Saturday, 19 December 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens - The scoop and digest

After endless speculation and palpable anticipation, the weight of expectation rests heavily on the very capable shoulders of J. J. Abrams.

Unofficially taking place 32 years after Return of the Jedi, how will youth cope with a deadly new enemy?

Knowing shit wouldn't calm the fuck down for weeks, it was obligatory to see this baby at midnight.

Harrison Ford - Han Solo
Adam Driver - Kylo Ren
Daisy Ridley - Rey
John Boyega - Finn
Carrie Fisher - Leia Organa
Oscar Isaac - Poe

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....

Dur, dur, duh, duh, dur, dur, dur, dur, dur, dur, etc etc etc.

Summarizing three paragraph title crawl.

Luke Skywalker has vanished.

The First Order rose from the ashes of the Empire's defeat intent on finding and destroying the last Jedi.

General Organa sends her best man on a top secret mission to Jakku and find her brother.

(Camera pans down).

Top geezer Poe stashes memory stick containing a map leading to Luke's whereabouts inside astromech droid BB-8.

In close attendance is Lor San Tekka, and shit hits the fan when First Order troops blast first, ask questions later.

Baddie Kylo Ren arrives and promptly slays Tekka.  Poe is frozen by the Force and subsequently kidnapped.

Successfully extracting map's location from Poe's mind, there isn't a second to lose.

Kylo Ren factfile (ahead of the game):

He's Darth Vader's grandson and Han Solo's son.

Okay, I didn't expect the Han part.

Scavenger Rey makes end meet on sand planet by trading junk for portions of food.

Tatooine's capital perhaps?

She rescues BB-8 from fellow junk gatherer and they become quite attached.

Traitorous stormtrooper Finn helps Poe escape and although shot down in hijacked black TIE, they make it back to Jakku.

Finn meets up with Rey and take Millennium Falcon.

Snared by another craft, guess who's fucking back?

"Chewie, we're home."

Space pirates (including Mad Dog from The Raid), are still pissed at Han for not repaying several debts, but squid things do them a favour and attack vessel.

At some point, Finn asks Han the ultimate question.

Luke was training a new generation of Jedis, but when ungrateful bastard (Ren) became corrupted, he felt responsible and left.

Falcon arrives on Takodama, as Han visits former pirate and smuggler friend Maz Kanata inside converted watering hole.

Look out for brief shot of fat alien with woman, a reference to Jabba and Leia.

Rey goes walkies and finds box containing Luke's lightsaber, which instigates visions of past and present.

How did Maz come into possession?

We don't know (yet).

More First Order attacks are subdued, but Kylo Ren steals Rey.

Han discusses strategies with estranged wife Leia and Threepio informs R2 hasn't been functional since young Master Luke left.

Kylo is surprised by Rey's strength who successfully repels tortuous methods.

This is reported to 'Supreme Leader' Snoke who demands a chat.

Aww, what a shame Force rookie has already escaped.

Solar powered Starkiller Base kind of replaces the Death Star and the Resistance determine once shields are disabled, targeting thermal core will make heavily armoured space station go boom.

If this was Gradius, we'd be shouting 'Destroy the Core'.

Assisted by former sanitation supremo Finn, dynamic duo Han and Chewie are predictably tasked to shut down shields.

Held at gunpoint, First Order commander Captain Phasma obliges.

Explosives are planted and Han confronts Kylo Ren (to whom he calls Ben).

Well Kenobi me.

They hesitantly share a tender moment, but son commits parricide with lightsaber.

NOOOOOOOO!!!!

Han and the Falcon can be taken out during Vader's Revenge in Bandai Namco's supreme 2014 arcade Battle Pod

To be honest, it's Sega's Star Wars Trilogy with go faster stripes.

Anyway, Chewie blasts Ren but Knight manages to escape.

While Poe and co help destroy super weapon, Finn and Ren engage in a lightsaber duel in the idyllic setting of snow covered forest.

Finn is overpowered and after a hard-fought struggle - Rey claims a points victory.

Ground opens up and chasm separates.

Rey's presence is enough for R2 to reboot (much to the delight of BB-8), and conveniently holds missing part of map.

Luke is found on a remote rocky mountain and Rey offers his lightsaber.

Hey, three decades alone doesn't give licence to transform into a hobo.

We feared a steaming pile of Disney Sith, but Abrams' orchestration of action, effects and scenery are exemplary.

The excitable Boyega (of 2011 sci-fi comedy Attack the Block) can be irritating and other than for the purposes of nostalgia and/or fan service, Leia is ultimately pointless.

BB-8 is my new favourite droid, Ford effortlessly rolls back over thirty years and Ridley handles responsibility with aplomb.

Draped in menacing black, Driver makes a great villain and student's training is far from complete.

I think it was a good decision to kill off Han, but he deserved a better send off.

Nien Nunb and Admiral Ackbar return, so why not Lando?

Maybe he'll appear in the next as Finn's father?

Yeah, I'm taking the piss.

For all its superlatives, Abrams effectively rips off/remakes A New Hope.

Do we care?

Yes and no.

Gamers will notice Han's death was stolen from The Force Unleashed II DLC The Battle of Endor, as Vader's Dark Apprentice kills former smuggler in identical fashion.

Kylo Ren's mask? Darth Revan of Knights of the Old Republic fame anybody?

Yes I know that as from April 2014, Lucasfilm declared expanded universe to be non-canon and relegated vast majority to 'legend' status, but even so...

Rian 'Looper' Johnson and Colin 'Jurassic World' Trevorrow will direct VIII (2017) and IX (2019) respectively.

Although either will struggle to emulate intergalactic thrill-ride, I hope Empire and Jedi aren't just given new coats of paint.

That's me done for 2015 folks, so all the best and see you next year.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

DVD Déjà vu (Again)

Naming and shaming never gets old.

The Equalizer vs A Walk Among the Tombstones


Charlie's Farm vs Sickle


A Christmas Horror Story vs Housebound


Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues vs ''Crocodile'' Dundee II


Sweet Vengeance vs Django Unchained


The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies vs Ironclad


The Haunting of Katie Malone vs The Conjuring


The Boxtrolls vs Shrek 2


Grudge Match vs The Fighter


Where the Devil Hides vs The Last Exorcism Part II


The Asylum vs Starry Eyes


Sanatorium vs Cursed


Bates Motel Season Two vs For a Good Time, Call...


To conclude, here's a triple hit combo.

Extinction (2015) vs Exists vs Outcast


The End..?

Friday, 11 December 2015

Krampus - The scoop and digest

Remember what I said about Legend and no budget DVD efforts appearing ahead of much bigger cinema release?

Well shit the bed...

Krampus The Christmas Devil is a gift nobody hopes to unwrap.

I'm reliably informed Playboy's Angelina Leigh showcases boobs for absolutely no reason.

Hmmm, perhaps in a desperate attempt to shift more copies?

At least Erika Eleniak famously bursting from cake in Under Siege made sense.

Enough of tits, let's hope Michael's Dougherty's flick isn't just ass.

Adam Scott - Tom
David Koechner - Uncle Howard
Tni Collette - Sarah
Allison Tolman - Linda
Emjay Anthony - Max

Against the irony of It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas, title sequence shows a department store coping with the insane blood lust of Black Friday.

Shot in slow-motion, this reminds of Zombieland.

A family who clearly don't get on grit their teeth and celebrate the holidays.

After kids tease Max over his letter to Santa, young lad tears up wishlist and discards anger out of window.

Weather immediately takes a turn for the worse and swirling snowstorm causes prevalent blackout.

The next morning, mother and father dismiss sudden appearance of a freaky looking snowman in their garden.

Meanwhile, postie delivers unexpected delivery.

Daughter Beth takes a walk to boyfriend's house, but horned creature ruins potential game of snog sandwich soldiers.  She parts company when attacked by a creature emerging from Jack-in-the-Box.

As concerns over Beth's safety grow, Tom and Uncle Howard tool up and quickly realise:

This town, is coming like a Ghost Town.

Howard is dragged underneath winter wonderland by 'something', but gunfire and Tom help save his ass.

After such an ordeal, I don't think anybody would deny those concerned a trip to dozy land.

During snoreathon, baited gingerbread man hook wakes Howie Jr. and hungry child can't resist taking a bite.

Bad idea.

Tasty treat turns nasty and binds snack hound in chains.

See yer' later pal.

Hey, what the fuck is going on?

Grandmother 'Omi' reveals all during exquisite animation.

Krampus is the shadow of Santa Claus.  An evil spirit who punishes those who don't appreciate Christmas.

As a child during World War II, poverty and lost hope summoned festive party pooper who dragged her family into the underworld.  Before bidding farewell, souvenir bauble warns that if it happens again...

Up in the attic (loft to us Brits), adults defy the bestiary of demonic Jack and other possessed toys.

Howard eventually fends off the wrath of gingerbread men in the kitchen.

In the midst of battle, the remainder of children are stolen and Dark Elves gatecrash party.

As Omi comes face to face with bad guy, the representation of Bavarian folklore is pretty standard - but with greater emphasis on body mass and horns to embarrass Baphomet.

Minstrel Krampus featured in the ninth season of American Dad!

He stuffs fossil inside sack, while the rest make a break for snow plow.

Shepherds looking after respective flocks prove fruitless and Max receives bauble wrapped in letter fragment.

When there's nobody else to blame but yourself - it hurts.

As sleigh is boarded, Max demands to right his wrong.

Krampus is in no mood to dish out sympathetic cheer and drops Max into fiery abyss.

Max wakes to normality and finds family downstairs busily unwrapping presents.

It appears entire ordeal was a dream, but bauble bearing inscription of Krampus suggests otherwise.

As camera pans out, their house is shown to be stored within the confines of a snow globe inside his gigantic grotto.

Helpers close proceedings with predictable and pointless jump scare.

WHY BOTHER?

Entertaining and never a chore, horror comedy is sure to turn any frown upside down.

Humour is often sardonic but unlike Rare Exports, teeters on the brink of overkill.

In terms of influences and rip offs, where do I begin?

Burrowing thing is obviously Tremors and because Howard's character is gun obsessed, it's plausible character is modelled on Michael Gross's Burt.

Also, was Howie Jnr chosen because he bears resemblance to Brett Kelly from Bad Santa?

Christmas tree attacking mother during Atic Atac and gingerbread swapping plates for nail gun slaughters Gremlins.

Note cute reference to 1983 Spectrum classic?

Great!

Max believing shit storm was one wicked trip is similar to how Kevin reacts at the end of Time Bandits.

Yeah, they both wake from apparent 'fantasy' on snooze slab.

Finally...

Less psychological paranoia - we visit Silent Hill.

Am I fucking crazy?

Maybe so, but please note the following 'coincidences'.

1. Snow covered landscape is referred to as a 'ghost town' and features abandoned vehicles.

2. Jack monster presents teeth beneath 'doll' face and screams of face belonging to boss creature Mama from Silent Hill: The Arcade.

The prosecution rests.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Mysterious malfunctions in video game adaptations of film II

Amiga exclusive Die Hard 2 is nominated to kick things off.


Die Harder was released in 1990, not 1992.

But what about John McClane?


So licence didn't include the right to use Bruce fucking Willis?

The Running Man was also by Grandslam, so you'd think Schwarzenegger would be absent.


Ha ha ha!

Mundane shooting gallery even forgets apostrophe.


On that note, 'let's' move on.

Following original character and based on Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 classic The Godfather, Electronic Arts went open world in 2006 with game of the same name.

For some reason, systems such as PS3 and PSP subbed identical principle The Don's Edition and Mob Wars respectively.

Al Pacino refused to provide voice and likeness, but Robert Duvall and James Caan played ball.

A sequel followed in 2009, but trilogy was never completed.

But wait, U.S. Gold apparently adapted the third for the Amiga.


Oh look, it's Al Pacino.

Did big screen legend know?

According to disclaimer, the trilogy ended in 1991.


Not really, because we witnessed the death of Michael Corleone in 1990.

Slack action hokum loosely represented locales from all three films, making above image an absolute farce.

Shit hots up now with The Karate Kid on NES.

Despite title, game is based on Okinawa set sequel.


If you wanna be hyper critical, the beginning plays out climax of 1984 original

Anyway, film was released in 1986, not 1987.

Microdeal's excruciatingly bad 1986 Amiga/Atari ST game at least had the correct title.


Check out box art (which is practically the same as NES equivalent).


Why the FUCK is Daniel's hand detached and crudely floating in mid-air?

The future isn't big enough for Stallone and Snipes in satirical action vehicle Demolition Man.

Just don't ask how those damn three seashells work.

What will the world be like in 2032?

Hopefully better than what it is today.

Mega Drive
Mega CD
1993 was the year of release, not 1995.

Shit!

I guess a fine for violation of the verbal morality statute is forthcoming.

BEEP!

Told yer'.

Mega Drive or SNES (shown) are guilty of a superb error.

Skip through vital statistics to read 75 years.


John Spartan was sentenced to 70 years in cryostasis for involuntary manslaughter.

Unforgivable.

The very different 3DO version was a spectacular failure.

It was also one of few games to offer lightgun support, principally for Mad Dog McCree, Space Pirates etc etc.

Legal bollocks does correctly state 1993, but then contradicts itself by saying 1994.


Err, okay.

To assist going Doom, Spartan is equipped with a 'suspicious' looking handheld tracking device.


Nothing like Aliens then.

Brian De Palma's 1987 smash The Untouchables was authentically translated for home computer consumption.

Interestingly, Ocean opted to incorporate the real Al Capone for Amiga, and not De Niro.


Fair enough.

What a shame Paramount didn't release epic in 1989.

Also, prohibition agent's first name was Eliot.


Oops.

Bundled with Part II on one explosive NES cartridge, we take a prolonged piss on Back to the Future Part III.


Dear Marty:

If my research is correct, you'll receive this letter immediately after you slammed the cartridge into Nintendo struck by lightning.

First let me assure you, I'm alive and stoned.  The lightning bolt caused a jigawatt overload, scrambled my eggs and sent me back to the year 1875.

OH MY GOD! It was 1885.

I also seem to remember Doc gave Marty explicit instructions NOT to come and get him.

Unsure why you'd want to, but after hitting Select and B at title screen, entering secret password Fluxcapacitoristhepower jumps straight to Part III.

How about this alternative?

Fluxcapacitormakestimetravelpossible.

Yeah, that sounds better.

Expect to be attacked by vultures, jumping scorpions, cows, skunks, outlaws and Indians.

(No fucking comment).

In 2008, Sega unleashed Rambo and Rage in arcades.


Don't know if this was out before, or simply decided to ignore war-torn Burma.

Event situations added variety to mindless on-rails gameplay and like The House of the Dead 4 - utilised Lindbergh hardware.

It feels very much like Ghost Squad.

However, jumping back and forth between Afghanistan and Part II puzzles.

Probe's 1996 FPS Alien Trilogy tackled Aliens , Alien 3 and Alien (in that order).

Explain that?

Oh, a Queen at the end of each 'film' makes complete sense.

Back to business.


All films were released in years stated, but I have absolutely no idea why First Blood is even mentioned, as often misquoted original plays no part.

End screen is how Part II ends, with an interesting promise.


'Rambo story continues...'

Even if this sentence made sense, Sega are liars because a sequel didn't transpire.

Rambo III proves developers are capable of assigning correct year to film (in this case 1988).

Amiga
Made-up subtitle is unique to C64 and probably infers 'the rescue' of Trautman?
Mega Drive
These two let the side down.

Arcade
Spectrum
1989 and 1987?

Before outlandish success with Nakatomi, now bankrupt John McTiernan hit the jackpot with cult 1987 sci-fi action classic Predator.

Idea was lifted from Without Warning, but that's another story.

See saucepan lid?

Well that's what apparently dropped off the alien during C64 intro.


Identical to movie...

Game itself doesn't entirely flash rude sign at source material.

Rescue team is deployed in jungle but guerrillas 'survive' massacre and bats join the fun.

Buddies are killed off screen and Dutch can steal their weapons.

Amiga had alien learn martial arts, or attack with a giant dick?


Because that's what it looks like, right?

Crashed helicopter, skinned soldiers and log bridge tick background boxes.

Best of all, Predator's vision paints screen infrared and targeting system follows...

The NES version is out of this world.

Nothing wrong here, but why is PREDATOR TM not centred?
Contrary to film's intro, a UFO shat from green mothership enters Earth without dispatching alien.
What a great start.

Title screen fares much better, as Arnold's famous stance is captured perfectly.


Gryzor.

Sorry, just had a flashback.

Tagline is correct, but only used in poster.


As for game, our 'pink' muscle-bound hero faces this, that and a bit of the other.


So we've got bugs, seaweed, butterflies, flying things, blobs and bird taking a dump.

Remember all that?

In the infamous Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a similar enemy drops freshly prepared curled whips.


Adjacent to poop bomber is a scorpion and by pure coincidence, actually featured.

(Thanks for bringing that up).

Any time.

Mac removes curious critter crawling on Dillon's back.
And subsequently crushed.


During one of several 'big' modes, creature levitates.

WHAT?

Arnie going from pink to green?
I suppose Predator sprite looks decent enough.
Get ready for some foul language.


Will he say it?


Of course not, but this game is one ugly motherfucker.

Masked and unmasked floating head delivers the final insult.


Finally, it is my great pleasure and present to you Judge Dredd.

Sorry... Robocop.

Although necessary, Murphy being able to 'jump' in Data East's 1988 arcade remains peculiar.

Ocean already held licensing rights, which is why UK-based home computer company is credited.
Cue intro, from left to right.



Year is never revealed, so randomly selecting 1990 begs belief.

Based on various clues, it's alleged to be late 2043, early 2044.

Murphy is now into part man/part machine, ROBOCOP.

The ultimate crime stopper!

What a strange declaration.

Although bits are taken from other home versions, the Amiga game is directly based on insert coin.

Why isn't Data East given credit?
Newsview with Casey Wong brings breaking news.


Did he defect to Mediabreak's unseen rival network?

The whereabouts of partner in journalistic crime Jess Perkins remains unknown.

C64 version was bugged beyond belief, but superb loading screen and Jonathan Dunn's music eased the pain.
Forget Inside Out, its high score table went through a variety of negative emotions.


Those responsible must have had some serious shit going down.

Titus lost their MIND in 2002 by bringing a fucking abysmal FPS for PS2 (shown), Gamecube, Xbox and PC.

During mission briefing, would fellow officer really call Murphy Robocop?
To confuse the fuck out of everybody, three different 'Robocops' existed in Nintendo land.

NES (1989), Game Boy (1990) and Game Boy Colour (2001).

This mistake amuses in Mirage Interactive's tepid top-down exploration.


'Spoofing' connection?

Pretty sure they meant 'spooling'.

Lewis (Nancy Allen), is no longer pretty.


Yuck!

Title music from Ocean's Game Boy game was used for Ariston advert.

Unlike Amiga, this was practically Spectrum (and not just because of monochrome look), with bits of arcade and C64.

Would've been right, if this was based on Robocop 2...
Shit gets even worse.

1986Remarkable.
Konami's Green Beret?


Accessing Detroit Police Department.

Antonowsky, Emil M.
File No. S05438562
Detecting errors...


They forgot middle initial and got number totally wrong.

It's 'accomplices', not associates and...


...who the FUCK are Mike Lamb and K Joseph?

Punctuation and assoc[iates] aside, Speccy was spot on.


In reality:

Nash, Leon C.
Cox, Joe P.
Minh, Steve
Boddicker, Clarence J.

Hope you enjoyed festive bumper edition.

You want more?

Oh man, there's so much more...
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