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September 2008

Kieron Gillen being a funny fucker; Deus Ex 3 details to follow / 30.09.08


Unfortunately, this does mean I’m going to have to buy an issue of PC Zone. PC Gamer has long since taken the role of funny yet high quality games journalism from ‘Zone.

Paul Newman, RIP / 27.09.08

Paul Newman has passed away at the age of 83. Few actors have managed so star in as many great movies in their lifetimes. Details on the death still to come, but today we lose a cinematic icon. Go rent Cool Hand Luke tonight if you haven’t seen it. Or especially if you have.

What are you doing here? / 26.09.08


Nero Fiddles While Gordon Burns / 26.09.08

The Krypton Factor to make a comeback.

Easily among the top five or so UK gameshows of all time, this is fantastic news. But while I’m all for bringing things up to date where necessary, The Krypton Factor is one of those shows that would benefit from sticking as close to the original format as possible. To wit :

Anatomy of Adventure / 25.09.08

I’ve been to Al Lowe’s Humor Site before but I believe this section is relatively new: original game design documents used in the creation of his games.

Amazing stuff. Not only is a trip through adventure gaming history, it’s also an interesting assortment of ideas that never came to fruition. I personally love that Lowe intentionally made Freddy Pharkas “round,” meaning that all of the plot development would unfold in the same limited area…opening the entire game up for exploration from the very first. I loved that aspect of the game.

Anyway, dig in. There’s all kind of great stuff in these documents to enjoy.

Break's Over / 24.09.08

Aaron Sorkin writes a meeting between President Bartlet and Barrack Obama? Oh. Fucking. Yes.

Incidentally, if you’ve not already watched The West Wing, then watch The West Wing. And vote Democrat if you’re American. And get me a sandwich.

Christmas Man! / 19.09.08

Look what’s shown up on the SRO Audiences site:

The Graverobber's Guide To The Galaxy / 17.09.08

This is a stupid idea. A really stupid idea. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly stupid it is. I mean, you may think the movie was a lame attempt to wring further cash out of Douglas’ memory, but that’s just peanuts to this. Listen…

And so on.

BFI ScreenOnline; Derek Jacobi on the GPO Film Unit / 16.09.08

My god, the BFI are fantastic. This interactive presentation, starring the excellent Derek Jacobi, explains the development of the GPO Film Unit. The GPO (General Post Office) regulated the early development of the communications industry in Britain, with BT (British Telecommunications), and the Royal Mail being the direct descendants. The most famous example of the GPO Film Unit’s work is Night Mail (1936), which presents the complex distribution of mail by train, and features a poem by WH Auden, the opening lines of which (“This is the Night Mail crossing the border / Bringing the cheque and the postal order”) was used in a 1980’s British Rail advert.

Richard Wright, RIP / 15.09.08

And they just keep dropping. This time it’s Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright.…

A real shame; he was a phenomenal musician. He wrote one of Floyd’s best tunes (Us and Them) but his keys contributed strongly to developing the band’s musical identity. You’ll be missed, Richard.

Football Manager 2009 / 14.09.08


A 3D “TV Mode”! Proper press conferences! And, most intriguingly, you can be female!

I’m sure there’s plenty more to be announced, but naturally, it’s the move to 3D that intrigues the most right now. It would just appear to be a slightly different visual representation of the existing 2D mode - and almost certainly only optional - but nevertheless, it’s an interesting step in a new direction. Will FM2009 see SI make further dramatic changes, rather than simply resting on their laurels or concentrating overly on FM Live? We’ll find out in November…

"A none lethal takedown is always the most silent takedown..." / 13.09.08

I realise I’m a little behind the curve on this one (most gaming sites reported on this about ten million years ago), but if you haven’t already I implore you check out this brilliant re-cutting of the Deus Ex opening cut-scene and mission. If you need some context, then I suggest you watch the original intro first. Either way, the hilarious re-cut version is after the jump…

Noise To Signal Owns Television / 11.09.08

Thanks entirely to us, obviously, School of Comedy has been picked up for a full series:…

BBC Radiophonic Workshop: A Retrospective / 11.09.08

A new release from Mute Records. Check out that track listing! I’m perhaps most interested in the radio jingles, but there’s something there for anyone who’s even got a passing interest in the Radiophonic Workshop’s work. My copy of this is one of my favourite CDs I own, but it’s fantastic to see a proper range of their work represented.

Mute are also reissuing two other CDs, currently out of print - BBC Radiophonic Workshop and BBC Radiophonic Music. All are due November 3rd, and it can’t come fast enough.

Bill Clinton on film / 11.09.08

Remember when America had a president that wasn’t a total and uncultured idiot? (In two months it might happen again…)

Roger Ebert has posted this to his website: a transcript of a conversation he had with sitting president Bill Clinton in 1999. Ebert can sometimes come off as a bit full of himself (as he does even in this discussion) but Clinton’s end of the conversation is wonderful and reveals an artistically in-tune side of him I never knew about.

Say what you will about his taste in women…you can’t fault him on his taste in cinema.

Brooker! Eldon! Davina! Zombies! / 10.09.08

The first teaser for E4’s Dead Set is online. Click the eye for the video:

While it’s debatable as to whether the zombie thing has run its course for this decade, Big Brother satire definitely has. Still, it’s such a bizarre combination of genres and talents that it’ll either be a) utterly brilliant, b) a train wreck, or c) that show everyone refers to as ‘That E4 thing that wants to be Shaun of the Dead’.

Charlie Booker has insisted that it’s not a comedy, but that is Kevin Eldon in the BB house…

OTT Returns / 07.09.08

No, not that. We reported on this when it fucked off, so we may as well tell you now it’s fucked back on again - excellent TV site Off The Telly is back! Actually, it’s been back for a while, in various states of incompleteness - but things have now settled down over there, and it all looks nice and spangly. And hooray for comments, too.

Hooray also for the fact that at least one other person in the world appreciated Lab Rats

In a world where Don LaFontaine is no longer with us... / 02.09.08

Irreplacable. Seriously.

The man narrated over 5,000 trailers in 33 years. He earned…and deserved…his place in cinema history. What’s with all the early death lately?

ITV2 Invent Semi-Naked Drinking Game / 02.09.08

Series two of The Secret Diary of a Call Girl is being trailed right now, and with Billie Piper currently expecting her first offspring, fans of The X-Files's Gillian Anderson or Friends's Lisa Kudrow will instantly recognise the hide-the-belly 'fun' the production have been having.

So we can expect the usual baggy clothing and neck-up photography that is always so convincing – seriously, is anyone fooled by this technique any longer? – but Secret Diary being the 'shoes for her, nudity for him' type of telly that it is, we're once again promised a basic level of wriggly flesh...

...which means there's a fantastic game of Spot the Body Double up for grabs. Hurrah!

Take a look at the NSFW teaser trailer after the break:

Oooh, you cheeky monkey / 02.09.08

John Thomson in Corrie:

“The 39-year-old, who appeared briefly as Nigel Pearson in the second series and full-time in the third series of the Norfolk-based legal drama, is to play down-on-his-luck kids’ entertainer Jessie.”

Sorry, I just wanted to do the headline. Carry on.

Taboo / 01.09.08

At this year's Latitude festival, the surprise highlight of the comedy tent for me - outshining Bill Bailey and even just edging out a disappointingly brief Stewart Lee set - was Aussie singer/songwriter Tim Minchin. Apropos of nothing - well, rather, since it's shown up on Youtube for the first time courtesy of someone recording it at Edinburgh - here's the song with which he opened the set and immediately won over me (and, I think, much of the audience) : "Taboo". Audio-only, so they've stuck a picture of his FACE over it.

UP AND ATEM / 01.09.08

Now is about the time to get properly excited about Bethesda’s Fallout 3, as evidenced by these five excellent new gameplay videos.