Sunday, September 25, 2016

Visiting Buffalo Comic Con!

Yay, it's comic con time!



I made the relatively short trip to Buffalo for the Buffalo Comic Con last weekend for a day of fun, comic books, toys, celebrities and awesome cosplay. Now being new player in the comic convention game, there were worries that Buffalo Comic Con was just gonna be a small show. I wasn't expecting a lot, I had just done Fan Expo in Toronto a few weeks before, which was a claustrophobic nightmare, so this would've been a giant change of pace no matter what. But my expectations weren't the highest. Which may have worked for me.

Me, Deadpool and JD


So upon entering the convention with my friend and fellow General Geekery podcast partner. JD, I was very surprised at the layout. The convention center itself was split into two floors. A main show floor upstairs and the bottom floor with rooms for meetings/seminars/panels/whatever it may be. Which worked big time. Sometimes in a convention space, everything's just thrown together and everything is just placed on the main convention floor. Not here. Everything was spread out, put in it's own spot, and felt very well organized. I sat in with JD's daughter for an anime panel and it was a nice throwback, considering my past anime con-going days. Very well done.

Also a nice addition was a kids room, which was put on by the local library, I believe.They had activities for the younger geeks in attendance such as coloring superhero masks, cardboard cutouts for photos, tunnels to crawl through, lightsaber battles. All the kind of stuff youngsters of any age would want. I was very impressed by this.

The vendor/celebrity/artists/writers were upstairs on the main floor and much like any convention, was no doubt the main draw. Where else will you get the opportunity to hang with fellow fans, rifle through musty, old comics, buy about 17 back issues of NFL SuperPro and meet your favorite writers? I also finally got to hold the first appearance of the Punisher! See my joy:



So the main draw for me, really, was the addition of some of the Nightmare on Elm Street 3 stars. It's of no surprise that I go crazy for anything Freddy related and when I have the opportunity to meet the stars of the series, I take it! In all my time of convention going, I've actually never met Ken Sagoes and Penelope Sudrow, who were guests at this show, and I could finally add them to my prized Freddy's Dead poster.

Yes, I'm sure it drives poster enthusiasts insane, but I wanted something I could get every member of the NOES series on and I kinda like the simplicity of the born-dead date. Kinda reminds me of a tombstone! It looks great with signatures!

So I finally got Ken Sagoes who admired all the signatures on my poster and even laughed when he saw the Freddy doodle, done by Robert Englund. Ken was super nice, as I've been told multiple times.




Up next was Rodney Eastman who played Joey in Part 3 and 4, who I've met before but never got his signature on my poster. He looked at my poster, which I always request the character name and the actor's favorite quote, and said "well, I only had one line" to which he gave me THIS:


Also, I refused to leave without a photo with Joey and Kincaid. And our photo turned out great, mainly due to Rodney suggesting I sit down due to my height. Neat!


Too awesome.


Penelope Sudrow who played Jennifer in part 3 was very...memorable. She kept asking me about the names on my poster and even pointed out how she thought every time Robert signs "Welcome to Prime Time, Bitch!" she should get a dollar. She also gave me a rather interesting signature and quote on my poster. Which I get since she didn't really have any memorable one liners.


 She also posed for a rather memorable photo op:



With my main goals accomplished, I now needed something to keep my attention and excitement. Thankfully, the huge maze of local vendors and artists selling their wares. It didn't take long for me to run into Mike Smash of Curious Goods, an artist known for his amazing figures and shadowbox illustrations. It was a pleasant surprise to see Mike, it's been years since I've seen him last. It was great to catch up and see his newest offerings, including a NOES 3 poster/shadowbox!



I could rant and rave all day about the Cosplayers. But instead, just check out these rad photos I took:










Buffalo Comic Con certainly isn't the biggest convention but its a very, very comfortable convention. I feel very confident in saying it's been the best convention experience in quite some time. I'm very excited to see where the show gows int he future. I have no issue pointing to this show and saying "My hometown comic convention".

This show gets a solid 10/10 score for me!

Hope to see you next year! I'll buy you some wings after!




-Chad

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Ranking The New Stephen King BluRay

A very Happy Birthday to the Master of Horror himself, Mr. Stephen King! For a lot of people, Mr. King is the reason they're into horror and indeed, if it wasn't for watching Creepshow at an early age, I wouldn't be talking to you.

In their own way of celebrating, our friends at Warner Brothers have released a set of three of Stephen King's most famous movies on bluray, in what seems to be Best Buy Exclusives.



The goods, as seen above, are certainly great collectors items and for King completists, they are must owns. Now, I must confess, I've only really seen IT and Cat's Eye. I've never seen Salem's Lot so that provided me an advantage in viewing this on bluray. In crystal clear, hi-def with great sound, this would certainly be the right way to see it. Warner Brothers certainly knows how to make old releases feel new again with their transfers and using the original poster/vhs art, which is a nice comfort. Not that I mind new art but sometimes that art just isn't up to snuff. So I was excited to dig in. But was I fan of all of them? Let's find out:


First up, Salem's Lot. I've heard a lot of King fans profess their love of this and it really made me hopeful. Being a fan of King, I knew I would at least be in for some fun scares and good humor mixed. On top of that, I was expecting great characters in precarious situations. Well, to be quite honest, I didn't get that. I felt like none of the characters were all paper thin and 100% unlikable. I found the story even more unlikable and boring and just made for a very dull movie. That said, I can full respect the effort on producers to make it as close to the book as possible, so in those terms, I can totally see why fans like this. But in my personal opinion(by no means fact), this was just one King movie I couldn't get into.


Next movie is the 1990 made for tv miniseries, IT. The story of Pennywise the murderous clown also deemed "IT" by a local group of friends "The Losers Club", brought to life by the amazing Tim Curry. Now, of course, it's hard to follow up Tim Curry as a villain but the rest of the cast including the late-great John Ritter, Harry Anderson, Tim Reid, Olivia Hussey and more. A great cast, a great story, great directing by Tommy Lee Wallace. Now, as with Salem's Lot, the effort to make it as close to the book, both story and length, are there so it makes sense as to why it was broken up into two movies. But for a fan like me, it gets a little on the long side and gets a bit dull. That's no fault of the cast and crew, it's just that Part 1 is so well done and leads to a very big build up in the end. Part 2 doesn't deliver on that and just gets super long and drawn out with a predictable ending. I'd rank this higher than Salem's Lot in terms of entertainment and scares.


Cat's Eye rounds out the trio and in my opinion is the best of the lot. I'm a sucker for anthologies and will sit down and watch as many as I can. As previously mentioned before, without Creepshow, I wouldn't be a fan, so when I discovered this movie back in the early 2000's, I was excited. "Another Stephen King anthology? sign me up.". Now, albeit not every anthology film is flawless and has perfect stories. This focuses on a stray cat that travels through multiple scenarios and stories in order to get to a young girl(played by Drew Barrymore) to save her from doom. The cast is great, again, a constant in most if not all of King's adaptations, the stories are entertaining and the writing has as much humor as it does EC Comics-like ironic punishments. You can definitely see EC's influence on King and all his work. This may not be the most famous or even favorite of King fans, but of the three, it's certainly my favorite.




So there you have it! Warner Brother's offers you three blurays to add to your horror movie/King collection. Quite frankly, while I may not be the biggest fan of Salem's Lot, I must confess, I certainly hope fans rush out and buy it just so we can get more King movies  released! They all definitely have their place on every fan's shelf!


So a happy birthday to that lunkhead, Jordy Verril himself, the master of horror, the King of Fright, Mr. Stephen King!



-Chad


PS-For some extra King goodness, check out this fun commercial he did for American Express!


Friday, September 16, 2016

Review: The Punisher

The Punisher has always been tied with Batman as my favorite superhero. As a child, there was nothing cooler than a huge badass blowing things up and fighting for good. As an adult, I find him to be a sympathetic character and respect his belief of cleansing the streets and making those who get away with their heinous crimes. When you hear about the horrible things going on in life, even as a optimistic pacifist, wonder what life would be if Frank Castle was running around. At my current age, it's no longer about The Punisher blowing things up, it's cleansing the world of crime and perversion.

And believe it or not, a LOT of that interest has to do with the Dolph Lundgren movie from 1989. I had been a fan even before seeing this movie with my brother in 1991 so I knew what the Punisher meant, which to a degree, the movie kind of delivered. If you talk to people about this movie, I would bet good money they will roll their eyes and ask to move on from discussing it. Rightfully so, I get it. Despite not having a skull on his shirt and having issues delivering his lines, Dolph just didn't feel like he understood the character or what made him tick. I also understand at that point and time, comic book characters and movies were only marketable to kids. It wasn't really until Batman, also from 1989, that companies saw potential in dark, serious comic book movies, so I don't think Dolph deserves as much blame for portraying the Punisher as he's received.

Now, that said, the story of this movie has always been a little shallow. Sure, the general public who *knew* Punisher just wanted him to blow stuff up. And that, indeed, is delivered. But for loyal fans of the character, it just felt like a rehash of the Sylvester Stallone movie Cobra. There wasn't a lot of development in the Punisher character. He just kinda showed up and started shooting people and blowing things up. What made him the Punisher? Well, it's kinda hinted at that he's a former cop who witnessed his family murdered by a mob hit. Believing there's no justice, he goes after those who he deemed guiolty of crimes.  The movie is just pretty plain and underperformed for fans and critics, and yes, the movie studio. This, and that atrocious Captain American movie from 1990, is a huge reason Marvel was considered a huge joke at that time. My, how times have changed.

Well...all this made Punisher 89 an absolute embarrassment. Until now...

Austrailian distributor Umbrella Entertainment put out a bluray for any and all comic book/action movie/Punisher fanatics must own. Why do I say that? Simple, it includes three cuts of the movie.

Let me repeat that: THREE CUTS.

You read that right. Three different takes on the Punisher: The so called "theatrical", the directors "Ultimate Cut" and the Mark Goldblatt Workprint. Now, each movie has differences. The "Ultimate Cut" and workprint have different openings to the movies and even more origin stories, including footage of Frank on duty, his family being murdered, and more footage of the Punisher in action. While it's a few scenes that were taken out of the theatrical/vhs release, it makes a giant difference. It allows you to sympathize with Frank and discover what lead to him abandoning his normal, every day life and becomes the vigilante we all know and love. An origin story of a character that, at that point, only a handful of mainstream fans are aware of, helps with the storytelling. If you hated the original cut, you have two more options to give it a fair shake. Even better? The directors cut has commentary from Mark Goldblatt, which provides a lot of useful tidbits of info and a look into the production of the movie.


Now, if that's not all to reel you in, the bonus features are just as incredible. Brand new interviews with the man himself Dolph Lundgren, director Mark Goldblatt, a GAG REEL, and the theatrical trailer. And even cooler? The reversible cover artwork:



These features are way more generous than this movie deserves, some would argue. After all, that dvd release from the early 2000s was trash and that's what this movie deserves, right? Wrong. This was the first mainstream exposure of the Punisher and as much as it can suck, it still should be watched and studied in terms of just how far Marvel has come and in fact, I think this movie is better than that Thomas Jane movie.


Thanks to Umbrella Entertainment for releasing this. It's a release that every fan should invest in. You can purchase it, here.here. Of course, it will help if you have a region free player or know how to hack your bluray player.
-Chad

Friday, September 2, 2016

In Memory of Olive

So this entry is more of a release for me. Something I've been wanting to do for the longest time, so while it's not really my usual pop culture/horror movie/rasslin' entry, it is necessary and hopefully will help me. I'm gonna warn you, it will be a little long. It really will be. See, September 3rd is not a fun day for me and anyone who's lost a pet, probably can relate. September 3rd 2014 is the day where I lost my baby Olive.



My now fiancée Laurie and I "rescued" Olive from the local animal rescue, LollyPop Farm, in March of 2013 after making the decision to find a friend for Laurie's longtime pet, Charlie, who she's had since 2010. Charlie has always been very loyal and a very well behaved bunny but we had heard bunnies do even better in pairs. So, after taking Charlie on a couple of trips to Lollypop to meet other bunnies, we finally found a good match in Olive(named Coolata by the staff because she had no name when dropped off). Besides, Laurie and I instantly fell in love. She was beautiful!

She had giant Disney-like eyelashes, she had the prettiest pattern we had seen on a Dutch rabbit, and most of all, she was very energetic upon meeting her. She also had a "TEST" stamp on her right ear which at first angered me because I knew she was harmed in her previous life but I then came to the realization that the stamp gave her character and she was in a better spot with us.

She came over to me, sniffed me, then raced over to Laurie, sniffed her and raced back and fourth. She was very much a social butterfly. Er...Bunny. Finally, she sniffed Charlie and they kinda just looked at each other and hopped around the room. It was set. If it wasn't meant to be, they would've just ignored each other. But, we knew it was meant to be. After figuring out names, I randomly said "Olivia", which Laurie always liked but she saw it more as a human's name. So I said Olive and that stuck. It was perfect. Just like her.
The first picture we took of her, after bringing her home. March 2 2013

We brought her home. She was pretty comfortable with us. Although, the first night, we put a something on top on her cage so she wouldn't hop out. That became a bad idea, as she got super nervous, had a panic attack and proceeded to run around the cage carelessly to the point that she got a bloody nose after hitting the bars. So, we then decided to not to lock the cage at night and just let her roam around the apartment at her own whim. And boy did she ever.

Charlie(left) and Olive plotting evil deeds?


There'd be mornings that Laurie and I woke up and found a rabbit staring at us in that weird "feed me now or I'm gonna chew up all your vhs collection". Or if you were just laying on the couch or the bed, she'd randomly just hop up on your stomach or back and just call it a night and sleep on you. Or demand petting. Olive would also find random spot and nap.



You know in horror movies where someone goes into the kitchen, opens the fridge door, closes it and then sees someone standing there? Olive. It didn't take long to figure out that when that door opened, it was food time for us or her. You'd be sitting on the couch after work with a bowl of Cheetos and she'd race over, stand up, sniff and hop up on you and try to steal your food. She had quite the appetite. She wasn't much for toys but she loved chewing up carpet. In fact, she left quite a few "bald spots" on the carpet in our old apartment. She had no shame in doing that. It was aggravating as heck, but honestly, I miss hearing that carpet pulling sound. As weird as it is.

Her influence on Charlie was also very important. Charlie went from very well behaved and never did anything out of the oridnary to Olive's sidekick. She influenced him to eat carpet which got annoying too. There also were times where we'd be sitting in the living room, hear something in the bedroom, call "BUNNIES!" and they'd both run out and just stare at us like they were guilty. To this day, Charlie still has a lot of her habits and you can definitely see she left a very positive influence on him.


September 1st 2014, my birthday, we noticed Olive was acting very weird. I mean, she was always weird, but this was too out of the ordinary. She was moving slow, breathing shallow and actually fell over. We found out that she ate some random wash rag on the floor near the couch. We immediately took her to the animal hospital where she was discharged after about 4 hours or so. Later that night, she still wasn't acting right, so Laurie took her back. They kept her overnight and we went to visit on September 2nd. They still couldn't give us any full answers but suggested they keep her overnight until the morning of September 3rd when we could take her to her normal vet who specializes in caring for smaller animals. We obliged but before they kept her overnight, we got to spend what would be the last time we saw her together. Olive was in a head cone and upon seeing this, I immediately knew something wasn't right. I knew she wasn't well and there was the possibility,,,well...I didn't wanna acknowledge the possibility of her not surviving. I just didn't.

That night, when visiting Olive, was weird. She could hardly able to move. All her energy was drained. But, when I put my head down to cry, she used up her energy for the evening to come over and nudge me with her nose. It was almost like her trying to comfort me in some weird way. As to say "it's ok. No matter what, I'll be ok". And that kinda gave me some hope that the procedure in the morning would solve everything.

So, after my morning shift, I raced over to the hospital, picked up Olive, started to cry because that thought of her not surviving was still in my head. She was frail, she was weak, she was not in good health. But the people at Cats and Critters(the vet) always solved everything. She'd be ok. I knew it. I just knew it. I dropped her off, gave her three kisses, one from me me, one from Laurie and one from Charlie and told her I'd be back for her. I was told it would be a few hours for the procedure and they'd call us when she was in recovery. Which would be close to 6 hours or so.

Well, an hour later, I got the phone call I never ever wanted to receive. As soon as I saw the number on my caller id, I immediately panicked.

"Hi Chad. We're calling to let you know..."

At that point I began screaming and crying and begging them not to finish their sentance. I'm sure they've heard it before.

"I'm sorry, Chad...Olive didn't make it.".

I rush to my car, speed off to the vet's office and call Laurie. She had the same reaction I did, upon hearing me cry. She told her job what happened, and understanding how much Olive meant, she was told to leave.

We met at the vet's office in room 4, which we've since demanded to never be put in ever again, a request they've reasonably and respectfully obliged, where they brought in our baby. She was lifeless and we immediately became inconsolable. We cried hysterically and the vet assistant stayed with us, until we requested time by ourselves. Again, a request she understood.

That day, that week, that month, the rest of that year, was rough as hell. It really was. Laurie and I hadn't eaten anything but junk food. We obviously had no motivation to go anywhere or do anything social. It was rough. It was painful. It was like a part of our heart was torn out. At one point, and this may seem silly to you, but I honestly questioned my faith in God. Why would this happen? The rabbit did nothing to harm anyone. She just wanted love. I questioned a lot within that period. But eventually I kinda came to terms with everything.

Shortly after we realized Charlie couldn't be alone. Laurie and I were still in pain but we had no idea what he was going through. One day, his best friend was here. The next day, gone. Charlie had grown to love Olive just as much as we did. So we needed to find a new partner for him. Olive no doubt would've wanted it. We knew this, but we weren't really keen on the idea of getting another rabbit. It was still too much to handle. So after a good chat with my buddy John Squires, who for a few days the ONLY person I had the energy to talk to and really became a big help in all this, I realized we *had* to. So 2 weeks to the day, we took Charlie to meet his new friend, Penelope. She was just sitting in a cage all by herself. We fell in love all over again. But it still felt weird. So when we brought Charlie, they bonded in the same way he and Olive did. It was another "meant to be" moment.
Charlie and Penelope! They've definitely become best friends! 



Quite frankly, Olive left a huge impression on Laurie, me and Charlie. There's not a day that goes by that we don't talk about her or think about her. We continue to cry. But Charlie, he seems to have done just fine. We think. There's no way to read his mind, but he certainly kept Laurie and us sane in our worst moments. And truth be told, my love of Charlie has grown even more.





In my dream world, we'd have 3 bunnies in our lives but I know without Olive, we wouldn't have Penelope. As I said, I'm sure Olive would've been fine with that.



So. There it is. I don't look forward to September 3rd, because I know how miserable I'll feel. But I feel like writing this helped lift a weight off my shoulders, if that makes sense. This felt very therapeutic. Not in a "letting go of Olive" but a "letting go of the pain". Because when I do think of Olive, I smile. That's what she was best at. Making everyone smile.



So, Olive, I hope you're tearing out all that delicious hay and grass over at the Rainbow Bridge. I look forward to when we meet again...




I'd give everything I own just have this moment one more time.



Thanks for reading. I'll return to the pop culture goofball stuff sooner than later.


-Chad

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Review: Transformers the Movie

It was Summer of 2001. I was about to enter my senior year of high school and was going out with a girl named Lisa who had absolutely no idea what to make of my goofy geeky-interests which consisted of comic books, pro wrestling, and toys. But front and center that summer was a trip to Raleigh/Durham in North Carolina for the annual Transformers convention, Botcon. I was a HUGE Transformers fan, so naturally the convention was a must-attend destination for me. I had attended the 1997 show, so I kinda knew what to expect.


Ahhhh Botcon. What a time! The convention consisted of everything a Transformers fan could ever want. A dealers room with practically every piece of Transformers merchandise ever, voice actors and writers from many series, a trivia show, a "MST3K" type show featuring many prominent faces in the fandom providing good comments over bad Transformers episodes and of course a huge draw: a 15th anniversary theatrical screening of Transformers the Movie!!!! This was huge! A very rare opportunity to see the movie as it was meant to be seen! And I had a darn good seat to view this beauty! I kept saying "oh man, it can't get better than this!" as I saw Unicron slowly move across the screen int he beginning...


Oh, I was wrong...


See, I've had literally every release or a copy of every release of the movie, and I can honestly say Shout Factory's release is the very best to date.



Let's take a look at the restoration process, courtesy of Shout! themselves...



As someone who's watched the bluray itself, I can attest that the 4K transfer brings out the best in the colors int he characters and backgrounds of this movie. Especially anytime you see Unicron floating around or a transforming scene. Considering the amount of colors and elaborate fight scenes, the transfer actually makes it much clearer to see what's going on. Whereas previously release, specifically a vhs release from FHE and Rhino, it was easy for the prints to be a little sloppy. Shout!'s release actually comes from a 35mm print and thanks to the aforementioned 4k transfer process, looks as pristine and clear as you can get. So Transformers fans, when you're watching Optimus Prime die, you'll be brought to tears even more. Maybe tears of joy over how good at looks too.


Extras:

  •  "NEW 'Til All Are One – The Comprehensive Documentary Looking Back At The Transformers: The Movie With Members Of The Cast And Crew, Including Story Consultant Flint Dille, Cast Members Gregg Berger, Susan Blu, Neil Ross, Dan Gilvezan, Singer/Songwriter Stan Bush, Composer Vince DiCola And Others!
  •  NEW Transformers: The Restoration Featurette
  •  NEW Rolling Out The New Cover Featurette
  •  Audio Commentary With Director Nelson Shin, Story Consultant Flint Dille And Star Susan Blu
  •  Archival Featurettes – "The Death Of Optimus Prime," "The Cast & Characters," And "Transformers Q&A"
  •  Animated Storyboards
  •  Original Theatrical Trailers
  •  TV Spots"



Ok, so Scream usually gives us some sweet extras. Past releases from Sony and Rhino have had some ok features, including a few making of brief entertaining featurettes on a few parts of the movie, but nothing too amazing. What I really was excited to see was the documentary of the entire movie. Featuring writers, cast and even the musicians, it's a solid documentary that is worth the price tag!

The commentary is a lot of fun to listen to if you wanna pick up some knowledge from the visionary director, Nelson Shin, who made sure to make this movie as big of a spectacle as he could. Indeed, I never noticed before how he designated certain colors to both Autobots and Decepticons as a way to distinguish their behavior and moods. A lot of great stuff is hidden in this commentary and as fans, should be listened too!

The trailers and TV spots are also a great feature, as well as throwback/archival featurettes features from the Sony release. The extras alone should make you want to pick this up!


Cover:

Ok, I've heard a lot of fans voice their displeasure of the cover of this(pictured at the beginning of this writeup). Fair enough. I think it's because a lot of fans weren't too keen on Hot Rod as a replacement for Optimus. I get it. But if that's the case, Shout! understands and provide an alternate/reversible cover:



Oh come on! If you're not a fan of the main cover, you've gotta love this one! Sweet deal!



For the 24.93 price tag, you're getting a sweet deal. Trust me. I can't suggest this movie to you any higher if I wanted to. As a Transformers fan, nothing makes me happier than seeing this finally hit US soil, after being only available on bluray via imports for years. But it's here. Order from Shout! today and enjoy the beauty of this movie!

And remember...you got the Touch!




Now, time to roll out, Autobots! Till All Are One!



-Chad

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Halloween Treat Preview

It's that time, folks...we're almost there. What am I talking about? Oh come now, let's not be coy here. It's almost time for bonfires, pumpkin candles, hoodies and jeans. It's almost time for...HALLOWEEEEEEEEEEEENNN!!!!!!!

Oh I'm excited. I look forward to Halloween/Fall so much. I mean, I don't hate the other seasons, but I just feel the best stuff of the year happens in the last quarter of the year. The weather, the smells, the feel of opening the windows of my apartment and letting the wind blow in while hiding under blankets and sipping apple cider and watching movies. Doesn't that sound great?

It's also a great time to feel youthful. Just something about Halloween that makes even the most stressed out adult feel young and carefree again. Don't agree? Go into a department store, go straight to the Halloween section and tell me you won't be trying on every mask and push the buttons of every single Halloween decoration. It's just a perfect time to be alive! Now, of course, in addition to all the previously mentioned activities and feelings, everything suddenly turns orange, brown, black and purple. Toys, clothes, and even better: food. YES!!!!! Of course the true champions of Halloween treats are Monster Cereals, ice cream, Oreos, even burgers, as tested last year!

So what's going on this year? Well, a simple trip to Wegmans for groceries revealed quite a few fun treats in store for me this coming season. No Monster Cereals...YET...but there were a few things that caught my eye that maybe you will need to run out and grab to get in the Halloween mood!

Keebler Pumpkin Spice Cookies!




Ok, not a bad way of starting off. Now, I love me some Pumpkin Spice flavored ANYTHING and the last few years have been great for fans. Now, alright, I admit it. Nothing truly tastes like Pumpkin Spice. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to find two things that taste identical. But that's ok, because much like gingerbread, it just works perfectly for the season.

Keebler offers us their Fudge Stripes cookies in the fall favorite flavor. From what I'm told, these were offered last year as well. I don't remember even buying them, but I have a hard time believing they won't be tasty. Keebler always delivers so I'm totally down for picking these up this year!



Lunchables!




What kid doesn't have great memories of Lunchables? I mean, sure, it's probably about as healthy to this entire thing as it is a Big Mac but when you're a kid and you find these in your lunchbox, you're good as gold. Almost like a Kids Cuisine for lunch and not requiring to be microwaving(doesn't hurt though!), Lunchables are not a bad way to spend your afternoon.

That said, it seems every year, Lunchables offers fun holiday themed items. Usually, containing the normal meal fare along with a Halloween treat and sometimes a Ghoul Aid(the Halloween KoolAid flavor!) with some awesome packaging. Now, while they don't have Ghoul Aid this year, they do give us a sweet little chocolate witch! I mean, I'd totally eat that cheap pizza for that sweet little witch!



Gotta love that bat and haunted house too. I feel like saving this and framing it. It's classic Halloween! Kinda reminds me of something from the late 80s/early 90s. Pretty solid, huh?


Pop-Tarts!





An annual classic. Always welcomed in my household and most likely yours. PopTarts always offers a lot of great seasonal flavors but none too greater than Pumpkin Pie and Spookylicious Fudge! Ok, the fudge flavor is around all year, but not in orange colored frosting with tiny Halloween themed sprinkles! Check it out:




The Pumpkin Pie PopTart(I did not pick it up on this trip) is always a home run. The simple taste of pumpkin (no spice!) is just absolutely delicious. There's not a lot of pumpkin offerings that are on the level of this, I mean, it's just so addicting. I've gone through one box in two days. Not proud but I've done it. Pace yourself, my friends. It'll be worth it when you're toasting these in January!


Kelloggs Spooky Cereals!




After dealing with the success of Monster Cereals every Halloween, Kellogg's finally threw their name in the Halloween game last year and seems to be at it again. Look at those boxes. Look at them! A little spookier, a little crazier but definitely in the vein of the season. Gotta love that Frosted Flakes especially. It's about time Tony was able to stretch his advertising chops. After all these years, he finally gets some spooky props to play with. And boy oh boy is he taking full advantage of it!



To add to the theme of Halloween Cereals(again, ruled by Monster Cereals), every Kellogg's cereal is given extra marshmallows. Which is odd, because Apple Jacks, Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops are perfect on their own, but it's almost like the cereal itself is dressing up for the season too. Which is nice. It's hard enough to compete with Count Chocula and the Boys, but hey, you gotta do everything you can! Kudos to you Kelloggs, a great offering!


So, let the festivities begin! Halloween is almost here and these treats are a perfect way of getting hyped!


-Chad

What I've Been Watching Vol. 2975492

We've got movie sign!!!!!







Ahhhh the American Ninja series...Cannon's amazing mixture of military and karate, action films starring Michael Dudikoff.. What really should have been the launch of Dudikoff's potential career, was really Dudikoff's one and only hit. Which is the greatest tragedy because he's very captivating on screen and could've gone on to a lot more had he not stuck with Cannon, who promised him roles after roles that just never came to fruition. 

The American Ninja series lasted 5 movies. While the 5th isn't being released on Bluray from Olive Films, you can still hunt it down. The best part of these 4 releases are the extras. The trailers, commentary even a documentary on each film detailing the production and behind the scenes stories. If you've wanted the scoop on each movie, they're a real fun way to learn. Highly suggested purchases. Yes, including part 3 and 4...






Back int he early 80's a bunch of a young kids set out to create an scene for scene recreation of Raiders of the Lost Ark, relying on memory, photos from magazines and books and whatever else they could get their hands on. It took them years to film the almost completed film, in fact, you'll notice them visibly aging throughout the fanfilm. After filming everything except the famous airplane scene, they decided to move on and accept it was just a pipe dream to complete their version.

Until a filmmaker came to the original cast and offered them a chance to complete their childhood project...

What followed was quite inspiring. Three friends who worked so hard on something that became a cult favorite in Hollywood, including Eli Roth who spoke very highly of the film, finally got to complete their dream. We all would be so lucky. 

The features are also quite entertaining:

Special features include more than four hours on bonus content

-Two audio commentary tracks (with Skousen & Coon as well as Strompolos & Zala)
-Deleted scenes from the documentary
-Outtakes from the Adaptation 
-Q&A footage from the Adaptation's 2003 premiere at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX
-A photo booklet featuring storyboard art from the Adaptation 
-Free HD digital copy of the film.



I'd say if you love a good documentary, this is for you. It's a feel good story, which is what we need more of!





Mill Creek has been putting out William Castle movies for a while now and quite frankly, these two may be two of my favorites. Homicidal has one of the most shocking endings, that even found a way to make me gasp! And I thought I had seen it all! And Mr. Sardonicus, the tale of the disfigured Baron Sardonicus is just as fun, as it balances torture and the bizarre all in one movie. 

William Castle movies always felt like a Hitchcock movie meets an EC Comic. I always love William Castles goofy gimmicks and endings. They always deliver. And this collection is no different. No extra features, but hey, when it's a William Castle movie, you don't need no stinkin' features! 





Wow. My only regret in watching this movie is that I hadn't seen it before. I love me some post apocalyptic movies from the 80s(boy were there a lot!) but this one may be my new favorite. Sorry, World Gone Wild!

The story is about a group of wild teens who are trapped in an abandoned drive in by the government. They're forced live there until the government says differently. Problem is, it doesn't look like the government is going to let them go anytime soon. 

I honestly can't say how much I love this movie enough. Everything about it is fantastic. My biggest regret is not seeing before I did and quite frankly, if you've never seen it, you should really fix that. If you're a fan of outlandish 1980s movies, you'll no doubt love this!

And the extras. Oh man, Arrow packed a lot of great stuff into this release:



  • Brand new 2K restoration from original film materials
  • High Definition (1080p) Presentation
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Audio commentary by director Brian Trenchard-Smith
  • The Stuntmen, Trenchard Smith’s classic television documentary on Grant Page (Mad Max, Road Games) and other Australian stunt performers
  • Hospitals Don’t Burn Down, Trenchard-Smith’s 1978 public information film told in pure Ozploitation fashion
  • Behind the scenes gallery by graffiti artist Vladimir Cherepanoff
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon



Definitely a must own. Pick it up, via Arrow, today!


See ya next time at the movies! 


-Chad