Archive for June, 2014

June 20-22 is the 13th  Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention at the Megatrade Halls 1-3.

This year, the team centers around the 75 years of the Batman, hence the multitude of Batman merchandise and paraphernalia that are visible right from the entrance.

Entrance fee shot up to Php130 this year, but that didn’t seem to bother the many people who’ve participated just on day 1 – this blogger included. I don’t really collect any thing in particular anymore – 1:6 scale toys are really expensive – but I still wouldn’t have missed it for the world. I saw one item I would have liked to buy, but at Php15,000, I had to settle for an 8-pack SY187 Superman and a Superman shirt. Both marked my first-ever purchase at the ToyCon, so yay!

Not having enough money to buy all the goodies for sale, I resolved to taking pictures of some of the more awesome displays. And here’s what I got:

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These next two shots are the only things I can afford that I actually like.

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It may have been Bat’s show, but I’m a Superman guy myself. So…

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Okay, let’s send some love Batman’s way.

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Um, that’s actually my only shot of the guy… How about more Iron-man instead?

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I haven’t opened my Man of Steel figure yet, but if this is what it looks like, I’m not so happy with it. Maybe I should have just gotten evil Superman instead. Sad smile

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These costumes from the Rurounii Kenshin live action movie have been flown in, I read on the news. They were supposedly the ones used by the actors in the film.

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More shots:

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I wish on future toy conventions, the international toy makers – Hasbro, Sidesow, Hot Toys, etc. – will take notice and grace the local scene with exclusives the likes of which are regularly done at other countries. Until then, it’s still a job well done for the organizers, so kudos!

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The Batman games have always been great. The recently-announced Batman: Arkham Knight is again looking to capture gamers’ attention.

Even though they make me motion-sick whenever I play them (ditto for The Last of Us), I still own the games in multiple platforms. I’m sure this’ll be the same story. Originally billed for an October 2014 release, it looks like we’ll now have to wait until sometime in 2015 to be the Bat once more.

In anticipation, here are some official wallpapers and screen captures from the official site. Copyright by respective owners. Click to get the high-res version.

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I’ve had RE5, RE6, RE:Revelations and a bunch of other games I bought through Steam for a while, and have been happily killing off the mutated and the undead every chance I get.

This weekend, though, RE6 wouldn’t start. It would just show a blank screen where there used to be the loading cues. It would stay like that for a while, unresponsive except for the ALT+CTRL+Delete salute. I’ve been able to launch Task Manager this way and found the RE6 process eating up all available CPU, which explains the unresponsiveness.

The Issue:

My laptop comes with two display adapters – the built in HD4000 and a secondary discrete card NVIDIA GeForce GT 740m. On Device Manager, I saw that there’s a yellow exclamation icon plastered on the 740m. Uh oh, trouble. Opening the device’s properties, Windows offered this explanation:

Windows has stopped this device because it has reported problems. (Code 43)

Some useful information regarding this error can be found here.

The Solution:

In my case, the fix was straightforward.

  1. Right-click the device on Device Manager, select Uninstall. Select not to remove the driver if prompted.
  2. Click Scan for hardware changes. Wait until the device is recognized and Windows reconfigures the drivers. It should take a couple of minutes and a few screen flickers but no reboot necessary.

That took care of it. Easy peasy.

Spoilers ahead. Stop reading if you are averse to such.

I have not forgiven Bryan Singer for ruining the once-full-of-promise Superman Returns so I wasn’t exactly rushing to see the latest installment of the X-Men franchise. And with the bar set so high by the recent Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, I worried I ‘d be disappointed yet again. If there ever was a team with such infinite potential, it’d definitely be the X-Men, with known and unknown super-abilities waiting to be tapped. The possibilities are so boundless that the writers can go onto any direction. But, as we saw with X3, that can prove to be a problem, along with proper execution.

The setting we are presented at the start is that of a chaotic future, with both humans and mutants indiscriminately persecuted by seemingly sentient, nearly indestructible, mutating hunting machines called Sentinels. We see the last packet of the mutant resistance – Iceman, Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Bishop, and a bunch of other not well-known ones – battle it out with the man-hunters. At first it would seem the heroes could gain the upper-hand but things quickly turn south when one-by-one they fall. We see both Colossus and Iceman ripped apart literally (we see them die another version of the horrible death towards the end, so double-whammy), a little unnerving if I may say so. Through all this, Kitty and Bishop are seen running away, ending up in a room where Bishop would lay down with Kitty working her powers on his head. Just when the meanies penetrate the room, we hear Kitty quip about them being too late and then, poof! Everyone’s gone, two surviving mutants and Sentinels alike.

It turns out this is the main driving vehicle for the movie’s plot. Kitty found a way to extend her powers way beyond just going through solid objects (established on the earlier movies). She is somehow able to project one’s consciousness to one’s old self. Technically, I guess we can call it time-travel, but let’s just leave that to the suspension of disbelief. When she was doing that head mumbo-jumbo on Bishop, she was actually sending him back in time so he could warn the group of the impending attack, which is key to how they have survived thus far. Limited only by the fact that the further one is projected to their past, the harder it would be to remain intact. It’s established that going back a month is already kind of pushing it, any more would snap the traveler’s consciousness beyond repair.

At least that’s the explanation we got when Xavier, Magneto (old timers, not the youngish first class), Storm and Hugh Jackman, erm, Wolverine meet the same bunch of the just-murdered mutants, all perfectly alive and well.

After this information is shared, the oldies thought it to be their last chance of survival is to send someone 50 years back, in the year 1973 (after the events of First Class), to stop the trigger of how the Sentinels came to be in the first place. Having the ability to heal quickly, the role naturally fell on Logan.

In 1973, Xavier is a drunk, living with Beast in the Mansion. Mystique and Magneto had a falling out. Magneto was locked up for getting implicated in JFK’s assassination, right at the center of Pentagon, a hundred floors below with nary any metal (You’d have to wonder how the structure held up without  a metal frame, but eh, whatever); and Mystique, she’s out to exact revenge on Bolivar Trask, the imp scientist responsible for the murder of many mutants all in the name of research, ultimately to strengthen his brain-child Sentinel project that would root out any and all mutants in the world.

In this timeline, Mystique kills Trask, but gets captured by a younger Stryker (see Origins: Wolverine). Trask’s murder sparks project Sentinel to be green-lit, and with Mystique’s DNA, vastly improved to the point that the machines are able to take on her ability to change form at will, as well as assimilate mutant powers.

It is this period that Logan finds himself waking up to. Oh and yeah, he hasn’t undergone the adamantium fusion yet, so we see actual bones come out for his claws.

Plot hole. If those things happened in ‘73, with mystique captured by the government, it basically destroyed the continuity leading to the first X-men trilogy. This movie is clearly referencing events from those and the subsequent ones, so…

Fast forward to the end, Logan managed to convince ‘73 Xavier to help. Together, they freed Magneto, who immediately tried to kill Mystique after learning of her role in the issue of the giant murderous robots. They did stop Mystique from killing Trask and getting captured, but the stunt Magneto pulled in trying to kill Mystique led to equally-serious problems namely, premature worldwide exposure of the nature of mutants and actually giving the government reason to have a go on Trask’s proposed project.

Following a stand-off that ended with Mystique saving the US President and his Cabinet, Trask was arrested, his project canned, and we now have an alternate timeline, effectively erasing the events of all the other movies.

And I like it.