A few days after I signed up for Loot Crate, I came across Nerd Block and decided to sign up for that as well. Both boxes arrived on the same day and the Nerd Block was a big larger and quite a bit heavier. Let’s a take a look inside!
Okay, so there’s thing called Loot Crate. It’s subscription service that you sign up for online (there’s various subscription levels) and they send you a box of geeky junk you don’t really need every single month. With a recent promotion at work, I’ve had some disposable income so I figured it’d be fun to sign up for after watching a bunch of “unboxing” videos on YouTube.
What’s genius about all of these box subscriptions services is that they all get unlimited free advertising. These companies encourage their customers to blog, tweet, Instagram, and YouTube about their goods. And what geek can’t resist the urge to review something on a blog or YouTube? Who knows, maybe some day I’ll take the YouTube plunge and do video reviews (under a mask or something) but until then, I’ll stick to spilling digital ink.
A year ago, I talked about the Irish cream-flavored items that Dunkin Donuts was doing and a couple of candles. I have no food this time but I’m back with another round of St. Patrick’s Day-inspired candles!
Yankee Candle’s website was a having Buy 2 Get 2 Free sale and I couldn’t pass it up. I decided to be a wee bit festive and picked up their Lucky Shamrock and Irish Cream candles. I picked up Eucalyptus as well and the fourth candle is Wild Sea Grass (not pictured).
Lucky Shamrock smells like one of YC’s summer candles called Summer Wish but I’m not sure if they are exactly the same. I know Yankee has sometimes re-labeled candles to fit a certain season or holiday. Both have a very nice clean smell to them but they both also suffer from the same problem of their scent not being very strong. I had Lucky Shamrock lit for a few hours to the point where the entire top layer had pooled. I was sitting right next to the candle. I could barely smell it. Nice scent, but not recommended because it’s extremely weak.
With Eucalyptus, I fared a bit better. I’ve never noticed this one before but I read a customer review online that stated YC carried it for years and years and they have apparently just recently brought it back. It’s another good clean smell and I was most interested in it because the reviewer stated it helped open her nasal passages. I’m not sure about that but I do like it. It’s got a much stronger scent than Lucky Shamrock but still a bit weak, I think.
Irish Cream was probably the candle I was most interested in trying. Unfortunately, I think YC took either their Vanilla Cupcake or Buttercream candle and gave it a new label. So that was disappointing.
But hey, you don’t know until you try, right? I’ll still burn through all of these candles but so far I’m liking Eucalyptus the best.
Ah, gummy (or gummi, if you prefer) candy. I’ve always had a soft and chewy spot for them in my heart. I would much rather have some type of gummy candy over chocolate or hard candy. I’ll talk about some of my favorites at a later date, but today it’s all about trying new things!
Some people may not have a preference when it comes to what company makes their gummy candy. Well, I do. It’s Haribo for me or it’s nothing. Brands like Trolli and Black Forest (both owned by the Ferrara Candy Company) offer low-grade quality gummy candy. I used to work at a video store and we carried a number of Black Forest gummies: sharks, bears, dinosaurs, etc. They were disgusting. They were never fresh and they were so greasy you could see it rubbing off on the bag.
What’s really interesting about Haribo is that they have so many different varieties gummies. The sad thing is that I think many of them aren’t readily available in the United States. There’s quite a few you can have imported from European sellers through Amazon.com though! And that is how I got my hands on today’s Haribo products.
Continuing my reignited fascination with Batman, I was burning through movies based on the character thanks to DVD, Blu-ray and Netflix back in December and January. So here I’ll toss out my thoughts on the original movie franchise, the Nolan movies and a few animated movies. I know there’s tons of animated Batman movies now but I’m only discussing the earliest ones that I recently re-watched.
The other week I discussed the live-action Superman movies. So be sure to check that out!
Batman: The Movie
1966, 20th Century Fox
I grew up watching the ’60s Batman TV show on The Family Channel every afternoon. I was obsessed with it and this was then Bat-mania was sweeping the nation thanks to 1989’s Batman movie. When I realized the TV show had spun off it’s own movie, I nearly went insane.
I thought it was a great idea to bring together the four biggest villains (Catwoman, Joker, Penguin and Riddler) to take on Batman & Robin. This movie is a super-sized version of the TV show, but I mean that in a good way because I LOVE the TV show. It was great to see the villains teaming up and interacting. I don’t think that was ever done on the TV show.
The second annual Pensacon was held this weekend in Pensacola, Florida and I was lucky enough to be able to go on Saturday morning. As someone who deals with anxiety issues and general anti-socialness, I didn’t plan on spending all day there but just a few hours.
First off, I’m really happy there is a convention like this in the area for fans of comic books, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, etc. to gather together. Any time there’s some type of event going on in my region, it usually involves country music or seafood: two things I couldn’t care less about.
Pensacon features the usual convention fare like gaming tournaments, costume contests, celebrities panels, artists alley, photo ops/signings, plus a large assortment of vendors selling things like steam punk gear, leather goods, Pokemon plush dolls, trading cards, comic books, movie posters, old video games, toys, vinyl records, jewelry, t-shirts, artwork. It was crazy how many vendors there were and how much they had to sell. One item that really stuck out to me was a vinyl copy of the Doctor Who serial ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ from the Tom Baker era and it featured the original voice cast from those episode. It was $30, which is about the going rate for it online as well, but I didn’t pick it up. One very cool toy I saw was the original G1 Galvatron from Transformers. Used, but complete and in box for $150.
First I was on a Batman movie kick (more on that later), then I got on a Superman movie kick. So here’s the rundown on all of the live-action movies and my not-so-quick thoughts…Superman: The Movie (1978)
Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (1980)
Superman Returns (2006)
Warner Bros. Pictures
I’d never owned the first two Christopher Reeve movies and had Superman Returns on DVD. When I decided I wanted to re-watch all of the live-action Superman movies, I couldn’t pass up getting this Blu-ray triple feature for only $10 on Amazon.
It had been an extremely long time since I’d seen Superman: The Movie and Superman II. I don’t think I’ve watched either in full in over 20 years. I remembered bits and pieces of them (mostly from the sequel) though. I think the first two Reeve movies had a great style to them. It really felt like a comic book come to life and the movies seemed to take a lot of inspiration from Superman’s 1950’s and 1960’s comic book appearances.
Though a bit on the slim side, Reeve was a great Superman/Clark Kent, Gene Hackman was a great Lex Luthor and Margot Kidder was surprisingly hot at times playing Lois Lane.
The Blu-ray I bought featured Richard Donner’s cut of Superman II, or as close as Warner Bros. could get to using the rest of the Donner footage that was cut from the film. Some of Donner’s shooting script was unfilmed. He was replaced by another director during shooting and alterations were made to the story.
I don’t think either of these movies are great, but they are worth watching at least once to see how superhero movies used to be. Looking back on them now, they feel more like campy made-for-TV movies because it doesn’t feel like a whole lot actually happens and Luthor’s plans in the first movie seem so ridiculous and flimsy.
Superman Returns was the much awaited return to the big screen for the Man of Steel. I remember being very excited to see this movie when it came out and walking away mildly disappointed after seeing it. I was never a fan of Bryan Singer trying to make this movie a pseudo-sequel to the first two Christopher Reeve movies and didn’t like the fact that the movie begins with Superman returning after a five year absence from earth. It never made sense to me that Superman would leave Lois behind for that long.
I didn’t care for the casting of Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane but Brandon Routh as Superman and Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor were great choices. But, this is third movie in a row (since Singer’s take on Superman does not acknowledge Superman III or Superman IV: The Quest for Peace) where Superman loses his powers and gets beat up for awhile. They really couldn’t have come up with something else? At least Man of Steel gave us a Superman movie with some real knockdown dragout fully-powered fights. Yes, Superman II had some fight scenes but they were done at a slow pace.