WΔZ
Again a movie trying to use mathematics as some interesting plot device. In this case we’ve got Stellan Skarsgard (Dogville, Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and 3) and Melissa George (Alias, 30 Days of Night) as two cops trying to track down a gruesome serial killer. But, wait, he (or she) is not just a serial killer! He’s looking for an equation to determine what it will take for someone to murder a person they love. Ooh, then after watching this movie we should find an equation to determine what the best way is to make gullible people believe in your movies! [Trailer]

Smart People
I just saw Juno two days ago and I must admit I’m impressed with Ellen Page. She doesn’t play the main role in this movie, but the whole cast seems pretty great (except Sarah Jessica Parker, I don’t get what people see in her). It’s about a widowed literature professor (Dennis Quaid), who has to deal with his perfectionist daughter (Ellen Page), his out-of-work brother (Thomas Hayden Church) and his new relationship with his doctor (SJP). [Trailer]

Smart People

Snow Buddies
Whoa, sickeningly cute puppy alert! This movie is a direct-to-dvd release and after seeing the trailer I completely understand why. Some movies just should never be mad, let’s leave it at that. Watch the trailer at your own risk. [Trailer]

Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer
Once in a while a movie comes along, that is so bad, it actually becomes good (in some cases intentionally, in other cases unintentionally). Judging by the trailer, I’m guessing this is one of those movies. The premise of the film is simple: Jack Brooks find his true destiny as monster slayer. There’s a weird Evil Dead/Buffy vibe I’m getting off the trailer, so I’m curious to see if the whole film has that same spirit. [Trailer]

Jack Brooks

Be Kind Rewind
Sweding: the art of re-creating, remaking movies from scratch. The movie Be Kind Rewind is about two guys (Jack Black and Mos Def) who, after accidentally erasing all the videotapes in Def’s video store, decide to swede all the erased movies. The real trailer has come out a couple of months ago and since then sweded trailers have come out for GhostBusters, RoboCop and Boyz N’ The Hood (link). Now there’s a new sweded trailer of the Be Kind Rewind, created by the director of Be Kind Rewind, Michael Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Be sure to watch the original trailer first though.. Fun Fact: the term “sweding” was coined by Condry, but it was supposed to be “sueding” (as in the fake leather). The cast didn’t understand him though through his thick French accent and it turned into sweding. [Trailer]

Son of Rambow
This is one of those movies that will make you secretly smile. It just seems so sweet and genuine. The movie’s about two boys who want to remake Rambo (hey, sweding!) and all the troubles and adventures they get into while doing so. The only problem I have with this film is that it looks a lot like this article about two boys who remake Indiana Jones. Yes, there are differences (setting, story, etc), but they just seem so similar, it’s hard to believe it’s not a rip-off. [Trailer]

Son of Rambow

Episode 31: “But nothing else could ever take you away”

This is a pretty cool video showing the different front pages at Apple.com through the years, starting in 1996. It’s funny to see how all the different designs and products have evolved throughout the years.

Episode 30: “I’m not moving the mask, I’m not moving my head”

These are two videos of the same type of optical illusion. It consists of a simple sheet with a hollowed out face. When moving left or right, the face seems to follow you. The first video is the optical illusion with Einstein’s face; in the second the hollow part is painted.





A Vue of The Future

Cinema, Movies January 30th, 2008

Four new redesigned Vue cinemas have been (re-) opened this year (Hull Prince Quay, Westwood Cross, Stirling, Thurrock) in the UK and they really seem as if they’re trying to create a new type of movie atmosphere. They’ve all got the standard cool things: huge screens, cafe, licensed bar and comfy seats. Next to that though they’ve got some stuff that have got me excited:

SATELLITE SCREEN
Satellite link up will allow for alternate live screenings of music, sport, comedy and more.

This isn’t really something new, but I still like the whole idea behind it. If you know you can’t go to the event in real, but don’t fancy watching it at home on your “little” TV, why not see it in the cinema? I’ve already noticed that they’re offering footballs games and Formula 1 races in a lot of cinemas, but comedy? Do they mean live stand-ups with this?

SUPERIOR SEATS
Unrivalled Club-class style leather seats forming two or three expertly placed rows in each auditorium to provide the best seats in the house.

It’s not uncommon that cinemas place a special, more expensive type of seating in their auditoriums, but so far I’ve only seen them placing them right at the back. Those aren’t the good spots! Nobody wants to sit there. Here with Vue though they’re putting the seats in “expertly placed rows”. Now we’ll have to see where those experts actually put these seats, but it somehow seems to me that it’s not just the standard “let’s put in the back”.

EVOLUTION SCREEN
New concept screen complete with two and four seater sofa pods, large leather superior seats and enormous bean bags. Make Evolution your screen of choice.

Now this is what I’m talking about! Finally a (large) cinema that’s willing to take a risk and try out something new. I’ve seen a couple of smaller “specialist” cinemas do the whole two seater sofas, but bean bags? I hadn’t even considered them, but they’d be perfect! I was a bit scared about the price first; how much more expensive will the Evolution screen be compared to the “normal” screen?

Bean Bag

I checked all three cinemas and it kind of depends on the cinema how they do the prices. On average though, the bean bags are almost always cheaper (in one case just as expensive) than a normal (adult) ticket. The Superior seats are always 1 pound more expensive than the normal adult ticket and the sofas (2 seater and 4 seater) are always 2 pounds more expensive than the total of the according number of normal tickets (as in, when a normal ticket is 6.40, a 4 seater sofa would be 27.60). Not too bad prices, right? If they’re as comfy as I hope, I’d be willing to pay the extra 2 pounds and in the case of the bean bag, they’re cheaper!

I so hope that Vue will carry these type of set-ups through to their existing screens. This is where the future of cinema lies: in creating an atmosphere for watching a movie better than seeing it at home. I want the bean bag experience!

Interesting links for January 29th:

Episode 29: “I will take the treasure!”

I loved MacGyver when I was a kid. I even remember exactly what I was thinking the first time I saw it: “Wow, this is like A-Team, but with only one guy who’s smarter and does cooler stuff!” Looking back at it, you can’t fail to cringe at the awful mullet that Richard Dean Anderson was sporting those days. Did anyone else here have trouble adapting to his new hairstyle when he first appeared in Stargate SG-1?

While I loved the normal day-to-day MacGyver episdoes, my favourites were always those special cheesy ones with a time traveling/supernatural twist or a Indiana Jones quest. There was the one where a flowerpot fell on his head and he woke up in King Arthur’s Court (7×01 and 7×02 Good Knight), where you finally found out his first name is Angus. The one with the Haunted House with a young Teri Hatcher (4×01 The Secret of Parker House). The one where he travels back to the Wild West (5×12 Serenity). The episode where he searches for the Holy Grail, using all the accompanying clues and artifacts (5×01 and 5×02 The Legend of The Holy Rose). Then you have the Eye of Osiris (6×14) and the Fountain of Youth (7×14) episodes. And, of course the TV movie Lost Treasure of Atlantis. They’re the perfect What-To-Watch-When-Your-Sick movies.

Here’s a fan-made trailer of The Legend of The Holy Rose:



The Sword of Truth

Books, TV Series January 29th, 2008

The Hollywood Reporter has just reported that Sam Raimi is producing a new TV show based on Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series. It’s going to be a live-action weekly series about (if you don’t know the books:) Richard Cypher, a woodsman, who teams up with the mysterious Kahlan on a quest into another realm (that’s all I can tell without giving too much of the plot away). The production of the first 22 episodes will start beginning of May.

This is great! I’ve been saying for years that they shouldn’t try to make movies of fantasy books. Most stories are way too complex for a movie from 3 hours long and they always get trimmed wrong. Did anybody here see The Golden Compass? The last scene of the book, which was what made the book so good, got completely left out of the movie. So, I’m glad that for once they’re going to take the time make to make a proper TV serie.

Wizard’s First Rule

I’m only worried about the quality of the show:

Raimi is executive producing the hourlong series with Robert Tapert (“The Grudge”), Joshua Donen (“The Quick and the Dead”) and “Xena: Warrior Princess” production executive Ned Nalle. Disney-ABC Domestic TV is distributing, and ABC Studios is producing.

Okay, they’ve got one of the guys from Xena and Sam Raimi himself worked on Young Hercules. I’ve got my fingers crossed that they’re not going into the direction of those type of series. It could easily become too cheesy and for once I want a good grown-up fantasy series. Is that too hard too ask?

Stone of Tears

I’m also not sure how they’re exactly going to do the episodes. Most TV shows are episodic and studios really want stand-alone episodes. The article says:

In discussing these incredible story lines and rich characters with my friends and partners Robert Tapert and Josh Donen, we agreed that ‘Wizard’s First Rule’ would make an amazing television series — one that could be produced with compelling, self-contained episodes.

So do they mean that the events in the book can be correctly translated to self-contained episodes? Or does it mean that it leaves room over to create stand-alone episodes and thus doesn’t follow the book? I hope it’s the former, cause I’m not sure it would benefit the storyline to have the main character do “other” stuff.

Now, I’m most curious to see who they’re going to cast for Richard and Kahlan. I always pictured Richard as someone sturdy (does that make sense?), so not some pretty boy like Milo Ventigmilia (Peter in Heroes). More someone like a younger and brunette (is it still “ette” when you’re talking about a guy?) Kiefer Sutherland. For Kahlan, I picture someone like the Claire Danes‘s character in Stardust, only less chirpy and sweet. Kahlan is tough, regal and strict and they need someone who can pull that face off. I’m guessing they’ll go for completely unknown people, but still it’s great to speculate.

So what do you guys think? Psyched for the series or scared that it could completely flop?

Faith of The Fallen

These photos from Annie Leibovitz are just stunning. They belong to the Dream Portrait Serie, an advertisement campaign from Disney featuring celebrities as traditional Disney characters. The first three images came out in January 2007, the second batch of three in October 2007 and the latest four came out this week. I’ve featured the photos I like the best first; while most of them are cool, there are a couple that just don’t work for me.

Update: I’ve added the latest photos of the campaign that were released in March 2011 here at the beginning of this post. Again they’re so gorgeous! It’s also interesting to see that Disney is using actors that are featured in their main live-action franchises right now: Olivia Wilde and Jeff Bridges were both in Tron, Penelope Cruz will be in the next Pirates of the Caribbean.

Update 2: I’ve again added the latest photos of the campaign. The Taylor Swift one as Rapunzel was released in January 2013.

Where A World of Adventure Awaits

taylor swift rapunzel

Taylor Swift as Rapunzel from Tangled

Where A Moment Of Beauty Lasts Forever

Disney

Jeff Bridges as The Beast, Penelope Cruz as Belle

Where Magic Speaks, Even When You’re Not The Fairest Of Them All

Disney

Olivia Wilde as the Evil Queen, Alec Baldwin as the Mirror

Where Memories Take Hold and Never Let Go

Disney

Queen Latifah as Ursula (from The Little Mermaid)

Where Another World Is Just A Wish Away

Disney

Julianne Moore as Ariel (The Little Mermaid) and Michael Phelps as a random merman.

Where Every Cinderella Story Comes True

Annie Leibovitz's Disney Dream Portrait Series - Cinderella

Scarlett Johansson as Cinderella

Where You’re The Fairest Of Them All

Annie Leibovitz's Disney Dream Portrait Series - Snow White

Rachel Weisz as Snow White

Where Dreams Run Free

Annie Leibovitz's Disney Dream Portrait Series - Pocahontas

Jessica Biel as Pocahontas

Where You’re Always The King Of The Court

Annie Leibovitz's Disney Dream Portrait Series - King Arthur

Roger Federer as King Arthur

Where You Never Have To Grow Up

Annie Leibovitz's Disney Dream Portrait Series - Peter Pan

Mikhail Baryshnikov as Peter Pan, Gisele Bündchen as Wendy and Tina Fey as Tinkerbell

Where Imagination Saves The Day

Annie Leibovitz's Disney Dream Portrait Series - Prince

David Beckham as Prince Phillip from Sleeping Beauty

Where The Magic Begins

Annie Leibovitz's Disney Dream Portrait Series - Fairies

Julie Andrews as the Blue Fairy from Pinocchio and Abigial Breslin as Fira from Disney Fairies

Where A Whole New World Awaits

Annie Leibovitz's Disney Dream Portrait Series - Alladin

Jennifer Lopez as Jasmine and Marc Anthony as Aladdin

Where Wonderland Is Your Destiny

Annie Leibovitz's Disney Dream Portrait Series - Alice

Beyonce as Alice, Lyle Lovett as the March Hare and Oliver Platt as the Mad Hatter

Where Your Every Wish Is Our Command

Annie Leibovitz's Disney Dream Portrait Series - Genie

Whoopi Goldberg as the Genie

(Photos courtesy and copyright of Disney)

Interesting links for January 28th:

Episode 28: “I’ve got YouTube”

I’ve only just discovered TED Talks (I know, I know, sometimes I’m a bit slow), but this clip is just fantastic. It’s a brilliant medley from David Pogue on the music wars.

Here’s another one from Pogue from the Ted Talks of 2006:

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