Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Catalog your books, movies, music, software, toys, tools, electronics, & video games.
Since I've been in transition, aka been laid-off and still looking, I've been telling myself to get all my books together and organize them. This bit of software looks like it might help! It's called Delicious Library 2. It says to hold up the book, DVD, or CD's barcode up to your computers webcam/iSight and then it'll post a virtual picture of that item on a virtual shelf. And then you can post notes to it like where it is or who you lent it to on what date. Interesting... but it costs $40.
The latest case of this is a claim by Robert Redford that legendary, Oscar-winning screenwriter William Goldman didn't actually write All The President's Men, Alan J. Pakula's multiple Oscar-winner starring Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, two Washington Post reporters who eventually blew the lid off the Watergate scandal.
In Michael Feeney Callan's new biography on Redford called Robert Redford: The Biography, Redford tells a story of how he and Pakula spent a month rewriting Goldman's script before shooting. Is he telling the truth? Another piece of investigative journalism says "No."
The Playlist  put all this information together a few weeks ago and we're just getting around to it now, so a big thanks to them.
The story goes like this. Vanity Fair ran an excerpt of Feeney Callan's books (which you can read here ) which speaks about how Goldman's first script was hated by all and Redford didn't think it could get made as is. Various people, including Bernstein himself, attempted rewrites and that pissed off Goldman, leading to a fractured friendship with Redford. And then - reportedly - this:
Redford booked rooms at the Madison Hotel, across from the [Washington] Post offices, for one month, and he and Pakula repaired there to re-draft the screenplay. About one-tenth of Goldman?s draft remained in the end. ?Bill gave the start point and the ending,? says Woodward, ?and those never changed.? Goldman would win an Academy Award for the script, but his participation was by now finished.
That makes it sound like Goldman won an undeserved award which, according to Richard Stayton, is not the case.
Stayton works for Written By magazine , a publication for Writers Guild of America members, and in their April/May 2011  issue he documents an extensive investigation into Redford's claims. Much like Woodward and Bernstein before him, Stayton looked at old drafts of the script, old articles about the movie, interviews and even talked Goldman himself - who preferred not to comment - and came up with what he believes to be a fact:
William Goldman was the sole author of All the President's Men. Period. End of paper trail.
Basically Stayton concludes that while most people hated Goldman's script and really wanted it changed, most of what he did ended up making it into the final film regardless of the horrors he had to endure.
For more on the claims and investigation, check out the Written By article here  (it begins on Page 2 in a column called Fade In) and once again thanks to The Playlist, as well as Go Into The Story , for the heads up.
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Film Socialisme Trailer
We all can point to examples of those in this industry who have lost their edge, their hunger, their passion to make a good film. For an actor, it's the lack of exuding the very thing that made us fall in love with them. For a director, it's the inability to make a good film.
Jean-Luc Godard doesn't seem to have that problem.
This trailer exudes the kind of confidence and starkness that you see in a movie like Breathless but it's the harnessing of the medium itself that not only is delightful it's impressive.
The presentation is so jarring and so stand-offish you wonder what it is you're actually being pitched. Is this a movie about a cruise ship or is it something else? The mixed media of both film and video, and some distorted video that drips with eeriness, that plays over the haunting sounds of a pipe organ is wonderful to just experience. There isn't a sell job here as much as there is a true exploration of an idea. The idea being, of course, that this movie isn't like anything you'll catch this year.
Sure, the fast forward speed at which images and moments fly by don't allow you to get a grip on anything you see it nonetheless tells you volumes about what's being communicated. There's some confusing imagery of a woman standing with a burro at a gas station, another woman getting her picture taken on the side of the road, some people can be seen living their lives inside a house in a way that's not only not boring, it's fascinating.
I can't say for sure what we're supposed to feel but this doesn't ever stray into art for art's sake. I would be enraged if I thought there was too much pretension injected in this trailer but there's something genuinely trying to be said here and I can almost make it out that my mind aches as I try and understand what it is they want me to buy. I'm most certainly going to do so but its obfuscation is such a tease.
Margo Martindale is a special kind of actress.
She's a character actor, a working actor, who has been knocking down parts for decades simply because she knows what she's doing. She blends in with the environment and is one of those women you wish more actresses could be like: a chameleon, not an ego driven starlet who needs attention more than genuine acclaim. Here, though, she's front and center and what little we can see of her there is a range of emotions on display for a film that doesn't look easily classifiable but it's wickedly entrancing.
In a series this week of trailers that don't seem to have any words being spoken at all, here is the second of three trailers that use only music to convey the emotion running through the narrative. This trailer, though, has some toughness. There is raw emotion exuding through Martindale and it radiates through the small screen. It's obvious that writer/director Zack Parker saw what Margo was able to do and he seems to have tapped right into that source as we see Margo in various states of mental acuity. There's a manic version of her, a sullen version, and even one that looks genuinely pleased.
The exciting thing about this trailer is that it makes you want to know more about what's happening. The shots that are chosen are wisely picked because it prevents any opportunity for there to be any lulls. Your attention doesn't drift because the trailer won't let you drift. There seems to be sharp schisms of mental instability all around and it's exciting. For all the trailers that want to play pretty and prance around what we're all here to see it's just plain great to be sold on a movie without any context. It's an anthem to anarchy of sorts but it fits so well when you understand what it is the movie is really trying to say, what it's putting out there.
It's ballsy to put something out there, at this budgetary level, and let this be their commercial that will get people to see it. There isn't anything commercial about it but it's just too good to pass up when the level of craftsmanship that went into making something look so odd and so enticing. The scrambling of names is a nice touch as well. It conveys the crazed nature of both the protagonist and evokes a certain understanding about the movie in general.
The Artist Trailer
This one is a complete delight.
Written and directed by Michael Hazanavicius this trailer is about cinema that feels good, that seems like an old blanket that can still warm your body. I can hardly believe that the man credited for bringing the two OSS 117 films to our shore made this kind of movie simply based on the level of zaniness of OSS but, here, has made something so unique that this is truly a trailer that needs no further examination other than experiencing it.
Enjoy this one simply for the way it tells a story without ever giving you a word.
Magic Trip Trailer
This is certainly an interesting trailer for a new Alex Gibney film.
I'm endlessly fascinated by the choices the man has made and looking a few paces beyond this movie, directing a Lance Armstrong documentary (wondering if he'll include the accusations made on 60 Minutes a few nights ago) and directing a doc on Wikileaks, the man is one of the premiere examiners of current sociological issues and the impact they have on our collective consciousness.
The trailer here is a unique blend of personal footage and cheeky glibness. What's more is that this serves as a document of sorts that looks at a time in the 60's that was the forerunner of the hippie generation. It's documentaries like this that help to put history in its proper context and there most certainly looks like there's more than enough context happening here. There is the footage that is allowed to speak for itself, the moments we get with author Ken Kesey, it's like watching home movies of people who were much cooler than you.
While the trailer is a little too polished, the film, which is also co-directed by Allison Ellwood (she also directed one of the best reality shows of all time, American High) looks like one of those stories about American society that has long since passed on as people passed through the civil rights movement and everything else that has made the idyllic days of The Merry Band of Pranksters a quaint remnant of a time that will never be.
While I can't say how riveting this documentary will be it is nonetheless Gibney's name which makes me believe this will be more than worth my attention. Outside of him and Ellwood, I'm not sure I'd give this a second thought.
Wu Xia Trailer
What a good year it's been so far for Donnie Yen. Actually, it's been a good year for me seeing films with Donnie in them. Yeah, Legend of the Fist wasn't that hot but Donnie has been hitting the market fairly hard with his presence and it's been delightful.
This trailer may only be a minute long but it does establish a little bit of story and a whole lot of what to expect in terms of its wire-fu. There's a visual gimmick of seeing what happens when Donnie lays the smack down on guys who no doubt to deserve it but just seeing the man dish out the physical hurt on guys makes me dig this man even more and fear the day when Hollywood wants to put him alongside Chris Tucker in some dreadful Hollywood vehicle.
The action here is swift and mighty. Director Peter Chan's last, The Warlords, didn't do much for me but this, this looks like something I could really enjoy. I'm hoping for both his and Yen's sake that there's a movie here I can finally settle in and enjoy. [Twitch ]
Note bene: If you have any suggestions of trailers to possibly be included in this column, even have a trailer of your own to pitch, please let me know by sending me a note at Christopher_Stipp@yahoo.com
In case you missed them, here are the other trailers we covered at /Film this week:
Showrunners Trailer  - A great trailer that makes inside baseball easily understood.
Mr. Popper's Penguins Trailer  - Such a miserable trailer that it takes all I have to not point at this as an example of what could be Jim Carrey's nadir.
The River Trailer  - Not my thing but the trailer could play well to those looking for something a little different out of their televised entertainment.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon 3D Trailer - Look, it may be warmed over pap but praise those with the talent to make me think that parting with my money to see this wouldn't be such a bad idea.
Green Lantern 3D Trailer  - I mean this in the best way possible: this trailer feels like something I would see before embarking on a spin through Space Mountain.
Conan O'Brien Can't Stop Trailer  - I think the best parts of this trailer are when we see Conan being brutally honest with us and himself. Why you would hide that behind the pandering wackiness is a little stupefying.
Homeland Trailer  - This looks about as interesting as a cooling bowl of oatmeal: ultimately satisfying but rather bland all by itself.
The Muppets Teaser Trailer  - I don't get why they felt the need to keep the farce up for as long as they did. Rather, the real audience for this, kids under ten, just want the felt puppets, not some crafty joke.
Take Shelter Trailer  - If this isn't your favorite trailer this week there is something wrong with your chemical makeup. Rock solid all the way around.
Salvation Boulevard Trailer  - Just doesn't do anything for me. The message is muddled about what it is they're selling and what's here just falls flat.
A Little Help Trailer  - A little too clever for its own good. I'm not inspired to see this as much as I am kind of annoyed by its tone.
The Smurfs Trailer #2  - Just wither up and die already. Someday I predict this will be sold in a combo two pack in a discount bin with Hop right next to the Antonio Sabato Jr. collection.
Shark Night 3D Trailer  - This looks horrendous. The people who made this trailer do know that I can't see in 3D, right? It just seems like a waste of resources.
The Descendants Trailer  - I really like this trailer. A lot. I am hoping for a sweeping, dramatic explosion but I would be satisfied if it was just plain good.
Happy Feet Two Trailer  - I had such a virulently bad reaction to the first film that I can't see anything new of note in this trailer to make me think this will be any different.
Are we going to see the White Council attacking Dol Guldor?
Jackson's answer not only gives an idea of the scope of these films (which were just given official release dates and titles ) , but reveals an exclusive new image. Don't worry, it's spoiler free and a little bit of a joke. Read what he had to say, what the question means and check out the image after the break.
This all went down on Jackson's Facebook  page which is fast becoming your one stop shopping destination for official pre-release Hobbit news.
Actually, Jackson answered two questions in this first installment, the first being a bit of a swerve, showing his sense of humor as well as his dedication to the fans who are anxiously anticipating The Hobbit:
Fan: Will you have time to sift through 4,000 questions just to answer twenty of them?
Jackson: Yes, I will. I've been very busy recently, not just with shooting, but with location scouting and prep work during our days off, so I've found it hard to get to the questions. However, today I have enjoyed sitting down and reading through them all. I'll get started and continue to answer what seem to be the most popular questions during the next few weeks (as well as some one-off, quirky ones!).
Then onto the real question which, once again was "Are we going to see the White Council attacking Dol Guldor?"
Before the answer, some back story. Dol Guldor is one of the highest points in Middle Earth and it was where Sauron was based in the years before the War of the Ring. Knowing Sauron's power, Galadriel formed the White Council, a group of wise elders, to watch over him from afar. Gandalf tried to get the Council to invade Dol Guldor many times but Saruman, also on the White Council, was against it. Eventually, when Sarumam, who sought the Ring for himself, realized Sauron thought the Ring was there, he agreed. However, the battle was all for naught as Sauron foresaw it and fled, making his home in Mordor.
So, will we see that attack? Here's Jackson:
This was quite a popular topic, with JOHN LIDDLE, TOBY PHILLIPS and SETH DONALD, [/Film note: Those are fan names] along with many others, asking variations of this same question.
I'm not going to say just what and when, but I will confirm that both the White Council and Dol Guldur will feature in the movies. And not just in one scene either. Just how to visualise it has been a challenge, but fortunately Alan Lee and John Howe went crazy with ideas, and it should look pretty cool.
In fact to celebrate the start of these 20 questions, I'll show you an exclusive photo of the White Council planning the attack on Dol Guldur! Even if you don't want to be hit with spoilers, you should still take a look. For the first image of Gandalf, Elrond and Galadriel brandishing an array of fearsome Elvish weapons, click here.
And here's the image Jackson posted.
That's, of course, Jackson, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett and Ian McKellan.
Did you submit questions to Jackson? What do you hope he answers?
We get to see the effects team putting together the suit operated animatronic puppet Slimer, director Ivan Reitman working out a ghost-heavy sequence with the effects team and star Bill Murray, the prosthetic make-up being applied and filming of the moving Vigo painting segments, model builders recreating a New York City subway tunnel in miniature for the subway of slime sequence, and much more. Hit the jump to watch the videos now.
Slimer suit, Ivan Reitman/Bill Murray
Robin Slimer from GB II
The "Real" Voice of Vigo From Ghostbusters II
Ghostbusters II Behind the Scenes: Spook Central, Animation, Vigo Makeup, Ghost Nanny, etc.
via: GBFans 
One of my most anticipated films for 2011 is Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, the movie co-written and produced by Guillermo del Toro and directed by Troy Nixey in his feature debut. The movie ran afoul of the Miramax business shakeup at the end of last year, but has finally found a home  with FilmDistrict. (The same company that is releasing Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive.) We saw a teaser trailer  for the movie in August of last year, but aside from a couple of very well-received festival screenings, word on the film has been pretty quiet.
UK audiences will get to see the movie just a bit before it hits the US on August 26, and there is now a trailer for the August 12 UK release.
Empire  has this UK trailer:
Here's the US version, via Yahoo , which also has the HD.
There are quite a few familiar beats in this trailer, but the footage looks gorgeous, and I vividly remember how great the film's prologue was when I saw it at Comic Con last year . (The first couple shots in this trailer are from that prologue.) I actually stopped watching the trailer about 2/3 through because I just want to see the damn thing already, but if you're new to the story of Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, please watch. The creatures look great, and scanning back through the HD version to pull a new image, I was struck by how wonderful the detail in every image is.
Sally Hurst (Bailee Madison), a lonely, withdrawn child, has just arrived in Rhode Island to live with her father Alex (Guy Pearce) and his new girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes) at the 19th-century mansion they are restoring. While exploring the sprawling estate, the young girl discovers a hidden basement, undisturbed since the strange disappearance of the mansion?s builder a century ago. When Sally unwittingly lets loose a race of ancient, dark-dwelling creatures who conspire to drag her down into the mysterious house?s bottomless depths, she must convince Alex and Kim that it?s not a fantasy?before the evil lurking in the dark consumes them all.
Monday, 30 May 2011
a fan standing in a small seating area jutting out toward the field.
Since his birth in Chicago, IL, Benjamin Laub (bka Grieves) enjoyed a diverse musical upbringing, exposed at an early age to the city’s local jazz and blues clubs by his father. After relocating to Fort Collins, CO and eventually Seattle at age 19, Grieves had broadened his array of musical influences to include punk rock and eventually became completely immersed in Hip Hop as an art form. Following his debut album Irreversible in 2007, Grieves began collaborating with local Seattle-based producer Budo, a talented multi-instrumentalist that helped complete the organic-yet-intense sound of 15 melodic, sample-free tracks that became 88 Keys & Counting. Following rave reviews of the album’s mainly digital release, Grieves and Budo hit the road once again to set up shop in New York City, where they are currently at work on the follow-up to 88 Keys, due for a Fall release this year on Rhymesayers. Untethered to common restraints of the hip-hop genre, the combination of Grieves’ singing and rapping with the refreshing horn, guitar, and keyboard driven production by Budo presents Grieves strongest work to date. * this tune is dedicated to my boy tyler aka little sin * soon to have some of his own tunes out soon
Naturally, Shin also had a bit to say about Samsung's ongoing legal battle with Apple. "We didn't copy Apple's design," he said bluntly, adding that Apple's allegations "will not be legally problematic." Sure Sammy, tell it to the judge.
Update: The Wall Street Journal updated its story calling for the 8.9-inch Galaxy Tab to launch this summer, not in June as originally stated.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
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Sunday, 29 May 2011
RSA SecureID hackers may have accessed Lockheed Martin trade secrets, cafeteria menus (update: no data compromised)
RSA SecureID dongles add a layer of protection to everything from office pilates class schedules to corporate email accounts, with banks, tech companies, and even U.S. defense contractors using hardware security tokens to protect their networks. Following a breach at RSA in March, however, the company urged clients to boost other security methods, such as passwords and PIN codes, theoretically protecting networks from hackers that may have gained the ability to duplicate those critical SecureIDs. Now, Lockheed Martin is claiming that its network has come under attack, prompting RSA to issue 90,000 replacement tokens to Lockheed employees. The DoD contractor isn't detailing what data hackers may have accessed, but a SecureID bypass should clearly be taken very seriously, especially when that little keychain dongle is helping to protect our national security. If last month's Sony breach didn't already convince you to beef up your own computer security, now might be a good time to swap in 'Pa55werD1' for the rather pathetic 'password' you've been using to protect your own company's trade secrets for the last decade.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]
Update: According to Reuters, Lockheed Martin sent out a statement to clarify that it promptly took action to thwart the attack one week ago, and consequently "no customer, program or employee personal data has been compromised." Phew! [Thanks, JD]Permalink | | Email this | Comments