media memes: nixon, cruise, stone, lennon, vhs & hi-def

'frost/nixon': meant for each other
'frost/nixon': meant for each otherfrom washington post: Neither the title nor the subject matter prepares you for the pure fun of "Frost/Nixon." Ron Howard's movie is based on Peter Morgan's play, which was based on the 1977 television interviews between British journalist David Frost and the disgraced former president Richard Nixon. You expect something dry, historical and probably contrived. But you get a delicious contest of wits, brilliant acting and a surprisingly gripping narrative - no less dramatic even though the results are a foregone conclusion.

pentagon & hollywood pair up for transformers sequel
from danger room: Hollywood action director Michael Bay enlisted the U.S. military to provide realistic props for his 2007 giant-robot epic Transformers. After the Pentagon helped rewrite the script, Bay got access to helicopters, warships and - for just $25,000 an hour - F-22 stealth fighters. As we speak, Bay is shooting a sequel that has even more U.S. military hardware on display, according to USA Today. The director set up shop at White Sands, a test range in New Mexico, standing in for Egypt, where the new movie's climactic battle takes place. "As far as I know, this is the biggest joint military operation movie ever made," said Bay's liaison officer from the Army.

stone unturned: oliver on obama

tom cruise, scientology & holocaust revisionism
from indybay: Tom Cruise is asking for your Valkyrie movie ticket dollars, but spends his money to fund a cult with a similar attitude towards lesser races and global domination. Should the actor be separated from his actions? As a producer of the movie, he earns money from every ticket. Should you care where that money is going? ... Tom Cruise is one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood, even with his anti-Semitic portrayal of a Hollywood producer (complete with gold star necklace) in Tropic Thunder. Is having his money go toward funding studies linking the Holocaust to modern medicine worth the price of your movie ticket?

mind control through the hi-def boxes

john lennon digitally inserted into television commercial
from raw story: With the approval of widow Yoko Ono, former Beatle and peace activist John Lennon, who was killed 28 years ago, appeared digitally in a 30-second television ad in support of the "One Laptop per Child" campaign. The spot was launched on Thursday and will play in donated broadcast and cable time slots. The voice of Lennon says: "Imagine every child, no matter where in the world they were, could access a universe of knowledge. They would have a chance to learn, to dream, to achieve anything they want. I tried to do it through my music, but now you can do it in a very different way. You can give a child a laptop and, more than imagine, you can change the world."

long, winding road hits a dead end at last for vhs
from latimes: Pop culture is hitting the eject button on the VHS tape, the once ubiquitous home video format that will finish this month as a creaky ghost of Christmas past. After three decades of steady if unspectacular service, the spinning wheels of the home entertainment stalwart are slowing to a halt at retail outlets. On a crisp Friday morning in October, the final truckload of VHS tapes rolled out of a Palm Harbor, Fla., warehouse run by Ryan Kugler, the last major supplier of the tapes. "It's dead, this is it, this is the last Christmas, without a doubt," said Kugler, 34, a Southern California businessman. "I was the last one buying VHS and the last one selling it, and I'm done. Anything left in warehouse we'll just give away or throw away." ... But Kugler, with a sly smile, offered a warning to consumers: "The days of the DVD are numbered... And that is good news for me."