Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Looting September’s Crate

By Mick Neeky

Lootcrate is a monthly subscription service that provides geeky items to its customers. For about twenty dollars a month a black box is delivered to your doorstep with about 6 items. Inside the box there are items valued at around forty to sixty dollars, so in truth it’s quite a good deal. Among the handful of goodies you can get in the box of a thousand mysteries, you’ll be getting Lootcrate exclusives, which include anything from a T-shirt (you’ll be asked for a size when you subscribe) to Funko Pops. But the real thrill, if you ask me, is opening the box; the secret of it all is quite euphoric. 

September’s theme was galactic, which means that the arsenals of items range from the most obvious (Star Trek) to the more obscure (Firefly). Time for the goodies. The first thing that caught me off guard was the Star Trek Tribble. Being oblivious to what it was didn’t help my cause in admiring it, yet it’s still cute. Among the collectibles there was an Alien Action Figure, which I plan to keep in mint condition, a Star Wars Han Solo (frozen in carbonite) poster, a wad of Firefly cash, and an exclusive Firefly Funko mystery box. Apart from containing the items in question—exclusives or not—each crate also contains a pin, downloads (depending on the theme), and a handbook with descriptions on each item.

All in all, Lootcrate is worth your twenty bucks. Not only are the items worth more than what you’ll pay for them elsewhere, but the thrill of it all makes for a good surprise near the end of the month. I still hope I get a T-shirt on my next crate—this being my second. This brings me to the only downside: a lack of items I can use on a daily basis to show off my geekiness. Nevertheless, the price is totally worth the thrill and the exclusives. Here’s to you becoming a looter.

Keep it Neeky.

Series Review: Naked Gun

By. Dr.Sparta

It has been awhile, my fellow Whales and Whalettes. Let us rejoice in the likes of comedy, or its heart shattering downfall. Let us enjoy the days of real comedy, the type that made you laughed and not coughed in embarrassment...  as the modern era “comedy” delivers yet another bad pop culture reference. This is the Naked Gun series. 

Where to begin with this masterpiece? To compare it to the likes of current day comedies is quite puzzling, my brothers and sisters. Ahhh I got it! Naked Gun is actually funny. Yes it has its dated references here and there, but it hits the film noir type enough for it to be quite smart. 

Each reference made by Lieutenant Frank Drebbin, our resident quote machine of EPICNESS, can be written down and repeated at some point in your lives. This hilarious character, played by non-other than the late Leslie Nielsen, will curse any unsuspecting viewer with a quote spewing frenzy that will only be cured by watching the following sequel, which will then make you spew its quotes. Upon the third movie you will realize you are doomed to a life of quote giving madness that will most likely turn you into a cop, a soldier, or a character from Sin City. My fellow Whales and Whalettes, the curse is worth it, dig in. 

It is writing in its GLORY and it deserves respect. For this movie will easily slay all other “funny” movies from modern times with their horrible attempts at obvious jokes and racist stereotypical behavior, take their weak rotten carcasses and tear them limb from limb to spread the word that good comedy has a champion to defend humor once more. Brothers and sisters how much more can we stand yet another movie with a “movie” title name at the end. Or another joke about something really heavy falling on that year’s celebrity. Whenever you feel empty after watching such maddening putrid excuse of humor, remember Naked Gun exists. That’s it for today Whales and Whalettes. This is Dr. Sparta, trying to cure comedy from a seriously bad rash, FOR THEIR GLORY!

Jodorowsky’s Dune Review


“One does not go to the theater to escape from himself, but to reestablish contact with the mystery that we all are.” – Alejandro Jodorowsky
 Some films change the way we look and experience cinema. These flicks transcend the usual conventions of their times and become beacons of inspiration for future filmmakers. Films like Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Bergman’s Persona and Truffaut’s 400 Blows are still among the curriculum in film schools long after their glory days have passed.
Alejandro Jodorowsky is one of these filmmakers. As well as the others, Jodorowsky is a moviemaker who is passionate about his craft. Money and fame are not his goals, only the art of filmmaking is. Jodorowsky is the Chilean director and comic book writer responsible for some of the weirdest and astounding films (El Topo, The Holy Mountain) in the history of cinema. After his initial success, he was asked what his next project would be. It was then that he chose to adapt the critically acclaimed science fiction novel Dune. 
 Hence, Alejandro Jodorowsky embarked on a journey to find his “spiritual warriors” (as he called them) and make a film that would change the world and humanity’s the consciousness forever. Jodorowsky’s Dune tells the story of Alejandro’s quest to make an influential film and the talent he found through the project. Jodorowsky’s teams’ talents didn’t come from their abilities, but from their love of the art. With a cast of unusual actors like Salvador Dalí, Orson Wells and David Carradine, artists like Jean Giraud (Mœbius), Chris Foss, and H.R. Giger making concept art, story boards and designing the aliens and the spaceships, and music by Pink Floyd, it was the dream team to end them all.
 At the helm, there was none other than Jodorowsky leading the team like a general. People seemed to be attracted to him. During the documentary, I could not help but be fascinated by the way Jodorowsky talked about filmmaking and life in general. But as expected, the film was ahead of its time and thus was never embraced by Hollywood. Yet another project rose from the ashes of Jodorowsky’s Dune: Alien.
 After watching this documentary, you will wish you could go back in time in order to have this movie made. It was intended to change the world; however, it’s intriguing to know that a film that never got made still changed sci fi cinema forever.

Monday, September 22, 2014


By. Samurai Millo's


It’s Dragon *Con’s time once more. An occasion when I tell my faithful readers all about my adventures known as the Dragon*Con Chronicles: a day by day account of one of the best conventions in the continental U.S. But first, for all those new to Dragon *Con, here’s a bit of history.

Dragon*Con is a U.S. based multi-genre convention. It was founded in 1987 and takes place once a year in Atlanta, Georgia, usually on Labor Day weekend. Due to the event’s growth over the years, the convention takes place in five hotels: the Hilton, the Hyatt Regency, the Marriott Marquis, Sheraton Hotel and the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel. In 2013 the dealer tables and exhibition booths were moved to The Atlanta Convention Center at AmericasMart adding yet another building to the event.

If you are a geek and you are an enthusiast of everything from comic books to cosplays, then Dragon*Con is the place for you. You will fit into a number of activities that will peak your interest. There is no doubt you will enjoy the 4 day convention. Let’s suppose you are going to Dragon*Con because you love comic books. You love them so much that you not only read them, but you also collect them, analyze their stories, and keep them in mind conditions. Wouldn’t it be nice to go to a convention that offered a series of comic book related events spread through its duration? Dragon*Con is that kind of convention.

Dragon *Con uses a system known as Fan Tracks which is used to refer to a whole set of activities with a theme in common. One of its well-known Fan Tracks is for comic books and it’s known as Comics and Pop Art Fan Track. Dragon*Con has about 42 Fan Tracks that cover the currently relevant fields of geek interest. That means hundreds of hours of different kinds of activities, all of them running simultaneously.

The same day I arrived home from Dragon*Con 2013, I bought my 4 day pass for this years. Unable to get a room at the Hyatt this year, I settled for the Omni Hotel. I also bought my plane ticket before 2013 ended. My plane ride to Atlanta was fast and without incident. Using the airline’s iPhone app to do my check-in during the day sped up everything. Once I had all my bags, I used the Airport Shuttle Service and saved myself about $70 in Taxi fare. The check-in at the Omni was quick too; I checked-in online the day before.

After getting cozy in my room, I went to the Sheraton to finish my pre-registration and get my 4 day badge. It was the fastest registration for a convention that I had ever done. The guy who gave me my badge warned me that if I lost it I had to pay full price ($150) for a replacement. I left the Sheraton hotel especially hungry seeing as I hadn’t eaten anything since 4:00 A.M., so I headed to The Mall at the Peachtree Center to grab a bite.

 At the Mall, I bumped into Meg Galacticat (whom I met last year) and her husband Christopher. Afterwards, I had my first taste of Chicken Swarma at Aviva by Kameel, a Mediterranean food restaurant. I was attended by Kameel himself. Let me just say he’s awesome.
With a pleased belly, I went on to take photos of some cosplayers and later headed to the CVS Pharmacy at the Mall to stock up on snacks for the weekend. Then I headed back to my hotel room for a shower, some rest, and quick change of clothes before heading to the  Hyatt. 

When I arrived, I ran into old and new friends; Janet Osburn and her husband Nate, the Hatcher sisters (Hailey & Anna), and JD Stretch and Jessica Paulding; they were all in “The Colonial Fleet” a Battlestar Galatica fan club. Around 7:30 P.M. we all headed to Max Lager’s Wood-Fired Grill & Brewery for dinner. The food was as great as the people with whom I shared it.

Around 9:00 P.M. I bid farewell to Max Lager’s and went back to the Hyatt and later to the Marriott where I crashed a Cosplay Playboy Bunny Party. I had loads of fun. It was great how everyone, even before Dragon *Con had officially started, was in the mood to cosplay; the main hotels were filled with people cosplaying left and right.

After taking a good amount of photos, I called it a night and headed back to my hotel room around 10: 30 P.M.. I needed a minimum of 5 hour of sleep if I wanted to be ready for Friday morning: the official beginning of Dragon*Con 2014.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Raid 2 Review


   In the year 2011 martial art fans got a glimpse of Iko Uwais amazing skills. The Raid: Redemption was an instant hit for its ferocious action, intense feelings of claustrophobia and hyper violence. Director Gareth Evans went down as having made one of the best action films of all time. So after all the hoopla, it was obvious that the film would get a sequel. How could it not? People were enthralled by Uwais dominion of pencak silat, which he had been practicing since he was very young, that it was apparent he should get more airtime.

   The Raid 2 forgets all about the enclosed spaces, and instead goes the direction of Jakarta’s ganglands and all the intricacies of gang violence in said place. It picks up where The Raid: Redemption left off. Rama agrees to go undercover in order to exploit the corrupt police members who protect the gangs. But to accomplish this, Rama must become friends with Uco, son of the leader of Bangun, one of the big gangs.

   Many things happen in this film; sadly, I think that is what fails for me. The story is convoluted and not terribly surprising. It’s clogged up with notions of grandeur. It replaces what I thought was fantastic about the first film, the frenetic pace and the claustrophobia, with a big sprawling city and some pretty boring and sometimes unnecessary scenes. The Raid 2’s core problem, for me, is its departure from the first.

   Now, don’t get me wrong. The film’s display of martial arts is fantastic. The choreography and stunt work is top notch. But I think they gave the director too much freedom. Take Hammer Girl and Baseball Bat Man for example, they have weird quirks and character traits, but you don’t really care about them (also, hitting people with line drives? Ridiculous). Sure, they are simple fodder for Uwais’ character to dispose of, but they appear so suddenly that it’s hard to appreciate them. Then there is the fact that awesome characters like Prakoso (Yayan Ruhian) get little airtime. 

   Nitpicking aside, this is a great martial arts film. Uwais’ and his co-stars’ display of martial arts from are incredible. The last fifteen minutes of the film are intense and filled with awesome fights. I personally preferred the first film, but this is still a fine example of what action films are capable of. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in martial art films in general. Check The Raid 2 out.