Weekend Roundup (10-15-2011 to 10-16-2011)

RVP demanding the blood of his enemies after scoring with an unbelievable free kick against Sunderland for Arsenal.

After a long week of experiments at the lab, I was able to take a chill pill after work on Friday at Mr. Dunderbak’s with my Post-doc Kelley and her pal Kate.  German beer and some potato pancakes were the name of the game, and they were fabulous.  After a round of that, some lab chat, and some laughs, it was time to head on back home to check out a movie that I’ve been meaning to watch for the LONGEST time, and that film was Little Big Soldier starring none other than Jackie Chan.

Wang Leehom (Top) is Jackie Chan's captive in the humorous Warring States Road Trip that is "Little Big Soldier" (2010).

Some might argue that Jackie is past his prime to do all the things that he’s done before, but the film does well in illustrating the fact that, yes, he IS past his prime by allowing him to take on the role of an old soldier who’s simply trying to earn a reward from his home army by turning in an enemy general.  However, in true road trip fashion, the two encounter all sorts of obstacles, most of which offer handfuls of laughs, while learning a little bit more about each other.  Our virtuous enemy general (played by Taiwanese actor /musician Wang Leehom) is young, righteous, and always ready to fight for king and country, while Jackie’s “Old Soldier” plays dead during big battles, runs away, throws rocks, is pessimistic about war and is more or less the polar opposite of his captive.  The editing and transition work was not to my taste in the beginning half of the movie, but things eventually progressed well and the amount of humanity displayed by all of the characters in the film was wonderful to see.  If you’re a JC fan like me that’s looking for a chance to see your old hero in a new light, then watch Little Big Soldier as soon as possible (Thank you Netflix!!).

Godzilla and his son are trollin' like vatos in Humboldt Park in "Destroy All Monsters" (1968).

Saturday was quite the day since Tampa Bay Anime was celebrating Halloween early with the Horror / Kaiju Night at the usual venue at Perkins.  Much of that night was devoted to watching some High School of the Dead, Hellsing Ultimate and the main event, Destroy All Monsters.  The film featured a plethora of kaiju from the Godzilla universe, including the main man himself, Rodan, Ghidorah, Mothra and more.  With 13 people attending the event, it was a laugh riot to say the least.  Much of our loud laughing was not just simply due to the fact that we were watching a horrendously dubbed monster movie from 1968 that had its WTF moments, but the fact that King Ghidorah was given a gangland-style beating was enough to make us wonder if Godzilla was a vato from South Central or Humboldt Park.  All in all, with plenty of zombies, vampires and giant monsters, it was a good night indeed!!

RVP's game-winner against Sunderland. Brilliant stuff goddammit!!!

Lastly, Sunday started off well with a wonderful win for Arsenal against Sunderland which I hope will be some welcome relief to the fans after what happened against Spurs.  I missed the first thirty minutes, but Gervinho’s assist to RVP was dynamic, where the Dutchman scored low on his right foot on the 28th second of the match, putting the Gunners ahead quite early.  Larsson of Sunderland scored from a free kick to put them level by the end of the first half, but the second half showed a different Arsenal.  Rosciky had a brilliant game where he lost no balls and did his best to outdribble Sunderland’s midfield while Jenkinson showed some pacy moves and some fancy crosses at the right back position.  Arshavin soon came on to sub Gervinho as Santos came in to replace an ailing Gibbs, and already, the pace of Arsenal’s attack had changed.  Arshavin in particular made a great effort in the box by dribbling past 3 to 4 defenders before shooting wide on the field, which is by far his best performance yet for this season.  However, the scene-stealer was RVP’s free kick goal.  It was an unbelievable event for me, but my father, who was watching the game with me, was confident that it would go in.  I was screaming when the ball hit the back of the net, I won’t lie.  Arsenal would go on to win the game, 2-1.  An astounding victory indeed.

Arino-san meets the most giggly fan ever in L.A.'s Japan Arcade on Game Center CX's "Kacho in U.S.A." episode (2011).

And finally, a good weekend wouldn’t be one without a viewing of Game Center CX.  Thanks to the Something Awful forums, Zanz was able to get the recent 2 hour special of Kacho Arino’s visit to the U.S.A.  Much of his visit hinged on checking out places such as San Francisco’s Musee Mechanique, In-N-Out Burger, a crab shack in Fisherman’s Wharf, a retro game store outside of SF, an American laudromat, and finally L.A., to meet fans of the show.  In addition, in true Game Center fashion, Arino played Data East’s Robocop for the Famicom, with the goal of finishing all 6 stages.  It was quite an “American” episode for sure, but it all ended well when Arino finally met his fans in the U.S., where he was greeted to thunderous cheers and applause.  150 fans showed up to the event and he actually took the time to shake each one’s hand and take a photo with them, and moreover, the show was actually nice enough to interview some of the fans.  I’m sure this show would not do well amidst the hustle and bustle of traditional American syndication, but that’s why the internet rules.  It can circumvent all of that bullshit and give the goods to those who really give a damn about material like this.  All in all, Game Center C.X.’s U.S.A. episode was a win in all fronts!

Well, that wraps up the weekend folks.  Hope to see you all again on the next post.  Until then, rock on!

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