10 August 2007

Hot High School Musical Now on Ice

Teens, 'tweens and kids everywhere are bracing for the sequel to High School Musical on Aug 17 on Disney Channel. If you escaped the first go-round in 2006, it became a pop culture phenomenon. The original movie, also on Disney Channel, reached 100 million viewers in 100 countries and won two Emmys. The DVD sold 7.2 million copies and book adaptation sold another 1.2 million. Watch for "High School Musical: The Ice Tour" to come to a screaming teen-filled arena near you, starting Aug. 31.

Rock Legend Milestones

Milestones for two of rock and rolls biggest legends and influencers -- The Beatles and Elvis Presley -- are commemorated this month.

It was 40 years ago that the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which the group made for the Summer of Love soundtrack in 1967. The Grammy-winning album took rock and roll to new heights, and Rolling Stone magazine calls it the greatest album of all time. The cover, which depicts 70 historic figures, including the Fab Four, also includes Bob Dylan, Albert Einstein and W.C. Fields among many others.

Elvis died 30 years ago this month, and a new documentary, The Truth About Elvis, coincides with Elvis Week starting Aug 11. For two years, 20-something Adam Muskiewicz investigates rumors around the King's 1977 death, apparently remains inconclusive. If you can't make it to Elvis Week in Memphis, check out the documentary or catch some memorabilia on eBay. And long live the King!

11 July 2007

Magical Month for Harry Potter Fans

For Harry Potter fans, July could not have arrived fast enough. And finally, it's here.

"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" -- the fifth movie in the J.K. Rowling book series -- is now in theatres nationwide, and on July 21, the seventh and final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" comes out in stores. Despite it not being available
yet, fans are buying "Deathly Hallows" pre-sale books and other items on eBay.

Movie reviewers give "Order of the Phoenix" fairly high marks, largely for the movie's glorious production designs, mapped closely to the book, an experienced supporting cast, and how the three main characters - Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) - continue to grow up on screen and develop their acting trade. One criticism is that the movie, which is two and a half hours long, prunes a number of storylines from the 870-page book, and those that do get included receive relatively little attention. But overall it's considered an enjoyable experience for movie-goers as they are kept in suspense, even if they read the book.

Bonds Items Ramping on eBay as Record Nears

With Barry Bonds on the verge of breaking Hank Aaron's all-time home run record -- currently at 751 as of the All-Star Break -- Bonds-related items on eBay have tended to increase by an average of 10 percent week over week since June 1. An average of 3,100 Barry Bonds-related items such as trading cards, jerseys and autographs are selling per week on eBay. Last year about this time, the Barry Bonds 715th home run ball -- the shot that broke Babe Ruth's record -- was sold for $220,100 on eBay.

Other key milestones over the first half of the 2007 baseball season -- and opportunities for collectors to stock up -- include Sammy Sosa hitting his 600th home run (left), Frank Thomas smacking No. 500, Craig Biggio getting hit 3,000 and reliever Trevor Hoffman recording save No. 500. Of course, all will pale considered to Bond's breaking of Aaron's long-standing mark. But don't look for MLB Commissioner Bud Selig to be present when Bonds cranks out Nos. 755 (ties record) and 756 (breaks record). The whole steroid controversy makes him a bit uneasy and as of July 10, he had not made a decision if he'll follow Barry from game to game, waiting for history to be made.