Culture

Tue
03
Jan

Voting Open for the Best of 2016!

Critical Blast 2016 Awards

The year 2016 is officially behind us. And while many of us regard that sentiment with a wipe of the forehead and a heartfelt, "Phew!" there were also a lot of good things to come out of the year. And this is where we recognize those things.

This year, Critical Blast is offering voting opportunities on ten categories, expanding on last year's awards. In addition to best movie, television show, film actor, etc. we have also added a voting category for our cosplay feature added this year, allowing our readers to vote for the first ever Critical Blast Bombshell of 2016!

The nominations were settled on by the Critical Blast editorial staff, but we realize that we don't know everything about our readers. So every category (with the exception of the Bombshell category), readers have the opportunity to suggest an "Other" option, so there's no reason to let your opinion go unheard.

Fri
24
Mar

The Search for Satoshi Nakamoto: Who is Bitcoin's Enigmatic Creator?

Brownian Bitcoin Pile

(image: "Brownian Bitcoin Piles" by fdecomite (CC BY 2.0))

Very little is known about the bitcoin creator or creators, except for the name Satoshi Nakamoto. But no-one knows if this is a person or group name. This lack of information has sparked a lot of interest in the bitcoin origins and the personality or personalities behind this digitally encrypted currency. Some people believe the name is a pseudonym as it can be translated to “thinking clearly inside foundation”, which adds further to the mystery of who is Satoshi Nakamoto?

Fri
17
Mar

Weekend Blast - Recap of the Week and Commentary on Stephen Colbert

My Two-Bits: My Love of Stephen Colbert

A few weeks ago, my daughter asked me the question, “If you could spend the day with anyone, who would it be?”  I started to talk about family and all that, and she said, “I mean famous person.” And without hesitation, I answered “Stephen Colbert.”  Colbert is a source of endless fascination and entertainment for me.  

Mon
13
Mar

Rumor Mill: Man of Steel's Henry Cavill Has Found Hal Jordan

Has Kal found Hal? If you enjoy a good conspiracy then we've got a juicy one for you!

File this one under EXTREME SPECULATION but given the clues, it's not out of the realm of possibility that Henry Cavill being spotted in a gym with Nathan Fillion could mean more than just a random encounter. On February 28th, Henry Cavill posted a couple of interesting pictures to his Instagram account:

His dog, 'Kal', staring out the window with an interesting caption:

Mon
13
Mar

Stranger Fruit's Strange Defense of Michael Brown

Stranger Fruit by Jason Pollock

In 2014, Ferguson, Missouri went from being a nondescript suburb of St. Louis to ground zero in the debate of racism. Two and a half year's later, director Jason Pollock shows that those wounds are still struggling to heal.

Critical Blast has already weighed in a few times on these events, having already opined on the events as they happened, and have spoken with Ferguson residents (like rapper Justin B. Williams). STRANGER FRUIT, however, has us chiming in again on what one would have thought was a settled issue.

Wed
01
Mar

In Like a Lion: March Bombshell Michael Bruener is Ready to Blow You Away

March 2017 Bombshell

It seems no matter what convention you attend, there's always a joker running around. No, literally, a Joker! Sometimes more than one.

But few can carry it off with the panache of our March Bombshell, Michael Bruener! Not only does he have the perfect bone structure for the lanky clown prince of crime, his tailoring skills deliver a tuxedo that you just can't pick up off the rack or a costume shop.

We were also impressed with Michael's John Constantine, someone who doesn't get a lot of cosplay attention. So as the winds of March bring in a blustery Spring, we hope you'll take a moment to enjoy Michael's unique cosplay and follow him on Instragram.

Critical Blast Bombshell, March 2017

Michael Bruener

Tue
28
Feb

The First Ever Critical Blast Bombshell of the Year is...

Curtains

 

 

Not a hoax! Not a dream! Not an imaginary story! Yes, we're unveiling here and now the winner of our first ever Critical Blast Bombshell of the Year!

The Critical Blast Bombshell of the Month was an idea we had in an editorial brainstorming session that involved no alcohol. Starting back in July, we said we wanted to devote attention to some of the great cosplayers out there -- but we were going to be a little different about it. We weren't going for cheesecake (although we understand that you can't dress up like a fantasy character without running up against that), but for <i>people</i>, regardless of gender or body type. If you want that, there are too many other places on the Internet you can go to get it.

Thu
16
Feb

A Cringeworthy Marketing Ploy: MiraBurst

MiraBurst

Today’s teens have it tough. There, I said it. Lots of times, kids hear “Well, when I was your age,” or “You think it’s bad these days.” As parents, we often lament that today’s kids are either lazy, or misdirected, or they are getting into all sorts of shenanigans that we could not have even dreamed of. And we are kind of right. Let’s look at some statistics, shall we?

  1. Drugabuse.gov says that almost 5% of 12th graders have used Ecstasy, also referred to as MDMA or Molly.

  2. According to dosomething.org, 50% of high school seniors do not think it’s harmful to try crack or cocaine once or twice, and 40% believe it’s not harmful to use heroin once or twice.

Thu
02
Feb

Valentine's Bombshell Lady Zero Will Stop Hearts

Lady Zero as Zero from Drakengard 3

February is a month that may be short on days, but it's big on heart (it does have Valentine's Day in it, after all!) And in addition to the holiday of love, we at Critical Blast want to make the month big on cosplay as well, and we can't think of a better way to do that than with the extremely talented and dedicated Lady Zero.

Drawing inspiration from video games like FINAL FANTASY, Lady Zero brings us her versions of Zero from DRAKENGARD 3 (seen left, photograph by Lexa One Photagraphie) and Kaine from NieR (below, photograph by Narcisse), this Canadian-based Poliish cosplayer puts her whole heart into her work, and it definitely shows in the results!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Critical Blast Bombshell, February 2017

Lady Zero

Sat
21
Jan

Melissa Benoist Invokes Supergirl During Women's March on Washington

Unless you've been living under a rock, or buried in some deep corner of the world, you know that with Donald Trump now officially President of the United States, there comes a lot of controversy. Many actors in Hollywood have spoken out against our new President. Melissa Benoist, star of The CW's SUPERGIRL, has joined the fray.

Today, the day after President Trump's inauguration, a "Women's March on Washington" movement was planned to raise awareness of several remarks he's made that are derogatory towards women. Melissa Benoist plays a character on television that empowers the feminine spirit. Shown wearing a "Feminist" sweatshirt, her picture just started circulating around the internet holding a sign that reads:

Fri
06
Jan

Weekend Blast: My favorite movies of 2016

My Two Bits: The Movies of the 2016

It’s January.  Which means it’s time for that time-honored tradition of internet columnists spending the next several weeks re-hashing 2016.  I had actually intended for this to be my last column of 2016, but it got pushed back, so instead, I will join the navel gazers.  Promise next week I will move on talk about the exciting world of the future: 2017.

Sun
01
Jan

Ring in the New Year with Our First 2017 Bombshell, Dallas Bryant!

Dallas Bryant as Ram from Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu

New York may have dropped thet ball, but not us here at Critical Blast. It's a national holiday, but we're still set to continue bringing out cosplayers who deserve to have a light shined on their creativity and hard work.

Fri
16
Dec

Weekend Blast - Escape Rooms

My Two Bits: Escape Rooms

I have a huge love for the “point and click” adventure video games that Lucasarts and Sierra put out in the 80’s and 90’s.  Space Quest, King’s Quest, Monkey Island, Sam and Max, Leisure Suit Larry, Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle and on and on.  The problem with these games were they tended to be short, and once you beat them, there wasn’t a lot of replay value to them.  Don’t get me wrong, I would still replay them even when I knew how to get through all the puzzles since many of them had great stories and a great sense of humor.

Fri
09
Dec

Weekend Blast - The Last Witness

My Two-Bits: The Last Witness

Pretty much my entire life, I have had a reading addiction.  It's not as dangerous to the body as a drug addiction, but it can get pretty rough on the wallet.  I have gotten better about using the library, but I still spend quite a bit on books.  The worst part of this addiction is when I really get into a series, and have to wait for the next book.  Dark Tower came close to killing me several times…6 years between books????  

Fri
02
Dec

Weekend Blast - YouTube Culture

My Two-Bits: YouTube Culture

As I close in on 40, I have discovered that I am starting to become a cranky old man.  When it comes to social media, I don’t wander too far out past Facebook or Twitter.  I don’t know the difference between Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, or Periscope.  And for the most part, I am fine with that.  

Thu
01
Dec

Ho Ho...Whoa! Our December Bombshell Aidan Jay is Truly Explosive!

December 2016 Bombshell Aidan Jay: Rapunzel

Tis the season for cosplay! Don't believe us? Visit any of your local department stores and take a look. There'll be elves all over the place, not to mention a saint! And just because they're not carrying bows, arrows and swords doesn't mean they're engaging in any less respected version of cosplay. Heck, they're even getting paid for it, so that's something to aspire to!

To round out the year, we wanted to set up a bombshell who would truly blow you away -- someone who would explode off your screen. And we believe we've found just the one to make the end of the year pop!

Our December Critical Blast Bombshell, Aidan Jay, demonstrated a range of cosplay capability, from the demure princes Rapunzel (inset left) to the wise-cracking explosives nut from OVERWATCH, Junkrat (below). Check her out below, then follow her social media connections.

Fri
18
Nov

Weekend Blast - November 18, 2016

Welcome to the preview of my new weekly entertainment column.  Weekend Blast will be your one-stop for all Critical Blast and entertainment news each Friday.  With the holiday next Friday, we aren't really debuting until December, but I put together this preview to get all the bugs out.  Enjoy!


First look at Arrowverse Crossover!

Thu
17
Nov

How Successful Has Comic Con Been in Las Vegas?

Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con

The Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con is the one place for Nevada’s pop culture community to get together and bond with their fellow geek. What started out as a small little get together has been getting bigger and better every year, with this year drawing in a great crowd of passionate fans. But, this year there were a couple of pretty big changes that managed to mix it up. How does ALVCC compare to other conventions?

Tue
01
Nov

We Give Thanks For Cosplay: Meet November Bombshell, Jamie Krakover

Jamie Krakover as ARROW's Speedy -- an archer at the Arch!

Halloween 2016 is officially in our rearview mirror, but that doesn't mean that dressing up is out of vogue -- not for us, anyway! And that's something we can all be thankful for -- apropos, as November is the month we officially give thanks!

Our November Bombshell, Jamie Krakover, hails from the Midwest, and draws upon film and television for her cosplay inspirations. Whether she's battling the forces of a galactic empire or fighting crime in the streets (that's her Speedy to the left -- an archer at the Gateway Arch!), Jamie combines imagination and intellect to call forth positive female role models in her cosplay.

Critical Blast Bombshell, November 2016

Jamie Krakover

Mon
31
Oct

DC Comics Needs to Fix Harley Quinn for our Daughters

Since her introduction in Batman: The Animated Series, Harley Quinn's popularity has continued to skyrocket into cult status. What happens when that popularity spills over into the minds of young girls?

Known as the bubbly and villainous sidekick to the Joker, Harley Quinn was a seemingly harmless character back in the 90's when Bruce Timm's Batman: The Animated Series was on every television after school. But back then it was clear she was a villain so it was easier to cope with. Nobody would want their child to aspire to be a villain. Eventually her likeness made the jump from cartoon to comic book.

Which is where DC began fleshing out her background and her popularity began to grow.

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