Friday, December 21, 2007


It's happened!!! As announced at (the official new Hobbit movie blog) and many press releases all over the place:

* MGM and New Line will co-finance and co-distribute two films, "The Hobbit" and a sequel to "The Hobbit." New Line will distribute in North America and MGM will distribute internationally.

* Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh will serve as Executive Producers of two films based on "The Hobbit." New Line will manage the production of the films, which will be shot simultaneously.

* Peter Jackson and New Line have settled all litigation relating to the "Lord of the Rings" (LOTR) Trilogy.

Said Peter Jackson, "I’m very pleased that we've been able to put our differences behind us, so that we may begin a new chapter with our old friends at New Line. 'The Lord of the Rings' is a legacy we proudly share with Bob and Michael, and together, we share that legacy with millions of loyal fans all over the world. We are delighted to continue our journey through Middle Earth. I also want to thank Harry Sloan and our new friends at MGM for helping us find the common ground necessary to continue that journey."

Awesome! I'm glad someone at New Line finally came to their senses!

And a relevant bit of speculation from

Why did this happen now, after many years of bitterness between Jackson and New Line over the Lord of the Rings payouts? I suppose there are many reasons, but I would suppose one very relevant proximate cause would be Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne trying to save their !@#$ in the wake of the very expensive The Golden Compass cratering very badly at the box office ($40 million in two weeks, with a nearly 66% dropoff in the second weekend — not good news when your production budget is $180 million and you’ve sold off the foreign rights). My guess: it’ll work.

Me, too. ☺ Although I'm not too sure how I feel about them striking out on their own from Tolkien to make a movie depicting, "The 80 years between The Hobbit and LOTR". I'll take a 'wait and see' approach on that one, though with Jackson at the helm, I'm sure it'll be (at minimum) a hit. I'm still personally nervous about Smaug - Aslan was pretty darn convincing in Narnia - even when he talked (the last part of CG characters I still think nobody's ever gotten the hang of, but who's ever seen a dragon? So how do you make one look like it's really talking? I've always hoped they'd wait on making The Hobbit long enough to convince me, rather than having this huge cartoon-y (read: unconvincing) character in the middle of an epic movie. Maybe they'll manage. I hope so. I really hope so.

Oh, and on a related note - here's a great comic that came out regarding the original decision not to let Peter Jackson in on the Hobbit; no longer applicable, but so true, and quite funny (check out the following few days' comics as well for how LOTR might have looked under different directors) - enjoy!

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Carol Rantings

This time of year, there's a lot of Christmas Carols on the radio, and while this is usually something I welcome, there's always a few things that make me stop and go "...what!!?"

Song: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Line: "There'll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago"
Question: When was the last time a scary ghost story was part of your Christmas celebration? Maybe it's referring to A Christmas Carol? Or maybe the line should just be "We'll tell our favorite stories and tales of the glories..."?

Song: Last Christmas (I gave you my heart)
Question: Who thought this song was in the spirit of Christmas!!? The next day you broke my heart, so next year I'll give my heart to someone special? Fine, it's a fine song, lots of worse lyrics in popular songs are out there (Follow me [everything is all right] being certanly among them), but in a Christmas 'carol'? Really?

Song: My Favorite Things (from the Sound of Music)
Question: Who decided this was a Christmas song? It was originally sung in the summer! It mentions presents, silver-white winters and...that's about it! But still, you hear it all over the place!

Song: Jingle Bells
Question: Oh yeah, I'm even going there. OK, so it's just antiquated language, and many Christmas songs have that, no problem. But this one's pretty much a kids' song...and they have NO idea what upsot means! In fact, I don't really either, though adults can guess from the context. Maybe the line could easily be, "The horse was lean and lank, misfortune seemed his luck, he got into a drifted bank, and then we all got stuck!"

Song: soooo many I can't count them
Gripe: OK people, the plural of 'reindeer' is 'reindeer', not 'reindeers'. It's not cute, it's annoying. Stop changing songs by mis-saying 'reindeer'. The only reason the word reindeers should appear in "Rudolph" is if you're talking about the reindeers' games. See the apostrophe? It's posessive - that's the only time you're allowed to say 'reindeers'!!! ☺

Anyway, not that I'm really passionate about any of this, I just thought I'd share some of my random thoughts that pop up while listening to Christmas radio!

Merry Christmas, all!


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Wii Photo Channel to drop MP3 playback (and Shop Channel to allow gifts)

Nintendo announced on my Wii yesterday that a new version (v1.1) of the Photo Channel is available, and includes the ability to play AAC files and lets you choose a photo to use as the Photo Channel icon on the Wii menu. Sounds great, if less than groundbreaking. Well, I wasn't interested in downloading it last night, and it's a good thing I didn't. I looked it up today and found out that they're not simply adding AAC support, they're dropping MP3 support when they do! That's stupid - MP3 is still the most user-friendly and popular audio format out there; why drop it? Surely the codecs aren't so large that the Wii can't hold them both simultaneously! I like the idea of adding AAC files - they have their advantages - but not dropping MP3 in FAVOR of AAC!

At least they're being smart about it - you don't HAVE to upgrade your Photo Channel if you don't want to: other Wii system updates will continue to install, no problem. I guess it's like not downloading the Internet Channel - it's just a program that's either there, or not.

The other good thing is that the same article states that games with MP3 support will not be affected at all by this change. Wait, there's games that play MP3s?
Apparently I should be reading the instruction manuals that come with my games - Excite Truck can do just that! That's awesome, because other than Bust-a-move Bash and maybe Rayman, Excite Truck's soundtrack is the most annoying one I've heard in a Wii game. I've got to try that out now.

Well, back on the Photo Channel change - I guess if I decide to install it, I can just use iTunes to rip my the existing MP3s I want the Wii to play into AAC (available by right-clicking on a song in your library and choosing "Convert to AAC". Then once I rip them into AAC and move the file onto the SD card, I'll have to delete the duplicate song from the iTunes library. Not the best, but I guess if I decide I really want a custom icon in the Wii menu, there are worse things. Hopefully Nintendo will realize people aren't happy with this change and add it back in. Of course, it's only techno-geeks that care, so I'm guessing that masses of angry Nintendo fans won't be storming Kyoto anytime soon.

One thing that's very cool that they announced in the same message, however, is the new ability to give Wii Shop software as gifts to other Wii owners you have in your buddy list. That's more fun than giving Wii points cards, and it looks like they've done a good job of allowing you to refuse the gift, giving the giver a full refund if you don't want it, and not allowing someone to give you something you've already got. And if you don't accept the gift for 45 days, it's automatically returned, with a full refund for the giver. Nice.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Super Mario Galaxy

OK, so I don't "officially" have this game yet (it's my Christmas present, but if Kyla gets to play with hers early, so do I ☺), but I've played about 30 minutes into Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii, and let me just say...YEAH!!!

It's gotta be done by the same team that did Mario 64, or's so close to the same game. The controls, jumps, etc are pretty much identical. But that's a GOOD thing - Mario 64 was AWESOME, after all. And after the disaster that was Super Mario Sunshine, this is a breath of fresh air. And what a genious way of bringing in 2-player mode - Kyla can just come in and out of the game as she pleases!

Anyway, this game rocks. Now I'm just waiting for Mario Kart Wii in February - WiFi enabled is going to MAKE this game.

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