Costume Quest, Batman and Need for Speed Hot Pursuit

I think I'm about a year behind the world... exactly a year. People do stuff, buy stuff and discover cool places nearly a year before I ever do. So when I strolled happily in to work and proclaimed that I have just completed that rather brilliant Batman game - Batman: Arkham Asylum I got a few strange glances as the majority of people bought it and completed it a year earlier..."bugger" I thought "one day I will be the cool kid in town, one day".

Here's the trailer for the new game Batman: Arkham City, complete with Luke Skywalker as the Joker. Hopefully I will be on the ball enough to get this one when everyone else does.



What else, what else. Oh yes,  I played and completed Costume Quest the other day; a cut down RPG with a cool take on the quick time event (basically pressing the right button at the right time). It's dirt cheap on Xbox live and worth a shout if you have a spare few days. There are a few issues with it but the charm and the jokes help to smooth out the edges. I have heard rumours that there is going to be a Christmas update coming as the current one is Halloween specific. I can't be bothered to explain further so here is a trailer.



I managed to get a copy of Need Hot Pursuit as they make the game in the studio below where I work. It's really it a lot of fun...a lot of fun. In fact it's up there with the most fun you can have on line with 7 other strangers. Innuendo aside you other take the role of a criminal or a cop. As a cop you must shut down illegal street racers by bashing in to them or using some custom weapons to take them down. Or you can play as a criminal taking part in the races - cops hot on your arse.



Anyway, that's about it this month, I'm off to watch Come Dine With Me, then it's Xfactor and maybe some Walking Dead for desert. Laters

Death Spank and his Friend Sparkles the Wizard

Death Spank, an Xbox Live game in a similar vein to Diablo and, to some extent, World of WarCraft. It's written by one of the guys that made the original Monkey Island game so it has inherited a sense of humour.



Annoyingly, this is EXACTLY the sort of game I used to play with Greg (Crabs) and Rob when I was living up in Sheffield. A two player romp that would easily kill a few hours and a few beers. I have an utter sense of regret that I will probably never get to ask Crabs to take the helm as Death Spank's trusty side kick Sparkles the Wizard. Or the almighty Steve, in the game's sequel: Death Spank and the Thongs of Virtue.

You see Greg is a bit like Sparkles the Wizard. Rubbish in a fight and often wears a dress and a floppy hat. He can sometimes shoot fire out of his month depending on whether we secretly added chilly sauce to kebab on a particularly hectic night out. In fact I might start calling him Sparkles...it's seem apt. 


I guess I will have to play this on my own. My house mates seems more interested in Fifa and Eastenders or Fif-stenders as I will now call it. Sniff...DUDES I TOTALLY MISS YOU!

Esben and the Witch to Ok Go. My Pain/Happiness scale.

As you may of guessed from my last post I'm going through a bit of rocky patch at the moment. In an attempt to manage my mood , as previously mentioned, I have been self medicating with large amounts of booze.

However as I'm consistently broke and a bit of a snob when it comes to drinking (I particularly like expensive spiced rum if anyone wants to give to charity) I have trouble maintaining my attempt at drowning my sorrows.

At this point I'm fucked.

Trapped with my own thoughts, its like living in 500 days of summer as written by Edgar Allen Poe with a rewrite from the Hollyoaks writers, grim does not begin to describe it. And so to hide from myself I've found are rather interesting site on the internet called Youtube. Amazingly this a whole site full of shit videos of people who are clearly deluded in thinking that:

1) They are funny;

2) The rest of the world gives a shit about them and their silly little lives.

As I am obviously so much better than any of those other fools I have stuck to watching music videos. I must admit this is a pass time I found rather confusing previously but it has really been helping my calm, or at least the noise and colours confounds my brain so I don't go back to the bad place.

In doing this I discovered an interesting new band called Esben and the Witch, who's simple, gory video for "Marching Song" is pleasantly disturbing and is backed up by fantastically angst filled song, just right for my current purposes.

It also helps that the lead singer is the kind of woman that if you went to one of their gigs you would convince yourself that when she looked in the audience she looked right at you. And its only 18 months later when your holding a court order that you realise going to every gig in a 1000 mile radius and sending her increasingly candid photos of yourself, does not constitute a healthy relationship.



However I'm not entirely stable and as such, at times, my mind confuses itself into thinking I'm deliriously happy and of course everything is going to be fine, why wouldn't it be?

You never answer that particular question, instead you watch the ever fun and ingenious videos of OK GO. I've got two here for you, both from their new album "Of the Blue Colour of the Sky", the first is their newest video for the track "White Knuckles", followed by the second video they did for "This To shall Pass", I'd post the other one here too but I think it would be getting a little silly then, anyway LOOK....





Sweet.

GTA 4 Revisited, Limbo and Bioshock Infinite

Hi there, something amazing happened over the weekend. I plugged in my Xbox 360 for the first time in 6 months; it was exciting times in my Streatham House. I immediately whacked in GTA 4...5 minutes later I was bored.

Was this a good game? I don't remember. apparently it got good reviews but it seems that if you try and pick it up again half way through the game you tend to have lost all attachment to the story and have no idea what the F is going on. Watched over by my expectant house mates (we have a 50" TV and everyone wanted to see what it was like in high definition.) I tried to crack on, reiterating the reasons I made the purchase to begin with: It's got good graphics, the musics well good and that...and you can gun down grannies. It was no good, the game has lost it's shine. You know that it needs don't you? "PREVIOUSLY ON GTA". It needs a run down of the story so you can still pick up the game 6 months later.

Anyway with GTA safely back in it's box I downloaded the much talked about LIMBO from Xbox Live Arcade and that's when the fun really started.



It's made by a bunch of very talented Scandinavians and it is VERY good. In fact it's probably the best game I have played in the last couple of years.

It's a jumpy jumpy game. A bit like Mario - if Mario was a small child, stuck in a horrible monochrome-dream-world in a constant search for his missing sister. It contains some very cerebral puzzles that had everyone in the house helping with -  something I haven't experienced since University. Even the non gamers among us were entranced. It took Sunday afternoon to complete and it felt like money well spent. I even got a T-Shirt and Limbo gerbil thing for my avatar. I'm honestly excited to see what these guys produce next - I hope I get another T-Shirt. In fact if T-Shirts were awarded in real life for completing certain things, like your driving test for example, the world would be a much cooler place.

And finally Bioshock. It seems only recently that I completed the my second trip to Rapture (Strange underwater city place for the mentally different). However apparently this is the true sequel to the original - I guess they neglected to us that when Bioshock 2 came out. It's a different setting - no longer under water but in the Air - a city attached to balloons no less. Apparently the Americans got so annoyed with all the immigration that a few of them decided to create a new America in the Sky....this is all set in the 1900s by the way.


These proper-gander pictures are part of the marketing campaign and they are fricking cool...and a tiny bit disturbing. I'm definitely looking forward to this one although I will be waiting a long time...2011?

Anyway I'm off to shove a load of Lemsip Max down my throat, later.

One Great Movie Vs My Shattered Soul...who will win?

Normally at times like these I would explain that I've been very busy, too busy to write on Tom's blog. I'd say my computer was broke or the Internet had been over run by an intelligent virus targeted solely at preventing me from sharing what little knowledge I have with the world. It is none of these things, I have in fact been doing nothing, absolutely nothing, to the point it had both friends and family worried.

Why?

What other reason can a man have to slip into the deepest darkest recesses of procrastination than a broken heart. Yes I was dumped, and dumped hard. And for a while there it didn't look good, my world was a cliche of memory inducing songs and drinking alone in the afternoon. So what could possibly have dragged my semi-washed, bearded, booze stinking carcass from that deep dark hole?


1) I ran out of booze, take note if you intend to loose yourself to despair stock up on the essentials.

2) I saw Scott Pilgrim Vs the World, and like Moses climbing that hill and chatting to a fiery shrub, I was saved. Or at least I felt much better for having seen a damn good film, which is almost the same.


Now I could almost leave things there as far as a review goes. The film was so good it pulled a broken hearted man back from the brink, you won't get that in Total Film I'm sure.

This is the film Edgar Wright has been building up to since Spaced, it has Spaced written all over it, it virtually is Spaced the movie. The story, the tone, the acting, the script it's all Spaced, and this is in no way a bad thing. This film could not have been more lovingly put together as every moment is an absolute joy, I'm not kidding when I say I was literally sat for the whole thing with a stupid grin on my face, right from the moment the 16bit Universal logo and music kicked in I knew that I would love this film.

I know that there are going to be people that don't appreciate this film , it is an out and out geek film, there's a lot of comic book surrealism that would be lost on my mum for instance, but that's my mum and her taste in movies is patchy at best. That doesn't mean you need to be a geek to enjoy this film either, it's one of those multi-layered affairs, the general viewer will watch and enjoy the witty dialogue and hands down best action sequences I've seen in a while. Your casual geeks might pick up on some more of the references, maybe catch a little of the Zelda music tinkling in the background from time to time, while you uber-geek shall feast on cornucopia of nods and references that will most likely give him a seizure. And his friends shall weep not, for they will know he died happy.



It has literally just occurred to me that there is nothing unnecessary in this film, yes there's lots that if it wasn't there no one would of noticed it's absence. But what if they had...yes it would still of been a good film but now because of their care and effort we have a great film, a classic.

I could go on but I can't be arsed except to say...Ramona Flowers xxxx

When making films about a young man struggling to win the heart of his true love it is essential that the object of this love be so outstandingly desirable that you go away and tell your friends your in love with a character from a film. You friends then scoff and tell you to "get a life" and "it's just the break up affecting your brain", until of course they watch the film too and then the same thing happens to them. Ramona Flowers is that amazing.

So after watching this amazing film, with amazing acting and music and script, and the most drool inducing female lead. And after we see Scott win his fights and get the girl in the kind of fist in the air type action I love, I left the film with a renewed sense of hope. That if I fight for what I love and don't give up I'll find my own Ramona Flowers in the end.

Bullshit!

It's a movie, in real life you do the right thing and you get crapped on. So I didn't leave with a renewed sense of hope bla bla, however I did enjoy the film so much the world doesn't seem so dreary anymore, and I enjoyed it enough to get back out in the world and come tell you about it.

Like I said you don't often get a review like that.

Sweet

The Steam Sale, Create, Breaking Bad and Lost

Steam - the direct to drive gaming system extraordinaire- nearly bankrupted me over the summer. However in exchange for insolvency, they have gave me LOADS of games.

I'm still trying to get through them all. However with work taking up much of time it has been rather difficult. Currently my list includes: Mirrors Edge, Trine, Puzzle Agent, Professor JM Winterbottom, Multiwinia. Trine...and some more that I just can’t remember right now.

99% of these are all indie games. Made by small developers and sold directly through steam. They are all great examples of taking one simple idea and executing it brilliantly. All I need now is a spare moment to actually play them. It’s going to be a good education in games that I probably need. Also it turns out that I might of saved the developers of Multiwinia from bankruptcy over the summer as the Steam sale pretty much saved their bacon according to this blog.


Limbo a game that I found a couple of years ago has finally be realised – took them long enough. Unfortunately I haven’t set up my Xbox at the moment so I can’t bloody play it which is a tad annoying. Anyway I have added it to my extensive to do list.


On a side note the game I have been working on has been announced. Here is the trailer:



It’s been getting a bit of a hard time - quite unfairly in my view. I would suggest waiting until you have actually played it before you cast judgement internet! Anyway, it’s been great fun working on it even though I joined the team very late in its development. I hope it gets the credit it deserves.

On the TV side of things I have been trying to catch up on the programmes I have been ordered to watch by my friends. I have started with Breaking Bad and I’m enjoying it immensely. I assumed that it was going to be a Grand Theft Auto / Scar face plot about a guy going from nothing to something in the space of three series. Turns out it’s about how two good people get corrupted by the drugs trade, fumbling their way through deadly situation and alienating the people they love. Although there is a touch of Scarface as they seem to be pretty good at the drugs stuff – they are doing it because they have to, not because they want to. Anyway it’s good, go watch it – it even has Malcolm’s Dad from Malcolm in the middle in it.

Anyone heard of “The Event” I have been told it’s like Lost and I should watch it...

Anyway and more importantly Paul Terry’s Lost encyclopedia is nearly with us. Go by it here.

The Lost Initiative boys and me got asked a few questions for the last ever Lost Magazine. I haven’t seen it yet...in fact I might go buy it now. Catch ya later.

Current favourite comedy - Mongrels on BBC3

Well hello there, I've not posted in such a long time that I'm pretty sure I'm persona non grata to GeekyTom (or is it just Tom now that the LP is finished?), and this attempt to atone will be met with icy silence.

Hey ho, nonetheless I've been watching Episode 2 of BBC's beyond brilliant puppet comedy MONGRELS and felt compelled to stop watching after only 6mins and 38 secs simply in order to quickly post about the sheer awesomeness of this show, and urge you all to please watch it. Now. First two eps are up on the BBC iplayer (UK only, sorry)

This is the Beeb blurb "Adult multi-species puppet comedy about five urban animals who hang out together in the back yard of an inner city pub" which somewhat plays down just how rude, crude, inventive and just pure laugh out loud funny it is. The cat OD'ing on catnip and raving to Prodigy is one thing, but just wait til you get to the first date request to 'sniff your anus...' Family-friendly viewing this is not, but thank you thank you thank you to the BBC for spending my licence fee money on this. I can only look forward to the rest of this episode, and the 6 more to come.

I'll also do a post soonish (really, I will) on some of the new US dramas and comedies starting later this year in the Autumn. Amongst these are the Hawaii Five-O reboot, a new Nikita and JJ Abrams' spy couple caper...

Puzzle Agent and Monkey Island 2 Special Edition

Here are two of my favourite game trailers at the moment.




The first is the trailer for the snazzy Monkey Island 2 remake - now with extra monkeys. I bloody love Monkey Island 2, I first played it 17 years ago and I can't wait to get my grubby, sweaty hands on this. The trailer is a work of pure genius, surely it's a clear sign that a Monkey Island 3D movie would totally work. It will never happen but you can see the potential - you can see the potential can't you?

The second is Nelson Tethers: Puzzle Agent - a puzzle game from TellTale Games. Read this:

"Puzzle Agent combines generous doses of Nordic folklore, and an X-Files style mystery along with major influences of Professor-Layton inspired puzzling, David Lynch, the Coen brothers and a dash of Stanley Kubrick. And gnomes."

Doesn't that sound like the description of the greatest game of all time. I will buy it, play it and tell you if it lives up to this description. I really hope it does.

Studio Ghibli is making games

Studio Ghibli, you may of heard of them. They are like the Japanese Disney. Although comparing them in that manner is like comparing Bladerunner to the Power Rangers (wow I definitely need to practice my analogies). Anyway to try and keep this short, lets just say that Ghibli films have a real message, don't talk down to kids and shock horror, can be a little bit scary. They make kids movies by the way although I use the term "kids" loosely. And they are from Japan...and Disney own the rights to distribute their films over here. Pretty confusing.

Anyway computer games are such an obvious thing for them to get into, I'm surprised that I'm surprised about it...if that makes sense. Anyway they have made a game with the people that make the Professor Layton games.

Anyway here is the trailer for it.

I think you will agree that it looks beautiful. Unfortunately I don't have a PS3 but I luckily know a long haired...oh wait he cut it all off. Luckily I know a short haired blogger who does. So I may be spending a weekends up north in the not too distance future.

By the way you may of noticed I can be a real geek at times. I try to deny it but it's something I can't escape it. Like today for example...right here in this blog post.

I-Spot Annoying Fanboys
It reminded me of this lovely I-Spot book I found on the E4 website...I think I'm pretty much every single one of these fans boys. Is there a prize for that? If not there bloody well should be.

Doctor Who?

I thought I would do a bloggy-blog about the only thing I seem to be watching at the moment, the mighty but rather thin and streaky Doctor Who. He has a bow tie now - they’re cool apparently. I’m pretty sure he has the same get-up as the guy from Bargin Hunt - not the cool ex-criminal - the other one from the Antiques Road Show that looks like he touches kids. Am I allowed to say that? Fuck it I’m going to say it!

Anyway I went in to this season as I did any other – thinking that it would be a rather camp and silly romp through time and space with little call to have every detail of any episode dissected. I thought wrong it seems. Apparently there is a hell of a lot going on this season, a hell of a lot of time stuff – which may sound silly but you would be surprised how little Doctor Who actually plays around with time.

“SPOILER ALERT” His big rule is that he can’t much around with his own time line. However, according to a blog I got sent via Mr Jody Smith he may be doing just that. Skip to the end: People reckon that he’s going to travel back in time changing all the mistakes he has made this season so he can save the universe and the planet.

I’m betting money on the fact that he will jump back to the time to the first time he meets Amy and changes it so he doesn’t....although that will probably ruin any further series that they are signed up for and they are...apparently. So I guess I really should have thought about that one before I wrote it...bugger.

Here is the link to that blog.

Wait....what the hell are we going to watch in September?!?

Lost is gone.



Heroes got cancelled, I know! Shocked silence...no-one saw that coming.




Yey Fringe is still awesome, but that's not enough to feed my TV beast.



Thank you Frank Darabont and AMC!!!

The Walking Dead is perhaps one the greatest comic book series around today, and definitely the greatest zombie one. If you haven't read it, go and do it now, that's not a suggestion.

It's got everything you want from zombies and then they add a bit more. Plus the truly great idea that if there is ever a zombie holocaust I'm heading to a prison, genius idea.

Now I am a little apprehensive about how this is going to pan out, it is TV and this is zombie holocaust, but this is Frank Darabont for Christ-sake, not to mention AMC are currently one of the best stations in the US for amazing TV. With Mad Men and Breaking Bad under their belt I've a feeling they're on for another winner, fingers crossed for September.

Add to that, the author Robert Kirkman seems to be pretty heavily involved and it all looks freaking sweet.

Here's a treat they've dropped on the OBLIGATORY BLOG, going to keep an eye on that one, looks like there's some real work going into the design and planning on this one:

The end of Lost and the start of my new job

I should have seen it coming. Damon and Carlton said so many times that they wouldn't answer all the questions that their show has created and failed to answer over the years. Lost has always been about the characters, it was never really about the mythology. Unfortunately Damon and Carlton did such a good job of creating a back story for the island that, in my view, I found the island more interesting than the characters. So yes, I'm a little bit confused and a little unsatisfied with the ending.

They kind of made season 3 and 4 a bit redundant. They only seemed to have been written to show how Desmond would be able to save the island and how Sayer and Juliet would be destined for each other. Yes I know that's simplifying the subtle nuances of it all but the only real answers I wanted were raised in those 2 seasons. 1, How is time travel relevant to island 2, What was Dharma trying to do with it. I guess I really wanted some crazy bond villain ending, revolving around the heart of the island inside some secret Dharama complex where Widmore was trying to take over the world or something. A gigantic end battle where my favourite theme of the show, faith vs science, would be fought.

But at the end of the day it's not me writing the show and I respect Damon and Carlton for just doing their own thing. I guess a few people are annoyed at the moment but it will fade over time. Will Lost be remember in a fond light? Probably. Will there be some spin off shows? Probably. Will Damon and Carlton be involved? I doubt it. will I watch them? No.

One fantastic thing that did come out of this was the simultaneous broadcast of the finale world wide. I'm no expert on these things but a surely this is the way to beat piracy. The internet links the world together and TV is now a global thing. Stop the REAL need for people to download these shows and you might get people watching TV again...not that they ever really stopped.

Anyway with Lost finishing I'm moving on to new stuff. I have recently got a job at EA games. So I guess I will have access to some interesting games related stuff, still not sure whether I will be able to talk about it as I start next week but I will if I can.

Bye bye for now, I'm off to get a verbal beating from all my friends as they told me during season 1 that it was purgatory.

Iron-Man 2: Is he Back in Black or on a Highway to Hell?

I find the AC/DC tie-in to Iron-Man a little amusing, particularly as there's not a lot of their music actually in the new film. In fact the music in the new film was a resounding "meh" compared to the last outing.

That's about all the criticism I have for Iron-Man 2, except for one huge omission that I will get to later, but for now...

When a film like Iron-Man 2 comes out there are certain things, rituals, that me and my friends have to do. In this case it was buying Iron-Man on bluray and watching both the film and all the extras, of which there are many.

I have to say its a damn good purchase, if you're a fan of extras buy this, there is some great in-depth behind-the-scenes content. The detail that went into the first film was pretty well reported but watching those extras the sheer amount of layering that they did in the first film of technical/narrative/character detail is astounding. Until you see Iron-Man 2.

The care and attention that has clearly gone into making this film shines out of every shot. I'm not saying it's prefect, as my cameraman friend pointed out ("Well he clearly hadn't set up right for that focus pull in that scene", yeah thanks Ben just ruin it for everyone) but you can see the love.

The script is fantastically written and made even more brilliant by a fantastic cast who work so well together. Yes, the plot is a little dense but this isn't a Spider-Man 3 jumble of nonsense everything that happens has purpose or reason, and that goes for every element of this film.

You can tell that at every point someone has asked the important questions, Why is that happening? How could it happen? How would that work? All the kind of things that make a film work on the whole.

What is even more ball achingly good is the way this film goes beyond that!

At last we have a comic book film that really acknowledges that its hero is part of a larger comic book universe. Yes we've had Samuel L. lurking around after the credits in recent years but that always seemed a bit forced. And it's even more important now as the newer films are using material from the more modern marvel comics and they are very big on synergy and stories that feature across the whole marvel universe ie Civil War/World War Hulk/Secret Invasion/Dark Victory etc

And as I said this isn't like the "oh by the way there's a meteor with an alien symbiote that just happens to land near Peter's bike" mess that was Spider-Man 3. Nick Fury is there because he is supposed to be there, because he needs to be there, because in the comics this is the kind of time when he would show up and he would show up with a little story and a box. What's even greater is the fact that all the little cast members are just cool too as we have a return of Agent Coulson from the first film and I for one hope to see more of him. We also get to see Favreau flesh out his role as Happy Hogan, Tony Stark's long time friend and driver.

Favreau also fleshes out the style of the movie using the most stylized camera work than I've seen since Spider-Man 2 (the last great Spider-Man film), I particularly love the tail cam on War Machine when comes into land at an air force base, amazing detail.

But for all this work, all the attention to detail, they seem to have forgot the heart of the film. Boy could they have not done it on a more convenient film, the list of puns is endless but I just don't feel I can be mean about this film.

It honestly doesn't make any sense, all the pieces are there, this film should be down right pant wettingly good. But I think with all the detailing and fine tuning and tweaking they just forgot to sit back, relax, and have some fun.

Remember the A/V seizure that was Transformers 2, the scene in the woods were Prime takes on the Deceptacons and kicks arse till he ultimately dies in a ridiculously contrived manner. The film sucked, but that scene was genius, that was what you wanted to see, and if your a little bit simple like me you balled your fist and thrust it at the screen while mumbling "Yeah, go Prime" so you didn't embarrass yourself too much.

That's what Iron-Man 2 was missing, a balled fist and little embarrassment, they got so wound up worrying about getting it right they forgot to have a little fun.

You do get to see Thor's hammer though.

Sweet.

Sam and Max, Supreme Commander 2 and the Alien Prequels

I'm getting rather addicted to direct to drive distribution. It's sounds clever but it's not really. It allows you to download computer games directly to your hard drive, it negates the need to leave the house and go to the computer game store completely...genius.

The addiction derives from the fact that my particular games peddler(Steam)tend to have amazing sales every other day. So I have been picking up a vast amount of games incredibly cheaply. Take Psychonauts for example; I bought it for £1...1 WHOLE POUND - that is amazing value. This sort of distribution is definitely the future, especially with all the DRM issues at the moment. Surely Steam and other services like it solve those issues?

I also picked up Supreme Commander 2 via Steam the other day. It's one of those build yourself a base and a army, then go and stomp on your opponent games - it's a lot of fun. I have been playing online so keep an eye out for me and my army if you're an online regular. I'm pretty terrible so go easy on me.


I have been a fan of Sam and Max for blooming ages and the third season of their point and click adventure started this month.


I have just completed the first episode and it was utterly brilliant - go buy it, go buy it, go buy it. I'm a big fan of this kind of episodic content, as I have a nasty habit of just playing something until I have completed it. This way I have a game that I know will take me 5 months to finish so I end up taking my time over each episode. It's a more enjoyable experience and it feels like I have got my moneys worth

And finally I have been hearing rumors that Ridley Scott is going to revisit the Alien Franchise.

"It’s set in 2085, about 30 years before Sigourney [Weaver's character Ellen Ripley]. It’s fundamentally about going out to find out ‘Who the hell was that Space Jockey?’ The guy who was sitting in the chair in the alien vehicle — there was a giant fellow sitting in a seat on what looked to be either a piece of technology or an astronomer’s chair. ... [The film] is about the discussion of terraforming — taking planets and planetoids and balls of earth and trying to terraform, seed them with the possibilities of future life."

I'm super excited about this, I love all of Ridley's films: Alien and Bladerunner especially, so I will definitely be looking forward it. Ridley is one of those directers that keep on making good films...unlike Cameron!!

2010 really is the year of remakes - they promised it would be. I guess the recession was good for one thing...Tron 2, Alien prequels. I'm happy with that.

What Makes Me Angry by Crabs

What makes me angry is this countries obsequious pandering to the American lifestyle, like those fat, inbred, thick as shit, trigger happy monkeys have anything to offer anyone.

Sorry, that is perhaps a little generalised and rather caustic but I'm a tad pissed off.

Firstly I'm not eating very much chocolate, and I freaking love chocolate. I was raised by a dyed in the wool chocoholic, my mother would literally kill babies for chocolate at one stage. Sometimes I wonder if she has in fact committed human rights atrocities to feed her addiction.

Why am I not eating much chocolate? Because Kraft are a big fat bunch of greasy fingered twats is why!

Not only are they about to rape a British institution but they're going to do it with money apparently borrowed from a British bank!!

And that's what really gets me worked up, is how god damned stupid we have got, that we live in a country were national pride has been reduced to selling each other out for whatever we can get. At least Americans try to have a little self respect.

It's not as though they're force feeding us the American lifestyle, we're just guzzling it down like the ever increasingly fat country we are.

For example I went into Somerfield (now owned by the Co-Op), never been the most delightful place for customer service as I'm fairly certain they only hire mental hospital out-patients. However now when I'm on my 30 minute dinner and having queued quite some time, I get to the till I am assailed with pointless and annoying questions...

"Do you have a Co-Op members card?"
"Would you like one?"
"Did you you know it's a lottery roll over this week?"
"Would You like a lottery ticket?"
"Do you need any stamps?"

I'm buying a tin of soup and a bread roll, why the fuckity would I need stamps!?! Perhaps I've a adopted a stance of bizarre forward planning and I'm now posting my dinner to myself to avoid having to be bombarded by inane questions.

And in some places I'm now confronted by sales assistants giving me their shitting name! Why the hell do I want to know your name! I don't even want you polyester sweat stains near me thank you very much, let alone develop our brief relationship to a first name basis.

Or maybe I'm just being a grumpy fart, if I'm honest when I was in New York I rather liked the people there, and the service. Then again, there's not really any Americans in New York and you expect the service, in Sheffield, well I prefer a certain amount of social distance.

Most certainly not Sweet.

The Lost Initiative Season 6: Episode 12



Theory Battle




Fan Focus





The Lost Initiative Season 6: Episode 11


Theory Battle



Fan Focus



The Lost Initiative Season 6: Episode 10



Theory Battle



Fan Focus


The Lost Initiative Season 6: Episode 9




Theory Battle



Fan Focus



The Lost Initiative Season 6: Episode 8



Theory Battle





Fan Focus



The Weekly Crabs

WeIt can be difficult to know what to write on these things, so I put a plan into motion last week to give me something to write about, I bought God of War 3. On the same day my house-mate bought Just Cause 2, which we proceeded to play, a lot, as we always do.

So I think I'll write about that, but we don't play games properly, we like to faff about doing stupid little things that have no real bearing on the main plot. If you don't know JC2 is also a sandbox game, so essentially we spent the weekend doing nothing.

Hmm, what to do, what to do?

Can't review JC2, I've only played enough to know that I'm currently working on the grappling hook plus re-depolyable parachute thingy as it is the only way we will travel in 10 years time.

Can't review GoD3 cause I only just started playi...oh wait KICK-ASS!!!



To sum up my previous knowledge and expectations of KICK-ASS:

1. Awesome premise of an ordinary kid become less than super super-hero;
2. Awesome British writers Mark Millar(comic), Jane Goldman(screenplay);
3. Awesome British director Matthew Vaughn who doesn't take shit (screw you The One Show);
4. Funded by said Awesome director because the obtuse, half-wit, tasteless, feckless, artistically stunted movie studios wouldn't fund it. Pussy's (or is it pussies);
5. Filmed in the UK with an awesome British lead Aaron Johnson;
6. Awesome trailer.

So I had high hopes, the trailer had blown me away and the "against all odds" story around the making of the film made me warm to it even more. Don't think me foolish though, I was there for The Phantom Menace, I saw the rape of Indiana Jones! I steeled myself for a movie that was full of good intentions but lacked all capacity to actually entertain.

Thank Gods my preparations were unnecessary!

Kick-Ass does in fact...entertain a whole lot and then some (ok, I did write it first time, I even texted that line to Geeky Tom, to my eternal shame).

I haven't read the comic, didn't want to, but I have spoke to someone who has so in my references to the comic bear this mind and don't get all precious. I'm going to read it but I'm reading The Boys right now so tough tities.

Is this possibly the best super-hero movie ever made? That's too big a question for my feeble mind, but I'd put it in the top 3.

The writing is great, it flips from feeling natural to comic book ludicrous, all at the right points and at the key moments which gets some great inspirational speeches. The scene were Kick-Ass first gets his chance to shine and basically lays down his mission statement, will forever be etched in my mind. Also I love the little mundane, slightly off topic chats that happen throughout the film. I've a feeling they're ad-libed which would make them even more enjoyable, DVD commentary watch me thinks.

And that's the thing, there haven't been a whole lot of films recently were I've thought "man I'd love to watch that with commentary", but with Kick-Ass you feel there's this bigger story going on.

There are a few major changes to the story such as Big Daddy and Hit Girls back story, which I feel would be a pacing issue. There's very little of the Kick-Ass/Red Mist team up which I feel is a bit of a disservice in a way, and did make me doubt some of Red Mists stronger feelings towards the end. On the flip side though there's the way they treated Red Mist, apparently giving him more back story and in my opinion making him more interesting and enjoyable to watch.

On that note the acting is pitch perfect, thought there are some oddities.



Firstly Kick-Ass/Aaron Johnson really plays the emotion well, his impotent rage in the beginning, then the righteous indignation, but at the same time he's still just a scared kid. In a way it truly is the origin of a hero story.



Hit Girl/Chloe Moretz is scarily good, really really good, and I'm going to say what many may fear to say in the real world (it's in the film) but I feel someone has to...she's kinda hot. Mostly, child characters in films are just crap, or creepy and annoying. When you're watching Hit Girl you forget it's a tiny child you're watching, until there's a glimmer of the scared little kid hiding inside, genius.

Big Daddy/Nicholas Cage is an odd one, I love how messed up he is, training his tiny child to kill mobsters. From the moment you see them it's pretty clear he's nuttier than a Snickers wrapped in a nut loaf and sprinkled with nuts, then eaten by a crazy person. But...the way he plays it makes more sense for the character in the comic than in the film. At the end of the comic it turns out his back story is a lie and he's actually a comic book nerd gone mad who kidnaps his daughter and trains her to kill a mobster he fixated on after his marriage split. Evil genius in my mind but I feel I agree it wouldn't of worked on teh big screen.

Both me and a friend were worried that Red Mist/Christopher Mintz-Plasse would just be McLovin the super-hero. We were so very wrong, he plays a great character whose much more fleshed out from the comics and I'm curious to see were he goes with it.

I suppose I should mention Frank D'Amico/Mark Strong, as he is the bad guy, and he doesn't do anything bad. But I feel he's not really the point of the film, and his whole mob are such an enjoyable bunch of wise-guy cannon fodder that he kind gets lost. Not in a bad way but lets be clear this is an origins story, and probably the best ever because it doesn't feel that way. Till after of course, when your writing a blog and thinking about it too much.

OK I've not got much time left, need to go play GoD3, NEED!

Matthew Vaughn is a genius. The film is beautiful, pacing, editing, music (the music is just cussing awesome) it's the whole mise-en-scene package. But I suppose when your funding it you are going to do a damn good job. It could of changed into one of those passion pieces though, the ones were the director runs rampant, thinks he's made his masterpiece and ends up looking like a tit. If that's the case with this film Vaughn must have some really great people around him to keep his head in the game.

I'd say the next time someone wants to make a great film and the studios don't give them a look just look at Kick-Ass. This could herald a new age of independent cinema, one were the movies do in fact Kick-Ass. (Damn it, I got all the way to the end!)

Oh before I go there were several damn good trailers before Kick-Ass but one in particular caught my eye as; 1. Its filmed set in Sheffield 2. It's Chris Morris

Here's Four Lions:



Sweet

Crabs eye view of this silly little world.

I have had my hair cut and with this new hair comes certain responsibilities, thus from this day forward (it should of been yesterday but I was a little drunk, lets remember here these are self imposed responsibilities) I will attempt to post weekly. Yes weekly.

And thus the scope of my gaze may shift from current events to ghosts of things that have passed, depending on my mood and/or attention span for that given week.

Just quickly as this wasn't supposed to be part of this post, I'm just watching the new Flash Forward and I'm reminded why I lost interest before. Why? Well I just really couldn't give a toss if they all just blacked out and never woke again, I just plain don't like anyone in that program. Could be one of those watch in one sitting shows though so maybe I'll come back to it. Let me know what it is I'm missing if you disagree. On second thoughts go screw yourself, that's the most annoying messianic voice over ever, had enough of it on Heroes.

Onwards!

For Mother's Day I treated my mum to Alice in Wonderland on IMAX 3D, an unusual Mother's Day jaunt you may think but both my sisters live in Australia so I pretty much have free reign to do what ever family stuff I choose.


Firstly IMAX 3D certainly is worth the money and straight after leaving I jotted in my diary Clash of the Titans and Tron: Legacy, especially Tron!

Perhaps Alice wasn't the best movie for an introduction to IMAX 3D, Avatar would of been amazing but I could't sit through that narrative miasma again.


Alice is a return to form for Burton (thank god it wasn't another Wonka) and beautifully captures the look and feel of wonderland, through a Burton tinted lens of course. The whole world is fantastically realised in a true artistic fashion down to the finest details, even those that don't take centre stage, which I think is the sign of real genius.

Then we get to the end and are eternally branded with the knowledge that Burton should avoid song and dance numbers at all costs, wait, didn't we learn that with Wonka. He also seems to have forgot how a film ends, perhaps he just didn't want to let go of this project.

And so I come to the most important part of my IMAX 3D experience: TRON: LEGACY!


If I'd seen this on a tiny, tiny computer screen I would of loved this, however I saw this on IMAX 3D. Just let that sink in, Tron: Legacy, in 3D on a screen however many stories high, I very nearly got up and left right there, you know, to spend a little time alone, with my thoughts...

The production design on this is truly amazing, lets hope the story lives up to the look (unlike Avatar) but from what's being thrown around the net this sounds like the case.

What fills me with hope is the subtle but effective marketing that has been done for Tron. Flynnlives.com and all the associated ARG and viral Mcgubbins have been so carefully planned if even half that care and attention makes it to the film, well it'll be sweet. It reminds me of the Dark Knight marketing that built up over such a long time, and well, that was OK wasn't it.

I have some giant IMAX 3D fingers crossed.

Sweet.

Great Games When Your Drunk

I recently read a post on Digg that was all about good to play while getting drunk. I think I pretty much disagreed with all them - I seem to have a bit of reputation of being a negative Nelly. So I thought I would show you my top 3 games to get smashed to...you know, add a bit of positivity to the post.

In third place with have Wii Bowling. The key to this is all about the comedy run-ups, the longer and the silly the better. In fact the scores don't really matter at all, marks are awarded to the best run-ups. It basically turns in to the Ministry of Silly Walks sketch from Monty Python. However I would warn you that things can get a bit dangerous once large amounts have been consumed. Run-up silliness has a direct correlation to Alcohol consumed. There is an equation waiting to be discovered right there.


Coming in a close second is WWE Smack Down - a wrestling game where you can take on your friends in 4 way beer fuelled fights. We made it our own by creating our own wrestling characters. I wasn't know as a Geeky Tom back then which is annoying as he would have made the greatest Wrestling character. So the basic premise was drink beer, challenge your friends by shouting SMAAAAAAACK DOOOOOOOWN really loudly in their face and let the chaos ensue.


and Number one has to be Rock band!!!! We call it instant party. Nothing can get the beer flowing like a bunch of people pretending to play musical instruments. When you and your mock band has enticed the room in to clapping along to your plastic instrument, everything just seems to make sense, like your were born to be a pretend rock star. Hahaha I said plastic instrument.


This is a definitely not a picture of me!

The Lost Initiative Season 6: Episode 7

Lewis Hamilton Reveals His Secret Life in New ARG



I love these things, they're great ways of telling stories...even though they can sometimes be rather far fetched - I guess that's half the fun.

For the people that don't know an ARG (alternate reality game) is an interactive narrative that uses the real world as a platform, often involving multiple media and game elements, to tell a story that may be affected by participants' ideas or actions. Wikipedia

The low down with Reebok latest marketing campaign is thus. Lewis Hamilton - Jet setting motor car driver - has decided to put this new discovered talent for stealing/rescuing famous paintings to fairly good use (think the Thomas Crown Affair). He has decided that paintings he sees on his travels around the world would be better off in Museums, rather than in wealthy business men's bathrooms. I can see the logic in that...I think.

So where do you come in? I will let Lewis introduce you to his team and explain the rest:

Since that first job, the operation has got a lot more sophisticated. I’m what you might call the ‘front man’ but it’s a real team effort now. Anna, she arranges everything. Joe trains my body and mind. Lenny, he’s - well, Lenny doesn’t do much but he has his uses.

And then there’s you. That’s right - the world is just too big for the four of us to sort out. I’ve had too many close calls. We need help. We need you - seeing what we can’t see, hearing what we can’t hear. The vital last member of the team.

The best place to start if you want to get involved would be here: www.secretlewis.com/.


Also - as normal with these things - the guys over at the unfiction forums (the ARG specialists) are following the events, although it will probably contain spoilers.

The Lost Initiative Season 6: Episode 6



Theory Battle and Fan Focus



Tron Tron Tron Tron Legacy

It's nearly a year away but I'm really excited about Tron Legacy - the sequel to one of my all time favourite films. It has been a while since they last teased us with this:


Apparently this is just some test footage, show casing what was now possible with computers and that. Apparently making Geoff Bridges look really really young. Not bad!

Now a few years later this trailer has been released:


And it got my very excited again. They seem to be doing everything right, Bruce Boxleitner is back (He was Tron in the previous film), Geoff Bridges (Young and old) is back, Daft Punk are doing the Soundtrack - one of my favourite acts. It ticks all the boxes...and probably more that I have forgotten about.

I went to see the rather depressingly poor Alice in Wonderland land last night. The only thing that could have rescued that night was the possibility of seeing the new Tron trailer in 3D...they didn't show it which pissed me off.

Rather annoyingly Greg saw it when he went to see Alice and thought it would be funny to send me a text about how good it was. At the time I was stuck in a hotel in Aston - near Manchester - drinking Magners Cider, surrounded by horrible slags. It has been a depressing few days for me.

Anyway, after seeing Avatar (pretty pictures, shit story) I really bloody can't wait to see Tron Legacy in 3D...at the iMax (yes, I'm going all out). It better not disappoint or it will be the biggest waste of £40 (or whatever these iMax tickets cost) since I rolled £20 in 1 pence coins down the main hight street in Sheffield...ok that never happened, but it will do. It's on my Life list!

The Lost Initiative Season 6: Episode 5

The Lost Initiative Season 6: Episode 4

The Lost Initiative Season 6: Episode 3



Theory Battle lol:

The Lost Initiative Season 6: Episode 1 & 2

We're back...




You can download it from iTunes now and it's seem we have gone straight in to the podcast charts at number 8!!!!

I'm doing a webchat next Friday too, I just remembered. The last one was a laugh so drop in and say hi. It's normally promoted via the skyone twitter and on their website.

Fan Theories:

and the Theory Battle:

Lost Reduced and Lostblog.com Stuff

I've been busy recently which makes a change. First off I've been doing some interviews and some other stuff for the lovely people over at the lostblog.com.

I here is the first 5 questions from the interview:
Q:  How long have you been watching Lost?
Since the beginning. I worked at Channel 4 when they bought the rights to the first series. I got told to watch it by a colleague because they thought I would absolutely love it..they were right. I got asked to do the Channel 4 Lost podcast on the back of the work I did on the Channel 4 Lost website and because I had seen the first season and the majority of the second. It seems that my Geeky status is a bit of a cheat!
Q: How did Lost get its polar bear claws into you? What about it got you hooked?
I was hooked after the second episode – We all thought it was a Jurassic Park clone after the first. You hear the noise of the smoke monster and it sounded a bit like a dinosaur which for some reason me and my friends had never been huge fans of (sorry Spielberg). But after the next was finished and there was no dinosaurs in sight, we watched the rest and bloody loved it.
Q: Favorite character?
Ben – Fantastic character and I have a feeling he still has some HUGE secrets left.
Q: Least favorite character?
I have a love hate relationship with Jack
Q: Favorite episode or season?
First episode of the second series. I waited a while to find out what was in the hatch and it was such a contrast to the living conditions and the stuff going on above ground that it blow my mind. I remember bigging it up to my friends at the time to the point where they were completely sick of it AND me.
you can read the rest here.

I also did laid down some Lost predicitons for them too, some are silly, some are more serious. Here is the first:
1. Sawyer is going to die
Get the rest here.

Also I am off to this tonight:



Iain is going to sneak me in because apparently I'm not famous enough to get on the guest list...the swines!

Here is a small exstract from their press release:
"The celebrated comedy theatre troupe have condensed all five seasons into a fast paced flight through the story of the Oceanic plane crash survivors. The world premiere is to be held in London on Thursday 28th January, performed for an intimate audience of competition winners. The production will also be filmed for internet broadcast as well as on the Sky Platform’s Anytime service."
 It sounds like it's going to be blast, I can't wait. But I'm probably more excited about this:



 You can read more about it here.

By the way I don't look like that anymore =)

Meet Matt Haydock...He does poetry


He also posts on this blog from time to time when he can be bothered.

Lost is Back for it's Final Series

My first Lost related post for a while. It seemed appropriate as things seem to be winding up for the start of the new series. The web is a-wash with blog posts, theories and teasers all waiting to inform, annoy and finally ruin your day with their show spoiling articles. Quite ironic really, me writing this as most of my friends ban me from saying anything about any show as I normally end up letting a bit too much information go. Like last night in the pub where I may have inadvertantly ruined the end of the "The Road" for a friend.

Hey guess what though? I just can't help myself. Check out the the image below.


(Via aint it cool and one of their eagle eyed users who recently visited Hawaii)

It might be a spoiler, but it also might not be...ok it’s a spoiler. Looks like the Hydra station doesn’t it? But knowing my track record of trying to predict these types of things it will be something completely different...like a picture of Jack or something. Ok maybe not a picture of Jack, Kate maybe? Infact I know what it is because it said on the Aint it cool post where I stole the image from. I was just trying to add some mystery where there isn't any. Bad form, I appologise. This is really turning in to a rubbish post, I appologse.

Anwyay, MORE SPOILERS! I hear you cry. Isn’t that what the internet is all about? Spoiling our favourite shows? You demand to know which actors will be returning?. How about pretty much every all of them. Put that in your pipe and smoke it! No surprise really as nothing seems to stay dead for long and that crazy guy in black seems to be able to make himself look like any – dead –body he wants to. To go in to a little bit more detail I will mention names. Boon, Michael, Libby and some others which I can’t remember because I was in the pub till late last nigt spoiling shows for people.

The Lost Initiative will be back of course. I know you either love or hate our childish banter. So if you hate us then go away please you smell of wee. However if you like us than keep an eye out on the horizon that is the SkyOne website, we will be making our triumphant return soon.

Right I’m off to watch the Lovely Bones in the work cinema - living the dream. lol

SPIDER-MAN 4 DEAD! Who cares, WARCRAFT!!!

After a long feminine induced hiatus I'm back with mind crushing news!!!

As a big Spider-Man fan I'm not too devastated by the news the fourth film is canned for now, particularly after the pea soup of a movie they squirted out last time.

The good news!!!

According to the boffins over at aintitcool.com that now means Sam Raimi is going to do the Warcraft movie!!! I know I have a pant ripping erection too.

All we need now is Ted Raimi as a night elf and the man himself Bruce Campbell doing a cameo as some knuckle head hero and I'm in heaven.

Sweet!