Monthly Archives: May 2014

josh-brolin-thanos

Josh Brolin has been tapped to play the villainous Thanos in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” sources confirm to Variety.

Thanos, who first appeared in the post-credits scene in “The Avengers,” is a major villain in the Marvel universe and is also expected to appear in one, if not both, of the upcoming “Avengers” sequels.

“We’re definitely tied to ‘Avengers 3,’” director James Gunn recently said of the upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which hits theaters Aug. 1.

Co-starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Bradley Cooper, “Guardians” is based on the Marvel comic series and tells the story of a superhero team fighting to save the world.

Sources: Variety

Dances with Films LogoAs you know, the Geek Lab has been hitting the Southern California film festival circuit starting with the Newport Beach Film Festival. We continue to encourage you to step out from the safe Big Studio movies and champion the cause of the little guy with the small budget.

“Dances with Film” is the next big opportunity to try a different kind of movie. “Dances with Film” was formed in 1998 by a group of filmmakers who envisioned a festival where “who you know” didn’t matter, only the quality of the work. The name is a play on all of the ‘dance’ film festivals popping up here and there across the nation.

Although you may not see any big name stars and filmmakers at DWF, you will see upcoming-and-coming stars and filmmakers. Since its inception, DWF remains the only film festival in the U.S. solely geared to unknowns…no “known” actors, directors, producers or writers within our competition slate. While there are several festivals across the country that have taken up a portion of this charge, this is DWF’s very foundation.

“Two Step” is one of the unique elements of the festival. For the seventh year, 8 filmmakers will be give 4 hours each to make a 2-minute movie. Filmmakers first submitted a script for final selection. The selected contestants will be provided with latest CANON cameras, an “empty space” studio, and an editing suite to help complete the task. Films will be shot during the festival and will screen the following night in front of DWF audiences.

If you’re not sure what movies to see, the Geek Lab recommends these two movies:

bloodpunch

Blood Punch (Saturday, May 31) – Director Madellaine Paxon and Writer Eddie Guzelian. Milton, a brilliant college chemist, was only supposed to cook meth for one day. Broken out of rehab by a dangerous young woman and her trigger-happy psychotic boyfriend, Milton soon finds himself drawn into a deadly love triangle gone totally haywire in this genre-blending, neo-noir, whiplash of a movie.

missingchild

Missing Child (Thursday, June 5th) – From writer/director Luke Sabis, A drama/thriller about a young woman, Gia, who never knew her parents. Gia discovers she resembles an age-progressed photo of a child who went missing at an early age. She uncovers secrets and lies in an attempt to find closure to her own unsettled past. The film deals with issues such as child abuse, religious/spiritual identity and personal responsibility. It is an exploration of the dark side of human nature, where self-preservation and self-denial are violently intertwined. (Geek Lab Review)

amazing-spider-man-2-10

How do most movie studios save money and lower the cost of doing business? They move out of California and Sony Pictures Imageworks follows companies, like Digital Domain, by moving to Vancouver, British Columbia.

Imageworks spokesman Steven Argula told Variety that Sony is committed to keeping Imageworks open and a part of Sony.

“Sony’s investment in this move shows their commitment to Imageworks – not just for animation but for live-action vfx,” said Argula.

The new Imageworks facility in Vancouver’s Pacific Centre neighborhood will have capacity for up to 700 staff, twice as many as Imageworks employed in Vancouver during its peak of production on “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” Only a small office will remain in Los Angeles to work with Los Angeles-based clients. Usually such facilities are staffed with sales reps and primarily provide a place for clients to conduct shot reviews via teleconference with artists elsewhere.

Imageworks currently employs around 270 people in Culver City. It is not clear how many of them will be offered the chance to relocate, and how many might take it if offered.

Source: Variety

It’s slowly growing in popularity, Tangaroa Terrace is not longer a secret at the Disneyland Hotel. It’s the best place to go “for free” when the weather warms up at the parks. Tanharoa Terrace will entice more guests with two new menu items, while neighboring Trader Sam’s adds three new cocktails.

The all-day menu starts at 11 a.m. (through closing at 10 p.m.) and new on the menu are shrimp tacos with sautéed shrimp, cabbage and lime tartar sauce all wrapped up in warm corn tortillas and a side of tropical slaw. Also, a slow-roasted kalua-style pork sandwich is on a sweet Hawaiian roll topped with tropical slaw. Or teriyaki chicken breast that comes with fresh caramelized pineapple, Havarti cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomato on a multi-grain bun. Side options include tropical slaw, sweet potato fries, french fries or island fruit.

Tangaroa Terrace Salad adds more tropical flair with lettuces, cabbage, black kale, caramelized pineapple, grape tomatoes and crispy marinated tofu, all tossed in a sweet vinaigrette and topped with toasted macadamia nuts. (Substitute sautéed shrimp for the tofu for a little extra.) And the Big Island Flatbread is topped with marinara sauce, ham, caramelized pineapple, red onion, cilantro and mozzarella.

Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar fans will love three new cocktails. Start with the Murky Mojito made with rum, fresh lime juice, mint and organic agave nectar topped with a splash of Angostura bitters. Or the Passionate Python with dark and aged rums, red passion fruit and tropical juices, garnished with an orange peel “python.” If you’re foregoing alcohol, try the Polynesian Punch, a mix of Sam’s Gorilla Grog with hibiscus grenadine. Sit back, sip and let the fun begin.

How to Train Your Dragon

Netflix continues to look more and more like a real television network with a deal struck with Dreamworks Animation. Starting spring 2015, Netflix will debut new seasons of original series “DreamWorks Dragons.”

The toon is based on DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon” films, and has aired on Cartoon Network. The TV series bridges the gap between the first film and sequel “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” which hits theaters June 13. dragon lore. Storylines include Hiccup’s new flight suit, the secrets of his dragon blade and the young Viking’s budding romance with Astrid.

DreamWorks Animation and Netflix reached a deal last summer under which the subscription VOD service will become the exclusive home for 300-plus hours of new programming from the studio — marking Netflix’s largest deal for first-run content.

Netflix launched the first DWA original series — “Turbo FAST,” based on the movie about racing snails — last December. The companies announced three new original series based on the studio’s characters, set to debut in late 2014 on the Internet-streaming service: “King Julien,” “Puss in Boots” and “Veggie Tales in the House.”

“DreamWorks Dragons” features Jay Baruchel and America Ferrera, who voice the two young Viking heroes in the films, Hiccup and Astrid. They are joined by Christopher Mintz-Plasse and TJ Miller who will reprise their roles as Fishlegs and Tuffnut in the series.

“The ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ franchise has been incredible to work with,” showrunners Art Brown and Douglas Sloan said in a statement. “There is so much rich material available to us in the TV world that we can really dig in and create a different yet complementary experience to the feature films.”

“We are happy to be adding ‘Dragons’ to our growing slate of original series for kids,” said Cindy Holland, Netflix VP of original content. “This is one of DreamWorks Animation’s most beloved set of characters and we know that kids and families will be enjoying them for years to come.”

Source: Variety

More Than 300 Game Studios Have Partnered Exclusively with Skillz

Skillz1Skillz (www.skillz.com), the world’s premier cash tournament platform for mobile games, announced the launch of more than 150 games available on the App Store℠ today. The company also announced that over 300 studios with more than 2,700 games have selected the Skillz platform as their exclusive partner. Previously available only on Android, the Skillz SDK enables gamers to play their favorite skill-based mobile games in real money tournaments. For developers, Skillz provides a new revenue stream that improves user engagement and retention.

In skill-based games, a player’s ability rather than luck determines the outcome of the game. Cash competitions in skill-based games are legal in 37 US States for 180 million Americans.

“We’ve been waiting for a platform like Skillz. Now we can offer cash competitions just like offline sports such as golf, rodeos, and marathons,” said Carl Crossley of Touch Mechanics and developer of the hit title Strike! Real Money Bowling. “Not only does Skillz add stickiness to our game, it allows us to move away from intrusive advertising that disrupts our user experience.”

Skillz disclosed that their gamer community is growing by over 10,000 new users every day with early partners already generating more than $0.20 in incremental revenue per daily active user (ARPDAU).

“While some of the most well known and successful mobile games like Candy Crush are generating between $0.05 and $0.10 in ARPDAU, we have partners who have added three times that amount in incremental revenue through the addition of the Skillz cash tournament platform,” said Andrew Paradise, CEO and founder of Skillz. “Results like this are why we’ve had over 200 studios sign up as pre-launch customers and today have over 100 games available on the App Store.”

Skillz games that can be downloaded from the App Store include hit titles such as: Strike! Real Money Bowling, a game that boasts the best bowling controls and mechanics on mobile, Mini Golf 3D Putt Putt Game, which has already been downloaded more than 2 million times, and Diamond Strike, a fun and fast paced puzzle matching game.

New Skillz games include:

Players interested in competing can visit: www.skillz.com. Developers interested in implementing the Skillz SDK can visit: www.skillz.com/developers.

Mojang recently released details about the upcoming release of Minecraft for the Xbox One.

Minecraft Xbox One

  • Minecraft: Xbox One Edition will be released on Xbox Live Marketplace in August. It brings significantly bigger worlds and a greater draw distance than Xbox 360 Edition.
  • It will include all the features from the most recent Xbox 360 title update.
  • Minecraft: Xbox One Edition will cost $19.99.
  • If you’ve bought Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition from Xbox Live Marketplace, or played online with the disc version, you will be able to upgrade to Xbox One Edition for $4.99.
  • You will be able to upgrade for a minimum of a year after the release date.
  • Players with Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition saves will be able to import their worlds to Xbox One. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to transfer saves from Xbox One to Xbox 360. We can make worlds bigger without too much stress, but shrinking them causes all kinds of problems.
  • Cross platform play will not be possible between Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
  • Many, but not all, of the DLC skins and texture packs you’ve purchased for Xbox 360 Edition will be available for use in Xbox One Edition. We’d like to say all your DLC would transfer, but some of the items are trapped in licensing deals that are too boring to get into here. We’ll have more on this soon.

Aladdin on BroadwayJust a few months after opening night, Aladdin already dethroned the champion for best Broadway ticket sales in the resale market last 30 days. Perennial superstar The Book Of Mormon fell to second behind Aladdin tickets for the top spot in each of the past four weeks. At the box office, Aladdin Broadway tickets sold out for most performances until July already, with people who want to buy tickets lining up at a fierce pace. In terms of total seats filled, Aladdin ticket sales trail only Wicked tickets, due to Wicked’s theater offering a much larger capacity.

With the classic Arabian tale of Aladdin casting its magic spell over Broadway, Disney hopes for another hit like The Lion King on Broadway that will run for years, and so far things look good. With Aladdin on Broadway clearly a success, look for Disney to follow up the demand for Frozen On Ice tickets with a version of Frozen on Broadway in the future.

Following the theatrical triumphs of Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, The Little Mermaid and the Lion King, Disney created Aladdin Broadway on the New York City stage. Eight-time Oscar winning composer Alan Menken adds several new songs to the score, which already includes the chart-topping “A Whole New World.” Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw directs a fine young cast including Adam Jacobs as the peasant Aladdin, Courtney Reed as Princess Jasmine, and James Monroe Inglehart as the outlandish Genie released from the lamp. Critics especially liked Inglehart’s performance who earned a Tony nomination. Filled with romance and humor, this classic tale of adventure will dazzle adults and children alike.

Push, Pull, Climb and Share in New Installment of Fan-Favorite Puzzle Series

On June 19, Pushmo World will launch exclusively in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U at a price of $9.99.

On June 19, Pushmo World will launch exclusively in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U at a price of $9.99.

For the first time, a game in the critically acclaimed Pushmo series is coming to a home console. On June 19, Pushmo World will launch exclusively in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U at a price of $9.99. Like Nintendo 3DS games Pushmo and Crashmo before it, Pushmo World finds players pushing, pulling and climbing blocks to solve a collection of more than 250 new puzzles. What separates Pushmo World from the other games in the series, besides the crisp and colorful HD graphics and original puzzles, is the addition of World Pushmo Fair, an in-game hub that gives players an easy way to share and download new puzzles. To celebrate the upcoming launch of Pushmo World, Nintendo is holding a special price promotion event in which Pushmo and Crashmo will be available at discounted prices starting May 28 and running through June 13 in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS.

Players of all ages will easily fall in love with Pushmo World. The cute, playful characters like Mallo and Papa Blox will appeal to kids, while the satisfying puzzle-based game play will be a treat for longtime gamers looking for a challenge. In the game, players are tasked with solving three-dimensional block-based puzzles by moving blocks to climb to the top of structures. As the game progresses, the puzzles get larger and more complex, with some massive, screen-filling creations resembling familiar objects, animals and even classic Nintendo characters.

Pushmo World introduces a collection of training levels that players can use to hone their puzzle-climbing skills. The game also features a time-rewind option that lets players undo mistakes. This forgiving feature rewards players for being smart thinkers, rather than forcing them to restart a complex puzzle for making a hasty move. Being stumped won’t stop the fun: If players are stuck on a particularly tough puzzle, they can skip ahead to the next one.

In addition to the numerous puzzles included in the game, Pushmo World features almost endless replay value by letting players create their own puzzles using a selection of tools in Pushmo Studio. Once completed and solved by the creator, the puzzles created in Pushmo Studio can be shared using multiple options: Players can use the built-in QR Code generator to create QR Code patterns for each puzzle they create, or they can send their custom puzzles to the World Pushmo Fair, where players from all around the world with broadband Internet access can play and rate them. Players can also browse the fair to play and collect puzzles created by other players around the world.

World Pushmo Fair is the main hub of Pushmo World and serves as an interface to the Pushmo World Miiverse community. Players will even find new puzzles created by the game’s developers in World Pushmo Fair. If players find a puzzle they love, they can leave feedback and even give it a friendly “Yeah!” in Miiverse via World Pushmo Fair. With an intuitive interface, World Pushmo Fair is an easy way for all players to find and share a near-endless amount of fun puzzles.

“Pushmo and Crashmo are two of the most well-received games ever released exclusively in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “Pushmo World makes it easy for players to create and share their own puzzles, and it’s a joy to experience Mallo’s colorful world in HD for the first time.”

From May 28 at 9 a.m. PT through June 13 at 8:59 a.m. PT, Pushmo and Crashmo are available at up to 33 percent off in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS. Pushmo is available at a price of $4.69 and Crashmo is available at a price of $5.99. Visit www.nintendo.com/eshop/offers for more information.

NINTENDO LOGO

For more information about Pushmo World, visit www.pushmoworld.nintendo.com.