Archive for January, 2015

Starship Troopers

Posted: January 30, 2015 in Movies
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Starship Troopers is one of the best films ever made. This is a fact known widely across the entire universe and all of space and time. Released in 1997 it stood out due to it’s giant killer bugs, space ships, explosions, gory action and the appealing cast.

As humanity expands further into the cosmos they eventually come into a system that is home to a bug planet. That’s right. Bugs. Giant, man slaying bugs! The film begins in the midst of all out war between the two species, giving viewers a tease of the carnage that awaits, before jumping back in time to show how our heroes went from fresh faced high school graduates to battle hardened troopers.

Leading the film is Casper Van Dien as hero Pvt. Johnny Rico, with solid support from lead actresses Dina Meyer as Pvt. Dizzy Flores and Denise Richards as Lt. Carmen Ibanez. Michael Ironside further proves he’s one of cinema’s ultimate bad asses in a great turn as Rico and co’s high school teacher Jean Rasczak. Dien looks the part as Rico and gives a fun show, clearly loving the bug hunts, in fact the whole cast just seems to be having a ball, not so much as being in on the crazy ass nature of the plot but instead just going with it, being as serious as required and not being afraid to camp it up.

The gore on display in the film is off the charts! ‘course you would expect nothing else from a Verhoeven film. Troopers are literally torn to shreds, decapitated, burned, skewerd before your eyes. When someone dies in this film they die HARD. Due to the likeability of the characters/cast it’s gutting to watch somone you’ve found yourself rooting for being taken out by a bug! I also love all of the TV commericals and public annoncements that are scattered throughout the film in a simialr fashion to Robocop. They work as government funded propaganda pieces and…words can not do them justice. They’re very funny and it really helps to give the film this twisted identity that ends up adding so much more weight to it.

Directed by Paul Verhoeven, who also directed the brillaint Robocop and Total Recall, the film can be viewed as a straight up action extravagansa or a satire on certain attitudes to warfare. It’s clever examination on propaganda and attitudes to war was crafted by Edward Neumeier who adapted the story (loosely) from the original novel by Robert A. Heinlein. Phil Tippett handled the creature effects and even now almost 20 years later the film’s effects, both practical and CGI look on par with todays. That is no exageration either. Phenomenal work for the time it was made and it’s a credit to all involved how the effects still hold up.

If you have never seen Starship Troopers then that needs to change and if you own it, well, don’t you think it’s time for a re-watch?

Terminator: Genisys TV spot

Posted: January 29, 2015 in Movies
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I worship at the altar that is Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Every inch of me is telling me not to get too excited for Terminator: Genisys (I hate typing that ha!). But these damn trailers, something about ’em. Maybe it’s the time travel being used in a interesting way that plays around with what we know, mixing up the mythology of the series, maybe it’s the increased involvement of Arnie or the fact the script was actually meant to be shit hot despite the negative reaction to the film premise to date. SIGH. Nothing will beat T1 or T2. Ever. Not expecting this to either. I would like a fun action film that at least does the name proud though and maybe, just maybe that’s what we’ll get.

Are you excited for this one?

It’s like Mortal Kombat week around here! Ha ha. ^ As above, Ermac is the latest addition to the growing MKX roster. Like Reptile, Ermac began life as a pallet swap ninja and has since gone on to not only carve out a great look but a unique play style and a pretty big fan base too. Count me as one of the guys who really liked the direction he took in Mortal Kombat (2011). He had a wicked design and some brutal moves and both these factors appear to have evolved further if the trailer above is anything to go by!

Are you happy with his new look?

Con Air

Posted: January 29, 2015 in Movies
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Con Air is a great film. Directed by Simon West and released it the summer of 1997 it tells the story of an ex-ranger named Cameron Poe (Nicolas Cage) who, on the day he is released from prison (for killing a guy in self defence) is caught up in a prison plane hijacking. Now it’s up to Poe to survive the flight, beat the bad guys and get back home to his family.

The fun action scenes and the characters are what makes Con Air so special. The cast is awe worthy, not one you’d see leading an action film in 2015, and it only highlights how much thought went into the film. You have John Malkovich as the main baddie Cyrus ‘The Virus’. He is so good, to be honest he’s the sort of actor you would think would turn his nose up at such action fare just based on his body of work to date but no, Malkovich is having a ball and seems as up for it as any of the cast. Same can be said for Steve Buscemi as mass murderer Garland Greene. He plays the role really straight but what sends it over the edge it Buscemi’s appearance, the last guy you would expect to go driving through a town wearing a girls head! haha. The great Ving Rhames is on hand as Nathan Jones or ‘Diamond Dog’ providing some weight to what could have just been a tough guy one note role.

On the flip side of the cons we have the good guys, with a entertaining and buff Cage (digging that accent) punching, kicking and shooting his way through anyone who stands in the way of him and his reuinion with his wife and daughter. John Cusack enters the film looking all smart (for the 90’s) and ready to kick ass and take names as US Marshall Vince Larkin and as the film goes on he really does get more and more involved with the action as his team close in on the prisoners and the plane. Total Recall’s Rachel Ticotin and Irish legend Colm Meaney both stand out as a prison guard fighting for her life and DEA agent/foil to Larkin respectively. The film is packed with great actors and honestly I could go on and on, everyone is great in this film! Ha!

Simon West does a great job with the action scenes, they’re clear, fast and exciting. Now days in some action flicks you can hardly make out whats going on, it’s so frantic and choppy. The fight scenes and shoot outs both on and off the plane are a blast and it all comes to a head with a perfectly set Las Vegas showdown! Con Air also introduced the world to the fameous “How Do I Live” hit tune. I remember hearing it on the radio non stop that summer. Con Air is action film that not only stands the test of time but manages to be enjoyable again and again. I love it.

Marvel to reboot

Posted: January 28, 2015 in Comics
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….and I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Marvel never struck me as being in continuity hell. I know there is major history, decades worth but all things considered the flow of things wasn’t THAT bad or in need of a reshuffle. Granted I don’t read every single Marvel book on sale nor do I have a vast knowledge of the universe outside of being a big X-Men and Spidey fan and I have pretty much been with the Ultimate Universe since launch. So last week I was a bit like “Erm…what?” when Marvel announced that the main universe and the Ultimate universe would collide later this year in Secret Wars and the ‘landscape’ left standing would from there on out be the Marvel Universe. One and only.

I am excited about Secret Wars, make no mistake, will I read it? Sure I will. I doubt I’ll be buying it during it’s initial launch, maybe as a trade further down the line, but a part of me thinks if the universe is hitting the reboot button why be invested in the titles I’m following at the moment? Ultimate Spiderman, X-Men, X-Factor and New X-Men, along with Uncanny Avengers, which just finished up a few months back. Part of me thinks I’ll start over after Secret Wars and then I rethink and I’m like “Nooooo don’t be an idiot”. Last night I was honestly considering getting rid of my collection, the thinking being “well they’ll all be rendered void anyway”. Which of course they won’t because they will always be the foundations from which the Marvel landscape was able to evolve.

I’ve read some theories as to the “why” the reboot is happening. One is that Marvel aren’t pleased with how the movie landscape currently stands. With Fox in control of X-Men and Fantastic Four and Sony hovering over Spiderman, some suggest Marvel feel they are essentially putting out promotions for such flicks by continuing to publish comics focusing on those characters. I can’t see the logic behind that because these titles are Marvel institutions. Wouldn’t it be too calculated and cold to just sever ties or put these titles on the back burner until the movies cease being made by other studios? Can you see Marvel putting out a new universe that won’t feature Spidey, mutants or the Fantastic Four? I can’t. Yet this is reportedly what happened with the Fantastic Four and it’s sudden cancelation. Perhaps Secret Wars will work as a way to re-introduce these titles in way Marvel feels better represents their brand, or maybe it really is a move dictated by industry competition. Either way it opens up a lot of exciting possibilities but only if the creative element is true and prepared to make some bold decisions otherwise what is the point?

How do you feel about Secret Wars and what it could usher in? As long as Psylocke carries over I’ll be okat ha ha.

Friday The 13th Part XIII has been delayed. Again. Ha ha. Instead of November 2015 the reboot has been put on hold until May 2016. I’m not surprised. Paramount were cutting it really close to hit that 2015 date. I think this is like the films fourth ‘locked’ release date now? It’s quite frustrating if you’re a big fan of the series like myself. At this point I don’t think I’ll be able to get excited until there are actually set pics and the film is, you know…filming. The Signal’s David Bruckner is attached to direct and apparently the script is still being worked on. If there’s something to report I’ll put it here but I’ll be holding off on rumours and waiting for actual news – cast, pics etc.

We were promised a reveal today and here it is! Straight away you can tell that the variation on display in the trailer above is very much ‘classic’ Reptile. Most of his famous moves are present – the acid spit, ball, slide and invisibility – with a heavy focus on speed and combos. Based on that I reckon he could be a easy character to use for people who are new to the series.

I love his design. His reptilian form is front and centre here and I think that is great because it helps to further set him apart from Scorpion and Sub-Zero. A lot of fans are going to be happy to have this dude back too! Makes me question how many more series vets we’ll see? Boon went on record to say how MKX would feature the most new characters in the series history. Either the roster is massive, he’s reconsidered or the next reveals will be the new blood from now on. We’ll find out more with the new character reveal set for Thursday.

Are you happy with the reveal or did you expect someone different?

In what is shaping up to be a solid week for fighting game fans I can reveal that Korean TV show Tekken Crash will be making it’s return this week. The show showcases the best that Tekken has to offer and what better way to kick off the new series than with none other than the eagerly anticipated Tekken 7. I wouldn’t hold out much hope for many new character reveals – many Tekken faves have yet to be confirmed for Tekken 7. Yet – but a new build featuring Lucky Chloe and the recently revealed Shaheen isn’t out of the question.

With an pre launch release date set for the 18th Feb we can expect to see a lot more of Tekken 7 very soon. Series mastermind Harada has already hinted at the return of time release characters and yet more new fighters. As long as Nina and Jin make the cut I’m good 😉

Hey guys. Big MKX news today. This week we will be getting two character reveals, the first will come from IGN on Tuesday and the second will be shown live during the Nether Realm Twitch live stream on Thursday. The stream will offer in-depth gameplay (I’m assuming of Kitana and Kung Lau more so than the actual new reveal but who knows?) and the new reveal.

January brings to a close a MKX info draught ha ha. With just over half the roster yet to be revealed we can pretty much assume that in the coming weeks we will being getting more and more character and gameplay reveals.

As to who the next two fighters will be, well it’s anyone’s guess right now. Personally I’d like to see some Goro action and maybe Kitana’s evil twin with that winning smile? Or a another new character. Time will tell.

I’m trying to stay relatively spoiler free with MKX (as much as one can be when you are covering it) but one thing I won’t be doing is revealing any hidden fighters which may leak. In fact I may even go into info lockdown come March. Be great to get the game and actually find some hidden fighters just like back in the day 🙂

Broken Arrow

Posted: January 25, 2015 in Movies

I was talking about this movie last night with a friend and he said how it is “very much a 90’s film”, as if some would use that as a negative in describing the film. Both of us thought quite the opposite. Personally I don’t think they make ’em like they used to. Yep. Broken Arrow is a film of the 90’s and it’s boss. Where else would you get away with setting off a nuke in a conveniently located copper mine?

John Woo’s career never took off in the west like it was assumed it would but that didn’t stop the studio’s from throwing scripts at him. Broken Arrow is one such script that Woo took on. When it was released back in 1996 it had mixed reviews from critics yet it managed to top the box office for two weeks and gross $150,270,147 world wide!

The film stars John Travolta and Christian Slater as two US air force pilots who are doing a dummy run in a stealth plane containing two nukes. Deakins (Travolta) decides to steal the nukes and leaves his partner Hale (Slater) for dead, so it’s up to Hale and lively park ranger Terry (Samantha Mathis) to stop Deakins and his men,recover the nukes and save the day (also find time to flirt with one another and maybe make out) You have to love the 90’s 🙂

The Utah canyons play home for the majority of the films plot and help to give it a great look and feel. Woo injects several trademarks into the action ranging from the strong relationship between hero and villain, twin gun mayhem and conversations between walls. Stopping short of doves. It all comes together when added to the fun action scenes to deliver a solid, if a tad tame, John Woo flick. The pace Woo gives the film is great, from the loss of the nukes, the race against time to arm/disarm them and the final face off on board a speeding train! It’s such a fun film.

Travolta’s Deakins makes for a likeable bad guy, while Slater does good as the hero but I was really impressed with Mathis. Her character kind of goes rogue at one point in the film and I realised not only was she pretty bad ass herself (keyword ‘hammer’) but she was the most pro-active character in the film ha ha. The team ‘aspect’ to Hale and Terry is one of the best parts of the film.

Of course I have to talk about the music. Hans Zimmer’s score is very good, it injects the film with the right amounts of suspense and fun. It’s so good Wes Craven would later ‘borrow’ it and put it to good use in Scream 2.

I can’t recommend Broken Arrow enough if you’re a fan of 90’s action movies or just the genre in general.