Thursday, 28 November 2019

More than a movie - The Terminator

This isn't a movie review, but rather an Extra Features review, or simply a list of Movie extras / featurettes / documentaries that compliment the movie nicely.

Why review the extra features? Well in many cases I have watched the movie, then all of the special / extra features and then gone back and had a second watch as you can see the movie from a completely different perspective, or appreciate a whole different point of view that you didn't see before.

Unfortunately, there has been so many releases of this movie, it can be difficult to track down all of these features however YouTube usually has most of them available to watch, and this is by no means an exhaustive list but rather the best bits.

Sources: DVD special edition / DVD Ultimate Edition / Blu Ray release / YouTube.

  1. Terminator: A Retrospective    This 20 minute extra is a chat between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Cameron discussing how the Terminator movie came about, interspersed with snippets of an early Jim Cameron TV interview about the movie. Its a bit dated now but on the whole its an interesting discussion. I would liked to have seen more of the Jim Cameron TV interview, or perhaps the whole interview rather than just snippets of it however I cannot find this anywhere. Found on DVD (SE and Ultimate) and Blu Ray releases. Also on YouTube.
  2. Other Voices    At over an hour long and with interviews from all of the major players involved in the movie, this documentary along with the archive footage that it contains will definitely re-energise your passion for the original movie. Found on DVD (SE and Ultimate) releases. Also on YouTube.
  3. Creating The Terminator: Visual Effects and Music    Half an hour of discussion and archive footage on the Terminator special effects and music score. Found on DVD (SE and Ultimate) and Blu Ray releases.
  4. Deleted Scenes    If you an find this with the Jim Cameron's commentary, it is a far better watch than the deleted scenes alone as he goes into great detail as to why he felt the scenes weren't appropriate for the final cut. Found on DVD (SE and Ultimate) releases.
  5. The Making of Terminator 1984    A 20 minute TV "Making Of" show which whilst very dated, contains interviews from the time of making and footage of movie scenes being filmed along with interviews with Jim Cameron and the main cast members. Available on YouTube only.
  6. The Terminator (1984) Filming Locations    A fan made YouTube movie that revisits some of the film locations used. These are coming more common as archaeology students use subjects like these for final projects. Available on YouTube only. 
  7. Michael Biehn Remembers The Terminator   An informal TV interview with the actor who played Kyle Reece about the trials and Tribulations of being involved with the Terminator franchise. Available on YouTube only.

Have I missed one? Let me know and I will watch, review and add to the list.

Enjoy watching. Re-watch the movie afterwards and remember... always Time Travel responsibly!

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

What do FRIENDS and The Omega Man have in Common?

FRIENDS. In the opening credits of every episode, the cast dance and splash around in the fountain.

The Omega Man. The Apocalyptic movie adaptation of the novel "I Am Legend" where The last man alive (Robert Neville) struggles to survive against hoards of mutants.

So... What does this odd couple have in common?

To answer this, we first need to establish where the friends fountain is located.

Bethesda Fountain, Manhattan, New York.

Despite popular belief, it is NOT Bethesda fountain in Central Park, in fact the fountain isn't even in Manhattan.

The FRIENDS fountain is actually situated at Burbank, California on the Warner Bros ranch.

Ok All very interesting, but what does this have to do with The Omega Man?

Well, In the movie, Robert Neville (Charlton Heston) from The Omega Man resides in the house behind the fountain.

He was known to take pot shots at both mutants in the park and FRIENDS cast members splashing in the fountain with a sniper rifle from the upper balcony of the house.

There is one strange thing that this brings up though.

At the end of The Omega Man, the head mutant throws a spear from Robert Neville's balcony and hits Robert Neville in the park across the road. Robert is mortally wounded and falls into a fountain where he bleeds out and dies.

However the fountain that he falls into isn't the one featured in FRIENDS. It appears to be a fake movie fountain placed there for the shot which seems like a lot of effort to go to when there is already a fountain in the park...

I have a theory on this though.

I am guessing that the screenplay was accepted and the film sets were chosen however when the final scenes came to be shot, it was decided that:
  1. The fountain was too big for Robert Nevilles death to be of suitable impact and
  2. The spear throw distance between the house and the fountain was not believable or realistic
So a fake smaller fountain was brought in to resolve these two issues.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Ghostbusters Film Locations - New York

With appropriate music to accompany the post..

Being the GEEK that I am, I took full advantage on a family trip to New York to scope out some of the filming locations on one of my all time favourite childhood movies, Ghostbusters!

Your girlfriend lives in the corner penthouse... of Spook Central!

The real Spook Central - Somewhat shorter in real life.

As you can see above, the famous apartment building on the south side of central park. Not quite as massive as it appeared in the movie. The building itself and the structures around it were heavily edited in the movie using Matte Painting, and hence why I didn't do a long shot from further back in central park. You just wouldn't have been able to see the building! Still a creepy looking place though! (And yes it had just poured down. And yes I am soaked!)

Back Off Man ! I'm A Scientist !

Listen ! Can you smell something ?

New York Public Library - The one and only!

On to the New York Public Library, where our Ghoul fighting team experience their first ghost. I didn't go in as the interior of the Library in Ghostbusters was filmed in a completely different Library in California so nothing to see.

OK. So I was so GUTTED about this next one!!!

24 Hours a day, 7 Days a week, No Job is too big, No Fee is too big.

Under Renovation....

I managed to walk past the building twice before realising that it was the Ghostbusters Fire house. I was sooo gutted that it was all covered up and a completely lost photo opportunity. (Good excuse to go back as far as I'm concerned).

Being miserable and treating other people like dirt is every New Yorkers God-given right!

The Ghostbusters II Art museum aka The National Museum of the American Indian

So strictly speaking, a Ghostbusters II film location however this building was the Art Museum that the possessed picture of Vigo resided in. It looks very different not covered in Pink Slime though!

I managed to miss several other picture opportunities even though I was in the right place:
  • The restaurant across the road from "Spook Central" (Tavern On The Green) where Louis gets attacked by the beast had a lot of security standing around it meaning I couldn't get a photo at the back of the place where Louis is attacked. It is however right across the road from Spook Central.
  • I walked straight through Rockefeller Plaza without getting a photo in front of the golden statue.
Once again, a great reason to go back!

How to Piss Nintendo off

Nailed It!!

Sony PSP Go! with 65" 4K Sony Screen and PS3 Wireless Controller

Yup geeky I know. A Sony PSP Go!, controlled using an official PS3 controller and outputting component video to a Sony 65" 4K TV screen.

This was a good nights gaming!

You will need:

1. A PSPGo (A standard PSP does not have video out on the PSP's connector.).

2. A PSPGo to component video lead.

3. A PS3 (You need to utilise a PS3 to link the PS3 controller to the PSP Go! the first time only. Once it has been done once, the PS3 controller will link to the PSP Go! without a PS3.).

4. A PS3 controller.

5. A TV with component video input (Normally three RCA connectors coloured red, green and blue respectively.).

Monday, 25 November 2019

Omnibot in the Test Lab

Whilst Omnibot 2000 was at my work place as a lunchtime fix-it-up project, he managed to make himself useful around the test labs..

I guess he kept himself busy...

Test Bot! Omnibot 2000 carrying out Electrostatic Discharge test, although every time he applied a discharge, his memory blanked and he defaulted into "Kill All Humans" mode..

Omnibot 3000 ??? We Have The Technology...

An Omnibot 2000 For All Seasons!

Omnibots in the Attic!

It is getting somewhat risky going up in the attic.

I think that the Omnibot's are rising up against me.

This is EXACTLY how Terminator started....

Easy To Make Hedgehog cake

I originally published this article back in 2010 after I made this cake for my daughter Izzys birthday. After several webpage changes / webspace deletes etc, I was happy to find my cake pics in my Google Album Archive. I thought they were lost forever (although I did notice that someone had swiped a pic and added my hedgehog cake to a "Top Ten" list of hedgehog cakes on the internet).

So once again, 9 years later... Here is how to make my Hedgehog cake.

You will need:
  • Two small Toblerone's - Spikes
  • Two white chocolate drops - Eyes
  • One Malteser - Nose
  • Two Matchmakers - Whiskers
  • Two Large Chocolate Swiss Rolls
  • One pot Betty Crockers Chocolate Fudge Icing.
1. Put the two Swiss rolls together and trim them into approx. hedgehog head and body shape.
2. Plaster that body shape in Betty Crockers Icing all over.
3. Use the icing while still wet to glue the Toblerone spikes to the body,
4. Add nose, whiskers and eyes.
5. Dot of icing in middle of each eye.

Job done... Happy Daughter...

p.s. This cake is super sweet. Your teeth will hurt and wiggle while you eat :-)

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Space Invaders (Arcade Original) on the Sony PlayStation / PSOne / PS1 / PSX

Question - Can I play arcade original Space Invaders on the PS1 (and hence the PS2, PSP and PS3)?

Answer - Well yes. Yes you can actually. If I had a penny for every time I've been asked this (1p and that was me asking myself....)

A brief review of your options here which include original releases, unlockables and homebrew.


Our first release is the imaginatively titled "Space Invaders". This release differs from the EU PAL release of the same title (which incidentally was called "Space Invaders X" in NTSCJ regions).

Contained on this release are four different flavours of arcade original Space Invaders:

  • Table Top Monochrome
  • Table Top Colour Cellophane
  • Upright Monochrome with moon backdrop (Wasn't Space Invaders meant to be set on earth?)
  • Table Top Colour

Also included is a VS-MODE allowing you to play against a second player or the massive PS1 intellect..

So how much for the arcade wonderfulness? 2800 Yen or around £20. Expect to pay £5 to £20 on eBay to own this retroness.


Our next release is a rehash of the original Space Invaders release. The 2000 in the name doesn't refer to the year of release but instead was the price of this budget release; 2000 Yen or around £15.

Included are the same four releases of the original arcade Space Invaders and the VS-MODE. On top of this there is a Time Attack Mode.

And squeezed onto the remaining CD is playable demos of G.Darius and Densha De Go! 2.
This is still around on eBay. Expect to pay between £5 and £20.

Simple 1500 Series Volume 73 - The Invaders - Space Invaders - SLPM 86900

Our final official release is once again a budget re-release of the previous two reviewed, with the same four originals and the VS-MODE and Time Attack modes included.

Once again another mode has been squeezed in, This time Space Invaders 3D.

All for the princely sum of 1500 Yen or around 10 of your earth pounds. The less you paid, the more you got!

Space Invaders EU PAL - SLES 02144

So onto the unlockable. The Space Invaders rehash / remake (Space Invaders X in NTSCJ areas) has the original arcade Space Invaders as an unlockable.

At the main menu, press Circle and a level select menu will appear. If you go to Level 00, you'll fight a retro boss, and once you defeat this boss, a new option will open up, allowing you to play in Classic Space Invaders Mode.

Space Invaders Emulator - Retrocoder

Anthony Ball of Double Dutch Designs aka Sinistersoft aka Deluxe Pixel Ltd wrote an excellent Space Invaders arcade board emulator that when combined with an original arcade rom set, could be compiled into a fully working Space Invaders emulator.

You will need to find the romsets yourself. I would recommend getting them from an old MAME romset release (0.36 to 0.37). The emulator supports several different flavours of space invaders including monochrome, Part II and Super Earth Invasion.

What's the easiest way to play all of this?

I'm not going to go into masses of detail on all of this but a very simple way to play PS1 ISO's from a USB stick needs the following:
  • PlayStation 2 or PSTwo
  • PS2 Memory Card
  • A USB 2.0 memory stick of 32 GB capacity or less (Formatted to FAT32)
  • Free Memory Card Boot - A program that installs to the PS2 memory card and adds functionality to the PS2 OS to run Homebrew Apps.
  • POPStarter - A set of PS2 files that allow PS1 ISOs to be run from USB stick.
  • Cue2POPS - A PC program that converts .cue/.bin CD images to POPStarter Images.
There is already a huge amount of information on how to use the tools listed above so I don't need to repeat it. Try googling "running ps1 games from USB".