Castlevania: Vengeance

Netflix Unleashes Castlevania: Vengeance Teaser!

Holy Cow! When Neflix announced plans for Castlevania: Vengeance back in February. I think we can certainly say it took us fans of Konami’s Castlevania series by surprise. Beyond the announcement of Castlevania: Vengeance however there was very little to go on. Then again we at the very least knew this was going to be animated.
Castlevania: Vengeance - Belmont

I have been a huge fan of the Castlevania series. All the way back to 1987, with the original offering on the NES in fact. I also seem to be in the minority in regards to its 1988 sequel Castlevania: Simon’s Quest. Likewise while I enjoyed the platforming elements of Castlevania it was the RPG elements of it’s sequel that made me a fan of the Belmont clan as well.

To say nothing of of the incredible score that Kenichi Matsubara, Satoe Terashima, and Kouji Murata delivered.

[Via] GBelair

Of course we started to hear further rumblings on Castlevania: Vengeance. None other than Warren Ellis was tapped to be the writer for the animated series. While Ellis might be best known for his work on Transmetropolitan comic book series. I am an absolute fan of his Wildstorm series entitled Planetary – in fact every New Years Eve I reread the entire series.

So what I am getting at of course is that I feel that Castlevania: Vengeance is in good hands. Then just a couple of hours ago Netflix unleashed the trailer for the upcoming animated series.

Kind of hard to not have a grin slowly creep across your face when you watch the teaser announcement. Everything from the awesome looking red hued Castlvania cart to the humorous nostalgic touches. Netflix knocked it out of the park.
Castlevania: Vengeance - Netflix

Castlevania: Vengeance - Select Screen

Castlevania: Vengeance - Synopsis
I beg you not to take my word on it however but watch the trailer yourself and decide!

Furthermore, the press release that Netflix provided sheds some light on the story of Castlevania: Vengeance:
“Inspired by the classic video game series, Castlevania is a dark medieval fantasy following the last surviving member of the disgraced Belmont clan, trying to save Eastern Europe from extinction at the hand of Vlad Dracula Tepe himself. The animated series written by best-selling author and comic book icon Warren Ellis and executive produced by Warren Ellis, Kevin Kolde, Fred Seibert and Adi Shankar.”

Let us hope that on July 7th Castlevania: Vengeance treats this Belmont a little better than Captain N: The Game Master did!


Whodunit, Golden Girls?

Sophia Petrillo, in the kitchen, with the knife…cutting the cheesecake.

I promise, this is not Golden Girls fan fiction!

Stay Golden…In the Library!

While reading some posts on Facebook yesterday, I came across a link for a Babble article about a Golden Girls-themed version of clue. Now, I’ve seen how many different incarnations of Monopoly there are out there, but this is totally different!

It all starts with this epic box art…

This box! It is an immediate admission of guilt for Sophia.

The Weaponry…

The mystery involves consumed cheesecake (obviously!), and the weapon of choice is one of these items…

With the exception of Sophia’s purse, all of it came from Blanche’s room. All of it!

Thank You For Being a Friend…Mystery Man With the Rose!

There are six possible whodunits.

We’ve got all the usual suspects – Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, Sophia, Mystery Man with Rose, Mystery Man with Stanley Zbornak’s monkey, Fifi…

Stanley Zbornak’s monkey for the win, people!

The mystery men are obviously Miles and Stanley in black masks.  Just sayin’.

Come, Sit on the Lanai…

And this game board. Look at the house’s layout! You’ll want to play regular Clue on this board!

Did the mansion in Clue have a Lanai? I think not!

Back in St. Olaf (Which is Code for the Internetz)…

According to USAopoly.com, the game will retail for $39.95, and is available for purchase in the United States and Canada. Players eight and up can participate, but will they truly appreciate it? I’m not sure, but the big kids sure will!

There’s no release information yet (this information only set a fire online yesterday!), but rest assured, the Retroist team will know about it as soon as it is a physical thing.

“Picture it, game night!”

And is it just me, or does Sophia look a little like Mrs. Doubtfire?

It actually isn’t just me, but it was pointed out to me. Perhaps you see it too?

Not since Golden Girls Funko Pops (also: this Funko follow-up over on Allison’s Written Words) and Legos have we been this excited about The Golden Girls since…we watched it last night. For the millionth time. Because we love it!

Yeah, that’s it.

Nuttin Polly-O String Cheese Commercial

Art Direction in the Nuttin Polly-O String Cheese Commercial

I feel like we have revisited this famous Nuttin Polly-O String Cheese Commercial so often on the site that I could do a podcast on it. Why can’t I stop talking about it? It is one of the more memorable commercials from my youth for a few reasons. I loved pizza. The people in the ad kind of talked like people I knew. And it featured this amazing product that was sweeping the nation, string cheese.

Last night I was rewatching it yet again (maybe for a podcast) and I started noticing a few things that I wanted to share about the commercial’s art direction.

First the look of this pizza parlor. Pretty generic at first glance save for the neon sign, but some very interesting signage can be seen in almost every shot. Here you see a sign for “No Screaming.” This would have been a good sign to hang in our local pizzeria. We could get pretty obnoxious, especially if they had video games. We were constantly getting chastised by the people running the place. Also notice that guy in the corner. He appears in multiple shots and is completely unnecessary.

You can also see a little bit of pizza in this shot. To me, it does not look like very good pizza. At least not the type I grew up with. These kids are better off just ordering some cheese.

More details and more signage! Fred and Jimmy, the guys behind the counter, both have aprons with their names on them. Did they make those especially for this commercial? Did they name the characters after the aprons they had laying around? As for the signs, these are real gems. They are both sassy and believable for a pizza parlor. The one on the left says, “Be patient, meatball!” The one on the right offers “Week-Old Pizza Half Price.” Both are just throwaway gags in the background and are easy to miss. But as I continue to watch this commercial over the years, they have become my favorite part.

The final thing I want to comment on is this shot with the box of string cheese and Jimmy. I like they way they lay it out all lined up, but look to the right at Jimmy. It is a weird face right? Well, what makes it better is that he holds that pose for the entire shot. For that whole last shot that is how he looks for some reason. It is weird and short, but once you notice it, you will not be able to not see it.

I hope this short post gives you a greater appreciation for the Nuttin Polly-O String Cheese Commercial. Much like the cheese it advertises, you can continue to pull it apart and get more joy out of it. Now let’s watch it together in its entirety.

Watch the Famous Nuttin Polly-O String Cheese Commercial

Age of Resistance - The Dark Crystal

Teaser Released For Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance!

Why is there an Age of Resistance in the world of The Dark Crystal? We will find out the answer to that thanks to Netflix’s exclusive new series. In fact the company just announced The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance today with this teaser trailer.

[Via] Netflix

Age of Resistance - Skeksis construction
While the teaser indeed showed us some wonderful footage from the likes of Jim Henson. As well as some brief glimpses at the legendary Creature Shop at work. We however aren’t given a lot to go on in regards to the the Age of Resistance‘s story. Thanks to a press release from The Dark Crystal website – it turns out this will be a prequel to the classic 1982 film.

“A beloved classic from the 80s marks its return as Netflix, the world’s leading internet entertainment network, will bring The Jim Henson Company’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance exclusively to members around the world. The 10-episode fantasy adventure series is a prequel to the groundbreaking 1982 fan favorite The Dark Crystal, and takes place many years before the events of the film. The series will be shot in the U.K., and will star an ensemble of fantastical, state-of-the-art creatures created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™ and Brian Froud, the original feature’s conceptual designer.

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance returns to the world of Thra with an all new adventure. When three Gelfling discover the horrifying secret behind the Skeksis’ power, they set out on an epic journey to ignite the fires of rebellion and save their world.

Feature film director Louis Leterrier (Now You See Me, The Incredible Hulk) will executive produce the series and direct. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will be a Netflix original series produced by The Jim Henson Company and executive produced by Letterier, Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford. Longtime Henson collaborator Rita Peruggi will serve as producer and Henson’s Blanca Lista will serve as a co-executive producer. Leading the writing are co-executive producers Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews (Life in a Year), and Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Lost, The 100).

“The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will combine the art of puppetry perfected by The Jim Henson Company, with Louis’ vision, powerful storytelling and a mix of cutting-edge digital imagery and visual effects,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President of Original Content at Netflix. “I can’t wait for families around the world to see how we bring these unique characters to life.”

“Louis Leterrier is passionate about the world of The Dark Crystal and has an incredible creative vision for the series. He brings this passion to every facet of the production as he leads the talented team of artists and writers that are bringing this entire universe to life,” said Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company. “Netflix has a deep respect for my father’s original work and the many people it inspired. They are the perfect partners to create this next epic chapter in The Dark Crystal story for new fans and the loyal fans who have waited so long for more adventures from this world.”

Age of Resistance - Skeksis Illustration
So in addition to the awesome news that Leterrier will in fact be using practical visual effects alongside digital work. This prequel will most probably explain why the Skekis made it point to seek out all of the Gelflings. If you go by J. J. Llewellyn’s exceptional 1982 book The World of the Dark Crystal. A book I would also add is chock full of beautiful Brian Froud artwork. The Skekis in fact weren’t totally evil when the sundering first took place but soon however they changed. Taking the Gelflings as slaves and then of course destroying them almost entirely when the diminutive race devised the prophecy.

[Via] Antoneey

Of course I will be sure to pass along any new information that we get about this exciting new series. Not only that but if you would like more vintage fun concerning the Dark Crystal.

Read: After 31 Years It Was Time To Open Up That Pack Of Dark Crystal Cards!

Moreover to prepare yourself for The Dark Crystal: Age of Reckoning why not listen to episode 058 of the Retroist Podcast?


Retroist Dark Crystal Podcast

Peter Lorre MTV promo

Do you remember the Peter Lorre MTV promo?

In the nineties, my viewing of MTV was way in decline. They still played music, but I found their offerings less compelling and was not a fan of the burgeoning reality TV movement. Still, MTV of that decade did have its charms and made some memories. One that sticks in my brain is this nearly forgotten Peter Lorre MTV promo.

I remember it well because it made a reference that I “got” at the time. My time at the video store had exposed me to a panoply of classic films. Among them was Fritz Lang’s M. In it Peter Lorre plays a child murderer named Hans Becker who is indentified through the clever use of a chalk M on his jacket.

Read MTV’s “Paint the Mutha Pink” Contest

This made the Peter Lorre MTV promo clever but apt. Since we get a giant M on his jacket and hear him mumbling as he attempts to escape justice. While it is apt and fun, I also thought at the time, “how many other people will understand this reference?” A lot of my friends watched MTV and I don’t think one of them understood the reference. They just thought it was some sort of MTV zaniness.

Which is probably what the MTV people thought when they made it. If we could enjoy the Peter Lorre MTV promo on multiple levels, good for us. Otherwise we would enjoy it for just being sort of kooky.

Watch the Peter Lorre MTV promo

If you have not seen M, I suggest you give it a look. The entire film is posted online for your viewing pleasure. It is an amazing film and Peter Lorre’s breakout role. If you want to see Lorre with the famous M on his back. Just jump to the 1 hour 4 minute and 13 second mark.

Watch Fritz Lang’s M Online