Movies

Dolby to put Atmos surround sound on tablets, smartphones

SAN FRANCISCO -- Anyone who has seen the movie "Gravity" in a Dolby Atmos theater can understand what it's like to truly experience surround-sound.

The viewer becomes completely immersed in booms, echoes, smashes, and whispers -- space debris zooms overhead, loudly crashes into the International Space Station, and then there's total silence with just the faint murmur of Sandra Bullock's panicked breathing.

There's a reason why two of the movie's seven Academy awards were for sound.

Now Dolby is bringing this same experience to mobile. That's right, it's like a movie … Read more

Not so fast: Environmental concerns halt Atari 'E.T.' cartridge dig

New Mexico environmental regulators have put the kibosh on the excavation of millions of Atari "E.T." game cartridges from a garbage dump there.

According to The Guardian, the New Mexico Environment Department has said that filmmakers planning a documentary about the burial of the cartridges in 1983 owing to catastrophic sales must first acquire a waste excavation plan.

At South by Southwest earlier this month, filmmakers from Lightbox and Fuel Entertainment said they were almost ready to start digging into the garbage dump in Alamogordo, N.M., to look for the cartridges. Their research had led them … Read more

'Star Wars: Episode VII' tells tale 30 years after 'Jedi'

Some news for fans excited to find out what life is like post-Ewok battles and that metal bikini: Lucasfilm has announced a start date for shooting "Star Wars: Episode VII." Director J.J. Abrams and his team will begin shooting principal photography in May at London's historic Pinewood Studios.

Lucasfilm also announced that "Star Wars: Episode VII" will take place about 30 years after the events of "Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi," and will star "a trio of new young leads along with some very familiar faces." … Read more

James Bond's lethal vehicles

No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to drive.... Britain's deadliest secret agent needs suitably lethal wheels fully stocked with extras, from rocket launchers to ejector seats. An exhibition opening this month in London lets you spy on 50 years of James Bond's rides, from 007's iconic 1960s Aston Martin to the miniature, one-third scale Agusta Westland helicopter used in the climax of "Skyfall".

Bond in Motion also features the BMW controlled by an Ericsson phone; the car driven by the one woman who managed to tie James Bond down; the jet pack from "Thunderball&… Read more

I backed 'Veronica Mars,' but DRM is hobbling my reward

When I heard the "Veronica Mars" movie was up on Kickstarter, I ran over to the crowdfunding site and elatedly flung my $35 pledge at the project. Along with 91,584 other people, I helped raise $5.7 million to fund the film. This past Friday, it was officially released into theaters. My town of Albuquerque, N.M., however, was not on the theater list. But, never fear, my pledge included a digital copy of the film.

My official Kickstarter email arrived, with a link to a Digital Ultraviolet version of the film, accessed through the Flixter streaming video service. Cool. So, I went through the sign-up, got a Flixster and Digital Ultraviolet account, and settled in to watch it stream. It started to load. Then, it stopped.… Read more

Exclusive cover peek at latest Ian Doescher 'Star Wars' parody

Life's but an Ewoking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage.

"William Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return" -- the third installment of Shakespeare's "Star Wars" parody books by Ian Doescher from Quirk Books -- hits bookshelves on July 1, and CNET got an exclusive look at the cover.

On it, Jabba the Hutt takes his place as the ultimate Shakespearean villain. Will Princess Leia's metal bikini, the treacherous sarlacc pit, and Ewoks and the Battle of Endor all be given the Shakespearean treatment? Fans will have to wait until the summer to discover what exactly is in store for their favorite characters in this homage to George Lucas' iconic "Star Wars" film "Return of the Jedi." … Read more

Transform your toilet into a 'Star Wars' sarlacc pit

When geeks discuss euphemisms for going to the bathroom, you end up with some oddball entries. One of Robbie Rane's buddies suggested "toss Boba Fett in the sarlacc" as a reference to doing your doo-duty. That was all it took to set Rane off on a quest to turn his toilet into a sarlacc pit.

In case you need a quick refresher, the sarlacc is a tentacled, spiny, burping, large-mouthed creature known to eat just about anything that gets near its pit. Bounty hunter Boba Fett once very nearly got munched to death by a sarlacc on Tatooine.… Read more

Digging for Atari's 'corporate shame,' the buried E.T. games

AUSTIN, Texas -- E.T. wants to go home. But first there will have to be a massive excavation of a city's garbage dump.

As is part of video-game industry lore, in 1983 Atari ran screaming from its ill-advised E.T. game and hastily and quietly buried millions of cartridges. Somewhere. No one was quite sure where.

It turns out the where was Alamgordo, N.M., and almost certainly deep in the giant city garbage dump. Last year, a team of filmmakers announced they're working on a documentary about the infamous E.T. game disaster -- which cost … Read more

Watch this awesome recursive 'Lego Movie,' 'Simpsons' mashup

Love "The Simpsons" and love "The Lego Movie?" Then how can you not love this terrific video, which spoofs both in one simple recursive all-brick mashup?

Made by YouTube filmmaker Monsieur Caron, the video depicts the famous opening title sequence of "The Simpsons," with the whole family dressed as characters from "Lego Movie," complete with Bart as Batman. Then, it shows them watching the famous opening title sequence from "The Simpsons." Only this time, Emmet is playing Homer Simpson, and the family that runs in and sits down on the … Read more

At SXSW, thousands get a Kevin Bacon number of one

I now have a Kevin Bacon number of one.

Technically, that's not true. But given that I was in the audience today, along with at least a thousand other people at South by Southwest (SXSW), listening to the famous actor talking about the now 20-year-old Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game, I'm going to stake a claim to a score of one. With an asterisk.

In 1994, after watching a couple Kevin Bacon movies, Brian Turtle, along with friends Mike Ginelli and Craig Fass, decided to figure out how many connections it would take to get from actors … Read more