Random Art: Lost Weekend Or Future Gold Mine? It’s Your Move, Hollywood

weekendatbernies ver2
 

A few years back I was sitting in a diner listening to some folks at a nearby table debating some recent Hollywood remakes that were terrible (what else is new?) because they were basically updated version of the original films with more modern jokes. One of the guys at that table made the point that it would be better to remake a film that kept the title for familiarity but yanked the concept into new territory. A light bulb went off in my nosy little head and later at home I whipped up a poster idea for an old film I hated, Weekend at Bernie’s, re-imagining it as a dead serious zombie film of some sort with some of the same cast just to mess with the minds of those who recall it as a comedy.

weekendatbernies ver2a
 

For some reason, this idea keeps popping in and out of my head every few months or so. Recently, thanks to more remakes that don’t need to be made at all getting some funky not so fresh trailers (like this one. Seriously? WHY?) But I’m not about to suggest any budding to veteran screenwriter tackle this for real. Well, unless you’re willing to deal with those who somehow hold this stinker “sacred” lining up at your doorstep (or on some message boards) to take you to task for desecrating their nostalgic memories of this flick.

WAB concept 3
 

Anyway, that first piece above is my latest revision of the idea, the one below that has a font I like better, the third is an old piece I just added some lettering to and this link goes to my horrible-looking original poster concept. I even worked up a plot outline at that time, but it didn’t have much of an ending. Or a middle for that matter. Hey, I just come up with ideas, ladies and germs. Someone toss me a sack of money and yeah, I’ll come up with the rest of that movie in a heartbeat. Inspiration comes from the strangest of places. Like a sudden sack of money, for example.

Book Review: Film Noir 101: The 101 Best Film Noir Posters from the 1940s-1950s

Film Noir 101 Fantagraphics
 

Thanks to a colorist probably following instructions to the letter about the use of the color red, Both Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall wear lipstick on the poster to The Big Sleep. The poster for White Heat almost looks like the one for the aforementioned film. Edward G. Robinson’s face is Hulk green in the poster for Scarlet Street. Richard Widmark doesn’t even appear on the poster to Kiss of Death, but in the one for Night and the City he looks as if he’s doing a “jazz hands, down!” pose. You miss these details when poking around online for some classic film posters, but in Fantagraphic’s beautiful Film Noir 101: The 101 Best Film Noir Posters from the 1940s-1950s, all you see is some amazing poster art for arguably some of the best film noirs of the era. Film Historian Mark Fertig has compiled quite a healthy list of films and their respective one-sheets here and the big 10.75″ x 14.25″ hardcover book will thrill film fans while possibly promoting a bit of discussion about some of the choices among others. Continue reading

BUY IT! Silver Scenes Sells Stellar Stills

"Let's see now. If I sell this dog and kid, I can buy ALLLL those movie stills!"

“Let’s see now… if I sell this dog and kid, maybe I can buy ALLLL those movie stills!”

(photo from Silver Scenes)
 

Want a piece (or a few pieces) of Hollywood history for a potential song? Even if you can’t carry a tune at all (and there’s no need to sing for your supper here), you can carry a wallet or purse and that means you can (and should) support classic film site Silver Scenes through their an awesome movie stills auction on ebay. The auction is off and running with a few bids already, so click on over to peruse the lovely selection of primarily black and white stills (only one is in color) and bid away at your leisure.

Prices start an an affordable $9.95 for each still and proceeds from the auction will go to the UCLA Film & Television Archive. So go do some charity work this weekend and add some beautiful black and white images to your collection. And hey, if you happen to strike it rich today in the lottery, make sure to spend some of Saturday’s Millions on tomorrow’s treasures!

LEGO Dimensions Gets A Doctor (Or 12) In The House


 

Remember that Doctor Who episode where he goes into the LEGO universe and everything is turned into plastic bricks? No? Well, either you’re not paying attention or you haven’t got your copy of LEGO Dimensions yet because you can’t time travel and haven’t already played the game. Silly you. Okay, for mere mortals who don’t have the ability to travel through time (or who don’t know a certain other Doc named Brown), the game is out September 27, 2015 for PS3/PS4,Xbox 360/Xbox One and Wii U, is developed by TT Games (who else?) and looks pretty darn awesome.


 

The cool thing is not only do you get the current Doctor to play around with, expect to be able to regenerate into the eleven other Doctors (whee!) during the game. That alone should get console owning fans of the show to snap up and step into LEGO Dimensions when it ships out. Oh, as for the new season of Doctor Who, BBC has released a nice and long teaser trailer that packs in a few surprises:


 

The modern era of “Toys to Life” category started by Activision’s Skylanders has gotten even huger over the years thanks to later competition from Disney with its Infinity line, Nintendo’s Amiibo figures and now LEGO stepping into the fray. LEGO has a wild edge as the “new” kid on the block thanks to the massive popularity of the blocks and instant appeal to all ages. TT Games is also key to their success thanks to years of making some incredibly FUN games nearly anyone can pick up, play and have a total blast with. Expect Dimensions to be another winner on a few fronts. Well, it looks as if I know how my Saturday nights will be spent for a few months.

Curses ‘N Chaos: Time For The Monster Mash, Retro Style!

cnc banner huge 


 

Until today I hadn’t heard of Montreal-based indie developer Tribute Games or Curses ‘N Chaos (headed to the PS4, PS3 and PS Vita soon). Thanks to my inbox poking me in the eye with the game’s latest trailer above (Ow.), I’m now all over this one like duck feathers on a duck. Here’s a synopsis for you now that I have you in my clutches:

SMASH MONSTERS, ESCAPE DEATH!

CURSED! When brawny bounty hunters Leo and Lea are cursed by Algarr the Wizard King, they’re swarmed by all manners of creatures and monsters! Alchemist Allison knows one way to get rid of the curse: The Elixir of Life! But the only way to get the Elixir’s ingredients? SMASH ALL THE MONSTERS!

Hey, look! I found another cool trailer (It followed me home, Ma! Can I keep it?):


 

As you can see from the those two nice slices of game footage, the game screams NOSTALGIA in big blocky neon letters and everything from the lovely and well animated pixel art to the sound effects just plain WORK. The game is an arcade style scrolling brawler with plenty of cute but deadly monsters to kill and what looks like some challenging boss fights. Players can expect some classic couch co-op action along with online play for those of you who want to hop on the internet and make a few new annoying friends you’ll never meet in real life. Or you can avoid getting an elbow to the head from that “friend” who likes to distract you when he or she pops over for a visit and any game you play turns into an actual fight for survival.

Anyway, some gamers are tired of these bit-crazy retro games, but those are more than likely gamers who think “good graphics” circa whatever will blow up their PC’s 3D cards make a game worth buying. Foo to that. Curses ‘N Chaos will probably make some of those folks bust a controller over their collective kneecap because it’ll be too tricky for them to complete. Or perhaps some small amount of respect should be given to indie developers like Tribute that make games that keep the flames from the past burning and unforgotten? That’s a big, fat “Yep” from me. More on this one in a bit.

Tales of Zestiria Trailer: Your October Surprise (Plus Tales Tax)


 

Bandai Namco Games is rolling out not one, but two Tales games between this year and next, one new and one old but new for PC gamers who may be interested in one of the earlier entries in the long-running franchise. Tales of Zestiria is coming to PS3, PS4 and PC on October 20, 2015. PC Gamers who hop on board the Steam pre-order train will have the opportunity to nab the upcoming HD port of Tales of Symphonia for FREE as a bonus tier item. This great deal may not convince some who only collect physical media to grab the game, but for those of you PS4 owners looking for a ton of swag, there’s as nice Collector’s Edition packed with the following:

TALES OF ZESTIRIA game for the PlayStation 4 system

Serialized premium box packaging

Exclusive SteelBook case

Chibi Kyun Chara figure set

DLC pack

TALES OF ZESTIRIA hardcover art book

Three TALES OF ZESTIRIA pixel-styled character key chains

TALES OF ZESTIRIA 40 minute “Dawn of the Shepherd” OVA anime Blu-ray disc

That’s a nice chunk of shelf space, I bet. I’ll post some pics of the set once I’m at a place with a better connection speed. Or you can just check out all the info on the official Tales Blog.

A Few Notes on James Horner (Part One)

(thanks, Cinefix!)
 

While many will remember the late James Horner for his work on Titanic, Avatar, Braveheart and other blockbusters, my own memories of the man’s work go back to his 80’s output when a few of his scores stood out aurally and made me seek out their soundtrack albums. Amusingly enough, I hadn’t realized he’d done the score for Humanoids From The Deep until I re-watched the film for a recent blogathon.

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#TBT Retro Freak: Cyber Gadget’s Time Machine Console May Be Your New Best Buddy

retro freak 1 

I’d heard of the Retro Freak console a little while back but paid it little mind thanks to all the hype over Hyperkin’s RetroN 5 as well as the fact that there are too many other hybrid consoles out there vying for your retro gaming dollars. Now that I’ve read a bit more about it thanks to an email alert from Play-Asia, my eyebrow is up in a very good way. I think I want one of these at some point because I have a ton of games here for nearly every console it can play. The RF isn’t inexpensive at all, but that’s a good thing provided it does everything it’s supposed to.

Releasing in September are two models, Standard and Premium with the latter coming with a controller adapter that allows for Famicom, Super Famicom, Sega Genesis, and TurboGrafx controllers to be used. The big draw for many will be not only the 11 consoles the RF plays games for (Famicom, Super Famicom/SNES, Mega Drive/Genesis, PC Engine, TurboGrafx-16, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, and Supergrafx), but the fact that the unit can rip and install all games from cartridges onto the console via SD card. In addition there’s an HDMI output, 720p upscaling, instant saving and even cheat codes for certain games.

I’d imagine those who can afford this will be snapping them up via pre-orders anywhere they’re going to be sold. Some will wait until the thing gets a few positive reviews though, but it’s all good at the end of the day for those with big collections who don’t want to keep too many consoles around their TV’s.

Put Up Your Dukes, Indeed

(thanks, Brian Coltrane!)
 

There’s trouble in Hazzard County for sure this time. A few days ago I overheard two guys (one older, one younger, both black like moi) arguing over whether or not The Dukes of Hazzard was a “racist show” (in my opinion, it’s not). The conversation took a strangely surreal and slightly amusing turn because the guy defending the show also happened to have a load of Dukes collectibles thanks to relatives who bought all that merchandise back when the show originally aired and him holding onto most of it.

Now, there’s a deep fried dill pickle for you, ladies and gentlemen.

But not really. Although some major to minor retailers have been hastily yanking anything with a Confederate battle flag off their shelves, Dukes of Hazzard memorabilia seems to be one of the few exceptions. That said, one does have to wonder with an arched eyebrow how much of that stuff was not so ironically but somewhat ironically manufactured outside of the good ol’ U.S. of A. (by underpaid workers) and how much of it was bought over time for by folks who’d probably NOT want it because it wasn’t made here…
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Back to the Future: What’s Old Is New Game News @E3 2015

(thanks, magicalmotionmuseum!)
 

It’s a good news/bad news thing today. The good news: time travel DOES exist, ladies and gents. Final Fantasy VII is finally getting a remake for the PS4 and possibly PC. The Last Guardian is now a PS4 exclusive (as I predicted a while back) Shenmue 3 was announced yesterday evening at Sony’s E3 event as a surprising show-announced Kickstarter project for PS4 and was COMPLETELY funded in about twelve hours (breaking a Kickstarter record). Even King’s Quest and HITMAN are making comebacks (and sooner than you’d think).

Microsoft’s formerly forward-looking only Xbox One gets Xbox 360 backward compatibility and legendary developer Rare is releasing 30 of its classic arcade and console games for $30 in a crazy must-have bundle this August (exclusively for the console, of course). Between this and the return of DOOM, the acceptance of indie retro games as necessary for part of a console’s success and other interesting developments, it’s a huge win-win situation for gamers with a good deal of disposable income. And no, I didn’t forget Nintendo in all this. I’m just holding out for a separate post on their always nostalgic ways and means of getting loyal fans continually hooked in. Give me a bit of time on that as it’s still construction central here with more to come.

Now, the bad news: In reality time travel DOESN’T exist at all. With all those new games coming (and this post doesn’t count the VR games invasion happening soon), no one will actually any free time to play them all unless their Doctor has a certain “timey-wimey” prescription that allows them to have their fun and return to reality not having missed much sleep or even a day of work. Oh well…