Phoning It In: R2-D2 Puzz 3D

I feel like I’ve slowed down on my posts this week.  It’s not because I’ve lost interest.  It’s just because this week has afforded me a lot of time to slack off and play video games.  I started out tonight making a post about that.  Then, when it started taking too long, I decided, “Fuck that.”  Instead, I’m going to phone one in.

Here’s a review I made 11 years ago today on an R2-D2 Puzz 3D.  Between the Blu Ray releases, and the recent discussion of 3D this seems kind of fitting.  (Okay, the 3D thing is stretching it a bit.  I doubt there were many puzzle purists railing against the onslaught of 3D puzzles in the marketplace.)

And It Makes A Lovely Hat.

And It Makes A Lovely Hat!

Ahh… the joys of University life. Life is simple in the Joy Kidd Residence. Quiet, Peaceful, Serene. That is until Third River wakes up. The hall has always been synonymous with ridiculousness. Our first year, random hall events such as the Pantsless Drag Races down the hall, were almost constantly getting on the nerves of our proctor (Hall Rule Enforcer Guy), Cam. Often, procrastination creates boredom. This boredom was quite frequently the cause of our ridiculousness. So when we returned the next year, what was Cam to do? The obvious choice was to create a constructive, fun, non-class related project that we could all enjoy. R2-D2 was it. 

Cam had received it as a Christmas present the year before. He was always too busy to be bothered with it. So, he contracted the Ridiculous Fan-Boys of Third River to construct this wondrous monument to that fun loving harbinger of comic relief. 

Of course, we attacked the project with the vigor only a group of young students who will do anything to avoid school work can muster. Most of the work was done by yours truly, and a close personal friend of mine, Brian. I focused on the arms (or legs, I guess) and the half spherical head of that cute little Droid. Brian focused on the torso, and assembling the completed pieces. 

But that’s enough of my pointless story. It’s time to get down to the good and bad things about R2-D2. As far as puzzles go, he is quite a challenge. It took us the better part of a week to build him. There are lots of helpful pictures on the box. I really enjoyed the challenge. But Artoo was great fun to build. After I built the head, I got to wear it around as a hat. When Brian was finished with the torso, we attached that to the head, and I wore that as a hat. I was stylin’. 

There are a few bad things about it. Like after about 5 hours straight of looking at the colors blue, grey and white… your eyes might start bleeding. This is never good. It is time to put the pieces away. 

On a serious note, there are several waste pieces… fortunately, Cam and Brian had gotten rid of most of them before I tackled the project. Also, once you’ve completed the head and torso, they fit together quite well. But the arm-legs don’t attach together all that easily. 

In the Star Wars saga, R2-D2 gets blasted or shot by something at least twice a movie, and it never really phases him. They should make all their vehicles out of the same material as that little guy. This puzzle, however, is not made out of the same alloy. It would take less than a stiff breeze to blow it apart. It needs some kind of sturdy display area, lest there be much swearing in your home as it breaks over and over. 

Our particular package did not have the little voice box thing. So, I can’t really comment on that. Artoo does come with a warranty, though. And apparently Cam was able to get the voice box later through the mail. I hear it is quite annoying to listen to more than once a month. 

Over all, Artoo has his little annoyances, but is extremely fun to build if you are doing it with a bunch of people who are as goofy as you. I’d recommend him to Fan Boys and Girls around the globe. Just don’t push him around too much.

Recommended:  Yes.

As you can see, I’ve never taken a “formal” approach to reviewing.
A few years after I wrote this review, I found another R2-D2 Puzz 3D on super clearance at a department store.  I bought it, and left it unopened.  Not for collector’s value, like most of my unopened Star Wars shit.  But because I knew one day I’d build it, and make Mel laugh again.  She was on the same floor when I built this puzzle, but we didn’t know each other then.  
She laughed senselessly when she saw me wandering around with Artoo on my head as a hat.  Somehow I managed to keep it, unopened and unbuilt, through 6 moves, or more and Jebas knows what else.  Now, it’s been long enough that I’ll wait until I can build it with Charlotte, and make them both laugh senselessly by wearing it as a hat.
If you read all this garbage, Why would you do that?  If you enjoyed it…  Congratulations.. you may just be as batshit crazy as me.
Advertisements

The Lion King (1994)

Disney may be making another mad grab for cash, digging through “the vault” and re-releasing a remastered, 3D-ified The Lion King in theatres this weekend, but that just means it’s even more timely that I review the unremastered, original, March 3rd, 1995 released, VH-fucking-S cassette tape that my family sat down to watch last weekend.

Hashtag:  Old School, Mother Fucker.







The Circle of Life:

Recently, Mel decided that we should have a Wonderful World of Disney type viewing of various Disney classics, and not-so-classics, and ugh-I-hate-that-garbage-ics on Sunday afternoons.  The reason being, because when we were growing up and had to deal with TFC cable, (that’s Two Fucking Channel for the uninitiated) a highly concentrated source of cartoons could be found on CBC when they aired WWoD.  Since we (she) liked this as kids, obviously we need to try to replicate the situation so that Charlotte grows up thinking that all awesome things are awesome and whatever the hell kids are doing these days is lame.  (Hey, I can dream.)

Now, most of our collection of Disney movies is on VHS.  So that meant making sure the VCR was hooked up and working.  A quick run through with a headcleaner a few weeks ago and we were ready to go.  Just pop in The Lion King and enjoy the majesty.

Fuck no.  I forgot Disney movies have commercials.  Shit tons of commercials.  One of the commercials was the entire “Colors of the Wind” sequence from Pocahontas.  So yeah… 20 minutes later and the movie starts.

ZAAAAAAA!  ZE B’WINGYA!  OBADEECHI BADA!  OH WING YAMA!


The Lion King is a great goddamn movie.  In my opinion, it’s probably the best of the Disney movies.  It’s moving.  It’s hilarious.  It’s suspenseful.  The songs are catchy.  The catchphrases are catchier…  I had actually half-forgotten how many quotable lines there were.  The opening sequence is textbook great film making, let alone great animation-making (is that a thing?  That doesn’t sound like a thing.  It can’t be a thing.  I probably shouldn’t use it).  It is outright iconic.  Everyone who has had a child since 1994 has held their baby up into the sunlight muttering “CHUNG!”  Very few scenes are repeated this often in real life.  There’s this, “You Talkin’ To Me?”, The Orange peel from The Godfather, and “I’m King of the World!”

Pictured:  Mandatory Baby Display Technique

But to sum up how great I think this movie is:  Even though it reminds me of a girl that tore my heart out in High School, it’s so fucking good that I watch it anyway… and fucking love it.  But I digress.  I know it’s a complete ripoff of Kimba the White Lion, and it’s still so good that I don’t care.  I know that whining crazy people have tried to ruin it for me by saying Scar is a bad influence on kids because they think he’s gay.  Oh… that makes him a bad influence.  Not regicide… or fucking fratricide… or being such a shit ruler that completely ignores counsel and runs his kingdom into the ground.  Those don’t make him a bad influence… but the fact that his paws are limp during a fucking song and dance number means he’s going to ruin us all.  I know all that… and the movie blocks it out with only the power of its own sheer awesomenitude.

VHS Forever.

So, aside from the total nostalgia trip of the movie… there’s also the nostalgia trip of the technology.  Have you played a VHS tape recently?  Goddamn that is an awesome experience to revisit.  Yes, I’m admitting that, until just recently, I hadn’t really sat down to watch a movie on VHS in years.

I got to run the whole gamut.  I got to get mad at myself for not rewinding.  I got to get mad at myself for not remember to stop rewinding before the previews started.   I got to wonder if auto-tracking was going to be enough, or if I’d have to fiddle with the settings myself.  I got to pause the screen, and have a shaky image with distortions running all through it.  I was warned that the movie had been formatted to fit my screen.  (No it hadn’t.)  When it was over and I rewound it, I got to worry about whether or not the tape was getting eaten.  Damn those VCRs can make some freaky ass sounds.  I swear at one point it sounded like Cookie Monster.

OM NOM NOM!

So… yeah.  I do wish that The Lion King had been re-released a few years from now, instead of now, so that I could have taken Charlotte to go see it.  Regardless, even during an old, worn out, VHS, low definition, mono-sound, 2D viewing The Lion King is still epic.

5/5