On some site somewhere within the internet superhighway, I saw an article that made mention of a unique, critically-acclaimed game called Machinarium. Saw that it was available on Steam, downloaded the demo. Loved it. Just paid ten bucks for the complete game, which is a steal if you ask me. Available for Windows and Mac, I believe for the iPad2 as well. You get the soundtrack with the game.
Extremely simple gameplay, point-and-click adventure. Puzzle-solving. Incredible visuals, also pretty cute at times.
check it out at machinarium.net or just log into Steam and rock the demo.
i'm not really sure how to prepare you for the kind of early viral advertising this movie is doing for itself, but i am insanely intrigued by the entire concept. the film is called sound of my voice and it kind of interacts with/educates you while you're watching it. i'm fairly sure the process will continue to roll out the closer we get to the release date of april 27th.
jump over to the film's website and watch the first twelve minutes. they're slow, but get you immersed pretty quickly. you'll know if you're down from the first minute or two. overall, the plot seems to center around a cult who is looking to heal you of the burden of your existence. and also, i believe they're from the future. or they believe they're from the future.
check it out.
In the same thread as my post about the brilliant author Warren Ellis a few months ago, I thought I might delve into another graphic novelist a bit; a crazy Irishman named Garth Ennis who writes some of the most shocking, complex and entertaining stories I've ever had the pleasure of reading. His ability to switch from ultra-violence to humor is staggering, sometimes within the same page, and if any other writer tried it I doubt it would come off as genuine or as smooth.
The worlds and the characters that Ennis comes up with are second-to-none. Although he's had some critically-acclaimed runs of Marvel's Punisher, DC's Hellblazer (which might sound more familiar to you if it was called "Constantine" and Keanu Reeves was the star) as well as Judge Dredd, the two main series he's most well known for are his own; the ground-breaking series called Preacher (from Vertigo/DC) and his follow-up, The Boys (from Dynamite).
I'll warn you right now, Ennis's style isn't for everyone. While writers like Warren Ellis, Ed Brubaker and Mark Millar are known for pushing the envelope and creating brilliant storylines and characters, Ennis goes for the shock value as well. He doesn't shy away from graphic sex scenes, even more graphic scenes of violence, or gore. To say his books are "adults only" would be an understatement. However, the subtle political and sociological messages that comprise the undertones of his stories are often so intriguing that even if you are shocked or put off at some of the material, you'll come back for more. This is perhaps why many of these guys are getting their stuff turned into movies, and Ennis's material hasn't yet been turned into a major motion picture. This will change however; The Boys and Preacher have both been optioned by Columbia with supposedly Adam McKay directing the former, and Sam Mendes directing the latter. Good news for a fan boy like me.
How twisted can Ennis get with his books? Picture this, and I swear I'm not making this up as I go along; Preacher is about a down-on-his-luck preacher named Jesse Custer from Texas who retains the powers of an entity called Genesis, which is the by-product (baby) created from an angel and a demon having sex. Jesse goes on a crusade to find and kill God - with the help of his hitman ex-girlfriend and his alcoholic best friend, who just happens to be a vampire. Along the way a secret organization called The Grail, headed up by an extremely morbidly obese man with a penchant for prostitutes, tries to stop him; as well as the Saint Of Killers, a Clint Eastwood-esque quick-drawing madman who just happens to also be invincible. Crazy enough for you yet? Imagine a Western if you love Tarantino and hate Christianity (Ennis is a devout Atheist).
The Boys is a little bit more straight-forward, although still filled with shock value. Imagine a world with superheroes. Check? Alright. Now imagine what that world would actually be like, especially if they were all 'owned' by one corporation and not regulated by any government agency. These super-humans would act just like celebrities (especially with people treating them as such), becoming reckless and compromising the safety of society and the world. If they take down a high-rise while trying to capture a super-villian, murdering thousands of innocents accidentally in the process, who would condemn their actions or reprimand them? If a few of these superheroes also had a secret fetish or considered rape a hobby, who could stop them? In comes a CIA-backed organization of super-powered individuals known informally as "The Boys" who are charged with overseeing the superhero community... and who are made up of people who have been scarred for life by these reckless heroes and the corporation who brought them into existence. Butcher - and English badass who has a personal grudge against this world's equivalent of Superman (imagine that your job is to intimidate and threaten Superman so he ceases being an asshole - that's Butcher). Mother's Milk - a big black American with an attitude and a unique reason why he's as strong as a hundred men (you'll see). The Frenchman - a poetic psycho "whirling dervish" who loves the finer things in life, as well as beating the shit out of people in costumes. The Female - a little asian girl who might look unassuming but who literally rips faces off of people and carries out hits for the mob in her spare time. and the character who we mainly follow, Wee Hughie - an Irishman (the influence and likeness for Hughie is none other than Simon Pegg from "Shaun Of The Dead" and "Hot Fuzz" fame) who is sucked up into all of this when a visit to the fair with his girlfriend goes awry, and she gets killed by a hero named A-Train accidentally (he threw a villian into her at a few thousand miles an hour). "Oops."
To be honest, I have yet to read any of Ennis's material other than The Boys or Preacher - both of which are long runs. Preached ended at 9 "trades" or graphic novels, and The Boys is currently at 9 trades with at least 2 more on the way, I'm assuming. Although a significant investment, both series are totally worth reading. If you're curious enough that you at least want to read the first book or two, to get your feet wet, get at me and I'll loan them to you. Next up for Ennis? Dynamite is coming out with a new series based on the established character The Shadow, and he will be writing it. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Garth Ennis does for sure, and I'm betting his take on The Shadow will be something way better than Alec Baldwin.
so. i mean, i just got invited to join this social networking/sharing service called pinterest. i jump on, see the chaos which is the site on its own, start to get into the second level of it, start sharing, pinning, adding, following, you know. and i think it's alright. a day passes, and... it's everywhere. has it always been everywhere, and i've just been ignoring it? am i now just aware of it, so now it seems like hyperawareness?
here's the deal. you find images you like on websites, you pin them, arrange them in your own 'board' (folder), and it posts them in this amalgam of a front page along with the ones who you follow. you can repin (like an RT), and like (like a like) and it kind of just creates its own pulse. that's it. personally, i thought it was pretty cool. but now i'm hearing that it's getting some pretty large hype in the biz game (here) and also that people's mothers, sisters, cousins, brides (here) are getting exceptionally [liketotallyfucking] obsessed over it.
once i heard that stuff, i almost instantly ran away, alt+f4/ctrl+f4 on overdrive. but i stopped, looked it over, and decided that i really do like the site, and it is just like any of these other social sites that you get involved in. twitter, facebook, flickr, livejournal, xanga, deadjournal, tumblr, blogger, you name it. it's all about the circles you choose to follow and the way that you choose to share within it. follow who you want to follow, don't keep following someone/something if you don't like what they're sharing. no one will say it better than keith buckley (here). if they get offended or aggravated at that action, they need to reprioritize their social matrix, or you do. so, yes, make your twitter feed yours. and more to the point, if you see someone sharing pins that you feel are cluttering your page, unfollow them, leave them out. and if you don't like the site altogether, skate. don't use it.
my opinion, it's cool for a quick flip through. check your e-mail, RSS feeds, your twitter, your facebook, stumbleupon, pinterest, get out. this is mostly all here to entertain you, not sustain you. customize your experience.
some new music for your wednesday.
the new earth record, angels of darkness, demons of light ii will be dropping next tuesday. if you head over to this pitchfork review, you can stream the whole record for free. i think i've tried to figure out how to describe them plenty of times, but the two words "desert noir" seem to do it the most justice. very, very minimal. i loved their full length the bees made honey in the lion's skull, but this record is very subdued and while it has a different theme, still has the same brush strokes.
also worth mentioning is robbers' new track over on their tumblr. it's coming off of their new record called delicious dark myths which is coming out some time in february.
also! follow us on twitter!
do it. mean it.
the lana del ray record is good. this may be old news in a month or two. i recommend "off to the races" or "diet mountain dew" but the full record will get your attention, whether you direct it to or not.
people know i like film. MOVIES, BRO. we've had conversations at length, thrown recommendations back and forth.
how is it that no one walked, bee-lined in fact, to me and stood an arm's length from me and put their hand on my shoulder, looked me in the eyes and said, "fassbender in hunger." or anything like that. anything mentioning to me that performance. how have i missed this for 3 years? it took me until late last year when someone started telling me about shame, which i didn't even end up checking out anyway simply due to lack of drive, to check out mcqueen and his previous work. a one minute short (exodus) and this film which was already on my netflix queue.
heavy movie, heavy political theme... a great film over all. but fassbender's performance is something i will never forget. the best i can compare it to is christian bale in the machinist for the sheer physical commitment to the role. i also am stunned, completely, by mcqueen's 16.5 minute single shot of a conversation held between two characters, also very emotionally taut and direct. if nothing else, start at around the forty minute mark and watch through to the credits. be floored by the work.
(also: b-line? beeline? bee-line? b line? bee line?)