Feb 24, 2015

Kickstarter - Now Playing: Underrated Movies We Recommend

A long time ago in a galaxy not so far away, I discovered the Star Wars Action News (SWAN) podcast that discussed all aspects of Star Wars collecting. At the time it was, as far as I know, the only podcast dedicated to the topic.

I've been listening to it for years now and I've even met the hosts at a couple of conventions. In recent years the man behind the podcast, Arnie Carvalho, has created his own mini-podcast empire under the name Venganza Media. The shows now include Marvelicious Toys (Marvel comics collectibles), Books & Nachos (book reviews),
 and Now Playing Podcast (movie reviews).

They've recently launched a Kickstarter to bring Now Playing into print.
Well, digital print, anyway.

I've been listening to Now Playing since it began. Initially because I really like the people behind it and I always check out anything they do. I stayed because it's a fun show. I even listen to shows where they review movies I haven't seen yet because I like the discussions. That, and I have a 90 minute round-trip commute and it gets lonely in my car.

They review everything from the latest in theaters to full-on franchise retrospectives like Friday the 13th and Alien. They're also doing an on going series to review every movie based on a Stephen King story. If that's not ambitious, I don't know what is!

The book, as they say in the video (you watched it, didn't you?) has the each of the hosts picking out movies they feel are under rated. For every 10% of their goal, they post a few more movies that will be covered in the book. You can check out the current list on the Kickstarter's comment page.

I know I'm pretty excited to see the final result and what movies they'll be talking about. If you think you might be interested, head on over to the Now Playing: Underrated Movies We Recommend Kickstarter page and throw some money at them. And if the reading about movies doesn't sound that interesting, check out the Now Playing movie review podcast. You're bound to find something to grab your attention there.

Feb 20, 2015

Adventure Time Playing Cards

What time is it?
Time to play some cards, so c'mon grab your friends!

Adventure Time Playing Cards Box & Back

I found this deck at one of those holiday-time mall calendar/game kiosks that pop up every year. It was post holiday season so I managed to snag this for 50% off.
$3? Yes, please!

Adventure Time Playing Cards

What sets this deck apart from most others is that every single card has artwork on it, not just the face cards! I know a lot of the images are variant covers from the Adventure Time comic series. Buying a small deck of cards is a lot cheaper (and easier to store) than a stack of comics with different covers.

While looking for info online, I found out there's also a Fiona & Cake deck that I must own!

They also sell both decks as a set in a tin, which I would definitely be my preferred way to pick them up if it was an option at the time. Tins like this usually end up costing just about the same as getting each deck on its own, plus you have a nice collectible tin to hold them.

Feb 17, 2015

Shannon Young's Derby Deck

As a casual collector of playing cards, I've found Kickstarter to be a great place to find interesting and unique decks of cards. Walking into any "regular" store, your choices are usually limited to mass produced Bicycle decks. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking them in the least!

One of my recently delivered Kickstarter decks is Shannon Young's Derby Deck. I really like this one because it combines pin-up girl tattoo-style art and roller derby. I''ve seen a handful of movies about roller derby. I've never been to a real live roller derby but I've always wanted to go. I think it's part of my fascination with 50s/60s culture.

Shannon Young Derby Deck cards box & back>

Card backs in general tend to have a mirrored image on them. This deck is a little different with a "good" girl vs "bad" girl art. But of course, the real stars are the face cards.

Shannon Young Derby Deck cards

This is why I love collecting playing cards. You can get a bunch of art and it doesn't take up a lot of space. I think it's almost a law that the Ace of Spades has to be a bad ass card and this deck follows suit (get it?). A few of my other favorites are the Queen of Diamonds in the upper right (sci-fi), Jack of Clubs (black cat), and Jack of Diamonds (rocker).

The decks just recently became available on Amazon,so order one!

Feb 11, 2015

Under the Weather

It's been a little quiet around here lately. Even though it's my choice as the guy behind the blog, I feel bad when I don't post something on a regular basis. I'm still figuring out having to write posts over the weekend in advance. I prefer sitting down at the moment and putting something together. It shouldn't be much different but for some reason it is. It's also been a rough couple of weeks as we've been under the weather.


This isn't a trench on Hoth, it's my sidewalk!

A couple weeks ago we got a blizzard that dropped around 3' of snow on us. And every week after that, we've gotten more and more snow. We're due to get even more this week and as I'm looking out the window at 7am, it's starting to snow right now. Ugh!

It's kind of hard to tell in the photo but the passenger side of the car is right up against the snow, which a drift that formed due to the fence on that side of the driveway. You can see it poking out of the snow in the upper right.

 We have a narrow driveway that runs alongside the house which seems to create the perfect environment fro snow drifts. We're literally running out of places to put the snow.

That's my house on the left The bottom half of the large window in our living room is covered in snow. You see that little break in the snow on the right? That's a 4' high fence on the side of the driveway. And just to the right of the house, at the front of the driveway, is a 7' tall fence. The snow is almost that high.

Here's the view looking down the driveway into the street.

So that's what I've been up to for fun lately. Haha! Some good news though! The insurance check came for us to replace some of the things that were stolen during our break-in in December. Once the weather calms down a bit (and I don't have to spend weekends digging out) I'll be on the hunt for a new camera, which means I don't have to take blog photos with my iPad anymore. Which in turn means, more frequent posting. Huzzah!

Feb 1, 2015

Monthly Movie Recap - January 2015

Welcome to the first Monthly Movie Recap of 2015! I hope February isn't too late to make a New Year Resolution because I decided I'm going to see at least one new (to me) Roger Corman movie a month this year. I'm currently reading this book about his career and there are just too many of his movies I haven't seen yet. I just looked at his IMDB page and coming in 2016: Sharktopus vs Mermantula. No, for reals!

If you're a movie fanatic, join me on Letterboxd where you can record and rate movies you've seen. Also, any links you see below will take you to the Amazon page for the movie. Anything you buy through these links puts a few coins in my pocket so I can keep finding weird stuff to watch and talk about here.

The Babadook (2014)
What a way to kick off the New Year! I hadn't even seen a trailer for this before watching. I saw so much buzz about it on social media that I knew it must be worth seeing, and boy was it! This movie does creepy right and doesn't resort to cheap scares or gore unnecessarily. On top of that, they managed to create a new movie monster that deserves to be instantly elevated to the pantheon of memorable horror icons. If I see a better horror movie this year, I'll be impressed.

Cool: It's so much more than just a horror/monster movie and that's what makes it awesome. It's not often I watch a movie and actually feel dread for the characters as the horror unfolds. Bravo!
Lame: Still not sure how I feel about the ending
Rating: 9/10

* Flash Gordon (1980)
I loved this movie after seeing it in the theater when I was 10. And for the life of me, I can't figure out why now. Sure, there's some cool action scenes but there's a lot of in between stuff that should bore a kid to tears. The thing is, if this had come out of the 50s or 60s it would fit right in almost anything else made at the time.

Cool: No matter how cheesy it is (Dale and Flash fall in love just about instantaneously) I have to give it major props for the costume and set design
Lame: Where are all the (non-slave) women? There are hawkmen and all of the Baron's gang are men. No women to be found!
Rating:  5/10

The Maltese Bippy (1969)
I love Laugh-In so when I recently found out Rowan & Martin did this movie, I had to check it out. You've got a pair of comedians, an all star supporting cast, and a madcap plot. It's got good intentions but it just doesn't consistently hit the funny nail on the head enough to make it great.

Rating: 4/10

The Guest (2014)
I posted the trailer, but if you want to enjoy this one to the fullest, don't find out anything about it before seeing it. This is another one where I saw a few online raves and just sought it out. And it was worth it! It takes about 20 minutes to get up to speed and then you think "Oh, it's going to be one of those movies." Then about 20 minutes later it changes the formula up a little.

Cool: It's set around Halloween, although it doesn't play into it much until the finale, it does make it a little more special with those accents throughout the movie.
Lame: I wish my high school had put on a Halloween dance like the one they're setting up for!
Rating: 7/10

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015)
Continuing the New 52 comic story from JL: War, Throne, as you might guess, introduces Aquaman to the League. I thought it was just okay. Not horrible, not really notable. If you really like the characters, you might enjoy it more.

Cool: Aquaman finally gets to be a badass instead of the joke he's become
Lame: They used a different sound effect for the aquatic telepathy! How do you change something so iconic?! As a result, when he uses it for the first time, it's not as cool as it should be.
Rating: 5/10

You're Next (2011)
I probably would never have seen this but after finding out the guys that did The Guest also did this, I had to check it out because that was so much fun. I liked the setup but about 13 minutes in, I'd already predicted the "big twist." I didn't know the who or the why behind it yet but there it was. Having said that, it was still enjoyable to see it unfold and by the time they revealed the who, it was still a little surprise. It's a little bit Saw meets Home Alone with the smallest sprinkles of Sam Raimi and Fargo.

Cool: High body count
Lame: I've seen people call it a horror comedy but the only comedy bits come at the end and one of them seems like it belongs in another movie.
Rating: 6/10

* Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
First time watching it at home, third time overall. Still love it!

CAUTION: NSFW trailer!!

The first Roger Corman movie of the year! This is a pretty decent Alien knockoff. It's got a good amount of gore and some extra nudity thrown in for good measure including a totally unnecessary scene of the two female leads showering together. In short, a perfect movie for a 13 year old boy!

Cool: Gore & nudity, what else do you need in an 80s sci-fi B-movie?
Lame: The mutant could have been a lot more threatening. Most of the people die due to their own stupidity.
Rating: 6/10

Month Total
 New: 6  Rewatch:2