Saturday, September 22, 2012

El Professore Movie Reviews: Angel (aka Iron Angels)



1987
Director: Teresa Woo, Raymond Leung
Starring: Moon Lee, Yukari Oshima, Elaine Liu, Alex Fong, Hwang Jang Lee, David Chiang
* * *
One of the pioneering films in the 'Girls With Guns' subgenre of late '80s Hong Kong action films (this one actually lensed in Taiwan), 'Angel' as it's title suggests is a variation of Charlie's Angels. Unlike it's US TV inspiration, it features four heroes with two of them being male. It also features a level bloodletting, sadism and over the top hard hitting action that would never have made it past the censors if filmed here.

Full review after the jump.

Friday, September 21, 2012

New 52 Justice League Aquaman - The Action Figure!

Ok, I didn't forget!  I'm just slow!  Presenting the next release in the New 52 Justice League series of action figures from DC Comics - AQUAMAN!


The good old grumpy King of Atlantis and friend to Sea Creatures everywhere finally gets to take his place next to the other heroes on my shelf in plastic form!  Check out some pics and thoughts After the JUMP!!

Thank GIF it's Friday!




Book Review: Sherlock Holmes and the Army of Dr. Moreau!



Our latest offering from our friends at Titan Books is Sherlock Holmes and the Army of Dr. Moreau by Guy Adams, a Victorian literary mash-up that pits the two classic characters against each other in London’s seedy underbelly. 


Set years after the sinister events that once rocked that notorious Island, a slew of bodies - all mutilated by exotic creatures - lead Holmes’ portly brother Mycroft to suspect that Dr. Moreau - once contracted by a secret Government agency to attempt to infuse human soldiers with animal abilities - is still alive and continuing his experiments. The erratic Holmes and pragmatic Watson are enlisted to investigate the case and soon find themselves knee-deep in a beast-man brouhaha engineered by a bitter mastermind.

What did I make of all this? Find out... after the jump!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Gen Con 2012 Recap Part Three (With SMASH UP!)



Part One covered FridayPart Two covered Saturday and Sunday. So what is left to talk about?

GEN CON MONDAY!

You may be wondering what Gen Con Monday is all about. It's the day where your flight is canceled and you are stuck in Indianapolis for an additional 24 hours. Luckily, I was stuck there with designer Jay Treat who A) was great company, and B) had a few games on hand.


Click through the jump for a look into our extended Gen Con and all of the games we were able to play. Not a ton of personal photos this time around.... sorry!

The Neverending Possibilities of the New (Taller!) iPhone 5 Screen

In just 24 hours many of us will be walking around with our brand new iPhone 5 in-hand, showing off the fancy new tall display. As stated by Apple, "by making the screen taller, but not wider, you can see more of your content."

But how much more can you see?

I discovered a video that shows the unlimited uses of the longer iPhone 5 screen. It's unbelievable.

Book Review: Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

I have been reading a ridiculous amount of young adult fiction for work over the last month, and some of it has been great, some of it not so great. I had hit a bit of an overall rut in my stack in the last few days, and I finally got to Unraveling, a bit of a tome by Elizabeth Norris. Judging by the cover, I was...well, not very high on this one. With sci-fi for teens being so polarizing, and with dystopia all the rage, I wasn't especially looking forward to the teen heroine in the unrecognizable world making good and saving whatever it is that needs to be saved.

Unraveling is not that book. It's not dystopia, it's not simple heroics. Instead, it's a thrilling adventure ride that's part The Event, part Fringe, and really all awesome.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

So I Made a Movie: Ackbar, The College Years!



Thanks to huge advances in technology, anybody can make a movie. It’s a piece of cake! For example, hanks to motion capture and techno-wizardry director Steven Spielberg made The Adventures of Tintin while lying in a hammock with a straw hat over his face. Computer machines have made filmmaking so simple that even a baby could make a Hollywood blockbuster - while still in the womb!

So I decided to put this to the test! Using a highly advanced program called The Movies from 2005 I made a movie all about space lobster Admiral Ackbar’s college years!

Welcome to my new movie’s worldwide debut! Hope you love it! Probably not especially safe for work...


See you at the Oscars!

The Book Was Better Podcast: Teaser for Episode 27!



The Book Was Better is the podcast where Jessica and I discuss, debate and heartlessly mock the tie-in novels of loved and loathed movies! In this teaser mini-episode we read your reviews, respond to your feedback, and reveal the book/film that we will be covering next week. It’s our most obscure and ridiculous story yet! So obscure that you've probably never heard of it... but don't let that put you off, because it's completely insane!

You can grab the teaser right now from the official site or subscribe to us on iTunes where we will force our way into your head every single week! We might even build a nest there!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Stryder's Favourite Comics - 9/12/2012

Another week of Zero issues commences!  These titles would probably be a great jumping on point if you are really wishing you'd started reading Batman or Batgirl or something last September!  Although of course everyone IS reading Batman and Batgirl because they're both absolutely stellar, right?  Right!


Batman #0 - "I've heard crusaders in Gotham, they end up pretty damn lonely."

It's "6 years ago" and a mysterious vigilante is rumoured to have been spotted in some of the roughest areas of Gotham City, and may be waging a secret war on the Red Hood Gang.  He's been seen most frequently around Crime Alley, where, co-incidentally, the just-returned-to-town billionaire Bruce Wayne has also purchased a new home and is on a mission to turn the neighbourhood around and give it new life!  Commissioner Gordon shows up to ask Bruce if he's seen anything suspicious, but of course Bruce can't help him at all.   Oh, incidentally, although the vigilante has some truly outstanding tech and resources, he in no way resembles a bat...yet!

Oh, the Commish also wanted to ask about any doings that may be transpiring at Wayne Enterprises.  I guess Phillip Kane is running the company in the past and may be up to no good.  No one has any proof, though.

If that's not enough, the stellar back-up story occurs 5 years in the past and  has Commissioner Gordon standing atop police headquarters with his daughter, Barbara, as he's about to debut the Bat-Signal!  We also drop in on pre-Robin Dick Grayson, Tim Drake and Jason Todd for snapshots of what their lives are like and of course their reactions to seeing the now iconic signal light up the night sky for the first time!!  AWESOME!

Did I also mention Batgirl?  Her comic and much much more, after the JUMP!

Nerd History: Steagles!

Football season is upon us, and my Patriots have already blown a winnable game.

Sigh.

In honor of football season starting, though, the History Channel, in a rare feat of actually sharing something about history that isn't about Hitler, posted a pretty neat story about two football teams coming together during the lean years of World War II (okay, it's adjacent to Hitler, but we'll let it pass):

The National Football League faced an uncertain future during World War II. Due to government restrictions on travel, the NFL nearly canceled the entire 1943 season before agreeing to slash team rosters and reduce the regular season schedule. The military draft had already claimed more than 600 players—a vast majority of the sport’s elite athletes.

...

Though both franchises were losing money, they stood to lose even more if they didn’t play at all. So the respective owners agreed to a one-year-only merger that created the “Phil-Pitt Combine.” It didn’t take long for fans and journalists to devise a far more interesting nickname: the “Steagles.”
It's kind of a neat story, especially if you enjoy pre-merger NFL.

Hopefully I'll be back in full force by the end of the month.

INTERVIEW: Writer Michael Price Reveals LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out!




It’s official! If you enjoyed the very funny animated LEGO Star Wars special The Padawan Menace even a fraction as much as I did, then you’ll be thrilled to learn that we’re getting another one! The freshly announced LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out will air on Cartoon Network (in the US) on Wednesday September 26th at 8pm, and is written again by our hilarious friend Michael Price, who you may recognize from his many years of work on The Simpsons. Here's a link to the trailer on the official Star Wars site.


I was fortunate enough to talk to Mr. Price about his latest foray into the Star Wars universe, so join me after the jump where he will tell us all about it in his own words! 


Monday, September 17, 2012

Kickstart the Week: Guts Of Glory - The Boardgame!

Damn, this game looks awesome. The short blurb description is one of the best I've seen on Kickstarter.

"The best thing since sliced bread, if you lived in a post-apocalyptic wasteland with no sliced bread."



Guts of Glory is a mouth-cramming, deck-spewing, competitive card game for 2-4 players set in the post-apocalypse. 
Fun for all ages and skills, Guts is easy to learn yet intensely tactical.
The player board is a huge open mouth. If it fills up you must spew your food to the other players. Unique gameplay, great art. How can this not be awesome?

The game is just over 100% funded, so if you pledge now you will receive a copy, guaranteed! At $25 you will receive a full copy of the game shipped for free in the US. For just $10 more your copy will be signed and numbered. If you just want to kick a few dollars to the cause, you can get a full pdf copy of the game for $5. And if you cannot wait (LIKE ME) you can whet your appetite with a print and play starter copy of the game right here: http://www.gutsofglorygame.com/PrintAndPlayv0.2.pdf

There are stretch goals of all types as well, now that it's fully funded. The most exciting being $50,000 - Double Sided Boards and Two-Headed Giant Player Tokens for Team Play. 

Check out Guts Of Glory on Kickstarter! 

Talk Like A Pirate Day Giveaway: Scallywags by Gamewright!

This Wednesday is Talk Like A Pirate Day, the only day that you can get away with calling your co-workers names like Landlubber and Drivelswigger. It's also the day that we are giving away a copy of Gamewright's new pirate-themed game, Scallywags! And if you win, you can talk like a pirate whenever you pull out the game.

If you have kids and are looking for a fun, light game Scallywags fits the bill.
You’ll be counting your booty and having a blast in no time. (play-board-games.com)
 

What kind of things can you say when you're a pirate? Well, we went right to the source. Scallywags designer, and possible-pirate Chevee Dodd has this to say about the game: 

I have no clue what he said, but I like it!

Contest rules:
Post a comment here in your best pirate voice anytime from now until 11:59PM PST on Sunday, September 23rd. The winner will be announced on Monday, September 24th.

That's it! Now go post some hornswaggle before I scavenge yer hardtack, ya dungbie!

EDIT: The winner is Master Jeffro! Nice work ya freebooter!

Super Dingo Vs. The Hippies!


Massive West Australian YouTube smash-hit Super Dingo returns to your tiny embedded screen today with the much anticipated world wide d├ębut of episode two! Last time we saw Super Dingo he took on some pirates, and this time he's taking on some hippies. What's next? Leprechauns? Nazis? Pugilistic top-heavy babies? I guess we'll soon find out, because the good news is that we can expect more outback shenanigans in regular episodes throughout the coming year.

This is what Australia is really like, you guys. It's like a Cheech and Chong movie...


Super Dingo is created by Ethan Marrell and Paul Montague and produced by Natalie Lewis! For more adventures subscribe to their channel!

Robocop. Robocrap?



Set images featuring the new Robocop design from next year’s Robocop reboot have been revealed and this steadfast robofan is far from impressed! Robocop is supposed to be: half man, half machine, all cop, but this guy looks to be: 80% man, 20% body armour, all suck. Just look at the nerve of this character...


We’re so used to seeing actors in sleek rubber body suits that without the clunky cyborg parts there is little here to suggest that he’s a robot at all. He looks like a guy from Mass Effect! I thought that the whole premise of Robocop was that playing God with robot cops had never been done before! So the fact that he was a bulky, awkward, servo-whining monstrosity was all part of his robo-charm! He was a tape deck, not an iPod! There should be something laboured and tragic about him. And he should look like he’s wearing a small car!

I’ve already suffered through the Total Recall remake this year, and saw what happens when you suck out all the over-the-top satire/violence/crassness of a Paul Verhoeven original and make a sleek but bland version, completely devoid of fun. I’m not sure I want to put myself through that again. And I don’t want you to either, because you’re fragile and delicate. I know Robocop and you, sir, are no Robocop! Let’s hope there’s still time to save this.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I Think I Need to Start Watching Gravity Falls



Dueling Analogs posted two clips from the Disney Channel cartoon series Gravity Falls earlier this week, and this is really a pitch-perfect 16-bit fighting game parody. Super impressed - and apparently this was done by the same people who were responsible for the Scott Pilgrim game that came out last year. Good stuff!