Friday, May 29, 2009

E3 Preview

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Electronic Entertainment Expo may be back on the upswing after two years of downsizing, but that doesn’t mean the gaming industry’s once showy spectacle known as E3 is returning to its heyday of a few years ago.
Some 70,000 people flocked to the Los Angeles Convention Center to see the latest in video games back in 2005. While only 40,000 are expected next week, that’s still far more than the 5,000-person guest list of recent years.
Also back are the splashy booths, where more than 200 exhibitors will attempt to build buzz for games. Among the most anticipated that are likely to be on display: a new "Rock Band" featuring The Beatles; a Tony Hawk game that utilizes a skateboard-shaped controller; the psychological thriller "Alan Wake" and the first follow-ups to such popular games as "Mass Effect," "Army of Two," "Assassin’s Creed," "Modern Warfare," "Red Steel" and "BioShock."
While the economic slump has not bashed the gaming industry as badly as other industries, many of this year’s E3 exhibitors are being cautious about what titles they trot out. Many publishers are opting to showcase streamlined slates instead of gobs of games.
"We look at E3 as the premiere global industry show that allows us to show off our wares," said Sean Ratcliffe, vice president of marketing for Sega. "It’s incredibly important for us to get our messages across. I think that’s why our approach of having a greater focus on just eight titles is a better way to make sure we’re cutting through the clutter."
Sega will highlight games such as the Wii first-person shooter "The Conduit," sci-fi shoot-’em-up "Aliens vs. Predator" as well as unveil a new racing game starring Sonic the Hedgehog. Ratcliffe also promised that a model dressed up as the bewitching heroine "Bayonetta" from the upcoming action game would make appearances at the Sega booth on the show floor.
Other publishers — including Electronic Arts and 2K Games — are also taking a refined approach.
"We’re focusing on the most immediate games now, and we’re going to tease some things for later," said John Riccitiello, chief executive officer for Electronic Arts. "We just can’t show everything we have lined up. You’ll see 10 titles (at our press conference) on Monday and 35 titles if you visit our booth, but it’s by no means our full slate."
In addition to the sci-fi sequel "Mass Effect 2" and cooperative shooter sequel "Army of Two: The 40th Day," EA will showcase such games as a Wii edition of the "Dead Space" franchise, the next "Madden NFL" entry, the fantasy role-playing game "Dragon Age: Origins" and an action-adventure game starring funnyman Jack Black titled "Brutal Legend."
"We’re taking a few titles and making them very, very big," said Greg Gobbi, vice president of product development for 2K Games.
This year’s flashiest showings will no doubt come from Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony, who may debut a new PlayStation Portable that relies entirely on downloads. Rumors have also circulated that Sony and Microsoft will unveil their own motion-control technologies that could rival the Wii.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Is Your Favorite Show Gone?

A list of shows that got the plug pulled on them or are in danger of having the plug pulled.

Dirty Sexy Money
Eli Stone
Life on Mars
Pushing Daisies
The Unusuals

Eleventh Hour
The Ex List
The Unit
Without a Trace

Prison Break
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Lipstick Jungle
Medium - Moved to CBS
My Own Worst Enemy
Knight Rider

The CW
Reaper - Not confirmed

ABC Family
Kyle XY

FX Network
The Riches

USA Network
The Starter Wife

Shows in Danger

Cameron Tops Poll did a survey of the Best Action Sci-Fi directors and people voted James Cameron at number 1.
Cameron has given us some great sci-fi films such as The Terminator 1 and 2 and most likely the best film in the Alien franchise – Aliens.
At number 2 was Steven Spielberg the man who gave us such thrillers like Jaws and Jurassic Park. I was surprised not to see him on top of the list.
Number 3 was a surprise to me, The Wachowskis did do a great film and that was The Matrix. The other films in The Matrix trilogy were awful movies that lacked plot, and I wasn’t a big fan of Speed Racer.
Rounding up the top 10: 4. Paul Verhoeven, 5. George Lucas, 6. Luc Besson, 7. Michael Bay, 8. John McTiernan, 9. Jon Faverau and 10. Paul W.S. Anderson.

Monday, May 18, 2009

'The Simpsons' May Reach Their End

The Simpsons, an animated series that has found its way into the hearts of many viewers, may be taking its first steps into retirement.
After wrapping their 20th season the series creator, Matt Groening, has hinted that the show has ran its course.
“I think we are closer to winding it up. Although what happens generally if we win the Emmy for best animation show is that that gives us another couple of years to run it into the ground,” Groening said.
Many fans feel that the show hasn’t been good since the mid ’90’s and they also say the last great episode was “The City of New York Vs. Homer Simpson”, which was the first episode of season 9 and aired back on Sept. 21, 1997. Since then many have said the Simpsons started to go down hill.
"Because animation is such an intensely painstaking process, it wears people out, and audiences are always looking for surprises,” Groening said.
The problem Groening faces if he does want to pull the plug is the FOX network and the 60 million viewer audience the show pulls in. With that amount of viewers the show is a tremendous financial success and turns a profit for FOX.
"I think FOX will wring every last penny out of the show before they call it a day,” Groening said.
The show clearly had better writing back in the day and the show does feel tired. I think that they should do one more season and then end it; I mean all the surprises are gone.
"When any character is as stupid as Homer Simpson, it's hard to keep surprising the audience,” Groening said.

What About John Locke?

Wednesday night we saw the season finale of Lost and that finale we learned that John Locke had actually died earlier in the season.
Locke will not be returning to the show, but the actor who plays him (Terry O'Quinn) will continue to play a part. That part is still unclear, will he being playing the evil "Esau" character? Jacob? or even a whole new character?
This news is a blow to me, since Locke was one of my favorite character on the show and seeing that character just die off really sucks. I don't really want Terry O'Quinn playing another character, I want him playing John Locke, that's the character he has been from the beginning and I think it should stay that way.
I don't even like how Locke died. Here is a man that had to overcome so much more than any other character just strangled to death. It didn't feel like an appropriate way to kill Locke, he should of went out bigger than he did. That character deserved a better end and he didn't get it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Top 10 2009 Opening Grosses So Far

1. X-Men Origins: Wolverine: $85,058,003
2. Star Trek: $75,204,289
3. Fast and Furious: $70,950,500
4. Monsters Vs. Aliens: $59,321,095
5. Watchmen: $55,214,334
6. Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail: $41,030,947
7. Friday the 13th (2009): $40,570,365
8. Hannah Montana The Movie: $32,324,487
9. Paul Blart: Mall Cop: $31,832,636
10. Obsessed: $28,612,730

Monday, May 11, 2009

Star Trek Brings You Where No Other Trek Movie Has Been Before

Here it is the review to one of the most anticipated summer movies – Star Trek.
Before I start this review I just want to say that I’m not a Star Trek fan. I’ve seen the other motion pictures and only a few episodes of the original TV series. Needless to say I went into this movie not knowing much about the universe and because of that I might of like things more than a Trekkie would.
First, this is one of the greatest prequel/reboot movies I’ve ever seen (up there with Batman Begins). It has enough humor, action and story to fill another Star Trek series and this is a great thing.
The movie restarts the Star Trek franchise, by telling the story of the U.S.S. Enterprise’s maiden voyage with its young crew.
We are soon thrown into a rivalry that is threatening the fate of the galaxy. It doesn’t help that James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) are clashing at every moment. Yet, they need to overcome their differences if they want to save Earth and go boldly where no one has gone before!
That’s as much of the story I’ll get into; I don’t want to give away any spoilers.
I know a lot of you will most likely praise J.J. Abrams (Creator of Lost and Director of Mission Impossible III) for the success of this movie and he did a great job but we really have to give a lot of credit to the screenwriters and actors.
Roberto Orci (Wrote: Mission Impossible III and Transformers I and II) and Alex Kurtzman (Eagle Eye) penned this script and the story in my opinion is well balanced. I know there are some people saying that the plot needed to be retooled, but honestly it solid and it works. There is parts of the story that will make you go “what the hell” but I’ll explain that in the spoiler area.
William Shatner is nowhere to be seen and I really didn’t miss him. The new cast is great, they’re able to deliver on the humor and pull off emotional scenes without being stiff (Yeah, I’m looking at you Star Wars Episode II). They all revive these characters and make them fresh and new again.
If you don’t want to read anything that will spoil the movie for you, please pass this section.
The biggest problem I have with the movie and its story is the black hole and the giant romulan drill. I know your not suppose to think about real science when watching a science fiction movie, but I couldn’t help myself.
The scene that I want to discuss is the one where the Romulan ship lowers it’s mining drill over Vulcan. The drill then blasts a powerful beam to the surface, which drills all the way down to the planets core.
If your like me you have a habit of watching those shows on the end of the world a lot and black holes and such come up.
Planets, like Earth and mostly every other planet, usually have thousands of kilometers in radius. Now if you try to drill a hole to the center of the planet, problems would occur when the pressure of the overlying rocks collapse the hole.
Remember a cubic meter of rock weighs between 2 to 3 tons and you would have a lot of cubic meters of rock (It’s in the billions). With all that it would constantly collapse the hole and you would never get anywhere. And even if you got through the rock you now have to go through fluid and that’s not going to be any easier.
Now after they drill the hole, the romulan’s throw in a substance called red matter. This triggers the formation of a back hole, causing the planet to collapses into itself.
Everyone knows that a black holes need mass to create and if that mass came from Vulcan that’s a big problem because mass compresses and when it does it gets really hot (Millions of degrees). That heat creates X-rays and various other types of radiation that will sit on the event horizon. It will then prevent any more mass from falling in, so a long story short if they did create black holes this way – the end result would most likely be a very, very small black hole.
So all the Trek science might bother some, but I can forgive them. I mean if you don’t know anything about black holes you’ll just go with it and that’s what your suppose to do.
After watching this movie and liking it, it still doesn’t make me want to go back and revisit any of the old Star Trek stuff or even completely watch the old series. It does make me interested in seeing this franchise continue on the track they’re on now and hopefully the next movie will get even deeper with the characters.
That’s another flaw and at this point I know I’m nit picking, but I don’t think that the movie was able to fully explore every character well. Kirk and Spock are the two characters that get the treatment this time around and the others just fall into the plot as the movie goes on. So, yes in the sequel I would want them to develop the other crewmembers better.
In the end the summer movie season has only started and we now have the movie to beat. There is some things that you’re going to have to turn your brain off for but that’s a small price to pay when you’re given a action-packed thrill ride.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Is Your Favorite Show Renewed?

The Amazing Race (Officially Renewed)
American Dad (Officially Renewed)
American Idol (Officially Renewed)
America's Next Top Model (Officially Renewed)
Batman: The Brave and the Bold (Officially Renewed)
The Big Bang Theory (Officially Renewed)
Bones (Renewal Expected )
Breaking Bad (Officially Renewed)
Brothers & Sisters (Officially Renewed)
Burn Notice (Officially Renewed)
Californication (Officially Renewed)
Celebrity Apprentice (Officially Renewed)
The Closer (Returns June 8)
Crash (Officially Renewed)
Criminal Minds (Renewal Expected )
CSI (Renewal Expected )
CSI: Miami (Renewal Expected )
CSI: NY (Renewal Expected )
Curb Your Enthusiasm (Officially Renewed)
Damages (Officially Renewed)
Dancing with the Stars (Officially Renewed)
Desperate Housewives (Officially Renewed)
Dexter (Officially Renewed)
Eastbound & Down (Officially Renewed)
Entourage (Officially Renewed)
Eureka (Officially Renewed)
Family Guy (Renewal Expected )
Flashpoint (Renewal Expected )
Friday Night Lights (Officially Renewed)
Fringe (Renewal Expected )
Ghost Whisperer (Renewal Expected )
Gossip Girl (Officially Renewed)
Grey's Anatomy (Officially Renewed)
Heroes (Officially Renewed)
The Hills (Officially Renewed)
House (Renewal Expected )
How I Met Your Mother (Renewal Expected )
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Officially Renewed)
Law & Order (Renewal Expected )
Law & Order: Criminal Intent (Officially Renewed)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Officially Renewed)
Lie to Me (Renewal Expected )
Lost (Officially Renewed)
Mad Men (Officially Renewed)
The Mentalist (Renewal Expected )
Monk (Final Season Starts Summer '09)
NCIS (Renewal Expected )
90210 (Officially Renewed)
Nip/Tuck (Officially Renewed)
Numb3rs (Renewal Expected )
The Office (Officially Renewed)
One Tree Hill (Officially Renewed)
Parks and Recreation (Renewal Expected )
Penn & Teller: Bulls**t! (Returns in Summer '09)
Private Practice (Officially Renewed)
Project Runway (Officially Renewed)
Psych (Returns in Summer '09)
Robot Chicken (Officially Renewed)
Rules of Engagement (Renewal Expected )
Sanctuary (Officially Renewed)
Saturday Night Live (Officially Renewed)
The Simpsons (Officially Renewed)
Smallville (Officially Renewed)
Sons of Anarchy (Officially Renewed)
Southland (Officially Renewed)
South Park (Officially Renewed)
The Spectacular Spider-Man (Officially Renewed)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Officially Renewed)
Supernatural (Officially Renewed)
Survivor (Officially Renewed)
30 Rock (Officially Renewed)
'Til Death (Returns in Summer '09)
Torchwood (Officially Renewed)
True Blood (Returns June 14)
24 (Officially Renewed)
Two and a Half Men (Officially Renewed)
Ugly Betty (Officially Renewed)
United States of Tara (Officially Renewed)
Weeds (Returns June 8)
Wipeout (Returns May 27)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Wolverine Is Not A Beast Of A Film

It’s May 1 and today is the day the summer movie season kicks off with the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. So, do we start off with a bang or a dud?
Well … to be completely honest Wolverine is a dud of a movie. The film is filled with generic explosions, car chases and stunts. We’ve seen it all before and we’ve seen it better.
The story is nothing special and at times, being a prequel, it tries too hard to end where it needs to begin.
If you don’t know the story is all about Wolverine’s violent and romantic past. It also explores his complicated relationship with Victor Creed (Sabretooth) and the menacing Weapon X program.
Through the movie, Wolverine encounters several other mutants, some that fans are excited about, but once you see the movie you’ll feel let down. I’m talking specifically about Gambit and Deadpool – if you’re excited about seeing them you are going to be tremendously let down.
The other bad thing is the Fox Co-Chairman and CEO Tom Rothman not really allowing the director or writers to explore the true origins of Wolverine. If you read the comic books you know that Wolverine is a much more tortured soul than he appears to be in this movie.
In the comic books Wolverine’s past is full of sorrow, he looses his family and friends and he grows into a hardened person. In the movie all this is brushed upon, never going into great depth about it and we only get to see a lighter version of the origin story.
Now you might be wondering if there are any redeeming qualities about the movie and really there’s not much. The story sucked and didn’t keep me immersed and the action sequences were so boring that I felt like falling asleep (I see better action on TV).
Yet, the performance from Liev Schreiber as Sabretooth was done well and also Hugh Jackman seems to know his character backwards and forwards. Then we get to Ryan Reynolds, he’s just being Ryan Reynolds, did he even try to research his role? It felt like I was just watching him play Van Wilder again.
In the end the movie felt rushed for me. I felt like I was watching a bunch of little pieces not coming together for one fantastic and dramatic conclusion. This movie knew what it had to do and instead of being a little more risky it went the safe road and became more predictable than anything. Also, Without the ability to really, truly explore the dark corners of Wolverine we are left with a poor attempt to make him more appealing to a wider audience.
I can’t really recommend it and I will only say go and see it if you are a huge X-Men fan who needs to see anything X-Men. If you’re not a fan, just stay clear and wait for better summer movies to come out.