One of the biggest and best video game franchises belongs to Nintendo’s adventurous Italian plumber, Super Mario. Though the hyper-realism and violence of modern games is as far as you can get from Mario, he continues to be at the center of dozens of hugely popular games. Which makes it surprising that there has been remarkably little real Mario merchandise until recent years. But now that it’s arrived, CmdStore’s got a ton of it right here. Plush toys, Mario Kart vehicles, Gashapon mini toys, keychains, the whole nine yards. Definitely something Mario fans will want to check out.
And something else for fans is the upcoming Super Mario Wii. Check out the trailer and this blurb about its difficulty level from Co-Optimus.com
After complaints that the previous 2D Mario Bros. title on the Wii was embarrassingly easy, series creator Shigeru Miyamoto kicked New Super Mario Bros. Wii up a notch or 3. Instead of the cake walk we had in 2D before, expect a solid challenge with New Super Mario Bros. Wii, even in co-op – maybe the Demo Play feature will come in handy after all.
When asked about the game, Shigeru Miyamoto simply said it’s “pretty difficult” and we now know that New Super Mario Bros. Wii celebrates the hardcore fans that grew up with Mario. You and your co-op buddies will need to use all of the “Super Skills” in your arsenal, as well as avoid jumping on each others heads too often, to win this one.
Three new items have been added to the Superhero Squad section of Cmdstore.com in the Mega-packs and box sets subset. All three of the new packs are based on Wolverine, whose recent television and film appearances seem to have officially cemented him as the true star of the X-Men license/franchise. The first in the trio is the ‘X-Cutioners Song’, which includes some very cute renderings of Wolverine (yellow costume), Stryfe, Marvel Girl and Cyclops.
Since the beginning, I’ve always wondered why Hasbro went in such an adorable direction for such fierce, powerful characters, but in this and dozens of other Superhero Squad packs, it’s tough not to see at least some of the appeal. It’s definitely present in the next set, which includes Dark Beast, Havok, Wolverine and Wolvie’s motorcycle under the title ‘Doom of the Dark Beast’. Even the vicious villain of the story is made to be endearing, a smile on a usually snarling face.
Finally, we’ve got the Wolverine Evolutions set (see below). It features four versions of Wolverine based on the comics and film, all without the classic mask and modeled more on the Logan we’ve seen of late. These ones are definitely a great addition to the collection of any Wolvie fan.
Movies are probably the most popular form of horror media out there today. Unlike books and blogs, they seem to have a truly universal appeal and can spread to more demographics, raking in billions of dollars a year. But when there are so many flicks out there that promise to offer real scares, it’s hard to find a truly creepy–or at least well-made–horror movie. We’ll sort some out right here.
One of my favourite horror movies would have to be Japan’s Noroi: The Curse. It’s a faux documentary (mockumentary still sounds too jovial) that follows a man who has made a career out of investigating the paranormal for his television specials as he explores a strange new case involving a missing girl, a crazed conspiracy theorist and a centuries-old demon. The tagline is ‘Everybody died’, but in a film with dozens of incredible twists and turns, it gives nothing away. You can watch the movie here or try your luck finding a copy online–none of the big retailers carry it!
One of the first movies to bring the Japanese style and aesthetic to North American audiences, The Ring is a remake of the original Japanese Ringu. Starring the brilliant Naomi Watts, it took the viewer on ride that seemed to go from eerie to downright horrifying and never looked back. Some might prefer the original Japanese and indeed it has some definite strengths over the remake, but this is one time I might prefer the second draft. You can snag this movie over on Amazon.com: The Ring (Widescreen Edition)
THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT
I feel a little sorry for the Blair Witch Project. It came out to amazing reviews and terrified audiences and then got hit with the backlash that probably awaits Paranormal Activity. Suddenly it wasn’t scary, it was called lame and obnoxious for its shaky cam and eventually it got talked up until it wasn’t scary anymore. But given what it was, a low-budget indie experiment, it’s definitely worth a watch for those who haven’t already been swept up. Well constructed and solid, it can be found right here: The Blair Witch Project
Finally, a true horror classic has to make the list and add a monster to the strange other beings we’ve already encountered. John Carpenter’s The Thing is one of the strangest and most terrifying monster movies ever made, with its strengths in the fact that its eponymous Thing seemed to have no motive, nor rhyme or reason to the way it killed and tormented the men of an ill-fated arctic base. You can find it on both DVD and Blu-Ray right here:
The Thing (Collector’s Edition DVD)
and The Thing [Blu-ray]
Only slightly Halloweeny, the Geiger-style aliens from the amazing film franchise are awesome enough to blog about anyway. We’ve got a ton of Sideshow statues and figures both new and old that feature the original aliens from the first films and the new ones from the Aliens versus Predator franchise. Whatever you think of the films, there’s no denying that the folks at Sideshow have outdone themselves in terms of quality and detail with these figures.
There are also non-Sideshow items brought to you instead by McFarlane and Kotobukiya, which can be found in the AvP section of CmdStore.com. There you’ll find everything from 6-inch figures to Head-knockers and more! Sure to please any fan of the films or their now-classic aesthetic.
And now, in other alien-related news, there’s a new movie coming out that looks like it’s going to be absolutely terrifying. Titled ‘The Fourth Kind’, it’s a creepy tale of alien abduction unlike any other entry to the genre thus far.
According to a piece posted over at Digital Spy, Edward Norton once said “I haven’t personally really engaged in a lot of this new kind of social networking stuff like Twitter or Facebook or MySpace. I mean, the notion of people following what I am doing every day is like torture for me.”
But all of a sudden, all that’s changed! Over on Twitter, Norton can now be found right here, as Edwardnorton. Why the change of heart? It’s simple. He’s got a cause!
Norton has teamed up the Kenyan Maasai Warriors and a number of other activists to raise money for Wilderness Conservation in Africa. The efforts will culminate in Norton and a team running the New York Marathon for sponsortship.
It’s a great cause and he’s been raising a ton of money with giveaways and contests as he gets sponsors for runners and his own team. Prizes so far have ranged from movie posters to running shoes to Blackberries pre-loaded with personalized videos from Norton himself. It’s a great way not only to interact with one of our day’s most celebrated actors, but also to give to a good cause.
We’ve already talked about the upcoming Sims 3 Expansion pack, World Adventures, but now the folks at EA Games have revealed one of the locations your Sims will find in the new open-concept world: Shang Simla! Click here to watch the trailer!
The Sims 3’s first major add-on, it will mark the first time that Sims can venture out to other countries and explore a world beyond their small towns or even the big cities. When first announced, it seemed likely to become a massive success, but as EA reveals more and more details, that’s even more of a sure thing.
This is just another awesome update for fans of the Sims 3, whose numbers continue to rise.
World Adventures is sure to be a big hit among players and if you’re looking to snag it, we’ve got the links you’ll need to grab it on Amazon.com.
The Sims 3
The Sims 3: World Adventures Expansion Pack
Joining our already impressive Marvel Statue, Figure and Maquette Collection by Sideshow Toys is the awesome X-Men Origins Wolverine figure above. Based on Hugh Jackman (the Sexiest Man Alive according to People magazine and many people in general), the toy stands a full 12 inches high and features not only an amazing likeness sculpted by the best of the best at Sideshow, but also boasts the following:
* Newly developed Hot Toys hirsute muscular figure body with over 30 points of articulation
* Detailed belt
* Dog tags
* Two sets of interchangeable hands
* Figure base with Wolverine nameplate and film logo
The figure’s available here and ships in a couple months, but you can pre-order right now!
And fans of the film can find that at Amazon.com along with video games and a soundtrack!
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (DVD)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Two-Disc Edition + Digital Copy) [Blu-ray]
X-Men Origins: Wolverine Soundtrack
X-Men Origins: Wolverine Uncaged Edition (PS3)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (PC)