Saturday, December 22, 2012

El Professore Movie Reviews: Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny

Director: R. Winer
Starring: Jay Ripley, Shay Garner, Pat Morrell, Bob O'Connell, Ruth McMahon
* 1/2

If Hell does indeed exist, then I'm pretty sure that it would have a spot reserved for the makers of 'Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny'.

Full review after the jump.

25 Days of 25 Christmas Songs: Day 22

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" is a holiday classic for reasons inexplicable to me. It's a really, really creepy song.

If you're headed to a Christmas party tonight, and someone starts singing this to you, consider getting away. If Lyle Lovett is leering at you and singing it, run.

(But seriously, if this song is your cup of (roofied) tea, this is one of my favorite versions.)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2012, Day 22: What the Sith is This?

With but three days left on the often baffling Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar we already deduced which gifts were left (because they were prominently pictured on the frigging box!). Two of these look pretty great. One of them... not so much. But which one are we going to get?

We'll never know unless we blast open Door #22... after the jump!

Game of Thrones Playmobil Advent Calendar Day 22: Midget Macabre!

The end is nigh for the Game of Thrones inspired Playmobil Advent Calendar and our epic tale of bumpy dragon tongues and treachery is a drawing to a bone-rattling conclusion! Yesterday Sir Dudley
 of Moore was ravage by red, scaly nightmare dragon, Antagonos the Pissed, and the wicked Mad Gary Targaryen nicked his keys and entered the Keep. But what did he discover there? It's the LAST thing you'll expect.

We'll unlock Door #22 after the jump!

25 Days of 25 Christmas Songs: Day 21

I'm not going to lie - "Christmas at Ground Zero" is probably my favorite Weird Al song, and one of my favorite Christmas songs. Geopolitical disaster around the holidays? I suppose that's my idea of a good time. Plus, with the world ending at some point today and all...

Everyone knows who Weird Al is, as if you'd need an introduction. He's also responsible for the other Christmas classic "The Night Santa Went Crazy."

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2012, Day 21: I'm Super, Thanks For Asking!

It is day 21 of the consistently infuriating, obscure treasure trove that is the Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar which has around a 70% chance everyday of baffling everybody but the hardcore. But fear not, confused parents and/or dumb kids! We are firmly among the hardcore and will gladly assist you with all your identifying needs. Not that you're going to need it this time...

You'll see why when we pry open Door #21... after the jump!

Game of Thrones Playmobil Advent Calendar Day 21: Patience is Key.

Having narrowly avoided apocalypse we are now but four little doors away from Christmas, at least according to our epic sword, sorcery and schlong-filled Game of Thrones inspired Playmobil Advent Calendar! Yesterday was the most wondrous day yet when a huge, red scaly dragon named Atagonos the Pissed was successfully summoned in a fireside ritual and started to beat his leathery wings, belch his fiery burps, and generally tear shit up! In a hundred years time people will STILL be singing songs about that terrifying day and we should be grateful that we'll be dead and won't have to listen to them.

But for now, let's open up Door #21... after the jump!

Street Fighter X Mega Man Is Out & It's Free!

If there was ever a time that I wished I had a PC, it would be RIGHT NOW.

Street Fighter X Megaman is a Capcom approved, fan-made PC crossover of two of the best NES era game series. Megaman, being one of the hardest 8-bit platformers ever, battles through the world of Street Fighter, confronting final bosses that include Dhalsim, Chun Li, Rolento and more. It sounds wonderful, and very well may be, but I don't have a PC, so I will never know. 

But you can find out for yourself, and for free! The full game is available as a free download. The link is below this awesome teaser video.

Best Music of 2012

Another year gone. My total reliance on Spotify means that I was both exposed to and purchased more music this year than I probably have in some time. This means that I either discovered more good music than ever before, or that this was just an exceptional year musically. I definitely feel like any of the first eleven albums could have theoretically been my number one in other years, which is ridiculous.

Anyway, some of my favorite tracks are on a public playlist on Spotify for you, and if you think I missed anything, let me know in the comments. Beyond the jump, let's get started...

25 Days of 25 Christmas Songs: Day 20

I love She & Him, the collaboration between Manic Pixie Dream Girl Zooey Deschanel and Manic Hipster Dream Guitarist M. Ward. The fact that they did a Christmas album together is awesome, and the fact that the album itself is a favorite of mine for Christmas songs overall doesn't hurt, either.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2012, Day 20: Revenge of the Shite!

It's day of the ultimately alienating Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar and I'm sorry to inform you that the madness continues. Yesterday many of you flocked to the site to find the answer to what the hell Day 19 was, and I fear that, unless you're a hardcore collector, today is going to result in similar issues. Issues that need tissues. For your disappointed children's snot-smeared, rotund faces.

But don't worry, buddys, as always we have you covered. We know what's behind Door #20... after the jump!

Game of Thrones Playmobil Advent Calendar Day 20: Burninator!

I refuse to believe that it is already day 20 of the epic tale of savage, debacherous butchery that is the Game of Thrones inspired Playmobil Advent Calendar! But let's not drown in unnecessary adjectives! Today's door is so gigantic that is a DOUBLE-DOOR...

What massive gift could be lurking behind this intimidating cardboard facade? Why can I smell sulphur? Where is that scratching and howling coming from? Why is everybody suddenly so damn nervous?

We blast open Door #20... after the jump!

Nerd History: Must Be Santa!

Given some of the bizarre, out of date, offensive Christmas ads we saw last week, it's interesting to see the evolution of one of the classic icons of the Christmas season, the Coca-Cola Santa Claus. The image of Santa with a Coke is so ingrained in American culture at this point that Coca-Cola outright takes credit for forming this idea in our minds:

In 1931 the company began placing Coca-Cola ads in popular magazines. Archie Lee, the D'Arcy Advertising Agency executive working with The Coca-Cola Company, wanted the campaign to show a wholesome Santa who was both realistic and symbolic. So Coca-Cola commissioned Michigan-born illustrator Haddon Sundblom to develop advertising images using Santa Claus — showing Santa himself, not a man dressed as Santa.

For inspiration, Sundblom turned to Clement Clark Moore's 1822 poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas" (commonly called "'Twas the Night Before Christmas"). Moore's description of St. Nick led to an image of a warm, friendly, pleasantly plump and human Santa. (And even though it's often said that Santa wears a red coat because red is the color of Coca-Cola, Santa appeared in a red coat before Sundblom painted him.)

What's amusing about this entire thing is that, while the Coke Santa is the preeminent Santa in our minds, the image we know and love was created years earlier, and has well over 100 years of history to it at this point, and that's before factoring in The Night Before Christmas, first published in the 1820s.

Coke seems to rely more on those stupid polar bears these days (as someone from Massachusetts, polar bears and soft drinks will always refer to these guys), but you can rest easy this Christmas knowing that our idea of Santa isn't the fault of a sugary soft drink.

25 Days of 25 Christmas Songs: Day 19

Given the talk of Santa today in my other post, there's no better time to pick up this weird Bob Dylan Christmas tune. He put out a whole album of Christmas songs in 2009, and it''s just weird. I don't know how else to put it. It's just kind of weird. I guess when you're Bob Dylan, though, you just do whatever you want.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2012, Day 19: Shite Shuttle!

Uh oh. It's day 19 of the Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar and I am straight out going to level with you. I've already peeked at today's gift and it's one of those unfortunate ones that are going to leave frustrated parents scratching their heads and shaking their fists at the sky while confused children scream through sticky maws, tears running down their snot streaked faces. And the biggest question of all will be, "WHAT IS THIS FRIGGING THING?" 

Relax. Relax. I know the answer...

Door #19's secrets are revealed... after the jump!

Game of Thrones Playmobil Advent Calendar Day 19: Hit or Missile?

It's Day #19 of ye olde (possibly) Game of Thrones inspired Playmobil Advent Calendar and as Mad Dragon Bangin' Gary Targaryen issued a challenge to Sir Dudley of Moore via a dark summoning ritual, yesterday I issued my own challenge to Playmobil. I said, "I love this giant ballista you gave me and I love your calendar, bro, but please do not have the audacity to include its ammo as a separate gift. That would be... UnChristmassy." Did they take note or thumb their nose?

We'll bust open Door #19 and find out... after the jump!

Stryder's Favourite Comics - 12/12/2012

Joker fans rejoice!  Death of the Family took over this week with another FOUR tie-ins!  That's one busy clown!  Let's take a look...

Batman #15 - "Look into his eyes and tell yourself he's just a man..."

More of the Joker's nefarious ploy to "strengthen" Batman by separating him from all of the allies who've been, in the Clown Prince's opinion, weakening his brand, is revealed in this stellar continuation of "Death of the Family"! Joker's claiming to know the true identities of the Bat and all of his allies...despite Bruce's insistence that this is impossible.  However, Bruce is harbouring a secret from his "Family" as that may lend credence to the theory that the Joker actually DOES know! 

Or maybe Joker's just messing with all of the Bat-Family's collective heads, trying to turn them against each other?  If may be working!

Guess we'll find out soon enough, as Batman's next step is to accept a party invite from the Joker...a party being held at Arkham Asylum!!  This is bad, but much worse is Joker's promise to all of Batman's allies..."in less than three days, you'll be dead, dead, DEAD by Batman's hand!"

Lots more Joker and some Before Watchmen and Superboy thrown in for variety!  After the JUMP!

25 Days of 25 Christmas Songs: Day 18

Speaking of Christmas songs that...probably shouldn't exist, here's Scott Weiland - lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, as well as a connoisseur of a variety of hard drugs - doing his version of "Winter Wonderland."

There's a whole album of 'em. I have no words.

The Book Was Better Podcast Episode 33: Santa Claus The Movie!

The Book Was Better is the podcast where Jessica and I read, discuss and heartlessly mock the novelisation of your favourite and not-so-favourite films!

This is a big one! It’s our last episode of 2012, Jessica’s second last episode before her maternity leave, AND it’s our big ol’ Christmas special! We read at the not-so-classic, critically maligned Santa Claus: the Movie based on the 1985 film starring the late Dudley Moore as an elf and a young John Lithgow as a hilariously evil toymaker! Miss this and you deserve coal in your stocking!

Download it now at the official site or why not gift yourself a subscription on iTunes so we can slide down your ear-chimney all year round!

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2012, Day 18: Life is Fleeting!

And it’s the final week of the wild rollercoaster ride that is the Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar and I have had a force premonition that it is going to be a strong one! Maybe we’ll get a goddamn bantha, or a wampa, or a Sarlacc pit! Maybe it will be a draft of the script for Episode VII!? Maybe George Lucas has put a portion of his four billion dollars behind every single door!

Let’s cash in with Door #18... after the jump!

Game of Thrones Playmobil Advent Calendar Day 18: Going Ballistic!

It’s Day 18 as we begin the final week of our epic Game of Thrones inspired Playmobil advent calendar and our tale of blood and battle heads towards a shocking, implausible and no doubt hastily conceived conclusion. Yesterday the gift of fire had our hearts aflame, whatever that means, but what about today?

Let’s chop down Door #18... after the jump!

Monday, December 17, 2012

25 Days of 25 Christmas Songs: Day 17

The Flaming Lips are weird, and so is Tom Waits. So when the Flaming Lips attempt to make a version of White Christmas in the Tom Waits style?

I don't know, man...

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2012, Day 17: FLASH. A-AAAAH!

It’s day 17 of our often tumultuous journey into the Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar filled with dizzying highs and crushing, child-confusing lows. Yesterday’s gift dragged us kicking and screaming back into wild and crazy Phantom Menace territory and I’m ever-fearful that today will do the same.

There’s Door #17. Deep breath. Watch my back. I’m going in. After the jump...

Game of Thrones Playmobil Advent Calendar Day 17: You’re Fired!

Can it possibly already day 17 of the epic, sexy savagery that is the (marginally) Game of Thrones inspired Playmobil Advent Calendar? Short answer: yes.

In the previous weeks we have set the stage for a monumental conflict between two wicked knights, both uncomfortably eager to plant their armoured bottoms on the Iron Throne. Holed up in King’s Landing is disappointingly cowardly Sir Dudley of Moore, and stalking the castle gates is Mad Dragon-Bangin’ Gary Targaryen who is finally fully geared up for battle!

So what next? We’ll pry open the disappointingly small Door #17... after the jump!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

25 Days of 25 Christmas Songs: Day 16

We're keeping it weird with Spinal Tap's "Christmas With the Devil." Everything's better with a little Spinal Tap, I think, but what do I know?

Nice sweater there, Arsenio...