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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 Trilogy DVD Cover Black Books Trilogy. DVD Review

No. 42 - How Not to be Seen

Publisher: Shock

Fri, 23 March 2007

Aussie_N6 by: Australian Ninja

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So epic is this Trilogy that we dare speak its name only in hushed voices.
So dark are the comedic arts used to craft this arcane DVD tome of lore, that surely only a deal with the devil could produce such an abomination - and woe to thee who does not succumb to its enchanted powers of laughology.
It would be known only as 'The Black Books'

"Manny, the hair, it needs to come off!"

You may notice the title of this review refers to a 'Trilogy' and not to any specific season of Black Books.
Why? Because all three seasons have been re-released in one handy dandy slim box-set, that's why. And if you are a sane little monkey then you best be pickings ones up for your own enjoyment unless you have it already, which you might.
But if you're reading these words in the hopes of learning how to be a voodoo death doctor, I'll find out! So don't try it.

I was in the process of reviewing all three series of Black Books, one DVD at a time but then along came this repackaged edition and blew that idea out of the water.

Black Books Trilogy Bernard
Starring Dylan Moran as the 'Man Without Pants'
"Come on then, Ming the Merciless",

All together Black Books ran for three seasons. Each season contained six episodes, and if I remember my times tables correctly, three times six equals 18 episodes in total. And yes I use the British 'series' and American 'seasons' interchangeably, they mean the same thing in regards to TV on DVD.

The original releases of Black Books contained the episodes, some out-takes and an audio commentary on Season One by Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey and Tamsin Greig.

"You know what you are? You're a beard with an idiot hanging off of it!"

New to this repackaged re-release of all three seasons: Commentary on season two, 'Black Dolls', 'Bernard's Letter', all new excellent menu screens, deleted scenes, out takes for seasons two and three.
None of these extras make it worth buying a second time if you already own season two or three, but they are all good.

First up, the commentary on season two is a crack up. Definitely worth listening to [as is the season one commentary]. Basically the three main actors who play Bernard, Manny and Fran take the piss out of the show. Especially Dylan Moran, he swears frequently and criticises the show mercilessly.
"Who writes this drivel? Oh, it was probably me."
But it's all in good fun, and moments like Tamsin Greig going
"Oh here it comes, you can see my nipples in this shot, there they are!"
are hilarious and show that none of the 'actors' take themselves too seriously.

"I can't get too hot Bernard, I've got, I've got… Dave's syndrome."

Black Books Trilogy Fran
Guest starring Tamsin Greig as the 'Bitter Resentful Old Crone'
'Black Dolls' is an amusing five minute show starring the puppets from the series three premiere 'Manny Come Home' where Manny works in a rival bookshop for Simon Shaun of the Dead Pegg.
Here, a 'Fran' doll is added to the Manny and Bernard dolls inside the doll house, and each is voiced by their respective counterpart.
It plays out just like the banter of any typical episode, except it's about 20% more insane due to the use of puppets in lieu of actors.

'Bernard's Letter' is another five minute or so distraction. Shot all in black and white with classical music playing in the background, Bernard is writing a letter, and doing a voiceover for his 'thoughts' as he writes the letter, with cigarette smoke wafting around. Apparently he has written a novel and been rejected by the publisher. So he vents his frustration by writing a letter basically saying that "I am rejecting your rejection letter"
It's suitably classy in how it is filmed and good for a bonus laugh.

"Look, there's an elephant. Oh no! He's lost his balloon."

At the super-cheap price of $30 for all three seasons [some stores charge up to $50] of Black Books in one fancy pants cover, it's just a steal - I mean this is what you would normally pay for each individual season, but here you get all three with new menus screens plus some decent bonus features and out-takes.

So if you don't already own Black Books - the best British comedy of this decade -now is the perfect time to pick it up. Shame on you if you don't.
If you don't like Black Books, then your brain is probably broken and nothing can help you. Well somebody had to say it.

Black Books Trilogy Manny
Special appearance by Bill Bailey as the 'Upperclass Twit of the Year'
"Bernard, I ate all your bees!"

I'll leave you here with the 'introduction' written inside the DVD cover by Dylan Moran;

"This complete box set gathers together all nine hundred and fourteen episodes of the acclaimed documentary 'Black Books.' From the moment Ishmael finds the magic fleece in the golden ring we know we are in for a rollercoaster ride of hellz-a-poppin fun. And hey - what's a little breakfast nudity between such spirited protagonists as Dex, Taffy and Munkle, their trustworthy chimney sweep / computer genius / psychic.

Throughout their adventures in the parallel universe known as FlinpF-9, we laugh along as their small intestines shrink in the forbidding nitrous atmosphere. Not until King Pizzle unmasks the dread Triton of Ultragong will order be restored to the peaceful peoples of Wilberbilberwer. It's up to Dex, Taffy and Munkle and YOU ... Vote now for your favourite thing and you too, could win a thing.

© Dylan Moran

by: Australian Ninja

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More articles by Australian Ninja

You'll come for the Black Book, you'll stay to see the beard with an idiot hanging off of it eating bees.

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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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