Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Film Round-Up #25

Some say (notably my wife) that I have an unhealthy obsession with Heather Graham but that's not true at all, I just find her a naturally appealing actress. Sadly, it seems not too many of her films are particularly great, but I have been continuing to watch more of them in the hopes of finding a few hidden gems. Here is the latest selection, randomly chosen from her Wikipedia page (chuckle!)...

Committed (2000)

As we learn in the film's very first scene, Jo (Graham) is a committed person - a revelation she hits us with immediately prior to her white wedding. Flash forward a couple of years and she's doing pretty well. She has lots of friends, she runs a club, etc - only to find hubby has cleaned out his stuff and left her. Yes, you heard that right - a guy who was married to someone who looks exactly the same as Heather Graham... left her! ... *bewilderment* ... She would have to give me a judo-chop to the gentleman's region to get rid of me! Anyway, against most people's advice, Jo tracks down her errant spouse Carl (Luke Wilson) to try and win him back despite clear indications that he's not interested! ... *more bewilderment* ... She gets a bit of help along the way from her brother (Casey Affleck) and a few other interesting characters she meets, including Carl's new girlfriend (Patricia Velásquez), and thanks to this great cast, Committed is actually pretty enjoyable, perhaps aside from some questionable decisions made by Heather's character. She's still as appealing as ever though, and this is one of her better non-big-name films... 7/10

Friday, 22 February 2019

Isometric Games #4

Batman (1986)
By: Jon Ritman & Bernie Drummond / Ocean Genre: Arcade Adventure Players: 1
Difficulty: Medium Featured Version: ZX Spectrum First Day Score: 824
Also Available For: Amstrad CPC, Amstrad PCW, MSX

Pretty much ever since I first got (or was given - thanks mum and dad!) a Spectrum, one of my top five favourite games for it has been Head Over Heels. Not only was it a wonderful adventure in its own right but it also made me a fan of isometric games generally, so it's strange that it has taken me such an extraordinary amount of time to get around to playing this example. I've never really been a fan of the Caped Crusader in general but this, possibly the first Speccy title to bear his name, is one that has long been considered the spiritual predecessor of Head Over Heels. Both were products of the same ace two-man team of Jon Ritman (programming) and Bernie Drummond (graphics), so it's not too much of a surprise that they have a lot in common, and there are similarities in both the visuals and game design as well.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

First Look TV Show #3

Wreck Trek (2013)

Not more than a few days past was I watching something-or-other via my Amazon Fire Stick thingy when I saw Wreck Trek in the 'you may also like' section afterwards. I am usually cautious of the unknown but its premise was fairly enticing so I thought I would give it a go. It features a bunch of people - six as I recall - who have been charged with finding the three cheapest cars they can in Berlin (the 'wrecks' of the title), getting them into a roadworthy state, then pairing up and driving them from Berlin all the way down to South Africa. A not-inconsiderable distance I'm sure you'll agree! This sounded like it might be rather splendid - kind of like one of the Top Gear/Grand Tour 'specials' where they drive their own themed cheapo cars across vast stretches of the world (though not nearly as far as proposed here) while engaging in all manner of tomfooleries and showcasing the country/culture they are in too.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Retro News - Free Dreamcast Book!

I don't write about the Dreamcast here nearly as much as I should. It's mainly a time issue - its games will generally take much longer to play and write reviews for - but it's still a bit of a travesty considering how splendid the system is, and how important it is to me too. I do try to keep up with news from within the lively DC community though, and recently I heard a splendid example.

As you may have already noticed by the interceding picture here, the DC community hasn't just been burbling on about their favourite console and its many fine games. They have gone to the effort of making an entire book listing them all, and the best part is - it's completely free to download and keep! This will be of particular interest to hardcore DC fans too, as it's an amazingly comprehensive tome. Every single game ever released for the console is contained within including indie titles released after the console's supposed demise, and all entries have an overview of the game as well as detailed release info including any regional variants or alternate names, etc.