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Friday, April 30, 2010

Mattel Answers Questions about their Toy Story 3 toyline!

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Pixar Collector had a chance to sit down with Jessica McConnell, The Associate Marketing Manger for Toy Story Mattel.  We asked her a few questions that are on the minds of fans and collectors.  We also got a nice sneak peek at some of the upcoming Mattel product.  Enjoy!

Pixar Collector: Is there any likelihood that we'll see some of the human characters, like Sid and Andy, featured in the toyline?

Mattel: Great Question! This is certainly something that we have considered.  One reason why we have not made these characters in the past is that we work hard to make the line as authentic and accurate as possible. This includes working very closely with Disney to ensure that our characters are built to scale. For this reason, a human character could be challenging to work into the line...the toy would be huge! However, this is not to say that we won’t consider it in the future. If we do decide to develop one of the human characters, we would probably look at the 2" sector as the characters are more stylized and the scale is less exact.

Pixar Collector: Does Mattel hold the rights to produce plush toys for Toy Story, as well? Are there any plans for this?

Mattel: We hold the exclusive rights for feature plush and will be introducing some wonderful talking plush around movie launch time including some really cute small sized plush that say fun phrases when you squeeze them. Additionally, we will be making some great classic character plush as well as adding some cool new additions from Toy Story 3…so stay tuned!
Pixar Collector: Can we expect Hot Wheels to delve into the Toy Story brand, as well?
Mattel: Yes! We will be releasing character cars! They are amazing die cast vehicles that interpret each of the characters as a Hot Wheels car. The Toy Story team asked themselves what if Woody was a Hot Wheels? The Hot Wheels team and Hot Wheels cars do an amazing job of capturing character personalities and details while transforming them into cool car designs! We will be introducing a mix of classic Toy Story characters and new characters from Toy Story 3 all realistically brought to life in Hot Wheels form.

Pixar Collector: A lot of the older characters have been overlooked, especially the mutant toys from Toy Story 1. Are there any plans on making full-size figures of baby doll, rollerbob or any of the other mutant toys? If not, would this be a possibility?
Mattel: In 2010, all of the new toys are themed to Toy Story 3. So you will see a character line that reflects the characters that are featured in the newest movie. We do feel that there is a place for classic characters, especially in our collector line. In fact, we already released Jingle Joe in the Toy Story Collector line that is currently an exclusive to Toys R Us. We are currently considering which characters to implement in our 2011 offering, and will certainly take a close look at some of the Toy Story 1 & Toy Story 2 characters that are yet to be made.

Pixar Collector: Last year we saw a 3 3/4" Buzz Lightyear exclusive at the comic con. Can we expect a Toy Story themed exclusive again this year?
Mattel: We do have a comic con exclusive in the works! It will focus on a new character that was introduced in the last trailer. It’s coming together really well, and we are very excited about it. I can tell you that it is in the 3 3/4" scale, just like last year. I can’t divulge any more at this time....but we will be sure to give Pixar Collector an update once all the details have been finalized! 

Pixar Collector: What will wave one of the Toy Story movie collectibles line feature, other than Jesse and Buzz?  How about the oversized line?  

Mattel: We will also have Woody, Alien and another character that has yet to be revealed by Disney/Pixar. In the oversized arena we have Rex, Bullseye, and Buzz w/ Rocket.

Diary of A Wimpy Kid Week: Day Five - Do It Yourself Book Review

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Diary of  A Wimpy Kid Week: Day Five - Do It Yourself Book Review

About the Book: Now every kid can write like a Wimpy Kid!
An exciting companion to the bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.
“First of all, let me get something straight: This is a journal, not a diary.”
This innovative interactive journal based on Greg Heffley’s own “diary” lets kids express themselves in an exciting new way. In Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book, kids will be asked: What was the best dream you ever had? The worst thing you ever ate? The best secret you ever heard? The most trouble you ever got in for something that wasn’t even your fault to begin with? This Do-It-Yourself Book features art throughout, along with ruled and blank pages for readers to create their own stories, keep their own diaries, and record their favorites and least faves. Includes a bonus full-color comics section featuring the collected cartoons of Greg Heffley and his best friend, Rowley.
16 pages of full-color comics!

Our Take: The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series only features four actual books, and then we have two complimentary titles that are a ton of fun.  We're going to examine the first of these right now....the Do It Yourself Guide.

My son is 7 years old and when he started to come home raving about the Wimpy Kid series the recurring theme that I kept hearing was the 'Do it Yourself' book.  I had no idea what this was, but it turns out that its this interactive template to help your child write their own 'Wimpy Kid' style story.  This is one of the most novel and fun ideas that I've seen in a long while.  Home run!

Sherri: The Complete Season One DVD Review

 Sherri: The Complete Season One DVD Review

Synopsis: Actress, comedienne, author and co-host of ABC's THE VIEW; Sherri Shepherd stars as Sherri Robinson, a single mother who juggles caring for her six-year-old son, Bo (Brandon Khalil), and working part-time as a paralegal, while still following her dream to become a full-time comedienne/actress. Recently separated from her cheating husband, Kevin (Malcolm-Jamal Warner), Sherri finds solace and support from her girlfriends at the office: Celia (Tammy Townsend), Angie (Elizabeth Regen), and even her overbearing supervisor, Summer (Kali Rocha). Sherri s life becomes even more complicated when Kevin reveals that Paula (Kate Reinders), the 20-year-old he had an affair with, is pregnant.

SHERRI: THE COMPLETE SEASON 1 features all 13 hilarious episodes of the inaugural season plus extras on 2 discs!

Review: We just reviewed the Lifetime show Rita Rocks.  That show is kinda cute and charming.  Sherri, on the other hand, is not.  Lets start with Sherri Shepherd herself...she is a regular on 'The View' and she is so overtly obnoxious that its hard to watch her.  She had an arguement once on that show where she insisted that perhap the earth wasn't round.  She's insane.  That said, we wanted to give her show a fair shake, so I put aside her off-screen personality to see if this series could work.

This series doesn't work.  Its basically a bitter, man-hating sit-com.  Yes, men cheat on their do women on their husbands.  Its horrible, but hardly an interesting basis for a weekly show.  There isn't anything interesting that happens from episode to episode and Sherri's "acting" is dry and forced. 

Unfortunately, this show doesn't rate well with us.  Lifetime generally has a high-level of programming.  This show is just the exception.   Baba Booey.

Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

Rita Rocks: The Complete First Season DVD Review

Rita Rocks: The Complete First Season DVD Review

Synopsis: Nicole Sullivan ( MADtv ) stars as Rita Clemens, an overworked wife, mother, and former lead singer of a Bangles cover band who has traded in a life of jam sessions and rock clubs for carpools and PTA meetings. On the verge of a full-blown identity crisis, Rita struggles to maintain romance with her husband, Jay (Richard Ruccolo, Two Guys and a Girl ), juggle the demands of her 9-year-old daughter, Shannon (Kelly Gould, Lucky Louie ), and discipline her defiant teenage daughter, Hallie (Natalie Dreyfuss, He s Just Not That Into You ) and her ever-present boyfriend, Kip (Raviv Ullman, Phil of the Future ). In an attempt to reconnect with her youth and with the hopes of putting some spark back in her life, Rita dusts off her guitar and forms a garage band with Kip, her nosy postal carrier Patty (Tisha Campbell-Martin, My Wife and Kids, Martin ) and her unemployed neighbor Owen (Ian Gomez).
RITA ROCKS: THE COMPLETE SEASON 1 features all 20 episodes plus extras jam-packed onto 3 discs!

Review: Nicole Sullivan stars in this Lifetime Network show, Rita Rocks.  She was always pretty funny as a cast member on MADtv.   The basic premise of this situation comedy is that Rita is a former rocker that has settled down and she is attempting to adjust to 'normal life'.  

Firstly, Rita was in a Bangles cover band, so she wasn't exactly a rock star, but she was definately a party girl.  The show basically covers her hijinks trying to fit in and make her own way as a wife and mother.  The show is pretty cute overall, albeit highly predictable, as all sit-coms are.   You know what you're asking for when you go into a show like this one.  Its a half hour of mindless, cute entertainment.

Overall, not a bad show.  Its a nice family show too, so you can all gather together to enjoy this one.  You get a great DVD release here packed with extras.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

18 Kids & Counting: Season 3 DVD Review

18 Kids & Counting: Season 3 DVD Review

Synopsis: In the Season 3 DVD of TLC’s hit television series 18 Kids & Counting, viewers follow the daily lives of the Duggars, a 20-member family from a small town in Arkansas who have become a pop culture sensation and have all of America talking. As former high school sweethearts, Jim Bob and Michelle firmly believe each child is a gift that should be cherished. With only two sets of twins among the 18 children, each with a name starting with the letter “J”, Michelle has been pregnant 12 years of her life.

Review: The Duggars have managed to become a huge cultural phenomenon in their brief time on television.  Their show, whose name has been evolving as more and more children are born, is now titled 19 Kids and Counting.  TLC has released season 3 on DVD for those that just can't get enough of the family trying to re-populate the earth.  The interesting thing about the Duggars..thats exactly what they're trying to do.  This isn't a simple Christian family, as they portray on television.  The Duggars are, in fact, part of the Quiverfull movement.  

I honestly watch most reality television with disgust.  Its there to make us all feel better about our own lives with train wreck after train wreck.  While the Duggars aren't as up front of a train wreck, if you spend time watching them you see right through the cracks.  The show sends the family on all types of adventures to keep their lives seemingly interesting, but what you have is a house of 18 children.  Lets face it, I have three children and I struggle to keep them all feeling valued and accepted.  When you have 18 children, not because you love your kids SO much, but because you have a whacked-out religious agenda to destroy abortion, you tend to create kids for the sake of creating kids, rather than raising any of them.  The older kids are raising the younger ones and there is a complete disconnect between the parents and their many children.

In this day and age I guess I expect to see parents actually engage and raise their children in a hands-on manner.  This isn't yesteryear, regardless of how some would like to pretend that it is.  We have a responsibilty to society and our own offspring to love and nurture them each as individuals, rather than a herd.  The hefty irony is that during the current season of the show (not featured on this DVD) the Duggars had their 19th child and there were complications.  It turns out that technology that was developed through extensive stem cell research saved their baby's life.  They were just fine with that, of course, since it suited them at the moment.  Hypocritical?  To the worst degree.

If you can't tell, I don't enjoy the Duggars.  I think they're insufficient parents and this show should serve as evidence for social services to remove those children from their home and be placed in a decent environment.  If you enjoy train wrecks, and honestly I do, watch 18 Kids and Counting.  You won't even believe your eyes.

Rating: TLC Fans, Reality TV Fans, Cults

Disgrace DVD Review

Disgrace DVD Review

Synopsis: In a landmark performance, Oscar nominee John Malkovich (In the Line of Fire, 1993) stars as Professor David Lurie, whose world is shattered when he is fired for seducing a college student. He finds peace at his estranged daughter's modest farm in South Africa until a horrific incident of terror and violence forces Lurie to confront his beliefs and the disturbing racial complexities of the new South Africa. Based on the Booker Prize-winning novel, DISGRACE stands out as a gritty, gripping drama of brutality, survival and hope.

Review: John Malkovich is one of our favorite actors.  We don't see all of his films, because he's not always the best at picking a script, but when he is matched-up well he can do amazing things.  Anything from Con Air to the Man in the Iron Mask, he comes off intense and rather creepy, while also educated and distinguished.  It gives him a sense of credibility.

Disgrace is based on a novel by J. M. Coetzee.   Its not your typical hollywood film.  Malkovich is outcast for seducing a female student at the university where he works and retreats to a farm in South Africa, only to become witness to the horrors of culture there, particularly the sexual ones.   The film is moving and throught provoking.  Its everything that an indie film should be.

If you're looking for something out of the ordinary, this film is for you.  Be warned, the content is very heavy and we don't recommend this one for children.  Disgrace is definately one we'll be adding to our library, we recommend this DVD.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Naruto Shippuden Box Set 2 DVD Review

Naruto Shippuden Box Set 2 DVD Review 

Synopsis: Team Kakashi is joined by Team Guy in their pursuit of Gaara's kidnappers, Deidara and Sasori, but their way to the Akatsuki hideout is fraught with familiar enemies and deadly traps. Once inside, Sakura and Granny Chiyo must take on Chiyo's own grandson, the puppet master Sasori, whose complex tricks and genius puppetry demand every last ounce of Chiyo's and Sakura's strength and skill to counter. Meanwhile, Naruto and Kakashi take off after Deidara, who is once again on the run with Gaara in tow...

Review: The Naruto Shippuden series is acclaimed and well-known amongst anime fans.  Now, Viz is collecting some of it in this cool new box set.  Its not easy to find good quality anime these days, but Viz does a great job of releasing some of the best shows, like Naruto and Bleach.

In these collected episodes (14-26), Naruto and Kakashi are off seeking revenge, while we see that Granny Chiyo's grandson, Sasori, is a skilled puppetmaster whose skills can only be rivaled by Chiyo herself.  The action sequences and battles are really the stand-out part of the Shippuden series and these episodes are no stranger to these breathtaking scenes.  The story starts to really pick-up and proves why Naruto is one of the best anime franchises out there.

The box set features a great full-color image and three slim DVD cases inside.  Its a great looking set and is most definately worth the money.  We highly recommend this DVD set for any anime fan and most certainly for the fans of Naruto Shippuden!  

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Nana Uncut Box Set 4 DVD Review

Nana Uncut Box Set 4 DVD Review 

Synopsis: Life is a whirlwind--will the Nanas make it through the storm without each other?

As if Blast's debut wasn't causing enough stress, Takumi and Nana K.'s announcement sends everyone reeling, but none more than Nana O. and Reira. While Reira turns to Shin for comfort, Nana O. is drawn to Yasu and his calm understanding, leaving her questioning her relationship with Ren. Nana K. meanwhile is happily nesting in her new home, but her continued estrangement from Nana O. weighs heavily on her heart.

Review: Nana is one of those shows that is rare in the anime world.  We typically get lots of action or blatant sexuality, but we rarely get really great drama.  We have done our best to cover all of the box sets of Nana, because its just a fantastic series.

The series follows the two Nanas, Nana O. and Nana K. as they find their way in the world as adult women.  They struggle through life and love in this great animated series.  If I had to categorize the show for you it'd fall somewhere in-between Desperate Housewives and Sex and the City.

This box set includes episodes 35-47 (+ Episode 36.5). 

The DVD set includes the following special features:
- "LUCY" Animated Video
- Clean Opening/Clean Ending
- Japanese and English Audio
- Line Art Gallery

We highly recommend this DVD set for anyone that is a fan of anime, animation or just great dramatic television.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Toy Story Mac 'N Cheese!

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 These are hitting shelves!  Score them today for your collection

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Diary of A Wimpy Kid Week: Day Four - Dog Days

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 Diary of A Wimpy Kid Week: Day Four - Dog Days

About the Book: It’s summer vacation, the weather’s great, and all the kids are having fun outside. So where’s Greg Heffley? Inside his house, playing video games with the shades drawn.

Greg, a self-confessed “indoor person,” is living out his ultimate summer fantasy: no responsibilities and no rules. But Greg’s mom has a different vision for an ideal summer . . . one packed with outdoor activities and “family togetherness.”

Whose vision will win out? Or will a new addition to the Heffley family change everything?

Our Take: Summer vacation is the most magical time in a young child's life.  Its inevtiable that the Wimpy Kid series would want to exploit this time for our enjoyment!  Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid books continue with 'Dog Days', referring of course to the phrase 'the Dog Days of Summer'.  

We get to see Greg experience his fantasy of a restful and lazy summer and then get slammed with the dark reality that everything he hopes for will go down in flames as his mother has different plans for him.  This fourth book is in the same format as the previous three and its wildly entertaining.   This one was a great read, because it removes Greg from school and sets him in a great variety of other situations.

This is the final actual installment in the Wimpy Kid series to date.  There is a fifth book coming out in November of 2010, which we will review for you at that time, so check back.  We're going to take a look at the 'Do it Yourself' book and the Movie Diary tomorrow, so tune in for that Wimpy fans.  Until then...

How to Buy: or Barnes and Noble

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid Week: Day Three - The Last Straw Book Review

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 Diary Of  A Wimpy Kid Week: Day Three - The Last Straw Book Review

About the Book: The highly anticipated third book in the critically acclaimed and bestselling series takes the art of being wimpy to a whole new level.
Let’s face it: Greg Heffley will never change his wimpy ways. Somebody just needs to explain that to Greg’s father. You see, Frank Heffley actually thinks he can get his son to toughen up, and he enlists Greg in organized sports and other “manly” endeavors. Of course, Greg is able to easily sidestep his father’s efforts to change him. But when Greg’s dad threatens to send him to military academy, Greg realizes he has to shape up . . . or get shipped out.
Greg and his family and friends, who make the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books a must-read for middle school readers, are back and at their best in this hilarious new installment of the series, which is sure to please current fans while attracting new ones.

Our Take: The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books are a phenomenon.  Author Jeff Kinney has really hit a cord with the youth in his snarky and cheeky book series.  This is the third book in the series and 'The Last Straw' is right on-par with the previous two installments.  The books are laid out like a crudely illustrated diary or journal as wimpy kid Greg insists.

This time we begin with New Year's Day and end with summer vacation.  The trials of getting along with his brother and potential romances take the front burner in the Last Straw.  Kinney has really hit a great stride with these books, that seemingly spring from his subconscious with ease.  This book is every bit as entertaining and fun as the previous two.

This third installment of the Wimpy Kid series is a great addition and we certainly recommend it for any kids ages 7-12.  Watch tomorrow for our look at the 4th book in the series...


Kevin Eastman's RoninBebop Graphic Novel Review (Adults Only)

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 Kevin Eastman's RoninBebop Graphic Novel Review

About the Book: Roninbebop is 224 pages of madness, with six different tales of insanity brought to you from the twisted minds of Kevin Eastman, Simon Bisley, Eric Talbot, and Tom Skulan! It's got it all - nasty flesh eating aliens and monsters in "Zombie War," body swapping serial killers in the lust drenched "Infectious," over-the-top superheroes fight the evil Mental Head for the sake of planet Earth in "Thump's Guts," convicted murders are transported into the middle of an off world war as their penance in No Guts No Glory," tiny mutant animals fight for their life and turf in "The Very Angry Seven," and Kevin Eastman and Simon Bisley's comic character alter egos raise some hell in the mad cap adventures of "Biz and Buzz!"

Our Take: We're big fans of Heavy Metal here at the Legion.  Also of Eastman and the Biz (Simon Bisley).   If I see a graphic novel with Biz artwork on the cover, that tells me that there is a certain level of quality there and I instantly pick it up.  This has been the case since the Grendel and Lobo days.  I have yet to be let down.  

Roninbebop is basically a compilation of older and rather obscure works by Eastman and some of his pals, like Eric Talbot and the Biz.   I wasn't sure how this would end up, as its really kind of an indulget 'for the hardcore fans' type of release, but I was really pleased with the content.  The cover is hilarious and the reads are fun.   Plenty of violence, murder and sexuality.  The trifecta of adult graphic novels.

I have to recommend this one to comics fans everywhere.  This is a nice collection of rare stories by some very prolific names.  Heavy Metal doesn't release anything but high quality product, so I always shop there with confidence.

How to Buy: the Heavy Metal website

The Writer's Mentor: A Guide to Putting Passion on Paper Book Review

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 The Writer's Mentor: A Guide to Putting Passion on Paper Book Review

About the Book: In The Writers Mentor, bestselling author, teacher, and writing coach Cathleen Rountree addresses the most common dilemmas of both aspiring and professional writers. Written in a question-and-answer format, this book stands apart from other books on writing by its linking of practical information on effective writing strategies with inspirational stories from the lives of famous writers. 

Cathleen Rountree responds to such questions as: How do I get ideas for writing? What should I do when I am stuck and just staring at a blank page? What is the best time of day to write? How do I set a writing schedule? What can I do to achieve a state of "flow"� when writing? 

In anwering these questions, she shares not only what she has learned from her own experiences in writing and publishing eight books, but also many of the writing secrets of famous literary figures--from fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Included are tips from Anne Tyler, Mark Twain, Arthur Miller, Margaret Atwood, Tennessee Williams, Maya Angelou, Ernest Hemingway, Diane Ackerman, Virginia Woolf, Isabel Allende, Pablo Neruda, Doris Lessing, and more. Included in each chapter is a feature called "The Writer's Mentor Suggests," which gives readers a list of concrete suggestions and tips around the writing topic. A wonderful feature in every chapter is a look at the writing life through films such as The Shining, Bridget Jones' Diary, and Shakespeare in Love.

Our Take: I'm an aspiring writer myself, so I've delved into quite a few books on the subject of writing.  What makes the Writer's Mentor stand apart is the format.  Its basically like a large FAQ with a question - answer format.  After reading so many overly wordy books, this one is a breath of fresh air.

The book delves into questions from "What is the best time of day to write?" to "How do I overcome discouragement?".    Author Cathleen Roundtree does a fantastic and practical job of addressing so many issues and really helps to give a feeling of confidence and preparation when I went to write afterwards.  I've since referred to the book many a time for assurance.  Its a fantastic book and is ideal for anyone interested in writing at any level.

Parenting a Bipolar Child Book Review

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 Parenting a Bipolar Child Book Review

About the Book: When a child or adolescent is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it’s hard for his or her parents to know exactly what to do. What constitutes an effective therapeutic approach to help their bipolar child navigate childhood and adolescence? In this book, a psychiatrist and a psychologist, both specializing in mood disorders, offer a comprehensive overview of the available treatment options and most effective parenting strategies for dealing with this serious condition. 

In addition to a thorough explanation of the often necessary medical treatments for bipolar disorder, the book also details the importance of emotional regulation in bipolar children. Techniques for dealing with displays of rage, anger, and irritability in children are covered. The book also addresses sleep deprivation, one of the most common symptoms of childhood bipolar disorder, and the issues young people with bipolar disorder face in school. Subjects of particular interest to parents of older children and adolescents are covered, such as substance abuse, eating disorders, violence, and suicide. All of this information is complemented by advice on parental self-care and integrating the care of the bipolar child with the needs of the rest of the family.

Our Take: One of the most misunderstood mental illnesses in this country is bipolar disorder, also previously know as manic depression.  Bipolar has become a slang term and with that a negative one.  Often when someone is nasty, unpredictable or rude they are referred to as 'bipolar'.  This couldn't be further from the core of what the illness entails.  To be bipolar simply indicates the common crossover between mania and depression...the extremes of the two poles.  To be a child that is diagnosed bipolar has to be difficult in this day and age with all the stigma around it.   It has to be equally as difficult to deal with a bipolar child as a parent.

This book, Parenting a Bipolar Child, gives us a great insight into the challenges that are faced by trying to properly raise someone with bipolar disorder.  This book stays away from the intense clinical approach and goes into easy reading that focuses on the practical by giving parents various ideas and tools to help address the various situations that may arise.  The book provides a few stories for example, but mostly is explanations of the various aspects of bipolar disorder and how it can affect children, for example their sleep patterns. 

This book is reassuring and fantastic.  Its full of logical and compassionate knowlege that is sure to help any parent facing this illness with their child.

How to Buy: or the New Harbinger Website

Stop Walking on Egg Shells Book Review

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 Stop Walking on Egg Shells Book Review

About the Book: Do you feel manipulated, controlled, or lied to? Are you the focus of intense, violent, and irrational rages? Do you feel you are 'walking on eggshells' to avoid the next confrontation? 

If the answer is 'yes,' someone you care about may have borderline personality disorder (BPD). Stop Walking on Eggshells has already helped nearly half a million people with friends and family members suffering from BPD understand this destructive disorder, set boundaries, and help their loved ones stop relying on dangerous BPD behaviors. This fully revised edition has been updated with the very latest BPD research and includes coping and communication skills you can use to stabilize your relationship with the BPD sufferer in your life. 
    This compassionate guide will enable you to: 
  • Make sense out of the chaos
  • Stand up for yourself and assert your needs
  • Defuse arguments and conflicts
  • Protect yourself and others from violent behavior

Our Take:  Our society doesn't have a good outlook on mental illness and personality disorders.  Psychiatry in general gets a lot of heat from those that don't understand or believe in it.  The plain and simple fact is that not everyone is wired the same and that can be hard for some people to understand, but that doesn't make it any less real. 

Borderline Personality Disorder was finally defined in 1980 as a personality disorder, but wasn't officially recognized until 1994.  Since that time many professionals have come on board with this clearly real issue, but many still have not.  Therapy is the best route for someone with BPD, but even that is hit and miss.  The best thing to do is to turn to reading and understanding of the disorder.

This book, Stop Walking on Egg Shells, is a best selling opus about how to manage your life when someone that you love and care about has Borderline Personality Disorder.   What is best about this book is how theraputic it can be.  In a situation like this the loved one of someone with BPD can often feel victimized, but to read about these common situations may provide some level of comfort, to know that its not you, but rather the BPD that is the issue.  The book is well layed-out and well written, so that it doesn't get too thick.  It provides some great advice and coping mechanisms on how to set boundries with your loved one. 

If you know someone with Borderline Personality Disorder take is seriously.  Its not something that will just go away or that you can medicate into submission.   Books like this one are invaluable.  We highly recommend it.

How to Buy: or the New Harbinger Site

Survivors: The Complete Original Series DVD Review - BBC

Survivors: The Complete Original Series DVD Review - BBC

Synopsis: When a genetically engineered virus kills 95 percent of the world's population, a group of survivors in England must rebuild humanity in the face of overwhelming odds. Written by Terry Nation, creator of the Daleks for Doctor Who as well as Blake's 7, Survivors pits humans against nature-and against themselves-in an attempt to reclaim a desolate, unrelenting world.

Review: The BBC is infamous for some of the best and most innovative shows on television.  Survivors is no exception.    It was far ahead of it's time, airing back in 1975-77, the show produced a total of 38 episodes that ran 50 minutes long.  Terry Nation, who was then popular for his work on Doctor Who, created the concept.

The first season focuses on the accidental outbreak that levels the world population.  This group of survivors gather and attempt to isolate themselves and re-start society.  Within seasons 2 and 3 we learn of other survivors and see our characters travel around Europe and confront the various types of groups that have survived.  Its a great post-apocalyptic epic in the vein of movies like the Omega Man.

I wasn't aware of this vintage series from the BBC until we got this DVD set.  Anytime I can get the complete series of a show I give it a watch through and I'm so glad that I did with this one.  Its definately worth trying out if you haven't seen it.  If you are a fan of the show, this set is for you!

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wake DVD Review

Wake DVD Review

Synopsis: When things get tough for Carys Reitman (Bijou Phillips) she goes to strangers' funerals to unwind. But after a funeral service mix-up, Carys unexpectedly finds herself in possession of a dead woman’s engagement ring and in love with the grieving fiancĂ© (Ian Somerholder). Also starring Jane Seymour and Danny Masterson.

Review: We enjoy indie film here at the Legion and Wake is defintely in that genre.  The difference being that Independant films often have darker or more twisted storylines, rather than the cliche and predictable situations presented in blockbuster films. 

In Wake we see Bijou Phillips fall in love with a man grieving the loss of his fiance.   This film most definately puts the fun back in funeral.  Its absolutely entertaining, dark and twisty.  I recommend it highly to anyone that is interested in seeing a unique film.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Batman: Under the Red Hood Press Release, Pics and Video!

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Its not new info, but its the official press release from Warner Brothers!  Enjoy the pics and video!

 STELLAR VOICE CAST FEATURES BRUCE GREENWOOD, JENSEN ACKLES & NEIL PATRICK HARRIS IN All-new dc universe animated original movie FROM warner home video on JULY 27, 2010

BURBANK, CA (April 27, 2010) – Batman confronts new enemies, old foes and painful memories when a powerful vigilante with a penchant for violence comes to Gotham City in the intense graphic-novel-come-to-life Batman: Under the Red Hood, the next entry in the popular ongoing series of DC UNIVERSE Animated Original PG-13 Movies coming July 27, 2010 from Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. The full-length film will be distributed by Warner Home Video as a Special Edition version on Blu-Ray™ and 2 disc DVD for $29.99 (SRP) and $24.98 (SRP), respectively, as well as single disc DVD for $19.98 (SRP). The film will also be available On Demand and for Download.

The stellar voice cast has Bruce Greenwood (Captain Pike in the 2009 blockbuster Star Trek) donning the famed cowl as the voice of Batman. Supernatural star Jensen Ackles is Red Hood, and Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) voices Nightwing. John DiMaggio (Futurama) and Jason Issacs (the Harry Potter films) round out the main cast as The Joker and Ra’s Al Ghul, respectively.

Batman: Under the Red Hood is scripted by award-winning comics writer Judd Winick and based on his popular 2005 comics storyline and subsequent comics graphic novel of the same name. Animation guru Bruce Timm returns as executive producer, as he has for all eight DC Universe animated original movies. Director is Brandon Vietti, who served as co-director of Superman Doomsday and was responsible for the first one-third of that film, including the fatal battle between the two title characters.

In Batman: Under the Red Hood, Batman faces his ultimate challenge as the mysterious Red Hood takes Gotham City by firestorm. One part vigilante, one part criminal kingpin, Red Hood begins cleaning up Gotham with the efficiency of Batman, but without following the same ethical code. Killing is an option. And when The Joker falls in the balance between the two, hard truths are revealed and old wounds are reopened.

Fans will be treated to an incredible package of DC Universe storytelling as the Special Edition Blu-Ray and 2-Disc Special Edition DVD include the second animated short in the all-new DC Showcase series – which features the popular DC Comics character, Jonah Hex.  The short is scripted by renowned author Joe Lansdale and stars the voices of Thomas Jane (Hung), Linda Hamilton (The Terminator), Michelle Trachtenberg (Mercy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Michael Rooker (Days of Thunder).

Batman: Under the Red Hood - 2 Disc Special Edition DVD will have more than two hours of fascinating bonus features, including:

·      Featurette – Robin’s Story – It was decided it was time to add a fresh face into the story mix, which turned out to be Dick Grayson, aka Robin. This is the story of Dick Grayson and how he transformed into Robin, with Batman as his father-figure role model.
Extended Sneak Peek at the next DC UNIVERSE Animated Original PG-13 Movie.
Widescreen (1.78:1)

Two title-themed episodes from of Warner Bros. Animation’s 20-year history of Batman television series, hand-picked by animation legend Bruce Timm.
Batman: Under the Red Hood Special Edition Blu-Ray will have more than three hours of bonus materials, including all the great extras from the 2-disc Special Edition DVD as well as:

·      Featurette: Death in the House of Batman – The story of how DC Comics heard the fans’ cry that the new Robin was not going to fit the cape, and how the Boy Wonder was scheduled to die.
·      Two additional bonus Batman-themed episodes personally selected by Bruce Timm
·      Digital copy

“Batman: Under the Red Hood is another terrific entry in the groundbreaking series of DC Universe animated movies, a shining representation of the adult storytelling that comics-turned-to-film has to offer, and further evidence of the combined creative power within the collaboration of DC Entertainment, Warner Premiere, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Home Video,” said Matt Bierman, Senior Vice President Production, Warner Premiere. 

“Judd Winick's and Doug Mahnke's story of a Robin gone wrong introduced Batman's most personal enemy to date.  It's unbelievably cool to see it brought to life like this," said Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment.

“With each exciting new chapter of the DC UNIVERSE films, fans have come to expect more – and Batman: Under the Red Hood delivers with an action-packed tale of mystery and emotional struggle brought to animated life by an outstanding filmmaking crew and voiced by the all-star talents of Bruce Greenwood, Jensen Ackles, Neil Patrick Harris and John Dimaggio,” said Amit Desai, WHV Vice President of Family, Animation & Partner Brand Marketing.
“In his feature length solo directorial debut, Brandon Vietti has brought this dark, psychological thriller to the screen with all the action and emotion of a great Batman story,” said Sam Register, Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. Animation. “

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid Week: Day Two - Rodrick Rules Book Review

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 Diary Of  A Wimpy Kid Week: Day Two - Rodrick Rules Book Review

About the Book: The highly anticipated sequel to the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling book!
Secrets have a way of getting out, especially when a diary is involved.

Whatever you do, don’t ask Greg Heffley how he spent his summer vacation, because he definitely doesn’t want to talk about it. 

As Greg enters the new school year, he’s eager to put the past three months behind him . . . and one event in particular. 

Unfortunately for Greg, his older brother, Rodrick, knows all about the incident Greg wants to keep under wraps. But secrets have a way of getting out . . . especially when a diary is involved. 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules chronicles Greg’s attempts to navigate the hazards of middle school, impress the girls, steer clear of the school talent show, and most important, keep his secret safe.

Our Take: The first Diary of a Wimpy Kid book was a phenomenon.  The series continues with this book that follows a summer vacation with an embaressing secret.  More than anything our character Greg doesn't want anyone to find out, but unfortunately for him he has an older brother.  This book centers around Rodrick, Greg's older brother, and what a pain he can be.  The book does a great job of creating that 'big brother' archetype that will ring true for so many readers.

These 'Wimpy Kid' books are littered with stick-figure style drawings that really add to the light-hearted nature of the books and provide readers with great visuals to keep them entertained and engaged.

The target audience here is 8-12 years of age, but even I found a lot of the books to be fun as an adult.  I think we all remember how Greg feels at times, our childhoods kinda stick with us.  Kinney really hits gold with this second book in the series, where he could've disappointed.  We definately recommend.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the third book in the series....The Last Straw!

What Does the Moon Smell Like?: 151 Astounding Science Quizzes Book Review

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 What Does the Moon Smell Like?: 151 Astounding Science Quizzes Book Review

About the Book: What Does The Moon Smell Like? is an all ages quiz book that feeds your brain tasty, bite-sized tidbits of cool science trivia. It tickles your brain while giving it a workout, so your brain won’t even know that it’s been to the gym!

From the surprising science behind everyday life, to the mysteries on the frontiers of scientific discovery, What Does The Moon Smell Like? explores anything and everything in a user-friendly quiz format. Fun, fascinating, and little-known facts leap off every page – bound to make you, not just brainier, but a big hit around the water cooler too.

Topics include the earth, the moon, and stars, the universe, space travel, amazing cars, toys, sports, food and drink, icky things, pets and other animals, nature, the environment, technology, geniuses, science fables, foibles, and myths, inventions, discoveries, the brain, the body, and mind, laughter, success, attraction. . . and chocolate.

What Does The Moon Smell Like? gives you a context for the fascinating facts you’re absorbing. Both the lead-ups to the questions, and the answers, are spiced with even more amazing, and fun-filled, facts. In as little as 5 minutes a day, you can boost your brainpower with more than a dozen facts that will either make you smile, or think, or both.

Have you ever wondered, “What Does The Moon Smell Like?” If you haven’t yet, now you will, and if you have, now you’ll know.

Our Take: We're big trivia buffs at the Legion.  We like to go to bars and restaurants where they have trivia on the tv and play for hours.   We've had a hard time locating good, really nerdy trivia books to play with at home or wherever we may be.  Now, thanks to 'What Does the Moon Smell Like?', we've found our trivia bible!

One of the best things about 'What Does the Moon Smell Like?' is how deceptively simple it seems.   It has a paragraph of info on each page with a multiple choice question.  The information contained within this book is not only obscure at times, but absolutely fascinating.  I feel like I've really learned something by going through this title, which I can't often say.

This book is perfect for teachers, parties or just trivia buffs.  I know I just sit and read it in my spare time.  I highly recommend it!

How to Buy: and the ECW Press Site

Wonder Woman: Amazon, Hero, Icon Book Review

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Wonder Woman: Amazon, Hero, Icon Book Review

About the Book: Wonder Woman is a comprehensive look at the first and most important female super hero of DC Comics, from the Golden Age to the present day. Wonder Woman is the most popular female super hero of all time and a cultural icon. During her existence, she has served in the army, renounced her powers at the height of the feminist movement, and helped launch Gloria Steinem’s Ms. magazine. She has been—and continues to be—a trailblazing role model to girls and women and an integral part of the cultural zeitgeist. Loosely chronological, Wonder Woman explores idiosyncratic creator William Moulton Marston’s interest in ideas of a "new woman" for the twentieth century; costume and character story changes over the decades; the influence on all other female comic book characters since her inception; and how Wonder Woman is still powerful and relevant in today’s comic book renaissance. The book contains more than 250 Wonder Woman illustrations, including covers, interior comic art, and sketch treatments, beginning with her inception in the early 1940s to present-day treatments of the character. Celebrated artists include Alex Ross, Jim Lee, George Perez, and Brian Bolland, to name only a few. The book will also feature rare covers and pin-up posters created for past special-edition comic books. Wonder Woman is certain to appeal to fanboys and fangirls, collectors, and newcomers to the comic book genre alike.

Our Take: Robert Greenberger is famous in comic book circles for his great writing.  These days he produces some great books, like the recent Batman Encyclopedia.  This time he's tackling another famous DC Comics character....Wonder Woman. 

This hardcover book features a dust jacket with the nowadays obligatory Alex Ross artwork, which is fantastic as always.   The book is packed with full-color images from the past 70 years of Wonder Woman's history, including full comic book pages.  The book is definately more centric on images rather than information.   There is only so much information to go around about Wonder Woman, her character hasn't varied that much over the decades.   We get a great look at how she has changed since the 1940s, a number of sketches for comics and merchandise and some great comic book covers.   

Overall, the book is attractive and dynamic.  Its a great addition to any comic book fan's book collection and has some great information and history on this iconic amazonian character.   We definately recommend this title for anyone that is an existing fan or interested in Wonder Woman.

How to Buy: or the Universe website

Gig Posters: Rock Show Art of the 20th Century Book Review

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Gig Posters: Rock Show Art of the 20th Century Book Review

About the Book: Since 2001, has been the Internet's first and best resource for rock-show poster art; their massive online database showcases more than 90,000 posters from 7,000 different designers, including all of today's top poster studios. Gig Posters Volume I highlights the 700+ best examples in their collection, including 101 perforated and ready-to-hang posters for bands such as Radiohead, Wilco, the Decemberists, the Shins, Arcade Fire, Sleater-Kinney, and more. Among the many designers contributing to this collection are Rob Jones (of White Stripes fame), The Decoder Ring (house artists for Modest Mouse), Patent Pending, Tara McPherson, and more. Packaged in an oversized 11-by-14-inch paperback, Gig Posters Volume I is a spectacular compilation of rock show art (and one hell of a cheap way to decorate a dorm room or apartment).

Our Take: The first thing that you notice about this oversized softcover book is the dynamic artwork and color.  Its rife with the fantastic images that you see on rock posters!   The book is printed on a high-quality cardstock-style paper. 

The bands featured in this book are primarily more obscure ones, such as the Melvins, the Frames and Minus the Bear.  No Rolling Stones or Nine Inch Nails here.  At first I was a little bummed about that fact, but then I considered that its so common to find imagery from these larger iconic bands, and often the beauty of the posters from the smaller gigs that you see at local bars and clubs are so valuable.  Its nice to see so many of them archived not only in the book, but the website that the book is based on

The book is listed as volume 1, so hopefully we'll get more editions in the near future!  This book is great for any music fan.  It includes perforated pages, so that you can tear out 101 posters to hang on your own walls!  A fantastic value and a great conversation piece.

How to Buy: or the Quirk Books Site

Time: The Illustrated History of the World's Most Influential Magazine Book Review

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Time: The Illustrated History of the World's Most Influential Magazine Book Review

About the Book: The history of Time—from its inception to its iconic status today—recounted by its world-famous editors, art directors, and stellar cast of contributors.

Time is a fascinating look at the history of the world's most influential newsweekly. The complete compendium is illustrated with hundreds of covers and archival photographs, featuring the work of the twentieth century's most respected journalists, editors, and photographers—from Eddie Adams, Neil Leifer, Dirck Halstead, and David Hume Kennerly, to David Burnett, Gregory Heisler, Matt Mahurin, James Nachtwey, and Diana Walker, who together won more major photo awards for Time than all other publications combined. This volume explores Time's documentation of seminal moments in history, including the moon landing, the Kennedy assassination, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and September 11th. It investigates the reasons behind Time's "Man of the Year," transitions in design, the creation of the symbolic red frame, the important designers and illustrators, the covering of both hot and soft news, as well as the magazine's changeover to the 21st century and the creation of Time's international editions.

Our Take: Time magazine is one of the most influential publications of all-time.   Time is itself a cultural icon.  It not only mirrored the greatest events of our world, but also influenced them.

This new hardcover book showcases many of the covers of Time magazine and delves into a number of their important and landmark stories over the years.  Its called an illustrated history, and it does include a lot of graphic imagery, but this is far from a coffee table book, this title includes mountains of text.  Its a real book through and through, with a ton of information and back story.

The book covers everything from World War II to President Obama.  Its an amazing book and a must-have for everyone!  We highly, highly recommend it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Diary of A Wimpy Kid Week: Book One

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About the Book: Boys don’t keep diaries—or do they?

The launch of an exciting and innovatively illustrated new series narrated by an unforgettable kid every family can relate to

It’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you’re ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary. 

In book one of this debut series, Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley’s star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend’s newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion.

Author/illustrator Jeff Kinney recalls the growing pains of school life and introduces a new kind of hero who epitomizes the challenges of being a kid. As Greg says in his diary, “Just don’t expect me to be all ‘Dear Diary’ this and ‘Dear Diary’ that.” Luckily for us, what Greg Heffley says he won’t do and what he actually does are two very different things. 

Since its launch in May 2004 on, the Web version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid has been viewed by 20 million unique online readers. This year, it is averaging 70,000 readers a day.

Our Take: The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books are such a phenomenon that we had to take a look at them here at the Legion.  My son was coming home on an almost daily basis telling me about the series.  He was borrowing them at school from friends and reading their copies.  I decided we'd run a feature all week-long on Book Legion to spotlight all of the current titles.

We are introduced to the writer of the diary (err..I mean journal!) wimpy kid Greg Heffley. Greg takes us through the dramas of school and the morons that surround him.  We get a snarky and insightful view into the mind of a young boy.  This book was originally written and shared online and grew to now being a major book release and a new movie (in theaters now!).

Author Jeff Kinney has an amazing voice in this character and he really impressed me with how entertaining and accessible the writing is for not only kids, but their parents as well.  This series starts strong in this debut book.  I'm looking forward to showcasing the rest of the series.

How to Buy:

The Art of Simon Bisley Redux Book Review

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 The Art of Simon Bisley Redux Book Review

About the Book: Back by popular demand and expanded!!

Forty more pages than the previous edition. The book is now a gorgeous over sized softcover edition.

"This is art to drool over. Art to keep forever. Savour it on bleak, sunless days and watch the colour explode. Admire it in mid-summer, and send a chill shiver through the rest of the year"

From the forward by Alan Grant

Our Take: Simon Bisley is one of my favorite artists, hands down.  Thats not just in the fantasy/comic book realm, but he's one of my favorites period.  His artwork is dark, gritty and sensual.  He really manages to manipulate not only lights and darks, but color and texture to create such dynamic characters that his work is instantly recognizable.

This collection of the Biz's artwork gives us some great full-color paintings, along with sequential comic art and even rarely seen pencil sketches!    The work here covers everything from the infamous Bodycount graphic novel through video game concepts and his work on secular comics like Judge Dredd and Lobo.  Its full of imagery and a little bit of fun fact.

I don't mean to drool over this title like a fanboy, but lets face it....I am.   You've gotta own the Biz, otherwise you're art collection is just lacking!  I recommend this book to anyone that is interested in fantasy or comic book art! 

How to Buy: or the Heavy Metal Website

Mattel's Toy Story 3 SDCC Exclusive Toy!

Mattel has released info on their Toy Story 3 San Diego Comic Con Exclusive toy for this year!  Its the character you heard about here on first, Lotso!

Toy Story 3 Disney/Pixar Collection Lotso ($20)
Lotso, the ridiculously adorable bear character from the new Toy Story 3 flick, is flocked and strawberry scented. The box features concept art and Toy Story trivia. Fun Fact: Before his movie character was revealed by Disney/Pixar, Lotso made an appearance in a girl's bedroom in the trailer for the movie Up (look for Lotso by the bed as she looks out the window).