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Wes Anderson’s H&M Christmas Commercial

I’m a fan of Wes Anderson.  Sometimes his schtick works.  Sometimes it doesn’t.  But I think he’s got a decent track record.  my favorite films of his are still Rushmore and Life Aquatic.  It’s fun to see him stretch out into other media such as commercials when it happens.  He did an American Express commercial a few years ago and now he’s back with his easy to spot visual style in the new H&M Christmas commercial. He enlists frequent Anderson actor Adrian Brody to bring the holiday cheer.  Below is the full length trailer.  Shorter versions have been running on TV nation wide.  Enjoy.

23min of Ska : the Lady in the Lake

Hey everyone one! It’s your second favorite ska geek, what’s up? I’ve just finished the first of a three-night Slackers concert. I’m tired as heck, but man, still so excited for tonight and tomorrow! That’s what we do for our nerdery right? Go hard? Three shows, two of them on work nights? Let’s suit up and do this! Not sure how I’m supposed to make it through work on tomorrow, and my wife already has plans to let me sleep in in Saturday, because she knows that 3 days of work and ska is going to wipe me the heck out. Sorry, I don’t usually like to brag, but I’m super excited about these shows!

00:00 – the Slackers – Knowing (the Question ’98)
02:45 – Jackie Mendez – Nice Like Rice (Introducing… ’13)
05:44 – the Delirians – Love Sweet Love (Get Up ’14)
09:34 – thee Hurricanes – Megafone (Angel City Record : a New Dimension in Sound comp ’13)
12:37 – Viernes 13 – Slow and Low (Thirteen Rules ’15)
16:38 – Steady 45s – Too Late (Greenleaf Special ’16)
20:04 – Chris Murray – Home (Slackness ’08)

“23min of Ska” is a weekly ska mixtape that updates every Thursday. Visit 23ska.com to find out more information on the songs and bands in today’s podcast as well as over 200 past episodes.

Nothing (and Everything) to see here.

It’s official, people: Telltale is releasing a Guardians of the Galaxy game in their standard 5 part series format. They unveiled the teaser trailer today (December 1st) at this years Game Awards.

From the official game announcement:

“The energizing blend of humor, emotion, teamwork, and full-on sci-fi action-adventure of the Guardians provides an enormously satisfying space to explore through Telltale’s unique style of interactive storytelling,” said Kevin Bruner, Co-Founder and CEO of Telltale Games. “In Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series, players will take on multiple roles within the ragtag band of heroes, and take the pilot’s seat in directing their escapades around the universe. We are always honored to be working with the best creative partners and storytellers in entertainment, and working with Marvel on this series leaves us excited to share what we’ve been developing when it premieres in 2017.”

“With story at the core of everything that Marvel creates, who better to team with than master storytellers Telltale Games,” said Jay Ong, Senior Vice President, Games & Innovation, Marvel Entertainment. “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series* fully showcases Marvel and Telltale’s rich legacy of storytelling, and fans will find themselves immersed in an original, character-driven narrative. As part of our strategy to establish a new standard for Marvel games, this is certainly among the great titles to come.”

As all teasers go, there is not a lot to look at here, but it’s more than plenty to catch our interest. Telltale has had a string of hits previously with The Walking Dead, Back to the Future, and their most recent offering, Batman (which I’ve personally found to be one of the most interesting Bruce Wayne stories in recent history). With their current run of hits, as well as the subject matter of this new game, there is no doubt that this one should be a lot of fun.

Guardians of the Galaxy: the Telltale Series is due out in 2017 on PC, gaming consoles and mobile devices.

Art of Atari – Bringing the Action Home Again

Art of Atari is a fantastic retrospective of the iconic company’s colorful design history. Written by Tim Lapetino, with a forward by Ernest Cline and an afterword by Robert V. Conte, Art of Atari primarily examines the artistic illustrations behind some of the company’s most famous games and consoles.

Growing up in the early 80’s, one of my first experiences with home video games was at my cousin’s house. I remember playing Combat on the Atari 2600 for hours on end. Even though the graphics were crude, the label art on the cartridge box was astonishing, especially to a kid with an overactive imagination. No longer was I just seeing pixelated squares on the screen – to me those were the very same tanks and planes that I saw on the illustration.

“The box artwork was an essential part of the the ritual of escape you experienced each time you played an Atari game. In a player’s mind, the artwork on the label would be forever linked to the digital artifact inside.”

-From the forward by Ernest Cline, author of Ready Player One.

Atari understood that a good illustration would really sell the game. The box art was your gateway into the game world. Look at the cover art of Asteroids for example – there’s a swarm of asteroids closing in on your ship. You’re desperately trying to stay alive. The art tells a story – will you survive the never ending assault? You’ll have to play the game to find out.

As I was reading the book, I realized that while I was familiar with many of Atari’s illustrations, I actually had no idea who the artists were. The author presents many of Atari’s greatest artists here, such as George Opperman, Cliff Spohn, Steve Hendricks, Susan Jaekel, Warren Chang, Terry Hoff, Evelyn Seto, and more. Each artist has a chapter devoted to them, where they talk about their history with Atari and how they came up with their designs.

I was surprised to learn that many of the artists did not actually play the games they did the art for. Often, a programmer would describe their game to the artist, and then the artist would come up with their own concept for what they understood the game to be. The artists were given a lot of freedom to express their ideas of what they thought the game world would be like. Many of them painted their friends and work associates into their designs.In some cases, several of the artists went out and even purchased Star Wars models and ‘kit-bashed’ them together to create new designs. I always wondered why the ship in the Defender art looked like a Star Destroyer. Now I know.

Art of Atari is 350 pages of pure nostalgia for anyone who grew up playing games in the early 1980’s. It is a wonderful collection of Atari’s visual history throughout the years. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in retro games. It is an essential part of the history of video gaming.

Have you played Atari today?

23min of Ska : Bay City Blues

Deep down I’ve always been a music geek. I was in the school band, in garage bands, and always thinking of music. In 1994 I got my first taste of ska music, and since then a love affair was born. I don’t care if it is traditional ska, ska punk, ska pop, ska-core, whatever, I’m digging it. From the early ’60s up to 2016, it’s a sound I love. So each week I mix together the songs I’m jamming out to at the moment. It’s more than just a playlist, but less produced than a by a skilled DJ, it’s 23min of Ska from Rad Jose.

00:00 – Steady 45s – Mama Said (Greenleaf Special ’16)
02:24 – Reel Big Fish – Your Guts (I Hate Them) (We’re Not Happy ’til You’re Not Happy ’05)
04:25 – Bomb the Music Industry! – Depression is No Fun (Get Warmer ’07)
07:07 – Be Like Max – Shout it Out (Against All Odds ’15)
11:07 – Jimmy Cliff – Ruby Soho (Rebirth ’12)
13:56 – the Toasters – Little Hidden Secrets (Dub 56 ’94)
16:36 – the Allentons – Dreams (Dreams ’11)
20:10 – Backyard Superheroes – Netflix & Chill (Netflix & Chill ’16)

“23min of Ska” is a weekly ska mixtape that updates every Thursday. Visit 23ska.com to find out more information on the songs and bands in today’s podcast as well as over 200 past episodes.

Non-news becomes news, Internet loses mind. 

In what could be the thinnest theory running right now, someone on the internet seemed convinced the other day that Zack Snyder had snuck Green Lantern into the official movie image for Justice League, posted about it, and suddenly the image went viral. 

What’s the fuss you ask? See that cloud discoloraton over Superman’s head there? That’s Green Lantern. Get in there close and really look at it. We’ll wait. See how it’s people shaped? Yep. There you have it. Case closed. Repost it. Hashtag it. #GLConfirmed #HalJordanJLA #OMGL!!

While we’ll give you that this is a work of art that someone put together, and maybe, MAYBE that was always their intention to hide him in there somewhere. And yes, it does look suspiciously like a floating person. But, frankly, the whole ordeal feels a bit of a stretch. Like Elongated Man and Plastic Man holding hands around the globe kind of a stretch. It’s a dark spot in the clouds. There are other dark spots as well, could they also be allusions to more characters? There is a giant monster shaped dark area over Batman, could that mean Godzilla’s making a post-credits appearance?

We know that making another post on the internet about this non-event is both ironic and hypocritical, but fan theories and rumors around these movies hits a fever pitch sometimes, and someone needs to talk us down after a while. Seriously, remember when Jena Malone was supposed to be Batgirl? Scott Eastwood was Nightwing infiltrating Task Force X?

Wait. We just figured it out. That spot over Supes isn’t Green Lantern at all. You guys, that’s Jason Todd!  #redhoodconfirmed #OMTODD

We’ll put it to you guys. What do you think it is?

Why the World Doesn’t Need Superman (to have his own show)

After Tyler Hoechlin’s pitch perfect turn as the Man of Steel on Supergirl’s premiere episode, the internet lit up with demands that Supes return to the small screen with a show of his own. At first glance, it feels right; Hoechlin, as well as the writing team on Supergirl, did such a great job at bringing some levity back to the big, blue boy scout, that naturally, you want more. He took turns doing the day saving with Supergirl, he thanked random DEO agents for their service, and Rao save us, he actually smiled! Refreshing isn’t strong enough of a word to explain the feeling seeing Superman, the REAL Superman, back in action. (Remember when he told that bank robber, “If the bullets didn’t work, right? Why the punching?”? So great.) We get it. We really do.

But let’s not rush into this. Continue reading Why the World Doesn’t Need Superman (to have his own show)

Lego Batman Needs a Friend in Trailer #4

Somewhere almost dead center between the camp of the neon Schumacher Bat and the angry, ultra-violent Snyder Bat, the Lego Batman sits quietly in wait…trying to get his BatTV to work.
Today, Warner Bros dropped trailer #4 for the solo Lego Batman movie out next year. After his scene-stealing cameo in 2014’s Lego movie, the Bat is back and he’s flying solo. He’s saving the day and earning the adulation of millions of fans, but still there seems to be something missing in his life. At the insistence of Alfred, Batman reluctantly learns to take responsibility of the young boy he’s adopted, and along the way, builds a team of heroes to help him on his life’s mission.
The Lego Batman movie hits theaters in February 2017 and features the voice talents of Will Arnett, Ralph Fiennes, Rosario Dawson, Zach Galifianakis and Michael Cera.

Ted DiBiase Jr. Returning For Indie Promotion

Former WWE Superstar Ted DiBiase Jr. is coming out of retirement for a match at Pro Wrestling EGO’s “The Last Call” event on Saturday, December 3rd in Pearl, Mississippi. The event will be a law enforcement fundraiser to benefit Rankin and Hinds County Honor Guard teams. Full details on the event are at this link. It appears DiBiase last wrestled in December 2013 for the FWE promotion.

Source: PWPIX

Side Note: Personally, I want DiBiase Jr. to return to the ring. He was good, I know the E booked him wrong. Just give him the Million Dollar Man gimmick and let him do his own thing.