Saturday, September 1, 2012

El Professore Movie: Switchblade Sisters

Director: Jack Hill
Starring: Robbie Lee, Joanne Nail, Monica Gayle
* * * 1/2
I love Jack Hill movies.

The son of a Disney and Warner Bros. designer who (like many of his time period) initially got his start as a Roger Corman apprentice, Jack Hill went on to become one of the great exploitation auteurs of the 70s, having done such cult classics as 'Spider Baby' (you haven't lived until you've heard Lon Chaney sing the title tune), 'The Big Bird Cage' and the Pam Grier classics 'Coffy' and Foxy Brown'. 'Switchblade Sisters' (originally titled The Jezebels) may just be his wildest and most purely enjoyable film.

Full review after the jump.

Friday, August 31, 2012

UPDATE! Pre-Order Hot Toys Dark Knight Rises Catwoman 1/6th Scale Figure!

Friday tends to mark a new official 1/6th scale figure reveal from our dear friends at Hot Toys! This week it's Anne Hathaway's strong but superfluous Catwoman from The Dark Knight Rises. Her performance was a real highlight for me so I'll be surely adding this one to my shelf....

I imagine our pals at Sideshow will have her up for pre-order within the next 24 hours, so if you're keen keep an eye on this post and I'll update with the details once she's available. UPDATE! And she's available! You can grab her from Sideshow here: 
DC Comics Collectibles Selina Kyle / Catwoman Sixth Scale Figure - EXCL Version (TDKR) (exclusive version)
DC Comics Collectibles Selina Kyle / Catwoman Sixth Scale Figure (TDKR) (regular version).

And while you're waiting, join me after the jump for a lot more photos!

Thank Gif It's Friday!

Congratulations to everyone for making it through the week! Here's your well-earned reward!...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Gen Con Recap Part 2 (with MARS NEEDS MECHANICS!)

Continued from Gen Con Recap Part One

After a full day of gaming and meeting people, it was time to get to work! On Saturday I scheduled 8 hours of game sessions at 3 different locations and my play time was limited... but I managed to squeeze in some fun.

Not as much fun as this guy though.

Click through the jump for more Gen Con madness, including Mars Needs Mechanics, The Game Crafter, and a super secret prototype from Tasty Minstrel Games.

America's Got Talent Semifinal Recap: It's Getting Personal

After a few odd weeks of Olympics and themed episodes (YouTube, Wildcard), it's the America's Got Talent Semi Finals! 12 will perform and only 3 will go through. Same thing next week. The competition is getting fierce.

This week, personality shined through more than anything as the performers start to become more and more of a marketable character. Performances were bigger than ever as well. Click through the jump for our top 3, and thoughts on the others.

Toy Oddities: The Bootleg Black Widow!

Deep inside China’s seedy underbelly, shady miscreants are capitalising on both The Avengers’ massive success and shapely Scarlett Johansson’s coveted likeness, by churning out bootleg Black Widow figures for ill-gotten profits! Normally you would “purchase” one of these highly sought after items in a dark back alley, generally trading sexual favours or opium, but I was able to secure some infamous Scarjo contraband through a little-known Interwebs site referred to only as “eBay”. Small first letter, capital second letter? Sounds like a hacker nest to me!

Now that she’s safely in (rugged) Western hands, find out what I thought of her... after the jump!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Stryder's Favourite Comics - 8/22/2012

Whenever I get a Batman book, a Flash book and a Superman book in the same week I'm happy!  That means this week and next are both AWESOME!  Let's take a look, shall we?

Batman Incorporated #3 - "You want "Matches"?  Then "Matches" you shall have.  Do I LOOK dead to you?"

The return of "Matches" Malone this month as Batman goes undercover to learn what he can about the movements of the gigantic criminal conspiracy known as Leviathan.  Of course, he's not the only one playing dress-up this issue, as Dick "Nightwing" Grayson reprises his role as Batman in order to sell Bruce's "Matches" character.  Not only that but Damian "Robin" Wayne, whom the world believes assassinated due to the events of last issue, is bored hanging out in the Bat Cave (he's GROUNDED, mister!) and thus gasses Alfred and sneaks out in the guise of a new super hero named Redbird.  The costume is actually pretty cool, but it lacks the iconic "punch" of the Robin costume.  Damian's not nearly as concerned about "iconic punches" as he is with actually physically PUNCHING people though...

OH, Batcow is back, and living in the Bat Cave!!  Love him or hate him, (and I assure you, I fall firmly in the former category!) you have to give Grant Morrison a lot of credit for being creative!  What else can I say except READ THIS BOOK!

If that's not enough for you, check out Superman, Dr. Manhattan, Teen Titans and more after the JUMP!

The Book Was Better Podcast Episode 25: The Net!

The Book Was Better is the podcast where Jessica and I mercilessly mock the (usually) terrible tie-in novelisations of your favourite (and least favourite) films. Episode 25, our first anniversary episode, is the best one ever because Sandra Bullock teaches us all about the mysterious beast called The Interwubz, in the infeasible 1995 thriller The Net!

Duuuh... How done I do Internetz?
It's just like having your grandmother explain computers to you! Forget everything you thought you knew! Join us and get caught in the net!

Download it here from the official site, or why not be a devil and subscribe to us on iTunes?

Nerd History: Apocryphal Gospels

I'm not a religious person, and American culture tends to be the exact opposite, to the point of many people believing in a literal interpretation of the Bible. I'm not here for a theological debate, however, but more for a note that the gospels that we do know (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are not the only gospels that humanity is aware of.

The gospels that aren't part of the "official" bible are commonly known as the Apocryphal Gospels. These gospels are not accepted as official theology for a number of reasons, whether it be authorship, lack of completeness, or even what's believed to be outright blasphemy. That doesn't mean, however, they're not fun to look at.

For example: my favorite one is the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. This gospel looks at the life of Jesus Christ as a child, and, to be blunt, he was a bit of a jerk. He killed a few people and animals and was more or less just a bad kid. Reading it, you could make the case that you, as an 8 year old with the powers of a god, might have done the same thing. The vision of a prepubescent hellion that went on to become one of the most important religious figures in human history is more fun to me.

There's plenty of other books like it, albeit not as exciting. The Gospel of Thomas, for example, purports to be the unvarnished words of Jesus. The Gospel of Judas is presented by an apologist as an opposing view of the man who eventually betrayed Jesus. My favorite book on the topic is Bart Ehrman's Lost Scriptures, which cover the books in more detail and offer some excerpts. More fragments continue to be found to give a clearer picture of the era in which the books were produced, so who knows what else we'll find, but until then, this is a pretty cool little piece of history.

Book Review: The Twenty-Year Death!

Let me try to wrap your head around The Twenty-Year Death. An ambitious first outing by author Ariel S. Winter, this weighty tome actually comprises of three separate pulp crime novels that are self-contained and yet still manage to weave together a connected, larger narrative. Each one is set in a different decade - spanning from 1931 to 1951 - and if that’s still not enough, each sub-novel intentionally imitates the prose of a famous classic crime author (George Simenon, Raymond Chandler, and Jim Thompson). It’s a mind-bending exercise in structure and style and feels like a huge undertaking for both writer and reader. And thanks to our friends at Titan Books, I have (an extremely heavy) copy!

But for our purposes, let’s cast all literally gymnastics aside for the moment. I am not well-versed in crime fiction, and I have never read any of the classic authors being alluded to. Whether or not Winter successfully creates a satisfying facsimile, or effectively expands on old tropes is not for me to say, and far better left to the most hardcore fans of the genre. I approach this book as a crime virgin, purely commenting on whether or not Winter was able to wrap me up in his story. Can The Twenty-Year Death hook a timid first-timer?

Find out what I thought... after the jump!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Want To Feel Old?

I heard this today, and instantly felt pretty old. So much that I felt the need to make everyone else feel old too.

Want to feel even worse? Click through the jump to see how old you really are.

Review: Hot Toys' Catwoman Cosbaby!

Our pals at Hot Toys don’t just make eerily realistic sixth-scale people, they also make eerily unrealistic, super-deformed baby versions of your favourite movie characters. These are called Cosbabies, which I guess are babies that are forced to cosplay by their nerd parents at conventions for “oohs”, “aahs”, and photo opportunities. Perhaps at next year’s San Diego Comic Con, some costumed babies could fight in a pit?

Regardless, Hot Toys’ latest attempt to transform the characters of the bleak, gritty, depressing, screaming, rasping, terrorist-filled, epicly-long Christopher Nolan Batman films into lovable, squishy babies has turned out quite well! And if there’s one thing that the First World needs, it’s more Batman merchandise!

I have one of them, and to find out what I think of forced baby cosplay... join me after the jump!