Twenty years ago tonight, id Software uploaded Doom
to an FTP server at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completely changed the video gaming industry. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty
on Dec 9, 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 -
Nants ingonyama bagithi baba!
It's been nearly two decades since that glorious savanna sunrise, and once again The Lion King
is at the top of the box office
. It's a good chance to revisit what made the original the capstone of the Disney Renaissance
, starting with the music. Not the gaudy show tunes or the Elton John ballads, but the soaring, elegiac score by Hans Zimmer which, despite winning an Oscar, never saw a full release outside of an unofficial bootleg
Luckily, it's unabridged and high-quality, allowing one to lay Zimmer's haunting
tracks alongside the original video
), revealing the subtle leitmotifs and careful matching of music and action.
In addition, South African collaborator Lebo M
wove traditional Zulu chorals into the score, providing veiled commentary
on scenes like this
; his work was later expanded
into a full album
, the Broadway stage show
, and projects closer to his heart
. Speaking of expanded works, there were inevitable sequels -- all of which you can experience with The Lion King: Full Circle
), a fan-made, three-hour supercut of the original film and its two follow-ups.
Want more? Look... harder... [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Oct 1, 2011 -
Are You Not DEVO? You Are Mutato!
LA Weekly goes behind the scenes of Mutato Muzika
, the commercial music studio owned by Mark Mothersbaugh. Mark is a visual artist
, composer, oh, and front man for a little band called DEVO
who is "spending December at Mutato trying to create an album’s worth of new material and contemplating a method of dispersal in the post-record-company world."
posted by SansPoint
on Dec 6, 2007 -
More than you wanted to know
about the "Tomb Raider" movie. What's weird about it all is that the timing sucks. The game has gone through five successive versions and they've used the same basic engine for all of them. These days it's looking significantly dated, and the last couple of games have gotten really poor reviews. Of course, it probably still sells well to frustrated teenage boys, but I think the last couple of games haven't sold anything like the previous ones did because it's the same old same old.
By the time the movie finally comes out, the game may already be history.
Has there ever
been a movie made from a computer game which was either a commercial or critical success? "Mortal Combat"
and "Super Mario Brothers"
spring to mind as counter-examples.
posted by Steven Den Beste
on Oct 29, 2000 -