Mr. Nostalgia reviews the fan film Casey Jones…

Posted on: December 2, 2013

It’s not often that a fan film exceeds ones expectations but Casey Jones does that with a well written plot, excellent cinematography and acting.  Just the very words “fan film” brings images of thinly plotted ideas filmed with wobbly camera work that goes in and out of focus and is nothing more than just two friends trying to make a movie out of poor fight scenes.

Casey Jones  is the opposite of that definition. This isn’t your Saturday morning Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from the very first cartoon series where Casey Jones never took off his mask. This is a Casey Jones set in reality.  A Casey Jones who declares a one man war against gangs in his neighborhood be it The Purple Dragons or The Foot Clan and is an origin story told in the best way, one that doesn’t lose its audience in the smallest details of an origin they already know while they sit halfway through a movie until the hero emerges. Instead, in this thirty minute short, we see the origin of Casey Jones told from tough hockey player to a Casey Jones who has sworn to clean the town up.

When we first meet Casey he is a very angry young man.  His anger rules everything whether he is on the ice playing hockey and taking his own hockey team on in a fight, to stopping a punk from defacing his building with graffiti, to standing up to the Purple Dragons. It is this anger that gets him nearly beaten to death and fuels his crusade.  If young Casey had a mentor like Splinter, he would have delivered a speech much like he did to Raphael in the first movie, saying something like, “…Anger clouds the mind. Turned inward it is an unconquerable enemy. You are unique…for you choose to face this enemy alone.” But instead, Casey is more likely to use this line when dealing with gang members from the first film,”Well, it looks like you’re the one who needs to be taught a lesson, pal. (pulls out two baseball bats) The class is Pain 101. Your instructor is Casey Jones.”

Casey begins training, lifting weights, punching a punching bag, even slamming  it with his head, using his hockey stick and baseball bats in a junkyard, learning ways to fight with them.  He begins to gather his weapons of choice, sporting goods equipment, and has a golf bag to carry them in.  He even has the perfect face protector in a hockey mask.  With a pair of biker gloves and a tougher personality, Casey Jones is ready to face the town, and clean it up one gang member at a time. Casey has become a one man wore against crime. He isn’t going to fight dirty, he’s just going to even the playing field. If the Purple Dragons are going to bring chains and pipes and wrenches to a fight, he’s going to bring a hockey stick, baseball bats, a cricket stick and even a sledgehammer. “An eye for an eye” seems to be his motto of fighting.

Poster Guiding Star Productions

But Casey’s anger gets in the way of his justice, and this is the one place where Casey Jones would differ from the very first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie in that when Casey battles his foes, we see the outcome of his attack, with blood pooling from his enemies wounds.  His anger runs so deep that he isn’t even above taking their lives if it means keeping the streets clean.

That is until one night, after beating some foes; Casey sees two car thieves and tries to stop them when he is stopped by Michelangelo who tries to teach him that extreme violence isn’t the answer.  When The Foot Clan suddenly attack, Casey Jones and Michelangelo team up to take on the ninjas. By the end of the film, with Casey’s armor seeming to have been upgraded and an alliance formed between him and the turtles, Casey has learned to go easy (but not too easy) on the foes when it comes to bringing in justice.

Casey Jones ties in well with the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie (which was a cross between The Mirage comic book and slight additions from the popular cartoon series of the time) with everything from the casting of Hilarion Banks who looks and even sounds like a younger version of Elias Koteas ,who fist played Casey on film, to the nods of the animated series with things like having  April O’Neil as a news reporter for Channel 6 News and wearing a yellow jumpsuit, to even certain phrases of dialogue quoted in the short such as  “I love being a turtle!”.  Best of all, and I have no idea how they did this, they got the original Michelangelo voice from the first movie, Robbie Rist, to provide Michelangelo’s voice.

Image from film Guiding Star Productions

Casey Jones was filmed in Dallas and Austin Texas and was released on September 18th, 2011. Written and directed by Polaris Banks (who also plays Casey’s Cousin Sid in the movie as well as provides the voice of Donatello) and released by Guiding Star Productions, Polaris must have been a fan of the Mirage series for it strikes such a familiar tone to the book.  Watch the credits and you’ll see Polaris’ name appear again and again as he immersed himself completely in the making of his movie by doing things such as: Executive Producing, Editing, Cinematography, Production Design, Art Director, Property Master, Prop Fabrication, helping with Sound Editing, ADR Mixer/Editor, Dialogue Editor, Location Sound Mixer, Boom Operator, Foley Artist, Foley Mixer/Editor, Recordist, helping with Location Scouting, Voice Casting, helping with Stunt Coordinating, Fight Choreographer, Stunt Work, Storyboard Artist, Costume Supervisor, Costume Crafts, Seamstress, Additional Make-up, Hair Stylist, Gaffer, helping with Mould Making, Suit Design and Fabrication, Visual Effects Animation, Visual Effects Retouching and Research.

A film, with all the effort and talent that went into making it, shouldn’t be considered a “fan film” by any means whatsoever.  Instead, it should be listed as an Independent Film Short, and shown regularly on the channel IFC (Independent Film Channel).  Casey Jones deserves just that honor.

The directing, cinematography, acting, all of this makes this film one of a kind. It’s rare to find such talent making a story about a comic book character, but here it is. Everything from Casey’s background to his costume to even Michelangelo was researched and details were highlighted that Polaris felt needed to be in the film, which makes this movie all the better. The professional film score by Zane Effendi, the stunt coordinating by Matthew Lee Willis, and even the end credit song “Goongala” (a Casey Jones battle cry) by Johnny October, just add to that.

The Michelangelo costume, created by Oliver Luke plays well for this film.  Yes, it is not like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume that Jim Henson’s Creature Shop built in the 1990 film, but this costume has a grittier edge to it, one that would most likely resemble  a mutant turtle if one was to exist, and works well in this film with the night filming and shadows hiding any flaws in the costume if there are any (besides, I’d rather see this suit than the ones that the Nickelodeon Suites Resort use for their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Meet and Greets which are much too plushy and goofy looking based off their current television series). The suit is a nice touch of the Mirage look with a long bandanna and belt around Michelangelo’s waist and allows the actors inside to do the necessary stunts such as flips, martial arts and working with the nunchucks.

Image Guiding Star Productions

But don’t just take my word for it.  Click the link and see for yourself. Watch Casey Jones and make your own opinion.  If you like it, click the donate button and if you donate $20.00 or more they’ll even send you a FREE version of the film. Help an independent filmmaker out. Here’s the link to watch the film:  http://caseyjonesthemovie.com/

The highest compliment I can give this film is this.  When I first watched it I didn’t want it to end, and once it ended, I wanted to see more of Casey Jones.  Pretty good for a half hour film, no?

“Goongala!”

Mr. Nostalgia

Filed under: Articles,Blogs,Reviews — admin @ 4:25 am

Mr. Nostalgia talks Tom & Jerry & The Wizard of OZ to help celebrate Oz’s 75th Anniversary…

Posted on: November 4, 2013

Several months ago my wife and I came home late from a family party (I can’t remember if it was my families or hers), and after my shower that night I sat on the couch to rest a bit.  As I was going through the channels I saw that Tom & Jerry were on so I stopped to watch for a bit.  I’ve always liked Tom & Jerry ever since I was a kid, watching classic cartoons that had been made at least a good 35 years before I was even born, whether it was the original 114 cartoons that creators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera made between 1940-1957 and won 7 Oscars for (Yankee Doodle Mouse – 1943, Quiet, Please – 1945, The Cat Concerto – 1947, Mouse Cleaning – 1948, Two Mousketeers – 1952, and Johann Mouse – 1953), or the Chuck Jones ones that he started in 1963 and made a total of 34 shorts.

But the one I caught that night was neither of these.  In fact, it was a brand new one from 2011 that teamed Tom & Jerry with The Wizard of Oz.  I only caught the end of the movie, it’s only 56 minutes long, and since that viewing I was kind of stunned that not only did they make this movie, but that it looked like the MGM version of The Wizard of Oz.

Hoping to catch it on TV once more I waited and waited for it to be shown again but it was never played.  Finally, last month I purchased the Blu-ray version when I bought my wife her birthday present.  So one night I finally got to sit down and watch the movie from beginning to end.  Is it the best Tom & Jerry cartoon ever?  No, but there are plenty of laughs in this film thanks to Tom & Jerry, and it was really cool to see them included into the movie The Wizard of Oz.

One might wonder how they could fit a telling of the Wizard of Oz which clocks in around 101 minutes into a 56 minute cartoon.  That’s easy.  They don’t.  This isn’t Dorothy’s version of her trip to Oz, its Tom & Jerry’s.  After they save her from falling into the pig pen Aunt Em asks them to watch over Dorothy, a job they take very seriously.  When the tornado strikes, Tom & Jerry are brought along to Oz with Dorothy, but by the time they wake from being thrown to the ground from the tornado, Dorothy has already met Glinda, the Munchkins, The Wicked Witch of the West and is well on her way down the Yellow Brick Road and “Off to see the Wizard”.

Thanks to a Munchkin Mouse named Tuffy, the three of them set off after Dorothy to help protect her on her way to The Wizard to ask for a way home back to Kansas and Tuffy can ask for some height being so short. Along the way they get into a wand fight with The Wicked Witch of the West and are just mere steps behind Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion.  They even help Dorothy, unbeknownst to her, in stopping the Wicked Witch of the West with the bucket of water.

One of the cool things about this film is how they keep it close the original movie, for instance with having Dorothy sing “Over the Rainbow” but with that flare of Tom and Jerry.  Another great feature of the Blu-ray is that you can start the movie off in sepia tone and the cartoon automatically switches to color once Tom and Jerry reaches Oz. This was the way I selected to watch it since it lent more of a feeling like the original film.

One thing I thought would have been cool was if they used the actual dialogue from the 1939 movie characters, but this would be impossible, since at times both Aunt Em and even Dorothy talk to them directly.  The vocal cast for the movie is:

Dorothy – Grey DeLisle

The Wizard of Oz/Butch/Droopy – Joe Alaskey

Scarecrow – Michael Gough

The Tin Man – Rob Paulsen

The Cowardly Lion – Todd Stashwick

Auntie Em/Glinda – Frances Conroy

The Wicked Witch of the West/Miss Gulch – Laraine Newman

Uncle Henry/Crows – Stephen Root

Tuffy the Munchkin Mouse – Kath Soucie

So, if you’re a Tom & Jerry fan, a Wizard of Oz fan, or looking for a new way to celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, why not give Tom & Jerry & The Wizard of Oz a try? It has lots of laughs, great animation, the song “Over the Rainbow”, and not only the cast of friends we’ve known from Kansas and Oz, but also a cat and mouse we’ve known for so long as well.

Mr. Nostalgia

Ian Westhoff

Staff Writer

Filed under: Articles,Blogs,Reviews — admin @ 3:42 am

MOTUC Horde Troopers Review

Posted on: September 19, 2013

Greeting Fellow Collectors,

I wanted to start this review off by saying that I have been waiting a long time for these figures and just like most of the MOTU Classics these figures did not disappoint.  Since I purchased an army of Palace Guards my shelf space has been waiting for another army worthy to challenge the Heroic Guards.  Finally that time has come as Matty Collector will release The Horde Troopers.

 

 The Troopers come in a white mailer which is pretty standard until next year when Mattel will release the figures in a brown recycled box.

 

 The box is standard window packaging with the Horde Logo displayed on the window. The back of the box features a new Bio for the Troopers.  Again this is a great opportunity to show how creative you can be by coming up with your own names for your army.

 

 The Articulation is standard, the Head moves back and forth up and down, side to side.  Articulation at the wrists,ankles, elbows, feet and arms along with the stomach crunch are standard on all the Classics figures including the Troopers.  Now on my set of Troopers the joints are really tight especially on the legs.  The left leg was so tight I thought I was going to snap it off.

There is a lot of unique tooling on this figure besides the Head and Armor.  It looks like a new crouch piece and legs.

The Troopers have amazing detail that was sculpted by the Four Horsemen.  Beneath the armor you can see wires and rivets that you can easily tell this is a machine.  My favorite part of the details is that they created a “trigger” finger on the left hand.  The Figure’s armor is soft rubber prominently showing the Evil Horde Symbol.  The paint colors were fine, no scratches or marks.

In this box set you will get one Trooper unharmed and one Trooper Battle Damaged.  (The one pictured here is the Battle Damaged one because he has more detail.  Showing burnt marks on his collar

The Head and Armor are both removable.  However when removing the HEAD please be careful!!  The head is somewhat soft and I had a difficult time removing it from the neck.  The Armor is easy to remove and has pegs to clip on the sides.

 

Both Troopers come with accessories (weapons).  A Horde Shield, Staff, Filmation inspired Stun Batons and a Horde Crossbow.

There is a Horde Dragon detail on the staff.

 The Shield just snaps right on the wrists.One of the cool details as I mentioned before is the “Trigger” finger on the left hand and with some adjusting you can actually position the Baton  straight along his arm.  If you use the rubber bands that hold the figures in place (in the packaging) you can have him keep that Baton position on his hand.

As with most MOTU Classics figures the head is removable to allow different heads to attach to the body.  However CAUTION, I did have some difficulty attaching He-man’s Head to the Trooper body.  After comparing, it looks like the ball is slightly bigger than the He-man figure.  (I also noticed this at Power Con at the Matty display.)  It is possible to place a He-man head on the body just be careful not to use too much force to get it in. It is possible to get the head on.

I had no trouble attaching the Hordak Head to the Trooper Body which is great to have different options on the figure.  You can even recreate scenes from Secret of the Sword.

If you are in to customizing your figures, the Horde armor can go on any standard MOTUC buck.  Which is great to create new or familiar characters.  I had wish that this set would have included a General Sunder head or a head with He-man’s hair sticking out (Ala Secret of the Sword).

Send some of your mix and match character pics to FanMail@toy-lines.com and we will be post the pics on our facebook site.

Ok now to discuss what everyone is concerned about since the figure was announced, ‘Can the Troopers eyes look like the ones on the Filmation series?’

This is the closest you can get the eyes to resemble the Filmation series Troopers.  Now because this figure is super tight I was playing around with him and for the most part he retained this look.  Unfortunately when you move his head to the side you see a lot more of the yellow in his eyes.  I didn’t have to mess with his head or armor much to get this look.  The Unharmed figure that he comes with, I did have minor difficulty achieving this look because his armor kept going lower.

If you want this look and have trouble getting it, there are some things you can do.  These are some suggestions from customizers.  You can get sticky tac and keep the armor in the exact position to achieve this look.  You will no longer be able to remove the armor without damaging the tac but you’ll have the look that you want.  The next suggestion is to simply spray paint the black over the yellow using tape to get the look you want.  These are just suggestions and are not guaranteed to get the results you want.  Always use caution when trying to change something on your figure.

These are incredible figures that I am happy to add to my collection. I couldn’t wait to get another army builder set to battle my Snakemen army or Palace Guards.  I just need to find time to play with them again and you should too.  Now I understand that not everyone is in to army building which is cool but I highly recommend getting at least one Horde Trooper set just to complete your Horde Collection.  You will not be disappointed!!

The Horde Troopers go on sale on October 15th on MattyCollector.com and is part of the Club Eternia Subscription as the Quarterly Two-pack that is offered.

 

Tom Romero

Contributing Editor

Mary Griffin (Photographer)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filed under: Reviews — admin @ 6:11 pm

Mr. Nostalgia Spends Time With…

Posted on: August 13, 2013

Yesterday my wife and I went to the movies and spent some time with these little guys:

Yes, we saw Despicable Me 2.  While I won’t go into too much detail with my short review, I will say that I do prefer the first one to this one.  Part 2 is certainly funny, the Minions, as always, provide much comic relief, and are in the film a lot more this time around.  So, too are the girls.  What I didn’t like about the film was that the story was too predictable to me, I could guess where it was going before it got there.  My favorite part of the entire movie to be honest was to watch Gru being a good father. That was a nice continuation from the first film.

We recently bought the first movie on DVD that came with a free voucher for a movie ticket for $7.50, if it wasn’t for that, and for us seeing it at a matinee, I would have been just as happy seeing it when it is on TV.  I don’t see the need to buy part 2 on DVD when it comes out, and most likely, if it is on TV, I would only watch certain parts, where if part 1 is on I usually will watch it from where I turn the TV on until the end.

Of course, this is just my opinion. 

Until next time,

Mr. Nostalgia

Filed under: Blogs,Reviews — admin @ 1:48 am

Justice League Flashpoint Paradox Review

Posted on: August 2, 2013

Justice League Flashpoint Paradox is the latest Animated feature length movie from WB Animation and DC Entertainment.  Flashpoint is the adaptation of the 2011 DC Comics’ crossover event that led to the NEW 52, the reboot of the DCU.

 

Flashpoint paradox tells the story of Barry Allen/Flash (Justin Chambers) waking up in an alternate reality where he does not have his powers.  The Justice League does not exist and most of the DCU heroes are twisted non-heroic versions.

 

During the film Barry finds an ally in an alternate Batman (Kevin McKidd) who is definitely not Bruce Wayne.  This Batman realizes by helping Barry restore his timeline he will find inner peace.  In order to restore the timeline, Barry will have to defeat the Reverse Flash (C. Thomas Howell) during a war between Wonder Woman (Vanessa Marshal) and a roided out Aquaman (Cary Elwes).

 

 

Don’t be fooled be the title, this is a Flash story which is refreshing to see a character that is not part of DC’s Trinity or a character that has had his own live action movie.  Barry /Flash is a rich and exciting character that is explored in great lengths as to why he is a true hero that will not stop until good prevails.

 

Director Jay Oliva has captured the darker tone of the Flashpoint world complimenting comic writer Geoff Johns’ graphic novel.  This is not an extended TV episode, this animated feature stands on its own merits with utilizing certain adult themes that sets this movie apart from other DC animated features.  Maybe this will wake up some Warner executives and we’ll finally get to see the ‘Judas Contract’ in animated form.

 

The animation and character design are modern anime, which is the standard.  The action sequences are fast paced with some adult themes mixed in.  There are nods to other DC characters that have gotten the Flashpoint twist and even a Wildstorm character that makes his DC animation debut.  As usual the voice acting is top notch especially an emotional performance from fan-favorite Kevin Conroy as the regular Batman.  Dana Delaney and Nathan Fillon reprise their roles as Lois Lane and Hal Jordan respectively.  Sam Daly (son of Tim Daly) follows in his father’s footsteps as Flashpoint Superman.

 

 

This is an entertaining Flash story that should please any comic fan.  The Flash is truly a hero that just wants to save everyone no matter what.  He learns however that there are consequences to his actions.  This movie is a compliment to the graphic novel (mini-series) which people should pick up to explore in depth the themes of this movie.  Pick up a copy and tell DC/WB that we want to see other DC heroes take a starring role in animated features.  Flashpoint Paradox is available now on Blu-ray or iTunes download.   Rent or buy this movie.

…Don’t forget to watch after the credits.

Filed under: Reviews — admin @ 6:45 am

Toy-Lines.com presents The ACTION FLICK CHICK Expendables Toy Review

Posted on: February 13, 2013

Filed under: Reviews — admin @ 6:35 pm

Eternia Palace King Randor Review

Posted on: November 30, 2012

From the imaginations of the Filmation artists and the skilled hands of the Four Horsemen designers, Toy-Lines presents to you our  review of Eternia Palace King Randor.

 

Randor comes in the standard MOTUC card

His card also features a brand new bio of how he became the new ruler of Eternia.  Accepting the       title of King from his father Miro.

 

Randor comes with a new tooled coat and new boots.  He has the same standard male buck as the other Masters figures but with new puffy arms to match his coat.

 

The paint shows off his royal colors and his head has a brighter crown than his first released “vintage” figure.  There is no black paint or any noticeable rubbing when posing him or moving him around.  You can even use his powerful “Right Hook” to punch out his enemies.  Not much shadowing on this figure as all of his coloring is bright.  His joints are tight and stands well on his own.

 

Randor comes with two accessories, his chalice which he could use to celebrate and a

spear which he uses to defend his throne.  However if he needed to join the Heroic Warriors I would just use his vintage armor for more action oriented scenes.  The articulation is standard for MOTUC figures and his garb underneath the coat limits his leg movement.  However if you are brave enough you could always just cut the slits and he should have a wider range of movement.

 

I have been waiting for years and years since I first saw him in the Filmation series; to me this is the defining King Randor.  I highly recommend purchasing this figure especially if you are a fan of the Filmation series.

This figure is the special treat that comes with collecting Masters of the Universe Classics, they incorporate everything from He-man’s legacy.  A special thank you to Scott “Toy Guru” Neitlich and the Four Horsemen for making this figure a reality.  The wait for some of these figures is over but I think there will be more surprises in the future for Masters of the Universe Classics.

 

You can purchase Eternos Palace King Randor from Matty Collector.

 

Photographs by: M. Griffin

Filed under: Reviews — admin @ 9:23 am

BROCK SAMPSON Review

Posted on: November 10, 2012

The Venture Brothers from Cartoon Networks’ Adult Swim programming is the funniest cartoon show on the network.  A twisted take on old adventure cartoons such as Johnny Quest and Scooby-Doo with a dash of Superhero antics.  The show centers on the cloned offspring of a washed up boy adventurer as they go on adventures while trying to live in the real world.

Since its beginning fans of the show have been begging for action figures of this hilarious series.  Bif, Bang, Pow tried the “Mego” way by making cloth action figure dolls but low sales have slowed down that line.  Demand however was still high for action figures and so Bif, Bang, Pow answered the fans and created a 3 3/4 inch figure line.  Brock Sampson is their first offering.

Brock Blister

 Brock comes in a standard Blister card featuring the Venture Brothers themselves on the front.  I like the background artwork of Venture Industries where the show takes place.

I will say that as far as the packaging goes, they should have more information about the line.  Perhaps showing upcoming figures from the line.

The sculpt of the figure is a decent interpretation coming from the tv screen.

 With the Huge Chest and small legs you can get an animation feel from this figure.

 The colors are solid which is respectable and does not give the figure a cartoony look.


The articulation is not surprising from a figure this size and your options of posing are limited.  Brock comes with his signature weapon his hunting knife and you could get into some action poses.  His hands a sculpted to hold the knife and you should not have any problems with him holding it.  His waist and head are also articulated so he can look around.  His legs are articulated enough for him to sit down.

Overall this is a great figure and a compliment to the Venture Bros. Series.  At $10.00 per figure sounds fair for figures that will not take up too much space on your self.  Hopefully fans will grab this figure and they will be able to make more as the list of unique characters will not end.  As far as playability, you can come up with some decent poses and the figure will not take up much space.  You could create your own adventure poses for your shelf and with other figures you could recreate your favorite scenes.

You can purchase this figure and more in the series from Entertainment Earth.

There was also a Comic-Con Variant that was available from Entertainment Earth.  Its basically the same figure with a white t-shirt with blood splattered on the shirt and hands.

Filed under: Reviews — admin @ 8:08 pm

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe game for your portables Review

Posted on: October 27, 2012

To celebrate He-man’s 30th birthday this year Mattel and Chillingo have developed a game App based on Masters of the Universe for your iOS portables.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The game play is very simple for iOS, its basically a tap or a swipe with your thumbs.  However the controls are a bit slow to register your action and it will take time for you to master simple actions such as a power punch downward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the game you will have options to get new weapons or skills to aid He-man during his quest to defeat Skeletor.  Man-at-Arms can also help you for those enemies that you can’t get to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you die, you will visit Orko and his crystal ball to see if you can start from where you left off or get some crystal to use as currency.

You can use your currency to get powers and extra life.  you can even purchase extra content.

 

 

The game reminds me of the old school Mega Man games from Nintendo where you have to beat a Boss after going through some sort of maze.  I like the fact that we get to see some characters in this media that we would normally wouldn’t such as Megator.  Hordak also makes an appearance along with his Troopers (Here’s hoping we will see the Classics version of these Horde favorites soon.)

The game is .99 cents and worth every penny.  This game is perfect for fans old and new or even if you are a gamer.  Try it out for .99 cents you will not be disappointed.  Currently its only available through the App Store for iPhones and iPads; however due to sales and the overwhelming demand it will soon be available for Android.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filed under: Reviews — admin @ 8:57 pm
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