X-Men Origins: Wolverine (a review by Nox)

Okay, so I know there have been a lot of opinions flying about the new Wolverine: Origins movie and I figured I would give my two cents. Honestly, I loved the movie; however, they definitely messed up the story a LOT.

I’m going to go from least important to most, and first of all Wolverine’s love was from Japan not Canada. That was completely bogus. Also, the girl with diamond skin that played her sister looked pretty tacky (Note from Ripper: She’s billed as Emma Frost, but Emma Frost actually has telepathy, so I don’t know what’s going on with that), but quality is another story altogether. Secondly, Victor Creed is Sabretooth. Liev Schreiber did a wonderful job playing Victor in the movie, but did anyone else notice how he looks nothing like the Sabretooth in the X-Men trilogy, and how Wolverine had no relationship with him in those movies? (Note from Ripper: They chose Liev because he’s awesome and the other guy was not. That makes perfect sense to me!) Not very well thought out. The war sequences were definitely cool. I loved the whole brother team thing they had going. I do wish more comic relief could have been tied in throughout the movie and not just in the first twenty minutes. I think the entire story would have been more comprehendible if each member of the Striker team would have had a background snippet.

Finally, the big issue: Deadpool. Ah yes, let’s talk about how much they messed up his character. Wade Wilson had cancer and could only be cured by Wolverine’s power, but Chemical X mutates and disfigures him. Deadpool gets his powers through killing mutants. He is not put together like a build-a-bear and Striker never controls him using a computer. All of that was bogus. In the beginning they had Wade Wilson right on point, and might I add Ryan Reynolds does a wonderful job playing the part; however, the sword coming out of Deadpool’s hand mimicking Wolverine never happened either. I don’t know why the writer’s decided to change such important details, but it only seemed to confuse most people and infuriate others.

There’s talk of Gambit and Deadpool spin offs in the future. An after credit scene featuring Deadpool makes this rumor look probable, but as far as Gambit goes I hear there are complaints about Taylor Kitsch playing the part. Either way, I completely support separate movies for both Gambit and Deadpool, and as far as Wolverine: Origins goes I give it three out of five high fives. It was a good movie, but the writers just messed up way too much for me to give it a higher rating with a good conscience.


Warped Tour Diary by Nox

July 28th – Warped Tour – Atlanta

From the gates I can hear The Maine playing Girls Do What
They Want and see herds of other teens walking in from the streets where
parking costs up to $20 for the day.
There was a man standing with a Bible on the corner of the street we
came from, preaching to the world about Satan and God. A police officer was talking to another
man across the street who was holding a sign that read ‘Obey God.’

“Look, if I let you stand here I’ll have to let everyone
stand here. I can’t have that.”
The officer was saying when we passed.
The mid-day sun is hanging overhead as the amphitheatre’s security woman
scans my ticket, approving my entry followed by my companion who has agreed to
embark on this adventure with me known as Warped Tour.

The very first difference I notice as we walk in is that the
merch tents are not in the same place, in front of the venue’s food vendors, as
they have been for the passed two years.
With that said, I am not going to lie the set up this year was confusing
and a little hard to navigate even with the map provided on the back of the $2
schedules (which also listed signing times). Nonetheless, we continued to into the amphitheatre, catching
3Oh!3 on the way, where we ended up seeing Streetlight Manifesto, whom had a
fantastic set. The crowd in front
of the stage was moving in unison to each song and the entire amphitheatre was
filled with the sound of horns.

After that excitement, we set off to the land of the
notorious merch tents where I met Jac Vanek, who was quite polite and
humble. As we walked we were
stopped several times by people supporting labels, bands, and clothing
lines. I can’t even remember how
many demos I listened to while stickers and flyers and CDs were being handed to
me. Definitely not complaining
though! I scored some pretty sweet
swag while I was there.

Finally we parked it in front of the Vans stage where the
bands lined up to play included the Bouncing Souls, Less Than Jake, Anti-Flag,
and Bad Religion. Between the
Bouncing Souls and Less than Jake UnderOath played, so we headed to the
Amphitheatre once again to rest this time. We caught Meg and Dia’s mellow set followed by The White Tie
Affair, who I was actually very impressed with. I love a band that can get onstage and have a good time,
pull in their crowd, and most of all MOVES. The White Tie Affair did all of this and more, not to
mention they covered Lady Gaga’s Just Dance.

Once TWTA ended their set we went back outside for three
hours in front of the Vans tent for Less Than Jake, Anti-Flag, and Bad
Religion. Less Than Jake kept the
show lively cracking jokes and pulling people on stage for any reason under the
sun. One man had binoculars and
apparently was some kid’s dad, so he was invited up for a beer. Then a ‘dirty Atlanta girl’ was pulled
up to dirty dance “like in the movie Dirty Dancing’ on said man! Next, a Warped frequent was spotted who
had also attended LTJ’s show in Charlotte. She came up to lead the crowd in jumping jacks for the
following song, and finally about six or so people capable of playing drums
were picked out to come up to create a ‘Punk Rock Orchestra’, which was hella
cool.

Anti-Flag, not to be outdone, came out with a bang. Then, in hopes of breaking a Warped
Record initiated the largest circle pit in the history of Warped Tour. I must add that said circle pit was the
first pit I have ever participated in and I will probably do so again. Now, I don’t know if anyone reading
this has heard of The Wall of Death, but for those of you who have not it is
where the band splits the crowd down the middle and on their mark both side
rush each other flailing. It is a
huge mosh and usually results in pain for anyone involved; however, at this
show we had what Anti-Flag called The Wall of hugs and kisses. Where we were not running to hurt each
other, but to embrace one another and kiss them if we wanted. See, at this show they made it clear
that everyone was attending for the same reasons. We all love music, and we need to stand together to fight
not fight each other. If someone
falls, you pick them up. You help
each other and care for each other.
Then, my favorite part of all, they covered The Clash and played Should
I Stay or Should I Go. I’ve never
danced so much at a show.

Needless to say, by time Bad Religion came on I barely made
it through three songs before I had to seek some fluids to get rehydrated. On this trip to the amphitheatre we
caught a bit of Aiden, and the last part of Senses Fail’s set. Then, finally, we sat in the lawn for
Westbound Train who did a fantastic set and also covered The Clash as well as
part of the song Shout. Before we left we scored their autographs and I met the
Lead singer’s wife while waiting in line.
I have to say she was super super nice.

In the end I was incredibly exhausted, but my punk rock fix
was set. I am so glad I remembered
my sunscreen and sunglasses though.
Hotlanta so lived up to its name.

HIGHLIGHTS

Live Shows

Bouncing Souls

The White Tie Affair

Less Than Jake

Anti-Flag

Swag Scored

Valencia Hot Shorts

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Hot Shorts + Sunglasses x 2

Glamour Kills Lion Tee

People

Guy from Valencia

Jac Vanek

Westbound Train

Kid with a big blue Mohawk that continuously skanked and
surfed through Anti-Flag’s set

Picture gallery

Live: The Academy Is… – Sluggo’s, 28/1/09 (a review by Nox)

Wednesday night a friend and I drove three hours to Pensacola, FL to a small vegetarian restaurant/bar called Sluggos to catch The Academy Is… on their ‘Hello My Name Is…’ acoustic tour.

The doors were meant to open at 8pm; however, they opened around 8:45pm. During the wait a homeless man that referred to himself as ‘Just James the superstar/number 1’ decided to talk to my friend and I as well as break into song at any given time. He said he played guitar. He also told my friend that she was Sarah Palin because of her glasses, and later he decided I was in the Mickey Mouse Club and knew Britney Spears. None the less, the somewhat small crowd filed into the building around 8:45pm and Just James stayed outside. A recently signed local band called Sky Tells All opened the show and were rather humorous with their small talk, but as far as music goes they were good., certainly opening act material.

After Sky Tells All played and broke down their set, Tony, TAI’s tour manager, began setting up the stage for William Beckett and Adam Siska. William came out alone first. He had words with the crowd before he played, and I must interject that in such a comfortable setting he acted more like he was playing to a group of friends than a crowd of teenagers. He played songs from all three albums, Almost here, Santi, and Fast Times At Barrington High, as well as some B-sides. Half way through the set Sisky joined in as well. However, I must say the best part of the night was how many songs they covered. The list ranged from Radiohead to Steriophonics to John Lennon, and even Alkaline Trio. It was definitely worth the drive just for that.

It is here that I must include how excellent the music sounded. Usually, when I think acoustic I think the songs lose some of the umph they have when played traditionally by the whole band; however, on this night I felt as if I was listening to a recording of each song and each song maintained its initial impact. Nothing was lost in the conversion to acoustic and for that I am very thankful as well as insanely impressed.

In the end, I would sum the performance up as this: If TAI were to put out an Acoustic album, I would have it pre-ordered.

Also, William was very proud to say that he had solved the Rubik’s Cube and asked everyone to join him in watching one of the merch guys solve it in just a few minutes.

Summer Show Checklist (by Nox)

For anyone that has ever been to an outdoor concert you know the complications you are likely to encounter during such an event, such as how to carry all of your necessities safely without a bag and standing in the blazing sun for 3+ hours to get a good spot by the stage to see an anticipated band play. But if you have never been to an outdoor show fear not! I have composed this checklist to guide you through such an experience.

1. MOST IMPORTANTLY dress for the occasion. If it’s hot outside do not wear pants. Dress lightly, and never ever forget the sunscreen. Usually outdoor concerts are not held during cold months but if such a case were to come about, bundle up! Layer as much as you can! Socks, shirts, jackets, underwear, you get the idea.

2. Wear your most comfortable shoes. Plan to walk and/or stand most of the time you are there, but also keep in mind that whatever you wear should not be your most favorite outfit ever because it is likely to get pretty gross by the end of the day. *note: not by you but by other people around you. Take into consideration being in a crowd of sweaty people who will inevitably at some point end up pushed against you by means of moshing, skanking, surfing, or falling.

3. Pockets that close or some form of a rack trap (for girls). When you are planning to be in a crowd and walking all day the very last thing you want is a bag to worry about. So having pockets that close in some way is a good idea, so your money doesn’t work its way out while you’re skanking and nobody with slick fingers can leave you empty handed. Or girls, if pockets aren’t your thing, a rack trap is an awesome hiding place for cash. That way you won’t have sweaty money, and it’s safely concealed, tucked away behind your bra.

4. Speaking of money, BRING CASH. Most merch tents/ booths are not going to have fancy machines to swipe a credit card. Try to get your money ahead of time so you don?t get stuck paying that crappy service charge for the venue’s ATM.

5. Bandanas aren’t just fashionable they are logical. Bring one with you to use to wipe the sweat from your face. I know it sounds petty, but trust me when you are hot you don?t need salty reminders trickling down your face and into your eyes in the middle of watching your favorite band perform.

6. Stay hydrated. If you start feeling overheated go find a shady place to sit and get a drink, preferably water or something low on sugar and carbonation. You definitely don’t want to pass out mid-set and have to be carried out of the crowd by security to the on site medic while you miss half of what you paid for.

7. Don?t forget your camera. Make sure you have the wrist strap or a lanyard to carry it with so you won’t lose it in the process of jumping around in those hyper crowds. The same goes for your cell phone.

Remember these things when you’re planning for your show and you will be so happy you did. Also, make a checklist the day before and try to have everything ready to go ahead of time. That way you will be less likely to forget something. And always remember to double check that you have your ticket before you leave the house!

Star Trek reviewed by ninthandash and Nox

ninthandash’s review

I’d just like to state, first off, that I don’t consider myself a Trekkie. While it’s true that I can name all of the Starfleet captains in both chronological order according to the timeline of the show (Archer, Kirk, Picard, Janeway) and according to the order the series appeared in (Kirk, Picard, Janeway, Archer). And, of course, in order of my personal preference (Kirk, Janeway, Archer, Picard). Not to mention that I am aware I missed out Captain Sisko, but this is because he was the captain of a spacestation, not a ship, and was a Commander as opposed to a captain for the majority of the Deep Space 9 series.

But I’m not that into it. I don’t have an obsessive understanding of the themes, plots, characters. I know the different series, but I don’t really have a favourite. I can’t take part in a discussion about it at any given length. And although I’d grown up watching the original series (and of course the following ones), I wasn’t super excited about going to see the movie. Until the trailers came on, and then I couldn’t wait to see it. Still, not a Trekkie. I didn’t discuss it online, I didn’t wait anxiously for new set stills to be released (although I will admit doing this for Watchmen, but that’s a different story). I decided to go see it with my father, because we’d been watching the show together for years.

Then I saw, across the bottom of the trailer, those five fateful words. ‘Showing in selected IMAX cinemas.’ I live in one of eight cities in England that is lucky enough to have an IMAX cinema, and I make the most of this opportunity every time I can. So I didn’t hesitate to immediately go online, and book two tickets to see Star Trek in IMAX. My father and I really wanted to go see it at the midnight showing the day it came out, especially as I’d heard rumours about free Spock ears, but we were unable to make it. Nevertheless, on the 9th of May, we turned up at the IMAX and joined the already long and winding queue.

There’s something exciting about going to see a film at the IMAX, I’ll confess. The atmosphere is entirely different to that of a normal cinema. Maybe it’s because of the giant screen taking up a whole wall in front of you, or maybe it’s the fact that everyone is there to watch the film — not mess around on their mobile phones, or talk loudly to their friends while chewing on popcorn. Either way, as the lights darkened and the familiar Star Trek theme music began to play, there was an almost reverent hush in the silence of the theatre.

I was spell-bound from the first moment. The story isn’t simple, as such, but it’s an easily recognisable one. It follows a young James T. Kirk, and a young Spock, as each make the decisions needed to take them to the Enterprise. It’s interesting watching each character develop, and the crew members joining them along the way — Bones, Uhura, Sulu, Chekhov and finally Scotty. Watching the movie slowly unfold to set up the world of the original Star Trek series is strangely nostalgic. But there’s no real time for that.

Star Trek is nothing if not action packed. From the first moments of the movie, in which we see James T. Kirk’s father sacrifice himself for his wife and newborn son, there are explosions and fighting and aliens, oh my! The action doesn’t let up throughout, without the plot being sacrificed in favour of CGI and special effects. The Vulcans are introduced to us as a community first, and the conflicting aspects of Spock’s heritage (half human, half Vulcan) are set up perfectly, enabling us to fully understand why he makes the decisions he does.

The same can not be said for Kirk, however. Shown as a rebel, we’re told that his aptitude tests are “off the charts” but for some reason, he doesn’t go to Starfleet Academy until he’s pushed into it. Why not? In my head, I made up the story that he doesn’t want to live in his heroic dead father’s shadow, but the true reason went unexplained. However, his character as a cocky, arrogant but charismatic teenager is believable without being annoying, and the dynamics between him and the young Spock are fantastic.

Zachary Quinto made a perfect Spock. Being a fan of Heroes, I was worried that I’d see him as Sylar first and Spock second, but he was unrecognisable as anyone other than the young Vulcan. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed him playing Spock, and my father agreed that he was amazing. And of course, the movie wouldn’t have been complete without none other than Leonard Nimroy. The original Spock, he was not only playing Spock in the movie but also given a logical (for Star Trek, at least) reason as to why he would be there.

Finally, the IMAX experience made it even better. Although sometimes it was hard to keep track of what was going on, especially in the fight scenes, the overall sounds and images made it amazing. The picture almost seemed to surround the audience, and there was a definite feeling of being a part of it. I thoroughly enjoyed it, from start to finish, and would definitely reccommend it — in IMAX, if you can.

Nox’s review

Okay, so I just got home from watching Star Trek and the verdict? Pretty sweet. Now, I grew up catching an episode or two of the show every now and then, but I never really got into it. This movie, unlike most of the episodes I caught, was easy to understand and kept me interested from beginning to end. The twists were well placed and the fights were probably my favorite part.

I was waiting for the ‘Beam me up, Scottie.’ But sadly it never came. I was kind of bummed, but that little alien following Scottie around made me laugh so it was okay. I think the casting director did a great job. Spock was hella rad as a kid, young adult, and old man. Kirk was totally hardcore as a kid. No spoilers but the young Kirk was the coolest little kid ever, and I loved how the movie kind of showed the rebellious similarities between Spock and Kirk throughout the years.

Visually the movie was awesome, the fight scenes were great, the sarcastic comic relief was executed perfectly, and the all around substance of the film was stellar. I highly recommend seeing this movie if you haven’t already. I give it a five high five rating because who doesn’t love a smart ass trouble maker turned captain?

Overall rating…



5 out of 5 high-fives!