Popular Culture Collectibles Reviews

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Dimension X

Straight from the 4th Season of the successful TMNT animated series from Nickelodeon comes a brand new set of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figures measuring from 4.25 inches to 5.5 inches, tall perfect for kids to play with from Playmates Toys.

Join the Turtles as they battle the evil Lord Dregg and his dominions in Dimension X.
But in order to do battle properly the Turtles must be outfitted with some new high-tech gear that puts the dread in Dregg.

The Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Donatello figures are all decked out in high-tech suits that match their distinctive uniform colors.  Each suit features a clear helmet, massive chest and should armor with dials and buttons, equipment laden wrist gauntlets, utility belt, hand guards, torso and upper legs guards, knee pads and space boots.

All of the equipment is removable.

Weapons are their traditional choices but with a twist-they're translucent!  All have flip open visors, translators, oxygen converter, pulse boots and more.

Leonardo Space Captain has katanas, Raphael Space Battler has his sai, Donatello Space Scientist his bo staff and Michelangelo Space Traveler his nunchuks.

Each figure is articulated, a perfect match for its animated namesake, sculpted and colored to perfection, rugged and ready for action straight out its bubble pack.

Additional figures are also available.

Look for robotic pure white Fugitoid.

This lovable Cyborg Human Turtle Ally is flexible, articulated and sports black eye goggles, large forearms and lower legs, a sleek torso and a cool mechanical attitude.

The leader of the Triceraton Army, Mozar, is all muscle and scales.  An evolved triceratops, Mozar is a real heavy hitter in his deep blue and tan armor.  He sports gauntlets, knee boots, a high-tech shoulder weapon device and a massive horned head anyone and everyone should take notice of.

He's a mean, lean dino-machine!

A Lord Dregg figure is also available.  He and Mozar are Walmart exclusives.

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Steampunk Snow Queen #1 & 2

Disney's animated movie Frozen was the most successful computer animated movie of all time.

I won't bore you with the story because unless you've been buried in a cave somewhere you've at least seen or know about the movie.

But...and that's a big but.  What if the story was tweaked and expanded, slightly darkened and given a whole new twist by being set in a Steampunk world?

That's exactly the premise behind Antarctic Press's Steampunk Snow Queen #1 & 2 as written, drawn, colored (and who knows what else?) by the uber-talented Rod Espinosa.

Rod throws in some intrigue, romance, politics, Steampunk technology and a stellar cast of characters that put Frozen to shame.

If this series was made into a movie you better bet I'd go see it.  It's that good.

Rod's command of drawing pencil, inks and color is second to none and his imagination when it comes to costume design, environments, technical accessories, transport and weapons has to be seen to be believed.

Where does he come up with this stuff?  Why other comic book publishers have not tried to grab him up is a mystery to me.  Antarctic Press is very lucky to have his tremendous talent behind many of its titles.

Pick up both issues (and the entire series). You'll be glad you did.

Harry Potter and Doctor Who

No one can deny that the Harry Potter series of books were, and are, a huge literary success. Equally impressive is the success of the Harry Potter films which are loved by millions of fans around the world.

When you take into consideration the huge cast of characters that populate the books it's hard to imagine anyone translating those characters to the Silver Screen.

But that's just what the talented folks behind the Harry Potter movies did. It wasn't easy, but most Harry Potter fans would agree that they did a spectacular job.

The actors portraying Harry and his friends, associates and enemies perfectly captured the look and feel of their literary namesakes. But, translating them to film was not easy.

It took considerable time and energy to complete each transformation.

In Harper Design's new book: Harry Potter: The Character Vault, author Jody Revensen reveals all the hard work, perseverance and talent that went on behind the process.

Beginning with character sketches and illustrations the designers carefully selected the actors best suited for the roles.  Costume designs, accessories, makeup, prosthetics and special effects all combined to take the 2D characters in the books and translated them to 3D on film.

Calling the book a 'Vault' is appropriate because it contains precious items such as behind-the-scenes photos, production art, special tipped-in documents, full text descriptions and little known facts all combine to make an attractive compilation of full color photos, art, character highlights and little known secrets behind the creation of some of the most popular films of all time.

What else can be said but, "It's magic!"

It's hard to believe that the Doctor Who TV series has been around for over 50 years.

It has formed the template by which other similar series adhere to and has influenced countless TV series and movies and those that produce them, from writers to directors.

As memorable as the various versions of the Doctor have been, along with his supporting cast, another often overlooked components of the series is responsible for much of its success: the various worlds and dimensions the Doctor and his companions visit.

Without them the entire series would have fallen flat on its face.

Add in the various alien creatures that inhabit them, their costumes, accessories, weapons, spacecraft, buildings and the like and suddenly you have an entire universe for the Doctor to traipse around in.

Doctor Who: Impossible Worlds by Stephen Nicholas and Mike Tucker explores the many worlds and dimensions the Doctor has visited.

The large hardbound book instantly entices readers with its die-cut front cover that reveals a glimpse of the inner Tardis.

Flip open the book and you suddenly find yourself enveloped by the strange and wonderful worlds of Doctor Who.

As a huge Doctor Who fan I found myself totally entrenched in the many facets of this extremely comprehensive book.  There was so much I didn't know about the series that the book revealed to me.

Beginning with the Doctor's Tardis, the book examines the many versions of the famous time and dimension shuttling machine over the years.  Also the Daleks, the Cybermen and the evolution of the look of other Doctor Who antagonists and allies are shown as they changed over the decades.

Weapons, accessories, locales, time and dimensional realms, costumes, character designs and more are all scrutinized bit by bit and given their due.

This truly is A 50-Year Treasury Of Art And Design from the granddaddy of all sci-fi and fantasy TV series.

As a reader you'll enjoy each and every turn of the page and find yourself mesmerized by the photos, art, fascinating text and overall design of this wonderful book.


So jump in your Tardis, travel to your closest bookstore and grab yourself a copy.  It's better than a Sonic Screwdriver!

Sunfail

Strange things are occurring in New York City.  The sky is putting on a spectacular light show, the sun is growing dark, dogs suddenly start running in wild packs, birds fall from the sky and die and the entire electrical power and communication grid system goes black.

Widespread panic erupts, gangs and thugs prowl the streets, strange graffiti decorates buildings' walls and terrorists begin striking key locations in the city.

Soon, similar occurrences start happening around the world. Are they natural?  Are they manmade? Or are they both?

One-time special forces operative and current subway electrician Jake Carter isn't sure.  But, when he witnesses several occurrences of terrorism, subsequent killings and what appears to be a orchestrated attack on the city he has no choice but to intervene, especially when he receives a cryptic message forma former lover.

Carter, his former lover and several other associates suddenly find themselves intertwined in one of the most bizarre and earth-shattering conspiracies imaginable.  Can their combined forces possibly stop what is about to occur?

Writer Steven Saville delivers a hard-hitting, action-packed thriller which plot is as convoluted and twisted as the trail carter and his associates must navigate to solve the mystery.

Akashic Books is proud to present the fist in what promises to be a spectacular series of book beginning with Sunfail. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Mr. Holmes



Are great literary figures lives embellished by those who chronicle them?  Do they exist as we wish them to exist or are they surprisingly different than we ever imagined?  Did they do the things accredited to them?   Do we elevate them to a more than human status?
 
Lionsgate presents a very special DVD/Digital Combo that delves into the factual life of the world's greatest detective: Sherlock Holmes.

In Mr. Holmes actor Ian McKellen gives a magnificent and totally unique performance of Sherlock Holmes.

Now old and retired Holmes slips out of retirement in an attempt to solve a crime 30 years old that haunts him to this day. Spurred by a recent trip to Japan  Holmes confronts his past  and the ghosts that linger about the one mystery he could not solve. 

Full of dry wit, touching moments and tenderness this film shows a different side of Holmes never portrayed in the novels.

Who is the man?  What is he really like?  The answers may surprise and delight you.
Extras include two featurettes about the making of the film.

Paper Angels

Just in time for Christmas comes a wonderful new faith based DVD from Cinedigm that is both uplifting and inspiring.

When Lynn leaves her abusive husband she takes her two children with her to start a new life.
She gets a job as a waitress in a small town and her children attend the local school.

Her son, Thomas, soon finds himself the target of bullying and goes to a local community center in hopes of getting counseling.

While there he strikes up an unlikely friendship with a local business man, Kevin.  Kevin's marketing business is failing and his wife's pregnancy is having complications.

Through a series of miraculous events the two family's lives become intertwined resulting in unexpected outcomes.

Paper Angels exemplifies the Christmas spirit of good will and fellowship with mankind.  It proves that simple acts of kindness reflect the love of God and that miracles do happen.


This is a 'feel good' movie that the whole family will enjoy and cherish.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Total Skywatcher's Manual

"Space, the final frontier..."  No, this isn't a review about a Star Trek book, but it does have to do with outer space.

What person hasn't gazed into the star-filled night sky and marveled at the millions of stars twinkling in the dark?  Or wondered, "Is there life out there?"

"How vast is space?  What exists out there? How does it all work and how, as human beings, have we charted and observed the stars?"

If you've ever pondered the infinite and find yourself in awe over the vastness of space then I have the perfect book for you.

From WeldonOwen comes The Total Skywatcher's Manual filled with 275+ skills and tricks for exploring stars, planets and beyond.

Bristling with black and white and color photos, charts, schematics, star charts and comprehensive text and visual demonstrations this book is a veritable cornucopia of all things cosmic.

Tips on photography of the heavens, what equipment to buy, how to read the heavens, information on nebulas, galaxies, planets and other bodies in outer space are just of the few things this book contains.

It's so packed wit information you can literally spend hours going over photos, diagrams, illustration and instructions.

Printed on heavy paper stock and featuring metal tipped corners on the cover and back cover, this is a hefty constructed book that is made for heavy use over the years.

Superman #1

Artist/writer John Byrne got his start in the comic book profession working at Charlton Comics in the mid-1970s.  After a couple of years Marvel Comics took notice of his talent and offered him work.

For close to a decade John was a Marvel Comics company man.  His work revitalized the Uncanny X-men, The Fantastic Four, She-Hulk, Namor The Submariner and The Incredible Hulk, along with a few other second tier titles.


Speculations abound that John managed to alienate a few people at Marvel Comics, he grew tired of Marvel characters , he just needed some much needed breathing room or the chance to spread his creative wings-whatever the reason, John quit Marvel Comics and moved to DC Comics.

At that time DC Comics had successfully revamped its comic book line with its Crisis On Infinite Earths maxi-series.  Many of its titles (particularly Batman) took on a more serious dark tone.  Imported artists and writers from overseas infused DC Comics with new life and vitality.

Fans were clamoring to DC Comics and a new age had begun for DC Comics who had at one time been considered the 'establishment' comic book company.

DC Comics offered John a deal he could not refuse: a total revamp of the world's first and greatest superhero: Superman.

John agreed, with the stipulation that he would have almost total control of the transformation.  DC Comics agreed, with minor concessions.

To introduce the revamp John wrote and drew The Man Of Steel 6-part mini-series that redefined the Superman origin, scope of powers and supporting cast.

John was then to head up the entire Superman line of comic books: Superman, Action and The Adventures Of Superman.
John agreed to write all three titles, draw Superman and Action and let artist Jerry Ordway draw The Adventures Of Superman.


The launch of all three titles was a huge artistic and commercial success.
John's sweetheart title was Superman and beginning with the first issue he brings back Metallo and creates one of the most dynamic and explosive fight sequences seen in comic books up to that point.

John was at his creative peak and it shows in his page layouts, tight pencils (inked by longtime collaborator Terry Austin) and his powerful script.

John would continue on the Superman titles for several years until (like at Marvel Comics) he left for his own reasons.  Regardless of his decision to leave, his run on Superman re-ignited the 'super' in Superman and revitalized the red and blue boy scout's titles.   

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Beatles Photographs From The Set Of Help!

Without a doubt The Beatles are the most famous Rock group of all time.  Even after their split up over 40 years ago they still hold a special place in the hearts of Rock and Roll fans.

After their break-up each member of The Beatles went on to stellar careers of their own.  Of the original Fab Four only Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are alive.  john Lennon was assassinated and George Harrison died of cancer. But, their music still lives on.

Rizzoli presents a very special hardbound book collection of photos taken during the filming of The Beatles second film: Help! Still considered innovative and ground-breaking in its scope and content the film captures The Beatles early in their careers.

Emilio Lari lovingly presents an outstanding collection of The Beatles with black and white and color photos as seen both in front of and behind the movie cameras.

They are revealing snapshots of the energy, vitality and energy they brought to the set.
Included with the photos is fascinating text by Lari compiled from Beatles associates, those present at the filming and other historical bits and pieces and little known facts.

If you are a Beatles fan this is a 'must have' item you'll want to add to your Christmas list.

The 10th Kingdom

Mill Creek Entertainment celebrates the 15th Anniversary with a special edition Blu-ray of the 10th kingdom.

To celebrate the award-winning mini-series Mill Creek Entertainment presents this very special commemorative edition that holds a special place in the hearts and minds of an entire generation.

When an evil witch transforms a handsome prince into a dog.  He escapes to the 10th Kingdom: Central Park.

While there he teams up with two humans and they travel the other nine kingdoms where mythological and magical being exists derived from classic fantasy tales.

As they struggle against time the adventurers must find away to change the prince back into a human, regain his throne and save all ten realms.

Filled with incredible costume and creature designs, stunning visual and practical special effects and boasting an all-star cast The 10th Kingdom is sure to be loved by all who watch it.
Extras include a 'Making of' documentary, a score track and more.

U.S. Infantry World War II

From the 'Big Red One' comes Italeri's U.S. Infantry World War II collection of plastic figures.

Like all of Italeri's war figures this selection includes part trees holding highly detailed and sculpted human figures in full military gear with weapons and equipment.

The unpainted figures detach easily from the part trees with minimal flashing allowing very little trimming necessary-if any.

Forty figures are included along with nine standalone parts for ground-mounted machine guns.
Each soldier comes with weapons or accessories.  All are sculpted in action poses with careful attention given to historical accuracy regarding uniforms and equipment.

Perfect for posing with other Italeri military transports or equipment the figures also make excellent game pieces for war gamers.

On the back of the model box are color-guide illustrations, with a color chart, for perfect WWII uniform and equipment color match ups.

Ninja Control Leonardo

Are you ready to go large!?  Does your run-of-the-mill toy action figure make you wish you had more?  Does it seem like they get smaller and smaller.  Never fear!  Playmates Toys' Ninja Control Leonardo Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figure is here and it's 'big' on fun!

Leonardo measures a whooping 12+ inches tall! The figure is fashioned after the classic TMNT Leonardo cartoon likeness that includes his blue mask, shoulder and knee pads, waist belt and shoulder strap, foot, knuckle and ankle guards and two katanas that he can hold.

Press the button at his waist and he swings into action with his non-stop katana crashing action.  His arms move up and down, his head turns and he emits sounds and phrases from a 40+ selection.

For even more action check out the easy to use remote control that allows Leonardo to move back and forth, perform a 360 degree ninja spin and move left to right.  There's even three pre-programmed battle moves!

Talk about an 'action' figure! Get ready to shred the Shredder, crush the Kraang and bust -up the bad guys! 

Ninja Control Leonardo is made for kids 4 years and up and is made of high-impact plastic for the most rough and tumble play possible.  Get ready to rumble!   

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Previews, November

COMIC BOOKS & GRAPHIC NOVELS
Code Pru #1 l AVATAR PRESS INC
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0 l BOOM! STUDIOS
The Last Contract #1 l BOOM! STUDIOS
Belladonna #0 l BOUNDLESS COMICS
Devolution #1 l D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
Red Sonja #1 l D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
The Phantom: The Complete Series: The Charlton Years Volume 5 HC l HERMES PRESS
Graveyard Quest GN l ONI PRESS INC.
Faith #1 l VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC
A Girl on the Shore Gn l VERTICAL COMICS
The Art of Magic the Gathering: Zendikar HC l VIZ MEDIA LLC
Grimm Fairy Tales: Red Agent #1 l ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT INC





BOOKS
Secret Hero Society: Study Hall of Justice HC l COMICS YOUNG READERS
Doctor Who: The Complete History Volume 5 HC l DOCTOR WHO
Doctor Who: The Complete History Volume 6 HC l DOCTOR WHO
Doc Savage Double Novel Volume 87 SC l PULP HEROES


MAGAZINES
DC Superhero Best Of Figurine Collection #5: Harley Quinn l EAGLEMOSS
DC Superhero Best Of Figurine Collection #6: The Penguin l EAGLEMOSS
Marvel Fact Files Cosmic Special #4: Gamora l EAGLEMOSS
The Walking Dead Magazine #15 l MOVIE/TV


TRADING CARDS
Topps 2016 Baseball Series 1 Trading Cards l TOPPS COMPANY
Topps 2016 Garbage Pail Kids Series 1 Trading Cards l NON-SPORTS CARDS


APPAREL
Daredevil: Menacing Hands Black T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
Star Trek: Hand Phaser Guide Light Blue Heather T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
Army of Darkness: Necronomicon Zip Hoodie l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
Street Fighter: Super Group White T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
Thanos: Come & Get Me Black T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
Deadpool: Icon Knit Beanie l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
Batman V. Superman Logo T-Shirt l GRAPHITTI DESIGNS
DK III: The Master Race by Kubert T-Shirt l GRAPHITTI DESIGNS
Dark Knight: Raw by Miller T-Shirt l GRAPHITTI DESIGNS
DC Bombshells: Poison Ivy Satin Robe l GEEK CHIC BOUTIQUE
DC Bombshells: Batgirl Satin Robe l GEEK CHIC BOUTIQUE
DC Bombshells: Supergirl Satin Robe l GEEK CHIC BOUTIQUE
DC Bombshells: Catwoman Satin Robe l GEEK CHIC BOUTIQUE
DC Bombshells: Harley Quinn Womens Mighty Wristlet l GEEK CHIC BOUTIQUE
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: The Dark Knight Strikes Mighty Wallet l BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Dynamic Duo Mighty Wallet l BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Dark Knight Lightning Vinyl Decal l BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Dynamic Duo Vinyl Decal l BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS


TOYS
Marvel Minimates Series 65: Deadpool l DIAMOND SELECT TOYS & COLLECTIBLES
Star Wars: The Force Awakens: X-Wing Minis Game Core Set l STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
Star Wars: Han In Carbonite Mighty Wallet l STAR WARS
Star Wars: Death Star Schematics Mighty Wallet l STAR WARS
Star Wars: The Ultimate Vinyl Collection OST LP l STAR WARS
Fallout: The Legacy Collection Action Figures l FUNKO
Skyrim: The Legacy Collection Action Figures l FUNKO
POP! Bob’s Burgers Vinyl Figures l FUNKO
Marvel 3-3/4-Inch Infinite Ser Action Figures l MARVEL HEROES
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Leonardo 1/6-Scale Collectible Figure l TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
Robyn Hood 1/6 Scale Action Figure Doll l ZENESCOPE


IMPORT TOYS
Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Force Awakens Captain Phasma Artfx+ Statue l KOTOBUKIYA
Dragonball Z: Super Saiyan 3 Son Goku Figuarts Zero X l DRAGONBALL Z
Sailor Moon: Cutiemoon Rod l SAILOR MOON
Sailor Moon: Henshin Stick Mars l SAILOR MOON
Sailor Moon: Henshin Stick Mercury l SAILOR MOON
Sailor Moon: Moon Stick l SAILOR MOON
Menshdge Technical PVC Statue No. 16: MGS V: Venom Snake l ANIME
Dragonball Super Master Stars Piece: Son Goku Figure l DRAGONBALL SUPER
Fate/Extra CCC: Saber “Bride” RAH Figure l FATE/STAY NIGHT
Final Fantasy XII Play Arts Kai: Fran Action Figure l FINAL FANTASY
Daft Punk “White Suits” Bearbrick 2-Packs l KUBRICKS & BEARBRICKS
Daft Punk “White Suits” RAH Figures l MUSIC
Mega Man Nendoroid l MEGA MAN
Kirby’s Dream Land: Kirby Nendoroid l NINTENDO
Movie Realization Star Wars Action Figures l STAR WARS
Getter Robot: Getter 1 Scale Figure l THREEA/THREEZERO


COLLECTIBLES & NOVELTIES
DC Heroes: Deathstroke Mighty Wallet l DC HEROES
DC Heroes: Harley Quinn Head Bank l DC HEROES
Marvel Heroes: Baby Groot Figural Bank l MARVEL HEROES
Deadpool Pint Glass Set l MARVEL HEROES
SHIELD: Hydra Molded Mug l MARVEL HEROES
SHIELD: Hydra Heat Change Mug l MARVEL HEROES


GAMES
Star Trek: Frontiers Board Game l WIZKIDS/NECA

Fangoria #344

Elvira proves she still has what it take to titillate on this issue of Fangoria.  She 'wraps it' all up as a very sexy Mummy.

Look for the other horrific features in this issue:

PREVIEW: “TALES OF HALLOWEEN” Axelle Carolyn and Neil Marshall are part of the ultimate cinematic All Hallows’ celebration.
PREVIEW: “DEATHGASM” Jason Lei Howden’s heavy-metal bash is not just about the climax, but gruesome peaks throughout.
PREVIEW: “A CHRISTMAS HORROR STORY” The darker side of Yuletide comes early this year in an intertwined anthology.
FEATURE: “COOTIES” Elijah Wood et al. face rotten kids in Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott’s splatter comedy.
FEATURE: WAKALIWOOD HORROR, PART ONE In the heart of Africa, a grassroots film scene has taken a sometimes bloody shape.
FEATURE: “SOME KIND OF HATE” The revenge of the bullied has a supernatural edge, courtesy of filmmaker Adam Egypt Mortimer.
RETROSPECTIVE: “SATAN’S CHILDREN,” PART TWO The Florida-based team killed themselves staging bizarre deaths on a tiny budget.
NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND: “CALL GIRL OF CTHULHU” Chris LaMartina mixes the scary, sexy and silly sides of H.P. Lovecraft in one movie.
INTERVIEW: ELVIRA She’s been the biggest thing in horror hosting for decades. Plus: Elvira’s weird world of merchandise and an exclusive centerspread poster!
MINIFEATURE: “THE DIABOLICAL” Ali Larter tries to protect her family from a most unnatural home invasion.
INTERVIEW: TRISTAN RISK The “American Mary” actress is a woman of many, often unusual faces and roles.
PREVIEW: “THE FINAL GIRLS” Todd Strauss-Schulson directs a new highpoint of the meta-slasher subgenre. Plus: “Final” words from star Taissa Farmiga.
MINIFEATURE: AFTER DARK’S “SUSPENSION” Jeffery Lando’s twist on teen terror is one of eight new films to die for.
DIARY OF THE DEB: “DOLLFACE” In her latest killfest, Debbie faces a villain who’s anything but cute.
MINIFEATURE: “HOARDER” Sneaking into a creepy house gets this novel’s characters into a real mess.
MINIFEATURE: “RECOVERING 1940s HORROR CINEMA” A long-ignored decade in genre history gets its due from assorted authors.
ON SET: “YAKUZA APOCALYPSE” As Takashi Miike pits vampires against gangsters, Fango is in the thick of it.
ON SET: “OLD 37” When Kane Hodder and Bill Moseley play ambulance-driving brothers, stay off the road!
FEATURE: “RAGE” An award-winning frightfest about a motorcycle-riding madman has yet to drive into release.
FEATURE: THE I IN ANTICHRIST This addendum to Ken W. Hanley’s new book will help Satan’s spawn feel more secure.
INTERVIEW: DANI FILTH The Cradle of Filth frontman expresses his love of scary stuff through music.
FIRST RITES Elvira: horror’s gateway drug
POSTAL ZONE Anarchy from the UK
MONSTER INVASION Foster fear in “June”; “Electric Boogaloo” chronicles Cannon
VHS YES! “Auntie Lee’s Meat Pies” have a funny taste

THE VIDEO EYE OF DR. CYCLOPS Grindhouse’s deluxe Blu-rays of “The Beyond” and “Cannibal Ferox”

Friday, October 16, 2015

Avengers Age Of Ultron

I'm a huge Marvel Comics movie fan-especially movies done by Marvel's owner: Disney Studios.

This past summer Avengers Age Of Ultron hit the Silver Screen and it was a runaway hit.
In this second Avengers movie the team of Captain America, The Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Iron Man and Thor mesh perfectly as a team.

It really shows in the opening sequences against their attack on Baron Von Strucker's compound.  Talk about a classic Avengers take down!

As the threats around the world escalate Tony Stark takes upon himself to create a program that will guide and direct his robotic minions to become the true guardians of the world. 

Unfortunately the new program-downloaded from alien technology- becomes sentient and takes the form of Ultron.

Ultron's solution to world peace is to wipe out the human race.

Needless to say that's not what Tony had in mind.  Soon he, and his fellow Avengers, come face-to-face with Ultron's army, including Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch.

The Avengers get their behinds handed to them.  Only when The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver switch sides do the Avengers prevail.

Avengers Age Of Ultron is a high octane, comic book come to life in what is, in my opinion, the best of the Avengers movies and one of the best Marvel movies created.  I can't wait until Avengers 3 and 4.

Kudos for Marvel and Disney for tying all of their movies together into a cohesive whole.
Extras include several featurettes about the film, a gag reel, deleted scenes and more on the Disney Digital HD download.  

Crimson Peak The Art Of Darkness

Director Guillermo Del Toro is well-known for his atmospheric and visually exciting films.  Pacific Rim, Hellboy 1 and 2 and Pan's Labyrinth are just a few of the hit films he has co-written/directed.

His latest film: Crimson Peak, explores the world of the supernatural-specifically hauntings.
Set in a creepy old mansion, the story follows a newly wed young woman who has the ability to see ghosts since childhood.  Crimson Peak (the estate) is ripe with spooks and poltergeists-but are they there to scare or to warn?

Insight Editions and author Mark Salisbury explore the ghastly and ghostly realm of Crimson Peak in a brand new oversize hardbound book filled with full color photos and insightful text.

Every aspect of the film is explored: special effects, costumes, set design, character selection and backgrounds, interviews, period pieces, pre and post production and much more.

As a designer I'm especially impressed by the tipped in matt documents and letters, fold-outs, spot varnishes and translucent lead pages right down to the spot varnished door knocker on the front cover.

Everything about this book shouts, "first class!"


Check it out yourself and I'm sure you'll agree it is a veritable mansion filled with visuals treats.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Henry Franks

Henry remembers nothing before the accident that killed his mother and somehow miraculously let him live.

Scars criss-cross his entire body and yet somehow he survived.

He's not even sure Henry is his real name.  That's what his 'father' tells him-if he is his real father.  He doesn't trust him, especially after discovering some hidden photographs in the basement and that his father disappears some evenings.

Henry suffers from anxiety, headaches and disturbing dreams that don't click with what he's being told about his pre-amnesia life.

Where does his father spend his evenings? What is he hiding?  What did he mean when he said, "I've done everything for you and your mother."

Henry and his father live in a dark and rundown house.  Most evenings they eat hamburgers for supper.  Henry takes his pills, goes to school and stays to himself.  After the accident whenever he cuts or injures himself he feels nothing.

When his neighbor and classmate: Justine, tries to get him to open up and be her friend at first he resists.  When she presses him about his past he reluctantly begins to share with her some of his discovers and dreams.

Little does he realize he has drawn her into a mystery that threatens both their lives.
When a series of brutal murders occur close to where Henry lives even more questions are raised.  How are the murders related to Henry, his father and the 'accident' Henry survived?  What of his deceased mother?

Henry Franks by author Peter Adam Salomon and published by Flux is a real nail-biter and I love it!  It's not often I'm caught totally off-guard by a book but Henry Franks managed to do it.
This murder/mystery draws you in and grabs you daring you to turn the next page. 

 'Remember' the name: Henry Franks.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Torino, 240Z, Stingray and Eclipse

Revell Models has just released four 1/25 Scale car models that are perfect for those over 10 years old to assemble.

Get ready for some high-speed action as four powerful racecars rev up their engines, hit the gas pedals and give you a run for your money
.
Each model features rubber tires, custom wheels, full engine, interior and exterior details and so much authenticity they look like they could drive off on their own!

Full instructions make assemble, decaling and painting a breeze and with their expertly crafted parts, that easily detach from part trees, cleanup and assemble are a breeze.

First up is the Ford Torino from the classic TV series Starsky and Hutch.

This two-tone red and white Muscle Machine is trimmed to the max in chrome.

There’s a reason why bad guys feared this car.  It’s powerful dual carb 351 c.i. engine made it a bullet on wheels. Throw in its dome light, police radio and its powerful chassis and crooks give up the minute they spot it.

One of the cars I wished I’d owned when I was young was a BRE Datsun 240Z.  Datsun was really coming into its own in the 1960s.  Long gone was the stigma of things made in Japan.
  
Japanese import cars were slowly taking over the car industry and for good reason.

Dependability, precise assemble, innovative designs and quality all combined to make Datsun cars a young man’s dream.

The BRE Datsun 240Z was smaller than most American made cars at the time but it didn’t lack in power.

Front and rear spoilers, a six-cylinder engine and a power packed engine coupled with impressive body trim, custom paint job and interior details that would make Detroit auto manufactures blush made the 240Z a hit.

America’s dream sport car perfectly describes the 2014 Corvette Stingray.  Sleek, fast and all business make this sporty number one with car enthusiasts.

Chrome custom wheels, a powerful V-8 engine, wraparound low cut windows and aerodynamic body design along with its inset grill and uni-body bumpers all combine to make the stingray one fish other car owners will never catch.

Fast & Furious describe Brian’s Eclipse to a tee.  Lime green with black and white accents, rear spoiler and a low ride chassis allows this beauty to huge the road and curves.

Custom wheels, a custom grill and it’s performance-enhanced chassis and accessories make the exterior and interior super detailed Eclipse Fast & Furious.

The Ages Of..., Boy Wonder and Superhero Renaissance

There are comic book readers and then there are 'Comic Book Readers!"

I consider myself the later.

I am a serious collector of and historian of comic books in the United States.  I've been collecting since I was five years old (I'm 62 now) and I think I know a thing or two about comic books, their writers, artists, publishers and history.

Still, one is never too old to learn new things and comic book history and facts are no exceptions.  Finding new and interesting commentaries, articles and books about comic books is difficult.

Unfortunately many new books are all fluff and stuffing.  Not so the new 'The Ages Of..' series of books from McFarland & Company, Inc.

I got really excited when I saw the various titles on McFarlane's website.  Finally, some serious discussions about comic books or as I refer to them as 'sequential art.'

Of the series I have in my comic book ink discolored fingers are five 'Essays on the (insert name here) in Changing Times.'  They include Iron Man, Wonder Woman, The Avengers, The X-Men and Superman.  An Incredible Hulk volume is also available. All are edited by Joseph J. Darowski.

Each title goes into extensive detail about the individual characters starting from their origins and their transition and evolution through the decades.

Discover how each character has changed to fit the times and reflects the events in each decade.  More than simple history essay collections the books delve into the personalities, supporting casts, locales and every other facet of each character.

Each book makes for fascinating reading and (SURPRISE!) I learned a lot.  Imagine that!
Kristen L. Geaman edits a collecting of essays about Dick Grayson, Boy Wonder as his years as Robin and Nightwing and his long association with Batman.

This book gets into the nitty gritty of what makes the Boy Wonder tick and how he has changed over the years and what influences caused that change.

The book focuses entirely on the original kid sidekick and brings to light many surprising and little know facts. 

Another set of critical essays are contained in 'Grant Morrison and the Superhero Renaissance' edited by Darragh Greene and Kate Roddy.

Long known for his innovative and groundbreaking comic book stories, Morrison's long and impressive list of works are analyzed and taken apart piece by piece by a number of essayists.

Discover how Morrison's 'unique' take on the world of comic books and the characters that inhabit them has successfully transformed and changed the industry for good.

Originally one of DC Comics' original 'British Isles' imports' Morrison has brought more maturity and richer stories to the medium of comic books that were long considered juvenile.

Power Sound FX Donnie's Combat Gear

As a kid what better way to play a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle than to dress up as one-especially for Halloween?

Playmates Toys presents its ninja battle sounds Power Sound FX Donnie's Combat Gear!
Just imagine if you were a kid and you get Donnie's staff, bandana and throwing star-all in one awesome package!

Swing your staff, tap it  and listen to the combat sounds and Donnie's voice as he shouts commands!

Made of tough plastic and cloth, the Power Sound FX Donnie's Combat Gear set is just as tough and durable as the TMNT.  Get ready to rumble as Donnie and be sure check out the other Combat Gear sets featuring the other TMNT.

Cowabunga!

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Ascension and Legends

From Lionsgate comes two new DVDs of varying types.

First up is the popular miniseries episodes that follows the exploits of human colonizers halfway into their century missions.

The miniseries examines what happens to a group of individuals, isolated form Earth, contained in a self-supporting environment traveling to a distant star.

Add to the drama when a murder is committed and the surviving crew members must cope with the fact that one of their own is a cold-blooded killer.

Tensions rise, suspicions surface and emotions flare.  Has mankind left Earth only to take his vices, sins and crimes with him?

Discover why this series is taking the science fiction community by storm.

Extras include a behind-the-scenes look at the series.

They are legends.  Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Hank Aaron and Ted Williams defined baseball.
In Baseball Legends each legendary player is given his due with each featured in a personal movie.

learn all about each player's early life and career and what made them the legends they.
Each overcame the odds in their drive to be the best baseball player in the league.  Over two hours of bonus features are included.

It's a home run series of films every baseball fan is sure to want.

Falcon, Hornet and Flanker

Measuring in a whooping 1/48 Scale, Skill Level 3 (Age 14+) and consisting of 140 pieces nicely packaged on part trees with little or no flashing and super-detailed Hasegawa Hobby Kits F-16IQ Iraqi Air Force Fighting Falcon Limited Edition fighter jet model kit is the bomb!

Designed to operate in hot and dry desert conditions the Fighting Falcon (initiated in 2010 with a partial shipment in 2014) is a lean, mean, streamline bullet of an aircraft that boasts some serious firepower. 

A twin seat cockpit  is powered by a GE F110 power plant.  It's vastly superior aerial combat capabilities are enhanced by its radar jamming capability and radar guided missiles.

Extra fuel storage allows the aircraft to stay in the air longer to engage the enemy or perform air to ground attacks.  Its larger dorsal fin and state-of-the-art electronics have increased the weight of the aircraft but have little effect on its firepower, flight and maneuverability. Additional weaponry includes superior strafing capabilities.

Like all Hasegawa hobby Kits the Falcon kit is easy to assemble, paint and decal if the enclosed instructions are followed.

The 1/72 Scale F/A-18E Super Hornet "VFA-27 Royal Maces CAG 2015" Limited Edition model kit is considered a 'heavy hitter' of Carrier Air Wing Five.

A descendant of over 50 years of Royal Maces service the Super Hornet performs double duty: air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. 

With its 20mm cannons, wing armaments, twin cockpit, extra fuel capability and powerful engine the Super Hornet fairly buzzes about the enemy and delivers a sting few (if any) survive.

Display the aircraft model with wheels up or down, cockpit opened or closed and with or without weapons.

No matter how you serve it, its an impressive model kit fashioned after a equally impressive aircraft.  Two decal configurations are include.
           
Another 1/48 Scale aircraft model from Hasegawa Hobby Kits is the Su-27 Flanker Ukrainian Air Force Digital Camouflage Limited Edition for ages 14 and up.

Considered one of the most maneuverable fighter aircraft in the sky the Flanker is one of only a few aircraft able to perform the "Pugachev's Cobra": where the nose of the aircraft rears up and back to vertical before lunging forward.

A cobra or rattlesnake have nothing on this aircraft!

Capable of speeds above Mach 2 the Flanker's superior armament makes this twin tail fin and engine monster of the sky a snake ready to strike!

Its long bowed fuselage allows the aircraft to perform maneuvers that shame other similar aircraft.  Fast, agile and armed to the teeth the Flanker is impressive no matter how you stack it.

With its multi-blue paint scheme it makes it almost impossible to see until it's too late!