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Manuel Trujillo
Veni, vidi, vici.
Veni, vidi, vici.

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Did you know that the caribou has a special ultra violet vision? Watch this: #nature

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On this day:
At 5th December of 1980, "Flash Gordon" debuted in US theaters. "Flash Gordon" is a British/American Space opera action film, based on the comic strip of the same name created by Alex Raymond. The film was directed by Mike Hodges, and produced by Dino De Laurentiis. It stars Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Topol, Max von Sydow, Timothy Dalton, Brian Blessed, and Ornella Muti. The film is notable for its soundtrack composed, performed and produced by the rock band Queen, with the orchestral sections by Howard Blake. "Flash Gordon" has since become a cult classic with fans of science fiction and fantasy.

"Flash Gordon" is a outrageously campy science fiction adaption of Alex Raymond's original character that followed in the footsteps of Buck Rogers back in the 1930s. Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis blew a reported $27 million on this epic that cast a relatively unknown Sam J. Jones as the lead and paired him up with another unknown Melody Anderson.

Nothing about this 111 minute saga is remotely believable but this is what makes it so much fun. When it was produced, "Flash Gordon" boasts what was considered state-of-the-art special effects. Unlike "Star Wars," a franchise that took itself fairly serious, "Flash Gordon" is nothing of the sort.

Starring Sam J. Jones as the iconic Flash, the film travels to the planet Mongo, a planet Flash, love interest Dale (Melanie Anderson) and scientist Dr. Hans Zarkov (Topol) find themselves catapulted to after the Earth is attacked by the evil Emperor Ming (Max von Sydow).

Taking an instant dislike to Flash, Ming sentences him to death whilst taking Dale for his own pleasures. A battle between good and evil ensues; will Flash save the day and, more importantly, will he save the Earth ? Of course he will. Queen foresee it in their rampaging title theme, he wouldn’t be a very good ‘saviour of the universe’ if he didn’t.

That said, Flash doesn’t do much in the film’s 111 minute runtime to deserve such accolades, apart from getting cosy with not one but two willing females the nearest he gets to peril is sticking his hand repeatedly in an unassuming rocky hole in a strange feat of Russian roulette. When taking on Ming’s worryingly deformed minions he imitates the sport for which he is famous for on Earth and never really seems to recognise the level of his plight.

What is even more amazing is that the film succeeds despite the stiff, amateurish performances of the two leads, Sam J. Jones and Melody Anderson. Jones, at 26, was appearing in only his third film (he had debuted as Bo Derek's boyfriend in "10"); "Flash Gordon" marked 25-year old Anderson's film debut. While neither actor would ever become a major 'star', they both would continue working and would improve over time, surviving the harsh critical reviews when the film was released.

The performances of Jones and Anderson aside, the cast was a 'Who's Who' of international stars, obviously relishing their outrageous roles, and no one was having more fun than venerable Max von Sydow, 51, who took the role of 'Ming the Merciless' at the suggestion of his children, and had such a good time that he would make time afterward for an occasional excursion into 'camp' between his more 'dramatic' roles.

Israeli actor, Topol, so memorable in "Fiddler on the Roof", and about to do a 'James Bond' adventure, "For Your Eyes Only", made a funny, slightly mad Dr. Zarkov, while future 'James Bond' Timothy Dalton 'channeled' Laurence Olivier in his intense portrayal of Prince Barin. There is a lot of 'Falstaff' in Brian Blessed's gregarious performance as the leader of the 'Birdmen', Prince Vultan, and an unrecognizable Peter Wyngarde oozes malevolence as Ming's robotic aide-de-camp, Klytus.

Some sci-fi goes for the dark and gloomy look, others go for a sterile white look... this goes for over the top bright colours, plenty of red and gold. There is little subtlety in the excellent soundtrack either as it is provided by Queen.

Overall, "Flash Gordon" is just a really fun movie. It certainly didn’t win any awards, nor does it really deserve to. But then again, not every movie worth watching is going to win awards. Sometimes it’s nice to just crash on the couch and turn ones brain off for a couple hours.

#FlashGordon #SamJJones
#MaxVonSydow #MelodyAnderson
#80sMovies #Movies #ActionAdventure
#AdventureFilm #ActionFilm
#SciFi #SciFiFilm
#Onthisday #MovieReview

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The world needs heroes; it's a good thing openSUSE has its heroes -

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On this day:
At 4th December of 1984, Irem releases Kung-Fu Master and lays the foundations for the beat 'em up genre. The players control Thomas, the titular Kung-Fu Master, as he fights his way through the five levels of the Devil's Temple in order to rescue his girlfriend Sylvia from the mysterious crime boss Mr. X. The game was originally based on Bruce Lee's 1972 movie "Game of Death", with the five-level Devil's Temple reflecting that movie's setting of a five-level pagoda with a martial arts master in each level. However, the title was changed during development to make it a tie-in to Jackie Chan's Spartan X.

Here is a game that sparked the fire for many beat'em up games in the years to come. This game came out in 1984, it was produced by Irem corp. in Japan, and licensed to 'Data East' in America. This game is 'Kung Fu Master. Kung Fu Master was originally named Spartan X, which was based off of an novel sold in Japan many years ago. Kung Fu Master featured an character named Thomas Lee, a Bruce Lee mimic, who has to rescue his girlfriend, Sylvia, from the villain, Mr. X.

The player controls Thomas with a four-way joystick and two attack buttons for punching and kick. Unlike more conventional side-scrolling games, the joystick is used not only to crouch, but also to jump. Punches and kicks can be performed from a standing, crouching or jumping position. Punches award more points than kicks and do more damage, but their range is shorter.

Underlings encountered by the player include Grippers, who can grab Thomas and drain his energy until shaken off; Knife Throwers, who can throw at two different heights and must be hit twice; and Tom Toms, short fighters who can either grab Thomas or somersault to strike his head when he is crouching. On even-numbered floors, the player must also deal with falling balls and pots, snakes, poisonous moths, fire-breathing dragons, and exploding confetti balls.

The temple has five floors, each ending with a different 'son of the devil' or boss who must be defeated before Thomas can climb the stairs to the next floor. Thomas must complete each floor within a fixed time; if time runs out or his energy is completely drained, he loses one life and must replay the entire floor. If a boss defeats Thomas, the boss laughs. Although there are five bosses, the game only uses two different synthesized laughs. (The NES version uses a third, high-pitched synthesized laugh for the Black Magician, the fourth boss.)

Once the player has completed all five floors, the game restarts with a more demanding version of the Devil's Temple, although the essential details remain unchanged. A visual indication of the current house is displayed on the screen. For each series of five completed floors, a dragon symbol appears in the upper-right corner of the screen. After three dragons have been added, the dragon symbols blink.

Kung Fu Master spawned many home versions, for Atari 2600 and 7800, and an NES version just intitled Kung Fu. Also, there was a Game Boy version which had a completely different setting, new moves, and items.

Kung Fu Master also, spawned two sequels. The first one was Vigilante which came out in 1988. Vigilante was so insanely hard that it frustrated gamers away from playing it. The next one came out in 1990 on the Famicom (Nintendo) in Japan. It was named Spartan X 2 (Kung Fu 2) and it was only sold in Japan.

The original arcade version was later included along with the arcade versions of 10-Yard Fight and Zippy Race in IAC/Irem Arcade Classics for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn, released in Japan only in 1996 by Irem and I'Max. The arcade version was also released to cell phones. The Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum versions of the game were included on the 1986 compilation They Sold a Million 3, along with Fighter Pilot, Ghostbusters, and Rambo.

Kung Fu Master, is a challenging and fun game. The opportunity to get to know the original Beat'em Up game is worth a lot. After experiencing this game, players will realize when the gameplay has improved a lot, but essentially many of the future classics of the Arcade genre have drawn their inspiration from this game.

#KungFuMaster #Onthisday
#Gaming #RetroGaming
#Retro #Oldschool #VideoGame
#Arcade #ArcadeGame
#BeatEmUp #Brawler

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