Saturday, January 31, 2009

It Was The Blurst Of Times

I was lucky enough to find an entire batch of the newest Star Wars action figures the other day. I'm trying to save money right now so I passed on most of them. Sacrifices must be made. Based on my twenty plus years of collecting, I figured I should probably buy Padme first. Female characters are often available in short supply. I'm still looking for an Assaj Ventress.

Another aspect of living in tough economic times is knowing a good deal when you find one. I found the Hulk figure in the post-Christmas clearance department. For two bucks he's pretty awesome, especially since he glows in the dark. I would have liked to have taken a picture of the Hulk glowing but unfortunately it doesn't seem to photograph well.

Friday, January 30, 2009


One other additional bit of Watchmen news for this week, Warner has also announced the animated Tales of the Black Freighter feature. It will also include the original Nite Owl's tell all book Under the Hood, which I wasn't expecting. While I do want this, I'm not sure if I should buy it when it comes out or wait until the Watchmen ultimate extended cut is released which will include everything and the kitchen sink. Who knows how long that will be though.

The deluge of Watchmen material is starting to happen. We'll soon be able to dress up as our favorite character. There will even be the option to really go all out or to take a decidedly more lo-fi approach.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Have Patience Doctor

Just the other day I was wondering why the final theatrical poster for Watchmen had yet to be revealed. Ask and apparently ye shall receive. My only quibble is that they used a pre-scarred, pre-greying temples Comedian. I guess it does make sense since the only time the six of them were all together was in the 60s. It's likely (one of) the DVD releases will use this image as a cover, for those of you who care about such things. (Raises hand.)

Having settled their legal dispute with Fox, Warner will release Watchmen this March. For their sake I hope Warner didn't pony up too much, but as far as the fanbase is concerned the worst of it is over. Now comes the waiting.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Judging a DVD By Its Cover 8

I have mixed feelings about this artwork for Quantum of Solace. I mean it looks nice and it's a lot better than the artwork being used for the two-disc DVD and Blu-Ray releases (which I'll get to in a moment). They basically took this poster and reworked it a bit, but they removed the smokin' hot Olga Kruylenko. That's just wrong.

The other Quantum of Solace art suffers from a similar meddling with photoshop but the affects are far worse. The original poster is sleek and simple. The DVD art adds in the wall of flames which is taken from a completely different scene, the one depicted in the previous artwork. I guess they wanted to make it seem more "actiony". Plus they airbrushed the heck out of Bond's face. It doesn't look like a real person, much less like Daniel Craig.

I was really disappointed when I heard they were going to be releasing The Clone Wars in four episode volumes. Than Lucasfilm confirmed that a complete season set will eventually be released. Well that just makes this single volume pointless as well. The DVD art is pretty bland. They just took various pieces of character art and pasted them together in a typical fashion.

This... is an odd release. If you're not familiar with the concept of "motion comics" allow me to explain. They involve a camera panning over comic book artwork while voice-overs recreate the dialogue and narration. I guess it's for people who really hate reading. I've seen motion comics used for bonus material on DVDs before but not as a stand-alone release. Watchmen The Complete Motion Comics will feature the entire graphic novel, clocking at around five hours. It'll be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on March 3rd. I'd sure like to know why they felt this has to be made available in hi-def.

Both versions of Punisher War Zone are decent enough. I prefer the single disc DVD artwork self. The Blu-Ray art is just a little too basic. I'm curious about the "Widescreen & Fullscreen" banner on the DVD cover. I'm coming from the perspective that those banners act solely a way to warn against accidentally buying the fullscreen version. If this disc has both versions than why does it need the banner?

It's appropriate that No Country For Old Men will be re-released as a three-disc DVD set and a two-disc Blu-Ray set. It's a film deserving of a deluxe treatment. The new artwork is quite nice but not perfect. I could understand why they would want to mention the Academy Award for Best Picture win, but the cover would be better without it. What I can't understand is why they put "Digital Copy" in such bold lettering. Is that supposed to be an enticement for anybody?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Glimpses of the Near Future Part 4

I wasn't planning on doing another one of these but I couldn't ignore the influx of Sar Trek toy news that's come out in the last few days. The new Star Trek film will be the first time in a long while that the series will be marketed to kids. I don't know if kids will be drawn to the "Trek look" but I guess it's still more visually stimulating than say Indiana Jones. Playmates has the license to produce Trek toys and they're releasing the line in multiple scales, a common trend today that I'm not too keen on.

Presumably the highest profile Star Trek toys will be the six inch figures but man they look rough. The facial likeness are a little simplistic. The Captain Kirk figure doesn't much look like Chris Pine. The Scotty figure looks nothing like Simon Pegg. Everyone else is just okay. The uniforms for the new movie feature a distinct pattern that the sculptors tried to capture but they totally overdid it. The over-detailed shirts make the figures look like they're wearing sweaters that their grandmothers knitted them for Christmas.

Faring much better by comparison are the 3.75 inch figures. The limitations of the face sculpts are more forgivable at a smaller size, and they have much more realistic body proportions.

The other draw of the 3.75 inch figures is that they will be compatible with the playsets. At first I was really impressed with this bridge playset but when I took a closer look I realized Playmates cheaped out a bit. The playset is nothing more than a gaggle of accessories laid out on a flat playmat. At the very least let us hope the mat is made of plastic and not paper or cardboard.

There will also be a transporter playset that looks even cooler than he brige. It also features a playmat but as you can see its not nearly as obtrusive. Of course, there will be a gimmick to make your figures "transport".

On top is a picture of Mattel's Star Trek Barbie dolls. Below that is a picture of Playmates' Star Trek twelve inch action figures. I'm torn as to which I think are better. I think the Dr. McCoy and the villain figures are very nice. I don't see much Leonard Nimoy in the Old Spock sculpt though. The single best toy out of both groups is the Barbie Uhura, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the Barbie folks are talented at making female characters.

So it comes down to Kirk and Spock, the two characters made for both toylines. For Kirk I'm going to have to say I prefer the Mattel Barbie. The Playmates figure is too square-jawed and barrel-chested. A Ken doll is a much better fit for Chris Pine. Sadly I don't think either Spock is all that great, which is a shame because if there's one Star Trek toy I could be convinced to buy it would be a Spock doll.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

It Never Ends

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yes We Can