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Today, nobody believes in reality. Fiction remains stronger than fact. All stories are true - satires in particular. Imaginary heroes are more dependable than the other kind, living or dead. Whatever you need is unavailable, so choose the brighter new tomorrows that you want instead. FAX 21 is a muse (news) blog-fest of science fiction concepts and fantasy ideas for genre enthusiasts. Paradox free since next year!
Thursday, 8 November 2012
Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Made on a tiny budget by Toothpick Media and Pocket Money Productions, Ultimate Marvels cast little Tommy Cruise for a reduced fee in superhero flick Ant-Boy! We interview the Cruiser while he’s immersed in his new role.
What’s it like being under a movie director’s magnifying glass, again?
“It’s great. Awesome! I look up and wave. The director looks down at me and squints a lot. I beg him, like, not to shout at me.”
How do you get on with the film crew?
“I have to be careful when they’re busy. I don’t wanna get trampled on if they fail to see me. The sound guy keeps telling me to speak up while techies adjust matchstick–boom microphones - and when I say micro… I mean a really miniature audio pickup. It’s the littlest one they have. The cameras are actually microscopes, of course.”
Is your character half-ant, half-man, like the ‘Mant’ of Joe Dante’s movie Matinee?
“No! Nothing of that sort... I’m playing the smallest action hero, not a comedy cliché.”
Will you be doing all of your own stunts, as usual..?
“Oh, sure - I grew up on an ant-farm!” explains Tommy. “I’ve been riding them six-legged steeds and bronco bugs since I was knee-high to a grasshopper.”
Since you were..?
“Well, you know - maybe I’ll be a growing boy, someday.”
As a big… oops, sorry! As a Hollywood star, do you have a trailer?
“No, I have a shoebox. It’s very roomy for me, though.”
So, your mini-superhero will be fighting the Human Centipede?
“Not the 'full sequence', no. Just the first version…”
Your costumes for the movie are made by Elves & Sons, right?
“They make all my outfits, actually. It’s hard to find a human tailor with perfect eyesight for threading nano-needles.”
Does Ant-Boy really have a secret base made of Junior Lego?
“Oh yeah, absolutely! All the models… I mean the sets, are customised for my height by the studio’s artists, you know.”
Matchbox’s bid to provide the cars fell short of your needs. What happened there, Tommy?
“Well the Mini coupes they made were simply too damn big for us so we shrunk the script and wrote those scenes out.”
Are there other villains or adversaries, and will there be any marketing areas to exploit?
“Bad boys, yes… I go up against the 'Ant Hill Mob', but the boys toys designed to cash-in on the movie were banned in case infants swallowed them. Scale is a difficult subject. I find it challenging after other movies where I am at altitude, and this little flick brings me down to earth.
Sunday, 26 February 2012
You know about nicotine patches for smokers & bio-energy diet patches for weight-watchers...
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Sunday, 5 February 2012
"Just to be clear, there will be no prequels," said DC's Dan Didio in a statement today. "We knew fans would be angry at this decision, but the whole thing was just a test of the internet, honestly."
In what appeared to be a hastily worded press release, Didio stated that DC had been contacted by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) who had been concerned about the internet's ability to survive the phenomenon known as “nerd rage”.
"The IETF has known that nerd rage is a problem for a while," said Didio. "When George Lucas re-cut Star Wars to show Greedo shooting at Han Solo in the cantina scene, a whole lot of nodes serving California threatened to blow. The entire internet could have caught fire!"
Representatives from the IETF were not available for comment. Didio, however, was prepared to expand on the topic at length.
Didio referred to studies that show the increasing threat that concentrations of nerd rage pose to the internet. "The number of important announcements held back for San Diego Comicon has meant that ensuring the internet can survive sudden surges of nerd rage is vital."
Didio further pointed out the importance of nerd rage for DC's marketing strategy:
"Nerd rage is one of our key marketing strategies. If it hadn't been for nerd rage, no one would have read any of our New 52 re-leaunch books. So we have a real interest in making sure that the internet is able to cope with the most extreme shit storms."
He added, "We've got some big announcements coming up that our fans are going to find intolerably stupid – honestly, Before Watchmen will look like a storm in a tea cup when you see what we've got in mind for our headline characters. We wanted to make sure the internet was ready to cope with the collective howl of outrage that's going to greet our increasingly idiotic and morally bankrupt creative decisions."
Thursday, 1 December 2011
Close followers of the hit Iraqi sit-com “Dictators” (see Fax 21 review here) may remember Saddam Hussein’s four loveable look-alikes playing a board game called “Arab Spring” in episode 7 of series 3. What started out as an in-joke on the part of the scriptwriters of the cult series, has now apparently materialised into a real board game made by Wadiingtons and available in the shops this Xmas.
Traditional board games seems to have taken something of a back seat in recent years due to the explosion in computer games sales, but Wadiingtons are hoping that the festive season will remind people of the wholesome social benefits of “real interaction” where children, adults and dull visiting relatives alike can find something in common to titter about, for a few hours at least while waiting for the turkey. Did I say Turkey? The designers have modelled the new game on old family classics like Escape From Colditz, Monopoly and Risk, and emulating the latter, have opted for a board which is a rather educational map of the middle-east/north African area. Each player gets to “go” a dictator, whose face-card is modelled on the original “Cluedo” avatars of Miss Scarlet and Professor Plum etc, except that this time the smiling faces above the black polo-necks belong to the likes of Bashar al-Assad and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Controversially, Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is also there, and the deluxe party-pack version of the game includes full costumes that each player can dress up in. One for the younger kids perhaps, but what adult wouldn’t also relish the prospect of impersonating Colonel Gadaffi for an afternoon?
The aim of the game is to build up oil reserves, buy arms, exclusive residential properties in London, nuclear technology, and WMD (in that order). Like Monopoly, players must roll the dice and progress around the region (using little gold statuettes of themselves) and collect $200 every time they pass Mecca. The “chance” cards that one is obliged to pick up every turn include amusing eventualities like “Mossad commando raid, your nuclear assets are voided”, or “UN Weapons inspection, 50% arms reduction”, or “Pro-democracy riots, your assets are frozen by international banks”.
The ultimate goal is to achieve a critical mass of WMD then win the final asset of “Delivery System” and blow-up Israel, by means of a “Buckaroo” style Heath-Robinson gantry (the Arab Spring of the game title) that fires yours WMD spectacularly across the room while everyone wets themselves with laughter.
Like “Escape From Colditz” (remember that one?) there is even an equivalent of the “Appelle” card, the “Armageddon” card that instructs everyone to line up their pieces at “Megiddo”, a specially enlarged section of the Israel map and roll the dice for a sudden-death play-off.
Arab Spring isn’t as easy as it sounds, and players will need many hours of practice to become truly adept at hoarding power and subjugating their populations through misdirecting them towards hatred of their neighbours. My own favourite chance cards were “Geo-political shift, CIA commando team arrive to help bolster your regime against communists”, “Amnesty International report, lose three points of international standing due to evidence of torture”, “SAS team make botched landing, gain 2 points covert support from China”, “Three Kudos points: interview with Jeremy Bowen”, or “Four Kudos points: Hello Magazine wants your wife’s recipe for pizza”.
Many players will become overwhelmed by the all-too-frequent Pro-Democracy Riot cards, infiltrated by Al-Qaeda, crippled by international sanctions or a mixture of all three. Festival of Eid and Ramadan cards compel the player to miss a turn (Passover and Yom Kippur for the Israeli player). If Netanyahu wins, he gets to hurl his WMD at Iran.
Early signs indicate some negative press reaction, with accusations of poor taste levelled against Wadiingtons, but their marketeers have been quick to point out the US Military’s erstwhile use of a “deck of cards” to identify member of Saddam Hussein’s regime targeted for capture. “What’s the fuss?”–their spokesman Wal T Al-D’sni told me, “Every guy of a certain age still fondly remembers playing with his toy soldiers, even as wars still rage in the world. Life on earth is a sick joke, and until we admit that to ourselves, how can we hope to change it? The first step to recognising a joke was laughing, last time I checked…and ridicule in many ways has been the first nail in the coffin of each middle-eastern despot. These are the guys that execute you for laughter or spraying disrespectful graffiti over their portraits, remember, humour should be our weapon of choice…” he smiled then his eyes flared in a sudden flash of unexpected rage, “but who are you to criticise me anyway, who d’you think you are, dictators?”
Monday, 26 September 2011
Saturday, 20 August 2011
I’M SOCIALLY DISADVANTAGED, GET ME OUT OF HERE!
The government have today announced a new money-making scheme to get the sluggish British economy going, whilst simultaneously clamping down on recent civil disorder.
Teams of looters and protestors, and gangs of disaffected youths, are to be organised, trained and armed, then pitted against each other in televised pitch battles, the television rights for which will be sold to BskyB and CNN Sport.
Prime Minister David Cameron elaborated on the scheme at a press conference outside parliament, inexplicably dressed in a Batman outfit, with Nick Clegg attired at his side as sidekick Robin. As Cameron spoke, Clegg slapped his gloved hands together eagerly, exclaiming “Holy loopy looters, Cam Man, that’s dynamite!” Cameron explained:
The world-wide media interest in Britain’s recent rioting and looting has been overwhelming, and part of our “Big Society” ethos is to look for ways to make fresh opportunities out of everything, but particularly out of human stupidity, which is of course an even more reliable and inexhaustible resource than wave or wind power. Nick and I, as the lead caped crusaders of this government, have drawn up a scheme for a national three-round rioting tournament.
First round is hand-to-hand combat, second is sticks, stones and bottles, the third will be light firearms and explosives. All play offs will be sudden-death and the final will be fatal, not a single man to be left standing. Instead of National Lotto, this will be National Looto, and the stakes will be life and death. Live mega-violence, the ultimate reality-TV experience, beamed into a billion homes around the world. Britain will become the live looting violence capital of the world, second to none. Just look what happened to Las Vegas when it legalised gambling. This one’s a sure-fire winner.
Teams will include Tottenham-Molotov and Salford-Sackers, pitted against old favourites like G8-Renta-Riot and Ulster-Bigot-Boys. The winners in each round will win a chance of a pitch battle against mounted police units with water cannons.
Quizzed over possible venues for these spectacular events, the Prime Minister smiled broadly and produced a list of the nation’s football stadiums, while his excited sidekick floated the possibility of rioting and looting becoming recognised as Olympic sports events in time for the 2012 games in London.
"Easy chum….." Cam Man grimaced behind his black face mask, hand on the shoulder of his eager young crusader. "Isn’t that Commissioner Boris I hear on the big red telephone…?"