The New Zealand government has inked a deal with James Cameron and major studios for not one, but three Avatar sequels to be filmed in the country. New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, announced the news, stating that there would be a budget of at least $NZ500 million ($461 million or so) spent locally during its production.
Where Cameron and the movie studios benefit by shooting in NZ, is that if the three Avatar movies meet the requirements of the deal between the NZ government and the studios, they will qualify for a total tax rebate of 25%, which gets pumped into the Avatar movies. The requirements include:
- Spending at least $NZ500 million in New Zealand, including most of the live action shooting and visual effects.
- New Zealand hosting at least one official red carpet premiere, and a featurette on New Zealand being included in DVDs and Blu Rays.
- An offer by Cameron to serve as a founding member of a new screen advisory board, which will provide advice and guidance to New Zealand screen and film makers looking to succeed internationally.
- Marketing and promotion of New Zealand and its film industry.
The new movies will reach us on Christmas 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Amazon announced this morning that it will be shooting all of its 2014 original series in 4K resolution in preparation for the coming shift to 4K. With more 4K TVs being sold every day, and the PC market adopting 4K rather quickly, this is a smart move on Amazon's part.
Amazon says that the Pilot episodes for its fine new original series have already been filmed in 1080p, but future episodes for the full series will be filmed at 4k. This means that both Netflix and Amazon are on the 4K bandwagon, and the ball now lies in Hulu's court. With these online streaming services adopting 4K, it leaves us wondering how long it will be until the cable companies start offering 4K subscription packages or 4K movies on demand.
If you have ever ready any of my articles here at TweakTown that involve multimedia streaming, you know that I regard Plex as the best media streaming server and app combo out on the market today. You can imagine my excitement when Google announced this morning that Plex has finally made its way onto the Chromecast along with ten other third-party apps.
"I'm happy to tell you that over the last few months, we've been working closely with Google to bring Plex to the Chromecast," said founder Elan Feingold. "It's an honor for us to be among the first handful of apps on the device, and it's been great working with Google - we've never met a smarter or more energetic group of people to work with."
For those of us with substantial libraries being served up by Plex, this news is great, and the the addition of other apps such as Songza, Red Bull.TV, Revision 3, and Avia make Chromecast an even more affordable streaming device for anyone. With today's additions, Google has shown that it fully intends to support Chromecast well into the future, and now lets hope to see a Spotify, Vimeo, Amazon Instant, and Redbox Instant join the party soon.
If you didn't already know, you should expect a new Terminator trilogy, as the franchise is being completely rebooted. Now there's news popping up that Skydance Productions and Annapurna Pictures are developing a new TV series that will compliment the reboot.
The new Terminator TV series is being written in conjunction with the first film in the new trilogy, which should hit screens in June 2015. The new series will reportedly follow a critical moment from the original Terminator, but it will be pushed down a completely different narrative path. I don't know whether to be excited or not, but I did like Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
Sure, it was slow at times, and had its problems, but that last episode was absolutely awesome. I'm looking forward to the new movie, especially with Arnold Schwarzenegger signed on.
The full trailer to The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is here, the sequel to the reboot of Spider-Man from Sony starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. The sequel takes on a few enemies, which you can see below.
We have Harry Osborne featured in the sequel, which is played by Dane DeHaan, and then we have Jamie Foxx who plays Max Dillon, or Electro. There's a lot happening in this trailer, and at times it could feel like too much - but if there wasn't enough action, people will complain too. I won't make judgement until I see it, but it does look good.
Let us know what you think in the comments!
The first season of House of Cards was great, and a massive success for Netflix, but now we have a confirmation of when to expect the second season of the hit show: February 14, 2014.
Netflix knows when to release shows, and holidays are a huge hit because people are at home, and what better way to celebrate Valentine's Day, than sitting down with your loved one, watching House of Cards, right? There's even a teaser, which I'm two minds about watching... I might just bite the bullet and tease myself.
The World of Warcraft movie has been in development for a while now, but yet another speed bump has been hit, with Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures announcing the WoW movie has been delayed until March 11, 2016.
The World of Warcraft movie originally had a release date of December 18, 2015, so it's not too much of a delay. No reason was given for the delay, but it has been seven years in the making, and around five years since a director jumped onto the project. Delays are never usually a good sign, so let's hope the WoW movie is still impressive when it finally comes out.
Google's Chromecast is one of those cheap-enough tech devices that everyone should own, and the device is slowly getting better as the months roll by. Today Google announced that HBO has launched its HBO Go app on the Chromecast, which means that anyone with an open HDMI port and an internet connection can catch up on Game of Thrones.
"Google's Chromecast is one of the newest, more exciting devices in the marketplace today, so we are very happy to bring this capability to our subscribers," said Otto Berkes, CTO of HBO. "From the beginning, our goal has been to bring HBO GO to the devices where viewers want to watch it and Chromecast definitely falls into that category."
The app is able to stream HBO Go content from Android, iOS and even the HBO Go web app. For anyone who does not have a SmartTV, spending the $35 on a Chromecast is a much cheaper option than upgrading the entire TV. With HBO Go now on the device, keeping a Chromecast in your travel kit a better idea than ever before.
The next-gen consoles are really taking up our lives right now, with South Park jumping on board in its latest episode. The episode uses a Game of Thrones-style battle, where they beat other customers to great Black Friday deals.
The kids obviously want the next-gen consoles, so the PS4 vs. Xbox One battle begins. Better yet, the kids are all wearing the outfits that they'll be wearing in South Park: The Stick of Truth, with the episode taking the time to take a stab at the fact that the game was delayed - a nice touch. The episode ends on a cliffhanger, which is great as Black Friday is getting closer and closer, and so is the Xbox One.
I've just watched the episode, and it really pushes the differences between the consoles, with the kids arguing the points between the Xbox One and PS4. Cartman even says "let these Sony f**** wallow in their limited voice control functionality". Some classic Cartman right there!
It's on, it's off, it's on, it's off: this has been the way Intel has played its TV service game, until now. Bloomberg is reporting that Liberty Global, the European cable operator that owns Virgin Media, is talking with Intel in regards to its Web-based TV service.
Bloomberg's sources were quite coy, so we don't have much information on the talks between the two companies. The sources did say that the deal could easily disappear, all before any agreements are sealed. This means that Intel could still deliver its TV service, but nothing is in concrete just yet unfortunately.
LucasFilm and its new owners at Disney have confirmed recent speculation that Star Wars Episode VII (still feels weird writing that) will forego the traditional May launch, to be released theatrically on December 18th 2015.
Despite talk of delays and screenwriter Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) being removed from the project, Disney CEO Bob Iger has been adamant that the film would not miss its 2015 release date as announced last year, following LucasFilm being acquired from Star Wars creator George Lucas for the princely sum of $7 billion dollars in cash and Disney stock.
Precious little is known about the plot other than it will be a direct sequel to 1983's Return of the Jedi, with a return to original stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford.
The as-yet untitled Episode VII is directed by Star Trek reboot director JJ Abrams and produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk., with music by original composer John Williams.
To celebrate this week's release of the epic reboot of the Superman franchise with Man of Steel on Blu-ray, we have a huge pool of prizes to give away, thanks to Warner Bros Home Entertainment.
Five lucky winners will each take home a copy of Man of Steel on double play Blu-ray, a brushed metal keychain, laptop skin, pen, Daily Planet mug, city of Metropolis T-Shirt and a cap, valued at $110!
To go into the running, simply answer in 25 words or less the following question:
If you could have any of Superman's powers for one hour, what would you do and why?
Send your answers, along with your shipping address to firstname.lastname@example.org before the competition closes on Friday the 8th of November.
Man of Steel is available on 3D Blu-ray, double play Blu-ray and DVD from Australian retailers starting Wednesday the 6th of November.
MAN OF STEEL, SUPERMAN and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics. © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.
Amazon is looking to take its Prime service to the next level and will do so by launching its first original content next Friday, November 15th. The show is named "Alpha House," and will consist of three initial episodes which will be released to the public, with the remaining 8 episodes requiring an Amazon Prime subscription to view.
The same business model will apply to the company's second series titled "Betas" which will launch a week later. Unfortunately, unlike Netflix which releases all of its series episode's at once, Amazon will take a more traditional approach and release the remaining 8 episodes for both series on a weekly basis. Amazon is banking on the new original series to be a hit and has green-lighted three more original series to begin development as well. How do you feel about companies like Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu developing their own shows which you need to subscribe to to see? Let us know in the comments.
Netflix has just added a bunch of 4K videos to their online catalog for your Ultra HD viewing pleasure. Netflix is expected to do a full 4K rollout in 2014, which should be exciting times!
Netflix added seven 4K videos in the past week, one of which shows off an example of 4K at 24 frames per second and is called El Fuente: 24 MP. The video is just some stock footage, nothing overly exciting, but it'll show off the power of 4K video that's for sure. Netflix will continue to pump its 4K video, and I for one cannot wait.
A recent report from Reuters suggest that Panasonic has decided to end its production of plasma-based TVs for ever. The cancellation comes after Panasonic President, Kazuhiro Tsuga, decided to begin weeding out the weak performers in its operation and focus on the higher-margin products.
The company is trying to plug a $15 billion hole it has had to suffer over the last two years from its TV division, and with new technologies like OLED growing cheaper and more popular by the day, this only makes sense. This is bad news for videophiles around the world though, as Panasonic is one of the last manufacturers of Plasma Displays, leaving LG and Samsung to carry the technology forward.
Plasma display technology might be old, but video enthusiast worldwide prefer it because it produces very deep and rich blacks, and provides a superior contrast ratio. Unfortunately the tradeoff is that the panels are expensive to produce, consume lots of energy, and generate massive amounts of heat. They are also much heavier than their LCD counterparts and as such, have fallen out of favor with the mainstream consumer.
Today was bad news for those who were championing for an Intel based Web TV service as a new report is suggesting that the chip giant is in talks with Verizon to hand over its entire Intel Media business to the telecom titan. Some sources are suggesting that Intel would retain a portion of the service while other are suggesting that Verizon would purchase all rights and IP.
Unfortunately, it is not clear what Verizon would do with this service as it already offers a Web TV service through its FIOS business. My guess would be that Intel's patents would allow Verizon to take its service to the next level and offer more to its customers without paying heavy licensing fees. Intel was developing a set-top box with a built in webcam, so maybe that is a major item for Verizon as well.
The original X-Men movies pushed comic book movies back into the mainstream after so long, with X-2 being one of the best comic book movie sequels, ever. Bryan Singer departed the X-Men franchise to film Superman Returns, which was one of the most disappointing Superman movies, ever.
Well, Singer is back, and he's back with a bang. X-Men: Days of Future Past blends the original X-Men films and its actors with the world from X-Men: First Class, which has me excited. Check out the trailer above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Dexter is a wrap, pun intended, and now all eight seasons of the Michael C. Hall starring show will soon be made available through Netflix. The first four seasons of Dexter will arrive on Halloween, with the following four seasons arriving before the new year is here.
Holidays are when people start streaming like crazy, so it looked like a good time for Netflix to start offering up the better seasons of Dexter. You can kind of forget about the later seasons, especially the last one.
Netflix has some of the best shows of late, with shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, but after those shows are all said and done, it all disappears for another year until the show comes back. But, it looks like we could expect a change in this pattern according to an interview between Netflix and CNET.
Netflix VP of Product Innovation, Todd Yellin, told CNET that this will change soon. Yellin did stress that TV shows will always be the big focus for Netflix, where he said "but supplemental content, whether that's extra features or so forth, we're going to test that around our own originals." If users respond in a positive way, Netflix could bring in a bunch of additional content from other partners, but Yellin didn't say when this would happen.
In case you just do not have enough Miley Cyrus in your life, Vevo has made it quite easy to check out her new music videos righ from your Samsung Smart TV. The music video hosting service announced today that it's app is now featured on Samsung Smart TVs and gives users access to over 75,000 music videos.
Vevo says that they have designed the new app specifically with the television in mind, and that the app was coded by "expert human programmers." Thank god for that, because I was afraid that the app may have been coded by novice alien programmers from another world. Anyway, back on track! The app has searching and streaming functionality similar to Pandora, and allows users to select a genre that fits their mood, and Vevo will play a unique set of music videos. Users can also search for specific songs as well.
Kogan has just launched a new version of its Agora smart TV HDMI dongle that sports all of the same features as its predecessor, but now packs a stronger punch in the hardware department. The new dongle features a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor and runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
The new Kogan HDMI dongle also houses 8GB of RAM, a mini USB port, and a microSD slot to add additional storage space. The remote features a 2.4GHz wireless connection, and the company has an optional Kogan-branded wireless keyboard and trackpad for just $39 more. I would like to see how this stacks up to Google's Chromecast in terms of ease of use and setup, not to mention streaming quality. With the device running Android, I would imagine that it behaves much like my Pivos Xios DS media box.