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

Review: Falling Skies: The Game

Falling Skies The Game PS3Platform: PlayStation 3 (also on Xbox 360/Wii U/PC)

Developer: Torus Games

Publisher: Little Orbit

# of Players: 1

ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

Official Site

 

Score: C+ (70%)

You could say that there are two types of turn-based strategy game fans out there: those who’ve played XCOM and those who yet haven’t. Falling Skies: The Game works better for those in the latter category as well as those XCOM fans who won’t bash this too harshly for its intentional lifting of much of that game’s mechanics. While it’s a well-made game and plays just fine with only some pesky camera issues in tight spots, a few gameplay flaws knock it down from being a great entry in the genre. However, if you’re a big enough fan of the show, the game will probably warrant a buy right off the bat. Just don’t expect anything revelatory in the plot or handful of familiar characters you’ve come to know and love and you’ll more than likely have a fine time over a rainy weekend… Continue reading

SCIENCE! Nintendo Helps Learn You a Lesson To-day…

Nintendo World Water 004 (Large) And now, a tiny little science lesson for all you boys and girls out there. Now, now. Don’t run away! This is an easy lesson. Those pics above are the results of me storing a couple of water bottles from the Nintendo World Store grand opening at room temperature for nine years. *Boo!*  But also *yay!*  Oh, why am I so conflicted, ladies and gents? Because it’s SCIENCE in action, folks! Okay, well… I would have stored them in the fridge here, but let’s see now… I had a few more of those bottles and DID store them in the fridge here only to find out a bit more about how people work.

Nintendo World Water 001 (Large) Nintendo World Water 002 (Large)

You see, boys and girls, some people tend to come by to visit for a spell, look in your fridge and take stuff out to drink if you let them do so. For some of these people, small and unimportant looking bottles of water seem to be a magnet. I’d gather that some of those people didn’t want to seem greedy or imposing, so they went for the smallest thing they saw. An odd thing indeed, as I’m a pretty damn generous guy who doesn’t care what you take out of the fridge. Well, provided it’s not a bottle of water that’s hard to replace.

So, yeah… that wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had in terms of a storage solution and Plan B didn’t work out so well either. Oh well. science is fun, though, isn’t it?

Some Games for Your Mad Monday, Mister or Missus?

Yeah, you know the drill by now. Sometimes you absolutely need a pleasant diversion on a manic Monday, so here’s some of what’s up on a few of the usual bundle selling suspects you should be frequenting regularly because they have deals you just can’t pass up:

IndieGala EMB 12152014 IndieGala Every Monday Sale: Six games for ONLY a measly $1.89? How DO they do it? Well, no matter because it’s always a great deal even if you only actually play one or two of the games you buy. This week gets you some adventure games, a strategy game, a hidden object game and more fun all for a song. I’ll bet you that $1.89 that you’ll be happy with at least one of those games…

Bundle Stars LOTR BundleBundle Stars has a small army of The Lord of the Rings games in this week’s bundle, so get ready for the silliness of two LotR games and their DLC and the straight up seriousness of War in the North and the online only competitive madness that is Guardians of Middle Earth. To paraphrase one Gandalf the Grey, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS (this offer up)!” A ha and ha-ha. Okay, enough with the puns, as I don’t want the Eyebrow of Sauron to raise itself any higher than it’s gotten after reading that last line.

On Sony: Oh, Baloney!

Sony logo 

The Gossips (Norman Rockwell)Someone asked me last week what I thought about the recent Sony hack (allegedly from North Korean hackers upset about an upcoming movie) and I told him I’d have to get back to him on that because I wasn’t following the story at all. Well, I wasted a half hour looking it up and can safely say a hearty “Who Cares?” springs to mind.

I’d bet you a whole penny that EVERY entertainment company on the planet is stocked with executives behaving badly who say nasty things about people they know, don’t know or don’t care about after they leave their sight. Big deal. The fact that news organizations are bending over backwards to churn out daily updates on who said what about whom and how “bad” it all is in mind-blowing to me because it’s not only OLD news, it’s something anyone and everyone (who’s not a bald-faced liar) has done to someone else they’ve worked for or with… Continue reading

Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Altec Lansing Life Jacket

Altec Lansing Life Jacket HGG 2014A few days ago, I was laughing while a speaker floating in my bathtub blasted assorted tunes as water splashed around it. Nope, it wasn’t another repair nightmare taking place, but Altec Lansing’s waterproof Life Jacket Bluetooth Speaker ($149.99 MSRP), one of which I got to review. It certainly nails the waterproof thing to a T, but how does it sound outside the pool or tub? We’ll get to that below the jump. Continue reading