Archive for January, 2014

Scene by Scene: Watching the awesome Force Five Starvengers cartoon

Posted in cartoons, nostalgia, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , on January 31, 2014 by Paxton

I just watched the 1980 Japanese anime classic, Force Five: Starvengers.  I’ve loved this movie since I watched it in re-runs as a kid.  I just recently rewatched it and I thought I’d go over the story and some of my favorite parts with you right now.

I do this from time to time where I step visually through a movie or TV show I loved and playfully make fun of it.  Let me show you just how much fun and awesome this cartoon is.

Force Five Starvengers

Force Five: Starvengers is a re-edited version of the Japanese show Getter Robo G, which was itself a sequel to another anime series called Getter Robo. Both of those Japanese shows originally aired in the 70s in Japan.  The re-edited Starvengers aired in the US in 1980 during an animated programming block called Force Five that featured four other giant robot cartoons; Gaiking, Grandizer, Dangard Ace and Spaceketeers.  Each show would air on a different day of the week.  The Starvengers robots would become a part of the Shogun Warriors toy line.

Hummer Palladin Star Poseidon
We learn that a team at the Copernicus Laboratory have developed three advanced aircraft. The first aircraft (on the left) is code named Star Dragon and flown by the awesomely named Hummer. The second aircraft (in the middle) is code named Star Arrow and flown by the awesomely coiffed Paladin.

Starvengers
I’m not kidding about Paladin’s hair. Check out this better picture of his anime hairdo that defies any sort of man made law be it physics, gravity or awesomeness.

Starvengers
Of course there’s a girl member of the group and of course she is the perfect looking anime hottie.  Her name is Series and there’s an implied relationship with Paladin (of course).

Back to the robot ships above.  Just looking at them, the aircraft don’t really seem different than any other fighter craft.  But these three aircraft can combine together to form three different giant robots.  The three different robot formations are based on which aircraft is in control.  The three robots formations are Dragon (left), Arrow (middle) and Poseidon (left).  Each robot has different weapons, functions and skills that separate it from the other robots.

Star Dragon Star Arrow Star Poseidon

Here’s an animation I made of the three aircraft combining into Dragon formation. The one they do most often.

Star Dragon GIF

As the story begins, the third aircraft, code named Star Poseidon, has no pilot (due to the previous pilot being killed in the first movie Getter Robo, but that’s never mentioned). Then, the head of Copernicus Labs’ son (Or nephew? I’m not sure.) runs into a man, nay, a force of nature, known only as Foul Tip.

Starvengers
Foul Tip, or ‘Tip’, is a simple man. He loves eating and baseball. And we are constantly reminded of both.  It’s insinuated that he plays professional baseball, but that’s literally all we know about him.  And due to the impending crisis, Tip is drafted into the Starvengers without preamble, without any cursory background checks nor any previously revealed flight experience.  “Sure, guy we literally met 5 minutes ago, fly one of our multi-billion dollar advanced robot attack planes.  What could go wrong?”

Starvengers
And yes, Foul Tip is wearing a catcher’s uniform as his flight suit. Like that sh*t would work when his body is pulling 4Gs fighting off other giant robots.  Oh, and Tip speaks in mostly baseball metaphors during battle.  Subtle, Coen-like character work is going on here, my friends.

Let’s talk about the bad guys. The Pandemonium Empire.

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Six Million Dollar Man Season 6 coming March 12!

Posted in Bionic Man, comic books, pop culture, Six Million Dollar Man, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on January 29, 2014 by Paxton

Bionic Review

Not a review, today, just some news about the Dynamite Comics Bionic franchise.

Dynamite Comics announced that they are going to start a new Bionic Man series. Only this series will be a direct sequel to the 70s TV show, The Six Million Dollar Man. The title will begin on March 12 and be named, appropriately enough, The Six Million Dollar Man Season 6.

6mm1

Comic book continuations of TV shows have become quite popular since Joss Whedon allowed Buffy (Season 8) and Angel (Season 6) to be continued.  Now you can find comic book seasons for TV shows like Smallville (Season 11), Charmed (Season 9) and X-Files (Season 10).

According to Cosmic Book News, the new Six Million Dollar Man book will be drawn by Juan Antonio Ramirez and written by James Kuhoric.   Just like the last series, Alex Ross will be doing his awesome painted covers. Writer James Kuhoric should be familiar to fans of this blog as he wrote those awesome Jason vs Freddy vs Ash comics I reviewed for AWESOME-tober-fest 2012.  Cosmic Book News has an interview with Kuhoric as well as some early pencil art for the comic by Ramirez.  And the art looks GREAT. Click the image below to see a few more of Ramirez’s drawings within the Cosmic Book News’ article.

SMDMS6 art

It looks like Dynamite’s original Bionic Man title will stop in February and this new Season 6 title will take over. I guess that also means Bionic Woman will stop as well. I was enjoying the first Bionic Man title, but honestly, after Kevin Smith’s initial run, the title was holding my interest less and less. I think a reboot is a good idea and I LOVE the idea of actually continuing the original 70s TV show including the fashions and effects of the time.  Plus, Steve Austin will actually look like Lee Majors and Oscar will actually look like Richard Anderson.  That can be nothing but GOOD.  I wonder if Rudy will look like Darren McGavin or Alan Oppenheimer?

There are several other places to see more info about this new title. Bleeding Cool has an interview with Kuhoric and a lot of finished, colored art from the first issue. Also, if you head over to the 6 Million Dollar Blog you can see the cover to issue #2.

Nerd Lunch Episode 116: Live Action Super Hero Television

Posted in comic books, podcast, pop culture, Superman, The Flash, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on January 28, 2014 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

This week we are joined by Elliott Serrano, a writer from the Geek To Me Blog on RedEyeChicago.com. Elliott joins us to talk about live action super hero television.

Flash vs Trickster

We talk about some of our favorite live action super hero TV shows, we talk about why we think our favorites worked. We talk about ones we didn’t like and why we think they didn’t work. We even discuss M.A.N.T.I.S. for some reason.

We mention all the classic super hero shows (Batman ’66, Adventures of Superman, The Flash, etc) and we end the show with a discussion of the new school shows (Agents of SHIELD, Arrow, Marvel’s Netflix shows, etc).  It’s a great discussion chock full of super heroes.

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

Or listen to it online right here.

Thoughts on the 2014 Oscar Nominees

Posted in Academy Awards, movies, Oscars with tags , , , on January 22, 2014 by Paxton

Oscars Wild

Well, the 2014 Oscar Nominees were released on Thursday. Time to do my annual commentary. This should be interesting because with 2 kids now, my current movie viewing is at an all time low. Plus, it seems, I just don’t normally watch movies that get nominated for Oscars.

Wolf of Wall Street

Best picture

“12 Years a Slave” – This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.
“The Wolf of Wall Street” – I love Scorcese and I love DiCaprio. Put both of them together and you get “magic”, my friends. Well, except for Shutter Island. But everything else has been “magic”.
“Captain Phillips” – I understand why this is here. Tom Hanks. Somali Pirates. Drama. Triumph of the human spirit. Blah, blah, this looks boring, blah.
“Her” – Joaquin Phoenix looks like an 80s porn star in this movie.  I don’t typically like Spike Jonze’s movies but I’ll watch a pervy Joaquin Phoenix try to have sex with a computer.  That’s the premise, right?  Joaquin dry humping a computer?
“American Hustle” – My wife saw this and loved it. Apparently the Academy does too because it’s got like a million nominations.
“Gravity” – I understand the “gravity” of the situation.  I need to see this. (see what I did there?)
“Dallas Buyers Club” – Also known as Philadelphia 2.  I’ve seen the trailer and have no plans to ever watch it.
“Nebraska” – Didn’t Alexander Payne already make this movie? It was called About Schmidt. Bruce Dern looks just like Nicholson from that movie.  Does June Squibb have a naked hot tub scene?
“Philomena” – Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

American Hustle

Best director

Steve McQueen — “12 Years a Slave” – Steve McQueen?  Seriously?  Any relation to the actor? Gotta check IMDb—–wait, nevermind.
David O. Russell — “American Hustle” – This guy has made some good movies.  Nice followup to Silver Linings Playbook.
Alfonso Cuaron — “Gravity” – With all the buzz of this movie I feel pulled to watch it (again, see what I did there?)
Alexander Payne — “Nebraska” – Btw, I hated About Schmidt.
Martin Scorsese — “The Wolf of Wall Street” – YES. Go Marty. He can never have enough Oscars.

Dallas Buyers Club

Best actor

Bruce Dern — “Nebraska” –  AKA Jack Nicholson from About Schmidt.
Chiwetel Ejiofor — “12 Years a Slave” – As expected.  Seriously, though, I am a big fan of this actor.
Matthew McConaughey — “Dallas Buyers Club” – McConaughey has become quite the critic darling lately.  This movie, that other movie, Mud, and the TV show with Woody Harrelson, True Detective.  All this from the guy who gave us Wooderson (Allright, allright, allright!)
Leonardo DiCaprio — “The Wolf of Wall Street” – Dicaprio 4 Eva.
Christian Bale — “American Hustle” – Okay, I guess.  I haven’t seen this, but honestly, Bale hasn’t really compelled me in a long time.

Gravity

Best actress

Amy Adams — “American Hustle” – I love her.  She’s very good in almost everything she’s done.  Very likable and funny.
Cate Blanchett — “Blue Jasmine” – I’m not a Woody Allen fan. But I am a Cate Blanchett fan.  And Alec Baldwin.  And I was surprised how much I actually liked Allen’s Midnight in Paris.
Judi Dench — “Philomena” – Judi Dench is great.  This movie doesn’t look great.
Sandra Bullock — “Gravity” – I feel drawn to Sandra Bullock.  ( Whatever. MY PUNS ARE AWESOME.).
Meryl Streep — “August: Osage County” – Meryl will always be nominated.  Always.  Even in movies that look like they were created to be shown in clinics that specialize in insomnia (because it looks so goddam boring).

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Nerd Lunch Episode 115: Star Wars Episode VII Roundtable

Posted in movies, podcast, sequels, Star Wars with tags , , , on January 21, 2014 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

This week on the podcast we invite back my good friend Jason Collier who originally joined us back in episode 14 when we talked about the Star Wars Holiday Special. This time, I’m hosting again and Jason joins us for a another Star Wars discussion, but this time on Disney’s Star Wars Episode VII.

star-wars-episode-vii-hartter1
(Via artist Sean Hartter)

It’s been a little over a year since the announcement that Disney bought Lucasfilm and they were going to make all new movies.  So, we thought it was a good time to have a roundtable about this very subject.  In this roundtable we all talk about the first time we heard that Disney bought Lucasfilm. We talk about what we know about the new movies, we talk about what we’ve heard about the new movies. We even go into what we’d maybe like to see in the new movies. We also go over some news on the proposed one-off solo movies and the expanded universe. This episode is chock full of Star Wars-y goodness.

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

Or listen to it online right here.