Archive for the ‘Current Affairs’ Category

No more magic from Disney songwriter Robert Sherman

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Robert Sherman

Wow, it’s a sad day hearing someone who was part of your childhood for so long passes away.

Not in the traditional sense. I never knew the man, but Robert Sherman was a big part of Disney, a songwriter that created a lot of memorable tunes for movies us slightly older folks enjoyed (I say slightly older because I remember cassette tapes).

He was responsible for coming up with the songs ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ and ‘It’s a Small World (After All)’. The former gave me bragging rights at a spelling compeititon in primary school. I thought I was the shiz (or whatever the equivalent for a child thinking he was all that and a bag of potato chips).

It’s something we don’t usually recognise at the time, but man, that’s a big chunk of soundtrack childhood that’s suddenly faded away.

I know it’s usually big celebrities that get the big obituaries, but I want to make sure we give him the proper sign-off.

I want to give a little thanks to Robert Sherman for the songs from:

The Jungle Book
Mary Poppins
The Sword in the Stone
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
The Aristocats
Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Charlotte’s Web

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MORE choice

Monday, February 20th, 2012

You might have noticed recently that some unexplained things have been happening on our various networks. There’s a lot of mention of ‘change’. As Garth from Wayne’s World said: “We fear change”.

But it’s worth noting that change, as we’ve been hinting through the past couple of weeks, is good. Most our favourite musicians, directors and all other entertainment heroes have demonstrated the importance of change. Times are a changin’, and specifically here.

You must be wondering what the heck we’re on about, and it is with great pleasure that we are here to announce something.

As is with the genius of regeneration with the Doctor Who TV series, we are also regenerating. But don’t worry, we’re not changing from Tom Baker to Peter Davidson. We’re more or less regenerating from Christopher Eccleston to David Tennant (or if you like, David Tennant to Matt Smith, depending on your tastes).

So what’s going to change?

We as a society demanded cassette tapes have higher quality, and so with the miracle of technology, we were offered compact discs.

We couldn’t just live with VHS anymore, so we wanted more. We wanted more scenes, more endings, more bloopers and even more reasons to watch a whole series again (audio commentaries are great).

I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing the advancement of video games has become. The pixel count in an average FIFA soccer game would melt Steve Jobs and Bill Gates’ minds if they saw it ten years ago.

Well…we’re giving you more pixels than you can shake a Pixar film at.

As of today, ‘CD WOW!’ is now…

Watch this space. It’s gonna be more than you hoped for. Intensity. Choice. More of it. All of it.

MORE music, MORE film, MORE TV, MORE Games, MORE entertainment, MORE value, MORE interaction and MORE news!

It was a pleasure serving under you CD WOW!. Your service not only to me but to our amazing supporters around the world has brought us hope. Our allegiance is now with WOW HD.

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Silent, but deadly (cute)

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Adorable, the both of you.

The Golden Globes have handed out their trophies and created the crazy buzz that will eventually be the more glamourous Oscars. Ricky Gervais wasn’t as harsh as people were hoping to be, but at least was present.

But inside I was hoping for just one of those awards to be handed over to Michel Hazanavicius and his film The Artist. As with all golden statue-related ceremonies, most nominations are films with a particular focus that makes them stand out. No one saw Green Lantern as a nomination because it was predictable, like Thor, though I preferred Thor.

The usual picks are those with topical issues, or those that if you said you didn’t like, would label you inferior. This is common with films that ‘break barriers’ or ‘pay homage’ to a particular celebrated aspect of film.

For me it was The Artist. Filmed as a black and white movie set in the times where the ‘talkies’ were just becoming a thing in cinema, it starred a familiar face from OSS 117, the French spy film I talked about last year.

But the real star in that film was different. No, not the gorgeous co-star, nor was it the list of cameos that made you say “Ohh cool! ***** **** is in it!”. It was Uggie the dog.

Don’t know him? Watch this:

There were plenty of clips to see, but I just wanted to show you that the dog does indeed have a sponsor on his skateboard.

He already won the Palm Dog award, the animal equivalent of a Palm D’Or, but his list of films is pretty large. He was in Water for Elephants as well, and more than likely a better actor than Robert Pattison.

Any animal you’ve seen in a movie that has stolen the show?

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Forget Doomsday, it’s New Years Eve!

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Resolutions in the office, sans the snow.

THE WORLD IS GOING TO E……ahh, we’re kidding. The world isn’t going to end. If it does, from what 2012 has taught us, let’s all fly to Australia. Kangaroos can’t get hurt, right?

After much rejoicing from the new collection of entertainment I’ve accumulated over the holiday season, I’ve come back to breathe a little, and to send out thanks.

But it isn’t to those that have given me Christmas presents (they’ve already been thanked). It’s to thank you. Yeah, you. :)

Not to say my friends who have somehow bought me certain games and DVDs I’ve been wishing I’d get (quite visually on my social media), and somehow knew what I wanted aren’t to thank. But they are just a minute piece of the worldly support we have at CD WOW!.

Our gratitude for the continued support during the year can’t be expressed enough. There has been some amazing entertainment out there this year, and we’ve loved sharing moments (good and bad) with you all.

Sappy, I know. But it’s worth letting you all know that it’s your amazing support that has kept us music, video and gaming fans hard at work. I know not all our staff falls under the same categories for film genres and music choice, but that’s necessary. Who wants to only listen to what I like? I know one person, but that guy’s stubborn.

And with the kick-off of WOW’D this year, B’s been giving us another way to reach out to you to talk about the newest things coming out. She’s done an amazing job so far, as of course you’ll agree, and we’re looking forward to next year.

I do see a lot of great things ahead of us for 2012. As negative some things may come out of Doogs’ snout, it’s all from love of good entertainment. It’s our business to know what’s best to offer you. That’s why you’ll be able to order in items you’ve never seen on shelves.

No longer do we have to succumb to the woes of retail shop prices, because our store is online. If we feel like renovating, it doesn’t take a team of builders, but our IT team. If walls fall apart in our office, then I feel those builders will come in handy.

And this is where I thank you once again for supporting us through the year. We know our European and UK customers have faced a nervous financial situation, and our Australasian customers have been facing their own daily troubles, but what’s more comforting than sitting down with friends with your newly owned DVD box set, right?

Sorry, I’ve just watched Lord of the Rings trilogy on Blu-ray with friends. I don’t personally have a working Blu-ray (my PS3 is going through it’s monthly brain freeze), but a friend does, hence my pre-Christmas order came in quite handy.

From all of us here at CD WOW!, we wish you an amazing new year, and hope that none of your 2012 resolutions start with buying less TV show box sets. I think all that gym time’s getting in the way, in my opinion.

We’ll see you next year (tomorrow).

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You gotta have faith, faith, faith (and plenty of rest)

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

On the right angle, he looks like Sly Stallone.

Last week George Michael was been taken to a hospital in Vienna for a case of severe pneumonia, and while it’s been a week since his admission, he’s reportedly recovering well. There are reports he could have something more serious such as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome or possibly lose his voice, but with gossip, it’s best kept at a safe distance away until it’s certain.

With the rest of his tour cancelled to let him rest, including his return to the UK, it’s brought up the idea of having your favourite band or musician get sick. For those who may have tickets to George’s show, I’m thinking about you guys.

What goes on in your mind when hearing of news can be mixed possibly could resemble the K├╝bler-Ross model, also known as the Five Stages of Grief:

Denial“No, that couldn’t be right. Typical internet troll. Suuuure, Justin Bieber and Jeff Goldbloom are ‘dead’. Pfft.”
Anger“WHAT? It’s serious? That’s bullsh**! I bet he’s just wimping out and taking the money. How could he?”
Bargaining“Maybe he’ll get better quicker than normal, and my ticket will still be valid. Heck, maybe he’ll be fine, and it’s just a test to see how good a fan I am!”
Depression“I bought VIP tickets. I booked time off work. Everything’s over. I’m never going outside again.”
Acceptance“Well, if he carks it, at least my ticket will be worth something on eBay.”

Sure, it really sucks to find out you won’t have that amazing concert you were looking forward to all this time. But reports are the concerts will be rescheduled.

U2‘s cancelled on people, and they’re still going. They’ve even got their own musical!….oh wait, maybe I shouldn’t bring that up.

Have you ever been cancelled on, and how’d you react? Don’t be shy, I’m still angry at U2 for cancelling, personally. But I’m a stubborn chump.

Get well soon, Georgios. Patience.

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Embracing creativity

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Remember how you felt after watching Jurassic Park?

You may know his name very well, or have heard it for the first time, but Steve Jobs, the face of Apple and all its iProducts, passed away.

This is not going to be an eulogy of the man, but rather of what the man did very well: to inspire.

A lot of the time, we’re consumed with critique when it comes to innovation. When a world is offered everything nowadays, nothing can be the next big thing.

Steve Jobs loved to talk a lot about being ‘revolutionary’, and as much as it felt overused and a little too much for what he was talking about, it was that passion that got people so interested in every Apple product.

Thinking about creativity within any category brings up the ability to imagine, or to think outside of the boundaries. A lot of film and television directors have been given great acclaim for this, as well as scriptwriters.

It’s not often enough that we celebrate the act of being creative. You must have heard it a million times before at work by your boss demanding that whatever you’re doing, double that with a dash of ingenuity, which is unfair to say the least.

Remember the last time you truly went “Wow!”? Was it when you saw Avatar because of the amount of detail it had? Was it a twist in a story you never saw coming?

I remember watching Jurassic Park with such jaw-dropping awe that I instantly wanted to become a movie maker. The details of the dinosaurs, the amazing work of digital technology andsheer excitement of it all was amazing.

Far too often we are consumed with embarassment for acknowledging we could not forsee an event coming, and thus throw away any ingenuity as a simple shrug and a passing, when really we should be amazed by it.

We often watch television shows without wondering why we reach for that remote at the same time every week, or search for the link online.

Some movies inspire us in such a powerful way, that the bright lights of the outside world feels like a new beginning as the cinema doors shut behind you.

Video games encapsulate long periods of time with their stories, keeping our attention just as it starts to wane. Entertaining someone for 40 hours is no easy task.

We do love our entertainment here at CDWOW!, and we love to share that passion with you because at the end of the day, it’s more enjoyable to feel like someone else out there appreciates the same details in everyday enjoyments that sometimes are left out of the Oscars speech.

If you feel like giving a shout out to anything you’ve recently been absorbed in, whether it be an album that makes you close your eyes and daydream, or a simple line of a television show that kept you in stitches simply because they were able to reference something you hold dear to you.

I’ve watched and listened to some fantastic albums and seen some great flicks lately, and I will go in detail about them, because frankly we want to hear your thoughts.

Let us know what’s on your mind, and what’s recently inspired you. We’d love to know what we can do to make your entertainment needs better than you expected (a “wow” would be perfect, in fact).

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Want to watch your dreams?

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Before and after

It sounds crazy, but it just might happen! Berkeley University has come up with a technology that can create images of what the brain sees. Using ‘functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)’ they can read the reactions to the brain. Read the full story here, or watch their findings here:

I’ve always dreamed of watching my dreams, and soon enough I could watch that Inception-worthy concept! While it’s nowhere near that capacity, it’s marvels of science such as this one that gets the imagination flowing.

Who knows, maybe we can record our imagination to explain movie concepts! It would’ve certainly shortened J.R.R. Tolkien’s books if he could just show them to you.

More importantly though it could help people with speaking problems, and those unable to physically move to speak.

Imagine all the money people could save on psychiatrists! Or better yet, recording an embarassing dream and bringing it out on your friend’s wedding night (you’d be a terrible friend, but it should be a great video).

Of course it all leads into the negative sides of this technology. Dreams are sacred videos of the deepest recesses of our mind. Unholy thoughts are kept well hidden from public knowledge (says someone who used to love Will Smith’s ‘Getting Jiggy With It’).

Could it be something similar to Total Recall, perhaps? If they can learn how the mind visualises, they can play it backwards. That’d be dangerous if used in certain ways.

What if your loved one caught a glimpse of what you were dreaming? That person you swore has nothing to do with who you really love could then become a non-existent enemy. But look on the bright side ladies -- At least men’ll know what you’re thinking now.

Or is that a good thing?

What do you reckon is the best or worth to come from this possible technology?

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Neigh, do not try this at home

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Mrs. Ed?

I went to see Captain America on the weekend. Late, I know, but I’ve been plowing through Mad Men and Community episodes for the last month (which I totally recommend you take up as your two new television projects).

It’s amazing how a film can inspire those few viewers who feel that some parts of a fantasy could actually be reality.

The first is a simple, straightforward attempt at a teenager who feels his Captain America-inspired (but not-so-inspired costume) shield can deflect an “artillery shell firework”.

The second is more concerning, but also makes me think how Charlie Sheen got his powers. In the name of art (which is a blanket to hide the ‘crazy’ in all of us), a French woman’s art project ‘May the Horse Live In Me’ involved injecting horse blood into her system.

This wasn’t a one-off kind of thing, as the human body isn’t made for this kind of interspecies blood transfusions (Keith Richards is different). She had to inject herself with “horse immunoglobulins and glycoproteins over several months”. You can read the rest of the story at WIRED (or wierd in this instance) here.

Apparently she was feeling superhuman (and a little bit horse), but I figure if you’re doing life-threatening procedures, and you survive, you’re more likely going “Holy sh** I’m not dead” all day.

I’d rather get shot at by fireworks, myself. Less work.

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I want to play!

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

This is a long way from Q-Bert.

The Oscars celebrate movies, the Grammys for music, but I look forward to a more lively show. To be more specific, a conference.

The E3 conference in LA is on this week, and it’s a perfect time for people who love all things video games and technology to geek out essentially at the titles that are soon to come out.

At CDWOW, we’re essentially giddy with excitement seeing gameplay footage of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Uncharted 3, Deus Ex 3, Gears of War 3, Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3 -- Jeez, a bit of a pattern here, right?

I highly recommend you pre-order these games, because they are going to be phenomenal.

What tends to be misunderstood about video games is how they’re more than just an outlet for teenage kids to zone out and not do their homework. They’re artistic, cinematographically crafted pieces of film that help people of all ages zone out.

Take for example the Encharted series. The first game caught the eyes of gamers for its ability to absorb the player into the story. Through motion-capture and terrific voice-acting, they managed to make essentially an interactive movie where you couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next.

So what did the team at Naughty Dog decide to do? Make an awesome sequel. Not only was the main character of Nathan Drake still as charming, witty and bad-ass as he was in the first game, but because technology never stops improving, it was knocked up a massive notch.

So what did the team at Naughty Dog decide to do? Make this:

They even re-created Tomb Raider (which yes, at first I was skeptic of pretty much everything about it).

For gamers out there, your thumbs are going to get pret-ty sore.

That is unless you have Kinect for the Xbox 360, in which case your whole body will be.

See anything you can’t wait to see?

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Mass Effect 3

The elegance that was Elizabeth Taylor

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

It was those eyes.

Over the years I’ve talked about celebrities passing away and talking about what they have contributed towards music, cinema and everything attached to that.

But this is something else. This is something really deep.

It comes as a really, really sad piece of news that Elizabeth Taylor has passed away.

Her early days were tough and real shaky, but then again Hollywood is never kind to those at the start (or some may say during it as well). At ten years of age, she had already gone through a contract with Universal Pictures, was cancelled, then picked up again for ‘Lassie Come Home’.

She mentioned her most enjoyable time spent on set was while filming National Velvet two years later. ‘One-shot Liz’ – her nickname for how many takes it took to get it right, which back in those days was not cheap – went off to England to film for a while. The first few films weren’t that great, but it was her performance that was hailed.

Working overtime during a pregnancy, and making four films in one year, it wasn’t like this actress was just going to fade into the darkness. And then came ‘Cleopatra’.


I do hope you’ve seen this movie, as it encompasses all that those golden films possessed. And golden it was, for she signed a $1 million contract and ended up with more than $2 million. After all payments and fees finalised, she had $7 million.

Then came favourites like ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ and ‘The Taming of the Shrew’. Mr Salad Dressing himself Paul Newman played magnificently with Taylor in ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’.

She got to date Sinatra and Kissinger, had eight marriages which is no easy task, and still was able to hold that elegance and charm that got her to where she is now – a star.

Not only was she a star from film, but she was also a huge advocate and pioneer in the fight against AIDS. This among other things was how she was given the title of Dame.
She opposed the Iraq War by turning down the then American president’s dinner, and after numerous near-death experiences, always seemed to come out on top.

Elizabeth Taylor, it was a pleasure to be under your elegance and charm.

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