Resident Evil Trailer With Elm Street Remake

Source:Twitter.com, Edward Douglas
February 27, 2010

On her Twitter feed earlier this evening, actress Milla Jovovich announced that the first trailer for the fourth installment of the "Resident Evil" franchise, Resident Evil: Afterlife, will be premiering at the end of April in front of New Line's remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. The first 3D installment of the action-horror series is scheduled for September 10.

The actress also mentioned that she's signed on for a role in Abe Silvia's indie comedy Dirty Girl with William H. Macy and Juno Temple, who will be playing Jovovich's daughter. According to Jovovich, "it takes place in the early 80's and its a comedy about two teens who run away from home leaving their dysfunctional parents freaking out."

She's scheduled to shoot that sometime later this month.


First Windows Phone 7 Series Device Shown: It's from LG

File under: News
By: Brandon Miniman | Date: 27-Feb-10 | 17 Comments
Exciting stuff here. The Engadget Show is currently streaming live and Aaron Woodman from Microsoft has just shown off the first Windows Phone 7 Series from, and it's from LG! Take a look at some images below. It's a side-sliding QWERTY device with a super thin form factor. You can watch the stream live.



Transformers 3 Headed to Chicago and Moscow

Source:Michael Bay
February 25, 2010

Michael Bay's official site has posted an update from the director on where two big action sequences will be shot for Transformers 3:

Spoke with Michael today and got some little info on TF3: there will be big action sequences shot in Chicago and Moscow this time around.

The third installment, again starring Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, will be released in theaters on July 1, 2011.



What Red Dead Redemption could mean for the future of Rockstar's games.

UK, February 25, 2010 - It's not wholly inaccurate to bill Rockstar as the house that Grand Theft Auto built. After all it was the success of the first top down game in 1998 that helped birth the company, and subsequent games have helped define it, from the revolution ushered in by GTA III and the cultural impact of Vice City and San Andreas to the cinematic cool and shocking detail of GTA IV. But as its slate for the coming months attests, there's a sense that it's shifting the focus away from its staple series as LA Noire, Max Payne 3 and Agent fill out a year that many thought would see the release of the next GTA. Is it possible that Rockstar is trying to move away from being predominantly known for GTA?

"Hopefully we're not just famous for GTA," says Dan Houser, creative VP and co-founder of Rockstar. "That's how we would look at it and obviously we believe [Red Dead Redemption] is the best game we can possibly make at this time, just as GTA IV was the best we could possibly make at that time. We put our hearts and souls into making the games as best as we can. Last year, 2009 and 2008, we released a three part GTA IV epic experience and now we're working on a couple of other things."

In order to get a handle on what Rockstar will be offering next, it's worth looking at what's important to them now – and Red Dead Redemption's embellishments to the open world template give a good idea of what direction its games are taking. "Our next great thing that hopefully Red Dead is taking a step further forward is multiplayer," says Houser, and it's important to remember that it's an area that Rockstar is still relatively new to, with GTA IV and its subsequent episodes the first full-blooded attempt at multiplayer from the company.

We don't know much about multiplayer, but expect some horse and cart shenanigans.

What those steps will be is a mystery for now, as multiplayer details remain scarce around Red Dead Redemption – though we expect it to add to GTA IV's suite and make full use of Redemption's envious assets, throwing horseback gunfights and open savannahs into the mix as well as a handful of surprises.

Whether we'll see a shift comparable to the one made by GTA III as it introduced 3D to the series and GTA IV as it embraced the HD generation remains open to question, but another of Red Dead Redemption's focal points reveals an area that's close to Rockstar's heart – and one that Dan Houser sees as being the next logical step for its games. "I think AI is probably the single area where games are not as far ahead as they could be, for me," he tells us. "In terms of where you will suddenly see cities come to life the next level will be because there is much better AI on all of the characters."

With a desire to embrace multiplayer tied into one to take artificial intelligence one step further there's one obvious catch-all answer – a massively multiplayer online game, an answer that one of GTA's creators has run with in Realtime World's APB. It's something that's certainly crossed Rockstar's collective mind, though its games would have to compromise more than most, perhaps losing the dialogue and plotting that's defined many of its open world pursuits.

"As soon as you've got an MMO you lose that," says Houser. "Our feel with the MMO is that it becomes like a costume party and you lose the immersiveness of the world, partly through behaviour but also simply just through the way everyone sounds.

"Suppose you're making a city MMO and you've unlocked the great job of being a security guard, standing there until someone comes and shoots you. There are just too many bit-part players in too many of our games at the moment to do it where you have no AI. Whether you could make a world that was more persistent and have more characters with broadly similar goals and maybe compete with each other, living in it, then of course and that would be very interesting. We've always been thinking about that but we haven't really had the chance to put any major thought into it and actually do it.

"I think you'll see that [Red Dead Redemption] is definitely an instrumental step forward significantly for us from where we were before but overall an MMO? If we had an infinite amount of teams and time when of course we would do one, but without that we feel like we're working manically just to do what we're doing. So maybe in the future. Who knows?"

A Rockstar MMO might be some way off then, but there's other avenues it's already pursuing. Take, for example, its episodic approach to GTA IV, The Ballad of Gay Tony and The Lost and Damned delivering what could be easily regarded as two content heavy sequels at a budget price and within an impressive time-frame. Although it's not an approach that's openly being considered for Red Dead Redemption right now, it's one that's viable for future Rockstar products and as far as Houser's concerned, it's a simple question of value.

"It could work for all games potentially. I think that as a general concept downloadable content is correctly priced and added to the overall experience I think people like it, and if it's not exploitative then I think people feel like they're not being ripped off. I know that we can't make games that everyone is going to love but I'm pretty confident we make games where people don't feel they've been ripped off when they play them. They might not have liked it but at least they know that we made something big and put a lot of effort into it. We're not selling very short single-player experiences and a couple of levels of multiplayer."

But will the episodic approach trailblazed by GTA IV take precedence over the traditional boxed copy any time soon? Houser's not so sure. "I don't know - people have been saying that for so long. We as a company try and be progressive and market leaders in some areas, but also try and concentrate on not being [market leaders] in all areas because otherwise we would be out of business quite quickly. It just depends where things go if that's how people want it. If people want to have big games that they buy once or buy a section of a game a game that is divided into five sections - it's not really clear one way or another at the moment quite how things are going to go. In the long term is that the future? Probably. But is that in two years? My sense is probably not. I think people are still very, very attached to buying packaged goods."

AI is the next step for Rockstar - and Redemption is the latest step up.

There is of course another wave that's been threatening to consume the current generation of consoles for some time, and it's one that's been predicted by the success of the Wii. Talk about the potential of Microsoft's Natal and Sony's Arc (or whatever the company deems to call it by the time the PS3 Motion Controller launches this year) and Houser's not exactly sceptical but most definitely grounded by Rockstar's prior experience with the Wii.

"We thought with Bully we had some decent results, but we certainly sold a lot more on 360 - and the versions came out at the same time so it's easier to do a comparison," he says as a note of caution. "I think there's no reason why any of that stuff couldn't work. We see ourselves as concept makers and so just as we can make a fun game for the DS there's no reason why we couldn't do things for whatever platform we put our right guys minds on figuring out how to do something interesting for it."

Indeed, Rockstar remains not just platform neutral but rather platform positive, working on whatever hardware's to hand as has been witnessed by its open-armed embrace of the iPhone with the recent ports of Beaterator and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. Getting its head around new technologies is one thing, but quite another is getting the most out of existing ones.

"We feel we're getting to grips with the true complexities of making games for these machines now and it's certainly been a lot of work," he says. "I don't think anyone could have accurately estimated when people were announcing this round of hardware what the opportunities to do good stuff would be, but also what are the realities of doing that. The technical challenge of making games on 360 and PS3 is something we feel now we're getting properly to grips with but it definitely is still challenging - it's the sheer amount of manpower you need to put in these things."

And in Houser's mind neither the Xbox 360 nor PlayStation 3 have truly reached their peak: "I think it's as much as we can do now," he says. "I think we've always tried to push the machines as hard as they can be pushed. With GTA III we were pushing the PS2 as hard as it could be pushed at that time but three years later we could have a pushed it a lot harder.

"I also think you've got to provide people with a compelling reason to buy new hardware and unless someone comes up with one the idea that games are going to stagnate and not get any better, at least graphically, is absurd. Game design moves forward and backwards and gets more interesting and less interesting - you know it moves in a slightly different trajectory that isn't purely driven by technology but the graphics are going to continue to get better."

It's hard to imagine much more being pushed out of the current generation than Red Dead Redemption is acheiving, but if anything was to raise the stakes again could it be a sequel to this game? "If we can think of an interesting story to tell that works in this world then of course we would look at it," replies Houser. "But for the moment we really don't sit there thinking we're making a trilogy and this is part one of a trilogy, because then we feel we'd be holding things back from the first game and I really don't think we've held anything back from this game - it's so big and all encompassing."

Check back tomorrow for this week's final feature, exploring the story and setting of Red Dead Redemption.


Star Wars unleashes itself on Xbox Live Avatars

February 25, 2010 by Alex Seedhouse  
Filed under Previews
Lucasarts has today revealed a new selection of Xbox Live Avatar items based upon their ever popular title, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.
Highlights include the Dark Lord’s armour, previously seen within the recently released Ultimate Sith Edition of the game, priced at 320 Microsoft Points, and two ‘Props’ items; Starkiller’s Lightsaber, priced at 400 Microsoft Points, and one of the infamous Mouse Droids that’ll whizz around your characters feet, priced at 320 Microsoft Points.
I’m sure most people will enjoy a bit of Lightsaber action going on with their Xbox Live Avatars, and we’ve got the full gallery of images of each of the new Avatar items below for you.
For more details you can check them all out, as well as to purchase and add to your Xbox 360 download queue, on the Xbox Live Avatar Marketplace, here.


Is Zoolander 2 Happening?

Source:Deadline Hollywood
February 25, 2010

Tropic Thunder and Iron Man 2 writer Justin Theroux is reportedly in talks to direct a sequel to Zoolander at Paramount Pictures. He would write the script with star Ben Stiller.

There's no deal yet for Owen Wilson to return as Hansel, but the villain will likely be played by Jonah Hill, who is said to be in negotiations.

The original film on September 28, 2001 and earned $60.8 million worldwide. It carried a budget of about $28 million.


Indianapolis Postal Worker Convicted in Netflix Theft

The Indianapolis Star: "A post office worker who admitted taking 450 Netflix movies from the mail for himself and members of his family has been sentenced to two years' probation. U.S. Attorney Tim Morrison says U.S. District Judge Richard Young also ordered Ricky Alsip to pay $5,413.50 in restitution and perform 40 hours of community service."
If your Netflix DVDs were missing in Evansville, you can blame Ricky Alsip.


Google Analytics App for Windows Mobile Released

File under: News
By: Brandon Miniman | Date: 24-Feb-10 | 2 Comments
Many webmasters use Google's Analytics software to measure web statistics. On other smartphone platforms like iPhone and Android, there are mobile apps that can tap into your Analytics account, and now there is one for Windows Mobile. It's called Google Analytics Mobile (fitting) from SynergeTech Solutions, and it'll run you $4.99. Take a look at some screens below. While the interface is not as polished compared to the other Analytics apps out there, it should get the job done for those looking to get some data.


Twitter Confirmed in Blur

Tweet when you're winning.

February 24, 2010 - Today, Activision is confirming that Twitter functionality is integrated into Blur with Bizarre Creations innovative social network interface. Unique to Blur, players will now be able to customize the text message from within the game as they share a plethora of game details. Players can choose to Tweet about race victories, how many fans they've just earned, cars they've unlocked, leaderboard ranks, send challenges to friends and much more. Basically, if you see it in game and want to tell someone about it, we've got a Tweet for that.

Here's an example from Bizarre Creations Social Media Manager, Ben Ward, using the feature.


We're excited to show more of this feature in the coming weeks, in fact, you'll be able Tweet from the Blur Multiplayer Beta that launches in March… so stay tuned!

About Blur:
Blur is the ultimate powered-up racing experience, dropping players into heart-pumping, electrified action with up to 20 cars trading paint as they charge towards the finish line. Drivers careen through real-world track locations packed with fast curves, sneaky alternate routes and hair-raising jumps in over 50 licensed cars as they collect and tactically utilize intense Power-ups, including the ability to blast other cars out of the way with huge bursts of energy, boost their speed, and more. For the ultimate multiplayer racing gameplay experience, Blur offers a first in the racing genre with up to 20 players online at the same time, a progressive ranking system that rewards gamers the more they play, objective based race events, and if that weren't enough, Blur brings back a fan favorite with 4-player split-screen gameplay. Blur will be available this spring for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.



Is the Zii Phone coming soon?

If you sick of people telling you that everything you know is going to change ... so are we. It has been more than 14 months since Creative first unveiled the Zii Platform and till today, we have yet to see any actual working Zii product that we can buy. However, could this fact change very soon? Just recently, Creative silently update the Zii website with the Zii Dock, Zii AV Cable and a new Zii Development Kit which supports 3G mobile modules. Furthermore, Intrinsyc (the company behind Barnes & Noble's Nook) announces Android RapidRIL Support for ZiiLABS Cellular Platforms. Lastly, a source familiar with Zii's operations have informed us that Creative is on track to complete customizing the Android OS for the Zii platform by March. Could this mean that we could very well see a Zii Phone as soon as April? We certainly ain't gonna bet on this as Creative have let us down once and again. And of cause the theory that Creative would never release a Creative Zii branded device as it will contradict its Shanzai strategy. But if no one is interested in adopting the Zii platform, it only makes sense for Creative to release something on its own to show what the Zii could actually do. The thought of Creative finally releasing a working Zii device is pretty exciting for us. Do tell us what you think. And for all those with the Zii EGG, how has the firmware update coming along? Is the Plazma OS finally stable?

comment: 4 | Wednesday, February 24 (2010) 09:11AM |


Kevin Smith Rocks Out with His Cop Out

Source:Edward Douglas
February 24, 2010

After writing and directing eight raunchy, irreverent and mostly independent comedies in his relatively short 15 year career, Kevin Smith certainly made a name for himself for a certain type of movie, building himself an incredibly devout fanbase from it, too. Who knows what was going through his mind when a script titled "A Couple of Dicks" crossed his path? Maybe as he reached his 40th birthday, he was looking for a much-needed change?

The story goes that writers Mark and Robb Cullen were the showrunners on a pilot Smith directed and when they sold their script for the movie to Warner Bros., Smith's name was thrown into the ring as a possible director. The results are Cop Out, an '80s throwback buddy cop comedy that brings together Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan in a good cop/bad cop--that's "bad" as in dumb and incompetent--scenario. It's the first movie Smith has directed from someone else's script, his first attempt at a genre widely regarded as the type that Hollywood often churns out, and it also trades Smith's long-standing association with one set of brotherly distributors (the Weinsteins) for another (the Warners).

Kevin Smith is easily one of the most outspoken filmmakers out there, but let's face it, the guy can ramble if given the chance, so being that we couldn't get the type of opportunity that allows us to steer the interview into any sort of coherent direction, instead sitting in two back-to-back roundtable interviews, we're calling this one "Kevin Smith's Best Bits About the Making of 'Cop Out.'"

Why Direct Someone Else's Script?

"For me, it just happened at the right time. I'd come off 'Zack and Miri' which I loved so dearly with my heart, but it didn't wind up doing much more than the standard Kevin Smith business, and that movie was supposed to be the one that punched us all through to the next level. Suddenly, that type of storytelling had become very profitable, telling stories about dudes that were in love with one another, who don't f*ck yet. So suddenly, I was making one with the guy from the other one that was insanely successful, so I'm making mine with the 'Knocked Up' guy and everybody thought it would do $60-70 (million) but it wound up doing 'Kevin Smith business.' At that point, I was like, 'Okay, I'm done, I give up, I can't stand it anymore.' If I were to write at that point in my life, which I often do, I would have been writing a script about this poor fat kid whose movie didn't make enough money. Nobody wants to see that f*cking movie, least of all me. At that point, I'm like, 'I just won't say anything for a while.' Into my life comes the script for 'A Couple of Dicks' that the Cullen brothers had sent to me because I worked with them on this pilot called 'Man-Child' for Showtime, so I'd seen the script and saw their name on it, but I didn't know why they'd send it to me. Then I got an Email from Jeff Robinov, the guy who runs Warner Bros., and he said, 'Hey, what do you think about A Couple of Dicks?' And I said, 'I can answer that question a number of ways.' He wanted me to read it and I read it and I said, 'This is funny, dude, do you want me to rewrite it? There's not much I can do 'cause this sh*t is funny. I can take your money to rewrite but I'd only add a couple of jokes.' He said 'Not rewrite.' 'You want me to cameo? You want me to be that Dave guy, 'cause that part's funny. I can see a fat guy doing parkour.' He goes, 'I find it very odd that it takes you three guesses why I sent you, a filmmaker, a script. That's just really funny. Three guesses. I'm surprised you didn't ask me if I wanted you to do craft services.'"

Brooklyn, Queens, Etc...

"I had no idea there was more than one borough in the city. I grew up in Jersey and whenever we said 'The city,' it was Manhattan, so this script was written for Los Angeles, and when we talked about coming over here to do it in New York, they did a rewrite and most of it was still set on the island. So when we got here, we were based out of Kaufman Astoria in Queens and I was like 'Where is Queens?' and they said, 'It's where Spider-Man lives.' Once we were there, I spent more time there than I ever spent before. I was discovering Queens and then they introduced me to Brooklyn, but I'd heard about but always thought it was a fictional place from a storybook. Suddenly, you meet these two completely other boroughs that is kind of like the real New York in a weird way. I was meeting people in the boroughs who was like 'I've never been to Manhattan, what's it like?' I was like, 'You are SH*TTING me!' and they're like, 'Have you ever been to Brooklyn before?' No, good point."

Letting Tracy Morgan Run Wild

"It never hurts to always unleash, because you can always rein it in in the editing room, so while we were on the set, I think for the first week, Bruce was like, 'Why aren't we cutting yet?' because we would just keep rolling. The scene proper would be done but I'd still be rolling, because I knew Tracy would be like, 'Okay, now the scene's about to begin.' It took a while for everybody to catch on that we're just going to go and see what happens, and I'll just call out sh*t like 'Say this, say this!' Having Bruce there absolutely helped because Bruce would be a true governor where he would be like, 'This is not funny. Why are we talking about this?' so we were like, 'Okay, if Bruce doesn't think it's funny, let's rein it in.'"

An Audience of One... Named "Bruce Willis"

"All of us were stepping up our A game just to make this one f*cking dude laugh and I think that is part of the reason why that scene is so funny. He didn't figure it out until the very end. I think Bruce felt, 'Ah, we're all making a movie,' but he's got 25 years. He's got longevity in a business that doesn't have longevity anymore. When I was a kid and I walked into a video store or movie theater, they'd have a picture of Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, sh*t like that, to represent movies. He's that face. He represents movies now. You go into a video store or a movie theatre and they have murals? There's John McLane or any number of things he's been in. He's like a living legend and sh*t and I was intimidated 'cause I'd never worked with a movie star before. Please don't tell Ben Affleck I said that."

Working in the Studio System

"I give credit to Jeff Robinov. This is the nearest thing that I can figure out now that I've been inside. This guy seems to be making all these weird decisions and moves that are good. Basically he takes interesting filmmakers and puts them into studio movies, so you've got Guy Ritchie shooting 'Sherlock Holmes,' you've got Christopher Nolan shooting f*cking 'Dark Knight,' you got me shooting 'Cop Out.' There was some other f*cker they did. I like what they do here, but I make movies that need a needle to be thread and they make chainsaws at Warner Bros. Their thing is that 'We like how they thread a needle but let's see if they can make a chainsaw.' You got cats doing stuff you wouldn't normally associate them with and I like that, that's ballsy, that's trying for something. Soderbergh laid the ground. He went into Warner Bros. first and said, 'I'm going to make 'Ocean's 11,' I'm the guy who made Schizopolis." You can't make two different f*cking movies than that! But he did and he was successful."

Studios Do Have Their Benefits

"The best example of having them behind you is three weeks I was up in Toronto and we were four weeks out from my release right now and there was more awareness for my movie this far our than there was for 'Zack and Miri' 12 seconds ago, that's the difference. When we had the title hiccup, when there was the moment where we had to change from 'A Couple of Dicks' to 'Cop Out,' their whole thing was, 'We can't market the movie effectively if we can't run ads before 9pm.' That was the problem. If we can't do that, we can't market the movie effectively. I was like, 'What are you talking about? It's an R-rated movie, we're going after people who watch TV after 9 anyway!' Their marketing is like the Bombing of Dresden, they just take it out and they make a huge impact. You cannot turn around without being aware of that movie and what it's kind of about and when it's opening, that's how they market. So the idea of them not being able to advertise before 9pm terrified them. Once we agreed to change it and they started their marketing campaign a month later, you could see why they were nervous. You can't do what they're doing with this movie if you're hamstrung by a time. They've owned the Olympics for the last week. Every time I've watched an Olympic event, it's like 'Sponsored by Cop Out' and I'm like 'WHAT? I made that movie!!!' Because for fifteen years in the world I come from, I was so involved in the marketing and publicity and they always tell you where it is and what you need to do to make it better, I was used to that, and these cats are like, 'You did your job, you made the movie, thank you, we got this from here.' All of a sudden, you'll be walking somewhere and there'll be a billboard up and you'll be like, 'How did that happen?'"

The Retro Music

"Ironically, we were shooting the movie and I would always say to Robb and Mark Cullen, 'Am I crazy man? I just want Harold Faltermeyer to score the movie.' The vibe I was going for when I was shooting was 'Fletch,' and I was temping the movie with 'Fletch' cues and sh*t. At the same time, Faltermeyer apparently went into Warner Bros. and was just like, 'Hey, man, I feel like scoring again, what do you guys have?' 'Well, we're not sure, but we'll get back to you when we figure something out.' Then all of a sudden, I was calling someone at Warner Bros. going, 'Hey, would you guys fight me on Harold Faltermeyer?' So they put us together and I loved him so much. He watched our temp cut which had all of his music in it from 'Fletch,' 'Tango & Cash,' 'Beverly Hills Cop,' so he was just f*cking flattered. He was sitting there watching the movie where he was the third character the whole time, so when he came back to do the original score--as opposed to all the cues of his we stole before--he just did a great job. I loved every time I would get an Email from Harold Faltmeyer and there would be a cue in it. Pull it down, put it in my iTunes and listen to it and the first time I heard the theme song, the main cue? I just wanted to go back in time and tell 15-year-old me, 'You're going to have a Harold Faltermeyer theme song in your movie!'"

Before we wrapped up, Smith also talked about editing the movie himself and how important that is to his creative process even for a movie he didn't write and how hard it was for him to accept the fact that the studio wanted another editor to come in after Smith to do a pass on it. Like with Faltermeyer, Smith threw out a name of an editor he liked and trusted, that being Stephen Mirrione, the Oscar winning editor of Steven Soderbergh's Traffic, and Warner Bros. indeed got Mirrione to look the movie over, but he only made a couple of changes.

All of the above culminates with the release of Cop Out nationwide on February 26.