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?

Friday 3 June 2011

Star Wars meets The Muppets

Disney is no stranger to crossovers and has released Star Wars characters, based on original IP, before. However, this is genius.

When these fully poseable action figures are launched at Disney Parks, this Fall, expect to see them packaged two to a case. There'll be Kermit the Frog as Luke Skywalker with Miss Piggy as Princess Leia, Link Hogthrob as Han Solo and his buddy Fozzy as Chewbacca, Beaker as C3-PO and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew as R2-D2, and Sam Eagle as Obi-Wan Kenobi with Gonzo as Darth Vader with an accessory Camilla as a Stormtrooper.

If the Star Wars The Muppets line continues, what figures would you like to see sold at Disney Parks? How about Dr Teeth as Boba Fett...

Thursday 2 June 2011

X-Men arrive on the App Store

Konami has unleashed arcade classic X-Men (iTunes) onto the App Store. Uncannily timed to coincide with X-Men: First Class.

This is a Universal application and unreservedly recommended for fans of the X-Men. Downloaded the PSN version a few months ago and maybe tempted to double-dip.