Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Up until now, all that was known about this new Disney movie was that it was going to be 2-D, and that is about a Princess and a Frog. Today there is a trailer and an official site for it. Here's the trailer:
Pixar is definitely the best animation studio on the planet. As such, it has a lot of news and buzz around it. Here are some of the news stories and updates for today:
Update 1: Here are some UP pictures taken at Comic-Con 2008. These were photographs taken at a presentation by Pixar. They were then cropped and enhanced in photoshop. Astounding.
Update 2: An interview with Pete Docter from MTV hints at a Monsters, Inc. sequel. This hint is a lot similar to the hint dropped by Iger on the idea of a Cars sequel. Everything points to a Monsters, Inc. 2! Here's the link to the interview. And, yes, they misspelled Docter's name as "Doctor".
Hopefully, more will be announced about UP as its release draws near. I also hope that more on Monsters, Inc. 2 is announced as well. All of this news will be posted as it is announced.
Source: The Pixar Blog
The highly anticipated Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince trailer was just released, and it looks amazing! This is the second to last movie in the series, and is followed by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The book was really good, and I hope that the movie does the book justice, although I haven't yet seen a Harry Potter movie that was better than the book... Here's the trailer:
Have you ever thought that those games on The Price is Right are slightly less favorable towards the contestant? A news story from today has confirmed any suspicions you might have had. They are somewhat rigged. It’s a funny story, actually. They were filming a commercial for The Price is Right, and they rigged the Plinko machine so that it’d go into the jackpot $10,000 every time. Well, they forgot to reset the machine before filming the real show, and a lady won $30,000! This seems like a big slip-up on The Price is Right’s part, and it was, which is why somebody got fired. And in case you were wondering, the lady had to play again and won $3,000, but they decided to give her both prizes, for a total of $33,000! Sadly, they will not be airing this portion of the show, so we may never be able to see the malfunctioning machine or the lucky contestant.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox is the sixth installment of the Artemis Fowl series. It is 432 pages, and is written by the talented writer from Ireland, Eoin Colfer. (Warning: Spoilers ahead!)
Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox begins with what seems to be a relatively simple plot. (Warning Again: Massive Spoilers Ahead!) Artemis' mother is extremely ill, so Artemis calls on Holly Short and the demon No1 for help. Holly concludes from Angeline's (Artemis' Mother's) symptoms that she has Spelltropy, a terrible disease which leads to inevitable death. The only known cure is the silky sifaka lemur, which is now extinct because Artemis had sold the last of its kind to a group known as "The Extinctionists" 8 years earlier.
Holly and Artemis decide, with the help of No1 and Foaly, to travel back in time 8 years to retrieve the lemur, in order to cure Artemis' mother. Artemis and Holly are successfully transported back 8 years by No1, but they have only 3 days to return with the lemur or No1 will not be able to bring them back to their time.
Holly and Artemis encounter Mulch Diggums upon arriving 8 years previous to their time. With the help of their new ally, Artemis Fowl and Holly break into the lemur's housing, but Artemis is injured. Holly heals Artemis, and kisses him.
The lemur escapes and the younger Artemis Fowl gets a hold of it and flies to Morocco to sell it to Dr. Kronski, the leader of The Extinctionists. With some difficulty, Captain Short and the older Artemis manage to get the lemur back. While doing this, however, Holly is captured and sold to Kronski in place of the lemur.
The older Artemis manages to rescue Holly, but is thrown into a pit of fire in the process. The fire turns out to be holographic, and Holly realizes that Kronski has been mesmerized by a fairy or pixie.
Artemis is now in Opal Koboi's clutches. Opal doesn't know who Artemis is, since the Artemis in this time is unaware of the fairy's existence. Artemis, on the other hand, knows exactly who Opal Koboi is. Artemis discovers that Opal has been using all of the supposedly extinct animals' brains to increase her own magical abilities. She needs the lemur to finally become invincible, and be able to travel through time.
Eventually, Artemis Fowl escapes from Koboi's lair, and is picked up by Mulch Diggums and Holly Short, they are flying a junky LEP shuttle. Now, Holly and Artemis only have a few hours to get back to the time stream entrance, or they'll be stuck in this time forever. Upon arriving at Artemis' house, the younger Artemis is waiting for them. He demands an explanation for all of this. The older Artemis has no choice, so he tells the younger Artemis all about their travel through time, as well as the importance of the Lemur, the evil Opal, etc. Then, he hatches a plan...
Mulch is being captured by Opal has his memory sucked out of him for Koboi to learn from. Holly and Artemis, unaware of this, travel 8 years into the future, back to their appropriate time. Artemis is about to give his mother the "lemur injection" when he discovers that Opal has taken over his mother, and gave her the sickness in the first place.
Holly and No1 cannot help Artemis, because they are trapped by a mesmerized Butler. When Artemis is about to be killed, he reveals that he is actually the 10-year-old Artemis from the past, and that the older Artemis from this time is free from Opal. The older Artemis temporarily stuns Opal's real body, and Holly and No1 are freed. The older Artemis takes himself and the Lemur in a family airplane to distract Opal while the LEP reaches Artemis' house. Opal follows Artemis and the lemur, but the lemur that Artemis brought turns out to be just a decoy, and the LEP have reached Artemis' house and the lemur is safe.
Opal is stopped by Artemis and is buried under a bunch of rubble caused by an undiscovered kraken. When the LEP go looking for her body, however, she cannot be found.
Artemis returns to his home to tell the others of Opal's defeat, when he finds that his mother knows what happened to her. Artemis then realizes that if he hadn't gone back in time, he never would have had any fairy-related adventures, thus Opal never would have touched his mother, and thus she wouldn't have had Spelltropy....as Artemis puts it, its a Time Paradox.
No1 wiped young Artemis' mind of the past day's events and sent him back to his proper time. Upon waking up young Artemis remembers something from a dream, however, fairies. This dream starts Artemis' search for the fairies, thus prompting the entire series of the Artemis Fowl books. So, the future Artemis Fowl indirectly prompted the past Artemis to go searching for fairies...the Time Paradox again.
As you can tell, it is a somewhat confusing book. It is not terribly confusing, though. It is entertaining, witty, and has a lot of heart. You meet some new characters, as well as learn new things about the old characters. During the last few chapters, it is just beautiful how everything falls so perfectly into place. Also, the book makes you think a lot about time travel and its effects.
Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox is an awesome book. I highly recommend that you read it. You may not appreciate it, however, if you haven't read the previous books in the series.
I cannot wait for Colfer's next installment of Artemis Fowl, it is a wonderful universe with truly great characters. Who isn't entertained by a 14-year-old criminal mastermind with an undiscovered fairy world on his side?
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Remember that hoverboard from Back to the Future II that you always wanted? Well, now's your chance to grab one. It is on eBay Live Auctions and is starting at $30,000. Here's is the description from the eBay listing:
This is one of the hero Mattel Hoverboards used by Michael J. Fox in his most famous role as “Marty McFly” in the Robert Zemeckis classic 80s trilogy, Back to the Future. Two styles of Hoverboard were made for and employed in the film – lightweight boards of styrofoam construction and thick and durable wood-based props – this example is the latter, and is recognized as the best example of all wood Hoverboards to have survived the rigors of filming. The illusion of Michael J. Fox as “Marty McFly” hovering through the air was achieved with practical effects, with actors in rigged harnesses being “flown” via cranes, with special effects taking care of the rest.Here's the scene from Back to the Future II that features this >$30,000 prop.
Of the two styles of props used in the film – styrofoam and wood – the styrofoam examples in collections today have not held up as well, given the more fragile nature of the material and the abuse they endured in production. Few wood examples have survived, and the collector who obtained this specimen from the prop master chose this for his personal collection as the premiere example of those preserved following the film. It is in used but outstanding condition, and is very rare in that it is entirely complete and intact. Given the wood build and use of metal components, it looks and feels like a “real” prop. This piece has the complete fully functional and rear ballbearing-mounted footpad that rotates 360 degrees, as well as the bottom “magnet plates”. Of the two styles of stickers used for the effects, this prop has the “photoboard”-style sticker affixed. In addition, there is other textured styling and hand painting. This Hoverboard also features the hole in the top, representing where the handlebars were that “Marty” pulled off after borrowing the “toy” from the little girl in the film. $30000 - $50000
Today at Comic-Con 2008 in San Diego, Disney had a Q&A session, as well as showed clips from the upcoming animated features. Here's an excerpt from an excellent transcript of the event from blog.spout.com:
Q: “I’ve know that a lot of you are Hayao Miyazaki fans, and the footage you showed us looked like it had a lot of his influences.”
A: “Wow, thank you for that. It’s true, a lot of us love Hayao Miyazaki. I had a chance to work on the English translation of that film, and I just love his attention to detail. There’s a shot in his film Totoro where the character is waiting for a bus, and they cut to a shot of a drop of water falling, and a frog… that sort of detail is just something I love.”
Q: “So what is the message that Pixar is trying to get across in this movie?
A: “Well, it’s all about drug trafficking, and….okay, no it’s not. We’re just trying to tell a good story with a heart, and that’s what we’re focusing on.”
As well as shedding some light on some unanswered questions, Disney has released the official site for UP. This site, right now, just contains the teaser trailer. Here is the link, as well as the trailer.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
ComingSoon.net has reported that Katzenberg of DreamWorks has confirmed that all six of the Star Wars movies are going to be re-released in 3-Dimensions. Lucas is "very excited about it" and, as said by Katzenberg, "He isn't going to put a product out, I think, that isn't anything other than first rate."
I don't know about this idea, but I am excited to see all of the Star Wars features back on the big screen! Even if they are gonna be tinkered and tampered with.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
DisneyShopping.com has answered many questions about the Ultimate WALL-E robot. First of all, it ships in 13 weeks. It is going to cost $259, which is $60 more than was rumored. Here are some more details given by DisneyShopping.com:
- With the original voice from the hit movie, WALL•E can chat with you. He can also dance, play music from your MP3 player (cable included), follow you around, or explore on his own. His programmable infrared remote control lets you create more than 1000 action sequence combinations!
- His eyes light up and blink with the expressions you loved in the film
- Designed with advanced technology, Ultimate WALL•E has audio, motion and obstacle sensors
- WALL•E will turn his head towards a sound and respond thanks to 4 audio sensors that give him 360-degree sound detection.
- 4 motion sensors, 3 in the front and 1 in the back, allow WALL•E to detect motion and trigger his curiosity
- Obstacle sensors enable WALL•E to detect obstacles in his path to avoid collisions
- WALL•E's arms move up and down, hands grip and rotate 360 degrees and his body tilts forward and backward plus he has real working treads
- Play modes include Follow-U mode, Explore mode, Dance mode, MP3 Music mode and Program mode plus he has an interactive Talk Back feature
- Innovative remote control allows WALL•E to be played with using Touch Pad control, dual joy sticks or any of the 16 function buttons for voice, lights, sound effects, music, expressions, special programs and more!
Well, there ya have it. $60 more than expected and it'll be awhile until you're gonna get your hands on one of these realistic WALL-E robots.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Many of Pixar's upcoming movies have been somewhat unknown other than the title. The plots, characters, and casts have been kept under wraps. Well, here are the plots, cast and crew, as well as release dates and other info:
Carl Fredricksen spent his entire life dreaming of exploring the globe and experiencing life to its fullest. But at age 78, life seems to have passed him by, until a twist of fate (and a persistent 8-year old Wilderness Explorer named Russell) gives him a new lease on life. "Up" takes audiences on a thrilling journey where the unlikely pair encounter wild terrain, unexpected villains and jungle creatures.
Directed by Pete Docter
Written by Bob Petersen
May 29, 2009
Woody, Buzz, and the rest of their toy-box friends are dumped in a day-care center after their owner, Andy, departs for college.
Directed by Lee Unkrich
Written by Michael Arndt
June 18, 2011
Newt and Brooke live in a college's science lab and don't like each other, yet as the last blue-footed newts on earth they must mate to save the species. Rydstrom explains "Newt is smart but he's never had to think for himself and is pampered. Brooke on the other hand is streetwise and not to be messed with."
Directed by Gary Rydstrom
Written by Leslie Caveny
The impetuous, tangle-haired Merida, though a daughter of royalty, would prefer to make her mark as a great archer. A clash of wills with her mother compels Merida to make a reckless choice, which unleashes unintended peril on her father's kingdom and her mother's life. Merida struggles with the unpredictable forces of nature, magic and a dark, ancient curse to set things right.
Directed by Brenda Chapman
Written by Katherine Sarafian
On or Around Christmas 2011
All the world's a racetrack as racing superstar Lightning McQueen zooms back into action, with his best friend Mater in tow, to take on the globe's fastest and finest in this thrilling high-octane new installment of the "Cars" saga. Mater and McQueen will need their passports as they find themselves in a new world of intrigue, thrills and fast-paced comedic escapades around the globe.
Unknown (but most likely will have Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Larry the Cable Guy, as well as others featured in Cars)
Directed by Brad Lewis
Well, there ya have it. Pixar hasn't run out of ideas yet! More posts will appear as more news is released.
Recently, Disney and Pixar have been collaborating on many theme park attractions. These include Turtle Talk with Crush, Toy Story Mania, and Finding Nemo's Submarine Voyage. Some Pixar movies are yet to have their own attractions, however.
One of these neglected Pixar movies is Monsters, Inc. (Yes, there is a small dark ride pushed off to the side in Disney's California Adventure, but that hardly does the movie any justice at all). So, the Imagineers have announced a Monsters, Inc. roller coaster set to open in Fall of 2011.
This roller coaster will be in Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios. The attraction will take visitors through the large door-warehouse featured in Monsters, Inc.
In addition to this attraction, these Pixar-related rides and lands are rumored: Carsland, Radiator Springs Racers, and an A Bug's Life-related attraction.
Source: Jim Hill Media
It is no surprise that The Dark Knight had the biggest opening weekend of all time. It is a truly great movie. But how does it compare with past Batman movies? Here is a gallery that shows the visual differences between the most recent Batman adaptations and the older ones.
Also, pulled directly from the New York Times, here are some quotes from these movies, as well as earnings, lengths, etc.:
Batman: The Movie (1966)
“Some days you can’t get rid of a bomb.” – Batman
Time and Rating:
105 minutes with a PG rating.
“Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moon light?” – Joker
Time and Rating:
126 minutes with a PG-13 rating.
Batman Forever (1995)
“Holey rusted metal, Batman! The ground, it’s all metal. It’s full of holes. You know, holey.” -- Robin
Time and Rating:
122 minutes with a PG-13 rating.
The Dark Knight (2008)
“Some men aren't looking for anything logical. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.” – Alfred
Time and Rating:
152 minutes with a PG-13 rating.
I think that The Dark Knight is the best Batman movie, and the best superhero movie, of all time. Click the source link below to read even more comparisons.
Source: The LA Times
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Up, the upcoming Pixar release, is still a bit unexplained and in the dark. No one is quite sure of the characters, plot, or setting. One thing that is known about it, however, can be found in Ratatouille. While listening to the commentary of Ratatouille, about 15 minutes into the film, Brad Bird refers to the shadow of a dog on a wall. He remarks that this dog will be in "the next film after WALL-E." This film, of course, is Up. This shadow is pictured above.
Source: The Pixar Blog
Friday, July 18, 2008
The Dark Knight was released today, July 18. I am sure that you have heard how great it is, if not, here's my review. Not only is it phenomenal in its quality as a film, but it has done fantastically at the box office so far. In fact, it has set a record for the most successful midnight opening. It made about $18.5 million, beating Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith at $16.5 million.
Update: As of Sunday evening, The Dark Knight has set 8 box office records! They are:
1 - LARGEST NUMBER OF OPENING THEATRES WITH 4,366
2 - BIGGEST MIDNIGHT PREVIEW GROSS WITH $18.489 MILLION IN 3,040 THEATRES
3 - BIGGEST IMAX MIDNIGHT PREVIEWS SET AN NEW RECORD WITH $640,000
4 - BIGGEST SINGLE-DAY GROSS IN BOX-OFFICE HISTORY WITH $67.850 MILLION
5 - BIGGEST OPENING WEEKEND GROSS IN BOX OFFICE HISTORY WITH $155.340 MILLION
6 - BIGGEST OPENING WEEKEND GROSS FOR AN IMAX RELEASE IN BOX OFFICE HISTORY WITH $6,214,061 MILLION IN 94 THEATRES WITH $66,107 PER THEATRE.
7 - BIGGEST OPENING WEEKEND OF 2008 WITH $151.340
8 - BIGGEST JULY OPENING EVERSource: Deadline Hollywood Daily
I attended the midnight showing of Nolan's newest Batman movie, The Dark Knight. It was spectacular. Right from the start you are sent deep into terror and suspense, and you aren't let go until the theater's lights come back on, and even then you are still a bit spooked with traces of an adrenaline rush. Throughout the movie, you are given tons of character development and plot lines, neither of which make the film feel confusing or long, they just add to the film's over all complexity and "feeling". They push you to either love or to loathe each and every character.
The outstanding performance in The Dark Knight, and I'm sure you will agree, is provided by Heath Ledger who plays the Joker. Now, don't get me wrong, Nicholson was a great Joker, but he was nothing compared to Ledger's supremely eerie and demonic take on Batman's most famous villain. Here's how Heath described his Joker: "a psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy." He was exactly right. Heath Ledger, in my mind, is confirmed to win an Academy Award at the next Oscars for his performance as the Joker. And believe me, it is well-deserved.
The plot line of The Dark Knight intrigues you greatly as the movie goes deeper and deeper into the story. You discover secrets, cheer for a member of the love triangle that arises, watch as Bruce Wayne struggles between his two lives...and all the while you have the Joker to worry about.
Out of 10, I'd give The Dark Knight a 10. It is suspenseful, laugh-out-loud hilarious, scary, action-packed, and very entertaining. Ledger's Joker is the definitive Joker, the most demonic Batman nemesis, and the best super-villain from any superhero movie. The Dark Knight, in my opinion, is one of the best superhero movies of all time, and is on par with The Godfather as one of the best crime dramas to ever be created. The Dark Knight delivers a truly extraordinary cinematic experience.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
It was back on July 17, 1955, 53 years ago, that Disneyland first opened its gates.
Opening day was different than you might expect. Sure, there were crowds, camera crews, and celebrity anchors (Ronald Reagan, Art Linkletter, and Bob Cummings), but there were also constant ride malfunctions, tons of counterfeited tickets, 101-degree weather, wet asphalt, and shortages of food.
After that opening, and even previous to it, many doubted Walt and his dreams. They figured that the park would be closed and forgotten within a year. Well, even though it had a rocky start, Disneyland is still a wonderful, successful park 53 years later.
Today, in honor of Disneyland's 53rd Birthday, a renovation of Sleeping Beauty's Castle was announced, set to reopen during the holiday season. The opening will be in honor of Sleeping Beauty's 50th anniversary.
This renovation will include the "reawakening of the classic walkthrough.":
When the attraction is unveiled later this year, the “show” will differ from the dioramas of the 1980s and ‘90s, returning to the unique style of the original 1957 show and motion picture. Enhanced with new scenes and special effects magic, the re-Imagineered attraction will employ technology not available in the 1950s to represent scenes from the story of Sleeping Beauty, including the magic of good fairies Flora, Fauna and Merryweather, and the more sinister spells of the evil Maleficent.Also, in honor of its 50th anniversary, Sleeping Beauty will be released in a special 2-disc blu-ray set.
Monday, July 14, 2008
The t-shirt website TorsoPants has released some very interesting shirts, especially for those of you who like Guitar Hero. The shirts are meant to look like the Guitar Hero logo, but feature such shirts as Kazoo Hero, Glockenspiel Hero, and Harmonica Hero, as well as almost any other instrument you can think of. Here are a few of the shirts, and a link to the list of all of them:
Today is the E3 conference for Microsoft, and there were tons of fantastic announcements made! This list will continue to be updated as more announcements are made. Here is the list, including links, images, and details:
1. Rock Band 2 Set List announced! In addition to having the original Rock Band's songs ported over to Rock Band 2 for a small fee, there are 80 new songs that come on the RB2 disc. Here are a few:
AC/DC "Let There Be Rock"Click here for the rest.
Beastie Boys "So Whatcha Want"
Bob Dylan "Tangled Up in Blue"
Bon Jovi "Livin' on a Prayer"
Disturbed "Down with the Sickness"
Duran Duran "Hungry Like the Wolf"
Kansas "Carry On Wayward Son"
Panic at the Disco "Nine in the Afternoon"
2. NetFlix to stream all of their "Watch It Now" movies right to your Xbox 360!
3. Xbox 360 to get a brand new dashboard. In addition, they are getting a "Mii-type" avatar system. Here is the new dashboard:
4. Xbox 360 to get Final Fantasy XIII! This is most likely a huge setback for Sony, who has been suffering anyways. Final Fantasy has always been a franchise that has been exclusive to Sony, and is one of the reasons that many people would buy a PS3. Not anymore.
5. This one's the most exciting for me. The Portal sequel! Portal 2 is going to be released later this year through the Xbox Live Arcade. It will be known as Portal: Still Alive.
6. Gears of War 2 coming out November 7, 2008.
Keep coming back as more announcements are made!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
WALL-E has done very good things for Disney and for Pixar. One party that also profited from Pixar's latest hit is Jerry Herman, the composer of Hello, Dolly!. Two songs from Hello, Dolly!, 'Put On Your Sunday Clothes' and 'It Only Takes a Moment', play a major role in WALL-E.
Due to the prevalence of Hello, Dolly! in WALL-E, a Broadway revival has been considered. There has already been a huge increase in the videos and DVDs and CD rentals/purchases. Here is a link to the article discussing this.
Many find Hello, Dolly! to be an odd choice for WALL-E. According to Stanton,
"After discovering 'Put On Your Sunday Clothes,' I started exploring the other songs in the play, and when I found 'It Only Takes a Moment,' it just became this godsend because I was always looking for ways to tell the story without the need to use conventional dialogue. This song became a great device for showing WALL-E's interest in what love is, and it gave him a way to convey his love for EVE. I happened to have read somewhere that holding hands is the most intimate public display of affection, which led to the idea of WALL-E learning that action by watching the movie. Suddenly I was desperate: ''I've gotta get a copy of Hello, Dolly! Please, please, please let them show these two lovers holding hands!'' And they were! I took that as a sign that it was meant to be to have these songs in the film because Hello, Dolly! was suddenly helping me tell the story."Here is the link to the interview with Stanton about Hello, Dolly!.