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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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Black Books DVD box Black Books - Series One. DVD Review

British Black Books. Australian white Ninja

Publisher: Shock

Thu, 2 November 2006

Aussie_N6 by: Australian Ninja

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Black Books sits upon the shoulders of British comedy giants. For decades the British has produced show after show infused with great writing and big laughs. Monty Python, The Young Ones, Fawlty Towers, Black Adder, Red Dwarf, Father Ted and dozens of other great shows. Then there was a dry spell in the land of Her Majesty, it seemed that the reign of the British comedy TV series may be coming to an end. But then along came Black Books.

Taking a formula that goes something along the lines of lovable characters, fantastic writing, absurd but strangely believable scenarios and a healthy dose of sheer lunacy.
Put it all together and the result is Black Books. A show that can appeal to the young, the old, the drunk and the surly people of the world.

Clever, funny and addictive are the qualities that have me watching all three series of Black Books yet again. Is it the fourth or fifth time I've watched them? I really don't know. But I feel Black Books is well deserving of all the good attention it gets. And I'm confident it's a series that the fun loving intelligent Buttonhole audience wants to hear about.

So what's it all about? Well in short Bernard Black runs a small second hand bookshop called "Black Books." His female friend Fran hangs around and they drink wine and together they bitch about people and the outside world.
Bernard is a miserable, unkempt and often drunk deviant. But he's loveable in his own drunken eccentric surly way.

Black Books DVD screen 2
"Bernard... Bernard...I ATE ALL YOUR BEES!"
The other main character, Manny, meets Bernard entirely by chance in the first episode. He is running late for work and goes in to buy the "Little Book of Calm." He then swallows the book by accident and ends up in the hospital.
By the end of the first episode Bernard has encouraged some skin heads to beat him up [to avoid doing his tax return] and so Manny helps him out. In the second episode Bernard accidentally hires Manny. Manny becomes Bernard's assistant, employee and slave in the bookshop.
"The Little Book of Calm - I've swallowed the Little Book of Calm!"

The first series has so much happening that you have to watch all the episodes a second time just to appreciate their greatness. While the laughs are good the first time, the second time round they are hysterical. So far, each time I watch this series, at least once I've ended up lying on the floor clutching my belly literally paralysed with laughter and struggling to breathe. Not many shows can generate those kinds of belly laughs.

Some of the highlights from the first series?

The Big Lock-Out
"There was a little man, in his hair, a little man"
The shop gets a new security door. Bernard gets locked out and Manny gets locked in overnight. Manny camps inside the shop, drinks alcohol instead of water, finds some food that turns out to shoes wrapped in tin foil from the fridge and eats dead bees from the window sill.
Bernard watches a cinema movie with nothing on the screen for two hours, hangs out in a porno video store, gets a job at a takeaway joint (until the rain stops) and borrows phone money from a homeless man.

He's Leaving Home
Manny runs away from home. He leaves a note for Bernard and calls from a pay phone to check that Bernard got the note. Bernard is too lazy to read it, so Manny reads it to him from the pay-phone. "By the time you read this, you will never hear my voice again…"
Later on the streets Manny gets picked up by a greasy Greek man who takes photos of him for "Big 'n Beardy" magazine, dresses Manny in women's clothing and tries to send him on a date with a Japanese businessman to a casino.

Grapes of Wrath
"The place is a complete mess! Right now I'm eating scrambled egg, on a comb, from a shoe!"
A professional cleaner is hired to clean the shop after Manny gets fed up with Bernard and his dirty habits of rubbing cigarette ash into his clothing, storing jam toast on the ceiling, and cleaning himself by throwing water on his face. The cleaner asks them to leave the shop as it such a big job.
Manny and Bernard then agree to house sit for a friend. The friend has a large collection of wine, some cheap bottles to drink; others are decades old bottles that are almost priceless. Of course they drink the wrong bottles of wine [one bottle is worth seven thousand pounds] getting totally smashed in the process. Then they decide to replace it all by making their own home made wine in homage to Frankenstein with Bernard as the madman and Manny the poor wretched servant.
"Look at me; I'm a prostitute robot from the future!"

Black Books DVD screen1
"It's my last case, I'm retiring - I've had hundred percent success rate."
The Blackout
Manny stays up all night drinking coffee and watching cop movies. Manny later chases after a purse thief in the street and accidentally ends up at the police station working on interrogating a criminal after he is mistaken for a real police officer. He also manages to hurt himself by sitting on his own privates not once but twice.
Bernard offends some friends at a dinner party by turning up drunk escorted by a police officer and later uses a wicker basket as a toilet.

So what are you waiting for? Get moving and watch this brilliant show already.

by: Australian Ninja

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More articles by Australian Ninja

Truly the Best of British comedy. A triumph of laugh-ology.

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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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