In which Ryan reviews the movie 'Pinocchio In Outer Space'

Another movie review? Yeah, it kinda looks like that's the case.

As you can see from that image, this is the greatest movie ever made. Pinocchio In Outer Space was created in Belgium, and then released in North America by Universal Pictures in 1965. It was actually the second animated film that Universal ever released. After this movie they didn't release any more animated films for over 20 years. That's how bad this movie is.

The plot is pretty simple. You know that story about Pinocchio? You remember, puppet gets turned into a real boy, something about noses growing and stuff. Well, this is kind of a sequel. Much in the same way that Weekend At Bernie's 2 was a sequel. Same central characters, but with a plot that really stretches the storyline in a much more awesome direction. In this case, it involves flying around in a spaceship.

We start our movie with a shot of an old lady and a princess with no nose sitting in space-rockers and doing some knitting. I am totally not kidding about this. Apparently space is just as boring as your grandma's house. Anyways, as the two are knitting, they fill us in with the story up to now. Apparently since we last saw Pinocchio, he's been busy being a total asshole to the point where he actually got turned back into a puppet. On top of that, the world is being tormented by a giant, rocket-powered space whale named Astro. Again, not kidding.

We then join Pinocchio as he does his astronomy homework. You know, because that's the kind of thing a puppet who is roughly the equivalent to a 9-year-old would normally be doing, especially at a point in history where there is still high demand for toys cobbled out of wood. Anyways, after a jaunty tune, Pinocchio decides the best way to become a real boy again is to save the world from the space whale. And, like any good, critical-thinking puppet, he decides to do so by learning hypnotism to convince the giant space whale that he is instead a giant space penguin. No fucking joke.

Lucky for him a spaceship lands nearby and he is greeted by his new bestest buddy Nurtle the Twurtle (not to be confused with a turtle, mind you). Pinocchio suggests that he could use his completely untrained hypnosis powers to help Nurtle defeat Astro. Nurtle, in his infinite wisdom, decides to accept Pinocchio's claims at face value and takes the youngster up into space. They go to Mars to investigate some strange atomic radiation. Once they arrive, they locate a city that has apparently just been sitting there on the planet's surface all this time. Then they are attacked by a horde of giant space crabs. After narrowly escaping the giant crabs, they fly over the city until they spot some spaceships, which Nurtle reminds us is proof of an advanced civilization on Mars. Yeah, like the giant spanning space city didn't tip us off.

Upon further investigation, they find some regular-sized sand crabs and some scorpions hanging out in some pits with fancy science equipment. Then, you guessed it, giant space scorpion attack. Shortly after, space scorpion is joined by unidentified giant space lizard who chases him away. At this point, after the whale and the crabs and the scorpion, Pinocchio finally notices that there are giant animals afoot. Pinocchio is not very smart. Oh, wait, now there's also a spider. I'm assuming somewhere on a cutting room floor in Belgium, there are countless scenes of random giant animals being all badass. Really, you can only afford to fit so many of them into this film until it no longer counts as a film about Pinocchio.

Or so you might think. But, then they find themselves face-to-face with a giant space turtle. You know, I think I just figured something out. There are giant animals in this movie. They barely make it to their rocketship and escape, just before the gigantic atomic blast that destroys the entire Martian city. For realsies. But, just when you think our heroes are safely on their way back to Earth, Astro attacks and swallows them whole. Sound familiar? Yeah, it did to me too.

Luckily, the whale comes equipped with a spout, which they fly out of to safety, although they accidentally bend their stabilizer fin in the process, which causes them to spiral uncontrollably. Unfortunately, Astro catches wise to their escape plan and takes pursuit. Pinocchio decides to try his hypnosis skills on the whale. Surprise, they don't work. Luckily, the spinning of the ship actually does hypnotize him. This allows them to tie their ship to his tail and point him in the direction of Earth. Unfortunately, now their on a collision course for our planet, which means Pinocchio has to do the heroic thing by putting an anchor in Astro's tailpipe or something along those lines. Whatever it is, it seems to work. Astro stops, they make it back to Earth and everyone lives happily ever after.

Oh, and Pinocchio becomes a real boy. What a twist!

All in all, a bad movie, but not as unbearable as Shrooms. I give this one 3 out of 5 Torgos.


New Comic Day 05/29/2008

First off, let me apologize for the late update here. Apparently after delaying the book sales for a day, Diamond thought it was a good idea to send my store's books to Iowa instead of Georgia. But, now I've got them and I've read them, and it's time for you to act like you care what I thought about them. Let's take a look at this week's list.

If you look closely, you'll notice that there are a suspiciously larger amount of DC comics than I usually buy. Honestly, I think it's the most DC comics I've ever bought at the same time. Though, really, this is the most comics I've bought all at once in a while. Let's take a look at this weeks highlights and lowlights.

ACTION COMICS #865 I'm not usually much of a "Superman person", but any comic that features both Toyman AND Jimmy Olsen as the main focal points is worth picking up. This one didn't disappoint.

ANGEL: REVELATIONS #1 An origins book about one of my favorite Marvel characters of all time. It's good to see Mr. Worthington presented in a way that doesn't make me want to strangle him (as he has in almost every incarnation on page and screen since X-Factor #1). The art is much different than what I normally go for, but somehow it just seems to work with this particular story. If you've got any interest in the title character at all, I'd recommend picking up this mini-series from the start.

BLUE BEETLE #27 I've heard nothing but good reviews about this series and, honestly, I've been meaning to start picking it up for a long time now. Really the only thing keeping me from doing it is my own OCD about coming into a storyline halfway in. After all the big to-do being made on the internet about issue #26, I decided it was time for me to finally break down and hop on board. I gotta say, this book absolutely rocks. Just the right amount of humor and action, this could easily become my favorite DC book (take THAT, Green Arrow/Black Canary).

DAREDEVIL #107 Well I couldn't rightly pass up sucking Ed Brubaker's dick again this week about my favorite comic series of all time. To be fair to the whole writing staff, I guess Greg Rucka gets a reach-around. All homoeroticism aside, this book yet again hits everything right on the mark. The art is terrific, the plot is well executed, and it's got Luke Fucking Cage and Daredevil getting KRUNKK in it. Were this any other writing team penning a plot about any other Marvel character, this would be right about the time in the series where I complain about the title character being too much of a sissy bitch and lose interest. But somehow, I can't help but forgive Matt Murdock for pulling a Spider-Man 3.

FINAL CRISIS #1 (OF 7) I readily admit, I have no real clue about DC continuity up to this point. I haven't followed Countdown or any of the other stuff that has been prepping the DCU for Final Crisis (aside from the first few issues of Death of the New Gods, which I dropped at issue 2). But, I really can't justify passing up on multiverse changing events, so (on the suggestion of Alex) I decided to pick this up. The art is fantastic, and really the first few pages featuring Metron are pretty classic. After that, I was pretty much lost. I'm still planning on picking up the rest of the run, but for now I can say it's not at the top of my read list.

MARVEL 1985 #1 Well, it's official. Between Kick-Ass and this book, Mark Millar is too good of a writer not to have sold his soul. I imagine several demons hunched over old typewriters making books that are far too awesome, while Millar sits in his La-Z-Boy watching South Park and eating cheez-its. If you didn't buy this book and you have ever been a child, I'd recommend you stop reading some stupid blog (not this one, which is perfection embodied, mind you) and go buy this book. It's fantastic.

NEW AVENGERS #41 Mr. Bendis, I want to apologize for saying that you were a douchebag with absolutely zero writing talent. Obviously you've just been fooling us all these years by pretending to suck. Then again, I could just be saying that because of the giant dinosaur on the first page.

NEW WARRIORS #12 It's good to finally see an issue of New Warriors that doesn't completely focus around the new Night Thrasher and how much of a dick he is. As heroes, I don't really car much for most of the characters, but this issue has finally taken the time to flesh them out beyond "a bunch of whiny super-brats" and into some surprisingly cool survivalists. This one is saved from the chopping block for now.

WOLVERINE: FIRST CLASS #3 I'm almost completely certain that the New Men are one of the greatest group of secondary characters ever written for comic books. They're the kind of folks you can completely forget even exist until they turn up again in a book like this. And, really, any book that features a lady with a cow head and Wolverine being called "Weasel Man" more than his actual name is a winner in my book.


In which Ryan reviews the movie 'Shrooms'

I try to keep this blog generally comic and/or superhero themed. But, sometimes things just come along that are too fantastic not to discuss. In this case, it is a masterpiece of modern horror cinema known as Shrooms.

This movie follows 6 college-aged kids who decide to go out into the backwoods of Ireland and trip their nuts off on psychedelic mushrooms. The kids are as follows:

Troy: The hippie stoner kid. This guy is pretty blatantly a direct rip-off of Jay (from Kevin Smith's movies) but without all the funny jokes and things that make you hope he doesn't die. Troy is basically in this movie for two reasons.

A) To constantly tell his girlfriend to calm down

B) To get brutally murdered

Holly: Troy's hippie girlfriend. For some unknown reason, Holly doesn't shave her underarms, but unexplainably has smooth, freshly shaven legs. She exists pretty much only to be killed.

Bluto: The jock. Bluto is the tough-guy of our troupe. He openly admits to using steroids, and has two rings on each hand. One says "Death" and the other says "Coma". He also wants to fuck anything that moves

Lisa: Bluto's girlfriend, who is a total bitch to everyone all the time. That's pretty much it.

Tara: The central character of the story, Tara is one of the few who doesn't fit into an easy classification. She exists to make you want to kill her yourself.

Jake: The only semi-likable character in the bunch. Jake is an Irish guy who these kids know somehow. He's like that guy in high school who knew everything there was to know about drugs and everyone thought he was so cool, but then everyone had to generally straighten up after college and so now he hangs out with high school kids. The only difference is that these kids aren't in high school.

They never really explain how these people all know each other, which really wouldn't be a big deal, except for the fact that almost from the very start of the movie they all hate each others guts. That's really all you get to know about them. What they don't tell you straight-forward is that these kids are the smartest people alive. Which is what makes the movie so hard to grasp, because it seems like they make all the right choices, but still somehow they end up getting chased by a psycho.

They get off their plane and hop in Jake's van to drive out to the woods where they'll be picking the shrooms. On the way there, they see a car parked out in the woods, which prompts Jake to explain the concept of "dogging" to his friends. Apparently dogging is where a couple parks their car in the woods and has hot make-outs while other people watch. Then they flash the cars lights which tells the onlookers that they can approach the car and get a BJ from the passengers. Make sense? Yeah, didn't for me either. They also run into some hobos. Anywho, they reach their destination and set out to pick some mushrooms. This is when we learn that apparently there are two kinds of shrooms growing this season. The normal kind you want to take, and the Death's Head Mushroom, which looks exactly the same, except for a little black dot on it.

The Death's Head will apparently do one of two things:

A) Kill you very painfully

B) Give you crazy psychic powers that show you how people are going to die.

Guess what happens next!

You guessed it, Tara eats one and starts having a seizure. Unfortunately, she survives. They all head back to camp to start boiling their mushroom tea and Jake decides to tell the story of a giant brutal massacre that occurred at a home for unruly children on the very land they are camping at. Apparently the guys who ran the place were sadists and tortured the kids, so the kids put a few pounds of death's head shrooms in their soup and then everyone went crazy and killed each other, except for two of them who were never seen again. He then proceeds to tell them about how people are always finding dead, mutilated bodies in the area during mushroom-picking season. They decide to stick around anyways because, like I said, they're geniuses.

That night Bluto and Lisa have an argument, so Bluto decides it's a good idea to drink half their mushroom tea, vomit all over himself, and then take a stroll into the woods by himself. On the way, he meets a talking cow. No really, I'm not joking. After talking to the cow, he spots that car they had seen on the way there, and sees that it's lights are flashing. Obviously from what we know about Bluto, he can't resist getting a little action from some strangers. So he goes over and pops his willy into the window. And, it gets bitten off then he gets an axe to the head or something. While this is happening, Tara is having another seizure and dreaming about the exact same thing.

They all awake the next morning to find Bluto gone, so they figure the best thing to do would be to drink some shroom tea themselves and wander into the woods to look for him. They find him all dead and shit, which causes them to lose it and run around in the woods for a while. For some reason, even though they just saw his dead body with a big blood hole in it's head, nobody seems to think that maybe they should get the hell out of there. Instead they decide to argue amongst themselves and stare off into the woods a lot.

I might want to sidetrack here and explain that about 70% of the footage for this movie is just long shots of nothing but trees and empty hallways, interspersed by a shot of Tara looking all freaked out and then screaming and running.

Anywho, in order to solve the mystery, they decide to split up and meet back at the abandoned children's home. Scooby and Shaggy go this way, and... oh wait, wrong review. The three ladies go one way, and the remaining men go the other. Holly gets split from her friends and gets killed. We then see Tara having another seizure by the edge of a lake, which is followed by her telling Lisa that Holly is dead and is in the water. Lisa finds Holly and decides to ditch her friend and walks off into the bog. Tara has another seizure/premonition about Lisa, so she decides to follow her. Lisa dies.

Tara decides that the best idea is to just keep walking around in the water some more on the way over to where they had agreed to meet the guys. Because really, when you have a history of debilitating seizures, what could be safer than standing in waist-deep water? Then we get to the death of Troy, which was surprisingly really uninteresting. He just kind of goes away. This prompts Jake to freak out and jump out of the window and break his legs.

Tara finds him and they start walking back to civilization and live happily ever after. Actually, the killer finds them and kills Jake too. Which is unfortunate, because then we're really just left with the one person we wanted to die from the start.

Really all that's left now is the big surprise twist ending that you probably already saw coming from the first 5 minutes. But, I'm not going to ruin it for you. Watch it yourself.

All in all, I give this movie 4 out of 5 Torgo's

Can I have your attention please...

A few months ago, I asked my friend Blockade Boy to do a redesign of one of the worst superhero costumes of all time. Looks like he got the email, go check out his fantastic Rusty Collins v2.0.


Snack time is fun time!

The makers of Lego Fun Snacks would like to remind you that:

Grape + Cherry = Graperry.

These are the most frustrating fruit snacks I've ever eaten. They list 4 flavors on the box. Strawberry, Grape, Orange, and Cherry. However, inside the packages there are 6 colors! And some of them don't really seem to make any sense.

Red: Cherry
Orange: Orange
Yellow: ??
Green: Strawberry (for unknown reasons)
Blue: ??
Purple: Grape

I've assumed yellow to be some kind of lemon flavor, but what the fuck is blue?

Somebody tell me!



In case any of you missed the end to Spider-Man 3...

So I can get to stompin in my Ayre Force vol 1.

Ok, before I get into this review, I have to go ahead and warn you all. This is probably going to be a bit different from any other reviews I've ever posted on this blog before. Mainly because every book I've ever reviewed here before was fun to read, if not at least amusingly unbearable. This book, however, is terrible.

I can generally determine how bad a book was by comparing the time it takes to read it by the amount of pages/dialog in the book. This book has 80 pages and it took me 5 days to finish it. Now, often I can pass off a timespan like that by looking at how busy I was with other things during those times, but I can't do that for this one. I honestly sat and stared at the cover of this book for an hour at one point, trying to convince myself to open it back up and keep reading.

So, I decided to take one for the team and struggle my way through the rest of the book and finally get the warning out to everyone. You guys owe me. Let's get on with the review.

The book opens with the Ayre Force team on a mission to southern china to raid a facility owned by sterotypical evil scientist Janus Winter. This particular facility happens to specialize in bear bile farming. Honestly, I laughed when I read that. But then I looked it up and realized it was a real thing. Apparently they stick a big needle into a bears liver and suck out all the bile to use in some traditional chinese medicine. Generally it is unbelievably painful and unpleasant for the animal, and frequently results in death. OK, well played Mr. Ayre, I can't argue that you are officially not the biggest dick in this comic book. But, after reading the whole book through, I feel like the bears got off easier that the reader.

But anyways, they stop the bad guys, and I'm almost ready to accept that maybe Calvin Ayre isn't the biggest jerk of a protagonist ever. And then he locks them in cages and blows them the fuck up with grenades, after expressing just how much he enjoys doing that.

Now, it may just be me, but I'd love to see where in Mr. Ayre's copy of "Business for Dummies" it recommends depicting yourself as a homocidal vigilante without any remorse for butchering a dozen human beings. But, I'm not going to get myself on that rant just now, because this is where the book actually delivers the one thing you'd probably expect a company that specializes in things dudes like. Explosions and car chases. Really the next 3 pages could be nothing but explosions, and you'd still walk away with the same impression. The dialog is basically just your standard action hero "blowing stuff up is just another day on the job" filler. So, they drive their motorcycles all the way to their big, inconspicuous camouflaged airplane, where they are greeted by none other than Janus Winter's three genetically hybrid children, who have the relative powers of a chameleon, a lion, and a cheetah.

At this point, you will quite likely find yourself wondering what a gun tastes like.

So, fast forward a bit, we find out that apparently Calvin Ayre is really a former secret agent who quit and apparently decided to lay low by starting a multi-billion dollar company and being an egocentric douchebag. We then see shots of Calvin assembling the members of Ayre Force (I did mention that all of the team members are based off of actual employees of Bodog Entertainment, right?). So, in this team-building montage we learn that apparently all the members of Ayre Force were already well-established safe-crackers, data thieves, and eco-terrorists.

Really I'd write more, but there's not much to the rest of the book after we see the team forming. They basically just switch right back to their plot device of "EPIC BATTLE!" for the rest of the book. And in the end, Calvin Ayre douches his way to victory, Janus Winter is dead, and his mutant kids are already planning the sequel.

Fuck. A sequel.


The new phone books are here!

7-11 days my ass. UPS just showed up with my copy of Ayre Force. Thankfully, a lot thinner than I had originally thought, so that means less of a headache.

I should be done with this and able to review later today.

Also, one of the writers is named Slutsky. heh heh.

This is pretty excruciating. Give me until tomorrow.


New Comics Day 05/07/2008

Well, today is New Comic Day and I'm faced with a bit of a conundrum. None of my comics sucked this week! How the hell do they expect me to make fun of their comics if they make them so good? Let's take a look at some of the highlights...Avengers/Invaders #1
After last weeks disappointment with the giant size intro, I was a bit unsure about this one, but it turned out to be a a good issue in what appears to be a really promising series. But really, any series that features Bucky running around in his old clown suit is A-O.K. in my book.

Cable #3
With Olivetti's art behind this series, it could be about cable playing a game of ping-pong and I'd still buy it. Unfortunately, this issue offers absolutely zero table tennis action. What it did offer was a surprisingly funny penis joke on the part of Bishop. Really, as I've said before, this series has completely changed my outlook of Cable. Of course, that probably has something to do with the fact that they've basically changed him into Hulk Hogan from Mr. Nanny.

Invincible Iron Man #1
This issue has fucking 6 different covers to choose from! I understand that Iron Man is Marvels meal ticket right now, but I thought we were done with the 90's. Anyways, once I got past that fact and really got into the meat of the book, I have to say, it's made me hate this current Iron Man persona a little less. The villain and his premise look to be pretty interesting in the long run, if not a bit insubstantial in this first issue. I can't wait to hear the back story here.

Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas
This is quite possibly the greatest Iron Man story to come out in the recent years. Mostly because it's out of continuity and heavily influenced by the movie. So we get to see Stark back to his old boozing and womanizing self. Not to mention that the entire premise of the threat to Las Vegas in this issue is "Ewww, Lizards!". That's one step up from "Eeeek! A Mouse!".

Punisher War Journal #19
After earning the Worst of Wednesday award a few weeks back, I felt that I had to include this issue in my highlights this week. This issue was really fucking good. It really did a great job of trying up all the absolutely confusing loose ends that the last issue left, and even made me forget about Chaykin's art. I have now regained hope that this series can continue to produce the goods, even without Olivetti's art. Well played, Mr. Fraction.

X-Factor: The Quick and The Dead #1
Another surprising one. When I look at it from a logical standpoint, it doesn't quite make sense to me. This book has the words 'X-Factor' on the cover, it's focused on one of my least favorite comic characters of all time, and it is largely about a guy talking to himself. Everything about this book tells me that it should suck, but it doesn't. I really, really liked it. Hopefully Quicksilver will continue not to suck for many years to come.

The War That Time Forgot #1
Dinosaurs. Explosions.

'Nuff Said.



Just heard about the next batch of Marvel movies coming out in the upcoming years. Might I just say, once again, holy shit yes. I don't really have much else to add, so I'll just provide a direct quote from marvel.com:
You might want to be sitting down for this one, True Believers...Okay, you ready?

This morning Marvel Studios announced four new films slated for 2010 and 2011, including two Avengers-related movies!

With Iron Man's cinematic debut currently blasting through box offices throughout the country, fans can expect a second film to hit theaters on April 30, 2010! And a few months later in July, the mighty Thor himself will wield his enchanted hammer across the big screen courtesy of director Matthew Vaughn!

Pumped yet? You should be—and you haven't heard the best part! The summer of 2011 will kick off in style with a Captain America movie, followed just two short months later with the July-debuting Avengers!

Want the very first looks at how the Marvel movie universe is already tying together? Be sure you stick to your seats until the very end of "Iron Man"—yes, all the way through the credits! There's an extra special, extra exciting, extra scene guaranteed to thrill!

Plus, as first revealed at New York Comic-Con 2008, catch Robert Downey, Jr.'s cameo as Tony Stark in "The Incredible Hulk," smashing into theaters on June 13!

That noise you hear in the background is the sound of Marvelites the world over rejoicing, True Believer! So get ready, because these next few years are going to be one heck of a good time!
I don't think the Iron-Man sequel is any surprise to anyone who saw the movie. Actually, let me interrupt my own self with a question to you, the reader. Am I the only one who experienced the strange emotion of wanting to vomit and scream for joy at the scene where Rhodes looks at the other suit and says "next time"? Now, you may think I'm exaggerating there, but I'm not. The corniness of it literally make me throw-up in my mouth a little, but holy shit war machine. I can't imagine what would really happen if one were to puke while screaming, but I think it would likely not bode well for the cleaning crew. If anyone wants to make a video of themselves doing that and put it up on youtube, I'll be glad to send you a free WIFL T-Shirt.

Anyways, back to movies. Iron Man 2, no big surprise. Really, Avengers is no big surprise either. But what about Thor and Captain America?

Thor is already facing a 25/75 chance of flopping outside of the fanboy community. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Thor. I just don't think he's the kind of character that Joe Everyman thinks of when he wants to go see a Marvel-based flick. I know at least two people (Myself, and the late David "pookyface" Campbell) who would kill an adorable puppy (don't tell my girlfriend!) for a Thor movie, but is everyone else that dedicated? I guess, on the plus side, it means that he's probably going to be in the Avengers movie. Which means I can die a happy man.

The announcement of the Captain America movie was probably my biggest moment of fanboy rapture, though. Cap has always been my favorite character. And really the long, agonizing 3-year wait really has me hopeful. I'm hoping that 3 years will give them plenty of time to make it really good.

Oh also....

After a full two weeks of arduous procrastination, I finally broke down and ordered my copy of Ayre Force vol 1 from their website. According to my shipping choice, it will take 7-11 business days to arrive. So, I've decided to host a little countdown of my own, as DC's draws to a close.

I will be making a post a day-ish for the next 7-11 days*.

*this does not actually mean I'll do that, but you have to admire my idealism, right?