Wednesday, December 23, 2009

IMDB iPhone App

How come nobody told me about this?  Awesome app, and free.  There's really not much to say about it.  It does for your iPhone what IMDB does for your computer browser--gives you access to the most comprehensive movie database in existence.  I assume that everyone reading this blog is familiar with IMDB, so describing the app is certainly not necessary.

Avatar Formula

Avatar=Dances With Wolves+The Abyss*10+Starship Troopers/10+Gorillas in the Mist

Dances with Wolves for its obvious plot similarities, The Abyss for its spectacular visual otherworldness, Starship Troopers for the obvious plot similarities, and Gorillas in the Mist for the anthropological side story (and, of course, for Sigourney Weaver)

I really liked Avatar, but it didn't live up to the hype.  There's probably no way that it could have.  I thought that it was visually spectacular, but it spent too much time dwelling on the (spectacular) Pandora visuals, and too little time on character and relationship development.  I didn't necessarily believe the relationship between the leads.  The Norm/Jake dynamic went back and forth without any explanation.  Plus, maybe the "performance capture" technology would've been cooler if the performances themselves (Sam Worthington, in particular) were better?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Trailer for Iron Man II

Embedding not enabled, so go here.
FX look great.  Downey and Rourke look pretty good too.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Google Gouges Greatest GMail Gap

I have long been a GMail fanboy, I admit it. But GMail has had one major flaw over the years, an inability to cull duplicate contacts. Back in February, Google offered a partial solution that still required a lot of manual work on the part of the user.  Well, they finally got around to automating that process. Hallelujah!

via Hector Castro

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gadget Puns

Funny stuff for fans of gadgets, photoshopped ads, and bad puns. My favorite has got to be Gatorape or 40 Gadgets Changed Irrevocably By One Letter - PhotoshopContest - Gizmodo

Monday, December 14, 2009

Hotcha Zimzam 10: Google Sees All

Thought Google was Big Brother before? Check out what my buddy Dave has to say about that.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Vid of Week 2009-12-08: Google Goggles

Bing just got Borked by Google Goggles.  Google leapfrogs the search engine competition again.  This is some pretty incredible stuff. 

Funny Games Formula

Funny Games (2008)=Saw*SQRT(Crash)

That movie was like torture porn for people who consider themselves intellectuals.  The Crash reference just refers to a film that was good, but was unworthy of the Oscar acclaim that it received.  Substitute American Beauty or Shakespeare in Love or another film of your choice for that value in the formula as you see fit.

For the record, I haven't actually seen Saw, and I never will.

Monday, December 7, 2009


For the first time ever I think, I forgot to post a video of the week on Monday.  I'll try to do one tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Worst iPhone app I have ever purchased.

This business card scanner purports to enable you to create new contacts on your iPhone by taking a photo of a business card and using OCR to "read" the data and create a contact from it. I have tried to get a halfway decent result using many business cards and even with the clarifi camera-enhancing case and under various lighting conditions.

You judge the results for yourself.  Here is the original iPhone photo and a screen capture of what this app "read"--they only got the word "highway" and the zip code right.  This example is by no means unique, though I admit the lighting conditions are obviously marginal at best.  I had the same results under bright halogens as well.  Stay away from this app at any cost.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lockjaw Sufferers Avoid this Movie List

Planet of the Apes and The Sixth Sense are only #99 and 98 on Total Film's list of the 99 Most Jaw-Dropping Movie Moments. Complimented with YouTube clips of all of the scenes, TotalFilm's article is amazingly detailed and a worthy waste of an hour or two.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Vid of Week 2009-11-23: Lost Night in Bangkok

This is a wild video. The music is awful, in my opinion, but the footage is awesome. Where did this come from?

via watchlosttvshowonline

Monday, November 16, 2009

Vid of Week 2009-11-16: Kurt "Han Solo" Russell?

Hilarious Han Solo audition tape from Kurt Russell. Not just because of Russell. Just in case you needed a reminder of how bad George Lucas is at writing dialog...

via io9

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging

Pretty cool and pretty green of Amazon. I've ordered a couple of Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging items and have been quite pleased. With UPS going electric, my shopping carbon footprint actually seems OK.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Google About to Kill Garmin & TomTom

I love my Garmin devices, but I don't think that they'll be around much longer.

Google Shrinks Another Market With Free Turn-By-Turn Navigation - O'Reilly Radar

Vid of Week 2009-11-02: Mind Blowing Avatar Trailer

Looks like James Cameron is about to once again raise the bar on sci-fi.

I cannot wait for December 18.

Via Yahoo.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Joss Whedon to direct an episode of Glee!. The only better news would be if JJ Abrams agreed to direct an episode of Dollhouse.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Surrogates Formula

Surrogates=Minority Report/100+District 9/100+(The Last Boy Scout*Hudson Hawk/2)

I wonder if the producers pitched Surrogates to the studio by saying, "It's like Minority Report meets Hudson Hawk!"? Hudson Hawk, by the way, is #32 in sales for Bruce Willis movies on Amazon. I am guessing that after Surrgoates is released on video and sales numbers settle, it will be positioned somewhere between The Fifth Element and The Jackal. Wow. Even though I love Willis in Die Hard, and 12 Monkeys and The Sixth Sense are among my all time favorite films, he has really made some spectacular bombs.

Monday, October 12, 2009

300 Commandments?

Variety is reporting that Fox has greenlit a film project to tell the story of Moses in a 300-style greenscreen format. I am not a big fan of the style, but the mystical elements of the story could really lend themselves to those visual tools. I can't picture seeing that every year on TV the way I watched the 10 Commandments every year as a kid. Get Gerard Butler as Moses?

Vid of Week 2009-10-12: Stunt School

Interesting AP piece on a stuntman school

Monday, October 5, 2009

Vid of Week 2009-10-5: Gleeful

Yes, I was a glee club nerd in high school and a cappella freak in college, but there's much more to love in this show. If you haven't checked it out yet, you must do so. Jane Lynch, in particular, is incredibly funny as Sue Sylvester (video profile) the villainous and tyrannical cheerleader coach.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Google created this program to, well... Just watch. Then vote. Hurry. Voting ends October 8th.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Vid of Week 2009-09-28: Good Hair Trailer

Funniest trailer ever for a documentary.

What else would you expect from Chris rock?
See it in theaters on October 9 (limited release).
Via Movie Pundit.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Nature of the Lost Island

This theory came to me in a dream a couple of nights back after a night of particularly vivid dreams that were prompted by an unusually spicy Mexican dinner. It is not a complete theory of the show, just a theory on the nature of the island.

My dreams are always stream-of-consciousness and never involve a linear time line or narrative structure (sounds like Lost, right?). Suffice it to say that I was on the island myself, and I was living out the Season 5 finale as an observer. Then, of course, in my dream I saw what happened next. At that point everything became too psychedelic for me to adequately describe in this post. There was a giant drain involved with water flowing down and a set of hands glowing white...

Anyway, my theory is that some ancient (alien?) civilization wanted to protect itself from some other civilization (Jacob vs. that other guy (Esau?))and concocted this energy device to essentially "cloak" a small land mass. The cloaking effect involved burying/embedding electromagnetic energy masses throughout the island. Prior to this, the island itself is unremarkable except for its remoteness. The cloaking device had the side effect of giving the island and its inhabitants some of its more unusual healing/time travel/hallucinogenic/teleportation properties. Over the years, the bomb detonation, the subsequent failure to press the button, general system degradation, and the "moving" of the island has taken its toll on the cloaking system.

In my dream, the cloaking system simply fails. The island is visible to the outside world, though it (and our heroes) maintain many of its strange properties since not all of the device is destroyed by the detonation. Because the destruction of the device was incomplete, our heroes will have some strange experiences, making their season 6 mission clear--destroy the rest of the energy devices so life can return to normal.

As is typical with dreams for me, this all seemed clearer when I woke up than it does now as I try to explain this post. I'm also no Lost scholar, so I am sure that there are myriad reasons why my theory can't possibly be true (it doesn't explain the smoke monster, for one). I guess I'll have to order extra habneros next time and keep my laptop powered up on my nightstand.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Vid of Week 2009-09-21: I Recommend Let the Right One In

I love this movie. If you haven't seen it, it is available on DVD and Blu Ray. Highly recommend it, even for folks who usually avoid vampire flicks.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Vid of Week 2009-09-14: Rage

Rage (starring Dame Judi Dench, Jude Law, Diane Wiest, John Leguizamo, Eddie Izzard, Adriana Barraza, Bob Balaban, and Steve Buscemi) is being released next week by Babelgum only via their own iPhone app (9/21) and on DVD (9/22) and will enjoy a limited New York-only theatrical release the same week. Talk about new distribution and marketing models!


Monday, August 31, 2009

Disney Schmizney! Marvelites should LOVE Pixar!

About 30 minutes after after I posted this tweet, Cinematical asked, will Pixar make a Marvel movie? Their answer? Yes!

Vid of Week 2009-08-31: Ford Family Follies

Apparently if you are related to Harrison Ford on screen, you have a high probability of getting kidnapped, attacked, or otherwise put into peril. And it's never Ford's fault. Dude should look in the mirror.

via /Film

Monday, August 24, 2009

Vid of Week 2009-08-24: Insanely Great Trailer


I can't believe that this never made it to the theater! Aside from the cast, this looks like it would be 1,000 times more fun than Snakes on a Plane.

UPDATE: It looks like you'll be able to see this on SyFy

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ludicrous Sequels

Who knew there was a Christmas Vacation 2? Now I do, thanks to 15 Ludicrous Sequels : Straight To DVD Movies. Since I hadn't seen the Straight2DVDMovies website before, I did a little exploring. They also have a cool article that points you to a very funny user review of a so-bad-its-good film, The Room.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Awesome AAA Assistance App

My car wouldn't start this morning, so I had my first opportunity to try the AAA Roadside Assistance iPhone application today. It's free from AAA, and does exactly what you would expect, quickly and intuitively. After a brief setup (I suggest doing this when you first download the app and not when needing help) where it collects your AAA membership number and contact information, you are a few taps away from requesting roadside assistance. The app uses your GPS location, gathers from you a bit of multiple choice information about the issue that you are having, and dispatches help. It also allows you to cancel the assistance request, like in my case where I found a neighbor at 6:30 AM willing to give me a jump start. Just as I cancelled the request, the assistance truck rolled up—barely 15 minutes from my original request. He was happy that I managed to solve the issue myself. If you are a AAA member and iPhone owner, this application is a no-brainer download. If you are not, why not?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Vid of Week 2009-08-17: Apple "Share"

I may be pissed at Apple for blocking Google Voice applications, but I am still a fan of the iPhone for the time being, assuming that some resolution is negotiated eventually. Anyone else get the irony of this "share" ad given their lack of interest in sharing their platform?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

District 9 Formula

District 9 is anything but formulaic, but...

District 9 =

5 * (1/Independence day) +

2 * (1/V) +

SQRT(The Office) +

SQRT(The Fly) +

(1/Battlestar Galactica^2)

(read my review)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My District 9 Impressions

I am not a professional critic, so it was a minor miracle (via Philadelphia Free Movies) that I got to see an advance screening of District 9 last night. usually when I get invited to an advance screening, it is for something I have absolutely no interest in at best, or I am actively avoiding at worst. On the contrary, I have been pumped for this film since reading about its wonderful reception at Comicon.

In my opinion, District 9 (written and directed by Neill Blomkamp) is the best, most original science fiction film I have seen since Blade Runner. The story, the style, the characters were unlike any film I have ever seen. In the tradition of Battlestar Galactica (the next generation), Dune (the book), and other groundbreaking science fiction, District 9 has a clear social and political message. In this case, the message was directed at Apartheid and the Iraq war. Like other great science fiction, it doesn’t beat the audience over the head with that commentary by taking you away from the core story with pace-stealing exposition. Instead, it was just part of the backdrop, seamlessly interwoven with the story. And what a great story! Despite the politicizing, the story had me riveted to my seat, alternately appalled at the indignities, ineptitude, immorality, and outright criminal behavior of the characters, cheering for intense action sequences, feeling tight with tension at the action sequences, and heartbroken. It was the first film that I have seen in a long time that kept me guessing what would happen next. Wow. My favorite movie of 2009 thus far, and hopefully it will earn one of those 10 best picture Oscar nominations.

Just because it is the most original science fiction film I have seen in a long time does not mean that it doesn't borrow from other films that came before it, most obviously Independence Day. In fact, the premise of the film is like a bizarro-Independence Day. The alien invasion setup is the same, but the invasion starts in South Africa, not New York or Washington (not a spoiler--this happens in the first three minutes of the film). The protagonist, Wikus Van De Merwe, played wonderfully by Sharlto Copley is not a traditional action hero fighter pilot or inspirational leader. He is much closer to Ricky Gervais’ David Brent from The Office than Will Smith or Bill Pullman. This was probably furthered by the Office-esque documentary style storytelling technique employed by the director. Many of the visuals were clearly borrowed from Independence Day, yes. I enjoyed Independence Day, but District 9 is clearly not a product of the Hollywood summer blockbuster factory that created that film. It is much more human, much more gritty, and as such hits much harder.

Incidentally, audience members for the screening had to undergo a thorough security check by several burly gentlemen, presumably to block pirating. We had to submit to having bags searched, turn in our cell phones, and be scanned with a metal detector. During the screening, the security folks walked up and down the aisles, clearly looking for people who might be engaging in pirating activities. It was a bit surreal, and strangely paralleled some of the themes in the film.

UPDATE: I went to District 9 with my friend Noz. He wrote a pretty good, though not quite as glowing analysis of the film on his blog, with more insights on what films influenced it. Definitely worth a read.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Amazon Blu Ray Sale

Amazon is having a buy 2, get 1 free Blu Ray Sale until August 21.

What's Better Than Chocolate & Peanut Butter?

JJ Abrams and Stephen King. The next Lord of the Rings? That's a pretty high bar. I love the Gunslinger books. I read (actually mostly listened) to all of them. They are great, but not LOTR-great. I do expect JJ to create the best King adaptation since The Shining once he finishes up on Lost. Take your time man. Via Cinematical.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Preview for Dexter Season 4

Thanks to GeekTyrant for the heads up.

Flickchart - Crack for Movie Buffs

Remember the site Hot or Not? Well Flickchart is Hot or Not for movies. Thanks to Dave for the monstrous time suck.

My complete rankings are here, but here are the top 20. Not sure I agree with the exact rankings, but all are in the right ballpark.
  1. Annie Hall
  2. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  3. The Godfather Part II
  4. The Godfather
  5. The Empire Strikes Back
  6. Star Wars
  7. GoodFellas
  8. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
  9. There Will Be Blood
  10. The Silence of the Lambs
  11. Citizen Kane
  12. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  13. Raging Bull
  14. This Is Spinal Tap
  15. The Sixth Sense
  16. Chinatown
  17. The Lord of the rings: Return of the King
  18. Casablanca
  19. The Deer Hunter
  20. The Princess Bride

Monday, August 10, 2009

iPhone Banking

USAA just blew my mind with their update to their (free) iPhone app. This is possibly the coolest app ever. Saves my time, saves me money, and simply adds convenience. Haven't tried it yet, but if works as advertised and can accurately allow you to deposit checks via the iPhone, that will just be insane. INSANE!

via the New York Times

Three Stooges Casting News

I love Sean Penn, but I'm glad he's no stooge. Better Giamatti!

Vid of Week 2009-08-10: The Breakfast Club Trailer

RIP John Hughes

Oh, and be sure to check out Dave's great John Hughes retrospective.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

iPod > Zune HD

Whenever I hear an ad for a minivan that says it drives "just like a car" it reinforces my desire to drive a standard-setting car. In this very positive hands-on review of the new Zune HD, the reviewer writes "just like the iPhone and iPod Touch" in one case and that's all I can imagine. Keep trying Microsoft.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bad Marketing?

I don't normally write about cars, but I wonder who's idea it was to call a car "LOUD". I wonder if this is just a case of a bad translation?

The Lovely Bones

Peter Jackson's next feature has been shrouded in secrecy. No more--the trailer for his next film, The Lovely Bones looks fantastic. Sorry, it's hosted exclusively by Apple--no embedding enabled.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Funny/Informative Lost Videos from ABC

This fake "Mysteries of the Universe" Dharma Initiative is produced by ABC. So far 2 segments have been published, with three more yet to come. Some interesting teases about what we might learn in the 6th and final season....

Monday, August 3, 2009

Snow Leopard on Amazon

Snow Leopard (aka Macintosh OS X 10.6.5) is now available for preorder from for $29. Not surprisingly, it is already Amazon's top selling item in Software.

FCC Investigates Apple/AT&T

Growing hope that I may end up with Google Voice on my iPhone eventually. But that doesn't make me any less pissed at Apple/AT&T.

Vid of Week 2009-08-03: Pixar Ads

Before the mega-success of movies like Toy Story, Pixar got into producing commercials to pay the bills.

Via /Film. Check out their post to see more Pixar-produced commercials.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Apple Fail

I am an Apple fanboy, but like so many others, I'm pretty pissed off at them their rejection of the Google Voice app. If you don't know what I'm talking about, let my friend Dave explain in 90 Second Tech...

I would never have predicted it a month ago, but I am considering iPhone alternatives.

Sharing an Obsession

Thanks a lot Dave.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Vid of Week 2009-07-27: Astley in Nirvana!


Movie Karaoke

This is pretty cool, but I doubt that it's will have the success of the Wii or even traditional karaoke. But it is an interesting idea.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Navigon MobileNavigator for iPhone

iLounge is reporting that Navigon has released a GPS-navigation application for the iPhone. My biggest question about the nav apps planned by Navigon (and rival TomTom) were the prices--no way were they selling these apps for $.99. The price--$70 introductory price, going up to $100 on August 15. I'll be waiting for the reviews of this and the TomTom app before laying down that kind of coin and memory space (1.29 GB required).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Vid of Week 2009-07-20: Google Voice Info

Seriously drooling over this. Can anybody score me an invite?

Prius, Now With WiFi

Well, not exactly. But this is still a brilliant idea an marketing campaign.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

1-second boot!

One step closer to my dream that my children will not know what "boot up" means.

Emmy Good Emmy Bad

Emmy nominations were announced. My favorite shows of the past year--Lost , 30 Rock, Dexter, and The Office got nominations. Even Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible got some love. The only snubs in my mind are:
  • Lost could have earned acting nominations. WTF? No love for Michael Emerson?
  • Battlestar Galactica only 1 nomination for Best Directing. That's just not right.
  • Rescue Me had a major resurgence this year. Only Michael J Fox got nominated for guest star, but Dennis Leary should have been and the show should have been in the best dramatic series category, IMHO.
Outstanding Drama Series nominations are:
  • Big Love • HBO
  • Breaking Bad • AMC
  • Damages • FX Networks
  • Dexter • Showtime
  • House • FOX
  • Lost • ABC
  • Mad Men • AMC
Outstanding Drama Series nominations should have been:
  • Battlestar Galactica •SciFi
  • Breaking Bad • AMC
  • Rescue Me • FX Networks
  • Dexter • Showtime
  • House • FOX
  • Lost • ABC
  • Mad Men • AMC

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jackie Chan Wax Off

Variety is reporting that Jackie Chan will play the role of Mr. Miyagi in a remake of The Karate Kid. Will this reboot madness ever end?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Vid of Week 2009-08-13: Office 2010 The Movie

Hmmm... This seems too good to have come from Microsoft.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pandora Payments

When I saw this headline, I panicked. Not to worry though, it's just $.99 a month if you stream over 10 hours.

Microsoft and Apple About to Get GoOSed

Google just announced it's intention to release its own operating system. Microsoft, on the offensive with Google via Bing, will now be on the defensive with Windows and Office...

Here's also some interesting commentary from The Silicon valley Insider.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Oh, the Irany!

"Perhaps [Lord of the Rings] was not the best choice in films if you want your people not to believe that "even the smallest person can change the course of the future."

Iran Tries to Pacify Protesters With Lord Of The Rings Marathon // Current

10 Best Pictures?

I love movies, but man, I can't imagine choosing 10 films in a year that I like enough to call out. We're going to end up with an interesting Best Picture race in 2010, that's for sure. More from

Friday, June 19, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

If You Can't (Re)Boot 'Em, Join 'em

Living in the age of the reboot, one might adopt the mantra--if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. That's just the approach that the folks at Filmcritic took in the interesting article, Ten Movies Actually Worth Remaking. Cool list, though I vehemently disagree with Breakfast at Tiffany's. And hey Dave--I trust JJ Abrams to reboot anything! Maybe that should've been a category unto itself--Directors who we would trust with a reboot. Judd Apatow remaking Bachelor Party?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A-List and Sequel-Free?

Be surprised. Be very surprised.... A-List stars who have never done a sequel. from Movieline

Monday, June 15, 2009

Vid of Week 2009-06-15: What do the iPhone 3GS and Tyler Durden Have in Common?

So it turns out that one of my favorite directors, David Fincher (Seven, Fight Club, Zodiac, and, yes, Benjamin Button) directed a commercial for the latest iPhone announced last week. Pretty cool commercial, though I wouldn't call it groundbreaking.

Via /Film

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Keeping it Up

OK, so I was wrong about Up being Pixar's first flop. Via Variety

Hannibal the Jedi Knight?

Variety is reporting that Liam Neeson is in talks for the big screen adaptation of the A-Team. Where will this reboot mania end?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Vid of Week 2009-06-08: HD Video from Nikon/Canon DSLRs

Nothing remarkable about the videos themselves, except that they are taken from the first consumer-level digital SLRs to also have the ability to capture HD video, the Nikon D5000 and the Canon Rebel T1i. Be sure to watch these in HD quality by pressing the HD button on the embedded video players. At $850 and $900 respectively, how many folks will take the plunge? I'm going to wait myself and let them get some of the kinks worked out. I'm also waiting for built-in geotagging, which neither of the cameras support.

via engadget

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Johnson Blooming as Director to Watch

Saw The Brothers Bloom last weekend. Really loved it. I loved it as much or more than the previous work from Writer/Director Rian Johnson. I love how Johnson in his films takes well known genres (film noir and con man, respectively) and breathes completely new life into them with deep character-driven stories and innovative storytelling. Plus, Rachel Weisz was amazing (Best Supporting Actress possibility?) and so was Rinko Kikuchi. Just when I thought that those genres had reached the limits of their respective creative limits, I was proven wrong. If only Johnson would take on Sci Fi. Oh wait...

Want to hear more about Rian Johnson and The Brothers Bloom? Riann did great interviews on the Filmspotting podcast and Elvis Mitchell's The Treatment on KCRW.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Up Earns $68.2 Million, Tops Weekend Box Office

It looks like I might have been wrong about Up. It earned $68.2M its first weekend. Final judgment on my bold prediction of Up being Pixar's first bomb should be reserved for next week--if the receipts drop off like they did for Watchmen ($67.9M week 1, $18.1M Week 2) earlier this year, I could still be proven right.

Via Cinematical

Vid of Week 2009-06-01: Green Lantern Trailer?

It's not real, but I wish it were.... DC Studios should hire this guy.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Vid of Week 2009-05-25: Michael Bay Fan Video

I have not laughed this hard in quite some time.

Breakfast As Directed by Michael Bay -- powered by

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sherlock Holmes Trailer

Directed by Guy Ritchie. It sort of makes Holmes out to be an action hero. I'm no Holmes aficionado, but I always thought he was more cerebral? This trailer plays at best like John Woo's Sherlock Holmes, and at worst like Michael Bay's. I wonder if the Holmes faithful are up in arms.

Thanks to Dave for forwarding this along.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Blu Ray Bandwagon

Well, I finally took the plunge and ordered a Blu-Ray player. What clinched the deal? Well, after the whole format war ended last year, I was ready to go, but I wanted to wait for prices to drop and some enhancements, most importantly speed, BD Live, and Wi-Fi connectivity. I was also somewhat concerned about the viability of the new format, given what many consumers see to be the only incremental quality improvements. I didn't want to buy the next Minidisc. Now that Wal Mart is betting on Blu-Ray, I think the format will explode. So I took the plunge and got the Samsung BD-P3600.

Of course, my first order of business was to upgrade my Netflix account to Blu-Ray. The whole process was pretty painless, aside from the arguably justifiable but real cost. Enable upgrade to Blu-Ray on your account, and all of the movies in your queue that have Blu-Ray offerings are switched. Of course then I shuffled my queue significantly to push many of the Blu-Ray titles to the top. Can't wait to try it out. I'll post my impressions.

Vid of Week 2009-05-18: New Notebook Technology!

Revolutionary "Notebook" makes you lunch, but still uses IE.

Noteboek from Evelien Lohbeck on Vimeo.

via Gizmodo

Friday, May 15, 2009

Zombie Omar

That crazy kids Michael K Williams! Great at playing scary-ass characters. First Omar, now this!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

IMAX Pimping Their Name?

Somebody is mad about fake IMAX and you should be too if you paid $5 extra to see Star Trek on it, IMHO.

Star Trek Impressions

Looooved it. I loved the reimagining of the characters and how the story served the reimagining premise. Quinto and Pine were great as Spock and Kirk, and Simon Pegg stole every scene he was in. I loved that it didn't take itself too seriously yet kept to Roddenberry's vision. So overall I loved it. Except I did have one major problem.


What the heck was it with the insane coincidence where young Kirk meets old Spock in a cave? That was just simply too unbelievable a coincidence. Running into one another was necessary for the story, I get it, but together in some random cave? At least they could/should have run into one another in the Federation base on the same planet.

OK, so many of you non-sci fi fans are probably laughing at me at this point. Kirk meeting Spock in a cave was unbelieveable? How about the weird "red matter" that can create black holes and all of the other Trek-isms like warp speed, transporters, etc that are simply accepted? All I can say to that is that Trek assumes that technology is far advanced, and the audience has to accept that in the world of this film. Wild coincidences are not part of the Trek wold, it is just bad storytelling.

Furthermore, that whole ice planet scene annoyed me beyond just that coincidence. Old Spock spending 5 minutes narrating a backstory with a few visuals was just another chunk of lazy-ass story telling. Why not tell the back (future) story in a full-fledged flash-forward? It would have been better storytelling and given underutilized Eric Bana and Leonard Nimoy more to do. If budget or running time was an issue, we certainly could've done without the whole ice monster chase sequence which, though exciting, did not serve the overall story in the slightest. Kirk had already repeatedly demonstrated his exceptional survival skills.

So in other words, excellent movie. Could have been perfect if director JJ Abrams had cut the 10 minutes of ice monster sequence/Spock narration and inserted some kind of flash-forward with more Leonard Nimoy and Eric Bana instead. Kudos JJ!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

JJ Abrams, Mes sci-fi a?

Lost, Fringe, Wired, Trek... I think that this week should be declared National JJ Abrams Month. I have got to be among one of the most ardent fans of Abrams, but even his harshest critics have to agree that his achievements this week are impressive. Fringe got off to a slow start but it has been picking up dramatic momentum and celebrates its season 1 finale tonight, Lost has totally redefined science fiction and in its 5th season (and 100th episode) and promises a mind-blowing finale tomorrow night. And of course Star Trek scored big at the box office and with critics (95% on Rotten Tomatoes and 83% on Metacritic). Plus, he spectacularly edited this month's Wired magazine. Move over Howard Stern, JJ is the new King of All Media.

That being said, I haven't seen any of the three yet. I'll be seeing Trek, Fringe and Lost over the next few days. I'm eager to see just how mind blowing JJ can be. I have a feeling that this week will cement his place TV/Film history for the ages with the likes of Rod Serling and Alfred Hitchcock.

OK, so I posted this before, but I leave you with Abram's talk at TED.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Trek Lost Connections

JJ Abrams' Lost wraps up it's 5th season next week, and JJ Abrams' Star Trek opens tonight. Did you know that there is another connection between Lost and Star Trek?

Friday, May 1, 2009

How Will Lost End?

Do any of you out there still think that the creative team on ABC's Lost is making it up as they go along? The progression of Season 5 thus far should have pretty much killed that idea. In case it has not, Lost Executive Producer Damon Lindelof talks to the NYTimes about how the series will end. He says,

There’ll be people who love it, there’ll be people who hate it. There’ll be people who’ll be confused by it, there’ll be people who love being confused. It’ll end on its own terms.
Even though the thought of Lost ending makes me want to cry, I am just so happy, knowing how this season has unfolded and hearing what Lindelof had to say. I am certain that we are in for a blowout.

Read the full New York Times article and the rest of what Lindelof had to say.

Speaking of how Lost ends, DarkUFO has an interesting theory that he offers in his recap of "The Variable"--I think that he could have described the perfect Lost ending. If you don't like to be spoiled, read at your own risk.
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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Kimmel Gets Lost

Jimmy Kimmel had a couple of great sketches last night celebrating Lost's 100th episode. The second vid is truly inspired.

See these videos and a couple more from Jimmy Kimmel via SI-Lost

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Open letter to TiVo via Engadget

Thanks to Nilay Patel at Engadget for putting into thoughtful and eloquent words pretty much exactly what I was thinking TiVo should be working on. TiVo, are you listening to us?

Via Engadget
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Monday, April 27, 2009

CDC using Twitter for Swine Flu Information

Don't Panic Twitterverse! Get your news from the source. CDC using Twitter for swine flu information | Larry Magid at Large - CNET News

Vid of the Week 2009-04-27: Kill Bill in 1 Minute, One Take

The entirety of both films remade and shot in one 60-second take.

Thanks to /Film

Sorry I'm late today...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Robert Rodriguez Requisitioned for Reboot

I was wondering what Robert Rodriguez was up to, but I never would have dreamed. Predator? Awesome!
via Variety
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

2009: The Year of Streaming HDTV

Amazon now supports HD streaming (details from CNET and Electronista). CNET reports that
"Owners of TiVo HD/Series 3 DVRs, the Roku Digital Video Player, the Sony Bravia Internet Video Link, and Panasonic VieraCast TVs (and, presumably, VieraCast-enabled Blu-ray players) will be the first to enjoy Amazon's content in HD (software updates to enable HD viewing on those products should be available imminently). Likewise, Windows and Mac users will also get access to HD video content via Amazon's Web site."

With HD streaming supported by Netflix, iTunes (via engadget), and Amazon, 2009 is turning out to be the year of HD streaming, as I predicted! It is wonderful to be alive.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Smart Strip Revolution Starts Here!

I love CNET. I go to their site all of the time to keep up on tech news. They are typically top notch. This story is weird though. First of all, they are passing off as news a review of the Belkin Conserve ($50) product that has been out for quite a while (and that I discussed over a year ago). Second of all, they do not mention the far superior and less expensive ($25) competing product, the SmartStrip, that performs the same function, but eliminating the need for the owner to flip an off switch. If any power strip is going to pay for itself, wouldn't it be the cheaper and more automated SmartStrip? Even if you remember to turn off the Belkin Conserve 80% of the time, 20% of the time you are not taking advantage of the power saving functionality, and the initial cost of the Belkin is higher. I have been using the SmartStrip for over a year now and it works flawlessly. As I wrote in my review--

It shuts down all power to selected items plugged into it when the main item is turned off. For example, it shuts down my speakers, external hard drives, printer, etc when my computer is off, but leaves on my DSL modem and wireless router for my wife to use. It works for me as advertised--I shut down my PC and all of my external peripherals (monitor, hard drives) power down. It costs the same as a typical power strip ($30-$40).

Friday, April 17, 2009


Evite has lost it's way. Way back when, it was one of the first websites I was enthusiastic for. My wife and I actually considered (not very seriously) using Evite instead of traditional invitations for our wedding five years ago. Unfortunately, they have not made any significant enhancements in years. A couple of weeks ago I did not get an email invitation that I should have and only found out about a party that I had in fact been invited to via word of mouth. Basically, now Evite simply stinks, and I'm far from alone in my opinion--Time Magazine, Wired Magazine and more agree. Just in time, CNET identifies some pretty promising alternatives. So no more Evite for me. Pingg looks the most promising to me--they feature better looking styles than evite and built-in integration with Facebook and Twitter.
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lord of the Blu Ray

Nerd-vana! Lord of the Rings on Blu Ray! Theatrical version only--special edition not for a couple of years yet, coinciding with the release of The Hobbit. I'm a nerd, but not a big enough one to buy it now and then again in a few years. I'll be waiting for the special edition, because that's the way I roll.

via Filmonic

Uncomfortable Movie Plot Summaries

Uncomfortable Plot Summaries--This takes a while to read, but I laughed out loud several times. My favorite is STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE: Religious extremist terrorists destroy government installation, killing thousands."

via postmodern barney

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Do I Quit my Job?

I just found out that my two closest colleagues have never seen this. I must be on Mars. They looked at me as if I was crazy!

These Podcasts Rock and Engross

Last year, I spent a lot of time listening to and reviewing film-themed podcasts. I also regularly listen to other podcasts, and I have two that I would like to recommend highly.

Coverville is a music podcast hosted by Brian Ibbott that is dedicated to playing songs that are recorded by artists other than the original artist (aka, cover songs). I have been listening to this podcast for 6 months now and I love it. It is one of the first podcasts that I listen to every week, and I consistently discover new artists through listening to it. Each show has a particular slant, whether it be songs covering a particular artist, requested covers, or some particular topic like summer, geographic location, etc. Coverville has also been cited by iTunes in its Best of 2007 and Best of 2008 Podcast lists, so I am clearly not alone in my adoration here. With over 550 episodes, I am not able to go back and listen to the entire Coverville back catalog, but I definitely have had a great time downloading the "cover stories" of some of my favorite artists. The Peter Gabriel and Billy Joel cover stories and his recent all A Cappella epsiode were particularly noteworthy, in my opinion.

Radio Lab is a production of WNYC and NPR. It is an educational science-themed show for non-scientists. Unlike the podcasts from Scientific American and "Science Friday", Radio Lab does not rely on a pure interview format that inevitably descends into technical minutae that goes over people's (my) heads. No, Jad Abumrad (host/producer) and Robert Krulwich (cohost) don't delve into the esoteric and alienating technical details of science. Rather, they tell incredibly compelling stories about the world with a brilliant inter meshing of entertaining music, interviews, and sound effects. The shows are incredibly fascinating to listen to for the content alone, exploring the nature of humanity, the world, and the universe. Add the incredible production value and the shows are completely engrossing and headphone-worthy. I got hooked on this podcast a few months ago and I have spent those last few months downloading and listening to their entire back catalog. I am finally caught up now. Looking for some good examples? Try their episodes on diagnosis and morality.

Definitely check these two podcasts out.