Wednesday, May 28, 2008

This is Why You Should Never Microwave A Cell Phone. Alway Boil It Instead.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Incredible Hulk Preview!

The Latino Review Blog has a write-up about the preview of The Incredible Hulk that he saw. And he sys it's good: I just got back from visiting Universal Studios' backlot where I was treated to some footage of Universal's upcoming Incredible Hulk movie. Director Louis Leterrier and Producers Kevin Feige and Gale Anne Hurd introduced a few scenes then later talked about the feature and about their vision of The Hulk...

read more | digg story

Why both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter TOTALLY SUCK!

The Latino Review movie site reports that both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter reported on news that The Latino Review exclusively broke but did not give the blog site its due credit. They write all about it their story titled, "Why Both Variety And The Hollywood Reporter Totally SUCK!" This is blasphemous. For one, if you get news from a source, you attribute that source. Second, if you are consitantly finding news from a place outside of your own organization then you should ultimately either make a partnership with that news source (especially if you are a respected and established publication) or hire the person running the site.

What you don't do is screw them over time and again.

DIGG the story.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Business Week: Why Twitter Matters

I’ve been using Twitter for a little while now. I had been hearing about it through my favorite podcasts and the buzz in the blogosphere for a while now, but finally gave in to temptation a few weeks ago. At first I was skeptical, the concept being a way to communicate with friends and others within the scope of 140 characters. Pitched by its creators as a way to express the answer to the question, “What are you doing?” I thought to myself that the question was really, “Who needs yet another social networking tool?”

Turns out I was wrong. Twitter is addictive. I have a minuscule audience (30 or so followers) but already I feel like a superstar whose movements must be broadcast to my closest adoring fans. You can find me on Twitter at

Tweets are the little bite-sized pieces of data we push out on Twitter. Each mini-post is called a Tweet. My college at work said that she thought it was funny how tech people always name things with such cutesy name, immediately emasculating the whole experience.

Yet, it’s so much more than just little updates ala Facebook or MySpace moods. In my usual shortsightedness I did not see the benefits of such a simplistic idea. Besides pimping their latest blog or podcast posts—which I do regularly with a simple website that allows you to Tweet a link to your posts as they are put up—people are sharing important links and other tidbits. Of course in between is the noise of what people are doing everyday from catching colds, to what their dogs are doing to the ubiquitous diatribe on airline delays.

In a couple of cases I heard important stuff was done with this new technology from springing a guy from jail to reporting on earthquakes in China. If you didn’t know Barack Obama has one and he’s predictable the most popular guy on Twitter with the most followers right up there with technology media star Leo Laporte.

No wonder that by gaining popularity so fast, Twitter has faced some growing pains. Frequent outages or errors have plagued the site but I stand by it. I think that in the 14 months since it’s been out, Twitter has become an important aspect of any social networking plan, whether it’s pure communication or some Web 2.0 marketing scheme for your business—New York Times is among the giant media corporations that have adopted Twitter very nicely to Tweet news, even splitting the feeds among subjects like Science, Politics and Sports.

In a recent Business Week article Biz Stone, a co-founder of Twitter was quotes as saying that he believed that the website could grow to “become a communication utility… something people use every day."

Despite my initial misgivings I now couldn’t agree more. This thing has potential, especially when becomes even more portable (which is where it’s headed.)

Read the entire Business Week article here.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Dollhouse Unveiled

Wired featured a photo off of Joss Whedon's upcoming new show, Dollhouse.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Cohenside: Summer Movies Preview

by Lon S. Cohen

Yes. I know this is a little late, but for Christmas sake it’s not even Memorial Day yet and everyone knows that the summer does not officially begin until Memorial Day Weekend or Lucas/Spielberg releases a film, whichever comes first. Shoot! Cannes isn't even over yet. Seems that this year the groundhog didn’t see his shadow because summer begins May 22nd with the release of the fanboy giddiness-inducing fest, Indy IV.

May 2
Iron Man

Saw it. Didn’t love it. This movie started out with a real bang and then turned formula pretty quick. The acting was great, the direction was great, the music was great, the special effects were great, the story started great and then quickly went so-so. For the record, I will be buying the DVD and lining up to see the sequel, so it wasn’t that bad, just less than I expected considering the hype.

May 9
Speed Racer

WOW. Could a movie with the word “speed” in its title tank any faster? Oh wait, “Speed 2.” Nevermind.

May 16
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Ahh. Back to the realm of speculation. The advanced buzz is good. The previews look fantastic. I am ready to return to Narnia and enjoy another “Lazy Sunday.” You know you’re already singing the lyrics in your head.

May 22
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

I have waited two decades for Harrison Ford to don the fedora once again. Regretfully, Sean Connery will not be reprising his role but Karen Allen will, so I am happy. Shia LaBeouf as the new Indy sidekick? My goodness, this kid was grown from a test tube to play this part. I hope that the rumors of a kick-ass ending that will make all us fanboys giddy as a bunch of school girls (not that we aren’t like that any other time) will come to fruition. In my universe that is a cliffhanger ending where Shia must take up the bullwhip to rescue a captured Indy in a cliffhanger ending. OH MY GOD! Everything else pales by comparison to this one. This is the movie that summer was made for.

June 6
Kung Fu Panda

My 5-year old has been sufficiently primed by illustrated books and previews (by me of course) so that we are both excited to see this movie. Funny thing is that he things the Tiger should be a boy, not a girl for some reason. I had nothing to do with it. I swear. He’s just naturally chauvinistic.

June 13
The Incredible Hulk

Don’t know what to say about this one. The Hulk, well should have been named The Bunk because that’s what it was, a bunch of bunk from the great director Ang Lee. Maybe when they pick directors they should pick one that actually likes comic books. Except for the cool comic book-like screen transitions that “other Hulk” movie was a load of trash heaped on us for more minutes than I ever care to remember. Now I hear there are arguments between the studio and Ed Norton. This movie may need a heavy dose of Gamma Rays. The only good news is that it is said to have been heavily influenced by the television series, which I was a big fan of in the 1970s. I was in elementary school then but I still recognized that the artful tragic-drama was something that worked. Maybe they’ll pull a “Superman Returns” on us and use that great piano music when Banner walked away from the mess o’ the week during the end credits. Maybe some of that tragic-drama will be utilized as well, which, I think, is the only way to make a character like the Hulk work in live action.

June 27

Has Pixar ever make a bad movie yet? Everyone says that the robot looks a little too much like Number 5 from Short Circuit but I think it looks a little too much like the Binocular toy from Toy Story. Regardless, confidence is very high that my Pixar DVD collection will continue to grow at a steady pace, not to be interrupted anytime soon.

June 30
Get Smart

Steve Carell is the modern incarnation of X. I just never realized it until I saw him in these previews. Despite my intense hatred of almost every movie remake of 1970s classic television, for some strange reason I am looking forward to this one. It may be that every time they do one, it reverts to campy silliness. What the producers forget is that in the 1970s we thought Starsky & Hutch was a cool-ass cop show; same with The Dukes Of Hazard. We actually watched it because we liked it, not out of some sense of irony. I am so not looking forward to Land Of The Lost for the same reason. In the case of this classic series, it was watched for its sense of ironic comedy and that’s what (I hope) will make it funny on the big screen. Of course they could get all Dada on us and make a campy film that makes fun of a campy television series instead of playing the comedy straight, um, if that makes any sense.

July 2

Will Smith is a great actor. He’s played comedy, drama, he sings, he dances, he does it all. Now they’ve used all his superhuman might to become the one thing he hasn’t been already, a superhero. God knows he owes us one after I Am Legend, which in my standard critique, could have been better. I predict that the King of Fourth Of July has returned.

July 11
Hellboy II: Golden Army

Upon repeated viewing Hellboy has gone from a forgettable movie to a cult curiosity. At least for me. That is why I am looking forward to this movie. The fact that Del Toro made the brilliant Pan’s Labyrinth in between helps too.

July 18
The Dark Knight

Ok. Again, Batman Begins could have been better. I happened to have thought that the Tim Burton version of Batman was brilliant, flawless. I happen to think that Jack Nicholson nailed the Joked, pat. I happen to have watched that movie thousands of times. Maybe I am a little immune to its flaws but I still think it’s a perfect blend of comic and dark. But this is not about Tim Burton’s Batman, it’s about Batman Begins. Even before Heath Ledger kicked the bucket, I was looking forward to his performance as the Joker. Except that the previews describe him as a maniacal bank robber. Maniacal bank robber? I mean, come on. With a face like that, this guy should have been a serial killer. If you’re going to go dark and twisted on us, go all the way. That’s the problem with these movies: They could have been better.

August 1
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

I have since fallen in love with these movies that I once dismissed as a poor-man’s Indiana Jones. It’s one of those things that when you keep going with it long enough it sort of carves out its own niche. The absence of Rachel Weisz will definitely bring it down a star.

August 8
Pineapple Express

Stoners in the tropic chased by the mob? Can’t loose.

August 15
Star Wars: The Clone Wars

The CG does not have the same adorable cache as the first animated Clone Wars but don’t let that stop you from getting excited. Let the fact that Lucas himself is reportedly very involved with this project give you the heebie-jeebies, because the old man has lost it. I love Star Wars so much that it will suck and I will still see it in the theater ten times and buy ever incarnation of the DVD and the merchandise. I just roll like that, I guess.

August 15
Tropic Thunder

Why do I think that I will like this movie? The premise is so absurd that it has to work. Robert Downey Jr. as a black man? Tom Cruise in a self-deprecating role? Ben constantly swatting his own face from the mosquitoes? What’s not to like?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

King Fu Panda

For some odd reason I am totally siked about this movie.

CBS Corporation To Acquire CNET Networks, Inc.

by Lon S. Cohen

Just passing on the information. I don't have much to say about this yet but I will read the article and pres release today. Anyway, below is a part of the announcement that I found from in my email inbox this morning.

NEW YORK and SAN FRANCISCO, May 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- CBS Corporation CBS-A CBS has entered into an agreement to acquire CNET Networks, Inc., it was announced today by Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation. Under the terms of the agreement, CBS will make a cash tender offer for all issued and outstanding shares of CNET Networks for $11.50 per share, representing an equity value of approximately $1.8 billion. The acquisition will make CBS one of the 10 most popular Internet companies in the United States, with a combined 54 million unique users per month, and approximately 200 million users worldwide.

"There are very few opportunities to acquire a profitable, growing, well-managed Internet company like CNET Networks," said Moonves. "CBS stands for premium content and unparalleled reach, and CNET Networks will add a tremendous platform to extend our complementary entertainment, news, sports, music and information content to a whole new global audience. Together, CBS and CNET Networks will have significant additional exposure to the fastest- growing advertising sector and can accelerate our growth through a number of new content, promotion and advertising initiatives. We could not be more pleased with the prospect of adding CNET Networks and its tremendous team of people to the CBS family. I look forward to working with Quincy Smith, Neil Ashe and the considerable combined talent at both companies, as we build upon our success."


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

But Do Aliens Believe In God?

by Lon S. Cohen

Newsday is reporting that the Vatican release an announcement that they think that belief in aliens if OK by them. Since God created everything and thus aliens must have been created by God, then aliens are God's creation so, therefore it's OK to believe in aliens.

In my opinion, this is a non-statement since in the mind of the Vatican there is nothing that does not come under the umbrella of created by God. I am not one of those people who's knee jerk reaction is to say that religion is a bunch of bunk, so I give this announcement its due pixels but, come on now, where is the revelation in this from the point-of-view of the Vatican? It's really like saying that the Vatican thinks it's fine to believe in algae or protozoa, right?

But the real question is if aliens believe in God. According to my new Facebook friend (and he's a science fiction author too besides tracking my every move on Facebook!), Robert J. Sawyer, they just might. His awesome book "Calculating God," tells the story of alien visitors coming Toronto's Natural History Museum so they can study fossils. These aliens though happen to believe in God. It's a great read with some especially well-rounded and interesting characters (both human and non-human) grappling with little issues like religion, extinction and death.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Believing that the universe may contain alien life does not contradict a faith in God, the Vatican's chief astronomer said in an interview published Tuesday.

The Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, was quoted as saying the vastness of the universe means it is possible there could be other forms of life outside Earth, even intelligent ones.

"How can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere?" Funes said. "Just as we consider earthly creatures as 'a brother,' and 'sister,' why should we not talk about an 'extraterrestrial brother'? It would still be part of creation."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lou Anders Interview

The British Science Fiction Association published the full text of my interview with Pyr editor Lou Anders.

For the direct PDF download of the full interview click here.

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU

Just one of those things you have to share!

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Tweeting Pirates

I was watching Pirates of the Caribbean. Tweeted my way through half of it. Thought I'd repost it here:

Interesting: Watching John Adams with my 5 y.o. son. He heard the theme music and thought it was Pirates. Thus, we’re watching movie now.

“We named the monkey Jack,” from Pirates reminds me of Indy 3 when Connery says “We named the dog Indiana.” Equally funny in both movies.

Best line in Pirates said by Capt. Barbossa: “You best start believing in ghost stories, Miss Turner. You’re in one!”

Great job by ILM with the SFX. The story drives the logic behind the SFX, not the other way around as in the Star Wars prequels.

In podcast by screenwriters of Pirates re: sequels: They spoke about how they realized they could use the Compass as a plot device. Clever.

J. Depp is a brilliant actor--since 21 Jump Street. Equal parts leading man & character actor. Very few could pull off the roles he’s done.

Who else could make a double-crossing rogue so lovable. He’s what Han Solo appeared to be in the unrevised Star Wars IV.

In Pirates 3 the casting of Keith Richards was a bit gratuitous (bad acting) but brilliant (I was like, of course, he IS a PIRATE!)

I want Orlando Bloom’s career. (And his looks.)

When I first saw Pirates I thought, “THIS is what it felt like when I first saw Raiders!” I was 11 then so basically, like a kid again.

Another parallel between Raiders and Indy, there’s a little monkey who causes trouble.

Pirates movie is really what the word swashbuckler was invented for, wasn’t it? Here’s hoping Indy IV is a rip-roaring adventure.

Hard to believe Pirates is a live-action Disney film, which usually aren’t this down and dirty.

My wife’s favorite line: “The Rum’s gone.” “Why is the Rum gone?” We say it whenever we finish a bottle of anything alcoholic.

I always counter: “They’ll be no living with her after this.” Jack says it after the ship comes to rescue them off the deserted isle.

Of course the 2 comical pirates and 2 British soldiers are reminiscent of R2 and 3PO. Who are supposed to be based on Kurosawa characters.

“You’re off the edge of the map. Here there be monsters.” – Barbossa. Geoffrey Rush is just the bomb.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Bulls Eye Hits Up Young Indy For A Few Words has an interview with Sean Patrick Flanery of Boondock Saints, Suicide Kings and The Young Indiana Jones television series.

"Those years shooting Young Indy far surpassed any university lesson," said Sean Patrick Flanery, one of the only other guys who has ever pulled off the fedora with as much style as Harrison Ford.

He also revealed that the anticipated sequel to Boondock Saints may be announced soon.

"Well, the rumor is…well, I'm not officially supposed to say anything, because Sony doesn't…they want to make their own announcement, so I'll let them," said the former Young Indy star about All Saints Day. "But, uh, I think just me saying that they're going to be making an announcement kinda gives you your answer!"

Check out the interview on

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


After spending some time trying out both MarsEdit and Ecto--two offline Blog editor programs--I found them both to be lacking. While they may be good for posting text only blogs, I use images heavily and they simply had no good image layout and control. MarsEdit could import images from my hard drive but lacked a way to scale and lay them out on the page. Ecto was even worse. I could only import images from iPhoto or from some of my Internet photo accounts (like Fickr) and the program lacked good image layout. Admittedly I did not spend too much time playing around but I don't want to resize and layout blog posts in HTML.

Tragically, I tried to write and upload a post to one of my blogs from Ecto the post came up empty. When I tried to go back to the application to see what went wrong, the entire post was gone.

So I must now go back to writing my blog posts in Word and laying them out only when I am connected to the Internet, which stinks because I spend a lot of time commuting on the train and it would have been nice to have a good, working blog editing application that worked offline.

Trying Out MarsEdit

Wright-brothers-Flying.jpgOk readers. Thanks to Leo Laporte's gang over at MacBreak Weekly I am just finding out about MarsEdit. It's a program I've been looking for, allowing me to construct blog posts offline. The feature I hate most about Blogger is that there is no off line blog post editor. Now, instead of making the post up in Word and then copying and pasting the text when I get to a place where I can connect, I can (hopefully) just construct my blog posts with images and all off line, then upload the completed post at a later time. We'll see how this goes.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Black Holes And Breakfast

by Lon S. Cohen

In an interesting play of physics and puns, ran a story about a Black Hole being ejected by its parent galaxy. Amazingly the Black Hole was “propelled the monster at a speed of thousands of kilometers per second” by a “gravitational rocket.” Meaning that the when two Black Holes merged they formed a new Black Hole that was then ejected by the force out of the center of the host galaxy.

The article goes on to say, “this extreme ejection event, which had been predicted by theorists, has now been observed in nature for the first time.”

What’s more amazing is the accompanying artist’s illustration that was featured with the article. Apparently this artist thinks that a Black Hole looks like an inverse colored sunny side up egg! While sunny side up eggs can be related to a Black Hole in that a Black Hole is the singularity that remains after an appropriately sized sun collapses, I have a feeling that this artist either took liberties with the illustration or has a great sense of humor. Perhaps he worked at a diner and is used to seeing sunny side up eggs flying across the room.

In any case, either this is a case of pure comic genius or one very bad artist’s representation.

Top Twenty Directors Of All Time

I put together the New York Film Academy's Top Twenty Directors of All Time post on their blog. Below I have reposted it for my readers to enjoy.

#20: Sam Peckinpah
The unprecedented cataclysm of blood-soaked violence that wrapped up Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch was a cinematic watershed.

#19: Billy Wilder
Wilder, a young screenwriter struggling to make a name amid the bohemian decadence of pre-War Berlin, heard a tap on his window.

#18: John Ford
When John Ford self-deprecatingly introduced himself with, 'My name's John Ford, I make Westerns', he had a canny sense of the way he would be remembered.

#17: Sergio Leone
After the muscle-man quickie The Colossus Of Rhodes, Sergio Leone directed a mere six films.

#16: Oliver Stone
Where do you start with a problem like Oliver?

#15: Francis Ford Coppola
Age 35, Francis Ford Coppola departed the 1974 Academy Awards clutching statuettes for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, a place in film history assured.

#14: James Cameron
The future is what we make for ourselves,' is a refrain repeated throughout James Cameron's first film, The Terminator, and it's a phrase he's clearly taken to heart.

#13: The Coen Bros.
It was as dreamy teenagers one soporific 1960s Minnesota summer that Joel and Ethan Coen decided they should make a film.

#12: Sir David Lean
What is often forgotten amid the beautiful reaches of his vision, his rapturous storytelling and tireless quest for perfection, is what a practical soul David Lean was.

#11: Clint Eastwood
When Clint Eastwood decided to direct the thriller Play Misty For Me, with its cautionary view of celebrity, in 1970 he inadvertently took the first step to a kind of cinematic respectability that had thus far eluded him.

#10: Woody Allen
If ever a line has come back to haunt Woody Allen it is the one spoken by one of the aliens in Stardust Memories, an uncharacteristically sour moment of introspection he borrowed from Fellini: "We like your films, especially the early funny ones."

#9: Orson Welles
"The biggest electric train set any boy ever had," pronounced Orson Welles in 1940, surveying his new domain — or, at least, that corner of it occupied by RKO, the studio that had lured the 24-year-old wunderkind to Hollywood with the promise of absolute freedom to make his directorial debut in whatever fashion he saw fit.

#8: Quentin Tarantino
It must be every film geek's wildest wet dream: you start out as a humble video-store clerk, and wind up slamming an adrenaline-loaded syringe into the solar plexus of the American indie movie scene, becoming a filmmaker so influential, film critics turn your name into an adjective.

#7: Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson is a director who seemed to arrive on the Oscar podium a fully formed auteur without the decades of turmoil to back it up. Before making the biggest trilogy of all time, outside a dedicated fanbase and New Zealand, there was awareness of an ability to realise the most complicated book, bar The Bible, in a way that would be so stunningly lauded both by critics and fans.

#6: Akira Kurosawa
Strip away the literary fabric that now shrouds the works of Akira Kurosawa, delve beneath the Japanese costume and external architecture, and you will discover the throbbing heartbeat of the Everyman.

#5: Sir Ridley Scott
Poor old Tony Scott. He may be one of the finest crafters of blockbuster action working today, but he will forever be huddled in the shadow of his elder brother; the auteur to his movie director.

#4: Stanley Kubrick
It has been six years since Stanley Kubrick died, and if he'd kept to his familiar stately schedule, a movie every six or seven years, we'd be due his 13th. Maybe now is when we really start to feel the loss.

#3: Martin Scorsese
When the Academy convenes in a year a Martin Scorsese film is in contention, the phrase "America's greatest living director" seems to magnetically attach itself to sentences containing the director's name. It's rather odd, then, that Scorsese has never won an Oscar.

#2: Alfred Hitchcock
Take a flight of fancy and imagine if Alfred Hitchcock was plying his trade in Hollywood today. Back at his old Universal stomping ground, he'd probably knock off a Collateral or two, play himself on The Simpsons, exec produce episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents CSI Leytonstone (the place of his birth) and still find time for the odd curio designed to rub everyone up the wrong way --perhaps a shot for shot remake of Good Will Hunting.

#1: Steven Spielberg
In analyzing Steven Spielberg, the first thing you need to do is clamber past Steven Spielberg. The success, the deification, a near unquantifiable contribution to not just cinema but modern culture itself, and the reams of praise that smother him like a giant quilt. Given such a position, it almost feels moot to extol virtues that have been ringing in his ears for years. Thus it is to the films, in the end, you must return, to cut them loose from the hallowed tag and understand again why this small guy from Cincinnati, Ohio stands so tall over the medium.