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