Saturday, March 17, 2012

Review: John Carter (of Mars!)

There's been a lot of recent jibber-jabber about how Disney's classic sci-fi epic John Carter is a massive box office failure, with little chance of recovering its enormous $250 million budget. The film is performing far better overseas, but American audiences don't seem to want to give the film a chance, perhaps assuming that expressive CGI aliens and arena battles will re-open Star Wars prequel wounds? Personally, I find this reticence to be a little bit silly.

I've previously defended at least the concept of John Carter because in my mind, why wouldn't you at least give the film the benefit of the doubt? It's the live-action directorial debut of Pixar legend Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo and Wall-E) and - not only is it based on classic literature - but it's about a grizzled wild west dude who gets super powers on Mars and beats the holy living shit out of a white ape. Who wouldn't want to see that? Sissies and babies, I'll wager.

Well, now I have actually seen the film with my own unwaivering eyes and can speak about it with knowledge and wisdom instead of wild speculation and bravado. What did I think? Join me after the (ridiculously high space) jump and all will be revealed!...

Clone Wars Recap S4 E22: Revenge (Finale!)

Season Four of the increasingly ambitious Clone Wars has finally reached its end with the long promised return of short-lived, neatly-sliced, fan-favourite Darth Maul. At the end of last week's episode Brothers we got our first look at how insane and twisted the cobbled together Spider-Maul had become, and now this week's show aims to give us a scant 22 minutes of Maul's actual revenge on a floppy-haired Kenobi.

Will it live up to the hype? Join me after the jump where I will regale you with the truth...

By George It's Metal!

Is it October yet?

Luke brought up the game Bioshock: Infinite as one of the ones he was looking forward to when we were discussing the very few games that we had in our scopes for 2012. The Bioshock series has been a ton of fun for me, certainly, and I may be one of the few people who actually liked Bioshock 2 more than the first game.

Certainly, it looks by all accounts that all of us will be enjoying this newest installment in the series, come Fall, even though it has very little if nothing at all to do with Rapture. In essence, toweling off and soaring amidst the clouds looks like it might be fun.

I hope they do eventually plan to return to Rapture someday however...I don't feel that the place has had its story completely told. Something does not feel...complete.

This city in the clouds holds some promise though...I am a bit torn on this Motorized Patriot. I have not decided yet if I absolutely love it or not.

I'll let you know.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday night videoclips

I am having trouble writing something about this

Oh and there are more... so many more


Keeping up with the wrassling posts here are some animation shorts by Yann Ben Alluch

Vote For O.M.F.G. Figures Series 2!

I've already talked at length about October Toy's brilliant O.M.F.G. figures, a tribute to the bizarre flesh-coloured mini-mutant M.U.S.C.L.E figures of the eighties. After a successful Kickstarter project, series one brought us memorable characters like The Phantom Shithouse and the Crawdad Kid. Well, the good news is that now the good folks at October have compiled over 400 design submissions for a second series and you get to vote for which ones you think should be included.

All the action is happening on the October Toys Forum in the voting thread here, and this link where you can see all of the submissions (VERY image heavy).

But now I have to make this all about me, right? So here are the five that I am voting for, starting with...

To see my remaining four choices, join me after the jump!

Counterpoint: Ric Flair was the Worst

While Tom makes a good case for Ric Flair's legend status in his post yesterday, I submit the above video as evidence that Ric Flair was, in fact, the worst. While we can look back at our childhoods and wonder why we were ever dumb enough to think that, say, the Undertaker was actually being controlled by a fat dude with an urn, I watch the video above of Ric Flair auditioning for World Cup-level soccer and wonder why I ever believed wrestling was truly real to begin with.

A bad flop here and there is fine - these guys perform at a high physical level on a regular basis. But Ric Flair actively made this part of his act. This is bad on so many levels, and really a poke in the eye of the guys who went out there and took their roles in the wrestling world seriously even though they were playing over-the-top characters in completely unrealistic situations.

It's stunning to me that the WWF/E and WCW never reined this in. Of course, Flair may have been too big a personality to be held back, but, really? This is the worst.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thank GIF it's Friday

My mostly animal-based GIFs have taken a turn for the weird.

Diablo 3 - WE HAVE AN ETA

May 15th, people. MAY FIFTEENTH. Let this post be the formal notification of my disappearance from the internet, my family, and my place of work for at least a year.

Interestingly this news dropped whilst I was playing World of Warcraft, and you can believe  that tradechat went ballistic. This is going to be EPIC, GUYS. Stay tuned for a very-much-related post regarding a certain wonderful item of D3 merchandise that I recieved for my birthday.


Bootleg Street Fighter Figures!

I picked up these bootleg Street Fighter figures last year and they've been sitting in my garage since. The packaging is super awesome, but I decided to finally free them of their cardbacks and let them do what they're meant to do... FIGHT!

Want to see them out of the package? Click through the jump for images of all 8, including a very special image for our very own Luke Milton (and all of the other Chun-Li worshippers out there). I know that Luke doesn't like when Chun-Li doesn't show her legs. Well, these bootleg figures don't mess around... You'll see. 

"A Short Stay in Hell" May Take a Long-Term Residence in Your Mindhole

A good day for me is often just finding the perfect book. Not just a good book, but the perfect book. I used to be a librarian, so sometimes that perfect book wasn't for me, but was for other people. Sometimes a book comes along that is not only the perfect book, however, but is the perfect book about finding that perfect book because your eternity depends on it. Steven L. Peck's A Short Stay in Hell is very much that book - a book I found via Goodreads and received an advance copy of, and was simply blown away.

The premise is very simple - Hell is different for different people, there's only one true religion (and you probably don't subscribe to it), and the hero of our story, Soren, is in Hell and has been sent to a version of the Library of Babel, a library that contains every possible book that could ever possibly be written, and the only way out is to find your own story in a book somewhere on the seemingly limitless shelves.

The book is great on a number of levels - it has a really fun version of Hell as is, and the book really instills the right about of depth and despair inherent in the concept while leaving room for some humor and light-heartedness. While I don't know if I can go so far as to say that there's a deeper message here, there's plenty of thoughts and ideas that come about from reading this regardless, whether it be about the reality of humanity, the inanity of seemingly pointless tasks, or just the concept of what may very well be infinite or forever.

I really have no complaints about this book. Even the ending was as immensely satisfying as it was unexpected, and that is a rarity in a lot of fiction. At novella length, it makes me wish it went on longer in some respects, but also makes me very happy that there's absolutely no filler to have to deal with. I feel like this book is much better than it has any business being, and that's just a great find amongst the many shelves we have on earth. I cannot recommend this book enough, and the ebook version (which I will update this with a link once it is updated when the book comes out next week) is only $3, so you really have no excuse. The book may be here for eternity, for all we know, but I'm reasonably assured you will not be.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How Ric Flair WOOOOOOO-ed Me

As a child, I ate my vitamins and said my prayers, to be like Hulk Hogan. Now that I am a full-grown adult, I strut around and yell WOOOOOOO, to be like The Man.

Growing up, Ric Flair was a second thought. Hulkamania was still running wild, although scandal and mediocrity was creeping into the WWF universe. WCW, in my mind, was a second-tier outfit, and for all I knew, they had to change their name from NWA to prevent a lawsuit with Ice Cube and Eazy-E. Flair’s boatload of titles didn’t impress me, either; Joe Montana had four Super Bowl rings and I still hated him.

Years and years passed, and no matter how hard The Hulkster tried to soil his reputation as my favorite non-Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat wrestler, he was still The Real American. Hogan Knows Best, Mr. Nanny, Thunder In Paradise and his ill-fated spaghetti restaurant, “Pastamania”, did nothing but further endear myself to Mr. Terry Bollea. No messy divorce, steroid scandal, or “Fingerpoke of Doom” could push Hulk Hogan off my Mount Rushmore of Awesome.

No, in order for Hulk Hogan to cede his rightful position as The Coolest Professional Wrestler of All Time, a more flamboyant man would have to beat him.

Lonely Little Teacup

Quite the intimate animation short about a lonely teacup.

Is this NSFW??? I'm not sure. There's no nudity but it feels quite tea pornographic

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What's Out? 14th of March 2012

What are we even doing? Looking at what comes out today, that's what:

The Great Battle of Skyrim

Here's a nicely staged and edited machinima battle made from Skyrim of 500 Draugr, 200 skeletons, 500 Dwarven Warriors and a dragon using mods and console commands

Definitely turn the vid up 720p to really appreciate the epic battle.

I wonder how powerful this guys computer rig must have been. I'm guessing it was something like this

(extra nerd points if you can guess where this is from)

Kickstart the High Seas - An Interview with the Designers of Fleet

If your a regular here, you know that we are smitten with games, nerd culture and the DIY mentality. Which is why Kickstarter tends to get a lot of love from us, both on the site as well as our bank accounts. Recently Fleet, a new board game project much akin to a euro card game in play and style, hit the scene and hit its funding goal of $6,000 in less than 12 hours. We reached out to Matt Riddle and Ben Pinchback and had an opportunity to talk with them about their current project, thoughts on Kickstarter as a platform, games and what the future holds.

Read our interview with them after the jump.

Celebrity Apprentice Recaps: Episode Four! The Unravelling!

If you have any sense of fair play then this episode will infuriate you.

We already knew the tasks were a farce with Team Trump trading business for buffoonery, but in Episode Four the entire show implodes as a limp, wrong-headed Trump (puppeteered by unseen producers) makes a pre-determined firing which has some unexpected consequences. A major player leaves as his bewildered team is unnecessarily punished.

I’ve honestly never seen an episode of the Apprentice quite like this before. Quite frankly, the once fierce Trump seems short-sighted and silly, when a smart, strong team rallies against his weak (and scripted?) assumptions and successfully manage to school him at every turn. By the time the credits roll it feels like he has lost the respect of everyone - except for his sycophantic children who bray like donkeys and congratulate him for enforcing the worst decision ever made.

This episode makes me want to shit a kitten into a bonfire in front of a bus filled with overly sensitive kids.

Want to know more? Join me after the jump and we’ll try to make sense of this mess!

Nerd History: A Roster of Dead Wrestlers

While looking for something thematic for this week, I ended up falling down the rabbit hole of the Deadspin feature Dead Wrestler of the Week. If you're unaware, it's a cornucopia of different critical biographies of (mostly) dead wrestlers, overwhelmingly from the late 1980s and early 1990s. You'll spend entirely too much time reading these, I promise.

It should be said as well that The Masked Man, David Shoemaker, does a semi-regular column about professional wrestling today over at Grantland. I don't watch pro wrestling at all anymore, but his articles still end up being a must-read for me.

The Donald Duck Darth Maul: Why Pop Culture Mash-Ups Can Truly Please No One

I just saw this at fantastic Star Wars collecting site Rebel Scum and thought it was worthy of a little rant. Although neither toy pictured is particularly pleasing, I'd like to especially draw your attention to the plush Donald Duck Darth Maul:

Now I'll ask the obvious question. Who is this for?

And the obvious answer? Fans of Donald Duck and Darth Maul.

Okay, that's your ideal audience, but it's pretty niche, right? Ridiculously so. It's more likely that this is a novelty item aimed at either rabid Disney collectors (of which there are many) or rabid Star Wars collectors (of which there are many) who will put pretty much add anything to their collection if it's something they don't have. 

But I can't help looking at this unlikely monstrosity and feeling that it's going to dissatisfy fans of Darth Maul, and alienate fans of Donald Duck. Once again, the forced pop culture mash-up scoops up some bucks but effectively pleases no one. 

I'm a Star Wars fan, and I like Donald Duck, as in I "respect" Donald Duck because he's an ill-tempered sailor who doesn't wear pants. But do I need a Donald Duck plush? No. And believe me, I've bought some pretty odd stuff. And trust me, regardless of whether you lean towards Lucas or Disney, if you buy this thing, you're going to be embarrassingly trying to explain just what the hell it is to everybody who comes to your house. "So... you know who Donald Duck is, right? Okay... well... Have you ever seen The Phantom Menace? Right... Look, just try to go with me here... Sigh..."

Good luck with that!

The Book Was Better Episode 13: Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium!

Number 13 is definitely bad luck for us as we explore the novelisation (AKA 'Magical Movie Novel') of the "charming" film Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium. Like Dustin Hoffman, we give the performance of our lives as we reveal exactly what the phrase "Oh, flapdoodle!" means.

Tuesday Bounty! Glorious Bounty Gets Stomped!

It's Tuesday again and that can only mean a brand new page of ongoing sci-fi/humour webcomic Glorious Bounty, drawn by the steady, reliable paws of Edward J. Grug III and written and coloured by me!

When we last saw the Bounty crew, Deevis and Bruce (in temporary robot bodies) were about to get grappled by a giant, armoured alien target who was way out of their league. Luckily pudgy lizard friend Funf threw himself in front of his doodz. Will this end badly? You know it will!

Click to embiggen or check it out at the official site.

And if you're a surly hold-out, then you need to wisen up and realise that it's never too late to start reading Glorious Bounty! In fact you can go all the way back to chapter one RIGHT HERE. And I am going to goddamn badger you until you do!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Stryder's Favourite Comics - 3/07/2012

Hey folks!  Me again...Only a few comics this week BUT one of them represents a second chance for everyone's favourite spoiled rich kid with a bow and arrow!  Love it or hate it (and most people seem to be choosing the latter) we also see the NEW DC Comics logo used on books for the first time this month.  So without further ado, let's get right to it!

Green Arrow #7 - The new creative team of Ann Nocenti and Harvey Tolibao (and the rest!) are here to try to save Green Arrow from being boring and routine!  What do they bring to the mix?  For starters, a much different look, one that somehow manages to be both cleaner and more gritty than before.  The art in this book really shines and I'm impressed.
Then there's the story.  It's interesting.  A set of hot blonde triplet girls attacks Green Arrow and then immediately surrenders.  They're his biggest fans and they invent arrow weapons.  Won't he PLEASE come see their lab in Canada?  They want to work for him...and maybe more. 

Well, Arrow, being a man and all, definitely wants to "work with" the hot blonde triplets.  Careful, MAY be a trap...

The interesting thing about this book is how it ends and the potential the ending creates for an about-face in the overall book direction.  Teased is the possibility that Green Arrow wants to quit.  Not quit being Green Arrow, but quit being Oliver Queen!?!  He may just get his opportunity...only time will tell.

I do have to say, after just one issue, I'm already more interested than I was in the initial 6.  Hopefully this continues!  Green Arrow may just be saved!

But that's not all!  Check out Action Comics and Detective Comics after the jump!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday Morning Tumblr Timewater of the Day

Given that we're in Marchmania mode here, this image, posted on Thusday at one of my favorite Tumblrs, Special Bored, seemed appropriate to share. The Tumblr is by Sean Berthiume of Vinny's Pizza in Brooklyn, NY - a new board is posted daily with the specials of the day revolving around the subject of the artwork. So whether you want a Sausage Link to the Pasta or The Chipnotoad, you'll know you've come to the right place.