September 8, 2008

XBox 360 now cheaper than Wii, Fall Movie Preview, Google Chrome and the Sony "iMac"

Well, the Arcade version at least.

It has been speculated for some time that the big M would drop the price of the XBox to 199 dollars- and that only applies to the one that doesn't have a hard drive- which is what you need to maximize the gaming experience in the first place! So... that's a pretty big deal-breaker.

Still, if you're stingy and you just want the most basic type of XBox 360 set-up, and you don't want to save (which is idiotic), you can get the Arcade version at just (theoretically in the Philippines) 9000-9500 pesos- like a PS2(!).
Fall Movie Preview
Here are my picks for the movies that are coming out for the "fall season".

Burn After Reading
Although it's in limbo at the ratings derby in Rotten Tomatoes, Burn After Reading seems fairly interesting as it is about someone who finds a disc containing an ousted CIA official's memoir. So yes, it's a spy comedy. It stars A-listers such as George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand and Brad Pitt and may get released September 12. Oh, and it's a Coen brothers film.

Righteous Kill
Wow, just the thought of seeing Robert de Niro and Al Pacino in the same film for more than 4 minutes will be something film buffs would want to devour. They play a pair of NYC police detectives looking for a serial killer, and I think I'll be keeping an eye on this. It's gonna be released next week.

The Duchess
Based from a novel of the same name, The Duchess is about an 18th century aristocrat who becomes involved in an affair that may erupt into scandal. Frankly, anything with Keira Knightley is a must-see in my book. Add Ralph Fiennes into the picture and, lo and behold, you got something nice. The schedule of release for this flick is a bit sketchy though.

The plot seems interestingly set in the 2000's or so, as it's about 4 Star Wars fanboys who attempt to get a peek at the Phantom Menace as a last hoorah for their dying friend. It stars Gossip Girl narrator Kristen Bell.

Eagle Eye
I'm cautiously optimistic about this (READ: It may get panned by the critics.), but this is pretty much another thriller by, basically most of the team behind Disturbia- a pretty good thriller. It's about two people who become pawns of this weird girl in the air (not literally) who knows their every move. I'm not one of the people who like flaming Shia LeBeouf, so I'll take a shot at it.

How To Lose Friends and Alienate People
Sydney Young is a small time British journalist who gets hired by a New York magazine. He gets to rub elbows with stars, enter high society, etc. etc. I don't know, the long title is just interesting.

Rachel Getting Married
I'm just curious about the movie since it has Anne Hathaway in it, who's basically a pretty bankable star. Its plot is similar to Margot at the Wedding though: she wants to destroy her sister's wedding merely by visiting, and she brings up the bad old days.

Body of Lies
Leo de Caprio is a good actor, Russell Crowe is just a jerk but he's still a nice actor. Ridley Scott pretty much likes working with the latter, and most of the guy's movies are pretty nice. American Gangster, Gladiator, yeah, that's a pretty good track record. Anyway, this thriller is about a CIA operative in Amman who is on the trail of a terrorist that is helped by the head of Jordan's intel.

City of Ember
Saoirse Ronan was in Atonement, and her performance was excellent there. Plus, the movie looks fairly interesting so I'm also cautiously optimistic about it. It's about a secret city of sorts, and two kids are gonna find it.

Come on, it's a film about George Bush! Who wouldn't be interested? It's also directed by Oliver Stone! Oliver Stone!

Another Anne Hathaway vehicle, but this one's a bit more interesting. She's a therapist who serves as counsel for five survivors of a plane crash. Their recollections contradict each other however, so she becomes determined to find the truth.

Synecdoche, New York
Woah. Philip Seymour Hoffman is an obsessive theater director who creates a life-sized replica of NYC. That is just crazy... but it just might work.

Google Chrome
Google pulled a fast one in the browser ones, as the internet giant has surprisingly released its own browser called Google Chrome. It's currently only available for Windows, so if you're a Mac/Linux user, well, Google has a bad reputation of releasing multi-platform after more than just a few months with less features.

However, reviewers have praised this browser for its speed- it's faster than any browser on the planet- and it's open-source, so anyone can modify or copy the programming.

Like Apple's Safari, it's powered by the WebKit rendering engine, which is why it's so fast, but there are apparently more technologies at work since it's even faster than Safari. Even in opening does Google Chrome overpower the competition, but there aren't any add-ons... for now.
Meet the Sony "iMac"
OK, fanboys will say that "just because it's an all-in-one doesn't necessarily mean it's a copy of the iMac", and the thing is, according to CNET, it's even better than that. You get for the price a 20-inch screen, more USB ports, more hard disk space, better speed and a Blu-ray drive. The jam-packed features are pretty good for the price, and the design is nice. Plus, in some sort of big surprise, Sony has reduced the bloatware. Basically, if you turn this baby on, you get less of those distracting splash screens and stuff.

Still, the keyboard looks familiar...

CAPTION: Sony above, Apple below

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