quickpickle

Johnny Dangerously – Michael Keaton With An Adverb!

Johnny_Dangerously_movie_poster

 

Oscar season is upon us and it is a fantastic time to be a film fan. The other day I was sat with some friends discussing the nominated actors/pictures etc. when I brought up a little known gem tied to Michael Keaton. People sat, confused faces twisting when I mentioned it. Johnny Dangerously, the 1984 gangster parody film that almost kick started Michael Keaton’s career as a film actor. When I found out that no one I knew had seemed to even hear of this film my heart sank, It’s sad that when people think of Keaton they only think of Beatlejuice and Batman (And now Birdman) but never bring up this little beauty. So here I am giving it a little bit of attention and affection.

Johnny Dangerously Is a tale about a young immigrant trying to make money for his family and ends up joining a local gang. However this film is so much more than just a simple tale of rags to riches, the comedy in this film is not only incredibly funny but timed and executed perfectly by the like of Michael Keaton. It’s use of breaking the fourth wall is reminiscent of films like Blazing Saddles or Airplane. The characters are memorable and there are some rather good performances from the likes of Danny Devito, who makes a small appearance. With jokes ranging from sight gags, to slap stick to satire this film epitomises what parodying really is, and shows us just how dead it has become.

Filled with quotes and one liners, especially from Johnny’s rival Danny Vermin, this film will have you beside yourself laughing. Even over 30 years since its release the comedy and jokes are still easily accessible and funny due to the nature of the film. Honestly I can’t really say enough about this film without spoiling it but all I would say is that you haven’t seen it then go out and grab yourself a copy. It’s sad that such a funny and well put together film doesn’t ever seem to get the credit it deserves and with Keaton getting nominated for an Oscar it couldn’t be a better time to see where he started his career.

 

-Grand Pickle

88. Magnum, "It shoots through schools."

88. Magnum, “It shoots through schools.”

 

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Danger Mouse Reboot: “OH CRUMBS DM!”

Does he have to be?

Does he have to be?

Although not born in the time of airing of Danger Mouse I was exposed to it as a child and have always had a strange fascination and love for the characters and series as a whole. Now I’ve never been one to get too sentimental when companies reboot old franchises, I have learned to accept that no one involved with the handling of media can ever have a new idea (I’m pretty sure it’s a prerequisite for the job) and that by “rebooting” old shows and cashing in on people’s nostalgia they feel better about their own existence and convince themselves that they aren’t heartless bastards shredding every last inch of other peoples childhood memories. Okay I lied maybe it does bother me a bit. What’s worse is when they pretend that they’re doing it for “the kids”. “Oh we just think that since we enjoyed this so much as children it would be unfair not to let this generation experience it too.” If you really cared that fucking much then maybe you’d put some goddamn effort in for once and, Oh I don’t know, come up with an original show for them! Also if that is why companies reboot things then why not just show re-runs of the original show? Oh because it seem dated and “kids” might not be able to relate to it, well gosh how rude of the original not to keep up with modern fads, I mean it’s not like it was written for a completely different generation of people or something. Sorry I need to take a minute.

You can guess my shock and horror when I then found out that Danger Mouse, yes the 80’s cartoon series was getting a reboot. My heart sank faster than the Costa Concordia. I started to look a little bit into the plans they had and yes some of the voice actors do look promising and I am happy that they are attempting to diversify the cast with more female characters but a turd covered in glitter still stinks of shit, it just shines a little better under a lamp. Even the news the Stephan Fry was to join the cast couldn’t make me any happier about the project. I mean let’s be honest Danger Mouse isn’t exactly a unique concept, A mouse that’s a spy and goes on adventures, They could have just easily come up with new characters and scenarios based on a similar ideas but then they may have actually had to done some work or you know maybe hired a writer and they aren’t about to let that happen! Also name me one child out there that is excited for this to be a thing? Were there petitions and riots because children just couldn’t take not having a modern Danger Mouse? No! Because none of the little fuckers even know who he is and probably don’t give a shit either. It would be like your mother pulling out an old dusty suit that your grandfather used to wear before he died, brushing it off and making you wear it for the sole reason because your grandad liked to wear it, Yeah grandad also liked to live in houses with lead based paint and asbestos in the ceiling but I don’t see you bringing back either of those any time soon!

I guess it just saddens me that the only gem in the crown of British cartoons has now been cut down and flogged for spare change.

 

-Grand Pickle

 

What show(s) do you hope they never make a reboot/remake for? Or on the flipside are there any shows that you really wish they would make more of? Let me know in the comments and be sure to subscribe for more articles.

If they change any catchphrases I am going to choke a bitch.

If they change any catchphrases I am going to choke a bitch.

Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth – My thoughts.

Hello there! I wholeheartedly apologise for such a lack of content recently and I’m not going to bore you with excuses but I will say that this isn’t so much of a review rather than my thoughts and experiences with the game so let’s just get on with it.

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If you own a computer or are in to strategy games and haven’t heard of the behemoth that is Sid Meier then where the fuck have you been? The strategy game giants have graced us with another instalment to their Civilization series this time however there is a twist. It’s set in the future! Instead of doing the usual business of building a famous empire from the ground up over thousands of years this time we take on the job of setting up a colony on a distant planet. Each Civ is funded by a sponsor so instead of having separate countries you have different corporations. Now for the interests of impartiality I will admit that I am quite the Civilization fan but for the sack of this article I have put aside my preconceptions and tried to play this game with an open mind.

First off I am going to address an issue that I have seen a lot of people have with this game and that is that there is a lack of personality from the A.I. leaders. I don’t really think this is as big a deal as what some are making it out to be. Yes their aren’t as many leaders(as of yet) as there have been in previous games so most playthroughs are similar but you can clearly see patterns in behaviour and individual characteristics of each one. I think the major difference in this game is that none of the names are recognisable as in previous Civ games so we have no previous ideas of what that person is like. I do agree that the level of personality isn’t as high as in previous games but it is undeniably still there. I found myself many times getting angry with how certain factions were acting and even being very spiteful in different playthroughs because of how a leader acted in a different game. Anyway rant over.

The game plays a lot like any other Civ game so if you aren’t a fan of the previous ones then this probably won’t float your boat however if you are a fan of the earlier games or the genre in general then this will be a happy edition to your collection. For most part the game is almost identical to Civ V as they run on the same engine however it is the new setting and tweaks that they have made that make the game feel drastically different. The most notable change is the tech web, previously being a tech tree, allowing for much greater variation in advancements and giving science an even greater level of strategy as it makes each technology you research that little bit more significant. It also separates the different countries/corporations quite drastically as there are now hundreds of different orders to unlocking things like buildings and new units. The next most significant feature is probably the Affinity system. By acting in certain ways or researching certain things you gain affinity points and increasing your chosen affinity will lead to stronger units, new perks and also affect how other Civs react to you. This is a welcome addition however can prove a bit distracting as sometimes you focus on growing your affinity rather than your own Civilization.

There are so many choices to make in this game that it borderlines on the ridiculous. One of the reasons there aren’t that many starting leaders(in this game they are called sponsors) is because after picking which one you want to be there are then three more choices for you to customize your Civ with such as starting bonuses etc. This can be really fun as it really feels like your Civ is your own however as all the A.I. also customize themselves can make it difficult to work out how the opponents will play. The game also runs a quest system helping you to feel like there is a progression to what you are doing and with certain quests you are given a decision to make which will change what certain buildings output or give different buffs again further customizing your Civ.

Level design is a bit lacklustre as most places feel very similar however knowing Firaxis, the company behind the game, they will be releasing a bunch of dlc maps as they normally do. This is cushioned as from day one this game came with steam workshop support so modders have already been hard at work making the game have even more content.

Civilization: Beyond Earth is another good instalment in the franchise and is well worth a play if you are a fan. There are a few things that I think don’t make this a less fun game but do impact replayabillity and so I doubt it will eat up as many hours as say Civ V will/has/is but given the history of these games once a few large expansions have been released I would not be surprised if this game could eat away around 60hours+. Let me know what you guys think and what things you would like to be included in the expansions or made as a mod, thanks for reading!

Civilization: Beyond Earth is out now for PC.

 

-Joe

‘Light Me Up’ album – a review

The_Pretty_Reckless_-_Light_Me_UpQuickpickle time!

Now, when I say ‘The Pretty Reckless’, I know most of you will automatically think of their hit song ‘Make Me Wanna Die’, which was released in May of 2010 and soared to the top of the charts. It was even used in the movie Kick-Ass, and the band were known far and wide thanks to this song. But, this isn’t the only great song to have come from this band, and I think people ought to know this. I actually stumbled across some of their other work by accident one night a few months ago, when I was perusing the internet and looking for some new music. A song popped up that I’d never heard, and recognising the band, I decided to give it a listen, and boy, am I glad that I did that! The song, which has the same name as the album, immediately got stuck in my head and I couldn’t stop listening to it. This then prompted me to listen to the rest of the album, which I devoured in one non-stop session of grungy guitar riffs and beautifully angsty lyrics.

Some of the songs are brilliant right off the bat – Just Tonight is particularly poignant, with a stunning instrumental performance by the band accompanying Taylor Momsen’s raw vocals. But there are some more toned-down songs which definitely should not be overlooked; ‘You’ is a personal favourite of mine, harnessing the loveliness of soothing acoustic guitar with Momsen’s gritty yet melodic voice.

Taylor Momsen, lead singer and rhythm guitarist

Taylor Momsen, lead singer and rhythm guitarist

The band itself also deserves some accolade – the instruments are all played and harnessed in such a fantastic way, so that each song has its own distinctive sound and feel to it. All in all, this album certainly needs more recognition than it has received over the years; it is a throwback to those angst-ridden teen years we all remember, and yet it still retains a feeling of relatability and credibility even now.

5/5 – A must-listen for anyone who wants something new to expand their musical horizons.

~Steph.

Throwin’ Out a Quickie

Just a Quickpickle post from me today, sadly, as I’m only halfway through the book I want to review and am currently ass-deep in preparations for London MCM Expo this weekend, which is going to rock!

I’ll be posting next week, though it will be on Tuesday rather than my regular Monday, and it could be about Expo or about this lovely new book I’m buried in. Who knows? (Hint: It’s me. I know.)

For now, here’s the synposis of a great Urban Fantasy book to go get your hands on. It’s funny, clever, heralds both noir and Westerns with a healthy side of Hellions and angels, and is a fantastically gritty and dark opening to the series:

Sandman Slim by Richard Kadry

Life sucks, and then you die. Or, if you’re James Stark, you spend eleven years in Hell as a hitman before finally escaping, only to land back in the hell-on-earth that is Los Angeles. 

Now Stark’s back, and ready for revenge. And absolution, and maybe even love. But when his first stop saddles him with an abusive talking head, Stark discovers that the road to absolution and revenge is much longer than you’d expect, and both Heaven and Hell have their own ideas for his future. 

Resurrection sucks. Saving the world is worse. 

Darkly twisted, irreverent, and completely hilarious, Sandman Slim is the breakthrough novel by an acclaimed author

 

– Meg

Loadout QUICKPICKLE!

Loadout

 

Hey everyone! So this week I’ve been having a little play around with a free to play game that goes by the name of Loadout. Safe to say this game ain’t your normal shooter. It’s a 3rd person over the shoulder run and gun style of game but it’s the added features and art style that really set this game a part.

Hank would of got Walt way sooner with these guns!

Hank would of got Walt way sooner with these guns!

Its cartoony and silly, similar to TF2 in a sense, but with a bit more gore and adult themes which do help separate its style from games of a similar ilk. The character customization is quite extensive too though you will need in game coins to buy the majority of the items available. I would say this is one of the weaker areas of the game though as there are only 3 character bases to choose from which kind of limits your customization but it’s not really noticeable when you’re actually playing so really it’s just more of a shame rather than a bad point.

 

The other amazingly fun and interesting feature they have is that of weapon crafting! You get to pick what type of gun you have then modify it to hell then even chose what kinds of ammo you fire and how the ammo acts, there are thousands of different combinations to choose from meaning that no 2 players are ever the same. You can even name your gun so when you die and you drop your weapon other people can see how funny and clever you are! all jokes aside though it does add a really good dynamic to the game and almost adds a layer of strategy and depth to the game.

Electric laser guided triple rocket launcher? Why not!

Electric laser guided triple rocket launcher? Why not!

The other thing I’ll mention before finishing is the game modes are really fun and players will inevitably find the games that they prefer and are better at, my personal favourite is Blitz where your kills/assists only are registered if you’re able to pick up an in game item from the dead enemy you killed. I just like it because it’s a little different and again it makes you try and add a layer of strategy to how you play it.

The game is still being added to with a custom game option on the way but I thoroughly think that this game is worth your time and did I mention that its free!  and unlike most free to play games where you can pay real-life money to unlock better equipment etc. the only thing real money will buy you is outfits and customization for your character, the only way to unlock new gun parts and equipment is by actually playing the game! Which I think is great and something game companies need to do more of so you don’t keep getting beaten by players that are worse than you but that just have deeper pockets. Anyway that’s my thoughts on Loadout! thanks for reading and make sure to like our facebook, follow our twitter and share the hell out of our blog. Cheers!

 

JJ

Thief, Not a Review, and Some Other Stuff QUICKPICKLE

Freaking Mondays, man…

I was going to review Thief today in all of it’s stealthy, steal-y glory, but due to circumstances (me getting sick and even lazier than usual) I haven’t finished it yet. So I’m totally not mimicking Joe here and doing a quickie.

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First of all, what I’ve played of Thief so far has left me in awe. Don’t get me wrong, it has its faults, like some awkward control/gameplay moments, but maybe that’s just because I’m grossly unwell and also playing it on Xbox 360 – if you’re a PC purist turning your nose up at this, kindly bite me. I’m a massive fan of stealth in games, though not so much of first-person games. I tend to equate ‘first-person’ with ‘shooters’, roll my eyes and move on to something else. Well, let me smack my own face with a rusty shovel and apologise for that. I can’t imagine Thief being better than in any form other than its intended first-person POV and it is fabulous. I especially love how much you can customise the in-game settings; can this be a regular thing in all games now please, yes, thank you? The graphics are beautiful, the gameplay is mostly smooth and manoeuvrable and the world is sweet as hell. I think I’ve spent more time just pissing around the City than doing the actual campaign, so far, but I’m just as invested in the plot as I am in picking the pockets of every guard in the City. And Garrett? I don’t know if I want to be him or be on him. Goddamn.

Another thing I want to mention while I’ve got the chance is a favourite webcomic of mine, Ava’s Demon by Michelle Czajkowski, about a young girl trapped with a demon-esque entity her entire life and is led into a pact with it. Oh yeah, and it’s in space. It’s updated several pages at a time, twice a week, as every page is in single-panel format and is a friggin’ work of art all on its own. It is amazing. The art is just gorgeous, the story is enthralling and funny and sad, and it is well worth the time it takes to get up to date, which shouldn’t actually be too long. Go check it out!

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Finally, something sappy and nice and for a really good cause. If you go to THIS SITE you can help towards feeding and caring for animals and shelters with just a click every day. It is completely free and safe, and again, a great cause. Help out when you can!

– Meg

 

South Park: The Stick Of Truth QUICKPICKLE!

South-Park-The-Stick-of-Truth

Okay for this week’s review I’m going something slightly different, its gunna be a really quick talk about a game and might become a regular thing but till then we shall see.

Right, when I first heard about the game in question I couldn’t have been more excited. I am a huge South Park fan and as a writer I can’t help but admire Trey Parker and Matt Stone for their creation. When the game got pushed back for release It was a little bitter sweet though. On one hand bitter because I wanted to play this game more than anything but sweet because it shows that they really care about the finished product and like with much of Parker and Stone’s work they wanted it perfected. Well that’s what I hope. If gameplay footage is anything to go by then the wait has been well worth it. The game seems to play exactly like an episode and I’m very happy they went with this instead of attempting to make it 3d (I still have nightmares of their last attempt at a 3d south park game for the ps1). After a lot of deliberation I decided to spend my student loan wisely and pre-order the game for my PC however it isn’t released until this Friday so instead of differing a few days to give you my verdict I thought I’d give you a little snippet of my thinking to tithe you over till sometime this weekend(I’d wager Saturday).

Its no exaggeration to say that this game is my most anticipated for 2014 but I’m gunna give a shout out and want to know what some of your most anticipated games for this year are? Also are there any games you’d like to see reviewed on the site? Leave a comment or write on the face book page over at https://www.facebook.com/picklepantsreviews