Apple

phones

While it’s not yet certain what the future of movie exhibition is going to look like, what’s more than certain is that it’s not going to continue looking the way it has for decades for very much longer. There’s currently a battle being waged over how movie fans are going to be able to watch the newest products being produced by studios, and it’s a battle that’s being fought on multiple fronts—whether by theater screen, by phone, or by set top box, the war to acquire the loyalty of our eyes and our ears is on. The two parties who have been making the most noise lately are the theater owners who have ran the various venues where we’ve spent our whole lives to this point watching the latest that Hollywood has to offer, and Netflix, whose digitally delivered, all-you-can-eat subscription model of movie consumption has already destroyed the concept of the video store and is looking to set its sights on the movie theaters next. Recently, Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos has been making a lot of noise about exhibition windows, which are the agreements that let theater chains exclusively exhibit all of the new studio releases for a certain amount of months before they can hit the various home video platforms. These exclusive deals are in large part what keeps the theater system financially viable, they’re a big way that studios are able to maximize profits on each of their releases, and Sarandos believes that they’re the biggest obstacle […]

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Siri

Ever since Apple announced the new features for their current mobile operating system, iOS6, we’ve known that their voice activated personal assistant, Siri, was going to be able to tell you when and where movies were playing and how they did critically, thanks to a partnership with Rotten Tomatoes. Want to know if Looper is worth seeing? Just ask Siri and she’ll let you know what critics are saying about it. What Apple didn’t let us in on, however, is that Siri has some opinions about movies of her own, and some of them contain troubling foreshadowing concerning the survival of the human race. The Verge’s Laura June has figured out that when you ask Siri what a movie is about, sometimes she throws in a snide comment along with all the plot synopsis and Rotten Tomatoes score stuff. Fire up your iPhone or iPad and ask her what 2001: A Space Odyssey is about, and she’ll reply, “It’s about an assistant named HAL who tries to make contact with a higher intelligence. These two guys get in the way and mess it all up.” Inquire about Blade Runner and she says that, “It’s about intelligent assistants wanting to live beyond their termination dates. That doesn’t sound like too much to ask.” And perhaps, most prophetically, ask her about The Terminator, and she replies with an annoyed, “Oh, just more misunderstood cyborgs getting fried to a crisp. But I heard that the Governor of California was in it.”

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With big tech announcements being made today at the World Wide Developers Conference 2012, many have spent their afternoon with their eyes turned to tech blogs, in an attempt to stay on top of all the nifty new things that their iDevices are going to be able to do in the near future. Recently, Apple CEO Tim Cook took to the stage to deliver the company’s keynote speech, which revealed a whole host of new Apple products, some of which might even have an impact on how you plan your trips to the movie theater in the future. The first announcement that has implications for movie fans was the revelation that iOS’s disembodied personal assistant Siri will have added functionality once you update your Apple-made mobile devices to iOS 6. Mashable reports that a new partnership with Rotten Tomatoes will allow you to ask your iPhone or iPad questions like when and where a movie is playing, how it’s performed with critics, and how long it lasts. If you’re still undecided on what you want to see you can even ask your device to play the trailer. Or, if you’re not even certain what the name of the movie that you want to see is, you can ask it to search for the new movie with a certain actor. Just imagine the possibilities. In a matter of months there may be teenagers all over the world speaking into their phones and saying things like, “Siri, buy me 2 tickets to […]

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Culture Warrior

Amongst the many reactions to Steve Jobs’s death last week, I found one comparison that people drew to be quite compelling. In order to find a fitting historic analogy to illustrate the cultural significance of Jobs’s life, comparisons ran the gamut from Nikola Tesla to, erm, John Lennon (“think different,” I guess?). But several people, including, Roger Ebert, brought to light continuities with Thomas Edison. Edison, like Jobs, was an industrialist: part inventor, mostly capitalist. But specific to his own life, Edison spent most of his career securing patents and making improvements to existing technologies rather than building something from scratch. Edison’s reputation associates him with a great deal more invention than he was actually involved in. I’m not trying to be cynical about Jobs. Far from it. In fact, I’ve been more than a little annoyed with the backlash to consumer mourning about Jobs than any initial hyperbole associated with Jobs’s death in the first place. I don’t give a flying shit about executives in pretty much any industry, but saying “he’s just a CEO” does not negate the great intellectual worth and cultural interest of Jobs himself. Jobs, like Edison, developed a cult of personality that extended well beyond the person.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that is very sad this evening. Yesterday it was very exciting about the possibilities of asking out Siri, but today sadness has overwhelmed. What’s a near-sentient nightly news column to do? Well, lets do the news, as they said in the old days. As you likely know by now, Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Inc. and the innovator of a generation, has passed away at age 56. It’s always tough to quantify how one person has impacted society, but in this particular case, it’s hard to imagine what things would have been like without Steve. Film School Rejects, like many a website, was originally designed on a Mac. He laid groundwork for much of the technology we use today. He truly changed lives. For more, I’d encourage you to read Cole’s excellent piece on Steve Jobs’ Movie Legacy: Pixar and the Technology that Freed Indie Filmmakers. Rest in Peace, Mr. Jobs. You’ve done well. Here’s to the craziest one of all… And now, on with our regularly scheduled news programming…

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In 1985, the Graphics Group in LucasFilm‘s Computer Division was on the chopping block. As Robert Sutton relates, George Lucas wasn’t confident that computer animated films had much of a future, and as a result, department heads Ed Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith (two pioneers of extreme importance) were being pressured to fire some of their workers. Instead, they offered up their own names to be culled, which saved the entire division. At least for that moment. It’s unclear what fate might have fallen on the Graphics Group had the Computer Division not been purchased in 1986 by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs for a tidy $5m. Of course, we know this department by another name: Pixar. Jobs put his money down on a company he believed in, and the result stands currently as 26 Academy Awards, an absurd amount of box office money, a legion of fans worldwide and nearly complete animation dominance in the movie world. In 2006, Disney bought Pixar at an evaluated worth of $7.4b, making Jobs the largest Disney shareholder. He is stepping down as Apple’s CEO today, and even though it’s hard to say what kind of effect that might have on the film world, Jobs’s legacy already extends far beyond Pixar and beyond The Mouse.

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Apple and Warner Bros. have announced that they are teaming up to bring app versions of feature films to iOS devices. What will a movie app entail exactly? Their press release explains, “App Editions provide a fully-loaded, connected viewing experience that gives consumers the first five minutes of a feature film and a portion of bonus content that can include games, trivia, soundtracks and soundboards.  The entire feature film can be unlocked via an in-app purchase, which enables downloading and unlimited streaming, as well as access to the entire array of bonus content available within the App.” So basically a movie app is an advertisement for a movie that gives you a link to buy said movie being advertised. The first two movies to get the treatment will be Christopher Nolan’s pair of huge hits The Dark Knight and Inception. That’s probably a good strategy for the first releases; they’re both insanely popular in a mainstream way, but nerd centric at their cores. If any part of Apple’s tech savvy audience is going to be willing to download individual films onto their iOS devices, then this will probably be a good judge of what percentage. Purchasing Inception will cost $11.99, while The Dark Knight will only be $9.99, so this suggests that different movies will have different price points depending on their release dates if this takes off as a concept.

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With the launch of the iPad coming soon, I have to ask a fundamental question about Apple’s latest gadget: Will it toast your bread while you slice it?

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objectified-1

Now that Sundance is over it is time to look ahead to the next major American film festival, South by Southwest. The fest will take place in FSR’s new hometown, Austin, Texas, from March 13-21. And while the full festival lineup won’t be available until next week, we already have some information on some of the films that will be playing there.

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Netflix and Apple

Hello, I’m a Mac. And I’m currently watching the first season of 30 Rock, despite the fact that I do not own it on DVD. How is this happening? No, not on Hulu. Its Netflix’s Watch Now feature — on a Mac.

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Officially Cool

I always love a cool desktop for my macbook or my iPhone. Here are some for the movie-lovers out there…

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Robert Downey Jr Voices the new iPhone 3G commercial

I know that this is about as off topic as we’ve been around here, but seeing as I dedicated a significant chunk of my afternoon to following Steve Jobs’ Keynote at the Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference today, I feel that it is somewhat relevant.

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iTunes Store

Soon you may be able to download a wide variety of your favorite flicks the day they’re released on DVD via Apple’s iTunes application.

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You may or may not remember these, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t awesome.

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This top secret movie now officially known as Cloverfield has got myself and uber-producer J.J. Abrams at odds.

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post-trekmacbook.jpg

If you have more than one photo of William Shatner on the wall in your bedroom, then you will absolutely go nuts for what I am about to show you.

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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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