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Feb 23, 2014

Top 10 Highs & Lows from Sochi 2014

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The last two weeks have absolutely flown by (hmm, that might be an exaggeration) but the Sochi 2014 flame has been extinguished and all eyes now turn to Rio 2016 and the next Summer Games. Before we get ahead of ourselves, here is a look back at my Top 10 moments of the Sochi Winter Games — both the hits and the misses.

See the list

Posted by enderzero at 5:58pm on Feb. 23, 2014    
Feb 7, 2014

Sochi 2014 Olympics – Ryland’s TV & Streaming Highlights

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It’s Winter Olympics time again and anyone who was around four years ago will remember just how damned excited I get for the Games. USA won the total medal count last games with 37 with host country Canada winning the most Golds (14 to USA’s 9). Russia finished way back in the pack with only 3 gold medals and 15 medals total. That was good enough for sixth place (behind Austria). You can bet the Ruskies are going to be looking for some redemption.

UPDATE: I’ve created a Public Google Calendar with all of the event discussed in this post. See the Calendar below.

Click here for all the fun

Posted by enderzero at 7:03pm on Feb. 7, 2014    
Dec 30, 2013

Ryland’s Top 50 Films of 2013 (+ 3 Most Overrated)

Another year of great cinema is coming to an end. Many have called it the best year in some time. I’m not so sure I agree. But there were some fantastic films and I saw a whopping 192 that qualified for my list. I’ve narrowed it down to a mere 50 for you to peruse, plus I’ve added three films to the bottom whose critical support made me all angry. For most films, I’ve included my reaction tweet to give you a bit of insight as to what I was thinking the moment I walked out of the theater. Check out the list and let me know where you think I dropped the ball.

See the full list

Posted by enderzero at 4:16pm on Dec. 30, 2013    
Jul 5, 2013

Producing Reel

Here is the one-link-stop for the public videos for both features produced by Ryland Aldrich:

SNAP (Teaser trailer)
Directed by Youssef Delara & Victor Teran
Produced by Ryland Aldrich, Amir Delara, Youssef Delara, and Victor Teran

A stylish psychological thriller set against the underground dub step DJ scene that takes the audience on a dark and terrifying journey into the depths of the psychopathic mind as it threatens to explode into horrific violence.

SNAP premiered at SXSW 2013. It will make its international debut in London at Film4 FrightFest on August 23, 2013. SNAP will be released theatrically in the US in 2014.
@SnapMovie on Twitter | SNAP on Facebook

 

DO YOU DREAM IN COLOR? (Fundraising promo)
Directed by Sarah Ivy Dickerson & Abigail Fuller
Produced by Ryland Aldrich, Sarah Ivy Dickerson, Abigail Fuller, and Regina Saldivar

Do You Dream in Color? is a feature documentary that follows four blind high school students as they pursue
their unique dreams over the course of a year. Although separated geographically, the teens are connected by
their shared experiences and determination. The film brings the audience inside the lives of the teens and gives
us a deeper understanding of how the blind perceive the world via animated interpretations of sleeping dreams
and the subjects’ life experiences.

DO YOU DREAM IN COLOR? is currently in the final stages of post production and looking towards a 2014 festival debut.
DoYouDreamInColor.org

Posted by enderzero at 2:03pm on Jul. 5, 2013    
Apr 22, 2013

Found Media

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While doing some cleaning up of old boxes of media, I found a few piles of disks and discs worth documenting here for posterity’s sake before sending them to the city media recycler.

Check out the full images after the break (click for larger). If you can see the product ids, you can have em.

Check out the shareware disc Absolute Mahem with such awesome DOS titles as:

Doom- Knee Deep In The Dead
Corridor 7- Special Edition
Depth Dwellers- The Quest
Terminator Rampage- Special Edition
Shadowcaster- Special Edition
Megatron
Catacomb Abyss
Nightmare 3-D
Raptor- Call Of The Shadows
Blake Stone- Aliens Of Gold
Wolfenstein 3-D
Spear Of Destiny.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by enderzero at 7:29pm on Apr. 22, 2013    
Apr 5, 2013

Nutrition Tips with a Fuckin Atitiude

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I’m cracking up over the site ThugKitchen.

Here are a couple more:

thugkitchen_dickcancer_600

thugkitchen_fujamba_jamba

Plenty more at ThugKitchen.com.

Thanks Dan!

Posted by enderzero at 1:52pm on Apr. 5, 2013    
Feb 18, 2013

First Korean Pull Quote for Stoker

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There’s a first time for everything, I suppose the saying goes. This clipping was just sent to me from Twitch South Korean correspondent Pierce Conran who spotted the advertisement for Park Chan-wook’s Stoker. The translation is something along the lines of “Director Park Chan-wook shows his best direction,” which was taken as a translation of sorts from the sentiment in my Sundance First Impression piece STOKER Delivers on Director Park’s Brand. As is often the case, the quote is attributed to the site only. Too bad, as it would have been fun to see my name translated phonetically into Korean.

Posted by enderzero at 1:10pm on Feb. 18, 2013    
Feb 3, 2013

Manchester City v. Liverpool (2/3/2012) – 3 Quick Thoughts

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Billed by Fox as the GB4G (Game Before the Game), it’s going to be hard for this afternoon’s big handegg competition to match the athleticism on display in this morning’s Manchester City versus Liverpool Premier League match. Here are my three quick thoughts from the match:

Let them play – Referee Anthony Taylor issued six yellow cards in the match. Fouls by Henderson and Carragher, in particular, were in the run of a fast paced game that were arguable fouls and definitely not dangerous enough to see yellow cards. It’s the pace of the English game that makes it so enjoyable and breaking it up with questionable stoppages is a frustrating exercise.

Steven Gerrard’s goal was brilliant, but he’s looking old – Yes, Stevie G’s strike from 30 yards out was a beaut, but it was his only impressive moment of the match. Questionable passes and a lack of pace make Gerrard look like he’s playing in a different era. With the form of Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen waiting in the wings, might we soon see Gerrard starting more matches from the bench?

Glen Johnson is phenomenal – While he has long been a great example of the modern attacking defender, Glen Johnson has developed into one of the most formidable defenders, period. His sense of right-place, right-time was the very best on the pitch whether in an offensive or defensive capacity. With his incredible skills in the air and on the ground on their best display, I’m considering Johnson my man of the match.

Posted by enderzero at 12:02pm on Feb. 3, 2013    
Jan 13, 2013

Ryland’s Top 50 Films of 2012 (+ 5 Most Overrated)

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Oh boy! It’s end of the year reflection time once again. 2012 was another great year on the festival beat with trips to Sundance, SXSW, Cannes, LA Film Fest, Toronto International Film Fest, Fantastic Fest, AFI Fest, and the Amazonas Film Fest making for plenty of hot butt-on-theater-seat action. When it was all said and done (and assuming I kept my records straight), 178 movies qualified for my 2012 list. Each of these films either played at a festival or in theatrical release in 2012, but did not qualify for last year’s list. That’s why some movies that showed up on many critics’ 2012 list, such as Joachim Trier’s Oslo August, 31st, won’t be found here. That film was on my 2011 list (at #3, no less).

Still, there were plenty of potential chart middlers that I was unable to get to. Some popular titles that have made their way to other lists include Amour, Life of Pi, Wreck-it-Ralph, Tabu, Polisse,This is Not a Film, and Total Recall. Sorry — can’t see em all.

As like past lists, I’ve included my original tweet (sometimes a couple) that usually serves as my initial reaction to the film. I’ve also included a link if I reviewed the film on Twitch. This year I’ve also endeavored to include the distribution status for each film so you can know where to find it. Please take the time to drop me a note and let me know your thoughts.

On to the list!

Posted by enderzero at 9:26am on Jan. 13, 2013    
Jan 3, 2013

Unapologetic Top 10 Albums of 2012

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Let me start things off with an apology.

I have done a pretty awful job of staying up to date on new music throughout 2012. I believe I gave a somewhat similar disclaimer in 2011, but this year I’ve been even less diligent. So here are the albums that found their way to me throughout the year (or that I scrambled to listen to and love in the last few weeks of 2012).

10. Beach House – Bloom
This is actually the fourth album from the Baltimore-based “dream pop” (according to Wikipedia) duo who pretty much burst onto my radar with 2010′s Sub Pop debut Teen Dream. Their latest brings more, umm, dreamy vocals and synthesizer to the otherwise indie-sounding riffs. It may be more of the same, but if you liked Teen Dream, you’ll like this one too.

9. Japandroids – Celebration Rock
Though this Vancouver rock-duo’s 2009 debut Post-Nothing didn’t quite make my list that year, I have enjoyed it quite a bit since and the band’s follow-up is more of the same fun-loving, energetic, indie-thrash. These guys may not be the kind of band you yearn to listen to on repeat, but they’ve got a cool sound and should continue to put out solid albums.

8. Sigur Ros – Valtari
Winning the award for 2012′s best album to go to sleep to (a coveted award in my book), the latest aural sensory experience from the prolific Icelandic band is another journey over craggy glaciers and volcanoes in a high speed helicopter. I want to drift off to dreamland just thinking about it.

7. Passion Pit – Gossamer
While I recognize their stuff isn’t for everyone (I like dudes with high voices, okay?), anyone who was into their first album (#6 on my 2009 Top 10) will have to admit they’ve produced a pretty decent sophomore follow-up. Oddly, their single “Take A Walk” is the least like the first album, but the rest of the album delivers the same dancey-indie rock found on Manner.

6. Soundgarden – King Animal
Soundgarden releasing a new studio album this year is a pretty big fucking deal! So why isn’t it higher on my list? Frankly it just came out too late. I haven’t got to spend enough time with it yet to really determine where it ranks in the discography of my all-time favorite band. I can say it sure doesn’t sound like the Seattle rockers took over 15 years between Down on the Upside and King Animal with songs like “A Thousand Days Before” sounding straight out of the 90s. They haven’t missed a step on stage either (as I was lucky enough to learn twice in 2011). Next up for me is King Animal Tour at the Wiltern in February. I better get to listenin’ before then.

5. Bloc Party – Four
It has been a steep downward slide for these Brit rockers since their 2005 Silent Alarm topped many best-of lists (it’s still in my regular rotation). Their next couple albums were disappointments which lead to a four-year hiatus. But 2012 has found a rejuvenated Bloc Party and a much improved (albeit unimaginatively named) fourth album on a new label and produced by Alex Newport who made his name producing At The Drive-In and The Mars Volta. What resulted might not have quite the raw energy of Silent Alarm, but it’s certainly got the mature licks of a band that’s telling the world they aren’t about to just fade away forever.

4. Metric – Synthetica
It’s been a good year for Toronto-rockers Metric with the release of their fifth album and a partnership with David Cronenberg and Howard Shore that saw the band record a number of songs for the film Cosmopolis. Synthetica picks up where Fantasies (#7 on my 2009 Top 10) left off, with the same single-style driving electro-rock hits. The A-side is a bit stronger than the B with tracks “Speed The Collapse” and “Breathing Underwater” showcasing the band at their best.

3. Tame Impala – Lonerism
It was only last year (well, 2011) at Coachella that I discovered this Perth band and I’ve listened to the shit out of their 2010 psychedelic-rock release Innerspeaker since. So it’s no surprise that their much praised follow-up makes it to a prime spot on my list. I’m happy to say they’ve only improved live since 2011 with their November Fonda Theater show at the very top of the best shows I saw in 2012. Don’t miss them if you get the chance.

2. John Mayer – Born and Raised
Okay, now you see why I said unapologetic up top. Fuck it. I like John Mayer. And frankly his albums have pretty much always been great examples of contemporary guitar-based rock and roll (okay, I didn’t love 2009′s Battle Studies, but Continuum was a masterpiece). Yes, his celebrity will probably always overshadow his musical notoriety, but that aside, the man is a brilliant song writer and Born and Raised barely puts a note down wrong.

1. Hot Chip – In Our Heads
I don’t know if you could have two albums more different than my number one and two picks, but in the end I had to go with Brit-electro-rockers Hot Chip’s latest because of how excellently it represents music in 2012. These guys have picked up LCD Soundsystem‘s flag and are running with it full speed (oh and Cut Copy didn’t put out an album this year). Hot Chip’s music is just so much fun — and that’s what gets me to keeping going back and playing the album over and over. It is frankly impossible to listen to the retro-inspired dance/electro/pop/rock anthem “Motion Sickness” and not dance along. Don’t believe me? Go try it right now. I’ll see you next year.

Honorable mentions go to Frank Ocean‘s channel ORANGE (well “Pyramids” at least), Grizzly Bear‘s Shields, and Keane‘s Strangeland, which, like their last album, had two amazingly good songs (“You Are Young” and “Sovereign Light Cafe”) and a whole bunch of mediocre ones.

Aight folks. Your turn. What’d I miss?

Posted by enderzero at 6:39pm on Jan. 3, 2013    
Sep 28, 2012

Twitch Quote on Awesome SHUT UP AND PLAY THE HITS DVD

A little horn tootin here, but the DVD for Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern kickass LCD Soundsystem documentary SHUT UP AND PLAY THE HITS has finally hit and Oscilloscope has included my quote on the box! Click the image for a slightly larger version.

The DVD box set itself is super impressive and includes the entire three-and-a-half hour concert. The movie is truly a masterpiece and one of the best concert docs in years.

Buy the DVD or Blu-ray at Amazon (affiliate link).

Read my full review from Sundance at Twitch

Posted by enderzero at 10:14pm on Sep. 28, 2012    
Sep 16, 2012

Fantastic Fest 2012 Printable Schedule

Fantastic Fest 2012 is kicking off this week and the Twitch Team will be covering the fest with all the gusto you’ve come to expect. The site has a brand new scheduling system that is great for selecting your films, but not so hot for printing a full schedule. So I went ahead and created a easily printable schedule PDF from screenshots and want to share it with you here. Click the image above or browse to the file at: http://enderzero.net/postfiles/FantasticFest2012PrintableSchedule_RA.pdf.

Enjoy!

Posted by enderzero at 5:08pm on Sep. 16, 2012    
Jul 27, 2012

XXX Olympics Men’s Soccer Tournament Power Rankings

With one round of games in the book before the Opening Ceremonies even air (tape delayed in the USA, of course), the XXX Olympic Games have officially begun. We all know who the favorites are in the Women’s Tournament (USA have never missed a final and won 3 of 4), but I’m going to spend a bit of time talking about what to look forward to in the Men’s Tournament.

The Beijing Olympics four years ago were, along with that summer’s Euro Cup Tournament, a big part of the soccer bug that bit me (we’ll call them the thorax) and turned me into the raving soccer maniac I am today. Having watched all 16 teams play their first games, one thing is plainly evident: these 23 years and younger (plus 3 exceptions) teams are definitely not the senior teams that I’ve become accustomed to watching duke it out on the world stage. That isn’t to say there aren’t plenty of familiar names and faces, but the quality (mostly) on display yesterday was much closer to MLS than EPL. I’ve broken the 16 teams into an unscientific and quite biased ranking with a few words about the performance and chances of each squad.

1. Brazil – There is really no doubt that a Brazil team that contains Neymar, Marcelo, Pato, Thiago Silva, Rafael, Sandro, Hulk, and Oscar are the runaway favorites to go all the way. Add to that a hunger based on the fact and they’ve never won an Olympic Gold and it seems a done deal. And that’s exactly how Brazil looked in the first half of their match versus Egypt going up 3-0 in the first 30 minutes. However, that wasn’t the story in the second half when a resurgent Egypt buried two past shaky looking 19 year-old goalkeeper Neto who was supposed to be their backup. A frustrated looking Brazil was able to regroup and maintain enough possession for the win, but it shows this dream team may have some vulnerabilities.

2. Uruguay – They’ve been the sweethearts of South America since their semifinal run in South Africa and haven’t shown a lot to give fans doubt until UAE slotted a goal against them in the 23rd minute of their first Olympic match since 1928. But the uber-talented team was able to regroup behind their no less histrionical captain Luis Suarez and come back to win 2-1. They certainly have the skill and if they keep showing this kind of fortitude, La Celeste should top a very tough Group A.

3. Japan – Looking to put the business class controversy behind them (along with the women’s team), a vibrant, talented, and disciplined looking Japanese team came storming out of the gates in their first match and took control of Group D with a victory over group faves Spain. Some may wonder if this upset was more Spain’s poor play but Japan had opportunity after opportunity and the 1-0 score line belies a commanding performance that could have ended 4-0 to the Japanese. Of course, it always helps to be up a man for 49 minutes of play. We’ll see if they are the real deal in Sunday’s match against Morocco that could see the team put a thumping on the speedy North African youngsters.

4. Great Britain – Coming in as such favorites, a sorta-united Great Britain team (Scotland and Northern Ireland banned their players from joining due to FIFA fears of losing their autonomous status) was bound to stumble out of the gates. Playing a stupidly zealous Senegal, the Brits couldn’t find a second goal to seal things up and let the Senegalese draw level with minutes to play. There is a ton of talent on this team, even having left so many big names watching from home, but you can’t help but wonder if the pressure is just too much for this choke-happy home nation.

5. Spain – Yes they lost their first match but let’s all remember the eventual World Cup champions lost their first match in South Africa to Switzerland as well. Still, this obviously-not-senior Spanish squad is really going to have to get organized behind 24 year-old Juan Mata if they are going to fulfill the expectations set forward by their big brothers.

6. South Korea – While South Korea failed to find the back of the net, they also kept a clean sheet against a usually rampant scoring Mexico. This might be more Mexico’s fault but South Korea certainly looked fast and very fit. With Group B being weakest group, look for South Korea to definitely advance (but that could be about it).

7. Honduras – Yes I’m sore that the Hondurans are in London and not the Americans but the CONCACAF runners up looked pretty solid in their 2-2 draw with Morocco, which was undoubtedly the most entertaining of the first day of play. They’ve got a very tough game coming up against Spain on Sunday. But if the Spanish can’t get their shit together, look for Honduras to make a knockout stage run.

8. Egypt – It has been a rough going for Egyptian soccer (really Egyptian society) with live sports being banned after recent riots. But the squad played their hearts out versus Brazil and managed to score two goals against the obvious faves. There were only four other teams with at least two goals out of the 16 and none of them didn’t walk away with at least one point. Tough luck for Egypt but it bodes well for them in a Group C in which they have a very good chance of nabbing the runner up spot.

9. Belarus – One of only four teams to manage all three points in their first game, Belarus should be congratulated for their performance but it isn’t worth getting too worked up about. In their first major tournament since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, any run will be good for the nation, but it would be a huge surprise if they managed points off of either Brazil or Egypt in the next two matches.

10. Mexico – It warms my heart to report that this is quite possibly the weakest Mexican team I’ve ever watched compete in a major tournament. They have plenty of talent but looked completely disorganized against South Korea Thursday and were barely able to hold on for the 0-0 draw. Usually an extremely offensive team, Mexico managed only two shots on goal. Things could pick up for El Tri if/when Giovani Dos Santo starts in Sunday’s match versus group minnows Gabon. Plus, let’s not get too excited and forget Mexico has a huge advantage as the most experienced team in a very weak group.

11. Morocco – The Moroccans looked like a young, hungry, and most importantly, energetic team in their 2-2 draw with Honduras. This team is packed with speed and showed they can score goals, but have a tough challenge ahead of them if they are to advance from the very difficult Group D.

12. United Arab Emirates – The UAE squad showed they have a good amount of young talent to jump ahead to a 1-0 lead versus Uruguay. But their lack of experience proved their downfall as they eventually lost their lead and then gave up all three points to the much tougher side. In an easier group, they may have a chance to advance, but things don’t look so rosy with no points and Great Britain still to play.

13. Senegal – A rambunctious team, to say the least, Senegal probably would have finished with only eight or nine men on the field had their match referee not been so ridiculously lenient. Their play versus Great Britain was downright dangerous but they do have plenty of speed and they did find the net to earn the late point. Don’t count them completely out, but do be sure to get out of the way when you see them charging in.

14. Switzerland – The weird thing about power rankings is that while the Switzerland that took the field Thursday would likely lose to my 11th – 13th ranked teams, they have a better chance to advance than any of them due to their fortunate placement in Group B. Though they’ve shown very good results for their youth squads in recent memory, Switzerland looked flat footed against an even less impressive Gabon in their first match. We’ll see if they can turn it on versus a more robust South Korea on Sunday.

15. New Zealand – The All Whites had nothing going for them in their first match versus Belarus managing just four shots on goal. The good news is that goalkeeper Michael O’Keefe had a decent game with seven saves and just the one losing goal allowed.

16. Gabon – In the first 15 minutes of their match against Switzerland, Gabon looked like they had no idea what sport they were playing. It’s rare you see a team so out of sorts but leave it to Switzerland to blow their 1-0 5th minute penalty lead by allowing Gabon back into the game. It wasn’t pretty, but who knows what’s in store for this tiny nation who did make it to the Quarterfinals in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations last winter.

Posted by enderzero at 6:29pm on Jul. 27, 2012    
Jul 16, 2012

Get Yer NBC Olympics (Soccer) Calendar On

Yeah, they’re coming. The London Olympics Opening Ceremonies are on Friday, July 27th… that’s a week from FRIDAY!! But wait, because the games actually start before the opening ceremonies. In fact, the women’s soccer tournament, where USA looks to win its 4th Gold Medal, actually kicks off next Wednesday July 25th. Did you know that there have only been 4 Gold Medals ever in women’s soccer and USA has 3 of them (we took the Silver in Sydney, losing to Norway)? That means the USA has never failed to make a Women’s final!

Oh, and don’t forget there is a men’s tournament taking place as well. Remember the Euro Cup last month? Yeah, this is a-whole-nother 16 team tourney, the same size as that one (actually there is one more game in the Olympics as the 2012 Euro Cup did away with the 3rd place – aka Bronze Medal match). Unfortunately there is no USA for the men’s tourney. Moving on.

So NBC has put together a pretty substantial website that let’s you sort listings by sport, time, network, etc. I’ve decided to take it a step further and have created a public Google calendar that I’ll be using to keep track of all the big events and when they are being televised. To start things off, I’ve added all the air times for every game in both the Men’s and the Women’s soccer tournaments. It’s live now and you can add it to your own Google calendars or use it all on its own. Check it out:

You can also access it via this link or at http://tinyurl.com/nbcolympicscal or probably by searching the “other calendars” for my email address.

I’ll likely put some of the other big events in as the Games draw nearer, but for now, you’ve at least got what really counts. I hope you find it useful!

Posted by enderzero at 8:56pm on Jul. 16, 2012    
Jun 11, 2012

Euro 2012: Power Rankings – One Round In

We have one full round of matches behind us and it seems like a good time to weigh in on who has the best chances in world soccer’s second biggest tournament. Regardless of whether a team was able to get the big three points in the round, no one’s fate is sealed yet. But we do now have a clearer picture of what is and what isn’t working. Here are my thoughts:

1. Germany – The odds-off favorite going into the tourney, Germany was the pick by many, even if Spain was technically the odds-on fave. While the Germans didn’t look as sharp as they should have in their lead up friendlies (losing to both the French and Swiss), they did what they needed to beat a very aggressive Portugal side, and more importantly, keep them scoreless. With tough matches coming against Holland Wednesday and Denmark Sunday, if the Germans’ form keeps up and they’re able to find wins in both, it isn’t difficult to see the young team march all the way to the final. (FIFA World Rank: 3)

2. Spain – You won’t make much money betting on Spain, but with the challenge of winning three consecutive major tournaments looming large, not a lot of pundits have pegged La Furia Roja to lift the Cup this time. Who cares. This is Spain. This is the most talented soccer team ever assembled. Fernando Torres still knows how to score goals, I assure you, but he is going to need to start a match. Of the six midfielders that started in their draw with Italy Sunday, it was Andres Iniesta that showed the most spark. Look for him to get hot and catapult his team to easy wins against Croatia and Ireland. (FIFA World Rank: 1)

3. Italy – Not a lot of people had the 2006 World Champs picked to make much of a stir in this tourney, but with an inspired performance against Spain, the Azzurri are out to prove they’re not just a bunch of old guys struggling to keep up. The early second half switch bringing on Antonio Di Natale for Mario Balotelli proved inspired as Di Natale went on to score a wonderful goal with what was basically his first involvement. Count on Di Natale to get the start Thursday versus Croatia, though we certainly haven’t seen the last of Balotelli in this tournament. (FIFA World Rank: 12)

4. Holland – Oh the poor Dutch with their history of infighting and disappointing tournament record. This loss to Group of Death minnows Denmark would seem to give unlimited fodder to the pundits who have called the World Cup runners-up from two years ago overrated. I don’t buy it. Tactical changes should have been made and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Rafael van der Vaart should have come on earlier. A reworked lineup could see the team click into place and let Robin van Persie start knocking in the goals we all know he is capable of. Don’t forget, Spain lost their first match of the tourney back in South Africa, too. (FIFA World Rank: 4)

5. France – Much credit is due to England for holding my dark horse pick to a draw in Monday’s match. But France dominated possession and looked much the stronger team throughout. This team just has so much creative talent as evidenced by Samir Nasri, Franck Ribery, and Yohan Cabaye in the match. Unfortunately, their center back pairing of Philippe Mexes and Adil Rami does a bit less than inspire confidence. Still, if they put together a good showing in the tourney and coach Laurent Blanc keeps the squad playing like a team, France could be a major contender in Brazil 2014. (FIFA World Rank: 14)

6. Russia – With their dominating performance versus the Czechs on Friday, you’d be excused for thinking Russia are genuine contenders in this tournament. I don’t think they are quite there, though they should march quite easily to a first place seed out of Group A. But with a Quarterfinal matchup with the Group of Death’s second place team, any betting man would expect the fun to end there for the Russkies. (FIFA World Rank: 13)

7. Denmark – It is hard to take much away from the Danes after their victory over Holland on the weekend. This is a great example of a hard working team, made up of talented but mid-level players, who play together very well. With a big three points on the board, they certainly have a shot of advancing. But with matches versus Portugal and then Germany to come, those three could very well be the only points they see. (FIFA World Rank: 9)

8. England – No one seems to think England has any chance of advancing past the semis in this tournament, and that’s probably true. But these lowered expectations might be just what the Three Lions need to show a particularly positive performance for once. The squad looked very well organized versus France and exhibited just how dangerous they can be off set plays. Danny Wellbeck was less than impressive and it will certainly help when Wayne Rooney comes back to the side in their final group match versus Ukraine. (FIFA World Rank: 6)

9. Portugal – No one is doubting that Portugal has some incredibly talented players with Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani both showing flashes of brilliance in the match against Germany. But with the Danes stealing three from Holland, it is pretty tough to see how Portugal makes it out of the group unless the Dutch completely fall apart when the two face off next Sunday. (FIFA World Rank: 10)

10. Croatia Scoring three goals versus Ireland made the Croatian squad look a bit better than they probably are. With matches against Italy and then Spain yet to come, you gotta think the fun for the Croats is just about over. (FIFA World Rank: 8)

11. Poland – If Poland didn’t have automatic qualification for the tournament as the co-host, there’s pretty much no chance they would be here. That being said, it looks like they’ll be able to hold their own in a rather underpowered Group A. If their very impressive young striker Robert Lewandowski can continue to find the back of the net against Russia and, more importantly, versus the Czechs, the Polish could find themselves advancing. (FIFA World Rank: 62)

12. Ukraine – This might be their first major tournament, but with home field advantage and a talent (and now national hero) like Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine will at least be a lot of fun to watch in the tourney. (FIFA World Rank: 52)

13. Sweden – One can’t help but wonder just how big of a star Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be on the world stage if he was part of a more powerful squad. As it is, it just doesn’t seem likely this Swedish team will make much of a foe for either France or England in the coming matches if they couldn’t even find a winner against Ukraine. (FIFA World Rank: 17)

14. Czech Republic – You get the sense that this Czech team’s best days are behind them as even Tomas Rosicky looked like an old man out there against the Russians. Still, the Czechs have a weak Group A placement going for them and could advance if they find form. (FIFA World Rank: 27)

15. Ireland – Things aren’t looking too good for the Irish after their thumping at the hands of Croatia. The team had plenty of chances but just couldn’t get much to go their way. With matches against Spain and Italy to come, it could very easily be a zero point tourney for the Irish. (FIFA World Rank: 18)

16. Greece – So what if the Greeks stole a point in their ugly match with Poland to open the tournament. This team looked completely out of sorts throughout the match, unable to even score a penalty against a cold backup GK. If you ask me, they’re better off heading home to start earning money to pay off their loans than to hang around as best-case-scenario fodder for a Group B runner up. (FIFA World Rank: 15)

Posted by enderzero at 3:55pm on Jun. 11, 2012    
May 6, 2012

Incredible Phantom Miro 120 Footage



 
Action sports filmmaker Jim Geduldick was the first to get his hands on Vision Resesarch’s new Phantom cam, the Miro 120. This tiny super slo-mo cam is capable of 730fps at 1920×1080 or up to a staggering 200,000fps at lower resolutions.

 
Geduldick put the camera through its paces at Camp Woodward and came up with this pretty awesome demo reel. Check it out above.

 
via Engadget

 

 

Posted by enderzero at 11:59am on May. 6, 2012    
Apr 16, 2012

BEATS ANTIQUE Gets Arty & More From Streaming Coachella

After their very groovy and a little bit crazy set at Coachella this past weekend, Ivan Landau‘s video for Oakland band Beats Antique is well worth a check out. The vid uses some very cool motion graphics and is put together with a slickness lacking in a lot of this sort of work. Check it out above.

While I didn’t actually attend Coachella this year, I was blown away by the badass streaming site the concert put together. Dozens of acts had their entire shows live online for free. Now I’ve been to Coachella more times than I’ve missed it in the last decade, but as the hassles of a three day music fest begin to scare down the benefits, the rise of this sort of festival experience gets me super excited. It was so cool to watch the Dre and Snoop set and get to be part of the fun of the guest stars and banter — without the hassle. Never feeling like your missing out is just a click away.

Another incredible benefit of the streaming festival is the potential for new music discovery. There is always a give and take at Coachella (and the like) between seeing bands you dig, taking chances on new bands, and spending your time drinking by the pool to just arrive later. I had barely heard the name of We Were Promised Jetpacks when I tuned in on Friday afternoon. The chance I’d have been on site by then woulda been slim. But they absolutely killed it! (This year’s Tame Impala? I’ve included a couple videos after the jump.) I was so impressed I immediately bought tickets to their show at the Echo on Tuesday (a show which quickly sold out after that performance). Sure you could go out and watch videos for each of the 200+ acts, but jumping around a live festival is a way more interactive way of experiencing it.

The Coachella Site already has some highlights from Day 1 up. I imagine Day 2 and 3 acts will be showing up shortly. The At The Drive-In show is not to be missed. I can’t tell you how many times I watched that shitty cell phone vid from Cut Copy last summer. If only that show had been archived online. But the coolest part about Streaming Coachella 2012? It all happens again next weekend.

Thx Mike for the music video link above.

Check out some vids

Posted by enderzero at 11:41am on Apr. 16, 2012    
Apr 8, 2012

New Quote in COMIC-CON Docu Advertisement

Please excuse the horn tooting, but I just spotted this the other day. The coolest part was that I just happened to be with Morgan Spurlock at the time (my first time meeting him). He got as much of a kick out of it as I did.

Read my full review of Morgan Spurlock’s COMIC-CON EPISODE IV: A FAN’S HOPE at Twitch:
TIFF 2011: Spurlock’s COMIC-CON Will Make You A Fan

I should have obviously posted this earlier, but while there is horn tooting going on, check out the first quote up in the awesome theatrical trailer for THE RAID: REDEMPTION (at 1:24).

Posted by enderzero at 10:38am on Apr. 8, 2012    
Mar 20, 2012

SXSW 2012 Coverage on Twitch



 
Preserved here for posterity’s sake, all of my 2012 Twitch SXSW coverage in one easy to read post.

 
Click the links below to visit the Twitch articles or continue after the jump for copied+pasted text for the previews:

 
SXSW 2012 Preview: Competition and Spotlight Lineups
SXSW 2012 Preview: Headliners, Fest Faves, and Special Events
SXSW 2012 Preview: Midnight, Emerging Visions, and 24BPS

 
SXSW 2012: Curtain Raiser with Twitch’s Top 15 Picks
SXSW 2012: All Wrapped Up

 
SXSW 2012 Review: LOS CHIDOS is a Brilliantly Absurd Journey
SXSW 2012 Review: THE AGGRESSION SCALE is a Fan Pleasing Midnighter with Style

 
Read the Full Preview

Posted by enderzero at 4:19pm on Mar. 20, 2012    
Feb 5, 2012

The Big Sundance 2012 Roundup

Reprinted from Twitch

Ahhh, another snowy year at Sundance (particularly snowy this year) has come to a close. A lot of excellent films have been packed up in their canisters and sent to their new distributors. Even more will move along in the festival season, hoping to find a friendly home on some form of new-fangled download-to-your-alphanumeric-pager distro-strategy. But before these movies make it to screens of various sizes near you, I’d like to take you on a quick tour of all the titles I was able to catch this year. I’ve included my letter grade, a few words of what I thought, whether the film has yet to land distribution, and also my initial impression via my immediate tweet after seeing the film.

As you might notice, the films I saw at this year’s festival included a whole lot of B grades. Frankly, the quality of films this go-around was a bit lower than in past years. There weren’t a lot of bad films (I avoided both Lay the Favorite and Price Check after hearing rotten reports). It just seemed that filmmakers (or maybe the fest) was playing it a bit safe. While there are obvious exceptions (Compliance), no fewer than a dozen of the films I saw can be best summed up in one word: charming. I’ll avoid too deep of an analysis on this trend as to the role of the economic downturn or the perception that distributors are avoiding challenging films. But it is safe to say that this trend led to a generally less risky batch of films — and therefore a generally less rewarding crop. But there were certainly some gems to be found amongst the rhinestones. Now, here are my thoughts:

Read the full story

Posted by enderzero at 12:00pm on Feb. 5, 2012