#SpiderMan, another movie tie in board game review

July 18, 2012

I had meant to post this back when the Amazing Spider-Man film came out but I just didn’t get round to it.

Anyway, with this film out this is a good time to review the Amazing Spider-Man board game.

game cover

Look out Spider-Man! Here come the guest stars.

First, a word on how I came to have this game; I have no idea. It was just in our house when I was growing up. So too was Monopoly, Cluedo and Battleship. I remember getting Yahtzee for Christmas, but this Spider-Man board game was just always there. Maybe it was my brothers.

Growing up I never played this game properly. I just used it like a basic roll dice and move type of game, going round the circles until finally getting to the middle to win. Honestly, it has only been recently that I have finally gotten round to reading the instructions on how to play.

board

Despite all the images of Spider-Man, there is technically no Spider-Man in this game

For a game named after the most popular Marvel comics character it is actually something of a letdown to discover that in playing this game you don’t play as Spider-Man. Rather, you play as one of these four other Marvel characters; Thor, Iron Man, Hulk or Namor the Sub-Mariner. Since all of these characters have been Avengers, I could have reviewed this game for that recent film. But going back to Spidey, where is he? His image is all over the board game but as a character in the game he is just not there. Although it is not stated it is implied that since you are racing to get to the centre of the board where Spidey is, you are perhaps rescuing him. This is more Marvel Team-up than an issue of the Amazing Spider-Man. 

So, since you get to be another Marvel character, does your playing piece look like them? No; this game is from way before intricate playing pieces. I suspect that the age of this game may be as old as those old style Marvel cartoons; the ones where the animation consisted of panels from the comics with a few moving bits added.

playing pieces

See, that green one is Hulk, and that red one is Iron Man

Hence you get colour coded playing pieces; green for Hulk, red for Iron Man, etc. However, you do get two playing pieces per character, which is odd. Maybe the heroes have clones? Then again, since we are in the world of Amazing Spider-Man, best not mention clones.

Iron Man

As I mentioned, before the object of the game is to get to the middle, where Spider-man is. As you go around the circles you face various villains and collect points for each one you subdue. Sorry, that makes it sound more involved than it truly is. Actually you just land on a spider web and you pick up a villain card; fight over. Each villain card has different point allocations, such as the Ring Master is worth 2 points and Boomerang is worth 1. Also, those are actual Spider-Man villains, of which there are very few named in this game. I confess my Spider-Man knowledge is not that extensive but I am pretty certain there was never a Spidey villain named Lion Face; he’s worth 3 points incidentally. You never lose in battle against the villains but you sort of face up against the other heroes (hero fights, how very Marvel). If you land in the same square as another hero you knock them back to their home base and they have to start again.

Villain cards

Shooter? Lion Face? Thunder Bull? Maybe they were villains in the old 60s cartoon.

Play is controlled by cards. You pick up a travel card when it is your turn and follow the directions to move that many places. Some travel cards work against you by making you go back to the start.

Once one player reaches Spider-Man with both of their playing pieces the game ends and a point tally is taken. There were special bonus points for being the first and second person to the middle. Whoever has the highest score wins.

It is fairly simple but the difficulties arise from having to go completely around each circle and land on the right spot to gain entry to the lower level. The more players the harder it is to avoid being knocked back to your respective home base.

Roll call

Really it should read an exciting game with all these other guys…

I like this game; it is fun and not too hard. The emphasis is on accruing points and not just racing to the centre. If only you actually got to be the Amazing Spider-Man. I give this game 3 Dice.

 3 dice


Last weekend at #RevFilmFest

July 16, 2012

Saw as many films as I possibly could over the last weekend of the Revelation Film Festival.

On Saturday I took it fairly easy seeing the Eames doco a second time and catching a screening of Beauty Is Embarrassing. This doco was about the life and career of Wayne White, whose work I now recognise from the cover of Nixon by Lampchop. This was a great doco and Wayne is quite a character.

Later on Saturday I caught Paul Williams: Still Alive. I know of Paul Williams but I have never really listened to him. I have a compilation of his on record that I don’t think I have ever listened to. This doco featured the film maker quite prominently interacting with his subject which had both good and bad moments. Personally what I found most interesting was all the archive footage of Paul in the 1070s where it seems he was on every television show including Johnny Carson 50 times, including one time dressed as the character Paul played in a Planet of the Apes sequel. It was quite a revelation just how funny Paul was. He still is, as the more recent footage proved. I think Revelation missed a great chance here to do a midnight screening of Phantom of the Paradise, which was a film that Paul also starred in.

Sunday was a big day. First up was The Trouble With Bliss, starring Michael C Hall. I didn’t know what to expect but this film turned out to be a funny and at times quite odd film. I rather liked it. Top marks also to the short film that preceded it; A Tale Of Obession. This rather good short film had some of the best opening credits ever.

Rampart was next. This gritty corrupt LA cop tale was involving but it took a while to get into what they were saying. It felt like all the background noise in the film was louder than the speech. Ned Beatty was present adding a touch of 70s cinema to the proceedings.

The next film in my Sunday line up was Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines. This film was a blast. The producer was present for a Q&A afterwards helmed by Judith Lucy who also was a blast. The final blast for me was I ran into my friend Bookbuster who was there, as she gave to the kickstarter project for the film. Bookbuster even got asked by the producer to stand up and relate the tale of the Batgirl fan at recent comic cons. Go learn more about this film here.

The last film of the night and the Revelation film festival for 2012 was Buff. This locally made film about film buffs was great fun. I especially liked hearing David Stratton say that Transformers 3 was shit. Ha!

Well done to the Revelation festival for another great year.

 

 

 

 


a few more movies at #RevFilmFest

July 13, 2012

Caught the last screening of The Whisperer in Darkness at Revelation Perth Film Festival last night. This is essentially a fan flick as it is made by the H P Lovecraft Historical Society, but an incredibly well made fan flick done in 1930’s RKO style. It was very well done with some real moments of tension.

Earlier this week I also caught a doco called Eames: The Architect and Painter, about the life and work of Charles and Ray Eames, the husband and wife team. I confess I only knew them from the one or two chairs that I see referred to as Eames chairs so this doco was a real eye opener to just how much work they produced. Catch it if you can this weekend. I left the cinema wanting a solar powered do nothing machine, which they had designed and created for an Alcoa commercial.

Crispin Glover’s second night at the Revelation was not as well attended as the first, but he was still a hoot. Some different books were shown in his slide show, and his first film What Is It? was shown this time. I asked about a credit that I noticed in the credits and yes, Crispin’s dad dug the grave used in the film, as his dad, apart from being an actor, once also worked as a grave digger. Crispin’s parents also appear in his other film It Is Fine. Everything Is Fine. Crispin also answered my other question of has he yet written the third film It Is Mine; yes he has, but he didn’t say how close he was to making it. Thanks to Revelation for bringing Crispin out here.

Onto the last weekend of Revelation for this year. I’ll try and cram as many movies in as I can.


It is fine, everything is fine at #RevFilmFest

July 10, 2012

Crispin Glover likes to talk. You might know him as the dad in the first Back to the Future film. You won’t know him from the second Back to the Future film, but you could be forgiven for thinking that you do. See this recent interview Quickflix conducted with Crispin as part of his appearance in Perth for the Revelation Film Festival for further details of what I mean.

Last night Crispin presented the second film in his as yet incomplete trilogy, “It Is Fine. Everything Is Fine”.

This film is only screened with Crispin in attendance so it is unlikely that the majority who read this will ever see this film. Even so, I am averse to spoilers but I will say that this film harks back to 1970s TV Murder Mystery Movies of the Week (that is how Crispin described it in the post film Q&A) . Furthermore the star and writer of this film is Steven Stewart, a man with cerebral palsy, who makes for an unusual leading man.  

Crispin also presented a slide show based on his books, which are old style mash ups, where he has taken old books and added text and words and re-arranged what was there to come up with something completely new.

At the end of all this Crispin himself took to the stage to answer questions. I was glad to be able to ask one about how he makes his books. There were not that many questions as Crispin takes his time to answer them and it was almost midnight by the time he got to mine and he still had a book signing to do. I snuck out after he expounded with his answer to my query. Who knows how much longer the night went on?

Perhaps I will ask him when I go to see him again tonight for the screening of his first film and another slide show.


#Revfilmfest first weekend

July 9, 2012

I scored a gold pass to the Revelation Perth International Film Festival. This little beauty enables me to go see everything. It doesn’t give me the time to see everything however, so I am getting out to see what I can.

I went to the opening night party on Thursday 5 July. I’ve been to opening night events before, including last year’s Rev opening night. Usually all the food and drink is afterwards, but this year they had a party going before, so my partner and I got to have a few drinks and some nibbles before settling in for the film.

Your Sister’s Sister was good. It certainly played well to a full house.

They then had another party with more food and drink after the film, including the hottest steak burger I have ever had. I nearly burned my hand holding it. I had three of this delicacies and didn’t need breakfast the next day. There are not too many film festivals that you can say that about.

I came back on Saturday and Sunday to catch a few more films.

The Substance: Albert Hofmann’s LSD was an incredibly comprehensive documentary. Sure, it had the usual suspects in that multi-coloured bus with the destination of Further, but it also had Albert himself interviewed before he turned 100 (he died at 102), along with those who used the drug for psychiatry. What I found especially fascinating was the use of LSD with terminal cancer patients. The feeling of oneness that LSD can produce (oceanic boundedness, I think they called it) can help them overcome their depression.

Undefeated had me almost crying. This tale of US football in an under privileged high school was moving and mesmerising.

Archeo was interesting and certainly very well done. Do you remember that film Predators? It was sort of like that, but without the Predators.

The Imposter was incredible. Totally gripping and edge of the seat stuff. It is no spoiler to say that the imposter of the title really is an imposter. It still has some screenings, so go see it.

I also caught The 25th Reich. It was a hoot. Maybe the title could have been Time Lost GIs or something but it is a great homage to old style 50s/60s sci-fi films. The script is taut the whole way through with plenty of twists and turns, and only 5 characters the whole time. The shoe string budget enhances the feel. The Director was there ( I complemented him on the Saul Bass inspired opening credits) and he told us that his film would get a bigger release in this country later this year. Keep an eye out for it.

Also on Saturday my partner went and saw The Colour Wheel. She said it was bad. She also added that I should see it, just so I could see and experience how bad it was. She reported a few people walked out. This also happened when I saw Archeo.

On Sunday we both went to see Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present. If you know her work, you know what to expect. The main focus of this doco was her 3 month sitting at the Museum of Modern Art in 2010.  The film really brings across the challenge that this piece presented. It also has incredible footage of many of her previous works and features the reunion of Marina and Ulay. Worth seeing.

The big event of the Rev program this year, for me at least is, The George Melies Project. Ever since I studied film back in my uni days, I have heard and seen stills of his work. However, apart from a few scenes in Hugo, I have never seen any of his films, so to view them, an hours worth of them, on a big screen with a live band was incredible. Of course there was the journey to the moon one with the rocket in the moon’s face. But his work includes more than just that one scene. Some of the films we saw yesterday included journeys to the underworld, trains flying into the sun, fishing in top hats, along with numerous appearances by the Devil and his ballerinas in Hell. The carriage led by a skeletal horse through a ghostly night time sky was a highlight for me. And all of these films are now over a hundred years old; wow.

I’m looking forward to more Rev films still to come.


Vinyl mark down

July 2, 2012

Went back to the Belmont swap meet for the first time since my holidays ended and what did I find? Remember that guy with the suitcase full of records for $5 each? If not, see here.

Well, he was back but now he only had a box of records and the price was reduced to $3 each.

At that price I found a few items to bring home.

Greatest Hits Vol2 by Elton John

I always said I would buy this the next time I saw it; I just can’t remember why since I have all the songs anyway.

Before The Rain by Lee Oskar

Yes, I do have it on CD but how could I pass the chance to have it on vinyl?

Crimes of Passion by Pat Benetar

On the very day that I bought this album I then kept on hearing “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” from the Rock Of Ages OST. Kismet, I say.

Everyones a winner by Hot Chocolate

Look up to us!

Mad Love by Linda Ronstadt

I do love some Linda Ronstadt and on this album she sings 3 Elvis Costello songs

Take My Time by Sheena Easton

Take My Time by Sheena Easton; and my partner was just talking about her the other day. Kismet, again.

Love Someone Today by Sister Sledge

Love Someone Today by Sister Sledge; this album gives credit to who made the jumpers that you see the sisters wearing here on the cover. Cool.

 

 

 

 


More #Suapanova Perth 2012

June 25, 2012

Okay, I said tomorrow, but the online world moves fast and by then no one will care about Supanova 2012, so best to carry on now.

I promised some more cosplayers and here they are. Along with some other Supanova shots.

Mario Bros

Brothers gonna work it out

Obelix

Earlier in the day this guy had his small kid with him dressed as Asterix, which was pretty cool.

Cosplayers

Far be it from me to criticise but with Cosplay there seems to be a gender imbalance with how much flesh is revealed.

Spider-man

Now, this person knows their Spider-man history. Do you?

Tardis

Appropriately enough the Tardis inside the bag is bigger than it looks

Kung Fu Panda

There was a Kung Fu Panda, but no Hong Kong Phooey

Axe

Strolling with an axe. Only at Supanova

Dalek

YOU WILL PHOTOGRAPH ME FROM MY BEST SIDE. OR BE EXTERMINATED.

Lady Deadpool

Lady Deadpool; she even has that stick out your hip pose, just like in the comics. Yay!

Flash

Golden Age Flash; excellent choice

Silk Spectre

There were a few Silk Spectres there but this one had the best hair

Kill Bill

Ah, the bride to be

Wally

I love this photo

Wedge

“Wait! You mean they finally released a Wedge action figure? I never knew this.”