Popular Culture Collectibles Reviews

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Reel, Dead And Scandalous!



From Zest Books comes three new teen-centered books that feature subjects near and dear to the under-20 demographic.

Mimi O'Connor investigates Reel Culture that takes a peek at 50 classic movies you should know about-so you can impress your friends.

Starting with 1938's Bringing Up Baby and culminating with Silence Of The Lambs in 1991, the book lets readers know about each film, who directed, wrote and starred in them and what the fuss was all about for each.  Black and white photos accompany each film synopsis including stuff people talk about and quotes taken from each film.

Speaking of Hollywood...and politics.. and other societal events, Scandalous! by Hallie Fryd looks back over the decades at key events and the people involved and affected by them such as Orson Welles' War Of The Worlds radio broadcast that caused nation-wide panic, Jerry Lee Lewis' marriage to his underage cousin, Teddy Kennedy's link to the death of a young woman, Watergate, Pete Rose's gambling debacle and many more-50 in all!

Learn the who, what, where, when and how about each event and the lasting effects each has had on society as a whole.
 
For the bizarre truths behind 50 world-famous mysteries be sure to pick up a copy of author Matt Lamb's Dead Strange that looks into the mysteries of angels, flying saucers, Dracula and ever other major sort of strange and bizarre legend, event and phenomenon known to man.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

POSER DEBUT


Finally! A 3D animation program that I can wrap my mind around!  Don't get me wrong, I love 3D animation, but producing it taxes my brain cells.


I'm a 2D kind of guy and I have trouble thinking and designing in 3D.  I'm not stupid, but 2D and 3D never the twain shall meet.


In the past I've found 3D programs either to be too difficult to use and requiring a long learning curve or too simplified and restricted on what they can do.


There are some great programs out there.  The only problem is I simply do not have the time it takes to learn them.  


POSER DEBUT from SmithMicro Software is a real joy to use.  It's simple to use and turns out killer results is a short time.  Menus are designed so you don't have to have and engineering degree to know what they mean.


You can start immediately by choosing from over 70 ready-to-use characters,  Simply drag and drop figures onto the stage, cloth them, modify them, choose hair and facial expressions, select lighting effects, place them in a scene you have built from pre-constructed elements, render them, animate them and viola! 


Before you know it you've produced high-quality animated sequences that you can post and share with your friends via websites or community networks.


POSER DEBUT is easy-to-learn using its Project Guide and tutorials.  Animation is a snap. Select humans, animals, aliens and even skeletons to animate. Add props, backgrounds, clothing and render them all photo realistically, in cartoon or sketch mode, silhouette and Flash. 
I can't wait to share POSER DEBUT with my Commercial Art students. 

 I've been searching for years to find an 3D program students can grasp and use.  POSER DEBUT fits the bill!

WWII, Parks, Go West, Secret And Dinotopia And Journey


When the United States joined the fight in World War II the war changed.  No longer was the war relegated to Europe and the Far East.  The attack on Pearl Harbor and the threat of Hitler's plans for world conquest forced the United Sates into the war.


Suddenly the industrial and military might of the Land Of The Free went into full swing and the heroic efforts of our military turned the tide of the war and transformed the entire world forever.


Mill Creek Entertainment's seven DVD, 30 hours WWII America Joins The Fight offers an incredible historical overview of the WWII broken down into four main subject areas.


The Dawn Of War, The Fight For Freedom, Victory At Sea and America's Wars takes viewers into the heat of battle, the home front and a retrospective of the wars America has partaken in.


America's Wild West has fascinated historians from all over the world for decades.  Consisting of five DVDs with 26 hours of viewing, Go West! America's Western Frontier explores the Wild West, the Outlaws and Gunslingers and Railroads from America's turbulent and adventurous past.


For a breath-taking tour of America's National Parks be sure to pick up the complete six DVD set containing 14 hours of video exploration of the vivid landscapes of America's greatest locales.


They're all here: the Everglades, the Great Smokey Mountains, the Black Hills, the Badlands, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite and more.


Rediscover America in this visually-stunning tour of the landscapes that makes America great.

Do you know The Secret? It has traveled the centuries and has helped countless people find joy, peace--everything anyone could ever imagine.


Do you want to know The Secret? Then be sure to pick up a copy of this DVD that will change your life forever.  Extras include behind-the-scenes, deleted scenes, a summary, outtakes, trailers and a commentary.


Get ready for danger and exploration with Mill Creek's twin adventures offering seven hours of excitement and edge-of-your-seat encounters.

The Emmy winning Dinotopia takes you to a land where dinosaurs still exist and live side-by-side with man and Journey To The Center Of The Earth with the exciting mini-series based on the classic Jules Verne adventure.   


Duck Dodgers Dark Side Of The Duck


"This looks like a job for Duck Dodgers of the 24th and 1/2 Century!"  Inspired by the original Duck Dodgers cartoons seen in theaters the new Duck Dodgers animated TV series carries on Daffy Duck's uh, daffy, adventures as the space ranger of the future: Duck Dodgers. Along with his sidekick Porky Pig, the daffy duo tackles threats to Earth and the galaxy.  


With over 4 hours of fun, the 13 episodes, two-disc collection pours on the space adventure lunacy with its tongue-in-cheek parody of some famous movie titles, intergalactic bad guys and laser-laced hilarity while plying the space ways.


The entire 1st Season is included on the DVDs along with a special, original Duck Dodger adventure.

Warner Bros. piles on the intergalactic intrigue and futuristic fun with Duck Dodgers' hilarious flight of fantasy.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Girls Of Steampunk



Antarctic Press presents not one, but two, Girls Of Steampunk number one issues!



First up is Victorian Secret Girls Of Steampunk Holiday Special with a beautiful Rod Espinosa cover and a special preview of his upcoming series: Steampunk Snow White.




Dr. Fankensteam's Monster's First Christmas Ever presents a very different take on what makes a Christmas tree, Island Getaway turns out to be a lot more than a quite tropical paradise-if outer space is your idea of a tropical paradise, Kandy Kane: Steam Elf solves Santa's Christmas delivery problem with a mechanized solution and be sure to check out the gallery of beautiful Steampunk woman art.




In Victorian Secret Girls Of Steampunk Masquerade Rod Espinosa provides another stunning cover and an interior story about some scantily clad Steampunk espionage, more beautiful Steampunk babes are spotlighted and check out the other Steampunk titles Antarctic offers that started in 1985!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Part 2



This is it!  The final chapter in the animated adaptation of the award-winning, comic book mini-series by artist/writer Frank Miller: DC Comics' Batman The Dark Knight Returns Part 2.


After defeating the Mutants in the first part of the series, Batman settles in to guide his new dominions-the reformed Mutants who now follow Batman to protect Gotham City.


Unknown to Batman the institutionalized and catatonic Joker has revived and is out for blood.  Duping his counselor, the Joker finagles a guest spot on a local talk show to 'atone' for his sins and to offer his point of view about his former crime spree.


The Joker kills the entire studio audience, including the host, with his toxic laugh gas and sets out to destroy Batman.


Ultimately the two clash and Batman is forced to kill the Joker. Batman's tactics catch the attention of the government and the President's errand boy: Superman.


Superman is dispatched to 'resolve' the problem and what results is a one-on-one battle between Batman and Superman. Batman trounces Superman but at the cost at his own heart giving out.  Batman dies and as he does explosions take out Wayne Manor, Alfred dies and to all appearances so does the Batman legacy. Or does it?


Part 2 delivers some of the best action and excitement that I've seen in an animated movie in years.  Like the comic book mini-series the two-part adaptation is sure to become a classic and it's all courtesy of DC Comics and Warner Bros.

The Blu-ray/DVD/ Ultraviolet Combo Pack includes the Part 2 movie, a digital excerpt from the mini-series, several featurettes, three bonus cartoons, a preview of the upcoming Superman: Unbound animated film and more.

Still More Drawings






James Bond FAQ



So you think you know all there is to know about Britain #1 super-secret agent: James Bond 007, with a license to kill!  So did I.  Boy was I proved wrong when I picked up a copy of author Tom DeMichael’s new James Bond FAQ book from Applause.

Inside the book looks at each and every ‘official’ James Bond film and examines every character, gadget, location, car, stunt, effect-the list goes on and on-to near exhaustion.
Spiced up with black and white photos each film is given special treatment from examinations of their plot, character portrayals, technology and more.

There’s even a section on the ‘unsanctioned’ James Bond films and projects.  If you’ve got questions about the spy that women love and men wish they were then James Bond FAQ is the book for you-secrets revealed!

Alex Cross



Get ready to see writer/director/actor Tyler Perry like you’ve never seen him before.  Known primarily in his role as the feisty Madea, Tyler Perry has proven himself to be a high quality dramatic actor over the past few years.  No where is that more evident in the film adaptation of author James Robinson’s (Kiss The Girls and Along Came A Spider) tough-as-nails Detroit Police Department homicide detective Alex Cross.

Alex may have met his match when he faces off against a ruthless and manipulative serial killer.  A dangerous game of cat and mouse ensues but then the case gets personal and Alex is faced with a dilemma that challenges his moral and intellectual limits.

The DVD/Digital Copy + Ultraviolet Combo from SummitEntertainment includes the pulse-pounding murder mystery along with an audio commentary, a featurette on how Alex Cross was adapted to film and deleted scenes.  Be sure to pick up a copy of Alex Cross-it’s a killer!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook



Have you ever come across something that you wish you had found or discovered earlier?  Yesterday that happened to me. Health Communications, Inc. sent me their new book from author Melissa Costello and the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw it was ,”I wish I had this book when my son and his wife came to visit a few days ago!”

Recently my son and his wife became Vegetarians and Melissa's new book that contains 125+ plant-based Vegan recipes for a fit, happy, healthy you would have come in handy.

Being meat-eaters it was a bit of a challenge for my wife and I to stock our shelves and refrigerator with food they could eat.  We did a decent job but The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook would made our selections so much easier to choose.

Inside the book are a wide variety of vegetable based recipes for every meal of the day.  Recipes are accompanied by full-color photos of the completed meals.  They even make my carnivore craving mouth water!  I can think of no better recommendation than that!

Madly Madagascar



Get ready for a brand new adventure starring those crazy zoo animals from the hit computer animated film series Madagascar!

Valentine’s Day is here and Melman, Gloria, Marty and Alex have their own plans for Cupid’s celebration.  All of them are after King Julian’s love potion and what results is a hilarious mishmash of Valentine’s Day Madagascar madness.  Love’s arrows fly and everyone is a target.

The new DVD from 20th Century Fox also includes trailers, 22 minutes of Madagascar extras, Hammy’s Boomerang Adventure and as an extra, extra added bonus--a brand new animated short: First Flight!