Blu-ray Review “Halloween H20: 20 Years Later”

Directed by: Steve Miner
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Hartnett, LL Cool J, Michelle Williams
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Running Time: 85 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 0 out of 5 stars

“Halloween H20” was never really my favorite installment in the “Halloween” franchise. I felt like it was a bit too much Hollywood and lost its edge. Nonetheless it is still a “Halloween” film. Laurie Strode is also one of the best strong female horror icons, so it is always great to see Jamie Lee Curtis take on the role. Echo Bridge did not put a lot into this release though and fans of this franchise will not be happy overall with this. It is barely a step up from a DVD release.

The film picks up with Laurie Strode (Curtis), who is now a headmistress of a private school and still struggling with her 20-year-old memories of Michael Myers. Of course guess who suddenly reappears looking to continue to stalk his sister. Michael also sets his sights on the school’s students and staff including Laurie’s son (Josh Hartnett), his girlfriend (Michelle Williams) and the school security guard (LL Cool J). It is up to Laurie to conquer her greatest fears and go up against her brother, Michael, once and for all…or at least until “Halloween: Resurrection”.

This Blu-ray presentation is extremely disappointing with a weak 1080p transfer, which looks bland and lacking sharpness. The film is presented in 1.78.1 but was shot in 2.35.1, so you can expecting cropping. The audio track is also a bit disappointing with its DTS-HD MA 2.0 and no surround track. What is even more disappointing is that the DVD release at least offered a 5.1 track. If you are looking for special features you will be disappointed again. This film is baron, there is no extras, trailers or even subtitles. Sorry Echo Bridge, very weak release.

Thomas Dolby Prepares First New Studio Album in 20 Years

THOMAS DOLBY PREPARES
FIRST NEW STUDIO ALBUM IN 20 YEARS,

A MAP OF THE FLOATING CITY, AVAILABLE OCTOBER 25
Guest artists include Mark Knopfler, Regina Spektor,

 Natalie MacMaster, Bruce Woolley and Imogen Heap

Release follows conclusion of groundbreaking transmedia game

LONDON, U.K. — Thomas Dolby, the iconic ’80s star whose smash hits “She Blinded Me With Science” and “Hyperactive” helped define the MTV generation/revolution, will break his 20-year silence with a new release later this year titled A Map of the Floating City. The album, featuring appearances by special guest artists Mark Knopfler, Regina Spektor, Natalie MacMaster, Bruce Woolley, Imogen Heap and Eddi Reader, will be available on October 25, 2011 on Lost Toy People Records as a regular and hi-res download, as a physical CD, and in a special Deluxe Edition featuring a second disc of instrumentals and bonus tracks.
The five-time Grammy®-nominated British artist quit the music business in the early ’90s and spent many years in Silicon Valley, where his tech company Beatnik Inc. created the ringtone synthesizer embedded in more than three billion mobile phones shipped by Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and others. Now retired from Beatnik, Dolby has returned to his native U.K. and is busy recording an album of brand new songs in a renewable energy-powered studio he built aboard a 1930s lifeboat in the garden of his beach house on England’s North Sea coast.

Of the album, which is divided into three parts, Dolby says, “The new songs are organic and very personal. A Map of the Floating City is a travelogue across three imaginary continents: In Amerikana I’m reflecting with affection on the years I spent living in the U.S.A., and my fascination with its roots music. Urbanoia is a dark place, a little unsettling . . . I’m not a city person. And in Oceanea I return to my natural home on the windswept coastline.”

“I marvel at the new landscape of the music business — distribution via the Internet and recording technologies I barely dreamed of when I started out,” he continues. “But this album does not sound electronic at all. I have zero desire to add to the myriad of machine-based, synth-driven grooves out there. The Net has made a music career approachable for thousands of bands — but I hear too few single-minded voices among them, so I’m returning to what I do best, which is write songs, tell stories.”

To help tell his stories, Dolby has enlisted an impressive cast of guest musicians. Legendary guitarist Mark Knopfler helps drive the epic “17 Hills,” a song about a pair of hapless lovers and a jailbreak. Natalie MacMaster, the Cape Breton fiddler, adds spice to two songs. Scottish singer Eddi Reader takes a front seat on the ethereal “Oceanea.” Bruce Woolley (Camera Club) plays theremin. And Regina Spektor has a cameo as an East European waitress on “Evil Twin Brother.”

The innovative transmedia game The Floating City <http://www.floatingcity.com>, co-created by Dolby and based on his song catalog all the way back to the 1980s, is currently in full swing and is proving highly addictive for thousands of regular players. The winning “tribe” will be treated to a private concert performance of the new album in its entirety. Thomas Dolby will shortly announce a string of concert dates in the U.S. and U.K. in support of the album.

 

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EA, BioWare and LucasArts to Launch “Star Wars: The Old Republic” on December 20, 2011

EA, BioWare and LucasArts to Launch Star Wars: The Old Republic on December 20, 2011

The Republic or the Empire? Choose Your Side and Forge Your Own Personal Star Wars Saga in the Groundbreaking, Story-Driven MMO from BioWare

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Today during their keynote address at the Eurogamer Expo, Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk, co-founders of BioWare™, a label of Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS), announced that Star WarsTM: The Old Republic will launch in North America on December 20, 2011 and in Europe on December 22, 2011. Set thousands of years before the rise of Darth Vader, Star Wars: The Old Republic is a massively multiplayer online game challenging players with epic quests, featuring dynamic combat across iconic worlds in the Star WarsTM galaxy such as Tatooine, Alderaan, Hoth and more. Each of the game’s eight primary classes will enjoy their own unique trilogy of storylines, all of which are fully voiced with a sweeping musical score. Anticipation for the award-winning MMO is at an all-time high as Star Wars: The Old Republic has broken EA pre-order records and won over 95 industry awards and accolades from game critics worldwide.

“In 1977, Lucasfilm created magic with the release of Star Wars. Our goal is to capture some of that magic when we go live with Star Wars: The Old Republic on December 20,” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, Co-Founder, BioWare and General Manager, BioWare Label. “This is an incredible moment for everyone at BioWare and our partners at LucasArts who have dedicated so much of their lives to building this extraordinary game.”

Added Dr. Greg Zeschuk, Co-Founder, BioWare and General Manager of the MMO Business Unit of BioWare, “We appreciate the patience of the millions of fans who have been waiting for the game’s release. When we launch this groundbreaking MMO with world class storytelling this holiday season, we hope you will agree that it was worth the wait.”

Star Wars: The Old Republic is available for pre-order now at participating retailers* while supplies last. All players who pre-order will receive a redemption code that will unlock Early Game Access**, granting them access to the game before December 20, 2011 in North America and before December 22, 2011 in Europe. Pre-order quantities are limited and Early Game Access will only be available to those who pre-order the game and redeem their code before the game’s official release. Included with the purchase of every copy of Star Wars: The Old Republic is 30 days of access to the game, after which players can continue to play through subscribing*** at either $14.99 per month, $41.97 for 3 months ($13.99 per month), or $77.94 for six months ($12.99 per month).

Star Wars: The Old Republic has been lauded for breaking new ground in the genre by building on traditional MMO gameplay pillars of combat, exploration, character customization and progression, and adding a powerful fourth dimension to the experience — story with personal choice and consequence. The Old Republic is set thousands of years before the rise of Darth Vader, when the Star Wars galaxy is in the midst of a cold war. Players will be asked to join forces with either the Galactic Republic or Sith Empire and choose one of eight iconic Star Wars characters: Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler, Trooper, Bounty Hunter, Imperial Agent, Sith Inquisitor and Sith Warrior. Every player’s story will unfold based on meaningful choices made throughout the game, enabling them to become the hero of their own personal Star Wars saga. Along their journey, players will encounter companion characters with whom they can build and break meaningful relationships as they fight by their side. Players will explore a vibrant galaxy, engage in heroic battles, and experience visceral Star Wars combat.

For more information on Star Wars: The Old Republic, please visit www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com, follow the game on Twitter at http://twitter.com/swtor or “Like” Star Wars: The Old Republic on Facebook at http://facebook.com/starwarstheoldrepublic.

* Conditions and restrictions apply. See www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com/preorder for details.

** Codes are redeemable at www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com/preorder. Pre-order quantities are limited and will be processed in the order they are received.

*** Subscription pricing in the United Kingdom will be £8.99 per month, £25.17 for three months (£8.39 per month) or £46.14 for six months (£7.69 per month). Subscription pricing in Europe will be €12.99 per month, €35.97 for three months (€11.99 per month) or €65.94 for six months (€10.99 per month).

About Lucasfilm Ltd.

Lucasfilm Ltd. is one of the world’s leading film and entertainment companies. Founded by George Lucas in 1971, it is a privately held, fully-integrated entertainment company. In addition to its motion-picture and television production operations, the company’s global activities include Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, serving the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual-effects and audio post-production; LucasArts, a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software worldwide; Lucas Licensing, which manages the global merchandising activities for Lucasfilm’s entertainment properties; Lucasfilm Animation, which is currently producing content for film and television, including Star Wars: The Clone Wars, a CG-animated half-hour television series; and Lucas Online creates Internet-based content for Lucasfilm’s entertainment properties and businesses. Additionally, Lucasfilm Singapore produces digital animated content for film and television, as well as visual effects for feature films and multi-platform games. Lucasfilm’s motion-picture productions include three of the 20 biggest box-office hits of all time and have received 19 Oscars and more than 60 Academy Award nominations. Lucasfilm’s television projects have won 12 Emmy Awards. Lucasfilm Ltd. is headquartered in San Francisco, Calif. LucasArts, a Lucasfilm Ltd. company, is a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software worldwide for video game console systems, computers and the Internet. Based in San Francisco, Calif., as well as on the Internet at www.lucasarts.com, LucasArts was created in 1982 by George Lucas to provide an interactive element to his vision of a state-of-the-art, multifaceted entertainment company.

About BioWare

The BioWare Label is a division of EA which crafts high quality multiplatform role-playing, MMO and strategy games, focused on emotionally engaging, rich stories with unforgettable characters and vast worlds to discover. Since 1995, BioWare has created some of the world’s most critically acclaimed titles and franchises, including Baldur’s Gate™, Neverwinter Nights™, Star Wars®: Knights of the Old Republic™, Jade Empire™, Mass Effect™ and Dragon Age™. BioWare currently operates in seven locations across the world, including Edmonton (Alberta, Canada), Montreal (Quebec, Canada), Austin (Texas), Fairfax (Virginia), San Francisco (California), Los Angeles (California) and Galway (Ireland).

In 2008, BioWare was acquired by Electronic Arts, a leading global interactive entertainment publisher. In 2011 EA created the BioWare Label, alongside EA Games, EA SPORTS™ and EA Play. For more information on BioWare, visit www.bioware.com, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bioware. To join the millions of fans already registered with the BioWare community, go to http://social.bioware.com.

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company’s game franchises are offered as both packaged goods products and online services delivered through Internet-connected consoles, personal computers, mobile phones and tablets. EA has more than 100 million registered players and operates in 75 countries.

In fiscal 2011, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.6 billion. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, EA is recognized for critically acclaimed, high-quality blockbuster franchises such as The Sims™, Madden NFL, FIFA Soccer, Need for Speed™, Battlefield, and Mass Effect™. More information about EA is available at http://info.ea.com.

LucasArts, the LucasArts logo, STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks in the United States and/or in other countries of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © 2011 Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd. or Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. BioWare , Jade Empire, Mass Effect and Dragon Age are trademarks of EA International (Studio and Publishing) Ltd. EA SPORTS, The Sims and Need for Speed are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.