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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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alien vs. predator dvd Alien vs. Predator

A review from someone who liked it!

Publisher: Fox

Tue, 15 March 2005

Mark Profile by: Tyz

I know that I will be howled down by many people for this – but I thought this was a great film. I think it is a good example of what a fan can do if he has an original idea, and is given the resources to bring that idea to life. Director Paul Anderson is a self confessed fan of the Alien and Predator franchises, and blends the mythology of both films beautifully, as well as supplying some great action.

Set after the original Predator films, and centuries before Ridley Scott’s classic Alien, this film has its origins in the Dark Horse Comic Book series Alien versus Predator. The premise of the film is that the Predators (Yautja) practice their coming-of-age ceremonies in an underground pyramid in Antarctica – and have been doing so in various parts of the world for millennia. The ceremony consists of keeping a Queen Alien (Xenomorph) as an egg factory, using human sacrifices to create warrior aliens – and then the hunt is on! This time there is a problem however, when a small bunch of explorers from Weyland Industries accidentally get in the way and take the Predator’s guns, giving the Alien horde the upper hand.

Like the original films, this movie doesn’t just drop you in the middle of a bloodbath. Anderson takes his time building the story, utilising the strong ensemble cast and not playing the monster card too early. We have to wait nearly an hour before we get to the main event, an alien and predator slug-fest, but boy it is worth the wait.

Anderson constructed a beautiful and claustrophobic set that fits well with the atmosphere of the previous Alien films. There are plenty of nooks and crannies for an alien or predator to hide in, as well as dark corridors for doomed humans to wander down.

Like The Lord of the Rings trilogy, this is another example of how a blend of miniatures and CGI will give you the most realistic looking results (listen well George Lucas!). Much of the Alien and Predator shots are guys in suits, but unlike Sammael in Hellboy these creatures look real – they move and carry their weight like you would expect, and this make a much more believable scene.

Like many sci-fi films these days, the set was built in Prague rather than Los Angeles and according to the director this meant the sets could be built for $2 million as opposed to $20 million. In an era where studios are cautious about giving sci-fi films big budgets (due to the high chance of a flop), the low value of the Czech Republic currency has been a life saver for directors who want to set their films in alien or futuristic environments. Oh yeah, and Czech Beer tastes fantastic too!

As for DVD special features, there is a short “making of” documentary that is pretty interesting but that is about it. The Director’s commentary suffers for the fact that only the director has anything interesting to say (Lance Henriksen and Sanaa Lathan just spend one and a half hours saying “Oh, he was nice to work with” and “Gee, I look silly in that shot”). As usual the Deleted Scenes should have stayed deleted, and the gallery of comic book covers is displayed too small for you to get a good look at them. The alternate introduction to the film looks good, but I can see why they dropped it as it gives too much away at the beginning of the film.

AvP has plenty of references and in-jokes to keep the nerds happy (look for the shot of Charles “Bishop” Weyland playing with the pen) and treats these much loved characters with the respect they need to come alive on the screen.

by: Tyz

More articles by Tyz

. A worthy addition to both franchises.

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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

How would you like to acquire your DVD movies?
Local video store
Online store (rental)
Local CD/DVD retailer
Streamed via the net

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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