Tuesday, March 19, 2019

THE BATMAN FILES

Since first appearing in the pages of DETECTIVE COMICS #27 on March 30, 1939, Batman has stood out as one of the world's favorite superheroes. A symbol of bravery, ingenuity, and heroism, who has a mantra that he won't kill when bringing criminals to justice providing a role model of integrity for generations of fans. The Caped Crusader has been an iconic figure in American pop culture for 80 years.

As Warner Bros. celebrates 80 years of Batman throughout 2019 with special releases, products and events, now seems like a good time to pick up THE BATMAN FILES by Mathew Manning. Written from the perspective of being Bruce Wayne's personal journal regarding his experiences as Batman this book provides an indepth look into the history of the Dark Knight. THE BATMAN FILES is a 308 page 8.9" x 11.2" hardcover dossier that details Bruce Wayne's crime fighting endeavors compiled by Manning in collaboration with DC Comics.



The book doesn't just rehash previous stories from comic books, novels, movies, television shows and video games though. THE BATMAN FILES immerses readers into the world of Bruce Wayne's alter ego. It really has the appearance of a personal journal or scrap book so it feels as if you are reading through a real life diary detailing the adventures of Batman.

Providing a complete outline of Batman's war on crime, the book provides notes about the Caped Crusader's friends and foes ranging from Robin, Batgirl, and the Justice League to Catwoman, Penguin and the Joker that appear to be in Bruce Wayne's own handwriting. THE BATMAN FILES is filled with Gotham City Police reports, newspaper and magazine clippings from publications within the DC Universe, blueprints, schematics, and maps. An Arkham Asylum psychiatric report for Jonathan Crane ( aka Scarecrow ); a college admission letter from Hudson University to Richard Grayson (the first Robin); the death certificate for Jason Todd (the second Robin), sketches of Batmobile designs; a newspaper clipping from the Gotham City Herald on the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne all provide an illusion of authenticity. My son reads this book over and over again because he says it feels like he has been transported within the DC Universe as he peruses through it.



I've quite enjoyed reading THE BATMAN FILES as well. I'm a big fan of looking through blueprints, technical schematics, maps and other forms, drawings and pictures that provide an enhanced view of the vehicles and locations from sci-fi and superhero stories.  This book is packed full of these sort of details. Blueprints of the Batwing, drawings of the Batcave's layout, a map of Gotham City, schematics for Batman's utility belt. There is a lot of stuff to geek out about compiled within THE BATMAN FILES.

THE BATMAN FILES by Mathew Manning is available from Andrew McMeel Publishing. It can be purchased at amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Books-A -Million (BAM!) and Indie Bound community of independent local book stores. A must have book for any Batman fan!



The book provides a dossier of private photos, police reports, news clippings, and journal entries that provides a timeline of significant events in the metamorphosis of Batman from first son of Gotham City to shadowy Dark Knight. THE BATMAN FILES is a great read for anyone who want to delve into the Caped Crusaders history during this year that mark's the superhero's 80th anniversary of being introduced in Detective Comics.

To stay tuned in to special products, publications and events associated with this milestone year in Batman's history keep an eye out for the hashtags #Batman80 and #LongLiveTheBat on social media. You can also visit Batman80.com for the latest news and updates from DC Comics about how Batman's 80th anniversary is being celebrated. Plus don't forget to follow @Geekdad248 on Twitter and Instagram to see how ageekdaddy.com is having a super time celebrating Batman's turning 80. You have to agree Batman has aged well and looks great for being 80!


BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES LEVEL PACK FOR LEGO DC SUPER VILLAINS VIDEO GAME

My son has been having himself a wonderful time lately spending time playing the LEGO DC SUPER VILLAINS video game. Players create a completely customizable character who leads a team of villains to foil the evil plans of a interdimensional visitors intending to rule the world by impersonating super heroes. With the planet's actual heroes having vanished from the face of the Earth it is up to the planet's villains to save the day. How ironic is that?!

So with all the fun he has been having playing LEGO DC SUPER VILLAINS, it was exciting for him to discover that some new content has been added to the game.  As part of Warner Bros. celebration of Batman's 80th birthday, they have added a new level and playable mini-figure characters inspired by Batman: The Animated Series, the ground-breaking, Emmy Award winning series famous for its film noir aesthetics, intelligent and intricate stories, and stylized presentation. This additional content can be downloaded as part of the Season Pass which is included with the LEGO DC Super-Villains Deluxe Edition or can be purchased as an individual add-on to the game for $2.99.



In addition to a new level of action with a Batman: The Animated Series theme, seven characters from this television show can now be played within LEGO DC SUPER VILLAINS with this add on pack to the video game:

The Phantasm is the secret villainous identity of Andrea Beaumont, a love interest of Bruce Wayne’s prior to him becoming Batman, she is set on avenging her father’s death at the hands of a mysterious mob member, who winds up becoming The Joker. She dons an outfit reminiscent of the Grim Reaper and wears a smoke-generating device and scythe-bladed gauntlet.

Captain Clown appeared in the series as an android programmed to be a loyal subject to The Joker and an enemy to Batman. As a villainous robot with unique artificial intelligence, its strength always presented a challenge for Batman to defeat.

Man-Bat was the first villain to appear in the pilot episode of Batman: The Animated Series. Afflicted with a disease that threatened to leave him deaf, Dr. Kirk Langstrom devised an experimental cure that merged the DNA of humans and bats. After testing it on himself, however, the cure backfired and transformed him into a giant bat-like creature.

The Mad Hatter began as timid scientist Jervis Tetch who was experimenting with mind control technology for Wayne Enterprises. Attempting to impress a love interest, he dresses as the Mad Hatter character from his favorite story book and uses his mind control technology to brainwash people to do his bidding.

Batman (Bruce Wayne) pledged his life to an endless crusade against all criminals when his parents were taken from him a kid so that what happened to him will never happen again to anyone else. A self-made Super Hero who has no Super Powers, Bruce travelled the world focused on training both his body and mind to near physical perfection and when the time was right, he returned to Gotham City donning the Cape and Cowl becoming Batman. Using his incredible skills and abilities coupled with an arsenal of gadgets and cutting-edge technology, Batman keeps a watchful, protective eye over the citizens of Gotham City, especially against costumed criminals like The Joker.

Known as Batman's main arch-nemesis, The Joker is an unpredictably nefarious criminal who uses every evil trick his mind can muster to try to destroy Batman and take over Gotham City. In Batman: The Animated Series, The Joker starts out completing criminal jobs for the mob and is cornered by Batman during an attempted robbery at the Ace Chemical Plant. He falls into a vat of chemicals disfiguring him and further warping his mind, giving birth to The Joker.

The notorious and iconic Harley Quinn made her first appearance in Batman: The Animated Series when she and Joker attempted to plot against Commissioner Gordon only to be stopped by Batman. Psychologist Dr. Harlene Quinzel began her career at Arkham Asylum, and it was there she first met The Joker. While trying to psychoanalyze what made the clown tick, he turned the tables and toyed with her mind and she ultimately helped him escape becoming his criminal sidekick and love interest, Harley Quinn.



LEGO DC SUPER VILLAINS is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Windows PC.  For more information about the game, visit chaos-is-coming.wbgames.com

While playing this BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES LEVEL PACK for LEGO DC SUPER VILLAINS here is a great soundtrack playlist on Spotify to enjoy. Created by DC Comics as part of this year's Batman 80th anniversary celebration the playlist is surefire way to get amped up while playing the game. Stream Batman: The Ultimate Collection on Spotify to immerse yourself in the DC comic book universe while you play LEGO DC SUPER VILLAINS.



For more information about how Batman's 80th anniversary is being celebrated in 2019 look for the hashtags #Batman80 and #LongLiveTheBat on social media. You can also visit www.Batman80.com for news and updates.

Monday, March 18, 2019

MARY POPPINS RETURNS

It's Mary Poppins! MARY POPPINS RETURNS arrives on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital on March 19, 2019. Thanks Walt Disney Studios for sending ageekdaddy.com the movie to enjoy for a family movie night prior to its official release date. They've also provided us with some fun activity sheets to share and a MARY POPPINS RETURNS Blu-ray Combo Pack to giveaway.

ACTIVITY SHEETS

Enjoy this MARY POPPINS RETURNS activity pack that includes coloring pages featuring memorable scenes from the movie along with activities such as completing a maze puzzle, making bookmarks and building a kite. My daughter loves giraffes so she enjoyed helping Georgie find his lost stuffed giraffe Gillie in the maze puzzle. She let out a squeal of joy when seeing the stuffed animal while we were watching the movie.



GIVEAWAY

Who would like to add MARY POPPINS RETURNS to their home entertainment video library? You can buy the movie on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital starting March 19, 2019 plus enter to win MARY POPPINS RETURNS in our ageekdaddy.com giveaway. Simply complete the entries in the rafflecopter form below before 11:59 pm ET on March 29, 2019.

Must be 18 years old and a United States resident to participate. One lucky winner will be randomly selected from all eligible entries. Walt Disney Studios will be responsible for delivery of the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway 
Each household is only eligible to win this prize once via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog or social media site, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

ABOUT THE MOVIE

In MARY POPPINS RETURNS Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) — just a child when Mary Poppins first visited 17 Cherry Tree Lane — is now a grown man raising his children Annabel (Pixie Davies), John (Nathanael Saleh) and Georgie (Joel Dawson) with help from his sister Jane (Emily Mortimer). Times are tough in Depression-era London but the winds begin to change and the enigmatic governess Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt), whose unique magical skills can turn any ordinary task into a fantastic adventure, enters the lives of the Banks family once again, having not aged a single day. Teaming up with an old friend, Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda), they take the Banks children on a series of whimsical adventures, encountering colorful characters like Mary’s eccentric Cousin Topsy (Meryl Streep), Jack’s lovable band of leeries and bank executives William Weatherall Wilkins (Colin Firth) and Mr. Dawes Jr. (Dick Van Dyke) — bringing life, love and laughter back into the home.


EXPANDED CONTENT

Of course a home entertainment video release has to include bonus material along with the movie. Deleted scenes, sing-along mode and featurettes add lots more to enjoy beyond the feature presentation. Here is the expanded content that comes with MARY POPPINS RETURNS:

BLU-RAY & 4K ULTRA HD


Deleted Song—“The Anthropomorphic Zoo” - In this early song sequence, Mary Poppins and the children visit a very special zoo where the humans and animals trade places.

The Practically Perfect Making of “Mary Poppins Returns” - Join filmmakers and cast on an amazing journey to embrace the legacy of the original film while making a fresh modern sequel. 
  • Introduction - Filmmakers and cast remember the first Mary Poppins movie and share the thrill of working on “Mary Poppins Returns.” 
  • “(Underneath the) Lovely London Sky” - Discover how the team mined PL Travers' books for a fresh perspective on a much-loved character. Plus, meet the Banks children! 
  • “Can You Imagine That?” - Be on location for Mary's iconic entrance from the sky, and explore the movie's original songs, inspired by the Sherman Brothers.
  •  “Nowhere to Go but Up” - Experience being on set with the legendary Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury, and celebrate the joy of choosing the right balloon! 
Seeing Things From a Different Point of View”: The Musical Numbers of “Mary Poppins Returns” - Go behind the scenes and experience the film's production numbers from a new angle. 
  • “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” - Led by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the cast performs the film's biggest production number, with dancing lamplighters, bicyclists and more! 
  • “The Royal Doulton Music Hall” / “A Cover Is Not the Book” - Find out what it takes to create two musical extravaganzas inside an animated world, highlighted by dancing animated penguins! 
  • “Turning Turtle” - Mary's eccentric cousin, Topsy Turvy, played by Meryl Streep, has an unusual house that turns this musical number upside-down. 
  • “Can You Imagine That?” - Dive under the bubbles with the cast and crew to see how this exuberant number was created. 
Back to Cherry Tree Lane: Dick Van Dyke Returns – Dick Van Dyke, who played Bert and Mr. Dawes Sr. in the first film, returns after 54 years to Cherry Tree Lane as Mr. Dawes Jr. 

Practically Perfect Bloopers – There's nowhere to go but up with the cast and crew in this lighthearted collection of flubs, goofs and prop fails! 

Deleted Scenes:
  •  Leaving Topsy’s – After their visit to Cousin Topsy, Mary, Jack and the children pause to take a look back. 
  • “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” – The leeries light up the screen in this extended clip from the movie's biggest musical production. 
Play Movie in Sing-Along Mode – Sing along with all your favorite songs as you watch the movie.

DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE


 Play Movie with Audio Commentary – Watch the film with commentary by director Rob Marshall and producer John DeLuca.

To find out where to buy MARY POPPINS RETURNS on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital skip over to movies.disney.com/mary-poppins-returns

Saturday, March 16, 2019

5 WAYS TO HAVE A SHAMROCKIN' ST. PATRICK'S DAY

How do you plan on spending St. Patrick's Day? Enjoying a meal of corned beef and cabbage. Indulging in some pints of green beer. Doing a jig to some Irish music. Having kids engage in a leprechaun hunt. There are a lot of traditions for celebrating this holiday that honors the patron saint of Ireland who helped introduce Christianity to the emerald isle.

With St. Patrick's Day falling on Sunday, my Catholic family will be starting off the day with our normal weekly routine of attending mass at our local parish. Then we will be participating in some community festivities to celebrate our Irish heritage. Plus we'll find some time to feast on green cheese and other tasty treats using a great snack tray set that the folks from catholiccentral.com sent our way. They also provided ageekdaddy.com with a St. Patrick's Day Feast Kit to giveaway too so keep reading to find out how you have a chance to win it.

5 WAYS TO HAVE A SHAMROCKIN' SAINT PATRICK'S DAY

Don't have any plans yet of your own for celebrating the greenest day of the year? Check out these suggestions from Kai and Libby, the hosts of catholiccentral.com on 5 ways to have yourself a SHAMROCKIN' Saint Patrick's Day. You can turn to Catholic Central to tune into a collection of videos that entertain, enlighten and inspire people regarding their Catholic faith produced by a team of witty writers and learned theologians.

 photo shamrock_image_zps1pwdw1k4.png

GIVEAWAY


Enter to win a deluxe bamboo cheese board set that is great for using when hosting family and friends at your home for St. Patrick's Day, Easter and Christmas celebrations.  Complete the rafflecopter entries below by 11:59 pm ET on Sunday, March 24, 2019 to participate in this blog giveaway. One lucky winner will be randomly selected to win this St. Patrick's Day Feast Kit prize courtesy of Catholic Central. Must be a United States resident over 18 years old to participate.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ABOUT CATHOLIC CENTRAL

You have questions about the Catholic faith and what it means to be Catholic. We have answers! We’ve created shareable, snackable videos that teach the timeless truths and deep history of the Church with humor and heart. Produced in the Family Theater Productions studios on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, CATHOLIC CENTRAL entertains, enlightens and inspires.

Friday, March 15, 2019

BATMAN VS TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

DC animated movie
Cowabunga Batman! In celebrating the Caped Crusader's 80th anniversary this year, Warner Bros. Animation is releasing a feature length animated Batman movie featuring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Inspired by the stories of the IDW Publishing / DC “Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” comic book cross-over mini-series written by James Tynion IV and Freddie Williams II and utilizing the imagery of Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons; this animated thriller will be available May 14 via Digital and June 4 on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD.

It’ll take the unlikely unification of Batman and the Heroes in a Half-shell to overcome combined villainous forces afoot in Gotham City in this movie that any fan of superhero adventures is going to want to add to their home entertainment video library. Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles finds Gotham City reaching new levels of danger when Shredder joins forces with Ra's al Ghul to enact a nefarious plan – leading to the team-up of the Dark Knight and the Turtles to combat the combined might of the Foot Clan and League of Assassins! Holy Crossovers Dude!



Complementing the film's animation is an all-star cast is led by Troy Baker (Batman: Arkham Origins, The Last of Us) as the voice of both Batman and the Joker – making Baker the first actor to ever play both roles in the same film. Opposite Baker are the Ninja Turtles themselves – Emmy Award/Golden Globe Award/SAG Award winner Darren Criss (American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Glee) as Raphael, Kyle Mooney (Saturday Night Live) as Michelangelo, Baron Vaughn (Grace and Frankie) as Donatello, and Eric Bauza (Looney Tunes Cartoons, The Woody Woodpecker Show) as Leonardo.

Other key members of the voice cast include Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) as Batgirl, John DiMaggio (Adventure Time, Futurama) as Mr. Freeze, Tara Strong (Batman: The Animated Series, Teen Titans, Teen Titans Go!) as Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy, Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Penguin, Carlos Alazraqui (Reno 911!) as Bane, Cas Anvar (The Expanse) as Ra’s al Ghul, Keith Ferguson (Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends) as Baxter Stockman & Two-Face, Brian George (Seinfeld) as Alfred, Ben Giroux (Hart of Dixie) as Robin, Andrew Kishino (The Lion Guard) as Shredder, and Jim Meskimen (Parks and Recreation) as Commissioner Gordon & Scarecrow.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


In addition to the featured presentation, the home entertainment release of Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will include enhanced content as well. Bonus material that will be included with the Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital editions of the movie include:

Cowabunga, Batman! When Comic Worlds Collide (Featurette)– Super hero crossovers have inspired some of the most unique comics of all time. Explore the concept of the crossover, and see the creativity that ensues when the worlds of Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles meet.

Fight Night in Gotham (Featurette) – DC animated movies have continued to push the realism of hand-to-hand combat on-screen. Take an exciting look at both Batman’s and the Ninja Turtles’ fighting styles, and how the creators make it feel like you’re in the fight!

A Sneak Peek at the next DC Universe Movie, Batman: Hush – An advance look at the next animated film in the popular DC Universe Movies collection.

DC Universe Movies

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

THE INCREDIBLE EXPLODING KID

Incredible Exploding Kid
THE SUPER LIFE OF BEN BRAVER by Marcus Emerson was according to my son the best book he read last year. It is the story of a tween aged boy named Ben Braver who is essentially an ordinary kid who just wants to spend his summer vacation watching television, playing video games and eating his favorite candy. Through a twist of fate Ben finds himself in a position to act like a superhero in the comic books he reads and tries to save someone in need of help.  Though he doesn't actually have any super powers his act of bravery earns him in invitation to go to a special school called Kepler Academy.

It is a school where children with super abilities learn to control their powers. He finds himself with the chance to become the superhero he's always dreamed of becoming. The book delves into the humorous situations that occur as Ben tries to fit in with his classmates and takes readers on an exciting adventure as the only kid in school without super powers ends up being the hero who saves them all when the school is in danger.

My son was totally engrossed with THE SUPER LIFE OF BEN BRAVER. He didn't put the book down for a few days once he started reading it. So this 10-year old was ecstatic when Macmillan Children's Publishing Group sent him an advance reader's edition of the next story in Emerson's Ben Braver series ... THE INCREDIBLE EXPLODING KID. The boy read this new 320 page book from cover to cover in two days. Wow! He was so enthused to read this book and enjoyed it just as much as the first one.

Middle Grade Reading


Full of goofy humor, wacky characters and zany situations meant to be amusing to elementary and middle school aged students, THE INCREDIBLE EXPLODING KID is sure to delight any kid who has dreamed of being a super hero. Breaking up the text are eye-catching sketches and comic strips that help transports readers to a fantastic place full of excitement and high jinks. Its juvenile humor is balanced and complimented by an inspirational theme which communicates that a person doesn't need to have super powers to be a super hero.

In the INCREDIBLE EXPLODING KID, Ben Bravor is faced with the dilema of whether the students and teachers at school will think of him as a hero or a hoax. Even though he saved Kepler Academy from total destruction during his first year at this secret middle school for kids with special abilities he still doesn't fit in. Ben has been hiding his lack of super abilities which is getting harder during this new school year as his classmates' powers are getting stronger. He is going to have to risk everything now in order to make his dream of becoming the ultimate superhero a reality.

Incredible Exploding Kid


So what happens? You'll have to pick up THE SUPER LIFE OF BEN BRAVER: THE INCREDIBLE EXPLODING KID to find out! Available now in both e-book or print editions.

CROSSED UP

middle grade book
I'm always on the lookout for interesting middle grade level books for my twins who are in fourth grade to read. They've recently become interested in the sport of basketball playing in a local Salvation Army rec league and we've gone to see Detroit Pistons and Harlem Globetrotters games during the last few months.  So I thought the kids would enjoy M L Rosynek's middle grade book CROSSED UP which involves a youth basketball team solving a pirate mystery.

MIDDLE GRADE READING

Books categorized as middle grade are written to be read by boys and girls between the ages of eight and twelve who are in third through sixth grade.  To be age appropriate authors in this literary category limit sexual content, swearing, gore and violence. On the other hand, middle grade books tend to provide a healthy dose of adventure and silly humor to make them especially entertaining for juvenile audiences.

Middle grade books tend to have main characters that are around the same age as their targeted readers.  The books also utilize sentence structures and vocabulary that are suitable for independent reading by elementary and junior high school aged children.  These style of books are great for improving both confidence and enjoyment when it comes to getting kids to want to read.

SAY AHOY TO ADVENTURE

A Texas high school basketball team has their quest to bring home a championship trophy interrupted when they discover the hotel they are staying at is haunted. Solving the 200-year old haunting of the Galvez Hotel isn't going to be an easy lay up for the team, but the boys are up to the challenge of both winning the big basketball game and freeing the trapped spirits of the pirate ghosts they've discovered. Inspired by The Goonies, Stranger Things and her own sons' basketball team road trips, M L Rosynek has readers embark on a pirate adventure that combines sports with a spooky mystery.

As the boys learn about the tyrant pirate Jean Laffite and his crew who are haunting the hotel their trip becomes much more than just playing in a basketball game.  They are going to try to set free the trapped souls of these pirates without the boys becoming ghosts themselves. Can the boys free these lost souls and win their basketball championship?

M L Rosynek


Pick up a hardcover, paperback or digital edition of the book to find out.  With a surprise appearance by NBA great Shaquille O'Neal and a conclusion that is sure to leave pre-teen readers "hooked" on the ending, this book provides an intriguing adventure by combing athletic themes with a mystery. CROSSED UP also communicates an important message …  no treasure is more valuable than the memories created with friends and family. You can find it at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.