Aug 30, 2012

iOS Game Review - NukoToys' Monsterology

Monsterology by NukoToys Inc
Version: 1.0.2 (Released August 24, 2012)
Reviewed on: iPod Touch 4th Gen
Suggested Age: 7+
Monsterology Website
Mosterology by NukoToys iPod Touch title screen
It's not your eyes or screen, the center is pixelated. Actual iPod screenshot
 A few months back, maybe during ToyFair 2012 coverage, I heard about a new game in the works from NukoToys Inc. called Monsterology. It was being based on the children's book of the same name.

You might be familiar with other -Ology books like Dragonology, Wizardology or, one of my favorites, Egyptology. I'm not exactly the target age range for these books but they are fantastic and even interactive to a degree. I was pretty excited after seeing the trailer but had forgotten about it until I saw the cards for sale in Target. Having been into monsters and mythology since I was a kid, I had to pick up a couple packs. Having a free game to go with them didn't hurt either.

Aug 28, 2012

On The Road with Duran Duran

Here's a little photo travelogue of my weekend

Duran Duran passed through our neck of the country and we went to go see them...twice...well, sort of. We took Friday off from work because they were playing at the MGM Casino at Foxwoods which is a few hour drive for us and we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to get there. Thursday night had us making a trip to Target to pick up last minute things for the trip, including this guy...

Not sure why it used a blue filter...

Aug 24, 2012

Zombie Planet!

My semi-regular trips to Toys R Us over the past few months haven't been yielding much. Mainly because I was looking for SLUG Zombies and not finding them. They finally showed up with Series 3 12-pack ($11.50) and 3-packs ($4.49). While not much over the Target prices, I passed for now. But those aren't the zombies I'm posting about today.

During those fruitless months of searching I got addicted to Buggyboos capsule toys on the way out the door. They're cute little aliens/bugs and each one comes in a multitude of colors so even if you get your third Cionus, it's not exactly the same.


At the start of the summer, I had seen another vending toy called Zombie Planet at WalMart. I didn't have any change and the next time I was there, it was already gone.
(I try not to go to WalMart very often, it can be scary.)
But lo and behold!
What have they gotten in at Toy R Us...
Zombie Planet!


I'm not sure if each figure has multiple "wash" variations (see below) but I really prefer the full color ones so it's not a big deal. They sell for $60 online for a case of 250, which is about 0.24 each! If these weren't quite so gruesome, I'd buy a case and hand some out in Trick or Treat bags. And if I had the cash, probably buy a vending machine to hold them.


While browsing the vending machine site, I also found Freaky Geeks.

Now, if you'll excuse my, my inner child is going to go freak out some more at the idea that you can buy capsule toys in bulk online.
If you want to join me, head over to CandyMachines.com

;  ;  ;  

Aug 22, 2012

League Post - Saturday Morning!


These topics get more difficult every week, forcing me to choose favorite things over one another and inevitably toss something beloved by the wayside. It's like having to choose which of your zombified children to shoot first.
You’ve been hired to program the ultimate Saturday morning experience for kids across the nation–create your own ideal Saturday morning cartoon schedule. 
I still remember the excitement of watching the network's Sneak Peek shows that showed off what was coming Saturdays in the fall. I realize the traditional heavily promoted time slots didn't start til 8 am but I had to squeeze all this in one morning! So rub that sleep out of your eyes and grab a giant bowl of sugary cereal!

6:00 am - 7:00 am WB Power Hour


Start your morning off right with classic Looney Tunes. Not this newer stuff, not even the '80s stuff. I'm talkin good ol fashioned, cross dressing, lipstick wearing, Elmer Fudd kissing, Bugs Bunny! I'm sure these must still be in rotation on cable somewhere but I feel today's kids are missing out on them. I can't tell you the number of times in my life these have been quoted.

Animaniacs logo



Followed by a half hour of Animaniacs and Freakazoid shorts. They were both ahead of their time in terms of writing and gone too soon.

7:00 am - 8:00 am Hero Time


Challenge of the Superfriends
Arguably the best incarnation of the Superfriends, the episodes featuring the Legion of Doom are certainly among my favorites of the series. Unfortunately, they wouldn't introduce one of my favorite DC heroes, Firestorm, until the Super Powers toy commercials...er, episodes.


Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends
It was a tough call between these two, so I included both. Spidey introduced Firestar to the Marvel Universe and had a lot of great guest star episodes. I nearly lost my mind during 7 Little Superheroes when Dr. Strange showed up.

8:00 am - 9:00 am Fantasy Land


Dungeons & Dragons
I had just started exploring D&D around the time this started airing so this was extra special for me. Hank's bow is awesome but I really wanted Sheila's cloak. Just about everytime I play a computer RPG I'm some kind of thief. This is one of those shows that really needed a toy line. While there was a D&D toy line, they never made action figures of the kids.



Thundarr the Barbarian
One of my absolute favorite cartoons. Magic, super-science and sorcery in a post apocalyptic setting. What's not to love? Also sorely needed a toy line during its original run.

9:00 am - 10:00 am Super SciFi Slot


Space Stars
Honestly, this slot was originally going to Space Ghost. I totally forgot about Space Stars until I started poking around Wikipedia's Saturday Morning schedules. Space Ghost AND Herculoids? I'm in!! I kind of liked Teen Force too. It didn't hurt that they had an occasional crossover episode.


Science Ninja Team Gatchaman
There will always be a place in my heart for Battle of the Planets, which was something I played with my friends a lot. But since being exposed to the original, unedited, not cutsified for round eye kids version, there's really no going back. The original would never fly on Saturday morning in the '70s/'80s due to its violence, mild profanity and transgenderism.

10:00 am - 11:00 am G-G-G-GHOSTS!

 

Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated
The modern day version of those meddling kids has elevated the series beyond the monster of the week formula. Not only is there an over-arching plot to the series, but the main characters actually have personal lives and are growing and changing. There's also plenty of pop culture references and the occasional cameo of characters from other toons. I never would have imagined anyone could take the Scooby gang in this direction.


The Real Ghostbusters
What better companion to Scooby-Doo than the Real GBs?
They came, they saw, they rocked our Saturday morning.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm Monster Hour


Land of the Lost
Wow I forgot there was even a '90s version on Nick. As dated as this looks now, it was some of the best writing on Saturday mornings. It was like Lost of kids! I think the time is right for this to make its way back to TV. Kids always love dinosaurs and Sleestaks. And I'm going to go right on pretending the movie was a drug induced hallucination.


The Aquabats Supershow
Originally, this slot was going to be Krofft Superstars featuring rotating sci-fi shows like Electra-Woman & Dyna-Girl, Wildboy & Bigfoot, Dr Shrinker, Far-Out Spacenuts and the Lost Saucer. Then I remembered this show. It sort of encapsulates all that plus some Power Ranger crazy-ass-ness. Why not combine the original idea and put Land of the Lost in the rotation? Because it's just that important to me.

12:00 pm - 12:30 pm The "Aww, I Don't Wanna Go Outside Yet" Slot


Starcade
Nothing to do with wrestling or the CBS cartoon block.This..is..STARCADE! If you're around my age, this was the game show you wanted to be on. Playing arcade games for achance to take one home? Yes, please! Unless it was one  of the crappy non-A list games.

Well, there you have it! I think I did my inner kid proud by including the Saturday morning staples: classics, superheroes, fantasy, sci-fi, ghosts, monsters and video games. Now if we can get smash those all together, we can run that show all morning long.

Of course there's still hours upon hours of stuff I didn't touch on: Trans-Formers, GI Joe, all the relatively recent DC animated shows, HB greats like Yogi Bear, the Banana Splits Show, live action like Isis and Ark II, any of the Force Five...Oy!

Here's what other Leaguers posted
That Figures has a few of the things I dropped from my line-up
Dan at Of Flying Monkeys and Ewoks (great name!) has a good lineup
Not surprisingly, Rediscover the 80s has a very 80s-centric lineup

Aug 20, 2012

Mailbox Invaders - Tron Kubricks

I've gone years without buying anything classic Tron related and never really thought about it. I think blogging about it lately has reawakened my collecting interest. These guys downloaded into my mail server over the weekend.

Medicaom Kubrick Tron and Sark figures

I've collected a few other Kubricks over the years (Universal Monsters & Star Wars) and these are on par with them. Considering the 2" size, the detailing on Tron's chest is pretty amazing. They also did a great job with the facial expressions. Tron looks very determined and Sark is kind of dour. The only thing I'd change is to have some way of attaching the discs to their backs. They hold them ok but it's very easy for them to drop if you're handling the figure. When I unboxed them, Tron's disc fell into a junk drawer. Took about 10 minutes to find it in there.

These guys were released as a 2-pack around the time of Tron: Legacy's release along with two other 2-packs that had Legacy based figures in them. But they're not the first Tron Kubricks. During Tron's 20th Anniversary (2002) there were four boxed sets released, creatively called A, B, C, and D. Each set had two figures and a lightcyle, recognizer or the MCP tower. Each set goes for upwards of $75 on eBay so I won't be picking them up any time soon!

And that's too bad because they're really cool sets. The boxes flip open and are very Tron-y inside. The vehicles look like they were digitized right out of a computer. The lightcycles even come with light trails you can attach to their back. You can see a group shot of all four sets here.

Speaking of collectibles, are you watching the Collecting Nostalgia YouTube show done by fellow League blogger Ashley? You should be! Episode two recently premiered and they're talking to the Raders, creators of Battle Babies! You might also know Stacey Rader as @geeky_vixen on Twitter. So cool to see these folks talkin toys and showing off a collection I'm definitely envious of! You can check that out at Life With Fandom.

Aug 17, 2012

Friday Funnies - Shark Week

What's a blogger to do when he doesn't have anything specific planned for a Friday post? Pander to what's hot in pop culture and let Google do the work!

Without further ado, here are some random images to supplement your Shark Week. Also, you can check out last year's Shark Week post: The Adventures of Sgt. Shark.

Classic!




Aug 15, 2012

League Post - High School Mixtape

League of Extraordinary Bloggers logo
Not to long ago, The League of Extraordinary Bloggers challenged us with our first photo assignment. This week is our first audio task...
What songs were forever being looped on your car’s stereo back in high school? A cassette could only hold a dozen or so songs, so that’s the magic number of songs to list. If your car didn’t have a cassette deck in high school, go ahead and pretend it did, you punk.
Only 12 songs?! I don't know about the rest of the gang, but I always used 90 minute tapes. To keep it "short"  I'll stick to the suggested 12. While I'm showcasing specific songs to stick with the mixtape theme, each of the below albums is something essential in my musical journey through high school and beyond.

I didn't own a car of my own until after high school and even then the car was a year or two older than me. It took Leaded gas...LEADED! I had use of parental vehicles in high school but my best friend did have a car with a tape deck. There's nothing like high school vehicular freedom and a rockin mixtape on summer nights...

Van Halen - 1984
No matter who you are, you've probably air guitared to Eddie Van Halen at some point. Even if you claim you've never listened to Van Halen, everyone has heard Beat It! The tracks Jump,Panama, and I'll Wait are all part of rock history and amazing, but nothing gets you fired up like this intro...


Mötley Crüe - Shout at the Devil
I was still in middle school when a friend introduced me to this album, starting me on the glam/hair metal path forever more. I can't tell you how many times I listened to Theatre of Pain while playing text adventures on my C=64. Crüe is the band I saw most in high school. I didn't care for much of what they did after Dr Feelgood but their latest, Saints of Los Angeles, brings the magic back.


Although their next album is the one that propelled them into orbit with chart toppers Here I Go Again and Is This Love, here is where I got to know them.. They hadn't quite gone full-blown hair band yet and still had a lot of bluesy influence which I'm glad they've returned to on their recent albums. They're just behind Crüe as the most seen band in high school. And with a name like Whitesnake, you have to expect a lot of innuendo (if not flat-out sexual references) with tracks like Slide It In, Spit It Out, and Slow N Easy.


One of the guys in my D&D group had this album cover on the back of his denim jacket. Dio was sort of my first venture into metal. Of course I was familiar with Ozzy Black Sabbath so I had to go back and check out Dio Sabbath and then Rainbow. Oh my glob, Rainbow! Without a doubt, this is one of my quintessential metal tracks of all time...


Yngwie Malmsteen - Odyssey
My high school best bud introduced me to Marching Out which had tracks like I Am A Viking (think awesome metal not Ralph Wiggum) and Disciples of Hell. Odyssey features former Deep Purple singer Joe Lynn Turner on vocals and has a great ebb and flow throughout, it's almost like a concept album. The song Heaven Tonight from this album blew me away and would subsequently be featured in mixtapes for the ladies (cheese).


Queensrÿche - Operation: Mindcrime
After seeing Eyes of a Stranger on Mtv's Headbangers Ball, I had to get this album. I followed the Rÿche into Empire but lost interest shortly after that. But this concept album...man, this album just took me by storm. I considered it sacrilege to listen to a track most of the time. If I was going to listen, it had to be start to end. The tour Operation: Livecrime, where they performed the album in its entirety, was mind blowing.


Whooooaaaaa, we're half-way there.....
(No really, that was #6 so the list is half over)

Stryper - To Hell With the Devil
I'm not even close to what you'd call religious, but when it comes to music, I know what I like. Their screaming dual guitar solos and unique voice of singer Michael Sweet were what drew me to them. I stopped listening to their new albums after 1990's Against the Law. Oddly that album was when they decided to move away from glam metal and religious lyrics. Their most recent release of cover songs, titled The Covering, is very good.


Transformers: The Movie Soundtrack
The album that started a revolution...well, sorta. I liked all the bands here so much, I started tracking down their individual albums which led me to the next two entries. More on that as we go. This album quickly became my go-to for when I was feeling down with songs like The Touch, Dare, and Nothin's Gonna Stand In Our Way.


Stan Bush & Barrage (self titled)
The Touch and Dare really struck a chord with me and I ended up tracking down Stan's second album. But despite it not having Dare, the rest of the album is catchy pop gold. There's a reason Stan Bush is the legend of AOR music that he is. This album also includes the song Love Don't Lie, which will tie the previous and next entries together in a Six Degrees kind of way. Your challenge: Listen to the below song and not get it stuck in your head.


House of Lords (self titled)
Being as familiar as I was with the above album, it took me by surprise one day when I heard Mtv in the other room playing Love Don't Lie and it wasn't Stan Bush. No internet meant you had to physically go to record stores and find the music you wanted. After some legwork, I found House of Lords. I've kept up with them through the years and still love them as much as ever. They covered Blind Faith's Can't Find My Way Home on their second album, which has some impressive guest contributors.


Guns N Roses - Appetite for Destruction
Yeah, remember when they weren't a joke? While most people's go to here would, understandably, be Welcome to the Jungle, Sweet Child o Mine or Paradise City, mine is Rocket Queen. I really dig the structure of the song. And those female sex sounds heard during the bridge? Axl actually recorded a girl as they had sex for that.


Helloween - Keeper of the Seven Keys Parts 1 & 2
One of the things I miss about pre-internet days is being able to go into a record store and just browse. You never knew what you might find and it wasn't all corporate, disposable, pop 40 junk. Occasionally I'd find that one oddball thing that I had no idea what it was but I had to buy it to check it out, like this picture disc:

Helloween Halloween vinyl picture record disc
Front and back of disc
The only catch was, it was a promo disc. To get it, you had to buy Helloween's album Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 1. So I did. And so began my worship at the altar of the gods of German power metal. The picture disc has an edited version of the album's 13 minute song Halloween. Once you're used to hearing the full song, the 5 minute version simply will not do! Helloween started my obsession with songs about Halloween. How can you go wrong with a metal song that mentions Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin?They are one of my all time favorite bands and second on my bucket list of bands to see at least once. They're still cranking out albums so maybe one day, I'll see them.



Here's what other League members are playing
Shezcrafti checks in from the Class of '99 (Damn kids!)
Hear the darker side of the mixtape over at Dork Horde
Rediscover the '80s will do just taht for you!

If you enjoy hair bands and/or metal, here's some current artists I highly recommend

      

Aug 13, 2012

Mail Order Monday - Cylon Leader (1979)

Battlestar Galactica Gold Cylon Leader mail order ad Mattel 1979

Being a Star Wars kid, I had a short affair with the classic BSG when it aired between movies (none of that Galactica 1980 for me, thank you!). Yes, it was kind of a knock off but I loved it, and still do. Ralph McQuarrie, who created the concept art/look of Star Wars, also worked on concept art for BSG. It's not surprising there was a lawsuit filed by 20th Century Fox for plagiarism and copyright infringement.

I had one of these guys with my other BSG figures: the "regular" silver Cylon and Imperious Leader. I don't remember having any of the good guys so it's not likely I had the 4 proofs of purchase to mail in for it. Goldy here was released in the second wave of carded figures, so I must have gotten him then.

Sure, he's just a repainted regular Cylon but he's the leader. Being the robot that gets to boss around the other robots automatically makes him cooler!

I was lucky enough to visit Universal Studios Hollywood in the early '80s when they still had the Battle of Galactica ride. Even though I was a little older, it was still a very cool experience. You can find out a little more and see a video at Space 1970.

Aug 10, 2012

League Post - Flash Aa-ah-ssemble!

League of Extraordinary Bloggers logo
The assignment for this week:
Remake one of your favorite movies with a cast of current Hollywood stars.
I admit, I struggled with this one to the point of almost skipping out this week. I'm not so in tune with Hollywood that I necessarily know who the hot actors are right now that would make this project work. But once I stumbled on to Flash Gordon and recast the lead, the rest of the cast just kind of...Assembled. So, in honor of our movie hero, I took that ball and ran it all the way downfield!
You'll have to bear with me. I didn't have the time to make up fancy graphics showing the original actors with their reboot counterparts.

Flash (Ahh-ahhh!)
At first I went with who is seeming to be the League's go to guy for these reboots: Chris Hemsworth. But then I thought he's probably too big for this part, literally. Chris Evans on the other hand is ripped but not as physically imposing and we already know he can pull off the All American Guy.

Dale Arden
Colbie Smulders, she can do Girl Next Door and kick butt at the same time.

Dr Zarkov
Mark Ruffalo. Could go with Robert Downey Jr., but Ruffalo has got the grounded scientist vibe down without being overly snarky.

Ming the Merciless
Could Tom Hiddleston be made up to convincingly look old enough to pull this off? His daughter is only a few years younger than he is... (Sam Jackson could bring the crazy to this part but I don't think the world is ready for an African American Ming, is it?)

Princess Aura
Sultry seductress? Since there's only 2 main female characters in Avengers, it's got to be Scarlett Johansson. Yeah...definitely not because she would fill this out.

Prince Barin
Could go with Downey or Jeremy Renner here to replace Timothy Dalton. Renner's got the Bourne training but after seeing Downey's Sherlock, I think he could bring the needed swagger to this role. Hiddletson would also be good here, we already know he looks good in green.

Prince Vultan
Yes, we all get a kick out of the jolly flying Brian Blessed but I'm turning this around 360 and going with the God of Thunder himself. I imagine his outfit being very similar to DC's Hawkman but without the helmet. The ladies will love it!

General Klytus
Sam MF Jackson! Who better to play Ming's right hand man? Definitely have to rework/remove the mask so he won't look like Doctor Doom. Picturing Sam playing this mad crazy like the Octopus from The Spirit.

General Thun
Jeremy Renner. It's not a big part but you get to defy Ming's order to kill yourself!

Not sure where, but I'd have to work in a Clark Gregg cameo someplace too.
Maybe as Zarkov's assistant?

Check other League Members posts
Reis at The Dork Horde goes wild with The Beastmaster
One of my favorite 80s fantasy flicks, Krull, is redone by Goodwill Geek
That Figures! goes way passed Michael Bay with Doctor Who


Aug 8, 2012

SLUG Zombies Series 2 12-Pack

SLUG zombies series 2 12 pack

After months of only being able to find Series 1 as blind box singles in WalGreens, Series 2 seems to be coming out swinging. People around the web are reporting being able to find Series 2 a-plenty in Target and TRU. The SLUG Zombie site says figures are available in the single blind boxes, clear bubble 3 packs, a 12 pack (above) and with a collector's case (which I haven't found yet) that holds 32 SLUGs and comes with 2 exclusive Glow in the Dark figures. The site also has a downloadable poster showing 100 zombies.

These Scary Little Ugly Guys (SLUGs) are similar to MUSCLE and Monster in My Pocket figures. I'm still can't believe that I never had any Monster in My Pocket. I love monsters and collected lots of Battle Beasts and Z-Bots. Anyway, I wasn't going to get the 12 pack because I didn't like all the figures in it (the figures inside are shown on the back). But seeing as the 3 packs are $4 and the 12 pack is $10, it just made sense and gives me some to trade later.
SLUG zombies series 2 stu b you, jumpshot rot, mashup mike
Stu B. You - Don't think he's anyone in particular but I like the foot in the pot.
Jump-Shot Rot - Bald with a 32 on his jersey.
Mash-Up Mike - Mohawk and plenty of chains. Bio says he's a taxi driver and part-time fighter. Don't pity him!

SLUG zombies series 2 dr outbreak, cleopatra comminatcha, grimm trekker
Dr Outbreak - Reminds me of Bill Nye with his hair and bow tie
Cleopatra Commin'Atcha - Pretty self-explanatory!
Grimm Trekker - My favorite so far. Bought the 12 pack because he was visible in the package.

SLUG zombies series 2 Maximus Cadaverous, Gator Jones, Macho Mangler
Maximus Cadaverous - Yeah, I think he's got a little Kirk Douglas goin on there.
Gator Jones - That's not a knife. This is a knife!
Macho Mangler - Lemme tell you, brother, he's got a mane of hair pulled back under that bandanna. He's a maniac!

SLUG zombies series 2 Andrew Agony, Captain Payback, Teddy Terror
Andrew Agony - What's that racket? He's serving brains!
Captain Payback - Kind of a Stallone/Kurt Russell mashup
Teddy Terror - Reminds me of a vaudville performer, the sunken eye holes are well done.

Even though I don't care for some of these, they have loads of character. There's good detail on them that makes you want to pick them up and inspect them closer all around.

The 12 pack comes with a sheet showing all 16 figures in Series 2 and each character has a little bio next to them which can also be found online. This is where you can tell they're having fun with the line. They could have just made Mash-Up Mike look like Mr T and stopped there. But in his bio they mention he was a taxi driver and fighter. These extra details make the figures that much more fun.

When this line first was on display at Toy Fair, I remember reading there were plans to make SLUG Alien and Monster lines as well, possibly later in the year. Based on what they've done so far, I'm definitely excited to see where they'll take them.

Aug 6, 2012

Mailbox Invaders - Tron Figure

A few weeks ago, I posted about TRON turning 30 and my various experiences with aspects of that universe and merchandising. I mentioned I never had any of the Tron toys when they were originally released. So I decided to see what the going rate was, figuring if I couldn't afford an original from the '80s maybe I could snag one of the NECA rereleases from the early '00s inexpensively. I was thrilled I was able to score an original Tron for $10!
Tron action figure by TOMY
The disc glows in the dark!
Tron has the standard 5 points of articulation, the height of early '80s action figure design. But what really makes this line stand out is that they're molded in transclucent plastic. You can't tell from these photos, but he does have molded facial features they're just not painted which kind of gives him an anonymous robot look. The sleek line graphics and the translucency aren't like anything else that was being done with figures at the time so it really gives it that little something extra.
Tron vs Rinzler action figures
Tron vs Rinzler
Another neat feature I've discovered from online research is that the three figures that came with discs were able to wear them on their backs thanks to a tiny connecter. My figure didn't come with one of these, but that's ok. You wouldn't be able to see the disc when the figure's on display that way.
Tron action figure playing lightcycle video game with Atari joystick
Much easier when you're not actually in the lightcycle
There were only four figures released in this line and a couple of ripcord powered lightcycles. I'll probably track the rest of the figures down at some point to have a complete set.

Aug 3, 2012

Fighting Fantasy Hits the Big 3-0

If you're a nerdy kid of the '80s/'90s you were probably introduced to the Choose Your Own Adventure series of books. I know I couldn't get enough of them when I discovered them in the local library. That's what we did back in them pre-internet days, we rode our bikes to go to a big building with lots of books that you could borrow.

In 1982, the Fighting Fantasy series of  solo RPG books made their debut and I was hooked. It added a simple dice-based combat system to give the story more of an interactive gaming feel. I dont' recall exactly, but I suspect these books were the bridge that got me to check out D&D while still in middle school.

Over the years, some of the books have been turned into computer and board games. In 2002 and again in 2009, Wizard Books began republishing the original books alongside new stories to keep the line going. To keep up with those mythical Joneses, some of the books have been turned into apps for your mobile device as well.

The entire series has fantastic covers like this in the US
August 27th marks the 30th Anniversary of the release of the first book, Warlock of Firetop Mountain. As part of the celebration, original series co-creator/author Ian Livingstone has just released his latest entry in several years: Blood of the Zombies. It will also be e-released on August 27th as an app for iOS and Android. Unfortunately for us Yanks, Blood of the Zombies is only currently available through Amazon UK.

While it looks different, it does resemble the original series covers that were published in the UK
I'm very happy to see something I greatly enjoyed in my childhood is still going strong. In a time when kids are more likely to pick up a control pad to get immeresed in a story, it's nice to see the series make the jump into the 21st century in e-format.

The site MCVUK has a great  interview with Ian Livingstone.
I also highly recommend the You Chose Wrong Tumblr.
May Your Stamina Never Fail is doing series book reviews.

Visit the Official Fighting Fantasy site and follow them on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

Aug 1, 2012

Monthly Movie Recap - July 2012

As expected, going back to work full time has had an adverse effect on my movie viewing habits!

Ted (2012)
In the interest of full disclosure (or humble bragging) I was an unpaid extra in this movie during the concert scene. I won't know if I actually ended up on screen until I can freeze frame it.
You know how you see a movie and walk out wondering why they put all the good stuff in the trailers? Not the case here, they go way beyond what's in the trailers in terms of crude humor.

Cool: Giovanni Ribisi steals all his scenes; Guest cameos; an 80s cult icon playing a hilarious version of himself
Lame: If you don't like Family Guy and/or crude humor, you will not like this movie
Rating: 8/10, despite the cliche plot of growing up and having to choose best friend or girlfriend, an R rated teddy bear in the mix goes a long way to changing up the story


Killer Movie (2008)
Billed as a horror comedy, it's seriously lacking in both departments. If Kaley Cuoco wasn't in this I probably would have bailed out after 20 minutes and even now I question that choice.

Cool: -?-
Lame: Kills are fairly mundane as is a lot of the movie
Rating: 2/10, probably the second most torturous movie I've forced on myself this year


True Bloodthirst (2012)
In this SyFy Original, vampires and humans co-exist in a not-too-distant future Romania thanks to a new synthetic blood substitute. And by co-exist, I mean the vamps are confined to a walled off area, sort of like District 9. But someone's spiking the synth-blood and it turns the normal vamps into savage man-bats.

Cool: Andrew Lee Potts from Primevil; It's a step above the standard SyFy movie in almost every way...
Lame: but it drags along at times; Man-bats are cool but move so quick they're usually a blur; not sure why Potts (a Brit) is trying to be American when the rest of the cast has accents
Rating: 4/10, good ideas, meh execution


Zombies vs Strippers (2012)
The staff of a failing strip club prepare to have one last night of fun before closing down when a zombie outbreak pops up. If you're familiar with Full Moon at all, you know what you're in for here (see Cool below). Even if you're not, the title pretty much sums it up. If you want something a little raunchier and better production value, check out Zombie Strippers.

Cool: Cheezy B-movie fun; stereotypical characters; good gore effects; plenty of toplessness
Lame: One of the strippers must be the "star" because she never removes her top, what up with that?
Rating: 5.5/10, recommended for a "sitting around and drinking while watching a movie" night


Futurama: Bender's Big Score (2007)
I don't know if it's because they have all of time and space to play in or the fact that it hasn't been continuously running for decades, but Futurama is consistently funnier than The Simpsons for me. But that's more a commentary on the shows and not really related to this movie. This is their first of four direct-to-video movies that made up the show's fifth season and their return after cancellation.

Cool: It's Futurama, just longer; time travel hijinks; makking fun of Fox for cancelling them
Lame: Wrinkly pink aliens, ew
Rating: 7.5/10

Image from DVD Drive-In
Night Caller from Outer Space (1965)
aka Night Caller or Blood Beast from Outer Space

Very sad I couldn't find a trailer for this one. An alien from Jupiter places magazine ads for female models in order to capture them for breeding purposes. Yes, the plot sounds crazy but everyone is playing it straight and combined with the camera work, it's something to see.

Cool: young John Saxon; moody noir-ish feel; great camera work
Lame: the ending is a little anti-climactic
Rating: 6.5/10, a well done B-movie worth seeking out

And that's it! Told you it would be a short one this month.

Total
New: 6
Year To-Date Total
70 New, 10 Rewatch

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