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Created by ecultureonline on Jul 23, 2008
Last updated: 04/05/10 at 08:54 PM
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CookThink: Find Easy Prep Meal Recipes
CookThink is nice food recipe search tool that lets you find recipes according to your food cravings. You can search for recipes by ingredients, dish types, cuisines and moods. All listed recipes are easy prep meals and dishes, ideal for quick home cooking. Each recipe is tested in-house or by site’s contributing recipe partners such as top food bloggers, chefs and cook book authors.
There is no registration for searching recipes, however if registered you can keep track of your favorite recipes, leave comments and build your own meals from several food recipes using the Meal Builder.
Additionally you can read useful food reference articles, see most popular recipe searches, subscribe to site’s Root Source weekly newsletter to learn in detail about a single ingredient: best ways to buy it, how to store it, prepare it and cook with it.
Food recipe ideas search tool.
Search for recipes by ingredients, dish types, cuisines and moods.
Each recipe is tested by the site or by site’s partner food experts.
Read useful food reference articles, see most popular recipes and food searches.
Subscribe to weekly Root Source newsletter to learn in detail about a single ingredient: how to buy it, store and cook with it.
Register to keep track of your favorite recipes, comment on recipes and build your own meals from different recipes.
Other food recipe websites: Foodista, Cookstr and some more.
Check out CookThink @ www.cookthink.com
I’ve seen Watchmen but I can’t tell you anything about it. I’m under an incredibly strict embargo and will suffer severely should I even so much as drop an emoticon on the subject.
Amongst the other lucky fellows to see the film were 300 MTV viewers, taking part in the recording of their Spoilers show. After seeing the film on Wednesday night they were then treated to a live Q&A with Zack Snyder, during which he spilled some saucy, saucy beans. VH1 have reported on the event, and I’ll drop the big quotes below the break.
“The director’s cut is three hours and 10 minutes and comes out in July,” Snyder revealed, calling his original edit “considerably more violent than this … and sexier” and explaining that if the movie does well, the director’s cut will get a theatrical release in Los Angeles and New York.
Following that, of course, will be the Watchmen DVD in the fall — which will include what he dubbed a “Crazy Ultimate Freaky Edition” boasting such time-omitted extras as Tales of the Black Freighter, Hollis Mason’s death, more Manhattan moments on Mars and dialogue-heavy scenes with the newsstand-bonding Bernies.
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Collider has confirmed that the directors cut will be three hours and ten minutes in length and that the “Crazy Ultimate Freaky Edition” will be three hours and 25 minutes long. Sounds good, huh? Perhaps it is. Or perhaps Watchmen isn’t worth any of your anticipation at all. I mean… can Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s masterwork truly be done justice in a single movie?
My review will come the very second the embargo is lifted. Why hold it back any longer? I wish I could run it now.
Don’t forget that the theatrical release of the director’s cut depends on a grand performance by the first theatrical version. Vote with your wallets. Or, of course, you could argue that keeping back the (supposedly) superior version and telling you’d have to pay twice - or at least sit on your hands a while - to access it is a deeply cynical and hideously commercial move on the part of Warner Bros. and just boycott the ploy altogether.
Looks to me like the great Director’s Cut scam is being warmed over again. Do you accept Warner Bros. giving us just a snipped-down first run?
Spoilers is airing on MTV in the US this Saturday at 8pm and there’s likely to be much more from Snyder then.
UPDATE: Tales of the Black Freighter will last 24 mins, 28 seconds and 11 frames in its stand alone version, so obviously some of that will be left out in the amalgamated edit. The Culpeper Minute - Under the Hood will run 35 minutes, 53 seconds and 4 frames.
The original Helio Ocean burst onto the scene nearly two years ago, impressing with its dual slide design, Bluetooth, 3G, GPS and well-integrated messaging app challenging phones on both sides of the feature / smart phone line. 2009 finds the Ocean 2 once again topping the Helio line, but now facing even stronger competition. Luckily, it’s offering a lot more than an exclusive MySpace app to lure in users this time, with 2GB of internal storage, touch controls and a slew of software tweaks. Now that we’ve spent a few days comparing it to its predecessor, check after the break for some of the the highs and lows of this new handset.
Logoinstant: Free Logo Designs Collection
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LogoInstant is a website that provides you with a free logos collection. All logo designs are free of charge, just find and download anything you like. The site has wide range of logos to choose from, you can browse logos by category such as animal, automotive, business, communication, community, corporate… etc. You can also check out top logos, most downloaded logos, rate them and leave comments.
Free logo design samples.
Download and use as you like.
Browse them by category such as , animal, automotive, business, communication, community, corporate… etc.
Check out top rated and most downloaded section.
Rate and leave comments.
No registration or sign up needed.
More websites for logos: LogoBuilder, LogoEase, Cool Text, Creatr and CoolRGB.
Check out LogoInstant @ www.logoinstant.com
The Best Sites for Movie Trailers | MakeUseOf.com
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Winter time is movie time. Heading out to the movies with friends in the afternoon, getting some popcorn, nachos, coke and then snuggle into the seat as the story unfolds in front of you. But will you enjoy the movie? How did you pick? Did you pay attention to the trailers last time?
While movie reviews, advice from friends and box office ratings are very important, only a good trailer makes a story come alive and transports the atmosphere of the story it’s going to tell. Movie trailers are powerful tools of the movie industry, but with a little bit of experience you can tell by the trailer whether or not the movie is as good as they’re trying to make it sound.
Other than at the movie theater, you can browser movie trailers on the internet. Here are the best resources for English language movie trailers.
Here’s a fantastic site for browsing movies randomly, although they do provide a search feature. The Trailers section is kept very basic, with a playback window on top and a block of 4 x 4 snapshots from different movies below which you click to play the trailer. This way you can stay on a single page to watch several trailers and don’t have to move back and forth between pages.
Other than the title of the movie, there is no information provided and that’s at once both the biggest drawback and advantage. On the one hand there is no way to know what kind of movie is hidden behind that little preview image and you may hate a certain type of movie. On the other hand, this is the best way to discover something new. However, the search will locate actors and movie titles. So there is a way of filtering.
TrailerSpy features trailers for movies, TV, games, books and music. On the main page it’s got a little frame where you can browse through movies opening this week and in the movies section you can browse the most popular movie trailers. In a menu on the right you can pick types or trailers, such as mainstream, independent or>
Each movie trailer contains a small description and is tagged. Of course you can search trailers that way, which works very well. The code for each trailer can be copied and embedded elsewhere. Users can leave a comments and related trailers are shown on the side.
The site allows you to sign up, save favorites, create playlists, add your own videos and join groups.
The major advantage of mainstream sites such as Yahoo! is that they often offer custom sub-pages for different languages and/or countries. Thus Yahoo! movie trailers also come in Deutsch, Français, Español, Italiano and certainly more.
The site is mainstream and thus contains a ton of material and information, yet it’s clear and easy to navigate. The top of the Trailers & Clips section contains featured premieres, below you can browse through trailers of movies that are coming soon. Furthermore you’ll find recently added and most popular trailers as well as trailers for movies opening this week. This description refers to the US page and the site organization may be different for local versions.
If you’re looking for the trailer of a specific movie, for example an old or foreign language movie that may not be available on the mainstream sites, head over to the Internet Movie Database. It’s not a great resource for browsing trailers, but IMDb has an incredible database which includes trailers, featurettes, interviews or links to sites that provide trailers for countless movies.
Once you have picked a movie, you will want to know about its show times. Ryan recently wrote an article on 3 Ways to Check Movie Show Times in Your Area. This will work if you’re in the US, Canada or UK (maybe). Outside these countries, try your local Google, for example with these links:
Enjoy your movie and let us know whether and how you managed to pick wisely!
Chris Nolan just hosted the live, on-demand substitute for a Dark Knight commentary track last night. So why was I left unsatisfied after squinting at my TV for two and a half hours?
To refresh, BD-Live is the Blu-ray technology that allows for more interactive special features on your disc, like being able to arrange “screenings” with your friends or record commentary tracks yourself.
It all comes down to the technology. Instead of having director Chris Nolan talk into a mic and answer questions as they were asked via the website, Nolan had to do all his own typing. Or, we assume it was Nolan and not some designated typist, since the answers were slow going and contained a bunch of typos. The largest problem was that the text, displayed IRC-style with a white overlay behind it, was too small (on my PS3, at least), forcing me to sit closer than I normally would.
Smaller issues included Chris Nolan connecting and disconnecting every two minutes for the first 1/3 of the movie, which lead to the unfulfilling situation where questions were displayed but his answers were dropped. He also intentionally stayed silent or deftly evaded when certain questions on sensitive topics chosen by the moderator, such as piracy, making a third movie and any talk of money.
There were some enjoyable moments, such as when he took not one, but two pee breaks, explaining that he needed to make a shorter film next time. Fortunately, the BD-Live format let him pause everyone’s movie simultaneously. He also reused the same joke three times in different formats, thanking an actor or a contributor by name when someone asked how awesome it was working with said person.
Here’s how to fix the experience. Give Chris Nolan a microphone. Make whatever adjustments you have to make to the BD-Live technology to allow a low-bandwidth audio stream to reach however many players were signed on last night. Then, record the “podcast”, and let people who were still at work (it was on at 6PM PST) watch it after the fact whenever they like. I stare at chatrooms all day at work, don’t make me stare at another one when I’m watching Batman tearing around Gotham City.
That’s it! If this rumor turns out to be completely true, then I’m proclaiming that The Avengers is probably going to be the most epic comic book movie in modern history. Our good friends at Latino Review have picked up two very interesting scoops related to Iron Man 2 tonight. First, they say that Tim Robbins has been cast in the role of Howard Stark, Tony’s father, for a very important flashback scene that will setup The Avengers movie. Second, they add that apparently both Hawkeye and Black Widow will appear in the film - but not as cameos. Obviously the execs are Marvel are already planning for one hell of an Avengers movie, because now it seems both Hawkeye and Black Widow will eventually join the team as well.
The reason why this news is so exciting for Marvel fans is that ever since this Avengers movie was first announced, everyone has been speculating that the actual team we’d see wouldn’t consist of more than just the basic superheroes - Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and potentially Hulk, Ant-Man, or a few others. But now that we know Hawkeye and Black Widow are going to appear in Iron Man 2, this means we might get to see a full fledged Avengers team that consists of more than just four members. While I usually trust Latino Review’s scoops, especially from El Mayimbe, we need some actual confirmation on this before we pop open a bottle of champagne. Either way, there’s one hell of an exciting Marvel future ahead!
When the economy tanks, people demand feel-good musicals and comedies. But Hollywood has already green-lit a slate of dystopian downers, in the wake of The Dark Knight. Are these bummer-fests doomed at the box-office?
The New York Times took a close look at Hollywood’s upcoming roster of depressing movies and how box office sales could shape up, due to the cold hard recession many theater-goers are experiencing. Will the massive lay-offs and pay cuts hinder us from tuning into movies about the end of the world — simply because we can watch the world collapse comfortably from our sofas on CNN? Will escapism be the next Dark Knight, sales-wise?
Already, less-than-cheery movies such as The Changeling, Australia and Body of Lies have failed quite miserably at the box office, while lighter fare High School Musical 3 and Four Christmases soared after the stock market took its plunge.
Twilight (the home of shiny/dreamy vampires) cost practically a nickel to make, and raked in the profits by touting love and chastity instead of gruesome vampiric blood sucking.
But as many producers are now noticing all of the depressing epic scifi movies they green-lit before the financial end of days are now competing with real life problems audience members are going through. Will there still be love for super depressing scifi movieThe Book Of Eli, a sad tale about a barren post-apocalyptic Earth?
Universal Pictures is preparing accordingly, scrapping a planned Bobby Fisher drama. Instead, Universal is moving forward with the movie adaptation of the graphic novel Scott Pilgrim vs. The World with beloved Michael Cera.
Even the highly anticipated movie adaptation of Cormack McCarthy’s The Road was pushed back — rumor has it, because it was deemed “too depressing” by test audiences. If you’re looking for a happy-go-lucky The Road, then you may have to rewrite the entire thing or just wait until this whole financial mess passes us over.
So will dystopian fare make way for zombie musicals and or “Oops, My Wedding Is On The Apocalypse” dramedies? Here’s hoping, but just keep that Zac Efron kid out of my scifi, unless you turn him into a centaur or something. And let’s all keep our fingers crossed that they don’t try and lighten Eli as it already has an amazing cast of Gary Oldman and Denzel Washington who were put on this Earth to strike terror and sadness in the hearts of movie-goers.
In advance of its Sundance Film Festival debut, we have been exclusively provided with a batch of photos and the poster for a film called Endgame. Directed by Pete Travis (of Vantage Point), Endgame stars William Hurt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jonny Lee Miller, and one of our favorite actors, Mark Strong. The film is a political thriller about a businessman that initiates covert discussions between the African National Congress and white intellectuals to try and find a peaceful solution to the Apartheid regime in South Africa. Check out these first photos and the poster below before the film premieres at Sundance in January.
Click any of the photos below to see them in high resolution.
Endgame is directed by Pete Travis, of Vantage Point and the “Henry VIII” TV series previously. The screenplay was written by Paula Milne, of Mad Love, Hollow Reed, and I Dreamed of Africa previously. Endgame will debut in the Premieres category at the Sundance Film Festival in January. The film doesn’t yet have a distributor, although I imagine it will pick one up fairly quickly at Sundance. Not only am I big fan of Chiwetel Ejiofor, but I’m also a huge fan of Mark Strong, so I must say that this definitely has my attention thanks to those two. Stay tuned for our review of Endgame and much more from Sundance!
The lovely Kristin Kreuk took a minute to explain the tragic backstory behind her character in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li before she was a yup-yupping, butt-kicking bad ass.
In an interview with Sci Fi Wire Kreuk explained that her character remains pretty true to the Chun-Li history:
“It’s about the character Chun-Li. It’s her origin story from when she was a little girl. She loses both of her parents. Her father is taken away. She doesn’t know that, and she goes on a revenge journey and then eventually finds a teacher, a master to help her overcome her emotional attachments to getting her revenge so that she can actually see a greater good, and then go forth and fight from there.”
Kreuk continues on explaining how she went through massive training with Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation, Journeyman), who plays an Interpol agent. But sadly, most of the sword scenes ended up on the cutting room floor, and there’s no mention of squats or leg presses. Surely Ms. Kruek has to know what sort of insane inspection her legs are going to be under for taking on the tree trunk-limbed character Chun Li.
Best Of 2008:
Now that you’ve seen all the big names and launches of 2008, it’s time to give a nod to the apps that didn’t get the attention they should have this past year. If you’re sick of hearing about Firefox and the iPhone and Gmail and Chrome, you’re in the right place. Let’s take a look at the least hyped software that launched or saw great improvements in 2008, and give ‘em the love they deserve. Photo by ckroberts61.
The open-source, cross-platform music player Songbird was supposed to do for your tunes what Firefox did for your web browsing: free you from the claws of iTunes and offer extensibility and general awesomeness. Back in November, the first release candidate of Songbird didn’t quite deliver, but the final 1.0 release this week absolutely did, now that the bird plays iTunes Store purchases and ironed out its major wrinkles. Songbird was the application most readers cried foul about for being excluded on our first list of best apps in 2008.
Cross-platform, file-syncing-via-the-cloud web service and application Dropbox debuted this year, offering 2GB of free storage for non-paying users. If that’s not enough space for all your documents, Dropbox at least is a fabulous tool for syncing your passwords across all your computers.
The most impressive prototype that came out of Mozilla Labs this year, the Ubiquity Firefox extension is an ambitious attempt at offering smart and extensible keyboard access to data between applications, so you can, for example, include a Google map to an address inside a new Gmail message without ever switching tabs. Users have complained that the still-fetal Ubiquity prototype slows down Firefox, but the Quicksilver-like concept behind Ubiquity is way impressive. Hopefully we’ll see a more fleshed-out and speedy implementation in the coming year.
Our favorite free software for managing your photo library on your desktop, Picasa, got an upgrade to version 3 this year that added several new features and reduced the need for a separate photo editing tool even more. Picasa’s the software you want to install on your parents’ computer over the holidays so they can make a photo-mosaic of the grandkids.
A perennial reader favorite and number two on our list of free software packages we’re most thankful for, the open-source, cross-platform VLC media player continues to just get better. VLC will play anything you throw at it; check out how to master your digital media with VLC.
Note-taking tool Evernote is one of the best ways for a student or human with an overactive frontal lobe to capture and randomata on any platform—from computer to iPhone to back of the napkin—wherever you are. See more on how to expand your brain with Evernote.
Always living in the shadow of the more popular Ubuntu distro must be hard for Fedora, yet the user-friendly Linux package soldiered on this year with two new releases (Fedora 9 and this week, Fedora 10). Fedora came in a distant fourth in our battle of the Linux distros, but it’s user-friendly live USB creator and attractive desktop makes it a worthy contender for the Windows user interested in trying out a flavor of Linux.
Often poo-pooed for its slowness and bloat, free, open-source office suite OpenOffice.org’s 3.0 release this year did impress. While it’s not Microsoft Office 2007, it IS the go-to solution for poor students and starving artists who just need to edit that Word document.
While our current browser stats show usage numbers that trail behind newcomer Chrome, Opera users are almost religious about their love for the free browser. This past year we said Opera 9.5 was still in the browser race, and then the update to version 9.6 added more features. Opera 10’s first alpha became available this week as well.
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Bubbl.us is a free, web based app for brainstorming online. It lets you create nice mind maps which are colorful, very easy to create and comprehensive in nature. The mind maps can be embedded in your website or blog. It also allows you to collaborate with your friends during the brainstorming process. You could share mind maps with your friends and brainstorm together.
Brainstorm by creating colorful mind maps online
Collaborate and work with friends
Embed your mind map in your blog or website
Email and print your mind map
Save your mind map as an image.
Also read our article “6 Excellent Brainstorming and Mindmapping Sites“.
Check out Bubbl.us @ www.bubbl.us [Contributed by Abhijeet from Jeet Blog ]
| Film School Rejects | Casting Couch
This is extremely intriguing news. Oldboy is not just one of the best films to ever come out of Korea, but one of the best films period. It’s original, dark, and twisted as hell, and I cringed when the US remake rights were picked up a couple years ago. News from Variety this morning has me cringing a little bit less. Just a little bit though…
Steven Spielberg is apparently in the process of acquiring the remake rights for Dreamworks, in the hopes of directing the film with Will Smith as the star. Spielberg’s currently searching for a writer, so the deal seems imminent. I expect this news will actually make many people more upset than they already were by the unavoidable remake, but I’d ask them to reconsider.
Oldboy, directed by Chan-wook Park, is about a man who’s kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years without explanation or contact with his captor(s). He’s inexplicably released and given five days to discover who did this to him and why. What follows is a grueling, stylish, and suspenseful exploration of revenge, torture, and tragedy. It’s both amazingly violent and surprisingly thoughtful, and a US remake will never do it justice.
Which brings us back to the possible pairing of Spielberg and Smith for the remake. It’ll be both easy and instinctual to pounce on the duo for Spielberg’s very real mishandling of the latest Indiana Jones film and Smith’s perceived mangling of the I Am Legend reboot or Hancock. I would argue though that whatever faults you find in those films, both real and imagined, both men have proven themselves many times before in their careers.
Spielberg is obviously technically and stylistically talented, and he’s proven he can do hard ‘R’ violence and intensity with films like Munich and Saving Private Ryan. He wouldn’t have been my first choice as director (hello David Fincher!) but my concern would easily lessen with his experience, talent, and unlimited budget at the helm. Smith has substantial experience with action films, but they’ve almost exclusively been of the ‘PG13′ variety. He also wouldn’t have been my first choice as actor (hello Mel Gibson! that’s right, Mel Gibson!) but I’m intrigued by the possibility. His last three films have seen him go as dark as he’s ever been (in character, not skin tone) and while they’re light years away from the grotesque depths required for Old Boy, I’m willing to give Smith the benefit of the doubt that he could pull it off.
What do you think? Are Spielberg and Smith up to the task of adapting Oldboy for US audiences?
| Film School Rejects | In Development
Over the past week or so buzz has continued to swell over the much talked about, but still unconfirmed Arrested Development movie. A few months ago Jason Bateman fueled the fire with comments that show creator Mitchell Hurwitz was interested in continuing the story of the Bluth family on the silver screen. Later, both Michael Cera and Will Arnett confirmed interest in the project, but could not confirm that it was actually happening. Then just a few days ago Jeffrey Tambor told Collider.com that it was a go. He added that he had spoken with Mitchell Hurwitz this past week and while there is no official start date, the fact that Hurwitz is making calls is a very good sign.
Of course this is all just the same runaround for Arrested fans, who can easily conclude at this point that most of the show’s original cast is interested, but still in the dark for the most part. But as anyone in the business can tell you, he who holds the money makes the decisions — a fact that led our friends at ComingSoon.net to corner Executive Producer and narrator Ron Howard at a junket for his most recent film Frost/Nixon over the weekend. When asked about the Arrested Development movie, Howard offered up the following explanation:
“I really hope we do it,” Howard enthused. “The reason there’s been so much back and forth is… well, for two reasons, is the business understanding coming from the studio side was not clear, so even though we were wanting to do it and said, ‘Yeah, maybe we could’ but things weren’t defined. I think that’s really come into focus in the last week or so. Mitch’s full-on commitment to not only write it but direct it is something he’s been wrestling with, he’s been launching a TV show at the same time, so he couldn’t let it really be at the forefront of his mind creatively. It is now. He seems very committed. We still don’t have a script. Yeah, he’s got some great and the cast seemed very excited about it and I certainly am. I’m very, very hopeful—more hopeful now than ever—that it’s really going to happen.”
So the reality for those on the outside who are interested in seeing this thing happen is that the gears have begun to turn on an Arrested Development movie — in a more official way than before. But it still isn’t officially official. No matter what we should all heed the advice of Jeffrey Tambor, who said in his interview with Collider, “Keep your hopes up. That’s what hopes are for.”
Are you still hopefully for an Arrested Development movie?
Lifehacker Top 10:
While the next iteration of the ubiquitous Microsoft desktop operating system, Windows 7, isn’t a dramatic overhaul of its predecessor Windows Vista, it does fix several sore spots and add a few welcome features. Rumor has it that Windows 7 will drop in the middle of next year, but last month Microsoft released a “preview” tester build of Windows 7. After living in the Windows 7 Preview for a week now, several features and niceties jumped out at me which promise to make Windows a better place to work come 2009. Let’s take a look.
Note: The Windows 7 Preview is a pre-beta release, which means it’s not even close to feature-complete. Chances are good that later releases will add or take away features listed below (though most likely later releases will grow these seeds and add a few more goodies).
Second note: Surely Windows 7 includes stability and performance improvements under the hood with highly technical explanations that would make operating system coders very happy. However, this list is purely from my experience as a regular user, living and working with Windows 7 for about five days.
Here are just a few of the things to look forward to in Windows 7.
10. Ding-dong, the Sidebar is dead.
One of the first things I hunted down and killed in Windows Vista was the Sidebar, which loaded by default and docked Vista’s Gadgets to the right side of your desktop. In Windows 7, the sidebar is no more, and gadgets, should you want them, can roam free across the desktop. This time around, the gadgets feel less distracting to me—the CPU meter and calendar gadgets are my favorites, though this screenshot shows many more.
9. Calculator, WordPad, and Paint got overhauled.
It sucks that Windows 7 is stripping the built-in Photo Gallery and movie-making software that you’ll find in Vista (even the Windows Calendar is nowhere to be found in the 7 Preview), but a few of their built-in stalwarts did get some attention. WordPad and Paint both got the Office 2007 ribbon installed, and Calculator now incorporates real world uses into it. At this point only masochists still use Paint and WordPad, but the extension of the ribbon to those inconsequential programs may be a harbinger for more upgrades and ribbon appearances in the future.
8. Windows 7 will run longer on your notebook’s battery power.
While I’m running the Windows 7 Preview on a plugged-in desktop computer, notebook owners will be thrilled to know that Windows 7 promises to run more efficiently and thus longer on battery. Our brother site Gizmodo reports:
Vista’s power management was definitely better than XP’s, and Windows 7’s is remarkably better still. Part of it is just that whole smarter background management, which for battery life does things like dial down the processor more often, use less juice to play a standard def DVD, automatically turn off your Ethernet adapter, common sense stuff like that. But it doesn’t just do all this fancy energy-saving jujitsu behind your back (though it can). Windows 7 is capable of delivering a battery efficiency report that breaks down in detail what’s chomping on your battery—power-slurping hardware, vampire-y processes, the works.
7. You can switch between Wi-Fi networks in one click from the system tray.
File this under “a small change can make a huge difference”: Click on the Wi-Fi adapter in your system tray to pop up a menu of available wireless networks. From there you can refresh the list, and choose the one you want to connect to in one click. Another boon for roaming notebook users.
6. You can decide what you do and don’t want to see in the system tray.
No more registry-editing to blanket-disable balloon notifications in your system tray! Windows 7 lets you set what icons and notifications you see in your tray with a detailed dialog box. Just right-click the system tray and choose “Customize…” in the menu.
Click the thumbnail to enlarge:
5. You get more control of User Account Control.
The single biggest complaint about Windows Vista was its User Account Control’s incessant, nagging, pop-up dialogs that would ask you if you were ABSOLUTELY SURE you wanted to do the thing you just told the computer to do. In the name of security, Vista would even check if this STRANGE and SCARY program called Notepad was ok to run:
While legions of Vista users would sacrifice the well-intentioned security that User Account Control offered by turning it off completely just to get their sanity back, in Windows 7 you can fine-tune the level of nags, warnings, and confirmation prompts you get.
Click the thumbnail to see the UAC fine-tuner slider built into Windows 7.
4. Libraries group similar content; Homegroups to make sharing libraries easier.
Windows networking is a pain in the ass, but Windows 7 is out to fix that with two things: content Libraries and Homegroups. Libraries are a way to group similar types of files even if they live in different folders. For instance, your Video library could include your TV folder, Movies folder, DVD Rips folder, and your Home Movies folder. Then, you can create a Homegroup (basically a reworking of Windows’ existing Workgroups), that makes sharing those libraries between PCs easier. Since I don’t have two Windows 7 boxes available, I wasn’t able to test how much easier sharing files was between the machines; however, the whole file-sharing layout and UI looks significantly more intuitive for regular Jolenes who just want to view the photos stored on the office computer in the living room.
3. You can instantly snap your windows to size, and clear the desktop in one motion.
As widescreen monitors become more common, easier side-by-side window management is key—and Windows 7 builds that in. While not as configurable as a third-party program like GridMove, Windows 7 offers the ability to snap a window to half your screen size simply by dragging it to the left or right of the screen. Here’s what it looks like when you do so—let go of your mouse button and that Lifehacker browser window would snap that half-screen-sized glass overlay you see behind it.
Along similar lines, the new “Aero Shake” feature lets you clear the desktop of all background windows by grabbing the top bar of the active window and moving it back and forth quickly. Here’s a screencast of the shake in action.
2. Windows 7 starts up faster.
Scheduling your morning coffee run for the time between the moment you hit the power button on your PC and actually start working sucks. Windows Vista is sloooooow when it comes to starting up and getting you to your desktop; but even the Preview tester release of Windows 7 shows 20% faster boot times than Vista.
1. You can do MUCH more from the Windows 7 taskbar.
Most people live with the Windows taskbar visible on their desktop at all times, so the more use you can get out of the real estate it hogs, the better. Windows 7’s taskbar is greatly improved in two ways. First, you can pin programs to it indefinitely for easy quick launch, similar to RocketDock or the Mac OS X dock. Second, on a crowded desktop covered with windows, using the new “Aero Peek” feature, you can preview individual windows from grouped taskbar apps, and even close documents from the thumbnails themselves. This doesn’t sound like a big deal in theory, but in practice when you’ve got two monitors and a dozen windows open from four apps, Peek comes in way handy. Here’s a screencast of Peek in action. (Note: The Windows 7 Preview’s version of Peek is yet incomplete; this is just the beginning of what you’ll be able to do with it.)
There’s also a permanent “Show Desktop” button on the far right of the taskbar which both clears the Desktop of all windows (instant Boss button!) and restores them right to where they were in another click.
As you can see, Windows 7 is a big pile of small improvements over Vista that amount to a lot in aggregate. As such, ordering this list was difficult, since there isn’t an obvious, stand-out, “here’s why you’d definitely upgrade to Windows 7” feature. It’s simply better in many little ways.
I recently got the chance to sit down and chat with one of my cinematic heroes, Danny Boyle, while he was promoting the release of his new film Slumdog Millionaire in Boston. I’ll discuss the movie on a later episode of Slashfilm’s movie podcast (it is my favorite film of the year) but in the meantime, here’s some audio from the interview, where we talk about some of Boyle’s inspirations and his favorite films.
00:00 What are some of your favorite movies? 00:30 Apocalypse Now 01:50 The five-hour version of Apocalypse Now 02:20 Nick Roeg, Walkabout, Don’t Look Now, The Man Who Fell To Earth, Bad Timing, Eureka 03:20 The Uncertainty of Narrative 04:10 Bollywood Inspirations 05:40 Satya 06:00 Company, Black Friday 06:20 Nick Park 06:55 The Wrong Trousers, Apocalypto 08:08 Which filmmakers inspired you to get into film?
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| Film School Rejects | Cinematic Listology
Speaking to The Los Angeles Times about the possibility of directing a follow up to his smash hit The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan makes it clear he is not sold on the>.
I have to ask the question,” he says, “How many good third movies in a franchise can people name?
The article doesn’t say that Nolan then leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms with a smug smile, but I can picture it. The guy makes a billion dollar-grossing movie and all of the sudden he’s the sequel expert. Just because he crafted possibly the greatest superhero movie of all time, he thinks he’s all that.
I’ve got news for Christopher Nolan. There have been plenty of great third movies. I mean, there’s…
Well. Come on. Rambo III. I mean, that wasn’t… so bad.
Okay, it was. But hey! Who gave us Mr. T? That was Rocky III, my friend! And that was…
I don’t care what anybody thinks, Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift was one helluva… I mean, it was… a…
Hey! How ’bout that Home Alone 3?! Come on… Ebert liked it.
Maybe I’m not making the strongest case here. The fact is, we really, really want Nolan to make a third Batman movie, right? So putting aside the nonsense, here’s six good “third movies” to inspire Nolan and give us the Dark Knight follow-up we so desperately crave:
6. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Yes, it had Ewoks. But it did wrap up the original trilogy story nicely, and even the most staunch Jedi haters can’t deny that the film has some slam bang moments. Furthermore, unlike the new trilogy, Return of the Jedi has Han Solo going for it. And let’s face it: the best thing about any Star Wars movie is Harrison Ford playing Han Solo. Think back to A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Recall the best scenes from those movies. Tell me that Ford isn’t in all of them.
5. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
As if Indiana wasn’t bad ass enough, they decided to throw Sean “Drop Your Panties” Connery into the mix, and every scene the two are in together is somehow both hilarious and action-packed. It’s intelligent, deals with the real threat of Nazis attaining the Cup of Life, and almost every line is quotable. Plus, the movie had the sensibility to show four heroes riding off into the sunset to tie up the entire franchise. Did you hear that Spielberg? It TIED UP the franchise.
4. The Bourne Ultimatum
If someone were to ask me what’s the best of the Bourne movies, I’d be hard pressed to find a favorite. I consider Ultimatum to be every bit as good as its predecessors. So far, these films have been the most even in quality of any series I’ve ever seen. There’s talk that this might become a James Bond-type franchise, and if past success is an indicator, I hope it’s true.
3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
As far as I’m concerned, the first two Harry Potter films don’t deserve to be called movies. They’re just glorified PowerPoint presentations: soulless, artless, fan service crap. So I was very surprised when I was dragged to see Prisoner and enjoyed every minute of it. I believe most of the credit goes to director Alfonso Cuarón, a masterful storyteller, who later gave us the excellent Children of Men. Regarded by many Harry Potter fans as the best of the series.
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The worst you can say about the conclusion to Peter Jackson’s LOTR trilogy is that it’s too long. Otherwise, it kicked ass critically, commercially, and was the darling of Oscar night. People were engaged in this whole “third movie curse” talk prior to its release as well
By far the greatest “third movie” ever made. Not only is it a great Bond film, but it’s a treasure trove of cultural touchstones. “I don’t expect you talk. I expect you to die!” From Russia With Love was the film that ensured the Bond franchise was viable, but Goldfinger was the movie that made Bond an icon.
Please, Mr. Nolan, Make a Third Batman Film
So Chris, take notes, suck it up, and make that third Batman movie. Batman fans like us will never forgive you if you don’t do it. And if you fail? Well, because we are rabid fans, we’re bound to register our disgust all across the internets.
But we believe in you, Chris. As much as we loved Tim Burton’s Batman, we saw the chinks in his armor–his narrative discontinuity, his penchant for raising style above substance. If you have any weaknesses as a filmmaker, it’s in defining spatial relationships during action scenes. There’s not a single fight scene in either Batman Begins or Dark Knight where we can tell what the hell is going on through all the fast cutting and micro-editing. It’s a small point, and the films are so good, they overcome that weakness.
That’s all beside the point anyway. Make the movie. It’ll be fine. Oh, and we guess the answer to your question, or at least our answer, is six. But we’re sure there might be more. Most directors couldn’t handle it, but you’re not most directors, and we have full faith in you to create an incredible third film.
Not much is known about Judd Apatow’s next film Funny People, that is until now. /Film brings you an exclusive look at the cast and characters of Apatow’s new film. Some photos courtesy of liezl was here.
Adam Sandler plays a 42-year old comic named George Simmons. He’s had a good run, and even had a nice movie career. He has everything you could want: an expensive car, a big house, and a great sense of humor. The women want him and the guys want to be his friend. He knows a lot of people but has no close friends, probably because he’s a very miserable and self-involved person. One day he learns that he has a rare untreatable blood disorder, and only has six months to a year left to live. This is the the beginning of the film. Pretty good hook, eh?
Seth Rogen plays Ira, a 25-year-old deli counter worker and aspiring stand-up comedian who performs for free at a small LA stand-up club. He’s yet to figure out his stage persona, and his friends don’t even come to his shows for support. His jokes are pretty much what you might expect. Imagine what Seth Rogen would sound like if he were a stand-up comedian.
Ira lives with two roommates, an aspiring comedian who has just been accepted to become an Improv regular named Leo (Jonah Hill) , and a sitcom star who likes to gloat about his newfound salary named Mark (Jason Schwartzman).
One night Ira gets bumped when George shows up unannounced at his club, pushing Ira’s performance. Ira ends up bombing, but Simmons sees something in the young comedian and hires him to write jokes and be his semi-personal assistant. George becomes a quasi-mentor to Ira, basically playing him $6000 a month for his company/friendship. George also gives Ira an opportunity to open up for him at various gigs.
This is the meat of the film, a story of two people connecting with each other - an aspiring young comedian and a dying middle aged comedian who now has the power of hindsight. But does George learn anything from his near death experience and newfound friendship with Ira or is he still his old self-centered self?
George confides in Ira that he’s dying, and Ira eventually convinces George to tell people about his illness. I’ve heard that Norm Macdonald has a cameo as one of George’s old Comedian friends.
And there is Laura (played by Apatow’s wife Leslie Mann), the love of his life, now in her late 30’s, married with two kids. Laura broke up with George over a decade earlier when she learned that he was cheating on her. Once an actress, Laura has become a full-time bored and some-what depressed mother, living in a ranch home in a small town. Laura and George reconnect when she learns of his illness.
Much fuss was made of Eric Bana’s comedy past when the casting announcement was first made, but Bana actually doesn’t have a comic role in the film. Bana plays Laura’s successful husband Clarke, who is always traveling to China on business. It is also worth noting that Bana doesn’t appear until late into the film. You can probably see where that storyline might be heading, so I’ll say no more.
Meanwhile, Ira meets a young alternative comic named Daisy (Aubrey Plaza), who also lives in his apartment building. He asks her out on a date but before it happens, Ira makes a discovery that could be detrimental to their possible relationship. It feels like Apatow is trying to inject some Kevin Smith into the story, but it’s not developed enough. Daisy is one-dimensional, and the relationship seems a bit forced and unnecessary.
There are twists and turns, a confrontation between Ira and his roommates, and a climax set as far outside the world of stand-up comedy as you can get. Funny People is very different tonally than anything Apatow has done before. For example, there is a moment where Ira and George have a conversation, which ends with both of them in tears. The film will probably better as a dramedy than a full out comedy. Apatow might have a shot at Academy Award consideration if he does this right.
Apatow’s shooting script is over 140 pages in length, which is about 40 pages longer than your average comedy screenplay. Most of the stand-up sequences aren’t actually scripted, instead Apatow instead gives only the broad story notes. With Sandler, Hill, Rogen, and Schwartzman involved, I would also expect a ton of Improv, which can only add to the already lengthy screenplay. Apatow usually goes long on that page (Knocked Up was only a few pages shorter), and makes a lot of trims in post.
Funny People is scheduled to hit theaters on July 31st 2009.
Some photos courtesy of liezl was here. Thank you Liezl!
Kevin’s « FirstShowing.net
I think it’s safe to say that most expect Clint Eastwood’s Changeling to be the next Million Dollar Baby. After all, Eastwood directed both, and instead of Hilary Swank front and center, it’s now Angelina Jolie as single mother Christine Collins. Both films maintain a studied focus on the lead heroine and the events that surround her, but that’s where the similarities end. While Baby was a delicate, heart-breaking gem made rich by a simple story and amazing performances, Changeling is quite the opposite - sprawling in its scale, with drama that is derived from the story’s details, which are largely based on true events. While Changeling can wear the badge of “stranger than fiction” proudly, it’s definitely no Million Dollar Baby.
But that’s not a bad bar to fall short of, considering the impressiveness of Eastwood’s former feature - it won four Oscars, after all. For her spotlight role, no emoting on Jolie’s part could dare challenge the heights of drama, turmoil and outrage reached independently by the events of the film. So does this mean Changeling is an amazing movie simply because of its subject matter? Of course not. Saying so would mean that A&E specials should be counted as cinematic masterpieces. While Changeling is a painting with compelling outlines and structure, the coloring between the lines borders on ordinary. It’s like walking up to a Van Gogh and discovering that it’s actually a lithograph - from a distance it seems wonderful and impressive, but upon examination lacks the depth and texture you expect. Still, Changeling is something you might consider hanging on your wall.
Angelina Jolie as distraught mother Christine Collins in a scene from Changeling.The film begins in late-1920s Los Angeles, wherein Christine Collins’ only child, 8-year-old Walter (Gattlin Griffith), mysteriously disappears from their home one weekend. After months pass with no clues, a young boy is discovered a few states over who appears to match Walter’s description. He’s sent to Los Angeles and is presented to Christine who immediately rejects the boy as not her own. Under intense public pressure and criticism stemming from rampant police corruption, the LAPD is desperate for some positive publicity and convinces Christine to take the boy home “on a trial basis.” Captain Jones (Jeffrey Donovan) tells her that the boy has been through great trauma and she’s emotional, so her memory and perspective needs time to adjust. A large portion of Changeling surrounds Christine’s claims and the LAPD rationalizing her concerns away with absurd explanations - absurd both in content and delivery. Donovan is laughable - literally, the audience was laughing - when he tries to assuage Christine’s evidence that the boy she has taken in is three inches shorter and circumcised when her Walter was, in fact, neither. Instead of these scenes having bite and drama, they come across as ridiculous and comical.
One element that did come across as appropriately tortured and dramatic was the performances by Jolie and John Malkovich. Malkovich stars as Reverend Gustav Briegleb, a community activist who helps Christine in her search. Malkvovich does a superb job in the role, probably because his performance is skillfully inconspicuous. Jolie, on the other hand, is a caricature of emotion. To a degree this suits her, considering the content of Changeling, especially when she is thrown into a mental institution (she channels A Girl Interrupted perfectly). Yet while her presentation and Eastwood’s rhythm is noteworthy, you may find yourself impatient in the long, calculated scenes that aim to show Jolie release a tear or deliver a stare of mental collapse. We’re more interested in what happened to her son and the creation and resolution of this web of deceit, not constantly reading Jolie’s face for the next emotional breakdown.
John Malkovich as Rev. Gustav Briegleb addresses his parish in Changeling.This distraction from Jolie as the anguished mother is also attributable to the film’s runtime. At a not unreasonable 2 hours and 35 minutes, Changeling feels more like 4 hours. Just when you think the film is going to end, up pops an accessory scene of turmoil or closure. During the thick of it, as well, you get the feeling that a number of sequences are just plain gratuitous. Eastwood may be trying to imbue fine doses of drama, but it mainly comes across as unnecessary. Changeling is certainly a compelling story, but it’s not a great film. Despite Eastwood’s measured elements that made Million Dollar Baby exactly that, Changeling is an unbalanced drama that isn’t the film we thought it to be.
The NYTimes’s Bits blog has sleuthed something interesting in Mountain View—H211 LLC, the company controlled by the G’s execs that operates Larry, Sergey and the rest of the Googlers’ private jets, has recently acquired a fighter jet. A Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet, to be exact—a light attack and trainer jet used by air forces around the world. So, aside from performing high-speed low-altitude fly-bys of Jerry Yang’s crib, what else does Google have planned for a military aircraft?
Science, of course! H211 LLC uses many of its jets for NASA-sponsored experiments, since they operate primarily out of Moffett field, a NASA-controlled airstrip that’s conveniently located right next to Google’s Mountain View HQ. The jet was acquired to carry scientific instruments that could not be rigged up to Boeing 757/767 and Gulfstream jets the company already operates, some of which were used to monitor the re-entry of the ESA’s Jules Verne satellite. So other tech companies probably don’t need to worry about an escalating proliferation of military hardware in preparation for a Silicon Vallery air superiority battle just yet. Détente! [NYTimes]
| Film School Rejects | Commentary Track
I know we don’t like thinking about Spider-Man much these days. That third movie truly put a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth, and with the news that Tobey Maguire will do a 4th and 5th installment (with returning director Sam Raimi), things didn’t seem to get much better. But with that in mind, I think we need to look at some things that could be positive about Spider-Man sequels.
Elizabeth Banks (Betty Brant), whose only significant role in any film before the original Spider-Man was the amazing cult comedy Wet, Hot American Summer, was recently asked by Devin at CHUD about her potential involvement in any Spider-Man sequels. She replied “I’m the last person they call.” Banks also indicated that if the part they would offer was as small as the cameo she had in the first three films she wouldn’t do it, stating “If it’s that small, I probably won’t do it. They don’t need Betty Brant. It’s purely, at this point - and I don’t think they see it this way - it’s kind of a favor at this point.”
Well, here’s a quick fix: Offer Banks a larger role in Spider-Man 4. With Peter Parker and Mary-Jane’s engagement in turmoil and their relationship questionable at the end of Spider-Man 3, what better time than to bring on a new love interest. And I don’t mean a Bryce Dallas Howard return, but Banks could actually get some screen time (and hopefully a better wig) as Betty Brant. Banks is a feisty actress and is proving with lead roles in Zach and Miri Make a Porno, W., and next month’s Role Models that she can carry a film. She’s attractive, funny, and has real acting chops. I think she’d be a major upgrade over Kirsten Dunst, who I think we’re all getting sick of as tired ol’ Mary-Jane.
Besides, more Betty Brant equals more J. Jonah Jameson. J. K. Simmons is an absolute delight in the role of Peter Parker’s boss at the Daily Bugle. Since the first film, Simmons has shot up to pseudo-stardom, with lead roles in last year’s smash Juno, The Ladykillers, and the hit cable show “The Closer.” He’s always brought his A-game to the role of Jameson, the egotistical, brash, and fast-talkin’ editor and has always been a delight to watch, a bright spot in the black hole that was Spider-Man 3.
And if we’re bringing back characters who were already established, we might as well make a villain out of it. Dylan Baker appeared in Spider-Man 2 as Parker’s college professor Dr. Curt Connors. People familiar with the comic book know that Connors will become The Lizard. But it would be irresponsible to just throw Baker into that role immediately. It might be interesting to see a mentor-mentee relationship with him and Parker first. In Spider-Man 4, Dr. Connors could help Peter/Spider-Man take down a villain. In the comics, Connors helped Spider-Man defeat Rhino, a villain with superhuman strength thanks to a polymer suit (kinda similar in a way to Venom) but not the sharpest tool in the shed, mentally. That villain could lead to some good character work with Connors, introducing his love for his wife and son, and also set-up The Lizard as a foe for Spider-Man for a film and a half.
The Lizard is one of the old-school super villains in Spider-Man, and we know that Sam Raimi LOVES old-school Spider-Man. He voiced displeasure with having to put Venom in Spider-Man 3, and that displeasure led to a lack of interest and screen-time for the fan-favorite villain. We saw what Sam Raimi can do when his interest is piqued, as Spider-Man 1 and 2 were well directed and, more importantly, took themselves seriously as comic book films. It’s become apparent that to get Raimi to dedicate to a film, we need to give him something that he likes. He’s already expressed interest in having Dylan Baker return stating (via Filmonic) “I’m definitely hoping to work with Dylan in the picture. I just don’t know who the villain is yet.” So it’s still up in the air, but hopefully Sony Pres. Amy Pascal gives Raimi the reins and doesn’t force him to tell a story he doesn’t want to this time around.
Finally, in addition to Sam Raimi caring about the story, Tobey Maguire needs to bring back the Parker we know and love. Maguire was good in the first two Spider-Man installments (especially 2), but seemed out-of-sorts in the third. Maybe it was because he didn’t like the script. Maybe it was because they asked him to play evil, emo Spider-Man in addition to making him participate in some of the most atrociously bad scenes put to celluloid in some time (i.e. the jazz club scene). But it’s been reported that he’ll receive $50 million to play Parker/Spider-Man, so the pressure is on for him to create a likable and relateable hero once again. Maguire is a good actor (and holds the distinguished honor of being recipient of MTV Movie Awards’ “Best Kiss” as well) and as long as we get a Parker who will spout corny jokes and a dorky guy who we can all root for to save the world and get the girl, it’ll work.
With great paycheck comes great responsibility.
Do you have hope for the Spider-Man sequels?
When it was revealed that Kenneth Branagh was in talks to direct a big screen adaptation of Thor, many people wondered what a Branagh superhero movie would be like. Now we have some IESB is reporting that Marvel actually offered the lead role to Daniel Craig, but the Quantum of Solace star confirmed that he actually turned down the role.
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I know this is a bit of “non-news”, but I think it shows the direction that Marvel wants to take their mythical superhero franchise. I don’t know about you guys but I can’t even imagine Craig with long hair and a big hammer, lightning streaking across the sky in the background.
Discuss: But now that Craig is out as a possibility, who do you think Marvel might sign to play the role? Lets avoid the obvious wrestlers and action stars, it looks like Marvel wants a higher actor in the role.
| Film School Rejects | First Look
In order to really get the full effect of the title above, you must read it as if you are a judge on America’s Next Top Model. Is this to say that I think that based on the photos that we are about to see below, that J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek looks like something that we might see on The CW? Perhaps.
But lets get to the actual news here, instead of just muddying the waters with my anti-Trekkieisms. A few of our friends and neighbors around the web received some exclusive new photos from the aforementioned Star Trek movie, including our first looks at Chris Pine as James T. Kirk, Zachary Quinto as a very angry, Sylar-ish Spock, and the rest of the USS Enterprises’ young crew. As well, we have a look at Entertainment Weekly’s upcoming cover to the right, which shows the film’s two leading men. Have a look at the images below.
The Enterprise Crew (Anton Yelchin as Checkov, Chris Pine as Kirk, Simon Pegg as Scotty, Karl Urban as Bones McCoy, John Cho as Sulu and Zoe Saldana as Uhura), courtesy of UGO:
Zachary Quinto as Spock, laying down some grip, courtesy of AICN:
Eric Bana as Nero, courtesy of JoBlo:
Captain Kirk and Crew on Deck, courtesy of MTV:
The USS Kelvin takes a shot, courtesy of TrekMovie:
Captain Kirk on ice, courtesy of IGN:
Some likes: If Spock is going to be getting angry and laying down the vulcan death grip, then it affirms that Quinto was just right. Seeing him in full costume is affirming as well, as he looks great. Eric Bana also looks very menacing as Nero.
Dislikes: Chris Pine looks like he is 2-inches of hair short of playing Edward in Twilight and the rest of the cast looks — just okay. As I mentioned above, the film appears to have a very glossy, ‘The CW’ look to it, which could mean absolutely nothing once the characters are put in motion, but might be cause for concern. Also, there is something about the Enterprise bridge (assuming that’s what we are seeing in the third picture from the bottom) that bothers me. Perhaps it is the digital nature of it or the Jetsons-esque furnishings, but something just doesn’t hit me in the right spots.
Ultimately, I still have some faith in J.J. Abrams. If anyone can pull of a successful Star Trek reboot, it would be Abrams. I do feel, however, that this will be a very different movie from the situation that may exist in the heads of many Star Trek fans. Of course, I am reserving any real judgment until we see more, including the trailer that is expected to drop sometime in the next month or so.
Star Trek hits theaters on May 8, 2009.
What do you think of the first look images from J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek?
Max Payne finally hits theaters in about a week, which means we’ll finally get to see whether or not this is one of the first video game movies to break out of the mold. Fox has released a final batch of photos from the film to boost some last minute interest and I’ve decided to feature a few of them. Instead of posting them all below like we’ve seen so many times before, I put together a bit of a montage that shows us just how good this movie could be. I’m not going to say it’s a solid hit (I haven’t even seen it yet), but at the very least, the visual in it is brilliant. With that said, let’s take one last look at Max Payne.
It was only July when we saw the first trailer for this. Since then we’ve been treated to a few more great trailers and some truly stunning posters, but will all this be enough to turn this into a huge hit? Or is it just some great imagery for a bad video game movie? How many still think this looks good?
Max Payne is directed by Irish filmmaker John Moore, of Behind Enemy Lines, Flight of the Phoenix, and The Omen previously, with a screenplay written by first-time writer Beau Thorne. The film is based on the popular Max Payne series of third-person-shooter video games that first arrived in 2001. Fox is debuting Max Payne in theaters on October 17th. Will you be in theaters watching this?
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Almost always before you can conect and use some new device on your Windows computer you have to install the drivers for it. While most of the hardware and gadgets come with driver CDs some don’t.
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To download a driver, simply click on the one you need and then follow the download link to get the file on your PC. No need for email or signup. In addition to drivers you can also find related user service manuals.
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Oh no - I think everyone’s worst fears have been realized! Brett Ratner is officially attached to direct the God of War movie currently in development. This has been rumored for a while, so it is definitely not the first time we’ve heard Ratner’s named mentioned alongside of God of War. But with this confirmation, I think it may be safe to say that this movie probably won’t be that good. And it’s a shame because it has the potential to be great. This news comes from UGO, who recently caught up with Ratner. During his answer to a question about what’s next, God of War was one that he mentioned was in the works.
I know that I should be waiting to find out more about the project before instantly discrediting Brett Ratner, but most people don’t like him anyway. I really think God of War is riding the fine line between either potentially being amazing or being terrible, and with Ratner’s involvement, I fear it’s leaning towards the terrible side. But focusing on other things, the guys at UGO bring up some very good points about its rating. I think this definitely needs to be rated R, but I doubt it will be. I’ve got a feeling the studios will want this to be a big summer tentpole, meaning it’ll have to be PG-13 in the end.
Beyond all this other discussion about the God of War movie, I’m still anxious to find out who else they’ll get. So we know Ratner is involved, but the next big question is who will be starring in it as Kratos?
Amir Glinik’s V4 Ferarri motorcycle concept looks strait out of a sci-fi movie. Tron perhaps? The future is almost here. I predict that it will only be a couple years before the Light Cycle arenas are buildt. Check out more photos on 3d-files.
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Fox Searchlight has decided to move the release of Danny Boyle’s film festival sensation Slumdog Millionaire up to Wednesday, November 19th. The film was originally set to bow on Friday, November 28th, a few days after Gus Van Sant’s Milk and The Road. Slumdog will now open a couple days before The Soloist and The Time Traveler’s Wife. This move could have also been made to give Slumdog more breathing room from Searchlight’s December platform release of Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler.
Windows only: Free application Artweaver isn’t just a Photoshop alternative like GIMP, but a fair clone of Photoshop itself. While Artweaver lacks the polish and advanced feature sets of Photoshop, the menus are laid out like they are in Photoshop and the tools function close enough that use is intuitive. The programs are so similar, in fact, that seasoned Photoshop users will find themselves wondering why a feature is suddenly missing from the menu. While it isn’t a true replacement for Photoshop, Artweaver’s feature set is robust; it includes layer management, image cloning, a history function, transparency, pen tablet support, and a host of the common filters in Photoshop. Artweaver is available as a full install or in a portable version. Artweaver is a free download for Windows only.
Artweaver [via CyberNet]
USGS Release: (9/12/2008 1:50:30 PM)
Recent research has revealed that beach sand contains high concentrations of E. coli and other fecal indicator bacteria, often greatly exceeding the concentration in beach water. Further, there is evidence that beach closings due to elevated fecal indicator bacteria may be linked to these sand populations. Contaminated beach sand, and the complications that it causes for monitoring, are among the leading topics that a group of national experts will discuss in Porter, Indiana at the Great Lakes Beach Association conference on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 16-17.
“Over the last few years, we’ve an important source of indicator bacteria and how these bacteria may negatively influence recreation, but this is the first time experts have actually met to discuss this issue collectively,” said Richard Whitman, Chief of the Lake Michigan Ecological Research Station, USGS. Whitman was one of the first to describe these high concentrations of E. coli in sands and to link them to high bacteria counts in water.
Beach water is routinely analyzed for E. coli and other fecal indicator bacteria to determine whether human sewage is present. When bacteria concentrations in water exceed a certain threshold, beaches are typically closed to swimming or swimming advisories are posted. Nation-wide, beach closings are a persistent problem, and efforts to minimize closings are often unsuccessful. For most beach closings, the reason for high bacteria concentrations remains unknown.
A potential reason for many of these beach closings, and a complication for monitoring efforts is high concentrations of fecal indicator bacteria in beach sand. Bacteria are often present in high concentrations independent of any recent contamination events. Further, bacteria are often re-suspended into the beach water during onshore winds and high waves. The health risk associated with these bacteria is as yet unknown, but preliminary studies are being conducted.
The conference will include experts from federal agencies and universities from California, Florida, Michigan, Indiana, Hawaii, and Canada. USGS is hosting this event.
I always love when Hollywood thinks they can trick us and hides something in a trailer and expects us to never notice. Here’s another case of borrowing footage in order to make a trailer look more explosive for American audiences. SlashFilm has pointed out that the trailer for The International, that we just posted a few days ago, features an actual scene from Ghost Rider edited to look like it fits. We’ve got photographic evidence below - you can even see the line where the motorcycle is supposed to be! And I even noticed a scene later on in the trailer that looks like it was taken from Black Hawk Down (but I couldn’t confirm). Obviously they’re trying to beef this up with more glamorous explosions. What the heck Sony?!
There’s actually nothing illegal about this. Sony owns all three of those movies and can use footage from each wherever and whenever they want. Here’s the thing - Tom Tykwer, who directed The International, is a European filmmaker. He’s got a lot of in his films and I bet this really doesn’t have as much explosive action as the studio wants. So to beef up the marketing and capture the attention of the Michael Bay-hungry audiences of America, they threw in an exploding car and some extra helicopters. Yep, that’s how our society works. From the trailer for The International, the exploding car can be found at 0:22, while the helicopters (that I think are from Black Hawk Down) are at 0:51.
From Ghost Rider:
From The International:
Unfortunately this isn’t an uncommon practice. Last year some people spotted a scene in Transformers that was “recycled” from Michael Bay’s previous films. And as I mentioned earlier, Sony is doing this because they need to market their films to American audiences. I doubt we’ll see this scene in the actual movie, but it’s there right now to try and gain the attention of moviegoers. Thanks again to the reader at SlashFilm who sent this in, or else I would’ve never noticed. Now I’m really quite concerned for The International. It got moved from this summer to March and the trailer looks fairly mediocre. Plus I wonder how much money Sony wasted hiring a company to digitally remove all evidence of Ghost Rider from that scene?
Discuss: | Film School Rejects
If there is one thing we can’t seem to stay away from here at FSR, it is a good discussion about what is the best or the worst movie in any particular category — the discussion, and the argument and inevitable fist-fights that follow are like our own version of crack. With that said, we love nothing more than to open up these discussions to all of you, the faithful readers who keep us employed — sort of.
This week I have been thinking a lot about the Brothers Coen, Joel and Ethan. Their latest film Burn After Reading made a stop in Toronto for a small film festival launch last weekend before it hits theaters this weekend, and all signs seem to be pointing toward a winner. Personally, I was thoroughly entertained by the film this week, finding it to be a light, fun departure from the overwhelming experience that was No Country for Old Men. Perhaps this was the Coen Brothers’ way of taking a filmmaking vacation — do the movie that matters, then do the movie that’s fun. It seems to be their formula. They did almost the exact same thing with Fargo, following it with The Big Lebowski. Then they made O Brother, Where Art Thou? and followed it with Intolerable Cruelty. They aren’t as much “up and down” as they are “back and forth,” from one tone to another — it is what keeps them fresh, what keeps them interesting.
So then I got to thinking — what is the Coen Brothers’ best film? It certainly isn’t Burn After Reading. It’s a good movie, perhaps even well above-average, but certainly not the pinnacle of their work. The easy answer might be to say No Country for Old Men, as it was their most celebrated film. But to go with No Country would be to overlook the likes of Fargo and Miller’s Crossing, two fantastic films that deserve recognition. Also, in my mind, it is criminal to overlook The Big Lebowski, as it is not only one of my favorite Coen Bros. movie, but one of my favorite films of all-time, hands down, as is Raising Arizona.
So as you can see, it’s a tough task. The filmography of Joel and Ethan Coen is deep, rich with original and clever films that have all left their mark. But even though the question is tough, that doesn’t mean we can’t have a healthy debate. So I leave it up to all of you…
What is the best Coen Brothers movie?
Boomerang Rumor: | /Film
Here we go. Days ago, rumors hit that Russell Crowe was set to play Watson to Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes. To which the Internet huffed, “He’s not roundy enough!” And the Internet was right, but not quite. Not a first. According to those Palin-loathing dudes at Latino Review, Crowe is in talks to play Moriarty, Holmes creepy-smart arch-nemesis. You’ll recall that director Guy Ritchie only pffft’d Crowe for the aforementioned sidekick role, which still hasn’t been cast. LR report that Gerard Butler was offered the part, but didn’t bite. Not roundy enough?
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Coming Soon report that prolific British actor, Mark Strong (Body of Lies, Rocknrolla, Sunshine) has signed on, and LR add that he’ll play a character named Blackwood. More casting news and confirmations as they develop. Titillating photo of Moriarty after the jump (yeah, we tried blackmailing AICN)!
Discuss: Ritchie’s film seems to be shaping up nicely. Downey Jr. VS Crowe with opium, quick wits and monocles? You like?
/Film reader, Benny Turd, exclaims, “Sherlock boner!” Not solely due to Moriarty’s pic we hope.
Uk Watchdog Censorship: http://io9.com/assets/images/io9/2008/09/wanted.jpg
This just in: Authorities in the UK found the movie adaptation of the comic Wanted to be “condon[ing] violence by glorifying or glamorising the use of guns,” while at the same time failing to be offensive to the general public. That’s the result of an investigation into the promotional posters for the movie by the British Advertising Standards Authority, following complaints from various UK citizens about the posters. But how did they swerve around the subject of star Angelina Jolie’s sex appeal?
The report by the ASA was troubled by the message given by the posters:
We noted Angelina Jolie, an actress generally recognised as being glamorous, featured in both ads and in ad (a) the gun she held featured prominently. We noted James McAvoy’s character appeared in an action pose in ad (a) and the guns he held were pointed towards the reader; and that several guns were depicted in ad (b).
We noted one of the guns in ad (b) had recently fired, a moving bullet was shown and the ad featured other images related to the use of guns, including a bullet sprayed target; furthermore, Angelina Jolie was shown, holding a gun, in a pose that may be considered provocative. We noted the prominent text used in ad (b), “6 WEEKS AGO, I WAS JUST LIKE YOU … AND THEN I MET HER … AND MY WORLD WAS CHANGED FOREVER”, in conjunction with some of the smaller text, suggested James McAvoy’s character’s life had changed for the better since he had become an assassin.
You almost want to read a review of the actual movie by the person who wrote this report, don’t you? “And then it appeared that Morgan Freeman, an American actor of no little import, used the word ‘motherfucker’ multiple times before discharging his weapon in a manner that suggested he was displeased.”
In the end, the ASA agreed that the posters glamorized the use of guns and were unsuitable for children, but not for adults:
However, we considered most members of the public would understand that the posters reflected the content of an action film. We therefore concluded they were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.
The clear implication being that British children, apparently, can’t tell the difference between movies and reality these days. Personally, I think that they should rise up in protest. Preferably using guns and screaming “We can’t help it, we saw the posters for Wanted” in high, pre-pubescent voices.
[ASA Adjudications, Via]
For some time now, the of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer animated series has been something that has left Joss Whedon fans salivating with anticipation. According to Wikipedia, we know that Whedon and comic writer Jeph Loeb started working on the series around 2001–but various complications prevented any real development until 2004, when a 3 1/2 minute pilot was produced featuring most of the show’s original cast members. The role of Buffy was played by Giselle Loren, best known for voicing the character in the Buffy video games.
The pilot was never picked up, and the project eventually died as Whedon and Loeb moved on to other projects. (Loeb is now a writer and executive producer for Heroes) Fans have been waiting eagerly since then to see this promo, but it never made its way to the Buffy DVDs as many wished. All hope was seemingly lost–that is, until somebody uploaded the pilot to Youtube earlier this month.
As initially reported by Geeks of Doom, the pilot offers a quick glimpse into what Buffy the Animated Series could have been, and honestly, I think it works surprisingly well. Set in the middle of the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the animated series would have offered a refreshing look back when things were simpler for the Scooby gang. Major characters would still be alive, and the presence of Buffy’s supernaturally-born sister Dawn would prove an interesting twist on the show’s first-season dynamic.
It’s a shame that the animated series was never picked up, but I wouldn’t count the series out entirely yet. Whedon’s recent online experiment with Dr. Horrible shows that he’s looking at new business models for his projects, and I could easily see the Buffy Animated Series working as a series of web shorts, or even just a series of direct-to-DVD films.
View the pilot below:
krystle joined the group Econet Tech
Biscuit left a comment for Jeremiah Guile
Plagued by fans complaining about the possibility of being robbed of the Watchmen movie by a copyright infringement lawsuit from 20th Century Fox, a statement from the studio has asked fans back off, direct their anger elsewhere and respect proper ownership of intellectual property. Because, you know, that worked so well for the record industry.
In a statement released to Entertainment Weekly about the matter, Fox said
Of course we are concerned about the fans; however, any disappointment from the core fans should not be directed toward Fox. What we are doing is seeking to enforce our distribution rights to Watchmen. Legal copyright ownership should not just be swept under the rug and ignored.
Warners, for their part, are saying very little in response:
We respectfully disagree with Fox’s position and do not believe they have any rights in and to this project.
While Fox may have good reasons to try and delay or destroy the release of Watchmen (Not least of which would be to protect their own summer movies, including X-Men Origins: Wolverine, due out the week before Watchmen’s projected date), they deny that they are trying to do any such thing; they’re just trying to protect their interests and have been trying to do so since the movie started pre-production:
[A]ccording to a Fox source, studio lawyers contacted Warner Bros. about the distribution rights issue several times prior to the start of production but were rebuffed.
Uncivil Society’s Jeff Trexler found more damning evidence in Fox’s favor when examining the court documents:
Arguably the most explosive sentence in the order: “It is particularly noteworthy that nothing on the face of the complaint or the documents supplied to the Court establishes that Gordon, the claimed source of Warner Brothers’ interest in ‘Watchmen,’ ever acquired any rights in ‘Watchmen.’”
Deadline Hollywood has a timeline of events, as laid out in the court documents; again, it’s not looking too good for Warners:
1994: Fox negotiated a “Settlement and Release” agreement with Gordon which contemplated that the Watchmen project would be put in “perpetual turnaround” to Lawrence Gordon Productions, Inc. The “turnaround notice” gave Lawrence Gordon Productions “the perpetual right … to acquire all of the right, title and interest of Fox [Watchmen] pursuant to the terms and conditions herein provided.” The turnaround notice then described the formula for determining the buy-out price in the event that Gordon elected to acquire Fox’s interest. Thus, the document suggests that Gordon acquired an option to acquire Fox’s interest in Watchmen for a price… May 2006: Warner Brothers, allegedly with knowledge of the 1991 Quitclaim, entered into a quitclaim agreement with Gordon under which it claims to have acquired the rights to the Watchmen project. Fox alleges that these facts demonstrate that, at the very least, it retained distribution rights in Watchmen, that it performed all of its obligations under the relevant agreements, and that while it granted Gordon what amounted to an option to acquire its rights, neither Gordon nor his successors ever fulfilled their contractual obligations to Fox. Indeed, Fox contends that Warner Bros either knew or turned a blind eye to the fact that Fox had retained distribution rights in the project, and that Gordon had not perfected his interest in the Watchmen project before quitclaiming it to Warner Brothers.
It now falls to Warners and/or Lawrence Gordon to prove that the Fox option was exercised, or perhaps pay the kind of settlement to Fox that Charlie has previously hinted at; one thing is for sure: Warners need Watchmen’s buzz and potential box office next year, and they’re probably willing to pay any price to keep it.
The Watchmen War [Entertainment Weekly]Watchmen lawsuit original documents [Uncivil Society]SAVE US! Warner’s ‘Watchmen’ In Legal Peril After Judge Won’t Dismiss Fox Suit [Deadline Hollywood]
Did you feel that one of the problems with the second season of NBC’s Heroes was its seeming lack of reason? As opposed to, you know, its predictable plots, crappy new characters and apparent lack of interest in doing anything other than repeating the first season? Then star Milo Ventimiglia is here to tell you that you won’t feel the same about the upcoming Heroes: Villains. In fact, while there may be new characters, they’ll definitely have reason… and impact.
Talking to Comic Book Resources from the set of the show, Ventimiglia explained that this season’s new characters will be there for a purpose, and will shake up the show:
I think there’s always a concern that when you bring in new people that you limit your time with the old people… I think that the producers have done a very good job this year of balancing that. I think they understood that when we were all separated in the second season, the fans weren’t too into that. When you bring in a new character, bring him in with a reason. Bring him in with a purpose. Don’t just pack it with a bunch of new faces that nobody knows.
Amongst those new faces? Peter Petrelli’s father, Arthur:
I think every scene that we do, we’re discovering more than what we had just talked about. [Arthur’s] such a complicated character. He impacts everybody for his own need or want to be important and be the most powerful.
Does this mean that Petrelli Snr. is going to be the big bad of the third season? After seeing previously dealing with both Hiro’s and Matt’s Daddy Issues over the last couple of years, this doesn’t make me too excited about the show’s return on September 22nd.
On Set With Milo Ventimiglia, Part 1,
- Download Squad
You probably knew that a lot of dissatisfied WIndows Vista users had downgraded — some might say “upgraded” — to Windows XP. It was never clear exactly how many people took that step, but it was enough that Microsoft extended the shelf life for XP for a while. Now we have a number, thanks to a survey by Devil Mountain Software: nearly 35% of new Vista machines are being downgraded. The survey used data from PCs that have been shipped in the last 6 months, and included machines that were downgraded by vendors before delivery or by users after the fact. The Register seems to think that Microsoft is shifting focus away from Vista, and instead increasing the marketing effort for its next major OS release, Windows 7. I hardly think these numbers spell doom for Microsoft, but they hopefully provide some incentive to look at why customers are ditching Vista and address their concerns.
- Movie News Story | MTV Movie News
It’s already the second-highest-grossing movie of all time, a gigantic cultural juggernaut that will soon break $500 million domestically. If you haven’t seen “The Dark Knight” at least twice, well, you haven’t really seen it at all. And, yet, for some people, the ending of the latest Batman film is still a complete and utter mystery, especially regarding the fate of Harvey “Two-Face” Dent, the villain played with such delicious glee by Aaron Eckhart.
(Massive spoilers ahead if you’re one of the two cave-dwelling people in America who has yet to see “The Dark Knight.”)
Does he die? Does he live? Even though he falls from a great height at the end of “Dark Knight,” and even though there’s a memorial service in his honor soon after, and even though it seems bloody obvious given Batman’s sacrifice (can you tell which side we believe?), fan opinion on the matter has been bitterly divided. On MTV Movies Blog posts about potential “Batman 3” villains and themes, commenters argued back and forth over the matter, refusing to budge on what they think is right.
They might not have budged before, but now, like Dent himself, they have been pushed.
The script for the blockbuster sequel was made available for purchase on Tuesday and soon after found its way online. It’s a long read at 167 pages, but fans looking for confirmation on the fate of Dent need only look at page 163.
“Dent lies at the bottom of the hole, his neck broken,” the stage direction, written by brothers Jonathan and Christopher Nolan, reads. “DEAD.” (Capital letters their emphasis, not ours.)
Although some already are arguing that because it refers to the character as “Dent” and not “Two-Face,” it’s possible the villain could make a return appearance, but Gotham’s D.A. is always referred to as Dent throughout the script, even after his transformation.
Now that Dent is definitively dead, does it change fan opinion of the movie or mean something different for the franchise moving forward?
You’ll have to wait to watch kids play with Gerald Butler as if he were a video game avatar until the Summer of 2009. Producer Gary Lucchesi explained that the survival-game epic was pushed back to work on the many visual effects. But do expect trailer footage out over the holidays this Christmas, possibly including our first glimpse of Heroes’ Milo Ventimiglia as the evil “Rick Rape.” [Sci Fi]