Archive | May, 2011

TV’s Just Not Geeky Anymore…

31 May

Last week Smallville ended. Not big news for the majority of people, but for the fans it was an epic final episode that was an appropriate ending to a series which had taken us on a bit of a roller coaster ride over the course of ten seasons. Yet sadly, with the end of Smallville, comes the end of geeky television…

Ten years ago, we were inundated. The likes of Startrek Voyager and Stargate-SG1 graced our screens. It was the sort of television that made your Mum ask ‘What’s this rubbish?’ Girlfriends didn’t get it (in the unlikely event that you had one) and you noticed Dad’s watching out of the corner of their eye. Being a fan of such programs granted exclusive access to a club of geeks and losers. And it was great.

The reason I bring this up is, and I never thought I’d utter these words, it’s just not the same anymore. Geekiness has become hip. It’s become cool. Smallville was the final season that was for the geeks. They didn’t fear dropping in obscure references to characters from the DC universe. It’s the final standard-bearer for the Buffy era of television.
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Alternative Cuts – Bad Lamps – ‘Never Know the Difference’

31 May

Alternative Cuts will be a hopefully regular series of postings presenting interesting, quirky, cool music videos or other viral shit if we think it fits what we’re trying to do here at Alternative Spotlight.

I’m struggling to put into words exactly what it is about this fan-made video that I seem to love so much, because all it really is is a montage of the clean bits of some past and present porn films set to a lovely little summery piece of indie. Whatever it is, it’s clear I’m not the only loving it one as the video has clocked up over 600k hits since appearing on Youtube less than a week ago.

Perhaps I could write something about how the music seems to subvert the meaning of these snippets of video. Or perhaps I could write something about the opposite, and it’s actually the meaning of the music that’s altered by the juxtaposition with the choice of imagery. And perhaps even there’s a broader point to make there about context, interpretation and perception of different ‘art’ in different circumstances.

But that would be to do it a disservice, I reckon, because there’s something beautiful in the abstract here that needn’t be pinned down by words. Sometimes simple enjoyment can be simple enjoyment. So, that said, enjoy a wonderful video that is peculiarly poignant somehow.

Bad Lamps’ Soultronic EP available here on Bandcamp
Bad Lamps on the F-book.

5 reasons you should be reading Avengers Academy

30 May

Since it debuted in June 2010 one book has received my praise constantly. Avengers Academy is the story of the ongoing  battle to turn six kids with superhero abilities, who were manipulated by Norman Osborn during his stint as head of H.A.M.M.E.R, into the next Captain Americas and not the next Red Skulls. Since issue one, the tales of this group of dysfunctional super teens have grabbed my interest and have had no intent of letting go. I present to you 5 reasons why you should be reading Avengers Academy.

5. Lack of confusing continuity.

The number one problem with recommending superhero comics to new readers is that nearly all books are wrapped up in long, convoluted story lines that date back years if not decades. Avengers Academy starts off as fresh as a Marvel comic book could be these days. Here it starts off with six brand new characters placed in the newly created academy built by Hank Pym. The book itself does pick up the space left by Avengers: The Initiative and the last few arcs featuring the international team in The Mighty Avengers  continuing the development of characters like Hank Pym and Tigra, but rarely recalls any events happening in previous series to the point where a new reader would be totally lost.

This was one really strange episode of "Saved by the Bell"

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T-Shirt Spotlight – 05/05/11

30 May

I may not be the most fashionable cat around but I do know one thing, if a t-shirt rocks or not.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you today’s t-shirt spotlight…

Courtesy of Teefury.

Who are you going to call on your 19th Century phone?

Cost: $10 (TODAY ONLY!!!)

Purchase: http://www.teefury.com/

Follow Teefury on Twitter at @Teefury

Follow Myself on Twitter at @ObviousPrime

Follow the blog on Twitter at @Alt_Spotlight

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Von Trier’s Real Mistake? Not Being Funny.

20 May

Oh, Lars. You’ve really done it this time. But hey, at least you don’t have to worry about not being around to collect the Palme d’Or though, because from what I hear ‘Melancholia’ wasn’t going to win it anyway. Even before this little episode.

It’s hardly extraordinary that a filmmaker who appears to have grown increasingly obedient to his own ego over recent years has detached himself so far from reality that he’s making badly delivered tongue-in-cheek jokes about being a Nazi at the world’s flagship film festival on a panel discussing one of the most anticipated films of the year.  However I do have to admit being a little surprised by the Cannes Festival directors stamping him ‘persona non grata’ and unceremoniously booting him from the Festival in the manner they have.

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Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Game (XBox 360) Review

18 May

Travellers Tales are back, once again fusing magic, wonder and bricks into a much-loved family franchise. Much like Batman, Harry Potter, Star Wars and Indiana Jones before it, it is now Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean that gets the block treatment. Taking  you through all four movies with the exceptional charm and humour that is now expected of the franchise, Lego Pirates does well to stick out slightly more in a series that is starting to become pretty stagnant.

The first thing you are going to notice when you play Lego Pirates is the sheer production value of the games presentation, this game is pretty, charming and does everything to capture that ‘Disney Magic’ that the movie series is known for. The environments are pretty, with elements such as buildings, boats and creatures being built in Lego and other elements such as water having a more realistic visual effect. Hans Zimmer’s compositions for the movie franchise can be heard throughout and the voice acting for the characters themselves really adds a another level of detail.

The game has a weird obsession with fruit and veg, if something can be replaced with a carrot, bet your behind it will be replaced with a carrot.

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OK. I’ll Say It. I’m Glad the Playstation Network Broke

16 May

Much to the amusement of Xbox owners, us PS3 loyalists have been subject to a rather strange situation recently. The Playstation Network decided to break. I’m told this was because of some nasty men who stole lots of information and therefore meant that we couldn’t use any of the online services.

The reason I’m mentioning this is because I want to point out a couple of things. Firstly, who cared? There have been a lot of people who have been ranting and raving about what a disgrace it is that this has happened in the first place. Well, as they say, s*** happens. It could have happened to Microsoft, it could have happened to the British government. But it didn’t. It happened to Sony. But we could just as easily be laughing at all Xbox owners right now. And you know what, I’m glad we’re not, because it would actually have affected them…

I have always campaigned that the Xbox is a social console and that the Playstation is a solitary being. Everyone I know who owns an Xbox plays online. Most likely because they pay for their online use and so probably feel obliged to use it. Over on the Playstation’s side of the fence, our online usage comes as standard. A nice thing, but it does mean that a lot of people aren’t really that bothered about playing online. The last time I played online was when Uncharted 2 came out. Other than not being able to use the store and iPlayer, the downtime really didn’t affect me. In fact, I’m rather glad it did go down…

A terrible thing to say? Hear me out. For most PS3 owners, it gave them an excuse to play their single player games that they had been distracted from due to Call of Duty and… are there any other multi-player games that people online? Guess there aren’t… On top of that, we get a welcome back package! Free games people! Free games! In exchange for what? Not being able to play Call of Duty for a month? I’m cool with that…

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