Sunday, 25 March 2007

Cult Press Update #2

With these updates, we’d like to introduce you to the fantastic features of Cult Press. So starting with this edition, we are going to focus on the main aspects of Cult Press and what they can do for you. This edition: Cult Press Profiles.

By now, everyone is aware of the Web 2.0 philosophy (e.g. MySpace, Blogger, YouTube, etc.) where it’s all about YOU and what YOU can bring to the table. Well, Cult Press is no exception to this trend. Cult Press is all about what types of news articles YOU like to read and introducing new ways for YOU to find them and share them with others.

Your Cult Press Profile is the starting hub of the site for registered members. Not only that, it is also your connection to every other registered member on the site, where you can broadcast your latest news articles and… yeah, you guessed it… blog to your heart’s desire.

So your Cult Press Profile is just a blog, right? Your Cult Press Profile is just like MySpace, right? Wrong. Oh no, it’s much, much more than that.

Of course, I can’t reveal everything right now, but here are just a few things that make your Cult Press Profile great:

  • Display your face to the world (or choose an image that suits you)!
  • Blog on the site, or load in your blog from another site with an RSS feed.
  • Age, country, contact details, homepage, etc. – say as much or as little about yourself as you want.
  • Send and receive private messages between members – or post public messages directly onto their Profiles.
  • Your user level – show everyone how good you are!
  • News articles from the site – recommended just for you.
  • Choose your favourite subject so we know what news articles to show you.
  • Fine tune your personal preferences by choosing specific keywords (favourite tags). We will only show you news articles on your Profile that have matching tags.
  • Add other members as Friends, view the articles they have submitted or view the articles that have been recommended to them via their own favourite tags.
  • Browse through your Friends’ Friends to build up a social network.
  • View the Cult Press Awards that you have unlocked – show them off to your Friends to make them jealous!
  • View your statistics – how many articles have you submitted? What is your rank? How many positive votes on articles have you received from other members?
  • Subscribe to RSS feeds featuring your recommended news, your own articles, your Friend’s articles, etc.

OK, that’s it for now. Don’t forget to look out for Update #3, where I’ll let you in on a few more secrets about articles and their tags… until then, see ya!

Click here to view a preview image and post your comments!

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Cult Press Update #1

We're hard at work on the brand new version of right now, but that hasn't stopped us from keeping you up-to-date about the work in progress!

We’ve had a lot of questions recently asking about Cult Press, so I’m going take this first edition of Cult Press Updates as an opportunity to answer some Frequently Asked Questions…

1. What’s this all about?

This is all about Cult Press, a brand new Web 2.0 website created by zer0mike and me. Zer0mike is the designer and I am the developer.

2. So what is Cult Press?

Cult Press is a combination of social networking and popular culture news, joining forces to create a unique experience where YOU can share the news that you are interested in with your friends – and make some new friends in the process.

The core subjects of Cult Press are: Film, music, games, gadgets, TV, toys and comics. If you are interested in any of those things, Cult Press is the website for you.

3. How does it work and what does it do?

Register with Cult Press to become a member and join the online community that enables you to read, post, share, discuss, vote and track your favourite popular culture news.

Seen a news article about film/music/games/etc. that you think will interest the Cult Press community? News articles can be submitted by any registered member of Cult Press. The articles will be checked by moderators and then published on the home page for the whole world to see.

Every news article submitted to Cult Press will feature accompanying tags – anyone who uses GameSpot will be aware of the way this system works – and the tags will help other members find the articles that they are interested in, with the help of tag clouds and a search facility.

Other members can leave comments on the article and vote on it. The more positive votes and comments the article receives, the longer it stays in view and the more Cult Factor points the article writer earns.

Any action performed on Cult Press, such as submitting an article, voting, etc., scores you Cult Factor points for your profile. The points system provides an extra level of competition between members and encourages members to do more on the site. Want to know who has submitted the most articles, voted the most times, read the most articles, has had articles read the most, etc., there will be leaderboards for all!

Periodical special events and promotions, as well as special achievements (such as submitting 100 articles) and discovering hidden secrets will result in the awarding of Reveal Badges to members. The badges will appear in a grid on your profile – try to collect them all! Click on the Reveal Badges to reveal more hidden secrets!

Your profile, My Cult Press, is the starting hub for registered members. Keep it up-to-date with your contact details and blog. Send and receive private messages between members. Submit your favourite tags and My Cult Press will automatically compile news from the site that specifically interests you. Subscribe to your own personal RSS feed or to RSS feeds of any other member. Add other members as friends to create a RSS feed featuring your friends’ articles.

And that’s not all… but I’ve got to keep some stuff secret for now, but all will be revealed in due course.

4. When can we see it?

You’ll see it right here first. I will be posting sneak preview images and stuff from the site as it goes through development.

We hope to launch a public beta at on 07/07/07.

That's it for now, but we'll be posting more information in the future. Check out the full version of Cult Press Update #1 hosted on GameSpot and don't forget to look there for future news, sneak previews and exclusive revelations!

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Shaun of the Dead figure review

You could say I have a certain fondness for Shaun of the Dead. I have seen the film more times than can be considered healthy, I have queued up for hours to meet Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright and I have dress up as Shaun himself for an alcohol fuelled Halloween party. So when, on the way home from the Toy Fair in London, I open a catalogue to see Shaun proudly standing next to the rest of the line up for Necas’ Cult Classic Series 4, I was just a little bit excited. Not quite as excited as I was when I finally saw him on the pegs of course….


Shaun comes to you in the ever popular clamshell packaging, so
everything is kept very safe and secure and it’s highly unlikely that it will get damaged in transit or on the shelf. This is doubly helpful if you intend to store him MOC, as it also shows him off very nicely indeed.

The artwork on the box is also very attractive; showing a variety of film specific images including the films poster, as well as that there are a number of shots of the figure itself. On the reverse of the package is a small blurb on the film and images of the rest of the line. Its individuality of each package that I particularly like, with it being designed with each film in mind rather than the line as a whole. Unfortunately though, in this case it also backfires a little with the colour scheme being rather dark, making it harder for it too jump of the pegs when you see it in store, but that’s only a minor quibble.
Once you do crack him open, all that keeps you from playing with Shaun, is a few twist ties, so have some scissors handy.

You can always rely on Neca to produce a sculpt which, at the very least, is above average. So it should come as absolutely no surprise when I say that the sculpt is damn good. Shaun comes to us posed in the same way as he does on the films poster, cricket bat and flowers in hand. Technically they are accessories but you would be a fool not to have them in all the time. In the package I was a little worried about the head sculpt, it just didn’t seem to be Simon Pegg. I quickly changed my mind when I got a better look at him though, it simply is him, but I also worked out why I was worried. The sculpt, with all its wrinkles and details makes it seem like he a fair bit older than he is on screen, but it’s only a minor niggle and not much of an issue unless you have him so very close to your face all the time!
His clothes are also incredibly detailed with all the folds and wrinkles being in the rights places and seeming very natural.
The base that comes with Shaun is in theory a simple one, it’s only a record box placed on the ground after all, but once again the level of detail put into it is quite impressive. Shards of broken records scatter the floor, the box contains a selection of removable records, some of a couple of which have their own labels, and even a few bits off cutlery are included to add to the fun.
So overall it’s all very good.

Shaun isn’t exactly loaded with joints but what we get is still pretty good. We have a fine ball jointed neck, ball shoulders and cuts at the waist and biceps. As good as it is you honestly won’t be using most of it too much as you’ll find you self sticking to the posters poses most of the time. Although the ball neck is always very useful for adding a little extra personality to proceedings.

Even the best of sculpts can be ruined if the paint application isn’t up to scratch, so I’m pleased to tell you there is nothing to worry about here. Everything is neat tidy and clean, with no slop or any errors that I can see. All the colours match the source very well and overall it’s just a darn good paint job!

With Shaun you get a number of accessories (I have already mentioned a few, but here’s the round up)
You get his base, which isn’t needed to make him stand, but it just looks oh so good, a cricket bat, a spare hand holding flowers and a loose record. Also the records in the box can be removed.
You can’t do much with the loose record, other than leave it in the box,
As it doesn’t fit in his hand, but apart from that all the other accessories make complete sense and look very cool when used with Shaun.

I know I’m slightly biased, what with me being a fool for all things Shaun, but I still have to say I love this figure. The sculpt and paint come together so well, they make this an excellent addition to my cavalcade of SOTD paraphernalia. If only I had room for it all…….

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Massive Attack London Live Review

Massive Attack, Carling Academy, Brixton London, February 8th 2007

A band that seems to have shied away from the music kingdom of Myspace (prove me wrong, anyone?), Massive Attack were certainly not short of devotees at this astounding gig.
Crammed in without an inch to spare, the audience were treated to a collection of their most famous tunes to date, pleasing the old traditionalists amongst us.

Setting the pace with their newest heart-stopping song ‘False Flags’, every song played was with integrity and had the crowds mesmerised for the 90 minutes they were on stage.

Favourites from Collected, the greatest hits double-CD of 2006, played on the evening include Angel, Teardrop and the one-and-only Unfinished Symphony used in The Matrix.

Proving that there’s more to the band than a good sound, frontman Robert Del Naja and the group were actively supporting HOPING on the night, a foundation supporting Palestinian refugee children.

Their heart on the sleeve effort was widely applauded but in all honesty the guy handing out leaflets about the cause really started to grind on my nerves by the tenth time he approached us.

A clever tactic of the Attack was to have a huge light display with scrolling text giving facts and figures about the state of Palestine – entertaining and enlightening.

Refreshingly the audience were well behaved and without hardly any effort managed to blag a space at the barrier, affording me a fantastic view without the sweaty jumping teens to boot.
Exhilarating, trippy and most definitely worth the expensive ticket.

Review by Alexia Weeks

Saturday, 3 February 2007

Doctor Who at Toy Fair

So the Toy Fair has come and gone, and as usual the most interesting stuff was kept behind closed doors, and in the case of Doctor who behind a large angry looking man who made me sign a bit off paper before I went in. So now I’m either married to a bouncer or he was simply asking me to promise not to steal everything I saw, I do hope it was the latter.

What was on display was all very impressive though, there was the next few assortments of the regular action figure line (some off which are starting to hit around now) and then all manner of my deluxe items.

The action figures gave us the mixture of old and new that were getting used to with the Doctor Who line with old characters either being re-used or packed in with other characters, Captain Jack now comes with an Empty Child, the Slitheen comes with a Space Pig and Rose comes with a couple of Robot Spiders. It makes me glad that I held back on getting some off these guys The new guys consist of an Autons twin pack, Clockwork Men, a new Dalek with mutant reveal, an Ood and in later series a selection of the new guys from series 3. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get any information on these new characters but trust me they look pretty good.

In terms of larger items the most interesting to me was a face of Boe “figure”, I obviously wasn’t able to play with it but the size of it implies that that is some kind of action feature hidden away somewhere inside him.

Moving away from the action figure line there where a number of items of interest on show, including a very large Dalek, even larger than the RC one that has been around for a couple of years. This guy was stated as having a feature called Dalek vision, basically it’s a bloody big Dalek with a camera in its eye stalk, sounds intriguing.
One of the new characters in the upcoming series seems to wear a mask, so later in the year we can look forward to a voice changer based on that, in the same vein as the Cyberman Helmet.
So all in all its looking like there is a whole lot to look forward too if you a fan of Doctor Who paraphernalia.

Friday, 5 January 2007

Night at the Museum Review

I wasn’t expecting to much from this little cinematic expedition, in fact I was expecting so very much less than that, don’t ask me why, I had barely heard anything about the film, but my head was telling me only bad things would happen. So when I came out of the cinema without ranting till I was blue in the face came as some what of a surprise….

The concept of the film is thus, Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is in need of a job. If he doesn’t get one he wont be able to see his ten year old son, which is a bad thing, obviously. So he sets about finding employment and comes across a position working the late night security shift at the Museum of Natural History. On his first shift things go just a little bit crazy as all the exhibits come to life, and hilarity ensues. Things get a little bit more complicated when you factor in an evil Dick van Dyke, Egyptian curses and the obligatory crazy monkey.

The film takes about an hour to get interesting and even then it only just manages to hold your interest, everything that is going on in the film has been done before and most notably done better. Ironically when you consider the involvement of Robin Williams and Chris Columbus, Jumanji is a prime example of this.
The cast involved is a pretty star studded affair, as already mentioned you have Ben Stiller, Dick van Dyke and Robin Williams but add to that Ricky Gervais, Owen Wilson, Mickey Rooney and Steve Coogan. So it only adds to the disappointment when you realise that none of these actors come anywhere near to reaching the levels we know they can. Gervais is the biggest let down as he basically plays himself for about 5 minutes on screen, and is given only one gag to play with (oh the hilarity, we cant finish sentences). You know the only reason that he involved himself in this film is because he and Stiller are bosom buddies after working on Extras. Only the pairing of Coogan and Wilson really got me giggling, but it wasn’t enough to stop this film well below average.

So what we have here is a comedy/action/adventure type film ,that isn’t very funny and the action adventure bits have been done much better many times before.
But ignoring that, Alix liked it and she said she would hit me if I didn’t say something nice about it so…………….it had dinosaurs in it, and everyone knows they are cool!!