Friday, June 28, 2013

Netflix for the Poor Kids: Silent Hill Revelation (Confirmed: Good)

    
     Like many of the later installments in the Silent Hill video game series, Silent Hill: Revelation (AKA  Silent Hill: Revelation 3-D) is truly a mixed bag.  Amidst the horrifically disturbing visuals and interesting creature designs, there's also a plot which can border on incomprehensible to those unfamiliar with the video games.  Silent Hill: Revelation is the sequel to 2006's Silent Hill, a film that was based on the plot of Konami's 1999 Playstation game Silent Hill.  Revelation, however, is based on 2003's Silent Hill 3, which was the direct sequel to the original game (Silent Hill 2 told it's own story). Not too confusing, right? If you've never played the games or watched the original film, you're going to be lost. While the movie does offer some flashbacks that will help the initiated to recall specific elements from the first film, good luck to those who haven't. Going into this, I actually wasn't aware that this film was a sequel. I know that there's a trend towards giving sequels a subtitle rather than a number, but in an instance like this the number would have been helpful, as I probably would have made sure my fellow viewers had seen the original film.  More thoughts after the break....

Barbecue17's Mid Year Masters of the Universe Classics Review for 2013


     It's almost July, which means A) We're half way through the year and B) It's time to take a look at how Mattel's Masters of the Universe Classics line is doing.  While last fall we thought this year might never even occur due to low subscription numbers, 2013 has turned out to be a pretty solid year for MOTUC.  Not only have we had a robust line so far, but we've had the announcement of the Filmation sub-line (beginning next month) and the addition of the mysterious Spirit of Hordak figure that has popped up randomly on Mattycollector.com. Today, though, I'm going to be sharing my rankings of the figures released during the first six months of 2013, not including Strobo. Strobo is the traveling convention exclusive, and while he was made available very, very briefly to fans on Mattycollector, I don't have one yet, as most fans probably do not, either. The criteria I'm using in ranking these figures is simply an Excel document I've kept this year where I write down my pros and cons of each figure once I've received them.  As new figures come in, I move figures up and down on the list. I've done this with my MOTUC figures for the past few years and this list reflects a blending of my personal favorites with my somewhat critical views of each figure in and of itself. Ready for a countdown? It's after the break....

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Win a Free Hat From The Epic Review!


Check it out! The sidebar to your right is a simple entry form. Just enter and you can win a really cool hat made by Epic Reviewer Generbeener with love.  Want to walk around looking like Hellboy while your head is nice and toasty? Just enter and you can make that happen. Want to pretend you're the big horned guy from Legend after a tragic accident?  Here's your chance.  Seriously, there's no reason not to enter! So do it! Do it now!! Only a few days left......

Blu Review: Identity Thief (Confirmed:Good)

McCarthy Vs. Bateman

 Since her unforgettable role in the 2011 comedy hit Bridesmaids, Melissa McCarthy has been arguably the hottest comedic actress in Hollywood.  Her sitcom on CBS Mike and Molly continues to be a ratings monster and over the course of the past year she has appeared in This is 40 and The Hangover Part III.   Identity Thief, however, was McCarthy’s first chance to headline a comedy as the leading lady, alongside everyone’s favorite straight man of comedy Jason Bateman.  So did McCarthy’s much hyped first starring role live up to the hype? Find out after the break….

Defenders of Eden Update: General Cerros Staction


     I thought you all might like seeing one of the completed stactions (static action figure) available through the Defenders of Eden Kickstarter campaign.   The campaign only has a few days left, so you'd better jump in and support this awesome comic book. Just take a look at General Cerros here.  Besides the fact that he's an awesome Triceratops hero, I particularly like the fact that his shield is shaped like a Triceratops head. That's just an extra level of cool!  Plus, won't he look awesome standing with other figures you own?  He'd look awesome standing with your NECA Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, any of the Four Horsemen like Gothiropolis or Seventh Kingdom, and even Masters of the Universe Classics. See after the break for a comparison picture....

A New Batgirl Review: Batgirl #25 from Heroclix by Wizkids/ NECA

  
     Here's another brief look at a cool new Batgirl collectible I've acquired. This time it's a Heroclix figure of Ms. Barabara Gordon in her New 52 Batgirl costume.  If you're not familiar with Heroclix, it's a collectible miniature gaming system that uses a rotating base (called the "combat dial system") to track the character's stats. Heroclix has changed hands twice in it's 11 year run (it's not owned by NECA) and has included characters from multiple properties.  While I have a few random Heroclix figures, I've never actually played the game. I simply bought this figure because it was Batgirl. She was released in the "Batman" series of miniatures in November 2012 that are based on New 52 versions of a variety of DC characters with a heavy focus on Batman-related characters (although the set does have others; I noticed a Beast Boy).  Batgirl is classified as an uncommon figure, and is listed as number 25 in the set.  Take a brief look at her after the break....

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cool stuff you have to own: Now Available at Big Bad Toy Store



     Ready for some cool stuff that you absolutely have to own? Then join us for an update of some great new products from our sponsor, Big Bad Toy Store!  First, take a look at this awesome Hot Toys Barney Ross from The Expendables 2.  If 12 inches of Sylvester Stallone is on your wish list, you're in luck.  Pictures really don't do Hot Toys justice, so order him today.


   OK, yes this is a Barbie. It's also a pretty nice rendition of Julie Newmar's Catwoman from the 1966 Batman TV series.  She looks pretty solid, and for only $39.99, she could be prowling your shelves soon! 


More awesome stuff after the break.......



 I'm a big fan of Injustice: Gods Among Us, and since we're getting tons of product based on the game, it seems that a good number of people are loving the game.  DC Collectibles has been putting out two-packs of 1/18th scaled figures from the game, and BBTS has just gotten in two new ones: Harley Quinn and Cyborg, and The Flash and Raven.  Those of you wanting DC figures that can hang out with your G.I. Joes or Star Wars figures are in luck!

Speaking of G.I. Joe figures, check out this sweet ride. It's called the Eaglehawk Helicopter, but it's clearly based off of the vintage Tomahawk Helicopter.  Not only does this look like an excellent modern update of that classic vehicle, but it even comes with Lift-Ticket, who piloted the original.  Yo Joe, indeed!

How about some cool new preorders? Order them, forget about them, and when they arrive it'll be like you sent yourself a present:

Kotobukiya's DC Bishoujo was one of my favorite lines of last year, and I'm tempted to start collecting their Marvel figures. Coming up in December is an X-Force version of Psylocke. She looks appropriately awesome in this 1/7 scale figure, and will most certainly look epic on your shelf. Yes, you! Pre-order her today!


Ready for a toy that is so frightening, you'll want to store it in another room? Check out this awesome 10" Spider Gremlin from NECA's Gremlins 2 line.  He's massive, comes with a support stand, and features over 30 points of articulation. If you're interested, jump on this pre-order now, before he scurries away.

Action Figure Time Machine 90's Edition: William G-4/ William G-3 from Resident Evil 2 by Toy Biz (Confirmed: Good and a 1/2)


      Yes, the official name for this series of action figures is "Video Game Superstars Presents: Capcom's Resident Evil 2." That's too darn long.  I'm simply calling it Resident Evil 2, because that's all you care about, right? Resident Evil is quite possibly my favorite video game franchise of all time and Resident Evil 2 may quite possibly be the best game in the series.  I don't know, there's been so many good ones (and a few bad ones) that it's tough to say. Resident Evil 2 had a deliciously creepy atmosphere, excellent gameplay that smoothed out the flaws of the original, fun puzzles, and an excellent assortment of enemies. One of the big baddies from the game (because there were definitely two; don't forget Mr. X) was William Birkin, a former Umbrella scientist who injected himself with the experimental G-Virus after an assassination attempt by Umbrella left him mortally wounded.  Throughout Resident Evil 2, protagonists Claire Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy attempt to keep the mutated William Birkin away from his daughter, Sherry.  Mutating throughout the game after every defeat, this figure represents William in both his third and fourth incarnations through the usage of a transforming mechanism.  Join me for a look at William G-3/ William G-4 (henceforth just called William) after the loading screen........

Movie Review:This is the End (Confirmed: Great 1/2)

Who wouldn't want to spend the end of the world with these guys?
     Rogen, Franco, Brauchel, Aziz, Rudd, Segel, Hill, Robinson, Mcbride, Mintz “Mclovin” Plasse: these are the juggernauts of comedy that have dominated both the big and small screens over the last half decade. With the exception of Steve Carrell, This is the End has them all.  One of the things that has made this Judd Apatow created comedy troop so enduring is their likeability, who hasn’t said, "I would love to party with those guys?" Well, This is the End in a way gives you that chance, and at James Franco’s house of all places.  So is it as fun and hilarious as we all thought it would be? Find out after the break….. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Legendary Sci-Fi and Horror Author Richard Matheson Dies


     Two of my favorite authors have passed away this month.  First Will D. Campbell and now Richard Matheson, who died Sunday at the age of 87.  Are you a Richard Matheson fan?  Continously putting out books, short stories, film, and television scripts since 1950, Matheson was a giant in the genre of sci-fi and horror fiction.  My personal favorite Matheson novel is Hell House, but he also penned I am Legend, A Stir of Echoes, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Hunted Past Reason, What Dreams May Come, and many, many other books and short stories.  What's your favorite Twilight Zone episode? Matheson wrote tons of short stories that were adapted into Twilight Zome episodes, including "Little Girl Lost,", "Steel" (also adapted into the film Real Steel), and "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet."  It's very likely that you've experienced something created by Matheson, and may not even have realized it.

     There's simply no way I can tell you how good Matheson's stories are: you'll simply have to read them for yourself.  Honor Mr. Matheson today by picking up one of his books or short story collections and treating yourself to some great fiction.  If you have to run to the bookstore to pick something up, however, just watch out for any trucks that might be following you....  

Action Figure Time Machine 90's Edition: Nightwing from Legends of Batman by Kenner

  
    In 1994, Kenner released Legends of Batman, an action figure line that took Kenner's sales model of releasing multiple versions of Batman to new heights.  Coming out during the KnightFall event, Legends of Batman not only included characters from that series (although, strangely, no Bane) but also a variety of Elseworlds variants of the Caped Crusader.  This line was one of the first that seemed targeted towards the growing collectors market as much as it was towards kids. The line featured larger figures with more dynamic, pre-posed sculpts, as well as a Skybox trading card included with each figure. One of the most interesting aspects of the line was that it focused on the idea of the "Legends of Batman," stating that Batman, in some way or another, has existed "throughout history and into the distant future." Of course, this was a marketing gimmick to give us dozens of versions of Batman (Viking Batman, Cyborg Batman, Pirate Batman, etc.) but did it in some way inspire Grant Morrison's work on Batman post Final Crisis? Who can tell?  Today I'm looking at Nightwing, one of the figures from the first series who isn't Batman.  Interested? Then join me after the break.....

MOTUC Clamp Champ Only Available to Subscribers




Mattel has just released this delightful little snippet of news regarding the next Masters of the Universe Classics figure:
Hey Matty and MOTUC fans!
Just  got in final package samples of July's Clamp Champ figure! Note that while this is a monthly figure, like Fang Man, Clamp Champ here will not have any "day of" stock for 2013. So the only way to get him in July is if you are a subscriber! (hey, Club Eternia has its benifits!)
We are all so pumped for SDCC right around the corner, but until then, here is a new packaged shot and bio to feed your MOTUC needs!
See you in San Diego!
Matty 
PS: Don't forget the 2014 Club Eternia subscription is on sale now! More details at SDCC at our fan panel at 11:00 on Friday July 19th in rooom 25ABC.
     So, yup. Mattel has now taken an original, vintage line character and made them exclusive to the subscription.  Oh, and the subscription window for next year's line is now open, FYI. Mattel's marketing push couldn't be more obvious unless they Gangstor over to your house to break you leg unless you buy a sub.  More thoughts and Clamp Champ's bio after the break.

Action Figure Review: Batman from Young Justice Invasion by Mattel


    I haven't actually seen any episodes of Young Justice.  While most TV shows are getting easier to watch (via services like iTunes and Amazon Prime, it's easier than ever to keep up with shows I watch like Doctor Who and The Walking Dead), I still find that the hardest shows for me to watch are the shows targeted towards kids. Now that Young Justice is more readily available, I think I'm going to have to play catch-up.  This seemed like a show that really should have done well. It had a wide and diverse roster of new and familiar DC characters, it appealed to both kids and older viewers, and Mattel was supporting it with a pretty cool toy line in two scales.  Of course, since it was being shown on the Cartoon Network, we should have known it would die a quick death, as do most of the really good shows they get that aren't homegrown, Cartoon Network properties. Thundercats? Masters of the Universe 200x?  I'm sure readers can name more.  Anyways, I never did pick up any of the Young Justice figures, but when I saw this Young Justice Invasion Batman, I knew I had to have one. (Young Justice Invasion was the title for the second season of the show).  That Batman himself is quite good, but his display base and accessories are even better. Let's take a look at Young Justice Invasion's Batman, after the break.....

Monday, June 24, 2013

Action Figure Review: Octavia from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel (Confirmed: Great)

 
 If you never watched Filmation's She-Ra: Princess of Power animated series, you may be asking yourself, "Who is Octavia?"  Ridureyu on Nerditis has written a great article answering just that question: check it out. I'll wait. Ok, back?  Great!  So Octavia appeared in two episodes of She-Ra: Princess of Power: season one's "Treasure of the First Ones" and season two's "She-Ra Makes a Promise."  We're just starting to get a good deal of Filmation characters in the line (the Filmation subscription starts next month!) and Octavia is a nice addition to the Horde, although right now the Horde is still outnumbering the Great Rebellion.  She's also a monstrous female character, which is quite a nice addition to the diverse array of archetypes present in the Masters of the Universe Classics line.  Ready to check out Octavia, the "Wicked Tentacle-Swinging Warrior?" Then join me after the break....

Movie Review: World War Z (Confirmed: Good 1/2)

Is that a potential franchise I see?

     World War Z has been one the most interesting projects to follow in the film world over the course of the past year or so. Immediately based on just the title alone the film garnered a lot of hype, both positive and negative, (but mostly negative) once it was revealed that the film would mirror the 2006 Max Brooks novel in name only.  Combine that with an A list lead in Brad Pitt and an eleventh hour reshoot to provide the film a coherent ending (courtesy of Lost and Prometheus scribe Damon Lindelof) and you have one of the most polarizing films of the Summer.  So did World War Z live up to its potential? Was Damon Lindelof able to save this potential blockbuster? Or did the film fail as many Max Brooks fan boys hoped it would? Find out after the break……

Friday, June 21, 2013

Action Figure Time Machine 90's Edition: Jessica Priest from Spawn: The Movie by McFarlane Toys (Great)


     In 1997, Spawn was all the rage.  McFarlane toys was really coming into its own--not just among toy fans, but as a part of pop culture.  Perhaps the zenith of Spawn's popularity was in August of 1997 when the motion picture Spawn hit theaters. I vividly remember going to the theater with my dad to see the movie and learning that the film had arrived late, so we had to go back for a later showing. I also remember enjoying the film, but it's been years since I've watched it. I might have to fix that, since I remember being impressed by elements of the film, such as John Leguizamo's interpretation of the Clown.  I also vividly remember the excitement about the toys. Compared to most movie toys of the day, the likenesses and details on these figures were downright uncanny.  We had seen McFarlane tackle comics, but this is the first time they immortalized something from film into plastic.  As cool as this line was, I only ever owned two figures.  For a birthday gift from a friend, I remember getting Spawn. The next day, I took some birthday money and went out to pick up Jason Wynn. The figures still stand on my shelf, Spawn with a group of other film versions of comic characters and Jason Wynn with my Metal Gear Solid figures, as he fit in there perfectly.  Last week at Heroes Con in Charlotte, I found Jessica Priest for $3, and couldn't pass her up. Played by Melinda Clarke, Jessica Priest was Jason Wynn's top assassin, who killed Al Simmons in the film (in the comics it was Chapel from Rob Liefeld's Youngblood.  I'm actually thinking about finishing this line up at some point in the future, as I imagine I can pick them up pretty cheap. Is worth going back for? Let's check it out after the break....

The Confirmed Epic Podcast Episode 17: Man of Steel


This podcast is no longer available if you would like a copy please email us at thepicreview@gmail.com



In this week’s edition of The Confirmed Epic Podcast we review Zack Snyder's new smash hit: Man of SteelWe also cover the EPIC news items of the week: Microsoft reneging some of their controversial changes to  XBox One, Robert Downey Jr. signing on for Avengers 2 and 3, three more Amazing Spiderman movies headed our way, and James Gandolfini passing a away. Our Tweet of the Week was: Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. cast will be revealed at San Diego's Comic Com. As always we get into what we have been checking out this week: G.I. Joe Complete Collection by IDW, Undead Lab's new open world game State of Decay, Now You See Me, This is the End, Fast Six, and Neil Gaiman's new book The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Although we do warn listeners in the podcast, we wish to reiterate: THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS PODCAST. 

(You can now find the Confirmed Epic Podcast on itunes just search thepicreview)

(Editors Note: If you have any problems with the link either install adobe flash player or if you are listening from a phone simply follow the direct link to our audio here: http://thepicreview.podbean.com/ Thank You!)


Epic Give Away!


Action Figure Review: Freddy Furnace Diorama from A Nightmare on Elm Street by NECA (Confirmed: Great)

  
    While I love horror movies, I'm not the biggest fan of slasher films. Still, I do enjoy the various boogeymen from those films, and I certainly see the charm in A Nightmare on Elm Street.  Using a charismatic protagonist, dark humor, surrealist dream worlds, and some classic good versus evil scenarios that do elevate the films above the level of simply watching teenagers get killed,  the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise has succeeded, and it's star, Freddy Krueger, has certainly cemented his place in the pantheon of horror icons.  NECA has released some fantastic figures based on many of the Elm Street films, but today I'm looking at something new and a bit different: Freddy Krueger's Furnace. It's a diorama piece of the old boiler room from the condemned power plant that you can use as an excellent backdrop for your various Freddy Krueger figures, or really any horror figures you have. NECA seems to be really exploring this concept (check out their Predator 2 Trophy Room), and is putting out some great product at a decent price.  1-2, better read my review....after the break, of course!
 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Movie Review: Fast and Furious 6: (Confirmed: Good and a 1/2)

Does Fast 6 hit on all cylinders?

     It’s truly amazing to think about the road the Fast and the Furious franchise has been on over the past decade plus; what was once a simple 'cops and robbers' high speed heist film has turned into a 6 (soon to be 7) film multi-million dollar franchise for Universal.  It's considered such a huge box office draw that the studio put the film head to head against the conclusion of  Warner Bros. flagship comedy franchise The Hangover Part III during one of the marquee dates of summer movie season: Memorial Day weekend.  Universal won the battle quite easily, as Fast and Furious 6 took in $117 million to The Hangover Part III’s $50 million. To date, Fast and Furious 6 has earned over $600 million.  Universal has so much faith in this franchise that they green lit a 7th film before the 6th even opened. Widely regarded by critics and audiences as one of the best films of Summer 2013 so far, does this sequel hit on all cylinders? Find out after the break….

Cool stuff you have to own: Now Available at Big Bad Toy Store



Big Bad Toy Store has received a bunch of cool new stuff this week including Masters of the Universe Classics Octavia by Mattel, Neca's first series of Aliens and Pacific Rim figures, Predator series 9, and Diamond Selects' first Star Trek Select release Mr. Spock.


 I've got my shipment of Aliens wave 1 on the way, and you should too! Corporal Hicks (Michael Biehn), Private Hudson (Bill Paxton), and the Warrior Alien are available now as a complete set. Of course, you can pick up the Alien by itself. These are from Aliens, not Alien, so you'll need more than one.  Keep checking ThEpic Review for reviews of these three figures.

More awesomeness after the break....

Win a Free King He-Man courtesy of Pixel-Dan.com

     Want to when a free King He-Man figure from Mattel's Masters of the Universe Classics line? What if I told you that not only is this a great figure, but it was the subscription exclusive for the Club Eternia 2013 sub? Head on over to Pixel-Dan.com to register today, where the King of Comparison Time is giving away the King of Eternia. There's only a few days left, so you'd better hurry! If you're still not sure, check out our review of King He-Man.  Yeah, you know you want one.

Also, if you're feeling like you're in a winning move, check out the sidebar to your right for a chance to win a handmade Hellboy hat by our resident master of craftiness, Generbeener. Free to enter, so what are you going to lose?

Action Figure Review: Spirit of Hordak from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel (Confirmed: Good)

    

    Congratulation! You have been fortunate to stumble across a review of the Spirit of Hordak!!!

     If you haven't read my thoughts on the release of this figure and the way Mattel sold him, feel free to click here and read them. Today I'm simply going to focus on the figure of Hordak in his spirit form in and of itself.  In the minicomic The Secret Origin of Skeletor (included with King He-Man ) Hordak appears to a banished Keldor as a red, translucent spirit and instructs the young Gar in the ways of dark magic.  It was actually a very cool scene and serves as the basis for this figure that randomly appears on Mattycollector.com from time to time.  Simply a recast of the original Hordak figure from Masters of the Universe Classics in translucent red plastic, the Spirit of Hordak has taken on a variety of names such as "Fruit Punch" Hordak, "Fan Fury" Hordak, and Sunburn Beach Hordak. Still, it's just a translucent red Hordak- is it worth having him on your shelf? Click through after the break....

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Poe Ghostal reviews Private William Hudson from NECA's Aliens

  
Image from PoeGhostal.com

     Poe Ghostal has reviewed one of NECA's newest figures, Private William Hudson from NECA's Aliens line. Played by Bill Paxton (one of only two actors, along with Lance Henriksen, to have been killed by an Alien, a Predator, and a Terminator). The figure looks really good and I'm anxious to eventually obtain this one myself. As you can see, the face is sculpted depicting Hudson's panicked demeanor at the point when he delivers his famous line, "Game over man! Game over!" It looks like NECA did a really great job with this figure, but head over to PoeGhostal.com and check out the review of Private Hudson.

Action Figure Time Machine 90's Edition: Laughing Gas Joker from Legends of the Dark Knight by Kenner


     In 1996 Kenner released Legends of the Dark Knight, a new Batman line that shared it's name with the long-running DC Comics series.  Perhaps a spiritual successor to Kenner's earlier Legends of Batman line, Legends of the Dark Knight offered larger, more detailed Batman figures that seemed to be Kenner's attempt to offer superhero toys that could compete with McFarlane's Spawn line.  Running from 1996 until 1998, Legends of the Dark Knight offered a number of Batman and Robin variants, Batgirl, and a number very cool versions of villains like Clayface, Penguin, Catwoman, Man-Bat, Scarecrow, Bane, and of course the figure we're looking at today, The Joker.  Last week at Heroes Con in Charlotte I found Laughing Gas Joker for $5 and knew I had to snag him. He's not only a cool figure on his own, but a great Joker variant.  This is actually only the second Legends of the Dark Knight figure I own (as you can probably guess, the other figure I own is Batgirl). Ready for some laughs? Join me after the break....

Action Figure Review: Jungle Patrol Dutch from Predator by NECA (Confirmed: Epic)


    Ready for another Predator review? I've already reviewed Jungle Extraction Dutch, which depicts Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer as he appears near the beginning of Predator up until the end of the attack on the rebel encampment. Jungle Patrol Dutch represents Schwarzenegger for the next part of the film. He's missing the jacket now, but decked out in his tank top and harness.  While this figure and Jungle Extraction Dutch do share the same body, I'm going to try and refrain as much as possible from simply cutting and pasting from that review, although I just may with certain areas like the accessories.  Since wave 9 of NECA's Predator figures has already started hitting stores, I wanted to make sure that this version of Dutch got his fair shake.  NECA has once again provided us an excellent representation of a beloved 1980's icon, and my toy shelf is all the more crowded because of their excellent work.  Join me for the review and more fun Predator facts after the break......

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Movie Review:Now You See Me (Confirmed: EPIC)

Could Now You See Me be the best film of 2013?
      We all know original films these days are rare, but original films during Summer blockbuster season are even rarer. It's typically a time reserved for superhero movies and other films based on established properties because studios don’t like to gamble on something original during the Summer months.  If you would have asked most critics heading into the Summer of 2013 what would have been the best original film, most would have probably said Guillermo Del Toro’s upcoming Pacific Rim, and it may still be.  The point, is no one expected Summit Entertainment’s Now You See Me to be that film.  Magically, Now You See Me isn't just the best original film of the year, it’s the best film of 2013 so far and probably the best original film since Christopher Nolan’s Inception in 2010.  You can see why after the break….

(Spoiler Free Review of Now You See Me follows:)

Action Figure Review: John J. Rambo (First Blood) from Rambo by NECA (Confirmed: Great and a 1/2)

   
     Once again, NECA is releasing an action figure of a pop culture icon and 1980's action hero that is incredibly faithful to the source material. This time it's John J. Rambo as portrayed by Sylvester Stallone in the 1982 film First Blood.  While Rambo has become so iconic that even his name is featured in the Oxford dictionary as a term for an aggressive man who pays no attention to rules or protocols, the film First Blood (and the novel by David Morrell which it's based on) is actually more of a tragic film. Dealing with the fact that he's now the last remaining member of his unit, Vietnam veteran and homeless drifter John J. Rambo just wants to walk into the town of Hope. Sheriff Will Teasle doesn't want any drifters or troublemakers in his town, and proceeds to eventually arrest an uncooperative Rambo.  When the local law enforcement begins to harass and torment the former soldier, Rambo begins having flashbacks to his time in a North Vietnamese prison camp. He violently makes his escape (although he intentionally doesn't kill anyone) and takes off into the nearby mountains, where he is pursued by local law enforcement and eventually the national guard.  They've given Rambo a fight he didn't want, but one he will finish if need be.  This figure portrays Rambo as seen in the excellent movie poster art from Drew Struzan, and as he appears in the film's climax when he takes an M-60 machine gun into the center of Hope for a final showdown.  Join me after the break, and I'll give you a review you won't believe!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Action Figure Review: Leatherhead from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Playmates Toys (Confirmed: Good)


     There are three figures in the newest series of TMNT figures: Snakeweed, Baxter Stockman, and Leatherhead. I've already reviewed Snakeweed, and haven't found Baxter Stockman yet, so it looks like today I'll be taking a look at Leatherhead.  Leatherhead has been a character who has been depicted as being both an ally and an enemy to the turtles during his long history. Originally appearing in Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #6 in 1987, Leatherhead first appeared as a baby alligator that got exposed to mutagen while staying with the Utroms.  Eventually, he even wound up living with the turtles in their sewer den.  The new Nickelodeon cartoon (on which this figure is based) also depicts Leatherhead as a friend and ally to the turtles, while the original toy line and cartoon series depicted him as a villain.  He spoke with a Cajun accent, lived in the Everglades where he hunted the punk frogs, and often partnered with the Rat King.  If you buy him, then he's your toy and you can make this version of the mighty mutant alligator fight for whichever side you want!  Learn more about Leatherhead after the break....

Movie Review Man of Steel: (Confirmed: EPIC)

Is 'Man of Steel' finally the Superman movie we deserve ?

As the superhero film has evolved into the superhero genre over the past decade and major heroes from Spiderman and Batman to Iron Man have all enjoyed their own billion dollar franchises, ironically the most iconic and original superhero, the Man of Steel himself,  wasn’t given the chance to shine on the silver screen.  Sure there was Bryan Singer’s 2006 effort: ‘Superman Returns’, but in the end that film was nothing more than a love letter to Richard Donner’s Superman films.  All of that has changed after Warner Bros. chose to follow their billion dollar Batman franchise with a 21st century version of the Kryptonian Kansan by appointing the man who delivered them that Batman franchise, Christopher Nolan, to oversee fellow Nolanite writer David S. Goyer, and a big action film director with a love for geek properties, Zack Snyder.  Warner’s hope that combining the Nolan led staff with a multi-million dollar marketing campaign that has Superman everywhere, from boxes of Cheez-it crackers to Hardees restaurants, would give them their next billion dollar tent pole franchise.  Did it all come together like a Kansas tornado? Find out after the break…

Spoilers for Man of Steel Follow:

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Epic Deal: Man of Steel Mondo poster by Martin Ansin timed edition

'Man of Steel' by: Martin Ansin

     Anyone who has paid any attention to our blog over the past year knows the love I have for the elitist poster company Mondo.  The gallery houses the premiere pop culture artist in the business such as: Martin Ansin, Ken Taylor, Olly Moss, Tyler Stout, Jason Edmiston, and JC Richard among others.  These artist then create classic style movie posters rather than the photo shopped crap studios give us today.  Normally Mondo prints  are extremely limited in edition size and can sell out as quick as 10 seconds, and later go on to sell on Evil Bay for insane prices.  However last year Mondo did their very first timed edition size allowing fans 48 hours to order Olly Moss's 'The Dark Knight Rises' print, the rules Mondo would create as many posters as were ordered.  After selling 10,000 Batman posters last Summer, Mondo is doing it once again giving fans 72 hours to order their beautiful Martin Ansin 24x36 print for Zack Snyders 'Man of Steel' for $50, while $50 dollars isn't cheap for a poster keep in mind most Mondo posters go for upwards of $200 dollars on the secondary market once they are gone.  I encourage anyone who has ever thought of owning a Mondo poster to take advantage of this opportunity, as of this posting you have until tonight at midnight to order this beautiful work of art before it's gone forever.  To order just visit Mondo's website at Mondotees!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Action Figure Time Machine 90s Edition: The Shadow Balrog from Middle Earth Toys by Toy Vault (Confirmed: Good)


     Prior to the release of Peter Jackson's adaption of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, finding merchandise based off of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien wasn't an easy task.  There was a small toy line available from Knickerbocker based on the 1978 Ralph Bakshi adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, but that was about it.  I've mentioned many times before that beginning around 1997, the action figure industry entered a period where no property was off limits, and we saw companies really beginning to take on some unique licenses. It was a small company called Toy Vault that was started in 1998 to release toys based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and Lewis Carroll.  Using the descriptions found in Tolkien's books and the interpretations of many different fantasy artists, Toy Vault's Middle Earth Toys began releasing figures based on those classic works.  While they had some lofty goals (the packaging proclaims over 40 figures were planned), only 27 figures were released. While that might seem like a lot, the majority of the figures were variations based on eight different characters and/or molds.  Today I'm looking at the Shadow Balrog, one of the variants of the Balrog that was released in 1998.  Fly, you fools, to more reviewing after the break..... 

Action Figure Review: Fighting Foe Men from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel (Confirmed: Good and a 1/2)

  
Masters of the Universe Classics has been incredibly diverse in the sources from which Mattel has drawn inspiration. We've seen MOTUC figures based off of vintage toys from Masters of the Universe, She-Ra, and The New Adventures of He-Man, cartoon based characters, comic characters, characters based off of prototypes and concept drawings, and even brand new creations.  For the Fighting Foe Men, Mattel drew inspiration from the artwork from models created by the company Monogram sometime between 1983 and 1984.  Mongram was a model company that was founded in 1945, and at some point was purchased by Mattel. Mattel divested itself of Monogram sometime in 1984, and it was later purchased by Odyssey Partners of New York, who paired the company with Revell in 1986. During it's brief time releasing MOTU models, Monogram released models of the Wind Raider, Attak Trak, Roton, and the Talon Fighter. As with most MOTU product, Monogram featured beautiful artwork from artist Larry Elmore.  Interestingly, rather than utilizing established characters on the box art, the Monogram models instead featured new characters that were never identified or seen in the regular toyline....until now!  Mattel has gone back and turned three of these mysterious individuals into a trio called the Fighting Foe Men (which was an early name for the MOTU toyline).  How do they stand alongside everyone else, though? Find out after the break.....

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Action Figure Review: "Rocky IV" Rocky Balboa w/ Bloody Spit from NECA's "Rocky" (Confirmed:Epic)


 NECA has long been know for putting out 6-7 inch scaled action figures based on various film licenses with exceptional details and likenesses, but it's only been in the last few years that NECA has started adding more articulation to their figures. Prior to the Dutch figures from Predator, perhaps the line to benefit the most from NECA's wicked combination of exceptional sculpting and enhanced articulation was the Rocky line. Based on one of the greatest movie franchises of all time, NECA has truly given us some fantastic action figures.  I included this line in my top ten list of the best toy lines of last year and I am still incredibly impressed by the figures. While out at a record store that also sold action figures, I came across the Bloody Spit version of Rocky from Rocky IV and knew I had to grab it.  Apparently it was available last year some, but I certainly never found it.  This is a very scene specific figure and captures Rocky taking a powerful punch from Ivan Drago right in the face. It's a unique figure that captures one specific moment in time beautifully.  Learn more, but first I must break you...er I mean you'll have to stay tuned after the break.....

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Ridureyu at Nerditis reviews Knock Renfield from Aztech Toys' Silent Screamers


         While I haven't had a chance to review any of them on here yet (although I do use the Golem's door for lots of pictures), Ridureyu at Nerditis wrote an excellent review of one of the figures from Aztech Toys' amazing Silent Screamers line.  Combing my love of silent horror films and action figure dioramas, this is definitely one of my favorite action figure lines ever.  I believe tomorrow he'll be reviewing Nosferatu himself, but today you can check out a review of Knock from F.W. Murnau's 1922 classic Nosferatu: Knock Renfield review at Nerditis.  If I were reviewing this figure, it would easily be confirmed Epic!

Action Figure Review: Cortana from Halo 4 by McFarlane Toys


I haven't bought a new McFarlane figure in quite a few years. Sure, every year when October rolls around and all my thoughts start turning to scary things, I usually snag a few older Movie Maniacs or something to fill some holes in my horror collection, but it's truly been a few years since McFarlane has produced anything that's interested me.  I think the last thing I bought from them was the Alamut Gate from the Prince of Persia line sometime in 2010. I got back into Halo a few months ago after borrowing Halo 4 from a friend, and found myself browsing the Halo figures every time I was at the store.  While they're nice looking, they're just in such a weird scale that's different from most everything else on the market. Cortana interested me, though, because since she's a holographic AI construct, she could technically be in any scale you want her to be in.  I'll say more after the break...

Action Figure Time Machine 90's Edition: Marine from Quake 2 by Resaurus


     Someday, collectors will have to debate the merits of the various action figure time periods.  In my opinion, one of the greatest times to be a collector of action figures was during the late 90's through the early 2000s. It was during that period shortly after the birth of McFarlane Toys and the relaunch of Kenner's Star Wars line that every company was trying to one-up everyone else.  Whether it was better paint and sculpt, more unique accessories, cooler packaging, or more obscure licenses, the years from 1997 to around 2002 or 2003 were truly a period when the action figure industry seemed to be at the top of its game in order to offer the highest quality product to consumers.  While companies like Hasbro, McFarlane, Mattel, and others were all present, this was truly a period that belonged to smaller companies like Mezco, Sideshow, Palisades, Plan B, and the company whose product we're looking at today, Resaurus.  The first Resaurus figure I ever remember owning was their version of Duke Nukem, a figure that still stands proudly on my shelf.  Part of Resaurus' claim to fame was the excellent work they did on video game licenses (they were certainly one of the first companies to seriously tackle video game licenses) and one of the lines that sadly only lasted for one series was Quake 2.  Today I'm looking at the Marine from Quake 2, released in 1999. Join me after the loading screen.....

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Action Figure Review: Iron Monger "Build-a-Figure" from Marvel Legends' Iron Man 3 by Hasbro (Confirmed: Great and a 1/2)

 
I love Build-a-figures, and it was solely my desire to own this Iron Monger that led me to start picking up the Iron Man 3 series of Marvel Legends.  I definitely enjoy action figures of Iron Man (armored characters are always fun) but so far this series has been pretty hit or miss for me.  I really like Iron Patriot and Heroic Age Iron Man, didn't care for Ultron, and am just OK with classic Iron Man.  I haven't spent much time with the Mark 42 and Rhodes' Iron Patriot armor, as Brad bought those figures and just gave me the pieces. The build a figure was what I really wanted, though. I loved the Iron Man Iron Monger and keep the 1/18th Iron Man 2 on my desk at work, and this one just seemed like a lot of fun.  I also thought he might make a pretty decent stand in for the Castle Grayskull armor to stand alongside my Masters of the Universe Classics (it was a cardboard piece that appeared in the original vintage Masters of the Universe Castle Grayskull). While I haven't reviewed all of the figures in the series yet, I'll go ahead and jump the gun with a review of Iron Monger after the break.....

Action Figure Review: Classic Iron Man from Marvel Legends' Iron Man 3 by Hasbro (Confirmed: Good)


     Hasbro's 1/18th scale Iron Man 2 line was really a fantastic movie tie-in action figure line.  Sure, it had some problematic issues, such as shelves being clogged with tons of Iron Man variants, never releasing the un-helmeted versions of Tony and Rhodey, or the Black Widow figure, making certain figures incredibly hard to find, and not even releasing the movie's major villain until much later in the year, but still each and every figure was genuinely a really cool toy. We got some decent concept armors, great film-accurate versions of each armor, and some cool comic figures.  The movie version of Iron Monger still sits on my desk at work because he's such a fun, well done figure.  Unfortunately, things changed at Hasbro and I personally felt the Thor, Captain America, and Avengers lines were all very lackluster.  Now it seems that Hasbro has moved away from offering movie figures in the 1/18th "Marvel Universe" compatible scale and have opted for a very budget conscious line of figures that move at the big five. Fortunately, they've also released a Marvel Legends tie in line that features three versions of Iron Man, two villains, and Rhodey (along with an Iron Monger Build-a-Figure). Today I'm looking at Classic Iron Man.  Suit up and join me after the break......

Monday, June 10, 2013

Action Figure Time Machine- 2000s Edition: Arctic Shield Batman from Mattel's Batman (Confirmed: Great)


  Everybody freeze while we take the Action Figure Time Machine back to 2003.  Currently Mattel offers Batman figures in three lines in the 6 inch scale: DC Unlimited, Batman Unlimited, and through their Club Infinite Earths line.  Before that we had a line called Batman Legacy.  Before that, Batman figures were folded into the massive DC Universe Classics line. Before that we had DC Superheroes, which only gave us characters from the Batman and Superman comics.  And before that, in 2003, Mattel had a line that was simply called Batman.  Intended mainly for kids, the line focused on the "multiple Batmans" approach that Kenner had perfected.  Sure, there was a villain or two in the line, but most of the figures were of Batman.  Today I'm looking at one of those versions of Batman: Arctic Shield Batman.  Is he a cool variant, or should you just leave this figure on ice?  Read on to find out after the break.........

Action Figure Review: Iron Patriot from Marvel Legends' Iron Man 3 by Hasbro (Confirmed: Great)

 
 In many of their movie based Marvel lines, Hasbro has gotten into the habit of releasing action figures from both the film and the comic version of the film property in question.  As part of their Iron Man 3 Marvel Legends sub-line, Hasbro is continuing the trend with both film and comic versions of the Iron Patriot armor. While in the film the armor is essentially the War Machine armor with a new paint job, piloted by Lt. Col. James Rhodes, the comic version of the armor that I'm reviewing today was worn by Norman Osborn during Dark Reign, which saw Osborn leading the Dark Avengers.  It's a pretty cool armor and ensures that first wave of Iron Man 3 figures has a villain to fight, although I doubt the kiddies pulling this guy off the shelf will know that. But you will, collectors and comic book enthusiasts. Anyways, let's get this party started after the break....

Friday, June 7, 2013

NECA Releases Teaser Image for Prometheus Series 3

NECA has released this teaser photo for Prometheus Series 3.  It appears to be an image of a "holographic" version of the Engineers that the crew of the Prometheus stumbles upon after entering the mysterious structure on moon LV-223.  Figure wise this looks to be some sort of a repaint of the "Chair Suit" Engineer (Space Jockey) from series 1, perhaps in a translucent plastic of some kind.  Apparently more details will be coming out next week. 

     As a big fan of both the film and NECA's toyline, I'm excited for any Prometheus action figures we can get. I am disappointed, however, that NECA seems to continue citing poor sales of the first two waves to justify not releasing figures of Dr. Elizabeth Shaw and the mutated Fifield, figures the prototypes of which they have already shown at the New York Toy Fair.  If all we get are repaints, I'm not sure that holographic Engineers will sell well enough to further expand the line.  In my opinion, NECA really should have released character like Shaw and David early in the line along with the basic engineer.  Let's hope that part of the surprise is at least one new character (wouldn't mutated Fifeld or most of the male crew members simply be  new and such on the suited David body?) and perhaps a few more cool accessories such as David's head. Yeah, that'd be an accessory I could go for.

Tech Review: Comic Book Apps for Smart Phones (Confirmed Eh)


I'm rather new to the world of the Smart Phone, but the first thing I did when I got my iPhone was download a whole heck of a lot of apps (I mean come on, that's the reason you got your phone too, right?) One of the first ones I downloaded was the Dark Horse app. My reasoning? DH was coming out with a brand new Star Wars comic set in the original saga with the original characters. I was so excited! And not knowing of a comic book store that was close, digital download looked like the way to go! I got the app, clicked on it, and then cried... the app sucked so bad that it wasn hardly worth having! More about this technological fiasco after the break...

The Confirmed Epic Podcast Episode 16: Arrested Development


We're sorry. This episode is no longer available. If you would like a copy, please email us at thepicreview.com.


In this week’s edition of The Confirmed Epic Podcast we review Netflix's newest release: Arrested Development Season 4We also cover the EPIC news items of the week: Defenders of Eden, The Week of the Batman, Matt Smith leaves Dr. Who, and Benicio Del Toro and Karen Gillan in Guardians of the Galaxy. As always we get into what we have been checking out this week: Heroes Con Cos-Play, The final season of The Office, Hellboy comics and crochet, The Big Bang, and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. Although we do warn listeners in the podcast, we wish to reiterate: THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS PODCAST. 

(You can now find the Confirmed Epic Podcast on itunes just search thepicreview)

(Editors Note: If you have any problems with the link either install adobe flash player or if you are listening from a phone simply follow the direct link to our audio here: http://thepicreview.podbean.com/ Thank You!)



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