Remembrance Part 2

PhotoGrid_1382434479582Valued memories. It’s been 12 days, and a somber month.

Learned a few days ago about the passing of a childhood friend, mostly lost contact but still got updates from her father. And barely hours ago learned about the passing of one of best friend’s father. Somber somber month.

Made me want to honour my grandparents once again, even though I lack memorable tales, so here’s another rememberance post.

Review: Muito Barulho por Nada (Much Ado About Nothing) DVD from H2OFilmes.

This is my tentatively brief review of the locally released DVD for Joss Whedon’s modern adaptation from William Shakespeare play “Much Ado About Nothing” – “Muito Barulho por Nada” from distributor H2O Filmes.

If you were living under a rock, this is the movie that Joss Whedon shot at his home in 12 days in October of 2011, during his mandatory break between the end of principal photography for The Avengers and the start of the editing process.  The movie gathers friends and cast members that can be recognized from his previous projects, and its origins go back to the Shakespeare readings with cast & crew at his house when Buffy and Angel were still in production, which can also be credited for helping “Once More, With Feeling” and the creation of Illyria happen . The movie produced by Bellweather a small production company founded by Joss and his wife Kai Cole (who also designed the house),  was originally shown at TIFF 2012, when the US distribution rights  were sold to Lionsgate (that also saved The Cabin in the Woods from the 2009 MGM limbo) and the handling of international distribution went to Kaleidoscope. The movie was finally released more widely to the public this year. According to Box Office Mojo, the movie has already grossed $4,328,849 domestically and $938,796 worldwide from 5 markets that had “wide” releases of the it: the UK, Australia, New Zeland, Mexico and Brasil. I assume grosses from the movie festival circuit do not count.

Our friends from the UK were the first country to receive the home video (DVD and Bluray) release of this title back in October 7th, plagued by reports that even the BD version lacked the full set of extras that were announced for the US release, which would happen only a day later on the 8th. From a email contact to the UK distributor by Whedonesque member feelinglistless, the reasoning behind the lack of extras in the British release was revealed:

Just spoken to the UK distributor via email.

The Joss commentary on the UK discs was commissioned by the UK distributor and they licensed it out to other distributors and Lionsgate took it.

But Lionsgate wouldn’t license out their US extras to the UK, which seems a bit stingy to say the least which is why we don’t have them.

feelinglistless | October 08, 14:33 CET

Ever since a lot was wondered about what would happen to other local releases.

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So here’s my copy of the local Brazilian DVD release for the movie from the distributor that also handled the theatrical release, it just arrived this afternoon. Seems like extra content are really licensed by the distributor, it doesn’t matter that Lionsgate has packed the US release with a lot of interesting features – my copy of US DVD still on its way,  There’s only the DVD release, the distributor opted not to do a BluRay release for the title. The DVD itself is Region Free, but there’s no Extras at all, as you can see on the back cover above.

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DVD Title screen containing only Star the Movie, Language Selection and Scene Selection option. No Extras.

 

 

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Audio and Subtitle selection:

  • Very standard options: Dolby Digital 2.0 or Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: Portuguese Subtitles or No Subtitles.
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Scene Selection, with entire movie separated in 8 segments.

  • All Menu are static, while the wonderful voice of Maurissa Tancheroen is in background with “Sigh no More”.

Considering how bare of extra content the title is, it was too expensive (I think I paid about the same for the US DVD, and that’s including the international shipping charges and the currency exchange rates), and seems like it’s not widely available everywhere. I could only track it down to be bought at 2001 Videos, which is a more specialty store that targets more artsy customers, but you cannot track it at larger chains at all, even bookstores like Livraria Cultura that usually sell independent titles. If you are a fan and was not able to find it theatrically, hopefully it’s not that hard to find it, especially if you must have the Portuguese subs.

I did try to contact H2O Filmes by email last week, but they never got back to me. As one of my major concerns was about the extra content, I think they just decided to ignore me and be done with it. My other question was about the release date, which clearly happened shortly after the US release.

As much as I am bummed out by the lack of extra content from this local DVD release, I am at least content that it happened. Moreover, I am really happy that H2O Filmes was able to make the theatrical release happen despite multiple delays (it was originally slated for July, then moved to early august, then to late august).  It was brief, it probably lasted only 3 weeks in very few cinemas (only 2 weeks in my city), but at least it happened from this small distributor. UIP which handled the local distribution for both Serenity and also The Cabin in the Woods, were  not even able to show them theatrically. I was only able to watch Serenity on the big screen thanks for the movie festival, still annoyed that I never had the big screen experience for The Cabin in the Woods. Suffice to say, I’d like to say a very public thank you to H2O Filmes for the theatrical distribution of the movie here, despite the DVD release still lacking a lot.

To finish-up the post here are some pictures from the Theatrical release period back in August, I did share some of them on Flickr and Instagram back then. Also, a picture of the original line-up of cinemas that had the movie on the first week of release in Brasil (taken from their Facebook page):

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Cinema Line-Up from 1st week of release in Brasil (taken from the movie’s Facebook page).

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Movie Banner on release weekend @ Cinepolis JK Iguatemi

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Also from opening week, at screening room entrance @ Espaço Itaú Frei Caneca Sala 9 – The following week it was moved to Sala 6, same size, but better screening quality and sound.

Remembrance.

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I was never close to my father’s parents, so my mom’s were the ones I always referred as THE grandparents. Lost my grandma almost 3 years ago. And now, my grandfather has also passed a few days ago.

Among the 8 grandkids (which happens to be a weird expression, with myself being the second oldest at 31), sadly I am the one who never got to interact a lot with them. I moved to Brazil when I was 5, the few times I got to return to Taiwan, the time spent was quite limited.

Even limited, I’m so glad I was there. Thought I’d have a greater sense of loss, but what I am left now is a sense of relief, may them rest in peace.

The 3-day trip to Okinawa just before the turn of the year from 2009 to 2010, was the last time I had really the opportunity to interact wih both of them together, and it is from then that I took this wonderful picture.

Seems like appropriate as an epitaph as I don’t have remakable memories to share like my other relatives do.

2013 here we go…not really.. Geeky 2013 Calendars:

OK, we’re not even halfway through the year. Nearly, but not there yet.

Hey Geeks, as you may be aware there world is not ending at the end of 2012, so you might want to consider getting a calendar for 2013. Check out these cool suggestions:

Avengers 2013 Wall Calendar
Peanuts 2013 Wall Calendar
Harry Potter Lego 2013 Wall Calendar
Brave 2013 Wall Calendar

The Hunger Games 2013 Wall Calendar
Harry Potter Special Edition 2013 Wall Calendar
Doctor Who 2013 Wall Calendar
Doctor Who Special Edition 2013 Wall Calendar
Buffy The Vampire Slayer 2013 Wall Calendar:
The Big Bang Theory 2013 Wall Calendar:
How I Met Your Mother 2013 Wall Calendar:
Spartacus 2013 Wall Calendar
Game of Thrones 2013 Wall Calendar:
Angry Birds 2013 Wall Calendar:
The Dark Knight Batman Rises 2013 Wall Calendar
The Walking Dead 2013 Wall Calendar

 

 

My favorite movies of 2010.

Wow, I’m on time this year around.

As usual, since 2003, I’ve been logging every movie I’ve watched. Every previous I’ve attempted to try to be a regular reviewer failed terribly, so I simply compile these lists, which is more a reflection of how I’ve enjoyed them.

Even if I appreciate a lot a movie for it’s script and production, doesn’t always mean I loved it. Sometimes I might even find the most ludicrous written and produced movie amusing, and for that I’d enjoyed it so much to include among my favorites.

I find that despite a very disappointing Summer season of movies overall (with some very very bright stars), 2010 was a more satisfying year for movies in my opinion.

My Favorite Movies I watched in 2010:

(In no particular order, except the order I watched them)

- Sherlock Holmes (can’t believe I’d ever include a Guy Ritchie’s film among my favorites, but this was a great “update” and the cast deserve a lot of credit for my listing it here)

- How to Train Your Dragon (It be so good if this was the new template for Dreamworks animation, sadly if the recent shown Kung Fu Panda 2 trailers is any indication, it will not be the new template. Don’t get me wrong Kung Fu Panda was fun but that was it. How to Train Your Dragon was filled with heart that are usually only found in Pixar movies, not only that was gorgeously produced and very well written).

- Ghost Writer (I still got a few chapters of The Ghost to finish, but Roman Polansky did it again with an impressive cast nonetheless)

- Toy Story 3 (The movie of the year in my opinion. I was “cursing” Pixar for making me cry again, don’t know which was worse, me crying when Andy handed the toys over to Bonnie this year, of last year during the Ellie Badge thing in Up.)

- Inception

- Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World

- The Social Network (if Toy Story 3 wasn’t around, I think this would probably be the movie of the year for me).

- Lost Paradise in Tokyo (a Japenase movie about forming a disfunctional family in a disfunctional city)

- Air Doll

- Third Star (I’m a sucker for movies that explore friendships and this was a very well done one.)

- Friendship! (Fun, fun, fun…. I would almost call it AmericaTrip, cause it reminded me of Eurotrip in several moments).

-Exit Through the Gift Shop (I love how midway through you’re almost forced to question whether this is really a documentary or just another one of Banksy works of art).

- Kyoto Uzumasa Monogatari – Kyoto Story (a lovely piece of changes in this town)

- 聽說 – Hear Me (I’m almost disappointed I didn’t bought the DVDs on sight, because they were already available in Taiwan, when I was back there in August)

- R. U. There (a very cool companion piece for some of the subjects explored in The Social Network).

 

Worst Movies I watched in 2010

- Nine (how could this gathered talent turn out something this bad).

- Sex and the City 2 (at least I didn’t have to pay to watch this)

- Brilliantlove (one of rare times I almost left the movie midway through, had to be really strong to get to the end of it, and it wasn’t even a long movie. It had a interesting concept, but director decided he preferred to create a soft-porn movie instead.)

- Ponto.org (Ugh, great concept, dreadful delivery).

 

Honorable Mentions

- Zombieland (it premiered late here, so I only got to watch it in 2010. A precussor for the Zombie fare it would come later in the year)

- Kick-Ass (anyone else remember Chloe Moretz as the little sister from 500 Days of Summer, I do. Already found her impressive back then).

- Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Underrated. It was not meant to be huge at all, it reminded me of some great adventure movies from the 80’s)

- Ponyo, gorgeous movie, I still prefer some of the previous Yamazaki movies though.

- Paranormal Activity 2, don’t  know how long the gimmick will last, but this was very well done.

- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. OK, I think I never put this online. But I’m not the biggest fan of the 3rd film, which seems to be the favorite among a lot of people. I hated some of the direction Cuaron took, and the script did not help, it’s just a fine adaptation, and the book wasn’t even that big. And after how terrible the adaptation for Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince were, It’s very satisfying to get DH Part 1, to be one of the best movies of the series.  I’d place it among 3 of the best from the series so far. In my opinion the other 2 would be Goblet of Fire (Mike Newell brought a level of Britishness that lacked in Cuaron trip here) and The Secret Chamber (despite Columbus making a bit too HomeAlone in some moments, still one of the best adapted books).

- Karate Kid – I still think they should have re-titled this to Kung-Fu Kid. But I’m impressed how good it was. And it’s impressive how more violent it is compared to the original, and the remake featured much younger kids.

- The Town – I love how good a director that Ben Affleck is becoming and what an amazing cast movie this was.

- Never Let me Go – A very good adaptation. The book still carries a much stronger message.

- Buried (it’s haunting, but I bet the average north-american audience hated the ending).

- Black Swan- Gorgeous movie. Will I watch it again? I don’t think so.

- Easy A

Do you Plurk?

I get the impression that Plurk is in a world of Twitter is somewhat like Orkut in a world of Facebook. Still valid in specific places, yet mostly irrelevant.

Orkut used to be dominant in Brazil and India, but recent reports this has changed in the latter. According to Techtree Facebook has surpassed Orkut in presence in India. There has also been a surge on the usage of Facebook in Brazil, but it has yet to surpass Orkut in presence.

That puts Plurk in an interesting position in certain locations of East Asia, in which it’s relevancy it’s comparable to Facebook, and Twitter is barely noticeable. Plurk is so relevant in Taiwan, that local Android smartphones already come with it as a bundled app.

The two picture below illustrate their interesting position in Taiwan.

Screenshot from 7-Eleven website in Taiwan.

Notice that the Social Media channels made available include only Facebook, Plurk and You Tube.

Firefox 3.6 update.

Once again Facebook and Plurk made available as Social Media Channels.

Before I finish this post, let me answer the question that I proposed as this post’s title. Do I Plurk? No I don’t. Don’t even have an account, but I’m aware of many relatives who do, and send those updates to Facebook.

Do you Plurk? It’s not a relevant question if your target public is all in the western hemisphere, but if you plan to reach certain target publics in the East, you should reconsider your positioning, if you don’t Plurk yet.

Follow-up: Guessing the cover: EW Fall TV Preview 2010.

So as it seems EW might be dropping the main feature on the cover, and going with the multiple feature cover like the b-cover from last year.

So in a few ways, I did guessed right some of the features. Here’s the cover for the new issue released last friday:

Featuring:

Tina Fey (30 Rock – NBC)

Jane Lynch (Glee – FOX)

Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim (Hawai Five-O – CBS) – Who carry combined experiences through Battlestar Galatica, 24, Angel and Lost.

Sofia Vergara (Modern Family – ABC) – I was right about the assets, wasn’t I?

Michael C. Hall (Dexter – Showtime)

Courtney Cox-Arquette and Jennifer Aniston (Cougar Town – ABC) – I completely blanked out about this, when listing my guesses.

Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory – CBS)

Surprised that they featured Michael C. Hall, but included nothing from The CW.

3 of them are repeats from last year mosaic cover: Courtney Cox-Arquete, Michael C. Hall and Tina Fey.

Disappointed that they decided to feature 30 Rock again, instead of featuring something that was a lot more fun last season like Chuck.

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