Thursday, April 23, 2009

Zach's Toy Review: Indie Spotlight Maxx and Shadowhawk

Whoa, since when does Zach do toy reviews? Since he got the action figure he's been waiting for for years, that's when. I'm talking about the Indie Spotlight figures -- specifically The Maxx -- by Shocker Toys. And when I said I've been waiting for this figure for years, I don't just mean "any Maxx action figure, as long as it's better than the McFarlane version." No, I mean this specific figure, which has been in the works for a while. A highly poseable, super-articulated Maxx with interchangeable heads for city and jungle living, so I can re-create my favorite memories from the Image comic book and the MTV cartoon. Shocker totally nailed the sculpt, and the articulation allows for a bunch of great poses, even ones outside the traditional "I'm squatting and giving you the middle fingers" school of thought, although that was certainly comic artist Sam Keith's old stand-by.
The scale seems pretty good to me. He may be a little large for some fans -- even crouching, he's the same size as Big Daddy from Body Bags, and I imagine he similarly dwarfs Colossus (a lot of my Marvel Legends and Legendary Comic Book Heroes are in storage, sadly). So if you always thought of him as a homeless guy in a suit, you might be put off by his sheer size, but if you saw him as a magnificent guardian of the world of dreams, you probably won't care. (I certainly don't.) As I mentioned before, he comes with his alternate, lion's-maned head, the one from the dream jungle, and it looks like the paint has changed from the promo pics, but it's for the better, in my opinion. The bright orange wasn't working for me, and this feels more natural, although I haven't exactly been scouring the web for comparison art. Other accessories include a black Isz, a white Isz and a pink, floating girl Isz that I don't remember and, frankly, am perfectly happy to have missed. She's creepy.
The articulation, as I said, is great. His massive feet have a couple of layers to them, so they level out nicely, and the knees are double-jointed. To deal with what would probably have been annoying top-heaviness issues, the head, arms and torso have been rotocast, so they're hollow and therefore incredibly light. The transition is seamless, and the top actually features some of the best articulation of the figure. The ball-jointed neck allows the head almost an entire hemisphere of movement, and the torso can twist nicely. The head is, of course, removable, but so are the rest of the parts on the top half -- some easier than others. Some may lament the impermanence of some of the joints, but it's a small price to pay for a well-balanced figure. I've paid a lot more for vinyl toys that do the same thing, and I love the feel of it.
Shadowhawk -- actually, Shadowhawk II, since I got the variant version, which wears the outfit of Shadowhawk's successor -- isn't as deluxe as The Maxx, but he's certainly well-articulated. The new hip joints Shocker is using are seamless and smooth, and poseability is overall very good. Ball-and-socket joints are used in place of hinges wherever possible, and while it doesn't give you the widest range of movement, you can certainly capture all of Shadowhawk's "look at me, I'm edgy" touchstones. His torso is surprisingly flexible -- think some of the more poseable Spider-Man toys over the years. A joint may pop out once in a while, but I'd rather have to pop a joint back in than have it snap off clean, like on some other lines I can mention. Ditto the clean paint job, which has no real problems that I can see. My photography is weak, but he comes with a clip-on wrist-launcher accessory, with a grappling hook captured mid-launch, and a single white Isz to go with the Maxx's three.
All in all, the Maxx is definitely worth the price of purchase over at the Shocker Toys store. Shadowhawk, too, as long as you love the character and were as disappointed by McFarlane's offerings as I was. They both fit into my collection of roughly-6-or-7-inch superheroes pretty well, and I can't wait to get Scud and Kabuki, although it looks like I'll have to wait until the new shipment arrives in June to snag them. Hopefully, Series 2 won't keep us waiting as long as Series 1 did.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Harold & Mod Squad

Wow! This is my 100th blog post on Buster of Chops, and I apologize that so many of them are merely links to articles I've written on another site. (There's actually a reason I post my Chops links on Facebook, and not direct TWoP links -- it has to do with how the page names appear. But I digress.) I figured I'd commemorate the 100th post with an interview I was particularly excited to do. Remember last week, when I grumbled about getting to interview an Unusuals cast member, and getting stuck with Amber Tamblyn? Well, only one week later, I managed to snag Harold Perrineau, star of Lost, The Matrix Reloaded and Oz, the latter of which I never watched. Anyway, he was very nice to me, and seems like a swell guy, and his show is very funny and you should watch it. Read about the pilot he did that you'll never see over at!

Walt! In the Name of the Law! (The Harold Perrineau Interview)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Danger! Danger! High Voltage!

So it looks like I 'm not going to get to see Crank: High Voltage until next weekend, but I hope it kicks Zac Efron's 17 Again ass at the box office without me. To help it along, I updated our gallery of Stathamisms -- which are like Chuck Norris Facts, except cooler -- with images from the new movie, which also stars Corey Haim, Bai Ling and David Carradine, for some reason. Check it out at!

Crank: High Voltage: Jason Statham Facts

Are You There, Krod? It's Me, Mandoon.

I'm not a fan of cheesy fantasy series like Xena and Hercules, mostly because they ask me to take their storylines seriously. (Well, mostly seriously.) Comedy Central's Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire asks me to do no such thing, and I find that refreshing. Also, I like saying the title. It's like if Mel Brooks turned Robin Hood: Men In Tights into a halfway decent TV show, and if that doesn't completely sell you on the idea, check out my full review over at!

With a Name Like "Krod Mandoon," It Has to be Good

Friday, April 10, 2009

I Came, I Observed, I Laughed My Ass Off

Do not let the recent Paul Blart: Mall Cop turn you off to the vast genre of mall cop movies. Seth Rogen's latest -- which was written and directed by Foot Fist Way and Eastbound & Down helmer Jody Hill -- is hysterical, if slightly disturbing, incredibly violent and pretty raunchy. But it's got one of the funniest casts I've ever seen, plus Ray Liotta, who is funny in his own way. Read my review at, either before or after you see the movie, depending on your preference.

Observe & Report: Paul Blart Can Kiss Seth Rogen's Sizable Ass

It's Like an Outdoor 'Office'

So last night was the premiere of the new Office-esque series Parks & Recreation, starring Amy Poehler, Aziz Ansari and Rashida Jones, and it was pretty great. I watched the whole thing, and recapped it for, so if you're dying to read a five-page document instead of (or in addition to) watching a half-hour sitcom, feel free. Only the document contains my inimitable commentary.

Spring Pilot Season: Parks & Recreation

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

'The Spirit' Has Broken My Spirit

I used to love Will Eisner's The Spirit. I had all of these Warren magazine-sized comics from back in the '70s, plus some of the Kitchen Sink reprints, and even the new DC stuff by Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone wasn't so bad. Frank Miller's The Spirit, however, is a train wreck. Just watching the trailers depressed me so much that I never saw it in theaters, only recently watching the DVD. And it's awful. My brother got me a Spirit T-shirt for Christmas, and I will wear it like a brand, like a scarlet letter that will remind me to never let anything that horrible happen ever again. I've written about my five big problems with the movie, and what could have been done to make it better -- mediocre, even -- over at

The Spirit: What Could Have Been Done to Save It

Defy Death, Tivo Life

I love Life, both the abstract sum of my existence and the TV show of the same name. Sadly, one may end tonight -- although I'd rather both went on for a very, very long time. While I plan on driving safely, tonight's season finale of Life on NBC may be the series finale, if NBC ever makes up their minds about whether they want to cancel it or not. I interviewed the awesome Damian Lewis ("Charlie Crews") and creator Rand Ravich about the finale, Gabrielle Union vs. Sarah Shahi and elevensies. ...Actually, I only asked one of the questions -- try and guess which one over at

Life Sentence: Damian Lewis Talks About Tonight's (Series?) Finale

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Faster, Vin Diesel! Kill! Kill!

I haven't seen Fast & Furious yet, but it seems everybody else did, since it made mad bank this weekend. Thanks to this, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker just experienced career do-overs, and Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster are along for the ride. I run down three-step plans to keep all four of them on top of the game over at -- here's hoping they take my advice.

Fast & Furious: We Jump-Start Four Careers

Ooh, Right in the Dragonballs!

I'm not a hardcore Dragon Ball fan or anything (although I like it enough to know that I prefer the wacky adventures of the young Goku to the endless combat of Dragon Ball Z), but I know that this movie looks nothing like the Dragon Ball manga I found endlessly entertaining, or the DBZ anime my friend Rob made me watch. Using my limited knowledge and the overheard rantings of my friends, I broke down exactly why anime fans are unhappy with this film over at Give it a read.

Dragonball Evolution: Why Anime Fans Hate It

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I've Got to Keep on Tamblyn

I was excited to watch the new cop dramedy The Unusuals for cast members Harold Perrineau (Lost) and Adam Goldberg (The Hebrew Hammer), but did they offer me interviews with either of them? No. I got Amber Tamblyn. I have to admit that Tamblyn was an unknown quantity for me, since I never watched Joan of Arcadia, but I think she did a good job in the pilot episode, and she was a friendly interview subject. Read my Q & A with her over at

Joan of Narcadia: The Amber Tamblyn Interview

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Adventureland: Not Just Another Teen Movie

Saw Adventureland on Tuesday. Loved it. It's not at all what I was expecting, but in a good way -- the movie has a real indie vibe, and is more of a dramedy than a true comedy. Mismarketed? Maybe, but that "From the director of Superbad" tag was just so tempting, I'm sure. Hopefully, people won't be disappointed, but rather pleasantly surprised like me. Check out my review at

Adventureland: This Isn't the Sex Comedy You're Looking For

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Fast, Furious and Unnecessary

Is any sequel really "necessary"? Yes. Some are. In fact, I would say a lot are. But just as many are not. Take the new Vin Diesel movie Fast & Furious, the third (!) sequel to The Fast and the Furious. I haven't seen it yet, but I can promise you that it is as unnecessary as the last two sequels. I ran down ten of the most unnecessary sequels ever made at, and you may be surprised to see what's up there.

Fast & Furious: Another Unnecessary Sequel

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Vampires in Adventureland

Full disclosure: I never saw Twilight, nor have I read the books, but when I saw that the sequel, Adventureland, was coming out this weekend, I was instantly intrigued. Vampires and werewolves working at an amusement park? How rad is that gonna be?! I wrote a short post about it on, and I'm seeing a screening tonight, so I hope I don't need to have seen Twilight to know what's going on. Fingers crossed!

Twilight 2: Why the Hell Does it Take Place in an Amusement Park?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sean Penn is a Stooge

Have you heard about this new Farrelly Brothers Three Stooges movie? They've apparently got Sean Penn to play Larry, Jim Carrey is in talks to play Curly, and Benicio del frickin' Toro is in the running to play Moe. While all of that casting is spot-on (Carrey will be gaining 40 lbs. for the role), it's also pretty unbelievable. I mean, those are A-list, award-winning actors, my friends! (Sure, Carrey has never won an Oscar, but he should have.) Inspired by this, I cast Oscar-winning actors in movies about the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy and other classic comedy teams -- see who Daniel Day-Lewis would play at!

The New Three Stooges are... Kind of Impressive, Actually

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bustin' Makes Them Feel Good

When you think abut it, Supernatural -- although a very scary, very funny, reasonably smart show -- is very much part of a TV category, the "investigating the strange and unusual" category. I consider myself a fan of a bunch of these shows, and I've occasionally watched others, and when we were looking for a gallery to do about Supernatural, I thought, why not compare Sam and Dean to all of those other investigators? After weeding out cartoon characters like the Real Ghostbusters, I was left with nine shows, and only three of them had a better track record than the Winchester boys. See the gallery at!

Supernatural: The Boys vs. the Paranormal Elite

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Monsters is to Aliens as Wrestlers is to...

I really want to see this Monsters vs. Aliens movie this weekend, because it just seems like such a fun, unique take on five or six really old ideas. Hoping to emulate the way Hollywood seems to come up with movies, I took a bunch of plural words and put "Vs." in between them, to come up with five new movie ideas that I think are sure-fire hits. Can you guess which one I'm actually planning on writing a script for? Read them all at and tell me your guess!

Monsters vs. Aliens: Other Genre Mash-Ups We'd Like to See

Bond, Glorious Bond

I love James Bond movies, but I have to admit -- they're a little ridiculous. Even the last two, with their heavy dose of gritty, Bourne Identity realism, had their share of preposterous moments. So I went out and picked up the new DVD of Quantum of Solace and wrote up a guide to the most unbelievable things that happened in the film, complete with the time stamp for when each item happens. Check it out at!

Quantum of Solace: Bond's Most Preposterous Moments

Friday, March 20, 2009

"America's Sweetheart," My Ass

I have nothing against Julia Roberts, but how does the woman earn the title "America's Sweetheart" when she's constantly playing criminals? In Duplicity, out now, she plays a corporate spy, trying to steal secrets, but this is only the latest in a long line of felonious Roberts characters. I run down the lot over at Ignore the commenters who seem to think I have nothing better to do with my time than read their remarks and weep gently to myself. Seriously, it's eating into my schedule.

Julia Roberts: America's Sweetheart, or America's Most Wanted?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Watch This Show, People!

Hey, guys, there's a new show on TV every Wednesday night called Better Off Ted, and I need you all to watch it, like, now, and tell your friends and spread the word, because if it doesn't get super-popular, I'm worried it may just go away. It's by the same guy who created Andy Richter Controls the Universe, and it's almost as funny in the same kind of way, and I hope it's given the chance to get even better. (ARCTU was canceled after 19 episodes.) You can read my full review at!

Better Off Ted: Don't You Die On Me!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bring the Payne

If there was an Oscar given out in the category of Video Game Movies Starring Mark Wahlberg, Max Payne would win hands-down. For a movie that takes place almost entirely at night, is based on a Matrix rip-off and stars Mila Kunis as a Russian assassin, I enjoyed the hell out of it, and I'll tell you why it succeeds in the face of adversity over at (Warning: Film may contain trace amounts of Chris O'Donnell.)

Max Payne is Better Than It Has Any Right to Be

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Why Aren't I Writing Supernatural?

I've recently gotten really into Supernatural, the show about two sexy brothers who hunt demons, but I have to say, something about their current mission confuses me. They're supposed to be stopping the 66 Seals from getting broken, and Lucifer from walking the Earth, and so far they've seen two and been unable to stop either of them getting broken. Meanwhile, 34 more seals have apparently been broken! What's up with that? To fill in the gaps, I came up with six more Seals the Winchester brothers failed to protect, and I wrote about them at! Check them out, and don't you dare call it fan-fiction.

Supernatural: The Six Seals We Didn't See

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Smallville Horror

I'll admit that Smallville looked like it was improving for a while there, but A.) that wasn't really saying much, and B.) they quickly backslid, bringing back Lana, giving her superpowers (again) and then basically turning her into kryptonite. It looks like things might improve with Zatanna appearing in an upcoming episode, but if they're really gonna do a ninth season (GAH!), they need to straighten up and fly right. Check out my analysis of what they need to be doing over at!

Bright Tights, Big City: How to Fix Smallville

Monday, March 9, 2009

Murder, He Wrote

Tonight is the series premiere of Castle, and I would be excited about it, except I've already seen it (minus key soundtrack bits) and I need to do an exhaustive recap of it for tomorrow. But I'm definitely looking forward to the second episode! Because the show is awesome, if you dig Moonlighting-style crime shows like The Mentalist and Bones. But the show Nathan Fillion likes to name-check is Murder, She Wrote, since he plays a crime-solving novelist. I compared and contrasted the two shows over at -- check it out, then read my recap of episode 1 and my interview with Nathan Fillion himself!

Murder, He Wrote: The Case of Castle v. Angela Lansbury

Castle Episode 1 Recap

King of the Castle: The Nathan Fillion Interview

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Watchmen Review #849

I know, I know -- everyone and their mothers has reviewed Watchmen. But so many of those people are bitter, jaded monsters! Wouldn't you want to read a review by Zach Oat, fair and balanced journalist? ...I'm kidding, I don't have a balanced bone in my body. If you want to read my review anyway, click below to get the deets at Or just read my buddy Sean Collins's, which is probably much better. See? Fair and balanced.

Watch and Release: Zach's Non-Spoilery Watchmen Review

Sean's Attention Deficit Disorderly Review

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Hammer is Nathan Fillion

Man, I love Nathan Fillion, in a totally heterosexual way. From Firefly to Slither to Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog , the man is hysterical in everything he does, which is why I'm incredibly excited about his new show, Castle, where he plays a smart-ass crime novelist who shadows a tough-but-sexy cop he's using as inspiration for a new series of books. It's like an inverted Bones, which sounds like a winning formula to me, and I got to talk to Fillion about it... for nine minutes. Check out the short interview at!

King of the Castle: The Nathan Fillion Interview

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Who Photographs the Watchmen?

Photographer. Physical Trainer. Coffee entrepreneur. Clay Enos is all of these things, and he put all of his skills to use as the set photographer for Watchmen, shooting portraits of the cast and crew, training Jackie Earle Haley and Malin Akerman and creating a limited run of Nite Owl-themed organic coffee. I talked to the photog about his many skills, and his new book, Watchmen Portraits. Check out the interview at!

Who Photographs the Watchmen? This Guy!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Their Name is Jonas

Sometimes, I feel bad for mega-celebrities who have legions of detractors who criticize everything they do online. But then I remember that they're rich, they have the world at their fingerips,and they probably don't spend a lot of time on the Internet. (Although Miley Cyrus keeps posting inappropriate YouTube videos, so what do I know?) Anyway, that made me feel all right about writing a post about how terrible the Jonas Brothers are, and what their 3D movie (which opens this weekend) would have to be about in order to get me into the theater. Read it at!

The Jonas Brothers in 3D: Dear God, Why?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Meanwhile, On the Island...

Let's talk about Lost. So, how long, exactly, have Jin, Sawyer, Juliet, Miles and Faraday been on the island when the Oceanic Six come back? The Six have been on the mainland for years, right? But the others have been hopping around in time since they left, so who knows how long they've actually been chilling out there? We may find out tonight, but I came up with some theories about what they've been doing since time stood still and why Jin is huntin' wabbit over at

Lost: What the Hell has Sawyer Been Doing This Whole Time?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Talkin' It Up on the Jimmy Fallon Talk Show

It won't be anywhere near as good as the Barry Gibb Talk Show, but I'm actually really looking forward to the first episode of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Say what you will, but Fallon was a funny guy on Saturday Night Live, and his Barry Gibb was the best thing ever. I got to talk to him on a conference call the other day, and he gave us some cool info about his new show. He didn't say whether he would ever be more than five steps from a gun, but he did say that they probably won't be using the character Jean-Paul Georges-Ringeau, France's most beloved one-man Beatles cover band. Sad now. Check out the interview at!

The New Face of Late Night: The Jimmy Fallon Q&A

My Evening With Oscars

ALthough I didn't attend this year's Oscars -- and neither did Robert Altman, above, who's dead -- I did get to sit on my couch with my 2.5-month-old daughter Hazel and write about them. Check out my liveblog of the event (with co-blogger Mindy Monez) at!

2009 Academy Awards Liveblog

Friday, February 20, 2009

Rourke Is It!

What would happen if Mickey Rourke became an Oscar-winning actor? Would his life change? Would he get better roles? Would he buy more chihuahuas? I decided to run down ten possible ways Rourke's life will improve if he wins an Academy Award on Sunday. Check it out at!

What if Mickey Rourke Wins the Oscar?

Welcome to the Buffy -- er, Dollhouse

So I've seen three episodes of Dollhouse so far (not the first three, the first two and the fourth -- thanks a heap, Fox) and I'm loving it. It's going to take a while for me to start to develop strong personal feelings for the characters, as I do with every Joss Whedon show, but this show is helping by seemingly basing all of its characters on previous Whedon characters from Buffy, Angel and even Firefly. Check out my guide to the Dollhouse characters (and their Whedonesque predecessors) at!

Dollhouse: Do These Characters Seem Familiar To You?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Newbie's Guide to Watchmen

I've been a fan of Watchmen since my brother and I coincidentally gave each other copies of the graphic novel for Christmas 15 years ago. And while DC sells more copies every year, I know that some of you out there have no idea what this movie is about, beyond the fact that there are costumed superheroes, and they're all sad. Over at, I've created a guide to the world and characters of Watchmen, based on what we know of the movie and what already exists on the page. Check it out, and cross your fingers the movie will be as good as the book...

Dollhouse: The Complete Guide for Non-Geeks

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Inglourious Basterds: One [sic] Trailer

I was really excited about Inglourious Basterds for a while there, but now that I've seen the trailer, I'm left kinda "eh." The cast seems to lack the pizzazz of Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction. But seeing Eli Roth up there on the screen gave me an idea: What if Tarantino had cast the entire movie using famous directors? See my dream cast at!

Inglourious Directors: The War Movie Tarantino Should Have Made

Astro Boy: Disaster in the Making?

So that new Astro Boy movie looks really good! It looks good, anyway. It sounds dodgy, and on paper it looks like the biggest mistake in the history of anything. I may be a little harsh, but man -- why are they doing this? I mean, I want it to succeed... but I don't see how it possibly can. Read my in-depth analysis of the footage shown at New York Comic-Con over at!

Astro Boy: Why it is Doomed to Fail

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Make It So, Number One!

Readers of ToyFare magazine may be familiar with an occasional comic strip titled "Naked Jonathan Frakes Theatre." Born from the staff's collective love of Frakes, who played Commander Will Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation, it was the only way I could think of him -- as a naked, 6-inch action figure -- for years, until the opportunity arose for me to interview him. Talking to him about his gig directing tonight's episode of Leverage and the upcoming series Persons Unknown, I remembered what a big fan I was, and he was a heck of a nice guy. Check out my interview at!

Jonathan Frakes Now Has Directing Leverage

Ten Things I Learned From the New Friday the 13th

"Attention all supernatural killers! This is Leo! You must leave the Bronx!" Despite having horror-loving friends (and wife!), I am not a horror movie buff by any stretch of the imagination. However, I recently became a big fan of Supernatural and The Mentalist, so when I saw that the stars of both shows were going to be in the new Friday the 13th, I knew I had to see it, in all of its gory detail. See what I learned from the new movie at

Revelations Gleaned From the New Friday the 13th

Friday, February 6, 2009

Being a Geek? It Ain't So Bad.

I have fallen in love with The IT Crowd, the British sitcom about two lowly tech support drones in the bowels of a big corporation and their high-strung boss. In fact, after watching the third season premiere, I wrote an article about my favorite computer geeks! It was short, but sweet, and the commenters were actually fairly kind when suggesting the ones they felt got the short shrift. (Apparently, I was at a handicap by not watching 24 or NCIS.) Read all about it at!

Computer Geeks: A Not-So-Proud Tradition