The Toy Chest: Independence Day – President Thomas J. Whitmore

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In celebration of the upcoming holiday and the release of Independence Day: Resurgence, the sequel to the 1996 blockbuster that has waited twenty long years to see the light of day, this edition of “The Toy Chest” presents one of my favorite pieces of my toy collection – President Thomas J. Whitmore from the Trendmasters line made for the original film.  Continue reading

Movie Review: The Big Short

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In a modern cinematic landscape that is packed to the rafters with superhero, sci-fi, and fantasy flicks, sometimes a movie based on a true story is refreshing, even if that movie tells the depressing story of the worst economic disaster the United States has seen is generations. Enter The Big Short – a film about four men in the game of finance who exposed the quagmire of greed and stupidity that eventually dragged the country down into the housing market crash of 2008.  Continue reading

Funko Friday: Jules

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Another week is coming to a close, and if you’re a toy collector, or just a nerd, what better way to kick it off than with another Funko Friday entry here at The No Seatbelt Blog? This week, we’re reaching for the classic that is Pulp Fiction once again, as Vincent Vega’s partner in bloody crime, Jules stands front and center to curse at you, pump you full of bullets and then abruptly change his ways after he witnesses what he believes to be a miracle.  Continue reading

Funko Friday: Batman

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It’s Friday night, and here at The No Seatbelt Blog, I celebrate it by writing about toys. Because that’s what nerds do. Every week, I showcase another piece of my collection of Funko’s Pop! vinyl figures, offering some background on the featured character, its origin, and significance to me. Funko has won a piece of my nerdy heart with this line of compact, inexpensive, big-headed collectibles, and my collection of them has grown exponentially over the last few years. Continue reading

Funko Friday: Robocop

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It’s Friday night, and I’m kicking off the weekend with another entry in my weekly toy series, Funko Friday, as I batten down the hatches for the impending blizzard. Tonight, I have chosen Funko’s Pop! vinyl version of Robocop as my subject. The namesake of the obscenely violent 1987 action movie, Robocop was formerly known as Officer Alex J. Murphy, who was shot to pieces by a group of criminals, only to return to the force, half-man, half-machine, to take out the trash on the streets of crime-ridden Detroit.  Continue reading

Funko Friday: Dr. Raymond Stantz

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This week, I present another edition of Funko Friday, showcasing none other than the popular toy company’s version of “the heart of the Ghostbusters,” Dr. Raymond Stantz. Played with a signature “aww, shucks” charm by Dan Aykroyd in both movies of the franchise, Ray Stantz was a thoroughly lovable character. Built with equal parts childlike wonder and real world smarts, poor Ray was conned by his partner Pete Venkman into selling the house his parents left him so that the future foursome of paranormal investigators and eliminators could purchase a dilapidated firehouse where they would store the supernatural baddies they snared. Continue reading

Funko Friday: Rocket Raccoon

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This week on Funko Friday, everyone’s second favorite character (arguably) from Marvel’s blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket Raccoon takes the stage! Rocket, featured in the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book series, is a galactic warrior who in his current state was born of genetic experimentation that granted him superior intelligence, and the ability to walk on two legs. He was also given a raging attitude and hangs out with a mutated tree named Groot. And this, my friends, is how intergalactic fiction can be great.

In the movie that nobody saw coming, and that nobody expected to do as well as it did, Rocket, the pint-sized mammal with a mouth was voiced by Bradley Cooper. If you didn’t know any better, you’d never guess that it was Cooper, as Rocket’s gruff, gravelly intonation was most certainly a put-on for the actor. I can’t imagine it was anything short of a blast to do, however. Rocket will be returning to the big screen to get into more trouble with his merry band of misfits for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in 2017.

Peter Quill: I can’t believe I got taken down by a raccoon

Rocket: Raccoon? What’s a raccoon?

Peter Quill: You are! I’ve seen many of them, like you, on Earth!

Rocket: Ain’t nothing like me, except me!

I picked up the Rocket Raccoon vinyl Pop! doll from Funko at Hot Topic a while back, as the store’s combination of selection of the collectibles and “buy one, get one half-off” sales is, well, just goddamn irresistible. This model of Rocket is depicted as he appears throughout most of the movie, in his orange body suit, gripping his weapon of choice. Let’s not forget the menacing stare – he may look diminutive, but he’s fierce. Look at him, he’s about to kick your ass. The Rocket Pop! is also one of the select few that features a bobble-head! Funko’s line of Pop! dolls also consists of Star-Lord (masked and un-masked), Gamora, Drax, several versions of Groot, Ronan, Nebula, Yondu, Thanos, and The Collector!

This has been another edition of Funko Friday here at The No Seatbelt Blog. Past and future installments of this series can be found under “The Toy Chest” section on my website. Check out all the other blogs that I write on movies, music, beer, toys, and more, every week! Until next time, keep calm and collect on!

Film Analysis: One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

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When it comes to studying the history of film, there are four main approaches employed by historians, theorists, critics, and fans to assign importance or value to any given film. The aesthetic approach, otherwise known as the masterpiece approach, focuses on movies that are said by the film-watching population at large to be works of arts, and also gives credence to the directors that bring those films to life. The technological approach delves into the advancement of technology associated with the production of film, as new inventions have blessed movies increasingly better quality of picture and sound. Continue reading

Funko Friday: Butch Coolidge

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My collection of Funko’s Pop! vinyl dolls has grown significantly over the past couple of weeks, and the latest addition to my burgeoning trove of these addictive collectibles is none other than Butch Coolidge, the character made famous by Bruce Willis in Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece, Pulp Fiction. If you want just a glimpse of Butch’s trials in this most brilliant film, he spends his time beating an opponent to death in a boxing ring, evading and eventually attempting to run down his former ally Marcellus Wallace, berating his well-meaning girlfriend about forgetting to bring along his father’s prized watch before they try to make their escape, and having a climactic run-in with Marcellus’ henchman Vincent Vega, played by John Travolta in one of his greatest roles. Continue reading