Friday, 29 August 2008
Go here quick!
Why? It's a free MP3 download of that there electro-Mando-pop BBC Olympics score. Only available until some time today. I is slow on the uptake! barely worth archiving is it? Oh well, I have (quite considerably) anyway. For future readers, who perhaps fancy their file sharing luck, the piece is called Journey to the East. Hopefully by then someone will have edited out the mandatory BBC shill for a games that's already ended. There's no pleasing me!
Thursday, 28 August 2008
Jack 'The King' Kirby would have been 91 today. Kirby told tales of barrel chested brawn men, sent from space, leaping across urban abstractscapes. Crackling with furious sunspot energy, their justice was at the disaster point of an explode punch. Frown faces. Negative space adventuring. Deep cackle laughs. Mondo aristocrats. Twenty series seed concepts a page; Kirby makes everything else look super mega boring.
Thursday, 21 August 2008
Seeing Guillermo Del Toro's latest in a few short hours. I am giddy! It helps that the movie is based on my current favourite on-going comic - the adventures of Anung un Rama, The World Destroyer, The Beast of the Apocalypse, Big Red, Hellboy!
Tuesday, 19 August 2008
Don't worry! I shan't. Puzzling through unpacked PC bits recently, I came across many packets of this anti tea-time treat. Mustn't eat. Mustn't eat. What's it for then? I have always wondered. Apparently, it regulates local humidity to prevent spoilage. Excellent. Thanks Internet! Boringly, it doesn't appear that allowing even a grain to pass your lips will end your life. Following that reveal I had visions of these lusty spheres soaking up all human moisture, leaving nought but a powdery, regretful mess behind. Oh well. Wiki assures me that rice is a low-tech alternative. You can eat that!
Slowly worked my way through BioShock's Hard difficulty a few days ago. Having the last 40G points absent from my pointless 360 game-complete roster was something I was no longer prepared to tolerate. I'm not one to complain (heh), but Holy Moses! What a total spam-fest! Very little has been done to make the game in the least bit enjoyable for the first few hours. Instead, it's just a values hike on enemy endurance that leaves the user locked in a respawn energy leaker drudge, with weapons that wouldn't bruise a peach. Thanks a lot!
Try and fight one of the child mech warder Big Daddies and you'll piss ALL of your ammo away, and find yourself having to make endless distance jaunts from the nearest (infinite continue) Vita Chamber, to the scene of your latest defeat. That's if Mr Bubbles and co haven't wandered off to do something more productive. Hard also exposes the sheer lack of imagination ascribed to enemy attack patterns - the dive duds Daddies for instance will do little more than repeatedly charge crush you at near teleport speeds. This leaves you longing for a super jump Plasmid that never turns up.
This anti-fun holds fast right up until you get the camera and are finally able to do some damage research on Rapture's mutant parade. You'll get a middle portion of fun, challenging gaming before the goal posts are again moved for the last third and your again left with attrition inch warring.
I regret bothering. Hard difficulties, when done correctly, allow for a a denser, considered gaming experience. Barely explored weapon sets gain new uses and value as you try and puzzle out the best tool for each job. Not here though. No sir. Your most crucial weapon here is limitless patience.
Has anyone been watching Big Brother this year? I've caught a recap or two recently. Jesus fuck, these housemates. I find them all to be quite hateful biffs. I really do. It's not that it's well easier to write agitated hate than genuine insightful praise. Lord no.
Rex is a pin-eyed yupp-monster. He's house king at the moment which means he's centre fucking stage. Gah and ugh. Rex is monstrously aggressive, especially with ladies. Recently, he's taken to showing off to the Mope Collective: Darnel and Mo'. This mainly involves alluding to having had sex with women other than his current girlfriend. KING AMONGST MEN! His lady friend Nicole wavers between a moan faced ingrate, and a whip thin victim. Since she entered the house Rex has subjected her to a sustained tweak of head abuse. Last night saw him ladding about the house whilst she had a total mind-meltdown - Rex hiding in the prison bedroom, surrounded by the kind of girls Nicole thinks he'd love to cheat on her with; Nicole dumbstruck door haunting before popping off outside to smoke in the pissing rain. Did Rex lift a finger to comfort her? Did he fuck. What a cunt eh?
Mope Collective Darnel and Mo just set round 'rapping' about rep and pop psychoanalysing everything into ultra boring abstraction:
"Ah man, you walked over there, that means you hate everything and I won't get a girl! I AIN'T PLAYIN'!"
Fuck it off. The incessant whinging and whining from Darnel especially would be enough to put any women off men for life. "Ugh. I'm so inferior! No-one will ever love me!" etc. If it's not that, it's impromptu rap sessions - so interminably awful I have to go and listen to Illmatic immediately, lest I be completely put off all forms of hip-hoppin'.
Other that it's delusion cabals talking up clandestine conspiracy masterplans for girls who are just dead nice. "There's another side to her!" Lisa bleats about Rachel every other second of everyday. No there fucking isn't. She's just pleasant and a bit jolly hockey sticks. There's a depressing amount of media savvy too, this year has seen the emergence of a new strain of unpopular sop: "I'm just being a dick to gauge my outside popularity!" This excuse bleeding into half-arsed nobility whines about how some contestants are so selfless, they're prepared to be a cunt to everyone, just so they can lose. Walk out instead! Just go!
Mikey should learn to fucking EAT too.
Short film. Short review.
Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB: 1967 George Lucas university short. Hive of mechanised white-out bureaucrats track-chatter escapee drone-cog runner. Heavy on data-stream sun spot ellipses and vacuum sealed underground empire hell.
Friday, 15 August 2008
Well, more accurately it's 101 now. Yes, that previous post was my 100th. To celebrate, here's my favourite image from the first page of Google image results for "100". Slim pickings indeed. Who knew Scotland had a £100 note? Well, not me anyway.
Thanks for reading.
Thanks for reading.
Second time around and Shigehiro Ozawa has fallen out of love with Chiba's raw prowling physicality, instead choosing to represent this fight sequel in as tight and immediate a way as possible. Fights are claustrophobic, hand-held wails rather than slow paced thumps as Chiba gets another mobster cob-on.
As in the previous film, the notionally mercenary Tsurugi finds himself at odds with his paymaster's evil agenda. It's a wonder anyone still hires him. This time around the money men plan to off roley-poley karate don Masaoka for sticking his nose into a mob buy-out of East Asian fighting schools. Unfortunately for the cash flashers, Tsurugi has a soft-spot for the incorruptible Masaoka - "He's the only man who understands me."
Ozawa tacks on a few of Bond's lifestyle magazine elements, presumably to give the sequel some broader appeal / economic pep. Tsurugi gets to growl at a lady in a lift, naturally she fawns all over him. Pickup sex quickly sours, turning into a nasty near-miss Verhoeven honey-trap. Turns out Tsurugi is also quite willing to sadistically snap the fairer sex into oblivion too. Return of The Street Fighter maintains its prequel's high standard of violence and bodily harm - a prison hit is the stand out - although it never quite exceeds the first film. There's nothing in this sequel to touch The Street Fighter's impromptu castration of a burly rapist.
Return is unfortunately dense with filler material too. Recycled footage from The Street Fighter pops up far too often in the brief 79 minute running time. These transposed scenes play out in their entirety too. Thankfully these second-hand additions include the fantastically pivotal flashback of Tsurugi's Father being executed - this time inspiring Tsurugi to down a bottle of cheap white plonk and spit it all over his body in some kind of demented pre-fight baptism.
Several specialist weapon masters get to show-off their abilities to amp up the antagonism. Each gets a couple of minutes to prove just how deadly their chosen style is against stationary breeze blocks. They look like they could be real trouble for our hero in the singular, never mind as a unit. We needn't have worried. When they eventually clash with our man Tsurugi, he punches their eyes out almost immediately.
Bloated and meandering, Return's saving grace is its dying minutes. Chiba relentlessly dogs the ratty, Mafia don responsible for corrupting Japan's martial arts sanctity. Chiba is not up against an equal this time. His prey is completely unable to defend himself against Tsurugi's unstoppable fury. Faced with a screaming, begging inferior, Tsurugi does what any monster would do - he tears strips off him then hurls his haemorrhaging body onto the cab of a petrol tanker. Said truck spins wildly out of control and explodes, taking the Mafia schmuck and an innocent driver with it. Tsurugi just laughs.
It's not about honour. It's not about pride. It's not about schools of thought, or nationality. It's not even about money. What it is about is grinding your opponent under your foot till their hip shatters into bone shrapnel, turning their guts into a pierced, fecal mess. It's about throwing men from balconies and watching their heads shatter into mush on the tarmac below. It's about tearing, clawing, ripping at any dangling weakness. It's about beating everyone into a hateful pulp. It's about victory.
Sonny Chiba fights like a cornered beast. Formal stances are replaced by either ducking opportunism or naked rage. Chiba's fighting style is ugly and mean, lacking any of Chinese Boxing cinema's balletic qualities. Grace is irrelevant - he's out to kill. Structurally, fighting in The Street Fighter is much like Bruce Lee's first few films. Not so much a match-up as an overwhelming pummelling. Chiba is not content to down an opponent either. Snap kicks are out. Howling, gouges, and swipes are in. He intends to cripple.
Chiba plays Takuma Tsurugi - an international bastard for hire saddled with Rakuda Cho, comedy sidekick whom he doesn't even seem to like. Tsurugi pisses off a load of gangsters by asking for far too much money. After annihilating dozens of their henchman, he decides to throw in with their quarry - a pretty young oil magnate played by Yutaka Nakajima - but not before putting several of her bodyguards in comas. Tsurgi is ruthlessly, effortlessly, immoral. Completely willing to sell debt flaunting moochers into sex slavery at the drop of a hat. A man completely and utterly locked into a personal martial arts doomsday by his father's psychotic parting wish: "never trust anyone". He doesn't Tsurgi senior. Never, ever. Mess with Chiba and he'll deform your skull with an X-Ray punch. POW!
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
Shaky Kane has a website! It's full of lovely art! It is over there.
Shaky Kane is part of an illustrious pantheon of artists whose work I found repulsive as a child, but now get sweaty love shakes whenever I stumble upon it. Other members of this exclusive mindscape club include: Mike McMahon, Geoff Senior, Frank Miller, Brendan McCarthy and Jack Kirby.
Mr Kane began his career doodling for the independent British comic likes of Revolver and Deadline, before crashing headfirst into 2000AD and Judge Dredd Megazine, the later two were I had my first whiffs of baulk flirt. His work for this long-standing sci-fi pamphlet duo included religious vigilante future shock series Soul Sisters, the very best X-Files strip rip-off Vector 13, and Shaky's Beyond Belief - a poker faced 'facts' series that had me scratching my head as a youngster.
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Monday, 11 August 2008
Last trailer post for a while I promise. It's becoming a future film dump ground around here. A sorry to the faithful for my lack of updates, I had it busy last week - manual labour, and playing with tens-of-thousands of pounds worth of editing equipment knocked me for six. I've got some draft notes kicking about, I'll try and get them up in the next few days. Expect film reviews.
Anyway! Did you know peyote fan Oliver Stone is directing a biopic of George Walker Bush? It was news to me. W. stars James Brolin as the wow faced forty-third US president. Viewed cold the trailer suggest your basic ho-hum 'underdog triumphs!' narrative, with incongruous good ol' boy frat-pack comedy leanings. That is until you get a Coalition administration people montage set to 'What A Wonderful World'. Are the closing shots of Brolin's troubled jog-face meant to evoke Forrest Gump? Heh. The more I see the tease, the more it plays like mocking wink dig at po-faced arch-Christians. Bush is God's appointed man after all.
W. is out mid October, directed by Oliver Stone and co-written by Stone and his Wall Street accomplice Stanley Weiser.
And yeah, that is Mr Fantastic Bland-o Ioan Gruffudd playing Tony Blair.
Thursday, 7 August 2008
Saturday, 2 August 2008
"Resign! Or be prosecuted."
Another classic Ahnoldt trailer, and also an excellent meditation on his persona appeal: bad guys pace rooms plotting idly whilst Schwarzenegger loads and fires extermination guns elsewhere. There will be no mercy! Or much talking!
Excellent use of the theme from Walter Hill's The Warriors too.
My all-time favourite teaser trailer.
Shot by the late great Stan Winston in 1990, with Ahnoldt on loan for the day from Kindergarten Cop.
I first saw this on holiday in Florida in about 1997. We'd been to the local mall, and I'd blown a big chunk of pocket money savings on a two VHS set of the extended version of Terminator 2. Prior to entering the shop, I didn't even know an article of such wonder existed. An even longer version of T2! You can imagine my joy-buzz overload meltdown. My Dad wasn't sure our PAL VCR back home would play it. I was fairly sure, having scoured the manual a few times trying to work out how to copy rental tapes, and didn't care either way. I had to have it! The above fragment of one minute magic was on the second cassette, along with two deleted scenes and a handful of documentaries. Back in those pre-DVD (Laserdisc never took off in the UK) days, this was manna from heaven for a film freak like me.
Have you seen BBC Sport's Beijing Olympics trail? A zippy little animated motion movie featuring characters from the Jamie Hewlett / Damon Albarn Journey to the West opera.
It's two minutes of Monkey magic!
It's two minutes of Monkey magic!