Blog Archives

Happy Monday!

Just minutes ago (literally), the first official trailer for ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ dropped online by Sony Pictures Entertainment. It’s the third film in the series, but the immediate sequel to the 2017 movie ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ that was made without Robin Williams. The latest two films have, appropriately, been made with a different tone and direction than the original classic from 1995. And this new level of ‘Jumanji’ cinematic storytelling centered around a vintage video game called Jumanji gone awry has been surprisingly entertaining and interesting.

The primary cast includes Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan. A couple of the newcomers to the series includes movie veterans Danny DeVito and Danny Glover.

Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado…

What’s old is new again.

‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ arrives in a theater near you this Christmas.

Have a Better Week Than Last Week. 

The Many Forms of Unity for Notre Dame

Pictures say a thousand words. Videos say a hundred thousand words. And a particular video game just might reveal the exact right amount of detail that could render someone speechless.

The fire in Notre Dame Cathedral has brought us together, evidenced by the staggering $1 billion that’s been raised this week for rebuilding the famed Parisian church. The world was watching this past Monday in horror as an inferno engulfed Notre Dame — which was particularly devastating for those witnessing the fire in person — and in addition to saving priceless works of religious art and relics, the architectural struggle begins to restore the church. Surely there are several traditional reference points to assist in this incredible task.

But what about untraditional sources of information? What if there is a high-definition, digital record of Notre Dame’s intricate Gothic architectural beauty that is discoverable by the title ‘Assassin’s Creed Unity’?

Your son or nephew may possess a helpful key to rediscovering Notre Dame’s past for the future.

Who would have thought?

“The free offer for Assassin’s Creed Unity is a way for Ubisoft to share the cathedral in its original form to as many as possible. As a French company, it put a lot of love into its rendition and is donating €500,000 ($564,000, £433,000) to help with the restoration.”
–Ryan Maskell, ‘Ubisoft is giving refunds for poorly timed Assassin’s Creed Unity purchases,’ PCGamesN online 

The intersection of popular culture in the form of film, TV and video games with real-world situations/reality is just getting busier by the day. Recall the dedicated interest of Christopher Nolan and Co. to work with famed American theoretical physicist Kip Thorne to visually create a black hole for the 2014 science fiction film ‘Interstellar’ that turned out to be pretty damn close to the first image of a black hole in space. Now a video game could assist in rebuilding Notre Dame Cathedral. 

While I’m not surprised by this revelation, I am nonetheless at a slight loss for words in happiness that a video game can help restore Notre Dame Cathedral in 2019.

Tim Cook’s A(pple)+

It was fitting for Apple, Inc.’s brass to present its “+” services in the Steve Jobs Theater in northern California. That “one more thing” addition at the end of those now iconic Steve Jobs presentations from yesteryear is thankfully ingrained in the cultural and innovative DNA of Apple. And after recent years of veritable coasting regarding the popular yet technologically and stylistically static iPhone, iPad and the like, Tim Cook’s Apple needed to make an imaginative splash that would generate new curiosity and excitement.

The details from Apple’s big event yesterday are limited. However, the potential of the new services and the industry leaders creating with the innovative tech giant is enough of a headline and opening statement to quench our thirst for now. Here are the highlights of Apple’s big day.

Apple gets an A+ for recruiting top talent to join its streaming video service via future TV and film offerings. Above all, Steven Spielberg’s partnership with Apple is truly special.

Speaking of Mr. Spielberg, it should be noted that some people are criticizing the famed director because of his recent stand against Netflix films being nominated for Academy Awards without a long theatrical release are misguided in their criticism.

By the way, Mr. Spielberg is 100% correct in his view.

During his presentation yesterday, the Academy award winner did not advocate for films on Apple’s new streaming service to be eligible for Academy Awards. He did not mention anything of the sort. All he discussed is the exciting potential for creating new stories on its expanded video streaming platform, which is in concert with his recent comments that great TV shows and movies are being made today on many different platforms.

Just needed to offer a quick and necessary defense of Steven Spielberg because of the fact that details matter. And the details concerning all of the new Apple + services will ultimately determine the future success of Tim Cook’s Apple in a variety of areas during the next five to 10 years.

What Apple did yesterday at its March 2019 event was prove it can still surprise with excitement.

And we can take that to the bank like never before.

The Biggest Screening of the Future?

I’m ready already.

Yesterday’s Happy Monday kicked-off a week of blog posts leading up to the highly-anticipated science-fiction cinematic adventure Ready Player One. A film intertwined with VR-technology that may not be as far off into the future as we imagine has been described as “Pure Spielberg magic” by Empire Magazine’s movie critic Terri White.

The scenes in the real world look gritty and, well, real. The scenes in virtual reality look visually stunning and playfully immersive from an inactive audience perspective.

The making of this cinematic experience behind-the-scenes is equally engaging.

Could this be a modern attempt at Back to the Future-level nostalgia and visions of the future?

We’ll just have to see. Literally.