Friday, 26 June 2009

Generation Thriller

Thursday night witnessed an unprecedented sociological experience. A collective grief shared on social networking site Twitter!

During an advert break I checked Twitter, on my iPod touch, and noticed tweets alluding to Michael Jackson's admission into hospital. Startled, I switched over to various mainstream news networks to confirm the rumour... As the news, and tweets, escalated, I resigned myself to the fact that he was dead and even tweeted to the affect prior to any official confirmation! Followers replied contrary in the hope that it couldn't be true and, obviously, I wanted them to be right.

Alas. Michael Jackson died after suffering a cardiac arrest and slipping into a coma. His death eerily echoing my mum's, only two years ago, this month. I didn't sleep...

Michael Jackson was a childhood hero. Part of an illustrious pantheon that included fictional characters Doctor Who, Luke Skywalker, Kermit and Batman! Jackson, himself, embraced science fiction and fantasy in ground breaking videos such as "Can You Feel It", Disney's "Captain EO" and the prophetically titled "Thriller".

I've no intention of addressing any of the speculation surrounding his personal life. This is a tribute to a cultural phenomenon who, alongside American film composer John Williams, engendered a life long love of music and how it transforms the emotion of the moving image.

Before I heard "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough", at the age of 7, I would only listen, willingly, to classical music and orchestral film soundtracks. I'm sure MJ's enthusiastic reference to the Force in Star Wars, helped too.

Equal parts bizarre and poignant that the last time I should see Michael Jackson would be not at Wembley Stadium or the upcoming O2 Arena residency, instead it was Exeter! He was, briefly, an honourary director of the Grecians and I can still recall his clarion call to hold hands with the person next to you! This was in keeping with concert performances.

More myth than man. Michael Jackson was an enigma force. Combining consummately crafted songs and stellar, gravity-defying, dance moves, his concerts remain vivid and surreal experiences by which I judge all live performances. Indelible memories as my best friend tweeted, that I'll cherish forever. Thank you Moonwalker. That's all I'm going to say...

In death Michael Jackson proved, as always, unstoppable and an achiever of the impossible. RIP 'MJ' and say hello to my mum. She'll finally get to see you dance.

I'll sign off this post, in the manner that I did on my Twitter stream, with Michael Jackson's maxim: "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough".

You should follow me on twitter here.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Apple won't play with Commodore for iPhone

The Commodore 64 is my all-time favourite 8-bit home computer! Yes, Atari's XL range and Apple ][ outclassed the Commodore 64, and I owned a Sinclair ZX Spectrum first. But, my fondest childhood video gaming experiences were reserved for Jack Tramiel's 8-bit "breadbox"! What child of the '80s could ever forget playing Impossible Mission or The Way of the Exploding Fist?

When word reached me, via Twitter, that an officially licensed Commodore 64 emulator for iPhone had been rejected by Apple, I, like many others, am left feeling most disappointed.

This is a transcript of the rejection email sent to Manomio (developer of Commodore 64 for iPhone), which is freely available on the internet:

Thank you for submitting C64 1.0 to the App Store. We've reviewed C64 1.0 and determined that we cannot post this version of your iPhone application to the App Store because it violates the iPhone SDK Agreement; "3.3.2 An Application may not itself install or launch other executable code by any means, including without limitation through the use of a plug-in architecture, calling other frameworks, other APIs or otherwise. No interpreted code may be downloaded and used in an Application except for code that is interpreted and run by Apple's Published APIs and built-in interpreter(s)."

Manomio has published a statement on its site that says, “We hope you'll support us by blogging, tweeting and simply talking about C64 for iPhone, in the hope Apple will change their mind.”

Hopefully Commodore 64 for iPhone will garner Apple's approval, however capricious that process may be. I'll post an update in due course. Read A Closer Look at C64's Rejection on Touch Arcade.

In the meantime, why not download Manomio's Flashback for iPhone.

Update: Manomio has been contacted by Apple and hopes to resolve the issue in the coming days. wOOt for social media. In retro we trust!

You should follow me on twitter here.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Robin Hobb signing at Forbidden Planet

Forbidden Planet is pleased to announce a signing by Robin Hobb. She will be signing her newest novel The Dragon Keeper at the Forbidden Planet Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR, on Saturday 11th July from 1 - 2pm.

Return to the world of the Liveships Traders! Mutant-born Thymara is fascinated by the return of dragons – as if they symbolise the return of hope to the war-torn world. But the creatures emerging are travesties of the shining dragons of old. Stunted and deformed, they cannot fly; they’re witless and bestial. They become a danger and something must be done. To be a Dragon Keeper is a dangerous job: their charges are vicious and unpredictable, and there are many unknown perils on the journey to a city that may not even exist...

Margaret Alice Lindholm Ogden was born in California and majored in Communications at Denver University, Colorado. As well as The Tawny Man, she has published two other fantasy series, The Farseer Trilogy and The Liveship Traders, under the name Robin Hobb. She also wrote several novels under another pseudonym, Megan Lindholm.

Forbidden Planet is the largest store of its kind in the world. Some of the biggest names in Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Comics and Cult Entertainment have come to our London Megastore for signing events, including: Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Terry Gilliam, Simon Pegg, William Gibson, Mark Millar, Guillermo Del Toro, Brian Froud and Stephen King.

For more news about our signings please go to:

Sunday, 14 June 2009

New Transformers Blu-ray BD-Live content

In anticipation of the theatrical release of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Owners of Transformers (Blu-ray) will receive a BD-Live upgrade on June 16th!

The following content will be made available for free download:

* Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Sneak Peek — Footage from the new film
* From the set of Revenge of the Fallen: Day 1 — An exclusive inside look at the first day of shooting
* From the set of Revenge of the Fallen: A Day in the Shade —A comical look at the differences between Megan and Shia's on-set treatment
* Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scenes from Transformers
* Fly on the Set: Pentagon — On the set filming of the Pentagon Military Command Center
* Music and Mayhem — Renowned special effects house ILM deconstructs the blockbuster action of Transformers
* Metal in Motion — Special effects tests and early robot animation
* Stunts 101 — An in-depth look at the amazing stunts in Transformers
* Choose Your Weapon —A fly on the wall glimpse into the selection of weapons and how they were used by the film's soldiers
* The Man in the Ice — From design to production, watch the Arctic come to life on various sets in Los Angeles, California
* Voices — The voices behind the Autobots and Decepticons
* Audition Tapes: Megan Fox — Megan's original Transformers audition

The BD-Live content was originally mooted for a speculated Transformers (Blu-ray) Special Edition release to coincide with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. This tactic won't alienate consumers, may incentivize Blu-ray purchases and is most welcome.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Revenge is Coming

With the official UK theatrical release of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen only a week away. You can now download IDW Publishing's lavishly illustrated comic book adaptation #1-4. Avoid if you do not want to read spoilers.

It's worth pointing out that you can now follow @ParamountUK on Twitter!

After seeing Terminator Salvation - A misguided melange of Mad Max meets Transformers-wannabe via Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone - at the refurbished Odeon, Exeter...

Bring on the Bayhem!

Download on iTunes

You should follow me on twitter here.

Friday, 5 June 2009

PlayStation Home Transforms

June 5th, 2009: To promote the release of TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, Paramount Pictures International (PPI) and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) today announced the release of a selection of Transformers merchandise, available exclusively through a virtual treasure hunt in Home.

A variety of T-Shirts and a unique ‘Autobot Trophy’ will be rewarded to residents who embark on the ‘Transformers Quest’. This activity continues PPI’s commitment to take innovative film marketing within online virtual communities to the next level. TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, directed by Michael Bay, is due to release internationally on June 24th this year.

Starting today, Home residents can begin the quest by finding the Transformers theatrical poster, placed at a few points throughout the public spaces in Home. Another will succeed this poster and targeting it will launch the first in a series of games that will be released over the coming days and weeks. The completion of each game will deliver a unique voucher code, which can be redeemed for an exclusive piece of Transformers merchandise. More information about the game can be found on the PlayStation EU Forum.

Home residents can already watch the TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN trailer in the Home Cinema and this treasure hunt will take Transformers to all corners of PlayStation Home.

Both companies are again working with marketing agency, The Picture Production Company (PPC), heavily experienced in film promotion and marketing within virtual worlds and across the wider social web, on strategic direction, original content production and promotion.

Home is a 3D social gaming community that allows PLAYSTATION®3 users to meet, chat, plan, and launch into games together. They can create their own custom avatar, decorate their personal apartment, play mini-games, shop, watch videos and attend special events.

This press release originally appeared on Silverscreen and is republished with kind permission.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Download Transformers comics on iTunes

To mark the theatrical release of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, IDW Publishing has launched the official comic book prequels on iTunes!

Journey across the globe as humans and AUTOBOTS join forces to defend Earth against the DECEPTICON threat in Transformers: Alliance. The very origins of CYBERTRON are revealed in Defiance, which leads directly to the start of the movie. Get all eight comics on iTunes or at your local book store.

Download from iTunes