Sunday, 22 October 2017

The Snowman - The scoop and digest

Although not translated until years later, The Bat kicked off Jo Nesbø's best selling Harry Hole book series.

Tomas Alfredson adapting seventh novel may sound odd, but Hollywood has form for doing things ass about face.

For example, second Alex Cross story Kiss the Girls came before Along Came a Spider.

Michael Fassbender - Detective Harry Hole
Rebecca Ferguson - Katrine
Charlotte Gainsbourg - Rakel
J. K. Simmons - Arve Støp
Jonas Karlsson - Mathias Lund-Helgesen

Summary

After murdering women unsure of who placed bun in their oven, a serial killer leaves calling card of crude snowmen.

Baddie also sends 'Mister Police' letters.

Chain-smoking alcoholic cop Harry Hole takes hotshot recruit Katrine Bratt along to stop him.

Slush

Despite exciting cast, this was TERRIBLE.

Apparently, director says 10-15% of screenplay wasn't shot.

Does that excuse result?

Of course not.

Running time is so disjointed, a blow by blow account still wouldn't make any sense.

Ferguson and Gainsbourg are just about okay, but Fassbender gives a career low performance.

As for the rest, why are they even here?

Mathias could've easily shot Hole (again), but instead, chooses to walk towards target.

Amusingly, killer drowns by conveniently finding the only hole on frozen lake.

So as you've probably gathered, I loved every minute, but here's every bizarre highlight.

Film is set in Norway, but protagonist is Irish and locals are mostly American.

Piece of shit is filled with vacuous subplots, but Oslo's bid to host the Winter World Cup tops the fucking lot.

A fully clothed Rakel rides ex partner Hole in a sex scene that isn't.

Some asshole thought it would be a fabulous idea to dub Val Kilmer, who by the way, is in poorer condition than a lump of second hand plasticine.

Even if I liked Hot Butter's cover of instrumental hit Popcorn (which I definitely don't), ear bleed serves absolutely no purpose.

Before atrocity ends, Hole accepts another case (alluding to The Leopard), indicating there will be another.

Let's hope they're taking the piss.

Friday, 20 October 2017

The Ritual - The scoop and digest

David Bruckner brings Adam Nevill's British horror novel of same name to the big screen.

Rafe Spall - Luke
Robert James-Collier - Hutch
Sam Troughton - Dominic
Arsher Ali - Phil

Six months after their friend Robert was murdered in a convenience store robbery, Luke, Dominic, Hutch and Phil go hiking in Northern Sweden to reflect on recent tragedy.

Dom falls awkwardly and does knee in, so to save time, they take a shortcut through the forest.

What a good idea.

Geezers stumble across a creepy abandoned house and stay overnight.

Finding strange wooden symbols and headless statue suggests evidence of witchcraft.

Also, growls from 'something' are heard outside.

Bright light selfishly disturbs forty winks and along with sustaining wounds on chest, Luke is forced to relive murder.

Phil is found hugging statue in birthday suit, Hutch has pissed himself and Dom is going ape shit.

Experiences and Luke's wounds are dismissed as bad dreams and accident respectively.

As night falls, guilt continues to torture Luke and noises grow louder, as madness draws ever closer.

Hutch and Phil are killed off-screen, with Luke and Dom finding buddies impaled on trees.

Fleeing from evil presence has them inadvertently discover now active ritual camp, where they're knocked out.

Waking up inside cabin, hideous hag notices Luke's wounds and reveals hers, confirming he's been chosen to join the family.

Dom is tied to a stake and prepped for sacrifice.

Meanwhile, a younger female informs 'God' is worshipped because it gives them life beyond their own.

To his relief, Dom's wife appears, but true form hangs ass up high.

Having wriggled free by breaking thumb, Luke goes exploring and torches humanoid like obscenities bound in wood.

I'm not really sure of purpose.

After shotgun blows away selected peeps, we finally get a proper look at Keith Thompson's Lovecraft-esque monster, as giant skeletal moose with human arms for antlers briefly goes on the rampage.

Although creature has ample opportunity to kill Luke, he manages to leave both forest and nightmare behind.

Stylish

Nothing original, but this is a welcome addition to genre.

Elements of Blair Witch, The Evil Dead, The Wicker Man and even Kill List are here for all to see, but this does more than enough to stand out on its own.

Joe Barton's screenplay never slices cheese, performances are excellent and characters have real personality.

What's most impressive about Bruckner's film is how banter is balanced with serious horror.

However, it's a shame final act flushes tension down the toilet and slips into clichéd familiarity.

Man at the helm is obviously no mug and perhaps talent will be fully realised in next project.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Lady Liberty - In video games

I'm not getting into port politics, compilations or alternative names, so format shown is at my discretion.

Without blowing one's trumpet, you're gonna absolutely love it.

Miscellany

Chaos Control (PS1)
Aero Fighters 2 (Neo Geo)
Assassin's Creed Unity (PS4)
Shadow of the Ninja (NES)
Cadillacs and Dinosaurs (Arcade)
Submerged moment occurs before gameplay begins, making this a very special spot.
Cobra Command (Arcade)
Before 1992 Mega-CD port, Data East thought it would be a laugh to bring a different scrolling shmup of same name in 1988, which was also ported to the NES.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (PS3)
Blink and you'll miss it moment can be seen in Hunter Killer.
Cyber-Lip (Neo Geo)
Dark Edge (Arcade)
Die Hard Trilogy (PS1)
Final Fight (Arcade)
Last Ninja 2 (C64)
Punch-Out!! (1987) (NES)
Ninja Baseball Bat Man (Arcade)
Ring of Destruction: Slam Masters II (Arcade)
Street Fighter III: Third Strike (Arcade)
Shadow Warriors (Arcade)
Superman (1988) (Arcade)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Arcade)
Twisted Metal 2 (PS2)
Vigilante (Arcade)
Z-Out (Amiga)
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (PS3)
Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars (Arcade)
Deus Ex (DOS)
Bosses

There may be more, but I only know two.

Zombie Nation (NES)
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (PS3)
Film licences

X-Men: The Official Game (Gamecube)
Despite title, this ties in with X-Men: The Last Stand.
Judge Dredd (SNES)
Ghostbusters II

Amiga
NES
DOS

Okay, shit looks pretty cool, but 'joypad' should be a NES Advantage joystick.
Why is Slimer goofing about in end screen?
(Sigh).

Parody

Lady Liberty is a character from Blockbuster Video North American rental exclusive ClayFighter: Sculptor's Cut, an update of N64 game ClayFighter 63⅓.
Grand Theft Auto IV (360)

She moonlights as the Statue of Happiness.
And it's her own beating heart, that makes me cry.
Mission in Lego Marvel Superheroes (PS3) takes Lady Liberties.
Superman (1987) (NES)
Why in the Daily Planet is the Statue of Freedom giving advice to Supes?
The Japanese version features a synthesised rendition of John Williams' famous score, synonymous with Christopher Reeve taking to the skies.
During battle with Crippletron in Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse (PS3), a wheelchair-bound spoof can be seen.
Here's something beyond weird.

Best of Best (Arcade)
Hmmm, nothing like the poster of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.


WTF?

Pièce de résistance

Atomic Runner Chelnov (Arcade)
Unusually, Mega Drive was far more attractive than its coin-op parent.
Crysis 2 (PS3)
Crysis 3 (PS3)
Resistance 3 (PS3)
New York Warriors (Amiga)



Fans of Escape From New York will notice game over screen looks suspiciously like the meat of iconic poster.


Moving on.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time (Arcade)

During a live transmission, Krang half inches the statue.
Leonardo calls alien dude a 'bloated beanbag'.
Wow! Nice insult.
Notice how she 'was' green in intro?

Because...

Against Shredder, she's now blue.
I know oxygen reacting with copper and air gradually caused her to change colour, but this is just fucking ridiculous.

Did the Foot get bored and paint her?

At least continuity is retained for ending.
Blimp transporting 225 ton sculpture is amusingly preposterous.
4P classic was needlessly remade in 2009 for Xbox Live and PSN.

Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi (Mega Drive)



Ninja Gaiden II (360)

For the benefit of those who don't know, she's only a large-scale baddie in already mentioned update.



Turning Point: Fall of Liberty (PS3)



Duke Nukem: Zero Hour (N64)

Stage 2 - Liberty or Death
Stage 3 - Nuclear Winter
Thirsty for more?

Okay.

Comix Zone (Mega Drive)
Crude Buster (Arcade)
Considering there are 'two' busters, title has always confused me, particularly as Mega Drive port was released as Two Crude Dudes.
After the War (Amiga)
Double Dragon II: The Revenge (PC-Engine)
WHY is head is impaled on top of what could be the Empire State Building?

My friend fuck only knows.
Flashgal (Arcade)
I know what you're thinking.

Wonder Woman, right?
Spider-Man (2000) (PS1)


Spider-Man 2 (2004) (PS2)
Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage (Mega Drive)
Freedom Fighters (Gamecube)
Guilty Gear (PS1)
Gunblade NY (Arcade)
Marvel Super Heroes (Arcade)
Parasite Eve (PS1)


Having already consumed her sister Maya, Aya confronts Eve.
And.

Splatterhouse (2010) (PS3)
Door guardians pop up throughout the reimagining/reboot of Namco's arcade classic.
I personally hated it, but scene is impressively gross.
You can even see Rick about to enter the mouth of madness.
The final part is in development.
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