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The Hangover gets a sequel

Looking at the surprise $200+ million haul for The Hangover it’s hardly news that Warner Bros. has officially greenlit the sequel, according to Variety. Todd Phillips—who also directed Road Trip, Old School, and Starsky & Hutch—is back to helm the sequel. All of the main cast members: Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, and Ed Helms are back on board as well. The movie is set to start filming as quickly as October. I’m scared for the plot if it actually meets that deadline. Phillips and Scot Armstrong have supposedly been working on the sequel’s script since the movie’s release.

For those of you who are big Zach Galifianakis fans like me (remember Out Cold and his VH1 Talk show?), you’ll be happy to know that he’s going to star in another Todd Phillips movie called Due Date.


Bruno does the Top 10 on David Letterman

Sacha Baron Cohen gave the Top 10 Reasons to See Bruno on David Letterman last night. Not too bad. I like the one-sided sassy smirk he gives inbetween each reason. It reminds me of a friend of mine, who gives a great shit-eating grin. Check it out. My review of Bruno can be found here.


New Movie Poster for It Might Get Loud

Sony Pictures Classics just released a poster for "It Might Get Loud." I can't wait to see this one. The film puts three guitar legends, Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), The Edge (U2), and Jack White (The White Stripes, Dead Weather, The Raconteurs), together to collaborate on a song. It looks like we'll get a glimpse into how each of them learned to play guitar and develop their own style. Love or hate their bands, these guys are fasinating. It will hit limited release on August 14th.

Here's a copy of the trailer, for those who haven't seen it.


Review - Bruno ***

Like Borat before it, Bruno is filled with some very funny confrontational humor. Those who liked the extended nude chase/wrestling and Rodeo scene in Borat will like this movie. It’s full of gay sex, celebrity baby, and Hitler jokes.  It’s much more shocking, but not as fun as Borat.

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Review - Public Enemies ***1/2

Watching “Public Enemies” taught me that John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) likes baseball, movies, fast cars, and Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard), but not as much as he loves robbing banks. Unfortunately, I never learned anything more about him. Public Enemies is a good movie, but wholly unconcerned with its characters.

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Review - The Proposal ***1/2

As a concept, “The Proposal” is a textbook Hollywood romantic comedy. I started off hating it, slowly began to like it, then we had a falling out. Fortunately, we made up in the end.

The story is pretty simple. Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) is an overbearing boss who’s about to be deported back to Canada. To keep her job, she blackmails her overworked assistant, Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds), into marrying her on the sly. If their fraudulent relationship is uncovered by the U.S. government, it could mean $250,000 and five years in jail for Andrew. To prove they’re a true couple, Margaret must travel with Andrew to meet his family, who lives in Alaska. On paper, it’s actually a lot like the plot to 2007’s “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry.”

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Review - Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen **

Watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is like having a friend clang all of your silverware together a few inches from your face, and yell sexist jokes in a racially stereotypical voice for 2 1/2 hours, all while you watch the last Transformers.

The plot as I understand it: Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is leaving for college and his parents are having a hard time letting go. He’s still dating Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox) who is extremely hot, or so the camera constantly reminds us, but he won’t say the “L” word (love). When he gets to college, he’s treated to an extremely realistic depiction of dorm life and its temptations. This section of the movie might as well be a documentary; my first day of college was exactly the same—full of Playboy models who all want my body and sex parties.

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Jammie Thomas-Rasset, a 1.92 million dollar martyr against the RIAA

So the news came down that Jammie Thomas-Rasset was found guilty of sharing 24 songs on KaZaA. Her punishment: $80,000 per song, totaling $1.92 million in damages owed to the Recording Industry Association of America. That sum is about 8.5 times higher than an earlier Minnesota jury ruling, which had pinned the price Jammie owed per song at $9,250, totaling $222,000. Under current copyright law, the jury could have charged as little as $750 per song or as much as $150,000. 

What I think she should owe: $23.76. That’s how much it costs to buy 24 songs on the internet at the going rate of $.99 a song.

Assuming Jammie did “share” 24 songs on KaZaA back in 2004, it is impossible that she shared enough to cause $1.92 million in “lost sales.” According to a post on Moby, it would take nearly two million downloads of the 24 songs to reach $1.92 million, if we go by the $.99 average price of a song on iTunes. Her high-speed cable connection likely had an upload speed of about 256kps. At that speed, it would take more than nine years of 24/7 constant sharing to reach two million downloads. KaZaA had only been around for three years when this lawsuit was filed.

Is Jammie, a working-class single-mother of four, the public enemy that the RIAA wants? Probably not, but they’re too stubborn to back down. Unfortunately for them, she is too.

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Music artists say hello to Twitter, and their fans

MySpace became famous as a great one-way broadcasting tool for bands to keep in touch with their fans. Facebook Music is much the same. Twitter has the potential to change this trend for the better, and provide a whole new level of fan interaction, but only if bands and artists learn how to use it.

Several years back, MySpace made a bold move. It allowed music bands to create their own artist/band pages, complete with full streaming tracks, pictures, tour dates, a blog, video (eventually), and a custom address. It may be the best idea they ever had. MySpace quickly became the place to go to find new music and updates from almost every active music artist. The idea of being a “friend” to a band that you love sparked a more personal connection between fans and their favorite artists.

Bands who realized the value of the social service quickly found hundreds of thousands of friends on MySpace. Instead of issuing a press release or hoping fans would find their website, artists could write a blog post or release a new song whenever they wanted, and instantly push a message out to every one of their thousands of “friends.”

Since Twitter has become the new “it” thing, many music artists have created accounts. Excessively popular accounts include John Mayer (@johncmayer), Sean “Puffy” Combs (@iamdiddy), Dave Matthews (@DaveJMatthews), Sara Bareilles (@SaraBareilles), A Fine Frenzy (@AFineFrenzy), and Trent Reznor (@trent_reznor). However, there is a unsocial trend among all of these accounts: they all have more than 550,000 followers, but less than 200 “friends,” (people they follow back). Most of them use Twitter to broadcast what’s on their mind, and occassionally about music, but little more. Basically, most of these artists treat Twitter like a 140 character version of MySpace/Facebook.

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I'm at E3 with!

Just an update: I’ve been at E3 (the biggest annual videogame event in the world) with the crew at N-Sider covering everything new the videogame industry has to offer. Though we do have a slight bias toward Nintendo. I’ll post links to my published articles here in the coming days.

I’m really glad E3 is back in full force at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The last time I was able to attend was back in 2006. In 2007, the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) shrunk the event after several publishers complained about the effectiveness and cost of putting on such a large show each year. Large publishers, like EA, sink several million dollars into their booths each year. In 2008, the E3 was hardly a show at all, and was split into hotels scattered around the city.

Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony have all put on a pretty good show this year, and it’s been great to see everyone from N-Sider again. I’ve known the guys since 2002, but we rarely get a chance to meet up.

For those who want short 140 character tweets from the show floor, check out the N-Sider feed here or at I’ve already posted a ton of updates the past few days—some with pictures! My personal Twitter account is @JeffreyVC. I’ve been posting a few updates there.