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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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Murderball DVD Box Murderball. DVD Review

Inspires Aussie Ninja to use profanty most passionately

Publisher: Roadshow

Thu, 8 June 2006

Aussie_N6 by: Australian Ninja

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Murderball is a fucking brilliant film. It's emotionally powerful, inspiring as all hell and makes for highly compelling viewing. Watched alone, or with a group of friends, it's the film you'll soon be enjoying and recommending to other people you know. Because it is just that damn good.

At their best, films can inspire and empower us as individuals and en masse to live the most fulfilling lives we can imagine for ourselves. At their worst they can rob us of our money, bore us to death while simultaneously being derivative causing us to say: "Damn it, I want back those two hours of my life you worthless piece of junk of a film."
Fortunately Murderball falls somewhere in the top tier of films that transcend their genre, inspiring and influencing peoples lives for the better.

Murderball is a documentary [but shot more like a feature film than a doco] that follows the story of the American and Canadian wheelchair rugby teams. Wheelchair rugby is also known as quad-rugby and murderball. It's one of the most hardcore sports around. The players all use specially modified wheelchairs. The customised chairs look more ready for gladiatorial style combat rather than sport. Watching the highlights of the rugby games in the films shows how full contact the game is. Guys intentionally knock each other out of their chairs and slam into each other. At first it's very visceral and a little shocking to watch, but really what they do is not that different from what able-bodied rugby players do.

The intense rivalry between team America [Americaaa, F#&K YEAH!] and team Canada is felt throughout the doco. Mark Zupan and Joe Soares are the two main people focused on in the film.

Murderball DVD screenshot 1
Is he related to Spider Jerusalem?
Zupan is a guy who just looks rough as guts. Shaven head and goatee hanging off his chin -if you met him- you don't know whether the guy would be more likely to shake your hand or punch you in the face for looking at him wrong.

Joe Soares is captain of Team Canada - and a former USA all star player. Joe was fired from Team USA when he got old and too slow. Joe's father was a cop and it shows. His tough mental attitude and harsh discipline for himself and his son has obviously paid off in life achievements.
Zupan [and team America in general] consider Joe a traitor to his country and show nothing but contempt for Joe. Joe's mission is to win the Olympic medal as is Zupan's. On and off the court they trash talk each other, as do their team-mates when talking about the opposition.

Watching a film that pulls no punches and is brutally honest makes for compelling viewing, I said that already but I can't stress that enough considering how many modern movies just put me to sleep.

Once Murderball grabs your attention is doesn't let go until the credits roll. Seeing the guys go through their everyday activities, playing professional wheelchair Rugby, watching the interviews with their families and seeing how their lives are affected - I can't help but see the small amount of suffering I've experienced in my life as being insignificant. Compared to these guys most of us have it pretty good. Of the guys that do make in onto a professional wheelchair rugby team - most of them have been through several years of agonising grief to get to where they are today. They are relatively happy and mentally healthy people who still want to make a go of their lives -having come out the other side of their suffering- and adjusted to their new life and self.

What Murderball is not, is a sob story. Nobody in this film is looking for your sympathy. One of the film's producers commented that "We never wanted to make one of those up-with people, pat-on-the-back, good-for-you films. You know, 'Look at the inspiring cripples.' A lot of stories about people overcoming obstacles are unintentionally condescending."

Murderball DVD screenshot 2
Sweet action
Look, I like movies as much as you most likely do. But I'll tell you this; all the fictional stories in the world don't begin to compare with the real life stories and anecdotes of the everyday person. People's real life triumphs and tragedies to me are far more interesting than any Hollywood BS. Sure at times I may get caught up in some fluff like The OC when I've got nothing better to do, but then I come back to reality and think "Boy, I'm glad I don't live a flaky pointless existence like those idiots."

Am I digressing? Am I ranting on like a geek? Well yes, but my point is, watch Murderball and you'll see just how damn sweet and how unbearably painful real life can get. Then try watching those overacted and frankly pathetic American TV shows and films and try not to cringe in disgust. Don't freak out, that's just my jaded cynical opinion and you don't have to agree with it.

I'm just saying that most of what we watch on a regular basis sucks ass, then along comes something that reminds us what the mediums of film and television CAN be used for. When you've got some time, ask someone you know about their personal stories. I guaran-damn-tee you that every person you currently know will have at least one fantastic story about their own life to tell you that will surprise and shock, if you ask. If you still don't believe me about real life being more exciting than fiction then check out the Biographies section in your local library.

Whatever your point of view, don't hesitate to share it by emailing me (which you can do by clicking on those handy "Email the Author" links at the top & bottom of this article).

I've watched Murderball three times this year, and before 2006 is done I'll easily watch it three more times. Get off your butt and go watch it already.

by: Australian Ninja

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More articles by Australian Ninja

"We didn't come for a hug, we came for a fucking gold medal."

SmartArtist Web Hosting

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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