Wii details revealed

Three days of Nintendo confrences, three days of non-stop Wii information. Here's the bits we care about:

Wii will launch in Ireland on December 8th for EUR250. It will come with a Wii-mote, a nunchuck controller and a copy of Wii sports. Zelda will be available at launch, as well as the new Super Monkey Ball. The games are expected to cost between EUR49 and EUR59.

After hearing that the Wii will be launched in the US in November and Japan on December 8th, I was half expecting Nintendo to push the European release back to Q1 2007. So I'm thrilled about this - I've already cleared off a Gamecube-sized space under my telly in anticipation.

On a similar note, anyone want a well-used Gamecube?

Breakdown (1997) - Kurt Russell

I love the premise behind Breakdown. Its logline is deliciously appealing: A couple are driving across the country when their car breaks down, the wife gets a lift to the nearest town to call for help, the man eventually gets his car going again and follows his into town, except noone has seen the wife.

It's then that the movie starts to go downhill.

And there's a lot going for the movie. Kurt Russell gives one of his most underrated performances as an everyman in extreme circumstances, and the score by Basil Poledouris (who also did the killer score for Conan the Barbarian) is wonderfully Bernard Hermann-esque. But it's... wait, what's that moving in the corner of my eye?

And what's that noise?



Okay, now I've got a glass door between me and the bee. Time to think this one out. Jesus, I can still hear it through this glass. That's so big. Maybe H. will know what to do.


Well, that was no fucking help. Put it under a glass?! It's bigger than every glass we have! I could maybe try putting it under a vase, except every vase we have is in the room with the bee. And what if he gets wind of what I'm up to? He'll go spare and sting the shit out of me.

Hang on. He's just hitting the patio door. He just wants out. Maybe I can just open the door and let him out! Okay, I'll just go back into that room and... wait, what the shit am I doing? I need to arm myself here. Defend myself. Magazines! Aha! I knew reading on the toilet would come in useful one day. Now I've got a giant copy of Edge in case this little shitbag gets any ideas. H., did you just call me a 'fucking pussy'? I'll let you away with that because you're still in bed and HAVEN'T SEEN THE SIZE OF THIS GODZILLA-BEE.

Here we go. Softly, softly. Oh no! He's stopped buzzing around! He's onto me! No, wait. He's just resting. Keep going. Keep... going... COCKING HELL, HE'S THE SIZE OF MY FUCKING HAMSTER! And wait, don't they say that bees are especially ornery this time of year because they're all dying from the cold? That's not good. Why did I even remind myself of that? Am I trying to sabotage myself? Okay, easy big fella, I'm here to help. Just a friendly guy with a friendly magazine, trying to help. This isn't good. This isn't good. Almost there! Hand is on the key now. Turning the key! OH SHIT HERE HE COMES, HE'S COMING TO KILL ME! OPEN THE DOOR! NOW RUN! DON'T STOP RUNNING!

Is he gone? Is he gone? I can't tell if he's gone, I'm sobbing too hard.

He's gone!

I need a lie down.

Rollercoaster of emotions

Here's some things from the past couple of weeks. Get ready for some old news.

Steve Irwin dies - Boo!
It's been over a week and I'm still gutted about this. Steve Irwin was always, always entertaining and his unflinching upbeat outlook never once failed to cure me of whatever blues I had. I'm running out heroes.

MGM are making a sequel to Wargames - Yay!
Some of my favourite films are sequels. Some of my favourite films are about nerdy things and have cute little bleepy soundtracks. It's a marriage made in heaven! The news report also mentions a sequel to Into the Blue which, as big dumb movies go, is really rather good.

Entourage is fucking awesome - Yay!
Okay, so this isn't exactly news, but hey - you come here for news? Seriously, this show is fucking killer - I threw it onto my computer and we watched almost all of Season 1 on the flight home when we should have been sleeping to beat jetlag. You know a show is special when you're willing to take a bullet like that for it.

My DVD inbox has grown to over 125 movies - Boo!
This wasn't helped by my visit to Newbury Comics in Boston. Their Criterion Collection section was both expansive and cheap. If I watch one movie a day, it will still take me over four months to get through them all. Thank fuck Big Brother is over and we can get our NTL disconnected.

Yeah, Dead Rising is great...

...but not that great. I was talking to a couple of people about this game. It seems as if most people who downloaded the 15-minute demo from Xbox Live were pretty disappointed by the full game. This seems to be a combination of the developers' decision to start you off with a basic set of stats (since an RPG stats-building feature seems to be required in all games these days), which means that your character is next to useless at the start of the game. The demo throws you in at the halfway mark, where he can do most things without much trouble.

Then there's also the way the game starts. The zombies invade the mall and you have to escape with everyone else in that part of the mall. Except you can't save them. And so the game throws up massive messages to tell you THIS PERSON DIED and then THAT PERSON DIED. So, within the first five minutes of starting play, you've got the videogame equivalent of YOU FUCKED UP YOU FUCKED UP YOU FUCKED UP YOU SHOULD REALLY PUT THE CONTROLLER DOWN BECAUSE YOU FUCKED UP AGAIN

Describing it as 'disheartening' doesn't even come close. And don't get me started on the save system. Jeez.

Thank God then for Lego Star Wars II! So much fun in such a little box!

Westward Ho!

Well, I've got my pronunciation of "Chowdaaah" down pat, so I'm heading off to Cape Cod and Boston for the next couple of weeks. This means posting will be even patchier than usual around here. Providing my camera behaves (and I can find internet access in Cape Cod - the nearest Starbucks is 13 miles from where I'm staying), I'll be updating my Flickr.

See yis soon!

Google maps 37Signals with Flickr iPod →

H. pointed me to the awesome Cory Doctorow Visits a Radio Shack. It's completely hilarious and very well written. My favourite bit:


CORY DOCTOROW: Google maps 37Signals with Flickr iPod.


CORY DOCTOROW: I didn't say anything. Now, about this cell phone…

The phrase "Google maps 37Signals with Flickr iPod" has been adopted as a convenient shorthand for when I make a simple problem more complicated by adding layer upon layer of technology. Take last night, for example.

"So I'll put our itinerary into my Google Calendar, subscribe to it in my iCal and then synchronize that to my phone with Bluetooth"

"Couldn't you just put it on some paper?"

"Yes, but..."

"Google maps 37Signals with Flickr iPod"

First Person Shooter →

I heard the graphics on the Playstation 3 are going to be even BETTER than this

Best Dressed Zombie!

Photo by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

The Xbox Live Gaming Centre up on South William Street will be running a competition to coincide with the European release of Dead Rising next month. Fittingly, the competition is to find the best-dressed zombie.

From their newsletter:

The Xbox Live Gaming Centre is running a best dressed zombie competition to celebrate the launch of Capcom's Dead Rising (rated 18's) which will be hitting the centre on Friday September 7th. On Saturday 8th September, at 3pm we will be holding the competition in-store. Prizes include €100 cash, "I Love Zombies" t-shirts and limited edition Dead Rising faceplates.

Note: their dates are a little funny - Saturday is actually the 9th of September.

The prizes aren't awesome. Faceplates? No copies of the game? Still though, I'm happy with any excuse to dress like a zombie.

See also: Zombies Invade San Francisco!

Paging Sheldon Turner

In January, I wrote about Sheldon Turner, one of the writers of Snakes on a Plane, and talked about how one of his next movies is about a serial killer who only kills people in the eye of a storm. Awesome idea, and I can guarantee that this guy will go far in Hollywood.

Except when I went to see Snakes on a Plane last night, Sheldon Turner's name was nowhere to be found. And, sure enough, the IMDB page for SoaP doesn't list Sheldon Turner any more. His Wikipedia entry still lists him as a writer on SoaP, and googling "Sheldon Turner" "Snakes on a Plane" gives enough results to confirm I'm not making shit up.

Why was his credit removed for this movie? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Snakes on a motherfuckin' Plane

Let me start this off by saying that Snakes on a Plane is a great movie. A full year since I first wrote about it, a full year of anticipation has done nothing to harm this movie, it's still everything we expected. In fact, it's more than we expected, since we were expecting a cheesy, so-bad-it's-good movie and Snakes on a Plane is anything but - it's an enjoyable, light-hearted action/comedy/disaster movie, and I recommend you go see it now before the only people left to see it are the boring sort that will not clap and whoop their way through the movie.

Now I've got that out of the way, let's change gears.

I left the movie last night (7.30pm, Cineworld) wondering what it was about this movie that appealed to nerds. The nerd quotient of this movie was unreal. Sitting in Eddie Rockets before the movie, I spotted a group of people going past, and just by the look of them, I knew they had just been to Snakes on a Plane (it turns out that one of them was a Googler who knew the Googler in our group and indeed, he had just been to Snakes on a Plane).

The internet is abuzz with this movie in a way that only the internet knows how. Livejournal is unreadable right now because of it. There are multi-page threads about it on every forum I read. And NewsFire tells me I have a terrifying 50 articles about it in my RSS feeds.

So why this movie? What makes it better than other light-hearted action/comedy/disaster movies? Sure, SoaP has a guy getting bitten on the cock by a snake after pissing on it (oops, spoilers!), but Deep Blue Sea has Samuel L. Jackson being eaten by a flying shark (kinda). SoaP may be high-concept, but then, so is Remo: Unarmed and Dangerous, whose similarly endearing concept is stratospheric and too bizarre to properly summarize here.

So why Snakes on a Plane? Answers on a postcard, please.

Ninja Loves Pirate →

There's times when I regret having a mac. Reading about a windows-only game involving pirates and ninjas fighting zombies and robots is like all of those times at once.

Toot toot!

So we've all heard about the recent Mel Gibson debacle, right? You know, the one where he revealed himself to be a complete lunatic? Well, not to toot my own horn or nothing, I'd just like to point out that I called this in December of last year. My exact words were

Gibson has officially Lost It and is now certifiably batshit insane

See? It's almost spooky. If Nostradamus had a blog, it would be lowbrowculture.com.

Lomo Effect →

Thanks to the Tao of Mac for pointing me to this incredible tutorial for using photoshop to give images a Lomo effect.

There's a delicious irony in using a high-tech piece of software like Photoshop to recreate the look of a cheap, plastic lens.

Before: Before Lomo Effect

After: After Lomo Effect

Things to keep me occupied on the long weekend

Download the Dead Rising demo from Xbox Marketplace

It's time-limited to 15 minutes per game, but still. This is one of the games that finally convinced me to buy an Xbox 360. Let's hope it was worth it.

Go see A Scanner Darkly on Monday

Get a coupon from today's copy of The Ticket in the Irish Times. Bring it to UGC today and exchange the coupon for a ticket for two to see the preview of this amazing-looking movie.

Finish reading On Stranger Tides by Tim powers

I bought this because I've got such a boner for pirates right now, and this is the book that inspired Ron Gilbert to write the Secret of Monkey Island. It's a huge story of pirates, voodoo and revenge. And lots of buckles being swashed, naturally. Also recommended: The Bumper Book of Pirate Stories, if only for the chapter entitled "How Half-Arsed Became Captain". Half-arsed being a famous pirate who got half of his ass blown off by a cannon. They don't make 'em like that any more.