Wednesday, 29 September 2010

The Top Ten French Names For Mr Men And Little Misses

This is going to be one of those things that you either find endlessly amusing, or will leave you completely cold. You know, like how Richard Herring insists on performing the “Men of Phise” stories he did as a tiny child, which he seems to think is the funniest thing ever, but which is just numbingly dull.

Mr Men – remember them? The series of endearingly crudely-drawn children’s characters from the felt-tip of Roger Hargreaves, and if you’re as old as us, the spin-off animated series narrated by Arthur Lowe. It’s probably been converted to CGI and voiced by Matt Lucas or someone nowadays.

Anyway, the characters are also huge in the land of Gainsbourg and Cantona, with each character renamed for the Gallic audience. The names chosen for the various Mr Men and Little Misses are, we’re saying, tremendously amusing. Here are our ten favourites.


10. Mr Impossible (M. Incroyable)

French – it’s a pretty cool sounding language, isn’t it? Just saying the word “incroyable”, making the correct type of glottal gasping sound on the ’c’, instantly makes one feel 17% more sophisticated. It’s not as if the name really needed translating in the first place, what with the French word for “impossible” being, er, “impossible”. Clearly French pre-schoolers would rather everything is kept just within the realms of plausibility, and our purple friend here does the incredible, rather than the impossible.


Wednesday, 22 September 2010

PCZ RIP: Part The Rest Of It (Mr Cursor and Culky)

“Hey, Brokey! When are you going to do the rest of that tribute to PC Zone?”, people in the street would shout at us, if we ever went outside. And complete it we shall, with a look at our two favourite contributors to PCZ’s golden age.

Being avid readers of Your Sinclair since we first owned a ZX Spectrum home computer (in 1989, only 7 years after it was fashionable), one of our favourite magazine writers has always been Duncan MacDonald. Perhaps best known for being the author of cult videogame Advanced Lawnmower Simulator (of which here’s a nine-minute long review on YouTube), and not as well-known as he should be for the excellent book South Coast Diaries (out of print, but the website it was based on is now back online here), Dunc penned a monthly column in the early days of Ver Zone. Writing under the moniker of Mr Cursor (subtitle: “He’s Afraid Of His PC”), the column took in, well, pretty much anything on earth apart from videogames. Daytime television, Ceefax subtitles, compilation albums of tunes from ice cream vans and Earex: yes. Videogames: no. In an age when even talking about PC games involved having to spend about £120 on a new graphics card before you could be taken seriously, Mr Cursor’s columns made for a welcome diversion from coverage of impressive looking games that probably wouldn’t run properly on your unenhanced Amstrad 386.



Thursday, 9 September 2010

“What about the time I chipped my tooth on the bathroom urinal…”

 “…what the fuck is so comical about THAT?”


“It was a back tooth, Hank.”

In quite possibly the most thrilling DVD news of 2010, The Larry Sanders Show is finally being released in full. In case you’re not aware of the series, it was a very close second only to the mighty Seinfeld as the greatest American sitcom of all time (if you’re playing at home, we’d put Soap third on that last, with Arrested Development in fourth and Futurama in fifth).

It had looked like this day would never come. One of the first DVDs we ever rented, around a decade ago, was “Larry Sanders: The Best Episodes”, taking in just six episodes plucked from the first four seasons, and featuring some of the laziest DVD cover art ever. And the only ‘special feature’ was a trailer for Shandling flop “What Planet Are You From?” – indeed, we suspect the DVD was only rushed out to help promote the film, which saw Shandling play an alien visiting our planet in order to cop off with a lady earthling.

It was another couple of years before the first release of a complete season, with a Sony Pictures box-set of the first series being released in February 2002. Sadly, this DVD set didn’t sell quickly enough for tentative plans for the remaining seasons to be released, and fans of Larry could do little but hang around for occasional repeats of the show on Bravo, Paramount or ITV4.

It wasn’t until 2007 that another DVD release containing the antics of Larry, Hank, Artie et al saw the shops, but it was merely another compilation, “Not Just The Best of the Larry Sanders Show”, this time containing 23 episodes over four discs. Presumably due to problems clearing all the music performances from the episodes (such as They Might Be Giants performing S-E-X-X-Y in the episode where Hank rediscovers his faith), that had pretty much been it, meaning fans had little option but to track down illicit copies of the missing episodes from the Web (seemingly all captured from ITV4’s launch-era repeats, as far as we’ve noticed. Not that we’d download stuff like that, honest).

Until now, that is, with Shout! Factory announcing a wonderful 17-disc box set of the unexpurgated Sanders, due to be released in early November for those lucky people in Region 1-land. There’ll have never been a better time to own a multi-region DVD player or be North American.

We’d normally mutter something about blog posts containing nothing more than a copy-pasted press release being a shocking waste of pixels, but in this case we’re happy to make an exception. Full details of the DVD set after the ‘read post…’ button, unless you’re reading this directly from the full article page, in which case feel free to state at the screen wondering there the ‘read post…’ button is.


Monday, 6 September 2010

PCZ RIP: Part Two - Before They Was Famous

Time for another helping of scans from the now sadly departed PC Zone. While we COULD focus on some of their games cover over the seventeen years of the magazine’s life, considering we spent the last update ripping the piss out of advertisements from the magazine, we’re not going to. Instead, how about a mini-compilation of cartoons by Charlie Brooker? Yeah, why not.



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