New trailer for Ubisoft’s: Assassin’s Creed

2 11 2007

A new Assassin’s Creed’s trailer has been released.

 Check it out by clicking here


Say goodbye to Blockbuster movies…

2 11 2007

It looks like the bottom has finally fallen out of Blockbuster. After numerous failed attempts at attracting new customers, the company is finally spiraling out of control.

Sad as it is, the end is near for Blockbuster, and all that pressure it has been placing on Netflix will be lifted.

And in the end, Netflix will be left standing to fight another day.

Although Blockbuster tried everything it could to create a compelling reason for us to use the service, the company could not overcome its downfall. For years, it was hated by those people who saw it as a monolithic organization that enjoyed charging exorbitant late fees and had little or no care of what the customers wanted most. So when Netflix offered an entirely new service, the dynamics of the industry was inexorably changed, and Blockbuster was left playing catch up.

According to the company’s third-quarter results released Thursday, Blockbuster’s revenue slid 5.7 percent and the company harbored a net loss of $35 million. Worse, it has closed 526 stores in the past year, and the number of employees will be reduced to offset high overhead costs to the tune of $45 million. Blockbuster’s injured stock price continues to fall and was priced at $5.06 at Thursday’s close.

But if that’s not enough to signal defeat, Blockbuster Chairman Jim Keyes admitted that his company’s focus on Netflix was damaging and has decided to pull the plug on his demand for higher Total Access membership. Instead, he wants Blockbuster to focus on increasing overall membership.

Sorry, Jim, but I think you’re out of luck.

Much like the print media and retail stores refusing to change, Blockbuster has been a victim on an online company finding new and inventive ways of bringing a product to a customer. And due to its size and outdated corporate culture, there really is no salvation for Blockbuster at this point. Try as it might, the future of Blockbuster is bleak, at best.

Sure, the company still enjoys revenue that climb into the billions of dollars, but with an ever-increasing net loss and a public refusal to focus on Total Access–the area where Netflix continues to dominate–what is the impetus for us to jump on the Blockbuster bandwagon?

Simply put, Blockbuster is doomed. And while many of us have known it for a while now, it’s amazing to me that the chairman of the company admitted this in a not-so subtle way, as well.

For Blockbuster, there is currently no prospect for growth. Not only is it incapable of breaking the Netflix shell, the brick-and-mortar stores are failing, and there is little chance it will be able to capitalize on the future of movie rentals–downloading.

The way I see it, Blockbuster has two options: sell off the company as soon as possible or spend huge sums of cash on research and development and strategic partnerships with distribution companies to make downloading movies a viable alternative to Netflix.

But unfortunately, I simply don’t see this happening. I think Blockbuster will try to stay the course in the hopes it can find a way out. It won’t.

I’ll give it two years before this company goes under.

Build your own High-Def Projector

31 10 2007

Are you planning to buy a HD projector?
Well, here is way for you to build your own HD projector at a cost of around $750!

Here is a 6 part tutorial on how to build your very own Home Made DB Projector!

Credits: Engadget

Blu-ray Gets Picture In Picture & PS3 Getting Firmware Update

31 10 2007

20th Century Fox in January will release the first Blu-ray movie with picture-in-picture interactivity.

That’s according to an article by Video Business.

The publication reported that Fox demonstrated the PIP feature for the sci-fi thriller Sunshine on Monday during a press briefing. (Sunshine is a UK-based movie starring a cast of unknowns.)

HD DVD, Blu-ray’s high-def disc format rival, has featured PIP on some discs for a few months, including Warner’s HD DVD edition of the war movie 300.

HD DVD supporters have said the PIP feature will engage movie buffs because it can offer related information while the person watches the film.

For instance, Video Business reports, Sunshine’s filmmakers discuss the movie in the PIP window while it’s running.

Most Blu-ray players currently do not have the capacity to display PIP, but Fox senior vice president Steve Feldstein told the publication that future models will. He added that Sony will upgrade the Play Station 3 with a PIP feature via a firmware download.

“There will be players in the market,” Feldstein said.

Disney is expected to offer PIP in several titles next year, including Finding Nemo.

American Gangster – Review

30 10 2007

A Universal release of an Imagine presentation of a Scott Free production. Produced by Brian Grazer, Ridley Scott. Executive producers, Nicholas Pileggi, Steven Zaillian, Branko Lustig, Jim Whitaker, Michael Costigan. Co-producers, Jonathan Filley, Sarah Bowen. Directed by Ridley Scott. Screenplay, Steven Zaillian, based on the article “The Return of Superfly” by Mark Jacobson. 

Memories of numerous classics hang over this film like banners commemorating past championship teams — “The Godfather,” “Serpico,” “Prince of the City,” “Scarface” and “Goodfellas,” among other modern-era crime-pic landmarks. Like most of those, this is a quintessential New York story, one you feel could have been the basis for a Sidney Lumet masterpiece. But while “American Gangster” is made with consummate professionalism on every level, it just doesn’t quite feel like the real deal; it delivers, but doesn’t soar.

Based on a New York magazine article by Mark Jacobson, the story arc is so sensational it warrants outsized treatment. Frank Lucas rose from Harlem crime-world minion to drug kingpin by bringing in uncut heroin straight from Southeast Asia during the height of the Vietnam War. At least the way the script tells it, his steps were dogged by notably incorruptible working-class federal investigator Richie Roberts (a man not once mentioned in Jacobson’s piece), and the upshot was the hammer coming down on the NYPD’s drug enforcement cops, three-fourths of whom were on the take.

Steven Zaillian’s script plausibly lays the story out on parallel tracks, following the two men until they finally meet very late in the game. It’s an intelligent, craftsmanlike job that coherently lays out a complicated, multifaceted tale, but also one that serves up genuine intensity and overblown aspects in virtually equal measure, with director Ridley Scott following suit.

Contrast between the two protags is neatly set up. Frank (Denzel Washington), driver and collector for legendary Harlem hood Bumpy Johnson (Clarence Williams III, classy), steps into the void left by his mentor’s death in 1968 by traveling to the jungles of Thailand and, with crucial help from an Army relative, transporting 100 kilos of pure heroin back to the U.S. via military planes. Eliminating any middleman, Frank floods the streets with top-quality stuff, undercuts the competition’s prices and reaps huge profits.

In an era of pimp-style flash and braggadacio, Frank cuts an intriguingly low-key profile; he dresses conservatively, eats breakfast alone early every morning in a local diner and seems not to indulge in his own merchandise. But when crossed, he doesn’t hesitate to administer punishment personally by shooting the transgressor himself in broad daylight.

On the other hand, Richie (Russell Crowe) is a sweaty, scraping-it-together Joisy kid going through an unpleasant divorce and studying for a law degree when he’s not chasing down drug dealers. He becomes the notorious exception to the rule in his profession when he busts a couple guys with a million bucks in the trunk and insists on turning it in.

With little visible opposition, Frank does more than his share to spread drugs and crime throughout New York. Pic barrels like an uptown express through this moral issue, neither condemning the self-made entrepreneur nor excessively glamorizing him, blaxploitation-style (the real Frank Lucas was, by all accounts, considerably flashier than Washington’s version allows).

As Frank expands his empire, he brings his five younger brothers up from North Carolina and proudly installs his dirt-poor mother (Ruby Dee) in a white mansion on a hill. Frank meets and marries Miss Puerto Rico 1970 (Lymari Nadal); puts would-be rivals at a polite distance (Armand Assante’s Italian mobster, who wants part of Frank’s action) or in their place (Cuba Gooding Jr.’s Nicky Barnes, Frank’s real-life Harlem competitor); and makes a return trip to Thailand to engineer the most ambitious import scheme of his career (although not nearly as breathtaking as the real man’s alleged career-capper).

To make an end run around the NYPD, the feds recruit Richie to lead their own drug probe, a move that bumps Mr. Clean up against top cop Det. Trupo (Josh Brolin) in some of the film’s most jolting interludes. Trupo’s brazen sense of entitlement to a cut of everyone’s drug profits is jaw-droppingly audacious, and it’s played to the hilt of threatening menace by Brolin, who steals scenes from even Washington and Crowe. With this and his splendid turn in “No Country for Old Men,” Brolin has graduated to the bigs this year.

But it’s when Richie, in a spectacular raid on Frank’s factory, nails his prey, and Washington and Crowe finally end up across a desk from one another in a small room, that “American Gangster” achieves maximum voltage. What goes down during their exchanges proves all the more engrossing thanks to the shrewd underplaying of these two terrific actors, both of whom rise to the occasion when pitted opposite the best.

Still, there’s an irony in that, good as he is, Crowe is essentially miscast as the tenacious working-class Jewish kid who brings Frank down. Having an actor of Crowe’s stature play Frank’s adversary helps balance the film, but this is one of the few roles he’s played for which he brings nothing special to the table, and which does not allow his considerable charisma to flourish.

Similarly miscast is director Scott, whose greatest strengths lie in bringing to life grandly conceived portraits of distant worlds past and future, rather than in contemporary realism. Maximizing a gritty big-city story requires a credibility composed of thousands of small details, and this is one area where a citizen-of-the-world director like Scott can’t excel. It’s akin to asking Lumet or Scorsese to make a definitive film about crime in ’70s Newcastle — they could do a respectable, even exciting job of it, but it probably wouldn’t ring deeply true.

Still, Washington’s steely grip on his impersonation of Frank Lucas holds the film together. Even if he doesn’t entirely give the impression of a street hustler who never attended school in his life, Washington presents a man of striking, thoroughly credible contradictions: cool businessman/explosive killer, loner/family man, engaging guy/scourge of society.

Awash in blues, functional lensing is something of a disappointment coming from the usually distinctive Harris Savides. Though it achieves a decent momentum, pic feels its length.

Watch the trailer : CLICK HERE


The New Nokia N81 and N82

29 10 2007

Symbian-Guru has the scoop on not one, but two unannounced new high-end Nokia handsets, the N81 (pictured on the left) and the N82 (pictured on the right).

The slider-style N81 looks it’ll be the successor to their N91 musicphone (except less, uh, busted-looking) and sport a full 8GB of memory, a 2.4-inch QVGA display, quad-band EDGE and 2100MHz HSDPA, WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The N82 has a more traditional candybar form-factor and’ll have a five megapixel camera with Xenon flash and auto-focus Carl Zeiss lens, quad-band GSM (doesn’t say whether it’ll be GRPS or EDGE, but we’re guessing EDGE), 2100MHz HSDPA, a 2.4-inch QVGA display, Bluetooth 2.0, WiFi, integrated GPS, FM tuner, and a microSD memory card slot.

Doesn’t sound like either will be out until Q4 of this year.