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Tag Archive: SDCC 2012


Grimm Book of Lore

Review by C.J. Bunce

One of the best marketing efforts for a new television series must be the elaborate display a few years ago at Tin Fish across from San Diego Comic-Con advertising NBC’s Grimm, including the trailer that once belonged to main character Nick Burkhart’s Aunt Marie.  Along with an arsenal of medieval weaponry to fend off bad Wesen of any variety was a book full of the writings, descriptions and notes taken by Nick’s ancestors about identifying the various creatures of the Grimm universe.  Like something out of Mr. Giles’ library, the big Book of Shadows in the attic of the Charmed Ones, or Laura Palmer’s diary, the Book of Lore is a guidebook for the series’ lead, a writer’s device to allow him to sleuth through the detective story of each episode.  In last night’s episode of Grimm, Nick finally began adding his own notes to the book.

An in-universe version of that book is now available so TV viewers can play along with Nick as they watch the series.  Grimm – Aunt Marie’s Book of Lore won’t allow you to figure out what’s going in in every new episode, but it will allow you to quickly recall why you’ve heard of a Hundjager or Ziegevolk before.

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Arrow Blu-ray combo

Review by C.J. Bunce

When Arrow’s pilot was previewed at San Diego Comic-Con back in 2012 we had our first indication that the series would be a big hit.  The pilot remains one of the best first episodes for any TV series, and on its new Blu-ray release viewers get to see what an incredible looking show this really is.  This Tuesday, September 17, 2013, Arrow will be released on both DVD and in an awesome Blu-ray combo pack that you won’t want to miss, and today’s your last day to pick it up at its discounted pre-order price.  Thanks to Warner Bros. borg.com got an advance preview of the Blu-ray combo pack, and if you missed any of the 23 episodes aired this year, or you haven’t seen the series at all, now is the time to catch the best live action DC Comics effort since 1990’s The Flash.  Check out the “Arrow” tag to the lower right of the borg.com home page for past coverage of our favorite new hit.

Optimum Quality.  The nine-disc Blu-ray combo pack includes two complete sets of the episodes and features:  the DVD on five discs and the Blu-ray on four discs.  (One to keep and one to loan to friends?)  It also includes a code for Ultraviolet viewing access.  The picture and sound quality are perfect, and watching the episodes straight through you realize the series was designed in a very seamless way compared with so many shows that have repeated scenes at every commercial break.  Not so here.  The navigation menus are the best we’ve seen so far–easy to navigate–and they include a full menu for all the discs on each disc so if you have the wrong disc inserted you’ll always know which one you want.

Arrow season one cast

All 23 Brilliant Episodes.  The series started off with a complex pilot, and that was a movie-quality effort to begin with.  Subsequent episodes never seemed to let up.  Our favorite was the three episode arc featuring Helena Bertinelli’s Huntress, played by Jessica De Gouw, one of the top character retellings in this new Green Arrow universe.  We were surprised how much we didn’t mind Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, and Marc Guggenheim taking liberties with the 70-year history of the Green Arrow canon.  The set includes great episodes featuring characters unexplored before, including the very modern and realistic tech guru Felicity Smoak, played perfectly by Emily Bett Rickards, and the entirely new character, Oliver’s confidant John Diggle, played by David Ramsey.

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Honey Trap logo

What does the Honey Trap Army have to do with G.I. Joe?  Back to that in a minute.

If you’re not already familiar with Gentle Giant, it’s the toy company that creates several specialty collectible toys and busts.  Most are for the serious collector and not something kids will likely ever get their hands on with the company’s large-sized classic Star Wars line offering action figures at $75 and up.  And Gentle Giant handles several franchises, from Star Wars to Marvel to Harry Potter to The Hobbit.

Previously at borg.com we revealed some convention-exclusive figures and the retro-edition, giant rocket-firing Boba Fett may be the coolest large-sized series action figure ever made.  This past week Gentle Giant revealed its first 2013 San Diego Comic-Con exclusive figure, from its Honey Trap Army line: Whisper, variant:

Whisper variant promo

And the limited-to-100 figures edition sold out almost immediately at a whopping $669 per figure.  What’s the Honey Trap Army?  You won’t find a lot of information about them, other than we saw an excellent display of the four initial character figures at last year’s Comic-Con and artist Kevin Dart either created the comic art that inspired the toy line or was inspired by the toy line to draw the characters.  But there is a video with 1960s music and art design to introduce the toy line:

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After a crazy day of an insane volume of fans storming Bartle Hall in Kansas City Saturday for the biggest Planet Comicon event in more than a dozen years of events, it seemed like everyone came back Sunday for Day Two with aisles jam-packed again.  And for fans of all things borg like us, it was a banner day, meeting up with the original Bionic Woman herself, Lindsay Wagner, and the current writer on Dynamite’s Bionic Man series, Aaron Gillespie.

First up–Bionic Man cosplay.  The idea was inspired by my own large-sized action figure as a kid.  Originally planned by DW and me for SDCC 2012, it seemed a great fit for a borg.com tie-in, too.  Always looking for something original for other fans to enjoy, we’d never seen anyone re-create Steve Austin, the Bionic Man, at any convention ever, or posted online anywhere.  As the idea developed we decided it needed something more–and we moved from the character to the 1970s action figure itself.  With bionic eye, inserted arm circuitry, a pair of classic red and white striped Adidas Dragons, the classic red track suit, and the key identifier–the patch that was used as the official fan club badge and stuck on the chest of every Bionic Man action figure, which makes sense for the toy but would never make sense on the show–we had all but one thing left.   Decades ago you could find plastic hair at costume or theatrical shops but go searching and you’ll come up empty.  So we searched for full face masks that could be altered and came up with a JFK mask that could be cut and repainted, which seemed to do the trick.  Add some spirit gum (which may never ever come off my face) and temporarily lose the goatee, we found contact lenses from a UK retailer, made the patch from transfer paper using Web images and interfacing, and temporary tattoo material, and we have the Six Million Dollar Man large-sized action figure.  We got some good reaction to it at the Elite Comics Halloween event last year, and when we saw Lindsay Wagner as a guest of this year’s Planet Comicon it was obvious I was going to wear it to the show.

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Adam Baldwin as Jayne Cobb with Firefly hat

First off, moms are awesome.  Especially mine.

Second, if you haven’t seen Firefly, rent it . Buy it.  Amazon.com currently has a set of the complete series for under $13.  You can get it here.  I became a fan of Firefly last year after attending the 10th anniversary panel at San Diego Comic-Con.  Check out my prior discussions of Firefly and its awesome fans here.

One of the main characters in Firefly is Jayne Cobb.  Jayne is tough.  He has a rifle named Vera.  He’s more good guy than bad guy and over the short series Jayne’s character grew to learn from his mistakes, including the betrayal of his shipmates on the Firefly class vessel called Serenity.  The role of Jayne was played by Adam Baldwin, who played Colonel John Casey on the NBC TV series Chuck.  Since his first role as a big guy helping a little guy in My Bodyguard, Baldwin has appeared in an incredible variety of productions, usually as the tough guy in charge, from Ordinary People to Full Metal Jacket to Predator 2 to Wyatt Earp to Independence Day to the Serenity movie itself.  On television he’s been in The Cape, From the Earth to the Moon, The Outer Limits, The X-Files, Stargate SG-1, NCIS, Angel, Bones, Castle, and Leverage and voiced characters like Green Lantern Hal Jordan and Superman in animated DC Comics series.

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Pacific Rim very big teeth

It’s December, and that means holiday movie releases, which means we’re getting bombarded with movie trailers.  That includes a film focusing on the heir-apparent to the classic Japanese mega-monster, Godzilla.  At Comic-Con this year, Warner Brothers and Legendary Pictures started some buzz for a new monster movie by Guillermo del Toro, simply titled Pacific Rim, with giveaways of an eye-catching exclusive teaser poster (the newly released poster is to the right):

Pacific Rim rare Comic-Con poster   Pacific Rim new poster

A fun mini-teaser was released last week, and it may peak your interest further:

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Is it me, or does Tony Stark have more supersuits than any other superhero?  Robert Downey, Jr. returns next spring with the fourth movie featuring Iron Man, Iron Man 3, with the new Iron Man armor we previewed here this past summer from Comic-Con in San Diego. 

You wouldn’t think you could go wrong with Downey playing Stark in another movie, but all you have to do is think back and remember Iron Man 2, possibly the weakest of the Avengers films so far.  Yet the first Iron Man and The Avengers were brilliant.  Why can’t they just stop everything and work on The Avengers 2?  Check out the first trailer released hours ago for Iron Man 3:

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Review by C.J. Bunce

The CW Network’s Arrow series premiered this Wednesday, and for those who missed my review of the pilot episode originally published here July 17, 2012, I am reprinting it here updated with my additional comments after seeing a second showing all these months later.  Spoilers!

The CW previewed the entire pilot for the series on Comic-Con Wednesday and Friday this year to thousands of attendees.  The auditorium erupted in cheers to several scenes in the series opener, starting some worthy buzz for this newest DC Comics Justice League superhero to hit the small screen.  Was it good?  Absolutely.  And even for a big fan of the traditional character’s story, updates made for TV were well thought out and did little to detract from the core of what makes Green Arrow the unique character that has survived as a key comic book character for 70 years.  The pilot deftly managed to alter far less of the source material than, for example, the Green Lantern movie released in 2011, and in doing so created a believable, refreshing story with appropriate nods to the past, and one that promises to survive, should it find its fan base.  On second viewing this past Wednesday, my thoughts haven’t changed one bit.  If you are a fan of superheroes or read comic books at all, Arrow is the one series you should be watching.

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A bit of buzz from Comic-Con this year was the release of the Man of Steel trailer at the Warner Brothers panel.  The following week it was announced the trailer would appear before The Dark Knight Rises at screenings across the country.

Set to hit theaters next year, Man of Steel has a relatively obscure lead actor as Superman, Henry Cavill (The Tudors doesn’t count), but the rest of the cast will be familiar to everyone: Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Russell Crowe as Jor-El, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, and Laurence Fishburne as Perry White.

So here is the trailer that premiered with The Dark Knight Rises:

I found it pretty underwhelming and I couldn’t figure out why people were so excited from the Comic-Con panel.  All you really see of Superman is this flight at the end:

And we see this guy working Alaska fishing boats.  I doubt this is to be Krypto:

So what’s the real story?

Turns out they actually showed a longer trailer at Comic-Con.  It included peeks at Crowe, Costner, Adams, a scene with Superman being taken prisoner–what appears to be a remake of Superman 2 with Christopher Reeve, including a new General Zod.

Following up on what was an intentional sequel to Superman 2 with Superman Returns–a really good film with Superman played awesomely by Brandon Routh–now we have a random remake of Superman 2?  Umm… why?  And why pick a British actor to play one of the biggest truly American roles–the kid from Smallville, Kansas?  Not a big deal, but maybe it’s time they let an American actor play James Bond?

So if you want to pretend you were at the San Diego premiere of the other trailer, check this out.  Not great quality, but at least you can get a hint of why the folks at SDCC 2012 were more excited than the crowd watching the trailer that appeared before The Dark Knight Rises this past weekend.

BTW I don’t know who shot this footage… just ran across it on YouTube.  I actually had a better link but it got pulled and I wouldn’t be surprised if this gets pulled, too.  It doesn’t look all that stellar, but you can’t really judge it because of the quality.  BUT I can see where there may be some cool things happening here.

Man of Steel has a June 14, 2013 release date.

And since we’re talking SDCC 2012 and superhero movies, Marvel Comics announced release dates and logos for these new Marvel flicks:

Release dates:

· May 3, 2013 — Iron Man 3
· November 8, 2013 — Thor: The Dark World
· April 4, 2014 — Captain America: The Winter Soldier
· August 1, 2014 — Guardians of the Galaxy

No date yet for Ant-Man, but don’t you wish they’d score Simon Pegg for the role of Hank Pym?

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

It’s tomorrow in New Zealand (I love seeing comments at thehobbitblog.com dated a day that hasn’t arrived here yet!) and yesterday the best friend of fantasy film fans, director Peter Jackson released behind the scenes footage that he showed fans at the Hall H panel at Comic-Con this year.

Like Jackson’s prior blog video updates, this one shows a lot of the cast and crew, but it has even more than before, including interviews with many of the dwarves, as well as nice footage of the key sets from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, to be released this December.

It’s very cool that Jackson would release this footage to everyone so quickly after Comic-Con.

One more item–there is also word out that Jackson is in talks to change the two movie deal to three Hobbit movies.  Apparently he has enough footage for three full length films.  We’ll share more as we learn about any updates.

Tomorrow, come back for updates on next summer’s reboot of Superman, Man of Steel.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

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