A lot of trailers came out last week during Comic-Con, but almost none of them are available yet in a non-crappy-YouTube version. So don’t expect to find those here; I won’t link to that type of stuff. I mean: don’t you want to see a cool trailer as best as possible? Anyhow I’ve got a whole bunch of other trailers for you to enjoy:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
This looks like an amazing movie. Adapted from a short story from F. Scott Fitzgerald, it stars Brad Pitt as a man who ages backwards, starting his life as an old man and slowly aging back becoming a child. It looks beautiful and weird and magnificent all at the same time. [Trailer]

Bottle Shock
I hadn’t heard about this Sundance movie before, but it’s got a great cast: Chris Pine, Alan Rickman, Bill Pullman, Rachael Taylor, Eliza Dushku and Freddy Rodriguez. It’s about a small Californian vineyard who in the early seventies tries to compete with the snobby French wines. [Trailer

Transporter 3
I still haven’t seen the first two Transporters, but this looks like fun! Again it stars Jason Statham as Frank Martin, a guy specialized in moving “goods”. Expect a lot of fast paced action and bullet flying. [Trailer]

Death Race
Another Jason Statham movie. This time he plays a convict who is forced to compete in a deadly car race. I think the trailer gives too much away (although it was expected that it would be a predictable action movie). [Trailer]

Miracle at St. Anna
You know I’m not the war movie type; lots of drama, lots of dying, not my thing. But this movie looks unique enough to try out. Directed by Spike Lee, it’s about a group of black American soldiers who get trapped behind enemy lines in a Tuscan village during WWII. [Trailer]

Punisher: War Zone
Two trailers, two visions. The teaser is very mild; lots of people pointing and shooting guns at each other, but that’s it’s. The Red Band trailer is as gory as they come; heads exploding, impalement, lots and lots of blood. Question is: which vision will the movie take on? [Teaser] [Red Band Trailer]

RocknRolla
I don’t care that much for Guy Ritchie’s movies; even though I’ve never fully seen one of his movies, I just don’t have the patience to sit through something I know I won’t like anyway. RocknRolla seems more of the same. It’s about a couple of tough guys that get in a bad situation, who then have to find money to get out of that bad situation. Oh yeah, and there’s always some robbery of something valuable. [Trailer]

The Spirit
I want to like this movie, but this just didn’t look impressive at all. It’s written and directed by Frank Miller, who also wrote Sin City and 300, but I think he should have stuck to just the writing. At the moment it all seems a bit artsy and awkward and some of the characters seem off. I mean, I love Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson, but here they both looked cheesy. And what’s with those sideburns?! [Trailer]

Mirrors
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to watch Kiefer Sutherland again and not think ‘Jack Bauer’. Here he plays a security guard who has to deal with a mysterious evil force that’s coming through mirrors. Ooh, spooky. I haven’t actually seen the Red Band trailer; Cristiano saw it and said it was revolting, so I haven’t had the nerve to watch it. [Teaser] [Red Band Trailer]

Bolt
This Disney animation looks okay, but it will never be the movie it was supposed to be. Chris Sanders (from the brilliant Lilo & Stitch) wrote and created the plot of this movie (a dog who stars as a superhero in a TV show and thinks it’s real), but got thrown off the project. His version would have had a one-eyed cat and a radio-active rabbit! The basis remains the same, but the two side characters have been replaced by a “standard” cat and a cute hamster. [Trailer]

The Tale of Despereaux
Despereaux is a mouse that’s brave instead of frightened of all the usual stuff: knives, mousetraps and even cats. This animation looks kind of sweet, but would it ever have been made if Ratatouille wasn’t a success? Plus it’s a clear case of “let’s cast famous people with recognizable voices that don’t fit the character whatsoever”: Matthew Broderick, Dustin Hoffman, Christoper Lloyd, Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Kline, William H. Macy, Emma Watson, the list goes on and on. [Trailer]

The Princess and The Frog
I love the old school Disney 2D musical animations and I applaud Disney for attempting to bring it back. But this trailer? I’m not really impressed by it yet. [Trailer]

Disaster Movie
Why oh why do they keep making these type of movie? And who keeps on going to the cinema to watch this crap? [Trailer]

Visioneers
I’m not sure what to make of this movie; I think it’s supposed to be a comedy, but it’s got a weird depressing vibe going on. The trailer goes on for more than 3 minutes and leaves you kind of uninterested. [Trailer]

Not Quite Hollywood
Not Quite What I Expected. This is a documentary about the Ozploitation movies, the weird violence-sex-horror exploitation movies that were made in Australia in the 70s and 80s. [Trailer]

Quantum of Solace
I loved Casino Royale and Daniel Craig as James Bond. This trailer promises more of the same type of action, grittiness and romance. I’m still not convinced by the title though; I keep imagining ‘James Bond and The Quantum of Solace’, feels very Harry Potterish or Indy-ish. [Trailer]

Interesting links for July 28th through July 30th:

A couple of weeks ago I won a Tokyoflash watch via a contest on Geeks Are Sexy (btw those geeks rock!). It arrived last week, so I thought I’d do a small review of it.

Tokyoflash Watch

The watch I got is of the red Tibida design and it looks great. It has a polished stainless steel case with a red face and a polyurethane wrist band. The cool geeky thing about Tokyoflash watches is that they all have a unique way of displaying the time to you. In Tibida’s case there are four different display options: hour-centric, minute-centric, binary and date.

In the hour-centric mode, the bottom half of the display (the two 5×3 LED grids) is used to show the hour, The minutes are showed in the top half (the 2×6 grid) with each LED representing 5 minutes (so 8 LEDs on is 40 min). WIth the minute-centric mode, it’s the other way around. The bottom half is used for the minutes, the top half for the hours. Here are examples of both of them:

 

The binary option is (of course) the geekiest of the bunch. It doesn’t use the bottom half at all, only using the top 12 LEDs to show the time in binary. Very cool, but not that handy if you quickly want to know the time (at least not yet for me, still have to train myself a bit better). The last option, date, simply shows the date today, with the month in the top half and the day in the bottom half.

So far I’ve just been listing facts, not really giving my opinion on it. To be honest, I’m not completely convinced by it. It’s a very cool watch, but I’m not sure it’s the best fit for me. For starters, the wrist band isn’t that comfortable. The problem is with the area where the face connects with the band; instead of forming a smooth round band around the wrist, the top part is on a slightly weird angle (as if the band doesn’t want to bend that way). Now it could be that my wrists are just too skinny or the plastic is still too stiff, but at the moment it won’t fit comfortably around my wrist. Weirdly enough it does fit around my wrist; normally, I have to puncture an extra hole in the band. I think though the Tibida will fit fine if you have a bit more wider wrist than me and maybe given some time it will fit me better too.

Another thing you must realize with this watch is that the LEDs only go on when you press the button. So that means every single time you want to look at the watch for the time, you’ll have to press that button. Besides that you can’t look at it from an angle, cause otherwise the LEDs don’t make much sense. You really have to look straight at it. They’re not really problems or “end-of-the-world” bad, but it’s a new type of flow you have to get into. 

Tokyoflash Watch

On a personal note, I discovered I don’t use my watch to know the exact time, I use it to know how much time has passed or will pass. For this, I’m so stuck in my ways with an analogue clock, my brain is so used to processing the angles and quarters of a clock face. For instance, when I know something will take 15 minutes to do, but don’t know what time to start it, my mind will be constantly updating the image I have of a clockface and moving the quarter around.

Anyhow, the Tokyoflash watch doesn’t completely suit me… as a watch. I don’t see this replacing my standard (but boring) analog watch. But as a geek accessory though it’s fantastic. Plus it’s almost the right shade of Miss Geeky red, fitting perfectly with some of my clothes. While not completely what I expected I do love it, so expect seeing it on me at a future geek event!

Pssst, there are even more watches on the Tokyoflash site. Some of them are way crazier…

Episode 76: “Magic is all about directing attention”

Here’s a great TED talk about ‘Brain Magic’, deceiving and misdirecting the brain. It starts off with a cool trick, that I still haven’t figured out yet. Anyone care to explain?

Interesting links for July 25th through July 27th:

I came across these cool jewelry designs called Batucada jewelry. They’re from an up-and-coming design company in France and some of the stuff is just so pretty.

The jewelry is made from an synthetic Eco-friendly rubber, creating a tattoo-like appearance when worn. Because of the material it’s also waterproof and sweat proof. They’re perfect as casual, but trendy everyday jewelry. 

 

Most of the designs are available in 5 different colours: classic black, moka, silver, gold and shiny purple. Furthermore, two bracelets can be attached to each other to form a choker.

  

Although they’re a French company I couldn’t discover any European sites that sell them. I did though find a US store that does called Brooklyn5and10. There all the necklaces cost $34.95 and the bracelets $19.95. Sadly they only deliver to the US (shipping is about $10), so I’ll have to wait till I find a store here.

Check out the Batucada website for more cool designs.

Episode 75: “It was the best of times…”

During Mashed a couple of us were asked to make some fake trailers to be shown before the midnight movie. Jane and I created this one: A Tale of Two Bean Bags (most credit goes to Jane for coming up with the idea).

A Tale of Two Bean Bags from Cristiano Betta on Vimeo.

There’s also a second trailer that I kind of wrote and directed, but nobody understand its (I’m a misunderstood film maker, sniff). I’ll post it in a couple of days, see if any of you can figure it out.

It’s only a couple more weeks/months until the new TV season, so promos and clips of the upcoming shows have been appearing online. Some of them are familiar old shows with clips, showing us what may happen to our favourite characters. Others are completely new, whose fate beyond the pilot may not even be decided yet. 

Gemini Division
This will be a new NBC produced web series, starring Rosario Dawson. She plays a New York cop who uncovers a global conspiracy involving the creation of simulated life forms, Sims. At the moment 50 episodes, each around 6 minutes long, have been planned, with a possible extension to 100 episodes. [Website]

Caprica
There’s been talk about this series for the past two years and now finally they’ve gone ahead with it. It’s a prequel of sorts to Battlestar Galactica, showing the creation and rise of the Cylons. The premise sounded really interesting to me, but after seeing this promo I’m not so sure. It somehow doesn’t feel sci-fi-y enough, only drama.

Fringe
I’ve actually seen this pilot already (review will follow) and it looks quite okay. It’s a new series from JJ Abrams (he of Felicity, Alias and Lost), focusing on fringe (pseudo) science.

 
Heroes
Unlike last year I’m not all that excited for Heroes. I was just so disappointed after last season; they had so many options and possible cool story lines, and instead it all turned out so, so… average. I’ll still watch it, but I’m hoping it will get better.

Life on Mars
The original Life on Mars was great, so why go and ruin it with a US version? This looks so bad and completely unnecessary. I’ve also heard rumours, they won’t be sticking to the original’s storyline, but want to make it a “deeper mystery”.

Pushing Daisies
I love Pushing Daisies, but this promo is worthless. You don’t even get to see anything from the new season!

Chuck
Now they know how to make some cool promos! First the Hellboy one and now these; I can’t wait till Chuck is back on TV.

Dollhouse
The new Joss Whedon series! I’m watching this no matter what, but as I said before I find the humour strangely lacking in this trailer. Where’s the funny, Joss? The clips of the episode shown in this trailer will actually be the second episode. Whedon just announced that his pilot was slightly confusing and jumping into the story straight away, so they’ve decided to keep that episode as the second and create a new episode in front of that, acting as the pilot.

Interesting links for July 19th through July 23rd:

  • Why Me?: Pop Quiz Clock – Later when I'm grown-up and rich and have a mansion, I want a room full of only clocks and one chair (maybe I'm a tad crazy). This clock sooo belongs there!
  • It was on fire when I got here – Exhausted, but awesome – Blog post from the guy whose house they used as Dr Horrible's lair. It's not a set, it's actually someone's house (if I'm right he was on some American reality tv show that built it for him).
  • Exclusive: Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen – Interview with Jed Whedon (brother of) and his wife Maurissa Tancharoen, who both wrote, created, produced and starred in Dr Horrible.

Episode 74: “He big in nothing, important in good elephant”

I discovered this a couple of years ago, but it remains hilarious. A guy bought a dvd of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, while in China and it wasn’t completely what he expected. It contained English subtitles, but they were translations of the Chinese interpretation… and sometimes they were way, way off:

If you don’t want to watch the entire thing, the guy who discovered it has got a blog post up with the most hilarious translations.

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