Monday, December 31, 2012

Calling All Readers!!!

Calling All Readers! I want to keep my Jedi News articles a weekly thing, but I'm running out of ideas and my editors are loath to give me "assignments," so I need your help!

In the comments below, please share with me ideas for Star Wars-related topics which you would like to see me tackle or would like my opinion on! I can't promise to answer them all in an article, but it will at least get my creative juices flowing. Any suggestion, even if I end up not using it, is very much appreciated!

May the Force Be With You, Always! See you next year!

They're Taking The Hobbits To Isenguard!

If only I had started this blog a year earlier, then I wouldn't have to wait for the 20th anniversary to review the beginning of this series. Alas, we shall have to start in media res.

The Two Towers (film) is 10 years old this month.

December Wrap-Up and the Future of Anniversary Reviews

When I started the Anniversary Reviews, it was because of two things. First, I wanted to celebrate those pieces of media that I truly love. I also wanted an excuse to write every so often and not let the blog fade away because I was busy.

Well, the Jedi News deal has taken care of problem number 2, almost too well. I find I don't have the time or patience for the Anniversary Reviews as they were conceived. You've noticed they've been scaled back and back for a while. Well, here's how it's going to be from now on:

1. Every month, I will make a big post with some notable (to me) anniversaries of things that were released that month.
2. A particular piece of media will only get its own post if it's on the Top 20 list and/or I have a lot to say about it.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Great Expectations

(Originally written for Jedi News.)

I have been writing here and elsewhere about how much the Star Wars Saga is more or less interchangeable as far as what can be considered objectively good or bad about the individual films. However, this just seems to compound the mystery as to why I-III was not accepted wholesale among fans as IV-VI supposedly were and suffered a backlash that continues to this day.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Things I *GASP* Dislike About the Star Wars Saga

I don't really want to do this, since my whole point is to be celebratory and combat the hate machine. However, nothing is perfect, not even Star Wars. I hate the people who feel like they have to rag on some part of the Saga just to prove that they aren't sheep, so I'm not going to go that route. I'm going to try to be as tactful and matter-of-fact as possible because, as I'll reiterate and expand on at the end, these nitpicks don't amount to much. However, I have to be honest and forthright with all of you that not all is sunshine and daisies (though, it really mostly is).

And so, I present a short list of all the things, film by film, that bother me about Star Wars.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Twelve Days of Listmas Day 12: My Top 20 Favorite Movies of All Time

Well, here it is. The big one. The one you've all been waiting for (assuming you even care). You have no idea how hard it was to come up with this list, since there are a lot of things to go through and consider. In fact, we'll have a lot of preliminaries before we get to the list proper, so let's just get that out of the way now...

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Twelve Days of Listmas Day 11: My Top 20 TV Shows of All Time!

I've watched a lot of TV growing up. I don't watch nearly as much now, but I try to catch what I can. The following are the 20 shows I can count as my favorites. And this was a hard list to make, though not nearly as hard as tomorrow's...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Twelve Days of Listmas Day 10: My Top 20 Video Games of All Time!

Video Games are a fairly new source of art, but at the same time no less deserving of love and nostalgia. What follows are my Top 20 Favorite Video Games!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

My Crazy Crazy Week

Let me share with you how crazy my week has been.

The Twelve Days of Listmas Day 9: Top 11 Books!

This section should be larger, but I haven't had a chance to read nearly as much as I think I should. Still, I do love to read, so today is just a list of my Top 11 favorite books.

Why I Love Jar Jar Binks

(Originally written for Jedi News)

Poor old Jar Jar. Is there a fictional character more hated? More maligned? George Lucas, Ahmed Best, and the team at Industrial Light and Magic put all their effort into making this amazing technological wonder and a ready source of comic relief in an otherwise fairly tense film, and the reaction of the general public seems to be unbridled abhorrence.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Twelve Days of Listmas Day 7: Star Wars!

Star Wars! Nothing but Star Wars! Gimmie those Star Wars! Don't let them end!

I'm going to do something slightly different with the last list in this entry, which is something that you'll see me do with my final list in the series...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Twelve Days of Listmas Day 6: Harry Potter!

Halfway through the Days of Listmas, so get your wand at the ready and open your spellbooks to page 394 as I count down my favorite things about the world of Harry Potter!

NOTE: When talking about Harry Potter on this website, I will refer to the first book as "Philosopher's Stone", since that is a real (mythical) object and J.K. Rowling knows this. The story goes that it was changed to "Sorcerer's Stone" in the US because Scholastic thought American kids would never know what a Philosopher was. Well, I know what it is, and I know what the Stone is, and I know who Nicolas Flamel is (granted mostly from this book). In casual conversation I would normally refer to it as either "Stone" or "The first one", but here I'm going the snooty route because, for once, it's right.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Twelve Days of Listmas Day 5: Disney!

Time to go to the happiest place on Earth and tell you what I like best about the Disney Animated Canon!

(Note that I'm only counting the traditionally animated films here. No live-action movies. No technically canon CG films like Tangled or Chicken Little. No Pixar. No Touchstone. Not that I don't love all those movies, but cell animation is where it's at).

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Twelve Days of Listmas Day 3: Warcraft!

Day 4, and proof I'm stretching this concept out in order to save the good stuff for last. Today it's my faves in the World of Warcraft!

Hanukkah 2012: Day 8

This is the end...my only friend, the end...

Another Hanukkah has come and gone, but not without a few more parting shots.

From my Father:


Star Wars Vintage Collection Dr. Evazan. To be perfectly 100% honest, I was kind of hoping for Ahsoka, but at least I can finally complete the "Death Sentence on Twelve Systems" set I started with Ponda Baba earlier this year.

From my Wife:



Skylanders Series 2 Fright Rider. I know that his mount is canonically an undead ostrich, but since it looks far more like a Gastornis, that's what I'm calling it.

The 3DS grades and the Console Paths will probably be at least another week. Carissa and I got a "Buy One Get One Free" coupon for Series 1 Skylanders that's good until the 31st, so I want to group them all together.

As for Carissa's present, I saved the best (and most expensive) for the last day: A silver with aqua gems sea turtle necklace. And she did love it, really she did. But that's not what got the best reaction out of her this year. What she jumped up and down in excitement for was a few nights ago when I gave her the Sims 3 Ambitions expansion pack, since it includes a firefighting profession (she was once a volunteer firefighter) and contains a fire engine (which she goes nuts for) called, and I quote, the "Woo Woo 4000". Whatever, I'm always glad when I can make her smile.

Tell your friend Veronica
It's time to celebrate Hanukkah
I hope I get a harmonica
On this lovely lovely Hanukkah
So drink your gin & tonica
And smoke your marijuannica*
If you really really wannica
Have a happy happy happy happy Hanukkah!
- Adam Sandler


*Nilbog's Storybook Land does not advocate the use of drugs and/or alcohol, though if you do anyway it's none of my beeswax.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Hanukkah 2012: Day 7

The penultimate edition...

From my Father:


Star Wars  Vintage Collection Aurra Sing. I give her antenna a week before it snaps off like a twig.

From my Wife:



Lego Lord of the Rings Shelob Attack set. I like this one because it has Gollum in it. 'Nuff said. I'll probably post updates when we build this one like I did the last time.

The Twelve Days of Listmas Day 2: Comics!

Day two features lists relating to comics. Superheroes, Daily Strips, Graphic Novels, telling stories through art.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Hanukkah 2012: Day 6

Only two more of these....

From my Father:


Star Wars Vintage Collection Mawhonic. The dwarf Gran was the first to go down in the Boonta Eve Classic, which reading background information on the planet Malastare makes a very interesting choice (according to such info, the Gran colonized Malastare and displaced the natives - the Dugs). I missed this guy when Wal-Mart had the sneak peeks, but I'm glad I got him on his Vintage card.

From my Wife:



Skylanders Series 2 Pop Fizz. Okay, so he's exclusive to Giants, but Series 2 sounds better since he's not an actual Giant. This Jekyll/Hyde character was the only new character (aside from Tree Rex) I knew about prior to the release of Giants. I'm very interested to see how he handles.

Kharah Matah, Kharah Rath Amah

(Originally written for Jedi News. Check out the new article collection link at the end of their version!)

This is a season of joy and giving, regardless of what religious denomination you are (if indeed you have any at all). In this spirit, this week’s article will be strictly celebratory.

Music unites the world. Like the Force, it surrounds us and binds us. It makes us feel like luminous beings amidst crude matter. Like all art, music is subjective, and we can’t always explain what moves us and why.

The Twelve Days of Listmas, Day 1: Miscellaneous!

Welcome to the Twelve Days of Listmas! This first one is more of an honorable mention set of lists, since they didn't seem to belong with any other theme. Still, they're important to me and they shed a little bit of light onto the way my brain works.

Once again, this is all my own personal opinion. Feel free to disagree.

So without furthur ado...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hanukkah 2012: Day 5

Five down, three to go....

From my Father:


Star Wars Vintage Collection Weequay. I remember reading in a number of sources that these guys are all named after their race, kind of like the Marklar from South Park. With Hondo Ohnaka and his band of pirates, this has apparently been retconned (if it was even accurate in the first place).

From my Wife:




The Legacy Lightsaber.

Technically, this is Anakin Skywalker's (second?) lightsaber. I absolutely love the picture of Anakin they got for the box. However, I call it The Legacy Lightsaber because this is the saber that bridges the saga. It was Anakin's, and then got passed on to Luke.

Now, this one I actually knew about...because I'm the one who bought it! Let me explain...

Remember back in Halloween when we were looking for this saber and couldn't find it? Well, about a month ago, I was at Wal-Mart picking up some things when I see this at (what I thought was) a steal. I called Carissa and asked if it was worth picking up for the future, and she said yes with the caveat that it would be one of my Hanukkah presents.

When I saw it in the store, I noticed how remarkably closer to scale the hilt was than the rest of my collection. Opening it now, I see the downside: The blade is about an inch or two too short. It's still good enough for now, and I'll eventually replace my entire collection with Force FX versions anyway, if I can ever make that much disposable cash.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hanukkah 2012: Day 4

Halfway done *sigh*

From my Father:


Star Wars Vintage Collection Orrimaarko, a.k.a. Dick Tracy nemesis Prune Face. Yeah...just for a complete character collection's sake.

From my Wife:


Skylanders Series 1 Sonic Boom. More on her when I do the big Skylanders grading roundup at the end of this.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Star Wars Safe Havens

If you are a Star Wars fan looking for a safe-haven from the bashers, this is a place to be. However, I felt that I must once again plug some links, some of which are new, and some I've been plugging since this blog started.

If you didn't find me through The Star Wars Prequel Appreciation Society, then that should be your first stop (and please, inject some life into their floundering forum). After that, look at our shared links of A Certain Point of View and The Star Wars Heresies for intelligent discourse, and The Phantom Menace: The Holiday if you're looking for a little fun.

For further fair analysis, head over to Lard Biscuit. Although I disagree with his views on the theatrical releases in IV-VI, he's always been very positive of Episodes I-III and his dissertation on Clones actually helped me appreciate that film more, believe it or not.

Finally, if you want to read a review of Star Wars from the eyes of its intended audience, read Film Nerd 2.0's six-part series where his kids watch the saga for the first time (through the then-newly-released Blu-Rays). Before the announcement of VII-IX makes it odd, I actually found his order the best for first-time viewers to keep certain things secret and give others their full weight:
1. A New Hope
2. The Empire Strikes Back
3. The Phantom Menace
4. Attack of the Clones
5. Revenge of the Sith
6. Return of the Jedi
Reading these, you actually feel like a kid again watching these for the first time. It's sensational.

May the Force be With You!

Hanukkah 2012: Day 3

Ahh, the magic three....

From my Father:


Star Wars Vintage Collection Nien Nunb. A.K.A. Chewbacca's Seat Warmer during the Battle of Endor. A.K.A. That weird guy whose name I can never pronounce.

My father always goes overboard with gifts, and I tell him not to get me anything. This year, after years of him never listening to me, I go "All right, if you have to get me stuff, get me Star Wars stuff." Since I have a sub-wishlist on Amazon devoted solely to the Vintage collection, this will probably be a theme this year. Not that I'm complaining in the slightest.

From my Wife:


Skylanders Giants Legendary Bouncer.

A testament to how much my wife loves me (and I love her for it) is that she didn't even look at my wishlist when she bought this, even though this specific and Toys R Us exclusive variant is prominently on there. She caught a sale, and figured I'd want the blue one over the orange one. Not only is Bouncer here my first backup giant, but he's also my first backup Tech Skylander (in Tech Zones thusfar, I was SOL if Drobot croaked). With any and all Skylanders I get this year, I'm waiting until the gift-giving is done to give 3DS grades (moot in Bouncer's case) and Console Upgrade Paths.

At this point I want to assure my dear readers that this giving isn't one-way. I broke the bank for my wife this year. She's been receptive to the stuff I've given her so far. Really likes all of it. But I'm saving the best for the last day, and THAT'S the one you guys will hear about....

Monday, December 10, 2012

Clone Wars 5.11: A Sunny Day in the Void

They're...uh....they're flocking this way...

Spoilers ahead

Hanukkah 2012: Day 2

So this is what I got after we finished the podracers.

From my Father:


Star Wars Vintage Collection Aayla Secura. Wow she's cool. She does fall into that "female figures stand weird" thing that I thought we got out of years ago, but still. She only came with the one lightsaber, but since my primary experience with her is Star Wars Battlefront 2 where she duel-wields, I knew I had to rectify this. Luckily, I had some spare generic sabers lying around, and one of them was small enough to fit in her tiny other hand (which looks like it was meant to hold something anyway).

From my Wife:



Lego Lord of the Rings: The Video Game. Now, I haven't sat down to play this yet, but you'll get a full review when I do. But I'll probably love it. I love Legos. I LOVE Lord of the Rings. And I've adored the other Lego parody games (SW, Indy, Batman, and HP), so this will in all likelihood be awesome.

One more note, you may see a brightly-decorated tree in the background of some of these shots. My being outspokenly Jewish, this may confuse some of you. Well, the thing is, my father and I both come from mixed marriages, and have always loved the aesthetic of the tree. Since the tree is a pagan tradition anyway, we figured it wasn't too bad it we got one, dolled it up with Jewish stuff (and some pop-culture stuff, since that's the kind of people we are), and called it a Hanukkah Bush. We've been doing it for years now, and we're not the only ones. The only problem is that my wife is severely allergic to pine, so when we get our own place it's fakesville as far as a tree is concerned.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Hanukkah 2012: Day 1

Just checking in via phone to show you guys what I got last night.

From my father:


Star Wars Vintage Series Wedge Antillies

He's a decent figure, but the helmet is hard to get on and off without decapitating him. His flight suit doesn't sit well with the little rings near his knees. But it's Wedge. It's Ewan's Uncle. That's still cool.

From my wife:


Lego Star Wars Anakin and Sebulba's Podracers.

I would collect more Legos if they weren't so expensive. My wife would too. She heard me say that if I could own only one Star Wars Lego set, it would be this one, And I love her that she got this for me. We haven't started building it yet, and may not for a while. But I'm so glad I have it.

See you tomorrow!

UPDATE!!!

My wife and I decided to build them yesterday. Here's what it looked like after an hour and a half:


Another hour and a half, and it looked like this:



After that, Sebulba's cockpit took maybe another fifteen minutes to build. Here's some pics of the completed set:






Wicked. Sweet.

Although, I just realized this. This set comes with an Obi-Wan minifigure...why? He was nowhere near the podrace. It should have been Qui-Gon. Oh well, at least I have A Jedi minifigure now.

Friday, December 7, 2012

For "Mature" Audiences Only

(Originally written for Jedi News)

If you are ever able to cajole a hater into begrudgingly admitting to liking any of the newer Star Wars films, they’re most likely to say they kind of enjoyed “Revenge of the Sith.” “Sith” is bar none the darkest Star Wars film of the saga (so far). It features Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side, including the murder of innocent children, his former friend, and even his own pregnant wife. Not to mention a show-stopping duel amidst a sea of lava ending with Anakin being essentially chopped into pieces and burned alive by liquid-hot magma, only to be saved by being entombed in the walking iron lung that is basically the Saga’s logo. It is the only film in the Saga to receive a PG-13 rating, even retroactively.

In a similar vein, when asked to pick a favorite film in the saga overall, the most common answer seems to be “The Empire Strikes Back.” While not as dark as “Sith” it’s certainly edgier than the other four films in the Saga. This one has lots of literally drab sets, a stunning revelation about character relationships, the Rebel Alliance beating a retreat, and Han Solo’s fate left uncertain.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Holiday Announcements

Well, since my schedule test worked, I can tell you about a number of things I'm planning for the holiday season, especially now that I can write when I have the time and set it to post later.

Classic Lines from Star Wars I-III

I was thinking lately about how many classic lines there are in the Star Wars Saga. When IV-VI came out, the classic lines now ingrained in pop-culture's minds were a way for fans to show they were fans. Many of I-IIIs critics lament what they call a lack of such memorable lines in I-III. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Here is a list of the lines which, I think, would be considered just as classic if not for the hatedom (and in some circles, already are).

I'm doing these all from memory, so I fully expect some things might be slightly inaccurate. But that's to prove the point, since how many of the other quotes get mangled?

Schedule Test

I am writing this entry on December 4th at 5:55 p.m.

I am using the little "schedule" toy on the side here to set this to appear on December 6th at 11:30 a.m.

If this works, it'll revolutionize how I do things here, as well as allow me to do a little event later this month. More to come.

Monday, December 3, 2012

MM: Skylanders Console Thoughts

So after getting into the swing of the console version of Skylanders Giants, I decided that while my main figure rankings will still apply solely to the 3DS version(s), I will share with any other Portal Masters my thoughts on upgrade paths. What follows are the paths I chose so far and why, as well as a promise that all future Skylanders rankings will include these little blurbs. Note that this isn't a full list of figures I have because I haven't been able to upgrade them all yet, but I can give you a decent list.

December Anniversaries

Well, we've got three main posts to look forward to, but I'll also mark a couple of other milestones:

20 Years:
"A Few Good Men" (film): It's one of those "see it just to say you saw it" movies. Stellar cast, stellar script. Check it out. Haven't seen it in a while, which is why it's on this list.
"Toys": I always really liked this movie, in spite of it being a bomb. It's not a bad little movie, it's just a little weird for the general public, I guess. Again, haven;t seen it in a little while hence this blurb.

50 Years:
"To Kill A Mockingbird" (film): A truly classic and thought-provoking movie based on a truly classic and thought-provoking book. I saw it for the first time at the beginning of the year, and it blew me away. However, seeing as it is such a classic and I only saw it once recently, I don't quite feel qualified to comment further than that.

More to come!

Clone Wars 5.10: Secret Weapons

Oh dear god, a pit droid...

Spoilers to follow

Friday, November 30, 2012

November Anniversary Extravaganza!

Whoo, November has been a wild month. It turns out I have a full slate of Anniversary Reviews to do, and not enough time to do them all separately. So I decided to do a super-mega edition!

Note that this is not the thing I do with things that I can;t write about. This'll be longer than that. It'll just be condensed.

All Beings Are Created Equal

(Originally written for Jedi News)

I’ve always been the kind of guy who has been attracted to really interesting designs. As a child, my favorite Loony Tune was the Roadrunner not because I found him particularly funny, but because he looked so damn cool. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate character nuance and substance being as important if not more than style, though style does play a role. To bring it back to a Star Wars example, I appreciate Sebulba for the kind of character he is and what he represents, but he wouldn’t be my third favorite Saga character of all time were it not that I feel the Dug is probably the most utterly awesome design to come out of any of the films.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Simple Math

(Originally written for Jedi News. Look at the sweet new logo I have!)

A while ago, I read This Post on the blog "A Certain Point of View" calling for the abandonment of the term “Original Trilogy” because of its polarizing nature, and replace it with the phrase “4-6 Trilogy.” While I disagreed at first, I slowly came around. The writer makes a strong case that “Original” automatically elevates the first set of movies and goes a long way to keep the newer films from being considered classics in their own right (I feel referring to the newer films as simply “The Prequels” does the same amount of damage). However, the more I think about it, saying “4-6 Trilogy” and “1-3 Trilogy” doesn’t go nearly far enough in bridging the gap between the two (soon to be three) sets of films.

We need to abandon the term “trilogy” entirely when talking about Star Wars.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Greatest Thing You'll Ever Learn

(Originally posted for Jedi News)

I had considered saving this topic for Valentine’s Day, but as it’s a major point that I somehow left off of my “Truth” post, I felt for completion’s sake I needed to go into it.

That’s right; I’m going to defend the romance between Anakin and Padmé explored primarily in “Attack of the Clones”.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Double Feature: Bond's Gonna Wreck It

When it rains it pours. I just saw two great movies this week, and now I'll give you my take on them:

Skyfall and Wreck-It Ralph

Minor Spoilers to follow (I'll try not to ruin too much)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WW: Old Republic Free To Play

Well, it's official. The Old Republic goes Free-to-Play this week.

And...I'm not going back just yet.

I don't mind putting some of my characters on the back burner, but no way I'm not playing my main character, a Sith Inquisitor named Binx.

Now, in order to sell their greatest strength, the story, they did not put level caps on the Free-To-Play accounts. What they did do was limit species. Human, Zabrak, and Cyborg.

Binx is Twi'lek.

I hate humans. My Zabrak Jedi Knight Simara is my co-main, so that wouldn't be too bad. I do have a Cyborg 2nd-tier (but she's a Bounty Hunter and if I could only choose one or two, I would prefer Force-Users).

I'll do more research, but it looks like I'm going to be wishing for those timecards after all.

UPDATE 11/16: So I logged in to check and I found that they would let me play Binx even as a Twi'Lek. I guess since she's my highest-level character she was grandfathered it, though if I ever wanted to make another Twi'Lek I'm sure I'd have to go through Subscription or Cartel Coins.

Oh yeah, I'm pissed I don't get Cartel Coins from all I've given them since launch, just because I couldn't re-subscribe in the month before the change. Plus, apparently my server was merged with another and I had to rename half my characters. Binx becoming Rajbinx wasn't so bad. The rest however...ugh. I might even restart my Consuler as a new race if I can ever scrape the coins enough to buy my slots back.

On the upside, if I do get some Cartel Coins, I can pretty much buy most of my conveniences back, plus Cathaur whenever they come out. So, for now, I'm sticking with the Old Republic, just not very often.

Monday, November 12, 2012

MM: Skylanders Grades Issue 3

Okeedoke, here are four more Skylanders to review. Yes, I did in fact get six, but two of them work exclusively with Skylanders Giants and since I only have Spyro's Adventure for the 3DS, we'll have to wait.

Once more, we're using Harry Potter O.W.L. grades here. Refer to my older posts to get what the letters mean.

Clone Wars 5.07: A Test of Strength

I remember every lightsaber I ever sold, Mr. Potter.

Spoilers Ahead

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Why I Am A Star Wars Activist

(Originally written for Jedi News)

For a large part of my life, I have been a Star Wars fan. In the last two years, I have also become what I like to call a Star Wars Activist. What exactly is that? I’m dedicated to seeing all of Star Wars, on film at least, to be looked at as the classics they are.

One of the many commenters on my post from this weekend asked me a simple question. Why? Why do I feel the need to beat my chest and blow the horn? Why am I so passionate about it?

Well, in this post I hope to tell you why. And the answer is far from simple.

Friday, November 9, 2012

More Star Wars to Tide You Over

Two things.

First off, while cleaning the basement, my dad found his ticket stub from our opening day viewing of The Phantom Menace. Since I lost mine, he let me keep it for posterity:


Ain't it a beaut? Ah, memories. Notice we bought them the night before. I was allowed to come to school late since this was an event of such cultural significance.

Also, I was talking with someone about "putting on my Star Wars Activist hat" and I was suddenly inspired to draw this:


Disney needs to put these in their theme parks ASAP.

Jedi News Update

Well, they're late on the new article, which means I'm late posting it here. I'll get it here as soon as I can, I promise. I don't blame them - yet - since I'm not the only new contributor and Episode VII speculation is heating up.

They did introduce me with the bio they asked me to write. I sent them one of my Halloween Anakin pictures. They did something interesting and kind of cool: They photoshopped out the Renoir painting and replaced it with the awesome Phantom Menace Poster.

The original:


The Special Edition (courtesy of Jedi News):


I WISH I had that poster. I'll keep you guys updated on the article proper.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Well, THAT Escalated Quickly.

If you're the kind of reader who pays attention to links, you may have noticed a new one amongst the ranks. After so many people spread my post "The Truth, The Whole Truth, And Nothing But The Truth About Star Wars", it caught the attention of one of the editors of Jedi News, a UK website that moniters news coming out of Lucasfilm and once in a while has some flavor articles. They asked me to work as a contributor.

I was so honored that I accepted, and my main Star Wars articles will appear there when inspiration strikes to write them. Now does this mean this blog is going down?

1. No, because I still have other non-Star Wars things I write about on a weekly basis, and those will still be here.

2. No, because my deal with Jedi News is that I can re-post my articles on this very site, provided I wait a day after it comes up on Jedi News and provide links. In fact, I don't know how this deal is going to go so you may very well see a "director's cut" on here from time to time. Plus, for the moment anyway, my Clone Wars episode reviews are exclusively on Nilbog's Storybook Land.

As much as I see this as a great opportunity to get my writing to a broader audience, part of me feels that I don't really deserve it. As much as I put my heart and soul into that piece, I was saying nothing new. Almost everything I said in that post are points that people like Lazypadawan, A New Hope, and Paul F. McDonald have been making for years. In fact, I credit them time and again and wholeheartedly for helping me find my voice as a Star Wars Activist (and what exactly is that? Read Jedi News this Thursday or Nilbog's Storybook Land on Friday! *COUGHSHAMELESSPLUGCOUGH*)

Basically what I'm saying here is that, as I take my first step into a hopefully larger world, I vow never to forget where I came from and who helped me get here. And this blog will remain open until either I die or Blogspot does (whichever comes first).

May the Force Be With You, Always.

P.S. Keep circulating the other article whenever you see hater propaganda!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pumpkins Scream In The Dead Of Night...On Mustafar

Halloween has for a long time been my favorite holiday. An excuse to dress up, whether or not I go anywhere, and play a part, regardless if I've got any acting work.

I had a dilemma this year where, up until the last minute, I had no idea what I was going to be...

Meesa Your Humble Servant!

I just wanted to take a moment and thank everyone who spread yesterday's post. I am so honored that my little diatribe struck this much of a chord. If we can rally the saga lovers with this, awesome! If we can convert a few hateboys in the process, even better (though I won't be holding my breath).

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Truth, The Whole Truth, And Nothing But The Truth About Star Wars

This is it. This is my major post. This is everything. Anytime somebody posts anything anti-I, II, III, or anti-GL, or anti-Star Wars in general, I will simply reply with a link to this very post. I warn any longtime readers that I will repeat myself in this manifesto, but it's good to have all the information here.

Also, this post will be very very VERY long. However, if you really care about this subject, then you'll read the whole thing. A response of TL;DR will only show me that I have no reason to take you or your arguments seriously on this matter, since the hate machine has been on diatribes this long or longer for years and I'm merely now fighting back.

Haters, prepare to take the left-hand evacuation procedure as I lay some truthiness down upon thee.

November Anniversaries

Well, I have all my planned November reviews slated to be fell reviews.

But you know what? I'm skipping "Treasure Planet," which turns 10 this year. I saw it once on YouTube, and basically my review boils down to "A lot of good ideas lost in a short running time."

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Star Wars Disneyfication - Take Two!

Well, this news has certainly taken most of my free brain processing time, so throw my previous post schedule right out the window (MOST will still come, just later than intended; Red Dragon I'll wait and talk about with its more famous film predecessor).

However, I have to hand it to the great folks at the SWPAS and "A Certain Point of View" for helping me to calm down and see reason.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Clone Wars 5.05: Tipping Points

Literally....

Spoilers Ahead

Coming Attractions

Well, we still have power, but my work doesn't so...yay for catch-up time!

So here's what will be posted in the following week:

1. Later today, I'm going to watch The Clone Wars from last Saturday and get that review up.

2. Either today or tomorrow, I'll put up my Anniversary Review of Red Dragon.

3. Tomorrow, I'll post a WoW Wednesday regarding Hallow's End and how it's my favorite of WoW's world events.

4. If weather decides to permit me dressing up, I'll have those pics on Thursday. If not, I'll write a big post complaining about how it's not fair I didn't get to use my super-special borrowed costume (and why)

5. I'll look over my Anniversary list and post any relevant markers on November 1st.

6. By Monday, there'll be another Clone Wars to review. There's also some Skylanders developments worthy of a Monday Mons-Day.

7. By next Wednesday, I should have my full review of Mists of Pandaria ready for another WW.

Wish me luck!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Rock You Like a Hurricane.

This is weird. I am writing this from my phone because my computer can't access the internet. Because my state happens to be smack-dab in the middle of one of the biggest storms in human history, and the internet is being picky about which devices it wants to let out. Needless to say, the plethora of posts I had planned for this week will be rather late.

Honestly, it's just been a teensy bit of rain at this point, yet we're in a state of emergency. Screw you, Sandy! Go back to John Travolta and his inexplicably flying car!

Monday, October 22, 2012

How Did Star Wars Come To Pass?

I'm not talking about making of, this is just something I thought recently. What is the culmination of Star Wars? What is the Happily Ever After climax moment of the film series? What is, stripping away all the psychological stuff and character stuff the true archetypal story moment where good wins out over evil and thus the point to telling the story in the first place?

In case someone reading it hasn't seen it I will hide it after the page jump. I don't care if most people know, I'm protecting the 30-year-old spoiler.

Clone Wars 5.04: The Soft War

I wonder how this will resolve itself...

Spoilers Ahead

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Shaken, Not Stirred

If you've paid any attention to my Anniversary Review series, you'd notice that "Dr. No" turns 50 this month. You'd also notice that I selected it as a "Not a Full Review" category. You'll also notice that there are no other "Not a Full Review" items slated for this month, making the point rather moot.

So, instead, I'm just going to comment on 50 years of Bond. James Bond.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Clone Wars 5.02: A War On Two Fronts

Never bring a Jedi into a Love Triangle.

Spoilers Ahead

MM: You know what? Weekly is just bad for me.

Especially with Clone Wars back, it's just not feasible to have either Monday Mons-Day OR WoW Wednesday on a set schedule. I run out things to talk about, time to do multiple posts, etc.

I had started them to give me an excuse to update weekly, but due to forces beyond my control the schedule slips anyway. And I'm left with another Monday with nothing to talk about from any collecting standpoint.

Meanwhile, I have more to talk about re: WoW, except my Wednesdays are even more shot.

So MM and WW are still a thing, but will only appear on Mondays and Wednesdays when I actually have something to say.

And with that, I think Clone Wars may have gone up.

Monday, October 1, 2012

MM: Wait A Little Longer

It's October! Do you know what that means?

Pokémon Black & White 2 and Skylanders Giants are out this month!

And if I can scrape together funds to buy anything before the holidays, it'll be Mists of Pandaria.

So...it'll be a while before those reviews if at all.

And I have nothing else Monday Mons-Day related to talk about this week.

I apologize for the inconvenience.

Clone Wars 5.01: Revival

I'd say Maul's plan cost an arm and a leg.

Spoilers to follow...

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pronoun Trouble

I normally wouldn't do an anniversary review of a specific cartoon short, but this is the 50th anniversary of the awkward middle child of the "Bugs, Daffy, and Elmer" Trilogy. Everyone remembers the first part, 1951's "Rabbit Fire," for the classic "Duck Season Rabbit Season" bit. But this one is actually funnier and more overlooked


The only one that topped that was the third installment, 1953's "Duck Rabbit Duck", though more on that next year...

Wait 'till you get home!

I Am The Night

20 years ago, inspired by Tim Burton's recently successful films, a group of writers an animators decided to make a superhero show that would transcend a kids show and would be right at home in a lineup aimed at their parents.

What they also did was create probably the definitive Batman.

Thinking Of You, Wherever You Are...

What started as one of the strangest crossovers in history ended up as one of the best selling and one of my personal favorite video game franchises of all time.

Kingdom Hearts turns 10.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Now We Have To Remember It Again?

It is truly the end of an era.

I didn't see "To Boldly Flee", but I am only now aware of the aftermath. The Nostalgia Critic is no more.

We didn't always agree (see some previous posts on that subject), but I was almost always entertained. I'm actually quite choked up that the series has come to an abrupt end.

I am looking forward to seeing what new projects Mr. Walker has in the works (and hope his casting call isn't just for Chicago, hint hint).

I am going to update my links to the NC archives, so you can all go right to the best part of That Guy With The Glasses.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

MM: A New Reason To Collect

Today's post will be short. More on the Action Figure front, though sort of rolled in with a general life thing.

I got a Smartphone. I've never wanted a Smartphone, but I had to get one because A) My well-loved Moterolla Razor is starting to crap the bed, and B) I finally got onto a cell plan with my wife, and my choices for new phones were either Smartphones or flip phones that were far worse than my Razor.

So I bit the bullet, and honestly I don't hate it. You'll probably be seeing more pictures up here for one thing (not today, though).

I've found another use for my Star Wars figures in the "Select Contact Icon" feature. 90% of you probably have been aware of this for years, but you can match a picture on your phone to a contact on your phone so that the picture comes up when calling or called.

Naturally, the first thing I did was take tasteful portraits of all the Star Wars figures I had on hand, and match them the best I could.

Now the problem has become this: I don't have certain characters that would fit one of my contacts perfectly, and some of the figures I have taken pics of don't quite fit anyone.

So, during the holiday season, I'm going to have to step up my collecting (dares notwithstanding; I have the feeling I could only do that once).

Monday, September 17, 2012

MM: Now THIS is Podracing!

Shana Tovah, readers! It's Rosh Hashannah and I'm surprised I have time to put this quick post out.

I have to tell you a little story about Podracing.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WW: 5.0

So, first off, given my schedule slippage on this column, I'm making it biweekly instead of weekly.

Secondly, holy crap patch 5.0 is here!

Monday, September 10, 2012

MM: Genwonners

I've talked so many times about Star Wars Hateboys, but I wanted to talk a little bit today on a very similar creature known in Poké-fan circles as "Genwonners".

And I used to be one.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Clone Wars Update

As good as my word, I shall be giving episode-by-episode reviews of the Clone Wars animated series when it returns, which appears to be September 29th. The time, as has been reported elsewhere, has been moved to Saturday Mornings, though I'll most likely catch the episodes on Starwars.com since they edit out the commercials in a way that makes it seem like they were never supposed to be there in the first place.

Now, I missed Celebration IV (sadness forever), so I did not see the premiere episode(s?) of which reviews have already been popping up. Tough cookies, I'm still going to review it when it premieres to the general public. That's my promise to all of you.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Before You Know It, You're Walkin' On Air!

The first Disney film to traumatize an entire generation with parental abandonment issues is 70 this year.

Now, I haven't seen Bambi from beginning to end in a long time. So, normally, this thing would go into the post about why I wasn't giving it its own review.

But I had to give it its own post. It's not one of my favorites now, but I dug it as a kid. While most kinds were into Thumper, my fave was always Flower.

I still don't remember how it ends.

But I do have this one childhood memory, which is why this film still gets its own post.

One of, if not the very first film monologue I learned by heart is Friend Owl's infamous "Twitterpated" speech:

Now, before I watched this vid to see if it was the right one to upload, I had forgotten the speech. Watching it, however, I was always a word ahead. Which means that it never truly left my brain. This is a big part of the childhood, right here.

He can call me a flower if he wants to...I don't mind.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Free To Play Far Far Away?

So..."The Old Republic" is going free to play in the fall.

Guess you should've had a bigger helmet when fighting the WoWbeast.

Monday, August 27, 2012

WW Mid-Week Update: Mists Cinematic

So I know I missed another WoW Wednesday, and I don't know why. This is pretty much the highlight of the last few weeks on the WoW front, and despite it being everywhere I wanted to post it here too (I MEANT to do it last Wednesday, but...)


This is without a doubt my favorite cinematic from any of the WoW expansions, and it just gets me so psyched for the game.

Why am I posting it today instead of cutting my losses and waiting for Wednesday? Because this week's WW proper will be all about some exciting and dubious developments in Star Wars: The Old Republic! Stay tuned!

MM: Dream Eaters

So as I finally put KH3D down for a while, I wanted to briefly talk more about the Dream Eater system.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

False Equivalency

I'm not talking about the one in politics, though that one does exist. That's right, I'm ranting about Star Wars again. Ah, it's been far too long.

Monday, August 20, 2012

MM: Skylanders Grades Round 2 + Vintage Jar Jar

I've finally got around to grading my newest batch of Skylanders. However, before I give you those grades I've been promising for nearly a month, I want to talk a little bit about the Vintage Jar Jar Binks.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Prisoner Who Now Stands Before You Was Caught Red-Handed Showing Feelings

One movie you should never watch in the dark is now 30 years old.

Pink Floyd: The Wall: The Movie.

Double Feature: Brave Campaigns

I've gone to the movies more in the past month then I think I have all year.

This double-feature review is of Pixar's "Brave" and the new Will Ferrel/Zach Galifanakis vehicle "The Campaign.

In short, both were kind of funny and kind of scary.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WW: Sharkulye's Tale

In 2009, as I was gearing up to leave college, I started a second weekly comic strip for my college paper (to go alongside and eventually replace my absurdist strip "Plan 9"). This was to be called "Craft on a Cracker," and follow the humerous exploits of my WoW toons. I continued the strip for about a year after leaving school, but disinterest and rudeness on the part of the paper caused me to stop before the story I was planning was finished. I promised the few people who followed me on DeviantArt that I would eventually finish the plot as a series of short stories. I hadn't come back to it since.

Until now.

What follows is a prequel of sorts explaining how certain caracters came to be. To see the comics and get a sense of who these people are, visit my DevArt site (It's in my links).

Warning: this one can be a little dramatic. The comic in general is more humerous, and (most) of the shorts I intend to write will be also.

Monday, August 13, 2012

MM+: Just call me Ramsoomair...

You know, there's a webcomic I'm quite fond of called VG Cats. And it's spin-off, Super Effective. The only problem I have is that it often goes into a horrific schedule slip. We'll have weekly comics for about a month and then three months of nothing.

I'm starting to sympathize with its creator, Scott Ramsoomair.

This past week has given me so little computer time to myself that it's been ridiculous. I missed WoW Wednesday even with my entry pre-written and already on Deviant Art.

With my work schedule returning to normal this week, I should (operative word should) be back on track by Wednesday. I'll have that missing article for you. Plus, by next Monday, I should also have all my new Skylanders tested out and ranked.

In the meantime, I can tell you a Poké-related story. My friend needed me to replace the battery for her Crystal version since I shared my success with Silver. Since I needed her to get me the other two Jhoto starters, we had an accord. Taking the screw out was much easier this time around, but loosing the battery from its connectors was not. I actually sliced my thumb open when the precision screwdriver slipped and the circuitboard went flying, nearly destroying it. However, in the end it still worked with flying colors and we were able to trade the day away (well, as best I could with a damaged thumb).

We also used that time to trade fifth generation so I could restart Black. You know, not being able to trade until the first gym is cleared was a pain in the ass, and I really didn't appreciate having to forgo my usual training method. But, I had to for the sake of time. At least I can go back and train the rest of my party with the trainers I missed.

Also This Week: Reviews of Brave and The Campaign as well as the anniversary of Pink Floyd: The Wall (The Film).

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

La Cité des Cloches

Well, I finally got Kingdom Hearts 3D! And the "Hunchback" world I've been looking forward to is the second world out there!

How does it measure up?

(Spoilers ahead)

Monday, August 6, 2012

MM: More Skylanders coming soon

Hi all! This is another post-in-name-only, just letting you know that I've got a bunch of new Skylanders and I'll be testing them out soon to give you my two cents on them. Unfortunately, I also got Kingdom Hearts 3D so my time spent with Pokémon and Skylanders will be reduced, but I'll still bring you those themed updates every Monday.

WoW is suffering slightly too, but I've got this Wednesday's post already written. There's also Old Republic stuff to talk about in the coming Wednesdays, though I need a little more info myself....

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

WW: Pandaria is Approaching.

This will just be a quicker update like Monday. My supervisor is on vacation for the next two weeks, so I've picked up a few extra shifts this week and next week.

I'm sure most of you are aware that the release date for Mists of Pandaria has been announced in the past week. September 25th, 2012.

It's oddly early, but I'm optimistic that it means Blizzard is confident that it's ready. Beta certainly seems on-track, bugs notwithstanding.

But it kind of sucks for me for two reasons.

1. September 25th is my wife's birthday. My wife is not a fan of WoW.

2. This year, September 25th happens to be Erev Yom Kippur, or the eve of Yom Kippur. This is a Jewish Holiday (which means it's on a lunar calendar, i.e. sundown to sundown) that represents the Day of Atonement. We fast and pretty much do nothing but pray in temple for 24 hours (12 if you count sleep time).

That means: no food, and certainly no electronics.

On the plus side, I'll miss launch lag.

Monday, July 30, 2012

MM: IT'S ALIIIIIIIIIVE!

Pokémon Silver lives! Now I wish I hadn't gotten rid of the other two...for multiple reasons!

It was arduous: trying to unscrew the cartridge, removing the soldered dead battery without scratching the circuits, securing the new one in with scotch tape...but Pokémon Silver is saveable once more!

So I figured since I have the one game, I'd use Stadium to get all three starters, right? Well, apparently, it doesn't let you withdraw from the N64 box unless you have the National Pokédex. Which means unless someone I know is lucky enough to have a working version, I'm stuck without my main party.

I'll enjoy it while I can; I did fix it, after all! But I won't go past the Day Care until I know for sure what I'm doing.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Double Feature: The Bear and The Bat

Over my birthday week, I was lucky enough to see two movies. Both were amazing but in different ways.

"Ted" and "The Dark Knight Rises"

This review will be slightly more spoiler-heavy, so be warned.


Friday, July 27, 2012

I've Always Wanted A Sparkly of My Very Own

Well, today I turn 26, so it's fitting that I give you a review of one of my top 5 favorite childhood movies. Don Bluth's first and still hands-down best feature film.

The Secret of NIMH turns 30.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Star Mons

I've begun a series of drawings depicting various characters of the Star Wars Saga with what I feel their ideal starter Pokémon would be. Here's my first (and so far best) attempt:


You can see the others and more drawings here.

EDIT: This is now my page image, that's how much I love this drawing.

Hypocrites All

I don't know if anyone checks the link section despite the number of times I've asked people to, but you'll notice a link to a video site I've labeled as "The Nostalgia Critic."

The Nostalgia Critic character is caustic and obnoxious, but he is (with a handful of exceptions) fair with the points of his criticism. He's given negative reviews to many movies that I love, but out of the dozens of such films I only found he was unfair with two or three. The flaws are there and the jokes make sense. I still love the movies themselves, but I have something new to laugh at.

This week's review was of "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom." I thought he was going to rip the Lucas hypocrites a new one, and he started to. However, very quickly he started to go back on himself to appease the hateboys.


WW: The Lost Article, or Time to Defend WoW Now

All right, so I defended charges of racism in Star Wars. But what about the rampant charges of racism AND sexism levied at my favorite video game, World of Warcraft?

Well, while I understand a lot more where those accusations are coming from, I ultimately think that they come to nothing as well.

I've written about this before, and thus am reposting a column I wrote for my college newspaper shortly before Cataclysm was released.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

WoW THURSday?

Due to events beyond my control, I have neither the time or energy to get out WoW Wednesday today, but the article WILL go up tomorrow morning along with another unrelated piece. I apologize to my readers (all three of you) for the inconvenience.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Its. Just. BORIS!

With everything else going on, I forget to give you guys a review of a movie I've seen recently! It was so good, I saw it twice in the theatres!

But then, what else could you expect from the Men in Black?


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

WW: Change in Leadership

So I got into a discussion with a co-worker recently about the factions in WoW. While I actively play both sides, I have always felt more sympathy for the Horde because they seem to be just trying to scratch out a living while the Alliance feels actively racist in that if something needs to be killed, it's because of what they are more than what they're doing.

My co-worker disagreed, citing that she tried to play Horde, but found them just as barbaric as I found the Alliance. I said that she had misunderstood, and (with the possible exception of the Forsaken), the Horde wasn't like that.

What I realized later, of course, is that Thrall's Horde isn't like that.

Garrosh's Horde on the other hand...


Monday, July 16, 2012

MM & WW: World of Warcraft Pet Battles!

So, the new Pet Battle system is up and running on the Beta servers for testing and....

....it's buggy as hell. But when it works, it's fun.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Announcing WoW Wednesdays

I will be unveiling a new segment this week entitled WoW Wednesdays where I talk about MMORPGs. Mainly Warcraft, of course, but anything having to do with Wizard101 and The Old Republic (and any other future Mummorpiguhs) will also go into that space.

Sort of like how spinoff characters get a debut in the original series, WoW Wednesday will have a joint episode with Monday Mons-Day tomorrow when I talk about the new Pet Battle system implemented in the Mists of Pandaria Beta Test. Don't miss it!

There. That's three posts this weekend. I kept my word.

Star Wars and Racism

One of the harshest criticisms that has been bandied about about the Prequel Trilogy is the charge that it is chock-full of offensive racist stereotypes. It's an uncommon complaint, but it worms its way into the discussion if left long enough, as such accusations often do. However, people tend to forget two things.

1. People said the same thing about the Original Trilogy when they came out, and 2. In both cases, it's complete and utter bull.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

You Ruined My New Jacket.......Kill Him A Lot!

Normally, this would be one of those "oh, that's interesting" type of reviews with nothing much to say. However, it deserves its own post because it marks the second time my viewpoints have been polar opposite with the Geek Status Quo.

For Buffy the Vampire Slayer turns 20.

The Movie, not the show.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Coming This Weekend

I know I've really only been posting Monday Mons-Day entries lately, but I've got some stuff in the works. I won't be able to work on it until the weekend, due to my new work schedule (I had training and orientation this week - after I've been working at the job for a month). It's difficult for me to work on personal stuff because when I have free time now, I just want to sit and blah. But this weekend I will have three, count 'em 3 new posts:

1. July's first Anniversary Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Movie!

2. A serious look at one of the hashest (and untrue) criticisms of Star Wars, especially I-III

3. A post on a topic so secret even I don't know what it is yet.

So for all my readers out there (I like to think I have more than one), check back on Saturday and Sunday!

Monday, July 9, 2012

MM: Star Wars Vintage

When I began Monday Mons-Day, I said I wanted to use this space to talk about collecting things in the real world in addition to bits of data. The main thing I can be considered to be actively collecting at the moment is Star Wars Vintage action figures.


Friday, July 6, 2012

I Saw This Today on the WoW Beta and Now My Life is Complete

I like it more than cats doing a handstand
Or reruns of American Bandstand
It's no lie, I'll shout it from the grandstands
I love Pandaren Caramelldansen!



For the record, the Male's dance is a slowed-down version of LMFAO's "Party Rock" dance. Not a fan of the song, but the video is pretty cool if you replace the audio with Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

*Cue Nostalgic Whistling*

R.I.P. Andy Griffith (1926 - 2012)

You were a funny and personable performer, and you will be missed. At least now you can see Don again.

Monday, July 2, 2012

MM: PokéTeams

I realize that these Monday Mons-Day posts are self-indulgent even for this extremely self-indulgent site, but its something I just like sharing with people and I like it when people share similar things with me.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fun With Bad Translator

I just discovered this neat little site called Bad Translator.

Apparently, it's an algorithm that uses search engines to translate a phrase back and forth from English to a number of different languages, to see how messed up our original intentions can be.

Here's some of mine in the full post. Post any good ones you made in the comments.

Linked There and Back

So both The Prequel Appreciation Society AND The Phantom Menace Holiday linked to my "I Am Jarticus" post. I feel a lot of love in this blog right now.

Also, if you consider yourself even the remotest Star Wars fan, this. Just this.

Monday, June 25, 2012

MM2 - My Pokémon Training Tips

What do I think makes a good Pokémon team?


MM 1: New Skylanders Grades

This will probably be the last Skylanders-themed MM for a while. I can't afford to buy much of anything until my paychecks start kicking in and we need to save anyway. I do have a bunch on my Amazon wish list and my birthday is in a month, but...we'll just see.

For now, here are my final revised grades on my eight Skylanders - one for each element:

Great Star Wars Articles

I usually don't like doing this, especially since his site is already in my links, but if you happen to read this blog and love Star Wars as much as I do, then you need to read this post from "A Certain Point of View" and forward it like a chain letter to all your Star Wars-loving friends.

Also, there's only five more days of Jar Jar June on "The Phantom Menace: The Holiday" (seriously, look at the links section; it's right on the side), so celebrate while you can!

Friday, June 22, 2012

What It All Comes Down To Is: Who's Holding The Umbrella

It took me longer than I wanted to get this to you, but I hope it'll be worth the wait because I have so many strong feelings about this little film.

Batman Returns is 20

As with all reviews, SPOILERS ahead


Monday, June 18, 2012

MM pt. 2: First Elemental Set of Skylanders

Not only did Warnado come in, but I was able to procure Hex and Dino-Rang, thereby completing my first elemental set. I still need to work with them a bit before I give you their grades, but on the whole I'm impressed with my choices.

Just so you know, my posting will continue to be sporadic since I just started a new job. I will keep posting, though, so stay tuned.

MM Pt. 1: The Pokémon Journey Continues

So, I regretted my Trainer's Journal the second I posted it.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Pokémon Trainer's Journal: Anakin Skywalker

I do hope you'll indulge me in a small bit of Fanfiction. Normally I'd save something like this for a Monday Mons-day update (and I will go over some of this on Monday), but with my Red Team approaching 30, I decided I wanted to do a journalistic recap of my player characters, and in the voice of their namesakes. I'll do the same with Blue when I reach 30, but for now, here's Red as Anakin Skywalker:


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Of Wars and Mons

It gets really depressing sometimes the amount of Star Wars hate I run across on a weekly basis, especially from people who claim to "love" the series.


Monday, June 11, 2012

One Does Not Simply Restart A Pokémon Game

I know I haven't written anything in a week. I was preparing for this post. Also, warning you all now that the Star Wars tag is in relation to references only (I will post something truly Star Wars related this week, and try to get June's Anniversary Reviews started as well).

I've decided to restart my original Red and Blue games.


Monday, June 4, 2012

I Need Warnado, I'm Holding Our For Warnado 'Till The Morning Light

Welcome to a new feature of the blog called "Monday Mons-Day", where I do a post every Monday about collectibles or games where you have to collect things. The name comes from "Mons" games, i.e. Pokémon or Monster Rancher, where you have to "Catch 'em All". And those games will usually be the focus of these articles in one way or another, although this space will also be reserved for collectible card games, action figures, and my brand new obsession with Skylanders.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

An Open Letter to "Papa" George Lucas

Dear Mr. Lucas,

I've been wanting to write this for a while. I wanted to send this directly to you, but I feared it would get lost in the sea of letters you must get all the time. And even if it did get to you, I was afraid you'd mistake it for the haters and not read it all the way through. This is why the title of this post has the affectionate nickname, so if one day you decided to brave Google for your name, this might catch your eye.

Simply put, I wanted you to know that I am a huge fan of your work on Star Wars and Indiana Jones (I haven't seen American Graffiti yet, but I promise I will!). I want you to know that Star Wars especially is probably my favorite of all my favorite things, and has been since I managed to see the Special Editions in theatres in 1997 (I was 11).

And now to the purpose of this letter. I adore Episodes I, II, and III of the Star Wars Saga. I love what you did with them, the depth you gave them, the classic Star Wars silliness you imbued them with. I love them from beginning to end. On the whole, I actually prefer the storyline in the newer films, though I do love all six individual films fairly interchangeably. I thought Jar Jar was brilliant, and while it took me a while to see I also thought Hayden Christiansen was the perfect choice. For the record, although I'm not as huge into Indiana Jones as I am with the galaxy far, far away, I did quite enjoy Crystal Skull and find it a close third to Raiders and Crusade (admittedly, I'm least fond of Temple of Doom, but I do appreciate it for what it is).

The point to all this is to tell you how much I love your work, especially your most recent, and thus I want to register my sadness at hearing of your upcoming retirement. Now, I wouldn't dare to be presumptuous enough to try and talk you out of it. What I've said so far indicates that I trust your overall judgement and if you feel you need to step away, I won't argue. It's just that I, like a number of fans who feel the same as me (and there are more of us than people would have you think), can't help but worry that the sea of endless hate had something to do with this.

You're a very smart man, so you probably know what I'm about to tell you. However, when we're at our lowest, it still feels good to hear, so here goes. Mr. Lucas, the people who claim to have loved your older work and yet pile the venom upon your recent ones are, in a word, complete morons who utterly fail at film comprehension. They never got Star Wars (or Indiana Jones, for that matter), and don't understand that they are entitled to nothing from you.

While they are quite vapid, they do have a large megaphone and thus an absurd amount of influence. You certainly saw what happened to your friend Steven Speilberg. While I did and do have a respect for his work as well, he folded like a napkin on the E.T. front and that, to borrow a term from you, is letting the dark side win. This is what my fellow true fans and I are most worried about; that without you at the reigns, these people will step in and finally do what they've stupidly claimed you've been doing for years: ruin Star Wars.

You are the artist. As long as you're alive, you're the only one who can stop this. It does betray my inner-nerd to be so referential, but the fact of the matter is that you are our only hope. Please, if you must step away, don't step away too far. Don't let them win because they haven't got a clue what they're talking about.

Sincerely,
Adam D. Bram
a.k.a.
The Nilbog

***

P.S. To all my readers: Unlike my other long posts, I'm not putting the bulk behind a link. I want everyone who visits this site to read the whole thing whether they click "Continue Chapter" or not. Spread the word. See if we can actually get George to read this. May the Force be with you all.

Friday, June 1, 2012

I Am Jarticus

I am Jar Jar Binks.

No, I am not secretly Ahmed Best (though he is awesome). No, I'm not associated with Lucasfilm in any way other than being a longtime fan. But I stand by my statement.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

No Wheezing the Joo-ooce!

This is May's final Anniversary Review (more on that later), and although I do adore this movie, I'm not sure if it would be worth talking about were it not for the careers it launched.

Encino Man is 20.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Al On Film

While writing today's anniversary review, I got to thinking about Weird Al. I love his Polka Medleys and Original/Style Parodies more than his straight parodies, but my favorite straight parodies of his are when he parodies an older song and writes the lyrics about a then-current release. I'd like to share these with you all now, because...it's awesome.

He's done this three times (I don't necessarily count "Yoda", since neither source was that old and it wasn't a whole plot reference), and in all three cases it was about a film that changed my movie-going life:


Follow That Cold Shiver Running Down Your Spine

I did this slightly out of order, I know. I listed this one before AotC, but I had limited time yesterday and since AotC was already written and I wanted to say some words on The Avengers, this is what happened.

This is going to be a combination anniversary reflection and current brain vomit. It's not for the faint of heart.

Ten years ago, three films had my vote for the best of the year. First was AotC, natch. Second was The Two Towers, more on that come December.

The third, and the first one out of the gate was Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man"

Monday, May 28, 2012

Assemble!

It's all been leading up to this...


It May Be Difficult to Secure Your Release...

I've been celebrating the 10-year anniversary of "Attack of the Clones" everywhere lately. I've already poured my heart out to The Star Wars Prequel Appreciation Society for their "Memories" contest. Here, for my Anniversary Review of AotC, I am going to reprint my entry:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Logic is Erratic

This is the last "make-up" (read: non-May) Anniversary Review this month. Next week I'll be scrambling to talk about what actually came out in May before its over.

For now, FernGully: The Last Rainforest is 20.

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Symphony of Horror

Guess what? Here's another "cultural significance" Anniversary review! But cut me some slack, it's not every day that the world's most famous rip-off turns 90.

Okay, that might be a bit harsh for one of the most influential silent films of all time. But it's the truth. F.W. Murnau wanted to make "Dracula", Bram Stoker's widow denied him the rights, and he simply filmed it anyway and changed the names. Thus, Nosferatu was born.

And let me tell you, Max Schreck's Count Olaf still freaks me the hell out to this day, which is about what I take away from the film when I see it. It's rather distracting.

But don't take my word for it. Since it did kind of violate copyright, all copies of the film were ordered burned shortly after release. Thanks to some bootlegs, it escaped destruction (so...yay piracy?) and is available for free here

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli

This is another one that I'm only really talking about because of its cultural significance. However, while I've enjoyed the other "classic" mob movies to a point, this is the one I would watch over and over again. I actually meant to watch it again in preparation for this review, but time isn't always on my side these days.

The Godfather is 40.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

There Can Be Only...Oops, Wrong "-Lander"

So my wife got me the 3DS version of "Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure" as an early birthday present (and to make up for buying The Sims 3 for herself when we've agreed to cut spending; yes I'm aware that's counterproductive and I don't care). Here are my first impressions:


I Would LOVE to Hear This!

This one is going to be very brief. I kind of overdid it when planning the anniversary reviews, putting in a lot of things in because of their cultural significance as opposed to their significance in my own life.

Still, 20 years of "My Cousin Vinny" is no mean feat. It's still, in my opinion, the best Joe Pesci film, the best Marisa Tomei film (Oscar Deserved!), and the best Ralph Macchio film of all time, and I'll fight anyone who disagrees. It also has a great swan song role for the late Fred "Herman Munster" Gwynne.

I love courtroom dramas (especially "Twelve Angry Men" scenarios, but that's beside the point), and I love well-written comedies. This effortlessly blends the two. See it if you haven't, and if you have see it again.

I'm done with this guy.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

THAT'S A LOT OF NUTS!!!

It's been ten years since a film came out that to this day has me doubled over in laughter whenever I watch it.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Anniversary Reviews

One of the things I'm going to try an keep up on are anniversary reviews. Every year for the next ten years, I'm going to try and put out reviews of some of my favorite films, shows, books, and games that are celebrating some decade anniversary (music's a bit too much). I'm going to try and post each year's schedule on or around New Years so that your readers know what to expect. Naturally, I missed that mark this year, and so I'm giving you my list now of when to expect my reviews. Naturally this year, May will also include January-April releases - I have to catch up, after all! - and I'll try to complete them by the end of next week:

((UPDATE: This is the way things are being done from now on. Important Milestones will be listed in ITALIC and those I'm actually going to do will be BOLD))

MAY:
Kung Pow: Enter the Fist - 10 Years (Jan)
My Cousin Vinny - 20 Years (Mar)
The Godfather - 40 Years (Mar)
Nosferatu - 90 Years (Mar)
FernGully: The Last Rainforest - 20 Years (Apr)
Spider-Man (film) - 10 years
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones - 10 years
Encino Man - 20 Years
Alien 3 - 20 Years

JUNE:
Lilo & Stitch - 10 Years
Batman Returns - 20 Years
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
Blade Runner - 30 Years
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan - 30 Years

JULY:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (film) - 20 Years
The Secret of N.I.M.H. - 30 Years

AUGUST:
Pink Floyd: The Wall - 30 Years
Bambi - 70 Years

SEPTEMBER:
Kingdom Hearts - 10 Years
Batman: The Animated Series - 20 Years
Rabbit Seasoning - 60 Years

OCTOBER:
Red Dragon - 10 Years
Dr. No (film) - 50 Years

NOVEMBER:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film) - 10 Years
Treasure Planet - 10 Years
Aladdin - 20 Years
Bram Stoker's Dracula - 20 Years
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - 20 Years

DECEMBER:
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (film) - 10 Years
Chicago (film) - 10 Years
A Few Good Men (film) - 20 Years
Toys - 20 Years
The Dark Crystal - 20 Years
To Kill a Mockingbird (film) - 50 Years

Looks like I've got some work to do...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cheating on your MMO

Where do people get this notion of only playing one video game at a time?

I can understand when it comes to a subscription service and someone can't afford more than one. But that's not what seems to be going on here.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fandom and Hatedom

Even though this isn't exclusively a Star Wars blog, Star Wars is my most favorite of favorite things (narrowly leading, but leading nonetheless) and so you'll probably hear more about it than anything else on this blog.

My previous post outlined my position on the films, but it was tongue-in-cheek and a bit aggressive, so I just want to explain it in a more...diplomatic fashion.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

In Order to Call Yourself a Star Wars Fan, You Have To Like Star Wars

Has this happened to you? Have you met someone who claims to be a fan of Star Wars but then mercilessly berates the newer films as a travesty or worse?

Well, what are the main flaws so many people cite about the prequels?

1. Annoying Comic Relief:
http://www.starwars.com/watch/encyclo_no_i_will_not_be_quiet.html

2. A Whiny Main Character:
http://www.starwars.com/watch/encyclo_bad_motivator.html

3. A Poorly-Scripted "Romance":
http://www.starwars.com/watch/encyclo_youre_trembling.html

4. Cheesy Dialogue Performed with Too Little or Too Much Emotion:
http://www.starwars.com/watch/episode_5_i_am_your_father.html

I think what we've proved is that if you don't like the prequels, you don't like Star Wars.

A Few Brief Words on The Clone Wars

This will be brief for now, but I want to let you know what's in store.

There's quite a few Star Wars blogs that give reviews of the episodes of the Clone Wars series as they air. When I decided to take the plunge and start this blog, I thought "I'll have me some of that."

So when Season 5 premieres in the fall, I'll be giving my own episode dissertations. There will probably be better ones on some of the sites I've linked on the side, but what the hell. It's fun.

The difference here is that I'm still a Clone Wars newbie. I saw the pilot film in theatres because my wife won free tickets. I thought it was a decent Star Wars EU story, but I couldn't get past the CG. I'm all for computer animation when it works, but I find it overused and I thought the character models were ugly.

So I stayed away from the series. But over the years I kept hearing how awesome and Star-Warsy it was from all sections of fandom. So early this year, midway through Season 4, I finally said "You know what? I'll check it out."

I did and it was awesome.

Why am I telling you this? because if I'm going to start a series of Clone Wars reviews, some of you may wish to see what I thought of your favorite episodes from past seasons. Well, I'm sorry but you won't find it. Even though I caught up on Season 4 during the "May the 4th" event, I'm still out on 1-3. I've seen "Bombad Jedi" on YouTube. That's it.

Of course I'll see them eventually, but you won't see the type of episode-by-episode critique that I'll be doing from here on out. Just keep looking forward to the fall.

May the Force Be With You.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ATTACK OF THE CLONES!

It's been ten long years, and I've only just started to appreciate you like I should. Funny, because when I first saw you, the feeling was akin to dreaming. Happy 10th, Episode II!

There'll be MUCH more Star Wars stuff forthcoming.

UPDATE: A while back, I submitted my memory of seeing Clones for the first time to the Star Wars Prequel Association Society for their Clones Anniversary tribute. Well, it's up there now along with many other people's stories of seeing the film for the first time. Check it out in the link to the right.

Let's Go to the Drawing Room for a Sedative

As this is a review, there be spoilers ahead.

My father grew up watching "Dark Shadows", and thusly when the Sci Fi channel aired reruns of the series when I was but a lad, he got me hooked on it. I've forgotten most of the ins and outs over the years, though I've been watching it again in preparation for the big screen adaptation put forth by my favorite partners in crime, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp.

Well Hello There!

Well hello! I am on the interwebz! I have opinions that nobody else cares about, but they mean a lot to me. Therefore, I will use the virtual megaphone and cast it to the wind.

This blog is still under construction and will look prettier by the time I make a real post.