Friday, September 4, 2009

DVD Review: Boot Camp (MGM) by Brian

Didn't I see this on Springer?

Every year, "troubled" kids are sent to correctional camps for one reason or another. Usually because parents don't want to act like parents.

Boot Camp is a fictional account of what happens in these camps.

To sum it up Sophie (Mila Kunis) is one of these "troubled teenagers" whose parents send her off to the rehabilitation camps, where they use psychical & psychological torture. Her boyfriend Ben (Gregory Smith) doesn't believe it & tries to break her out.

I found the message that director Christian Duguay was trying to convey extremely pretentious. Duguay was trying to say that these programs don't work. While I don't always agree with this programs to "rehabilitate" kids, they wouldn't be necessary it these parent would stop this stupid "time out" & PC crap & use some discipline.

But I digress. Overall the film wasn't bad, but it wasn't that exciting or thrilling at all. It was a bit predictable at times.

While not the worst thriller I've ever seem, it's far from the best.

At least worth the price of a rental.

Brian Isaacs
Executive Editor/Owner

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Toy Review: NECA Street fighter IV Chun-Li Toy review by Dean René Middleton

NECA Street Fighter IV Round 2: Chun-Li

After what had seemed like almost 10 years of uncertainty, Capcom finally delivered the “4th” chapter in the Street Fighter saga to fighting game fans worldwide. It was released in the first quarter of 2009. And although the game has become a huge commercial success and put the Street Fighter franchise back into the public eye, there were many mixed and varied opinions by long time street fighter fans as to just how credible Street Fighter 4 actually was as a sequel.

Many of the hardcore players felt that it was a step backwards in game play from other titles such as 3rd Strike or Alpha 3, while on the other hand, there were just as many fans who loved its more traditional “back to basics” game play mechanics. I was one of the people that fell into the first category, and as a result, I completely failed to get swept up in any of the Street Fighter 4 hype.

But just last weekend, while out doing my usual hunt for new and interesting toys to add to my collection, I noticed that the second wave of NECAS figures based upon the Street Fighter 4 licences were in stock and sitting on the shelves. The second wave consists of Akuma, Guile and Chun-Li. I had already seen the first wave of these figures which consisted of Crimson Viper, Ryu, and Ken, and I was less than impressed, since I had been a follower of SOTA’S 15th Anniversary Street Fighter line of figures. And one of the problems that I had with the SF4 game in particular was the art direction, especially in terms of its depiction of the series mainstays Ken and Ryu. And so although the SF4 wave 1 figures appeared to be extremely faithful to the original design style of the game, they simply failed to appeal to me and capture my interest.

But however when I saw the 2nd wave of these figures, this Chun-Li figure in particular really appealed to me, so as a result she ended up in my toy collection. So, how does she hold up?

Well, in the packaging Chun-Li looks great, hence why I bought her. She comes in the familiar NECA player select clamshell package, and the figure is clearly visible and is packaged sensibly. And this means that there is little room for bent legs or warped joints, which is always a plus.

The back of the box features a few of Chun-Li’s vital statistics [no, it still doesn’t list her weight after all these years] and it has the names of the other characters that are available in the wave. To be fair, I must say that I did like the packaging for this figure a great deal. The colour scheme is nice, and it does tie it in directly with the Street Fighter IV theme.

Outside of the packet the Chun-Li figure is simply awesome. I don’t really know where to start, because she really eclipsed my expectations and reservations that I had when buying her.

So, I guess I’ll start with the hips and legs. Anyone who knows the character of Chun-Li will probably be familiar with the way that her legs have been depicted by the various Capcom artists over the years.

And this is an aspect that I feel had yet to be truly realised in a super articulated action figure of this character for some time. The SOTA toys 15th Anniversary Chun-Li figure while being very good also fell a little bit short in this department, by giving the Chun-Li figure very skinny legs, which were relatively the same size of Cammys.

But this time round the sculptors at NECA have gone all out and really nailed the wide hips and powerful legs that make Chun-Li, CHUN-LI.

There is a small compromise for this stylistic representation though, and it is that proportionately speaking her upper body is very short in comparison to the length of her legs. But personally I feel it really works well and is not really noticeable to the untrained eye, due to the length of the blue skirt that hangs down from her waist. It’s a very clever optical illusion and I feel it works very well.

Chin-Li’s face is also fantastic and is sculpted to a very high standard. Her face looks powerful, but at the same time very feminine which is exactly as it should be. I mean, she is the “strongest woman in the world” after all.

And the paint is also excellent. I took the time to examine a number of the other figures on the shelves, and the Paint apps appeared to be very consistent from the selection that I saw.

In fact, the overall paint quality on the figure is just superb. The tones of the colours are just right, especially on the legs, and it reflects the colour scheme and shading style of the SF IV game exceptionally. And remember, this is a complement coming from someone who isn’t exactly the biggest fan of the SF IV art style.

Chun-Li also features a selection of interchangeable hands, and there are 5 of them in total. This is great because they have very strong pins which allow you to remove and replace them with ease, without the fear of the pins snapping in the process, which is a common fault with these types of removable hands.

Chun-Li’s famous spiked Bracelets are also removable, which is another nice bonus. In total the Chun-Li figure features around 35 points of articulation [it says 31 on the box, but she actually has doubled hinged elbows and knees]. This is fantastic because she has all the joints to recreate the vast majority of her most famous poses. And all of the joints are very discrete and are well hidden and do not detract from the overall cohesiveness of the figure.

Well, all in except for one area. Come on, with such a glowing review I'm sure there had to be at least one small negative. And there is, and it comes down to the way that the area underneath Chun-Li’s blue skirt has been handled.

It’s difficult to talk about such an area without sounding like a bit of a pervert but I’m being serious here. When I lifted up the skirt, I noticed that the whole crutch area looked a little messy, with many visible joints. And the length of the T joint between her legs seemed very long and was sticking out in the middle of the crotch area.

I have spent some time thinking about this, and I can understand why this approach was taken, since due to the way that Chun-Li’s thighs ride up so high from a side view, this is probably the only way that it could have been done, while retaining the stylised powerful leg look. But at the same time, I think that the T crotch piece could have perhaps benefited from slightly more refinement. And that they also could have sculpted a slight line to show the divisions of the gluteus maximus.

But to be fair, that is a very minor issue in a sea of positives. Chun-Li Stands at approximately 7” tall, so unfortunately she does not fit in with the previous 6” SOTA line too well. But this is a fair deal. This figure looks fantastic, feels very solid, was well painted and defiantly justified its price tag.

While I doubt that I’ll be getting all of the figures in this line I will certainly keeping my eye out for my favourites. It’s a bit of a shame that we probably won’t be seeing characters such as Alex, Hugo, Gill, Dudley, Guy or Cody in this line. But based on the strength of this figure, I really hope that NECA gets to produce all of the characters from the other Street Fighter games at this level of quality.

So to sum up, all I can say is that if you love Street Fighter then I’m pretty sure that you will love this figure.

Review and Photographs by:

Dean René Middleton
Staff Reviewer


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Comic Review: The Life And Times Of Savior 28 #5 (IDW) By Matt Hill

As the the title suggests, “The Life And Times Of Savior 28” is a short series chronicling events in the life of Savior 28. Savior 28 is that archetypal super hero that embodies virtue, and is all powerful(it's right there in the name). This issue, #5, is about the hero's downfall.

The majority of the book is narrative from the old, bitter sidekick as he writes the unfolding events. This fact is really unfortunate for the reader, as the sidekick is unlikeable, and critical of, as it happens, everything. This, however, fits perfectly with the rest of book, as it is ever showing how imperfect the world is, and how everyone in it is ridiculous. This could have worked if the writers of this story did anything to discredit this character, or offer his point of view as that of one character, rather than that of the book itself, but no, the sidekick is the book. This fact is supported by the actions, and word of each character in this book conforming to the sidekick's opinion of them. I must also mention, that the entire book is nearly filled with this characters over sized dialogue boxes, even though he is not in much of the actual story at all.

His views on things are further verified by the art work. While the art work is hands down the best part of this comic book, that isn't saying very much. The style of the bright, cartoonish artwork is a throwback to past ages, and is that of a campier book, as if to say, the dark nature of this comic doesn't make it any less funny. The character illustration, much like the narrative, lacks all subtlety, and usually to the point of caricature. Some characters even have bold dark circles under their eyes at their worse moments. Savior 28 himself is the most foolish character, and is draw as such. There is even this panel of Savior 28 in the sixties, bearing a remarkable resemblance to Will Ferrell as a super hero, getting hit by a beer can thrown by an unseen protester shouting an obscenity(my favorite panel in the book by the way).

I would recommend that you avoid this comic.

Written by J.M. DeMatteis
Art by Mike Cavallaro


Matt Hill
Staff Reviewer

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DVD News: Warner Home Video distributes new images from Superman/Batman: Public Enemies

Warner has release new pictures from the upcoming Superman/Batman: Public Enemies DVD.

A co-production of Warner Premiere, DC Comics and Warner Bros.
Animation, the full-length animated film will be distributed by Warner Home Video on September 29, 2009.

In the film, United States President Lex Luthor uses the oncoming trajectory of a Kryptonite asteroid to frame Superman and declare a $1 billion bounty on the heads of the Man of Steel and his “partner in crime,” Batman. Heroes and villains alike launch a relentless pursuit of Superman and Batman, who must unite – and recruit help – to stave off the action-packed onslaught, stop the asteroid, and uncover Luthor’s devious plot to take command of far more than North America.

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies is based on the popular Jeph Loeb/Ed McGuinness comic series/graphic novel. Animation legend Bruce Timm (Superman Doomsday, Green Lantern) is executive producer. Michael Goguen (Justice League: The New Frontier) is supervising producer. Sam Liu (The Batman) is directing a script written by Stan Berkowitz (Justice League: The New Frontier).

Suggested captions for attached images:

Under direction from U.S. President Lex Luthor, Captain Atom leads the pursuit of the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight in Superman/Batman:
Public Enemies, the next DC Universe animated original movie, which will be distributed September 29, 2009 by Warner Home Video. Xander Berkeley provides the voice of Captain Atom.

Cold-centric villains (from left) Mr. Freeze, Icicle and Captain Cold are just three of the rogues gallery hoping to score the $1 billion bounty with the capture of the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight in
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, the next DC Universe animated original movie. Warner Home Video will distribute the film on September 29.

Lady Shiva gets the upper hand with a blindside attack on Batman in
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, the next DC Universe animated original movie. Warner Home Video will distribute the film on September 29, 2009.

Unlike his super hero colleagues under the direction of U.S. President Lex Luthor, Major Force opts for aggression over diplomacy in trying to capture the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight in Superman/Batman:
Public Enemies, the next DC Universe animated original movie, Warner Home Video will distribute the film on September 29, 2009. Ricardo Chavira (Desperate Housewives) provides the voice of Major Force.

Kevin Conroy (Batman) and Tim Daly (Superman) reprise their longtime series roles in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, the next DC Universe animated original movie. Warner Home Video will distribute the film on September 29.

From out of the shadows emerge two ominous figures -- super villains Mongul and Solomon Grundy -- to add another dimension to the epic battles in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, the next DC Universe animated original movie. Warner Home Video will distribute the film on September 29, 2009.

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