Saturday, 23 July 2016

Giger Power!

The award-winning Swiss surrealist left behind an iconic legacy.

Let's face it, the guy was a fucking genius.

Something tells me Alien wasn't his only contribution to cinema.

Although not a supernatural patch on Tobe Hooper's fantastic original, Poltergeist II: The Other Side had its moments and probably most remembered for Julian Beck's creepy Reverend Kane uttering "God is in His Holy Temple."

Stomach cancer would seal his fate in real life.

After necking tequila, a drunken Craig T. Nelson turns nasty and eventually spews up Mezcal worm.

The original Species wasn't very good and spawned a host of terrible sequels.

Still, the true guise of Natasha Henstridge's sexy alien Sil compensated, who went through men faster than water disappearing down plughole.

He was also responsible for choo choo nightmare sequence.

It may have been based on a drawing for Alejandro Jodorowsky's cancelled big screen adaptation of Frank Herbert's classic 1965 novel Dune.

I've never seen mutant thriller Future-Kill, but I bet vital organs poster was the highlight.

For psychological point-and-click adventure Dark Seed (and its 1995 sequel), Giger gave Cyberdreams access to much of his fantastic archive.

As Normal and Dark worlds co-exist, did Silent Hill rip idea off?

Here we see Satan I, which Celtic Frost used for their album To Mega Therion.
Landscape XVIII.
Mike Dawson's reflection eerily becomes...
...The Great Beast (detail).
Not to be outdone.

The innocent stare of infancy morphs into something less than adorable.

At just 27, Giger's long-term partner Li Tobler committed suicide.

She is immortalized in 1974 paintings Li I and Li II.

How both are used.

Darkworlder Keeper of the Scrolls helps Mike stop the ancients.
Complete with archetypal biomechanical gloss, Hommage à Böcklin is incorporated.
A fitting tribute of Arnold Böcklin's fifth version of Isle of the Dead.
In stunning contrast, the following received no permission and exploited Giger's immense popularity.

It's all jolly good fun.

Biometal (SNES)
W Ring: The Double Rings (PC Engine)
X-Multiply (Arcade)

Z-Out (Amiga/Atari ST)
Act-Fancer: Cybernetick Hyper Weapon (Arcade)
Rezon (Arcade)
Splatterhouse 3 (Mega Drive)
Mega Turrican (Mega Drive)
It appears bony transport was inspired by Biomechanical Landscape III (Trains)
Contra III: The Alien Wars (SNES)

Recurring series monster Kimkoh 'unofficially' appears as opening boss in the generally unlikable Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia.
Chakan: The Forever Man (Mega Drive)
Devil Crash (Mega Drive)
Ecco the Dolphin was directly influenced by the writings of John C. Lilly and sees Bottlenosed bad ass pass through time and defeat an alien race.

Vortex Queen
Developed by Psyclapse (a division of Psygnosis), Baal was uncharacteristically a very ordinary action platformer.

Instead of Roger Dean, Melvyn Grant assumed cover art responsibility.
Amusingly, the end boss is fuck all like what we're led to believe.
Wait a mo.

Hmmm, I detect some 'similarity'.

Depending on chosen route, expect to fight this incarnation of Jagger Froid in Mega Drive alternative Contra: Hard Corps.
Releasing Dark Knight's ultimate power, the Firebird, is key to defeating Dark Gaia's final form in SNES RPG classic Illusion of Gaia.
In pretty bizarre Master System effort SpellCaster, observe end boss Dark Lord.
Not to be confused with Game Boy, or much later GBA reimagining; Game Gear version of Double Dragon demanded to Hold Your Tongue.
What's this?

Space Manbow (MSX2/MSX2+)
Oh my Li!

What a superb rip off.


Very, very debatable, but I reckon when designing first form of Silent Hill: Homecoming end boss Amnion, Double Helix Games took a leaf out of the great man's book. 
His most celebrated creation remains kind of a big deal.

Physical evidence will be shown...

Friday, 15 July 2016

Now You See Me 2 - The scoop and digest

Jon M. Chu replaces Louis Leterrier as director and Lizzy Caplan's Lula steps in for Isla Fisher's High Priestess Henley Reeves.

There's nothing sinister or untoward about Fisher's absence, as pregnancy deemed her unavailable.

Women eh? They'll use any excuse.

Ha ha ha!

For fun, they did share screen time together in decent 2012 girlie comedy Bachelorette.

Oh, Harry Potter is introduced as Tressler's son Walter.

Jesse Eisenberg - Atlas
Woody Harrelson - Merritt/Chase
Mark Ruffalo - Agent Dylan Rhodes
Dave Franco - Wilder
Michael Caine - Arthur Tressler
Morgan Freeman - Thaddeus Bradley

I know Woody now plays dual roles...

New Jersey 1984.

A young Dylan witnesses his father Lionel Strike attempt to escape from underwater safe go drastically wrong.

30 years later, the Four Horsemen are keeping a low profile.

With frustration and patience wearing thin, Atlas takes the bull by the bollocks and seeks out The Eye.

A mysterious voice in a tunnel hints mission start isn't too far away.

'Amateur magic geek' Lulu is soon recruited as new Horseman and Rhodes ends frustration by challenging them to expose the corrupt Owen Case.

Reason given for Henley Reeves' expulsion was because of The Eye's 'inactivity'.

Things don't go swimmingly at product launch and while evading the FBI, they're captured by Merritt's twin brother Chase who presents them before tech tycoon Walter in Macau.

British silver tongue persuades them to steal a data card from Case's secret facility located underneath a local gambling den.

Why the fuck are secret facilities always 'under' and not above something?

Determined to learn the truth behind conspiracy, Rhodes busts Thaddeus out of grey bar hotel and seeks answers in China.

Brushing up on slight of playing card hand, Horsemen manage to complete assignment and steal chip.

Almost inevitably, Walter and cronies poop on elation.

Guess who that voice belonged to?

W is for...

Rhodes intervenes and fists fly, but is ultimately taken by Walter's men.

The Fool.

Still pissed at Rhodes for screwing up a tidy insurance claim, Tressler places him inside replica safe and leaves rival to drown.

After escape is secured, Rhodes and the Horsemen reunite after baddies foolishly assume murder success.

Magic shop owners Li and grandmother reveal they are members of The Eye and performing on the streets of London to flush out baddies sounds like a spiffing idea.

Lula (doves), Wilder (giant playing cards) and Atlas (weather control) all wow curious onlookers.

Pattern is sniffed out and Horsemen are again taken, this time on board private jet.

Chase, Walter and Tressler celebrate after human disposal but the joke's on them, as plane never took flight.

It's amazing what rain machines and powerful fans can accomplish...

With shady dealings televised live, criminals can kiss freedom and asses goodbye.

Rhodes gives chip to the bureau for safe-keeping and the Horsemen finally shed unwanted skin.

Li takes all and sundry to 'another' secret location and Thaddeus lauds Rhodes for what master illusionist has become.

Film closes with Thaddeus narrating and Horsemen gazing above spiral staircase forming The Eye.

As expected, this lacks the, ahem, magic of original.

Ludicrous plot is muddled, script disappoints and chase sequences are pointless.

Daniel Radcliffe serves up another lifeless performance and why overrated asshole keeps getting work begs bastard belief.

Woody's gobshite brother irritates but at least Lizzy Caplan injects some charisma.

For all its faults, few can argue running time delivers consistent entertainment.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Artistic beauty in music II

Here's the surprise sequel to essential original.

Don't remember?

You're just a click away...


The following may cause eyes to go googly.

Dinosaur Pile-Up - Eleven Eleven
Mariachi El Bronx - Mariachi El Bronx (III)
Soulwax - Nite Versions
Ulver - Atgclvlsscap (Live)
We Were Promised Jetpacks - Unravelling
I the Mighty - Connector
Released several months after What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World, Florasongs brings a medley of unreleased tracks from sessions that produced The Decemberists' album.

I suppose you need to cast a 'magic eye' to appreciate EP box art.

When eyes have readjusted, please continue.

Keane - Under the Iron Sea and MGMT - Congratualtions

The Great Wave off Kanagawa - Hokusai
Fleetwood Mac - Tango in the Night and The Snake Charmer - Henri Rousseau

Rage Against the Machine's Renegades parodies Robert Indiana's pop art Love.

Gentle Giant - Live At the Bicentennial 1976 and George Washington - Gilbert Stuart

Marillion - Fugazi and The Death of Marat - Jacques-Louis David

Badly Drawn Boy's The Hour of Bewilderbeast and Wednesday 13's Monsters of The Universe: Come Out and Plague poke fun at Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man.

As a special bonus, it may have escaped attention that Vampire Weekend's video for Diane Young does a great job re-enacting the most famous painting in the world.

The Last Supper - Leonardo da Vinci
Funeral For a Friend's debut Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation was more than likely influenced by René Magritte's The Lovers.

Joni Mitchell's Turbulent Indigo amalgamates Van Gogh's Self-Portrait With Bandaged Ear and Starry Night.

Def Leppard effort Retroactive is nigh on identical to Charles Allan Gilbert's All Is Vanity.

Madonna's Celebration is a nod towards Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe.

Tenacious D and The Pick of Destiny refs Michelangelo's Creation of Adam.

Take a skeg at the following.

We Are Scientists - With Love and Squalor
Q-Tip - The Renaissance
Bowling For Soup - Let's Do It For Johnny!!
Longpigs - Mobile Home
Blitz Kids - The Good Youth
The Wombats - This Modern Glitch
Show of Hands - Beat About the Bush
Abbe May - Design Desire
Notice something?

Course yer' do.

Those in charge of cover design were surely aware of René Magritte's The Son of Man.
Amidst miscellany, I note the following on Electric Light Orchestra's Secret Messages.

Titian's Venus of Urbino (detail) and Alexandros of Antioch's Venus de Milo.
Let's sculpt.

Anatomical image 'Surgical Anatomy' lithograph - Joseph Maclise
Cherry Ghost - Herd Runners
Orpheus and Eurydice - Auguste Rodin
Arcade Fire - Reflektor
Alpheus and Arethusa - Battista di Domenico Lorrenzi
Jay-Z - Magna Carta Holy Grail
The St John's Ambulance Bearers - Benjamin Clemens
The Jam - Setting Sons
The Sluggard - Frederic Lord Leighton
Django Django - Born under Saturn

The Nightmare - Henry Fuseli
Membranes - Dark Matter/Dark Energy
Front and back of The Avalanches' Since I Left You details The Sinking of USS President Lincoln on 31st May 1918 by Fred Dana Marsh.

Heathen was a strong return to form for the late and great David Bowie.

I'm unsure why, but paintings inside booklet are partially defaced.

Please admire kick-ass photography.

Christ and St. John with Angels - Peter Paul Rubens
Massacre of the Innocents - Guido Reni
Saint Mary Magdalene - Carlo Dolci
Madonna and Child with Six Angels - Duccio di Buoninsegna
Not content with taking the piss, the following took the fucking piss.

Some dude called Kii Arens assumed responsibility for cover art, layout and photography for Jonathan Wilson's Fanfare.
Stealing and separating the hands of Adam and God is outright blasphemy.
In stark contrast, The Kinks Present a Soap Opera.

Eliran Kantor's impressive scrawl for Soulfly's Archangel appears to have been [cough] 'inspired' by Raphael's St. Michael Vanquishing Satan.

Want more?


Thirteen Senses - Contact vs The Pleasure Principle (Portrait of Edward James) - René Magritte


Albeit in more glamorous fashion. Paloma Faith's 2014 album A Perfect Contradiction screws Caravaggio's masterpiece The Entombment of Christ.

Stay tuned for film's revenge, television and video games finally pushing start.
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