Feb 25, 2014

February 2014 Loot Crate: Warriors!

I hope you've packed your best gear and put your war paint on, because this month's Loot Crate theme is Warriors! Ok, it's mostly stuff dealing with Bravest Warriors, but still. And by the way, if you enjoy Adventure Time you should be checking out Bravest Warriors on YouTube because it's made by a lot of the same people. If you're one of those people that doesn't watch Adventure Time because it's "too loud," give Bravest Warriors a shot. Did I mention there's a character called Professor Fartsparkles?

Disclaimer: Loot Crate sends me a box of cool stuff every month in exchange for a review.
Heeeeeeere we go!

Loot Crate: Warriors!

Issue 7 of the Loot Crate magazine debuts a new, slightly larger format than previous issues. It remains to be seen if I'm a fan of the new size because the Crate has a slightly smaller width so the mag has a bit of a bend on one side. It's not a huge deal, but as a comic collector, it bugs me. There's a few page write up about Frederator Studios (Bravest Warriors, Adventure Time, Fairly OddParents), an interview with Loot Crate's new SpokesWalrus, Theodore Tusk, and the usual pics of fans and info on all the swag in the Crate.

The trading card of Bravest Warriors comic #1 has a code on the back for a digital download of the issue. And the second Loot Crate badge (button) features Catbug, the breakout fan-favorite character from Bravest Warriors.

Loot Crate: Warriors! Dunny

Next is a Dunny Sideshow blind box figure with card. It's a bit odd with a sort of totem pole thing going on. The back has a design similar to what's on the card, so you have two ways to display the figure if you like.

Loot Crate: Warriors! Sack, Sticker & Catbug Bow Tie

In the background is a cinch bag with the Gas Powered Stick logo. It's from a Bravest Warriors episode called, you guessed it, Gas Powered Stick. There's also a sticker with Impossibear holding said Gas Powered Stick. And Catbug is back again on a bowtie! I don't know that I could pull off a normal bowtie, never mind a Catbug bowtie, but it's cute!

Loot Crate: Warriors! Bacon Card

Mmmm...bacon! A tasty greeting card from the folks at OpenMe. Inside it says "I love you more than bacon." I know for some people, that might be too much of a commitment. OpenMe has free e-cards or you can get printed versions for just $4.

Loot Crate: Warriors! Shirt

Lastly, is this awesome shirt titled Alpha Battle featuring video game characters from just about every era of gaming. I know most of them except V (the white karate guy at the top) and U (the knight on the black horse). Any ideas? I know there's been plenty of X-Men games, but Prof. X seems out of place. I'm presuming the guy with the whip (lower right) is Indiana Jones, also a little out of place.

If you want to check out Loot Crate and get a box stuffed with geek and gamer stuff, please use the link in the right sidebar.

Feb 20, 2014

Now Hear This - Calabrese

Calabrese, one of my absolute favorite bands, released a new video this week for the track "I Wanna Be a Vigilante" from their latest album Born With a Scorpion's Touch.

While it's not as crazy as some of their videos from the last album, I really dig it! It's directed by Brian Pulido (creator of Evil Ernie and Lady Death comics) and has a vibe that I can only describe as "classic Mtv." If you were around in Mtv's infancy, or are a music video historian, I think you'll see what I mean.

And the song! It's amazing. When I first listened to the album, it blew me away. I had a huge smile on my face while listening to it because the guys caught me by surprise with this one, especially with the vocals. The whole album is really good. It's like a concept album about some motorcycle ridin', leather jacket wearin' badasses on a grisly road trip. Someone needs to make the movie for this soundtrack!

Here are the other two videos from the new album

Born With a Scorpion's Touch

There's an Evil Inside

Sadly, I missed them on tour last year because I was at DisneyWorld. But I did manage to get a photo with Mickey while holding the CD for the guys. They're heading east in the spring but nothing announced in New England yet but I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Feb 13, 2014

Cereal Prize!

A recent episode of the Nerdist podcast had Chris Hardwick talking to Topher Grace. You may remember him as dumbass Eric Foreman from That 70s Show, or the poor guy who got saddled with Venom in Spider-Man 3. Let's face it, the movie had bigger problems...

Anwyay, Topher was talking about how he's now just jumping into social media and has started his own site to feature "a collection of all the different shit he likes and wants to share with others." After visiting the site, I had to share it because I know a lot of you out there love the 80s like I do.

The first thing highly recommend when you go to Cereal Prize, is to right click on the background image and select View Background Image. Then spend way too much time looking at it and checking out all the references in it.

He's got all kinds of funny and odd content linked on there, like a script treatment for E.T. 2. and a site where you can play Cavern of the Evil Wizard from Big. He said he's going to do daily posts about..whatever. He has a plan to do a week of the best 90s songs from fiction bands like Zac Attack and Jesse & the Rippers. That should be fun!

So pop on over to Cereal Prize and tell em I sent you. Not that he has any idea who I am and it'll probably just confuse the heck out of him.

Feb 11, 2014

Toon In - Ben 10: Galactic Monsters

Whether or not you've actually watched an episode, you've probably at least heard of Ben 10, Cartoon Network's smash hit sci-fi cartoon about a kid with an extraterrestrial device that lets him shapeshift into aliens. The show and characters have actually evolved since it debuted in 2005. Every few years, the show is re-branded with a new title, allies, villains, and plot arc. And on top of that, there have been numerous made-for-TV movies and video games, not to mention loads of toys!

This Saturday, Cartoon Network kicks off the latest incarnation with Ben 10: Galactic Monsters. And it looks interesting enough to at least get me to tune in again.

I was a big fan of the show since it started almost 9 years ago. Not only was it a great return to the Saturday mornings of my childhood but it had continuing plots, recurring characters and the main kids grew up over the years. But the most recent version, Ben 10: Omniverse, left me a little cold. After watching any show for 7 years, you've put in some time and want to see it through to the end. But after a few episodes, it felt too different, too....kiddie for lack of a better word. Odd thing to say about a cartoon for kids, I know. It was a sad day when I deleted my season pass for Ben 10.

Here's the official press release for the new series:
Monsters, mummies and werewolves may be taking over, but Ben has defended the universe from the worst of the worst. Now it’s hero time on Monster Planet! The spooky fun begins with “Something Zombozo This Way Comes,” when Ben and Rook must stop Zombozo and the Circus Freaks from turning everyone in Bellwood into zombie clowns. Tune-in to Cartoon Network every Saturday morning to see who comes out of the shadows next!

Other upcoming episodes are titled "Mystery, Incorpreal", "The Vampire Strikes Back", and "An American Benwolf in London". Ok Cartoon Network, you've got me at least for a couple more episodes!

Feb 7, 2014

January 2014 Loot Crate: Launch!

Well, it's a bit late, but here's a look at the January 2014 Loot Crate. And here's the usual disclaimer that Loot Crate sends me this cool stuff in exchange for a review every month.

Loot Crate Jan 2014 Launch

The theme for this month is Launch and there's plenty of out of this world swag to go along with that. This month's mag has a funny article called Super Cinema where they theorize how five sci-fi movies would have turned out had Superman been dropped into them. There's also an interview with Bobak Ferdowsi, you may know him as that NASA guy with the mohawk.

Speaking of which, you can see there's a NASA patch up there. You may think it's not very exciting, it's a patch. But it's one of those things that really excites the young geek in me that used to peer into the heavens with a telescope. Next to that is a Star Trek communicator sticker. You can peel it off and slap it on your favorite mono-color t-shirt. Just don't use a red one! Here's a close-up of the button at the bottom

Loot Crate Jan 2014 button

What's it all about? Loot Crate became the first geek gear mail order service to go to space! It might not sound that impressive, but they did it all themselves. None of that fancy space craft stuff for the geeks at Loot Crate!

Loot Crate Jan 2014 Calendar

Next up is a mini Minecraft wall calendar. I admit, I'm one of the few people on the planet that has never delved into this game. I'm aware of it, I've seen what people have created there and have decided to stay away because it would probably suck up my free time. Beside the calendar is a wall sticker of a melty Rubik's Cube.

Loot Crate Jan 2014 Star Wars

You don't want to Launch into space without this handy Star Wars Galactic Phrase Book & Travel Guide! This pocket size book is a lot of fun. I picked it up when it came out a few years ago. It's got tips for communicating and getting along with several species like Wookiees, Gungans, droids and Hutts. There's also a section in the book that goes behind the sounds of the movies. The extra icing on it is all the illustration is done by Sergio Aragones. If you've never read his Groo the Wanderer, you are depriving yourself of some great entertainment! Along with the guide is a pack of the now defunct pocket model game.

Loot Crate Jan 2014 SuperDomo

Look up in the sky! It's a bird...it's a plane...it's a...SuperDomo Funko Pop Vinyl Figure? For me, Domo is in the same realm as Hello Kitty. I know they're both big in Japan and I see them everywhere in pop culture stores, and that's it. The magazine showed a few different Man of Steel Funkos (is that the correct plural of Funko?) that were available. I think I would have preferred a Supes or Zod one or even the Domo in the Man of Steel outfit. Also, the paint app on this guy is sub-par. I have higher expectations from Funko than this.

If you're a fan of the cartoon Bravest Warriors, there's a good chance you'll want to sign up for February's Loot Crate as they're promising some related gear and a shirt! Or if you just want to get cool stuff like this in your mail every month, head over the top right column and follow the link to join.

Feb 2, 2014

Monthly Movie Recap - January 2014

Coming to you barely live, it's the first Monthly Movie Review for 2014. I say barely because my wife and I have been sick for over a week now. Seriously, I'm surprised the CDC hasn't shown up and put one of those big house covers up like in E.T.

This fan made trailer does a good job of summarizing the movie. It's a sleazy, exploitation (is that redundant?) roller derby flick. The main character turns out to be not the so innocent girl next door you think she is. At first, you're rooting for her as she tries to make a better life for herself and then she goes all diva and even though she's asking for the treatment she gets, you still want to like her as she loses it. I've read it was supposed to be sort of a mockbuster of Rachel Welch's Kansas City Bombers, another one on my "to see" list.

Cool: There's a reason Claudia Jennings was Playmate of the Year; Lots of roller derby action!
Lame: She's a badass, but not always in a good way
Rating: 5.5/10

Despicable Me (2010)
I finally got around to seeing this one. I was expecting even more mad scientist/bad guy stuff but that's ok. There's a lot more heart to it than I would ever have guessed. It was very cute and I'm looking forward to seeing the next one.

Cool: The mad science-y stuff and scheming; The kids
Lame: Where the Minions at? I have to presume they get more screen time in the sequel to explain why they've become a pop culture icon.
Rating: 7/10

*Tremors (1990)
It's been at least a good decade since I saw this last but I wanted to revisit it before starting off on my goal of knocking out the rest of the series, which I've never seen. I wish more fun monster movies like this were getting made with practical effects but that probably won't happen any time soon.

Rating: 8/10

Tremors II: Aftershocks (1996)
I didn't even realize this was direct to video until I looked up info after seeing it. It's missing something from the original, maybe it's the chemistry the leads had. But Remo Williams himself is back, so I can't complain much as I really liked him in the previous film. The addition of the Shriekers is fantastic. I have to wonder if they're related to the Acklay and Nexu from Attack of the Clones because they sound very similar.

Rating: 6.5/10

Tremors 3: Back to Perfection (2001)
I thought they'd play out the whole government involvement thing as a main story line, which would probably have gone down the same cliched path you'd expect, but they're wiped out almost as quick as they entered. What they get back in fun from part 2, they kind of lose in CGI creatures. Still, the "Ass Blasters" are another great addition to the Tremors mythology.

Rating: 6.5/10

Tremors 4: The Legend Begins (2004)
This one was just ok for me. Sure it was fun seeing the "origin" of the graboids and Burt's ancestor but it didn't really do much else for me. Except Billy Drago. He is a great Western badass.

Rating: 5.5/10

*The Fly (1957)
Watched the recently released BluRay and it looks great! Even coming up on 57 years old, it's still a great movie of science gone wrong. The end scene still creeps me out.

Rating: 7/10

 Caution: Red Band NSFW trailer
Malibu High (1979)
Ah, 70s drive-in sleaze. Not only does this girl decide to sleep her way to passing grades but she also gets into prostitution and eventually becomes a hit-woman. I'd recommend Unholy Rollers over this one because it's more fun to watch.

Cool: The Big One (People's Court theme) is used during the climactic chase scene.
Lame: Possibly the least sexy sex scenes ever caught on film.
Rating: 4/10

If you read this far, toss me some recommendations of movie series you think I need to see.