(Crossposted from NikoScream)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is the latest in Michael Bay’s foray into the multi-million-dollar toy commercials that are the Transformers movies. Returning are stars Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky and Megan Fox as Mikaela Banes, as well as Peter Cullen and Hugo Weaving reprising their voices as Optimus Prime and Megatron respectively. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is essentially better than 2007’s Transformers. Bay manages to turn everything up a notch, which unfortunately includes some of the weaknesses of the first movie.
This movie takes place two years after the first one. The Autobots have entered into a deal of asylum with the U.S. government and work with it to take down rogue Decepticons. However, the higher ups in the government are a bit weary and suspect of the Autobots, believing them to be the reason for Decepticon attacks. Meanwhile, Sam is off to college and hopefully a normal life. That doesn’t work too well with the information of the All Spark downloaded into his head.
Cue Decepticons hunting him down and Autobots fighting to protect him. Throw in scantily-clad hot girls, slow motion and explosions, stir with a Bad Boys 2 poster and you have a Michael Bay film whether you like it or not.
Probably the best part of the film is the greater concentration on the Transformers. Decepticons other than Megatron actually get real dialog this time. Starscream, who got screwed in the last movie with no real lines or character, is as cowardly yet power hungry as usual, not to mention he actually talks. Soundwave (with his original voice from Frank Welker) forgoes his traditional boom box form for a satellite, yet it actually works for him. While he doesn’t fight himself, Soundwave does launch out Rampage, who does keep true to his jaguar-like form.
As for the Autobots, they’re here in full force as well. Optimus Prime is as awesome as he should be. Probably the top three fights in the movie are his, and he’s good in them. It’s no wonder why he’s the leader of the Autobots when he takes on Megatron, Starscream and other Decepticons all on his own. Not to mention Peter Cullen continues to deliver that iconic and awe-inspiring voice of his.
While Ironhide and Ratchet don’t get as much screen time as in the first movie, we do get introduced to plenty of new Autobots who followed Optimus’ message at the end of movie one. Sideswipe is a new Chevy Corvette Stingray concept, which works for a sleek design in both vehicle and robot modes. Then there’s the Arcee team, a trio of female motorcycle Autobots lead by Arcee. There’s also Jetfire, portrayed as an elderly Transformer with an SR-71 Blackbird jet mode. To ease some worries about Jetfire, while he has a cane that actually is integrated into his transformation, he does use it as a weapon. That’s probably what its real purpose is, while Jetfire uses it as a cane due to malfunctioning legs.
The film also does well to include more aspects of Transformers mythos. Energon exists, as does a certain Matrix of Leadership, oddly lacking finger grips though. We also have the existence of other Primes in the past, showing that the Prime name is a name of leadership.
The plot is fairly cohesive, more so than the first one. There are no real out-of-place subplots, and everything ties into the main story. Still, a good deal of the scenes could have been shorter, as the movie really does not need its two and a half hours of running time.
Going in that direction though, one of the things that should have been cut down is the comic relief. The comedy gets old quick in my opinion. While Sam’s parents (Kevin Dunn and Julie White) comedic character development and Agent Simmons (John Turturro) wardrobe malfunction is bearable, there are a few more relief characters than necessary.
First we have Leo (Ramón Rodríguez), Sam’s know-it-all college roommate with a penchant for whining and complaining and who just happens to run a conspiracy website featuring robotic aliens (What a coincidence on Sam’s part). He doesn’t feel like he adds anything to the film. However, he one thing well, and that’s making Sam far more likeable in contrast.
Then we have Skids and Mudflap, two annoying Autobot twins. As established in the first movie that the Autobots learn about Earth from the internet, these two must have went to the most ghetto website imaginable. They talk with street-thug accents. Neither is particularly bright. Skids even has gold-and-silver-plated buckteeth. Anyone who found Jazz offensive in the first movie will have a field day with these two. I just found them annoying and hardly redeeming. Heck, even Wheelie is more likeable.
Similar to the first film and despite more focus on Transformers, this film still has too much concentration on the humans. The similarities to a teen romance drama are still strong, especially at Sam’s college with rowdy frat boys and compromising situations with girls who are not Sam’s girlfriend Mikaela. While I wish there is less, it’s still fairly concentrated in just the first half and is left alone as the plot progresses.
The final battle does concentrate more on the human soldiers fighting. However, given that the Transformers get the focus in the several fights spread throughout the movie, and that the soldiers are supposed to be working with the Autobots as equals, it does only seem fair and forgivable.
One final problem the film has is keeping track of Transformers. There are a lot of Decepticons, most of which aren’t distinguishable. It’s sad having to rely on the toys to tell us who’s who. Also, we have the Constructicons, and they do form Devastator, yet there are Constructicons fighting while Devastator fights elsewhere.
Speaking of Devastator, yes he has testicles, and yes that scene is ridiculous and unnecessary.
Overall, it’s a decent movie. The best way to recommend this is if you liked the 2007 Transformers, you’ll love this. It is a better movie. However, if you hated the 2007 film, be it from too much people, too stupid comedy, distaste of designs or just too much Bay-ness, you won’t hate this as much but you still probably won’t like it. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, and so did some of my more old-school Transformer fan friends, so you might too.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Returns to FUNimation Video Portal
FUNimation Entertainment has officially announced the return of its video portal after a brief hiatus. Included in this return will be the newest episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Available for streaming on Thursday, June 25 will be Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood episodes 10 and 11. Also debuting today is the latest episode of Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood: episode 12.
The new portal introduces many new backend features, including greater bandwidth, and we are continuing to develop and implement new features and functionality.
However, fans can let us know about any issues by posting on the Official FUNimation Video Portal thread here <http://community.funimation.com/tt.aspx?forumid=40 >.
So earlier tonight I had the pleasure of watching Shiki-Jitsu (or The Ritual for some people), a movie by none other than the fantastic Hideaki Anno…and damn, that movie is amazing, absolutely perfect in every possible way.
The film is about an anime director (played by indie Japanese filmmaker Shunji Iwai) returning to his hometown where he meets this freaky young girl (Ayako Fujitani, also writer of the script and novel) with whom he falls in love with. This may seem as a typical love story at first but believe me, it’s anything but that. As usual with Anno’s work, the movie takes the viewer for an emotional; somewhat mindfucking roller-coaster ride and the two characters are lovable and intriguing at the same time.
The film definitely has that special touch that only Anno can provide. It’s filled with weird (though more functional than those in Anno’s live-action debut Love & Pop) camera angles, there’s heavy focus on dialogue, the soundtrack mostly features beautiful piano tracks and the story is never really clear (in a good way). It’s also better than the aforementioned debut Love & Pop, though both films are fantastic; this one feels more complete in a way which I can’t really explain.
The actors also do a fantastic job in allowing us to relate to the characters. I’m not sure if Iwai has done any acting before, but he plays the cynic filmmaker quite well here, but the very best part of the film is Fujitani as the eccentric young girl…it doesn’t hurt that she’s incredibly gorgeous either. Oh and did I mention that it also features Megumi Hayashibara (you know…Rei) providing her amazing voice for some narrations?
So in conclusion: watch this movie; you won’t be disappointed, especially if you’re a Hideaki Anno fan.
Oh, on an unrelated note, I watched the two Death Note movies, and they’re awesome, I was never a fan of the manga but I loved them, the guy who plays L was amazing.
|Type||Personal Defense Weapon|
|Place of origin||Belgium|
|Used by||See Users|
|Manufacturer||Fabrique Nationale de Herstal|
|Weight||2.54 kg (5.60 lb) empty|
3.0 kg (6.6 lb) loaded
|Length||500 mm (19.7 in)|
|Barrel length||263 mm (10.4 in)|
256.5 mm (10.1 in) (new models)
|Width||55 mm (2.2 in)|
|Height||210 mm (8.3 in)|
|Action||Straight blowback, closed bolt|
|Rate of fire||900 rounds/min|
|Muzzle velocity||715 m/s (2,346 ft/s) (SS190)|
850 m/s (2,788.7 ft/s) (SS90)
|Effective range||Sights fixed for 150 m|
|Maximum range||200 m|
|Feed system||50-round detachable box magazine|
|Sights||Tritium-illuminated reflex sight, back-up iron sights|
The P90 is a Belgian designed personal defense weapon. The weapon’s name is an abbreviation of Project 90, which specifies a weapon system of the 1990s. The P90 is considered a Personal Defense Weapon (PDW), and was designed as a compact but powerful firearm for vehicle drivers, operators of crew-served weapons, support personnel, special forces and anti-terrorist units.
Developed between 1986–1987 at Fabrique Nationale de Herstal, the P90 features a compact bullpup design, ambidextrous grip and a polymer and alloy-based construction. The weapon contains several innovative features including the proprietary 5.7x28mm ammunition, designed for greater penetration of body armour than pistol ammunition.
The P90 and variants are in use by military and police forces in over thirty countries worldwide, and sports models are popular among civilian shooters.
The P90 was developed between 1986 and 1987 in Herstal, Belgium. Its goal was to replace the pistol-caliber carbines which were in use at the time by military and law enforcement personnel, as it had become evident that such weapons were ineffective against body armour, even with the longer barrel length compared to handguns.
The gun was designed in conjunction with the new 5.7x28mm cartridge, which has a greater penetrating capability, lethal range and flatter trajectory than most other pistol caliber cartridges such as the NATO-standard 9x19mm Parabellum round. Initially the weapon used a 5.7x28mm SS90 cartridge (with a lightweight, roundnose, jacketed projectile and a polymer core), as well as tracer, training (reduced range), sub-caliber (increased velocity and effective range of up to 250 m) and blank ammunition. The first prototype firing this ammunition was completed in October 1986, and over 3,000 submachine guns were produced in this configuration until 1993 in a low-rate initial production run.
Meanwhile, FN revised the ammunition, with the intention of using it in a planned semi-automatic pistol of the same caliber – the Five-seveN. The new cartridge, designated the SS190, has a more conventional full metal, plated steel jacket, lead core and steel/aluminium penetrator. Several other projectiles were also developed for the new cartridge, including the L191 tracer round, a subsonic SB193 bullet for sound-suppressed P90 firearms and blank ammunition. A modified version of the P90 adapted to use the new ammunition was introduced in 1993.
The P90 is a selective fire straight blowback-operated weapon with a short recoiling barrel and fires from a closed bolt. The return mechanism consists of two parallel spring guide rods that also guide the bolt carrier assembly. The weapon uses an internal hammer striking mechanism and a trigger mechanism with a three-position rotary dial fire control selector, located centrally beneath the trigger. The fire selector also provides a manual safety against accidental firing. The dial in the "S" position – weapon safe, "1" – semi-automatic fire, "A" – fully automatic fire. When set on "A", the selector provides a two-stage trigger operation. Pulling the trigger back slightly produces semi-automatic fire and pulling the trigger fully to the rear will produce fully automatic fire. The "safe" setting disables the trigger.
The P90 uses an original horizontally-mounted feeding system that is patent protected in the United States (U.S. Patent 4,905,394 dated March 6 1990), authored by René Predazzer. It uses a 50-round box magazine, mounted parallel to the bore axis that locks in place between the charging handles and optical sight, flush with the receiver top cover. The magazine is made of a lightweight, translucent polycarbonate and allows for visual ammunition verification. The base of the magazine is located near the muzzle end, the feed lips above the barrel chamber in a circular bulge that contains the feed tray. Cartridges in the magazine body are double stacked to the left side. The magazine features a follower with rollers and a spiral feed ramp that will rotate a cartridge 90° to the right aligning it in a double stack pattern within the magazine.
The weapon’s hammer-forged steel barrel is fitted with a ported, diagonally cut flash suppressor that also acts as a recoil compensator. Early models did not have the cut in the flash hider. The P90 is equipped with an unmagnified HC-14-62 reflex sight from Ring Sights, which enables quick target acquisition up to 150 metres (490 ft) and operation in low-level lighting conditions thanks to a tritium-illuminated aiming reticle. Newer units are fitted with the Ring Sights MC-10-80 sight designed specifically for the P90. It uses a forward-aimed fiber optic collector to illuminate the daytime reticle, which consists of a large circle of about 180 Minute of arc (MOA), with a 20 MOA circle surrounding a dot in the center. The night reticle consists of an open "T" that is primarily illuminated by a tritium module or moonlight and ambient light drawn in by an upward-facing collector. The sight is adjustable for both windage and elevation and can be used with night vision equipment. Auxiliary fixed sights are provided on both sides of the receiver's cast aluminium optical sight housing.
The P90 is fully ambidextrous; it can be operated by right or left-handed shooters without making any modifications to the weapon. The charging handle, auxiliary fixed sights and magazine release are symmetrically distributed on both sides of the firearm. The manual fire selector below the trigger can be operated from either side. Spent cartridge casings are ejected downward through a chute located aft of the pistol grip, keeping fired cases out of the shooter's line of sight.
The P90 is designed in the bullpup configuration which reduces the firearm's overall length while retaining a full-length barrel. The pistol grip with thumbhole and oversized trigger guard act as the forward grip, a handstop is incorporated into the weapon's stock to prevent the operator from accidentally reaching out in front of the barrel during firing. The P90 is a modular firearm and consists of 69 parts that disassemble into four main groups: the barrel with integrated sight assembly, receiver with return mechanism, stock body with trigger and firing mechanism and the magazine. The P90 makes extensive use of polymers and lightweight alloys to reduce both the weight and the cost of the weapon.
It can also be fitted with a laser aiming module integrated into the stock body, beneath the barrel and the SP90 suppressor, made by Gemtech, which has a length of 184 mm (7.2 in) and weighs 550 g (19 oz).
The firearm is produced in several variations. All of these versions are able to mount certain optional accessories such as tactical slings, empty case collector bags, bayonets, visible and infrared laser aiming modules (LAM) and tactical flashlights.
The P90 TR features a receiver-mounted triple MIL-STD-1913 rail interface system or "Triple Rail" (TR). There is one full-length rail on the top of the base and two rail "stumps" on both sides of the receiver. The side rails serve as mounting points for tactical accessories such as laser pointers or halogen flashlights, while the integrated top rail will accept various optics with no tools or additional mounting hardware required. Some components of the P90 TR and standard P90 are not interchangeable since the entire receiver assembly is different.
Another variant is the P90 USG, which is similar to the standard P90 with the exception of the revised optic system and side rail, developed based on input from the United States Secret Service and other government agencies. The aluminium sight uses a non-magnified black reticle that does not require ambient light. This sight does not suffer from the problems of the regular MC-10-80, since the reticle does not "wash out" against bright backgrounds.
The P90 LV and P90 LIR add an integrated visible laser sight or infrared sight respectively. Both units are manufactured by the Australian company Laserex Technologies. The lasers have three internal settings: "off", to prevent accidental activation, "low-intensity", for combat training and extended battery life, and "high-intensity" – for maximum visibility. The laser's power switch is a green button located under the trigger grip. The battery compartment is located below this button
The PS90 is a semi-automatic only sport version designed for the civilian market. It has a 407 mm (16.0 in) barrel, an olive drab synthetic stock body (black synthetic stock is available in limited production quantities), and an MC-10-80 reflex sight identical to that used on the standard P90. The MC-10-80 can be removed and replaced with a special top rail in order to use third party optics. The barrel has 8 right-hand grooves, a 1:7 twist, a rifled length of 376 mm and comes with a fixed "birdcage" type flash suppressor. The overall length of the PS90 is 667 mm. The trigger pull is rated at approximately 7.5 to 8 lb (33 to 36 N). The receiver assembly is drilled and tapped to accept accessory Picatinny rails on either side. The front swivel sling mount is not included, and installation requires the barrel shroud to be unpinned and removed. It accepts the standard P90 50-round magazines, but is sold only with a 10 or 30-round magazine depending on local and state regulations. The PS90 weighs 2.9 kg (6.4 lb) empty and 3.4 kg (7.5 lb) with a fully loaded 50-round magazine.
The PS90 TR, or Triple Rail, uses a different receiver assembly that is similar to the P90 TR. The standard back-up iron sights are no longer present, and instead, the top of the receiver is machined to form a Picatinny rail. There is no provision for using back-up fixed sights with the PS90 TR. Two plastic side-rails are included for mounting lasers or tactical flashlights. The PS90 TR is available with either an olive-drab or black polymer stock.
Another semi-automatic variant is the PS90 USG, which like the standard P90 USG, replaces the MC-10-80 reflex sight with an unmagnified sight with a black ring aiming reticle. The PS90 USG is also available with either olive-drab or black furniture.