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?