Recently, there has been a lot of chatter amongst my Modern Warfare 3 co-horts to dive into the Netflix Party feature to watch maybe some wrestling or movies socially. This is sort of a big deal since most of us are scattered across the city of Pittsburgh, Johnstown, or all the way in San Antonio, and we already use Skype for our podcasting discussions and Google Hangout for our RAW watching on Mondays.
But, as the attached link informs, the update this past week to Xbox 360 kills the feature. No longer can I throw popcorn at my friends’ avatars.
So what’s an online socialite to do?
It’s a little more of a work around, and not nearly as interactive and synced, but we simply loaded a party so we could chat, and attempt to sync up our times on the Netflix stream as we watched WWE’s Greatest Cage Matches of All Time. For the most part, it worked.
And it brings up some other options…
Microsoft is introducing such features as UFC (supposedly including Pay Per Views) MLB (if you still watch baseball) and other video features over the next few months. The idea to drop into a voice chat with your Xbox friends, if you already have that community established, is promising, and gives another way to do with without sitting a laptop between you and the television.
A quick writeup I did over at SorgatronMedia.com:
Over the last few months, I’ve had the fortune to work on a whole other kind of project than I’m used to. I’ve found myself working on peices of non-fiction, whether it be safety videos, documentaries, or conversational Podcasts. It was with great pleasure that I was allowed to be along for the ride in the creation of the just launched “The Baristas”, the brainchild of long time colleague Justin Kownacki.
And it features a helping hand from several members of our crew here at Sorgatron Media. Rob de la Cretaz of the AwesomeCast lent his photography skills to those amazing shots on TheBaristas.com and the intro sequence to the show. Chachi contributed as a consultant on some rather geeky episodes you will be seeing in the near future. I helped with videography and any other production needs I could help with.
Finally, since it’s humble beginnings as a Kickstarter project to resurrect the characters started in the long running Something to Be Desired, episode 1 is finally here!
Once again, I had the fortune of schedule and a well placed email to head out to see a preview screening of The Green Hornet. I was surprised at how early this one was, being almost a month in advance, from what I interpret as being a pretty big movie for this time of year.
I remember the Green Hornet for it’s short lived series in the 60′s with Bruce Lee, and mostly because it crossed over with Batman at one point (which I enjoyed greatly in reruns after school). In case you missed the single season of that show for reference:
If you’re old enough or rerun-abled to remember this, forget it. And I think that’s where this movie has a bit of an advantage for reinvention. No one remembers a property that hasn’t had a new production in over 30 years. Which is good, since Green Hornet has somehow become a comedy. Just imagine Seth Rogan as a super hero. Not playing a character. Just kind of being Seth Rogan in a mask. And if you’re a fan of that concept, go with it. The flick had plenty of laugh out loud moments, plenty of people being pulled through windows, and just a lot of fun.
Only weird spot was a few fight scenes that sort of get a bit acid trippy. Upon the credits (and later, after seeing the preview in front of Tron Legacy) this is obviously being pushed for the 3D gimmick plaguing movies these days. Either way, Green Hornet was just as enjoyable as a 2D experience.
I’m back from vacation. A very solitary vacation couped up in the house. A beach of my couch and scores of Netflix and Hulu shows to catch up on when I wasn’t running around with last minute appointments and car fixing errands. Better luck with vacation next time, right?
Of course this meant there was no New York Comic Con content to speak of since we hardly left the county, let alone the state. But hopefully next year, we’ll be able to follow through on our plans and get up there. In the meantime, we’re looking at other such events to put out there in the near future.
Chachi Says 4: The Problem With Pants
This was the culmination of the Podcamp Pittsburgh 5 experiment previewed back on AwesomeCast 17 when we invited the audience to film an impromptu, live version of his vidcast. We found ourselves with about six different angles passed along (plus one flipCam I couldn’t convert off the share site). I know there were plenty that also shot this that didn’t pass along footage, but that’s ok. Six angles kept me plenty busy in Final Cut keeping them straight, lip synced, and juggling formats from pocket cams, iPhones, and Rob’s insanely detailed HD shooting still cam. It came together nicely, and was entertaining to see Chachi do his schtick with a live audience chiming in.
AwesomeCast 19: AwesomeLab
This show saw us bringing in Mike Woycheck of the AlphaLab. We’ve already talked to Nick Pinkston of CloudFab, and Spike Katora of VivoLive, two products of the tech incubator, so it was great to get Mike in to talk about the group from the source. AlphaLab is a great program I’ve been a fan of for a while, and have had the pleasure to meet a lot of people that have been through the program with nothing but positive things to say.
Wrestling Mayhem Show 238: Wrestlefan is on Acid
This was another fun, barebones, episode. I was really impressed with WrestleFan’s “They” revelation from the Abyss/TNA Wrestling angle. Some may not know, but this kid’s 17, and just joining up his school’s Media class this year. He really seems to take to the show production and discussion. I hope to see him take it somewhere as he moves on to college and such.
Music Funtime Show 20: Kottonmouth Kings
FINALLY! It took far too long to get this one up. I had a lot of fun talking with the guys, as always. It felt a tad rushed since I knew the guys were about to go on stage. (They head out right after we talked, actually). I had some fun mixing one of their tracks with a portion of the live footage I took during the show. I was ecstatic to discover how great my camera worked in that lighting atmosphere, and made the Rex look huge in comparison to how it feels in person. This was my first shoot at a show like this with my Panasonic DVX-100B.
AwesomeCast 20: The Social Coffee Shop
Since I was determined to not do a regular Tuesday show to have a “full week” of vacation ahead of me for once, the timing was perfect to coincide with the opening of The Social Network. I had been buzzing the idea of doing a post watch roundtable, originally thought to be independent of any of the shows, with the area’s social media peeps. This couldn’t have worked out better. Mulango and Chachi joined us to watch the show (for some of use for the second time) and had a great conversation afterwards at the local Caribou Coffee, who were nice enough to let us do our weird shoot in the corner of their shop.
Wrestling Mayhem Show 239: What Really Happened at Hell in a Cell
It was a weird, shorter show. Will (aka DJlunchbox) joined me to talk the news of that week so far, and some “results” of that very night’s Hell in a Cell, which hadn’t happened yet. It was fine for a fill in show, but I can’t wait to get back to the old way of doing things.
Chachi Says 5: Zombies Imminent
Chachi ventures into two topics dear to his heart. Boobs and Zombies. He’s venturing into helping with Breast Cancer Awareness Month in his own little way, and warning the world about the coming Zombie Apocalypse. He’s prepared a series on this topic, of sorts, and I think people are going to have fun with it.
This week, it’s back to the grindstone, and the normal schedule! Lets get to it!
Thursday evening, I got the opportunity to catch a free screening of The Social Network. A movie that intrigued me thanks to my interests in all things Podcampy. So I set out with my favorite trio of wife and Chachi to get our cinema on.
One of the first surprises was, of all things, the music. I started catching some of the personality of the film early and remembered an old post I read where it was revealed that Trent Reznor of nine Inch Nails actually did the score. According to Reznor, the film was “…it’s really fucking good. And dark!”. I concur.
I knew there was something when we saw Zuckerberg jump right into a night’s coding binge after a bad date, resulting in Facemash, which promptly brings down the Harvard network. We are stepped through on narrations of his drunken blogging of the process, with a lot of respect (and accuracy, from what I can tell) to the coding and process of site hacking and coding. The film slides into in interesting back and forth between our timeline and the resulting lawsuits with Eduardo Saverin and the Winklevoss twins. By the way, the twins are, indeed, just one actor, doubled on film. And quite convincingly, I might add. I want to watch it again to look for some editing queues in there. The dialogue is fantastic. As for our post movie chat, Chachi was one that pointed out some of the wit was and back and forth would be worthy of a classic Kevin Smith script. Jesse Eisenberg delivers as the introverted programmer. A comment by Dustin Moskovitz in anticipation of the movie proposed “At the end of the day, they cannot help but portray him as the driven, forward-thinking genius that he is.” Eisenberg felt like that socially inept programmer that you’ve probably met in your digital social circle, but trying so hard to be more than that.
It’s still three weeks out, opening October 1, but I definitely recommend this to the internat people out there, and maybe un-internet people.
Every so often, a movie truely surprises me. Scott Pilgrim was a movie I saw previewed a few months ago that peked my interest, but I may have been to pass off that it wouldn’t be done right. And there’s a lot of danger when you adapt material like this.
After the fact, I found out that Scott Pilgrim was a manga-style comic book series. Especially when, after watching this movie, I was quick to declare it the best “video game” movie, even though it’s not based on a video game. More, it’s based on all of the video games that shaped our childhood over the past 30 years, actually.
The movie is quick, funny, and goes over the top frequently. No one even bats an eye at the over the top Street Fighter style fights. Somehow, they made it an acceptable part of the world. As if we are living in a real life Captain N movie. Everything is stylized in a part Super Mario/part Sin City feel that really delivers, combined with the dirty rock of Pilgrim’s band and quick one liners spread throughout. If you’re bored with this movie, you’re likely not into the subcultures this movie oozes with.
The feeling on this movie is similar to when I saw Zombieland. the previews caught your interest, but it’s rare that a movie follows through like this and becomes the sort of movie you want to buy the DVD for the moment the credits start rolling for the first time.
And bonus: as I found out at last Thursday’s preview, this is the perfect date movie for particularly Nintendo Generation nerd couples out there…
Double Bonus: Check out the free Punch Out inspired boxing game on the iPhone. Lost Chachi and my phone for ten minutes on that one…
This is the part where I sound like the worse of fan boys. But there’s something missing here. Something that got me into this series in the first place. Something that I’m amazed that someone as accomplished, Happening-be-damned, as M.Night Shyamalan could have missed. I’ve never been so fan boy about something as this, but I’ve never seen such a great series turned into high budget slop so easily.
The Movie is Fast Tracked.
I understand the issues with basically squeezing 20 episodes of the Water Book season into an hour forty five minute film. But there was no time for anything else. Just as you get comfortable with a scene, we have another. We don’t have time to just have a conversation about any of the issues at hand. We’re simply around long enough for characters to spit facts, which don’t make sense unless you’re filling in the blanks from watching the series in advance.The Character is gone.
Not just the humor, but the growing people. I can’t be angry about certain elements and people not being in there. encounters like Jet’s rag tag band, the new residents of the one Air Temple, and the like are victims of the time crunch. But nothing was left to build on. The humor lost aside from some quick spots where Sokka gets wet. Appa and Momo are relegated to cameo appearances in scenes with no character, and a badly interactive shot with Ang. There’s no reason for these people to be together, and no chance for them to grow, which you saw plenty of in the series. At one point, after Ang and Zukko’s fight, Ang walks out and states “You know we could have been friends” much like in the series, if I recall correctly. We couldn’t even get a reaction shot of Zukko to see how he initially reacted? That seems like editing 101 to me. M. Night’s work seems to be more about characters in peculiar situations, but he seemed more concerned in getting from episode one to episode 20 with as much efficiency as possible. Too bad he forgot to stick a generally watchable movie in there somewhere.
I’m not even a little bit angry about the multi-cultural casting as some fans are. I don’t care if they cast a black Spider-Man (which was rumored for a time) so long as there’s a good story in there. I’ve been a big defender of M. Night’s past work. I took every movie at face value for what it was and enjoyed the ride. This was such a potential paint by numbers project that seemed to get the numbers wrong.
What did you think? Has any theatrical experience disappointed you to such anger?
Just the other night, while I was hanging out at the Double Wide for @Kdudder’s birthday, I saw on the television a story about that being the last night Showcase West would be open. To some, that place may represent the style and shape of a long-forgotten type of cinema now with all of the stadium seating, proper cup holders, and 3D glasses. But in my childhood when we had a small three screen theater, it was a megaplex.
See, in those days, when I was in my single digits, those were massive screens, and cavernous theaters. I would come down to visit my grandparents in Moon Township, and the trip to the movies was rather obligatory. I remember seeing Jetsons, A League of Their Own, E.T, and who knows how many Disney movies over the years. It was my grandmother that taught me the fine art of sneaking food into the theater as well. There was always a spare bag of Reese’s Pieces in her purse, so she didn’t have to buy me the overpriced candy. Whenever I have a bag of them, I still think back to those days.
Also, for those that frequent Robinson Township’s ever-growing shopping district, I recall back to the day when all that was there was the theater, and a few plazas on Stuebenville Pike. This is also the place where I was introduced to some of the greatest arcade experiences. Before I had the awesome bowling league arcade on a weekly basis,this was where I was introduced to some sweet arcade games. The Simpsons arcade game comes to mind.
Here’s to you, Showcase West. You were a part of my entertainment upbringing, and a point of great times with my grandparents growing up.
So, we’ve had sort of a dry run with WWE Films in their straight to DVD releases (Behind Enemy Lings, The Marine 2), and recent non-WWE wrestler led movies (Wrong Side of Town) were less than stellar. So when Stone Cold Steve Austin showed up in another non-WWE flick called Damage, you can say I’m more than skeptical.
Damage puts Austin in the role of a paroled ex-con, trying to make it on the outside. Eventually, he is confronted by the wife of the man he killed, who helped him get paroled to help save her daughter, who needs a transplant. He manages to fall in with Reno(Walter Goggins, The Shield) and Frankie (Laura Vandervoot, Smallville) who recruit Austin to underground fighting for money. Violent antics ensue, and Austin is inexplicitely awesome at fighting.
Vandervoot and Goggins definitely add a bit of legitimacy to this film, and some real acting. The only time I had a real problem with the acting was actually with Austin himself. While mostly a good performance, I thought for a convict, the character could have had a little more edge, like Austin delivered in spades during his initial Stone Cold character development. Maybe a bit of a random observation.
Either way, Austin is definitely one of the fortunate of the wrestlers turning to movies. While The Condemned and Damage haven’t set the world on fire at the box office, they’ve set Austin up as an action star, netting him a role in Expendables with the biggest action guys the movie industry has ever known. He’s no Rock, but that’s the price for being the higher grossing merchandiser of the two.
Damage is good, violent fun that is pretty good by wrestling standards. Rent it, at the very least. I went ahead and gave it 4/5 Zues’s on the new No Holds Barred Scale…
A few weeks back, I was surprised to find out, thanks to Doc Remedy, that Wrong Side of Town was coming out, completely under the radar, starring Rob Van Dam, and current WWE star, and hell, champion, David Batista. Or was that Bautista? Yes, they had to use his real name. And a WWE Films project, this is not.
You might have been surprised by that fact. It’s straight to DVD, as the last two WWE Films were, and still involves a WWE contracted wrestler that I don’t remember taking that much time off. Anyways, I was also amazed to find this movie was available maybe a week after release…on Netflix Streaming. What? This can’t be a good sign.
So I sat down and took a look. First, you would think that Batista is prominently featured based on that cover. But no, Rob Van Dam is our hero. Batista maybe gets twenty minutes, and it looked like you don’t even see him until about 40 minutes. Over half way through the movie. We know a few things: 1. Batista loves the strip club 2. Batista looks ridiculous holding a mini machine gun, 3. this is where he got his latest heel look. Rob Van Dam is…Rob Van Dam. He’s supposed to be a hard ass Navy Seal, but is hobbled by an injury early into the action and limps about. Of course forgetting how to sell whenever he has to fight a mob of bad guys. Big Daddy V/Viscera/Mable makes an appearance that makes you appreciate how big this guy is.
But is it enjoyable? Well, it sort of makes The Marine 2 look like high art, actually. The editing is novice. The script is rough. The bad guy in this film uses the same insults multiple times. “Rat bastard”, I believe it was, and it sounded forced every time. The fights are ok. The humor is almost nonexistant. In the end, I failed to find the point of this film.
Welcome to the No Holds Barred of 2010! Watch it/collect it for your wrestlers in film curiosity, but that’s about it.