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Monday, June 22, 2015

Nostalgia Makes Me Feel Good!



There was one toy that caught my attention at ToyCon, and for me it was worth more than any toy in that convention.

While squeezing myself through the crowd during last Saturday's ToyCon, I came upon this shop that had lots of vintage G.I. Joes, SilverHawks, X-Men, and Star Wars figs. If I saw a figure I once owned in that pile I would break into a smile. I looked around to see what else they had, and that's when I saw hanging on their booth's wall a Proton Pack toy from The Real Ghostbusters toyline.

Suddenly, nostalgia carpet-bombed my consciousness. Seeing the thing up close brought back lots of memories! I was a huge fan of The Real Ghostbusters as a kid, and my mom often told the story of how she bought a Proton Pack like this from a catalog while she was in the States and almost didn't catch her flight home coz it was only delivered the very same day she was supposed to leave.


The day I got this toy was one of the best days of my life. The Proton Pack was one of, if not THE first of my "big" toys. To me it was the Real Thing, and I wore it every damn day, bustin' "ghosts" all through the house and annoying my parents with the incessant whirring noise the gun made!

Unfortunately, my Proton Pack was given away during the Great Teenage Toy Purge (where she thought I was too old for toys), so you could imagine my joy seeing one of these again. I was even half-hoping it was actually my Proton Pack, inspecting it to see if it had the same pinch in the hose or the same tear in the sticker I remember so vividly.

I asked how much they're selling it for, and they told me they haven't put a price on it yet. Just as well...you can't really put a price on nostalgia.

Did you ever see a toy from your childhood that gave you nostalgia feels?


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Jurassic World Movie Review


The first Jurassic Park was a marvel of modern cinema. Unfortunately, it got a bit long in the tooth with every sequel. But just when you thought it could only get worse, Jurassic World comes to remind itself that it could get better, and it can start by sticking to what it did best.

Located off the coast of Costa Rica, the Jurassic World luxury resort provides a habitat for an array of genetically engineered dinosaurs, including the vicious and intelligent Indominus rex. When the massive creature escapes, it sets off a chain reaction that causes the other dinos to run amok. Now, it's up to a former military man and animal expert (Chris Pratt) to use his special skills to save two young brothers and the rest of the tourists from an all-out, prehistoric assault.

There are points where Jurassic World feels too much like a love letter to the original Jurassic Park, like it was slowly turning into a remake than standing on its own reptilian feet. But on the other hand, that was probably why I enjoyed Jurassic World so damn much. Running through corridors being chased by raptors, kids running through forests with a dinosaur hot on their tail, all of it brought back awe and wonder and visceral thrill of seeing dinosaurs chomp and stomp their way across the screen just like it did when I first saw the original 1993 film as a kid.


The humans this time around are a bit genre-savvy, a bit more aware that what the fact that Jurassic World exists is crazy and fun...and every bit as dangerous. Chris Pratt steals the show with his cool and collected performance as alpha male Owen Grady, channeling his previous Star-Lord persona to woo ladies and stare down velociraptors like it's no big deal. Unfortunately, there wasn't much characterization left in the bowl for the rest of the cast. Bryce Dallas Howard was okay as overachieving park manager Claire, not as particularly memorable as Laura Dern was in her time. Vincent D'Onofrio as shady InGen thug had nothing much to do. The two kids? Jeez, I even forgot the kids' names, and their 'parents-about-to-divorce' back story wasn't very compelling.

You know who was compelling though? The dinosaurs.


Dinosaurs. Compelling. Not exactly the kind of word I'd describe long-extinct reptiles who want to eat everything that moves, but when you fear for every living thing on screen whenever the Indominus Rex (the movie's Big Bad) arrives, or feel that swell of joy seeing freaking velociraptors have a Big Damn Heroes moment, there's no other other way to describe it. The featured dinos this time around had "real" personalities, showcasing the underlying themes of humans (unsuccessfully) meddling with nature, especially 65 million year old nature.


But most importantly, Jurassic World made me fall in love with dinosaurs, even the first Jurassic Park, all over again. Trust me, the climactic battle will make sure you'll feel the same way too. Despite feeling like a retread, there's no denying that Jurassic World is a damn-near solid blockbuster film, a non-stop thrill ride from start to finish. Rejoice! Dinosaurs are cool again. Highly recommended!

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

The ‘Single Ladies’ / Shingeki no Kyojin Mash-Up You Need Right Now

Guile's Theme? Go home and be a family man. The DuckTales theme? You are small time.

If you really want to know if Beyonce's video for "Single Ladies" is universal, there's no better way to test it than to set it to the song that absolutely goes with everything: Guren no Yumiya, the opening song to Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan), as Youtube user Lei Riddel just did!

I don't think I've ever seen such holy symmetry. It's like discovering the equation that answers the meaning of life.

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