Bloomberg TV: Disney’s Dilemma

Looking forward to our discussion about John Carter on our next podcast? Take a look at this great three-minute video on Bloomberg TV about the economics and business strategy of Disney Studios. What I found particularly fascinating is how Disney is now releasing fewer movies and therefore making each film a riskier venture. Analysts seem to think John Carter was not well aligned with the Disney brand and was not well-suited for licensing in other businesses (e.g., theme parks, video games, lunch boxes). What do you think?

Click Here for the Video

Note: This video is not available for mobile viewing at this time, so make sure to check it out on your desktop/laptop/tablet.

The Future of eSports in America

I was casually checking my Twitter feed today (can you check Twitter any other way?) and came across a fantastic article on Time about the state of eSports in America. I’m certainly a little odd in that these days I spend significantly more time watching others play games and reading about games than I actually do playing them myself (thank my new roommate and Giant Bomb for that). Even still, something about eSports has always appealed to me. As a huge Counter-Strike player in high school and Super Smash Bros. (Melee and Brawl) player in college, I have always loved pushing myself to my limits as a gamer.

Continue reading

Review: Chernobyl Diaries

FROM OREN PELI, CREATOR OF PARANORMAL ACTIVITY

These five words instantly had me interested in Chernobyl Diaries. A film with an interesting premise, a beautifully drab color palette, and a screenplay written by Oren Peli, the mind behind the Paranormal Activity? It had to be a surefire slam dunk, right? Think again.

Unfortunately, at the end of the day Chernobyl Diaries is a film that falls well short of capitalizing upon its substantial promise. Where did it all go wrong?

Continue reading

Day 6: Star Wars Episode I – Racer

While Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is quite maligned by hardcore and casual Star Wars fans alike, the film undeniably spawned a few surprisingly enjoyable licensed games. Unlike Jamie, I actually thoroughly enjoyed the Playstation 1 game inspired by the film of the same name. In fact, the only game based on the prequels which I enjoyed more was Star Wars Episode I: Racer, which was first released on the N64 in May 1999 and Dreamcast in April 2000 and then was reworked and fitted with replica podracer controls for the 2000 arcade release. Although the arcade version definitely gave me a greater appreciation for the game, I always found the controls a little too squirrelly. For my money, the N64 version was the ultimate version of this underappreciated gem.

Continue reading

Review: Apollo 18

Apollo 18 PosterStop me if you’ve heard this story before: in Apollo 18, previously classified/unreleased footage has finally been uncovered, shedding light on an unspeakable event that was previously hidden from the world by the powers that be. Unquestionably, Apollo 18 draws a lot from its predecessors in the “found footage” horror sub-genre. Does director Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego bring enough to the table to make Apollo 18 a memorable movie-going experience a la Paranormal Activity, or is his first foray into American cinema ultimately forgettable?

Continue reading

Portal: No Escape (A Fantastic Live Action Portal Short Film)

If you’re a fan of Portal at all, you need to take the seven minutes to watch Dan Trachtenberg’s short film Portal: No Escape. I couldn’t have imagined a better-realized take on Portal, honestly. I would love to see Valve give Trachtenberg some money to make an web series a la Mortal Kombat Legacy or direct/co-direct a full-fledged Portal movie.

So, what about you? How did you feel Trachtenberg’s short film captured the spirit of Portal? Would you be at all interested in seeing a Portal movie and do you think there are enough fans to make such a venture profitable?

Cage Match: Jurassic Park (Crichton) vs. Jurassic Park (Spielberg)

Jurassic Park PosterSeeing Jurassic Park in theaters is one of my oldest and most precious memories; I can still vividly recall seeing it as the second half of a double feature which also featured Sleepless in Seattle, of all things. As a kid, I even loved Jurassic Park – The Ride despite my crippling fear of heights. In spite of all this, however, I had never read the Michael Crichton book upon which my favorite movie of all time is based.

Seeking to fix a glaring blindspot in my Jurassic Park fandom, I decided it was finally time to read the Crichton original. Unsurprisingly, I absolutely loved it; diving deeper into one of my favorite stories of all time brought me back to my childhood and reminded me just how much I love the story. Given the age of both works and considering how near and dear the subject material is to my heart, I decided that, in lieu of a formal review, I would rewatch Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park and compare the two head-to-head in a few key categories. So, prepare yourself for the definitive (well, at least my definitive) head-to-head showdown between the Crichton classic Jurassic Park and Spielberg’s subsequent adaptation. Be advised that SPOILERS will follow!

Continue reading