Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for 8-31-2011

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live in a real comics and gaming store in West Berlin, NJ - All Things Fun! - co-hosts Ed (the retailer) Evans, Allison (the fangirl) Eckel and Glenn (the misanthrope) Walker discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, now in high definition, and also available on YouTube. See it here!

The first segment includes discussion of the following topics: All Things Fun! at Tunes, Flashpoint #5, and the new Justice League #1.

The discussion continues in segment two including: Ed's Marvels, Warren Ellis' Secret Avengers #16, Spider-Island, Mad Love, Ed's indies, pin-up covers, Ed's trades - the real trades, and the new pantsless Aquaman villains.

In the final special summer third segment with Thomas, the All Things Fun! Kids Vidcast features a nine-year old kid's opinions on comics and toy-related genres. This segment includes his thoughts on: Sonic the Hedgehog #228, Star Wars Adventures Chewbacca and the Slavers of the Shadowlands, Justice League #1, Decepticon cap, Marvel Frenzies, the Red Skull vs. Tigger, Mad Love, and the glowing Green Lantern jigsaw puzzle.

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

And be back here every Wednesday morning at 11:30 AM EST to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

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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

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

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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Monday, August 29, 2011

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 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

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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Sunday, August 28, 2011

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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Saturday, August 27, 2011

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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Friday, August 12, 2011

This Week's All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live in a real comics and gaming store in West Berlin, NJ - All Things Fun! - co-hosts Ed (next register please) Evans, Allison (new spider-girl) Eckel and Glenn (squirrel boy) Walker discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, now in high definition, and also available on YouTube. See it here!

The first segment includes discussion of the following topics: Welcome back Allison, Dan Slott's Spider-Island, the Fear Itself comics of the week, Teen Titans #99, Green Lantern status quo, The Batcave featuring Detective Comics #881, Red Robin and sorry, Batgirl.

The discussion continues in segment two including: The ATF! Midnight Release Party, the Flashpoint comics of the week, including Captain Cold coolness, wuss Dick Grayson, and wassup with Frankenstein, There's Something About Mera, ABC TV projects, Ed's leftovers, The Trial of the Flash, Ed's trades and toys, and Glenn does four comics in ten seconds.

In our special summer third segment with Thomas, the All Things Fun! Kids Vidcast features a kid's opinions on comics and toy-related genres. This segment includes his thoughts on: All New Batman The Brave and the Bold #10, the perils of henching, Ocean Master's wardrobe, SpongeBob Comics #4, don't draw in Allison's comics, Super Friends, Strawberry Shortcake #1, Mega Man #4, Pokemon Black and White manga, Spider-Man caps and Sonic schoolbags.

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

And be back here every Wednesday morning at 11:30 AM EST to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Galaxy of Terror

Galaxy of Terror ~ I remember this flick from years ago but had never seen it, nor had the desire to see it, until I saw it on a list of the worst movies of all time. When I saw that it was Roger Corman produced, and starred Sid Haig and Robert Englund, as well as a grown up Erin Moran, Joanie 'Shortcake' Cunningham from "Happy Days" - I had to see it. It's just as bad as you might imagine.

The movie also stars Eddie Albert and Ray Walston, and roughly follows the plot of the first Alien film. They're on a rescue ship and when they reach their destination, an unspeakable horror picks them off one by one. It's horrible. It's not even worth the MST3k treatment, it's that bad. Making sure that they can rip off as many movies as possible, the monster changes into whatever you fear the most.

Sid Haig is kinda cool, for the short time he's in it, but even he can't save this mess. Sid Haig hated his dialogue, so he asked Corman if he could play the role as a near-mute. Corman agreed, and Haig barely says one complete line. Robert Englund is more Willie from "V" (but not as cute) than Freddy, and Erin Moran is less than a poor excuse for Ripley, no matter how hard she tries.

Both James Cameron and Bill Paxton worked behind the scenes on this flick. At least they both went on to better things later, including Aliens, the sequel to the movie Galaxy of Terror ripped off most. And if you dare watch this terrible flick - beware the Mothra rape scene. Otherwise, avoid this movie at all costs.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Story of Mankind

The Story of Mankind ~ I had heard about this film for the first time on the Steve Friedman Mr. Movie radio show, but had never had a chance to see it until recently on TCM.

It is the story of two angels, Ronald Colman and Sir Cedric Hardwicke, arguing over the fate of mankind. A sort of history of the world with a star-studded cast, The Story of Mankind is also known for being the last Marx Brothers film (although they appear separately), and also Colman's final film appearance. It was also produced, directed and screenwriter by the master of disaster films, Irwin Allen.

Vincent Price is delightful as The Devil, and as narrator, but that us just the beginning of the odd and sometimes inspired casting of stars as historical figures. Peter Lorre as Nero is fun, but Hedy Lamarr is painful as Joan of Arc, and the Marx Brothers should never have shown up to this party.

The Story of Mankind is a fairly fun flick even with all its flaws. Worth seeing once, and definitely a good choice for kids if you want to sneak some education into their entertainment. Check it out.

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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Remembering L.A. Banks

Author Leslie Esdaile Banks passed away yesterday morning after a relatively short battle with cancer. She also wrote under the names L.A. Banks, which I knew her by, as well as Leslie Esdaile, and Leslie E. Banks.

Banks wrote prolifically, with various projects and genres to her name(s), including horror, crime thrillers and romance among others. She wrote the Vampire Huntress and Crimson Moon series, two "Soul Food" books based on the TV series, and the Laura Caldwell books, among others.

Back in the day, L.A. Banks was also the first professional author I interviewed as host of the Fear of Writing Chatroom, later The Writer's Chatroom. She was very sweet and understanding of newbness in doing the whole chat interview thing, and was a wonderful guest. She even came back a couple times, hopefully when I was better at it.

Banks was a wonderful teacher and always took time to help writers, new and experienced, both in those interviews and outside them. When I finally met her years after those interviews, she remembered me, which meant a lot. She taught me a lot, every time I saw her or saw her talk, I learned more about the craft. We have lost not only a terrific writer, but a wonderful woman and teacher as well. She'll be missed.

Leslie's friend and fellow author Jonathan Maberry announced in various writers groups yesterday the following event: "Leslie was a great writer, a brilliant speaker and teacher, a tireless supporter of literacy, and a dear friend. Her friends and colleagues in the Liars Club will host Leslie's Big Hug Writers Bash to raise money to help Leslie's daughter. (Saturday, August 6th, beginning at 7 p.m. and going on till closing at Smokey Joe's Bar located at 208 S. 40th Street in University City on the University of Pennsylvania campus.). Silent Auction items include manuscript critiques; ebook and print-on-demand manuscript design services; tickets and a backstage tour for Jersey Boys on Broadway; full scholarships to writer's conferences; and signed books by New York Times bestselling authors such as Charlain Harris, Heather Graham and Sherrilyn Kenyon. Tickets are available at the door and via eventbrite."

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