Sunday, December 30, 2007

Adult Entertainment and the DVD Format War has an article about the impact of the adult entertainment industry on the HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray format war. This may come as a surprise, but the adult industry has been at the head of nearly every major advance in mass media and distribution of cinema. It was among the main forces leading the way for early theatrical film exhibition, cable television, the creation of the home video market, and the explosion of the Internet. Now it may determine, or at least significantly impact, what hi-def format we watch films on.

Here are excerpts from the article:

In February of 2007, I asked a rhetorical question about the influence of Adult Entertainment (AE) on the format war, reminded you that AE helped VHS defeat Betamax, noted that $4 billion in AE DVD sales would seem to refute the notion that the Internet is the dominant AE delivery vector, and speculated concerning the appeal of high definition as a more intimate, more titillating means of delivering AE. Having received a couple of screeners, I noted that Digital Playground’s initial efforts were poor, although its subsequent efforts and those by Vivid demonstrated marked improvements. And with each successive improvement in quality came a commensurate improvement in intimacy. Ten months have passed, there is more data, and some trends are beginning to immerge.

* * *

The visual advantages of AE on HD have become just as dramatic as for mainstream film, and the experience of AE HD is substantially more intimate than its lower resolution counterpart on DVD. What hasn’t changed is the directors’ bad habit of framing for small screen and low resolution. With the 1080 format’s six-times greater resolution and the strong likelihood of viewers watching HD on a larger screen, extreme close-ups are unnecessary and invasive. AE directors should be composing their scenes as if they were shooting a feature film destined for a large venue.

Without absolute sales numbers and only relative sales indicators, it’s extremely difficult to discern whether AE HD is having much of a financial impact on the format war. What seems clear is that fans of the genre are discovering the visual advantages of high definition. And if the studio that has captured 80% of the AE HD market is now committed to releasing its products in both formats, we won’t experience the kind of impact that was felt during the VHS versus Betamax format war. Format agnosticism simply prolongs the war.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Wired: MST3K - The Next Generation

Cinematic Titanic Steams Into Mystery Science Theater Waters
By John Scott Lewinski 12.07.07 3:00 PM

The creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000 is returning to the movie-mocking business as captain of the Cinematic Titanic.

Joel Hodgson is reuniting with J. Elvis Weinstein (the original Tom Servo) and Trace Beaulieu (Crow T. Robot) to sink any B movies remaining afloat in the long-running cult TV show's wake. The celluloid target of their inaugural Dec. 10 release: 1972 horror debacle Brain of Blood.

Hodgson and crew plan to mine the depths of the sci-fi and horror genres for movies that bear the special MST3K level of delightful god-awfulness. Rather than call the reunion a "show," Hodgson described Cinematic Titanic as "a movie-riffing delivery system" that will keep loyal MST3K enthusiasts stocked with fresh laughs.

"History has been very kind to us," Hodgson said. "We have a very loyal fan base, and every (MST3K) DVD set we release sells better than the previous one. Since the supply of those original episodes is finite, we wanted to give our fans something new that kept the spirit and the tone of the original show."

The original MST3K started in 1988 on Minnesota television, then aired for a decade on various national cable channels. Created and initially hosted by Hodgson, the show endured a turnover of its entire cast before ending its run on the Sci Fi Channel in 1999. Earlier this year, the Sci Fi cast reunited to work on two separate MST3K-style satirical projects.

For Cinematic Titanic, Hodgson is partnering with movie-download service EZTakes to enable buyers to purchase and create DVDs themselves. The Cinematic Titanic website will sell DVDs, and eventually buyers will be able to download the film, commentary, liner notes and cover art to "self-fan-u-facture" DVDs at home.

Cinematic Titanic's five cast members (MST3K veterans Mary Jo Pehl and Frank Conniff also join the crew) will appear on screen in a multi-tiered silhouette arrangement reminiscent of a shadowy Hollywood Squares set, as the mockable movies play.

To launch Cinematic Titanic, the cast will perform Dec. 8 for Industrial Light & Magic staffers at George Lucas' Presidio campus in San Francisco, Hodgson said. A DVD of the invitation-only show will be up for sale alongside the Brain of Blood release.

Will fans hoping for a reunion of the original MST3K embrace multiple spinoffs of their favorite show? Nathan Heckel of MSTies Anonymous said it's encouraging to see the original show's alumni collaborating.

"I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd like to see the original show revitalized," Heckel said. "Even a one-off performance would be greatly welcomed."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

2008 Golden Globe Nominations

The nominations for the 2008 Golden Globe Awards were announced this morning:

Picture – Drama

  • American Gangster
  • Atonement
  • Eastern Promises
  • The Great Debaters
  • Michael Clayton
  • No Country For Old Men
  • There Will Be Blood

Picture - Musical Or Comedy

  • Across The Universe
  • Charlie Wilson's War
  • Hairspray
  • Juno
  • Sweeney Todd

Animated Film

  • Bee Movie
  • Ratatouille
  • The Simpsons Movie

Actor In A Leading Role - Drama

  • George Clooney in Michael Clayton
  • Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood
  • James McAvoy in Atonement
  • Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises
  • Denzel Washington in American Gangster

Actor In A Leading Role - Musical Or Comedy

  • Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd
  • Ryan Gosling in Lars And The Real Girl
  • Tom Hanks in Charlie Wilson's War
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Savages
  • John C. Reilly in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

Actress In A Leading Role - Drama

  • Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth: The Golden Age
  • Julie Christie in Away From Her
  • Jodie Foster in The Brave One
  • Angelina Jolie in A Mighty Heart
  • Keira Knightley in Atonement

Actress In A Leading Role - Musical Or Comedy

  • Amy Adams in Enchanted
  • Nikki Blonsky in Hairspray
  • Helena Bonham Carter in Sweeney Todd
  • Marion Cotillard in La Vie En Rose
  • Ellen Page in Juno

Actor In A Supporting Role

  • Casey Affleck in The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
  • Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman in Charlie Wilson's War
  • John Travolta in Hairspray
  • Tom Wilkinson in Michael Clayton

Actress In A Supporting Role

  • Cate Blanchett in I'm Not There
  • Julia Roberts in Charlie Wilson's War
  • Saoirse Ronan in Atonement
  • Amy Ryan in Gone Baby Gone
  • Tilda Swinton in Michael Clayton


  • Tim Burton for Sweeney Todd
  • Ethan Coen, Joel Coen for No Country For Old Men
  • Julian Schnabel for The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
  • Ridley Scott for American Gangster
  • Joe Wright for Atonement


  • Atonement, written by Christopher Hampton
  • Charlie Wilson's War, written by Aaron Sorkin
  • The Diving Bell And The Butterfly, written by Ronald Harwood
  • Juno, written by Diablo Cody
  • No Country For Old Men, written by Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Original Score

  • Atonement, composed by Dario Marianelli
  • Eastern Promises, composed by Howard Shore
  • Grace Is Gone, composed by Clint Eastwood
  • Into The Wild, composed by Michael Brook
  • The Kite Runner, composed by Alberto Igleslias

Original Song

  • "Despedida" from Love In The Time Of Cholera, music and lyric by Pedro Aznar, Shakira
  • "Grace Is Gone" from Grace Is Gone, music by Clint Eastwood, lyric by Carole Bayer Sager
  • "Guaranteed" from Into The Wild, music and lyric by Eddie Vedder
  • "That's How You Know" from Enchanted, music by Alan Menken, lyric by Stephen Schwartz
  • "Walk Hard" from Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, music and Lyric by Judd Apatow, Marshal Crenshaw, Jake Kasdan, John C. Reilly

Foreign Film

  • The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
  • 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days
  • The Kite Runner
  • Lust, Caution
  • Persepolis

Cecil B. DeMille Award

  • Steven Spielberg

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Additonal Reviews

Reviews of the following films have been added directly to the web along with the rest of the reviews broadcast on today's episode:

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

KEYC: Fairmont Film Society "Smoking Room"


The Fairmont Film Society is preserving the history of Hollywood smoking and all Jeff Rouse and his wife opened the Fairmont Film Festival two years ago. It's a private club that holds different events. The club has three event rooms one of which is a smoking room. "The smoking room as you can see is developed into a room years in the astoulga from old cigarette adds and different memorabilia, ash trays and anything that has to do with smoking." The state's new smoking ban no longer allows for people to smoke in public places but Rouse and members of the club want to get a cigar license that allows people to sample cigars in the smoking room.

See video of this story here and visit the Fairmont Film Society website here.