Warner Bros Announce Ultra HD Blu-rays Starting Releases

Standards change, we went from video tapes and floppy disks to Blu-rays and USB’s, all the while the video’s we watch became clearer and contained more features. The next standard to come out will be titled Ultra-HD Blu-ray, and is set to include 4K resolution, a term that many are saying is the next must-have piece of technology. Following on from the likes of Fox and Sony, Warner Bros have announced some of their first releases.

With the announcement that by the end of 2016 over 35 titles will be available on the new format, with even more titles available by “digital retailers”. The first available titles released by Warner Bros will be Mad Max: Fury Road, San Andreas, The Lego Movie and Pan.

In their statement, they continue to list some of the technological advantages that will come with the new format. These include Dolby Atmosa new system which is set to surpass surround sound by offering the ability to ‘move’ sound around the room, placing its location anywhere in the room before watching as people turn their head to hear the jet fly overhead or the crash of a pan hitting the floor behind the middle row of seats in the cinema.

With the players for this new format expected to be announced at CES this week, are you looking to upgrade? Do you own a 4k screen already and if so would you recommend it to anyone?

Popcorn Time Ramps Up For Full Comeback

When the main fork of popular torrent video-on-demand app Popcorn Time closed in October, citing legal issues and splits within the development team, many suspected that the so-called “Netflix for pirates” was a goner.

But it seems that reports of Popcorn Time’s demise has been greatly exaggerated, with the developers releasing a new version of the platform, utilising new APIs to display content – and replacing the now-defunct YTS with TorrentsAPI as its movie provider – via reddit.

The new Popcorn Time also features a new VPN service to protect users and bypass countrywide blocks on sources used by the streaming app. VPN.ht is owned by Wally, who just happens to be the head developer for Popcorn Time. Wally told TorrentFreak that, by pairing the two programs, he could envision a fully functional Popcorn Time again very soon.

“I am still considering a full comeback, I just do not want to release a half working version,” Wally said.

While Popcorn Time allows users to view copyrighted content for free, Wally sees the service not as opportunist theft but instead as a lesson to Hollywood as to what film lovers want and how to give it to them. “The popularity of Popcorn Time should be an example for the MPAA to a build a future streaming platform that will be open to the entire world,” Wally asserts.

Activision Launches its Own Film Studio

The cumbersomely-named Activision Blizzard, publishers of the World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and Skylanders games, has decided to cut out the middleman and launch its own film studio, according to Deadline. Activision Blizzard Studios will use its gaming intellectual properties to create movies and TV shows, with children’s television action show Skylanders Academy, an adaptation of the popular Skylanders games, already in development, with Futurama’s Eric Rogers attached as showrunner.

Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, promises that the studio will “approach film and television development with the same unwavering commitment to excellence we are known for in game development,” a sentence which will mean very different things to different people.

Predictably, the studio has a “near-term initiative” to create “a robust cinematic universe based on the Call of Duty franchise” which may include “the possibility of television adaptations.”

“We’re not in the film and television business, we’re in the franchise, intellectual property business,” Co-President Nick van Dyk said during a sales call, adding that “This gives us a terrific position to pursue partnerships,” making the studio “extremely attractive to financial partners.” It’s inspiring to hear that the move is all about the art.

The studio’s inception comes in the wake of the imminent World of Warcraft movie, the first trailer for which hit yesterday.

After Activision Blizzard’s recent $5.9 billion purchase of King, can we expect a Candy Crush Saga movie soon? Or maybe the underappreciated classic Farm Heroes?

NVIDIA Shield TV Coming to UK Stores Tomorrow

The NVIDIA Shield TV is an astonishingly powerful Android device which allows you to watch video content in 4K and stream visually demanding PC titles from the cloud. Additionally, the Shield TV supports native Android games and offers the best of mobile gaming and PC in a neat package. The system harnesses NVIDIA’s extremely efficient Tegra X1 processor and GRID technology to offer a fluid and immersive gaming experience.

Finally, NVIDIA’s Shield TV is coming to the UK and will be available from tomorrow in participating retailers. Conceptually, the Shield TV could become the future of gaming as cloud-servers are used to offset the processing power. Therefore, it’s possible for users to only need a low-cost, system to access some of the most demanding games out there. Despite this, the NVIDIA Shield TV is feature-rich and puts the latest Apple TV to shame. With 4K streaming capability, the Shield TV is a flexible device and should suit a wide range of customers.

It will be interesting to see the initial sales figures and the general consensus from UK customers. PC gaming is becoming more accessible and there isn’t as much of a requirement to spend huge amounts of money on a top-tier rig.

Here is a complete rundown of the recommend price:

  • Shield ATV Base (16G + Controller) £ 149,99
  • Shield ATV PRO (500G + Controller) £ 219,99
  • Shield Wireless Controller £ 49,99
  • Shield Remote £ 39,99
  • Stand £ 24,99
  • GFN £ 7,49

What do you think of the NVIDIA Shield TV?

Remembering Robin Williams 1yr On

Yesterday (August 11th) marked the one year anniversary since the passing of Robin Williams, who was a beloved, charismatic and exciting comedian, actor and personality. Uniqueness is overused within today’s generic saturation of celebrity; Robin Williams was without a doubt unique and creative. His career spanned the silverscreen which included animation to thrillers and everything in between; the diverse acting ability can even be linked within tech, think voiceovers in animated films such as Robots, Aladdin, Flubber and CGI adventures in Night Of The Museum franchise.

A critical aspect of Robin Williams personality was his movement; he could display a wired comic before stepping it down several notches for a moving scene. Below is a video which displays this and comes courtesy of a Vimeo channel video, it begins with a clip from Good Morning Vietnam; I loved this performance because it felt spontaneous, dangerous and exciting.

A comparison of movement is illustrated 1:34 minutes into this video with a clip of One Hour Photo which is below. As you can see, there are two different scenes which are side by side, these could easily contain the same movements, but Robin Williams subtly changes to convey the effect of variation. A person in real life for example walks to work, but they do not walk with the same movements each day, this also conveys the impression of two different days, not the same structured scene which has been repeated.

A clip from Flubber now which is below and illustrates the way Robin Williams acted, I can’t think of many comedians who would be able to successfully convey a story while acting with a CGI non entity, the performance is natural and embodies the character while still managing to project authenticity, it’s also not forced over the top acting for the sake of it, he understands the skills required.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJT2QOpnYb8

I was going to place comedy from Robin Williams below, but, I cannot guarantee the clips won’t contain swearing, therefore I have not, also, there are clips on Youtube from a US show by the name of Shrink Rap, by all means take a look, it’s fascinating. The clip is 46 minutes long and again, I have not uploaded it because of the reason above.

1 year on and the world still misses a genius.

New Mission Impossible Film Includes Triple-Screen Halo 5 on Xbox One

Tom Cruise has reprised the role of Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. The adrenaline-fueled action-thriller contains a scene showing Halo 5 in action displayed on a triple-screen setup. In the movie, Simon Pegg who plays Benji Dunn, is pictured with an Xbox One controller and the camera briefly pans to Halo 5’s cover art.

The Xbox One is only capable of driving a single screen as there is only one primary display output. As a result, this gaffe is just another example of movies integrating video games in a rather embarrassing fashion. Hopefully, moviegoers will be aware of the Xbox One’s limitations and don’t expect to run any game on a multi-monitor configuration.

While it doesn’t ruin the film’s appeal, it seems a rather silly mistake. In all seriousness, I highly doubt the average movie-buff will be using anything more than a single 1920×1080 or 4k Television. Multi-monitor setups are prevalent on PC but still a niche outlet. On consoles, it’s practically non-existent.

Microsoft’s unified strategy could indicate AAA titles such as Halo 5 will end up on PC. If this eventually happens, it will be the only way to play Halo 5 on a triple-monitor solution.

Are you a fan of the Halo series, if so, which game is your favourite?

Thank you Tweaktown for providing us with this information.

All Six Star Wars Movies at the Same Time is Nauseating!

It’s that time of the week where most people sit back in their chairs, look at the ceiling or out of a window and contemplate what to do with the two days of glorious freedom. If you live in the UK, you will know that every Sunday afternoon is a key staple of movie goodness, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones, or any other 3+ movie series that will take up around 2 hours of scheduling.

However, having to wait until the next weekend for the next installment can create unwanted tension in the home. Thankfully, an evil genius has combatted this situation by offering us the complete Star Wars saga in a single 2 hours and 22 minutes sit down.

Word of warning, turn your speakers down and hold on tight to reality.

https://youtu.be/oBQVvEMc-VQ

That was, interesting to say the least. Was it enough to get you more hyped up ready for the upcoming “The Force Awakens” film? Was that the first time you watched The Phantom Menace? Did you enjoy that, let us know in the comments what other overlay film series you would like to watch.

Thank you to MOTHERBOARD for providing us with this information (although we really wish you didn’t)

Amazon Fire TV Displays Information about TV shows and Movies

The Amazon Fire TV, a remarkably simple bit of tech that is packing a whopping amount of features.

Amazon have now released a feature called X-Ray that they promised at launch. This is already available on their Fire Tablet device and can provide some useful features.

X-ray provides on screen pop ups that contain information about the film or TV show, actors and actresses and more details onto the screen. The feature works inside the Amazon Instant Video app. X-ray cannot support other vendors applications such as Netflix, Hulu and NowTV.

X-ray interfaces with IMDB’s database of films and shows; this means that it has the ability to show information such as other films that the actor has starred in too. It can also provide a general background on new TV shows that you haven’t seen and a history of the shows lead characters.

To use the X-ray feature make sure that you have the latest updates for your device, then press the up button on the Amazon remote, this will then show the information you want without getting the way of the show.

The Fire Tablet already has the X-ray feature

Amazon are selling the Fire TV device for £64 and free delivery, you would also need an Amazon Prime account to make use of the Instant Video features.If you’re not wanting to pay the £79 per year for Prime you can still use the device, however you would be limited to using the other vendors apps such as Plex and Netflix.

Thank you to Amazon for the information

Images courtesy of XDA-Developers and tabletmonkeys.com

Lionsgate Unleash Lawyers after Expendables 3 Pre-Release Leak

So the new Expendables 3 film has appeared online weeks before it’s theatrical release date of August 15th 2014. The film first leaked online on July 24th, as you can imagine Lionsgate are pretty peed off about this. They have unleashed their lawyers and are trying to track down the anonymous leaker, as well as trying to find him/her they are targeting the websites that are sharing the film online. limetorrents.com, billionuploads.com, hulfile.eu, played.to, swantshare.com and dotsemper.com are all being looked into by the legal division at Lionsgate.

The film cost $90 million to make and according to pre release reviews, it’s garbage, just like the previous two films. The studio has insisted that it keeps the film to a family friendly PG-13 rating, this means that there won’t be swearing, half naked women, explosions, drugs, fast cars, good actors, any sounds whatsoever, no special effects and not even a script. Okay, maybe that was sarcasm but if you want my advice, just watch the 10 hour loop of Batman on Drugs, waaaaaay better. So in a way, this leaking online has saved us from wasting our money in the cinema and wasting about 90 minutes of our time watching a pile of crap. Thanks to the pirates everywhere who made this possible, without you, I might of wasted £10 in my local cinema.

Thanks to Tweaktown for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of Tweaktown.

68% of Europeans Stream Films For Free, Legal Choices Expensive And Narrow

A study published by the European Commission investigating the film downloading habits of European citizens has revealed some interesting results. The headline finding is that around 68% of Europeans download and watch films for free though this figure does not determine between legal and illegal methods of streaming, however, it is implied that these are mostly illegal methods. 55% of Europeans watch free streamed films via their computers or handheld devices.

Based on the findings the average European who streams films is young, urban and educated. The survey also suggests that Europeans are attracted to free streaming of films because existing content providers offer poor service, are too expensive or there is just a narrow choice. The choice of films available at nearby cinemas and distance to nearby cinemas also proved deterrents to watching media legally.

Another key issue is that of EU media sharing – apparently 1000 films are produced within the EU each year but most of those rarely travel outside of the country within which they were made. The study was conducted by Creative Europe whose main objectives are to strengthen the demand for films, to improve their distribution across borders, and to reach new audiences in Europe and beyond.

Image courtesy of the EU

Films And Their Ratings, Do You Know How They Work?

If you watch movies you know that they have a rating system, though you probably don’t know much about the system and how it works. Television shows and movies get rated by a group called MPAA, Motion Picture Association of America. MPAA is a United States based organization.

MPAA released their current version of the rating system in 1968, though it did not have PG-13 as a rating until 1984. The current ratings are:

  • G: General Audiences – All ages admitted, Nothing that would offend parents for viewing by children.

  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested – Parents urged to give “parental Guidance” May contain some material parents might not like for their young children.

  • PG13: Parents Strongly Cautioned – Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.

  • R: Restricted – Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.

  • NC-17: Clearly adult. Children are not admitted.

The United Kingdom has their own rating system for films, which is similar to the American version. Their organization is known as British Board of Film Classification or BBFC. With the knowledge provided hopefully everyone will easily be able to make a decision as to what types of films that are going to watch.

Some of you might be aware of the rating system, and how it works, but to others, they might be completely oblivious. I have found over the years that some people pay little to no attention to the things around them.

If we go over each rating, we will notice that depending on your type of parenting depends on if you will allow your children to watch a film. Also, depending on your views and opinions, this could also take into account the different types of films that you may be willing to watch.

One thing to remember with any film is that unless it is a documentary (docu) it is most likely entirely false! Movies are designed as a source of entertainment, over the years I have noticed how everyone has a different view of entertainment, and movies are a great example of that.

As parents are responsible viewers, it is important that we carefully check what we allow our children to watch, or even watch ourselves. Watching a film can greatly impact our way of thinking, as well as disgust or even horrify us. Personally, there isn’t much that I will not watch, though I have seen a ton of disturbing films.

To help you make your own decisions, you can read more about film ratings at www.mpaa.org, as well as find the rating of a film on www.filmratings.com. If you’re located in The United Kingdom, you can check out this website http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ which has more information on British ratings.

I hope that this has been informative for you, and helps you to better yourself and your viewing experience. I encourage you to think for yourself and not allow others to influence your decisions on what is appropriate and not appropriate to watch. Yes, some films are disturbing, gruesome and down right WRONG! Some people are able to handle viewing them, while others might share their lunch with everyone around them. The reality of it, is it is a form of entertainment.