The Audi and the Alien

The Moonrover Audi Lunar Quattro celebrates its film debut in Ridley Scott’s sci-fi blockbuster “Alien: Covenant” this week, ahead of its impending mission to the Moon next year.

The Audi lunar Quattro has been developed in cooperation with Berlin-based start-up Part-Time Scientists. Over the past two years, the automobile manufacturer has worked with a team led by Robert Böhme – founder and CEO of Part-Time Scientists – in developing the rover, by supplying all-wheel drive technology, expertise in lightweight construction, experience in developing vehicles with electric and plug-in hybrid motors (e-tron), and with design optimization.

Director Ridley Scott has integrated the Audi lunar quattro into “Alien: Covenant,“ the latest instalment of his ground-breaking “Alien” franchise. In its film debut, the rover is an integral part of the Covenant mission; deployed to help navigate and assess the challenging, unknown terrain of a new planet.

Incorporating the Audi lunar quattro into the film is part of a collaboration between Twentieth Century Fox and Audi – allowing filmmakers to incorporate authentic, leading-edge technology into their futuristic worlds. As part of the collaboration, a short film was also created by Twentieth Century Fox, 3AM and Audi. Captured on one of the movie’s biggest sets, it depicts the rover patrolling the Terraforming Bay when it detects an unidentified lifeform and goes to investigate what lurks in the dark. 

Watch “Alien: Covenant x Audi lunar quattro” here: http://youtu.be/5fEmCnSt gac

Check out the Audi Rover in some new footage from ‘Alien: Covenant’ via the link below:


 Additional information:

The Audi lunar quattro is 85% aluminium
The majority of its components have been produced using a 3D printing method at Audi’s headquarters in Ingolstadt

High-strength lightweight construction has resulted in developers reducing the weight of the exploration vehicle by 23% to just 30kgs

A 60-degree pivoting 100W solar panel supplies the rover with energy and powers its efficient e-tron motor

For more on the story of the Audi lunar quattro’s origins visit http://www.audi.com/mission

Jonathan McEvoy 

Hot Toys Kylo Ren 1/6 Scale Figure

  
  
“There has been an awakening. Have you felt it?” In terms of quality Star Wars figures from Hot Toys, there really has been an awakening. Straight out of the box you can see how impressive this figure is. Hot Toys have really shown their skill with this Kylo Ren figure. The quality of the clothing is so good, and everything just feels good in the hand. 

   
  
 Included in the box are three pairs of interchangeable hands, two spare pins for the wrists should the others be broken, the stand to sit this beauty on, a spare lightsaber hilt which is attached to one of the hands. The reason the hand is attached to the lightsaber is because the lightsaber lights up, and comes with the three small batteries required to power it up. You will need a small screw driver to remove a cover to insert the batteries, which can be a bit tricky. 

   
   

When changing the arm with the LED lightsaber, you need to unzip the sleeve, pull the arm out of the socket and then insert the other arm. You can remove the red lightsaber parts from the hilt of the loose lightsaber and attach them to the hilt of the one attached to the arm. The LED lightsaber arm doesn’t offer as much movement as the standard arm, as the wrist joint isn’t as flexible, so you may need to alternate between the arms when posing the figure. 

   
   

The loose lightsaber hilt can be hooked onto the belt and sits on it quite nicely. The hood can be pulled down should you decide you want to have it that way. The movemen and articulation is second to none. It really is an amazingly designed figure. The belt can’t be removed, nor can the hood, so don’t try as you may damage what is a stunning figure. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the wonderful Jennifer at Sideshow Collectibles for providing this for review, without her help none of these reviews would be possible. You can order your figure now directly via the following link: 

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This really is worth getting for all you collectors out there. Stellar work!
5/5

JM

  

What’s your pleasure?

  
Have you ever been browsing Amazon or Zavvi looking for a movie from your childhood, but you just can’t find it? Or maybe you’ve stumbled across some cult weirdness late one night on Channel 4, and you’re wondering where you can get a copy? Well look no further folks. I am pleased to point you to a site where nearly all your cult pleasures can be found. 

  
Twisted Anger is a site chock full of hard to get movies. There are movies that even I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing on there. Want a DVD of Michael Mann’s ‘The Keep’? Then head on over to http://www.twistedanger.com where you can acquire that and much more, it really is a treasure trove of cult greatness folks. 

JM

Captain Rex ‘Phase II Armour’ from Sideshow Collectibles. 

 

As you can see in the above picture, even Captain Rex gives this the thumbs up. What a stunning release this is from the very talented folks over at Sideshow Collectibles. The detail is astounding. There were two releases of Captain Rex, with the first release having him in pristine white armour, and not the battle worn armour you can see in the pictures. That said, I have to say I prefer this one. I love the scuffs and scratches all over his armour. I also like the little notches on his wrists that show you how many enemies he has killed. 

 

The notches are also etched onto the base, which also details Captain Rex’s regiment. Captain Rex can be seen in The Clone Wars series. He is voiced by Dee Bradley Baker in the series, but has the likeness of actor Temuera Morrison who played Jango Fett in the movies, well I think so anyway. 

 

 The head and helmet are interchangeable, but can be a bit fiddly in places. I struggled to fit the head on securely, but the helmet fits on no problem. When I took the Jetpack out of the packaging I did wonder how on earth it would clip on, as there wasn’t any noticeable bits sticking out. I was very pleasantly surprised to find out that it’s magnetised, and actually clips on very nicely. 

 

You get two pistols which can be holstered on Captain Rex’s waist. You also get a very nice blaster rifle which has an underslung shoulder stock. Also included are two grenades and several pairs of interchangeable hands which really add character to the piece. The artists and sculptors at Sideshow really have produced a fine piece here, which will definitely sit proudly amongst my other sixth scale figures. If you are intersted in this figure and would like you get your own, then pop along to http://www.sideshowtoy.com/collectibles/star-wars-captain-rex-sideshow-collectibles-1002221/, where it is available for a very, very reasonable price. Believe me. 

 

I want to thank the fine folks over at http://www.sideshowtoy.com for their generosity in providing this figure for review. It’s thanks to them that I can bring you these fine items to review. Stay tuned for more great toy reviews. 

5/5

JM

 

   

Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996)

blood4It’s the year 2127 and Dr. Paul Merchant (Bruce Ramsay) is on a mission. His mission is to undo the mistakes of his ancestors and close shut the gates of hell, which were opened when Phillip L’Merchant (also Bruce Ramsay) created that famous toy box. After the box is given to a rich aristocrat it is used to raise a demon which will control the world. However things go awry and the demon takes on the form of a peasant girl Angelique (Valentina Vargas). Phillip L’Merchant takes the box and runs. Through the centuries Pinhead (Doug Bradley) has tracked and killed the Merchant bloodline, looking for the box.

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Dr. Paul Merchant is telling the marines on the space station about his mission, and what needs to be done. He tells them that for so long his bloodline have tried and failed to close the gates. Now Pinhead and his new cenobites have been unleashed in space, but all is not lost. Now Dr. Paul Merchant has Pinhead where he wants him, and the trap has been set.

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This movie was plagued with problems during production. The director is listed as Alan Smithee but was actuall Kevin Yagher who worked on some of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. The studio butchered the movie in his opinion, so he asked to be credited as Alan Smithee which is a pseudonym directors take when the don’t want to be credited with something they see as not being their vision.

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That being said, I really like this movie. Sure the script is wooden in places, but the space setting really lends itself to the Hellraiser mythos and there is some great gore. Doug Bradley is still great as the villainous Pinhead, and really delivers each line with relish. I don’t agree with all the hate this movie gets and I think if you like the Hellraiser movies and you’ve never seen it, then it’s well worth a watch.

4/5

JM

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From Beyond (1986)

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Dr. Edward Pretorius (Ted Sorel) and Dr. Crawford Tillinghast (Jeffrey Combs) are researching the effect that a resonator has on the pineal gland. They believe that stimulating the gland lets people see a reality beyond our own that is otherwise invisible to the naked eye. Crawford activates the resonator and begins to see strange creatures floating around him. When he is bitten by one of these creatures, he tells Dr. Pretorius to turn the machine off. Dr. Pretorius refuses, telling Crawford that it’s giving him a feeling like no other.

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Crawford flees the laboratory and is stopped by the police. When the police find Dr. Pretorius dead, they charge Crawford with his murder. Crawford is committed to a mental asylum where he is then interviewed by Dr. Katherine McMichaels (Barbara Crampton). Crawford tells Dr. McMichaels about what happened in the laboratory. Together with a detective Bubba Brownlee (Ken Foree), the three go back to the laboratory to find out what really happened to Dr. Pretorius.

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Directed by Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator), and based on a story by H.P. Lovecraft, this is one crazy film. It is packed to the rafters of gory and gloopy practical effects. The script and acting are a tad wobbly at times, but it adds to the overall charm and ‘B-Movie’ feel to the film. Jeffrey Combs is always good value for money. He always delivers a solid performance, no matter what the overall film is like. Ted Sorel plays the part of the perverse Dr. Pretorius brilliantly. His transformation into the hideous monster is great, and he delivers his lines with relish. I like Barbara Crampton, but she feels wasted here. She is mostly just a damsel in distress, but she reacts in some strange ways throughout the movie, even getting dressed up in bondage gear during one strange scene.

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I have never read the short story that the film is based on, so how faithful it is I couldn’t really say. But as it’s Stuart Gordon and he directed another Lovecraft tale in ‘Re-Animator’ , you know it’s a pretty safe bet for some gratuitous violence and an overall tongue in cheek tone. I really enjoy this movie, however it’s not for the squeamish, so if guts and gore aren’t your bag then steer clear. For the rest of you gorehounds, dig in and enjoy.

4/5

JM

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Soldier (1998)

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Todd 3465 (Kurt Russell) is the best of a group of genetically engineered soldiers, bred to kill from a very early age. He is a decorated war hero, with hundreds of kills to his name. Now…he is obsolete. A new group have soldiers have been created by the villainous Colonel Mekum (Jason Isaacs). The soldiers are led by Caine 607 (Jason Scott Lee) who is the best soldier. He is faster, stronger and meaner than Todd 3465 or any of his team. Colonel Mekum orders Todd’s superior, Church (Gary Busey), to dispose of Todd and his crew. They are all slaughtered and dumped on a planet which basically used as one big dump.

 

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However Todd does not die. He finds that the planet he is on is inhabited by friendly people just trying to survive. At first they are weary of Todd, but slowly begin to accept him. He stays with Mace (Sean Pertwee) and Sandra (Connie Nielsen) and begins to bond with their son. Colonel Mekum decides to test his new batch of soldiers on the planet where Todd was dumped. However he never banked on Todd being alive. Now Todd will show these new killers what a real soldier is.

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I really dig this film. However it got absolutely panned on release and I don’t know why. To me it’s like a futuristic version of Shane. I remember also reading that Kurt Russell had offered his fee back to Paul WS Anderson has he felt bad that the film didn’t do well. I think people expected it to be balls out action and that’s not what it is. It’s more restrained than that, showing an inhuman killer like Todd what it means to really feel and to have something worth fighting for.

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Don’t listen to the hate. Give it a watch and be prepared for a subtle story with bursts of violence. The final 3rd is one of my favourite bits in any movie. Todd is just a bad ass and to watch him teach these upstarts what it’s like to be a real soldier really is a sight to behold. Well worth a watch in my book.

4/5

JM

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Riddick (2013)

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Dear oh dear. Before I start let me say I dig the first two movies. I actually like Chronicles of Riddick more than Pitch Black, probably one of the few that does. I was jazzed when David Twohy and Vin Diesel announced they were bringing Riddick back. They did mention that they were returning to the bare bones type story of the first, rather than the grand spectacle of the second. However I wasn’t expecting an almost carbon copy of Pitch Black, which is what we have here.

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The story begins with Riddick stranded and alone on a desolate planet. Riddick is severely wounded and nearly every creature he comes across wants to kill him. Riddick then explains how he found himself in this unfortunate position and what he has been up to since the last movie. When Riddick realises that it’s time for him to leave the planet, he activates a beacon which alerts two groups of mercenaries to his position. The first group that lands are lead by Santana (Jordi Molla). The second group are a bit more high tech and they’re lead by Boss Johns (Matt Nable), father of William Johns (Cole Hauser) from Pitch Black.

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Riddick begins to despatch the men one by one, but stops when he realises they may all need to band together for the threat that’s coming. Now if I have made that sound exciting, believe me when I say it isn’t. The supporting cast who include Dave Bautista and Katee Sackhoff are wooden at best. The remainder of the supporting cast are throwaway and completely forgettable. Vin Diesel has some truly awful lines, pissing away any ounce of menace the character of Riddick had left. However Matt Nable who plays Boss Johns was surprisingly good, really giving the part his all. The CGI is terrible, and the action is truly mundane.

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There is a very brief cameo by Karl Urban as Vaako from Chronicles of Riddick, giving you a small taste of what used to be. Although to be fair, even Karl Urban looks bored. The plot and pretty much all of the perilous situations the characters find themselves in are far too similar to Pitch Black. This could have been something special. Instead we get a movie with terrible CGI backdrops and the majority filmed on what are clearly soundstages. Awful. This copy of Riddick was provided by the kind folks from Fetch Publicity. You can find their site at http://www.fetch.fm and also follow them on twitter @fetchpublicity for some great competitions and tweet alongs.

1/5

JM

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Frequency (2000)

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John Sullivan (Jim Caviezel) is a New York cop. Ever since he was a kid growing up in Queens he wanted to be a cop. He wanted to make his father Frank Sullivan (Dennis Quaid) proud, who was a firemen killed in a warehouse fire in 1969. Now 1999 it’s coming up to the anniversary of his fathers death. John and his friend Gordo (Noah Emmerich) begin to search through Frank’s old things. They dig out Frank’s old ham radio and begin to toy around with it. Suddenly another voice comes over the radio. The man on the other end tells John that he too lives in Queens. They begin to talk about baseball and the upcoming games. The other man corrects John on his baseball knowledge, telling him that the games haven’t been played yet. John tells him that it’s 1999 and that the games were played 30yrs ago.

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The man asks John to identify himself, telling him that whatever joke he’s playing it isn’t funny. John tells him his name, suddenly realising that the man he’s talking to is his dad Frank Sullivan. It seems a strange phenomena in the sky has interfered with the radio signals, bridging a gap through time. John warns Frank that he died in a warehouse fire in 1969. John tells Frank to take a different route out of the burning building. Frank survives but has inadvertently caused a ripple effect through time which means that now John’s mother Julia Sullivan (Elizabeth Mitchell) has been killed. John and Frank find out that Julia was murdered by the Nightingale killer, a serial killer who has been murdering nurses.

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Together John and Frank seek to uncover the killers identity and try change the course of history again. John investigating in the present time, and Frank tracking the killer in the past. John’s supervisor Satch (Andre Braugher) thinks John is crazy, and back in 1969, arrests Frank for the Nightingale murders.

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I’m the first to admit that the story is very far fetched. But once again we have here a film that completes its mission of entertaining you, and that’s all I ask. The cast give it everything, The story, as far fetched as it is, is very tense. You want to see how it plays out and you’re willing Frank and John to be reunited. This is another one that I know flew under a lot of peoples radar. However that being said, it is also one I seriously recommend. It has some great effects and a killer story.

4/5

JM

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Altered States (1980)

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The mind is a powerful thing. Very powerful. When you step over that threshold of reality to dream, the longer you stay there the harder it is to differentiate the two. In the 1960’s Eddie Jessup (William Hurt) is pushing his mind to it’s limits. He has been experimenting with an isolation chamber/flotation tank, which causes him to have vivid hallucinations, mostly religious. Years later when he becomes a respected doctor at Harvard, he decides to try the isolation tank again, but using hallucinogenic drugs which will heighten his visions.

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As he continues to use the tank, with the help of his colleagues Arthur Rosenberg (Bob Balaban), Mason Parrish (Charles Haid) and his wife Emily Jessup (Blair Brown) who is also a doctor, he finds that his physical and mental state are beginning to regress to almost primitive levels. Fearing for his safety, his wife and colleagues try to put a stop to it, but Eddie has gone too far to stop and wants to now go all the way.

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I have always found Ken Russell, who directed this brilliant movie, to be a bit of an acquired taste. I have never seen The Devils or Women In Love which are two of his well known movies, but I have seen Tommy which I wasn’t crazy about. I had heard a lot about this movie before watching it, but was always apprehensive. I managed to get a copy of it on Blu Ray and I was just stunned. It had an effect on me that was similar to finding god. I don’t say this lightly. I was close to tears by the end. Not that it’s that sort of movie, but just that all of my emotions were at boiling point that I was literally an emotional wreck. I have always rated William Hurt as an actor and he is right on top of his game here. He really is fantastic.

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The supporting cast of Bob Balaban, Charles Haid and Blair Brown are brilliant. There are also one or two other faces that you may recognise too. The visuals are astonishing for a film made at the beginning of the 80’s. Mainly during Eddie’s hallucinations, some being particularly disturbing. I really do recommend this. Get hold of it if you can and prepare to be stunned.

5/5

JM

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