That’s right, kids. IT’S HALLOWEEN! Remember to wear your masks tonight and be in front of your TV set for the big giveaway. Don’t miss it… The clock is ticking. While you’re waiting, check out the Top 5 movies you can watch today. You should watch them before nine o’ clock though…
Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category
I’ve been trying to update the site for the past month but Evil Forces are working against me. I know I must level up to overcome them, it’s just that these things take time. I swear by my left tentacle that I’ll catch up the next week.
In the meantime, here’s a few modern (gasp!) movie recommendations for you. It’s been quite a successful streak!
Loft: A surprisingly good thriller from the Netherlands that beats Hollywood in its own game. Five married men sharing a risky secret end caught up in a twisty network of lies and deceptions (hey, I could write movie scripts). Make sure you watch the original before the inevitable crap remake.
The Adjustment Bureau: Featuring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt (who is downright gorgeous… when she isn’t wearing any makeup). I wasn’t expecting much honestly but the movie blew me away with a very intelligent mix of sci-fi and religious themes. I won’t say much but, trust me, this is one of the most clever plots I’ve seen in a while. It works. I was very pleased at the end and thinking how it was possible that no one came up with such an idea before, and then the credits revealed it was based on a Philip K. Dick story. Duh.
Limitless: Guy takes a drug that makes him supernaturally intelligent. Great pace and trippy scenes (especially an outstanding camera work). Not so relevant in the end but a seriously fun ride. The movie is based on The Dark Fields novel by Alan Glynn, who stole the plot from Ted Chiang (Understand) who in turn stole the idea from Daniel Keyes (Flowers For Algernon). Both recommended reads afterwards.
And that’s it! Stay tuned, I AM coming back. Someday.
At last we have a sizable update here on the blog! And look at that, I actually kept my word this time (marginally). First we have Creating Rem Lezar, hands down the quirkiest and most politically incorrect musical out there. Whatever you do, you must NOT let your kids anywhere near this movie. Then we have Thexder, a forgotten arcade of the mid-eighties, but a very special one since it may be the game that started it all. Honest. And finally, The Affirmation, arguably the best novel by Christopher Priest, a fascinating book by an extremely talented writer that begs to be read. Talk about eclectic updates!
Hope you enjoy all the articles! There’s more coming, and you won’t have to wait four months to get it. To those of you wondering, the Diary Of The Madman will return tomorrow with more Asylum goodies, so stay tuned!
See? It took a while but we got here. At last, new content! In truth, my comeback article for this week was supposed to be a lighthearted look at an outrageous Japanese B movie from the mid 60’s called Frankenstein Conquers The World. But then the earthquake that has recently hit Tokyo put me on the fence about featuring the article… I nearly decided that it still would be a fitting tribute to Japan, to their unique culture and movies, but now there’s the problem with radioactivity and, unfortunately, this was a prominent feature in my pick. I quickly dismissed the article as inappropriate for now.
Instead of choosing another Japanese movie I decided to forget about tributes to avoid any misunderstandings. I will say this: what happened in Japan is absolutely terrible and has been a huge blow for the entire planet. Such punishing tragedies are almost unthinkable; we’re talking about an entire country here, an entire culture that has been stopped in its tracks. It was shocking then to see how a huge of portion of the web world has been following this tragedy with morbid fascination. From companies taking advantage of the situation, celebrities mocking the Japanese to religious zealots claiming they deserved it, humanity has reacted in a pathetic way. Think twice before deciding those people are in the minority.
There’s been much talk against nuclear power as well and its consequences, which are obviously devastating. I believe it’s hypocritical to say this; not when most of us depend so much on power. Cars, computers, TVs, stereos, planes, more technology… Our fast-paced world demands this today. Unless we’re willing to shut down entire industries, we must rely on nuclear power or vast quantities of oil, which in the long run can be just as bad as radiation.
So, the current circumstances made me think quite a bit about the issue of technology and I found myself coming back to J.G. Ballard and his views on the technological landscape. Yes, as if it wasn’t obvious by now, I do like the man. The question perhaps is this: is technology a problem and, if so, what can we do about it? To answer this question, we must first understand our relationship with technology. This was my line of thinking, so I decided to do a little experiment for the first major update in the last four months (yikes): I selected Crash to do a combined writing on the movie and book, exploring their meaning. The resulting text drifted away however and tried to fit the concept of Crash into our modern society, so it’s definitely very experimental for the Slightly Deranged standards. It might be a bunch of nonsense or not, that’s up to you for decide.
Overall, I think the article is a fitting analysis: following the unfortunate and terrible tragedy in Japan, society is struggling to decide what do to about the nuclear power. Hint: nuclear power is not the problem; the demand for it is.
In a less somber mood, the writing is also fitting in a way because this week was David Cronenberg’s birthday. Even thought the adaptation of Ballard’s novel was a hit and miss, we wish David a very (belated) happy birthday. As a bonus, I have uploaded a rare TV short by the BBC not even listed in IMDB, featuring J.G. Ballard himself before the Crash novel was even written. It was filmed in 1971 and it’s a must-see.
Hope you enjoy the read!
And so it begins… The dawn of a new era at Slightly Deranged! See, I wasn’t kidding with my last post: the update was really coming soon. In fact, I have been tiding up several things here and there for the past couple of days. I hope you like these changes and the new slogan, although I believe there’s more polishing coming up soon; I fear that sidebar is getting too bloated now that I’m adding a new category. That’s right, the very first book in our new section is being covered today, and it’s a great one: J.G. Ballard’s High Rise, just in time before the Vincenzo Natali’s movie adaptation hits the streets. It’s a harrowing read, a very uneasy look into our most darkest emotions, but well worth your time. Additionally, we relive possibly the best platform game that ever appeared on the IBM PC: Zeliard, product of the Sierra On-Line/Game Arts partnership back in the early 90’s. It’s a truly amazing game and it brings back very fond memories.
However, the entree of the day is definitely this long forgotten gem (how many of these exist anyway?) released just a bit after the sad demise of the Hammer Films studio, at least when it came to movie productions: House Of The Long Shadows, the only movie featuring Peter Cushing, Vincent Price, Christopher Lee and John Carradine. Equally funny and scary, this historical piece is inexplicably unbeknownst to a whole generation of horror movie fans, and it is my duty to tell you all about it.
That’s it for today (heck, did you want more??) and I’m looking into a few more interesting changes and a higher update rate. As always, your support and comments are important so don’t hesitate to chime in if you have anything to say, even if it’s nasty and it could hurt my feelings, although you would have to be really nasty and potentially very graphical to offend me. It’s good to be back, and I hope someone reads the blog on Saturday!
The week is coming to an end, so let me remind you of these noteworthy updates. First we had a very important movie covered in the blog, the seminal El Topo. It truly is the definition of “cult” (I wonder how many times I said that) and a landmark achievement of underground cinema, so you already know what to watch this weekend. Next, I had a fond look back at Isle Of The Dead, a creative Wolfenstein 3D clone from the early 90’s. However, I realized that the only fond thing about this game were just my memories…
Finally, there’s a lengthy ongoing interview at Adventure-Treff, the great German site about adventures games, that covers past, present and future of Senscape, including revealing new details of Asylum. I did warn those guys that I can get very chatty, but they didn’t listen so the result is a whooping 15-pages article that will be delivered in three parts. You can read the first one right here, and don’t worry because that link is in English. Be sure to read them all!
That’s it for now, hope you have a great weekend and may you watch many horror movies. Take care now, bye bye then!
Curses! I had forgotten about the GDC and Gamescom in Europe this month. Those bloody expos have foiled my plans to deliver more regular updates during August… In case you haven’t heard the news, a man called Daniel Pharos has managed to infiltrate with a powerful computer loaded with a vast selection of Top Secret materials from Asylum, and he’s right now showing these to a legion of publishers craving for a hot new product to license, including major players in the industry. I understand there already talks about movie rights even.
If you apply the reality check to the paragraph before, I’m basically saying that Daniel was very kind to carry a netbook with a bunch of videos from Asylum and he’s introducing the game to maybe a dozen publishers. But the outlook is quite positive and we hope to share more news very soon!
Anyway, back to Slightly Deranged: this one of those major updates that I’ve been meaning to deliver for the past few weeks. Most importantly, we have a feature article about Boxer, the very best front-end I’ve ever got the pleasure to use. It really adds a whole new dimension to DOS emulation. I’m also throwing into the mix the mandatory game and movie. First, The Secret Island Of Dr. Quandary, a very particular educational adventure from the early 90’s, and second, The Toxic Avenger which I’m ashamed to say that I’ve only seen it for the first time very recently. It’s really awesome though and a worthy, suitably deranged entry for this blog!
That’s it for today, and please stop sending me emails every single day asking about the next update, I’m always working on stuff for the blog (that line needs some reality check as well). See you folks soon!
So, things are finally coming back to normal here at Slightly Deranged after two very hectic months, though I fear this is going to be one very hectic year. And maybe the next one too. Anyway, I’m committed to bring you one movie and game per week through August (let’s see how long that lasts) as well as a few other goodies. While I’m preparing a post introducing to the masses (that means you and you) the ultimate DOS experience, you can enjoy today some comments about Cadaver, an overlooked classic from The Bitmap Brothers – you know, that company that pwned the Amiga – and One Dark Night, a very sinister horror film from the 80’s. Cheerio!
We’re finally back today from a brief hiatus. I’m sorry that I took so long to deliver a new update but I’ve been working on stuff – very secretive and mysterious stuff – so you’ll have to bear with me until everything is back to normal. This should happen sometime in July when we announce the Unnamable Project at Senscape, that is, reveal its actual name and nature, and unleash unspeakable horrors into the highway of bits. It’s going to be so horrific that your monitor will tremble. And you’re possibly going to cry, so don’t say you haven’t been warned. Besides, we’re still coping with the notion of naming the unnamable… I still can’t get that concept into my head.
Interesting stuff happened recently which I couldn’t share with you before. A couple of weeks ago I was invited (read: I shamelessly invited myself) to the official presentation of Blizzard in Buenos Aires. You know, the makers of Blackthorne. Well, apparently they’re looking to market their new titles locally so they’re setting up an office and doing PR like most evil corporations do (note: the paragraph above this one does not qualify as PR). Obviously, the focus of the presentation was the upcoming Starcraft game which has been under development for… I don’t know, maybe centuries. Now, attending this event was a real challenge for me since it forced me to socialize, which means acting like a normal human being and talking to other people. There were lots of people in fact, and the place was big and there were shiny lights and, oh yeah, food. The whole joint felt like a night club, actually. This all made me feel very nervous but I switched to my cool blogger self and attempted to look friendly and un-nerd-like. So there was this odd-looking guy with curly hair nearby ravaging the bar and I thought like he was the perfect specimen to socialize. As a result, I spent most of the night at the side of the bar eating more than I care to remember while this guy spoke me in tongues. In the meantime, I believe I drank two glasses of wine, one double whisky, champagne and two screwdrivers. And I somehow lived to tell the rest…
Next thing I remember I was talking to a PR chick very cheerfully who fortunately didn’t notice my breath (at least I don’t think she did because she was smiling all the time) while an American dude from Blizzard was bumbling some Spanish on stage. They eventually said something about a game called Starcraft 2 and showed some videos and screens. The videos were very loud and showed big things moving on screen. Then they showed us gameplay which consisted in small things constantly moving on screen (“Zergs”, I believe) and some more stuff. Finally, they gave us a Press Kit and I was annoyed to find out that it didn’t include a playable beta. My mind may be playing tricks on me now but I believe that I punched someone next and they had to drag me outside as I was screaming like all Hell broke lose.
All in all, Starcraft 2 looks a bit boring and I still prefer Blackthorne which was like Prince Of Persia with guns. Now THAT is what I call a great concept!
To round up todays rather acid update, did you know that Slightly Deranged is becoming wildly popular in Croatia? Last time I checked it was one of the top 5000 sites in the country which, in world wide web terms, is really, really high. Either you people have very low standards or you’re obsessed with me and the blog — I still can’t figure out which one I prefer. Right, and don’t forget to check out my picks for this week: the grossly underappreciated and misunderstood 90’s movie Motorama, and a really cool and masochistic Amiga game called Risky Woods, just the way we like ‘em.
Years ago (at the beginning of the new millenium to be more precise) I promised that I would write about two underdog adventures that very few people know about. They were Igor: Objective Uikokahonia and Maupiti Island. I reviewed Igor back in 2004. Today, nearly a decade later, older and bitter, I’m posting my review of Maupiti Island which I really began typing (if I must believe the creation date of the file) in 2004 as well. Picture me flabbergasted. I sincerely hope that you enjoy the read because I feel like I have accomplished a truly legendary task. Maybe I can die in peace now…
Of course, our Movie Of The Week is up as usual and today is the turn of The Story Of Ricky. Hands down, the best Asian horror film I’ve ever seen.