Monday, August 15, 2016

Michael J. Tresca gave 5 stars to: VINTAGE BUILD - The Essential 3-in-1 Muscle Builder - Post Workout BCAA, Creatine Monohydrate, and L-Glutamine (Fresh Berries), 330 Grams, 30 Servings

Michael J. Tresca reviewed:

VINTAGE BUILD - The Essential 3-in-1 Muscle Builder - Post Workout BCAA, Creatine Monohydrate, and L-Glutamine (Fresh Berries), 330 Grams, 30 Servings by Old School Labs
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the good stuff, thanks, August 15, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've been skeptical of these products for awhile now. Sure, it SEEMED like I was able to lift more, but I was mixing a lot of supplements in my morning shake so I didn't think those improvements were thanks to Vintage Build. Then I went off it completely and learned my lesson.

I tried to replace Vintage Build with a BCAA mix that has no creatine in it. I tried, I really did. And the difference was startling. It's one of those things you don't miss until you're back on creatine. My mental clarity went up, my lifting went up (slightly), and I could FEEL it in my muscles. The difference was stark.

It's also has no artificial flavors. For the life of me, I can't understand why so many other mixes have all kinds of junk in them: red dye #5 (who cares what the powder looks like?), artificial flavors that taste like bubbleum (what am I, 12?), and other nonsense. That's why I went with Vintage Build in the first place. These days it seems like soccer moms are most concerned about organic "pure" food, but for some reason that hasn't really hit the supplement world as much as you might think. Any BCAA mix should be free of all that other garbage to dress it up. I'll take the raw stuff thanks, even if it's just white powder and doesn't taste like fake bubblegum.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Michael J. Tresca gave 3 stars to: Star Trek Beyond (BD/DVD/Digital HD Combo) [Blu-ray]

Michael J. Tresca reviewed:

Star Trek Beyond (BD/DVD/Digital HD Combo) [Blu-ray] Blu-ray ~ Chris Pine
3.0 out of 5 stars Adrift from What's Gone Before, August 3, 2016
Star Trek: Beyond is the latest installment in the rebooted Star Trek alternate reality series, which diverged from the main Star Trek timeline two movies ago. It begins with Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) feeling that his life has become rather episodic -- he literally questions the meaning of life in his captain's log -- and then the movie launches proper into what could easily be another episode of the television series.

Star Trek: Beyond wants to have it both ways: it wants the reinforce the gravity of a situation without earning it by actually explaining...anything, really. So we get, in rapid order: an impractical base where giant ships fly through the middle of it with absurdly towering skyscrapers for no reason whatsoever (Bones even rightly calls it a "snowglobe"); a military branch of the Federation we didn't know about; an all-powerful force of robot drones that aren't identified as robot drones until much later in the film; a mysterious life-draining power seemingly unconnected to everything else in the movie except to provide a plot twist; and a universe-destroying device.

Add all this up and you have what amounts to what feels like a crib notes version of Star Trek. Where the last installment adhered so slavishly to the original series that it felt derivative, Beyond just feels like writer Simon Pegg didn't feel like adhering to any of Star Trek's mythology -- because, with the reboot, he doesn't have to. I can forgive the impractical design of the base and the military stuff -- but the robot drones, the life draining power, and the universe-destroying McGuffin could easily have been attributed to other races in the Star Trek universe. Beyond doesn't bother; it just takes place somewhere beyond known space and conveniently has a bad guy with a connection to the Federation who just happens to have not one but two plot-altering devices at his disposal. It's a lot to take.

And that's a shame. On many levels the film hits all the right notes, culminating in an awesome rendition of Sabotage by the Beastie Boys. The execution makes no sense of course and uses a hackneyed trope -- the drones use a hive mind that can be interrupted with a signal, and for some reason that causes them to explode -- but it's such a delight to watch that you forgive Pegg for his flamboyance. There's also a nice callback to the passing of Leonard Nimoy that gives the current-time stream Spock (Zachary Quinto) a reason to consider his life choices.

Beyond feels like a movie making things up as it goes, culminating in an absurd scene where Kirk has to throw four levers at the heart of a space station's ventilation system. It conveniently ignores the ad-hoc transporter trick that the movie used earlier, or the fact that it's a frigging SPACE STATION and should have something more sophisticated than four levers to manage something so critical.

Star Trek is literally and figuratively about world-building. This installment skips all that by taking the characters out of their element so it can play fast and loose with the rules. This is a post-series world unbound by the legacy of the television series and, in my opinion, it's poorer for it.