Friday 16 December 2011

Happy Holidays!

This is my final post of 2011! Thank you for continuing to support this blog and sending in news. It's most appreciated.

I would like to wish you a fantastic holiday season, whatever you may be doing, and all the best for the New Year.

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Donald Faison talks Star Wars and LEGO on Conan

Donald Faison, who plays Turk in the comedy Scrubs, discusses the power of the force and being a blerd with Conan O'Brian.

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Microsoft Kinectimals bound onto the App Store

After bringing the excellent My Xbox LIVE and Halo Waypoint to the App Store. Microsoft has launched Kinectimals, its Tamagotchi-like sim, which ties-in with the company's Xbox 360 game!

How long before Sony brings its IP to iOS?

Kinectimals (iTunes)

Wednesday 7 December 2011

New Girl

Critically acclaimed smash hit comedy New Girl makes its UK television premiere, with indie golden girl Zooey Deschanel making her TV debut as Jess Daly. Newly single after walking in on her boyfriend with another woman, Jess is in desperate need of a place to live. Answering a flat share ad, she crash lands in the lives of three single guys she has never met before.

Nursing a broken heart, she arrives on their doorstep with an unusual line in house-warming gifts, including a Dirty Dancing DVD (which plays on a constant loop), a model BFF and a neat line in personal theme tunes.

Jess is an unlikely addition to the digs: Nick is still smarting from his own break-up; Schmidt is a ladies man who thinks it's a winning manoeuvre to remove his shirt at the drop of a hat; and Coach is a personal trainer with serious anger-management issues. But as their relationships progress, Jess and the boys come to realise they need each other more than they ever realised and end up forming a charmingly dysfunctional family.

New Girl takes a fresh and outrageous look at modern male and female relationships. The show premiered in the US with over 10 million viewers making it Fox's highest-rated autumn sitcom debut in a decade. The cast also includes Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris and Hannah Simone.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Kinect with LOVEFiLM on Xbox LIVE

LOVEFiLM, an Amazon company, launches on the Xbox 360 and Kinect tomorrow giving a million more film fans access to the movies they want to watch in an instant.

The movie viewing experience will be transformed as, for the first time, LOVEFiLM members watching on Kinect for Xbox 360 will be able to use voice commands and gestures to control LOVEFiLM Instant – the movie streaming service – with ease via their Kinect enabled consoles.

Xbox 360 users will be able to watch thousands of movies via LOVEFiLM Instant including exclusive content such as the award-winning drama Gran Torino and teen phenomenon The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, with forthcoming titles The Dark Knight, breakout comedy The Hangover and dark romance Blue Valentine becoming available in time for Christmas.

LOVEFiLM Instant is available from just £5.99 via a huge range of devices including PCs, iPad®, Internet-connected TV sets, Blu-ray players, tablets and games consoles. Becoming an Xbox LIVE integrated film service provider is another milestone in LOVEFiLM’s ambition to bring the service to as many homes as possible.

Simon Calver, CEO of LOVEFiLM, said:

“It is an exciting day for LOVEFiLM customers who have known this was coming. Launching LOVEFiLM Instant on Xbox 360 and Kinect means we are bringing the service to a million more living rooms.

“LOVEFiLM members in the UK can access our content in another exciting, innovative way and all for one straightforward price.  The simplicity of our pricing and the ease with which customers can use LOVEFiLM Instant should make us the first choice for those film fans who want fantastic entertainment at great value for money, anytime, anywhere.”

Stephen McGill, Director of Xbox & Entertainment for Microsoft UK said:

“It’s very exciting to see the launch of Amazon’s LOVEFiLM on Xbox LIVE.  Xbox owners will be eager to get started, using their Kinect-enabled consoles to interact with LOVEFiLM’s extensive catalogue of movies in ways that will only be available on Xbox 360.”

LOVEFiLM is Europe’s largest subscription service, streaming movies and TV episodes over the Internet and sending DVDs by post.

Not yet a customer? Sign up here, and select the ‘LOVEFiLM Instant’ option.

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Stand Up To Cancer this holiday season!

Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) and Lucasfilm will continue their collaboration this holiday season when they release never-before-seen outtakes from the highly popular star-studded video clip that urges fans to Use the Force for Good. The campaign continues to raise funds for groundbreaking cancer research that will get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives. Just in time for holiday shopping and due to popular demand, SU2C and Lucasfilm have added a fourth design incorporating the iconic image of Darth Vader to their line of co-branded tees, which feature Star Wars™ artwork alongside SU2C’s signature upward arrows and slogans such as “Blast Cancer” and “Use the Force for Good.” This new exclusive Darth Vader t-shirt bears the slogan “Do Not Underestimate the Power of SU2C,” and will be available for purchase in late November. The full line of tees is available for purchase at with proceeds benefiting SU2C.

In addition, a new behind-the-scenes look at the Star Wars video tribute featuring celebrity Star Wars enthusiasts and SU2C Ambassadors— Aziz Ansari, Zach Galifianakis, Bill Hader, Ed Helms, Ken Jeong, Jaime King, Seth Rogen, Andy Samberg and Emma Stone—who were joined by Star Wars alum Samuel L. Jackson, can currently be viewed on the Star Wars YouTube channel,, alongside the original video tribute. This new behind-the-scenes video not only captures funny outtakes from the all-star cast, but also highlights candid moments where the cast members express why they participated in the original Star Wars video tribute. With approximately 800,000 hits on YouTube so far, the original Star Wars video tribute encourages fans to Use the Force for Good and join Lucasfilm in donating to Stand Up To Cancer.

“To build a grassroots movement of people determined to end this disease, cancer and references to it have to become part of the pop culture zeitgeist,” said Sue Schwartz, SU2C co-founder and partner at Robertson Schwartz Agency. “Lucasfilm’s willingness to highlight the fight against cancer with an icon like Star Wars is a huge boon to our efforts. Everyone at Stand Up To Cancer is eternally grateful to Lucasfilm and our celebrity ambassadors for ‘Using the Force for Good.’ We look forward to continuing this campaign through the end of the year to raise funds for life-saving cancer research.”

Thursday 17 November 2011

A Charlie Brown Christmas on the App Store

"Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?!"

Help Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the entire Peanuts gang as they struggle to find the true meaning of Christmas. Peter Robbins, the original voice of Charlie Brown, narrates the rebirth of the 1965 animated classic as an interactive storybook complete with original scenes and dialog and digitally remastered illustrations, animation, and music optimized for your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

Play Schroeder's piano, finger paint with the gang, go carolling with the Peanuts choir, and participate in the Spectacular Super-Colossal Neighborhood Christmas Lights and Display Contest to unlock decorations for your very own Charlie Brown Christmas Tree! With something to discover on every page, this is one interactive Peanuts adventure you won't want to miss this holiday season!!

* Original dialogue from the 1965 animated classic
* Captivating narration by Peter Robbins, the original voice of Charlie Brown
* Charming soundtrack featuring music and sound effects from the original show
* Decorate your own Charlie Brown Christmas Tree
* Participate in the Lights and Display Contest to unlock rewards
* Educational features such as word and note highlighting to help improve reading and musical skills
* Hear individual words spoken with the tap of a finger
* Touch and drag objects to make them “spring” to life or tilt to watch them slide and move
* Objects that literally pop out of the page to delight you and your family!

A Charlie Brown Christmas (iTunes)

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Spielberg: The Man, The Movies

He's the most famous director in movie history, whose creations have poured out of the cinemas into popular culture. But what goes on inside his head? What drives him? What is the key to Steven Spielberg? Covering his career, his movies, his relationships, and his extraordinary gift, Empire Magazine celebrates - with dazzling photographic evidence - Hollywood's most beloved director in this unique special edition.

Updated for 2012, this new iPad edition of Empire’s Spielberg celebration features:

– Original trailers from every single title in the director’s filmography.
– In-depth critical appraisals of all of his films, from 1971’s Duel, right up to the present day.
– Detailed features covering topics from Spielberg’s early Super 8 movies to his experiences in TV, making the Indiana Jones saga and more.
– Behind-the-scenes ‘making of’ features on some of the director’s biggest films.
– Interviews with key Spielberg collaborators.
– A special Q&A session with the director himself answering questions from some of the biggest names in Hollywood.
– Exclusive video interview with Spielberg and director JJ Abrams.
– Selected clips from classic Spielberg movies.
– Exclusive photography

Monday 14 November 2011

Sony set to battle Apple in your living room

Apple TV is seen, by some, as a trojan horse and there's every possibility that it could challenge Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony in the home video game console space! Why? Add a faster processor, the App Store echo system and tether Apple TV to an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad and boom! However, imagine an Apple television that acts as a point of convergence with voice control (Siri) and we're in the Star Trek universe as envisaged by conceptual designer Michael Okuda.

Longtime followers of Apple wouldn't have been surprised by the news that Steve Jobs had told Walter Isaacson, his official biographer, that he'd "cracked it".

“'I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,’ he told me. ‘It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.’ No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. ‘It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.'”

Sony has entered the fray and promises to deliver a next generation TV experience to rival Apple. Presumably BRAVIA Internet Video will underpin this and the XMB (ported from its PlayStation brand) is a compelling alternative to Apple's iOS. However, Sony has lost significance in the past decade and Apple is more than capable of delivering Steve Jobs' vision into the living room.

"Siri, Star Trek: The Next Generation series 3. On screen."

Friday 11 November 2011

Store Wars: Apple vs Android

This made me smile. Apple and Android locked in a deadly lightsabre duel for dominance of the mobile space. Darth Mac! Surely a mistake?

Hat tip @HokusBloke.

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Star Wars Days at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

The force is back in the attraction again for another weekend of Star Wars fun where family and LEGO fans who have always dreamed of having their picture taken with a stormtrooper!

All guests are encouraged to come dressed in costume – guests won’t be alone as there will be experts on hand to show how it’s really done. Other activities will include treasure hunts to spot the Star Wars characters hidden in MINILAND, along with free tickets on offer for the best costume of the day!

Visitors can also take home a limited edition brick – perfect for those with a budding collection.

LEGO Star Wars Days 12 - 13 November. Further information here.

Monday 24 October 2011

Death Star Jack-O-Lantern

"I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of pumpkin seeds suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced."

Thursday 20 October 2011

Misfits in the USA

Last week I attended the Misfits S3 launch and screening at the BFI.

I won't delve deeper into the premiere episode aside from saying that any concerns about the series' demise, with the departure of Nathan, were premature and assuaged by a breakout performance from Joseph Gilgun as Rudy.

During the cast and creator Q&A that followed. Misfits' creator Howard Overman outlined that Superhoodie's identity was decided midway through recording S2 and alluded to a US version, after it was noted that Misfits has garnered a cult following, in North America, since Hulu started streaming S1.

Josh Schwartz (The OC and Gossip Girl) confirmed that a Misfits remake will be produced by his company Fake Empire under Warner Bros.

The combination of Howard Overman and the power of the Schwartz is too compelling to fail! The OC's Rachel Bilson should be cast as Alisha. What do you think?

Misfits S3 starts on E4 Sunday, 30th October, at 10pm.

Watch Misfits online at today, LOVEFiLM stream a huge collection of movies, also sign up now and get a 2 week trial absolutely free.

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Star Wars: A Clone Apart

Ryan James has chimed in with news that his co-creation 'A Clone Apart' has been rebooted with the aid of the Star Wars: Battlefront II game engine!

What’s in a Clone anyway? DANSON DELTA-40 is the sole survivor of the latest failed batch of Clone soldiers, hurriedly created to provide enough troops so the Galactic Republic can win the war that eats at its very foundations. Unfortunately, Danson isn’t exactly your model soldier. He’s had no training. He even doesn’t know how to fire his rifle. And he questions the rather… questionable practices of the army founded on the “overwhelm them with many in useless plastic armor” principle. Unacceptable.

Fortunately, Danson’s destiny lies elsewhere. When he accidentally steps through a portal in time/space one day, he begins his quest to find a place where he truly belongs… in the underbelly of the events of the original Star Wars Trilogy. The lone representative of the world of the Prequel Trilogies, Danson finds that a lot of things don’t add up, and that he isn’t exactly welcome either. From jobs with both the Imperial and Rebel armies to bounty-hunting with Boba Fett and other private-sector jobs (such as mining lava on Mustafar), Danson and his few loyal compatriots cast a new glance onto a story so familiar, showing what really happened behind the scenes.

A Clone Apart is set, for the most part, in the original trilogy following some timey-wimey shenanigans worthy of Doctor Who, and pokes fun at our beloved saga with a comedic flourish.

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Star Wars: Dark Resurrection

Dark Resurrection is one of the best Star Wars fan films I've seen.

Thanks to Ricky Antonino for the tip.

Thursday 6 October 2011

RIP Steve Jobs; visionary co-founder of Apple

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life ... Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” - Steve Jobs

RIP Steve Jobs. Thanks for co-founding Apple and changing the way we use technology forever. I'll never own a PC. That is all.

Wednesday 5 October 2011

LEGO Star Wars: Padawan Menace

A routine Jedi Academy field trip is turned into a rip-roaring comic adventure in LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace. Tour guide Master Yoda leads a group of rambunctious Jedi Younglings through Senate chambers when he senses a disturbance in the Force. Summoned to help save the Republic, he discovers that one of the Younglings secretly boarded his ship…and has a taste for adventure! Meanwhile, C-3PO and R2-D2 are put in charge of the boisterous group and find themselves in over their heads. As the evil Sith prepare to wreak havoc, it’s up to Yoda and the Droids to ensure that their young charges aren’t torn to bricks!

Featuring situations, characters and locations from throughout the entire Star Wars Saga, the original adventure is written by Emmy Award winner Michael Price (The Simpsons) and produced by Oscar-winning Animal Logic, the production company behind Happy Feet.

To date, Star Wars is the first and most successful LEGO licensed product collection in the company’s history, generating more than 200 LEGO models and approximately 275 LEGO minifigures inspired by the Saga, which has also spurred a blockbuster collection of videogames, selling 25 million units to date worldwide. In addition to its popularity among younger fans, a significant portion of the LEGO Star Wars consumer fan base is made up of adult fans and franchise collectors.

LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace BD/DVD combo pack is available now for pre-order exclusively at

Monday 3 October 2011

Drew Struzan: Oeuvre

Struzan's movie posters informed, and embellished, my appreciation of movie making!

Drew Struzan has created some of the most iconic movie posters of the last 30 years, from Harry Potter to Hellboy, Raiders of the Lost Ark to Back to the Future. This extravagant hardcover edition of DREW STRUZAN: OEUVRE, with a Foreword by George Lucas, film producer, screen-writer, director and founder/chairman of Lucasfilm Ltd., features over 250 pieces of art, including all of Drew’s most iconic movie images, as well as other career highlights, from record album, book, and comic book covers, to stamps, trading cards, promotional artwork and very personal original works. —This right-up-to-date collection of Struzan’s work includes recent and never-before-published pieces including Star Wars: Episode III poster art; Indiana Jones 4 poster art; Walking Dead poster art; Hellboy 2 poster art; Pan’s Labyrinth poster art; Lord of the Rings trading cards; and never before published personal works.

This book is an essential purchase for any film fan. Pre-order from or

Thursday 29 September 2011

LOVEFiLM Player for iPad

Not content with being available for PlayStation 3, BRAVIA Internet Video or Mac and PC. LOVEFiLM joins the portable fray with its all-new LOVEFiLM Player for iPad. LOVEFiLM already has a presence on the App Store, but nothing like this...

“LOVEFiLM’s debut on iPad is a huge win for our customers as the latest platform to support the service. This is a huge leap in movie watching for the 21st Century – making LOVEFiLM more portable than ever before”, said Simon Calver, CEO of LOVEFiLM. “LOVEFiLM on iPad is the latest step in giving film fans total control over their viewing schedule and our commitment to expanding the ways in which members can stream movies and TV series on a range of devices.”

Hopefully an iPhone/iPod touch version won't be too far behind.

LOVEFiLM Player for iPad (iTunes)

Thursday 22 September 2011

Another World on the App Store

Beautifully cinematic, impressively coherent, challenging and elegant; Another World (known as Out of this World in North America) is a stellar example of Nineties game design and was the brainchild of one Eric Chahi and his team at Delphine Software.

You play Lester, the young physics professor, who suddenly finds himself in a strange alien world after a lightning striked his particle experiment.

In 1991 Another World became the poster child of Gallic gaming and adoring magazine editorials in C&VG and the official Nintendo magazine elevated it to blockbuster status. I first played this on the Super Nintendo (SNES), which was, somewhat astonishingly, eclipsed by Sega's Mega Drive console port. Too late, I'd already sold the latter to a College friend who was trying to kick the console habit to no avail.

Another World's stylistic cousin, Flashback, arrived in 1992, but never distilled the mood of its predecessor nor its downbeat ending.

The look and feel of Another World is unique to this day. Oddworld's developers clearly derived insperation from Delphine.

The iOS edition has been given an HD makeover, but purists can switch to the original Amiga graphics. This is, arguably, the new touchstone in retro reboots for the touch generation.

Another World - 20th Anniversary (iTunes)

Monday 19 September 2011

OnLive to bring cloud-based gaming to the UK

Registered for OnLive yet? The cloud-based video game platform, which is not tethered to proprietary hardware like PlayStation or Xbox, goes live in the UK this Thursday.

OnLive has been available in the US since June 2010 where it has received positive press coverage. The MicroConsole has been praised for its minimalist packaging, build quality and included accessories. If you already own an HDMI-enabled HDTV; you're good to go.

Gamers will be able to play AAA titles including Deus Ex: Human Revolution on their living room TV and resume where they left off on a Mac or PC. The service will also become available for mobile devices including iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

I can see myself investing in an OnLive MicroConsole and playing games both at home and on the road! The caveat being you will need an always-on high speed broadband connection.

Friday 16 September 2011

Use the Force for Good!

This week's release of Star Wars on Blu-ray disc has witnessed memorable marketing initiatives around the globe.

From the BT Tower becoming the world's largest lightsaber to Stormtroopers from the 501st Legion protecting New Yorkers from Jawas and Stand Up To Cancer. The latter affects us all, either directly or indirectly. Personally, I've lost family and friends to cancer, which is why I'm compelled to share this...

Lucasfilm has announced that in celebration of the September launch of Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray, it is linking up with celebrities, eBay and Major League Baseball to ask fans to Use the Force for Good to support Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C). SU2C funds groundbreaking cancer research that will get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives.

SU2C Ambassadors Aziz Ansari, Zach Galifianakis, Bill Hader, Ed Helms, Ken Jeong, Jaime King, Seth Rogen, Andy Samberg and Emma Stone – along with Star Wars alum Samuel L. Jackson – will each Use the Force for Good as they recreate classic Star Wars scenes to raise awareness for cancer research.  The all-star video tribute appears on the Star Wars YouTube channel

“Lucasfilm joining with eBay, Major League Baseball and a wonderful group of actors is an amazing force for good being brought to bear in Stand Up To Cancer’s fight against this disease, and we are profoundly grateful,” said SU2C Co-Founder Sue Schwartz. “With one in two men and one in three women diagnosed in their lifetimes, cancer affects us all.  SU2C’s mission is to persuade each and every person to support the scientists working to end cancer, and this initiative gives legions of Star Wars fans fun and easy ways to do that.”

“We are thrilled to be using the launch of Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray as a call to action for our fans to Use the Force for Good,” said Kayleen Walters, Senior Director of Marketing at Lucasfilm. “We are happy to use the power of Star Wars to support this noble cause.”

Thursday 15 September 2011

Star Wars LEGO Venerator Class Star Destroyer

This copy of LEGO Master Builder Erik Varszegi's Venerator Class Star Destroyer was constructed using 43000 individual LEGO pieces by iomedes.

Watch the video.

Friday 9 September 2011

Chess Wars

Respect the Pact produced an ingenious Star Wars lightsaber duel ignited by a chess match between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi (notice the clothes).

Thursday 8 September 2011

Stormtrooper Super Shogun

I had no idea such a collectible existed until @stuartwitts posted a photo on Google+!

The Star Wars Stormtrooper Super Shogun stands a whopping 24 inches tall, and includes all of the features that you expect from an authentic Jumbo: free rotating wheels on the bottom of his feet, and a spring-loaded Rocket Punch firing fist!

Only 1200 of these were made.

Friday 2 September 2011

4oD now available on all iOS devices

Following the re-launch of 4oD on, Channel 4 launches a free to download, bespoke 4oD iPhone app and updates its existing iPad app. 

Available to download from the app store on Friday 2 September the 4oD catch up app will allow viewers to catch up with Channel 4 programmes from the last 30 days wherever they are, on whichever iOS device they own.

Both the 4oD iPad and 4oD iPhone applications can now be browsed in 3G, with video playback only available when a Wi-Fi signal is accessible to ensure the quality of the viewing experience isn't affected.

A search functionality has been included in the 4oD iPhone app and added to the 4oD iPad app, enabling users to find their favourite programmes by typing in the name of the show in the new search menu. 

For the first time, there will also be a direct link to Channel 4's content on iTunes, offering users the chance to download to own Channel 4 shows. Costs will apply for this service.

Helen Walker, 4oD Product Manager comments: "We're delighted to bring 4oD to our viewers with iPhones and iPod Touches, and to offer our existing iPad users an update to their app, with a new carousel and ability to now browse the app over 3G".

The app was designed by Nice Agency - specialists in the design and development of innovative cross-platform applications - who were also responsible for the 4oD Catch Up app for iPad.

Download 4oD Catch Up (iTunes)

Thursday 1 September 2011

A BATHING APE®X STAR WARS collaboration!

To coincide with the upcoming release of Star Wars on Blu-ray disc, BAPE has joined forces with Lucasfilm for an exciting new line of t-shirts available from September 17th.

The collection can be previewed online here.

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Han Solo's Day Off

Travis Kurtz sent in this very cool Han Solo skit.

Sunday 14 August 2011

Review: Super 8

The monster, ultimately disappointing, wasn't what I loved about Super 8! It was the superlative cast (seemingly plucked from The Goonies, Explorers and E.T.) and JJ Abrams' deft handling of action (showcased in Alias, Lost and M:i:III) and concealment of the monster (see Jaws or Alien for further masterclasses in suspense).

Super 8's finest moments are reserved for the interplay between childhood friends, as they shoot a zombie movie in the summer of '79, and the emergent romance between Joe (Joel Courtney) and Alice (Elle Fanning) in the wake of his mother's recent death - magnificently punctuated by visual nods to producer Steven Spielberg's sci-fi oeuvre replete with lens flare.

Mise-en-scènes that transported me back to the first time I saw Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, in the theatre, not long after I'd suffered a serious head injury at Primary School; two movies that have profound familial significance; Star Wars received special mention at my mother's funeral service in 2007.

None of this should be surprising given JJ's penchant for intimate human drama as evinced by the director's innumerable hit TV series. All eloquently underscored by long time musical collaborator Michael Giacchino (Alias, Lost and Star Trek). Giacchino's soundtrack evokes the celestial yearning of John Williams' scores for Spielberg's early career.

Not since WALL-E has a film so successfully distilled a sense of enigmatic wonder; even if it falls short of Spielberg's greatest cinematic achievements in the final reel! Star Trek II and Cloverfield II can't come soon enough...

Friday 12 August 2011

Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-ray Trailer

Yahoo! has exclusively premièred the trailer for Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray disc.

Episodes I-III and IV-VI will also be available as distinct Blu-ray Trilogy collections.

Pre-order Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray and the Star Wars: Trilogy Sets at and today! Alternatively purchase one of the selected Panasonic Blu-ray products and receive IV-VI for free.

Saturday 6 August 2011

Anne Hathaway's Catwoman

Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, apparently stealing a Batcycle, in The Dark Knight Rises. The conceptual design is consistent with Chris Nolan's technoir vision for his Batman trilogy.

How does Hathaway's Catwoman compare with her celebrated predecessors? Triumphantly based on this photo.

Thursday 28 July 2011

Nintendo 3DS Ambassador programme for early adopters

In a move that echoes the price drop of the N64, due to poor consumer demand, only weeks after release, Nintendo is offering free bonus content for customers who purchase a 3DS prior to August 11 and register the console with eShop. This maybe a preemptive strike against Sony's PS Vita, prior to the lucrative holiday season, but the announced games are AAA titles.

Since Nintendo 3DS launched in the United States on March 27, more than 830,000 people in the U.S. alone have purchased one to enjoy 3D visuals without the need for special glasses. These Nintendo 3DS owners represent some of Nintendo’s most loyal customers, and Nintendo is rewarding them for getting in on the action early with 20 free downloadable games from the Nintendo eShop.

These free games are available to anyone who owns a Nintendo 3DS system and uses a wireless broadband Internet signal to connect to the Nintendo eShop at least once before 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Aug. 11. These users will automatically be registered in the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program. The program contains two elements:

Starting Sept. 1, Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors will be able to download 10 NES™ Virtual Console™ games at no charge and before they are available in the Nintendo eShop to the general public. These games, including Super Mario Bros.™, Donkey Kong Jr.™, Balloon Fight™, Ice Climber™ and The Legend of Zelda™, are slated to become paid downloadable games, but Ambassadors get them early for free. Once the paid versions of the games are posted to the Nintendo eShop later in the year, the updated versions will be available to Ambassadors for download at no cost.

By the end of 2011, Nintendo will provide Ambassadors with 10 Game Boy Advance Virtual Console games. These include games like Yoshi’s Island™: Super Mario™ Advance 3, Mario Kart™: Super Circuit, Metroid™ Fusion, WarioWare™, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ and Mario vs. Donkey Kong™. These games will be available exclusively to Ambassadors, and Nintendo currently has no plans to make these 10 games available to the general public on the Nintendo 3DS in the future.

More details about this program will be announced in the future.

The package is available in North America, Europe, Australia and Japan.

Did you buy a 3DS at full price? Is this incentive enough to compensate? For the record I bought my 3DS during the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend sales for £160; 20 free downloadable games and a copy of 3D Classics Excitebike; I'd be churlish to complain.

Read Nan Braun's insightful 3DS review here.

Wednesday 27 July 2011

Lucasfilm loses to Rebel Stormtrooper prop maker

In an ironic twist, worthy of the Star Wars saga itself, British prop designer Andrew Ainsworth has won the right to continue selling Stormtrooper props, based on the original moulds he produced for Star Wars (1977), in the UK!

In 2004 George Lucas's company, Lucasfilm, sued for $20m (£12m) in damages, claiming that Mr Ainsworth did not hold the intellectual property rights and had no right to sell them. The argument was upheld by a US court but could not be enforced because the designer held no assets in the country.

Judges at the Supreme Court upheld a 2009 Court of Appeal decision allowing Mr Ainsworth to continue selling them after he argued the costumes were functional not artistic works and not subject to full copyright laws.

Lucasfilm told the BBC that the Supreme Court’s decision preserved “an anomaly of British copyright law” and that the studio “remains committed to aggressively protecting its intellectual property rights.” But Mr Ainsworth said, “This is a massive victory, a total victory, we’ve already got the champagne out.”

This landmark decision could set a precedent and cause concern for Hollywood giants! The claim was supported by Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and Peter Jackson.

Tuesday 26 July 2011

The missions of Clone Trooper TG

Can't get enough of The Clone Wars during the series hiatus? Then you're in luck because fellow Star Wars fan Tanya Glittenberg presents Clone Trooper TG for your entertainment.

Clone Trooper TG chronicles the missions of 'Trooper 8769' prior to the devastating intergalactic events that follow Order 66! This means there's Jedi, lightsaber battles and more...

Start your Clone Wars collection at Toys R Us today.

Friday 22 July 2011

Limited Edition Star Wars Kinect bundle with R2-D2 Xbox 360

At this year's San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), Lucasarts and Microsoft jointly announced the first custom Xbox 360, based on the Star Wars franchise, for the upcoming holiday season.

Get the Xbox 360 Limited Edition Kinect Star Wars bundle, with the first ever white Kinect Sensor and custom-designed console and controller based on popular Star Wars characters R2-D2 and C-3PO. Use the Force like a Jedi and immerse yourself in the Star Wars experience you’ve always dreamed of, in ways you never imagined possible.

The Xbox 360 Limited Edition Kinect Star Wars bundle will include:

*Kinect Star Wars game
*Custom R2-D2-themed Xbox 360 Console with custom sounds
*White Kinect Sensor
*Custom C-3PO-themed Xbox 360 Wireless Controller
*320 GB Hard Drive
*Xbox 360 Wired Headset
*Kinect Adventures game
*Exclusive downloadable content

Pre-order the Limited Edition Star Wars Kinect bundle here.

Thursday 21 July 2011

Star Wars Blu-ray: Early Access

This is an awesome announcement from San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC)! Unlike similar iOS marketing initiatives, this should be worth checking out.

Before you bring the Saga home, get an exclusive first look at some of the special features from STAR WARS™: THE COMPLETE SAGA - coming to you on Blu-ray September 16th! The Star Wars Blu-ray: Early Access highlights a varied sampling of bonus materials featured in the collection, including never-before-seen content sourced from the Lucasfilm Archives! Begin to explore the farthest corners of that distant galaxy, and dive deeper into the creation of the Star Wars universe.

Witness the evolution of the wild concepts that became pop culture icons. Celebrate the spirit of innovation that pushed the boundaries of special effects - as described by the men and women who pioneered the new methods that made Star Wars possible. And pull back the curtain on the Lucasfilm Archives to reveal never-before-told stories about the making of the Saga. Offering an insightful cross-section of what the THE COMPLETE SAGA has in store, Star Wars Blu-ray: Early Access is your first look at the most anticipated Blu-ray collection - of all time!

Star Wars Blu-ray: Early Access (iTunes)

Tuesday 19 July 2011

Stanford Students duel 'JediBot' with lightsabers

Robotics students at Stanford University have created their very own General Grievous to battle! Let's hope that unofficial mashups (including Star Wars music, sound effects and special effects) follow soon.

Hat tip @stuartwitts.

Thursday 14 July 2011

Tron: Uprising

While Tron: Legacy was a frothy diversion; bereft of plot, drama and replete with reference audiovisuals to sell 3D to the masses. Disney XD's forthcoming animated series, starring genre stalwarts Elijah Wood, Mandy Moore and Lance Henricksen, promises to be much more compelling...

Tron: Uprising, set between events in the original Tron and first sequel, combining CGI and traditional animation techniques that owe much to anime, maybe this generation's Batman: The Animated Series. However, that's a lofty comparison.

Get back onto the game grid in summer 2012

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Dark Knight Rises teaser poster

The first official teaser poster for Chris Nolan's upcoming Dark Knight Rises is evocative of the director's movie Inception!

Tuesday 5 July 2011

Doctor & Amy vs. Darth Maul!

Thought it would be fun to pit the Doctor and Amy against one of the most feared Sith Lords to stalk the Star Wars galaxy!

Who would win?

Monday 4 July 2011

LEGO Star Wars at Argos

Originally founded in Europe in the 1940's, LEGO has become one of the most popular brands among children of all ages.

In 1999 LEGO began to produce Star Wars sets and figures to coincide with the release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Since then over 200+ LEGO Star Wars sets have been made traversing the prequels, original trilogy and expanded universe.

From Luke Skywalker's Landspeeder to the Empire's dreaded Death Star; every corner of the Star Wars universe has been lovingly immortalised in brick form.

LEGO Star Wars is undoubtedly one of the most successful spin-offs in recent years and shows no sign of stopping as the Clone Wars begins its fourth season on Cartoon Network this Autumn.

Start building your LEGO collection at Argos.

Friday 1 July 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon hits the App Store!

Transformers fans should get a kick out of this official tie-in even if Michael Bay's latest movie collapses into migraine-inducing nihilism! Read the review on Film4 here.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (iTunes)

Monday 27 June 2011

Jurassic Park bows on Blu-ray disc this October

How's this for serendipity! Last evening I was watching Jurassic Park on ITV2 and lamenting the lack of a Blu-ray disc release with remastered picture and sound. Viola! Here's the news that Steven Spielberg fans have been waiting for.

Jurassic Park will bow on Blu-ray disc in three editions:

Ultimate Trilogy
Ultimate Trilogy Limited Collector's Edition
Limited Ultimate Collector's Edition (see above photo)

“Return to Jurassic Park” – this six-part documentary features all-new interviews with many of the cast members from all three films, the filmmakers and Steven Spielberg.
Dawn of a New Era
Making Pre-history
The Next Step in Evolution
Finding The Lost World
Something Survived
The Third Adventure

· BD-LIVE™: Access the BD-Live™ Centre through your Internet-connected player to watch exclusive content, the latest trailers, and more!
MY SCENES: Bookmark your favorite scenes from the film.
pocket BLU™: The groundbreaking pocket BLU™ app uses iPad®, iPhone®, iPod® touch, Android™, PC and Mac® to work seamlessly with a network-connected Blu-ray™ player. Plus iPad® owners can enjoy a new, enhanced edition of pocket BLU™ made especially to take advantage of the tablet’s larger screen and high resolution display. Consumers will be able to browse through a library of Blu-ray™ content and watch entertaining extras on-the-go in a way that’s bigger and better than ever before. pocket BLU™ offers advanced features such as:
ADVANCED REMOTE CONTROL: A sleek, elegant new way to operate your Blu-ray™ player. Users can navigate through menus, playback and BD-Live™ functions with ease.
VIDEO TIMELINE: Users can easily bring up the video timeline, allowing them to instantly access any point in the film.
MOBILE-TO-GO: Users can unlock a selection of bonus content with their Blu-ray™ discs to save to their device or to stream from anywhere there is a Wi-Fi network, enabling them to enjoy content on the go, anytime, anywhere.
BROWSE TITLES: Users will have access to a complete list of pocket BLU™-enabled titles available and coming to Blu-ray™. They can view free previews and see what additional content is available to unlock on their device.
KEYBOARD: Entering data is fast and easy with your device’s intuitive keyboard.

Amongst others, the following bonus features also appear on the both the Blu-ray™ and DVD:
The Making of Jurassic Park
The Making of The Lost World: Jurassic Park
The Making of Jurassic Park III
Steven Spielberg Directs Jurassic Park
Early Pre-Production Meetings
The World of Jurassic Park
The Magic of Industrial Light & Magic
Location Scouting
Phil Tippett Animatics: Raptors In The Kitchen
The Jurassic Park Phenomenon: A Discussion with Author Michael Crichton
Industrial Light & Magic and Jurassic Park: Before and After The Visual Effects
Industrial Light & Magic and The Lost World: Jurassic Park Before & After
The Industrial Light & Magic Press Reel
A Visit to Industrial Light & Magic
Hurricane in Kauai Featurette
Dinosaur Turntables
The Dinosaurs of Jurassic Park III
Montana: Finding New Dinosaurs
Animatics: T-Rex Attack
The Special Effects of Jurassic Park III
The Sounds of Jurassic Park III
The Art of Jurassic Park III
Tour of Stan Winston Studio
Feature Commentary with Special Effects Team
Production Archives: Storyboards, Models, Photographs, Design Sketches and Conceptual Drawings
Deleted Scenes
Theatrical Trailers

Jurassic Park may have spawned two inferior sequels and paved the way for George Lucas' controversial Star Wars prequels. But, this is a day one purchase for me while we wait for Jaws.

Bring on the T-Rex attack in DTS-HD Master Audio...

Sunday 26 June 2011

Michael Bay's open letter to theatre projectionists

In a self-publicising letter that would make James Cameron envious, Michael Bay opines the 'perfect' viewing conditions for theatrical 3D playback of his latest Transformers movie.

With escalating ticket prices, in the midst of an economic recession, audiences should demand the highest standards of theatrical presentation - properly calibrated home cinemas can easily best most multiplexes. That said, it's not just about the technology, it's the story that truly matters... Try certifying that with THX?

Source: Deadline Hollywood

Thursday 23 June 2011

Celebrate 20 years of Sonic on the App Store

Has it really been 20 years since Sega first unleashed Sonic the Hedgehog onto the Genesis/Mega Drive and started a videogame war with Nintendo that would rival Coca-Cola vs Pepsi!

The cool kids only had eyes for the hedgehog...

Sonic was a brash, slicker, upstart and upended Mario within the space of a year with uncredited assistance from Michael Jackson both musically and in the design of Sonic's footwear, which was inspired by the Bad video.

Sega bundled every Mega Drive with a Sonic the Hedgehog game pack-in from day one! A business decision that would be anathema in today's market. With the console's reduced price point, the company was giving away its killer application in an effort to overthrow Nintendo.

Sega - with Sonic as its mascot - dominated the early 1990s and had to do nothing to maintain an unassailable industry lead. Instead the company imploded as told here.

Nowadays Sega is fair weather friends with the likes of Nintendo and Sony. This is all to the good and gamers everywhere can play the Sonic franchise on their platform(s) of choice.

What better way to mark this anniversary then with these Sonic titles on the App Store!

Sonic the Hedgehog (iTunes)
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (iTunes)
Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode I (iTunes)
Sonic and Sega All-Star Racing (iTunes)

If you buy only one Sonic game from the Mega Drive era; choose Sonic the Hedgehog 2!

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Final Cut Pro X on the Mac App Store

For years I've used iMovie and wanted to upgrade to Final Cut Pro, but couldn't justify the hefty price tag - Final Cut Express has been an excellent stopgap. Today that's all changed with the arrival of Final Cut Pro X on the Mac App Store!

£179.99 is a compelling argument to switch to Final Cut Pro; combined with Motion 5 and Compressor for £29.99 each. Like the upcoming release of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, Final Cut Pro X is only available from the Mac App Store!

Final Cut Pro X (Mac App Store)
Motion 5 (Mac App Store)
Compressor (Mac App Store)

Is Mac App Store exclusivity good or bad?

Monday 20 June 2011

Are You #TeamStarWars or #TeamStarTrek?

Obsessed with the intergalactic worlds of Star Wars and/or Star Trek? Only a true fan can fully appreciate a quiz that separates the Star Wars fans from the Trekkies, straight from Matt Forbeck’s Star Wars Vs. Star Trek; Could the Empire kick the Federation’s ass? and other galaxy-shaking enigmas.

Filled with details about aliens, technology, story points, weaponry, and heroes from the two great science fiction/fantasy stories of our age, Star Wars Vs. Star Trek serves as an encyclopaedia for trusty fans.

Here, the ultimate quiz from the author, Matt Forbeck!

12 Ways To Tell If You’re A Star Wars Or A Star Trek Fan:

1. When you see a puffle, you wonder if Club Penguin is a kids’ version of Star Trek Online, and you marvel at this strange new world in which tribbles come in so many bright colors.

2. You regularly tell your kids, “Don’t make me destroy you.”

3. Every time start your car, you say, “Engage!”

4. When landscaping your yard, you think about how much easier it would be with a lightsaber.

5. When someone starts debating logically with you, you shout, “Are you out of your Vulcan mind?”

6. You know if a parsec is a unit of distance or time—but you don’t really care.

7. When you hear “O Captain! My Captain!” you think “Kirk or Picard?”

8. You wonder if C4 is an (explosive) kind of droid.

9. Impulse control seems like something Mr. Sulu or Wesley Crusher should be good at—even if you’re not.

10. Hyperspace is where you send your kids rather than Timeout.

11. Mr. Spock is a science officer, not a pediatrician, dammit.

12. May the Fourth (“be with you”) isn’t just a day to prepare for Cinco de Mayo.

So are you TEAM STAR WARS or TEAM STAR TREK? Follow @adamsmedia on Twitter, then Tweet your team + WHY with one of these hashtags: #teamstarwars OR #teamstartrek. You’ll have the chance to win a copy of the book – on June 23, we’ll pick 6 random Tweeters, 3 from each team!

Thanks to Adri Cowan for bringing this to my attention. Follow @adrileya.

Friday 10 June 2011

Star Wars 'Returns' in Old Republic trailer at E3!

Protected by the legendary Jedi Order, the Galactic Republic stood as a bastion of peace in the galaxy for a thousand generations. Several centuries ago, the greatest threat the galaxy has ever known emerged in the form of the dark Sith Empire. After a volatile war, the Republic emerged victorious and the Sith were assumed to be extinct. Nonetheless, the Jedi have maintained a constant vigil over the ancient Sith homeworld, to protect the galaxy from the darkness that still resides in the planet’s tombs.

The latest cinematic looks like it was taken from a movie. That is all.

Thanks @richardmackney for the tip off.

Thursday 9 June 2011

PS Vita to steal iPod touch crown?

Casting aside memories of the much-maligned PSPgo. Sony lifted the wraps off its successor to the PSP at this year's E3. PS Vita.

“Successively launching in the global market for $249 starting the end of this year, PS Vita incorporates a beautiful 5-inch multitouch organic light emitting diode (OLED) as the front display and a unique multitouch pad on the rear. Two analog sticks enable a wider range of game genres. Together with the front touch screen and the rear touch pad, PS Vita offers new gameplay, enabling entirely new experiences.”

Not sure about the nomenclature, but the hardware is on par with the PS3 and this could pose a serious threat to the iPod touch and Nintendo 3DS. The entry level machine is competitively priced at £229 to match its rivals and there's a Wi-Fi/3G option for £279! Retailers are aggressively discounting the 3DS from £229 to as low as £159. I snapped up a 3DS (Cosmos Black) over the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend along with a copy of Dead or Alive: Dimensions (review to follow).

First and third-party support is integral to a successful launch and Sony's looking to inhouse franchises for a fillip. LittleBigPlanet (translated to the portable medium with such aplomb that I prefer the PSP version over its larger sibling), Uncharted: Golden Abyss and WipEout 2048 lead the charge.

Unlike Nintendo's draconian policies, you'll be able to download/transfer previous purchases from PSN onto the new machine without incurring additional costs. So, don't delete those PSOne classics just yet. UMD collectors will be left high and dry. Sony is abandoning optical media storage in favour of removable memory cards and there's no internal memory like the 3DS.

I'd suggest buying the Wi-Fi model as free wireless hotspots are in the ascendance or you could tether it to MiFi.

Pre-order PS Vita today.

Tuesday 7 June 2011

First look at Wii U

During Nintendo's media briefing at this year's E3, the company's next generation console was conspicuous by its, apparent, absence.

You had to be closely watching the promo video for the Wii U's touchscreen controller add-on to spy what looked like an iOmega Drive sat next to a HDTV!

The new controller incorporates a 6.2-inch, 16:9 touchscreen and traditional button controls, including two analog Circle Pads. This combination removes the traditional barriers between games, players and the TV by creating a second window into the video game world. The rechargeable controller includes a Power button, Home button, +Control Pad, A/B/X/Y buttons, L/R buttons and ZL/ZR buttons. It includes a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope, rumble feature, camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, a sensor strip and a stylus.

On Twitter I posited whether or not the Wii U add-on was tantamount to Sega's ill-fated 32X? @joshshabtai made a compelling point that Nintendo could pull off a gaming paradigm that an Apple TV and iPad combo can't!

The Wii U hardware supports full 1080p, via HDMI, and features a bespoke multi-core PowerPC processor from IBM. As with the GameCube and Wii, the Wii U's optical drive will playback proprietary optical discs (including Wii) to prevent piracy. Incidentally, there will be no GameCube support. Is this a good move in an era of digital downloads?

Nintendo is serious about courting casual and gaming enthusiasts alike. Third-party titles announced include Tekken, Batman: Arkham Asylum and LEGO City Stories.

What are you thoughts on the Wii U and touchscreen controller add-on? Will you be lining up to buy one in 2012?