"You live now, Adam Ant
, as you have lived many times throughout history, fighting evil wherever you may find it!"
posted by scody
on Dec 19, 2013 -
A month after its release, Naughty Dog
's sweeping interactive epic The Last of Us
is being hailed as one of the best games of all time
, with perfect scores even from notoriously demanding critics
Inspired by an eerily beautiful segment from the BBC's Planet Earth
, the game portrays an America twenty years after a pandemic of the zombiefying Cordyceps
), leaving behind lush wastelands
of elegant decay
teeming with monsters
and beset by vicious bandits, a brutal military, and the revolutionary Fireflies.
Into this bleak vision of desperate violence
journey Joel, a gruffly stoic Texan with a painful past, and his ward Ellie, a precocious teenager who may hold the key to mankind's future.
Boasting tense, immersive gameplay
, compelling performances
from a diverse cast, a movingly minimalist score
from Oscar-winning Gustavo Santaolalla
, and an array of influences from Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men
to Cormac McCarthy's The Road
, it's already being slotted alongside BioShock Infinite
and Half-Life 2
as one of modern gaming's crowning achievements
. And while it's hard to disentangle plot from action, you don't have to buy a PS3 to experience it -- YouTube offers many filmic edits of the game, including this three-hour version of all relevant passages
And don't miss the 84-minute documentary
exploring every facet of its production. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jul 14, 2013 -
It's debatable whether the troubled World War Z
signals the end of the ongoing zombie craze, but the film that started it all is much more clear: Danny Boyle's
bleak, artful cult horror-drama 28 Days Later
, which saw its US premiere ten years ago this weekend.
From its iconic opening shots of an eerily abandoned London
(set to Godspeed You! Black Emperor's
brooding post-rock epic "East Hastings"
) to the frenzied chaos of its climax
, Boyle's film -- a dark yet humanist tale
of a world eviscerated by a frighteningly contagious epidemic of murderous rage -- reinvented and reinvigorated the genre that Romero built (though many insist its rabid, sprinting berserkers don't really count
And while sequel 28 Weeks Later
with its heavyhanded Iraq War allusions
failed to live up to the original (despite boasting one of the most viscerally terrifying opening sequences
in modern horror), and 28 Months
looks increasingly unlikely
, there remains a small universe of side content from the film, including music, short films, comics, and inspired-by games. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 28, 2013 -
"I decided I wanted to buy the Dorsey Brothers’ mambo record. However, I did not have the required 39 cents."
Over at The Comics Journal
, cartoonist Kim Deitch (previously)
, son of animator Gene Deitch (previously)
, has been posting a wonderful, rambling memoir about the music in his life.
Part 1: The Dorseys and Beyond
"Watch for Russ Columbo playing some hot violin in this one
."Part 2: An Early Education - Jazz, folk and the ’40s
- Alan Lomax, Jelly Roll Morton and jazz fandomPart 3: Our hero stumbles on the birth of television
, specifically, music on televisionPart 4: Rock ‘n Roll
- "For a lot of Americans it was like the whole damn African jungle had landed in the middle of Ed Sullivan’s stage
"Part 5: Rocking Forward [more inside]
posted by mediareport
on Aug 7, 2011 -
Two and a half years ago, we explored the early history of Cartoon Network
... but it wasn't the only player in the youth television game.
As a matter of fact, Fred Seibert
-- the man responsible for the most inventive projects discussed in that post -- first stretched his creative legs at the network's truly
venerable forerunner: Nickelodeon
Founded as Pinwheel, a six-hour block on Warner Cable's innovative QUBE
system, this humble channel struggled for years before Seibert's innovative branding work transformed it into a national icon and capstone of a media empire.
Much has changed since then, from the mascots and game shows to the versatile orange "splat."
But starting tonight in response to popular demand, the network is looking back
with a summer programming block dedicated to the greatest hits of the 1990s
, including Hey Arnold!, Rocko's Modern Life, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Double Dare, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Legends of the Hidden Temple
, and All That
To celebrate, look inside for the complete story of the early days of the network that incensed the religious right, brought doo-wop to television, and slimed a million fans -- the golden age of Nickelodeon. (warning: monster post inside) [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jul 25, 2011 -
Twenty years ago today, the gaming world saw the launch of a truly landmark title: Sonic the Hedgehog
. Developed as a vehicle for a new Sega mascot, the fluid, vibrant, cheery-tuned wonderland swiftly became the company's flagship product, inspiring over the ensuing decades an increasingly convoluted universe
of TV shows, comic books
, and dozens of games on a variety of systems (all documented in this frighteningly comprehensive TVTropes portal
). And while in recent years the series has turned out more and more mediocre 3D and RPG efforts
, the original games remain crown jewels of the 16-bit era. So why not kick off this anniversary by replaying the titles that started it all for free in your browser: Sonic the Hedgehog
(1991), Sonic the Hedgehog 2
(1992), Sonic the Hedgehog 3
(1994), Sonic & Knuckles
(1994). Or click inside for music, remakes, and other fun stuff! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 23, 2011 -
"Welcome to the Zion Archive. You have selected Historical File #12-1: The Second Renaissance.
So begins the short film of the same name by Mahiro Maeda [Flash: 1 2 - QuickTime: 1 2]
-- a devastating yet beautiful work of animation.
Originally produced to explain the backstory behind the Matrix
trilogy, Maeda's project ended up telling a story far darker and more affecting than any blockbuster.
Using a blend of faux documentary footage
and visual metaphor
, his serene Instructor relates in biblical tones the saga of Man and Machine, how age-old cruelty and hatred birthed a horrifying, apocalyptic struggle that consumed the world.
Packed with striking imagery and historical allusions
galore, this dark allegory easily transcends the films it was made for.
But while "The Second Renaissance" is arguably the best work to come from the Matrix
franchise, it's hardly alone -- it's just one of the projects made for The Animatrix
, a collection of nine superb anime films
in a wide variety of styles
designed to explore the universe and broaden its scope beyond the usual sci-fi action of the movies.
Click inside for a guide to these films with links to where they can be watched online, along with a look at The Matrix Comics
, a free series of comics, art, and short fiction created for the same purpose by some
of the best talent in the business. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Feb 14, 2011 -
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is pumping out a pile of podcasts
that have covered the importance of offensive comics to Art Spiegelman
, 600 bands over 54 shows
, Captain America versus the American government
, Amy Sedaris and geekdom
, the journey of young immigrants
, French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut and Harper's publisher John MacArthur discussing Europe and America perspectives since 9/11
, the after life
, sex with monkeys
, what radio producers do
, the french word "corps"
, Bonnie Fuller's "The Joys of Much Too Much: Go For the Big Life — The Great Career, The Perfect Guy, and Everything Else You've Ever Wanted (Even If You're Afraid You Don't Have What It Takes)"
, Veteran Washington reporter Helen Thomas
and some other bits & bobs [Breakdown inside]
posted by boost ventilator
on Jun 5, 2006 -
A simple, absolutely perfect short comic
about musician/artist/music producer Brian Eno
(by cartoonist Tom Hart
). If this puts you in the mood, why not draw wisdom from one of Eno's (and artist Paul Schmidt's) Oblique Strategies
. Click (or refresh if clicking doesn't work)
for a new aphorism, like shuffling a Tarot deck and drawing a new card. "Honour thy error as a hidden intention" is one of my favorites. (More inside for anyone still interested.)
posted by Shane
on Dec 6, 2002 -
Comic books, cannibalistic worms, albinos, copyright infringement, and the Blues. This story
has it all.
posted by anathema
on Sep 27, 2002 -