Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oscar Nominations 2011!

Oscar Nominations 2011!
The King's Speech! True Grit!

Oscar Nominations 2011!

It's more "Well duh!" than "WTF?!" after the Oscar nominations were announced in Los Angeles today. At the ungodly hour of 5.30am local time, 2010 winner Mo'Nique and Academy president Tom Sherak read out the list - and as expected, The King's Speech was well represented.

The King's Speech took 12 nominations, putting it in the lead, ahead of True Grit's 10. Inception and The Social Network both took 8, followed by The Fighter and 127 Hours with 6. After that were Black Swan, Winter's Bone and Toy Story 3 with 5. The Kids Are All Right took 4 and Alice in Wonderland took 3 - but in the technical categories, so don't worry.

The Best Picture nominees are Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King's Speech, 127 Hours, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit and Winter's Bone.

The King's Speech is definitely the front-runner given that it has the highest number of nominations, but let's not discount The Social Network just yet. True Grit, however, despite having almost as many nods as the British film, is handicapped by having missed out on a Best Editing nod. Statistically speaking, if you want to win Best Picture, you need to be at least nominated for Best Editing: since 1981, every Best Picture winner has had an Editing nod, and most have won that category.

Best Director was very much as elsewhere, except that the Coen Brothers got a deserved nod for True Grit, joining David O. Russell, Darren Aronofsky, Tom Hooper and David Fincher. And yes, you read that right: Christopher Nolan missed out for Inception. Fanboys can vent their rage below - but since the film still took eight nominations and was a huge success despite being one of the hardest sells in history, we doubt Nolan himself will lose too much sleep over it.

The Supporting categories went just as expected, except for John Hawkes winning some welcome attention for his scene-stealing turn in Winter's Bone. Lead Actress is an exceptionally strong category this year, with any of the 5 nominees deserving the win: that's Natalie Portman for Black Swan, Annette Benning for The Kids Are All Right, Jennifer Lawrence for Winter's Bone, Nicole Kidman for the underseen but wonderful Rabbit Hole, and Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine.

Best Actor is a fight between Javier Bardem for Biutiful, Jeff Bridges for True Grit, Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network, Colin Firth for The King's Speech and James Franco for 127 Hours. Aw-kward: Franco could end up presenting and winning! But he probably won't, because Firth is the runaway favourite, and if it isn't him it'll probably be Bridges (because we wonder if the Academy can resist the opportunity to give the Oscar twice to someone playing the same role).

Best Screenplay saw Mike Leigh nominated for Another Year and Christopher Nolan get one for Inception, which was nice. Adapted Screenplay saw a nod for Toy Story 3, which was also ace.

Best Animated Film went for How To Train Your Dragon, The Illusionist and Toy Story 3 - now there's a worthy category.

The full list is to follow.

Best Picture
Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

Best Director
David O. Russell – The Fighter
Tom Hooper – The King’s Speech
David Fincher – The Social Network
Joel And Ethan Coen – True Grit
Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan

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

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

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams – The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter – The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo – The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit
Jacki Weaver – Animal Kingdom

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale – The Fighter
John Hawkes – Winter's Bone
Jeremy Renner – The Town
Geoffrey Rush – The King's Speech
Mark Ruffalo – The Kids Are All Right

Best Original Screenplay
Another Year - Mike Leigh
The Fighter - Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson, Keith Dorrington
Inception - Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right - Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
The King's Speech - David Seidler

Best Adapted Screenplay
127 Hours - Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
The Social Network - Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3 - Michael Arndt, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich
True Grit - Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Winter's Bone - Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

Best Animated Film
Toy Story 3
The Illusionist
How To Train Your Dragon

Best Foreign Film
Biutiful (Mexico)
Dog Tooth (Greece)
In A Better World (Denmark)
Incendies (Canada)
Outside the Law (Algeria)

Best Score
How to Train Your Dragon – John Powell
Inception – Hans Zimmer
The King's Speech – Alexandre Desplat
127 Hours – A.R. Rahman
The Social Network – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Best Song
Coming Home from Country Strong – Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
I See the Light from Tangled – Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
If I Rise from 127 Hours – Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
We Belong Together from Toy Story 3 – Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

Best Cinematography
Black Swan – Matthew Libatique
Inception – Wally Pfister
The King's Speech – Danny Cohen
The Social Network – Jeff Cronenweth
True Grit – Roger Deakins

Best Costume Design
Alice in Wonderland – Colleen Atwood
I Am Love – Antonella Cannarozzi
The King's Speech – Jenny Beavan
The Tempest – Sandy Powell
True Grit – Mary Zophres

Best Art Direction
Alice in Wonderland – Robert Stromberg, Karen O'Hara
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 – Stuart Craig, Stephenie McMillan
Inception – Guy Hendrix Dyas, Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
The King's Speech – Eve Stewart , Judy Farr
True Grit – Jess Gonchor, Nancy Haigh

Best Visual Effects
Alice in Wonderland –Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 – Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian
Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
Hereafter – Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
Inception – Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
Iron Man 2 – Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

Best Sound Editing
Inception – Richard King
Toy Story 3 – Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
Tron: Legacy – Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
True Grit – Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
Unstoppable – Mark P. Stoeckinger

Best Sound Mixing
The King's Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

Best Documentary Feature
Exit through the Gift Shop
Inside Job
Waste Land

Best Live Action Short Film
The Confession
The Crush
God Of Love
Na Wewe
Wish 143

Best Animated Short Film
Day & Night
The Gruffalo
Let's Pollute
The Lost Thing

Best Documentary Short Subject
Killing In The Name
Poster Girl
Sun Comes Up
The Warriors Of Qiugang

Best Editing
Black Swan
The Fighter
The King's Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network

Best Make-up
Barney's Version
The Way Back
The Wolfman

Source: EmpireOnline

Friday, January 21, 2011

Eastwood Taking Over A Star Is Born!

Eastwood Taking Over A Star Is Born!
Beyonce still attached to the lead...

Source: Deadline

Eastwood Taking Over A Star Is Born!

Raise your hand if you saw this one coming... Now put it down again, because you’ll need it to beat out the flames coming from your pants, you liar. But ‘tis true: Clint Eastwood is apparently lining up to direct and produce the new version of A Star Is Born, which still has Beyonce attached to play a rising performer who falls for – and is mentored by – a legend whose career is on the wane and steeped in alcohol.

The story’s an old one, and has been passed down through various movies, including William Wellman’s 1937 drama and what currently stands as its most famous incarnation, the 1954 musical starring Judy Garland as the ingénue, which George Cukor directed. Oh, and not forgetting (though some try to) the 1976 Barbra Streisand/Kris Kristofferson effort.

According to Deadline, Warner Bros. handed Will Fetters' script to Eastwood, who agreed to make the film as a future project. This version will be set in the world of music, with Beyonce in place and a yet-to-be-named performer as her older rock star inspiration and lover. The likes of Will Smith and Jon Hamm have been linked to that role, but with Eastwood behind the camera, this is sure to explode into one of the most sought-after roles on the books. Assuming, of course, Clint doesn’t already have someone in mind.

He’s gearing up to start making J Edgar next month, and will apparently look to kick off on Star later in the year. A Clint Eastwood musical? Consider the possibilities!

Source: EmpireOnline

What Is Neill Blomkamp's Chappie?

What Is Neill Blomkamp's Chappie?
It's another new film. Stop sniggering.

Source: Deadline

What Is Neill Blomkamp's Chappie?

Amidst all of yesterday’s excitement about Neill Blomkamp’s first post-District 9 film, the far-future thriller Elysium, getting a hefty $120 million cash influx and distribution support from Sony, one little detail slipped by almost unnoticed: Media Rights Capital, which set up Elysium, and helped get the contract sealed with Sony, has signed an overall deal with the director and has just flashed the thumbs up on another new title, the even more mysterious Chappie.

Beyond that name, there’s pretty much nothing to go on, since the ever-secretive Blomkamp is A) busy getting ready to make Elysium and B) wouldn’t really let anything slip anyway. All Deadline has been able to find out is that Chappie is not part of the new distribution deal with Sony (though you’ve got to figure that they’ll get the first look at the script) and that the director plans to make the movie once Elysium is completed and in cinemas around late 2012. Oh, and it’s another original SF concept.

For now, though, Blomkamp’s focus will be on the Matt Damon/Sharlto Copley/Jodie Foster film, which is set 100 years in the future, and is loaded with both gadgets and social critique. He’s starting real pre-production in April with a shoot set to kick off in July in Vancouver, before the crew moves to Mexico City.

Source: EmpireOnline

The Iceman Casteth Michael Shannon

The Iceman Casteth Michael Shannon
Plus James Franco & Benicio Del Toro

Source: Deadline

The Iceman Casteth Michael Shannon

Former mob killer Richard “The Ice Man” Kuklinski is one popular guy. Despite his brutal nature – or, indeed, because of it – he’s the focus of two biopics. We brought word in September that Mickey Rourke had become attached to Ice Man about Kuklinski’s double life, and now there’s some competition in the form of Millennium Film’s The Ice Man, which has snapped up James Franco, Michael Shannon and Benicio Del Toro to star.

The three have been rumoured for a while, with Shannon now committed to playing Kuklinski, who made his name as a contract slaughterer who froze his victims to throw off forensics teams and keep the police from sniffing out his trail. But there was a flip side to his life – he was also a devoted family man whose neighbours thought he was a regular businessman, little suspecting his true, violent line of work.

This latest film will take as its source Anthony Bruno’s book The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer and filmed interviews found in The Iceman Tapes: Conversations with a Killer, which was directed by Jim Thebaut.

Franco will play Kuklinski’s mentor, a man known as Mr Softee, while De Toro will be mob boss Roy Demeo. Ariel Vromen will be calling the shots on a script he co-wrote with Morgan Land. “I am honoured to work with such a talented cast on such a compelling story. Since the early stages of development I had the dream of casting Michael Shannon as Kuklinski, as I believe there's no one else that can play this part better than him," says Vromen in a statement.

Despite the busy schedules of the actors, it looks like this one could make it before the cameras ahead of the Rourke film…

Source: EmpireOnline

Neeson Adds His Voice To Clone Wars

Neeson Adds His Voice To Clone Wars
Qui-Gon Jinn is back! Sort of.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Neeson Adds His Voice To Clone Wars

The old saying runs that no one dies for real in science fiction. There are so many ways a character can be rescued from death’s icy grip in the genre that few slayings truly have an impact. And Liam Neeson’s Darth Maul-ing didn’t seem to worry Qui-Gon Jinn too much in Star Wars: Episode One – The Phantom Menace, since the Jedi master had access to the Force. And so it comes to pass, as Neeson is voicing the character for spin-off ‘toon The Clone Wars.

Neeson has recorded a couple of episodes’ worth of dialogue, for shows that will air across the pond on January 28 and February 11. Qui-Gon will be appearing in visions to protégé Obi-Wan Kenobi, though probably not dropping the info about Anakin Skywalker’s dark future, which would play merry havoc with continuity. Nope, mostly he’ll be talking about the lad, but in terms of him being the chosen one.

So, given that Neeson had no real driving reason to come back to George Lucas’ galactic playground, what drew him? “These characters resonate…even after all these years,” he tells Entertainment Weekly. “Growing up, my heroes were cowboys; they were strong and mysterious, and it seemed like they always rode off into the sunset. For kids today, Star Wars has that same kind of magic. I really wanted to be a part of that." Fair enough.

While the current crop of Clone Wars cartoons have attracted some solid tonsil talent in the past – Jon Favreau, Clancy Brown, Ron Perlman and George Takei among them – the only person who has really returned to their role from the prequels is Ahmed Best, the voice of Jar Jar Binks. Neeson is a real casting coup for the series. You can see a quick clip of him in action over at EW…

Source: EmpireOnline

Russell Brand May Get Musical Again

Russell Brand May Get Musical Again
He's circling a role in Rock of Ages

Source: Deadline

Russell Brand May Get Musical Again

Russell Brand first really broke out as a film personality by playing addled rocker Aldous Snow in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, a role he would later step up to leading man for Get Him to the Greek. So it seems somehow fitting that he’s currently considering a part in Rock of Ages, adapted from the ‘80s hair rock-fuelled musical.

He’s looking at playing Lonny, the manager of the Sunset Strip rock club owned by Dennis Dupree (a role that Alec Baldwin might be on to snatch). Lonny is also the narrator of the story, which follows aspiring rocker Drew as he finds love, rejection and ultimately his dream – even if it’s not the one he originally thought he wanted. It’s set against the backdrop of a German developer looking to demolish the Bourbon Room as part sanitising the strip, and a rock god named Stacee Jaxx promising to help save the place.

Hairspray director Adam Shankman has the megaphone, and Brand has form with him, having appeared in Bedtime Stories. And in a more surprising move, Tom Cruise is apparently close to signing on to play Jaxx, a part that would see him belting out Bon Jovi songs and more.

Shankman is working from a script by the musical’s scribe Chris D’Arienzo, which has since been given a polish by Little Miss Sunshine/Toy Story 3 writer Michael Arndt. Cruise, Brand and Baldwin rocking out? If they pull off that casting coup, this’ll be one to watch for sure…

Source: EmpireOnline

WikiLeaks: The Movie?

WikiLeaks: The Movie?
Julian Assange biopic planned...

Source: Variety

WikiLeaks: The Movie?

Because what the man really needs is yet more publicity, someone has decided to start putting together a biopic of unnaturally pale WikiLeaks front man Julian Assange, which the producers are hyping up as “a suspenseful drama thriller.”

Barry Josephson and Michelle Krumm have pooled their respective production companies’ resources to nab the film rights to Aussie reporter Andrew Fowler’s biography of Assange, The Most Dangerous Man in the World.

The book will apparently offer a heavily-researched peek into Assange’s life from childhood to the present, including his founding of WikiLeaks in 2006 and the controversial storm he and his team stirred by releasing secret US diplomatic documents, corporate info about toxic waste dumping and even some internal Scientology manuals. Frankly, you would think that last one would make him more afraid of a response than any legal claims.

Talking of, he’s currently under house arrest in the UK, with Swedish courts looking to extradite him after allegations of rape made against him. We wonder if the US government – which would also like a chat – will try to pull a Roman Polanski and invite him to any eventual film’s premiere, in the hopes he’ll forget what he’s facing and show up, only to be pinched.

Still, Krumm and Josephson think he’s a compelling figure to chronicle on screen. "As soon as I met Andrew and read a few chapters of his profound book, I knew that -- with his incredibly extensive depth of knowledge -- it would enable us to bring a thought-provoking thriller to the screen," Krumm tells Variety. And according to Josephson, it has real potential: "Like All the President's Men in its day, The Most Dangerous Man in the World is this generation's suspenseful drama with global impact."

Source: EmpireOnline

Marvel Back On Black Panther's Trail

Marvel Back On Black Panther's Trail
Mark Bailey writing new treatment

Source: Heat Vision Blog

Marvel Back On Black Panther's Trail

With some of its bigger players – your X-Men, your Spider-Man, your Iron Man and Thor etc – now catered for, Marvel is continuing to turn its attention to some of its lesser-known characters. Dr Strange is conjuring his way through development hell and now one of the long-rumoured titles – Black Panther – is back prowling the halls of Marvel Studios.

Panther, who first cropped up in the Fantastic Four’s adventures in 1966 before spinning off to his own books, is an iconic black superhero, one who led the way and has long been a target for studios. Wesley Snipes has usually been associated with the lead role, having gotten attached to star in a Sony version in the early 1990s and staying on board when Artisan Entertainment picked up the rights during its post-Blair Witch glow.

No films arrived, however, and Marvel got the rights to Black Panther back in 2005 when Lionsgate (which bought Artisan) let them slip. Now Kevin Feige and co are shoving the Panther back into the Hollywood jungle, hiring documentary writer/story editor Mark Bailey to find a new take on the man, the king of a mineral rich African country who becomes a hero. Bailey’s been best known for working on HBO docs such as Facing AIDS and Ghost of Abu Ghraib and has adapted the book The Last of the Tribe: The Epic Quest to Save a Lone Man in the Amazon, which Doug Liman is considering directing. Sounds like an interesting choice to try their hand at penning a superhero tale…

Source: EmpireOnline

Kiefer Says 24 Movie Will Happen

Kiefer Says 24 Movie Will Happen
Script problems overstated?

Source: Extra (via Cinemablend)

Kiefer Says 24 Movie Will Happen

Reports of the 24 movie's death have been greatly exaggerated according to Kiefer Sutherland (like what we suggested). In a short clip courtesy of Extra, Sutherland says that the big-screen 24 will go ahead later this year, and that the script's uncertain current state is insignificant.

The story a couple of weeks ago was that the production was right back to the drawing board, following the rejection of a screenplay by Billy Ray (Flightplan, State of Play). But those kinds of shenanigans are par for the course, according to the optimistic Sutherland. Hell, he's taken on Mexican drug cartels, and terrorists with biological and nuclear weapons: movie studio politics ain't nuthin'.

The script flux will more than likely continue "until the day we start shooting," he explains, "and probably from that point forward too. It’s a very difficult thing to take something that you’ve done for eight years and almost 200 episodes, and try and find a story that’s going to be unique and yet also service the history of the show. That's to be expected."

Sadly, he makes no mention of action guru Tony Scott, with whom he was reportedly having 24-based talks not so long ago, but Sutherland seems confident that shooting, in all senses, will be underway by this time next year at the latest. Watch this space for developments...

Source: EmpireOnline

Will Gluck Producing About Last Night

Will Gluck Producing About Last Night
Easy A director overseeing remake

Source: Variety

Will Gluck Producing About Last Night

When Spider-Man can get the reboot treatment less than five years after its most recent outing, you know that the time has truly dawned where no film is safe from the remake wood chipper. Back in December, Entertainment Weekly broke word that Edward Zwick’s 1986 Brat Pack comedy About Last Night... was headed for the redo zone via Screen Gems. Now comes word that it’ll at least have relatively sure producing hands in the shape of Easy A writer/director Will Gluck.

Gluck is something of a favourite at the studio, having delivered the snarky teen comedy and made a star out of Emma Stone. He’s got Friends with Benefits, starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, all ready to arrive this year and is splitting his time between that and crafting a new script to direct starring Stone.

So you can understand why he won’t actually be taking on either screenwriting or megaphoning duties on the new version of About Last Night… but will be helping find a writer and director.

For those unaware (probably some of you young ‘uns too busy with your Twitter Birds and your Angry Foursquares), Zwick’s cutting comedy adapted David Mamet’s play Sexual Perversity in Chicago into the tale of Danny (Rob Lowe) and Debbie (Demi Moore), a couple who meet in the yuppie-tastic ‘80s and, despite pressure from best pals Bernie (Jim Belushi) and Joan (Elizabeth Perkins), fall for each other and try to make it work. Cue love montages, cute exchanges and then fights, splits and recriminations. It is Mamet, after all…

Source: EmpireOnline

Shawn Levy Prepares Deadliest Warrior

Shawn Levy Prepares Deadliest Warrior
Producing and maybe directing TV spinoff
Source: Deadline

Shawn Levy Prepares Deadliest Warrior

Real Steel's boxers are robots, but Shawn Levy may be looking to the pages of history for his next batch of fighters. He's certainly producing, along with Dan Levine, but Levy may also direct The Deadliest Warrior, based on the Spike TV series of the same name.

It's all happening at Paramount, Spike's sister company, with John D Payne and Patrick McKay at work on the script. The pair previously wrote the historical battle epic Goliath, based on the David and Goliath story and currently holding the attention of Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Day the Earth Stood Still).

They seem like a good match for a "what-if?" series that pits history's greatest fighters against one another. It's the old "who'd win in a fight between Wolverine and Hulk?" question, except with the likes of Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great replacing the superheroes. Or, if you will, it's MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch, but with proper historians and CGI and fighters and weapons, instead of ropey claymation.

It's not a story-based series, so the direction of the spin-off movie's plot is unclear, and being kept firmly under wraps by the studio. We'd suggest Payne and McKay could do a lot worse than look to Nick Cave's infamously mental script for Gladiator 2, which saw Maximus reincarted throughout history, turning up in WWII and at the Pentagon. Somebody really ought to make that.

Early days yet, so who knows what dreams may come? In the meantime, Levy's Real Steel, starring Hugh Jackman, is out in the UK on October 7.

Source: EmpireOnline

Sacha Baron Cohen Is The Dictator

Sacha Baron Cohen Is The Dictator
From a book by Saddam Hussein?!

Sacha Baron Cohen Is The Dictator

So here comes a sentence we never thought we'd write: Sacha Baron Cohen's next film is The Dictator, inspired by the book Zabiba and the King by Saddam Hussein. Yes, that Saddam Hussein. Larry Charles is set to direct, and Scott Rudin is producing. The film will hit screens on May 11, 2012.

The film is "the heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed".

That sounds like a slightly loose adaptation of the book, a romance novel purportedly written by the former Iraqi dictator (and, most believe, ghost-written with some involvement from him).

Set in 7th or 8th century Tikrit, the book's heroine is the titular Zabiba, a commoner who is harshly treated and raped by her evil husband. The hero is the country's King 'Arab, who forms a platonic but deeply felt love affair with the wise young woman. Cue plots against the throne, uprisings of the population and heroic self-sacrifice all over the place.

If you're looking for allegory, Zabiba represents the Iraqi people, 'Arab is Saddam and her husband the US invaders. Probably. But we're guessing Cohen and Charles (who, of course, also directed Borat and Bruno as well as Religulous) will be putting the "fun" in "fundamentally not great literature" with their screen adaptation. We'll see for sure next year - start speculating on other casting, and indeed everything else about the film, right now!

Source: EmpireOnline

The Roku Digital Video Player

The Roku Digital Video Player

The Roku Digital Video Player is a device that I’ve been hearing about for some time on the net. As you can see in the image, the box itself is very simple. It doesn’t have a hard drive or any storage in it at all. That keeps the price low, at only $99. Basically, this is a set-top streaming box. It connects to your TV via composite, component, or HDMI cables. It connects to the internet either via ethernet or built in wi-fi.

For the longest time, all this box was good for was Netflix streaming. That, to me, did not make it worth $99. I have an XBOX360 that will already stream Netflix and it doesn’t require any additional hardware. It can now stream video from Amazon’s Video on demand service and it can stream from MLB.TV if you have a subscription there. There is no additional charge from Roku to use these services.

Netflix, Amazon, and MLB.TV are the only things that are currently available on the Roku Digital Video Player (which is widely known as simply “the Roku box”). What I find the most interesting, however, is the content that is coming soon to this device. Leo Laporte announced at Blog World Expo (in his key note speech, that is approximately 30 minutes long and available to stream here) that all of TWiT.tv‘s shows are coming to the Roku Box. This means that you can watch any of the TWiT podcasts on demand on your TV with little set up. He also said that the TWiT Live stream will soon be an option, meaning that the live broadcast, currently available at Live.TWiT.tv will be available to stream in high def to your TV.

Most people are going to think “OK Great, but … who cares?” I care. I currently produce a podcast. I don’t see us doing video any time in the absolute near future, but it could happen one of these days. The model that Leo Laporte is introducing here is taking podcasting off of the internet and putting it in your living room. TWiT, CNet TV, and Revision 3 are early partners of this service, offered via MediaFly, but in the near future it could host video content from all over the internet. Anybody’s video podcast could be watched on a TV set. To borrow a quote from Laporte, “This is taking New Media and making it THE media.” Anyone can make a video podcast for very little money and if they get sponsors, which most people can these days, they can take their little show and make it giant. The internet is a wonderful place for content, and this box and this service is just making it easier for great content to get to the end user.

Roku channels
Roku is a very good application, because Roku is constantly updating their channels. Channels are the different content that you can access wirelessly from the device.

The Roku is a device that you attach to your television and it allows you to watch web content on the device, as well as shows that you have downloaded on your computer. The distinct feature that sets Roku apart from its competition (and believe us, there is a lot of competition) is the Roku Channels.

Roku hulu

The standard roku channels are all there. Youtube support. Hulu support. Vimeo support was just recently added. This much additions after the product has already been out for a few months gives you confidence to buy into the system. They are continually updating and more and more channels will be available in the future.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

More X-Men: First Class Pics Arrive

More X-Men: First Class Pics Arrive
Now with added Kevin Bacon!
Source: LA Times

More X-Men: First Class Pics Arrive

It’s a big week for news and pictures from the latest mutant adventure, X-Men: First Class. On Monday, the first picture of the cast in costume leaked online (and has since been replaced with the official, high-res version) and now, thanks to the LA Times, we have new images of the film, a first look at Kevin Bacon’s villain and some quotes from those involved.

Talking to the paper’s Geoff Boucher, director Matthew Vaughn revealed that he was still knee-deep in the hectic shoot for the movie, admitting that filming a big-budget studio picture with a ticking clock is very different from the world he comes from. “I’ve never worked under such time pressure. The good thing about the independent world is I never even knew if I was going to get distribution. I’m used to finishing a film and then crossing your fingers that someone is going to like it. This is totally doing it the other way around. We’ve definitely got a release date and we’ve got to make it.”

First Class tackles the origin story of Bryan Singer’s X-Men film world, warping back to the 1960s to show how the rivalry between Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) first sparked up.

There’s pressure on the cast, too, with McAvoy talking up the challenge of slipping into Patrick Stewart’s shoes as Xavier. “This isn’t a reboot, so I’m not replacing anyone, in which case you might want to try to be as different as possible and stay away from what had been done before,” McAvoy says. “This is a prequel, so I’m the same character, just younger, but the challenge for me – and for Michael — is to show the same person in a different place in their life; to show someone before they’re this bad guy, before they’re this saint. Charles wasn’t always a monk, this selfless, sexless monk that he becomes.”

And even Singer acknowledges that Vaughn has quite a task ahead of him. “The biggest challenge is introducing an audience to these characters in a different time – characters the audience is familiar with but now see played by younger actors and in a story taking place in a different time. We have to establish this universe. We had the challenge with the first X-Men film, which came at a time when there were no comic-book movies of this sort and no template to launch from and yet you’ve got to do that. You have to put your characters out there and introduce them to a quizzical public that sort of recognizes them. But that very thing is the exciting part of it.”

There’s more at the paper’s Hero Complex blog, so check it out. And take a look at the new pictures in our gallery below, including the first glimpse of Kevin Bacon as baddie Sebastian Shaw. Plus, via Ain't It Cool, the first teaser poster is also now in there.

UPDATE: SlashFilm have another couple of images, showing Erik Lehnsherr and Charles Xavier in action, manipulating metal and minds. Check them out below.

X-Men: First Class lands on June 2.

Source: EmpireOnline