Monday, December 27, 2010


In 1982, Walt Disney Pictures revolutionized computer generated imagery with Tron. It was a marvel of technology and a visually stunning masterpiece, long before it's time. Although it was a moderate critical and financial success, it soon fell into obscurity and became a popular cult film. Now as CGI and 3D entertainment have dominated the mainstream film industry (mostly due to the success of Disney films), 28 years later Disney Pictures has released the long-awaited sequel to Tron with Tron: Legacy!
The prologue to Tron: Legacy picks up several years after the original Tron, with Kevin Flynn now billionaire CEO of ENCOM and now a family man, married and with a young son Sam. Then suddenly in 1989, Flynn mysteriously disappears! Now in the present Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) is a mischievous hacker and industrial saboteur of the very company his father owned, which has now become a multi-national Microsoft-esque corporation. Although Alan Bradley, whose role is reprised by Bruce Boxleitner, is still part of the board, and the company is relying on the genius of Edward Dillinger (played by Cillian Murphy, who is surprisingly uncredited and we NEVER see again throughout the whole movie? Perhaps in the sequel?)) the son of Ed Dillinger (the villain from the first film.)
Rookie director Jospeh Kosinski definitely had his work cut out for him in restarting the Tron franchise and with possible sequels already in the planning stages it looks as if Tron will be ANOTHER big Disney box office franchise alongside Pirates of the Caribbean. Tron Legacy certainly references the original film as it recreates the first amazing scenes of Sam Flynn finding himself on "The Grid", being abducted by programs and forced to compete in real-life video games in a very Ben-Hur/Gladiator type of story. I am sure there is a considerable amount of people who went to see Tron: Legacy and have not even seen the original or remember it. But for fans like me who fondly remember and cherish the original movie, Tron: Legacy is like a breath of fresh air as this beloved movie gets a sequel and revitalization.
The whole world of Tron is just as fascinating as it was in the original film with it's original mythos of an entire digital world in "The Grid" and the amazingly original mythology surrounding the whole User/Program relationship introduced in the first film. The duality between the characters of Kevin Flynn and Clu create an astounding plot point in the story that goes beyond the old hero/villain cliche.
For those critics and moviegoers who seem disappointed in the plot and story as it appears to be severely dwarfed by the phenomenal digital special effects, I urge those to look at this movie with open eyes and minds and see all the subtle nuances in this movie which hearkens back to a very classic style of storytelling incorporating the original tale of the mythical hero's journey just as it has been from the tale of "King Arthur" to Star Wars! I am a frequent reader of Harry Knowles' Aint It Cool News and recently saw an interesting recent article by Massawyrm: Just check out that article and you will see what I'm talking about.
Tron: Legacy is one of the greatest films I've seen as it takes it's place alongside other great recent films like Avatar or Inception. If you're a fan of the original Tron, I know you will enjoy it as much as I did. If you are new to the Tron Universe. I would recommend watching the original before seeing the sequel but perhaps to the skeptic after seeing it the first time in all its digital 3D glory, go back for a second chance and really watch it, you just might be surprised!
Tron Legacy Official Website:

Saturday, December 25, 2010


It's Christmas time again and of course we all know what the TRUE meaning of Christmas is... TOYS, TOYS, and more TOYS!!! Growing up in the 1980's there were so many great toys out that my Christmas' were filled waking up and finding the latest and greatest toys! What would my childhood and those of my generation have been without great toys like G.I. Joe or Transformers! (but NOT Cabbage Patch Kids, they made the '90's Furbie craze look like the Bubonic Plague!) For anyone who grew up with these toys you might remember some of these, if not, just watch an episode of Adult Swim's "Robot Chicken" and you'll see what I'm talking about! So, I made my list (and checked it twice!) of the TOP 10 1980's Toys (Christmas Edition):

#10 "My Pet Monster" - My Pet Monster, it says it all! He was a huge, blue, stuffed-toy, with an ugly face full of hard plastic teeth. He came in this huge box which looked like a jail cell AND he had these weird orange handcuffs that could break when pulled apart. You could also take them off and put the handcuffs on yourself! Brilliant!

#9 "M.A.S.K." - M-m-m-m-mask! Mobile Armored Strike Kommand! (And no I am not misspelling it!) M.A.S.K. were vehicles that turned into other vehicles like a green motorcycle that turned into a mini-helicopter or a red sports-car that turned into a!

#8 "Centurions"- Power Extreme, Men-Machine!" The Centurions were a team of cyborg superheroes (easily forgotten) who could attach weapons to their armor (which were full of holes) and you could even mix and match them depending on their mission either by land, sea, or air! The villains Doc Terror and Hacker were the ugliest and most awkward looking cyborgs ever!

#7 "Robocop (and the Ultra Police)" - Here's a great idea: take a violent R-Rated Sci-Fi movie about a cop who gets killed only to come back as a cyborg cop THEN turn it into a kids cartoon TV show and develop action figures! Awesome! The best part was the Robocop toys had caps in their backs which would simulate shooting! Don't you just LOVE cartoon violence! I know I did!

#6 "Thundercats"- "Thunder, Thunder, Thunder Cats! Ho!" Based on the popular cartoon series these anthropomorphized cat-people are still a nostalgic favorite, especially Cheetarah (nuff said!) My favorite toy was the actual "Sword of Omens", a short, plastic, sword based on Lion-Os sword with a glowing red "Eye of Thundera" (you pressed the button and it glowed)!

#5 "The Real Ghostbusters" - These were "The Real Ghostbusters", based on the popular movies starring Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd but more so based on the spin-off cartoon series which featured "Slimer" as their ghost-mascot! My favorite was the full Proton Pack with a foam tube to simulate the ion stream and with it the ghost trap which opened by stepping on an air pump foot peddle. Hours of fun busting imaginary ghosts (unless you had the projector gun too)!

#4 "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" - He-Man was especially popular (and somewhat overly homoerotic?) the action figures based off the cartoon show was one of the biggest toy lines ever with outrageous bases and vehicles to go along with it. My favorite was the actual Snake Mountain (Skeletor's castle) with all kinds of creepy trapdoors, giant snake and a voice modulator!

#3 "Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye" - Probably one of the biggest and longest running toy lines of the 1980's, The Transformers were extremely popular with literally hundreds of robots and not just vehicles as later came the Dinobots, Insecticons and even a city (Omega Supreme)! When I was a kid I wanted Megatron most of all (as did every kid) but my parents thought it looked too much like a real gun? They were right, that's why we all wanted it! Instead I got Perceptor, he changed into a microscope...yeah...thanks a lot!

#2 "Star Wars" - What child of the 1980's didn't play with Star Wars toys, the highly sought-after and often valuable Star Wars toys brought a whole new level to movie merchandising! My favorite was of course the Millennium Falcon (it took forever for my Dad to assemble it! lol)

#1 "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero" - I was a HUGE G.I. Joe kid! I had the comic books, I watched the cartoons, AND had lots and lots of action figures and vehicles (played with while wearing camouflage fatigues bought from the Army/Navy store), THE best (and biggest!) was of course the 6-foot long aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Flagg!!! (Original retail cost: $89.99 Yikes!) Absolutely Amazing!

Friday, December 24, 2010


Well, it's that time of year's cold, the stores are crowded, and traffic is terrible! So why go out into the holiday madness, why not curl up on the couch and watch some of my favorite Christmas movies. Now for most peoples Xmas movies are silly, sappy stories involving our favorite pseudo-religious icon: you know who I'm talking about...the big guy (No, not Buddha!) Santa Claus! He's on every channel, on every Coke bottle and on Christmas Eve he'll be coming down your chimney and breaking and entering into your house to stuff your stockings! Most of my favorite Xmas movies are not your usual yuletide viewing (but some do have the word Christmas in the title! lol) So grab some hot cocoa, maybe a few gingerbread cookies or spike that eggnog with a little more "holiday cheer" as I present my Top 10 Favorite Xmas Movies:

#10 Tales from the Crypt (1972), "And All Through the House" - While the whole movie is not Xmas themed, one of the first vignettes adapted from the wonderful EC Comic Books from the 1950's (and also as an episode of the popular TV version of "Tales from the Crypt" in 1989) stars Joan Collins as a murderous housewife who kills her husband with an axe on Christmas Eve however, coincidentaly there is also a murderous lunatic on the prowl dressed as Santa Claus!

#9 Die Hard (1988) - Even though this is one of the best action movies of the 80's the whole thing takes place during Christmas. Also, with all the Xmas jokes and references and even various Xmas music and even the song "Let It Snow" plays during the end credits, how much Xmas can you get?

#8 Edward Scissorhands (1990) - Tim Burton is the best at making Christmas delightfully creepy and Edward Scissorhands is one of the best! Johnny Depp plays the shy progentor of the Goth craze, a man-made boy with scissors for hands who has a phenominal talent at cutting topiaries, women's hair, and ice! Although Winona Ryder still looks hot as a blonde she soon falls in love with Edward but it ends tragically with Edward killing her boyfriend on Christmas! But that's ok because she fakes his death and he gives them snow. Lol!

#7 Batman Returns (1992) - When I think of Christmas, I think of Batman! (Don't you?) with the sequal to 1989's Batman directed by Tim Burton, Batman Returns featured Danny DeVito as The Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer as the sexiest Catwoman ever and even though this was a Summer blockbuster, the whole movie takes place during Christmas! Penguin is abandoned in the sewer by his parents on Christmas Eve and later his henchmen jump out of a giant Christmas present during a tree lighting ceremony! Now that's what I call Christmas!

#6 Gremlins (1983) - What's Christmas without a bunch of hellraising little green monsters? When Billy Peltzer's dad gives him Gizmo, a Mogwai, for Christmas, he inadvertantly breaks every rule in the book on the care of this distgustingly cute little furball! Plus Kate's incredibly depressing monologue on her childhood Christmas tragedy is probably one of THE most traumatic things I've ever heard!

#5 Home Alone (1990) - This was always one of my favorite Xmas movies when I was a kid, also because Macaulay Culkin is only a year younger than me! He was so adorably annoying and mischevious that I could watch Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern get mercilessly beaten to a pulp by all of Kevin's ingenious (and possibly deadly!) traps over and over! Brilliant!

#4 A Christmas Story (1983) - This has come to be one of the best Christmas movie classics ever! With Ralphie's bizarre, overactive imagination and his neverending pursuit of an air-rifle for Christmas he has become a Christmas icon! Oh and the leg lamp too! "You'll shoot your eye out!", "Oh Fuuuuuuudge!"

#3 Scrooged (1988) - In this modern (but very '80's) adaptation of Chrales Dicken's "A Christmas Carol", Bill Murray is Frank Cross, a ruthless and amoral TV station president who gets a dose of the 3 ghosts routine and eventually changes his ways. (Predictable?)

#2 National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) - This is one of my favorite Christmas movies and probably one of the best of all the Lampoons/Griswold Vacation Movies (including Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure, and NO I am not making that up!) "We're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny ****ing Kaye!" Awesome!

#1 The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) - Again, Tim Burton+Xmas=Amazing! When Jack Skellington, The Pumpkin King, gets bored with Halloween Town, he finds Christmas Town and decides to kidnap Santa Claus and make Christmas his way! (Sounds reasonable?) This has become one of THE best loved Christmas movies of all time and it definitely deserves the #1 spot on my list! My favorite scene has to be when the little boy gets a shrunken head for Christmas: "And what did Santa bring you honey?" Excellent!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


   With the holidays coming up and me being a HUGE comic book fan, I thought it would be a good idea for a change to post my Top 10 Favorite Comic Books and/or Graphic Novels. So if you are a fellow fan or need that perfect gift for that special someone who's as big a comic geek as I am, then here we go:

#10 "X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills" (1982) Written by Chris Claremont and art by Brent Anderson - Reverend William Stryker starts an anti-mutant movement and kidnaps Professor X! Sound familiar? The X-Men move sequal X2: X-Men United screenwriter David Hayter used elements from this story for the movie.
#9 "The Silver Surfer: Parable" (1988) Written by Stan Lee and art by Moebius - Produced by Marvel Comics' short lived Epic Comics with renowned work by French artist Moebius.

 #8 "The Amazing Spider-Man: Kraven's Last Hunt (1987) by J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Zeck - Featuring the black-costumed Spider-Man this is the ultimate stroy of revenge!

#7 "Weapon X" (1994) by Barry Windsor-Smith - Originally published in Marvel Comics Presents this is the incredibly violent and bloody story of Wolverine's creation by the Weapon X Project.

#6 "Hellboy: Seed of Destruction" (1994) by Mike Mignola and John Byrne - The originaof Hellboy and his first battle with Rasputin! This volume inspired the forst movie adpatation although Guillermo Del Toro's film is great it left out one very important element: The Frog-Men!

#5 "Kingdome Come" (1996) Written by Mark Waid and art by Alex Ross - Incrediblly epic story and beautiful artwork! This is Alex Ross at his best!

#4 "Astro City: Life in the Big City" (1995) Written by Kurt Busiek art by Alex Ross and Brent Anderson - This is the first volume of one of my favorite super-hero comics ever! Samaritan, Winged Victory, The Hanged Man and The Confessor are just a few of Astro City's many great heroes!

#3 "Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists" (1992) Written by Neil Gaiman - Neil Gaiman's Sandman and the Endless has always been one of my favorite series and out of the original 10 volume run, Season of Mists will always be my favorite, Lucifer quits gives Morpheus the key to Hell and also this is the first time we get to meet all of the Endless!

#2 "Watchmen" (1986) Written by Alan Moore and art by Dave Gibbons - Long before the movie, this dark vision of superheroes is still just as relevant and poingant as ever!

#1 "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" (1986) Written and art by Frank Miller - This changed the face of comics forever and made Frank Miller one of the greats! This dark, futuristic tale of the return of a retired Batman psarked both acclaim and controversy in a world where comics were once considered "just for kids"!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

World of Warcraft: Top 10 Best Events

World of Warcraft! It's SO much fun, yet so addictive! I've been playing for a few years now having upgraded to both The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expansions. I have however been a fan of the entire Warcraft Universe since the very first RTS PC game Warcraft: Orcs & Humans way back in 1994 and also Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness in 1995. I spent (or wasted?) soooo many hours during High School playing that (and Starcraft) that I consider myself a devoted fan of Blizzard and Warcraft. I started playing WoW a little later than most roughly around the time you started seeing the commercials with Mr.T, Verne Troyer and William Shatner, and later Ozzy Osbourne! I was a devoted Horde player especially Orcs and Forsaken but I did dabble in Alliance as well. As some players are devoted strictly to one faction I like to experience all that WoW has to offer. Unfortunately, I had not been playing consistently for almost a year due to time and money constraints but with the holidays and the release of the newest expansion Cataclysm (TODAY!) I'm back! I realize I probably should've never started back up again but it's SO DAMN FUN! Curse you World of Warcraft, I both love and hate you! I admit it you just sucked me right back in (and I like it)! I think it helps me get through the drudge of the holidays. Well, I'm back and there's no denying it and I realize why we love it and like me keep coming back to play in this immense MMORPG put it plain and simply: It's fun! The "World" of Warcraft has so much to offer with a huge assortment of stories and variety of characters and classes and it proves year after year to be the #1 best-selling game out there! I think one of my favorite things about WoW is the EVENTS! WoW is famous for their ongoing, seasonal and world events that keeps players (like me) returning every year to take part in the many special events in Azeroth (which often coincide with real life hoilidays) from the Lunar Festival to The Feast of Winter Veil! So without further ado here's a list of the Top 10 Best Events in World of Warcraft (WoW)!

#10 "Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza" - I know what your thinking "Fishing?!", yet one of the many secondary skills in WoW, for any class, it is both amusing and to some maybe incredibly boring BUT for those who want to spend 2 hours of their Sunday fishing off the coast of Stranglethorn Vale it's fun to try to catch all those fish before someone else does! (beats going to church, lol!)
#9 "Darkmoon Faire" - One week a month an odd group of Azeroth "carneys" come to the main forests surrounding the main cities with their array of strange oddities, games and PRIZES!
#8 "Peon Day" - On September 30th those annoying little goblins come to sell fireworks to celebrate those hard working peons and peasants who have continually griped about all the hard work they have to do (or fall asleep on the job) while you spend hours playing a video game!
#7 "Lunar Festival" - From February 14th to March 7th visit the Elders to honor the ancestors in Moonglade! Watch out for the demon Omen!
#6 "Feast of Winter Veil" - From December 15th to January 2nd it's a time of caring and gift giving AND gift getting, just sit on Greatfather Winter's lap and you might find a present under the tree! I think mine is ticking?
#5 "Pilgrim's Bounty" - From September 27th to October 4th eat as much turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie you can! Food Fight!!!
#4 "Pirates' Day" - Arrr matey, on September 19th it be Pirates' Day, so dress up like a pirate or walk the plank! lol
#3 "Day of the Dead" - On November 2st and 2nd gather in the graveyard, eat candy skulls and wear masks!
#2 "Brewfest" - From September 20th to October 4th get drunk off your ass with brew! Perfect if your a dwarf!
#1 "Hallow's End" - From October 18th to November 1st things get spooky in Azeroth! Candy and costumes and also the ride of the Headless Horseman! Trick or Treat!