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Sequester & Chill: Summer Streaming Surprises

The pandemic may have spoiled the summer movie season, but that doesn’t mean there are no summer movies. 

It’s been a summer movie season like no other. Some would say we didn’t have a summer movie season, with the likes of Maverick: Top Gun 2, Fast and Furious 9, Black Widow, Tenet, and many other highly anticipated blockbusters being punted to the future.

Yet, there were still many movies released. 

Out of necessity, the practice of straight-to-streaming exploded this summer. Less than a year ago, many considered such a release as a monstrous curiosity that would destroy cinemas (see Scorsese’s The Irishman), but when there are no cinemas, or a communal viewing experience isn’t safe, distributors and streaming services combined to give cinephiles a way to experience new movies.

And some of them were really, really good!

Here’s a list of “new summer movies” I saw and most certainly recommend*:

Palm Springs

After Hot Rod and That’s My Boy I have avoided Andy Samberg like a COVID-19 ward, but good word of mouth had me visit Palm Springs and it was a good trip! There have been many movies to try and take the Groundhog Day repeating-day conceit, but I can think of none that had such interesting characters. It was funny and had some character-driven plot twists that kept me engaged.  

If you see only one repeating-day film, see Groundhog Day. But if you want to see another, head to Palm Springs.

My Spy

It’s the dearth of new entertainment that led me to watch Dave Bautista’s entry in the “muscle man with kids” genre. Ever since Arnold Schwarzenegger broke out of his big-guns stereotype and became a family-friendly name with Kindergarten Cop it seems every wrestler-turned-actor has tried to copy that success. Some of these comedies work (I enjoyed The Game Plan),and some don’t (Hulk Hogan in Mr. Nanny). 

After trying the insipid Stuber I wasn’t inclined to see My Spy but… I did. And it exceeded all my expectations. The chemistry between Bautista and child actress Chloe Coleman feels very natural, and the plot avoids several of the Kindergarten Cop cliches. 

In a year that also brought the near-unwatchable Playing with Fire, My Spy was a fun diversion.

The Lovebirds 

When this was intended for theatrical release the trailers made the film look funny. Kumail Nanjiani really impressed me with The Big Sick so I’m more inclined to see his work (though with Stuber that was a poor choice).

Lovebirds follows Nanjiani and costar Issa Rae as a couple on the verge of break-up. Well, nothing brings the spark back into a releationship as being on the run for a murder you didn’t commit. The result is the couple trying to find the real killer, uncovering a major conspiracy of Eyes Wide Shut orgiastic proportions, and making me laugh the whole way through.

Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge 

It shouldn’t be difficult to make a Mortal Kombat movie. The stories are pre-written for the characters, the filmmakers then need to dramatize those stories in an interesting way. 

Legends differentiates itself from previous Kombat movies by focusing on Scorpion. He was a near-mute ninja in the live-action films. Here, he is the protagonist.

The story is pretty rote. Scorpion is a felled warrior resurrected for revenge (see also: The Crow, The Wraith, Spawn, etc.) but the plot does have a few twists. For fans of the previous Kombat games or movies, seeing the classic characters brings a nostalgic thrill.  

The only drawback is the animated action. It’s well-drawn, but either you like cartoon fighting or you don’t, and it never thrilled me in any animated form. I much prefer seeing stuntmen do well-choreographed martial arts to seeing artists’ renderings.

It’s not at Flawless Victory, but Scorpion wins.

*For the sake of this list, only movies released as movies were included. Mini-series that really played like long movies, like Defending Jacob, were excluded becuase their episodic format labels them “TV Series”

August 13, 2020 Posted by | Movies, News | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hasbro Announces Star Wars Rogue One Exclusive Toys for 2016

Hasbro’s new Star Wars toys, tying into the new movie Rogue One, will hit store shelves on Sep 30th.  Today Hasbro announced what exclusive toys will be released the 30th or after.

Read on for the full press release and the photos of the items:


(Ages 6 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $99.99/Available: Fall 2016)
Bring home your very own astromech droid with this programmable and interactive R2-D2! Download the accompanying app to control R2-D2’s movements and actions. Listen as R2-D2 responds to your voice with expressive droid sound effects, and watch as R2-D2 shakes in fear of DARTH VADER. The SMART R2-D2 even recognizes music and dances along to the lyrics of your favorite songs. Requires 4 AA batteries, not included. App is available for free on iOS and Android devices. Available exclusively at Walmart.

(Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Suggested Retail Price: $24.99/Available: Fall 2016)
A skilled warrior in the Rebel Alliance, JYN ERSO is on a mission to destroy the Death Star! This collectible 6-inch figure features extensive articulation and detail, including a new poncho and hat as seen in the film. Fans can connect an additional STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES figure with diorama base to create the ultimate collection. Each sold separately. Available exclusively at Kmart.

(Ages 5 years & up/Approx. Suggested Retail Price: $79.99/Available: Fall 2016)
Disguise your voice like the shadow warrior from ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY! Intimidate the Rebel Alliance with mirrored lenses and an exclusive black SHADOW TROOPER deco. Press the button to activate voice-changing technology for several seconds, allowing for hands-free play! Requires 3 AAA batteries, not included. Available exclusively at Amazon.

(Ages 6 years & up/Approx. Suggested Retail Price: $79.99/Available: Fall 2016)
Gear up for battle against the Galactic Empire with a customizable blaster for almost any mission! When the battle escalates, attach the scope, stock, or barrel for enhanced precision and targeting. Features exclusive blue deco and 6-dart clip with 12 glow-in-the-dark darts for nighttime operations. Available exclusively at Target.

(Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Suggested Retail Price: $19.99/Available: Fall 2016)
An elite soldier for the Galactic Empire, this impressive 6-inch scale IMPERIAL HOVERTANK PILOT figure features articulated movement and true-to-story detail. Recreate battles from ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY with exclusive army building unit and new pilot character class. Available exclusively at Toys “R” Us.

September 23, 2016 Posted by | Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Marvel Movie Pre-Order Alerts: Hot Toys Wolverine and Hikari Sofubi Groot




Fans of movies based on Marvel Comics characters have several pre-orders hitting today!

902281-product-siloFirst, from the film X-Men: Days of Future Past Hot Toys and Sideshow Collectibles bring Wolverine!  This figure has over 30 points of articulation, 3 pairs of swappable hands (with and without claws!), and an outfit representing Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in the dystopian future shown at the film’s opening.  It stands just under 12-inches tall, and comes with a specialized Wolverine display base.

Now, it’s no secret that licensees have issues making toys and collectibles based on 20th Century Fox’s X-Men and Fantastic Four films.  The last X-Men film to receive a big marketing push was X-Men Origins: Wolverine back in 2009.  In 2011, covering New York Toy Fair for Marvelicious Toys, I interviewed one of the Marvel reps at Hasbro’s presentation.  I was shocked at a lack of toys for that summer’s X-Men: First Class and I asked about that.  I was told that Marvel would be marketing their X-Men: First Class comic books, not the movies.  Indeed, in the past five years it has been hard to find any toys or statues based on the X-Men movies; only the comics.  Only Diamond Select, with their Minimates lines, has covered all the Marvel movies regardless of studio.

In 2012 Hot Toys announced a licensing agreement for figures based on X-Men: First Class and Magneto and Charles Xavier figures were shown at various Hot Toys exhibits, but they never were released.  It is more than likely pressure from Marvel has caused those figures to be indefinitely delayed, if not altogether cancelled.

Yet Hot Toys has persevered in releasing X-Men movie toys…if only Wolverine figures.  Their first was from X-Men Origins: Wolverine released in 2009.  That figure shot up in value and even had some high-quality bootlegs sold on eBay.  As such, in 2012 Hot Toys made another Wolverine figure from X-Men III: The Last Stand.  Then last year Hot Toys made another version of this character, showing his appearance in The Wolverine (still available to order, at a deep discount, from Sideshow Collectibles).  This Days of Future Past Wolverine is the 4th version of this character.

Despite how much I really want Hot Toys to finally release the other X-Men figures (specifically the yellow-and-blue clad X-Men from First Class) Wolverine is the most popular X-Man.  Each version of this figure has been distinct, and showing a likeness of Hugh Jackman appropriate to that film.  This is an older Jackman likeness, and the future outfit is far different from any we’ve gotten before.

At $250 the figure is a bit more expensive than I’d like–with no large diorama pieces, excessive accessories, or swappable heads I’d prefer to see this around $200 like The Wolverine version,  but it’s still a great version of the character.

I have it ordered already, both for the figure it is, plus I’m hoping that by “voting with my dollars” Hot Toys and Marvel realize high-end figures based on the X-Men films are profitable enough to continue beyond Wolverine.

(as an aside, X-Men: Days of Future Past came out on DVD and Blu-Ray this week, and the collector’s edition is almost half off at Amazon!)

If you prefer Marvel Studios’ own films, such as Guardians of the Galaxy, a new collectible is available for you as well!  From Funko comes the Entertainment Earth exclusive Hikari Premium Sofubi Vinyl Figure of Groot!

FU5368RlgWhile that’s a lot of adjectives, Funko’s Hikari Premium Sofubi Vinyl Figures are 11-inch soft vinyl figures.  This one is limited to 5,000 pieces and only available from Entertainment Earth.

Funko is known for having several variants for each of their Sofubi figures, from color changes to translucent glittery versions.  Several variants of the Groot Hikari Vinyl Figure were displayed at New York Comic-Con, but this Entertainment Earth version seems to be the most movie-accurate.  You can order it now at EE.

And for Hikari collectors, Barnes and Noble just put up their exclusive black-and-white version of the Spider-Man figure, called “Dangerous Spider-Man” for $71.  That is not a pre-order; mine has shipped already.


October 17, 2014 Posted by | Comic Books, Movies, News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Marvel Movie Pre-Order Alerts: Hot Toys Wolverine and Hikari Sofubi Groot

BACK UP FOR ORDER — Preorder Alert: Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends Figures


Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends

Update:  Apr 1, 2014 – 20:43 These figures are again in stock so place your order now!

Update:  Apr 1, 2014 – 18:16 Amazon has changed the status of all the figures to “Currently Unavailable” meaning their original allocation is likely sold out.  Please keep your eyes here and follow Marvelicious Toys on Facebook or on Twitter and we’ll let you know if/when these are again available!

Original text follows:


They are the Guardians of the Galaxy.  Or they’re “a bunch of a-holes.”  Either way, they’re making their way to a theater near you this August in the newest Marvel Cinematic Universe film!  But in June the toys for the movie are scheduled to start hitting–and the pre-orders have now begun.  Right now you can order all 6 Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends figures from!

Already this summer Marvel movie fans and collectors have seen the crazy hunt for Legends figures.  From Hasbro’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Legends line where Carnage and Toxin go for $30 and up to Captain America: The Winter Soldier toy line with Black Widow going for over $60, it’s been difficult to find these figures in stores at all.  But now at Amazon you can get all six of these figures for the MSRP of $21.99, and free shipping of orders over $35 (or with Amazon Prime).

The figures that make up this Toy Line are:

From the Guardians of the Galaxy film:

Rocket Raccoon

From the Guardians of the Galaxy comic:

Iron Man

Plus buy all six and build Groot–the giant tree character voiced by Vin Diesel!

If the Captain America and Spider-Man Legends are any indication these will likely pre-sell out fast.  Save yourself gas and time and get your order in now at!



April 1, 2014 Posted by | Comic Books, Marvelicious Toys, Movies, News, Podcasts | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on BACK UP FOR ORDER — Preorder Alert: Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends Figures