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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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Tsotsi DVD box Tsotsi. DVD Review

Aussie Ninja gives this fine film some well deserved praise

Publisher: AV Channel

Fri, 15 December 2006

Aussie_N6 by: Australian Ninja

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Tsotsi. Loved it. Great film. That's my review done.
Oh, you expected more? Well then let me tell you about a man, or thug, named Tsotsi [Pronounced 'Sott-sea']. Tsotsi is a young lad who likes a good time out with his friends. A bit of drink, a bit of petty theft, healthy doses of bashing people up for no good reason, and the occasional stabbing add up to a good time in Tsotsi's world.

What world would that be? South Africa, specifically Johannesburg. Nestled next to the high rise buildings and suburbs are the slums of Johannesburg where in his shack, Tsotsi does live.

This film is brought to you by the letter 'M.' As in Madman under the "Av Channel" imprint.
Being an impulsive and could-care-less individual - if Tsotsi wants something, he just takes it. Whether it's a leather jacket, some cash or a vehicle. His escalating impulsive and reckless behaviour leads Tsotsi to car jacking a young mother outside her home one night while he strolls through the suburbs. The distraught mother screams at him as he tries to drive away. He pulls out a stolen gun and shoots her point blank. Only later when he dumps the car does he realise there is a sleeping baby in the back seat. Having neither the callousness to kill the baby or cold-heartedness to leave it alone in the backseat, he picks it up and takes it home to his shack in a large shopping bag.

Tsotsi DVD screen1
"Lonely as I am, together we cry"
In the slums we really see some great panorama camera work showing the city in the background. The affluent and poor are shown in stark contrast in this film.

Perched next to the city skyscrapers, the depressingly decrepit slums are home to the likes of Tsotsi and his mates. Just a stones throw away are the middle class suburbs of those with some wealth in Johannesburg, such as the home of the woman that Tsotsi stole the car and baby from.

In his shack Tsotsi tries to feed the baby unsuccessfully. Later in the film he takes the baby to another mother in the slums to get her to breast feed it.
It's a credit to the film makers that we can see Tsotsi shooting an innocent woman and earlier bashing one of his good friends near to death in the one night, then looking after a baby. Strange as it sounds, it's believable and very human the warmth he displays towards the beautiful young child, despite his vile nature.

The film score and soundtrack give the film a very distinct, unique sound.
Mixing traditional South African music with modern day Kwaito [aka South African house music] creates a moody atmosphere in the film and draws us further into the bleak setting. I thoroughly enjoyed the music and would love to listen to the soundtrack.

A feat well accomplished in this film is the seamless integration of all the various music. The original film score and the licensed music are masterfully blended giving us great emotional impact throughout the film. There is a hardly a moment when some music or other is not heard in the film.

In particular, it reminded me just how much music is a way of life in some parts of the world. Here I'm thinking of Africa, Brazil, and India among others - where the culture of music, dance, and celebration, are blended into people's everyday lives, more so than in western countries.

What made this film special for me is how easy it was to relate to the main character. He may be a thug, and at times a ruthless bastard - but he is still human, and even the worst of us have some good qualities. Faced with the same situation, what would we do? If we too lived in a shack and our daily lives had no meaning, how would this affect us? Can we really say what we would choose to do faced with the same life circumstances?

Tsotsi DVD screen2
What an excellent pic - you could read so much from looking at this shot
I really don't know. But I do know Tsotsi the film is powerful enough to make you stop and think about how our own lives could have been different. We have it pretty damn good in this country.

While that's not what the film is about, it's hard not to think about whether some of us would really be any different than Tsotsi after seeing the desperation of people living in the South African slums.

While I won't give away the ending, it was clear to me that Tsotsi has at least some hope of redeeming himself, maybe even changing his life for the better if he chooses it, but it will be a hard road. To me, no matter who you are, no matter what mistakes you've made or despicable things you have done - it is always possible to change for the better, to forgive ourselves and others, and to grow as a human being.

That's my two cents, the retail/ rental DVD will have the usual extras; making of etc that were not on the preview version. What's with the waiting, go watch this delicious film, why not?


by: Australian Ninja

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More articles by Australian Ninja




A powerful and passionate film showing us the darker side of human nature. Highly recommended.

Overall:
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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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