Archive for the 'Movies' Category

Calvin and Hobbes: The Movie

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

Calvin and HobbesSome Calvin and Hobbes fans have made a fake trailer for a movie where Calvin is now an adult and his imagination is even more powerful—but it’s turning darker. And all I can say is “Wow.”


The Hobbit at 48 Frames Per Second

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

HobbitSome showings of the first Hobbit movie will be displayed at 48 FPS (frames per second), which is twice the speed of standard films. The author of the linked article says the difference is noticeable and can be distracting enough to take away from the film. On a side note, I’ve always wondered why I could immediately determine if a television show was a soap opera. Turns out the answer is that they use a different frame rate. Wonder if that’s also true for those older BBC shows, which can also be identified at a glance.


Converting a 2D Movie to 3D

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

3D GlassesThe linked article gives a summary of what it takes to convert a movie from 2D to 3D. The process is long and involved, and is compared to cutting your lawn with a nail clipper. The article covers the conversion of Titanic, which took more than two years. Many other conversions are done in much less time, and shortcuts are taken that make the 3D experience less enjoyable.

(via Slashdot)

How Toy Story 2 Was Nearly Deleted [VIDEO]

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Movie CameraThe video in the linked article details how much of the work for Toy Story 2 was almost permanently erased. Someone ran a delete command on the root directory of the computer containing the movie’s CGI work, and the backup was corrupted. The only reason they didn’t lose all their data was because one employee had made a recent copy of the files so she could work from home. Seriously… that’s what happened during the production of a multi-million dollar Pixar movie.

Now on to a technical explanation of how the article and video are wrong. First, the article says it only took three characters, referring to “rm/“. This is incorrect because there’s a space between the “rm” and the “/“, making it four characters instead of three.

And the video is wrong when it says the command used to delete the files was “rm /. In order to delete directories, subdirectories, and their contents, the rm command requires you to supply the -r parameter. And to suppress prompts and warning messages, you would need to speicfy the -f parameter. Thus, the command that was most likely run was “rm -rf /“.

Now don’t I feel like a total geek after that rant.


Netflix Makes a Mistake

Friday, December 16th, 2011

DiscIt’s a common belief: if you raise prices then income will also increase. But this isn’t always true. Earlier this year, Netflix, the DVD and streaming movie provider known for it’s affordable prices, made some changes to its pricing structure. They lost 800,000 customers as a result. Their stock price plunged, and they may be in the red for most of the next year.


Netflix: More Streaming, Less Mailing

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

DiscNetflix is known for sending movies through the mail, but now more and more of its business is done via online streaming. From the linked article: “Three years ago we [Netflix] were a DVD-by-mail company that offered some streaming. We are very proud to announce that by every measure we are now a streaming company, which also offers DVD-by-mail.” To get a grasp on just how big this is, a recent study by Sandvine found that Netflix is responsible for 20% of downstream internet traffic during certain peak periods. And the folks at Netflix, being no dummies and seeing the future for what it is, have made it easier to access content from game consoles.

Link (PDF):…
(via The Consumerist)

Why 3D Movies Give You a Headache

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

3D GlassesLet’s face it: 3D glasses just plain suck. Never mind that I use prescription lenses and have to put the cheap movie-theater glasses over top of the ones I’m already wearing. Some people get eyestrain-related headaches when watching 3D movies, and they blame it on the glasses. The truth, however, is that the headaches aren’t necessarily caused by the glasses. As mentioned in a previous Chad’s News post, most 3D movies aren’t actually filmed with 3D cameras but are converted after the fact. If this conversion is done poorly, eyestrain will result. And even when they are filmed in 3D, the linked article discusses other issues that can cause the headaches.

(via Slashdot)

The Magic of Hollywood Accounting

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Movie CameraI’ve heard that you should never strike a deal to get part of the net proceeds of a movie because most films never make a profit (always ask for a percentage of the gross). Now I finally understand why that’s the case. The linked article explains how Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix grossed $938 million yet still had a $167 million “loss”.

(via Slashdot)

Converting 2D Movies to 3D

Friday, February 26th, 2010

3D GlassesWith 3D movies becoming all the rage, Slate takes a look at the difficulties inherent in converting an older 2D movie into 3D. Unfortunately the viewing experience is not as good as native 3D, especially if they do a sloppy job. Also, since it costs more to film in 3D than to convert from 2D, we may see upcoming films doing the conversion anyway.

(via Neatorama)

Geek Horror Films

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

GeekOver at UserFriendly, artist J.D. “Illiad” Fraser lists five movie concepts that will terrorize your inner geek. My favorite is “Windows Me: The Rebirth.”


The Hunt For Gollum

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

GollumThe Hunt For Gollum is a high-quality Lord of the Rings fan film describing the period when Aragorn tracks down Gollum. In the books, it’s only mentioned in passing, and this film imagines what the hunt could have been like.

The movie is a large download. For those readers who prefer to use BitTorrent, there are several good torrents available.


Who Needs Nostradamus?

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Back to the FutureHere are 11 predictions in Back to the Future II that came true. Pretty good for a sequel!

(via mental_floss)