The Blu-ray Movie Review: Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

December 3, 2008 in Uncategorized

Walk hard down life’s rocky road with the brilliant John C Reilly as Dewey Cox in this gritty, funny, warts-and-all fictional biopic that parodies the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle of great rock artists of the 60s and 70s.

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Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story captures and lampoons the spirit of rock history by following the roller coaster career of Dewey Cox from a down home-country boy to a successful artist to a drugged up burnt out rocker struggling to keep his sanity. With skill and hilarity, John C Reilly caricatures the lives and musical styles of famous rock artists like Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, Jim Morrison, and Bob Dylan. Dewey’s crazy life is also dogged by the dreadful lurking paranoia that his father doesn’t love him because of something horrific but accidental that Dewey did as a child.

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So often parodies are over stuffed with clichés and all too obvious homages to original histories or story lines. Walk Hard, however, is so competently written, directed and performed that you are left with a smile on your face, and the lyrics of well-written bad songs in your head for days.

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story has a run time of 96 minutes and is rated 16 (LNS). This Blu-ray release presents the film re-mastered in High Definition (HD). You can choose between two versions of the film — the theatrical version or the “The Unbearably long, self-indulgent Director’s Cut” version (which is 139 minutes long). It also comes with special features including:

  • Audio Commentary — with the director, producers, and actors.
  • Line-o-rama — missed lines and gags.
  • The Music of Walk Hard — talks about the satirical songs written for the movie. Reilly sang all his own songs.
  • The Real Dewey Cox — a mockumentary about the “real” Dewey Cox.
  • Deleted and extended scenes
  • Full song performances

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story was kindly supplied for review by Nelmari
Claassens, SterKinekor Home Entertainment Marketing Manager for Sony
Pictures. Go to www.bluraydisc.co.za
to view the latest Blu-ray news, reviews and competitions featured on
SterKinekor Home Entertainment’s newsletter. Sony Pictures can be found
on the Web at www.sonypictures.com.

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The Blu-ray Movie Review: The Professionals

November 28, 2008 in Uncategorized

The year is 1917 and the Mexican Revolution is in full swing. Set against this backdrop, The Professionals is a hard-hitting western that tells the story of a group of mercenaries hired by an arrogant Texan oil baron, J.W. Grant (Ralph Bellamy), to rescue his kidnapped wife Maria (Claudia Cardinale). Maria went riding across the border into her native country Mexico, and was kidnapped by a ruthless revolutionary, murderer, thief, and all-round bad guy Captain Jesus Raza (Jack Palance). Raza has Maria stored away in a hideout protected by a 100-strong army and demands a $100 000 ransom for her safe return.

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The hired men gather at Grant’s private rail car on the Mexican border. Each professional has a unique set of skills —Henry “Rico” Fardan (Lee Marvin) is a weapons specialist, Hans Ehrengard (Robert Ryan) is a hardened horse wrangler, and Jake Sharp (Woody Strode) is a master bowman. Rico convinces Grant that dynamite is needed for the caper and gets explosives expert, Bill Dolworth (Burt Lancaster), sprung from prison. Fardan and Dolworth are long-time friends, and even took part in the Mexican revolution. They were old comrades of Raza’s and know both the territory and their enemy.

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Grant promises to reward each professional $10,000 for the return of his wife, and upon agreeing to the deal, the four men set off into the rugged, unforgiving Mexican desert to complete the contract. Along the trail, they encounter and outshoot splinter groups of Mexican desperados, getting ever closer to Raza’s heavily fortified camp. The men know they are vastly outnumbered, but still draw up and execute their plan of attack. When they find Maria, they also discover that all is not what it seems, and the mission has been further complicated; a realization that may have come too late as former allies now prepare for the final showdown…

The Professionals has a run time of 117 minutes and is rated PG. This Blu-ray release presents the film re-mastered in High Definition (HD) and comes with special features including:

  • The Professionals – A Classic — a testimonial by Martin Campbell (director of Casino Royale).
  • Burt Lancaster: A Portrait — a tribute to the late actor by his daughter, Joanna Lancaster.
  • Memories from The Professionals — actresses Claudia Cardinale and Marie Gomez discuss different aspects of the film.

The Professionals was kindly supplied for review by Nelmari
Claassens, SterKinekor Home Entertainment Marketing Manager for Sony
Pictures. Go to www.bluraydisc.co.za
to view the latest Blu-ray news, reviews and competitions featured on
SterKinekor Home Entertainment’s newsletter. Sony Pictures can be found
on the Web at www.sonypictures.com.

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Signs That Your Cat May Be Trying To Kill You

November 17, 2008 in Uncategorized

See more signs at www.catswhothrowupgrass.com and take the QUIZ to find out if kitty is indeed plotting your demise.

Typealyzer

November 17, 2008 in Uncategorized

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The Typealyzer can guess which type of writer you are.

Simply go to www.typealyzer.com, type in your blog’s address, and Typealyzer will do its thing.

How does it work?
For a long period of time, we have been training our system to
recognize texts that characterize the different types. The system,
typealyzer, can now by itself find features that distinguishes one type
from another. When all features, words and sentences, are combined
typealyzer is able to guess which type its is most likely to be written
by using statistical analysis.

How can a computer know who I am?
It doesn´t. But with a good amount of text it can make a pretty good
guess. In addition, we all have different roles in different
situations. By studying how people write, we can get an glimpse of what
is on the mind of the person and what is characteristic of the person -
or, as in the case of a blog – what is typical of the role/persona
used when writing that blog. A person can have several blogs – and
often have different roles for the various blogs – perhaps as a way to
live out more sides of themselves.

The Blu-ray Movie Review: Vantage Point

October 30, 2008 in Uncategorized

United States President Henry Ashton (William Hurt) is in Salamanca, Spain to attend an anti-terrorism summit. An American cable news channel is tracking the event, and Rex Brooks (Sigourney Weaver) is directing traffic from the OB van, when she notices Secret Service agent Thomas Barnes (Dennis Quaid), back on detail so soon after taking a bullet for Ashton earlier on in the year. She watches on her monitors as Ashton is introduced by the Spanish mayor, and is about to deliver his speech. Without warning, Ashton is shot twice in the chest, and utter chaos ensues. She watches as Secret Service agents surround the president and usher him into an ambulance, and amid the confusion, a massive explosion goes off in the plaza, completely destroying the podium and killing several people. At this point, the camera rewinds to the point in time where we initially joined Brooks, but the perspective changes.

The tagline for Vantage Point is “8 Strangers. 8 Points of View. 1 Truth”, and over the same 23-minute period that is looped over and over, the assassination of the U.S. President unfolds through the eyes of different people. With each perspective and subsequent rewind, a valuable new piece of the puzzle is revealed.

Going into any more perspective will give away too much of the plot, but amongst others, you will follow Secret Service agents Barnes and Kent Taylor (Matthew Fox) as they search for any clues about the possible shooter; you will tag along with Howard Lewis (Forest Whitaker), an American tourist with a video camera who may have videotaped the assassin; you will sneak around with  Spanish police officer Enrique (Eduardo Noriega) as he spies his girlfriend Veronica (Ayelet Zurer) in an embrace with a handsome stranger Javier (Edgar Ramirez). You will also see it from the terrorists view as they go about executing their heinous attempt. As more details are revealed through each perspective, all roads will lead you to a heart-pounding car chase and surprising final act…


 
Vantage Point has a run time of 132 minutes and is rated 13 (V). This Blu-ray release presents the film re-mastered in High Definition (HD) and comes packed with special features including:

  • Audio Commentary — the director talks about the film’s production.
  • An Inside Perspective — an electronic press kit (EPK) of the film’s production including interviews with cast and crew.
  • Plotting an Assassination — explores how each point of view fits into the story.
  • Coordinating Chaos — shows off the stunt work that was performed including the thrilling car chase scenes, and crashes.
  • Surveillance Tapes — deleted scenes of sorts.
  • Theatrical Trailers

Vantage Point is another Blu-ray title that is BD-Live enabled. BD-Live allows for interactive viewing and enables you to download additional content over the Internet using a BD-Live equipped Blu-ray player or a Sony PlayStation 3. BD-Live is selectable from Special Features menu.

An exclusive Blu-ray feature, the Vantage Viewer: GPS Tracker, add a docked interface that allows you to track the movements of each character during the film. You can also access alternate camera angles (or aptly named vantage points) via a Picture-in-Picture (PIP) window.

Vantage Point was kindly supplied for review by Nelmari
Claassens, SterKinekor Home Entertainment Marketing Manager for Sony
Pictures. Go to www.bluraydisc.co.za
to view the latest Blu-ray news, reviews and competitions featured on
SterKinekor Home Entertainment’s newsletter. Sony Pictures can be found
on the Web at www.sonypictures.com.

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The Blu-ray Movie Review: Iron Man

October 14, 2008 in Uncategorized

Meet Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr). The son of deceased weapons manufacturer, Howard Stark, Tony is an arrogant (yet charming) billionaire and genius who spends as much time building machines as he does chasing the ladies. As a stop on his globe-trotting tour, Tony is visiting Afghanistan to promote his company’s state-of-the-art missile system, the Jericho, when his convoy is attacked and he is taken prisoner by a terrorist group, the Ten Rings. Injured in the attack, Tony is nursed back to health by fellow prisoner, surgeon, and translator, Dr. Yinsen (Shaun Toub). Already possessing a vast cache of Stark Industries weapons, the terrorists want Tony to build the new Jericho system for them as well, and in exchange they will set him free. He agrees, but creates a heavy suit of armour, torches the terrorist’s munitions, and escapes.

Returning to the US, Tony is a changed man. His loyal assistant Pepper Pots (Gwyneth Paltrow), and pilot friend James Rhodes (Terrence Howard) are happy to see a different side of Tony. He announces that his company will cease making weapons, much to the chagrin of his second in command at Stark industries, Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges). Retreating from the public eye, Tony shuts himself off in his lab, improving the design of his suit of armor, experimenting with lighter metals and adding a propulsion system. Upon seeing a news report about the Ten Rings using Jericho missiles in Afghanistan, Tony flies over there and rescues Yinsen’s village from the insurgents.

Determined to fix his mistakes, Tony sends Pepper to locate the Stark Industries shipping manifests, so he can track the missile shipments and destroy them. Sneaking into Obadiah’s office, Pepper discovers a betrayal, and designs for a reverse-engineered version of Tony’s original power suit. A climatic battle takes place atop Stark Industries between the two iron men. Transformed into an ultimate weapon, the Iron Monger, Obadiah has gone power-mad, and now it is up to Tony to fight him off and prevent his research from falling into the wrong hands…

Iron Man has a run time of 126 minutes and is rated 10 (LSV). This Blu-ray release, the 2-disc Ultimate Edition, presents the film re-mastered in High Definition (HD) and comes packed with special features including:

  • Hall of Armor — an interactive 3D gallery of the 3 Iron Man suits. You can zoom in to see closer details.
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes
  • The Invincible Iron Man — a lengthy documentary about the original Iron Man and the evolution of the character through the ages.
  • I Am Iron Man — a lengthy 111-minute documentary on the making of the film with interviews of the cast and crew.
  • Wired: The Visual Effects of Iron Man — a documentary about the film’s CGI effects.
  • Robert Downey Jr Screen Test
  • The Actor’s Process — run-throughs with Robert Downey Jr and the cast.
  • The Onion “Wildly Popular Iron Man Trailer to be Adapted into Full Length Film” — a gag news report by The Onion.
  • Image Galleries — there are four extensive galleries here.
  • Theatrical Trailers

Iron Man is another Blu-ray title that is BD-Live enabled. BD-Live allows for interactive viewing and enables you to download additional content over the Internet using a BD-Live equipped Blu-ray player or a Sony PlayStation 3. BD-Live is selectable from the Extras menu on Disc 1. Once loaded, you will have access to the Iron Man IQ quiz.

Iron Man was kindly supplied for review by Nelmari
Claassens, SterKinekor Home Entertainment Marketing Manager for Sony
Pictures. Go to www.bluraydisc.co.za
to view the latest Blu-ray news, reviews and competitions featured on
SterKinekor Home Entertainment’s newsletter. Sony Pictures can be found
on the Web at www.sonypictures.com.

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The Blu-ray Movie Review: Men in Black

October 1, 2008 in Uncategorized

Adapted from Lowell Cunningham’s cult Marvel/Malibu comic book series, Men in Black is definitely a comedy sci-fi classic that deserves a place in your Blu-ray collection. This film is action packed and highly entertaining with excellent performances by the inspired pairing of Tommy Lee Jones (Agent Kay) and Will Smith (Agent Jay) who protect the earth from the scum of the universe.

James Edwards (Will Smith), an energetic young NYPD detective is recruited to a top-secret underground government agency known as Division 6 by Agent Kay. The agents from Division 6 are known as the Men In Black on account of the smart black suits they wear as a uniform, and as Agent Jay (Will Smith) says himself, he does make that suite look good. The suit is just the beginning; Kay shows Jay the ropes and introduces him to an incredible array of extra terrestrials that have come to earth for one reason or another. Initially it seems that most of the alien visitors are benevolent or just slightly crooked, but soon through a bizarre chain of events involving a farmer and a small ginger cat, Kay and Jay realise that they are dealing with a deadly intergalactic terrorist plot.

Men In Black is captivating for every one of its 98 minutes. Director Barry Sonnenfeld keeps the film barrelling along with awesome special effects, loads of action, and truly hilarious performances from both lead roles — and as Frank the Pug would say, “If you don’t like it, you can kiss my furry little butt!”

Rated PG 10, this Blu-ray release presents the film re-mastered in High Definition (HD) and comes packed with special features including:

  • Commentaries — audio, technical and telestrator (the director uses a light pen to drawn simple shapes on the screen)
  • Intergalactic Pursuit: The MIB Trivia Game — the first BD-Live online multiplayer Game to be released. Singe player is also available.
  • Ask Frank the Pug — an interactive game where Frank answers your questions. Silly.
  • Extended and alternate scenes
  • Metamorphosis of MIB — documentary featuring interviews with cast and crew.
  • Original featurette — an extended commercial for the film.
  • Visual Effects Scene Deconstructions
  • Character Animation Studies
  • Creatures: Concepts to Creation
  • Galleries
  • Storyboard Comparisons
  • Scene Editing Workshop — the director helps you to create three different scenes from the film.
  • MIB Music Video
  • Trailers

Men in Black is the first BD-Live enabled Blu-ray title for the international market. BD-Live allows for interactive viewing and enables you to download additional content over the Internet using a BD-Live equipped Blu-ray player or a Sony PlayStation 3. BD-Live is selectable from the MIB Special Features menu and once loaded, you will have access to trailers, a Sony survey, a FAQ, and the MIB Multiplayer Trivia Game.

Men in Black was kindly supplied for review by Nelmari
Claassens, SterKinekor Home Entertainment Marketing Manager for Sony
Pictures. Go to www.bluraydisc.co.za
to view the latest Blu-ray news, reviews and competitions featured on
SterKinekor Home Entertainment’s newsletter. Sony Pictures can be found
on the Web at www.sonypictures.com.

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How to Fight 20 Kids

September 23, 2008 in Uncategorized

Handy to know.

Where Do Babies Come From?

September 23, 2008 in Uncategorized

Careful what you tell your children….

The Different Kinds of Insomnia

September 5, 2008 in Uncategorized

There was a picture here but due to copyright infringement it is gone.

Unsure about what kind of insomnia you have? The sleep-deprived scientists at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine have come up with 11 classifications ranging from the general insomnia to psychophysiological insomnia where people can’t sleep due to excessive worrying, specifically focused on not being able to sleep.

Read the full article at www.health.com