James Cameron Now Wants Five Avatar Films

After the success of Avatar at the box office, James Cameron revealed he wanted not one but two sequels to the film. This has now changed as Cameron now wants five Avatar films in total, all before 2024.

Avatar is often seen as the first film to truly introduce viewers to the benefits of a 3D film, with many leaving cinemas awe smacked by the content and depth they felt when viewing the natives fighting up close. The change came about “after meeting with a team of four screenwriters and a group of some of the top artists and designers in the world”, the ultimate result was that Cameron noticed he had more content than he wanted to fit into just two films, resulting in the dream of three, and then four sequels.

Cameron seems to have high hopes for the Avatar Films, saying that while only a few had seen initial concepts for the next film, those that had were left “speechless”. The next film is set for release in 2018, with the sequels set for 2020, 2022 and 2023, implying that there may be some overlap in the filming schedules to help create a smooth release model for such a large budget film series.

Did you like Avatar? When it comes to sequels are you a happy person or do you prefer to be a little more cautious about expecting great things after the first film in a series?

Daisy Ridley Confirms Talks About Tomb Raider Movie

Video games and movies have tricky relationships. Some movies based on video games have been successful, others have been less than well accepted by the public. One series that has recently been rebooted in the video game world is the Tomb Raider franchise, and it looks like a reboot of the movies may also be in the wind with confirmation coming from none other than Daisy Ridley herself.

Daisy Ridley is known for her role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as the leading lady of the new film. In recent talks with the Hollywood Reporter, Ridley confirmed that there “have been conversations” about the part of Lara Croft in a new Tomb Raider film. Ridley also mentioned that there wasn’t a script for the film yet, leading us to believe that the film is still in very early concept with people debating if the film would be successful.

If it goes ahead the film has big shoes to fill, with the previous Tomb Raider films featuring Angelina Jolie earning $274.7 million and $156.5 million respectively for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.

There are some movies based on video games that do well, some are known as being failures and some you need to forget the game and enjoy the movie as a movie (yes DOOM we are looking at you). Would you like to see a new set of Tomb Raider movies? Would you pay to go see it or would you wait till it’s on DVD before checking out the series?

Nintendo Land to Open in 2020

You either love them or you hate them. No, I am not talking about Marmite sandwiches, but rather theme park rides. From the ones where you walk through and experience jumps and scares to the rides where your legs dangle as it throws you through twists and turns. However, even if you don’t like theme parks, but you do enjoy Nintendo, you may want to start planning a trip to Nintendo Land in 2020.

Universal Studios was granted the rights to use some of Nintendo’s many rights for theme parks a while ago, but aside from these hints, there was not much else to go by except rumours. It has now been confirmed that “Nintendo Land” will be “on par with the likes of Universal’s Harry Potter-themed zone but focus entirely on everyone’s favorite Italian plumber”. That is correct, you could soon see Mario, Peach, Luigi and Yoshi on a series of rides and experiences that will please adults and children alike. The location of this attraction is going to be a little bit of distance for some people, opening in Mario’s backyard of Tokyo. With its initial opening timeline set for 2020, you will get to experience the Olympics and Mario all in one fell swoop. If this seems like a gimmick then you might be wrong given that Universal have put up ¥40 billion (roughly £247 million pounds) to the venture.

Pokémon Anniversery Celebrated in a Big Way

So today is the 20th anniversary of Pokémon, the little critters that went everything from an electric mouse to a three-headed ostrich. Since then we’ve seen everything from creatures of the night to gods take form and battle it out in cards, movies and video games. If that wasn’t enough though you can now celebrate the anniversaries announcement of a new generation of games amongst other celebrations.

While we were given forewarning about the games yesterday, the Pokémon direct stream showed us the latest game concept art and the work Nintendo are doing to bring it to us this year in 6 different languages.

https://youtu.be/hmzDL1l3Fag

Sadly the video is more of an advertisement from the past rather than a teaser for the new games, but those of you who are seeking a craving a little too much can buy Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow tomorrow. It’s also been confirmed that Pokémon X, Y, Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby will be able to trade over to Sun and Moon through the ‘game.

If this wasn’t enough then why not enjoy the fact that you can even buy a giant Snorlax cushion for only $460? If that’s not your cup of tea why not enjoy the “Pokémon Afternoon Soiree” to be honest by none other than actress Drew Barrymore. The event is invite only with everything from stylists to bloggers invited to receive Pokémon inspired nail art, get a photo with Pikachu (who is set to make an apperance) and even receive a gift bag (contents unknown at this point, but we bet it’s going to be some amazing stuff).

Popcorn Time to be Revived in the Browser

Popcorn time has been blocked, banned and taken down over copyright issues a number of times. It seems that the popular movie streaming service just refuses to die. Despite the seizure of its popcorntime.io site by the MPAA, Popcorn Time is set to return as Popcorn Time Online. It claims to offer all of the functionality and features that made the original Popcorn Time widely used, this time, delivered directly to the browser.

This new revival of Popcorn Time will also be fully open source, explaining on their blog that it makes use of the new Torrents Time technology in order to deliver its real-time streamed movies via torrents. This means that even should the main site hosting the Popcorn Time Online service be taken down, it would be incredibly easy for anyone with the technical skill to set up a web server to deploy a fully functional version of the streaming site on their own server or PC.

Popcorn Time Online even finds space to add some new features to their service, firstly allowing true streaming of torrents that were previously incompatible thanks to Torrent Time. Other new additions include support for multiple languages, higher quality video streaming than ever before and even the ability to stream to Chromecast, Airplay, and DLNA with subtitles, right from the website.

While the original creators or Popcorn Time are hard at work on Project Butter, a Popcorn Time derived service only providing non-copyrighted content, it will be interesting to see how that unfolds compared to the new release of Popcorn Time Online. It is anyone’s guess how long this rendition of the service will remain available and whether the MPAA will truly be able to shut it down due to its open source nature. For those avid users of the original, this new service will surely be appreciated, but the legal battle surrounding such services will definitely rage on.

Kojima Meets Abrams To Discuss New Studio

Movies and Games go hand in hand like chocolate coated marshmallows. If you have a good movie, there will be a game and recently if you make an amazing game, you sometimes even get a movie. Some of the biggest names in each industry recently met, raising to speculation that we could soon see them working on something.

Some of the biggest names in their respective industries Hideo and JJ Abrams recently met to discuss Kojima’s new studio. Abrams is known for his quick action and lens flares was the producer for the recent Star Wars film, the Force Awakens. Amongst his credentials come producers for movies such as Star Trek (and the next trek film, Star Trek Beyond) and even some video game based movies such as the highly anticipated Half-Life film.

Kojima comes from the gaming world, having created the hugely popular video game series Metal Gear Solid. After being honoured at the DICE Hall of Fame Awards and leaving Konami, the studio behind the Metal Gear Solid franchise, Kojima has created a new studio. As if that wasn’t enough to get fans excited Kojima tweeted a picture saying he had just met Abrams to discuss his new studio.

Movie or Game? What would you like to see out of this combination? A movie based on a new franchise or maybe a game based on some of Abrams cinematic work?

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to Be the First Film Shot on RED 8K WEAPON Camera

Marvel sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will be the first film ever shot using the RED 8K WEAPON digital video camera. The film’s director, James Gunn, discussed the decision on Facebook, revealing why he believes digital video give him an advantage over using traditional film stock; Gunn shot the previous Guardians of the Galaxy movie using the Alexa 65.

Gunn wrote on Facebook:

“When you’re shooting a film at the level of Guardians of the Galaxy, the cost of film vs. digital is negligible – for me it’s an aesthetic and creative choice.

Firstly, I believe when shooting on a format like the Red Weapon 8K or the Alexa 65, the amount of data is so massive – certainly more so than on a strip of film – that it gives you more freedom in production and post production to create exactly the film you want to create than actual film does. As anyone who has ever worked with me knows, I am a control freak. Such high resolution gives me the ability to control ever single bit of data (to do so would take a long time, but at least the knowledge comforts me). Many filmmakers look to essentially replicate the look of film, but I don’t share that interest. I believe that innovations in camera and shooting technologies as well as visual and practical effects gives us the ability to create a new aesthetic of film, one different from what the past has offered but equally beautiful – perhaps even more so. I respect many of the filmmakers who continue to shoot on film – and some of the most gorgeous movies of 2015 have been in that format. But I think sometimes that the love of actual film is based in nostalgia more than it is in objective beauty. Many filmmakers remember the films of their youth and want to replicate that magic. For me, I’m interested in being one of the many who help to create a new kind of magic that will usher the cinematic experience into the future. What will the children of today think of fondly with nostalgia?

And, yes, most filmmakers who have shot digital have underutilized the format. But with these new cameras their advantages are easier to see for everyone.

And there are three other reasons I chose this format:

1) It is easier to seamlessly incorporate massive amounts of visual, digital effects – including a digital tree and raccoon – into a digital base.
2) One of the ways I capture my actor’s performances is by doing massively long takes, over and over – sometimes up to an hour – much longer than your typical 11-minute reel of film. I find this a better way to capture the energy and rawness in a performance (and we get better outtakes of me yelling at Michael Rooker off-screen).
3) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will be utilizing another new technologies I’m very excited about but can’t quite go into yet. But, for this technology, you need a camera the small size of the RED Weapon – a film camera is too big, as is the Alexa 65 (which is also an amazing camera).”

The 8K WEAPON, priced around $70,000 for the basic unit, uses a Vista Vision-sized 8192×4320, 35-megapixel sensor, and can shoot 75 frames-per-second at 8K resolutions in RAW and ProRes formats simultaneously.

The Hilarious Relationship Movies and TV Have With Technology

We live in a world full of technology, that much is obvious, but when it comes to movies and TV, the actors live in a completely different dimension to conventional technology, one where almost none of it makes any sense. Obviously, sitting and clicking a mouse is a little boring to watch, so movie and TV producers, writers, directors, etc, come up with more and more imaginative ways to make it more involving, often with hilarious consequences. Just look at the image above, flip a PC chassis on its side, stick a microscope on top, instant science equipment!

Take this iconic scene from NCIS for example, and wow are there are lot of NCIS examples I could pick from. There’s so much wrong with this scene it’s hard to even quantify. Two people sharing a single keyboard, windows flying all over on the screen and let’s not forget that they stopped the hacker by pulling the plug… like the entire database that was being hacked was only on that one PC? Effectively they cut themselves off and left the hacker to carry on, or at least that’s what would have been the case in real life.

Why bother to get appropriate props to fit the scene when you can pull a power supply out of your bag and call it a hard drive. This one really makes my brain hurt, but it’s also one that makes me laugh my ass off every time I see it.

Why use a keyboard when you can use VR and gloves. This is futuristic as hell, but imagine holding your arms out and about 1-foot above your desk for extended periods of time just to use a computer! That’s a future I don’t want to live in.

The whole “zoom and enhance” thing has been played out a lot, but CSI really pushed things to ridiculous levels. Zooming into insane levels of detail from some crappy security camera footage. OH COME ON! And pay close attention to the sound effects, computers don’t do that? It would be incredibly irritating after about… five minutes?

It seems to be a fascination of TV and movies to make everything a computer does “beep”, from typing, moving a cursor, copying a file, deleting something, you get that constant *beep boop beep boop* and I have yet to see a real PC that does anything like this, with the exception of a kids V-Tech toy.

Need to hack something? Don’t worry, all it takes is some dancing, a lot of screens, furious typing and the smarts to solve a digital Rubix cube. Hacking is boring in real life, it’s just code and commands, so movies add visuals to make it look interesting, but it’s still completely absurd.

Don’t even get me started on the whole Hackers movie. I loved it, but this scene is far more interesting than it should be, without even getting started on how they were generating cool text graphics on the TV network in real time.

There’s little I need to say here, “Is that a 12-core!?” is possibly the funniest “tech” moment in TV history. One that I feel won’t be topped for a long time, or until the next season of NCIS.

Not even the mighty Batman can escape the absurdity, using mobile phones to feed vast amounts of information like this. I’ve no idea why they need so many odd looking displays with huge gaps, even a 1cm bezel is distracting on multi-monitor setups, so this is a terrible configuration. Also, how did they stream so much data to his HUD? I don’t recall seeing a super-power Wi-Fi antenna sticking out his butt.

Buzz words are a great way of making it sound like you did something technical, or really anything at all.

Then again, we’re saved by the IT Crowd who know how silly tech can be on TV, but embrace it to give us comedy gold such as this.

Got a favorite movie or TV tech moment you want to share with us? Feel free to leave it in the comments section below.

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?

Check out this Supercut of Every James Bond Gadget Ever

From a simple hidden knife, to a laser equipped watch, James Bond has had a lot of cool toys over the years. Sure there are a few films that are a lot more understated in terms of tech than others, take the new Daniel Craig films for example, but the classics were full of whacky toys.

Personally, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Bond cards, they’re usually the most outrageous movie cars you can think of, but still look like something you could really own.

“Every gadget used by James Bond . . . plus a few from the Q Branch that were just too good to leave out. From every James Bond film ever, in chronological order.” say the videos creators, Burger Fiction on YouTube, and it must have taken ages to actually put together!

So how many gadgets do you think there have been throughout all of the movies? With a few to spare for Q and his team? Take a guess and watch the video; my guess was almost 50 gadgets short.

Which one of the gadgets was your favourite from them all? Let us know in the comments section below, but we warned, it could turn into a heated debate on who is the best Bond quite quickly.

October Is Back – Let the Halloween Inspired Events Begin!

October is well-known for one thing these days. Halloween. With it comes all kinds of spooky sales and events so this year we’ve decided to give you an outline about some of the events you can do for Halloween.

First comes the video game sales, which we know come every year. Currently, the Humble store has a sale on for all of your undead needs. With games like Dying Light for £24 and the Dead Island franchise pack for 80% off for Dead Island 1 and 2 (including DLC) costing you only £5, there are deals to be had. Secondly the event that all PC gamers fear, the dreaded Steam sales. While their dates are not released early, we’ve had enough in recent years to be able to predict (with some accuracy), to the point where starting from the 29th October you can expect Steam to warn you about their great deals till the first of November.

If you don’t feel up for living with the horror, why not sit back with some friends and watch a film instead? It should be noted that all release dates we mention are subject to change, but let’s get on with the fun stuff.

First the big date. October 16th. How many people have forgotten about this movie? I will sadly admit I had, but Jack Black plans to grace our screens yet again with a children’s classic. Goosebumps. Is that enough said?  Well if not, with comparisons being made to Jumanji it looks to both scare and excite us like the classic R.L Stine books and tv series once did. If you are interested, you can find the trailer beneath, or save your excitement up for the 16th.

Next up is October 23rd. Vin Diesel is back, not as a talking tree but this time as an Immortal Dungeons and Dragons character. No, I’m being honestly serious, his new character is based off his love for D&D. The Last Witchhunter sees Vin Diesel chasing down all manners of nightmarish creatures, with everything from a beard to a flaming sword. Again, the trailer is beneath but be warned, it contains scenes of immense action and coolness.

Do you have any ideas or activities that you like to do over Halloween? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Hollywood is to Blame for the Popularity of Popcorn Time

Hollywood is in the midst of an aggressive assault against “Netflix for pirates” movie streaming app Popcorn Time and its users, but the owners of Popcorn Time insists that its VOD service isn’t the problem, Hollywood’s lack of legal rival is. In a statement to TorrentFreak, the Popcorn Time team argues that the US film industry is suffering a problem of its own making, born out of a combination of greed and ignorance of the digital market.

“People are ready to pay a fee, but a lot of them currently refuse to pay for a petty catalog with country-specific restrictions,” says the Popcorn Time team. “The price can also be a hurdle for some people: $20 a month is not the same in Uganda and the United States. But obviously, the most problematic issue is the complete lack of legal availability in some places.”

Popcorn Time takes aim specifically at Hollywood’s counter-intuitive regional deals, protected by geo-blocks, as a way in which potential consumers are being turned off. “Why would people in France wait two years to see a movie that’s already being broadcasted in the US, when they both are paying almost the same amount of money?” the team asks. “The Internet has brought people closer, and they start to notice that some things aren’t acceptable. And then they turn to alternatives, even if it means diving into illegality.”

“Maybe it is time to consider the will of the people and offer them a legal, complete and useful service, no matter where they were born, instead of trying to punish people for… well, for wanting the see the content artists and industries are offering,” Popcorn Time adds, in one final swipe. “Currently, piracy is fulfilling the demand of the people because the industry fails at the transition into the modern age. We think it’s as simple as that.”

Thank you TorrentFreak for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Dribble.

Jason Statham Packs 264 Punches in Movie Supercut!

The unbreakable Jason Statham has thrown a significant amount of punches throughout his film career, and a super-fan has edited every scene together in an adrenaline-fuelled action-packed montage. Statham’s tough-guy image began in The Transporter before starring in higher-budget films such as Furious 7. Of course, his talents don’t necessarily revolve around dialogue but the ability to knock down anyone by brute force! Here is the complete list of films featured in order of appearance:

  • Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
  • Turn It Up
  • Ghost Of Mars
  • The One
  • Mean Machine
  • The Transporter
  • Cellular
  • Transporter 2
  • Chaos
  • Crank
  • In The Name Of The King
  • War
  • The Bank Job
  • Death Race
  • Transporter 3
  • Crank 2: High Voltage
  • The Expendables
  • The Mechanic
  • Gnomeo and Juliet
  • Killer Elite
  • Safe
  • The Expendables 2
  • Parker
  • Redemption
  • Homefront
  • Wild Card
  • Furious 7

The video is certainly an interesting watch and I remember Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels rather fondly. A lot of the films, I haven’t seen but Statham usually provides a silly and dumb experience. He does seem to get embroiled in a number of perilous situations and in his old age probably needs to calm down slightly. I’m still waiting for him to feature in a romantic, emotionally charged film just to entertain my sadistic side.

What is your favourite film starring Jason Statham?

Of course, NSFW language and behaviour throughout.

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.

Netflix Set For Another Price Hike

It seems Netflix is to raise its pricing yet again, according to its CEO. Reed Hastings told investors on Wednesday that the popular video-on-demand streaming service has plans in place to slowly hike up its subscription price.

“We want to take it very slow,” said Hastings. “Over the next decade I think we’ll be able to add more content and have more value and then price that appropriately.”

Netflix also has plans to expand into other global regions, with Chief Financial Officer David Wells revealing, “China continues to be its own entity in terms of its challenges and the characteristics of the market. We hope to be able to launch a service there next year.”

“We described it as a modest investment when we launch, and nothing has changed in terms of our use of the word ‘modest’ with reference to investment levels,” Hastings added, regarding China.

The announcement coincides with the release of Netflix’s accounts for the second quarter of 2015, which saw a rise in after-hours trading, pushing share prices up by over 10%. The company made a profit of $838m from its US streaming service alone, plus $307m from its international streaming platforms, and an additional $130m from its DVD rental service. The number of global Netflix subscriptions hit 65 million this quarter, bringing in a net revenue of $7.7 billion.

Thank you The Guardian for providing us with this information.

Whistleblower Reveals Hollywood is Exploiting Video on Demand Services

Advocates of video piracy have long justified its existence though studios failing to make their content conveniently (legally) available. Over recent years, positive steps have been taken to facilitate this aim, thanks to high-profile video-on-demand services, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Instant Video. While great for consumers, it seems that Hollywood is exploiting these services, holding them to ransom in order to take the majority of the profits, according to a whistleblower that spoke to TorrentFreak.

The anonymous source, who works for an unnamed VoD service, revealed that major studios set terms they know streaming services can’t turn down if they want content they can provide to customers, forcing them to host bad films in order to access the good ones, while leaching up to 70% of revenue shares from streamed movies.

The source said:

For quite some time we’ve been working with “Major Studios” such as Warner Bros, Walt Disney, Universal, Sony, 20th Century Fox and Paramount. We would like to refer to it as collaboration, but unfortunately it’s really been a one way street thus far. Money transits and the final destination is the Majors’ pockets.

For a video on demand (VOD) operator to distribute any given catalogue, it must pay “Minimum Guarantees (MG’s)” to the studio. This allows one to exploit the catalogue. Mind you, you don’t get to choose what you pay for. That would be too simple.

Output deals are the norm and in essence they mean you need to take every licensed film as part of a single deal. If you want the latest blockbuster, you must also take the latest winner of the Golden Raspberry awards, and take our word for it, there are some pretty unworthy films in there. These Minimum Guarantees are quoted in millions of dollars per deal, and as a result VOD services like ourselves have to operate on very small profit margins.

On top of MG’s, distributors must also agree to pay revenue shares. Should the sales top the Minimum Guarantee on a given year the rev share kicks in. Revenue shares are usually in the studio’s favor (between 70% and 50% depending on whether we’re speaking of recent releases or old ones).

If a given platform manages to recoup its costs it must also share its future revenue with the Rights Holder, while providing the majority of the value chain involved in a streaming service: Storage, streaming costs, platform development, DRM licenses and geoblocking tools.

Platforms have 90 days to pay for a Minimum Guarantee if they expect to turn a profit on a film. And keep in mind most of the profit just gets funneled back to the studios anyway with the revenue share clause. After that a title simply gets pulled off their catalogues to allow for Pay-TV and linear TV distribution. The title can come back in the catalogue after 12 to 18 months, given of course that it’s properly paid for.

The whistleblower later cites studio policies as evidence that tackling piracy is merely a smokescreen, saying:

Surely this is because piracy is not hurting them as much as they want us to believe. By cutting some slack to their partners they would have concrete tools to cut down piracy. They’re simply too comfortable to consider that as an option.

Remember this next time you download a movie: Hollywood could make it easily and legally accessible, benefiting both themselves and the consumer. They just don’t want to.

Thank you TorrentFreak for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Swisscom.

Ultra HD Blu-ray Specs Released

The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) has announced that Ultra HD Blu-ray is ready, completing the specifications and releasing new logo (above). The new 3,840×2160 resolution format is expected for consumer release later this year.

“For years, Blu-ray Disc has set the standard for high-definition picture and audio quality in the home. Ultra HD Blu-ray will do the same for UHD home entertainment,” Victor Matsuda, chairman of the BDA Promotions Committee, said. “The technical capabilities of Blu-ray Disc, in particular its significant storage capacity and high data transfer rates, will enable the delivery of an unparalleled, consistent and repeatable UHD experience.”

As well as 4K resolutions, Ultra HD Blu-ray boasts high dynamic range (HDR) – delivered using BD HDR or other supported HDR formats, such as Dolby Vision – high frame rate, a wider colour gamut, and object-based immersive sound. Ultra HD Blu-ray players will be backwards-compatible with standard Blu-ray discs, so there’s no need to replace your entire TV and movie library immediately.

The first Ultra HD Blu-ray licences are scheduled for this Summer, and in the meantime the BDA will be working with industry leaders to test the format, making it ready for market later in the year.

Thank you Business Wire for providing us with this information.

LG Electronics Starts Promoting 8K UHD Displays

While 4K UHD displays haven’t even been adopted properly due to the high prices, lack of content and sufficient performance of graphics adapters, LG goes further ahead and begins promoting the next step in resolution, the 8K UHD.

LG has reminded in a new press release that it is working on releasing 8K UHD 7680 x 4320 pixels displays, namely the 98-inch Color Prime Ultra HDTV presented at CES 2015. The company has also stated that it has improved the brightness of its 55-inch 8K UHD IPS panel boasting a resolution of 7680 x 4320 and 500nit by implementing M+ panel technology, adding textures to the existing RGB sub-pixel structure.

The company did not state when it will start mass production of the displays, but Apple has announced that they will be revealing an iMac 8K later this year. If it is an all-in-one PC or a standalone display, it remains to be seen when Apple decides to reveal its product. At the same time, Microsoft’s Windows 10 has already confirmed it will support 8K resolution displays.

While 8K sounds great at this stage, the market still lacks content in 8K. Currently, the only place that streams 8K resolution is NHK in Japan and the Technical Research Institute of Korean Broadcasting System. Even major Hollywood studios shoot movies in 6K and it will be a while until they adopt the 8K standard. Nonetheless, LG seems to be very optimistic about the future of 8K.

Thank you KitGuru for providing us with this information

Adobe Celebrates 25 Years of Photoshop With Spectacular Ad

It’s been 25 years since a little Mac application was first released that allowed you to edit photos. Yes, 25 years since Adobe Photoshop was born as a slightly more advanced version of your standard Paint application. However, across that 25 years, the word Photoshop has become a synonym for editing images on a computer and enabled millions of creative minds to come up with some of the most spectacular pieces of digital art we’ve ever seen. That and it has allowed countless photographers to make models look thinner.

To celebrate this, Adobe has come up with a spectacular TV ad to be shown during The Oscars this weekend, that goes someway to show what can be done with Photoshop. It covers many famous pieces of graphic design that were made possible by Adobe’s app, including famous ads, artworks and animated films including Shrek.

Watch it below, and I think you’ll agree that it’s probably the best way to celebrate the past 25 years.

Source: The Verge

Amazon Studios to Make Films for Cinema Release

After making great strides with its original series, Amazon Studios is set to move into the movie business, making 12 films a year for cinema release before they’re made available on Prime Instant Video.

Amazon Studios show Transparent, starring Jeffrey Tambor as an aging father who comes out as transgender, won Best Comedy or Musical TV Series at the Golden Globes last week.

Amazon Original Movies, as the venture is called, will “focus on unique stories, voices, and characters from top and up-and-coming creators.” Films will then be available for streaming to Prime subscribers 4-8 weeks after cinema release.

Roy Price, Vice President of Amazon, said, “Not only will we bring Prime Instant Video customers exciting, unique, and exclusive films soon after a movie’s theatrical run, but we hope this program will also benefit filmmakers, who too often struggle to mount fresh and daring stories that deserve an audience.”

Amazon Original Movies will be headed by Ted Hope, who produced Eat Drink Man Woman and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Source: The Verge

14-Day Return Policy Launches for EU iTunes Customers

In line with new European Union regulation, Apple has launched a 14-day return policy for iTunes digital purchases. The new policy affects all downloads from Apple’s iTunes music and movies stores, the App Store, iBooks Store and for any other download purchase made with Apple.

Right of cancellation: If you choose to cancel your order, you may do so within 14 days from when you received your receipt without giving any reason, except iTunes Gifts which cannot be refunded once you have redeemed the code. 
… 

To meet the cancellation deadline, you must send your communication of cancellation before the 14-day period has expired. 

Effects of cancellation: We will reimburse you no later than 14 days from the day on which we receive your cancellation notice. We will use the same means of payment as you used for the transaction, and you will not incur any fees for such reimbursement. 

Exception to the right of cancellation: You cannot cancel your order for the supply of digital content if the delivery has started upon your request and acknowledgement that you thereby lose your cancellation right. – Excerpt from updated iTunes terms and conditions in the EU.

In the US and elsewhere, the terms still state “All sales Final”, while this has always been offered with a degree of flexibility (something I know from personal experience).

Source: MacRumors 

 

Sony Hires Mandiant, a Forensics Unit, to Clean Up After Cyber Attack

Mandiant, FireEye Inc.’s forensics unit, has been recruited by Sony Pictures Entertainment to restore and strengthen its computer network in the wake of a cyber attack that resulted in five unreleased movies being leaked online. The FBI has opened an investigation into the incident.

Last Monday, Sony’s system went down, replaced by a red skull and the phrase “Hacked by the #GOP”. The GOP in this instance is not the nickname for the US Republican Party, but a hacker group known as Guardians of Peace. Though Sony have refused to comment on the extent to which their servers have been compromised, e-mails to Sony employees have been bouncing back with a message asking the sender to call the person in question, as the system was “experiencing a disruption”.

Mandiant has a track record at responding to such attacks, having performed a similar role after the Target Corp attack in 2013.

Source: Reuters

DirecTV to be the First Cable Company offering 4K TV

There’s a very common and rapidly growing group within the popular Reddit community, they’re called ‘cord cutters‘. Currently grossing over 60k subscribers, this sub Reddit is dedicated to strategies, alternatives and methods to cutting your cable service for life as more people move to online means. DirecTV has just announced that they will be the first to offer 4K TV streaming via their pre-existing infrastructure. No doubt in a bid to keep their customers satisfied and possibly increase their market share,

4K is the new craze, offering massive resolutions, with massive prices to match. A standard ‘big brand’ 4K TV will set you back upwards of $1,500 here in Australia, more than double that of a 1080p TV. If 4K is something that tickles your fancy however, DirecTV will be offering on demand Holocaust pictures and Paramount Pictures productions in this outstanding resolution, but there’s a catch. As according to DirecTV’s website, this content will only be applicable to Samsung 2014 launched 4K TV sets – which are TV’s with RVU technology and the only devices available on the market supporting DirecTV’s 4K TV-demand functions. Alongside this, DirecTV 4k users will need to install the companies HD DVR set-top box (HR34 or later).

DirecTV offer their service for varying prices ranging from $3.99 per movie up to full subscription plans. They’ve also reportedly claimed that there will be much more on-demand 4K content available in the near future. Next year should see DirecTV launching their 4K broadcast channels alongside competitor Comcast’s similar services.

Some of DirecTV’s most popular on-demand movies currently on offer are: Star Trek (2009), Transformers: Age of Extinction and The Mummy: Pharaoh’s Secret.

Image courtesy of Bitcointalk.org

Top Gun 2 Gets The Green Light… No, Seriously!

I feel this article needs some backing music. So let’s just open up this link in a new tab. All set? Skipped the adverts on YouTube? Good.

Even after 20 years of being grounded, it looks like the Top Gun sequel is finally set to take off as Paramount gets behind the sequel to give it the shake up it needed. It’s long been known that the sequel was in the works, but after ten years in development hell and the death of the original director Tony Scott, it was long believed that things had been abandoned.

As with most things in the movie industry, all you need is a big cheque book and Paramount of got Tom Cruise on board to reprise his role, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and even writer Justin Marks is on board to try fix up the since abandoned script draft from Peter Craig.

Personally I think this film is going to be utter guff, I just can’t imagine it gaining the same iconic status as it once did, but no doubt enough people will line up on day one to justify the cost of making it.

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TweakTown.

 

GOG.com Redesigned, Starts Distributing DRM Free Movies

GOG.com or Good Old Games as it used to be known has long been one of my favorite gaming websites, not only do they have a completely DRM free policy for all the titles the distribute, but they’ve also been very active in bringing back classic PC gaming titles to newer operating systems, rather than let them fall into digital oblivion.

Now it looks like the company are reaching out even further into the gaming market, serving up gaming related movies and programming via their web store, all still DRM free of course. The movies are prices at $5.99 and come in a mixture of 576p, 720p and 1080p offerings with both streaming and download options being made available.

The sites also been given a nice visual overhaul, now accepts more payment methods and currencies than ever before and they’ve updated their price promise to ensure you get a fair price no matter what region you live in, for those games that can offer the price promise in your region they’ll now simply give you store credit for the difference, nice!

To tempt us over to the new service, two of the movies are currently free, The Art of Playing and TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/pZQL-8SDyi8[/youtube]

Thank you GOG for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of GOG.

Disney to Release Unaltered Cut of Star Wars Trilogy on Blu-ray

You don’t have to be a big fan of the Star Wars franchise to know that many fans got fed up when George Lucas started making adjustments to the originals, detracting from the little details that people loved about the original movies. Rumors are kicking around this week with the prospect of an “original” cut making it to Blu-ray, which  is no doubt something that would excite the long-standing fan base of the movies.

The only issue we know of here is that Disney do not own the rights to the original cuts of the movie, these are still owned by Fox.

Fox owns distribution rights to the original Star Wars, No. 4 in the series, in perpetuity in all media worldwide. And as for the five subsequent movies, Fox has theatrical, nontheatrical, and home video rights worldwide through May 2020.

In fact there are a lot of hurdles on this one, Lucas himself has already said he wasn’t keen on the idea in the past, so many different business deals would have to go right and of course it will likely result in a product that hardcore fans still aren’t happy with. With a bit of luck, this one will see the light of day, but don’t hold your breath.

Thank you i09 for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of i09.