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GamelogoBy Australian Ninja

Remnants & Relics. Buttonhole *Special* Feature

Welcome dear reader to Remnants & Relics, the first in an ongoing series of features looking back at various aspects of yesterday's video games. This series is one that I'd hoped to kick off many months ago, but I just haven't had the time to do it justice, until now. So consider this your opportunity to put on your best pair or rose-tinted glasses, open up a luke-warm can of clichés and prepare to hop aboard the way-back-machine.... It came from beyond two dimensions! -A Look Back at Isometric Gaming-

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ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

ACMI Day Tripper

Welcome Buttonhole readers to another feature that is so choc-full of goodness that I've divided it into several sections. The top half is about the Indy video games showcased at ACMI. The bottom half is about the Pixar exhibit. It's ridiculously long and all terribly interesting to read, so you may as well read it in two halves, or just the parts that interest you. After reading about the ACMI exhibits on their website and getting more than a little excited, I decided to make the perilous trek to inner Melbourne. With time on my side and money stuffed in my pocket I ventured forth to the train station. Once on board I passed the time by staring out the window, reading a volume of Dark Horse's Concrete and snacking on tasty fruit. Arriving at Flinders St, I wandered around until inevitably finding my way out of the rat-maze like station.

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ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

Classic Comic-book Review. Kraven's Last Hunt

"Here lies Spider-Man - Slain by the Hunter" So reads the grave of one of histories greatest superheros. "But he's not dead, is he? What happened to everyone's favourite web-slinger? Spidey seems to be alive and well now, what with his three movie deal and a string of monthly Marvel comic-book titles to his name, so why was he buried six feet under? The year is 1987. The company is Marvel. The character is Sergei Kravinov also known as 'Kraven the Hunter.' Back in the 60's Stan and Steve (Lee and Ditko, respectively) churned out a heap of cool villains for the title "Amazing Spider-Man." Doctor Octopus, The Cham

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Jersey Girl DVD Cover Jersey Girl

Kevin Smith gets all "grown up"

Publisher: Buena Vista

Fri, 14 January 2005

Sammy by: Hillelman

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Ah, Mister Kevin Smith; the film writer/director and comic book author/fanboy geek. He’s a favourite amongst many of my generation, including myself as a matter of fact. Kevin’s work is not for everyone though and his detractors seem to be almost as passionate as his fans. Although Jersey Girl is quite different to his other movies in various ways, it is still very much a Kevin Smith film at heart. There is far less in the way of swearing and dick and fart jokes here though, so maybe even some non-fans could dig it.

Ollie Trinke (Ben Affleck) is a successful music publicist (in other words a professional bullshit artist) living the high life in New York City. He has a beautiful wife, Gertrude (played by Jennifer Lopez), who is pregnant with the couple’s first baby. Life seems to going really well. Things take a tragic turn however when Gertrude dies from complications during the child’s birth. Ollie does not cope well and ends up being fired from his job and having to move back in with his father Bart (George Carlin) in New Jersey. Eventually Ollie decides to devote himself to being a good father to his daughter- named Gertrude, or Gertie after her mother- and takes a job driving a street sweeper, just like his dad. Fast forward a few years and Ollie and young Gertie (Raquel Castro) are doing well, still living in Bart’s house. They meet a young lady who works at their local video store named Maya (Liv Tyler) who soon becomes a very big part of their life.

This is basically a story about relationships (particularly fatherhood) and responsibility. There’s no Jay and Silent Bob, no comic book references or any of those kinds of things people have come to expect from a Kevin Smith movie. But the dialogue is very “Smith” and so is the humour, albeit delivered in a touch more subtle way. Jersey Girl is most closely related to Chasing Amy in terms of content and structure. It is a romantic comedy with dramatic aspects mixed in.

A lot of people hate Ben Affleck. A lot of people hate Jennifer Lopez for that matter. In the case of Lopez it is pretty much a non-issue as she is only in the movie for a short period of time. As for Ben, well Kevin always seems to get the best out of him and as far as I’m concerned he’s just fine here as Ollie. Smith actually says, in the interview on this disc’s extras, that to get good performances from Ben you just have him play himself. I’m not sure exactly how sarcastic he was being at the time (Ben was standing right next to him as he said it) but you do kind of get the sense that Ollie Trinke isn’t a huge leap from Affleck’s own personality. George Carlin is very good as the wise alcoholic father Bart, instilling the character with plenty of charm. Liv Tyler works well with Smith’s dialogue (which doesn’t suit every actor) and has plenty of appeal (I reckon she is hot). The real standout is Raquel Castro who is simply adorable as Gertie; she’s very natural and not too sickly sweet. This is her first movie role too apparently. There are a few cameos in Jersey Girl, the most amusing of which is by Will Smith.

Interestingly (well to me at least) I didn’t really like Jersey Girl much the first time I watched it. It wasn’t because I was hoping for the more typical Kevin Smith stuff; I already knew not to expect that. It just seemed too slow and many of the jokes fell flat. But the second time I watched it Jersey Girl really grew on me. I ended up taking it to a friend’s place to watch on a third occasion- all of us liked it that time. Why that is I couldn’t tell you, but if you find yourself not enjoying it on first viewing, maybe you ought to give it a second try as well. It is a sincere film; you can tell that the story and themes are close to Kevin’s heart. He dedicated it to his father, who passed away while the movie was in post production. The jokes aren’t really there to have you splitting your sides with hilarity- they are more to keep the movie from becoming overly melodramatic and to keep the characters grounded and likeable. That’s not to say that Jersey Girl is bereft of any laugh out loud moments, because there are certainly a few of those as well.

The DVD includes some fun extras. There are two commentaries: one with Smith and Affleck and the other with Smith, producer Scott Mosier and Jason Mewes (the Jay of Jay and silent Bob fame). Like all the commentary tracks on the Kevin Smith DVDs they are highly interesting and very funny. You also get Kevin’s “roadside attractions” shorts that he did for the Jay Leno show, some well done text interviews with the cast and more.

This is definitely worth at least a rental. It is also the first Kevin Smith flick you can safely watch with just about anyone without fear of causing offence. There will be a director’s cut version of the movie that restores the film to the way Smith intended it to be seen, so maybe you should hold off on a purchase until that version is available here. I look forward to Clerks 2: the Passion of the Clerks.

by: Hillelman

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More articles by Hillelman

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More DVD Movies

Press Release. National Treasure 2 Coming soon to DVD
Comic Book The Movie. DVD Review
Laugh out Loud. DVD Review
Farewell to Heath Ledger

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ToonlogoBy Borgieman

Manifest '07 Report

Ninja's note: Once again, it's time for another Buttonhole report on the Melbourne Anime Festival, otherwise known as Manifest 2007. If you missed Ichibod's feature on a previous Manifest, check it out here. This Manifest coverage comes to you courtesy of forum regular and newest Buttonhole contributor Borgieman, a cool guy who knows his Anime and has been known to play a video game or two. So read on true believers! A Day at Manifest 2007

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ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

Only Yesterday. Anime Review

The problem with having favourite films is that every time I watch another Studio Ghibli film it becomes my new favourite. It kind of renders the word 'favourite' meaningless when every Studio Ghibli film takes my breath away. Still, I can't complain about being thoroughly entertained by this whimsical and insightful film, "Only Yesterday". This gem was directed by Isao Takahata, well known for his anime film Grave of the Fireflies. Although Only Yesterday is a light hearted film that ambles along at a leisurely pace, it still manages to explore themes such as love, work, family relationship struggles, following your dreams and country versus city living. In the film, the main character Taeko decides to take a working vacation in the country, getting away from her office bound job and unexpectedly starts t

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ToonlogoBy Jason

Speed Grapher V1. Anime Review

Well, "I don't like it" was my initial feeling when viewing this Anime for the first time. Subsequent viewings haven't changed my views a great deal. Nothing really stands out as being absolute shit but it seems that this series tries too hard. It's almost like they were more interested in creating something 'edgy' and confronting but sadly forgot to include an even remotely palatable story. The hero of this particular piece is a bloke called Tatsumi Saiga. Tatsumi is a photographer and a veteran war journalist for whom taking photos has become somewhat of a fetish. Although he seems to have become jaded - nothing is worth wasting his film on - that is, at least until he stumbles across an exclusive club for the mega rich

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