Friday, June 26, 2015

The Most Portrayed Characters on Film

Remakes and sequels aren't always a fan favorite, especially when we're used to seeing a character portrayed by one actor and suddenly that actor is replaced by someone else. This change up can often ruin a movie when the changes happen within the span of a generation, but throughout time certain characters have been portrayed over a span of decades. If they are on this list, chances are your grandparents might have seen the same character in the movies back in the day as well.

Santa Claus – 800 + Times

This jolly figure has been in movies over a whopping 800 times. Perhaps the most famous portrayal of Santa was by Edmund Gwenn in Miracle on 34th Street in 1947. Other notable portrayals of Santa include Tim Allen in the Santa Clause (1994) movies and by Edward Asner in the Will Ferrell favorite, Elf (2003).

Dracula – 250+ Times

If Bela Lugosi doesn't immediately come to mind when you hear the name Dracula, you need to sit down and watch the 1931 classic. If you're not a fan of old black and white movies, you might be a fan of Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) in which Dracula is portrayed by Gary Oldman of The Professional, The Fifth Element and The Dark Knight. Recently, Dracula was portrayed by Luke Evans (Furious 7, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies) in 2014's Dracula Untold, which tells of how Dracula came to be the famous monster we all know.

Napoleon – 300+ Times

It's fair to say we haven't seen Napoleon on television and film in the United States as often as we see other historical characters. However, globally he has been portrayed over 337 times! The famous emperor nearly conquered most of Europe before being exiled to the island of St. Helena where he eventually died in 1821. Here in the US, we've seen Napoleon have smaller parts in movies like the Count of Monte Cristo (2002) and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009).

Abraham Lincoln - 250+ Times

The 16th president of the United States has been portrayed over 250 times throughout film and television history. Even commercials have featured actors portraying "Honest Abe" in his signature suit and top hat. If you're a 80's kid you'll remember Abraham Lincoln's speech in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989), but in 2012 Stephen Spielberg brought the president's story to life in Lincoln, with Daniel Day-Lewis in he lead. His performance won him an Oscar and this version of Lincoln's story is currently the most recognized in the US.

There are plenty of characters that have been portrayed multiple times, especially religious figures. Which ones would you add to this list?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Technology Predicted in Movies and Television

Did you watch fantasy and sci-fi movies as a kid and wish you could have the gizmos and gadgets they had? The world of technology boomed after the 1950's and hasn't stopped since. This week, we'll take a look at some technology from movies and television that “came true” and are currently being used in today's world.

Dick Tracy's Watch – The iWatch

Dick Tracy was a comic book from the 1930's. The detective used his intelligence, strength, and gadgets to fight crime and defeat villains like Flattop. Tracy would use his “2 way wrist radio” watch to communicate with with police and other heroes. Fast forward to 2015, where various companies, including Apple, have released watches that can be used as both a computer and a telphone.

Picard's Tablet – the iPad

Star Trek spawned a worldwide fandom of science fiction fans that gather at conventions and learn the fictional languages used in the books, television series and movies. Star Trek was also responsible for predicitig a variety of objects we use today, most notably, the tablet. In Star Trek, a tablet-like device was used in place of a book, to listen to music, and to look at different parts of the galaxy. Sound familiar?

Various Shows & Movies - Robotics

Countless movies and television shows featured robots in a variety of occupations. In The Jetsons, we saw a robot as both a maid and family friend. Then in Terminator, we saw the polar opposite, where computers and electronics come to life and destroy the world's infrastructure while androids police humans. Today we have advanced by leaps and bounds in robotics in both science and medicine, but artificial intelligence is becoming more of a reality. Honda created ASIMO, a robot that can communicate with humans and perform simple tasks. Some fear ASIMO is the beginning of a dark future like Terminator.

Minority Report – Gesture Based Unser Interface

Whether or not you thought Minority Report was a good movie, it was visually fascinating and the technology used in the film, like facial recognition advertising and gesture based user interface (the projected computer screen Tom Cruise manipulated with his hands) are now a reality. An MIT grad who was used as a consultant on the film actually made the same software used in the movie.

The list of technology that is now a reality is much longer than this post, but it would take more than one post to list them all. We will see what the future holds when it comes to making movie magic a reality.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Unique Movie Inspired Merchandise

Movie merchandising is a huge part of the Hollywood revenue stream. From action figures and posters to collectible replicas and t-shirts, movie merchandise is one of the best ways a production can continue to make money long after a movie has left the theaters. Some movie franchises continue to come up with new merchandise years after its release and after awhile they start to get quite creative. Let's take a look at some of these unique movie merchandise products.

Death Star Ice Cubes

The Star Wars franchise has to be one of the most lucrative in film history. Well over 30 years after the release of the first movie, we get new merchandise to collect on a yearly basis. In this case we get a little treat for when we need a cool drink on a hot day. If you want to impress your friends, use these ice cubes shaped like the Death Star to cool their beverages of choice. While definitely not the craziest piece of Star Wars merchandise we've seen, we think it might be the one most accepted by your non-fan friends. 

R2-D2 Mailbox

Back in 2007, the US Postal Service created a series of R2-D2 mailboxes to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Star Wars. Continuing to be a collector's dream, the USPS also released Star Wars stamps along with the limited edition mailboxes. Finding the R2 mail boxes became a “thing” on the internet, and today an R2 mailbox, signed by Star Wars creator George Lucas, can be found in the USPS Museum.

Nike MAG's

If you grew up wishing you could own a hoverboard like Marty McFly's in Back to the Future, join the club. Nike did a limited edition release of the shoes a couple of years ago in which most of the pairs were auctioned off on the internet for thousands of dollars and raised for $5 million for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. But unlike in the movie, those did not self-lace. Nike is said to release a limited amount of the shoes later this year which can lace themselves like in the movies. There has been no mention of a price point, but we can imagine they won't be cheap.

Star Trek Caskets and Urns

While many men have gone, and will continue to “go there” before, if you want to go out in a blaze of geeky glory, look no further. You now have the option to be buried in a casket inspired by the uniforms of Star Trek's various characters. If cremation is in your plans, you can have your ashes stored forever in an urn emblazoned with the Enterprise's logo. Morbid, yes, but if they exist it's because someone out there is buying them!

Sure, some of the merchandising items you see might not be in the best taste, but to each his own! All it takes is a quick internet search to see the wide variety of movie-related items available for purchase. What will you find?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Lesser Known Superheroes We'll See Soon

Batman, Superman, Spider-man, these are all names the general public is famillar with. The iamges are iconic enough to have people that are familiar with them all over the world, even if they've never picked up a comic book in their lives. Superheroes are more common place now. With box office smash hits like The Avengers and television shows like Arrow and The Flash being a huge success, companies have realized how profitable superheroes can be, and so they've delved into the archies to create series and films about superheros you might not have heard of.


Daredevil's first big-screen moment was in the Ben Affleck movie back in 2003. The movie was received poorly and still considered one of the “misses” when it comes to the hit and miss world of cinema. Recently, Netflix brought the character back to life with a dark and gritty series that allowed the creators to show the character's world as dark as it is in the comics, with no need to worry about PG ratings. The entire series is available to watch on Netflix now.

Suicide Squad

If the Justice League had a polar opposite, it would be the Suicide Squad. This group of supervillains is contracted to do deadly cover missions by the US government in the comic book series. As DC continues to go tit-for-tat with Marvel on the silver screen Suicide Squad is DC's answer to The Avengers. While you might have heard of The Joker, the other group members like Deadshot and Harley Quinn might not be as familiar. You will learn more about them soon enough when the movie is released next summer.


Bugs and superhereos go together more often than you would think. There are characters we all know like Spider-man and other characters people might not know, like The Wasp. This summer we will meet Ant-Man, played by Paul Rudd (Anchorman). Ant-Man uses a special suit to change his body size and multiply his strength. Expect this movie to be more tongue-in-cheek a la Guardians of the Galaxy, with a bit of self deprecating humor we already saw in the trailers.

A.K.A. Jessica Jones

If you remember the television show ALIAS starring Jennifer Garner, you will be excited for this Netflix series. A.K.A. Jessica Jones is about a superhero with PTSD that retires and starts her own private detective agency. Mix Law & Order with ALIAS and it seems we would have the formula for A.K.A. Jessica Jones. The show will be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, meaning it takes place in the same world as The Avengers and Iron Man—it is not separate or comics/ only. A.K.A Jessica Jones will air sometime later this year.

Are you ready for this superhero invasion? If you're already a fan you will have quite a bit to look forward to and if you're new to world of caped crusaders, there will be plenty of material online and on TV to get you started.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Memorial Day Sale goes into it's Final 24 Hours

Our BIG Annual Memorial Day Sale goes into it's final hours now and there has never been a better time to save on home theater seats than this weekend!

This special includes savings on all Octane Seating models of up to 10% off (the Octane Edge in bonded leather has 20% off) and there is a once-a-year Palliser sale on leather which also includes 10% off all Palliser leather theater seats.

Some of our best sellers like the Turbo XL700 and the Bolt XS400 are fully stocked in many configurations and styles and will be ready to ship within 48-72 hours of receiving the order.

This sale makes great styles available to you at significant discounts with FREE shipping on every order.  Call us today at 888-602-7328 for expert advice!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Our First Ever Contest - over $3,000 Worth of Prizes

home theater contest winner

Today we announced the winner of our first ever Home Theater Contest!  The lucky person was Philip Holubar and his wife Jamie who won a row of three Octane Bolt XS400 theater seats with power recline and premium in home delivery - a $2,000 value.  Congratulations Philip and Jamie!

contest winner philip holubar
Philip Holubar

Philip just bought a new home with an unfinished basement and thought it would be the ideal location for a home theater room.  His exact words were "What could a guy need more than a space of this size (roughly 900 square feet), ready for it to be his canvas for design ideas and make it a space to remember."  We cannot agree more!

Philips Basement
Home theater rooms are there to relax and enjoy with friends and family.  According to Philip, him and Jamie love to entertain, have friends over, throw a party and have fun! This past October they had their first pig roast at their house warming party and would love to have our 2nd with a finished home theater basement! They are both Virginia Tech graduates and couldn't be more proud. While their colors of maroon and orange may be quite much in the area, they would love to use a burnt orange color on the walls for a rustic feel.
Virginia Keg

As you walk down the stairs, you will turn left where the pool table area will be. Along the right side wall will be a 55" TV and a few chairs. If you keep walking, a storage room will be in the attic (have to keep the wife happy!). An immediate left from the stairs you will see a planned out bar area. I want to use the space below the stairs for a cool cove-like wet bar that will have my kegerator.

Behind the back wall of the bar, a bathroom will be placed. There is another smaller cove already in the basement that I would like to place a contemporary fireplace.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Movie Ratings Around the World.

Remember your first rated “R” movie? Think back to the thrill you felt when you were finally able to watch any movie without your parents or a chaperone--awesome, right? In the US, you must be 17 to go to an “R” rated movie alone. Typically, movies with an “R” rating contain sexual situations, graphic violence, and harsh language. But did you know certain countries censor violent scenes more than scenes of a risque nature? In the US, the MPAA rates our movies.

The Motion Picture Association, working with the Classification and Rating Administration, decides on a rating for a movie before it comes out in theaters. Our ratings system is well known: G (General Audiences), PG (Parental Guidance Suggested), PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned), R (Restricted) and NC-17 (No one under 17 admitted).  Video games are also given similar labels. In other countries, the ratings systems are quite different, and some countries let the government decide how to classify films. Here is a look at the way a few other countries rate their movies.

Venezuela - In Venezuela, movies are rated from A-F. F is considered “unrated” and thus fine for families with children of all ages. A-E are classified by age groups ( 2, 7, 12, 15, and 18, respectively). Basically, if you try to go to a “D” rated movie, you must be 15 years or older, while an “E” movie requires you be 18 or older.

Turks and Caicos Islands- This British colony first instituted a ratings system in 1934--and that system hasn’t been changed since! The ratings are classified by age, but they include categories such as “16 with Privilege” meaning a 16 year old can see the movie if they’re accompanied by an adult 18 or older. “U” (Universal) is the equivalent of our “G” rating. Instead of PG, however,  the Turks and Caicos Islands use “U W/C” (Universal With Caution).

United Kingdom - The rating system of our friends across the pond features a mix of numbers and letters. Decided by the British Board of Film Classification, movies in the UK can be rated U (Universal)  or PG (Parental Guidance, like in the States) or a combination of age numbers and labels. For example, 12A means the movie is recommended for children over the age of 12. Anyone under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult (thus the “A” added to the number).

South Africa - The Film and Publication Board decides the ratings for everything from movies to video games in South Africa. Their ratings system is classified using a combination of numbers and letters like in the UK. “A” is for all ages, while “XX” films are not allowed to be shown in public. In between categories include PG, which is the same as ours. 10-12 PG means no one under 10 is admitted, and children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. X18 means no one under 18 may view the film and the movie is only allowed to be shown in adult establishments.

Russia - Russia’s movie rating system was also implemented for usage in television shows in 2012. Out of the numerous countries researched for this post, Russia’s system was the least complicated. The categories are based on general age ranges without the specific suggestion of parental guidance. 0+ is considered all ages, and there is also a “refused classification” which means the movie has been banned in the country. The rest of the categories are 6+, 12+, 16+, and 18+. think of it as “6 and over” and you’ll get the idea.

Ratings labels are sometimes embellished with symbols and colors depending on the country. While some in the US’ consider the MPAA too strict, we seem to fall right in the middle when compared to other countries. What do you think about the MPAA ratings system?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter Weekend Private Customer Sale - Ends Monday!

octane storm row of 2 seatsThere is an incredible opportunity to get the Octane Storm in black top grain leather with power recline with 15% off.  This is the first time ever this best seller has gone on sale and the sale lasts only a few days over the Easter weekend.

The Octane Storm is made with deep in-arm storage units for remotes and guides and includes a chaise styled - no gap - foot rest that is designed to support your body for hours in absolute comfort.  A power button control exists on the inside arm of the theater seat that will effortlessly recline the seat to your desired position.

Octane Storm black leather XL850
XL850 Storm
Luxury is now more affordable!  The Octane Storm with these options sells for $849/seat with FREE shipping and before the 15% discount.  With the discount, the seats deliver to your door at $721/seat.  The Storm includes stainless steel cup holders that are designed to be easily removed for cleaning and maintain their lustre even after years of use.

Every Storm ships direct from our warehouse to your home and the current delivery times on this model are 10-14 business days.  If you are in the market for premium home theater seating, then this is the one to go with.  It consistently receives excellent reviews from our customers and is built to the highest standards of design.  To get the seats under this promo you have to call to order at 888-602-7328 because stocks at this price are limited!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Movies Based on Actual Events...Sort of

How many times have you gone to the movies and watched a film that was “based on true events”? Audiences love to see films of this kind, especially when said films depict epic battles and historical moments. Sometimes, however, audiences go to the movies without the slightest idea the film they are about to watch is actually based on reality, and sometimes movies that are supposed to be realistic twist the story to benefit the box office.  Let’s take a look at some of the most popular films, based on true events, from 90’s and beyond.

Braveheart - 1995

Yes, Braveheart was based on real Scottish hero William Wallace and his battle against King Edward I of England. Braveheart was a box office success and was nominated for 10 Oscars--5 of which they won. This movie initiated the pre-war pep rally speech you now see every leader give his warriors in nearly every war movie ever since Braveheart’s debut. While some call the movie one of the most historically inaccurate films ever, it did a lot for the Scottish tourism industry. Thanks to Braveheart, thousands flocked to Scotland to learn more about the country’s history and helped the country pull in 7-15 million pounds thanks to movie-loving tourists.

Black Hawk Down - 2001

Ridley Scott is one of the most famous film directors of our generation. The genius behind movies like Alien and Gladiator also directed this film, based on the Battle of Mogadishu. While the movie filmed in Morocco, the story takes place in Somalia. A US black hawk helicopter is shot down and the soldiers try to survive until they are rescued, but during that time they experience the true horrors of war and lose friends along the way. While Americans loved the film, the people of Somalia complained and said it painted them in a negative light. Despite any negative press, Black Hawk Down was a hit and won 2 Oscars.

Apollo 13 - 1995

This Ron Howard masterpiece was based on the failed Apollo 13 mission. This shuttle carried a crew intending to be the 3rd group of people to walk on the moon, but an explosion on board damaged the shuttle’s oxygen supplies and electrical wiring. Not only did those events endanger the astronauts, the malfunctions also prevented the team from ever reaching the moon. To add to the film’s authenticity, Ron Howard got permission from NASA to use one of their low-gravity machines in order to film the space scenes in the movie. The actors also underwent the same NASA training real astronauts would go through in order to give them the proper mindset for the film.
Schindler’s List - 1993

The Holocaust has to be one of, if not the most difficult subjects to tackle for any filmmaker. So many movies have created tales of hope out of such a horrific event, but there is one movie that set the standard for films depicting this dark time in our history. Schindler’s List is based on Oskar Schindler, a German business man that saves thousands of people from the Nazis by offering them work in his factories. Steven Spielberg directed this classic, but the film was originally pitched to other famous directors like Roman Polanski, Martin Scorsese, and Sydney Pollack. This movie brought both Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes into the Hollywood spotlight for their incredible work, and became a must in every film fanatic’s collection.

U-571 - 2000  

Out of all of the films on this list, U-571 takes the cake for issues with accuracy. While the core storyline of a submarine capturing a naval Engima machine did happen, it was not done by a group of Americans on a submarine called U-571. The Engima machine was captured by British soldiers from the HMS Bulldog, using the submarine U-110 months before the Americans entered World War II. The movie offended the British public, and even inspired former prime minister Tony Blair to comment and call the movie an “affront” to the soldiers of the U-110. While not a blockbuster, the movie did experience financial success. For those of you that love trivia, the U-110 inaccuracy is only the beginning when it comes to facts this film got wrong. Keep that in mind next time you catch this flick on tv--you might end up wanting to research it yourself.

Friday, February 20, 2015

5 Apps for Movie Fanatics

Texting has become enough of a social annoyance that movie theaters now ask viewers to turn off their phones before the movie begins. Everyone hates “that guy” that answers his phone during a flick, but theaters also want their customers to stop texting during movies, as the light of the phone screen can distract others. That being said, your smartphone is still a wonderful tool if you’re a movie fanatic--just don’t use it once you get to your seat! Here are some awesome movie apps you should download onto your phone if you haven’t already.

Purchase tickets, rate movies, look up showtimes and watch trailers all from this free app. Fandango has recently added original programming and a mobile ticket option to its repertoire. You no longer have to swipe your credit card at a kiosk to print your tickets. Fandango generates a QR code that the movie theater employee can scan right from your phone. Talk about saving time--especially if you’re late for the movie!


The famous movie website also has an app counterpart. Think of IMDB as the Wikipedia of movies--but with verified facts. If you’re a trivia fanatic, or simply can’t remember the name of “that guy” from a movie you saw years ago, IMDB can help you find that information and much more. Connect with fellow movie fanatics on the IMDB forums and read up on the latest movie news. You can also watch trailers for upcoming movies and read about celebrities and other entertainment events.


This app makes a game out of watching movies and television shows. With GetGlue, you can check in (much like Foursquare) and let your friends and families know what you’re watching on the small or silver screen. This app can link to your favorite social media sites and you can make friends with the other users. GetGlue awards you with special stickers after a certain amount of check-ins, or if you check in during the season premiere (or finale) of a show. You can then request a print out of these stickers, which get sent to you for free.

Watch TCM

If you’re living in the past and love the Golden Age of cinema, this app is for you. You can watch live streams of the Turner Classic Movies channel via the app as well as watch a ton of movies without any commercial interruption. View the upcoming movie schedules and plan what you would like to watch, then share your opinions with fellow movie fans. The app also connects to the site’s blog page, and you can view never-before-seen images of Old Hollywood stars and movie sets. The app itself is free, but you will need to log in using your cable service provider information. It’s worth it to have access to all of these amazing films.


This app has a number of accolades. It is the most downloaded movie app in the Apple App Store and Lifehacker.com has labeled Flixter the best app for movie showtimes. Like Fandango, you can purchase tickets and read reviews, but Flixter is connected to another famous movie website, Rotten Tomatoes. You can download and stream movies and television shows as well as check out the latest movie trailers. Add your own movie review to the mix and use Flixter to create a list of movies you want to watch or eliminate the ones you don’t want to watch from your options. Considering you can manage your Netflix queue via Flixter as well, this is one app every movie lover must have.