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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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Comic Book The Movie DVD Cover Comic Book The Movie. DVD Review

If Australian Ninja were a movie, he would be this one

Publisher: eBay

Sat, 15 March 2008

Aussie_N6 by: Australian Ninja

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This fake documentary is a real gem. It's from my personal collection and after lending it to Sammy and watching it again recently, I decided that more people needed to hear about it. Comic Book The Movie was released direct-to-DVD in 2004 and to import the American DVD back then would have cost a fair bit, but these days you can pick it up for around ten bucks online. The film is a mockumentary, directed by "comic book connoisseur and Star Wars legend Mark Hamill".

The story is about a bunch of executive types making a big budget superhero movie, a re-vamping of the fictional golden age superhero "Commander Courage". The film takes the form of a road trip with interview segments mixed in with 'real time footage'. A large portion of the movie was filmed at Comic-con in San Diego. Cameo guest stars include: Kevin Smith, Stan Lee, Hugh Heffner, Bruce Campbell, Billy West, and Matt Groening.

Comic Book The Movie_Screen1
Commander Courage and Liberty Ladd
Donald Swan (Mark Hamill) is brought in as a consultant to the film production, an expert on the history of the patriotic Commander Courage character. The movie makers however have already decided to modernise the character into an ultra-violent killer, "Codename Courage". They send Don Swan on a fool's errand with his own cameraman, making a documentary about the films pre-production and Don's own research.

Slowly Don realises his input is not being taken seriously, and along the way he meets up with Leo Matuzik (Billy West), the only living relative of Commander courage's creator Jack Whitney. Don then accidentally sabotages the movie production process by making Leo Matuzik aware that as 'the only living relative', he is entitled to royalties from the famous comic book.

Mark Hamill's humble Donald Swan character is a guy who gets mixed up in a world he has no experience of, through no fault of his own. Although Don's idea of making a Commander Courage film with the golden age version is corny and ridiculous, you can't help but root for him to win out over the sleazy corporate executives who only care about making money.

The way the fictional superhero "Commander Courage" is weaved into the history of comic books is impressive. Through close-ups of historical comic covers and interviews with experts such as Stan Lee, anyone not already familiar with comic book history would be fooled into thinking this golden age comic book character truly existed. It's not unlike Marvel's practical joke "The Sentry", a character they invented in the year 2000, then fabricated a history that he was "a forgotten pre-Fantastic Four creation of Stan Lee".

Comic Book The Movie_Screen2
"A movie about comic books and they went to Don Swan for advice instead of me? I must be on the bizarro world"
Don Swan even carries around a reprint of a key golden age issue of Commander Courage throughout the film, further convincing you of this character's historical value, and making us feel like he were as culturally significant as Batman or Superman. In one scene Don even uses the reprint of the highly valued issue as collateral for the replica Commander Courage costume he had tailor made. It's all completely ridiculous to watch, yet you can't help but sympathise with the naive character of Don Swan.

Most of you readers know Mark Hamill from his role in the The Trilogy as Luke Skywalker, and a few of you may know of his more obscure roles such as The Trickster in The Flash II: Revenge of the Trickster, the Joker in Batman Animated (the 1990s cartoon), and the Cocknocker in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

These roles (especially the Cocknocker) remind me that Mark Hamill doesn't take himself too seriously, and likes a good laugh as much as you and I. Comic Book The Movie is a clever and hilarious film, but it's also respectful of comic books and the people who create them. The film is really suited for geeks and people into comics, but I'd still encourage anyone who digs (or likes to take a dig) at the old Jedi to give it a go, "enjoy it you will."


by: Australian Ninja

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An excellent mockumentary right up there with the likes of Spinal Tap. Give it a go.

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More DVD Movies


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EXTENDED MADMAN STOCKTAKE MADNESS!
Black Books Trilogy. DVD Review


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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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