Monday, September 30, 2013

This October, a Tribute to John Carpenter on The Epic Review

    
Image Courtesy of and © Storm King Productions. Photo by Kyle Cassid
     Plenty of websites offer great Halloween coverage and will review tons of horror movies during October. We'll certainly be doing that at ThEpic Review as we watch scary movies here and there (I've been personally watching nothing but horror films since the end of August!), but I wanted to do something a bit different and focus on the films of a particular director. I decided to dedicate this October to my favorite director, John Carpenter. If someone told me I could only watch the films of one director for the rest of my life, it'd be a tough choice but I think I'd ultimately choose the films of Mr. Carpenter. With an unmatched style, a great eye for setting up scenes, and the incredible ability to score many of his own films, a John Carpenter film is instantly recognizable. While Carpenter has directed multiple films in the action, sci-fi, and horror genres, he also manages to blend those genres together in ways that are often unexpected and work to create unusual tension in what would otherwise be regular action scenes.  While none of Carpenter's films are on the list of my top five favorite films, he absolutely dominates my top 25 with favorites such as The Thing, Halloween, and of course Big Trouble in Little China. If you've never given Carpenter's films much of a chance or have never delved too deeply into his filmography, maybe this October is the time to do so.  If you've never seen any of his films besides the more well known ones, give gems like Prince of Darkness and Cigarette Burns a try. If you're a huge Carpenter fan and respect the man's entire catalog, feel free to comment on any of the reviews and offer your own insight.  Discussion is always welcome!
More after the break.....

Movie Review: Prisoners (Confirmed: Epic!)

Could Prisoners be the best drama of 2013?

     Over the past few months I have been a prisoner of my own life starting a new job, taking four graduate classes, and planning something super special in my personal life that I can’t talk about until the end of October.  However I have not forgotten about the Epic Review as Jerry (Barbecue 17) has done an incredible job planning events like Hokey Halloween Horror months for September and October.  While my plan is to return to The Epic Review on a full time basis sometime during the second half of January 2014, I will try to jump in from time to time reviewing some of the many films Hollywood has in store for us for what looks like an insanely busy Fall and Winter release schedule, starting with the first major release from a relatively new Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve: Prisoners, after the break.

The Confirmed Epic Podcast Episode 19: Halloween Extravaganza!



The Confirmed Epic Podcast Episode 19

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


In this edition of The Confirmed Epic Podcast we preview our epic Halloween plans for the website as well as discuss: GTA 5, Archer, Bob's Burgers, Pokemon X and Y, S.H.I.E.L.D, favorite John Carpenter movies, and much more!

(You can now find the Confirmed Epic Podcast on iTunes, just search for "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!)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Best Batgirl News In Quite Some Time, straight from Yvonne Craig!

    

     If you're not a regular visitor to YvonneCraig.com, you may have missed the fantastic announcement that Yvonne Craig and Warner Brothers have reached a licensing agreement so that we can get some awesome merchandise from the 1966 Batman TV show with Vyonne's likeness as Batgirl!

Ms. Craig writes,

Hey Bat Fans!

To all of you who’ve been asking: I'm pleased to announce that I’ve just signed a licensing agreement with Warner Brothers. So expect to see Batgirl toys etc. on the market in the very near future. I look forward to seeing what they make.

Best Bat Wishes!
Yvonne


     If you've never been to Ms. Craig's website, check it out! You can actually order personally autographed pictures of Ms. Craig from a number of the TV shows and movies she appeared in including Batman, Star Trek, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., In Like Flint, and others. There's nothing that looks as awesome in my Batgirl collection as my personalized autographed pictures of Batgirl and Barbara Gordon. Heck, you can even become a lifetime member of her fan club for $12. Sold! 

Now c'mon Hot Toys, Mattel, and DC Collectibles! I want a Hot Toys Batgirl, action figure, statue, and comic book series based on the 1966 Batgirl, and I want them now!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Action Figure Review: Turtles in Training- Leonardo and Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Playmates (Confirmed:Good)

   
     One of my favorite things to do in the world when I get excited is to jump up and down and shout "Radical, radical, radical" just like the baby turtles in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. Now, thanks to Playmates Toys, I can reenact that classic scene whenever I want with the "Turtles in Training" figures from the newest line of toys based off of the new Nickelodeon cartoon series. These come in sets of two and today I'm looking at the two pack featuring Leonardo and Donatello. They're cute, armed, and have a never ending hunger for pizza. Ready to look at half of the tiny turtle teens? Then join me after the break...    


Movie Review: Insidious: Chapter 2 (Confirmed: Great)

   
     While I really wanted to see Insidious: Chapter 2 on it's release date of Friday the 13th of September, I ended up waiting until this weekend. I did, however, get a chance to re-watch the first Insidious last week, something which I think really adds to the experience, because Insidious doesn't feel like a tacked on horror sequel; it really and truly feels like the second half of a complete film. I'm trying to keep this review as spoiler free as possible, so I'm going to be a bit vague at times while assuming that you've seen the first film, because you really need to in order to make sense of Chapter 2. The movie relies heavily on the original film and takes place before, after, and sometimes even during the original film's timeline. It's certainly not the scariest film of the year (thus far I believe that would be another film by director James Wan and starring Patrick Wilson: The Conjuring), but it is clever, inventive, and fun. Insidious definitely felt as much like a dark fantasy film as a horror film, as the movie has it's own rules, alternate worlds, and mythology. Chapter 2 continues that trend while not feeling like it's retreading the same ground.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Movie Review: Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (Crap and a 1/2)



     Like the connection between the original Halloween and Halloween II, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers picks up right where Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers ends (although it soon jumos ahead one year to the next Halloween) to continue the story with most of the same characters. Released in 1989, Halloween 5 is an incredibly disappointing sequel. Where Halloween 4 left us with one of the most shocking scenes in the entire franchise where a seemingly dead Michael Myers has seemingly transferred his evil powers to his niece, Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris), Halloween 5 leaves us with the cinematic equivalent of a smashed pumpkin: it starts off with some promise, but quickly is dashed apart into a real mess. It's lacks the suspense of any of the previous films, dwells far too long on things of no interest, and really doesn't seem to have any real plot. It also has an ending that's completely unsatifying. There are films that end on a cliffhanger or a shocking scene and there are films that end with no resolution. Halloween 5 falls squarely into the latter category. Want to hear more reasons why it's so bad, along with a brief summary of a few decent elements? (Even a smashed pumpkin has seeds that you can toast and enjoy!) Then join me after the break...

Masters of the Universe Classics Update: Post Power-Con 2013

    
     Power-Con was last weekend and while it's now over, we still have plenty of great Masters of the Universe Classics figures to look forward to for 2014. During the convention Mattel gave us a look at two monthly figures for next year, one large beast (for a quarterly slot), and a sneak peak at an accessory for an upcoming character. As usual, I'll be pointing out the figures who have been on my "Top 25" list since before Toy Fair 2012 and then moving on to the other great figures revealed. ( For a little background, check out this article where I discuss the creation of my "Top 25 Masters of the Universe Classics" list prior to New York Toy Fair in 2012.)

Lots of MOTUC goodness after the break...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Movie Review: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (Good and a 1/2)


     Halloween is one of the most atmospheric and suspenseful horror films ever made. Halloween II is actually a pretty good sequel that explores the aftermath of the original film. Halloween III: Season of the Witch is absolutely insane, has nothing to do with the first two films, and tried to take the series in a direction that I really liked as being unrelated stories taking place on Halloween night. Unfortunately, too many moviegoers were unhappy that Halloween III wasn't a Michael Myers slash-fest so the concept of unrelated stories was dropped and the fourth installment in the series brought back Michael Myers. Yes, in Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers we learn that ten years have passed since the events of the first two films and Michael Myers is still alive but comatose in a sanitarium. He's also being transferred back to Smith's Grove without the consent of Dr. Samuel Loomis (Donald Pleasance), so you just know that some stabbings are inevitable. Oh, did I mention that the transfer is happening on October 30th? Yes, there is no way this will end well. Read more about the horror after the break...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hokey Halloween Horror! Glow in the Dark Dial!!!

     I love Halloween so much that I'm not content with washing my hands with conventional soap during the months of September and October. I'm glad Dial finally stepped in and created a Halloween themed soap for those of us who just couldn't spend the most wonderful 1/6th of the year with a mundane bathroom routine. I'll admit that the bathroom is already one of the scariest rooms in your average house. For starters, you've got a mirror and thus the prospect of the whole "Bloody Mary" thing to deal with. Then there's showers- you're vulnerable, nude, and never know when a psycho might be standing behind the curtain waiting to take you out. Factor in stuff coming out of the toilet, the abundance of razor blades, and the prevalence of slip and fall hazards and you might be asking yourself, "Does my bathroom really need to be more frightening?" Yes. Yes it does. You can easily add to the fright level of your bathroom with a simple bottle of Dial soap that glows in the dark. More details after the break...

Action Figure Review: Stealth Tech Leonardo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Playmates (Great and a 1/2)

  
 As in my reviews for Stealth Tech Donatello and Stealth Tech Raphael, I've admitted that I'm a sucker for any character wearing stealth suits of any kind. Whether it's Raiden or Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid, Sam Fisher from Splinter Cell, or Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe, I love the designs and desperately want toys based on those outfits. When I saw the Stealth Tech Turtles, I knew I'd end up buying them. Leo here just looks so awesome in his stealth gear and is both a fantastic toy and an excellent, worthwhile variant. From what I've seen the Stealth Tech Turtles are all packed one per case but it seems that many fans seem to be noticing Leonardo disappearing from store shelves more quickly than his brothers. Whether it's due to the fact that Leonardo is just a super popular character (a friend of mine named his car Leonardo) or that this action figure really appeals to kids and collectors is up for debate. Let's take a look at the figure and see if we can come up with any answers...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hokey Halloween Horror! White Chocolate Candy Corn M&M's!!!



    While making pumpkin flavored foods used to be all the rage during the Halloween season, now it seems that candy corn flavored foods are what's hip, cool, and funky fresh these days. Today I'm looking at one of these new kids on the block: White Chocolate Candy Corn M&M's.  Here's notable points that jump out at me from just looking at the bag:
1. The red M&M guy doesn't look too happy to be wearing that candy corn outfit. Oh! the humiliation.
2. Take note these are artificially flavored. I'm assuming this means that the candy company did not use actual candy corn to flavor these, so what exactly did they use?

Of course, that's just the colorful candy shell. If you want the rest of the article (the part that will melt in your hand) then you're going to have to read on after the break...

Action Figure Review: Luke Skywalker (X-Wing Pilot) from Star Wars Black by Hasbro (Great and a 1/2)

 
  So, my relationship status with Star Wars Black has changed. Initially we were just going to get together one time for a planned event (Darth Maul). Then we had another casual meet up and enjoyed our time together (R2-D2). Now, that I have both Luke Skywalker and the Sandtrooper, I think it's fair to say that we're going steady. I really fell head over heels for Star Wars Black and am now eagerly awaiting series 2 (Seriously- Greedo? Han Solo? Slave Leia? Boba Fett? Who could resist?) with the plan of becoming a completist on this line, at least until one of Hasbro makes a major character an SDCC exclusive and makes them completely unavailable to people who don't sit on Hasbrotoyshop.com 24/7, constantly refreshing their screens. Anyways, most of that is neither here nor there so let's just stick to talking about the toy.  I'm wondering if Hasbro is intentionally releasing two figures per series that are naturally teamed together as series one has this Luke and R2-D2, series 2 has Han Solo and Greedo, and Star Wars Black series 3 looks to have Obi-Wan and Anakin, probably from Revenge of the Sith. While some fans have expressed that Luke in his X-Wing flight suit is rather limited in use for a six inch scaled line where we'll most likely never get an X-Wing that he can pilot, I disagree. My POTF2 X-wing Luke (although the original version from 95/96 was actually in his Snowspeeder outfit) served as my default Luke for quite sometime for non-canonical adventures until the yellow jacketed ceremony Luke came out.  All that's to say I like this guy, and here's why....

Monday, September 16, 2013

Action Figure Review 90s Edition: Dark Rider Batman from Legends of Batman by Kenner (Confirmed: Epic)

  
     Today I'm reviewing what might be one of the coolest Batman figures ever made: Dark Rider Batman. Yes, it is Batman on a horse. A horse as black as midnight with glowing red eyes. And Batman? He's ready to ride into action wearing a cavalry type outfit while armed with a bronze sword and a whip.  While you may have seen Batman riding a horse in a variety of places, the image that typically comes to mind is this excellent scene from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns.  Someone needs to release that as an action figure as soon as humanly possible! Anyways, thanks to Kenner and their Legends of Batman toyline, we at least have this super cool version of horse-riding Batman. Dark Rider Batman was released as a deluxe boxed item in 1994 as part of the first series of figures and always intrigued me. Finally I managed to track one down, and let me say, I'm not disappointed in the least.  If I could go back in time and change one thing from my past, it would be going back to my wedding day and making sure that this figure of Batman riding on a horse was triumphantly standing atop my wedding cake. (*Editor's note:  Um, no.*)  Yup. So anyways, let's get right into this, after the break of course....
(Note that Batman should have a cape in all of these pictures--I left the cape somewhere and didn't get a chance to pick it up before the pictures were completed.)

Hokey Halloween Horror! Little Debbie Pumpkin Delights!!!

It doesn't matter when or where, but Little Debbie's Pumpkin Delights are always the first Halloween themed food I stumble across every year (typically in late August or early September it seems).  Yes, Little Debbie is the harbinger of the two months of madness and terror that is the Halloween season.  Why does she always make it to shelves first? Well, they seem innocuous enough; they're generic enough to be a general "fall" themed item rather than full blown Halloween.  Just look at the box: regular pumpkins, fall leaves, and a smiling little Debbie.  She's not decked out in a witch costume or being stalked by a serial killer or anything; she's just standing above the pleasant fall scene, peddling these pleasant ginger cookies with a pumpkin filling that I tend to by every year, even though I only ever end up eating one or two. Anyways, let's taste test them, shall we? Join me after the break...

Friday, September 13, 2013

7 Super Scary Halloween Pogs!!!





    Remember when pogs were the single biggest hobby in the world?  It happened in the early-mid 1990s and didn't last long, but while they ruled the world pogs were spoken of in reverent tones, sold for outrageous sums of money, and banned in classrooms near and far. In my vast collection of pogs, I have Christmas pogs, Easter pogs, dinosaur pogs, animal pogs, fast food themed pogs, and of course Halloween pogs.  Today I'm going to look at seven awesome pogs from my collection that are sure to get even the most ardent hater of Halloween into the Halloween spirit.  We'll start with the most mundane, but perhaps most classic, Frankenstein's monster as seen above.

#1 Frankenstein's Monster

Yup, that's Franksenstein's monster all right.  It's a classic interpretation of the monster with some particularly cool little lightning bolts sparking off of the bolts in his neck.  

You can read about the rest after the break...

Action Figure Review: Rat King from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Playmates (Confirmed: Good)

  
 Can you handle another Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles review?  I hope so because today I'm going to be looking at another classic TMNT villain who has made his way into both the new Nickelodeon cartoon and the toyline. It's the Rat King!  Yes, the crazed king of the rats is back and actually creepier than ever.  With all of the crazy Halloween candy I've been prematurely devouring I'm much too hyper to spend time setting this thing up, so let's get right to the review, shall we?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Collectible Review: Ghostbusters Ecto Goggles from Epic Creations by Mattel (Confirmed: Good and a 1/2)

   
     Where to even start?  Well, a few years back Mattel managed to get the Ghostbusters license and started selling Ghostbusters action figures on Mattycollector.com.  Mattel seemed to really be banking on the often-hyped-but-never-realized Ghostbusters 3 to actually materialize so that they could have the rights for merchandise when the movie got made, but that obviously never happened, so instead they just made collector figures and sold them online. That went pretty well for a while, but soon some problems began to rear their heads, such as Mattel's reluctance to release figures with unique bodies, their propensity to create multiple (and often pointless) variations of the main Ghostbusters, poor sculpting and likenesses from time to time, a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man who turned yellow, a tendency to be really stingy with accessories, and their near refusal to make ghosts for the guys to bust.  While the action line fizzled out (even after attempts to get an Ecto-1 made for the 6 inch figures), what has seemed to be a success for Mattel have been prop replicas based on the great ghost busting gadgets from the film.  Having already released the PKE Meter and the Ecto Trap, Mattel has now moved on to the Ecto Goggles.  Ready for a look at one of the Ghostbusters' signature devices used to view PKE valences and invisible ghosts? Then join me after the break...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hokey Halloween Horror! Snickers Peanut Butter Pumpkin Review!!!


Technically, this review is out of order.  Yup, I'm not planning on reviewing the regular Snickers Pumpkin until later in the month, thus that review will be a prequel of sorts to this review. I guess you could see this review is in medias res.  Anyways, I'll catch you up on this: Snickers is a candy bar, but since it's Halloween you can buy little Snickers bars shaped like pumpkins.  You can now buy them with peanut butter in them as well.  I bought two of these (one peanut butter and regular) and got a third free at the store.  I was going to give it to my wife, but I instead ate it in the car. Oops.  (*Editor's note:  Thanks.  I was really hungry, too.*) Anyways, this product is fairly low on scares, but high on sugar and deliciousness. More treats after the break...

Action Figure Review: Galactic Protector He-Man from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel (Confirmed: Epic)

 
     While Mattel has constantly trumpeted Masters of the Universe Classics as an all inclusive line including characters from every area of the Masters of the Universe universe, that doesn't mean that they've released said characters equally.  While we have tons of figures from the vintage MOTU line and various concept characters, Princess of Power and The New Adventures of He-Man haven't seen as many releases.  Finally this July Mattel released He-Man in his New Adventures look, and I have to say that, while New Adventures is not my favorite MOTU incarnation, Galactic Protector He-Man might be my favorite MOTU figure yet released this year.  He really captures the aesthetics of classic sci-fi pulp heroes like Flash Gordon, John Carter of Mars, and Buck Rogers, as well as Luke Skywalker, all while still keeping distinctively He-Man-ish traits.  He's also an incredibly versatile figure with two alternate armors and two interchangeable portraits.  Whether or not you dig the concept of He-Man in space (I do, and I really want to see Mattel release a Galactic Protector She-Ra at some point), hopefully you can appreciate this version of the most powerful man in the universe as a fantastically designed and well articulated action figure.  More after the break...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Action Figure Review: The Laughing Man Joker from Legends of Batman by Kenner (Good and a 1/2)

  
     The Laughing Man Joker was the second Joker figure released in Kenner's Legends of Batman line.  Released as part of series 3 in 1996, The Laughing Man Joker tied into the pirate theme of that wave alongside First Mate Robin, Buccaneer Batman, and the Pirate Batman versus Pirate Two-Face set.  This is a pretty simple figure: it's the Joker dressed like a fancy pirate.  Do you really need to hear more? If so, join me after the break...

Hokey Halloween Horror: Starburst Candy Corn Review!

     When I first heard about these, I was expecting that they would either be Starburst jellybeans in the shape of candy corn, or something more akin to Mike & Ike's.  Boy was I wrong!  These things are full-on fruit flavored candy corn.  I finally found a pack today (this is a 2oz pack that cost me $1.07 at a Walgreens after tax) and decided to both eat the candy and review it.  Because looking up reviews for candy corn is a pretty common thing people do, right?  Anyways, candy corn is a pretty polarizing issue.  People in camp A love the stuff and would eat it year round if they could.  I'm in camp A actively hunt down anything candy corn flavored. Remember that candy corn Jones soda?  I actually had an IV drip full of that stuff during the whole month of October 2004. Anyways, what happens when the outrageous lemon, strawberry, orange, and cherry flavor of Starburst possesses your average candy corn? Find out after the break...

Monday, September 9, 2013

New Vincent Van Gogh Painting "Sunset at Montmajour Discovered: The Doctor is Nowhere to be Found


You might be wondering why this is nerdy news. Well, it really isn't, but I saw it on CNN and it reminded me of "Vincent and the Doctor," my absolute favorite Doctor Who episode.  It's the perfect Doctor Who episode--time travel, the Doctor using crazy devices, some great action scenes, Amy Pond being ultra flirty, a great historical character (Tony Curran plays a fabulous Vincent van Gogh), a misundertsood alien, and an ending that will bring tears to your eyes. Seriously, like the last 15 minutes of Return of the Jedi and the first 15 minutes of Up!, "Vincent and the Doctor" always makes me cry.  Anyways, take a look at the newly discovered van Gogh painting here.

   

Action Figure Review: R2-D2 from Star Wars Black by Hasbro (Confirmed: Great and a 1/2)


   If there was one figure in the initial series of Star Wars Black figures that no one seemed interested in, it was R2-D2. While R2 is an insanely popular and iconic character, the plucky little droid just didn't seem like an overly exciting action figure for the new 6 inch scale line.  While human and alien figures have become more life-like and well articulated over time, a droid like R2-D2 doesn't seem like he'd really need much improvement.  Recently the Vintage collection gave us the great R2-D2 figure with the removable serving tray from Jabba's Barge (VC25), but there still have been plenty of R2-D2 figures from the past that have held up pretty well (I still have a deep and abiding love for the Power F/X R2-D2 from 1997 and the first Power of the Force R2-D2, which I carried in my shirt pocket in 6th grade as my "lucky R2 unit").  As I mentioned in my review of Darth Maul, though, there's just something about these figures that is captivating in person.  Last week a trip to Target led me to encounter the first Star Wars Black figure I'd seen in the wild: R2-D2. While I thought I had no interest in him, seeing him in person was an entirely different experience, and I snatched him up in a heartbeat.  I just can't explain how cool it is to see Star Wars figures in this scale! Ready for a closer look at everyone's favorite astromech droid? Then join me after the break....

Hokey Halloween Horror: Cadbury Screme Eggs review!!!

 
 Someday I'll have that magical conversation with my daughter; we'll be sitting down and enjoying Cadbury Eggs together during October and she'll say how much she enjoys them, and I'll proceed to tell her that when I was a kid, we only got Cadbury Eggs during Easter. She'll be mortified. "What did you do, Dad?" she'll ask?  I'll tell her about how I kept a stash of Cadbury Eggs hidden away for the rest of the year, and she'll be thankful that she didn't live in the old days when fondant filled chocolate eggs were only available at Easter and not Halloween.  Yes, we now have Cadbury Screme Eggs, although the package advises us to "Fear Not!" because they taste the same as regular Cadbury Creme Eggs. Doesn't it seem counter productive to advise us to not be terrified when you're peddling something called a "Screme Egg?"  I expect this candy to terrify me to no end. I was almost disappointed that when I bit into it, there wasn't a razor blade or an eyeball inside that caused me to shriek in terror and/or pain.  Nope, just the same old delicious Cadbury Creme Egg that I've always known, only with a green creme center.  More after the break....

Friday, September 6, 2013

Action Figure Review 90's Edition: Lethal Impact Bane from Legends of the Dark Knight by Kenner (Confirmed: Great)

     In 1996 Bane appeared in two Batman toy lines: once in Kenner's The Adventures of Batman and Robin and once in Kenner's Legends of the Dark Knight line. The latter is the figure we're looking at today and he's as monstrous as he ever was.  Labeling this line as a "Premium Collector Series" makes it seem that Kenner was trying to get in on some more of the burgeoning superhero action figure market.  While Toy Biz offered dozens of different characters in their various Marvel lines (X-Men, X-Force, Iron Man, Spider-Man: The Animated Series), Kenner still adhered to the their policy of "the more Batmans the better" that they utilized to great success with 1990's The Dark Knight Collection.  They also typically used much plainer sculpts and smaller figures than newcomer McFarlane Toys, so it seems with this line that Kenner (at this point owned by Hasbro) was really hoping to produce another hot collector's line to complement the sheer action figure insanity that was The Power of the Force, their 1995 revival of the Star Wars line.  Bane stands alongside Harley Quinn as one of the two Batman villains to come out of the 1990s that have really cemented their role in the pantheon of Batman's rogues gallery.  Ready to learn why Lethal Impact Bane is still so lethal? Once you have read my review, you have my permission to buy.  After the break, of course....

Movie Review: Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan (Confirmed: Eh)

   
     This is the greatest Paul Bunyan film I have ever seen.  It's also the worst Paul Bunyan film I've ever seen.  Actually, it's the only Paul Bunyan film I've ever seen, probably because Paul Bunyan is not a real popular character to make movies about.  Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan is a 2013 horror film directed by Gary Jones that presents itself as a dark and gritty retelling of the Paul Bunyan legend.  It's about a group of young first-time offenders who get sent to a boot camp in the woods in order to have their sentences reduced.  Of course, if you've ever seen any horror movie in your life, you know weird stuff is going to happen and people are going to get killed.  I guess at it's core, Axe Giant has a fairly unique premise; it's just so unfortunate that it's executed so poorly. Listen, I'm a guy that likes bad movies. I love them. They don't find me, I find them. I really wanted to enjoy this movie. I did enjoy it at times, but this movie just has too many problems, which I'll get to after the break.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

NECA reveals Gentleman Caller Claptrap from Borderlands


     NECA has revealed another cool Claptrap from the Borderlands series, and this time he's dressed to impress.  The "Gentleman Caller" Claptrap runs the bank in Borderlands and is quite a humorous looking figure.  Check out his fashionable mustache, his classy monocle on his right arm, and his elegant top hat.  He's clearly both a gentleman and a scholar, and should be available to Borderlands fans in December of 2013.  Check out NECA's website for more information.

Preorder one now from Big Bad Toy Store!

Netflix for the Poor Kids: Barracuda (1978) (Good and 1/2)


     In the wake of 1975's Jaws, many filmmakers stepped in to take advantage of audiences craving more underwater horror from aquatic creatures desperately craving human flesh.  Most of those films were quite forgettable and thus doomed to obscurity, just like today's movie review: Barracuda.  Released in 1978, Barracuda was the final film of director Harry Kerwin, whom I had never heard of but directed films with intriguing titles such as How I Became a Nudist and My Third Wife George.  It seems like, for Mr. Kerwin, a film about killer barracudas was probably a rather tame undertaking.  Yes, if you couldn't guess, Barracuda is a film about a school of killer barracuda terrorizing the residents of a small town situated along the coast.  But it's so much more, as well!  I was expecting a fairly cheesy creature film, but Barracuda actually delivers some decent surprises despite its low budget appearance.  Honestly, this episode could have easily been an episode of the X-Files as it weaves its way from simple creature attacks to a government conspiracy.  Ready for a B-movie with bite?  Then read about Barracuda after the break.....

Spooky Toy Review: Walter Wetsuit & Wavecrawler from Kre-O CityVille Invasion by Hasbro (Confirmed: Good)

   
     Last summer I jumped back hard into Lego due to their excellent Monster Fighters theme.  I loved those sets and reviewed everyone of them on my Amazon page.  Soon afterwards, I started collecting the giant modular town sets, the DC Superheroes sets, and basically any set I felt I could weave into my gigantic haunted town (I essentially combined the Vampyre Castle, the Mad Scientist's Lab, Helm's Deep, Hogwarts Castle, and some other random castle sets into one giant haunted castle).  I've slowed down my Lego collecting a bit earlier this year (although I really want the new Jabba the Hutt sail barge and the Rancor pit) but was interested to see that Hasbro's Kre-O has jumped into the building block and minifigure craze with their CityVille Invasion theme.  I know Hasbro's put out plenty of other sets based around Transformers, Battleship, and G.I. Joe, but it was these sets that appealed to me.  A set with zombies attacking a police station?  Another spooky castle? A fire department getting attacked by a dragon?  Hasbro's essentially releasing sets of what I've done to my normal Lego town!  Well, except for the fact that I'm not too keen on their building style. It just doesn't look anywhere near as impressive as the sets that Lego designs and produces.  They do have some cool looking minifigures, though, and you can get a pack of two of them for less than $3.  They're blind bagged and there seem to be eight unique sets.  I gambled on one (without feeling the bag) and ended up with Walter Wetsuit and the Wavecrawler, who seems to be the Creature from the Black Lagoon's nephew.  Let's jump in and take a look at these two, shall we?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Netflix for the Poor Kids: Poltergeist 2: The Other Side (Eh and a 1/2)




     The original Poltergeist is one of the best haunted house movies of all time.  Period.  Directed by Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Funhouse) and co-written (and arguably co-directed) by Steven Spielberg, Poltergeist presents a slice of a suburban family's interactions with the supernatural that initially captures the wonderment and awe that you'd expect from a Spielberg film, but soon turns into the all out terror fest you'd hope for from Hooper.  It's a creepy movie that, over time, has built up an even creepier legacy due to what is often referred to as the "Poltergeist Curse," both due to the deaths of multiple cast members during the filming of the series and the fact that the original film used real skeletons during the climactic swimming pool scene.  Poltergeist 2: The Other Side begins strong, following up where the original film left off, and maintains it's ghostly momentum throughout the first half.  Director Brian Gibson just can't keep the film as tight, well-paced, and terrifying as Hooper was able to, however, and it shows as the film begins to steadily unravel about halfway through.  More thoughts (and some spoilers) after the break....

Tombstones of Halloweens Past



     Tombstones are always super fun to put in your yard, unless they're really marking the graves of beloved pets or freeloading relatives who didn't plan ahead.  Anyways, here are some fun gravestones that I made as a kid with help from various relatives.  In the picture above are some tombstones that date back to 1987 (although the dates fool you into thinking they're older) and were made with the help of my Grandma (the same Grandma who dressed up like Skeletor to play He-Man with me).  Looking at these, they're pretty honest and regular.  Usually gravestones used for decoration have silly little sayings on them or the names of movie monsters; these ones apparently served to educate kids about the harsh realities of life before the discovery of penicillin.  They also helped me to become an expert at the Oregon Trail in computer class.  More Hokey Halloween Horror after the break....

Monday, September 2, 2013

Haunt the Halls! Green Glittery Owl



Looking to improve your home on a budget? For $1.97 you can begin to spookify your home, turning it from a mundane residence into a domestic domicile of doom!  What do you need to complete your look?  How about a freaking glittery owl.  Those guys creep people, constantly steal Tootsie Pops from kids, and are never what they seem.  Owls are also a great Halloween decorative item because while they're spooky, they're a bit more tasteful than fake tombstones or a bloody scarecrow in your yard, which means you can begin using them to decorate as early as August (or late July if you're really in the Halloween spirit) without the neighbors complaining.    

Hokey Halloween Horror at The Epic Review!!!






Happy Halloween Epic Readers!!!

Yes, it's that time of the year again!!  Halloween!!!!  It's truly the most wonderful time of the year, and since I now have the platform to spread my own ghoulish cheer to you, you can believe that this year will be absolutely jam packed with hokey Halloween horror! I'm working non-stop to make sure that both you and I have the best Halloween yet, so drop by every (week)day for something new to get your ghost.  Here's five things I think I can offer to you this year:

1. Horror movie reviews!

     I've already been on a consistent diet of horror movies for about two or three weeks now, and am preparing plenty of movie reviews so you know what to watch, what to skip, and what to avoid like the plague.  Yes, while I'm reviewing some old favorites and some true classics, I'm also skimming the cream of the crap to find the absolute worst (and best of the worst) films to experience and review.  There's a horror movie out this year about an evil Paul Bunyan, and I pledge to you that I'm going to watch that crap and give you a solid review.

More terror after the break....

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Michael W. Crawford reviews the Walking Dead Season 3 "Governor's Trophy Case" Blu-Ray Set

Image from MWCtoys.com

     I actually haven't had the chance to finish the third season of AMC's The Walking Dead yet, but I certainly plan on it (I don't have cable).  Honestly, gimmick DVD and Blu-Ray packaging, especially when it's abnormal and won't fit on a shelf, rarely appeals to me. This is a work of art, however. Gruesome, depraved art, but art nonetheless.  With this packaging, McFarlane toys has probably created the coolest product they've produced for at least five years.  It actually holds water and features LED lights to really stand out on your shelf.  Head on over to master reviewer Michael W. Crawford's site and check out both his excellent review and beautiful pictures of this piece.  He's also got some great thoughts on the best way to display it in order to preserve the piece while still keeping it looking awesome.