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Showing posts from May, 2015

Square Enix Transforms the Predator into an Oni Demon

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Back in 2011, Sideshow Collectibles released a Samurai Predator figure as part of its Alien vs. Predator line. As the figure's name suggests, the design mixed together the Predator's usual appearance with Samurai armor into something that, as I commented earlier, "look(s) like a monster that came straight from ancient Japanese folklore." Fast-forward to 2015 and Square Enix will be releasing a new Predator figure as part of its Play Arts Kai line that combines the movie monster's appearance with something from another area of ancient Japanese culture: oni.

According to Wikipedia, "Oni are a kind of yokai from Japanese folklore, variously translated as demons, devils, ogres or trolls. They are popular characters in Japanese art, literature and theatre. ... Depictions of oni vary widely but usually portray them as hideous, gigantic ogre-like creatures with sharp claws, wild hair, and two long horns growing from their heads. They are humanoid for the most part, …

Is Modern Science Fiction Cinema Maturity Challenged?

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For those of you who have been away from the geek-o-sphere on the Internets lately, there's been a bit of a-twittering about comments that were recently made by Simon Pegg in an interview with Radio Times magazine about the next Star Trek movie and the current state of science fiction films in general. For the sake of brevity, here's an assembled version of the Pegg quotes that caused the most offense:
"Before Star Wars, the films that were box-office hits were The Godfather, Taxi Driver, Bonnie and Clyde and The French Connection ... gritty, amoral art movies. Then suddenly the onus switched over to spectacle and everything changed ... I don’t know if that is a good thing. Obviously I’m very much a self-confessed fan of science fiction and genre cinema but part of me looks at society as it is now and just thinks we’ve been infantilised by our own taste. Now we’re essentially all consuming very childish things – comic books, superheroes. Adults are watching this stuff, and…

A Look Back at a Vintage Movie Monsters Giant Poster Book

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As fan memorabilia goes, poster books are odd collectibles. Sure, fans have always sought out magazines and books about their favorite topics and have also purchased posters that feature images of said topics. However, somewhere along the line, publishers got the bright idea to combine print with posters, although I'm still baffled as to why. For example, if a fan chooses not to use the poster book not as a poster but as a book, then the book eventually falls apart because the seams give away quickly from being folded and unfolded so many times.

Here's a post about one poster book that was published in 1979, the Movie Monsters Giant Poster Book. As you can tell by the tape stains, tears and missing corners in the photos that I've taken, this poster book had already been through the ringer by the time I got my hands on it during the mid '80s. Nevertheless, it was such a unique find that I was willing to trade some comics to one of my classmates for it. Read on to see mor…

Nintendo 3DS's StreetPass: It's All About Miis

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I've been a Nintendo fan for a long time, but I never paid much attention to the hand-held side of its gaming console selection. The most involved I got with one was when Namco released Pac-Man Vs. back in 2003, a competitive multiplayer game which required both the GameCube and a GameBoy Advance. Since my Mrs. already had a GameBoy Advance, we picked up this title and had a blast playing the game with our friends for hours at a time; otherwise, the allure of hand-held consoles eluded me.

Fast-forward to 2015, and I'm beginning to see why the hand-held Nintendo 3DS system attracts gamers--largely because of its pre-loaded application, StreetPass Mii Plaza. I saw someone playing it on his 3DS when I was on the Metro the other day. The gamer in question was older than me (shocking, right?), but he was completely absorbed in the games he was playing with his Mii avatar and an army of other Miis. The Miis were wearing samurai armor, which is part of the battle simulation game Warr…

Avengers: Age of Ultron and the Evolution of Superhero Movies

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This would normally be a post where I write a review of Marvel's latest blockbuster, Avengers: Age of Ultron. While I'll get around to doing that here, this post will be about something that I find equally fascinating--namely, the critical and fandom responses to this new movie. Some have argued that between the new Avengers, the upcoming Ant-Man and Fantastic Four movies, and the pending releases of DC's Batman vs. Superman and Suicide Squad, we have reached (or are reaching) a point of superhero over-saturation at the box office. On the other hand, I think that what we're seeing is pop culture's confusion over what Marvel is trying to accomplish and whether the critics and fans appreciate how this can improve superhero films in the long run. Read on ...

Four Reasons Why Star Wars Still Matters

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Way back when it first appeared on the pop culture landscape in 1977, Star Wars became my gateway drug for all things sci-fi. I was obsessed with it then, still obsessed with it now, and my brain is still reeling from the many announcements that were made at the recent Star Wars Celebration event a few weeks ago. The year-end release of Episode 7: The Force Awakens, James Earl Jones returning as the voice of Darth Vader for season two of Rebels, the next Star Wars Battlefront's connection to the next trilogy ... I don't think I've ever seen this franchise firing on all cylinders simultaneously before. Star Wars has never lacked for ambition; but with so many resources being devoted to keeping the saga alive and growing, I think that franchise fans are going to be in for plenty of wonderful surprises and thrills leading up to the release of Episode 7.

Star Wars didn't become a fan favorite overnight; it went through many, many growing pains to become the durable saga tha…