Monthly Archives: January 2011

Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ Heading To The Big Screen

Stephen King’s grand opus The Stand is finally getting the big-screen treatment. Warner Bros. and CBS Films are teaming to adapt the novel, which in many ways set the bar for a generation of post-apocalyptic stories and influenced works ranging from TV’s Lost to music group Anthrax. Mosaic and Roy Lee are producing.

The companies will co-develop and co-produce the feature film, with CBS having the option to participate in co-financing. Warners will handle worldwide marketing and distribution.

The studios and producers will sit down with writers and directors in the coming weeks in an attempt to find the right take on the material. One thing to be determined is whether to attempt the adaptation in one or multiple movies. King will be involved in some capacity.

CBS has held the rights for many years but recently realized the best way to undertake the project was with a partner. Warners beat out Fox and Sony in a tight bidding war for the gig, getting its hands on one of the biggest-selling books of all time.

CBS, meanwhile, gets a chance to be involved in an ambitious big-budget tentpole with little downside. The company just released its fourth movie, The Mechanic, which performed better than expected this weekend with an opening of $11.4 million.

The Stand is a story of good vs. evil after a virus wipes out most of the American population. While it features dozens of characters (such as the Trashcan Man and Mother Abigail) and overlapping story lines running over many years, the struggle boils down to a group of survivors fighting the Antichrist-like Randall Flagg. The novel was originally published in 1978, but by the time it was rereleased in 1990 with King adding and revising portions of the story, it had achieved cult-like status.

George Romero and Warners separately tried in vain to launch a movie adaptation in the 1980s, and a tone-downed version was produced as a six-hour miniseries by ABC in 1994. In recent years, Marvel Comics has been adapting the story to great acclaim.

King’s stories made for popular Hollywood adaptations in the 1980s and ’90s, but that love seemed to lose steam in the past decade. But with Universal mounting an ambitious take on The Dark Tower, and now The Stand, King may be getting ready to return to the throne as the novelist the town loves the most. (Reprinted from the Hollywood Reporter)

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Ryobi Tek4 Inspection Scope

Ryobi introduces the TEK4 Digital Inspection Scope ($139) powered by the TEK4 4 volt Lithium-Ion battery technology. This tool offers a number of advanced features such as: Digital zoom with up to 2x magnification, high resolution/color 2.7″ LCD screen, 4 stage ultra-bright LED light for complete image brightness control, 5 hours of continuous runtime, and on-screen battery voltage indicator that alerts you when its time to recharge. The TEK4 Inspection Scope is built for the jobsite and is great for plumbing, HVAC work, home repairs, and more. The camera cable can be submersed in water for up to 30 minutes, and the on-screen image rotates 180 degrees to adjust to the operators perspective. Think of it as your own personal periscope.

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Henry Cavill Cast As Superman

Relatively-unknown British actor Henry Cavill, who is perhaps best known for his role as 1st Duke of Suffolk Charles Brandon on Showtime’s The Tudors, has reportedly been cast as the Man of Steel in Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot, currently scheduled for release in late 2012.

According to LAT’s Hero Complex, Cavill was top choice to play Superman in 2006’s Superman Returns before McG was replaced by Bryan Singer a Brandon Routh was cast instead.

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Polaroid Grey Label GL20 Camera Glasses

These Lady Gaga-designed wraparound sunglasses feature a built-in digital camera on the bridge that lets you snap photos on the fly, then immediately display them on the outside of the glasses. The video specs are due in the Summer of 2011; price TBA)


Pixar’s Cars 2 Website Updated

We are only 5 months aways from the release of Cars 2 on June 24. Pixar has revamped the film’s website with new character bios, images, videos, downloads, scenic backdrops (including never-before-seen Topolino’s Village) all in a high-tech espionage based theme.

To experience the brand new Cars 2 website, click here.

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StreetStrider Summit 8r Review

I had the opportunity to test ride the StreetStrider Summit 8r ($1699) this past week.  The StreetSrider is an  elliptical cross training machine on wheels.  Now the exercise that you could only experience in a gym, can now be enjoyed in the great outdoors. The Summit 8r was developed in conjunction with NBC’s hit reality show “The Biggest Loser” and has steadily grown in popularity now that it has become available to the general public. The first time that I stepped on the 8r, I was comfortable and felt secure due to the 3-wheel platform. Striding was very easy to pick up on my first try.  It felt like a combination of low impact jogging, skiing, and cycling, and the unit was easily maneuverable given the lean-to-steer design. This machine can really fly once you get going.  In fact, it can go as fast as 43 mph. You have complete control over your speed and can handle all sorts of terrain and inclines given the built in 8 Speed Shimano Nexus Transmission with Twist Grip Shifter. This machine can accommodate riders weight of up to 400 lbs. This model comes in 3 colors: Lava Red, Breakwater Blue, and Galaxy Black. Several additional accessories come with this unit, such as a water bottle holder and rear luggage carrier. It also comes with a User’s Manual,  Assembly and Tips DVD, as well as a handy Toolkit and Carry Pouch. The price tag of $1699 might be steep for some, however financing plans are available.  In addition, there are other less expensive StreetStrider models to choose from. What is so great about this new form of exercise, in addition to being fun, it also provides a full body workout, burning up to 1,000 calories an hour.  You can learn more about StreetStrider here. (Reviewed by Meredith Fire-Hess)


Bossypants, The Tina Fey Memoir Due On April 5, 2011

Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update,” before “Sarah Palin,” Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon — from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy. The 272 hardcover book ($26.99) is due on April 5, 2011.


Disney’s Tangled Blu-ray & DVD Due On March 29

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has officially announced Tangled for Blu-ray release on March 29. It will be presented both in a Blu-ray/DVD and a Blu-ray/3D Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy combo pack. This reimagining of the Rapunzel fairytale earned $186 million at the domestic box office, and over $400 million globally.

Special features include:

- Untangled: The Making of a Fairy Tale (BD-exclusive): exactly how long is Rapunzel’s hair? How many lanterns were used? Where did Pascal’s name come from? Which Disney animated feature first utilized CG animation? These and more will be answered when Mandy Moore and Zach Levi take viewers on a kooky behind-the-scenes tour to learn how the filmmakers styled this film’s Golden Tresses.

-Three deleted scenes with introductions by co-directors Byron Howard and Nathan Greno (BD-exclusive)

- Extended songs with introductions by the co-directors (BD-exclusive):

- Two original storybook openings: two alternate versions of the film’s opening sequence described by the co-directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard

- 50th Animated Feature Countdown – A video montage celebrating Tangled as the 50th film to join The Walt Disney Studios’ prestigious lineup of classic animated features.

- Nine Tangled teasers (BD-exclusive): a collection of the most unique and quirky commercials made for the theatrical release of Tangled Some are spoofs based off of infomercials and/or breaking news, some are teasers and others are simply just funny filmstrips.

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Time Magazine Lists The 50 Best iPhone Apps For 2011

Filling up your new iPhone? Just hoping to make the one you already have even better? Time Magazine suggests that THESE are the apps you don’t want to be without.

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Javier Bardem Offered Lead Role As Roland In Stephen King’s Dark Tower Adaptation

Director Ron Howard wants Javier Bardem to play troubled hero Roland Deschain in his adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. Imagine Entertainment confirms the news first reported by Deadline that the No Country For Old Men star has been offered the lead role in the horror-fantasy-western adaptation, which is currently planned as a big-screen trilogy along with a TV series. The Dark Tower series comprises seven books and forms the connective material between much of King’s work, so there has been much anticipation for the film/TV series. (Early rumors had indicated that fan favorite Viggo Mortensen was also in the running.) The first Dark Tower film is currently scheduled for summer 2013.

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The First Star Wars Models Arrive at LEGOLAND California

The Millennium Falcon and AT-AT were the first models to arrive at LEGOLAND California for the new STAR WARS Miniland area that will be opening in March 2011.  LEGOLAND in Carlsbad, CA will be the first of three LEGOLAND Parks to launch a new STAR WARS Miniland area. The area will include scenes from the following episodes:

• Episode I: Naboo
Naboo is one of the most geographically varied planets in the STAR WARS galaxy. This scene depicts the Battle of Naboo and the capital Theed – both the Royal Palace and the hangar. The duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn and Sith apprentice Darth Maul can also be viewed in this scene.

• Episode II: Geonosis
In this scene, visitors have a fantastic view of the Arena of Geonosis, in which Padmé Amidala, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker battle ferocious creatures. Figures such as Poggle the Lesser, Jango Fett and Count Dooku can be seen in the loge. There is also a battle scene of the clash between Count Dooku’s droid army and the Grand Army of the Republic.

• Episode III: Kashyyyk and Mustafar
In this scene, two planets are shown: Kashyyyk and Mustafar. On one side, guests can marvel at the Battle of Kashyyyk – the home of Chewbacca and the Wookiees. The scene includes fantastic vehicles modeled from LEGO bricks, such as the massive Clone Turbo Tank. On the other side, LEGOLAND guests are treated to a glimpse of the fateful duel on Mustafar between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker.

• Episode IV: Tatooine
This LEGOLAND scene focuses on famous structures of the desert planet: Uncle Owen’s Farm, where Luke Skywalker lived as a child; the Cantina, with a view inside of the animated Cantina Band, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, C-3PO, R2-D2 and others; as well as the
starport with an impressive model of the Millennium Falcon, the famous spacecraft of Han Solo.

Episode V: Hoth
The Rebels took refuge on this icy planet, but the Empire tracked them down and the Rebels were forced to flee. The scene features LEGO models of the Imperial AT-ATs, Rebel snowspeeders and Luke Skywalker’s X-wing starfighter. Figures include Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and the Dark Lord of the Sith himself, Darth Vader.

• Episode VI: Endor
The Endor system plays a key role in Return of the Jedi as the site of the Battle of Endor, fought to prevent construction of the second Death Star. The scene presents the final victory of the Rebel Alliance over the Empire. Endor is a forest moon and home of the Ewoks, who fight against the Imperial forces alongside the Rebels. Guests can also view a large-scale model of a Lambda-class Imperial shuttle on its landing platform.

THE CLONE WARS: Christophsis
The seventh area shows a scene from the animated series THE CLONE WARS on the planet Christophsis. Chronologically, the series takes place between Episode II and Episode III and focuses on the adventures of Anakin and Obi-Wan Kenobi as Jedi Knights. The LEGO scene depicts part of the planet’s surface, with the largest of all LEGO STAR WARS models: an approximately 8 foot tall building from the Crystal City. There is also a scene showing a battle between Separatist battle droids and Republic clone troopers.

The entire display will be created out of 1.5 million LEGO bricks and built in 1:20 scale. Authentic STAR WARS sounds, actions and lighting effects will help to make the models even more lifelike. Guests will be able to pose with life-size LEGO models of Chewbacca, R2-D2 and Darth Vader. (Written by Meredith Fire-Hess)

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Pixar’s Cars 2 Character Debut: Raoul ÇaRoule

Here is your exclusive first look at Raoul ÇaRoule from Disney Pixar’s Cars 2, opening in 3D, 2D and IMAX 3D theaters on June 24. The character is described as follows:

Known as the “World’s Greatest Rally Car,” #6 Raoul ÇaRoule was born in Alsace, France. A restless soul, Raoul joined the famous ‘Cirque du Voiture’ French circus where he learned Gymkhana – a graceful, drift-filled motorsport that taught him pinpoint timing and an unparalleled ability to navigate tricky courses with ease. He’s the first car to ever win nine consecutive rallies. Raoul is confident he can use his rally experience to pull ahead of his fellow World Grand Prix racers during the three courses’ touchy dirt sections, especially with his fans in the stands waving banners that read: “ÇaRoule Ca-Rules!”


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Papa John’s Promises Free Pizza If Super Bowl Goes Into Overtime

Rather than paying for a very expensive commercial spot, the popular pizza chain Papa John’s is offering a free large pizza if the Super Bowl game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers goes into overtime.

In order to win, you have to register for Papa John’s customer loyalty program, “Papa Points,” before 11:59 p.m. EST on Feb. 5th. If the game goes into OT, everyone registered will receive enough points to receive a free large, three-topping pizza. You can redeem it anytime until June 30th. (Thanks for the tip Don & Meredith)

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Meet Carla Veloso From Cars 2

World Grand Prix contender Carla Veloso hails from Rio de Janiero, Brazil. The sweet but powerful Latin diva can dance the night away at “Car-nival,” but spends most of her time on the racetrack. After setting a new track record at the local Interlagos circuit, she was drafted to join the 24-hour endurance racing team in Europe, where she posted a consistent series of podium finishes. In the World Grand Prix, the proud Brazilian Le Motor Prototype racer is the only female in the field, and Carla is ready to prove to the world that #8 is there to win for her home country.

Cars 2 will be in theaters on June 24, 2011.


MTV’s Jersey Shore Season 4 Will Film In Italy

MTV announced Tuesday that season four will shoot in Italy this spring.

It is expected to air later this year.

“While the stateside ‘Jersey Shore’ locales have become iconic for our audience it’s really the constantly evolving dynamic amongst the cast that keeps them coming back each season and Europe is a fresh spin on a show that continues to reach new heights for us,” said Chris Linn, Executive Vice President of Programing and Head of Production for MTV.

“The cast is headed to the birthplace of the culture they love and live by. We can’t wait to see what erupts as a result,” he added. (Thanks for the tip Don)


Human Torch Dies In Fantastic Issue # 587

In the most shocking death to hit the comic book industry since – well, the publisher knocked off Captain America four years ago – the fiery Johnny Storm goes out in a blaze of glory saving his young niece and nephew from an army of insect creatures in Fantastic Four #587, in stores Wednesday.

It’s the end of an era dating back to November 1961 when writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby first launched the Fantastic Four and changed the medium as the first real superheroes to have the same character flaws as their readers.

The fiery and immature Johnny — played by Chris Evans in two movies and voiced by Bill Murray in a ’70s radio series — always seemed to leap before he looked. Fans have nervously awaited this issue for several months as Marvel publicized that one of the team — which includes The Torch’s sister, the aptly-named Invisible Woman, her husband, the elastic scientist Mr. Fantastic and the human rock-pile, The Thing — wouldn’t make it past this issue.

Jonathan Hickman, the current writer of the series, says it wasn’t easy to extinguish a comic book legend. “Johnny kind of represents a childlike idealism within the group,” Hickman told the News. “And the story that we wanted to tell going forward from my first issue on the book and where I would like to end up, there came a point in the story where it served us to eliminate what was an eternal source of optimism in the world.”

Fans can also be optimistic that The Human torch will eventually return. Comics have a long history of killing off heroes – victims of either a good story or a good sales ploy. Captain America came back two and a half years after his demise and Superman didn’t slow down much after his much ballyhooed death in 1993.

Robert Branch, 33, videographer from the Bronx and a Fantastic Four fan was just relieved that it wasn’t The Thing. (Branch keeps a statue of his favorite hero on his office desk.) He wasn’t particularly surprised that The Human Torch was the one to go.

“You’re surprised it hasn’t happened yet, because he’s a hot head – literally,” said Branch. “He’s the least interesting to me. But sometimes you don’t miss them until they’re gone. “It’s great that they take away the toys for a while and it makes you appreciate them.”

But the Fantastic Four isn’t just any old superheroes – they are an actual family that bickers with each other almost as much as they do with super-villains – and it remains to be seen if the team can stay together long as the Fantastic Three.


Vintage Batman MIMOBOT USB Flash Drive

Straight from Gotham City, the grey and black-clad Vintage Batman MIMOBOT designer USB flash drive is styled after the icon’s first ever appearance in Detective Comics #27 from May 1939. This original vision of “The Batman” captures the Dark Knight’s initial bold design elements that echo the art deco and avant-garde style of the era.

Paying tribute to DC’s 75th anniversary, the vintage 1939-era Batman is available in a limited edition of 5,000 units and comes pre-loaded with exclusive Batman MIMOBOT wallpapers, screensavers, and avatars.

Available in 2GB ($20), 4GB ($25), 8GB ($40) and 16GB ($60) capacities.

MIMOBOT also carries a line of Star Wars inspired USB drives that are equally fun and functional.

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Billy Joel: Live at Shea Stadium Blu-ray Due On March 1

The final music performance at the legendary stadium is headed to Blu-ray this March. Sony Music is prepping ‘Billy Joel: Live at Shea Stadium‘ ($24.98) for a high-definition release on March 1.

The Last Play At Shea, staged on July 16 and July 18, 2008 before a combined 110,000 fans, comprised the final performances ever at the historic stadium. Live At Shea Stadium contains two and a half hours of hits and album favorites, featuring special guests Paul McCartney, Tony Bennett, Garth Brooks, John Mayer, John Mellencamp, Steven Tyler and Roger Daltrey.

Supplements will include three bonus performances with Steven Tyler (Walk This Way), Roger Daltrey (My Generation), and John Mellencamp (Pink Houses).

The track listing is as follows:

1. Prelude/Angry Young Man

2. My Life

3. Summer, Highland Falls

4. Everybody Loves You Now

5. Zanzibar

6. New York State Of Mind (with Tony Bennett)

7. Allentown

8. The Ballad Of Billy The Kid

9. She’s Always A Woman

10. Goodnight Saigon

11. Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway)

12. Shameless (with Garth Brooks)

13. This Is The Time (with John Mayer)

14. Keeping The Faith

15. Captain Jack

16. Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)

17. The River Of Dreams/A Hard Day’s Night

18. We Didn’t Start The Fire

19. You May Be Right

20. Scenes From An Italian Restaurant

21. Only The Good Die Young

22. I Saw Her Standing There (with Paul McCartney)

23. Take Me Out To The Ballgame

24. Piano Man

25. Let It Be (with Paul McCartney)


Walk This Way (with Steven Tyler)

My Generation (with Roger Daltrey)

Pink Houses (with John Mellencamp)

A 2 CD/1 DVD package can also be pre-ordered HERE.

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10 Billionth App Downloaded From Apple, Winner To Be Named

Apple’s 10 Billion App Countdown ended early in the morning of Saturday, January 22, 2011 with the download of the 10 billionth application from the App Store. One winner is being selected to receive a $10,000 iTunes Gift Card as the sole prize for reaching the milestone, and Apple is expected to name the individual and app in the near future.

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Toasty Bus Shelter Ad

As part of a campaign for their new “Hot ‘n Wholesome” breakfast menu, Caribou Coffee’s ad agency, Colle + McVoy, created these amazing bus shelter advertisements for the city of Minneapolis. Not only do they look like giant ovens, but the heating element on the roof actually works!


Prohibition, The Secret Atlanta Speakeasy

Prohibition was designed to look like an old fashioned underground speakeasy (a bar that has some sort of hidden and possibly restricted entrance point).

The Atlanta bar is located in Andrews Square Buckhead at 56 East Andrews Drive (inside the basement of Stout.)

Now how do you get in?

In the back of the lower courtyard is a door to what appears to be a defunct antique shop. Beside the door is a large red phone booth. You simply enter the booth, dial the number on the old fashioned rotary dial phone and a secret door in the back wall of the phone booth opens up allowing you entrance.

How do you get the number?

To get the secret access code of the day your best bet is to wine and/or dine at Cellar 56 upstairs (a great tapas restaurant and wine bar that’s operated by Prohibition’s owners), be very kind to your bartender and/or server, and if you’re well-dressed, well-behaved and lucky, someone will give it to you.

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Twenty Things Happened On The Internet

Check out Twenty Things Happened on the Internet by McBess below. You can win the print as described here.

Click on the image to enlarge

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The Aliph Jawbone Era Bluetooth Headset

Jawbone has introduced its new Jawbone Era Bluetooth headset. The Era is touted by the company as “the first and only headset with a built-in accelerometer,” allowing users to shake the headset to put it in pairing mode, and tap it to answer or end phone calls. Other features include a 25% larger wideband speaker for better audio quality, NoiseAssassin 3.0 technology, and a built-in processor with serial flash storage to allow for apps, including a new Caller ID app that identifies callers by name. The Jawbone Era comes in four unique designs and is available now for $129.


Facebook Releases Mobile App For Non-Smartphones

Today Facebook announced a new mobile app for regular, old feature phones (Non-Smartphones). Instead of working on just a handful of devices, which is the case with iPhone or Android apps, this new app will run on more than 2,500 phones including Nokia, Sony, LG and others.

Normally, feature phone users turn to Facebook’s, a very rudimentary mobile site for the world’s leading social network.

In partnership with app developers Snaptu, the Facebook For Feature Phones App will come with the look and feel of a smartphone app with home screen dashboard and faster scrolling photos and updates.

The app is on pace with the company’s promise of a mobile push for 2011, and to lure new users, Facebook has partnered with 14 international mobile operators to offer free data access to the app for the first 90 days of use.

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ZAGGmate iPad Keyboard Case

The ZAGGmate iPad Keyboard Case ($100) performs double duty as a protective case and a bluetooth keyboard. The sturdy enclosure protects your iPad with an aircraft-grade aluminum shell. Remove the iPad from the case prop it up against the innovative hinge and start typing on the handy internal bluetooth keyboard. High density padding ensures that your iPad will not get scratched.

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