Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Scandal In Hollywood

Get ready for another action-packed, heart-stopping adrenaline filled thrillride from Hollywood.

Yes, all the masculine, explosion filled delight your steroid-induced muscularity and Barbie Doll girlfriend can handle hits cinemas late this year, complete with a snappy title! (They're not too hard to come up with really, see title ~ Doris)

What is said title? Why, 'Sherlock Holmes' of course! (In courier uppercase, no less!)

Yes, the fabled master detective and his sidekick Watson will be flying haphazardly into a cinema near you this Christmas day (December 25th, just in case you celebrate Zambian Nibaholon). I've thoughtfully provided the trailer so you can check it out:

Now before going any further, I feel safe calling it before I've seen it - honestly it doesn't take much to make an assumption about what this film will be like - and I feel confident calling: Utter Garbage. I mean, I would like to say I'm excited for this one, but the helical horns of Aries I just can't!

Sure I may be slightly off the mark here - after all, it's still in production and things may change - but judging by this attention-seeking nightmare of a trailer, the movie seems to be a brilliantly accurate example of everything that's wrong with Hollywood today.

Gone is the dapper subtlety that transfixed me in Hound of the Baskervilles, the alluring slow-paced mystery that worked so well, and the charismatic yet quiet confidence that Holmes carried. Now it's a (somewhat disturbingly) ripped Robert Downey Jr. matched in theatrical magnitude by Jude Law, and offset awkwardly by Rachel McAdams, who as Irene Adler (Holmes' intriguing female acquaintance from "A Scandal In Bohemia") is confusingly ... well - alive, unless this movie is set before their initial meeting, which doesn't make sense (but intuition is telling me they just reeeeeaally wanted to throw her in as a love interest - which in itself is wrong, as Sherlock no love her, and please God don't let it be for Watson).

Why the rant 'zip? Well Blog, I hate seeing things I love mutilated beyond recognition. I hate sell outs, and believe in quality over quantity always and forever, and that appealing to everyone degrades the experience of everyone. Like mass-production dissolves want (and eventually value) of higher-quality goods, movies that are made solely to generate cash degrade public acceptance of anything other than cookie-cutter crap, and once people are dumber, they're more resistant to accepting anything that's different and truly interesting.

It's a pity they decided to sell out for the masses here too, because not only are the Holmes tales some of my favourites and will now consequently fall into the zombie-like consiousness of a generation of deluded youngsters as some kind of action-hero rather than an intellectual, it will also make a huge whacking truckload of money at the box office, and continue encouraging this kind of garp for years to come.

My message to Hollywood will doubtless never be heard by the right people, but I feel inclined to shout it into the digital void nonetheless; stop. For the love of Persius, stop what you're doing, and start funding films with substance again. No, you won't earn as much to begin with, but you can sleep well knowing that this snowball of mindless pyrotechnic idiocy is being halted, and can be reversed, in time.


Sorry to snipe your review here Timmy, just had to be said. ;)


Saturday, May 2, 2009

LOST is Sonic 3.

Spoilers abound within, yarrr!A plane comes rocketing through voluminous midday clouds, it passes into blue sky for just a second, but that's all it takes for land to be seen ahead. The plane is heading straight for it - an island that seems to lie in the middle of nowhere - and within seconds, the aircraft hits a pristine white-sand beach bordered a short distance away by dense foliage. When the survivors come to their senses, they realise they may just have landed in paradise. Tropical birdcalls echo through thick temperate rainforest, and there's nobody else around; but in this story, our main character isn't Jack Shephard. It's a blue hedgehog named Sonic.

Sonic and Lost, together a magical thing.It was while googling "Sonic fan art" a couple of days ago (not a word) for my computer background at work that a thought of some significance hit me. Thinking hard about what I remembered from my key gaming years back in 1994, I began scribbling down some notes. A minute later and with a slow, dramatic camera dolly, I suddenly realised that my favourite video game shares some amazing parallels with my favourite tv show, Lost.

Let's review a couple of strangely similar details that made me feel Darlton may just have been SEGA fans back in the day as well:


How dare you point at me in such a poignant way!If the entrance wasn't enough, Sonic's arrival on the island sees him running into Knuckles the Echidna (literally), an inhabitant of the island that initially seems very hostile towards the blue hedgehog. Knuckles steals the Chaos emeralds Sonic has been collecting (in the previous game) and bolts, but not before laughing derisively. So, an inhabitant of the island clashing with the hero, Ben and Jack spring to mind. You could go further though, and say that these two characters symbolise the two groups on the island, the Losties, and the Others. This is important to note for what's coming up.

Power source.

The island Sonic lands on moves - physically. It does so by using an incredible power source, buried deep within the island's core. Knuckles' job is to stop people from finding it, and to protect the power source from those that want to use it for their own purposes. Sound familiar? Sure it does, the Lost Island moves as well using an incredible 'unique' electromagnetic power source too, also buried deep within the island. Protecting the island are the mysterious Others, spearheaded by Ben and Richard Alpert. To 1-up Sonic though, the lost Island can move through space and time. Take that SEGA!

Deeper still.

Knuckles is the last remaining survivor of a long-lost ancient civilization. Remnants of this civilization can still be seen on the island, many of which Sonic makes his way through as levels. Temples, obelisks, and caverns with foreign symbols etched into the rocks are just part of the fun. Knuckles has a deep understanding of these relics and the history of the island. Deja vu? Indeed! Check out Richard Alpert! This is the man who knows the island's secrets, communicates with it, and protects it. Knuckles' job is exactly the same.

More, more!

Ok, so now things really get interesting. At one point in the game, Sonic ends up deep in the bowels of the island, in a place called the 'Hidden Palace'. Knuckles appears, and the two clash, but behind them both on the walls of the temple is a fresco. Check it out. Look familiar? Sure as heck does. Check out the one from the recent episode of Lost: Dead Is Dead.

The Fresco in Dead Is Dead, and Sonic 3

Crazy talk! You are the man!

Yes I know. But sit down, there's more.

So, we have Sonic and Knuckles (Losties and Others) who are two forces battling it out on the island. But there is yet another; a third, sinister force behind the scenes manipulating the characters and seeking the power source that is being so fiercely defended ... Eggman. After finding the island by mistake, Eggman (or 'Robotnik' back in '94) begins searching for the Master Emerald. He knows however, that the island has a defender, so he sends a mechanized army out to kill Knuckles (and Sonic of course). Eggman is a genius, a mincing, very rich and comically overweight genius. He'll stop at nothing to get the Master Emerald, and Sonic and Knuckles are expendable hinderances. So, a genius finds the island, wants the power source, and sends an army to kill everyone else in his way. Let's just call him Charles.

Time for one more?

My goodness you're demanding! Ok so to sum it up, so far we have an island (and an island), a plane crash (and a plane crash), Sonic & Knuckles (Losties & Others), an incredible power source hidden underground that makes the island special (the Master Emerald, and the Electromagnetic thingamy), an ancient, lost civilization with temples and relics (whaddya know, an ancient, lost civilization with temples and relics), a crazy-ass fresco (and a crazy-ass fresco), and a madman seeking the island's power (ditto). Let's look finally at something that isn't in Sonic 3, but in Sonic Adventure a couple of games afterward (released 1999).

The Master Emerald that powers the island has this trick it pulls. See, when someone manages to do something evil while in it's vicinity, it summons a guardian. A crazy liquid-spirit named Chaos, who's sole function is to judge and destroy. Oh my.

According to legend, the reason Knuckles' island has nobody left is that centuries ago his people warred over the emerald. Subsequently, Chaos was called forth and destroyed them all.

Well, seems the Lost Island has this crazy smoke-monster whose sole function (as far as we know yet) is to judge and - you guessed it - destroy. It's a guardian too, and one of the ways it's called forth is by emptying water from a small well. The civilization on the Lost island is gone too.

Would it be crazy to assume that we might see some kind of backstory similar to this in Lost? If we do, I hereby reserve the right to declare myself supreme master of the universe - or just a guy that picked up some strange similarities between a decade-old video game and Lost, and was dumb enough to post them online.

Cheers all,


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