By Shaer Duita Phish Reaz
One of the more recent supercar makers to gain popularity, Pagani represents a new breed of Italian automobiles. Pagani's long running Zonda is testament to the fact that you can never go wrong with insanely swoopy looks, insane amounts of power, and a mile high price tag that guarantees exclusivity.
The Zonda was only sold in Europe and select parts of Asia. That meant it wasn't available to the country with the world's most number of millionaires - the Zonda didn't meet the safety and build regulations set by US authorities. Losing out on sales was bad, even for a niche company like Pagani. To address this, and to update their single product line, Pagani came up with the Huayra.
Using AMG's new, specifically built for Pagani, 6.0 litre twin turbo V12, with 700hp and 811lb/ft of torque, the Huayra promises incredible acceleration and noise. Weighing in at just under 3000lbs (about 1350 kg), the Huayra is slightly heavier than the Zonda F it replaces, but the active aerodynamics and ultra-sophisticated electronics systems allows the Huayra to reach a higher top speed and have similar 0-60mph acceleration figures. The predicted top speed is around 230mph. Not a bad way to spend $1.4 million.
Why so expensive? Only 20 cars will be made for the whole world each year, and chances are they'll be sold off before they're even assembled. So unless you're an oil sheikh, a royal, or close (rich) friend of Horacio Pagani's, you're never going to get your grubby paws on one. Chances are you won't even see one on the road, since people who buy one of these aren't going to use it for daily commute. Getting groceries in a 230mph million dollar plaything isn't exactly a good idea.
Huayra is the name of an ancient Andean god of the wind - a fitting name for a car that will very soon be the most aerodynamically sophisticated road car ever made. Fans of extravagance in cars will be delighted with the Huayra - the entire car is made from carbon fibre, it has gullwing doors, four centrally mounted exhausts, rims the size of the moon, and a gazillion LED lights scattered all over the exterior. The interior is entirely handmade, with incredibly detailed leather stitching, carbon fibre and aluminium accents everywhere, and more gauges than a 747 cockpit. It certainly does look like a plane on the outside, with Pagani's signature cab-forward design, cuts, slashes, vents everywhere, and of course, two tone paint. Some have even compared the Huayra to a catfish in terms of looks.
Whether you like the way Pagani does things or not, you have to admit that the Huayra is going to make quite the stir when it finally comes out later this year. Since Pagani only releases a new model every 10 years or so, expect the Huayra to be around for a while.
Genre: Mecha, Action, Comedy
Full Metal Panic !
By Ero Senin
This reviewer is a swords man (by which he means that he loves swords). Transformers breezed through his brains (only Megan Fox made a lasting impression); Gundam was blegh. Big mechanical junkies fighting in mid-air, making flashy moves, shouting out their attacks feel hideous compared to the blood-boiling, mind-ruffling action that (anime) samurais and ninjas produce. But after Tengen Toppa: Gurren Lagan, Full Metal Panic! (don't mistake it as a spoof of the more famous Full Metal Alchemist) is the only mecha that managed to ensnare my attention for three whole seasons with its engaging and fast storyline, hilarity, classic villains, beautiful heroines and surprisingly good mecha action. This is creativity in the mobile suit genre; different for the sake of different isn't always successful, but this anime makes it work.
Full Metal Panic! is a hybrid anime, abridged from a series of light novels (Wiki it) of the same name, which tells the story of Sosuke Sagara, a teenage sergeant of the mercenary anti-terrorism organisation called Mithril and Kaname Chidori, a Japanese high school student Sosuke is assigned to protect. Unbeknownst even to herself, Chidori possesses superior intellect and special knowledge that many other organisations would destroy cities and sacrifice mobile suits after mobile suits to get their mechanical hands on. As such, Sosuke is assigned to infiltrate her high school in order to protect her while pretending to be an ordinary student, and without her knowing that she's in danger. Sosuke, unfortunately, has no social experience outside his military life, having been literally raised as a soldier, and thus has no idea how to properly act in civilian life. Hilarity ensues as Chidori is dragged through Sosuke's Mad Eye Moody-esque vigilance. But you know the drill: when anything can go wrong, it will go wrong. The globe-trotting conspiracy, earth-shaking battle cries of the lambda drivers (robot-things) and Chidori and Sagara's struggle to make both sides of their lives meet draws a breathtaking story board and it is very hard to put down in the middle.
The Full Metal Panic! Fumoffu takes on the romantic-comedy aspect of the first season. Trigger happy Sosuke's misunderstanding of the simplest situations, terrorising the school, donning another... er... mobile suit 'Bunta-kun' and his complete illiteracy in the subject called romance (he thinks 'kissing' is synonymous to CPR and 'flirting' means 'trapping girls in cages and holding them captive at gunpoint'; bless him) make the 13 episodes a pain for the stomach muscles.
The actual second season, Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid, picks up from where the first season left off and delves deeper into the mystery surrounding the special knowledge inside some chosen ones. But the comedic and romantic features still remain in full flow throughout. Add to that some quality animation work and you get a sequel that actually complements the original.
Oh, the story is incomplete in the anime: you have to read the final novel to get to the end of everything.
Why you should take the time to watch it:
Because it is fun. Exciting, well animated robo-battles? Pretty girls? LULZ? Plenty to go around in this franchise. Intelligent battle strategies, realism into kick steel mecha, FMP! Is nonetheless funny and at times, touching and certainly worth a look by most anime fans. Even samurai/ninja fans like yours truly.
THE GREEN HORNET
By Musarrat Rahman
There is nothing better than action-packed, laugh-a-minute movies, and of course, they are even better when they are about superheroes!
The Green Hornet is directed by Michel Gondry of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind fame and starring actor/co-writer/producer Seth Rogen, Taiwanese singer Jay Chou and statuesque all-American beauty Cameron Diaz.
Since its release, the former Bruce Lee starring movie has garnered nothing but negative reviews and bad publicity but that's because people nowadays insist on dissecting everything and just can't seem to lean back and enjoy a film. Sure, it has no depth, but it is a light, funny, action romp, packed with lots of karate style butt-whopping and bro-mantic antics.
Rogen plays spoiled rich Britt Reid whose life closely resembles that of a carefree frat boy. He parties heartily and dates models much to the disapproval of his hard-working father, James Reid (Tom Wilkinson) who is the publisher of a fictional newspaper: The Daily Sentinel.
Soon enough, daddy Reid is gone from the picture and the disappointing son is in charge. He soon meets his former chauffeur/Asian sidekick Kato, who's not only great at karate (how race stereotypical) but is a whiz with mechanics.
The duo prevent a mugging one night and Britt decides to make vigilante justice his full-time career with Kato as his super powerful second in command. Helping them along the way is Britt's secretary Lenore Case, a criminologist who provides the movie's beauty and brains.
While it may be the same old formula for the typical vigilante superhero movie, the casting in it makes it worth watching. Rogen's abrasive humour mixes well with Chou's deadpan sarcasm. For those craving action, this movie certainly is a should-watch. It's filled with Jay Chou's fight scenes and body acrobatics (all happening while the Hornet cowers in fear).
Diaz is not the only one who takes a back seat to Britt and Kato. Villain Christoph Waltz, minion Edward Furlong and newspaper editor Edward James Olmos all have relatively little to do, but like her, they do it well.
It's worth a watch if you are into comic books that were adapted into movies but you might be a tad disappointed. It's entertaining but only if you don't think about it too much.