BEST OF 2001 GOOGLE NEWSGROUPS ARCHIVE
The much revered search engine Google (wwwgooglecom) has finally released an archive of newsgroups dating back twenty years to the geek-orin internet years of 1981. Here you will find Such historical moments as the first mention of a company called Microsoft. a singer called Madonna and a young tyke called Tim Berners- Lee and his new invention called the world wide web.
The idea is simple: submit a song title to this website and let aspiring musicians fight it out in the virtual Colosseum to produce a finished piece of work. which is then voted on. I dare say this started 0th as being a legitimate creative playground for frustrated songwriters. but it has. beyond doubt. got out of control With songs such as ‘GrimaCing Forefather'. 'Grovy (siC) Coleslaw' or the chart-busting ‘Monorail Racetrack.
THE PSEUDO DICTIONARY
A place where y0u can submit words you'd really like to see in the dictionary. Billed as 'the place where words you've made up can become part of an actual online dictionary'. Marvel at the new verb to ‘K': to have a longing for something or someone eg ‘Gee. Donald. l have been K~ ing that box of chocolates all day. Do you think I COtlId partake of one?‘
THE JAVA DONKEY KONG EMULATOR web.utanet.at/nkehrer/ JDKong.html
Techno-retro here. Cast yOur minds back (if you can) to the 80s and the phenomenon that was Donkey Kong. This is an exact replication of the classic arcade game. to
88 THE LIST #1 'r' .i‘a." 207.?
the point of inserting virtual coins that are luckily limitless. Dodge the barrels and save the girl. Same old plot. Yah de yah.
IS THERE A GLOBAL CONSCIOUSNESS noosphere.princeton. edu/terror.html
An age-old question questioned. There is a worldwide network of computers that virtually flip coins and log the reSuIts. with the goal being to statistically prove that heads and tails eventually even out. This seems to hold. but oddly. on 11 September at around 9:30am. the results go wild and stay that way for a few days. For the three minutes of remembrance on 14 September. the results go wild in the opposite direction. This is a very heavy batch of statistics and the host. Princeton University. strongly declines to draw conCIUSIons. but merely hint at a possibility.
CHANNEL 4’S GUIDE TO THE GREAT PLAGUE www.channel4.com/ history/microsites/H/hi story/plague
For those who managed to see Channel 4's series on the Great Plague Fire Of London'Gunpowder Plot. then this site WI“ be a priceless res0urce. Even for those who didn't. this is an ama/ing site. packed with historic facts and COTHOCIUFC.
Based in Milwaukee. this is effectively a cable channel based on the internet. Drama. comedy. mUSIC. game shows: it knows no bounds. A partiCular highlight is ‘Song of the Day' where you can submit entire lyrics to a song and the staff musicians wrll create a lilaSICrl)l(-}CO in your name. (Steve Blair)
ANIMATION FINAL FANTASY: THE SPIRITS WITHIN
(PG) 102 mins «on
One of the most visually stunning films of the year
Directing team Hironobu Sakaguchi and Moto Sakakibara have taken the most Japanese of art forms, the videogame RPG, and made one of the most visually stunning films of the year. And this is the nearest a film has ever come to simulating a video game, every single image being created by state of the art computer graphics.
Earth of the future has been ravaged by the arrival of the phantoms, an invasion of tentacled apparitions that suck the life force out of anything they touch. Dr Aki Ross (voiced by ER’s Ming-Na) is searching for a peaceful solution to this problem, which involves entering phantom territory and collecting rare samples of living tissue, plants and animals. General Hein (James Woods), however, has a more final, military
tactic in mind.
While a whole host of big Hollywood stars lend their voices (Alec Baldwin, Donald Sutherland, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi), this is still very defiantly a Japanese production. It’s packed with strange eastern mysticism about life forces and earth spirits that verges on the indecipherable. There is also something indiscernibly wooden about the ‘acting’. When everything has to be pre-planned and then painstakingly animated, there is a loss of spontaneity and improvisation, the intangible element actors add unconsciously to their
But as a visual experience its hard to think of any film as satisfying. There are countless scenes that amaze with their crisp clarity and astounding graphics. The realism of the imagery is dazzling, and at times genuinely photo- realistic. A triumph of modern technology.
I Avai/ab/e from l4 Jan through Columbia Tristar on
rental VHS and DVD.
IFSBIAN COMEDY BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE (15) 95 mins 00
Neither great. nor ghastly. this lesbian (I()llll(l~(OlllélllCO is set in Vancouver. and charts the love affair between law school drop-out (Karyn Dwyeri and budding artist (Christina Cox). Complications arise arOund the sudden arrival of Karyn's family, who noither know that she is gay or has a girlfriend. It's charming and nicely performed. but unfortunately it’s also predictable wrth a home-- made. community
outreach feel about it. OccaSionally. the tone darkens. as when the dyke attacks the pre-op transgender. but the material is too relentlessly cheerful. There's an original love scene involving the women painting each- others' bodies. but this is not gang to have widespread appeal. (Millivres Multimedia VHS And DVD retail) (John Binnie)
TEEN ROMCOM BOYS AND GIRLS
(12) 90 mins 0
Acutally. this should be titled When Best Friends Shag. Then yOu'd know the plot without the ordeal of havrng to watch it. Ryan and Jennifer are rather fond of each other. In a friendship way. of course. But. ‘NtlElI‘S this? Are they failing in love? Like. of cOurse. It's Hollywood. This half- baked trash from the director of She 's A// That is a modern When Harry Met Sally. As if we needed another. Apart from Jason Biggs (American Pie). who plays Ryan's trOubled roommate. the performances are as unconvrncing as the script. Mindless escapism is fine. But this isn't even that. (Buena Vista VHS and DVD rental)
HORROR FAUST (18) 97 mins 0
Director Brian Yu/na has a legion of fans because of the cult status of his early horror flick Re- Animator. But Faust \vill lay any suspicion of talent to rest. Adapted from the ultra-Violent and sexually explicitly comic book by David Otiinn and Tim Vigil. Faust is a poor man's superanti hero movie With ropey sfx and i'opier
plotting all bound wrth bad acting. All appropriate enough. considering the (un)original comic merely ripped off Batman and other caped vigilantes. Alternatively laughable and offensive. this is the kind of film which gave rise to the tern: ‘straight- to-VIdeo trash'. (Mosaic VHS rental and DVD retail) (Miles Fielder)
COMEDY FREDDY GOT FINGERED (18) 87 mins 0
‘ _. . v.)
This filn‘ can be handily summed up in two words: utter shite. And with that I'm being polite: this is one of the most unpleasant \.«'ie\.vrng experiences I have ever endured. Watching a grout/n man (Tom Green) masturbating horses. licking open wounds. swmging babys by their umbilical cords. falsely accusing his dad (Rip Torn,- of paedophilia (I could go on and on) is not funny. it's disturbing. The Farrelly brothers proved the unpalatable and profane can be hysterical. but this fails on every count. Drenched in blood. spunk and other bodily fluids. Green has no-one but himself to blame. (to—writing. directing and starring in this plotless. maliciously Violent cinematic turd. (Fox VHS and DVD rentalv (Henry Northmore)
LE GOUT DES AUTRES
(15) 108min 0000
This is like Mike 1 cigh. only more t.'.ie|l-toudo and set in fiance. Translated either as The Taste 0' Others ion the cover) or If Pikes A/l Kinds (on the subtitles). Agnes Jaoui's film is a character driven slice—of- life love stort about a facton owner's n‘idlife crisis as he realises that the world of the arts painting. theatre, books