Tuesday, 28 February 2017

February's Retro Game Purchases 2017

So last month I said that I hadnt sat and considerd what retro things to get this yearbut that I had read a few articles and blogs and learned a bit more about certain games that I was not previously that knowledgable about and that I had checked rough values of certain things but that I have a very laid back attitude to retro game shopping, that I tend to sit back and see what comes to me if you read on though you will see that a little bit of research helps now and then.

So my first purchases of the month didnt happen until Monday the 6th of Febuary. I had finished work and decided to visit a local pawn store were I picked up UniRally cart only for the SNES for £4, not too sure why I got this as I already have a copy but just felt the need to grab it, I then got a few N64 loose carts for 80pence each, I got F1 World Grand Prix 2, International super star soccer, and Top Gear Rally , I also got Nagano winter Olympics for the N64 complete for £3.50 and Monster Hunter freedom 2 for the psp complete for £2. I cant say that anything here would even come close to purchase of the month material but I didnt think it was too bad a little load.

On Tuesday the 7th a game I had brought online arrived, it was RebelStar Tactical Command for the Gameboy advance, it was complete and still sealed in fact and it only cost me £8 including postage. I have always been a huge fan of the Xcom Games and I had heard that this was something on those lines so figured I might like it. I also went out and visited a pawn store (a diffrent one from the day before) and grabbed myself Shadow of the beast complete for Master system for £4 and 3 official playstation 2 memory cards (1 black, 1 red, 1 blue) for £2.40

On Thursday the 9th I went in  to a branch of Granger Games and found Inazuma Eleven Strikers complete for Wii for £8. I was pleasently suprised about this because it was only the second time I had ever physically seen the game, the last time I saw it it was around £35 and very dog eared looking in a CEX store, and when I had seen this game online it had also been that much or in many cases even more. This is one of the Wii games I had sort of written off and decided that I would most likly never get because I wasnt willing to pay a lot for it so it made for a nice pleasent surprise.

There was a good long period of not buying anything at this point a lot of which is because I try not to buy things just for the point of buying stuff, if I see stuff and it is too expensive or in too poor a condition so I didnt make my next bunch of purchases until Monday the 20th on this day I went to an indie game store I went to a pawn store where I got a pile of complete PS1 games for £5.50 in total, they were Xena Warrior Princess, Nba Live 2000, The X Files. Toca 2, Rugrats Search for Reptar, Need for speed 3, Streak HoverBoard Racing, Harry potter and the philosophers stone, Need for speed road challange, MTV Sports snowboarding and Cool Boarders 2 (Platinum Version).

Then I went to an independent games shop that I hadnt been in for over a year, I got a few things there, I got Art Alive cart only for megadrive for 50pence, Premier Manager 64 cart only for N64 for £1, Michael Owens WLS2000 cart only for N64for £1, Rebelstar tactical command cart only for £1 (great as it means I can keep my sealed one sealed), Disney Sports football disc and case (no manual) for GameCube for £3, Rampart for Master System cart and case (no manual) for £2 Grandia 2 complete for ps2 for £5, Gumball 3000 complete for ps2 for £1,Driven complete for ps2 for £1
and Tetris Worlds complete for ps2 for £1.

On Thursday the 23rd I went in to an independent game shop and grabbed a few PSP games, I got  
Patapon complete for £2, Silent Hill Origins complete for £4 and Wipeout Pure complete for £1. I have wanted to get one of the Patapon games for a long time because I have heard nothing but good about the series.

On Saterday the 25th of February something I had orderd online arrived it was a game called Marbles! Balance Challange for the wii complete (German Version) for £12 (including postage). This is rather an intresting piece for me at least. You see one of the first none launch day released games I got for my Wii was a game called Kororinpa, I remember hearing when it was coming out, having already completed or grown bored of all of the games I already had and basically waiting for this game with baited breath and loving it when I got it. I never knew there was a sequel to it I didnt know because when the sequel came across from Japan to Europe instead of being called Kororinpa 2 they decided to rename it Marbles! Balance Challange, I have no idea how many copies it sold but this little bit of renaming stoped me knowing it existed until recently when I did a little reading. It was kind of cool though to find out that a game I had a lot of love for had a sequel that I knew nothing about, after all its not very often that something like that happens is it?

Overall I dont think it was a bad month. I spent £75.30 which is not the most I have ever spent but its not the least either and I certainly think I got a fair amount of bang for my buck.If I was to have to talk about favourate purchases well I guess it would be the two Wii games I got my hands on  Inazuma Eleven Strikers and Marbles! Balance Challange the first for its worth and its rariety the second mostly because of the fact its a game that if I had known about then I would very much have liked to get it on release, I guess the good side is getting it late means I have gotten it cheaper and it has come as a sort of pleasent late suprise. It is good to think that no matter how much you think you follow gaming and how much you might know you can always learn something new and that there are still suprises to enjoy.

Monday, 27 February 2017

DPP72: Zombi 2 AKA Zombie Flesh Eaters

 Something which a lot of the DPP72 films seemed to share in common was the fact that they often had multiple titles, in the case of this film from region to region or even tape to tape you could find it will all of the following names and more Zombie, Island of the Living Dead, Zombie Flesh Eaters , Zombie 2: The Dead are Among Us, Zombi, Zombi 2.

What is with all of the different names and what the proper name for this film you might be asking well a lot of it comes down to the fact that George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead was released in Italy with the title Zombi. Now the Italians always seemed to have this thing where if they thought they could sell people a film by giving it a name that would connect it to an already popular film even if there was no real relationship between the films then sod it that's exactly what they would do and thats what happened here. Zombi 2 had the working title of Gli Ultimi Zombi, but was renamed Zombi 2 in order to cash in on Romero's popular movie, by presenting this new film as some kind of sequel. Yes the plot bears practically zero relation to the events portrayed in the film Dawn of the Dead with the only common point basically being the inclusion of Zombies (even if they are portrayed in slightly different ways) but this kind of ''little'' detail is one that the Italian film industry has never really given much of a monkeys about. I think its important to mention that this was in fact done by the movie studio without Director Lucio Fulci's blessing or even his knowledge. This was not something he agreed with and he has reportedly always told fans that this is not a sequel that it is its own thing and that he was relieved when the film had the unconnected title of Zombie when released in America.

Lucio Fulci and his films are no stranger to controversy in fact Fulci had 3 films listed on the original UK list of 74 official video nasties, one being this film Zombie Flesh Eaters/Zombi 2 and the others being The Beyond and The House by the Cemetery. On top of this his film City of the Living Dead narrowly missed the list following its recall and his later film The New York Ripper was banned in the UK as well. Fulci was more than just a horror movie maker though he had also tackled thrillers, adventures, Spaghetti Westerns, political spoofs, and crime-drama. I guess what I am trying to say is that the guy wasnt a hack who thought he could work his way into money just by throwing gore at the screen, he was an acomplished film maker.

So what about the films story? Well the two main characters are a local reporter named Peter West and Anne Bowles the daughter of the missing Captain of a boat. Peter and Anne fly to the Dominican Republic and meet an American tourist couple who are about to embark on a sailing tour of the Caribbean. Peter and Anne ask them for help to go to the island of Matul, the last place Anne heard from her. Despite the couples claim about warnings from the superstitious locals about Matul, they agree to take them to the island. What they find on Matul is basically zombies and thats as much of the story as I want to give away as I feel this film is well worth watching. Lots of people know this film as the film with the large sharp piece of wood being driven into the womans eye, or as the film in which a shark fights a zombie. I think a lot of what you think about this film will come down to what you think about the last sentance I have written, if your thinking wow that sounds cool then this is the film for you. Personally I would give this film an 8 out of 10, I dont think that it is on par with the Evil Dead but I do think that it is a great film. Yes there are certain films on the DPP72 that are just gore for the sake of gore but this is not one of them, it just so happens to be a good film that has a lot of gore in it, I think the elimination of the gore would harm the final product but I still think it would be a good film which is not something I could say about a lot of the other films on the DPP72.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

DPP72: Blood Feast

 Blood Feast is one of the oldest films on the dpp72 list which would make some think that it would be one of the tamest but if you were under the belief that its age would get in its way then you’re wrong. Inside the first 5 minutes you see a murder and then you see a body be partially carved up. It is generally considered to be the very first splatter film. I did consider making this the first of the DPP72 films I talked about due to its age but decided I would rather go with something more well known to start with.

The concept for Blood Feast arose in the early 1960s, three years after the release of director Alfred Hitchcock’s famous horror film Psycho. Apparently one of the films writers Herschell Gordon Lewis had seen Psycho and felt that the film had cheated by showing the results of the murders in the film without actually showing them happening. He apparently felt that it had been done in this way because Hitchcock simply could not risk getting turned down by theatres. So the idea was that this film would be a sort of Psycho which didn’t cheat, it would show the murders as well as the aftermath of them.

I hate to think that I might come across as being full of my own self importance or that I feel that things are as simple as wrong and right or black and white but as far as I am concerned Herschell Gordon Lewis didnt understand what Hitchcock had done or achieved. I feel that the man is as entitled to his oppinon as I am mine but I think Hitchcock was simply smart enough to know that sometimes less is in fact more. I think Psycho manages to be scary on a deep level rather than just on a simply shocking one.

The above fact that this was almost written as some kind of response to Psycho is going to make people try to compare the two on at least some level and it’s not a comparison that is going to do this film any favours in my oppinion. Psycho had a budget of $806,947. Blood Feast had the much lower budget of $24,500. Now I am not saying that a low budget means a film is cursed from the beginning, but it can be a factor. There seems to be a lot of over acting in Blood Feast, the Camera is close to the actors at times but there performances the way they are talking and delivering lines feels like they are trying to project to a whole theatre. The film shows more than Pscyho but I feel this comes off as less. Yes you see the gore but you also see the killer straight away, this somehow robs you of the feeling of being threatened and stalked which you get from a film like Psycho, they could have showed the blood and the guts and still kept an element of surprise in it. The film just feels cheap because you know who is committing the crimes and your left with little reason to watch it, unless you simply enjoy seeing murder and mayhem for mayhem sake.

There is a scene where the killer is literally scooping up bits of a girls smashed in head in to a bag, you can even see him almost playing with the messy former contents of her head but the music playing in the background is this old fashioned awful organ music which seems to over hammer home the point that oh this is a macabre scary moment not only that but it is seriously headache inducing. This is not the only weird bit of sound which is annoying there is also this these weird gong and drum type noises and slow beats which are just off putting, it’s like it is trying far too hard. When this film invites comparison to Psycho then its music is going to be judged against it as well. Psycho has some of the best music found in film, not only does it perfectly suit the mood of the moments it is used in but it’s used in the right places, played just loud enough to be heard without getting in the way of the film itself. Music can if good and used correctly sublte add to the mood of a scene or film but in this case it seems more like it is pathetically shouting ''look at me im scary look at me im so scary''.

Now one person connected to this film that I have to admit to having a lot of respect for is Producer David F. Friedman who came up with some effective publicity stunts for "Blood Feast" these included giving out vomit bags reading "You may need this when you see 'Blood Feast'" as well as obtaining an injunction against the film in Sarasota, Florida, as a publicity stunt in order to increase interest in the film. How many times have we seen that the banning or restricting of films and other forms of media just leads to an increased intrest in them, this was something he clearly understood and used to his advantage. I have to admit though that I love stuff like the blood bags, I love anything that gives a film a novel feel which comes from its promotion or how it is shown.

It would be easy to really give this film a kicking but it has a sort of homemade feel to it, if you have ever wanted to make your own film and played around with video cameras and your friends then you will realise that even a bad film requires a lot of work and effort.

What needs to be remembered is that without the gore in this film and the whole fuss of the Video Nasties situation this film would have been long forgotten, its prosecution has actually helped it to live for far longer than it otherwise would have. I think what really made people object to this film wasn’t the fact that the director showed you the killings when other films would have merely showed you the aftermath or let you hear a scream in the dark, it was how long the camera choose to stay focused on the hands of the main actor as he played with the gore covered parts. This added nothing to the film, sure at first it was a bit shocking but soon it just felt like the moment was being held on to for too long, I think it helped you to see how fake it all was, if the gore had flashed in front of you and then been removed then you wouldn’t have the time to study it to pick faults with it. Show us enough to tantalise us, for us to make our own pictures in our head instead of showing us the same ones for so long we become bored of them.

I would give this film 3 out of 10. Unless you’re trying to watch all of the video nasties or have another good reason to view it, then just give it a miss and find a better way to spend your time. It is much better seen as a piece of historical cinema than it is as a film as far as I am concerned. A lot of the Video Nasties have this sort of legendary status around them but the truth is that there are a lot of horror films which get the job done with less gore and still manage to be far more frightening for it, I would rather have one Psycho than one hundred films like Blood Feast, I am just the kind of guy who will always take quality over quantity.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

SNES review 114: Total Carnage

I really wanted an excuse to come out with the gem ''Big Money, Big Prizes'' which you may realise is of course from the game Smash TV, a game I really love, I love it because basically it is based of the Arnie film The Running Man, which is not only a film I adore but is also based loosely of the book The Running Man which was written by Stephen King one of my favourite writers of all time. I don't own Smash TV though but I do however own its sequel Total Carnage. This used to happen a lot the whole lets make a film into a game but do it so loosely that we can get away without paying for any rights or fee's, Total Carnage doesnt do this however instead it has a story which feels like someone read and watched a whole bunch of random different things and then vomited up a story which was a mix of things. You have your big muscular Solider think Arnie again think Commando etcetera, your fighting a dangerous Dictator General Akhboob so your basic evil foreign sounding military figure from foreign sounding place in this case Kookistan, who is using his base to stockpile weapons and look for ways to conquer the world in this case by creating mutants. To be honest I find this sort of craziness pretty cool, games are supposed to be fun so a little nonsense now and then is very welcome in my books.

Now Total Carnage is for all intents and purposes a twin stick shooter just without the twin sticks. So if you have played the old arcade game Robotron or if your more of a modern gamer and you managed to play the fantastic Geometry wars then that's the kind of territory your in here. So how do you play a twin stick shooter on an old console like the SNES that only has one stick, well actually no sticks? Well the dpad works as the first stick ,moving your characters around the screen, and instead of having a second stick to control the direction you fire in the various directions are mapped to the X, Y, B and A buttons. This takes some getting used to especially if your used to games in which you always shoot in the direction you are facing in but if you keep playing then eventually it becomes second nature to you.

So you set out with what in video game weapon terms can best be described as a pea shooter to kill a whole arm of exploding mutants while you will die if you are so much as grazed by anything, yes there are various power ups but even with these this game is a darn hard game, only made slightly easier if you manage to find a friend to play with. I have to be totally honest when I say that the game will be found so hard by most people that it at times becomes more frustrating than fun, this is definitely a negative, I don't find the game completely UN-enjoyable but I wouldn't be surprised to find that some people do. If you relish a shooter which is a challenge though this could very well be the game for you, providing that you also find the games plot and presentation as B-Movie delicious as I do, this is very much a game for hardened gamers who don't mind being frustrated and who have there tongue very firmly in there cheek.

Its interesting to note that this game is another victim of Nintendo's family image, a lot of things are toned down from the arcade version, some of it is related to the on screen gore but then there is also some cuts made when it comes to the language used and some taming of plot related issues, for example your out to capture rather than kill the main villain, it doesn't really alter the game but its worth mentioning.

In general the game is not one that's going to change the world, there are not any truly original ideas here, the graphics are not the best you will see nor is the sound but the game has character and challenge going for it perhaps a little too much as far as challenge goes. I appreciate this game as a fun bit of something to pick up and play now and again but its not an all time classic or anything in fact I would have to give it a 6 out of 10, its not that I wouldn't recommend it its just that there are so many games I would say to get first. If you really wanted Total Carnage though well unless you got really lucky and found it for a bargain then you would be looking at around £15 for a cartridge which is not a bad price but I really do think that there are better games you can get for around this kind of figure.

Friday, 24 February 2017

DPP72: Cannibal Ferox

Cannibal Ferox also known as Make them Die Slowly and Woman from Deep River was written and directed by Umberto Lenzi. Upon its initial release it was claimed that it was the most violent movie ever made. It contains scenes of eye-gouging, torture, animal cruelty, castration and of course cannibalism. It should be noted that like Cannibal Holocaust, this movie features several actual cases of animals being killed on screen.

I have to admit that when I first watched this it was a downloaded copy, recenty I have gotten an actual DVD of it one of the Vipco Vaults of Horror releases which despite brgagging about how it was previously banned in 31 countries and claims it to be ''THE MOST VIOLENT FILM EVER MADE'' actually is not the full film, the original cut of the film was 93 minutes the feature on this film is only 83 minutes, so its lacking an entire 10 minutes. I point this out merly to say that if your looking for this film you might want to do a little research to find out if your paying for the full thing or a cut down version (I got my copy from a charity shop for £1 so cant really complain, plus I have watched the longer cut online).

The plot of this film can quickly be described as being about a small group of anthropologists who take a trip to the jungles of Colombia to try to disprove the existence of cannibalism. Once there they find drug dealers who have been using the natives to harvest coca leaves. The natives grow tired of being tortured slaves and as a result of this decide to turn their anger on the dealers and the anthropologists.

The opinions most often voiced in regards of Canibal Ferox seem to fall in to one of two camps. There are those who feel that the film is sick, and that it was justifiably banned. Sometimes this is due to the actual murder of animals and other times just because of its depraved and gory nature. Again there will be those who just simply enjoy violent films. No one really seems to try and argue that this movie contains any kind of deep or meaningful message.

I guess it is my turn to give my actual opinion on this film. Well I think it should be clear by this point that I am quiet anti-censorship, I believe that adults should be able to decide what they want to watch and what they can and cannot cope with seeing. There are limits to this for example you shouldn’t be able to see actual murder on film or any other action which violates a living persons rights. I also disagree with the idea of killing animals for the purpose of making a film; if you can simulate the deaths of people using effects then you can either simulate the death of an animal or merely offer up enough to suggest what has happened. It is not like seeing a turtles head shatter or a goat getting its throat slit is going to make or break a movie. 

 I have to admit that I walk into a lot of the DPP72 movies with very low expections, its not that I believe that something good cant come out of a low budget enviroment in fact I often think that good ideas can be destroyed by having too much money thrown at them, its simply the fact that I think in a lot of cases a lot of the people making these films didnt have that solid an idea in the first place, they just simply wanted to draw people in with the promise of blood and guts.

 I was kind of shocked to find that Cannibal Ferox is better than I thought it would be. The storyline, acting and production values were far beyond what I expected of them especially given the fact that it was one of those multi-lingual sort of productions were there are various language barriers getting in the way of things. There is a bit of a mix when it comes to the performances provided by the actors and actresses Lorraine De Selle delivers a very serious perforrmance trying to give it her all and act as if she is in real situations  while in comparison Giovanni Lombardo Radice in comparison basically overacts to an almost camp degree but overall all of it seems to fit togther well.

The gore is not quiet as heavy as you might expect for a film that was banned but what there is was used very effectivly, yes there is the castration scene that people might have mentioned when talking about this film but its handled rather quickly really, there are far more slowly paced grusome things in other films and indeed there are a few in this film. I despise the animal cruelty but I have to begrudgingly admit that some of it really isn't as awful as people have made out, bits of it are on the level of Discovery Channel style documentary footage the sort were animals chase attack and kill each other which as disturbing as it can be at times I think you need to kind of stop and remember that well thats just the way the animal kingdom works in real life. You could make the argument that showing it for entertainment purposes is wrong but then documenterys as much as people might argue are for aiding in the pursuit of knowledge are also a form of entertainment are they not?

I still hate the bits where people actively kill animals, I dont think they have any part in this film or any other for that matter and I personally would edit them out of the film but I guess some might call me naieve after all I eat meat and animals die for that to happen. If I had to rate this and bear in mind I am ignoring the fact the animal killings are real so as not to be biased to do so I would rate it a 7 out of 10

Thursday, 23 February 2017

DPP72 The Gestapo's Last Orgy. Revisited

The film I am going to talk about today is called The Gestapo's Last Orgy. The film was listed as an official video nasty and subsequently banned by the BBFC. It has yet to receive a UK release. It is also known as Last Orgy of the Third Reich and Caligula Reincarnated as Hitler. So with the words Gestapo, Third Reich, Hitler and the word orgy I think it is very obvious what kind of territory we are in here if you had not guessed it’s a Nazi sexploitation film.

So why did I decide to takle this film, well the DPP72 has a number of Naziploitation films among its number and as I was trying to keep things fresh by reviewing diffrent types of film from among the DPP72 list and I had already done a zombie film and a mockumentary I figured I would either need to do a cannibal film or a a Naziploitation and as some of the promotional material for The Gestapo's Last Orgy had refered to it as the sickeest of the Naziploitation films then why not start here.

The film is about a prisoner-of-war camp for female Jews. There is the typical Nazi rhetoric about them being the super race and how Jews are inferior. The camp itself is basically run as some kind of bordello; training centre where the German officers and soldiers can learn to see Jewish people as animals, use them for sex and generally do as they please.

The female inmates are raped, tortured, sodomized, you see a woman thrown into a pit of quicklime you see whippings, there is cannibalism, infanticide and an Officer is sodomised with the end of his whip. SS staff sit and debate Nazi theories over dinner and one of them mentions his dream that eventually they will have farms where Jews are bred as to be eaten. There are so many things in this film that someone could take offense to that it is not hard to see why the Director of Public Prosecutions decided this film should be banned.

I need to make it clear here that I have seen far worse in other films but I think part and parcel of the issues people have with this film are connected to the fact that its about Nazi's, lets be honest Zombies and Demons and such do not exist but Nazi's did and well to some degree still do, the fact that we know that at least some of what is done in this film was done in real life during World War 2. Some people will dislike this film and films like it because it is trying to make a profit out of one of the worst things to have ever happend in our history, others will simply not want to think about it or be faced with this kind of stuff.

I have visited the concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau and it was an experience I will never forget. I am not a man who is typically a believer of the supernatural but when your there at one of the camps you can practically feel the death in the air. You can see the ovens where people where cremated, there’s a room full of human hair, and there are bullet holes in a wall which people were shot against. Having been there you would expect me to be the first to complain about this film or any other film making light of what happened or trying to turn it in to some horror porno in order to make money.

This might be the case if not for the fact that I also had the honour of meeting and talking to Leon Greenman. For those of you who have not heard of him he was a British anti-fascism campaigner and an actual survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp. In the latter part of his life he made it his mission in life to make sure that no one ever forgot what had happened in those camps. He gave regular talks to school children about his experience at Auschwitz, and also wrote a book about his experiences. This was not enough for him though he also campaigned against the far right and he regularly received threats of violence as a result of this but he never gave up. I asked him what he thought of the fact that parts of world war 2, concentration camps, Nazi’s etcetera had been used to make films and he was of the opinion that as long as it meant that what happened was never forgotten then it was a good thing.

Sure The Gestapo's Last Orgy is a strange film it’s a Nazi exploitation film a mix of horror and porn yet it occasionally it almost shows a bit of class and moves into art-house territory with some editing and camera work which would not be out of place in a far better movie. The films use of montage and inter-cutting images in certain scenes nearly makes you forget that it is an exploitation film. The uniforms the camp itself everything seems so real and we all know that the Nazi’s did some awful things so at times it even seems to come across in an almost documentary for a second or two in a kind of way. I am not suggesting that anyone goes and watches this as part of their degree in history, but if one person watches this and it makes them pick up a book or go looking for documentaries so they can learn more about the past then in a strange and twisted way wouldn’t that make this movies existence worthwhile? 

This was not the only film in the Nazi Exploitation genre to end up on the Director of Public Prosecutions list of banned films but it is the only one I will be talking about. The rest of them are similar the only difference is that I found them to come of a lot cheaper and with more of an air of campiness about them. I decided that in my opinion this was the one that it would be easiest for people to see why it was banned and so this would be the one I would tackle. I will end with a question, I won’t answer it, it is for you to go away and consider yourself. The Nazi’s where fascists, they believed that what they held as true was the only truth and that they had the right to say who should live and die, who could have freedom. Given the fact that one of the reasons we went to war was to protect our freedom from a government which felt it knew better than us can our government justifiably ban films or books in an attempt to try to tell us what is right and wrong?

I would find this film very hard to give some kind of score to, its hard to score a lot of these banned films, I guess its because a lot of them seem to be so much more about shocking people rather than telling a good story, and thats very much the case here, the level of story is equal to the worst of low budget soap operas, but at the same time there is some good camera work, some good costumes and sets, I do think when originally talking about this though I sounded too poitive, its definetly a 3 out of 10.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

DPP72 I spit on your grave (Revisited)

So here we are again talking about yet another film involved in the DPP72/Video Nasty controversy of the 1980’s. This time I thought I would talk about I Spit on Your Grave; this is always going to be a controversial film to talk about what with its plot basically being about the rape of a woman and then her gruesome revenge.

I decided to tackle I spit on your grave at this point because I figured after a Zombie/Demon film and then a well basically a mocumentery that I wanted to carry on with a diffrent type of film so went for the revenge film, I just figured it would be more intresting  to keep mixing things up instead of wwatching previously banned zombie movie after previously banned Zombie movie.
The contreversy surounding this film is not helped by the fact that the film contains a 25 minute rape scene, when hearing this it seems a little too much to show for a film, one might argue that you could understand that she had been raped and that it was terrible even if you were only shown a moment or two of it even from a distance. In my opinion though the viewer is supposed to view the main female character as a hero and sympathise with her situation and even see her revenge as justified even if it is incredibly violent.

I think what I was trying to get across is that the film was trying to put you in her place, trying to make you feel violated, I think a lot of the issues with this film revolved around some people being scared people would get off on the rape when that was not the intention at all, your supposed to be revolted by it and want it to stop. Yes I admit that with every film, there are at least two meanings and two sets of feelings, the first  will be those  that were intended by the director/writer the other will be down to the individual watching its personal interpretation, so yes you can in theory design a scene to shock which ends up instead arousing someone  but if you think thats reason to ban something then you would have to be prepared to ban almost everything, after all we live in a world were there are people out there who have the strangest thoughts and desires and triggers you only have to watch a documentery or two to find that out (there is a woman who eats sofa ccushions, a man in a sexual relationship with his car and thats just things I have bumped into in the last week.)

Does it say something about our society now that the remake of this movie came out with virtually no fuss being made in the media about it and yet in the 80’s the makers of the original version faced prosecution? Maybe it says that we are a sicker society one which is more willing to ignore shocking things and to take them for granted as part of life, or maybe it shows that we are a more enlightened society which is less eager to sensor things and hide them away from the public, one which is more willing to acknowledge different types of art form and the complex questions they wrestle with.
British feminist Julie Bindel actively opposed the original film when it was released in the UK. She later changed her mind and she has now said that she considers it to be "a feminist film". Yet the late and great Roger Ebert gave both the original and the remake zero stars in fact Ebert Often referred to the original as the worst movie ever made. My own opinion on the film is more flexible like Julie Bindel’s. The first time I watched the film I found it hard to swallow, I didn’t particularly want to watch twenty five minutes of a woman being raped regardless of whether it was fake or not, it just felt wrong and watching it I felt for want of a better term uncomfortable. I have to admit though that I never felt so much as a shred of sympathy for the men as she killed them, I always thought that they were getting exactly what they deserved and I have to ask would I have felt like this if the rape had not been as intense as it was?

Thinking about it in depth I do think there are lots of ways you could show how tortured she was without having to show as much of the rape, and I even think with some work that you could keep the impact. Now I have never been raped but I have been beat and held hostage and although the event itself was horrible it was all of the things after that were really horrid, the flashbacks and the fears it brought to the surface, I think a smart writer could have showed more of how it affected her than of it actually happening yet still have you understanding her anger and feeling that on some level her seeking violent revenge was justified.

Maybe it is just my personal view but I found the 2010 focused less on the rape but this combined with the fact that they made one of the villains a little more sympathetic, yes he was mentally disabled in the original but he just seems even more so in this one to the point you wonder how much of what he was involved in he understood.

I also found the main character of Jennifer to be very different between the two films, in the original she seemed like a regular woman who had been driven to her actions because of her anger at what had happened to her, she did some twisted things in the pursuit of her revenge but they seemed plausible for a regular woman to have done. In comparison new Jennifer just seemed like she suddenly turned in to some kind of female Rambo, I wouldn’t have been surprised if she had summersaulted through the air wielding dual machine guns. As with most modern horror movies, the remake has plenty of what you could call gross-out scenes in fact they seem to make up the majority of the film but I guess this is part of the way it tries to appeal to a new audience. I think that as a society we find it more acceptable to allow people to see extreme gore rather than sex, which is in itself strange, and maybe that’s one of the reasons the modern take got less flack because some of its attention had moved from the rape and towards violence.

Personally I don’t think this film should have been banned, sure some of it is difficult to watch and if someone told me that they particularly enjoyed watching the rape scene I would be very concerned but I believe that this film tells a story which asks important questions if you just open your mind and really listen to the themes that are running through it.

Which you should watch the old or the new depends entirely on personal taste do you prefer the raw nature of the original with a believable heroine, believable gore and some tense scenes that are hard to watch or would you prefer a film with a more modern flavour? As for me, well I will take the original every time.

I didnt really give the film any kind of score when reviewing it, I just talked about why it was banned and how times had changed, if I was to try and pin a score to the film though it would have to be something around a 6, but I would deffinetly give the film a warning, if your easily triggerd or upset then it is not for you. Lets face it there is a certain safty in something like the Evil Dead because we all know that Zombies do not exist yet things like rapists and murderers are actually out there wwhich I think makes them more freightening because the things seen in a film like this could actually happen. I dont think it deserved banning but it deserves its 18 and some sensible caution in who you show or recomend it to.

Monday, 20 February 2017

DPP72 Faces of Death (Revisited)

So just like with my last post I intend to reproduce the full text from a post on my previous blog about a film on the DPP72 List in this case Faces of Death, and then add to this review with new material in bold and italics either restating my oppinion or arguing with what I said back when this was written.

Last time we talked, well last time I typed and you read it to be specific, I told you all about The Evil Dead and the DPP72/Video Nasty controversy of the 1980’s. So this time I thought that I would tell you a little more about the kinds of films which made their way on to this list and about one in particular. The law at the time existed to try and protect us from ourselves and from the ‘filth’ that certain studios were producing. We were to be protected from films which would to quote the Obscene Publications Act “deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it".

Personally both at the time and now I think the Obscene Publicatons Act was a joke, I do not think that someone can be depraved or corrupted by a piece of fictional entertainment, sure someone might enjoy it in a disturbing way or choose to repeat something from it but I would strongly argue that this is due to something that is wrong inside of them, something which doesnt come as a result of them watching a film but is instead a deep seated problem...the only time I would argue this is possibly not the case is when people are subjected to things there minds are not ready for, if you see and experiance things before your mind has gotten a firm grasp on reality then I think this can be a bad thing but only if this is the only real input your getting but its the job of parents and careers to make sure that your not watching what you shouldnt and that you learn the basic life lessons you should learn not the governments. As harsh as it might sound if you dont want to undertake the hard task of raising children then dont have them.

The kind of films which got included in the term video nasty’s tended to be Zombie films, Sexploitation movies, cannibal movies, revenge movies and even one film that claimed to be footage of real deaths and executions. I have to admit it is easy to see how some of these things would upset certain people even if you don’t believe in censorship.

The film I have chosen to discuss today is Faces of Death and it was released in 1978, a few years before I was even born and yet I was still in school when I learned about its existence. It is a film which advertised itself as being a look at the many ways in which people can die, there was no story to it, and it was more of a cassette filled with various different macabre sequences.

In recent years people who were involved in the movie have admitted that several of the human death scenes were fakes produced specifically for the film but they were mixed in with genuine pieces of footage such as stock footage of napalm bombings in Vietnam and various pieces of footage from newsreels. There are also actual on-camera animal deaths/killings, which include seals being clubbed to death and animals being killed in a slaughterhouse. The high or low point of the film depending on how you view these things is the inclusion of real footage taken from a newsreel which shows a very unpleasant fatal accident, in which shattered remains of a cyclist are seen under a semi-tractor trailer. The footage includes a brief look at paramedics scooping up the remains of the individuals head from the road side.

A lot of what is seen in this film although shocking at the time doesnt seem all that big a deal now, I guess its partly down to the fact that our own news broadcasts and other forms of media have gotten so dark, scary and sensational now that we are just kind of used to this kind of thing. The news is showing you war zones and animal rights prrotestors are trying to show you what goes on in a slaughter house, I guess we are just a lot more used to this kind of stuff, where as the odd weird person used to hunt out Faces of Death we know have a whole society that is watching crime reconstructions and shocking news reports to try and give there fear sensors a cheeky tickle. The worst part in Faces of Death actually was taken from a news reel so I think that in a way kind of says it all.
When I saw the film as a young man I did not know how much of it was fake or that news footage had been used, in fact by the time I was aware of its existence there was a whole series of Faces of death movies. I remember it being used as a form of initiation by some of the lads in school, if you could watch the whole of the film from start to finish without turning away then you would prove that you were a real man.

To be honest yes I passed this initiation but the more I sit and think about it the more I think most young people are just dicks looking for reasons to call each other, to claim that they are better than each other and rub this or that in each others faces, this isent just something I feel looking back at my youth its something I have come to feel from watching my daughter grow up. She came home at one time telling me that lots of people at school were doing the Freddy rhyme from Nightmare on Elm street and calling the children who didnt know the words pussys because they hadnt seen the film, now she was too young for me to want her to watch it (I have since shown it to her). She told me the words they were singing to the rhyme and they wernt even right, so I taught her the proper rhyme gave her a story book sort of 12 certificate version of what happens and told her to say she had seen it and correct them on the rhyme and tell them they were talking shit, I thought this was a novel way of dealing with the situation and to me thats a lot of what being a parent is about finding the best way to deal with things.

I am anti-censorship, I believe that when you start to tell people what they can and cannot watch you attack people’s rights, including their right to watch what they want to watch and there right to formulate their own opinions but even I find myself having problems trying to defend this movie. The movie in itself is not wrong, at least it is not wrong when you realise that some of the deaths are fake and that others were either filmed as part of the news or in the case of the animals you are just seeing how cattle is really treated. The issue I have is with how this is presented, I have a problem in regards to the fact that the creators of this movie tried to lie to everyone in order to sell their movie. Sure they are not the first to do it and nor are they the last, after all look at the Blair Witch that was presented as being a real life recording of those teenagers last few hours and their demise. Faces of death was different though it was trying to appeal to our dark side to the side of us that can’t help but turn to look at a road traffic accident, that can’t help but stare at the bloody corpse. The film itself has no merit as a piece of art, it is not an example of storytelling or plot pacing all it does prove is how, with the right hype and the right angle one set of people can con another set of people in to believing that they need to experience something.

A lot of people might think that when reviewing or talking about games or films I and/or other writers randomly decidide what to talk about next, sometimes that might be true but most of the time I put a lot of thought in to what I am going to review next. In this case I had started with The Evil Dead for two reasons one of them being that when compared to a lot of the other films on the DPP72 it is one of the films that most people would have heard of so I thought it would be a nice starting point. The other reason was because I adore The Evil Dead and wanted a goood reason to watch it and look at it, when it came to my second review I wanted something that was very diffrent and that I didnt like. I wanted to make it clear that I like some of the DPP72 and dislike others. For me Faces of Death is about as far removed from The Evil Dead as you can get. Evil Dead is a good film that just so happens to be gory , it has a story to tell and a solid middle, begining and end I wwent from that to Faces of Death as it is so diffrent it lacks any real story or purpose it is just shock for the sake of shock and while I wouldnt ban it being pro free speach I will happily call it a piece of crap. I tried to get this across in the first place but think maybe I was a bit too subtle.

If I was to compare Blair witch to Faces of Death then this is most definitely a case where the modern film wins. Blair Witch might have tried to make us think that it was real but we all knew that it wasn’t and the only people who were really fooled were those who wanted to be and for them it provided a fun piece of horror, whereas anyone who found Faces of Death to be an enjoyable film? Well I would seriously question their mental well-being.

This film clearly had an audience though as mutliple sequeels and spiritual sequels were made but I have to say I just simply do not get its appeal, unless you want to see every film from the DPP72 list then I would give this one a miss.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

The Evil Dead, another look at this classic film and at the DPP72 list in general

 Seeing as my old blog was taken down due to the host site going out of business a lot of my old posts are no longer up for people to read, I at first resisted the urge to repost too much of it here on my new blog unless I in some way added to it. I did this when I took a second look at the Sega Mega Drive game, I esssentially put my post up but then added comments to it almost reviewing my own review and seeing if my attitude had changed. any of my followers will know that I have been trying to review 150 SNES games but if you have followed me for a long time then you will Know that at one stage I had the intenton of reviewing all of what are called the DPP72 Films otherwise known as the Video Nasties. Here is my original review of the Evil Dead which is from this list with some additional thoughts. If youd like to ignore my ramblings and merly read the original Review then ignore the bolded Italic sections.

 I am a child of the 80’s. I was born in 1981 and one year later the term "Video Nasty" was coined. It was a term which applied to a number of films distributed on video cassette that were being criticized for their violent content. The first time I remember being terrified was when I saw part of the horror movie Critters which was released in 1986. This was far from a video nasty it wouldn’t be until the year 1997 when I saw my first Video Nasty it was the well-known horror masterpiece The Evil Dead. At this point in time the Video Recordings Act of 1984 was still in effect so The Evil Dead was still technically illegal in the UK. The video cassette I watched it on was a very bad pirate with foreign subtitles running across the bottom of the screen, it had that incredibly blurry nature you get when something is a copy of a copy of a copy but somehow this lent itself to the nature of the film. As I put the cassette in the video recorder and me and a few of my close friends began to watch it, it felt otherworldly, it was like we had found our own copy of the book of the dead and we were reading it out loud.

I actually wish I still had a copy of the Evil Dead like this, dont get me wrong I greatly enjoy wathcing the Evil Dead when its a nice crisp transfer on an optical disk being viewed on a glorius high definition telly but a sort of grindhouse video nasty filter would make a great addition to one of the films re-releases, a bit like how scan lines and distortion sometimes get added in to game emulators or as options in game re-releases.

 If you are in to horror then chances are you have seen The Evil Dead and to this day it is popular, it spawned 2 sequels and a remake so far. It has ceased to be just a part of the Video Nasty media frenzy but in some ways I would argue it never really was. When me and my friends watched The Evil Dead it touched something inside of us, it was raw in a way a lot of other films are not. It was a brilliantly enjoyable film but with its setting and its limited cast size it had that sort of anyone could make this flavour to it. My friends and I would quote lines from it, we would reinact parts of it and it was one of a small number of films which led to several of us wanting to make films, star in films or write scripts and that is impressive for a film which many people including the founder of the National Viewers and Listeners Association Mary Whitehouse tried to label as obscene. 

The Obscene Publications Act defines obscenity as something which may "tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it". The Evil dead opened my mind to the possibilities of making movies, of writing horror stories, it made me aware that film was more than just something you watch. I do not have a criminal record, I have never served time in jail nor have any of the individuals who watched the evil dead with me on that day. On this evidence alone I deny the claim that The Evil Dead is obscene therefore I do not believe it deserves its place as a ‘’Video Nasty’’.

You see a lot of people wanted the films on the DPP72 banned because they believed that they would taint children in some way, that they would harm us, but the Evil Dead actually had the opposite effect not just on me as I stated during my review but on all of my friends, none of us saw it and wanted to go out there and comit acts of violence, actually we wanted to learn. We wanted to learn about how films were made, about lighting, camera angles, acgting, script writting. The film seemed like not only a great film but a how to guide, a guide on how to make a great film with a small budget, a low number of actors and just a lot of raw energy and drive. It is funny when you think about it that a lot of these Video Nasties were in a way built on the essence of sort of 80's Thatcher economics, they showed that with not much money or resources but a lot of effort you could make it as a sucess and climb out of the economic situation you were born into, and yet they were ultimatly shunned by the people who promoted one of the ideals that they were built upon.

 The Evil Dead is no longer banned in the UK. On the DPP list of 'Video Nasties' there are a total of 72 films. 39 of these films were successfully prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act, the remaining 33 were either not prosecuted or had unsuccessful prosecutions. Only 10 of these films still remain banned in the UK, the main reason for this being that most of them have not been resubmitted for classification. So if they were so awful then why are we allowed them now? I think the truth is that we have moved on, as a society we were caught in a moral panic one which has now moved from the world of films and in to the world of games. Some of the films which get released now days make the Video Nasties look like footage of a child’s teddy bear’s picnic in comparison and yet they manage to come out with very little resistance.

I also think that its not just the fact that society has grown more tolernt of gore I also think there has been a shift in terms of class relations. When you watch a lot of the old documenteries about the Video Nasties you will come across this attitude whereby basically posh upper middle and upper class people look down on certain forms of media while simultaniously trying to say that it will rot the poor mans mind and make a murderer of him because the poor man is stupid and easily manipulated. We went through a whole set of changes where certain politicians were trying to push the idea of a classless society and that in combination with things such as the growth of speaking  platforms for all because of the internet have led to a socierty where ideas as stupid as ''oh it would corrupt the poor idiots'' are challanged. The net itself also acts against any one country being overly protective of its people and treating them like kids,, because if something is illegal in your country but is accepted in most others then it will be easy to find online, and the truth is while certain people in the UK were making a big fuss of the whole Video Nasties thing in a lot of countries they just couldnt understand the big deal we were making

If you look at the modern remake of The Evil Dead which is titled Evil Dead the film is no less bloody, the concept is virtually the same and yet it was practically applauded upon its release. Do I think this is because we live in a more morally corrupt society or that it is because we have all been changed and depraved by the Video Nasties we have lived through? Of course not, there is a difference between fantasy and reality and I think that just maybe those in control of the formation of home movie related policies have started to realise that most adults know the difference between the two.

So why did I end here? I hadnt really even reviewed The Evil Dead , I had basically just wrote a peiece about why it didnt deserve to be banned while introducing people to the whole DPP72 thing, the biggest irony being that before I did each of the I think in the end it was about 6 reviews I did of DPP72 films I actually watched the films at least once, most of the time a few times so I could enjoy or not enjoy each film and so that I could then do it again and make notes. What I should have said is that the Evil Dead is a brilliant film, it is full of intresting ideas, great camera angles and tricks that really make you feel like a part of everything that is going on around you, special effects which look far better than you would imagine and some brilliant acting. Watching the lead Bruce Campbell its not hard to see why he has ended up becoming a B-Movie legend, he simply acts the living heck out of the role and everyone else does a more than fair job. A lot of the criticism of Video Nasties seemed to lay with the fact that they were gore for gores ake but I dont feel that this is the case at all in Evil Dead the gore always serves the story and so I dont think it should be resented, you wouldnt complain about a bit of blood in a theatre production of a Shakespere play so why should you here? I would give Evil Dead a very solid 8.5 out of 10 as a film, it is something I have watched time and time again and I m sure I will continue to do so, there is a reason this film spawned 2 sequels, countless video game and comic book adaptions and recently its own TV series and thats because its GROOVY.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Snes Review 113: Smash Tennis/Super Family Tennis

So if I was to tell you that I was going to be talking about a SNES game called Super Family Tennis, then you might say ''surly you just mean Super Tennis don't you?'' but no I don't. Super Tennis was the go to Tennis game that like pretty much everyone with a SNES seemed to own back in the day and I have already reviewed it a long time ago, to be honest at the time Super Tennis played really well and it seemed like it would be the only Tennis game anyone would ever need. Everyone I knew didn't care when ever a Tennis game was announced or screen shots were shown what could a SNES tennis game really offer that Super Tennis did not? Well the obvious answer was a 4 player mode and this was exactly the thing Super Family Tennis had going for it.

Super Family Tennis was created by Namco via their in-house brand Namcot and was released on the in Japan on June 25th, 1993 with the European version being called Smash Tennis, it was localized and released by Virgin Interactive the following year. This game for some reason never got an American release which to be fair I think is a crying shame. I have probably mentioned before that you didn't tend to get cheap new SNES games very often, back in the day games tended to sit at the £40 level for a long time, so when there was a case of a newish game being available for cheap it was sort of a big event. In the closest big town to me we had a huge Virgin Mega Store with a floor dedicated to music and then one to things like T-shirts and such and finally one split between games and films and they sold Smash Tennis near release for £20 and it sold like hot cakes, literally ever kid at school with a SNES did everything they could in order to get the cash to go grab it at the weekend, lots of us pocketed our dinner money and didn't eat for the week, went around collecting up glass bottles that had been dumped for the 10pence pieces we could get in exchange for them at the local store, begged for pocket money advances or offered to wash cars, pots and any other household chores going. In the end I remember going down to town with 3 friends on Saturday and all 4 of us brought a copy of the same game, the only time we would all usually get the same game was when something like Donkey Kong or Street Fighter 2 turbo or another highly publicized game was released and this was usually staggered with one of us getting it for a birthday, another for Christmas, someone saving up over time and someone else trading any game that wasn't bolted down for store credit to buy it (I was very against trading games , OK so maybe Id trade if I could swap one game for another and pay £5 but I wasn't going to swap like 8 old games in to get 1 game out the other end, it just didn't make sense to me).

It was a little strange this, we all just paid for the game without ever having played it, surly it would have made more sense for one of us to grab it and the rest of us to wait and see what we thought of it? We hadn't even seen reviews of it but we had seen very positive previews. The thing is nowadays even if a game receives positive reviews we don't always seem to believe them, we know that plenty of games have done well as far as websites and magazines go but then you read about publishers holding influence over parts of the media things like advert revenue being pulled when reviews have not met a publishers expectation, it seems almost stupid looking back to think of how high a regard we used to hold previews in, after all they were basically just a writers initial thoughts a guesstimate of how good or bad a game would be based on what sometimes was a very early unfinished build of a future game that they had been shown. Still we all jumped in and purchased Smash Tennis based of a strong preview and its cheap price tag.

OK so to get straight in to it Smash Tennis doesn't come with a whole lot of playing modes basically there are two choices and they are Exhibition and Tournament. Both can be played in Singles or Doubles mode. You can if you want to also watch the computer play itself, not sure why you would want to but the option is there if you'd like to try it.

In exhibition basically this is just what you play if you want to jump in things ayou pick your player and your rival, your court and then you get down to playing Tennis, this is good if you just want to have a quick bash but the Tournament is the real meat of the game. Now while I have said there are not a lot of game modes this is not to say that Namco did not bring much to the table, in fact there are a large number of courts, you can play on grass, clay, hard (concrete), sand, rock and there not simply cosmetic either if you play it you will find that the court actually does affect the way the ball travels. There is what is called a “Whistle Stop Tour”, in which you play matches while switching between the various types of courses. This is pretty darn cool as it keeps things remarkably fresh and varied for a Tennis game, add on to this the fact that there is a number of objects and people around the various courts, some of which you can interact with, for example, if you can manage to hit the climber in the Mountain Court you get to see him fall, its not like this does anything though its just a neat little touch for this type of game.

The game has a lot of player characters there are about 20 in total with 12men and 8 women, none of them are based on real Tennis players in fact they have regular names like John and Helen for example, but the interesting thing is that they all play completely different. Some have great serves others have very powerful shots in short all of them have something in particular which makes them worth picking. This adds extra fun in Doubles, where you not only try to pick the ideal player for yourself but also try to pick the perfect doubles partner to make the ideal team.

In Tournament mode your goal is to win the four Grand Slams of a single year. To do this you will have to play a number of tournaments until you win all of them. Tournament matches are short, you only play one set, and that's good because in my opinion this keeps things flowing rather fast. This game does not have battery back up it saves via passwords, they are given to you when you win a tournament and are of what I would consider a decent workable length, sure I would have preferd battery back up but its not like it ruins the game or anything so I wont be unjustly harsh on it.

The main thing is that the game plays well, darn well in fact, it is in its element when played in four player with your friends in particular but its a decent enough game when your on your own. The different characters with different strengths adds to the re-playability, all in all its a pretty darn fun game to play.

I don't tend to harp on to much about the graphics and sound concentrating more on the gameplay in games only really mentioning things which I deem to be neat little touches however lets just briefly touch on them. The Graphics are kind of simple but there is a great cartoony style to them, the courts are big and the characters are relativly small but with big heads and a surprising amount of character and importantly they look completely different to each other as opposed to being a bunch of poor clones. Now the SNES was often held on high when it came to its Sound, now there are some very good sound effect like echoes and the sound of the wind which I rather like, there is also some goo music but unfortunately not during the matches, maybe some people would find it distracting so that's why they didn't put it in but personally I think it makes things just a little bit duller than they could have been. I think overall it all fits together well giving it the feeling of a quality product.

I gave Super Tennis a 7 out of 10, it needs to be pointed out as I am sure I said at the time though I am not a big Tennis fan, I stand in judgement over Smash Tennis not from the point of view of a fan of Tennis but from the point of view of a fan of games, I suppose the most obvious question to ask is, ''is this game a Super Tennis beater?'' The truth is that it is a hard question to answer, this has a lot of neat little touches and it has a 4 player mode something Super Tennis does not, yet I can only stand it side by side with Super Tennis and if you told me I had to live with one and one alone it would be a very hard choice between the two of them, I find myself forced to give this game a 7 out of 10 and call it the equal of Super Tennis as opposed to a Super Tennis beater. If your looking to buy it then its not quiet as easy to get your hands on as Super Tennis, a cart only copy of it will cost you around £10, if you have a machine and want to play a Tennis game then I would go for Super Tennis as its cheaper and just as good but if you already have that and want more then give this a bash.

Friday, 10 February 2017

What kind of A hole steals a PS4 from a Childrens Cancer Ward?

Ok so anyone who knows me knows that I now and again tend to go on a bit of a rant, some of these rants are intelgent and heartfelt some of them are just hot air and frustration billowing out sometimes in the form of what can best be called dark impromptu stand up which can happen on a sofa or at work or pretty much anywhere, I have made jokes about kidnapping fashion models and forcing them to eat big macs until there vissable to the human eye, and about kidnapping and chaining up celebrity bloggers so that I can keep them in my basement and rid myself of all of the frustrations of modern life by punching them in the face. I came across an article of news the other day though which went straight beyond all of this, you see most things just mildly annoy me, even horrible things just annoy me because I have a pessimistic view of the world and I kind of assume its dark and that bad stuff is happening none stop, so it takes something special to really grind my gears. So I read a story about a Playstation 4 being stolen from a Childrens Caancer ward in a Hospital in New Zealand. Now lets get something straight Cancer absolutly sucks, it is a horrid thing and anyone who has had to fight it or has had to be there for a loved one who is fighting it has my deepest respect and sympathy, it would suck to have to deal with Cancer at any age but when your still a kid before you have had all manner of life experiances to help and guide you well to be told you have Cancer well yeah thats just on another level.

What Video Games provide on one level is escapism, you leave your boring or complicated world and enter other worlds with other possibilities, if your a sick kid this might be that for just awhile your not on a Cancer ward being tested and waiting you are insted a race car driver or the arcitect of your own world. To be able to provide chidren in this situation with this escapism is a great thing, however they got the machine anyone responsible for it in anyway shape or form be it assigning it to the budget, donating it or funds towards it whatever it is well they deserve to be shaken by the hand and thanked, so what about the git or gits who stole it well they deserve the kind of fate that you dont typically see outside of the old 80's DPP72 Video Nasties films. You see it needs to be realised that they did not steal an object with a retail/resale value, they stole the chance for the kids on this ward to have some escapism, to have some comfort in doing something fun during what can only be described as a dark time. I feel very strongly about this bit of news because I spent time on a kids ward when I was younger cause I have epilepsy and yeah what I was dealing with was no Cancer but it was still scary for a kid, playing on a donated Master System 2 at hospital would take my mind of the fact that I had to go in a scanning machine or have blood taken latter. I would say that the people who stole it should think about what it would be like to have something wrong with them and only have a games machine to take your mind off of it, to search deeply in there soul and return it but lets face it they have proberbly sold it for crack already.

I think its important to remember that this was not a case where the theif saw the machine left unattended and simply picked it up and walked off it was actually sensibly bolted to the table. Do you know what that means when you stop and think about it. It means that they planned to do this, I doubt they walked in to a cancer ward randomly with the gear to remove the bolts, so they must have seen it and thought about what they would need to get it and then gone away and got the tools and returned. Who in there right mind can sit and think ''oh you know what I am going to do I am going to go and steal from Children with Cancer''?

This kind of thing really makes me worry about the world in which we live.

Monday, 6 February 2017

How to turn Nostalgia into a good film.

So there is a lot of people currently talking about the upcoming Power Rangers film to be precise talking about its trailer and there opinion of it. Now I have watched the trailer a few times and there are bits of it that made me laugh and bits that made me smile and also things that made me cringe but I don't want to write the film off as a failure or herald it as a classic before I have seen it, I would say though that overall things look a little troubling at present.

So why is a Power Rangers film being made now? Well the simple answer is one of mathematics, people plus nostalgia equals money. This is not the first time that a studio has come up with this idea we have transformers movies and turtles movies, at one stage there was a He-Man movie, now some of them are good, some of them are bad but what is the difference between a good film based on something nostalgic and a bad film that drags its license down to depths that upset its fan-base? Well that's something I am going to try to look at here.

Now I don't plan on discussing every film that's based on an old kids show or comic book but I do want to talk about a few of them. To start with I would like to talk about Transformers. Now most people will have probably been attracted to the Michael Bay's Transformers films because they used to watch the old 80's cartoons, this is what drew me to giving them a try but I have to admit that I was very disappointed. I think that Michael Bay and the other people involved with this film had kind of misunderstood what it was people loved about the original transformers cartoon, they had decided that what we loved was explosions and giant robots fighting and sure yes there is an element of that but I think they had greatly underestimated the strength of the source material. Yes it was a story about good and evil but it was also a story with a lot of heart and depth, they were not just two unified forces who wanted to win, each and every robot was a fully fledged characters with there own thoughts and feelings they are not just cookie cutter good and bad robots. You have robots like StarScream one of the baddies but he is far from loyal to the leader he has ambitions of his own and a giant streak of cowardice and then robots like Mirage, yes he is one of the good guys but he is homesick and would rather return home than fight. The show had lots of quiet moments it wasn't just action orientated.

Now I fully admit that it must be complicated trying to make a film that the nostalgic fan-base will enjoy but doesn't exclude the casual audience from enjoying it, yes sometimes you might have to change a few things either simplify things or add more depth depending on the source material but what you need to do is stay true to the heart of the source material. Now its kind of important to say that everything in this post is based on my opinion and I admit different people will have different opinions on various films but all I can say is that I have given my own opinion 100% regardless if it is a popular and wildly held belief or if it goes against the status quo.

Tonight I watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles out of the Shadow and like its prequel I enjoyed it no end and I think this is because it felt like it respected its source material, it had little nods to various versions of the turtles over the years, there van shot manhole covers just like one of the old turtle toys I had did, and at the end they did a rendition of the theme from the old cartoon series with a little bit of Go Ninja Go Ninja go from one of the earlier films spliced in to it. It gave you these bits and pieces but it also managed to tell a full and interesting story based around the characters.
Maybe the new Power Rangers film needs to be a little cheesy and goofy because the original show sure as heck was, lets face it the original was not exactly earth shattering high art it was a fun show for kids which was largely made up of scenes of American actors spliced into a Japanese show to re-purpose old footage for a new market, and when you look at how long it has lasted they did a pretty good job of it. So all I can do is once again say lets just wait and see.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Dead time, how I find I waste so much of my free time because of indecision.

I have lots and lots of games, films and even TV shows that I want to watch, there is stuff I want to watch for myself and things I have promised other people that I will watch so that we can talk about or because they have sold it as one of those things that will change your life. It is funny isent it how many people push certain films or shows as things you just simply have to see, things that will either change how you think about something or are just simply unmisably good entertainment.

The truth is though that I seldom seem to ever catch up on  this to watch/play list, I guess some of it is the fact that there is always new things coming out at a sometimes frightening speed nowdays, so as soon as you watch one thing or play one thing another ten have come out and been thrust in to your life. Its not only the fact of how much there is its the fact that you have to decide how and in what order to experiance the things on your list.

One of the biggest problems is what I like to call dead time. Now your days are broken up between all kinds of diffrent time be they work time, travel time, dinner time and the best time free time. Now free time is the time when you get to either on your own or with others simply do whatever you want. Now how much free time each and every person has depends on all kinds of variables including your responsabilities, how much you work, how far you have to commute ecetera. So what is dead time? Well I would define dead time as time when you are free and you should be enjoying something, when you should be picking a film or book or other past time that brings you enjoyment but instead you seem to simply sit or lay there and do very little of anything, maybe you want to watch a film but cant decide which one, so instead of watching a film you sit in front of television programmes your not that intrested in waiting for inspiration to hit you, waiting to decide what film to watch or game to play.

I would love to say I have the solution for how to deal with dead time, how to take control of your time and not waste any of it but in honesty I dont have any obvious answers, so if anyone reading this has something to add or some suggestions feel free to tell me I would be intrested.