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  1. "It's Never Too Late" proved mobsters could be sympathetic characters years before The Sopranos hit HBO. Not every episode can be a gem, and "I've Got Batman in My Basement" illustrates that. Bruce Wayne might be a hopeless romantic, but Batman sees everything in black and white ("Cat and the Claw"). The near-perfect "Heart of Ice" needs no description. And "See No Evil" has a shocking subtext. If that wasn't enough for you, listen just to hear Mike make quite possibly the funniest Freudian slip ever. [ 1:11:46 || 32.8 MB ]

    The above is from: http://www.worldsfinestpodcast.com/episodes/wfp_003.mp3


  2. Nearly every flaw you can point out in Street Fighter the movie stems from one small, seemingly minute detail - its title. If you took the plot of Street Fighter and renamed the film The Mad Dictator's Fury (or something equally banal), it wouldn't be a terrible movie. It would still be bad, but at the very least it could be looked at as a campy, mindless action flick that's riddled with overtly goofy moments. Billed as such, this movie could have been a cult classic. But that's not the case; because this was supposed to be an adaptation of the Street Fighter video game franchise, it can be described as nothing less than a total disgrace.

    The above is from: http://www.earth-2.net/reviews/m/street-fighter


  3. He's been called an unimaginative hack, a rip-off artist and a flash in the pan. From a film school dropout whose project won an Academy Award to a prodigal son returning to visceral horror in the new millennium, John Carpenter is one of genre film's most important directors. His work, however, can be neatly parsed into two eras: early and latter. And in this column I will be discussing the early films of this master of horror.

    The above is from: http://www.earth-2.net/columns/reddick/reel-dread-29


  4. After weeks of cryptic hints on Earth-2.net: The Show, the very first episode of World's Finest Podcast is finally here! Reviewed for your listening pleasure are five episodes of Batman: The Animated Series: "On Leather Wings," "Christmas with the Joker," "Nothing to Fear," "The Last Laugh" and "Pretty Poison." (The majority of World's Finest Podcast, episode 001 originally aired as Earth-2.net: The Show, episode 090.) [ 1:11:19 || 32.7 MB ]

    The above is from: http://www.worldsfinestpodcast.com/episodes/wfp_001.mp3


  5. Even as a very young boy I knew slasher films were a special breed. Pacing the horror aisle of the local video store, looking at VHS cassette covers fraught with amazement, I knew there were films on that rack I was not supposed to see. The stylized painted covers depicting blood and promising violence always enticed me to turn them over. If I was lucky, the backs of the boxes would show terrifying stills, whetting my young appetite for gore. Of course, reading the copy was the final nail in the coffin. It was often the copy that would lead to a rental. Being a curious young man, I would see patterns in phrases. Sentences that started off with "A sorority house is terrorized..." or "When camp counselors abandon the children in their charge..." were promising. From a very young age, I have always known that the slasher film has an intimate tie with sex.

    The above is from: http://www.earth-2.net/columns/reddick/reel-dread-28


  6. I can't really explain why I fell so deeply in love with Yu Suzuki's first console release, the Dreamcast's original Shenmue. Perhaps it was the sense of complete freedom, which allowed players to spend their income however they saw fit, completely disregarding the story in favor of video games and little toy capsules. Maybe it had more to do with the utterly enveloping environment, which went further toward becoming a totally immersive scenario than any other game in history. Who knows, maybe it was the game's setting in mid-80s Japan, two cultures I've always found fascinating (80s pop culture and traditional Japanese culture). One thing's for certain, it wasn't the emotionless, deer-in-the-headlights expression constantly sported by the story's hero, Ryo Hazuki. Regardless, I was hooked on this story of revenge, the reality in which it was set and the awkward relationships of our teenage years.

    The above is from: http://www.earth-2.net/reviews/v/shenmue-II


  7. I have been ill more days than not since September. A mixture of having a child in daycare and teaching high school exposes me to every germ floating through this dreadful city. The thing with me is that every time I get sick it turns into a virus. Currently an infection has me bleeding from the nose at random intervals. Yesterday at work, when a co-worker heard of my illness she stepped back in disgust and used her two index fingers as a crucifix. This single act sparked this week's column: an analysis of infection in horror cinema.

    The above is from: http://www.earth-2.net/columns/reddick/reel-dread-27


  8. The phrase "based on a true story" has been attached to numerous films — horror and otherwise. When searching for the phrase in the Internet Movie Database, everything from Shadow of the Vampire to From Hell, The Philadelphia Experiment to Open Water - and countless TV movies - surface. Needless to say, the phrase is not often taken too seriously. Horror films which are based on actual events swing between two points: those which are influenced by a theme (i.e. Psycho) and those which go to graphical extremes (i.e. Wolf Creek). I will be examining each of these cases in the following essay.

    The above is from: http://www.earth-2.net/columns/reddick/reel-dread-26


  9. I was first informed of the existence of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service at Anime Weekend Atlanta, my local yearly anime convention, last autumn. A Dark Horse editor was holding a panel on manga market trends and he showed those of us in attendance some upcoming releases. Immediately, when he described the plot of Kurosagi, I thought to myself, That's brilliant! Much like Death Note, Kurosagi's story made me wonder, Why didn't I think of that?! The manga details the daily lives of five students at a Buddhist university, each of whom possess a skill that helps them solve the mysteries of the dearly departed. When I finally managed to get a copy of the first volume, I was not disappointed. The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service can best be described as a bizarre amalgamation of Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Raines, with a smattering of Scooby-Doo here and there all wrapped up in an attractive Japanese manga shell.

    The above is from: http://www.earth-2.net/reviews/a/kurosagi-corpse-01


  10. Both stylistically and conceptually, Pinhead of the Hellraiser series is one of the most intriguing characters in horror cinema. While he may not have the household name recognition of Jason or Freddy, I would argue that visually he is as recognizable as a hockey mask-wearing killing machine or a gloved burn victim. Pinhead and his cadre of demonic sadists, called the Cenobites, have always been supporting characters in their own films. Like the aforementioned horror icons, this is the best way to portray a monster. It is only when the focus of the film is put on the monster, rather than the people pursued by said monster, when poor movies are guaranteed. In the strange case of the Cenobites, this has never changed and yet they still have lost their way.

    The above is from: http://www.earth-2.net/columns/reddick/reel-dread-25


  11. The Final Fantasy series has built its name on experimentation, constant reinvention and almost universal adulation. No two games are exactly alike, and fans who understand that basic concept have welcomed the changes between chapters with open arms. It's a risky business - taking a formula that's known, loved and praised, shaking things up a bit and waiting to see what effect it has on the overall picture. Sometimes these risks pay off handsomely, as with the materia system in Final Fantasy VII or the junctioning of Final Fantasy VIII. Other times they drag it down, as evidenced by the confusing online play of Final Fantasy XI and the job system of Final Fantasy V. Fans of the series generally have a very clear-cut list of favorites and least favorites - it's easy to write the whole line off after a bad choice, as many did with the aforementioned leap into the MMORPG genre, but if you've been paying attention you should know that sooner or later they'll hit a goldmine and deliver a game that is not to be missed. Look at the amazing jump taken between FFV, generally considered one of the worst of the series, to FFVI, critically acclaimed as one of its best. It's exactly that cyclical nature that keeps me interested in this series and brought me out to the store on FFXII's launch day, $60 in hand. I've scarcely put down the controller since.

    The above is from: http://www.earth-2.net/reviews/v/final-fantasy-12


  12. The shadow of terrorism and an unpopular war loomed over the world. Earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis claimed millions of lives worldwide. Death and destruction were plastered everywhere: on TV, in the papers, across the vast Internet, on the lips of strangers. Some feared the end times were near. When the global climate is filled with dread and political unrest, when the world seems to be fighting back, that's when zombies become vogue. And though it had been over 20 years since Day of the Dead, the time for George A. Romero's return - the time for him to show us how it's done - was at hand.

    The above is from: http://www.earth-2.net/columns/reddick/reel-dread-24


  13. There's lots of post-Civil War comic book talk in this episode, including discussions about Iron Man #15, Captain America #25, Civil War: The Confession, Civil War: The Initiative and The Mighty Avengers #1. There's also a frank dialogue about how the media handled the major news spawning out of Captain America #25, and what the comic book industry can do to entice the masses. [ 1:49:57 || 50.3 MB ]

    The above is from: http://www.earth-2.net/theshow/episodes/e2ts_091.mp3


  14. In the first of a multipart series, Mike and James reviewed the inaugural five episodes of Batman: The Animated Series. Thanks to its moody approach, orchestral score and deep characterization, the show is considered a classic. However, only one of the five episodes demonstrated the full potential of the series. Which one was it, who did Mike call "the greatest character in all of TV" and how is "Pretty Poison" like A Tale of Two Cities? [ 1:17:32 || 35.4 MB ]

    The above is from: http://www.earth-2.net/theshow/episodes/e2ts_090.mp3


  15. For Jason Voorhees, it was a measured decline from scary to ridiculous. For Freddy Krueger, it was the quick shift from scary to hilarious. Michael Myers, from the Halloween film series, is perhaps the most interesting case of the bunch. Myers' history is spotted with plot confusion and continuity issues. But, it can be altered through selective viewing to make the Halloween series the greatest horror trilogy ever produced. I've been rather negative in the past two columns, so the following is my treatise on how to fix the Halloween franchise.

    The above is from: http://www.earth-2.net/columns/reddick/reel-dread-23