Monday, September 29, 2008

Toy Story 1 & 2 Re-release Details [UPDATED]

Today, more info was announced about the re-releases of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 into theaters. What was already known, is that 3D is involved, and they will be released on October 2nd, 2009 and February 12, 2010 respectively.

New details announced today are that there will be re-rendering, and freshening up of the original features so that they will match the detailed 2010 release of Toy Story 3 (which will be released in standard and 3D formats). Another note about the re-releases of the first two Toy Story flicks, is that, thankfully, no new footage or gimmicks will be added to the classic films; they are exactly the same as you remember, except that they are crisper with more detail, and they jump out of the screen at you. As put by Jim Morris, "There’s no new shots. There’s no new nothing. It’s exactly the same movie you saw before."

Another topic mentioned was the possibility of an IMAX release for future Pixar movies, but they say that they "never had it come quite to fruition", which means they are not planning on having it anytime soon.

Here's a great, detailed interview on the topic.

I can't wait to see these classics (and soon-to-be-classic) in 3D! In fact, 3D or not, I am just excited to see these features in theaters again. Only another year till they start to roll out!

UPDATED: Read this to read about the new re-release dates!


Sunday, September 28, 2008

WALL-E and Disney/Pixar News

After all of those announcements earlier last week, nobody thought that there'd be even more news about Disney or Pixar or WALL-E this soon, but there is!

Briefly: Rotten Tomatoes, a highly-reliable film reviewing website, has named their top 100 animated movies of all time. Topping the list at #1 is Toy Story 2, followed by, in order, Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney's Pinocchio, Toy Story, and WALL-E is ranked at number 5. All of the other Pixar movies can be found within #29 on the list.

I mostly agree with this list. I love the Disney Classic cartoons, and these populate the majority of the list. I also adore Pixar's story-filled, well-animated films which can all be found in the first fourth of the list. Way to go Disney and Pixar!

Another brief announement is that WALL-E has reached a total of $220,590,437 domestically, and $366,412,437 worldwide! This makes WALL-E the 6th best Pixar movie Box Office-wise.

Go WALL-E! I can't wait for the DVD release!


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman Passes at 83

Hollywood legend Paul Newman passed away Friday night after a long battle with lung cancer. His family was with him in his Connecticut farmhouse when the tragedy occurred. "His death was as private and discreet as the way he had lived his life, a humble artist who never thought of himself as 'big,' surrounded by his beloved family and the close circle of friends," the family said earlier today.

Newman will live on through his movies and philanthropic contributions. Some his films include The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sun-Dance Kid, The Hustler, The Color of Money and Cars, among many other Oscar-winning and Oscar-nominated performances.

He wasn't greedy with his fame or fortune, but contributed back to the community, and even made his own line of food products, which have contributed over $250 million to over a thousand charities across the planet.

"Our father was a rare symbol of selfless humility, the last to acknowledge what he was doing was special. Intensely private, he quietly succeeded beyond measure in impacting the lives of so many with his generosity," Newman's daughters remarked. "Always and to the end, Dad was incredibly grateful for his good fortune. In his own words: 'It's been a privilege to be here,'" said his loving family who, along with all of us, will miss him very much.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Disney and Pixar Updates Galore

Back in April, a lot of exciting things were announced for the Disney Company, and for Pixar Animation Studios. Cars 2, Toy Story 3, Newt, The Bear and the Bow, The Princess and the Frog... All of these and more were announced not 6 months ago. Today, however, some more information was released to elaborate on the releases of these hopefully great movies.

First of all, Cars 2 got a lot of updates. It was pulled back a whole year from its expected release date! Now it is slated for summer 2011, instead of summer 2012. As of right now, Pixar has 3 movies scheduled for 2011! Newt and Cars 2 for the summer, and a holiday release for The Bear and the Bow. That was already a record for Pixar to have 2 films released in one year, and no one was expecting a third! This may seem impossible, but John Lasseter talked about Cars 2 and its early release date: "

Our animators are currently working around the clock, and that the plot will feature Mater getting his passport as he and Lightning McQueen travel around the world.
How exciting! Not only are some plot lines revealed, but we get to see it an entire year earlier! Another Cars-related tidbit announced today, is that Cars Toons, cartoons featuring your favorite characters from Cars, which will be available to view online, on the Disneyh Channel, and possibly before feature films.

In addition to the exciting Cars 2 news announced, some more was said about Disney's 2-Dimensional feature film, The Princess and the Frog. First, Oprah Winfrey is going to voice the mother of the main princess character. Also, Randy Newman has already written 6 new songs for the movie.

Update: Also announced by Disney, was that Johnny Depp will be returning as Captain Jack Sparrow for Pirates of the Caribbean 4, he will also be appearing in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and will be playing the Mad Hatter, which will be awesome. And, even yet another thing that Depp is doing, is playing Tonto in the Lone Ranger movie.

Sources, MTV Movies, Reuters ,


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

T-Mobile G1 Announced

The highly-anticipated Android is having its first debut. It will come in the form an HTC phone made for T-mobile. This phone is called the T-Mobile G1, and is supposed to be the first real competition for the iPhone.

The G1 will be available in late October and will cost around $180. Here are the specifications:

  • HSDPA 1700 / 2100 plus quadband EDGE
  • WiFi
  • 3D graphics acceleration
  • 1GB integrated storage plus microSD expansion
  • 3-megapixel camera
  • Android Market for on-device app purchases
  • Amazon MP3 app for on-device music purchases
  • Push Gmail support with full HTML client
  • Bluetooth (but no A2DP)
  • Google Maps with Street View
  • No Microsoft Exchange support
  • No desktop synchronization -- it all happens over the air
There are some great upsides to this phone. 1st, the biggest, is that it is open source. This means you can do whatever you what to it, as well as upload any apps to the "Android Marketplace" with no restrictions. This is good so that you'll never be in need of an app, but is also somewhat bad because you'll have to sort through thousands of garbage-apps before finding one worth keeping.

Another great thing about the T-Mobile G1 is its integration with Google. It has a GTalk app, a Gmail app, among others. It has a touch screen, slide out keyboard, and expandable memory.

There are some downsides however:
  • It runs on the very scarce and spotty T-Mobile 3G network.
  • No headphone jack!
  • You'll have to sort through some worse apps before finding keepers, due to a lack of restrictions and rejection processes.
  • The memory is expandable to only 8GB.
  • The Android marketplace used to install apps is, for now, very flawed and glitchy.
  • It is larger and heavier than the iPhone, with a smaller screen.
  • No video support, as with the iPhone.
  • No multi-touch functionality
  • No desktop or 3G syncing or downloading, wirelessly with WiFi is the only way.
  • Since its the first-generation, things will be a little bit slower and less stable than in later models.
  • UPDATE: The data, while being advertised as unlimited, may be capped off at the minuscule amount of 1GB.
That's about all there is to say about the T-Mobile G1, Android's first phone. Its open source, with a large app marketplace, a decent camera, and a physical keyboard. But I think that a lack of a headphone jack, a truly comprehensive 3G network, lots of memory, and the bulky size will prevent some users from buying the G1, but I am sure that the G4 or G5 will be near-perfect, and will be worth ditching the iPhone for. But, for now, I believe that the iPhone is superior to T-Mobile's G1.


Updates: Here is a really good hands-on video with the G1 that I stumbled upon:

Also, Gizmodo pointed out something very interesting; the main promotional image for the T-Mobile G1 has inconsistent clocks with different times. Click on the link, or here is the image:

And yet another update! The ad for this phone is funny, and somewhat pokes fun at Apple. They call it "Funnerer" and "Connecteder". Here's the commercial:


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Emmy Winners Announced

The Emmys aired tonight, Sunday the 21st. It wasn't more or less special than usual, save Don Rickles. Here are some of the big winners of the night:

  • Best Comedy Series: 30 Rock, although I prefer The Office and Entourage.
  • Miniseries: John Adams
  • Actor in a Miniseries or Movie: Paul Giamatti for John Adams. I am very glad that Giamatti won this Emmy, it is his first, and he is a great actor.
  • Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program:Don Rickles, for Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project. I am so glad that Don Rickles won this award. He is a hilarious and great man. He is a great comedian, a hilarious Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story, and Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project was funny and interesting.

  • Directing for a Comedy: Barry Sonnenfeld, for Pushing Daisies. I am also glad that Mr. Sonnenfeld won this award, because Pushing Daisies is a truly great show with wit, humor, and great writing and directing. I am glad that this show is finally getting the recognition it deserves.

  • Variety, Music or Comedy Series: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Personally, I like The Colbert Report, but Stewart has won this one almost every year, so, there ya go.
  • Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Series: The Colbert Report. I love this show, and the Emmy was well-deserved. I also loved Colbert's prune joke during the Emmys.

Those are the ones that I thought were worth mentioning. Although Mad Men and 30 Rock may have swept the competition, I believe that The Colbert Report, Pushing Daisies, and Don Rickles were the best award recipients, and I am glad that they are getting the recognition that is well-deserved.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Disney's Birthday Gift To You: Free Theme Park Tickets!

This year, Disney's Theme Parks are going with a "Year of a Million Dreams" theme. They are doing giveaways, decorations, etc. But next year, the theme is going to be "Celebrations". This will include decorations, new parades, and, most exciting, everyone can get a free theme park ticket on their birthday! Click here to register now and get your free theme park admission to one of the "Happiest Places on Earth"!

On another note, there is a brand new Official Disneyland Podcast! It is a video about "Tips and Hidden Treasures at the Disneyland Resort". Watch it now!


Pushing Daisies Updates

There are a lot of great shows on television. The Simpsons, South Park, and Spongebob Squarepants... Oh, and then there's Pushing Daisies, which, in my opinion, is the best TV show around. It is about a piemaker named Ned who has the power to bring things back to life, but finds that odd consequences come from this power. In addition to the great plot, Pushing Daisies also has tons of jokes, romance, and conflict to keep you entertained. This fabulous show features a cast of great actors and actresses including Kristin Chenoweth, Jim Dale, and Chi McBride, among other hilarious individuals.

Well, if the synopsis of the series hasn't intrigued you, the pre-season promotions ought to. The show airs on ABC on October 1st at 8/7c, and until then, there are lots of things happening. The most exciting thing is that "The Pie Hole" (the restaurant featured in the series) is making a national tour, and will be giving out free pie and Pushing Daisies-related souvenirs! These are some pictures from one of these "restaurants", and here is where you can find out when it will be in your city!

In addition to the national tour, you can get the 1st season of Pushing Daisies on DVD today! Now, if you still aren't excited about the premiere of the 2nd season of the best show on TV, Pushing Daisies, here are two exclusive "sneak peek" videos for the next season! Enjoy...

You're bound to be excited for the pie-laden, supernatural world of Pushing Daisies by now. Believe me, it is a well-written, funny, entertaining show that you will get hooked on from the 1st episode.


With Nowhere Else to Turn, Disney Makes a 'Tomorrowland Movie'

After making over $1 billion dollars, Disney wants to recreate the blockbuster giant that was Pirates of the Caribbean. But with The Haunted Mansion not available after that train wreck with Eddie Murphy, Disney turns to a broader topic, its theme park "lands". Specifically, Tommorowland.

Disney has hired screenwriters Jon Lucas and Scott Moore to write an "epic-sized action adventure set in space." Disney denies that it will be solely based on Tomorrowland, or if that will even be the title, but it has been said that this Pirates-of-the-Caribbean-Wannabe will feature Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

I suppose that we shouldn't be too quick to judge, though. Afterall, I wasn't expecting anything from The Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy, and that (although having gone downhill after the first one) did turn out to be a decent movie with a solid plot and enjoyable characters. I am not sure what to expect from this new Tommorowland movie, but I just hope it is nothing like Eddie Murphy's The Haunted Mansion. I do hope that it will be representative of the futuristic experience and wonder that is, and was, Tomorrowland. Oh, and I wouldn't mind a cameo by the PeopleMover.



Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Win a Lifetime Subscription to Netflix for Watching Movies!

Netflix is sponsoring a contest in Times Square. The contest consists of 8 people watching movies in Times Square, and whoever can beat the world record of straight movie watching without once glancing away from the screen, will win $10,000, a Popcorn Bowl trophy, a lifetime subscription to Netflix, and the title of World Record Holder for Movie Watching. The current world record is 120 hours and 23 minutes by Ashish Sharma. Think you can watch movies for more than that? Join the contest!

Source: Cinematical


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Apple News Updates

I'm sure you've heard about this, but Apple has made many announcements in the past week, and mostly on last Tuesday. These include (with links and pictures!):

1. A new, fancy iPod Nano with a tall screen, 9 color options, video support, and a neat shake-to-shuffle functionality.

2. A new installment of the iPod Touch, with a new shape similar to that of the iPhone 3G, as well as other minor changes.

3. And, finally, a 2.1 update for iPhones everywhere, which includes Genius Playlist creation on-the-go, as well as improved signal strength and battery life, as well as numerous other "bug fixes".

The new nano is a great improvement over the last model (which looked like it was run over by a car). The new iPod Touch looks better than its predecessor, and I am very excited about the 2.1 update, who's "bug fixes" are sorely needed. Although the event on Tuesday went great, and the products are a success, as usual, this event wasn't quite as epic as usual, due to a lot of leaks before hand. Oh well, Apple remains the king of media players, and the owner of the best smart phone on the market.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pixar Honored by Vanity Fair

The Vanity Fair 100: The New Establishment list was released today. It has many prominent people awarded for their movies, TV shows, governance, and journalism, among other things.

Why am I bringing this list up? Well, Pixar has four people on this list...who are all found in the top 28 positions. Steve Jobs can be found in slot #4 on the list. He earned this slot through his extremely successful computer company Apple, and through his generous contributions to the world's best animation company, Pixar.

But that's not all. Brad Bird, John Lasseter, and Andrew Stanton are tied for #28 on the list! Vanity credits them for being the "greatest rolls in entertainment history" for having "produced nine straight commercial and artistic winners".

I am very glad that Pixar is getting all of the recognition they deserve. Their movies truly are pheonomenal works of entertaining, comedic, action-packed art with fantastic animation.

Source: The Pixar Blog