Cultrface – a blog dedicated to culture and how it enriches our lives.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 movie set for December 2024 release

It was already mentioned in May that the team behind Sonic the Hedgehog 3 was aiming for a 2024 release, but now SEGA and Paramount have narrowed down the official date: 20th December 2024.

I won’t spoil the new character who’ll feature in the third movie but it’s set to be a blast (no pun intended; Sonic Blast has nothing to do with it, thankfully)

Sonic movie related: an out of context look at Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog 2: the highest grossing video game movie of all time (to date)

Laura Kelly on Superman IV, 'DC’s worst movie ever'

If I asked someone to rank the Superman movies from best to worst, Superman IV would likely be in the bottom three for most people. But it’s likely that it’d be at rock bottom for Laura Kelly as she critically analysed the film for Inverse:

There’s a clear decline, starting with the acclaimed Superman: The Movie (94 percent), then the well-received Superman II (82 percent), followed by the mediocre Superman III (29 percent), and finally ending with Superman IV: The Quest for Peace at a depressing 10 percent.

Superman IV is considered one of the worst films ever made — Superman or otherwise. 35 years later, I sat down to discover if the long-reviled film actually lives up to its reputation. Unfortunately, Quest for Peace’s status as a low point for the franchise (and superhero cinema in general) is extremely well-earned.

[…]

Superman IV is not only uninteresting, it’s filled with themes and plot points that go nowhere or are rendered forgettable because there’s too much happening. You’ve got the nuclear arms race, Lex and Nuclear Man, and the evils of tabloid journalism — not to mention we need a love triangle thrown in.

When I first saw the movie back in 2008, I was aware of it being known as the worst of the bunch (yes, even worse than Superman Returns) but I watched it anyway as I had yet to see it and… objectively, it was the worst. But subjectively, I kinda liked it? I like seeing films out of their “prime” eras, with the actors much older and trying to take on new ideas. It was still ropey in terms of plot themes but scenes like the one where Kal-El/Clark Kent plucks out an energy module from Krypton (‘all that remains of a once powerful civilisation’, as his father says) to heal himself from radiation sickness gave a truer sense of finality than in previous movies.

As for “worst movie ever”? Nah. It’s in that ballpark but there are worse films in the history of cinema.

Anyway, here’s an interview with Mark Pillow, the actor that played the (second) Nuclear Man. And some interesting trivia.

Nuclear Man Knows a Good Villain

TIL: Lucozade and Ribena are Suntory products

1974 - Suntory Whisky, 'Sammy Davis Jr ad libs

Having just finished a bottle of Ribena, I noticed the words Lucozade Ribena Suntory Ltd. on the packaging. ‘Suntory? Aren’t they the Japanese whiskey brand?‘ I thought. A quick Google and, yes, it was the same Suntory and both Lucozade and Ribena were their brands (as well as Orangina). Now, I’m trying to imagine the above commercial, starring Sammy Davis Jr., but he’s ad-libbing with a bottle of Ribena.

Whiskey-brand related: the story of the enslaved man who taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey

30,000 free photographs from Black cultures made available at Getty’s Archive (for non-commercial use)

The global picture agency has launched the Black History and Culture Collection to raise awareness of the history of black people in the US and UK, providing free non-commerical access to the historical and cultural images. Getty will grant access to educators, academics, researchers, and content creators, “enabling them to tell until stories around black culture.”

The curated collection has been handpicked from Getty’s voluminous archive, thought to contain over two million photographs.

I like that they’ve covered the US and UK for this collection as the experiences and cultures of Black people in the UK often get overlooked for the former.

Images are available by request for free non-commercial and educational use, and you can make those requests on the Getty Images website.

Related to image collections: when The Louvre put its entire collection online, when New York’s Met Museum published over 375,000 images for free use, and the Wayland Rudd Collection depicting ties between the USSR and Black liberation

Nichelle Nichols (1932–2022)

MeTV Presents The Best of Lt. Uhura

Nichelle Nichols has passed away at the age of 89. It’s a great loss to the world but her work in television, film, and STEM lives on. Besides her iconic role as Nyota Uhura in Star Trek: The Original Series and subsequent films, Nichols also volunteered as a NASA recruiter:

Nichols was always interested in space travel. She flew aboard the C-141 Astronomy Observatory, which analyzed the atmospheres of Mars and Saturn on an eight hour, high altitude mission. From the late 1970’s until the late 1980’s, NASA employed Nichelle Nichols to recruit new astronaut candidates. Many of her new recruits were women or members of racial and ethnic minorities, including Guion Bluford (the first African-American astronaut), Sally Ride (the first female American astronaut), Judith Resnik (one of the original set of female astronauts, who perished during the launch of the Challenger on January 28, 1986), and Ronald McNair (the second African-American astronaut, and another victim of the Challenger accident).

via NASA via The Internet Archive (2009)

Articles

CBR's top 10 gaming ducks

I’m a duck fan and I’m a casual gamer. So CBR’s 10 Best Ducks In Gaming beaked my interest and I discovered there were a lot of more ducks in games than I thought. Here’s #10:

10. FFXIV’s “Ducks” Create More Questions Than They Answer

Final Fantasy XIV has a vast array of birds, from dodos to pigeons, from chocobos to phoenixes. Still, amid all the feathers, the common duck is strangely absent. A possible exception is the “ugly duckling” minion. While it may be a cygnet or gosling, some localizations simply call it a duck.

In addition, duck bones are present as an item. The pieces of lore around the bones tell the tale of one Frandelont Raimdelle, who claimed the quacking of the “common” duck to be a sign of demonic influence and attempted to define the creatures, not as beasts, but as sinister and intelligent “spoken.”

My #1 fave Donald Duck is in the list, but not in the place I wanted him to be (that accolade when to his uncle). Who are your favourite ducks in gaming? Leave a comment!

Duck related: my favourite Daffy Duck cartoon: The Great Piggy Bank Robbery, duck fashionistas, and the cutest TikTok duck

Slice your pizza with this Star Trek Enterprise pizza cutter

I don’t know if you could cut your pizza at warp speed with this Star Trek pizza cutter but you can say “make it dough” and bask in the groans of your friends and family (or complaints since Picard wasn’t captain of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701).

Buy it on Amazon.

Star Trek and pizza related: Triqqa Pli’c: a Pizza Hut advert for Klingons

Explore the brutalism of Seattle

Condon Hall, Seattle
Condon Hall (1973)

Seattle Brutalism is a showcase of the brutalism in Washington’s largest city. There are only 9 buildings on the site and I don’t know if that number will increase but 9 is enough for at least a day’s worth of exploring and brutalist photography. Interestingly, two-thirds of them are either schools or churches. Off topic: while researching for this blog, I found out that Seattle actually isn’t Washington’s capital.

Seattle related: How did Frasier afford his Seattle apartment on a radio show host’s wage?

Someone made Frasier's apartment with LEGO

LEGO has an ideas section where people can suggest new ideas for their sets. I spotted this idea by Ian Chance Bradshaw to make Frasier’s condo and it’s quite stylish:

Frasier fans will quickly recognize his eclectic, high-end furniture, exotic decorations, and famous, abstract artwork, which I have neatly adapted to LEGO’s tone and style. Finally, you can recreate your favourite scenes, or throw elaborate but ill-fated dinner parties for a coterie of endlessly critical guests.

Frasier’s Condo features six original minifigures: snooty radio psychiatrist Frasier Crane, his ex-wife, Lilith Sternin, his charming producer, Roz Doyle, his fastidious brother, Niles Crane, their down-to-earth father, Martin Crane, and his eccentric physical therapist, Daphne Moon.  

I designed Frasier’s Condo intermittently over the course of several months, beginning in April, 2020. My ideas were inspired and informed by many brilliant creators and creations, especially ALegoLass and their interpretation of Frasier’s condo. Although my idea is complete, I would like to eventually introduce Martin’s dog, Eddie.

As of today, this project has 34 days left so leave your support if you want this to be an official LEGO thing.

Follow the project on Twitter: @realLEGOFrasier

Frasier related: How did Frasier afford his Seattle apartment on a radio show host’s wage?

The architectural models in Batman Returns

Something you might not have thought about in Batman Returns are the architectural models found in the film. ‘Architectural Models in Film‘ is a Tumblr dedicated to this kind of thing and they showcased some of pieces, which had parts to play in the plot. And then I remembered the models in Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice

Tim Burton appears to have a thing for architectural models, giving the building model in Beetlejuisce (1988) quite a bit of attention and then these in Batman Returns. The chimneys of the power plant do resemble those of the Chocolate Factory

Great minds!

The immortalisation of Amadou Bamba in street art

Atlas Obscura covered the eternalised life of Amadou Bamba (above) and how his fight against imperialism inspired so many in life and death, predominately though a single photo:

The photo was meant as a kind of a mug shot, so authorities could keep tabs on him. The photographer, a bureaucrat of the French colonial government in West Africa, aimed his camera at the standing Senegalese man, who was being kept under house arrest. The year was 1913 (or maybe 1914). Yet the camera did not capture a man trapped so much as a compelling, mythical radiance—the figure is poised, his headscarf glowing in blinding Sahelian sunlight, his face obscured but indelible. More than a century later the image has become unmistakable.

It’s the only known photograph of Sheikh Amadou Bamba (1854–1927), a spiritual leader of Senegal’s independence movement. Rendered variously in ink, paint, and charcoal, his image, based on that photograph, adorns homes and public spaces everywhere in the modern nation, from musician and politician Youssou N’Dour’s Dakar neighborhood of Médina to roadside villages in the interior. In murals, Bamba shares space with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., and his iconic outline festoons all forms of transport, from trucks and taxis to ships. All of these variations go back to that single, overexposed photo, and to the Mouride legacy that it unintentionally heralded.

More on Amadou Bamba: Amadu Bamba and the Murids of Senegal on JSTOR, In Search of Ahmadou Bamba PT.1: The Soul of Islam (video documentary), and The Sacred Coffee of Amadou Bamba