Saturday, July 20, 2013

SDCC 13 MARVEL Panel: Avengers 2 is called Age of Ultron, Karen Gillan is Bald, Loki Wants You to Kneel and MORE!

Have just been following the barrage of tweets from Marvel's Hall H presentation at San Diego Comic Con and the hyperbole would lead me to believe that it was the best one yet. I assume far more info will be teased out over the coming days, but here's the key things you need to know...

Marvel kicked things off in a big way when Tom Hiddleston, in full costume and character as Loki took to the stage to tell everyone to kneel... Watch this new HD video...

But although the response to Thor 2 was strong, more excitement has been generated for the first trailer for Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier. Both Chris Evans and Scarlett Johannsson where in attendance and the relationship between Cap and Black Widow is said to be very integral to the story. Described as an "odd couple" it has been said that they very much share the movie. Also there was Samuel L. Jackson who will reprise the role of Nick Fury, and newcomer Anthony Mackie who plays the flying hero Falcon. People are going nuts over the footage shown, which is said to be packed full of badassery (including Black Widow badassery) and even some Robert Redford who I believe plays Fury's boss.

But it was the Guardians of the Galaxy part of the panel - followed by a big announcement regarding The Avengers 2, that garnered the most surprising reveals! For more on that, join me... after the jump!

Review: Custom 'The Hurt Locker' Sgt William James 12" Figure

As Luke and I have learnt over the last year, collecting Hot Toys is a dangerous business. You're dropping $200+ here there and everywhere in frenzied excitement to get tiny replicas of your favourite characters. There's a sense of overwhelming euphoria every time one of those chunky boxes turns up in the mail. And then...the buzz starts to wear off. You see custom dolls that other people have made. Some are bad, but some are very good. You start to think 'Huh, how good would it be to have something that unique?' You may have already seen Luke's post about his custom casual Tony Stark, now it's time to join me on MY journey as I piece together my very own custom; Sgt William James from 2008's The Hurt Locker.

More under the cut!

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Walking Dead Season 4 Trailer!

It looks like there's some unrest amongst the ranks as we rejoin Rick and co at their prison fortress for the fourth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. From the looks of this four minute teaser that debuted during the Walking Dead panel at Comic-Con, we've got a lot to get excited about. Who dies? Will the group split up? Will I stop sitting on the fence in regard to whether Daryl is a gross redneck or a stone cold hottie? WHO KNOWS.

Oh man. If the trailer's that tense, the show's going to be crazy. I hope they bring out a 'Michonne on horse' action figure. I would build an army of tiny Michonnes.

The Walking Dead season 4 will premiere on October 13 on AMC.

Big Brother Power Rankings: Week 4

Another week out of the way. Considering how crazy the first few weeks were, it was kind of strange to see things basically move in a straightforward, drama-free direction (first night following the Head of Household competition notwithstanding).

As we enter the reign of King Judd following the fall of Jeremy, let's take a look at the rankings:

DexCon Recap Part Three: Battle Merchants and The Resistance

Part One of my DexCon recap can be found here:

Part Two of my DexCon recap can be found here:

As my one day at DexCon was winding down, I had the opportunity to play a few more games before hitting the long road home. 

One of them was Battle Merchants, which is currently on Kickstarter and the other was The Resistance, a game that's becoming a new classic. More on both after the break!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

X-Men Days of Future Past Reveals! Let's Look at a Sentinel and Bishop!

Bryan Singer's 2014 follow up to the awesome swingin' sixties X-Men First Class is X-Men Days of Future Past, inspired by the Claremont/Byrne story of the same name, and set to blend both future and past teams together in the threat of a mutant apocalypse. That means that your elderly Ian McKellan Magneto is going to be able to share time with - and possibly high-five - the dreamy Michael Fassbender younger Magneto. And at the core of all this is a villainous Peter Dinklage who plays Bolivar Trask, the jerk who constructs an army of giant robot Sentinels designed to exterminate mutants. Does any of that make sense?

So at SDCC 2013 they have a Sentinel head out on display, giving us a first look at one of these murderous mechanical pricks. You'll see a ton of similar images appearing all over the Internet as fans and reporters snap pictures of it, but I've chosen to pilfer this one by Bleeding Cool's Brendon Connelly who assures his image credit by being reflected in the Sentinel's head. That might also be his thumb in the bottom, thereby further marking this image with his unique fingerprint...

Now is this a good thing or a bad thing? I'm going to talk about Sentinels PLUS show you the first image of time-travelling mutant Bishop (and some others)... after the jump!

Lego Minifigures Series 11 Revealed! And Some New Lego Minecraft Sets While We're At It!

Just when I thought I was out, they bring me back in.

LEGO's extremely popular line of blind-packaged collectible Minifigures (much like old Star Trek movies) seem to have alternated in quality from wave to wave. Series 9 was bold and imaginative, and then Series 10 was comparatively bland with a lot of re-used and repurposed parts. But fear not, because we're due a good one again and, while there are some pieces you'll recognise, I don't think LEGO Minifigure Series 11 will disappoint!

Those timely and no doubt handsome upstarts at Brickset are the folks who nabbed this picture after the figures themselves began to leak into Polish supermarkets. Like many things, it gets bigger if you click on it...

Pretty cool, huh! I'll talk more about who they are, plus show you two new upcoming Minecraft official LEGO sets... after the jump!

My Custom Tony Stark Gets Better Head!

If you’re a regular reader then you may have been following (enduring?) the saga of my quest to put together a custom 1/6th scale Tony Stark, decked out in his casual outfit from the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier scenes in The Avengers. I grabbed a regular Hot Toys TrueType body and found custom clothes on eBay, and my intent was to use the unmasked head from my recently acquired Iron Man Mark VII. But alas, disaster struck when the neck joint was incompatible and the Robert Downey Jr. likeness was a little less than satisfactory!

How did I solve this ridiculously trivial first world problem?! I returned to eBay and sought out the assistance in the dark tunnels of the customiser underworld! How does a custom head stack up against an official Hot Toy? The results might surprise you...

More images and explanation... after the jump!

Review: DC Mystery Minis from Funko!

Blind-box packaging is fun, right!? You never know what you’re going to get! Your favourite character? A rare chase? A live scorpion? An actual diamond? A punch in the face? It’s super fun! And now the crazy pranksters at Funko have further capitalised on our designer vinyl obsession with a cleverly calculated, new range of stylized DC Mystery Minis figures, focusing specifically on the Batman universe (both comic and film!). Batman! Vinyl! Stylized! Blind-boxed! BIFF! POW! ZOMG!

As you may have guessed, my tastes are wildly eclectic. I like the eerie realism of Hot Toys, but I also appreciate the complete other end of the spectrum. I like my Batman either gritty, spitting and shit-scary, or adorable like a puppy.

I’ve got six of these wee beggars and I’m going to scream about them like Christian Bale, and possibly drop you from a rooftop... after the jump!

Pre-Order Hot Toys Iron Man Mark 17 (XVII) Heartbreaker 1/6th Scale Collectible Figure!

We’re going to see a lot of new Hot Toys figures teased over this week’s San Diego Comic Con, but there’s one that you can secure yourself right now! Pre-orders are live for yet another, Iron Man 3 armour, this time the dapper and debonair Mark XVII, affectionately known as the Heartbreaker. I assume it earns this moniker as it is specifically built to lure, attract and endure naive supermodels with low self-esteem. Heartbreaker sports an iconic chest design and powerful pussy-magnets in both palms. I’m hoping that the entire thing will reek of cologne.

If that’s already sold you, you can pre-order it right this very minute from our good pals at Sideshow Collectibles here: Iron Man 3 - Hot Toys Marvel Movie Masterpiece Series Iron Man Mark 17 - Heartbreaker Armor Sixth Scale Figure MMS Series (Hot Toys) (and don't hesitate! History shows that these things sell out before release then go for crazy prices on eBay).

Or if you want more heartbreaking images and commentary, join me... after the jump!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Interview Time with Andy Goergen of Nintendo World Report and 8-Bit Acrylic!

Andy Goergen is involved with a few different video game things you might not be familiar with, but should be. A friend of mine for a number of years now, he was gracious enough to take some time to talk about what's going on with Nintendo, video games in general, and other endeavors. He has a interesting perspective on Nintendo that I hadn't considered, and it's a good reminder that I have to reclaim a high score in a game we both play...

Andy can be found at Nintendo World Report (Twitter and Facebook) and 8 Bit Acrylic (Etsy and Facebook).

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

DC Comics New 52 - Stryder's Weekly Top 5

I don't know about the rest of the world but it is HOT this week in Toronto...try not to drip sweat on your comics!  Oh speaking of which this week's comics were all released on July 10, 2013...

Justice League #22 - "I see the aftermath of a great war.  And I see one word that defines it: Trinity."

The "Trinity War" begins here!!  What a compelling issue of Justice League!  I almost don't know what to say about it that doesn't give too much away...there's a lot going on.  It all starts with Pandora...Shazam....Superman and Wonder Woman...Amanda Waller and her Justice League of America...Martian Manhunter has definitely got some secret agenda...Catwoman and Batman do a little trash talking...and Madam Xanadu makes an appearance with a vision of a terribly bleak future.  Things are not looking up for our heroes! 

Well, I won't say more than that about the plot but as far as I'm concerned this isthe best issue of Justice League yet in the New 52!  They've been teasing this storyline for over a year now and this first issue totally lives up to the hype!  Great art, great story...and soon to be continued in Justice League of America!  I can't wait!

What other titles made this week's list?  So glad you asked!  Find out after the JUMP!

The Book Was Better Episode 51: Beverly Hills Chihuahua (with guest host Courtney Coulson!)

The Book Was Better is the podcast where we mercilessly critique the (mostly) wretched tie-in book of the film!

This week we’re heading south of the border where a small douchebag dog learns to be an ever bigger douchebag in the cringeworthy novelization of the canine consumerist crapfest, Beverly Hills Chihuahua! Thankfully I’m joined by costume creator, pop aficionado and fellow Fruitless Pursuits contributor Courtney Coulson who is the only host brave enough to help me navigate through this Gucci and churro strewn mess. Can you believe that there are illicit organised dog fights in this thing? And that’s just scratching the surface!

You can download it right now from the official site, or why not subscribe to us on iTunes? There’s a good boy! I'ma rub your belly!

Monday, July 15, 2013

First Look at Official LEGO Back to the Future Set!

Well this is a nice surprise! Those plucky Danish maniacs at LEGO have unveiled the first official image of the very soon to be released Back to the Future time travelling Delorean. "WHHAAAA?" you say, rubbing your bleary eyes in disbelief! It's true! This one of exclusive is the result of a successful campaign on the Lego Cuusoo site where imaginative upstarts like you and I are able to submit their outlandish ideas for sets and, if they garner at least 10,000 votes, LEGO will step in and review the concept, pushing those lucky through into production. And thanks to an outpouring of fan support, the BTTF set is now a reality. Check it out...

Complete with Marty and Doc, the Delorean will apparently have enough pieces to convert it into all three versions from the trilogy of films. Hopefully there'll be some minifig customisation options too (future Doc?) but that might be asking for a little too much. Love that Flux Capacitor tile!

And crazier still, it will be going on sale this Thursday 18th July, presumably online through the link on the Cuusoo site. This is a one time only deal so make sure you grab it. I've started constantly refreshing already. "What' happens to us in the future? Do we become assholes or something?" Probably! But at least you can own a Lego Delorean!

Best Music of the 2013 Second Quarter

As I'm prone to do four or so times a year, I like to highlight some of the best music to come out in recent months. While I was really high on the first quarter of the year, the spring season of releases honestly left quite a bit to be desired. While we got a great song out of Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," I feel as if it's been slim pickings on the music front as of late. Even if the new Jay-Z and Kanye albums are interesting, that doesn't necessarily mean I rank them as great, after all.

With that said, some highlights beyond the jump.

Review: The Dark Knight Hot Toys DX-11 The Joker 2.0 1/6 Scale Collectible Figure! Phew!

While I eagerly await new releases, Coulson, Hulk and Catwoman, here's a catch-up review of a highly anticipated Hot Toys figure from a month or so ago. Behold the super fancy DX (deluxe?) Joker 2.0 which is a vast improvement on the original figure that they released around the time of The Dark Knight film. Here he is chilling with Bruce and Jim in the ol' interrogation room...

The DX releases are always something a little bit extra special and they've certainly outdone themselves on this one. You would be a sad clown to miss all the info and a TON of images... after the jump!

Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing

Joss Whedon’s long anticipated adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing hit cinemas in Australia last week and while on holiday in Melbourne I had the great pleasure of checking it out.

The film, shot entirely at Whedon’s home in a 12 day break from production on last years blockbuster The Avengers, is a modern-day take on the Shakespearian classic, with a comedic twist.

It’s been a long time in the making; the product of years of dinner parties at which Whedon’s favourite actors from his various television shows would gather and perform Shakespeare plays together.

There is plenty here for Shakespeare fans, Whedon fans and punters alike.

Follow me under the jump for a detailed review of Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing.