Archive for April, 2008

Sir Ian McKellen cast in del Toro’s “The Hobbit”

As if anyone else could have played the part.
(image from Yahoo!)
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Ian McKellen will again take up the robes of Gandalf the Wizard in the cinematic adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s fantasy classic “The Hobbit” a British film magazine reported Wednesday.
But McKellen’s publicist warned that final arrangements were yet to be made.
McKellen’s sonorous interpretation of Gandalf in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy delighted fans and critics, earning him an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor.
The 68-year-old British actor previously told The Associated Press that he would hate to see anyone else play the role.
“The Hobbit” is being produced by Peter Jackson, the director of the “Rings” movies, and is likely to be filmed in his home country of New Zealand next year.
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April 30, 2008 at 8:07 pm Leave a comment

New ‘Dark Knight’ posters

These look sweet.

(images from Yahoo!)

April 28, 2008 at 1:15 pm Leave a comment

Review: Harold and Kumar – Escape from Guantanamo Bay

Harold & Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay is probably one of the best titles for a movie I’ve ever heard. I think everyone was expecting the sequel to 2004’s Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle to be called Harold & Kumar Go To Amsterdam, but I much prefer this new title. As the name suggests, our two favorite Asians end up in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba after being mistaken for terrorists on a plane bound of Amsterdam. The rest of the film follows the typical buddy-road-movie comedy formula, similar to the first movie.

There really isn’t that much difference between this and its predecessor, but the filmmakers do take the racism jokes a step further, sometimes with hilarious effect. The movie starts literally right after the first one ends, with Harold daydreaming about his crush Maria (Paula Garces). He and Kumar then start packing for their flight to Amsterdam, where Harold hopes to meet Maria. On the plane, Kumar brings a homemade bong onboard, which is mistaken for a bomb, then the two are tackled by a couple of meathead-type Federal Air Marshals, followed by an interrogation by Ron Fox (Rob Corddry), an agent for the Department of Homeland Security, then a brief stint at Guantanamo Bay.

The Guantanamo Bay sequence is actually pretty short, and a little disgusting. The pair do meet a couple of actual terrorists, who are pretty much the angry Middle Eastern stereotypes that the average American thinks of when someone says the word ‘terrorist’. What follows after the escape is basically sequence after sequence that plays on most stereotypes.

The scenes in Alabama are actually pretty funny. Harold and Kumar meet a backwards redneck, who offers to let them stay the night in his trailer. Upon entering the trailer (which is much nicer on the inside than the outside), they meet the farmer’s beautiful wife, and have a run-in with their son. Meanwhile, Fox is on their trail, interviewing members of a predominantly black neighborhood who saw Harold and Kumar as they fled into the woods. While not giving too much away, the scene with Fox talking to the witnesses was one of the funniest scenes in the whole movie.

The pair then continue to move westward as they try to get to one of their friends who has some pull with the government, in hopes of clearing their names. And, yes, they run into Neil Patrick Harris, who takes them to a whore house. The scenes with NPH is short, and only mildly funny. Then there’s the scene with George W. Bush (James Adomian). Surprisingly, W has some wise things to say about government and taking charge of your own life. After being wrongfully thrown into a military prison for POW’s and suspected terrorists, Harold and Kumar aren’t really too keen on the American government. Kumar tells W that he doesn’t know if he can trust it anymore. W, however, tells him that basically you don’t need to trust the government, just have trust in your country. Not to make things political or anything, but, that kind of makes a lot of sense. We can be angry at our government, but the way the USA is set up, we can trust in ourselves to fix things (which is one of the reasons we have elections in the first place). Wise words, indeed.

Overall, fans of the first won’t be dissapointed with this one. While some have said the first was better, I honestly say they’re both equally as entertaining. I think that some of the race jokes are funnier here, but the first had more ‘unique’ moments that didn’t have to rely on the same schtick (racism). Running at about 1 hour and 45 minutes, I think it’s about 10 minutes too long, but it’s not like Knocked Up which ran about 20 minutes too long.


(images from Yahoo!)

April 28, 2008 at 1:03 pm 1 comment

Director Officially Chosen for “The Hobbit” Films

I’m lining up now…right after I see Pan’s Labyrinth.
(image from Yahoo!)
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LOS ANGELES – Guillermo del Toro is directing “The Hobbit” and its sequel, New Line Cinema announced Thursday. The 43-year-old filmmaker will move to New Zealand for four years to make the films back-to-back with executive producer Peter Jackson.
“I am indeed blessed to become a part of the filmmaking community that Peter, Fran and their extraordinary team of collaborators have created in New Zealand,” del Toro said in a statement. “Contributing to the ‘Lord of the Rings’ legacy is an absolute dream come true.”
Jackson and Walsh called del Toro “a cinematic magician who has never lost his childlike sense of wonder.”
“We have long admired Guillermo’s work and cannot think of a more inspired filmmaker to take the journey back to Middle-Earth,” they said in a statement.
Jackson co-wrote, co-produced and directed the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, which won 17 Oscar and 30 nominations.
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April 24, 2008 at 7:26 pm Leave a comment

Nintendo’s Secret Stash of Money

Holy crap, that’s a lot of money. There’s an urban legend in the games industry that Nintendo has this secret stash of money that they pull from in case something happens and they find themselves in financial trouble. I personally never believed that, since they’ve always been a success. Even during the ‘dark days’ of the Nintendo 64 and the GameCube, the company still managed to make money from every system sold, plus their first-party titles.

Now, with the success of, what I call, the ‘generation of experimentation’, I think that Nintendo has so much money that they might as well make a ‘secret stash of cash’ since they can’t possibly be spending all of it. I’m glad to see more third-party developers opening up, specifically with the DS. Square Enix’s The World Ends With You has been getting rave reviews, and there’s mounting anticipation for Activision’s Guitar Hero: On Tour.

The Wii is still lagging, but I believe things will get better. I just listened to the EGM Live podcast, and they had nothing but good things to say about a new third-party skiing game using the WiiFit balance board. And there’s no denying the power of Nintendo’s big franchises like Super Smash Bros. (2 million in sales so far!), Mario, and Pokemon.

So, congrats, Nintendo. Maybe you can use all this money to make an HD system next generation.

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The company has reported that net sales for the year ending March 31, 2008, were �1.672 trillion ($16.2 billion), up 73 percent on the previous year. This resulted in a net income (or profit) of �257 billion ($2.5 billion) for its 2008 fiscal year ended March 31, up 47 percent on the previous year.

Both hardware and software have served up results that are bound to please Nintendo’s accountants. The Wii console sold 18.61 million units worldwide during the last fiscal year, which amounts to 24.5 million units since its release. In its forecasts for April 2008 to March 2009, Nintendo says it will sell 25 million further Wii consoles worldwide.

Wii software sales were bolstered by the success of Wii Fit in Japan, where the fitness training programme shifted 1.85 million copies. Super Smash Bros. Brawl sold 4.85 million units in the US and Japan, with Super Mario Galaxy and Mario Party 8 also highlighted as major successes.
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April 24, 2008 at 11:29 am Leave a comment

GTA vs The City of Chicago

Honestly, I think that Fox News is making a bigger deal of this than it really is. I can understand why Chicago’s transit authority pulled the ads. There has been a significant spike in violent crime and the GTA series has always been associated with violent crime.

Am I one of those people who think GTA is evil because of the violence? Absoulutely not, I’ve owned several GTA games and I enjoy them, but I can understand that there are a select few people in the world that can’t see the difference between a game and reality, and it’s these people that will commit violence acts in real life. It’s also these same people that may play GTA IV and get the wrong impression.

To me, it’s no different than if they pulled posters for an action movie in which they brandish various guns and seemed to ‘glorify violence’. The comment, though, from the Fox anchor pretty much shows their bias.

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The local Fox affiliate is reporting that the Chicago Transit Authority plans to pull an advertising campaign for the latest criminal action game from Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive.
The Fox report–available as a video clip on the station’s Web site–begins by noting this past weekend was “an especially violent” one for Chicago, which left dozens of people shot and six dead.
“And what did we spot on CTA buses and platforms,” anchor Andy Roesgen asked. “Advertisements for the unapologetically violent video game Grand Theft Auto.”
Roesgen then recaps a 2004 stir over CTA ads for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on the PlayStation 2. In that incident, Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich (whose game restriction legislation was declared unconstitutional, much to the expense of the state’s taxpayers) criticized the CTA for accepting the $90,000 ad campaign, but the ads were set to come down anyway by the time the issue drew attention.
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April 22, 2008 at 11:20 am Leave a comment

11-inch lcd FOR $2,500 and an Armani TV

Consumer Reports just published their take on Sony’s XEL-1 LCD. Yep, it’s 11-inch and it costs $2,500. Will it sell well? I doubt, but just like most other consumer electronics companies, they do this thing just to prove they can, much like a concept car. I expect these new wafer-thin TV’s to hit a more reasonable price in about 2 years. I believe Hitachi had a much larger TV that was also pretty thin.

Samsung has partnered with Armani again, this time to make HDTV’s. I don’t see anything special about the TV, other than it’s Armani. It does, however, have a refresh rate of 120hz, which is pretty speedy. It will start selling in parts of Europe and Asia soon.

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(images from Yahoo! and

April 22, 2008 at 7:32 am Leave a comment

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