Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: On the Box

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    They get to the great white hope of the cinema: 3D.

    Fuck James Cameron and his bloated disaster pron, anyone who can should haul arse and see Coraline -- Henry 'Nighmare Before Christmas' Selick's charmingly creepy stop motion adaptation of Neil Gaiman's charmingly creepy novella. I saw it on Sunday, at one of the film festival screenings in Auckland and understand it's going into general release in a couple of weeks. Not only an astounding technical achievement, but fascinating for how it was made at arm's length from Hollywood (and Pixar) by an indie studio based in Portland, Oregon.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Wicked links, I've been hanging out for District 9 (almost as _ as Avatar) and hadn't previously been able to find Alive in Joburg, [downloading now].

    You can't pirate bums-on-seats entertainment.

    Vast untapped markets waiting to be milked. I often wonder what exactly motivates some of those execs.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Gullible consumer admission: I would love to watch some big movie spectaculars in 3D. Am I alone?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3623 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    District 9 -- which emerged after studio politics sank the Halo movie Jackson was going to make with South African director Neill Blomkamp -- looks great.

    Certainly does, and it looks like its going to be, shall we say, a little more edgy and politically charged than Alien Nation. I can certainly imagine Blomkamp touching some raw nerves in places like the US, Europe and even his native South Africa where immigration and treatment of minorities are very hot political issues.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Gullible consumer admission: I would love to watch some big movie spectaculars in 3D. Am I alone?

    No, but am I really going to find LoTR any more interesting because I'm instinctively dodging orc heads and Liv Tyler's rack?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I can certainly imagine Blomkamp touching some raw nerves in places like the US, Europe and even his native South Africa where immigration and treatment of minorities are very hot political issues.

    And by the same token I can understand why Jackson is playing down the political dimension of the film and talking up the action. You'd rather have the politics sneak in on the back of it being a fun movie.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    The convergence of comic-con and the film industry represents - to me - the huge flaw in current Hollywood film making: their products are all aimed at children, or adults with Peter-Pan complexes (nee geeks). I'm happy to watch movies about wizards and elves and robots and dragons every now and then - once or twice a year, say - but most of the time I want something a bit more grown up.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 895 posts Report Reply

  • Whoops,

    Hey, Sony NZ... where's my PlayTV for the PS3 you conned me into buying? eh?

    PlayTV vs getting Freeview was the only way my wife (She Who Controls All) would allow the purchase, and now she want's answers...

    here • Since Apr 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    and Liv Tyler's rack?

    what an ordeal for you Craig..
    Coraline sounds like a nicely woven drug metaphor, will look out for it.

    Am I alone?

    Certainly not. Also, perhaps not quite the big movie spectacular but I'd love to see Whale Rider in 3D.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The convergence of comic-con and the film industry represents - to me - the huge flaw in current Hollywood film making: their products are all aimed at children, or adults with Peter-Pan complexes (nee geeks).

    Um, I'd respectfully suggest that arrested adolescents would find Battlestar Galactica/Caprica or Torchwood: The Children of Earth (both subjects of packed and well-received panels) a rather frustrating experience.

    And by the same token I can understand why Jackson is playing down the political dimension of the film and talking up the action. You'd rather have the politics sneak in on the back of it being a fun movie.

    Certainly -- but it also seems to be hiding in plain sight. District Nine has a rather nifty website, and viral marketing campaign, where you get a very different picture of the film's world (and the Halliburton-analogue running the District) depending on whether you come at it as a human or alien.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Hutchings,

    TiVo at $800 is going to be flying out the door faster than the Panasonic, which has a rumoured NZD 2K price point.

    Freeview will only really get going when digital tuners appear in all new TVs and Sky is forced kicking and screaming to allow Prime to screen.

    (Although Sky's announcement it is going to kill its UHF service is a step in the right direction)

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    what an ordeal for you Craig..

    Oh, I suffer for my art. :) But seriously, was I the only person who thought Jackson had a platonic crush on Liv Tyler considering how often everything ground to a halt so we could have vaseline-smeared sequences of her staring pensively out of windows or lapsing into a mystical coma?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Only reason I watched all three.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Also, she's not a very good actor, is she? I think we were all so mesmerised by her lips and backstory (Rundgren! Not Rundgren! Tyler! Bebe Buell, groupie extraordinaire!) that we were all hoodwinked for a while there...

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3623 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    TiVo at $800 is going to be flying out the door faster than the Panasonic, which has a rumoured NZD 2K price point.

    Right you are. Harvey Norman is taking pre-orders at $1999.

    The next model down -- same features apart from the Blu-Ray and a smaller HDD -- looks a better bet at $1297.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Only reason I watched all three.

    And I sat through 'em in the vain hope Viggo would have a catastrophic wardrobe malfunction. We both got had. :) Guess I've just got to hang out for the promised flash of John Barrowman's meat and taters in Torchwood...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Wain,

    None of you are kidding about this 3D thing right?

    WTF?

    Cannot see the appeal. You all need to get out more... life is actually 3D you know.

    Since Nov 2006 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    The next model down -- same features apart from the Blu-Ray and a smaller HDD -- looks a better bet at $1297.

    Sort of. The difference in value between a 250Gb hard drive and a 500Gb one is currently, what, $40?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • John Fouhy,

    For that kind of money, you could pick up a mac mini and an eyetv..

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Liking the look of District 9. Has a non-hollywood feel about it - like you can tell it's been made in South Africa. The marketing looks quite smart.

    But seriously, was I the only person who thought Jackson had a platonic crush on Liv Tyler considering how often everything ground to a halt so we could have vaseline-smeared sequences of her staring pensively out of windows or lapsing into a mystical coma?

    Liv Tyler was quite extensively cut (from action sequences) and the story rewritten because her and her acting just didn't work.

    I suspect vaseline smearing and pensive staring with blurry lighting is about as good as her acting gets.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6147 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    life is actually 3D you know.

    Yeah, but the graphics aren't much good. And I only get one playable character. And he's a bit of a dick.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2326 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    You all need to get out more... life is actually 3D you know.

    So I hear. Life is even 3D inside your house, I understand. But life doesn't have EXPLOSIONS! (At least, not unless you're rather unlucky.)

    Seriously, the argument could be made that any visual entertainment whatsoever is a distraction from 'real life', where you somehow go out into this 'real world' and experience 'real things'. TV, magazines, film, plays, books... we should all be out there in our hair shirts scything a field and talking meaningfully to each other, apparently. Well, if you'll excuse me: fuck that shit.

    But if you, as I do, accept that visual entertainment serves a purpose in your life, then why not have some visual entertainment which is 3D? That's great! It's fun!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3623 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Freeview will only really get going when digital tuners appear in all new TVs

    About half of the Freeview tuners being sold are integrated in TVs already, which is a reasonable start. OTOH, some Freeview HD boxes are already available at <$200, which is pretty appealing.

    The higher-end Sony and Samsung TVs also now have USB ports and play avi files, which is quite sexy too. Given that the large majority of avi files probably involve a breach of copyright, you have the hardware side of Sony battling the content side. Again. Same thing applies to kit with YouTube apps built-in.

    and Sky is forced kicking and screaming to allow Prime to screen.

    We're not that far off the trigger-point for the minister declaring a digital switchover date, and at that point Sky will have to play sensibly.

    It'll be interesting to see what Sky does with the FTA rights for its London Olympics coverage. Will it be on Prime? Or TV3?

    PS: Looks like I'm getting one o' them Panasonic things to play with for a while. Yay.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    But when the producers of Glee (a feel-good college glee-group TV drama that recently piloted to some acclaim) turn up, we're way out of classic geek territory.

    But while ComicCon is on the verge of becoming a victim of its own success -- passes sold out almost three months early this year, and the venue is crowded enough that even the legendary patience of geeks is being tested to the extent that a new (and larger) venue in another city is being seriously considered -- you run the risk of a backlash.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    For that kind of money, you could pick up a mac mini and an eyetv..

    Ah. But only one tuner ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

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