Saturday, December 1, 2012

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2012, Day 2: Dat Smells Stinkowiff!

(Thanks to a huge response to Day #1 of the Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar but please also make sure you check out the epic Game of Thrones Playmobil Calendar too. If you haven't yet seen what Playmobil do with their calendars then you are missing out - they are certainly going to give Lego a run for their money this year!)

Okay! Day #2! Yesterday we did some detective work and figured out what we thought was a fancy space guitar was actually some kind of silly Gungan submarine! Will we be just as baffled today? What lies behind this mysterious wormhole to a galaxy far, far away?

Find out... after the jump!

Game of Thrones Playmobil Advent Calendar Day 2: Flight Knight!

It's that time again! We're going to rip open Door #2 of our epic (clearly) Game of Thrones inspired Playmobil advent calendar! Yesterday we were introduced to bloodthirsty Lannister bastard Sir Dudley of Moore, so what medieval wickedness lays behind the cardboard portal today?

To see it all... join me after the jump!

El Professore Movie Reviews: The Sword of Doom

Director: Kihachi Okamoto
Starring: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Yuzo Kayama
* * * *
"Boddhisattva Pass" is reportedly the longest novel ever written in any language. It was filmed as a trilogy in 1960 called "Satan's Sword", directed by the great Kenji Misumi (one of the most ubiquitous of all Japanese filmmakers) and starred the extremely popular Raizo Ichikawa (whom most here in the States know best for the 'Son of the Black Mass' aka 'Sleepy Eyes of Death' series). It was very popular in Japan and is regarded there as a near perfect interpretation. So much so that when director Kihachi Okamoto attempted a rival two parter several years later, it was halted after just one film. That's really a shame as that film, 'Sword of Doom' is now regarded (and rightfully so) as a mad masterpiece and one of the most stunning samurai films ever made.

Full review after the jump.

25 Days of 25 Christmas Songs: Day 1

For the month of December, I'll be tossing out some holiday favorites and oddities leading up to the Christmas holiday.

Our first offering is a Weezer song from their EP, Christmas With Weezer. I was actually surprised to see they had a whole EP of Christmas songs, and even more surprised to learn that they were recorded in conjunction with an iPhone game called Tap Tap. So there's that.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2012, Day 1: Sub-Standard!

But wait there's more! In addition to the epic A Game of Thrones inspired Playmobil Advent Calendar I will also be opening up the Lego Star Wars Avent Calendar 2012, because December is magical and you can never have enough Christmas ADVENTures!

Here it is in all it's glory, complete with an ice-scape to display everything on top of...

And here is the ominous door number one...

What could be behind it? One of Jabba the hutt's frogs? Lando Calrissian's aftershave? The corpse of an ewok? See it all... after the jump!

Playmobil Avent Calendar Day 1: Game of Thrones!

In Australia at least, it's December 1st, so let's gets our Christmas coverage officially started!!

I have two amazeballs advent calendars to share with you this year as we countdown to the big day. And don't worry if you don't even celebrate Christmas - all this crazy crap will be just as fun for you too. Not having an ounce of religion in my body, Christmas to me is all about magical snowmen with pipes and top hats, leering elves, food, wine, and heaps of presents. So at least celebrate the magic of consumerism with me as we pry open each cardboard door and reap the plastic treasures inside!

First up is this insanely elaborate Playmobil Advent Calendar which appears to have some kind of dragon castle theme!

I will forewarn that all advent pics will be on the camera phone or I will never keep up with them. But cast my shoddy workmanship aside and let's take a peek behind... DOOR NUMBER ONE!

What could it be? A squirrel? A cupcake? A hornet's nest? See it all... after the jump!

Thank GIF it's Friday

Todays GIF comes courtesy of Robert Pattinson who, after I spent three happy hours on Robert Pattinson Hates His Life, I've decided I rather like.

Book Review: Tank Girl Carioca!

Tank Girl
. You know her. She lives in a tank. She has a bandaid on her cheek, occasional missiles for tits, and she’s banging a kangaroo! Always a perfect blend of comical violence and irreverent humour, it pains me that a genius creation like Tank Girl is probably not as well read as fish-fancier Aquaman. Folks, we are lucky to have her, and she deserves our love, so let’s take every opportunity to enjoy her when we can!

Thanks to our friends at Titan Books we can enjoy her right now, in her most recent adventure Tank Girl: Carioca written by co-creator Alan C. Martin with art by Nick McMahon. This hardcover collects all six issues in one convenient, foul-mouthed, blood-spattered volume.

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

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Our Holiday T-Shirt Buying Guide!

The holidays are nearing, and you know you have to buy gifts for those hard-to-please relatives, friends and co-workers. So why not buy them a t-shirt? $20-25 is a decent price point, and you don't even need to know much about them to find a shirt that fits. So, they like Disney World and Tolkien? Well, there's a shirt for it.

T-Shirt For Your Bookish Boss 

Click through the jump for shirts for everyone else in your life.

Broke Video Gamer: Review of Planetside 2

PlanetSide 2 was a frustrating game to get started with. The “briefing” you receive when you enter the game is spent entirely in a drop pod heading for the warzone. Of course, you’d have no idea how everyone on the ground can see exactly where this pod is headed. In my first spawn, I was unceremoniously plunged into the middle of a firefight. The half-second of life I had was not at all enjoyable and it almost caused the rage-uninstall of this game. I didn’t do so well on the next few respawns I had, either. Thoughts of how this game was not for me started permeating my brain-meats and it took me several hours to fire it up again after my initial rage-quit. I’m quite glad I started it up again...and again.

PlanetSide 2 is an MMOFPS and was launched on November 20, 2012 by Sony Online Entertainment. It utilizes the lucrative Free-to-Play model popular amongst its MMO contemporaries. It is available for free download on Steam.

Click for the full review after the jump.

Book Review: Tarzan the Centennial Celebration!

James Bond. Batman. They’re both pretty awesome. But what about some love for king jungle-rumbler Tarzan? The guy is now officially 100 years old and he was RAISED BY APES! How awesome is that?! I love these inspirational tales of orphans done good.

To celebrate, our friends at Titan Books have released a fittingly MAMMOTH book, Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration, that covers all of Tarzan’s book, comic, film, TV and merchandise appearances over the last 100 years. I personally love it because it is filled with beautifully epic paintings of Tarzan absolutely belting the crap out of all kind of animals. And dinosaurs! Beat your chest in celebration!

Take that, stupid lion!
To learn more about this vine-swinging vigilante... join me after the jump!

The Readthrough of Time: Knife of Dreams

The Readthrough of Time is officially at the end of the Jordan-penned Wheel of Time books, as I've now completed Knife of Dreams, and I really can't say anything new about the experience yet again. I've considered this as another lackluster read in the series because it was, again, an experience lacking much in the way of joy or excitement or anything resembling basic interest.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Nerd History: Let's Go Treasure Hunting!

Now that you've effectively spent all your money on the Steam holiday sale gifts for friends and family, you probably need some extra scratch. Good news - there's gold in them thar hills!

The Beale Papers were released in 1885, discussing some treasure buried years earlier in the hills of Pennsylvania. The papers consisted of three ciphers, of which, to this day, only one has been deciphered, saying the following:

I have deposited in the county of Bedford, about four miles from Buford's, in an excavation or vault, six feet below the surface of the ground, the following articles, belonging jointly to the parties whose names are given in number three, herewith: The first deposit consisted of ten hundred and fourteen pounds of gold, and thirty-eight hundred and twelve pounds of silver, deposited Nov. eighteen nineteen. The second was made Dec. eighteen twenty-one, and consisted of nineteen hundred and seven pounds of gold, and twelve hundred and eighty-eight of silver; also jewels, obtained in St. Louis in exchange for silver to save transportation, and valued at thirteen thousand dollars. The above is securely packed in iron pots, with iron covers. The vault is roughly lined with stone, and the vessels rest on solid stone, and are covered with others. Paper number one describes the exact locality of the vault, so that no difficulty will be had in finding it.

As with anything like this, the veracity of the papers are in question, but the story is phenomenal. It makes me want to go on an expedition, but I doubt that will ever happen. If you're into cryptology, however, now's your chance...

Speaking of which, I did trip up on a page full of unsolved ciphers, if you're looking for a way to burn the rest of your life away...

Space Janitors: The Unseen Side of Star Wars!

Space Janitors isn't officially a Star Wars production, but it's definitely the next best thing for a Star Wars geek. It's a comedy webseries about janitors and other unseen characters on the Death Star, living their lives and working their jobs with battles going on around them. The show focuses on Darby and Mike, both social outcasts who have been watching the action for years, while cleaning up its messes, but Darby has had enough. He wants change, and his constant bad luck and poor choices almost guarantee it will happen.

The first series ran for 8 episodes on The Escapist, and was recently picked up by Geek and Sundry, where they are re-running it in full HD. Episode 3 just launched yesterday, but if you get hooked (like I did) you can shoot over to The Escapist and catch up on the rest of the series (or just scroll down here).

The show really takes off around Episode 3, where the characters find a lightsaber (with hand attached!), and Episode 6 takes it to a whole new level of awesomeness once the Emporer arrives on the Death Star.

The very brief first episode is below and the rest of the series can be seen after the jump. It'll take you about an hour to watch it all, and for a Star Wars fan who enjoys some irreverent sci-fi comedy, this should be right up your alley. Season Two is in pre-production now, and can't come soon enough.

Click through the jump for the rest of Season One.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Stryder's Favourite Comics - 11/21/2012

Another week, another pile of comics!  What zany adventures might our heroes find themselves in this week?  Let's take a look!

Catwoman #14 - "Out of one hell and into another.  What does Joker want from me?"

"Death of the Family" isn't about to leave poor Selina Kyle untouched, as the Joker wants Catwoman to toughen up!!  He knows something about her but isn't about to tell...not while she's being so soft on Batman...she's practically a good guy these days!!  Not the "black queen" that Joker wants to make his "king" strong!

So it's time for torture, traps and mind games galore as the Clown Prince puts Catwoman through a gauntlet of deadly peril, more or less for chuckles.  And you know what?  It IS pretty funny!  Hehehehehe. 

There's a really interesting moment at the end of this comic, where Catwoman and Joker have a more-or-less calm conversation that just carried a lot of emotional weight with me.  Mainly because of the historic signifigance of the characters...Batman's two oldest foes, both introduced back in 1940 in Batman #1 (even before Alfred!).  How far they've come...

Justice League, Nightwing, Wonder Woman and more after the JUMP!!

The Book Was Better Podcast: Teaser for Episode 32!

The Book Was Better is the podcast where Jessica and I annihilate the tie-in novelisation of the film! In this week's teaser mini episode we respond to your delightful feedback and let you know which book we'll be reading next! Hint: it's a sequel that's far BIGGER than the original. And cheaper. And crappier. And you will weep for the wasted talent of its star.

You can download it right the hell now from the official site or why not act like a fancy pants and subscribe to us on iTunes? All the kids are doing it!

Review: Kidrobot's Dunny Apocalypse Series!

I wasn’t even aware that these existed until late last week, but Kidrobot has surprised us with another series of blind-boxed designer 3 inch vinyl rabbits, this time to portend the imminent End of the World! The Dunny Apocalypse series features 15 new existence-aborting designs showcasing work from beloved artists such as Ron English, Kronk, Joe Ledbetter and Chris Ryniak. Collect them all quickly before your impending death in a lake of fire!

I picked up two of these bad boys. To check out what I got... join me after the jump!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Kickstart the Week: Combat Kitchenware by James Brown

Forget Kickstarting the week, you can kickstart every single day with Combat Kitchenware!

I don't know how any human being would not want one (or more) of these in their kitchen.

You can get a handle kit for $27, but if you lack dexterity like me, you can get a fully built 8" frying pan for $45, and a 10" pan for $50. And make sure you check out the latest update, you can now opt for The Villain, an awesome and evil looking frying pan hilt.

How could you not get one of each!?

Check out Combat Kitchenware on Kickstarter:

Review: Skyfall Y'all!

I tend to enjoy the many little moments of Bond films more than I enjoy the films as a whole. Even with the best, such as Casino Royale, a certain action film fatigue sets in after a while and the film seems needlessly stretched out and overlong. And then there’s Quantum of Solace, a far shorter film that continues to sell me on Daniel Craig as Bond, but has an easily forgotten plot that had me longing for the gadgets, colourful villains, and world domination schemes of the past.

Skyfall addresses all these issues and triumphs. To find out why it worked... join me after the jump.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gallery 1988: Old School Video Game Art Show - Level 2

More awesome video game art from Gallery 1988!

 Sorry about the late notice (the exhibit ended last night), but I just found out about their second Old School video game art show. It's not like I could have attended, being on the opposite coast. But, there is a good side to living across the country (and across the world for some of you)... you can sit at home, look at the artwork online, and then purchase originals and prints of the artwork after the exhibit ends. And let's face it, if you're playing these video games enough to buy the artwork based on them, leaving the house isn't really your "thing". It's not mine either.

This collection was heavy on the Mario, followed by Zelda and Punch Out. There were a few more obscure references in there, but this collection didn't stray from the hits. The AMAZING Arkanoid illustration may have been the least popular game in the batch, and the Street Fighter 2 car was a great reference.

Check out a few of the best pieces from Gallery 1988's Old School Video Game Art Show - Level 2 after the jump. For more images or to purchase the artwork, visit