Nerd Lunch Episode 175: Talkin’ ’bout Krull

Posted in movies, nostalgia, podcast with tags , , , on April 22, 2015 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

This week we are joined by Rondal from Strange Kids Club. Rondal talks to us about the newest Strange Kids Club Magazine and then leads us into a discussion about the 80s fantasy movie, Krull.

krull126

We talk about our history with this movie, what we liked and what we didn’t like. We talk a bit about the Gottlieb arcade game based on this movie and we heaped lots of praise on the Glaive.  It’s a fun fantasy discussion and most of us are watching Krull for the very first time.

Download this episode from iTunes, Stitcher or listen to it on Feedburner.

Or, listen to it online right here.

Countdown to Avengers 2: Captain America the Winter Soldier

Posted in comic books, movies with tags , , , , on April 22, 2015 by Paxton

captainamerica7

As we did back in 2012, the blogs at Nerd Lunch, To the Escape Hatch and Cavalcade of Awesome are doing a Countdown to Avengers as we lead up to the release of Age of Ultron. In this countdown we are reviewing all the Marvel content that we can from within Phase 2. This is one of those reviews.

Captain America: The First Avenger was the last solo film of Phase 1 before The Avengers. So, appropriately, the Captain America sequel is the last solo movie of Phase 2 that will lead directly into The Avengers sequel. Coming in, I loved the first Cap movie. I loved it’s time period, I loved the cast, I loved pretty much everything about it. And I had a lot of doubts about the movie before it began in that I thought Chris Evans was all wrong for the role and I didn’t initially like that the movie took place back during World War II (even thought that’s the perfect place to set the movie).

So, I wound up loving the first movie and then came this sequel.  And again, I was not sure until I started seeing images of Chris Evans in the “stealth suit”.  And then the first trailer hit.  And the cast came together.  Black Widow.  Falcon.  Modern day SHIELD.  ROBERT F**KING REDFORD is now in a Captain America movie.  It just ballooned into so much awesomeness that the actual movie couldn’t possibly live up to what I was seeing.

And on watching, the movie is every bit as awesome as I wanted it to be.  It’s amazing what the directors did with this sequel.  This movie is completely different in tone, color scheme, sensibilities and setting than it’s predecessor but it completely works.

cap02

First off we see a more seasoned Captain America.  He’s been in our time for a few years and has trained extensively with SHIELD.  The opening mission, storming a hijacked freighter, shows you everything you need to know to understand that THIS Captain America is BAD ASS.  We’ve seen Captain America be pretty awesome in The Avengers, but this movie cranks that idea “up to 11″ and hammers that home.  We also see that Cap is becoming a little concerned with the direction that SHIELD is taking in response to external threats.  There are several really good scenes with Cap and Nick Fury debating this very issue, is SHIELD protecting or promoting fear.  It’s a valid and very relevant discussion.

Speaking of Nick Fury, we finally get to see him do something.  The attack on Fury’s car is a wonderful little scene where we get to see Fury’s quick thinking and quick acting save himself from capture and possible death.  And how awesome was the AI in that car?  And the hidden dashboard cannon?  Great little scene.  Another little scene I liked when I saw the movie theatrically was Steve going back to visit an elderly Peggy Carter.  However, now that I’ve watched Peggy in the Agent Carter mini-series and re-watched the original Captain America movie, that scene becomes HEARTBREAKING.  There are several more levels of heartbreaking sadness and loss that permeate that scene.  Especially thanks to the excellent Agent Carter series.

falcon

And I love the addition of Anthony Mackie as Falcon.  I originally thought Falcon was a sort of, “we don’t need him but we need to add a new character” addition.  But I was wrong.  Mackie crushes it and I now want him in more movies.  Plus, how great is a movie that implies a giant action scene that we never get to see?  Cap, Black Widow and Falcon have to break into a military installation to steal back the Stark wing technology, but we never see it!  That needs to be a movie.  NOW.

And I haven’t even talked about the return of Sebastian Stan as The Winter Soldier.  He’s a great foil for Captain America.  I really liked him as a villain, but he’s more of a henchman than a mastermind.  I do hope we see more of him.

Now that the movie is over, I’d love to see a Captain America and Falcon movie where they are chasing Bucky.  The end of this movie teases that, but it looks like the next Captain America movie is going to be Civil War, which I can only assume does not cover that.

The status quo that this movie leaves will make the next Avengers movie interesting because I’m not sure how many years later it is in the new movie.  SHIELD was destroyed and has to be rebuilt.  I assume the Avengers are sort of an autonomous entity without any governmental connection.  Will that be addressed or has enough time passed that that doesn’t really matter anymore?  I don’t know.

As it stands, I liked this movie so much that I think it’s my third favorite overall Marvel movie behind only the original Iron Man and the first Avengers movie.  We’ll see if this changes after Age of Ultron.

But I’m not the only one that has ideas about this movie…here’s CT with his thoughts:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier has been referred to by some as Avengers 1.5. I wonder just how integral it will be to Avengers: Age of Ultron. It is the Phase 2 film that will have changed the world the most since the first Avengers film. The fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. is huge and will have to at least be addressed since they will no longer play a role in bringing the team together. I look forward to seeing if Black Widow and Cap have any interactions in Avengers 2 since they worked so well together here. Black Widow now has strong ties with all the Avengers except maybe Thor.

Besides pieces set up for Avengers and the plot lines sets up for future Cap movies, the big set up for future movies is the mention of Stephen Strange. Sitwell references him as though Strange is already a known person, at least by Cap. Is he already Sorcerer Supreme or just a really, really famous surgeon? It will be interesting to see how that plays out in a couple years. 

Other Countdown to Avengers reviews:
CT’s review of Iron Man 3.
Robert’s review of Thor: The Dark World

Nerd Lunch Episode 174: X-Men Movie Discussion Part 2

Posted in movies, podcast, pop culture with tags , , , on April 14, 2015 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

This week CT and I are joined by Robert from To the Escape Hatch to continue or discussion from episode 155 in which we are talking about the X-Men movies.

x-men-days-of-future-past

This time we discuss the two most recent movies, X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past.  We talk about what we liked and what we didn’t like.  The casting and the movie settings.  We even go into a little bit of discussion about the next X-Men movie, Apocalypse.

Download this episode from iTunes, Stitcher or listen to it on Feedburner.

Or listen to it online right here.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

Cavalcade Comics #7 – Magnus Robot Fighter on Skull Island

Posted in comic books, nostalgia, pop culture with tags , , , on April 6, 2015 by Paxton

Cavalcade Comics

Here we are at issue #7 of Cavalcade Comics’ Vintage Comic Throwdown! This month I’m taking on a different type of comic cover…the painted cover.  These types of covers were very prominent in the 60s and 70s.  Plus, I used this opportunity to give the logo and the corner box a bit of an overhaul.  I may go back to the older version, but I like this new one too.

For the actual cover battle, I decided to use one of my favorite absurd characters from back in the day.  He’s just one of those kooky, high concept characters that could have only been created in the 60s.  So, without further ado, here’s Magnus Robot Fighter.  And he’s trapped on the infamous Skull Island.

Cavalcade Comics 7

In case you didn’t know, Magnus is from the future. He’s from a future where robots have enslaved humanity. He is taught by a robot how to fight other robots and also how to harden his hands to punch and slice through metal. So, Magnus goes on a robot killing rampage to free the future human race. I thought it would be interesting to take this character that’s so identified with fighting robots and place him in a place where there are NO robots.  Hello, Magnus, have you met…Skull Island?

Magnus Robot Fighter vs Dinosaurs seemed like a winning concept to me.  Plus, I love the tagline I created at the bottom, “Trapped!…In a Land Without Robots!”  It was one of the first things that popped into my head and I couldn’t get it out until I finished this cover.

Behind the scenes…I used several different covers to bring this masterpiece to life.  Magnus himself comes from Russ Manning’s Magnus Robot Fighter #7 (1963).

As you can see I took pretty much only Magnus from this cover and the laser blast on his back I converted to the fist burst for his punch.  The rest of the comic was pieced together from several different issues of Turok Son of Stone with most of the elements coming from issues #35 and #90.

turoksonofstone90 turoksonofstone35

I may have also taken a stray Pterodactyl and a volcano from some other nameless Turok issues.  I can’t remember, it all sort of blended together at the end there.

I still have at least three of these covers stashed away for future use.  One of those covers is a very special holiday issue.  Either Memorial Day or July 4th.  I haven’t decided which just yet.

Movie Man-a-thon: Dracula, secret agents and a time traveling Ethan Hawke

Posted in Dracula, Genres, horror, monsters, time travel with tags , , , , , , on March 19, 2015 by Paxton

Steph took the kids to her parents for the week so I was left to my own bachelor devices. So, as usual, I programmed a viewing schedule of movies and TV shows that Steph would not ever want to watch. I’ve done this before, time to do it again.


Dracula Untold (2014) – The Universal monster rally movies can now begin!  I didn’t hear a lot about this movie beforehand but I look forward to any movie utilizing the classic monsters, especially Universal who says they want to plan a “monsterverse” set of movies.  This actually wasn’t that bad and a pretty good re-interpretation of the legend of Vlad the Impaler.  It makes him a more sympathetic character and places the inhuman bloodthirsty killer on another character from which Vlad will get his vampiric status.  The cast is great and the effects are pretty awesome.  Recommend.  However, to be honest, I was a bit disappointed we didn’t get a glimpse or hint of another monster in a post credit sequence.  But that’s a relatively small gripe.


Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015) – Until very recently I had no idea this was based on a Mark Millar comic.  Honestly, I think Millar had the screenplay written, no one bought it, and so he made it into a comic.  Then when the comic did pretty well, he was able to sell it to Matthew Vaughn.  And this is a pretty spectacular movie.  I love Colin Firth and he’s brilliant in this.  On one hand he plays directly into your expectations of him while simultaneously doing something completely different that you would never expect him to be doing.  Michael Caine is also great.  The new kid is pretty good.  My only gripe would be Sam Jackson as the villain.  We’re to the point now where Sam Jackson will immediately take me out of a movie.  He’s no longer Sam Jackson the actor, he’s Sam Jackson the character.  He transcends whatever he’s trying to do.  And I appreciate he’s trying to do something a little different with the lisp, but I never saw anything other than SAM JACKSON playing the villain.  That being said, he’s remarkably entertaining to watch in this movie.  I highly recommend it.  I hope there are more Kingsman movies to come.


Predestination (2015) – On the surface, it looks to take the same basic idea of agents policing the time stream as Time Cop. But quickly you find out it’s a completely different movie.  It’s a more intimate story involving one time agent on one mission that seems to have some huge importance to history, but also some very personal importance as well.  It’s not really what I wanted out of the movie but I’m not going to lie, the way the story wraps up has a few surprising reveals that I didn’t see coming.  I saw one of them coming pretty early, but not the other.  It’s mostly well acted and interesting, but definitely quirky and a bit weird.  The story focuses more on Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook’s characters and their interactions with each other more than the actual time travel or the agency that is policing the time stream and how it works.  But it’s still a good movie.  I’d give it a soft recommend.


Game of Thrones: Season 2 – My wife and I started watching Season 2 a few weeks ago but she bowed out after two episodes.  By contrast, I was hooked after the same two episodes.  I went ahead and finished the season while Steph was away.  THIS SHOW IS SO GOOD.  Great characters, great drama.  Everything in this world is so f**king filthy.  Dirt and mud is EVERYWHERE.  And I feel sorry for the actor who plays Joffrey.  He plays the most despicable person in a TV show EVER.  I want to punch him in the face.  With a crowbar.  SO GOOD.  But far and above everyone else is Peter Dinklage kicking so much f**king ass as Tyrion Lannister.  He gets better every episode.  I’m two seasons behind right now so I’m trying to stay as spoiler free as possible, but I’m already aware that there is this thing called a “Red Wedding” and it happens at the end of season 3.  But that’s all I know.  SO SHUT UP ABOUT IT ALREADY.

Nerd Lunch Episode 170: Fictional Bands

Posted in movies, music, podcast, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , , on March 17, 2015 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

This week we are joined by show regulars Jay from Sexy Armpit and Tim from the Neighborhood Archive to discuss one of my favorite subjects, fictional bands.

spinal-tap

In the first round we talk about some of our favorite pop culture bands that don’t exist. Expect discussions about bands like The Pinheads, Steel Dragon, The Hong Kong Cavaliers and The New Monkees. Then in round 2 we try to wow each other with how obscure we could get with our references. It’s a lot of fun and I’ve dropped a lot of musical cues in the show so you can get a taste of what some of these bands sound like.

And be sure to check out the amazing new intro Jay recorded for this week’s show.

Download this episode from iTunes, Stitcher or listen to it on Feedburner.

Or listen to it online right here.

Rediscovering AC Comics’ Bolt from 1984

Posted in comic books, nostalgia, personal with tags , , , on March 4, 2015 by Paxton

Cavalcade Comics

I started comic collecting back in the mid 80s. I still have my entire collection in a filing cabinet and a longbox sitting in my garage. I thought maybe I’d go through some of those issues and find long lost gems and sort of spotlight some characters and issues that I’ve always been fond of.  Today’s character is the perfect place to begin this quest.

Recently while digging through my comics I re-discovered a comic that I got WAY back in the day. It was called Bolt and Starforce Six #1.

Bolt and SF6 #1

It was published by AC Comics in 1984.  AC Comics may not sound familiar but they made a name for themselves publishing Femforce which was a huge indie hit in the 80s-90s.  For a while in the early 80s they also had the rights to publish comics featuring Charlton super heroes right before DC bought them out.  AC would create the super team Sentinels of Justice featuring Capt Atom, The Question and Blue Beetle.

I happen to love the sh*t out of this Bolt cover, btw, which is probably reason #1 that I had a small obsession with this issue.  The cover itself was drawn by industry vets Steve Lightle and Jerry Ordway.  Inside the comic was written by Bill Black and drawn by Rod Whigham.

I don’t remember how I acquired this particular issue.  I ordered a lot of comics through the mail from Mile High Comics which required you to choose alternate books if one you wanted wasn’t in stock.  Also, if you ordered a certain amount Mile High would send you free comics or other comic book related ephemera.  That’s one way I could have gotten it.  Alternatively, I could have found it in the bargain bins of my local comic shop in the late 80s and decided to take a gamble after falling in love with the striking cover.  I honestly don’t remember.  But after I had the issue, I sort of fell in love with it.  And most of that was with the character Bolt.

Bolt page 1 Bolt page 2

The story begins with some astronauts up studying space debris when their “video radar” is damaged. Mitchell Cameron goes out in an experimental radiation suit to fix said “video radar” and is engulfed in what is described as “the enigma cloud”.  One of his astronaut colleagues SHOOTS A LASER at Mitchell to try to disperse the “enigma cloud” and winds up causing a reaction that fuses the suit onto Mitchell and turns him into a being of pure energy with incredible light and energy powers.  The government would of course see him as a threat (as they tend to do) and send out their best super team, Starforce Six to try to retrieve and capture him.

It’s mostly an okay story but the Bolt character design is kind of awesome.  I love the red and blue suit and I’m a sucker for “energy powers” (notice all the quotes?  It’s an 80s comic, guys, filled with lots of 80s-ness).  And Bolt is pretty cool in the story, unfortunately, as far as Starforce Six goes, they couldn’t be more boring, horrible cliches.  Just dumb.  Their team uniforms are powder blue jumpsuits.  One guy has an eyepatch.  It’s just awful.

Well, after falling in love with this issue I looked for YEARS and was never able to find a Bolt and Starforce Six issue #2.  Bolt just sort of disappeared from the comic landscape.  Never to be seen again.  Or so I thought.

Just a few years ago, while randomly searching comics I discovered THIS:

Bolt Special #1

Bolt Special #1.

Discovering this sort of stopped me dead in my tracks. My brain hitched.  It was like discovering Noah’s Ark in my local Wal-Mart. I was like, “WHAT. THE. F**K?!”  Before my brain could melt out of my ears, I grabbed the comic and greedily hid it away like I was Gollum in LoTR.  NO ONE was going to get this from me (I didn’t really stop to think and realize that NO ONE was looking for this comic which is why it had been sitting where it was since Reagan was President).

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