googlea875c0213e6e807d.html] Fandads: April 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010

Need Something to Do?

Are you one of those people who's always complaining that there's nothing to do? I can get like that at times, I mean it really is true sometimes, there just isn't much to do at times. The kind of luck that I have, however, always assures me that when there actually is something to do, it tends to overlap with something else. That being said, tomorrow is one of those days.

Let's see, being that this is, I'll start out with the most relevant. Free Comic Book Day. Visit your local comic book pusher retailer and pick one or two up. A lot of stores are also having sales and/or special guests. On the Magic front there are usually plenty of events on any given Saturday, but tomorrow Pastimes is having a Magic Triathlon which seems like a unique and fun event.

If sports are more your speed, I think there's a fight on tomorrow night, heh. Mayweather v. Mosley is tomorrow night and if you think that's going to be a tough fight, the Hawks are also playing the hated Canucks. There's also a little event called the Kentucky Derby taking place tomorrow.

Whatever you decide to do this weekend, be safe and have fun, maybe I'll see you around.


Did you Pee? Updated

Recently, while shopping for diapers, my wife and I noticed that the regular brand we buy changed the style of their diapers. Now when you walk down the diaper aisle there really isn't that many brands to choose from. You either buy Pampers, Huggies, Luvs or the store brand. Well, since our little girl was born we have been using Pampers, Swaddlers Sensitive, to be exact.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Secret Ending in Iron Man 2?

If you remember at the end of Iron Man there was a short scene after the credits where the audience is introduced to Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury. This scene almost came out of nowhere and it helped show that Marvel had big plans for their brand and their heroes already in the works. With Iron Man 2 being released in about a week and a half rumors are already starting about what to expect after the credits this time.

Rumors have stemmed from Tony Stark meeting or talking about Captain America and Thor, while other reports say that there is nothing after the credits. With the advance previews and screenings being shown throughout the country there have been confirmations that there is something at the end of the credits this time. Now, I want it to be a surprise to myself and anyone that reads this, so if you want to know there are ways to find out, but in the meantime, this bit of news has made the anticipation for Iron Man 2 even greater for me.

I think that with or without something extra after the credits Iron Man 2 is going to be on par with Spider-Man 2, The Dark Knight and even Empire Strikes Back. These were sequels that got it right and made the audience more involved in the lives of the characters on the screen. Hopefully I am right about this, but either way I'm going to be there opening weekend.

See you at the theaters on May 7 or May 6 if I attend a midnight screening.


Update - Have you seen this Mike Relm commercial for Iron Man 2. This thing is amazing.

The Perfect Father's Day Card

Just in time for Father's Day, Hallmark is releasing Star Wars Themed Video Greeting Cards. Being that this is going to be my first Father's Day can I say that I want one of these! What would be cooler than opening one of these in the morning and seeing a small video of fatherly advice from a galaxy far, far away.

Although the article doesn't say how many different cards are coming out it will be interesting to see how Hallmark uses this new format. These new cards have completely gotten me excited about Father's day


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Video Game Time 4/27 Edition

Being a father and a gamer it's hard to get some good quality game time. Whether, I'm changing diapers, cooking dinner or walking the dog, I usually have to find time to sit down and play my games. Fortunately, I do get to play and although I am behind in some of the newest titles, I do get to enjoy what I am playing at the moment. Currently I'm still playing God of War III and I am almost finished with it. It's taken me a while because I am playing it on Titan mode (I'll take you down Zeus!) but overall this game is a beast and I highly recommend it.

Today being Tuesday it's new game release day and of the few titles that are coming out today the one that I am looking forward to is Super Street Fighter IV. I have always been a fan of the Street Fighter games and always loved playing them at the arcades back in the day. Now I am not the best at this game, but I just like playing it and taking my chances with whoever I'm playing against. While everyone used Ken or Ryu my favorite character was Chun-Li. I loved getting in a groove and using her helicopter kicks to take out my opponent. Just using a girl to kicks the other guys butts made it even more fun, especially when they would laugh at my choice of character. Maybe it was her muscular legs, but I loved using her because she was a little under-rated.

I was able to get my copy of Super Street Fighter IV today and I can't wait to play it. This is an updated version of the game that was released in February of 2009 and contains 10 new characters, new bonus stages, new challenge mode and new Ultras. Some of the fan favorites that were not included in the February release have been added to this one, can you say Thunderslam? (T. Hawk reference) I have a few friends that are pretty well-versed in this game and I know that they will have fun in beating me to a pulp until I get the hang of it, but that's fine with me.

When the wife and baby are asleep and the dog has been walked for her last time of the night, I will sit down and try out Super Street Fighter IV and write a full review of what I think of the game. In the meantime, I will try to defeat Zeus and kill off some Zombies in Left 4 Dead 2.


Notable releases
- Dead to Rights: Retribution (Xbox360, PS3)
- FIFA World Cup 2010 South Africa (Xbox360, PS3, PSP, Wii)
- Nier (Xbox360, PS3)

My mind has been blown.

"But it’s the gameplay that’s really changed. First, you’re asked to don a headset, almost as if you’re playing Modern Warfare 2. It’s unsettling and weird, at first. But then you get it. You’re the quarterback and what’s coming through the headset is similar to what comes through the helmet of, say, Jets phenom Mark Sanchez. The offensive coordinator is suggesting a play given the situation on the field."

Wow! I don't think I've been this excited about a Madden game for a long time. Do yourself a favor and read the article and then come on back!

See! What did I tell you? It sounds sweet, the team getting off the bus, (off the bus running if you're the Bears according to Lovie) and the stadium progressively getting filled. *drools*

Madden is one of those games that has a special place in my heart, and my wallet. Yes, I am one of those suckers that gets it every year, regardless of how much I've been warned. Some years it has failed, but it's Madden, you have to get it. I mean, Madden day should be a holiday, for reals. Surprisingly I can't find any examples of them at the moment, but some of the ads for Madden Day have been awesome. If I remember correctly some were about missing husbands/boyfriends and people missing work, heh.

It's not only that I'm a huge football fan, but I've got a lot of history with Madden. In high school we'd all would rush to my cousin's house after school or practice to get some games of Madden in. Everyone had their teams, I had the Bears, my cousin was always Detroit, and we had friends who were the Falcons, Eagles, Broncos, Raiders, and Buffalo. We'd have tons of people playing at my cousin's house and it was always a blast.

In later years it became a staple of Sunday mornings. Everyone would watch football at another cousin's house and most of us would get there a bit early and play Madden before the weekly NFL games. Some of these contests would get amazingly heated, I remember one game where one of our friends demanded a rematch and anted up a hundred dollar bet. Playing two on two was especially interesting. "What the hell are you doing!" "Noooooo!" "Mother#$%!$@!"

During the holidays we'd play a tournament to see who would be the family champ. I even got a trophy made one year, the magnificent "Hoyne Street Cup". (It's like six inches tall, heh) In the last couple of years we haven't been playing as much, this past year I think we busted out the Magic cards but that's a whole other story. That being said, if Madden 11 lives up to the hype, I think Thanksgiving and Christmas just got a little bit more interesting.

Madden 11 is set to release on August 10th for the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii and PSP.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Losers - Movie Review

Nowadays it seems like Hollywood is running out of ideas for movies that they are either: remaking older films, making films based on television shows or hitting the comic book stores to see what's hot. The Losers falls into the comic book category, but could easily fall into any of the previously mentioned categories.

The Losers is based on a DC/Vertigo comic that is in itself an updated version of a World War II DC comic about a rag-tag group of soldiers. Even though it's roots are based in comics, the movie feels like it could have been filmed in the late 80's, early 90's when action movies were running rampant in theaters. The film also feels like it could have been a television series with new adventures every week, a la The A-team, but that I will get into later.

The basic premise of the movie is that The Losers, Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Jensen (Chris Evans), Roque (Idris Elba), Pooch (Columbus Short) and Cougar (Oscar Jaenada), are betrayed, left for dead and decide to clear their names and get revenge on the mysterious Max, played with uncanny sarcasm by Jason Patric. This plot sounds similar to The A-team and that is where the similarities end; there is no signature vehicle, no iconic catch phrase and no crazy teammate, although Chris Evans character does seem a little off sometimes.

As soon as the movie begins we see the bond between the team and could tell that they have gone on various missions before, so there really isn't any genesis of the group. This is great because we are not caught up in learning their back stories and why they do what they do, instead the director throws us right into the story. The men are about to bomb a drug lords factory in Bolivia when they see a bus load of kids arrive to be used as mules. The team tries to abort the mission, but the mysterious Max interrupts their communications and tells the pilot to carry out the bombing. With only eight minutes before the bombs are dropped the team race to save the kids and leave before the whole place goes up in smoke. The men succeed, save the kids, but their rendezvous chopper has enough room for only the kids. The men tell the kids to be safe and as the chopper departs it is shot down in front of the them. "That was supposed to be us" says Clay into the camera and the team are now left for dead and stranded in Bolivia.

Flash forward four months and the team is now making due in their new home, working in a doll factory and betting on cock fights, when Clay is approached by Aisha (Zoe Saldana). She makes Clay and the team an offer to get them back into the States and will help them with what they need to bring down Max. Max is played with brilliant sarcasm and over the top evil that I think people will be divided with Jason Patric's performance. Some people will find him as too much, while others will get it and sit back and enjoy the performance. His miss-communication during a meeting with his second-in-command Wade on the rooftop will have you laughing, even though you shouldn't be.

As with all action movies there are a few plot twists, someone goes bad and a hidden agenda is revealed, but that plays well within this movie. The Losers is a fun ride and I think that's what people should expect when sitting down in their seats. The movie has sharp witty dialogue and constantly keeps you invested in what's happening on the screen. The two performances that stood out to me were that of Jason Patric and Chris Evans. Evans is the scene stealer of the movie with his over the top performance and his eye catching t-shirts, (you'll see what I mean.) To me the funniest line he says is "Look at me, I got a crossbow" or something to that effect.

The movie is action packed and a good time to be had. The movie leaves it open for a possible sequel and I would like to see more adventures from The Losers, but it's up to the fans to decide that. Definitely check out this movie this weekend and be prepared to enjoy yourselves and leave the theater wanting more and humming Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'." Trust me, you'll love the way they use the song.

3 four sided dice out of 4.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Music Review - Rise Up

Wow what a coincidence! It's April 20th and both the new Cypress Hill CD and Cheech and Chong DVD dropped today! Amazing. That's right, the new Cypress Hill CD, Rise Up, hit shelves today. Being a long time fan of the Hill, I immediately picked it up. It's been a few years and I was looking forward to giving it a listen.

Let me start by saying that a lot of the songs had a "lo-fi" feel to them. It works on some songs, on others, not so much. There are a lot of great guest artists on the album. Tom Morello, Mike Shinoda, Everlast, Mark Anthony, and Pitbull just to name a few. I wasn't aware that Evidence and the Alchemist were also on the record and I was pleasantly surprised to see them on the fourth track, "Pass the Dutch". If you're not familiar with them, stop reading this and pick up some Dilated Peoples records, right now.

Yes, there are references to marijuana on this record. There are also sketches by Cheech and Chong. If you've heard a Cypress Hill album before you know what you're getting yourself into. The Morello songs are good ("Rise Up" and "Shut 'Em Down") but nothing special, it's like they really wanted them to be these epic, kick ass songs, but they kind of just fall flat. Besides they've done it before on Skull and Bones, and they did it better.

"Carry Me Away" is one of the better tracks on the album, it works. "Armanda Latina" seemed like a bad idea at first. It's the song that's been playing on the radio, so you may have heard it. Marc Anthony, really? Well, it might be the best song on the album. B-Real flows on it, the hook works, and it's catchy. A bit pop-ish, sure, but Cypress Hill has always been right on the edge.

I'm not a music critic by any means, so take this all with a grain of salt. I'm also a little bias as Cypress Hill is one of my favorite bands, so I'm going to have to give it...wait a minute. Stars won't work, that's played out and it's not the Fandad way.

So, as much as it pains me, I'm going to give Rise Up, 2 four sided dice out of 4.

-G. Real

The New Perk to Being a Dad or The Extra Gift.

When we decided to start FanDads I started thinking of what type of content we could add to the site that would make it interesting and informative for other FanDads out there. I knew we would write about the things that we love: movies, comics, cartoons & video games, but what else can we add. Then I started thinking about about this year; my first as a father, then it hit me.

Every year we get about 4 gifts from our wives for the holidays: birthday, Christmas, Valentine's Day, and if lucky, Sweetest Day. I know Sweetest Day isn't a real holiday, but some people celebrate it. Now that I'm a dad I'll get an extra gift: Father's Day.

Yes, Father's Day. Remember when you were younger and you would try to figure out what to get your father. You would talk to your friends or siblings and try to find that great gift and end up getting him a tie or a belt. I never want to get a tie or belt, but if I do it better be a Star Wars tie or belt.

I think that being a Fandad will make it exciting when Father"s Day comes around, because we might get a gift card for a video game, or a graphic novel that we've been wanting, or even that one Blu-ray movie that you haven't been able to find. The possibilities are endless.

I know that this year's Father's Day will be an exciting one for me because it's my first & because I will just be excited to see what I will get. Even if it is a tie or a belt.


Monday, April 19, 2010


C2E2 has come and gone. It feels like Christmas Day and I just finished opening my presents. Now what? I hadn't been to a comic book convention in years, I used to attend Wizard World every year, but for the past few years I've been out of the "scene".

I spent all of Friday walking around visiting vendors and artists. I met Max Brooks and got him to autograph my copy of World War Z. I also talked to one of my all time favorite artists/authors/creative geniuses, David Mack, for a while. I ran into a few familiar faces and saw pretty much everything there was to be seen. I was there all day and I left exhausted. I parked over a mile away, I figured that I could spend the $19 it cost for parking on better things, but on the way back to the car I started to regret it.

Saturday afternoon I met up with Victor and some of his friends. He also had his baby Sofia with him. That was an interesting experience and a glance of sorts into my future. Not that he was the only one pushing a stroller through the traffic, I was happy to see a lot of people and couples carrying babies, pushing strollers, and chasing toddlers. Unlike other venues or events, no one looked twice and none of it seemed out of place. Strollers and Stormtroopers side by side.

I was also planning on playing Magic on Saturday. A new set of cards, Rise of the Eldrazi, is coming out next week and there were prerelease events going on everywhere including C2E2. I registered and our event started about 1:00. I wasn't too excited with the cards I ended up getting, but I made a playable deck and entered the fray. After everything was said and done I did not fare too well, I ended up with a 1-3 record, but I did win a booster pack of cards and I got to see and play with the new set. So overall, I really couldn't complain. That was enough excitement for one day and I headed out for dinner with the wife, I kept smelling Connie's Pizza all day Friday and Saturday so we went there for dinner. I wasn't going to pay nine bucks at the con for a slice and a pop!

The next day was going to be interesting. I was bringing my wife Melissa and my nephew Rex along with me. It was Kid's Day at C2E2 and they had events lined up especially for kids. Kids could take pictures with their heroes, learn to draw, and make comics, along with other activities.

Once again, I was getting a taste of what lies ahead for me in the near future. My nephew was very excited, he called his grandma (my mom) the night before to tell her he was going to meet Spider-Man. He was telling his parents that he was going to say "Hello Peter Parker!" (I was wondering why he'd want to reveal Spider-Man's secret identity and put him and his family in danger, but I guess a three year doesn't look at the big picture) Rex was even up at six in the morning ready to go. Of course as soon as we got there he changed his tune. He's kind of shy at times and I think the masks scared him at first. We ran into Thor, some Stormtroopers, and Darth Vader at first. Admittedly, to a three year old, those could be a bit scary. It took us a while but we finally found Spider-Man and it made his day. He loosened up and started enjoying himself as the day went on.

It was also nice to expose my wife to the madness. It's always a little scary to bring someone into your world, obviously my wife knows who and what I am, (nerd!) but comic book conventions can be a little...unique. That being said, she enjoyed herself. She especially liked Artist's Alley, there are such talented artists out there, and she was really impressed by their work.

I also visited with David Mack again briefly. On Friday when I spoke with him, I mentioned that I had kind of been "out of the game" for a while and he gave me one of his newer books for free. I took it home and read it that night and really enjoyed it. For those of you not familiar with him, he did some work on Daredevil, but he is probably best known for Kabuki. If you can, pick up "The Alchemy", it's a good starting off point if you're not familiar with his work.

After a couple of hours all of the excitement and walking started wearing us down. We took a look at a few more things, I snapped a couple more pictures and we started our journey home.

C2E2 was a great weekend and a fun event. I was reminded of great memories from the past, and gave me a glimpse of my future. It made me think, and inspired me to write some more, but I'll leave that entry for another day...


Sunday, April 18, 2010

C2E2 10: Star Wars BDs in the Works - Blu-ray News at IGN

Star Wars saga coming out on Blu-ray was announced today at C2E2 during the "Celebrating Star Wars" panel. This is something that a lot of us have been waiting for and hopefully Lucas doesn't skimp out on the extra content. IGN has the official statement from Lucasfilm Director of Fan Relations Steve Sansweet.

Maybe we'll finally see the sandstorm footage, Threepio removing the warning sign from the door on Hoth (shown in the original tralier at the 1:31mark), Anakin beating up little Greedo and a Jar Jar less Menace (I know this one won't happen, but I can wish). Until them, read the article below and let the conversations amd criticisms begin.

C2E2 10: Star Wars BDs in the Works - Blu-ray News at IGN

Friday, April 16, 2010

C2E2 or Does My Baby Really Need New Clothes?

Today was the first day of C2E2 and normally I would be there bright and early with my books ready to be signed and agenda for my entire weekend, but unfortunately, this was not the case today. Instead I was running errands with my wife and shopping for stuff for my little girl. Don't get me wrong I love being with my family and I was a little upset that I couldn't be with my fellow geek Gil, but sometimes you need to set your priorities straight.

Since my little girl was born, I've noticed that I don't hit the toy aisles as often as I used to, or I tend to skim the DVD section and second guess myself from buying the new season of Lost. Why do I do this, because I know that my little girl comes first now and her formula and diapers are a little more important, I can't be giving her Red Bull and using newspapers as diapers. I do buy figures every now and then and Netflix has saved me from buying every DVD that I want to get.

Having my little girl has not stopped me from being a fanboy, in fact the cool thing is I still get to enjoy the convention on the weekend and take my little girl with me. I get to show her what daddy finds cool and share with her the fun of being with others with similar interest. I hope this is the beginning of a tradition between my little girl and me.

I remember going to the Chicago ComicCon, before Wizard bought them out, with my father and enjoying walking around and looking at all the comic books. Just this past Tuesday my dad called me to tell me about the show and if I was going. Even though he doesn't go with me anymore, he always asks keeps me informed of upcoming shows.

So this weekend at C2E2 if you see a guy with a green stoller and a little girl with a Spider-man shirt, say what's up and share with me your Fandad stories, maybe I'll post it up for others to see.


P.S. After getting home from our errands, I got an e-mail with passes to see The Losers on Tuesday night, so the day wasn't a total loss.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Genesis of Fandads: Origins

"When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." - 1 Corinthians 13:11

There are tons of inspirational quotes out there, just Google inspirational quotes or type in "words to live by" and you'll get over half a million results, but this passage from the bible is one of my favorites. If I'm not mistaken Cereal Killer even quotes it in Hackers. (which if you haven't seen, you should, at the very least just to check out Angelina Jolie)

I guess it resonates with me because I'm not sure if I've ever been able to "put away childish things". I may interpreting it too literally but I still derive a great deal of joy from video games, comic books, movies, and other kinds of gaming. I also know that I am definitely not the only one. Being a "geek" has definitely become more mainstream. Lance Briggs of the Chicago Bears is an avid comic book reader. The Big Bang Theory is one of the most watched shows on television. Several movies based on comic books are made every year and most are quite successful at the box office. I'm not quite sure where I'm going with this, maybe I'm still trying to rationalize why I spend time and money buying books about a monkey hitman. (from the pages of Deadpool in case you were wondering)

I know what you're thinking, well you might be thinking; did he mean a hitman who only kills monkeys or a monkey who happens to be a hitman? (it's a monkey who is a hitman, btw) Sorry I'm rambling now, what you really might be thinking is what is this all about? It's about an idea, to start a blog about geeky stuff and about being a dad. Raising a child and working on this whole being a "adult" thing without forgetting how to have fun. I know it's been done, there are tech blogs and geek blogs, and geeky dad websites, but what the hell, everything's been done before. Maybe we can do it a bit differently.

We? You noticed, good for you. Along with me for the ride is Victor Aragon, he's my Obi-Wan, I'm his Padawan learner. I'm Peter Parker to his Uncle Ben, or something like that. He's already entered the realm of fatherhood, and is a fellow geek. He's also been working on a comic and some other things that will fit in nicely on our little website. Along the way we'll have polls, forums, photos, comics, reviews, and a whole lot of other content.

I think that about wraps things up, except for something I sort of hinted at. I too will soon be a daddy. My wife is due in August. Wish me luck, I know my kid's going to need it, his dad's kind of an idiot.