Entries Filed Under "Movies"

August 11, 2010

Comic-Con 2010 Day 1 – part 2

Filed under Celebrity, Movies, Travel

I found out the Flynn’s Arcade would not open until after 1, so I went back to the convention center for a bit.

It is amazing how many costumed cute girls there are at Comic-Con. It may be the best people watching ever.



Fox promoted the October 26th Alien Anthology Blu-ray release with a working(?) hibernation chamber from the Nostromo (from the original Alien).



Lucasfilm had 30 slave Leia’s on display…always a crowd favorite.



Ran into my pal Mary Franklin at the booth…the only time I see her now because she is always traveling.



Impressive Iron Man costume…not so impressive Black Widow.


Big ads are everywhere around the convention center. Movie Battle:Los Angeles and video game Red Faction: Armageddon below.



Scott Pilgram vs. the World


To get into Flynn’s Arcade, you had to wait in line for a ticket…



Yes! Got a ticket!


…which lets you wait in line to get in.P1030519

Once inside, I was given a bunch of token with logos from various TRON video games.



I figured you would use the tokens to play the games in the arcade…nope. All the games were on free play (and super easy mode). The vending machine was giving out free Cokes, too.

The place was loaded with games from the early 80’s…

P1030526 P1030525 P1030535 P1030533 


I got first place on Ms Pac-Man.


There were a few “Space Paranoid” games (from the original TRON). Play Space Paranoid online here.



There were some Xbox 360’s, PS3’s and Wii’s showing off upcoming TRON: Legacy video games.

P1030550 P1030546 P1030520


I heard there were going to be clues inside to something special. I noticed many of the neon signs were partially lit so I took many photos just in case I needed to recall which letters were lit. They did an excellent job of decorating this place (which is only temporary…completely cleared out after Comic-Con).

P1030568 P1030563 P1030562 P1030561 P1030560 P1030559 P1030556 P1030555 P1030554 P1030552 P1030544


One video game wasn’t playable…



The TRON game eventually slid over to reveal a walkway to Flynn’s lab.

P1030539  P1030569


And a digitizer…facing the desk? Seems like that might be a problem.


Here is the digitizer in action.

After the gun fired off, we walked down a hallway to enter the world of TRON - The “End of Line” Club. It was amazing…best moment of Comic-Con.

A bunch of videos of the bar to help capture the moment

The music by Daft Punk was so powerful. I’m definitely picking up the soundtrack as soon as it comes out (heard November).

A light cycle suit mannequin on display.


The real/live TRON girl was stunning. She actually lit up!



I had to get a photo with her.


How do you cap an experience like that?

Watch the late night screening of “Mega Piranha” hosted by 80’s pop princess Tiffany and my geek crush Felicia Day.


Mega Piranha is a mockbuster by The Asylum of the upcoming movie Piranha 3-D. It was bad, and not “so-bad-it-is-funny-bad”…just sleep-inducing bad.

August 10, 2010

Comic-Con 2010 Day 1 – part 1

Filed under Gadgets, Movies, Video Games, Xbox 360

I went to my first Comic-Con this year and had a really good time. Comic-Con is HUGE…over 140,000 people this year. Getting a ticket is tough. All passes were sold out in November 2009 (9 months before the show!). Luckily, I’m considered a “professional” and got a free pass just 2 months before Comic-Con.


I am not into comic books, so I was not sure how much there would be that interested me.

I arrived on Friday morning. On my way to the convention center, I noticed all the gas lamps in the Gaslamp Quarter were decorated with TRON posters for the new movie.

IMAG0034I am a big fan of TRON. If there was one thing I wanted to see at Comic-Con, it would be anything TRON related.

And look what I happen to walk past on the way to the convention center…

IMAG0035 Flynn’s Arcade!

I asked the people in line what was happening. “Press event.” Dang! I really wanted to see what was inside.

I continued to the convention center and saw the “Black Beauty” from the upcoming movie “The Green Hornet.”



Once inside, I saw a huge “recognizer” from a distance. First stop: find out what is going on with TRON.P1030480 There were were a couple dressed up in TRON garb working the booth.


They were giving away a light cycle toy if you waited in line. I decided to pass on that one due to line length.

There are going to be a TON of product tie-ins with this movie. Some of the products were on display. I may have to get the Xbox 360 controller.

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They also had the Lightcycle from last year’s Comic-Con on display.

P1030491 P1030490

I asked about access to Flynn’s Arcade. I was told Flynn’s Arcade would be open to the public after lunch. You could get tickets later in the day at the booth, or just go to the Flynn’s Arcade directly.

Some neat new Star Wars Lego kits coming out.


Slave 1 with frozen Han Solo


TIE Defender


Imperial Shuttle

I stopped by the Xbox 360 setup at the Hard Rock Hotel so I could try out Kinect.


I tried out “Dance Central” in front of a group of people. It was fun, but you can’t help but feel like a big dork…especially as you learn the moves. I’m definitely getting this when it comes out.

Here is a clip I took of a guy playing Dance Central. There is a kid that is running around and it doesn’t mess up the tracking.

P1030496 The other game that really stood out was LIMBO. It looks like no other game I’ve seen. I picked it up as soon as I got home and have already finished it. Read my review here.

Next up: Heading to Flynn’s Arcade.

December 31, 2009

3D in Theaters

Filed under 3D, Gadgets, Movies

RealD Home Page Sample_BL_2008-10-06

Dolby_3D_logo logo

There are multiple ways to do 3D in movie theaters. My favorite is RealD because of the image quality and the potential of getting normal sunglasses that work in a theater. I saw Avatar in both RealD and Dolby 3D and could not tell a difference…both looked great.

Here’s a table to help keep it straight:


Company Technology # of Theaters Cost of Glasses Can tilt head Notes
RealD Circular Polarization (passive) 5,000 $0.65 Yes
  • Polarized light reduce image brightness
  • Requires special silver screen to maintain polarized light and reflect more light to make up for brightness loss during polarization
  • Projector must be brighter than normal to address light loss during polarization
  • Silver screen has more narrow viewing angle and issues with over-saturation in the center of the screen (NOTE: 2D movies may not look as good in 3D equipped theaters)
  • Can get prescription glasses and sun glasses with circular polarization so you can wear your own glasses during movie/outside of theater
  • Theater locator
Dolby 3D Color Filter (passive) 2,200 $28 Yes
  • Works with normal screen,  normal brightness
  • Glasses can’t be used outside of theater
  • Theater locator
XpanD LCD Shutter (active) 2,000 $50 Yes
  • If something blocks the sensor on the glasses, the shutter stops
  • I notice the flicker of the shutter glasses and get eye fatigue
  • Glasses use batteries
  • Glasses can’t be used outside of theater
  • Theater locator

IMAX 3D uses either linear polarization (which means you *cannot* tilt your head), or LCD shutter glasses, depending on theater.

My biggest issues are…

  1. Letting you tilt your head during a movie
  2. Headaches from LCD shutter glasses

For now, I’m avoiding XpandD and IMAX 3D for 3D movies.

Much of this info is from this article.

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December 3, 2009

Up in the Air

Filed under Movies, Reviews


Just got out of a screening of “Up in the Air.”

My take: Hits close to home. Thoroughly enjoyable. Must-see.

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October 20, 2009

Scariest Movie I’ve Ever Seen: Paranormal Activity

Filed under Movies, Reviews


Just got out of a screening of Paranormal Activity.

*This* is the movie to see to get your scary movie fix for Halloween. This movie really got me…and the main reason is that it all seems so real.

Highly recommended!

September 13, 2009

Star Tours II

Filed under 3D, Movies, Work

Coming to a Disney theme park near you in 2011, the sequel to Star Tours.

Video is here.

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August 19, 2009

3D Movie List

Filed under 3D, Movies


I spent some time searching for a list of the “new generation” 3D movies (movies made for RealD or Dolby 3D). I never found a comprehensive list, so I made my own.

If you have any additions or corrections…please post in the comments and I will update this list.


  1. Chicken Little
  2. The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D


  1. The Ant Bully
  2. The Nightmare Before Christmas (reissued annually)
  3. Monster House


  1. Meet the Robinsons
  2. Beowulf


  1. U2 3D
  2. Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert
  3. Journey to the Center of the Earth
  4. Bolt
  5. Fly Me to the Moon


  1. Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience
  2. My Bloody Valentine 3-D
  3. G-Force
  4. Up
  5. Coraline
  6. Final Destination 4
  7. Monsters vs. Aliens
  8. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
  9. Avatar
  10. A Christmas Carol
  11. Toy Story
  12. Toy Story 2
  13. Michael Jackson: This Is It
  14. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
  15. X Games 3D: The Movie


  1. How to Train Your Dragon
  2. Alice in Wonderland
  3. Shrek Forever After
  4. Oobermind
  5. Toy Story 3
  6. Beauty and the Beast
  7. Tron Legacy
  8. Rapunzel
  9. The Gate
  10. Resident Evil: Afterlife
  11. The Hole
  12. Piranha 3D
  13. Humpty Dumpty


  1. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
  2. Tintin 2
  3. Frankenweenie
  4. Battle Angel
  5. Cars 2
  6. The Bear and the Bow
  7. Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom
  8. The Guardians
  9. Happy Feet 2 in 3D
  10. Rio

2012 and Beyond

  1. Monsters, Inc. 2
  2. Truckers
  3. Super Secret Ghost Project
  4. Madagascar 3
  5. Crood Awakening
  6. Tintin 3
  7. Puss in Boots: The Story of an Ogre Killer
  8. Newt
  9. King of the Elves
  10. Star Wars
  11. Empire Strikes Back
  12. Return of the Jedi
  13. The Phantom Menace
  14. Attack of the Clones
  15. Revenge of the Sith
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August 16, 2009

SIGGRAPH: Stereoscopic 3D

Filed under 3D, Gadgets, HDTV, Movies, SIGGRAPH


Stereoscopic 3D (S-3D) was big at SIGGRAPH this year and left me thoroughly impressed. For me, it was the biggest news of SIGGRAPH 2009.

What is S-3D? S-3D creates the illusion of depth, like you would see with a View-Master. Instead of a single image, each eye has a unique perspective of the image.

Why is S-3D hot all the sudden?

Hollywood has taken notice of the increased revenue, and it shows. There is a surge in the number of 3D movies coming out.

There are many ways you can see S-3D. Two technologies that standout as the best:

RealD has most of the market currently. I don’t have any stats, but I believe I heard in the SIGGRAPH panel that over 1,000 theaters are RealD-capable now and they have more than 90% of the market for 3D cinema. To use RealD, theaters need a special silver screen to reflect more light and keep the light polarized. They also need a RealD filter device in front of the projector to polarize frames for the left eye and right eye. The glasses are cheap to produce and can be recycled or replaced.

Dolby 3D uses color filters instead of polarizing light. Each eye can only see certain colors, but amazingly appears as a full color image. Dolby 3D uses a standard white screen. A big advantage is there is no special screen to buy and thus 2D movies are not impacted by a theater’s move to 3D-capable. I’m not sure how a 2D movie looks on RealD’s silver screen, but I’ve been told it does look different than using a standard white screen. The Dolby 3D glasses are not cheap like the RealD glasses, and theaters must be careful not to lose the glasses.

I’ve seen both RealD and Dolby3D and I can’t pick a winner…both look really good.

Movies are obvious candidates for S-3D…but I saw other forms of entertainment that *really* shine in 3D. In the SIGGRAPH panel, I watched a demo reel from 3ality Digital that showed scenes from an NFL game, an NBA game, and a U2 concert. Seeing a live event in 3D is *very* compelling.

Two scenes stood out in my head:

  1. A running back trying to break through a wall of linemen and eventually forced out of bounds and into the 3D camera made the entire audience react as the running back kept getting closer to us. We had the same reaction as if we were standing there preparing to get hit.
  2. Watching the kicker kickoff. Seeing the ball from the opposite end zone is nearly impossible with the sea of people in the background…but in 3D, the ball popped out in front and was very clear, even though it was very small.

I can’t wait for movie theaters to start hosting NFL/NBA games in 3D…I’ll definitely shell out some cash to see that.

I’m a believer in 3D for movie theaters…I’ll definitely go see every movie in 3D that I can.

But what about in your home?

That is getting very interesting very quickly.

JVC had a 46 inch LCD on display at SIGGRAPH that uses the same technique as RealD…and it looked really good. The bad news: You lose half your resolution because each frame contains the left and right images instead of just a single image. That means you *cannot* do 1080p currently in 3D.

However, HDMI 1.4 fixes this with its “3D over HDMI” feature.

Panasonic should have a 3D-capable set by next year. Sony has not made a 3D  announcement yet, but was very active in the SIGGRAPH panel…so you can draw your own conclusions.

So you get a Blu-ray player and TV that supports HDMI 1.4…what about 3D content? There is *no* standard for 3D yet…so anything you buy now may be worthless when a standard is decided.

My advice for 3D in the home: wait. It is coming, but it looks like it is still a few years away.

As soon as 3D for the home is standardized…I’m jumping in…I’m hooked on this stuff.

The SIGGRAPH panel left some good websites to follow for information on this topic:

Finally…an IMDb Movie Credit!

Filed under Movies, Web

I submitted this well before the movie came out. Nothing happened. I tried submitting a second time and this one finally took.

I’m now listed in the full credits for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on IMDb, under “Visual Effects.”


They also added Harry Potter to my IMDb page. Now I have a movie credit and a video game credit (for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed).



My STARmeter has fallen 42%…I need more people to visit my IMDb page…help me out!

July 14, 2009

My First Movie Credit

Filed under Movies, Work


I saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince today. It is easily the best Harry Potter movie.

I knew my name was submitted for a credit...but you don't know if you actually *are* in the credits until you see the film.

I watched the film today...and I *am* in the credits!

The first large break in the credits (about a full screen) occurs just before the "Industrial Light & Magic"-section. I'm in the "Research & Development" group at ILM. There are only 2 people from R&D in the credits: myself and Max Chen. We are under the title "Technical Support." My name is in the center column, last row.

I'm thrilled to have a movie credit...and on a really good movie, no less.

June 8, 2009

Must See Movies!

Filed under Movies, Reviews

So far this year, I have three movies on my “must see” list.


I saw “The Hangover” on Friday. I *really* enjoyed this movie…it doesn’t get any funnier than this. I’ve already started quoting this movie…and you should too. Drop what you are doing and go see this now!



Last weekend, I saw “Drag Me to Hell.” The ads make it look like a cheesy horror flick…but this movie is much better than that. It is actually very funny. The last time I experienced anything like this was when I saw Evil Dead 2 for the first time. That shouldn’t be a surprise since they are both by Sam Raimi.

imageStar Trek has a lot to like: visual effects (by ILM!), great dialog, acting, interesting story, and hot green chicks. Yesterday, Star Trek passed Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home as the 2nd top grossing Star Trek film (in adjusted dollars). It will likely take the top position ($18 million to go) from Star Trek: The Motion Picture soon.


May 21, 2009

IMDb Credit

Filed under Celebrity, Movies, Video Games, Web

I’m pretty excited about this. I’ve always thought IMDb (Internet Movie Database) was pretty cool.

And now *I* am on it! My IMDb credit is online.


I got this credit for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (a video game).

I should have another credit soon for a movie coming out in July.

April 10, 2009

David vs. David: Blu-Ray/DVD Taste Test

Filed under Gadgets, HDTV, Movies, Work


First, some background.

I showed David Bullock, a buddy of mine from work, a blog post I did about HD-DVD vs. DVD and how the difference for a typical TV size and viewing distance is not as obvious as you would think.

We got in several “discussions” about the topic. DavidB thought it would be easy to tell the difference between Blu-ray and DVD. I claimed it would be difficult.

Who would be right?

Arguing got us no where. We decided to settle this like they did in the Pepsi Challenge: a “Blu-Ray/DVD Taste Test.”

The loser of the test has to take the winner out for dinner at a restaurant of their choosing.

The taste test had the following rules:

  • 10 popular movies of David Lenihan’s choosing
  • Play a scene of David Lenihan’s choosing
  • May be all DVD, all Blu-ray, or a mix
  • Played in random order
  • No replaying
  • No pausing
  • Played on a PlayStation 3 connected to a Sony XBR3 46” LCD via HDMI
  • TV/PS3 running at 1080p
  • Tuned with Blu-ray Digital Video Essentials
  • 1:1 Pixel Mapping for Blu-ray content
  • Test subjects cannot watch video setup or when video stops
  • Viewing distance of 6ft or more
  • Scoring is as follows:
    • 1 point for each movie identified correctly as Blu-ray or DVD
    • -1 point for each movie incorrectly identified
    • 0 points for blank answer

I invited people from work to join in the fun.


From left to right: CharlieK, Ed, DavidB, Shelly, Greg, An, and Ted.

Here are the movies I showed:

  1. Death Proof - DVD
  2. Matrix – DVD
  3. Dark City – DVD
  4. Pixar’s Lifted – Blu-Ray
  5. Reservoir Dogs – Blu-Ray
  6. Close Encounters of the Third Kind – Blu-Ray
  7. Sleeping Beauty – Blu-Ray
  8. Terminator 2 – Blu-Ray
  9. Blade Runner – DVD
  10. Sin City – DVD

I had everybody predict what their score would be on the scorecard.

Here are the results (click on the names to see the actual scorecard)…

Place Name Predicted Score Actual Score
1. Greg 5 6
2. (tie) An (left blank) 0
2. (tie) Shelly 5 0
4. (tie) DavidB 6 -1
4. (tie) Ed 3 -1
6. CharlieK 2 -2
7. Ted 6 -3


Some interesting results:

  • Everyone picked Lifted as Blu-ray, and it was
  • Everyone picked Sin City as Blu-ray, but it was DVD
  • A score of zero is what you would expect if someone guessed on every movie. Only Greg beat the guessing score.
  • Ted did 9 points worse than he predicted, the biggest disparity
  • Greg was the only person that did better than they predicted, by 1 point
  • The average score was –0.14, which is worse than the guessing average

So where should I have David take me to dinner? Post your suggestions in the comments.

This was a lot of fun…thanks to my buds from work for coming out and being great sports!

January 6, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

Filed under Movies, Reviews


Slumdog Millionaire is the best movie I’ve seen in the past year.

The story, location, style, action, intensity, surprises, music, and the Bollywood dance number make this a must-see.

I especially like that this movie was filmed in India, because I was just there a year ago.

There is *nothing* Hollywood about this movie…a refreshing change.

Go see this…you will love it!

November 7, 2008

Fett's Vette

Filed under Movies, Music, Reviews

I saw "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" last night. I loved it...very raunchy and funny.

The soundtrack is great...I preordered it from Amazon. My favorite song: Fett's Vette...


September 14, 2008

Burn After Reading

Filed under Movies, Reviews


I saw "Burn After Reading" today. It is a new movie by the Coen brothers and it is amazing!

I loved it.

*This* is why I love to see movies. I knew nothing about this movie except the Coen brothers were involved and I usually like what they do. I had no idea where this movie was going and I loved all the surprises along the way. I had a smile on my face for most of the movie.

This is the best movie I've seen in almost a year. Check it out!


July 26, 2008


Filed under 3D, Movies

Disney unveiled a teaser for TR2N, the sequel to TRON, at Comic-Con

on Thursday.

Above is a poor quality bootleg video...but it gets the idea across.

For a play-by-play description of what we are seeing, check this out.

I *really* want to see this.


July 21, 2008

King of Kong

Filed under Movies, Reviews

image I saw "King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters" tonight.

This is one of the best documentaries I've seen! Two thumbs *way* up!

The premise will scare most people away: it follows two men fighting for the Guinness word record high score on Donkey Kong.

What an amazing film! I won't spoil it...but I will say it is hard to not get emotionally involved.

Highly recommended...even if you don't like video games.

The screening tonight had the director, Seth Gordon, and one of the contestants, Steve Wiebe on hand to do a Q&A session afterwards.

Even the Q&A session was amazing! Somebody in the audience was obviously a Billy Mitchell (the other contestant) supporter and tried to take over the Q&A session with pro-Billy propaganda! The director had to stop the man from asking questions and move on to other people that didn't have an agenda! It was tense!

Afterwards, I met Steve Wiebe and took a picture with him. He's hard not to like after watching this film.

David and Steve Wiebe - Donkey Kong World Record Holder

Seth Gordon announced he is working on a new film with Vince Vaughn (Steve Wiebe also has a role) called Four Christmases coming out November 26, 2008.

King of Kong is available on DVD. It can be rented at Blockbuster or Netflix. Check it out!

July 9, 2008

Cinematographer Style

Filed under Movies, Reviews

Tonight I watched a screening of the documentary Cinematographer Style hosted by director/cinematographer Jon Fauer.

The film covers 110 cinematographers talking about their craft.

After watching this film, I have a better understanding of the role of  cinematographers and the issues they face.

Anybody interested in how films are made will appreciate this.

Should be available on DVD soon.

June 28, 2008


Filed under Movies, Reviews

imageI saw WALL-E last night.

I really liked it...and I am not alone. It currently has a 96% tomatometer score, which is really good. For comparison, Iron Man (my favorite of the summer), has a score of 93%.

This movie has a different feel than previous Pixar films. The main characters don't talk, so communication via expression is the focus...and it works.

Ben Burtt (responsible for R2-D2's chirps, light saber sounds, Darth Vader's breathing, among others) did the sounds of the robots in WALL-E. The sound is one of the reasons I really liked the film.

Sigourney Weaver gets a chance to see other side...she is the voice of the ship's computer and gets to do the "this ship will self destruct in 5 minutes" line.

The movie opens with an animated short called "Presto". It was fun...one of the better shorts. It reminded me of PDI's Gabola The Great from 1997.

So where does this fit in with Pixar's other 8 films? I put it in the top half along with The Incredibles, Monster's Inc. and Toy Story...which means it is a *very* good film.


June 14, 2008

The Happening

Filed under Movies, Reviews

imageI saw The Happening tonight.

I went in with low expectations based on what I read on rottentomatoes.

I also already knew the plot and had seen most of the special effects (ILM did several).

I still wanted to see it.

When the movie was over, I actually heard several people booing.

However...I actually liked the movie (I think I was the only one).

It is *very* creepy, which is what I liked most about it.

The movie reminds me of Night of the Living Dead.

The acting is bad, but it fits in with a B-grade horror movie. It's debatable whether the bad acting is by design or it is just bad acting. I want to believe it's the former.

The *previews* were really good. I saw previews for several movies that look interesting that I didn't know about:


June 2, 2008

Blu-ray Player/PLAYSTATION 3

Filed under Gadgets, HDTV, Movies, Video Games, Xbox 360


I made the plunge yesterday and picked up a PS3 to use as a Blu-ray player. From what I've read, it is the best player out there and it is relatively cheap ($400).

There are some things I really about the PS3 when compared to an Xbox 360:

  • Quiet operation! I don't notice the PS3 at all...and that is my #1 issue with the 360.
  • Web browser...I can watch glorious 320x240 youtube videos stretched out on my HDTV
  • Slot loading drive...no tray
  • Solid unit...360 feels cheap in comparison
  • No power brick like the 360 has...just a cable to the wall outlet

I picked up the remote for the PS3 and figured I would use it to program my universal remote.

But you can't do that.

The PS3 does not have an IR port...it does its communications via bluetooth!

The cool thing about bluetooth is you don't have to do line-of-sight like you do with IR...which is nice.

The *bad* thing about bluetooth is...no other universal remote can send out those signals! So now I'm stuck with two remotes....grrrrr!

Help is on the way, though. There is a product called IR2BT that will take IR codes from your universal remote and convert them into bluetooth signals that the PS3 can understand! The product is out of stock, but I'm getting one as soon as they are available.

Now that the format war is over, I am switching to Blu-ray as my primary format. I picked up several discs this weekend including:

I am going to continue to use my 360 for gaming. The PS3 doesn't have anything that I'm really interested in with their current line-up.

In October, Little Big Planet comes out for the PS3 exclusively...and I *will* get that. It looks amazing...

May 23, 2008

Iron Man Trailer to become a Movie?!?! Say it isn't so!

Filed under Funny, Movies

Gotta love The Onion!

Wildly Popular 'Iron Man' Trailer To Be Adapted Into Full-Length Film


May 3, 2008

Ironman Review

Filed under Movies, Reviews

imageIronman is awesome!

One of the best comic book movies ever made...up there with the original Superman and Spiderman movies.

Some of my favorite parts were the dialog between Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow. Robert has a great screen presence and is the reason this movie works. I think the focus on the characters will attract a broader audience than most comic book movies.

The end credits had a really cool effect...definitely worth checking out.

...and the special effects weren't shabby, either. :)

Look for a cameo appearance by Ironman/Robert Downey Jr. in The Incredible Hulk June 13th.


February 15, 2008

New Indiana Jones Trailer

Filed under Movies


It came out today...the first trailer for "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."

You really need to see it on the big screen for the full effect...but here it is in case you haven't seen it yet.

I was already excited about it...but you get goose bumps when you hear the classic Indy music and see the Fedora hat. Can't wait for May 22!


February 13, 2008

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Filed under 3D, Animation, Movies, Work


Wow! Some interesting news dropped today.

Lucasfilm Animation's first project, The Clone Wars, is going to be released as a movie August 15th followed by a TV series on The Cartoon Network and TNT. More details here.

The trailer is here.

January 27, 2008


Filed under Movies, Reviews


Wow! The last three movies I've seen have been great (Ok, I'm not counting this one).

I saw Juno last night and loved it. For those counting at home, the other two are this one and this one.

This is a funny movie...and the dialog is fast and furious. Juno is what I imagine Sarah Silverman (I love her) would be like if she got knocked up in high school.

This movie is about high school kids and teen pregnancy. It doesn't seem like a movie that I would like...but I loved it.

Go see this movie!

The Oscar nominated screenplay was written by former stripper and phone sex operator Diablo Cody. You can tell Juno gets a lot of her character from Diablo.


Check her out on a recent Letterman appearance concerning Juno:


Here is an earlier Diablo Cody Letterman appearance where she talks about being a stripper:

January 22, 2008

I Feel Another Oscar Coming...

Filed under 3D, Animation, Movies

imageNominations for the Academy Awards were announced today. Ceremonies are Sunday, February 24.

In the Best Achievement in Visual Effects category, ILM has two of the three nominees: Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.

The other nominee is The Golden Compass.

ILM has won 15 previous Oscars for visual effects, including last year's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men's Chest.

I will be *shocked* if Transformers doesn't win. The effects amazed me, and that doesn't happen very often anymore.

Good luck Scott!

January 18, 2008


Filed under Movies, Reviews

image Stop reading this and go see Cloverfield now.


I'm not kidding.

This is a fun monster movie...and the less you know, the better it is. It may be the perfect monster movie. I *really* liked it.


I got to see a special screening of this film earlier this week. The movie is like a cross between Godzilla and The Blair Witch Project...except much better than either one.

Since the movie is filmed from a video camera held by one of the characters (like Blair Witch)....expect a bumpy ride. There is a lot of running and spinning. A security guard said 16 people ran to the lobby to vomit during the movie. A friend of mine had to get up and leave because he was nauseated. All the people came back to finish watching, though. It is recommended you sit further back in the theater to lessen the impact (or closer if you want the ultimate experience!). I didn't have any problems with it, and I sat about 6 rows from the front.

Oh! And make sure you see this in a theater with good sound...it makes a huge difference! The sound is really well done (props to Skywalker Sound!) and will make you feel like you are there if you go to a good theater.

Here is the teaser (which is essentially the first 5 minutes of the movie):


January 12, 2008

No Country For Old Men

Filed under Movies, Reviews

No_Country_for_Old_Men_posterI went to a screening of No Country For Old Men a couple of days ago.

This is the best movie I've seen in the past year.

It's a Coen Brothers film, so it is quirky and original. I liken it to Fargo in Texas.

I grew up in West Texas, so I enjoyed this movie on another level. The accents, people and locations were very familiar to me.

The main hitman in the film may bump  Hannibal Lecter off the top spot for creepiest villain.

This is a great film...a must-see.

January 5, 2008

1/2 Scale X-Wing Actually Flies

Filed under Funny, Movies

Here is a video clip of the X-Wing taking off...

No surprise that conspiracy theories abound for what went wrong. This one is probably the closest to the truth...

December 11, 2007

New Indiana Jones Movie Poster

Filed under Movies


Here is the first movie poster for the new Indiana Jones movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull.

You can get t-shirts here (I already have mine!).

How does Harrison (who is 65) look? Pretty good (from indianajones.com)...


The movie comes out May 22, 2008.

December 5, 2007

New THX Trailer: Amazing Life

Filed under Movies


I found the new THX trailer called "Amazing Life" online here. This was shown before Blade Runner: The Final Cut that I saw earlier this week. Some more information about Amazing Life's creation is here.

Crank it up!

December 4, 2007

Blade Runner: The Final Cut

Filed under Movies, Reviews

image I went to a special screening of "Blade Runner: The Final Cut" yesterday. This version commemorates the 25th anniversary of Blade Runner.

The previous "director's cut" actually did not involve the director Ridley Scott...but this one does.

This is the best revised movie I've ever seen. The differences are subtle, but make the movie better. The differences I noticed were more violent/intense scenes and additional/fixed dialog. Here is a complete list of the changes.

The presentation is spot on. The color pops. The music (by Vangelis) sounds amazing.

It didn't hurt that I saw the all digital version in a THX theater.

The movie started with a new THX trailer. It features an odd mixture of mechanical plants that emit different tones that eventually becomes "deep note." It got applause like the early days of THX trailers.

Blade Runner: The Final Cut is coming to DVD, HD-DVD, and Blu-ray Dec. 18th.

November 7, 2007

The Pixar Story

Filed under 3D, Animation, Movies, Reviews

image I saw "The Pixar Story" today. It is a documentary following the creation of Pixar and the people behind it.

The director, Leslie Iwerks, did a Q&A session after the screening. Leslie's grandfather, Ub Iwerks, is the creator of Mickey Mouse.

I loved this film because I could relate to so much of it. Many of the movie events chronicled in this film made me want a career in computer graphics.

This is a great film...go see it if you get the chance or rent it when it comes to DVD.


October 30, 2007

Transformers: Michael Bay vs. Megatron

Filed under Movies


During the final fight between Optimus Prime and Megatron, the two fall to the Earth after using buildings to help brace their fall. When Megatron starts to get up, he flicks a human into a car and says "Disgusting." The human flies across the screen, hits a car and yells in pain.

According to the director's commentary on the HD-DVD version of Transformers, that "disgusting" human is the director Michael Bay (time 2:07:30).

October 11, 2007

More Turkish Movies!

Filed under Funny, Movies

Turkish Star Wars is just the beginning! Other Turkish classics include...


Turkish Rambo


Turkish E.T.


Turkish Star Trek


Turkish Superman


October 9, 2007

Star Wars: Turkish Edition

Filed under Funny, Movies

For your viewing pleasure, I present the final scene from "Turkish Star Wars."

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September 26, 2007

iPod classic 160 GB

Filed under Gadgets, Movies, Music, Travel, Video Games


I'm going to spend quite a bit of time on an airplane soon, so I wanted to find something to keep me entertained.

I initially thought about getting a Dell XPS M1330 laptop. I was actually one click away from buying it today when I realized the ship date was after the bulk of much of my traveling.

I'm actually glad I didn't get the laptop. I don't travel very often, so the laptop would probably sit unused most of the time.

So the next best thing...an iPod. What I like about the iPod over the laptop...

  • Much cheaper ($350 vs. $2,500)
  • Much better battery life (7 hours vs 3 hours for watching movies)
  • Much smaller (can fit in my jacket pocket)
  • Much lighter
  • Fast charging (about 2 hours for 80% capacity)
  • Less concern about theft
  • Should arrive next week

I figure I will load it up with...

  • Season 5 and 6 of 24 (from iTunes)
  • Several seasons of South Park (from iTunes)
  • A few movies I haven't seen (from iTunes)
  • Some audio books (from iTunes)
  • The 3 video games iTunes has (Ms. Pacman, Tetris, and Sudoko)
  • My music collection

Putting everything on the iPod means I don't have to worry about bringing a bunch of DVD's with me.

I decided on the 160GB over the 80GB because of battery life...the 160GB can do 7 hours of video watching on a charge verses only 5 hours on the 80GB.

There are two color choices, black or white. I went with black.

Any suggestions for good audio books, TV, or movies available on iTunes are welcome!

September 24, 2007

Scene It? Xbox 360 Edition

Filed under Movies, Video Games, Xbox 360

I'm a big fan of the DVD board game Scene It?. I found out that Scene It? is coming to Xbox 360.


But what is more interesting are the 4 wireless controllers that come with it...The Big Button Pads.

The 4 colors make it obvious which player you are. The big button makes buzzing in simple.

A controller with a big button doesn't seem very useful beyond trivia games...but there's more going on here.

The big button is actually a 4 way direction pad. Since this controller is wireless, you can rotate it so that you have the A, B, X, Y buttons on your left or right...an ambidextrous game pad.

I bet this controller will be used for the simpler games available on Xbox Live Arcade that don't use the shoulder buttons, triggers, or 2 joysticks. It should make the 360 more approachable for the less hardcore gaming crowd.

September 18, 2007

My First Credit

Filed under Movies, Work


Check out the October 2007 (Issue 111) of Cinefex (a magazine about movie special effects).

On page 72, I got my first credit!


August 19, 2007


Filed under Movies, Not Safe for Work (NSFW), Reviews

This preview is not safe for work (R-rated)...

I saw Superbad today. Very funny and crude...but highly recommended!

June 30, 2007

Opening Day: Ratatouille

Filed under Movies, Reviews


I saw the new Pixar movie Ratatouille tonight.

Visually, the movie is stunning. The animation is just fun to watch.

The villain (a food critic) in the film is so well done (Peter O'Toole does the voice).

This is a great film. I certainly liked it better than Cars...but not as much as The Incredibles.

The movie opens with a very funny short called Lifted about an alien taking his "abduction" exam.

Ratatouille and Transformers are the movies to see this summer.

May 28, 2007

Star Wars Convention

Filed under Celebrity, Events, Family, Movies

I went to my first Star Wars convention this weekend...Star Wars Celebration IV.

This convention celebrates the 30th anniversary of the original release of Star Wars on May 25th, 1977.

As a Lucasfilm employee, I got a 40% discount on our tickets...with single day tickets costing $45 without the discount.

Here is the schedule for Saturday.

It was held in the Los Angeles Convention Center over 5 days. I brought my cousins Anne and Michael with me and forced them to wear Star Wars shirts.

I used to think *I* was a big nerd...but not anymore! I seem quite normal in comparison to the people at the convention. 

I took a bunch of pictures...check 'em out here.


May 16, 2007

Episode III: The Backstroke of the West

Filed under Funny, Movies

star wars iii: backstroke of the west

This is...interesting. It is the Chinese DVD version of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, with the English subtitles on. Call me crazy...but I actually prefer this version.


May 10, 2007


Filed under Movies

The new trailer is out for Ratatouille...a new Pixar movie by Brad Bird (Incredibles, Iron Giant, Amazing Stories: Family Dog). The previews look great. Even with everybody firmly entrenched on the 3D animation bandwagon, somehow Pixar is able to stand out. Their stuff is just beautiful to watch.

This is the summer movie I am most anxious to see. It comes out June 29.

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April 8, 2007


Filed under Movies, Reviews

I saw the new movie "Grindhouse" yesterday.

The film has an unusual layout. It is actually two completely different movies with fake previews before each feature. Total running time is 3 hours, 10 minutes.

"Planet Terror" is a zombie movie and "Death Proof" is a psycho-on-a-killing-rampage movie.

I *loved* this movie. This is Tarantino's best work since Pulp Fiction. Of the two features, I preferred Tarantino's "Death Proof" over Rodriguez's "Planet Terror."

Definitely not a film for everybody. It is the goriest movie I've ever seen...which is one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much. Watching with a crowd is a must...listening to the audience react to the over-the-top moments (there are several) is what makes this movie such a fun ride.

Part of the "charm" of this movie are the references to other shows. The characters talk about "tasty beverages" and "Big Kahuna Burgers" a la Pulp Fiction. There are some car chase scenes that are right out of the "Dukes of Hazard." The music at times was reminiscent of a John Carpenter horror flick.

The look of "Planet Terror" is intentionally very low-budget, however the special effects (by ILM neighbor, The Orphanage) were top-notch and gruesome.

The music was great...I ordered both CD's (1 for each movie) today.


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March 14, 2007

How to Know a Movie Sucks

Filed under Movies

I was watching Lost tonight and I saw an ad for "Premonition" with Sandra Bullock. The ad had a quote from a critic: "Four Stars!" I paused my HD TiVo to see what critic gave this movie 4 stars. Thanks to HDTV, I could easily make out the fine print. The quote was attributed to Earl Dittman from Wireless Magazine.

A quick google of Earl Dittman lead me to several articles about Earl the "quote whore." He is used to give bad movies good quotes. I also did a search for Wireless Magazine, and I don't think it even exists!

Consider yourself warned! If you ever see a movie that gets a good review from Earl Dittman... stay away! I love Sandra Bullock...but Earl Dittman apparently loves "Premonition", so it has to suck!

January 11, 2007


Filed under Movies, Reviews

I just finished watching Idiocracy. This is a *great* movie by the guy that did Office Space, Mike Judge.

Idiocracy was never promoted in theaters and only played in 7 cities. In Dallas, it was gone in less than 2 weeks, so I missed it. But it came out on DVD this week, and I grabbed it as quick as I could.

After seeing the film, I can understand why 20th Century Fox tried to bury this movie. It makes a lot of jokes at the expense of corporations (Fuddruckers, Starbucks, Carl's Jr. to name a few)...and those corporations buy a lot of advertising.

It is original, funny, and smart, in a dumb kind of way. It is one of the best movies I've seen in a while. Two thumbs way up!

November 3, 2006

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

Filed under Movies, Reviews

I saw Borat today. I laughed out loud more for this movie than any I can remember. Very funny stuff.

I know this is not for everyone. In fact, a very infamous naked man wrestling scene (responsible for the "graphic nudity" in its "R" rating) made one older woman run out of the theater in disgust...which just means this is a *great* film.

I will probably see this one again in the theaters...which I rarely do. I only buy DVD's that have high replay value, and this one certainly falls into that category...so I'll pick this one up when it inevitably comes out on DVD. 

Two thumbs way up! High Five!

August 15, 2006

Best Movie of The Summer

Filed under Movies, Reviews

 I *love* movies. However, this summer has been a disappointment. I haven't seen a summer movie that I *really* enjoyed...until tonight. The movie is called "Little Miss Sunshine." The title sounds like it is a chick flick, but it is not. I honestly thought it was going to be a girly movie and I was going to be bored out of my mind.

On the contrary, this is a very funny movie. It has the same feel as the movie "Sideways", but I liked this one better.

The movie is about a VW bus trip from New Mexico to Redondo Beach, CA for a kids beauty pageant. Don't let the plot scare you away...this is a good film.

Great dialog, great acting, and odd situations make this a fun movie.

This is a dark comedy. There are several uncomfortable moments that make you want to cringe and also make you laugh nervously (am I supposed to be laughing at this?).

Well done! Highly recommended.

May 20, 2006

My New Favorite Movie Theater

Filed under Movies, Reviews

I saw The DaVinci Code at the new AMC NorthPark 15. The theater opened two weeks ago. It is part of a massive expansion of NorthPark Center that makes it the largest mall in Texas and one of the 5 largest in the US.

You buy your tickets on the second floor. There are plenty of automated kiosks or you can use the antiquated human ticket sellers if you are old school. Once you have your tickets, you ride the escalator to the 3rd floor where the theaters and concessions are.

The 3rd floor has huge windows looking out onto the new 1.4 acre CenterPark in the center of the mall.

I have seen plenty of restrooms that have components of "the perfect restroom", but they never go far enough. I really like a restroom where I don't have to touch anything. The AMC NorthPark 15 is the first restroom that does it right. There are no doors to push open, just a winding hallway to the restroom. The urinals flush automagically (and they have dividers!). When you wash your hands, the water automagically turns on *AND* the soap is automagically dispensed (first time I've seen that before), nothing to touch! They use paper towels for drying your hands, which I prefer to the fans anyway. There you have it...the perfect restroom!

The theater I went in (#9) was ginormous. I have no idea what the dimensions are, but it is certainly one of the largest screens I've ever seen. I went in on the 3rd floor, but the 4th floor gives you access to the top of the theater. I like that all the seats are in the center (no seats next to the wall). The stairs run along the theater wall...which makes sense, you don't want to sit on the side and have people walking up and down the stairs in your way of viewing the screen. The seats have cup holders and the arm rests can be raised.

Besides the movie theater addition, NorthPark also added a food court, right next to the theater box office. Here is a list of all the restaurants and fast food places at the mall.

The DaVinci Code

Filed under Movies, Reviews

I saw The DaVinci Code yesterday on opening day. I read the book a few years ago and really liked it. The book was very entertaining and thought-provoking. I was excited to hear The DaVinci Code was going to be made into a Ron Howard movie starring Tom Hanks. Great story, great director, and great actor and you have a great movie, right?

Wrong! This movie is terrible! What a disappointment. I found myself bored and checking my watch several times. The movie is 2 and a half hours long, and it feels like it. I thought Tom Hank's acting was wooden and he had no personality...his character, Robert Langdon, never connects with the audience.

The one bright spot is Ian McKellen. He was fun to watch and delivers some of the most entertaining and controversial dialog in the movie.

As for the controversy surrounding the book and movie, I think it is a bit overblown. After I read the book, I felt compelled to learn more about how the Bible was created, and this is a good thing.

So don't let the controversial subject matter keep you from seeing this movie, just stay away because it isn't any good. I give it 2 out of 5 stars. Not a good start to the summer movie season.


About Movies

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to David's Blog in the Movies category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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