Product Review “Simon Swipe”

Man o man, I haven’t played the game Simon since the early 90’s. This makes me feel old…but holy cow it is still a ton of fun. In fact, it is much more fan that I even remember despite being in my 30’s. If you know the game of Simon, you will catch up quick. You are challenged keep up with the pace and now the new trick is to also swipe the right combinations. With Simon Swipe you can four games to choose from including classic Simon with 16 levels total. You can swipe solo or get a group and have a party. It’s funny how Simon can still be the life of a party, I have no idea how fun this game would be.

Here is the official pitch “Swipe the lights to conquer the colors! To master this challenging game, you need to tap, swipe, and reverse your way to victory as you try to repeat the pattern of lights and sounds. When you hear the music and see the lights flash, you’ve leveled up and a new pattern will start. If you make a mistake, the buzzer will signal the end of the game and the unit will let you know your score.”

I have to admit, this game was still as challenging. You think it is simple that you just watch the light signal and then copy it. But with this game you can tap, swipe, and swipe and reverse. This game is also still a blast to play the game in the dark  with the music and lights, its like a dance party in your house. Since this has four games to choose from there is also tons of  challenges to keep you entertained. I warn you though The Extreme Game is quite epic and, to use the title, extremely hard…but still tons of fun. The Party Game was my favorite, which allows you to compete against your friends.

Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright talk about “The World’s End”

This Friday sees the US release of The World’s End, the final installment of Edgar Wright’s “Cornetto” trilogy. It’s the third comedy following 2004’s Shaun of the Dead and 2007’s Hot Fuzz, to star Simon Pegg (also co-writer of all three) and Nick Frost. While the films are standalone stories across wildly different genres, they’ve been consistently hilarious variations on common themes. Hence, more comparable to Cornetto flavors—a British ice cream that found its way into all three movies—than narrative installments. The trio of Pegg, Wright and Frost sat down in New York to discuss the completion of the trilogy with this apocalyptic pub crawl.

The movie centers on Gary King (Pegg) who is dead-set on reuniting his old schoolmates, now grown men, in an attempt at completing an epic pub crawl they left unfinished as youths in 1990. He faces the most opposition from his onetime best friend, Andy, played by Frost.

How would you each describe the other’s characters?
Nick Frost: I would say Gary King is a forty-one year old man stuck sadly in…1990, it never got better for him than that night. I like to think about Gary in the space between then and when we meet him. What he got up to. And what I think is getting pissed on a kibbutz a lot, being like a rep in Portugal in like a resort, maybe traveling to Australia, doing the same thing there. You know, I think he did a lot of drinking and a lot of fornicating and then he reaches a point where he, he was just sadly empty. And I think where we meet him…that gear that he wears in the film, I don’t think he wears it all the time. He’s like a general who’s going to commit suicide on telly and he puts all his gear on. He puts his gloves on and his medals. That’s his last hoorah and I think he has a suspicion that he knows he’s not coming back.
Simon Pegg: As an addendum to that I think there’s a lot of parallels between World’s End and Scent of a Woman. Gary is like Colonel Frank Slade.
Andy is you know this guy who was, who had his heart broken by his best friend when he was very young and has never been able to let go of that anger about that. And he’s moved away from it. He’s excelled in his job, he’s married and had children, he’s created a life for himself. He’s a success in many ways, maybe not emotionally to a degree. We find out things later on. But he’s a guy who has been let down by someone he loves and hasn’t addressed that yet. So when we meet Andy he kind of seemingly Gary’s enemy, they’re not friends anymore but really what underpins that enmity is a deep affection which we eventually learn the truth about.

Lauren Damon: In both Shaun and Hot Fuzz Simon was the more straight-laced character at the start of the film, was that reversal of roles fun?
Pegg:
It was yeah.
Frost: Yeah I mean those other roles, the central character is not always the craziest or the funniest even though Simon is incredibly funny, but this time it was. And it was always going to be Simon and I never look at it and think ‘oh why am I this again?’ It never feels like that. Its for the good of the film, but this was you know—Simon’s gonna laugh when I say this because I said it lots of but—[Pegg joins in in unison] We are actors!

The chance to play any different person or different character is what you want to do as an actor. And I’d kind of argue that Danny and Ed are very different characters. Ed is quite cynical and lazy and Danny is just a big, lovely labrador, you know? And so the chance to be a kind of hard knot and to be the kind of moral voice of the audience essentially at certain points in this film is a great challenge. And also I get to kick arse.

LD: And rip your shirt off.
Frost: That was the only thing I put my foot down. Edgar wanted me to rip my whole shirt off so essentially I would be topless for the second half of the film and I had to say no.
Pegg: Which was a relief because it was winter.
Frost: Well I’ve got quite a lot of tattoos so the coverage of tattoos would have been an issue. And also, it don’t look s’good!
Pegg: I beg to differ!
Frost: But it got cold it got up to minus ten at night when we were shooting.

All three men elaborated on the amazing stunt work in the film, choreographed by frequent Jackie Chan collaborator, Bradley James Allan:
Pegg: The important thing for us was that we, in all the fight sequences in the movie, we retained the characters. Often in films when you cut to action sequences, stunt performers have to take over and as such, the characters that the actors have created vanish slightly in favor of the action. What we really wanted to do was make sure that the characters were maintained throughout the action and that meant us doing it…And we always wanted it to be the case where it’s like we’re—particularly for Nick’s character—all this simmering rage that he has, all this resentment towards Gary, all this kind of dissatisfaction that he has with his own life it just bursts out of him like—we used to call him the Pink Hulk because he had a pink shirt on underneath—and Andy turns into the pink Hulk. And each of them have a different—like Gary fights one handed because he’s trying to protect his pint. Andy, you know, fights like a berserker. Paddy [Considine], because he’s a boxing fan, uses all these great big haymakers like a brawler. Martin [Freeman]’s always wriggling out of stuff—
Frost: Like a hobbit!
Pegg: Which he picked up from somewhere, I don’t know. So yeah, it was all very much there in the script.
Frost: Eddie [Marsan]’s the coward.
Pegg: Eddie hides under tables. Which is funny because Eddie’s pretty handy. Eddie’s got some good punches.
Frost: Yeah he is, he trains a lot to be a fighter.
Pegg: He’s a little East End boxer.
Frost: He does “Ray Donovan” so he spends a lot of time in the boxing ring
Edgar Wright: What we tried to do is not actually use like…If you have a scene in an action film and you have like there’s a waiter who looks particularly tall and muscly, you know that he’s going to go through a window at some point. So like you can kind of pick out, that’s a stunt man, that’s a stunt man, that’s a stunt woman. What we tried to do with this was have people you wouldn’t—when you see those five kids, you don’t expect it. They’re kids. And the lead guy is fifteen years old. So you don’t expect him to be in a fight. And then they do all of their own stunts… And that was something I said to Brad Allan, our choreographer. I did a scene in Hot Fuzz, I ended up cutting out of the movie because it didn’t really work, it was a scene where Simon arrested some kids and so I said ‘I really wanna do this fight scene, but do you think we could get teenage stunt men?’ He goes ‘Absolutely, we got circus schools, tumblers, gymnasts, martial artists…’ and so the kids in that sequence are from the ages of fifteen to twenty. And they’re amazing.

LD: Going way back to Lee Ingleby’s crew in “Spaced” [Wright’s 1999-2001 sitcom starring Pegg and Frost], through the hoodies in Hot Fuzz, do you just have a distrust of youths gathering anywhere together?
Wright:  think a central theme is no matter how young you think you are, there’s always someone younger. That fear of being usurped by the people like are sort of like ‘Oh my god, that fifteen year old is gonna kick my ass!’ The emasculation of being beaten up by somebody younger than you, I think it’s that kind of fear. I think once actually Nick in London got mugged by a bunch of teenagers which is like an extremely distressing thing because hey, you know, you might be twenty-eight but these fifteen year olds…they’re are gonna kick your ass! And it’s just a horrible horrible thing. I think it’s just a part of the nightmare of emasculation of being beaten up by teenagers, people fifteen years younger than you.

At what point in working with Edgar did the word trilogy come up?
Simon Pegg: I think probably on the Hot Fuzz press tour when we realized we had been able to make two films and those films were in essence connected. You know, sort of tonal sequels in a way, in that they were not directly sequels—not the same character stories obviously—but they were definitely variations on a theme. And we figured if we could possibly be able to do it again, we could wrap it up as a sort of nice Hegelian whole. As a threesome as it were. And do it again. So we refined the ideas we had started on. It wasn’t like we set out to make the trilogy. We would never be so arrogant as to assume we would be able to make three films.
Nick Frost: I think one was enough.
Pegg: Yeah.
Frost: I think we thought, being British filmmakers we were lucky to make one, you know. [laughter] It’s true!
Pegg: We didn’t think it would come out there, let alone here.
Frost: We thought, if we could sell it to Lufthansa and they show it on the flight, we’ll be lucky. And you know, we get a chance to make Hot Fuzz and then that seemed the logical thing to do really.
Wright added:  …The fact that Hot Fuzz was shot in my hometown so I’d had that experience of being back in my hometown very vividly. So it was very much preying on my mind and that’s where it starts to factor into this of the idea of the homecoming…But then we decided we would go off our separate ways and do separate projects and in a way I think we wouldn’t have written the same script six years ago. Because the nice thing is actually, not to get older, but to actually deal with that in movie. Shaun of the Dead, which we shot ten years ago is a film about he’s a twenty-nine year old about to turn thirty. And then in this film, they’re forty…I feel like when I watch a lot of the American “man child” comedies, sometimes I always think it’s kind of forced because there are people who–there’s that thing of being a big kid forever is always glorified– but never really scratches below the surface. In reality a lot of those actors are married and have kids and so I think it’s a good thing to do these movies and actually acknowledge that the characters are older. So I think in that way, me and Simon, it was great going away—it’s not like we didn’t see each other in six years, we’re like best friends– but it was the first time we’d written together in like five years.

Was it different coming back to write together after so long?
Wright: No if anything, I think it was easier in a way. I think out of the three, Hot Fuzz was the most difficult one to write. Because I think we realized that Agatha Christie is a genius and that murder mystery is really hard! We would have kind of the constant headache of trying to figure out the mystery plot…But the nice thing about this is we had the story, we had the plot and then like it was just like a huge outpouring of personal experience. Of like everything from our upbringing. Once you’ve got the story, I think the first thing that we did when we started talking about it was just start talking about personal experience. All of that stuff goes straight into the movie. So it is like, Shaun of the Dead too, but this one is definitely the most personal because so many themes of it are just straight from our experience. Everything from the sister [Sam, played by Rosamund Pike] is based on a real person…the bully is based on a really person. The experience of—I went back to my home town and a number of times after I’d left to live in London and I remember vividly one of the things that sparked the whole thing was going back to my hometown, going to a pub, and seeing your school bully, who didn’t recognize me. And I wasn’t sure whether he didn’t know who I was anymore or didn’t care. But the fact that he didn’t acknowledge me at all made me so mad. I didn’t want him to acknowledge me! And I certainly didn’t want to get into anything. But I was so mad because I was thinking ‘does he not recognize me, this guy?’ So things had just stuck. That’s something that happened like fifteen years ago, but it stuck with me. And so that’s what’s great about doing these films is that things you’ve been thinking about for a long time then just come flooding in. Then it just becomes like a whole like ‘this is the plot of the movie.’

Is this the end of the trio?
Wright: I think this, we thought would be nice to be a piece. It’s not like a trilogy in terms of they’re three of the same movie, it’s more like a triptych of three separate films that can be viewed separately or together. You know, separately they can be Kelly, Michelle and Beyonce, but together they’re Destiny’s Child.

LD: Who’s Beyonce?!
Wright: I don’t know! I don’t want to pick any favorites!

It might be a few years until we do another one. But this is not the end of us working together. Because we love working together so we’d like to do other stuff. But it might be something radically different next time.

The World’s End releases in the US on August 23rd, you can read our review of it here.

Book Review “The Simon and Kirby Library: Crime”

Author: Joe Simon & Jack Kirby
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: November 1, 2011

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

When you think about the comic book duo Joe Simon & Jack Kirby, you just think of a match made in heaven. There wasn’t a genre that the two couldn’t conquer. This compilation delves into the Simon & Kirby Library containing thirty-two stories original published from 1947-49, and two from 1954 & 1955. There are over 300 pages of comics included in this book. The republished comics looks very crisp and just flipping the pages just shows the colorful richness of these stories.

Since there are over thirty titles included, they come from various different platform. There are four stories from 1947’s “Clue Comics”, six from 1947’s “Real Clue Crime Stories”, “Headline Comics” dating from 1947-48 contains the most comics with thirteen, dating from 1947-49 “Justice Traps the Guilty” packs nine comics and lastly two comics from “Police Trap” dating back to 1954-1955. If all those comics aren’t enough for you there is also a spectacular full page cover gallery, including 13 covers.  All in all very impressive and great stories included in this set.

Each story last less than 15 pages at most are short like most 40-50’s serials. The color on the comics are just phenomenal Titans Books did an excellent job restoring these comics on this release and really catered to the fans. Wrapping up this great book is a great introduction by “Road to Perdition” author “Max Allan Collins. His introducing is very insightful and interesting. It also gets you pumped to continue to the next page. If you are a fan of Simon and Kirby, this is a must for your collection.

Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright’s “Paul” DVD Giveaway [ENDED]

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To celebrate the DVD release “PAUL”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway FIVE copies of the film on DVD. If you would like one of these copies, please leave us a comment below or send us an email and let us your favorite buddy comedy. This giveaway will be open until Monday August 8th at Noon, Eastern Time and is only open to residents of the United States. Only one entry per person, per household; all other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Media Mikes will randomly pick out winners and alert the winners via email.

One tiny alien makes for big, big trouble in the comedy adventure Paul, coming to Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD August 9, 2011 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

The DVD version of “PAUL” includes the following bonus features:
– Hilarious bloopers
– The Evolution of Paul
– Simon’s Silly Faces
– Who The Hell Is Adam Shadowchild?
– Feature commentary
– Galleries

Two average sci-fi geeks get caught up in the ultimate interplanetary adventure after picking up an extraterrestrial during a road trip to Area 51 and becoming the targets of a nationwide manhunt. Graeme (Simon Pegg) and Clive (Nick Frost) are two British sci-fi geeks on holiday in America. After a trip to Comic-Con to meet their favorite author, Adam Shadowchild (Jeffrey Tambor), Graeme and Clive load up their RV and hit the road for a tour of some of the most famous UFO hotspots in the American Southwest. They know we’re not alone in the universe, but they won’t be satisfied until they get a firsthand glimpse of the famed Area 51. However, somewhere deep in the Nevada desert, the two UFO enthusiasts narrowly avoid crashing into a speeding car when they happen across a most unlikely hitchhiker. Paul (voice of Seth Rogan) is a pint-sized alien who has spent the last 60 years in Area 51. He’s been cooped up in the care of the U.S. Government for far too long, and he’s starting to get a little homesick. Though Graeme and Clive are more than willing to help their wisecracking new friend get back to his mother ship, Special Agent Zoil (Jason Bateman) of the FBI is closing in fast. And he’s not the only one; in their race to get their new friend home, Graeme and Clive have also become unwitting kidnappers, and the enraged father of their not-so-unwilling captive, Ruth (Kristen Wiig), is determined to rescue his daughter at all costs. Sigourney Weaver, Bill Hader, Blythe Danner, and David Koechner co-star.