Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Reel Scene

Hollywood Selects Captain America

Reports surfaced today that the next comic book film to go into production has now officially signed on an actor for the lead role. In the preceding weeks and months there have been hundreds of auditions and around a dozen serious contenders for the part of "Steve Rogers" aka “Captain America". Among the candidates were Step up and Fighting star Channing Tatum, John Krasinski who plays "Jim" on NBC's hit sitcom The Office and Chace Crawford of Gossip Girl fame. At one point in the running the titular character slot was considered Krasinki's to lose as he was rumored to have a virtual lock on being cast as the story's iconic avenger. Other names that were highlighted during the selection process were Garret Hedlund starring in the Disney cyber epic Tron to be released late this year, and Mike Vogel, known best for his work in J.J. Abrams' Cloverfield. At one point there were even whispers of Leonardo DiCaprio portraying the Marvel personification of liberty and freedom.

In the entirety of the audition process no foreigners were ever considered to be handpicked for the role of the Mr. Rogers associated with a nation rather than a neighborhood. Although Captain America's nemesis "Red Skull" will be played by Australian Hugo Weaving who is most recognizable as "Agent Smith" from The Matrix films. He has most recently worked with the project's director Joe Johnston in this year's Wolfman, which was not widely acclaimed by critics and audiences alike.

The end result of the ongoing whirlwind of names and gossip was that Chris Evans (Fantastic Four, Push) was offered the part last week. There was debate over the weekend of whether or not he would accept the huge task of justly playing "Steve Rogers" on the big screen. Finally on Monday, May 22nd, confirmation of the deal was announced. "Johnny Storm" aka "The Human Torch" will be this generation's Captain America. The deal which Evans signed includes leading, supporting and cameo roles in nine film projects in the coming years. These films include potential sequels, the Avengers movie and appearances in other Marvel Comics projects, as we've become accustomed to superheroes and mutants appearing in the on screen recreations of their counterpart’s stories.

It would appear that the studio has made a wise choice here. Evans has a sufficient background as far as playing characters with super powers and he also has the build and All-American look to suit up as this particular coveted comic book protagonist. Shooting for this pivotal project in the Marvel world may kick off as soon as January of next year.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Music Notes

B.o.B Cover

The cover art for "The Adventures of Bobby Ray", the anticipated album by Atlantan rapper/singer B.o.B just hit the web this week. The image has an outerspace theme to it and the title font is reminiscent of the 80's trilogy "Back to the Future". The album was originally set to drop on May 25th but has since been moved up to an April 27th date. The first single off Bobby Ray's debut album "Nuthin' On You" feat. Bruno Mars is currently ranked #2 on iTunes and is getting an abundance of radio spins. Definitely check out the remix that just came out this week featuring 1/2 of Outkast and recent Def Jam signee Big Boi.
Although B.o.B has somewhat of a mainstream sound he's drawn a significant following from real rap fans. I plan on going out and copping this album, any fans out there should purchase the album and support as well. Stay tuned to Middzology for updates.

Download B.o.B "Nuthin' On You remix" feat. Big Boi here:

Raw Footage

Photo Magic Shrinks The Big Apple in "The Sand Pit"

I'm no photography expert, but this project entitled "The Sand Pit" by Sam O'Hare employs what is known as a tilt-shift technique. In not so many words, what tilt-shift does is angle the focal point of the camera's lens, tricking the viewer into believing they are in fact witnessing much smaller scale versions of real and animate objects. Such is the case in this recently released video which was directed, cut and edited by O'Hare, an Aero Films director and visual effects artist.
The production took place over 5 days in New York City and includes the use of 35,000 photographs. I admire the kind of work and dedication that must have been put into the making of such an intricate and detailed short film. It's definitely an enriching experience to see an artistic interpretation such as this one, of my hometown and the greatest city in the world. One gets the impression that an entire miniature city was built and that a day in the life of the city has been captured on film. If you were to look closely you would in fact see that the people on the ground are real. I've read some comments in response to this film where people have made remarks questioning if miniature models were used in this production. It's easy to see how one could jump to such a conclusion. However, based on the nature of the project and the involvement of the tilt-shift factor, I'm going to safely assume that all 35,000 pictures that were used are of real live action in the streets of New York.

The Sandpit from Sam O'Hare on Vimeo.

Middz Note: The song which serves as the score is composed by Human. It was written by Rosi Golan and Alex Wong, specifically conceived for this short film project.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Raw Footage

Snoop's "Grinch"

"How The Grinch Stole Christmas" is without a doubt my favorite christmas story. Watch one of the most recognizable voices in the music industry read the classic tale, with some slight revisions from the D-O double G himself. The video is from friday Dec. 11th when Snoop made an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to promote his new album "Malice In Wonderland" in stores now.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gadgets & Games

An Alarm Clock Even Aquaman Can Depend On

Although you may have never seen a clock like this before, it's a lot like you in that it needs water to operate. The innovative minds at Bedol bring to life an alarm clock that doesn't require an electric outlet or batteries. This environmentally friendly product runs solely on water and only needs to be refilled or changed every 6 to 12 weeks (time varies depending on chemicals in the water). Also available is the feature to chose between 12 and 24 hour timekeeping. This would make a very nice and inexpsensive gift this holiday season for that gadget junkie or eco-friendly person in your life. The clock is available in other colors including black and pink.

Available at Bedolwhatsnext.com

Retail $29

Weapons of Self Improvement

A Skincare Product of Volcanic Proportions

Last year M.A.C Cosmetics introduced a line that utilizes Earth's natural by-products. After disappearing from shelves for some time it has been reintroduced to the market this fall. One of those items is a very intriguing one, and is generating interest even amongst the male demographic (after all something made from a once lava spewing valcano sounds pretty awesome). The formula only requires you to use it in small doses and can be applied to the body, not just the face. The volcanic ashes are from the Vanatu Islands, providing the key ingredient that leads to smoother and cleaner skin. I have personally tried MAC's volcanic ash exfoliator and can say that although it has an unpleasant and messy appearance during application, it's very effective and does what it's made to do very well.

Available at Maccosmetics.com

Retail $19.50

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Music Notes

CuDi on Cudder Collabs

MTV recently interviewed Kid CuDi about what's going on with the Man on the Moon, post his solo album debut. Aside from the well publicized collaboration albums with Chip Tha Ripper and Ratatat, CuDi is putting together the highly anticipated sophmore LP entitled "Cudder". In the interview the G.O.O.D. music artist reveals who he's secured for the album and what acts he's reaching out to, hoping they jump on board the project. The names mentioned may surprise you and will definitely increase the eagerness of many fans for this project to drop (sometime in 2010).