Activision Publishing, Inc. is an American video game publisher based in Santa Monica. It serves as the publishing business for its parent company, Activision Blizzard, consists of several subsidiary studios; as of January 2017, Activision is one of the largest third-party video game publishers in the world and was the top publisher for 2016 in the United States. The company was founded as Activision, Inc. in October 1979 in Sunnyvale, California, by former Atari game developers, upset at how they were treated at Atari, to develop their own games for the popular Atari 2600 home video game console. Activision was recognized as the first independent third-party video game developer; the 1983 video game crash, in part created by too many new companies trying to follow in Activison's footsteps without the expertise of Activision's founders, hurt Activision's position in console games, forcing them to diversify into games for home computers, including the acquisition of Infocom. After a management shift, with CEO Jim Levy replaced by Bruce Davis, the company renamed itself as Mediagenic and branched out into business software applications.
Mediagenic fell into debt, the company was bought for around US$500,000 by Bobby Kotick and a small group of investors around 1991. Kotick instituted a full rework of the company to cover its debts, dismissing most of its staff, moving the company to Los Angeles, reincorporated under the Activision name. Building on existing assets, the Kotick-led Activision pursued more publishing opportunities, after recovering from the former debt, started acquiring numerous studies and intellectual properties over the 1990s and 2000s, among these being the Call of Duty and Guitar Hero series. Activision Holdings acquires studios. In 2008, Activision's parent merged with Vivendi Games, the parent company of Blizzard Entertainment, formed Activision Blizzard, with Kotick as its CEO. Within this structure, Activision serves to manage numerous third-party studios and publish all of the parent company's games outside of those created by Blizzard. By 1979, Nolan Bushnell had sold Atari, Inc. to Warner Communications and had left the company over several disagreements with the direction Warner wanted to take the company with the popular Atari 2600 game console.
Bushnell's replacement as CEO, Ray Kassar, showed little respect to developers, giving them no financial compensation for games that did well, would not allow developers' names be credited with games for fear they would be procured by other game companies. David Crane, one of Atari's programmers, recalled a memo sent by Kassar that listed the best-selling cartridges from the previous year to help guide game ideas. Crane had considered that for those games that he was responsible for had brought in over US$20 million for the company but he was still only receiving a US$20,000 salary. Crane, along with Larry Kaplan, Alan Miller and Bob Whitehead became vocal about the lack of recognition within the company and became known as the "Gang of Four"; the group met with Kassar in May 1979 to demand that the company treat developers as record labels treated musicians, with royalties and their names on game boxes. Kaplan, who called the others "the best designers for the in the world", recalled that Kassar called the four men "towel designers" and claimed that "anybody can do a cartridge".
The four made the decision to soon leave Atari and start their own business, but were not sure how to go about it. Some developers had left Atari, only to be hired back as contractors doubling their pay rate, but the four wanted something more ambitious. In 1979, the concept of third-party developers did not exist; as software for video game consoles were published by makers of the systems for which the games were designed. The four decided to create their own independent game development company, they were directed by their attorney to Jim Levy, at the time working for GRT Records to raise venture capital to go into the manufacture of cassette tape drives for early home computers. Levy listened to their plans, agreed with its direction, helped the four to secure about US$1 million in capital from Sutter Hill Ventures. By August and Miller had left Atari, with Whitehead and Kaplan joining them shortly after. Activision was formally founded on October 1, 1979, with Levy serving as CEO; the company was named "Computer Arts, Inc." while they considered a better title.
While the four had thought of the name VSync, Inc. there was fear that the public would not understand or known how to say it. The four's departure from Atari created a major dent in Atari's developer staff, Atari pursued legal action from 1980 to 1982 to try to shut down Activision, claiming the four had stolen trade secrets; the lawsuit was settled by 1982, with Activision agreeing to pay royalties to Atari but otherwise legitimizing the third-party development model. The four were aided by their knowledge of the Atari 2600 to be able to develop their cartridges as well as software tricks with the console in making their own games, trying to make them visually distinctive from Atari-produced games; each developed their own title, about one a year over the first few years of the company. To further distinguish themselves, Activision's boxes were brightly-colored, predominately used an in-game screenshot on the back cover so consumers would be aware of what they were getting. Instruction manuals for games devoted a least one page to credit the developer.
Additionally, for nearly all of Activision's games through 1983, the instruction manual included instructions for sending the
Men in Black II: Alien Escape
Men in Black II: Alien Escape is an action-adventure video game developed by Infogrames Melbourne House and published by Infogrames in 2002 for the PlayStation 2, was ported to the GameCube in 2003 by Tantalus. The game is based on the Men in Black II movie. In MiB II: Alien Escape, players take on the role of one of the MiB agents Agent K or Agent J, are required to stop aliens from blowing up the Earth with a ship based weapon called the Class 7 Ozone Demogrifier, they investigate aliens living on Earth in events similar to the film. On Metacritic, the PlayStation 2 version of Men in Black II: Alien Escape has a score of 50 out of 100, indicating "mixed or average reviews." On GameRankings, the GameCube version has a rating of 54%. Men in Black II: Alien Escape at MobyGames
Men in Black: The Game
Men in Black: The Game is an adventure video game developed by Gigawatt Studios for Microsoft Windows and the PlayStation. It was released in 1997; the game is loosely based on Men in Black. Men in Black: The Game is an adventure game played from a third-person perspective, with fixed camera angles that change as the player moves to each new part of a level; the game is loosely based on the film, is divided across four levels. Each level includes puzzles; the player's character can jump, punch, examine items, dodge attacks. The player must find key cards, deactivate security systems, read messages to proceed through each level, while fighting enemies that include grey aliens, large bugs, spore frogs. Eight weapons are featured in the game, including the neuralyzer and Noisy Cricket, both from the film. Only one weapon can be used for each level. Fist fights against enemies occur due to a limited amount of ammunition; the Windows version does not support the use of a gamepad. The game's first level follows the film's opening sequence, as the player controls James Edwards, a New York City detective, sent to investigate a robbery.
Edwards is subsequently renamed Agent J when he is recruited into the Men in Black organization, which monitors extraterrestrials living on Earth. For the next three levels, the player chooses between three characters: Agent J, Agent K, or Agent L; the story remains the same regardless of the chosen character. The final three levels use a plot, unrelated to the film; the second level takes place at a deserted Arctic weather station, while the third level involves an investigation into a Chupacabra living in an Amazon mine. The game ends with the player facing off against computer expert Skip Frales at his private estate, located on the fictional Frales Island in the northwest Pacific Ocean. Gigawatt Studios had been interested in creating a Men in Black video game before the film was completed. SouthPeak Interactive announced the game in 1997, with plans to release it for Windows 95 on November 25 of that year, to coincide with the home video release of the film. Actors who appeared in the film had their faces texture mapped onto the game's character models.
The game uses more than 200 backgrounds that were pre-rendered, while the model characters are made up of 500 polygons. The Windows version was released in the United States on November 18, 1997. SouthPeak launched the game with a shipment of 100,000 units. In the United States alone, the computer version of Men in Black: The Game sold 4,883 copies and earned $200,989 by November 30, 1997. Between January 1998 and July 1998, it sold another 49,520 copies in the region, which drew an additional $1,423,382 in revenues. Steve Poole of Computer Gaming World criticized the Windows version for its short length, its "strained attempts to duplicate the film's humor," and its lack of gamepad support. Poole wrote, "Serious gamers will be dissatisfied with the lack of depth, casual gamers lured by the movie tie-in will be left cold by the game's average graphics and lethargic voice-acting."Lauren Fielder of GameSpot criticized the game's artificial intelligence and poor controls, wrote that the game might have been more fun if "you could at least run quickly."
Fielder criticized problems involving the player's ability to perform certain actions: "Unless you are lined up directly in front of your object, you can't act. And jumps are quite improbable once you align yourself. Fielder concluded that "it's quite obvious the time and energy went into set design and mediocre character animations, not into making the game work." Fielder noted that the sound effects in the first level were "fairly interesting," but that "it too goes downhill, with your character's insistent one-liners and the endlessly looped'climatic moment' music churning in the background."Calvin Hubble of Game Revolution noted the poor artificial intelligence, but praised the character animations for bearing resemblance to their film counterparts, wrote that the graphics were "decent enough to pass." However, Hubble noted that each of the game's menus and loading screens "have an simple, solid-color font. I could have made a better interface given Photoshop and about a day." Kim Randell of Computer and Video Games called the game's first level "incredibly pedantic," and wrote, "The combat system is fiddly, the murky backgrounds sometimes make your grasp of the scene less than complete.
On it looks and sounds cool, but with a continuing frustration factor."John Altman of Computer Games Magazine wrote, "As an action/adventure game, MiB is a qualified success – entertaining but unoriginal. As the latest product from the Men In Black franchise, the game is a disappointment. Altman concluded, "Hardcore fans of MiB will be disappointed to discover that the game is pedestrian and generic, but gamers know that few things in life go together as well as killing aliens and making droll remarks. There's fun to be found here. Men in Black: The Game at MobyGames
The Men in Black (comics)
The Men in Black is an American comic book created and written by Lowell Cunningham, illustrated by Sandy Carruthers, published by Aircel Comics. Aircel would be bought out by Malibu Comics, which itself was bought out by Marvel Comics. Three issues were published with another three the following year, it was adapted into the film Men in Black, a critical and commercial success, leading to two sequels and various spin-offs, as well as a number of tie-in one-shot comics from Marvel. Cunningham had the idea for the comic once a friend of his introduced him to the concept of government "Men in black" upon seeing a black van riding the streets; the first series consisted of three issues and was published in 1990 by Aircel Comics, cover-dated January to March 1990. After Aircel was acquired by Malibu Comics, a second series appeared, The Men in Black Book II #1-3 Malibu was purchased by Marvel Comics in 1994, when the feature film Men in Black was released, Marvel published a number of one-shots in 1997, including a prequel, a sequel, a movie adaptation, a reprint of the first issue of the original Aircel miniseries.
The first series was collected into a trade paperback. The Men in Black is an international espionage organization which oversees and investigates both good and evil paranormal activity on Earth, their remit includes alien life, mutants, werewolves, legendary creatures and other paranormal beings. In order to keep their investigations secret, much of the global population are unaware of their activities, are liable to be neuralyzed to blank their memory of any interaction with the agents. Notable members include Zed, Jay and Ecks. Ecks becomes a rogue agent after learning the truth behind the MiB: That they seek to manipulate and reshape the world in their own image by keeping the supernatural hidden. An agent may use any means necessary, including destruction, to accomplish a mission. Agents sever all ties with their former lives, as far as the world is concerned, they do not exist. Beginning with the release of the 1997 film Men in Black, the series has been adapted across a wide variety of media, spawning an entire franchise.
Starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, the film proved a huge box office success for Columbia Pictures and Amblin Entertainment, resulting in two sequels: Men in Black II and Men in Black 3. The popularity of the films has subsequently led to many tie-ins and spin-offs, including an animated series titled Men in Black: The Series, soundtracks of each film, video games and an amusement park ride. A spin-off was announced for a June 14, 2019 release date titled Men in Black: International, it will continue the universe of the first three films, instead of adapting the original material from the 1990 comic book series. Despite sharing the same basic premise, the various adaptations differ from the original comic series; some of these differences include: The secret organization policing extraterrestrial activity on Earth while omitting the other paranormal elements, using memory erasure rather than killing witnesses, the agency's main goal being to maintain order on Earth rather than to direct it and Agent J is an African-American man instead of a blonde-haired Caucasian man.
The tone of the series was lightened, exchanging the comics' bleak approach for comedy. Men in Black at the Comic Book DB Men in Black II at the Comic Book DB The Men in Black at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on February 17, 2016
Ray-Ban is an American brand of sunglasses and eyeglasses created in 1937 by the American company Bausch & Lomb. The brand is known for their Aviator lines of sunglasses. In 1999, Bausch & Lomb sold the brand to the Italian eyewear conglomerate, Luxottica Group, for a reported US$640 million. In 1929, US Army Air Corps Colonel John A. Macready worked with Bausch & Lomb, a Rochester, New York-based medical equipment manufacturer, to create aviation sunglasses that would reduce the distraction for pilots caused by the intense blue and white hues of the sky. MacCready was concerned about how pilots' goggles would fog up reducing visibility at high altitude; the prototype, created in 1936 and known as ‘Anti-Glare’, had plastic frames and green lenses that could cut out the glare without obscuring vision. They added impact-resistant lenses in 1938; the sunglasses were redesigned with a metal frame the following year and patented as the Ray-Ban Aviator. According to the BBC, the glasses used “Kalichrome lenses designed to sharpen details and minimise haze by filtering out blue light, making them ideal for misty conditions.”In 1999, the Global Eyewear Division of Bausch & Lomb, including Ray-Ban was acquired by Luxottica Group for US$640 million.
Ray-Ban's most popular sunglasses are the Aviator models. During the 1950s, Ray-Ban released the Echelon. In 1965, the Olympian I and II were introduced; the company has produced special edition lines, such as The General in 1987, bearing similarity to the original aviators worn by General Douglas MacArthur during the Second World War. Official website
Jemaine Atea Mahana Clement is a New Zealand musical comedian and actor. With Bret McKenzie, as the comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, he has released several albums and created comedy series for both the BBC and HBO, he has had featured parts in films such as Gentlemen Broncos, Men in Black 3 and Moana. In 2014, he made his feature film directorial debut with the horror comedy mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows, which he wrote, starred in and directed with Taika Waititi, he portrays Oliver Bird on the FX series Legion. Clement was born on 10 January 1974 in Masterton, New Zealand, was raised by his Māori mother in the Wairarapa region, he attended Makoura College in Masterton. After graduation, he moved to New Zealand's capital Wellington, where he studied drama and film at Victoria University of Wellington. There he met Taika Waititi with whom he went on to form So You're a Man and The Humourbeasts. In 2004, the Humourbeasts toured New Zealand in a stage show titled The Untold Tales of Maui, a rework of the traditional Maori legends of Māui.
The duo received the Billy T Award. At University he met Bret McKenzie in which they performed together in Edinburgh - forming Flight of the Conchords. Clement and Bret McKenzie formed Flight of the Conchords while at Victoria University, they have toured internationally and released four CDs: Folk the World Tour in 2002, The Distant Future EP in 2007, Flight of the Conchords in 2008 and I Told You I Was Freaky in 2009. In 2005 the Conchords produced Flight of the Conchords, a six-part comedy radio programme on BBC Radio 2, they appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, the Late Show with David Letterman and The Late Late Show. After appearing in 2005 on HBO's One Night Stand, the Conchords were offered their own 12-part HBO series Flight of the Conchords, based on their earlier BBC radio series of the same name, its first season ran from June to September 2007, was renewed for a second season, which aired on HBO in the US from January to March 2009. In December 2009, the Conchords announced.
Clement has appeared in several feature films. His debut was in the kung fu comedy Tongan Ninja, directed by New Zealander Jason Stutter, he has worked with Stutter on two more movies to date: the low budget ghost comedy Diagnosis: Death and the drama Predicament, based on the book by late New Zealand novelist Ronald Hugh Morrieson. He was the voice of Swayzak in the Toonami Shockwave game "Trapped in Hyperspace". Clement has a role in American comedy Gentlemen Broncos, directed by Napoleon Dynamite's Jared Hess; this role landed him a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male. Though Gentlemen Broncos was universally panned by critics, some singled out Clement's performance for praise. In 2010, he appeared in the film Dinner for Schmucks. In 2011, he voiced Nigel in Rio, in 2012 he appeared as the primary antagonist Boris the Animal in Men in Black 3. In 2012, Jemaine co-wrote, co-directed, starred in a vampire mockumentary titled What We Do in the Shadows with Taika Waititi.
It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on 19 January 2014. He reprised his role as Nigel in Rio 2. Clement has starred in television commercials internationally and provided voiceovers for many others in New Zealand. On 5 February 2006, Outback Steakhouse began running a series of television commercials starring Clement during Super Bowl XL in which Clement pretends to be Australian and feigns an Australian accent. One of the long-running gags of Flight of the Conchords is the traditional rivalry between New Zealand and Australia and the differences between their accents; the campaign ended in July 2006. Clement has been involved in award-winning radio work. In 1999, Clement was a Radio Awards Winner as writer for Trashed, for Channel Z, Wellington. In 2000, he was given a Special Radio Awards Commendation for The Sunglass Store. Besides his television work on Flight of the Conchords, Clement was a writer and cast member of the television shows Skitz and Tellylaughs in New Zealand. Clement, with fellow Conchord member Bret McKenzie, guest starred as a pair of camp counselors in "Elementary School Musical", the season premiere of the 22nd season of The Simpsons, which aired on 26 September 2010.
Clement played the role of a prisoner in a Russian gulag in the 2014 film Muppets Most Wanted, a sequel to The Muppets. Clement was featured as one of 2008's "100 Sexiest People" in a special edition of the Australian magazine Who. Fellow Conchord member McKenzie appeared on the same list. In 2015, Clement voiced a horse in two DirecTV commercials. In the same year, he voiced a "mind-reading fart" on an episode of the Adult Swim animated series Rick and Morty, where he performed the song "Goodbye Moonmen". Clement starred in the independent film, People Places Things, which received positive reviews. In 2016, Clement lent his voice to Tamatoa, a giant coconut crab, in the Disney animated film Moana, both in English, the Māori dub, he based the character's voice on that of David Bowie. In 2017, Clement played Oliver Bird in the FX TV series Legion, he played Sauron in The Lego Batman Movie. In August 2008, Clement married his longtime girlfriend, theatre actress and playwright Miranda Manasiadis.
Their son Sophocles. Jemaine Clement on IMDb NZ on screen profile BBC Radio 2
Barry Sonnenfeld is an American filmmaker and television director. He worked as a cinematographer for the Coen brothers before directing films such as The Addams Family and its sequel Addams Family Values alongside the Men in Black trilogy, Wild Wild West and Get Shorty. Sonnenfeld has four collaborations with actor Will Smith. Sonnenfeld was born and raised in New York City, the son of Irene "Kelly", an art teacher, Sonny Sonnenfeld, a lighting salesman and architectural lighting designer, he was raised in a Jewish family. After he received his bachelor's degree from Hampshire College, he graduated from New York University Film School in 1978, he began working on pornographic films before starting work as director of photography on the Oscar-nominated In Our Water. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen hired him for Blood Simple; this film began his collaboration with the Coen brothers, who used him for their next two pictures, Raising Arizona and Miller's Crossing. He worked with Danny DeVito on Throw Momma from the Train and Rob Reiner on When Harry Met Sally and Misery.
Sonnenfeld gained his first work as a director from Paramount Pictures on The Addams Family, a box-office success released in November 1991. Its sequel, Addams Family Values, was not as successful at the box office, but he received critical acclaim for his fourth directorial outing, Get Shorty. Produced by Jersey Films and based on a novel by Elmore Leonard, the film won a Golden Globe for John Travolta; the film was entered into the 46th Berlin International Film Festival. Following Tim Burton and the Coen brothers, Sonnenfeld's films would tell stories about unusual and unorthodox people who are into the unexpected and the strange, his films would use his trademark filmmaking techniques such as his unusual camera angles, offbeat dialogue and in certain films, strange behavior and weird creatures. In 1996, Steven Spielberg asked him to direct Men in Black. Starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, the film was a financial smash. In 1998, Jon Peters asked him to direct Wild Wild West. Starring Smith and Kevin Kline, the film was a financial flop.
He directed the comedy Big Trouble, after which he made his most successful film sequel to that point, Men in Black II. He is a contributing editor for Esquire, he co-produced the 2007 film Enchanted for Walt Disney Pictures that starred Amy Adams. In 2008, Sonnenfeld earned an Emmy for directing Pushing Daisies. On April 21, 2010, it was announced that Sonnenfeld intended to return for Men in Black 3. Released in 2012, the third installment received positive reviews and became the highest-grossing film in the series. Sonnenfeld lives in New York City with their daughter Chloe, he is working on new projects, among them include Things a Man Should Never Do Past 30: a single-camera comedy from executive producer/director Sonnenfeld, the Tannenbaum Company and Sony Pictures Television. The project is based on the personal experiences of Esquire writer David Katz and Esquire editor at large A. J. Jacobs; the show is about a man working at a men's magazine, reluctant to embrace adulthood and his friend, an immersion journalist.
Al Higgins is set to serve as showrunner/head writer. He has become attached to a movie adaptation of The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz, about a family of private investigators. Sonnenfeld will direct the movie adaptation of the fantasy novel Gil's All Fright Diner in partnership with DreamWorks Animation, he is developing a sitcom for ABC, Funny in Farsi, based on the book of the same name. In 2012, it was stated that he was appointed to direct Lore, an adaptation based on the comic by T. P. Louise and Ashley Wood of the same name. But, in 2013, Indie director Dave Green has signed on to replace Barry Sonnenfeld as director, Sonnenfeld will take part as executive producer on the project. Barry is in talks with Warner Bros. to make a live action film adaptation of the DC Comics characters, The Metal Men. Sonnenfeld agreed to direct the Beverly Hills Cop pilot for CBS and serve as an executive producer as well. However, Paramount Pictures dropped the idea in favor of a fourth film directed by Brett Ratner.
Barry Sonnenfeld on IMDb Barry Sonnenfeld at the TCM Movie Database Barry Sonnenfeld at AllMovie