Saturday, October 27, 2012

My Black Widow Photo Shoot!

Something I don't share on here nearly enough is my photography. It's a hobby that has begun to consume me lately, having completed around 75 shoots already this year, including shooting 54 models for a soon-to-be released deck of playing cards (but more on that later). But one of my biggest loves is shooting with a pop culture theme, and yesterday I got to partake in a shoot that I thought was an apt match to share on this site.

This year I've posted a lot about The Avenger's Black Widow, having amassed my own tiny collection of Scarjo inspired merchandise. Well, yesterday I had Black Widow in my house! It was like being an unknowing recipient of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. But with out all the sadness and dying and stuff.

The following photographs feature model Petra Dish, with make up by Kimberley Williams, and were taken by me. Click them to embiggen them.

And join me after the jump for more!

Hot Toy's Reveal Resident Evil's Ada Wong!

It feels like it's been a little bit quiet on the Hot Toys front, with most of the reveals of our favourite eerily realistic 1/6th scale figures happening around convention season. But those plucky artistes in Hong Kong are still cranking new work out, but not what you might expect. We've mostly admired their movie based lines, but they also do release the odd video game based figure, case in point being Resident Evil 4's - or as it's known in Japan Biohazard 4's - sultry Ada Wong.

Could this open the door to an ultra-realistic Hot Toys Pac-Man? Join me after the jump for more images and discussion!

El Professore Movie Reviews: Kung Fu From Beyond the Grave

Director: Chiu Lee
Starring: Billy Chong, Lo Lieh, Dai Sai Aan, Alan Chiu
* * * 1/2
Billy Chong (born Willy Dozan) was one of my favorite martial arts stars. So much so, that I wrote an (admittedly sketchy) article about him many moons ago for Asian Cult Cinema magazine. Of Indonesian descent, Billy first made some appearances in local action pictures like 'Invincible Monkey Fist' (where he played second lead to Hong Kong legend, Chen Kwan Tai). It wasn't long before Hong Kong came calling. Initially groomed as a Jackie Chan wannabe in 'crystal Fist', it soon became apparent that Chong was capable of more. He followed it up with 'Super Power' and the A-budget, 'Wind, Forrest, Fire, Mountain' (aka 'A Fistful of Talons) directed by Sun Chung. Follwong this, he made a couple of decidedly oddball pictures with black martial artist, Carl Scott, 'Kung Fu Executioner' and the riotous 'A Hard Way to Die' (aka Sun Dragon) which in an interview Billy picks as his favorite film because he got to go to Arizona! He then went from the somewhat strange to the completely freakish by starring in a pair of Hong Kong horror comedies, 'Kung Fu Zombie' and the one I chose to review here, 'Kung Fu From Beyond the Grave'.

Full review after the jump.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Game Night: Exit, BATTLE, and King of Tokyo!

Lots of great games have been hitting the table over the past few weeks, and here are a few worth mentioning. On our most recent game night we played Exit (the Milton Bradley board-tilting game), BATTLE (designer Joel Hobbs video game-inspired fighting game), and King of Tokyo (another video game-inspired game. This time it's Rampage, with dice!)

I should also mention that I am changing the title of Saturday Night Board Games to Game Night, right here and right now. I hope you don't mind. We usually play on Saturdays but post throughout the week, so having Saturday in the title on Tuesday or Wednesday just feels weird.

Speaking of weird, check out our first game of the evening... Exit. The game isn't as weird as this photograph of designer Alex Strang's odd, miniature arm.

Click through the jump for more on Exit, BATTLE and King of Tokyo!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stryder's Favourite Comics - 10/17/2012

It's a creepy and cold October in the DCU as nefarious plans unfold in the shadows whilst heroes walk about, oblivious.  A storm's coming...but will our heroes be prepared?

Justice League #13 - "I don't BELIEVE in Humanity!  People are Animals!  Animals that fool themselves into thinking that they're something more."

The Justice League is going through some growing pains and it's Wonder Woman versus The Cheetah in her first New 52 appearance this month!  Cheetah, it turns out, is an old friend of Diana's named Barbara who used to work with her and Steve Trevor categorizing potentially dangerous mystic items that were brought back from the field.  Next thing you know, Barbara's pricked her finger on a magic dagger and become possessed by the goddess of the hunt, the Cheetah!

This comes at a time while the team is still dealing with the potential relationship brewing between Superman and Wonder Woman, the resignation and subsequent disappearance of Hal "Green Lantern" Jordan, internal power struggles as Batman and Aquaman debate who should lead the team, and Cyborg's sad lack of a social life and struggle to accept his new life as mostly-a-robot.  Flash, however, is doing fine.  He's cool, thanks...thanks for asking!

"Death of a Family" continues to taunt both us and Gotham City, plus Wonder Woman, Supergirl and more after the JUMP!

Nerd History: How Boris Yelstin Used a Television Show to Secure Reelection

With the United States election coming up, I figured I'd toss a few fun things out the next few weeks involving electoral politics and some of the strange things surrounding them. This week, we head to Russia.

In the most recent issue of Mental Floss, they highlight a weird quirk about the 1996 Russian election. Yeltsin was understandably worried about his reelection, and thus was able to work it out so that his base would stay in one spot and not go far on election day. His plan hinged on a soap opera.

This soap, Tropikanka, was a super-popular show in Russia at the time and aired on the state-run network. What better way to keep people at home than to take their favorite soap opera and schedule a three hour finale on election day? Yeltsin gets his people to their voting places in the city (since the country's smaller homes lack television sets), the Russian people get to see their finale, and everyone goes home happy.

Including Boris Yeltsin, who was reelected easily to a second term.

OK Then, Let's Watch the Iron Man 3 Trailer!

So apparently this little Iron Man thing is turning out quite successful so now we get a third one, Iron Man 3: Iron Harder. After the slap that was the teaser of the teaser of the trailer, we now get a full three minute look at this thing, directed by Shane the maniac Black. Check it out...

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited about all this, however, it looks like The Avengers was far too funny and jovial so now Tony Stark is going to soliloquise and mope around in the snow. Note that this is also the debut of Sir Ben "I'll-Do-Anything" Kingsley's turn as comics' favourite racially insensitive villain: Mandarin. I don't know what his powers will be in this film but if I had chunky rings like that I was just constantly punch people in the face/throat. Ben Kingsley is pretty old though so if a flying laser-shooting robot is really having trouble from a beardy old coot in a hood then Stark might want to rethink how he's spending his money.

What do you think? Go on! Say something sensible!

The Book Was Better Podcast Episode 29: Alien Resurrection!

The Book Was Better is the podcast where Jessica and I endure crazy movie novelizations for your entertainment. It's the literary equivalent of watching Johnny Knoxville let a kid him in the nuts!

This week we make our triumphant return to the Alien franchise with the novel of Alien Resurrection, written by the wonderfully gruesome A.C. Crispin. Does the book live up to the film that you hate but we love? Why not give it a listen and find out? Seriously. Why not? What is your problem anyway?

You can download it at the official site or why not subscribe to us in iTunes so that we can force our way into your iPod every week and mock your terrible music.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Kickstart the Week: Super Comboman - A Beat-em-up Sticker Action Platformer

There's just something too cool about a hero with a talking fanny pack...

Super Comboman is about an energetic islander named Struggles (Strugs) who lives in a sticker universe and rocks a distinguishable talking fanny pack named Fanny and slick hair style. Due to his obsession with comics gets into mischief where at his jobs which he takes to take care of his little brother Lil Nug.
The game is about comboing mindless workers, breaking a ton of stuff, juggling physics items and interacting in the sticker world.
This game reminds me of everything I love about Super Smash Bros, Pokemon, Marvel vs. Capcom, and Castle Crashers all in one. Playing as stickers is a sweet bonus too.

Super Comboman is going to be available for Mac and PC, but not without your help! They've already hit about $4000 in funding, but there is still a long way to go to the funding goal of $14,900. With 23 days left, it shouldn't be impossible, but Kickstarter has been odd lately. Projects that you would expect to fund haven't, and vice versa. Overall it seems like we're in a little lull, or maybe the last few months have just been a big boom.

There are some really nice rewards (even with it's fairly low funding goal), like the art book, printed fanny pack, actual stickers, and even a MadCatz custom fight stick, which looks like the only way to play.  Especially for those like me who cannot function with a keyboard and mouse.

Visit Super Comboman on Kickstarter: