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Category: Features

Hollywood Hard Bastards: Volume 5

Gary Jive

Though any Hard Bastard worth his salt usually battles for truth and justice, these chiselled champions do occasionally get fed up with saving our butts and take a vacation over to the dark side. So, breaking us in this week, we have Bruce Willis’ engaging turn as an ice-cold, callous assassin in Michael Caton-Jones’ The Jackal (1997). It’s a neat change for Willis, reining in his usual wisecracking excesses in favour of a restrained, chilling performance as the straight-faced ultimate assassin plotting a high-profile kill, while giving Richard Gere’s ex-IRA sniper the runaround.

Hollywood Hard Bastards: Volume Four

Gary Jive

 rocky II

 If there’s one thing that allows a Hard Bastard to stand head and shoulders above mere mortals, it’s their rousing tenacity. One spartan who exemplifies this trait is this week’s first contender Sylvester Stallone in 1979’s rousing Rocky II. This time, unremitting underdog Balboa struggles with celebrity life after going the distance with champ Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). Losing respect after starring in gaudy commercials and with wife Adrien in a coma, the stuttering stallion decides to reclaim his mojo by arranging a rematch and reducing Creed’s face to mush.

Hollywood Hard Bastards: Volume Three

Gary Jive

From Kindergarten Cop to Cop and a Half, the nineties were a time when Hard Bastards wanted to show there was more to their repertoire than snapping spines and giving henchmen lead poisoning. No, they wanted to do funny, which is why this week a thoroughly ruffled-looking Sylvester Stallone gurns in the shadow of Golden Girl Estelle Getty in 1992’s Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Roger Spottiswoode (Tomorrow Never Dies) helms this whimsical tale of cocky, streetsmart cop Joe Banowski, whose style is severely cramped by his elderly meddling mother’s unexpected visit.

Hollywood Hard Bastards: Volume Two

Gary Jive

eye_for_an_eye

Welcome, combat fans, to part two of my epic, foolhardy crusade! This week, Chuck Norris is icy-cool in Lone Wolf McQuade director Steve Carver’s stylish revenge thriller An Eye For An Eye (1981). Chuck is Sean Kane, kicked off the police force for karate kicking a guy out of a window, instead of reading him his rights, following the murder of his partner. Out for revenge, Kane cruises about in a kickass speedboat, dispensing vigilante justice and inviting tidy female reporters back to his lakeside gaff.

The Michael Bay Ninja Turtles Casting Game!

Martin

Despite fervent wishes to the contrary and what the general silence about the project over the past few months suggested, it seems that Michael Bay’s cinematic adaptation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is still going ahead. He’s even made up with pouty breast-owner Megan Fox long enough to cast her in the new film.

I’m not a huge Ninja Turtles fan – I loved the original series as a kid, but I wouldn’t watch it now (the 2005 reboot is very good though and you should check it out). However, I am a massive Transformers fan, a love that will forever be tarnished by three cinematic travesties (and counting), so Turtles fans everywhere have my sympathy. Not enough sympathy, however, that I won’t indulge in playing…

Animatronics In Movies

Max

CGI is okay – I’m no hater (I’m just a he-man woman-hater).  But it can be obvious, no matter how good the effects are.  The Tin-Tin movie had brief moments of, ‘wow, that looks really real!’, mainly down to lighting, but I wasn’t completely immersed.  Animatronics, however – well I’ve always loved them, largely because I know the thing I’m looking at is tangible.  Even if  it is dated, there’s a creative charm to watching a little girl’s head spin 360 degrees, and knowing that creepy model is collecting dust in a back room in Hollywood.  So here’s some weird stuff from the 80s and 90s.

Hollywood Hard Bastards: Volume One

Gary Jive

New Year’s Day, 2013. I’m tired, grumpy and up way, way too early. Pleasingly, the first film out of the Tub of Death instantly blasts away the cobwebs and gets the year off to a flyer. My descent into action movie insanity begins with Joseph Zito’s insane 1985 explosion-fest Invasion USA, the barmy tale of one-man-army Chuck Norris’ attempts to rescue America from a full-on terrorist invasion.

When Franchises Go Bad

Max

Biologist Randy Thornhill and anthropologist Craig T. Palmer popularised the idea that “rape evolved under some circumstances as a genetically advantageous behavioral adaptation” (to quote good ol’ Wikipedia).  While this is almost certainly true (to the rapist’s lawyer), here’s an article on another form of rape: the kind which – in my eyes – is far worse.  The rape of franchises in film.

Hollywood Hard Bastards: A Year-Long Movie Mission

Gary Jive

They’re unkillable, unstoppable, unflappable and irresistible. They’re the masters of the outrageous, racking up unfeasibly high body counts, smirking in the face of danger, always ready with a sly quip right before they blow the shit out of absolutely everything. Charismatic, stoic and determined, these Spartans never give up, overcoming unbelievable odds and despicable villains to save the day. They’re cinema’s greatest warriors, titans who walk among us, proving time and time again that there’s no problem, however big or small, that can’t be solved with a hearty fistful of dynamic, pulse-quickening, edge-of-your-seat violence.

Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi Couples To Date

Lyndsay Moir

To once again celebrate the famed month of loved, I thought I would compile a list of my favourite all time geek couples. Couples that have had me weeping in their saddest moments, and rooting for them to finally make it work when everything else seems against them. These couples are seriously awesome, and I doubt they would be spending Valentines Day handing over boxes of expensive truffles or toasting classes of champagne. No they would be side by side, fighting crime or battling monsters. So without further ado…

The Wait Of Expectation – Finally Getting My hands On Ni No Kuni

Spike

The weight of expectation looms large in the world of the geek. Larger than in other worlds for the simple fact that we are geeks. Our childlike excitement for the simplest crumb of news, our hours of frame by frame dissection of trailers or leaked scripts. The vitriol we spill if, god forbid, someone’s visions and ideas for a beloved franchise do not match our own. We all have those games or books or films that we want to see, and then when they arrive we almost always want to see them done better. Sometimes it can be great, Skyrim (for all it’s bugs) was a great game. And in the face of some of most pedantic of geeks managed to meet most expectations (unless you happen to be playing on PS3). Duke Nukem Forever would be antithesis of this. We waited year after year with bated breath for the defining game of many of our childhoods to rise for the ashes. And then finally release day came, and we all died a little inside. I’ve chosen 2 games as examples here because rabid fan base is coupled with long development times lead inevitably to huge levels of expectation and indignation when they are not met.

The Top 5 Fictional Devices

Max

Einstein once said, ‘It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has  exceeded our humanity.’  If he meant sitting in the pub reading the latest Facebook status, he was spot on.  If he meant nuclear fallout, meh… give it time.  After the car, washing machine and Sybian, technology hasn’t really helped us as a species.  Do we care?  If you click ‘like’, sure you do.  Here’s some cool shit that isn’t real and should be…

Why You Should Care About The Fringe Finale

Ben

[WARNING: SPOILERS FOR PRETTY MUCH ALL OF THIS FANTASTIC SHOW. READ AT YOUR PERIL]

Ah Fringe. For most people, it’s the follow-up show from that guy who did Lost. For the faithful fans that have followed it through to the end, it’s probably the most satisfying sci-fi saga on our screens since that series about X-Files. The thing is Fringe deserves even more praise than just being a very good sci-fi show. It deserves the status of one of TV’s greatest shows.

Five Exceptions to Rule 34

Callum

Rule 34. Those ventured in internet exploring will be well versed in the rule and undoubtedly have mental scars from its effects. For those that stay away from the darker corners of the web, choosing instead to use its browsing capabilities for looking at pictures of small puppies, Rule 34 is as simple as it is disturbing: if it exists, there is porn of it. Think of your favourite childhood cartoon. Think of the nostalgia, how warm and fuzzy you feel remember a time of innocence and youth. Now imagine the two main characters of that show having sex and someone, somewhere, jacking off to it. The internet is a horrible place.

In one last attempt to see if humanity does still have any last ounce of humility, join me on an epic quest to find the last remaining shreds of pop culture that haven’t fallen foul to the rotten rule. Lock your rooms and open up your incognito windows as this journey won’t be kind on internet histories.

Does 48 FPS Improve The Hobbit?

Callum

Ever since its first showing at ComicCon earlier in the year, most of the talk regarding The Hobbit has been about the ground-breaking 48 frames-per-second technology it uses. Heralded by Peter Jackson as the future of cinema, we’ve seen critics completely split by the format. Now that the long wait for the film is finally over, viewers have a chance to see it and decide for themselves if the ultra-realistic frame-rate is the way forward or not. If you’re unsure about seeing it in 48 FPS, a couple of PixelPedlum writers went along to watch it and gave us their view.

Braindead: “The little bugger bit me!”

Max

As Christmas time approaches and Phoebe Cates is reminded again of her dead dad stuck in a chimney, a new blockbuster opens in cinemas nationwide.  But while Martin Freeman swaps a shirt and tie for prosthetic feet and ears, I would like to look back at one of my favourite comedy horrors, donned by the very same Peter Jackson of the new Hobbit adaptation (and that other dusty box-set on your shelf).  This is 1992’s Braindead (or Dead Alive, as it’s known in the US, strangely enough).