Training Log: Week 6- Chest

Warm Up: 15m

Modified Cressey Warm Up

Lifting: 45m

Paused DB 30* Incline Bench Press: 100×5, 85x8x2

Machine Chest Press: 3×10

Machine Flyes: 100×15

Pull Ups: BWx8x5, BWx5x3 (between sets)

EZ Bar Skulls: 70x8x2

Cable Extensions: 100x15x2

Conditioning:

Rower: 5m

– Smith machine was taken so I used some machine that didn’t feel too bad.

– Probably the last week before I change some stuff up again. I wanted to go to 8 but I don’t think I will wait that long.

– I have only been able to get to the gym 2x a week because of the baby. I don’t like to come home after being gone 7:45-6:00 and then go to the gym another two hours. Not really fair to Mrs. Shadow.

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Spider-Man Review

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Spider-Man was the first “big” comic book movie in most peoples minds. Blade, in my opinion, started it all and the X-Men movie was the first but whatever… Spider-Man came and conquered at the box office and impressed critics.

Unfortunately, I saw it then and now and my reaction was the same: meh.

From the first 30 seconds of the movie they get it all wrong when they said something like, “all great stories are about a girl” or some shit. When I saw that, I immediately had to double face palm myself. I mean… really?

Yes, Spider-Man has relationship problems. But, in my opinion at least, that isn’t central to his character. What is central to his character is the fact he has given up a large portion of his life due to his “great responsibility” and he is incredibly down on his luck. And this movie didn’t capture that, in my opinion, as it relied the relationship angle to show that.

This movie is also really campy for a big budget action flick. I am not sure if they did it on purpose because it was a comic book movie (this is well before Marvel and Nolan changed the comic book game) or if the movie just seems dated now (but Blade and X-Men don’t have that problem) but a lot of the side characters and especially the Green Goblin are just straight up goofy. The Green Goblin in general was just a misfire and campy as fuck. And the CGI already looks dated.

Other misfires… Toby. He is too short and too much of a puny wimp to be Spider-Man or Peter Parker. He spends more time crying than anything else it seems. And when he gets “angry” in the movie it seems incredibly forced.

And how can you have a Spider-Man without numerous mid battle quips? One of the main things about the character is that he never shuts up when he is rescuing people or fighting bad guys. He does it mostly to calm his nerves but really… he never shuts up and makes wise cracks constantly to the point that many heroes tell him to STFU when they work with him. And it is absent in this movie.

Another thing absent? Web slingers. Organic webs was just lazy and doesn’t give Parker a chance to show off his intellect.

The movie wasn’t ALL bad, it just isn’t as bad as it seems. The got the origin right and they did it fast enough that it didn’t dominate the whole movie. The parts where he was discovering his powers weren’t too shabby. And the fights and web slinging action wasn’t too bad. It just wasn’t good enough in my opinion to overcome some of the negative aspects of the film.

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Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 89% Audience: 65%

Shadow’s Rating: 5/10– Decent but extremely overrated in my eyes as it doesn’t quite capture the comic book Spider-Man.

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Pros, cons, and spoilers after the jump.

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Continue reading Spider-Man Review

X-Men: The Last Stand Review

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The Phoenix is one of the most recognizable elements to X-Men lore. The Dark Phoenix Saga is considered one of the best comic book stories ever. It was featured heavily in the 90’s X-Men cartoon and the more recent Wolverine and the X-Men cartoon. Hell, right now, it is being featured in a huge cross over event in the comics.

Getting this story in one, 2 hour movie is just… insane. Fox tried and they failed miserably. It is a cosmic force that essentially EATS PLANETS and they dumbed it down to a personality trait. FAIL.

Other than the Phoenix, the movie revolves around the new mutant cure and Magneto declaring war on humans. We finally get some halfway decent “mutant vs mutant fights” but nothing Earth shattering or anything. We also get some focus on some new mutants, including the Juggernaut (who isn’t at mutant in the comics but whatever), Kitty Pride, Colossus, Calypso, Multiple-Man, ect. Unfortunately… all the new appearance were either flat or just down right crap (Juggernaut).

The story almost exclusively focuses on Wolverine, which is both good and bad I suppose. This should have been Cyclop’s time to shine, but unfortunately that doesn’t happen due to him choosing to do Superman Returns instead. And also… Nightcrawler is absent because they didn’t want to mess with all the make up. Seriously.

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Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 57% Audience: 73%

Shadow’s Rating: 5/10– I just don’t understand what Fox was thinking with this movie. The first two were good and this one just crashes and burns.

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Pros, cons, and spoilers after the jump.

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Continue reading X-Men: The Last Stand Review

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Review

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If you are able to get over the premise of the movie (yes, Abraham Lincoln fighting vampires is kind of ridiculous) and you are able to suspend belief for a couple hours, this is a fun movie. The type of movie you would throw in the DVD player after a long week with a glass of Jack Daniels in your hand.

For me, it delivered what I wanted, especially after an exhausting couple weeks: some stellar action and a ‘good enough’ plot.

And the action is there, especially the first half-ish of the movie. Literally… nearly the whole first act is a young Lincoln hunting, fighting, and killing vampires in fun ways with an Ax. The fight choreography was interesting, pretty, fun, and brutal throughout the whole movie. The choreography and camera work was very  cool. Combine that with some great special effects throughout (including the aging of Lincoln which was scary good) and you have some very nice action scenes.

So, at least the main appeal of the movie (Lincoln fighting vampires) was done correctly in my opinion. So, was the rest of the movie as successful? Yes and no.

The characters in the movie were extremely one dimensional other than Lincoln and maybe Henry. There was no depth to them at all and if they didn’t have historical names, they could have been any old character. Sadly, this goes for the main villain as well, the vampire Adam. There was literally no depth at all to the character… he was just the main bad guy because we were told he was the main bad guy. A big missed opportunity in my opinion.

The movie both struggled and excelled in trying to mix in Lincoln’s real history with the fantasy version presented. At times, it worked great and made sense but at other times it was extremely forced and well… stupid. I am no history buff, so someone that really knows the history of Lincoln may have a different view point on this, both good and bad. But the plot was never head scratching enough to take away from the movie… it just wasn’t anything thought provoking or good enough to elevate the movie into another tier. There were few plot holes and a couple of cool story moments (especially the ending IMO) but the story won’t wow you. That is what the action is for.

Honestly… you are going to walk out of the movie and go “that was fun” or you will walk out (or not even walk in) and say “that was the dumbest thing I have ever sat through.” I was definitely in the first group.

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Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 38% Audience: 75%

Shadow’s Rating: 7/10– Fun movie, but definitely will not be everyone’s cup of tea. Guarantee this will be played frequently on the ol’ Blu-Ray player when it comes out.

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Pros, cons, and SPOILERS after the jump.

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Continue reading Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Review

Does the New 'Avengers Assemble' Cartoon Confirm Falcon for Captain America 2?

Falcon and Cap

I have mentioned over and over again how Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is the best thing on TV right now. Sure, it is a cartoon and on the Disney XD channel… but for a comic book fan, it NAILS every single character and it isn’t super kiddy like say Ultimate Spider-Man.

Unfortunately for me and tons of other fans of the cartoon, it is going to join Wolverine and the X-Men in the “awesome cartoons that got cancelled too early” pile.

EMH is being replaced with another Avengers cartoon titled Avengers Assemble. After the jump, take a look at the promotional banner and the clues that indeed, Falcon will be appearing in Captain America 2.

So, Avengers Assemble was created to more closely mirror the Marvel Movie Universe and of course, the smash hit Marvel’s The Avengers. Everyone in the promotional poster mirrors there movie counter part except one person…

So, who the hell let the black guy in the poster? All the other members are identical to their movie counterpart. They even changed Hawkeye’s costume to fit the movie universe and not the classic comic costume most people are used to. 
But in the back left corner there he is: Sam Wilson aka Falcon. In EMH, the token black guy role is taken by the Black Panther (who is rumored to appear in this show later by the way). So why the hell is a random, obscure, C-list character showing up in the promo poster? Dude is barely an Avenger and his last two appearances in the comics resulted in him getting his ass kicked and being used as cannon fodder. If they were just filling a spot, they could have used more classic Avengers such as Vision or Ms. Marvel or Pym. 
The only logical conclusion is that he will indeed be showing up as Captain America’s sidekick in Captain America 2 as rumored before and this is just a chance to introduce the character to a new audience. Nothing else really makes any sense. He isn’t well known, he isn’t cool (I don’t even think he has any real powers but I can’t remember), he isn’t a core Avenger, and he hasn’t shown up in any of the movies. 
The only other thing that is possible is that he is indeed the token black guy and will be punked constantly on the show by the villains and that it would be easier to do this with an obscure character like Falcon instead of a power house like Black Panther who has a dedicated fan base. But that would be a very cynical view on the whole situation. I will stick with the, “sweet, another hero showing up in the MMU” view instead. 

Training Log: Week 5- Back

Warm Up: (15m)

Modified Cressey Warm Up

Lifting: (40m)

Wide Grip Pull Ups: BWx8x3

DB Rows: 100×15, 100×10

Close Grip Lat Pull Downs: 165x10x3 (I think)

One Arm Machine Reverse Flyes: 80x15x2

Planks: 3x45s

Dips: BWx10x9, BWx20 (in between back sets)

Conditioning: (5m)

Stationary Bike: 1 mile

– Workout felt great actually.

– I am doing stuff in between the main sets just to keep moving and so I don’t get bored.

– DB rows were lower in reps, but they are more controlled. I prefer cheated rows of all types, but it makes no sense when I have a finite amount of weight to use. The DB’s only go up to 100.

– I had a “I am a dumb ass” moment… why am I not using the bike for my jacked up knees? Especially when I am doing no leg training right now. I am an idiot. Think I am going to alternate between biking and rowing as my cardio.

Training Log: Week 5- Chest

Lifting:

Paused DB Bench Press: 100x8x2, 100×5

3D Smith Machine Incline Press: 135×10, 155×10, 155×12

Machine Flyes: 100x12x2

Hanging Leg Raise Holds: 2x10cts, 1x7cts

Pull Ups: BWx8x7, BWx5 (in between pressing)

Conditioning:

Rower: 5 minutes

– So there smith machine is one of those ones that go back and forth and up and down. So basically it is like a squat rack that is connected to rails. Dumbest thing ever… just makes it so people feel like they are doing free weights when they are not. In fact, I don’t even understand the point of it as there wasn’t a safety catch like a real smith machine where you just have re-hook it. This you had to lift off and stuff. It does hold you in a groove of sorts so that is why I did it.

Comic Book Review: June 13, 2012

Books I read last week (06/13) include:

  • Amazing Spider-Man #687
  • Avengers #27 (AvX crossover)
  • AvX Vs #3/6
  • Batman #10
  • Batman and Robin #10
  • Conan the Barbarian #5
  • Deadpool #56
  • Fantastic Four #607
  • Green Lantern #10
  • Incredible Hulk #9
  • Might Thor #15
  • Scarlet Spider #6
  • Spider-Men #1/5
  • Ultimate Comics X-Men #13
  • Uncanny X-Force #26
  • X-Men Legacy #268 (AvX crossover)
  • X-Men #30

Top 3 comics and this weeks list after the jump.


3) Batman #10

– This issue is essentially Batman finding out who was head of the Owls in Gotham. He gets there though and they are all dead in a way that looks like mass suicide. He then gets a feeling, heads elsewhere, to discover that there is a new top Owl in Gotham… his younger brother he didn’t know he had Thomas Wayne.

2) Uncanny X-Force #27

– In short, this new Brotherhood of Mutants has targeted X-Force and is systemically taking them down one by one. Logan and Kurt are nearly killed by the Omega clan, Betsy is being attacked by Xavier and Warren and Jamie (probably the Shadow King), Sabertooth is watching the school children and especially Genesis, and Mystique is targeting Fantomex. And we still do not know who the head bad guy actually is.

1) Fantastic Four #607

– The F4 and FF head to Wakanda on request from T’challa. Reed thinks T’challa wants help with restoring vibranium and Wakanda’s economy, only to be stunned by the fact that Wakanda is thriving and T’challa needs him for a next darker purpose. Wakanda is being attacked by an ancient enemy and T’challa needs Reed’s help to solve the problem as Reed is the “only one who could keep up.”

Comics I will be reading this week (06/13) include:
  • Avenging Spider-Man #8
  • Avengers vs. X-Men #6/12
  • Green Lantern Corps #10
  • Journey into Mystery #640
  • New Avengers #27 (AvX crossover)
  • Nightwing #10
  • Punisher #12
  • Secret Avengers #28 (AvX crossover)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro Series #5
  • Uncanny X-Men #14 (AvX crossover)
  • Venom #19
  • Wolverine #308

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is Out Today!

I am stoked for this. Probably too excited to be honest which means I am probably setting myself up for disappointment. But who cares… Abraham Lincoln with an Ax versus real Vampires. Epic.

Shut your brain off and watch one of the most ridiculous movies you will ever see on the big screen lol.

Before there was Blade, there was… Abraham Lincoln?

Training Log: Week 4- Arms

Warm Up:

Cressey Warm Up #1

Lifting:

Paused Close Grip Bench Press: 285×1, 225x5x3

BB Curls: 80×8, 90×8, 115×5

DB Scaption Raises: 25x112x7 (in between other sets)

– No school but I am busy the rest of the day so I headed to the gym in the morning which I don’t really enjoy. Got there a little later than I hoped so I didn’t do as much as I had planned.

– Speaking of not enjoying, this bb’ing split stuff is BORING. I am trying to stick to my plan but my god this isn’t fun. Maybe my plan should have been more conditioning based instead of bb’ing based.

– Workouts should get back to normal this weekend. I am slowly adjusting to the little one.