Archive for May, 2010

Back to the Future The Video Games

Posted in Back to the Future, movies, pop culture, video games with tags , , , , on May 28, 2010 by Paxton

Cavalcade Arcade

So, we come to the end of my celebration of Back to the Future Part III’s 20th anniversary this week. On Wednesday I looked back at the Back to the Future Fan Club which debuted late in 1989 and lasted throughout 1990. Now, let’s take a look at the video games that were spawned by these movies.

The first game we are looking at was released in 1990, the same year as Part III. It was The Back to the Future Pinball Game by Data East.  Here is a 1990 trade magazine ad for the Back to the Future Pinball Game.

BTTF Pinball

The graphics and images on this machine are awesome, but completely counterbalancing that awesome is the absolutely ridiculous looking models they used for Doc and Marty. W. T. F?!  They look like Abbot and Costello (or Costello and Costello…because they are both “fat”).  Is Doc wearing black, white and blue leggings?!  I don’t remember Marty ever wearing a ball cap…oh, except in 2010 when he was disguised as his son, but that hat was rainbow colored.  My eyes are watering just staring at this thing.  Horribly awesome.  That’s what this is.

Here are some pics of the actual, live machine without the ridiculous looking models.

BTTF pinball top BTTF pinball side
(pics via Pinball Rebel)

There are more pictures over at Pinball Rebel. Go check them out.

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Remembering the Back to the Future Fan Club

Posted in Back to the Future, movies, pop culture with tags , , , on May 26, 2010 by Paxton

Time Travel

It’s Back to the Future Part III’s 20th anniversary this week.  Let’s take a look back at the Back to the Future Fan Club and the Fan Club Magazine that also debuted in 1990.

Here is a very cool looking 1990 ad for the Back to the Future Fan club.  You could find this ad in magazines and comics in late 1989 and early 1990.

BTTF Fan Club ad

It entices you to join up with the promise of a “beautiful” membership kit which includes an 8×10 photo (of what?), a logo patch, stickers, pencils and a membership card. You also get a 1 year subscription to the quarterly fan club magazine, which was cool, except the magazine itself only lasted one year.  You also get a forwarding service for fan mail to cast and crew of the movie, which was actually pretty cool because more often than not that could result in autographs.  I obtained a lot of Star Wars autographs through mail by writing letters to actors (pre-Sept 11, though).

Like I said, the actual Fan Club magazine only lasted a year, and since it was quarterly that meant only four issues.  Let’s take a look at those issues.

BTTF Fan Club mag 1

Here’s issue #1 of the fan club magazine. It was released in Winter 1989, very soon after Back to the Future Part II was released. Needless to say, there were lots of news and reviews of Part II as well as upcoming rumors on the impending May 1990 release of Part III.  Also included is a nice interview with screenwriter Bob Gale and Neil Canton.

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20 Year Anniversary: Back to the Future Part III

Posted in 80s, Back to the Future, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , on May 24, 2010 by Paxton

BTTF 3 poster

If you follow this blog at all you know that Back to the Future is one of my favorite movie series of all time. I talk about it constantly.  Well, today, Monday, May 24th, the second sequel in the trilogy, Back to the Future Part III turned 20 years old.  Check out the newspaper clipping above.  It was clipped from the Birmingham News on May 24th, 1990.

So, since this is a momentous occasion (lots of classic movie birthdays this year), I’ll have a few Back to the Future related articles this week in celebration.

Stay tuned and Happy Birthday, Back to the Future Part III.

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Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back turns 30 years old today

Posted in 80s, Empire Strikes Back, movies, pop culture, Star Wars with tags , , , , on May 21, 2010 by Paxton

SW: ESB poster E(via coografik)

The Empire Strikes Back, the first Star Wars sequel, was released on May 21, 1980, 30 years ago, today.  Empire was probably the best and most iconic movie in the entire Star Wars trilogy.  From this movie we get Yoda, Boba Fett and the bounty hunters, Lando Calrissian, Obi-Wan’s ghost, Vader is Luke’s father, Luke gets his hand chopped off, Han says “I know” when Leia says “I love you”, Han gets frozen in carbonite and, in a throw away line by Yoda, revelation that there is another Skywalker (breathe!).  It’s hard to believe that there is so much in this movie that defines the entire Star Wars saga and is what many fans identify with the series.  All in one movie, possibly the greatest sequel in cinema history.

Here’s the original trailer for Empire. Notice how everyone does the famous “turn to the camera” when their character name is called.

Here’s an awesome fan made trailer for Empire as if it would have been made in 1950 (via Official Star Wars Blog)

Star is all gussied up for celebrating Empire’s 30th anniversary by skinning itself with a bad ass Hoth Vader image. front

While at the official site, you can see a bunch of cool candid photos from the set of Empire, see rare poster artwork and read about the 30th anniversary Empire screening which included Harrison Ford, Peter Mayhew and Billy Dee Williams.

Making of ESB

On October 12, Random House will release the long awaited book The Making of The Empire Strikes Back. It’s a sequel to the popular The Making of Star Wars released back in 2007.  The book is chock full of rare photos and stories about the actual filming of Empire Strikes back in 1979.  I haven’t bought the Star Wars one, but I would love to because it is awesome ($50 is a bit high for a hardback photo book, though).  I would love to thumb through this Empire book to see some of the pics (and eventually buy it on the cheap).

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The History of the Superman vs Flash races

Posted in comic books, pop culture, Superman, The Flash with tags , , , , , on May 14, 2010 by Paxton

Cavalcade Comics

I mentioned before that I had been digging through my comic book collection to find cool artwork and vintage ads to scan and put on my Flickr blog (if you aren’t checking my Flickr blog, I can only assume you hate things that are AWESOME).  While going through my comics I came across my collection of Flash vs Superman races.  The Flash is my favorite super hero and throughout the ’60s and ’70s DC Comics had Superman and Flash race several times.  Being a Flash fan, I think it’s ABSURD to think that Superman is faster than Flash.  All Flash does is run.  That’s his power.  On sheer raw speed, Flash should be faster. I mean, we all know who would win in a flying race.  Or a strength competition.  Am I right?

So, how did Flash fare in these races?  Well, DC obviously wanted to protect their “golden boy”, so they had several ties, but at the end, there is a clear winner.  Let’s go through the races and tally up the scores to see who is truly the fastest man alive.  For this article I’ll be focusing on the Barry Allen Silver Age Flash, who died in 1985 during the Crisis on Inifinite Earths mini-series.

Superman 199
Superman #199 (1967) – The head to head races between the Silver Age Superman and The Flash began here.  The two heroes are asked to race for charity.  They both readily agree.  As usually happens, crime syndicates bet huge sums of money on the outcome and look for ways to sabotage the one they don’t want to win.  After several criminal schemes backfire, Supes and Flash finish in a clear tie so as no criminals can cash in.  This, of course, leaves the reader with no sense of closure and shaking their fist in the air yelling, “Damn you, DC!!!”.  The Flash is now 0-0-1.

Flash 175
Flash #175 (1967) – The next race happened a few months later.  Flash and Superman arrive at JLA headquarters to find two aliens who have somehow managed to capture and subdue the rest of the JLA.  The two alien gamblers are mad that the first race ended in a tie and want a rematch (you and me both, Mr Alien).  This time, Supes and Flash must run to the edge of the Milky Way and back.  If Superman loses, Metropolis will be destroyed.  If The Flash loses, Central City will be destroyed.  Why Superman and Flash don’t just pummel these guys at light speed is beyond me.  So, they agree to the race and halfway through they realize the whole thing is a setup to kill The Flash and we get another disappointing “tie” ending (DC.  F**k. You.).  So at the end of this issue Flash is 0-0-2.

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The Cavalcade of Awesome watches Twilight New Moon

Posted in monsters, movies, reviews, Twilight, vampires, werewolf, werewolves with tags , , , , , , on May 7, 2010 by Paxton

Twilight New Moon

For regular readers, if you recall, I watched the first Twilight movie last March and was not a fan.

However, thinking back on it, as much as I hated what Stephanie Meyer and Twilight has done to vampires (and literature in general), there were things in the movie that I didn’t hate.  Vampire baseball being one of those.  The “evil” vampires being another.  But I did hate EVERYTHING about Bella and Edward.  EVERYTHING.  The dialogue, the look, the language, the way they acted with each other.  HATED IT.  It was a bad Harlequin romance novel, horrible dialogue and all, gussied up with non-threatening “vegetarian vampires”, a weak willed heroine and an angsty, emo pretty boy (who doesn’t wash his hair) as the anti-hero.

Harlequin Twilight book

So, being the pop culture guru that I am, I felt I needed to continue the series and watch Twilight: New Moon, the first sequel, especially if I’m going to continue talking about how much Twilight is ruining vampires for everyone.  So I got the movie from Netflix and my wife and I sat down to watch it this past Saturday.  Now, to be honest, I wasn’t exactly dreading it.  I was totally expecting not to like the movie, but I thought I could enjoy how completely ridiculous it’ll be and laugh the majority of it off.  Like watching Battlefield Earth after several shots of Jagermeister and Red Bull.  I was wrong.

This movie is so f’n bad that I am ashamed I even watched it.  I’m ashamed for the majority of the actors in the movie.  This movie makes the first Twilight look like Citizen Kane.  It almost makes Battlefield Earth look like Citizen Kane.  It is horrible in the same way that someone kicking a kitten is horrible.  And I don’t know if I should blame the director, writer, author, actors or just curse God for releasing this upon the Earth.

First of all, I was actually kind of excited to see werewolves get thrown into the mix.  The last movie was entirely too full of gay-ass vampires.  We needed some thing more awesome, like big bad ass wolves.  Well, there were werewolves in this movie.  And the wolves were big and bad ass, but look at the guys that turned into the wolves.

Twilight werewolves

Tell me this doesn’t look like the cast of the floor show at San Francisco’s popular nightclub, The Manhole. Are werewolves forbidden from wearing shirts, because these guys don’t wear shirts throughout the entire movie.  And why do they all have to wear jorts (jean shorts)?  These werewolves are less gay than the vampires in the movie, but that’s like saying Elton John is less gay than Liberace.  They are both still GAY.  I don’t feel like these guys want to wolf out and murder me, I feel like they want to give me a lap dance.  So now Stephanie Meyer is ruining werewolves.  Great.

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10 Awesomely ridiculous ’80s songs sung by characters in a movie

Posted in 80s, movies, music, pop culture with tags , , on May 5, 2010 by Paxton

If you are like me you treasure ’80s movies and how wonderfully horrible they are. One of my favorite movie devices studios used a lot was have the characters in the movie sing a song that could then be promoted on the radio to boost awareness of the movie.  This, of course, led to some horribly bad music sung by actors while “in character” that really had very little or nothing to do with the movie.  Some of them worked, most of them didn’t.

I say they were horribly bad, but the reason I remember a lot of these is because I owned them either on the movie soundtrack or on an audio tape that I recorded from the TV.

Here are ten of my favorite ridiculously awesome ’80s songs sung by movie characters.

The Nerds Song by the Tri-Lambdas – From 1984’s epic Revenge of the Nerds.  The Tri-Lambs put on quite a show for the final carnival.  Lamar rapping while wearing the ’80s obligatory Beat It jacket (bonus points for no sleeves) along with Poindexter’s electric violin and Tashi the Korean dressed as an American Indian banging a gong.  Classic.

No on 15 by the Tri-Lambdas – From Revenge of the Nerds Part II in 1987.  The nerd gang gets back together and puts on a rockin’ show to vote down Proposition 15.  If I’m not mistaken, I thought Prop 15 was voted on by the International Greek Council of Fraternities so I’m not sure how any of these random party people can vote “No on 15”.  Anyway, Lamar is back rapping again and this time he’s joined by Barry Sobel doing a very Beastie Boys-esque rap.  This one is more fun than the last song, but the first movie was a better movie.

Are You Ready for Freddy? by Fat Boys featuring Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) – In 1988, the Fat Boys were asked to record the “theme” for Nightmare on Elm Street Part 4.  This was the result, which included Robert Englund actually doing a rap as Freddy at the end.  Yes, the quality is a bit questionable, however I was a huge Fat Boys fan in the ’80s so I loved it.  Surprisingly, even though this was released as a single promoting the movie, it was not included on the official soundtrack.  I got it off the Fat Boys album “Coming Back Hard Again”, which I still have on audio cassette.

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