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Games
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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Toons
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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Toons
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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Daredevil DVD Superhero DVD Double Review

Daredevil Director's Cut & The Incredibles

Publisher: Fox (DD) & Buena Vista (Incredibles)

Wed, 6 July 2005

Sammy by: Hillelman

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More DVD reviews at planet Buttonhole! That's always good, right? I'll have some other movie reviews up for you soon too but, right here and now, here's a "double review" of two recent flicks that I tied together, because they both have a superhero theme (other than that though, they are really nothing alike). I'll start with the Daredevil Director's Cut review and right under that you'll find my review of Pixar's The Incredibles. Rock on!


So many people hated the theatrical version of Daredevil and I don’t really know why. It wasn’t great by any means, but I still reckon it was entertaining enough, for what it was, and undeserving of such utter disdain. I’ve seen many action flicks that were a thousand times worse, yet none of them seemed to get attacked so savagely.

Maybe all those DD haters should check out this director’s cut version; it is amazing what a difference the extra 30 or so minutes make to the film. If the studio had released this one in the first place, I suspect it would have faired quite a bit better with the critics (or maybe not, since some people jumped on that ‘Daredevil sucks’ bandwagon without even bothering to actually watch the movie).

With the additional footage and other nips and tucks, director Mark Steven Johnson has made to his version of the film, Daredevil has gone from a movie that was okay to a movie that is genuinely good, in my estimation. Apparently the studio decided that audiences didn’t want any of that pesky plot stuff getting in the way, so they cut most of that out. Now that it is back in, let me say this to producer Gary Foster; you are a dick and your editing choices suck.

I’m sure you all know what Daredevil is about by now. An adaptation of the Marvel Comics character; Matt Murdoch (Ben Affleck) is a blind lawyer by day and a blind superhero by night. Despite having no sight, his other senses are ultra powerful and he has incredible balance and all that caper.

This Director’s cut version develops all of the characters much more strongly, as well as their relationships with each other. It also has some subplots which tie together to make a greatly more interesting and well constructed whole. The fittingly dark tone of the film is more pronounced now and the fight scenes are more violent. But this is balanced out well, thanks some lighter stuff like John Faverau’s excellent portrayal of Foggy Nelson getting more screen time. The Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan) is much more interesting and imposing in this version as well.

The extras are cool and there are plenty of them with this two disc set. Especially great is the "Men Without Fear" featurette, which has various comic book authors/artists talking about their work and their thoughts on the DD character (it is so good, in fact, that I'd pay full price just to have that alone). However, if you already have the first Daredevil "special edition" DVD, most of the extras (including that featurette I just mentioned) are exactly the same as what was on that one.

Daredevil Director’s Cut is still not a perfect movie. But, all together this is vastly superior to the theatrical cut. It is truer than ever to the comic source material, has a way better plot, the characters are richer and the action is grittier and makes more of an impact. I recommend it strongly for Daredevil/comic fans and mildly for those who just want a decent action flick.

And Frank Miller’s cameo is still one of the coolest I’ve ever seen. Kevin Smith's isn't half bad either.

Movie: 8.5 out of 11

Extras: 9.5 if you don’t own Daredevil Special Edition
and 5.5 if you do.



Incredibles DVD
The Incredibles

I love everything about this movie. The way it looks, the plot, the characters, the music...you get the idea. Not only is it one of my favourite animated films and one of my favourite superhero films; it is just one of my favourite movies of any kind. That’s how truly exceptional I believe it to be.

Due to The Incredibles being an animated movie, this review should probably have gone in our "'Toons" section. But, since I put it into a double review with the live action Daredevil, it wound up going into the "regular" movie section. Regardless, a great movie is a great movie, no matter what category you choose to place it in.

It was written and directed by Brad Bird, who also did another excellent animated film called Iron Giant. This guy must be some kind of genius and I’ll definitely watch anything that has his name attached to it.

As a comic book and superhero fan, The Incredibles appeals to me on multiple levels. There are so many nods and tributes to all sorts of ‘superhero lore’ that you could spend days trying to pick them all out. There are a huge number of references to other films too (such as Star Wars) so it is kind of a "geek’s paradise" in that regard. Even if you have no interest in any of that stuff though, this movie is a tremendously entertaining one, for an almost universal audience. And that is not an easy thing to make.

To save myself some time, I’ll just quote the plot synopsis from the back of the DVD case:

Bob Parr and his wife Helen used to be among the world’s greatest crime fighters, saving lives and battling evil on a daily basis. Fifteen years later, they have been forced to adopt civilian identities and retreat to the suburbs where they live "normal" lives with their three kids, Violet, Dash and Jack-Jack. Itching to get back into action, Bob gets his chance when a mysterious communication summons him to a remote island for a top secret assignment. He soon discovers that it will take a super family effort to rescue the world from total destruction.

There are multiple themes explored in this story; the importance of family, believing in oneself, celebrating our individuality and a whole lot more. It is all packed into a wonderfully well paced film which can be watched over and over again and it will still be enjoyable every single time.

On this two disc edition you have a vast array of bonus stuff to sort through and the majority of it is truly excellent too. Great extras for a great movie; this package is a damned impressive one!

Some of the action sequences are breath taking and the visuals throughout are downright magnificent. The characters (and the voices the actors provide them with) all shine in their own right and every element of the film works exactly as it should. If you don't own it already, what the hell are you waiting for?


by: Hillelman

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This really is one of the most perfectly well made movies I have ever seen.

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More DVD Movies


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Toons
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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Toons
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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Toons
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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