Friday, August 30, 2019

Hurricane--Trust God

Because of our human nature to want to be in charge of all things it's difficult to trust God and his plans.

I know I struggle with letting go-I'm a very regimented and want everything to be under my control.

In my 66 years I've painfully come to the conclusion that nothing is really under my control.  Oh, I may make my plans, figure out a strategy and occasional have the results turn out the way I want-but not always-in fact, for most of the time.

My wife and I live in northeast Florida, along the coast.

Hurricane Dorian looks to be set to hit central Florida and possibly follow the east coast or mid-state up to our area with category one hurricane force.

The result is sure to be flooding in certain areas, power outages and some damage.

Fortunately we live inland on a high area, meaning we will have little if no flooding.

The winds are another matter.  We could see come property damage.

Am I worried.  I try not to be.  I figure if God created the entire universe that he has the hurricane under control.

My wife and I have prayed for safety not only for ourselves but our family, friends and all the residents of Florida.

Regardless of the outcome, God is in control.

Another truth I've learned in my Christian life is when things seem to be going haywire and look bad, God always manages to bring some good out of any situation.

Of course, at the time the incident happens it does not seem that way.  I've seen so many positive things come out of difficult and bad situations that it boggles the mind.

Can I stop a hurricane?  Do I control the weather or anything else for that matter?

Let's be honest, despite whatever temporary cosmetic changes I make to myself or to my surroundings, in the long run things a re totally out of my control.

Trust God, place your life in his hands.  He's never let me or my family down no matter how bleak things may appear.

If you don't know Jesus Christ as your Savior I encourage you to consider his free gift of salvation. 

It's simple: admit you are a sinner and ask God to forgive you. No matter how many good deeds you do they will never be enough to to save you and get you to Heaven.  Salvation is by grace, not by works, so man can boast.

God does all the work and he will forgive you.  Your eternal rest in Heaven is guaranteed-no one can take it away-ever.  You won't be sorry.

Thursday, August 29, 2019


You have to admit it couldn’t have been an easy task to compete with the comedic genius of the late Robin Williams as the Genie is Disney’s Aladdin animated move.

But, Will Smith pulled it off and made the role his own in the delightful live action Aladdin movie that proved to be a big hit with Disney and movie lovers.

Incredible and lavish set, spectacular wardroom and costumes, eye-popping practical and special visual effects and an all-star cast made Aladdin another big hit of Disney's live action adaptations of it animated classics.

It’s a literal magic carpet ride through one of the most beloved classic of all time where good versus the ultimate evil in a power play where the winner becomes the master of magic.

Besides the original classic tunes the movie had a few musical extras including some breath-taking and delightful musical number and dance routines.

The Disney Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Code Combo Pack also includes bloopers, deleted scenes, a deleted song and making of featurette and much more.

It’s time to let the Genie out of the bottle in this magical and musical romp that great for the whole family.

For you Aladdin completists out there be sure to pick up the newly re-released, original animated Aladdin movie starring Robin Williams as the voice of Geneie.

The Blu-ray/DVD/Digial Combo Pack included lots of bonuses-some never seen before.

Look for deleted scenes, a Sing-Along version of the film, an alternate ending, a featurette hosted by the original voice actor of Aladdin, outtakes, commentary and much more.

Wheels On The Bus, Mr. Pop!, Banana Blast and Spellcasters Game

One of our grandson’s favorite songs is ‘Wheels On The Bus.”

It almost drives us to distraction because once he starts singing it-it never ends!
Be that as it may, I am excited by the new Wheels On The Bus Game from Goliath Games/Pressman Toy Corporation.

Made for kids three years old and up, our grandson will have to wait a few more months before he can play, but I know he will love it!

Up to four players can play at one time. 

The game requires three AAA batteries in order to play the Wheels On The Bus song and various sound effects.

Here’s how it works.

Players take turns going around the circular road.  Kids listen to the music and with a little luck one player will gather all the parts they need for the bus and win.

Kids can sing along, dance and have a merry old time as they ’open and shut’, go ‘round and round’, swish swish’ and ’beep! beep!’

The game teaches kids to follow instructions, play well with others, have fun singing and dancing and develops their motor skills.

Included in the game are an Electronic Singing Bus made out of durable and kid-tough plastic, a Game Board, 4 Movers and Mover Stands, 20 Tokens (5 Wheels, 5 Horns, 5 Wipers and 5 Doors) and Complete Instructions.

It’s more than a board game, it’s fun and excitement all rolled up in a colorful box.

I can remember one of my favorite toys growing up was Mr. Potato Head.
Many, many years ago, Mr. Potato Head used an actual potato and kids poked Mr. Potato Head’s face and body parts into the unfortunate spud.  Now a plastic potato is used.

What if I told you that there is a game that has build-a-face figure that is more fun then Mr. Potato Head and even more hilarious?

Up to four players race to build Mr. Pop!’s head before the timer goes pop! and Mr. Pop’s face shoots out all of its parts!

Using the Face Cards, kids race to put all of Mr. Pop!’s 23 Face Pieces on his head as he takes a nice warm bath.

He sits waist deep in his bath tube that includes a faucet Timer.

Once the Timer is pushed players play as fast as they can before Mr. Pop! goes pop!

Twelve Face Cards and Complete Instructions also come with the game.

Kids four years old and up compete in a clever new game that develops coordination, speed, fast thinking and teamwork.

It’s a fast, fun and frantic face-off that kids and adults are sure to enjoy playing.

Like all Goliath Games Mr. Pop! comes in a sturdy box, includes parts that are rugged and kid-friendly and are easy to learn and quick to play.

Are you ready to go bananas?

You will be once you play Banana Blast Game.

Up to five players who are four years old and up roll the dice and try to pick the most bananas.

But, be careful because Banana Joe The Monkey is greedy and wants all the bananas for himself.  Once time is up he jumps scattering the bananas everywhere!

Try to catch the flinging bananas and players can get a big bonus if they catch Banana Joe!

Along with the Complete Instructions there are a Jumping Monkey, a Banana Tree, 12 Bananas, 1  Die, a Sticker Sheet and loads of fun!

So if Banana Blast is the kind of game that ‘appeals’ to you be sure to ‘slip’ on over to your favorite store and pick yours up from the ‘bunch’ of Goliath Games available.

You heard me!  Quit ‘monkeying around!’

Who would had ever of thought that a series of books a young, orphaned warlock would spawn a multi-media empire featuring movies, toys, merchandise and games.

The newest Harry Potter game to hit store shelves is the Harry Potter Spellcaster Game straight from the Wizarding World.

Warlocks and witches (ages six years and older and up to eight players) play to prove who is the most proficient and accurate when it comes to casting spells.

It’s not as easy at it seems.  Each player uses the Large Plastic Wand, takes a card and by flicking and moving the Wand try to match the shape on the card selected.  Other players try to recognize it using the tiles.

The first player to recognize the spell on the tiles in front of them becomes the Spellcaster!

It takes skill, a good memory and some magical talent to earn the Barnabus Finkley Prize for Exceptional Spell-Casting.

It’s magical!

2019 Gold Sarcophagus Tin

Imagine if you will, you come across a mysterious golden box, decorated with embossed Egyptian symbols highlighted by a black background.

The tightly fitted lid promises a highly sought after treasure inside once it is removed.

Carefully you remove the tightly-sealed, clear covering over the box, gingerly and oh so carefully pry open the lid and your treasure awaits!

Konami’s Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game 2019 Gold Sarcophagus Tin is indeed a treasure YGO players are sure to want.

It is designed to limit the amount of wear and tear sustained by the Cards within.

The Tin comes with 5 Prismatic Secret Rare Variant Cards:

2 Cards of 6 with art by Kazuki Takahashi.

2 Cards of 5 Cards from the original Yu-Gi-Oh! animated series, which includes the 3 Egyptian God Cards.

1 of 3 new World Premiere Cards designed to be usable in any Deck.

Each Tin has 3 Mega-Packs from Booster Sets Flames of Destruction, Dark Saviors, Cybernetic Horizon, and Soul Fusion, like Danger!? Tsuchinoko!?, Knightmare Mermaid, and Called by the Grave.

Each 16-Card Mega-Pack has 12 Commons,1 Rare, 1 Super Rare, 1 Ultra Rare, and 1 Prismatic Secret Rare.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Psi-Lords #1 and Valiant Universe Handbook 2019 Edition

Man!   Am I ever out of touch!

It’s been three years since I picked up a new comic book to read and I have a lot of catching up to do.

Several years ago one of my all-time favorite comic book publishers resurfaced as a new and improved version.

That company was (and is) Valiant Comics/Entertainment.

I was a big fan/reader of Valiant Comics when the company first appeared in the early 1990s.  Sadly Valiant was a victim of the notorious ‘Speculator Craze’ and stopped publishing.  It resurfaced a few years later, but eventually that version disappeared too.

Several attempts were made to reinvigorate Valiant’s licensed properties from Gold Key-all of them lasted only a few months.

Then, several years ago Valiant was reborn. only this time the company concentrated on its original creations and the rest, as they say, is history.

Valiant has garnered a loyal band of fan/followers and continues to turn out some pretty impressive stories.

Valiant was kind enough to send me a few examples of it books and I gotta say-I am impressed.

In Psi-Lords #1, with story and art by Fred Van Lente and Renato Guedes, readers find themselves in a prison.  But not just any prison and holding not just any prisoners.

Four individuals: Tank, Beacon, Artisan and Hazard wake up in a strange place completely unaware as to how they got there, who they are and what they are capable of.

All of them find themselves communicating telepathically with a strange voice in their heads that identifies itself as Scion.

Of the four Artisan has a vague memory of being a Maker-a person capable of constructing and deconstructing things.

Artisan uses his muscle memory and manages to break free and almost perishes in the process.

Fortunately Scion triggers Artisan's latent power and as the other prisoners watch on they too discover their forgotten powers and all manage to escape.

There’s lots of mayhem and bloodshed.

They follow Scion’s mysterious ‘voice’ and find him also a captive.

He begins to fill them in on their true identities only to be struck down by a guard.

It’s now left up to the quartet to escape their prison and find the mysterious Psi-Lords if they have any chance of recovering what’s been lost to them.  If only it were that simple.....

I like the story, the art, the concept and especially the coloring.  This is not you grandma’s Psi-Lords comic book.  Get ready for some action, adventure and mysteries galore in this new hit from Valiant.

There’s also a Killers preview included.

As I said before, I have a lot of catching up to do. Thanks Valiant for providing your Valiant Universe Handbook 2019 Edition.

Containing more than 311 illustrations and bios, the Handbook provides the perfect means by which I can brush up on the Valiant Universe. 

It’s an extremely impressive compilation of art and text that delves in-depth about the people, places and things of the Valiant Universe.  Bravo!

Bull and NCIS

CBS is firing on all cylinders when it comes to its TV series.  My wife and I watch a boatload of their shows each week.

What we both like about their drama/action/suspense shows is they do not insult our intelligence.

Granted TV shows have to be a little over-the-top and melodramatic to keep viewers’ attention, but that is to be expected.

It was a sad day when actor Michel Weatherly departed NCIS.  His character: Anthony DiNozzo, was a favorite of ours.  He brought a real sense of the offbeat and individual charm to the role.

When the opportunity came about for him to leave the series and star in his own series: Bull, he took the opportunity and brought his own wit and charm to the role.

The show became and instant hit.

Now in its Fourth Season, the Third Season DVD collection has just come out and its a doozey!

Lots of things happened: Bull returns to work after his heart attack, some far-reaching and ground-breaking cases, the departure of a team member and the introduction of a new character and much more.

Filmed in New York, the series takes on different feel and atmosphere that when filmed in the confines of Los Angeles and a studio.  It’s grittier and much more realistic-both of which make the show a real standout.

The cast meshes perfectly and with Bull’s tendency to do the unexpected and attack and solve problems in his own unique manner it’s no wonder the show has become such a big hit.

All 22 episodes are included in the DVD collection as well as over 85 minutes of special features such as a retrospective of Season Three, character profiles, filming in New York and deleted and extended scenes.

As popular as the new Bull series is the original NCIS series is still my wife and my favorite prime time TV series.

Imagine a TV series that still turns out excellent episodes even after the departure of most of the original cast, the introduction of new cast members and an ever evolving and changing repertoire of episodes.

CBS/Paramount present the entire Sixteenth Season of NCIS containing over 75 minutes of extra goodies.

As longtime viewers my wife and I were completely blown away by the content of many of the episodes-especially the last episode cliffhanger.  Wow!

Mark Harmon as NCIS Special Leroy Jethro Gibbs continually amazes us with his ability to find new and interesting aspects of his character. 

All of the cast members mesh together as a unite/family with all the trappings: conflicts, caring and all of the other aspects of a family.

Two key moments include the introduction of a new cast member and the semi-departure of a much-loved senior cast member.

The Sixteenth Season delivers some of the best episodes of the series with some real surprises, shocking reveals and resolutions and unexpected moments.

Extras include several featurettes, commentaries, a retrospective of the Sixteenth Season and first episode of the Star Trek: Discovery and Magnum P.I.

Monday, August 26, 2019

What Now?

Over the last couple of years I’ve watched review samples sent from publishers and manufacturers dwindle in number.

The reasons are numerous: cost of products, cut-back on review samples available, increasing emphasis on HUGE blog or website traffic requirements, revolving door personnel hiring and firing, the decline of readership as opposed to video reviews, favoritism and so forth.

Knowing the facts doesn’t solve my problem--I need more review material to arrive--a more varied selection of review material.

I’ve done the usual: sent out emails, made phone calls, pleaded, prayed and offered to provide free ad space--nothing is working.  I even added a Facebook page, a Twitter site and a Linked-In site to bring in more traffic.

So...if anyone who is out there who is employed by publishers or toy, diecast, model kit, trading card and the like manufacturers that want your merchandise reviewed-send samples.

I cannot review items from press releases or photos.

Boyce McClain's Collectors’ Corner has been around since 1992-I tend to believe I know what I am doing when it comes to writing reviews.  I’ve written thousands of them!

Any help would be appreciated.

A BIG thank you!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

So Much...Brain Hurts!

Why oh why did I have to retire!?  I can’t afford to buy any new comic books, toys or other collectibles.  Yet, now is the perfect time to buy stuff!

There is so much going on in the comic book, fantasy and sci-fi worlds when it comes to books, toys, games and the like.

It breaks my heart when I see all the incredible figures, statues, comic books, model kits, memorabilia, and the like filling store shelves.

So close and yet so far away.

I want it all!

Each month I get the latest PDF of Diamond Distribution’s Previews magazine spotlighting all the cool stuff coming out in month to come.

What to do, what to do!?

Not only do I want all the goodies coming out each month but also I wish I could find a hidden stash somewhere of old comic books and toys.

Why is it people who don’t collect always manage to snag the good stuff?

Seems incredibly unfair.

Such a quandary!  If you collect new stuff-it’s expensive.  If you collect old stuff-it’s astronomically high!

I can only hope that out there somewhere is a cache of old comic books and toys that someone will let go for practically nothing.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Fists Of The Gadgets

Ya got fists! Ya got gadgets!  You’re all set!

In the new Konami Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game: Fists Of The Gadgets, five Card Booster Foil Packs brain and brawn combine to bring down the most fearsome of foes.

If physical force is not enough, throw in some good old multi-purpose gadgets and you’re sure to be a winner.

Knuckle under or make a who’s-it, what’s-it or thing-a-ma-bob and nobody (and I mean NOBODY) better mess with you!

Go! Go! Gadget Go!

Monday, August 19, 2019

Season 10 NCIS: Los Angeles

Introduced on the original NCIS TV series, NCIS: Los Angles soon premiered in it own series and proved highly successful for CBS/Paramount.

Set in The City of Dreams/The City of Angels: Los Angeles, the series explores the seedier side of the city.

If you’ve been watching the news the past couple of years Los Angeles has become a city under siege.  Drugs, illegal aliens, homelessness, rampant corruption and sex trafficking-to name a few-the city has it all.

The metropolis has become more a Living Hell and City of Nightmares.

Imagine having to fight crime in such a city.

That’s just what the NCIS; Los Angeles special agents do.

In the Tenth Season they dealt with the Mexican drug cartel, terrorists, murder, a chemical weapon threat and just about every other kind of conceivable danger imaginable.

There were some good times: a wedding, a fundraiser and other day-to-day events that counterbalance the crimes they encounter everyday.

The entire 24 episodes come in a DVD collection along with Special Features: several features, deleted scenes, extended scenes and premiere episodes of Star Trek: Discovery and SEAL Team.

Mayans M.C.

American TV has progressed over the past several years.  No longer are shows limited to predominately white or black cast members.

Asians, Middle Eastern and other ethnic groups are popping up on popular TV series and some are starring in their own shows.

One group that has often cropped up on TV programs since the medium began is Hispanics, primarily Mexicans.

Unfortunately they tended to be portrayed very stereotypically.

Thanks to Fox Studios a new breed of TV show has emerged starring a cast of Mexican actors.

The series is Mayans M.C. and over its First Season (comprised of ten episodes) viewers were privileged to see Mexican people as they should be seen-as everyday ordinary people (some good, some bad) who struggle with the same wants and needs as all of us do.

Taking place approximately four years after the events of Sons of Anarchy, the series it is set hundreds of miles away in the fictional California border town of Santo Padre.

The First Season finds Ezekiel "EZ" Reyes, a prospect in the Mayan Motorcycle Club, coping with the violence that destroyed his (and his family’s) American.

Driven by vengeance he finds himself embroiled in a life he never asked for and can never escape.  This is not a series for kids because it is very graphic and violent.

The entire First Season comes in a DVD set that also includes several featurettes about the creation of the series, the Mayan’s Signature Bikes, promotional clips and more.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Retrospective Scenes From A Sentimental World

OK, I’m about to geek out!  I love pop culture art.  Comic books, animation, Manga, Anime and other types of fantasy, sci-fi and ‘dark’ art fascinate me.

It’s everywhere-most of it extreme and in your face.

But, to able to bring everyday scenes to life takes a special kind of artistic talent.

PIE International presents a book that does just that.
Retrospective Scenes From A Sentimental World presents scenes illustrated and designed by up and coming creators is incredible.

I am absolutely in awe of each artist’s ability to take simple interior and exterior scenes, populate them and create a sense of wonder and amazement.

Whether created by traditional means or on the computer, each scene is packed full of details and subtle imagery that I could barely take my eyes.

Such beauty and talent!

I only wish I had a smidgen of the talent displayed in this wonderful, colorful and inspiring collection of work.

The book is printed on high quality paper using the most advanced high-tech printing possible.  Full-color bleed art, spot illustrations and page-framed art are carefully arranged to offer the best visual impact.

Lean on text, the book lets its illustrations tell the full story.

I highly recommend this book.

Friday, August 16, 2019

The Bob’s Burgers Recipe Box

Are you hungry for a burger?  Not just any burger, but a burger to beat all burgers.  The burgermeister of burgers.  A big, beefy, behemoth of a burger that legends are made of.

Then get ready to whet your appetite, break out the napkins and the condiments, get your taste buds primed and ready and loosen your belt because Bob’s Burgers is about to serve up some of most satisfying, appetizing and downright belly-busters burgers imaginable.

Universe/Rizzoli present The Bob’s Burger Recipe Box by Lori Bouchard and the writers of Bob’s Burgers that offers Real Recipes For Joke Burgers.  Recipes are provided by Cole Bowden.

Thirty-five recipes fit in a full-color hinged box that is sure to accessorize any kitchen.

Just like the show some of the burger, bistro beauties are exotic, unusual, unforgettable and downright delicious!

You can even write and share your own burger recipes with the provided designed cards.

It’s the perfect boxed-set of a burger bounty.  Bob’s burgers are the best!

Godzilla King Of The Monsters

The big ‘G’ is back and this time ‘G’ brought some friends!

When giant god-sized monsters suddenly start to appear and wreck havoc it appears all is lost.  Destruction and death on a large-scale theaten to destroy the human race and all of its accomplishments.  Is there nothing that can be done?  Who can save us!

Despite its heroic efforts to combat the legendary behemoths the crypto-zoological agency Monarch is helpless to do anything.

Then there is Godzilla.  Is the giant lizard a threat or a savior?  Will Godzilla reign supreme against the likes of Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah?

Who will win?  Will the winner be the savior or the destroyer of mankind?

The new Godzilla King Of The Monsters Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Code Combo Pack from Warner Bros. will answer all questions.

The  spectacular movie comes complete with stunning visual effects, amazing settings and spectacular monsters.  The movie features an all-star cast, a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants story, great acting, a rock-your-socks-off soundtrack and some real and unexpected surprises.

Combo Pack Extras include:

A Visual Effects Feature
Monarch Locations
Monster Mythology
Three Featurettes
A Director Commentary
Deleted scenes
And More..

It’s a monster-sized movie menagerie that will mesmerize and satisfy monster-loving movie lovers.

Rokket Revolt

Get ready to be fired up and to blast off! 

With two extra monsters, new weapons and a knack for outsmarting and outfighting the strongest of foes the new Konami Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game Structure Deck Rokket Revolt revolution is in the air!

Just look what you get in each Structure Deck Rokket Revolt:

A  Preconstructed Deck of 40 Main Deck Cards and 6 Extra Deck Cards: 3 Ultra Rares, 4 Super Rares and 39 Commons
A Beginner's Guide
A Double-sided Playmat/Dueling Guide

Get ready to sock it, knock it, shock it and put it in the pocket with Rokket Revolt!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Where Art Thou DC and Marvel Comics?

I don’t purchase new comic books anymore.  I stopped when I retired three years ago primarily because I am on a fixed income and can no longer afford t0 shell out four or five dollars for one comic book, let alone a stack.

However, that does not mean I don’t keep up with all things comic books-primarily through YouTube, Twitter and other social network avenues.

About the last three or four months I’ve come across some disturbing news/rumors.

It seems that both DC and Marvel Comics are teetering on the edge and one or both may stop publishing comic books-at least in the conventional sense.

Comic book shops are closing left and right and comic book sales in general are plunging.  The Direct Market may soon become a thing of the past as publishers scramble to find new outlets to sell their comic books.

Surprisingly (to me at least) crowd funding has blossomed and more and more independent creators are looking to sell-publish.

DC Comics, a part of Time/Warner, which was recently purchased by AT&T, appears to becoming a victim of the bottom line.

AT&T has taken a good hard look at DC Comics and discovered that it is losing money.  As a result DC Comics has downsized, eliminating job positions, cutting back on publications, merging its Vertigo line into its DC Comics portfolio and struggling to bring sale numbers up.  

It’s even been suggested that DC Comics expands its publishing output to include TV show adaptations and to concentrate on big retail outlets like Walmart and the like-effectively cutting out the Direct Market.

Marvel Comics is in a similar situation.  Disney, who owns Marvel, is not happy with its sales figures.  In an attempt to bring on new readers Marvel went the SJW (Social Justice Warrior) route and wound up alienating many of its longtime fans and purchasers of its comic.

No one likes to be preached to.

In response Marvel increased its output of ’Alternate Covers’ catering to the speculator market and creating a false profit margin.

An increase in trade paperback reprints and collections, a cycling of new #1 issues almost twice a year and (as with DC) an almost complete disregard for its fan base has resulted in a plunge in its sales.

Comic fans have complained about SJW, high prices, too many cover variations, a preponderance of #1 issues and a total lack on both DC and Marvel’s part to recognize what the real problems are.

People want comic books to read to escape from reality, not to be slapped in the face with it.  No one likes a comic book writer to push their political or social issues stand or to put down anyone who disagrees with him or her.

Sadly many at Marvel and DC have forgotten that the fans are what keep them solvent.  Keep continuity and by all means introduce new minority and female characters, but don’t use them to replace existing characters.

Diversity is a good thing.  Constantly overstating the fact or pushing it continually will not endear it to fans.

Attacking traditions and vilifying those that disagree with personal political/social issues is not the way to sell comic books.

Slapping a different cover on a book does not change the interior art or story.  Initially it may sell comic books, but as time passes those who invested in said ‘Variants’ will be shocked when they time comes to resell their supposedly ‘hot’ books.  Sorry-no takers.

Collecting is fine.  Making a few extra bucks is OK.  But, isn’t reading and enjoying a comic book priority one?

If a comic book goes up in value, that’s a nice extra.

Ironically the big two have put in place a system that is slowly and inevitably putting them out of business.

I believe comic books will always be around-more digital than printed.  But, why limit the collector’s choices by eliminating many titles and possibly publishers?

‘Nuff said!

Toy Story and Superhero Movie Guide

Unless you’ve been residing on another planet for the last ten years you are aware that superhero movies have taken over the Silver Screen.

While the super folk have cropped up in movies and TV shows for some time it wasn’t until the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicked into high gear that the genre really took off.

To be sure Marvel had some success with superhero movies in previous years with the X-Men, Spider-Man, Blade, etc. but it was the first Iron Man movie that catapulted the super hero movie into the spotlight.

DC Comics had kick-started the superhero movie craze with the release of its first Superman movie in the late 1970s and in the late 1980s with Batman, directed by Tim Burton. 

For nearly a full decade afterwards superhero movies languished until the first X-Men movie premiered.

Of course not only DC and Marvel superhero movies were produced-there were others based on smaller publishers‘ properties, but overall most movies were movies starring characters from the big two.

The Ultimate Superhero Movie Guide, from Carlton Books and author Helen O’Hara, examines all the superhero movies starting with Superman I and II and proceeding up until present day.

Full-color photos complement the comprehensive text, which examines the movies, their characters (good and bad), sets, production secrets and more.  It is ‘The Definitive Handbook For Comic Book Film Fans’.
It’s hard to believe that the first Toy Story movie came out almost a quarter of a century ago.  Recently the forth film in the franchise premiered and kids loved it!  In it a new character, Forky, is introduced along with some other lovable toys.

Toy Story: Woody’s Augmented Reality Adventure is more than a book about the key characters in the movie, it actually seems to come alive!

Download the free App and suddenly the pages jump out in 3D, Buzz’s buttons activate his wings, laser and sounds, Hamm fills with coins and more.

Collect the reality clues and unlock a Toy Story 4 character!  It’s more than a book; it’s a whole new world of adventure filled with excitement, lights, sounds and fun chances to interact with the characters.

The toys are alive!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Alien and Men In Black

Rarely does a film come about that changes the genre in which it is placed.  When a film manages to change not one, but two genres it is extremely rare.

Science Fiction and Horror films have always been popular with film-goers.

But, when a director and writer successfully combines the two and tweaks and creates a whole new movie-going experience audiences sit up and take notice.

Alien is one such movie. 

Everything clicked with this film: the story, the art, the sets, the costumes, the antagonists and the conclusion.
Titan Books The Making Of Alien by J. W. Rinzler: is the ultimate oversize, hardbound book about the making of the film.

The stark white cover with the enclosed image of a female crew member suited up in a spacesuit and constrained by a small opening is complemented by the large ALIEN text hovering above the scene. 

Just as impressive as the cover the interior pages are brimming with full color and black and white pre and post production photos and art, costume and interior designs, creature concept sketches,
miniatures, set photos, character spotlights, storyboards, behind-the -scenes cast and crew consolations and recollections and much more.

Hundreds of pages contains a bountiful collection of art and photos, exhaustive text on the making of the film, production notes, commentaries, script development and other written and illustrated fragments and outlines responsible for the ultimate completion of the ground-breaking film.

Now, forty years after the film aired it is still as fresh and viable as the day it first was shone.

The book contains a remarkable account of the how and why of the film with fascinating eye-candy and fun and sometimes little shared facts and accounts about the film.

Just as impressive as the Alien book is the MIB Men In Black: The Official Visual Companion To The Films book by Lisa Fitzpatrick and Sharon Gosling.

All four films of the MIB franchise are examined, chronicled and categorized.

Every creature, location, agents, weapon, technology, costume and element seen in each film is examined, explained and spotlighted.

Check out the extensive sections on film deign, cast and crew choices and recollections, set designs, story development, clandestine shots of cast, crew, locations and more.

The oversize, beautiful silver book with embossed MIB logo and the spotlight varnished movie creatures and accessories background really makes this tribute to the Men In Black films stand out.

Discover the magic and expertise that made making the films possible.  From practical to special effects the MIB films had them all.  The book is a load of fun to look at and read and is guaranteed to provide hours of reading enjoyment.

Wonder Woman, Scooby-Doo! and Graphic Library

Strong and powerful woman are starring in more and more TV shows and movie.  Hollywood and the population in general have finally realized that the fairer sex has power all their own.

In the Bible woman have always been placed on the same level as men despite what some nay Sayers may state.

No where does it state that woman are any less important or capable than men.  Unfortunately men over the centuries have often taken advantage of and placed women in a subservient position.  Women are not property!

My lovely wife is the brains of our family.  Her organizational and financial skills put me to shame.  She is my partner, best friend and equal to me in every aspect. 

When decisions are made we always come to a consensus.  I may have one view and she another but we always compromise and agree on final decisions.

Why am I saying this?  Women are equals to men and should be treated as such. 

One of the first literary strong women ever created for mass media-in this case comic books was DC Comics Wonder Woman. 

The Amazon Princess is a true warrior: strong, wise, compassionate, adept at all forms of warfare and a master of diplomacy and always seeks peaceful solutions before conflict.

Capstone/Stone Arch Books presents four You Choose Wonder Woman books where 12 possible endings can be chosen by readers.

Wonder Woman takes on Movie Magic, Myth Monster Mayhem, a Crystal Quest and The Heart Of Hades.

Omar Lozano provides the colorful art for each book where the reader determines the final outcome of each tale.

For colorful graphic designed, illustrated stories about war and warfare be sure to pick up the four latest Graphic Library releases.

In The Unbreakable Zamperini a WWII survivor’s tale is told, Night Witches At War chronicles the exploits of Soviet Women WWII pilots, Navajo Code Breakers befuddled the Nazi during WWII with their unique secret messages and in U.S. Ghost Army discover how master illusionists fooled the Axis powers during WWII.

All four books are beautifully illustrated books are written for young readers. Packed with incredible facts and stories the books are a great way for young readers to experience the conflicts of World War II

I was in my early teens when the animated adventures of Scooby-Doo! hit the airways.

The canine crime-fighter and detective, aided by his human friends Shaggy, Velma, Freddy and Daphne could always be counted on to solve some creepy crimes that were usually populated with ghosts, ghoulies and monsters.

In Doo Good Together, Scooby-Doo!, written by Christianne Jones and illustrated by Comicup Design Studio SL,  Scooby and his gang help to clean up Crystal Cave.

It‘s a wonderful tale of how community involvement and cooperation can make neighborhoods and  towns can clean and bright resulting in healthy and productive living surroundings.

Can you believe its Scooby‘s 50th Anniversary!?

Cycle Of The Werewolf

What do you get when you combine the talent of a master of horrific fiction and an artist who puts the scare in scary?

Author Stephen King and illustrator Bernie Wrightson lend their respective horrific talents to create the ultimate werewolf story published by Gallery 13.

Originally published in 1984, Cycle Of The Werewolf chronicles when the man monster roamed a small town in Maine and terrorized its populace.

Whenever the full moon rises the werewolf attacks.  Can its hunger ever be abated and who will stop its bloodthirsty rampage?

Stephen King is at his horrific best and Bernie delivers an exquisite collection of black and white and color illustrations sure to chill your blood.

Welcome to one of the greatest horror collaborations of all time.

NCIS: New Orleans and Blue Bloods

It’s no secret that I am a big fan of many of the cop, detective and sci-fi shows from the 1980s.

I still watch reruns of Magnum P.I. and Quantum Leap.  I loved each series main stars: Tom Selleck and Scott Bakula. 

They always delivered great shows and terrific acting.

As a testament of how talented each of the actors are, they are both still around and star in two CBS TV series: NCIS: New Orleans and Blue Bloods.

In NCIS: New Orleans Scott plays Special Agent Dwayne Cassius Pride a rather unorthodox officer who heads a special criminal investigation team in The Big Easy--New Orleans.

CBS/Paramount has compiled the complete Fifth Season of the series into a 6-disc collection that features episodes as big, loud, outrageous and colorful as the location they are placed in.

Watch as the team takes on assassins, conspiracies, mysteries, oddball adversaries and a bevy of over-the top-criminals and cases that befit The Crescent City.

Included with the 24 episodes are several featurettes including a celebration of the series 100th episode, behind-the-scenes goodies, a retrospective of Season Five and more including the pilot episodes of Star Trek: Discovery and SEAL Team.

Tom Selleck has been and always be Thomas Magnum of Magnum P.I. to me.  The show ran eight years and I have each and every season in my DVD collection.

Blue Bloods marked a milestone for Tom.  He has starred in the series as Frank Reagan for nine years-beating out Magnum P.I. by one year with no end in sight.

Selleck plays New York Police Commissioner Frank Reagan whose family has followed in his crime-fighting footsteps.

As a multi-generation cop family the Reagans face crime every day and try to live normal lives on their off time-with mixed results.

Tom runs both his department and family as diplomatically as he can but like all families and occupations crises arrive.

In the Ninth Season Frank must contend with certain family members skirting the fine edge of justice, a rumbling in the long held family law enforcement profession, department rumblings, power plays and more.

Nearly one hour of special features is included on 22 episode collection on DVD.

If you love crime and punishment series with lots of drama, intrigue, action and a strong sense of family and comradeship then check out both DVD collections.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

The Avengers: Endgame

It all started just a little over ten years ago.

When Disney Studios acquired Marvel Comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe put a grandiose plan into action.

Beginning with first Iron Man movie starring Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man Marvel Studios would introduce to the world a plethora of Marvel Comic Book superheroes and villains.

Starting with Iron Man other movies starring the Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Dr. Strange, Antman, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther and Captain Marvel would continue the continuity that Iron Man put in place.

Two Avengers movies would also be produced further tying into the Marvel movie’s timeline. In addition several well-received Marvel TV series, both on Netflix and commercial TV, would also tie-in to the cinematic continuity.

The aforementioned movies also introduced audiences to the various supporting cast and villains born out of each title.

Slowly and methodically each film culminated with the villain Thanos’s mad plan to wipe out half of the universe’s life using the Infinity Gauntlet. 

His master plan to acquire all of the Infinity Gems was successful and ultimately he used its power to fulfill his goal.

In The Avengers: Infinity War the Avengers and the entire Marvel Universe suffered an incredible loss and death spread across the cosmos killing one half of the heroes, villains, civilians and all other life with the single snap of Thanos’s finger.

All was loss-or so it seemed.

Fortunately Dr. Strange calculated the odds and only one possible scenario out of millions could set things right.

In The Avengers: Endgame the Avengers are in disarray as half of their team was obliterated along with everyone else.  Five years have passed and an opportunity presents itself to set things straight and return everything to normal

In a last-ditch and desperate attempt to stop the mad Titan Thanos the Avengers set the plan into motion.

Will it work?

The Avengers: Endgame is the culmination of ten years of planning. 

Spectacular, mind-blowing and incredible cannot adequately describe this movie.

It’s is everything a movie should be.  Pathos, tragedy, humor, danger, intrigue, betrayal, death and new found alliances-every conceivable emotion and action is in play.

The visual effects are staggering to behold!  The pace of the film, the soundtrack, the incredible acting all combines to make The Avengers: Endgame the ultimate superhero film that sets the standard by which all of other films of the same genre must be graded against.

More films and TV series are in the works and it looks like the Marvel Universe has a long and profitable future in store.

The Avengers: Endgame Blu-ray/DVD release includes lots of extras. 

I really enjoy watching Blu-ray/DVD extras.  As a big movie buff, it fascinates me on how movie makers create special effects, polish story lines, are willing to share their gaffs and bloopers and allow viewers to see previously unviewed scenes.

Just look at what you get:

A tribute to Stan Lee, the father of Marvel Comic Books.
The importance of casting of Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man.
How Marvel Comics and Studio cast and created Captain America
Discovering just how tenacious Black Widow is.
Pivotal Deleted Scenes
A hilarious Gag Reel.
The creative journey of the Russo Brothers.
And more-so much more!

The Antares Maelstrom

I’ve been a Star Trek fan ever since the original TV series premiered on TV.  I’m what they refer to as a ‘Trekker’ not a ‘Trekkie’.  I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the original series and to be honest it is my favorite.

While The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise and Discovery are good shows, you can’t beat the original.

I am looking forward the new Picard series coming out next year.

Still the original series is my favorite and that’s why I’m so excited about the Star Trek The Original Series The Antares Maelstrom book written by Greg Cox and published by Gallery Books.

Without going into too much detail about the storyline I can say that the tale harkens back to the scripts from the original series. 

There’s a comfortable familiarity about the book.  The characters act and behave as they should-including the tit for tat between Spock and Bones, Scotty’s characteristic tender-loving care for his ship, Sulu’s impressive helmsman capabilities and humor, Chekov’s tall tales of Russia, and Uhura’s quick wit, farsightedness and efficiency.

It feels like a family-a family loved by Star Trek fans.

In the book the Enterprise is assigned (temporarily-or at least that was the plan) to the police a nearby space station and planet that are the gateway to the planet Baldur III where a rare energy source has recently been discovered. 

Drawn to the planet with hopes of striking it rich aliens from all over have flooded the nearby space station and planet surface in hopes of striking it rich.  Both the station and planet are the last jumping off points to Baldur III.

As with any frontier town with promises of untold riches pandemonium rages as supplies dwindle, tempers flair, utilities black out and the populace are anxious, hot-tempered and impatient.  Add to all that--sabotage.

It all makes for a recipe for disaster and only the Enterprise has any hopes of squelching the building tensions.  To do so requires traveling through the dangerous and mysterious Antares Maelstrom blocking the path to Baldur residing on its far side.

It’s classic Star Trek action, intrigue and just flat out fun in a wonderful new tale featuring some old and dear friends.

Get ready, ‘To boldly go!’

A Dog’s Journey

A dog’s job is never done.

That lovable dog Bailey (as voiced by Josh Gad) has discovered a new purpose in life.  After having lived a good life with his master Ethan, he, Ethan and Ethan’s wife Hannah are content to live quiet and happy lives on a Michigan Farm.

Ethan and Hannah’s granddaughter CJ has become Bailey’s newest playmate and life is good.  Until CJ’s mother Gloria decides to pursue her dreams in the big city.  She doesn't get along with her parents or approve of their lifestyle.

Ethan asks Bailey to watch over CJ in the city and so begins a series of adventures as Bailey-the dog who has lived many lives, CJ and her best friend Trent set out on their new lives filled with music, ups and downs, laughs and tears and eventually fulfillment in the most unexpected of places.

A Dog’s Journey arrives courtesy of Universal Pictures with its brand new Blu-ray/DVD/Digtial Combo that is sure to delight the entire family.

It’s all about family, love, friendship, loyalty and life seen through the eyes of a lovable mutt who wants nothing more to be with and please his human friends despite how many lifetimes it takes.

A great story, a wonderful cast and excellent music.

Extras include deleted and extended scenes, featurettes, scoring the movie, commentary and more.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019


When I was about 18 years old I sat down and read The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.  I was so enamored by the book that I went out and purchased the entire Trilogy Of The Rings and in one sitting read them all the way through.

I read for two solid days, only taking breaks to eat, relieve myself and briefly take a nap.

Needless to say I was totally exhausted mentally and physically after my marathon reading sessions.

When the movies came out I devoured them.  One would think I am a Tolkien fan and you would be right.

As much as I love Tolkien’s literary work I know very little about the man himself.

Thankfully 20th Century Fox--Disney has partially remedied that situation with the release of their Tolkien film in its Blu-ray//DVD/Digital Code Combo Pack.

Nicholas Hoult stars as the author at a young age and turns in an outstanding performance.

The film explores Tolkien's younger life, his loves and his unusual relationship with other writers with similar and contrasting views other than his own.

When World War I threatens to shatter and tear apart their lifelong friendships Tolkien’s life takes a radical turn as he copes with the war, his relationships and his passion for writing-much influences by his experiences

The film is a fascinating examination of the author at a young age and the struggles and triumphs he experiences that help mold him into the world renown author who is loved by millions.

The film is a masterpiece of cinematic portrayal of a time long past with expertly recreated locations, costumes and the turn of the century society Tolkien lived in.

Included on the Combo Pack are several extras including a commentary, deleted scenes, a first look and a gallery.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Batman Hush

Several years ago DC Comics put out a Dark Knight saga drawn by Jim Lee entitled Batman Hush.

Warner Bros. has adapted the award-winning mini-series into a DC Universe Movie direct to 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray/Digital Collection that faithfully translates the epic storyline to an animated movie format.

Batman’s past begins to unravel as apparent crimes perpetrated by his familiar Rogue’s Gallery escalate.

But, who is really being the mayhem: Catwoman, the Joker, Bane, Poison Ivy, the Riddler, Scarecrow or Clayface?

Batman finds himself face-to-face against a brainwashed Superman, seeking the help from Nightwing and becoming romantically involved with Catwoman.

When Batman finds himself up against a foe that anticipates his every move and fails unable to capture him, the mystery deepens.

Who is Hush and what does he/she want?

The answer is sure to shock.

The epic story also includes a commentary, a Batman featurette, a sneak peek, a bonus cartoon, a Sgt. Rock short and more.

Batman Hush showcases Batman at his crime-fighting best with plenty of action, intrigue, mystery and breath-taking choreographed fights, stunning visual effect and a killer soundtrack.

Hush...listen and watch-the truth is out there.

Hart To Hart, Pan Am and White Line Fever

Every once in awhile a TV series is so popular that when after it leaves the airways reunion movies are made for the fans of the series.

One such series was Hart To Hart, starring Robert Wagner and Stephanie Powers.

With Mill Creek Entertainment’s just released the Hart To Hart Movies Are Murder DVD Collection all eight made-for-TV Hart To Hart m0vies are included. 

Join the Harts as they investigate an aerospace industry crime, a friend’s death, a Broadway play gone badly, a death threat, a family reunion, the death of their friend Max, an Australian trap and a case of mistaken identity.

Homicide is where the Hart is.

Actor Jan-Michael Vincent was an actor to be reckoned with during the 1960s and 1970s.  His fame was rising and it seemed he was in every major movie starring along side top-notch actors and actresses.

Even into the 1980s and briefly in the 1990s Jan-Michael was a frequent guest star on TV series and ‘B’ movies.

Unfortunately his wild lifestyle and bad choices caught up on him and he died a few years ago.

One of Jan-Michael’s big movie hits was White Line Fever put out in the mid-1970s and lovingly presented in a Blu-ray/VHS format.  It’s a blast from the past!

In the film he plays Carrol Joe Hummer: a hard-working trucker who just wants to make an honest living.

Arriving in Tucson with his pregnant wife Jerri, he realizes that he has been hired to ship illegal cargo.  When he refuses he is beaten up and his old friend Duane, who offered him work, is killed, his wife beaten and their unborn child killed.

Bad mistake!

Carrol Joe sets out on the path of vengeance and God help the hoodlums who killed his friend and child!  It’s all-out action and mayhem as only Jan-Michael Vincent could deliver it.

There was a time when flying commercial passengers had large comfortable seats, were provided full meals and served by a bevy of beautiful stewardesses.

The Complete Series Pan Am DVD Collection harkens back to 1963 as a group of stewardesses artfully and efficiently handle any situation from romance to natural disasters.

Buckle up...adventure calls.

I Love Lucy

I was born in the month of January, the year 1953.  No big deal.  Kids are born all the time.

But, not quite one year and three months previously in October, 1951 a new TV series premiered on CBS Television that would go on to revolutionize the situation comedy genre and TV in general.

That show: I Love Lucy, redefined the comedy genre and starred a certain redhead: Lucille Ball as Lucy and her Cuban husband Desi Arnaz as Ricky Ricardo.

Accompanying them as their neighbors were: Fred and Ethel Mertz -played by William Frawley and Vivian Vance.

As Ricky Desi played a Cuban singer/bandleader and Lucille as his scattered brain wife Lucy who is determined to break into showbiz.

Along the way the Ricardos and Mertz manage to turn not only their lives upside down but everyone else’s around them too.

The show featured some classic comedy sketches and outrageous slapstick-vaudeville physical humor all the while stressing the love of family and friends.

Despite Lucy’s hair brain schemes things always managed to turn out for the best.  TV audiences loved the I Love Lucy show and soon it became the number one show on TV.

While there where rumblings with the cast and crew behind the cameras once performing the professionalism and talent of each cast member shone through.

I have vague memories of seeing a few episodes before the show went off the air in 1957.

I do however, vividly remember watching the reruns with my mom, family and friends-usually on a small black and white TV set complete with rabbit ears.

It is remarkable that the show is as popular as ever as new generations discover the comedy genius behind the show.  Lucille Ball admitted she was not a natural comedian and had to work hard to perform her shenanigans-her professionalism and talent made up for any lack of humor.

CBS/Paramount has taken nearly seven hours of classic I Love Lucy episodes, colorized them and made them available for a whole new generation to enjoy.

Sixteen episodes make up the collection along with a special featurette on how the episodes got colorized.

For over 60 years I Love Lucy has entertained audiences and it looks like there is no end in sight.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Detective Pikachu

Way back in the year 1996 I received a funny postcard in the mail.  The front of the postcard featured a photo of a New Cork City street.  Populating the street scene were these funny looking little creatures called Pokemon.

My first reaction was, “What the heck are Pokemon?”

I still have the postcard.

Not long after that a new phenomenon spread across the country: Pokemon Game Cards.

It seemed like everyone had Pokemon fever.  It was something else!

Remarkably Pokemon are as popular as ever conquering every form of media from print to digital.

One key Pokemon figure: Pikachu, the lightning bolt, yellow and fuzzy bundle of fun and cuteness whose vocabulary consists of one word: Pika and variations thereof.

He has become the face and spokes person (uh, creature) for the brand.

It had to happen.  After several successful Pokemon animated movies, a TV show, video games and tons of printed material, a live-action/computer generated character Pokemon movie was created.

Pokemon Detective Pikachu
stars everyone’s favorite fuzzy, yellow electrically charged Pokemon voiced by-get ready for it-Ryan Reynolds the very same actor that plays the Merc With A Mouth: Deadpool.

You know it’s got to be good!

In the movie Pikachu’s human detective partner Harry Goodman is missing, Pikachu teams up with Harry’s son Tim to unravel the mystery of his disappearance and attempt to find or rescue him.

Along the way they discover some disturbing events that may mean the end for the peaceful co-existence of Pokemon and human.

Here’s a twist:  Tim is the only human that understands Pikachu.  What results is a comedy adventure unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

Pikachu is a wisecracking smart-alec, Tim is befuddled and baffled by the whole Pokemon thing and the digital effects and creature creations are amazing.

The Warner Bros’ Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Code Combo Pack included some cool extras: an alternate opening, a Pokemon adventure, several ‘making-of’ the film featurettes, a commentary, music video and a special feature about Ryan Reynolds.  Check out the Detective Mode!

It’s Pika, Pika perfect

Ultimate Predators and Scars of Battle

You better pick up your speed in order to play Konami’s new Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game Speed Duel releases: Ultimate Predators and Scars of Battle.

Their names alone indicate what to expect as the battle gets hot and heavy and dangerous.

What do you do when you face foes that are so lethal and are guaranteed to cause some damage?

Do you have what it takes to battle nearly unbeatable foes and come out unscathed?

It’s the survival of the fittest--times two!

Each Speed Duel Ultimate Predators Starter Deck contains:

1 30-Card Rex Raptor Deck
1 30-Card Weevil Underwood Deck
4 Skill Cards (2 for Rex and 2 for Weevil)
2 Ultra Rare variant cards

Speed Duel Scars of Battle Foil Packs includes 5 new Skill Cards (1 for Bonz, 1 for Rex and at least 1 for Bandit Keith).

Each Pack contains 4 Cards. The Set contains 45 Cards and 5 Skill Cards:

8 Ultra Rares
8 Super Rares
34 Commons