Friday, March 29, 2013

Book Review: Everybody Loves Tank Girl!

Everybody loves Tank Girl, right? She's way better than that Raymond guy anyway. She's raucous, stylish, unpredictable and has her own unique sense of social justice. Plus she drives a tank in post-apocalyptic Australia and has sex with a kangaroo. So dammit, I'm going to stand up and be counted. I love Tank Girl too!

Not too long ago I had a great time re-immersing with her off-kilter, foul-mouthed and vengeful adventures in the fantastic Tank Girl Carioca. Now, co-creator Alan C. Martin hooks up with artist Jim Mahfood (who I know from Kevin Smith's Clerks comic book series) to unleash Everybody Loves Tank Girl, a hardcover collection of short sharp comics that explore and expose the many filthy facets of Tank Girl's world. And thanks to our good friends at Titan Books, I have a copy!

Let me tell you all about it... after the jump!

Review: Bioshock Infinite (PS3)

I sincerely hope that Bioshock Infinite changes the way that developers approach sequels. Too many companies, in their haste to release a new incarnation every year, constantly re-release the same game over and over again with the most minor of improvements. That gets dull very quickly and offending games begin to feel more like DLC than a AAA release. Thankfully, that is not the case here. Bioshock Infinite is the complete opposite: a self-contained story that captures the spirit and innovation of the first game and pushes it even further, quite literally rocketing it into a massive new world. The stakes are high and its goals are lofty. Infinite is a work of art that shouldn’t be missed.

More shameless gushing... after the jump!

Thank GIF It's Friday!

It's Easter! The time of year when we get four days off and eat chocolate replicas of external chicken birthing sacs to appease Zombie Jesus! Have a GIF to celebrate! No, I don't know what the hell is going on with it either!

You can tell we're really liking the new search functions in Google Images, right? Happy Easter!

Join The Realm!

You are no doubt aware that we are mere days away from the return of Game of Thrones, and as if the excitement and interest among fans wasn't already huge, HBO have set up a house sigil generator so we can MAKE OUR OWN HOUSE SIGILS. If that isn't the best thing you've heard in the last few days, then you must lead a very exciting life. Why aren't you out skydiving right now?

Anyway, this thing is fun. A lot of fun. You can check it out at Join The Realm, but good luck trying to make something better than MY house sigil:

Batnicorns. I wanted to still keep the Baratheon feel, but Batnicorns are pretty much 1000% better than deer. Head below the cut to see what pop culture favourites I was able to stretch the limited palette to encompass.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review: G.I. Joe Retaliation!

If you want the spoiler free version because you actually, sincerely want to see this thing then let me start with the short version. Director Jon M. Chu somehow manages to make a film that is dumber, smaller, cheaper, and far more morally bankrupt than the first one - which was a dumb, but fun sci-fi fantasy. This is more of a straight out, gun-boner, b-grade action flick that is sometimes so ridiculously inept that it’s entertaining - just not entertaining enough to pay full price for. Even shorter version: G.I. Joe Retaliation is balls. You were warned.

Now, if you don’t give a crap about spoilers and want to read a no-holds-barred, spoiler-filled rant about why this film is so terrible, then please won’t you join me... after the jump!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Thursday Threesome: My Three Favourite Ensemble Casts Off Screen

This one could get messy fast. I tend towards television ensemble casts rather than film casts, so the adorable antics of the Avengers cast didn’t make the cut. But trust me, they are amazing.

Sticking to the television world, there are still so many fantastic ensemble casts who work well on screen and are famous friends off screen. I think that the chemistry between a cast who are also friends in life, makes them all the most stunning on the screen. I thought long and hard and some notable mentions go to the Buffy cast, who were amazing, and still very close friends, the Stargate cast who melt my face with their adorable interconnectedness and also for a while there, the Heroes cast. It’s a shame that show went to hell in a hand basket, because for a while it was gripping new sci-fi/fantasy television with a cast that really clicked.

Drumroll then... find my picks below.

New 52 Catch Up

I've been trying to put up reviews of some of the New 52 trades as I've read them, especially since so many of them are my first encounters with the characters or comics themselves. I've failed at that, but given that we're at the end of the first quarter of 2013, I figured I'd do a quick scattershot roundup of some of the ones I've read, liked, or didn't...

The Wolverine - First Full Trailer!!

Here ya go!

Looks like the all-too-classic superhero movie trope - "The one where ________ LOSES HIS POWERS!"  Well, it was likely inevitable...but will it be done well?  What do you think?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Stryder's Favourite Comics - 3/20/2013

Ah the first new comics of Spring!  Strangely, in this time of renewal, DC continues to say good-bye.  Both with more "Requiem" issues in the Bat-Family, and to the creative team of Grant Morrison and Rags Morales on Action Comics!

Action Comics #18 - "The sun burned red and the sky was black and the rain was blood where it fell."

The final battle between Superman and the "Little Man" Vyndktvx - the twisted and malicious Imp from Dimension 5 - finally arrives in this, the grand finale of Grant Morrison's amazing tale of the beginnings of the New 52 Man of Steel!  This is the ending that fans of this run have been hoping for...a crazy, psychedelic explosion of various elements throughout time, space and multiple dimensions!

It's impossible to really explain what's going on in this comic..the various elements of this battle have been building since the New 52 began!  I had to reread the entire run from Action Comics #1 on so that I would catch all the intricacies...and all ready I can't wait to read it again!  It's the sort of story that gets better each time you read it and will definitely make an excellent collection someday soon.  One of the best Superman stories EVER!

I also have to give mad props to the back-up feature, which referenced my favourite line from Superman The Movie - "You've got me!?  Who's got you?!?"  Oh Margot's all in the delivery!  Anyway, great work all-around!  A Stunning finale to an epic run! 

Of course if Superman isn't your cup of tea, there's Justice League, Nightwing and more after the JUMP!

Avengers vs. X-Men Comics

In late 2012 Marvel put out the Avengers vs. X-Men series, sparking rumours (and honestly some fangirl and fanboy high hopes) that this would lead to an Avengers vs. X-Men movie. The reality of course is that the two franchises are separately owned and it would take a hell of a lot of cajoling to pull something like this off, even though The Avengers was a very successful film and the X-Men First Class movie was great.

I finished these comics recently and was struggling with words to review the series. It was a lot more enjoyable than I had originally expected. Many were raising eyebrows and expecting this to be pretty lame. While it wasn’t the best series I’ve read, it certainly had its high points, including The Scarlett Witch and Hope Summers, and also the wonderful art work, including some by Jim Cheung.

Join me for a little more discussion under the cut.

Review: Dead Space 3 (PC)!

I missed Dead Space 3 on its release earlier this year so, when EA hand-balled me a free copy as an apology for the Simcity debacle, I was understandably thrilled, eager to don my engineering suit and have the shit scared out of me all over again. But, what quickly followed, was instead nothing more than the “strategic dismemberment” of my waning enthusiasm. Seemingly a pale imitation of its predecessors, my initial reaction to part three was vitriolic. Treading (and re-treading) the same old dark, dank spaceship corridors to collect yet another missing fuse, while fighting the exact same enemies as before? You’re kidding, right? It felt like lazy downloadable content. Is this all there is? Or is something better lurking just underneath the surface?

Dead Space 3 takes a long time to get going but the good news is that it’s actually a decent game if you’re prepared to persevere just that little bit longer. How so? I’ll dissect it limb by limb... after the jump!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Hot Toys Coulson and Iron Man Mark VII Almost Pre-Order Sold Out!

Do you hear that ominous warning klaxon?! That's our good pals at Sideshow Collectibles letting us know that both the Hot Toys Agent Phil Coulson and the Mark VII Iron Man (as seen in The Avengers) are both nearly pre-order sold out! So if you've been procrastinating, dilly-dallying, or lollygagging, now is the time to pony up a pre-order - WHILE YOU STILL CAN! I've secured my Iron Man but I am still battling whether or not I need Coulson. AND I'M RUNNING OUT OF TIME!



PAX East 2013: Krosmaster Arena - A Stunning Anime Miniatures Game!

Kickstarter had a huge presence at PAX East. There was a Kickstarter room where you could play and purchase successful Kickstarter projects. There were Kickstarter panels with staff and successful project creators. And the biggest success story of all was probably Cards Against Humanity, which dominated the event with giveaways in the official swag bags, a massively sold out panel, and people everywhere playing the game.

Along with this, there were lots of designers, developers, and publishers showing their games off and promoting their active Kickstarter projects. I was one of them! Another was Japanime Games, with their stunning anime miniatures battle game, Krosmaster Arena.

Find out much more, after the jump!

The Book Was Better Podcast: Teaser for Episode 39!

In today's mini teaser episode of The Book Was Better podcast, I read your iTunes reviews, tell you all about my meeting with Jess's giant babby, reveal my delightful next guest host AND tell you which infamous movie novelization we will be punching our way through next week! THAT'S A WHOLE LOT OF PODCAST!

Plus, below is a tease of the very special photo shoot that secret guest and I did to celebrate the upcoming show! Holy crap! Aren't we the gift that just keeps on giving!? Cram it in your ear right now!

You can download it from the official site, or why not subscribe to us on iTunes and make your parents proud!

All will be revealed in Episode 39.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

El Professore Movie Review: The Return of Ringo

Director: Duccio Tessari
Starring: Giuliano Gemma, Fernando Sancho, Lorella De Luca, Nieves Navarro
*** 1/2

It's Homer's 'The Odyssey' re-imagined as a Western.

To be honest, El Professore tends to prefer his Italo Westerns when they go Goth and/or are overtly violent. This early and highly regarded entry really is neither, but it is such an involving and well crafted piece that it's impossible not to come away from it without realizing you've just witnessed a genre classic.

Full review after the jump.