Monday, September 28, 2009

Zombie Apocquaman

Busy, horror filled weekend for me last Saturday and Sunday. The big event was going to Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary. If you're unfamiliar with it, you must live under a rock or not have a tv, as it is probably one of the biggest haunted houses around, featuring on shows like Ghost Hunters, MTVs Fear and others. The prison has a whole sordid history of its own, part of which they draw from for the attraction, which is made up of five separate sections that take you from admittance to the prison and onward. The cast is enthusiastic and play their parts well and the makeup is excellent as well. I had a good time and my wife and family got their chills and thrills as well. My only complaint is that the lines are rather long, and you'll spend a few hours in them easily, so be prepared to wait. It's worth it. In terms of the show, I wish they didn't use as many strobe lights and fog machines, but it didn't bother me much. Check it out.

Next up is Zombie Apocalypse. Not a movie or attraction, this is a Live Arcade game for the Xbox 360 that plays a lot like Robotron with the undead. You move with one stick and fire with the other. There are numerous types of enemies and just as many weapon drops to dispatch them with through seven unique areas and around 50+ levels, each getting harder and introducing new zombies and strategies to use. In addition to weapons, there are hazards you can kill zombies with by leading them/shooting them into such as chipper shredders, cremation ovens, turbines, helicopters and more. Simple, but addictive and you can play with three friends online or on your couch. I haven't tried the multiplayer but I can heartily endorse the single player version and can't wait to kill some undead with friends. For 800 points (ten bucks), I can think of worse things to spend it on. Hopefully they'll come out with a mall level to play on, which I think is the only thing sorely missing, maybe an island or an Etruscan tomb too.

Last but not least is the last part of the title. Namely, Aquaman. I've been working on a few Black Lantern figures for a Halloween GL display and he's the second one I've gotten about done. In fact, I was just doing some touch ups on him tonight. Add a ring and I'll be done. Then it's time for Superman and Martian Manhunter to join the fray. I might pick up a Firestorm DCUC to add to the army later, but for now I have my hands full. Pictures of him and Hawkman to come.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Heavy Metal

Man, it's amazing the difference a good paint makes, especially a metallic one. I just cracked out the Vallejo Silver and it's amazing, covering even black in almost one coat. I've gushed about the paints before but I have to do it again. This stuff is amazing. Much better than the watery craft stuff I was using. However, the craft grey and brown I just bought are fantastic too. Americana, I believe. They almost coated the Black Lantern Hawkman I'm working on in one or two coats as well, even with thinning. Very nice. I'm almost done with him at this rate. Just need to do the pants and detail the boots and sculpt a ring, maybe another day of work. I'm psyched.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Night Continues

Got some good comics today, the main of which being Blackest Night #3. I'm enjoying it more. Still some gratuitous deaths bue at least they give us a way to stop the Black Lanterns right now. Mera continues to be awesome and really needs a bigger role in the DCU, maybe as a replacement for Aquaman. She is what a leader and a hero should be. Hal and Barry get some good moments and it's nice to see Ray Palmer in something other than back issues. Building up to a nice bit of action, I think. Makes me want to make more Black Lantern figures. Or you know, finish the ones I'm doing right now.

Also of note: Batman and Robin #4 continues to be a good read with a new dynamic duo on the prowl in addition to the titular one. Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth is beautiful and hilarious, as a buddy with his zombie head comic should be. JSA: Engines of Faith should be in the regular title, as it is awesome and puts the JSA up against a credible and devious threat in the form of Kobra. ASM was alright, though focused mainly on MJ, who I didn't need an extra-sized issue on, but that's ok. That's it for now. Good times. Pick them up.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Teeth

As I sit here on a lazy Sunday, sick and pumped full of vitamin C, I figured it would be a good time to review the movie I watched on Friday night, which is Teeth. This is a fun little coming of age flick where the lead figures out she has something wrong with her....down there. She's big into the cause of celibacy because of it, afraid of what might happen if she was to fulfill her lust. Well, when someone tries to force themselves upon her, we find out what will happen, and I haven't seen this much meanness towards male genitalia since The Killer Condom. There's lots of blood. Be prepared.

Despite the severed male parts, I rather enjoyed this movie. The lead actress fills the role well as she runs the gamut of terror at what is happening to her to confidence and control over it. The cinematography is well done, using a shot of a nuclear power plant behind the house to suggest that her mutation might be from radiation. Her mother in the film is sick too so it might be from that as well, though I don't believe they get into the cause. It's a fun way to spend an hour or so and some of the creepiest scenes actually involve the religious nuts that are part of the celibacy group that the main character is part of. Come to think of it, the oversexed characters aren't that sympathetic either. Which makes sense, as the film is about losing control and then taking it back.

Check it out.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Finishing Touches

It's always a nice feeling when I can finish off some figures I've been working on awhile. In this case, it's Composite Hal Jordan and Red Lantern Laira, both of which I started well before the move but then the move and unpacking intervened so it's taken awhile to get back in the customizing groove for them. Now that I have, it's rather rewarding to sit here and tell nobody about it while the paint dries. I should have pictures up soon. Couldn't get my light box out of the garage tonight, mainly because I'm tired. Soon.

Tonight. You.

District 9

Among other things this weekend, including the sublime Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, I actually got to see a current film, this one being District 9, which is a parable of apartheid told with aliens in South Africa and also a fun action film. About 20 years ago some aliens showed up on our doorstep above Johannesburg. They landed, tried to make friends and got shoved into camps and ghettos and formed their own little community while the rest of the world just wants to be rid of them and Nigerians try to scam the hell out of them for cat food. On the day of evicting the residents of District 9 to move them to a different and worse land, the lead agent in the relocation, Wicus, gets sprayed with a strange fluid and suddenly the man who is trying to get rid of the aliens finds himself needing their help.

The film was based on a shorter film by the director, which got him noticed and funded to make this flick. I'm glad he did. It's an action film with a bit of a political subtext but full of thrills and alien weaponry that never overstays its welcome. It's interesting to watch as the lead starts to understand the creatures that everyone reviles and how he helps them in the end. The actors are good, though nobody I recognize, and I look forward to the dvd so I can understand what the hell the South Africans are saying--Wicus in particular--as they have some heavy accents.

The special effects are great and never detract from the film and the idea itself feels like a more fun and brutal Alien Nation, which also dealt with aliens looking for a new home, though they merge a bit better with our society thanks to James Caan. But I digress. District 9 is a fun film and really shouldn't be missed, a breath of fresh alien air on a scene that seems to be catering to bad vampire movies and remakes lately. Check it out.