Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Winters Bone picks up four Academy Award Nominations!

My first IMDB credit just picked up four Academy Award nominations! Its up for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (which in a perfect world it would win hands down), Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actress. Congratulations to all who put in the hard work on Winters Bone and here is hoping a few of those golden statues go home with folks who have a little Ozark mud on their shoes!

John Hawkes

Monday, January 24, 2011

Rain in Hell Effects shot

Just a quick post to show progress on the Rain in Hell short film.  I've been up until the wee hours the past several nights trying to lock in color processing and effects on the film.  This is one particular shot that is pretty simple, but carries a lot of power within the film.  In the image you can see the original, untouched footage and then the processed final footage below.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Home Brew Game development---PrePlanning

  It's been a busy week, Geek Nation.  I just started editing a documentary film on Thursday that seems like it will be a good project.  Its an incredible story, so I look forward to seeing in unravel in the Final Cut Pro timeline.

  Our film project, Rain in Hell, is coming along nicely.  I have over half of the effects done, and not surprisingly, have become a digital rain guru since half of our short film requires additional rain elements.  The bulk of the remainder of the film will be done within the next few days as long as the renders don't begin to creep.  The majority of the work remaining is digital blood effects, most of which has been hand painted/animated by yours truly.

  The portions of the film that do not have a soundtrack under them are currently being scored by Mr. Justin Evangelista from Turning Records Entertainment.  He has a packed schedule, so I am incredibly happy he was able to find time for us to work on the project.  Check out his work here:  http://www.trfps.com/

  However, the point of this particular blog post is to document the progress of my first home-brew game.

  I am constantly striving to be a more versatile storyteller, and I would be lying if I said I wanted to focus strictly within the traditional realms of film and literature in order to do that.  Being outside the traditional studio structure for the past several months I have become more aware as to how many games are bound by their financial goals, which leave little time for developing a story.  The majority of large success stories within the video game realm at their core are very similar to the success found within film and literature.  Mainly, if you put your passion into the project and give the public an engaging story and well developed characters you will not fail.

  That started to feel like a tangent beginning, so I will refocus.  I do not like being hampered by a lack of knowledge in an area.  In this case a program.  Flash.

  Its evil.  I have shook hands with Flash before.  We've chatted for a bit, but he seemed much more sophisticated than necessary and his accent was hard for me to understand, so we did not stay in touch.  But, in my contacts with various game studios it is very clear that a 2D artist who is not fluent in Flash will only get so far.  However, just sitting down and playing within the program would guarantee I would forget 90% of what I learned.  I needed a project, and why not a game.  I have been the art lead on enough web games now that I have seen my art moving and flashing on the PC screen, so its not as foreign of an idea as it once was. Several years ago I felt the same sort of magic when looking at Nintendo game art, so I knew it was something I could take command of. But until last week no game idea was coming to mind to focus my project around.

  Then it popped in there.  I was writing in my novel when it happened, so maybe my mind just needed to shift gears to let the kernel of an idea slip through.  Its a simple idea that definitely speaks to a specialized segment of the world, but it seems like it would be fun.

  So now, I am sketching and scribbling down ideas.  Its going to be a basic platformer with three core game play levels.  Perhaps a little of a challenge for my first flash project but why not.  I am putting together my basic design, enemy list, power ups, and whatnot before I start to digitize any art, but I am excited.
  Make it a good week, Geek Nation.  

Friday, January 14, 2011

My top ten best films of 2010

 As a forewarning, I am an odd duck.  I generally love a film not just for an incredible script, inspired direction or nuanced acting, but because it hits a spot in me that triggers emotions of youth, wonderment and nostalgia.  Also, if a movie has a very clear goal and attains it perfectly, I delight in that.  Especially with genre films.  The movie could be terrible when viewed outside the genre, but as a genre disciple I will dig it.  You have been warned.

  My ten in no particular order.

1.  Black Swan--Natalie Portman and Darren Aronofsky are both always a sure bet. A complete head trip all the way through that I couldn't stop thinking about.  This was also the first film I ever really thought of Mila Kunis as a serious actress.  Plus, even the guy who thinks ballet is for sissies is going to enjoy a few key scenes between the two actresses that given the psychopathic undertones take all the lust right out of them.

2.  Winters Bone--Yeah, I know, nepotism at its best.  But in spite of the fact that several of my friends and I got to work on this one, it was a pretty powerful film that captured the true essence of life in some of the outlying communities not all that far from home if you live anywhere near the Ozarks.  Plus, John Hawkes was incredible.  He should get best supporting actor simply for the scene in the the beat up truck between the cop and himself.  One look in a mirror and I was terrified of the man.

3.  Toy story 3--As I mentioned to a friend earlier today, this was a kids movie that every adult was pulled into and wept during (at least a little).  At one point near the end I found myself tearing up for the fate of one of the toys and said to myself, 'This is stupid, why am I crying, he is just a toy!'.
   And then I shook my head again and realized that toy or not, the whole thing was just a cartoon.  But the quality of storytelling was so profound that those toys, animated or otherwise, were completely real to me while I was watching the film.

4.  Inception-- A complete head trip.  I never had any inkling where the film was going, although I did have a suspicion where it was going to end up and I enjoyed it anyway. Yes, Chris Nolan, you made me enjoy a film enough I didn't even care that it had Leo in the starring role. Bravo.

5.  True Grit-- Admittedly, when I first watched this movie I didn't care for it a great deal.  Mainly, I felt it had been over hyped.  I was expecting epic and felt it delivered simply very well. However, the more I ruminated on it, the more it appealed to me.  The acting was top notch, it was a really well done western (which are hard to come by) and never once did I question the reality of the movie.  Plus, it had the Dude cross referenced with John Wayne which is pretty cool.

Okay, here is where a few of you will start to close your browser tab. Remember when I said I like a film that sets a goal and nails it?  Well, here ya go.

6.  Scott Pilgrim--I hate Micheal Cera...loathe him.  Sure, in real life he is probably an alright guy, but his general character is a sniveling little underdog that isn't charming enough to overcome my immediate distaste for him.
   But in spite of that, this movie was fricking amazing.  Right from the 8 bit Universal logo at the beginning I was hooked.  People were flying thru the air with pixelated swords and random sound effects appeared as text on screen, but I never once doubted the world this movie took place in.  Everything from the sound design, to the script, to the special effects all melded together perfectly to create a razor blade edge of cinematic enjoyment.

7.  Tron Legacy-- This movie was gorgeous.  True, having a heavy duty nerd component and being a childhood fan of the original helps the enjoyment factor on this a great deal.  However, the art direction alone puts this one on my top ten.  The Grid was an incredible reality, realized in minuscule detail.  It felt epic and I wanted an identity disk just as bad as I did when I was a kid watching the original on vhs.

8.  Legend of the Guardians--Firstly, I love Zack Snyder as a director and thought he did a brilliant job with this.  Secondly, this is the only movie to date that I have seen that felt like it used the 3D gimmick and made it a useful tool within the narrative of the film.  The mid air battles, flying thru canyons, were all gorgeous and made me happy that they were in 3D.  Even last years top flick, Avatar, seemed like the 3D was used to only half of its possibility.

9.  Easy A--I can count on one hand the number of people who didn't like John Hughes films and I am pretty sure they were all Commies.  Okay, not really, but they weren't the type of people I would go out and get a cup with.  This movie set out to be a throwback of the 80's feel good teen movies of my youth and nailed it without it being a remake or beating you over the head with references to them.  The script was great, the acting perfect and Emma Stone somehow manages to be goofy and gorgeous at the same time.

10. Bitchslap--This one...well, this one most people will hate or look at the cover art and discount my opinions forever more.  Honestly, this movie was terrible...but I loved it anyway.  As I said at the beginning, I love movies with two things.  No, not that...pervert.  I dig genre films that keep all the rules of the genre and still make something original and I love movies that set a goal and hit it on the head.  This movie was designed to be a sex-ploitation film in the vein of Russ Meyer and honestly if it wasn't for the (bad) digital effects it would be unrecognizable from Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill. It combines strong female girl power style characters and makes them into pulp fiction stereotypes at the same time. It has guest appearances from Zoe Bell, Kevin Sorbo, Lucy Lawless and her Xena squeeze Renee O Conner (as nuns no less).  Again, it was terrible, but I loved every ridiculous second of it.

Honorable mentions:
1.  Red--Bruce Willis steps out of a cop car while it is in an uncontrolled spin and empties his 9mm FTW.
2.  Defendor--Woody Harrelson is a schizophrenic superhero and it made me cry.
3.  Micmacs--From the director of Amelie.  French and beautiful tale of revenge and ex-circus freaks.
4. Secret of Kells--Beautiful 2D animation about the power of the perfect line.
5.  Harry Brown--Micheal Caine, terrifying no matter how old he gets.
6. The Good, the Bad, the Weird---If Serge Leon was Manchurian this is the movie he would have made.

Movies that made me throw up a little.

1.  The Kids are Alright---This movie was boring.  The script was mundane and the acting was okay. The reason its gotten the exposure it has is because its about a lesbian couple with kids.   Honestly, the best character was Mark Ruffalo and he was the villain simply because he was the outsider brought into the whole ordeal by this modern families issues.  Annette Benning did nothing to deserve all of the awards she is being nominated for other than get a butch hair cut and kiss Julianne Moore.  Ms. Moore at least had some nuances to her performance but can't catch an Oscar nod for anything. After watching this movie I could imagine an early discussion between the two writers.
  "So this is just a movie about a husband and wife and their kids from another dude? And then the kids contact the other dude when they are about to go to college?"
  "Yeah, its like...um...a slice of life."
  "Thats kinda boring.  We need to spice it up a bit."
  "How bout we make them lesbians.  At least people will go see it in hopes of seeing two women kiss."
  "I dunno, that sounds like a lot of work to change a name and make the lesbian angle a really integral part of the story.'
  " Nah, Nick can be a girl name too...we can just put in a throwaway line about it being short for Nicole, add     an Academy-safe sex scene or two and make them say lesbian here or there when we shoot it. We can even have her wear the dude wardrobe and scrubs we already bought."
 "Sweet...let the funding start rolling in."

2. Death at a Funeral--The original British movie was incredible.  Why Hollywood feels that British comedy translates to black comedy simply by adding stereotypical phrases they saw on House Party 2 confounds me.

3.  Little Fockers--This movie was number one in the nation for two weeks. America, this is why we can't have good films, you keep funding these steaming piles.

Movies that had I gotten to seen them may have altered my top ten list. 
This is one of the few times living in Springfield, Mo isn't the ideal situation.  Catching these super indies on the big screen is impossible or Netflix is held hostage by Blockbuster for a month after the titles come out on Dvd.

1. The Kings Speech
2. Buried
3. Paperman
4. The Social Network
5. 127 Hours
6. The Town
7. Biutiful

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Film Festival Review--Queen City Cinema series at the Moxie (Ep1)

Queen City Cinema Series 

 I am slow to get this review out, but the contents of the first of the Queen City Cinema series gave me a pretty solid reason to reflect on its contents.  But first, blatant exposition.

  The Queen City Cinema series is a collaboration between the newly minted non-for-profit Moxie Cinema and the Missouri Film Alliance of  Springfield.  The purpose of the project is two-fold.  Firstly, it gives local filmmakers a venue to show their films to the public and up on the big screen (which always shows off mistakes you never noticed on your computer monitor).  Secondly, it is designed to stir up interest in the local film making community and by extension the Missouri Film Alliance, which is dedicated to helping said film community grow and better utilize the local resources (which are abundant, just unorganized).   The film series is to take place the first Tuesday from now thru May at 9:30 p.m. at the Moxie, which is located at 431 S. Jefferson Ave. 

  At this point I will be perfectly honest with you, I did not really want to go to this event.  The basic excuses: it had been a long day, it started too late, I didn't know but one of the film makers, yadda yadda yadda, whine, whine, whine.  But, being on the board of the MFAS and being the only representative available that night, there was no way I could whine and stay at home.

  I am glad I went out.  Ecstatic even. Let me give you a run down of the films and then I will explain why I left the showing so jazzed up about our local film makers.


  The first film of the series was  “This is the Orange Line,” a nine-minute black and white film by Nathan Maulorico that focuses on the Orange Line L Train in Chicago and the inherent beauty and majesty that trains posses.  Set to the backdrop of the classical work Cello Concerto in E minor by Edward William Elgar, the movie had an almost French New Wave feel to it throughout as it displayed both the minutia and vistas that a person may experience from their train seat while travelling through Chicago.  Nathan Maurolico was the only film maker of the series whose work I was familiar with and as I had seen both the trailer for the film as well as the list of festivals it had been accepted into, I knew going into the event that enjoying his work was a sure bet.


  The second film of the series was 'One Piece at a Time', a ten minute film by Max Rosen.  The film kept a balance of comedy and dramatic intensity that kept the viewer from having any idea where the final minutes of the film would take them.   Featuring an almost solo performance by Ryan Bennett, the movie was about an average man who starts receiving very unusual packages on his front porch every morning.  Within each package is a small gear or piece of metal that the viewer easily implies are parts to a much larger creation.  The accrual of the various gears and screws gives a slowly building tension to the film that, when combined with an editing style similar to Chris Dickens, gave a surprising rush when the object is put together and its purpose, as well as the most memorable sequence of the film, is revealed.  


  Next up was 'Mill Man', a 12 minute film by Chris Beckman that at first seemed to explore the disconnect between the various strata of office and production life in the workplace, but quickly turned into a very silly and incredibly enjoyable buddy movie.  The basic premise is an office worker decides to investigate to see why none of the production orders are being shipped and the head office is unreachable.  Upon his arrival at the mill, the protagonist played perfectly by Matte Stowe, finds it abandoned but for a single worker (again, Ryan Bennett) who has kept at it  in order to impress the higher-ups even though everyone else has left.  While I am sure every actor hates to be out-shined by an inanimate object, it seemed the real star of this comedy was the set, Tindle Mills, which was bulldozed and turned into a parking lot the week after this film shot there.  


  The second Chris Beckman film to be shown at the event was a 10 minute piece entitled 'oops'.  'oops' has not only won an award for experimental video with the Vimeo Awards, but has also been selected to compete in the shorts category at the 2011 Sundance film festival.  Admittedly, considering how much I had heard about a local guy having his film accepted into Sundance, I came into the beginning of this film with a slightly overly analytical eye most likely looking for reasons to make myself feel better as a film maker.  When the film started and the first sight to meet my eye was a youtube video clip the little prideful film guy in my head said 'What?!?!?!  Are you kidding me?!?!?  Youtube video fodder and it made it to Sundance!!!'

  And then the first transition happened and the little film guy went 'whoooaaaahhhh' and shut the hell up.

  The premise is simple.  Take ten minutes worth of youtube videos where people destroy their cameras in a plethora of entertaining ways and join the clips.  Not by simple cuts or fades or other such pedantic nonsense, but with an impressive audio video transition where the camera falls in one video and is picked up in another and you have absolutely no idea where one clip ended and the other began.  The transitions were incredible and inspiring, and in the case of a transition from the thunderous staccato of a locomotive into the pounding of children's feet on the playground, somewhat haunting.  


  The final film for the night was a twenty minute piece entitled 'Loose Cannon' by Brook Linder.   To get a feel for what this movie was like, go out to your garage and pick out any three cop movies that you still have on VHS staring the talents of  Willis, Gibson or Eastwood when they still had their hair and then run them through a blender.  The 80's avenging cop goodness that oozes out and makes you question how this could have possibly been shot just this past year and why you don't already know all of the catch phrases is what watching this movie felt like.  

  "Surely, you exaggerate", you say. 

  "No", I counter, "this looks like it was shot in the 80's and you are watching it on a well loved VHS tape".  

  The effect is impressive as it gives the film an undeniable sense of authenticity when viewed on the big screen, never mind that the movie itself had the perfect selection of actors, over the top gags, was well scripted and well directed. I spoke with the director afterwards to ask how they achieved the VHS look in this world of AfterEffects plug ins and got an answer far simpler than I expected.  They shot it digitally, then dumped it down onto VHS (taping over an old Brian De Palma movie as a dub to a new VHS looked too clean), then back to digital.  

  As you can tell by the reviews of these movies, I was so very happy I chose to not be an old man and go out to watch this series.  Not only were all of the films pretty incredible, the event was free and all of the filmmakers were in attendance to take questions and congratulations well earned.  Out in the lobby I overheard someone make mention of how Springfield felt like Austin did right before its big film revolution in the 90's.  Its hard not to argue with them when seeing work like this.  Its not just storytelling or messing around with a camera with friends for the fun of it, this was actual cinema innovation.  These were original works that renewed my confidence in the talent and capabilities of the film makers in this town...now if we can only get organized and get funding.  

  Dont just take my word for it, but check out this review of the series from the fine print blog.

Again, Queen City Cinema series is taking place the first Tuesday from now thru May at 9:30 p.m. at the Moxie,  located at 431 S. Jefferson Ave.   Go see it next month, you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Movie Review--Green Hornet


  Tonight the wife and I went to see a sneak peek viewing of the new Green Hornet film.  The whole affair was free, which was pretty much the main selling point considering I was not overly impressed by the trailers or the fact that Seth Rogen was the star.  Don't get me wrong, I want the chubby, bearded, bespectacled guy to have the lead parts just as much as every other Kevin Smith lookalike.  I have enjoyed a few of Rogen's films, even if he is the same character in every single one.  Sometimes it works.

  Other times it is a terrible gamble made by executives to try to bring a younger crowd in to see a movie based off of a television show made in the late 60's (which was based off of a radio serial from the mid 30's).  Basically, they wanted to bring in the expendable income, not the pensioners fixed payment.  I get it, I understand.  You want your film to make a profit.  However, at least TRY to make it somewhat like the original series beyond the character names and sweet 007 style ride.  But this seemed as if the writers (one of whom was Rogen) had never seen an episode of the television show.  Michel  Gondry has done some exceptional work, most notably in my opinion being the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind, but this will not go down as one of his finer works.  Actually, considering how bland, generic and frighteningly similar so many of these hero films are despite varied casts and crews, there must be a checklist or executive out there that all of these films are measured by or against.  Homework assignment right there.
  As to the above the board actors...sigh.  Seth Rogen was himself (the only time I have not seen him playing himself was in the epic and under-rated film Fanboys), Cameron Diaz could have been almost cut out of the movie entirely and the script could have remain untouched which is always a sign of doom.  And the bad guy, Bloodnofsky, was a cartoon character complete with outdated suits, red leather coat, double barreled handgun and late in the film instituted catch phrase.  Of the three unremarkable actors/characters, the bad guy makes me weep the most as Chris Waltz is an incredible talent and can do amazing things with a role given a chance, but he can only work with what he is given.  Of course, it could have been worse.  I had heard rumor that Nick Cage was originally the main villain, but he was removed and the scenes re-shot because he refused to deliver the lines without a Jamaican accent.  His reasoning?  Cuz I am friggin Nick Cage.

  There were a few highlights.  James Franco as the random thug made an example of early on was an unexpected gem.  Jay Chou gave us not only pretty kick ass fight sequences, but a surprisingly subtle and nuanced performance as the right hand man, Kato.  Obviously, the car was cool but even that joy was taken down a notch by making it have a plethera of pointless accessories as well as crime fighting gear.  Yes refrigerated seat compartment with three glasses of perfectly prepared ice for a scotch on the rocks I am looking at you.

  The closer the movie got to its end the more disappointing it became.  The heroes killed without showing remorse or thinking twice.  They didn't just leave one corpse, they had a good half a dozen.  Some of them killed in a pretty gruesome manner.  This made the hornet sting knockout gas gun completely pointless beyond having it as a setup for a weak joke that has been in every trailer (the terrifying thing was the audience still cackled like caffeinated baboons when it happened in the film). The first time Rogen uses the gas gun on a bad guy he puts the thugs eye out.  Why?  Because the thugs name was Popeye.  Get it?  Neither did I since I never heard the thugs name mentioned, I just caught it in the credits and looked it up.

  Additionally, there seemed to be a lot of unnecessary cussing.  Now, don't look at me like that.  I am a fan of Kevin Smith films, I have no problem with salty language when it feels right for the movie.  This felt like they thought the only way they could get a laugh out of a joke was if they had Rogen tack '$h1t' in randomly during his dialogue.

  The largest kick in the teeth, near the end their car became magical.  I am not lying.  Okay, there weren't sparkles and fairy wings, but it did steal a trick from the Love Bug and have the front end drive around thru an office building after the elevator cut the car in half.  Re-read that last sentence.  Yeah, it made about that much sense while watching it as well.

  Oh, and having this film in 3D was completely pointless.  Please, please, let this fad die quickly as I am tired of seeing it used for no other reason than to give a bullet point to the press kit and an extra two bucks to the ticket price.

  The salt in the wound was the fact I never heard the television shows theme song (which I love) referenced within the film score a single note until the credits rolled.  Gangsters Paradise, sure, yeah. You've got to show the ride is hot.  Theme songs are for wimps.

Overall I give the new Green Hornet film two out of five Cine-philes (officially licensed graphic coming soon).  Wait to watch this one until you can get a free rental from Redbox.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Obsession of the Month ---Mini Tabletop Arcade Games

 Those of you who know me know I tend to obsess over certain geek relics until I have thoroughly researched or purchase a few of them from ebay or the local dirt malls.   Past examples of this include MadBalls, Slurpee character cups, Promotional Character Glasses from fast food chains, and Garbage Pail Kids. The majority of these items are all linked to childhood memories.

madballsslurpeecupslurpee glasseslooney tune glassessmurfglassescarebearsGarbagePailKids

  My current obsession are Mini Tabletop Arcade games.  You see,  I have a special place in my heart for Arcade games.  My dad was a fan of video games and pinball machines.  My earliest memory of him was him smiling ear to ear, still dressed in a dark blue tshirt fresh from work at the sheet metal shop, setting down an Atari 5200 box on the kitchen table.  By extension, the majority of my early memories involving him include shoving handfuls of quarters into the arcade cabinets at the local greasy spoons and Pizza Huts.  The original Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr and a cocktail table version of Pacman are specific titles I remember standing on a stool in front of in order to reach the joystick and play two players with Pops.

  So, since keeping a few of arcade cabinets in your basement was both spatially and financially cumbersome, one of my favorite childhood toys was the Donkey Kong Jr mini arcade game that my grandpa (my dads dad, so he knew the score) gave to me on the Christmas of 1984.


  It followed the same basic premise of the larger version.  That despot Mario has kidnapped Poppa Kong and is going to torture him in retribution for Kong's earlier dalliance with the Princess and Jr must save him.

  Honestly, considering how often the Princess ends up in the hands of some large, hulking creature, I think maybe she is just into the XXL sized bad boys. Mario having a career and all, plus the ability to bring home the coins, probably makes him the safer relationship material.  Always the moth, never the flame poor Mario.  But, I digress.

  I played this game for hours for years and can still remember the music.  It even had an alarm clock function which I would use from time to time.  Donkey Kong Jr is listed as a CLCD (Color Liquid Crystal Display), which necessitated playing under a light as the screen was lit via a translucent panel at the top.


  The tabletop mini arcade was incredibly popular during the early 80's and hundreds of titles were created.  Coleco was the main forerunner of the genre and thru a special distribution deal created several mini versions of soon to be popular Nintendo characters.

   Over the several years of youth I picked up a couple of other mini arcades, exclusively purchased at garage sales stocked with playthings that my cousin, who seemed to have every cool toy ever, had gotten bored with.

  Q*bert is a solid piece of entertainment even if the storyline is lacking and fairly is difficult.


This title, along with other classics such as Pacman, Frogger, Zaxxon and Galaxian had incredibly bright VFD (vacuum flourescent display) style game play screens.  I had to look up why they were so bright as well as what the acronym stood for once I discovered what it was so don't be impressed by my geek badge on that one.

Cosmic Clash was shockingly cool considering it seemed like a knockoff title.
  Its animation came from transparent ships on moving tape that would light up when they were available to shoot.  The audio was fantastic and incredibly loud, which meant this one was primarily played while on the opposite side of the house from the adults.

My sister had Ms. Pacman, which was one of the few toys of her I still covet to this day (her Madballs and Green Lantern Super Powers figure being the others).

   This too was a shockingly accurate and playable version of the larger game cabinet, and like the Q*bert game featured exceptionally bright screen graphics via a VFD.


 One of the things that impresses me still is the playability of these games despite their simple design and mechanics.  You could play forever, as the level simply repeated with faster enemy speeds until your lives were used up, but since you never had to worry about finding another quarter that wasn't such a bad thing.

  One of the holy grails of these mini tabletop arcade games was Tron.


 Considering that the full sized arcade cabinets are equally hard to find and thus highly sought after this makes sense.  As an additional plus, apparently the game play on this title was pretty fantastic considering the limited technology the toy utilized.


There were a surprising number of titles within the tabletop arcade genre, and they are really hard to come by outside of ebay.  If you see one in the wild then let me know!  Considering the majority of them are almost hitting their 30 year mark their rarity is understandable, your modern playstations/xbox/wii's start dying off after 2 years.  If you have one I recommend taking care of it, keeping it out of direct sun and making sure the batteries aren't left inside of it.  Nothing will kill vintage electronics faster than a corroded battery.

Here are a couple worthwhile sites for Geek-search if you are so inclined.  The first link features those stupid bright VFD displays...which I guess is kind of redundant now that I think about it.  VFD display.  Its like calling an ATM an ATM machine.   Anyway, enjoy.



Friday, January 7, 2011

Random Toy Pic--Food Fighters

Food Fighters

$.50 for the 3. Too bizarre to pass up. Called food fighters. Yes, that is sergeant short stack, lieutenant leg and major munch. Does anyone have any of these guys that they want to part with?