The Wolverine Unleashed Extended Cut!

Director James Mangold’s The Wolverine is the most curious of comic book blockbusters.

It received decidedly mixed reviews, managing only a 68% positive rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and is currently sitting at a 6.9 viewer rating on IMDB. It also “only” managed to earn $132.5 million at the U.S. boxoffice, down significantly from the $180 million earned by 2009’s Wolverine: Origins.

The theatrical film is also long: coming in at just over two hours.

Not exactly the kind of credentials that warrant a big extended cut, right? Continue reading “The Wolverine Unleashed Extended Cut!”

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Review: ClearStream 2 Complete Long-Range VHF/UHF Digital TV

The transition to digital broadcasting in the U.S. was completed in 2009. And with it came an explosion of free channels in crystal clear high definition and digital formats. Yet three years later, only a tiny fraction of the country’s 104 million tv households get their television fixes over-the-air. Continue reading “Review: ClearStream 2 Complete Long-Range VHF/UHF Digital TV”

Lockout: WonderCon Film Clip Released

Catch an action-packed sneak peek of Guy Pearce in LOCKOUT with this brand new 5 minute clip that premiered this weekend at WonderCon!  Falsely convicted ex-government agency Snow (Pearce) must rescue the President’s daughter (Maggie Grace) from an outer space maximum security prison after it is taken over by its violent inmates.

From the producers of TAKEN and renowned action filmmaker Luc Besson, LOCKOUT stars Guy Pearce (THE HURT LOCKER, upcoming PROMETHEUS), along with Maggie Grace (TAKEN, ABC’s LOST) and Peter Stormare (ARMAGEDDON, upcoming HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION).  The film will be in theaters everywhere on April 13, 2012.


LOCKOUT: WonderCon Film Clip by stuffwelike

Ridley Scott to direct new Blade Runner prequel/sequel/reboot?

Deadline.com is reporting that Ridley Scott is set to revisit the world of his most-revered sci-fi film: Blade Runner.

In past interviews, Scott has hinted at returning to the Blade Runner universe (based on Philip K. Dick’s novella “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”) to explore further aspects of that work’s most intriguing concepts. We think that the original film is nearly perfect and don’t want to see anyone (including Scott mess with it). But there is so much beneath the surface of Blade Runner that is entirely open ended and asking to be explored. To that, we say: Bring it on!

ABC planning Marvel – Castle crossover

ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee surprised attendees of the network’s Television Critics Association (TCA) presentation yesterday with the news that a Marvel character would be appearing in a storyline of the series Castle. The series stars fan favorite Nathan Filion as a mystery writer/crime sleuth.

“You know, I don’t know if I’m allowed to say it, but we’ve got a really cool storyline with a Marvel character that appears on Castle this year,” Lee said. “If you guys haven’t seen the finale for Castle from this past season, it’s extraordinary. [Castle creator] Andrew Marlow is really hitting his stride. And that was an underrated show that really found its momentum. And there’s one episode, and I’m probably giving away a secret and I shouldn’t because Andrew is going to kill me, with a Marvel superhero character.”

ABC is owned by Disney, which also owns Marvel. Since most of Marvel’s movie rights are tied up with other studios, it’s natural that Disney would be anxious to exploit the characters via television.

Lee confirmed that network is still developing a Hulk series executive produced by Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy) and David Eick (Battlestar Galactica) as well as AKA Jessica Jones, based on the Alias book by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos, with Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg as exec producer.

Our guess is that Jones is the likely Castle crossover candidate. Introducing new spin-off characters in popular long-running series is a staple of genre television (anyone remember the Bionic Woman and Six Million Dollar Man crossovers?). But it would be great to see Bruce Banner or another A-list character appear in the “real” world. How about Dr. Strange?

SIGGRAPH 2011: From Gaming to Hollywood

PRESS RELEASE

(Chicago, IL) – The SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival has a long history of presenting a variety of the world’s most innovative, accomplished, and amazing creators of digital gaming, film, and video. The Computer Animation Festival at SIGGRAPH 2011 in Vancouver, 7-11 August 2011, provides a personal viewing experience unlike any other. In addition to film screenings, the Festival includes interactive sessions and exclusive learning opportunities to gain industry secrets and advice from some of the most successful professionals in the field.

“Once again, the content in the Computer Animation Festival offers something of interest to just about everyone – from industry newbies to veterans,” said Joshua Grow, Computer Animation Festival Director from The Creative-Cartel. “The content ranges from commercials to gaming. It is truly the year’s unique opportunity to hear directly from the best in the business. It should prove to be educational and inspirational.”

Listed below are just a few of the learning opportunities during the Computer Animation Festival:

Production Sessions
Production Sessions are high-level discussions that showcase the computer animation and visual effects in some of the Computer Animation Festival’s most provocative works. SIGGRAPH 2011 featured Production Sessions include:

The Visual Effects of “Thor” and “Captain America”: So Different Yet So Marvel
Marvel Studios devotes great time and effort to deliver great storytelling, strong visuals, and compelling characters to movie audiences. This session compares the films “Thor” and “Captain America” and shows how visual effects are a critical aesthetic ingredient in their success. Visual effects supervisors Wesley Sewell and Christopher Townsend and their teams from Digital Domain, Double Negative, Whiskytree, Luma Pictures, and Lola VFX review how the films combine beauty and authenticity.

Pixar: “La Luna”
Enrico Casarosa, Pixar Animation Studios
“La Luna” is the timeless fable of a young boy who is coming of age in the most peculiar of circumstances. Tonight is the very first time his Papa and Grandpa are taking him to work. In an old wooden boat, they row far out to sea, and with no land in sight, they stop and wait. A big surprise awaits the little boy as he discovers his family’s most unusual line of work. Should he follow the example of his Papa or his Grandpa? Will he be able to find his own way in the midst of their conflicting opinions and timeworn traditions? Following the Canadian premiere screening of “La Luna”, its director, Enrico Casarosa, discusses the journey that led him to create this very personal short and demonstrates the singularly artistic style by which the film was crafted.

DreamWorks Animation: The Yin and Yang of Creating the Final Battle in “Kung Fu Panda 2”
The climax of the CG-animated movie “Kung Fu Panda 2” is an epic battle featuring a flotilla of boats, an ancient Chinese-styled city, thousands of wolves armed for battle, action featuring hundreds of characters in a single shot, stylized graphic lighting, fantastical cannon fire and explosions, and a set of effects-supported Kung Fu moves. This talk provides a unique insight into the making of a CG-animated movie that goes beyond the traditional idealized concept of the pipeline.

Industrial Light & Magic Presents: Getting Dirty: Bringing the Digital Feature “Rango” to Life
This in-depth discussion focuses on the production of Industrial Light & Magic’s first animated feature “Rango”. ILM’s unique approach to the genre brings a new dimension to the animated feature, giving “Rango” the visceral quality that the company is best known for in its visual effects work. The presenters review all aspects of the work from initial asset development through animation, simulation, lighting, and compositing.

Imageworks: The Smurf-alution: A Half-Century of Character Development
Sony Pictures Imageworks animation supervisor Troy Saliba and leading members of their Vancouver animation team take the Smurfs from the most primitive pencil sketch to a contemporary 3D stereo rendering.

Industrial Light & Magic: New Solutions for New Challenges
The Industrial Light & Magic team delves into the effects created for three of 2011’s largest summer films, dissecting the challenges and revealing their solutions. The panel breaks down the visual effects challenges presented on this year’s slate of films including: “Cowboys & Aliens”, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”, and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”.

Guerrilla: The Creation of Killzone 3 – Game Production Session
This talk details various aspects of designing and developing videogames at Guerrilla. It highlights methods that are very similar to methods used in the CGI industry, and it illuminates some of the most important differences. And it covers the complete breadth of videogame development from artistic design to production pipelines and tool and engine development.

Real-Time Live!
This program showcases the latest trends and best techniques for pushing the boundaries of interactive visuals in video games and real-time simulations. To help emphasize the difference between these works and pre-rendered works, real-time pieces are demonstrated live on their actual platforms without any post-production. Each live presentation lasts less than five minutes in a fast-paced, 45-minute show of diverse and aesthetically stimulating work. SIGGRAPH 2011 Real-Time Live! highlights include:

Chrysaora: WebGL Jellyfish Simulation
?Savannah College of Art and Design
Chrysaora is a real-time jellyfish simulation created entirely with web technologies such as JavaScript, WebGL, WebSockets, and CSS. It uses realistic rendering and simulation techniques similar to those used in modern 3D video games, but it can run in an internet browser on any operating system.

Enlighten Real-Time Radiosity
?Geomerics Ltd.
Using Geomerics Enlighten technology, this demo shows how dynamic real-time lighting enhances game play and visual quality in computer games. Enlighten is a cross-platform, real-time radiosity solution that can generate bounce lighting for a game level in a fraction of a frame.

Samaritan Real-Time Demo
Epic Games Inc.
Samaritan is a real-time demonstration of the latest Unreal Engine 3 technology that shows off DirectX 11 support and DirectX features such as tessellation and displacement mapping, geometry shaders, multi-sampled textures, and Shader Model 5. High-end rendering enhancements include image-based reflections, Bokeh depth of field, subsurface scattering, anti-aliased masked materials, deferred rendering with MSAA support, and high-quality dynamic shadows.

iMedic: Immersive Medical Environment for Distributed Interactive Consultation
Digital Artforms, Inc.
This interactive medical visualization system is based on two hand-held tracked controllers that directly control the position and orientation of two 3D cursors. Button presses enable direct manipulation of space with either or both hands, resulting in intuitive manipulation of the viewpoint. You can place yourself anywhere at any orientation and at any scale with just a few simple gestures.

RealD Presents 3D Day
The Computer Animation Festival also features an entire day highlighting the enormously popular growth of 3D in movies, including an introduction to 3D by 3ality and an excerpt from Disney’s “Lion King” in 3D. SIGGRAPH 2011 3D highlights include:

JURY AWARD
Paths of Hate
?Platige Image
Two pilots, driven by blind hate, chase each other in their airplanes and thereby write cryptic messages of madness into the firmament. On their way into the abyss they transform into inhuman and distorted creatures that finally become part of the history of hate.

BEST STUDENT PROJECT PRIZE
Flamingo Pride
?The Konrad Wolf Potsdam-Babelsberg Film and Television University
Frustrated being the only straight flamingo in a gay flock, our hero falls in love with a lady stork that flies by. Unable to convince her of his serious intentions he isolates himself and goes through an identity crisis. An intensive encounter inspires him to make a bold move.

IMAX Hubble 3D Visualization Excerpt: Journey Into the Orion Nebula
Space Telescope Science Institute
?An excerpt from IMAX “Hubble 3D” takes viewers inside the Orion Nebula to witness the birth of stars and planets. This cinematic scientific visualization, based on data from the Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories, is the result of close collaboration between research astronomers, computer programmers, and visualization artists.

“Green Lantern”
Sony Pictures Imageworks
In a vast universe a small powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice: the Green Lantern Corps. A new enemy, Parallax, threatens to destroy the balance of power. Their fate and that of Earth lie in the hands of the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan.

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About SIGGRAPH
SIGGRAPH 2011 will bring thousands of computer graphics and interactive technology professionals from six continents to Vancouver, Canada for the industry’s most respected technical and creative programs focusing on research, science, art, animation, music, gaming, interactivity, education and the web from Sunday, 7 August through Thursday, 11 August 2011 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. SIGGRAPH 2011 includes a three-day exhibition of products and services from the computer graphics and interactive marketplace from 9-11 August 2011. More details are available at SIGGRAPH 2011 or on SIGGRAPH 2011 Facebook and Twitter.

About ACM SIGGRAPH
The ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques is an interdisciplinary community interested in research, technology, and applications in computer graphics and interactive techniques. Members include researchers, developers, and users from the technical, academic, business, and art communities. ACM SIGGRAPH enriches the computer graphics and interactive techniques community year-round through its conferences, global network of professional and student chapters, publications, and educational activities.

About ACM
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for lifelong learning, career development and professional networking.