Saturday, November 30, 2013

Paul Walker Killed In Car Crash

TMZ has reported that 'Fast & The Furious' star Paul Walker has died at the age of 40 in a car crash in Southern California, after the car he was in lost control and crashed into a tree, bursting into flames.

He was in Santa Clarita for a car show that was raising money for the Philippines typhoon disaster. For someone to die coming back from a charity event is one of the worst things to hear. His reps confirmed the news, stating, "It is with a truly heavy heart that we must confirm that Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident while attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide. He was a passenger in a friend's car, in which both lost their lives. We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news. Thank you for keeping his family and friends in your prayers during this very difficult time. We will do our best to keep you apprised on where to send condolences." Thoughts go out to his family.

'Fast & Furious 7' is due to be released in July, but filming began in September and likely isn't finished yet, so with this news there may need to be changes to the film. He rose to fame in 1998 & 1999 with roles in 'Pleasantville', 'Varsity Blues', 'She's All That' & 'The Skulls' before taking on his biggest role in 'The Fast and the Furious' in 2001, a series he still stars in which is still going and making lots of money.

Friday, November 29, 2013

True Cost of Black Friday

Black Friday has long been known for offering some good deals, with the name originating in stores turning a profit and moving into the black. It seems to eb starting earlier each year, with some stores now opening on Thanksgiving at 5pm and 6pm. You'll never catch me in a store on Thanksgiving night.

A website called "Black Friday Death Count" tallies up the deaths and injuries that have been reported, with links to news stories as confirmation. It currently goes back to 2006. This year there was a shooting at a Kohl's when two robbers were approached by a cop. The cop went to get in the car and the robber drove off, so the cops partner shot him. How dumb must you be to rob a Kohl's on Black Friday? Aren't the clothes supposed to be affordable on the biggest shopping day? There have also been numerous reported fights at various Walmart locations. There was a stabbing over a parking space as well.

This is just a grim reminder of what crazy people will do for a "deal" on a TV. Even though the stores jack up the prices of the rest of the equipment, like cables, that you need to make the TV work in the first place. There are Christmas deals all throughout December, plus online shopping, so there is no need to go insane for a cheap TV.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

U2 Return With 'Ordinary Love'

U2 have released their first new song since 2009 with "Ordinary Love" as well as an accompanying lyric video from artist Oliver Jeffers. Bono appears briefly in the video. The song is featured in the end credits and soundtrack of the upcoming Nelson Mandela film 'Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom' starring Idris Elba & Naomie Harris. You can almost bet the song will be nominated for a Golden Globe and/or Academy Award.

A special version of the song will be released on Vinyl for Record Store Day 2013. The B-Side will be an alternate Nelson Mandela-themed version of their song "Breathe", which was released on 2009's No Line On The Horizon.

"Ordinary Love" sounds like a cross between "Beautiful Day" and "One Tree Hill". Their next studio album is due out in 2014, and this song won't be on the album (at least not in this current form) as it was made specifically for the soundtrack to 'Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom'. Watch the video below.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

'Jurassic Park' and Harry Potter Take New York

Ever since 'Jurassic Park' was released in 1993, we've been wondering if it would actually be possible to create one in real life. Well, this may be the closest we get, thanks to Improv Everywhere and their awesome "Movies in Real Life" series. I've always wanted a Jeep that has the Jurassic Park paint job.

Another fantastic episode featured a young wizard dressed as Harry Potter, complete with a stuffed Hedwig in a cage wandering around Penn Station looking for Platform 9 3/4. The reactions are mostly hilarious of course. When he tries to run into the pillar between Platforms 9 & 10 but goes nowhere you come to the sad realization that the movies are much more exciting.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Irish Times: 'Eat Out Catherine Cleary'

Catherine Cleary

The Irish Times managed to go viral today with a header that has provided a nice Monday laugh for everyone, posting a header titled "Eat Out Catherine Cleary". And she has a giant smile on her face to boot. I'm just wondering why they wouldn't instead title it "Eating Out with Catherine Cleary".

Now this is where print media comes in handy. Whenever there is an error, they can't easily go in and correct it. The paper is already out and about. Of course, when it happens online people just take a screenshot, but still. It's the same reason why Live TV can be so much never know what might happen.

Friday, November 15, 2013

'Maleficent' & 'Noah' Trailers Debut

Two trailers were recently released for big 2014 fantasy films this week - 'Maleficent' and 'Noah'.

Disney brings us 'Maleficent', starring Angelina Jolie as the evil title character we all know from 'Sleeping Beauty'. We don't often see a villain get their own film & origin story focused on them, so this should be a refreshing change of pace. Elle Fanning will also star as Aurora/Sleeping Beauty. Jolie's daughter Vivienne Jolie-Pitt will make an appearance as the younger version of Aurora as well. 'Maleficent' hits theaters on May 30, 2014. It marks Jolie's return to live action films, her last being 'The Tourist' in 2010.

'Noah', loosely based on the story of Noah's Ark, is one of the more talked about films of 2014, hitting screens on March 28. The film stars Russell Crowe, Emma Watson, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, & Logan Lerman. Its the first big budget fantasy film for Emma Watson since the Harry Potter series, between which she starred in numerous drama and comedy films.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Best Thanksgiving Movies

In October we have plenty of well known Halloween themed movies ("The Nightmare Before Christmas", "Hocus Pocus", "Halloween" series, "Sleepy Hollow", "Casper"). And of course there are hundreds of Christmas themed movies. The animated "Free Birds" is out now to help represent Thanksgiving some more, but Thanksgiving tends to get passed over on the big screen. However, there are plenty of good movies that feature the holiday.

Pieces of April (2003) - "Pieces of April" is one of the best Thanksgiving movie of the bunch. Part comedy, part drama, this indie flick stars Katie Holmes, Patricia Clark, Oliver Platt & Alison Pill. April (Holmes) is the older, rebellious daughter of a highly dysfunctional family, and she's never gotten along with her cancer-stricken mother (Clark). She decides to have Thanksgiving in her apartment on the lower east side of Manhattan. Of course, her stove breaks among other obstacles. It's a quick moving film that has a satisfying ending.

Addams Family Values (1993) - The movie is set during the summer, but one of the best moments of the film comes when the summer camp that Wednesday (Christina Ricci) & Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) were sent to. They are forced to act in a play about the first Thanksgiving. Wednesday doesn't take this lightly, and concocts a devious plan to turn the production upside down, as her and her fellow misfits acting as Native Americans burn the pilgrim village to the ground and take back their land. Joan Cusack also delivers an outstanding performance as the villain you just can't help but laugh with, Debbie.

Tower Heist (2011) - Well you can tell from the title that the film includes a heist. The people who work in a high-rise apartment building find out a wealthy tenant was operating a ponzi scheme and their money is gone. They decide to break into his apartment during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade since that is when his hearing is. The comedy stars Ben Stiller, Casey Affleck, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, Alan Alda, Gabourey Sidibe, & Tea Leoni.

The Ice Storm (1997) - Set across Thanksgiving weekend of 1973, 'The Ice Storm' is a drama that takes a look at life in the affluent suburbs of New York City, taking a look at the political climate as well as the sexual revolution of the early 1970s. Yes, that means a Key Party. It all happens during a pretty nasty ice storm (which, is what much of the country may experience this year). It features Christina Ricci (Queen of 90s movies), Sigourney Weaver, Joan Allen, Kevin Kline, Tobey Maguire, Elijah Wood, Allison Janney & Katie Holmes. Holmes was also in the Thanksgiving themed bomb 'Jack & Jill' in 2011, making that 3 Thanksgiving set films.

Home For The Holidays (1995) - Jodie Foster directed this film that deals with a woman who was just fired from her job that decides to spend Thanksgiving at her parents. Its a Dramedy in the same vein as "Pieces of April", while also packing quite the cast that features Claire Danes, Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr., Charles Dunning, Anne Bancroft, Steve Guttenberg & Dylan McDermott.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987) - This comedy classic directed by John Hughes and starring Steve Martin & John Candy tackles Holiday travel as Neal Page (Martin) trying to get home to his family in Chicago for Thanksgiving, which is complicated by a run-in with Gel Griffith (Candy).

And don't forget these favorites: 'Grumpy Old Men', 'Hannah & Her Sisters', 'Alice's Restaurant', 'Funny People', and 'The House of Yes'.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Blockbuster Stores Closing Completely

There are currently 300 physical Blockbuster stores left in the United States. By January of 2014, all stores will be closed, signaling the end of an era.

Blockbuster Video first opened in 1985, and quickly rose to prominence. Wayne Huizenga (former Miami Dolphins & Marlins owner) purchased Blockbuster in 1987 and the chain started to grow, becoming a massively successful company in the 1990s which continued into the early 2000s. With the quick rise of convenient digital items, streaming services like Netlflix and OnDemand rentals through cable companies, Blockbuster quickly went downhill in the late 2000s and filed for bankruptcy in 2010. Dish Network purchased the company which has kept the remaining stores alive for the past few years, though 2014 marks the end of all physical Blockbuster stores.

Anyone who grew up in the 90s and early 2000s probably has fond memories of walking into a Blockbuster store as a kid and seeing what seemed like miles of movies and video games to rent down long aisles. And also remembers rushing to the store to try and slide the Video/DVD/game into the slot in time to not get the high fees added to your card.
A sight you'll never see again after 2014