Author Archives: JD

New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

It’s a Shellabration, bitches! I finally watched the Series Premiere of Nickelodeon’s new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Everything went better than expected.

To be honest, I didn’t expect much. I grew up with the 80’s cartoon, I was a huge fan of the 2003 revival, and I love the 1990 movie to death. Same as most old school fans, I want these new adaptations off my lawn. But there’s only so many times you can retell the same story, so I welcome a fresh take and gave this new animated series a chance. Was not disappoint. It’s too early to know for sure, but I see potential. And a few of the things I found appealing about the premiere reminded me of the 2003 series.

Turtles! There’s No One Better!
Currently there are two other Turtles properties around right now. One a film in the filthy paws of producer Michael Bay, set to cast the Turtles as Turtle-esque aliens and pit them against General Schroeder. If you haven’t seen the internet backlash about this yet, chances are your computer is actually a rock. Call Geek Squad.

The second is the new comic book series, where human version of the Turtles are murdered, reincarnated as turtle versions of the Turtles and then mutated into the teenage-mutant versions of the Turtles. I’m not even gonna.

So if you want to see your favorite heroes on a half-shell in new adventures that won’t make your inner child cry himself to sleep, this is your best bet.

Watch Out For Shedder
The mutagen is free flowing, I’m already detecting a formula for the monster-of-the-week that’s similar to Smallville’s early seasons and its meteor rock mutations. Promises to be very Toyetic, which is a good thing. Toyetic keeps the suits happy, meaning it will be around for a while. But there are also hints of deeper overarching villain story lines involving the mysterious Shredder and a new race of aliens that look very familiar.

It should be mentioned that the action scenes are pretty tight, reminiscent of the TMNT CGI movie. Also, I appreciate the meta-twist with their first villain Snake, who does NOT mutate into a Snake. The fact that they hang a lampshade on a defied trope pleases me to no end. Bossa Nova.

They’re Like No Others
The visual style looks more like someone put Back To The Sewers, Teen Titans, and Source Filmmaker in a blender. The result looks very cute and unique, bright and cartoony. These Turtles look fun and each Turtle has a unique feature that makes them distinguishable, even without the color coded headbands.

Like the visual style, this narrative is like nothing we’ve seen already, but bits and pieces are analogous to other tales of the TMNT. There are nods to the original comic and the 80’s cartoon, but it doesn’t follow any of its predecessors straight forward. Its aware of the other roads taken, but forges its own trail, which will make it worth watching so see where it leads.

They’re Teenage Brothers
The Turtles’ personalities don’t stray far from the famous template set out by the 80’s theme song. Leonardo leads. Donatello does machines. Raphael is cool, but rude. Michelangelo is a party dude. Pretty standard, but the difference is that they are a lot younger and more naive in this iteration. We’re watching them grow into their iconic roles, rather than seeing characters already set in their ways, which is a lot more interesting. The focus for this series is definitely on them being Teenage Mutants. They still have growing up so do, so maybe there will be some surprises along the way.

Will this Next Mutation of the TMNT franchise have enough Turtle Power to survive their Manhattan Missions? It’s not hard to make children go “Ahh!”, but will they discover the Secret of the Ooh’s? I guess we’ll learn the fate of the Turtles in Time.

I made a funny.

Richie Branson #OtakuTuesdays Vol. II

If you’re a fan of nerdcore music and you haven’t heard of Richie Branson, you and I have been living under the same rock. Howdy, neighbor.

Richie Branson is a rapper/producer who has produced Billboard charting songs for some of the industries top artists. He’s also a fan of anime and video games and other nerdy things and raps about them on the Internet. Quite well, I might add.

Last Tuesday he released #OtakuTuesdays Vol. II Mixtape, a collection of songs inspired by some of my favorite anime series and games. I’ve been waiting to hear a good nerdcore artist tackle the music from Bowser’s Castle and Branson delivers.


“I’m fly like I’m in a tanuki suit, bitch!”

Another of my favorites off of this album is Toguro Dreams, which retells the story of Toguro from Yu Yu Hakosho. True to his Otaku MC reputation, Branson highlights one of the things Hip Hop and Anime have in common: compelling storytelling. This song reminds me of other great songs, “It Was A Good Day,” “Brenda’s Got A Baby,” “Children’s Story.” It’s the same thing, but about a nine-foot tall demon fighting an undead high school student.

The other thing Richie Branson is known for is HELPING TO REVIVE TOONAMI!! And we already know my feelings about that block of programming, so I was beyond excited when Adult Swim started the hashtag #BringBackToonami earlier this year. Apparently, so was Branson. He released a rap which helped push interest even further and now #ToonamiIsBackBitches, thanks in part to Richie Branson and us, the fans! Keep an ear our for some music he produced next time you’re watching Toonami.

#OtakuTuesdays Vol. II and the equally awesome Vol. I offer 45 minutes of hot Otaku rhymes and beats that appeal to the nerd and the hip hop head in us all, all for free. If you grew up with Toonami, you need this these mixtapes. Listening to the tracks about Outlaw Star, Gundam Wing, or Cowboy Bebop take you right back to when you rushed home after school and tuned in to see something unique and impressive; two words that sum up Richie B’s music perfectly. Go grab the latest, Vol. II, right here and click here for Vol. I.

And show your support by purchasing Richie Branson’s N.E.R.D. EP here. Don’t worry, it stands for “Nothing Ever Requires Discipline,” so Pharrell won’t be suing for acronym infringement. This album features another of my nerdcore favorites, Random aka Mega Ran.

So, now that we both know who Richie Branson is, keep an eye on his website for new releases and have fun blasting all of that new music. But not too loud, neighbor. I can’t hear myself drink over here.

Cheers,
JD

Shotcast Episode 1: Critical Mass Part III

Closure, at last. I humbly present the third and final part of Shotcast Episode 1: Critical Mass.

Listeners beware. We cuss and spoil the ending to ME3.

And speaking of spoiled, I appreciate the time and effort BioWare put into the Extended Cut DLC, but sadly it is just as broken, if not more so, than the original ending.

How anyone can take that evacuation scene seriously?

I love BioWare for all that they’ve done and in the end it is their story, but I would’ve respected them more if they stuck to their guns and told us to just finish our supper or starve because they’re not cooking anything else.

If you missed it, here is where you can find Part I and Part II.

Extended Cut coming soon.

Thanks everyone for listening.

Cheers,
JD

Shotcast Episode 1: Critical Mass Part II

Welcome to Mass Effect 3, where the ending is made up and the points don’t matter.
That’s right, the points are like Mass Effect 2’s Suicide Mission.

Finally, the Extended Cut DLC has arrived! If you thought the first ending was incomplete, this one manages to be even incompletier!

Actually, I haven’t touched it yet, but based on Bioware’s podcast and reactions online it seems they missed the crux of our complaints. Maybe it’s time to just drop the shovel, guys.

More importantly, the second part of Critical Mass has arrived. Unlike BioWare, we addressed your criticisms and concerns. As a result, this episode is completely uncensored.

Warning, this podcast is rated M for explicit language, sexual content, and “Yo Momma” jokes.

Also, here are some links to the videos we referenced in Part I and II.
Indoctrination Theory
Angry Joe’s Review

If you missed Critical Mass Part I, click there. Part III coming soon.

Cheers,
JD

Superpowerless – The IT Crowd

Did you see that ludicrous display last night?

The IT Crowd is one of those shows that everyone should tell everyone they know to watch. A British comedy for geeks that makes The Big Bang Theory look like 2 And A Half Men. Which actually isn’t that difficult.

Anyway, this song by the rapper Superpowerless (and a ton of guest artists) is nerdcore as its finest. The beat samples the chiptune-ish theme song from the IT Crowd and the lyrics are packed with clever references to the show. This video had me entertained from start to finish.

But seriously, if you still haven’t watched The IT Crowd, start now. All four seasons are on Netflix Instant. And it’s a British show, so if you start watching now, you’ll be finished before the music video above stops playing.

Cheers,
JD

Shotcast Episode 1: Critical Mass Part I

At last, it’s here. The long awaited first installment of Shotcast, the podcast where the crew of Shot Glasses take a break from making comics to kick back and discuss the most important things in our universe.

Our first episode, Critical Mass, was so massive that we had to split it into three parts. How fitting that the discussion of the epic space trilogy Mass Effect become an epic trilogy of its own.

In the first part of Critical Mass we explain and explore the poorly received ending, whether or not it felt feasible or even finished, and dip into the Indoctrination Theory.

Part II and Part III coming shortly.

Cheers,
JD

Memorial Day

I hope everyone enjoyed the first official weekend of the summer and had plenty of BBQ and many beers.

I also hope that everyone took a break from playing Modern Warfare and Call of Duty long enough to thank the brave men and women who gave their lives so we can sit around and play video games and complain on the internet.

Speaking of complaining, the Mass Effect 3 discussion is nearly finished. The only think I have left do is remove some of the content to turn into a Day One DLC pack.

This is a very interesting discussion to listen to, we dig into the finer points of the ending, the credibility of the Indoctrination Theory, the backlash on the Internet, EA’s role as the evil soul sucking mega-corp slowly ruining video games, the benefits and dangers of DLC, and Shepard possibly being the distant descendant of Chuck Norris.

Cheers,
JD

Mass Effect 3 Machinima

Just wanted to let everyone know that the Mass Effect 3 Ending Roundtable ShotCast is coming soon. There are many opinions about the Mass Effect 3 ending, but only ours is the right one, and you will hear it soon.

In the meanwhile, here are three short Mass Effect 3 Machinima’s made by YouTube user PhunnyNeon.

PhunnyNeon, or PhN as he probably doesn’t like to be called, uses Gary’s Mod and character models from various games (mostly Team Fortress and ME3) to create hilarious shorts.

His style of animation reminds me of Ren and Stimpy. Absurd, chaotic, clever, and occasionally violent. I love it. Check them out, then head to you YouTube page to check out the rest of his videos.

Cheers,
JD

A Capella

I heard somewhere that A Cappella is Italian for “empty orchestra.” I think that’s hauntingly beautiful.

Actually, A Cappella means “in the style of the church” and it is one of the most entertaining genres of music. Singing a song A Cappella just means singing a song without instrumental accompaniment, but often the back up vocalists fill in for the missing instrumental by creating the melody and rhythm vocally. Can be very impressive, if done correctly.

I was first introduced to this style of singing through “Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?” where the A Cappella group Rockapella (see what they did there?) blew my tiny mind every time they sung the show’s eponymous theme song.

One. Two. Three. HWUAAH!

They’ve aged pretty well, I think.

Anyhoo, now that I have the Internet, I don’t need to watch geography-based games shows on public television for my A Cappella fix. Let’s binge.

Here’s the Pok√©mon theme.

And here’s a Medley of Disney hits.

And last, but not least, is the theme from Star Wars.

Cheers,
JD