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Monday, June 30, 2008

Quantum Of Solace trailer

He's baaaaaaaack...

(I updated this with a new video link - on the offchance this one goes as well, just click through to here to find it)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lawyers And A Different Kind Of Coffee

The New York Times posted an article (which I found linked from Peter Bart's column at Variety) the class action lawsuit over the infamous Hot Coffee modification in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

A settlement was reached in which Rockstar Games and Take-Two Entertainment, whereby Rockstar will give a refund or replacement to anyone who purchased the game, the amount of the refund dependent upon what type of documentation/proof of purchase they had.

Out of the 21.5 million copies of the top-rated, top-selling game sold, only 2676 claims were filed.

Meaning, so far, Rockstar and Take-Two have had to pay less than US$30,000 out, while the lawyers representing the class are demanding legal fees of US$1.3 million dollars from the plaintiffs.

Does this not balance to you?

Granted, Rockstar will also have to make an $860,000 charitable donation to the ratings board for video games under the settlement as well, but that's not really going to help out the poor people who initiated the class action suit.

Peter Bart in Variety comments...
"Observers speculated that many could simply not find the sex scenes after unlocking them, while others were sufficiently distracted by all the killing and maiming around them that the secret sex scenes simply didn’t make an impression, as they were fairly tame by dweeb standards."

Read the Times article for more - such as another lawyer and fellow gamer who wants to attack the settlement.

The Hollowmen

New images and a press release for Working Dog's new show "The Hollowmen" screening in July on the ABC, featuring a return to on-camera work from Rob Sitch and Santo Cilauro (thanks to TV Tonight - click through for more images and commentary).

The Hollowmen is a comedy / drama set in the offices of the Central Policy Unit, a special think tank personally set up by the Prime Minister to help him in the most important job of all – getting reelected.

Their brief is “long term vision”; to stop worrying about tomorrow’s headlines, and focus on next week’s. The series examines the rise of a new class in Canberra – that of the professional advisor. In the past it was politicians, guided by public servants, who made the decisions. Today they have “staffers”, dozens of paid advisors.

We don’t vote for them, we don’t even know their names, and we’re not quite sure what they do. But they wield enormous influence. They are very much the power behind the power. They are The Hollowmen.

Production Credits
A Working Dog Production.
Conceived, written and produced by Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner and Rob Sitch. Director: Rob Sitch. Executive Producer: Michael Hirsh. Casting: Jane Kennedy. Production Designer: James Clark. Editor: Ian Carmichael.

It's Official: The Dark Knight Is Brilliant

Earlier in the week, Ain't It Cool News posted the first review of The Coolest Damn Ass Movie Of The Year aka The Dark Knight. Now, I always take my Ain't It Cool reviews with a grain of salt - they're often incredibly enthusiastic in one direction or another. I was misled by reviews of Superman Returns and Indy 4 - movies which I compared - because enthusiasm/nostalgia for these franchises and their mythologies got in the way.

Luckily a user posted The Dark Knight review (a few SPOILERS, but nothing major we don't know already) seems to be written quite objectively and rationally and not bogged down by this nostalgia or fan hysteria. Is it genuine? I don't know. But what I read excited me nonetheless. If the movie DOES suck, I'll be shown.

So what's it like?

It's a good one. Not just good - great. It's spectacular. It's surprising. It's emotional. It's scary. It's dark and conflicted. And it kicks arse. Just what we hoped.

To make this news even better, a press screening was held and Peter Travers' Rolling Stone glowing review of the movie, and pretty much confirmed everything the AICN user one said with even more objectivity and written journalistic quality.

Meaning it's official. The Dark Knight is everything we expected. :D :D :D

The review compares it to The Godfather Part 2 or an epic crime drama like Heat in terms of rich characters, with Batman/Pacino facing off against The Joker/De Niro - both characters realize they have a symbiotic kinda relationship between each other, neither can exist or have a purpose without the other. At one point, The Joker quotes Jerry Maguire to Batman and says "You complete me."

And Ledger is confirmed as scary and post-humous Oscar bait. Check out this Canadian Press article - but one of hundreds - that was posted after a press screening last Thursday night, confirming how brilliant his performance is .
"a depraved creature utterly without conscience whom the late actor played with gleeful anarchy"

Most notably the AICN review praises Aaron Eckhart. As soon as we heard Aaron Eckhart was playing Harvey Dent, the excitement for me kicked up 200%. It's excellent casting. I love how all of these comic book movies are now casting quality actors in their parts (Downey in Iron Man, Ed Norton in Hulk). Empire suggested casting Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Penguin for the next one. GLEE! :D

What caught my eye it says that everything we have seen of Harvey/Two Face online so far is FAKE!! Is this for real??

I still think that shot in one of the trailers of his head being pushed to the floor is the acid coming towards him.

It's only three more weeks. I can't wait. I cannot wait.

To quote Heath's Joker in a very different context, I will "savour the moment" this comes out.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Law Revue Re-Up-Loaded

As I mentioned before, I've had to reupload five videos from LR05 because of a technical glitch with YouTube that couldn't be addressed by tech support.

I took the opportunity to tweak Sync Or Swim by the tiniest amount - adding some new title cards.

It's always nice to revist the past.

I Still Call St. Lucia Home

Sync Or Swim
The Amazing Race
Intimate Injunctions

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Doogie Howser = Inept Evil Genius = Brilliant

Recently released was the teaser trailer for Joss Whedon's new project - "Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog" - three 10 minute webisodes to be released in the next few months (July 25th, it appears)

No songs/music shown (except for the cheesy homemade score), but definitely has that kooky, genre-bending humour of Joss Whedon.

It stars Neil Patrick Harris as Dr. Horrible and Nathan Fillion as his heroic nemesis Captain Hammer.

Plot description: "It's the story of a low-rent super-villain, the hero who keeps beating him up, and the cute girl from the laundromat he's too shy to talk to."

I like this teaser, right down to the cheesy music. This will be geekily fun.

My Mid-Year YouTube Resolution

A 3AM melancholy rant/update after spending a late night tweaking a new video.

I'm going to make two New Financial Year Resolutions: cut down on energy drinks, and get more active with the YouTube community.

It's occurred to me that I haven't really been doing videos for me lately - I've been doing editing jobs for various businesses and companies. And it's money - not enough to call a career yet, but still, it's money and experience.

But they're things that I can't really put on my YouTube channel - one business asked me to and I politely declined. They're a different style. They're not really the kinds of things people who have subscribed to me want to see. They'd bore most people. I don't want to post ads/videos I've done for peoples' business on my channel unless it's something I think transcends the mere advertising element of it - something I feel creatively proud of. The engineering videos are one such exception: inevitably, they're going to appeal most to engineers but I try to make them at least a little bit accessible to most people (I'm not an engineer, remember - I don't get the majority of the inside jokes, I need the objectively funny stuff to keep myself amused).

I was (effectively) a promoted YouTuber before with The Westpac ATM and Feeling Off regularly appearing on the "Promoted Videos" on the front page and on random video pages as well. I know there are other videos out there to promote obviously, but there are "promoted users" who still appear on the front page - they aren't necessarily Partners, but they're still "promoted".

And my hit counts/subscriber counts have started to stagnate. The days of Harry Potter, Westpac ATM, and whatnot going practically viral and getting featured three times in six weeks are a memory.

A cynical part of me suspects the Confessions video getting featured may have contributed to this - a featured flash in the pan, wasn't really favourited or commented upon or forwarded around. Those who did comment didn't get why it was featured. And neither did I. I didn't intend it to get featured, simply passed around engineering folk. Don't get me wrong - I was happy with Confessions - I just didn't think it was worthy of a feature on the front page.

I don't want to lose people, so I'm going to start doing more personal videos again soon - video blogs, songs, comments, video responses to people.

Just basically try to get more active and involved with the YouTube community. I think I need to show some personality to get my stuff noticed.

I hope you stay tuned.


I've also been writing two songs - one is merely ideas/lyrics floating around, the other is half-fleshed out - full music done, just fixing lyrics. That will be a fun video to do.

If only I can do it soon.

I had planned to video blog but lost time and effort. Will attempt one soon.


There's another engineering video coming in the next week. Written late last year I sat on it for a while, until I shot it a few months ago and then took ages to get around to editing it. It's kinda cool. I do some 12th Man style action in it.

After this I still have five more engineering videos due. The second Confessions Of A Vac Work Student was put on hold (and probably cancelled) because of its references to alcohol/drinking on a minesite. Which is a fair enough call, but I liked it.



Jimmy xo

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Thanks For Nothing YouTube

A mate alerted me to the fact that five of my videos on YouTube were appearing cropped/narrowed/compressed. I contacted YouTube with this error - as they had played fine when I uploaded them well over a year ago.

YouTube Support requested I sent the links to the videos, which I did, explaining that these had worked fine when I played them in YouTube before.

Gmail has a lovely and subtle feature where you can see where someone has cut and pasted a response, these portions defined by a different text colour.

Without answering my question, they simply told me what the recommended video size/formats/frame rates were for uploading to YouTube. They ignored the fact that I had said I uploaded them along with about 30 other videos in the same format which weren't affected - which DID comply with YouTube's recommended formats.

So, I'm left with the options of leaving them as they are or deleting them, losing my hit counts and the people who'd favourited them, reuploading them and hoping that the same problem doesn't happen again.


These videos incidentally were The Amazing Race, Newsreel, Sync Or Swim, I Still Call St. Lucia Home and Intimate Injunctions. I'd post links, but hey, they're not going to be there for much longer anyway.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Vale George Carlin

Legendary comedian George Carlin died at age 71 from heart failure today. Best known to modern audiences from his appearances in Kevin Smith films Dogma, Jersey Girl and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, as well as the Bill and Ted movies, Carlin was widely regarded as one of the best standup comedians of all time. He championed free speech in the vein of Lenny Bruce with his use of profanity on stage and pushing the envelope, arrested during a show for delivering his infamous Seven Words You Can't Say On Television routine.

He was a consumate stage performer, performing right up until last weekend in Vegas. His sudden death will be a shock to comedians and comedy fans alike.

Here is the CNN obit.

"Religion is bullshit" and the "Seven Words" routine...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

"Did He Mention The Giant Spider?"

I watched the first half of Kevin Smith's college Q&A videos tonight, which was hilarious. When he wasn't insulting the incredibly nervous people who asked him their fanboy questions, he gave funny extended monologues and anecdotes, about his faith, including gay subtexts in his scripts out of respect for his gay brother, how he met Jason Mewes and how Mewes made the worst amateur porn ever.

The highlight for me was this long (almost twenty minute) account of how he was brought into Warner Brothers in the mid 1990's to do a rewrite on, what was at the time, the Superman reboot titled "Superman Lives".

Specifically, he recounts his encounter with completely delusional and egomaniacal Jon Peters - formerly Barbara Streisand's hairdresser turned Batman-producer with absolutely no grasp of what Superman is about and an extraordinarily strange obsession with giant spiders. He also wanted Sean Penn to play Superman.

I had tears of laughter by the end - that pause and moments of audience laughter when Smith mentions a certain title Peters went on to produce when Superman lives fell through.

It's a story of Hollywood gone mad. Every stereotype of a slick action movie Hollywood producer you'd ever seen or heard appears to be completely true in relation to Jon Peters, and it's hilarious watching Kevin Smith's stunned reactions to Peters' suggestions.

He follows this up with a slanging match with Tim Burton when the ending of Burton's Planet of The Apes coincidentally featured a similar scene to one in a comic Smith had drawn parodying the original Planet Of The Apes.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Write This. Or That. Maybe. Or Not. Yeah?

Jo sent me this, from Mitchell And Webb.

"You're the author. I'm just here to help."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Is This Irony?

On my tea break, I noticed this at the Donut King. Apologies for the blurriness.

Underneath the shelf it reads "Live The Coke Side Of Life".

Well, from where I was standing, the Coke side of life made it too heavy and collapsed it.

I Almost Went To The Toilet With A WWE Wrestler

Work was busy today. Two wrestlers - John Morrison and The Miz - from the WWE came into the store for a promo prior to the show at the Entertainment Centre tonight. I don't particularly have an interest. People were a little disappointed that they were relative new guys to the show - they're the current tag team champions. For now. Apparently.

I went on tea moments before they came out. As I was walking towards the mens locker room, the door opened before me and a yellow shirted security guard (from the humourously and unoriginally named "Homeland Security") pushed the door open and outstepped John Morrison, sans beanie and sunglasses. Had I gone in a few minutes earlier instead of stopping to examine the queue of hundreds of fans waiting, I probably would have been standing at the urinal with him. How awkward. Lucky I had no idea who he was.


The scene and the dialogue from The Dark Knight that everyone has heard rumours about have surfaced on the Joker's official page.

"Dent! Jesus, I thought youse was dead."

In keeping with the Two-Face motif, we only get half of the scene, and no full shot.

But how cool is the tracking shot sweeping from one side of Harvey to the scarred side and how the reaction of the guy at the bar slowly changes to horror with it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Master Of My Domain

On the weekend, I invested in my own domain names - and At the moment only the Australian address is redirecting (and redirecting to here), but still, I feel it was a good investment.

Finished another editing job for QRC today, am editing the next comedy short for them as well. Am also doing some editing for the Med Students Association - I'll post the links when they're done.

At the request of QRC, am trying to think of ideas for a sequel to March Of The Engineers. I mean, a literal sequel. Except, this time, I have to do the Hostel 2 thing and replace the guys with girls - apparently, female mining engineers far outnumber male mining engineers now. Hmmm...

I'm about to attempt a video blog - wrote a script last night, I'm going to down some flat champagne and a can of V and see if I can get through it and make it interesting.

Also awesome is we're having an in-store appearance by two of the WWE wrestlers tomorrow arv during my shift, prior to their appearance at the Entertainment Centre tomorrow night. We're expecting at least 500 wrestling fans to come in. It will be mad.

To be continued.