Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dennis Hopper and Gary Coleman Die

Dennishopper They will be missed.

As many of you probably already know, we lost two celebs over the weekend. Both Gary Coleman and Dennis Hopper passed away this weekend, to my surprise. Certainly it was widely known that Dennis Hopper was fighting cancer over the last several months, but the timing so close to Gary Coleman’s sudden death over the weekend was a bit surprising.

Dennis Hopper of course had a great career as an actor, having acted in my many films over the years. He was an amazing actor and he will be missed.

gary-coleman-nbcI would also like to honour Gary Coleman on his career. Sure his  career as an actor wasn’t as extensive as Dennis Hopper’s, but I don’t think he should be discounted because of it. In many ways, it’s disappointing that Gary Coleman wasn’t able to land it big following Different Strokes.

These guys were definitely a one of a kind and I don’t think they will be ever replaced, or forgotten.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Prince of Persia Comes Up Rotten

prince-of-persia-movie-poster-jake-gyllenhaal-04 Not too surprising.

There is an old adage that says all videogame movies suck and unfortunately it appears that Prince of Persia may be fitting the mould. I decided to take a swing by Rotten Tomatoes today and to my surprise, (ok it wasn’t too surprising) Prince of Persia is currently sitting at 44% on 88 reviews and its sliding downwards.

In many ways, I’m disappointed that Prince of Persia, since no video game movie has ever really been great. Sure I did enjoy the first Street Fighter since I can laugh at its cheesiness and the first Mortal Kombat was alright. But other than that, all of the films have been mediocre or unwatchable in some cases. I think the Resident Evil franchise has fared the best, but even it isn’t exactly hitting it out of the park.

I’m just waiting for the day that a great film is made off of a video game franchise. After all, many of the popular videogames actually have a great concept which could be the basis of a good story.

Get a Mac Ads Get Cancelled

Whatever you might think of Apple as a company you must admit that Apple always knew how to put together a good ad. That is why the news of Apple cancelling the Get a PC ads is widely viewed as an unfortunate occurrence.

Personally, I’m not an Apple fan, but I loved the commercials, which is probably why it got cancelled. Usually when a particular ad campaign gets too popular it begins to overshadow the product its promoting, and I have to wonder if Apple thought these Ads started to do that for their products.

What ever the case, the ‘Get a Mac ads will be missed.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Apple Faces Antitrust Probe

apple-logo1 For many of us Apple has become synonymous with quality devices that just work, with many people unable to imagine giving up their iPods, or iPads, which is probably why whenever there are any negative reports about Apple, many readily come to Apple’s defence. After all, who really wants to make the company that gives you your beloved products angry? So I have to wonder if things will change following an Anti-trust probe.

Ars Technica is reporting that the US Department of Justice (DoJ) will be launching a Anti-Trust inquiry to look into accusations that Apple was threatening labels in order to get them not to participate in Amazon’s Daily Deal Promotion. According to the report, Apple executives didn’t like Music Labels promoting music on both iTunes and Amazon and threatened to not promote songs that were involved in the Daily Deal. What makes Apples actions especially troubling (assuming they are true) is that Apple is now the dominant player in terms of music sales and Amazon is a small player in comparison to Apple’s iTunes store.

Apple has had a pro-consumer reputation for some time now and it seems that Apple may be beginning to show that they are not necessarily for the consumer. Which shouldn’t be much of a shock since Apple like any other company out there are profit minded enterprises, who are with consumers up to a point.

If these allegations against Apple are true I would have to imagine that many people will begin to look to companies other than Apple to get their technology fix. Or then again, maybe Apple will get another pass with consumers.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Paying to Play

ea For some of us, paying to play online or to have additional features isn’t much of a big deal these days. After all, over 12 million players of World of Warcraft do it every month and millions more pay to play on services like Xbox Live. But what makes this story different is that gaming companies are setting out to make buyers of used games pay to play.

It all started a few weeks ago when EA announced that they were interested in charging buyers of used games $10 in order to allow them to play online. EA planned to accomplish this by placing a one-time use code in the box of their new games, so that if anyone were to buy the game second hand they would have to pay them $10 in order to get their own online code. Such an idea seems strange, but it does address feelings that many gaming companies have had for years, as they view used game sales as lost revenue since they don’t get a cut of any of the sales of used games. So instead of going after gaming stores and jeopardize their relationship with them, they have opted to go for us the consumer.

What makes this story incredibly disturbing is that other companies are now posed to jump in. Ubisoft is thinking of giving exclusive content to people that buy new, meaning that anyone buying their games used will have a different experience playing their games.

Online EA and Ubisofts plans haven’t been receiving much of a warm welcome. Many see it as it is, as simply a cash grab, but I feel that many people are missing the bigger picture. I believe this is how Ubisoft and EA intend to kill the second hand gaming market. EA and Ubisoft are removing features that are in demand with most gamers, thus making second hand games less appealing to most gamers. Especially, when you look at the added $10 EA is charging, for must gamers it will only make sense to buy new, since the savings will be minimal.

What is really despicable with EA and Ubisoft’s plans is that most consumers outside of the geeks will be unaware of these new changes and will end up buying a second hand game only to realize they will need to pay more to play online or that they are missing some features. I can imagine many parents will end up buying used games for their kids only to find out after the fact what EA and Ubisoft have done.

I really believe that Ubisoft and EA are treading on thin ice and I’m glad I don’t really play their games. And now I’m feeling that I won’t be playing their games in the future. So what do you think?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Could This be the Next Transformers Girl?

I hope so.

With Megan Fox being fired, (Or quitting if you believe Megan Fox's story, there has been a lot of speculation as to who will be the new love interest for Sam Witwicky. According to the rumours floating around the web there is quite a list of attractive actresses that have been short listed to play the new Transformers girl, but it appears that one name is leading the pack.

Rumours are placing Gemma Arterton at the front of the list to play Sam's new love interest. I personally like that Gemma has made it on to the short list of names (assuming that its true). Not only is Gemma really pretty, she can actually act, something that Megan Fox unfortunately had difficulty pulling off. My only fear with Gemma being in Transformers 3 is that she will not be given much room to act. After all, the role of the Transformers girl up to this point has been to simply look good on screen. That's it. Not to save the world. Just to look sexy for the camera.

I have a real fear that Gemma will not get her time to shine, but regardless I will be glad to see her in Transformers 3. So what do you think? Is Gemma a good choice for Transformers 3?


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Megan Fox Gets Dumped

By Michael Bay that is.

It hasn’t been a huge secret on the web that Michael Bay and Megan Fox haven’t had a great relationship. Last year after the release of Transformers 2: Rise of the Fallen, Megan Fox was openly critical of Michael Bay in the media over the poor reviews of the film. Although Michael Bay really didn’t get into it with Megan, he couldn’t help but publish a letter written by some of his film crew concerning Megan’s behaviour on set.

Now with filming for Transformers 3 in full swing there are reports that Michael Bay has opted to not have Megan Fox back. According to the report done by Deadline (which I saw over on IGN), Michael Bay has decided not to have Megan Fox back for Transformers 3 and the script will be re-written to include a new love interest for Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf).

Now I’m sure that someone out there will be greatly disappointed to see Megan Fox gone from the next Transformers, but I can’t say I’ll miss her. Sure she is attractive, but really I think the human component of each of the previous Transformer films has been their weakness. Well, other than the relationship and humour between Sam and his family.

I really don’t like saying it, but maybe Megan leaving will be a good thing for the Transformers franchise. After all, if she was really such a pain to deal with, maybe the crew will work better without her. So what do you think?

***Update: I'm not sure if this is just Megan's pride, but apparently Megan Fox is now claiming that it was her decision to leave Transformers 3.   (saw this over on the Latino Review).

Nathan Fillion is Ant Man

AntMan-Armor Well maybe.

I’m not sure if this is just a rumour or if it’s actually happening, but there are now reports that Nathan Fillion may be playing Ant Man.  This wouldn’t come as a huge shock given the fact that Joss Whedon is now attached as the director of the upcoming Avenger films and Joss is very famous for working with the same group of actors for all of his projects. 

The speculation had been rampant for weeks as to who would be showing up in The Avengers from Joss’s roster of actors.  So if Nathan Fillion is really as close as some of the reports online are saying to playing the Ant Man, it won’t be a huge surprise.  The only question is who will play the other members of the Avengers team. 

Then again, maybe this is just a rumour coming back around the net again. When it was announced that Joss Whedon would be directing the forth coming Avengers film, Rodney over on The Movie Blog speculated at just who would be filling the roles on The Avengers film. In Rodney’s predictions, he placed Nathan Fillion as playing the Ant Man. Nice coincidence or is this just his prediction echoing back from the web. It will be interesting to see just if Rodney was right and whether he will be right on his other predictions.

Whatever the case, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Google to stop selling Nexus One

nexusone2 Well through the website anyway.

Apparently, Google has finally realized that selling the Nexus One solely through their website was a bad idea. Google on the weekend announce that they will stop selling the Nexus One through their website and will instead attempt to partner with other carriers in order to sell their phone.

I think that in many ways this is a real win for consumers. Although in many ways to buy the phone out right was better for consumers overall, even though there were issues created by it. Google initially was not supplying customer support for any of its customers and it took sometime before they finally gave in and offered support. Also, for those of use that live outside the US, Google deciding to sell their own phone meant that we had to pay high shipping costs, as well as, taxes and duty on the phone which, at least in Canada, could add another $100 to the cost of the phone after everything was said and done.

But one thing that disturbs me is the assertion that Google’s failure to sell the Nexus One shows that having people buy their phone out right couldn’t work. In Ars Technica’s article, the writer, Peter Bright, seem to call this a failure for companies trying to sell their own phones and I have to strongly disagree. I think that selling phones out right to consumers could work; the problem is the resources behind selling these phones. Google had zero advertising for the Nexus One and so no one even knew about the device outside of the geek and phone enthusiast crowd. If Google put more into selling the phone I think they could have sold more phones.

Although, I must agree with Peter on the fact that for people buying their phones out right, the prices really aren’t that different in terms of phone plans, if they are different at all. For the sale of phones out right to work, Cell Phone makers will need to form a partnership with another company in order to promote and create special plans for their phones. Like what Apple has done with their iPad device, which is sold unlocked and has a special data plan with AT&T.

Whatever the case, I hope that other cell phone makers try to sell their own phones since if someone can make it work, it could be good for consumers.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Terminators Fall on Hard Times.

I know the last film didn’t do as well as the studios had hoped,  but I didn’t think it would come to this. Help a Terminator out and watch his next movie. 

I just love this short film.  Who ever came up with this is just genius and that bit about the Terminators siding with Microsoft against Apple is just brilliant.  (Can you tell I’m not an Apple Fan?)  Well done guys.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Robin Hood Sits at 44%


I wondered what happened with this film.

Last year as Robin Hood was announced, I felt very optimistic.  I was a bit worried that Robin Hood would have a hard time overcoming the shadow of the Kevin Costner version, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.  But as the months went on I wondered why this film wasn’t getting more press, and why the promotion end of this film was all but quite.

Now a few days before the release of Robin Hood, I still can’t remember seeing a single commercial for this film run this week.  You would think a film with an award winning director in Ridley Scott, and with an Oscar winning actor and actress in Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett would at least warrant a few commercials.  Well that was until I checked Robin Hood’s rating this morning on Rotten Tomatoes.

To my great surprise, Robin Hood was sitting at 51% on Rotten Tomatoes and continues to move downwards, as it now sits at 44% (as of the writing of this post) on 63 reviews. This is kind of disappointing as I like Ridley Scott as a director and I was looking forward to see this film.

Well, I guess I could rent it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I was never a fan of Gaiking back in the 70s.  Partly since I wasn’t around during the short- run of the Gaiking anime series.  But after seeing this trailer I wish I was.

This short trailer is just awesome looking.  And I’m really looking forward to seeing this film.  Are you?

The Twins are in

transformers2last01-550x401 :(

Last night I read some news that helped me sleep better. The Twins from Transformers 2 were not going to be in Transformers 3. The rejoicing that was seen around the web at this news was amazing. Unfortunately, the news this morning wasn’t as good as last night.

The Movie Blog is reporting that the Twins are in fact still in Transformers 3. Apparently, Michael Bay just loves to joke around with us and get our hopes up. Michael probably slept better than us last night, knowing full well that this morning would be a big letdown for most of us. To that all I can say is, “Shame, Shame on you Michael.”

I just wonder what we have to do to get rid of these guys, and get Michael Bay to give us a great movie.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Theatres get Screwed Again

How sad.

Many of you may remember a few months ago I wrote a post on how Disney had made the decision to shorten the theatrical run of Alice in Wonderland in order to get DVD/Blu Ray sales to begin earlier. Now it appears that the MPAA is pushing to do away with the whole 'exclusivity period' all together. With a new FCC ruling which will allow the studios to steam their films to homes ahead of the DVD release.

Normally when a film is released, studios will negotiate an exclusivity agreement with theatres, which gives the theatres the exclusive right to show the studio's film and prevents the studio from releasing the film to the home audience for a certain period of time. Over the years, studios have made attempts to shorten the exclusivity period that theatres have in order to try and get DVD sales, etc. to occur earlier. Now it appears that the studios will have their way.

This past week, the FCC made a ruling allowing the MPAA to distribute films via an encrypted cable or satellite connection to home audiences. What is disturbing for theatres (and theatre lovers) is the notion that this new home delivery option will be occurring prior to the DVD/ Blu Ray releases. Exactly, how much before the end of the exclusivity period was not spelled out in the ruling. But it pretty well sounds like they might be doing this new home release option simultaneously with the theatrical release.

Although, this new home delivery option does allow people who have great difficulties in getting out to the theatre to see the latest films, such a move will greatly undermine the theatres. Theatres normally don't profit off of a film until a number of weeks after the release of the film, so if people have the option to simply stay home, they may opt to do so, and thus hurt the theatres in the process. I'm thinking particularly of families, which go to the theatre usually at a great expense. Staying home could save families a lot of money depending on how this new service will be priced.

Whether this action by the MPAA is right or wrong is really uncertain. I know many people will be behind the theatres since well, they stand to lose out due to this new service. But as I said earlier, such a move does help those that find it difficult to get out to a theatre, like the handicapped or elderly. It will also be good for those that just don't like crowds. Whether or not this will actually help to prevent piracy, which was the justification for this home delivery idea, is beyond me. It’s hard to beat free or near free.

Pirates have been organizing for years and have increasingly been building businesses devoted to selling high quality DVDs (at least that is some of the comments I get from some people I know) of films still in theatres for next to nothing, I find it hard to believe that these same people will give up their pirating ways in favour of this alternative, especially given the requirements of a HD TV and all digital equipment in order to view the studios streaming service.

So the really question is, "Who will really win here?" Depending on the price and when this new streaming service comes out, the big winners in all of this will not be the consumer but the movie studios who now will have a new channel to show their films which may cut out the middle man.
So what do you think? Do you like this movie streaming idea?


Friday, May 7, 2010

JJ’s Secret Project

6a00d8341c630a53ef010536f89370970b-800wi Just too bad it’s not much of a secret anymore.

Anyone going out to see Iron Man today should pay some extra attention to the trailers that you see before the film starts, or you just might miss something. JJ Abrams is set to debut the trailer for his “secret project” ahead of Iron Man today, the only problem is that JJ’s project isn’t so secret anymore.

Instead of just letting everyone get surprised by JJ’s secret project some diligent bloggers have gone out and exposed JJ’s secret online for all to see. Anyone that hates surprises can just head over to The Movie Blog where they have decided to repost the details of this new trailer. I won’t do that here since I like to be surprised and I don’t want to accidentally read it and ruin the surprise. What I do know is that the new project is called Super 8 and is collaboration between JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg. Also, for anyone wondering, Super 8 is not a Cloverfield prequel as some have speculated.

In any case, go out and enjoy Iron Man this weekend. I’m not sure if I’ll get a chance this weekend to see it, but I’m definitely seeing.

By the way, if you’re going to see Iron Man tonight, make sure you stay to the end of the credits as there is a scene after the credits.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Star Wars in Lego

Ah Star Wars.

Some may call it the greatest trilogy ever created. I won’t be so bold as to say that, but I have to admit that there is something really special when it comes to the original Star Wars trilogy. Star Wars holds a very special place for me and many others, which is probably why we continue to see so many videos and tributes to this series, even though the last great film happened over 20 years ago. Sorry Star Wars Prequels.

The video above is just great. I really respect people that have the patience to put videos like this together. It must of taken them days to do all of the stop motion and it looks very professional. My hat (if I was wearing one), goes off to you guys.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Jonah Hex Trailer

I’ve never been a fan of Jonah Hex. Not that I think his comic is bad or anything. I just never had much interest in reading it. As it was announced that Jonah Hex would be turned into a movie, my interest level never really increased, but I was a bit curious to see just how the film would turn out.

Seeing this first trailer, I’m not deeply overwhelmed by it. At some points I felt that I was looking at Wild Wild West 2, which is a good thing since I liked Wild Wild West.

In terms of acting, I think I would like to see more before I give final judgement. So what do you think? Did you like the trailer?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Is 3-D Dead?

If it isn't, it probably has started its slow decline.

Over the last several years 3-D has gained in popularity and is now found in everything to computer monitors to TV sets. But has 3-D jumped the shark? Is 3-D beginning its slow downward decline to its death? The truth is I don’t know.

On Friday, The Week reported on Roger Ebert’s post “How 3-D is killing Hollywood”, in which Roger goes through listing the reasons why he feels 3-D has been ruining Hollywood films. And you know what; I have to agree with Roger. 3-D is probably the most innovative and destructive force in Hollywood today. When 3-D is done right it can bring great success to a film project, but when it is done poorly it works to destroy people’s fondness for the technology.

I often hear people say how they hate 3-D. They hate wearing the glasses and hate how distracting it can be. But when it’s done right, people talk about how amazing the technology was. An example of this is Avatar, which was widely accepted as being innovative in terms of its use of 3-D. Even critics of 3-D films found the 3-D in Avatar to be enjoyable and worth seeing. Yet those that went to see the 3-D version of Clash of the Titans did not have the same things to say about the film. Clash of the Titans was originally shot with a regular camera and then was converted to 3-D with less than spectacular results.

Which brings me back to my question, “Is 3-D dead?" It’s unfortunate, but I have a feeling that the technology is on the way out. Why might you ask? Well I'll give you 3 reasons.
      1. 3-D is Over Used. Every film is now releasing in 3-D, whether or not the film benefits from it or not, just to be able to charge a premium on the ticket. This has lead to the over use of the 3-D technology. 3-D was great when it was used occasionally by films, but now that every film being released is being made in 3-D, the novelty of the technology has worn off and has worked to expose the weakness of the films using it. Such things like basic storytelling and plot have been pushed aside in favour of 3-D.
      2. Push Back. Another reason why 3-D has probably jumped the shark is the push back against it. A few months ago, there was an advocacy group that was calling for people to boycott ‘Alice in Wonderland’ to send a message to the studios to stop using 3-D. And it’s just not this group; many people just hate the format. Even Directors have come out against the technology. Michael Bay apparently pushed back against the studios demands for a 3-D Transformers film. (And I applauded him for it.)
      3. 3-D is Too Distracting. Any artist that paints a painting is very careful when they chose a frame, in order to insure that the painting isn't overshadowed by it. In the case of 3-D, I feel that the technology has overshadowed the film. 3-D, when used properly, is a powerful tool to bring people into the film. The only problem is that very few filmmakers know quite how to use the technology, and thus many 3-D films end up bringing you out of the picture instead of bringing you in. Sure it’s fun to see things fly at the screen the first or second time, but after that it just becomes distracting.

Certainly the above list is not exhaustive, but I think you can see why I might think that 3-D is dying. Fundamentally the technology is good; it’s how it has been used that has really worked against the technology. 3-D, (I think), is on a death march. If 3-D continues on the same path, it will definitely decline.

So what do you think? Do you still like 3-D?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Posts will be up tomorrow

As many of you guys already know I've been working a lot more lately and this past week as been no different.  The Wind store that I work at has been very busy over the last several weeks and I need another day to try and recover.  So I'll be taking Monday off.  I should have something up by Tuesday.  Sorry guys.