Wednesday, December 29, 2010

World of Warcraft with Kinect


I’m not quite sure that I would want to play World of Warcraft this way, but I must admit that it’s always interesting to see what ways people are coming up with to use Microsoft’s new Kinect peripheral. But one must wonder how Microsoft will respond.

Up until now Microsoft has allowed individuals to create whatever use they wanted for their Kinect device as long as they don’t alter the hardware. But with companies like the one above developing software to go along with the Kinect device so that you can use the device with gaming on the PC or possibly other devices, I have to wonder if Microsoft will decided to come in and take control or put a stop to all this tinkering.

In truth, no one is charging for use of their software or hack, but software development does cost money so you have to believe that at some point someone is going to want to charge or to at least ask for donations.

Then again, maybe this is Microsoft’s plan. Let a bunch of groups create and industry and then either take their ideas and incorporate it into your product or charge for licensing fees so that people can charge for their software. Microsoft is essentially a large licensing company and so it wouldn’t be too farfetched.

In any case, at this point any of this is just speculation. So what do you think? Do you plan on using the Kinect on your PC?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Carriers to Charge for Services

And I don't mean the ones you pay for?

Engadget is reporting wireless carriers in the US are considering the idea of charging customers for the different online services they use. From Youtube to Facebook, carriers are entertaining the idea of charging a different price for each individual service that you use, while of course not charging for you to use their own services.

All of this is bad news for anyone wanting net neutrality. With the government not too keen on passing net neutrality legislation and Google making deals with the devil, I have to believe that unless Americans really make some noise nothing is going to get done. In fact, from the looks of it, it’s going to get a whole lot worse for Americans. I also have to wonder as these companies start using technologies to determine what kinds of services you are using, (even if you are using services to obscure what it is you are doing), whether this will lead to privacy concerns.

All in all this is quite frightening. I thought us Canadians had it bad; it seems Americans may end up having it just a little bit worse. In any case, we’re going to have to wait and see who if any decide to take the plunge and begin charging. So what do you think?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kinetic Piano Hack

Nice hack.

I think I should start this post by being completely upfront and honest with all of you. Ever since I’ve seen the Kinect, I’ve looked on it as a little more than a Wii copy. Sure it was more innovative than Sony’s Move, but it still essentially does the same thing as the Wii, just without the controller. I even got to see people use it before it launched last year when I went to the FanExpo. But it never really drew me in. It’s probably because anyone using it looks a bit foolish in doing so, but everyone that has used it did seem to be having a lot of fun.

To this day I’m still on the edge about the Kinect, but I do have a lot of hope that if nothing else Kinect will evolve into something more than what it is currently. Especially after viewing videos like the one above. With Microsoft stating that they will not pursue people that decide to use the Kinect on their PC, etc, there seems to be a lot of innovative ways people are finding to use Microsoft’s Kinect.

I have to wonder if one day we may ditch the mouse and keyboard for some other Kinect style interface. Or perhaps the Kinect will be used as a remote for your TV. I’m actually surprised no one has rigged a Kinect up to turn on and off lights in their homes as you come into and exit a room or to lock and unlock doors.

Perhaps Microsoft might be onto something with allowing the community to play with their device. I just wished other manufacturers were as willing to let people innovate with their produces. So what do you thing? Thinking of Hacking the Kinect?


2010 Trailer Mash-Up

Just in case you missed one.

I have to give it up for the guys at that put this mash-up together. I can’t believe that it is literally another year that has gone by. I feel like I just wrote a post of some of the best films of last year and here we are at the end of another year doing just that.

2010 was a good year for film over all. Sure there were some real stinkers, The Last Airbender. And we even had a film not content with being the best in 2009, decide to be re-released in 2010. All in all, it was a great year and this year isn’t even over yet. We still have Tron releasing this Friday, which is hovering around 64% on Rotten Tomatoes. Tron seems to be getting some mediocre reviews, but I’m willing to give it a chance. What about you?

So what are your thoughts on 2010? What films did you like this year?

Monday, December 13, 2010

New Thor Trailer


Ever since the ending of Iron Man 2 there has been some anticipation for the upcoming Thor film. With the release of the first trailer and now this subsequent one, it looks like Marvel has a good thing going with their plans for the Avenger film. Each film is building on the previous to eventually give us all the film we really want. To finally see what the Avengers can do or what a superhero film can be especially if we have characters that we are all invested in and love.

Well I guess that is Marvel’s hope. Whether or not Marvel will hit their mark with the Avengers we’ll have to wait and see, but its still an interesting experiment to watch. You have to think that if Marvel was to produce a really bad film in these serious of films, it could derail the Avengers film, depending on what character it was. Perhaps that is the reason why DC hasn’t decided to follow suit with their own Justice League movie, even though people would give their right arm to see one. Whatever the reason DC decided to hold off, I’m glad that Marvel is taking the chance.

So what do you think about the Avengers film thus far? Are you excited? What do you think about the new Thor Trailer?


Friday, November 12, 2010

Final Tron Trailer


Tron is a film that I know will do well. But for a while I’ve been curious exactly just what Tron Legacy would be about.  From the previous trailers it simply seemed like more of a exploration film,  were the main character finds himself in a new land and figure his way out or find someone.  But it seems Tron Legacy will be about a bit more than that.

I have to say I like the new angle that the world that Kevin Fynn made has turn against him.  It does lead to more questions as to how will these guys get out of Tron or solve the problems of the new Tron world.  I have to say I’m looking forward to see it this December.  What about you? Are you looking forward to Tron Legacy?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Trailer

Now this looks like it’s going to be a good movie.

I must say that I’m a fan of the Narnia series. I never read the books, but I do have a respect for the work of C.S. Lewis, being a Christian. Personally, I’ve enjoyed each of the Narnia films. I won’t say they were Lord of the Rings level, but I enjoyed them. And looking at this new trailer, I think I’m going to enjoy The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader just as much.

Although, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader looks to be a little different than the previous films in the series. It seems that the guys behind The Voyage of the Dawn Treader are pushing the action a little more than in the previous Narnia films. This, I think, is a good move for the Narnia films. Compared to The Lord of the Rings, the action in the previous Narnia films wasn’t necessarily all that great. So to see this early emphasize on action is a good thing.

Hopefully they will be able to also still try and stay true to the books from the Narnia series as well. What do you think? Are you looking forward to the next Narnia film?


Monday, November 8, 2010

Sprint Axes Huawei

Not too surprising here.

Engadget is reporting that Sprint has decided to axe contracts with Huawei and ZTE over security concerns. According to Engadget even though both Huawei and ZTE bid the lowest bids in the bidding process for some new smart phone contracts, Sprint has decided to decline their bids due to security concerns that were expressed by the US Secretary of Commerce. Apparently the fear is that Huawei and ZTE may have ties to the Chinese government and so the US government doesn't want these companies to be supplying communication equipment due to China's emerging "cyber capabilities".

And you know what? I can't blame the US for being concerned. Many of the attacks against US systems do seem to come out of China. In many ways this shouldn't necessarily prevent Huawei or ZTE from bidding, but I have to admit that there are big concerns here and perhaps the risks are too high to take chances. Then again, it’s not like the US doesn't spy on other countries and we all buy US products. I know that over the years there were some that expressed concerns that Microsoft might have a back door into our computers placed there by the US government. But that never stopped any other country from buying US.

Could Huawei and ZTE cause a lot of damage for the US government if they are truly tied to the Chinese government, sure they could. That is why any contract to a foreign company should be kept limited.  Normally I would disagree with the government on issues like this, but the threat to the US is real and there is lots of evidence of attacks out of China.  So I have to agree with the US government on this one.

What about you?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New Sucker Punch Trailer

Now this looks impressive.

With each new trailer, Sucker Punch seems to be reeling me more into this film. Sucker Punch has a crazy premise of some girl who gets locked away and imagines this world as her escape from reality. Sucker Punch is fully loaded with dragons, sword fighting, robots and beautiful women. It seems like a film that every guy would want to see, but is it.

Personally, I still feel a bit of hesitation given what happened with the Watchmen. Don’t get me wrong, I actually kind of liked the Watchmen, but I realized that it wasn’t the greatest film ever. Will Sucker Punch fair better? I hope that it does. Although I have some hesitation, I’m really looking forward to seeing Sucker Punch and so I try and look past the Watchmen.

What about you? What do you think of Sucker Punch?


Posts will be up this Afternoon

It looks like my keyboard is going to so, I’m going to be running out to buy a new one.  So I should have some posts up this afternoon. 

Sorry guys.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Just Who will be the Villian in Batman 3

That is the big question circulating around the net today. According to The Week, Christopher Nolan in an interview has stated that The Riddler, The Penguin and Mr. Freeze will not be making an appears in the next Batman film. This ends months of campaigning and speculation online to see the Riddler in Batman's third installment, The Dark Knight Rises.

This has all led naturally to the question, just who will be the villain in the next Batman film? The Week speculates that it could be Catwomen or Killer Croc based on some rumours that Christopher may have been auditioning for a female lead and because there are some plans to film at least a portion of the next Batman film in Louisiana. I have to believe that perhaps neither will appear in the next film. The fact that Christopher Nolan is being secretive about the next villain leads me to believe that he may be going for someone out in left field. And let's remember Christopher could cast another superhero in the antagonist role.

Not to spoil it for those few that haven't seen the Dark Knight, the film ends were Batman, at least in the public, has been painted as a bad guy. So he is the bad guy going into the next film. The antagonist could simply be a hero that comes in to try and stop the Batman. Well or an ambitious villain that wants to take the opportunity to take Batman out while he is still a bad guy.

My money is still on Bane or David Kane, which by the way could lead to a Batgirl cameo, but I doubt that will happen since Christopher Nolan doesn't like the idea of a sidekick for Batman.

This speculation thing is a bit of a shot in the dark, but I guess that is the fun of it. What do you think? Who do you want to see in The Dark Knight Rises?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Has Tron Merchandising gone to Far?

Last week, OC Weekly came out with a list of the “10 most ridiculously expensive Tron Products”. And I have to agree. OC Weekly's list includes everything from $795 pair of high heel shoes to a $2,600 necklace. This all has this blogger wondering if Disney may have taken this whole merchandising thing a bit too far.

We are all use to the idea of a film selling merchandise, from toys to videogames and statues, but shoes, iPod speakers, keyboards; I think are a bit much. Sure it makes good business sense to try and get every possible dime out of a film project, but I think they need to exercise some limits. How many women that watch Tron are going to be ready to drop $795 on a pair of shoes? I'm thinking not many, but perhaps I will be proven wrong.

What do you think? Are you planning to buy some Tron merchandise?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thriller The Movie

NJNEW NEWARK STAR LEDGERBack in the 80s, I can still remember when as a kid, I watched the premiere of the now famous Thriller video following an episode of Entertainment Tonight. Back then I was a huge Michael Jackson fan and the video was pretty amazing, as it was, if I remember correctly, the first music video which was a short film. Even in today’s standards the Thriller video stands up pretty well and shows just how ahead of the curve the video was back when it was released. That is why it’s not too surprising to hear that there are now plans to make a feature length film based on Thriller.

In to direct this film adaptation is Kenny Ortega, who was the director of Michael’s previous venture, This Is It. Also attached is writer Jeremy Garelick who is best known for his writing work on The Hangover.

According to BeatCrave, the story of this film is said to revolve around Horror legend Vincent Price. Exactly how that could be accomplished is a bit of a mystery as Vincent Price Died back in 1993. Perhaps they will simply use a body double or completely recast the character Vincent played in the Thriller video.

Whatever the case, I’m actually looking forward to seeing what these guys come up with. Hopefully they can live up to the experience I had as a kid. What about you? How do you feel about the idea of a Thriller movie? Should they just leave Michael’s stuff alone now that he is dead?

127 Hours Trailer

This actually looks like a really interesting movie.

Years ago, I remember hearing this story about a guy who got trapped in the middle of nowhere and ended up cutting off his own arm in order to survive. What I didn’t know was that they were planning to make this story into a movie, and a fairly interesting looking one at that.

Hopefully, this film does hold up and isn’t one of those films were the trailer is a lot more interesting than the film tends to be. Or like a “Buried”. Not that Buried was a terrible film; it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

In any case, I’m really looking forward to seeing this film. What about you?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Have You Been Firesheeped?

firefox_A few days ago, at Toorcon 12 a disturbing new extension was announced for the popular web browser Firefox, called Firesheep. Firesheep essentially is an extension that allows you to capture insecure cookies from a wireless hotspot, thus allowing you to take over someones logged in session.

By now you’re probably thinking that this guy is horrible for creating this extension. I actually think he is kind of the good in doing so. For years now, people have been able to do the same kind of attack, called Sidejacking, but many of the big sites online haven’t done anything about it. So the creator of this extension decided to create this extension in order to force these sites to better protect their users.

Sidejacking, for those curious about it, works because of the fact that most major websites don’t encrypt the majority of your traffic. When you log in, they may encrypt that portion of your exchange where they give you a cookie to validate who you are when you’re logged into their site. But following the log on, many sites stop encrypting, so anyone that is listening to your exchange with that site can simply grab the cookie that you are sending back to the site and use it to pretend to be you, thus allowing them to take over your session.

To protect against sidejacking, sites would simply have to encrypt all of your traffic by forcing you to use SSL when ever your logged into their sites, but unfortunately many sites are worried about the extra overhead required to encryption all of their traffic. Which could mean that even with the availability of Firesheep, some sites may opt not to use SSL encryption all the time.

By the way, anyone wanting to protect themselves from sidejacking can follow some simple rules. Never use open Wi-Fi, or if you do, make sure that you are providing your own encryption through a VPN service or SSH tunnel with a Sock proxy. Sidejacking occurs primarily in these open Wi-Fi shops were the person running the Wi-Fi usually doesn’t provide any kind of encryption for its users, which by the way wouldn’t necessarily help since all of the users sit on your same network while you’re in these Wi-Fi spots.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Digg Downsizes

diggAfter months of bad news about Digg, yesterday there came more bad news, in that Digg has decided to downsize their business, by slashing 37% of their work force. All of this follows months of news of Digg’s reduced traffic levels following Digg’s version four release. Many users were angry with the way that the fourth version of Digg seemed to favour larger businesses and thus revolted filling the Digg front page with stories from Reddit before leaving.

The truth is I find this news disappointing, as many users never gave Digg a chance to fix their problems before throwing a tantrum and then leaving. Sure it did allow for big businesses to have a better chance of getting their stories read, but there were also a lot of other improvements that were made that were over looked. In truth, Digg may have eventually revised their list of people to follow just like how they backed down on the whole Blu-Ray encryption key fiasco, but people weren’t really interested in waiting for Digg to make those improvements.

Then again, I don’t necessarily blame people for leaving. With Digg still being filled with bugs, the site does feel a bit like a beta product and is not as polished as the last iteration of the site. Perhaps it’s a good idea for them to downsize and refocus on what their product is, because it’s still a good product and the user base can be rebuilt. The fact that Digg is still making headlines proves they still have a foot in the web game and they can definitely turn it around.

What do you think? Do you still go to Digg?

Friday, October 22, 2010

The HP Slate Releases

SlateBut do you care?

After many months since its announcement, the HP Slate has finally released to market at the hefty price of $799. This device does come fully loaded as a,

…Windows 7-based tablet PC with a 8.9-inch, 1024×600 resolution screen, a 1.86GHz Intel Atom Z540 processor, a Crystal HD accelerator that should ensure smooth playback for HD (1080p) videos, two gigabytes of RAM (recent rumors predicted 1 GB), and a 64GB SSD.

But one must wonder if this device is a bit late.

After so many months since the announcement of the HP Slate 500 many people had already forgotten about this device and many even wondered if it would make it to market. At this point there is no buzz around the HP Slate 500, and at the price of $799 I have to wonder how many they will sell. Sure it does pack a lot more power than the iPad, but no one knows about the HP Slate. Even the Playbook which hasn’t released yet has more going for it. The only advantage the Slate has over the Playbook is that it’s out in the market, but the fact that it doesn’t support a 3G data connection could be a bit of a hurdle for the device.

Whether a business professional will pick up a Slate is hard to tell. With the Playbook making some noise recently he may just wait for it to release, well that is assuming that he already doesn’t have an iPad. I do wish HP and Microsoft luck on this device, but I can’t see them pulling off some good numbers with this device. What do you think? Have you even heard of the Slate before this post?


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Marvel Runs Tron Variant Covers

14404storystory_full-7404561.Late last year when Marvel was acquired by Disney, many of us wondered what influence Disney may exert on Marvel. Well, I guess we’re finally beginning to see what influence Disney may have on Marvel. Marvel in anticipation of the upcoming Tron film has decided to run a number of Tron variant covers for many of their upcoming titles.

Now I have to say that I find this type of collaboration between the two companies kind of cool. Unlike what is going on between Warner Bros. and DC who apparently still don’t want to do a JLA movie, which I don’t understand. I just wonder why WB and DC never moved to collaborate on anything really even though WB has owned DC for many years. I guess DC feels like everyone will think they are copying if they come up with any kind of strategy at this point.

Whatever the case, I really think that Marvel and Disney should continue these kinds of marketing collaboration and I hope it spills over into other projects. Although one has to wonder what covers Marvel will come out with when Disney decides to do another Mickey Mouse movie.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Leaked Scream 4 Trailer

On Saturday, Spike TV held its annual Scream Awards, which honours Sci-fi and Horror films from throughout the year. At these awards, Wes Craven decided to take the chance to premiere his trailer for the upcoming Scream 4 film, which has luckily leaked on line. Or is it unlucky.

From the trailer, which is only a teaser, its looking like Scream 4 will not be much different from the previous Scream films. We have the beautiful women being chased by a knife wheedling person wearing the trademark Scream mask and black cloak.

In many ways I’m happy to see this franchise return to the big screen, but at the same time I’m kind of thinking its return was a bit too soon. Scream 3 was supposed to be the last film in the franchise and now that there is a Scream 4 you have to wonder how they are going to explain this one. For those that missed the last Scream film, they kind of got rid of the last killer. How many more crazy guys could there be out there that hate Sidney (Neve Campbell).

The more I think about it, the more I feel they should have just rebooted the franchise and bring in a whole new cast. Then again, it is a horror film and thus doesn’t need to always make sense when they decide to do something. Whatever the case, we’re going to have to wait and see what Wes Craven decided to do the fourth time around.

So what do you think?


Monday, October 18, 2010

The Provocative Wizard of OZ

wizard-of-ozOver the weekend, some rumours started circulating online that Sam Raimi’s upcoming Oz film would have a more provocative take on Disney’s Oz tale. All of these rumours were started from one site, Pajiba, which apparently got an exclusive leak on the story of the upcoming film. But could this really be the story of the upcoming Oz? I don’t think so.

According to Pajiba, the story is as follows.

We now know for certain that Sam Raimi’s next project will be Oz the Great and Powerful, a prequel of sorts to The Wizard of Oz, and that Robert Downey, Jr., though it’s not official, is expected to take the lead. We also knew that the movie would focus on a younger wizard, and his origins in the Land of Oz. Thanks to the Hollywood Cog, we now know quite a few details about Mitchell Kapner’s story, which would have the Wizard — a snake-oil salesman posing as a magician — enter Oz via a hot-air balloon, which he uses to escape an angry husband who has found out that Oz slept with his wife. There, Oz — a fast-talking huckster who wears a velveteen frock coat (yes, I can see that) — falls in love with Glinda (the Good Witch), and the two combine forces to Fight the Evil Witches Evanora and Theodora. Theodora starts out as a good witch, but after Oz jilts her sexual advances, Evanora — the truly evil witch — convinces Theodora to become an evil witch with her and help her to rule all of Oz. Both Evanora and Theodora are described as incredibly attractive, seductive women, and Theodora likes to wear black, thigh-high boots. What is this? Oz porn?

Now considering the original film, I can’t see Disney allowing Sam Raimi to go in this direction. Let’s face it; Disney isn’t going to give up a family friendly film which can make them more money in favour of doing a provocative film. It doesn’t make a lot of sense that they would allow Sam Raimi to produce a film above the rating of PG-13, which the story above would most definitely fall above. I’m sorry, but I have to call this leak a fake. Now I could be wrong, but I just can’t see it happening.

So what do you think? Would you like to see a more mature Oz film?


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Top Gun 2 coming?

topgunAfter 24 years, it appears that Top Gun is set to get a sequel. Apparently, Paramount decided to start the process off and approached the original producer and director in Jerry Bruckheimer and Tony Scott. Paramount even hired a script writer to get the script going. I have to ask why?

I think I should start by giving a bit of a confession. I never saw Top Gun. I’ve seen pieces of it over the years when it came on TV, but I haven’t seen it in its entirety. So in many ways I feel I have the same perspective on this news as many of the current film goers, as I ask why. Why after 24 years are we seeing a sequel to a film that a lot of film goers haven’t seen. Sure there have been a lot of these types of sequels; most recently Wall Street which came out in 1987. Seriously, I think there needs to be a stop to these types of sequels. I love the idea of seeing these veteran actors in films, but I know that most people could probably care less at this point. Then again, as I said before, I haven’t seen the first Top Gun. Perhaps someone who has seen the first Top Gun will have a different perspective, but I think after a certain number of years, it’s time for a remake.

Personally, I hope that Top Gun 2 is a good movie, at least for the fans of the original Top Gun. But I have to wonder how audiences will respond to this film. In any case, I guess we’ll all have to wait and see what Paramount decides to do with the sequel. What are your thoughts on this sequel? Do you think this should be a remake?


Monday, October 11, 2010

Harry kills 3-D

poster1Over the weekend, Warner Bros. announced that they have killed their 3-D version of their upcoming film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. This news was received with much rejoicing as many film pundits haven’t like the 3-D trend. And I don’t blame them. There have been a lot of bad 3-D conversions lately and has become pretty gimmicky.

Sure Avatar did a good job, but in the world of 3-D, the Avatar kind of films have been a bit few and far between. For every film that made good use of 3-D we’ve had maybe 5 that used poor 2-D to 3-D conversions. If 3-D was to go away, I’ll admit that I don’t think I would miss it too much, even though I do enjoy seeing a good 3-D film. That is why I’m encouraged by Warner Bros. decision to kill the 3-D version of the upcoming Harry Potter.

According to Warner Bros. statement, the decision to kill the 3-D version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 was based on the amount of time that would be required to convert the film to 3-D. Apparently, Warner Bros didn’t feel that they had the time to convert the film to 3-D before their release date and so they killed it. Unlike their previous offerings ‘The Last Airbender’ and ‘Clash of the Titans’ who many regarded to be poor 3-D conversions, it appears that Warner Bros., at least, have learned their lesson and will not attempt to rush out a half-fast 3-D conversion. This is really good news for anyone that is a 3-D fan or who likes film in general, as it appears that studios are wising up to the fact that they can’t just rush a project and hope to continue to enjoy their 3-D revenue streams.

So I applaud Warner Bros. and I hope other studios adopt this mentality. What about you? Are you glad Warner Bros. killed the 3-D version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? 


Happy Thanksgiving/Columbus Day

turkeyHey guys,  I just wanted to you all a happy Thanksgiving (or Columbus Day for our American Friends).  I hope you all have a great day with family and friends,  or what ever way you decide to spend your day. 

I hope you all have a good one.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Zack Snyder to Direct Superman

Zack-Snyder3.previewWhat an interesting chose.

Back when it was announced that Christopher Nolan would be a mentor on the upcoming Superman reboot there have been questions as to who would ultimately direct the project. Many of us may have simply have wanted Christopher to helm the project given his success with the Batman franchise, but we were glad none the less of Christopher’s involvement in the Superman project to insure the success of the next Superman project. What was not expected was that Warner Bros. would go with a director that himself brings a lot of box office clout.

Yesterday, it came out that Zack Snyder of 300 directing fame, will helm the upcoming Superman reboot, and I’m not really sure what to think of this one. Zack definitely has experience directing big films, from 300 to Watchmen and now Suckerpunch, Zack Snyder does bring a lot of experience, but the question is, can he direct a good Superman?

Looking at Zack’s track record, he’s been a bit up and down lately. Or should I say mostly down. Other than 300, Zack’s recent offerings haven’t been as well received among film goers. Watchmen which did well at the box office wasn’t held up highly in the mind of movie goers as 300 was, in fact I know many people who disliked the film. Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole seems to be fairing not much different, now sitting at 48% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Personally speaking I believe Zack Snyder is a great director who has had some problems, which is normal for any director. You can’t produce a good film all the time, nor can you expect everyone to like what you produce. I actually like Watchmen, but at the same time I can’t say it was my favourite film and I haven’t seen Legends of the Guardians yet so I can’t comment on the film. Bu what I can comment on is the level of imagination that I believe Zack can bring to the Superman franchise. No one can deny Zack’s level of creativity. Looking at the trailers for Suckerpunch, I wonder to myself how anyone could have come up with this concept for a film. I know I wouldn’t have imagined it, but Zack did.

I have a lot of faith in Zack to produce a very imaginative Superman film and I’m glad that they chose him. What about you?


Monday, October 4, 2010

Emma is Mary Jane?

600full-emma-stone Well I guess we can put a maybe on this one.

Over the weekend, news broke that Emma Stone may be taking on the role of everyone’s favourite comic book redhead bombshell, Mary Jane. And we mean maybe. According to Cinemablend, Deadline received word that Sony due to the success of Easy A, were ready to offer the role of Mary Jane to Emma Stone in their upcoming reboot of the Spiderman franchise.

Now I know you guys know how I feel about reports like these. Personally, I do feel that in many cases they probably shouldn’t even be reported as most of the time these rumours are false. But I feel that in the case of Emma Stone it would be somewhat of a good chose for Sony to pick her up for the role of Mary Jane. Emma definitely has the looks for the role, but I have questions about her character. Mary Jane strikes me as more of a good girl character; while Emma’s played a lot of very sarcastic, almost mean girl roles. (Well at least in the films, I’ve seen her in.)

Can Emma be a good girl? Then again, I’m making the assumption that director Marc Webb will go the good girl route with Mary Jane in the Spiderman Reboot. Sam Rami’s Mary Jane was very different from the character I imagined. Given a choice today between Kirsten Dunst and Emma Stone, I would definitely go with Emma Stone for the role as I feel she better fits the Mary Jane role. Then again, I would have never imagined picking Kirsten Dunst to play Mary Jane, so even though Emma Stone may feel right for the role, I think we should all be prepared to see Sony go in a completely different direction. After all, I don’t think the current Peter Parker, Andrew Garfield, was on anyone’s radar either.

Whatever the case, we’ll all have to wait and see whether or not if Emma gets the role or not. So what are your thoughts? Who would you cast as Mary Jane?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Star Wars 3-D coming 2012

star-wars-trilogy-1-0 Ever since the Star Wars first released, there has been something about the Star Wars franchise that just set it apart from all the others. Perhaps it was because at the time of its release, Star Wars was very cutting edge. Sure over the years, Star Wars as a series has fallen into disarray with the arrival of the prequels, but it still as a series managed to stay at the cutting edge of film making technology.

George Lucas, it appears, not wanting to be out done has decided to convert all of the Star Wars films into 3-D. This is not the first time George Lucas has made the decision to update the Star Wars franchise. Many of you may remember the Star Wars, digital remastering of the original series of Star Wars films back in the 90s, which added in modern special effects as well as some scenes that had been cut from the original films. (Well, and the controversial editing out of David Prowse at the end of Return of the Jedi in favour of Hayden Christensen.) George Lucas has shown that he is a man that is never happy with the final product and will continually move to update the Star Wars experience into the future. Well that is assuming this release will make money, which it is guaranteed to do.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, George Lucas was persuaded to go 3-D by the Avatar experience. Avatar which is now the highest grossing film in history, partly due to its 3-D ticket sales and IMAX versions, had ground breaking 3-D technology, which would make for an amazing Star Wars experience.

Assuming that when Star Wars is converted to 3-D it comes out as well as Avatar, I think George Lucas can go running to the bank. Personally, I’m a bit worried that Star Wars may not make the jump to 3-D as gracefully as Avatar did. Avatar was shot for 3-D; while Star Wars was shot for 2-D and we have all seen what 2-D films converted to 3-D look like. For the most part, 2-D films up conversions to 3-D haven’t done so well. But what gives me hope is that George Lucas is involved.

I know that many out there have probably given up on George Lucas as a director, given his recent Star Wars directing stint, but one thing that can’t be taken away from George Lucas is his vision and understanding of film making technology. This is why George Lucas owns the best special effects house in the business in ILM. The other reason for hope is that George Lucas is allowing for time to get the 3-D conversion right. According to The Hollywood Reporter post, the conversion to 3-D will take a year to be completed. This was far longer than films like Clash of the Titans and The Last Airbender allowed for their conversion to 3-D. So I’m on the up and up on the Star Wars 3-D experience.

What about you? What do you think of the Star Wars 3-D re-release?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rim Introduces the PlayBook

It sounds better than iPad.

In case you missed it, yesterday RIM unveiled their tablet device called “PlayBook” at their developer conference. The PlayBook is being touted as the world’s first professional tablet. And it does look somewhat impressive. The PlayBook comes loaded with multitasking, BES support, etc and is ultra thin at 9.7 mm. I just wonder who is going to buy it.

Let’s face it, Apple takes up all of the oxygen in the tablet space. I’d be surprised if most people know that PlayBook exists. Apple has created this Willy Wonka appeal for their products and I’m not sure that even business professionals will be swayed to buy RIM’s new device. If they need exchange support a few may pick up a PlayBook, which I believe the iPad lacks, but for the everyday consumer, I can’t really see them picking the PlayBook over an iPad, just because of Apples appeal to the regular consumer.

As for which device would perform better and do what you want to do, we’ll have to wait till there are some reviews out in order to make a good decision on this device. My fears are that it won’t have the battery life the iPad has, since it has a dual core processor. But it appears to be slightly smaller, so I’ll have to wait and see if my suspicions are true.

So what do you think of the PlayBook? Are you going to buy one?


Monday, September 27, 2010

Chuck Norris fixes iPhone 4 Antenna issue

You probably know him as the most feared man in the world.  Chuck Norris doesn’t use a cellphone since everyone knows they better listen when Chuck Norris talks.  But what you probably didn’t know is Chuck Norris can also solve your iPhone 4 antenna issues. Just check out the video above.

So it appears that that fear of Chuck Norris doesn’t end with people.  A little fact that is always good to know. 

I wonder if Chuck will work on a receiver?  I’ll let you know.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Videotron Offers the Fastest Internet in the Country

internetvideotron I wish I lived in Quebec.

Today Quebec can add one more notch under their belt. Not only is Quebec the home of the Poutine, it now hosts Canada’s fastest Internet service. Videotron today launched their new 120 Mbps network for the tidy sum of $160 a month (Canadian), $150 if you bundle it with a TV subscription or Telephone service. The service does however come with an unfortunate cap of 170 GBs down and 30 GBs up, which begs the question of who this service is targeted at?

All of us geeks would die to have fast internet, but I have to believe that $160 is a bit much for most of us. If this service was priced under a hundred I could see some people going for it, but with a low cap of 170 GBs down, I can’t see anyone wanting to really pay $160 for it. Then again, maybe that’s just me.

By now some maybe questioning why I would call 170 GBs a low bandwidth cap? Well its simple, anyone that wants speeds of 120 Mbps is going to want to use it for just that, its amazing speed. And what would you need those speeds for? Online streaming and file downloads. For simple browsing, e-mail, you don’t really need a lot of speed, but where it becomes important is when you’re doing online gaming, online video streaming and downloading files. Another place where it would matter is if you wanted to run a server.

But we also need to look at the other possibilities, true HD streaming can happen at these speeds. Right now, services like YouTube and Netflix are really compressed and they don’t do 1080p, but with a 120Mbps you can do 1080p without all of the heavy compression. So when I see a price of $160 I have to think that part of the pricing is to try and protect Videotron’s other business of cable TV. If someone could pair a fast internet service with a Netflix, Boxee service I think a lot of people would begin to consider dropping their cable subscriptions, as many already have. But companies like Videotron wouldn’t want you to do that, so they need to keep the price high to protect their cable subscriptions.

In places like Stockholm, according to a Tipster at Engadget, you can get a 1 Gbps connection for about 900 SEK ($134.93 CAD, 130 USD). So in Stockholm you can get about 10 times the speed of Videotron’s offering for less. I just wished North America would start to catch up with the rest of the world and offer a real internet service instead of protecting their cable business. Then again, I can’t blame cable providers from not wanting to kill their cable businesses, as online revenues aren’t so grand.

So until cable companies can start to make money online, I guess we’ll all just have to dream about faster internet speeds.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Netflix launches in Canada

Netflix Finally

Yesterday, I and many other people got our wish as Netflix made their journey into Canada for the first time. Netflix’s arrival was greeted with much excitement, especially with the help of some local actors in the audience at Netflix’s press conference.

What gets me is why Netflix went so far as to hire actors to pretend to be excited about their new service in Canada and then to even give interviews to the press about how they “felt” about Netflix. I think Steve Swasey, Netflix VP of corporate communications, said it best when he said,

“that a script was handed out to the extras, and that "some people got carried away and it's embarrassing to Netflix.”

And embarrassing it must be.

As for Netflix’s Canadian service, it’s not bad but it’s not good either. Yesterday as I got home from work I quickly signed up for the Netflix service, as it was a no brainer with the first month free offer. After signing up, I decided to try streaming on my Playstation 3, which did work pretty well. The Picture wasn’t bad. Some films looked better than some, and as you played a film would clear up, just like the American service.

But what I didn’t expect was the selection. I’ve been listening to a lot of Podcasts from Twit to Diggnation, were these guys have raved about the selection of videos available on the service. When I took a look through the catalogue for films that I might want to watch, I found that a lot of films are not available. The film names are in the list, but beside them is the message “Not Available”. This was really disappointing. I guess Netflix decided to launch when they had a certain number of films available and then add to the catalogue later.

By now some of you might think I’m being a bit picky with my selection of films so I’ll list off the films that I know aren’t available yet, so you know it’s not me. So here is a list of unavailable films:

  1. Iron Man 1 & 2 
  2. Kill Bill Vol.1 & 2
  3. Pulp Fiction
  4. The Big Bang Theory Season 1, 2, 3, 4 (Ok maybe this isn’t a big film, but I wanted to watch it)
  5. The God Father 1, 2, 3
  6. The Terminator 1, 3 and Salvation
  7. The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolution
  8. Batman, The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, as well as, all animated movies
  9. Gladiator
  10. Robocop 1, 2, 3
  11. Aliens Collector’s Edition T

There are some big holes in the current Netflix selection. I know that if I had kept searching, I could have found more big films that aren’t on this list.

All in all, I have mix feelings about the service. I like that there are some films that I can watch this month for free, but I’m just wondering how long it will take Netflix to fill in the gaps. Hopefully within the month many of the films on the above list will be available, because Netflix could be a really great service if they can bump up their selection.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Is Facebook Working on a Phone?

facebook_logo I can’t see them making one. But maybe that’s just me.

Rumors started swirling over the weekend that Facebook, the popular social network, was working on a mobile phone. All of these rumours were all started by TechCrunch, who reported that an insider had given them some information that Facebook was developing their own mobile phone operating system and were apparently working with a third party to create the hardware. All of this has been denied officially by Facebook, but it doesn’t really mean that Facebook isn’t working on something.

TechCrunch last year was the site that broke the story that Google was working on their own mobile phone and so they do have some credibility when it comes to finding the inside scoop. But I find myself not believing this one. What would Facebook gain from having a phone?

Then again, the same could be said about Google creating a mobile operating system and ultimately a phone. Google has worked to get people increasingly into their ecosystem of produces so they can make more money. Could this be Facebook’s motive for a Phone? Given a lot of the changes that have occurred to Facebook over the years, I have to believe they would want to be in more places, so that Facebook becomes a larger experience for people in their daily lives.

But one has to think the part of this must be partly involved with Google, and Apple to a lesser extent, trying to build social networks. Just how Google made the move into the Apple dominated mobile business, Facebook maybe set to try and move into Google and Apple’s business space. Well that is assuming the rumours are true.

As for the Facebook phone being a low end device that does data, I have to believe that Facebook learned from Microsoft’s mistake. The Kin earlier this year, flopped partly due to the fact that they had expensive data plans attached to them. The Kin phones were great, but no one in the low end market was really interested in spending high end data rates to get the phone. I would have to imagine that the Facebook phone would have a similar challenge as the Kin, since to access Facebook you will need to have data and if a major cell network isn’t willing to cut the cost of the data plan, I can’t see the Facebook phone even having a chance of survival.

Then again, maybe with time Facebook may find a solution to the data plan dilemma. Until they do, I’m calling this rumour a bust. What about you?

Friday, September 17, 2010

New Twitter


One has to wonder if it’s a bit too late.

Chances are if your reading this your probably already a twitter user. But for those that aren’t familiar with Twitter, Twitter is essentially a social networking site were users share everything from what they are thinking to what they are doing at the moment, all in 140 characters. The 140 characters limit by the way first started with the notion that users would be updating their feeds via text messages from their cell phones which had a limit of 140 characters per text message.

Since the launch of Twitter back in July of 2006, Twitter always seemed to embrace the idea of being simple and easy to use, and thus resisted the impulse to add new features. In many cases, Twitter has simply been a backbone for third party applications. Because of this, many people access Twitter via their cell phones. I know that I mostly see Twitter via my Blackberry. If I wasn’t blogging I don’t think I would ever go to the website via my computer, but I know that there are a lot of people that still do, so perhaps it’s a good idea for Twitter to start to do something to keep people coming to their main page.

The new Twitter is coming pretty loaded. Some of the new features are the ability to embed pictures and video in your feed, as well as, a customizable side bar that you can create for your followers, mini profiles so you can click on a user and see his profile, and an ability to find related content by clicking on an author or story.

Personally, I’m excited by Twitters new emphasis on their main page since I always wonder how these guys ever plan on making money. When I log into Twitter I don’t see ads of any kind. Sure they have those sponsored tweets, but I don’t see them too often. And so my question over the years, as the site literally started falling over because of its mass amount of users, how will these guys ever make money. The New Twitter looks like it could possibly answer that question. Well at least I hope it does. So what do you guys think of the new Twitter?

*** By the way, those interested in seeing Twitters new ad just view the video below.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Tourist Trailer

Man this looks good.

Johnny Depp is probably by far my favourite actor out there. He seems to have this unique ability to be able to play anyone, but he doesn’t necessarily get the credit for it. This does come partly from the fact that Johnny usually ends up playing similar characters in many of his films from Pirates of the Caribbean to Alice in Wonderland, he seems to like to play a somewhat strange character. So it’s really nice to see Johnny Depp take on a role were he plays a normal guy, which from the trailer it appears he does a really good job of. Paired with Angelina Jolie who also always does a really good job, I think this film will be a real knock out when it’s released in December. Especially if “The Tourist” lives up to its action themes.

So what do you think?


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pokémon Grows Up




For Live Action anyways

Growing up I remember the Pokémon being a show aimed at kids featuring these often cute looking creatures that were capable of doing different things based on their particular species. But there appears to be a move underway to mature our cute friends.

Above you will see a trailer for a possible upcoming film for Pokémon. I know that it’s a bit hard to make out, but the poster of this video apparently attended a secret showing of this film trailer and managed to record the last 30 seconds of it. From the trailer you can see some pretty adult violence and our favourite cute looking Pokémon mingled in between. The trail does make for an interesting concept, but I’ll discuss that in a minute.

But first, I think I should answer the question as to whether or not if this Pokémon trailer is a fake, which it is. Unfortunately some film sites jumped the gun on this one and reported it as if it could be real, but I took some time to track down the original story (which you can read here) and found that it confirmed that the trailer was fake. In the Internet age unfortunately fact checking hasn’t become the norm and I’m sometimes guilty of it myself, so I can’t blame anyone for running with this story.

Perhaps this rush to report comes from some long time Pokémon fans wanting to see a more mature film. Over on The Movie Blog, Rodney seems to have a slight attraction for the Pokémon and went as far to say that an updated more mature concept like this made sense since the Pokémon audience has grown up. This is true. Anyone that started watching Pokémon when it first started are now adults and so for there to be some mature themes throughout a Pokémon film would make sense since the audience is older now. That being said, I don’t think it’s a good idea to potentially cut off a new audience. By maturing the Pokémon, it creates a situation where parents may not want to bring their kids to see a Pokémon movie, which would a giant oversight by the film’s producers. Family films do very well at the theatre and so for Pokémon to not be a family film, would be a huge mistake. By remaining family friendly, adults that grow up with Pokémon will feel inclined to bring their kids to the theatre to see the new film. Kind of like the way parents may have brought their kids to see Transformers or GIJOE when they recently released their films.

So to mature the Pokémon from a marketing perspective is a really bad idea. And besides, how many adults are really interested in continuing to keep up with the Pokémon. It was great when you were a kid, but as you get older you have a lot more concerns that I don’t think most adults will find the time for Pokémon. What about you?


***UPDATE:  It has been pointed out to me that the article from Shogun Gamer doesn’t say that this Pokémon film trailer is fake, which I agree it doesn’t.  But the fact that the trailer came from a fake e-mail,  seems to suggest that it isn’t real.  At least it suggest that for me. I’m also supported by the guys over at Kotaku  who have called the trailer fake as well.  Lets face it,  Pokémon would never release a mature film like this one.  I know older fans would love to see it,  but I don’t see it happening.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Mario

Many of you may not know this, but yesterday was Super Mario’s 25th anniversary. It was yesterday, 25 years ago that Super Mario first appeared on the Famicom in Japan. Before this Mario had appeared in Donkey Kong and Mario Bros., but it was with the release of Super Mario Bros. that made Mario a household name. Super Mario Bros. went on to selling over 40 Million units in the last 25 years. What is uncertain however is whether Super Mario Bros. sold over 40 million units because of its bundling with the NES systems.

One fun little fact is that Super Mario was the best selling videogame ever up until Wii Sports came out and was bundled with the Wii. Perhaps more games should come bundled to the console it does seem to work out for these games. In any case, happy birthday Mario, may you enjoy many more gaming years.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Microsoft Gets Aggressive

Well sort of.

As you already know, Windows Phone 7 series phones are just around the corner, and with that Microsoft has started to gear up their advertising for this new series of phones. But what you might not know is that Microsoft over the weekend decided to kick it up a notch with an all out iPhone funeral and a Thriller dance.

Well technically, this event wasn’t intended to be a marketing ploy. According to an update to the story, Microsoft’s communications VP Frank Shaw, stated that these kinds of parties are common in the tech community and are designed to let employees blow off steam. Thus this aggressive display wasn’t intended to be seen publically.

I just have one question then? What happened to the good old days, when you would rent out a bar or dining hall and bring your employees out to dinner or dancing? Perhaps I’m just a little behind the times, but I would much prefer a standard dinner to having to work on choreography to perform an elaborate dance routine. I have to wonder if Microsoft is really trying to soften the blow so that they don’t look so aggressive. Aka Microsoft knew this would become public but they don’t want to publicly seem so aggressive, which a good idea is by the way.

Don’t get me wrong, I would like to see Microsoft be more aggressive, but to public state that your phone is the iPhone killer is a really bold statement which you have to deliver on. If Windows Phone 7 is not on par with the iPhone in any way, it would fall below consumer expectations and would be seen as a disaster even if the phone was a really good phone. The fact that Frank Shaw came out to state that this was simply an employee event was a good idea, at least in my opinion. So what about you?


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Google Instant

In case you missed all of the excitement yesterday, Google officially updated their search yesterday with Google Instant. Well perhaps not too exciting. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have a faster search engine, but what I find is more important is being able to find what you’re looking for.

Google in one of their press videos stated that you be able to redefine your search based on what your results are, as you type in your request, but I still don’t see how that may help me to find more obscure items.

Hopefully once Google Instant goes live here in Canada, I’ll be proven wrong about the service and it will be amazingly easy to find what you’re looking for, but I just don’t see it.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Is Streaming the Future?


I hope not.

As many of you already know, Apple TV received a bit of an upgrade last week at the Apple event. The new Apple TV comes featuring an upgraded UI and no storage. Including no storage into this device is a pretty bold move on the part of Apple. People are use to the idea of owning their own content, but it appears Apple is attempting to sell people on the idea of simply renting it.

Sure Apple is not the first to do that, Netflix and other online services have been running streaming services for some time now. But what makes Apples approach different is that they don’t have a subscription model. Certainly the Apple TV can stream Netflix or YouTube, etc., it’s just that Apple themselves have not come up with a subscription model and I have to wonder why. Perhaps Apple isn’t really interested in the content. After all Apple is hardware company and perhaps their interests are in selling the Apple TV itself. Which is kind of what they’ve done with iTunes, were most of the money goes to content creators.

That being said, one disappointing feature of the Apple TV is its streaming. Apparently, Apple TV will only stream in 720p. Which is good for most people, and is really not too surprising since I have found that streaming, although its improved over the years, still isn’t as close to what you can get if you have the content locally on the device your playing from. This is why I’m a little disappointed that there is no storage on this device. Apple TV in my opinion has taken a step back, as it seems Apple left out the storage to please content creators that wouldn’t mind you renting their content.

Whatever the case, having no local storage and having streaming options do solve one problem. In my opinion, in that most people don’t want to own everything they watch. I have a friend that has “acquired” a lot of movies over the years and so he ended up with boxes and boxes of DVDs, which became a mess to deal with and now that Blu-Rays have come out there is problem as to what to do with all of those DVDs. Not owning the content solves that problem, just as long as the streaming service comes at a decent price.

With Apple’s rental service, not owning your content could get really expensive fast. So I’m hoping Apple come up with their own subscription service soon, since other players can stream Netfilx and Youtube too and they also come with built-in storage. Even the Playstation 3, Wii and Xbox 360 can stream Netflix, so I’m not sure why anyone that owns these devices would want an Apple TV. Then again, maybe that’s just me.

What do you think? Are you buying an Apple TV?


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Machete Bombs

machete_poster_01 What happened?

Back in 2007, Robert Rodriquez and Quentin Tarantino got to gather to release their double feature film, Grindhouse. Although it didn’t do so well at the box office many people were impressed with the Trailer for Machete. So it was no surprise when it was soon after announced that Machete would be developed into a feature film which released this past weekend. And if you are like most people, you probably didn’t notice or just didn’t care to see it.

Machete unfortunately only made $11.3 million this past weekend to come in at 3rd. My question is what happened? It seemed that a lot of people were looking forward to Machete but when it came out their interest was gone. I had one friend that commented that he felt Danny Trejo is only a side character and couldn’t hold a movie. I know that some reviewers also didn’t like it, but overall it seems the film did hold up as it holds a 71% on Rotten Tomatoes.

I have to wonder if Machete suffered from some Scott Pilgrim syndrome, where by the film failed to market itself. Whatever the case, I hope Machete can recover from this bad weekend. But I feel that it is unlikely that it will.


Windows Phone 7 is coming

But is this a revolution.

Yesterday, it was reported on a number of sites that Microsoft had released a teaser for their upcoming Windows Phone 7 devices. And you know what? I’m looking forward to Windows Phone 7. Listening to guys like Paul Thurrott and his Windows Weekly podcast I’m hearing a lot of good things about Windows Phone 7. And, it does help that they are adopting the Zune UI.

For those few that managed to get a Zune HD, you will know that it’s actually a pretty good device. At least that is what I’ve heard of the device as its not available up here in Canada, (I’m not mad).

Personally, I’m glad to see Microsoft get back in the cell phone game, as Windows Mobile 6 was a bit of a disappointment for many people. Sure it did improve with updates, but the updates came a bit too late in the game. And Apple was allowed to run away with the market.

In any case, if the rumours are true we should be seeing some Windows Phone 7 devices arriving in the next few months and so I’ll leave any judgement of the phones until they come out. What about you? Are you looking forward to Windows Phone 7?


Friday, September 3, 2010

Toy Story 3 to Re-Release this Weekend.

toystory3 I’m not quite sure what to make of this.

Sure Toy Story 3 was a great film, probably even one of the best films that were released this year and I won’t mind even seeing it again. But I have to wonder about this new trend in Hollywood to re-release films. Is re-releasing a film really a good thing? Certainly many families may decide this weekend to take the opportunity before their kids go back to school to go and see Toy Story 3 again in the theatre.

Although there is a bit of a question as to whether or not families are willing to go and see Toy Story 3 this early after its theatrical run. With Avatar there was a period of months between its re-release and its theatrical run, but some theatres just stopped showing Toy Story 3 and some never stopped.

From a business stand point I can understand film studios wanting to squeeze every dime out of a film, but for use film goers I have to think that it’s not a good trend. After all, every time a film is re-released it takes up valuable theatres for its re-release, meaning that there is another film that doesn’t make it into that theatre, or another film is bumped.

Truth be told, I’m not against re-releases. I enjoyed seeing the Dark Knight re-release last year around January. I just don’t necessarily like the timing of this batch of re-releases and I would hate to see a re-release compete for theatres with new films.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

FanExpo 2010 Report

Or should I say FailExpo 2010.

Personally I would love to tell you how much fun I had this year at the convention, but the truth is my weekend got a bit messed up, and so, I’m still a bit raw and angry about it. So you may see that coming through as I do this report. Sorry about that.

Day One

PICT0460 Day One of the convention actually didn’t go to badly although it got off to a late start. On Friday, those that bought a deluxe ticket in advanced were supposed to be allowed to get in at 2pm, 2 hours before the actually event opened to the rest of the people. That unfortunately didn’t happen as I got in around 3:30 pm, which wasn’t bad. In years past, the convention never use to get started on time, and so I was used to having to wait a bit longer than the normal starting time.

Once inside the convention I spent my time walking around to get the lay of the land, as there weren’t any really interesting panels going on that evening. At least there weren’t any panels I was interested in seeing. But one thing I picked up on was the fact that we might have some problems on Saturday with overcrowding, as it was evident that there were congestion issues starting to happen.

Saturday typically is a big convention day as most of the panels and guest are there on Saturday, so I was a bit worried that the convention might get shutdown this year. I took a picture Friday evening of the convention which you can see below.

PICT0509 As you can see there were a lot of people already there on Friday evening.

Day Two

PICT0482 Day Two of the convention started off well enough, but it unfortunately turned for the worse. I arrived at the convention around 11:30 and began to line up for the Tron Legacy preview, which was awesome I might add. The Tron Legacy preview was a bit of a commercial for their upcoming games, as they had one of the producers for the game come down to promote the games. Following the game demos, we had the opportunity to watch a couple of trailers for Tron Legacy and view a scene from the film in 3D. For those interested the scene showed what happens to Sam Flynn when he first enters the Tron universe. It was a quite impressive scene that showed some of the expansiveness of the Tron World. After the clip, they brought out Actor Bruce Boxleitner for an interview and Q&A with the guys from the Space channel’s Inner Space as moderators.

Following the Tron Preview, I headed to the Stan Lee Q & A, which was a very interesting panel, as Stan Lee can be quite a personality.

PICT0011 After the Stan Lee Q & A the trouble started. The convention volunteers wanted us to exit the hall since there was a Adam West & Burt Ward panel happening in the same room afterwards and because of this there was already quite a big line waiting to come in. Once outside the hall I realised nothing was moving. This was a bit of a problem as we were on the basement level and had nowhere to go. I started to think to myself that if anyone started to panic this could become a bad place really fast, as there was probably a crowd of around 100 or more people going nowhere all confined in a hallway. I tried to go through into another convention hall when I saw a FanExpo employee came out and he kind of pushed me back. (Which wasn’t really cool.) He was however nice enough to inform me that they weren’t letting anyone go upstairs.

When they finally starting to allow people to leave the basement, I remember looking outside and seeing a bunch of people pressed up against the glass wanting to get in. It looked like something out of a zombie invasion. As I went outside to give my friend his pass which I had bought for him on Friday so that he wouldn’t have to wait in line. As I exited, I was never told what was going on. Apparently the convention had reached capacity and thus they were not letting anyone in. So when I exited I was stuck outside, regardless if I had paid. I ended up waiting outside for about 2-3 hours to get back in. My friend who had a day pass never got in until 5:30pm even though the convention was supposed to close at 7 pm. I missed all of the panels I wanted to see in the afternoon and my friend missed seeing Stan Lee, who he came specifically to see. All in all, we were really disappointed at this year’s convention. The extra hour they announced that the convention was going to be open for did not help us out in the least.

Day 3

PICT0060 Day 3 was a slow day, as most of the big panels happened on Saturday. I attended the Sendhil Ramamurthy and the Micheal Dorn Q&As as well as the Udon 10 year panel. All in all, it was a nice way to end the convention.

As for whether or not I will return next year to the convention. That all depends on what Hobbystar (the company behind the convention) decides to do about what happened to me Saturday and what changes they decide to make in the future to prevent Saturday from happening again.