Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Pacific Rim - The scoop and digest

Like a James Cameron, John Carpenter, Steven Spielberg or any other great director, Guillermo del Toro rarely pollutes the film industry with a rocket that fails to launch.

However, expectation brings its own pressures and if the promise of a blockbuster folds meekly like a serviette, the disappointment may be greater than a Catherine Wheel refusing to spin.

Will a catastrophic calamity be brought or the deafening sound of mechanical magnificence?

Plot details and/or spoilers will rise from the depths of the drink.

Components of apocalyptic anarchy include:

Charlie Hunnam – Raleigh Becket
Idris Elba – Marshall Pentecost
Rinko Kikuchi – Mako Mori
Charlie Day – Newton
Burn Gorman – Gottlieb
Ron Perlman – Hannibal Chau
Robert Kazinsky - Chuck

Arising from some kind of portal on the Pacific floor, the Kaiju are aliens of unusual size who cannot help but leave a trail of destruction in their wake and the extinction of humanity seems inevitable.

However, to counter the relentless and monstrous hurricane that refuses to blow itself out, megabots called Jaegers prove to be the fly in their ointment.

“In order to fight monsters, we created monsters of our own.”

Batteries are not included so these super mechs require dual pilots to take the fight to ugly inconvenience.

The concept of ‘drift’ compatibility is essential and is described as a neural bond between both participants.

As a connection is made, emotions and memories must be embraced which; good or bad, pleasant or nasty, lumping it is the only option.  It not only involves being physically linked, but also dictates fighting performance.

The war is already in full swing and we see the party pooped for the Kaiju as the corpses of some demonstrate.

To quickly explain, the size and might of Kaijus are measured by Category.

We are introduced almost immediately to the Becket brothers consisting of Raleigh and Yancy.  At daft o’clock in the morning, they are alerted to a Kaiju attack at sea and so begins the action as we enter the Jaeger and attack the first intergalactic menace.

The battle is won but Yancy will play no further part…

On a beach some miles away from the mayhem, the badly damaged Jaeger struggles to shore and collapses.  Raleigh emerges, battered and bruised and will live to fight another day.

Five years later...

As the Jaegers have grown predictable, those pesky aliens have got wise and these war machines have been retired by global leaders.  Instead, they resort to building Coastal Walls as apparently as a more effective line of defence.

Predictably, freezing chocolate in a lit oven proves more fruitful as this ‘impenetrable’ structure is broken down in Sydney.  Marshall Pentecost responds by re-deploying the remaining Jaegers to Hong Kong and plans to nuke the Kaijus entrance, later revealed as the Breach.

The surviving Becket brother is found by Marsh and asked to pilot Gipsy Danger.

He accompanies Marsh to Hong Kong who informs Raleigh that the army has become the resistance and shows him around the Jaeger factory, showcasing all manner of mean machines.

For those shits and chuckles, here’s the robot resistance in full, hailing from...

Striker EurekaAustralia
Kaiju Crush – New Zealand
Coyote Tango – Japan
Chuck – USA
Cherno Alpha – Russia
Yukon Echo – Canada
Gipsy Danger – USA
Crimson Typhoon - China

So if this was the Grand National, who’s your favourite horse?

Personally, I’d back Crimson Typhoon to storm home and squeak a few quid each way on Kaiju Crush.

Scurrying back to it, Pentecost’s research team consists of Kaiju geek Newton and science eccentric Gottlieb.  Raleigh also meets Mako who leads the Jaeger restoration project.

He feels the connection and wants her as his new co-pilot.

Candidate training takes place via stick fighting and the chemistry oozes between he and Mori.  Shortly after, the dream team is born.

It’s dreadful and pompous but another film that immediately springs to my mind also featuring a stick fight is Rambo III.

During a Gipsy Danger trial run, Mori’s memories cause her to go ape shit as we learn that a Kaiju attack orphaned her.

Here or thereabouts, Newton uses a piece of kit that allows a neural handshake to be established between him and part of a Kaiju brain.

He concludes what they’ve fought before are clones.

Things take a turn for the worse as alien attacks take out multiple Jaegers and in the same breath; a bot is disabled by an electrical nuke.

You see, all Jaegers are digital apart from the apparently obsolete Gipsy as that old war horse is analogue, a walking nuclear reactor and the ace up their ass.

Raleigh and Mako are sent to mount a last ditch attack on the source of entry…

After a chat with Pentecost, Newt tracks down Kaiju black market dude Hannibal Chau to acquire more alien grey matter and try the same smeg twice.

As Gipsy kills more Kaijus, this brings a harvesting opportunity and when Newt hears the suspicious sound of a heartbeat from a corpse, its offspring is born.

The umbilical cord is still wrapped around its throat and although dying shortly after, it manages to gulp down Chau.

The not so dynamic duo of Newt and Gottlieb perform another handshake and inform that to penetrate the portal, you have to fool the Kaiju with one of their own.

We head for the explosive climax and together with Gipsy; Pentecost sacrifices himself and detonates Striker to clear a path.

Unlike D-Fens, he’s not going home…

Here we observe a Category 5 Kaiju, the first of its kind.

Guess what?  After a biff, a boff and a slice, the danger is overcome and clutching the body, they’re going in.

Oxygen is not at a premium and realising this, he ejects Mako to relative safety.  The Jagerbomb is set to go bang in 60 seconds so it’s time to skidaddle, as we observe helpless Kaiju infants looking on.

The very brief build up and the explosion itself smacks of Capcom’s Resident Evil 2 when Birkin goes like an absolute bomb on the train during the ‘true’ ending in Leon B and/or Claire B.

Of course it’s a different setting but the principle remains.

Mako emerges from her escape pod and awaits Raleigh who obviously appears shortly after.

Love lingers in the air as rescue choppers conveniently arrive…

If you stayed, you’ll know that Chau was not properly digested and proceeds to search for his missing shoe.

This promised much and man, it delivers with oodles, kaboodles and bucketloads.

Luther is an authoritative figure and even Robert ‘Sean Slater’ Kazinsky is watchable.  How he scored a role in a film such as this begs belief.

Kikuchi is a spunky little soul and warrants a suitable sidekick for British thespian Hunnam and importantly, slushy romance is sensibly resisted.

Hellboy is fairly expendable but I suppose his char is necessary and the scientist types are a refreshing change as they’re actually quite fun.

Sod all that though, it’s all about the visuals and it excels with remarkable gusto.

I’d say Transformers without the transforming, fused with Godzilla swinging golden balls.

This action extravaganza will simply blow your mind and your jaw will spend a considerable amount of time trailing on the floor.

Jaegers are wonderful creations brimming with personality with wonderful weaponry at their disposal.

The Kaijus roar incredible chaos with an impressive array of colossi ranging from shark head, crab, lizards and those who swim are engaged in a variety of brilliant brawls with no two really panning out the same.

Although essentially a smash and grab affair, it’s absolutely impossible not to be stunned of how stupendous celluloid looks.

In case you didn't know or thought I’d forgotten…

Ellen McLain is obviously great providing the voice for GLaDOS, er Gipsy Danger AI and you just know she’d love to emit dark sarcasm while chatting about cake, Aperture Science and testing.

Valve, get your asses in gear as the world demands a third outing…

It’s interesting that The Breach is described as a ‘portal’ and while probably pure coincidence, her voice was no accident.

Hyper critical gripes include that other bots needed more input and Chuck screaming “Yeah, Gipsy! Kick his ass!” tarnishes an otherwise decent script.

Attend your local cinema, munch on chosen snack(s), slurp whatever liquid and enjoy just over 2 hours of sheer and unadulterated entertainment that results in near popcorn perfection.

Do it not and regret will forever flow faster than a mountain stream.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

A tasty burrito of video game miscellany that mix nicely with others. Ud 09/09/13

After a brief sabbatical of enjoying fun in the sun and general relaxation, here's another intravenous injection of worldly wonderment.

Get ready for this baby as it's going to rock chairs, your world and more than the casbah.

For the next half hour or so, your asses are mine.

To boot proceedings off, there's just something very fishy about this Best Of album art from R.E.M.

When you consider Real Life from Magazine...

This reeks of jealously.

The irritating Vanellope in video game referencing manual Wreck-It Ralph.  She freakishly rings a bell...
...with Agnes from Despicable Me.
Based on a comic, here's the end boss from Chakan: The Forever Man on Mega Drive.  It boasts a design to reflect its overall dark tone.

It's almost H.R. Giger like.  Oh, was this on purpose?  

Enjoy a brief journey with a pair of gnashers (false or otherwise), which appear on each of these video game sleeves.

Squeak, eek and take a peek at these animated rodents.

Danger Mouse, powerhouse etc etc.
Mighty Mouse
Jerry rarely missed Tom.
Oh Mickey, although you're apparently so fine, you don't blow Minnie's mind.  
Pixels can also squeak.

Cute graphics masked frustrating gameplay in this 1990 platformer.  Winter Camp in 1992 was far better to play but Maximus never got to experience Autumn and Spring meaning the full Vivaldi set never happened.
This may look like something you'd knock up on Paint but this was a real arcade game released by Techstar in 1982.
For seasoned and experienced retro heads, this 1983 chase game by Namco was made more famous thanks to Namco Museum compilations on PS1 and DS. 
'Interesting' cover art.

This is the sequel to Laid to Rest.
I know skulls are skulls but for skull's sake, can we please have more imagination as the contents of a stale handkerchief has more personality.

The Skull?  Holy shit, title innovation gone into hyper-drive...

This time, it's the glasses.

As is this album by The Jayhawks also proves.

Cerberus uses its teeth to form the title of two very different video games.

Don't just laugh at this, please howl hysterically.

What the fuck is this?  Some kind of Finding Nemo and Shark Tale hybrid rip off?
Hmmm, Mickey Bubble decided a distorted kick was the best idea for stock album art.
It's therefore an ironic coincidence that Tucker is performing the same awkwardness for the second outing with a martial arts 'I perform my own stunts' legend.  WTF!
One of the many Sexy Robots rip offs, whoops, 'inspiration'...
Crysis 3 has the suit and while coincidence, this clobber also looks like...
...this similar get up worn by Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) in the Robocop reboot.  It's now due to surface in February 2014.  I'm fairly confident in saying that anything that gets put back will usually smell of donkey doo doo, just like Duke Nukem Forever.  Although, in the name of ED-209, I hope I'm wrong.
Now somebody is really taking the fucking piss...

Now what's THAT partly look like?  I mean honestly, c'mon...

Unfortunately, this is no joke and definitely not a spoof.  Apparently, it's a good fucking laugh to treat us all like ball juggling, truncheon stroking idiots.

Yoo hoo, take this bad boy and digest something sweeter than treacle.

What you are looking at is what I suppose you could call the logo from Avenged Sevenfold and their self-titled album.
I really believe that the above has got more than something in common with this logo featured in TAD Corporation's 1988 joyous shooter Cabal.  
Of course they're unrelated but the skull sharing, ear wing resemblance are undeniable.

Can I top that?  Wait, just wait.

Before that though, a goliath feature begins, split into five bloodied pieces.

Rev 1 - An ode to all nasty film baddies and/or lunatics who choose to wear a Babe mask.

You don't have to be the first to be the most famous, as the Saw franchise proves.
The following may help others and possibly be used as reference.

I'm beefing up matters now as it's chainsaw time and these guys have no intention of yelling 'timber'.

Rev 2 - Miscellaneous wielders.

Al Pacino's Tony Montana found himself in a spot of bother in Brian De Palma's 1983 classic.
Rev 3 - Central antagonists with a flurry of surprises.

Gunnar Hansen as the Daddy - Leatherface.  According to horror legend, he appeared in some unknown massacre that occurred in Texas, during the year of 1974.
A fairly repetitive hack and slash PS3/360 effort and I believe her outfit was originally a bit more revealing, before orders were passed by the censors...
'Contains very strong, stylized bloody violence'.

REC was scary and atmospheric, REC 2 was more action based and Nirvana issue All Apologies for this spoiler but this bride massacres the franchise.  Believe what I say, it's extremely disappointing.
I sense the feeling of impending Doom approaching...
In Evil Dead 2, before Ash famously straps a chainsaw to his stump and nonchalantly states "Groovy!", he uses it to take care of his girlfriend's already severed head.
Some unpleasantness in more ways than one in slasher franchise Hatchet.  Here we see a stunning oil painting play lumberjack in the third entry. 
A member of Elite Hunting is about to earn some cash in the much hyped and controversial gore whore Hostel.  It's all pretty pointless with no style or panache.
For fun, the third Part's design made for an eye saw.
It's only the irrepressible Mr. Chainsaw from C64 classic,
Clyde Radcliffe Exterminates All The Unfriendly Repulsive Earth-Ridden Slime.
Unless Clyde rescues his friend by doing the necessary to solve the Torture Screen, the blood will be born free, as free as the wind blows.
A possessed chainsaw heads to cut in on the action in the vastly inferior sequel to Poltergeist.
This baghead isn't fucking around and if he gets close enough, Leon is losing more than his head in 4 Resident Evil, which is still arguably the greatest action game of all time.
Having pissed the trouble and strife off, this hag is here to finish what hubby couldn't.
A number of 'no two are the same' chainsaw controllers were released for the Gamecube.
Like the port, the PS2 equivalent looks inferior.
A boss from Data East's exclusive Robocop 2 arcade.  This was never released outside 'insert coin' haunts and therefore impossible to be confused with home versions.
Despite the weapons available, Rick experienced rather mild Mega Drive parental guidance escapades in Splatterhouse 2.

Beast Busters Second Nightmare was released in 1999 on the doomed from the start Hyper Neo Geo 64 arcade hardware, which despite boasting impressive specs for the time, flopped faster than flacid celery.  If there was a bright side, SNK can take solace that Nintendo's Virtual Boy and Sega's 32X didn't exactly pick up their pensions.
Sega represented tarot card Strength as a rampaging monster in The House of the Dead II who before yielding, surely sucked life and coin from a player, akin to a soda jerk slurping on carbonated liquid.
Going back to Beast Busters, the 1989 zombie busting original boasted three guns and raises the question that The House of the Dead should be considered as a rip-off.  However, because this boss appeared in 1998, SNK surely stole the idea from Sega.  All's fair in love and pixels I suppose.
Samson in Sega's original game dare not trim his beard.
Valve was Left 4 Dead not once, but twice in the Dark Carnival campaign.
Randy or Randall in Dead Rising 2.  When the dead rise for a third time, let's hope for a massive overhaul...
A dude who emerges from a van in Data East's 1988 deluded arcade interpretation of Robocop.
It seems that 'Jason Vorhees' switched melee weapons in clever SNES B-movie horror spoof, Zombies Ate My Neighbors.
Buzzsaw (Bernard Gus Rethwisch) in The Running Man tried to make the saw part of Ben Richards (Schwarzenegger), but ends up 'keeping it'.
This is central protagonist Sebastian fleeing from a chainsaw wielding lunatic in new PS3/PS4 survival horror The Evil Within.  Okay, it's Resident Evil 4 deja vu but instead of dishing out decapitation, he prefers to give a most unwelcome lift...
Meet Babyface from 2009 horror The Hills Run Red.
Judgement from Takara's Battle Arena Toshinden 3.
Rev 4 - (Interlude)

Okay, these sprites indulge in greed...

Single cut?  Nah, they're for fairies, how about a double date with bladed delight.

Max from The House of the Dead 2.
The Empress appeared in The House of the Dead 4 which was one of the few games to run on their Lindbergh hardware.  While 'she' caused much distress on a train, there was another boss that wielded dual damage years earlier in 1988.
Despite generic gameplay, Namco's Splatterhouse certainly didn't hold back with uber graphic violence and controversial imagery.  Anyway, this 'thing' more than demonstrates relevance.
Final Rev - Combining Babe and blade.

Well what can ye say?  What can ye show?  I'll tell thee what, as thee has asked so politely, I'll spill tins of beans.

A horror released in 2010.
In 2007, Korean director Kim Jin-won had snuff business to take care of.
Piggsy is effectively the end boss from Rockstar's Manhunt.
So you'd thought you'd seen it all but in 1980, this low budget horror comedy existed. 

Now to apparently top what I said couldn't be topped, no topping that can't be topped, I sign off with this and remember, I'm apparently 'sane'.  Okay, maybe in the broadest sense of the word but whatever, observe.

Now do as I say.  Sorry, do as you please, but if you don't; it won't work.

Before curiosity attacks like a hungry vulture circling over carrion, do this, because it feels real good.

1. Disregard the cog logo thing and 'The Royal Bank of Scotland'.
2. Use a mirror to reverse the 'R' and make sure the B and S remain in their original position.

So lovely ladies and gentle gents, you should have something like this.

Wonderful!  Now let's wrap this present up with jalapenos and gherkins.

This is not something I've made up as I'd be a fool to do so.

3. Apply the necessary colour and crush my nuts, what do you see?
Real Bout Fatal Fury Special.
It's also the only Fatal Fury game where this image can be found.  I suppose it's likely that the 'S' was supposed to look like the one seen in their famous logo.

Even if that notion was true, why then is the 'R' more reversed than a decision under pressure?

Who the fuck knows but what a conclusion, right?

Please tune in next time for applying maximum effort.  
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