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Monday, July 28, 2008

GREATEST HITS- Golf Review: Intech Ripper Driver Review: 7/28/08

Since I've been slacking on my recent reviews, I'll be doing some "Greatest Hits" postings of my golf reviews that bring in the highest traffic to

Tried out the Intech Ripper driver (I guess considered Orlimar's more generic redheaded stepchild by King Par, the same manufacturer as Orlimar, Affinity, and Knight brands) on the course today and I was impressed with it, even my playing partner who was with me was impressed on it's distance.

I'm a high handicapper at the moment (20+) and currently using a TaylorMade R7 460 draw with 13 degree head and an upgraded Aldila NV 75S stiff flex shaft (I originally got this since I needed fast help with my slices and to get the ball up in the air easier since I had a slow swing speed in the beginning). Now that I'm better handling my swing with a driver I've been looking for a lower lofted driver (10.5-11 degrees) with a regular flex since the 13* driver I have pops up in the air too much nowadays. This Intech Ripper driver actually comes with an Aldila shaft. Never heard of this version, it's a "Reflex" version shaft name with low torque and high modulus (what is that?). Regular flex with reactive technology. Surprised it didn't come with Winn grips like the John Daly Dunlop drivers also at Walmart at the same price.

So I busted out the Intech Ripper on the first par 4 288 yarder on the course (I did the same course the day before with my TaylorMade) and hit the ball square on to about 235 yards which was on track the same distance I did the other day with my TaylorMade but actually a bit straighter. Good launch angle and good flex on the generic Aldila shaft. I used the driver on about 3 more holes and actually got maybe 10+ yards more than the prior day. Now this is probably that we were on a slower pace so I was able to line up my drives better and got my swing on a groove. There was one hole that I took a couple extra drives to see how much I could belt the Intech Ripper and I got a couple "thunk" sounds but they still went about 150+ yards and stayed pretty fairly on the course. The big positive I can say about the driver is that even though it's square it sounds like my TM driver with a nice medium pitch "click" sound when hit properly down the fairway and none of the aluminum bat sound as the Sumo2 and FT-i.

Though the Intech Ripper head cover is pretty weird looking, it actually pops on and off super-fast compared to the sock covers, the only thing I see that might go bad is the locking mechanism that attaches to the shaft might wear down and stop clasping to it or that the shaft area it locks into might start scuffing. Looks like the Fury and I think they should have made some minor cosmetic changes to the Fury or the Ripper/Cube body more to show more of a difference between the $40 vs. $250 version better.

The Intech Ripper was used n the driving range today and I'll have to say for a $40 driver it hit as well as my Taylor Made R7 Draw. I was hoping since it was a regular flex Adila shaft on the Ripper that it'd go a but longer than my TM with a stiff flex Adila NV 75S shaft, it went just as far though around 225-245 yards so it's the same distance as my current driver. The plus I'd have to say that surprised me was that I got consistent straight draws with only a few draws hit and actually no slices at all which I am prone to. So for the price I'd have to say the club is good, didn't know the carbon on the head is only a decal! So after use on the course two days and on the driving range this club is good for a high handicapper like me. Just to have another test I will compare my hits using my friend's Nike Sasquatch driver vs. the Intech Ripper.

Score: 3 out of 5

Friday, July 25, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 7/25/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 7/25/08 through 8/1/08:
50% off
Orange item tagged merchandise

Friday, July 18, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 7/18/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 7/18/08 through 7/25/08:
50% off
Blue item tagged merchandise and Pink tagged clothing.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Movie Review: Superman II (2)- The Richard Donner Cut (2006)

Review: Thanks to the Circuit City DVD sale this week, Mr. Monster was finally able to purchase the long awaited Superman II- The Richard Donner Cut for only $5.99.

For those who don't know, Richard Donner was the director of the original Superman movie and was filming the sequel at the same time as part I. After nearly completing Part II, Donner was taken off the movie by the studio and replaced with another director, Richard Lester who ended up crafting his own story and releasing the sequel that we've seen over the last 30 years. Lester used some footage from Donner's version but Donner's unique take never resurfaced, until 2006.

After being seen by only a few and reading that Donner's version was also good (I liked Lester's Part II also) I wanted to be able to compare their films. In a short take Donner's version has the strongest take on Clark Kent/Superman's decision to lose his powers in order to be with Lois Lane, his speech on giving so much to humanity and only wanting one thing he desired was pretty strong. There is also additional scenes with Marlon Brando's Jor-El speaking to his son. Another strong point is that the three villains had stronger presence here and were more diabolical in taking over the U.S., I do wish that their deleted scenes that was not integrated into the main move WERE added in.

There are weaknesses to this film as well. The film misses some of the more light-hearted and comical aspects from Lester's film, scenes are not played out as long causing viewers to miss segments that would explain ideas better such as why Clark had to lose his power? I do wish they cleaned up some areas that did not make sense such as the villains able to talk to the astronauts on the moon (airless) and such. The ending for me was the low point since it takes the same cue as the original movie and so I wish they updated it for this version. Sure, it was the original intended ending, but since it was already done in Part I, why do it again 30 years later when they could have made the ending more logical. The first eight minutes of the movie is also a recap of the original film that ties into Part II, a bit longer than I feel should have been shown.

The score shouldn't reflect the overall enjoyment of the movie, it is enjoyable but if you were expecting something significant, then this DVD isn't it. It has certain good aspects not present in the theatrical version, but nothing super-new that would warrant non-superman buffs to go out and get this version. For film historians and comic book geeks, this one is for you. Compare and enjoy!

Score: 2.95 out of 5

Friday, July 11, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 7/11/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 7/11/08 through 7/17/08:
50% off
Purple item tagged merchandise.

*Orange County, CA locations only.

Comments: Mr. Monster was finally able to complete his Matrix Trilogy DVD set by getting the first Matrix movie for half-price at Goodwill for only $2.49.

I was also able to pick up fpr the Playstation 2(I'm old school like that) Need for Speed: Most Wanted for only $5.00. It looks like someone dropped off the Need for Speed trilogy set 3-pack (featuring Need for Speed: Underground 1 & 2, and Most Wanted. I debated getting Underground 2, but since I do rarely play games anymore I just wanted the latest one I can play for a few minutes.

Also, parents and guardians of kids in these stores. Please keep you kids with you and not running around like wild animals while you shop. Having them run around playing with items and trashing them is not good for the store and sooner or later they will get hurt.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Movie Review: Batman: Gotham Knight- 7/9/08

Review: I thought Gotham Knight was a nice looking movie, but very plain and down right boring in parts. "Work Through the Pain" was the best section for me since it opened up another training aspect of Bruce Wayne that shows how he can take all the hits and near-death events and continue to survive.

"Deadshot" was a good section as well, closest to a comic book type story. The rest of the episodes were more in the vein of Batman vs. mobsters and moved slowly for me, they probably kept it this way to tie into the more Dark Knight theme without the more outlandish themes with more comic-type villains.

Did enjoy seeing the original Tim Burton Batmobile though. The animation style is pure Japanese anime, with certain styles reminding me of the over-the-top Fist of the North Star series from the 80s. Still, though it looked nice it had no substance or "wow" moments for a comic book super hero.

Score: 2.75 out of 5

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Magazine Stuff: List of Subscriptions- 7/8/08

Here's a listing of the current subscriptions Monster of the currently receives.

I highly recommend checking out Fat Wallet and Slick Deals for listing of deals to receive these and other free magazine subscriptions.

Callaway Magazine
Car and Driver
Computer Shopper
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM)
Elle Décor
Golf Digest
Golf for Women
Golf Magazine
Good Housekeeping
Metropolitan Home
Popular Science
Travel and Leisure Golf
U.S. News and World Report

Monday, July 7, 2008

Movie Review: Wanted- 7/7/08

Review: Based on a comic book, Wanted (2008) is a send-up of the traditional "loser guy becomes hero" flick. I read the original comic series and that Wanted book varies greatly from the film. Let me break the two formats for you in case you want to compare.

Comic Book version- Wesley is a down-and-out guy with a cheating girlfriend, bad job and no direction. In comes Fox, a super villain assassin brought in to train Wesley after his super villain assassin father is killed. Wes then get trained by Fox and a myriad of villains and comic book-style monsters in the ways to kill others. Becoming aware of his abilities, Wesley robs, kills, rapes innocent people along the way to become an super villain killer.

It is explained that the evil villains have gotten together in the past and eradicated the super heroes from the world, so now no one can stop them. They rule earth and do what they wish. There is a fracture in the villain alliance and now Wesley must choose sides in order to gain control of the world. Bloody killings and deceit are shown as Wesley comes to realize his place in the world as a cold-blooded evil killer.

Movie version- Wesley is a down-and-out guy with a cheating girlfriend, bad job and no direction. In comes Angelina Jolie, a super villain assassin brought in to train Wesley after his super assassin father is killed. Wes then get trained by Jolieand a myriad of specialists such as the Gunsmith, Repairman, Butcher, etc. in the ways to kill. Becoming aware of his abilities, Wesley kills, people told to him by Morgan Freeman who explains that by killing one, it saves thousands along the way to become an super killer.

The movie does not explain who the people being killed are or why. It comes down to a cheesy fabric loom telling in secret code who should be murdered. There is no talk of the assassins as being "evil" at all, just killers doing bidding by a machine. There's a slight twist in the end to change Wesley's point of view as to who he should trust.

Still the movie varies greatly from the comic and tames down the killings, plot points to a more generic action movie level. Exciting in some areas, but hardly pushing any boundaries that you've seen in The Matrix, Mission Impossible series, etc.

3 out of 5 (movie)

Score: 4 out of 5 (comic book)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Golf Review: Sports Authority 4th of July Sale- 7/6/08

Sports Authority is having its 4th of July Sale this weekend and some of the deals are pretty good.

The Cleveland HiBore XL and Callaway X 460 drivers are selling for $149.99. The Nike SuMo Square, Callaway Big Bertha 460 and TaylorMade Burner Draw are going for $199.99.

Most of the house brands from Sports Authority such as the Tommy Armour and RAM brand items are also selling at a big discount, good for those beginning golfers in need of sets of clubs, gloves, shirts, golf balls. The 45-pack of Wilson ProStaff for $19.99 is a good price for those who need new balls and don't want those packaged used balls.

I do recommend calling the store ahead if you are looking for the golf clubs on sale. My local store in Orange County did not have any of the HiBore XL drivers on stock and apart from the Cleveland wedges nothing else from the manufacturer.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Movie Review: Get Smart- 7/5/08

Review: Do you remember the old Don Adams "Get Smart" t.v. show? Well I do, barely. For a show I watched with my cousins when we were in elementary show I remember only a handful of items from the series. I remember Agent 99, Agent 86, Jaime, The Chief, the Cone of Silence, shoe phone, the opening sequence...and that's it.

I don't remember any episodes or plots since it wasn't remarkable, well that sums up this movie.
Steve Carrell pulls off Agent 86 well, with the style of Don Adams I remember. His deadpan humor and determination to b a good secret agent move the film along well. Anne Hatahway is a smart, strong and confident Agent 99, though her character is a big departure from the original series, her character initially dislikes Maxwell Smart and hijinx ensues.

The plot is standard "bomb the world" scenario and the agents are to track evil Russian spies with nuclear weapons. There a slight reveal of a double agent and it was pretty easy to see, like a needle in a Rock. Thre are nods to the original show such as the t.v. show suit, car, cone of silence, brief use of the shoe phone and the motto, "Missed it by that much."

Overall Get Smart was an interesting diversion with a handful of laughs. I've read others call this an action movie with comedy and I see it the other way. The action sequences are over the top implausible, but fits in with th tone of the movie. Nothing too exciting or original, but still charming. Just like the original Get Smart series.

Score: 2.85 out of 5

Friday, July 4, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 7/4/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 7/3/08 through 7/10/08: 50% off Blue item tagged merchandise.

*Orange County, CA locations only.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Golf Review: Wilson Alignment 3000 Putter- 7/3/08

Review: Picked up the Wilson Alignment 3000 putter just over a couple of months ago and have been able to take it on the course twice and practice with it occasionally.

I don’t know how old this putter is and when it ended its production run but the version I have bought had some scrapes and wear on the face and heel of the putter.

The face of the putter is smooth with alignment marks on the top edge and back of the putter. The alignment dot helped me position myself over the ball better since I tend to angle my hits at times and end up topping or smacking the ground behind the ball.

Kind of like the See More putters, there is a dot and lines on the head letting you know if you are over the top, or under the ball at alignment. The weight is pretty hefty, this is old school steel face and shaft. The grip is a tough plain black rubber with Wilson inscribed in white at the front. The white Wilson logo on mine was dirty and I tried to clean it off and ended up taking some of the paint off so I tried to fill it in with some white paint again.

It has been almost two years from when I switched out from using my first blade putter, the one that came with my Top Flite HCT Tour starter package. I wanted to try going back to a blade to see if that would help me from hitting the ground since the mallet tended to make me aim and chop down on the ball causing chunks of grass to fly instead of moving the ball forward. During my first game with the Wilson putter it helped me stand over the ball. The following game though the magic wore off and my putting was in the dumps again.

For the value that you should be able to acquire this putter at I would recommend it just to get you standing over the ball properly then you can stick with it or move back to your other putter.

Score: 3.5 out of 5

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Golf Review: Nike Dri-Fit, Sphere Dry and Nike Dri-Fit UV Golf Shirts- 7/2/08

Review: Nike Dri-Fit, Sphere Dry and Nike Dri-Fit UV golf polo shirts. When playing golf and being out in the open environment, you know you have to take care of yourself or you’ll be exposed to the varied conditions of the course. From rain, mud, snow, sun and heat. Since I play in Southern California the main hazards are heat and sun. I’ve picked up a few Nike golf shirts and after starting off with regular polos and sweating through those easily, decide to choose my golf shirts with the moisture-wicking capabilities.

The Nike Dri-Fits play comfortable with some styles feeling like cotton while some are smooth-feeling like nylon or soild blends with the various fabrics and technology used. The Dri-Fits do delete moisture and sweat faster than regular cotton shirts. Where regular polos would be soaked on the chest and lower back for me, at the end of a game with the Nikes the perspiration is either gone or 1/3 as small as the cotton shirts.

The Nikes are prevalent so picking up a new shirt for under $30.00 is easy especially since styles are being introduced seemingly every quarter. I’ve been able to get Dri-Fits for under $20 at some Ross stores. The Dri-Fit UV are suppose to shield your body from harmful UV rays that do happen to get through the garment. I don’t remember seeing how long the UV is suppose to work or what SPF it is, but I haven’t had a burn or anything with the ones I’ve used. The one Sphere Dry shirt I have feels light and reminds me of the thinner Adidas ClimaCool shirts. For the price of the Sphere Drys versus a regular Dri-Fit shirt I don’t know if I noticed anything significant with the little openings cooling me down greatly.

For the good price and wide variety of styles to choose from the Nike Dri-Fit line is a good manufacturer to choose from. The fabrics do dry faster than other “moisture wicking” golf shirts I’ve had and there are just so many styles to choose from based on your mood for game day it’s hard not to like the Dri-Fit selection.

Score: 3.75 out of 5.

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