Official™ Renophaston Review: DC Comics: The New 52: Week 1

This is the first post in a series reviewing the new DC Comics “first” issues. For those who don’t know, DC Comics is releasing a bunch of comic books with “#1” on the cover. These will save the dying comic industry somehow, probably magically, because I haven’t seen anyone propose a different way.

I know what you’re thinking: 52 comics is a lot of comics. I completely agree. But you should probably not despair: We are here to help you. Which comics should you buy? What looks rad? Who’s the next break-out hit? How’s the comics are? Where is it? Why is it there? Do you have the time? We’ll answer all your questions, and more! By the end of this series, you’ll be an expert in being right about 52 specific comics. So let’s get this ball started!

Week 1: August 31, 2011

I didn’t buy Justice League, so I don’t know.

See you next week!

30 Words or More

A few hours ago I saw the movie 30 Minutes or Less and I don’t think they should have named it that. Or the title is more clever than I am.

So overall, I give the movie 3/4 stars. I liked it, but it wasn’t important or original. But it was funny and made me laugh a few times. And the theater had really comfortable chairs. But the popcorn was too salty.

So overall, I give the theater 3/4 stars. I liked the seats, but not the popcorn.

Cowboys and Aliens

should have been better. There are a lot of bad parts I want to point out, but you guys might see it sometime.

1.5/4 stars

So to summarize, I give it 1.5/4 stars.

Alien Cow [Image un-embedded by the management because Reno doesn’t want to anger people. Embedding stuff from somebody else’s server is rude because it uses their bandwidth for your stuff. You can upload pictures to WordPress, though! Also, his name is Cad Bane, not “Alien Cow”. Haven’t you seen everything ever made that has to do with Star Wars?]

Terri, the movie.

SPOILER ALERT!!  This review might alert some spoilers.

I saw the movie Terri today, starring the famous John C. Reily and the not famous other people.  First of all, before we get to the movie review, I should review the theat(re) I saw it in.  The California is a Landmark theater and I got a $2 discount because I have a SJSU ID card.  The popcorn is not made with peanut oil and the medium was too big for my face.  I liked the place.

Terri was anyway from ok to good.  I’m not sure what I think yet.  John(ny) C (B) Reily(Good) was really good, and the main kid was good.  Tim Heidecker was in one scene and was either good or I can’t tell because I can’t tell.

At the end of the movie I thought ‘yeah.’  There was a long scene near the end that made me slightly uncomfortable, but ended with me thinking ‘huh.’

At the moment I give it 3/5 stars.  Good because John C Reily, Creed Bratton and Jacob Wysocki were good.  Eh because it felt like it was the intro to a movie to me.

Next time – something else.

Willow: A Review.

Totally pretty good. At the end when everything gets all sweaty and bloody and weird it still weirds me out. It also weirds me out every time Willow tries to magically shape shift that sorcerer woman back into a human. And when all the warriors get turned into pigs. And when Mad Martigan steps in troll poo. Every part of the movie kinda weirds me out a little.

Here are a list of ways that it is like The Lord of the Rings:

I mean here IS a list:

A tiny person from an isolated village full of tiny people who just like to dance and eat and gossip is the main character.

The good guys are trying to bring something somewhere, and at the same time the bad guys are trying to bring it to pretty much the same place.

That might be about it.

Warwick Davis was 18 when he made the movie.

Official™ Renophaston review of Resident Evil: Afterlife

Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D posterI saw Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D last Friday, but I enjoyed it! Alice is back, and she’s here to change the world! (This may sound like a reference to Captain EO, the first 3D movie I ever saw, but really she just has a gun that shoots coins.)

Spoilers ahead, but they might be inaccurate because it was a few days ago that I saw this, and my memory sucks.

The Good:

You all remember that my biggest problem with Resident Evil: Extinction was its lack of water. Well, this movie made up for that with spades to spare! Paul W.S. Anderson, the director of the first Resident Evil is back, and he brought with him what made the first movie great. I mean, this movie starts in the rain!** There’s a beach, burst water pipes, a lake. This one time, the main characters were underwater for like five minutes, and also there was a boat. And it wasn’t just some throwaway boat reference; it was a major plot point! It’s obvious Anderson understood where the franchise went adrift after he left, and thankfully he returned to set it back on course. Aquaman ain’t got shit on this movie, other than his powers.

Water pipe from RE:A** Not to be confused with Rain Ocampo, Michelle Rodriguez’ character from the first Resident Evil movie… or is it? Aside from RE, Michelle Rodriguez is best known for her role on Lost, a TV show about an island (surrounded by water, of course). Coincidence? Let’s examine the rest of her oeuvre. She followed up Resident Evil with a surfer movie called Blue Crush. Then she played Chris Sanchez in S.W.A.T., “Sanchez” of course coming from the Spanish for “sanctified”, which to Christians brings to mind the Baptismal rite, cleansing the soul with water. Later she voiced a Marine in the popular video game Halo 2. Then in 2005, she played Katarin (in the same year that Hurricane Katrina flooded the Gulf Coast) in another video game adaptation called BloodRayne. Then she starred in a movie called Battle in Seattle, Seattle being known colloquially as “Rain City“. It’s hard to believe the director was unaware of these facts during filming. Oh, and the last movie I saw in theaters before RE:A? Machete. Who was in it? Michelle Rodriguez. (“Michelle”, incidentally, is the feminine form of “Michael”, a name which comes from the archangel Michael, who is known for (among other things) drawing water from the rock at Colossae.)

Also: Zombies! I didn’t know this movie was gonna have zombies! If someone told me this movie was gonna have zombies, I’d have believed them, but nobody did because I don’t have any friends.

The Bad:

Iron Man 2. What a piece of shit. If I had a dollar for every time I saw this “film”, I’d still be out five bucks.

Water and co-star Ali Larter in RE:A

Water and co-star Ali Larter in RE:A

The Ugly:

They introduced Chris Redfield in this movie, which was exciting for some reason. He spent a good chunk of the movie locked in a jail cell. I thought it was funny because in an infamous line from the first game, Barry calls Chris “the master of unlocking“, and here he was locked up. Ha! But then I remembered that it’s Jill Valentine who’s the master of unlocking. So pfft. Nevermind. Chris was in that game, though, and with Chris’ appearance in the movies, we’ve finally come full circle, and ended up in a completely different place.

Aside: I gotta admit, you guys–references to the past take me back. I can’t believe I beat that game. Everything about it was annoying. I give it an “F” for Effort. “Survival Horror”? More like “Survival Horrible Game”!

Still, it had Zombies.

Alaskan water

Alaskan water... brr!

The Verdict:

Lets go down the list:

  • Zombies? Check.
  • Action? Check.
  • Dimensions? Check, check… and check. (that’s 3; last one had 2)
  • Multiple Jovoviches? (Jovovichlones?) Check.
  • Water? More than you can count!

This movie has everything for everybody, and unlike the those big shot “movie” critics, I think that’s enough. I want to say it’s the best Resident Evil movie with the initials REA, but I can’t really remember Apocalypse. Maybe it was good? And what if the next movie is called like Resident Evil: Attrition or something and it’s great? Can’t take that chance! But I’ll give this one four tens out of five!

\frac{10101010}{5}=2020202=3(20)+2 = 322

Out of a hundred.

Full disclosure: I tried not to let it color my review, but I should mention that there was something wrong at my theater, and stuff kept falling out of the movie. Ba-ding chang!

The final word: Resident Evil: Afterlife brought the rotting corpse of the Resident Evil franchise back to theaters!

Beach from RE:A

water + beach = match made in heaven (except I hate beaches)

Robot + Rape = Rape

The new WALL-E comic has surprise buttsecks:
Surprise buttsecks in WALL-E

He is obviously drunk. But that is no excuse.

Official™ Renophaston review of Flatland 2

I finally got my hands on a copy of the legendary “unpublished” sequel to Flatland (one of my favorite books of all time). I’ve been looking for a copy of this my whole life. I know, I know, there are plenty of sequels to Flatland, but I’m talking about the official, from Edwin Abbott’s notes, direct continuation. This thing is practically myth, and all but the most obsessed Flatland-fan would deny its very existence. Don’t believe I have it? Check this shit out (click to enlarge):

So why haven’t you heard of it? The way I heard the story, Abbott considered Flatland a one-off thing, but due to public pressure, he started work on a sequel. But apparently he never arrived at anything he was happy with, so he shelved the project indefinitely, and eventually died. BUT! The 50s came along, and sci-fi was selling, and out of nowhere came… this guy (whose name I exasperatingly can’t recall, and who is mentioned nowhere in the cover-stripped paperback I have) who claimed to be Abbott’s illegitimate grandson, and who was in possession of notes and papers he claimed were Abbott’s. Among these were an outline for a sequel to Flatland and numerous aborted drafts of the same.

Enter Avon Books, who was like, “fuck it, good enough”, and commissioned a full novel, which was finished, printed, bound… and then pulped. Presumably due to some legal issues overlooked during the accelerated production schedule and arising from the increasing likelihood that the alleged grandson was entirely full of crap. So all orders were canceled, the books were destroyed, and (as this was way before the Internet) the book was promptly forgotten. Mind you, any or all of this may be false, and up until two weeks ago, I was pretty much convinced the book itself was solely rumor and legend.

But now, I’ve read it, and I’m ready to share my two cents!


As you can tell by the subtitle (“Sphere Is the Mind-Killer“) and table of contents pages above, Flatland 2 is no longer a “Romance”, but rather a pulpy sci-fi in the vein of Asimov and Heinlein, only not as good. In fact, throughout my reading, I often found myself thinking of the big, dumb blockbusters that pass for “sci-fi” today (think Transformers, Independence Day) which feature the trappings of sci-fi without any of the heart or intelligence.

But that’s being too harsh. There are certainly some worthwhile ideas here (the manner in which the Flatlanders mollify Cthulhu—which I wouldn’t dare spoil on my lame-ass blog!—is fucking brilliant, and I can’t believe I haven’t seen it elsewhere), and as a meditation on the relationship between science and religion, I think Flatland 2 was ahead of its time. Its these aspects that make me tend toward believing that the author was indeed in possession of some of Abbott’s notes, though I wish he had stuck to them more than he did, or maybe passed them on to someone more qualified to finish what Abbott had started.

But all this is overshadowed by a generic “sci-fi” war story with overly-telegraphed, “shocking” revelations in every chapter and plot holes (e.g., the “Proof Cube”, which the disciples of Sphere revere in a way similar to the Catholic’s “bleeding statues of Virgin Mary”, is revealed to be a simple square, but it is never explained how any of the Flatlanders can know this) that make this really hard to take seriously. The fact that the ideas (what this book is ostensibly about) are actually intriguing makes this all the more frustrating.

For example, when Sphere returns, he finds that the Flatlanders have made a religion out of the knowledge he brought them 1,000 years ago, but that religion has divorced itself almost completely from any rational, scientific discourse, and the Flatlanders have made literally no progress—if anything they’ve regressed to a more primitive state. Instead of freeing their minds, he has frozen them like deer in headlights. But the author does nothing with this. He drops that story line, and instead, has Sphere show up with a deus ex machina that would make James Bond blush, never to deal with the real conflict. Not only does this ending come out of nowhere, but it also manages to avoid resolution of nearly every plot thread set up in the previous 250+ pages. The whole book is like this, and while some people would call it “subverting expectations”, I call it shitty plotting. Maybe the author should have spent more time on the story, and less on the countless puns that litter the text.

But as I said, the seed is there for a quality novel, perhaps not on the level of the original, but compelling nonetheless. The idea of two warring religious factions being confronted by their deity and being found lacking is both archetypal and compelling, as is a religion based upon scientific knowledge of reality, rather than upon morality (the ideas of “right” and “wrong” are rarely—if ever—mentioned in the novel, and most of the conflict stems from disagreements about conflicting “truths” and their relative usefulness and accuracy, though dogmatic bullheadedness certainly comes into play). In someone else’s hands, this may have done for religious and scientific thought what Flatland did for the Victorian social-structure and multi-dimensional thinking.

Alas, despite its auspicious but stymied sparks of brilliance, this book can’t hold a candle to its predecessor, or even to most of the unofficial sequels written by others. Carelessness on the part of the author (at one point, a Flatlander actually holds up the severed head of an enemy soldier so that all can see) and a reticence toward actually dealing with the substantive subject matter (along with the fact that it was not actually published, of course!) doom Flatland 2 to obscurity through reader indifference. Beyond all that, though, the real tragedy of this book is that, while reading it, one can’t help but wistfully imagine what this book would have been if Abbott was able to finish it himself.

Official™ Renophaston Gangsta Babies Series 1 Review

I woke up to a pretty nice surprise this morning! Mezco was nice enough to send me 100 cases of series 1 of their new Gangsta Babies line for (I’m assuming) review purposes. After going through most of them, I’ve come to this conclusion: they rock… or rap, if you’ll pardon the pun! Details in the review:

Gangsta Babies a kill you sucka!

Gangsta Babies a kill you sucka!

(I should note that these were pre-release review versions, and they might not accurately represent what is finally sent out to retailers later this year. Also, I have to apologize for the lack of photos—I tried taking some, but the Babies would always fade out of them like in Back to the Future. I didn’t know that could happen with digital pictures, but oh well. The pictures here are from promotional materials.)


I have to say I don’t entirely understand the packaging. I’m not up with modern gangsta culture, so let me know if I’m missing a reference or something, but they came in a broken-down UPS truck. Does that mean something? It’s full-size, and it looks real, but it won’t start. Color me confused. Inside of that were a bunch of regular window display boxes that I found somewhat garish, but that I guess fit well enough with the “bling-bling” theme. I was surprised to notice there weren’t any air-holes (!), but I’ll get to that later. I give packaging a tentative 3 / 5, but I’m willing to reconsider if someone can explain the truck to me. [UPDATE: The truck is now gone! I guess somebody stole it? I live in a pretty nice neighborhood, so this is kind of unexpected. It’s not trash day or anything. Fortunately I already unloaded most of the boxes.]

blingin' the town red!

Gangsta Babies: blingin' the town red!


Okay, here’s where we get to my biggest problem with this series. The lack of air-holes should have tipped me off, but when I see a box of “Gangsta Babies”, that’s what I expect to get. I guess they were trying to save on manufacturing costs or something, but these little guys are made out of plastic. Not even the hands are real. I don’t know if they thought collectors wouldn’t notice or what, but they’re fucking toys. I know, right? But if you can get past that, there’s a still lot here to like about these lil’ niggaz.*

*”Niggaz” in the platonic sense.

First off, these guys are cute. Seriously, I bet I could swap one of these out for one of my friends’ real babies, and even if they noticed the change, they’d be cool with it because these guys are so precious. Rey Rey in particular has stolen my heart. (If I wasn’t already married…!)

The one exception here is Benjino, who creeps me the fuck out. All my Benjinos are burning in a pile in my backyard.

One other quick nitpick—at 10 inches, these aren’t quite to scale with the traditional 16-inch Cabbage Patch Kids line. This may not be a problem for you, but it really pissed me off. I’m better now, but… well, let’s just say my phone bill is going to be huge this month and leave it at that. Overall, I give the design a solid 4 ¾ / 5 ½.


Going over the list of accessories for each doll, something “interesting” pooped out at me: no guns! Personally, I’m okay with this. I know some people will be upset that they decided to go with the Ebonics™, gaudy-jewelry, singing-songs-about-money-for-a-living gangsta rather than the kill-your-brother, rape-your-sister, sell-drugs-to-your-kids gangsta, but I am pleased with the decision. With all the violent, vulgar toys being marketed to kids these days, it’s nice to see something as benign as this on the shelves. Still, a gangsta without a gun is like Harold Melvin without the Blue Notes—he’s gonna get shot. Or melted.

One other notable oversight: no hos. It’s a regular plastic-sausage festival up in here. To make the babies objectify anyone sexually, I had to buy a case** of Baby Alive Wets and Wiggles, and those are literally fucking expensive! If this first wave does well, I wouldn’t mind seeing a “couples” wave that had magnets in the crotches or wherever. (Also an action-feature would be nice; after nearly 100 “gang”-bangs, I was getting tired.)

**Only one case was needed because gangstas prefer to share the women they use for sex. See “Ain’t No Fun (If The Homies Can’t Have None)” for further information.

As for the accessories they actually come with—they’re alright. Not great. 10 / 10


I hate to harp on this same point over and over again, but if these were made using real babies, they would be a steal, but as it is, I think $25 is a little steep, and Gangsta Babies might find themselves appealing mostly to a niche market of collectors willing to spend a bit more for a collector’s-quality gangster-themed plastic baby. That said, I do think Gangsta Babies are probably the best gangsta-themed (plastic) babies on the market right now. Score: 7 / 6.5


I’m still bummed about the name (“Gangsta Dolls“, anyone?), but overall these deez pimps iz da shiznit, real talk! Seriously, these guys are really great. If I had any interest at all in things like this and didn’t just think they were stupid, I’d be all over them like blue on a crip’s onesie.

Packaging: 3 / 5
Design: 4 ¾ / 5 ½
Accessories: 10 / 10
Value: 7 / 6.5

Total: 24 ¾ / 26.5 ½ ≈ 0.91666667

(All scores out of 5.)

The Official™ Renophaston review of TMNT: “Enter the Shredder”

Did you guys catch the latest episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? It was episode #2 and it was called “Enter the Shredder“, and I think it was the best episode yet! But I bet you’re more interested in hearing what I thought about it! Beware: a serious Spoiler Warning is in effect from this point forward!

The Big Picture!

This episode had it all! We even got to see the turtles sans masks! From the introduction of three new villains to our first sight of the Technodrome, this episode left me wanting more, but still feeling satisfied! We finally got to see that Leonardo can definitely defeat Michaelangelo in combat (even if it was just practice!), and when they put cereal on their pizzas for breakfast, I was laughing my ass off! (“Choco-Puffs for me!” LO!L) When the Technodrome blasted through that wall of rock, I nearly lost my shit! That thing is colossal! And when Shredder said, “That’s quite a brain you’ve got, Krang!” and Krang said, “Of course it is, it’s all I’ve got!” I totally laughed my fucking shit off for hours! It was cool that the zoo was just two cages in the middle of a park in the city—I wish I lived in New York! The big fight against all the robots made me so hard I had to change the way I was sitting! (“Taste cold steel!”) Bebop and Rocksteady were pretty cool before they were mutants, but afterwards they were awesome! When Raph stuck his sai into Rocksteady’s gun barrel and made it explode, I was like “Oh shit!” That was tight!

Donatello’s Missing Cock!

When Michaelangelo gets captured by a robot, Donatello leaps into action! And for those of us paying attention, a long-standing question in fandom was finally answered:

Donatello’s Crotch

In-You-Endo Watch!

This episode was the edgiest yet—the sexual innuendo was nearly off the charts! Here are some of the best (unintentionally?) sexual lines in the episode (titled, sexually, “Enter the Shredder”):

  • “All I need are animals!”
  • “My legions are waiting in Dimension X to storm into this world and crush it! All I lack is a body!” (This one’s more of a metaphor!)
  • “That rock is freshly drilled!”
  • “Man, look at the size of those tank treads!”
  • “I need two of you for an experiment!”
  • Donatello and Raphael are making me hard.
  • “Now that’s what I call a serious pizza!”
  • “I’m onto something big!”
  • “Let’s boogaloo!”
  • “There must be some way inside!”
  • “We know how to handle ourselves in the sewer!”
  • “Leonardo—cut it open!”
  • “I feel like a marshmallow in a nutcracker!”
  • “You think they wanna mix it up with us?”
  • “Donatello—try to get to their rear.”
  • “Hit it Leonardo!”
  • “It’s the same guys we fucked last night!” [Edit: Oops! Turns out it’s actually “fought last night”!]
  • “You idiots!”
  • “Come on Splinter!”
  • “I just hope I haven’t missed out on the action!”
  • “C’mon, lets annihilate those turkeys!”
  • “You boys have fun together, and we’ll be back to check on ya in ten years!”
  • “Ooooh, ya little bimbo! I’ll make ya eat that camera!”

The Verdict!

Out of the two episodes that have aired, “Enter the Shredder” is by far my favorite. I think the only thing that could have made it better is if we got to see Krang’s mechanical body he’s building, but they’ve got to leave us with a reason to keep watching! I give this episode 5/5 turtle power! It was cool as shells!

Stert Does a Movie Review: Rockin’ Mother Goose

Remember when you were a child? Remember? Now think back to being a child. Remember watching TV as a child? Think back to the TV you watched as a child. Did you watch Rockin’ Mother Goose? Maybe? You can’t remember? Oh. Here’s a review.

I watched this a long time ago, and then I watched it the other day on Here it is:

This movie is terrifiying and PACKED FULL of sex jokes. Like every other line for the first half hour is a sex pun/joke/in-your-end-o. And it comes pretty close to feeling like my bad dreams feel. Like, maybe my bad dreams are the way they are BECAUSE of this movie (The reason I use all caps is cause I don’t want to take the time to figure out how to use italics).

The casting is the only thing that is good about the movie. Stand-out performances include Woody Harrelson as Mary’s little lamb. The guy from nightcourt is also very weird to watch as Peter Piper. And I wonder if Little Richard knew he was making a movie.

4/10 starts.

Movie Theater Review: AMC Loews Boston Common 19!!!

This movie theater is pretty nice. It has 19 screens and always play the latest and greatest hit movies from around the globe! The main problem I have with it is that the people working here are bitches and cunts. And fags. They are mean. I bought popcorn and after the lady gave me my popcorn I said, “thank you,” and she didn’t say anything or even look at me. I also got a small soda, and the guy was like, “you sure that’s gonna be enough?” like he was calling me fat or something. I hate them. The main thing I like about the theater is they have old movie posters everywhere and thy picked pretty good movies, like Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Aladdin, Forrest Gump, Singin in the Rain, The Rock, and stuff like that.

This is boring to type.

3 points!