Monday, 29 September 2008

A Hijinks guest comic

Joel from Hijinks Ensue - which we love more than is legal - has done a guest comic for Unshelved.

'Tis funny and no mistake - how do you start up a book anyway?

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Arctics concert film - directed by THIS man...

Genius!  Out on October 14th, per the IMDB listing...

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Paul Newman - Rest In Peace

Paul Newman died last night at this family home in Connecticut, following a long, dignified battle with cancer.  He was 83.

There's not much to say that his career didn't already manage to.  In an age where stars routinely barter with the media for any small crumb of exposure and the resulting oxygen of soul-cheapening publicity, he managed to achieve great success without compromising himself into the bargain.

Do you see many of today's stars quietly giving back to the world in the same fashion as Newman did with his philanthropic work?  Not without a media scrum in tow to record them doing so.

It's a sad day - remember him by watching one of his lengthy catalogue of films (The Hustler, Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, Cool Hand Luke, even something as up to date as The Road to Perdition would benefit from a revisit).

Just like old times...

(Assuming venerable Grandpa demeanour and quavering voice) Remember the early days of DVD? Back in the very late 90's, when you would buy a movie and pray to the deity of your choice that it didn't lock-up your player? When you had to weigh-up the odds of sending your player to a Mod specialist who advertised in the back of "DVD Review" or finding a retailer who offered modded machines which could circumvent the stupidity of region coding?

Despite Blu-Ray having won the HD format battle, it appears that we haven't really advanced that much in the last nine or ten years - Region Locking is still with us and still as dumb as it ever was, and Paramount's first big Autumnal release, Jon Favreau's Marvel hit "Iron Man" is bricking BD players.

The more things change...

(Via AV Forums and Home Cinema Choice)

The Gaming Singularity Is Upon Us! (But where's Master Chief?)

Posted the link to this over at my Facebook page, but the embedding works better here - so press play to enjoy a story from Game Videos (Via Kotaku) on one of the things that I feel has the potential to make "Little Big Planet" fantastic, namely the ability to custom-create levels and post them up for fellow PS3 owners to play.

I await the "Castlevania" and "Gears..." levels with ill-disguised glee...

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Bringing the awesome...

Via the always splendid Cinematical, behold the joy of Darth and Yoda slippers...

UK Games Release Dates - out this weekend...

On the shelves in your local games retailer tomorrow...

"Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway" - Xbox 360 (WWII-set FPS action from Gearbox)

"WipeOut HD" - PS3 (The PS' futuristic racer goes next gen for the first time - for download via the Playstation store) 

"NHL 09" -PS3 (Another year, another annual EA sports update - this one getting great       reviews...)

"Baja - Edge of Control" - 360 (An off-road racer from the dev team who brought you "MX Vs ATV")

"Battle Fantasia" - 360 (Pretty looking, predictably insane 2D fighting game from Japan)

"Vampire Rain - Altered Species" - PS3 (The original stealth-em-up got bad reviews on the 360 last year - this hasn't done any better)

"Pure" - 360/PS3/PC (My pick of the week - insane off-road ATV racing game from Black Rock and Disney Interactive - so much fun, gorgeous visuals, pumping tunes, great controls - you need this game in your life if you've ever had time for "Burnout" or the much-missed "SSX" games)

Now Hiring

Tell 'em Dr Horrible sent you...

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Guitar Hero - World Tour Video Post

Gasp as mad buggers take on Alex Van Halen's double-bass drum apocalypse twist, "Hot For Teacher" in the new "Guitar Hero" game.

(Via your friends and mine at IGN)

Behold! The Great Back-Pedal of Aught-8...

Yep, I like to think that I'm generally a man who can admit when he's wrong.  That whole "Michael Bay is the next James Cameron" kick that I was on the other year?  Yeah, that was wrong.  Fun movies but the guy clearly has a micropercentage of Cameron's chops.  Short of a blow to the noggin which has the cumulative effect of removing Bay's personality wholesale - see the Lukas Haas plotline in Woody Allen's "Everyone Says I Love You" for how that might play out.

When it comes to the PS3, I'm equally all at sea.

I felt that I had the machine pegged - a metric f-bomb of (potential) power sadly hamstrung by the not-inconsiderable issue of no amazing games to harness it with.  The usual Sony battlecry of "It's too early in the life-cycle of the machine! Buy it now and some good games will be along once we've fished 'em out from the back of the sofa - promise!" was beginning to ring truly hollow and wouldn't be enough to bail out the Big S this time.

Having had the chance - props to Evo Jon and Elle Driver - to spend an extended period evaluating the PS3, mine's a big old slice of Humble Pie to go.  With extra humble.

Whilst my better half remains unconvinced - Boo Snook is all about the 360 - I have to say that I find this latest iteration of the Playstation brand to be an increasingly convincing option.

The XMB (or 'cross-media bar') interface is slick and intuitive - the video previews of game demos are neat, the information held is conveyed swiftly and it's a damn sight nicer than the endless sub-menus of the current Xbox Live media blades (though this may change when the Autumn 'New Xbox Experience' arrives imminently).

Video is slick and Blu-Ray - on the evidence of the "Casino Royale" transfer I saw - is a worthy HD format, albeit one with needless BS like region coding to make buying a PS3 something of a crap shoot for the enthusiast crowd.  Still, there are ways around that particular restriction -we're already seeing multi-region stand-alone Blu-Ray players being sold by third-party modders and I feel certain that the 'homebrew' community will deliver a solution sooner rather than later.

Games are fun - which is key, I guess.  I didn't get a chance to play "Metal Gear Solid 4", but the PS3 version of "Call of Duty 4 - Modern Warfare" is a percussive, eyeball-meltingly intense shooter, which employs every visual and auditory trick in the book to draw you into the game's blisteringly ferocious firefights.

"Motor Storm" is a great looking racer, with a fun physics engine which combines with a very user-friendly control system to deliver a game which rivals "PGR 4" in the high-speed stakes.

"Virtua Tennis 3" is far prettier than the 360 version - why, Maria Sharapova's digital avatar looks almost human in the PS3 iteration of the game.  Scarily human-looking, even.

If you like shooters, you're probably better off plumping for a 360, but you knew that.  If you want a less hardcore option but can't get around the Wii's critical lack of grunt and seeming disinterest in serving the core Nintendo audience, a PS3 seems like a wholly logical choice for a space in your living room.  And then there's the likes of "Little Big Planet" to consider, which just looks ace...

Having said that, the new 360 price cut just made your choice a hell of a lot more difficult...

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

The Craft/Geek X-Over...

Via the splendid peeps at Craftzine.

Don't you just want one?  Imagine the havoc one could wreak in an unsuspecting post room with one of these little darlings to hand...

From Our Interesting Casting Department...

An interview with director D.J. Caruso, on the subject of his next project, Brian K Vaughan and Pia Guerra's wonderful graphic novel series, "Y - The Last Man", via our friends at Cinematical.

As ever these days, they're talking about condensing the ten-volume series into a trilogy of films and as much as it would be fun to see Yorick, 355, Ampersand and Dr Mann on the big screen, it's a tough sell as a project (the story focuses on the last man alive after an initially inexplicable global event which sees every other male entity on the planet, human and animal alike, suddenly drop dead).

This is a particularly adult and strange journey into a wholly different world and it's difficult to imagine any studio wanting to release this story in it's pure and uncut form.

I don't necessarily see Shia LaBeouf as Yorick but he's personable enough, which is key, and I'm sure he could do justice to the extremes of the Last Man's journey.

One to watch...with some large sense of trepidation.

For Anyone Who Asks Me What's On At The Cinema Shortly...

Empire has the answer.

I'm not entirely sure that 'Sizzle' reels really do the business that their creators would hope them to - 60 seconds of quick-fire clips ,devoid of context, surely only blitz an audience into submission and rarely, if ever, register as anything more than another barrage of blipverts.

And the audience at the cinemas that I go to are usually busier texting these days than watching anything that's up on screen.

In short? Fail...


Friday, 12 September 2008

Friday Flashback

Yep - It's another Flashback Friday...

Remember The Rembrandts?  Theme tune to "Friends"?  This is arguably a much better song and a prime slice of early 90's guitar pop.  A classic, if you will.

And this is a Semisonic tune which is more than a match for their biggest hit, "Secret Smile".

Whilst we're on the subject of fantastic bands who were on the "10 Things I Hate About You" soundtrack, here's some vintage Letters to Cleo.

Heading back to the UK, the much-missed Sundays  - Live, even!

Finally - more from TheAudience (or what Sophie Ellis Bextor was doing when most of us had after-school jobs).

Wow. Bummer.

Xbox 360 Fanboy brings the pain.

Really? Ted Nugent?  In a world where the various music game franchises haven't managed to sign up an Eddie Van Halen, a Joe Satriani or even a Paul Gilbert, is Ted Nugent really the best bet as a boss character?

I mean - as the embedded video (thank you, Joystiq) shows - he's kind of a buffoon even when he's doing nothing more complex than promoting his appearance in the game.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

How Chris Chike got his high score back...

None of which will many anything to you if you don't play, spectate or endure a partner's obsession with Harmonix's "Guitar Hero 3".

Chris held the world record on "GH3"s insane,  finger-busting, fret work-out on metal mavens  DragonForce's "Through The Fire and Flames".

Now, after some serious woodshedding, he owns the n00bs who would try to test him.


(via Kotaku, and  Game Videos)

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

A new "Quantum of Solace" trailer... up over at Yahoo Movies.

And boy, is it impressive.  That Dan Bradley action staging seems to be coming along a treat - the thudding is palpable, even in the quick-cut style beloved of contemporary movie trailers.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

For Apple Heads...

No huge shocks from todays Apple press conference - iTunes 8 is available now, with spiffy new "Genius" playlists and some slight upgrades to the interface (there's a 'Grid View' available in this iteration, if that floats your racing yacht).

There's a new iPod touch - with thanks to our peeps at Gizmodo - which looks like this.  Hmm, nice...

This time around, there's a new iteration of the Nano, which is more bevelled, thinner and has a slightly revamped user interface (album art scoots along at the bottom of the screen, rather than at the side as at present).  The scroll wheel has gained a turbo charge, too.

The Classic, just as I've bought the 80gb, jumps to a 120gb storage configuration.  Gah!!

There's also a software update coming this week for the iPhone, but as I don't have one, and have no plans to get one, I'm not getting too excited about it.  Current firmware bugginess has been sorted, by all accounts.

That's what you get for being a Beta tester, I guess...

At Last! The Musical Score Album Whedonites Have Been Waiting For!

If you hop on over to Amazon (or your online music store of choice) you can pick up Christophe Beck's score album for "Buffy The Vampire Slayer", drawn from seasons 1-7.  Go on, you know you want to...

Any accusation (possibly from the lovely Boo) that this post is a wholly transparent excuse to run a picture of Emma Caulfield is quite absurd and clearly beyond the pale (Also? Correct).

I'm waiting for "Harpsichord Hero" myself...

It's time to remember my ill-spent youth watching Kelly Willis videos on the late, lamented Sky music video channel, "CMT", as the still vocal PS2 massive gets to croon around the living room with another entry in the 15 Million-plus selling Karaoke gaming franchise - Yep, you've guessed it.  Get ready for "SingStar - Country"...(Via Kotaku)

Monday, 8 September 2008

The Force - Unleashed - If You Really Must...

Tycho at Penny Arcade has the downlow on the retail version of LucasArts' "Star Wars" 3.5 multi-media cash cow, "The Force Unleashed".

Though he's not wholly wowed by the experience, it still looks a whole lot better than LucasArts' other forthcoming game, the post-"Gears...", terrain-deforming shooter, "Fracture"...

And on the subject of console failure rates...

Courtesy of the dudes over at Xbox 360 Fanboy, a rumour control story about the 360's notorious Red Ring Of Death failure rate affecting as many as 68% of pre-redesigned chip units.

Speaking for the bloggers who bring you this daily farrago, we've been fortunate enough not to see the image above in our day-to-day use of our machine (perhaps this is because we don't carry the hardcore card and refrain from using our 360 for fourteen hours at a time?).

Wiseacre quippery quite aside, it's obvious that the 360 had serious design issues from launch and it's probably only down to the Xbox community refusing to let this problem go away that Microsoft did anything about it...  

That One Kid, redux

CNBC business anchor Jane Wells  on her son's next gen console flip-flopping.

Say what you want about the 360 - reliability issues, rabid nutjobs all over Live, the whole 'more FPS than anyone really needs' malarkey - it does have the games that PS3 currently lacks in abundance.

Why, only today I visited my local game store in Fluffrickville and heard a pearler of a comment from some hapless fanboy trying to gain some traction in a discussion with an equally diehard 360-ite - "Yeah, PS3 games are not as compelling as their Xbox equivalents because Devs are only wrestling with 40 per cent of the Sony boxes' performance".

You can't tell from where you're reading this post, but I'm genuinely rolling my eyeballs in disbelief.

Alien 5? We Can But Dream...

James Cameron, accosted by man with Elf ears, lays down the law about the increasingly abysmal state of the "Alien" franchise...

Common Sense Comix

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Saturday, 6 September 2008

The future is here. Kinda.

Via our marvellous gaming friends at the semi-official Sony PS3 blog, Three Speech, comes a fairly amazing video that you should watch before reading the rest of this post.

Pretty amazing, huh?

I get the sense that the Next Gen is still Sony's for the taking if their developers can marry this tech to a game worth playing.  And I don't say this as an MS/360 fanboy - it's a question of when, rather than if our household picks up a PS3.

Makes you wonder why the facial replacement in so many movies nowadays is so rubbish when software devs are knocking out stuff like this for games?

Is this what Lars Ulrich meant by the creativity of You Tubers?

We Love...The Daily Show

The eternal problem - gaming room or living space?

Over at MTV's Multiplayer blog, writer Tracey John provides an example of the compromises made by gamers living in NYC.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Friday Flashback

A possible future feature for the weekends on Rolling Eyeballs?  Egad - it's as though we're putting some thought into this enterprise...

This would be an unsung late-80's/Early 90's classic from Aztec Camera, presented for your viewing pleasure this weekend.

Aztec Camera - "Deep and Wide and Tall" (via the You Tubes)

Or for a shaky (but wholly watchable) recording of the video...

And feel the genius of Canada's thinking-person's alt-rock/hard rock/geek rock onslaught, The Pursuit of Happiness, with their Beavis and Butthead-unapproved "Cigarette Dangles".

More up to date - and my favourite song of the last ten years or so - Weezer's "My Name is Jonas" (Live in Japan, no less).

And, finally, Liz Phair - before she became almost too embarassing to listen to (she never was a great live singer - forewarned is forearmed!)

Quick Hits

In a story which will come of no surprise to anybody, we still pay more in the UK for games consoles - Pocket Lint reports on the US price drop for the 360, and why we won't be seeing a similar drop any time soon...

Tech Crunch  and Tech Radar on Google's new 'Chrome' web browser.  It's okay - I prefer what I'm using at the moment.

Whilst in other news, Hell Freezes Over...

US Republican spouse Cindy McCain - she's just like us, really.

From Back-Down Corner - Adam Savage of 'MythBusters' didn't hear, see or say anything untoward about some broken tech from a highly litigious conglomerate the other week. Oh no, Sir...

And Lifehacker have found me a new website to love...

Ghostbusters 3 - new stirrings on the spectral grapevine

Remember that rumour doing the rounds about a new entry in the "Ghostbusters" series  - possibly a next generation reboot featuring the likes of Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd rather than the classic Murray/Ackroyd/Ramis/Hudson quartet?

Another day, another wrinkle - word is that Columbia Pictures have hired Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky from the US incarnation of "The Office" to write a third installment in the series - they've just worked with Harold Ramis on his latest directorial project, the Jack Black-starring biblical comedy "Year One".

The thinking at this point appears to be that the classic cast are the target of this script - with it being a continuation of the established characters rather than - as is the fashion - a ground-up reboot designed to appeal to the blog generation  (wait a minute....)

You can read Empire's take here, Cinematical's story here and AICN fanbobbins here.

As much as I love the first film, enjoyed the second and eagerly anticipate the chance to get my paws on a build of the in-limbo video game, I'm sure that I'd rather entertain this film as was - there's more opportunity to deliver a flick with more contemporary effects, but the idea of FX-heavy comedy can go either way, can't it?

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Felicia Day Interview over at Joystiq

To geeks in the know, "Buffy" alum Felicia Day is quite the name to drop.

Writer, producer, creator and star of excellent web series, "The Guild" , Felicia made an appearance at last weekend's geek nirvana, Pax 08, to promote the show, duet with Jonathan Coulton on a version of the 'Portal' tune "Still Alive" and generally make like the nerd-friendly girlfriend most twenty-sided die wielders would smote Level 62 Orc Warriors to meet.

Joystiq has a video interview with her...

Zack & Miri have a Red Band...

...Trailer, that is.

Kevin Smith's latest movie - high up the list of my films to see this Autumn/Winter - now has what our friends in North America know as a Red Band trailer, which is a short way of saying 'Very Not Safe For Work'.

Given the bold title and storyline centered on two friends who make an amateurish debut in the Adult Film Industry, that's hardly a surprise.

What is a surprise is that the Motion Picture Association of America appear to be allowing the film to be released minus some previously discussed cuts,  and allowing him to sidestep a commercially prohibitive NC-17 rating.

It's a funny trailer and bodes well for the movie - I'm particularly enjoying the sequence at the beginning of the teaser with Justin Long....

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Save Hijinks Ensue!

To keep you up to speed, Joel and the Hijinks Ensue  community are still doing their best to make Hijinks an ongoing concern - your support is still needed and welcome.

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