Tuesday, July 31, 2007

So Hot Right Now: Artist Karl Kerschl

A few weeks ago, you may recall I just about melted into a puddle over artist Karl Kerschl's pages in All Flash #1. Well, happy days are here again, cause get a load of this gorgeous cover for the first ish of the upcoming Teen Titans: Year One miniseries. They look great! They actually have the bodies of young teens, awkwardness included. Love it.

Karl is part of the Horhaus illustration studio; he blogs regularly and posts sketches on their official site, Horhaus.com. Many of these aforementioned sketches are of pretty ladies. And in more recent news, Karl was at the San Diego Comic Con and met Pikachu! Man, he's a great artist AND confidant to the stars?! Some guys have all the luck.

Image via Newsarama
Panel Discussion of All Flash #1 (with spoilerific scans)
Geekanerd's Review of All Flash #1

Indiana Goes Lego

While we're on the subject of Indiana Jones, take a look at this trailer for the Lego Indiana Jones video game! Swinging from vines and running from boulders never looked so blocky. I've only had limited playtime with Lego Star Wars (I'm holding out for the Complete Saga Wii release), but it was a fun dynamic in spite of some pretty weak grasps at humor. I expect Indiana will be the same but sweatier.

Bully Coming to The Wii

Everyone's favorite violent (yet decent) 15-year old, Jimmy Hopkins, will be coming to the Wii and XBox 360 in Fall 2007. The new versions will be released under the title "Bully: Scholarship Edition", but no word yet on whether any new material or bonus features will be included.

Bully was my favorite game of 2006, and I can't wait to see how the Wii's interactivity enhances the title's already extreamly absorbing gameplay. My main quibble with the game on the PS2 platform was that the fighting engine was too easy to master and become cheap with. A control set similar to Wii Boxing would be PERFECT for Bully's schoolyard scraps, allowing you to swing away like crazy at anyone who makes the dire mistake of messing with you. Just like we all did in real life, right?

Check out the official word on Rockstar's official Bully site.

Marion is Back With Indy!

One of the big Indiana Jones reveals at Comic-Con was that Karen Allen will be reprising her role as hard-drinkin', tough-talkin', Indiana-lovin' Marion Ravenwood in the new Indiana Jones movie. Oh, and also Shia LaBeouf looks ridiculous with facial hair. See them all walking and talking to a Comic-Con crowd via satellite in the video section of the official site. On a side note, can anyone recall if Marion's absence from Temple of Doom was explained? It bothers me when love interests disappear in sequels so our hero can bed a new damsel.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Weekanerd NYC: Mario Strikers, Movies, and Super Secret Science Club

MONDAY, JULY 30, 2007

I kinda hated the GameCube version of this title, and the Wii doesn't exactly seem made to simulate games played with your feet, but...uh, Albo, why should people be excited about this again?

TUESDAY, JULY 31, 2007
Sci-fi punk mayhem, starring everyone's favorite Mighty Duck. Free!

The Super Sceret Science club meets once a month for guest lectures and science nerd fun - this month, the presentation is on everyone's favorite terrifying topic, global warming. Also included in the evening are "low-impact tunes", a video, Q & A, and "Eco-Cocktails". Free!


Two examples of classic NYC film noir for the price of one. Get your film history on.

Iron Man Footage is Better Than I Hoped

Oh, delightful. This is the footage from the upcoming Iron Man movie that Jon Favreau showed to an appreciative Comic-Con crowd. And I gotta say, for a character I don't care too much about I am now officially excited for the Iron Man movie. Most encouraging is Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark persona, he looks like he's going to be a blast to watch when out of costume. Even the armor, which I was a little unsure about, doesn't look too cheesy in action. Him outmaneuvering the fighter jets at the end really got my blood pumping.

Panel Discussion: The Best, Worst, and Weirdest Panels of the Week - 6/25/07

SPOILER WARNING: Panels may contain plot points!

Teen Titans #49

Showing up at the last conceivable moment to help the Titans, and then not helping very much at all, Supes smiles beatifically as he announces he's solved a complex war-time ethics problem involving interned terrorism suspects by leaving a battalion of soldiers with no weapons or communications in the middle of a war zone. "I wonder how that happened?"
*Superdickery is of course intellectual property of Superdickery.com, we at Geekanerd are just trying to stay vigilant!

More Panel Discussion after the jump!

Seeing Bruce showing his Bat-Side is always a little scary, but in the panel to the left he looks downright villainous! The T-Rex has got nothing on B-Wayne when it comes to imposing chompers. Small quibble - why is he dressed as Bruce in the Bat Cave? Oh right, the story necessitates it. Cool.

Finding Dr. T.O Morrow on a cruiseship, cocktail in hand is by no means call for WTF (although I might question the wisdom behind an undisguised supervillian attending a magic show starring Zatanna). My problem is with the fact that Mary Marvel doesn't recognize him, when Morrow played a huge part in the Marvel family saga of 52. I know she was out of commission for a while, but has she done ANY research as to what happened during the past year? And shouldn't she be able to recognize a major figure in the mad scientist community just on general principal? Oh well. Good thing she didn't actually try any funny stuff with the Doc, lest he whip out the ol' Garage Door Opener of Extreme Head Trauma.

MOST SEVERE BEATDOWN: Ares Vs Ultron's Iron Many Army, Mighty Avengers #4
Fsham! When heroes fight robots, the good guys are given a rare chance to terminate their foes as violently and creatively as they please. Definite style points to Ares for his "go with the moment" technique, and also to Wonder Man in the background, who goes with the less imaginative but still effective "punch-the-bad-guy-so-hard-his-head-flies-off" maneuver.

BEST ACTOR: Jimmy Olsen, All-Star Batman and Robin #4
Jimmy's reaction to the vampy Vicki Vale is priceless. He covers all the steps one must employ when dealing with a naked woman you hardly know:
  1. Politely avert your eyes
  2. Turn away when she starts to remove her clothes, bite your lip to keep calm
  3. Be a gentleman and stare at the wall stoically
  4. Half-close your eyes and look her way to get a peek (you can see Jimmy feels bad about this one)
  5. If Step 4 reveals her to be turned the other way, go ahead and open your eyes wide to really soak up the view
  6. Snap your head back to the wall if she looks like she's about to spot you or if you catch a glimpse of something that blows your mind (looks like Jimmy experienced the latter).

Link: More of Geekanerd's Panel Discussions

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Iron Man in a Glass Cage at Comic-Con

Newsarama has pics of this Iron Man armor from every imaginable angle up at their site. I like this look a lot more than the plastic-y looking armor he dons later in the film. It has some real meat to it instead of looking like a cartoon.

New Teaser Site and Trailer for The Dark Knight

Well, I can't attest that the site is new, only that I haven't seen it before. It has some goodies including pics of Joker wannabes and a police report detailing some recent disturbance they were involved in. Can't say I know what the heck that's all about, but the site also has a big teaser trailer that doesn't have much to recommend it other than the first taste of Heath Ledger's Joker voice. Sounds aight! In other Dark Knight news, here is Heath himself showing Maggie Gyllenhaal his knife:
Looks aight!

Thanks for the tip, Johnny!

World Series of Video Games to Air on CBS

Guitar Hero II!
Fight Night Round 3!
World of Warcraft!

Wanna watch someone else play these games? You're in luck! The first ever video game competition to invade broadcast television will be beaming into your house Sunday at Noon (EST). Guitar Hero should be fun to watch (showmanship is factored into the score), but Fight Night? World of Warcraft? I choose you, Snorlax!

Check out The Official Site,
Read the New York Times article,
And thank you to Greg for the tip!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Comic Con Goods: Sweeney Todd and Watchmen Posters

Sweeney Todd and Watchmen are the two upcoming screen adaptations that I'm most looking forward to. That said, I am much, much, much more excited about Sweeney Todd. What's my problem, you ask? Well, while Geeknerd deservedly focuses on comics, movies and games, the truly GREATEST popular art of our lifetime is the work of composer Stephen Sondheim, and Sweeney Todd is his masterpiece. And while this blog doesn't cover theater geekery, trust me, this movie is going to blow all the expectations of all non-belivers to ribbons. When Johnny Depp as Sweeney gets going, he'll show those torture-porn directors what blood-letting is really about.

Granted, Tim Burton hasn't made a great film in over a decade. But I have it on good authority that the Sweeney movie does justice to the genius of the source, and this poster sure strikes the right tone. Maybe Tim used up all his Brilliance Points on Ed Wood back in 1994, and it's taken till now to build them back up again. This poster from Comic Con strikes exactly the right tone.

Image via JustJared.

Check out the Watchmen teaser poster after the jump.

The Watchmen poster I'm less impressed by. While this poster also classes it up by using a new image from artist Dave Gibbons, at this point all I care about is seeing is what this cast of young'ins is going to look like in action. Nice of of them to align themselves with the source material for all to see, but it really is a teaser in the meanest sense of the word. Give us costumes!

Image via Newsarama via some cool dude's Flickr account.

Comic Artists Blog Their Way Through the San Diego Comic Con

Can't make it to San Diego for the Comic Con? Check out the blogs of some of Geekanerd's favorite writers and artists for an inside look at what they'll be premiering at the Con.

Neil Gaiman (Sandman, Stardust, 1602)
  • Neil has been actively blogging his experiences at Comic Con, including when he presented the new Beowulf footage with Roger Avary, and the subsequent rooftop reception. The entry is tagged "Why I Am Crap At Parties", which reminds me of Why I Am In Love With Neil Gaiman.

Brian Wood (DMZ, Supermarket, the upcoming Dogs Day End)
  • Today's entry links to some just-released preview art of Wood's new viking story, Northlanders. Plus a recent post titled "Things To Look Out For" indicates some information about Brian's "unnaounced" original graphic novel will drop during the Con.

David Petersen
(Mouse Guard)
  • Check out this post for a peek at the Mouse Guard sketchbook that will make it's debut at Comic Con. Petersen's art never fails to amaze.

Humberto Ramos (Wolverine, currently on X-Men)
  • I'm a big fan of Ramos' art - you can buy his sketchbook online through his blog, plus he's got a scan up of the stickers he'll be premiering at Comic Con (wait, stickers? Is that it?!)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Snap Judgements:
Mighty Avengers #4, Blue Beetle #17, All-Star Batman and Robin #6

As always, Snap Judgements gives you Triple-S comic reviews: short, sweet, and spoiler-free.

Mighty Avengers #4: Ultron Brings the Heat

If you've been following this series, you know that our Mighty Avengers are facing off against a new Ultron who's got a lot of new tricks, including replacing Tony Stark with a sexy metallic lady. This ish doesn't progress the showdown all that much, which would be my only major complaint other than the glaring continuity problems (Stark is basically dead here and alive everywhere else in the Marvel Universe, New York is being destroyed in World War Hulk but here it's business as usual in the Big Apple). But if you've liked the book up to this point you'll keep liking it. Frank Cho and Jason Keith are pumping out some of the best looking superhero art around right now. Brian Bendis is his usual snappy self when it comes to dialogue, though the story itself is a little disorienting, jumping from one thing to the next without really getting anywhere. Every month I keep telling myself I won't pick up the next issue due to the lack of development and lazy storytelling, but the book's got so much damn style I just can't stay away.

Gorgeous Art - Flat Storytelling - Continuity Quibbles = C+

Reviews for Blue Beetle #17, and All-Star Batman and Robin #6 after the jump...

Blue Beetle #17: With Great Power...

This is the Beetle's first real brush with the guilt that comes from being a superhero that just can't save everyone. There's some real tear-jerking panels in here. The Beetle does admirably, though, and the book distinguishes itself from others in that our hero uses his brain just as much as he uses his fists to solve problems. It's not about testosterone, it's about saving lives and it's a real blast to see him come up with clever solutions to problems other heroes would get real pissy about. Even the cleverest fella around makes a cameo appearance just to say how impressed he is. The book is really defining its angle here and I can't wait to see where we go next.

Unique Hero Character + Laughs and Tears + Social Conscience = A

All-Star Batman and Robin #6: Move Along, Nothing to See Here

I love Frank Miller with a heartfelt passion that shines so bright I look like E.T. when I'm reading Sin City. Some of this book is great Miller, too. His interior monologue for the Bat throughout this series depicts the hero as a sadist and sociopath and it sure gets me going. Unfortunately the fun ends there. After six issues it's still unclear where it's going (the first couple made it seem like a Robin: Year One story, but he's not even in this issue). If a book is going to come out as irregularly as this does, the sumbitch better move along. It makes me think the worst, that Miller is just ambling along, turning in scripts for a paycheck without a real concern for his audience. That's us, guys. Frank Miller might not care about us.

Great Bat Writing - Bad Bat Development - No Focus = C

First Official Watchmen Casting Info

Rumors have been swirling 'round about some of these guys for a while now, but this morning saw the first official announcement of a cast for Zack Snyder's Watchmen adaptation. There's some good, some bad here, so hit the jump to get the skinny.

Jackie Earle Haley is Rorschach/Walter Kovacs
Seems like a great choice to me. He's got the creepiness and the dispassionate stare down pat. Also, he's a great actor but unrecognizable enough where the audience won't guess Rorschach's secret identity the moment he walks on screen without the mask. Good choice!

Billy Crudup is Dr. Manhattan
Sure! I can't say I'm a huge Crudup fan in general, but I'm betting he can pull off the emotionless demigod act pretty well. He's also got the features for a nice bald blue head. Good choice!

Malin Akerman is Laurie Juspeczyk/the Silk Spectre
Who? Ok, lemme go to IMDB.... Ah! She's got Entourage, The Comeback, and Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle under her belt. Can't say I remember her from those, but that's fine, I don't need my Watchmen to be recognizable as long as they're good actors. What I do need is for my Watchmen to not undermine the premise of the story. Ackerman is young and hot, Laurie Juspeczyk isn't young and hot. Watchmen, very simply, is about retired superheros. People who had some glory days but are now past their prime, literally and figuratively impotent in a world that has tossed them aside. Impotence is not something 29 year old Akerman brings to mind. Bad choice!

Matthew Goode is Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias
Argh! Where did Snyder cast this film, summer camp? This baby-faced 29 year old is supposed to be a retired superhero, the smartest man alive and the founder of a multi-billion dollar global corporation? Veidt needs to look like a man with some life experience if his decisions in the story are to be believable at all. Goode ain't got it. Bad choice!

Patrick Wilson is Dan Dreiberg/Nite Owl II
Oh, how torn I am here. I really do love Patrick Wilson. He's a great actor. Really great. And he's probably the sexiest man alive, if I may say so in my humble hetero opinion. Unfortunately, Dan Dreiberg is NOT the sexiest man alive. Dan Dreiberg, more than any of the other ex-heroes, has let himself go. He's aging, he's fat, he's impotent... This is the guy who illustrates most precisely the post-adventuring hero. Even putting on weight isn't going to hide Wilson's sculpted cheekbones, dreamy blue eyes, sensual lips and... Um. Bad choice!

Jeffrey Dean Morgan is The Comedian
Yeah, fine. Ok. If the whole cast is skewed young, at least this guy looks the part. Would be nice if he were older but the most important thing this character does is die and I'm tired of saying bad choice so I'm gonna go ahead and say Good choice!

Source: The Hollywood Reporter
[Please go read additional commentary at FilmWad, because I stole all their pictures and if you don't give them a click I'm gonna feel reeeeeaaal guilty!]

Guitar Hero 80's Party Pictures

With Albo in Atlanta and AHR getting Movie Geek going, Geekanerd Agent Rachel had to be our sole emissary at the first 80's Edition of the weekly Guitar Hero Party at Pianos in NYC.

Rachel: Agent of G.N.E.R.D. reporting for debrief! I had a great time at the party Tuesday night and I have lots of pictures to share. It was fun to see people fumbling through the songs for the first time (except for a few experts who sight-read very well) and the enthusiasm for some of the 80's classics really led to a great energy in the room. Of course my favorite part of the evening was the MC, who I could watch dance for hours. We sort of had a connection. More pics of him and some other interesting characters are below.

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Web Game Of The Week: Rose & Camellia

Every Thursday on Geekanerd, Johnny (our resident Web Game Addict) offers up his pick for the best new game of the week.

Feel like getting your slap on? Well now you can with Rose & Camellia (from Nigoro), a Japanese Anime/Punch Out based slapping game. Now the game is in Japanese, and I don’t know how to read or speak Japanese, but I believe the gist of the story goes like this. You’re a little girl in feudal Japan who needs to slappity-slap all the other women in your quarters. Story aside, Rose & Camellia features beautiful graphics and a wonderful and funny game concept. Check it out!
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Game Play:
The controls are really easy but difficult at first to get the hang of. Every once in a while, an attack button will appear to on the bottom right. Click on it then swing your mouse over the opponent’s face. When your foe is about to attack, an evade button will appear on the bottom left. Click on that then swing your mouse the other way. Once you have successfully evaded a slap, a counter button will appear in the bottom right. This has the same function as the attack button.

In playing this, I realized that the most important thing to master is the art of evading and countering. Attacking leaves you open to counterstrikes. If you never attack but just successfully evade and counter, you will have no problem beating the game. When the opponent is close to dying, attacking becomes much easier.

Thanks Johnny! Check back next Thursday for more Geek-Approved Web Games.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Angelina Jolie Gets Naked and Hooved for Beowulf

Update 9/5/07: With new trailers come new, naughtier, yet still unsatisfying Angelina nudie pics. Check out Geekanerd's latest Beowulf article here.

Beowulf, Robert Zemeckis' latest motion-captured CGI movie, is screening at Comic Con tonight and the LA Times has a first look at the flick which includes this poetic intro:
Angelina Jolie's lips look even fuller than usual. She's emerging naked from a pool of dank cave water, rivulets of gold streaming gently down her body.

"Giiiif meee sonnnn," she coos, in an Old English accent.

Her flaxen hair is braided down her back in a long tail that slowly undulates and slaps the dark pool around her. She continues to purr enticements about making babies as a virtual camera circles 360 degrees panning around her long limbs and waist. Gold dribbles down her inner thighs past her feet, revealing sharp stilettos merged with bestial hooves.
Angelina purring enticements about making babies... Shiver me timbers. Hit the jump for more from the article, including quotes from screenwriter Neil Gaiman, a picture of digital Anthony Hopkins as King of the Uncanny Valley, and a naked George McFly.

Well, there's no picture of a naked George McFly, but Crispin Glover is playing a scaled Grendel in the movie, so he'll be a part of this epic throwdown:
One of the film's pivotal fight scenes is when Beowulf battles Grendel in the nude, mano a beast-o. ("Bob asked if he had to be nude, but we said, 'It's in the poem,' " Gaiman explained.) So in a crafty bit of staging to allow a PG-13 rating, Beowulf's naughty bits are obfuscated by random objects in the foreground. It's more subtle and subdued, but shadows, swords, mead flagons and shoulders block all in a sequence not unlike the prankish cloaking device used in "Austin Powers" films.
How is this not going to be hilarious? A scaled Crispin Glover fighting naked with all-too-convenient cover-up? The audience will be cracking up! Comic Con is gonna laugh these jokers out of San Diego! At least Gaiman is interested in producing an unrated version without such silly tricks and with a lot more cursing. Anyway, I have serious doubts about the potential of this film, regardless of whose naughty bits we almost see. Look at this pic below:

Aaaah, don't they freak you out!? They're too real to work as sympathetic cartoons and too fake to work as sympathetic humans. How can we be expected to care for mannequins? That being said, I trust Neil Gaiman:
The writer admits he personally had his doubts about Zemeckis' ability to pull off "Beowulf" given the "horrid little rotoscope-y ghost people" in "Polar Express." Gaiman saw his first clips of the film last week and said he was convinced that Zemeckis, with his mocap filmmaking style and digital 3-D world, has made quantum advances in his unique filmic grammar since then.
Still not a shining endorsement, but... But nothing, this film is gonna suck. Right Neil?

Gaiman: "It was like watching the cast of 'Tron' performing bad Shakespeare in the round."


Read the full article at the LA Times (requires free registration).
Via FilmWad.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Top Ten Classic Cartoon Intros

Today Geekanerd is running down the TOP TEN CLASSIC CARTOON INTROS, those 60-second masterpieces that got you all fired up before your favorite cartoon. Grab a bowl of Cap'n Crunch, and join as we count 'em down!

  • Must be from a series no longer being produced
  • Must be an English-language series
  • Must feature original animation (none of that Disney Afternoon clip-show crap!)
  • Must be from a series intended for kids
Read the rankings and watch the videos after the jump...
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1:00 - This opening shot of Tazmania is as awe-inspiring as any IMAX nature doc.
0:43 - Taz has more personality and life in these few frames than he did in any of the actual episodes.
0:28 - Falling Safe Alert. WB Animation really nails those classic gags!

This opening does a great job putting Taz-Mania's madcap cast of characters on display. Taz himself, however, was a pretty poor protagonist. It's as if they gave Ed from the Lion King his own show. Taz was only around for name recognition, and was by far the least interesting thing about the series. The opening sequence seems to acknowledge this up front ("Oh yeah, don't forget Taz") in the grand tradition of Warner Brothers Cartoon Self-Awareness.

9. Muppet Babies

0:29 - Words can't convey how bizarre this transition is; it seems that the dimension Scooter had been occupying is sucked into a black hole and replaced with a circus nightmare featuring his opposite-sex doppelganger.
0:18 - The appearance of a genuine Advanced Tie Fighter cements Muppet Babies as the coolest show on Nickelodeon, ever.

Does this opener remind you of anything? I'm now convinced that the very distinctive (read: ugly) Rugrats intro is in fact a direct homage to Muppet Babies. They both capture the sense of micro-chaos that makes up the world of a child, although Muppet Babies does it to a rockin' 1960s The-Beach-Boys-meets-The-Monkees-Meets-The-Chipmunks theme song.


0:40 - This switch from 1st to 3rd person perspective is a brilliant example of how sometimes breaking the rules yields amazing results. And that is one POWERFUL run cycle!

The animation in this intro is technically superb, and here's why - it was done by Pacific Animation Corporation, which in 1986 included a collective of animators who would go to found Studio Ghibli!

7. Count Duckula

1:23 - This stuffy British production company logo confused kids across the nation..."When did Nickelodeon become PBS?!"
1:15 - Great, scary image...wouldn't you love to own that animation cel?
0:50 - The narrator really sells this voice over. Gotta love the brits.
0:18 - Showing a mere carrot to be more vicious than Duckula is a nice surreal way of putting a point across.

There sure is a lot of satanic imagery on display here...good to know that while until recently Harry Potter books were still being burned, in the 80s you could slip a pentagram and blood rituals into a kids show and no one would bat an eye. Good times!

6. Doug

0:28 - Ah young love...don't you wish real crushes were as gentle and transcendent as this?
0:21 - The way Doug tenses his feet to convey surprise is a great bit of cartoon "acting".

Doug may be THE most innocent cartoon ever made - while many of these intros are heavy on flash and action, Doug's opening sequence is so charming and simple you might not notice what an ingenious bit of meta-animation it really is.

5. Jem

0:40 - Did you see that?! A guy drove his car drove up on stage and grabbed Jem! And look at how the frame shakes after they drive off screen - he totally drove into a wall and killed them both!
0:19 - Wow...The Misfits are not afraid to use slightly discordant harmonies, KISS-style make-up, and provocative stage presence. Good for them!
0:14 - Although I have to say, Jem really makes her one spin-move work for her.

No one on the Geekanerd Writing Staff ever watched Jem as a kid, but this intro is incredible. It captures the 80s MTV aesthetic almost better than MTV did! The rotoscoping is used to great effect, and I can't get over how awesome The Misfits are. I hope a reunion tour is in the works.

4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

0:37 - "Get a grip!" And they're literally getting a grip on their weapons. Classic.
0:27 - Anyone who thinks Mikey is mere comic relief would do well to witness his pwning of ninja stars.
0:24 - Splinter's transformation is kind of terrifying...look at that smoke coming off his hands!
0:12 - Pizza toppings stick to the "camera lens"...nice touch, animators!

This intro's hyperactive energy is impossible to resist, and it somehow succeeds in making anthropomorphic turtles look like the coolest guys around. But take a look at 0:40 - This profile shot of the turtles is awesome, but why does it look familiar? Compare with Thundercats at 0:55...hmm.

3. The Real Ghostbusters

0:59 - This opening strut rivals Saturday Night Fever for sheer coolness.
0:42 - All the main characters are perfectly summarized...Egon does machines, Ray is the happy-go-lucky goof, Peter is lazy and hilarious, Slimer likes eating and Winston is the token black guy with no personality.
0:24 - Nightmare fodder for kids across America.
0:20 Nothing says "I'm going to trap you in a box" like rhythmic gun presentation.

Boy, the animation owes so much to anime! Jeanne's reaction at :30 to being kissed by Slimer is an facial expression straight out of the Tenchi playbook. And Jeanne is looking pretty sexy for a nerdy single secretary...but maybe that's just me.

2.Tiny Toons

0:48 - I love this gag. Babs and Buster defy expectations at every turn!
0:33 - Tiny Toons made a big deal about the art of wild takes, and Plucky, reacting to his own giant head, gives a great example here.
0:28 - Pay attention to their body language- Buster jumps in with a feminine flourish, and Babs barges in. A split second later, it's revealed that the two are disguised as the other. These animators really went the extra mile.

Tiny Toons began what would be a Renaissance in smart, edgy comedic cartoons from the WB (this trend would finally fly to close to the sun with the brilliant but alienating Freakazoid). The tone of this intro was used again and again in the WB cartoons that followed, but the quick-witted magic was never captured quite so well as on Tiny Toons. "We crack up all the censors" has to be one of the all-time greatest lyrics for a kid's cartoon. Irreverence defined.

1. Batman: The Animated Series

0:56 - As the cheery WB logo fades into the glaring headlights of a police blimp, you know you know this toon means business.
0:44 - Now that is a good looking explosion! And be sure to note the elegant animation on the falling debris.
0:33 - This is a perfect graphic-novel style composition - angular, bold colors - effortlessly effective.
0:26 - What are these crooks so scared of?
0:23 - Oh, right.
0:20 - If anyone had any questions as to how an unarmed vigilante could deal with gun-toting punks, here's your answer.
0:18 - Note the punk's horrified reaction to seeing this demon of the night take out his partner. This is what Batman is all about, people.
0:17 - Beautiful if physically improbable aerial move.
0:09 - Great dumbstruck body language on the cop, indicating that Bats works outside the system.
0:03 - Chilling. A single frame ingrained in the psyche's of kids across America.

Many readers will have had occasion to watch this opening long since their childhood, as the complete Batman: The Animated Series DVD Collection is required viewing for all animation/comic book geeks. But no matter how many times you watch this sequence, it doesn't lose it's impact. It's simple, stark, and gorgeous. Watched from beginning to end, you can't help but be moved by that ever-vigilant pose in the final shot...never has a cartoon hero looked so dark and foreboding. This intro prepared kids across the nation for what was so often a thrilling, serious, and emotionally gripping half hour of toonage. Give it up for Bruce Timm, ladies and gentlemen.

Some animation buffs may be ready to storm the Geekanerd Technodrome for making a "classic" list comprised entirely of cartoons from the 80s and 90s. In our defense, we did review toons from earlier eras, and even the best seemed flat and repetitive when compared to our cherished finalists. Also it seems the Z-axis was not discovered in popular American animation until 1980.

Oh, we also left out Animaniacs. Sorry.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Future is Here Pt.2
The Flying Car

First jetpacks, now this! Moller International has dropped a press release that claims their volantors (vertical take off and landing aircrafts capable of flying in a quick, nimble and agile manner) are going into production and they're ready to accept your money! It comes in three flavors:
  • M200G (pictured above) - $125,000 - Max Speed 75mph, payload 250lbs
  • M200E - $175,000 - Max Speed 125mph, payload 450lbs
  • Firefly 3 - $450,000 - Max Speed 175mph, payload 600lbs

A deposit on any one of those will set you back 5-25% of the total price, depending on how soon you want it. Hit the jump for VIDEO of a flight test and Geekanerd's plea for a test flight interview with Moller General Manager Bruce Calkins.

Geekanerd: Is there already a waiting list for the M200G?

Bruce Calkins: We have a number of people who have put deposits on the M400 who will be given an opportunity to apply this deposit to the M200G. Since we have not yet made this offer to the existing depositors I don't have a firm number, but my guess is that perhaps as many as 50 of these depositors may move over to the M200G list. Our production estimates for the first year are six, with 40 in the next year and 200+ in the third. If 50 people were to jump in line ahead of you, the earliest you could expect delivery is sometime in 2009 if you were to place a deposit for a vehicle in the first tier of the delivery schedule. Please note (see the M200 Deposit Agreement) that there are three tiers corresponding to the level of deposit you wish to make. Tier one is a vehicle from serial number 6 through 40, tier two is for 41 through 250, and tier three is for 251 through 650. The minimum M200G deposit for tier one is $31,250, tier two is $12,500, and tier three is $6,250.

GN: Your site refers to it as a recreational vehicle, so do you see it as a novelty item like a jetski, something people might rent time with at a vacation spot? Or are you trying to pitch the vehicle for practical (transportation, military) uses as well?

BC: While we envision many recreational and practical (agriculture, public safety) uses, we will leave that to the end-user to determine. Once we have demonstrator vehicles, I am certain there will be many very imaginative uses that come to mind.

GN: Your specs say it won't go above 10 feet, but the video on your site [see below, Gnerds!] clearly shows a vehicle going much higher--is the 10ft limit a self-regulation to keep within FAA guidelines?

BC: Yes. We believe that by constraining the vehicle to a height equal to or less than the diameter of the craft that it will not be necessary to identify the vehicle as an aircraft and therefore kept it exempt from requlations that might otherwise apply.

So there you have it, folks. Now for what you really wanted to see, a video of the damn thing in action:

M200X Flight Test

Also worth a look is this hilarious video promoting their Skycar for rescue operations:

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Wii Bowling League Coming to New York

Steve Bryant, half of the duo behind the recent smash-hit Wiimbledon event, has gone in with Internet media guru Tim Shey to create Wii Bowl NY, a new Wii Bowling League. Details are slim at the moment, and the website isn't up as of this writing, but Bryant does have a few words for us as to his plans for the league...

"We expect it to be like a corporate softball league -- weekly games, three-person teams, played at various bars around the city. Probably start in September once everybody's back from vacation."
They aren't the first out of the gate with the idea, but they did a great job with Wiimbledon and established sponsorship relationships with Nintendo and Reebok for that event. So count on it going down with style. Something else to think about is that they've also registered the domain http://www.wiiloveny.com/, so this may be the first of many new Wii events for the Big Apple. In the meantime, you can join their Facebook group and stay tuned to Geekanerd for more info.

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Related: Geek Sports:
Geekanerd's Video Coverage The International Yo-Yo Open

Weekanerd NYC: Sci Fi Flicks, Movie Geek, and Guitar Hero: 80s Edition!

MONDAY, JULY 23, 2007
  • Metropolis
  • 7 & 9:30pm @ Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street.
One of the great science fiction films of all time, this 35mm print has been meticulously restored and will be accompanied by a stereo recording of the original orchestral score. Buy tickets online here.

TUESDAY, JULY 24, 2007
To celebrate the release Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks The 80s, Pianos is hosting a special All-80s tournament! Don't be a dick and buy the game during the day to practice...come in cold and experience the thrill of playing all-new Guitar Hero tracks in front of a live, drunk audience!

These free outdoor screenings rock. Perhaps seeing The Matrix on a big screen again will help you forget the unpleasantness of the sequels. FREE POPCORN!

This "multimedia play" is a fast-paced comedy about the life of the world's greatest movie geek. The show was the surprise hit of the 2005 NYC Fringe Fest, and contains more movie references than can possibly be digested in one evening. I should know...because I, AHR, directed the AWARD-WINNING videos that blend seamlessly with the action on stage! Tickets are $15 at the door, or you can buy 'em online here.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Release Parties - Caught on Video Tape!

Alright Potter-ites, did you enjoy The Deathly Hallows? I hope so, cause that's it! Harry Potter is over! Sad but true. You'll have to reside on fanfic from now on.

Geekanerd's home base of Manhattan was all aglow with wizardly activities for the book's release, and we were able to make it to three of the events around town. Check out out video highlights of the parties at Harry Potter Place in Soho, the Union Square Barnes and Noble, and the "Party for Grown-Ups" at McNally Robinson in Nolita!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Ubisoft Wants To Come Over to Your Place, Smoke a Bowl, and Strum Your DS

Ubisoft Game Producer Carlo DeLallana wants to play you a song. He wrote it last night when he couldn't get to sleep (he never can), and it really expresses how... how... fucked up the world can be sometimes. You know? It's like... He just wants to say something without the filter of society bearing down on every word, but words ARE society, you know? Like Frege said, right? It's like the only thing that makes any sense at all is to eschew words altogether and just speak with his heart, his guitar[-simulating DS game]. Anyway, just listen...

You found the bonus jam!

Potter Went Down to Georgia

I'm out of big time crazy party sin-tacular NYC for a bit, so I missed all the hot Potter Extravaganzas AHR went to last night and is no doubt still recovering from. Instead I took part in a much humbler affair, the Grand Hallows Ball at Borders Bookstore in Cumming, GA. Nothing fancy, just a store full of happy people awaiting their favorite book.

The sign-in table was policed by Dementors... Not exactly welcoming.

Plenty more pics after the jump, including a twist ending!

I tried to play Voldemort and attack this baby Potter with an Avada Kadavra spell (that's a killing curse for all you *spit* Muggles out there) but he just cried. Some hero.

Seattle's Best Coffee in the back had a bit of a makeover to become The Leaky Cauldron.

Everyone was encouraged to choose sides, be it as part of the Umbridge Inquisitor[ial] Squad or Dumbledore's Army.

This woman was reading people's fortunes through tea leaves, but I suspect she was a fraud...

Midnight finally arrives and the books roll out... But the store is extremely unorganized and everything is taking way too long so we head across the street to...

...the 24-hour Kroger supermarket! Less glamorous, sure, but a table full of books and no waiting!