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Warning: Deciphering the latest intelligence on Smart TV will make your head hurt.
First, what seems like good news: Tdg Research reported last week that the penetration of TV sets that connect to the Internet doubled over the past year in U.S. households with broadband access, to 25%. That would seem to suggest TV manufacturers are getting a return on the substantial investments they’ve made in creating on-screen environments that house apps streaming from over-the-top content providers like Netflix.
But before popping the champagne corks, consider a few more numbers. Tdg also found that 69% of Smart TVs are connected to the Internet. Now that might seem odd; why would 30% of the people buy these TVs choose not to use the feature that makes their TVs a few hundred dollars more expensive than the products that can’t go online?
Then there’s a separate study from Npd Group that »
- Andrew Wallenstein
Things macabre, Victorian and aurally and visually arresting are in store for fans of American singer, songwriter and Devil’s Carnival actress Emilie Autumn, who sat down recently with us to chat regarding her new single Fight Like a Girl, her new band Platonic Friends, and Episode 2 of Devil’s Carnival.
Read on for the Q&A and more!
With Autumn’s video for Fight Like a Girl having dropped recently (see it below), which was helmed by Devil’s Carnival and Saw series director Darren Lynn Bousman (and based on her autobiographical novel The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls), the singer and artist riffed on her collaboration with the filmmaker, her new band with actor Marc Senter (writer’s note and an exclusive: he and fellow actor Noah Segan have signed on to star in writer and director Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kölsch’s feature Starry Eyes!), and a whole lot more. »
- Sean Decker
Certainly the first box-office surprise hits of the year cam with the release of director Sam Raimi’s 3D fantasy adventure Oz The Great And Powerful. Adapted from the famed novel series by L Frank Baum, the Walt Disney-produced prequel to The Wizard Of Oz, will soon make its way onto the home entertainment DVD, Blu-ray and download formats to capture the magic once again and we have all the release details in the following press release.
Debuts On Disney Blu-ray™, Digital Download,
3D Blu-Ray™ And DVD On 1 July 2013
The fantastical family adventure “Oz The Great And Powerful” debuts on Disney Blu-ray™, Digital Download on iTunes, 3D Blu-ray™ and DVD on 1 July 2013. Audiences are invited to step into the enchanted and vibrant world of Oz to discover the story of small-time circus magician, Oscar Diggs, as he embarks on a quest to restore unity and peace to the land »
- Craig Hunter
Well, the summer blockbuster season has kicked off splendidly, hasn’t it? Iron Man 3 rocks like the proverbial Mother: Sir Ben Kingsley plays a blinder and my hometown of Croydon gets a mention. Star Trek Into Darkness (why no colon in the title?) has just slid into multiplexes and in the coming weeks and months we have a series of eagerly anticipated big budget movies; The Wolverine; Fast And Furious 6; Man Of Steel; World War Z; Pacific Rim; and the Daddy of them all, The Smurfs 2.
For all but the last of these movies we’ll have to suspend our disbelief concerning the implausibility of the narrative and for the two hours that we’re in the theatre we’ll replace our brains with a bucket of popcorn. In this article I would like to suggest that we improve our brain activity between each cinematic encounter by watching a documentary. »
- Basil Creese Jr
It doesn't always pay to follow the Yellow Brick Road. Daniel Zucker is suing Gigapix Studios in Los Angeles Superior Court and alleging securities fraud and breach of contract over a $700,000 loan related to a planned computer-animated version of "The Wizard of Oz." Zucker claims Gigapix never repaid the money in his lawsuit. Zucker also invested money in the film and is seeking $1.2 million in damages and attorney's fees. Gigapix is under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is trying to determine whether it improperly raised funds. According to »
- Brent Lang
The Great Gatsby is transporting audiences back in time, and we sure have a thing for movies that do just that. The trend of morphing great literature into Hollywood films has come and gone through the last century, leaving behind a gold-flecked trail of some of the best movie adaptations of all time.
We're talking movies that you watched instead of reading the book in your ninth grade English class. We're talking novels from the 1950s and earlier. We're talking stories that started out a little dull, but got interesting as soon as they were converted into silver screen gold. Cast your vote for the top 10 classic-lit movie adaptations.
Rate the Top 10 Classic-Literature Movie Adaptations >>
Link | Posted 5/10/2013 by Shari
- Shari Taylor
Describing the style of artist Laurent Durieux is challenging. It’s mechanical, but lyrical. Rigid, but whimsical, and still realistic. This interesting cross-section of visual cues makes his work perfect for so many different properties, from The Wizard of Oz or Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, to Buck Rodgers and Jaws. We’re proud to exclusively debut Durieux’s latest [...] »
- Germain Lussier
I love musicals. Perhaps that is strange in this day and age, but I find it strange that that could be strange. Too many of my friends wave off the idea and just say, “Oh yeah, I don’t like musicals”. It is like the one time my friend told me they didn’t like sandwiches: there is such a variety and so many ways they can be made that dismissing them entirely is such an insane idea to me. There have been so many truly fantastic musicals made that I can only become skeptical that these people who dismiss the genre, haven’t seen the best works. From classics like West Side Story, Singing in the Rain and The Wizard Of Oz to the more modern examples like Moulin Rouge and even Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible Sing-a-Long Blog are all well worth checking out if you haven’t. »
- Patrick Dane
His first column appeared in April 1963 and he would become the doyen of UK film critics. Having announced he will soon file his last column, he talks about meeting Chaplin, and Hollywood's greatest canine actors
Philip French's international reputation as a film critic is unrivalled. As recently as February, after a career with the Observer that began in 1963, an American film journal rated him as Britain's "greatest living movie analyst". But at the end of August he is to file his last column as this newspaper's film critic. After an illustrious half century, French, who was honoured with an OBE in January, has decided to step down following his 80th birthday the same month.
In his first column for the Observer, he bemoaned the lack of British films offering a believable picture of criminathe underworld. He noted "the tired vignettes of sub-Runyon characters" in The Small World of Sammy Lee starring Anthony Newley. »
- Vanessa Thorpe
He’s the honcho of a department that edits hundreds of films each year for broadcast on TV and airlines, re-cutting films to address time constraints and Standards & Practices issues, all while preserving the asset as it travels through the many versions that are created in post-theatrical life. Terman and his team write, edit and direct promo vids, tradeshow sizzle reels and industrials for Sony corporate divisions in addition to editing DVD added-value material, docus, musicvids and screen tests. Terman also works with actors to replace original dialogue with TV-safe alternatives — if actors are unavailable, he auditions sound-alikes to revoice lines — or convinces the original thesps to make it work.
For “Beverly Hills Ninja” replacement dialogue: “I went to the actor and shot him in the car while we were driving down Pico Boulevard. He just didn’t have time, and I was like, ‘Dude I gotta get you, »
- Sean Fitz-Gerald
A tire manufacturer may not be the first company you think of when it comes to sponsoring the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.
But the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has locked a multiyear deal with Italy’s Pirelli to sponsor the new venue, scheduled to open in 2017.
The Milan-based company will be one of the few consumer brands whose name will be integrated into the museum and featured on press and other marketing materials, as part of the deal and donation.
Given Pirelli’s focus mostly on motorsports like Formula 1 as a promotional vehicle in the past, Pirelli’s decision to back the Academy’s $300 million facility came as a surprise.
Yet Pirelli, known for its premium line of tires that come standard on luxury cars from Audi, Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari, to Lamborghini and Porsche has been active in the lifestyle arena for decades through its PZero fashion line, »
- Marc Graser
Confirming a rumor report we published back in late March, Disney today announced a June 11 release date for Oz The Great and Powerful on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD.
Disney is releasing a total of three Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D skus of Oz The Great and Powerful. The Blu-ray combo pack is straightfoward with a DVD and digital copy of the film also included in the package. A single-disc Blu-ray version will also include a digital copy.
The Blu-ray 3D edition sheds all other formats save for a digital copy. The only way to own the Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray versions of the films is to buy both skus individually.
The following bonus features are only available on the Blu-ray combos »
Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut which stars everyone he’s ever worked with continues to intrigue us with its bonkers storyline and an ever-expanding cast. So far the roster for How To Catch A Monster includes Christina Hendricks (who shared screen time with Gosling in Drive), Eva Mendes and Ben Mendelsohn (in The Place Beyond The Pines), and Matt Smith, star of Doctor Who.
For those of you out of the loop, How To Catch A Monster is set against the “surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city,” which sounds utterly terrifying to be honest. The synopsis further reveals “Billy (Hendricks), a single mother of two is swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while her teenage son discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town. Both Billy and Bones must dive deep into the mystery, if their family is to survive.”
- Gem Seddon
Actor who plays Lady Rose MacClare in the hit TV series to take lead in the Kenneth Branagh-directed live-action version of the fairytale
The film is the latest in a series of live action Disney fantasies which began in 2010 with the enormous box office success of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and continued earlier this year with Sam Raimi's Oz the Great and Powerful, a prequel to 1939's The Wizard of Oz. Branagh finds his way into the director's chair following his impressive stewardship of superhero movie Thor in 2011 for Disney-owned Marvel Studios.
- Ben Child
There are few films out there that I have a softer spot in my heart for than 1959's Creature From the Black Lagoon rip-off The Monster of the Piedras Blancas. It had everything from severed heads to handicapped kids fleeing for their lives! In a word it was rather strange.
Now, after many decades, the Monster is ready to surface again in a new short film entitled The Redemption of The Monster of the Piedras Blancas. The flick directed by Kerrigan Mahan stars Tess Endersby, Victoria Heckman, Casimir Pulaski, Ally Rose, and Cosimo Casola as The Monster.
This film is first and foremost a community fundraiser for the children of Cayucos, CA. All proceeds generated by the screening of this film and its DVD sales will go directly to the Cayucos School Foundation. The time and energy required to make this film have been generously donated by professional and amateur »
- Uncle Creepy
On weekends as a kid, my sister and I would go play on my godparents' farm, which was just outside of the county seat where we lived in rural Maryland. Their two kids were our greatest friends, and together we formed a fearsome foursome, subjecting ourselves to our own glorious reign of terror that included snapping turtle bites, egregious poison ivy, falls from trees, fences, tire swings, horses and roofs, unfriendly ghost sightings, four-wheeler accidents and various fights with fists/mud/sticky burrs/chewing gum. We were always filthy and often bloody, but it was always an amazing adventure.
Some great children's films, like The Goonies, The Black Stallion and The Wizard of Oz, have captured youthful myth-making and discovery to cinematic advantage, and often use childhood dramas as a metaphor for adult problems happening just outside the frame. In Jeff Nichols' latest movie Mud, the grown-up world is »
- Holly Herrick
‘Cursed productions’ are not exclusive to horror pictures. But, it’s typically horror films that garner the most attention for tumultuous circumstances surrounding their filming. At one point, people seemed to like the idea of those involved with horror movies being condemned for their participation in the devil’s work. But, these days, many people would, attribute a cursed production to nothing more than bad luck, negligence, unfortunate circumstances, or a combination of the above factors. Films from The Wizard of Oz to Superman have spawned rumors of a curse associated with their production. But, a lot of people argue that there is a slightly less fantastical explanation for films that endured a particularly turbulent shoot.
Despite the fact that people try to tell us that there is no such thing as a ‘cursed production’, we thought it would be interesting to reminisce on some of the most notorious ‘cursed productions’. As a disclaimer, »
- Tyler Doupe
That there’s still an available building at the northeast corner of Wilshire and Fairfax in Los Angeles for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures to take over — and that there’s still an Academy Museum of Motion Pictures waiting to be created — testifies to the skepticism one might have for the project.
But I’d prefer to focus on the dream that’s within the grasp of the film academy, and in turn fans of cinema everywhere. This vision long struggling to be fulfilled, at a location long struggling to be properly utilized, could be the start of a beautiful relationship.
I follow the Academy Museum project with more than my fair share of interest. There’s the fact that I cover the Academy – the keeper of the Oscars and a critical treasurer of film history – for Variety. That from the northern windows of our office on Wilshire, I »
- Jon Weisman
AmazonStudios is taking a more unusual approach by letting viewers decide what they want to keep watching. The company has kicked off its screening process this weekend by unveiling its inaugural slate of 14 pilots — eight comedies and six kids shows, all made available for free on AmazonInstant Video, LoveFilm UK and LoveFilm Germany. Viewers are being invited to watch the pilots and Amazon is welcoming feedback from its audience. According to Deadline, the company will evaluate feedback from an online panel recruited on Amazon preview as well as traditional offline focus groups to decide if they greenlight a series or not. The highest-profile series is Zombieland, but the two that look most interesting are Alpha House, starring John Goodman with cameos by Bill Murray and Stephen Colbert; and Onion News Empire. Amazon has not yet decided how many of the shows will make the cut, nor when they will premiere. »
- Kyle Reese
So anti-Thatcher-ites get a song from The Wizard of Oz trending on U.K. pop charts last week, in the wake of the death of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher. “Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead” got all the way to No. 2... and BBC Radio refused to play the song during its usual countdown because it might be perceived as “disrespectful.” Potentially hurt feelings over criticism of a controversial political figure are a good reason to not play a pop song on the radio. Okay, then. At exactly the same moment, the BBC is defending the act of hiding one of its journalists and a small film crew among a group of London School of Economics students visiting North Korea, for an installment of TV documentary show Panorama. From the Guardian: »
- MaryAnn Johanson
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