Collecting the Internet So You Don't Have To

We work on the Internet. As such, we are constantly consuming information. Believe me, there is a lot of it out there. Sometimes we even forget things unless we write them down. Our blog covers everything from web standards to the muppets, php to comic books, music and everything else that we find interesting. Leave us a note when you drop by.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

General
Julian Moffatt
Julian Moffatt CEO / Partner
Visual Lizard
work
1 (204) 957-5520 ext:1
fax
1 (204) 957-5519
toll-free
1 (888) 237-9559
url
http://www.visuallizard.com
Julian Moffatt Purveyor of Good Times

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Visual Lizard would like to wish all of our family, friends and clients a very happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

We will be closed from Dec. 22 to Jan. 2, 2008. We look forward to a fantastic 2008.

Sweeney Todd

Event
Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
Visual Lizard
work
1 (204) 957-5520 ext:152
fax
1 (204) 957-5519
toll-free
1 (888) 237-9559
url
http://www.visuallizard.com
Wil Alambre Whiteboard Ninja

A new muscial movie directed by Tim Burton. Johnny Depp tries his hand at a bit of singing and cutting hair-without the scissorhands this time.

Hellboy II Teaser Online

General
Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
Visual Lizard
work
1 (204) 957-5520 ext:152
fax
1 (204) 957-5519
toll-free
1 (888) 237-9559
url
http://www.visuallizard.com
Wil Alambre Whiteboard Ninja

Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman are back with Mike Mignola’s comic book pulp hero. The first teaser trailer of Hellboy II: The Golden Army is online at MySpace.

Click here to watch teaser trailer at MySpace

The first movie was good, but I wouldn’t call it mind-blowingly amazing. I remember coming out thinking "That was fun. I hope it makes money so someone will trust them to make a cooler one next time." The Hellboy comics have always been a favourite for it’s mix of pulp hero and strange folklore, and the first movie seemed to only to dip one foot in that deep possibility.

My first impression with this teaser? Hellboy did make money, and Pan’s Labyrinth earned oodles of critical acclaim (as well as three Oscars), and Del Toro suddenly has free rein to be so out there as he wants to be. And it is good.

Dark Knight Trailer Online

General
Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
Visual Lizard
work
1 (204) 957-5520 ext:152
fax
1 (204) 957-5519
toll-free
1 (888) 237-9559
url
http://www.visuallizard.com
Wil Alambre Whiteboard Ninja

The latest trailer for Christopher Nolan’s "Batman Begins" sequel, "The Dark Knight", is now online! And it is excellent!

src="/files/Image/wil/batman_2.png"

Click here to watch the trailer with Flash, or to download it in hi-def Quicktime.

I Am Legend

Event
Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
Visual Lizard
work
1 (204) 957-5520 ext:152
fax
1 (204) 957-5519
toll-free
1 (888) 237-9559
url
http://www.visuallizard.com
Wil Alambre Whiteboard Ninja

In this movie, scientist Will Smith attempts to cure the world’s population from a pandemic of cannabalism in this sci-fi thriller based on the novel by Richard Matheson.

Online Video Media Comes to Canada

Technology
Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
Visual Lizard
work
1 (204) 957-5520 ext:152
fax
1 (204) 957-5519
toll-free
1 (888) 237-9559
url
http://www.visuallizard.com
Wil Alambre Whiteboard Ninja

When it comes to technology and product launches, Canadians have gotten used to watching Americans get all the cool toys. We then get to wait weeks or months before it trickles north. Usually in some lesser form. On the bright side, at least we don’t live in Europe or Australia, where those same products arrive years later (the only recent exception to this being the iPhone).

Case in point: Microsoft launched an online service to distribute television shows and movies to Xbox 360 owners. The service was launched in USA on November 22, 2006 via Xbox Live. In October 2005, Apple updated their popular iTunes Music Store to sell music videos and episodes of popular television programs, that could be watched on their updated iPods. I remember being excited about both launches... only to be disappointed when I discovered it wasn’t available in Canada.

Now, a year after the Xbox Video Marketplace went live, and two years after the American iTunes Store update, Canada is finally getting online video distribution. And, as expected, it’s the poorer cousin to the US versions.

The Xbox Video Store officially launched in Canada on December 10th, 2007, with a total of 31 movies available. It’s an odd collection of movies, from Warner Bros., Maple Pictures, and MPI, but it has to start somewhere I suppose. The US store originally launched with 37 movies, but today has somewhere around 300.

The Apple iTunes Store began selling TV shows in it’s Canadian store on December 12th, 2007, though music videos have been available for much longer. The selection, however, is stereotypically unimpressive; Corner Gas, Little Mosque On the Prairie, NHL reruns? Am I supposed to be excited about this? In comparison, the US store has Dexter, Lost, Babylon 5, Firefly, Venture Bros., and a handful of anime.

Recently, Apple is no longer distributing some Universal Media Studios shows (including Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, and House) due to a disagreement over pricing.

It’s still questionable about whether online video sales are sustainable. Or at least wether or not they are sustainable in their current format/prices. And I can only imagine the legal nightmare of getting permission and rights to distribute anything in different countries, especially anything as touchy as digital media. But I must admit to being happy that Canadians at least get to try it out.

Now, we just have to wait for our iPhones...

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Event
Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
Visual Lizard
work
1 (204) 957-5520 ext:152
fax
1 (204) 957-5519
toll-free
1 (888) 237-9559
url
http://www.visuallizard.com
Wil Alambre Whiteboard Ninja

MPAA RATING: PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images

Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Imelda Staunton, Gary Oldman, Brendan Gleeson, and Ralph Fiennes

In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry returns for his fifth year of study at Hogwarts only to discover that much of the wizarding community has been led to believe that the story of the teenager’s recent encounter with the evil Lord Voldemort is a lie, putting Harry’s integrity in question. Worse, the Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge, has appointed a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, the duplicitous Professor Dolores Umbridge. But Umbridge’s "Ministry-approved" course of defensive magic leaves the young wizards woefully unprepared to defend themselves against the Dark forces threatening them, so at the prompting of his friends Hermione and Ron, Harry is convinced to take matters into his own hands. Meeting secretly with a small group of students who name themselves "Dumbledore’s Army", Harry teaches them how to defend themselves against the Dark Arts, preparing the courageous young wizards for the extraordinary battle that lies ahead. (Warner Bros. Pictures)

The Bourne Ultimatum

Event
Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
Visual Lizard
work
1 (204) 957-5520 ext:152
fax
1 (204) 957-5519
toll-free
1 (888) 237-9559
url
http://www.visuallizard.com
Wil Alambre Whiteboard Ninja

MPAA RATING: PG-13 for violence and intense sequences of action

Starring Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Chris Cooper, Brian Cox, Joan Allen, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn, and Albert Finney

All he wanted was to disappear. Instead, Jason Bourne is now hunted by the people who made him what he is. Having lost his memory and the one person he loved, he is undeterred by the barrage of bullets and a new generation of highly-trained killers. Bourne has only one objective: to go back to the beginning and find out who he was. (Universal)

Rallying Against Canadian DMCA

Technology
Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
Visual Lizard
work
1 (204) 957-5520 ext:152
fax
1 (204) 957-5519
toll-free
1 (888) 237-9559
url
http://www.visuallizard.com
Wil Alambre Whiteboard Ninja

Canadians gathered in Calgary, Alberta on Saturday, December 8th to confront Industry Canada Minister Jim Prentice on his proposed copyright legislation. Kempton Lam, who organized the anti-DMCA rally, has posted several reports about the day.

The proposed legislation has been described as the worst copyright law in the developed world, mimicing and exceeding the worst elements of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) 1998. Reports are that Jim Prentice shut Canadian artists, industry and consumer groups out of the drafting of the bill, writing it with the help of US entertainment giants and the US Trade Representative.

The US DMCA has lead to literally thousands of lawsuits against consumers, and is one of the more commonly abused laws in the United States. According to a report published by the CATO institute...

Some firms have used the DMCA to thwart competition by preventing research and reverse engineering. Others have brought the weight of criminal sanctions to bear against critics, competitors, and researchers.

Meanwhile, the US DMCA has done little to stop music and movie pirates...

Worst of all, DRM technologies are clumsy and ineffective; they inconvenience legitimate users but do little to stop pirates.

On Saturday, approximately forty citizens came to the Minister’s open house in Calgary, and asked him some of the 250+ questions compiled by Canadians and the CBC Radio programme Search Engine. Also, as of this writing, a Facebook group dedicated to fair copyright in Canada has crested 12,000 members, and has posted numerous photos and videos of Saturday.

Apparently, the Minister is currently rethinking the legislation in light of the recent public outcry.

Golden Compass

Event
Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
Visual Lizard
work
1 (204) 957-5520 ext:152
fax
1 (204) 957-5519
toll-free
1 (888) 237-9559
url
http://www.visuallizard.com
Wil Alambre Whiteboard Ninja

Nicole Kidman is the villain in the big screen adaptation of the first novel in Philip Pullman’s "His Dark Materials" trilogy.

First Look at "Speed Racer"

General
Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
Visual Lizard
work
1 (204) 957-5520 ext:152
fax
1 (204) 957-5519
toll-free
1 (888) 237-9559
url
http://www.visuallizard.com
Wil Alambre Whiteboard Ninja

USA Today has an article with eight pictures of the upcoming Speed Racer live action movie by the Wachowski brothers.

src="/files/Image/wil/speed_racer_mach_5.png"

The movie is being done heavily in green screen, as seems to be the trend these days when trying to translate comicbooks and cartoons. But what I’m looking forward to is some over-the-top racing. I mean, stupid crazy over-the-top cartoon racing... involving hopping cars with buzzsaws, if possible!

Producer Joel Silver is not letting me down as he describes some of the crazy racing we can expect from the movie: "We called it ’car fu,’ because it was like kung fu with the cars".

src="/files/Image/wil/speed_racer_mach_6.jpg"

I mean, look at that! It’s the Mach 5 (or is that a Mach 6?) skidding out of a corkscrew track. A corkscrew track! How cool is that? :)

Update!

The first official Speed Racer trailer is online...

Looks even more cheesy than I expected, but I still can’t wait to see it. :P

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Event
Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
Visual Lizard
work
1 (204) 957-5520 ext:152
fax
1 (204) 957-5519
toll-free
1 (888) 237-9559
url
http://www.visuallizard.com
Wil Alambre Whiteboard Ninja

MPAA RATING: PG-13 for intense sequences of action/adventure violence and some frightening images

Starring Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport, Bill Nighy, Jonathan Pryce, and Lee Arenberg

In the follow-up to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, we find our heroes Will Turner (Bloom) and Eizabeth Swann (Knightley) allied with Captain Barbossa (Rush) in a desperate quest to free Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) from his mind-bending trap in Davy Jones Locker while the terrifying ghost ship, The Flying Dutchman and Davy Jones, under the control of the East India Trading Company, wreaks havoc across the seven seas. (Walt Disney Pictures)