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Current Topic: Arts

The Vader Project
Topic: Arts 1:46 pm EDT, May 18, 2010

The premise of The Vader Project is simple -- simply awesome, that is: 100 of the best underground artists and designers working today rethink the iconic black helmet that defined Darth Vader. What started as a simple idea in 2005 became a record-setting exhibition in 2009. Now for the first time, these unique pieces of art will be available to the public in an auction.

Here's the website.

The Vader Project

The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951) on Blu-ray
Topic: Arts 1:08 pm EDT, Sep 29, 2008

Fox Announces The Day the Earth Stood Still
Posted September 25, 2008 01:55 PM by Josh Dreuth

20th Century Fox Fox Home Entertainment has announced that they will bring the 1951 classic film The Day the Earth Stood Still to Blu-ray as a Special Edition on December 2nd, day-and-date with the DVD release. Coming on a BD-25, video will be presented in 1.33:1 1080p AVC accompanied a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack.

Extras for this release include:

* Interactive Thermin: Create Your Own Score (BD Exclusive)
* Gort Command: Interactive Game (BD Exclusive)
* Commentary by Robert Wise and Nicolas Meyer
* Commentary by Film & Music Historians John Morgan, Steven Smith, William Stromberg and Nick Redman
* Isolated Score Track
* The Mysterious, Melodious Theremin
* The Day The Earth Stood Still Main Title Live Performance By Peter Pringle
* The Making of The Day the Earth Stood Still
* Decoding “Klaatu, Barada, Nikto”: Science Fiction as Metaphor Featurette
* A Brief History of Flying Saucers Featurette
* The Astounding Harry Bates Featurette
* Edmund North: The Man Who Made the Earth Stand Still Featurette
* Race To Oblivion: A Documentary Short Written And Produced By Edmund North
* Farewell To The Master: A Reading By Jamieson K. Price Of The Original Harry Bates Short Story
* Interactive Pressbook
* Fox Movietonews from 1951
* Theatrical Trailer
* Advertising Gallery
* Behind-The Scenes Gallery
* Portrait Gallery
* Production Gallery
* Spaceship Construction Blueprints
* Shooting Script

There are very few pre-1960 films I already have on DVD that I plan to rebuy on BD, but this is one of them. Yes, it's black-and-white and 1.37:1, but it's a sentimental favorite. Two others are Forbidden Planet and The War of the Worlds, but no BD release dates have been announced.

One thing that bothers me about this announcement is that it states "1.33:1" will be the aspect ratio, as opposed to the original (which would be a crime, punishable by stoning). The actual listing at refers to 1.37:1, so maybe there's nothing to worry about.

The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951) on Blu-ray

Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F Major
Topic: Arts 1:45 pm EDT, Aug 24, 2008

Marc Ullrich, trumpet
Beatrice Nathez, flute
Peter Fuchs, oboe
Bettina Boller, violin

I've been looking for this recording on SACD, but I don't know whether it's even available. As for the video, I'm not sure what I think of the camera work overall, but the closeups in the 3rd Movement are interesting. Is it just me, or does Boller look pre-occupied... as though she has some ass to kick after the recording is done?

1st Movement

2nd Movement

3rd Movement

Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F Major

Versailles: Noble
Topic: Arts 1:55 am EDT, Aug 23, 2008

If you're into J-Pop, particularly Visual Kei, you might want to check out Versailles' first full-length album, Noble (the follow-up to the EP, Lyrical Sympathy). The linked video is a live performance of "The Revenant Choir," which is more on the pop side and not exactly my favorite track on the album, but it's the best live video I could find on YouTube.

I took a chance and bought a first press of Noble with the bonus DVD. Now that I've had a chance to listen to it for a while, it's starting to grow on me. I can hear influences from Judas Priest ("Antique in the Future") to Testament ("To the Chaos Inside" - the album's best track) to contemporaries like Moi dix Mois ("Aristocrat's Symphony"). Musically, the band is pretty solid, and they're able to straddle the fence between pop and metal without making either style seem out of place on the album. Oh, and their stage costumes are adorable!

Versailles: Noble

The Day The Earth Stood Still - 2008 Remake
Topic: Arts 4:15 pm EDT, Jul 18, 2008

Keanu Reeves as Klaatu?

John Cleese as Dr. Barnhardt?

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! I wasn't planning on drinking this weekend, but now that I've seen the details, I have a reason. In case it went by too quickly in the trailer, I've posted a shot of the new Gort, below. Ugh.

The Day The Earth Stood Still - 2008 Remake

The Godfather Collection on Blu-ray
Topic: Arts 11:44 am EDT, Jul  9, 2008

The BD release is set for Sep 23, 2008. Supposedly, Coppola is personally involved in the restoration and remastering for high definition, so maybe it will be a significant improvement over the DVD release, which wasn't as good as it could've been. I've been impressed by the Blade Runner and Dirty Harry BD collections from Warner, and if Paramount can give The Godfather the same treatment, it'll be worth rebuying the trilogy (hopefully, for the last time).

Speaking of Warner, I'm still waiting for a BD release date for Forbidden Planet (it's still listed as "pending"). I don't know what's taking Warner so long, considering they've already remastered it for the HD-DVD release on November 14, 2006.

The Godfather Collection on Blu-ray

Hell Girl (anime)
Topic: Arts 11:01 pm EDT, May  6, 2008

Trailer for Hell Girl, Volume One:

(no spoilers below, aside from what one could find on the DVD cases)

I received Volume Six (the final volume of the first season) of Hell Girl today. May 20 was the posted release date, but I had pre-ordered it, and I suppose RSI received it early. For those who are into anime, I highly recommend it. I haven't enjoyed a series this much since Cowboy Bebop, which, considering my collection, is saying quite a bit.

The animation is absolutely gorgeous, and the music is great; even the menus are cool. The character interactions and dialogue are realistic, and while Tsugumi Shibata (another seven-year-old girl; not the title character, who's actually hundreds of years old, despite her appearance) does seem a bit precocious at times, it's not enough to make her character unbelievable.

With a few exceptions, most of the characters are adults, so if you've had enough of high school and college age anime characters, this will be a nice change of pace. The series isn't heavy on action, and the plot moves at a slower than normal pace, but it works very well, getting better as it goes along. The series focuses on human beings' inability to forgive and the consequences of revenge, and that's where Hell Girl comes in.

Great stuff! 10/10, five stars, A+, etc.

Rating: TV-MA (not for anyone younger than high school age)

Hell Girl (anime)

Film Legend Charlton Heston Dead at 84
Topic: Arts 11:45 am EDT, Apr  6, 2008

The actor died Saturday night at his home in Beverly Hills with his wife Lydia at his side, family spokesman Bill Powers said. He declined to comment on the cause of death or provide further details.

Film Legend Charlton Heston Dead at 84

New 'Tron' Races On: Kosinski Will Program Disney Sequel
Topic: Arts 4:00 pm EDT, Sep 11, 2007

TORONTO -- Commercial director Joseph Kosinski is in final negotiations to develop and direct "Tron," described as "the next chapter" of Disney's 1982 cult classic. Sean Bailey is producing via the Live Planet banner, as is Steven Lisberger, who co-wrote and directed the original film.

Kosinski, who last month signed on to helm the remake of "Logan's Run" for Warner Bros. Pictures, will oversee the visual development of the project and have input on the script, which is being written by "Lost" scribes Eddie Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. Story details are being kept secret.

Are these sequels and remakes really necessary?

New 'Tron' Races On: Kosinski Will Program Disney Sequel

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