Joker vs. Green Goblin, Collectibles Edition

In the world of comic book superheroes, imitation is pretty common. Superheroes and supervillains from both DC and Marvel share so many similarities (e.g., origin stories, super powers, costume designs, story arcs, etc.) that it can be difficult at times to distinguish one character from another. In fact, such similarities are so ingrained into superhero franchises that even talented artists can't add anything new to them. Just ask Rick Baker.

Fans of horror and sci-fi flicks should know who Baker is--he's contributed his amazing talents to the make-up effects of dozens of movies since the '70s. DC Collectibles has enlisted Baker to produce a new life-size, limited edition bust of The Joker (see above), which is scheduled for release in October. In an interview he did with The Hollywood Reporter, Baker said, "I wanted to make a version of the Joker that’s never been done before ... I had a blast sculpting my version of the Joker and exploring his twisted and demente…

Nintendo Labo: Google Cardboard for the Switch?

I've previously commented on this blog about how some technologies that have been hyped as being cutting-edge and futuristic have also been released in some of the cheapest, low-tech ways imaginable to help promote them. For example, the current generation of virtual reality (VR) accessories includes head sets that are dirt cheap because they are little more than plastic or cardboard containers for a smartphone, the device actually has the technology that makes the VR possible. With that in mind, Nintendo is using the power of pre-fab cardboard kits to add new games and features to its hybrid game console, the Switch.

The new product line is called Nintendo Labo, a selection of cardboard kits that players can use to build accessories that work in conjunction with the Switch's console display and Joy-Con controllers to provide new kinds of game play. Of the Labo kits that have been previewed so far, the Switch can be modified to look and operate like a variety of different objec…

How 3D Buffs Should Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the New Nintendo 3DS XL

For as much as I drool uncontrollably around high-tech stuff, I would never consider myself to be a "first adopter" of technology. I'm more like a "better-late-than-never adopter". Case in point: My recent purchase of the New Nintendo 3DS XL handheld gaming console.

I have been eyeing over the 3DS for some time, and for an obvious reason: It's the only video game console ever made that enables 3D gaming without the need for special eye wear or other extra equipment. This isn't like other 3D gaming products that require additional hardware to work (e.g., NVIDIA 3D Vision, Oculus Rift, etc.); instead, everything that's needed to play games in 3D--and games that use augmented reality (AR)--are included in the 3DS.

What finally convinced me to make the commitment actually came from the many articles I've been reading about virtual reality (VR) over the last few months. High-quality VR isn't going to be affordable for another few years, and the c…

10 Wii and Wii U Games I'd Like to See in VR

It's a common practice in the video game industry to take a popular title from a previous generation and give it an upgrade for re-release on the new gaming consoles and the most advanced PCs. Here's a list of 10 titles from the Nintendo Wii and Wii U that I think would be ideally suited for transition into virtual reality (VR).

Some Nintendo games have already made the crossover into VR. There's a VR Mario Kart game in a VR arcade in Japan, and the programmers of the Wii Dolphin emulator have experimented with Metroid Prime and Pikmin games in VR. In alphabetical order, here are some additional titles that I think should be available for play on VR headset in the near future:

Bully: Scholarship Edition: Even though Bully was available for multiple consoles during its run, the motion control-enabled Scholarship Edition for the Wii would be perfect for VR. Having this updated for first-person VR would be just like going back to high school, but with the added benefit of an …

The Fan Wars Continue: Purists vs. Completists

2017 witnessed the arrival of three long-awaited entries in three different franchises: Alien: Covenant, Blade Runner 2049, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Despite their different levels of performance at the box office, I enjoyed all three of these movies. Each was well made by talented, creative individuals who added rich new content to their respective franchises. This post is about a trend that I've been observing for years (decades, actually) about the different kinds of reactions fans have when their cherished franchises expand into multiple sequels, prequels and spin-offs, and how the larger media outlets reflect these reactions. Regardless of the franchise, I think that the primary conflict within fan communities is between Purists and Completists. Read on...

The word "Completist" speaks for itself. These are the kind of fans who have a much more comprehensive approach to their favorite franchises, collecting and examining as much of them as they can. In contrast, …

The Force Works in Mysterious Ways in Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The latest Star Wars movie The Last Jedi opened last week, just in time for the holiday shopping season. If the special editions and the prequel trilogy are any indication, the irate fans who hate this new movie will be complaining about it for another decade or two; thus, for the sake of expediency, I figured that I'd chime in with my thoughts before the 2017 wraps up. As Jar Jar Binks would say, meesa tink that Last Jedi is muy muy bombad! Read on for my complete review.

The Last Jedi picks up right where Force Awakens left off. General Leia (Carrie Fisher), Poe Dameron (Oscar Issac) and the rest of the Resistance are busy evacuating their base just as the First Order arrives to counterattack after the loss of their Starkiller weapon. Finn (John Boyega) considers leaving the Resistance until a plucky maintenance worker named Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) convinces him to stay and accompany her on a mission that could save the Resistance from complete destruction. Meanwhile, Rey (…

From Red and Blue to Side-by-Side: Converting Print Anaglyph 3D to Digital Stereoscopic 3D Pictures

One thing that I love about the current era of affordable and portable computer equipment is how it can be used to resurrect (so to speak) media content from previous eras. In this case, I'm talking about converting anaglyph 3D pictures into stereoscopic pictures that can be viewed through a cell phone and a VR head set.

Since I became a 3D enthusiast since the early '80s, I have assembled a small collection of anaglyph 3D pictures that appear to have depth when viewed through filtered red and blue glasses. One of the books I picked up was Amazing 3-D, which was written by Hal Morgan and Dan Symmes and published in 1982. Not only does this book provide a history of 3D media from the 1830s to the 1980s, but it also includes a significant selection of anaglyph 3D pictures from movies, comic books, trading cards, magazines and still photography. Click here to read the Amazing 3-D chapter on 3D comic books, which was reprinted on the 3D Film Archive site.

I've been tinkering ar…