Monthly Archives: August 2009

Alex Queral’s Carved Phone Book Art

Alex Queral does these wonderful heads, carved out of phone books (then painted with acrylics). In his Artist’s Statement, he says: In carving and painting a head from a phone directory, I’m celebrating the individual lost in the anonymous list of thousands of names that describe the size of the community. In addition, I like the idea of creating something that is normally discarded every year into an object of longevity. See more of his work HERE.

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The Teaser Trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Inception

Here is the teaser trailer for The Dark Knight’s director Christopher Nolan’s new film, Inception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy and Michael Caine. Opening in theaters on July 16, 2010, the Warner Bros. Pictures release is described as a contemporary sci-fi actioner set within the architecture of the mind. Nolan also wrote the original screenplay.

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Marvel 70th Anniversary Collection

Celebrate a senses-shattering 70 years of Marvel Comics with this fitting tribute to the storied history of the House of Ideas! This keepsake edition ($19.99) showcases the creative evolution of the Marvel Universe like never before by collecting the single best story from each of the past seven decades – as chosen by the True Believers themselves, the mighty Marvel fans! Collecting 10 of the best stories from the past 70 years, as chosen by the industry’s top creators, plus the 70th Anniversary issue of Marvel Spotlight.  The trade paperback is 344 pages chock full of Mavel memories.

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Philips Wake-Up Light

Tired of waking up to a grating alarm buzzer? Give the Philips Wake-Up Light ($200) a try. This combination bedside lamp and iPod/iPhone dock gradually wakes you up using light for a more pleasant experience, and also features a built-in dock to let you awaken or just play your favorite music. When it’s time to go to bed, the light works its magic in reverse, gradually dimming the light and sound until you’ve drifted off for the night.

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Mac OS X Snow Leopard

If Leopard was all about new features, Mac OS X Snow Leopard ($29; August 28) is all about speed. Leaving most of Leopard’s UI features in place, Snow Leopard boasts tons of under-the-hood improvements, including faster, more stable, 64-bit versions of Finder, Mail, iCal, iChat, and Safari, the all new QuickTime X, a footprint that takes up 7GB less hard drive space than Leopard, faster Time Machine backups, Open CL technology to take advantage of most Macs’ powerful GPUs, and a price that simply can’t be beat.

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Todd McFarlane Starts Writing New Spawn Movie

Spawn creator Todd McFarlane has announced that he has officially begun writing the screenplay for a new movie based on the character.

“The story has been in my head for 7 or 8 years,” McFarlane said. “The movie idea is neither a recap or continuation. It is a standalone story that will be R-rated. Creepy and scary.”

He added that “the tone of this ‘Spawn’ movie will be for a more older audience. Like the film ‘Departed.’”

In August of 1997, New Line released a Spawn movie that grossed $87.8 million worldwide. It starred Michael Jai White, John Leguizamo and Martin Sheen.

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Zach Galifianakis to Attend Dinner for Schmucks

Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover) is in talks to join the Jay Roach-directed Dinner for Schmucks, says The Hollywood Reporter. He’s joining Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and Lucy Punch in the Paramount comedy about the most pathetic guy ever to be invited to another man’s weekly dinner party. Galifianakis is playing an assistant manager of a mattress store who is dating Carell’s ex-wife. The film is scheduled to begin filming in the fall for a July 23, 2010 release.

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Louis CK To Star In New FX Comedy Series

FX recently ordered 13 episodes of the half-hour comedy, “Louie”. “Louie” stars comic Louis CK as a standup comic and newly single dad raising two daughters in New York City. “Louie” is based on the star’s life and will blend standup material with extended vignettes depicting moments from his offstage experiences. Louis CK is the executive producer, writer and helmer of the series.

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San Francisco Transforms Lombard Street Into Giant Candy Land

In an extreme bit of experiential marketing, and to celebrate Candy Land’s 60th anniversary, Hasbro transformed San Francisco’s winding Lombard Street into a life-size version of the board game.

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Two teams of children competed in a round of the game, those from UC San Francisco Children’s Hospital versus Friends of the Children. The reward waiting at the finish line was desert by Debbie Does Cakes.

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David Sedaris Answers Questions

David Sedaris answered fans’ questions for the New Yorker in a live chat.  You can read the text HERE. He also was a guest DJ on KCRW. Here’s his downloadable playlist. (Thanks Pop Candy)

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Bose Unveils QuietComfort 15 Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Bose has introduced its new QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones, a replacement for the company’s aging QuietComfort 2 headphones. The QC 15s feature a newly-developed, more sophisticated approach to active noise reduction than their predecessors, placing microphones both inside and outside the earcup to better sense ambient sounds and produce an appropriate cancellation signal. Other features include new proprietary ear cushions for additional passive isolation, an around-the-ear design, the ability to run for roughly 35 hours on a single AAA battery, and the company’s TriPort acoustic headphone structure for stronger bass. The Bose QuietComfort 15 will be available in silver starting August 20th for $300.

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TV Easel

As flat-screen TVs look more and more like works of art, why not give them a proper display on the TV Easel ($1,000). Built from solid hardwood to hold televisions up to 60 inches, the TV Easel also features a height-adjustable design, integrated component storage and wire management, a hand-applied, four-step antiqued ebony finish, and the ability to double as, well, an easel, for artwork, mirrors, or other display items.

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Stephen King’s Video Store Favorites

HERE are 20 movie rentals that Stephen King recommends when you are caught in the summer movie doldrums.

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Disney and Zemeckis Remaking Yellow Submarine

Robert Zemeckis is negotiations to direct a remake of Yellow Submarine for Disney, says The Hollywood Reporter.

Yellow Submarine was a 1968 animated feature based on music by the Beatles. It was produced by United Artists and King Features Syndicate.

Like all Zemeckis productions, the film would be done in performance capture and would also be a digital 3D endeavor.

The original is about a soldier called Old Fred who meets up with the Beatles and travels in a yellow submersible to Pepperland. Among the group’s encounters are the Blue Meanies, music-hating creatures.

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The Wolfman Trailer

Universal Pictures has revealed the new trailer for director Joe Johnston’s The Wolfman, opening in theaters on February 12.

In the film, Benicio Del Toro stars as Lawrence Talbot, a haunted nobleman lured back to his family estate after his brother vanishes. Reunited with his estranged father (Anthony Hopkins), Talbot sets out to find his brother… and discovers a horrifying destiny for himself.

Lawrence Talbot’s childhood ended the night his mother died. After he left the sleepy Victorian hamlet of Blackmoor, he spent decades recovering and trying to forget. But when his brother’s fiancée, Gwen Conliffe (Emily Blunt), tracks him down to help find her missing love, Talbot returns home to join the search. He learns that something with brute strength and insatiable bloodlust has been killing the villagers, and that a suspicious Scotland Yard inspector named Aberline (Hugo Weaving) has come to investigate.

As he pieces together the gory puzzle, he hears of an ancient curse that turns the afflicted into werewolves when the moon is full. Now, if he has any chance at ending the slaughter and protecting the woman he has grown to love, Talbot must destroy the vicious creature in the woods surrounding Blackmoor. But as he hunts for the nightmarish beast, a simple man with a tortured past will uncover a primal side to himself… one he never imagined existed.

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Avatar Trailer

20th Century Fox has released the first trailer for James Cameron’s Avatar, opening in 3D theaters and IMAX 3D on December 18. The sci-fi action-adventure stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Peter Mensah, Laz Alonso, Wes Studi, Stephen Lang and Matt Gerald.

Avatar is the story of an ex-Marine who finds himself thrust into hostilities on an alien planet filled with exotic life forms. As an Avatar, a human mind in an alien body, he finds himself torn between two worlds, in a desperate fight for his own survival and that of the indigenous people. More than ten years in the making, “Avatar” marks Cameron’s return to feature directing since helming 1997′s “Titanic,” the highest grossing film of all time and winner of eleven Oscars including Best Picture. WETA Digital, renowned for its work in “The Lord of the Rings Trilogy” and “King Kong,” will incorporate new intuitive CGI technologies to transform the environments and characters into photorealistic 3D imagery that will transport the audience into the alien world rich with imaginative vistas, creatures and characters.

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Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen DVD

Paramount and DreamWorks have announced DVD and Blu-ray releases of director Michael Bay’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which will be available on the 20th of October. The DVD will be available as a single-disc DVD as well as a two-disc special edition priced at $29.98 and $34.98 respectively and on Blu-ray as a two-disc special edition priced at $39.99. Extras on the two-disc special edition DVD will include audio commentary by director Michael Bay and writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, the multi-part documentary The Human Factor: Exacting Revenge of the Fallen (this feature includes Seeds of Vengeance: Development and Design, Domestic Destruction: Production – United States, Joint Operations: Production – Military, Wonders of the World: Production – Middle East, Start Making Sense: Editing, Under the Gun: Visual Effects and Running the Gauntlet: Post-Production and Release), the featurette A Day with Bay: Tokyo, a 25 Years of Transformers featurette, the NEST: Transformer Data-Hub which explores the conceptual artwork of the film, the multi-angle featurette Deconstructing Visual Bayhem which includes commentary by pre-visualization supervisor Steve Yamamoto, extended scenes, and Linkin Park’s New Divide music video. The Blu-ray will contain all this and some exclusive extras including The ALLSPARK Experiment interactive feature, the Giant Effing Movie featurette, The Matrix of Marketing archive of trailers, poster art and other marketing materials, and additional NEST: Transformer Data-Hub information options for each robot.

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CBS Embeds A Video Playing Ad in Entertainmant Weekly Magazine

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In the latest example of finding media innovation where you’d least expect it, CBS is embedding a video player in a print ad in Entertainment Weekly that will serve up a buffet of its fall TV lineup.

The CBS foray into a print-digital alliance plays full-motion video at a crisp resolution. The ad, dubbed by CBS and partner Pepsi Max “the first-ever VIP (video-in-print) promotion,” works like one of those audio greeting cards. Opening the page activates the player, which is a quarter-inch–thick screen seen through a cutaway between two pages concealing the larger circuit board underneath.

The audio quality is equally good, but there are no volume controls, and in a quiet environment, it’s quite loud. This is surely a intentional design feature, aimed at getting the attention of people nearby.

The video-enhancement will appear in the September issue of Entertainment Weekly, but only in what sounds like a relatively small subset of the circulation: The promo itself will be in every copy, but the video portion only in some subscriptions delivered to New York and Los Angeles. It was released Tuesday to media outlets.

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Patton Oswalt – Myspace Featured Comedian

Check out Patton Oswalt, one of my favorite comics as the Myspace Featured Comedian HERE.  The video includes a sneak peek of his movie, ‘Big Fan’ and his Comedy Central special airing this Sunday!

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Robert Downey Jr. to Play the Vampire Lestat?

Bloody-Disgusting reports that Universal Pictures is going to reboot Anne Rice’s “The Vampire Chronicles” and is in talks with Robert Downey Jr. to play the vampire Lestat Du Lioncort!

Lestat was previously played by Tom Cruise in the 1994 adaptation of Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, which co-starred Brad Pitt, Christian Slater and Kirsten Dunst. Stuart Townsend later played Lestat in the 2002 film Queen of the Damned, which co-starred Aaliyah and took elements from the author’s “The Vampire Lestat” and “The Queen of the Damned.”

The series of novels also includes “The Tale of the Body Thief,” “Memnoch the Devil,” “The Vampire Armand,” “Merrick,” “Blood and Gold,” “Blackwood Farm” and “Blood Canticle.”

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SNL Audition Tapes

Check out these amazing Saturday Night Live audition tapes that include John Belushi, Phil Hartman, Will Ferrell and Dana Carvey.

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