Monthly Archives: May 2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for the Week of 5-30-2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live every week at All Things Fun! – the area’s best comics and gaming store, located in West Berlin, NJ.

Co-hosts Allison Eckel, and Glenn Walker discuss the new comics out this week in wicked high definition video, and also available on the YouTube. See it here! The much-missed Ed Evans will be back in a couple weeks.

Discussion featured in this special episode includes: The week in Marvel including Mutants, Avengers, and Hulks, Ravagers #1, Batman Beyond Unlimited #4, Batman Annual #1, America’s Got Powers #2, Supercrooks #3, other indies, Star Trek meets Doctor Who, Powers #10, the Zenescope offerings of the week, Allison’s kids comics including Superman Family Adventures #1, and the trades of the week including Batman Death By Design by Chip Kidd.

Be sure to check out the swell new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

Special thanks go to Dina Evans who keeps us all in line, and on the straight and narrow, and runs the show from behind the scenes, even when she’s on vacation.

And be back here every Wednesday (or Tuesdays at midnight) to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

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Incident at the Atco Multiplex

One of my recent downloads from the PlayStation Store has been X-Men, not a PS3 or PS2 dealie, but the real classic arcade side scroller. Old folks like me may remember this bad boy from the early 1990s when arcade games still existed where everyone could get to them as opposed to antique stores and othersuch places.

The X-Men arcade game was by Konami, and was as I said, a side scrolling fight game. You could play, with other players, anywhere from one to six different X-Men characters. The choices available were Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, or Dazzler, and you fought your way through multiple levels of Sentinels of varying power levels past bosses who were all major and minor X-villains all under the control of Magneto. Simple game, but for the time, this was a major thing.

I was thrilled to find it on the PS3. Ray was unimpressed when I told him, I was full of the excitement of a kid on Christmas morning. “This is why you like it,” he said, “It’s moron simple, you just hit stuff.” That may be, and it may be simple, as I said, but it was cool. Now in the age of an Avengers movie that makes over a billion dollars at the box office, but for the time, it was awesome, and it takes me back in time. Then nobody knew who the X-Men were, and comic recognition was low, so for those in the know, an X-Men arcade game was a special thing.

I remember distinctly the X-Men arcade being at the Atco Multiplex movie theater. The Multiplex was built on top of the old Atco Drive-In, a place of many childhood memories for me. I remember climbing to the top of the screen one afternoon with a friend when we were kids. I also remember seeing probably my very first movies, either Jungle Book or Doctor Doolittle there, when I was much much younger. And of course I took dates there when I was much much older. Eventually it was demolished, paved over and replaced by the Multiplex. The Multiplex itself is now long gone, a deserted church the last time I checked.

The Multiplex had a gigantic lobby, with videogames on either wall, and at the height of its popularity, the crowds were always around the X-Men machine. I still remember the Friday night I saw the end of the game. I kept my date waiting, and we were late for the flick we were there to see, but I saw three players – Wolverine, Storm, and Colossus – I still remember finish the game. This was a huge thing. How rare it was to see someone win a videogame, and I saw it that night. I remember the crowd, probably two dozen people at the end, cheered.

And that was the golden age of videogames. Say what you like, Ray, I’m going to enjoy playing my new hitting stuff game, and when I win it, which I hope I can, it will be a crowd from a dead movie theatre from over two decades ago I hear cheering.

Battleship The Movie

Battleship ~ There been a lot of bad press and even worse word of mouth on this flick, and let’s be honest here, this is a movie based on a board game. And not a game that lends itself well to a plot, mind you, this is not Clue we’re talking about here. All that said, and bear in mind, this is by no means a brilliant movie (it’s no Doctor Zhivago) but it is pretty good flick for one made based on a board game.

The acting is pretty bad by most here, I would say below soap opera level, no offense meant to soap opera actors, but it doesn’t bode well for folks like Liam Neeson and Alexander Skarsgard. The special effects of the completely indecipherable alien ships are the draw here, as it should be for a summer blockbuster. They are kinda like rejects from the Transformers movies, only not, but they are impressive. Also impressive is how they actually tie aspects of the film to the specifics of the game “Battleship,” that, I thought was clever. Spoilers, if there are such a thing here, but it was really sweet that the old guys who fought in World War II and their antique battleship are the guys who save the world, especially nice in lieu of Memorial Day this past weekend.

As far as the rest of the cast goes, Rihanna steals the movie, she is a delight. Taylor Kitsch, who I have loved as both Gambit and John Carter, is almost a cipher here. He’s terrible in this role, paper not even cardboard. Liam Neeson… well, if you have seen the preview, you have seen almost all of his scenes. Talk about calling it in, taking the cash and running. I did however also like John Tui and Tadanobu Asano, the latter of which is being called the Johnny Depp of Japan – they were both quite good.

The rest of the movie? It gets not only monotonous and predictable but it actually manages to make those big impressive alien ships get boring after a while. And the jumping from ship to ship to ship when they get sunk got a bit ridiculous after a while. We all knew we would beat the aliens, but it got so I wanted to yell “Get on with it already!” more than a few times.

All in all, it was an enjoyable two hours of mindless popcorn movie fluff. It wasn’t bad enough to want my money back, but as I said, this wasn’t a great film either. I don’t think it deserves the bad word of mouth it has been getting either. Come on folks, it’s not like this was Moulin Rouge! or The Dark Knight.

French Fry Diary 377: Outta Philly

In-Store Signing with Writer Mark Poulton

Saturday (that’s tomorrow), May the 26th, All Things Fun! is hosting Mark Poulton, the new co-scripter for DC Comics’ The Savage Hawkman.

Mark begins his co-scripting duties with issue #9 out this week, collaborating with comics veteran Rob Liefield and artist Joe Bennett. You might also know Mark from his work on Avengelyne from Image Comics, and his own Koni Waves and A Cat Named Haiku.

So come on down to All Things Fun! in West Berlin New Jersey, meet Mark Poulton, pick up a copy of his new Savage Hawkman #9, and get him to sign it for you!

And if you missed the ATF! Vidcast interview with Mark Poulton, check that out here.

Eurovision 2012 Finalists

Here are the final 26 entrants for the Grand Finals of the Eurovision Song Contest for 2012:

United Kingdom, France, Italy, Azerbaijan, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Albania, Russia, Iceland, Cyprus, Romania, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Moldova, Ukraine, Serbia, FYR Macedonia, Malta, Turkey, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Lithuania.

Clicking on each nation above will take you to the YouTube music video for their song entry. The Final will be held on Saturday, May 26, 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

If you’re in a participating nation, who will you be voting for? And if not, who are you rotting for? Let us know!

French Fry Diary 376: Burger King Hash Browns

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for the Week of 5-23-2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live every week at All Things Fun! – the area’s best comics and gaming store, located in West Berlin, NJ.

Co-hosts Ed (Chew’s Brother) Evans, Allison (The Astonished No Marvel Girl) Eckel, and the Savage Glenn Walker discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, in wicked high definition, and available on the YouTube. See it here!

Discussion featured in this extra special Savage Hawkman extended episode includes: The Savage Hawkman #9 by Rob Liefield, Mark Poulton and Joe Bennett, The Flash #9 by Francis Manapul, Night of the Owls, villain POVs, Batman Inc. #1, Justice League Dark #9, Green Lantern New Guardians #9, Fables #117, Marvel Zombies Destroy #2, Secret Avengers #27, Astonishing X-Men #50, Chew #26, Kevin Smith’s Bionic Man #9, more indies, Allison’s kids comics, Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man #2, Ed’s trades, and our special interview with Savage Hawkman co-scripter Mark Poulton!

And don’t forget Savage Hawkman co-scripter Mark Poulton will be at All Things Fun! 1:30 PM on Saturday, May the 26th, for a special comics signing! Come on down!

Be sure to check out the swell new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

Special thanks go to Dina Evans who keeps us all in line, and on the straight and narrow, and runs the show from behind the scenes. And be back here every Wednesday (or Tuesdays at midnight) to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

The Coke Freestyle

Anyone who knows me, and some folks who follow this blog, and especially my French Fry Diary closely, know that I am a Coca-Cola man. I will always take a Coke over a Pepsi, a Coke over coffee, heck, even a Coke before a water. It’s just the way I prefer my refreshment, and my caffeine.

The last few years a phenomenon called the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine has come to my attention. Previously it was only available in the south, but recently a few have popped up in many local Burger Kings. I was elated, but not by the Burger King part, but this truly was a reason to go to Burger King.

The Coca-Cola Freestyle is a machine, like a thin soda machine, but the features are the alley where the soda is dispensed, and the touch screen above it. The touch screen is where the magic happens. You get to choose the brand of soft drink, it’s sugar content and the flavor of it.

For instance, you can choose from Coke, Sprite, Minute Maid, Fanta, Dasani, Hi-C, Powerade, Vault, Pibb, Barq’s, or Seagrams. Then you can choose if you’d like caffeine or sugar (the diet soda variety), and then you can even go farther and get your selection in a flavor of your choice like vanilla, lime, lemon, grape, orange, cherry, raspberry, peach, strawberry, lemonade, fruit punch or even cherry vanilla.

Literally, if you have the stamina, and are thirsty, and Burger King doesn’t throw you out, you could be there all day. Truly Coca-Cola heaven.

French Fry Diary 375: Mixto