An Ode to Vanishing Point

27 03 2008

Supposedly hailed as one of the greatest car movies of all time, the cult-classic from the 1971 “Vanishing Point” is back in the lime light. Honestly speaking, I saw the remake starring Viggo Mortensen and loved it. It was a bit different from the regular stuff but at that time, I’d never heard of the movie until I caught it on cable back in the late ’90s. Then after finding out about the original, I checked it out and wasn’t disappointed with Kowalski’s exploits in the “supercharged” 1970 Dodge Challenger.

Chrysler/Dodge is bringing back the Challenger as an ’09 model and this ad does a great job in forcing nostalgia down on us. Clips of the commercial is from the original movie and if you haven’t seen it, I will ask you to go to the nearest library / movie-rental / NetFlix and get it!

One bit of criticism for the new Challenger is that the wheels are too large. Makes it look like a ‘roided version of the original classic beauty. Oh and another criticism for Chrysler/Dodge is that they’re retiring the overscooped-ducted but venerable Viper.

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RIP (Toshiba) HD-DVD

19 02 2008

Today 02/19/08, Toshiba finally threw in the towel and gave-up their interests in the high definition dvd format war against Sony’s Blu-Ray. Gizmodo covered it up a bit but for the average folks out there, Toshiba and Sony initially developed the high-definition DVD standard but as the two company’s differences grew larger, they decided to split with Toshiba taking the “HD” moniker leaving the more ambiguous term “Blu-Ray” for Sony.

While Toshiba cozied up with big Shao Khan Microsoft and his henchmen in the movie industry, Sony worked hard to ingrain Blu-Ray DVD systems into their next generation gaming platform, the Sony Playstation 3 or PS3. The biggest cosmetic difference between the Blu-Ray and HD-DVD dvds are that the former can hold more than double the capacity of the latter. But to Toshiba’s credit, their disks are cheaper.

So anyway, slowly and steadily, Sony started to garner support as PS3 sales began to drive Blu-Ray player sales and certain notable Hollywood companies switched sides to the benefit of the makers of PrayStation3.

Transformers director Michael Bay made an allegation that Microsoft was simply holding hands with Toshiba to prolong the high-definition DVD war until digital downloads became the acceptable medium for media transfers. Could be saying the truth? It’s true that the add-on HD-DVD player for the Xbox 360 sucks and it can only be used to view HD-DVD movies compared to the PS3’s Blu-Ray player which plays PS3/PS2 games + Blu-Ray movies and doesn’t require you to make an additional purchase for the dvd component. Half-assed work from the big bad MS building credibility to the rumor reported by Michael “awesome” Bay.

So yea, in the end, one must fall. With too many defections from Hollywood studios, it was only a matter of time before Toshiba crumbled saving Sony from an embarrassing Betamax-like failure of the ’80s. To put in the final blow, Sony released an official statement mentioning they were open to the idea of Toshiba joining the Blu-Ray camp. FATALITY!

So what is this High-Definition DVD? Regular DVD videos are formatted for 480p resolutions. On an HDTV, those videos will be stretched to fit and on larger HDTVs, regular DVDs aren’t as impressive. This is where high definition dvds (720p, 1080i, 1080p) come into play as Sony’s Blu-Ray disks let you watch your favorite movies (with huge mark-ups of course) on crystal clear screens. You will require HDMI cables to transmit video/audio from the DVD player to the TV however to get that pristine picture and sound you deserve.





Cloverfield – the movie review

14 01 2008

On January 14th, SOMETHING HAS ARRIVED – the movie details revealed.

Only just over 3 days left before this JJ Abrams monster movie is out in theaters but doesn’t hurt to write about it. Alright this isn’t exactly the review but an “alleged review” by a screener so this MAY or MAY NOT be a SPOILER. Continue reading ONLY if you do not care. One thing that needs to be cleared up is that the fictitious Japanese soda Slusho (slusho.jp) DOES have a role in the movie but not quite as much. Also, this movie is NOT about the Chtulu  or Cthulu or Godzilla or some other existing monster as I’d previously blogged about.

WARNING – READ BELOW – POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT!!!

So here’s what happens in the movie. This Japanese company Tagruato (maker of Slusho) is involved in deep sea mining and exploration and at the same time trying to promote a new drink in the US. The main character “Rob” as seen in the trailers gets tricked into thinking his friends hooked him up with a surprise going-away party but in reality, it was a Slusho presentation for Rob who’s chosen as one of the top persons to market the drink. Mind you that this whole thing is going on in New York City. Of course. Where else would all this kinda destruction take place. And most important, the camera dude is Hud, buddy of Rob.

Something that might not be shown in the movie are Slusho underwater vehicles awakening the Cloverfield sea monster possibly using explosives etc causing the creature to surface. I figured this out from the movie screener review where a news reporter asks for a comment from our very own Rob for the deep-sea explorations by Tagruato which maybe hazardous. According to the director, JJ Abrams, in this excerpt from an interview, “He’s a baby. He’s brand-new. He’s confused, disoriented and irritable. And he’s been down there in the water for thousands and thousands of years.” That’s what comes out of the waters.

Now the whole movie is pretty much with Rob trying to find his girl Beth. But before all that, when the monster first strikes the area, some chick going by the name of Jamie, self-proclaimed hottie, who turns into the most annoying character since Jar Jar Binks of Star Wars Episode I, gets killed when the giant head of the Statue of Liberty crashes down on her cab. There’s a lot of 9-11 like images in the footage taken from a portable camcorder.

Description of the creature – Many internet sources have varying descriptions but most of them go with the “scaly humanoid” face and “red eyes” while some report a whale-like head as shown in the above fan-art. The front limbs are like inverted crab arms/legs. The size of this monster is ginormous and when it brushes past the buildings, thousands of parasitic creatures fall out.

Back to the movie. So Beth is apparently trapped under the rubble of a collapsed structure. Cops are running helter skelter and when one of them radios in to help out a victim, a car falls smack squarley on him. Meanwhile, this female cast Marlena was one of the few who actually drank a Slusho right during the party in the beginning. She gets visibly sicker as the movie progresses and then physically explodes. Out of her body comes out some nasty looking creature that goes out on a human feeding frenzy. She gets shot multiple times.

While Rob and his buddy Hud are in the subway talking, Hud says “Rob, I’ve seen it… Rob, it’s a loss.” contrary to what we thought we heard in the trailers where it sounded more like “it’s alive.” Then a loud crash and the monster is dead. WOW. A close-up of the face reveals our description.

Then people from the party who drank the Slusho drink are now bleeding from their eyes and their bodies are expanding. Some blow up with blood-thirsty creatures jumping out. So Rob outlives Hud and video records the whole incident. Cops in helicopters come swirling down rescuing as many survivors and as they’re lifting off, a loud explosion goes off. The creature is back up and moving and attacks the choppers. “It looks possessed, angry, *beep* crazy. Its teeth look like machetes and its eyes are now a darker red than before.” Then the bridge gets destroyed and Beth and Rob run into Central Park and say their I love yous as the camera battery starts to beep due to low battery. The movie ending in the review is terrible. Supposedly, the last words of Rob while filming himself are, “My name is Robert Hawkings…” and then the monster’s crashing footsteps get closer and with Beth screaming in the background and all of a sudden, the battery is dead. The End.

Fak that shit. Well I only hope that was all just crap he posted and not the real thing. So far, it looks too close to what might be. JJ Abrams, tell me this ain’t true. Tell me please!





Go Speed Racer Go!!!

7 12 2007

Wachowski Brothers of “The Matrix” fame are hard at work on completing the upcoming “Speed Racer” movie which is expected to debut on May 9th, 2008. They’re already into 6 months of shooting in Germany with an actual physical MACH 5″ fictional race car. This is the movie version of the classic Japanese animated show “Mach Go Go Go” which was later exported to the rest of the world as the one and only “Speed Racer.” If you’ve seen the show, you’ll know what to expect or hope to expect. I mean how much different can it get?

Looking at the trailer and stills, we’re going to see Speed Racer (Emile Hirsch – The Girl Next Door) hook up with Trixie (Christina Ricci – Casper, Adams Family). Also, the mysterious “Racer X” (Speed Racer’s older brother who ran away from home) is cast and there’s a pic of him blocking a punch from Taejo Togokhan played by South Korean sensation (I’ve never heard of him), Rain (real name – Jung Ji-hoon) while Speed Racer looks on.

So Rain plays the role of a Japanese race driver looking to avenge the death of his father in a race involving the dorky “Speed Racer” and is rumored to have 50 minutes of acting time. Seems like all the Korean actors are playing Japanese these days with the sole exception of Masi Oka (Heroes – Hiro Nakamura) but then his side kick Ando Masahashi (James Kyson Lee) is Korean. Remember “Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift”? The Asian dude, Han, who befriends the main character. Yea he’s Korean as well. Real name – Sung Kang.

So back to Speed Racer. Yea it looks cool and will obviously have cheesy lines at a premium but something tells me it’s going to stink. Oh well definitely would be worth watching it on DVD but they did find the right actor to play Speed Racer. Oh and Chim-Chim (the monkey) and Speed Racer’s comical younger bro Spirtle are poised to get back hiding in the trunk. Where’s Chim-Chim’s hat??? And don’t forget to watch the trailer!

 

[Official Website] [Pictures – Jalopnik]





The return of Knight Rider

30 11 2007

According to Jalopnik, a credible source revealed/confirmed that the new and upcoming Knight Rider movie is casting the Ford Shelby GT500KR as the new K.I.T.T. and thus goes away GM’s dominance of pushing their wares on every movie featuring a car for this millennia. There were rumors previously about Ford’s role in the upcoming remake (movie) of the classic tv show but we finally have pictures. Below is the original Knight Rider “ride” decked out in all it’s Pontiac Trans-Am glory before the brand became diluted into manufacturing plasticky ruffled up cars.

If you were old enough to remember watching the hit 80’s corny show Knight Rider starring David “the Hoff” Hasselhoff of Baywatch fame, K.I.T.T (the car) was a black Pontiac Trans-Am with a horizontally moving set of red lights. KITT was the SHIT back then. He could listen in conversations of bad guys, do x-ray and thermal scans, had radar, missile packs, and could even fly. Wow what a car. Cheesy lines were at their premium and the Hoff never stopped trying to race other regular cars with his super duper KITT. All that and the campy theme music together made a great team.

Now we have the angry looking GT500KR as KITT. I think KARR (KITT’s arch nemesis) would be perfect as a Mustang but somehow, KITT just doesn’t seem like a Mustang in my opinion. I mean Ford’s sports car is a sweet ride for any ninja but it just cant seem to emulate the futuristic-looking sports car that was Trans-Am back in the day. A Dodge Viper or a Chevy Z06 would make a better looking KITT. Even the Infiniti G35 (Nissan Skyline) would be a better fit in my opinion.


But picking the Mustang might just do the trick. The Hoff was quite the schmuck in his car so finding a driver with a similar mindset for a Mustang should be no problem. But then again, I’m not really digging those gray stripes down the middle. KITT was all black and that’s how it should be. So the question remains:

1. Are those photoshopped images?

2. Who will play “Michael Knight” the driver?

3. Will they get rid of those silly Cobra badges from KITT?

4. How many more corny lines can they reuse from the old series?

5. Is Gary Coleman going to make an appearance again? He still looks the same.





Iron Man movie plot revealed?

10 09 2007

This is what I got from the trailers and hopefully when the movie gets released, it will prove me wrong.

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Junior) is a big defense contractor/inventor whatever. He works for the US Govt’s defense systems and because of his super-intelligence, he gets to be a celebrity and compared to the likes of Leonardo DaVici.

During one of his tours in Iraq or Afganistan or somewhere-in-the-mid-east, his convoy gets ambushed by “terrorists” and everybody but his assistant (Pepper Potts) and himself are spared. His orders were to build an ICBM or some sort of missile that could reach the US … the Whitehouse … and I guess it’s expected to be strong enough to be a bunker buster as well.

While building a missle, Tony Stark secretly starts building a body armor and turns himself into “Iron Man”. This suit is super strong. Has got a lot of crazy stuff in it (adamantium?) and he’s able to free himself off of the clutches of his captors.

Rescued.

Back in the States at home, he turns into an overnight celebrity (maybe he wasnt a celebrity to begin with?).

But big brother’s afraid. SHIELD (Strategic Hazard Intervention, Espionage and Logistics Directorate) sends out Nick Fury (Sam L “Mothafuckin” Jackson) to track his movements and report his activities back to HQ.

Big Brother’s fears were correct. Stark is building another suit. This one’s better and stronger and allows him to fly. They send out a crack team to take him out but Nick Fury helps out Stark and thas basically how the movie unravels. 2 dudes (and 1 assistant) against the big bad US Government aka SHIELD.

The movie ends with the corrupt Govt Officials sent to prison and a full pardon to Tony Stark. Nick Fury disappears as usual. Stark is offered his old job back but he rejects the deal saying “I’m Iron Man”.

… in short, this will be a bad movie. (But I’ll still watch it)

EDIT: I forgot the part about Iron Monger. Well he’ll be the gigantor-like baddie but will have limited appearances in the movie. Most of this 120 minute flick will devote on how Tony Stark became Iron Man.





New Ironman trailer

10 09 2007

… is out on Gizmodo and the Apple Trailers page or a direct link to a medium sized trailer. It’s mostly the same trailer from my earlier post, only this time, it’s not a boot-leg. But the boot-leg had a few more secs of footage than this one.