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Tag: MOVIES,@FEATURES

Overdue Reviews: 'Strange Days'

Overdue Reviews takes a critical look at tech-centric films that are well-loved, well-loathed or eye-rollingly obscure. When Kathryn Bigelow's 'Strange Days' was released in 1995, it didn't even break $8 million at the box office; with a production budget of $42 million, it was by all accounts a commercial disaster. Even the critically panned 'Johnny Mnemonic' pulled in $19 million, and...

Sci-Fi Movie Interfaces: Why Transparent Screens Are Miserable to Use

Yesterday, we sat in on the excellent 'Made it So (Interface Makers in Movies)' panel at SXSW with Chris Noessel, Mike Fink, Mark Coleran and David Lewandowski, some of the designers behind the on-screen interfaces in movies ranging from '80s classics 'Blade Runner' and 'WarGames' to modern day blockbusters 'Avatar' and 'Tron: Legacy.' The panel followed a simple question and answer format,...

'Blade Runner's Mike Fink: Sound Sells a Fictional Computer

Sound goes a long way to selling futuristic interfaces. Especially with the new graphical interfaces -- they are non-tactile. No more clicking switches, turning things over that go 'clunk', little motors aren't turning gears to make needles move, nothing makes noise anymore. So you really have to add a sound component to give a tactile sensation to the audience. One of the first names in...

Overdue Reviews: 'Minority Report'

Overdue Reviews takes a critical look at tech-centric films that are well-loved, well-loathed or eye-rollingly obscure. For better or worse, they love Dick in Hollywood: 'Blade Runner,' 'Total Recall,' 'Impostor,' 'A Scanner Darkly,' 'Paycheck' and 'Next' all have roots in the notorious paranoiac Philip K. Dick's fiction. Last week, in fact, saw the release of the latest adaptation, 'The...

Overdue Reviews: 'Johnny Mnemonic'

Overdue Reviews takes a critical look at tech-centric films that are well-loved, well-loathed or eye-rollingly obscure. 'Johnny Mnemonic' is frequently considered one of the worst sci-fi films of the modern era. It is not! In fact, it stands up exceptionally well after 16 years -- especially if you're drunk. (Seriously, alcohol really helps.) To refresh your overloaded memory (storyline...

3-D TV at CES: Going Small and Cheap, Whether You Want It or Not

As we wandered the halls of CES 2011, one thing became abundantly clear: that this 3-D thing just isn't going away. We'd previously written off 3-D TV and movies as gimmicky and prone to producing headaches, but the industry is clearly taking it very seriously. Last year, all the major TV manufacturers were pushing 3-D sets, and all were back this year with upgraded displays, new glasses and...

Tech That Tried to Kill Us! How Hollywood Puts the Horror in Horrible

Yes. We actually watched these movies. We suffered through them for you. We tracked them down in video stores and on Netflix, and sorted through piles of rubbish and even the Youtubes. We watched them all, and this is what we have gleaned: technology, guys, is scary. It causes addiction, it connects us with weirdos, and it is responsible, we suppose, for Emmerich-style mass destruction. Yet,...

Netflix on PS3: Disc-Free Instant Streaming's Pros and Cons

Hey PlayStation3 owners: aside from having the coolest gaming system around, now you don't have to whip your disc out every time you want to watch Netflix. The Red Envelope has gone even more virtual, finally switching to a downloadable program for optimal movie and show viewing. Previously, PS3 users (along with Wii owners) had to pop in a Netflix-supplied DVD to stream. Now, movie fans can just...

Netsploitation: The Internet in Film

You can always count on Hollywood to warp real-life technology into something wholly unrecognizable. Whether it's virtual reality or social networking, we can be sure that, once translated to the big screen, representations will become exploitative or far-fetched. As for such movies that deal with the Internet, we'll classify them as 'Netsploitation' films. The Netsploitation genre began in...

DoubleTwist Syncs iTunes With Your Non-iPod Devices

What it is: DoubleTwist is a music manager and media syncing tool for those who don't want to join, or are looking to leave, the cult of Apple. It has gained particular notability ever since T-Mobile agreed to package the application with some of its Android-powered handsets. What we like: Aesthetically, we find DoubleTwist rather pleasing. While others have described it as "rough," we quite...

Rob Zombie Hates Your Cell Phone

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that Rob Zombie--rock star, screenwriter, film director, gore-fetishist--has little free time for messing around with all the electronic goodies the rest of us take for granted. But we get it. After all, his latest film, a remake of the classic slasher flick 'Halloween II,' only began filming in late February and yet barely six months later is already in...

The Apocalypse Is Coming... Pass the Popcorn

Hollywood, it seems, has it in for us. Beginning with the alien-invasion flick 'District 9' (in theaters now), this movie season is chock-full of earth- and earthling-shattering epics. From angry E.T.s and brain-eating zombies to Mayan doomsday prophecies, we're in for a hurtin' for certain, thanks to those bozos. Highfalutin' theories abound as to why all the apocalypse, and why now. The...

10 Video Games That Should Be Made Into Movies

Video games rarely make a successful transition to the big screen. Most are box-office bombs, and game fans lambaste every shot, frame, and scene via blogs and message boards. They can't bear to see something they love turned into an unrecognizable disaster starring Jean-Claude Van Damme ('Street Fighter,' anyone?). So why does Hollywood keep churning them out? Simple. Gamers comprise an...

Best New(ish) Blu-ray Discs (Best of 2008)

Okay, so we're a little late on this, but we got caught up at CES, so we're bringing you our picks for Best Blu-rays of the past 12 months. We based our selections on overall excellence of a movie, breadth and originality of the extra features, and quality of the video and audio. All the movies on the following pages will be excellent reference discs for your new Blu-ray player and HDTV --...

Video Games Go to the Movies

Let's face it: Despite many half-hearted attempts, there still hasn't really been a good video-game-turned-movie ... ever. Here are some of the worst moments in an entire genre of worst moments. 'DOOM' (2005) This was just a bad idea from the get-go. As a game, 'DOOM' really had no story to begin with -- shooting demonic monsters does not a narrative make -- and trying to turn it into a...