Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pop Culture League Challenge: Are You Scared?

To the question posed by Commander Brian from Cool and Collected ....I'd say that YES I am constantly scared.

Being scared is a normal feeling for us homo sapiens and I can't fathom anybody without any fear whatsoever. Unless you're a demi god or something.

As clichè as these may sound (and I do believe many would share the same) these are:

1 - Heights.....you can discount me from being involved in any wall-scaling/ledge-standing superhero action...

2- The deep sea/lake/rivers - Dark, mysterious and murky waters creeps the heck outta me....

Now how about a bad case of irrational fear? Just to add to the above, I also subconciously have trypophobia because thinking about a cluster of small holes makes me have severe goosebumps and the hair at the back of my neck to stand up. Not gonna deliberate any further on this because merely thinking about it....ya' know...

Check out what the rest of the league members are saying HERE.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Pop Culture League Challenge: Zombies!

This week the League is calling for a write-up on a topic which is rather synonym to the very core of my existence in the pop culture realm. So let’s see what I can come up with when I talk about….. 

The dead have arisen…

I’ve actually posted a bit about zombies in one of my previous Pop Culture League (PCL) essays (was it the last one? In the Here There Be Monsters article I think?) but I’ll talk about them again here albeit a bit more elaborate to fulfill this week’s challenge. 

So how should I say this? Zombies or walkers or lurkers or the undead or whatever you may want to call them has always been my fascination. Deep down inside I get this tiny feeling that most of us secretly want a zombie apocalypse to happen so that we could quickly go down to our DIY stores and finally pick those machetes, spades or crowbars up as defence (or offence?!) against the undead. 

The irony is that I am a person who firmly believes that I should not pay for something that’ll scare the crap out of me. I generally dislike watching horror movies although there are several exceptions to the rule and one of them are zombie movies. 

Having said all of those, my infatuation with zombies is not merely confined to movies and TV series but for print materials as well. 

Let us now go through the many zombie-rific stuff that rocked my world: 

1 – George Romero’s movies – I literally grew up with Romero’s movies. As a kid in the 80s who spent his afternoons re-watching Romero’s marvelous films over and over again (after I was done with homework of course!) I began to develop that somewhat sadistic appreciation towards the art of brain bashing. The special effects were very minimal of course at the time and heavy usage of CGIs were virtually non-existent….and I loved it! But Romero’s movies (like any other great movies of our time) were not merely an outlet for displaying his mastery of gore but they were also instrumental in educating us kids that disaster/apocalypse brings out either the best or the worse in human behavior. Yup, they were deep in meaning but we were too young to understand it. 

2 – Other B-grade zombie flicks – Don’t underestimate the power of B-grade/low-budget/indie zombie flicks for they sometime contain fresh plots that we’ve never seen in the big budgeted mainstream zombie films. While most mainstream films offer a somewhat similar premise i.e. outbreak-humans get infected-a group of survivors-yadayadayada….. these small budget movies can sometime spring few surprises in the plot department. I’m not gonna go very detail and name many here because there are simply too many to begin with (a trip with uncle Google with give you a busload of recommendations). But if I have to name a couple then I’d say check out Peter Jackson’s cult classic “Dead Alive” and 2007’s “Rec”…..and please don’t get me started with Warm Bodies…hahah. 

3 – Zombie comedy – Ok, I’m not gonna lie here but I think I’ve only seen just few movies that fits the bill in this category and that’s Shaun of The Dead. When it comes to great modern British comedy, nobody does it better than Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. So when Pegg and Frost decided to dip their hands into the zombie genre you can be sure that all hell will break loose! Quirky Brit funny dialogues coupled with Pegg and gang’s humor, the movie is actually movie #1 in a series of British comedic genre films dubbed the Cornetto Trilogy. Zombieland on the other hand tells you about a group of random survivors from the American point of view. How about Woody Harrelson-Jesse Eisenberg-Emma Stone –Bill Murray(?) in the same movie? The result is hilarious. 

A thought to ponder…..now could Evil Dead possibly be in the comedy genre? 

3 – Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comics – I must admit that I was rather skeptical when I first read Robert Kirkman’s TWD comic (I got myself the thick compendium trade paperback since I’ve missed the boat to collect from issue #1) simply because it was black and white. But once I started to flip through the first few pages I was hooked. Hooked I tell ya! This is a modern zombie tale but you kinda get that old school vibe in the absence of colored pages. Finally a zombie comic book that is both continuous and never ending in nature. What more could you ask for really? 

4 – AMC’s The Walking Dead TV series (Season 7 coming up real fast later this month. Woohoo!) – If you have no clue whatsoever of this TV series then I shall assume that you’d probably spent the last 6 years or so living in a cave with no contact with the outside world. This award-winning series is now heading towards its 7th season and you need not be a fan of Kirkman’s comics to enjoy it. Zombie-bashing action at its very best on a weekly basis makes fan boys scream in delight. Even so many fans are crying foul that the TV series do not follow the stuff that has happened in the comic pages frame by frame. Now where’s the fun in that? 

5 – Zombie action figures 

i.        McFarlane Toys TWD TV series action figures – I’ve been religiously trying to complete my TV series action figure line up since it was first released many years ago (remember that weird contorted Daryl Dixon figure from wave 1?). I’m a bit gutted now that McFarlane Toys decided to ditch their 5” line and concentrate on ‘staction’ like 7” figures. There are many more characters yet to be done for the 5” line and their decision to pull the hand brake couldn’t have come at a more worse time since the Negan story arc is coming up next in Season 7. Anyway, I think I have more human characters than the walkers themselves…..shouldn’t I be having more walkers/zombies action figures since they are the focal point of the whole premise, right? 

Just survive....somehow #amcthewalkingdead #amc #thewalkingdead #mcfarlanetoys #actionfigurephotography

ii.         Random zombie toys - These are my two favorite non TWD zombie collectibles: 

EMCE Toys: Zombies vs Zombie Hunters

Zombie Viper

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Who's brains is about to be busted open you say?

Are....you.....ready?!!!! Oct 24 couldn't come any sooner...... #amc #thewalkingdead #tvseries #robertkirkman #season7 #october2016 #empiretvmagazine

Come on. Admit it. The suspense is killin ya'. As much as I do not want to Abraham or Daryl's brains to split open by Ms Lucille, there is every chance that even the main core 'fan favorite' characters could bite the dust. On the hindsight, I do not think that the ever-annoying Rick Grimes would be a candidate for Negan's brutality (at least not yet).

We're about a good 2 weeks before the reveal folks. Feels like a lifetime. Darn. 

Guest writer: Aidil from Down Under....

Some time back I did mention that someday I'd be having guest writers contributing to the blog. If you were a long time reader of my blog then there's a chance that you'd remember that I used to have a contributor some years ago but he turned out out to be a major douchebag and I've have since removed all traces of his existence in The Rebel Page. Last I heard he kinda died or currently live in the gutters in the streets or something like that. Whatever. Good riddance.

Anyway. I digress.

I've dabbled with many ideas on what to call this initiative. One was to call it 'Rebel Legion of Writers' and the other was simply 'Rebel Writers'. Whatever. I'm good with just calling it 'Guest Writers' because I do not want to spend so much time thinking about names.

We start off the initiative by posting an article written by a fellow toy collector and a very good friend of mine, Aidil, who currently resides in Western Australia. This is a nice introductory article about the man and his passion for action figures and photography.

Take it away Aidil.....


Hello from Down Under…

Recently, I have been invited to be a guest writer for the Rebel Page. I hesitated at first, primarily being that I am not a fan of writing ever since my school days. I guess I am more of a “photo speaks louder than text” kinda guy, but after  a few persuasive words from The Rebel himself, I decided to give it a try.

Coincidentally the owner of the blog is my schoolmate and a long time friend. Funny thing, I came across this blog by accident. I was googling the net for toy review blogs and I found this one interesting blog and decided to browse through. I read the blogger’s profile and I started feeling suspicious so I immediately text my friend asking if the blog was his and..I was right! Since then, I have been following his blog.

At that time, I was just beginning to venture into the world of toy collecting. So obviously I did a lot of research about this hobby. From the terms commonly used like MISB, BIB, Loosed, the different scales and of course the toy trading realm. My decision to be involved in this particular hobby has not been started by myself, but it came from the motivation of having my first son after having three beautiful princesses. Well, can you blame me for being excited. Not that I don’t share my childhood with my daughters, (my first is a huge Star Wars fan), but its just not the same.

So when God finally answered my prayer, I get all pumped up to finally being able to buy all those boys toys. These includes of course, action figures! Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy browsing and buying toys with my daughters, you know all the Barbie, My Little Pony, Shopkins stuff and occasionally anything Star Wars. But finally being able to venture into the world of Marvel, DC, Transformers etc really excites me.

So one fine day I decided to buy my son a few action figures as he was getting interested in those. After breezing through two local malls, I finally got him a 6 inch Marvel Legends Captain America and, of course, a Revoltech Iron Man Mark 7. Mind you, at that time I am still naive about all these different brands for action figures. So after getting home, I decided to have a look at them closer aaannd you know what happened next. I started saying to myself, wait a minute, these aren’t your 3 to 4 year old toys, even though the box said it so.

From there I started getting this feeling that I have not felt siiincee…so I decided to keep them for myself instead..hahaha (sue me for this). Don’t worry, I finally got my son a complete set of 3.75 inch Marvel Legends Movie Avengers action figures to compensate my decision.

Its been almost 2 years now since that fateful day and my collection has grown slowly and steadily. Well I only collect figures that I love or I found interesting (Until now I have never bought a complete wave set). Not only my collection has grown but also my love for toy photography and recently the world of diorama. You can follow my Instagram account @aidilnorhobby, while waiting for my next article (God knows when..hahaha)

So there you go, I guess I get to be a child again with these three dudes. You must be thinking, who is the third? My beloved son of course!

I hope this first simple introductory article of mine is worth your reading time especially along side those great articles by The Rebel.

Until then, Cheers!

Perth WA.
So that's it folks from our Guest Writer this week. Be sure to check out his Instagram page for more action figure photography from the man himself.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Pop Culture League Challenge: Here There Be Monsters!

Whoah, the Pop Culture League (PCL) is churning out super fun essay challenges these days that I’ve only since missed one assignment thus far since it was re-launched (yea I know….shame on me).  So here comes this week’s essay challenge/assignment:

Here There Be Monsters!

So what exactly do I talk about when there are virtually endless possibilities of stuff that I can blabber about just by imagining the word “monster” in my head?

I think to be on the safe side and to make my thought process more systematic I’d want to list down the stuff that had immediately popped up in my mind seconds after reading this week’s PCL Challenge in numerical points below. I grew up with most of the stuff you’re about to read about, so chances are some of these might be your cup of tea too:

One - TV show on “monsters”
I can’t bring myself to think about any other fitting TV shows other than The Munsters. I’m not just talking about the classic 60s version but also the 80s reboot as well. It was pure straight-to-your-face funny and quirky, full of colorful characters AND the language was safe for kids as well. I miss Herman and family dishing out against each other and their nosy neighbor. Hey, isn’t the premise the same for the Addams’ Family too? I guess that one works for me as well.

NECA 24" head-to-tail Electronic Godzilla

Two – Godzilla @ Gojira
Come on, ya’ can’t really talk about monster without mentioning the “King” now, right? Fittingly, I have also recently watched the recent Shin Godzilla movie the other day and I can tell you that the franchise is still as strong as it was when it first exploded into the pop culture scene many decades ago. I was also an ardent fan of the Ultraman (men) of the 80s, with Ultraman Jack being my favorite. Well, it looks like that by this point I have established that I have a thing for ‘kaiju’. What’s not to like about giant (mutated or genetically-produced) monsters? Sure, they destroy cities and civilizations but most of the time they were also responsible for bringing out the best in humanity in times of crisis, didn’t they?

Riot Gear & Gas Mask zombies
EMCE Toys: Zombies vs Zombie Hunters

Three – Brain eating zombies
My infatuation with zombies knows no boundary. I’ve literally watched George Romero’s flicks endless times (my favorite is the ‘original’ Dawn of the Dead movie from 1978….not the 2004 Zack Snyder remake) while continuously looking for more indie/B-grade zombie movies to watch to satiate my hunger for zombie-related gore. I also dig Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comics as well as AMC’s TV series (I’m rooting for Eugene to be beaten to pulp by Negan come Oct 23!). I am also an ardent fan of David Moody’s Autumn series, although I think less kindly about his Hater books.

Four – Nessie
For all the naysayers and non-believers of the creature that is said to be lurking in the murky depths of Loch Ness, I only one thing to say to youse….too bad. Ain’t my fault that you don’t believe in something so mysterious and interesting. Ain’t my fault too that you rest your fate completely within the confines of ‘logical thinking’ without any faith and gut feeling to go along with it. I must have read tones of books about cryptids and other unexplained stuff since my late dad first introduced me to them back then. I believe that Nessie together with a number of other cryptids exists. They’re just waiting to be discovered. But until then…..

Read what the rest of the Pop Culture League members have to say about this week’s topic:

Green Plastic Squirtgun showcased his superb collection of monsters....
Alexis' Universe talks about his favorite Halloween decos.....
Mr Smith said that 'monster is a CHOICE and not an appearance'....great one.....
20 Years Before 2000 lived in Jason Voorhees' town...no kidding!.....

And check out the many other great write-ups, HERE.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A no-brainer choice for a young Han Solo....

Saw the Age of Adaline movie again last night with my betterhalf. The 'age' old question (pardon the pun) is still ...why the heck isn't Anthony Ingruber given the role of the young Han Solo already? Anthony does not only LOOK like Harrison Ford , he also SOUNDS like Ford, having perfected his Han Solo impersonation as a die-hard Star Wars fan all his life. 

I think the majority of Star Wars fans actually want this guy to play the part in the upcoming Disney Han Solo spin-offovie ...sadly I think the part had already been cast and it went to Alden Ehrenreich who in my opinion...does not look nor sound like our favorite smuggler at all....boo!

This is gonna haunt me.

How was your Force Friday?

I have been going to Hasbro's midnight launch for as long as I can remember. Well, the Attack of the Clones product launch in 2002 was the actual turning point for me having missed The Phantom Menace event back in '99 (if indeed there was any Force Friday event back then).

Anyway, I decided to skip the Rogue One launch at TRU on Force Friday because I wasn't really in the mood to go through the madness. I chose sleep over long hours of being in a queue to get my fix on the latest Star Wars merchandise.

I have always maintained that Star Wars products are over priced here in Malaysia as of late (ONE bloody 6" The Black Series action figure is USD35 equivalent here in Malaysia.....unbelievable). What's your response on this dear Hasbro Malaysia?

I woke up the morning after and immediately contacted an independent on-line seller which I've dealt several times with before. Trying my luck, I asked if he has the new Rogue One action figures in hand.....and the answer was a solid yes!

In the end, everything worked out fine for me. My decision to get a good night's rest paid off handsomely and to cap a wonderful morning I got all of the stuff that you see in the picture above at about 33% off the retail prices slapped by Hasbro Malaysia. You can keep the StarCard points to yourself too dear TRU.

Could this be the end of me buying Star Wars action figures at retail?