Monthly Archives: October 2011

Happy Halloween From The Fire Wire


My daughter Elli visiting Salem, MA on Halloween 2011

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The Joker: A Visual History of the Clown Prince of Crime

The Joker: A Visual History of the Clown Prince of Crime ($35) written by Daniel Wallace is a comprehensive look at the greatest comic book villain . . . ever. Since his first appearance in 1940’s Batman #1, the Joker stands alone as the most hated, feared, and loved villain in the DC Universe. Though his true origins may be unknown, the Clown Prince of Crime’s psychotic appearances in hundreds of comic books has shaped the way we look at Batman, comic books, and ourselves. Indeed, a hero is only as good as his nemesis, so the Joker’s heinous crimes, including murdering the second Robin and paralyzing Batgirl, have elevated Batman to the highest levels of crime-fighting, and we, the readers, to the finest levels of quality pop-culture entertainment.

The Joker is the first retrospective chronicling one of the most groundbreaking and game-changing villains of all time, and contains images from his more than seventy years in comics by comic book artists and writers such as Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Jerry Robinson, Dick Sprang, Grant Morrison, Dave McKean, Neil Gaiman, Geoff Johns, Alan Moore, Brian Bolland, Brian Azzarello, Bruce Timm, and Paul Dini. Also included are images from his various film, television, animated, and video game incarnations, such as the timeless interpretations by Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, and Heath Ledger, who won his posthumous Oscar for his portrayal of the Joker in 2008’s The Dark Knight. This book is a must-have for fans and anyone who wants to die laughing.

In this gallery, comics expert Wallace walks us through the most intriguing Joker iterations of all time.

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Ray Villafane Carves the World’s Heaviest Pumpkins Into Zombies

Last weekend, The New York Botanical Garden brought on master food sculptor Ray Villafane to carve zombies out of two giant pumpkins, one of which was the world’s heaviest pumpkin. He used the “pale flesh Brant and Eleanor Bordsen’s 1,693 pound pumpkin for the zombies” and the world record-holding 1818.5 pound pumpkin from Kelsey and Jim Bryson was used as the base.

Ray’s entire pumpkin carving process at The New York Botanical Garden event was captured in the time-lapse video that can be watched below.

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New Trailer For Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

In the Brad Bird-directed action thriller, opening in IMAX theaters on December 16 before hitting conventional theaters on December 21, the IMF is shut down when it’s implicated in a global terrorist bombing plot. Ghost Protocol is initiated and Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his rogue new team must go undercover to clear their organization’s name.

Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Josh Holloway, Michael Nyqvist, Vladimir Mashkov, Lea Seydoux and Anil Kapoor star in the new film. Watch the trailer HERE.


Rolling Stone Cover Story: Eddie Murphy Speaks – Why He’s Quitting Family Movies & May Return to Stand-Up

After years of near-silence, Eddie Murphy gives a rare extensive print interview in the new issue of Rolling Stone, on stands and available through Rolling Stone All Access on October 28th. In the Q&A, Murphy opens up to senior writer Brian Hiatt about the ups and downs of his long career, his possible return to stand-up, his Oscar hosting plans and much more. Murphy, who co-stars in the upcoming Tower Heist, is baffled by his reputation as a near-recluse: “I leave my house all the time,” he says. “But I’m not at all the Hollywood parties. I’m grown, and where else am I supposed to be? I’m supposed to be home… If I were out in the clubs every night, they’d be saying, ‘That’s a shame, look at him, 50 years old, he’s still out at these clubs.’ Recluses are nasty, with long nails, don’t wash their ass… I’m too vain to be a recluse. But homebody, absolutely. I’m 50 years old, beautiful house, I’m supposed to be home, chilling.”

Read more HERE and pick up the issue tomorrow.

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New Images From Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie

Entertainment Weekly has debuted these new images from Tim Burton’s 3D stop-motion animated film Frankenweenie, featuring the voices of Winona Ryder, Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Robert Capron and Conchata Ferrell.

The big screen adaptation of Burton’s previous short is a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life—with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous.

Frankenweenie opens in theaters on October 5, 2012.


Apple Expected To Release Siri-Powered Television By 2013

Apple plans to use Siri as the primary interface of an upcoming HDTV set, according to a new report. Citing various sources, the New York Times reports that such integration would allow Apple’s TV to bypass the traditional remote control, allowing users to request specific programming—be it on traditional cable or Internet-based content sources such as iTunes, Netflix, or YouTube—and allow the TV set to find it for them, without the need for navigating through channels or directories of content. Apple could announce the product as early as late next year, with an official release coming in 2013.

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First Official Look At Sean Hayes, Will Sasso & Chris Diamantopoulos As The Three Stooges

Following the teaser poster for The Three Stooges, we now have an actual look at Curly (Will Sasso), Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos) and Larry (Sean Hayes) in the Farrelly brothers’ The Three Stooges, opening April 4th.

Inspired by original “Three Stooges” shorts, the storyline will have the trio left as newborns outside an orphanage and will follow them into adulthood, the full film being divided into three half-hour shorts.

The cast also includes Jane Lynch, Larry David, Stephen Collins, Sofia Vergara and Jennifer Hudson.


The Trailer For Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax

Universal Pictures has revealed the trailer for Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, from Despicable Me and Hop creators Illumination Entertainment. Opening in 3D and 2D theaters on March 2, the film features the voices of Danny DeVito, Zac Efron, Ed Helms, Rob Riggle, Taylor Swift and Betty White.

The film is an adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ classic tale of a forest creature who shares the enduring power of hope. The animated adventure follows the journey of a boy as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.

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Warner Bros. Announce Harry Potter DVD/Blu-ray Moratorium

Warner Bros. has announced that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 will only be available for a limited time on Blu-ray and DVD. The discs don’t arrive until November 11th.

Fans wanting to buy any of the discs should buy them now, because all eight films are going on moratorium starting December 29th. This means that copies will no longer be printed, and new stores will not be able to reorder more.

The discs will surely be re-released in the future, but for now it’s not known when.

Here are the details from the official press release:

Harry Potter, the #1 motion picture franchise of all time, will soon disappear from shelves, as Warner Bros. stops shipping all Harry Potter theatrical film titles (including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, and Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection) as of December 29, 2011 (moratorium does not include digital – Electronic Sell-Through & VOD – or games). The Harry Potter franchise has grossed more than $12.1 billion for Warner Bros. Entertainment – with $7 billion at the worldwide box office for Warner Bros. Pictures and $5.1 billion for Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.


Comixology – A Comics App For Digital Collections

The Comixology app allows comic book readers to purchase and view their books on multiple devices including the Apple iPad – many the same day they are in print. Comixology is a comic book store and reader in your hand with over 13,000 comics to choose from (500 issues are free!).

This is the app that I use to read my Marvel, DC and IDW weekly books and I highly recommend it! Watch a video about the app HERE.

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Adele “Live At The Royal Albert Hall” DVD, Blu-ray & CD Available November 29

Tuesday, November 29th sees the release of Adele’s “Live At The Royal Albert Hall” concert film. It has been an incredible year for Adele, starting with her #1 album “21,” her #1 single “Someone Like You,” the global smash “Rolling In The Deep” and her spellbinding live appearance on The Brits. Her album “21″ has become the biggest selling album in the world this year -12 million copies sold and counting – and “21″ and “19″ remain the UK’s 1st and 2nd highest  selling albums so far. She has received rave reviews for her live shows and “Live At The Royal Albert Hall,” recorded at the height of this amazing year, showcases exactly why Adele has become one of the most sought after live performers in the world.

“Live At The Royal Albert Hall” will be available on DVD and Blu Ray and features the full 90 minute performance, plus behind the scenes footage shot throughout that day. The package also contains an exclusive live CD of the entire show. This is the first time fans will be able to hear all of Adele’s hits and best loved songs on one CD plus her stunning covers of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” and The Steeldrivers “If It Hadn’t Been For Love.”

The Tracklisting is as follows:

Hometown Glory

I’ll Be Waiting

Don’t You Remember

Turning Tables

Set Fire To The Rain

If It Hadn’t Been For Love

My Same

Take It All

Rumour Has It

Right As Rain

One & Only


Chasing Pavements

I Can’t Make You Love Me

Make You Feel My Love

Someone Like You

Rolling In The Deep

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The Diabolical Diagram of Movie Monsters

The Diabolical Diagram of Movie Monsters print ($24) by Pop Chart Lab is a taxonomic breakdown of all manner of frightful creatures from the silver screen, from the very large (like Godzilla) to the rather small (like Chucky) to the very weird (like the Crawling Eye). Hundreds in all, this is the definitive guide to a universe of scarifying baddies.

Each 24″ x 36” print is signed and numbered by the artists, from a first edition of 500.

Click on image to make larger

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The 20 Unhealthiest Cereals

A bowl of Cap’n Crunch isn’t as bad as a sodium-packed slice of pepperoni pizza but there’s still lots of sugar—up to 50% for some brands—in every bite of many popular breakfast cereals.

To find the 20 unhealthiest cereals on your grocer’s shelf, The Daily Beast used data from Good Guide and limited their list to the most popular brands. This ranking is based on Good Guide’s health score, on a scale of 0 to 10, worst to best.

See the list HERE.

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D23 Interviews Artist Eric Tan

There’s a good chance you’ve seen Eric Tan’s work before. His retro-inspired, visually striking Disney and Pixar movie posters have struck a chord with Disneyphiles, film fans, and art aficionados alike.

His posters’ crisp colors and flat graphic shapes recall an earlier era. D23 recently got a chance to sit down with the Eric to learn more about his inspiration, his upcoming projects, and why working for Disney is a dream come true.

Read more HERE.

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Introducing The Nest Learning Thermostat

The Nest Thermostat learns from your behaviors, preferences and surroundings to create a custom heating and cooling schedule, keeping you comfortable when you’re home and conserving energy when you’re away.

“It was unacceptable to me that the device that controls 10 percent of all energy consumed in the U.S. hadn’t kept up with advancements in technology and design,” said Tony Fadell, co-founder and chief executive officer of Nest Labs. “Together with the team, Co-Founder Matt Rogers and I set out to reinvent the thermostat using advanced technologies, high-quality manufacturing processes and the thoughtful design elements the iPhone generation has come to expect. The resulting Nest Learning Thermostat is like no other thermostat on the market. We hope it will not only save money and energy, but that it will teach and inspire people to think more about how they can reduce home-energy consumption.”

Product Features:

- Programs itself – Nest programs itself based on the temperatures you set. Nest learns your personal schedule in a week and starts automatically turning down heating or cooling when you’re away to save energy. Nest will keep refining its schedule over time.

- Saves Energy – Nest tracks the temperatures you typically set and guides you to more energy-efficient ones, displaying the green Nest Leaf as a reward when you set the temperature to a more energy-efficient setting. The Auto-Away feature uses sensors to detect when you’re not home, lowering the temperature and saving energy. You can also check Energy History to see how much you saved.

- Connected – Connect Nest to your home’s Wi-Fi to control it from your laptop, smartphone or tablet. Change the temperature, adjust your schedule and check your energy usage.

- Simple to Use – Rotate the outer ring to adjust the temperature. The display turns blue when cooling and red when heating. Push down to open the menu.

- Convenient Installation Options – Bundle installation service with purchase at or install Nest yourself if you’re handy around the house. Just about everything you need comes in the box. If you’ve installed a lighting fixture, you’ll find that installing Nest is a similar process.

- Thoughtful Design – The brushed stainless steel dial frames the display while the ring’s curved, neutral-silver finish creates a chameleon effect that grounds Nest within its environment by picking up the color of the wall upon which it’s mounted. This combination of sleek design elements and premium materials makes Nest a thermostat you can finally feel proud to display in your home.

Pricing and Availability:

The Nest Learning Thermostat is expected to be available at and retail outlets in mid-November for a suggested retail price of $249.00 (U.S.).


Elvis Costello Sings Monster Went and Ate My Red 2 on Sesame Street

Elvis Costello and Elmo singing “Monster Went and Ate My Red 2″ on Sesame Street.

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6-Minute The Dark Knight Rises Prologue Will Start Before Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol IMAX Shows

Warner Bros. Pictures is planning on showing a six-minute prologue for The Dark Knight Rises with Paramount Pictures’ early release of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol in IMAX theaters on December 16 (the film has its general release on Dec. 21).

The prologue will only screen at 70mm IMAX screens and not at digital IMAX locations.

The plan matches the screening situation in December 2007 where The Dark Knight attached its opening sequence to IMAX prints of I Am Legend.

The Dark Knight Rises opens in theaters on July 20, 2012. Check back here soon for a full listing of when and where the prologue can be seen.

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Possible Watchmen Prequel Miniseries To Be Published By DC Comics

DC Comics may be planning on doing prequels to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen. The plan is to do four prequel miniseries that tie in together. The roster of talent rumored is strong, and includes Gibbons. The entire arc for the four miniseries is being plotted and possibly drawn by Darwyn Cook.

The other names in the mix are John Higgins, Joseph Michael Straczinski, JG Jones and Andy Kubert, but these are all preliminary names.

More info will be posted as this project progresses.


McDonald’s To Add Chicken McBites To Menu

Following successful testing in Australia and Detroit, McDonald’s will expand Chicken McBites to restaurants nationwide beginning next spring as a rotating promotional menu item.

McBites are small, nugget-size pieces of fried chicken, the poultry version of popcorn shrimp. They will be available in packages of 4, 6 and 12 ounces and priced from $1.99 to $4.99, accompanied by dipping sauces.

McDonald’s is also bringing back the McRib — the boneless sandwich with a cult-like following at all U.S. locations through Nov. 14.


Boorito: Wear A Costume Inspired By A Family Farm On Halloween At Chipotle And Score A $2 Burrito

This Halloween, Chipotle is celebrating family farms and their dedication to the land they live on and the delicious food they produce. To join in on the party, come into any Chipotle on Halloween from 6 pm to closing dressed in a costume inspired by the family farm and they’ll hook you up with a burrito, bowl, salad, or an order of tacos made with responsibly raised ingredients for just $2.

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Mondo To Release J.C. Richard’s Jurassic Park Poster On Thursday October 27th

Mondo is releasing a new poster for the film Jurassic Park created by J.C. Richard and it’ll be on sale this Thursday October 27th for $45. The print measures 24 x 36 and will be released in an edition of 375 copies.

You will have to pay attention to @mondonews as always to find out when it goes on sale.

Click on image to make larger

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Brian Grazer Assures That Stephen King’s Dark Tower Movie Will Be Made

The Playlist spoke to Brian Grazer during the “Tower Heist” press rounds and the prolific producer, informed the site that The Dark Tower film budget has been cut back in an effort to greenlight the picture.

“We found a way to cut out $45 million out of the budget without changing the scope and actually giving it a good ending,” Grazer said, suggesting a heavily re-worked approach. “In the $140 million draft, the ending wasn’t quite as satisfying. Now, we’ve got $45 million, $50 million out of the way and a really satisfying ending. It’s gonna get made.”

Update: Brian Grazer shared with MTV today that HBO will air the Dark Tower television portion of the project which is slated to be split between theatrical films and TV episodes.

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Author Justin Cronin Discusses The Twelve, His Follow Up To The Passage

Brian Freeman from Cemetery Dance had a chance to catch up with Justin Cronin — author of the internationally bestselling novel The Passage.

Freeman asked some questions about the follow-up novel entitled The Twelve which is slated for 2012.

Read more HERE.


All-TIME 100 Songs

TIME’s critics picked the most extraordinary English-language pop recordings since the beginning of the magazine in 1923. HERE are 100 (unranked) songs of enduring beauty, power and inventiveness.

You can also listen to the selected songs on TIME’s special Pandora playlist which you can get here: TIME Magazine’s 100 Best Songs of All-Time on Pandora.

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