Tag Archives: Star Trek

Under The Boardwalk Documentary Showcases Monopoly

If you were asked to name the first board game that comes to mind, would that game you name be Monopoly? Arguably, Monopoly is the most celebrated board game in the history of board games. It has recently had its 75th anniversary and there is no sign of it’s popularity slowing down. Monopoly is as much part of pop culture as it is a board game. And there are so many ways to play the game, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone these days that hasn’t heard of the game. With a game as popular as Monopoly, you almost have to wonder why it took so long for there to be a documentary about it.

What is it about Monopoly that has made the game such an enduring success for so many decades? San Diego based filmmaker, Kevin Tostado decided to find out. Not only did Tostodo explore the history of the game, he traced the enduring legacy of the game in popular culture, met with serious collectors that like to collect just about anything that the Monopoly brand has licensed, and even spoke to a winner of the million dollar grand prize in McDonald’s annual Monopoly game. Perhaps the highlight of Tostado’s exploration of Monopoly was following some of the game’s most competitive players through the 2009 international championships, where every four years the national champions from over forty countries compete in hopes of being crowned the newest World Monopoly Champion. Kevin Tostado compiled his findings and presents an extensive look at the world of Monopoly in his new movie entitled “Under The Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story.”

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Meeting The Ultimate Prairie Bitch – Alison Arngrim

Most people will remember Alison Arngrim as the wickedly evil bitch, Nellie Oleson, from the television series “Little House On The Priaire.” The show ran from 1974-1983 and since I was born in 1975 so much of my experience of “Little House” was in reruns in the early 1980’s when the show aired on one of the three channels my family had while growing up in the rural areas outside of Calgary. You see in Calgary, which sits in Canada’s Prairie region and the outskirts of Calgary didn’t look so different from the scenery of the show. Also Calgary is well known for the Calgary Stampede celebration where the entire city embraces it’s Wild West past and is home to Heritage Park Historical Village which preserves many Little House era buildings in a town like setting, so the “Little House On The Prairie” show didn’t seem quite so removed from the 1980’s I grew up in.

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Kristina At Carnegie Hall Hits Stores Finally

Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA first let audiences in on their masterpiece, “Kristina Från Duvemåla,” in Malmö, Sweden on October 7, 1995, then record buying audiences were able to obtain the 3-CD cast recording in September of 1996. Almost immediately there was talk about translating the work to English and bringing it to an American audience, particularly because the story of “Kristina Från Duvemåla” (translating to Kristina From Duvemåla) is just as much a story about Sweden as it is a story about America. However, it seems a lot of the work in bringing “Kristina” to America would have to wait due to the surprise success of a little show launched in London in 1999, called “Mamma Mia!” would demand a lot of time and attention for Björn and Benny.

The story for “Kristina” is based on Vilhelm Moberg’s “Emigrants” series of four novels, which follows the lives of a group of Swedish settlers which include Karl Oscar and his wife Kristina, as they make the tough decision to pack up and take their chances settling in the unknown wilds of America in the mid 1800’s. While the books follow the group, the show has singled out Karl Oscar and Kristina to be the central focus of the show. The novels are considered to be some of the finest works in Swedish literature, which is what attracted Björn and Benny to wanting to tell the tale of Kristina. Their earlier musical effort, a collaboration with Tim Rice on an original idea by Tim Rice resulted in the musical “Chess.” As much as “Chess” is praised for it’s incredible songs, it’s also panned for its relatively weak plot, which left Björn and Benny looking for a well crafted story to transform into a musical. Björn and Benny felt for their second musical, they didn’t want plot to be one of the problems to plague the show.

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Best Buy Is Running A $9.99 Sale On Single Title Star Trek Blu-Ray Movies

If you’re a fan of the original Star Trek movies but don’t want to buy the boxsets featuring all of the original Star Trek cast movies or the Next Generation cast movies, then Best Buy as a great deal for you. For the month of May, Best Buy is offering the single title movies for $9.99 each.

Now, not every movie is available as Paramount has only released individually the most popular of the two generations of Star Trek movies. In the William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy era of films, you have your choices of Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered County (essentially the even numbered movies). In the Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes era of films, the only one available is Star Trek: First Contact. These are considered the best four movies of the first 10 Star Trek movies and in my book are the must own ones.

Take advantage of the tremendous savings and get each for $9.99. To get them, just click on the titles of the movie here and you’ll be taken to a page on Best Buy.com where you can purchase them. Unfortunately, the Blu-Ray for the 2009 J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie isn’t included in the $9.99 sale, but it is on special for $19.99. Click here to get it. Be sure to take advantage of in-store pickup if there is a Best Buy near you. The sale price only lasts until the end of May. Continue reading Best Buy Is Running A $9.99 Sale On Single Title Star Trek Blu-Ray Movies

The Return Of Captain Eo

On a recent visit to Disneyland with some friends, we took the opportunity to see the return of Captain Eo, which Disneyland brought back as a tribute to Michael Jackson due to Michael’s death last year. The attraction is billed as the “Captain Eo Tribute” as opposed to just Captain Eo. And the attraction is replacing “Honey, I Shrunk The Audience” 3-D attraction which I think is what originally replaced Captain Eo in the first place when Disneyland pulled the attraction.

The attraction starts out with a “pre-show” which Disneyland highlighted was the original pre-show from when Captain Eo first premiered back in 1986. And I think the pre-show just really showcased how attention spans have gotten considerably shorter, as the pre-show just dragged on and on and on endlessly where the footage would have been sliced and spliced considerably more if it was being made for today’s audiences to keep the pace moving. It showcased some of the casting, the rehearsal process, and the making of Captain Eo. The pre-show was also hammering down the notion of how landmark Captain Eo is as a collaboration of Michael Jackson (arguably at his peak of popularity), George Lucas (still hot off the heels of the success of his original Star Wars Trilogy), Francis Ford Coppola (a legendary director) and of course, Disney. Okay, we get it, big names bring big expectations.

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Paramount Builds Theme Restaurants Of Entertainment Properties

Following the great day at Disneyland to celebrate my friend Robert Shadbolt’s birthday, our group decided on dinner at Anaheim’s Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurant. The chain of Bubba Gump restaurants takes it’s name and inspiration from the 1994 Forrest Gump film originally directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks in the title role. As a themed restaurant, Bubba Gump offers a seafood dining menu in addition to a themed gift shop and effectively offering a unique way to keep the spirit of Forrest Gump alive and well in the mind of consumers long after the original theatrical run of the film.

According to the press kit, Paramount Pictures originally approached Rusty Pelican Restaurants, Inc. about extending the brand of Forrest Gump into the realm of casual family dining. And by 1996, the very first Bubba Gump Shrimp Company themed restaurant opened it’s doors in Montery, California. The company specifically targets tourist destinations for their restaurants, such as the Anaheim location which is a couple of blocks away from Disneyland, and other locations including Universal’s City Walk in both Hollywood and Orlando, Times Square in New York, Pier 39 in San Francisco, and the Mall of America in Minnesota. Bubba Gump is Paramount’s most successful foray into themed restaurant licensing, but wasn’t the first.

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Ryan’s 10 Most Incredible Things About About 2009

Now that 2009 has come to a close and 2010 has begun, I can safely say that it’s a year that has been very challenging and although I am not the least bit sad to see 2009 go, it certainly was not without some really incredible experiences for me that I would like to highlight before wipe the slate clean and start fresh with 2010.

This list was especially difficult to narrow down since 2009 was the year I kicked my blogging into high gear. I had started Ryan’s Incredible World in 2007 didn’t actually start blogging until 2008 and I would maybe make no more than five entries a month. So picking my highlights of 2008 was relatively easy since there wasn’t so many blog entries to go through to pick out the defining moments.

I had joined a couple of 30-Day blogging challenges which requires 30 blog entries in 30 days and it essentially got me into the habit of making almost daily blog entries. Now it’s pretty safe to say that each month sees about 25 new blog entries. The constant blogging has actually helped bring a bigger audience to my blog, so if your first time reading any of my writing has been in 2009, then no doubt something I wrote in 2009 caught your eye and is why you’re here reading this entry now. I am grateful for the many folks who’ve read my blog and left me comments, it’s been a pleasure to hear your feedback throughout the year. In any case, I looked through every post of 2009 to select what I feel were the 10 Most Incredible Things about 2009 that happened for me. You’ll note I combined a few complimentary things to narrow it down to 10.

I do hope you enjoy my reflection on 2009 and continue to join me on my quest to find the most incredible things of 2010. Without further ado, in no particular order.

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Xanadu Returns To San Diego Tonight For One Night Only

XanaduTonight is the night that Xanadu returns to San Diego. No, it’s not the fantastic stage musical that was here for two months last year. (That’s actually opening up tonight as well, but further up the road in Costa Mesa.) Tonight, it’s the Original Motion Picture version of Xanadu starring Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly that is playing here in San Diego.

The movie is notoriously known for being a bad movie, as it has a very loose plot, but despite the fact the movie bombed originally, it’s soundtrack was a massive hit for the record label. The collaboration between Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and Olivia Newton-John (ONJ) on the title track, Xanadu has made the song one of Oliva’s biggest hits. Filling out the rest of the album are more fantastic songs by ELO and ONJ. Wisely, the songs weren’t put on the album in the order in which they appear in the movie, they were placed so that one side was the ELO side and the other side was the ONJ side. As the both acts draw different audiences, it made sure the fans of each artist could enjoy the work of their favorite if they weren’t as big a fan of the other.

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A Star Trek Communicator That Really Works

Star Trek Communicator That Really WorksIf you’ve ever been a fan of the Original Star Trek television series featuring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy from the 1960’s then you’re probably familiar with the communicator device. The communicator was amazing futuristic technology then when it was first imagined and it’s been said that modern flip phone cellular phones were inspired by this piece of fictional futuristic technology. Well there is an officially licensed communicator that you can now buy that really does work as a communication’s device.

The actual working Star Trek Internet Communicator is not a cell phone, it’s a Voice over Internet Protocol device (VoIP) which will allow you to make phone calls over the Internet. The communicator isn’t wireless, it’s got a cord with a USB connector at the end of it so that you can plug it into your computer and talk to your friends and family over the Internet. The communicator recreates the look of the original series communicator right down to the famous Moiré pattern which lights up with a backlit LED. The communicator also recreates the “chirping” sound of the communicator when it’s flipped open and is said to have over 21 sound clips built into it. The Star Trek Internet Communicator is compatible with Macs and PCs running XP, Vista, or Windows 7.

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Amazing Deal On Doctor Who TODAY ONLY At Amazon

Doctor WhoIf you’re a fan of the rebooted Doctor Who that’s had Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant in the title role, then Amazon has a great deal for you, but you have to act now, because the deal is for today only!! If you’re like me and previously though the DVD sets from the BBC are considerably overpriced, then today is your day!

Amazon has the box sets for each of the four seasons of the show on sale today for $32.49 a piece. That’s 59% off the list price of $79.99 and 50% off of Amazon’s regular price of $64.99. I’ve been hesitant to buy the sets myself because quite frankly I felt they were a complete rip off at their regular price. The show has been remarkably good and I definitely wanted the sets but I’m sorry $65 to $80 a set was way too much money in my opinion for a show that only does 13 episodes a season. Maybe if they were 26 episode seasons like most American shows, it would be a reasonable price, but for 13 episodes, forget it. So for literally half price today only at Amazon, the sets are actually affordable.

The show is brilliant and well written and getting all four sets is truly the best option if you’ve never seen it. The way the show ends in the fourth season ties back to the entire series in such a well thought out way that you get the feeling the ending was always in mind when they established the series. Few shows pay off and spread out the storyline over so many seasons that you’re going to be amazed and wish American shows would do this. Lost may eventually pay off in this way, but we won’t know for sure until the final season completes it.

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