Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Tragedy Of Anakin Skywalker

So, Revenge of the Sith will be released this Tuesday. This really should have been the best movie for the Star Wars saga, as it was the climactic point at which the hero falls to darkness (where Anakin becomes the monster, Darth Vader)… but it wasn’t… because George Lucas was too caught up in special effects that he completely forgot about the importance of the story!!! I digress…

Anyway, the entire Star Wars saga, can be viewed not just as a mythic story of heroes and villains, but more so as a tragedy… the tragedy of Anakin Skywalker. There is a general pattern that tragic heroes typically follow, or at least in the stories I’m familiar with (i.e. Shakespeare, Roman & Greek Mythology, comic books, etc…)
  • The hero usually has some sort of high social status (like a king, prince, knight, etc…) The important thing with this attribute is that you can clearly see that this person has the makings of greatness, potentially. The Force, according to Qui-Gon and the Jedi council, is extraordinarily strong with young Anakin. Though Yoda has his doubts, Anakin is granted permission to be trained as a Jedi.
  • The hero will have a flaw (the tragic flaw.) In Anakin’s case, his lust for power and control… even control over life and death!
  • Something happens in the story that creates a sense of urgency! Anakin’s mother is captured by Tusken Raiders. He haphazardly ignores Obi-Wan’s orders to stay put and journey’s to find his mother.
  • Then there’s some sort of accident. Things happen a split-second too late… the hero operates on what he believes to be the case rather than what he actually knows to be the case. Upon rescuing her at Tusken Raider encampment, Anakin’s mother dies… so Anakin decides to slaughter all the Tusken Raiders (even the women and children!!!)
  • Conflicts arise which cause the death or alienation of all of the hero’s former friends, allies, and/or mentors, eventually removing all forms of support for the hero. He must now face things all alone. Well, Anakin demolishes the Jedi Temple, including all of the occupants (mostly children.) Oh yeah… he chops off Mace Windu’s hand too, essentially declaring his support to Darth Sidious! (on a side note... what the hell is up with George Lucas's fascination with all of the chopping off of limbs.? Darth Maul is chopped in half, Jango Fett's head is chopped off, Anakin's arms is chopped off, both of Count Dooku's hands are chopped off, Mace Windu's hand is chopped off, Luke's hand is chopped off, and Darth Vader's hand is chopped off... it's like a Monty Python flick!)
  • Now that the hero is isolated there are new problems… sleeplessness, rage, confusion, hallucination, and violence! Through episodes 4 – 6, Darth Vader is isolated from everyone… everybody is scared shitless of this guy because he is pure evil, killing those who fail or even disappoint him!
  • At some point, the opposing forces must mobilize against the hero in order to bring the tragedy to its conclusion. This is easy… the Rebel Alliance proves this point! They want Vader and the Emperor out of power!
  • At some point, the hero must realize the mistake he has made that is bringing about his demise. He must know that he, and he alone, is to blame for his downfall. Unfortunately (or more appropriately, tragically,) this recognition always comes to late to save the life of the hero. Though ordered to do so by the Emperor, Darth Vader does not kill Luke. He realizes in the final battle that he does have feelings for his son… he’s not completely a monster.
  • While the hero's life is forfeit, he does receive some chance to redeem himself, at least a little… a display of courage, nobility of the heart, self-sacrifice, something to show us that while he was someone who needed to be defeated, brought down, or even a monster, he had good in him. Darth Vader saves the life of his son by killing the Emperor (which in turn hastens his own death as the Emperor’s Sith lightening is short circuiting all of Darth Vader’s circuitry.)
  • We must recognize what a tragic waste the death of the hero is, what kind of person he could have been had it not been for his mistakes and downfall (back to the beginning… recognition of the hero’s potential for greatness!) In Darth Vader’s last few moments alive with his son, we see and feel that Anakin was worth saving.
  • The tragic hero must die! So yeah, Anakin dies on Death Star II. Very tragic!

Friday, October 28, 2005

The Phantom Zone

So I had a completely weird dream last night… first off, I find it even more strange that I remembered my dream. Haven’t done that in a really long time… I just assumed I stopped dreaming! Hehe! Anyway, my dream was about being stuck in the Phantom Zone. For those wondering, WTF… the Phantom Zone is that weird twilight dimension discovered by Superman's father, Jor-El. Kryptonian criminals were banished to the Phantom Zone to serve out their sentences as disembodied wraiths. Inside, the exhiled inhabitants exist in a phantom state… unaging… requiring no food… air… or water… communicating with one another telepathically.

How did this shit get in mind? Probably because I was watching Superman II last night at the store. Jor-El and the Kryptonian Council sentenced General Zod and his two lackeys, Ursa and Non, to spend eternity in the Phantom Zone for their crime of sedition. Anyway, they are able to observe everything that takes place in the physical universe - either on Earth or in outer space - even though they cannot be seen or heard themselves. So in the comic book, all the inhabitants of the Phantom Zone, including General Zod, have learned that Superman is secretly Clark Kent by observing Superman from inside the Phantom Zone. I’ve always wondered why this fact was never in the movie.

I don’t know whether I’m more excited about actually seeing the next Harry Potter movie, or the trailer that’s been promised to play before that movie (the Superman Returns trailer.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Funny Flash Video

GothamWhore always has wonderfully enjoyable content on his blog... check out this funny flash video that he came across!

Pretty funny shit! :-D

Thinking About Vampire Movies With Halloween On The Way

I’ve definitely seen my share of vampire flicks, and before the mid 80’s, vampire movies were still suffering from a bad case of Lugosi-itis. For those not really into the vampire movie scene, that means the vampire genre still hadn’t been able to shake Bela Lugosi’s brilliant impression of a bloodsucker (no, not a lawyer) in Dracula more than 50 years earlier. Although other movies, and other actors, had all tried their hand at reinventing the vampire movie, the overwhelming impression was that a vampire was some guy who talked funny and wore evening clothes.

Tonight, I honor one of the great vampire movies, The Lost Boys (1987). Why this movie you ask… because I’m watching at the moment while I type this post out… it’s also the motivation behind me even typing this entry to begin with! Anyway, the movie freaking rocks! With this movie, vampires are hip and cool, who wear leather jackets and ride motorcycles and have great hair (well, for the 80’s that is). Best of all, they are young and attractive (always a plus), even when ready to make a withdrawal from your own private blood bank… in other words, they can suck me anytime! Heh! The movie’s tag line sums it up best: “Sleep all day… Party all night… It’s fun to be a vampire.”

Other fantastic vampire movies include: Fright Night (1985), Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), Vampire Hunter D (1985), Interview with the Vampire (1994), and Monster Squad (1987 – not specifically a vampire movie, but I love it just the same). Yes, there are others great ones, but these would be my favorites!

Dreadful Doom Movie

After reading about five great reviews on the new Doom movie, I fully expected the movie to at least be decent… so against my better judgment, I went to see it earlier today.

It was just as bad as I had anticipated before reading the reviews. Lesson learned… stop reading movie reviews! These people have lost there freaking minds!!!

In all fairness, there was one really great scene near the end of the movie that looked just like the classic Doom PC game. So if you’ve ever enjoyed playing the original game, you’ll get a kick out of that scene… that only lasts for about three minutes!

My recommendation… don’t go to the movie… instead, go purchase Doom 3 for PC. I’m certain you’ll be much more pleased with it rather than the movie. Better yet... if you're desperate for a great movie, wait for the new Harry Potter movie next month!!! That movie is going to kick ass!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

No New Releases To Recommend Today!

Today’s New Release Tuesday sucked! Nothing particularly great came out on DVD today. One of my favorite things to do each Tuesday morning when I open is to go peruse the new releases and select my copies before the store opens… not today though! For the most part, it was just a huge disappointment!

I never saw the Bewitched movie with Nicole Kidman and Will Farrell… though seeing how it lasted like an entire three weeks at most of the theaters around here, I’m gonna take it that the movie probably isn’t very good. I could be wrong though, but I'm definitely not purchasing it on the off chance that I may be wrong!

Herbie: Fully Loaded was released today… also known as the last time Lindsay Lohan was cute! What happened with her anyway? She used to be quite attractive… now, not at all!

Also released today, House of Wax. Need I say more? To tell you the truth, I’d watch it just to see Paris Hilton get killed in it! It may be worth at least one viewing… probably not!

The only thing I may be interested in is the re-release of The Wizard of Oz. Wonderful movie… especially when you get drunk and watch it in unison with Dark Side of the Moon! I may need to schedule that for later on this week! :-D

At least Revenge of the Sith comes out next week! Yea!!!

Monday, October 24, 2005

It's Not Unusual

It's not unusual that we have entirely too much fun at work goofing off rather than actually being productive in any way, shape, or form! Here is William's academy award winning rendition of Carlton Banks doing the Tom Jones dance!

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Saturday, October 22, 2005

New Warehouse Mascot

Sean, my merchandise manager, and I were have a nice conversation this morning (can’t remember what it was about… all I could think of was eating… I was so hungry) at the front of the store when Sam, my warehouse manager, comes running up and informs us of a sticky situation in the back of the warehouse.

As he was laying the wooden pallets down in the receiving area in preparation for today’s replenishment truck, he noticed that something was stuck to one of the pallets. One of those stick mouse traps was stuck to a pallet, and it was accompanied by a little friend (who I immediately named “Jack” for all intensive purposes… after Jack Sparrow.) Jack’s two back feet were stuck to this stick mouse pad quite firmly.

Sam is quite fearful of mice (and yes, this was not a rat, rather just a very large mouse.) He wanted to drop a sledgehammer on its head or throw him in the trash compactor. Needless to say, I did not allow Jack to be executed. Sean figured he could cut around some of the gooey crap around Jack’s feet to set him free… as Sean approached Jack with the shears, Jack found enough strength to set himself loose and ran across the warehouse to hide (which prompted Sam to run… almost screaming away.)

So, Jack is somewhere in the warehouse, don’t know where though. He must have thought that Sean was going to eat him or something. I was going to take a picture of him on my cell phone, but I didn’t want you animal activists to come after me with pitch forks and such… which by the way, the mouse trap was not ours, it was simply stuck to a tote from the distribution center… we don’t approve of using those kind of traps as I feel it is more of a torture device (hence the reason we tried to free him from the trap)… I’m all about the old style traps! Snap, your dead!

"You'll always remember this as the day that you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow!"

Friday, October 21, 2005

Star Wars Limited Edition PEZ Collector's Set

This was shipped to the store yesterday afternoon. Apparantly PEZ is only making 250,000 of these collector sets (you're looking at #52,221.) Whoever would have thought that there would come a day that I would fork over $20 for PEZ?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Restoring The Rusty Routine

So Justin took my measurements this last Sunday (as it’s been about 10 weeks since the last time we took measurements.) I was actually a little concerned going into this because over the last 4 weeks, I’ve felt I lost a lot of weight (both fat and lean mass.) Though I’ve been keeping up with the resistance training, I’ve pretty much neglected the cardio.

Anyway, to my surprise, the measurements turned out much better than I had anticipated. I gained more muscle mass in my arms and chest, and I dropped two inches in the waist. My body fat even dropped one percentage point (which still puzzles me because I haven’t been doing the cardio that would have made this happen.) So overall, I was quite pleased with the outcome.

I really need to get back on cardio. I used to run every night or morning, but that hasn’t been since February. Starting tomorrow morning, I’m going to reinstate my morning physical training by running 2-3 miles each day. It’s really gonna suck because I’ll have to wake up at the ass crack of dawn to do this (prior to going into work at 7:00am.)

There are definitely benefits of running each morning. First off, it really makes me feel wonderful all day (just not in the morning when I’m still half asleep.) Secondly, it generates a great source of mental discipline that I’ve slacked off on for too long this year. Lastly, it will give me more definition… I’m already quite lean and tone, but cardio is what will truly rip you up!

Hilarious He-Man Video

I debated on whether or not to post this video due to its enormous size... it's nearly 20 mb. In the end, I decided to post it anyway because it is just too damn funny not to! So, if you have a little bit of time, this is definitely worth watching (especially if you've ever watched He-Man!) The video itself runs for just over 4 minutes. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

New Release Tuesday

It's been a LONG while since a great DVD has been released. All the film companies have been waiting closer to the holiday season to release their "quality" products. Needless to say, Batman Begins was on the top of my DVD shopping list for the day. Anyway, I totally forgot that He-Man, Season I, Volume I (first 33 episodes) was also being released today!!!

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I always kinda wondered about He-Man... was he gay? Of course he was!!! That's what I like most about the cartoon! Hehe!

Every now and then when battling Skeletor, He-Man seemed to take an extra long hold of Skeletor's buttocks! LOL!

But what about Teela? Weren't He-man and her an item? Well, no! The only thing He-man liked about Teela was her stud of a father, Man-At-Arms. Ever notice how He-man always, excuse the pun, seemed to blow her off in favor of the men in their posse?

I mean, look at He-Man's dual identities... One minute he's the timid, effeminate Prince Adam, the classic 'Nancy-boy'... The next minute he's He-man, every gay man's sexual fantasy. He's a muscular, tanned, loincloth wearing stud.

Monday, October 17, 2005

You Can't Take The Sky From Me

I’ve waited awhile to post about Serenity… I wanted to make sure that I was over the OMFG-this-movie-rocks feeling you get when finally see a long anticipated movie. Being of sound mind at this point (now that the movie has been out for a couple weeks,) I can now state for a fact that… OMFG, this movie rocks!

Apparently, if you’ve never seen the short lived series that the movie was based upon, Firefly, you will still undoubtedly enjoy the movie, but you’ll be missing the heart of the movie. For example… for anyone familiar with Joss Whedon’s work (i.e. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, etc…) you know that the man has no problem killing off primary characters. It definitely creates suspense because nothing is predictable… he creates an atmosphere that anything goes… anything can happen. Anyway, he does exactly that in Serenity… he kills off a couple primary characters. This is much more of an impact for those who watched and enjoyed the series (in all honesty, if you watched the series, I guarantee you enjoyed it!) than those coming into the movie with no prior knowledge of the cast of characters.

So what makes the series or movie so great?

Joss Whedon! Joss is a fantastic writer! He was obviously involved with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel (as he created them,) but he also wrote great scripts for other films such as Toy Story, Titan AE, etc… He is very character driven… this is what can make a bad movie with a horrible plot good, or a simply good movie great. Take the original Star Wars Trilogy for example. Most would agree that The Empire Strikes Back is the best, simply because of the attention and development of all the characters (George Lucas is great, but thank God Irvin Kershner directed this one!)

Each character in Firefly is great because the actor/actress portraying them fit the part perfectly, and each of the character is so sufficiently developed that I can easily say there isn’t a bad one amongst them. That’s really hard to find in a TV show or movie. Nowadays, it’s all about special effects, or commercialization, etc… there’s a major lack of originality in the film and TV industry.

So what’s it about?

Firefly is all about life on the frontier of space and the freedom of having a ship to call your own and only yourself to answer to. There are lots of parallels to the expansion of the west... including six shooters (the Alliance… the melding of the US and China into the last government on Earth… controls energy and more advance weapons) and characters including a preacher and a town prostitute. There is a blend of action as well as snappy dialog and plot twists (something Joss Whedon is known for.)

No aliens are included in the series as humans can be alien enough when left on their own and away from most justice and organized systems. The crew and passengers of the Firefly-class ship, Serenity, learn to work together finding their own strengths and more freedom then they’ve ever known.

It truly is one of the best series to come along in a while with interesting characters and great plots… so naturally it didn’t last very long. Fox television canceled it after only 9 episodes had aired (all 11 episodes are included in the DVD set.) It fortunately has found a new batch of fans with the series release on DVD with enough interest (and overwhelming sales) to convince Universal Studios to buy the rights. In turn, they created the film, Serenity!

I posted the lyrics to the Firefly theme last week. What I like most about the lyrics is that it describes the main character, Captain Malcom Reynolds (played by Nathan Fillion) so perfectly! Here’s an audio clip of it for those interested in hearing it.

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Relaxing And Pondering

The parts of the day I didn’t spend in sweet slumber, I watched two movies. The first, American Psycho (great movie), I watched in anticipation of tomorrow’s DVD release of Batman Begins! Christian Bale is completely and utterly hot in both movies!

The second movie, Thirteen Days, is about how the Kennedy Administration handled the Cuban missile crisis during the thirteen days in October of 1962 that it occurred! Back in college, I jumped at any every opportunity to write any kind of paper on John F. Kennedy or Robert F. Kennedy!

It wasn’t actually until October 22, 1962, that President Kennedy informed the world that the Soviet Union was building secret missile bases in Cuba, a mere 90 miles off the shores of Florida. After weighing such options as an armed invasion of Cuba and air strikes against the missiles, Kennedy decided on a less dangerous response... blockade. In addition to demanding that Russian Premier Khrushchev remove all the missile bases and their deadly contents, Kennedy ordered a naval quarantine (a blockade is technically an act of war, so the term “quarantine” was used instead) of Cuba in order to prevent Russian ships from bringing additional missiles and construction materials to the island. In response to the American naval blockade, Premier Khrushchev authorized his Soviet field commanders in Cuba to launch their tactical nuclear weapons if invaded by U.S. forces. Deadlocked in this manner, the two leaders of the world's greatest nuclear superpowers stared each other down for seven days… until Khrushchev blinked. On October 28, thinking better of prolonging his challenge to the United States, the Russian Premier conceded to President Kennedy's demands by ordering all Soviet supply ships away from Cuban waters and agreeing to remove the missiles from Cuba's mainland. After several days of teetering on the brink of nuclear holocaust, the world breathed a sigh of relief.

One of my favorite quotes from John F. Kennedy is from a speech he gives in reference to this situation… anytime I hear it, it helps keeps me going when I don’t think I have anymore to give, and it gives me hope when I’ve lost all hope.
"Our problems are man-made. Therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man’s reason and spirit have often solved a seemingly unsolvable."
Anyway… I now await the release of Batman Begins!

Friday, October 14, 2005


I’ve been noticing an interesting trend with my employee stock purchase plan over the last two years. Each time that stock is allocated, usually sometime in the middle of a given month, the stock is more or less at the same price that it’s been at for the last couple weeks (sometimes it’s a bit higher... which sucks!) But each time, without fail, the day after the stock is allocated, the stock drops in price by $0.50 - $1.00. What the hell is going on here!? Is there some kind of conspiracy to rip us off of our employee stock benefit?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Sabbatical Nearing An End

As my week long vacation comes to a close, I’d have to say it went well. I didn’t go anywhere special… didn’t do anything crazy… wasn’t even relaxing for the most part, but I still really enjoyed it. This was probably one of the best weeks I’ve had in a really long time! Just got a lot accomplished.
  • Keeping my old job… not moving on. Various reasons, but nonetheless, staying put and I’m pretty content with that.
  • Finally got a new remote-start / alarm for my car after I destroyed my other piece of shit one back in early July (refer back to previous post, The Series of Unfortunate Events Continues). It’s a new brand, and it works marvelously!
  • Went to the optometrist after five years now to get a new contact lens prescription… as it turns out, my vision actually is about the same. I’m probably gonna get the laser surgery next year since my eye sight is now stable at nearly blind.
  • Got my dryer rewired for the new apartment… to be exact my dad did the rewiring. I didn’t want to be held responsible if the place burned down while I was drying clothes. Anyway, now that it’s functional, I’m nearly all unpacked now.
  • Purchased a 42” Panasonic plasma tv a couple days ago. This ensures I’ll be broke until the end of the year. It looks freaking awesome!
Overall, I’m pleased with my time-away from work. I was able to get some things accomplished that I’ve been putting off. Though there wasn’t a lot of rest time, I do feel refreshed. Sometimes certain people and circumstances make my life quite unbalanced, for good or bad… and I just need a little time to regain my focus.

Black And Gus?

This silly video is compliments of Sir Charles the Great (aka Blaque Vader... Nior Vade en francais or Negro Vaderoso en espanol.)

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Monday, October 10, 2005

Finding Abby Road

As I searched through a box full of dvd's that I've yet to put up, simply because I have nowhere to put them at the moment, I ran across something I thought I had lost several years ago… my Abby Road cd. Why is this a big deal you may wonder. It's an old album. For the most part, I don't even listen to cd's anymore, it's all about the XM now. There is something special about Abby Road to me though. I love the Beatles, this is true... and they've made countless of other albums I enjoy.

For this one though I find it astonishing, given the hostile and bitter feelings the members of the group bore for one another at the time of its recording, that this album was ever made. The fact that it is easily one of the greatest ever recorded, by them or any other group, is no less than a small miracle. Even more amazing to me is the fact of how hopeful the entire album sounds. It always has a way of lifting my spirits whenever I'm down, even when I'm feeling perfectly fine. Always guaranteed to get a smile!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Ffuts Ym, Ffuts Driew

What I enjoy most about life is its little surprises. Just when you think you have something completely figured out, you find out that you truly don’t! Sometimes it’s for the best, sometimes for the worst… at the very least, it’s always intriguing!

Amor animi arbitrio sumitur, non ponitur

I’m on vacation at the moment, until Wednesday... A period of time devoted to pleasure, rest, and relaxation… of which I haven’t had the opportunity to really enjoy yet do to weird situations with offers and counteroffers with various employers, amongst other issues as well.

I need a ratchet set so I can rewire my dryer… I’ve only been putting this off for about two weeks now. Other than that, all I have to say is “tortilla!” (What ever the hell that’s supposed to mean!)

Store Wars

Surfin the net, as I usually do when I'm bored out of my mind, I ran across this hysterical Star Wars spoof.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The First Porn Video

Since I know that my fabulous friend Josh has a most extensive library of internet porn, I decided to post this short little video... this one's for you Josh!

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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Joss Whedon - Firefly

Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand

I don't care, I'm still free
You can't take the sky from me

Take me out to the black
Tell 'em I ain't comin' back

Burn the land and boil the sea
You can't take the sky from me

There's no place I can be
Since I've found Serenity
But you can't take the sky from me

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Thundercats On DVD

December 6, Thundercats: Season 1, Vol 1 & 2 is slated to be released on DVD! Exciting shit! The cartoon intro's always get me so hyped up!!! LOL!

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Panthro is definately my favorite Thundercat... he's just so cool! Nearly every Thundercats fan I've talked to regards Panthro as the token minority character. And it's basically true. As hard as it might seem to get a black stereotype into a children's cartoon about a bunch of humanoid cats with Twisted Sister hairdos, they pulled it off. Essentially, Panthro is the 'black guy' of the group. And if you've watched enough cartoons in your day, you'd know that the producers somehow firmly believe that every black guy must talk like a weathered jazz musician who knows how to fix cars, and Panthro's no exception. Also, I'm not sure if I'm right on this or not, but I always considered Panthro the oldest of the group. I'm not sure if that's due to his grand insight, calm and collected outlook on things, or simply because he's bald. Either way, even for a Thundercat, those are some pretty fucking pointy ears.

Btw, it just occured to me that it looks a lot like Mumm-Ra lives in the same pyramid that's on the back of a one dollar bill! Speaking of Mumm-Ra... the badass villain of the show seemed to have all the tools... red eyes, Adonis physique, sword, confetti hanging off his helmet... but there was one very dubious way to end his evil ways: show him his reflection. Nice, huh? Lion-O and Mumm-Ra would be about to fight their long-awaited duel, and all us kids (yes, Jennifer and Kristy watched the show too) would jump from our seats waiting for the swords to strike. Then Mumm-Ra would see his reflection in Lion-O's sword, turn into a mummy, and run off. This happened in about 80% of the episodes. Tell me something... if that's all it took, why didn't all the good guys just wear mirrorplates on their chests? Mumm-Ra's really stuck in a tough spot... let's say he was pining to attack, but all the Thundercats were off eating in a Chinese restaurant. There's no way Mumm-Ra could even think about winning the battle there... those places are covered in mirrors.