Sep 30, 2012

Monthly Movie Recap - September 2012

Yes, technically the month isn't over yet but starting tomorrow, we're going into full-on Countdown to Halloween mode. Wow, I can't believe we're heading into October already! As always, clicking a title link will bring you to Amazon where you can purchase the movie (or anything else) and drop a couple coins in my pocket,

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
I'm really enjoying this series, even if Holmes gets a little outrageous with the preemptive things he sets up. Downey and Law have a great chemistry and it'd be great to see them do a few more of these.

Cool: More of what made the first one fun; Moriarty and Holmes facing off out thinking each other
Lame: As I said, some of the set ups are a little crazy in their planning
Rating: 7/10, I can see this going on like a Bond series

Sep 24, 2012

Mail Order Monday - Cosmic Vision Helmet

Figured I'd toss a little slice of sci-fi out there today before we go into full-on Halloween Countdown mode next week.

Tom Corbett Cosmic Vision Helmet Invisible Helmet ad

Put it on and you can see everyone and everything around but no one can see you! No one will know who you are, but everyone will call you that dork with the space helmet! And then some bully will probably punch you in the faceplate and steal it from you so he can go commit misdemeanors in your name.

I was able to find a photo of one of these '50s artifacts...
Tom Corbett Cosmic Vision Helmet Invisible Helmet

Sep 21, 2012

Judge Dredd - Mutants in MegaCity 1

Lots of people are likely familiar with Anthrax's 1987 ode to Judge Dredd, "I Am the Law." But did you know there was another song about the futuristic lawman released two years before that?
 
The recent TV ads for the new movie Dredd dragged this nearly forgotten bit of music trvia from my brain. My stepdad is an album and comic book collector so it's not really surprising that he had this in his collection.

The single "Mutants in Mega-City One" was released by two members of the band Madness calling themselves The Fink Brothers. There were three versions released, two 7" versions (one of which is a picture disc) and a 12" version. Side B features the track Mutant Blues which I don't think is as fun as the main track.

The Fink Brothers Mutants in MegaCity One Judge Dredd album

The back of the album features the lyrics to the song and has some great artwork as well.

The Fink Brothers Mutants in MegaCity One Judge Dredd album back

Check out the below video to hear the song



          

Sep 19, 2012

Target Halloween 2012 Hot Wheels

I was going to hold off on this post and make it part of my October Countdown to Halloween but I don't think it's worthy enough for that honor. I'm usually very excited to get these Target exclusive sets every year but this year it seems as though someone at Mattel dozed off when it came time to approve this set. Most, if not all, of the cars are available on individual cards and hardly any of them are fit for my Halloween garage. Let's have a look.

Target Halloween 2012 Hot Wheels

Just looking at it, it lacks Halloweeness. A distinct lack of Halloween colors. What's that on the bottom left corner? Why it's AEIOU Why favorite Fangula, a car that's been given a Halloween deco on occasion. Is it in the pack? Nope! So what are you getting?

Target Halloween 2012 Hot Wheels Shell Shock
 
Shell Shock
Ol Shelly has been in a couple of Halloween packs over the years and done up appropriately. This is a prehistoric/dino paint app. Halloweeness: 1

Target Halloween 2012 Hot Wheels Bone Shaker

Bone Shaker
Another favorite when it's painted right because it has a large skull on the front. Hit the link to see how cool it could be. Here...meh. Halloweeness: 2

Target Halloween 2012 Hot Wheels Growler

Growler
I imagine if Panthro from the Thundercats had a hot rod, this would be it. The design itself isn't very Halloween-y but the right paint app could make it killer. Halloweeness: 1

Target Halloween 2012 Hot Wheels Skull Crusher

Skull Crusher
And then...BAM! They hit one right out of the park. Black, orange and red. Bones, skull and flames. SC was included in my post about non-Halloween branded Hot Wheels last year with a sweet metallic gold finish. Halloweeness: 10

Target Halloween 2012 Hot Wheels Vampira
Vampyra
Might be hard to tell in the pic due to shininess, but this one's modeled after a bat. It's had past releases in black but why would you not make a black bat for a Halloween pack? Halloweeness: 3

I think Skull Crusher will be the only one with a space in my Halloween Garage. Just today, I noticed two variations to this pack although the line-up above seems to be the most common. Cars 1, 4, 5 are always the same with one pack having a different 2 and the other a different 2 and 3. The same red car was substituted for car 2 in both packs. Neither of the variant cars have more Halloweeness than the ones they replace.

I have some of the Kroger's/Fry's exclusive Hot Wheels coming my way and they blow this set out of the water. Oh yes, there will be a post...

41 Days Remain...
countdown to halloween 2012 logo

Sep 18, 2012

Announcing: The Great Pumpkin Gift Exchange!

Last year around Halloween I ran a contest and gave away lots of monstery books. I may still have another Halloween giveaway this year but right now something else has popped into my brain...
The Great Pumpkin Gift Exchange!

What is it? It's me being crazy and trying to coordinate some Halloween fun for everyone. It's going to work like Secret Santa. You sign up, get randomly assigned to send and receive a Halloween-y gift in the mail.

If you want to join in the fun, click the link under the header that says Great Pumpkin Gift Exchange. Or if you're super lazy, just click that link. Please be sure to read everything there, all the details are there. At least, I think I covered everything!

This can't happen without people signing up so if you can help spread the word across the social internets, it will only help everyone that participates.


Sep 17, 2012

Lego Minifig Series 8 Success!

Looks like all it took for me to find the latest series of LEGO minifigs was to wine about it...and make a trip to my local LEGO Store. There were quite a few people in the store and I didn't want to stand there looking like some weirdo feeling up the bags to find the figures I wanted so I grabbed one at random. Then I asked Mrs Dex to grab one also. Silly me didn't even consider checking the bump code on the back to make sure I had two different figures, so I ended up with two of these:

Lego Minifig Series 8 Business Man

Not exactly what I was looking for but there are some cool things about this guy. First is the bowler hat looking very English. In fact, if you watch the start of the below video, he looks like he could be based on the Monty Python Ministry of Silly Walks sketch! He's got the hat, briefcase and newspaper!


The other cool thing is his tiny briefcase. What's cool about that? It opens! Granted you can't fit much in there but it's this attention to detail that I love. These guys have silly walked their way over to the trading shelf where they hope to find a good home in exchange for another figure. If you want to see if you have anything I might want, check my list.

Sep 14, 2012

Predasaurs RAWR!

I've been relentlessly hunting for the latest wave of LEGO minifigs with no luck. After hitting so many stores, I start to get the itch to buy something, so I dropped a couple bucks on the latest blind bagged thing to hit Target's collectibles area...Predasaurs!

Predasaur Pachymegasaurus

What's a Predasaur you ask? Why it's a..you know what? I'm not going to retype all the crazy, here's a scan of the pamphlet it comes with. Go ahead and click that bad boy to read the story, I'll wait for you.

Predasaurs story

So yeah...Predasaurs are genetically mutated dinosaurs...with WEAPONS! You wouldn't think Dinosaurs..excuse me, genetically mutated dinosaurs, would need weapons. I sure hope none of them got the T-Rex arm DNA!

On the other side of that is a checklist of all 25 Predasaurs including the rare Vulltarex, the mightiest Predasaur of all! You also get a game card of your dino which shows the two dinosaurs it gets its DNA from, but doesn't name these dinosaurs on the card. C'mon, give the kids some education! The card also has your beast's stats for Weapon, Bite, Claws and Armor. As you can read in the game description above, it's very similar to Top Trumps, or War for those not familiar with that UK game.

One thing that's kinda cool is the "hand' has a slot in it that a tab on the weapon fits into allowing him to "hold" it. Oh and how did I fail to mention the giant teeth they all have GLOW IN THE DARK! Yep, that's about as exciting as they get. I guess if you want to have lots of mini mutant dinosaurs rampaging on your desk/workstation, pick a few up.

It's genetically mutated dinosaur season!

Sep 12, 2012

Salem Witch Trial Memorial Re-dedication

This past Sunday, a re-dedication ceremony was held for the Salem Witch Trial Memorial following some restoration. I debated on sitting on this post for the Countdown to Halloween but I don't feel it quite fits. While there's no denying witches are a huge part of Salem's tourist attraction, this is a bit more than broomsticks and pointy hats.

While the Salem Witch Trials only lasted for 15 months, they left an undeniable mark on history. 20 people were executed in 1692 for witchcraft, 19 hanged and one pressed to death. In August 1992, the Witch Trials' TerCentenary, a memorial was erected in downtown Salem honoring those who would not confess to false accusation. Since it opened in 1992, its estimated that more than 6 million people have visited it!

Salem Witch Trials Memorial sign

One September 9, 2012, a re-dedication was held after some much needed restoration was completed. You can see a photo of what it used to look like here. And below is what it looks like now.

Salem Witch Trials Memorial grounds

There are 20 stone benches along the side walls which hold the name of the accused along with their date and means of execution. If you look along the gray strip at bottom of the sign above, those quotes are engraved in stone on the ground just as you enter the memorial area.

Salem Witch Trials Memorial

The ceremony was very nice, starting off with the Salem High acapella group doing their version of John Lennon's "Imagine." A few people spoke: a woman who had been involved with the memorial since it was being planned, the mayor of Salem, and actor/author GregAlan Williams who was the first recipient of the Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice .

Also in attendance were a number of people that are direct descendants of those the memorial was created to remember. While a recording of a bell rang, they walked over to the memorial to place evergreen cuttings and flowers on the stones of those they are related to.

Salem Witch Trial Memorial Sarah Good

You can see photos of all 20 stones on Flickr along with some local color including the adjacent Pickman house that is one of Salem's oldest buildings and part of the Charter Street Historical section. Also adjacent to the memorial is The Burying Point, Salem's oldest cemetery. I don't have any photos of it for this post, but maybe I'll get some for October.

Sep 10, 2012

Mail Order Monday - Trix Bike Safety (1975)

Trix rabbit bicycle safety comic book ad 1975

Turns out the one thing that rabbit wasn't silly about is bicycle safety! For the low price of $1.50 (and two proofs of purchase) you can get a book published by the National Safety Council, which doesn't look like it features the Trix rabbit and sounds boring, and a sweet flag for your bike, which does feature the Trix rabbit!

On a somewhat related note, I had a teacher in 5th grade named Mr. Presbrey. I have very vague memories of him for the most part...it was a long time ago! I remember his salt and pepper hair and mustache, his glasses and that he was a funny guy. But the thing I remember most about it him is that he was a fantastic artist.

Whenever a major holiday rolled around, he would use the smaller blackboard on the side of the room to create a holiday themed picture with colored chalk. It was just once scene but it took up the entire chalkboard. Featured in every scene would be a busty blonde he named Trixie (see? I said it was somewhat related). Inappropriate for 5th graders in the late '70s? Probably, but he was a great artist.


Sep 6, 2012

Headless Anniversary

Ten years ago tonight, I married the most amazing girl in the world. We met through a dating site, yes kids, they do work sometimes! I knew by our third date that this was the girl I was going to marry. The universe was dropping some huge signs right in front of me.

She was living in Salem; I had lived there for a few months and moved away earlier that year.

She listed Star Wars as one of her favorite movies. While she jokes with me about that being the only reason I contacted her in the first place, it wasn't. Being a single geek, it's always a weird thing to bring up with your new girlfriend that you're a big time sci-fi geek because you don't know how they'll react. So obviously, that was a big plus.

On my drive to our first date, I listened to WFNX's Labor Day A-Z. They happened to be up to "V" and played Elvis Costello's "Veronica," which is her name.

The movie we saw was Next Stop Wonderland, a romantic comedy set in and around Boston. While we were eating after the movie, it started to rain. We couldn't think of anything to do and neither of us wanted to go yet. We drove downt the street and followed road signs to Revere Beach. We found ourselves at the exact place where the main characters met at the end of the movie. It was a weird moment, in a good way.

By our third date, she had quoted lines from Star Wars to me. I remember telling my friends I was going to marry her after that.

Another problem that inevitably comes up with being a geek, is having a collection. The first time we went to Toys R Us together, not only did she pay for the one thing I was going to get, but she bought more than I did.

Three years later, I had planned on going ring shopping. That day, however, was September 11th. I'm not saying that was a sign in anyway, only that it delayed the proposal. In the scheme of things, it worked out ok, bringing me to a point where I was able to come up with an original proposal by making a 30 second or so stop-motion LEGO movie.

And that more or less brings us to today and an explanation of why this post is titled Headless Anniversary! When I got up this morning, I had a small Anniversary present waiting for me...

Legend of Sleepy Hollow Headless Horseman figure and book

This is one of those little boxed desk gift sets. The figure is about 3" tall and when you press the button it plays an approaching gallop and sinister laugh sound effect. I wish I had painting skills to do this up and make it look extra cool. The book is 32 pages long but I haven't had a chance to read it yet to see what parts of the story they included.

Although not specifically a Halloween tale, the ghost story of the Headless Horseman has become forever associated with All Hallow's Eve. I'm not a huge fan of the original book, but I have a feeling I'd feel the same about anything written in 1819. It's just not my preferred style of writing. But I am in love with the legend and the image of the Headless Horseman.

Only 55 days left...

countdown to halloween 2012 logo

Sep 4, 2012

New Vid Picks - September 4

Usually every Tuesday I tweet out a link to the AEIOU and Sometimes Why New Vid Pick of the Week. This week has so much video goodness that I have to make a post! Now that we're passed Labor Day, it's "Get Ready for Halloween" season so there's horror titles aplenty.

New Stuff

I haven't seen this one yet, but if it's half as fun as the first one, it's bound to be a good time.

Another one I haven't seen yet but I've heard good things about it. I think this sumamry tells you all you need to know: "In a culture that is currently overrun with romanticized vampires, it is up to four geeky teenagers to defend their friend and beloved sci-fi convention from a group of very real, and very blood-thirsty vampires."

Old Stuff New to BluRay

If you haven't see this, I suggest you stop reading the blog at the end of this sentence and watch it! This is the one I'm most excited to see on BluRay. Can't wait to pick it up!

Dr. West and his green goo in glorious HD!

I saw this when it was first released. I remember thinking it was pretty good and really liked the creature but I wasn't being entirely sold on the ending.
I know it's got a pretty big following so maybe it's time to revisit it.

Do you need this in BluRay? Only you can make that call but it is a good horror/scifi/comedy...especially if you have coulrophobia.

Universal is issuing this as part of its 100th Anniversary collection and it's well deserved I say! Sixteen Candles should be required viewing for teens, which is true about almost any John Hughes movie.

Sep 3, 2012

New Stuff - A Ghost & The Grid

Here's a couple of new things I've picked up over the weekend. 

First is a new Monster Hunters LEGO set! Target has started stocking for Halloween but the shelves are maybe about 50% empty still. At first I thought $4 for this mini set was pricey but then remembered that the blind bagged figures go for $3-$4, so this isn't bad since you get the clock with a glow-in-the-dark ghost.

He'd be a great addition to the Monster Fighter Haunted House which is now available for order through LEGO Shop at Home.

LEGO

Next up is something I stumbled on while doing an image search for my Tron Kubricks post.

bicycle The Grid playing cards inspired by Tron

When I followed the image for the cards, it went to a Kickstarter page which had since successfully ended. But a little Google-Fu brought me to eBay where I was able to buy the deck. These aren't "official" Tron playing cards but are definitely inspired by the aesthetic. The one with the two white circles is showing what the card back design.

Sep 1, 2012

Monthly Movie Recap - August 2012

Not a whole lot going on on the movie front in August. As always, clicking on a linked movie title will bring you to Amazon where you can buy it (or anything else) and drop a couple coins in my pocket.


Troll 2 (1990)
I've heard a lot about this one over the years and how it's legendary in its badness. It's all true and more! People some times say a bad movie is like a car wreck, you can't look away. Troll 2 is more like a multi-car highway pileup...on train tracks! It does just about everything wrong but it is sooo good to watch. I can't explain it.

Cool: The level of bad is awesomely epic
Lame: The level of bad is awesomely epic
Rating: 7/10, incredibly fun to watch


Best Worst Movie (2009)
This is what finally pushed me to get around to seeing Troll 2. This documentary, directed by the child star of Troll 2, shows just how devoted a cult following this movie has gotten over the years.

Cool: It's great to see the love people have for this film and the stars (mostly) embracing their part in it
Lame: The actress that played the mom seems to have taken the train to loopyville
Rating: 7.5/10, essential viewing after Troll 2


Boogeyman (2012)
Another in the long line of SyFy Original movies I put myself through. I'm a bit torn on this one. On one hand, a lot of aspects elevate this above what's expected from SyFy Originals. On the other hand, I didn't feel there was enough time dedicated to the monster's origin. It's dumped out in the final 20 minutes where I would rather have had it be more of a running investigated mystery.

Cool: Interesting take using a Biblical monster
Lame: It's not clear through most of the movie why the monster is doing what it does
Rating: 5.5/10


The Land That Time Forgot (1975)
Hi, I'm Doug McClure, you may recognize me from such Simpsons characters as Troy McClure. This is a pretty fun Lost World type movie even if the effects are only a little better than Land of the Lost.

Cool: Dinosaurs; For all you Star Wars fans, Declan Mulholland, the guy who originally played Jabba in the Ep 4 deleted scene has a small role
Lame: The cavemen are kinda odd looking in the way they're made up
Rating: 6/10

Month Total
New:4

Year To-Date Total
74 New, 10 Rewatch


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