Friday, August 9, 2013

Pre-Order Hot Toys Mandarin 1/6th Scale Collectible Figure!

When Hot Toys first announced they were going to produce a figure of Ben Kingsley's portrayal of "The Mandarin" in Iron Man 3, there were a lot of tears before bedtime. It turns out that many fans didn't want clever satire about America's blind hatred towards evil foreign figureheads and how they are used to distract the populace from what is really going on behind the scenes. No, fans wanted to rally again an evil foreign figurehead. The devil you know I suppose. Some even suggested that the film Mandarin was a disservice to the fantastic character from the comics. I would love to know which of these comics the Mandarin was fantastic in, because in all the ones I read he was a ridiculous racial stereotype.

SOOOO... now is the moment of truth. Pre-orders have opened up for the Hot Toys Mandarin and it will be very interesting to see how many of you are willing to add him to your shelf. I personally think he's awesome...

You can secure yours right here: Iron Man 3 - Hot Toys Sixth Scale Series The Mandarin - Iron Man 3 - Sixth Scale Figure Or join me for more images and commentary... after the jump!

Big Brother Power Rankings: DOUBLE EVICTION MADNESS

Double eviction week on Big Brother is always exciting, and this week's was no different. We got a surprise HOH win, an epic blindside, and the power shifts in the house are pretty significant right now. There's a lot to get into right now, so let's just jump in. By the way, there are spoilers for this week's Head of Household, so if you're waiting until the Sunday show to find out, bookmark and come back later.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thor: The Dark World Trailer Analysis

Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Dark Knight Rises, Star Trek: Into Darkness and now Thor:The Dark World, darkness everywhere! But really no one's bothering to put any effort into these titles anymore are they?
 Avengers seems like it would be a hard act to follow, it's like the Apocalypse in Supernatural, where do you go after the biggest possible event has already happened? Why don't the Avengers call on each other for assistance in future films? How do you keep them separate? But Marvel seems to have everything nicely planned out, Iron Man 3 was just as big and just as fun and we see how Tony Stark dealt with the events of the Avengers and he's put in a situation where he's not only unable to call his team mates for back-up, but he's out of contact with everyone.

Not that they would be able to help, seems like the rest of the Avengers are busy with their own problems, we are now seeing on-screen what we have had in comics for decades, superheroes easily forming teams and just as easily going off on their own adventures. That's a really difficult thing to do in film, it requires all the individual components to work just as well autonomously as they do united.
And I must give Marvel props for that, each member of the Avengers can carry a film, or a series of them on their own.

 So what's the God of Thunder up to?

Thursday Threesome! My Three Favourite Animal Crossing Villagers! (And What I Tried to Do to Them).

In the grand pantheon of videogames, Animal Crossing shouldn’t be that engaging. When a friend first tried to sell me on it (“You build a house and you fish, catch bugs and collect fruit in real time to pay off your debts”) I wanted to slap his face. And yet, amid the hype of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, I dusted off my cobwebby 3DS and inexplicably bought myself a copy. And I’m sorry to say that the teeming masses were right. Animal Crossing is casual, cutesy, videogame crack and I am HOOKED.

So what better celebrate Thursday Threesome than to share with you my three favourite villagers who were randomly selected to reside in my town. Last week I had a real-life birthday and, after being spirited into a house by a frantic goose, I was subjected to this surreal nightmare... SURPRISE!

Wait! Gladys? Camofrog? Tammi? These are NONE of my favourite villagers! Buncha’ dickbags! Where were my favourites and why weren’t they at my birthday party?

We’re going to track down my three best animal pals... after the jump!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

DC Comics New 52 - Stryder's Weekly Top 5

Oh noes!  Due to some scheduling conflicts with Simcoe Day here in Toronto, I'm horribly a day late!  Fortunately, I've still got a dollar handy, thus proving that the old saying is meaningless here in the 21st century.

ANYway...These five comics are pulled from the ones released on July 31, 2013.  Enjoy!

Batman Incorporated #13 - "...Here we all are, at the Grand Finale."

The epic Batman story that Grant Morrison began way back in 2006 is finally finished!  As the solicitation for this issue promised, "Batman saves the world and loses everything."

I'm not going to say much more about it than that.  If you've been reading Grant's Batman for the last 7 years (or caught up with it via trades like I have in the last couple of years) then there's no way you're NOT going to buy this issue.  I read it and came away satisfied...the story tied up what I wanted tied up and worked really well for me on several levels.  If anything my only complaint is that it's not enough!  Of course, I would happily continue reading Grant's Batman for another 7 years...

Anyway, great issue and amazing run!  Grant's whole run beginning with Batman and Son until now has become my favourite Batman story ever and made me really think deeply about the whole IDEA of Batman and Robin in ways that never ever would even have occurred to me otherwise.  It's really bittersweet to see it end.  SUCH great work!  The thinking man's Bat...Thanks to Grant Morrison, artist Chris Burnham and everyone who worked on the's been awesome!  Although I'm still mad that you killed Damian...

Join me after the JUMP to see what else DC had in store for us!

New Thor: The Dark World Trailer Hits


The new trailer for Thor: The Dark World has just been unleashed on us puny mortals. Let's take a few minutes from our short, insignificant lives and have a look!

Well, Marvel sure know their audience. That sure was Loki heavy. If you listen closely you can hear tumblr collectively squeeing. The scope and stakes look a hell of a lot higher this time around and we get a role reversal with Jane being the outsider in Thor's home.

Look for our favourite god (and Thor as well) to rise again in theatres on October 31st here in Australia.

First Teaser for Muppet Sequel: Muppets Most Wanted! Scooter Moves Like Jagger!

Having been a small child in the late seventies/early eighties, I adored 2011’s relaunch of the Muppet movie franchise. The Muppets had just that right mix of laughs, nostalgia and emotion, and wisely recognised and acknowledged that our felty friends were very much a product of the past and would struggle to find their footing in the crass and cynical world of today. Critically acclaimed, and making enough cash to keep the Disney Overlords happy, it is only natural that a sequel would be rushed into production. But where do you go from here?

England... And it looks like a caper...


So that's our first taste of the freshly retitled Muppets Most Wanted. I really like Ricky Gervais and I hope he can lend some authenticity to proceedings so that this trip overseas doesn't become a mess of American writers writing lazy British stereotypes. The biggest thing that's missing here for me (in this admittedly rapid tease) is any sense of the elaborate, large scale musical numbers that appeared in the first film. I hope that - particularly with Brett McKenzie back onboard - that they're able to reach those heights again.

It's a tough film to move forward on really. A lot of the heart of the first one came from seeing the forgotten Muppets at all time low. Not sure where they'll go if they're back on top...

PAX AUS 2013: Expo Hall, Nintendo, Ubisoft and Framed!

I've been reading Penny Arcade since 2000-2001. That's a good 13 years and almost half my life. That's a crazy thought, to have read a webcomic three times a week for that long. Over the years it's grown from a simple webcomic about games and gamers into a multi-headed hydra. It's now a charity, a TV series, a video game itself, a tabletop game, a podcast and a reality show. The crown jewel in this multi-headed beast is the Penny Arcade Expo, or PAX for short. Held in Seattle and later in Boston PAX is widely regarded as the best gaming expo for actual gamers.

After months of rumours it came out that the third PAX added to the annual circuit (after Prime in Seattle and East in Boston) would be based right here in Australia. Melbourne to be exact. With little hesitation I snagged a couple of three day passes and book the cheapest, nastiest flights I could find (Tiger fit the bill).

My love for comic and pop culture conventions is widely known, but how different would a gaming con? Especially an international heavyweight like PAX? Hit the jump and find out!

New Readthrough! The Dresden Files!

Many of you may remember the Wheel of Time readthrough we did through much of last year. Another series I've been told I'd love is The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, an urban fantasy series held in very high regard. There are, as of this December, fifteen published titles plus a short story omnibus. My plan is to finish one of them a month and do a discussion post sometime in the first full week of the month (so, for example, Storm Front will be discussed sometime the week of 1 September). We'll go in publication order, etc etc.

If there are topics I should be aware of, or issues to discuss and look out for, I'm more than game. I've been hearing non-stop raves about this series for years now, so I'm looking forward to diving in, and I'm hoping others will, too.

Should be exciting!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Peter Capaldi is our 12th Doctor!

It's been described as the World Cup for Nerds! Yes, that's right, our new Doctor has been announced and it's none other than one of Britain's finest; Peter Capaldi.

Many of us were waiting with baited breath to see who would replace Matt Smith at the helm of the TARDIS and now that we've all had a chance to calm down, sleep (after the 4am Australian announcement) and stop melting the Internet, I can take you under the cut for some more excitement and discussion about the 12th Doctor!

The Book Was Better Episode 54: Spaceballs (with guest hosts Justin and Dana!)

The Book Was Better is the podcast where we intrepidly read, discuss, debate and poke fun at the (usually) godawful cash-grab, tie-in novelisation of (generally) dopey films!

This week we find out what happens when a man in his sixties parodies a film from the seventies, towards the end of the eighties! Yes, it’s Mel Brook’s Star Wars inspired Spaceballs, as adapted by the goosebump inducing R.L. Stine!

Sharing this space adventure are (filthy) American guest hosts, Justin and Dana, in an epic globe-spanning three-way, which promises to be a chaotic, uncompromising, and occasionally incoherent! MAKE SPACE IN YOUR BALLS!

You can download it right now from the official site, or why not subscribe to us on iTunes, like us on Facebook, and discuss this whole space-shemozzle in our new Facebook Group!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Review: Hot Toys Agent Phil Coulson 1/6th Scale Collectible Figure!

So this is the one I was convinced I was going to skip. Iron Man? Yes! Thor? Sure! Black Widow? Absolutely? But I don’t need S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, Phil Coulson, right? That’s just a mature dude in a suit! But then... it does look like a pretty cool figure... And what if the upcoming Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series is amazing? Because you might think he died, but Coulson apparently lives! And if I don’t get him and later regret it, he will cost a bazillion dollars on ebay... ARRARARRRGRARRGH!!!

So I got him, and I don’t regret it for a moment. There’s something so affable and instantly likeable about Clark Gregg’s Phil Coulson character that I can’t help but smile every time I look at that mug. And, now in my mid thirties, I’m kind of glad that an older guy in a suit, with zero powers, can be a hero too. As strange as it may seem to an outsider, Coulson has a rabid fan base, and now I too have been swept up by the hype.

Far more images and info on Hot Toys Agent Phil Coulson... after the jump!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Capey's Review Double: The Wolverine and The World's End

Expectations are an interesting thing. Go into something with high expectations and even a film that's really good can be a disappointment. On the other side of the coin go into a film with low expectations and something that's really quite average can feel like it was great.

With The Wolverine and The World's End I went in with two very different expectations.

My expectations for The Wolverine were quite low. The character is coming off a bad run of films with the horrible X-Men 3 and the even worse Wolverine Origins. In fact, it's been ten years since Logan had appeared in a good film (X2). These low expectations led to even less hype in the lead up to it's release. I was counting the days til Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel (heck, even Pacific Rim) but Wolverine just suddenly came up on me.

On the flipside my expectations for The World's End were sky high. Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are massive favourites of mine. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are two movies I could (and do) watch several times a year. Had a bad day? Watch Hot Fuzz. Can't think of anything else to watch? Throw Shaun on. Even away from Pegg/Frost director Edgar Wright gave us the  amazing Scott Pilgrim (another perennial favourite of mine).

So, how did the films turn out? Were my expectations met or challenged? Hit the jump and find out in my double review!

Pre-Order Hot Toys Exclusives! The Crow! Tony Stark Mechanic! Mark XXXIII Silver Centurion! Captain America, G.I. Joe and MOAR!

Each year Hot Toys unveils a number of limited run exclusive figures, usually available to pre-order at specific conventions in Hong Kong and overseas.

Each of the following have been known about for a while now, but they haven’t been open to general pre-order until recently. Luckily our good pals at Sideshow have a few of them up their sleeve, so if you want to check them out, and perhaps secure one then join me for many more images and pre-order info... after the jump!