In 3D!

Yesterday Geoff posted the following Facebook update:

Geoff - 3D Movie Remakes Facebook Post

This inspired us to come up with other titles for 3D movie remakes. A sampling:

  • Inglorious Basterds: The 3rD Reich
  • Back to the Future Part III-D
  • 2 Fast 3D Furious
  • Live 3D or Die Hard
  • 3D Men and a Baby
  • 3D0 (300)
  • 3D Ninjas
  • Independence Day – I3D:4
  • Dragon Wars: 3D War
  • The 3D Amigos
  • D3D The Mighty Ducks: “The quack attack is back Jack… IN 3D!”
  • Numb3Drs (technically a TV show, but still awesome)

Got any more?

[discuss]

HTML5 Video Playlist: A Brief Kludge

Twitter buddy @adecelle issued a challenge:

The listing in question describes how to replace an HTML5 video source in sequence; basically, it lets a single <video> tag change its movie in the course of playing the video, resulting in a YouTube-style playlist. Problem was, in the form presented on the site, there was no intuitive way to add x more videos, and the second video in the sequence would loop forever. It had been awhile since I had gotten to practice some coding, so I figured I’d give it a go.

As it turns out, this was a difficult nut to crack. My repeated Google searches on how to construct an HTML5 video playlist yielded a handful of code examples from various sources, but these examples were apparently written completely off the cuff and were more broken than the Apple code. Eventually I had to cobble snippets from multiple sources to make a functional output with the desired capabilities:


<script type="text/javascript">

function myEndedListener(){
var myVideo = document.getElementsByTagName(‘video’)[0];
myVideo.addEventListener(‘ended’,myNewSrc,false);
}

function myNewSrc() {
var myVideo = document.getElementsByTagName(‘video’)[0];
myVideo.src=”videoplaylisttest2.m4v”;
myVideo.removeEventListener(‘ended’,myNewSrc,false);
myVideo.load();
myVideo.play();
myVideo.addEventListener(‘ended’,myNewSrc2,false);
}

function myNewSrc2() {
var myVideo = document.getElementsByTagName(‘video’)[0];
myVideo.src=”videoplaylisttest3.m4v”;
myVideo.removeEventListener(‘ended’,myNewSrc2,false);
myVideo.load();
myVideo.play();
myVideo.addEventListener(‘ended’,myNewSrc3,false);
}

function myNewSrc3() {
var myVideo = document.getElementsByTagName(‘video’)[0];
myVideo.src=”videoplaylisttest4.m4v”;
myVideo.removeEventListener(‘ended’,myNewSrc3,false);
myVideo.load();
myVideo.play();
}

</script>

<video controls src=”videoplaylisttest1.m4v”>
</video>

Example site (H.264 videos in MP4 containers; YMMV)

I was particularly proud of finding the bug on the Apple developer page: the event listener keeping tabs on the ‘ended’ state of video playback (when the video reaches its end) was reloading the same video over and over again when playback concluded. It was on the Opera Developer Community page that I found the solution in removeEventListener() (their multiple video example, for the record, was fairly unusable as well, but I appreciate their help in coming up with a solution).

The end result is messy code, to be certain. I’m fairly confident that someone more technically savvy and JavaScript-fluent could come up with a cleaner solution, but as Paul told me, the important thing is that it fulfills the function (tested on Safari 4.0.5 for Mac OS X Snow Leopard and MobileSafari 3.1.3 for iPhone 3GS; the initial autoplay doesn’t work on the iPhone but the sequential JavaScript fu works like a charm on both).

“Why post all this JavaScript/HTML5 stuff on your sporadically-updated blog about video games and stuff?”, I hear you ask? Simply put, I wanted to add something to the search results pool in the hope that someone else can stumble upon this tiny corner of the Internet and benefit from all this legwork. Good luck, wayward e-vagrant!

[discuss]

The Friggin’ Future

On a recent trip to Seattle, I once again realized just how amazing it is to live in The Friggin’ Future. With an iPhone 3GS (basically an extension of my arm at this point), I was able to:

•get walking directions from airport to hotel, around the city and back again, including light rail and bus routes with scheduled times (Maps, OneBusAway)
•consult user-submitted restaurant recommendations (Yelp)
•track spending (iBank)
•record the entirety of a concert (Camera) (don’t worry, it was w00tstock and was released under a Creative Commons license)
•keep hundreds of friends and well-wishers up to date up to the minute on happenings (Tweetie)

(I didn’t even get into really fancy stuff like geotracking the whole trip via Dopplr, mostly because I only just discovered Dopplr today. I TOTALLY would have though)

As much as this sort of thing has become commonplace, I can’t help but stop and marvel at times. It wasn’t terribly long ago that the notion of a pocket-sized device that could accomplish all these feats was in the realm of science fiction. But even the tricorders of Star Trek future history are primitive when compared to what has actually been created. The creators of that program could not have conceived of a worldwide network with virtually unlimited information at our fingertips (if you recall, most Treks had all their data stored locally on computers onboard their starships, basically servers with warp drive; I suppose if your ship can outrun data transfer speeds, a long-range Wi-Fi network might become a thing of novelty… but as is so often the case when Star Trek comes up, I digress).

Though I didn’t realize it when I bought my first iPhone in 2007, the device has become an absolute necessity in my life. It is my lifeline to the outside world on a level of profundity that a landline telephone could never hope to achieve. True, it has been a steady source of content consumption as my portable car stereo and TV (though the iPad has taken over the latter function with gusto), but it’s also the primary connection through which I socialize with a myriad of friends and well-wishers online. Some might express concern at eschewing real relationships for so-called “fake” ones with Internet folk, but I fail to see the distinction when the only difference is the means with which we communicate.

I’ve been obsessing a bit lately over one Amber Case, cyborg anthropologist, futurist and Singularity enthusiast (so perhaps you can understand my obsession). She argues that everyone in this modern age is a cyborg, as we all utilize technology to some degree to augment our physical bodies. It’s a compelling thought experiment (see more in her entertaining and informative lecture on prosthetic culture), and I hope it makes everyone realize the importance of devices like the iPhone (or your brand of choice) in their daily lives. Technology interconnects us on a deep level, and connects us all to something much bigger than ourselves.

And it’s exciting to live in a time where we can take it for granted. That’s when you know it’s The Friggin’ Future.

Oh yeah, add another bullet point for:

•update blog (WordPress)

[discuss]

Blogsolidation

OB_IMG - LiveJournal Logo In the interest of combining stuff I’ve made in the past for posterity’s sake, I have imported all of my posts from my defunct LiveJournal account into Dot Matrix’s archives. The posts have been grouped together in the handy “LiveJournal Archive” category for anyone interested in seeing my random musings from all the way back in ’03! Or you can be sane and ignore them completely. Still, nice to see that WordPress is so capable; the process was quick and easy, and even carried over comments!

[discuss]

Hollywood Unoriginality Ratio: Up

I feel like I’ve put this HUR thing off for far too long! Luckily, I kept copious iPhone notes of the last few movies I went to see in terms of their trailers, so I should be able to piece a few together. I’ll be backdating these to the dates I saw the movies, so these posts will fall behind more recent Apple Cow-related fare, but whatEVS!

The movie was Up! I’m up with Up. Up was friggin’ awesome, y’see. Like with WALL•E, this did not surprise me in the slightest since it’s a Pixar flick. This particular movie was notable for a jarringly sad introductory sequence. Sometimes I think such moments are missing in family films these days, so it was nice to see Pixar continuing to take its all-ages audience seriously for the sake of good storytelling.

T-t-trailers!

The Princess and the Frog
ADAPTATION it may be, but I’m still excited! I haven’t honestly seen all that much footage yet, since this trailer uses up almost a third of its runtime for introspective retrospectives on past Disney successes (ooh, going for success by association! Clever girl), but I’m mostly excited for the idea of a new Disney musical with traditional-style animation. It very well may bomb, but I’m just glad to see Disney supporting old-school animation again.

G-Force
I get the feeling they don’t even know enough funny things about guinea pigs. I don’t want to confess that this is ORIGINAL.

Imagine That
This seems awfully familiar for an ORIGINAL story. I should probably be giving these kid movie trailers a break, but come on! Does anyone NOT know how this movie ends? Man, it would really be something to have a movie like this end with the father continuing to be estranged from his quirky-and-sometimes-magical child. One can dream…

Shorts
I really hope Robert Rodriguez is making mountains of dough from these awful kid movies he keeps churning out. I die a little inside every time a trailer starts by saying “From the director of Spy Kids” and not “From the director of El Mariachi”. At least he’s avoiding the all-too-common trap of adaptations from books with ORIGINAL scripts.

Planet 51
One might think this ORIGINAL story about a role reversal between humans and aliens might appeal to a sci-fi fan like myself. Well… wrong? After the initial joke has set in, there can’t possibly be anything else to a film like this. So the aliens (instead of humans) are frightened of the human (instead of alien), and… 90 minutes?

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
SEQUEL (and a frequent occurrence as trailers go)

TOTAL: 33.33% (2/6)

As of a June 1st screening of Up, Hollywood’s kid movie industry scored an impressive 33.33% unoriginality index for trailers! As usual, of course, the stories themselves look plenty unoriginal in their own rights.

Funny thing about letting a backlog pile up: I know what’s coming next! Stay tuned for the HUR of Harry Potter and the Sequel of Adaptationing!

[discuss]

Hollywood Unoriginality Ratio: Star Trek

To beat the heat, Michael, Paul, Nicole and I ducked into AMC Saratoga 14 yesterday to watch the latest movie in the Star Trek series. I should probably mention at this point that this was, in fact, my third viewing of the film in theaters. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a movie in theaters this many times, but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a Trek film this good! J.J. Abrams took a franchise that Rick Berman had all but killed and breathed new life into it in the seemingly most ridiculous way possible: by effectively destroying almost all existing canon by hitting the infamous History Eraser Button and starting from scratch. The move was certainly bold, but in my opinion also absolutely necessary for Star Trek to survive. The series was so bound by all that had come before that it could never satisfy anyone: existing fans would complain about every minor diversion from established canon, and new folk would be lost in the dense mythos. As a long-time Trekkie (and Trekker), I fully support Abrams’ new vision for the future, and hope he remains onboard for any future entries in the franchise.

Until the next Trek comes out, though, we might as well enjoy ourselves with various other upcoming film releases! Today’s collection would seem to be proof-positive of successful target marketing, as several of the trailers are themselves reimaginings of existing fiction from my childhood. Allons-y!

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Why does Michael Bay get to keep on making movies? I couldn’t tell what the hell was going on for the vast majority of this trailer, though I did pick up several explosions and muddy-looking CGI robots punching each other. Maybe that’s all there is to it. SEQUEL of an ADAPTATION… but I did have a great time poking fun at the original, so maybe this one will yield similar enjoyment.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Back-to-back ADAPTATIONs of television shows from my childhood? It’s clear that Hollywood’s pandering to my unfounded sense of nostalgia at this point, but this looks at least slightly more interesting than the previous Michael Bay dreck. Christopher Eccleston’s a fun actor and will probably make for an equally-fun villain. The computer graphics are surprisingly subpar (the green dissolving solution on the Eiffel Tower stands out in my mind), but at least this one features humans more interesting to look at than Shia LeBeouf. That said, the new animated series looks much more interesting to me.

Land of the Lost
It must be ADAPTATION Christmas or something! Presumably this is a big-screen rendition of the original Sid and Marty Krofft TV show and not the 1990s remake I grew up with. Not that it matters, as they seem to have dropped any semblance of seriousness in favor of slapstick comedy, so I’ll likely give this one a pass.

Terminator: Salvation
Though I probably will go see this SEQUEL, I’ll still be pissed as all hell. See, I just found out this morning that Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has been officially cancelled. The show was absolutely brilliant and, much like the new Star Trek, breathed new life into an ailing franchise. On top of that, a movie release would have only helped the show’s ratings! Once again, I must give a wag of the finger to Fox for their poor decision-making skills.

Year One
I don’t get why Jack Black and Michael Cera are cavemen in the year 1, when civilization had come kind of a long way from hunting-gathering. I don’t get why Cain and Abel are there either! It’s fairly safe to say that historical accuracy is not the aim of a movie like this. ORIGINAL, though they do appear to do a lot of traipsing through biblical stories.

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Kind of a crazy-big cast in this movie. I even like a few of these guys! Christopher Guest and Hank Azaria, what are you doing in a movie featuring Ben Stiller getting slapped by monkeys? Your awesomeness is not nearly sufficient enough to make me want to check out this SEQUEL of an ADAPTATION.

TOTAL: 83.33% (5/6)

Oy. As of a May 18th screening of Star Trek at AMC Saratoga 14 in Saratoga, CA, Hollywood was preparing itself for a summer of 83.33% unoriginality. If only a handful of these movies end up being anywhere near the calibur of Trek, though, that might not be such a bad thing.

[discuss]

Hollywood Unoriginality Ratio: Fast & Furious

Last night, Bevin and I pooled together a large group of friends to trek over to Century 12 Downtown San Mateo and see Fast & Furious. The flick was pretty standard insane action with fast-drivin’ cars (possibly also furious-drivin’) and Vin Diesel being The Man, but what surprised me the most was the movie’s attempts to dissuade this very blog from labeling it as derivative! During the opening credits, the words “ORIGINAL FILM” were proudly displayed on the screen for all to see. And here I was thinking it was an interquel (between 2 Fast 2 Furious and Tokyo Drift)! Some might argue that Original Film is probably just the name of some production company, but it’s clear to me that Hollywood has caught onto my little game!

Speaking of which: trailers!

Public Enemies
Might go check this out, if only because Great Depression-era gangster stories are really cool, and Johnny Depp is pretty okay sometimes! Based on the book Public Enemies: America’s Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933–34, and therefore an ADAPTATION (the book itself is based on a true story, so it’s doubly-adapted!). Christian Bale also appears, and I gotta say, this guy’s really been keeping busy. He’s been in 2-3 films per year, and has big blockbuster Terminator Salvation coming out soon… no wonder he snaps on the set every now and then.

Fighting
Possibly the greatest movie title I’ve ever seen. “What sort of activities do they engage in?” “Oh, you know… fighting.” And from what you can see in the trailer, they most certainly do. More importantly though, the trailer alone introduced me to two phrases I hope to work into conversation on a regular basis.

Money Quote #1:

“Where are we going?”
“We’re in a $100,000 Mercedes, that’s where we’re going.”

“I’m in a salvaged Volvo, that’s where I’m going!”

Money Quote #2:

“The only way I’m gonna lose is if somebody beats me.”

That one may rival the legendary “Pain don’t hurt” from Road House.

Oh yeah, ORIGINAL as far as I can tell.

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3
Most. Nonsensical. Title. EVER. This is a movie that hates grammar. Also, John Travolta looks stupid (but what else is new? HIYOOOOOOOO). This particular film has an interesting unoriginality to it worthy of analysis. Apparently it’s the second REMAKE of the original 1974 film which was itself an ADAPTATION of a novel. Why is it not simply another adaptation? I have no clue. All I know is, whenever I see situations like these, I find myself wanting to see the first adaptation much more than the current iteration. Then again, I never thought Hollywood should be allowed do-overs (case in point: The Incredible Hulk following Hulk).

Earth
Certainly a gorgeous-looking documentary about our massive planet, and James Earl Jones has a fabulous narrating voice, but apparently this movie was released two years ago in the UK and was narrated by Patrick Stewart! Does Disneynature feel we’re not ready for British narration? Because I would be inclined to disagree! Earth, I would have been willing to overlook the fact that you are designed to be a companion piece to the BBC series Planet Earth, but this injustice cannot stand. ADAPTATION. You ought to be ashamed.

Crank 2: High Voltage
Whenever I see a trailer for a SEQUEL to a movie I haven’t seen, part of me is concerned that I’ll be completely lost and have no clue as to what’s going on. Crank 2‘s trailer leaves me with no such reservations, as it looks completely ridiculous and Jason Statham-kicking-ass-and-electrocuting-himself-to-comedic-effect-y. He’s been given an artificial heart with a crappy battery, and has to constantly shock himself to keep it going long enough to find his real heart (did he check San Francisco?). One has to wonder why he can’t simply get checked into a hospital and get a heart donor (or a better artificial heart), but regardless: I WILL SEE THIS MOVIE.

Just noticed in trailer-rewatching: John de Lancie cameo?! MUST SEE MOVIE TWELVE TIMES

TOTAL: 80% (4/5)

Goodness! As of an April 5th screening of Fast & Furious at Century 12 Downtown San Mateo, Hollywood was actively gunning for 80% unoriginality! I would have expected better for ridiculous action flicks; while they’re invariably derivative in too many ways to count, they’re usually still original characters and stories. Still… FAST AND FURIOOOOOOOOOUS

[discuss]