The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen Part V: The Limey

When it comes to things that could be added to make movies better, I have a tough time thinking of something to top the addition of an English gangster. I really don’t know why, but it seems their funny accents and ruthless attitudes give a fresh and bad-ass spin on things. So when a movie is centered on an English mobster, it’s destined to be one of my favorites. Not long ago I discovered an English gangster movie that somehow slipped under my radar, and once I saw it – Sweet Jesus – it blew my mind. That movie is The Limey.

The titular limey is portrayed by Terrance Stamp (Superman I & II, Red Planet), one of the most singularly frightening men on the planet. Throughout his career, Stamp has made other English tough-guys like Malcolm McDowell look like Travolta. Compared to the man who told the world to “Kneel before Zod,” we are all women. Here he plays Wilson, a recently paroled convict who must come to the United States to investigate the death of his daughter. The papers say it’s an accidental death, but of course Wilson doesn’t buy that.

Wilson travels to Los Angeles and meets up with his daughter’s friends played by Luis Guzman and Lesley Ann Warren. The friends caution him to let it go, they buy the accident even if Wilson doesn’t. When the violence starts to unfold, it’s almost with a casual brutality. Wilson kills as naturally as he breathes. There’s not an iota of nerves in the man.

What really makes The Limey great is the fact that as the movie proceeds, everything occurs very naturally in relation to the characters. The story is ultimately a requiem for Wilson’s daughter; the tale of a man who pushed his family away by living a life of crime. Most crime movies feature stoic characters going through the paces of a caper or mystery but are cold at the core. The Limey is an exception; it has an emotional tug not often seen.

Directed by Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s 11,12,13, Out of Sight, Traffic) and written by Lem Dobbs (Dark City, The Score) the movie sports a slightly-too-stylized look that maybe could have been toned down to make the movie grittier. At first, the style kind of trips over itself, but by the time the action picks up the movie is firing on all cylinders. The Limey is one of Soderbergh’s movies that slipped between the cracks of Out of Sight and Erin Brokovitch. That’s too bad, because really this movie is a gem that shouldn’t be missed.

– Meller

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Empowering Your New iPod: A Guide for Converting Videos for Your iPod or iPhone

As soon as I saw the screen on the iPod Touch, I instantly knew its destiny as a video destination for me. Roughly half the space of my iPod is taken up by videos. They’re great for long rides or when I get stuck waiting somewhere unexpectedly. Before I launch into my tutorial, I will mention that I have found episodic content to be a better pairing with the iPod than movies. Converting videos for your iPod is quite simple due to a free tool named Handbrake which works for Macs as well as Windows. I will also mention that the iTunes store has many TV shows and movies which you can download, and they will all work with your iPod without hassle. This guide is for other videos you legally (or not so legally) obtain which you’d like to add to your iPod.

If the video you want to put on your iPod is on a DVD, you first need to get the file onto your computer (skip to next paragraph if the file is already on your computer). Commercial DVDs are encrypted, and breaking the encryption is a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the USA, and not something I recommend you do for the obvious legal and ethical reasons. With that said, there is an extremely easy to use Windows program called DVDFab HD Decryptor which will allow you to copy a DVD to your hard drive. If you need help with DVDFab HD Decryptor, there is a guide here. If you are using Mac OS X, Handbrake can handle the decryption for you.

Once the windows users have the files on their computer (obviously needing to be more complicated than their Mac counterpart) open up Handbrake. In the source box, browse to the file or folder with the video and select it. Handbrake can handle a wide variety of input formats. Next, under source, click on the Titles drop down and manually select the video you want to convert. If you leave it set on automatic, there is a chance Handbrake will choose the wrong title. Next, under Destination, click browse, and select where you want to save the new video stream, and type in a file name. Under “Save as,” select m4v. Now here’s the critical part, on the right side under presets, click “iPhone/iPod Touch” or another iPod option depending on what you have. Under output settings, the encoder should be set as H.264 and the Audio Encoder as AAC. Make sure “Insert iPod Atom” is selected. That’s it! Now all you have to do is click start and give your computer some time to crunch away. There are a million tweaks you can make with Handbrake, including using a queue to convert many files at once, so feel free to explore once you get comfortable.

When Handbrake is finished creating the file, open up iTunes, go to File, Add File to iTunes, and select the file you just created ending in .m4v. The video should now show up under movies in iTunes. Now plug in your iPod. Once iTunes has loaded it, select your iPod from within iTunes. Go to the movies tab under your iPod’s properties within iTunes, and tell iTunes to either sink all your videos, or just the one you created. Voila! Next time you sync your iPod, you should have your video on your shiny device to take with you anywhere.

-Jewbin

Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: Meller’s Thoughts

So after 19 years, the fourth Indiana Jones movie has been released, and despite the gap, I’m happy to report that it is a worthy entrant into the series. Sure, there was too much CGI, but George Lucas has spent the past 15 years sleeping on a bed of money thanks to ILM so there’s no reason to think he’ll stop abusing that position of power anytime soon.

I read in an interview with Spielberg that like the first three movies captured the spirit of the time they were in, that of the pulp adventure hero, he wanted to capture the spirit of the 1950’s with this movie. While I personally prefer the 1930’s present in the first three movies, Spielberg does accomplish his goal. The 1950’s sci-fi craze definitely shows its influences.

The one way that the 19 year gap helped Indy IV was in the casting department. The movie benefited from becoming synonymous with awesomeness and so naturally every movie star wanted to be in it. Besides Harrison Ford and Karen Allen returning, the movie features solid performances from Cate Blanchett, Ray Winstone, Shia Lebeouf, and John Hurt. After transformers, I was not a believer in Shia, but with Indy and his upcoming Eagle Eye, I’ve been converted. Ray Winstone is spectacular in everything, and for my money, there’s no one who plays a crazy old man better than John Hurt.

I don’t want to give away too much for those who haven’t seen it yet, but trust me, you should. There are talks to make another Indy if the movie does well enough, and I’m sure that it will and we may even see another trilogy. There are approximately 10-20 scripts for unfilmed Indiana Jones movies circulating around Hollywood and the internet, so there’s definitely a wealth of material to work with. In fact, make it 11-21.

George Lucas, I know you’re reading this, so here’s my offer. I’ll sell you my script Indiana Jones and the Sacred Shroud for a whopping $1 as long as you make the movie. A buck! Seriously, do you want a double cheeseburger, or a movie? The cheeseburger? Yeah, I guess I don’t blame you. They’re tasty.

The biggest surprise for me when I saw Indy actually came before the movie even started. We were shown a preview for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a movie I’ve been following for more than a few years now as it went through the development cycle. The trailer looked absolutely phenomenal and seems to be director David Fincher’s epic-to-be. Mark my words, come Christmas everyone will be talking about Brad Pitt in Benjamin Button.

– Meller

Jewbin

Hello online world. I have been on the wired internet since 1993 with Prodigy, AOL, DSL, Cable, T1s, and on the wireless internet since 2002 with GPRS, 1xRTT, EVDO Rev 0, 802.11a,b,g, and yet this is my publishing debut. Sure, I have spouted off on message boards, sent in the occasional news article, and even submitted written works for competitions, but this is my first foray into the world of making others read my thoughts. So Trifecta readers, welcome in! I am a technology enthusiast to my core, and am a bleeding edge early adopter when I can afford to be. My current gadget set includes an IBM X61 Laptop with a Penryn Core 2 Duo, an iPod Touch 16GB with 50% movies and 50% music, a Samsung i830 GSM/CDMA Windows Mobile Phone, a Media Center 2005 Desktop PC, 32” Samsung LCD TV, XBOX 360, XM Radio, and Charter cable. I hope to bring you articles which will not only be entertaining, but also help to edumacate you on what it is to know what a geek knows. As to a career, I am strongly oriented towards business, have recently graduated from Washington University in St Louis, and will begin life as a strategic consultant in a few short months. Feel free to email me if you have any topics you’d like to see covered, and check back soon for my first post on how to make the most out of your iPod / iPhone.

– Jewbin

Published in: on May 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm  Comments (3)  
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It’s Almost Time, Start Getting Pumped for Indy IV, & Other Summer Movie Thoughts

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Raiders of the Lost Ark is the reason that movies were invented. Movies are primarily there to entertain us, and nothing does that better than Indiana Jones movies. Say what you will about the artistic beauty and emotional depth present in movies such as American Beauty, but for the masses the movies serve as a means of escape and enjoyment. Raiders is a thrill from start to finish, eternally fun and enjoyable.

Now, after 19 years, we see another installment in the saga of the man who single-handedly made archaeologist synonymous with bad-ass. The initial reviews of the movie have been good, but they point out that what I knew was going to happen, an over-reliance on CGI.

George Lucas is one of those filmmakers who shows exactly how CGI can be detrimental to movies. The man practically invented special effects, but now he’s using them to kill movies instead of make them. Remember how awesome the new Bond movie was? That’s because it was all stuntmen instead of CGI. I’m all for that, and the fact that the new Indiana Jones relies heavily on computers instead of human beings to produce some of the pulse pounding moments is disappointing.

Want to see how to properly use special effects? See Wanted this July, and watch as Russian director Timur Bekmambetov uses CGI to create some astounding visuals. If you don’t want to wait, check out the first two parts of his Russian fantasy trilogy Night Watch & Day Watch. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. He’s the real deal.

Another example of poor CGI unfortunately seems to be The Incredible Hulk. It won’t look quite as poor as the previous iteration of the character, but it still doesn’t look quite good enough. I honestly don’t think that CGI will ever create a really good version of the Hulk – it just looks too fake. It’s hard to care about a character if he’s gigantic, green and fake looking, even if Ed Norton is supposedly in there somewhere. I remain reserved in my expectations for the Hulk, but I’m hoping to be surprised.

So Indy IV releases nationwide on Thursday, and you can bet I’ll be there – shitty CGI or not. I’d suggest you do the same and enjoy what is sure to be one of the most enjoyable movies of the summer. Check back on Friday for my impressions on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

– Meller

Iron Man: This Post Was Written By My Super Smart Robot

Iron man is all the rage this weekend, and while I liked it, all I heard leaving the theater were glowing reviews. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend doing so, but only so you can see how dead on the following observations / complaints about it are. I’m not usually a hater, but for all the praise I’ve heard, there is a serious need for a rebuttal. First, some overall background.

Tony Stark is an unparalleled genius, the heir to a weapons manufacturing company and a womanizer with no equal. Throughout the movie he becomes Iron Man, basically a souped up, more custom fitted version of those walking mech suits at the end of the 3rd matrix. But don’t worry, those old matrix suits do make an appearance as the “final boss”, if you will.

The movie has a TON of flash, and Robert Downey Jr. is really good in the title role. But, the more and more I think about it, this movie alternatively didn’t make much sense or was completely formulaic.

In the first scene of Iron Man, Stark is yukking it up with some soldiers, drinking a scotch, and talking about how many Maxim cover models he’s bedded, when the convoy of humvees he is riding in gets attacked. As he watches soldiers around him one by one leave the humvee, and one by one get mercilessly gunned down, he decides…to also leave the humvee! Interesting strategic choice. Considering they were in the middle of the desert, there was only one way to escape – keep driving the bulletproof humvee and hope you get away. He gets out and starts running! After he reaches his goal of hiding behind a rock 20 feet away, a missile lands and messes up his shit anyway. He wakes up in a cave full of evil terrorists. Here, he meets a nice doctor who keeps him alive while helping him build his first Iron Man suit (Think of a cross between the Pillsbury Doughboy and C3P0 after being dismantled). The doctor also changes his personality by talking about his dead family. I would have to say the scene with the doctor “creating a decoy” is one of the top 10 jokes of a scene I have ever witnessed. It’s one thing to shoot your gun in the air to draw attention…but he starts shooting right at the entrance to the “iron man suit lab”. Why wouldn’t that send even more guys right there? Then, there is the part where he is running behind 3 enemies in a narrow tunnel. The doctor is still shooting his gun into the air, yelling. Why he doesn’t actually shoot the terrorists, who killed his family and imprisoned him, is beyond me. He eventually dies, and his death is supposed to lead to some sort of personal transformation of Stark, who humanely and maturely no longer thinks about banging really hot chicks. So, he retreats to his lab, where 2 ultra-smart, completely voice controlled robots that can pretty much do anything are his main lab buddies. The combination of Stark interacting with the robots over and over, and their ability to do anything possible with any voice command quickly got boring. It was like someone said “how quickly and easily can we get him to make this suit, so he can start flying around in it ASAP.” Throughout the movie, this ultra-smart, ubiquitous computer helps Stark every step of the way. This is true until the end sequence, when he has to fight Iron Monger, as listed in the credits, or The Dude, as everyone in the theater was thinking.

The ending sequence was really what scaled back any kind of excitement/respect I had for this movie. After this, I quickly slapped the “standard super hero movie” label on this guy, and never looked back. I guess we can start at the beginning of it, where Stane (villain’s real name) is standing around in his lab. Oh no, a knock at the door. I don’t know which was less realistic – Stane hopping into an enormous mech suit in 10 seconds that Iron Man needs his two genius robots to help him put on, or Gwen Paltrow’s brisk jog to safety while a fireball chases her down. This was the 2nd time that she “escaped” due to the weakest of scenarios. In the first, Pepper (Gwen’s character) is at Stark’s office computer when Stane walks in. She already knows hes the bad guy, so discreetly finishes her download of the incriminating files, then suavely puts the screen saver up just as Stane walks over. After she leaves, Stane removes the screen saver to see “download complete.” “NO!”, he exclaims in a kind of sigh / whine / tantrum combo. What will he do now? Oh wait…SHE IS 10 FEET OUTSIDE YOUR OFFICE, WALKING IN HIGH HEELS. Stane has a plan though. Instead of wasting time shutting up that pesky Pepper, who quickly alerts the entire military, he breaks into Stark’s house and waits for him. Here, we see for the 2nd time the “super ear weapon”, which after being used next to a person’s ear will make the veins in their face pop out, and will paralyze them for 15 minutes. Unless you are the terrorist he first uses it on, then it kills you. So, he paralyzes Stark, takes out his crucial power source for the suit, and leaves. Yes, he leaves the hero sitting on his couch, unmoving. This kind of negligence towards the powerful hero hasn’t been seen since the Bond days, unless you count the spoofing of it in Austin Powers. So…Stane can kill him while wearing huge mech suits, but can’t kill him while he’s sitting motionless on his couch?

As for the final fight itself, obviously much can be explained away with the easy cover of “technology”. Like when Stark gets thrown into a bus, then a missile is launched from 15 feet away into the same bus. I’ll believe that the suit prevented his body from reaching temperatures that would turn him into a puddle of goop, just like I’ll believe that in the first suit scene, not a single one of those bullets finds their way through one of the enormous eye holes in his mask. Oh wait, what am I thinking. Obviously the Arab terrorists aren’t smart enough to think of shooting at his potential weak points. Wild screams and panicked, inaccurate gunfire is all they can come up with. Speaking of those terrorists, the head guy reveals his master plan to Stane just before dying – to make 8 Iron Man suits and take over all of Asia!! Of course, how did I not see it before.

(more…)

The Fast-Casual Mexican Food Throwdown: Qdoba vs. Chipotle

In America, we have a long and storied tradition of great corporate rivalries, especially in the food and drink sector. Generally, the best part about these battles is watching them unfold from the comfort of your couch. Those of us who enjoy watching scantily clad women jump around as chimpanzees kick unsuspecting people in the nuts have benefited greatly from the Miller vs. Budweiser duel, which has generated more ridiculous (not in the good way, which is spelled ridikalus) commercials than any rivalry. For the slightly higher-brow among us there has been the McDonalds vs. Burger King war. Burger King’s weapon of choice: The King, whose goofy smile and shenanigans have kept me entertained for many a 30 sec clip (for those interested, “The King” was the brainchild of the much lauded ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky). McDonald’s weapon: Close ups of their fries, which grace most commercials even if just ever so briefly. But that brief moment is all it takes, because those fries are ADDICTIVE, my guess being that they are seasoned with 7 parts salt, 2 parts crack rock, and a pinch of meth (these are ballpark estimates). And of course, what’s more American than back to back Coke and Pepsi commercials during the Superbowl? There is a new battle, though, one that isn’t being fought on the tube, but on the streets. Yes, I’m referring to the fast-casual Mexican food battle royale that is Qdoba vs. Chipotle.

All the aforementioned battles were duked out by corporations pumping tens of millions of dollars into broadcast advertising every year, in an attempt to sway enough opinions to beat the other guy. The brilliance of this battle royale is that it is fought not by ad agencies but by foot soldiers, delirious Don Quixotes who would ride to the end of the Earth to fight for the honor of their beloved Chiptole…or Qdoba. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Ask any friend who dines frequently at one of the two establishments which one is better, and wait; their eyes will start glowing and then a diatribe of hate for their rival will rain down on you. But which one IS better? Surely there has to be a victor in all this. I will spell it all out for you, so you can make an informed decision, and if you’re lucky, I may even tell you who, if any, (didn’t see that one coming?) I pick as the champion of the Fast – Casual Mexican food showdown.

Here are the relevant factors, laid out in escalating importance. One thing that some fast-casual diners consider is convenience. Both places have been consistent and fast in my experience, and the number of locations seems to be regionally variable, but both chains are expanding. The bottom line is they’re fast food, fast is in the fucking description. Another less important factor is the atmosphere / décor, as a lot of diners will end up taking their food home. Chipotle’s roll with metal tables and a darker, modern, industrial look. Qdoba’s are all decked out in yellow, with light wood tables. I have to give Qdoba the edge for a more inviting atmosphere to slip into a burrito induced food-coma.

Now for some categories that matter. First, the menu. Both feature a pretty similar menu, but then again, all Mexican food is the same (meat / beans + cheese + tortilla = taco / burrito / enchiladas / tostada / taquito…the list goes on). Both made their names building burritos where you start with cilantro-lime rice, chose black or pinto beans, chose your meat, salsas, and cheese or sour cream. It’s literally the same. They even both officially call their rice “cilantro-lime rice”. Chipotle’s other options include tacos, a salad, or a Burrito Bowl (tortilla-less burrito). Qdoba gets fancy by adding the tortilla soup, nachos, quesadillas, breakfast, and the all – too -important queso sauce to the list, on top of calling their tortilla-less burritos a far cooler name (Naked Burrito!). As queso sauce is the spice of life, I have to give it to Qdoba again, especially as Chipotle could similarly expand their menu without adding any ingredients. They have tortilla chips and cheese already, so why can’t I order nachos? I don’t know, I’m not a doctor, but it doesn’t add up to me. The last category is one that is near and dear to my heart, and it is quality of ingredients. These ‘fast-casual restaurants’ claim to offer the convenience of fast food and the quality of a sit down establishment. Well, they’re definitely half-right at least. Both places use ‘fresh’ ingredients, in that almost everything is prepared on site, not at a central location and shipped out to individual chains. That doesn’t mean it’s actually fresh however. I give you Qdoba’s guac as exhibit A. That stuff tastes like packaged guac, so who cares if it’s fresh, it has the consistency of doo-doo butter. Chipotle fares much better in the guac department, but still can’t bang with the good stuff Mama Densen makes every time I go home. I do like watching the meat get grilled and sliced at Qdoba, it’s a visual guarantee on their part, but Chipotle has a little edge in my opinion. Maybe it’s because they keep it simpler, or maybe they’re truly more committed to quality, but either way they snag the all-important win. So what’s the deal, which place will I crown?

I wish I could say “neither” was my choice because my palate wouldn’t allow me to eat at either place. But alas, it is not so. In fact, with both chains boasting a location within a five minute walk of my apartment, I happen to eat a LOT of fast casual Mexican. Right now I actually have a pretty bad case of the shakes, which means it’s time to get my fix… of Qdoba’s queso-crack sauce (they took a page out of McDonald’s book, and added crack as a seasoning). Both places are decent at minimum, but for me, Qdoba is markedly better. Here’s what I am going to get there right now:

Chicken Queso Burrito

  • light on the rice
  • black beans
  • grilled peppers
  • onions (extra $)
  • pico de gallo
  • corn salsa
  • habanero salsa
  • shredded cheese

Cheers,

– Densen

Flight of the Conchords & Giving Up The Ghost Get The Trifecta Bump

Welcome to another Trifecta musical update. It’s time to break out the booty wax, its Wednesday night.

The new Conchords album hit the street this week and I’ve listened to it quite a few times since I downloaded it from itunes at 11:01 pm central time Monday night. Despite being a “new” album, there are no new songs to be heard here, instead there are nice studio versions of the songs we die hard Conchords fans have come to know and love. About half of the songs on the album won’t sound too different at all from their HBO show counterparts, but the other half sound significantly better with Inner City Pressure, Robots, Most Beautiful Girl in the Room and Bowie leading the pack. And let me tell you, Motha’uckas brings the funk like never before. This is without a doubt the definitive Flight of the Conchords audio collection to date, and I’ll enjoy it immensely, but I’m about ready for some new material from my favorite New Zealand two man novelty band. You can listen to the album in its entirety here. Apparently there’s a new season of the HBO show coming in January 2009, not too far away.

You may or may not have heard of my new favorite old soul singer / song writer but I’m here to let you know that his newest album, Giving up the Ghost, certainly deserves your attention. On October 2nd 2007 I attended a Phil Lesh & Friends show expecting to see Warren Haynes or Jimmy Herring on the right of Phil but was instead surprised to see a very young, but clearly talented musician sitting in with the older crew. About 30 minutes into the show I had made up my mind that this was Phil Lesh’s teenage son, and decided to voice my opinion but was quickly corrected by the hippy to my left who informed us that this was the one and only Jackie Greene. He has toured with the likes of B.B. King, Huey Lewis, Susan Tedeschi, Buddy Guy, and is now a permanent touring member of Phil Lesh and Friends, and get this, he’s only 27 years old. The concert left Jackie’s song Gone Wanderin’ embedded in my head on repeat so I bought his album The Dig Years, a collection of his best from 2001 to 2005. While the Dig Years is a little too country for me to give the ubiquitous Trifecta stamp to, his newest studio effort should be greatly enjoyed by all The Trifecta faithful. Jackie certainly has a sound all his own, singing with grit and grunge that I would expect from a man twice his age. Giving up the Ghost infuses jazz, blues, rock and country into an album that sounds familiar yet fresh at the same time. For all you out there who respond to the question “What kind of music do you listen to?” with the stock answer of “Everything but country,” Jackie Greene might make you think twice before you pull out that crap again. You can listen to some tracks on Jackie’s website here. Enjoy the tunes.

– Rich

I Hope No One Thought 88 Minutes was Gonna be Good… But Atleast Uwe Boll Didn’t Direct It

I hope no one thought 88 Minutes was gonna be good. Unlike previously horribly shitty movies whoever made this 88 minute film made the mistake of screening it for critics. On Metacritic, a summation of every respected critic all over the country, you’ll see a 12 next to the name 88 Minutes followed by the quote “Extreme dislike or disgust.” This weekend will truly be a test to see how much of a baller Al Pacino is. How many people out there would like to see the worst movie Al Pacino has ever made? He is Al Pacino; we’ll find out on Sunday night. With the internet bringing reviews of movies to Yahoo and Google home pages, highlighting monumentally bad ones, Sony might have missed out on the wily move of not allowing any critics to see it. You may or may not be aware of this move that studios make every now and again. If they know that the movie they’re putting out will be completely panned by critics, they simply don’t screen it for them. Some movies you might remember seeing trailers for but not actually seeing that have utilized this tactic in the past are Ultraviolet, Date Movie, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, and the infamous Uwe Boll’s Bloodrayne. My guess is Sony might have made more chedder had they added 88 minutes to that proud list of fine films, and lord knows they need it with the Wii kicking ass and taking names. This guy Uwe Boll actually has quite a funny little story going on right now.

Uwe Boll is the director of a bunch of infamously bad films that include such gems as BloodRayne, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, and last but not least BloodRayne II: Deliverance. A few months back there was an online petition that stated:

“We, the undersigned, respectfully ask that Uwe Boll give proper weight to the wishes of the video game community, the horror community, and the film going community in general and stop directing, producing, or taking any part in the creation of feature films. His distasteful handling of the subject matter and lack of acknowledgement of his failures simply cannot be abided any longer.

Mr. Boll has repeatedly shown a complete lack of comprehension regarding the videogames he has dragged, kicking and screaming, to the silver screen and his ham-fisted approach to horror has soiled future possibilities for anyone else who may attempt to bring videogames to film.

“Sincerely the Undersigned”

This petition has over two hundred thousand signatures and has been growing daily. Taking this as a serious personal attack good old Boll posted this video of himself on the internet.

And then this equally ridiculous one…

And then this completely over the top unbelievably ridiculous one, talking about taking a shit at Starbucks…

To date the Long Live Uwe Boll petition has 4,402 signatures. That’s 0.022 % of the people who signed the original petition. Uwe has said that with 1 million signatures he will quite the film business forever, so, similarly to the upcoming presidential election, I urge you all to do your part and vote!

– Rich

The Most HD Channels

You’ve all seen them. The outrageous claims. The random AD character sightings (“I’ve used one word to describe myself” and “You stole his eyebrows? They make me look dressier” will be the chosen quotes to describe them.) It all boils down to one common theme: “we have the most HD channels.” But who’s telling the truth? The blond guy, a modern day commercial luminary at a fake news desk? Wayne Jarvis and Stan Sitwell? Or a chick with bug eyes and a 60 second timer in the bottom corner of the screen?

What I’m about to tell you is very important. HD only matters for sports games, nature shows, and movies. I’ll be generous and say thats 25 HD channels that are useful. Just think about the rest of the hundreds of channels on your TV and what they show during the day, and how useless it would be in HD. Thats the most ridiculous part of this escalating ad war. Someone says they have 100 HD channels, then someone else says they have twice that amount as that guy, then this chick says she has 60 seconds to warn me about one of the other two. Where is that chick from anyway, dish network or something? If you think I don’t change the channel for a full minute whenever I see that commercial come on, you’re kidding yourself.

While the battle of who can claim to have the most HD channels rages on, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention another commercial regarding HD TV. In my opinion its one of the most counterintuitive commercials I’ve ever seen. The commercial says this: “If you buy an HD Television, you won’t get HD programming unless you have an HD cable box.” Considering you are currently logged on to the internet and reading this blog, you most likely already know this. Considering that someone ran that ad, I’m sure there are people who had no clue. In fact, the cable company that ran the ad isn’t even important. The question is why. Here is the message you just gave potential HD TV buyers: “That huge flat screen that you already barely can afford is just the beginning of your expenses when switching to HD TV! You will also have to switch cable boxes, which will certainly involve calling the cable company AND waiting for a technician to come out (I wouldn’t even wish that on Jeremy Shockey) while also paying more per month for cable service.” How is this not guaranteed to sell less HD TVs? If you already know, the commercial is insulting to your intelligence. And if you didn’t, now you know. Why not wait until someone has bought the TV, plugged it in, wondered why they weren’t getting HD channels, and called up the company hoping they can fix it? They could even charge five times as much for an HD cable upgrade and it would still look dirt cheap next to the price of the TV itself. When people hear things they already know, they tune out. Here are two things I already know: 1. You need an HD cable box to get HD channels. 2. Everyone thinks they have the most HD channels. So much for that commercial.

At the current rate, DirecTV will strike a huge blow to the industry in a year or two, locking up Nick Gas HD to be its 350th HD channel. A few short years later the FIOS network will be available in enough homes, internet video will be good enough, and the years of the worst customer service since the days of the infamous Muffin Man will all combine to make the cable companies the new radio stations – enjoyed by some, but only when that person can’t currently enjoy one of their many other much better options.

But, as tempting as it is to look to the future of the quickly improving TV industry, we still have a key issue at hand. WHO HAS THE MOST HD CHANNELS?!!?? Instead of both Comcast and DirecTV continuing to run ads during every single commercial break, I will instead solve this problem right now. Someone with DirecTV, hit that guide button and see how many HD channels you get. Someone with Comcast do it too. If you have some other shit, like Time Warner or Cablevision, get on it. I will list the results while taking full credit for all work done. And remember, the next time you turn on ESPN2HD for a champions league game, only to see the game in regular definition, even though you KNOW its being broadcast in HD in England, just remind yourself that somewhere, someone is enjoying some H&GTV HD that Comcast just had to have to stay competitive.

– Warsh