- "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys: "The Wrong Path". I have no idea why this review was suddenly so popular this month.
- Fun with Stats: Who's the Longest-Running Doctor?
- Star Trek: Renegades review.
- The A-Team (2010) review.
- Blake's 7: "City at the Edge of the World" review.
September 1, 2015
I haven't done one of these in almost two years. What were the most popular posts on The Angriest for the month of August 2015?
August 31, 2015
Dracula Untold takes place in 14th century Transylvania, where the ruling Prince Vlad (Luke Evans) is forced to give annual tribute to the Ottoman Empire. When the imperial soldiers arrive to take not gold but Vlad's own son, he resists - and in a desperate attempt to stave off war he makes a pact with a vampire living in the mountains above his castle. He is given the power of a vampire for three days - so long as he can resist drinking human blood, otherwise he will be cursed with immortality forever.
This film took about seven years to make it out of development. It almost got produced with Alex Proyas (Dark City) directing, which could have been quite a thing to see. First-time feature director Gary Shore is no slouch, mind: for all its narrative issues Dracula Untold is a gorgeous movie to look at. It's kind of like Snow White and the Huntsman in many respect, albeit with much less rampant pomposity.
One hundred years after the Earth is decimated in a terrifying war, a lone survivor is revived from cryogenic suspension. He finds a world completely changed, and now filled with strange monsters, magic and small pockets of human civilization. Discovered what has happened to the world, and defeating the evil Draygonia Empire, forms the story of Crystalis - a 1990 action-RPG produced by Japanese publisher SNK.
The RPG genre only really took off in Japan towards the end of the NES/Famicom life-span, and flourished on their successor consoles. As a result solid RPG titles are often few and far between for the NES, particularly since most of the games that did get produced didn't get ported over from the Famicom. Crystalis is a rare and highly enjoyable exception. It's a game that feels a good three or four years ahead of its time, and still presents an enjoyable challenge today.
August 30, 2015
Of the four it's The Hunted that was the least successful. In Australia it didn't get a cinema release at all, instead getting shoved directly to home video. In the USA it flopped, pure and simple. It seems a shame; this is not a film classic by any stretch, but it does what it sets out to do and it achieves it in an efficient and entertaining manner.
Jones plays Bonham, a quiet tracker working in British Columbia. He gets dragged back to the USA when four deer hunters are found brutally murdered. The perpetrator is found: it's a deranged former marine named Aaron Hallam (Benicio Del Toro), who Bonham once trained in survival skills and knife fighting as part of a US army program. When Hallam then escapes custody, Bonham doggedly chases after him.
Dr Mario exists because Tetris exists. So successful was Alexei Pajitnov's addictive falling block puzzle game that by 1990 pretty much every owner of a Nintendo console also owned a copy of it. With a huge number of gamers playing Tetris, Nintendo were understandably keen for them to buy another game. So intent were they on making their own puzzle game a smash hit they branded it with their flagship game franchise, Super Mario Bros. They assigned one of their top designers, Gunpei Yokoi, to oversee its development. The resulting game, Dr Mario, is not as good as Tetris - what puzzle game is? - but it is a wonderfully enjoyable puzzle game nonetheless.
August 29, 2015
Avon (Paul Darrow) has been captured and tortured by Federation security - but it's all a ruse to get close to the interrogator who murdered his lover. Servalan (Jacqueline Pearce) prepares to host the Federation council at her freshly built Presidential palace - unaware that a political coup d'etat is about to be launched.
"Rumours of Death" draws together three long-buried strands of series back story, and ties them together into a remarkable episode. We knew as far back as "Space Fall" that Avon had attempted to defraud the Federation banking system of millions of credits. In Season 2's "Countdown" we met Del Grant, brother to Avon's murdered lover Anna. Throughout Season 3 we've seen and heard references to the Federation's struggle to re-establish control in the wake of the intergalactic war. Now the Federation appears to have gone a long way to re-asserting its authority, and Avon is finally tracking down Anna's murderer.
Take The Bird People in China as an example: Miike directed in a year before Audition, in 1998. It's a slightly surreal drama based on a Makoto Shiina novel. It follows Wada (Masahiro Motoki), a young man sent by his employer to China's Yunnan province to assess a potential new jade mine. When he arrives in China he is apprehended by Ujiie (Renji Ishibashi), a yakuza who claims his associates are owed money by Wada's employer. Together they journey out into the Chinese wilderness in search of the mine, instead finding an isolated village with a peculiar secret.
August 28, 2015
Their latest effort seems a particularly unusual one: an adaptation of an adaptation, making a serialised comic book out of The Seven Per-Cent Solution, filmmaker Nicholas Meyer's cult classic tribute to Sherlock Holmes.
Ron Joseph's artwork is perfectly pitched for this sort of 19th century pastiche, and Jordi Escuin has coloured it with a lot of subtlety and richness. Where it perhaps stumbles is in the excessively wordy dialogue and text passages. It's always a challenge to take prose and strip it down to a highly visual form like a graphic narrative; in this case I'm not quite sure that David Tipton and Scott Tipton have entirely produced the best possible adaptation. Still, it's intriguing, and a good story, and Holmes enthusiasts will likely find much to enjoy. (3/5)
IDW. Written by David Tipton and Scott Tipton. Art by Ron Joseph. Colours by Jordi Escuin.
Under the cut: reviews of Godzilla in Hell, Ragnarok and We Are Robin.