Saturday, November 19, 2011

Campbell Whyte's Nintendo Illustration Series, 8 Bit Dreams - Recap and Contest (Contest Ends Today)

Since February, Campbell Whyte has been creating daily illustrations under the collective title, 8 Bit Dreams. The series will eventually consist of individual artwork for every single game that was released on the Nintendo Entertainment System. All 799 of them.

Metroid (1986)

He has been posting them on his site in date order, starting with 10 Yard Fight in 1985 and right now he's just getting into 1989. Each 5"x5" watercolor is available for sale (only $50 for an original and $10 for a print) and Campbell will also create a custom original for the same price. There has been a lot of good stuff so far, which I'll recap below, but there are still a ton of amazing games left.

After the jump, I will recap some of my favorites so far, and each week I will showcase the newest illustrations. But before anything you might want to click on this link for a contest that ends today. If you can guess the height of the stack, or the amount of illustrations, you can win your very own piece of the 8 Bit Dreams series. Enter before it's too late! Contest ends today, Australian time (i.e.: the future), so you only have a few hours left!

Onto the illustrations..

Clone Wars Recap S4 E10: Carnage of Krell

WHOA! Shit just got real, yo! The first three episodes of the four-part Umbara arc on The Clone Wars left us with a serious feeling of deja vu as key plot points continued to repeat themselves - again, and again. But fourth time's the charm, and all eyes were on the finale to see if this whole thing was actually going somewhere, and specifically if douchebag Muppet Jedi Krell was finally going to have a throw-down battle with the increasingly disenchanted clone commander Rex, where only one of them walked away. And I'm thrilled to say that I wasn't disappointed.

This was a pretty hardcore and uncompromising cap to the story, so much so that I'd be surprised if Lucas and Co. even had any balls left after banging them up against the wall so long. Huge SPOILERS ahead, so if you haven't seen this one and intend to, then I sincerely suggest that this time you watch the episode first.

The rest of you? ONWARD!

RIP Mark Hall

Mark Hall the creator of such great shows as "Danger Mouse" and "Count Duckula" died early on Friday at his home in Manchester. He was 75.

Sad news. RIP dude, I have great childhood memories of watching your cartoons. I also have a recurring nightmare about the Danger Mouse episode 'Day of Suds" where all the whitegoods come to life and take over the city. That sacred the hell out of me

Movember day 19: Moustair

Welcome to the wonderful internet created world of Moustair on the 19th day of the Movember

This horrifying world continues after the jump

Friday, November 18, 2011

Being Human: And then there was one

When a show has a very small core cast, like Being Human does, losing a member is a big shock. That's exactly what happened at the end of last season when Aiden Turner (the guy who plays Mitchell, the vampire who never washes his hair) decided to call it a day. Resident werewolf Russell Tovey (George) really said it best:

"I felt so sad for George, because he was losing his best friend; I felt so sad for the show, because Mitchell was a big reason the show was so successful. I feel like we were The Spice Girls and we’d just lost Ginger. Or we’re Take That and we’d just lost Robbie. Or we’re Westlife and we’d just lost Bryan. Although no-one cared about Bryan. Okay, we were Take That."

While fans accepted the fact that Turner was heading off to pursue bigger and better things (namely, playing a strangely sexy dwarf in the upcoming Hobbit movie), there was a definite sense of mourning. So it was a massive shock when last week Russell Tovey announced that, oh, btw, leaving too.


"I know some people might be pissed off with me that I’ve left, but I want people to love George and understand that I want to go off and explore other things. It’s sad. I’d decided that I was going to go when I finished filming series three, but then it was so successful and I thought, ‘Should I really be leaving?’ But I am. For me three is the magic number. It’s always in my head. I’d done three series and I was ready to go."

Will the show survive after losing two members of their unholy trinity? Time will tell, but it may be a hard ask seeing as the bro-ship between George and Mitchell was one of the most endearing things about the series. What do YOU think, reader friends?

Interview quotes stolen with love from SFX

Friday Night Movie Review: Cronos

Now that we’re doing our own individual Friday reviews, I’m going to try and be a little more thorough than I have been before. This could either be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how much you like to hear me talk. Apparently, I think it’s great because I never can shut the hell up.

Anyway, movie…Today I thought I’d get into some “culture” and do a review of a Criterion release Blu-Ray I picked up recently. For anyone who doesn’t know, Criterion is all about making “important films” available. They put a lot of effort into preserving the quality of the appearance and the quality of the content of movies, and their catalog is really pretty amazing in both its depth and sheer amount of awesome. They also tend to be pricier than most releases. Needless to say, when Barnes and Noble started running all their Criterion DVD and Blu-Rays at half off, it was bad for my bank account.

More after the jump...

Friday Night Movie Review: The Three Musketeers! (2011)

Oh hey, you guys, remember Pirates of the Carribean!? Remember how much goddamn filthy money that series made with its flamboyant quirky characters, giant set-pieces, and over-the-top action!? Surely there's a similarly swashbuckling story we can give the same treatment to? What about Three Musketeers? Could we sex that up to appeal to an attention deficient crowd that will probably text through it anyway? Come to think of it, what's Orlando Bloom doing?...

Paul W.S. Anderson's 2011 embellishing of Alexandre Dumas' classic The Three Musketeers is not the sort of film that I would normally see. And yet I was entertained in spite of myself. Does that mean it's a good film? Oh god no, but it delivers everything it promises. Find out more of what I thought, and watch the trailer, in my Friday Night mini-review, after the jump!

Friday Night Movie Review: Attack The Block

I've been dying to see this film since the day I saw the first trailer, and I'm so excited that I'm just going to start off this mini-review by saying that it was everything I expected and so much more.

Review and trailer after the jump.

Thank Gif It's Friday

Life's Too Short Episode Two Clip - Johnny Depp Is Pissed Off At Ricky Gervais (SPOILERS)

Episode Two of Life's Too Short aired yesterday in England, but everywhere else in the world must wait forever to see it. But thanks to YouTube, I can spoil another week of this awesome show for 99% of the world.

The episode starts off with Warwick Davis at a Sci-Fi/Fantasy convention, so it's loaded with Star Wars jokes and references. There aren't any clips available from those scenes, so I will feature the big guest star of the episode: a not-so-happy Johnny Depp.

The clip is pretty long (almost a 3rd of the episode!) so I'll set it up for you. Johnny Depp is playing Rumplestiltskin in an upcoming Tim Burton movie, so he calls Warwick Davis to come work with him for a week so he can get into the role. The job pays very well, and Warwick has no other work lined up, so he jumps on the opportunity.

Here's the scene. Pissed off Johnny Depp starts around the 4 minute mark, but it's all good.

Parts of this clip were floating around the internet about a month ago, and lots of people thought it was real footage. People are silly. 

New Pixar trailer: Brave

After several months of teaser images and clips, the trailer for Pixar's upcoming release Brave is FINALLY out. And it looks amazing! Other than 'O noes, I'm a girl and people won't let me do things', you don't get too much of a sense of the plot, but you've gotta trust that these guys are going to knock it out of the park no matter what. The animation is nothing short of breathtaking, so I'm super looking forward to this one. 2012 is going to be a big year for movies!

Movember Day 18: Mandy Patinkin

'Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare relentlessly ticked by my hairy upper lip until you can no longer stand it'.

(P.S. No more rhyming now - I mean it!)

Doraemon the professional

Probably not who I'd cast as Doraemon... but they made it work

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Phil McKraken

When I first conceived of the idea of having a blog at all for myself, back when blogzilly was first hatched back in February of 2009, it is ironic because the intent was to actually do a lot of different 'thematic' blog posts. Then, things just changed when, as you may or may not know, my 15 month old son went from an average, everyday kid one something totally different the next.

When that happens, when your life radically changes, whether it is from some tragic accident, maybe the loss of a loved one, or even a good thing, like winning the lottery, you go through this period of time where things almost aren't real. And I don't even know what to CALL that period of time.

I guess it depends a lot on what happened to you, 'natch.

For me, even though I have a written record from February 2009 through the summer of 2011, that period of time just feels like a strung-together clump of stages. Hard to describe what I mean. Maybe one day I'll try harder. Bottom line is, that my plans for blogzilly began to change. And I don't really regret it. I needed to choose a clearer path, I simply had to, for the sake of keeping it together as best I could, know what I mean?

I started to, less and less, write about games, toys, movies...all the stuff I loved (and still do love) and I put a lot of things I had started on the shelf.

Thanks to this place, I can now start pulling that stuff off the shelf and taking a look at it again.

But HOLY CRAP it is dusty...

Movember Day 17: Burt Reynolds!

Who isn't fascinated by famous people who look like pornstars, even though they aren't? For example, when first confronted with Megan Fox, wouldn't you naturally assume that she's a pornographic actress from the late nineties? And yet she's not! It's mind-boggling! And if we were going to think of a famous male actor that embodies a pornstar of the seventies or eighties, then we simply cannot go past the irrepressible Mr. Burt Reynolds!

What made him such a potent, virile, lady-pleasing powerhouse? His cocky smile? His rugged looks? His dense chest hair? No, it was his thick, lustrous moustache that clung seductively to his top lip like a reclining panther. Sleek, black, beautiful and dangerous.

Of course, with age, Burt has lost some of his potency. He's old now, he's not quite as famous or rich, and his once fine moustache has thinned and greyed. What was once a panther, is now an emaciated goat, reminding us all of our frail mortality. But let's enjoy him now in far happier days. This one's for you, Ladies!:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Your Future Husband

so dreamy...

Me and Mr Wolf by George and Monica Fort

Here's a super rad videoclip/animation short for "Me and Mr Wolf". It is taken from the album "Songs for the Last Werewolf" and is a duet Ms Piney Gir.

This film is the final part of the trilogy that began with 'The Show Must Go On' and continued with 'Kix'.

Movember Day 16: Ron Burgundy vs. Ron Swanson!

I was unable to decide between two famous Ron's with wonderful moustaches, so I'll let you decide. It's Swanson vs. Burgundy in another Movember Moustache Battle!

To help fuel the fight, I've posted some wonderful fan art of both after the jump. 

Doctor Who Micro-Figures Series 2

The folks here at Fruitless Pursuits love blindly buying stuff to see what we get. Its true - between our love of Dunnys and Lego and the various Japanese stuff thats out there, blind packaging is all the rage. Well, last night, I came across something so fantastic it goes to 11.

See who I got after the jump

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Monster Squad - Behind the scenes

How amazing is how all this stuff is done?!?! Beats the newer making of clips of unshaven dudes hunched over a computer screens. They need to find a way to jazz those videos up... I'm thinking making their computers work like the Minority Report.

Anyway there's a HUUUGE blog post that this video was supplementary to over at Monster History 101

A great read for all you creature film fans.

Barbara Walters interviews the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

So...this is a thing that happened:

You've gotta love the 90s. Frankly, Barbara Walters is lucky she didn't get a roundhouse kick to the head after laughing at Donatello's tears.

Found at Walmart: LOTR Mystery Pez and New (?) Star Wars: The Clone Wars Figures

So what kind of fun stuff is at Walmart right now? I was there 3 times on Saturday, so I managed to grab a few photos to share with you! They're starting to stock up on Christmas items and the toy section is getting beefier than usual. 

Is that a LOTR Pez set? 5 years too late? Nah... 

I have shots of the whole set, including the "exclusive" LOTR Pez dispenser only found in this set (although I've never seen any of these outside of the set). But before you keep reading... who do you think the exclusive one would be? Let us know in the comments how far off you were.

What's Out? 16th of Movember

New Comics (and other stuff) Day! Let me tell you what exactly to expect right after the cut.
(Spoiler: No Japanese trivia spouting dog-beans, sorry).

Movember Day 15: Baseball Players Had Some Sweet Staches.

Today's baseball players are mostly known for their beards, but back in the day, the players had some of the best moustaches ever.

In the film Mr. Baseball (an early 90's movie about a has-been player getting traded to a Japanese team), the producers knew exactly who to cast as the main baseball player. Of course, it was none other than Tom Selleck. We all know why they chose him. He wasn't necessarily known for his ability to play sports.

How do the real players hold up to the Tom Selleck stache? Whose stache was he channeling as Jack Elliot in Mr. Baseball? Click through the jump to see for yourself in our gallery of baseball's best moustaches.

Para Para Manga

I just found out that Para Para Manga is what they call Flip books in Japan.

Here's a beaut one by Tatsuyuki Tanaka.

He was the animator assigned to Tetsuo’s mutation scene at the end of Akira

This next one is animated by Shinya Ohira who is also an Akira vet, he also did the chase scene in the Animatrix short "Kid story"

If you want to nerd up on your Japanese animator knowledge here's a good place to start.

Thanks to Catsuka (the wonderful animation news site) and Halcyon Realms (a pretty great blog and the guy has a good bookstore that I have spent a bit of money at)

My Skyrim Diary: The Unexpected Threat That Nearly Ended it All!

While most AAA game releases these days favour a cinematic approach and continually hold the player's hand, along comes Skyrim - an epic, fantasy role-playing adventure that quickly let's go off your hand and pushes you into oblivion. You'll find yourself alone and unloved in a vast and intimidating open world, where the only person in control of your destiny is yourself. Skyrim is your oyster, and how you choose to explore, behave, interact and live is completely up to you, allowing each player a very personal and unique in-game experience.

I'm a mere level six young Nord who has really just started on my journey and yet I've already had some very memorable encounters. Here I will document the highlights of my first steps into a larger world, including the unforeseen and dangerous threat that nearly ended my Skyrim adventure entirely...

Pull up a seat by the campfire and join me after the jump...

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Hunger Games Trailer (Now in HD!)

Now, I freely admit I may not be the best person to cover this as I only learned of the Hunger Games after seeing that there was a board game of the same name that was based on the books, and in turn proceeded to learn nothing about them from that point, but this trailer is pretty fantastic, and is more or less designed for people like me who are all "WTF is this GMA? And why are you so excited about it?" But it did its job and I'm now going to find out way too much about this in a little bit. 

For folks who are familiar with this more than that there is a board game, please strike up a conversation in the comments section and tell me why I should or shouldn't be excited for this.

Metal Mondays - How do you make Game of Thrones MORE hardcore?

Easy. You add some additional instrumentation and electric guitar to an already epic and thoroughly awesome intro theme. I found this wonderful heavy adaption on youtube months and months ago, complete with heavy metal death roar in the middle of it, and saved it to my harddrive where I listen to it on average once a day.

Come revisit this with me. Good gravy I love this intro. And yes, it's supposed to be this small, sadly if it gets bigger it gets pixelly :(

For the love of god someone start screening Season Two.

Kickstart the Week: Andrew 12-Sided Dice Clay: A Web Series by Kevin Maher

This is really %$!*#?@ funny (and a bit NSFW). Just watch the clip to see what I'm talking about. It's the perfect combination of Andrew Dice Clay's style of comedy, mixed with geek culture (and it's definitely made by a geek on the inside - see the Frankenstein joke in the video). There are only 4 days left and the project still needs about $2000 in pledges, so go pledge now! We need more of this.

Click through the jump for all of the details.

Under the Man-croscope: Matchbox Parasites!

The Man-croscope! A mighty, masculine microscope that penetrates all which you held dear as a child and analyzes it with the cold, steely eye of an embittered adult! Where will its lens point this week?

When I was a kid, Transformers was an offensive juggernaut of vehicle-to-robot awesome! So I wouldn't be surprised if this runaway success left many other toy manufacturers feeling green with envy and limp with impotence. Manufacturer Matchbox had plenty of success with their die-cast metal cars but they didn't really do anything other than roll along the ground and get lost in the garden. You couldn't act out epic battles with a purple panel van. Not even master storytellers Pixar could get a decent narrative out of cars. Something needed to be done!

So Matchbox came up with Parasites! A half-arsed attempt to shove a sort of "transforming" robot in a die-cast car. Did the concept take off? Do they hold a fond place in our collective treasured memories? Or were they just a bit crap?

Source. Plus here's a tip! Don't google image search "parasites"!
Find out about my experience with them after the jump!

Comics Face: Business Ventures.

This is the 100th Comics Face installment at Webcomics Nation (some NSFW)
Some installments are several pages long plus there's this 24 hour one filed separately so it's no real big deal but still a nice round number.
Happy kind of anniversary?

Movember Day 14: Asterix and Obelix!

Although their thick Gaulish moustaches don't actually have any Samson-like, strength-giving symptoms, plucky boar-eating, Roman punching, holdouts, Asterix and Obelix, sported face foliage that played a crucial role in prolonging their power! You see, the magic potion that was responsible for their feats of strength would collect in their mighty moustaches, continually drip-feeding them enough raw energy to separate a centurion from his sandals!

In fact, the entire Gaulish village was blessed with magnificent mo's, and it should be no surprise that Getafix, the manufacturer of the magic, had one of the most splendid facial fronds of all! Those clean-shaven Roman bastards never stood a chance! Jesus, even the dog had one!

I'm hoping that in honour of Obelix especially, some of you will try out the long plaits, bushy moustache, no shirt combo. Come on you ginger gentleman! Give it a try!

Okay, we skipped day 13 somewhere there, but let's not let that get in the way of progress!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Saturday Night Board Games: Summoner Wars and Junta: Viva El Presidente

Hello game night! Where have you been?

It seems like I haven't had a game night in ages.. and with holidays, birthdays, and work trips taking up all of my recent Saturdays, I decided to go splurge and buy a few new games. We only had a few quick hours to read the instructions and jump into some quick games. So this recap is about that first awkward experience with a new game that you've never played before.

Click through the jump for the full recap.

“Rosa” by Jesus Orellana

Pretty dam impressive for 1 guy in 12 months! Hollywood thinks so too as they are in the process of turning it into a feature.

Here's its webpage where you can read about all the awards he has won, a bit about the creator and a few screenshots

Movember Day Twelve: The Beatles

A special treat this Sunday, four moustaches for the price of one! Now that's value!

Letting the team down with your goatee there, George. Sigh. These moustaches seem to be just as talented as the owners of the faces they occupy. While most mo's make the wearer look like some kind of filthy porn star, these ones make them look like...well...serial killers. But it's a step up, right?

Brisbane Supanova cosplay

My good friend Ness flew over to Brisbane last weekend for the Supanova pop culture convention, and was kind enough to send me through some photos when she got back. One thing's for sure: in Brisbane the Doctors are better looking, and they put in a way better effort than Perth. C'mon Perth! Where is OUR Nazgul? You can follow Ness on Twitter to find out some of the action from the weekend, and after that, head below the cut for some costumey goodness!

Dance, Batmans! DANCE!