Friday, February 27, 2009

Great News for Continuity Buffs: Sam Jackson in for 9 Marvel Movies!

There was some concern a few weeks back when Samuel L. Jackson denied rumors that he was slated to play Nick Fury in upcoming Marvel movies... well, Marvel must have offered him a purple lightsaber, because now Hollywood Reporter is hollywood reporting (yes, I've used that joke before, but I like it) that he just signed a 9 picture deal with Marvel Studios. So you can now look forward to seeing him in Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America, The Avengers, Ant Man, The Stupendous Hulk, Spiderman 7, Power Pack, Doc Doom's Big Adventure, and My Dinner with Andre the Mutant... ok, most of those were fake-but seriously, 9 movies is a shit ton of movies! Do they even have 9 movies worth of material?

Anyway, this just furthers my argument that Marvel Studios is doing everything right with their franchises. Smart move on their part-I don't remember hearing any audience cheer more then when Sam Jackson stepped out of the shadows at the end of Iron Man.

More Watchmen Viral Marketing

Maybe not quite as cool (or convincing) as their previous viral videos, but you have to give them credit for being thorough. It's certainly getting me excited for the movie (though that's a risk, I'm sure). I particularly love the Watchmen universe take on the classic Mtv intro and the fact that Veidt is so full of himself, that he has his own network rank him as cooler than Dr. Manhattan. Those're some brass Egyptian balls. You check out more of this stuff (including a silly 80's arcade game of The Minutemen at The New Frontiersman.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Panel Discussion: Dark Avengers #2, Batman/Superman #55, The Great Unknown #1, and More

Beatdown of the Week - Superman/Batman #55

For those not following Batman/Superman (like myself, three days ago), the context here is Batman has been temporarily granted Superman's powers, and he's gone mad! Mad with powers! It's up to Wingding to take him in...

Whak! Chok! Pwn'd!

Acrobat leaping powers, activate! (Get it? AcroBAT?)

And the finishing touch...
...years of bitterness from being forced to wear a little yellow cape, expelled in one move. Robin Classic FTW!

Great art and more violence, after the jump...

Best Splash Panel - Dark Avengers #2
Oh, Sentry! What WON'T you do?

The Magic of Comics - Black Lightning #4
Fantastic balance between foreground and background, stillness and movement, light and shadow. And not a single sound effect to clutter it up.

Best Character Moment - Robin #184
The laugh-out-loud ridiculousness of Batman's death-holo-chamber aside, this page is the only time in the last three years of reading DC that I can remember feeling something for Jason Todd other than annoyance. It's nice to see that for all his nihilistic badboy crap, the prospect of receiving beyond-the-grave instructions from his Bat Dad is enough to turn him into a little kid again.

Worst Luck - Church of Hell #1
This is why you should never give in to anger, young Jedi. You might accidentally punch your friend so hard he falls out a sixth story window.

Most Practical Advice - The Great Unknown #1

If you don't want to click for higher resolution, basically this guy keeps a bunch of fast food soda cups in his trunk so he can reuse them infinitely and never pay for soda. I have often thought about doing something like this, but this guy actually did it. Inspiring.

Burn of the Week - Dark Avengers #2
Sometimes I think I only like Moonstone because she's a stereotypically hot villain, but then she says something like this and I know it's true love.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Clown Prince of Oscars

designer sunglasses

The most purely deserved award of the night. Tomorrow, I'll watch The Dark Knight on blu-ray and reflect on the awesomness that is the Nolanverse Joker, and how lucky we Batman fans are to have such a wonderful performance to savor forever. But tonight, I will dream of an alternate reality where Heath was up on stage accepting his award, thanking Christopher Nolan for guidance and Alan Moore for inspiration, and teasing us all with hints about his part in the next movie. Wish you were here, HL.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Notes From The AMC Best Picture Showcase

On Saturday, I watched all five Best Picture nominees for this year's Oscars as part of the AMC Best Picture Showcase. The first film started at 10:30am, and the day wrapped up at fifteen to midnight.

The single most interesting thing I observed:

All five nominees feature at least one scene of rear male nudity. Milk and The Reader present this nudity in a sexual context, while Slumdog, Benjamin Button, and Frost/Nixon use it for comic effect. 2008 will be truly be remembered as the Year of Man Butts. This is perhaps the true reason Wall-e and The Dark Knight were not nominated.

More notes and observations on this year's crop of Best Picture noms, after the jump....

SPOILER WARNING: Plot points are discussed.

Male nudity aside, here are some other qualities the Best Picture noms share...

Each film is set in a notably troubled time. It's not just individual characters who are suffering, it's the society they live in at large.

  • Milk: The American Gay Community vs intolerance.
  • The Reader: Post-War Germany vs holocaust guilt.
  • Benjamin Button: New Orleans vs Hurricane Katrina.
  • Slumdog Millionaire: Impoverished youth of India vs Exploitation.
  • Frost/Nixon: America vs The Corruption of Their Political Leaders.

Four films feature prominent references to opera. Frost/Nixon is the only one that doesn't.

Three films feature suicide, and two of those are by hanging.

Two films feature brothels. In Benjamin Button, it is presented cheerfully and positively. In Slumdog, not so much.

Only one film is set in the modern era - Slumdog Millionaire. It's also the only film to feature any cinematic storytelling techniques that have been invented since 1940.

None of of the films feature interesting parts for women. Even Kate Winslet's character in The Reader, which she'll probably get an Oscar for, gives her very few opportunities to express anything internal. She's an illiterate ex-nazi who has awesome sex with a fifteen year old boy, and really, there's not much more we learn about her other than that. We only see her as she relates to her young lover, who is the film's true focus. In Slumdog, Ben Button, and Frost/Nixon, the prominent female characters are the objects of desire for the protagonist, and that's it. There are no women in Milk, except for a lesbian with two lines. Not a great year for ladies in film, is all I'm saying.

Notes On The Experience

I slept through at least 1/3 of Benajmin Button, and missed the part where he gets young and sexy entirely (I woke up when he was a pimply teen). I do not feel I missed out on much.

Everyone who got a full-day pass got a refillable Watchmen popcorn bag. I expected to be dipping in and out of the concession stand all day, but as it turns out one large bag of popcorn is the maximum a human being can consume in a 24-hour period.

Just before the Reader's climactic scene, where Ralph Finnes goes to visit Kate Winslet in jail, the film caught fire and burned a hole in the middle of the frame! It looks EXACTLY like it does when it's done as a special effect - big red burn in the middle of the image that spreads outward until all that's left on screen is a big while hole framed by crinkley black ashes. It was AWESOME. The audience was very good natured about it, A. because it looked so cool, and B. to AMC's credit, they fixed it surprisingly quickly - the break lasted less than five minutes and the film picked up right where we left off. This is why I love AMC - if it had been a Regal Theater, they would have kept us waiting for two hours before they told us to go home. AMC FTW.

Headache set in at the end of Slumdog, but I had prepared by bringing a huge bottle of advil.

I tried to Twitter throughout the showcase using a tmobile daypass for internet access, but it didn't work. Even after calling tech support, nothing. I hate you tmobile. I hate you forever.

With all five films fresh in my mind, I can safey say that only Milk and Slumdog seem even remotely like Best Picture Material.

Frost/Nixon is entertaining, but less a like a great movie than the sort of slightly cheesey and heavily plot based movie that I'd enjoy watching every now and then on TNT while working at home.

Ben Button is boring and souless and does not even feature very impressive special effects. When he's in old-kid makeup, his proportions are always way off. I know this movie cost a billion dollars to make and is a drama, but surely those are not the ONLY qualifications to get a Best Picture nom ?

The Reader at first seems to be a really interesting metaphor for post-war German guilt; Kate Winslett IS the holocaust! The kid IS post-war Germany! But about half way through it turns out it's really just a movie about the dangers of illiteracy in middle class women.

I really liked Milk, and it definitely makes an effective mark as the first Major Hollywood Gay Civil Rights Movie. I'm also really happy to see the gay kid from High School Musical has managed to score a role in which his character can be openly gay. This is progress.

Slumdog is the most entertaining, exciting, and inventive film nominated. There are problems, it's not a masterpiece, but it's the best of the bunch. I'm glad it's going to win.

All that said, Dark Knight was robbed. If the Academy can nominate the boring piece of trash like Lord of the Rings 3 (seriously, what was going on?), they certainly could have nominated Dark Knight, a thoughtful, mesmerizing, and occasionally very artful action movie. Your day will come, Nolan. One day, we'll show them all.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Geekanerd To Undertake Last Minute Oscar Catch-Up/Endurance Challange

Not long ago, I said that last year's cinematic achievements could be summed up in one image. But as the gods of fate and Los Angeles would have it, neither one of Geekanerd's favorite films of 2008 ended up with Best Picture nominations. Shirts were torn and tears were shed.

But never one to judge before all the facts are in, I, your Geekanerd editor, will soon embark on a fourteen hour cinematic journey; a five-film, back-to-back screening of each nominee for the 2008 Academy Award for Best Picture. And remember, one of these films is like three and a half hours long, so this could get serious.

This Saturday, AMC/Lowes Theaters across the country will be holding their third annual Best Picture Showcase. $30 bucks get you a pass to watch all five noms in a row, plus free popcorn all day and a decorative lanyard to treasure forever. Doors open at 10am, and the final set of credits roll at midnight.

Click the graphic to if tix are available for your local show, but if you can't make it, feel free to live vicariously through Geekanerd. I'll be live-blogging throughout the day between films via the site, as well as mid-movie updates via Twitter (yes, we have a Twitter channel now). Expect psychosis to sink in about half way through Benjamin Button's eighth set piece.

Hell, I made it through the endless setlist one and a half times. I can take this.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Item! Mimobot Ad Copy Spreads Inaccuracies About Boba Fett!

Please take a look at this Boba Fett Mimobot ad I received today and see if you can tell what's worked me into a fit of nerd rage.

Can you believe that?  I mean, who fact checks this stuff?  Did the copy editor call in sick?  

MANDALORIA?  *snort*  Where's that?  Somewhere in made-up fantasy land? I seriously doubt Boba Fett is headed back to Mandaloria.  Because Mandaloria is not a place that exists.  How can he be going to a place that doesn't exist?  He can't.  It's impossible.

Maybe he's on his way to MANDALORE, his adopted home planet and base of operations.  That sounds like a more likely scenario to me, in all honesty.


PS:  If you'd like to own that promotionally incorrect yet still undeniably attractive flash drive (the helmet comes off and you can see his face!), head over to the online Mimobot Store.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Panel Discussion: Scans From Fables, Wizard of Oz, Green Arrow and More

SPOILER ALERT....HUGE SPOILER at the end of this post for Fables #81.

Best Actor - The Cowardly Lion, Wonderful Wizard of Oz #3
Why haven't I been reading this series? Maybe cause I'm not huge on whimsy, but the fun contained in these pages cannot be denied. The Cowardly Lion is a particularly excellent example of how much life and expression artist Skott Young packs into these characters.
Cowardice by way of emotional suppression...

Cowardice by way of nerves...

Cowardice by way of outright panic. Love it.

Tons more scans, including panels from preview comics we picked up at Comic Con, after the jump...

Corniest Pun - Push #1

I enjoyed this comic tie-in for Push, but I don't know about this pun. I could barely "get through" it! WAA!

Worst Costume - Green Arrow and Black Canary #17
Interesting comparison to be made here. Check out the cover of this issue - you don't see much of this lady's costume, but what you do see looks alright. Kind of cool, even. But inside the book, we get the image above. Costumes like that are why people like me feel they need to take a break from superheroes every now and then. Paper thin fabric that neither makes physical sense nor is sexy at all. At least her top appeared to be made out of leather with some actual support on the cover. There also appears to have been a last minute decision to give her a mask/sash over her eyes, and the pencils no way reflect how a piece of fabric would actually fall across a person's face. This girl is supposed to be a crazy Green Arrow stalker, but this costume is not creepy or threatening. And a weird George Perez oval belt can't save it. It's ridiculous.

Burn of the Week - Shadrach Stone Preview
Context: this kid just stole something from this guy's store, told his dad and the cops a baldfaced lie to get out of it, and they believed him and left. The reader doesn't know he's lying either, until the previously timid kid turns around with this sneer to do Calvin proud. What a punk.

Cute Overlaod- Wonderful Wizard of Oz #3
What's cuter than a mouse wearing a robe and crown talking to her mice subjects? How about throwing a angry little dog into the mix? OH NOES...

Crisis averted. Angry Toto is freaking adorable.


(spoiler space)

Saddest Death- Boy Blue, Fabels #81

Overlooking the ball can't tell me you read this issue without tears.

Monday, February 16, 2009

VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: The Star Wars Force Trainer In Action

Here us your Gnerd editor, AHR, using the Force. I've been waiting my whole life for this.

You may be wondering, when can I own this? July 23rd, 2009.

For embeddable video of this life-changing experience, check out our YouTube Channel.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Photos: Toy Fair 2009

2009 marked Geekanerd's first trip to the American International Toy Fair, held at the Javits Center in Manhattan. Toy Fair is a magical place where men and women in suits walk down endless hallways of brightly colored toys, with nary a child in sight - no one under eighteen is even allowed in the door. Hardcore.

Plenty of new toys were on display, including original painted prototypes of Mezco's upcoming line of 2-inch LittleBigPlanet figures. Good. Grief. The cuteness, it burns!

More Sackboy, plus Star Wars, Tim Burton, Simpsons, Qee, Watchmen, Umbrella Academy, and oh so much more, after the jump...

*Featuring color commentary in italics by Gnerd contributor, Sarah B....

Sackboy as an little angry cowboy. Again, this is an original painted sculpt, but it would be awesome if the vinyl figures can capture this much personality.

Sarah B: He looks mean.

Again, amazing paint job.


Plastic Sackboy key chains, including a Sackgirl. Girl Sackboy? Yeah. I don't think that one with the tongue sticking out really captures what this game is about.

You can pick which Sackboy you want on your keys. In late '09.

Lots of Hellboy stuff this year, including these figures by Mezco's Mez-itz line. I know this looks like a Web 2.0 photo shop job with the shadow and everything, but it's totally real. Nice paint job on the gun.

I'm not a fan of Count Dooku nor am I fan of the Clone Wars series in general, but this is a beautiful sculpt. Whoever lit this display should be promoted.

Ana's photo makes it look like Count Dooku is playing Don Corleone in a Godfather remake.

I have no particular affinity for Freddy Krueger, but I can safely say this piece by Gentle Giant was the best looking toy (sorry, Animaquette) I saw all day. The cartoony designs really capture the tension and energy of the scene - and bonus points for making the girl cute without going crazy with proportions, as toy makers tend to do. There's a wonderful sense of motion in this figure - from the girl's perky position ("Did I hear something?" she seems to say...), to the carefully balanced way Freddy is rearing back for the strike. And look, she's even got a little Jason plushie, and is wearing a Camp Crystal Lake t-shirt! $150? Sure, why not?

This looks scary and awful! Who would want this on their desk? I'm not buying vacation properties from a guy with this in his office, I tell you what.

A new line of Simpsons PVC toys. The even mildly observant fan will note these are all from the episode that shows how Homer and Marge got together; we've got Prom Homer, teenage Patty, streaking Barney, and middle aged-Abe. Barney is not anatomically correct, in case you can't tell, or intentionally averted your eyes.

This naked Barney really captivated me. So yellow.

These Uglydoll blind assortment figurines were also on display at Comic Con, but here they are again. I got to play with them this time, they've got a great sturdy feel, and the waist articulation is a really nice touch. I like how Wedgehead is best displayed upside down.

Ugly dolls made an appearance. naturally. They're like, we're here y'all.

A few Uglies got their own displays, for some reason, although it looks like Trunko is crashing the party. For those of you are love Ox as much as I do, please note that his description on the sign is SLIGHTLY different that the one that comes on his name tag.

OX is my favorite ugly doll.

Ice Bat busted out of the display case to take a coffee break.

He's got to limit his caffeine intake. It looks like he's dosing really high at this point. I've been there.

Oh my God! Real life Slurm! You probably want to buy this - well it's by Boston America Corp, but that website site seems to cater to retailers...but whatever, if you buy like, ten cases, I'm sure they'll negotiate.

We're now entering the Star Wars Science section, a new property by Uncle Milton toys. They've created all sorts of Star Wars-related science fair fare, including this old standard, the model Volcano. But wait- it's Obi Wan and Anakin! The volcano is Mustafar! You put a little orange dye in with that baking soda, and you're in for a seriously good time.

Why couldn't Anakin have just gotten control over himself?

Here's what I actually came to the Toy Fair to see....The Force Trainer. You may have already see video of this thing in action, but basically this toy teaches you how to move things with your mind. I'm serious. No, I'm serious. I did it. I have the Force. I'll be leaving to train as soon as I find a Jedi Master accepting students (, if you know someone).

That got levitated by Ana.

This is the official logo of Star Wars Science....but what is it? It looks a little like the Galactic Republic logo crossed with the Rebel Insignia, but with a star in the middle. Can anyone help me out?

These toys have really fantastic product design, in a distinctly Old Republic style. Apparently the Uncle Milton company designs everything, and Lucasfilm only gives approval and input. I wish I had spoken to a designer while I was there, but honestly I was a little shaken after learning I was Force sensitive.

Several toys are designed to be put together by kids so they learn about the inner workings of machines, in this case, Darth Vader's robot arm. Not this is not life sized, but about the size of a young kid's arm, perhaps the better to stick through your shirt. You can actually move the arm with controls on the shoulder side, and pick up and release objects. Excellent detail work.

The PR rep said that kids would build this themselves so as to learn about science. Did Darth Vader have to build his arm himself? Probably not because Palpatine probably had a storm trooper get him one from the store. So in conclu, kids will be more fierce than James Earl Half-arm, in a sense, if they put this together themselves.

Nightmare Before Christmas has turned out to be the little property that just won't die. This has to be the cutest rendering of Oogie Boogie I've ever seen.

This ghost appears happy to have shuffled off.

A life-sized replica of Kirk's chair, with tribble. There are buttons on the side, but they don't do anything. Could they have figured out how to mash a universal remote on there?

A guy next to us asked to sit in this chair. The Diamond rep said no, you have to buy it. The guy said, how much. The rep said 2200 dollars. The guy said, this would be a nice office chair. Then he said, but it would repel all women. The rep was like, yeah. The guy was like, this would be a magical women-repelling chair. The rep was like, but if you had enough money to buy it, you probably wouldn't have a problem with women. I was thinking, you guys are squares. But truefax, you could probably get a decently made-up trophy type chick if you had enough dinero to drop 2200 on a Star Trek captain's chair. But would she really understand you? Would she really care if you were doing fine or feeling sad, cause maybe you or Ice Bat spilled coffee on your Star Trek chair and the stain won't come out?

Excellent Umbrella Academy figures from Dark Horse that I "figure" will be flying off the shelves upon their release in May 09. The Umbrella Academy is the best new series of the last few years, and these designs by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba look absolutely perfect off the page.

Detail on Space Boy's head sculpt...

...and Krakken as well. That's a scary looking little knife.

CHUBSTER! Are Chubbys the new Mighty Muggs? I'll leave that to you, the consumer. Wait, $59.99? For serious?

All those shame-eaten donuts.

The Leia line of Chubbys...kind of funny they put her Boushh costume in there, as opposed to, oh, I don't know, WHITE DRESS AND CINNABON HAIR? Actually, having the Thermal Detonator in there is pretty awesome, so it's all good. These are by Gentle Giant via Diamond Direct, and are

Didn't need to see cutified, ovular slave Leia, didn't.

Can you stand any more of these? Look that at X-Wing Pilot...could it be...Porkins? I like to think so. Eh, I'm pretty sure it's actually Wedge. These toy designers have no sense of humor.

These are kinda cute though.

Just when I thought I would never have anything to do with Guitar Hero again, McFarlane Toys comes out with these adorable Rock Band avatar toys. Look at Izzy Sparks! His beautiful locks kind of look like a melted soft-serve. But that's okay; If the actual CG avatars looked like this and not half-baked polygonal warcrimes, I might take a break from Rock Band and get back to basics.

This photo doesn't do these sculpts justice, but I think you get the idea. These are the original models for the PVC line

These looked great in real life.

Everyone at Geekanerd loves Giant Microbes. Especially the dangerous ones. But these little guys don't look dangerous at all. They just want to make a baby, is that so wrong? They're in love!

The sperm's like I GOT A JOB TO DO. The egg's like, me? Ok.

Anthrax! Now that's what I'm talking about - dangerous! If I put this in an envelope and mailed it to someone, would I go to jail?

These microbes are really cute. The anthrax has sorry eyes.

This is just a 2-D mock-up of an upcoming keychain from Applehead factory. It's a TOFU ZOMBIE in case you can't tell, "cuted up" from his original, more terrifying toy design. I like it.

Great looking floor mat for the Watchmen movie...the first of many apparently kid-oriented pieces of Watchmen merchandise from Neca.

That Under The Hood book is without a doubt the best piece of Watchmen merchadise I've ever seen. Fantastic 60s cover design, and look how the corners are "aged" - this is genius. When I first saw it, I said aloud, "IS THIS REAL?". It's just a blank notebook inside but still - someone in the Neca design department must have some serious geek cred to come up with a toy based on such an obscure reference.

In the middle there, in plastic, are LiveStrong-style bracelets with the names of the different watchmen. For preteens? Also there's a lighter.

These lunchboxes are presumably for hipsters, and not actual grade schoolers. Because surely no responsible parent would let their child each lunch of of something adorned by the image of a hateful, reactionary, violently psychotic vigilante. And no Batman jokes, please, Rorschach is a totally different kind of crazy.

Dr. Manhattan doesn't eat lunch though, right? He looks sad here cause he can't relate to your need to eat a sandwich or taco every day at noon..

I love Qee toys, and I really love it when people imagine the anatomy of cartoon characters. Here's a cross-section of the iconic Qee Bear.

Also a detailed skeleton. Notice: no neck.

Some adorable Qee sculpts. They're available now, so go get em.

Cute eggs.

Nice looking custom Baby Qee, titled Splatter Bear. Toy2R is a great company, they had a pop-up shop in Brooklyn not to long ago...really sweet gift bags.

And because every convention at the Javits Center has to have a stormtrooper.....bang.

This storm trooper had his convention badge stuck to his back. Kind of slightly messed up the effect.

For more photos, high res versions, and more detail shots, check out our Flickr Set.