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Awesome 3D Video Capture with Kinect #hacking #video

I saw this video of scientist, Oliver Kreylos, a few days ago. It's amazing how with some cool software hacked together to work with Microsoft Kinect, Oliver and others may have opened up some interesting possibilities in 3D image production, computing and virtual reality.

Here's the video:






Awesome costumes at New York Comic Con 2010 #video #comics #nycc


Really amazing costumes seen at New York Comic Con 2010. I'm thinking I should plan this into my calendar for next year.




Hilarious! -- Cee Lo Green - F**K YOU (Official Video) #video

Cee Lo Green's music video is funny as hell. Can't get it out of my head.

Why this video works:

  1. The video does not try hard to "outdo" the song.
  2. The song has a really catchy tune. (Duh.)
  3. The lyrics are so funny, you know that's it not meant to be taken seriously.
  4. The lyrics tugs on every guy's feeling (heck, every lady's feeling, even), bringing them back to a moment in time when they actually saw someone else go out with a gal/guy they liked.


Warning: After watching this video, anytime someone slams into you in the train/on a bus/in a crack house, you'll feel compelled to say "F**k youuuu... Ooo Ooo Ooooo".





Sherlock Holmes -- Holiday Must-Watch

I've always been a fan of that famous fictional detective Sherlock Holmes -- he has all the trappings of a real man, even if Arthur Conan Doyle first penned him over a hundred years ago. It's just unfortunate that media has so far portrayed the great detective to be somewhat haughty and "above it" all -- hardly a fun character. This season's "Sherlock Holmes" movie should break the stereotype.

After all, Holmes will be played by none other than Robert Downey, Jr. -- and everybody watches Robert Downey, Jr. If the official cinematic trailer is to be any indication, he plays a great Sherlock Holmes -- albeit at a stark (no pun intended) departure from the clean gentleman we've come to know the detective as.

The other half of the equation is Holmes's loyal (?) sidekick, Dr. Watson, played to the hilt by Jude Law. It can be argued that Law's performance by itself will make the movie worth watching -- in one swift swoop, Law destroys the misconception that Watson was simply Holmes's moronic apprentice, and is instead instrumental to the detective's success.

The new movie takes place well into Holmes's detective career, with Watson, fed up with detective work, decides to leave Holmes to get married. But when a closed case gets reopened -- a dead criminal somehow comes back to life and plots the complete and utter destruction of London -- Holmes and Watson are on the case again. What follows is a well-woven, action-packed, hilariously-played mystery story -- kind of like Pirates of the Caribbean in Victorian England.

I can't say enough about how they gave the Dr. Watson character some redeeming exposure in this film. Previous Watsons were portrayed as near-useless, and sometimes bumbling assistants to the great detective -- almost like a foil to Holmes's genius. In this movie, Watson is the smooth English foil to the brash, annoying, very American Holmes. Despite deviating from the Canon somewhat, it still makes for a very interesting chemistry.

Hardcore fans of the original Sherlock Holmes novels will undoubtedly question the authenticity of this movie's portrayal. But many experts are claiming that the movie is surprisingly and refreshingly true to the Canon, even though I'm pretty sure Doyle's Holmes didn't look one bit like Downey, Jr.

The movie's set to open in most places of the world on Christmas Day -- barely two weeks from now. If you're looking for a good mystery movie to drown out the usual holiday hoopla, this one's your best bet.

First Images Of Iron Man's War Machine Show Up

It's just too bad that the first "Iron Man" movie had to be released in the same year as "The Dark Knight," as its awesomeness was overshadowed by the shadowy Batman that year. But there's still no question that "Iron Man" was pretty cool (if only a bit insubstantial plot-wise), and the recent popping-up of War Machine's images on the Internet has gotten my superhero blood pumping yet again.

If War Machine doesn't ring a bell (seriously, guys?), he's Iron Man's sidekick in the comic book series -- although he's much more to Tony Stark than Robin is to Batman. War Machine can pretty much hold down his own comic book series by himself, but he -- rather, his alter-ego Col. James Rhodes, plays a more important "foil" character for the workaholic, alcoholic, tech genius billionaire Stark.

The funny thing about the "Iron Man 2" movie is that fans will be seeing an unfamiliar face in the lineup. In the first movie, Col. James Rhodes was played (rather blandly) by Terence Howard. But come May 7, 2010, we'll instead be seeing Don Cheadle donning the War Machine suit.

Of course, the original plan was to have Howard play Rhodes in the second movie -- after all, Rhodes did say, "Next time, baby," when he saw the War Machine prototype for the first time in the first movie. But all things aren't right in the world of Iron Man 2's production crew.

Apparently, from the "news" that's been circulating, Howard had given the first movie's cast and crew more than its share of headaches. He was paid even more than Robert Downey, Jr., but he really didn't seem to fit into the rhythm on the set. Worse, rumor has it (yep, and we all know all rumors in Hollywood are true, right?) that he wanted to get paid even more for the second movie, which prompted the movie's writers to shrink Col. James Rhodes's role.

Thankfully, War Machine will still get a good share of the spotlight thanks to the casting change. And let's face it -- Cheadle in the War Machine suit still looks much better than Howard would've been. That is, if the circulating CGI images of Cheadle in the suit is any indication. OK. Not really. The images circulating look like really bad photoshop work. Howard would have looked just as bad. And the idea of Cheadle in the War Machine suit, or any suit for that matter, makes me gag* involuntarily.

But looks aren't everything, of course. Cheadle has been known to play a lot of well-grounded, wise/mature roles in his decorated film career. His "fatherly" image would make a great foil for Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark character -- much better than Howard's more "loose cannon" persona.

Cheadle should be fun to watch, especially with Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, and Samuel L. Jackson reprising their roles in the second movie. Good news for everyone, except for Howard -- sorry baby, there will be no "next time."


* I meant block. Not joke. Who on earth would joke involuntarily? (...dumbass!).

My Take On The Twilight Saga

I'm pretty sure some of you are surprised about Chris Gomez writing with regards to the Twilight saga, especially since I do consider myself the savior of what's left of the world's machismo. Isn't Twilight a girl's movie? Has Chris crossed over to the dark side? Hardly, and I'll tell you why before we head to the cinemas for the weekend.


Besides being overly concerned with the emergence of girly men in the world, I'm equally concerned about the lack of representation that women often get in film and media. I'd wish that such gender bias only existed in the most backwards places in the world, but unfortunately even our beloved movie industry is plagued by it.

Let's take the past two decades, for instance. Most of the great movies we've seen were designed for a largely male audience -- lots of action, explosions, and sex. Movies geared towards female audiences were meanly called "chick flicks" -- by itself a derogatory term in the movie industry -- and were relegated to a tiny niche that doomed them to failure.

You might argue that it's not the men's fault -- after all, "romantic comedy" is an oxymoron that's up there with "clean politics" and "military intelligence" and "Microsoft Works" -- but it's still pretty unfair. While a few romantic movies (Titanic) got lucky and scored big in the box office, others (Pearl Harbor, Australia, and a host of others) failed miserably.

So what about Twilight?

I'm not much for emo/goth romances, but I believe finally giving women a reason to troop to the cinemas is a good thing. Even to me, Twilight can be a refreshing break from too much angst, action, and misguided machismo in the movies. Oh, and there's no denying the guys behind the movies did a pretty good job.

Does Twilight represent a paradigm shift in the film industry? I doubt it -- the upcoming years has a healthy list of male-oriented movies coming our way. At best, Twilight simply tips the scales to the women's favor -- something that couldn't have been done sooner.

The latest Twilight movie, "New Moon," is still topping the charts after two weeks in business. If you're up for something different, give it a try -- but leave your biases at the door if you want to enjoy it.

SOUR '日々の音色 (Hibi no neiro)' music video


This video is really cool. The group SOUR choreographed their fans recording themselves on their web cams and piecing together all the videos into a really nice montage.



The song '日々の音色 (Hibi no neiro)', which is on their 'Water Flavor' EP, means "Tone of everyday". A quick check with Google Translate says it means "Thanks to everyone".

Whatever the case, it's a good song with an equally good music video. Both meanings sit well with me.

Sesame Street Turns 40!

I don't think any kid's TV show has had a more sustained, more far-reaching, more worldwide reach than Sesame Street, which celebrated its 40th anniversary yesterday. Every generation that grew up since 1969 (that's basically most of us) has fond memories of Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch, Bert and Ernie, and other friendly neighbors they meet on Sesame Street.

Sesame Street began in November 10, 1969 as a simple experiment to help underprivileged kids learn through TV. That simple experiment has since landed on the shores of more than 140 countries, teaching kids the values of honesty, eating healthy, reading and writing, and -- this year -- global warming.

Okay, not global warming per se -- but this year, Sesame Street is all about knowing about the Earth and loving the world we all live in. Climate change, apparently, is a grown-up topic, but that doesn't mean kids can't do their part in making the world a better place.

Guess who got to Sesame Street on its 40th birthday -- US First Lady Michelle Obama. Popular for teaching kids about home-gardening at the White House backyard, the First Lady gamely played with a multi-ethnic group of kids at Sesame Street and told Elmo and Big Bird that vegetables were what made her "big and strong." Yup, take it from her.

YouTube videos about Sesame Street have enjoyed a surge in popularity lately, owing to the approach of the Street's 40th anniversary. My favorite? Cookie Monster teaching Rocketboom's Ella Morton the finer points of eating a cookie. See video below, for a good dose of nostalgia.


This article has been brought to you today by the number "40."



The Weekend's Superhero Roundup #film

When it comes to superhero movies, I'm pretty much looking forward to three -- "Green Lantern," "Spider-Man 4," and the next "X-Men" movie. Here's a quick roundup of what's going on with plans on all three movies.

#1 - Bryan Singer may helm the next X-Men movie. That's right, the man who brought the first and second X-Men movies is back, and has expressed his interest in returning to the franchise. He sat out of the third X-Men film to direct "Superman Returns," and also sat out "X-Men Origins: Wolverine."

However, I think Singer may have his work cut out for him. I personally didn't like the third X-Men movie because they killed off so many characters, and "Wolverine" left so many plot holes to fill. It'll be interesting to see how well Singer would do if the job was returned to him.

#2 - Spider-Man 4 will thankfully NOT have 4 villains. Sam Raimi returns to direct the fourth Spidey film, and it's good to know that he agrees with many Spider-Man fans -- having three villains in a movie can be pretty distracting. What's more, Raimi claims he learned a few things after directing "Drag Me To Hell," so it's likely the fourth Spider-Man won't be as unvaried as the third.

#3 - Recession hits the Green Lantern. Warner Brothers Studios has canceled plans of producing "Green Lantern" in Australia because of the US dollar's faltering value. They are now in the process of looking for alternative areas of the world to shoot, most likely Canada or Mexico.

As of last week, one Australian dollar was worth US$0.95, which was a nearly 30% increase from six months ago, when Green Lantern was given the green light. Production costs would have increased by around $20 million, apparently something Warner Brothers wasn't willing to risk. Looks like the movie industry isn't as impervious to the recession as we thought it was.

This Year's Animated Feature Oscar Is "Up" For Grabs #film #animation

"Up" is one of Pixar Animation's best animated offerings yet -- some say it tops "Wall-E," though I'll have to get back to you on that. Anyway, "Up" is so far the third-biggest movie of 2009, only behind "Transformers 2" and "Harry Potter 6." Everybody's thinking it's going to run away with the next Animated Feature Oscar -- but I don't think it's going to be that simple.


Pixar+Up+Animation+Film+Engine+Alpha+Chris+Gomez

Image credit: Pixar Animation Studios


The Oscar for Best Animated Feature has seen slim pickings in recent years. But next year, it's likely we're going to have five nominees for the first time in a long while. It's been a great year for animated feature films, and we may see as many as sixteen vying for the five nominee slots. My picks?

#1 - "Up." Hands down, one of the best animated films ever made. Pixar always shines the brightest when it tells fun, original, out-of-this-world stories. You can't get any crazier than an old groan with a flying house, a clumsy but determined Boy Scout, and a talking dog, but at the same time, you can't help but get teary-eyed after the montage of Carl's life with Elly comes to an end. Brilliant.

#2 - "9" by David Acker. What started as a dark, mysterious short film about living puppets trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world has evolved into a full-length feature film, thanks to the discerning eye of Tim Burton. The original short film had caught my eye after being nominated for Best Animated Short a few years ago, and I definitely think it has what it takes to get the top prize.

#3 - "Coraline." Alice in Wonderland gone wrong? "Coraline" shows that stop-motion can still hold its ground against bigger-budgeted 3-D animated films by simply telling one of the most engaging stories told all year.

#4 - "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs." This one's probably my least favorite of the bunch, but I've always liked the Ice Age movies. I always thought they deserved an Oscar if only for bringing us the most hilarious squirrel in history. The first "Ice Age" almost won the 2002 Animated Feature Oscar, only to be upset by "Spirited Away" by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki...

#5 - ...who happens to be back with "Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea." I think "Ponyo" is the underdog of the bunch, being drawn traditionally (with crayon, at that). But with his brand of magic, Miyazaki stands poised to upset the guys behind "Ice Age" once again.

So ultimately I think it's Pete Docter's "Up" vs. Hayao Miyazaki's "Ponyo," although "9" winning the Oscar would be pretty cool too. My money's still with "Up," though an upset won't upset me in the least.