More From The Vaults: Found Object Fridays

Hey there- here’s some more random stuff I unearthed from the vaults while my PC was out of action for a few days earlier this week. I ended up making more of a mess “cleaning up” than I did when I left all those bins and boxes alone. But I did find some nice things I knew I’d kept for assorted good reasons. Enjoy the quick trip down memory lane!

Kurzrok Casper
 

If I recall correctly, this sketch was gotten in a rather oddball reverse double back-flip manner at a Creation Con back in 1981 or ’82. I was minding a friend’s table at the show while displaying some of my (lousy) artwork and a man walked up and started looking through my stuff. We chatted for a bit about comics and when he told me his name was Al Kurzrok, I was thrilled because I remembered the outstanding lettering he did for Marvel on Doctor Strange back in the late 60’s. When I noted that to him and asked for an autograph, he asked me for a sheet of paper and did this quick sketch. That was a big day-maker for me back then.

Outland Press Kit 

Heh. Back in 1981, a dot matrix printout sure looked “futuristic”, so here you go: The press kit for Peter Hyams‘ sci-fi flick OUTLAND. The film is basically High Noon in outer space with Sean Connery playing the Gary Cooper part. High Noon is a better film by far, by the way. That said, it does have some suspenseful moments (and a few exploding heads, eww), Frances Sternhagen gets the best part and lines in the film and there’s a great Jerry Goldsmith score worth tracking down.

All that and like many of Hyams’s best films, there’s a nice foot chase that perks things up at just the right moment.

Outland Press Kit 2 

I have a lot more ancient history here, but I’ll pull the plug on this installment before I end up making an even bigger pile of stuff in the home office. No need to have to sleep curled up in a closet because there’s way too much stuff on the bed and floor, right?

“What Do People Do All Day?” DAF Edition!

What Do People Do All DayAh, memories. Anyway, it’s been an intense and stupid week for me, but at least I got other stuff done besides grow a few new gray hairs from all that annoying tech nonsense.

In honor of one of my favorite books from my childhood (that you should buy whether or not you have kids of your own), here’s what I did of note on a few days this week:

A Pizza I made a nice pizza on Monday. I also got a nicer new phone, but that’s an ongoing post in the making as far as getting some stuff sorted out before I can activate the damn thing.

stuff to review  I got some stuff to review including three more excellent Blu-Rays from Arrow Video (thanks, Clint!) and a nifty tablet stand that’s actually pretty cool.

VHS Cover Art Speaking of movies, the greatest book I’ve read (this month) also arrived for me to review. You should buy a copy just for the cover alone. Okay, the insides are great as well.

old star wars stuff I found some cool original Kenner Star Wars stuff when I was looking for something else in a bin of lots of something else. Yeah, I’ve kept a few of the things I’ve bought from when I was younger. Not enough of them, sadly.

Elminage I played a bunch of new and old games I’d been needing to get to. That’s Elminage Original, a PSP and Vita RPG very much in the Wizardry vein that initially had a lousy English localization until a patch over half the size of the full game cleaned things up considerably.

Some other stuff is on the way or has arrived, but you don’t need to know about a box of packing tape, some razors and a few other mundane items. Okay, back to poring over my email and figuring out what sort of time machine I need to build in order to catch up to the workload backlog. Or I can avoid that rabbit hole fantasizing and just get back to the grind. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Off to get some sleep now. I’ll be back in a few hours after waking up and soaking my eyeballs in a cup of coffee. Or trying out the Uptime energy drinks I got in the post last week to write about. Hmmm… there’s an angle right there to work, right?

New Terminator Genisys Trailer: Blasts From The Past And Future Get The Internet Somewhat Nuts


 

What’s been interesting about these Terminator Genisys trailers is how the internet whiners has reacted to the reboot without realizing that the new film is playing them like violins. The time-bending going on here and all the plot twists see as spoilers might not even be the big things the movie is bringing to the table. Me, I like the idea of taking the first two films and remixing them so Sarah Connor knows what’s coming and prepares for it before finding out things aren’t as she planned for.

I’m really curious to find out what type of Terminator John has turned out to be as well as seeing if the process can be reversed (remember, we’re dealing with time travel and its many possible ripples) by the time those end credits roll. That and hell, it’ll be fun hearing whatever goofball quips Arnold comes up with as the film progresses. It looks as if Emilia Clarke has got some of his better quotes from the first two films down pat. Eh, we’ll see (as usual). I don’t expect him to survive this flick either, but I have the feeling that even if he does… he’ll be BACK. Well, at least for one more go-around.

Review: La-Mulana EX (Vita)

La-Mulana EX CoverPlatform: PlayStation Vita

Developer: Pygmy Studios

Publisher: Rising Star Games

Genre: Archeological Ruins Exploration Action!

# of Players: 1

MSRP: $19.99

ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

Official Site

Score: A- (90%)

“Welcome to the jungle, we got fun and games…”

LMX_LaunchScreens_03

Yeah, I see you looking at those handsome La-Mulana EX screens and that exciting trailer and thinking “Oooh, a new ‘Metroidvania’ game to play and beat in a day or two!” Ha. La-Mulana EX laughs at your brimming overconfidence. Let me be the first (or perhaps last, as this review is a bit late) to inform you that going into this game with your dreams of adding a fast notch to your speedrun belt will have you lose that belt and perhaps your Vita right out the nearest window or under a speeding bus or some other method you choose to remove that handheld from your possession.

 

 

No, the game isn’t “bad” by any stretch of the imagination. Not at all. It’s just going to be one of the toughest games you’ll play if you’re not willing to read the digital manual and pay close attention to the basic to advanced techniques you’ll learn. In fact, what’s here will hopefully make you remove the word “Metroidvania” from your gaming vocabulary, as it’s a meaningless description that’s also a bit lazy in how it fails to actually describe a game as deep as this one. Continue reading

Yes, Rasputin Celebrates Hump Day HIS Way

(thanks, Sleaze-O-Rama!)
 

 
TGVB 2015 FondaI keep meaning to review Don Sharp’s 1966 flick Rasputin, The Mad Monk one of these days for the site or perhaps a blogathon or something. But I also keep forgetting to track down a personal copy so I can watch it whenever I need a good laugh. Waiting for TCM to show it again sometimes pays off in the long run because there’s a decent enough chance they’ll also show something suitably loopy.

 

This is one of those films that defies proper categorization because it’s kind of all over the map in terms of tone. It’s a biopic, a horror film of sorts, a gold mine of unintentional comic relief and of course, a showpiece for the great Christopher Lee. Yeah, I’d normally have done this up already (and most likely for The Great Villain Blogathon 2015). But it’s been busy as hell here what with the roof being repaired (again!), more work going to happen in the apartment (STRESS!) and some other stuff that’s keeping my productivity lower than usual.

That said, I’ll give ol’ Raspy a two word review for those of you curious types who need to know: SEE IT. You’ll very likely laugh yourself extremely silly and get your cringe on as well because the film can be a bit creepy on a few fronts.

TBT: Letting Go Of Some Old Friends Isn’t Easy

ps2 rpg horror game lot 001 (Custom) 

Hmmm. Time for another game sale, it seems. I hate eBay because of the double dip fees they and PayPal get that cut into my profits, Game Trading Zone gets a bit pesky because people always want to trade even if I post I’m selling ONLY and don’t want to trade. That an I get some horrible offers for stuff I’m not anywhere near interested in from people who should know better. Anyway, I’ll flip a coin and choose one of the two poisons in a day or so. Or, one of you out there can make a nice offer…

ps2 rpg horror game lot 009 (Custom)

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Get the Coffee Table Book Treatment

The Art of He-ManOkay, I’ll admit to not being much into He-Man and the Masters of the Universe way back when it was on TV and those beefy action figures and massive playsets were selling like hotcakes in stores. However, I was a big fan of Earl Norem‘s fantasy artwork as well as some of the cool animation Funimation had been doing since the late 60’s. As soon as I heard Dark Horse Comics was putting out a massive 300+ page regular and limited edition hardcover called The Art of He-Man And The Masters of the Universe, it went on my long list of books I needed to check out.

After getting a digital copy to peruse last week, color me impressed and a *kiiiind of* new convert to the old kid’s show. Granted, I’m not about to run out and buy up a box set and binge watch myself into a coma anytime soon. But thanks to the wonderful art and well-done interviews with many involved with the show, toys, comics and even that weird live action film, I respect the show a lot more on the art side of things. It’s still a big toy-selling chunk of nostalgia, but that sort of thing is why many now adults loved the show back in the day. I’m sure some of their parents had an eyebrow raised every time a new figure was requested and I don’t even want to think about holiday shopping for a hot new playset with a bunch of other parents eyeballing the same big box. Anyway, if one or more of those links floats your boat, go make a purchase. The regular edition is in stores on April 15 and the LE hits retail in May.

Me-Man Norem Art 

Oh, and someone needs to track down Earl Norem and send him a nice letter of thanks for all his gorgeous artwork, as his Wikipedia page is kind of depressing near the end. Personally, I think more people including younger illustration fans WOULD indeed be interested about the career of an 81-year-old artist. Hell, they’d better be, as his work was always consistently grand in just about anything he did.

Arrow Video July Releases: Dead on Target (Again)

Arrow MVD New Trio

The fine folks at Arrow Video continue to whip out releases from their UK catalog through MVD to film fans and collectors stateside well worth buying and July’s three Blu-Ray/DVD sets are a nice trio for your library. This time, it’s an odd triple threat of 1970’s Japanese pop style, a bleak Gallic “spaghetti” western and a fun, funky horror film starring a pre-A Nightmare on Elm Street Robert Englund. That video below of Stray Cat Rock: The Collection should hopefully tease some of you into action in the form of adding it to your want list somewhere or bugging someone to get you it (or all three films) as a nice gift.

Well, I’D bug someone to get me all three of these flicks. Hey, I have unusual tastes in films from unforgettable classic silents to a handful of loud, noisy super-budget blockbusters more easily forgotten. I won’t knock your tastes at all (well, unless you still watch “reality” TV with a straight face and actually get upset at every VERY obviously scripted moment better done the first time and not the 500th). Eeek.

READS: When A Closed Book Is The Best Thing In The World

huntington 001 (Custom) 

I’d been meaning to visit the sometimes appointment-only Huntington Free Library and Reading Room about a half-hour walk my place for some time, but I’d always found myself a bit too busy to get over that way. That is, until I found out there was a new library that was going to replace the older building next door that was formerly home to a rather large Native American artifact collection. That new building won’t be built for a while, but getting the chance to see and pore over a bit of area history was something I’ve been wanting to do for quite a while. Thanks to TLH setting up an appointment on Monday via email, we popped in today at 10 sharp and stayed about two hours chatting with caretaker/tour guide/author Tom Casey, a man with a encyclopedic knowledge of the history of the area and a ton of other things.

Continue reading

Project Root: OPQAM’s Retro Inspired Shmup Reverbs The Nostalgia Meter

Project Root shipComing up on the radar from publisher Reverb Triple XP is Project Root, an arcade-style space shooter with a nicely retro vibe and shiny modern visuals. Headed to PS4, Vita and Xbox One on April 28 after landing on Steam last year, the game packs in a few fixes over the original version as well as Cross-Buy for PS4 and Vita owners.

Developer OPQAM has added a great little twist to the usual side or vertical scrolling shmup by giving players a full 360 degrees of movement, allowing them to play levels as they see fit. If you know your game history fairly well, you’ll see that this free roaming style of shooter isn’t *new* by any means if you’re old enough to remember Thunder Force II on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive (or Sharp X68000 PC if you’re REALLY old school*). The chance to preview the game via a work-in progress build popped up recently and yes, when opportunity knocks, an return call must be made… Continue reading