Product Review “Animated Crazy Eyes Candy Bowl”

One week till Halloween! But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still time for decorations! I recently made a trip to a Cracker Barrel location and came across a fantastic new product, which is the Animated Crazy Eyes Candy Bowl. I was walking around the Old Country Store with my two year old daughter, who ended up starring at this candy bowl and just laughing and I knew I had to have this for her. As much as I love scary Halloween decoration it is always great to have fun options as well.

This Frankenstein-themed candy bowl is not just a regular dish though, it is motion-activated that senses when a sneaky hand is getting ready to raid the candy stash. Honestly, this works great for us as well since we are able to keep an eye on your daughter when she heads over and tries to grab an extras piece.

The product features moving eyes back and forth and a little surprise at the end of each session. There are two modes for this candy dish, there is a “Try Me” mode, which only runs when you push a button on the top of the Frankenstein head. Then of course, there is the full on motion mode, which is the most fun. If you don’t live near a Cracker Barrel location, you can still pick this great item up online for only $14.99, click here.

 

LG Eyes Mainstream Adoption of Wearables With First Device Powered by Android Wear

“Glance-able” Interface of LG G Watch to Appeal to both Consumers and Developers

SEOUL, June 26, 2014 – With an eye on transforming wearable devices into more than just a conversation piece, LG Electronics (LG) today introduced the highly anticipated LG G Watch (http://goo.gl/Ie8TB0), one of the first devices powered by Android Wear™, Google’s new operating system which extends the Android platform to wearables. As a wrist wearable device featuring a button-less design, the G Watch will appeal to a mass audience with its simple minimalist design, quick and “glance-able” access to useful information and seamless connectivity with other Android devices, keeping users connected wherever, whenever.

“As one of the first to market with Android Wear, LG wanted to develop a product that functions as an essential companion device but most importantly, was simple to use,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “We wanted a device that would be simple to learn and so intuitive that users wouldn’t even have to think about how to use its features. That’s what the LG G Watch is all about.”

“Watches powered by Android Wear aim to show you the right information and suggestions you need, right when you need them,” said Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps. “It’s been great to work with LG on the launch of the G Watch ? especially given its simple, easy-to-use design.”

At the core of the LG G Watch is a powerful and energy-efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 400 processor clocking in at 1.2GHz. Paired with a low power consuming Always-On 1.65-inch IPS display with true-to-life color reproduction, the LG G Watch enhances the functionality of Android smartphones by providing quick access to useful information. The Always-On screen makes it easy to tell the time with a quick glance. Connected via Bluetooth, the LG G Watch displays messages, shows who’s calling, controls music playback and more without the smartphone ever having to be removed from a pocket or bag.

Integral to the LG G Watch and Android Wear is a simple new user experience designed around cards, which provides useful information when it’s needed, and voice recognition which allows one to ask questions and get things done easily. With voice recognition, LG was free to design the LG G Watch without any buttons or keys. Users can send text messages and search for useful information just by saying, “Ok Google”. LG and Google worked closely together from the outset to design a truly integrated experience.

The LG G Watch combines form and function in a subtle, minimalist design with an intuitive touch-based user interface. And with an Ingress Protection rating of IP67, the LG G Watch is designed to be protected from dust and water resistant for up to 30 minutes to a depth of one meter. The LG G Watch will be available in two colors ? Black Titan and White Gold ? and is constructed of PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) coated stainless steel with a rugged silicone wristband in matching color. The LG G Watch can be personalized with any standard 22mm strap available in the market.

The LG G Watch will be available for pre-order on the Google Play Store starting June 25 in 12 countries including key markets such as the United States, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, South Korea and Japan. The LG G Watch will also be available soon after at retailers in 27 markets such as Australia, Brazil, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Russia. Additional details will be announced locally at the time of availability.

Key Specifications:
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 400 processor
Display: 1.65-inch LCD IPS (280 x 280)
Memory: 4GB eMMC / 512MB RAM
Battery: 400mAh
Operating System: Android Wear
(compatible with smartphones running Android 4.3 and above)
Size: 37.9 x 46.5 x 9.95mm
Weight: 63g
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0
Sensors: 9-Axis (Gyro / Accelerometer / Compass)
Color: White Gold/ Black Titan
Others: Dust and Water Resistant (IP67)

Director Brin Hill Talks About Joss Whedon’s “In Your Eyes”

In Your Eyes held it premiere at this year’s Tribeca Film Fest and fortunately for viewers became immediately available to stream thereafter. This intimate romantic comedy was directed by Brin Hill working from a script from none other than The Avengers’ Joss Whedon. Hill attended the festival in New York and sat down with me to discuss this unique, genre-blending story.

The film stars Zoe Kazan and Michael Stahl David as two complete strangers, Rebecca and Dylan, who find themselves beginning to literally see out each other’s eyes. The unexplained connection—they can hear eachother as well— bonds the pair who use it to help each other navigate trying times in their respective lives. Casting the lead couple, Hill said, came about from discussions with producers and Whedon.         

“Joss really loved [Kazan] in this movie that he called ‘Spoledy Girl’ [2009’s The Exploding Girl] and he thought that she was a really inspired choice and Kai [Cole, co-founder of Bellwether Pictures ] loved her in that movie and Michael loved her in that movie and I loved her in all her movies. And you know she’s different, she’s not what you would normally think in the genre of like a love story, so that was really inspiring. And what I like about her was she’s quirky, you know, she brings a lot of range to her stuff so that was exciting.” As for Michael Stahl-David, Hill said “he just came in auditioned and I was like this is the guy…[he] was just charismatic and he just got it. He was just great in the read.”

The mysterious connection between Rebecca and Dylan manifests itself in the film as superimposed imagery in their shared vision, a decision Hill called intentionally “low-fi” adding “I wanted them to feel like an old bolex camera like when I read it I was like ‘Oh you shoot it once and then you roll the camera through and then you shoot it again’ and I wanted these two images on top of eachother. That was how I saw it…I tried to embrace it like something that was really happening to them.”

The result of the distant connection in the film is that Kazan and Stahl-David don’t actually share much screentime together. However to keep their relationship feeling natural, Hill had both the actors on set. “They both had to be there run-of-show so when we shot Zoe’s side in New Hampshire, [Michael] was there…They didn’t want to look at each other necessarily but he would be there. I mean like literally. Like I would have him under the desk. And so the idea was to build that chemistry and build that emotion between them and I think it worked.”

Although there’s a sci-fi conceit at the center of the film, Hill and Whedon didn’t trouble themselves too much with the exposition as to why or how the Rebecca-Dylan connection is established.  “They almost manifested it for themselves when they needed it” Hill said of the conclusion of the story. “I said to Joss, you know, to me what’s most important is that these people need this connection…they need this connection in this moment in their lives and that’s why it’s happening. And it doesn’t need explanation beyond that. It’s just like these people, when they need it, it shows up in their life and they need to find each other. And if they can find each other, they can break free. And it goes under that whole thing of sort of what Joss is dealing with in this movie —and all his movies sort of—is loner heroes that have to figure out a way to band together to overcome adversity. And eventually hopefully find their fate or their destiny…You can’t go it alone.” When asked if Hill would ever seek this particular brand of connection with another person given the choice, he wasn’t sure “I never asked that. You know, it’s a mixed bag I bet.”

Speaking of Whedon’s other work, while filming Avengers he went and made the lovely lower budget Shakespeare adaptation Much Ado About Nothing. I asked Hill if doing that and then scripting In Your Eyes was for Whedon to avoid being pidgeonholed as the big sci-fi director.

“I think so.  I think there’s a little bit of, I mean the notion with [Bellwether] I think, to some degree, was just trying to do stuff differently and kind of trying to put stuff out there that was just different. And in a weird way experimental. I mean I know it’s not an ‘Experimental Film’ but it’s like we’re trying an experiment…Even in how they’re distributing it.”

Of the distribution, which was announced by Whedon during TribecaHill was glad, saying  “It’s exciting to me. I like the idea of trying to get it out there to as many people as possible. I mean I’ve made stuff that’s been seen by a lot of people and I’ve made stuff that nobody’s seen yet and stuff that got released widely that not that many people saw. So for me, like casting the widest net with indie film is really exciting. We all independently have had different experiences with different sort of release strategies. Obviously this is sort of an extension of what they did with Dr. Horrible and you know, Much Ado had its own version. I think it services the film really well because I feel like it’s a fun sort of infectious movie. And I feel like people being able to consume it however they want to consume it is really kind of interesting to me.”

In Your Eyes, as noted above, is now available to stream online.

Joss Whedon and Kai Cole’s “In Your Eyes” Available Now on Vimeo on Demand

JOSS WHEDON AND KAI COLE’S BELLWETHER PICTURES RELEASE “IN YOUR EYES” TO A WORLDWIDE AUDIENCE
IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE FILM’S APRIL 20 PREMIERE AT THE TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

Whedon makes surprise post-screening announcement.

Film is now available at www.inyoureyesmovie.com, powered exclusively
by the Vimeo On Demand platform.

NEW YORK, NY (April 21, 2014) – At the Tribeca Film Festival last night, Joss Whedon and Kai Cole’s Bellwether Pictures made an unexpected move with its latest feature, IN YOUR EYES, giving instant access directly to fans around the world with a digital release immediately following its world premiere at the Festival. Whedon announced the plan in a surprise post-screening video message:

IN YOUR EYES is available now as a $5.00 digital rental on the film’s website: www.inyoureyesmovie.com. The release is being powered by the Vimeo On Demand platform and has been translated into Spanish, German, Portuguese, French, and Japanese for the worldwide release.

Bellwether Pictures, founded by Joss Whedon and Kai Cole, is a micro-studio committed to creating quality independent films and utilizing modern tools of distribution to bring these titles directly to their audience.

The company’s first film was Whedon’s contemporized Much Ado About Nothing. Their newest project, IN YOUR EYES, written and executive produced by Whedon and directed by Brin Hill (Ball Don’t Lie), adheres to this mission by skipping the traditional modes of distribution and taking the film directly to fans via a digital distribution strategy.

Cole explained: “It was always the plan to release IN YOUR EYES in a new and exciting way. It’s no secret that the distribution landscape is shifting rapidly and there are tools at our disposal as filmmakers that we could only dream about ten years ago.”

In partnership with Bellwether Pictures is producer Michael Roiff’s Night & Day Pictures (Waitress, Save the Date), which shepherded the film through production and has been instrumental in forming and executing the release strategy.

Roiff echoed Cole’s sentiments: “We’ve been aiming to do something like this from the get-go. When you work with Joss and Kai – you don’t get to say ‘but this is how it is usually done’, you have to say ‘and now for something completely different’.” He went on to say, “Finding a partner like Vimeo to power this release was incredible. They are fantastic people working to make the future of distribution happen today.”

“We are honored to be partnering with the masterminds behind IN YOUR EYES to bring the film directly to audiences worldwide,” said Vimeo’s General Manager of Audience Networks Greg Clayman. “As big Whedon fans we were drawn to the film immediately and our shared vision for disrupting traditional distribution models made this an amazing collaboration all around.”

A timeless boy-meets-girl story, wrapped in a supernatural, Whedonesque world, IN YOUR EYES stars Zoe Kazan, Michael Stahl-David, Nikki Reed, Mark Feuerstein, Jennifer Grey, and Steve Howey.

In the frozen East Coast winter, Rebecca (Zoe Kazan) is withering away in a life of cocktail parties and lonely nights as the sheltered, soft-spoken wife of a successful doctor. Across the country in sun-drenched, arid New Mexico, charismatic ex-con Dylan (Michael Stahl-David) is struggling to find his footing and a fresh start. When these polar opposites realize they share an inexplicable connection, a unique metaphysical romance begins.

Blu-ray Review “The Hills Have Eyes: Part 2”

Directed by: Wes Craven
Starring: Michael Berryman, Penny Johnson, Tamara Stafford, Kevin Spirtas, John Bloom
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Kino Lorber/Redemption
Release Date: March 20, 2012
Running Time: 86 minutes

Remastered Edition: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1 out of 5 stars

Let’s start with the fact that everyone including Wes Craven himself stated that this film is terrible and doesn’t live up to the original. It has been a few years since I last watched this and I still enjoyed it for the most part, if not just for its campy horror. I am really hit or miss with Craven’s earlier work and I absolutely hate all of his recent work. Craven’s first “Hills Have Eyes is great and definitely a cult classic but I actually prefer the recent remake “The Hills Have Eyes”. This films main fault is the lack of direction and use of multiple flashbacks to the first film, even the dog has a flashback (no, that is not a typo, he really does). This one is not perfect but it is not terrible either, overall campy fun.

This follows a group of bikers who head into the desert to attempt to travel to a a biker race which happens to be close to the events of the first film. Of course they go off the path and try and take a shortcut and they met up with with our cannibalistic desert friends from the first film. It turns out that one of the girls in the group was actually a member of the cannibal family that escaped after the first film. So it turns into a family reunion of sorts. Though things aren’t happy as they bikers start getting hunted by the desert crazies.

Redemption really went to town with the Blu-ray remastered edition. It looks great in HD and includes a newly transferred master restored from original 35mm negative. It is very impressive and even includes its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The special features though are MIA and lacking besides a photo gallery and a trailer. I would have loved to seen much more in this area to round up a great release otherwise.