September 30, 2011

Mortal Kombat: Rebirth - Full Movie in the Works!

You probably remember that awesome Mortal Kombat: Rebirth live-action promo trailer with Michael Jai White, which was directed by Kevin Tancharoen and revealed in June 2010. Now guess what: a full movie is coming!

Mortal Kombat fans rejoice: The Film School Rejects report that Kevin Tancharoen gets to direct his vision of the gory cult video game series. And while we still got no word on when the project will start filming, or whether Jai White or Jeri Ryan will be reprising their characters from the trailer, consider me hyped and excited to the max!

For you who have missed the trailer last year, here it is – and it's so much more appealing than the many B-movies the franchise has received so far.

Mortal Kombat: Rebirth – Promo Trailer

September 27, 2011

Showtime Launches Dexter's Kill Room

Right on time for the season 6 premiere of Dexter, Showtime has launched Dexter's Kill Room, an interactive site with audio and video clips of Dexter's kills so far and even some mental notes from our favorite serial killer.

I only want to add: Arthur Mitchell still gives me the creeps.

September 25, 2011

First Look at the New TV Show Seasons - Part 2

As before, I'm currently watching the new TV show season premieres and wanted to state my opinions. Part one featured House and Dexter already, and I continue right away with episode 7.01 of Supernatural and episode 4.01 of Fringe.

Supernatural was great for five seasons, but they had to go on with it. So we've already reached the seventh season now and come to "Meet the New Boss," but hey, look who's back in Sam's nightmarish hallucinations – good old Lucifer! You can't have enough Mark Pellegrino on the screen, so that was a welcome sight, even though they spoiled his surprising appearance during the opening credits.

Not quite as welcome was the whole story we have to put up with right now. Since they obviously couldn't top the season 5 finale with something else but turning Castiel into the new God last season, we have Castiel running around and collecting votes for his kindness. The new god is, however, crumbling from the inside already, and the next big bad is only around the corner. A hint: Leviathan.

Unfortunately, Supernatural has become more and more repetitive with the years and doesn't even refrain from painful scenes like most of Cas' Bible-speech monologues or that silly stained glass Jesus image anymore. We got some nostalgic impact with Dean fixing the beloved Impala once again, and some more visuals of haunted Sam and his struggles, but otherwise, the season opener tried to do too much and ended up rather bleak instead.


Fringe had a great season 3 finale, in which one of the main characters surprisingly disappeared – completely from time and all that has happened. Well, was it really like that? At least Peter will be gone for a few more episodes, but he's already popping up occasionally, scaring the shit out of Walter, who calls him "the man in the mirror."

Once again, John Noble delivers the finest performances, but "Neither Here Nor There" was really Seth Gabel's episode. Gabel was promoted to series regular for season 4 and his character Lincoln Lee finally joins the Fringe Division in "our" universe. I just wish they wouldn't have the observers explain everything to themselves (and the audience), and it's certainly surprising how often they went for yet another allusion to Peter's disappearance in these many dialogue lines.

The premiere was quite a low-key episode, introducing Lincoln to the Fringe team and setting up much of what's to come, but it could have been a tick more exciting. At least there's still one thing that will never change: Fauxlivia is still the hotter one!

Tomorrow I'll take my time for the show premiere of Person of Interest, so stay tuned for part three of my little season openers recap.

First Look at the New TV Show Seasons - Part 1

TV fans rejoice – the new seasons of our beloved TV shows have arrived, and I want to state my opinions on the first new episodes of my personal favorite shows. Part one goes right here with episode 8.01 of House and episode 6.01 of Dexter!

The leaked and not-final season 8 premiere of House sees House in prison after he crashed into Cuddy's house in the terrible season 7 finale. "Twenty Vicodin," the new episode, was alright and reminiscent of season 7's opener "Broken," but suffered from some aspects like the unrealistic premise – could House really wander around areas like the clinic as he does? And could they spell out House's problems more in-your-face, as if they thought we'd never watched House before? After seven seasons? Well.

Odette Annable is an awesomely pretty girl and I'd love to see more from her in the future, but she didn't really fit into the prison clinic atmosphere. Who in their right minds would leave her alone with a prisoner at any time? Still, "Twenty Vicodin" was more fun than most of the previous season, even if the medical case turned out to be rather uninspired and boring.

The episode was no way to tell how the new season will evolve, however, since we still have to see our guys at Princeton-Plainsboro for the first time after the three or four months that have passed.


A whole year has passed on Dexter, and times have changed. Maria is now captain of the Miami Metro police department, Masuka teaches a forensics class, Quinn is even more hilarious, and Dexter suddenly wonders about religion and what he should think about it. We got some first glimpses of the new baddies, played by Edward James Olmos and Colin Hanks, but overall, "Those Kinds of Things" was a rather low-key launch into a new season.

I liked the episode, even though it featured an all too cheesy and out-of-place high-school reunion scene, complete with Dexter going for some Hammer Time. This season's religious themery was introduced with the help of some snakes, below-par CGI effects and some rather mocking dialogue. Then there was an oral sex scene, reminiscent of Dexter's first experiences with Rita, which again made little sense and only helped to get this episode's victim to its desired destination.

The excitement and thrill of the first few Dexter seasons, which was sort of missing last year, has not yet arrived in season 8, but I'm looking forward to the next episodes and how Dex will get involved with the creepy new bad guys.

Up next are the season premieres of Fringe and Supernatural, with the new series Person of Interest slated to complete my first fall 2011 TV show roundup.

September 24, 2011

IAmTheRain & Rival Turf: Updates on Upcoming Releases

Right on time for the new releases, the official IAmTheRain homepage has gone online. You can find it here from now on.

It's a good time for IAmTheRain fans anyway, since mastermind David G. Händel is eager to deliver one teaser after another. The brand-new promotional video for "Project Peaceforce" from the upcoming album "Disastre Digital" features a similarly spacey and environmental theme like the earlier released video for "What Does It Mean?" and presents our planet as a wobbling, organic entity on the verge of destruction.

With its beautiful melody and slow pace, "Project Peaceforce" is certainly one of the rarer quiet titles on the album. The version below is the instrumental one, though, and not the final album version. But feel free to check it out below:

IAmTheRain – "Project Peaceforce"


David's band Rival Turf, which also consists of former PsY drummer Dave Z. and bassist Toji in its current regular line-up, is also busy mastering the final tracks for the debut album, which finally has a name and a tracklist!

The album, called "Annihilism," will feature a total of 12 songs, including the previously released songs "Ghost" and "Fierce Lament" in re-recorded versions. Vocal parts will be split between David and Ryo Onuki, a close friend of the band.

Below you'll find a tentative release date for the album as well as the final tracklist. I can't wait to listen to this baby!

Rival Turf
"Annihilism"
(22.10.2011)

  • Luchador
  • Gift
  • Physalis
  • Hide Away
  • Dismember
  • Ghost
  • Fierce Lament
  • Gorden's Theme
  • Valley Of Ruin
  • Mucho Mucho Mina
  • Laura

September 23, 2011

Lovely Voice Lana Del Rey on the Rise

People all around the world (including me) are slowly finding out about Lana Del Rey, a gorgeous and very talented singer on the rise, who doesn't even have her own Wikipedia entry so far.

The Brooklyn-based singer, whose sweet but less remarkable real name is Lizzy Grant, already collected some positive reviews with the songs she uploaded on YouTube this year. Starting from October 7, her official debut and double A-side single "Video Games/Blue Jeans" will see its worldwide release, and you can check out the two very beautiful songs below:

Lana Del Rey – "Video Games"

Lana Del Rey – "Blue Jeans"

Her official website doesn't offer much information so far, but that may change over the course of the next weeks, when she'll hopefully storm the charts with her lovely voice.

September 22, 2011

7 Years Ago, Oceanic 815 Crashed on the Island

Today, only seven years ago the Lost pilot aired, and that makes me instantly sad and nostalgic.

A wonderful, exciting, engaging, intense storyline with brilliant actors and a vast mythology that raised many, many questions, some of which were never answered, and all that made Lost special to me like Walt to the Island. I have never loved and devoured a series that much since The X Files.

But enough with the sadness, on with the goodness – check out this fine anniversary tribute video, which I just had to share:

Lost – Anniversary Tribute by theislandstation

via FuckYeahLost!

the GazettE Release Some Pretty Toxic Samples

It's a slow news week, so just let me share the new samples for the GazettE's new album "Toxic" with you. The band's fifth studio album will be released on October 5, and the five guys still belong to the strongest exports of current J-rock.

I wasn't too fond of their most recent singles, but I like what I hear in the samples. So this should be another good album and another flicker of hope for rock music from Japan, which seems stuck with oh so many awful copycat bands right now.

You may shake your head in disbelief during the first seconds of "Venomous Spider's Web," which sounds just like Girugamesh sounded, when they chose to leave all their style behind for shitty mainstream junk pop rock. "Psychopath" sounds like the legitimate successor of the band's heavy metal shot "Ogre," and "Ruthless Deed" could have also been a song from Dir en grey's latest record "Dum Spiro Spero." But feel free to listen to the new 44-second samples without my comments:

the GazettE
"Toxic"
Album (05.10.2011)

Dunno about you, but I'm looking forward. Meanwhile, check out the just published full version of "The Suicide Circus":

the GazettE – "The Suicide Circus"

September 20, 2011

Über-Ich: "Mozaïque" Released Today!

Über-Ich, the side project of singer and songwriter Donata, just released the debut EP "Mozaïque" – two weeks earlier than expected and free for download. Well, ain't that nice!

The EP was mastered in New York by Sterling Sound's Chris Gehringer, who has also worked with Radiohead, Rihanna and others, and you can now grab it over at Bandcamp. Other than that, you will find some new information and more about Über-Ich on their beautiful and new official homepage.

Über-Ich
"Mozaïque"
EP (20.09.2011)

September 18, 2011

IAmTheRain Surprise: Single & Album Release Imminent!

I had almost given up hope myself, but lo and behold: IAmTheRain mastermind David Händel managed to complete his often-announced and re-scheduled releases of a promised new single and a whole new album at last!

While being busy also recording the debut album of his band Rival Turf, Händel finally finished all the songs on the already known tracklist of the album "Disastre Digital", which will be released on November 11. One month earlier, October 10 will see the release of the single "BetterThanLife," which also features a song not included on the album and other versions of the title track.

IAmTheRain
"BetterThanLife"
Single (10.10.2011)

  • BetterThanLife
  • Friday Night
  • BetterThanLife (Glitch Mix)
  • BetterThanLife (Instrumental)

The upcoming album received no changes in tracklist, but a whole new cover at least. Previously released songs on the album that appear as new and re-recorded versions include "Frozen", "Disaster" and "Planetary Re-entry" from the "666" bootleg singles, as well as a shorter cut of "What Does It Mean?", which was featured in its 33-minute entirety on the EP "Nimensei".

IAmTheRain
"Disastre Digital"
Album (11.11.2011)

  • Frozen (Disastre Digital Ver.)
  • BetterThanLife
  • What Does It Mean?
  • Gauge
  • Project Peaceforce
  • Planetary Re-entry (Disastre Digital Ver.)
  • InFuture
  • Unknown Sympathy
  • Wunderwelt
  • Disaster (Disastre Digital Ver.)
  • The Remembrance

And here is a probably not final version of "InFuture":

IAmTheRain – "InFuture"

Old Town Mysteries: Balloon Sunday

Ah, much-needed relaxation. Spent the whole Sunday in town for the good cause, filling balloons with helium for the kids who love that shit.

My right wrist is testing its limits right now after performing the same action for twelve hours, but it still was a fun day. And a good one for our company's non-profit children's organisation. I already miss the rest of my weekend, though.

Check out a few pics from today's event in Düsseldorf called Hohe-Straße-Fest:

(click!)

Photos taken by D!

September 16, 2011

Indie Games You Have to Play: Limbo

Limbo is one of the most impressive games I've played this year, even if it's already available since July 2010. I've been delaying this post for too long, but I only got around to play it myself a few days ago.

The puzzle-platformer from Danish developers Playdead have created a very intense game about a boy searching for his sister's fate in a grainy monochrome world that is Limbo. The game features some awesome visuals and moody locations, all kept in a silent and blurry black-and-white. The controls are pretty straight-forward, but the gameplay still comes with challenging puzzles a lot of sudden deaths, especially when you're playing Limbo for the first time.

The game's story keeps you guessing what's happening and where you are going, but you will certainly keep going anyway. This one's a real gem and I suggest you grab it yourself for about ten dollars over at Steam. It's absolutely worth the few bucks! But see for yourself:

Limbo – Official Trailer

September 15, 2011

V-Rock Disney Compilation Makes Me Want to Barf

You probably went "What the fuck!" at the whole concept of this CD already – visual kei bands covering classic Disney songs. But hey, what could go wrong? A lot!

Well, but not everything. A few rare exceptions are actually alright on this album, like the instrumental opener from Nightmare, which is way more interesting in itself than any recent Nightmare single, and their Aladdin cover ("Friend Like Me") shines in comparison to most of the compilation. (Well, that's not really difficult.)

Ryuuichi Kawamura (yeah, the Luna Sea Ryuuichi) has a beautiful voice and makes every song sound like a Luna Sea performance, his "Beauty and the Beast" being no exception. I almost didn't recognize the song and it's certainly the hidden gem among those eleven tracks. All my other hopes were already drowned when the fitting but boring Plastic Tree "Chim Chim Cher-ee" cover almost put me to sleep. But hey, after that the real horror begins.

There are songs on this CD that are more terrifying than a neighborhood massacre. The Kiddie should be stoned, tortured and then tarred and feathered for their cover of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," which is exactly as awful as you'd guess just from the title, even if you didn't know that this was a song from Mary Poppins once. Even worse: Cascade's suicide-inducing rendition of the dwarves' theme "Heigh-Ho" from Snow White. If you manage to endure more than 15 seconds of this utter crap without developing explosive diarrhea, I really can't understand you. It's probably the worst song I've ever heard and I want to forget about it, but it just doesn't work. I wish I had never listened to this album. Oh God, I wish I will forget that song someday...

The other songs on this album seem like they recorded them for shits and giggles only. Aoi once released some cool songs with Ayabie, but now felt the need to cover Elton John's classic "Can You Feel the Love Tonight." It's as much sugar and shit as you can only imagine. A disgrace to this song. If I was Elton John, I probably would have sued Aoi by now. For a lot of money. For ruining this song that much. Ack!

Sadie do their best to sound like usually do – like damned Dir en grey clones. They even sound like the heavy Dir en grey now, no matter if it fits to the song they're covering or not. And those other bands I don't even know or feel the need to comment on...just don't buy this album.

Various Artists
"V-Rock Disney"
Album (14.09.2011)

  • Nightmare - "Fantasia"  [Fantasia]
  • Nightmare - "Friend Like Me"  [Aladdin]
  • Ryuuichi Kawamura - "Beauty and the Beast"  [Beauty and the Beast]
  • Penicillin - "Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride"  [Lilo & Stitch]
  • Plastic Tree - "Chim Chim Cher-ee"  [Mary Poppins]
  • Sadie - "This is Halloween"  [Nightmare Before Christmas]
  • Aoi - "Can You Feel the Love Tonight"  [The Lion King]
  • The Kiddie - "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"  [Mary Poppins]
  • Ninjaman Japan - "When You Wish Upon a Star"  [Pinocchio]
  • Cascade - "Heigh-Ho"  [Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs]
  • Dasein - "You'll Be in My Heart"  [Tarzan]

September 14, 2011

New Max Payne 3 Trailer is Freaking Awful

Rockstar has revealed the official trailer and website for Max Payne 3 and it's one of the worst trailers for a video game I've seen so far, especially one of the worst Rockstar trailers ever.

In fact, the trailer for Max Payne 3 features some fine examples of all the things that are wrong in the video game industry right now. Let me tell you why:

  • First of all, the whole thing looks like GTA: Kane & Lynch. I get that Rockstar are famous for their epic GTA series, but this shouldn't mean that every game they make now should have to look like a slightly more beautiful version of their previous game. Red Dead Redemption already proved that: it was cool and beautiful, but ultimately way less exciting than any GTA game before. Max Payne 3 doesn't look like a passion project – it's a cash cow for Rockstar, nothing more.
  • The action sequences. Don't get me started. Does every game nowadays have to include the same boring action sequences?! I mean, what the fuck? Come up with something innovative for once, please! I don't want to sneak from one covered position to the next to fend off my foes. I did that in Max Payne and Max Payne 2 already! Same with the bullet time sequences (see below). Is that really what made the first two games so great? No, I guess it isn't. It was the dramatic story, the interesting locations, the surprises, the exciting gameplay. Why do I have to play a crossover between Kane & Lynch and Modern Warfare 2 now? Why should do I have to play the same game over and over again nowadays?
  • Now, the first thing that really got to me in that trailer probably was the fact that they try really hard to tell you that it's FUCKING AWESOME ROCKSTAR who's now doing the new Max Payne game. In the one and a half minutes of the trailer, they have to tell you twice that it's fucking awesome Rockstar who's now responsible for the new episode. And I don't care about the differences between Rockstar Games and Rockstar Studios, it just feels like...hey, look! It's fucking awesome Rockstar who's doing the new Max Payne game!
  • Are you a fan of Breaking Bad? That series, you know, with Malcolm's dad turning drug lord and drama overall? If you are, great! Max Payne 3 will probably hype you even more! Why? Because Max Payne isn't the soft-looking sad guy from the first games anymore, and he's also no Mark Wahlberg clone. No, in fact, he goes bald for his new mission and hey – he looks just like Walt from Breaking Bad now. I don't really believe that the game's story will require him to shave his head, but if Rockstar can include some inspiration, why not from one of the most hyped TV shows right now?
  • Oh, yes. The trailer features bullet time sequences. You know, bullet time? That slow-mo thing made popular by The Matrix in 1999 once? Or by Max Payne in 2002? Yeah. I guess, Max Payne 3 wouldn't be a great Max Payne game without the freaking bullet time. Which the first game was hyped for. Almost ten years ago.

Max Payne 3 – Official Trailer

via Nerdcore

Nosoyo: Official Website & Mercedes Mixtape!

Only a few days ago I told you about the upcoming EP "Mozaïque" by Über-Ich, a jazz-pop project by German singer Donata, and now there's already some fresh news about her main band Nosoyo.

The Amsterdam-based sextet, also including guitarist Wessel van der Kroef, bassist David Stapel, drummer Joost Le Feber, keyboarder Lyckle de Jong, and Jasja Offermans on percussion and backup vocals, just launched their official website and is featured with a song on the new mixtape "Vision Pearl" by Mercedes-Benz, among "14 sea-and-sun infused tracks by newcomer artists from around the world."

That's awesome, especially since they chose the super-smooth "Close To Me" for the mixtape, still one of my favorite songs by Donata and band (see below). I could listen to it the whole day, and you should enjoy it at least once.

Be sure to check out the beautiful new Nosoyo website created by Marc Kloubert over at nosoyo.net and grab the fine and free Mercedes-Benz mixtape via mb! Mixed Tape!

September 13, 2011

Syndicate Revival Just Another Deus Ex?

Images © Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts finally confirmed the new project Deus Ex: Syndicate...oh, no wait a second...it's just Syndicate. Actually, it's the reboot of the classic tactical cyberpunk-future action series developed by Bullfrog (and Peter Molyneux) in 1993.

And surprise, surprise: it's going to be yet another ego shooter with the look of Deus Ex: Human Revolution set in a generic dystopian future world and all the other stuff you've seen in about 523 other futuristic ego shooters by now. Here's the story, taken from the press release:

Set in 2069, Syndicate takes players into a dark, Machiavellian world run without government oversight with many syndicates vying for total dominance of their local market place. With no one to question their intentions or actions, three mega corporations – Eurocorp, Cayman Global, and Aspari – are at the forefront of this brutal war for control of the pivotal American market. In the world of Syndicate, everything is digitally connected, including the people. Players aren't limited to the weapons in their hands. Through DART 6 bio-chip technology implanted in their head, players can slow down time and breach the digital world around them to take down their foes using a variety of upgradable hacking mechanics. Syndicate's blend of fast-paced, futuristic, action shooter settings and story combined with innovative chip breach gameplay instantly immerses players in a unique digital world.

A little hope remains in the fact that the game will be developed by Starbreeze, who scored some fame with the Chronicles of Riddick games and The Darkness. But please have a look at the original game below and tell me: did they really have to turn it into 3D action blam blam?

Syndicate – Gameplay (1993)

I'd say no.

September 12, 2011

Two and a Half Men: The New Opening

Now that the new, Charlie Sheen-less and ninth season of Two and a Half Men has almost arrived and a short but fun promo clip didn't look so bad, it was time to reveal the new opening, I guess.

It's strange to see Jake to the left and the new vocals feel a bit odd. But fans will get accustomed to it quickly. I believe the ratings will stay high, at least for the premiere, because even the haters will probably tune in for one scene to see Ashton Kutcher if not only to bash him, but further down the season...well, we'll see.

I admit I'm almost more excited to see how The Roast of Charlie Sheen will turn out, but for now, see for yourself how the new Two and a Half Men opening turned out:

Two and a Half Men – Season 9 Opening

Person of Interest Could Look More Interesting

Person of Interest is a new show based on a screenplay by Lost and Alias creator J. J. Abrams (and Jonathan Nolan, but fewer people care about Jonathan Nolan, even if he was responsible for the story of Memento and the scripts for The Prestige and The Dark Knight). It is slated to debut on CBS on September 22.

What's the interesting thing about the series? Well, first of all, Lost villain Ben Linus Michael Emerson stars as one of the two leading characters in his first big thing since the Island, the other one being played by Jim "Jesus" Caviezel. And here's what Wikipedia tells us about the story:

Mr. Finch (Emerson), a mysterious billionaire, has developed a computer program that predicts the identity of people connected to violent crimes that will take place in the future. However, the program has its limitations: for example, it cannot predict whether the person will be a victim, perpetrator, or witness, nor can it predict when or where the crime will take place. Unable to stop the crimes on his own, Finch hires John Reese (Caviezel), a former CIA agent who is presumed dead, to help stop the crimes from taking place.

I'm not sold on the plot and look of the series yet. Feels like a mix between Minority Report and Lost off the Island so far, but that's probably because of Michael Emerson. Check out the new teaser trailer (which seems to spoil the whole pilot episode) for yourself:

Person of Interest – CBS Fall 2011 Preview

September 11, 2011

We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful

...Now, do we really? I don't. That's why I can tell you that a few of my musically more gifted friends like Donata and her band Über-Ich as well as the dudes from Rival Turf have been pretty busy recently.

First of all, as I reported earlier, Über-Ich will release their much-anticipated debut EP "Mozaïque" after the release party on September 30. Thanks to Donata herself and Marc I already got my hands on a promo CD and let me say only so much: it's a sweet EP, full of great little melodies and quirky moments – and you will probably love the edgy groove of "Feeding Time" or the dreamy mosaics of "Easy" as much as I do!

Über-Ich
"Mozaïque"
EP (30.09.2011)

  • Page 24
  • Uniform Child
  • Dragging Behind
  • Feeding Time
  • Easy
  • Fuss

Über-Ich Official Homepage
Über-Ich Official Facebook Page

Über-Ich – "Uniform Child"


Rival Turf are also in the midst of the final recordings for their debut album, which has been announced and delayed countless times while the band changed numerous vocalists and bassists. We may be lucky this time, though, as the band has declared that the majority of the album tracks are entering the final mastering stage now.

Apparently, IAmTheRain mastermind and the band's lead guitarist David Händel has been chosen to handle most of the vocal work for the record, and the still untitled album will also be co-produced by FF.Gen, head of deathcore band Corpus Massackros Orkestos, which was incidentally one of Händel's first bands.

Rival Turf have recorded about 18 tracks by now, twelve of which are supposed to appear on the album's tracklist. Whenever there will be a tracklist or release date in sight soon, I'll keep you updated here.

Rival Turf
Untitled Debut Album
(Fall/Winter 2011)

Features at least 10 songs including the final versions of "Ghost", "Dismember", "Physalis", "Fierce Lament", "Foretold Sand", "Gift" and "Mucho Mucho Mina". An exclusive promo download single will be available prior to the album release.

Rival Turf Official Facebook Page

Rival Turf – "Ghost"

The End of This Summer's Last Weekend

Seems like fall has arrived. And I'm not happy with this year's summer at all. Damn you, weird climate!

頑張って、来年の夏!
(Ganbatte, rainen no natsu!)

Skyrim Looks Like the Greatest RPG Ever

Image © Bethesda Softworks LLC

QuakeCon 2011 has been a little while, but I totally didn't hear about the great footage of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim that was shown there. Dave was kind enough to show me what I missed, and I'm overwhelmed – Skyrim might very well be the greatest RPG ever.

Just look at how the crowd reacts to the awesome gameplay scenes below – and look at those stunning visuals! Skyrim will easily surpass its prequels Morrowind and Oblivion, no doubt about it. I certainly want to play Skyrim right now, and I hope I won't have to update my whole hardware when the game has been released.

But please yourself; all the good and promising footage starts on 2:30 minutes:

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – QuakeCon Gameplay Footage

First Single for Gackt's Yellow Fried Chickenz

Gackt has launched his new band Yellow Fried Chickenz at last, which is more and more becoming a hot topic among fans, who either love his new project or loathe it absolutely.

Most of the controversy surrounding the seven-man lineup stems from Gackt's decision to add a second vocalist next to himself on the mic. The lucky guy who is now enjoying both new love and bundled hatred from the Gackt fanbase is Jon Underdown, singer of the band Fade.

While European fans who attended the recent YFC live shows were a little bit shocked to see a new guy next to their favorite vocalist on stage, they were probably also delighted to see Luna Sea's legendary Shinya on drums. He's one of the other five guys in the band, with the rest being Gackt's best friends and guitar buddies You and Chachamaru, Jon's bandmate U:Zo on bass, and guitar guy #3, Takumi, who has apparently worked with Miyavi and Sugizo before.

That's quite a quirky lineup right there, if you ask me. The band's first single, "The End Of The Day" will be released on September 14, and as you can see below, the title song is one of Gackt's more regular, poppy compositions.

Yellow Fried Chickenz – "The End Of The Day"

You can keep an eye on their Facebook page for regular updates, if you're interested. While I personally neither love nor hate the pretty random new song, it just undermines my opinion that this project means no more than a little fun off the road for Gackt, and it probably won't keep going for long. Who knows what the upcoming album will bring.

September 9, 2011

Sam Nickel Touches 1.000 Women's Boobs

Russian comedian Sam Nickel, according to the following clip's description, decided "to power up his hands by feeling 1.000 sets of breasts before he shakes hands with Vladimir Putin so he can pass on that energy to him."

Or to get his name famous around the web, I guess. Either way, he succeeded, and I may even be a bit envious:

Sam Nickel Touches 1.000 Women's Boobs

Wouldn't you be? Ah Russia, you still have the coolest girls.

September 3, 2011

Anime Cult Classic Kite Gets Hollywood Remake

Sankaku Complex cites this article and reports that Snakes on a Plane and The Final Destination director David R. Ellis is slated to do a remake of the cult classic and controversial 1998 anime Kite by Yasuomi Umetsu next year.

Kite was one of many cool animes I watched late at night during my youth and it's a name notorious for its ultra-violent scenes, being banned not only for child pornography in several countries.

Well, I guess we can add another name to the many beloved anime all-star franchises being remade in Hollywood right now (don't forget Akira) – a trend that makes me go barf! whenever I read about it.

Kite – Anime Trailer (1998)

Bunraku Starring Gackt: Almost There!

After working on his ambitious project Bunraku for almost five years, indie director Guy Moshe finally managed to complete the movie at last: Bunraku will hit cinemas on September 30.

The movie has attracted some curious eyes due to the involvement of Japanese singer and musician Gackt, who impressed Moshe with his performance as the samurai Uesugi Kenshin in the NHK drama series Fuurin Kazan. Gackt plays a samurai here as well, though one not quite as epic. Let me quote Wikipedia again for the story:

In a hyper-saturated, hyper-driven dystopia, guns are banned and the sword is king. Nicola the Woodcutter is the most powerful man east of the Atlantic, a shadowy crime boss who rules with an iron fist and nine assassins, plus the deadly Red Gang. His right hand man is Killer #2, a cold-hearted, smooth-talking murderer with a red hat and a deadly blade. Along with his killers is Nicola's love, Alexandra, a femme fatale with a secret past. The citizens live in fear of this gang and wait for the hero who can overthrow them.

One night, a mysterious drifter enters the Headless Horseman Saloon and talks to the bartender. He wants two things: a shot of whisky and to kill Nicola. Soon, another stranger enters, a samurai named Yoshi. Yoshi wants to avenge his father by recovering a talisman that Nicola stole from his clan. Armed with crossed destinies and incredible fighting skills and guided by the bartender's wisdom, the two eventually join forces to bring down the corrupt reign of Nicola, breaking bones and cracking heads in search of the Woodcutter.

Check out the sweet trailer:

Bunraku – Official Trailer

I hope this one will turn out somewhat interesting, but the trailer makes me want to see more. Oh, and if you don't like Gackt: he also gets his nose punched in one scene.

September 2, 2011

Lenore: The Cute Little Dead Girl

You may know that I'm pretty much in love with all those freakin' weird webcomics by David Firth, like Salad Fingers or Spoilsbury Toast Boy, but now I stumbled upon this series by American illustrator and magician Roman Dirge.

Lenore: The Cute Little Dead Girl is loosely based on a poem by Edgar Allan Poe about the eponymous girl. Dirge managed to create an entertaining comic, both quirky and scary, beautifully illustrated, and with some great background music and ambience. For the story, let's see what Wikipedia has to say:

The comic tells of the unlife and adventures of the titular character and her similarly odd (if not odder) friends. The story takes place in a small town called Nevermore (taking its name from another of Poe's work: The Raven) and the surrounding wilderness where Lenore's mansion and a nearby graveyard is situated.

The primary focus of the graphic novel is dark humor, with many of the stories having twist endings. Common themes are the reinvention of children's songs, games, and nursery rhymes to something more macabre, and subverting all sorts of pop culture icons and cultural figures in to topics of dark comedy. In one story, for instance, Lenore accidentally kills the Easter Bunny.

And here's episode 1 to give you a taste of the grim fun:

Lenore: The Cute Little Dead Girl #1 – "The New Toy"

To watch all of the 26 episodes, just click here and enjoy.

September 1, 2011

Smashing Pumpkins: Record Club & Free Demos

The Smashing Pumpkins' official homepage was updated with a new splash page today, designed by L.A. creative heads The Uprising Creative:

We’re stoked to be working with Topspin and Smashing Pumpkins on both the new smashingpumpkins.com and the new Smashing Pumpkins Record Club (SPRC). SPRC is going to be amazing, with Billy releasing previously unreleased demos, videos, photos, and other content periodically for members-only.

If you subscribe to the free SP Record Club, you'll receive a mail with a link leading to a 8-track demo of "Drown," probably the first of many early and later demos, records and remasterings to be released over the next few years, I guess. Another download is hidden beneath the left-most speaker on the background image. Click it to grab the instrumental demos of "Suicide Kiss" and "Geek U.S.A."