I spent the entirety of the hurricane holed up in my 1.5-bedroom apartment with my girlfriend, her brother, his wife, my two 80-year-old grandmothers and my dog. I am not yet sure how it is that I did not go absolutely insane, but I managed it. I ended up watching more movies than I had in a while, all of them somehow oriented around action: G.I. Joe, Star Trek, The Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Prince of Persia, Highlander and Big Trouble in Little China. I had never hidden to fact that I enjoy action films more than any other genre -- yes, that is including lugubrious black-and-white French affairs where men and women smoke while not making eye contact -- but apparently my tolerance for them is utterly bottomless.
You know, I usually don't dig on music videos featuring kids. Unless, of course, those kids are engaged in rocking out black-metal style and/or some incredible cartoon violence.
...and who can forget the classic bar fight scene from ABC's family comedy Step By Step. Patrick Duffy comes in at 3:46 if you want to skip right to that part.
Complete with realistic bolt-action for the junior G-man in your family.
Pre-order and a get an official Mattel Whiskey Tumbler and Cirrhotic Liver playset free!
I recent played Klei Entertainment's Shank and absolutely loved it. I read about it in Game Informer – a surprisingly good magazine, even if half of it is press release screenshots and the games seem to be rated on a 7-10 scale – a while back and now that it's finally come out for PC, I grabbed the demo. I wasn't expecting much, but Shank turned out to be one of the most beautifully violent games I have played in a good while.
I can't describe the game any better than Kill Bill-era Tarantino meets Final Fight. It's a success at the very least because it is just so lovingly crafted in every violent little detail. Thanks to the detailed animation, the entire game has a seamless quality that you only tend to see in trailers and tech demos. Likewise, the combo system, emerging from a combination of knives, guns, grenades and a chainsaw, flows like the liters of blood you knock out of the guys you're fighting. I hate, hate, hate dial-a-combo systems (Killer Instinct was probably the biggest abomination in fighting game history that I can think of) and I was having so much fun I'm not even sure whether or not Shank has non-custom combos.
So, if you're a fan of old-school side scrolling beat-em-ups, have a taste for gore and Steam/360/PS3, grab the demo and give it a shot!
A while ago, my grandparents handed me a couple of photos from my childhood. They've finally been scanned so, let's play Pattern Recognition: what do these two pictures have in common (outside of atrocious mid-80s Soviet fashion.)
Did you guess? That's right. Lil' Griph has been rockin' a piece since he was knee-high to a bowling ball. There's another photo that may be found one day wherein I am hanging out in a hammock with a big ole toy rifle. Even after moving to America, I remember hanging out with the neighborhood kids with my super-realistic – this was before the laws mandating toy guns be painted in neon colors – automatic rifle and a candy cigarette in my mouth, pretending to be Rambo. When I was about ten, I spent a summer living with family in the suburbs and my cousin and I would run around pegging one another with BB guns. A year or two later, my mom's boyfriend would let me fire his hunting rifle at beer cans when we'd go out to his cabin on long weekends.
Considering all that, I am still pretty much a pacifist. I have not been in a fight since I was a pre-teen. I have no desire to own firearms, and probably never will unless our political situation demands I take up arms either for or against the government, depending on how well the Teabaggers do in the upcoming elections. Yet I still find myself fascinated by guns, bombs and all sorts of unrealistic, cinematic violence.
With all that said, if you go 1:55 into this video (not sure how to deep link into DailyMotion) you'll see one of the greatest animated firefights ever:
Dead leaves partie 1
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Here is a Cadbury commercial. Yes, Cadbury the chocolate people. By the end of this article (if you manage to make it all the way through) you will be aghast that it exists.
Now, let's go to hell.
I hate to call Paul Robertson a pixel artist. It just doesn't seem right. The man is an artist, period. Certainly, he works in the realm of pixels: his video projects resemble 16-bit era video games, albeit if they were conceived by a Japanese Jeffrey Dahmer. Make no mistake, no matter what your sentiments toward sex and violence are, Paul Robertson will, at the least, try his gosh darn hardest to offend the ever-loving shit out of you. Unless noted, everything following is obscene, violent and very, very NSFW (not safe for work). Giant-monster-shooting-fetuses NSFW. Pope-girls-ejaculating-rainbows NSFW. Very little of his stuff can be appreciated by anyone not already inured by guro, Cannibal Corpse album covers, any other source of baroque violence without getting a bit pale.
The indie-inclined of you might already be familiar Paul Robertson. He directed the absolutely adorable videdo for Architecture in Helsinki's Do the Whirlwind.
The video features most of his artistic trademarks (except, of course, the obscene violence.) There's electronic-y music, pixel art in smooth motion, a jawdropping amount of intricate detail in every nook and cranny, and character design straddling the fence between absolutely adorable and “what the hell is that thing?” Here's two more relatively “safe” video for Jeremy Dower's The Magic Touch and Qua's Devil Eyes, respectively. Qua is the music project-name used by his music collaborator Cornel Wilczek.The second video features some blood.
Okay, are we ready to venture out into the big, bad, world of the unbridled Paul Robertson? Good. Let's start off light. This is black and white and not pixel art, but shows off his incredible skill in both the expressions of characters and depiction of violence. Appropriately enough, it is called “Bloodbath Overkill” and stars a number of characters from the Super Mario Bros. World.
Wasn't that fun? Even here you can see how devoted he is to smooth animation. In the pixel art-based pieces, this becomes even more important. He presents us with the games we wish (well, some of the more maladjusted of us) we were playing on our Super Nintendoes and Sega Genesii.
In 2006, Mr. Robertson submitted a short film to Melbourne's Next Wave young artist multimedia arts festival. The piece was called, in loving reference to convolutedly translated Japanese video game titles, Pirate Baby's Cabana Battle Street Fight 2006. The plot of the video should be recognizable to anyone who has so much as seen a side-scrolling beat-'em-up game: rescue the girl from the bad guy. Except the bad guy is, as the title indicates, a pirate baby. Along the way they destroy squid, zombie babies freshly emerging from the womb and just so many other monstrosities, utilizing super abilities that include Walter from The Big Lebowski (he enters the bad guys into a world of pain.) Here it is in two sections, in YouTube-brand high quality. Due to the nature of pixel art, compression really kills the beauty so if it loads slow, let it. The non-HQ ones take almost everything away.
Part 1 of 2:
Part 2 of 2:
Finally, here is his latest and greatest work. In glorious full-color I present Paul Robertson's Kings of Power 4 billion %. Melding his entire gamut of style with a ADD-ridden production, more pop-culture and video game references than I can name (or even recognize), this is, so far, the absolute apex of the man's abilities. Of particular note is Part 2's cruficix of rotating pop culture characters at around 1:25. I definitely caught caught Ash (from Pokemon,) Alf, Bomberman and George Washington in there. I really need to stop describing it at this point. If you actually enjoyed everything so far, you'll probably love this as much as I do.
Part 1 of 2:
Part 2 of 2:
AVI download link (via MegaUpload):
See how absurd that Cadbury ad is now? Yeah, yeah you do.
If you haven't had enough:
- His LiveJournal where he posts animations for his works in progress and his single-image works.
- His blog on the MechaFetus art collective website. (There is a lot of cross-over with the LiveJournal content.)
- His Pixiv (Japanese DeviantArt-type site.)
- Frequent music collaborator Cornel Wilczek's site.