January 31, 2012
January 27, 2012
January 18, 2012
January 16, 2012
After restoring my PS3 to its default settings. Over the weekend I signed up for a 1 month free trial of Netflix UK! Was it worth it? The short answer is yes!
The newly launched streaming service outshines LOVEFiLM in terms of usability, playback and platform ubiquity.
For example I began watching dollhouse S2 on a PS3 and effortlessly resumed, later, on an iPod touch (4G). To quote the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs: "It just works." High definition and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound is most impressive.
Content will be crucial and I was disappointed to note that Battlestar Galactica, Buffy and Star Trek were absent at launch. However, the final seasons of 24 and Prison Break will keep me busy for a while.
Netflix will receive a further fillip when Roku launches a range of dedicated set-top-boxes at the end of the month.
“Roku launched the first ever streaming player to deliver Netflix to consumers in the US and now we are among the first to bring Netflix to residents of the UK and Ireland,” said Clive Hudson, vice president and general manager for Europe at Roku. “In addition to Netflix, we are launching with a variety of entertainment channels and look forward to expanding our content selection in the same way that we have in the US where we have more than 400 channels today.”
“Roku players will offer new Netflix members in the UK and Ireland a great streaming experience with high-quality video delivered through an easy-to-use product with an attractive price,” said Greg Peters, vice president of product development at Netflix. “We’re happy to count Roku amongst the devices that stream films and TV programmes to the TVs of our new members in these countries.”
If you're serious about high definition look no further than the Roku 2 XS. You can play Angry Birds between episodes of Firefly. However, a high speed broadband connection is essential for reliable playback.
The battle between LOVEFiLM and Netflix has only just begun. The incumbent LOVEFiLM has responded by adding more film and television series to its unlimited streaming package.
If you're already subscribing to LOVEFiLM are you tempted to switch?
January 13, 2012
Experience It For The First Time in 3D!
Whether you're an old fan or new, there's no denying that seeing Star Wars on the big screen is an event not to be missed -- especially when it's the first Star Wars movie to ever be presented in spectacular 3D! The duel with Darth Maul, the harrowing Tatooine Podrace, the first meeting of Artoo and Threepio, and the introduction of the Star Wars Saga's tragic hero, Anakin Skywalker, are all back in an all-new 3D presentation of Episode I, an experience that promises to truly surround you with the Force!
To celebrate the release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D which arrives in cinemas February 9th, we are giving away two pairs of tickets to an exclusive advance screening on Wednesday the 8th February. The screening will take place at a West End venue (this will be revealed once you receive your ticket), in a galaxy far, far away. Stormtroopers will open the doors at 5:30pm, followed by action in the foyer. The saga will begin at 6:30pm.
For a chance to win a pair of tickets, please email your name and address here. The competition closes on Thursday 26th January.
Star Wars® and all characters, names and related indicia are trademark of & © 2012 Lucasfilm Ltd.
January 12, 2012
January 11, 2012
Twentieth Century Fox’s first-ever animated film, created by renowned director Ralph Bakshi, WIZARDS appears in a 35th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray + Book release on March 13 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the “epic fantasy of peace and magic” stars the voice talent of Mark Hamill (Star Wars Saga). The special edition Blu-ray + Book release is a must-have for fans and collectors, featuring 24-pages of amazing artwork from the film, some of the artwork never-before-seen, and a special message from Bakshi!
Set on a post-apocalyptic Earth, this fantasy adventure follows the story of Avatar, the kindly, eccentric sorcerer-ruler of Montagar, a rainbow paradise inhabited by elves and fairies. Avatar's evil brother, Blackwolf, dominates Scortch, a bleak land of goblins and wraiths. When the power-hungry Blackwolf attacks Montagar, Avatar, accompanied only by a spirited young woman and a courageous elf, must enter the darkness of Scortch to save his world.
Ralph Bakshi would later direct an animated adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, but was unable to complete the trilogy.
January 10, 2012
The long-gestating live-action Star Wars television series has a working title, but no release date!
Before you leap for joy at the prospect of seeing Kate Beckinsale as a bounty hunter. This isn't a cross-over with the actor's storied franchise of the same name.
IGN (owned by News Corporation, which distributes the Star Wars movies) recently interviewed Rick McCallum who is no stranger to episodic television and produced the Emmy Award-Winning The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.
"The scripts take place between episodes III and IV," says McCallum. "It's that twenty-year period when Luke is growing up. It's not about Luke, but it's about that period when the Empire is really trying to take things forward. It's called Underworld - that's the working title - and it's underneath what's going on: the criminals and the gangs that are running everything. It's like Wall Street, and the criminals that are running the United States!"
Due to alleged budgetary concerns, Underworld won't be hitting television screens anytime soon.
"The prequels only cost $100m each, which in Hollywood is nothing," McCallum claims, "but this is really tough, because we're trying to put the same effects and technology from those two-hour films, into one-hour episodes, and do it every week for $5m an episode.
"We have fifty unbelievable scripts. Each episode is bigger than any of the prequels were, and they're complex and dark and adult. But right now, technologically, there's no way we can do them for that $5m: there's so much digital animation, because we have so many digital characters. So I think the idea is just that we hold off, wait and see if there are any major breakthroughs in the next year or two, and once we can come up with some virtual set software that allows us to travel anywhere, we'll revisit. We'll get there. I just hope I live long enough!"
What are your thoughts on Star Wars: Underworld?
January 09, 2012
Netflix has launched in the UK and LOVEFiLM has responded by cutting its unlimited streaming tariff to £4.99 per month, with a 30-day free trial.
Netflix (available now on PS3) has more than 20 million streaming members in 47 countries and territories, and will be a tough competitor in a space that sees it go up against the likes of Amazon-owned LOVEFiLM and Sky Movies.
"We are starting 2012 in the best possible way: by giving consumers in the UK and Ireland an amazing entertainment experience," said Reed Hastings, co-founder and chief executive of Netflix.
"Now, you can enjoy as many great films and TV programmes as you want, when you want, where you want, for one low monthly price with no contracts or commitments."
The US firm said that its UK and Ireland service features high-quality video streaming technology, including high definition and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 sound, as well as "advanced recommendation technology" for users to track down new content.
The company has revolutionised the way Americans watch films. However, it faces stiff competition in the UK.
Last Christmas I started subscribing to LOVEFiLM Instant. I prefer streaming film and television, around my home, to wireless platforms including Sony BRAVIA Internet Video enabled devices and PS3. There's currently no HD content available (as yet), but the service is much more convenient than physical storage media such as Blu-ray disc or DVD. Of course BBC iPlayer already broadcasts selected programmes in HD (720p).
Both companies have inked deals with major Hollywood studios and television broadcasters. So, it may take more than price to differentiate LOVEFiLM and Netflix in the long run.
Do you think Netflix will be successful in the UK? How about in Ireland? Both? Neither???
January 04, 2012
This summer LEGO will launch official tie-ins for Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings and forthcoming The Hobbit. Imagine sets depicting Mirkwood or Mordor?
Given the success of the LEGO franchise in the video game space...