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Showing posts from 2014

Pop Love 2014 edition

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I confess that since my move to remote Northern Japan, I have largely been out of touch with a lot of pop culture consumption. Like the fact that I have been to the cinema just once in the last 6 months, when it used to be my main form of entertainment. *gasp*

Anyway, I plan to have some short reviews up in the near future of high profile 2014 movie releases that I did manage to catch.

Until then, here's something funky to see in the new year... And help you catch up with chart toppers if you've been out of the mainstream music loop (like me).


Greek DJ Robin Skouteris has done it again. His third Pop Love musical mash-up has just been released - and once again you can download it for free, with his other amazing work, on his Soundcloud page.

I think last year's Pop Love was catchier, but overall I think 2013 was a better year for music and game releases, certainly.  Now let's see how things shape up in 2015. Happy New Year!


Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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Whether you are spending the festive season with a special someone...

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Or with family in whatever form that takes...

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Or even if you're lone wolfing your way through the holidays...

Source: Brian Horton
I wish all of my blog readers and Twitter friends a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I hope you get to see 2014 out and 2015 in, in style!



Just look after yourself the next week or so....

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Because you need to be fighting fit and ready for 2015. Here's to a wealth of exciting adventures and experiences waiting in the New Year. It's time to rise...

These are a few of my favourite things...

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Cue Julie Andrews...

Comics and movies. Two of my favourite things.

And evidently DC Comics knows that there are a lot more people like me out there...

In March 2015, comics and film collide with a set of 22 variant issue covers based on classic movie posters (all from parent company Warner Bros, naturally).

You can check out the full set here, along with the original poster art they're based on. I'm in love. Particularly with this one. Appropriately epic and utterly gorgeous.


Have yourself a Merry Little Croftmas

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I didn't get around to doing my pop-culture-post-a-day Advent Calendar this year, but in substitute, for the next 9 days I encourage you to check out 2 fun Christmas countdown projects from Tomb Raider fans.

Over on Twitter, Lady Scion is using the #TRAdvent hashtag and tweeting entertaining Lara Croft content daily.


Meanwhile, on Tumblr, there's ipodger's adorable Advent Endurance, which sees Lara and Sam preparing for the holidays.


Finally,  today completes a special holiday season fanfic I wrote - and released in 3 weekly installments - called A Croft Christmas. Check out the unapologetically melancholy story in full here.

Tomb Raider: The Ten Thousand Immortals reviewed – from Reboot Lara to Robot Lara

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Maybe you have a Tomb Raider enthusiast in your life, or perhaps you are the Lara Croft fanatic yourself? Either way, if you’re looking for something suitable for Christmas, and haven’t picked it up already, you may be considering the recently released novel Tomb Raider: The Ten Thousand Immortals, written by husband-and-wife duo Dan Abnett and Nik Vincent. Adding to the temptation, no doubt, is the absolutely delicious cover art by Brian Horton, the Senior Art Director for the new Tomb Raider games.



In fact, it’s worth noting at this point that The Ten Thousand Immortals (out since 20 October) has been endorsed by game publishers and makers Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics, so the book can be considered canon in the rebooted Tomb Raider universe. It is set directly after the events in the 2013 game, sandwiching itself between the game and current Dark Horse Comics series.

Anyway, without giving too much away, The Ten Thousand Immortals sees young archaeologist Lara Croft trying to a…

Shake it off - the Gamergate version

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I think I'm probably more in the closet about liking Taylor Swift's music than I am about liking girls.


But anyway. I am in love with Swift's latest single, Shake If Off, with its powerful "Fuck critics" message and dorky, self-deprecating music video. In fact, as it is, it's the perfect anthem for women who have been at the receiving end of Gamergate attacks.

This said, satirist Peter Coffin has upped the ante with this Shake It Off parody, rewritten to specifically tackle the Gamergate controversy - and what exactly Gamergaters are smoke-screening with their claims of "It's about ethics in games journalism."



Giveaways and gamers doing good

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There's little denying that the GamerGate controversy has done much to sour the public's perception of gamers - and, more widely, geek culture. Entitled. Abusive. Exclusionary. Looking at recent shenanigans it would be easy to view people who classify themselves as geeks as mean-spirited and self-absorbed.

Of course, this is far from the truth. Focusing on gaming for a second - which is currently the most maligned of the geek factions - there are enthusiast-run projects like Extra Life and Child's Play (not to mention industry/developer-supported projects like the Humble Bundle). In all of these cases, geeks have raised money for assorted charities; many with a child-focus.



Which brings us to The Enthusiasts Project from Reluctant Femme blogger and crafter Cassie Goodwin (@anwyn on Twitter). You can read all about the objectives of the Project in detail here, but in a nutshell, it intends to celebrate all fandoms and passionate individuals... while giving back to charity.

So much funkier than "you wouldn't steal a car..."

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I owe you all a blog post about my first ever cinema visit in Japan, when I got to FINALLY watch Guardians of the Galaxy. So, yeah, on that note I owe you all a film review as well...

In the meantime though, if you've never seen it before - I only experienced it for the first time last Tuesday - here is Japan's answer to the West's "You wouldn't steal a car..." anti-piracy ad.

As you can see, it enlivens a very stale message by injecting a hefty dose of Daft Punk-style funkiness, as well as all the expected Japanese WTF-ness.


For the record, you can watch the other 2 commercials in the series here. And, on the topic of Daft Punk, make sure you check out this clever tribute to the music act as well.

Tomb Raider: A gaming industry allegory

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Oh Christ, Noelle, ANOTHER Tomb Raider post? Seriously?!


Well, yes, actually. I really felt the need to write this in the aftermath of the latest, and possibly most terrible (to date) “Wominz are the DEVIL!!” furore to affect gaming.

It all started with an attack on game developer Zoe Quinn – for supposedly using sex with journalists to secure good review scores for her game – and then expanded to include Feminist Frequency media commentator Anita Sarkeesian, who is, of course, no stranger to troll targeting.

Various other industry figures, male but mostly female, who spoke out against #GamerGate harassment were also subject to abuse. Things just got worse and worse, culminating with women having to flee their homes because of assault threats. In addition, prominent gaming commentator and journalist Jenn Frank, along with a few other figures, implied that they will be quitting the industry because of the rampant, aggressive misogyny among gamers. They've had enough.


So what does …

Salani kahle, South Africa, and konnichiwa, Japan. Also, Tomb Raider...

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This is the day, ladies and gentlemen. Today I set out to make my mark; to find adventure...

I leave home for Pretoria today, and tomorrow I fly out of South Africa for at least a year to teach English in Japan. I intend to keep this entertainment and geek culture-focused blog going during this period. However, updates are likely to be fewer - especially to begin with.

On that note, the latest Girlz 'N' Games comic (Part 1 of 3) is now up. I had a grand plan of having all 6-7 panels completed before I departed. Unfortunately, wrapping-up-life admin got in the way during my final few weeks in South Africa. Here is the concluding panel image as a bonus image though, until I can update again. I do especially like it given its personal significance and inspirational message.


As for my travels and overseas experiences, if you're curious you can follow my wanderings in the Land of Himiko over at my new personal blog: The Happiness Ronin.


Movies out today: demons, drama and dodgy neighbours

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If you're on the East Coast for the next 9 days you have dozens of movies to choose from as part of the Durban International Film Festival, South Africa's biggest film fest. For everyone else around the country, there are four new releases from which to take your pick.


Deliver Us from Evil:
Crime and horror collide in this supposed true story - and book adaptation - that centres on a New York police officer (Eric Bana) forced to join forces with a priest (Edgar Ramirez) to solve a case with demonic connections. Also starring Olivia Munn and Joel McHale.

From the director of The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister, Deliver Us from Evil is apparently a serviceable supernatural thriller that never reaches its full scare potential due to some poor filmmaking decisions (Check out Kervyn's The Movies.co.za review here). Deliver is solidly acted (for the most part) and generates creepy atmosphere well, but the scares are cheap and so very tired. It has an aggregated review score o…

New movies out today: angry apes and lurve troubles

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If you aren't gearing up for this year's Durban International Film Festival - I suppose, even if you are - you have four new releases to catch at South African cinemas as of today.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes:
Screening in 2D and 3D is this sequel to the 2011 reboot - a hit with critics and audiences alike. The follow-up sci-fi actioner looks to be little different.  For the record the film is set a decade after a virus has decimated humanity. Survivors like Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell and Kodi Smit-McPhee have to contend with, and consider their feelings towards the evolved ape population that is thriving in the woods. This group is headed by chimpanzee Caesar (motion-capture performed by Andy Serkis) who has very good reason to be distrustful of humans. And so tensions escalate. Trailer Tuesday profile.

According to Nick in his 5-star TheMovies.co.za review, Dawn is one of the year's best films - hands down. He's not the only one to think so. At the tim…

""Some women are lost in the fire. Some women are built from it."

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This gif set takes me to my happy place like no other...

So many fascinating, fierce females - any many of them far more complex than are given credit simply because they are so "strong" in terms of outward appearance.

Also, this makes a good companion to this thought-provoking article, and this advertising campaign.

Source: Ericscissorhands on Tumblr.