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Why are beloved movies being destroyed by Broadway?

I have a confession to make, I’m a theatre nerd. Not only that, I enjoy musicals. Immensely. Who wouldn’t enjoy watching a stageful of actors portray a bunch of Mormon men traveling to Uganda to convert Africans to Mormonism whilst singing about how they need to turn their gay off? There are, of course, a multitude of other reasons I enjoy the art of theatre and the American musical but let’s save that for another post.

For those of you who have been out of the loop for the past 15 or so years, Broadway producers and writers have somehow got it in their heads that the surefire route to making millions of dollars and being the toast of society is to convert well-known movies into musicals. Not only that, it seems that any and all movies are fair game from Ghost to The Wedding Singer. You probably live under a rock if you haven’t heard anything about the Spiderman musical and the controversy that has followed it since it’s inception (Luckily, Inception has not been turned into a musical…yet).

Is it a good idea to port movies over to live theatre? Seems like it would be. There have been countless plays and musicals that have made the trek from stage to silver screen. Some of the most beloved movies of all time were plays first like A Few Good Men and A Streetcar Named Desire which both saw success in the live-theatre before seeing wider success in movie theatres. Surely the reverse would be true. Yet, every time you turn around some movie that was turned into a stage production is closing. You’d think producers and writers would take a hint and stop, right? Nope. 

For every movie turned musical that closes five others seem to be in the works to replace them. The most recent graduate from screen to stage: Rocky. Not The Rocky Horror Picture Show (which actually was a stage production first before it became a film) but Rocky, the film franchise about a boxer who, while down on his luck, gets a random title shot against the heavyweight champion of the world amidst finding love in the unlikeliest of places. That Rocky.

I know what you’re thinking, “Finally! I’ve been praying and hoping they’d bring that to musical format for years!” Well for the one person who actually wished for that, you’re in luck. For the rest of us, prepare to cringe. Rocky is currently in previews at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York City. Now I openly admit that I have not seen it nor do I have any indication of the quality of the book, music, lyrics, direction or performance. This is not a review, it is simply an opinion that certain topics and stories may not be the best fit for the art form that is the American musical. 

It’s hard not to think that it’s really all about the money. If it was such a brilliant concept for a stage production wouldn’t it have become one shortly after the first, second, third, fourth, fifth or even sixth film? You can’t tell me that it’s taken them 38 years to get the book, lyrics and music to a place where it’s ready to take the theatre community by storm. I have fond memories of watching Rocky and attempt to watch it at least once a year. The fact that a staged musical for this story exists only taints whatever good that film brought to me.

To prove that I do not like the idea of bringing “ANY” film to the stage I will openly admit that the Back to the Future series contain my three favorite films of all time (II, I & III: in that order). It has been announced that Robert Zemeckis is on board to bring Back to the Future to the stage in musical-format for the film’s 30th anniversary in 2015. I have an undying love for this series. I have watched them collectively well over one hundred times and will continue to do so. I am certain, that for me, no film will ever be able to replace them. In regards to the decision to bring them to the stage in the form of a musical: I think it’s a terrible idea. There is nothing that can be done to do that film justice. It is simply not meant for the live performance format. It was a very visual movie. Yes it’s soundtrack played a large role however the eighties are over and the last time I checked there were no hit Broadway shows with scores reminiscent of the style of Alan Silvestri. 

I would love to be proved wrong but in my opinion the transition of screen to stage only serves one purpose: taking a story with a built in audience to   guarantee revenue for producers. If I wanted to destroy beautiful works of art I’d do it the old fashioned way: splash a bucket of hot pink paint on them and call it a day. At least that wouldn’t be nearly as painful as what Broadway is doing to my favorite films.

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Should Nintendo be bullied into mobile?

Will 2014 be the year Nintendo decides to give up the fight and succumb to the masses who want them to enter the mobile platform arena?

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier today that Oasis Management (a Nintendo shareholder) founder, Seth Fischer, wrote a letter to Nintendo President Satoru Iwata requesting that he steer the ship in the direction of developing Nintendo software for third party mobile hardware. 

From a financial standpoint I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t agree that this move would be financially beneficial to Nintendo in the short term. The real trick would be to guarantee that a move to mobile wouldn’t hinder their chances at winning the console wars of today and beyond.

I think if you polled a million people who play any type of video game for at least two hours per week, chances are a majority of them would never wish ill-will on Nintendo. I myself can safely proclaim that the Nintendo Entertainment System played a major role in shaping what type of gamer (and dare I say, person) I became. I believe similar stories exist and those stories probably belong to people who aren’t so much concerned with how much the stock price of Nintendo is on any given day as they are about whether the house that Mario built will be around long enough for their grandchildren to enjoy.

While allowing Nintendo franchises to be brought to smartphones sounds superficially awesome, Nintendo currently produces and has produced handheld devices which allow their franchises to be enjoyed on the go. People who wish to enjoy them have already solved the problem Fischer seeks to rectify. We have spent money on these titles and we will continue to spend money on these titles despite not being released on a smartphone platform.

But don’t you want to ensure Nintendo’s coiffeurs are filled with all of the revenue Nintendo’s back catalogue is sure to rake in on mobile devices? Yes and no. I want to ensure it’s longevity as a company but I feel playing The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past on a Blackberry, iPhone or Android device would not feel as authentic and would probably lose some of it’s charm as I attempted to control Link with some clunky on-screen touch controls.

Touch screen controls have been a pain-point in mobile gaming since touch screens were first introduced on mobile devices. I don’t care what game you’re playing, whether it’s Super Mario Bros. 3 or the worst mobile game  yet to be made, moving a character directionally just don’t feel right. Even if Nintendo software came to smartphones, they could never be enjoyed as fully as if Nintendo themselves designed the accompanying hardware. That’s why Nintendo’s portable handheld systems have been so successful and that’s the basis behind why I believe Nintendo does not need to be bullied by members of the financial community.

Nintendo themselves built a beautifully diverse, creative empire beloved by millions upon millions worldwide. If money were no object and Nintendo was a privately held company still I don’t believe we would have these outcries for their move to third party mobile hardware. Has Nintendo had their bumps in the road? Of course. But to cannibalize their business to appease stockholders for their own financial gain just doesn’t seem to make much sense to me as a gamer. 

Source: WSJ

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Nintendo is giving The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition for 3DS/2DS away free until Feb. 2

It’s posts like these that I wish I had followers.

If you’re a 3DS / 2DS owner, head over to the eShop channel on your system to get your free copy of “The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition”! The giveaway is only happening between January 30 and February 2 so hurry! 

I own the “Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past” Gameboy Advance version and there is no way to play that version without having friends who also own a system and a copy of the game but according to the source link (once you click through to information about the game) it looks like you can play a single player version of the game in which you control 2 Links. 

Really no reason not to pick this one up!

Source: Nintendo

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Satoru Iwata: Doing the right thing in a time of crisis

I think most gamers over the age of 25 will always have a soft spot in their hearts for Nintendo. Unfortunately they’ll need to enlarge that soft spot if things don’t start looking up financially as the Wii U continues to under-perform in sales worldwide.

Despite that, I have a lot of respect for Nintendo’s top brass including President Satoru Iwata who recently announced that “he would draw a reduced salary for 5 months to atone for the downturn while other members of the board will take a pay cut of between 20 and 30 percent.”

I think game company’s in North America can learn a lot from their counterparts in Asia as they have the right idea when it comes to publicly announcing their shortcomings and taking tangible steps to right the ship. 

You go Nintendo. Just like you always have.

Source: AFP

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DICE: Appease Battlefield 4 players by throwing in-game crap at them

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DICE announced on their blog that February 2014 will be “Battlefield 4 Player Appreciation Month” and in turn will provide players of the game incentives such as double XP weekends, one Battlepack for every day you log in and play online (a Battlepack is a randomized set of in-game items such as dog-tags, camo for weapons, weapon attachments or even one time use boosts to XP) along with several other perks to appease loyal fans who have endured the storm of issues plaguing the game since release.

I know I just posted about DICE and their Battlefield 4 misadventures recently but the announcement of “Battlefield 4 Player Appreciation Month” is just too comical not to comment on.

Once again I feel DICE is focusing resources on an area that may not be the best use for them. While no one can scoff at being given in-game resources that will enhance play I can’t help but be annoyed that maybe the team tasked with making this “Appreciation Month” could be working on fixing whatever is preventing me from joining a server or not killing that enemy who magically had zero health when he pulled the trigger to end my life.

To me this is a poor choice made by the powers that be as they’ve clearly ranked damage control over quality control.

I don’t expect me, a lowly blogger, to get any results by conveying these feelings but I do hope others who share in this will man their keyboards and let the world know how they feel as well. If we don’t let them know how we feel about something then they probably will continue making poor choices such as creating lame events such as “Player Appreciation Month”.

The best way that I can be shown “appreciation” by a video game developer is by getting a game that is nearly bug free when I exchange $60 for it.

Source: The Battlefield Blog

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DICE: We’re not fixing the Battlefield 4 issues you care about

DICE recently posted on their blog that they will be tweaking various aspect of multiplayer vehicles and the weapons associated with them in their . 

Wow. Great, thanks. 

Given that you can’t hear the tone of my voice I’ll come right out and admit that was meant to be sarcastic. As a big fan of what this latest PC instalment of the franchise “COULD” be, I am strongly disappointed to learn that resources are being focused on aspects of the game which most players would probably rank severely low on the priority list.

What would I rank more important than “Balancing Vehicles”? Here goes:

1. I would fix whatever is causing disconnections on 75% of the servers I attempt to join day in and day out.

2. I would LOVE to never learn that the person who just killed me did so while his health was at zero!!!

3. Allow in-game party chat via the server or Battlelog service. Not sure why in this day and age chatting with your friends whom also dropped $60 is so hard to ask for. 

I could go on but it’s safe to say these are, to me, the most important aspects of the game that need to be addressed ASAP. I’m sorry but I really don’t give a $#!@ about “Reduced the splash damage and maximum splash damage range of the Scout Helicopter 25MM CANNONS” when I’m still in Chrome waiting to find a server that’ll let me join. 

Source: The Battlefield Blog

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minimalmac:

Apple - Mac 30 - Thirty years of innovation (by Apple)

Imagine what we can accomplish in the next 30 years.

I have to give Apple credit for spinning the anniversary of the Macintosh into what is turning out to be one of the best marketing campaigns we’ve seen anywhere lately (especially better than Apple’s own recent TV commercials).  

Being a self-proclaimed Apple “fanboi” who still has the ability to look at them with a critical eye I can say that it wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows. When looked at in a certain light you can’t help but notice that they’re pouring it on rather thick. I do respect them for the way in which the tribute is presented but in the back of my mind I just couldn’t shake the thought that it’s shameless advertisement.  

Despite that I was left with a fleeting warm and fuzzy feeling. One that made me believe for a few seconds that it might be possible to recreate that old-school Apple community (you know, the one that existed prior to the blowup of front-runners that appeared post original iPhone announcement). But once I came to my senses I settled on thinking the entire thing was truly a well orchestrated commercial produced by a behemoth of capitalism.

Admittedly, a behemoth I still love.

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"Xbox One Sells Over 3 Millions Consoles" (WHO CARES?!)

majornelson:

Xbox One is off to a great start:


via Xbox Live’s Major Nelson http://ift.tt/1lxVyDe

Microsoft and it’s poster boy, Larry Hryb love tooting the Xbox One sales numbers as often as their typing fingers can keep up. I understand using social media to continue the upward trend by tooting your own horn but what I and other interested parties would rather hear is about how many new Xbox One exclusive titles are on the brink of being released.  

Since there isn’t much in the immediate pipeline they can’t say anything even close to that but I’d rather learn that they’ve redirected their social media resources to assist the developers in getting new titles out the door.  Maybe then I’d raise the flag and sound the trumpets.

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tumblrbot asked: WHERE WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO VISIT ON YOUR PLANET?

right now? New Zealand.

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Hello World.

Dear Tumblr,

I decided to break down and see what all the fuss was about. After poking around other people’s tumblr’s for hours I learned what tumblr is all about: GIFs and opinions. With CS4 in tow, I finally decided it’s high time I jumped on the band wagon.  

Are there too many people writing about all things nerd? Yes. Do I think I have something more interesting/funny/relevant to say about technology, video games, movies, television, snootiness (and snood-iness)?  Yes.  

If you’re like me and are tired of all the bloggers on the inter-webs tip-toeing around every topic that we nerds hold near and dear to our hearts just so they can amass a few more followers then I say fret no more.  

I promise to give my unabridged, uninhibited, unbiased opinion and ask that you share with me yours in return. Because that’s what we nerds are good at: bitching at each other about things the average person couldn’t care less about. Oh and here’s a GIF I made to mark the occassion.

Hello World.

-the CRITICAL nerd