film. Even if there was significantly less sacrilege, I would still not like it because its not really that funny. jack Black plays the same spazzed out character he plays in almost every movie he's ever been in. The only good thing about this entire movie is Olivia Wilde who is pretty hot. So if you re headed to the movies to see something funny, go see The Hangover or Land of the Lost, just forget Year One. I give Year One a score on the Heath-meter of 2 out of 10.

Babe of the Week 6/21 - 6/27/09

This week's babe is the gorgeous Olivia Wilde. She has appeared in several movies such as Alpha Dog and more recently Year One.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Heath List: Anime Series

Ok here goes. This is the Heath List for my top 5 favorite Anime series that I have seen. If there is a series that you like that I fail to mention, please let me know.

#5 Neon Genesis Evangelion

#4 Rurouni Kenshin

#3 Naruto

#2 Ranma 1/2

#1 Death Note

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Adventurecon '09

This weekend in Knoxville was home to the annual Adventurecon. Evey June, fans from all over the eastern Tennessee area and beyond gather at the Knoxville convention center to celebrate everything from comics, movies and more. This year was the 4th year that I have been able to attend. This year was also the best so far of all the times Ive went. Besides the many stalls set up throughout the convention floor selling comics, action figures, and other merchandise, they also have celebrity guests and comic artists. I spent quite a bit of money at the only DVD stand that was there this year. Most of the time there are several set up but unfortunately only one this year. Besides wasting my money on movies, I was able to meet and receive an autograph from the gorgeous Christy Hemme, who was also the Babe of the Week last week. I also got a sketch for my sketchbook by the creator of The Crow, James O'Barr. I didn't get to meet but I did get to see Lou Ferrigno, Mick Foley and got to stand next to the Delorean from Back to the Future. Now that its over, I cant wait for next year.

Its never good to forget

Seeing this film was kind of a last minute decision. A buddy and mine was in Knoxville for the day and decided to catch a movie before we came home. We had both heard some good things about this film so we decided this was the one to see. I wasn't hyped for this film at all. It did look funny in the trailer, but its just another Hollywood cliche movie. A bunch of guys party, cant remember what happened, they learn later how they accomplished all the crazy tasks that seem to have happened the night before and everyone goes home happy with lesson learned. The best movie like this in my opinion is Dude, where's my car? That however is no longer the case. Hangover is downright hilarious from beginning to end. Even though they do give away a lil too much in the trailer for the film, there are still many surprising moments throughout the film. Most of the questions of what happened get answered, some are left for open discussion. One thing I liked in particular is that even with all the stuff that you find out in the movie, its not til the end when you get to see just how crazy their night of partying was. All the actors in this film did great, the main guys have great chemistry together, and are actually believable as 4 friends having a wild night on the town. There are a few too many scenes that feature male nudity of some sort. I could easily do without any of that in any movie. I laughed throughout this movie and I think you will too. I give The Hangover a score on the Heath-meter of 9 out of 10.

Babe of the Week 6/14 - 6/20/09

The very beautiful Isla Fisher is this week's Babe of the Week. She has been featured in many movies including Wedding Crashers.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Reading List: Hyperion

I had been hearing about this book for quite some time, from friends, internet posts on forums and even reviews on other sites. I saw this book at my local used book store and decided to take a chance on it. Have you ever experienced a time when you bought something on a whim that really surprised you on how good it was? This was NOT one of those times. I hate this book so much I could scream. I wish I had done some research before buying this piece of crap and saved myself the anger and frustration that I am experiencing now. What's worse is that I was into this book all the way throughout the story until the very freaking end. First let me explain. Hyperion is about a group of 7 strangers brought together on the last pilgrimage to see the mysterious Shrike of the planet Hyperion. On the way to their destination, the pilgrims decide to each tell their tale, revealing what their goals are and their secrets. This hearkens many to compare this book the Canterbury Tales but set in space. This format actually works very well. You get to learn about the characters and their motives and more about Hyperion, its mysteries and the Shrike. Some of the stories I liked better than others but that's to be expected. In a story featuring several characters, there are always at least a few that just grate on your nerves and this book is no exception. Each of the stories reads more like separate novellas. The Priests tale and The Scholars tale both stand out as excellent and the Colonel's tale and especially the Poet's tale are just garbage. Still not bad enough to take me out of the over all story. There are also many extreme examples of technology that I don't think could have been imagined in any other tale. Worlds that feature rooms on different planets that are traveled to by teleportation and flying space trees are just two of such examples. Now here is my problem with this book. IT continually builds throughout the story. Always setting up the mysterious Shrike and the events surrounding it. Everything is leading up to this encounter. All the stories are told, almost all the wondering and secrets of the characters are now all out in the open. They are on the last leg of their journey merely walking distance of their final destination . Then they clasps arms and sing off to see the Wizard and then the end. That's it, it ENDS right there. All that build up and it just DROPS. Apparently the sequel continues the story and all the fans say that its really one big book separated into two. That's not good enough. Even if the story is to be continued, you have something accomplished. You just don't END THE BOOK! This pissed me off so bad when I read this that I totally lost all interest in this story, these characters and whatever is going to happen. I will most certainly not buy the second book in this series and I will soon be taking this piece of garbage back to the used book store to hopefully get at least a percentage of the money I spent on it back. If you re considering this book, please be informed that you will need to buy this one and the next as well. Maybe if I had known, I wouldn't feel so betrayed.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Memories of my childhood are no longer lost.

Will Ferrell stars in this remake of the 1970s children's show also titled The Land of the Lost. I loved watching the show when I was younger and even still more recently when SciFi featured a marathon of it all day, showing all 3 seasons. What was once fond memories of adventure and peril mixed with mind blowing visuals that no show could equal became a laughable surprisingly dark show with possibly the worst special effects to ever be utilized on television. Just as I became reacquainted with this show, I have now been treated to a movie adaptation. While there are scenes and dialogue thrown in for hard core fans of the original series, the movie take quite a few liberties with the story and the characters. Will and Holly, once the children of Dr Rick Marshall now are a redneck fireworks vendor and a lab assistant to the fumbling Dr Marshall. I wont go into any further detail about some of the others because I don't want to ruin any part of the movie for those of you who might go out and see this soon. Most of the characters do make an appearance at least once throughout the movie including Enik the Altrusion, Cha-ka, and especially Grump the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Now for those of you who might unfamiliar with the story of either the show or this new movie, let me give a quick run thru. Dr Rick Marshall and now assistant and guide inadvertently open a time portal to another dimension which features elements of different time periods and mysterious artifacts. Home to the veritable land of the lost are dinosaurs, a lizard like humanoid race called the Sleestak, a hybrid human/chimp race and many other mysterious forms of life. Our lovable castaways must survive while exploring this strange new land while all the while trying to find a way back home. I highly recommend anyone to watch at least a few episodes of the old show just so that some of the stuff in the movie will not just fly over your head. Now as far as the movie goes, Will Ferrell basically plays the same character he has played in almost every movie he has been in. he runs around sprouting catchphrases and random insanity while acting like a jackass. Playing Will is the seemingly omnipresent Danny McBride who plays the same character he plays in every movie he has been in. Joining the cast as the now grown up Holly as opposed to the young preteen of the TV show is the incredibly sexy Anna Friel. Besides the name and basic story plot and scenarios, this is nothing like the show. The show was aimed primarily at kids while this movie easily earns its PG-13 rating and barely escapes a R rating in my opinion. There is cussing, sexual language and Anna Friel gets felt up by almost every other cast member. It definitely fits with the Will Ferrell established fanbase. I liked this movie pretty well but I still enjoy the show more. I give Land of the Lost a score on the Heath-meter of 8 out of 10.

babe of the Week 6/07 - 6/13/09

The gorgeous Christy Hemme is the babe of the week for this week. She was the first ever WWE Diva challenge winner and now "wrestles" in TNA. She was also featured on the Man Show as one of the Juggies for a while and has appeared in Playboy.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Reading List: The Grey Knights Omnibus and The Forever War

A lot has happened in the last few weeks. Ive been sick, been off work and generally have had a crappy time for the most part. Outside of a few instances where I got to go hang out with friends and such, the last few weeks I hope are easily forgotten. Anyways during this time, I have not really felt like "blogging" all that much even though most of my blogging centers around throwing my two cents around about movies and books and other such things. Mainly because my life is boring and there just isn't that much to write about. So that's why today I'm posting TWO (woot yea two) books that I have read during that time and here goes my review. The first one was the Grey Knights Omnibus by Ben Counter. This actually collects 3 books together in one volume. The Grey Knights centers on a group of highly trained genetically enhanced super soldiers called Space Marines that fight for the Emperor of Earth in the years around 40,000. It also belongs to a much greater franchise, Warhammer 40,000, which is a tabletop war game. The Grey Knights are the chosen daemon hunters of their time. They are trained from a young age to fight daemons and to have an amazing unwavering faith. This series of books focuses on one squad in particular and the trials that they must face. Its one of the better Warhammer 40k series out there and doesn't disappoint at all. If you re a fan of Warhammer 40k or just like 9 feet tall armor clad super humans fighting the spawns of evil, then this series should be right up your alley.

The second book I read over the last few weeks is the Forever War by Joe Haldeman. This is actually a quick read as I finished in it in about 2 hours or so. This book is great. The Forever War is bout a group of soldiers chosen in the late 20th century to fight in Earth's first intergalactic war. Now the reason I say 20th century is because this book was written originally in the 70s and the technology jump was so much at the time that they thought space travel and crazy scifi weapons were right around the corner. Plus the author said he wanted to use characters that could have fought in Vietnam which this story is basically an allegory for. The story is told through the perspective of one William Mandela. A physics student who is drafted to be one of the first young soldiers to fly across space to fight the Taurens, mysterious aliens who happen to have been first spotted in the Taurus constellation. Using powerful laser weapons and engineered power suits, Humanity is pulling out all the stops to win this war. Another facet of book revolves around what the book calls Collapsers. These are mid space phenomena which allows the travel of light years in literally nanoseconds. While one may travel hundreds of thousands of light years, to them its only a second but they are actually losing time as they are aging months, Earth is aging centuries. After their first encounter, Mandela and his unit are returned to Earth after being gone only a few short months to find that over 20 years have passed. Unable to deal with this future shock, Mandela decides to return to the military. What follows is more of the same, the books goes into great detail about missions and battles while at the same time always reminding him how much time he has lost as centuries start to fly by and Earth is continually changing. This book really makes you think. The future it paints for Earth is both eerie and different, telling a future that most people probably wouldn't even imagine. The Forever War is an amazing book and should be a favorite for any scifi or military fiction fan. SO there ya go 2 reviews for the price of none actually. Ill try to keep more up to date on my future posts, hope ya enjoyed it.