Star Wars on Blu-ray

Today Lucasfilm officially announced the Blu-rays of Star Wars, and had a trailer to show how awesome it looked.

Or not.  Its the same transfer as the DVD, every flaw right out in the open here on the trailer.

They’ve had 6 years to fix this kind of stuff back (this one is a brightness adjustment!), but it looks like they haven’t touched it.  Lazy Lucas, was Lazy.

AUGUST 2011 UPDATE: Looks like this has been fixed for the final release, along with several other things. There are still many glaring mistakes however.

From Star Wars 2011 Changes
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Save Star Wars 2: IN 3D!

Read part 1!

Last night Lucasfilm announced officially that they will be releasing all 6 Star Wars movies in theaters again, but this time IN 3D! (you have to shout it) Starting in 2012 when Episode I is released, with one a year coming after that supposedly.

I’m not excited as one would expect. In fact while I am a Star Wars fan, this only give me bad feelings. Let me break them down for you.

Continue reading “Save Star Wars 2: IN 3D!”

Save Star Wars

This past weekend, George Lucas announced at Star Wars Celebration V the eagerly anticipated Blu-rays of the Star Wars Saga. What a lot of fans want from this set is every possible version of Star Wars in the format, much like how Blade Runner has 5 versions from the 1982 test screening workprint to the 2007 “Final Cut”. However, in interviews, Lucas has said regarding the original theatrical versions of Star Wars:

“You have to go through and do a whole restoration on it, and you have to do that digitally,” he added. “It’s a very, very expensive process to do it. So when we did the transfer to digital, we only transferred really the upgraded version.” (NY Times Art Beat)

What does this mean, you ask? Let me break it down for you.

Continue reading “Save Star Wars”

Network TV “Original” Shows – Fall 2010

I had fun last year pointing out how CBS Represents All That Is Wrong With TV, so after reading all of the junk that all of the networks are trying to pass off as “entertainment” this coming season, I figured I’d break them down to their basic elements and what current/past show it sounds just like.  By the way, “Alternative Series” is what they call reality shows now, and there doesn’t seem to be that many.  Has the reality show finally died?

Keep in mind I’ve not seen these shows or know anything about them, I’m only judging them by how the networks are trying to sell them.  For example, FOX gives out very little information, so I have nothing really to go on.  You can read the actual descriptions on the links for each network.

ABC

“BODY OF PROOF”

The crazy lady (the one that actually got committed, then became a lesbian) from “Desperate Housewives” plays a neurosurgeon who is in an accident and can’t practice anymore, but her new job as a medical examiner finds her “graying the lines of where her job ends and where the police department’s begins”.  Also stars 7 of 9 from “Star Trek:Voyager”.
Sounds like:
A mixture of “House” and “Bones”.

“DETROIT 1-8-7”

A fake documentary/drama following Detroit cops, starring one of the guys from “The Sopranos”.
Sounds like: A cross between “NYPD Blue” and a serious “The Office”.

“MY GENERATION”

A fake documentary/drama following high school students, with interviews from them “ten years later.”
Sounds like: A cross between any number of high school dramas and a serious “The Office”.

“NO ORDINARY FAMILY”

A family crashes in a plane in the Amazon River, then find out they now have superpowers.  Starring Michael Chiklis (“The Shield”, Thing from the “Fantastic Four” movies).
Sounds like: A mixture of “Lost” and “Heroes”.

“OFF THE MAP”

A group of doctors with problems run a medical clinic in South America.
Sounds like: A mixture of “Grey’s Anatomy” (from the same producers even) and maybe the serious parts of “MASH”.

“THE WHOLE TRUTH”

A courtroom drama that tells both sides of the story, prosecutor and defense.
Sounds like: Every courtroom drama, but you don’t root for the same team every week.

“BETTER TOGETHER”

Middle-aged couple who refuses to get married, young couple that are getting married quickly, and the parents of the women who don’t really care.  “With three very different relationships tightly intertwined in one family, will it be free thinkers vs. over-thinkers, or will each couple begin to see things a little bit differently?”
Sounds like: Most comedies, maybe a bit more of “Modern Family”.

“HAPPY ENDINGS”

A couple gets divorced and their circle of friends falls apart without them together.  Whose side will their friends choose?
Sounds like: Most comedies, maybe a bit more like “Friends” if Monica and Chandler got divorced.

“MR. SUNSHINE”

Matthew Perry from “Friends” is a manager of a sports arena and has workplace hijinks.
Sounds like: “Becker” with some “Newsradio” (hopefully).

“SECRET MILLIONAIRE”

“Alternative Series” about millionaires helping out at orphanages undercover.
Sounds like: “Undercover Boss”, but more philanthropic.

CBS

“$#*! MY DAD SAYS”

Based on a Twitter feed, a man lives with his aging father who says whatever is on his mind and comedy ensues.  The father will be played by William Shatner, and it will air after “Big Bang Theory”.  There is no reason to not watch it.
Sounds like: Awesome.

“MIKE & MOLLY”

A couple meets at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting and fall in love.  From the guy that made “Big Bang Theory” (yay!) and “Two and a Half Men” (boo!).
Sounds like: Any number of comedies, but at least its not the “fat man/hot wife” concept we’ve seen a dozen times.

“HAWAII FIVE-0”

A gritty reboot of the 1970’s series.  About an “elite federalized task force” who fight crime in Hawaii.
Sounds like: “Hawaii Five-0”.

“THE DEFENDERS”

Two Las Vegas defense attorneys share life and comedy in Las Veags. Starring Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell.
Sounds like: Something that won’t last very long.

“BLUE BLOODS”

Drama about a family of cops led by Tom Selleck.
Sounds like: Any cop drama with a twist of family drama.

“CRIMINAL MINDS SPINOFF”

Forest Whitaker leads a team of investigators who get inside criminals’ heads.
Sounds like: “Criminal Minds”.

NBC

“THE EVENT”

A man investigating the disappearance of his fiancee finds out its part of a more vast conspiracy that goes all the way to the top.
Sounds like: Maybe some “24” or “Prison Break”.

“UNDERCOVERS”

JJ Abrams brings us a show about a married couple who used to be super-spies that are drawn back into action to save a friend. (I might give this one a chance)
Sounds like: The movie “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”.

“THE CAPE”

A cop is framed for crimes he didn’t commit, so he becomes a masked vigilante with the help of circus folk.
Sounds like: Batman.

“CHASE”

A Texan US Marshall chases down criminals.
Sounds like: “Walker: Texas Ranger”, but actually serious.  Or “The Fugitive”.

“OUTLAW”

Jimmy Smits (Bail Organa from the Star Wars Prequels, and other stuff) plays a US Supreme Court Justice who quits and starts a private practice to help the little guy.
Sounds like: “Shark”, but without James Woods.

“HARRY’S LAW”

Kathy Bates is a former patent lawyer who teams up with a high school teacher and one of his former students to start their own law office in an old shoe store. (I might give this one a chance)
Sounds like: “Three’s Company.” Actually, it doesn’t at all, I just wanted to say that.

“LAW & ORDER: LOS ANGELES”

THERE’S BEEN A CRIME!
Sounds like: The show they just canceled, also called “Law & Order”.

“PERFECT COUPLES”

Three couples are trying to figure out what makes the ideal relationship.  It’s a “heroic journey” according to the network.
Sounds like: “Friends” had they all paired off.

“OUTSOURCED”

A joke company’s sales department is outsourced to India, along with the manager.  Now has to explain all of the practical jokes to the Indians trying to sell it.
Sounds like: “The Office” with more stereotypes.

“THE PAUL REISER SHOW”

Paul Reiser cast Paul Reiser as Paul Reiser in “The Paul Reiser Show”.  Seriously.  He plays fake-him years after his last successful fake-show and it follows fake-him and his fake-family and fake-friends.
Sounds like: Paul Reiser.

“FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS”

Follows a group of friends “as they navigate the difficult, and often confusing, world of dating.”
Sounds like: “How I Met Your Mother.”

“LOVE BITES”

Romantic comedy anthology series following different women as they learn about “love, sex, marriage and dating.”
Sounds like: “Sex and the City” (same writer/producer), but they’re not best friends.

“SCHOOL PRIDE”

“Alternative series” about communities coming together to rebuild their local public schools.
Sounds like: “Extreme Makeover”: School Edition. Same producer (no surprise).

FOX

“RAISING HOPE”

A single father tries to raise his infant daughter with his dysfunctional family’s help.
Sounds like: Mostly “Modern Family”

“RUNNING WILDE”

A billionaire playboy played by GOB Bluth tries to win the heart of his childhood sweetheart played by Felicity who is a tree-hugging liberal.
Sounds like: A cringe-worthy comedy.

“LONESTAR”

A Texas guy is “caught between two very different lives and two very different women.”  And something about oil.
Sounds like: Vagueness, maybe some “There Will Be Blood”.

“TERRA NOVA”

A family is sent back to prehistoric times to try to save the human race.  Spielberg and the producers of “24” are making it.  I’m going to give it a shot because its freaking Spielberg.
Sounds like: “Land of the Lost”.

“BOB’S BURGERS”

Animated series about a family trying to run a burger joint.
Sounds like: Boredom.

“RIDE-ALONG”

Follows cops around Chicago.
Sounds like: “NYPD Blue” or “Detroit 1-8-7” on ABC.

“MIXED SIGNALS”

A comedy about guys who are trying to balance out “their committed relationships with their desire for freedom”.
Sounds like: A show with strong moral fiber.

Aspect Ratios: A Primer

I have a pet peeve, and it has to do with aspect ratios.  I’ve been wanting to put together a lesson for my faithful readers.  For those who don’t know, aspect ratios are the shapes that TV/movie screens and the programs they show have.  There are 3 standard ratios in my mind:

CinemaScope

This is the ratio that a lot of movies are shot/rendered in.  It’s the wider screen you get at the theaters.

SDTV

This is the ratio of standard definition TVs.  Most TV programming was done in this ratio, and still is for the most part.

HDTV

This is the ratio of HDTVs and some movies.  This was chosen as a good medium between CinemaScope and SDTV.

My examples are going to be from Star Wars, because its awesome, and Adywan’s color-corrected version, because its more awesome.  I chose this particular image because it was the scene I saw in theaters where I first noticed the difference between aspect ratios.

Star Wars and other movies are filmed like this:

This is what was seen in theaters.  But how do you see Star Wars at home?  There are two ways: “widescreen” or “fullscreen”.

Continue reading “Aspect Ratios: A Primer”

RANT: The ONLY doubleofive

I’m proud of my screenname.  I really am.  I picked it out around 1998 or so and have never failed to get it for any website: Google, Yahoo, MSN, Xbox LIVE, MySpace, Twitter, WordPress, tons of forums…  If you see the name doubleofive, you can be assured its me.

Except for Facebook.

As of midnight EST this morning, you could pick screennames so that people could search and find you by username and not just your real name.  I was up at 3am and thought I should save my “doubleofive”, but figured it would be OK for me to get some sleep, who would take it after almost 12 years of getting it every time?  Apparently I was wrong.  Some kid in Minnesota took it before I could.

It’s stupid, but I feel like my identity has been stolen.  I actually submitted a “Violiation of Intellectual Property” to Facebook about it!  Figured being able to prove that every other doubleofive is me would gain me back the one I lost.

I was so proud that if you searched “doubleofive” on Google, every result pointed to me.  Now I’m afraid that the top result will be some kid I’ve never met before in my life.

I hope Facebook agrees with my sentiments…

UPDATE: As I wake up more, I’m calming down.  Its not like using http://www.facebook.com/drew.stewart will kill me (it’s actually really cool), or that he’s funnelling potential clients or money away from me (for which I have nothing to offer but this blog).  It would have been nice to have “doubleofive” everywhere, but I had to start losing somewhere.  I mean, Robot Chicken had to take “CyborgTurkey” on Twitter, and I’m sure they actually have a copyright!

RANT: CBS Represents All That Is Wrong With TV

So the networks have been announcing their new lineups this week.  Today was CBS’s turn.  Here’s what is returning:

Comedies:

TWO AND A HALF MEN (womanizing is hilarious! Going into its 7th season with the same plot)
THE BIG BANG THEORY (nerds are hilarious! Actually a really good show)
GARY UNMARRIED (divorce is hilarious!)
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (dysfunctional friends are hilarious!)
THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE (single mothers are hilarious!)
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (different levels of relationships are hilarious!)

Dramas:

CSI (solving crimes in Las Vegas!)
CSI: MIAMI (solving crimes in Miami!)
CSI: NY (solving crimes in New York City!)
THE MENTALIST (solving crimes using a fake psychic!)
NCIS (solving crimes in the Navy!)
CRIMINAL MINDS (solving crimes by profiling the criminals!)
NUMB3RS (solving crimes using math!)
COLD CASE (solving old crimes!)
GHOST WHISPERER (she can talk to dead people!)

Reality Gameshows:

SURVIVOR (contestants compete in a remote location! Going on 10 years and 20 seasons)
THE AMAZING RACE (contestants compete in a race!)

So what have they added to this lineup of sameness?

NCIS: LOS ANGELES (solving crimes in the Navy in LA, starring Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J!)
MEDIUM (solving crimes by talking to dead people! A transfer from NBC)
THE GOOD WIFE (a lawyer who’s a single mother!)
THREE RIVERS (a medical drama, yay!)
ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE (unplanned pregnancies are hilarious!)
MIAMI TRAUMA (a medical drama, yay!)
THE BRIDGE (solving crimes while leading the police union!)
ARRANGED MARRIAGE (reality show where 3 couples have volunteered to have arranged marriages!)
UNDERCOVER BOSS (“The Prince and the Pauper”, but with CEOs!)

So, more sameness (even taking another network’s sameness!), plus the same things that are on the other networks (who doesn’t have at least 2 medical dramas nowadays?), plus some weird FOX-like reality shows/experiments.  Hooray for CBS!  Looks like I will still only watch 30 minutes of your network a week!