Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"RoboGeisha"? Yes, please.

Film may have found its 'Guitar Hero'
YooStar lets fans into classic scenes

YooStar, a startup company that debuted in January, is getting ready to launch a system that lets fans insert themselves into classic movie scenes and act "alongside" the movie stars for $170. In a nutshell, YooStar wants to be "Guitar Hero" for movies.
"We see this entire thing as a new revenue stream that will benefit a lot of people and a lot of studios in Hollywood," says Todd Unger, VP of marketing at YooStar.
The YooStar retail package, which hits stores in mid-August, includes a greenscreen, a high-resolution webcam (which includes dual microphones and remote control), stand and software.
Once fans have inserted themselves into a scene, they can share the clip on their own computer or upload free to a YouTubelike site hosted by YooStar, where anyone can view it.
Five studios -- Paramount, Universal, MGM, Warner Bros. and Lionsgate -- have partnered with the company, as have the National Basketball Assn. and Sesame Workshop's "Sesame Street" franchise. The package will ship with 14 clips (11 from films, one from "Sesame Street" and two "moving backgrounds," which allow users to improvise a scene).

Monday, June 29, 2009

Quick Hits

What's up gang!

I have absolutely nothing to report except that I've been volunteering at a food bank and cracking out on Spinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow. Seriously... that's it. Here are some quick hits.

1) Lifehacker has a post on the great and unheralded summer treat, the chocolate covered frozen banana. Recipe included.

2) Not that I would recommend that anyone does this, but here's an instructional video on how to make a flash grenade.

3) The 12 Greatest Video Games to Play on the Toilet.

4) 20 Garden Veggies That Could Each Save You $25 or More (Including One Worth $600).

5) 3 Beginner Computer Tips That Are Often Neglected.

6) The Acadamy people have decided to extend the number of films that can be nominated for Best Picture to 10. 10 seems high. This is how they did it in the old days, and that was fine and dandy, but films were better back then (have a look at the quality of films nominated in 1939 and shudder). If you have films like Crash and Slumdog Millionaire actually winning the award, how in the world are you going to find nine others? You're going to end up rounding out the list with Harold and Kumar, for Pete's sake.

7) Debunking Canadian health care myths (this just in... it's awesome).

8) The Sixers are going back to their old school logo and unis. I'm ALL for that. Next up? The Chargers and the Jays please.

9) If you need help cleaning up a photo on your computer, be careful which forum you go to for help. Or this might happen.

10) The 13 Most Unintentionally Disturbing Children's Toys.

11) You play a lot of PS3/Xbox360 games and have become addicted to trophies, go to AchievementHunter.com for a comprehensive list of game achievements.

12) A new website called http://www.vocabgrabber.com/ is a great tool to help you see the errors of your ways in writing.

13) Here are the movies out on DVD tomorrow (don't get excited):

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li
12 Rounds
Two Lovers
Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience
Dark Streets

Let's have a little 70s funk shall we? Here's Marvin's Groove by B.W. Souls.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

A forgotten gem of the disaster genre.

I saw this as a kid and loved it.


My goodness.

King Of Pop Michael Jackson Dies At 50

Pop Star Suffered Cardiac Arrest, Was Rushed To UCLA Medical CenterLOS ANGELES (CBS)

King of Pop Michael Jackson died Thursday at a Los Angeles hospital where he was rushed around 1 p.m. PT by paramedics.Jackson, 50, suffered cardiac arrest. Capt. Steve Ruda told the Los Angeles Times earlier Thursday that paramedics responded to a call at Jackson's home around 12:26 p.m. Ruda said Jackson was not breathing when they arrived. Law enforcement sources and city officials told the LA Times that Jackson was declared dead by doctors Thursday afternoon after arriving in a deep coma at the hospital. Jackson had announced months ago that he would be doing a comeback tour, but his representatives announced in May that the the star would postpone several of his London shows scheduled for this summer. Jackson, who has sold more than 750 million albums and won 13 Grammys, hasn't undertaken a a major tour since 1997 or released an album of new material since 2001.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Movies on the horizon


Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

by Roger Ebert

"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is a horrible experience of unbearable length, briefly punctuated by three or four amusing moments. One of these involves a dog-like robot humping the leg of the heroine. Such are the meager joys. If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination.

The plot is incomprehensible. The dialog of the Autobots, Deceptibots and Otherbots is meaningless word flap. Their accents are Brooklyese, British and hip-hop, as befits a race from the distant stars. Their appearance looks like junkyard throw-up. They are dumb as a rock. They share the film with human characters who are much more interesting, and that is very faint praise indeed.

The movie has been signed by Michael Bay. This is the same man who directed "The Rock" in 1996. Now he has made "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." Faust made a better deal. This isn't a film so much as a toy tie-in. Children holding a Transformer toy in their hand can invest it with wonder and magic, imagining it doing brave deeds and remaining always their friend. I knew a little boy once who lost his blue toy truck at the movies, and cried as if his heart would break. Such a child might regard "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" with fear and dismay.

The human actors are in a witless sitcom part of the time, and lot of the rest of their time is spent running in slo-mo away from explosions, although--hello!--you can't outrun an explosion. They also make speeches like this one by John Turturro: "Oh, no! The machine is buried in the pyramid! If they turn it on, it will destroy the sun! Not on my watch!" The humans, including lots of U.S. troops, shoot at the Transformers a lot, although never in the history of science fiction has an alien been harmed by gunfire.

There are many great-looking babes in the film, who are made up to a flawless perfection and look just like real women, if you are a junior fanboy whose experience of the gender is limited to lad magazines. The two most inexplicable characters are Ron and Judy Witwicky (Kevin Dunn and Julie White), who are the parents of Shia LaBeouf, who Mephistopheles threw in to sweeten the deal. They take their son away to Princeton, apparently a party school, where Judy eats some pot and goes berserk. Later they swoop down out of the sky on Egypt, for reasons the movie doesn't make crystal clear, so they also can run in slo-mo from explosions.

The battle scenes are bewildering. A Bot makes no visual sense anyway, but two or three tangled up together create an incomprehensible confusion. I find it amusing that creatures that can unfold out of a Camaro and stand four stories high do most of their fighting with...fists. Like I say, dumber than a box of staples. They have tiny little heads, except for one who is so ancient he has an aluminum beard.

Aware that this movie opened in England seven hours before Chicago time and the morning papers would be on the streets, after writing the above I looked up the first reviews as a reality check. I was reassured: "Like watching paint dry while getting hit over the head with a frying pan!" (Bradshaw, Guardian); "Sums up everything that is most tedious, crass and despicable about modern Hollywood!" (Tookey, Daily Mail); "A giant, lumbering idiot of a movie!" (Edwards, Daily Mirror). The first American review, Todd Gilchrist of Cinematical, reported that Bay's "ambition runs a mile long and an inch deep," but, in a spirited defense, says "this must be the most movie I have ever experienced." He is bullish on the box office: it "feels destined to be the biggest movie of all time." It’s certainly the biggest something of all time.

Eat it in my house shoes, eat it in my loafers.

Quick Hits

Good morning all.

Hope everyone is having a lovely day. Not much to report from here. I pinched a nerve in my neck a few days back which rendered me useless for a while but I'm almost 100% at this point. I don't know what the deal is with me and these bloody pinched nerves. I've gotten about two of them a year since I was in my twenties. They are very unpleasant. But you don't need to read about my problems... bring on the links!

1) Spoofee.com is a site that lists all of the weekly specials of your local stores, so that you don't have to filter through that big stack of ads in the Sunday paper.

2) Bobcat Goldthwait has a new film starring Robin Williams, and it looks hilarious.

3) Two groups I've been listening to lately - X and Stereo Total. Good stuff.

4) I saw an ad for a medical product called Seasonique which reduces a woman's period from once a month to four times a year. Now I'm not a doctor, but this strikes me as unnatural a thing that one could do. How about a pill that prevents you from sweating or a or a cream that only lets you smile? I hate this kind of thing. It really creeps me out.

5) There's a new telephone scam involving jury duty that you all should be aware of. Read up on this one.

6) Las Vegas postcards; nostalgia for the golden age of Sin City.

7) How to maintain your Xbox 360.

8) I was looking up an actor from the 1930s/1940s named Robert Donat (one of my faves) and it turns out he has a MySpace page. For a laugh, check out his friends.

9) Speaking of things that creep me out, check out this Cronenbergian remote control. And it's real! The future looks scaaarrry, people.

10) Supercharge Your Garden with Home-Brewed Compost Tea.

11) 12 Grossest TV Characters Who Get Laid Constantly.

12) Here's a recipe for Strawberry Leather that I'm thinking of trying out. A great and healthy snack for kids and adults alike.

13) Some crazy Japanese company has invented underwear that removes the smell from farts. Uh... call me crazy but isn't the smell of a fart the second best part of a fart? The smell of a fart is a gift from God; you get to create a smell that is pleasurable to you but simultaneously nauseating to others. It's a remarkable thing.

14) How To Hide Your Facebook Profile From Google.

15) 25 awesome Cross-platform games you can download for free.

16) There are a few new PS3 games listed as Greatest Hits (which means they're cheaper).

17) There are bad tattoos, there are horrible, regrettable tattoos, and then there's this.

18) Here's a video on how to make Roasted Chicken with Pears. Prepared by Christopher Walken. Gold.

19) Vertex42 is a resource where you can download free excel templates, calculators, calendars and articles.

20) IGN's Overall Best of E3 2009 Awards.

21) Mind control video games are being tested in Japan. I imagine it will go something like this.

22) Getridofthings.com is a do-it-yourself guide dedicated to helping you prevent, eliminate or remove common annoyances from your life. They offer advice about stuff like pest control, physical health problems, mental health problems, housekeeping, personal hygiene, computer repair, stain removal, and much more.

23) Top 5 Things that Devalue Your House.

24) Here are the movies out on DVD this week (released yesterday):

Confessions of a Shopaholic
Pink Panther 2
Waltz with Bashir

Holy mackerel... no thank-you across the board. Have a listen to Here We Go by Stakka Bo.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Invisible Rope Trick

EMBED-Invisible Rope Prank II - Watch more free videos
Happy Father's Day!

Bang Bang!!

Quick Hits

Hello all!
Well... here we are! All the way over from Typepad to the new home at Blogger. Things appear to be going pretty smoothly - no hiccups as of yet. You may see some changes in the layout, fonts, colours, etc. over the next week or so. I haven't fine tuned this thing just yet and I'm sure there are loads of features worth investigating. But for now, let's have some quick hits.

1) From time to time I think of a product (ie. band-aids) that hasn't really evolved that much since they were invented years and years ago. One of those things is toilet paper. Why haven't we made any major advances in the world of toilet paper in the last few decades? Well it turns out we have, and TP advancement may not be such a good thing.

2) iRobot, the company that brought you the asskicking Roomba (which I proudly own) have invented a similar product that cleans your gutters. And Buy.com has them on sale for $30.

3) A company that produces the voice work for GPSs is releasing a Homer Simpson version.

4) Need to make a decision about something? You might want to try Hunch, a new site that focuses on helping you make thoughtful, informed decisions on a wide variety of different questions.

5) During some down time, a few employees at the new Cowboys Stadium decided to hook up their Xbox 360 to the ridiculously huge Jumbotron. That is friggin' AWESOME.

6) Some bored web lover has taken a poorly written Yahoo! Answers entry and added a voice to it. Watch it a few times - it's intoxicating.

7) Attention Mac nerds - chaeck out Lifehacker's list of essential free Mac downloads for 2009.

8) Valve has discovered the biggest problem with video games these days; they're too expensive.

9) GoogleGuide is an online interactive tutorial site that can show you how to really use Google. It provides tips, tricks and tutorials on making Google search easier and effective for novices, experts and everyone else.

10) 20 Marvel Heroes Who Deserve a Shot At the Movie Big Time.

That's it for now, friends and lovers. Have a listen to Help Yourself by Tom Jones (in honour of Phat Jimmy and his brand new young 'un!).

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