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Showing posts from March, 2018

Ready Player One and the Limits of Name-Checking Nostalgia

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As a nerd such as me grows older, it becomes unavoidable that certain things that once felt exhilarating and fresh have since become stale and predictable. Among those faded thrills are the promise of big-budget, special effects-laden fantasy/sci-fi films that are helmed by popular directors. In particular, I'm talking about this weekend's release of Ready Player One, a movie adaptation of a bestselling novel that has been directed by Steven Spielberg.

Yes, Spielberg knows a few things about adapting bestselling novels into blockbuster films (see Jaws and Jurassic Park) and he knows his way around special effects. Yet between the teaser trailers' emphasis on CGI set pieces and the story's widely known reliance on nostalgic references to pop culture, I can't work up much interest (let alone enthusiasm) for Ready Player One. For everything that this film is promising, I can't but to feel that I've seen this done before and done better.

Even though Ready Playe…

Disney Drops 3D Blu-Ray Distribution in the U.S. Market

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If the Disney corporation can't be bothered to say this to the public, I will: Disney has stopped producing and distributing 3D Blu-ray versions of its 3D movies in the United States.

I've been searching all over the 'net to find confirmation of this, but I can't find an official press release from Disney about the status of its 3D Blu-rays at all. Based on the recent home video releases of Thor: Ragnarok, Coco, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi (all of which were released theatrically in both 2D and 3D), it appears that Disney has given up on the 3D Blu-ray format in the U.S. 2D formats, both standard definition Blu-rays and 4K ultra high definition (UHD), will be Disney's preferred home video mediums in the U.S. for the foreseeable future. However, Disney will continue to release 3D Blu-rays in markets outside of the U.S.; thus, 3D buffs (like me) will be stuck with either buying region-free 3D Blu-rays and/or region-free 3D Blu-ray players.

Of course, other American …

Why Are Star Wars Toy Sales Dropping?

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I regularly review geek news sites from around the 'net to stay up-to-date on the latest trends within my community of interest. In recent weeks, I've noticed a story that's been popping up frequently: the sale of Star Wars toys have been dropping. As someone who is a life-long Star Wars addict, I never thought that I would live to see the day when Star Wars toys don't sell well. However, after thinking about how Disney has been handling the franchise since it purchased it from George Lucas back in 2012, I can see how the popularity of Star Wars toys would begin to falter during the new movie releases.

Oversaturation of toys: I occasionally look at what kind of Star Wars toys are being sold both online and in stores, and the selection is staggering. Action figures are available in a wide range in sizes (from 3.75 inches to 6 inches to 12 inches and higher) and they cover the recent movies, the original trilogy, the prequel trilogy, and the two animated series. This arr…