Jul 13, 2024

13 Year Blog-iversary!

 Well, this was a shock to me! I could have sworn this was only 12 years but here we are. I was all set to pull out that Sesame Street pinball video, but I did that last year when it was actually 12 years.


Staying true to form , the top 10 posts with the most views has not changed much since last year. The only moving and shaking on the chart is that Now Hear This - Christmas Fear jumped from 9 to 8. 
 
 
It still cracks me up that this Andy Gibb post is number 2. The difference between 2nd and 3rd is almost 1.5k views! 


The blog is now entering it's teenage years so that's something to look forward to.

Jul 1, 2024

Monthly Media Recap - June 2024

It was a banner month for movies: I went to the theater TWICE! I honestly don't remember the last time I went out to a movie more than once a month. Probably summer 2019? While I can enjoy the communal experience, too many people think they're on their couch and have zero theater etiquette.

Links below are Amazon Affiliated and I can earn from them based on qualifying purchases.


Movies



Started the month of with an absolute banger of a horror flick! I seem to always enjoy these type of movies where the main character is going through something personal and them having to deal with some crazy horror on top of it. Very imaginative and extra points for making stop motion creepy AF.

Rating: 8/10
 
Sorry, Eric Mabius, you might be perfect for Hallmark movies but no amount of slow-motion walking or makeup are going to make you badass back from the grave. Despite how despicable they made the bad guys to make you want them to get what’s coming, this Crow feels more like a slasher villain than an anti-hero.  

Rating: 3/10
 
 
This actually made me go back and re-evaluate my feelings on the last movie. This is so far from even being just okay, but it least it’s bad in a way you can make fun of it. The plot was a little confusing and most of the acting is flat out laughable in parts. And at this point, I’ve had enough of resurrected guys doing revenge murder. Initially, DMX was in talks for this sequel and I definitely would be more interested in seeing something a little different from the franchise. 
 
Rating: 2/10

And speaking of train wrecks on film...

Jun 26, 2024

Marvel Legends - Clea

 The long time love, now wife, of Dr. Strange has finally been immortalized in plastic in the Marvel Legends line! Apparently she's a hot commodity if eBay prices are anything to go by. I got lucky and ordered her from Amazon UK for just $5 over retail with free shipping.


If you've been around long enough, you'll know Dr Strange is my absolute, all time favorite Marvel character...well, maybe my favorite hero. On any given day Doctors Strange and Doom could be holding the top spot.

I've been a fan of Strange for I don't know how long so finally getting Clea is such a treat. You can read more of me reminiscing about my history with Strange here. Clea has been around almost as long as Strange himself and she's the niece of one of his oldest, most notorious foes: the Dread Dormammu!

Jun 19, 2024

Star Wars Bounty Hunters Card Game (2024)

 I happened to see someone post about this in a Facebook board game group and pretty much ordered it immediately. Who wouldn't want to play a game where you get to play bounty hunters?


The other reason I ordered it is that I really like the art style they used. Some of the characters have a very manga-esque look to them.


Here's a few of the bounty hunters in the game. All the ones from Empire Strikes Back are in there as well as a couple from The Book of Boba Fett. Below them are some of the droids you can "purchase" to help take down your targets.


And these are the targets and contract cards. To "capture" a target, you have to play hunters and/or droids on them to beat all three color shields. Bounty points (top left) start high but each hunter you play reduces the score. Droids don't have an effect on score but cost credits.

Contract cards are a way to earn more points for your bounties. For example, with the first one, each time you capture Qi'ra or Solo, you get one point. (Yes, you can capture targets more than once, they must be pretty hard to lock up!) If you have them both, you get a total of five points, one for each and three for the pair.

I haven't played yet but did read through the rules. It seems like it could be fun but a little weird that bounty hunters negatively impact scoring. Wouldn't it make more sense to have to pay the bounty hunters credits? That's what they do!
 
Also, the contract cards have odd pairings of characters. But these are minor complaints from someone that wants the game to stick to the lore of Star Wars as much as possible.

You can read a review, and detailed explanation of how to play, over at BoardGameGeek.com.
 
If you want to pick up the game, please use this Amazon affiliate link.

Jun 12, 2024

Star Wars Hunters Mobile Game

 Launched last week on June 4th, Star Wars Hunters is a free-to-play, squad based 4 vs 4 game for iOS, Android, and Switch. Between the various game modes, playable characters, and customization options to unlock, there's plenty to keep you busy!


I didn't know if I was going to be into this initially but I always check out new Star Wars games. I haven't had great experiences with shooter type games like this on mobile in the past but after a couple rounds to get my virtual footing, I was really enjoying it! 
 
Check out the trailer


Jun 1, 2024

Monthly Media Recap - May 2024

May was an odd month for movie watching. It was front loaded with the second weekend of Salem Horror Fest and a couple of other films. There was a long lull and then I packed in a couple more at the end of the month.
 
There's a lot to cover but I promise if you stick to the end (or just skip there) you'll see something truly original and wild.
 

Series

Bad Batch (S3, Disney+)
What a great way to end the series! Star Wars animation has been knocking it out of the park, mostly...see below. I really hope they continue to do long form story telling because it gives the characters time to shine and grow. I'm a little sad to leave this crew behind but knowing Dave Filoni, they'll probably turn up again.

Tales of the Empire (Disney+)
This was good but much like it's predecessor Tales of the Jedi, I don't enjoy the less than 20 minutes episodes telling a fragmented story to fill in some blanks as much as the ongoing series format.

X-Men '97 (Disney+)
I'm still trying to catch up on the 92 series but man this was amazing! And my boy Nightcrawler finally gets his moment in the animated spotlight. My only minor complaint is that it felt like they crammed in too comic story lines without really giving them time to breathe.


Cult-tastic! Tales from the Trenches with Roger and Julie Corman (Tubi)
This 13 hour (!) series is more Corman than even I could want. Each hour long episode is dedicated to a specific type of Corman flick like SciFi, Fantasy, or Monsters. It's fun not only hearing stories about these movies but also seeing clips from unfamiliar ones. I finally finished the series just a few weeks before he passed. 
 

May 8, 2024

Space Ghosts Returns!

 Space Ghost is back in a new comic book series from Dynamite. Issue #1 dropped last week and there are incredible amount of variant covers. Between foil variants and retailer exclusives, there are over 40!

 
Since my introduction to Space Ghost was Saturday morning cartoons in the 80s, this is my favorite cover. A superhero in outer space. How can you go wrong? Being able to fly and turn invisible are great powers but what I really like are his power bands because it seemed like he had a ray for just about everything packed in there.

May 1, 2024

Monthly Media Recap - April 2024

Grab a drink and some snacks because we've got a bit longer than average post this month!



Series

Fallout (2024, Amazon Prime)
Fallout is a bit of a blind area in my gaming experience. I've only briefly dabbled with some of the games and have never been able to get into them. That didn't impact my enjoyment of the show one bit though! From what little I do know about the games, it seems like they captured that world wonderfully. Also, not recommended for the squeamish.

Movies

 
 
If Tim Burton and John Hughes made a movie in the 80s, this would be that weird offspring. It's quirky and fun with some dark humor. Cole Sprouse is great as the resurrected man despite having almost no dialog. And I can't say enough about Kathryn Newton, she is well on her way to Scream Queen status.

Rating: 8/10



I couldn't find an English dub of the trailer but just trust me on this one. It's a perfect fantasy/adventure/martial arts/horror movie for a party night. It's wild and goofy but somehow still very entertaining. Just watch the trailer and you'll see what I mean.

Rating: 6/10
 

Apr 17, 2024

Star Wars Doorables

 Disney is at it again with their successful Doorables line of tiny, cute versions of beloved characters but this time, they're off to a galaxy far, far away.


I haven't gone too far into Doorables in the past but I do have the Nightmare Before Christmas and Haunted Mansion sets. I've picked up an occasional impulse buy when I see the assortment contains characters I want to get...never do end up with the ones I was hoping for.

But with the Star Wars license, there's not any character I wouldn't want! Doorables are a blind pack series so you never know what you're getting. Unless you go online and look up the codes that people have figured out that tell you what's in each pack. Mrs Dex thinks that's cheating but I call it targeted acquisition.
 
There's a few different options, so let's pop open one of these Death Star balls first. 

Apr 1, 2024

Monthly Media Recap - March 2024

Here's the usual disclaimer that links below are Amazon affiliated and that I could possibly earn a penny or two on qualifying purchases. It's April, go buy yourself an umbrella or some rubbers. For your shoes! Rubbers for your shoes! Get your mind out of the gutter.


Why So Series-less?
 
This is usually where I talk about recent seasons of something I finished. I've got a few irons in the series fire (I don't know why I said it that way but I'm leaving it in) but they're all still airing.

Movies



Proof that original movies can still be made! I went into this only having seen the trailer. It's clear that most of the characters understand the world they're living in but the way it spoons out information to the viewer makes it such a fun ride. If you're reading this, there's a good chance you'd enjoy this movie as much as I did. There is a horror element to it and some blood but nothing worse than you'd see on The Walking Dead.

Rating: 8/10
 

Mar 27, 2024

Now Hear This - Sorcery

I presume I'm not the only person that has some music that lives only in their head. And what I mean by that is you have your popular music that lots of people know and you hear everywhere but there are some bands/songs that just live within you because it's something you only ever hear when you decide to listen to it. It just doesn't "exist" out in the world. Am I making sense or sounding like a crazy person? 
 
I recently saw Eli Roth's Thanksgiving and was incredibly surprised to hear a few songs from the band Sorcery in the movie. If what I said above made sense to you, then you know what a crazy feeling it is to hear something you're very familiar with but don't expect to hear in the wild.
 
  
Behold...Sorcery!

Mar 20, 2024

Trick R Treat - Sam's 15 Anniversary Collection

Now that Saint Pat's day has passed, we can finally talk about...Halloween! Just kidding, I don't need an excuse to talk about Halloween any time of the year.
 
I recently received this gorgeous beast from a Kickstarter campaign. Now, I didn't have the $1500 to spare to get drawn into the book (how amazing that would have been!) but I also didn't go for the bare bones digital version either. These days, I have to feel like something is really worth it to get a physical copy and this definitely did not disappoint!

 
The main attraction is this hardcover, oversized graphic novel with over 260 pages of Halloween goodness. It includes the original comic adaptation of the movie and the sequel graphic novel (Trick R Treat: Days of the Dead). Plus, the KS exclusive version has a brand new story by Michael Dougherty and a slipcase, which is under the book in the above pic. It didn't come out great in my photo but the book has the movie logo at the top in an orange shiny foil.
 
 
 Also included is this set of 3 enamel pins by Hot Topic artist M. Victoria Robado.
 
 
And this pearlescent print titled "Halloween Carving" created by Michael Dougherty.
 
But that's not all!

Mar 6, 2024

Naughty or Nice Christmas Gremlin Figure by Fresh Monkey

I'll take any excuse to talk about Halloween no matter the time of year so it's only fair I give a little space to Creepmas with the Christmas Gremlin figure from Fresh Monkey's Naughty or Nice Collection.
 

 As you might guess based on the name, the Naughty or Nice line is Christmas themed. They have traditional Santas, elves, and reindeer but they also have naughty versions including some wicked Krampus figures!

This is just wave 2, there's plenty more!

I'm always on the look out for things that will help inject a little creepy into the winter holiday season, so this Gremlin was a no-brainer at $20. The chonky figs like Santa and Krampus get into the $35-$40 range (but they're also 6.5") and while I wasn't considering them at first, after getting this one in hand, I feel a lot more comfortable dropping cash on this line. The also have Pocket Collection versions which are 4" tall. And who doesn't need a Krampus that you can carry in your pocket?

Let's break him out of his plastic prison, shall we?

Mar 1, 2024

Monthly Media Recap - February 2024

 Welcome to the February Monthly Media Recap, now with an extra day!
 
As always, links below will take you to Amazon where you can purchase the movie (or whatever you want) and I may earn a few pennies from qualifying purchases.


Series

I really enjoyed this. I had no idea this series has a Potter-like fandom. The series has that 80s "kids go on an adventure" vibe to it which kind of made me feel like a kid watching it. And speaking of kids, the young actors were all great. Also definitely recommend the Making Of doc which will just make you like the kids more. I may just pick up the books while waiting for the next season.

Movies

 
It definitely has humor to it but I was expecting a little more given the cast. It's a pretty good Whodunit...or Whodawerewolf. My biggest "gripe" is that if you make a rated R werewolf movie, it should be for gore and not the number of f-bombs in the script. Considering it's based on a video game, I'm surprised they didn't try for a PG-13.

Rating: 6/10
 

Feb 15, 2024

Hasbro's Dungeons & Dragons - Sheila

 Here we are, finally wrapping up Hasbro's Dungeons & Dragons figure line based on the 80s animated series. The line of figures has had a mediocre reception by fans at best. If they couldn't do these right, I almost would have preferred a retro 3.75" 5 POA line which would likely be what we should have got back in the 80s.

At any rate, here's the final figure...Sheila the thief.


I've mentioned it many times before but whether it's actual tabletop RPGs or computer based games, I tend towards the sneakier, more Dexterity-based classes. (Could it be because my last name is Dexter?) And despite how cool the other kids' magic items are, an invisibility cloak is the one you could get the most day to day use out of.

Feb 7, 2024

Hasbro Dungeons & Dragons - Presto

We're almost done rounding out the crew from Hasbro's Dungeons & Dragons animated line. The penultimate kid trapped in a world he never made is Presto the Magic User! Now it's been a minute since I watched the entire series so I don't remember if he actually cast spells himself or if it was all the hat. I mean, I know most everything he did was trying to conjure something out of the hat but did he have the magic in him? If not, is he even a Magic User?


Presto was the only kid that exclusively went by a nickname. Must think he's pretty hot stuff to get by going by one name. The show bible lists him as Albert and in a '96 D&D comic appearance, he introduced himself as Preston, which makes more sense as an origin for Presto.

 
Here's Presto Stayin' Alive with his d4. He also comes with two magic effects and an alternate hair. No, you read that right. Not an alternate head...alternate hair. 
 
Prepare yourself...
 

Feb 1, 2024

Monthly Media Recap - January 2024

You might want to grab a drink and some snacks before embarking on this epic Monthly Media Recap featuring 13 movies!
 
As usual, links below are Amazon affiliate links where I may earn from qualifying purchases.

 Streaming

After eight seasons and three movies, I have completed my Psych journey...at least until the next movie comes out. I stopped posting about finishing each season because there wasn't more for me to say. The show blazed its way into my top TV shows of all time thanks to the writing and characters. I love it!
 
American Nightmare (Netflix)
This true crime doc about a young woman's kidnapping did not go where I thought it would. The most horrifying thing about the story isn't the abduction but how the victims were treated by law enforcement. I don't think I've ever felt enraged after watching a documentary before.
 
Twisted Metal (S1, Peacock)
My sum knowledge of the game series is some kind of demolition derby with tricked out vehicles. Oh, and there's an ice cream truck. The series definitely delivered and was a ton of fun. It brought me back to SyFy's (or were they still SciFi then?) series Blood Drive which I also love. I haven't seen Mackie is much outside the MCU but the dude's got serious charisma. It better get another season! 
 
Given that this is only an hour, they don't spend much time with each movie. I have a couple of problems with this list. First, Galaxy of Terror is listed and shouldn't be anywhere near here. Second, Troll is on here and not Troll 2?!? 

Jan 24, 2024

Hasbro Dungeons & Dragons - Eric

 Back in November, I picked up the second wave of the animated Dungeons & Dragons kids. Thanks to a hot tip, I got them from Target online at a discount, $40 for all three figures! Quick note, the second wave is no longer available online.


One thing they got right with these three is they didn't cut off the side art that overlapped to the other boxes.

Out of all the kids, Eric was always my least favorite. To me he always came across like a whiny, rich brat who was super annoying!

I had high (unreasonable?) expectations for the second wave of figures. Maybe between production runs Hasbro figured out they did some things wrong with the first wave and corrected their mistakes?

Oh, dear reader, if only that were true...

Jan 17, 2024

Scary Christmas Things Building Block Set

 Well, Temu got me again with another not-LEGO building set. This one is inspired by Nightmare Before Christmas.

 
This one was not nearly as frustrating as the sets I posted back in October (here and here). Firstly, this was not a mini/micro set so the pieces were much easier to work with. Secondly, the set came in a zip bag with a card that has a code on their website or a QR to scan to get the instructions. If you ordered this set and you have no internet access...good luck! The card also states "The numbered bags have no bearing on order of build. Please just follow the instructions to build your set."

Having the instructions on my iPad not only made it easy to zoom in to get a better look when needed but it meant I didn't have a huge folded sheet that I'd have to open up.

Some of the doodad pieces are a little weird but I guess you have to put something in there to make it a little more visually interesting. I'm not sure, but I think those pink bricks on the right might be Dr. Finklestein's tower and Jack's house like they're supposed to be way off in the distance? I really like how they managed to make the curly piece of the hill and have the "moon" attach to it.


The back side has Zero flying through the sky! Right below him is his gravestone with a little bone on it. Obviously the scale isn't quite right but if I can dig my Jack figure out of the display case he's in, this will be his new home. I still have to get a Sally minifig.

The set is 167 pieces and I got it for $15 which I think works out to a little less than what you'd pay for a real LEGO set of the same size. If you want to pick this up, you can get it at this non-affiliate link.

Jan 10, 2024

1-Up Dice Sets by Infinite Black

I got into D&D at an early age, which naturally lead me to explore other RPGs over the years. Anyone that's ever participated in tabletop role playing will tell you there's one thing you absolutely need: your own set of dice. Sure, there's books upon books for every game but you can always borrow those from a friend, but dice...dice are sacred to some and aren't to be shared.
 
I can't tell you the last time I picked up a die to make a saving throw or an attack roll so a new set of dice is something not even on my radar but when I saw this Kickstarter awhile back I had to get in on it. Not only did it combine RPGs and video games but the packaging really grabbed me.


As you can see, I liked the sets so much, I got two! It was just too hard to pick only one. And I got a few bonus items: silver and gold d20s and a special d2 coin.


Let's dig into the sets!
 

Jan 1, 2024

Monthly Media Recap - December 2023

Happy New Year!
 
As always, most links below are Amazon affiliate links where I can earn from qualifying purchases if you buy the weird things I watch.

I didn't see a whole lot of big studio movies in theaters this year and the majority of what I did were Marvel movies. I had zero interest in seeing Oppenheimer but I really enjoyed Barbie. Guardians Vol 3 was a terrific send off for the crew. Disney's Haunted Mansion may have a few issues but it was far better than the Eddie Murphy one for me. And Talk to Me...just wow! I'm so happy I got to see that with an audience.


Streaming (sort of)

Forget Endgame, THIS is the epic crossover I've been wanting all my life! Characters from Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, and Muppet Babies all in the same show! As a pretty much lifelong Muppet fan, this delivered on every level. I'm not usually one for Christmas specials but seeing all these characters interact and the focus being on them was fantastic.

On to the ho-ho-holiday horror!

Movies

 
I've actually had this on my watch list for months and since it takes place at Christmas, what better time to get around to it?  This is definitely a bit on the odd side but in the best way. Aside from the family's interpersonal problems, there's a whole other mysterious thing going on that has trapped them in the house and is issuing instructions through the TV which keeps you guessing.

Rating: 7/10