Saturday, August 27, 2011

D&D Day by Day - The Displacer Beast

Tonight I begin playing in a Pathfinder RPG game for the first time. For those who are unfamiliar with it, Pathfinder is more or less completely based off of Dungeons and Dragons 3.0/3.5 edition, but fixes what was broken with it (like grapple), and replaces it with different broken things. Most likely I will be playing a Dwarven rogue named Pizza MacGruff (or something equally ridiculous).

I've played a lot of D&D and the like over the years, and have had nothing but a great time with it. Sure, different rulesets change how the game works and makes you think you don't like it, but for the most part it has stayed true to itself over the years. Yet, almost a bajillion people have never played D&D (I counted) let alone know much about it aside from "its like Lord of the Rings, right?"

Answer - Wrong, it's fucking awesome. Games like Dragon Age have helped bring younger more impressionable kids into the fold of this chaotic awesome game, and have introduced a new generation to cheeto stained hands and Mountain Dew bellies, as well as a massive amount of radical monsters and atrocities that you get to fight with your own hands.

But what of the people who have never played? they've never heard of an Orc. They think Spock is an elf. What do these clean-shaven collar popped dudes and dudettes think these creatures might look like based on their name alone?

Thats what I hope to find out, starting with the displacer beast.

UNINTENTIONAL DOUBLE FEATURE: Our Idiot Brother / Spy Kids: All The Time In The World (4D)

I ended up seeing both Our Idiot Brother and Spy Kids: All The Time In The World back to back yesterday. It was an odd experience all around from being stuck behind a funeral procession to losing power in a theater... but I'm sure your more interested in the conflict of the characters than my weird day spent almost entirely in a movie theater. So here we go!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Thundercats Thunder-recaps Episode 6: Journey to the Tower of Omens!

Oh Thundercats 2011! What a rocky, tumultuous relationship we have! Sometimes I want to rub your orange fuzzy belly and sometimes I want to stuff you in a sack and drop you down a well. In a mere five episodes you've managed to kill a king, parley with pirates, prance with plant-people, sideline Tigra, and get nunchukked by Panthro. And Cheetara still isn't getting any. But I'm gonna' stick with you, brother! We've come this far.

Well this looks promising!
Last episodes, things in Kitty City were finally getting a little more exciting. Can Episode 6: Journey to the Tower of Omens continue to pump up the volume, or has Thundercats - much like my own cat - taken a shit where it's not supposed to? If Mumm-Ra finally wigs out like he does in that picture then I think I'm already sold!

Join me after the jump and we'll find out! (Spoilerz abound!)

NASA is Soing an MMO, and They Want Your Help!

Hi! I'm kinda new here, in that I haven't posted yet. So of course I'm about to use my first post to tell you how you should spend your money on something awesome. But hear me out!

NASA has started a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a beta of their very own MMO. In Astronaut: Moon Mars & Beyond, you are an aspiring astronaut in the year 2035, who, "will uncover secrets about a threat to civilization as we know it, and build you and your team a high-tech inventory of space gear including a home base, somewhere out there."

The Music Videos of Tom Scharpling

Tom Scharpling, host of the hilarious radio show/podcast The Best Show on WFMU, has taken to directing music videos lately - and they are fantastic!

In his newest video for The Ettes song, Excuse, Patton Oswalt plays Tom as the director:

More of his music videos after the cut!

Bowie's Space Oddity Re-imagined as a Picture Book!

Neat-O illustrator Andrew Kolb has re-imagined elf-king David Bowie's classic space-oddity Space Oddity into a children's picture book! Not for sale or profit, but just for lulz! And he's done a truly amazing job. I wish it was available because kids need to know about this stuff. Now we need a primer on the spiders from mars!

See more of this beautiful book at Andrew's site here!

Via Super Punch!

New Avengers Art Reveals More Aimless Posing!

I'm assuming that in the coming year we will be crushed under a deluge of Avengers merchandise, including, according to Super Hero Hype, a collection of movie-tie in comics that will explain all the things you were dying to know, but weren't deemed worthy enough to show on the screen. You know, like: Who trims Iron Man's moustache? What does Captain America eat for breakfast? What happened that one time when Hulk fell asleep on the toilet?

Anyway, here is the new art that's being used to promote the collection to booksellers. Apparently this image wasn't set up - it's a candid pic, they just like to pose.

Seriously, can you imagine standing next to Thor in a family portrait, if he's going to set off his lightning right next to your ear? And as a fledgling photographer, god knows what that does to your lighting. Asshole!

Otherwise this is pretty cool, except... I don't want to pick on Thor again, but does he look tiny to you? He's about as big as Scarlett Johansson and he's further forward than she is! (She looks great by the way) (Just saying). And look at Hawk-Eye skulking in the background like a little halfling. Talk about "one of these things just doesn't belong here!" He looks like a leather-daddy! "We have a monster with super strength? Check. A thunder god? Check. Killer robot? Check. Super soldier? Check? How's our archery?"

This is cool though! Honest!

Custom Muppet Dunnys! Plus a Classic Lion-EmO!

We've already pretty much established that we love Muppets and we love Kid Robot's Dunny figures. So if both of these things were to combine there would be such an immediate swelling of love in our collective rib-cage that a black-magic using Mola Ram-type gentleman would be required to tear our heart out of our chest before it explodes.

Well, such a thing has finally happened! Jared Cain (real name Nikejerk) has customised three unsuspecting Dunnys into the core members of legendary felt band The Electric Mayhem (minus Animal, but seriously, who gives a crap about him). Check it out:

I'm not afraid to mention that Janice's huge lips make me feel a little tingly.

I saw these via toycutter, who really have you covered in terms of showcasing custom figures. And Nikejerk also turned a Dunny into another character that's quite dear to me right now, but join me after the jump to see it, because if I clutter up the front page, the other contributors will beat me.

George Lucas' Daughter Can Kick Your Ass.

Amanda Lucas, daughter of George Lucas, inventor of Star Wars is winning Mixed Martial Arts battles while you are complaining about Superman's underpants on the Internet. You can read all about her recent victory here. And if that doesn't sink in, then here is a photo of the mighty Amanda Lucas beating the ever-living shit out of someone:

Yes. That's her. Winning. I want you to take a long hard look at that image and think very carefully about it next time you want to badmouth the prequels. 

The Lucas family is awesome, and please can they adopt me. I would like to live my remaining days as a surrogate ewok among the redwoods surrounding the ranch.

Burger King... ur doin it wrong

In a move reminiscent of SyFy's attempted reinvention of itself, Burger King has decided to ditch the "creepy king." Their new ad campaign is geared towards visuals and suggestions of fresh food being chopped up and fresh guacamole fantasies.

"The economic downturn has battered its core customer — young males have been particularly hard hit by unemployment — and Burger King is looking to boost declining sales by appealing to the mothers, families and others that rivals like McDonald's Corp. have successfully courted."

Personally (as a mother and family member), I think the creepy king was probably the best thing Burger King had going for it. And clearly, creepiness works in some markets...

Kittens With Lightsabers. We Can All Retire Now.

What else can be said? We've seen everything now. The circle is complete. After watching the following clip, please shut down and unplug your computer. The world wide web is being turned off a the mains. Thanks everyone. It was a good run.

I guess we're officially a videos-of-funny-animals site now!

Via: Topless Robot.

Otters Holding Hands - Oh Yeah!

Otters are America's Sweethearts. They do all sorts of cute human things, and clearly are in love. Look at these two holding hands. Whens the last time you held an otter by the hand? Answer - never, because you're not an otter.

Yay otters!

Friday Night Movie Review 2!

It's that time again! The Fruitless Pursuits team have been lazing around all week watching movies, and seeing as how you're the only person we've had contact with this week, we are just itching to tell you all about them!

We've plucked movies from a few weeks to a few decades ago, and they're not all winners! Join us after the jump to read our mini-reviews of what we've been watching!

Thank Gif It's Friday

Via Gifbin.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Review: Clone Wars Figures Waves 9, 10, 11!

Yes. I collect Star Wars figures. And if you've seen my recent Princess Leia photoshoot (which is NSFW and  available here) then you'll know I have a lot of them. But despite the fact that the quality of the figures is steadily on the rise, they have become increasingly difficult to find, not just here in Australia, but also in the US, and even online!

So about a month ago I surrendered. I signed up to online seller Brian's Toys "One of Each Figure Club" and took myself out of the hunt! And, as a collector, I'd be nuts not to right now as they are half the Australian retail price, thanks to our mighty Australian dollar, and I don't need to look like an idiot trawling K-Mart.

If you didn't know, Star Wars line is currently split into realistic, detailed figures based on the movies and aimed at collectors (and packaged on vintage cards); and Clone Wars figures that are based on the animated look of the TV show.

When I signed up I was informed that my first wave would be a vintage movie wave (including man-eating ewok medicine man, Logray!) but that turns out not to be the case! I received a big box of Clone Wars figures this morning - in fact it contained waves 9, 10 AND 11, which is pretty much everything that will be released for that line this year. When they said "one of each figure" I didn't expect to receive them all at once!

Join me after the jump for my commentary, but it's image heavy so you might want to make yourself a cup of coffee!

Doc Emmet L. Brown is Screwing Around in Argentina.

Back to the Future's Doc Emmet L. Brown is apparently still very active and crashing his tricked-out Delorean into foreign electronics stores. For science! And probably a few lulz!

Earlier this year, I was gravely disappointed when Christopher Lloyd announced an eleventh hour cancellation of his scheduled appearances at Australia's biggest pop-culture convention Supanova. Apparently he was at the airport ready to leave when something urgent popped up. Looks like Marty's kids must have been being assholes again and the whole mess wound up in Argentina. At least now we know, and here's the proof:

Via Nerd Bastards who have a behind-the-scenes clip as well.

Video: Conan Rap!

Way back in Episode Ten of The C-List Podcast, Taylor and I discussed both the original Conan the Barbarian and its sequel Conan the Destroyer - specifically the shack-dwelling witch that Conan bangs, and the Man Ape that attacks him in the mirrored room! I recorded a quick and dirty "rap" to accompany that episode, and now for the first time is a video to accompany it!

Enjoy it fast before Youtube makes me take it down! And I guess it's not especially worksafe either. And I guess I owe you an apology in advance!:

The New Kidrobot Vinyl Street Fighter Figures Are Cuter Than a Baby Tiger (Uppercut)!

10 minutes ago, I had no clue these existed. But then I received a text message from my wife that simply said "Kidrobot Street Fighter?" Of course, my response was "I need them now!"

And yes, I really need these. Right now.

More images and info after the break.

C3PO Has Fake Wires and Weird Hands!

Yesterday I got an up close look at the Return Of The Jedi C3PO costume at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, and I noticed a few odd things that I never noticed before.

C3PO has fake wires!!! Most of them look like rope or shoestring, and the rest were just painted on. I could see those kinds of shortcuts being made in A New Hope, but this was the costume from Return of the Jedi. There should have definitely been a budget for it (plastic wire is probably cheaper than the paint used), and I'm sure there was time between 1977 and 1982 to throw a few wires together. Not to mention, this is an all new costume, made just for the film. I tried to research and see if I could see the shoelaces and painted lines in any screenshots or videos, but the results were all over the place.

Here are a few images of C3PO's inconsistent mid-section wires from throughout the years.

My New Model Shoot! Burlesque Time Lord!

As my foray into photography continues, I have just shot a photo series with burlesque artist Duchess Silk, which has a very distinct Matt Smith Doctor Who theme! 

If that's in your wheelhouse then you can find out more at my personal site. Be forewarned that the full set is NSFW. And keep an eye out for surprise daleks!

Internet Goes Wild at Snyder's Superman's Lack of Trunks!

I've outed myself many times as an unapologetically rabid fan of Zack Snyder's audacious punch-you-in-the-face-until-the-awesome-pours-out style of film-making. So naturally I'm anticipating his take on Superman in next year's Man of Steel. But it appears that not everyone shares my unbridled enthusiasm!

A couple of weeks ago when the purple, wrinkly Fruitless Pursuits first came kicking and screaming into the world, we talked about the first shot of Henry Cavill in costume. His super-crotch was mysteriously shrouded in shadow and suspicions rose that his iconic red underpants would be left hanging on the clothesline for this one. As it is want to do, the Internet grew restless, anxious, and angry.

This unrest was particularly prevalent at the forums of comics legend and alleged curmudgeon John Byrne, where the lack of "trunks" (as they are sworn to call them, lest they face the cyclone wrath of Mr. Byrne) was causing quite a ruckus! I shared a few choice quotes and since then we've been eagerly awaiting confirmation.

Well here it is! An amateur on set photograph shows a blurry Superman and the underpants/trunks have definitely vanished and he is super swinging free!

Can you sense the tremors this is already causing? Join me after the jump and I'll share some of the newest choice quotes from the John Byrne Forum, where a restless crowd has been swept into a no-trunks frenzy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

8-Bit Banter - A Challenging Introduction

When I was a little lad, I wished for rainy days. To me, there was nothing more exciting than waking up and having the perfect excuse to stay inside and try to top my older bro's high scores. So in tribute to all the classics, well known and forgotten, I would like to introduce my new weekly chat: 8-Bit Banter!

Each week I'll pick a game based on its influence, unique gameplay, art style, or impact it left on the industry. I'll pick from all platforms and eras in gaming, so nothing will be left behind!

To start off, I picked one of my favorites. When I think Konami, I start running for the cheat sheets. For a company known for its intensely difficult platformers, it was just second nature. Personally, I don't think they knew how to make an "easy" game. So naturally, I spent tons of hours trying to beat their classic: Gradius.

The C-List Podcast Episode 13! Transformers Part 2 Revenge of the Fallen!

Due to some unlikely miracle, Taylor and I have produced another episode of our podcast The C-List in just a week! Cats and dogs! Living together! Mass hysteria!

Here's the skinny on what to expect!:
Don't be put off by our rapid return with a second helping of Transformers! True, we might be discussing the C-List humans and robots of Michael Bay's craptastic sequel Revenge of the Fallen, but this episode also contains our ANGRIEST INTRO EVER! Plus!: find out who dropped the ball and messed up our earlier Better Off Dead episod, and keep a keen ear primed for a surprise burrito! There might even be a second part to last week's rap!
And I'm not kidding when I say it's an angry intro! I woke up far too early to record and Taylor does something truly unthinkable and unforgivable about seven minutes in! It's my favourite intro so far, so even if you don't give a shit about Revenge of the Fallen (and who does) pour this episode in your ears!


Are you surprised to learn that that thing's name is Reedman? Find out much more on the show!

Portal: the Movie

I have a dirty secret; I've never played Portal. Unless you count the "Still Alive" track on Rock Band, I've scored 100% on that. But I get it, I get why it's cool.

My friends don't all know about my Portal deficiency, so they still send me cool Portal stuff. It turns out that if Portal was a movie...

More nonsense after the jump...

While We're All Enjoying Muppets: Kermit and Rowlf Sing Rainbow Connection Live at D23

I am super impressed and excited by the handling of this current Muppet revival right now. Management seems to have put aside all of the reinvention post Henson's passing, and have gone back to the core group of classic characters that many of us grew up with. They also seem to have recaptured a lot of that original charm, especially as they pay homage to some of those more memorable moments.

Earlier today we saw the new OK GO clip, but I had no idea that the following footage existed. This is Kermit and Rowlf singing Rainbow Connection live on stage at D23 (the Disney convention) this past weekend. And it's not a performance we could have seen live originally, what with Henson providing the voices of both Kermit and Rowlf, so this is really something quite special. Plus it contains Muppets messing up and improvising which I always love. If you were born around the same time that I was then this should give you shivers:

Beer and Soup.

Australia is the land of the meathead, there's no two ways about it. As a result the biggest amount of money and effort goes into advertising for beer, football, meat, soup, stuff like that. Luckily for us (well, it's at least the silver lining) it means we end up with some ridiculous and awesome ads.

This ads pretty old now, but in my mind it was the point where beer ads went from moronic to moronic/funny. Australians will know it, but lets reminisce. Americans - watch and learn.

More liquid gold after the break -

Fantastic Four 9: Redrawn!

Jason Young is commissioning contemporary comic artists to redraw issue number 9 of Fantastic Four!

The original cover

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What's Out? Week of 24th of August 2011

Get out those wallets, piggy banks and coin purses!
Here's where I look at the Diamond shipping list and see what's coming out this week.

Earthquakes and Action Figures

Today's East Coast earthquake may have been minor compared to the usual West Coast vibrations, but action figures from Virginia to Canada have all been shaken up. Some have been destroyed, others just temporarily displaced.

Click through the jump for a photo collection of the plastic casualties of todays tremors.

What Would Larry David Do? Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 8 Episode 7 Recap (Spoilers)

Another episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm means another week of Larry David doing the cringeworthy things that we all wish we could do. Click through the jump for a recap of the episode and the answers to the question "What Would Larry David Do?".

(Spoilers ahead!)

OK Go and The Muppets!!!

You may have read about a new Muppet music album called "The Green Album", perhaps on this very site!  Well, get ready for the very first video off of this new album, OK Go's rendition of the Muppet Show Theme (YAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!)

Talk about getting things started! Awesome!

Dominant Species: The Card Game

Dominant Species was a lot of hardcore board-gamer's pick for game of the year last year. Since its release, it's been very in demand and hard to get a copy of as it's published by a smaller (though well established and trustworthy) company, GMT. Traditionally GMT publishes mostly wargames, a genre that I'm rarely interested in. Dominant Species though is a complex game about adaptation. Players each control an animal class (mammal, reptile, bird, amphibian, arachnid or insect) and vie to be the fittest and thus survive.

Notch Made a Game Called Prelude of the Chambered And You Can Play it NOW!

Minecraft creator, genius and moneybags Notch made a whole new game in 48 hours as part of the Ludum Dare competition. Clearly not satisfied with resting on the laurels (and giant pile of gold bullion) of Minecraft, Notch can create enjoyable new gaming experiences in the time it takes most of us to blink. I love Notch, and I kind of hope he will adopt me and raise me as his protege. Actually, even better, I would just like him to wheel me around in a solid gold minecart.

I've played his new creation Prelude of the Chambered (but not yet finished it due to my rush to share it with you) and I can attest that it is pretty good! It's a dungeon-crawler with plenty of puzzles to solve and bats to punch!

This is my own screenshot! I didn't even nick it!
But don't take my word for it! You can play it yourself right now, right HERE for free! And you may as well, because there's absolutely nothing else happening on the Internet right now!

Tuesday Bounty! Glorious Bounty Continues PLUS Decide the Origin of Dengar!

Grug and I do a comic about terribly inadequate space bounty hunters that don't really like each other. The third book The Covoluted Killbots has just begun at and here's page two to prove it! But keep on reading after the jump because I wouldn't dare shamelessly self-promote without providing some original content as well!

New page every Tuesday and you can read Book One: The Sexy Virus, and Book Two: The Sticky Goat Affair completely free!

But I promised you some content as well, so while were on the subject of inept, unappealing bounty hunters, join me after the jump to discuss The Empire Strikes Back's black sheep bounty hunter Dengar! (And you don't have to be a Star Wars fan - in fact, this experiment will be even better if you're not!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Metal Mondays: Let's Talk About Metal Head from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

Think Metal Monday I'm banging my head sideways and thinking laterally! I'm bursting to talk about a very different kind of Metal Head, first introduced in an episode of the 1989 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon! You remember him don't you? He's a robot ninja turtle created by the nefarious tentacle-brain asshole Krang, for some obscure, nonsensical reason!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Robot Aahfuhgeddaboutit...
What's Metal Head all about anyway? What's his deal? What makes him tick? Should we tolerate, deride or celebrate him? I'll tell you exactly what to think and feel after the jump!

Metal(ish) Mondays: E.T. and Yoda Metalwork Statues.

Over the weekend, we accidentally came across an arts and crafts fair just a few blocks from our house. I wasn't sure what to expect because the vendors are usually more of my mom's type of crafts than my style. I was pretty shocked when I turned a corner and saw this...

A massive metal Yoda! He was double life size and wearing a crazy slick jacket. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Metal Mondays - Get ready for some orchestral face burning

I'm not even putting this video up because I want to make fun of it. I'm so in awe that I periodically come back to this youtube clip and rock out.

For those unaware, Apocalyptica are a Finnish band composed of three cello players and a drummer. They started out purely covering Metallica, then branched into a few other bands including Pantera and Faith No More before heading into their own stuff. They have occasional guest vocalists (Ville Valo from HIM does a particularly awesome track called Bittersweet) but mostly do face burning instrumentals, covers or otherwise.

Weekly Re-Crap - Week Ending August 21st

Another week has gone by. Was it all crap? You'll have to decide..

Click through the jump for all of the posts from the past 7 days, organized by category.

Doctor Who Season 6 continues on August 27

In one week's time the second half of the 2011 season of Doctor Who gets underway, and will hopefully answer some very important questions (and stop us feeling quite so guilty about giving up on the current series of Torchwood). How does the whole River thing work? Why is the lady with the eyepatch such a total bitch? How many times will Rory die? Will Amy continue to be a whiny twerp? Head under the cut for some first half discussion, the trailer for the upcoming episodes, and a wee bit of gloating by yours truly.

Saturday Night Board Games: ZombieZone, Monsters Menace America, and Alhambra

We'll usually get together and play board games on Saturday night, and the games are usually decided based on whoever is playing. It was just myself and fellow Fruitless Pursuits contributor, George Tagmire, so we went for an unusual mix. We playtested a prototype, tried out something we've never played before, and closed the night with an easy and familiar favorite.

The Old Republic Will Feature Hutt Ball!

Hutt Ball! Come on! You know what I'm talking about! It's the hutt equivalent of Earth's most popular sport: Human Ball! The Star Was Old Republic MMORPG is going to have a series of pvp war zones and the latest one has a sporting twist. Granted, once you watch the game play it's really just a clusterfunk of dudes bashing on each other while trying to capture the "flag", but you have to admit that the framing device is pretty stylish. It's giving me fictional sci-fi sports fever! I might even watch Rollerball again! Now if only they'd stop releasing clips and give us an actual release date!

Would you like to be on my Hutt Ball team?