Holiday Greetings From Some Not So Angry Birds


Even the grumpiest Grinchy McScrooge, Esq. would get a chuckle or hoot out of this short promotional video cooked up to promote The Angry Birds Movie, headed to theaters in May 2016. It’s also the proper thing to do with an audio recording of kids who don’t know all the words to “Deck The Halls” trying their best to make it to the end of the song and failing miserably merrily at it. Of course, watch some overly enthusiastic Xmas supporters whine about this video not being in the proper spirit of the season or whatever when they should be chuckling at this while wearing a hideous holiday sweater and sipping a BIG cup of cocoa laced with something adult beverage-like. That bottle of peppermint schnapps Uncle Hugo game you two years back should come in handy right about now, I’d say.

Sure, Computer! How About You Work Properly For The Next Week?

(Thanks, Technomage116!)

Whee. I finally figured out what was wrong with the laptop, and it was nothing I did but a driver going rogue and mucking up my work life. Boo. Ah, technology… you stink for us less brainy types. Anyway, it’s now a matter of getting somewhere with a speedier connection to fix the issue (albeit temporarily). Blue Screen o’ Death, you can’t stop me! But I’m still buying a new laptop in a few days just because I need to upgrade and this old thing is on its last legs and flaunting that fact HARD. Okay, let me post this before the stupid thing locks up or crashes again. I just did a registry cleaning after uninstalling a bunch of not-needed stuff in order to free up a bit of extra space on the HDD and that seems to be helping a tiny bit. Oh, the backing up of data and reinstalling stuff on the soon to be new computer will be “fun” for sure. Does anyone remember ALL their passwords these days? I thought not.

Black Friday, Indeed: Time For A New PC

(thanks, castleafb’s channel!) 

Bleh. I was trying to hold off for a few weeks, but the laptop is officially dying and was in fact quite dead for most of the day today. A bunch of reboots, a complete system diagnostic that took about an hour and revealed nothing “wrong” with the old beast (except the double screen image and a couple of blank startup screens) and a few other issues later and yup, it’s time for a replacement. This post is here thanks to a load of extra restarts and “only” three crashes, but I’m hoping the dang screen doesn’t freeze before I’m done (yaaaah!)

Amusingly enough, I’ve been looking for a new laptop for a while, but not something with a big-name overprice tag loaded to the gills with bloatware and other junk. With my current budget, pricing needs to be about $600 or so with moderately decent specs. No chuggy i3 processor, integrated video or anything else that won’t work for me, a BR or DVD-RW is a must and at least a 1TB HDD and perhaps additional room for something else is what I’m looking for.  I did get a nice set of lists from three friends, so those along with what research I’ve done over the last few months will help me pick something out within the next week or so. In the meantime, updates will be slow as the two desktops I have seem to not want to work at all and both need major updates if they do fire up.

Okay, let me cross my fingers and hit “Publish”. So far, the few minutes it took to type this have been the longest I’ve been online in the last two days. Ah well, life happens, right? If I were a rich man (hey, you know the rest), this wouldn’t even be an issue. But I’m not, so it is. Back in a bit (well, depending on what happens with this stupid laptop tomorrow)…

“He’s Making A List And Checking It Twice…”


Image courtesy (thanks!)

Yeah, yeah. I’m in the middle of a little (but not little at all) listing project for the fine folks over at Digital Press where I’m one of a few staff wroters who still works on the print ‘zine that gets published whenever we have time to get an issue out.

Everyone contributing to the next issue is going to be submitting a list of 30 “best” console or PC titles from each era 1971-2004 (for a total of up to 90 games from each writer) and those lists will get tallied up and then blurbed for readers to debate about later and perhaps get into unnecessary fisticuffs over.

Okay, that’s NOT the goal at all, but you know how the internet reacts to the most humble stuff these days. Then again, the DP readership is generally more mellow and reserved (well, usually). So I’m gathering whatever pops up from the staff collision at the end of the month will be quite a read. My own list is made up of mostly common games with a few oddball entries added in because they were and still are games that made quite an impression on me back in the day.

Anyway, let me get back to my compiling. I’m having a big brain battle over the final era thanks to so many systems to choose from, way too many PC games being too good and me trying to squeeze a mere 30 games out of thousands that also deserve to be included. Ah well -small world problem, right? If I don’t post anything again today, have a Happy Thanksgiving passed out in front of your TV or wherever else you’ll crawl for a nap after your turkey overdose.

The Angry Birds Movie: A Good Egg Is Getting Cooked Up For 2016

Angry Birds MPWhile The Angry Birds Movie trailer met with the usual internet mix of smiles and grimaces (and the even more usual whines and moans from the haters), it really didn’t do much in the way of telling exactly what the film would be about. Cue Columbia Pictures and Sony sending out invites to assorted media folk to roll on by and see selected scenes from the still in production film presented by producer John Cohen in a fun behind the scenes “featurette” style like something you’d see on a Blu-Ray or DVD.

Invite in hand, this little piggy went for a stroll down to Sony’s midtown screening room for a spell and came up for air quite pleased and impressed by what was shown. I can’t reveal anything about the clips, but Cohen’s presentation was perfect and answered the big fat question many have had since the film was announced. That being how the heck a game with no story to speak of is getting a full on feature film. In short, a story was written specifically for the characters in the game and how they first meet. It’s the three-act structure in full effect and as Cohen showed off artwork, character models and completed to in progress clips from the film, any skepticism I may have felt about the project was a distant memory long before his presentation ended.

Okay, it was less than ten minutes in is when I felt the film would be a great way to get fans of the game as well as non-fans into theaters next May… Continue reading

Blu-Ray Review: Blood Rage

Blood Rage AV018Just in thyme for your Thanksgiving film feast, Arrow Video via MVD Visual strikes again with the perfectly themed (and definitely NOT for the whole family!) horror flick, 1983’s Blood Rage. If you’re a horror film fan who’s scratching your head raw and thinking out loud “Hey, I never heard of this one before!”, well… you’re not incorrect there, pal. Actually, director John Grissmer’s film wasn’t released in that year or even with that particular title. It came in on the tail end of the slasher flick craze and seemed to be deemed too violent for a genre that had gotten “tamer” over the course of the early 80’s.

The film finally hit theaters in 1987 as a heavily edited but still “R” rated version with the more generic title NIGHTMARE AT SHADOW WOODS, which is thankfully included in this special edition package along with a third cut of the film that combines footage from both versions into a big, bloody meal. And if it’s special features you want, Arrow’s got you well covered with a slew of features including interviews with cast members (Louise Lasser, Mark Soper), visual effects artist Ed French, and producer/actress Marianne Kanter on how this one came together and how she ended up in the film as a victim of one of the more outrageously icky cinematic murders of that era. A high body count, an overall offbeat tone, plenty of cheesy synth tunes tickling your eardrums and some solid and yucky gore effects from Ed French make this one a real treat.
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Arrow Video Adds A Little More Giallo & Red To Your Movie Library This Month

Arrow Wake Up And Kill Arrow What Have You Done To Solange


Arrow Video continues to deliver the goods to stateside video collectors with its latest set of American releases through MVD Entertainment Group. Coming soon to Blu-Ray/DVD (as in November 24, 2015) is Wake Up And Kill (Special Edition), director Carlo Lizzani’s (Requiescant) 1966 true crime drama based on the infamous armed robber Luciano Lutring’s exploits. As usual, Arrow is not only getting this one out in a nice new transfer, they’re packing in a bunch of extras:


* Brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative
* High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray and Standard Definition DVD presentations of two versions of the film: the original full-length Italian release, and the shortened English-language cut
* Italian and English soundtracks in uncompressed PCM mono sound on the respective versions of the film
* Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian version
* Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English cut
* Theatrical trailer
* Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Reinhard Kleist
* Illustrated collector’s booklet containing new writing on the film by Robert Curti, author of Italian Crime Filmography, 1968-1980

I’ve not yet seen this film, but it certainly sounds interesting and should be quite a treat as it’s seen as an early example of what would later be known as “poliziotteschi”, which isn’t a real word, but a blending of a few. Basically, Italian crime dramas, cop movie, detective story, you know the drill. Wake Up And Kill has a $29.95 MSRP.

Next up, it’s another gritty trip to Italy, this time with a more murdery flavor. Massimo Dallamano’s 1975 giallo, What Have They Done to Solange? gets the Arrow treatment big time with this Blu-Ray/DVD combo. I’ve seen this a few times in raggedy prints with fuzzy sound (which isn’t good for that Ennio Morricone soundtrack!), so Arrow’s version will be replacing my memories with the reality of a superb restoration job and yep, loads of extras:


Brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
Original Italian and English soundtracks in mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
Newly translated subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
Brand new audio commentary with critics Alan Jones and Kim Newman
Newly filmed cast interviews
Original Theatrical Trailer
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by MALLEUS (to be revealed)
Booklet featuring brand new writing on the film, illustrated with original stills

Solange comes out of hiding and into your favorite online video emporium or physical media paradise hat stocks Arrow stuff on December 15, 2015 for $39.95. Reviews of these two are in the pipeline once those screeners arrive.

Gallery: Thea: The Awakening


cover_art_thea (Custom)Described as “a strategic survival game steeped in Slavic myth and monstrosity”, developer MuHa Games’ formerly Early Access turn-based strategy game, Thea: The Awakening is nor available for purchase on Steam. As this is the first I’m hearing of it, I’ll just say that the nice visual style and music caught my eye and ear respectively and that’s why you’re reading about the game here.

The game also features procedural map generation as well as a non-linear story, which means no two players should experience exactly the same game twice. Check out the art and screens below and if you like what you like what you see, you know what to do, right? You’re welcome.


Baba Yaga Leshy (Custom) Orc Matriarch (Custom)


Thea_Screenshot1 Thea_Screenshot2 Thea_Screenshot3 Thea_Screenshot4 Thea_Screenshot5 Thea_Screenshot6 Thea_Screenshot7 Thea_Screenshot8 Thea_Screenshot9


Lord Dregg’s Schemes Can’t Keep Dimension X Turtles From Safe Travels!

TMNT Almost Shredder 001 (Custom) TMNT Almost Shredder 002 (Custom) TMNT Almost Shredder 003 (Custom)


90620_BasicDimXLordDreggHa. Lord Dregg (Ruler of Planet Sectoid!), you’re so darn cleaver aren’t you? Pretending to be sick and letting Playmates send over a box of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Dimension X figures that didn’t include you because you were under the weather and didn’t want to give Leo, Don, Mike, and Raph your supposed “cold” during the FedEx ride over.

And wouldn’t you know it? That box showed up looking as if a fight broke out on whatever mode of transport it was shipped in and it was used to bash someone over the head with. Or perhaps Lord Dregg hired a special driver to make sure that package got some extra TLC (Tackled Like Crazy!) on the way here.

But guess what, Dregg? YOU LOSE (again!):

Take THAT, Dregg!

Take THAT, Dregg!

Continue reading

Earth Defense Force 2 and EDF 4.1 Get Dated: Prepare The Time-Sink Ray!

EDF 2 Vita EDF 4.1 PS4 

Excellent. Between the new trailers above and below, the brand spankin’ new official site and the fact that both games come out on the same day as retail (YES!) and digital product, it’s a fine and dandy day for fans of Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space (PS Vita, $29.99) and Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair (PS4, $49.99). That lovely release date of December 8, 2015 means that plenty of fans of both titles are getting exactly what they’ve wanted from Santa, Krampus or whomever else buys their gifts. Buy someone a copy of this game and you won’t see them for weeks because all they’ll be doing in their spare time is blasting big space bugs and bigger spaceships, robots and other space beasties all day and night. Yes, your inner eight-year old kaiju fan will be wholly pleased, but don’t expect this to be an easy ride at all.

Getting these as physical copies (thanks Xseed!) is going to make a lot of EDF fans happier because it’s something they’ve desired with every game in the series and Xseed kept its ear to the ground and made it happen. As for the EDF 4.1 blooper reel below… er, well… I’ll give Xseed a pass on that one because the game is so much fun that a little comic relief won’t hurt it one bit.

Anyway, go get some finger exercises in and ask the boss for some time off in December. Once these games land in stores and on PSN, you’re not going anywhere for a while.