Archive for May, 2010

Red Dead Redemption’s Dastardly Achievement

Posted in Video Games on May 19, 2010 by thebigsmoke

I posted previously about Red Dead Redemption, and now I’m patiently waiting for my pre-ordered copy to arrive. With the game’s UK release imminent, general excitement is building along with a fair bit of controversy.

It has recently been revealed you can earn the “Dastardly” achievement for tying a nun to railway tracks and waiting for her to be run over by a train.

Being able to tie a nun to railway tracks is one thing, but being rewarded for it is another. It seems like unnecessary bad taste to me, but it doesn’t particularly bother me. I just hope game makers Rockstar are ready for the backlash from concerned parents etc.

Hip hop video of the day, Wednesday 19 May 2010

Posted in Music, Television on May 19, 2010 by thebigsmoke

MC Chris: Twin Peaks

NBC intends to replace Heroes with The Cape

Posted in Comics, Television on May 19, 2010 by thebigsmoke

Anyone who bothered to watch NBC’s Heroes knows it spectacularly jumped the shark during the writers’ strikes. After showing early promise, Heroes became such a harrowing viewing experience it was as if the creators were deliberately trying to crush the hopes and dreams of nerds everywhere. Here was a show which seemed to take superheroes seriously, as if people who matter had finally decided the whole comic book superhero thing maybe warranted attention. Audiences responded positively and it looked like maybe the attitudes of ordinary people (or “Ordies” as I like to call them) were going to change and intelligent television shows about superheroes were going to become the norm. Then it became a mess of bizarre storylines, everyone was suddenly related, someone behind the scenes was doing their best to keep Ali Larter in the show even though her character was killed off already. It was so miserable I started to wish the Haitian really existed so he could erase my memory of everything after Mohinder Suresh became Jeff Goldblum in The Fly (that’s a little humour for you Non-Ordies).

About a week ago NBC did the decent thing and announced the cancellation of Heroes, mercifully ending the torment of faithful nerds worldwide. What is more interesting, and worthy of a blog entry at least, is they have also released promotional material for a new superhero drama called The Cape.

I’ve posted the trailer at the top of this blog entry, so you can watch for yourself and draw your own conclusions. However, I have to tell you I’m not fooled by Summer Glau, who is clearly included in the show’s line up as nerd bait; Vinnie Jones and the midget from Pirates of the Caribbean sharing screen time is an LSD-induced nightmare I didn’t need to share; I’ll probably watch a few episodes just for the awesome Keith David then we’ll see how it goes from there.

After Batman XXX, prepare for an onslaught of superhero porn parodies

Posted in Comics, Film, Stuff on May 12, 2010 by thebigsmoke

Further to my post about Batman XXX, this was just posted over at Comics Alliance:

Following on the heels of their widely viewed (SFW) “Batman XXX” porn parody trailer, Vivid Entertainment announced today that they are launching an entire superhero-themed porn imprint called Vivid-Superhero, which will parody other famous superhero characters including Marvel and DC A-listers like Superman, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, and even the non-Big Two hero Green Hornet.

And according to Vivid’s press release:

The parodies under this new imprint will pay tribute to the world’s most popular comic heroes,” said Steven Hirsch, Founder/Co-chairman of Vivid. “[Lead Director] Axel [Braun] already started pre-production on a parody of Superman, which will be followed by those of The Green Hornet, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, Captain America, Thor, and The Incredible Hulk. We made the decision to create the imprint after working with Axel on “Batman XXX: A Porn Parody”, an Axel Braun Productions movie to be distributed by Vivid. Axel truly did an amazing job with it, and we agreed that together we could mine the really rich treasure of superheroes and have a lot of fun doing it.

I guess the Batman XXX trailer created a lot of buzz if Vivid think there’s enough there to warrant an entire line. I wonder whether any of their parodies will be better than the actual movies they’re based on; given how quick Vivid was in making this announcement, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them get released before their Hollywood counterparts at least.

Cool stuff I want, Part 100,000,004: Hot Toys 1/6 Scale Black Widow Figurine

Posted in Comics, Film, Stuff on May 10, 2010 by thebigsmoke

I cannot see myself finding a legitimate way to justify the expense of this figurine, but wow, it might be worth it just to find out whether it’s anatomically correct.

Frank Frazetta dies aged 82

Posted in Stuff on May 10, 2010 by thebigsmoke

Sadly, renowned fantasy artist Frank Frazetta passed away today at the age of 82. The details haven’t been made public yet, but in recent years his ill health has been well documented.

Do a Google search and some digging if you’re unfamiliar with his work, because there are so many iconic Frazetta pieces of art and I don’t have space to post them all here. I still find his compositions breathtaking and he is definitely an artist whose work had the most profound effect upon me.

Iron Man 2

Posted in Comics, Film on May 8, 2010 by thebigsmoke

As with Kick-Ass last month, Iron Man 2 is another comic book movie which has been massively hyped in recent months. I should possibly just completely avoid the internet before watching these kinds of movie, because when you pay attention to all the previews and trailers it means you go into the cinema with a fair idea of what will happen in several key scenes.

The massive success of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man made further Marvel-related adaptations viable and studios were quick to try and tap into the money-making potential of other characters. Unfortunately, translating Marvel’s big names properties for the big screen has often made for an extremely painful process. The awfulness of The Incredible Hulk and Daredevil forced a strategy rethink, which is about when Iron Man hit cinemas.

Iron Man wasn’t camp, it wasn’t boring, and it wasn’t set in a consciously “comic book” universe. Its prinicipal players were interesting, fun and extemely likeable. In particular, Robert Downey Jr. captivated audiences as a witty and debonair Tony Stark. These factors were enough to lift the movie head and shoulders above similar fare, despite the lack of a really scintilating plot.

The sequel is essentially more of the same, although there are a few welcome additions to the cast: I’m a huge Mickey Rourke fan and I thought his Whiplash character was good fun; Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer was frequently hilarious; and Scarlett Johansson made for a sexy, alluring Black Widow (although she’s not called Black Widow yet). Don Cheadle did a decent enough job of taking over from Terrence Howard as Jim Rhodes, although pesonally I couldn’t help feeling he seemed slightly out of place throughout.

Iron Man 2 has had some pretty bad reviews and I just don’t understand why. Yes, there were lulls in the action, but the dialogue was so good that these were the parts I enjoyed the most. The humour was frequently laugh out loud funny and there were a ton of great references to other comic books characters and elements of popular culture.

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