Friday, July 30, 2010

Hauls of Summer

Here's my hauls for the last month, including some from Anime Expo.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Comic Con 2010 -Day After

  • This video for DC Universe Online has been making the rounds on the Internet. My guess is it's the opening cutscene and what Luthor does at the end is meant to explain why there's a whole MMORPG of super powered people. Even though I don't have any real interest in the game I think the footage is fantastic. It makes me wonder why they don't make we an entire movie like this.

  • Today Warner Bros. put up some teaser images for Green Lantern on their Twitter feed. Each of the four pictures feature a close up of an actor's face and a line from the Green Lantern oath. The ones for Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan and Blake Lively as Carol Ferris aren't too interesting, but the others give us a peak at Peter Sarasgaard as Hector Hammond and Mark Strong as Sinestro. I believe this is our first look at Sinestro and it's certainly the most exciting of the four teasers.

  • At the panel for Batman: Under the Red Hood the next two DC Universe straight to video animated features were announced. They will be Batman: Year One, based on the classic graphic novel by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli, and All Star Superman, based on the relatively recent but highly acclaimed mini-series by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. While I'm interested in Batman: Year One I would rather see something other than an origin story get the animated treatment.

  • Hasbro had sneak peeks of their upcoming animated series for The Hub, G.I. Joe Renegades and Transformers Prime. The clips are so brief they do little other than give us a basic feel for what the series will look like. Prime is a CG show that seems to be influenced by the live action movies. Renegades, as the name implies, features the Joe team on the run à la The A-Team.

  • Marvel had two more movie props to reveal at their booth before Comic-Con ended. One was Captain America's shield. The other and completely unexpected one was the Infinity Gauntlet. How does it fit in with Captain America and Thor? I don't know if it's meant to. Perhaps it's for The Avengers? Could Thanos be the villain of that film?

  • At the Marvel Studios panel Kevin Feige announced the film rights to The Punisher have reverted from Lionsgate back to Marvel. The Punisher has already had three separate film adaptations. Could the fourth time be a charm? The article speculates a TV show could be possible. For that to work it'd need to air on a premium cable channel with no restrictions with what they can get away with.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Comic Con 2010 -Sunday

I'm using the last day of the convention to look at some of the action figures that stood out to me. All pictures are from Action Figure Insider. Check out the rest of their Con coverage here.

With this display Mezco single handedly won Comic-Con. Yet I have so many questions. When will they be released? Will there be other characters besides Scott? Will I actually have to buy two figures to get Scott's katana and his bass? If that's the case can they at least change the shirt so they're not so similar?

On Sunday Hasbro added these figures of Captain America, Thor, Odin and Loki from next year's movies. They look nice though it'll be a long time before we get a chance to buy any of them. Notice the Asgardians don't have helmets. Loki and Odin at least look like they're sculpted to be wearing helmets.

I think when I first wrote about Biff Bang Pow's Venture Bros. toys, I said I didn't think the MEGO style bodies worked well with animated characters. I take it back. They look nicer than any of the live action based figures. Doctor Orpheus and Doctor Girlfriend both look great with their cloth outfits. And Phantom Limb looks appropriately goofy.

And on a similar note I'm more impressed with the MEGO style Real Ghostbusters than I thought I'd be. I had the old Kenner figures and while these are clearly quite different, they're just close enough to make me feel nostalgic. The Real Ghostbusters figures are Toys R Us exclusives for next year.

And Mattel seems to be branching out into prop replicas. The PKE meter will be available this holiday season on the Matty Collector website. I sort of want one but I'm wary of what it'll cost. Maybe Mattel will do some larger props if the PKE meter is successful? How much will a full proton pack set us back?

Mattel had a pretty decent showing at this year's Comic-Con but they didn't blow me away like in recent years. One cool thing is that DC Universe Classics is getting a spinoff line, much Marvel Legends often had. The first wave Green Lantern Classics contains Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, a Manhunter robot, Black Hand, Black Lantern Abin Sur, and Sinestro Corps members Low (that's the blue worm guy) and Maash (the one with three heads). Each comes with a piece to build Sinestro Corps member Arkillo (the fanged guy). I just wish Kyle was in his '90s outfit.

I think the Iron Man 2 figure in the foreground is armored Whiplash, a figure I've personally requested here on the blog. However at their panel, Hasbro called it a Hammer Drone, but it doesn't look like any of the drones in the movie. It looks like the suit Hammer developed before he enlisted Vanko's help, but with whips added. Now that's basically what the Whiplash armor was, but this doesn't quite match. I really want to be happy with this but I don't know if I should be.

Six inch scale Marvel figures live! The next wave of Marvel Legends two-packs is due in October, but that means it's about a year in between releases. There's going to be variants for a few of these: a gray suited Black Widow, Warpath in classic colors and Deadpool in his short lived X-Men uniform. Black Widow and Winter Soldier will have interchangeable heads for long and short haired looks. In other six inch news, the Spider-Man line is getting a Lizard that looks like a cross between the Ultimate and classic designs. And in addition to their other Iron Man 2 exclusives Wal-Mart is getting a Mark IV suit with an Tony Stark in sunglasses head. So in essence we're getting a hungover Iron Man figure. It seems like slim pickings for now but Hasbro says Marvel Legends is coming back in full force in 2012.

I'm almost okay with Marvel Legends being in hibernation because the 3.75 inch Marvel Universe line has been amazing. I've yet to take the plunge on these but that's mainly because the ones I want most have been so hard to find. The beauty of the smaller scale is the ability to do so many larger items. Galactus is coming this year (of course some Con-goers have theirs already) and Hasbro announced there will be an Ultimate Alliance based variant in darker colors. Next year sees the release of Bill Foster as Goliath, a Frost Giant and Sentinels. It's not all about the big guys though. Check out the basic figures which include stuff Marvel Legends never had like Thanos, an AIM Agent, Bullseye as Hawkeye and Iron Man in his newest armor.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Comic Con 2010 -Saturday

So much greatness in one pic. And Mark Ruffalo.

  • So as you can see in the photo posted above, the cast for The Avengers has been made official. Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man. That guy is that SHIELD agent. Scatlet Johansson is Black Widow. Chris Hemsworth is Thor. Chris Evans is Captain America. Samuel L. Jackson is Nick Fury. Jeremy Renner is Hawkeye. Mark Ruffalo is the Hulk. Joss Whedon is directing and Kevin Feige is the producer who replaced Edward Norton with Ruffalo. I'm happy with everything but that last bit. The official website is up though it currently features nothing but the logo.

  • Thor and Captain America had their individual presentations as well. Teasers for both were shown, though the Captain America one was rather brief as filming has only just begun. There was a glimpse of Evans in costume but apparently it was only a test shot. The coolest bit of news to come out is that Hugo Weaving is basically doing a Werner Herzog impersonation when he plays Red Skull. If you're not familiar with the German director's distinct voice, go watch Herzog's Grizzly Man.

  • Marvel wasn't the only company pimping their heroes on Saturday. Earlier in the day the Green Lantern panel was held. The image of the costume that appeared on Entertainment Weekly was an unfinished concept but the director confirms it is sort of a second skin. Parallax is in the movie. Assuming it doesn't possess Hal or anyone else, does that mean it will appear as an alien insect made of yellow light? A teaser was shown that depicted the planet of Oa and many alien Green Lanterns.

  • Still more Thor props have appeared in the exhibit hall. Today the wall behind Odin's throne opened up to reveal something sweet. I won't give waway what it is but its existence was leaked earlier during the movie's production. I guess this is confirmation that it will be in the film.

  • There was a stabbing at the con. Seriously. It happened in Hall H, where all these major film studio panels take place. It happened between the panels for Resident Evil Afterlife and Cowboys & Aliens as people were leaving and entering. There was a dispute over a seat and one fan stabbed another around the eye. Paramedics took the injured person to the hospital. The attacker was held by fellow fans, as any geek worth their salt knows you can't let a criminal walk away or else they'll murder your Uncle Ben. The police took the attacker away. With his propensity for assaulting people's eyes with a writing device one might expect him to be dressed as Ledger's Joker. In reality he was wearing a Harry Potter shirt, which just makes so much more sense.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Comic Con 2010 -Friday

  • The anime TV series based on Marvel superheroes announced last year will be airing in the U.S. on G4 in 2011. The first series to air will be Iron Man, followed by Wolverine, X-Men and Blade. They will air on G4 in Japanese with English subtitles. That's completely nuts, but in a good way.

  • At their panel Bandai Entertainment announced their acquisition of two anime series: Tales of the Abyss and Turn A Gundam. Turn A Gundam premiered in Japan in 1999 and the only reason I haven't been waiting that long for it to be brought over to the U.S. is that I wasn't a Gundam fan until 2000. By this point I had put out any possibility of it being licensed out of my mind. Now that we know it's coming I just hope it doesn't take forever for Bandai to actually release it. Bandai's current release date for too many titles is "eventually" Okay Bandai, you've impressed me. Now announce ZZ Gundam already.

  • I'm impressed with the preview for Young Justice. It's not a rehash of the Teen Titans toon where we had a Robin without a Batman. We get to see the Justice League and even some young heroes beyond the core team. I also like the character designs. They look similar to those for the Crisis on Two Earths DTV feature.

  • You might have heard a hate group was protesting outside the Comic-Con. It doesn't matter what reason they give for their protest as it's all just an attempt to get attention and provoke people into litigation. Well a group of con-goers got together to hold a counter protest with hilarous results. The protesters were fools to try to bring their vile messge to Comic-Con. After surviving high school, geeks are pretty much unphaseable.

  • Marvel has a lot of cool stuff on display for the Thor movie. For one they have the helmets of Loki, Odin and Thor. This is nice since it finally confirms that Thor will even have a helmet in the movie. All three of the helmets look great. I can rest easy now. Marvel also has Odin's throne at the Con which led to this awesome awesome photo being taken.

  • I love the thought put into the voice casting for Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. Each version of Spider-Man in the game will be played by a different actor from a Spider-Man cartoon. Josh Keaton from The Spectacular Spider-Man will voice Ultimate Spider-Man. Christopher Daniel Barnes from the '90s Fox Kids toon will voice Spider-Man Noir. Neil Patrick Harris who voiced Spidey in the CG MTV toon will play the classic 616 Spider-Man. And Dan Gilvezan from Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends will voice Spider-Man 2099.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Comic Con 2010 -Thursday

The San Diego Comic-Con has begun and it's impossible to keep up with everything. Here's a small sampling of what's going on.
  • Joss Whedon has confirmed that he's directing The Avengers at a panel where he appeared with J.J. Abrams. When this was first rumored I had a hard time believing it. It sounded like the wishful thinking of fanboys. I wouldn't have expected it to actually happen. I'm a fan of Whedon's work when he was working with his own creations. Let's see how he does with pre-established characters. He was supposed to have directed a high profile superhero movie once before and that didn't pan out. At the very least I'm sure he'll actually make the movie this time.

  • Disney debuted the final trailer for Tron Legacy and it hit the web soon afterwards. I have to say the CG young Jeff Bridges is the best example of a "CG younger version of an actor" I've seen yet.

  • Here's something that came out of let field, Disney is rebooting The Haunted Mansion. If you don't remember (and I I envy you if that's the case) Disney released The Haunted Mansion as a family comedy starring Eddie Murphy in the same year they released Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. It was a fascinating to see how one company could use two different approaches to making movies based on a beloved theme park rides. Disney realizing the opportunity (and money) they wasted is taking another crack at it and this time they're not messing around. Guillermo del Toro is set to write and produce the movie. He made a live appearance at Disney's Comic-Con appearance. I won't expect him to direct it though. He's attached to like a dozen different movies right now.

  • On display at the Con is the corpse of Abin Sur from Green Lantern. I guess it's a spoiler in the same way that Krypton exploding is a spoiler. The late Green Lantern will be played by Temura Morrison in the movie. I meant to write about this earlier, but I got a close look at the Entertainment Weekly with Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan. Jordan's outfit appears to be organic. The edge of the collar just merges with his neck. The magazine also has pictures of Peter Sarsgaard as Hector Hammond, which looked pretty kooky, but I guess that's to be expected with Hector Hammond.

  • I'm generally not a statue and bust fan, but I'm bowled over by Gentle Giant's Star Wars display at the Con. I love their jumbo sized replicas of vintage Kenner action figures, though I'm not in love with their price. I'm also digging the zombie Stormtrooper, The Clone Wars maquettes, and an amazing looking Ilum Padme mini-bust. What really surprised me were the mini-busts of Kevin Pereira as Clone armored Obi-Wan and Olivia Munn as Slave Leia. It seems they're prizes for a raffle being held at Celebration V.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Random Points

  • San Diego Comic-Con begins tonight with preview night. There's usually some ineresting bits revealed during preview night and of course I'll be on the internet looking for those bits. The first full day of the con is tomorrow.

  • Chun Li, Trish from Devil May Cry, Doctor Doom and the Super Skrull have been confirmed as playable characters in Marvel vs Capcom 3. There's a MvC3 panel at Comic-Con on Friday where one hopes they reveal more new characters for the game.

  • In case you missed it I updated the post about Iron Man 2on DVD and Blu-ray with the coverart for the two disc DVD set and Target exclusive Blu-ray. It's unknown what type of packaging the Target exclusive uses, but it's not a steelbook. If you want an Iron Man 2 Blu-ray steelbook you'll have to head to Future Shop in Canada.

  • Fox officially announced the Alien Anthology for release on October 26th. The packaging differs from the concept art I posted in April but I think the finalized version looks even better. The set contains Alien, Aliens, Alien 3, and Alien Resurrection. It's loaded with new extras as well as material from the previous Alien Legacy and Alien Quadrilogy have been ported over. There's even the complete version of "Wreckage and Rage: Making Alien 3", the documentary that was edited for the previous release. It show the difficulty director David Fincher had with Fox over that film that led to Fincher effectively disowning it.

  • I saw Inception the other day. I thought it was quite good, but considering the way it's stuck with me, it's even more effective than I gave it credit for.

  • I've caught up with all the shows I've been saving on my DVR except Naruto Shippuden which I'm far too behind in. I did marathon the rest of Bleach including Ichigo's fight with Grimmjow Jaggerjaques. (What an awesome name.) I tell you it's shameful how emotionally involved I can get with Bleach. I can't wait for the new episodes to premiere on [adult swim] on August 28th.

  • Another series I want to see back on the air is Naoki Urasawa's Monster. Syfy pulled the series with four episodes left to go of this 74 episode series. I've watched it from the beginning and I'll be ticked if it never concludes its run.

  • The fifth series finale of Doctor Who air on BBC America on Saturday. I dug last week's episode. I sensed the secret of the Pandorica coming but I didn't quite get the details correct. The actual reveal was fantastic. I can't wait to see how it pans out.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Comic Con Approaches

The San Diego Comic Con is less than a week away. Here's a small glimpse of some of the cool stuff people will be able to pick up there. You can see a list of the countless exclusives at the official site.

Last year DC Direct had some of the most in demand exclusives of the Con with their series of Green Lantern: Blackest Night Hal Jordan figures. This year they're continuing that lineup with a Black Lantern Hal Jordan and a White Lantern Sinestro. However DC Direct is branching out with a Battle Damaged Batman from the video game Batman: Arkham Asylum. This figure will be out months before the rest of the Arkham Asylum line. DC Direct's figures will be sold at th Graffiti Designs booth. Hopefully they'll be easier to get than last year's Hal Jordans.

NECA has a nice variety of exclusives for this year's Comic Con. From Terminator 2 there's the Liquid Metal T-1000. From Bioshock 2 there's the unmasked Big Sister, Eleanor Lamb with a "saved" Little Sister. From Gears of War 3 there's Jace Stratton. And from the recently released Predators there's the Stealth Berserker Predator. NECA will be selling these and a giant Watchmen Doctor Manhattan Heroclix game piece at their booth.

Toys R Us will have their own collection of exclusives again this year. They'll be selling Transformers Masterpiece Grimlock before it will be available in stores. TRU will also have exclusive figures of Noble Seven from Halo Reach and a Convention Nerd from Robot Chicken who comes with some pretty neat accessories. Lastly they will have a Ghostbusters MiniMates boxset based on the "We're Ready to Believe You" commercial. Toys R Us' exclusives will be sold at the Entertainment Earth booth.

A popular item at previous Comic Cons have been the giant tote bags available at the Warner Bros. booth. They're changing it up this year and are handing out the bags to all registrants when they pick up their badges. This year's bags have themes such as Brightest Day, Looney Tunes, Clash of the Titans, Batman: The Brave and the Bold and several Warner Bros. produced TV shows. That's pretty clever of Warner to have every Comic Con goer walk around advertising their properties. It does make things more difficult for those trying to collect a set, as I've seen people do. And hopefully they don't run out of bags before the con ends. They didn't have enough lanyards to go around last year.

It Sure Is Veiny

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Iron Man 2 on DVD & Blu-ray

Iron Man 2 will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on September 28th. I'm not sure what's going on with the cover art. I like the Mark V armor as much as the next guy but I wouldn't use it to market the movie, at least not over the Mark IV or VI. Actually I'm betting these aren't the final versions of the artwork. I'm expecting at least some nice slipcovers.

The movie will be avalable in single disc DVD, two disc DVD, and three disc Blu-ray editions. The Blu-ray is loaded compared to the DVD editions. It has exclusives extras such as a four part "making of" documentary, concept art, deleted scenes and featurettes about the comic origins of Nick Fury, Black Widow and War Machine. The Blu-ray even includes DVD and digital copy versions of the film.

Updated 7/19: Here's some images of the two disc DVD set and the Target exclusive Blu-ray steelcase.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Transformers 3 Trailer

No, not that kind of trailer. This kind.

It took until the third movie but Optimus Prime finally has his trailer. And the trailer's design is very reminiscent of the G1 trailer. So what purpose will the trailer serve in the new movie? Will it transform into a combat deck? Does it contain Roller? Will it magically dissapear when Optimus transform? Will it shoot Nerf foam darts? Will it become a pair of giant robot pants for Optimus to wear?

This thing was spotted as well. You know I might be able to develop an interest in NASCAR if the cars were all armed to the teeth like this. I guess that would just make it Death Race, but would that be such a bad thing?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The New Spider-Man Hates Nermal

So while I was off having adventures at Anime Expo I missed out on some pretty big news. Sony finally cast the lead role for their upcoming Spider-Man reboot. Andrew Garfield is the actor who will be playing the beloved webslinger. Garfield is something of an unexpected choice. He was on the list of actors Sony was considering. However rumors strongly suggested that Josh Hutcherson would be the one most likely to get it. Maybe the rumors were based on nothing or maybe talks fell through with Hutcherson but ultimately he wasn't cast.

Other actors Garfield beat out for the role include Anton Yelchin (Star Trek, Terminator Salvation), Jamie Bell (King Kong, Tin-Tin), Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass) and Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson). You couldn't call any of those guys A-listers but they've had higher profile work than Andrew Garfield. Even Frank Dillane, who played young Voldermort in the last Harry Potter movie is likely more well known than Garfield.

I'm not saying Garfield's lack of notoriety is a bad thing. More often than not casting an unknown is a smarter move. Unknowns bring with them less undeserved expectations. So what has Garfield done? A two part episode of Doctor Who for one. When I learned this I immediately remembered him but he didn't particularly stand out to me. With such an important role in the balance, I assume Garfield impressed enough decision makers who hopefully know what they're doing.

My concern since the reboot was announced was that Sony would cast some pretty boy young actor as nerdy Peter Parker. Well no offense to Mr. Garfield but it seems my fears were unfounded. I'm still not sure I see the guy as Peter Parker though. He's lanky and I guess that makes sense for Spider-Man. The characters has been drawn by so many different artists in different ways that you can't really say the character has a definitive look.

Andrew Garfield seems to have reddish hair which would give me some pause, but seeing as how in the past Sony cast a blonde as Mary Jane and a redhead as Gwen Stacy so it isn't a big deal with that perspective.

The odd thing about Garfield being cast is his age. The point of the reboot is that we would be getting a teenage Spider-Man. Some of the actors being considered reflected that. Garfield is 27, the same age Tobey Maguire was when he did the first Spider-Man and the new film doesn't out come for another two years. I know in Hollywood they feel actors can play any character within fifteen years of their actual age. It does feel like we've already lost one small piece of what would have made the new movie feel different from what's come before. Sure Peter Parker will still be a high schooler. He just won't be an actual high schooler.

So I guess if I had to give an opinion on Garfield's casting, it would be "Not bad". And I guess "It could have been worse". I don't have any evidence he'll do a bad job and I have nothing against him. I'm still not entirely sold on the concept of the movie itself. Of course I have a lot of time ahead to get used to it.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

AFOS Third Anniversary


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Cosplayers of Anime Expo '10

Sorry about the low quality of some of these pictures. The lighting was really bad at times. And yes, my photography sucks.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Back from Anime Expo '10

I went to Anime Expo again this year. As usual it was tiring but I had a good time. I saw Yui Horie, just not up close. I saw blogger turned multimedia mogul Danny Choo. I caught a screening of ICE which was lovingly indecipherable and ridiculous like a throwback to awful '80s OVA. I saw a lot of cosplayers. I'll post some pictures tomorrow. I bought some cool stuff. I'll be posting haul pics eventually.

I attended Aniplex's panel where they announced they were releasing Durarara to North America. The number of new license announcements this year is way up from recent years. I won't list them all but the one I'm interested in are the K-On! from Bandai, a remastered edition of Utena from Nozomi and the Trigun movie and continuations of Hellsing Ultimate and Black Lagoon from Funimation. Plus now that Geneon merged with Universal they're licensing series to North America again. Funimation has picked up the licenses for a number of Geneon USA's remaining titles that were stuck in limbo including Tenchi Muyo Armitage, and Texhnolyze. For the first time in awhile I'm feeling pretty positive about the industry.