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Amazon Kindle for Christmas
Witch Creek fund raiser
Status Quo in search of the Fourth Chord
Thoughts on the Warcraft movie
Spinal Tap are Back From The Dead
Infogrames becomes Atari becomes Infogrames becomes Atari again
Star Wars USB Thumb Drives
Monopoy Star Trek is here!
New extended Indiana Jones soundtracks are here!
"Defiance" soundtrack, a pleasant surprise
Exciter re-issue arrives in stores
Merry Christmas!
Monster Lab is cool!
Buy Black Jack Pro for the iPhone and get the PC version fo free!
Ray Van Horn Jr. prepares for Halloween
Robert Harris on DNR
Stan Winston has passed away
Toshiba's next attempt to foil Blu-Ray's success
Forget the naysayers, Blu-Ray is marching into homes
DVD Review now with 5-star rating

5/20/2013

A first look at OUYA

A few days ago I received my OUYA, a small, brand new video game console that has been funded through a sensational Kickstarter campaign last year. As an early backer I was lucky enough to get a unit early on and was eager to take a look.


The first thing that will strike you when you look at the OUYA is just how small it is. It's tiny, really, and yet it is a high end machine that produces high end graphics and has enough horsepower under the hood to keep games running smoothly. It is a bit of a miracle of technology.
Another big difference between the OUYA and, say, the Playstation, is that it is an open platform. This means that it is open to developers to create content and make it available to the public, without any walled gardens or barriers of entry. Anyone can write software for OUYA and anyone can develop hardware for OUYA. It is that concept that made me back the console during its Kickstarter campaign.
Upon running OUYA for the first time, however, I also got the impression, that, over time, this may also become OUYA's Achilles Heel. After I set up the console and booted it up for the first time I decided to download a few games, just to give the device a spin. I found the OUYA's user interface a bit clumsy. In fact, text descriptions ran off the screen and were clipped, making it impossible to read at times, without awkwardly scrolling the desktop around the screen. I would have thought the console could detect the resolution of my TV set - especially since it was connected through an HDMI port - but for some reason it renders the screen to wide, hiding information off-screen. Well, eh, okay.
After clumsily trying to locate a suitable game for a first impression I decided to grab an arcade game, downloaded it and was greeted by some horribly upscaled title screen with upscaling artifacts and hand-drawn arrows for instructions that looked like a five-year-old's first attempts at Photoshop.
The game itself didn't fare much better and was deleted within 30 seconds. Okay, that impression was not that great and while the second and third selection of games fared somewhat better, I could already tell that quality will be a major issue on OUYA.
We are currently in the roll-out phase where the company should really try to put showcase products on their deck, games that people truly want to play. Instead, it appears as if the deck consists to a large degree of games that have been ported from mobile devices to a video game console. The reason is clear, of course. OUYA runs Android, one of the major operating systems in the mobile space and it seems an easy step to just port it over real quick and join the party.
That mentality could backfire horribly, however, for everyone involved. Unless OUYA can prove that it is a desirable platform with high quality games, I fear the console may just be obsolete before it even came out of the gates. But we'll see, I do not want to be too harsh, the coming months will show us which direction OUYA is headed.

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4/12/2013

Why do Digital Copies expire?

  The other day I ran into a little snag that actually bothered me a bit. I tried to load a of onto my iPad. Owning the of the movie this should have been easy enough, right? Well, it would have been if the digital copy hadn't expired yet.  This was the first time I was confronted with the fact that digital copies actually have a shelf life. Unless you redeem them by a certain date, you will no longer have access to them - something that really goes against my grain.  I talked to about it and while they were very eager and helpful to dig deeper into this, the outcome is, unfortunately, what it is. I had hoped there may be a way to obtain newer registration keys to unlock the digital copy, but as it turns out once control is handed over to Apple's iTunes store, not even Warner Brothers can do anything - not even issue new registration keys that would keep the title alive. The only solution would be for Warner to essentially create a completely new digital copy of the film and place it on iTunes.  The question of course is, why are these copies limited, anyway? Perhaps, to make sure a digital copy is once again a purchasing incentive when a film is re-released after a few years. Perhaps it is simply to curb in illegal downloads somewhat. Perhaps it is just to give the studios a bit of comfort that they do not have digital copies of movies floating around for eternity. I don't know. What I do know is that as a consumer it is frustrating to find hat your copy has expired by the time you actually get around to watching the film.  What have your experiences been in that respect?

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3/26/2013

Shimano Extreme Fishing

  Over the weekend I had the chance to check out the new video game for Wii. It is a new fishing game that offers not only traditional , but also includes for added diversity.


  This was the first time I really played a fishing game. Previously I had simply looked at screenshots and wondered how the experience of fishing could possibly be relayed through a video game. Since the Wii has introduced new game mechanics with its wireless controllers, I found myself much less sceptic and decided to give it a shot. In the end, I had quite a bit of fun. It is nothing like real fishing, but it's is enjoyable entertainment nonetheless.
  The game allows you to follow a career path in which you have to catch certain types of fish in increasing difficulty in order to progress. Difficulty here relates to how hard it is to actually locate the fish, to lure it and ultimately to fight it. In nature some fish are notorious fighters and take certain sets of skill in order to land. This wearing-out process is reproduced in the game nicely along with some other cool kicks.
  Of course, there's also a free fishing mode in which you can decide for yourself what you want to hunt for, or simply we a lure for the fun of it. Free fishing consists of a series of unlockable 'areas' introducing new species, lures and techniques as you go along.
  I had a great time with this weekend and thought I'd pass the info along to you, in case anyone else is interested in some indoor fishing - particularly as the season gets colder.

Guido Henkel

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12/23/2010

Happy Holidays!

  We are heading straight into the new year as I write this, and I wanted to take a moment to wish all our readers Happy Holidays!
This has been a very interesting year - a very busy one, too. With so many things going on, it was hard not to get completely frazzled. As you may know, aside from running DVD Review, this year saw the launch of my gothic horror dime novel series 'Jason Dark: Ghost Hunter.'
  Never would I have imagined the amount of work that would go into this project - and I am not even talking about the actual writing of these stories but rather all the stuff around it. All the effort and time that is necessary to promote a self-published series such as this is tremendous and can easily suck every spare minute out of your life.
  On the movie front there was surprisingly little development this year. DVD is fading rapidly as Blu-Ray has firmly established itself as the major format in homes. The big surprise, however, was how thin the release catalog was. It is evident that studios are focussing mostly on releasing new theatrical titles and give little thought on back catalogs, and if they do, it is really just the blockbusters of days past, making for a somewhat lackluster selection at times. While it makes business sense for the studios, I'm sure, for consumers looking for high def versions of the favorite movies. Sadly it also meant that we were bombarded with a slew of ridiculously bad movies, simply because they came fresh off their box office losses and were still making use of the marketing afterburners. The crap I've seen this year wow!
  So, with that in mind, once again, let me wish you all Happy Holidays. Be safe and enjoy the company of your loved ones, and thank you very much for all your support!

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10/14/2010

EBook Highlights

If you are a book reader like I am, chances are you have embraced the digital revolution by now. With better and cheaper digital eBook reading devices like the Kindle, Nook, or even your cell phones all around us, I have the distinct impression that people are reading more than ever.
At the same time, this digital book revolution has opened the doors for countless authors who had previously never been published. Like with Desktop Publishing, Video and Music before, now everyone with a computer can publish their own writing as eBook and get it in front of a huge audience. As a result, it is becoming increasingly harder for readers to find books that are worth their while.
In response to this problem, our own Lieu Pham has put together a website that highlights individual titles and gives them a platform to present themselves, in an attempt to find an audience. The site is called and I urge you to go visit the site, bookmark it, subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up for their newsletter. Every day you will find new exciting titles presented there from across all genres, and I am sure there will be more than a few to pique your interest. Whether you own a Kindle, or a Nook, the iPad or a Sony reader, is entirely format agnostic and will point you towards interesting reading materials 7 days a week!

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7/30/2010

New Kindle coming soon

As faithful readers may recall some time ago I have begun publishing my own dime novel series which has since constantly gathered success and critical acclaim throughout the media. One of the cornerstones of the series is its availability in eBook form. While not limited to eBooks - the volumes are also available in print - I have always been a proponent of digital distribution, as it makes it so much easier and faster for fans to access content.
I was very happy to see that has not only slashed the price of their fabulous eBook reader Kindle recently, but this week they also announced a brand new re-design of the device, bringing the to market in late August.
As anyone who owns a Kindle can attest, this device is a revelation, giving you access to any book in the within seconds, and making the reading experience every bit as involving as a print book - without the dead-tree syndrome. With its new improvements I am very likely to replace my own Kindle with this new version when it becomes available, and I think your should give it a look too.
Of course, no Kindle is complete without a good selection of stories on them, so make sure to check them out on or on

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2/18/2010

The Eastwood Factor screening

  In order to celebrate the incredible body of work of a true living legend, held a screening last night of , a new documentary by film historian Richard Schickel. Over 35 years now, has been working with Warner Brothers and has acted and/or directed 35 films for them, including his two Best Picture Oscar winners, and .

  Events such as this are momentous occasions and I always feel very privileged to be a part of them, as they give you a glimpse at something that is truly larger than life. The screening was followed by a with Clint Eastwood where he proved that he is every bit as charismatic and spritely, despite his age, as you would imagine. An impressive tall man with a clear sense of humor, is one of those stars who makes you stop for a moment and think. I was watching this man on the silver screen when I was a kid, and here we are so many years later and he is still creating some of Hollywood's most memorable films.
  Schickel's film manages to capture some of those rare moments where you get to see Clint Eastwood, the man, and not the superstar. Whether it's a quick, candid surprise shot behind the scenes, a look at Eastwood at work on the set, or Eastwood giving viewers a tour of the Malpaso offices on the Warner lot, he is always extremely affable and personable in the documentary - as in real life.
  The documentary is part of Warner's incredible 35 DVD set called that is in stores now and should probably be part of any real Eastwood fans' collection.
  Also in attendance last night was actor who has collaborated on numerous occasions with Eastwood, including the most recent film for which everyone has highest Academy Award hopes, of course. I, for one, will keep my fingers crossed for them.

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1/12/2010

Jason Dark: Ghost Hunter unveiled

Today I would like to direct your attention towards an exciting project I have been working on for the past 2 years. I have been sneaky, I know, not telling you about this, but stealthily and quietly I have been working on dime-novel style series of gothic horror adventures called .

Finally last week, after all this time of preparation, I have been able to launch the series and would like to invite you, too, to check it out. You can in your web browser, or you can buy them in a print edition, or a digital eBook version if you so prefer.
Where fog shrouds the streets of Victorian England, where evil lurks behind street corners and nightmares dance in the souls of men, comes the Geisterjger. Descended from an ancestral line of ghost hunters, Jason Dark is the Geisterjger of his generation. Facing the horrors, the demons, the vampires, the werecreatures, and every other diabolical monster imaginable on behalf of a more civilized world. Risking his own life, sanity, and soul, Dark faces unmentionable terror - perhaps even the Devil himself. Join the Ghost Hunter in his arcane and ethereal exploits - unless, of course, you're afraid of the Dark.
Curious yet? Well, I certainly hope so, because I would like to invite you over to for a closer look. With lots of additional info, downloads, and of course the adventures themselves, there is plenty to discover and like, I hope. See you there...

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