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Showing posts from November, 2011

The War of the Worlds: Liam Neeson takes over Richard Burton role in sci-fi stage musical

In what the show’s creators claim will be a technological first, Liam Neeson’s full body hologram will interact with the live performers. He will play journalist George Herbert, a role previously voiced by Richard Burton. The musical is based on the 1978 album by Jeff Wayne, which was in turn inspired by HG Wells’s classic science-fiction novel about a Martian invasion of England. Burton, who died in 1984, supplied the narration for the album and his voice was used for a holographic head in the musical production that began touring in 2006. After a hiatus, the show will return in December 2012 with Neeson at the helm and new special effects, including a 100ft wide “CGI animation wall” and a Martian fighting machine that fires real flames at the audience.
Neeson said he had been a fan of the album for many years and was thrilled to be involved in the new production.
“I remember buying the tape, as it was then, in 1979 in Ireland, and I loved …

Concept Art Surfaces for Ron Gilbert’s New Double Fine Game

Today, Gilbert posted a couple of pieces of concept art to his blog, Grumpy Gamer, which is the first hint we've had of what the game will look like. The first one is a lady in a lab coat with outsized glasses straight out of The Far Side (she's called "The Scientist"), and a rough-looking gentleman in a double-breasted suit known as "The Mobster." This is an idea that has been in my head for a long long long time. It predates Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island. It's a game that needed to be made.
These are two of the playable characters. That's all I can say right now, but more will follow later.

Tintin auction in Paris fetches 1.8 mn euros

PARIS — A Paris auction of items related to Herge's comic book reporter Tintin, whose adventures have been adapted for the big screen by Steven Spielberg, fetched more than 1.8 million euros Saturday.
Auctioneers Arcturial said the sale, including costs, had brought in 1,873,396 euros ($2,480,095) -- far more than the one million euros expected.
The 856 lots up for grabs were equally divided between recent objects and older material, including some very rare items, said Arcturial. In all, 85 percent of the items sold in a packed hall.
One of the most sought-after objects was an original gouache and watercolour drawing of a battle scene from "The Secret of the Unicorn"; estimated at between 35,000 and 40,000 euros, it finally sold for 168,900 euros.
Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin," saw its worldwide premiere in Belgium in October and later in other parts of Europe to generally positive reviews and strong business. It opens in North Americ…

Lucasfilm's Indiana Jones Ventures Into Social Gaming With Zynga's Adventure World

Courtesy of Zynga 

The whip-carrying hero will be weaved into the story of the Facebook game, which will be renamed Indiana Jones Adventure World, and featured in a new chapter. Lucasfilm's Indiana Jones is coming to social gaming giant Zynga's Adventure World in a big way on Tuesday in what is Indy's first venture into the social game space. 

As part of a collaboration between the companies that has been in the works for a while, the Facebook game will be renamed Indiana Jones Adventure World, and the whip-carrying hero will be weaved into the game's story, according to Zynga. 

Plus, the company will on Tuesday launch a new chapter of the game called Indiana Jones: And the Calendar of the Sun, in which players team up with Indy in search of a lost treasure. While they do not control the hero played on the big screen by Harrison Ford, he shows up regularly, gives players advice and helps them collect points.

Zynga, which has a filed for an IPO that is …

Star Trek XII Release Date Set For May 2013... And It Will Be In 3D

Since we're getting closer to the filming of Star Trek XII, more news is starting roll out about the sequel in the J.J-verse. Yesterday we learned that Michael Giacchino will be returning as composer on XII and today Paramount has set the release date for May 17th, 2013. That's right folks almost a full year off from the original June 29th, 2012 release date. Let's hope the Mayans & George Lucas aren't right, because I really want to see this.
In the same news release on (yeah, I thought it was weird too) we also learn that J.J's sequel will be shot in 3D. I have to say that I'm not really sold on the "gimmick", because I've yet to see a new 3D movie that was remotely impressive. It always seems that a character randomly points to an object at the screen to sell the extra dimension. Honestly, it just takes me out of the film. 3D should be used like a good surround mix, meaning it should seem natural to the viewer. Anyway…

The early days of Star Wars

For Star Wars, the first days were the hardest. Any fan familiar with the film's history knows the difficult battle George Lucas fought to get the world made. 

Every great movie has a history of struggle before it reaches the big screen, and Star Wars had an especially difficult road to the theaters. Lucas couldn't explain the vision in his head, it made no sense on paper, and hardly anyone knew what they had until they actually saw the finished product.
As George Lucas recalled in the book Blockbuster, "It took me two years to get that thing off the ground and the only reason it got off the ground was that [former Fox president] Alan Ladd Jr. liked American Graffiti and said, 'I don't understand this movie, I don't get it at all, but I think you're a talented guy and I want you to make this movie.'"

What's taken for granted today is that opening day a movie plays on thousands of theaters at once. Star Wars opened to a gr…

The Old Republic trailer shows us the Jedi Consular

Spielberg unveils new War Horse film as Oscars buzz grows

It began as an extraordinary children's book about the brutality of the First World War, seen not through the eyes of a combatant but of a horse.
A quarter of a century later, it was adapted for the stage in a production that took puppetry to a new level, and is still playing to packed houses in London and – since earlier this year – on Broadway, where it won several Tony awards. Now it looks as if War Horse, originally a novel by Michael Morpurgo, has successfully made the final transformation – to the big screen. An eagerly anticipated film version, directed by Steven Spielberg, is galloping towards its release in America on Christmas Day and in Britain on Jan 13. Its makers have begun showing it to select audiences in the US – including some film critics – and praise from members of the public is pouring in. "When the credits rolled, everyone began to clap," Janet Till, a 51-year-old schoolteacher who attended a recent scree…

J.J. Abrams talks Blu-ray-bound 'Super 8,' Amblin movies, and why he's so secretive

Super 8 was J. J. Abrams’ mash note to the early work of Steven Spielberg, and, on that front, it hits all the right notes: Aliens, child-like wonder, the small-town experience, directorial economy, ominous caravans of military vehicles, etc., etc. But Abrams also managed to make the movie his own, and, in anticipation of Tuesday’s release of the movie on DVD and Blu-ray, we asked the director about the difficulties in reconciling the two styles, as well as his uncanny knack for keeping a lid on spoilers.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Looking back, what was it like working on Super 8 with Spielberg?
J.J. ABRAMS: To work with Steven, which was something I always wanted to do, and have it be as educational and rewarding and fun as it was, I feel like I just dodged the biggest bullet in my life. Working with your hero, if it ends badly, it’s a scar for life. So the fact that it ended well was a real relief.
So you two are still on speaking terms?
We’re actually still friends.
Get more EW…

Video and Screenshots from this weekends Beta test of The Old Republic @starwars @bioware

Thebeardedtrio has been beta testing The Old Republic this weekend.  Since the ban on posting photos and videos has been lifted this weekend here are some screenshots and video.  I've been playing on an Alienware M11 notepad with 4gb memory.  Initially I was playing at 1024x768 but switch to the native resolution of 1368x768 and surprisingly the frame rate went up and performance improved.  I had to turn down some texture and shadows but the game still looks nice and playability is great.  Only issue I found is the text is on the small side with no option I could see to enlarge it but maybe Bioware will add this option in later patches.  Frame rate was staying around the 20-30 fps sometimes going higher but when I got to the Jedi Temple frame rate dropped to around 15 fps because there was so much going on with other players and characters running around.  The sound is amazing with great ambiance and of course a superb score with snippets of John Williams classic soundtracks peepi…

Spielberg was my film-school: Kathleen Kennedy

As ""The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn"" open to theatres across India, we got talking with Steven Spielberg's right-hand man, or shall we say - his right hand-woman, ""Tintin""'s executive producer, Kathleen Kennedy.
She calls herself Spielberg's translator. ""It is my job to translate Steven's vision to the hundreds of people who work for him, she says. Although, Steven adds, ""She's a bit more than that."" And that she is. Kennedy's the second-most successful film producer of all time and she has been by Spielberg's side through all of his biggest hits, including Indiana Jones, ET and Jurassic Park. In Brussels to promote Tintin, she provided us with an insightful interview on the making of Tintin and what the movie means to India.

How did you start working with Steven Spielberg?
I started working with Steven Spielberg when I was 26-year-old and I interv…

E.T. - the biggest disaster in video game history?

In movies, titles like Heaven’s Gate and Plan 9 From Outer Space are synonymous with disaster, with cars it’s the Edsel, and in gaming, it’s the video game adaptation of E.T.

Some may argue the title hastened the demise of Atari, and in fact, the company did go swiftly downhill not long after the E.T. game flopped.

Yet, E.T. was the biggest box office hit of all time way back when, so how could a video game based on it fail? The title not only seemed like the sure-fire licensing deal a studio would kill for today, but it also came at the peak of gaming in the eighties. 

Atari was owned by Warner Brothers, and the late Steve Ross, who was the architect of the Time Warner merger, wanted Steven Spielberg to make movies at the studio, even though the director had strong ties to Universal.

As Connie Bruck, Ross’s biographer reports in the book Master of the Game, Spielberg and Ross became friends in the summer of ’82, when E.T. was a box office juggernaut. Both Spi…

Harrison Ford says he's up for Indiana Jones V

Fans of whip-cracking adventurer Indiana Jones, rejoice - Harrison Ford says he has a "strong ambition" to star in a fifth installment of the franchise.
The 69-year-old actor dished to Extra in a recent interview that he'd like to reprise his role as archeologist Jones in the long-mooted follow-up to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
"It'll happen when it happens," Ford told Extra's Terri Seymour. "I have strong ambition to do it while I'm still alive. I'm available, I'm not cheap, but I'm available!"
Catch his brief interview here.
Ford also told the LA Times back in September that he'd be "delighted" to star as Jones again.
"Maybe [I'll do] a fifth, but I ain't going to Mars. Next time we get a script for Indiana Jones, I'd be delighted to play the character.
"Each time we meet him, we wanted to advance the audience's understanding of the character, not …

ThinkGeek Announces Release of Exclusive STAR WARS Products

ThinkGeek is proud to announce the release of four new additions to its exclusive STAR WARS product line. Building on its successful licensing relationship with Lucasfilm(TM), ThinkGeek is delighted to bring fans Star Wars Breakfast Beverages, Han Solo Chocolate Bar, Lightsaber Candlestick, and Death Star Attack T-Shirt this holiday season.
"Star Wars is a passion of ours," said Ty Liotta, head of ThinkGeek's GeekLabs custom products development group. "Because we're huge fans, we're very serious about delivering top quality designs that delight our customers. The latest products are a reflection of our commitment to quality and fun."

The Star Wars Breakfast Beverages - The perfect gift for every man, 

woman or Wookiee. Each beverage comes in a collectible metal 

lithographed tin featuring unique illustrations. The set of three 

includes Vader Dark Roast Coffee for a taste of th…

American Graffiti strikes back

It wouldn't be too much of a shock or surprise if you told me you didn't know there was a sequel to American Graffiti. 

It opened to no business in August 1979, and for George Lucas the film was an embarrassment, but it's truly not a bad movie, and is a decent film in its own right. (You can now get both the original classic, and the sequel together on one DVD package.)

More American Graffiti wasn't even available on VHS for many years, and the trailer for the video version claimed it was "one of the most requested titles in the MCA / Universal library." 

The film takes place during three different years on New Year's Eve, and each segment of the film has a different look. Part of the film occurs during the Vietnam war, and it's shot in 16mm, which is why those scenes look boxed in when you watch it. (Doing segments of a film in different formats was also redone years later in Steven Soderberg's Traffic).

A major highlight of More American Gra…

Star Wars: Identities Revealed

After registering three domain names for the project, Lucasfilm announced that Star Wars: Identities is a new interactive museum exhibit at the Montreal Science Centre. Focusing on the character developments of Anakin and Luke Skywalker, the exhibit will utilize material from the Lucasfilm archives to explore a scientific approach to the concept of identity.

"The Star Wars saga continues to captivate audiences who find connection to its richly diverse cast of wonderful characters," said Lucasfilm's Exhibits Manager Kyra Bowling in a press release. "Star Wars provides a natural lens through which to explore the themes of personal identity and character. This innovative exhibition lets visitors of all ages investigate, in a fun and educational way, the factors and forces that help shape who we are as individuals."

Blastr notes that the exhibit will focus on three major themes of identity: "the origins of the characters, the influences that shape t…

Star Trek Crew watches Star Wars IV (Video) #startrek @starwars

This has to be one of the best videos I've seen this year on You Tube.  Ever wondered what would happen if Captain Picard and the crew of the Next Generation watch Star Wars on the view screen?  Well your curiosity has been answered.  Enjoy...

Yoda Advertising Ramen Noodles In Japan "The Force Is With Japan"

Steven Spielberg and John Williams tell stories by the score about ‘Jaws’ & ‘E.T.’ in ‘AFI Master Class’

“AFI’s Master Class,” featuring Steven Spielberg and John Williams, will showcase their work on films like “Saving Private Ryan” (above), starring Tom Hanks, Matt Damon and Ed Burns. You won’t necessarily learn how to create a master blend of movies and music from listening to Steven Spielberg and John Williams talk about how they’ve done it with films like “E.T.,” “Indiana Jones” and “Jaws.” But so what? TCM’s “AFI Master Class,” which the network hopes will become a series, premieres Tuesday night at 8 with an hour-long …

James Earl Jones to receive honorary Oscar Award

James Earl Jones has spent over fifty years lending his deep voice and impeccable on-screen gravitas to his roles and now the veteran actor will receive an honorary Oscar.

Jones told Variety magazine that he and his wife were "jumping up and down, and giggling" when they heard the news.
"What's wonderful about it is I didn't have to fight for it, I didn't have to campaign for it. They don't have to say 'James Earl Jones, winner!' I didn't win it, I earned it... At least, I hope I did."
Jones is set to receive the award on Saturday at the Governors Awards in Los Angeles, but said he will participate by video since he is currently in London for a Broadway production of "Driving Miss Daisy" opposite Vanessa Redgrave.
Jones is perhaps best known for his roles in "Field of Dreams," "The Sandlot," "Coming to America" and for voicing legendary characters like Darth Vader in "Star…

Doctor Who returns to the Big Screen with Harry Potter magic

The director behind the Harry Potter movies, David Yates, has said he’s embarking on turning long running science fiction drama Doctor Who into a film franchise. In an interview with Variety Yates announced he is joining with BBC Worldwide to turn the cult time travel production into a big screen movie, one of possibly many.
"We're looking at writers now. We're going to spend two to three years to get it right," he told Daily Variety, adding "It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena." Words which will sound alarm bells with the die-hard Doctor Who fans. David Yates, director of the last four Potter films, and Jane Tranter, BBC Worldwide top executive, are working on plans for the venture which will see the series, which originally launched in 1963, return once more to cinema audiences.
Doctor Who first went ‘big screen’ with two feature films in the sixties, which were based on previous BBC television aired storylines. …

Carrie Fisher Responds to William Shatner Comments that Star Trek is Better than Star Wars posted a video of Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher in which she fires back at William Shatner who said that "Star Trek is better than Star Wars". Here is a trasncript, courtesy of

“They’re not in the same league. Fisher said. “I mean they have the word ‘Star’ in the title and there’s a space travel, right? Where did they go to Klingon?” she asked.
“Maybe it’s just their effects. They’re not called special effects.”
“I heard that [Dick] Cheney likes Star Trek.”
“My space buns were so much better than Nimoy’s ears” she said.
“George [Lucas] allowed Bill one day to be in the Darth Vader costume and do the breathing and everything. I’ve never seen anyone so excited. He couldn’t do it.”
Fisher closed by saying “If you see Bill Shatner, call him Han Solo.”


#StarWars fan claims free plot of land - so Darth Vader can park his spacecraft

Star Wars fan claims free plot of land - so Darth Vader can park his spacecraftWhen Darth Vader stormed into a Ukrainian mayor's office demanding somewhere to park his spacecraft, the authorities needed a dramatic solution.
The Star Wars villain cited the country's new legislation that every citizen has the right to claim 1,000 square metres of land.
His invasion came after the city of Odessa agreed to grant attractive plots along the Black Sea coast to a group of people, prompting local concerns over corruption.
Striking back: Darth Vader states his claim for a free plot of land to bemused guards
Phantom Menaces: The evil visitor heads to his destination accompanied by cameramen The mayor's office has since said the agreement was a mistake but has not yet cancelled it, according to local news website
The costumed city dweller told two guards through a voice distorter in his black helmet.
He said: 'I am Darth Vader, the right hand…

War Horse Photos

Steven Spielberg eyes Moses film

Spielberg is in official talks with Warner Bros. to direct the spectacle film. Incidentally, Warner Bros. inked a deal with Mel Gibson earlier this year, to produce a biopic of Jewish warrior, Judah Maccabee.

"Gods and Kings", as the project is presently titled, will cover the entire breadth of Moses’ existence, from birth to death, including the Jewish emancipation from Egypt, the Burning Bush, and receiving the Ten Commandments.

The biopic was written by Michael Green and Stuart Hazeldine, and will be produced by Dan Lim and Matti Leshem.

After being out of the spotlight for a couple years, Spielberg has two high profile pictures slated to open next month, "The Adventures of Tintin," opening December 21, and "War Horse", opening December 25.

Presently, Mr. S is busy at work on the biopic of Abraham Lincoln, starring the venerable Daniel Day Lewis. "Lincoln" is scheduled for release in December 2012.

Academy to pre-screen "Red Tails"

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Academy cadets and leaders will view a pre-screening of the soon-to-be-released movie "Red Tails" at 8:30 a.m. Monday at Hollywood Interquest 14 Theaters.

The film screening was offered by Lucasfilm, and the event is being funded by the Academy's Association of Graduates.

This opportunity allows cadets to gain perspective on the Academy's aviation heritage and interact with documented original Tuskegee Airmen.

'Red Tails' is scheduled for release Jan. 20, 2012 and showcases Tuskegee Airmen and their role in World War II. Two local DOTA's will be at Monday's event, including retired Lt. Cols. Marion Rodgers and James H. Harvey III.

SWTOR's Outlaw's Den is a hive of scum, villainy, and all-out PvP

There's open-world PvP, and then there's open-world PvP that puts hair on your chest and then rips it out with a vengeance. Tatooine has the latter.

At the recent fan site summit in Austin, TX, Star Wars: The Old Republic's Lead PvP Designer Gabe Amatangelo revealed nirvana for PvPers with Outlaw's Den. Outlaw's Den is a PvP free-for-all (FFA) area on Tatooine for players crazy enough to risk certain death to congregate, fight, and struggle for rewards.

Because there are no rules in the area, members from the same faction can harm -- and kill -- each other, and there are no restrictions on what goes on in that space. Apart from the excitement of "anything goes" PvP combat, Outlaw's Den sports several attractive elements that make it worth visiting, including top-tier crafting materials, vendors that sell rare mounts and social gear, an auction kiosk, and a pit reserved for to-the-death duels.

One of the most interesting aspects of Outlaw&#…

The Art of Star Wars- An Artistic tour through the Intergalactic world of Star Wars. Opening November 26th at the Silver K Gallery

Star Wars - The Exhibition
Lucas Films has commissioned some of the finest artists and illustrators to recreate those classic scenes and moments that made Star Wars such an internationally acclaimed success. Many of the pieces are hand signed by the artists and a special highlight is a collection of pieces from Ralph McQuarrie, famed artist and illustrator who designed many of the Star Wars characters including Darth Vader and Chewbacca.
In many ways Star Wars kicked off the Pop Culture Phenomenon. Due to its overwhelming success Hollywood adapted to this new ethos of movie making by writing more action packed, special effects movies. Without Star Wars you wouldn’t have Avatar.
Star Wars is the third highest grossing film series in history, behind only Harry Potter and the James Bond Films. As of 2008 it had earned $4.41 billion at the box office. From the first movie’s release on May 25, 1977 to the final film released in 2005, Silver K will have the all your favouri…

What Hollywood found in India

The country's IT industry boomed by providing left-brained services like coding and call support. Now, it's getting ready to cash in on the creative needs of the world's entertainment industries.

India's IT industry emerged as a major global force over the last decade by providing all manner of left-brained services, from coding to call support. Now, as entertainment becomes more and more computational thanks to complex 3D special effects and animation, Indian firms are becoming crucial to the world's creative industries as well.
The global film industry is packing movies with ever costlier digital wizardry as it competes with new entertainment choices, from social networks to mobile phones. In 2009, nine out of the world's ten top-grossing films relied heavily on visual effects. These days, as much as a third of the budget for major Hollywood films is earmarked for special effects, according to a research report by accounting firm KPMG. The annua…