Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Live Midnight Justice League Release Party

In case you missed it earlier tonight, here’s the live vidcast from the All Things Fun! Midnight Release Party and Sale, featuring the many origins of the Justice League of America, Flashpoint #5, Justice League #1, and Rob Kelly from The Aquaman Shrine.

Watch live streaming video from allthingsfun at livestream.com

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Fright Night 2011

Fright Night ~ Now I’ve never seen the original film that this 2011 remake is based on but when I saw that there was a special movie premiere on board the Disney Dream of Fright Night starring fan favorite “Doctor Who” David Tennant, I had to be there. The audience, mostly tweens for an R rated flick, was the polar opposite of the other experiences I had had in the Buena Vista Theatre on board the ship. The kids weren’t all right. Let’s put it this way, up until about five minutes into the film, I might as well have been at the Cherry Hill Loews. It chilled out after that except for one or two comments (clever for the most part) and of course about a dozen screams and jumps during the scary parts.

I was surprised at how clever this was, and rumor has it the original was as well. I will have to Netflix it to find out, but that’s a good thing as it’s not necessarily a movie I would. I’m rather ambivalent about slasher movies – which to my misinformation this isn’t even though I thought it was. Some are good and some are bad, I’m not a lover or a hater, they’re just not usually my thing. Vampire flicks on the other hand, even after the recent deluge of vampire media in the last decade or so, are a guilty pleasure, but again, some can really stink as well.

This new Fright Night stands up well on the good side. There’s a lot of sarcasm, injokes and nudge-nudge-wink-wink going on here but it’s a lot of fun. Anton Yelchin, Checkov from the new Star Trek, is a young man whose neighborhood is quickly vanishing one by one and all the evidence points to his new neighbor, Colin Farrell doing a Bullseye imitation sans accent, being a vampire and doing the dirty work. He turns to a Criss Angel type entertainer famed for his vampire slayer magic act, the tenth Doctor, David Tennant, for help. Toni Collette is always a joy to see on the screen, and the cameos by Chris Sarandon (from the original film) and Lisa Loeb were fun.

At first appearing to be quite a jerk, Tennant is the highlight of the film, along with Farrell’s subtle but decisively evil vampire. There are shocks and blood galore, but not much real gore, more humor than gore really. There are a few very frightening scares, but if you’re paying attention you should be able to see them coming. The new Fright Night is a fairly entertaining horror movie, worth checking out.

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A Very Scary Toy

All Things Fun! DC Comics Midnight Release Party and Sale

Tomorrow night at midnight (Tuesday night, Wednesday morning), I, along with co-hosts Allison Eckel and Ed Evans, will be vidcasting live at the All Things Fun! DC Comics Midnight Release Party and Sale. Please come on by, say hello, and don’t forget to pick up your copies of the new Justice League #1 and Flashpoint #5.

Here’s the official word:

“You may never find a better time to try out comics or return to the hobby! This promises to be a great entry point for new readers and a fresh compelling, re-launch to thrill returning readers. It has never been easier to follow the adventures of some of comics most iconic characters including Superman, Batman & Robin, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman & Green Lantern.

And it all starts Tuesday Night (or should I say Wednesday Morning) with the release of Flashpoint #5 & Justice League #1. And then the New 52 continues with approximately 13 new #1 comics for the next four Wednesdays until you’ve got 52 new #1 comics released in September. It’s not too late to reserve your favorite comics from the DC Comics New 52. You can visit www.allthingsfun.net for details.

The party begins Tuesday Night (8/30) at 11:30pm as we host our Flashpoint #5 & Justice League #1 Midnight Release Event! We’ll have refreshments, doorprizes and if that wasn’t enough we’ve got a huge All Things Fun! DC Comic Sale. All DC Comics items* are on-sale including: 50% off DC Comics and 20% off all DC Comics Graphic Novels, Apparel, Action Figures, Toys & more.

It’s also your chance to be part of the All Things Fun! Weekly Vidcast! We’ll be streaming the event live on the internet. Can’t make it? You can watch it live at www.allthingsfun.net/LIVE

And then at 12:01am (Wednesday, 8/31) we’ll begin selling Flashpoint #5 and Justice League #1 at All Things Fun!

Hope to see everyone Tuesday Night, 8/30 at 11:30pm to help celebrate the end (Flashpoint #5) and the new beginning (Justice League #1) of the DC Comic Universe.”

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French Fry Diary 261: Enchanted Garden, Disney Dream

The Help

The Help ~ This is another flick that I saw on board the Disney Dream on my recent vacation. They gave a fairly large and beautiful old-fashioned style theater, and for this first run film, every seat was filled and there were folks standing and even sitting on the stairs even though they weren’t supposed to. There’s a reason I mention this that I’ll get to later.

The Help, based on the bestselling book by Kathryn Stockett, is a period piece set in early 1960s Jackson, Mississippi. Some of the hairstyles, wardrobes, sets and cars were probably filched from the set of “Mad Men” they look so authentic. The history is strong and accurate, which for me is important as I get irritated when the facts are wrong or timelines are mixed. My suspension of belief has a low tolerance for that sort of stuff. Don’t even get me started on Forrest Gump.

The film is an ensemble piece about a struggling young writer putting together a book of the experiences of black maids and their feelings about the white women whose children they were raising. Set in the hotbed of the civil rights movement, it explores and reveals a side that is rarely talked about in the history books, and shows that subtle racism is just as bad as overt racism. Well, it’s all bad, but back then, it was a matter if degrees.

The performances in all cases are amazing, and if this wasn’t a summer release, I’d say it’s an easy sweep for the Oscars, but unfortunately the noms are usually later in the year. Shame. Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard would all be major contenders to get statues. And although it’s a small part, Sissy Spacek steals the movie.

There were no seats empty in the theater, and a young African-American woman sat next to me with her family behind her – as they were split up by showing up late. I don’t know whether she was aware if the history of this film. I am always amazed when I see films like Apollo 13 and Titanic and hear younger folks express ignorance of the endings. This young woman was completely pulled into the movie and was struck by a full emotional spectrum. She laughed, cheered, clapped, but mostly cried, sniffed and sobbed. Yeah, it’s that powerful a film, and made that much more so because it happened.

Highly recommended, do not miss, The Help is easily one of the best movies of 2011.

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French Fry Diary 260: Cabanas, Disney Dream

Winnie the Pooh 2011

Winnie the Pooh ~ I saw this one not in the theaters, but as an added treat on the first night of my vacation onboard the Disney Dream, and let’s get real, nothing trumps seeing a Disney flick, like seeing a Disney flick on the Disney boat. They have built, on all their ships, beautiful old-fashioned movie theaters full of the glory of yesteryear where there are no bad seats and it feels like an event to see any film. Last year, seeing Old Dogs on board made the hell of that cinematic experience wonderful. Loews in Cherry Hill should take note. Atmosphere counts for a lot.

Unlike Old Dogs, I liked Winnie the Pooh quite a lot, mostly because Tigger is my favorite Disney character, I even liked The Tigger Movie, and that was pretty bad, although it was Gone with the Wind compared to Old Dogs. I love A.A. Milne’s characters, by Disney or otherwise, but have not been fond of newer versions of their adventures. This new animated film is respectful of the original The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and is a proper next chapter.

There is a mix of both old and new voice cast, with Jim Cummings taking on both Tigger and Pooh as well as a few other additions like Craig Ferguson and John Cleese. Only one oddity sticks out and that’s Jack Boulter as Christopher Robin, and that’s only because it’s markedly different, not wrong. And also, just like a Marvel movie, you must wait through the credits to the very end. No, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury doesn’t ask Tigger to join the Avengers (awww…) but it’s still well worth it.

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A Philadelphia Legend Passes Away

The Universal Language

The Bride and I went to Finland a few years back to see the Eurovision Song Contest finals in Helsinki. For the night of the finals, The Bride got a ticket but I did not. So I ended up at a party in the city. These were friends of friends, and only a few folks there spoke English. As it happened however, many of the people at the people were similarly ‘orphaned’ with partners at the actual show. What was odd, was that there were many people there who did not just speak English, but did not even speak the same language. There was Finnish, Japanese, English, etc., it was a house party of Babel.

When I arrived at the party there were still a few hours left before Eurovision came on TV. So there was a roomful of folks, eating and drinking, and sitting in front of a big screen television – but no one was talking. Well, we tried to talk, we just weren’t doing very well at actually communicating.

Then someone turned on the game thingy and we all began taking turns playing a game. It was a simple game, understandable to all of us, and we bonded quite quickly while playing and taking turns. The game was about microscopic creatures eating smaller microscopic creatures while trying not to be eaten by even bigger ones. As the main little guy got bigger and evolved, so did the prey and the predators. It was fun, and by the time Eurovision started, we were all pretty much Babel friends. I never knew what the game was called, but I liked it quite a bit.

So when I finally figured out how to download demos from the PlayStation Store, there was a game that looked similar, so I got it. Lo and behold, I was right, that game from Helsinki was called Nucleus.

I was able to play it for a while. There doesn’t seem to be much more to it than I had seen before. Mostly racing the clock, dodging cells and grabbing sunshiny things. This is a good demo download, very much a game I would consider buying to try and play. Also, it might be a step toward world peace. I wonder if President Obama has a PS3?