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LEGO Cinemania

Posted on May 20th, 2017

Dave!In celebration of The LEGO Batman Movie being released on iTunes (a film I absolutely recommend you should see)... Apple put a bunch of movies on sale and gave their visuals a LEGO treatment.

I liked them so much that I wanted to be sure and save them to my blog in case I ever wanted to see them again...

LEGO-fied Movie Poster!

LEGO-fied Movie Poster!

LEGO-fied Movie Poster!

LEGO-fied Movie Poster!

LEGO-fied Movie Poster!

LEGO-fied Movie Poster!

LEGO-fied Movie Poster!

LEGO-fied Movie Poster!

LEGO-fied Movie Poster!

LEGO-fied Movie Poster!

LEGO-fied Movie Poster!

A couple of these films could have been vastly pproved if they were LEGO creations... just sayin'.

   

The LEGO Batman Movie

Posted on May 18th, 2017
Dave!My plan was to wait and review The LEGO Batman Movie after it hit home-video so that I wouldn't spoil anything for those who hadn't seen it. That day is tomorrow. And I'm still hesitant to spoil anything by reviewing it, because it's just so frickin' hilarious and amazing. Suffice to say, it's about the best thing you'll ever see, and you simply must watch it. The movie is everything great about LEGO Batman's appearance in The LEGO Movie, but ramped up to an absurd degree...

The LEGO Batman Movie Poster!

I have no doubt that I'm going to end up watching the film a hundred times when it goes on sale tomorrow. It's that good. Time to update my "Y2K Super-Hero Comic Book Renaissance" scorecard... The Avengers... A+ Avengers: Age of Ultron... A Batman Begins... A Batman Dark Knight... A+ Batman Dark Knight Rises... A Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice... D Big Hero Six... A+ Blade... B Blade 2... B Blade Trinity... B- Captain America... A+ Captain America: The Winter Soldier... A+ Captain America: Civil War... A++ Catwoman... F Daredevil... B- Daredevil (Director's Cut)... B+ Deadpool... A Doctor Strange... A Electra Woman and Dyna Girl... B- Elektra... D Fantastic Four... C Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer... D Guardians of the Galaxy... A+ Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2... A Ghost Rider... C Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance... D Green Hornet... D Green Lantern... C+ Hellboy... A Hellboy 2: Golden Army... A Hulk... C- Incredible Hulk... B The Incredibles... A+ Iron Man... A+ Iron Man 2... A- Iron Man 3... A+ Jonah Hex... F Kick-Ass... B+ Kick-Ass 2... B- The LEGO Batman Movie... A++ Man of Steel... F- Punisher... C+ Punisher War Zone... C Scott Pilgrim vs. The World... C Spider-Man... B+ Spider-Man 2... A Spider-Man 3... D- Amazing Spider-Man... B Amazing Spider-Man 2... B- Suicide Squad... D Superman Returns... C+ Thor... B+ Thor: The Dark World... B Watchmen... B The Wolverine... B X-Men... C X-Men 2: United... D X-Men 3: Last Stand... F- X-Men Origins: Wolverine... D X-Men: First Class... B X-Men: Days of Future Past... B- X-Men: Apocalypse... D+

   

Same Bat-Friday

Posted on February 24th, 2017

Dave!It's all going to be okay.

Eventually.


LEGO Batman

   

   

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Pieces

Posted on October 2nd, 2015

Dave!If you are playing LEGO Dimensions like me...

And you're a LEGO whore who is collecting a lot of the Fun Packs, Team Packs, and Level Packs...

You will very quickly be swimming in teeny tiny LEGO pieces. All of the builds are nothing but teeny tiny LEGO pieces. And even after you build stuff, there are always pieces left over for the re-builds, which quickly gets confusing because you can't remember what pieces go with which set.

I don't know if it's the perfect solution, but I've found that the "ArtBin Super Satchel Slim" works pretty darn well for keeping all your characters, vehicles, extra pieces, instruction books, and other stuff neatly organized...

Pink for October

I divided it into 15 sections. Team Packs and Level Packs I'm giving two sections... Fun Packs I'm giving one. This gives you plenty of space to store each play piece and all the pieces for builds you haven't gotten around to yet. As your needs change, there's plenty of dividers you can move around to reconfigure the compartments however you want.

I pretty much gave up on attaching the portal build to the Toy Pad... it's so damn fragile that it keeps falling apart. I've just bagged it up and use the Toy Pad without which works just fine.

Highlights so far...

The Dr. Who level of the main game, which is suitably funny and scary... can't wait for the Dr. Who Level Pack!

The Portal 2 Level Pack is hands-down my favorite addition to the game. Unless you have a love for the characters in one of the other packs, this is the pack to get if you're buying just one. Partly because it's the only way to open up Portal 2 World... but mostly because the included Aperture Science Lab level is a love-letter to Portal 2 that fans will piss themselves over. So good.

I just wish I had more time to play the thing. Life keeps getting in the way!

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Dimensions

Posted on September 28th, 2015

Dave!And the moment I've been waiting for has finally arrived... my copy of LEGO Dimensions was delivered today.

For those not in the know, Dimensions integrates many of the LEGO franchises into a single video game. You start out with characters from LEGO Batman, LEGO Lord of the Rings, and The LEGO Movie in the starter set, but can then add other "worlds" like Scooby Doo, The Simpsons, Ghostbusters, Dr. Who, Back to the Future, The Wizard of Oz, (and so on) with add-on packs...

LEGO Dimensions Game

If you've played any of the other LEGO video games, you already know how things work. You run your little LEGO mini-figure around solving puzzles and breaking stuff to collect LEGO studs so you can buy in-game upgrades with them.

I love, love, love all the various LEGO games, and having them all come together in a giant mash-up is amazing. And really fun to play.

The difference from previous games being the addition of the LEGO Dimensions portal pad peripheral (built from LEGO, natch) which allows you to interact with the mini-figs in the game...

LEGO Dimensions Game

A lot of your time will be spent moving characters and their vehicles around on this thing. Wicked Witch of the West have your character trapped? Simply remove them from one area of the portal pad and place them on another to escape. Need a character who can fly to solve a particular puzzle? Swap out WyldStyle for Wonder Woman and you're good to go. Need a vehicle to get past some obstacle? Place the Batmobile on the portal pad and it instantly appears in-game.

As if that weren't enough, building with LEGO is an integral part of the game experience. The Wonder Woman add-on pack, for example, tells you how to build Wonder Woman so you can add her to the portal pad and get her in that game. But you also get a bag of bricks for her Invisible Plane that comes with no instructions whatsoever. When you add Wonder Woman to the game, then the game itself instructs you how to build her plane and add it as well. Even better? Some in-game builds have to be re-built in order to turn it into something new that progresses the story. That's a key element of playing with LEGO bricks, and the way they've integrated it into the game is pretty darn amazing. Dimensions truly is a melding of on-screen gaming with physical LEGO sets, which is what makes it so much more interesting to me than the toy/game hybrid competition.

With that in mind, it's this physical interaction from toy to video game that makes LEGO Dimensions so compelling... and so frustrating.

Compelling because you can mix-and match characters until your heart's content. Want to have Homer Simpson, Scooby Doo, and Dr. Who all playable in the same game? Drop them on the portal pad and they're yours. Want to have Batman driving The Mystery Machine? Easy. Hobbits in Gotham City? No problem. Scooby Doo in Jurassic Park? You got it. You can choose whatever characters you have available and add or subtract them from the game worlds at will.

Frustrating because you can't play with Marty McFly unless you run out and buy the Back to the Future add-on pack. Further frustrating because certain areas of the game are locked off unless you run out and buy the appropriate character pack. Want to explore Springfield? Well, unless you go buy an add-on pack with a Simpsons character in it, you're out of luck. Want to collect that Gold Brick guarded by a Spinjitsu Gate? If you don't have a Ninjago character to unlock it, no dice. It goes on and on. Sometimes there are alternative characters you can use, sometimes not. At least not yet.

And I have to admit, I'm a little disappointed in this. I didn't buy any of the Chima sets or Ninjago sets because I'm not interested in them. And if that means I can't play in the Chima or Ninjago worlds, I'm perfectly okay with that. What I didn't expect is that skipping a few sets would lead me to miss out on part of the main game. Being told you can't access a part of the story unless you have the Peter Venkman mini-fig (who won't be released until January 2016) is also a little harsh... but also a little exciting because I will absolutely buy that set, and now have something to look forward to. That will keep the game fresh. But what if I wasn't a Ghostbusters fan? Buy it anyway? That adds up to spending a serious chunk of cash for something you'd just as soon do without, just because you want to finish the game. Not cool.

And speaking of expensive...

LEGO Dimensions Packs

LEGO Dimensions is as addictive as crack and almost as pricey.

In summary... I LOVE THIS GAME! If you've enjoyed all the other LEGO video games, you probably will enjoy this one too. Just make sure you know the financial burden you're buying into before you start.

PROS...

  • The attention to detail in all the various "worlds" is amazing. Just when I think I've seen it all, along comes something special that makes me fall in love with the Dimensions concept all over again. The way that the various worlds combine and collide is absolutely fascinating... and it all totally works. And often times there's humorous touches that even transcend the source material. I'd love to go into detail about all the amazing things I've seen, but I just can't spoil it for anybody else. It's just too good.
  • Did I mention it's funny?
  • The gameplay is generally well-thought-out and fun. With only two minor exceptions (see below) this is one of the best LEGO video games yet.
  • They've finally done a better job with the flying controls. No more trying to descend by controlling a fall. On the Wii U, the right joystick allows you to control up and down with good accuracy.
  • In my humble opinion, Dimensions is better than Skylanders and Disney Infinity, two other toy-in-game systems. The interactivity that comes from building and re-building in-game items is just nifty.
  • All the add-on packs have been great. But the Portal 2 pack? If you are a Portal fan, you will just die. It's that good.

CONS...

  • Vehicle control, which is horrible in just about every LEGO video game ever released, actually seems worse in Dimensions. Why in the hell they can't EVER get this right is just beyond me. Parts of the game would be a lot more fun (and a hell of a lot less frustrating) if they'd just come up with a control system that actually has good control of the vehicles.
  • The camera system is inexplicably bad from time to time... but epsecially if your character gets stuck. Many times the camera will zoom in way too close... and get stuck there... forcing you to switch characters so you can see what's going on. Most of the time it's just annoying. But when you're under attack? No fun at all. Even though you can't really "die" in LEGO games, it's nevertheless frustrating.
  • Some of the best franchises in LEGO are LEGO Indiana Jones, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, and (of course) LEGO Star Wars. To have them in Dimensions would be crazy-amazing. But... they're all owned by Disney. And Disney has their own toy-game in Disney Infinity, so it's not going to happen. That's pretty shitty. I mean, I know Disney is just trying to keep the most profit from their investment for themselves... but think of your fans. Charge a huge licensing fee and let it happen. Then your fans can decide who has the better game. Because, honestly, this seems as though you have no confidence in Infinity, which is kind of sad.
  • I'm guessing the way that the game is able expand with each new pack is because it downloads new stuff from the LEGO Dimensions servers when you start the game. This adds time to the process but, oddly enough, is skippable. So I'm not sure what's going on there.
  • As I mentioned, parts of the game are locked off unless you buy the appropriate add-on sets to unlock them. I don't want to buy Ninjago or Chima... why force me to do that so I can complete the main game? The extra worlds, sure. Fine. But the primary game I bought? Come on.
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DIMENSIONS!

Posted on June 17th, 2015

Dave!SQUEEEEEE!!

THE CAKE IS REAL!

I REPEAT, THE CAKE IS REAL!!!

It's like my entire life has been leading to this moment...

A mash-up of LEGO Batman and Portal?

SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY! TAKE ALL MY MONEY!!!

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Bullet Sunday 393

Posted on August 10th, 2014

Dave!Downgrade that hurricane... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• DC LEGO! This November, all of DC Comics' covers will feature LEGO characters in celebration of the release of LEGO Batman 3!

They look pretty great...

LEGO Batman Cover

LEGO Batman Cover

LEGO Batman Cover

You can see a completely list of the upcoming covers here.

   
• Bats Three. And, speaking of LEGO Batman 3... footage has been everywhere since ComicCon. IGN, for example, has a look at the many playable characters in the game...

Can. Not. Wait.

   
• Global. Well, it was good while it lasted.

   
• Daily. This video so perfectly sums up my day...

I'm the cat in this scenario, obviously.

   
• I am GROOT! Hey! It's baby dancing Groot!

Baby Dancing Groot!

Yeah. You just know a toy version of THAT is coming...

   
Annnnd... I'm off. That weekend was way too short.

   

Bullet Sunday 383

Posted on June 1st, 2014

Dave!Don't press that back button... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Leaving. And so my quick trip to Tampa has ended and I'm flying home today. Early. Way too early. Because I'm just not smart enough to stop booking early flights. But at least it's ultimately my choice. I feel sorry for these puppies who didn't have a choice but to fly...

Puppy as Luggage

Poor pup. At least he has decent legroom.

   
• Movies. While looking for something to watch on Delta's entertainment system, I ran across THIS hot mess...

ADORE: Two mothers living in a sleepy seaside town find their lifelong friendship put to the test when the community learns that they have fallen in love with each others sons.

Holy shit! How messed up is that?!?

I settled for watching Veronica Mars for the fourth time...

Veronica Mars

Or I would have if I could have found the movie playing. Delta is just a big ol' tease.

   
• I'M BATMAN! Already clearing a space on my Fall schedule...

US AmeriBank Ybor City

Two of my favorite things on earth are LEGO and Batman. To have them combined in something so awesome gives my life meaning.

   
• Man-ual. If you're a fan of the Iron Man movies, you NEED to get The Iron Man Manual. It's a book... but not really a book. It's meant to be a dossier prepared by Tony Stark's computerized butler, Jarvis. The result is more "scrap book" than anything else, and it's really well done. Pages have tickets, post-it notes, schematics, drawings, and other movie prop goodies pasted to them. As if that weren't enough, the book is jam-packed with info from the films, including a complete look at all the various armors...

Surprisingly good book and a must for Iron Man fans. You can get a copy here.

   
• ILLOGICAL! ILLOGICAL! Watch the video to continue... but the video cannot be loaded... but you have to load the video to continue but...

WATCH THE VIDEO TO CONTINUE! - THE VIDEO COULD NOT BE LOADED!

Thanks a heap, SeaTac Free WiFi!

   
And... my plane is going to be landing in a few minutes, so I'll be shutting down now.

   

Bullet Sunday 138

Posted on June 28th, 2009

Dave!Another week. Another Bullet Sunday. And this one seems to be inspired by how the vast information available on the internet seems to cause a chain of events from one thing to another.

• LEGO Chain. This started with me getting the latest LEGO catalog in the mail and seeing that they've come up with a third series of Space Police sets. I've been a fan of LEGO since I was very young, but it was when they released the original Space Police that I became insane over those little plastic bricks. What's so amazing is how LEGO keeps innovating and improving on the concept. This time around they've put a real effort into making the minifigs drive the series. The little alien criminals have to be the cutest LEGOs ever...

Lego Space 3 Aliens
Clockwise: Frenzy, Kranxx, Skull Twin, and Squidman.
Photos taken from the awesome shots at No Onion's Flickr Set

Space Police then led to video games when I saw that the catalog also featured an advertisement for their latest effort, LEGO Battles. It seems to be a Real-Time Strategy game that's geared for a younger gamer. Or a gamer like me who loves LEGO video games so much that they'll buy anything that comes out...

Legobattles

I don't know anything about the game play, but the trailer makes me want to buy it immediately...

LEGO Battles led to me remember that I had bought LEGO Indiana Jones and LEGO Batman games for my Wii months ago, but had never even opened the boxes! The last game I had played was LEGO Star Wars, which was ten shades of awesome, so I decided to rip them open and give them a try. As expected, they were absolutely amazing and a lot of fun. Sadly, I don't have time for games, or I could have spent all day playing...

Lego Indiana Jones

Lego Batman

As a major Batman fan, LEGO Batman is a huge favorite. The puzzles are really good, and some of them quite challenging as you attempt to find all the game's secrets. But they don't stop there... not only do you get to play as all the Bat Heroes (including Batgirl!) you can then replay the levels from the villain's perspective! Sweet! A pity the iPhone version isn't nearly as good.

This then led me to wonder which LEGO property would be getting a video game next. Spider-Man? Superman? Nope. Turns out it's LEGO Harry Potter, Years 1-4 coming in 2010. I don't even like Harry Potter, but the trailer has me wanting it...

This led me to wish that they would expand the games outside of licensed properties and explore some of the LEGO favorites like LEGO Pirates and LEGO Space Police... how awesome would that be? Guess I'll have to settle for LEGO Rock Band...

   

• Hollywood Chain. This all started with a tweet by Kevin Smith...

Kevin Smith Twitter

Since Kevin Smith interviews and Kevin Smith talks are about as entertaining as it gets, this immediately grabbed my attention. I didn't even know Kevin Pollak had an internet chat show.

Which led to Kevin Pollak's site. Where I noticed his previous guest was ILLEANA DOUGLAS!! I love Illeana Douglas! She always manages to pop up just when I least expect it, and usually ends up stealing the show. My favorite character of hers would have to be child star turned prostitute turned Hollywood movie executive Wendy Ward in Action! but she's great in everything...

Illeana Douglas

Her interview wsa very interesting (and very long!) but led me to her latest project which, believe it or not, is a series of shorts for IKEA called Easy to Assemble starring Illeana as "herself"... trying to leave Hollywood behind and lead a "normal life" by working at IKEA...

Easy to Assemble Still with Illeana Douglas

This led me to visiting the IKEA site so I could see if they started making those DVD shelves I like again, but they aren't on the site. This is a major bummer, because I can't even remember the IKEA name of the unit so I can call and ask if the store in Seattle has it. Best. DVD. Shelf. Ever. And I need more.

This led me to wondering when Watchmen was coming out on DVD. Turns out the Blu-Ray Director's Cut will hit on July 25th...

Watchmen Blu-Ray

This led me to remember that the Blog-Her conference is on July 25th in Chicago. This led me to wonder if Chicago television show My Boys had been renewed for a fourth season (according to The Futon Critic it hasn't yet). Which led me to wonder if they had at least released the second season of My Boys on DVD (they haven't). Which led me to wanting my IKEA shelves all over again.

   

• Bloggign Chain. This morning I learned that OBNOXIOUSLY LOUD TV PITCH-MAN BILLY MAYS HAD DIED. This led me to look back at my blog entry about him from back in 2007...

BILLY FUCKING MAYS, DAMMIT!!

This led me to remember that it was Bullet Sunday, and I should probably write my entry for the day. So here I am. REST IN PEACE BILLY MAYS!!!

   

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