Friday, August 31, 2007

Spider Skull Island

  • I was recently the recipient of these gifts from south of the border. The skull creeps me out. I'm thinking of using it as a pencil holder but I have no pencils. I never understood why Mexico celebrates the Day of the Dead. It's probably the weakest of Romero's series of zombie movies. As for black costume Spidey, well he is made of ceramic awesomeness.
  • Power Cosmic Edition? Well it is kind of neat that they made such a reference to a concept straight from the comics. The artwork is cool too but where are the Four themselves?
  • What's wrong with Raphael's face? Is he supposed to be smiling or snarling? He looks like he suffered a stork and lost feeling in half of his face. Or maybe this is his particularly lazy take on Two-Face.
  • Andross the giant disembodied head and archenemy of Star Fox will be in Super Smash Bros. Melee as an assist character. Interestingly they went with his early primitive SNES look rather than the ape face most of us remember. Irregardess Wario looks like he's in a whole lot of pain.

Fortune Favors the Bold

  • Evangelion: 1.0 You Are [Not] Alone, the first in the series of new movies, premiers in Japan tomorrow. Still no word of a U.S. release but it is way too soon to expect that to happen. Impatient fanboyism and all that. I just hope a major studio doesn't acquire it only to hold back it's release for an undetermined time. It's happened before.

  • Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow, will be released on DVD next Tuesday, September 4th. There will be three exclusive versions at three different retailers. Borders has an exclusive lenticular cover. Best Buy has an exclusive mousepad. Suncoast and f.y.e. will have an exclusive lunchbox. I'm at least very curious to see what these will look like. If you're patient the three disc Limited Edition comes out November 13th. If you're not willing to spend any money the movie airs on Toonami on September 8th.

  • You can choose to Live Free or Die Hard on November 20th when the movie is released on DVD. It will be available on single and two-disc Unrated DVDs. In this case Unrated is just marketing spin for R rated. The PG-13 cut will only be available in fullscreen, which I think is really unfair to underaged people who care about cinematic integrity. I'm sure one has to exist somewhere.

  • So it seems Carnage is a chick now. That's clearly the Wasp possessed by the symbiote. I'd recognize that bodice anywhere. Also how many women in the Marvel U are there who have he power to grow to enormous proportions? Besides Giant-Girl. The weird thing is that the evil android Ultron recently formed itself into the shape of a naked silver Wasp. Apparently this is some kind of a trend they got going.

  • NECA has been on a role with their newest action figure licenses. In the last few weeks they've announced they have the license to The Princess Bride, the Arnold Schwarzenegger Conan the Barbarian, Gears of War, Pan's Labyrinth, and Alien vs Predator 2: Requiem. The latter is yet another licence swiped from rival company McFarlane. Here's the prototype of the beloved xenomorph. Their most recent announcement is also the most surprising; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles based on the original Mirage comics. I honestly never thought figures based on the comics would ever happen.

  • Rumble in the Bronx is a great movie. Mostly because it's a Hong Kong film trying to pass itself off as an American movie filmed in New York City. Clearly no one involved in the making this movie has ever set foot in New York. There are street gangs that consist mostly of white guys in their thirties. In typical Hong Kong fashion the movie is poorly dubbed which is made all the stranger considering the large amount of white and black people in the cast. Did I mention there's a Sega Game Gear that plays generic sound effects without any game cartridge inserted? Oh and thre's lots of beautifully awful nineties hairstyles. I don't want to give the idea that movie is good because it's bad. There are some genuinely well done fight scenes and some mind blowing stunts by Jackie Chan. It's the combination of all these things that make it an awesome flick.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Is it Lupin or Rupan?

  • Lupin the Third laughs at you and your entire organization.
  • I didn't expect this coming, at least not so soon. It's the complete James Bond series, or at least the 21 "official" films made by EON Productions. It's simply last year's four Ultimate Collections collected in a single larger box with Casino Royale slipped in the middle. Sill that's a big box of Bond.
  • Two Spider-Man video games in one year? What are they smoking at Activision? Spider-Man: Friend or Foe comes out this fall for all the major platforms. It seems to use Ultimate Alliance gameplay allowing you to control multiple characters. In the game Spidey teams up with several of his rogues gallery including the Green Goblin, Doc Ock, Sandman, Venom and Rhino. I can't tell if the game takes place in the movie or comic book continuities. The art style is more cartoonish than either of those interpretations of the characters.

September 21st is too far away.

I'm not sure what's more disturbing; Aang with hair or Zuko and Mai kissing. Sokka looks pretty cool in full battle regalia. I guess Sokka looking cool is pretty disturbing too. I'm sure he'll goof it up somehow.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Pan the Goat God

  • Did anyone else watch last night's Colbert Report? British billionaire Richard Branson threw a cup of water in Colbert's face. Then Colbert does the same to Branson. Then they just sat there wet and mugging for the camera. It was awkward. Branson was upset because he felt they didn't plug his airline and instead Colbert asked him the typical silly qustions. Branson looked uncomfortable during the whole thing and you can tell he was feigning his good natured demeanor. Colbert played it off well and they filmed a new introduction that "prepares" you for the showdown. It was still hard to watch.

  • Seinfeld is the latest TV series to receive a complete DVD boxset. One of the extras is a coffee table book. No it's not about coffee tables. It's abut the show. If we're lucky it will at least turn into a coffee table.

  • How cool is this? "I'll drive and you shoot." The tow truck is actually an official Transformer named Longarm. The duo will even be available in a twin pack. This does however heighten my expectations of the line. If they can make the tow truck then they can make the Mountain Dew machine.

  • The other day I was floored to see a commercial for Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series on Toon Disney, of all places. Let me explain. These two series were produced by Warner Bros and aired on Turner Broadcasting's Cartoon Network and Boomerang. Warner Bros and Turner (as well as DC Comics, the company that owns the characters) are owned by the same parent company, Time Warner. Despite this they are considered different entities. Warner Bros licensed the series out in a syndication package and Disney picked them up. It's as simple as that, but it still feels really strange. Nowadays the corporations are so insular that the common practice is to bury a show rather than let it air on a rival network.

  • My little sister has summer reading to do and I've ended up reading a few portions of the book aloud to her. I have mixed feelings about these experiences. I know it's good and I'm being so-called nice brother although I question how well she's actually listening. I'm always left with a sore throat which is probably because I pepper my readings with a lot of different voices and wacky accents. I try not to do it but I can't seem to control it. There's something seriously wrong with me. Afterwards she just asked random questions as children are prone to do. I'm amazed at her memory of certain things. She's definitely the smart one. An odd thing happened though. She asked about the "green guy" from Star Wars and the first thing that popped in my head was Boss Nass. Of course she was asking about Yoda, the much more obvious answer. There's something seriously wrong with me.

  • Speaking of Star Wars what thing I like about the series is that there is always something new to learn. For example, I just read that Lucas said female Stormtroopers exist. He said this in 1977 yet I've never seen one before. Say what you want about the Empire but at least they don't discriminate against gender.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ballad of Bauer

These are commercials for 24 season six DVDs for sale in Japan. The main difference between 24 in the U.S. and Japan? Jack Bauer has his own rockin' theme song. Here is the translation of the lyrics. Be warned though, Jack Bauer may a crybaby but he is pissed easily.

I am Jack Bauer
Always in danger
I am Jack Bauer
I never die
I am Jack Bauer
I get pissed easily
I am Jack Bauer
I am actually a crybaby…

I am Jack Bauer
To the guys who don’t confess
I am Jack Bauer
I yell at them from really close

I am Jack Bauer
24th is 24’s day
I am Jack Bauer
Let’s go to a rental video place

The YouTube clip two commercials so there's a pause in the middle before it breaks into the second song. It has different lyrics from the first. Jack Bauer might be the nation's last hope against terrorism but he is still weak for his daughter.

I am Jack Bauer
I don’t take orders from anyone
I am Jack Bauer
And I drag everyone along
I am Jack Bauer
I am good with dealing with danger
I am Jack Bauer
Weak for my daughter

I am Jack Bauer
I am an immortal man
I am Jack Bauer
Sometimes I pass out
I am Jack Bauer
My phone bill is crazy
I am Jack Bauer
But my job pays for it

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A miserable little pile of secrets!

I've been on a Castlevania kick as of late. I admit I haven't played very many Castlevania games but I love the hell out of the PS1 classic Symphony of the Night. I'm a big fan of action side scrollers and SotN is one of the best ever made. The game's hero is Alucard whose name is an anagram of his famous father. The various bad guys are well done interpretations of classic monsters. The music is fantastic and operatic but still recognizably video gameish. I love the game's gothic atmosphere. I also dig the excessively haughty dialogue and the voice actors' theatrical delivery.

The first battle is actually the final boss fight of the previous gamein the series. You play as Richter Belmont in his fight against Dracula. This leads into the cinematic introduction and finally Symphony of the Night's main hero Alucard.

Here's the boss battle with the Succubus who attempts to trick Alucard into thinking she's his mother. If you know anything about Succubuses and how they normally attack than you would know appearing as their potential victim's mother is really creepy. The Succubus' voice actress makes some uh, interesting choices. Kill them and bring them happiness!

Monday, August 20, 2007

I mean now. Seriously.

  • I recently played some Mario Party 8 for the Nintendo Wii. I demand Toadette plushies. Now.
  • I'm always amazed at how Hasbro finds new ways of selling Star Wars characters that have been one to death. Jedi Defender has a sneak peek at upcoming Battle packs that include figures such as Scout Troopers and Stormtroopers with grass stains. This one is really interesting. I always knew that Luke's pilot outfit on Hoth was different than his usual one. I never realized how different until now. The top looks like a parka which makes sense for his environment. Also the shade of orange is different from his pants which is movie accurate.
  • Paramount and Dreamworks after having been format neutral is now exclusive to HD-DVD. Expect the now officially out of print Paramount Blu-Ray discs to become collectors' items. So speculators start hoarding copies of Nacho-Libre for eBay. Oddly enough this deal doesn't cover Steven Spielberg's films which will remain format neutral. I'd love to learn the story behind that. At the very least this will hopefully mean certain cinematic gems in Paramount's library will finally be made available in hi-def.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Wow. Okay, we were not thinking the same thing at all here.

  • Doritos are an intense experience. New Evangelion Doritos are an adolescent turmoil of fractured relationships, shadowy organizations, unearthly Angels and bio-mechanical monstrosities. Naturally flavored with LCL!
  • Grand Theft Auto IV will be available in an elaborate collector's edition containing an insane amount of cool stuff. The set includes a duffel bag, the game's soundtrack, an art book, and a security lock box with a Rockstar logo keychain. It's $90 but since the game has been delayed since 2008 it gives you more me to save those pennies.
  • Hot Topic is selling replicas of Covenant weapons from Halo 3. You can buy the Plasma Pistol and Plasma Rifle with a number of electronic features including lights and sounds. Time to hunt down that Demon in the green suit.
  • These are character designs for the Robot Heroes line of stylized mini-figures. They're awesome little versions of the movie Transformers but much cuter. The actual toys themselves aren't nearly as good. They're not bad but they can't really get a large amount of detail in this small scale and still be affordable.

  • More news from Cybertron, Transformers will be re-released in IMAX theatres on September 21st with additional footage not seen in the previous theatrical run. I'm probably not going to go watch the IMAX presentation but this news tells me to expect an extended edition DVD. The DVD hasn't been announced but one store exclusive has. Wal-Mart will have a bonus disc with an animated prequel film. It sounds cool but supposedly it's just static panels of the currently available prequel comic series with added voice overs. It's more like one of those read-along storybooks.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Socially Conscience Mecha

  • After Gundam SEED I hadn't been keeping up with latest news on the Mobile Suit Gundam multi-verse. So I was surprised to hear about the new series in the works Gundam 00. Rather than taking place in the far flung future like previous series, Gundam 00 takes place in he not too distant future of the year 2037 AD. The main character is a 16 year old boy of Kurdish descent who grew up in the war-torn Middle East. The series premieres in Japan in October. This sounds really promising and a good way to try something different but I'll try to limit my expectations for now.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion made the cover of Rolling Stone in Japan. It's an ecology themed issue which I think says something about the theme of the upcoming movies. Will Shinji have to save humanity from global warming? In other Evangelion news there will be yet another complete collection on DVD in the U.S. This new set comes in a metal tin and that's about all we know about it. A similar set released in Europe included the Platinum Edition DVDs in a digipack. That's probably what we're getting.
  • Fox is releasing the Family Guy Freakin' Party Pack which includes five volumes of the TV series, the Stewie movie, and an exclusive bonus disc. It also includes a deck of cards, poker chips, and ping pong paddles all in a large set. It's essentially a complete series set but for a series that's still on the air. I'm not sure who the intended audience for this set is supposed to be. It seems better suited for hardcore fans but wouldn't they be more likely to already have at least some of the DVDs already? For what it's worth it's decent value considering everything it comes with.
  • The Serenity Collector's Edition DVD will be released on Tuesday, August 21t. Fans of Joss Whedon's fantastic space western television series Firefly and the 2005 film it spun off assumed the series was done. Apparently Serenity has done surprisingly well on DVD, warranting this new two-disc upgrade. I've only double dipped on a DVD once before though I've had the opportunity to do so a number times. I was pleased with the first release and had no intent on buying the Collector's Edition. The main draw is the new DTS track but I don't even have the audio setup to use it. I can live without the new extras although the cast commentary and River Tam Sessions do sound enticing. Still it does have some very nice packaging. As sad as it might sound, I'm more tempted by a fancy box than new supplemental material. It doesn't help that the original DVD had some nasty artwork by comparison. What's more there are rumblings that the future of the franchise rests on the success of this new DVD set. Would I be a bad fan for passing on it?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

We Are Sonic Death Monkey

  • After an extended delay I finally completely rearranged my DVD shelves. This has been my goal for the summer and I dragged it out as long as possible. It currently fits my entire collection (with one exception) while looking perfectly neat and organized. It became a game of Tetris for awhile as I tried to fit all the different sizes of cases in a way that would look aesthetically pleasing. It's not entirely in alphabetical order but I did try to keep the anime and live action films on separate shelves. My ultimate goal is to organize my collection in autobiographical order as a tribute to High Fidelity. Still it looks pretty good as is. Alas it will all be ruined once I buy a single new DVD. Technically it's already ruined. That one exception I mentioned? That blasted Simpsons season six in the Homer shaped packaging. I removed it rather then let it besmirch the sanctity of my display. A temporary solution if there ever was one.

  • Cars, a movie that I surprisingly ended up loving, is being released as a two disc special edition Blu-Ray. This is significant because the standard definition DVD was merely a single disc release. The studios are starting to release substantial material exclusively for hi-def. Also coming in both hi-def formats is the five disc Blade Runner set I discussed in my last post, but with the option of buying only the five versions of the film without the large attach case and all the extra pack-ins. The format war is finally starting to affect me and I don't even have a HDTV yet.

  • The new season of Robot Chicken starts on Sunday night. I suggest you watch it. Soudwave, everyone's favorite anachronistic Decepticon, shows up. Also Governor Schwarzenegger attempts to deport Speedy Gonzales and Dora the Explora. Man something awful better happen to Diego. He's such a tool.

  • How awesome is this? Genndy Tartakovsky, the creator of Dexter's Laboratory and Samurai Jack, is now adding the role of comics book creator to his accomplished résumé. His first work will be a four issue miniseries to be titled CAGE! It's Genndy's take on funky 70s blaxploitation superhero Luke Cage. What a perfect match. I'm getting a definite Action Hank vibe from this artwork.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

I have the Spider-Pig theme stuck in my head.

  • Does anyone remember the British comedy series Trigger Happy TV? It aired on Comedy Central in the U.S. for awhile. It was excellent at organizing very elaborate pranks on on normal unsuspecting people while recognizing the inherent hilarity of actors wearing animal suits.

  • New details on Petit Eva ~Evangelion@School~ have emerged. As expected it's an entirely new series that uses the original Evangelion characters and puts them in very different and much cuter situations. It's essentially a school comedy with Gendo as principal, Misato as a teacher, and oddly enough EVA-01 as a stereotypical bully. Rei is three different characters; her classic self, her "happy" self from episode 26, and her younger self from episode 21. Strangest of all is the ill-fated U.S. funded mecha Jet Alone who is reimagined as a shy school girl. Yikes. I am so looking froward to this.
  • Never mind the aging archaeologist in the center of this picture. Focus on the bearded gentleman on the right. It seems Mr. George Lucas has eschewed his beloved flannel for a t-shirt, but that's not just any t-shirt. He's actually wearing a "Han Shot First" T-shirt. The sound you are now hearing is the universe imploding in on itself.
  • Normally I would be all over this ultimate Blade Runner collection like dipping sauce on McNuggets. But I've been clearing out space for my DVD collection (I'd be done already if I wasn't so lazy) and I realize I need to do what I can to conserve shelf space. I don't know if I have the room for a metal attache case and the myriad of goodies that come within. Still this collection is the only way to get the fifth disc which contains an early workprint version of the film. I've read it is drastically different from the completed versions and I would very much like to watch it.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Save the Skater, Save the World

This is amazing. I am completely blown away when he makes the first jump. That a person is capable of such feats is amazing to me. Yet what happens after that is simply unbelievable. And he is able to get up and walk away. The commentator who makes the Heroes comment is dead on. His shoes!

Here's the SDCC Iron Man teaser. Watch it quickly before Paramount has it taken down. It's got a watermark but it's better than nothing. I am so stoked for this flick. Robert Downey has Stark's smarminess and dry wit down to a T. I also love how the crowd erupts when we get the first glimpse of the modern armor. It feels like I was there.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Spins a Web Any Size

Well the day I've been waiting for has final come. Spider-Man 3 has been solicited for DVD. On October 30th Spider-Man 3 will be available on single disc DVD, two disc Special Edition DVD, two disc Blu-Ray, and a five disc movie trilogy box set. I'm a bit ticked that Sony is jumping on the bandwagon of releasing separate single disc and double disc releases. The previous Spider-Man movies were released only as double disc Special Editions. Plus at a SRP of $36.95 it's a good eight dollars more expensive than the $28.97 standard edition. The Blu-Rays are even more expensive at $49.95 for the individual movie and $98.95 for the box set. I'm glad I'm holding out from taking the HD plunge. So I'm sticking with the two disc DVD but I fear the many eventual in-store exclusives. Those will be the death of me.