woensdag 30 november 2022

Black Widow

 Another superhero movie on the menu doing a lazy saturday night, and this time it's Marvel's Black Widow.

So no matter how good or how bad it might be, at least I have 2 hours of Scarlett Johansson to go.

The movie starts in Ohio back in 1995.  A family of two daughters turns out to be a Russian sleeper cell that has stolen intel from SHIELD, and is forced to flee to Cuba.  Here, the girls are split up and send to the Black Widow Red Room for training.

Years later, one of them, Natasha Romanoff is a succesful assassin that has defected to SHIELD and the Avengers after blowing up her former boss, general Dreykov, and his daughter together with Hawkeye.  The Taskmaster attacks her when she is in hiding from the US Government (this movie takes place around Civil War), as her younger (not real) sister has hidden vials in her car, hoping the Avengers would come to their aid.  When the two assassins meet up, they learn Dreykov survived the bombing and is using his Black Widow programme to influence all the decisions in the world.

They break their "father" out of prison, who is actually the former Soviet superhero Red Guardian, as well as their former mother who is a Black Widow herself.  When they attack the flying red Room base, Natasha learns that Taskmaster is actually Dreykov's gravely injured daughter, and that she can`t attack him due to a pheromone lock in her nose.  This she overcomes by breaking it, and beats up Dreykov, but he can escape thanks to the other Black Widow's intervening.

But her sister comes to her aid, using the antidote and breaking his mind control over them.  As the base comes crashing down, and taking Dreykov with it in an explosion, the two sisters parachute to freedom as SHIELD arrives to take in Romanoff.  A while later, her sister is seen at her grave as she fell during the Thanos events, and gets the assignment to kill Hawkeye from her handler...

Okay, so not to bad of an action movie, but quite a bit below some other Marvel movies in sheer amusement factor.  But heck, it's another one scratched of the backlist at least.

dinsdag 29 november 2022

My Hero Academia volume 3 - Kohei Horikoshi

 All Might has arrived on the scene to save the students from an assault of the so-called League of Villains!

But will he be able to stand up to a special genetically engineered foe, made to kill him?

Initially trapped as he focusses first on saving the captives, the students come to his aid in the battle, especially Bakugo and Todoroki.  This results in him getting really fired up, and engaging the Nomu now, knowing what he is up against as the other students hold back the other villains.

Together with the students he bluffs his way to stall, in order for the other pro-heroes of the school to arrive with Ida after he defeats the Nomu.  Now, this whole fight sequence was far shorter then it was in the anime though.

But life at school must go on, and the biggest sports event in Japan is right around the corner.  During the UA Sports Festival, scouts of all the pro-hero agencies are present to watch the students and grade their potential.  During the first challenge, an obstacle course, Todoroki quickly takes the lead by making good use of his quirk.  But when Bakugo catches up, they start quarreling, allowing for Midoriya, using explosives from the course and a metal plate, to sail right by them and take the win!

And as such, the 42 entrants to the second test are known, and the world is seeing the potential of the students of class 1-A...

maandag 28 november 2022

The Suicide Squad

 The second movie of the series with DC villains taking on government missions to get time of their sentences.

And I must say, I did like the first one, thinking it the turn around point where DCEU movies got "brighter" and lighter of tone.

In this movie, Task Force X needs to infiltrate the nation of Corto Maltese and bring down Project Starfish.  This is a secret project overseen by The Thinker, and located in the armed tower of Jotunheim.  But upon arrival on the beach, almost the whole team is killed except Rick Flag and Harley Quinn (sadly yes, also Captain Boomerang).  

But this team, who was made up of, let's be kind, D-level villains for the rest, was a diversion in order to have a second team consisting of Bloodsport, Peacemaker, Polka-Dot Man, King Shark and Ratcatcher II can safely infiltrate the island.  While Flag finds refuge with the resistance fighters (who lose a lot of their numbers to Bloodsport and Peacemaker, thinking it are enemies holding him captured), Harley is brought before the president... and kills him.

As she makes her escape, the two teams, having linked up with The Thinker, head towards Jotunheim.  They fight their way inside the tower, but find out the grizzly truth of the project, which is in all actuality sponsored by the US government and needs to be shut down.  This leads to a confrontation between Peacemaker, who killed Flag, and Bloodsport to get the hands on a hard drive containing all the data.  The actual project, a huge Starfish alien, breaks out and rampages through the city, leading to the remaining members of Task Force X to engage it and overcome the beast.

Buying their freedom by blackmailing Waller with the drive, the remaining members of the Task Force X are extrapolated, but in the end credit sequence it turns out Peacemaker also survived the incident.

Once more gorgeously over the top, this was a fun movie to watch, and with a high mortality rate this time amongst it's members, something not to be expected of a "superheroes" movie at all.

zondag 27 november 2022

The Haul Report 344

 A short Haul this week as we are closing the month.

In that, I received a promo card for the Weiss Schwarz collection.

One of the two promo's of the Date A Bullet set, I grabbed this true Cardmarket, numbered P01.  The benefit of selling of the Magic cards from last week's haul, this is great for funding the set.

Now in the not so far future, I`ll be grabbing some more boosters probably, in the vein hope of ever getting the set completed...

zaterdag 26 november 2022

On the Painting Desk 219

 First and foremost, this week has been all about assembling models.

As I want to finish those Super Mecha Champions kits still this year, at least for assembling purposes.

So as such, I have been continueing to build Arthur, the knightly mecha of the game.  Continueing where we left off, I assembled the legs first.

And then he could be put together on a base, ready to start painting works.

Talking painting, I did some more work on the gachapon Gundam models as well this week.

I estimate one more session and all three will be ready for varnishing and basing, but that is for an update somewhere in december I guess.

vrijdag 25 november 2022

Food Wars volume 3 - Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki

 The cooking adventures of Soma continue in this third volume of the series.

And now, it is time for school camp, where a lot of students are expected to fall by the road.

Arriving at a luxurious mountain resort, Soma and his Polaris dorm friends learn that the courses will be judged by some of the top chefs in Japan, all graduates of the institute.  He is paired with Megumi again during the first test, where he is challenged by a pair of italian brothers who are just like him: working in the family's trattoria ever since they where young children.  With the reputation of their family restaurants on the line, they face off while trying to obtain passing grades.

Both creating gorgeous dishes, the judge declares the battle a draw, but back in the hotel they are faced with the gruesome challenge of creating 50 servings within an hour to feed some other clubs present.  One of the chefs wants to expel Megumi, but Soma steps in argueing her cause.  And this results in Soma actually challenging the chef to an official duel!

As a bonus, the book also contains Shun Saeki's debut short story, Your and My Romance Counseling, about a chance encounter flowering into a budding romance.

Now to start volume four and find out how that duel is going to go down!

donderdag 24 november 2022

Food Wars volume 2 - Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki

 Back for more of this series which, I must say, enjoyed discovering.

Because as I love to cook myself, this is a fun series with a theme that touches my intrest after all, and it is darn funny to boot.

Soma is looking for his dorm, the Polaris Dormitory, which even to people on campus is seemingly unknown.  When he finally arrives, he manages to convince the caretaker of his skills by cooking a meal from scraps, and gain entrance to it as such.

In there, he meets the fellow residents, all eccentrics as that seems to be the ones still remaining in the dorms at the campus, as well as his new-made friend Megumi.  They throw him a welcome party, and he finds out the morning after one of his fellow residents is actually one of the Council of Ten members.  He gets challenged by him to a cook-off, and they draw.  He explains to Soma how the whole challenge system works and it isn`t that easy to get a battle to enter the Council of Ten.

Later, when he is paying a visit to the Bowl Society, he steps in for the don of the club to take on Ikumi Mito, the meat master.  And drop dead babe.  She is one of Erina's lackeys, who wants to bring the club down.  If Soma loses, the club ends and he is expelled, but if he wins, she must join the society as a full time member instead.

Taking the duel with her favorite ingredient, meat, he baffles the judges though, and in doing so saves the club and makes Ikumi join it.  As he is learning more about the garden in the Polaris dormitory, a phamplet arrives to tell them about a mountain trip cooking camp, where in previous years many students where weeded out from the masses.  But being the optimist he is, he is certain all the people in the dorm, including himself and Megumi, will pull through.

Okay, I`m liking this series.  And I think it is pretty awesome that all the recipies are in the books as well of the dishes Soma (and his friends) are making, I really am going to give a hand at some of those in the future!

Oh, and...

woensdag 23 november 2022

My Hero Academia volume 2 - Kohei Horikoshi

 So, while the sixth season is currently airing, I finally started decently reading the manga.

And let's discover if it varies a lot from the anime as such.

The volume kicks off with a practical training which puts Deku and Bakugo against each other.  Deku wants to prevent losing from him, to show he has a quirk and that he can stand up to him truly.  But Bakugo goes all out, wanting to prove he is the superior hero in training, while Deku tries to avoid using his quirk.

Bakugo goes all out while Uraraka confronts Ida at the weapons location, but as they are each individually beaten up, they manage to take the victory none the less by working as a team.  The school itself though is becoming national news as the media gets wind All Might has become a teacher there.

In the ensuing chaos as the press gets in, Ida shows his cool and becomes elected class president.  But the school's head suspects there is more behind it, as the media shouldn`t be able to get in past the barrier around the school, making him think it was orchestrated.  But during a rescue training, the class is attacked by a group calling themselves The League of Villains, out to kill All Might.

The students manage to defend themselves, stalling for time until All Might appears to take care of the villains, as he suddenly arrives to save them.

So that is the second volume now down, and so far the series runs more or less equal with the anime (I heard in later instalments it will start deviating) though I can`t remember Todoroki half covered in actual ice though in the early episodes.

dinsdag 22 november 2022

Barbaren season 2

 The german historical based series is back for a second season on Netflix, so me and Noshi sat down and watched through it.

Though I must say, at times I struggled to follow the series, even though Thusnelda makes up for a lot.

A year has passed since the battle in the forest, and Thusnelda and Ari, who have moved the tribe, are now a happy couple with a little baby boy.  But the Romans haven't left, and Ari seeks to unite the Reik's once again to take battle to their doorstep before more legions arrive.

But betrayed by Marbod, who is in league with Ari's younger brother Flavius and his lover, Ari is captured by the Romans.  He escapes with the help of Thusnelda, Folkwin and Dido, and takes his son along.  This results in issues with Thusnelda as he never told her he had a son, while the child he has with her is actually Folkwin`s, but he is not allowed to know.  Gaius, his son, still craves for Rome, and as his uncle is caught by Marbod, he gets in league with him to get the heads of all the Reik's.

During the council to appoint Marbod king of the tribes, an ambush is set up and many loose their lives, including Marbod's wife.  This makes him see there is no peace possible with Rome, and he summons his army.  But as Thusnelda and Folkwin ride out to gather them, Gaius finds them, having decided to not thrust the Romans anymore either as they abandoned him after the council, and he shows them a huge fleet of Romans approaching over the river.

They decide to attack the Roman camp before the ships arrive, in the hopes they will turn back then.  The plan succeeds, even though they suffer a great personal loss as Folkwin falls to Germanicus.  Sensing trouble though, Thusnelda rides to the village, to find her parents having betrayed them and giving her boy to the Romans.  She herself is taken as well to Rome as her parents are killed by the Romans...

So that is an open ending, and now it is only to hope for a third season will be greenlighted and made of this story, based on the Arminicus that defeated three Roman legions in the Teutogen Forest (season 1) and now deals with the wash-out of this.

maandag 21 november 2022

Brussels Tattoo Convention 2022

 The weekend of 18, 19 and 20 november, Tour and Taxis was hosting the Brussels Tattoo Convention again.

And my tattoo artist that put Lunamaria on my leg, was present there as well, so I could make an appointment for some colour correcting after the healing process in one go.

So together with Ribbi the Artist and his partner Katia, we hopped in the Ribbi-mobile and drove of to Brussels.  

My goals bar the appointment?  Look for an artist to put my planned Thorin tattoo on my skin, and some good cover up / restoration artists to freshen up some of the older ones I have.  And Noshi went out there in search of fine line artists to do a black and grey chest piece.
Though this particular tattoo artist grabbed my intrest...


Spread over three halls, artists from all over Europe, as well as some from beyond, showcased their portfolio's.  

People could go for bigger works with appiontments they made before the show, or walk in for some flash tattoo's like Katia did at the show.


Personally, I found an artist, Mornee Tattoos, with a style I love and a great Kitsune in her portfolio that I want to put on my arm for Thorin, the fox being like his totem animal.  The great thing is she is from the Walloon part of Belgium.  I am going to contact her to inform if she comes to the Antwerp convention in April 2023, and if so I'll be booking a spot there with her.  If she doesn`t, I can still do a city trip with Noshi and have it placed at her shop as such.  Because it is "only" a 2.5 hour drive from our front door.

We did find a LOT of inspiration on the convention, as the "loot" of stickers and adress cards shows, so now we are scrolling through all their websites and selecting potential artists for her, and who knows for me. I found the adress card of the Saint Seiya artist near Marseille for example at last (I've been searching on the net for him ever since the 2019 convention, but Covid you know).

But first things first, and that is to make some appointments with Kenny from Dead Bones Tattoo for 2023.


Food Wars volume 1 - Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki

 Okay, so Food Wars has a loyal following I read, but to be honest, never have I gotten round to either manga nor anime.

So when I snatched a deal on Facebook with the first 5 volumes in it, I was more then willing to give it a try.

The story begins with Soma Yukihira facing off against his father, a chef in a small restaurant, in a cooking contest... and losing for the 489th time.  He really is focussed on beating his dad one day in culinary skills, but loan sharks are after their restaurant in order to build large appartement blocks there instead.

When his dad decides to close the restaurant for three years to go work in New York, Soma is send to the best culinary school in Japan, where only 10% of the students manage to graduate.  To be allowed in, he must pass the taste test by a girl called Erina, who has "the divine tongue" as a superb taste tester, and her causing the other entrants to run away before even starting to cook.

He takes the exam, but she unfairly fails him due to her seeing him as a commoner.  However, he is accepted in the school none the less, as her grandfather, who is the dean of the school, secretly tasted the dish afterwards and overrules her.  For their first lesson, he is teamed with a bottom rank grade girl, Megumi.  Their dish is sabotaged by other students as he insulted them during his speech at the entrance ceremony, but drawing on his yearlong experience working in a restaurant he pulls them through with flying colours.  Because Soma has 12 years of actual experience cooking versus the often only 3 years of schooling of the other students.

The manga contains two more special side stories as well about how he beat Erina's secretary in a challenge, and it actually has the recipy in it for the dish he cooked for Erika.  I guess I`m actually one day am going to give that dish a try honestly.

This was a welcome discovery of a series, and one I will be persuing for certain over the coming months and years as a result, so you'll be seeing volumes of this series pop up in my haul reports now and then!