Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

GamingGeneralMMOMovies

Link review

As my sidebar widget of links has pretty much sat unchanged since I first started this WordPress iteration of Skoardy.com, I thought it was about time that I reviewed and updated the list. Time to add some of the other sites I frequent (and tentatively recommend), and bin any that have fallen from favour (perhaps their design aesthetics have become a lumbering mess of interface-related tortures – I’m looking at you, Kotaku).

Without further ado, here we go.


Kotaku – as mentioned above, it’s gone. The reason being is that the web design for this site seems to be going backwards in terms of usability. It’s like the Benjamin Button of the internet. Reports of its visitor drop-off since the change do not surprise me in the least. There’s a thousand and one websites on the internet all clambering to supply people with gaming news. You do not ensure you’re the site they choose by making yours almost painful to use.


MMO Champion – Yes, I want the latest information about World of Warcraft. No, I don’t want pages and pages of filler articles in the shape of editorials and fluff, solely designed to wring out a few more advertising page-views. And that’s where MMO Champion comes in – it’s basically just a stream of pure information, quotes from Blizzard and images of new content. None of those pesky ‘contributors’ waffling on about whatever happens to cross their mind.


Wowpedia – Now, if you visit this site, you may get a little bit of déjà vu – in that it looks a whole lot like WoWWiki.  In fact, you may even marvel at how an awful lot of the content looks much the same, if not identical. Well, that’s because it basically is. Back at the end of last year, some people didn’t particularly like moving to Wikia and so split off to create WoWpedia. I was planning on losing WoWWiki from my list and replacing it with Wowpedia but even though there’s very little difference to the two sites (as they’re basically cataloguing the same information about the same game), from time to time you might find that one site holds a little snippet that the other has overlooked. So, might as well keep both links handy just in case.


GameFAQs – I don’t know why this site didn’t make the cut the first time I rebooted the site as I’ve been using it almost since I took my first steps on the internet. Ploughed thirty to forty quid into a game and you’ve been stumped on the first level for over a month? Maybe it’s time to crack open GameFAQs and find out what you’re missing. Only got 99 collectables out of a 100 despite circling the game map dozens and dozens of times? Chances are GameFAQs has a map with all the items marked on it. It’s a great site, even if it does look extremely dated.


Twitter – As you can see from the bunches of white strips between the ‘proper’ articles, I’m a sporadic twitteree. Big fan of it. Apart from your friends spouting stuff they’d consider too short or fleeting to bung you in an email and all the voyeuristic celeb-life watching, Twitter has shown itself to be a real social movement in world events. Being informed has never been so immediate. Of course, I’m hunkering down as @skoardy on Twitter so if you want my random thoughts seeking you out in a more direct fashion, feel free to follow me (or any of the people I follow – a lot of them are very entertaining indeed).


As to the sites that have survived the shuffle…

  • FirstShowing.net – still my first port of call for general movie news and trailers. I just find its design a lot less offensive to the eyes than a lot of the more flashier sites. If there’s one thing I would change, it’s the head honcho’s need to add his own emphasis almost seemingly indiscriminately to nearly every damn sentence he writes, even quotes. Kinda does my head in.
  • Gametrailers.com – only reviews I particularly pay any attention to these days. Apart from seeing the actual game in action, they don’t focus on how they felt while writing the review or ramble on about some unrelated guff they were doing the previous week, unlike most of the other tits that call themselves games reviewers on the net these days.
  • Joystiq – compared to Kotaku, a nice and clean presentation keeps this gaming news site in the list.
  • Penny Arcade – this webcomic still makes me chuckle. Yes, it’s still occasionally filthy.
  • VG Cats – updates are few and far between (follow his twitter instead, to save you checking the site every so often) but still a very funny strip.
  • Wowhead – come on, it’s the go-to site for WoW in-game information. A huge database of items, spells and more, all haphazardly commented on by people playing the game right now.
  • WoWWiki – as mentioned above, I decided to keep this to have an alternative on hand on the off chance the other site doesn’t quite cut it. You never know.

And that’s your lot. Maybe it’ll be another couple of years before I update the links list again. Get ready!

 

MoviesRantTV

Remakes

BeesJust… seriously. Get the fuck over it. Yeah, there’s a film you really, really like. Maybe it defined your childhood, maybe it got you through a time of difficulty in your life or maybe it’s just a film you consider one of the all-time classics. Good for you. We all have films we love but then along comes some asshole in a suit who hasn’t had an original thought in his boss-pleasing, yes-man life and he’s decided it’d be a good idea (read: Ka-ching!) to take another swing at your cherished film. Remake, re-imagine, reboot, recycle – whatever the term-de-jour happens to be, they’re going to get that writer of some Sundance indie flick you never saw, attach a director who has only ever made music videos (did you see his last one? It went viral!) and cast a bunch of unknowns with more enthusiasm than talent, two currently hot TV actors who’ll return to the small screen with their tails between their legs after the film bombs and one fading legend destined to pop his clogs with this turd at the end of their illustrious résumé.

It’ll be shit. We all know it. Sure, it’ll do well, with the fans of the original propping up the numbers along with the regular popcorn munchers but it’ll never be more than a nice try. To top it off, it’ll probably be in ‘3D!’ too because we all know the mindless fuckwits out there gobble that shit right up.

But… so what?

This is my problem. Whenever a remake is announced and yon fansites post the news, you’re guaranteed that 99% of the comments that follow the article will display a subtle “you muthafuckers shot my dog!” type of vibe. The wailing and gnashing of teeth, the how-dare-theys and clichéd ‘noooooooooooooo’s will be deafening. There’s just a few little things I want to point out to those idiots.

  1. You’re not being forced to watch the remake. No-one is holding a gun to your head. Mr. A Hole isn’t going to jet over a platoon of besuited thugs to frog-march you into your local cinema, strap you down and Clockwork Orange your ass into seeing this flick. There’s a very good chance that you could probably go your entire life without ever seeing the remake.
  2. The original will not cease to exist once the remake is made. Easy one to forget. Keep checking your DVD/Blooo-ray collection during the development and upon release of the film and I’ll almost certainly guarantee that your beloved film will not vanish. I say ‘almost certainly’ because the type of moron we’re talking about here probably loses shit on a daily basis so spontaneous evaporation of prized possessions is not completely off the books. But my point is, even when this turkey is released, the original will still be around, available and still standing head and shoulders above the weak pretenders to the throne.
  3. It might be… good? Okay, so chances are it’ll define new depths to which celluloid can sink but there’s always the ever-so-small chance that it might not suck. And even if it isn’t the best thing since freeze-dried instant happiness, it might just be different enough to be entertaining in it’s own right. Remember, Cronenberg’s ‘The Fly‘ and Carpenter’s ‘The Thing‘ are both essentially remakes.

On top of all that, they’re forgetting one of the most important upsides – once the film comes out and their friends go see it, they’ll be able to prance around saying “It’s not nearly as good as the original” with a few “Oh, you haven’t seen the original? You should. You really should!” thrown in for good measure. Yeah, they’ll be able to feel superior off of that doozy for good month or two.

So, when you hear about a remake of a film you consider to be a classic, take a couple of deep breaths, calm your mind and for a change of pace, shut the fuck up.

Movies

Extended Watchmen trailer

Watchmen film stripThat March 2009 release date of Watchmen can’t come fast enough and to make sure you count every single damn second, that bastard Zack Snyder put together an extended version of the original trailer for Spike’s Scream Awards. The peeps over at FirstShowing.net were kind enough to have a wobbly cam footage of it but have recently updated their page with a lovely high quality direct feed version. Enjoy.

Featuring a few extra scenes shuffled amongst the ones from the previous trailer, this new preview certainly helps cement my faith that the finished product will be a definite step up from previous translations of Alan Moore’s work to the big screen. Sure, the tank scene looks like it might have been sponsered by Airfix but the new footage featuring Rorschach is excellent. You actually get to see his mask close enough to notice it changing patterns, something I hoped they wouldn’t mess up. And they haven’t.

So roll on March 2009, as I for one can’t wait to be watching the Watchmen.

Movies

Quantum Of Solace – Proposed Theme Song

Suantum Of QuolaceI kept meaning to post a mention of this ages ago because it was funny, well done and I couldn’t get the damn thing out of my head once I’d heard it. And now, after FirstShowing.net have reported on the actual theme song that will be used in the upcoming James Bond film, Quantum Of Solace, I thought now would be a perfect time to exorcise this catchy little ditty once and for all (oh, who am I kidding).

The ‘official’ version? Not a fan. I’m a bit old school when it comes to Bond tunes. They need to be big, brassy and if possible, mention the name of the film at least every other sentence. I don’t care how difficult it is to crowbar that mother in there, you do it! This Alicia Keys and Jack White track (“Another Way To Die”) is just a bit too vacant and generic for my tastes and suggests less a big Bond event and more a Saturday afternoon chart run-down on the radio. Sure, it’ll go over great guns as a mere pop song but it’s not a Bond theme song.

Which brings us to Joe Cornish’s masterful offering. Joe, one half of the classic ‘Adam and Joe Show‘, a writer, presenter, director, radio personality, oh heck, he does everything and he’s a damn sight funnier than any one person deserves to be… has created what surely is the definitive Quantum Of Solace theme song. It’ll probably be what I’m humming to myself, fingers in ears, when I sit down to the opening credits of QoS.

You can find the vastly superior Joe Cornish submission (courtesy of Youtube), here. Enjoy.

Update : Oh booo! Seems like the video has been taken down. Still, if you want to at least hear the track, someone else has replaced the official song in the opening credit sequence with Joe’s version and you can find that here. Also, there’s a nice snippet from Adam & Joe’s radio show where they talk about the popularity (and some of the nutters that crawled out of the woodwork too), because of the Youtube video. That can be found here.

Update Update : While going through the site, replacing images I noticed that someone else had put another copy of Joe’s song on Youtube so I’ve fixed the original link in the article. Tsch, eh?

Movies

Watchmen trailer

Watchmen TrailerTwo posts in one day? Unheard of! But being a big, fat fanboy, I felt I had to at least mention the first trailer for Zack Snyder‘s take on Watchmen. Playing on the front of some film or other called ‘The Dark Knight‘ (presumably a sequel to Martin Lawrence’s ‘Black Knight‘), this is our first chance to see the comic book -> big screen adaptation in motion… if you haven’t been eagerly consuming the behind-the-scenes ‘webisodes’, I guess.

So how does it look? Well, I’ve very, very hopeful after seeing the trailer. Whenever something you’ve loved in another medium crosses over to film, you tend to get wary – and often, justifiably so. The people responsible talk a good game. They’ll harp on about sticking true to the source material and capturing it’s essence but then they just go off and produce their own bullshit take on the story, ignoring what you loved about the original, throwing out key elements due to budget, pacing or sheer-fucking-stupidity and drowning it in crowd-pleasing filler.

But it seems like we’re in for a treat this time round. The set shots have been true to Dave Gibbons‘ artwork, with the same muted colour scheme and design throughout. Dr. Manhattan looks the business and the scene from the trailer with three of him just captures the character’s expressions from the comic book perfectly. There’s even rumours abound that the comic book’s original ending might survive. For those in the know, that should be interesting.

So pop along to FirstShowing.net (a site you really ought to bookmark if you haven’t already) to check out the trailer.

Movies

New Hellboy II: The Golden Army trailer

Hellboy II: The Golden ArmyThe first Hellboy movie was a bit of a perfect storm thing for me. Always been a big fan of Mike Mignola‘s Hellboy comics, Ron Perlman was the perfect (only?) choice to star and Guillermo del Toro has been a favourite director of mine with films like Cronos and Blade II. Throw in a bit of John Hurt and Jeffrey Tambor and you can’t go wrong. The film didn’t disappoint and I’ve been eagerly awaiting a sequel ever since.

The new trailer really, really isn’t making that wait go any faster, I can tell you. The gang is back (joined by ex-pop imp, Luke Goss – who was also great in Blade II with Ron & Guillermo), and from the trailer, the action and the special effects have certainly been taken up a notch. The film is set to open (over here in the UK) at the end of August and I can’t wait.

It’s certainly going to be a good year for comic book heroes in the movies. The other big film I’m itching to see is Iron Man. The trailers have looked excellent and generally, Robert Downey Jr. can do no wrong for me. I’m actually looking forward to those two films a touch more than the new Batman flick, The Dark Knight. I thoroughly enjoyed the first film of the reboot but I dunno, this one just isn’t sparking for me as much. I think it lost a little shine when they were pimping out the Bat-bike (sorry, I mean ‘Bat Pod‘). Yeah, yeah, people perked up and took notice when you unveiled the new Batmobile but don’t make the vehicle ‘the thing’. Motorbike + Cape, not good.

Anyhoo, if you haven’t discovered the link to the trailer amidst the ‘link-arrhea’ of this post, you can get to it here. Enjoy!

Movies

Watchmen photos

Watchmen SkoardyOff-again, on-again (and off-again, delayed, re-written, dis-owned, etc.) comic book to silver screen project, ‘Watchmen‘ is making it hard not to get your hopes up by consistently moving forwards. Not happy with just teasing us with a test frame slipped into the trailer for ‘300‘, the suits (and by suits, I mean I clearly don’t know who is in charge of any specific part of the production apart from Zack Snyder) went and cast some actors. Now they have them prancing around in costumes and posing for publicity photos. The cheek of it!

Personally, I have to say I’m quite happy with the casting and costumes. I will admit Matthew Goode / Ozymandias looks a little odd in his photo – a touch weedy but I’m willing to put it down to bad lighting, camera position, make-up or a rather naff photoshop tweak job on the image until I get into the cinema and see the character in action. The rest of them are top notch (that Silk Spectre outfit is waaaay distracting) so fingers crossed that the suits don’t ruin this adaptation like they ruined Daredevil – a film only weirdos like (naming no names, they know who they are).