Monday, 28 February 2011


The King's Speech - WINNER
127 Hours
Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
Winter's Bone
True Grit
The Social Network
Toy Story 3


Tom Hooper - The King's Speech - WINNER
Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan
David O Russell - The Fighter
David Fincher - The Social Network
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - True Grit


Colin Firth - The King's Speech - WINNER
Jesse Eisenberg - The Social Network
James Franco - 127 Hours
Javier Bardem - Biutiful
Jeff Bridges - True Grit


Natalie Portman - Black Swan - WINNER
Annette Bening - The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman - Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence - Winter's Bone
Michelle Williams - Blue Valentine


Christian Bale - The Fighter - WINNER
John Hawkes - Winter's Bone
Jeremy Renner - The Town
Mark Ruffalo - The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush - The King's Speech


Melissa Leo - The Fighter - WINNER
Amy Adams - The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter - The King's Speech
Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit
Jacki Weaver - Animal Kingdom


In a Better World - Denmark - WINNER
Biutiful - Mexico
Dogtooth - Greece
Incendies - Canada
Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi) - Algeria


David Seidler - The King's Speech - WINNER
Mike Leigh - Another Year
Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson (screenplay), Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson (story) - The Fighter
Christopher Nolan - Inception
Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg - The Kids Are All Right


Toy Story 3 - WINNER
How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist


Aaron Sorkin - The Social Network - WINNER
Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy - 127 Hours
Michael Arndt - Toy Story 3
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - True Grit
Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini - Winter's Bone


Alice in Wonderland - WINNER
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
The King's Speech
True Grit


Inception - WINNER
Black Swan
The King's Speech
The Social Network
True Grit


Inception - WINNER
The King's Speech
The Social Network
True Grit


Inception - WINNER
Toy Story 3
Tron: Legacy
True Grit


We Belong Together (from Toy Story 3) by Randy Newman - WINNER
Coming Home (from Country Strong) by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
I See the Light (from Tangled) by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater
If I Rise (from 127 Hours) by AR Rahman, Dido and Rollo Armstrong


The Social Network - Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - WINNER
How to Train Your Dragon - John Powell
Inception - Hans Zimmer
The King's Speech - Alexandre Desplat
127 Hours - AR Rahman


Alice in Wonderland - WINNER
I Am Love
The King's Speech
The Tempest
True Grit


Inside Job - WINNER
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Waste Land


Strangers No More - WINNER
Killing in the Name
Poster Girl
Sun Come Up
The Warriors of Qiugang


The Social Network - WINNER
Black Swan
The Fighter P
The King's Speech
127 Hours


The Lost Thing - WINNER
Day & Night
The Gruffalo
Let's Pollute
Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)


God of Love - WINNER
The Confession
The Crush
Na Wewe
Wish 143


Inception - WINNER
Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1
Iron Man 2


The Wolfman - WINNER
Barney's Version
The Way Back
Toy Story 3 had a great night at the Oscars - winning two awards.

Jessie, Buzz Lightyear and Woody from Toy Story 3

The latest adventures of Woody, Buzz Lightyear and their playroom friends picked up prizes for best animation and best original song.
They missed out on winning best film to The King's speech, which also won three other top awards - best actor, best director and best original screenplay. Colin Firth, who played the part of the stammering king, picked up the best actor prize.
This is from my personal collection. Its a celebration card sent to employees of ILM to mark their 10th anniversary and nomination for Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom.
Front Cover

Page 1

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Back Cover

Sunday, 27 February 2011

The definitive documentary about the visual effects genius Ray Harryhausen. With the participation of Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Tim Burton, Peter Jackson, John Landis, Joe Dante, Guillermo del Toro, Terry Gilliam and many others!

M Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender has blown away all competition at the Razzies - Hollywood's Oscar spoof mocking the year's worst performances.
The film won five Golden Raspberry Awards - including worst director for Shyamalan - in a light-hearted ceremony on the eve of Sunday's Oscars.
Ashton Kutcher snatched worst actor for Valentine's Day; his co-star Jessica Alba won worst supporting actress.
The evening's so-called winners were chosen by 657 voters in 18 countries.
Sex and the City 2 took away three awards, including "worst prequel, remake, rip-off or sequel", worst actress - won collectively by co-stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon - and worst ensemble for its entire cast.
But it was a fantasy action film about people who can control fire, air, water and earth that stole the show, despite making $320m (£200m) at global box offices last summer.
The Last Airbender - in which a boy uses his extraordinary powers bring harmony to a warring world - won worst film, worst director and worst screenplay for Shyamalan and worst supporting actor (for Jackson Rathbone).
It also won a special award for "worst eye-gouging misuse of 3D".
Shyamalan - who won an Oscar nomination in 1999 for The Sixth Sense - adapted the film from the animated television series Avatar: The Last Airbender.
"He managed to take a cartoon property and make it even less lifelike by making it with real actors," said Razzies founder John Wilson.
"Most people who like the show, and this would include my 14-year-old son, hated the movie. It made no sense whatsoever."
I Am Number Four combines sci-fi action spectacle with teen drama in a manner reminiscent of many popular blockbusters from the 1980s. Director DJ Caruso (Disturbia) is not only aware of these similarities, but actually cultivated them.
“I have five kids and I’ve been trying for years to make a good old fashioned Amblin film like The Goonies,” Caruso told Metro. “When I got this script I immediately felt like it was the one. I loved the way it combined action and science fiction with the story of a kid who realizes that who he wants to become and who he can become are two different people. That seemed like a simple relatable story that would be perfect to hang a genre movie on.”

The film is about a teen who seems like everyone else, except that he’s secretly one of the last members of a near-extinct alien race that is slowly being picked off by reptilian assassins. Though based on a successful novel, Caruso surprisingly started his adaptation before the source material had even been published.
“When I read the manuscript it still had typos and red writing in the margins,” recalled the director. “But it was liberating because unlike huge franchises like Twilight or Harry Potter, there were no preconceived notions of what the movie would be. No one could get mad with me because they don’t know what to expect.”

Caruso was also lucky enough to have the benefit of launching a franchise with two seasoned blockbuster veterans serving as creative producers: Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay.
“Steven was very involved in developing the script and then Michael helped me with the visual effects in post,” said Caruso. “They were helpful bookends on the production and I couldn’t have done it without them because this was new territory for me.”

Saturday, 26 February 2011

This is a 1983 Doctor Who advert from the number 10 edition of the Return Of The Jedi comic (August) A Bargain at £3.25 inc P & P

This is from my personal collection. Hope you like it. This is a mini catalogue from Kenner advertising the range of Star Wars toys on offer in 1978.
Front Cover
Page 1 and 2
Page 3 and 4
Page 5 and 6

Page 7 and 8

Page 9 and 10

Page 11 and 12
This page shows the Give-A-Show projector.  Checkout my video of mine here. Page 13 and 14

Page 15 and 16

Page 17 and 18
Back Cover


 It might look like a conventional Hollywood animated movie. But Rango? It’s one of the best blockbuster films in years. Really. Here’s our review.

There are lessons in Rango that should be taken and absorbed by many modern directors.
Michael Bay, for starters, can get some gold-plated advice on how to put an exhilarating, edge-of-your-seat action sequence together. M Night Shyamalan? He can get a welcome refresher in how to pull a story rug in a way that makes sense and doesn't feel like some kind of bolt-on.
And what about those who make animated films, and like to put in references and cultural nods? After nearly two hours in the company of Rango, they'll rightly be sent back to the drawing board. Fast.
For in that two hours, you get nods to Hunter S Thompson, Apocalypse Now, Blazing Saddles, and an abundance of westerns. You get genuinely nasty, frightening moments. You get rounded characters. You get hallucinations. Characters indulging in, er, 'bad habits'. You get a picture painted of a town on the very edge of desperation, without the edges taken off.
In short, you get an ambitious, exceptional modern-day western. One that just happens to be animated.
From the moment the film opens, as a mariachi band of owls sing the film's title to you (and, wonderfully, said owls keep reappearing, to sing mood-setting songs at appropriate moments), there's the feeling that it might be a slightly different beast than the family-friendly marketing campaign makes it out to be (especially when said owls advise you to "enjoy your low calorie popcorn").
We're swiftly introduced to Rango, voiced by Johnny Depp, who's a lizard, living a safe and fairly boring life. He's in the back of a car, as his family relocate cross country, and his life is turned around when he slides out of said vehicle, to be left on an open road in the middle of nowhere.
This triggers an absolutely enthralling action sequence (not the only one in the film), up there with the best that Toy Story 3 had to offer, where director Gore Verbinski's camera moves quickly, unpredictably, but always letting you see what's going on.
And then the pace and direction of the film changes, not for the last time.
For Rango eventually finds himself in the old west town of Dirt, a beautifully realised, grubby place that bears the wounds and influences of many, many westerns of yesteryear. Here, Rango gets to play the hero he dreams to be, as he's soon installed as the local sheriff. But it, inevitably, doesn't all go quite to plan, with Dirt facing the very real threat of running out of water, very soon.
Throw in the ominous circling of a predatory bird, and the threat of a rattle snake, and Dirt is not a safe place to be. And that's before Rango has taken the townsfolk into account.
What develops is a brilliantly written story that sticks to a conventional three-act structure, but uses that to its advantage. Its story twists are logical, but still surprising, while the tension gradually builds up as Rango finds out more and more.
But that's just part of the film. Because, thus far, it's an admittedly ambitious story, yet one that could form the heart of a comfortable family movie.
Enter director Gore Verbinski. Verbinski has directed a family movie before, with the massively underrated Mouse Hunt a real delight. He's best known, of course, for helming the first three Pirates Of The Caribbean movies. Yet, for my money, Rango is the best thing he's done to date.
For what he brings to the movie is a live action eye. There's never a feeling that the movie started as an animated film, rather a film to which animation proved best suited.
Verbinski controls every millimetre of his frame, injecting lavish detail where appropriate (backed by the wizardry of ILM, for whom Rango is its first full-length animated feature), and calling on the skills of Roger Deakins (as Wall-E did) to ensure the visual look of the movie is exceptionally striking. The result is a film that's brilliant to just look at, and one that takes advantage of the camera flexibility that animation offers. And not just for the sake of showing off.
But there's more. Verbinski co-wrote the story, too (with John Logan penning the screenplay), and it has tips of the hat that might just send your geeky goosebumps off the chart. So, a breathtaking aerial action sequence is played out, Apocalypse Now-style, to Wagner's Ride Of The Valkyries. There's a campfire with the beans being passed around, a la Blazing Saddles. You'll get tinges of Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. Of umpteen westerns. Of The Lion King, even. And it's topped off with a stand-up-and-applaud moment where we get to meet the character whom Timothy Olyphant is voicing.
At its best, it's arguably as ambitious as anything even Pixar has put on the screen.
There are, nonetheless, small considerations that may hold the film back in some people's eyes. The pacing might not suit all. Particularly young audience members may (and I stress only ‘may') find some moments a little too much, and in other places, there's plenty that will go over their heads. And, if you really, really hate westerns, then you may find a reason to dislike this.
But it's a small column of negatives, vastly outweighed by the list of positives. Heck, I've not even touched on Hans Zimmer's music (his best score in years, for my money, and equally joining in the hat-tipping fun), or the exquisite character design (complete with brilliant eyes!), which couldn't have less of an eye on putting toys in the shops at the end of it all. And I haven't talked about the messages of the film, which manage to be conveyed without relying on loud, swirling music, nor by resorting to the subtlety of Chris Tucker at a megaphone convention.
Ultimately, Rango begs a question: just what do we want from an animated film? Do we want movies that keep anklebiters quiet for two hours, without ever excelling? Do we want sequels, films that follow similar templates, cute talking animals, and twee songs? Do we want them to play safe?
Or do we want a film that's packed full of risk, detail, excitement, laughs, scares and some of the finest animated work seen on a big screen to date? A film with genuine character, with real narrative surprise, and no eye whatsoever on making the sequel. A film whose voice talent is cast on the basis of their suitability for the role, rather than sticking their name on the poster (Mr Depp included). One that lobs a grenade slap bang into the middle of the safe, softly-softly animated movies that some have been sending our way over the past decade, and throws down the gauntlet to everyone making animated movies in Hollywood, Pixar included.
I know which I prefer. I'll have Rango, thanks.
5 stars


Simon Pegg has explained that Steven Spielberg had to wait for technology to catch up with his vision for Tintin.

Pegg stars alongside friend and comedy partner Nick Frost as the Thompson Twins in Spielberg and Peter Jackson's long-in-development adaptation of Hergé's comic strips.

Speaking to the Christian O'Connell Breakfast Show on Absolute Radio, Pegg said: "Steven Spielberg has had the rights to Tintin since 1982 I think.

"After he did Raiders [of the Lost Ark] he was doing the European press, and people said 'It's a bit like Tintin isn't it?', and he didn't know what Tintin was, so he investigated, fell in love with it, and he's waited until he's been able to do it like Hergé's drawings, you know - he's waited for technology.

"So now it's like he can do Tintin as it was supposed to be seen, and it really is extraordinary. I'm really looking forward to it."

Frost explained: "They're very aware that they need to keep it true to Hergé's original concept."

Of filming in motion-capture, Frost added: "Well it is hard, but you get into it, you know, and it's kind of like rehearsing a play isn't it? That's what it feels like.

"You have to pretend, you have to do a lot of pretending. So there's nothing there, you know - it's a massive kind of grey room called The Volume, and there's like a thousand cameras watching you.

"You have like a suit on with loads of dots, and you have a helmet with a camera, and they just record your every movement."

Friday, 25 February 2011

Double Fine Productions, the studio behind PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 downloadables Costume Quest and Stacking, founded by Tim Schafer of Monkey Island and Psychonauts fame, is developing a Sesame Street game for Xbox 360 Kinect, due between September and November 2011.

Sesame Workshop President and CEO Gary Knell and Hasbro President and CEO Brian Goldner (R) are pictured with Cookie Monster (L) and Elmo after the unveiling of the new Sesame Street branded line of Playskool products at Hasbro's American International Toy Fair.

Characters confirmed for Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster are Elmo and Cookie Monster, and the motion-controlled game is to follow Sesame Workshop's "social and emotional curriculum," teaching young players about making friends, cooperation, and recognizing emotions.
"Sesame Street had a profound effect on me, and many members of the Double Fine team, when we were children. So did video games. Now many of us are parents and we want to share with our kids the great experiences we had," said Schafer in a statement to the press.
While Warner Bros. is to publish Sesame Street: Once Upon A Monster, another of Double Fine's publishing partners is also preparing a long-established childrens' series for video game release, with a 2011 title based on Voltron expected during a similar release window, and a 2012 title tying in with TV's upcoming Voltron Force.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

 a fan-made trailer that offers the one sequel we wouldn't mind seeing. "ET-X" splices footage of Drew Barrymore and Henry Thomas in different films with some amazing CGI of an older, wiser-looking ET, who is back to save the earth from evil aliens. Cameos from the Jonas Brothers, Morgan Freeman and David Morse ensue, along with hijinks, naturally.

In the lead up to the big summer films of 2011 we are in the midst of some wonderful family movies in the coming months. DreamWorks Studios just released Gnomeo and Juliet which grossed $25.5M in its opening weekend. DreamWorks also has its highly anticipated thriller, I Am Number Four (rated PG-13), opening this Friday, February 18.
On March 4, 2011, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) under Nickelodeon-Paramount Pictures, debuts its animated movie Rango. Rango (voiced by the incomparable Johnny Deep) is the name of a troubled chameleon that is having an identity crisis (ironic for a changeable creature) and is trying to discover his path in life. Along his journey he finds himself in a Western town swarming with bandits where he soon realizes his dream of becoming a swashbuckling hero.
What's new and unique about Rango is the method by which director Gore Verbinski worked with his actors to create the voices for the movie. Typically voice work for animated movies is non-collaborative. For instance when I interviewed Zach Levi and Mandy Moore, the main voices for Disney’s animated movie Tangled, the actors had never met until the press tour.
For the movie Rango, director Verbinski created an environment where all of the main actors had this incredible playing field complete with costumes, props and sets to act out the script (see video below). Their voices were recorded in what Verbinski calls “emotion capture” with the audio used for the final film. Verbinski’s goal was to develop a more “raw and kinetic” quality to differentiate it from the vocal performances of other animated films.
Verbinski first came up with the premise for Rango back in 2005 during the shooting for his film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (which holds the industry record for highest opening weekend of all time). Verbinski pitched the movie to Depp who loved the idea of playing a reptile. Depp had a 20-day window in which to shoot his Rango character. As luck would have it, all of the other actors in supporting roles were also available during that window to film their scenes with Depp. The notable cast includes Harry Dean Stanton, Abigail Breslin, Isla Fisher and Bill Nighy.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

A former Hollywood filmmaker-turned-missionary has been shot and killed after he was kidnapped by pirates off the coast of Somalia.
Scott Adam, who worked on hit 1980s TV series The Dukes of Hazzard, was one of four Americans captured last Friday when their yacht was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden.
U.S. Navy SEALs had been in negotiation with the pirates to free the hostages, but discussions were halted on Tuesday when one kidnapper fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the rescuers' nearby warship, Sterett.
The pirates subsequently opened fire on the four Christian missionaries, including Adam and his wife Jean, leaving them dead or mortally wounded by the time special forces were able to board the ship, according to Navy Vice Admiral Mark Fox. The four victims are the first Americans killed by pirates in the area.
Adam, 70, worked in film and TV throughout the 1970s and '80s and served as an assistant director on U.S. shows The Dukes of Hazzard, The Love Boat and McCloud. He was also a production manager on 1985 movie classic The Goonies.
He walked away from Hollywood to dedicate his life to missionary work and spent the last seven years sailing around the world with his 66-year-old wife, handing out Bibles wherever they travelled.
The Adams were parishioners at St. Monica's Roman Catholic Church in Santa Monica, California - the same church frequented by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, veteran actor Martin Sheen, and model/actress Brooke Shields.
Composer Christopher Tin picked up the Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) award for Baba Yetu. The song was originally written for the Sid Meier's much lauded 2005 title.
The piece, which plays during the game's title screen, was subsequently released on Tin's 2009 album Calling All Dawns, hence the plaudits all these years later.
It represents the first time original created for a videogame has received a Grammy. There is still no specific gong for videogame music, however, despite the prestigious covering a staggering 109 different categories.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Monday, 21 February 2011

The creature technical director at ILM and her colleagues worked on the simulations and 'skeletons' of the characters on the animated film.

Working Hollywood
Nikita Patel worked on the movie "Rango." (Brent Bowers, Industrial Light & Magic / February 20, 2011)

Without Nikita Patel and the other creature technical directors, or TDs, at Industrial Light & Magic, Rango the chameleon, who stars in the title role of Paramount's new film from director Gore Verbinski, would lack one of the key traits of any good animated character: the ability to move.

"Our department basically works on the simulations and the rigging of the characters," she said. "Rigging is putting a skeleton inside the model so that the animators can move it around. And if we want to see more realism out of it, the creature TDs will go in and add some simulation to the muscles and the flesh to make it jiggle or look more real."

Patel, 26, first discovered computer programming during a summer program for high school students at Bristol University in England, where she later studied computer science and French. In 2006, she met representatives from ILM at SIGGRAPH — a computer graphics and interactive techniques conference — and a few months later, they offered her a job.

"Ever since a young age, I have loved Disney movies, and I still watch them over and over again," she said. "So I always knew that I wanted to do something creative. What I really like about working at ILM is that they are always trying to achieve realism with all the movies they work on. And 'Rango' is really exciting, because it's ILM's first animated feature, and I've always wanted to work on an animated movie."

Big rigs: Using such programming languages as Python and the Maya Embedded Language, Patel and her department added rigging to the static 3-D models of the characters and objects before passing them along to the animators. "It's like adding joints into the model and adding controllers," she said. "So the rigging looks like bones, and we add controllers over those. And the controller is just a square box or circle that the animators can select, and if they move it a certain direction, that controller will move the arm, for example. We did that on every character so that the animators could move the arms, throw a rock, jump over buildings, that kind of thing."

Crowd control: "I think there were over 200 characters, some of which didn't get used, but there were a lot," said Patel. "And characters weren't our only focus. We had a lot of buildings that we had to develop and environments, and there were over 1,000 props on the show, because you've got to think of everything from logs to lassos and guns. We basically had to rig them and give them to the layout people so they could dress the sets up."

Tail spin: "The main character we focused on was Rango," Patel said of the character voiced in the film by Johnny Depp. "He had a funny, crooked neck, and we spent quite a lot of time trying to get a rig together for his tail that could also be applied to other characters who had tails. But every character got its own bit of attention. They all have their own quirks, and so you definitely see that in the movie."

Fowl language: The birds in the film nearly drove Patel cuckoo. "We wrote a lot of tools to help with challenges we came across, because some of the bird characters had long necks, or there were feathers intersecting with the cloth, and feathers moving with the different facial expressions," she said. "For example, when the animators would make face expressions with the mariachis, which are owls, the beaks would get in the way of their feathers and eyebrows. So we had to write tools to make that subtler."

Animal kingdom: "We had reference material, and we definitely looked at videos of various animals to see how their movements are," she said. "There's a character that's a rabbit, and we looked at footage of rabbits, like how they interact and how they show signs of being nervous and things, and then we put that in our rig so that the animators could animate that motion."

Read more here,0,2829707.story

Sunday, 20 February 2011

LucasArts has revealed yet another unlockable character for LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars. You know him. You love to hate him. You'd love to send him to a plastic surgeon so he doesn't have to wear that hood all the time! Read on from LucasArts...

Last week we re-introduced the galaxy’s most famous lovebirds, Han and Leia, as unlockable characters in LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars!

This week we’re going down the path of the Dark side and are happy to announce that Darth Sidious will also be available in the game! For years he’s been the puppet master behind some of the most dastardly events in the galaxy and he’s now eager to lend his talents to players both good and bad! Darth Sidious is also available as an unlockable character on our official website for the game. If you haven’t visited it yet, you’re missing out on one a great online experience where you can play as your favorite LEGO Star Wars characters, interact with other players, solve puzzles together and learn more about the game and its new features.

Telltale Games has announced plans to reboot classic adventure franchise King's Quest, Joystiq reports.

In a press conference, marketing exec Steve Allison confirmed that the studio has entered a multiplatform deal to develop episodic games based on the property.

"We have agreed to a multi-title, multiplatform deal to reboot the King's Quest franchise," he said. "Much like we did with Tales Of Monkey Island, we're rebooting King's Quest with all new episodic games and multiple series."

Created by Sierra co-founder Roberta Williams in the 1980s, King's Quest went on to become one of the most successful adventure franchise of all time. It spawned seven official sequels before its discontinuation.

Telltale's episodic King's Quest is expected to be unveiled at E3 2011.
John Strauss, a composer and sound editor whose work includes theme songs from early TV shows and the film and soundtrack for Oscar best picture winner "Amadeus," has died. He was 90.
Strauss passed away Monday night at a nursing home in West Los Angeles after a long battle with Parkinson's disease, said his son, Larry Strauss.
In a career that spanned nearly 50 years, Strauss won an Emmy Award for sound editing (1977's "The Amazing Howard Hughes") and a Grammy for best classical album of 1984 (Milos Forman's "Amadeus").
Along with producing the soundtrack album for the eight-time Oscar winner, Strauss served as the film's music coordinator and is briefly seen onscreen as a conductor. He also wrote the brief composition that the Count shows to Mozart, who mocks the effort.
Strauss coordinated the music for three other Forman films: "Hair" (1979), "Ragtime" (1981) and "Valmont" (1989), for which he also composed part of the score.
However, Strauss' most widely recognizable composition is probably the theme from "Car 54, Where Are You?," the 1961-63 NBC series that starred Joe. E. Ross and Fred Gwynne. He also scored "The Phil Silvers Show" and the Elaine May film "Mikey and Nicky" (1976) and served as music editor on NBC series "L.A. Law."
The New York native worked as sound editor on early Woody Allen films "Take the Money and Run" (1969), "Bananas" (1971) and "Every Thing You Always Wanted to Know About Sex ..." (1972). He did the original "Heartbreak Kid" and "Slaughterhouse-Five," both in 1972, and was music supervisor on "The Blues Brothers" (1980), "Impromptu" (1991) and "The Pirates of Penzance" (1983).
His theater credits include a song from the 1960s Broadway musical "Pickwick."
Strauss was married to actress Charlotte Rae, for whom he wrote arrangements for her 1955 album "Songs I Taught My Mother" and with whom he collaborated on cabaret shows. They divorced in 1975. Strauss then became life partners with artist Lionel Friedman, who died in 2003.
Strauss served in France and North Africa during World War II, studied under Paul Hindemith at the Yale School of Music and taught briefly at New York's High School of Performing Arts. He composed two ballets for the Joffrey Ballet, and his opera, "The Accused," was performed by soprano Patricia Neway and televised on the NBC Opera series of the 1950s.
Chewbacca-in-The-Clone-Wars-02Chewbacca as he appears in The Clone Wars
Wookie-doo! Chewbacca is back on screen in the season three finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars - and we've got a first-look clip!

In the final two episodes, Padawan Lost and Wookie Hunt, Chewie will be joining forces with Ahsoka Tano in a storyline that sees our heroes do battle with a group of evil Trandoshans, the reptilian species of regular villain Bossk.

In order to bring Chewbacca back to the screen in style, the Clone Wars team invited original actor Peter Mayhew to Skywalker Ranch to advise on creating an animated version of the beloved character.

“Dave Filoni [Supervising Director] said my participation in creating Chewie for the series was essential,” says the 7'3'' Mayhew. “He told his artists to study the way I walk, my mannerisms and demeanor. He said, ‘To understand Chewie, you need to understand Peter.’ We also went into the Lucasfilm archives and studied some of the original Chewie costumes to make sure the details were carried over into the animation.”

Chewbacca-in-The-Clone-Wars-03Making Wookie - Dave Filoni and Peter Mayhew redesign a legend.“Bringing Chewie to The Clone Wars is very special for us, and it wouldn’t be right without Peter’s involvement and blessing,” says Filoni. “Peter and Chewie are one and the same; he brings so much of himself to the character and it was important for us to capture that.”

While Mayhew was only called upon to wear the Chewbacca costume in the Star Wars films, for his appearance in The Clone Wars the actor has helped create the character's distinctive growl.

“The Chewbacca sounds were sourced from the same bank as the original films, but Dave Filoni and Matt Wood [Supervising Sound Editor] thought it would be nice to get a small sample of my voice mixed in,” says Mayhew. “After so many years of being asked to do the growl for fans, I’ve found that I’m actually quite good at it. I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of the series. The animation is amazing, and they really captured the essence of Chewie. As soon as I saw it I said ‘that’s it. He’s there. That’s Chewbacca.’”

Having played Chewbacca in the three original Star Wars films, as well as prequel Revenge of the Sith, Mayhew was just the man for the job and the full results can be seen when the episodes hit Sky Movies Premiere/HD on March 19 and 26.

Until then check out the clip of Chewie's Clone Wars debut below!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Industrial Light & Magic (the effects team behind Star Wars and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchises) hits the world with their first full length animated feature. Director Gore Verbinski filmed the cast, starring Johnny Depp, acting out the entire script, then gave the footage to ILM. Hit theaters on March 4th to see how it all turned out!

Telltale is excited to announce games based on Robert Kirkman's terrifying, mesmerizing Eisner award-winning comic series, The Walking Dead, with the first episode set to come your way this fall.

In The Walking Dead, zombies have taken over the world. But as the survivors soon learn, the living can often be more dangerous than the dead.

Telltale is working with series creator Kirkman - the mind behind other comic-book favorites including Invincible, Haunt, and The Astounding Wolf-Man - to craft stories that fit into the world he's created.

We'll have plenty more to satiate your hunger for brains, er, details soon. To stay on top of the latest The Walking Dead information, head over to the game teaser site and sign up for email updates. And grab a wallpaper version of the amazing art that The Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard created just for this announcement!
Visit The Walking Dead!
First look at Jurassic Park The Game, created by Telltale Games.  Out April 2011 and you can preorder now from Telltale games.

What really happened to the Barbasol can of dinosaur embryos lost during the first film??

On the stormy night when Jurassic Park fell apart, a desperate smuggler infiltrates Isla Nublar, hunting the precious canister containing the contraband dinosaur embryos. She collides – literally – with park staff trying to evacuate, and they become stranded amidst the collapsing park ruins, with the newly-freed dinosaurs on the loose. When InGen launches a perilous rescue operation, mercenaries, saboteurs, and survivors are thrown together in the struggle to escape the island.

The survivors’ agendas clash, secrets of the park are exposed, and a new threat emerges: an eerie, nocturnal predator stalking the group, hunting them relentlessly across the island.

• Inspired by Heavy Rain … delivers drama, tension and peril-filled thrill ride, with life and death hanging in the balance

• Play cinematic adventure in five monthly episodes

• Survive confrontations with T-Rex, Velociraptors and mysterious new threats

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PRE-ORDER NOW AND GET $5.00 OFF THE REGULAR PRICE! Discount applied at checkout.

Star Wars company hires experienced industry exec, reports claim, following turbulent year
Frederic Markus, the director of game design at Disney Interactive Studios, is said to have left the company in favour of a top job at LucasArts.
Markus, according to news site IndustryGamers, has been appointed as LucasArts’ new studio creative director.
He leaves Disney Interactive in a state of flux. The firm recently underwent a division-wide layoff operation that is said had affected some 200 staff.
The Mickey Mouse media conglomerate recently closed Tron developer Propaganda Games – a studio with enough staff to work on two projects simultaneously. There have also been reports of layoffs at Epic Mickey developer Junction Point.
Those drastic measures followed Disney Interactive reporting a $234 million loss between July and September last year. This was despite revenues climbing to $762 million – an indication of the magnitude of investment Disney put into games.

read the rest of the article here
BioWare has revealed that Clint Mansell will be composing the soundtrack for the third game in its epic sci-fi RPG series Mass Effect.

For those unfamiliar with Mansell, he has previously worked on Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler and Black Swan.

The prolific composer also created the soundtrack for Moon, which has a similar minimalist, 'space' vibe as Mass Effect.

Until now the Mass Effect soundtrack has been composed by Jack Wall, who has a long history in creating music for games. His works include Dungeon Siege II, Jade Empire, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow and Myst IV: Revelation.

Though this is his first video game project, Mansell isn't a complete stranger to the games industry. He is responsible for creating the soundtrack for the Doom movie which stared Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider's DreamWorks Studios re-emerges at the box office this weekend with a likely winner -- I Am Number Four, the teen sci-fi adventure starring Alex Pettyfer, Dianna Agron and Teresa Palmer.
Number Four is the first DreamWorks title to be released by Disney's Touchstone Pictures under the distribution and marketing deal struck between the companies after DreamWorks' split with Paramount.
DreamWorks, bolstered by new financing, including funds from India's Reliance Big Entertainment, has five more 2011 titles waiting in the wings after Number Four.
Directed by D.J. Caruso, Number Four tells the story of an alien teenager hiding out on Earth from the ruthless species that killed his family.
The film is based on the young adult book by Pittacus Lore, the nom de plume of James Frey and Jobie Hughes. Additional novels are planned in the series, meaning this is a possible franchise for DreamWorks.
Number Four, produced by Michael Bay, is tracking particularly well among younger females and males, demos that have been missing from the multiplex in recent weeks. Box-office observers say the film could do in the low 20s for the four days.
But it isn't the only new title poised to do well over the long holiday weekend, sparking hope in Hollywood that the downturn at the domestic box office will begin to reverse itself.
Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, from Fox and New Regency, also has good traction. The threequel returns Martin Lawrence in the lead role while introducing a younger character played by Brandon T. Jackson.
Big Mommas will play heavily to African-American audiences, including families. The franchise also has historically done well with younger males of all races.
The third new movie opening nationwide over Presidents Day weekend is Warner Bros. and Dark Castle's Liam Neeson action-thriller Unknown, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. The film goes after older moviegoers and hopes to replicate the success of Neeson's Taken, released three winters ago in the U.S. by Fox.
Unknown, which cost roughly $30 million, was fully financed by Joel Silver's Dark Castle. Silver's company has had a tough time at the box office recently, so Unknown -- also starring Diane Kruger, January Jones, Aidan Quinn and Frank Langella -- needs to do well.
The film's performance also is important for Collet-Serra, who is being pursued for other projects.
Number Four, Big Mommas and Unknown will have to compete with Sony's Adam Sandler-Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy Just Go With It, which could stay up high on the box-office chart in its second weekend. The movie's gross through Wednesday was $40.7 million.
Disney's Gnomeo & Juliet also should have a good second frame, particularly on Monday, which is a holiday. The toon's cume through Wednesday was $30 million.
This Friday on Star Wars: The Clone Wars (read our recaps here!), Tarkin — future Imperial Grand Moff, Death Star commander, and the only man other than the Emperor himself capable of “holding Vader’s leash” — will make his highly anticipated debut. Portrayed by Hammer Films veteran Peter Cushing in Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope, Tarkin became the template for all of the saga’s stuffy, Queen’s English-speaking Imperial officers, sort of the cold, militarist yang to Obi-Wan Kenobi’s warm, grandfatherly yin. At the time of The Clone Wars, 20 years before A New Hope, Tarkin (voiced by Stephen Stanton) is just a captain in the Republic navy. And in Friday’s episode, “The Citadel,” the first of a three-part arc, he meets his future colleague and rival, Anakin Skywalker.  “I think there’s a bit of an ego trip happening,” Matt Lanter, Anakin’s vocal performer, tells EW. “Anakin and Tarkin are testing each other out a little bit. On a bigger scale, though, we keep giving fans more tie-ins on the Clone Wars to the original trilogy.” Supervising director Dave Filoni, to whom in the fall I suggested — nay, demanded! — that Tarkin make an appearance, agrees. “There are a lot of references [to the original trilogy] packed into these episodes,” he says. Such as how Anakin and Obi-Wan have themselves encased in carbonite in order to sneak past Separatist lines and free a captive Jedi general. “This whole arc allowed us some fun opportunities to pay homage to the Star Wars that we all fell in love with when we, the older fans, were kids,” says Filoni. Take a look at an exclusive clip from Lucasfilm of “The Citadel,” in which Anakin and Tarkin have one of their first verbal sparring matches. Excited yet?

Visit to see the exclusive video.

Lucasfilm Ltd. Press Release:

It’s an Action-Packed Introduction to an All-New Three-Part Clone Wars Arc – this Friday on Cartoon Network!

Led by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, an elite rescue team attempts to free a captive Jedi general from an impenetrable Separatist prison. Deep within enemy territory, The Citadel is surrounded by droids and run by a sadistic warden determined to prevent anyone from breaking out – or in. Our heroes stage an action-packed forced entry to “The Citadel,” the first chapter in an explosive three-part storyline – airing at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT Friday, February 18 on Cartoon Network.

“This arc is basically classic Star Wars; we focused on the things that I really remember loving about the Saga from when I was a kid,” says Dave Filoni, supervising director of The Clone Wars. “In the Mortis trilogy, George wanted us to explore some ground that’s never really been covered in Star Wars before. And now with the Citadel arc, we’re going back to some of those essential, classic conventions that have always made Star Wars so fun.”

Action-packed and filled with nods to the live-action saga, the Citadel trilogy finds its heroes behind enemy lines – using an unusual infiltration tactic that fans of the original trilogy will recognize as a twist on a classic Star Wars scene. With the heroes encasing themselves in carbonite to slip past The Citadel’s impenetrable security, the episode explores quintessentially familiar ground in decidedly unfamiliar ways.

“There are a lot of references packed into these episodes,” says Filoni. “Even the basic break-in idea parallels the Death Star rescue from Episode IV. It was really fun to do our version of that, but it’s definitely not the only thing that will feel familiar – though we’ve put our own spin on everything. This whole arc allowed us some fun opportunities to pay homage to the Star Wars that we all fell in love with when we, the older fans, were kids. Pretty much everyone on the crew is a fan, so it’s been fun to revisit some of those classic elements in The Clone Wars.”

Another familiar element come in the form of a classic Star Wars villain – introduced here on the side of the Republic! First appearing in Episode IV as the Imperial officer bold enough to “[hold] Vader’s leash,” Grand Moff Tarkin (now just a captain) will have his fateful first meeting with Anakin Skywalker in this week’s Clone Wars adventure.

“Tarkin was tricky,” says Filoni. “We had to capture his essence, while also aging him down appropriately. Peter Cushing is such a distinguished actor, and Tarkin is such an iconic role. He fills the room with his presence and, aside from the Emperor, he’s the only character who ever orders Vader around. So getting him right was very important to us, because his introduction to Anakin is an important one. And they’ve got a fun relationship that’s been very interesting to explore.” 
Telltale's episodic adaptation of the famous Jurassic Park licence will begin in April on PC and Mac.
You can pre-order the entire series now on Telltale's website for $29.99 - usually $34.99.
Telltale's Jurassic Park picks up immediately after the first film finishes, but you won't play as or often encounter the stars of the film - presumably because they flew off the island when they realised that dinosaurs are really dangerous.

Jurassic Park serves as a departure for Telltale away from the usual bright cartoon graphics of Sam & Max, Tales of Monkey Island, Back to the Future et al.
Telltale Games yesterday confirmed it was working on series of games based on The Walking Dead comic and TV series.

Norman Rockwell’s Happy Birthday Miss Jones is in collections held by both Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.

Norman Rockwell’s Happy Birthday Miss Jones is in collections held by both Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A surprising painting hangs in the office of Hollywood director Steven Spielberg. It shows a small boy cowering at the end of a diving board. The artist is Norman Rockwell, whose old-fashioned world of the 1940s and ’50s might seem far removed from Spielberg’s glamorous, high-tech universe. Yet Spielberg sees himself in this portrait, saying it exactly captures the way he feels in the moments before he agrees to direct his next film.

Spielberg is an avid collector of Rockwell’s work, along with George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones. For the first time, they have lent part of their collections for the exhibit Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.

Rockwell (1894-1978), is seen in a new light through the eyes of these two fans. They find in him a kindred spirit and an inspiration, a master storyteller who worked much like a movie director. Both are struck with Rockwell’s rare ability to tell a story in one frame. Their selections emphasize this skill and also give new insight into the collectors.

Born in New York City, Rockwell left high school to study art. His talent was quickly recognized – by age 18 he was the art director of Boy’s Life, the magazine of the Boy Scouts of America. Saturday Evening Post, the most popular magazine of the era, bought their first cover from him just a few years later. Over almost five decades, he created 321 Post covers, reaching as many as 30 million people each week. He also did covers for Look magazine and book illustrations and art for many classic advertisements. He mirrored the experiences of ordinary Americans as no one has done since. “Even if the drawings seem old-fashioned, the emotions will be familiar to anyone today,” George Lucas says.
Although his vignettes often used humour, it was Rockwell himself who declared, “A cover should be more than just a one-line joke.” The exhibit describes how Rockwell composed his paintings, auditioning his models, determining their poses and facial expressions, selecting their costumes and carefully choosing props that would illustrate the personalities and circumstances of each story. He even acted out the parts so his models would understand what he wanted to convey. “I tell the story through the characters,’ he said. Rockwell often did dozens of sketches before the final painting that became a magazine cover. He would often take a photograph of the picture after he had set it up as he wanted, so that he could sketch it over and over until it pleased him.

When the Boy Scouts approached Rockwell to paint pictures for their calendar in 1929, he donated the pictures to thank them for hiring him for their magazine when he was a teenager. Spirit of America, a painting of a Boy Scout with many great Americans of the past, hit home to Stephen Spielberg. Spielberg’s first venture into movie making was an 8mm film made to earn a Scout merit badge in Scottsdale, Ariz. The laughter and applause it received set the course of his future.
Norman Rockwell was fascinated with Hollywood, and did a number of paintings of starlets and actors during the 1930s. Many of these are in Spielberg’s collection, including a famous portrait of Gary Cooper as The Texan, showing how makeup, including even lipstick and rouge, are needed to create a cinema cowboy.
Rockwell’s influence on the American public clearly can be seen in the reaction to these covers. The day his Movie Starlet and Reporter cover appeared featuring Mardee Huff, the star-struck daughter of a friend, three movie companies wired the Post for her name and within two weeks she was under contract to 20th Century Fox. Macy’s sold 500,000 replicas of the dress worn by the model in Woman at Vanity, one of the scenes in the George Lucas collection.
Lucas, who grew up in a small California town he calls “an American Graffiti world,” was strongly attracted to Rockwell’s “coming of age” paintings, reminding him of his youth. He owns both a drawing and the finished painting of First Trip to the Beauty Shop, showing a young girl’s delight at her new, grown-up haircut. Boy Reading Adventure Story, showing how words can conjure a picture, is another of his favourite works.
“Rockwell did many paintings of someone entertaining others, which is just what I’ve wanted to do,” Lucas says in the film accompanying the exhibit. Among the examples in his collection are Shadow Artist, showing children being entertained by shadow puppets, and The Toy Maker, a nostalgic reminder of a time when grandpas delighted little ones by making toys by hand.
The Rookie with a gangly recruit arriving in the dressing room of the Boston Red Sox, features several members of the actual 1957 team who had travelled to Rockwell’s home in Stockbridge, Mass. to pose for him. The largest permanent collection of his work and his actual studio can be seen at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge.
Lucas and Spielberg selected only one Rockwell subject in common, Happy Birthday Miss Jones, showing a delighted teacher coming in to find the class has prepared a birthday surprise. The details tell a story – fallen chalk reveals that the children had to rush back to their seats from writing birthday greetings when they heard Miss Jones approaching. The eraser on the head of the class clown indicates who was most likely to have written “Happy Birthday, Jonesy” on the blackboard.
Lucas owns the drawing and Spielberg the more expensive painting of Miss Jones, which Lucas jokes is typical. Both began buying some years back when Rockwell was out of favour with critics, dismissed as sentimental and trivial. As in their moviemaking, the two men were ahead of their time. Today Norman Rockwell’s talent has been rediscovered in a big way; a recent painting at auction fetched $15.4 million US.
Travel Arts Syndicate
Art online
Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and F streets, NW, Washington, D.C. An excellent podcast is available on the museum website, narrated by curator Virginia Mecklenberg, featuring Spielberg and Lucas, and showing dozens of the paintings on view. The published program is also available at

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Daniel Day Lewis, Kevin Spacey and Julie Walters 
Actors Kevin Spacey and Daniel Day-Lewis were among friends and family who celebrated the life of Pete Postlethwaite at a memorial service.
The Oscar-nominated actor died from cancer in January, at the age of 64.
Day-Lewis led the addresses in Shoreditch, east London, during which he sang a traditional song.
Grimethorpe Colliery Band, the brass band conducted by Postlethwaite as bandleader Danny in the film Brassed Off, also performed Danny Boy.
Day-Lewis told the congregation at St Leonard's Church: "My great good fortune was to serve an apprenticeship under Pete Postlethwaite."
He spoke of Postlethwaite's peerless ability as an actor and of their days training together at the Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol.
Day-Lewis's first professional assignment was as his friend's understudy and their paths crossed many times, including in The Last Of The Mohicans in 1992.
Pete Postlethwaite arrives for a movie premiere in London in 2009  
Pete Postlethwaite died from cancer in January
During his address, Day-Lewis sang a traditional song to Postlethwaite's widow Jacqui Morrish.
Former girlfriend Julie Walters was also at the service, during which a recording from AE Housman's A Shropshire Lad, featuring Postlethwaite, was played.
The actor's films included The Shipping News, Inception, Romeo and Juliet and The Usual Suspects, in which Spacey appeared.
Postlethwaite secured an Oscar nomination for his performance as Guiseppe Conlon in In the Name of the Father, about the "Guildford Four" wrongfully imprisoned for an IRA bomb attack.
Born in Warrington, Cheshire, he began his career at Liverpool's Everyman theatre in the 1970s, working with Walters and other future stars including Alison Steadman and Bill Nighy.
The actor was being treated at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital when he died from a lengthy illness.

article: BBC
Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic. Its release date has been confirmed to be around the Q3 of 2011.
Here is the storyline or plot of the Star Wars: The Old Republic. We have the epic trailer of the game right below as we wait for the final confirmation of the Star Wars: The Old Republic release date this 2011.
The story takes place in the Star Wars fictional universe shortly after the establishment of a tenuous peace between the re-emergent Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic, 300 years after the events of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic games and more than 3,500 years before the events in the Star Wars films. The Jedi are held responsible for the success of the Sith during the devastating 28 Year long Great Galactic War (which led to the Treaty of Coruscant prior to the Cold War) and thus choose to relocate from Coruscant to Tython, where the Jedi order had initially been founded, to seek guidance from the Force. The Sith control Korriban, where they have re-established a Sith Academy. The game begins as new conflicts arise.
An interview and a performance from composer John Williams at the Walt DIsney Concert Hall conducting Soundings. Photos from my visit to the Hall were added as well playing a part of his piece, Palpatine's Teachings, in the background.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

LucasArts might have a new Star Wars game in the works that takes a detour from the norm.
A recently discovered LucasArts trademark attempt could be a hint toward the title of a future Star Wars game. The trademark is for a property called Star Wars: Detours.
CVG found the trademark, which is for computer games, interactive entertainment, downloadable interactive entertainment, and many other forms of media. It also covers the use of the name for toys, books, pens, and snow globes.

read more here
On Friday, Feb. 4, Disney Parks released official dates for Star Wars Weekends 2011, the annual fan event that takes place at Walt Disney World Resort. This year, Star Wars Weekends will be held on consecutive weekends between May 20 and June 12.
Star Wars Weekends allows fans of all ages to celebrate the universe created by George Lucas. The weekends’ events are centered around the stories, characters and celebrities of the six Star Wars films as well the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Featured events during the weekends are parades, special shows, celebrity autograph sessions and presentations, and meet-and-greet opportunities with Star Wars characters. For many guests, the highlight of each day is the Hyperspace Hoopla, an end-of-the-day party featuring the characters.
2011 Star Wars Weekends dates
Star Wars Weekends are held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the four consecutive weekends.
  • May 20 – May 22
  • May 27 – May 29
  • June 3 – June 5
  • June 10 – June 12
A full schedule of celebrities and activities has not yet been released. However the Disney Parks Blog announced Anthony Daniels, better known as C3PO, will return this year and attend the first two Star Wars Weekends (May 20 and May 27).  Reguar Star Wars Weekends attendee Ashley Eckstein, who voices Ahsoka Tano in The Clone Wars, serves each weekend as the event's Celebrity Host.
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue debuts May 20
For many guests who attend Star Wars Weekends, which is included with theme-park admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, another highlight will be the debut of the new Star Tours experience. Called Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, the motion simulator ride will be enhanced with new ride technology, including 3D. The ride also will be be set between Star Wars III and Star Wars IV, and will feature multiple destinations within that aspect of the Lucas universe.
As previously reported, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue officially opens May 20.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

<i>Star Wars</i> AT-AT Imperial Walker built from scrap computer parts
How big of a Star Wars fan are you? Big enough to build your very own Imperial Walker AT-AT out of recycled computer parts? Battle scars also included!
Etsy user, TGNsmith must be a huge Star Wars fan, because only love could craft this sightly AT-AT. Weighing at roughly 15 pounds and made from a bunch of power supply boxes, floppy drive housings and scrap metal, TGNsmith welded the whole foot high and foot long AT-AT by himself. Great job dude, it looks pretty sweet.
If you want a heavy piece of Star Wars history, you'd better hurry up. There's only one of these AT-AT's and it's available on Etsy for a whopping $450. Grab it before some other Star Wars fan does.
Via Etsy

Monday, 14 February 2011

Sanctum producer James Cameron and Pirates Of The Caribbean star Johnny Depp have topped Vanity Fair's list of Hollywood's highest earners. The annual list features actors, directors and producers and only includes the money they are believed to have earned from film projects in 2010. $253m (£157.1m) of Cameron's estimated $257m (£159.6m) earnings were from Avatar, with the remainder from past royalties and other miscellaneous payments. Depp was estimated to have earned $100m (£62.1m) from Alice In Wonderland, The Tourist and other royalties. He is also thought to have received $35m (£21.7m) as an advance for Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

The rest of the top five is made up by Steven Spielberg ($80m/£49.7m), Christopher Nolan ($71.5m/£44.4m) and Leonardo di Caprio ($62m/£38.5m). The highest placed woman on the list is Kristen Stewart in 13th place. Stewart is thought to have made $28.5m (£17.7m) in 2010, placing her above her Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Back in the early 80’s, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi had a very different moniker. Yep, right up until its initial release, Episode 6 was better known as “Revenge of the Jedi”. Why change the title? Oh right, that whole thing with Jedi being peace-loving, non-revenge-getting hippies! What’s the use of having a stinkin’ lightsaber if you can’t use it to reap tons and tons of hardcore revenge?! Oh well, everyone can’t be as enlightened as us in such matters. Hasbro has decided it’s high time “Revenge” is celebrated with some cool new action figure releases!
At Hasbro’s Collector-Fan Media Day, it was unveiled that there will be 12 new Vintage figures released on the Revenge of the Jedi cardback. Not only that, but they’re going to be chase figures randomly packed in case assortments. We were told that the Revenge figures wouldn’t be quite as hard to find as the Treasure Hunt versions of old; but, we don’t foresee finding all 12 out in the wilds of the local toy aisles to be an easy accomplishment. The 12 figures are: Jedi Luke Skywalker, Stormtrooper, Endor Han Solo, R2-D2, Darth Vader, B-Wing Pilot, Admiral Akbar, Boba Fett, Endor Rebel Trooper, Wicket, Slave Leia, & a Tie Fighter Pilot.

Then, fans were thrown a curveball when a special set of all 12 Revenge of the Jedi figures would be able to be purchased at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con! The face-meltingly spectacular set is housed in a case that when closed has the shape and image of the unfinished Death Star that Lando so gracefully destroyed in ROTJ. As an added bonus, 2 mini-figures have been added to their own cards for the first time and will only be available in this set, bringing the total number of Star Wars figures to 14! Yep, the scuttling Mouse Droid and the riotous Salacious Crumb are placed dead center on each opposing side of the clamshell packaging for the set! As you can see, the figures aren’t quite ready, so random toys have been tossed in their blister packs in the Death Star packaging.
With this scarceness for this set, coupled with the nerd-rage that is sure to follow once it’s sold out, Revenge might not be too far off the mark. Be sure to scour the pegs later this year to find you Revenge of the Jedi chase figures, and to check out this undeniably wonderful SDCC-Exclusive box set as well. We know that we sure will be!
See more here

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