Saturday, July 21, 2012

El Professore Movie Review: Five Element Ninja (aka Super Ninja)

Five Element Ninja (aka Super Ninjas)

Director: Chang Cheh
Starring: Cheng Tien Chi, Lo Mang, Chan Wai Man, Chen Pei Hsi
 * * * *
This is one of my favorite kung fu movies and definately one of the bloodiest. I'm still pretty amazed that this splatterific pic was shown almost uncut on Sunday afternoon UHF T.V. back in the '80s.

Full review after the jump.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thank Gif It's Friday

Friday was always "Pizza Day" when I was a kid. Lately it's rolled into Saturday and Sunday too. This is definitely not a bad thing.

Music Videos to Brighten Your Day

It's dark and dreary here (and I will just assume it is everywhere) and people are getting shot in movie theaters. A crummy day all around. So, to avoid reality for the next 10 minutes, let's immerse ourselves in two really cool music videos.

Eytan and the Embassy - Everything Changes
I caught this video on CNN of all places. It's the last place you would expect to see one of the best music videos in recent years, but it's more likely you'll see it there than on MTV (zing!). The video set a world record for the most costume changes in one video, but the amount of costume changes doesn't compare to how well they executed the tiny impressions of David Bowie, Kurt Cobain, Bruce Springsteen, Weird Al Yankovic and 14 others. It's all one shot, and pretty flawless. And not to mention, the song is pretty damn awesome.

Walk Off The Earth - cover of Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye

This one has well over 100 million views, but I had no clue it even existed until a few days ago and I've watched it at least 10 times since. In the video, a band covers the wonderful hit song "Somebody That I Used To Know", which has been done about 100 million times before.. but this is much, much different. A five-piece band performs the entire song on one guitar. You need to see it, and looking at the numbers.. you probably already have.

Lego Minifigs Series 8 Images Disappoint?

What has impressed me most about Lego's blind-packaged minifigs series is how creatively left-field some of the figure choices have been. We've had minotaurs, sea-kings, rabbit men, the Statue of Liberty, a genie. We've seen a lot of uniquely sculpted pieces and characters we never would have imagined.

Well the much anticipated Lego Minifigs Series 8 have finally been revealed and, for me at least, something is a little rotten in the state of Denmark! There's a few fun figures, but don't a lot of these seem kind of... bland?

Santa, the pirate and even the alien overlord all appear to be close to what we've had in regular sets. We've already had a skiier, and a cheerleader, and that robot helmet has been used before. In fact a lot of these accessories have been used before. Is there much new here? I'm assuming the bat - as cool looking as it is - is readily available in the Monster Fighters line. I kind of dig the DJ and the Shakespearian actor but this is very much looking like the first set that I won't go out of my way to collect. In fact I can't see myself grabbing more than a couple of these.

What do you think?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

An Interview With Author Amanda Mondoux - and a Book Giveaway!

A few months ago, I reviewed a new fantasy book, Forbidden Era, by Amanda Mondoux. The book is a well-done fantasy, and Mondoux is one of the many authors attempting the self-published route via Kindle/Nook/Smashwords etc.

Amanda Mondoux was kind enough to give us some time to talk about the book, writing, self-publishing, and cupcakes. That interview is after the jump.

Amanda was also kind enough to provide us with a giveaway - a print copy of Forbidden Era. There aren't a whole lot of these available, so this is a cool addition. Check the end of the interview for the details.

Anyway, enjoy the interview!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New Webseries! Written By A Kid with Guest Star Joss Whedon

When Geek and Sundry launched a few months ago there was one show that I really wanted to see... and that was Written By A Kid. It's a high quality production of whatever may be in the mind of a five year old kid (and in today's episode.... we see that it's basically just a lot of guns).

Unfortunately the show wasn't ready then, but today it has launched! This week it's "Scary Smash", the 7-day adventure of a one-eyed monster that terrorizes the land after destroying a milk truck. It's a great idea, done very well... and with bonus points for casting Joss Whedon as the hero. Dave Foley and Kate Micucci also star in this tale of the epic struggle of man, monsters and milk. You're guaranteed to crack a smile a few times (look at that tiny gun!), and maybe even shed a tear.

Check it out.

Next weeks episode is called "Goth Boy". I hope the guest star is Tim Burton or that kid that plays the Amazing Spider-Man.

Rise of the Guardians trailer

We've got a long time to wait for Marvel's movie about Guardians who guard things to come out, so in the meantime enjoy the new offering from Dreamworks, Rise of the Guardians.

Just in case you're struggling to place some of those very familiar-sounding voices, we've got Star Trek's Chris Pine as Jack Frost, Alec Baldwin as North, the goddamn Wolverine Hugh Jackman as Bunnymund, Home & Away alumni Isla Fisher as the Tooth Fairy, and suave English gent Jude Law as the baddie Pitch. Oh man, Hollywood cast an English person as the bad guy? HOW NOVEL, HOLLYWOOD.

This trailer sucked me in a lot more than I thought it would, and even if the movie doesn't end up being as good as the trailer might lead you to believe, it'll still be a fantastic one to see in 3D (and its not very often I say that about a movie these days).

Review: Funko Pop Vinyl: Catwoman, Mahna Mahna, Slave Leia!

How the hell do you review figures from Funko's omnipresent Pop Vinyl line?! If you've seen a single picture of one of these figures then you kind of know everything you'll ever need to know. But you know what? It's Wednesday, and it's a slow news day, and Batman opens tomorrow, and why don't you and I just chill and relax and take a little tour of this eclectic trio of Pop Vinyl figures. We'll just shoot the shit about them. It'll be fun.

So take my hand - you know, you have real pretty hands - and join me... after the jump!

America's Got Talent Quarterfinal Recaps: WTF?

This was definitely the worst night yet for the America's Got Talent quarterfinals. Acts were botched and boring, and out of the first half of the show it looked like none (maybe one?) wold go through. Thankfully it picked up in the end with a few amazing performances, including Lightwire Theater, which may be our winner in the end.

Click through the jump for videos of my top 4 and thoughts on the others. (Quick warning too, YouTube seems to kill the formatting here. Sorry!)

UPDATED with PRE-ORDER INFO! Hot Toys The Dark Knight Rises Bane Revealed!

From midnight tonight, in cinemas across the country, fetish mask wearing sadist Bane, portrayed by a hairless Tom Hardy, is going to be using a terrified Batman's pelvis as a trampoline. To celebrate this fact, our dreamy idols at Hot Toys have revealed their Dark Knight Rises Bane 1/6th scale collectible figure...

Update! Here's the pre-order info! Grab him from Sideshow here:
Hot Toys DX Series Bane - The Dark Knight Rises - Sixth Scale Collectible Figure
Or as an added bonus, pre-order the camouflaged Tumbler here (or at least check it out):
Hot Toys Movie Masterpiece Series Batmobile - Camouflage Tumbler Sixth Scale Collectible

And more images of Bane... after the jump!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What's Out? 18th of July 2012

Dark Knight Rises, that's what's out. But let's look at comics and such anyway:

Nerd History: The European Island of Brazil

One of my favorite blogs is Strange Maps, which shared this story about the Island of Brazil. It's bizarre, and I like sharing my favorite blogs with people, so let's explore.

So the story goes, Brazil - or Hy-Brazil, as it was known - was part legend, part myth, part cartography error. John Cabot was believed to have been there in the late 1400s. It was apparently difficult to find because it was perpetually surrounded by mist, only becoming visible one day every seven years. It was discovered, and then undiscovered, and discovered, and undiscovered, over and over again until it stopped existing in the minds of people for good in the late 1800s.

It's a bizarre little factoid from a site full of them. Definitely spend some time at Strange Maps, you'll likely lose an entire afternoon. Also, if this sort of thing is up your alley, check out the book Lost States, a tribute to all the proposed states in the United States of America that never came to be.

The Book Was Better Podcast Episode 22: Batman Forever!

The Book Was Better is a podcast where Jessica McLeod and I take the hastily-written tie-in novelisations of your favourite genre films and discuss, dissect, mock and make gross innuendo about them. Today we witness esteemed comic scribe Peter David’s desperate attempts to justify Joel Schumacher’s fabulous first entry into the Batman franchise, Batman Forever!

Can you believe that David takes a full 65 pages of small print text before he even catches up with the events of the film? You will! This one is a colossal challenge, even for Bat-fans! Find out all about it by stabbing us repeatedly into your ears!

Download Episode 22: Batman Forever from the official site or subscribe to us on iTunes!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Stryder's Favourite Comics - 7/11/2012

A day early this week as my modem is limping along and likely to stop working arbitrarily at any second.  Gotta post while the posting's good, so let's get right into some new comics!

Batman #11 - "I try to let go...but even as I do...the city...she calls me back to her.  She saves me.  she reminds me...we still have work to do."

The finale (at least for now) to the "Court of Owls" saga that's been Batman's omnipresent concern since issue #1 is here at last!  Batman has to fight a twisted reflection of what he himself is and find it in himself to overcome the trauma and torment of this ordeal.  For Bruce to accept that he's been wrong and misled and nearly beaten and yet still carry on the fight...even worse, for Bruce to accept that he can't learn all the answers right now, nor can he go back to the way things were...this takes a special kind of strength.
Well, that's sufficiently vague, isn't it?  There's a big mystery in this issue, one that was teased in Issue #10 and one which I still refuse to spoil...all I can say is that sometimes there IS no black and white answer. 

The "Court of Owls" has been possibly my favourite Batman story ever.  It's as strong as any I've read, and far stronger than most.  Usually I find the last couple books in a long run like this a bit anti-climactic but this wrap up, both the main story and the "Fall of the House of Wayne" back-up story, are simply perfect.  Scott Snyder is brilliant and he's made a life-long fan out of me over the last 11 months.  I can't wait to see what comes next!

Of course there's a lot more from Gotham City and beyond, after the JUMP!

Nerdcraft - Etsy Skyrim roundup

Sadly you can't be too topical with these. You need to let those crafty types go away and scheme and plot and knit furiously. Happily in this instance they've yielded some absolute gold, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't seriously considering a few. Or all of them.

Lets hang out below the break and exchange crochet patterns and plasticine!

Review: New Star Wars Figures! Shae Vizla! Nom Anor! Aayla Secura! Starkiller!

These days new Hasbro 3 3/4 Star Wars action figures are about as rare as exposed genitals in a children's colouring in book, but I've managed to get hold of four of them, thanks to our friend Paul at Figures Direct though, rather than finding them on the shelves...

They are short-lived Jedi seductress Aayla Secura, novel-dwelling evil space-mokey Nom Anor, the Force Unleashed's secret, secret apprentice Starkiller, and The Old Republic's Boba-with-boobs Shae Vizla!

And if you're real good I'll tell you all about them... after the jump!

Review: Barbarians: A Handbook for Aspiring Savages!

Have you ever longed to wield the rough-hewn battle-axe or snug fur underpants of the mighty barbarian warrior? Or would you be surprised to learn that many barbarians continue to walk among us in modern day? (I have actually just learned that apparently ALL Australians are, in fact, barbarians. Hopefully I fall into the “high-functioning” category or the rest of what I write won’t make a whole lot of sense). Well, regardless of whether you need to know about barbarians for educational or personal reasons, Barbarians: A Handbook for Aspiring Savages has got you covered. And thanks to our new friends at Insight Editions, we have a copy!

You can check it out at Insight’s site here, or to find out what I (as an honorary barbarian) thought... join me after the jump!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

'Oz: The Great and Powerful' trailer

Take a look at the first trailer for Sam Raimi's 'Oz: The Great and Powerful', a Wizard of Oz prequel that sees James Franco's wonderful Wiz get on the wrong side of a cranky tornado and be transported from black & white Boringville to technicolour LSD-land!

That's a pretty good-looking trailer, I must say. If you hadn't already guessed by extreme amount of 'stuff floating in the air and coming at your face', this will be in 3D. Looks like we're getting all the witches and some flying monkey-like things, but no confirmation yet on singing midgets. We'll know the midget status for certain when the movie is released on March 8, 2013.

Bourne Legacy: Bourne Harder

In some sort of massive oversight I seem to have never posted this trailer for 'Hawkeye: Action Hero', or as everyone else seems to be calling it, 'The Bourne Legacy'.

By the looks of it we're going to be in for a whole lot of crazyfun action sequences. I've never seen a Bourne, so I'm just going to naively assume that I can just jump on the train at this station and I'll still eventually get to the destination. Something something, goverment conspiracy. Something something, everybody dies.

I'm sure no one is under any illusion that I'm going to see this movie for anything other than superficial reasons, but in case you weren't sure, I'm just going to leave

The Bourne Legacy opens the 10th of August in the USA, and on the 16th of August in Australia.

Deadpool Got Game!

Deadpool, as a character, is such a mixed bag for me. From his humble beginnings of Rob Leifeld trying to draw Spider-Man, to his latter incarnations as the crazy, cancer-ridden, fourth-wall-breaking merc with a mouth, he's often the victim of writers who aren't particularly funny desperately trying to be funny and not always succeeding. At worst he's the poster boy for cloying fan-service, but there's still something undeniably alluring and enjoyable about him that keeps even the hardest cynic curious about his adventures.

Well now he has his own upcoming video game and as deliberately obnoxious as the following trailer is, I can't help cracking a smile. This sure will be... something!


What do you think of this silliness?

Marvelgasm: The latest movie news from SDCC

San Diego Comic Con has already been exciting nerds the world over with the shiny treats that have been unveiled over the last few days, but things have stepped up a notch with Marvel revealing the titles and release dates for Thor 2 and Captain America 2, as well as TWO NEW MOVIES. Take it easy Marvel! You're going to strain something there!

The first 'Guardians of the Galaxy' concept art by Charlie Wen
Check out all the details under the cut.

Review Hot Toys: Jessica Biel as Abigail Whistler 1/6th Scale Collectible Figure!

If our recent coverage wasn't a clue, we're pretty giddy about all things Hot Toys now. Their high-end, impeccably detailed 1/6th scale collectible figures feature uncannily realistic likenesses of all our favourite film characters and we are selling all our childish toys and trading up for expensive, eerie grown-up toys. We're also smoking pipes, sipping wine, and acting haughty. Yesterday I dismissively slapped a 3 3/4 inch Spider-Man figure out of a child's hand and grew strong from his tears. And now that we're sophisticated adult collectors of premium collectibles, a couple of us are scouring through the Hot Toys back catalogue and snapping up pieces that have previously caught our refined and discerning eye.

If you examined most people's list of Top Ten Comic Book Movies of All Time you'd find that Blade Trinity consistently ranks number 43. But that didn't stop me from picking up 1/3 of the Trinity, vampire destroyer Abigail Whistler. Because regardless of what I thought of/remember of the movie, I love Hot Toys, I love Jessica Biel, and I have an undying respect for pop culture archery. How could I resist this?

Join me after the jump to find out what I thought. A NSFW warning though - because I am such a distinguished and sophisticated adult collector, I am going to show you her boobs. READ ON!