April 11, 2014

RIP Ultimate Warrior - Off To The Squared Circle In The Sky

As I said in my Wrestlemania review, coming out of this weekend, I was more excited to be a wrestling fan than I have been in a very long time. Unfortunately, that excitement has been tempered by the sad and untimely passing of the Ultimate Warrior this past Tuesday. If you were a wrestling fan in the late 80's and early 90's, then the Ultimate Warrior was part of your fandom, no question. Personally, I was a Randy Savage kid. In fact, my fandom of the big three went Savage, then Hogan, and then Warrior. But even with that said, Warrior's passing is definitely another little part of my childhood that’s now been snuffed out, and too early at that, because he was only 52 years old. He'd just mended his bridges with the WWE, was inducted into the Hall of Fame and was getting ready  to assume the role of some kind of goodwill ambassador with the company. And again, even though I was never the biggest Warrior fan, I was definitely looking forward to seeing what this would entail.
Continued after the jump!

The Ladies Of DC Comics Take A Trip Back To The 1940s Thanks To Ant Lucia

Ant Lucia is an accomplished artist that has a dope website and very unique style to his pieces. He gets the 'pin up' feel to everything he draws, and the realism in his work is balanced out by the fun nature of the characters poses and surroundings. It is not so serious, which makes all that he does really dope. Case in point: Check out his new series of DC Heroines and Villains with a 1940s feel. These are perfect, and the setting and background that each character is placed into fit wonderfully. And the ladies... well the ladies are looking pretty spectacular themselves. And the coolest part is the website QxM is offering these prints in a huge 18 x 24 format for a mere $ 14.95 !!! That is really cheap considering how big that print is. There are 10 all together, but some are available for purchase now and some are just available for pre-order to be shipped down the road. Either way, you can't go wrong for 15 bucks.... you can click here to check out the specific page on QxM to order Lucia's DC Bombshells, and you can view them all after the jump....

April 10, 2014

Hulk vs Superman by Ryan Ottley

It is the age old question that DC Comics and Marvel Comics fans toss at each other like grenades... who would win in a fight, Hulk or Superman? Most people are quick to offer an answer, but if you really delve into both super heroes invulnerability powers and epic strength it becomes a much harder question to ponder. A few years back I posted a crazy CGI fan film that put the Green Monster vs the Kryptonian Madman, and it points out just how hard it is for either dude to win. But it is fun to see others opinions on the situation, and who better to weigh in on this than one of CCD's favorite comic artist, Invincible's Ryan Ottley. Ottley is a fantastic artist, and one of his latest posts to his Deviant Art page (click here to check his Deviant page, it is pretty amazing) tackles the subject in a way that I certainly didn't expect. Do you think Ottley picked Hulk, or Supes? Here is a hint: It plays out the way I WOULD HOPE IT WOULD.... Check after the jump to find out for yourself.

Castle Greyskull Lego Build by Owen Burnett

I have great memories of my childhood, especially all the toys that were available to kids for them to play with. The late 70s/early 80s were a golden age of toys & action figures. All you have to do is search Joe Esq's 'Takin' You Back' columns on CCD to hear all about them. But those memories are all present in people my age... so any callback to those days always puts a smile on my face. While I had many loves when it comes to toy lines of my youth, one stands out among all the rest: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe !!! It was a great cartoon, and even better toy line. The figures were very much like their cartoon counterparts, they had killer vehicles and weapons, and the line was super expansive... yup, they pretty much made a toy of every character. But the highlight of the line were the Castle Greyskull and Snake Mountain play sets. Those two castles were to cool for their own good. They were big play sets that can be used with multiple figures (which was impressive because He-Man figures were much bigger than any others on the market. While Snake Mountain, with its sinister looks and spooky voice mic, was a better play set (in my humble opinion)... Castle Greyskull was majestic, and it was such a well executed replica of the original from the cartoon. So when my buddy, Reddit master Joe Fletch, sent me over this epic He-Man Lego build of Castle Greyskull.... well, lets huts say it warmed the cockles of my heart. The best parts have to be the Lego mini figs that were created for this build. They are beautiful (Jeff Bond, what say you on these given you're area of expertise). You can see all the pics by clicking on this Owen Burnett's Imgur page, and you can see my faves after the jump...

April 8, 2014

Wrestlemania XXX - A Recap by Joey Esq...


Well, WrestleMania 30 has come and gone and as I sit here writing this I have to say, I was definitely satisfied. In fact, I thought the show was great. Earlier in the weekend I said that I hadn't been this excited for a WrestleMania in probably 10 years. Turns out that's fitting because also haven't been this pleased with the results. Until this weekend, it's been 10 years since I've truly enjoyed being a wrestling fan. Sure there were bright spots between then and now, but for the most part I've found the WWE to be stale, boring and disappointing since WrestleMania 20 closed with two of my favorite wrestlers celebrating in the ring, both world champions, both having reached the pinnacle of their sport.

WrestleMania 20 was at Madison Square Garden. I was there, and getting to see Chris Benoit (one of the aforementioned favorite wrestlers, before he turned into a monster) beat HHH clean in the main event to become the World Champion will always be one of my fondest memories as a wrestling fan. In fact, until last night, that was probably my LAST fond memory as a wrestling fan*.  It makes sense then that the end result of WrestleMania ten years later has a lot of similarities. Daniel Bryan went over not only HHH, but also Randy Orton and Batista later in the night to finally, conclusively, become WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

More after the jump:

One Of My Favorite Stand Up Comedians Passed Away... RIP John Pinette 3/23/64 - 4/5/14

Growing up we had an HBO subscription in our house. Not cable, just HBO. It was one channel, and it was glorious. My dad had gotten the HBO service because of the Mike Tyson fights that were shown on there before Pay Per View boxing became the norm. Tyson was electric, and his fights every six month were justification enough to own the service. But one of the things that always drew me in was the amount of stand up comedy shows that HBO played. They didn't have the original programming that they are currently know for, and they didn't have the massive amounts of movies licensed to show... so they filmed comedians up on stage, doing their bits, and pre-packaged them in a way that was rarely seen before. Comedy specials have existed for years... but they were usually full length, from an hour to two hours of one comedian. HBO perfected the short form, 30 minute stand up specials that were perfect for introducing new comedies to a broad audience. They also were know for their 'Young Comedian' specials that featured 3-4 comedians doing 5-8 minute bits. It was a great time for the genre, and I was hooked. Andrew Dice Clay, Jeff Foxworthy, Jerry Seinfeld, Bob Nelson... these are just a few of the names that I saw rise and shine through HBO. But one particular comedian stood out to me: John Pinette.

Read More after the jump...

April 4, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier or How Marvel Keeps Making Nearly Perfect Movies & Why I Love Them - A CCD Rant by Mike D

There are a lot of bigger, better, corporately sponsored websites & blogs out there covering pop culture, movies, and comics that get the scoop long before a movie is commercially released. They get to sit down with the creators, pick the brains of the actors involved, and visit the sets to see whats going on. They get to critique the films with early viewings, sometimes being able to watch the movie multiple times even before it gets released. And that is all fine and good... there is a place for that. But this is not that kind of place. I am just a regular schnook, running a regular blog from my house... and the closest I can get to a scoop is watching the movie at a midnight showing the day it comes out. That is good enough for me, and often leads to some of my aforementioned CCD RANTS by Mike D. They are often cathartic for me, and they get a bunch of my readers and friends to comment about my pros & cons. Today, the morning after watching Marvel's latest opus 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier', you guys get another rant from me.

You're welcome.... you're all WELCOME!!!

So here it goes. My Pros (many) & Cons (a few) of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Enjoy it (or rip it apart) after the jump...

Hellboy Turn 20, Gets Some Awesome Fan Art Creations Courtesy Of Multiversity Comics

Hellboy is one of my favorite characters and could possibly be one of the most popular characters in the history of independent (not DC & Marvel) comics. Big Red is easily recognized not only from his adventures on the pages of Dark Horse Comics (courtesy of the great Mike Mignola, but also from the two films based on his comics by famed filmmaker Guillermo del Torro. The two movies made booku bucks and have lead to Red being more popular then ever. So it is no surprise that our old buddy is getting the full fledged bday barrage from not only DH Comics but tons of other outlets that spotlight comics as well. But few have gone just as far as Multiversity Comics in honoring the comic. Multiversity had over 80 professional artists do their best Hellboy pieces in honor of the 20th anniversary. They were posted daily through the Month of March, all leading to the grand celebration in April. The work that resulted is amazing, as each artist uses their unique styling to create vastly different yet familiar versions of the bug guy. Most DO NOT really look much like Mignola's original art, but they all feature some unique aspects put forth by Mignola through the years. At the end of the month Multiversity made a huge roundup of all the posts (over 80... wow) in one page, which makes for some really cool viewing and makes it a lot easier to compare and contrast all the pieces. You can find that full post by clicking here, and you can see my personal faves after the jump. There are many great pieces, so make sure you visit the above link to see 'em all. Happy bday Big Red... 20 years down, many more to go!!!

April 3, 2014

5,428 Days Later - The Phantom Menace Inspired Fan Film That Will Make You Smile Whether You Are A Prequel Apologist Or Not

5, 428 Days Later is a fan film that laments the creation of the first Star Wars prequel and how it has affected the lives of one particular person in general. Imagine if one lonely storm trooper wanted to whitewash the memory of The Phantom Menace from his memory. He would just destroy his copy of the VHS, and all would be past... right? Wrong... so wrong. Watch our down on his luck trooper struggle with trying to rid himself from the burden of the movie that he wished never happened... and all the hi jinks and creepiness that accompanies him on his adventures. Hello Greedo has constructed a cool one, so click here to check out more of the things the gang has done. Great music choices (very spooky), cool shots, and an interesting tie in to Star Wars - Yup, a perfect recipe for a cool fan film. Enjoy it in full after the jump...

These Are The Kind Of Reboots I Can Get Behind... Rosemary's Baby Comes To TV !!!

I am of the opinion that nothing is above a reboot or re-do... nothing at all. But I do believe that there must be a valid reason for doing it other than just for the fuck of it. Like when Stephen King wanted to re-do The Shining. He never liked the way Stanley Kubrick's version of the book turned out (which while I think Kubrick's movie is great it is VASTLY different than the book), and he wanted an adaption that could be closer to the book. Same thing went with the Total Recall reboot. The directors/producers promised something that would echo the original book by Philip K Dick... something that was severely lacking in Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. Or maybe you just want to tell a different kind of a story... like what Marc Webb is doing with the Spider-Man reboot or what Chris Nolan did with his Batman trilogy. There are reasons, and then there are VALID reasons. That is usually the only thing I want to see before I can get behind a reboot. And this DEFINITELY seems to be the case with NBC's remake of Rosemary's Baby. The new series (which will be 4 hours in total length) will have more screen time to explore more of the intricacies between Rosemary & the cult while she is pregnant with her baby, as well as weaving in more of the book by Ira Levin that may have been left on the cutting room floor by Roman Polanski. Even though Polanski's version is damn near perfect and doesn't need updating/re-doing, this idea is not really too bad. It updates the setting to modern times, one of the only knocks when trying to have someone new watch the film for the first time. It is just so hard for someone in 2014 to understand what everyday life was like in the late 1960s. Now the story is contemporary, so we can get a much more up to date version of the setting. Also, Zoe Saldana is set to take on Mia Farrow's role as Rosemary. That is something I can get behind, and it also adds the racial aspect to the mix. Jeffrey 'Malfoy Senior' Isaacs will be taking on Roman Castevet, a classic role turned in by Sidney Blackmer back in 1968. The mini series will be out this summer (I love original programming in the summer... especially HORROR programming!) and you can see the first short teaser trailer after the jump...