Saturday, January 7, 2012

Irish Hand dancing

Former Riverdancers Suzanne Cleary & Peter Harding have once again brought their hand dancing style to the youtubes with a little bit more "burnt out rockstar".

Remember their first video where they were young and full of life

Oh the youtubes celebrity life must be a hard one

Clone Wars Recap S4 E13: Escape from Kadavo!

Hey! What?! Clone Wars is back!? The series return kind of snuck up behind me and bludgeoned me with a... um... wamprat? When we last left Anakin and Co. before the Christmas break, they were suffering the consequences of a ridiculously stupid plan on the Planet of the Slaver Wolverines. Due to Anakin's idiotic plot and Obi Wan's uncharacteristically rash foolishness, Ahsoka was in a cage, Obi Wan was in a slave facility, and Anakin was the pet of a sexy queen. Wait... that last one doesn't sound too bad. OH! Now I understand his plan!
Okay... she's not that hot...
So the question with the new episode is: how are they going to get out of this mess? And perhaps, more importantly, how long is going to take them to erase their past mistakes? Join me after the jump to find out!

Recap: Project Runway All-Stars, Episode 01

When I found out that the next season of Project Runway was going to be a) an all-stars season (no fresh talent) and b) would not feature my beloved Tim Gunn, I was pretty disappointed. But I strapped on my beaded wrist-spats and trimmed my asymmetrical hemline, and watched the first episode. And once I realised that most of the all-stars had been chosen not so much for their talent as for their personalities, I knew there would be plenty to keep me watching. 

(Note: please excuse the drawings. I have an iPad and I did these with my finger in front of the television. That is how it's going to be from now on.)

Alternative Comixology: Recommendations Beyond the New 52.

It's true that it took the DC Universe's colossal, sassy reboot to get me using Comixology and legitimately purchasing and downloading new books directly onto my ipad. But there's only so much self-aware Aquaman, Catwoman cleavage, and bad Bat-Dads a man can take, so I started to poke around the Comixology app to find some alternative books that might be a little better suited to my tastes. 

I lean suggestively towards indie, awkward and quirky, and thanks to some recent sales I got to try out a virtual bounty of brand new (to me) and eclectic comics that I perhaps wouldn't have otherwise discovered...

If you want to stretch yourself beyond the Big Two, then why not join me after the jump and we can be hipster elitest jerks. Together. <3

Dissecting The New Lego Friends Minifigure

We've seen the preview images of the new Lego minifigure shape for new Lego Friends line. It's a taller custom mold that, at a glance, doesn't fit in our familiar Lego universe. But is that the truth? Will any manly men bear to wander down the girl aisle of their toy store and actually purchase a set to see for themselves?

Well I decided to sacrifice myself for all of those who are too beef to take the plunge*. Click through the jump for a full dissection of the new minifigure, and the answer to the three-week old question... DOES THE HAIR FIT ON A REGULAR MINIFIGURE???

*I am not a manly man.
*I bought these for my 4 year old daughter.
*I then stole them from my 4 year old daughter.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mini Star Wars License Plates, Yo!

Check out these RADD (Rodians Against Drunk Driving) Star Wars miniature magnetic license plates! You can buy them at Target and put them on your mini car, bike, or even your droids.

A few of the packages were opened by some local kids who passed on gems like "DBL BLDED".

This led me to look it up and see what was possibly better than "DBL BLDED".

If you're curious, click through the jump to see an image of all of them. And when you're done, let us know... if you were to get a custom Star Wars license plate, what would you get? Would it be as cool as Mace Windu's "PRTYS OVR", or a stretch like Boba Fetts DSNGRTNS?

Phantom Menace Watch 1: Let's Party Like it's 1999!

This February a mysterious phantom menace will once again cast its shadow across our silver screens, as George Lucas' critically maligned Episode One returns, this time in glorious 3D! Personally I am 100% on board   with the film, because for good or bad it is amazingly entertaining. Did I mention that I also think that Batman and Robin is amazingly entertaining? Look, seriously, it's going to be great - turn that frown upside down, have a beer, and just go and have fun with it.

But what's exciting me the most now is the realisation that we are about to be flooded by all manner of bizarre merchandising tie-ins. Sure, it's not going to reach the outlandish levels of 1999 hype, but there's no reason we can't enjoy a 1999 lite. I am hereby committing to help cover some of the more bizarre tie-ins on the road to making our upcoming few months more phantomy and menacey. And what better way to kick things off then this  batshit insane commercial for Brisk Iced tea. Seriously, check this out...

Now honestly tell me you're not excited for a bit of Episode One! Come on! I am going to break each and every one of you.

It really feels good to finally break out the "Star War" label again...

Let's Talk About Jason Segal's Unabashed Love Letter to the Muppets.

On New Year's Day I had the rare treat of seeing an advance screening of The Muppets (it doesn't open until the 12th here in Australia) and I'm stilled kind of stunned how a frog, a bear, a pig, and a whatever can put a smile on my face. And bear in mind that I haven't actually smiled since 1984 when I saw Muppets Take Manhattan.

After decades of mishandling/manhandling, the Muppets are finally back in a satisfying way that successfully honours the warmth and humour that made them popular in the first place. Writer and lead actor Jason Segal gets it. This isn't another tired adaptation like Muppet Robin Hood or Muppet Bible Stories, or Muppets Schindler's List - that's all thankfully in the past. The Muppets is a joyful, yet poignant underdog story about how something once loved but long forgotten can sometimes make a comeback.

The premise itself is simple - the long estranged Muppets must rally back together and put on one last show to stop a rich Texan from turning their theatre into an oil well, but underlying this is a very real threat - this could very well be the Muppets last chance to winover their audience. If their show (and the film) doesn't raise enough money then this could very well be the end. Thankfully it isn't. The film has performed well and I hope its success leads to future opportunities.

So why did it work? And what could have been even better? Join me after the jump and we'll figure it out...

Taylors Top Ten Board Games of 2011

2011 was  crazy year for me, and somewhere along the way I rediscovered that I love playing board games. Like my fellow poster J Tagmire, I too have bought way too many games. This was not helped by working at a game store for the first 6 months of the year, though it did help me truly refine my tastes in games very quickly. I'll have some honorable mentions in the mix as well, but ultimately, sticking to the same criteria as J, this is my top 10 for games that not only did I enjoy, but made it back to the table after the first play.

Follow Friday(?): Horse_ebooks

I'm going to be up front with you guys right now: I have no clue what's going on with @horse_ebooks on Twitter, but whatever it is, it's...something. The website that it lists in its profile seems to be a dump of ebooks about horses (naturally), but the actual Twitter feed is one of true majesty.

Every hour or so, a pearl of wisdom drops that cannot really be fully understood. When @horse_books tells us that "Most people know that AdSense isn t [sic] profitable anymore," we all may nod in solemn agreement. When @horse_ebooks informs us that "Knives should be sharpened and balanced with great care, and should then be," we all wait with bated breath to find out what is never to come next. The entire feed is filled with such sugar cubes of wisdom.

Perhaps we are all being trolled on a massive level. Maybe it's less sinister and it's just a spambot gone wrong. Perhaps @horse_ebooks is being autobiographically correct that "The Rich Jerk Has Made a Fortune Using This Exact Method." I'll keep watching to find out, though.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Call of the Mild

Miss me?

Somehow, I missed my weekly obligation. Kind of like church. Though I have been missing THAT weekly obligation since I was, I dunno, 22 or something. Well, to be honest, I haven't really been MISSING it all that much. I prefer worshiping the bone-crunching hits of the NFL every Sunday.

But that is neither here and, coincidentally, neither there.

Speaking of the NFL, did anybody actually play Madden 2012 this year? I did not. My gaming was a bit limited because of budgetary reasons. I had to pick and choose what I devoted my X-Box time to. In fact, so tight was my wallet, that I played Borderlands for the first time THIS YEAR, since it was twenty bucks. Great game. But back to Madden.

I skipped it. Why? Because Madden 2011 sucked balls. In my humble opinion. Madden 2011 offered little, if anything, over its predecessor, and so when it came time to move on to 2012, that memory, along with a CLEVELAND BROWN on the cover of the box, left me flat.

Something else really took the wind from my sails when it came to game sequels in 2011. Wanna know what it was?

Lego Batman 2 Announced: Now with Extra Added Superman!

Our well of constant Star Wars stories has truly dried up, but at least we still have our two fail-safes, Batman and Lego! And why not combine the two in the freshly announced Lego Batman 2 for every video game system imaginable (Xbox, PS3, DS, Wii, Dreamcast, Gameboy Advance, Sissytendo 5000). But wait, this time there's a twist! Cranky loner Batman will now be joined by persistent hangers-on Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern!

Seriously, how embarrassing is it for Superman and Co. that this game isn't called Lego Justice League or even Lego Super Friends? This announcement is the most blatant official admission that Batman is King and everyone else is his bitch. They're not even pretending any more. Superman is an impervious alien who can punch you into the sun and Batman is a crazy powerless human that dresses up like a bat to make villains piss. And guess which one the public voted for? What a wonderful world we live in.

Expect it to be released around the middle of the year, which is good, because there aren't too many games announced so far for 2012 that I'm excited about. I'll pick up this one for sure. For full press release details I'm going to drop the pretense and send you over to Joystiq where I heard about this first.

New Weekly Comic By Steff Bomb

You probably know Steff Bomb from her awesome designer plush creations like Grumble Buns, Ice Cream Sammy, or her amazing plush AT-AT.

But did you know she's doing a weekly comic?!


This episode of the children's cartoon "The Thing" is a nice parody of the John Carpenter horror movie "Pingu"

I can't wait for the kids cartoon "they Live" to do a parody of Carpenters "Gumby".

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Lion King Rises

This makes the Lion King infinitely more interesting to me. I would watch it a bajillion times if it were true.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

J. Tagmire's Top Ten Board Games of 2011

I bought a lot of games in 2011. There are killer games that are obviously missing from my list and I either: own them and haven't played them yet (Yomi, Ascending Empires, Discworld: Ankh Morpork), want them, but haven't seen them at retail (A Few Acres of Snow, Food Fighters, Flash Point: Fire Rescue), or I just don't know anything about them at all (is Eclipse some kind of Twilight game?).

But instead of those games, these are the top  2011 games that I played and loved. For some reason, these kept coming back to the table. Some were due to the amazing concept behind the game, and others were for the quality of the design and components. And in the end, all of them were a lot of fun.

Here are my top 10 board games of 2011.

What's Out? 4th of January 2012

The first week of Twenty Doz! If your resolution was to buy more things and/or read more poor jokes than you are in for a treat! Bonus: This year I will keep a count of how many times overplayed words show up on these lists!

Movies Worth Buying!

Hi, everybody!  Did you miss me?  I missed you.  No, really!  Okay, enough of that.  I’m sorry I didn’t post anything last week.  I could lie and say that it was only because there was just one thing that came out last week that was worth mentioning…but it would be mostly a lie.  There were really TWO things.  Also, the holidays caught up with me, and I didn’t realize what day it was until after it was over.  Because my sense of the passage of time has always been funky.

So, just to pass the time before I cut to the jump, did you get any cool movies over the holidays?  Did you SEE any cool movies over the holidays?  Personally, I’ve been making a concerted effort to actually watch all the movies I’ve bought over the years…and then never gotten around to actually putting into the DVD player.  So, I’ve watched a LOT of stuff over the last couple of weeks.  I should do a thing about it, maybe.  Give everyone a peek into my movie collection and see if they can figure out why I’m still single.

Anyway, let’s get into it.  There really were only two titles released last week that I thought were worth mentioning, so I’m going to go ahead and do them first.  As always, I’m including links to the movies on Amazon, but feel free to buy your movies anywhere.

The list begins after the jump:

Nerd History: Richard Potter, America's First Magician

Right before Christmas, my wife and I with some friends went to Old Sturbridge Village in western-central Massachusetts for their Christmas by Candlelight program. Old Sturbridge Village is one of those "living history" parks where historical interpreters act and work as if they lived in the time frame the museum represents. They had all sorts of fun little things going on - a barn where people were learning the dance from A Christmas Carol, some carolers in the town square, carriage rides, etc.. It was a good time!

My wife and I, when seeing the program, got excited for one event in particular: a magic act. We enjoy magicians anyway, and seeing Victorian-era magic seemed like a fun way to get out from the cold for a little bit. The magician, Bob Olsen, was great with the kids in the audience and had a simple, engaging act, but he presented himself as someone I had never heard of: Richard Potter, America's First Native-Born Magician. It turns out that his story is actually pretty interesting, so read on if you'd like to hear about a pioneer of the arcane here in the United States.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Stryder's Favourite Comics ...Release Date 12/28/2011

Happy New Year again!  It may be 2012, but we still have to look at the last week of 2011's comics!  Ready??

Teen Titans #4 - Teen Titans this month is tied for my favourite comic of the week!  Really the team has finally started to come together in a way that's just fun and great to read!  There's an excellent balance of characterization and action, everyone gets a cool moment, and (don't call me) Wonder Girl gets her second really amazing move in four issues!  Not to mention the reinclusion and subsequent amusement value of Kid Flash!  Plus we learn more about other new-to-me-at-least characters Bunker and Solstice, both of whom seem to have a lot of potential.  Superboy finally makes an appearance, working for his creators against the Titans - specifically against Wonder Girl, and of course, hi-jinxs ensue.  Once again, I am left waiting impatiently for issue #5.  So far, the only character I am NOT really feeling is "Skitter", the girl who accidentally turns into a bug.  She's a little too emo "New Mutants" style for me.  Regardless, a great issue in what is, so far at least, one of my favourite new monthly comics.  Do I say that too often???

More after the jump!