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Entertainment 07-08-09

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  • Robert Sterling
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com http://robalini.blogspot.com
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 8, 2009
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      Please send as far and wide as possible.

      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist

      Heidi Montag, Conspiracy Theorist...


      MTV Star Heidi Montag: Over My Dead Body Would I Take A Microchip
      The Hills star tells The Alex Jones Show why the implantable microchip represents the "mark of the beast"
      Paul Joseph Watson
      Prison Planet.com
      Tuesday, June 30, 2009

      Star of MTV's The Hills Heidi Montag appeared on The Alex Jones Show today with her fellow co-star husband Spencer Pratt to discuss how some nightclubs are introducing implantable identification microchips to allow customers to access VIP areas. Montag told Jones, "You would have to kill me before I get a chip."

      Montag said that as a Christian she had always been aware of "the mark of the beast" and the content of the book of Revelations but over the last month she and her husband had arrived at a "new awakening" concerning what is going on in the world after one of her music producers showed them Alex Jones' latest documentary The Obama Deception.

      "You would have to kill me before I get a chip, that would never happen," said Montag, referring to implantable microchips.

      "The fact that people are even already OK with this is sickening, I could throw up right now," she added, "A chip? are we dogs? Not even dogs deserve chips."

      "It says in the bible that it's the mark of the beast and that is a sign of worshipping the devil - so over my dead body would I ever get a chip in my body," said Montag, adding, "My body belongs to Jesus Christ, to God alone, and no one will ever put anything in me, I will not worship the devil, I will not be conformed to this world, that will not happen."

      The subject of implantable microchips has vehemently left the realm of paranoia and is now a major concern as governments around the world prepare to roll out national ID cards which many fear could be replaced by mandatory implantable chips in the not too distant future.

      Media interest surrounding the issue spiked in 2002 when the Jacobs family of Boca Raton, Florida, were all implanted with a Verichip containing their personal information for health and security reasons, as well as because the son Derek fantasized "about merging humans and machines". NBC News' Today Show even broadcast live footage of the family being surgically implanted with their chips.

      In 2004, MSNBC reported that the Mexican attorney general and his staff of 160 people had "been implanted with microchips that get them access to secure areas of their headquarters."

      In August 2007, the Department of Defense announced that they were pursuing a "brain-implantable "biochip" that will measure/relay a soldier's vitals on the battlefield," a project said to be five years from completion.

      As we have previously highlighted, the promotion of microchips not just from a safety or military aspect but in the context of popular culture is starting to gain serious momentum.

      The most recent example comes from Yahoo Tech, which this week rehashed a 5 year old story about an implantable microchip being required to access the VIP area of a cool nightclub in Barcelona, as well as being used in place of a credit card to pay for drinks.

      The story emphasizes how taking the chip is used to "free customers of the burdens of having to carry their purses or wallets" and "makes sense".



      Contact: Ralph Bernardo
      Phone: 212-342-7393
      Email: dvd@...

      This "Remixed" Film is the Definite Documentary of the Digital Age

      For review copies of RIP! A Remix Manifesto and interview requests with the filmmaker, please email dvd@....

      NEW YORK, NY — What would it mean if, ten years ago this month, we did not have the ability to share files freely online? The whole idea of sharing viral videos through a site like YouTube would be completely gone. Forget about sharing photos with your family and friends on Flickr, and even those ever-present LOLcats (this is perhaps a mixed blessing). Would we be listening to music over the Internet on such sites as Pandora, or downloading songs without having to buy the whole album from a virtual "record store" like iTunes? Simply stated, the Internet is the most effective way human beings have ever devised to share their ideas. The question of how easy — or not — it is for us to share our music, photos, videos, all our creative works or any media — is the focus of Brett Gaylor's definite documentary of the digital age, RIP! A Remix Manifesto.

      RIP! chronicles our media revolution over the last ten years since a teenager named Shawn Fanning in June 1999 changed the face of entertainment, copyright, and the way we look at the Internet. His problem child, Napster, took the idea of sharing "ideas" — notably in the form of music — from the backrooms of bulletin boards to a much wider audience — one very hungry in the late '90s for what they were (not) finding on the radio or "music" television.

      If you read the word "Napster" and are thinking "theft" — RIP! is a film that's NOT about making all things free and destroying our system of commerce. This documentary is about our cultural transformation from a media system of a few, very expensive means of distribution, to one where anyone with a computer and an Internet connection can be a consumer as well as a producer of media. Gaylor affirms that balance is needed to ensure that Innovation is: 1) Encouraged and not stifled; 2) Beneficial to all and not just the powerful; 3) A matter of civic cooperation and not for the criminal justice system.

      Just how we can strike this delicate balance, RIP! proposes a remix manifesto based on four assertions:

      Culture always builds on the Past

      The Past always tries to Control the Future

      Our Future is becoming less Free

      To build Free societies, you must limit Control of the Past

      These assertions are then supported using some very captivating studies about several people including: iconic remix artist Girl Talk (whose music you can't find on iTunes except in this film); visionary remix lawyer Lawrence Lessig (author of Free Culture, Code 2.0, and Remix, all available freely at lessig.org/blog); steadfest remix activist Cory Doctorow (co-author of the widely-popular cultural blog BoingBoing); and pioneering remix politician/musician Gilberto Gil (a former Brazilian Minister of Culture, a rare case of a politician who is a contributor to culture and not a controller of it).

      To prove that RIP! pays more than lip-service to the debate, the entire film is available for remixing at OpenSourceCinema.org. During the production of the movie, footage was made available for anyone to create "mash-ups" which found their way into the final film. A participatory media experiment from its inception, says Gayor, "RIP! is an attempt to move beyond the traditional relationship of producer and consumer — we want to recognize that this passive era is over ... and that the film remains an evolving conversation about intellectual property in the digital age."

      On the consumer end of the spectrum, RIP! is available in a variety of ways. After premiering at the SXSW Film Festival in March, numerous theatrical screenings have been held throughout the U.S. On the filmmaker's directive, a "Name Your Price" campaign exists at ripremix.com where site visitors set their own price (including free) to download the film. The Disinformation Company has launched digital purchases through iTunes and other platforms, and will release on DVD at the end of June. Exactly how the viewer would like to experience RIP! is for the individual to decide, and not a few corporate decision-makers.

      So what will we see from here? Who knows for sure, but the place to start discovering what the future may hold is by watching Brett Gaylor's RIP! A Remix Manifesto.
      # # #
      For review copies and interview requests with Brett Gaylor please email dvd@....

      About The Disinformation Company: The Disinformation Company Ltd. is active in TV production, book publishing and home entertainment. It is most widely recognized for its distribution of opinions and facts not usually covered by the traditional media. Recent DVD exclusives from The Disinformation Company include Michael Moore's Slacker Uprising, the best-selling Robert Greenwald documentaries Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, and Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War, as well as Robert Baer's The Cult of the Suicide Bomber, the Sean Penn-narrated War Made Easy and the self-produced documentary, 2012: Science or Superstition.

      RIP! A Remix Manifesto

      Genre: Documentary

      DVD Street date: June 30, 2009

      Sug. Retail Price: $19.95 (DVD) / $9.99 (iTunes)

      ADA Catalog #: DIS055

      ISBN: 978-1-934708-31-6

      UPC: 826262005597

      Running Time: 86 mins. + 90 mins. bonus footage



      From THX138Driver:

      Tom Dowd was a musician, engineer, producer, physicist, mathematician, and everyday genius. Along with Eric Clapton he discusses how the album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs came together with Clapton, Duane Allman, and Derick and the Dominos.

      Filmed at Criteria Studios in Miami, FL, Dowd is shown at work behind the soundboards and reflecting on his memorable career. Dowd, whose creative spirit and passion for innovative technology helped shape the course of modern music, takes the controls behind the mixer relearning the title song Layla 30 years after its creation. From "Tom Dowd & The Language of Music."

      Mr. Dowd's credits include recording sessions with Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, Otis Redding, John Coltrane, The Allman Brothers Band, Tito Puente, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Cream, Rod Stewart, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Booker T. & the MG's and countless other musical luminaries.

      Born 20 October 1925 in New York, New York, died 27 October 2002 in Aventura, Florida.

      One of Tom Dowd's legacies is a music treasure chest filled with timeless classics.



      Lady Gaga Meets Maxim Magazine




      Create, play and share in 'The Sims 3'

      'THE SIMS 3'
      Rating: T for Teen
      Platform: PC, Mac
      Publisher: Electronic Arts

      If your friends, family and co-workers have been walking around in a daze since June 2, maybe you can attribute it to multiple personality disorder brought on by The Sims 3.

      You see, that's the date Electronic Arts' launched the hotly anticipated sequel, which has already sold more than 2 million units for the PC and Mac, making it the best-selling computer game launch in EA's 27-year history. The game lets you create virtual people, each with unique personalities, skills and desires.

      But before we cover what's new, here's a quick primer on the 9-year-old The Sims series: These games challenge you to micromanage the lives of little simulated people, simply known as Sims. This includes nurturing their relationships, advancing their careers and buying items for their houses (with in-game currency known as "simoleons").

      More so than with its popular predecessors, The Sims 3 pushes the boundaries of character customization, which then leads you down different game play paths — and ensures high replayability in the process.

      For example, you start the game by creating a Sim from scratch, with seemingly endless physical choices including facial features, body types, hair color and style, skin color, clothing options, and so on. More importantly, you then select five character traits for this Sim, ranging from "ambitious" and "charismatic" to "mooch" and "kleptomaniac." Finally, you'll also choose a lifetime wish, which might be to have a large family, be a famous painter or master chef, soar into space or even become leader of the free world. The career path you choose will likely be necessary for you to reach this desired goal (for instance, you must reach level 10 in the law enforcement career to become an international super spy).

      The game play begins when you move into a home in the neighborhood (one you can afford with the simoleons you start off with) or you might choose a lot and build it from scratch by choosing floors, walls, fences and trees, furniture and appliances, and so forth. Click on items in your home to interact with them and mingle with neighbors who drop by. And you never know what might happen: one of my Sims inadvertently started a kitchen fire and when the firefighter came, they hit it off and then became romantically involved.

      Unlike past The Sims games, you're now encouraged to explore the town. You can visit stores, the park, the library, neighbors' homes, and even a graveyard — all without having to sit through any load screens. Hop into vehicles to expedite your travel, accept missions from townsfolk and use the computer or newspaper wanted ads to get a job.

      Those who didn't like micromanaging every detail of their Sims in the past will be pleased to know you'll no longer have to visit the bathroom if their bladder is full (they'll find the toilet when they need to), plus they'll nap when they're fatigued and eat when they're hungry. In other words, you can now spend your time getting to know the city, its inhabitants, and work on your career, family and home decor.

      Sharing is also a big part of The Sims 3 as players can create, edit and upload movies, trade neat items or download content to import into their games. Also, check out the many videos on YouTube including "machinima" creations, where gamers have made their own stories using the computer game characters and environments.

      Between its unprecedented amount of character and home customization, myriad career and lifetime goal options and huge digital sandbox in which to play, there is enough engaging game play in The Sims 3 to keep you entertained for months.

      Contact Saltzman at gnstech@....



      Monday, June 8th 2009
      Video Game Review
      'Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings'
      Indiana Jones whips into action with top-notch 'Staff of Kings'
      By Michael Sheridan

      The man in the hat is back... again... and like the old days he's battling Nazis in a race to find a fabled religious artifact.

      It's not the fifth film that fans may hope for - or depending on how you felt about the last movie, dreading. Instead, it's the latest video game starring the famous archeologist, "Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings."

      This new adventure features a fully functional Indiana Jones in his first third-person adventure since 2003's "Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb." And while this outing is not available on the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, it does give Wii users a unique chance to crack their whip and punch out henchmen.

      Set in 1939 (that's a year after "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," for those Indy fans keeping a timeline on his adventures), the game spans the globe, from the jungles of South America to the snowy peaks of Tibet, as Dr. Jones searches for the Staff of Moses. Players battle the aforementioned Nazis, as well as an array of hired guns. But who you fight is not nearly as entertaining as how you fight them.

      Developers really added some clever touches to the game's fight sequences, allowing you to take down bad guys with well delivered punches, or anything that might be laying around.

      Grab a pool ball and send it flying across the room to take down a henchman, or perhaps snatch a wrench and crack it over the head of an opponent. You can also grab hold of a Nazi stooge and slam his head into a table, or even a fish tank (sending water everywhere, giving you a chance to grab a fish and toss it at an approaching bully).

      You also get opportunities to pull out Indiana's trusty revolver and blast baddies with that trademark gunshot sound only found in Indiana Jones films.

      Of course, we can't forget the whip action. This trusty tool can be used to trip up a villain, or pull a bookshelf down over him. You can also use it to swing over gaps and climb steep walls.

      In addition to the main game, the Wii version of "Staff of Kings" is highlighted by a challenging co-op mode that has Indy battle Nazis alongside his father, in an adventure that is completely independent from the main game. You need to work together to solve puzzles, drive tanks and fly a fighter as you race to recover rare South American artifacts.

      Old-school gamers will also get a chance to relive an old Indy adventure, "Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis," a PC game from 1992. When you take a gander at the low grade, VGA graphics, you will no doubt appreciate just how far video games have come in the last 17 years.

      This is not to say that all is perfect with this game. "Staff of Kings" is hampered by disjointed storytelling. Although some could argue it's tale is more true to the roots of Indiana Jones than 2008's feature film, the lack of effective cut scenes and a far from fluid narrative proved a bit disappointing.

      But the game strives to make up for it with its clever, and often challenging game play. "Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings" celebrates Indy with every obstacle, and puts you in the leather jacket and fedora like never before.



      Billy Mays: Pitch perfect
      Monday, June 29th 2009

      Billy Mays didn't invent the art of the television huckster, but he rode it further than almost anyone who came before him.

      Long before his sudden and shocking death yesterday, Mays had made himself far better known than any product he pitched.

      Exactly how Mays became the dominant brand in the TV sales game is hard to explain.

      He represented everything Americans say we don't like about salesmen.

      At some point in most of his pitches, Mays would stop explaining why the product was good and go into hard-sell overdrive, his voice rising into a cross between a yell and a bark.

      If you don't buy this, you're an idiot, he seemed to be saying.

      It might not have been pleasant, but it helped sell a lot of OxiClean.

      He made a smart decision, it turned out, in going the hard-sell route.

      Nice guys are often considered better long-term bets in the sales game, as witnessed by the recently departed Ed McMahon, who used his comforting persona to sell insurance and mortgage products to seniors.

      The "Yowza-yowza-yowza" style has been a winner, too, even before television.

      Some of the great attractions in rural America a century ago were medicine shows that would roll into town, serve up some song and dance and finish with a salesman, often a bogus "doctor," pitching a quack product like Hadacol, an alleged miracle cure-all that was really just cheap booze.

      Billy Mays was in some ways the television incarnation of a medicine-show quack.

      He knew the product.

      More important, he knew the crowd.




      `Transformers': Worst-reviewed $400 million hit?
      The Associated Press
      Monday, June 29, 2009

      LOS ANGELES -- After just five days, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is halfway to $400 million domestically, a box-office milestone only eight other movies have reached. If it climbs that high, the "Transformers" sequel will be by far the worst-reviewed movie ever to make the $400 million club.

      Critics and mainstream crowds often disagree, but "Revenge of the Fallen" sets a new standard for the gulf between what reviewers and mass audiences like.

      The movie pulled in $201.2 million since opening Wednesday, the second-best result for a movie in its first five days, just behind "The Dark Knight" with $203.8 million. Even after its whopping $60.6 million opening day, "Revenge of the Fallen" was packing theaters, a sign that unlike critics, who mostly hated the movie, audiences felt they were getting their money's worth and were giving the flick good word of mouth.

      Critics "forget what the goal of the movie was. The goal of the movie is to entertain and have fun," said Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount, which is distributing "Transformers" for DreamWorks. "What the audience tells us is, `We couldn't be more entertained and having more fun.' They kind of roll their eyes at the critics and say, `You have no idea what you're talking about.'"

      According to Paramount's exit polls, 91 percent of the audience thought the sequel was as good as or better than the first "Transformers," which received far better reviews.

      Most of Hollywood's all-time biggest hits are accompanied by either good or at least passable reviews, and some can be among the year's most-acclaimed, such as this year's "Up" and "Star Trek" and last year's "The Dark Knight," "WALL-E" and "Iron Man."

      Not so for the new "Transformers." On Rottentomatoes.com, a Web site that compiles critics' opinions, the sequel had only 38 positive reviews out of 187, a lowly 20 percent rating usually reserved for box-office duds.

      Many critics who liked the movie had reservations, praising the movie's visual effects and relentless action but generally advising audiences to check their brains at the door.

      The critical drubbing was a new low for "Transformers" director Michael Bay, never a favorite among professional movie reviewers. But he has long been a favorite among fans, scoring hits with the first "Transformers" and such flicks as "Armageddon," "Pearl Harbor," "Bad Boys II" and "The Rock."

      Like blockbuster maestro Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced many of Bay's movies, the director aims to please audiences, not critics.

      "He really had blinders on when it comes to what he believed the picture needs to be, and then he executed it," said Brad Grey, Paramount chairman and chief executive officer. "He's a director who is the definition of blockbuster at this point. His grosses speak for themselves."

      Bay's previous worst score on Rottentomatoes was 23 percent for "Bad Boys II," followed by 25 percent for "Pearl Harbor." Even his commercial flop "The Island" rated well above the "Transformers" sequel, with 40 percent positive reviews.

      Of the eight movies that have grossed more than $400 million domestically, four scored 90 percent or higher on Rottentomatoes: "The Dark Knight," "Spider-Man," "E.T. the Extra-terrestrial" and "Star Wars." Two others, "Shrek 2" and "Titanic," topped 80 percent.

      The other two had mixed reviews but still came in far higher than "Revenge of the Fallen," with "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" scoring 63 percent and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" rating 53 percent.

      This year's biggest hits so far had terrific scores, "Up" with 97 percent and "Star Trek" with 95 percent. Both movies have grossed about $250 million, a number the "Transformers" sequel will soar past by next weekend.

      On Metacritic.com, a site that assigns ratings of zero to 100 based on movie reviews, "Revenge of the Fallen" received a 36, a lowly score barely above those given to recent box-office duds "Year One" and "Land of the Lost."

      Bay has said that if there is a third "Transformers" movie, he would like to come back for it. But his next project could be far quieter than the explosions and action for which he is known.

      "I've got to take a little time off from the robot world," Bay said before the movie opened. "I've got to do something totally different. It's enough of this for right now. I keep saying I'm going to do my small movie. I've got one I want to do."
      On the Net:


      Associated Press Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen contributed to this report
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