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Posts tagged “Tron

Top 10 Grand Buildings

GeekOut Top 10s

Grand buildings – Buildings which genuinely take your breath away with either the sheer immensity of it, or just at how lavishly it is decorated. We’ll be checking both into the same list here, where the more epic the setting feels, the better it’ll do on our list. So, let’s get right to it in this week’s Top 10 list.

And hey, before you go, please do go and check out the vote at the end of the article. Today marks the four year anniversary of our Top 10’s. Thank you to everyone who has been with us every step of the way.


Top 10

10) End Of The Line Club – Tron

Though we don’t see much of the outside of the club, the End of Line is pretty grandiose both inside and out. Vibrant against the dark of the Grid, the lights are turned up high, the drinks flow constantly, and Daft Punk play every night! All of this is overseen by the equally spectacular Castor (Michael Sheen), whose glowing cane and ever joyous demeanour make a party atmosphere by themselves.

Positioned at the top of the tallest tower that overlooks the city, the party floor has the greatest view a program could ask for. A shuttle-car brings guests from the floor to the top, meaning that security should be a flawlessly managed thing. Sadly, Clu’s security forces are better prepared for renegade club owners, and the End of Line club is now… ended.

9) The Tower of Isengard – Lord of the Rings

They’re taking the Hobbits to Isengard, they said. But what they didn’t count on is the fact that one of these powerful wizard-folk were going to turn on them. But I digress, Isengard is a bit of a dump when you really look at it on the outside. It’s just a bloody great big iron fortress, of which the name implies. It became the home of the almost hermit-like Saruman, a wise and powerful wizard. Who, y’know, betrays them all.

Anyway, ignoring the betrayal, the reason we chose the Tower of Isengard is the sheer immensity of it. Unlike the rest of the area, it’s just this massive spire which sits dead centre in the fortress. Don’t get me wrong, it plays an important part and is one hell of an image, but what doesn’t sit right with me is the lack of being able to see the insides. The film makes a great case for it; the book paints an impressive image… But we just don’t know what’s going on inside.

That summit however is rather incredible.

8) Cair Paravel – Narnia

The Kings and Queens of Narnia rule from within Cair Paravel, a massive, incredible castle in the realm of Narnia. Through them wardrobes you go, as you step into Narnia, where the castle houses the four thrones. Indeed, this castle is central to the story of Narnia in many ways, even if we’re not necessarily going to see everything about it, which is why we can’t rank this one much higher than this spot.

However, don’t let the placing on this list fool you. Cair Paravel is an incredible castle, home to many a people. Depending on where abouts you are, it’s just a castle or it’s a castle surrounded by a whole city. Naturally, a city isn’t a building, so throughout we’ve focused on the castle… Which is truly a shame, as hey, spoilers, that castle ain’t staying up forever. All in all, it represents power and position, which is always a surefire way for something to be brought down!

7) The Combine Citadel Tower – Half Life 2

The ominous scar that marrs the skyline of City 17, and for thousands of miles around, the Citadel is an icon of oppression. Literally scraping the sky, the tower reaches up high enough to define the clouds around its apex, and at its base it trails cables, a constant vampiric feed of information used to monitor, control, and subdue.

The monolith is so vast it requires a train to efficiently travel through. The space is filled by an enormous military force, a portal to alien destinations, and the leviathan “Advisors” that have come to enslave humanity. It’s hard to put a human face on a force that grim, and Wallace Breen is not the face any of us would have chosen.

6) The Dark Tower – Stephen King

If I were to tell you that The Dark Tower is basically about a gunslinger who’s taking over a tower, by, y’know, shooting stuff to get to said tower… It all sounds rather daft. But, that’s actually kind of what The Dark Tower is in a nutshell – And the imagery the book sets is amazing. Standing before the massive tower, one lone gunslinger is out for vengeance, from a disturbed childhood. It’s riveting reading and viewing.

Whether or not you’re a fan of Stephen King novels, you cannot deny the immensity of the tower. It’s arguably one of the taller constructs on our list. It’s hard to place what the tower is exactly, except for a nightmarish place which must be entered to be destroyed. Technically, it’s effectively a hub for many worlds… But we’ll let you read or watch it for yourself. We follow our protagonist through his perilous journey into the tower. However, you’d be better off not following Roland into the Dark Tower, as you’d be better off knowing it’s dark secrets.

5) Hyrule Castle – Legend of Zelda

Arguably the most classic example of a video game building on this list, Hyrule Castle has seen many iterations throughout the ages. It doesn’t matter what version you’ve seen, it’s always one of the grandest dungeons in any Legend of Zelda title. As of the time of writing, Hyrule Castle has been in 11 Legend of Zelda titles, which definitely makes it one of the most prolific entries on this list.

Hyrule Castle will always hold a place in gamers hearts; With a multitude of enemies having taken it over, the princess having been kidnapped and much more, Hyrule Castle has a checkered past. Here’s hoping one day Hyrule Castle will be a much more stable and secure place for a king and queen to rule from, but whilst we’ve got Legend of Zelda titles, you can bet that some serious adventuring is going to take place within the walls.

Tidy stone, royal carpets, throne rooms – This castle’s got the lot. It’s even got a dungeon underneath it, to keep the villains locked up.

4) The Disney Castle

Ahh, the iconic edifice that opens every Disney film, the many turreted, completely impractical castle over a river. I’m not saying it’s completely indefensible, but it’s not difficult to get passed that outer wall, and the compound beyond appears to be chaotic, without safe points of retreat and consolidation. Now, the original Neuschwanstein Castle, that’s got some holding power, check out that long runway, leaving invaders open to bombardment and forcing them to bottleneck for easy rep- y’know what, never mind.

The Disney Castle is iconic, a centrepiece to the visual spectacular that is every Disneyland, and the very image we have come to know from the House of Mouse. Despite the Mickey Mouse logo, we perhaps know the castle better now as a culture, since it rose to visual dominance in the days of Sleeping Beauty.

3) Tyrell Corporation – Bladerunner

From a vision of wonder, the the very epitome of domination. The great squat pyramid of Tyrell – producers of the Replicant androids – aglow with lights, but no less dark for the near-divine image it portrays. To refer to the compound as a pyramid is no mistake, creators of “life” after a fashion, Tyrell have created for themselves the image of a kind of god-king, and their temple dominates the horizon.

The floating obelisk-like outer buildings create an almost ethereal power about the thing, as though it defies physics. The interior is as temple-like as the outside, bedecked in fabric hangings, modelled to capture the image of the pope’s bedroom, or the inside of a grand cathedral. Make no mistake, this is dystopia concentrated, all hail the corporation, Tyrell is god to the people.

2) Stark Tower – Marvel

More accurately, Avengers Tower now, Stark Tower suffered some auspiciously cosmetic damage during the Chitauri invasion of New York, losing the S, T, R and K, somehow keeping hold of the stylised “A”. The landing pad sets it apart from every other tower in the Manhattan skyline, veering out from the side of the upper floors to really underline the fact that there are no helicopters putting down there, just a suit.

The lounge that overlooks the landing pad is spacious enough to host a party, a well stocked bar overlooks a seating and party space large enough to swing a god. Just below is a fully automated repair and maintenance facility for the Iron Man Suits and the Iron Legion, along with a variety of workshops and labs further and further down, including spaces specifically made to accommodate the other Avengers. The tower is impressive inside and out, and while it would serve no purpose, I still feel that New York itself would be improved for the addition of a fake one.

Not like Disney couldn’t do it for the giggles…

1) Hogwarts – Harry Potter

If you didn’t think Hogwarts was getting our first place spot, you’d have been sorely mistaken. Hogwarts is indeed our first pick – Although this wasn’t the only building in the Harry Potter universe that we considered. Indeed, we considered Ollivander’s Wand Shop, for the immensity of his collection of wands. We considered Gringotts, as the wealth of gold and the fact there’s a massive roller coaster to get to your vault. We considered Hog’s Head Inn, but that wasn’t that grand.

Indeed, Hogwarts was a fitting first place on this list. Without it, we’d have not seen so many exciting stories. We’ve gone to dark places that most wizards wouldn’t dream of seeing. We’ve been to all sorts of different wonderfully terrifying places within the walls of the school. The fact this massive, magical school is surrounded by forests filled with wildlife, vast luscious grounds, a Quidditch pitch and more is just the beginning.

Once you penetrate the fortress itself, there are staircases that move around. Grand, incredible paintings which are literally alive. A huge dining hall, where all announcements are made… Trust us, there was no better pick than the immensity of Hogwarts.


Honourable Mentions

Indeed, being grand is an important matter… Although the term grand is indeed incredibly subjective. Are we on about pure size? What about randomisation?! Indeed, we’ve got two more plausible entries which we couldn’t quite fit on our list, but we certainly had to give them a bit of a nod!

Knightmare Castle – Knightmare

 

 

This was a fun pick to put in here – The Knightmare Castle doesn’t really have much of a name, other than the TV shows namesake, but honestly there have been so many great stories told in here. If you’ve never seen Knightmare, watch an episode of it above. This was a much beloved show which runs live events now-a-days and that’s about it. A pity, as honestly so many kids would love to see Knightmare on TV.

Dreaming aside, the castle was incredible. Sometimes it had people playing NPCs whose whole purpose was to kill the heroic kids; other times it had NPCs willing to get the kids out of harm’s way. Sometimes, people would get poisoned – And every time, the protagonist would be blinded by the magnificence of the castle; so much so, they would always say…

“… Where am I?!”

Unseen University – Discworld

Ankh Morpork’s campus for practitioners of the arcane is a wondrous place of learning. From the glass dome of the High Energy Magic Building and its strange atmosphere of thaumatological radiation, to the soaring, crooked Tower of Art, UU is a wonder of the mystic art of architecture and containing large amount of wizard.

Rivalled across the disc only by Buggerup Uni in Fourecks with its many-heighted tower, the university is a defining feature of the AM skyline on those days when it can be seen through the dust, smog, and general effluence of the Ankh. You could buy it in paper-craft at one point, pretty sure I missed my chance though.


So, we’ve got something to admit to all of you. Today marks the four year anniversary of our first Top 10 article, Top 10 Bears. It’s old, it’s outdated and so, so many of our classics are. But, we loved every one of them so much. To celebrate, we’re picking up three of our classic Top 10’s for a redo as we think there are many new entries we could consider – So, go ahead, select one for us to do a redeux on. Will they be better, or will they be basically the same as before?

That’s it for another Top 10 list – But as ever, we’re not quite finished yet. We’re going to pass the conversation onto you now. What did you make of our list today? Did we get the right buildings, or did we forget about any truly grand buildings? Did we get the order right? Could anything have toppled Hogwarts? Leave your comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.

Finally, on behalf of Timlah and Joel: Thanks again to everyone who has been with us every step of the way.

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10 Influential 80’s Geek Films

I thought it would be fun to see what kind of movies were out in the 80’s that may of influenced the hacking games that I posted last week. The 80’s were a full of lots of slightly (and in places not so slightly) tacky movies. This is not a Top 10 by any means, the films are just ones that I remember having an influence on me and possibly my peers around the same time.

The Wizard


Weird Science (1985)

Cheesy most of the way through a classic John Hughes film where two high school “nerds” attempt to create the perfect woman ending up with Kelly LaBrock (schwing). The computer nerd of the film (Wyatt) reaches the maximum he can do with his current equipment and then proceeds to hack into an unnamed system. Cue transitional video with large tapes rolling in the background to denote activity. Yes kids this was how data was both saved and loaded on corporate systems in the dark age of the eighties.

Link: [Weird Science on IMDB]

Real Genius (1985)

A young Val Kilmer (schwing) plays Chris Knight a genius at an institution for the gifted who is duped into making a military laser (because lasers were cool in the eighties). Along the way they meet the guy who lives in their closet Lazlo who helps them alter the destination of the test. During the film you’ll see lots of cool kit, lasers, ice that turns to gas, fun uses for liquid nitrogen, eighties style graphics, some social engineering and an interesting use for popcorn.

Link: [Real Genius on IMDB]

Wargames (1983)

Matthew Broderick plays a whizz kid who hacks the school computer, first of all changing his grades and then takes things further by hacking into the government security and plays a game with it. Trouble is the game he chooses is called “Global Thermo Nuclear War” and the game is not a game after all but a simulation that goes horribly wrong and causes a real reaction. Switching to Defcon 1…. BOOM

Link: [Wargames on IMDB]

Short Circuit (1986)

Ahh… I love this film so much. Although it does not involve a lot of hacking the genius of the film (played by Steve Gutenburg) does try to hack into the robot that has gone rogue due to a power spike. The robot names itself Johnny 5 and goes on a journey of discovery trying to prove that he is actually alive to avoid being dismantled by the military. I also forgot to mention the presence of Ally Sheedy (schwing)

Link [Short Circuit on IMDB]

Electric Dreams (1984)

If you have seen the more recent and awesome film called Her, just imagine almost the same film but in the 1980’s with more hair, cheesy pop and a big trak! Yes the computer who is named Edgar starts to get jealous of the new relationship Miles is getting into with Madeline who had moved in upstairs. At one point Miles think it’s a good idea to pour champagne onto the computer which only makes things worse. We here at GeekOut must state that pouring liquids onto electronics is generally a bad idea and not something we would advise. However this film is very cheesy but has a place in geek history and on top of that has a great soundtrack including a classic by Phil Oakey from the Human League.

Link: [Electric Dreams on IMDB]

The Wizard (1989)

Fred Savage plays Corey Woods whose brother Jimmy turns out to be awesome at Video games. They both run away from home and compete in what I think is the worlds first video game competition ever on film. It’s a terrible film in my opinion but really was a vision for what has only in the past 5 years or so become a reality where we now have E-Sports channels. You cannot watch The Wizard without acknowledging that the whole thing was basically a massive marketing move by Nintendo in the quest to promote a new game. I’d like to say they did well to disguise the whole thing like a film and the storyline was fantastic but that would be a big fat stack of lies. I do need to point out that the film includes the rarely seen and utterly useless Powerglove. Oh… Christian Slater is also in this film (schwing)

Link [The Wizard on IMDB]

Tron (1982)

You can’t mention eighties computer movies without talking about Tron. Kevin Flynn (played by Jeff Bridges) ex-employee of ENCOM takes it upon himself to find evidence that the corporation stole four video games he created. When hacking into the system something goes horribly wrong and Kevin is consumed by the computer and has to literally fight his way through as a program. It was genius back then and the 2010 reboot of the film was actually quite good which in itself was a rare thing.

Link [Tron on IMDB]

D.A.R.Y.L

A normal boy is dropped off in the middle of the woods and found by a childless couple. However this is no ordinary boy and before you ask: no, he is not made of wood and no his nose does not grow when he lies! Nope, Daryl is actually a super sophisticated robot that is now trying to be recalled by the military. What was it with the military in the eighties? Daryl learns human socialisation, human traits and emotional responses. I remember watching this film as a kid and being utterly captivated by it.

Link [D.A.R.Y.L on IMDB]

Superman 3 (1983)

Probably the worst of the three superman movies in my opinion but has some classic geekery in it. Gus Gorman played by Richard Pryor has a hidden talent of being a computer genius. Working for Wealthy businessman Ross Webster (think Donald Trump) he manages to bypass the internal computer security with ease. So next time you think the government is taking too much in tax, log onto the HMRC website and when your asked for a security code type in “OVERRIDE ALL SECURITY” it’s sure to work, the eighties tell us so.

Link [Superman 3 on IMDB]

Robocop (1987)

When Robocop was released it was vastly talked about  for being graphically violent and hard hitting. I was only 12 at the time it was out in the cinema and rated 18 I had to wait a fair few years before I was allowed to see it. You know I think it still stands tall to this day as a film that broke boundaries. Alex Murphy a regular cop on the mean streets of a futuristic Detroit gets shot by a street gang and then rebuilt into the worlds first cyborg policeman. The geekery is all over this film from the moment they begin to put Alex back together to the unveiling of the ED-209 mech run by the greedy OCP Corporation. This was another film that received a reboot in 2014 but there was something missing from it in my opinion and the original for me still stands as a better film. all together now “Dead or alive you are coming with me”, “Your move.. creep”

Link [Back to the Future 1 & Back To The Future 2 on IMDB]


 

I’m sure there are a lot of films I have missed, if you can think of any to add to our list then drop us a comment. If you’re one of our younger readers and have not seen these films then we encourage you to go and check them out. Then come back and tell us just how bad/ you thought they were.

[1] Schwing