So, Avengers Seems to Be Somewhat Popular

I know, right? Who knew tossing a bunch of wildly popular superheroes into the same film would make money!

Quoth Variety:

Disney-Marvel’s “The Avengers” grossed a mammoth $178.4 million from 39 overseas territories (70% of the international market — not including China or Russia), while domestic box office seemed stuck in a holding pattern waiting for the tentpole’s May 4 opening.

Going into the weekend, “Avengers” began dominating B.O. headlines as early as Wednesday, with record-setting opening-day figures in countries like Taiwan and New Zealand.

“Avengers” scored No. 1 bows in every territory including throughout most of Latin America, where the pic bowed most extensively. The film still has blue-chip markets like China, Russia and Japan to go — the latter two are set for day-and-date bows with the U.S., while “Avengers” is slated to debut in Japan in August.

It’s always nice to see the little indie art-house flicks do well. *sniff*

Seriously though, this is awesome news. Not because there was really any doubt that Avengers would fare well; foregone conclusions rarely come any clearer. Rather, it’s one hell of a feather in Joss Whedon’s hat. Huge numbers like these paired with the crazy positive critical response has to feel good. You know he’s still not completely over Serenity.

Okay, maybe I’m just projecting that onto the poor guy. Hey, maybe this big victory with Avengers will improve the odds of a proper Serenity follow-up? Two words for y’all: c’mon. C’mon!

Oh, and a quick memo to Variety before I continue…

In first place domestically, Sony-Screen Gems’ holdover “Think Like a Man” nabbed $18 million in its soph sesh for a Stateside cume of $60.9 million.

Oh for the love of science please stop it with the meaningless buzzwords already. Made-up language is best saved for infants and space operas (preferably delivered in the form of expletives) and not industry magazines crewed by Serious Entertainment Journalists™. It makes your content hard as hell to parse.

Oh, and it makes you look dumb, too. Not quite AICN-dumb, but at least beyond Pitchfork-dumb. Says the guy with the little geek blog. Whatever. The grapes are probably sour anyway.

Stoke the fires of your anticipation with this trailer that we’ve all seen a thousand times already but never get tired of! Continue reading So, Avengers Seems to Be Somewhat Popular

Yeah, There’s a TARDIS Dildo.

It would appear that a Doctor Who fan at The Toymaker Project has fired the first shot in the sci-fi sex toy war with this contraption, dubbed “The TARDIS Tickler”. Take that, Star Trek colognes! Your sexual nature was merely implicit! And then there’s the whole “seven years” thing… so, y’know… limited uses. *cough*

If I remember my Whovian lore correctly, there was once a Time Lord called The Celestial Toymaker. I doubt he had anything like this on his resumé, of course.

Look, I’m grasping at straws here. It’s a dildo with a TARDIS in it, okay? Maybe we should just leave it at that before this starts getting blue.

Source: io9.

The Top 9 Characters From Hetalia: Axis Powers

Hetalia: Axis Powers (now available on Netflix Instant) is an over-the-top allegory of world history and politics where the cast are personifications of countries and regions. With each episode averaging about five minutes in length, Hetalia breezes through its subject matter, rarely disrespectful and never reverential. You may not get all the references, but you’ll probably laugh, and maybe you’ll end up wanting to learn a little something too. No mean feat in 2012.

Both positive and negative stereotypes form the core of each character’s personality, although these stereotypes comes from a Japanese perspective and so sometimes can have interesting variations on what some of us accept as stereotypes from our own cultural perspectives (China’s place as a prominent member of the Allies is part of this). Still, cod philosophy aside, there are many funny, charming and interesting characters on the show, so let’s take a look at some of the best.

(This is certainly no definitive list, seeing as I’m leaving off China, who really should be on the list, Spain, Roman Empire, Greece, Switzerland, Netherlands, Lithuania, Poland and many, many others but it’s a good snapshot, I believe.) Continue reading The Top 9 Characters From Hetalia: Axis Powers

Super Monkey Ball Gets a “Breast Mode”

Sega has decided to offer promotional codes unlocking an “adult map” in the upcoming Playstation Vita installment of Super Monkey Ball, because simply rolling a ball with a monkey trapped inside it wasn’t strange enough. Something was missing. Apparently, that something was tits. Isn’t it always?

If you remember Tapeheads, you should already know that true production values can only be attained via tits and ass. In this case those production values are nice ‘n’ firmly attached to Yukie Kawamura, a Japanese gravure idol – or “bikini model” as we call them outside of creepy-otaku-stalker-land (or Senkaku Complex. Boom!)

It’s been kind of a rough ride for Sega as of late, so maybe the situation is bad enough that reaching for the low-hanging fruit (pun intended) has become a necessity. Not that they haven’t done this before, mind you.

Should you require a video of Yukie Kawamura playing with herself, well, here it is. Continue reading Super Monkey Ball Gets a “Breast Mode”

Trailer Dissection: Project X Zone

Welcome back to Trailer Dissection, the CF probably-not-original series wherein trailers for movies, television, and games are (over)analyzed for your enjoyment. Our enjoyment. That’s what we meant to say. If you can’t suss out for yourselves how this works, check out the debut article on the Doctor Who Season 7 trailer.

This time, we’re taking a look at the first official trailer for Project X Zone for the Nintendo 3DS, a mammoth crossover strategy/RPG featuring characters from Sega, Capcom, and Namco Bandai franchises. Something about trailers with two minutes of nothing but character reveals and said characters beating the hell out of each other makes for solid article fodder… or just easily-written material.

But enough about that. Let’s do this thing. Continue reading Trailer Dissection: Project X Zone

Japan Attempts World Domination With Bacon

bacon timeline chart

Are you in Japan? If so, you can now slap 15 slices of bacon on your Burger King whopper (do they call ’em “whoppers” in Japan?) for ¥100. That’s about $1.20 to you and me, Russ. This replaces the normal upcharge of ¥60 for a paltry, ancestor-dishonouring 3 slices.

I don’t know why anyone would want to do this, but we’re talking about a nation that’s spawned countless bizarre fast food concoctions… and this guy. So, whatever. Scotland has its deep-frying obsession; Japan has random, massive bouts of over-consumption.

Listen up kids: after spending a couple years as a wage slave food monkey, I know a thing or two about bacon, or rather the reddish-pink (mauve?) slivers of slimy meat-like extract that most chains attempt to pass off as bacon. You don’t want it in your body. Or on your body, or even near your body. If this “bacon” is remotely body-adjacent, you might want to leave the room.

Also, don’t do what this guy does.

Maybe I’m just a little anti-bacon thanks to the internet trying to force it into a meme. That, and the prospect of a bacon-themed reality show.

Source: Japanator.

The Horrible Genius of Final Fantasy XIII-2’s “Crazy Chocobo”

My love/hate relationship with video game soundtracks goes back almost as long as I’ve been wasting time with a controller in my hands, but rarely does one piece of music walk that fine line quite so gingerly.

As far as I’m aware – no, I am not going back in time almost thirty years to confirm this – the chocobo theme has been a staple of the Final Fantasy series for as long as the giant yellow chicken-things themselves, and has therefore been remixed countless times. There have been extended cuts, retro throwbacks, versions with vocals, minimalist instrumentals… basically, as many different takes as can support the Japanese fan’s insatiable appetite for CD releases.

And now, we have this: the venerable chocobo theme, as snarled by Japan’s closest equivalent to Disturbed-esque nu-metal. And it is at once the best and the worst thing I have heard in recent memory.

Dig these lyrics:

GAS ‘EM UP WITH THE GREENS AND LET ‘EM GO
STAND BACK, STAND CLEAR AS HE PUTS ON THE SHOW
SO CUTE YET FIERCE IS HE FROM HELL?
I CANNOT TELL YET I DON’T EVEN WANNA KNOW

SO YOU WANNA BE A TRAILBLAZER
KICK UP DIRT LIKE A HELLRAISER
TAKE THE REINS BUT DON’T REACT SLOW
IT’S TIME TO FEEL THE FORCE – OF THE CHOCOBO!

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN RIDE THIS CHOCOBO?
GOT CHOCOBUCKS? YOU BETTER PUT HIM ON THE CHOCOBO
SADDLE UP IF YOU THINK YOU CAN RIDE THROUGH THIS RODEO
ARE WE IN HELL? I DUNNO TO THE DIRT LET’S ROLL

COME IF YOU THINK YOU GONNA HIDE THIS CHOCOBO
EVERYBODY’S GONNA WANT TO RIDE YOUR CHOCOBO
IT’S CHOCO-LOCO STYLE IN THE CHOCORODEO
GONNA RIIIDE’M STRAIGHT THROUGH HELL IN THE CHOCOBO RODEO

YEAH

LET’S RIIIIIIIIIIYAH (ride)!

Now that’s poetry! One could almost imagine The Undertaker riding out to this song during his “hell biker” days. I doubt anyone would’ve noticed.

As I noted in the forum thread which spawned this entry, irony as a comedic device isn’t always a concept that Japan seems to grasp, especially in their somewhat out-of-touch gaming industry, which is no better exemplified by anyone but Square-Enix. At best, it’s not the kind of humour that translates terribly well across borders and language barriers. So it doesn’t feel totally unreasonable to assume that this hardcore version was meant to be taken completely straight.

And that just makes it even better. Or even worse. I’m still not sure which.

Thanks to speeldabeens for the lyrics!

6 Potential Outcomes of Google’s Project Glass

From the woooorld of tomoooorrooow file at The New York Times:

On Wednesday, Google gave people a clearer picture of its secret initiative called Project Glass. The glasses are the company’s first venture into wearable computing.

The prototype version Google showed off on Wednesday looked like a very polished and well-designed pair of wrap-around glasses with a clear display that sits above the eye. The glasses can stream information to the lenses and allow the wearer to send and receive messages through voice commands. There is also a built-in camera to record video and take pictures.

“It is unquestionably the future, and you would have crashed your stupid flying car anyway.”Three Panel Soul.

That said, maybe not everything that comes out of Project Glass will be entirely benign. Here are a few examples. Continue reading 6 Potential Outcomes of Google’s Project Glass