Friday, August 29, 2008

The Unreleased RtW TV Bumpers

The bulk of Review the World can be found in the site’s three-plus years worth of archived articles, but for me, some of the most fun and proud moments in our canon are Review the World TV episodes #1 and #2. The project was my baby, from pre-production to completion, and while relatively short-lived, it indelibly left a mark on myself as well as many RtW fans.  On the shows, to make transitions between skits more interesting, we inserted what we called “bumpers.”  Each bumper was approximately twenty seconds or so, sometimes more or less, depending on its creativity, and would feature someone saying, “You’re watching Review the World TV” or some variation of that tagline. Some bumpers were simple and straightforward, others, ridiculous and intentionally so. Recently I stumbled upon a directory full of unused bumpers, never seen by anyone besides the parties involved, and feeling sentimental over RtW TV I decided compiling them into one, five-minute video in homage to the efforts and energies of those involved making my “show” and website a reality. I hope you enjoy them even a percentage as much as we did shooting them back then.

Monday, August 11, 2008

On the Road w/ RtW - Monroe, OH

"On the Road w/ RTW" returns with a brand new episode. This time we're looking at the small city of Monroe, Ohio, home to Trader's World Flea Market and the famous "touchdown Jesus" among other things. We take a look at the historical downtown area and examine the Monroe Community Park.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Samurai Slash Batman & Dark Knight Reese's Pieces

Well, unless you’ve been living under or in a rock (and an aside, if so, how are the stalagmites this time of year?) you’ve no doubt heard about the overwhelming financial success The Dark Knight has been at theatres worldwide. Yes, Batman isn’t just for comic fans these days, there’s an insatiable demand for him and it has spilled into all facets of merchandizing. Today I’m going to look at a Batman action figure I got pre-Hollywood hoopla, as well as a new candy offering seeking to capitalize on some of that new mainstream fervor.

The biggest common complaint about Batman toys, and its been going on for some time now, is that they’re some of the most generic offerings in toy aisles.  The usual argument is they’ve basically done the same toy, just added some different features, colors, and extras and repeated this formula add nauseam.  I was on this bandwagon too, until I stopped to think about it, and came to the conclusion there’s really only so many toys you could concoct of the caped crusader before you’d start re-treading the same thing over and over again.  Thus, I opened up my mind when strolling the toy aisle, and for once wasn’t aghast when I saw Batman donning a parka for a tundra trek, or some camouflage for a journey to the jungle.

I finally narrowed it down to a few, ultimately getting the toy above, from the Shadow Tek line, which sounds innocuous enough, Samurai Slash Batman!  Yes, Batman Begins gave us a taste of Bruce Wayne’s martial arts training, but little did we know that he dons this elaborate royal blue gear, attaches saw-shaped blades to his back that shoot like projectiles, and carries a translucent blue sword that’s bigger than his entire upper torso.

Here’s an iconic view of Batman, although he’s usually glaring at the cityscape below from a tall building in Gotham, here he’s just admiring the view from the top of my refrigerator.  Imagine that really creepy, raspy voice Christian Bale used in The Dark Knight saying, “Can I get one of those frozen burritos, dude?”

Here’s our samurai-slashing hero in all his glory!  While I think it’s a little much, especially for someone so stealth and such, I can’t help but get a kick out of it in all its over-the-top awfulness.

See Batman firing his projectiles!  Watch your eyes!

Overall Grade: B

Lastly today, I’m going to talk about a piece of proper The Dark Night movie tie-in merchandise.  Usually when I put Reese’s Pieces and movies together I’m thinking E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial and the adorable alien’s penchant for the tiny, peanut butter candy-coated gems.  But nope, we’ve got Batman, and judging by his expression on the front of the bag he’s rather pissed that you’re not buying stock in Wayne Enterprises instead.

Check these out!  Well, it’s not like they went overboard trying to be creative, but hell, beggars can’t be choosers (unless it’s which dumpster to pick up dinner at) so I’m going to hold my tongue and just nod approvingly.  I guess dark blue and black candies in homage to Batman are about a good as a junk food snack as one could possibly desire.

Overall Grade: B-