Sunday, December 15, 2013

Generations RHINOX Review

Let me just say that I haven't seen Beast Wars. At the time I wasn't a Transformers fan and I never really got around to watching it. But come on, this is a rhino that turns into a robot wielding twin Gatling Guns of Doom, and that's enough for me.

RHINOX is rare among robots. He has a brilliant scientific mind, as well as a deep philosophical curiosity about the nature of the universe around him. He is astoundingly strong - able to hold his own against even the most powerful opponents. He is friendly, good-natured, and charismatic, with a fine strategic mind that would make him an ideal leader for the MAXIMALS forces if they didn't already have one. What's more, he carries one of the most powerful weapons of any MAXIMALS in the form of the twin Gatling Guns of Doom, which pump out a PREDACON-shredding storm of hot lead. 

Rhinox is a Voyager figure in Hasbro's Generations line, and he and Waspinator are the first two "Classic"-ized versions of Beast Wars characters. I haven't found Waspinator yet, but I have to say, Rhinox is a great figure. 

Rhinox's robot mode is very bulky and rather short. From what I can tell, he is accurate to the cartoon (I haven't watched it, but I haven't heard any major complaints). While other beast formers tend to wear a huge shell of animal on their backs, Rhinox has only a decent backpack and he doesn't look like a robot wearing a rhino carcass. I especially like how the lower jaw becomes his chest armor. Paint, while limited to gold accents, is okay. It's a bit misaligned on my Rhinox's head, but I can live with it. 

Rhinox's articulation is great. He has ball jointed heads, shoulders, and hips. He has hinged elbows and knees and swivels as the thigh and elbow. He also has pseudo "rocker" ankles, which tilt inward for wider stances. While it may not sound like much on paper, it's enough for Rhinox to take any pose you'd want him in. 

As mentioned in the bio, Rhinox wields the Twin Gatling Guns of Doom (Best. Weapon. Name. Ever.). The packaging shows silver paint on the blades on the gun, but the Hasbro version doesn't have that and opts for rhino-flesh colored blades of Doom. By pushing the trigger, you can make the blades spin. For rhino mode, the guns attach together and can be stored in the belly of the beast.

Speaking of the rhino mode, Rhinox's transformation isn't complex, but it is finnicky. There are many tabs that you'll have to align and panels that stick out. Once you're done, however, it's all worth it because this rhino is AWESOME. 

 A small quality control issue is that one of the rhino's legs doesn't like to stay down, but otherwise it's a great beast mode. It is also articulated, if you use the joints from robot mode, but this leaves unattractive gaps and isn't very practical.

One of the great things about having a rhino is that he is a good size for other figures to ride. The scale isn't perfect, but it works.
Onward my steed!
Overall, Rhinox is a great figure. He has some flaws here and there, but he's well made and both modes are AWESOME. He is trickling into stores right now, so get him if you see him!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Amazing Spider-Man 2 Trailer and Thoughts

I was one of the few people who thoroughly enjoyed the Amazing Spider-Man. Andrew Garfield's portrayal of Peter Parker was better than Tobey Macguire's, with the newer Spider-Man having the funny comments I always loved. So when Sony released their trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 this week, I was not disappointed. If you haven't seen it yet, here it is:

Like any other superhero trailer release, there's quite a bit of talk surrounding this new trailer, so here are my two cents.

The new Spidey suit is great. The only complaint I had with the first Amazing Spider-Man suit were the orange "eyes" in the mask, and that's been fixed here with nice classic white. There's not much more to be said except that the costume makes for some great-looking figures.

Electro, on the other hand, not so much. There was a lot of controversy surrounding Jamie Foxx being cast as Electro, and I have to say his appearance leaves much to be desired. However, that AWESOME action sequence at the end of the trailer makes up for his mediocre costume.


New to this trailer was Dane Dehaan's Harry Osborn, and I have to say he's a really good Harry. The movie seems to portray Harry more as Norman's vessel rather than Peter's shy friend, but it's great portrayal of Harry nonetheless. The trailer also has a few frames of Harry as the Green Goblin, who looks a lot better here than he did in Raimi's Spider-Man. Whether or not he's a good villain remains to be seen. 

There is a third villain in the trailer, and that is Rhino. Three villains is always a stretch for superhero movies, and it makes me a bit nervous. Anyways, Rhino is no longer Aleksei Sytsevich transformed by science, but Systevich (probably) in a robot suit that is vaguely rhino-shaped. 

If you squint, it kind of looks like a rhino?

My guess is that Rhino will be the first villain Spidey fights in the film, and the mini-Jaeger robot rhino suit (as if that's any better) won't last very long. The new design isn't great, and hopefully it doesn't ruin the movie. While the looks at the new villains are definitely cool, what's been generating a lot of buzz are the hints at future Spidey movies. 

Sequels, sequels, and more sequels!

Yep. That's Doc Ock and Vulture (who was already a rumored villain) being hinted at through this shot of Oscorp's labs. There have been theories of a Sinister Six movies in the works, and inevitably more sequels. I think it'd be interesting to see a movie with six villains, but it would be a huge risk (Three villains is already pushing it). Like any other fan, however, I did freak out when I saw this in the trailer, and it only fueled my excitement even more. All in all, this trailer has done its job well. Let's just hope the movie lives up to it. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Soundtracks in Movies: Are They Important?

Soundtracks. Every movie has one, but how important are they to your viewing experience? Well, here are my thoughts.

Recently I saw both Thor: The Dark World and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. While I enjoyed both, I have to say that I liked Thor more than Hunger Games sequel (and not just because I'm a Marvel fan).

One of the greatest things about Thor 2 was the soundtrack, composed by one of my favorite musicians, Brian Tyler (He's also made the Transformers: Prime theme, as well as the Iron Man 3 soundtrack). Without the music, some of the scenes in Thor 2 would not have been nearly as powerful as they were (I will try not to spoil the movie, but there was one scene in particular). Meanwhile, Catching Fire barely had a soundtrack, and not even a memorable one at that. By soundtrack, of course, I mean the actual music played during the scenes of a movie.

My enjoyment of movies has been partly because of some of the great music that makes up their soundtracks. (Man of Steel, for instance, had an amazing Hans Zimmer composition). However, several people I have talked to hardly pay attention to the music playing during a movie, and their enjoyment is unaffected by it. So does the music makes the movie? It depends on the person, but movie soundtracks should at least gather more appreciation for what they do.