Saturday, December 29, 2012

El Professore Movie Reviews: Tarkan Viking Kani (Tarkan and the Blood of the Vikings) (aka Tarkan vs. the Vikings)

Director: Mehmet Aslan
Starring: Kartal Tibet, Eva Bender, Seher Seniz
* * * *
Turkish Pop Cinema of the '70s is like junk food for the brain. It has no nutritional value whatsoever and if watched in bulk, could leave damaging long term fatty deposits. Regardless, I've binged on this stuff ever since I first found out of it's existence about a dozen years ago. Watching these films are a unique experience as most display little in the way of a budget and apparently even less in filmmaking knowledge. Some of the shots, special effects and editing would make even Ed Wood blush. They are probably some of the most incompetently made movies in world cinema. Yet what they lack in technical knowhow, they make up for (and then some) in sheer entertainment value and in your face, go for broke bravada. I have never in my life seen such manic and intensely crazed films anywhere. The best of these I find endlessly rewatchable and and a total riot. One of the first I ever saw (thanks to a wonderful 'Mondo Macabro' dvd release) was 'Tarkan and the Blood of the Vikings' which they saw fit shorten to 'Tarkan vs. the Vikings'.

Full review after the jump.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Review: The "Final" Wave of Star Wars Vintage Action Figures, Part 1: Return of the Jedi.

The fabled/frustrating Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar may have wrapped up, but there's still plenty of new thrilling/sometimes confusing Star Wars content to be had, especially if you're a jaded old skool afficienado desperately seeking a kick to the old nostalgia balls.

A year or two ago Hasbro put their 3 3/4 inch figures back on classic silver and black cards but, sadly, all good things come to an end and the last wave of 2012 is actually the last wave (at least for now) of the "vintage" styled line. And to pile even more salt into your teary wound, this last wave is available from online retailers only - no doubt because most brick and mortar stores are still drowning under stacks of unsold Phantom Menace figures from the 3D re-release.

But let's sweep all that negativity under the wampa rug. The good news is that this is a super solid wave of twelve new action figures, including some awesome re-dos of classic trilogy characters. If this image doesn't get those aforementioned nostalgia balls throbbing then I would recommend checking your connection between your brain and your nostalgia balls...

Man, that card art takes me right back to 1983! POW! If you feel anything at all looking at that image then you better join me after the jump! Hurry before Disney adds mouse ears and fairy wings!

The Readthrough of Time: Towers of Midnight

The Readthrough of Time is reaching its home stretch as we get moving with Towers of Midnihgt. While I did enjoy this volume, the book was a lesson in even a great author not being able to completely rescue less than stellar source material all the time.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Broke Video Gamer: Continent of the Ninth Seal Review

Every time I place myself into an MMO, I go in with hopes of finding new friends, building a massive army, and taking over/destroying that world. This week, my tendencies for escapism took me to the Continent of the Ninth Seal, aka C9. It is an MMORPG released by Webzen Games in July of 2012. The pretty ads on Steam and the awesome trailer were more than enough to have me start the lengthy download and patch process. Let’s see if this one is ripe for harvest to feed my delusions of grandeur.

Click for the entire review.

Let's Talk Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

I can't remember the last time a book grabbed me and immersed me quite the way Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell did. This wasn't a book that I was necessarily in a rush to read until I saw a) that the BBC was making a miniseries out of it and b) so many of my friends immediately began raving about how good it was.

So I dove in. What I thought was going to be a fairly standard fantasy novel ended up being so much more. It's still fantasy, but it has elements of Infinite Jest, The Prestige, all sorts of fairy tales, European's no surprise that the book took nearly a decade to finish.

Come along beyond the jump for more on the book and some guesses as to what good casting might look like for the miniseries!

Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale (PS3 & Vita) Two Sentence Review

Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale (a/k/a Sony Smash Bros) is a very familiar, yet somehow different, multiplayer battle game set in the diverse extended Playstation Universe that sets Fat Princess against PaRappa the Rapper, Kratos, Big Daddy and many more. As a lover of Super Smash Bros. this game was a "must try", and thankfully after a few rounds it was obvious that it was a "must buy".

25 Days of 25 Christmas Songs: Post-Holiday Bonus

It would be inappropriate to put this song anywhere else but after the Christmas holiday. Plus, that song yesterday...yeah.

I hope everyone had a good one!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Nerd History, Christmas/Apocalypse Edition: The Prophet Hen of Leeds

On a day where Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ mere days after celebrating the fact that the Mayans were wrong and the world did not, in fact, end, I tripped up on a doomsday prophecy that bonds the two ideas together.

It turns out that, in 1806, a hen laid some eggs. The eggs made a bold statement: "Christ is coming." The "Prophet Hen of Leeds," as it were, immediately got the attention of the more religious locals and it caused some problems until it was learned that the entire thing was indeed a hoax - the hoaxster actually inscribed the eggs and then forced them back into the bird to be lain again.

So if you enjoy some chicken with your family today, think of the hen that didn't die for anyone's sins, but set a small community off anyway. Merry Christmas!

25 Days of Christmas Songs: Day 25

Jon LaJoie is a comedian who made his name on YouTube and is now one of the funniest characters on The League. Since he claims this is "The Best Christmas Song," who am I to argue?

Enjoy the day! Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Stryder's Favourite Comics - 12/19/2012

Merry Christmas everybody!

Despite being rather busy roasting chestnuts and hanging stockings and whatnot, I STILL managed to read a bunch of comic books this week! It's all about prioritizing, right? In any case, Santa may be coming to town tonight, but the Joker and H'El are both already here...

Supergirl #15 - "His voice is so cold, like the deepest, darkest corner of space.  But his words...If he can really save Krypton...I have no choice but to follow."

"H'El on Earth" continues as Supergirl agrees to help H'El with his plan to somehow go back in time before Krypton was destroyed and save the planet!  This, despite the fact that she knows almost nothing about H'El or his alleged plan.  Well, Kara hasn't shown very much capacity for calmly and rationally thinking out her decisions and coming to the smartest conclusion in the past, and this is no exception!

H'El takes Kara to the Fortress of Solitude (he "liberated" it from Superman and his guest/patient Superboy in last week's Superboy #15) and, with a touch, simlutaneously shrinks her and teleports her INTO the "Bottle City of Kandor"!  This is the saved Kryptonian city that Brainiac had on his spaceship.  All of it's inhabitants are in stasis and it's guarded by robots, but that shouldn't stop Kara and H'El's astral projection from retrieving a special quantam crystal power source!  Kara is reluctant to remove this crystal, which the city needs, but H'El convinces her that it's all good due to the paradox of time travel.  Yeah, right...

Oh, incidentally, Superman and Superboy are still hanging around in the snow outside the Fortress of Solitude while this is going on, unable to gain entry...crazy!  Maybe they should try going down the chimney!

See what's happening in Gotham City and elsewhere, after the JUMP!

25 Days of 25 Christmas Songs: Day 24

I really love Fitz and the Tantrums. They're a throwback without being ironic about it, they clearly love what they do, and the musicality is great. When I heard their Christmas song on New Girl a couple weeks ago, I rushed out to add it to all my playlists.

If this happens to your lady tonight, call the police.

Arbor Christmas Volume 13 - A Collection of Original Christmas Songs

Each year, bands from South Jersey, Philadelphia and beyond, join forces to make the Arbor Christmas Collection, a compilation of (mostly) original Christmas music. And now in its 13th year, the compilation is better than ever. You may recognize bands like Into It. Over It, or Young Statues on the list, right next to bands that are formed specifically for this compilation each year (Norick Eve, etc.)

Highlights include The Infiniteens Royal Tenenbaums-ish Ring A Bell, Ages dark piano driven' All Saints, Joy Riding's debut song (which reminds me of Superchunk goodness) Joy (To The World) Riding and so much more. There are 19 tracks total, making this the largest Arbor Christmas Collection to date.

I even have a place on the compilation each year, with this year's contribution being The Castle Arms (featuring Bueller Da Don) Wrap Battle, a Judgment Night influenced rock / hip-hop mash-up / duel about gift wrap ("You can't spell represent without present").

Download link:

And while you are at it, you can download the 12 previous compilations for free at

Exclusive to the South Jersey area is the actual Arbor Christmas Show, a play / live performance by many of the bands on the compilation. This is what started the whole thing many years ago. This years was all about time travel, filled with Star Wars and 911 jokes. I have yet to see a video surface, but Mark Martucci (photographer and singer/songwriter on the compilation) put together a great Flickr album from the event. You can view it here:

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2012, Day 24: Darth Claus.

We did it you guys! Santa Claus is already coming down the aptly named Santa Claus Lane and we are about to enjoy the very last day of our Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar. We've had laughs, we've had tears, we've had more tears, we've had scratched heads, we've had confused parents frantically googling, and then even more tears. But we got there in the end. HIGH FIVE, you guys. Everything always works out in the end.

You already know what we're getting but let's hold hands and open Door #24 - together - after the jump!

Game of Thrones Playmobil Advent Calendar Day 24: A Clash of Kings.

This is it, you guys, tomorrow is Christmas and today is the epic conclusion of the savage and sexy tale that is the Game of Thrones inspired Playmobil Advent Calendar! Our journey has been long, arduous, and improvised, but Mad Gary Targaryen has summoned an angry dragon, defeated the pretender, Sir Dudley of Moore, and stormed the castle with his new sidekick, Peck Pussywillow, the midget skeleton. Yesterday they found a giant blue chest. What is their (and your) reward?

Let's kick open Door #24... after the jump!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

25 Days of 25 Christmas Songs: Day 23

Lisa Loeb became famous in the same time frame that I started paying attention to girls and music, so she always has a good place in my heart, as do those glasses of her's. Her version of "Jingle Bells" is a little funky and different, but it's okay because it's Lisa Loeb. Right?

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2012, Day 23: Snowbot!

It's the moment you've all been waiting for, regardless of whether you're a disgruntled, baffled parent or a disappointed child! It's the second last day of the Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar and we are finally guaranteed to receive the couple of awesome gifts that we were promised on the box. I mean... we are guaranteed, right? Right???

Let's cross our eager fingers and bust in Door #23... after the jump!

Game of Thrones Playmobil Advent Calendar Day 23: Getting It Off Our Chest!

It is the penultimate day of the epic Game of Thrones inspired Playmobil Advent Calendar! The wicked Sir Dudley of Moore was ravaged by the summoned dragon and the victorious Mad Gary Targaryen gained access to the Keep! It was there where he found the restless spirit of skeleton midget, Peck Pussywillow, and they began to roam the castle's tunnels.

What exciting crap did they find? See it all when we open Door #23... after the jump!