Saturday, October 13, 2012

El Professore Movie Reviews: Doctor X

Director: Michael Curtiz
Starring: Lee Tracy, Fay Wray, Lionel Atwil, Preston Foster
* * *
In 1931 Universal unleashed both 'Dracula' and 'Frankenstein', showing that horror films could be both 'A' releases as well as major box office hits. Paramount quickly jumped on the idea by releasing 'Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde' later that same year. This took the other big studios by surprise. MGM didn't enter the foray until much later on. Warner Bros. however, decided to give this horror thing a try. Their first attempt was 'Doctor X', an inversion of the standard whodunit with some surprisingly grotesque concepts.

Full review after the jump.

Dungeon Heroes Kickstarter Preview: Your Lunch Break Dungeon Crawl

UPDATE: Dungeon Heroes is now on Kickstarter:

I missed my big chance to play Dungeon Heroes at Gen Con with Crash Games' Patrick Nickell and Michael Coe. They had two copies of the two player game, which pits good vs evil, in a quick-to-learn, yet deeply strategic dungeon crawl. Before I knew it, the night was over and I didn't get a chance to play.

But even just watching this game was a blast. Players choose to be the good side (a group of 4 classic heroes represented as polyhedral dice, trekking their way through a traditional dungeon) or the evil side (a secret, sneaky puppeteer controlling the layout and placement of upside down item, trap, and enemy tiles throughout the dungeon). Seeing the actions of an evil dungeon lord pan out is very exciting, but not as exciting as when the good player can overcome the calculated plans of his opponent.

Click through the jump for more!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thank GIF it's Friday

Hi team! Here's a licky fawn to usher in your weekend.

New Music for Your Earholes

After what felt like a massively disappointing summer music-wise, the fall stormed back with a vengance, with a whole slew of great music landing. Here are some highlights from the last few months.

As always, you can check out my Favorites of 2012 Spotify playlist, or sample some of my favorites after the jump.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Stryder's Favourite Comics - 10/03/2012

Hey folks!  Happy Canadian Thanksgiving (better late than this article)!  It's going to be an exciting month for the DC Universe with "Rise of the Third Army" rocking the Green Lanterns, "H'El on Earth" crossing over the Super titles and of course, the return of the Joker as the "Death of the Family" crossover starts in Batman!  This week's titles, however, touch only on the first of these three epic events!

Green Lantern #15 - "I don't know why I have this ring or what else it can do, but there has to be a reason it came to me."

In last month's Zero Issue, suspected terrorist Simon Baz was busted out of a federal interrogation room by the reintegrated power ring of Hal Jordan/Sinestro.  This month, he awakes on the side of the road wearing a ring that won't come off with no idea what's going on!  All he knows is that he's in big trouble! 

The ring tries to play a message to him, but it's still having some plays a message that seems to be a corrupt mixing of two messages, one from Sinestro and one from Hal...they both manage to impart two important pieces of information to our newest Lantern, however.   1. DON'T go to OA and 2. STOP the Guardians!!!  The Third Army is on the move...while Simon Baz has to get his life in order and figure out what's going on, the Guardian's newest playthings are slowly but exponentially erasing free will from the Universe!

On an aside, I could see liking this new Lantern, but I still hope Hal comes back soon.  If I wanted to read about any old Green Lantern, I'd collect the other Lantern comics.  I only buy this one because I don't want to read about A Green Lantern...I want to read about THE Green Lantern, Hal Jordan.  Hopefully they won't leave him out too long...

New Creative Team on Detective Comics,  plus Action Comics, Green Arrow and more after the JUMP!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Book Was Better Podcast Episode 28: Avatar the Last Airbender!

The Book Was Better
is the podcast where Jessica and I read crappy movie tie-in novelizations and then discuss, debate and make dumb jokes about them. We think we’re soooooooooo smart!

Well, this episode’s book/film is the notoriously awful, unwatchable, fan-traumatizing travesty that is M. Night Shyamalan’s Avatar: The Last Airbender. If you ever wanted a sense of the atrocities that are committed in that film without having to actually watch it or read about it, then Jess and I have you totally covered. We’re here for you, friend! Set sail for disappointment!

You can download it right now from the official site, or you could man up and subscribe to us on iTunes thereby allowing us to sneak into your iPod in the night! “Honey! Did you hear something?” “Relax... it’s just The Book Was Better podcast delivering another hilarious hour of unmissable entertainment”. “Okaaaay... so... what’s with all the banging?”



Ever been working on a project for so long that you've forgotten what it's like not to work on the project? The work I've been doing is nearly at its end and I get my life back, which means I can write more and get back to things I like.

Like podcasts!

99% Invisible played a segment from BackStory With the History Guys on a recent episode, and I've been trying to find the time to listen to more. They take a This American Life approach in a lot of ways - find interesting stories about history and dig into the stories behind those stories. I graduated with a history degree, and it's the first podcast I've found that reminds me as to why I got into history to begin with.

I can't recommend any specific episodes at this time because I have yet to hear a bad one, but if you're looking for some great mind-expanding, long-form podcasting about history, check these guys out. You won't be disappointed.

Review: Hasbro Star Wars 3 3/4" Dr. Evazan and Kithaba!

I’m at a crossroads with my Star Wars collecting. Product is scarce, what can be found isn't always that exciting, and I’m running out of space. This weekend, in fact, I plan to cull at least a chunk of my collection at a local toy fair, so I am flailing for a focus. But, when all else fails, there’s still plenty of solace in the original trilogy - those comfort films that were ever present through my childhood - so when I saw these two misanthropic characters hanging from the pegs I felt that all too familiar caress on my nostalgia button.

I picked up curmudgeonly cantina patron Dr. Evazan and skiff guard turned Sarlacc snack Kithaba. How do these two creeps measure up? Join me after the jump!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Kickstart the Week: Thrilling Adventure Hour: the Graphic Novel

One of my favorite podcasts is The Thrilling Adventure Hour, which is a comedy podcast done in the style of old-time radio. The comedy is genuinely funny, with absurd characters and stories, and a very talented cast that counts Paul F. Tompkins, Busy Phillips, Nathan Fillion, Linda Cardellini, James Ubarniak, and more among their regulars during their show at Largo.

The crew is apparently looking to expand its horizons a bit with a graphic novel treatment that looks pretty awesome, if you ask me. I've personally never jumped on a Kickstarter this fast, and if it hits enough of its stretch goals, the documentary I've always wanted but never expected will happen.

You should be listening to the Thrilling Adventure Hour anyway (and you really should start at the beginning for "Beyond Belief" and "Sparks Nevada: Marshal on Mars"), but this is a great opportunity to support worthy creative endeavors.

Thousands Of Zombies On The Jersey Shore: The NJ Zombiewalk Photo Recap

It's become a tradition for my family to travel up to Asbury Park, NJ each year for the annual NJ Zombiewalk. The event holds the record for the world's largest gathering of zombies (2010 counted 4,094 total) and seems to get bigger and bigger every year. The zombies start to crawl down the boardwalk at 5:00pm and make their way into the town for a night of craziness.

It's hard to describe the chaos, and even with the photos it's still a little tough, but the entire town is filled with people dressed as many different types of zombies. There are the classic grey zombies, the bloody new zombies, the pop culture referencing zombies, lots of zipper faces, the zombies that make no sense, and much more. It's an awesome event, which makes me wish it happened every weekend.

Click through the jump for a whole ton of photos.

Review: Mists of Pandaria! My Road to Level 90!

In a year thick with new MMORPGs, perennial favourite World of Warcraft is facing many challenges. Saddled with an aging engine, all-too-familiar mechanics and an increasingly rare pay-to-play model, WOW has been steadily losing subscribers. And the announcement of Mists of Pandaria, an expansion set on a continent of anthropomorphic martial arts pandas was enough to send Warcraft’s more embittered critics over the edge.

But let’s not get too crazy. Warcraft still has millions of more subscribers than any other MMO, subscribers who have invested a great deal of time and energy into levelling up and kitting out their characters, and aren’t going to stop now. And I’m one of those subscribers. Neither excited nor disappointed by the pandas themselves, I was more keen to take my main character on the journey to level 90 and see what this new chapter had in store. And there’s certainly no shortage of things to do.

To find out what I thought of all this... join me after the jump!

Review: Red Tails

In 1988 George Lucas started planning an epic cinematic trilogy centred around the story of the African American fighter pilot squadron known as the Tuskegee airmen who fought in World War 2. He wanted to create his own Lawrence of Arabia-esque masterpiece with a long detailed narrative, but after he was warned of the high likelihood of boring people to death, he decided to focus in on the combat portion of the greater story. Production stalled for a couple of decades while Lucas concentrated on Young Indiana Jones and then ruining everyone’s childhood with his prequel trilogy to Star Wars. The film that would eventually become Red Tails waited and waited and waited until the time came that George needed some extra cash to buy several thousand more plaid shirts. 2012 was to be the year Ol’ Georgie Boy got to fill up his closet and Red Tails finally got its cinematic release. I do quite enjoy movies set in that era, and I was very curious as to how Lucasfilm would handle not only a war story, but one based on actual events. Join me below the cut to find out what I thought.