Being the last day of the month, it’s about time to get our final overview of December out which covers all the latest media additions.
It’s been a long time since I read the latest Games TM issues that are starting to pile up, but I’ve had my fair share of retro reading. It’s rather nice that one receives some goodies once in a while, and as the new year was almost there, what better way than to celebrate it with an awesome calendar? The next few photos give you an insight into all the 8-bit/16-bit sprite work that went into the individual monthly covers. I left out the odd old computer photos, as I didn’t find them very appealing. However, having some consoles or arcade machines presented in that art style is definitely something special. Seeing more modern gaming icons as 8/16-bit characters is also quite interesting. So take your time and see how many references you can spot!
It was the month of Star Wars movie fever, and even if I didn’t like Episode VIII: The Last Jedi so much, there were enough reasons to make one love the franchise, as with the newest LEGO magazine that celebrated the release of the newest movie with some cool stickers and Kylo Ren’s shuttle.
I also received some nice Star Wars birthday/Christmas presents with the Monopoly board and other card games that were quite fun.
More birthday presents included the 3D BDs of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (I already reviewed and liked much better) and Star Wars: Rogue One (unfortunately a mixed bag of boring story/characters and a grand action-packed finale). Star Wars Robot Chicken wasn’t 3D, but turned out to be a pretty fun collection of clay figures anarchic comedy scenes (although some of them were already included in the original trilogy BD collection as special features). XxX: The Return of Xander Cage was surprisingly fun. In spite of all the bad reviews, I preferred watching this over-the-top action feast than the first two movies.
Last month I covered the Efteling theme park book in the new additions to the media collection article, and my girlfriend gave me the original fairytale figurines as presents, which all look as detailed as the ones in the fairy tale forest I visited.
Videogames didn’t really make it to the shelves this month, except for a few Gameboy titles. Two I owned back in the days and which were just as much fun to play (the alligator pinball and arcade classic game) and the other was a good puzzler to pass time on the go or at home. I got them together with empty cases that will be used for keeping other module-only acquisitions in a better dust-free environment.
I really don’t like German TV, and it’s a pain that we are forced to pay a monthly fee without watching it, supporting horrible shows and movies in the process. Fortunately there’s one man who makes fun of everything bad on TV in the most insulting way possible: Oliver Kalkofe. You might know this guy from short cameos in the fourth and fifth Sharknado movies and he presents and comments on trash movies as well (with one included as a DVD in this set). Anyway, I finally got this special edition of almost all his 15-minutes TV-bashing goodness, although it didn’t come without its problems…
With lots of unnecessary goodies (like a barf bag, a tie or a beer coaster), these were certainly not incentives to buy it. The main reason was that it was cheaper than buying the box sets individually. Only too bad that when I opened the box…
…none of the discs were in their clasps and everything fell out. Good thing that these were almost all BDs, but some of them were DVDs, so you can imagine that they didn’t come without scratches. At least one received a digital copy code for every season, but that’s not really the point of collecting physical media, is it?
You might have realized that there was one empty clasp. This was because the disc wasn’t missing, but it wasn’t released at the time when the box went into production. Great marketing to make people buy the next one, right? Anyway, I bought this season together with another one (so much for premonition, eh?). Unfortunately, the online shop I bought it at sent me the DVDs… Okay, the quality on the BDs is SD, but I want to receive what I bought… Sending the old ones back (and paying more postage than the shop anticipated) and finally getting the right package, this chapter was closed, and even if the price was okay (the BDs were out of print on Amazon), that was probably the last time I bought at Rakete Shop in Münster… Getting the final season of Kalkofe’s Mattscheibe (translated: Kalkofe’s Matt Screen) on Amazon was without any hassle, and as I took advantage of the 3 for 2 offer, I also got myself the Back to the Future animated series I remembered quite fondly from my childhood.
Despite having a fondness of 80ies movies, I have to say that I didn’t grow up with all the action B-movie icons like Michael Dudikoff or Chuck Norris. So it was time to add their movies to my collection, starting with the American Ninja (or in Germany American Fighter) series.
Speaking of fighting, upgrading from the DVD to the BDs was about time with the Rocky movies, although I have to say that I don’t consider them to be my all-time favorites. The first one was pretty boring at times, and I still need to find it in me to continue the series again in HD. I remember them getting better (and more violent), and I want to watch the newest one on Netflix as well… but only time will tell.
Chuck Norris’ magnum opus seems to be Invasion U.S.A., and together with the second Delta Force instalment, these should be good old-fashioned action no-brainers. Same with River of Death that looks more Indiana Jones, but with Dudikoff. Will it actually work? See above…
88 Films is my UK label to go to with their nice reversible artwork, although the Chuck Norris one was pretty lame (read: only without the age rating sticker removed as an alternative version).
Staying with violent action movies for a while, Exterminator 2 and Blastfighter sure look awesome, especially in their respective alternative artwork versions. And who can say no to a poster?
More trash that still seems to be part of a lot of cult movies could be seen in Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 (or the alternate title Zombi 3), and I liked this one much better than the slow-burning predecessor, as it had more action and ridiculous zombie make-up effects than before. Flesh Eating Mothers was also pretty bad but highly enjoyable. The atrocious acting has to be seen and heard to be believed. Still have to watch the Trancer sequels, but as I can’t remember the first two movies, I might have to re-watch these. Maybe the countless sequels will be released before I have the time to do that…
Being a big fan of slasher horror movies, I watch the most obscure ones, and even if 88 Films doesn’t always offer the goods, there is always something interesting in these types of movies (or something to laugh about if one isn’t bored by the slow pacing). Slaughterhouse was a rip-off of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, even if it wasn’t that disturbing. Still, except for the ending, I’d prefer watching the Michael Bay versions… Drive-in Massacre wasn’t as bad as I imagined it to be. Not really suspenseful or violent (especially what the overblown original poster made it out to be), but the setting and the nonsensical ending saved it for me. The First Power was more of a psychological thriller with a few supernatural elements thrown in. Not really special, but entertaining for a while.
Other obscure movies with WTF moments were Hellgate and Hell Comes From Frogtown. I haven’t come around watching the latter post-apocalyptic trash fest yet, but the former movie was actually quite okay. It had its pacing problems, and the humor was as annoying as the teenagers, but with these WTF moments, it’ll probably have a re-watch for Halloween sometime in the future.
Of course my movie collection doesn’t consist of strange movies only, with a few 3D blockbusters added as well (although Comin’ At Ya might fall into that category again).
To finish this overview, I won’t leave you with all the violence, gore, and bad acting, as six more Studio Ghibli movies indicate that I can also enjoy some fine animated movie art.
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