Jul 30, 2015

#SummerSwap2015 Goes West

The Swap Box has gone way out West! Which should not be confused with the Swap Box going to Will West, although that will happen at some point.

The box has traveled approximately 5200 miles already and it's just shy of visiting half the folks that it's going to!

Creepy Globugg wrote up the first Summer Swap 2015 blog post.

Please head on over to her site and check out what she found, what she's contributing and where the Swap Box is heading next!

Jul 27, 2015

July Loot Crate 2015 - Heroes 2

A quick note before the Main Event: Summer Swap 2015 is still going strong and I'm expecting a real live blog post from one of the gang soon.

And now....

Look, out on the porch!
Is it a bird?
Is it a plane?
Don't be stupid, how would a plane get on my porch?

It's Loot Crate!
And for the first time since I've been getting it, they're revisiting a theme. 
This month is Heroes 2.

Get your atomic batteries to power and turbines to speed, because we're off!

This month's mag features a brief history of Batman and Wonder Woman and an interview with Jon Schnepp, the man behind the documentary "The Death of Superman Lives; What Happened?". I'll tell you what happened, that movie not getting made probably saved the future of super hero cinema. I do want to see the documentary because my brain can't even comprehend a Tim Burton/Nic Cage Superman movie.

The inside of this month's Crate is a pretty neat slice of a Gotham city block.

I really like this mini-poster featuring the "Bombshell" version of Wonder Woman. I like WWII art and alternate timelines, so I just may check out the new DC Bombshells comic coming out soon.

In case you were wondering, Spock smells like vanilla. To ensure you keep a good grip on your sword, there's a Legend of Zelda wristband. Holy Bat-Gadget! This bat-shaped key chain has a bottle opener and Phillips and flathead screwdrivers. Although I think I'd rather keep this pointy thing in my utility belt than a pants pocket.

Next is a promo code for the video game Brawlhalla, which is like a Super Smash Bros game with cartoony fighters. It's currently in Beta and you can sign up here. I signed up yesterday and got my access code today so I'll be checking that out as soon as I wrap this up!

The League of Regrettable Superheroes is hands down my favorite item this month. This Loot Crate exclusive version is only about half the length of the actual book, but it's still packed with comic goodness. The Golden and Silver Ages had quite the variety of unusual characters. You can read a great interview (including lots of pics) with the author here.

Here's just a few of the featured heroes. Ok, I have to admit I kinda want to find some issues of Nightmare and Sleepy! The book doesn't just stick to the heroes of yesteryear, it gets a little more "modern" with characters from the 80s. Remember US 1? It's ok if you don't, I had forgotten all about it before seeing this book.

Delivering the final punch, is this Batman Q-Pop statue from Quantum Mechanix. This is another Loot Crate exclusive. The "normal" version is more comic-based and this one is sporting the Batman '66 duds. The Kapow! sticker comes off and you can make him say whatever you want with the included dry erase marker.

All in all, not a bad Crate. Because it was so DC-centric, I feel that I need to rate it on a Batman scale. I give it a solid Val Kilmer.

The folks at the Halls of Loot provided me with these goodies in exchange for review and promotion. If you'd like to score sweet swag every month without resorting to a life of crime, you can sign up at Loot Crate with code AEIOUwhy to save 10% on your subscription plan.

Jul 20, 2015

Star Wars v. Schumer

Unless you've been under a rock that blocks out social media, chances are you've somewhere seen at least a passing mention of comedian Amy Schumer's Star Wars GQ photo shoot. And if you''re a Star Wars fan, it's probably all you've seen in your feeds the past few days.

While my initial reaction at most of the photos was to have a good laugh, some of the racier/raunchier ones left me with an odd feeling. The only thing I can liken it to (and apologies to my mom and wife for this anecdote) is when I was a young lad, my buddy and I found a stash of Playboys. One of them had a Wizard of Oz spread (no pun intended). Even though Schumer's photos aren't quite that racy, it is oddly jarring to see something so integral to your childhood being portrayed with a definite adult twist.

Lucasfilm recently confirmed what I had suspected: they did not give their blessing for this. Although, Luke Skywalker himself chimed in on Twitter...

Sexing up the Galaxy Far, Far Away isn't a new thing by any stretch. If you Google "sexy Star Wars" you'll find everything from tasteful pin-up style art to women in barely there costumes to these Halloween costumes which are their own brand of wrong all together.

I've seen reactions to the photo shoot online ranging from love to hate. Often, the people that are vocal about not liking it are being told something along the lines of "take the stick out of your ass."  But I totally get Disney/Lucasfilm's point of view: it's about the brand.

Their reaction is similar to that weird feeling I had in my gut when I first saw the pics. It's not about being a prude or offended at the adult nature of the photos. Hell, for a good part of the 90's Andrew Dice Clay was one of my favorite stand-ups. Those couple images just don't feel right to what Star Wars is to me. It's because those films are such a part of who I am as a person that I want to see the characters treated with respect.

If I learned anything in my decades of Star Wars fandom, it's that whatever you feel is"your" Star Wars, it's bound to be different from anyone else. The important thing is, we should treat fellow fans with respect...even if they prefer the prequels over the originals.

Jul 13, 2015

Happy Blogday to Me!

Four years ago on this very day, the first post to AEIOU and Sometimes Why was published!

I can't believe it's been four years that this blog has been up and running. I've had a lot of fun keeping it going and I've met some really cool people (virtually) through the community.

Here are the Top 10 most viewed posts over the last four years.

Ah, the League of Extraordinary Bloggers. I don't know if you're reading this Brian, but thanks again for creating that gang. The weekly topics frequently gave me something to post about when I had nothing in particular planned and kept me challenged.
It's also how I connected with a lot of the bloggers I know today.

And somehow, that Andy Gibb poster ad continues to be one of my most popular of all time.

What's bringing people here from an internet search?

What's the deal with Andy Gibb, internet?

And on that note, here's a little present for you!

Jul 9, 2015

Guardians of the Galaxy Hot Wheels - Gamora

It's been a whole two and a half months since I posted about Guardians of the Galaxy!

Much like the first two Guardians of the Galaxy Hot Wheels, I had no idea this one was coming but was delightfully surprised to find it. Much like Gamora herself, this car was the last of its kind. At least at the store I found it in anyway.

Hot Wheels Gamora

I'd been out on what I call the "Route 1 Run" which consists of me driving down a short stretch of Rte. 1 and stopping at the various stores to check out their toy stock. I was on my way home and something in my head said, "Why don't you stop at that WalMart?" It was a warm day, I'd been running around all morning and I just wanted to grab some lunch and veg on the couch. But I'm glad I listened to that voice!

Hot Wheels Gamora

Like the previous cars in this series, they did a fantastic job with this one. They incorporated just about everything that makes Gamora Gamora in the design. From the coloring to the details like the hood that matches her bodice, the texturing, and the two points peeking out from under the hood that represent her sword.

Hot Wheels Gamora

This shot's a little blown out on the left side but it nicely shows off the details along the sides. The back of the card only mentions the Star-Lord and Rocket cars but if they did Gamora, I think it's a safe bet we'll be getting Drax and Groot at some point.

Jul 7, 2015

Summer Swap 2015 Field Update

I'm happy to present the first #SummerSwap2015 update from the field!
This Swap Box report is brought to you from Rondal of Strange Kids Club.

If you're still in line to get the box, please don't send any liquid-ish substances. We had a slight incident with some slime getting out of containment but all is well because Rondal just happened to have some CDC approved hazardous material cleaner upper.

Here's what he pulled out of the Swap Box courtesy of his Instagram.
He said he and his daughter had a lot of fun going through the contents.

And here's a few things he tossed into the Box.

If you've already had the box, it's still not too late to post a report or send me a couple pics to put up. I know life gets in the way of fun, I won't judge you for being late!

This week, the Swap Box is heading way out West.
Stay tuned!

Jul 1, 2015

Monthly Movie Recap - June 2015

A quick #SummerSwap2015 update before we dive into June's movies.
The Swap Box has hit it's third destination: the Strange Kids Clubhouse!

Although the box appears to have encountered an ectoplasmic entity and got slimed, it's still going strong. If you've had the box, I'm still waiting on an update! :)

On to the Main Feature...

Atari: Game Over (2014, Netflix)
Great documentary not only about the search for the long rumored Atari cartridge dumping ground but also the collapse of the industry. The ending feels a bit too dramatically staged but that's a very minor complaint.

Rating: 9/10, but I'm severely biased being an Atari kid

Robocop (2014, Netflix)
I have to admit, I was expecting this to suck out loud but was pleasantly surprised. This is probably the best way to do a remake/reboot of a series; making it its own thing and a new take on the basic story. It's just too bad his connection to his family felt as emotionless.

Cool: I actually warmed up to the new look; a little more "thinking" sci-fi than expected
Lame: Why would you keep one human hand? The reuse of lines from the original often fell flat.
Rating: 7/10

Mortdecai (2015)
A second delight that wasn't as bad as I feared. It's not great but it was entertaining. Very Mr Bean meets James Bond.

Cool: I may complain about Depp being in everything, I can't deny he disappears into his characters.
Lame: There's a much better non-comedic movie in here somewhere
Rating: 5.5/10

Cowboys Vs Dinosaurs (2015) aka Jurassic Hunters
If the title didn't clue you in, this is the kind of trash you'd expect to find on SyFy. It's all here: horrendous acting, bad CGI gore and creatures, a crazy over the top climax, and if that wasn't enough...Eric Roberts.

Cool: Ok, the dinos aren't that bad when they're not moving. If this movie did nothing else for me, it makes me really want to finally see Valley of the Gwangi.
Lame: Pretty much covered it all up there.
Rating: 3/10, could have been a good bad movie but they try to put too much story in it.

Jurassic World (2015)
While a whole lot of it seemed to be ringing the nostalgia bell for JP, I loved it. Well, 99% of it. Seeing the park open was amazing and delightful. It's a solid monster movie and I'd just about call it a horror movie due to the intensity of some scenes.

Cool: Tons of callbacks and Easter eggs
Lame: My big problem with this is how the big fight ends. It had me 10 year old me laughing with joy and adult me rolling his eyes because it felt like they wrote themselves into a corner and said "Well, this will work."
Rating: 8/10

Monsters (2010, Netflix)
This is like the polar opposite of Jurassic World. It's all about the characters and you barely see the creatures, but in a good way.

Cool: The director created the effects using off the shelf software!
Lame: The ending feels a little silly in the world they've built up.
Rating: 6.5/10

Deathstalker IV: Match of Titans (1990)
So glad to be done with this series that continues to drop in quality. Imagine Game of Thrones produced by your local cable access channel.

Cool: The original Deathstalker is back
Lame: This movie
Rating: 2/10

Gone Girl (2014)
If I were to draw you a Venn diagram of critically acclaimed movies and the movies I watch, there would be a very small overlap. You read this blog, you know I lean more to genre flicks, that's just me. But man, am I glad I saw this movie without having any of it spoiled in advance!

Cool: Fantastic performances all around; Darkly awesome!
Lame: The ending might leave you a little uneasy...but that's why I like it
Rating: 8/10

Month Total
 New: 8  Rewatch:0

Year Total
 New: 39  Rewatch: 3