Most Gruesome Movie Deaths Released In Time For Halloween

In the places around the world where Hallowe’en is celebrated, the USA is arguably the place where the whole ‘horror’ theme gets toned down a little, with many children going trick-or-treating as cowboys and princesses rather than ghosts and vampires.

greatest_worst_movie_deathHopefully looking to address that trend on the big day this year will be movie vignette sequel ABCs of Death 2, a feature release for 31 October that will include a numerically-appropriate 26 short stories detailing some of the most unusual and gruesome ways to die.

And as original as the idea for the comedy horror franchise is, all ideas come from something, and the inspiration for the 26 directors of the Ant Timpson and Tim League-created anthology will lie with the entire history of ‘death in movies’.

To celebrate that particular niche of interest, and to promote ABCs of Death 2, the directors have compiled a supercut complication of their favourite moments of death ever to appear in a cinema, ranging from the horrific to the tragic to the unintentionally hilarious.

The compilation in full can be seen below:

 

Along with the trailer for the movie being promoted, ABCs of Death 2:

 

The main themed movie (albeit a slightly more conventional one) it will be competing with this Hallowe’en, Horns:

 

And finally, a little something to calm any distressed children down, should they have seen any of this before going to bed:

LG Set To End The Era Of Plasma TV

The era of the plasma TV is set to come to a close, with the last major new unit of the flat-but-not-completely-flat screen viewing platform set to roll off the production line on 30 November.

lg_plasma_tvThe company responsible will be South Korean technology giants LG, who are the last big-name company to be involved in this market, but not for much longer, as they look to cease operations on plasma screens, ending a 15-year stay in that subsector.

LG are now reportedly planning to focus their TV-producing operations on LED and higher-quality OLED TV machines in a bid to better compete with local rival Samsung, and whilst they have been doing that for years, it now appears to be an official concentrated focus, with the staff tasked with plasma production presumably now freed up to help build and sell the newer methods.

The company had put their plasma TV operations into suspension in August in order to come up with an ‘exit strategy’, and they now have one that they are putting into practice, leaving Chinese company Changhong Electric Co. as the sole remaining plasma TV makers in the world, though industry experts explain that people wanting to buy will not have good luck in doing so outside of China, and that Changhong too are likely to move on completely from the plasma age by 2017.

Having existed in plasma TV production since 1999, after Japanese company Fujitsu’s first commercial effort in the industry in 1995, LG’s tenure in the once-premium industry will now be consigned to the history books like the product type, so an old high mark for TV quality disappears, how long will it be before a new technology pushes LED to a similar fate?

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Neil Patrick Harris Given Saturday Night Takeaway Job For NBC

The latest in the the American methods of ‘copy a British TV format and adapt for an American audience’, one which networks presumably dub ‘Operation: Cannot Possibly Fail’, producers may have stumbled onto something that might not actually fail, copying a format that can be quite easily transplanted for a solid schedule-filler.

ant&dec'ssaturdaynighttakeaway_cheerThat format, surprisingly untouched by American networks to date, is prime-time variety show Saturday Night Takeaway, in the UK the most notable work of English presenting duo Ant & Dec.

The entertainment series, over two different runs on ITV, has been on-air for 11 seasons and a recent arena tour since first appearing in 2002, and will continue on early next year with its 12th run, whilst across the Atlantic in New York City, NBC will be developing their own version to air to American audiences.

Whilst it is claimed that NBC will neither have the words Ant & Dec’s or Saturday Night Takeaway in their show, nor will they be airing on Saturdays (and presumably not having much affiliation with where the ‘takeaway’ part of the title got its name), it will most likely be airing at night, with actor Neil Patrick Harris set to add to his post-Oscars presenting schedule by bringing the new format to NBC viewers.

The deal between ITV and NBC is initially said to be for a total of 10 hour-long episodes for a cost of $2.5m (£1.55m), meaning longer seasons than in the UK, though the original runs have a little longer when it comes to runtime each week.

Speaking of his latest presenting task, Harris claimed that “couldn’t stop smiling” when watching Ant & Dec’s version of Saturday Night Takeaway, as he stated of the format: “It’s a game changer. Nothing like this has been done before, and its unique structure fits right into my random skill set. I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and have some fun!”

While he may not have a buddy to work with on-stage, Harris will hope that his ‘random skillset’ can come to the fore for the End of the Show Show segment. Does he have any old attempts at a music career that can be reprised in a blaze of glory?

Scratch that:

Google Executive Sets the Bar Higher For Skydiving Record

Whilst the highly-publicised Felix Baumgartner skydive in 2012 was one that commanded the world’s attention as Red Bull cashed in on their event sponsorship through live streaming and a documentary, amongst other things, inbetween was an incredibly high jump, with a record being smashed.

alan_eustace_skydiveTwo years on, though, that record has now been broken in a slightly lower-key jump, but with ties to another very well-known company.

In this instance, rather than Austrian professional skydiver Baumgartner, who had his attempt sponsored by Red Bull, the record has been broken by Alan Eustace, a senior executive at Google.

Noted as being Google’s ‘senior vice-president of knowledge’, Eustace made the jump from a height of over 41.42km (135,889ft, 25.74mi) over the American state of New Mexico on Friday (24 October).

Wearing a pressurised suit, life support system, and drogue parachute developed for the mission he had been planning with Taber McCallum and his own company Paragon Space Development Corporation since 2011, the 57-year-old was lifted into the skies (more specifically, the stratosphere) by a large helium balloon to his desired altitude (as opposed to Baumgartner’s vehicle choice of a capsule), during the jump reaching a top speed of 1323km/h (Mach 1.23), and in doing so being just the second person after Baumgartner to do so, though the latter did retain the record of fastest freefall speed at 1358km/h.

Speaking after landing his attempt, which had been planned out with much less publicity than the Red Bull version, Eustace stated of the unique experience: “It was a wild, wild ride. I hugged on to the equipment module and tucked my legs, and I held my heading. It was amazing. It was beautiful. You could see the darkness of space and you could see the layers of atmosphere, which I had never seen before.”

Baumgartner was amongst the first to provide congratulations to Eustace after his jump, writing on Facebook: “Congratulations Alan! It takes a lot of courage to do what you did. Nobody knows that better than Col. Joe Kittinger [Baumgartner's mentor and previous freefall speed holder from 1960] and myself. Felix.”

And with his company Paragon stating their intent of one day developing a ‘commercial spacesuit’ enabling humans to ‘safely explore’ the Earth’s upper atmosphere. So one day, it could be you who does a little something like this:

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Bill Burr Extends Netflix Agreement With New Animated Comedy

Netflix are currently on an unstoppable roll when it comes to commissioning new content, with their latest announcement seeing their collection of original animated comedy series doubled to 2.

bill_burrNew series F Is for Family will continue the fledgling relationship the streaming service has with stand-up American stand-up comedian Bill Burr, who will be releasing a stand-up special on the site (called I’m Sorry You Feel That Way) on 5 December.

The animated show is noted as being introduced as a 6-episode first season with half-hour episodes, each one based on the comedy of Burr, with a target launch date of some point in 2015, joining the second season of Netflix’s first animated comedy BoJack Horseman in premiering somewhere in that year.

Burr is to provide the voice Frank Murphy, the father in a dysfunctional American family in the 1970s. Also confirmed as voice acting are Laura Dern as wife “Sue”, and Justin Long as oldest son “Kevin”. Working behind-the-scenes (or at least behind-the-voices) on the show will be Vince Vaughn (Dodgeball: The Ultimate Underdog Story) as an executive producer, and production companies Gaumont International Television and Wild West Television.

Burr said of the show: “F Is for Family is the show I’ve always wanted to do. It captures all the characters of my childhood the way I remember it to be. Fortunately Mike Price and everyone at Wild West seem to know the same people I knew growing up. It’s going to be a lot of fun to tell these stories.”

Vaughn noted: “Bill is the funniest, most original voice out there. We’re all excited to be working with Netflix on this project.”

Netflix’s ‘vice-president of original content’ Cindy Holland added: “Bill Burr’s stand-up specials are wildly popular for us worldwide, and we’re looking forward to presenting his at once nostalgic and unflinching take on the family comedy in this original animated series.”

While F Is for Family has a great platform from which to follow BoJack Horseman into success, will its lead character of Frank Murphy be even close to measuring up to the lead character of the only other 70s-themed animated comedy show currently around?

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The Simpsons Sued For Quarter-Billion Over Mobster Inspiration

If the world ever needed a story that puts the tale of a woman that sued Disney for $250m over allegedly stealing her life story to make Frozen into perspective, then one has been provided this week, with news that someone is attempting to sue Fox animated comedy series The Simpsons for the same amount.

the_simpsons_louieIn this instance, the person doing the suing is not from a Peruvian village at the base of a mountain, but someone from a profession that does not exactly short-change its members.

Actor Frank Sivero is making the claim, bizarrely suggesting that his role in 1990 crime movie Goodfellas as “Frankie Carbone” was copied by The Simpsons in the form of Louie, a member of the Springfield Mafia and one of the lead henchman to Fat Tony, with fans of the animated show throughout the years comparing the style and mannerisms of Louie to the Frankie character. Those basic facts, along with the fact that Louie first appeared in the season 3 episode “Bart the Murderer” in 1991, may provide small foundations for his case to go on, but beyond that it seems to be a claim with an extremely low chance of success, considering the show has the easy go-to defense of parody.

But regardless of that kind of observation that someone somewhere has hopefully already made to him, Sivero’s attempts to receive reparations for a side character he portrayed being ‘stolen’ as a minor character will go on, with the lawsuit being filed today (22 October).

The actor claims that he should be entitled to a $250m share of the $12b+ that The Simpsons has made over the years across various platforms, with a 5-claim complaint (available in full here) that suggests The Simpsons producer James L. Brooks at the time was “…highly aware of who Sivero was, the fact that he created the role of Frankie Carbone, and that The Simpsons character Louie would be based on this character.”

Fox currently have no comment on the issue, but presumably will have something to say once the laughter dies down, and would presumably not be willing to give up over 2% of the show’s total historical revenue so easily on a very loose claim of plagarisation, an offer they probably can refuse.

Aside from the fact he has waited 23 years to bring this up in court, would there not also be the issue that no matter how much life an actor may have brought to his character on-screen (which Goodfellas is reported to have given its actors great freedom in doing), the job of originally setting the foundations of that character was that of the screen writers? On the off chance Sivero were to win this court case, surely a list of people headed by Nicholas Pileggi and Martin Scorsese would come calling for a slice…

62-year-old Sivero might still have a lot to learn in the industry, it would seem, as you don’t see Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd making any claims against Rick and Morty

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