Thursday, May 31, 2012

No Joe

I haven't posted anything in awhile, so let's try to play catchup.
  • Paramount pushed back G.I. Joe Retaliation from its June 29th release date next month to March 29th 2013. Paramount had their reasons to pull this move. They wanted to convert the film to 3D. They wanted to move away from this over crowded summer. They probably regretted not giving Channing Tatum more screen time before they unceremoniously killed him off. That's all terribly interesting but more importantly what's going on with the toys? Hasbro has delayed the later (better) waves until next year, but there's already plenty of Retaliation merch out there. I'll be curious to see what happens with that stuff. If Hasbro has halted shipping new product than these toys could end up being scarce, but that could only happen if there's demand for the stuff and without a movie to promote them. It should make for an interesting experiment, which is probably the wrong perspective to take on this situation.

  • So Toonami came back. I was never completely on board the "Bring Back Toonami" campaign. The "new" Toonami could never be like the original Toonami. I'm not sure what the fans expected. Did they want classic series like the April's Fools Night broadcast? Nostalgia is nice but repeats of older shows would lose novelty fast. And there would have been rights issues, something that already affected the April's Fools Night broadcast. Personally I wouldn't have been interested in repeats of classic Toonami shows, as I own most of those series already. What we could have realistically expected was a rebranded [adult swim] Saturday block, something that probably wouldn't do much to boost viewership thus only serving to hurt the Toonami brand. And that's the situation we now find ourselves in. On the plus side we did at least get two new series, Casshern Sins and Deadman Wonderland. They strike me as odd selections, but not surprising as a good deal of [adult swim]'s anime acquisitions have been quite odd. The high concept Deadman Wonderland is at least bizarre enough to potentially shape up into something memorable.

  • Shout Factory will be releasing a slew of horror titles through their new label Scream Factory. Scream Factory's first releases will be Halloween II and Halloween III: Season of the Witch on Collectors Editions Blu-ray disc and DVD with brand new extras. They'll follow those up with releases of They Live, Phantasm II, The Funhouse, Terror Train and more. Curiously Universal released Halloween II on Blu-ray last year. Maybe this sets means that Scream Factory can get a crack at another Universal title that could use a double-dip, The Thing.

  • Mattel's The Dark Knight Rises line was recently releases and has had a number of surprises. At K-Mart the Movie Masters figure come bundled with Bat-vehicle blueprints. Toys R Us has an exclusive two-pack with shirtless Bane and a battle damaged Batman with a cloth cape and Wal-Mart has an exclusive Jim Gordon figure with a shattered Bat-Signal piece. People have been finding a "goggles-down" variant of Catwoman. I'm not sure if I'd prefer that or the "goggles-up" version, but I'd be happy to find either.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Avengers & Blade Runner on Blu-ray

Disney will release The Avengers on DVD, Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray on September 25th of this year. There will be a load of special features including deleted scenes and an alternate ending. From what I've read a lot of those deleted scenes are of a subplot of Steve Rogers dealing with the modern world. I have no clue what the alternate ending could be.

I wasn't the biggest fan of The Avengers' theatrical poster but I think it works for the 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Copy Combo pack. It fares well compared to the awkward photoshop creation used for the cover of the Blu-Ray & DVD Combo pack.

More big news comes in the announcement of a 30th Anniversary Collection of Blade Runner. This comes as good news as the previous release is out of print though I feel sorry for anyone who recently paid high prices to get that edition. There isn't that much info yet for this new edition but according to it will feature five cuts of the film and new extras not on the previous release.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ten Years Ago Yesterday

Yesterday, May 16th, was the tenth anniversary of the day Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones was released in theaters. And I did not know this until I read a news item on Rebelscum. I suppose all that reflects on how I feel about Episode II. It is my least favorite film in the series, which isn't to say I dislike it. The sequence on Geonosis is the best all out battle in the movies. It ushers in the Clone Wars, my favorite Star Wars era. But my feelings towards the movie may has less to do with its actual merits than the atmosphere that surrounded its release.

Back when Star Wars Episode I had its tenth anniversary I waxed nostalgic for a week. You couldn't avoid the Episode I hype. Attack of the Clones was never as big of a deal. A big part of it was just the lowered expectations, not just of the fans but of the retailers and marketers. There were far less promotions and less tie-ins. There wasn't even a proper Attack of the Clones action figure line. Instead we got Star Wars Saga which, even for a ten year old toyline, has aged terribly. They managed to turn everything around for Revenge of the Sith which felt like an event again. I guess it also helped that it didn't have to open right after the first Spider-Man movie. Hey there's another movie that just turned ten years old.

Attack of the Clones will have another chance at the spotlight. It is being re-released to theaters in 3D in time for its Eleventh Anniversary, assuming that's still the plan.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Power Rangers on DVD & New Sith Figures

  • Shout Factory's release of the first half of the first season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is now available for preorder. It's currently marked down to $13.95 which gets you the first thirty episodes of the series on three discs. A pretty great deal if you ask me. I also really like the cover except for the red background. I wish they had kept the Command Center background of the original image. The second half of season one, consisting of another thirty episodes will come out in the Fall.

    And if you're a hardcore fan you're going to want the upcoming 40 disc Seasons One-Seven collection. That's all three seasons of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and the complete series of Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers, Power Rangers Zeo, Power Rangers Turbo, Power Rangers In Space, and Power Rangers Lost Galaxy. You could call it the complete "Zordon era" collection if you want. Lost Galaxy is technically post-Zordon, but with the presence of Alpha, Bulk, and the Astro Megaship, you can't really call it a stand-alone series either.

    Shout Factory will release the 40-disc set on July 30th. It will be available through Time Life, which means we can probably look forward to TV commercials telling us to phone in with orders. We still have to wait for complete details.

  • Bluefin Tamashii Nations USA has announced on their Facebook page have announced they will be distributing Figuarts Red Hawk from Chōjin Sentai Jetman and D-Arts Dukemon from Digimon Tamers in the U.S. Never having bought a Bluefin distributed figure, I am assuming this means they'll be significantly cheaper than if I had imported them in Japan? Here's hoping that's the case. Red Hawk strikes me as an odd choice to release in the U.S. over Deka Red or Bouken Red who have Power Rangers counterparts.

    I'm more happy about Dukemon but I really wish the Digimon D-Arts had gotten U.S. releases from the beginning. Dukemon is known in the English dub as Gallantmon, which is another example of the strange naming choices for that series. I get renaming characters with very Japanese sounding names but why couldn't Dukemon stay Dukemon?

  • When it comes to finally filming his adaptation of Battle Angel Alita, James Cameron alters position more than a presidential nominee. Years ago it was to be his next project until he decided to make Avatar instead. While doing press for the re-release of Titanic he said he still planned on making it, until he declared he would only be making Avatar sequels from now on. Now he's saying it still happening. We might have to wait after the Avatar 4 before it does though.

  • Things have looked pretty bleak for the Star Wars: The Clone Wars toyline. With Hasbro shifting their focus on Movie Heroes, The Clone Wars have been reduced to just 19 figures this year including reissues and resculpts. However what that number didn't include is exclusives. has the first look at a "Darth Maul Returns" Battle Pack to be released at Target. It includes two all new figures of cyborg Darth Maul and a Nightsister. The Nightsister, in spite of looking almost exactly like Mother Talzin, is apparently not Mother Talzin. Is this a new character for season four? Or did Hasbro just screw up and give Talzin hair braids necessitating a name change?

    The third figure is a reissue but it's a good one. It's armored Savage Opress who only shipped in one hard to find assortment late last year. This is in contrast to barechested Savage Opress who has been shipped in multiple assortments despite the fact Savage only appeared that way for about thirty seconds. This re-release of armored Savage seem to leave out his double-bladed lightsaber because I guess otherwise this set would have been too good of a deal.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012