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Author Archive for Will Romine

The Cross-Over Nobody Asked For, But We Can’t Live Without

Hello Pals-o-Mine!

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I’m a sucker for cross-overs.  When fictional universes collide, you can bet that I’ll have a front seat.  Punisher vs. Archie, Jetsons Meet the Flintstones, Cartoon All Stars to the Rescue; the more unlikely the crossover, the better!

You can imagine, then, how tickled pink I was to find this clip.

To celebrate the June 1st premiere of American Ninja Warrior on NBC, Lego has revealed one of the newest obstacle courses in stop-motion brick form.  Your favorite ANW competitors (in brick form), alongside Ninjago characters will preview the latest obstacle courses, one a week, for the next four weeks.

Once they stop releasing videos, I’ll only have my “The Shmoo Meets Dr. Heider” fanfic to satisfy my crossover jones.

Follow me, please!  @notacomplainer

The Cross-Over Nobody Asked For, But We Can’t Live Without

Unlock The Power Of The Tesseract!

Hello Friends!

It’s your old pal Will Romine here to tell you about something cool.  I have a neat little toy from Uncle Milton.  It’s called the Jedi Holocron.  Empowered with 20Q technology, you can think of any element of the Star Wars Universe, be it a character, planet, vehicle, etc and the Holocron will use an algorithm to correctly guess what you’re thinking.  It’s pretty precise.  The Holocron was able to guess what I was thinking within 20 questions. What’s even crazier is that this magical cube learns from past games to improve its guessing skills.

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Reggie loves it, as pictured above.

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Now Uncle Milton is applying this same technology to the Marvel Universe.  Soon, you will be able to hold the power of the Tesseract in your hand.  The Marvel Avengers Tesseract 20q will hit shelves in Fall 2016, but before then, you can help build the artificial intelligence that will power this toy.  Visit here to help refine the algorithm before this toy goes to market.

This Tesseract would also make one hell of a cosplay accessory, especially if you’re a doughy, middle aged man who’s trying to pull of the perfect Erik Selvig.

For more goodness, follow me @notacomplainer

Unlock The Power Of The Tesseract!

The Procrastinator’s Holiday Toy Guide

Hello Friends Loyal and True, It’s me, your old pal Will Romine.

It’s the night before the night before Christmas.  Welcome to the Procrastinator’s Holiday Gift Guide! In this guide, I’ll take you through some of the cool stuff that you probably should get your loved ones before the stores close.

In the interest of full disclosure, many of the products in this review were given to me by the companies that make them.  When I was a kid, I would save every penny of my allowance to blow at the toy store, now I get this stuff sent to me for free.  I guess that’s all a part of growing up.

  1. 1. Jenga Giant

jenga2 12191672_10153364137257739_4561994249673457316_nFirst on our list is Jenga Giant. Remember Jenga?  Like a lot of childhood pals, it’s put on some weight since you saw it last.   Each piece is 8x the size of the original Jenga.  This game can get out of hand really fast.  My wife and I played and the stack went well over 5 feet.  When it falls, there are real consequences.  It’s the only board game I can think of that requires a closed-toe shoe.  My only beef with Giant Jenga is that it doesn’t come with a plastic sleeve to help set the blocks up again.

Next, we roll around to Hasbro’s line of Star Wars merch.  Hasbro sent me two boxes of this stuff.  I’ll review a couple of things that I thought were super awesome.

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2. Remote Controlled BB-8

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For any piece of Star Wars merchandise to stand out from Disney/Lucasfilms’ licensing free-for-all, it must truly be exceptional.  I consider this remote control BB-8 droid to top the list.  I was out of the country on Force Friday and missed out on the initial release of this Target Exclusive.  Happily, Hasbro had my back. I thought this collectable was cool before seeing The Force Awakens, but now I consider it to be the son I never had.  Like all devoted fathers, I had trouble keeping the head from separating from the body.  If you have hard wood floors like me, you may want to keep BB-8’s speed low.  Once he picks up speed, the head can no longer keep up with the body and decapitation ensues.

3. Chewbacca Mask

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Chewbacca has always been my favorite Star War, which is why this mask makes the list.  It’s controlled by placing your chin in the jaw piece.  When you open your mouth, so does Chewie, and he lets out one of his trademark “HRRUUNNGGHGHGHs”.  What’s great is that it comes with a wide library of Wookie sounds.  What’s not so great is that the elastic strap used to secure mask to face doesn’t extend to adult sizes.  The package says 5 years AND UP!  AND UP!

4. PZ-4CO Action Figure

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Remember this guy?  Everyone has their favorite character, and Hasbro has made an action figure for every proclivity.  This droid had no dialogue and probably has less than one minute of screen time, but this action figure assures me that there will be volumes of back story to enrich the newly revitalized Star Wars universe.

5. Moon-In-My-Room

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I got this beauty from Uncle Milton (the ant farm folks).  Beyond its educational value, it’s a super cool conversation piece.  My house looks like the set of Conan.  However, it takes three C batteries.  I bought a 4 pack, and now I’m stuck with one loose C battery.  Nothing else I own uses C batteries.  When these need to be replaced, I’ll buy another 4 pack and be left with two loose C batteries.  Oh well, at least I have my health!

6. Red Man

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That’s right, fresh from the pages of DC Comics, it’s Red Man!  You can order up to 999 of these.  My advice- buy one to open, one to keep, and 997 to sell once Red Man joins the cinematic DCU.

Merry Christmas to all.  I hope Santa fills your stocking with one or all of these.  Follow me @notacomplainer

As an added bonus, here’s my dog Reggie with his early Christmas present, a pait of Yoda ears courtesy of Petco.

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The Procrastinator’s Holiday Toy Guide

Supermoon: Are You Prepared?

HEY-O Bleeding Cool Pals!

superman moonI’m no alarmist, but I couldn’t let my old pals in the Bleeding Cool-verse go unprepared for what could be a once in a (competitive eater’s) lifetime event. This event I’m blabbing about? Supermoon, of course!

Supermoon, for you less science minded folk, is a combination of astrological events. First the Moon will move to its closest possible distance from the Earth. Because the Moon’s orbit around the Earth isn’t a perfect circle, sometimes the Moon is closer (perigee) and sometimes its farther (apogee). Because science. Secondly, we will have a lunar eclipse, where the Earth is directly between the sun and moon. The Moon will be directly in the Earth’s shadow. Combine these two, and you have a freaking huge moon. To prepare you, I’ve combined a list of things to do to prepare.

1. Read Forever Evil

 

imagesThis DC crossover event from a few years back (no not that one, no, not that either, the other one. Yeah, that’s it. Don’t feel bad, there’s so many to chose from) covered a takeover of Earth by the Crime Syndicate. Ultraman, Superman’s “opposite” is weakened by sunlight and moves the moon in front of the sun, plunging the Earth into perpetual darkness. If the SuperMoon suddenly decides that he doesn’t want to go back to regular old Moon, we may need to take pointers from this arc to survive.

2. Eat Moon Pies

 

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Ordinarily, I would give this advice for both Super and Regular Moon days, because Moon Pies are delicious. However, as the Moon will be closer to the Earth, it is imperitive that you resist the Moon’s increased gravitational pull by bulking up. Ordinary pies would probably do the trick, but I’m trying to stick to a theme here.

3. Get yourself an Uncle Milton’s SuperMoon kit.

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Let’s say you want to partake in the SuperMoon experience, but you’re allergic to outside, looking out the window, or otherwise leaving the warming embrace of your Hobbit hole. Why not try a SuperMoon-in-my-Room? All of the fun of the Moon, all from the comfort of home. I’m getting one for myself. It’s cold outside, I have FunYuns, and I have a weeks worth of season premiere’s backlogged. To hell with the outside.

4. Recognize your superiority to the moon.

The idea of a SuperMoon might frighten some, but just remember that the moon didn’t plant a flag on our faces. In the words of Buzz Aldrin,

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Also, remember the book “Goodnight Moon”? In it, we assert our dominance over the moon by wishing it a “good night”. There will never be a book entitled “Goodnight (Your Name Here)” because the Moon says “good night” to no one. You say “Good Night” to it!

5. Set your clock

The last SuperMoon occurred in 1982. People of that day read Orwell’s “1984” the same way we watch “Back to the Future II” The next one will occur in 2033. Who knows what work of art they will look at as a near future that probably won’t come to be. So set your watch, mark your calendar for 9/27/2015 do your prep work, and enjoy a nice SuperMoon. I can’t promise it won’t be scary, but we’ll get through it together.

Follow me @notacomplainer

Supermoon: Are You Prepared?

SDCC ’15 – A Star Wars: The Force Trainer II Hologram Experience Review

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DO DO DOOO DO DOO DOO DOO DOO DO

That’s me humming the music from Empire Strikes Back from when Yoda levitated the x-wing out from the swamps of Dagobah.  Why am I not embedding the music in this article?  Two reasons.  1) This isn’t MySpace circa 1999 and 2) I don’t want Lucasfilms/Disney’s lawyers firing an X-wing up my exhaust port.

It is, however, the same tune I was humming as I tried out the Star Wars: The Force Trainer II Hologram Experience.   The kind folks at Uncle Milton (yes, the ant farm people) were kind enough to let me into their booth on preview night to give this a whirl.  The Force Trainer II is an upgrade to their 2009 best seller, The Force Trainer, which uses a science/magic that I don’t quite understand to allow the user to manipulate objects through mental concentration.  The old model allowed you to levitate a ball.  This new version allows you, via your tablet, to move various holograms, including Luke’s x-wing, through a head-strap apparatus that somehow measures your mental concentration.

IMG_0012To be honest, I was a bit skeptical that this would work.  I was expecting, at best, a reaction only loosely correlated with how hard I furrowed my brow.  To my astonishment, the X-wing reacted perfectly with my mental command to raise and lower it.  When I broke all concentration, the X-wing fell.  Whether this is because of science, magic, or a placebic effect, I’ll never know.  Glad that the package says “8 and up”, because I’m getting one of these bad boys for myself.

Star Wars: The Force Trainer II Hologram Experience will be available this Fall and run you around $120.

SDCC ’15 – A Star Wars: The Force Trainer II Hologram Experience Review

SDCC 2015: Heroes Rebirth: The Hall H Panel

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 Hey Gang!
It’s time for Heroes Reborn, my final Hall H panel coverage of SDCC 2015.  It’s been the most exhausing kind of fun and a great test of stamina, but all good things must come to an end.  I’ve covered six Hall H panels this con and I’m still on my feet.  Here’s lucky number seven.
As with all Hall H panels, the audience was sternly warned against filming or livestreaming any footage, that the footage was special just for us, and that the studios might not come back if we leak the footage.  Now, most everything we saw in Hall H is now up on the internet, courtesy of those same studios.  I thought we were special.

Before the panel began, there was a slide advertising a company called Renautus whose slogan is “Doing good is good business.”  For a company big enough to sponsor a Hall H panel, they have almost no web presence.  I smell viral marketing.  I suspect that this company will serve a similar function as Primatech Paper served in the original series.

This new series picks up five years after the original ended. This timeline will largely be filled in by two video games and a digital series available through the Heroes app.  This series, called Dark Matters follows one of the main characters of the original series over the five year gap.  His sister begins to develop superpowers and he documents her emerging abilities.  In the series, this character is a conspiracy theorist that tracks down Noah Bennet to learn about his Primatech past.
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 If you remember/bothered to watch after the first season, Claire Bennet revealed her powers in one of her “My name is Claire Bennet and this is my X attempt” videos, broadcast to the world, revealing the presence of super powered individuals, referred to as “evos” in the show.  This spurs other evos to come out of the woodwork and make similar videos.  The widespread, public emergence causes a backlash, which leads to the registration, marginalization, and eventual wide scale persecution of superpowered individuals.  If the first season of Heroes borrowed heavily from Watchmen, Heroes Reborn seems to heavily parallel Days of Future Past.
Creator and Show Runner Tim Kring says that the new series diverges from the previous in how the characters perceive the emergence of their powers.  In the first series, it was a wondrous, uncertain experience.  In this new series, it means certain persecution.
Returning from the first series are Jack Coleman as HRG/Noah Bennet, Greg Grunberg as Matt Parkman, Christine Rose as Angela Petrelli, Jimmy Jean Louis as The Haitian, Sendahil Ramamurthy as Mohinder Suresh, and Masi Oka as Hiro Nakamura.

There’s only one piece of footage that, as of press time, has not been leaked.  In this clip, we see Mohinder Suresh, attached to some sort of power disrupting device, which includes a tube up his nose and some sort of belt attachment.  He is being dragged into custody by some sort of dark ops agent.  Coming to the rescue, we see Hiro Nakamura, twin katanas in hand as he dispatches the agent, only to reveal three duplicates of that same agent.  This version of Hiro is closer to the future-Hiro of the first series than the happy-go-lucky daydreamer version.
I really hope that Heroes Reborn works.  The first season of the original series had promise.  If they can get their stuff together and avoid a writers strike, this horse might run!  Follow me @notacomplainer.

SDCC 2015: Heroes Rebirth: The Hall H Panel

SDCC ’15: Best Plastic Man Cosplayer Ever!

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Those cosplayers are really stepping up their game.  Follow me @notacomplainer

SDCC ’15: Best Plastic Man Cosplayer Ever!

SDCC ’15 Visiting Snoopy’s House

IMG_0130Friends o’ mine, I want to tell you about a magical place.  It’s a place of pure, unbridled joy.  A place where the stress and concerns of life melt off and everyone who enters is taken back to a time when you felt safe and your happy dance wasn’t reserved solely for the big victories.  Let me take you there.  Let me take you to Snoopy’s house.

Snoopy’s house is up and running at Petco Park’s interactive fun zone.  It’s a giant, inflatable rendition of the house that took out the Red Baron.  Inside are two things: magic and promotional materials for the new Peanuts movie.

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When you first enter, you see the Dream Big Board, an interactive photo experience where participants take a picture and post their big dreams.

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To the left, a demo station for the Peanuts Movie tie in game.  Looks good.

Then we get to the best part of the house.  Are you ready?!?!?!

 

BEAGLES WITH GOPROS!  You can watch their POV puppy antics on the monitors as you play with them in person.  A happier con goer there never was.

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All good things must come to an end.  A big inflatable slide takes you out of the house and back to the world of wrestling over exclusives and waiting in long lines.

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I wish there was some way to bring the magic of Snoopy’s house to the rest of the con.  Oh well!

Follow me @notacomplainer.

SDCC ’15 Visiting Snoopy’s House

SDCC ’15: Justice League: Gods and Monsters Spoiler Free Impressions And Killing Joke Mark Hamill Speculation

Justice_League_Gods_vs._Monsters_Bluray_CoverHey Gang!  I got to see the premiere of Justice League: Gods and Monsters. I won’t spoil anything, but I really, really want to.  However, I wouldn’t want to deprive any of you the unadulterated joy of seeing this very original story unfold.

My initial reaction to hearing about this project was, “Good idea Bruce Timm. It was a good idea when Gardner Fox did it as the Crime Syndicate, and it was a good idea when you did it as the Justice Lords a decade ago.” If you have the same impressions about this project, rest assured that you are as wrong as I was. This is not a “What if the Justice League were evil” retread. This is Bruce Timm at his most original and creative telling a story that rewards and challenges the discerning fanboy.

Bruce Timm talked about the genesis of this project. It first started as an idea for rebooting his Justice League animated series.  However, that soon snowballed into the project that we have before us, comprising not only an animated movie, but a webseries that will explore this new take on the Justice League, where there there is no Clark, no Diana, and no Bruce.

Timm’s take on this is not unlike the transition from the Golden to Silver age of comics, where characters like the Green Lantern and Flash were reintroduced. Same powers, same name, but different identities and personalities behind the masks.  Often this approach leads to a “not your grandpa’s superhero” attempt to “update” the character. I see none of that here.  My grandpa would have loved this take on these iconic characters. I love this take on these characters, specifically because good character development transcends passing fads.

I am dangerously close to spoiling, so I’ll do a rundown of future WB/DC animated offerings.  Next year will see Batman: Bad Blood (featuring Batwoman), Justice League vs. Titans, and perhaps one of the most anticipated DC animated films of all time (drumroll)  KILLING JOKE!  Mark Hamill has said repeatedly that he would reprise his role as the Joker if they ever animated this classic story. I asked a WB official if Hamill was coming back for this project. I didn’t get a yes, but I didn’t get a no. Let’s end things here.  Follow me @notacomplainer

SDCC ’15: Justice League: Gods and Monsters Spoiler Free Impressions And Killing Joke Mark Hamill Speculation

SDCC ’15: Scooby Doo! And KISS: Rock And Roll Mystery Premiere Impressions

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I was at the world premiere of Scooby Doo and Kiss: A Rock and Roll Mystery (“SDKRRM”). NO SPOILERS. Except that the main villain would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.

Whether it be Simpsons and Futurama or Jetsons and Flintstones, everybody loves a good crossover. There’s something satisfying about seeing two beloved franchises face a problem so big, that only the combined might of two seemingly disparate properties can solve it. That’s what we get with Scooby Doo and Kiss: A Rock and Roll Mystery (“SDKRRM”).  That’s all we need, and it does exactly what it’s supposed to do.

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This film, according to Gene Simmons, is the most expensive Scooby Doo movie to date.  I don’t know what KISS’s price tag is, but the animation somehow feels ‘crisper’.  Maybe my best ingrained memories of Scooby Doo are from the 60’s and 70’s syndication packages of my youth, but the colors and lines of this movie seem fresher and more vibrant.
The plot is classic Scooby Doo and I would consider this movie to be “KISS: Phantom of the Park” done right.  Phantom was set in an amusement park and operated under the conceit that the KISS quartet actually had super powers based on their respective personas.  SDKRRM carries over these two elements into a fun romp through nostalgia. For those of you who forget, or choose not to remember, Phantom was widely panned for its Dollar Tree special effects and wooden acting. KISS struggles in a live action setting. Seeing these legends in a stage show or animated allows the viewer to take in the full spectacle. We expect larger than life. Seeing KISS maintaining a live action plot brutally reminds us that, at the end of the day, they are just four men in kabuki.
SDKRRM is not afraid to address the elephant in the room. We live in a world where KISS licenses everything and this movie seems like an extension of that. I’m not saying that this isn’t blatant branding, and neither does the movie. SDKRRM take loving jabs at KISS’s out of control branding machine.
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All in all, an enjoyable film.  Keep an ear out for the Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith cameos. The best part of covering this panel?  Getting to meet Gene Simmons!  Tweet me right @notacomplainer.

SDCC ’15: Scooby Doo! And KISS: Rock And Roll Mystery Premiere Impressions