Random Film of the Week(end): Mister Freedom

Mr Freedom PosterAll this Sony madness surrounding The Interview made me think of a few films that either got some controversy upon their release in other countries, but I also thought of William Klein’s never released to the western public Mister Freedom, a masterpiece of absurdity that begs to be seen. Take the overall wackier bits from Dr. Strangelove, add in a jingoistic, xenophobic, sexist, quick to rile all-American superhero modeled after Superman and Captain America, add a ton of absurd visual elements and shake well.

For a film made in 1969, this one so far ahead of its time that some viewers may be shocked at what they see taking place. On the other hand, the film also shows that old adage “The more things change, the more they stay the same” is all too true in terms of politics and other targets ripe for satire. Klein, a famed fashion photographer and American expatriate living in France, made one of those films that will outrage some and make the rest laugh at as well as with it exactly as its director intended… Continue reading

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Win a Great Gaming PC From Mass Luminosity!

Steiger Dynamics PC Mass Luminosity 

Hey! You probably could use a nice new gaming PC, right? Well, The folks over at Mass Luminosity are giving any and all who enter the chance to score a pretty amazing gaming PC and other gear. You’ve got some time to enter, as the contest closes Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 1:00PM Central. More details below the jump… Continue reading

Memo to Sony: make.believe You’ve Got Some Backbone.

The Interview (Sony Pictures 2014) (Custom) Hmmm. As stupid as this whole Sony hacking thing has been to try and avoid, now we’re at the stage where things get even weirder because it now has to be followed. Sony Pictures has decided to kill The Interview, pulling not only the film’s premiere this week, but the actual Christmas launch entirely. Of course, the company is being called out and called all sorts of names by other media companies. “Holy irony of ironies and if it were them, what would THEY do, Batman?” Answer: “Probably the same damn thing, old chum.” More on that in a second.

Anyway, things have gotten so wretched that even George R.R. Martin has chimed in with a LiveJournal post (wait, people STILL use LiveJournal?) chiding “Regal, AMC, and every other major theatre chain in the United States” along with Sony for caving hard over threats of potential violence and other protests had the film been screened anywhere in the U.S. of A. Good on you, George! Please don’t kill me off in a response, sir.

As for Sony, All I have to say is “Yikes!”... Continue reading

Hikari Friday: Win Spider-Man or Astro Boy This Week From Funko!

HIkari Premium logo This week in Funko-land, you can win big if you’re the one of the lucky two chosen to get one each of these cool figures. Check out the Distressed Spider-Man Hikari Sofubi Figure below. At a whopping 8 inches tall, he’s nicely over-sized, folks:

Funko Distressed Spider-Man Hikari Sofubi FigureAnd below Spidey, here’s another Gemini Collectibles exclusive, the Infrared Astro Boy Hikari Sofubi Figure. Take a look, people:

Funko Hikari Premium Infrared Astro Boy Figure (Gemini Collectibles)

Each one is #1 of a limited 750 piece run, so if you do win, you’ll get giddy that you’ve got the first one off the line for not a dime. As usual, you can enter simply by heading to one of Funko’s social network spots:

Facebook!
Twitter
Instagram

follow the dirt simple instructions (usually a follow and post of some sort is required) and you’re all set. Of course, if you luck out and don’t score some swag for FREE, you can always pony up some of that hard earned dough of yours. That Distressed Spider-Man will be at your nearest Funko retailer in January, while the Infrared Astro Boy pops up on Gemini Collectibles’ site at the end of this month. Winners are usually announced on Thursdays, but as next Thursday is Christmas, I’m betting Funko will drop the news a day sooner or a day later. Hey, don’t try and pin me down for a better answer – you’re lucky you get an update on this site every so often with all I have going on! Anyway, good luck and definitely have a stupidly super weekend!

The Phoenix Project: Will it Rise to the Occasion for Sci-Fi Fans?

The Phoenix Project In short, raising the dead means raising hell if you’re careless (go, sci-fi science!), and of course this makes for some interesting films. The Phoenix Project is coming in January from FilmBuff and Ironwood Gang. Based on the IMBD trailer, looks quite interesting. I’ll hold off any further comments until I get my grubby paws on some sort of screener, but it’s pretty cool to get a vibe from a few other films while watching this teaser. A little Re-Animator here, some Frankenstein there, a dash of (and hopefully ONLY a dash of) Flatliners somewhere on the bottom, shake well and BOOM.

We’ll see if the final version is up to snuff soon enough. Hey, you look as if you need to read a bit of a press release. You go do that, I’ll go make some popcorn:

 

THE PHOENIX PROJECT

In Select Theaters & VOD/Digital Download on January 16th, 2015

Four young scientists work to craft a machine to reanimate deceased organisms. As the project develops, the machine exceeds their wildest expectations, creating boundless possibilities that challenge the very nature of human existence. However, success with this experiment comes at a price, as ulterior motives and reckless abandon lead to consequences none of them could predict. As their time and resources fade, this team of visionary scientists must face the realities of the task they have set out for themselves, bringing the dead back to life.

Directed & Written by: Tyler Graham Pavey
Cast: Corey Rieger, Andrew Simpson, David Pesta & Orson Ossman

Distributor: Film Buff

Genre: Sci-Fi, Drama

Runtime: 92 minutes

Alien Outpost: It’s Independent’s Day For This Sci-Fi Flick In January…

AlienOutpost_poster 

Gallery StillsJabbar Raisani’s upcoming Alien Outpost may not be doing anything new with the “evil space aliens invade Earth” storyline, but for an indie film, it sure has some nifty visual effects. Granted, the beefy alien “Heavies” almost look too videogame inspired, but the rest of the CGI work is fine enough to carry the illusion of all hell breaking loose on an Earth under-prepared  for such shenanigans. That said, it seems the story of Outpost 37 and its soldiers struggling to survive the alien threat will find an audience looking to cheer its high points and rally those troops during the low ones.

Will it be as fun to watch as Independence Day and its mix of dead seriousness and comedic elements were back in 1996? We shall see. But IFC Midnight is at least committed to bringing out these genre films on a regular basis that are usually worth a watch for genre fans looking for a fix. Check out the trailer, cast and plot description below:

 

ALIEN OUTPOST
In Select Theaters on January 30th, 2015

Two documentary cameramen embedded in an army unit in the most hostile place on earth, an outpost surrounded by the last remaining alien fighters (Heavies) of an invading attack force. The world may have forgotten about the Outposts, but the Heavies are planning the second invasion of Earth and the soldiers are the only ones who can stop it.

Cast: Adrian Paul, Rick Ravanello, Reiley McClendon, Douglas Tait, Joe Reegan & Matthew Holmes
Directed by: Jabbar Raisani
Written by: Blake Clifton, Jabbar Raisani
Genre: Action/Sci-Fi
Distributor: IFC Midnight

The Entire Screen of One Game: Life Imitates Games…

The Entire Screen of One GameSo, yes indeed plus tax, my week has been crushing on a few fronts (starting with the kitchen nightmare now going on for over a MONTH. Who’da thunk it? Me, grrrrr!). But at least I’m taking it more or less in stressful stride. Anyway, I got a massive laugh earlier today thanks to someone sending me a link to a “game” that intentionally can’t be beaten no matter what your skill level is.

The words “You can’t win the game. It exists only to destroy your mind.”, prod you to play this browser game, more likely than not with a defiant gleam in your eye and a steady hand on the keyboard. Controls are dirt simple: move with the left and right arrow keys and jump with the Space bar.  Of course, this is easier said than done as you’ll see in most likely under a minute that truer words have never been spoken about this game being mind destroying. Well, unless you’re also talking about life in general, of course. Ha and ha-ha.

The Entire Screen of One Game 2Created for the Ludum Dare a 48-hour competitive game jam that takes place at least thrice yearly, Tom Murphy (or Tom7) went and cooked up the more than aptly titled The Entire Screen of One Game for this December’s Ludum theme of Entire Game on One Screen. A simple platform jumping game that turns into a lesson in… um, something,

I laughed within about five seconds as the game quickly changed from a simple platformer to one that in no way shape or form could be beaten by conventional means. Of course, this won’t stop some hard-heads out there who refuse to let any game get the better of them. To those hardy souls with too much time on their hands, I wish the best of luck. To those non-gamers who just want a unique and always transforming digital art piece, I say enjoy the view and maybe move those squares around a bit just to change up things every so often. Oh, and retro visuals aside, this one will require a fast computer and decent modern browser. You’ll soon see why (he says, cackling madly)…

“Better Call Saul” Poster: Well, He’s the One on the Phone…

Better Call Saul Poster 

Ha. This nice promotional poster for AMC’s post-Breaking Bad prequel, Better Call Saul made me chuckle for a few reasons, but the key one might not be so amusing. That pic could be Bob Odenkirk NOT on the horn with his agent at a phone he told him to expect a call at about him doing another show other than this one. Now, I’m not saying it’s going to tank at all, kids. In fact, I’ll be watching each episode with bated breath and probably on the edge of my seat thanks to Vince Gilligan’s fine writing (and writing team) and whomever is set to direct the first season’s scripts.

I’m just somewhat amused that if it does run for a few years, the makeup budget to keep Saul looking five years younger than he was on Breaking Bad (which shot its last episode something like two years ago) will probably end up exceeding the budgets of some student and indie film projects. Okay, I thought it was funny. Well, that double part premiere isn’t until February 8 and 9, 2015, so I guess Saul and Bob can work on any gray hairs growing between now and when the reviews roll in. Those handful of clips certainly are pretty amusing, that’s for sure…

THE FLY: Outbreak – IDW Invokes Cronenberg, So It Better Be Worthy…

The Fly Outbreak IDW (Custom) 

Hmmm. As a David Croneberg fan, I get the shaky eyebrow whenever someone uses his name to sell a project, particularly one linked to one of his better major studio horror films. That said, I’ll give IDW Publishing a bit of a break (wrist or ankle – see the film and you’ll get a chuckle from that, I hope) for its upcoming five-part miniseries THE FLY: Outbreak. While the press release isn’t giving much away in terms of the plot, if what’s below is done up correctly, it just may work for even the most jaded fan of the film. To wit:

Years ago, a scientist had a horrific accident when he tried to use his newly invented teleportation device and became a human/fly hybrid. Now his almost-human son continues to search for a cure for the mutated genes. But a breakthrough turns into a breakout, and anyone exposed risks turning into a monster as well…

Now, to me, that sounds like a mix of 1959’s Return of the Fly and the not at all needed 1989 sequel to Cronenberg’s film, The Fly II, but in what’s looking to be more the capable hands of writer Brandon Seifert (Hellraiser, Witch Doctor) and artist menton3 (Silent Hill, Monocyte).

The Fly Outbreak IDW R1 Cover 

Of course, this got me wondering if Cronenberg’s idea for a “sequel” that’s been in limbo for a few years (studio politics at work again, whee!) is finally going to see the light of day and the green light that means he can shoot the damn thing. I didn’t even think that a proper sequel or remake was even possible, but I trust Cronenberg to always shake things up and deliver the unexpected. But I guess let’s have this IDW book hit the stands and see how it sells first before buzzing about anything else that lands on movie screens a few years down the pike…

Review: The Marvellous Miss Take (PC)

The Marvellous Miss Take PosterPlatform: PC/Mac

Developer: Wonderstruck Games

Publisher: Rising Star Games

# of Players: 1

ESRB Rating: N/A

Official Site

Score: A- (90%)

Miss Take 1 The fun thing about having such a huge backlog of games to go through is it’s genuinely surprising to finally stumble across stuff in the digital stack that’s worth taking time to fully explore. Granted, this sometimes means later than usual reviews. But hey, at least they get done. Wonderstruck’s fantastic sneak and steal game, The Marvellous Miss Take is one of those excellent indie surprises you can’t gauge solely from ogling screenshots and movies at all. It’s a game that needs to be played even if you’re a stealth game veteran who thinks you’ve seen it all. Quirky visuals, snappy writing and mostly tight gameplay are all here for your enjoyment and the game excels at making you smile as you stylishly sneak back your stolen inheritance… Continue reading