Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Half Life 1 and 2 in 1 Minute ! Awesome !!!


CJ7 Trailer

Trailer for the upcoming Scifi/slapstick/comedy from the genius Stephen Chow (director of Shaolin Soccer and Kung fu hustle) finally hits the web and it looks like gold to me!

Plot: Chow plays a man who lives in a partly demolished house. He takes in a homeless boy (who is actually played by a girl, Xu Jiao). As Chow’s character can’t afford to buy a toy for the child, he finds a makeshift toy in the garbage and brings it back to his “son”. The “toy” is actually a powerful alien device and the aliens are desperate to get it back.

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Naturally Juicy: Behind the scenes

A look at the work done by the guys at The Mill in the making of their joint effort with Psyop to develop the popular commercial, Naturally Juicy.

End result

Making of:

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Video: THE KILLS - U.R.A. Fever

The American/British sleaze rock duo The Kills have resurfaced with a third long player entitled Midnight Boom. This time the production credits are handled in part by Spank Rock beat smith, Armani XXXchange and the results are swamp black and electronica tinged. The maiden voyage from the album is this tripnotic ditty accompanied by a punk film noir backdrop as envisioned by cliptip favourite, Sophie Muller. Watch the music video HERE


Video: Kokiriko Bushi by Omodaka

I found this rather distubing, yet compelling and ultimatly very "loopable" song over at Pinktentacle. Its beats are simply some of the coolest I have heard in a while and Im constantly humming it in my daily life. Also the video is really well made and funky fresh! Give it a listen. It grows on you.

Info: Omodaka’s 21st-century disco version of Kokiriko Bushi — an ancient folk song that Gokayama (Toyama prefecture) villagers used to perform for the local Shinto deities — combines synthesized vocals with a Stevie Wonder-ish bassline and ’80s video game chiptune sounds, and the wonderfully quirky and surreal video (animated by Teppei Maki) features a fragile skeleton dancer that shares the floor with lots of disembodied hands and floating eyeball-headed ladies. [Video]

Incidentally, the kokiriko is a type of percussion instrument made from old bamboo used in the roofs of traditional farmhouses. After being all but forgotten, Kokiriko Bushi was revived in the mid-20th century and has become one of Japan’s most well-known folk songs.

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White power?

Filings at the Federal Communications Commission reveal that Sony will be releasing the Ceramic White PlayStation 3 in North America.

Originally released in Japan in November, the 40 GB units comes with a white DualShock 3 controller and retails for JPY 39,980 in the region.

A covering letter from Sony Japan shows that the unit was submitted to the FCC and the American Telecommunications Certification Body in October of last year, requesting short-term confidentiality "to avoid premature release of sensitive information prior to marketing or release of the product to the public."

NPD data released last week revealed that Sony sold 798,000 PS3 units in December 2007, the strongest month for sales in the region.

Personaly the white color isent quite me. I love the dark spiderman fonted ps3.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Behind the scenes of Alien vs Predator 2:Requiem

Hydraulx founders and VFX supervisors Colin and Greg Straus picked
Alien vs Predator: Requiem for their directorial debut and follow this link to read on the effects and making of AVP2

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Hell Ride poster

Even if it wasn't produced by Quentin Tarantino, HELL RIDE would still be looking like a whole lot of fun. I mean any time you get Michael Madsen, Vinnie Jones and Dennis Hopper together in the same movie, you're in for a good time. HELL RIDE is a throwback to the motorcycle films of the 70s with a dash of Sergio Leone thrown in for good measure. The film was written and directed by Larry Bishop (who also plays a role in the film) and follows a group of bikers who look to avenge the death of a woman at the hands of a rival gang, the Satanic 666ers. The film is showing at midnight screenings in Sundance so expect reviews to start pouring in rather quickly as word gets out. Shock Till You Drop has a first look at the poster today and it features some really bad-ass illustrations. So far no release date has been set for "HELL RIDE" but let's hope it's sooner rather than later.

Extra Tidbit: Bishop had a small role in KILL BILL as Larry Gomez.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Vincenzo Natali & Guillermo del Toro together for "Splice"

Sucker as I am for all things del Toro, this film intruiges me quite a bit. From Vincenzo Natali, writer and director of Cube and Nothing, Splice is a rather familiar tale of science creating a monster, but considering Natali's past acheivements and quite minimalist approach, this could be something quite different in execution. Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley are set to star, and David Hewlett has an unknown role. With Guillermo del Toro attatched to produce, it could mean a much wider audience for Natali's film.

The production still above looks supremely creepy. You can check out more pictures from the film courtesy of Ain't It Cool News here

Plot: Elsa and Clive, two young rebellious scientists, defy legal and ethical boundaries and forge ahead with a dangerous experiment: splicing together human and animal DNA to create a new organism. Named "Dren", the creature rapidly develops from a deformed female infant into a beautiful but dangerous winged human-chimera, who forges a bond with both of her creators - only to have that bond turn deadly.

Splice is set for release in 2009. Cant wait!

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Matrix = Dark City?

Speaking of plaugerisme, I thought I bring this up. I saw this a while ago and though its no disrespect to either movie since they are both are my favorites, it is quite stricking how similar they both are. Granted, Matrix borrowed alot of the sets from Dark city but even the framing is the same.

More pics here:


BioShock = RoboCop?

16-Jan-2008 A theory by Steve Hogarty

RoboCop was on the telly there a few nights back. As well as remembering what an amazing movie it is, I was shocked at the similarities between it and PC Zone favourite, BioShock. Now you too will be shocked, when I present these similarities to you in a series of bullet points. There will be spoilers, mind.

BioShock deals with the social ramifications of building an underwater, elitist meritocracy, an anti-welfare state which becomes poisoned by the ubiquitous concepts of consumerism and capitalism. This leads to widespread rioting and the eventual destruction of the city of Rapture. RoboCop is about a robot policeman in a futuristic dystopia, in which rampant capitalism has led to the privatisation of state law enforcement, and robots everywhere. This leads to widespread rioting and the eventual destruction of at least one television shop in Detroit.

See? BioShock and RoboCop are rife with overlapping themes, and both star a main character born of the ills of their respective societies. RIGHT, NOW LET'S GET SPECIFIC.

In BioShock, it becomes evident that you are Fontaine's tool, programmed to do his bidding. The twist is that you're controlled using a trigger word, and have effectively had your humanity and individuality stolen from you through this programming. RoboCop is a tool of OCP, and he literally had his humanity and individuality stolen from him through being made into a robot policeman. RoboCop is controlled through three directives: Serve the public trust. Protect the innocent. Uphold the law. The twist is that there's a hidden fourth directive preventing him from harming OCP board members.

See? BioShock man and RoboCop are both programmed, and both strive to regain their humanity by killing the man who programmed them.

In BioShock, a trip to an abandoned strip club throws up flashbacks of your true family (your mother was a dancer there), rather than the false family implanted in your memory. RoboCop goes to his old house after he finds out who he used to be, where he too has flashbacks of his true family. It's really sad.

See? BioShock man and RoboCop both experience family-related flashbacks triggered by their environments. They're both coming to terms with their true identity.

In BioShock, you spend a lot of time fighting against guardians known as Big Daddies. Huge, slow, metallic things, they too are the product of Rapture's messed-up society. You must use the environment against them to succeed. RoboCop fights ED-209, a huge, slow, metallic, bi-pedal tankbot who falls down some stairs. ED-209 was the product of capitalism gone MAD.

BioShock, no wait... RoboCop?!

See? BioShock man and RoboCop both use the environment against their adversaries, who are both bigger than them. Big Daddies can do stairs though.

In BioShock, the closest thing to an ally you've got is the motherly Tenenbaum, who knows of your plight, and seeks to save you from the nefarious schemes of Rapture's leaders. RoboCop's lady friend and former partner is Officer Anne Lewis (brilliantly played by Nancy Allen), who brings RoboCop some baby food to eat, and helps him learn to shoot straight again. While RoboCop chooses not to eat the baby food, it is implied that he appreciates the gesture.

See? BioShock man and RoboCop are both aided by a female character more aware of their situation than they.

In BioShock, genetic modification is massively simplified, reduced to a simple injection providing you with superhuman abilities. RoboCop makes a man drive into a vat of toxic waste, transforming him into a mutant. He keeps moaning, "kill me", and disgusts his cohorts with his ghastly appearance.

See? BioShock and RoboCop both radically simplify the extremely complicated topic of genetics to the point of near absurdity and absurdity respectively.

In BioShock, Fontaine and Ryan were constantly vying for power. After Fontaine commercialised Adam, Ryan's position as leader became threatened, and he tried to have Fontaine murdered. In RoboCop, OCP Senior President Dick Jones was threatened by Bob Morton, the man behind the RoboCop project. After Morton went over Jones's head to greenlight the project, Jones felt threatened and successfully had Morton murdered.

See? BioShock and RoboCop both feature two men struggling for power, with one of them eventually being killed by the main character.

In BioShock, light-hearted period advertising provides a stark contrast between the desolation of Rapture and the society it used to be. RoboCop often comes across a made-up television show whose host gleefully remarks, "I'd buy that for a dollar!" Again, this provides contrast between the poverty in Detroit, and the blinding irrelevence and all-encompassing transfixation of the populace by the media.

See? BioShock and RoboCop both use advertising to make a point about their respective social climates. BioShock was even a bit racist with theirs.

BioShock, as a word, is made up of three syllables. It is an amalgamation of the prefix 'bio' and the word 'shock', with the second word's first letter being capitalised. RoboCop is a robot policeman, but as a word, he's made up of three syllables. He is an amalgamation of the prefix 'robo' and the word 'cop', with the second word's first letter being capitalised.

See? This is the most damning similarity of all.

So there we are: the two things are essentially identical. Ken Levine, I am accusing you of plagiarising the best sci-fi movie ever created, what say you? WHAT SAY YOU??


Friday, January 11, 2008

JJ Abrams at the TED Conference

You can now watch JJ Abrams’ speech from the TED Conference from last March below. Abrams doesn’t talk about any specific movie or television projects (Lost, Cloverfield, Star Trek), but instead gives some insight into the way he thinks and a “Mystery Box” which has has had since he was a kid, but has never opened. A must watch for any Abrams fan or who are interested in the magic of storytelling. Check it out below.

Watch it here in 480p


Friday, January 04, 2008

Cool Stuff: X-Men Poster By Eric Tanner

This UFA German-inspired X-Men film poster was created by Disney designer Eric Tanner. He was responsible for some of the great retro "Incredibles" artwork.

“I’ve always dug those UFA German cinema posters, especially the Metropolis ones. Using them as inspiration, I sketched up a little comp on a napkin. They’re all gonna be sporting their retro uniforms and it’s gonna be like 3 colors max. I’ve cheated it a bit by including Wolverine and Storm. They came later in the series, but I like ‘em and it’s probably my one and only shot at working on the X-men so what the heck, right?”

“It was quite the honor to get to work on these characters that I’ve followed since I was a kid. In the end, it became a combination of the stuff I did for Incredibles and them old German film posters. Hope it works!”

I wish Marvel would release this on a one-sheet. I know I’d buy it.

Check out his blog here:

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Game review: Crysis

Set in 2020, Crysis plot follows Lieutenant Jake Dunn, codenamed "Nomad", is sent in to investigate an alien meteor crash, you must fight through the North Korean Army which has also arrived. You must also fight aliens.

First things first. This is Far Cry with better graphichs. And in order to really benefit from the game you must crack open your piggy bank and invest in a decent gaming rig. I have the requiered PC specs on my new computer and I could run it at medium with the occasional lag when the shit hit the fan. It got so bad sometimes that I had to put the settings to low just to get through the level. So In order to get the most out of this game you really need a beefy computer. Yeah, the game has some new gadgets but its not really anything revolutionary. The story is not really worth mentioning but I can sum it up like this: Your a dude, who has to save an bunch of scientist dudes from evil korean dudes, and sometimes there are alien dudes trying to ruin your life.. Thats really it. You do nothing but shoot other people. And those you cant kill means they are friendly. You cant go wrong.

There are some driving missions and you can always hijack a car or two. I used to do this alot and damage the vehicle so its about 95% damage when I come flying trough the wall of a enemy base. Bail out and put a bullet in the fueltank. Big badda boom.. They also get you from place to place but I found driving really acward and the vehicle physics are really quite frustrating. A little bumb from a leaf and I am already on my way up to 30% damage. plus you must for the most part stick to the road. If you go exploring your car is only going to get stuck on some pebbles and catch fire.

You are taking of on foot for the most part and while the area you have at your disposal is huge, not all is **acsessable**. I often got stuck on hillsides when the game though I had enough and wouldent let me get higher. This became a big problem since the game is suppose to be free-roaming and here I am getting stuck on 70`degree hills

You have a suit on you at all times that gives you four "powers". These are. Strength (makes you strong and you jump higher and throw/punch harder) Speed (making you faster for a short period of time) Shield (does what it says. Gives you a little more resistance) and Stealth (Makes you invisible for a short time) Speed and stealth was a huge part of my tactics and they made it way to easy since you are virtualy invisible to you opponents even if you go right up in their face. The enemys should have had some sort of disrupter with them or they could have just sprayed bullets around since one hit makes you loose the camo.

Punching through buildings and people are really fun and here the phycics really show of their true potential as you throw barrels and chairs around you

You also have a fifth "power" This one takes you to your weapons for a customizing meny. Putting silencers, scope and laser on your shotgun should be in every game. *slams table* Here you can also switch ammo types and such

The enemys AI is good. They do the standard flanking, throwing nades and runnig away and occasionaly sneak up on you. Something I found weird in this game was that the enemy dident have a clearly visable hit animation. They just twitched when hit. Adding some "hurt" animations, like holding their neck, hands, leg or stomach would have greatly helped the immersion and realisme in the game. Same with the animation when you grab a enemy could have been done better I think. He should be kicking and screaming, not just stare into the infinite abyss exepting his demise. Fighting the aliens was a bit anticlimatic in my opinion as you had to grab and punch them. The words "Now thats what I call a close enounter" or "Welcome to earth" came to mind as well as a sea of other equally bad pun-lines.

Crysis contains a Sandbox Editor, much like Far Cry's, in which new levels can be created and edited. Such levels will have full support in all multiplayer modes. This will allow the player to easily build their own levels, seeing everything in real time within the editor. The player can also jump into the map they are working on at any time to test it. The editor will be the same one that was used by Crytek team to create the game.

I did not play the multiplayer part. I heard its good and Im going with that notion and so should you.

Crysis continues the Crytech teams succsses of making high-end games and inovating graphics. Its with out a doubt the most beautiful game to hit the marked so far. Its graphics are simply the best yet for a FPS and are truely breathtaking. The story is above standard and have some epic and true gaming moments. The only downer on this is that you have to have a behemoth of a machine inorder to play on full settings and truely get the Crysis experience.


PS: (spoiler) I did not finish the last segment of the last level due to a huge bug in scripting. The second boss was stuck inbetween the hangarships upper level (flight deck) and lower level (a storage room) I tried again and again and slowely but surely I got ahead to fight the big boss. But again my gaming experience was tamperd with since the rockets I fired at him did not register. I ended up with having to watch the ending on youtube.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Movie review: I am Legend *SPOILER*

Plot: The year is 2012. New York City has become a desolate place. There are no signs of human life. All that remains are empty buildings, abandoned cars and the city that once never slept, is a decaying shell. However, one man remains. His name is Dr. Robert Neville and his is the sole survivor of a disease that wiped out 90% of mankind. Neville spends his days patrolling New York, hunting deer, playing golf, waiting for survivors who have heard the message he sends out at all times, and basically fending off the madness that can set in when you have no interaction with another human in any way. However, despite being the only human left in New York, Neville is not alone. The disease has changed those who aren’t immune into vampiric mutants, unable to emerge from darkness during the day. Neville searches for a cure for these mutants while they do their best to hunt him down

First a little info about the origin of the movie:

"I Am Legend is a 1954 science fiction novel by Richard Matheson about the last man alive in a future Los Angeles overrun with vampires. Notable as influential on the developing modern zombie genre, in popularizing the fictional concept of a worldwide apocalypse due to disease, and in exploring the notion of vampirism as a disease. The novel was a success, and was adapted to film as The Last Man on Earth in 1964, as The Omega Man in 1971, and again in 2007 as I Am Legend." - wiki

Without giving too much away, in the novel, Neville is a man without purpose who hits rock bottom and finds a way back. He gains a purpose in his life and because of this purpose, he eventually becomes what the title says, a legend. The vampires of the book form a new society. Neville hunts them while they sleep. Ultimately, in a twist on the original vampire premise, Neville becomes a monster to them. He becomes their Dracula. Their legend sort to speak. It’s a brilliant idea that’s completely lost in this remake.

I am legend could have been so much better. The first twenty minutes or so, are extremey tense and very promising. After that the movie quickly becomes clichéd and ultimately pointless. They have written a new ending since the first one they showed the public did not impress them very much. In the first version of "IAL" the infected surrounds Robert and co. Robert lets the Alfa female go inorder for safe passage to the colony which they get. The new ending is completely bonkers and a cristian faith theme is making it unbarable to watch. (it was like watching signs again) It feels rushed and "safe" in hollywood terms.

Will Smiths acting is ok. I would have liked to see more humor and mad moments since he seemed a bit to calm for someone thats been alone 3 years but he is suprisingly calm and collected. He should have taken a few more liberties with his surroundings

Visually the movie looks great. They have done a great job of displaying New York as if it was abandoned, not destroyed (which was a first for these types of movies) Wildlife has moved into the city again, with birds, deer and lions roamed about. Would be nais to see more animals in this movie. (like in 12 monkeys)

The most irritating aspect of the movie is that the mutants Neville is fighting are completely CGI. And they look in no way scary or menacing. They where supposed to go with real people like in 28 days later/day of the dead but inorder to get them to move in a certain way they opped to go completely for CG which is a shame. Once you get a full one look one of them, they look laughable and cheap. Some scenes work but they end up looking like extras from "The Mummy". I also read that they where suppose to have translucent skin so that the light could shine trough their skin reveling bones but this I failed to see. Their animations was also suppose to make they fast, inhuman and agile but this also failed to register since it was for the most part motion capture of real people just speeded up (this rarely looks good and this was the case as well) When is hollywood going to learn? Now their animations where so fast at times, they had no anitcipation nor proper timing making it pointless to build suspence.

"While it would have meant that the mutants weren’t as agile as they are in the film, it would have been a FAR better idea to use actors in make up. As they are, the mutants are just cgi monsters that have no shred of humanity and thus are stripped of any emotional connection to the audience, be that connection empathy or even fear"

It`s a shame that this movie is such a disappointment. Had they stayed with the source material from the novel it would have made a brilliant, deep movie with a interesting plot and a instant classic. Instead we are left with something that feels rushed and not even remotely scary and at the core. Pointless



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