Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Vagina Filmalogues

Way back when, I saw a trailer for 'Chatterbox' in an underground screening.

Tagline: "It speaks for itself"
Plot synopsis: A young woman who works in a beauty parlor discovers that her vagina can talk, which causes her no end of trouble.

It was the funniest movie trailer that had ever seen. OK, maybe I was a little drunk. Unfortunately I can't find it online--YouTube removed it for policy violations. It is apparently available as part of a $99 trailer compilation DVD called 42nd Street Forever! Horror on 42nd Street. No way I spend that kind of money on that. The entire film is cheaper than that. If anyone sees the trailer online, let me know.

So I thought that Chatterbox was dated--no way would they ever produce something so hilariously vulgar in the post-Janet Jackson era. Well, I was surfing Apple's Quicktime movie trailers site (as I often do) and I was shocked to learn that I was wrong. Enter: Teeth

Tagline: "Every rose has its thorns."
Plot Outline: Still a stranger to her own body, a high school student discovers she has a physical advantage when she becomes the object of male violence.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

TiVo is Watching...

Reuters: NBC Uni time-shifts with TiVo data
Tue Nov 27, 2007 11:44pm EST
By Paul Bond

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - For the next several years, NBC Universal will rely on TiVo to tell it how television viewers are using their digital video recorders and, presumably, to introduce interactive commercials to the masses.

In a pact announced Tuesday, the companies said they will use TiVo's existing interactive advertising platforms as well as create new ones, and they will split some of the revenue the platforms could generate.

The deal also calls for NBC Uni to subscribe to TiVo's Stop//Watch and Power//Watch services, which provide second-by-second data about shows and commercials that are being watched, paused, skipped and rewound.

Power//Watch is based on a random and anonymous sampling of 20,000 of TiVo's 4.2 million subscribers each night, whereas Power//Watch data comes from an opt-in panel of 20,000 TiVo users, so it includes detailed demographic information.

Read the Full Article from Reuters

Does this bother anyone else? TiVo shares your second-by second viewing habits (albeit anonymously). It bothers me just a little, but not enough to give up my 'mistress' (my wife's nickname for our TiVo Series 3). I guess that I knew as far back as 2004 that they tracked this information, I guess that I thought that they kept it to themselves. I am glad that people can opt out and that the data is stripped of personal information, but the potential for privacy leakage is there...

So last night I had this dream (I REPEAT THIS WAS A DREAM, NOT REAL, PEOPLE) where TiVo installed these mind control devices on their set top boxes. I turned mine off and the CIA-like TiVo goons came to my house and tortured me into turning it back on. Weird.

I do see one benefit of NBC/TiVo's record keeping--I will set my TiVo to play Journeyman over and over again. Maybe that will keep it on the air. That show rocks.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

LG Will Win Technology Peace Prize

Popular Mechanics named the LG Blu-Ray/HD DVD dual-format player one of its top 10 most "Brilliant Gadgets of 2007." As I said earlier this month, I think that this player and others like it can end the format war.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Film Geek Podcast

Love my iPod. Love Movies. I'm a Gen X male. So naturally I should love lots of film podcasts out there, right? No, not really. Most are hosted by morons. Even the NPR Movies podcast is not great because they just grab clips from all of their regular shows which results in hearing three reviews of the same film in one podcast. ZZZZ....

Filmspotting (formerly Cinecast) is a good one--great commentary, knowledgeable, charismatic hosts, and great production value. Check it out.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Charlie Brown's Format War

Time for year end retrospectives. PC World just published its list of top 15 tech disappointments of 2007. On the list at #2 (Windows Vista is #1) is the still unresolved Blu Ray/HD DVD format war. I agree 1000%. I just think that the war itself will be irrelevant faster than we think, for one or both of two reasons:

1.) Dual format Players, like the snazzy LG BH200. Who cares what format wins when this player reads 'em all? Once these players come down in price, which you know they will....

2.) Downloadable HD content. Bandwidth is a problem here. Compression technology is coming a long way, but compression alone isn't going to be the way out of this--it's going to be alternative technologies like bit torrent. Instead of me downloading from iTunes, I download from 100 different people simultaneously who own the same content, not from iTunes directly. The problem of bandwidth isn't the last mile, as they say. I can download HD movies faster than my bank account can buy them, and DSL/cable modem speeds are adequate, if unimpressive. The problem is the content providers--services like Amazon or iTunes can't push the content out fast enough to keep up with the demand of even a moderately successful store. One hour of HD content is about 1 GB of data. Sell 100,000 copies of Spiderman 3 in an hour and your servers are fried. The solution is to spread out the burden--give discounts to your customers who offer to serve up your content.

Carbon-Neutral Filmmaking

An interesting blog post from my friend Dave.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

There is a God

As you can imagine by the theme of this blog, Blade Runner is a favorite film of mine. The Blade Runner Five-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition was released today. I almost bought it right away, but I've decided to hold off until I take the plunge and I'm ready to buy the Blu-Ray or HD DVD versions. Man. I gotta make this decision soon. The Director's Cut was one of the first films I purchased on DVD, when I moved from VHS.

Once Rocks

Once comes out on DVD today. Despite being decidedly anti-geekazoid, it was still one of favorite films of 2007. Between this great film and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, 2007 could be called the year of the anti-musical. For my money's worth, this year was a refreshing change of pace from the typical Hollywood musicals of Chicago, Dream Girls, and their ilk. Even Hairspray was a little more interesting, despite having John Travolta in fat drag.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Amazon's Kindle Just Smoke and Mirrors?

Does anyone think that this device is going to have any traction? I think that it (or , more likely the 2.0 version) could have the potential to be groundbreaking hit. EBook Readers have never had too much market traction but this could be different. Free EVDO connectivity, high-resolution screen, Wikipedia connectivity.... Kind of expensive--$399. Lower that to $99 or $149 and I think you'd have a lot of interest. Amazon would recoup that in book sales, right?

Newsweek had a cover story was on the Kindle, titled 'The Future of Reading'. Interesting story. I'm not sure that the ebook revolution is upon us yet, but I do think that Amazon is the most likely candidate to lead the charge, doing to the book what the iPod did to portable music players. My favorite quote from the article:

Microsoft's Bill Hill has a riff where he runs through the energy-wasting, resource-draining process of how we make books now. We chop down trees, transport them to plants, mash them into pulp, move the pulp to another factory to press into sheets, ship the sheets to a plant to put dirty marks on them, then cut the sheets and bind them and ship the thing around the world. "Do you really believe that we'll be doing that in 50 years?" he asks.

Amen to that.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Welcome to my Blog

Hey. Welcome to my blog. I'm a big fan of electronic gadgets and I'm also a big film buff. I'll be writing here about one or the other, or where these worlds intersect...