Jun 30, 2017

[Movies] Plastic Galaxy: The Story of Star Wars Toys (2014) Review

When it comes to streaming services like Netflix and iflix, it's safe to say that most of the movies that I want to see, I've already seen. So by the time they get added to these platforms, I vaguely consider watching them again, but only if the right mood strikes. So instead I end up watching various documentaries when I'm in the mood for more long format content to help pass the time.

Plastic Galaxy: The Story of Star Wars Toys was one that caught my eye while scrolling through the iflix library. I'm enough of science fiction geek to want to learn more about this aspect of the Star Wars universe, especially given the key role that merchandising has played in the larger Star Wars experience.

And as anyone who has visited our Sietch can attest to, Tobie and I have no qualms about collecting items of geeky significance as part of our increasingly geeky lives. So let's dive right in.

Jun 29, 2017

[Videos] Blizzard Games Trivia


Around the time that I started playing Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty, another real-time strategy came out  called WarCraft. It had a very different spin on the genre with a unit limit imposed  on the game. But that game helped put Blizzard on the radar for a lot of us and now they're one of the biggest brands in gaming with some pretty popular, long-running game franchises.

So it's nice that the folks at The Leaderboard have put out a few videos celebrating the wonderful world of Blizzard games and I thought it would be fun to gather the ones released so far here:


107 Blizzard Entertainment Facts YOU Should Know | The Leaderboard



107 Warcraft III Facts YOU Should KNOW | The Leaderboard



107 Diablo Facts YOU Should Know | The Leaderboard



107 Starcraft Facts YOU Should Know! | The Leaderboard



107 World of Warcraft Facts YOU Should Know! | The Leaderboard



107 Hearthstone Facts YOU Should Know! | The Leaderboard



107 Heroes of the Storm Facts YOU Should Know | The Leaderboard



107 Overwatch Facts YOU Should Know | The Leaderboard

Jun 28, 2017

[TV] American Horror Story: Season 4 (Freak Show) Review

American Horror Story is definitely rather hit or miss across its various anthology seasons. Each season presents us with some fascinating characters with rich back stories but then we get narratives that are only sometimes good but oftentimes downright bonkers. And this is par for the course for the likes of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, I suppose.

American Horror Story: Freak Show is the fourth season for the show once again featuring a somewhat familiar set of actors in a new peculiar setting. And I suppose we can all agree that things don't get much crazier than an old school traveling circus.

I've written a few times about the challenge of such Ryan Murphy/ Brad Falchuk productions running too long and thus leading the show to collapse under the weight of its ridiculous plot twists. This show has survived mainly because of its anthology format that has the creative team essentially starting from zero every time. And I am thankful for this fact.

Jun 27, 2017

[Games] Bohnanza Review

Tobie picked up a lot of different games during this lengthy US trip including a number of games I hadn't heard of before. But recommendations from other gaming friends had guided  him in some of his purchases at Gamex 2017 and so our collection has a whole host of interesting new players.

Enter Bohnanza, a German card game originally released in 1997 that remains to be one of the highest rated games for awhile. The odd premise of having everyone dealing with growing different types of beans and trying to sell them for a profit may not sound like fun, but it actually is.

To add to the fun, the copy of the game that Tobie found is an older German edition with a slightly different card set from the current edition of the game, so it took us a while find a copy of the rules in English and to reconcile the difference between the types of cards included in the box.

But after all that fun stuff, I have to concede that the game is more complex than you'd initially thing.

Jun 26, 2017

[Movies] Masahista (2005) Review

So I feel like I ended up watching a lot of crap while Tobie was away. My efforts to expand my viewing range  has led me down strange roads. And this is why I ended up watching Masahista one evening.

If you've ever browsed through the iflix library of Filipino movies, you'll inevitably come across Masahista as one of the more prominently featured works alongside the likes of Serbis. This is typically in the indie movie section alongside the likes of Ekstra, so take that as you will.

This is yet another queer movie starring Coco Martin when he was doing a heck of a lot of queer indie work in order to get noticed for other stuff. I think the last review I wrote for one of his movies was the indie feature Daybreak or something. I'm not exactly a fan, but you can't help but notice his pink body of work.

Is that even a thing? I didn't know how else to phrase that. Oh fun stuff.

Jun 23, 2017

[Movies] I Luv U Pare Ko (2013) Review


Sometimes I wonder why I don't watch more local movies. There are some great ones out there, I'm sure. But there's also a lot of crap. And man, I Luv U Pare Ko is totally crap. Despite the horrendous murder of the language that is the title of this movie, I figured it can't be that bad since the names were familiar and I kind of vaguely remember the names from other independent projects?

But this movie is not the the acclaimed Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (which I haven't seen, admittedly). This is something else entirely. This is a sad, terrible movie.

But of course I can't judge the local movie industry based on a single bad movie - and I don't. But I can't limit myself to only watching those movies that movie critics find to be good - that means waiting for reviews before watching and not giving independent projects like this a chance.

So you take the good with the bad. And this is something else entirely. But I still watched it from start to finish in order to give it a decent chance.

Jun 22, 2017

[Videos] 107 Facts About Darkwing Duck


Darkwing Duck, strange Batman-like creation of the 90's with the somewhat cool catch phrase of "Let's get DANGEROUS". With a DuckTales reboot about to hit TV screens soon complete with notable DuckTales crossover character Gizmoduck back in the original series, I'm sure there's going to be a lot of Darkwing Duck nostalgia going around for all the good feels.

Clearly ChannelFrederator was thinking along the same lines when they released this 107 Facts video about Darkwing Duck to join their prior 107 Facts video about DuckTales. So let's geek out over all this brilliant duckery!

But enough squawking. Let's. Get. Dangerous.


107 Darkwing Duck Facts YOU Should Know! - Cartoon Facts! (107 Facts S6 E20)

Jun 21, 2017

[Movies] Paglipad ng Anghel (Cinemalaya 2011) Review


One of the great things about the iflix conent library beyond local content but actually a lot of independent productions that have been featured in film festivals like Cinemalaya. So there's some award-winning content to be enjoyed and there's also some weird content that still manages to see the light of day.

I ended up watching Paglipad ng Anghel one slow evening as it was cited as a Cinemalaya participant and it features Sid Lucero, who I went to school with many years ago. It's not like I've been avidly following his career or anything but from time to time I do get curious as to what his projects are like. And every serious actor needs to have an indie production or two under one's belt to help build up credentials and such.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this movie since all that I knew about it stemmed from the title and poster art alone. But hey such is how adventures in movie watching go, right?

Jun 20, 2017

[Games] Marvel's Spider-Man PS4 Trailer


One of the more interesting game trailers to come out of E3 this year is the gameplay trailer for Marvel's Spider-Man, a PlayStation 4 exclusive title that feels like a Spider-Man game that has gotten the full Arkham Asylum treatment. It's being developed by Insomniac Games, one of my favorite game studios given they're the guys who gave us Spyro the Dragon and of course Ratchet and Clank to name a few notable games.

The trailer is pretty intense that shows Spider-Man dealing with enemies in a variety of ways including webbing-driven stealth take-downs or straight up fighting. The story focuses on Mr. Negative expanding his criminal empire to takeover areas once controlled by Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin, which means it looks like we're getting a story that will read high levels of Dan Slott geekery.

This should be pretty interesting indeed.


Marvel's Spider-Man | E3 2017 Trailer | PS4

Jun 19, 2017

[Movies] Mindhorn (2016) Review

Tobie's trip to the US left me with a lot of alone time and thus I explored some unusual parts of the libraries of various streaming services. My primary guide for selecting a movie or TV show to watch was something that we wouldn't necessarily enjoy watching together - or something that would be more for me to enjoy than he would.

Enter Mindhorn, an odd duck of a movie that is both British and a celebration of 80's TV culture. But it's meant to be a celebration of 80's British TV culture, which is similar but not quite the same as what is probably more familiar to us in the Philippines with respect to American 80's TV culture.

But like a lot of ventures that try to celebrate the 80's, this movie doesn't quite get all the feels quite right. It's not easy to perfectly recapture that sort of "magic" (if you can even call it that) that defined that time period in terms of its styling, language and fashion or for any other notable time period for that matter. They tried to have interesting references and key notes here and there but on the whole it was a little odd and not quite as funny as hoped.

Jun 16, 2017

[Movies] King Cobra (2016) Review

More explorations of the Netflix library's collection of LGBT content led me to King Cobra, the odd biographical drama thriller based on a book that covers rumors related to the gay porn industry.

Say that ten times really fast.

I had never heard about all this drama around the time it was happening. Then again, who really looks too deeply at the gay porn industry? Half the time people don't even know the names of all the actors in the scene, what more their real life drama outside of the studio.

So this movie felt a little surreal as its based on a book that talks the events that I suppose make strong enough accusations / implications that led to the story of the movie. There are no claims about things being 100% accurate, but the marketing material does claim it's inspired by a true story.

But man, how'd they drag Christian Slater into this?

Jun 15, 2017

[Games] LEGO Dimensions Teen Titans Launch Trailer


Teen Titans Go! may not by my favorite animated incarnation of this superhero group, I'm more than happy that they're formally joining the LEGO Dimensions universe as formally announced during E3 this year.

And as promised, adding the Titans to your collection will unlock Teen Titans Go appropriate in-game skins for your existing Cyborg and Robin character figures.

As much as there are some fears about the future of the franchise, it's glad to see new content coming along.


LEGO Dimensions: Teen Titans Go! Trailer

Jun 14, 2017

[TV] The X-Files: Season 1 Review

I do appreciate the extent of iflix's content library and how they've managed to include complete series runs for various genre shows. And while there's a lot of new stuff out there that might be fun to watch, there will always be somewhat older stuff that also deserve a little geek love and devotion.

The X-Files is a show that played a prominent role in my younger years and I made a good attempt to watch as many episodes as I could. But given the nature of syndicated broadcast television during a time before DVRs and binge-watching through on-demand television, I missed out on a good number of episodes and ultimately never quite finished watching the entire series.

Fast-forward to today and I'm glad that iflix's current content cycle includes the full original series run of the show from the 90's. I don't know how long they'll maintain this in their library, but for now I'm doing my best of taking advantage of the show's availability. And thus I'm presented with the fun option of watching the entire run and posting reviews as I go along.

Jun 13, 2017

[Videos] 107 Facts About Ratchet and Clank


After I shared The Leaderboard's various videos related to various Playstation platform games, I had remarked about the lack of a video for Ratchet and Clanks, which remains to be one of my favorite action platform games. And it boggles the mind to consider the game is about 15 years old now.

And here we are! And this is a fun little roundabout of a lot of bits of trivia about our intrepid heroes that spans their many, many titles released across various platforms. We get fun little tidbits as to why Clank is named Clank or a whole host of rejected titles for some of the expansions. And of course there are all these other Easter Eggs in the various games that make things even more entertaining.

So let's stop delaying and here's the video!


107 Ratchet & Clank Facts YOU Should Know! | The Leaderboard


Jun 12, 2017

[Movies] Those People (2015) Review

Tobie's US trip has been for quite a while and I've been using the alone time to explore the video libraries of Netflix and iflix. Both have a quirky limited assortment of LGBT related videos ranging from popular TV series to independent movie productions. And so I've been filling up the empty hours with these productions.

Those People looks like your sort of "typical" US indie fare with a rather dramatic poster and citations for various independent film festival awards as part of the promotional materials I didn't even really dig into the summaries and write-ups for the movie - I just dove right in.

As expected it was the sort of drama that took a while to setup with long moments without dialog or sometimes even without music. But it certainly had a particular story that wanted to tell, although what that was supposed to be wasn't immediately clear from the onset. But given, the movie does build up into something.

Jun 9, 2017

[TV] Feud: Season 1 - Bette and Joan Review

When I learn that a show has Ryan Murphy behind the curtain, I know we're in for a wild right with crazy plot twists and crazy story ideas. They don't always go so well if the stories run on too long, and thus why I didn't watch much more than the second or third season of Glee. But what Murphy does seem to do well is apply his brand of creative craziness to shorter form stories as limited series. Hence the success of his run with American Horror Story.

Here comes Fued, a new anthology TV series again on FX, again with Ryan Murphy as one of the driving forces behind the show. And true to form, he's decided to focus on some of the juiciest stories out there - long-running feuds between figures of power and fame.

The first focus of the show is one well-known to a good chunk of the LGBT community. It's a feud that we had read a lot about already in other media and could now see depicted on the small screen with some great talent bringing the personalities involved to life.

And it was a LOT of fun.

Jun 8, 2017

[TV] DuckTales First Full Trailer


Okay, I'm old enough to have been part of that generation that grew up with the crazy adventures of Scrooge McDuck along with his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie in the original DuckTales. I wasn't sure how to feel about the news of a reboot until Disney decided to knock it out of park with their initial casting announcements.

Headlining the show is David Tennant (my Doctor!) as Scrooge McDuck. We have some major comedians playing the kids with Danny Pudi as Huey, Ben Schwartz as Dewey, Bobby Moynihan as Louie and Kate Micucci as Webby. And there was the news of Lin-Manuel Miranda playing Fenton Crackshell, perhaps better known as Gizmoduck from the spin-off Darkwing Duck series.

The initial teaser trailers didn't quite give you a good feel for the show but this first look trailer is just AMAZING it has me wanting to sing the classic theme out loud because IT'S ALL SO GOOD.

So I guess think Doctor Who but with ducks maybe?


DuckTales First Look | DuckTales | Disney XD

Jun 7, 2017

[TV] Sense8: Season 2 Review

So Tobie and I managed to sit down to watch all of the second season of Sense8 on Netflix before he had to leave for the US for a few weeks. But given the nature of my review queue, I'm only writing this review after the news broke that the show isn't being renewed for a third season.

As much as a there are a lot of fan efforts to raise enough noise to get the show back somehow, I remain skeptical of the chances of success. When you look at recent shows with rather loud fan support but not necessarily high viewership numbers, you don't often see entertainment executives changing their minds.

It would be a terrible shame if Sense8 doesn't find a way back into our home as it's quite the brilliant if overly ambitious show. Its global concept made for some beautiful scenes but also some pretty expensive shooting budgets. As much as it was a fairly popular show, I suspect that the returns still didn't quite justify the high production costs of the series.

But only time will tell, really.

Jun 6, 2017

[Videos] Last Week Tonight on the Paris Agreement


So as expected, President Donald Trump has pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement. This is a big deal given the message this sends out to other countries already on the fence about supporting the fight against climate change and a willingness to take steps to reduce carbon emissions.

So of course John Oliver would tackle this breaking news item on Last Week Tonight. And it's a great video.


Paris Agreement: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Jun 5, 2017

[Movies] Wonder Woman (2017) Review

After her brief appearance in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman as a character started to generate a lot of buzz about what her solo movie would be like. Admittedly she was one of the better parts of the depressing movie and in many ways she has acted as a bit of hope for these DC movies.

Wonder Woman finally hit theaters and simply put, it was a great movie. Despite so many people expecting (or maybe hoping?) that the movie will be terrible, initial buzz has been pretty positive with some going as far as saying that it may be one of the best superhero movies, period.

There's  a lot going for this movie in terms of the support it has received from production to release, but even I had my doubts and fears. So I'm more than happy that the end result was a great experience that was a lot of fun and seemed to carry enough of the core Wonder Woman character at its heart to make the movie feel relevant to a wider audience casual fans and die hard comic book readers.

Jun 2, 2017

[Books] Battletech: I Am Jade Falcon Review


I started reading the Battletech novels around the time a lot of them were telling stories set during the years around the Clan invasion of the Inner Sphere. To as much as it's a rather iconic period in Battletech history as a whole, it's also one that is personally memorable, especially once I started playing MechWarrior 2.

I Am Jade Falcon is a story told from a side I didn't typically follow - that of Clan Jade Falcon. While the Falcons obivously had more books written about them for one reason or another, I had fallen in love with Clan Wolf because they were my firsts choice in the computer game and they featured prominently in the Michael Stackpole Battletech novels.

The earlier books Thurston had written for Battletech were just okay to be and didn''t particularly stand out. They were more memorable for being some of the first depictions of the Clans in these books with a focus on the Jade Falcons. But his prior books focused on Aidan Pryde, a warrior that had risen up the ranks to glory. Now this is the story of the people he left behind.

Jun 1, 2017

[Videos] Thinking About The Fidget Craze


Over the holidays an office mate received a fidget cube as a gift. I was pretty surprised one made it to the Philippines at the time but he was pretty happy with it and the odd toy occupied his time for at least a week. As much as it promised to be a nice funnel for one's excess energy or whatever, it wasn't quite something that captured one's attention for all that long.

But then came fidget spinners and fidget balls and all these other device all claiming to help address ADHD or anxiety or restlessness. What the heck right?

So it's only about time that Mike of PBS Idea Channel tackles the subject of these toys and whether or not they're truly helpful.


What’s The Deal With Fidget Spinners?

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