OK, Rambo 4 is only out in the US, so for the rest of us, here’s the trailer:
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) is in all likelihood going on strike starting Monday. This from Inthenews
A federal mediator attended the eight-hour talks, with the writers’ union seeking extra revenue for the re-use of their work when reproduced on DVD, the internet and mobile phones.
But studios issued a statement confirming increased demands from the WGA had constituted a “complete roadblock to any further progress”.
Btw, the last WGA strike was in in 1988 and lasted 22 weeks. It cost Hollywood an estimated $500 million.
Everyone (and their grandma) is predicting a demise for Blu-ray and hence Sony and even the Playstation 3. It’s been just over two months since Blu-ray’s premiere and these “format” wars are not decided in a day. If wars were decided in a day (or a month), Hitler would’ve taken both Russia and the UK (extrapolating his early successes).
HD DVD experienced a surge around Christmas when studios supporting it released more titles than the Blu-ray camp. The situation has changed a bit. While Universal is silent about upcoming HD DVD titles, the Blu-ray camp churns new titles.
Looking at the release lists, Blu-ray studios are going to release MORE movies in February than HD DVD released in 2006. I’m not eager to announce them winners just yet. These guys should’ve settled their difference a long time ago anyway. Sometimes it’s the consumer who’s the best judge of a format but the HD media doesn’t come particularly cheap as to allow open experimentation.
Or is it? The North American HD DVD Promotional Group took advantage of CES to get out the following:
As of January 5th, the group estimates there were more than 175,000 HD DVD players sold in America, with an annualized attach rate of 28 movies per player. The group projects sales will reach 2.5 million players by the end of this year and more than $600 million worth of movie revenues. HD DVD buyers can look forward to more HDi enhanced titles, now featuring internet features that were demoed at the event, as well as more players hitting the market from manufacturers like Lite-On, Alco, Alpine, Meridian and Onkyo. Look for the trend of combo releases to continue, as the format’s backers see it as a viable way of introducing current DVD owners to the format and building a library prior to upgrading.
Numbers usually don’t lie. And the numbers here (at least in terms of players) are very much skewed in favor of the Blu-ray camp. The reason? One million Playstation 3 have been purchased and I bet this is just the beginning.
Blu-Ray is piggy-backing on Playstation 3 recent launch.
So far HD DVD leads the way with 130 titles released. Blu-ray is closely behind with 116. The titles to be released any moment are:
The Architect (Magnolia)
Bulletproof Monk (Fox)
A Christmas Story (Warner)
Flight of the Phoenix (Fox)
From Hell (Fox)
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Warner)
Rising Sun (Fox)
I’m a big SONY fan so I hope Blu-ray doesn’t turn out to be the new Beta Max.
A friend of mine recommended The Devil’s Miner and I definitely plan to see it. It’s a documentary about Basilio Vargas, a Bolivian child miner. It’s like a cross between citizen journalism and gonzo journalism. Kief Davidson, director, says:
The challenge for THE DEVIL’S MINER was finding a young boy who could carry and narrate a feature-length film. We hired a former miner and local guide who introduced us to a dozen families. The Vargas family was the first on his list and we were immediately captivated with Basilio’s positive energy, intelligence and articulate speech.
From a filmmaker’s perspective, there were some important technical challenges like lighting and cameras. I’m still trying to figure out from the photo if they are using an HD cam or not. It looks like a Sony FX1 with some accessories :
In the claustrophobic tunnels, we shot with a small-format digital camera. Anything larger would have been impossible. The miners’ open-flame carbon lamps were used as the main source of lighting…
You can visit The Devil’s Miner official site where there’s a trailer and plenty of information about the documenary. You can also order the DVD.