Saturday, September 29, 2012

El Professore Movie Reviews: The Hard Way

Director: Michael Dryhurst
Starring: Patrick McGoohan, Lee Van Cleef, Edna O'Brien
* * * *

This is one of those movies that I sought out simply because of it's star. In this case it was my hero Patrick McGoohan, the creator and star of the greatest T.V. program ever, 'The Prisoner'. Though McGoohan himself was once quoted as saying, "I've made an awful lot of crap", that hasn't stopped me from attempting to uncover some of his hard to find titles. This one in particular caught my eye as he plays opposite long time Clint Eastwood nemisis, Lee Van Cleef (ironically this was the same year that McGoohan played opposite Eastwood in Escape From Alcatraz, so there is a circular feeling to the whole thing).

Click through the jump for the full review.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Thank GIF it's Friday

This adequately conveys my feelings about the oncoming long weekend.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Guts of Glory: Free Print and Play Version (Preview)

I finally had a chance to play the preview version of Guts of Glory, the post-apocalyptic eating contest board game that we featured on last week's Kickstart the Week.

The preview version gives you just a taste of the full game, but you can get it a) for free, and b) right now. Otherwise, you'll be waiting until March 2013 to play this game. I have this issue where I can't wait for anything (it's really bad), so I jumped right into it. It cost me just $5 in printing, but could be much cheaper, or even free, if you have access to a printer at home (or better, at work). 

Click through the jump for the full preview.

When Gaming Reflects Real Life: A Personal Essay

I get that it can be kind of lame to gush about how super awesome your role playing games are, whether leading them or playing in them. As I'm (relatively speaking) new to the role playing universe, I've never really gotten that - if something is awesome, you should share it with others and without reservation. Especially when it comes to the intertubes, where it's super easy to scroll past things.

On my books/games/music blog a year and change ago, I wrote about how I'm a spoiled gamer, how my gaming experiences have been superior essentially since the beginning. I'm in a great D&D game with great people (and we're actually porting to 13th Age and I can't wait to talk about it), and my friend Mike (of Renfusa) has run a series of games with this core group for a number of years now, in which I joined in with his Mage: The Awakening game in the beginning. Mike is a Harvard-educated historian, a person who's research and storytelling skills make me feel meek and feeble, and is also a diabolical mastermind who makes Lovecraft's worst fever dreams appear normal and pedestrian. To get an idea as to where he comes from, you can read his gaming idea Tumblr, and specifically his essay following the death of my Mage character, Ernst. For those who don't click through, our Mage game takes place in 16th century Prague under the reign of Emperor Rudolph II, who may be known more for his interest in the occult more than his actual governance (which explains why this time frame is a perfect setting for Mage).

I don't write this and share here for the sake of praising my friend for his ability to craft an excellent game, though. I could do that any day at any time, and don't enough. The reason I write is because of the really deep impact playing on Tuesday night had for me. It brought me back into why I wanted to role play back in high school when I first learned of it, and why, as a 31 year old adult with a mortgage and a sick parent and more responsibilities than he can handle, continues to play games with dice and inhabit other human beings - to learn more about himself. Follow for some master-level navel-gazing...

Review: Hasbro The Avengers 3 3/4 inch Hawkeye and Nick Fury!

We’d be remiss to not occasionally check in on The Avengers, an insanely entertaining film that I had mixed feelings about initially but have grown to adore over time. (Here in Australia we’ve had the Bluray for over a month). The merchandise might be slowing down but there’s still a few things up for grabs if you have a keen eye.

After previously acquiring Black Widow, I have happened upon the equally-hard-to-find Hasbro 3 3/4 inch figures of arrow-slinger Hawkeye and depth-perceptionless superhero-wrangler Nick Fury. How do they shape up?

Join me after the jump where I will reveal all!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

6 Awesome Things About Revolution

A new series by JJ Abrams is bound to get people on the internet talking, and ever since Revolution first aired last Monday, there have been a lot of complaints about the show. Ranging from valid (the acting is rough) to just silly (why is the power out?). From just the very first few minutes, or even just by knowing who is involved, it should be apparent that the complete answer to that question will not come immediately, and that the answer to that question is the core of the story.

Since everyone has focused on the negative, I want to look at the positive side of Revolution. TV shows can get through it, and have in the past. Buffy The Vampire Slayer had terrible production quality, even at the time it was released, yet we look back and love it for all of the other reasons.

So, to focus on the positive side of things, I've compiled a list of the 6 Awesome Things About Revoution. Click through the jump for the list and warning, there are spoilers ahead.

Review: Hot Toys DX05 Indiana Jones!

I was fooled into thinking that my Indiana Jones fever had gone into remission, but with the recent Blu-ray boxset release of all four (Yes! FOUR!) Indiana Jones movies, my temples are already burning for adventure!

And what better way to celebrate than with Hot Toys DX05 Indiana Jones 1/6th scale figure capturing Indy’s iconic appearance in Raiders of the Lost Ark? This figure was originally released last year but is now in my eager, clammy, adventure-hungry hands thanks to our awesome friends at Sideshow Collectibles! I have him and, trust me, there’s so much lurking inside his giant box that I desperately need to tell you about.

Every Hot Toy is a work of art but the deluxe DX line represents the apex of 1/6th scale collecting. Packed with more detail, more accessories and, in this case, an impressive mini diorama, the DX figures always manage to exceed my, already ridiculously high, expectations. Indy came packed in a box so large, heavy and ominous that I was convinced that malevolent spirits were going to fly out of it and melt off my unsuspecting face!

Join me after the jump and we will open it up!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Nerd History: FDR - American Badass

As I'm still getting unburied from work obligations, I was going to share some fun stuff I've read, but I think that this movie trailer featuring Franklin Delano Roosevelt as a fighter of Nazi werewolves more than covers your historical appetites this week. Plus, it's a real movie. This is the red band, NSFW (due to language) trailer, but look at this cast! I may need to check this one out.

Stryder's Favourite Comics - 9/19/2012

Zero Month continues over at DC Comics as we get another week's worth of chances to learn new and interesting tidbits about our favourite heroes past lives!  It's all quite good as long as you don't try too hard to make it all line up nicely in the 5-year time line they've set out.  It's got to be a rather fluid, ill-defined 5 year period...just don't over-analyze these things...

Before we get into the Zero Month issues, however, I feel it's appropriate to take a look at this:

Before Watchmen: Nite Owl #3 (of 4) - "I hear you've been careless with some of you women, Carlos.  I've lost keys, spare change--my mind--but never an entire woman.  So what happened to them?"

Nite Owl #3 may be noteworthy mostly because it is (I believe) the last book that the late, great legend Joe Kubert worked on before his passing.  He contributes inks over his son Andy's pencils here, in his typically awesome style.  Joe was a superstar and he will be missed!

As for the plot this issue, Dan "Nite Owl" Dreiberg continues his campaign to assist the S&M mistress lady he met last issue in investigating the disappearances of several call girls that the police couldn't give a damn about.  Rorschach, of course, is not helping due to his ingrained disgust with prostitution.  Mommy issues.  Poor Rorschach.  Regardless, he ends up working the same case despite himself as he coincidentally uncovers the murderer that Nite Owl is searching for!  Which won't do any good if he is unable to survive long enough to tell anyone...

Meanwhile, original Nite Owl Hollis Mason also puts in an appearance simply to tell Dan about some deep dark secret.  He drops this secret in the form of a sealed envelope and leaves Dan to decide what to do about it.  What's the secret??  I'll be sure to let you issue!

Zero Month shenanigans beginning with everyone's favourite Amazonian Princess after the JUMP!!!

The Book Was Better Podcast Episode 27: Seeing Double - The S Club 7 Movie!

The Book Was Better podcast is the podcast where Jessica and discuss, debate and usually rip into the hastily written novelizations for all your favourite and not-so-favourite films! This week we tackle a really obscure, poorly made one: Seeing Double: The S Club 7 Movie! Or as Jess says:
"Are you ready for double the bad dialogue? Double the faux-celebrities? Double the dated references? Well sit back and enjoy this episode, the cash-in novelization of the cash-in movie of the manufactured pop group S Club. You'll love it, or double your money back!"

You can download it from the official site, or why not subscribe on iTunes and we'll make ourselves comfortable in your ears each and ever week!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Winner of our Scallywags Giveaway!

The winner of our Scallywags giveaway is ye Master Jeffro!

Image borrowed from the always wonderful
Master Jeffro please send an email to to claim your prize. Thanks to all who participated. You arrrgh the best!

Kickstart the Week: DreadBall - The Futuristic Sports Game

As a huge fan of BattleBall, my jaw dropped when I came across DreadBall on Kickstarter. It's similar to BattleBall in that it's a dice-based futuristic sports game using (very similar looking) miniatures and a hex board, but the gameplay of DreadBall is very different. It's actually a completely made up sport, mixing the aggression of football with the accuracy of bowling (kind of?). Add on some very thematic future rules and you have Dreadball. And you also have my $100.

$100 may sound pretty steep, especially when you can pick up BattleBall at a yard sale for about $2, but you get a LOT for your money. Check out this image. You can also get the full game for $80 or go all out and spend as much as you want, adding in all kinds of goodies along the way. 

The pledge goal was $20,000, which is nothing for a miniatures game. As I was writing this post, it just crossed the $400,000 mark giving all backers at $100 or higher a massive new character named Yorik Yorikson

I'll leave you with one image of the game in action. Warning though. If you head to the Kickstarter page and scroll all the way to the bottom, you will destroy your wallet. There are so many add-ons.