BANTER BLENDER #85: Geeking Out Over The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Ant-Man, and Vintage NES

This week on “The Banter Blender,” Kyle Buchanan (senior editor, Vulture.com) joins Ben Mandelker (bsideblog.com) to talk shop about movies and video games. The two first discuss Kyle’s impressions of the first fifteen minutes of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ before moving on to the fate of movies based on video games. Can there ever be a good one? There’s also plenty of chatter about “Ant-Man,” which is preparing to make the leap to the big screen with Paul Rudd.

Finally, the guys wax nostalgic about some of their favorite vintage Nintendo games including beloved and oft-overlooked “Startropics.”

Come listen!

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BANTER #83: Talking Oscars, The Lego Movie, and Nike Bootcamp with Guest Jessica Ogilvie

This week on “Banter,” Jessica Ogilvie (twitter.com/jessicapauline) joins Ben Mandelker (twitter.com/bsideblog) to hash out everything from The Oscars — including but not limited to Bette Midler, Liza Minnelli, Ellen Degeneres, and many more.

The two also share their rigorous experiences at Nike Training Club boot camp and opine with great warmth about “The Lego Movie.”

Things wraps up once again with further discussion of “Grand Theft Auto,” which continues to entertain immensely.

Lots of great banter. Come listen!

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VIDEO: Super Mario Beads — Just Watch This And Thank Me Later

Some creative souls in Sweden animated a Super Mario Bros. adventure with beads, and the end result is nothing short of awesome, amazing, genius, and great. I think this may be one of the best things I’ve ever seen on YouTube.

For two more shorter adventures, check out the filmmakers’ SMB playlist here. Oh, and here’s a behind-the-scenes / making-of video, which is conveniently in Swedish.

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Jim Bellino Might Just Be Super Mario

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Jim Bellino and wife Alexis from The Real Housewives of Orange County

I mean, the comparison just has to be made.

And if Jim is Mario, that makes Alexis…

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It’s ‘The Walking Dead’ Video Game!

Like zombies? Like The Walking Dead? Like video games? Well, great news: a Walking Dead video game is coming to the PS3 in just a few days — April 30th to be specific. IGN has already reviewed the game — giving it a solid grade of 8.5 (“Great”) — and while the TV show can be a bit too scary for me (spoiler alert: I’m a wimp), this might be just the thing to bide eager viewers over until season three starts up. Enjoy…

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10 Fixes For ‘Draw Something’ That We’d Like To See

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Draw Something surfaced in late February of this year, and within days it became a top seller, going so far as to reach 50 million downloads in only fifty days. It has blown up all over pop culture, causing many people to abandon their endless Words with Friends games and opt for the quicker, more amusing thrills of drawing.

The game certainly has an appeal, but it’s not without its flaws. In fact, ask anyone whose played it for more than thirty minutes, and you’ll hear more than a fair share of grousing about the technical aspects. Truth is, Draw Something is a shoddy, shoddy app whose smart concept has somehow kept it afloat despite its shortcomings.

Luckily, gaming giant Zygna purchased OMGPOP, the small publisher of Draw Something, and soon we will be treated to a much-needed update. Rumor has it the next iteration will feature better social media integration, more words, and who knows what else.

I’m hopeful that Zygna will fix all the major problems, but in case they don’t, here are the major things that should be improved with the game.

Update: Timing is everything. Turns out Zygna released an update JUST TODAY fixing several of these issues. Yay! But still far from perfect…

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Play ‘Mad Men: The Game’ Right Now!!

Hey, remember that brilliant interactive Saved By The Bell YouTube game? Well, the geniuses behind that — the Fine Bros — are back with the equally ambitious and enjoyable Mad Men: The Game. Must I really say anything more? Go give a whirl, and don’t forget that Mad Men is finally back this Sunday. Wheeeeee!!!

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Testing My Site With Tiny Wings!

What’s my favorite new iPhone game? Tiny Wings! The game made its big splash last year, but I finally decided to download it two weeks ago, and it’s been a whimsical, glorious ride. Far more enjoyable than Angry Birds, if you ask me.

So why am I sharing this? Because I need to post something on my blog quickly to test out its speed.

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