Saturday, December 15, 2012

FP Gift Guide: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells

Apologies for this gift post being a little later than intended, I started researching Batman gift ideas and became so overwhelmed with the gargantuan amount of crap that's available to buy with a Bat logo on it, that I fell into a Bat-coma for a week. Jump below the cut to check out what I found before I started feeling weak and needed to have a lie down.

El Professore Movie Reviews: Equinox (aka The Equinox - A Journey into the Supernatural) (aka The Beast)

Director: Dennis Muren, Jack Woods
Starring: Edward Connell, Barbara Hewitt, Frank Bonner, Robin Christopher
* * *
Some two decades before Sam Raimi tortured Bruce Campbell in the woods over the Necromonican, a group of college kids lensed an ambitious home movie project about two couples who go on vacation only to be beset by various supernatural and demonic creatures. Oh yeah, and the beasties were seeking an ancient satanic book that our intrepid heroes just happened to come into possession of.

Full review after the jump.

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2012, Day 16: A Right Royal Mess.

Lately, thanks to the Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar, we've been living it up on the icy plains of fabled snow planet Hoth, enjoying some stellar cold-weather mini-figs from the greatest story ever told, The Empire Strikes Back. HA! Suck it, Bible!

But all good things come to an end and the more cynical of us will have been waiting for the other shoe (lightsaber, taun-taun, wookie satchel) to drop. Is today the day?

Let's ominously peel back Door #16... after the jump!

Game of Thrones Playmobil Advent Calendar Day 16: Kill Kill Kill!

It's Day #16 of the constantly ramping Game of Thrones inspired (maybe) Playmobil Advent Calendar which continues to sluggishly race like molasses towards which is (about 35% guaranteed) to be a gripping, blood-soaked and possibly sexy finale. Now that's a sentence!

Let's tear off Door #16 like a flimsy bodice... after the jump!

25 Days of 25 Christmas Songs: Day 15

This is a sort of pseudo-psychedelic way to start your weekend from The Webb Brothers, an indie rockish group out of Chicago who are the sons of Jimmy Webb, who wrote songs like "Wichita Lineman" and "MacArthur Park." I actually saw them open for Doves way back in 2000 and I haven't really heard from them since, but this Christmas song always seems to grab me when I hear it.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2012, Day 15: Let it Snow.

After a shaky and obscure beginning, the Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar has been treating us right this week with its gifts based around best-movie-ever-made: The Empire Strikes Back. Sure we had an umbrella shooting pizza delivery system and a gun rack, but we also got some nice, classic minifigs from our favourite snow scenes. Will our relative streak of luck continue? And how will we ever know? Oh yeah... that's right...

We'll pull back Door #15 after the jump!...

Game of Thrones Playmobil Advent Calendar Day 15: I'm Batman!

Our unstoppable, interminable Game of Thrones inspired Playmobil Advent Calendar continues to chug along even though nightmare black steed Samuel L. Horseson and his war-hungry appendage preemptively censored yesterday with a length on impenetrable horse cloth! We knew this wouldn't be the end of the Horseson saga so will today's gift shed more light, or simply cloud the issue further. 24 days of non-stop writing nonsense about nothing is proving to be hard.

See what's behind Door #15... after the jump!

Thank GIF it's Friday!

And I think that just about sums it up.

25 Days of 25 Christmas Songs: Day 14

Everyone probably knows Bobby "Boris" Pickett for the timeless Halloween classic "Monster Mash." What you probably didn't know was that Pickett recorded a follow-up for the Christmas holiday.

It's ultimately about what you'd expect.

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2012, Day 14: Nice Rack!

Oh yeeaaah! Day #14 of the Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar and we are still alive and kicking! We are solving mysteries, cheering up disappointed children, and high-fiving until our palms are sore and red. Yesterday our Christmas frowns were turned upside down thanks to the jolly gonking of a fan-favourite power droid! Can our winning streak continue? No. Probably not.

Find out what what’s behind Door #14... after the jump!

Game of Thrones Playmobil Advent Calendar Day 14: This Horse is Censored!

It’s Day #14 of our epic, blood-drenched Game of Thrones inspired (maybe) Playmobil Advent Calendar which, to be fair, has mostly consisted of two knights standing around and gearing up. BUT yesterday Dragon-Bangin’ Mad Gary Targaryen received a beautiful, black, rippling, steaming, bucking, hatred-filled steed called Samuel L. Horseson, and today’s door is nearly as big!

Let’s pry open Door #14... after the jump!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Readthrough of Time: The Gathering Storm

I knew there was a good story in here somewhere. While I assumed Brandon Sanderson would be able to squeeze something good out of the framework that Robert Jordan put together, I honestly did not expect it to be the riveting, exciting read that The Gathering Storm ended up being.

25 Days of 25 Christmas Songs: Day 13

The Civil Wars largely became music darlings on the strength of their album Barton Hollow as well as their work on the soundtrack for The Hunger Games. At this point, I would love to hear them sing any song that's thrown in front of them, as this Christmas song is absolutely gorgeous.

Pacific Rim Trailer Becomes 127th to Use Inception Sound.

Earlier this month we saw the new Star Trek poster shamelessly rip off Nolan's Dark Knight Rises poster, and now the first trailer for Guillermo del Toro's giant robots fighting giant monsters movie, Pacific Rim, becomes the 127th film to rip off the Inception trailer BRAAAAAAAAAARH sound. Although this time it seems to have a bit of a Transformers twist. I know that I get far more excited about a film when it sounds like Optimus Prime is farting all the way through it!

Honestly Hollywood, instead of continually ripping each other off (by "each other" I mean "Christopher Nolan" why not put all your heads together and just release one single week long movie for the entire year? Call it BRAAAAARRRRRH: The Movie. It will make a trillion bucks.

But if you can get past the Inception sound, there are still plenty of other wonderfully derivative things to enjoy about this trailer...

All requisite snarkiness aside, I do enjoy del Toro's work and I am looking forward to this one. Looks like it should be a lot of epic monster punching fun. And maybe that's enough? What do you think then if you're so damn clever?

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2012, Day 13: I Have the Power!

It’s day 13 of the Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar, an unlucky number for some but, after yesterday’s awesome gift, will it be lucky for us? So far the Lego Calendar Gods have swung their mighty (Lego) pendulum wildly between Phantom Menace obscurity and Empire Strikes Back awesomeness. Will today’s gift put a smile on your child’s dial? Or is it tears before bedtime?

Let’s crack open Door #13... after the jump!

Game of Thrones Playmobil Advent Calendar Day 13: Nightmare!

Now officially over the halfway point, our Game of Thrones inspired Playmobil Advent Calendar starts its race to the finish! Who will prevail over Playmobil Kings Landing? The dastardly, yet apparently cowardly, Sir Dudley of Moore, or batshit insane Mad Targaryen Gary who weeps dragon blood and, before all this is through, may summon/seduce a dragon!

But in the meantime, let’s find out what wickedness lies behind the suspiciously large Door #13... after the jump!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Nerd History: Ten Terrible Christmas Advertisements

With all due respect to the late, great, Sammy Davis Jr, this is one terrible ad. Adding the "pop pop fizz fizz" to the carol, it's almost as bad as those Garmin commercials that use "Carol of the Bells" to sell...whatever it is they sell. So on this 12/12/12, let's indulge ourselves with some of the worst of the ads of Christmas past.

25 Days of 25 Christmas Songs: Day 12

I recognize that it hasn't been cool to like Barenaked Ladies in about 15 years (and whether it was ever cool to like Sarah McLachlan, I don't know), but this version of "Come Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" remains a favorite of mine. The harmonies are sharp, and the "Canadian All-Stars" feel doesn't hurt, either.

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2012, Day 12: Snow Selleck!

And we’re also halfway through our often confusing, occasionally disappointing, but sometimes surprising Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar! Yesterday I threw down a challenge! I said, “Hey Lego! If you’re going to give me a Laser Radar Dish Pizza Delivery Cannon then you had better give me a Hoth Rebel Soldier to operate it!”

Did Lego grant my Christmas wish? Find out what’s behind Door #12... after the jump!

Game of Thrones Playmobil Advent Calendar Day 12: Uh, Double Up, Uh, Uh!

Can you believe that we’re already halfway through our epic Game of Thrones inspired (possibly) Playmobil Advent Calendar and, therefore, halfway to Christmas!? And so much has happened already! We geared up the tyrannical Sir Dudley of Moore, currently holed up in King’s Landing with faithful steed, Thundercracker, and we recently met Dragon-Bangin’ Mad Gary Targaryen who has been gathering equipment with which to storm the keep. It’s all so exciting you could backflip/shit.

To find out what lurks behind Door #12... join me after the jump!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


And speaking of Super Heroes...Another Superman trailer was just released!  It looks AWESOME!!

I seriously cannot wait! The Mayans better be wrong about the world ending this month!

Stryder's Favourite Comics - 12/5/2012

All of the comics I am looking at today were released on my mom's birthday.  Happy birthday mom!  Here's some superheroes!

Detective Comics #14 - "Clayface is out of Arkham--out of his mind--and what's already turned into a bad night just got exponentially worse."

So Batman was caught in the middle of a fight between Penguin and Poison Ivy last month that resulted in Ivy calling on Clayface to help her out!  How does she do this?  She breaks him out of jail and MARRIES him!  Or at least...that's how he remembers it.  Knowing Ivy as we do, well..she has a way with men, even if they happen to be made out of clay!

So now it's the Penguin, Poison Ivy, Clayface and...oh, did I forget to tell you that the Joker's still on the loose, too?  This IS a "Death of the Family" tie-in after all!  Batman is not having a great night...

On the other hand...there may be a way to break Ivy's control over Clayface...all it involves is a little detective work and a NEW COSTUME VARIANT!!  I was pretty excited!

While Batman tries to deal with Clayface, the Joker's decided to recruit the Penguin into his plans to toughen up Batman by taking away all of his crutches.  This may mean Mr. Cobblepot's downfall and is guaranteed to be bad news for the Bat-family...but how can a little Arctic bird say "No" to the Clown Prince of Crime??  Even though it might put his whole criminal empire in danger?

Well, that's not all that's going on in the DCU...Action Comics, Green Arrow and more after the JUMP!

Nerd Out With The New Star Wars Card Game

Fantasy Flight (publishers of the card and board games Call of Cthulhu, Game Of Thrones, Cosmic Encounter and more.) are releasing Star Wars: The Card Game this month. It will get the usual Fantasy Flight high-quality, high-style treatment, with SOLID artwork and gameplay. I've been promising myself I wouldn't buy this, but the tutorial video has sold me on it. I need the game right now.

It's a two-player Living Card Game game where you play as the light side or the dark side, fighting for control of the galaxy. The core set comes with the Imperial Navy, Sith, Rebel Alliance, Jedi, Smugglers and Spies, or Sum and Villains. And in traditional Living Card Game format, lots of expansions will be released, making the game live forever... or as long as we keep buying. And if they keep making awesome tutorial videos, I'll be buying.

More info at:

25 Days of 25 Christmas Songs: Day 11

I'm continually surprised that the Raveonettes's brand of fuzzy dreamy rock translates so well to Christmas music. This rather brilliant version of "Baby Please Come Home" fits their sound perfectly, and gives the song an interesting mood.

The Raveonnettes are a Scandinavian duo who have released a number of albums over the years.

The Book Was Better Podcast Teaser for Episode 33... And a Big Announcement.

Well folks, this is kind of an important one. Not only do we let you know which horrific movie tie-in novelisation Jess and I will be deconstructing in next week's very special Christmas Episode, but we also have a rather large announcement about our plans for 2013. If you usually skip the teaser, don't skip this one! We love you!

You can download it right now from the official site, or why not subscribe to us on iTunes. Please?

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2012, Day 11: Dishing it out!

The last couple of days the Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar has given us a breath of fresh (icy) air in the form of some much welcomed Battle of Hoth themed gifts! We’ve already had the curmudgeonly lampshade-wearing General Veers, regally riding his puppy-like mini AT-AT. Will we get more Hothy treasure today?

Let us tear open Door #11 and find out.... after the jump!

Game of Thrones Playmobil Advent Calendar Day 11: Can I Axe You a Question?

The epic blood-drenched saga of the Game of Thrones inspired Playmobil Advent Calendar tensely continues as new contender to the throne, Dragon-Banging Mad Gary Targaryen, begins to gear up, readying himself to confront the suddenly sissified Sir Dudley of Moore who has barricaded himself in the keep at King’s Landing. Phew!

To see what’s behind Door #11... join me after the jump!

Monday, December 10, 2012

25 Days of 25 Christmas Songs: Day 10

Nothing says Christmas like Star Wars, right? Proving that the abysmal holiday special wasn't the only treat George Lucas would leave in our stockings, this album was the first in what was meant to be a series of Star Wars-related holiday albums. Sales definitely prompted a sequel, but the record label that Christmas in the Stars was released on shut down shortly after this printing.

You'll probably remember the debut of Jon Bon Jovi on "R2D2 We Wish You a Merry Christmas," but surely you don't recall this abomination about what to give your favorite Wookiee for a gift.

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2012, Day 10: Puppy!

Yesterday was a fine day for the Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar, so much so that nearly all was forgiven. We received the taciturn General Veers whose strong work ethic and stern glare was no doubt more than enough to scare your kids straight this Christmas. More stuff from Empire Strikes Back, please!

Will we get our Christmas wish? Find out what's behind Door #10... after the jump!

Game of Thrones Playmobil Advent Calendar Day 10: At the Helm!

The tension in our Game of Thrones inspired Playmobil Advent Calendar is so thick right now you could hack its hoary head off with a sword. Yesterday a brand new character, the dragon-banging Mad Gary Targaryen emerged from the mists to challenge the tyrannical Sir Dudley of Moore. George R.R. Martin will be covering these events in minute detail in his eighth book: A Play With Mobil.

To find out what’s going on behind Door #10... join me after the jump!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Lego Minifigures Series 9 - Sneak Peek Images and Information on Series 10 and 11!

The ongoing and always interesting Lego Minifigure series is continuing with its 9th set due in stores next month. The images are start to roll out, so let's not waste anymore time and get right into it.

A chicken costume with custom arms! So awesome. This looks like it's going to be one of the best recent sets, but I do have a few issues with it...

Click through the jump for a LEGO RANT! 

Broke Video Gamer: RaiderZ Review

I didn’t have high hopes for originality when I first fired up Raiderz. In fact, I was anticipating another World of Warcraft clone before I even installed. While being similar to a massively popular and genre-breaking game can be okay, a game like Raiderz needs something really special to stand out from all the other magical hack & slash games out there. Making the game free is a good start -- Who wants to pay for not-WoW? I put on my robe and wizard hat and ventured out into the Kingdom of Rendel in hopes of grand adventure in this uncharted land.

Raiderz is a free-to-play MMORPG developed by MAIET Entertainment. The open beta release was made available on October 24, 2012. It is published in North America by Perfect World Entertainment. The client download can be found on Perfect World’s website:

Click through the jump for the full review!

El Professore Movie Presents: My Top Twenty Hong Kong Movies Ever... Plus One

The website Love Hong Kong Film recently ran a poll in order to come up with the top 100 greatest Hong Kong films of all time. They reportedly recieved over 160 entries (more than hoped). The choices were to submit either 10 or 20 films and they had to be in order of preference. If you submitted 10 titles, then #1 was worth 10 points, #2 was worth 9 points, etc. If you submitted 20 titles, #1 was worth 10 points, #2 was worth 9.5 points, #3 was worth 9 points etc. 

Having watched Hong Kong films religiously since I was in my late teens (more than half my life) I was all too happy to contribute mine. It wasn't easy to do, but it WAS fun. The following are the 20 films (plus one) that I submitted as my favorites from among the thousands (no, really) that I've seen over the last two and a half decades:

1) King Boxer (aka 5 Fingers of Death)

Click through the jump for twenty more!

25 Days of 25 Christmas Songs: Day 9

The Polyphonic Spree put out an entire Christmas album this year, and their mix of "Carol of the Bells" and "Little Drummer Boy" definitely do the trick for me. It's equal parts traditionalism and Polyphonic craziness.

The Polyphonic Spree are a collective of dozens of members lead by Tim DeLaughter, formerly of Tripping Daisy.