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Movies that I want to see, have seen or should not have seen!

Written By: Gary on December 2, 2013 No Comment

White House Down was a fun movie. Jamie Foxx as the president was interesting, most of the time he was pretty serious, but generally more playful than the president is portrayed in the movies (sometimes a little too playful).

white-house-down-poster.pngMaggie Gyllenhaal was excellent, I always see her in movies and think she’s great, but I never realize that it’s her. From Donnie Darko to Secretary to Stranger Than Fiction to a Secret Service agent in this movie is a bit of a wide range of characters.

Channing Tatum was the hero, he was there applying to be a Secret Service agent who was pretty much told he didn’t have the right stuff. He took his daughter on a tour after his interview and that’s when the terrorists attacked and they got separated.

Joey King played the daughter and she was amazing!!! At some point The President happens to walk by and she gets him to answer a question for her video blog (sorry, “YouTube Channel”) and se pretty much floors him with her question. She played the voice of the “china girl” in Oz the Great and Powerful and she was great in that too, I remember specifically looking up later to see who did the voice (but I had no idea at the time).

This movie is exactly what you would imaging. It’s Die Hard but at the White House. Too many bullets and missiles for the hero to survive, but they manage to do it (of course!).

I have to say it was way more fun than I expected. Lots of action, some good one-liners, trying to figure out what’s real and what’s misdirection made for a great movie. Also, it was 2:10 long and it sure didn’t seem it, sometimes even amazing movies start seeming long after a while. I enjoyed it but after yesterday’s weird movie review (Upstream Color) it was certainly a welcome relief!

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Written By: Gary on December 1, 2013 No Comment

I’m not sure why I watched Upstream Color in the first place, I read a good review, some actor I liked in it or exactly what it was. But once I started watching it, I couldn’t stop. There are some spoilers in here, I say “some” because it’s so strange of a movie I’m not sure if it’s actually revealing anything…

There is some new street drug and it’s got something to do with some kind of roly-poly bug that’s killing some plants. Plus, this woman, Kris (played by Amy Seimetz) gets kidnapped and manipulated (controlled) into giving away all her money. This is all in the first few minutes. Most of the story is her trying to get her life back, she remembers (mostly) nothing of what happened to her.

upstream-color-tbu.png

Oh wait, I forgot about the pigs, (that’s really important) there’s some stuff transplanted from her that’s injected into some pigs and the guy who did all this watches the pig. Maybe he still watches her too, but it’s hard to tell if he’s watching her or the pig sometimes. Sometimes what your’e watching is what they’re experiencing in their heads and not what they are seeing with their eyes.

Then Kris meets a nice guy who seems like he’s dealt with some trauma in his life so he’s willing to be with her. I can’t write much more without giving everything away. I think I give away less than the synopsis’s do, but some give away too much.

The visuals are very interesting. Shot in a weird way that I liked. The dialog was reminiscent of (what I think of) as David Mamet dialog, except his is usually more overly dramatic and misleading (in a conversational confusing way), this is just as intense but it’s noir misdirecting, it’s just cRaZy.

It’s insane. Completely weird. But I was compelled to see how this was going to get get all wrapped up to make sense, I will say it gets wrapped up, but I’m not sure about the making sense. This wasn’t weird in a “eXistenZ” or “Brazil” kind of way, those movies made complete sense.

I’m sure I’m missing some of the symbolism or at least missing the recreational pharmaceuticals to help me understand everything.

FYI, there was no one in the cast that I remember from anywhere else, the same for producers/directors. But I know the few places I looked the movie up, it also recommended/suggested Moon and Primer, both weird but very interesting and/or excellent movies in my opinion.

It’s available to rent or buy at Amazon, iTunes, etc…

Written By: Gary on December 8, 2012 2 Comments

Warning, this is from a EXTENDED teaser trailer. May be consider to have spoilers, but I’m not sure if spoilers involves previews (unless you don’t actually watch previews).

Lots of dark crazy destructive action until about one minute in.

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“Is there anything you would not do… for your family??”

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Look how the one hand looks behind plastic. Really really reminds me of the death of Spock in the (wait for it…) second Star Trek movie. Seems a little cheesy to steal this story-line, so we’ll see what they do with it. Who knows, I haven’t read much, maybe Benedict Cumbatch is playing Khan, except it’s a little to early in Kirk’s career (in this timeline) to have Khan as an enemy yet. From the slightly shorter version of the preview, Khan didn’t cross my mind, but for this extra few seconds, he did….


Link to Star Trek Into Darkness teaser incase the embedded version doesn’t show.

That part kind of flipped me out a bit and I don’t know why?

Maybe “Is there anything you would not do… for your family?” will replace “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” quote? Not. A. Chance.

Written By: Gary on December 18, 2010 No Comment

Why don’t we connect with our friends enough? I had a close friend who lived in Europe for three years, when did I finally go visit him? One week before he moved (duh!). Why wait?

I’ve got friends that live close that I haven’t talked to in ages. Why not?!?

Tron Legacy [Blu-ray] Joseph KosinskiWe’ve all got friends close and far that we haven’t seen. Take a minute and make plans. A few months ago I got a message on Facebook.

Hey, what are you doing around Dec 17? 
I'm hoping to be in town. Want to see Tron 2?
I think we saw Tron 1 at the theater.

That’s all it took, a couple of messages back and forth and I saw a friend I haven’t talked to in years and haven’t seen for over a decade who lives a 1,000 miles away. How easy was that?!?

Mark, David and I met up, had drinks and food, saw Tron Legacy at the IMAX in 3D (which was awesome!) and then went and had pizza afterwards. It was a great night. We talked a lot (lots of glory days kinda stuff) and caught up on life.

So take a minute, when you talk to someone over the holidays make a point to make plans with them and see them sometime soon…

Thanks for checking in David!

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Written By: Gary on November 6, 2010 No Comment

What to say about this movie? It’s not for everyone, but it’s probably got a little of something in it for everyone.

  • A strange movie. For sure!
  • A good movie? I’m not sure.
  • Seriously oddly compelling? Definitely!
  • s it a movie? A comic book? A video game? Yes, it’s all three at the same time…

Scott’s got a new girlfriend, but to move along in the relationship, he must defeat her seven ex-boyfriends exes. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) Edgar WrightAlthough I’m not sure why he must defeat them, they’re just after him. She seems aware of it, but overall she doesn’t seem like “she” needs him to complete the task. You need to just accept this point and move along with the plot.

But it’s filled with many interesting scenes; I’m not saying they all make sense, but they’re interesting and have some cool effects.

In some bizarro way it made me think of what we leave in the wake of our old relationships… What perspective do the others have? What perspective do they have years later? Do they think “Gary who?” or “Gary, sigh…”? Hopefully somewhere in the middle and without too much anger or regret…

Written By: Gary on December 17, 2009 One Comment

Here’s the trailer for the new Iron Man 2 movie. I like the beginning and the end; the middle is just so so, maybe if you’re a fan of the villain (Whiplash?) you’ll like the middle…

Looks good to me. I thought the first Iron Man movie was excellent. I’m hoping for the same for this one…

Here’s the direct link to the preview. If you watch it in HD, be sure to pause it when it starts loading and let the whole preview load before starting it, it’ll play better.

Written By: Gary on December 3, 2009 No Comment

Here’s a free download to the soundtrack of Disney’s and Pixar’s Up Up Walt Disney Recordsbe sure to use the code latimesdisney when it asks for it.

This promotion has expired.

The soundtrack was nominated for “Best Original Score” but I’m not sure which award (Oscar, Grammy, Academy?). It was done by Michael Giacchino who did Ratatouille, Lost, The Incredibles, Star Trek, Alias, Fringe and more.

This offer is only supposed to be good until the end of Thursday.

Please let me know in the comments if this works for you (or more importantly, when it stops working)…

Written By: Gary on October 14, 2009 No Comment

I really liked Michael Lewis’s book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. It’s the story of how Billy Beane turned the Oakland A’s Baseball team around by picking players with statistics.

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game Michael Lewis

The story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget, by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players.
Plot synopsis at IMDB.com

It’s a great read if you like baseball or numbers, I’m not a big sports fan, but I’d recommend the book if you’re interested in either. But the numbers part was really interested. I originally read it because my dentist talked me into reading it.

So it turns out that they’ve decided to turn it into a movie. They’ve got Aaron Sorkin (West Wing) to rewrite it into a movie and they’ve got Brad Pitt to play the team’s general manager. And it looks like they’ve got some of the baseball players to play themselves.

Oops, not to get you all interested in it, but it doesn’t come out until 2011. So read the book in the mean time and you’ll enjoy it again in another two years when the movie comes out…

And looking up Michael Lewis at Amazon.com I see that he also wrote Next: The Future Just Happened, I’m pretty sure I’ve got that on my shelf (unread), now I know why I got that book!

Written By: Gary on August 19, 2009 One Comment

I’ve read the book The Time Traveler’s Wife several times (and when I say several I’m thinking four or five times). This was the first novel by Audrey Niffenegger and it took her over five years to release her second novel, Her Fearful Symmetry, which is due out soon (end of September 2009). You can check out a review I wrote a few years back if you don’t know anything about it.

The Time Traveler's Wife SoundtrackIf you don’t know anything about it, know this: it’s not a science fiction movie! I know that it seems counter-intuitive, but the movie is about their relationship and how this “disease” affects it. Henry travels through time and can’t control it, he’s not some tinkering scientist with a lab in the basement. The main thing is that he generally travels to the same places, this is what makes the story work. When he travels to unfamiliar places that’s when there is trouble; did I mention that his clothes don’t travel with him?

I thought the movie was amazing! Obviously, they had to change a few things in the movie. It was so wonderfully done I can clearly remember the one scene I didn’t like and there was one scene that I thought should have been left in. I thought the character’s were aged okay, really more Henry’s character was necessary than Claire’s, since Henry was the traveler you needed to be able to figure out how old he was when he appeared.

The only other thing I’m saying before I offer some spoiler-like things is the only swearing I noticed was the word “shit” and you get to see Eric and Rachel’s butts, so it’s a pretty safe film if your wondering about it for your kids from that perspective (but it is about life and gets intense so it’s not happy-go-lucky for your younger kids). Reviews seem to score about 70-75% but it really seems as if people love it or hate hate it, not many people in-between (35% or 1,700 reviews on IMDB gave it a 10). And don’t watch the preview, it gives away way too much!

It’s a long book with a lot of craziness and depressing parts of life. The movie got rid of most of the bad/extra-depressing parts. It’s still there though: pain, life, suffering, death and it’s a lot more visual than the book. And it’s got lots of sad parts. I actually think it’s more emotional if you read the book since you now what parts are coming.

It really just worked. I thought everything came together very well. I’m not going to rave about it, since I’m sure I’ve oversold it already. There was that one scene in the middle that I didn’t like the way it went, it just didn’t flow right, if you see it remember to come back and leave a comment as to what you thought the worse done scene was.

They added/changed a few scenes too, one scene ended completely differently than I thought it would (but was done excellent). I was really disappointed that they cut a scene, had they not made a fore-shadowy reference to it I might have lived without it. And the way the movie put some parts together it might even have changed things a little bit, but still I missed it. I will say I stayed to the end of the credits just in case they ran that scene, it would have worked really well there, it is a time travel movie after all.

P.S. – Bring kleenex…

Written By: Gary on August 9, 2009 No Comment

So the reason I was at the Detroit Science Center the other day was to see the new IMAX movie The Alps IMAX movie.

The Alps [Blu-ray] Image EntertainmentFirst of all let me tell you why they had the rock climbing wall the other day. It was because it was the science center members preview and the new IMAX movie was about (climbing) the Alps so they had a bunch of “extras” for the evening. They also had swiss chocolate bars for the first 300 people and free snow cones for everyone. Plus, they let us see the movie for free! It was really fun. I will make a point of going to all other members IMAX previews that they promote like this one!

The movie was visually stunning. And it wasn’t all about climbing, it was about the growth and living in the mountains and all sorts of other (educational) stuff. But the plot/premise was this guy and his father was killed climbing one of the mountains and how he needed to climb it (40 years later) to get past it. It was a little crazy in my opinion, but ignoring that, it was really good!

The weird thing is the movie is already out on DVD and Blu-Ray, they even had it for sale at the Detroit Science Center (their web site is down a lot).

Written By: Gary on June 20, 2009 No Comment

If you’re not a Watchmen fan you probably won’t find it very funny.

Here’s the direct link to Dr. Manhattan’s Pants.

Written By: Gary on June 14, 2009 No Comment

So I’ve seen a lot of people confused about the new Star Trek universe. It’s pretty simple, it gets explained to you in the new movie several times.

Warning if you haven’t seen the movie, there are big spoilers below:

st-timeline.jpgIt’s explained with Spock with Kirk and again with Spock and Uhura. When Nero and (old) Spock came back in time, they changed the future. Kirk’s father dies and Vulcan is destroyed, this changes the Star Trek universe (at least the parts we care about). None of the stories that take place on Vulcan will happen again in this universe.

The Star Trek on-ine game (which I’ve never seen) wanted to explain where it fits into everything so they created an image of the new timeline. But they help explain the new timelines here. They actually call the “originl” ST universe Star Trek Prime (and the on-line game takes place after Romulus is destroyed in the universe’s future) and it consists of everything Star Trek before 2008 (original series, movies, next generation, deep space-9, enterprise, voyager). The game chose to take place in the prime established universe, otherwise it doesn’t have much ‘history’ to work with…

So we’ve got a whole new universe. Kirk never found Khan, Spock never died (we’ve got two Spock’s now!) but similar too Pike was the Captain of the Enterprise still ended up in a wheelchair. Everything from 2233 on changes a little and from 2258 on, there is no Vulcan. FYI, the math on that seems off, it makes Kirk 25 when Vulcan is destroyed, I would have guessed he was younger than that.

Bottom line – I thought it was a nice timeline chart…

Written By: Gary on May 17, 2009 One Comment

I gotta tell you I hadn’t even noticed the similarities (other than the weapon).

Here’s the Direct Link to the video.

Found at The Fire Wire.

Written By: Gary on February 17, 2009 One Comment

I get a ridiculous amount of searches for “Neil Gaimen” on my site, but it’s spelled “Neil Gaiman” (sometimes I get some for “Neil Gaimon” too). This post is really just to help point people to the proper postings. The Graveyard Book Neil Gaiman

If you’re looking for stuff about Neil you can search this site for Neil Gaiman or posts tagged with Neil Gaiman.

Speaking of Neil Gaiman, I’m planning to see Coraline in 3D today!

Neil Gaiman has written many incredible books and graphic novel for children and adults: (these are all Amazon links)”
“Coraline”.
“The Graveyard Book”.
“The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes”.
“American Gods”.
“Stardust”.
“The Wolves in the Walls”.
“Murder Mysteries”.
“The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish”.

And he blogs too!

Written By: Gary on January 16, 2009 One Comment

It’s totally silly, but I thought it was cute (and it’s making the rounds).


Found at Karen’s and eclecticism (within seconds of seeing it at the other place). Here’s the direct link.

It’s not as cute as my previously mentioned “Star Was as told by a 3 year old“, but how could it be?

Written By: Gary on January 13, 2009 No Comment

This is one of the shorts that I saw at the Montezuma International Film Festival. A very cool (stop animation) wall painted animation done on the walls of buildings on the streets of Buenos Aires.


Direct link to Muto at Vimeo. If you like it you can download the full Muto movie as a 768×576 avi file.

More info at Blu’s blog.

Written By: Gary on September 22, 2008 2 Comments

Of all the “these aren’t the ‘droids you’re looking for” jokes / spoofs / parodies I think this is the simplest and the funniest one I’ve ever seen. I got this off PhotoBucket after spotting it on someone’s MySpace page.

Stormtrooper

I love this!!!!

If you don’t understand it, it’s a popular reference from the first (4th) Star Wars movie…

Written By: Gary on September 2, 2008 One Comment

I hadn’t really thought much about it but I see they’ve been releasing TV shows on DVD Blu-Ray, that’ll be nice when the prices go down. I think “they” need to announce when they plan to discontinue regular DVDs. I think they sooner they do this it’ll drive down the cost of Blu-Ray discs and Blu-Ray players and we can all be happier. With the TV format change next year, it seems like this couldn’t be done in the next few years, as long as someone would make an announcement. There has got to be some people holding back because of  this!

Speaking of Blu-Ray, Iron Man might be the one to get me to finally take the leap. The effects were so excellent, it’d be a great first one to watch on (my theoretical) new player.

I have purchased a few Blu-Ray DVDs when they’ve been way on sale but still no player for me…

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Written By: Gary on August 7, 2008 No Comment

As I’ve said before, I’m not the biggest Harry Potter fan at all. But I just noticed on my AppleTV the new HD movie preview for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” so I watched it.

and I was very surprised when it gave me chills…

You can watch the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince preview, but you’ll have to wait until November 21st for the rest. Be sure to pick the HD version if you have the processing power.

Written By: Gary on July 31, 2008 No Comment

As I mentioned last week I was going to watch Stealing Beauty with Liv Tyler. I’m pretty sure that was the first thing I ever saw her in and she was so enchanting in it. She’s plays this sweet 19 year-old name Lucy (and Liv was 19 at the time) who goes to visit close family friends in an isolated mini-artians community in Italy. Most everyone there is older and they’re all interested in every little thing about her.

Jeremy Irons plays another friend of the community who is ill and just staying there to live out his last days. Lucy and Alex get to be close friends and being with her just adds new energy to his life. It’s almost as if these older characters are psychic vampires and are just absorbing whatever than can from her (it’s a strange analogy but I thought it more than once), it’s kind of funny in their limited gossipy community that she just brings a new energy to their little community.

I was disappointed in the quality of the DVD, I really expected more from the wonderful scenery in the movie. It was something that I originally at the “arts theatre” and it had some great scenery and it just didn’t transfer very well.

It’s a strange movie with some odd little sub-plots that I had forgotten about (it was 16 years ago) but like I said it was at the arts theatre and I don’t remember it getting released in the major markets (at least in Michigan).

Written By: Gary on July 20, 2008 3 Comments

So I’ve gotten a few searches here lately for “favorite movie characters” so I went and checked out the old post. Now I think it’s time to watch a few f those old movies again:

  • Stealing Beauty with Liv Tyler
  • Leon The Professional with Natalie Portman + Jean Reno.

    Yes, I realize they are completely different types of movies. But those happen to be a few from that list that I own…

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    Written By: Gary on July 18, 2008 One Comment

    So I watched the 1951 version of The Day The Earth Stood Still last night and as I said last week it is still an amazing science fiction movie. I made Kelly sit through it so I was hoping it was as good as I remembered, it was (and she seemed to think so too).

    The line this movie is the most famous for is

    “Klaatu barada nikto”

    It’s certainly not as mainstream as “these aren’t the droids you’re looking for”, but…

    This was one of the first movie DVDs I ever purchased (maybe the first), it hit a good price on-line so I picked it up (I never bought movies for VHS but that’s about the time when I started for DVDs). I never watched it until now. THe sound was THX remastered and was very clear but the voices just weren’t as loud as the sound effects so if you turned it up to hear the next time the sound effects came on it was blaring. The good part was there wasn’t a lot where people were talking and there were effects.

    One of my favorite quotes from the movie was

    “I am fearful when I see people substituting fear for reason.”

    It was definitely a thinking sci-fi movie…

    Instant gratification: You can rent it from Amazon for your TiVo or from iTunes (but it’s only $7.50 to buy it from Amazon).

    Written By: Gary on July 7, 2008 One Comment

    So the original The Day The Earth Stood Still is one of the quintessential science fiction movies ever made. I can barely remember any old SciFi Black & White movies that I’ve seen (that didn’t have Godzilla in them) but this one has always stuck in my head. Very little action but an excellent story. I never knew it was such a classic, I just thought it was a great movie that I liked, but I’ve seen so many references to “Klaatu barada nikto” throughout my life I realized* I wasn’t the only one who thought so (but as a by-product I also realized I was a nerd).

    They’ve decided to remake remake The Day The Earth Stood Still with Keanu Reeves. The trailer looks interesting but I’m not sure if it’ll live up to the original. While I’m a fan of Keanu Reeves, I won’t say he’s the most excellent actor out there but his movies are either great or lame (generally not in the middle). And even though there was only a quick glimpse of Gort, the preview made me feel like it will not be lame. So I’m very hopeful.

    Written By: Gary on July 4, 2008 2 Comments

    So I just saw Hancock and I really enjoyed it. A lot of laugh out loud moments. An excellent part for Will Smith. If you think this is yor type of movie than I bet you’ll enjoy it.

    But the movie was different than I expected, I’m not sure if “twist” is the right word but it was something completely not expected. So go see it quickly, before you hear about it or before they change the TV trailers to reveal it.

    The more interesting stuff is in the twist, so that’s all I’ve got to say…

    Written By: Gary on June 2, 2008 3 Comments

    The-Wolf-Man-Img 8520 2So while we were walking around there were a lot of film trucks and equipment, so I told Mom if she thought she saw anyone famous that it might be so snap a picture. The next corner we went around was all blocked off and looked like it was from the 1,800s.

    Turns out they were shooting The Wolf Man starring Anthony Hopkins and Benicio Del Toro; comes out April 2009. We never saw any of the big stars but it was all people in carriages and police carts all in old dress. It was very cool.

    If you look this photo you can see the rain machine up high on the crane. The worksers told us it was crazy when it was running and you don’t want to be anywhere near it.

    Written By: Gary on May 1, 2008 No Comment

    I saw this on SlickDeals.net, get a free Star Wars book “Legacy of the Force: Betrayal”) PDF, MP3, Kindle or Sony eBook through Tuesday, May 13, 2008. (If that link doesn’t work try this link).

    It looks like it’s part 1 of a “Legacy of the Force” series that they’re trying to promote, book 9 comes out on the 13th. The series is supposed to cover a “new era in the Star Wars universe and features the beloved characters from the original trilogy, answering the questions of what happened to Han, Luke and Leia after the conclusion of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi”.

    Written By: Gary on April 29, 2008 One Comment

    Just got back from a preview of Iron Man, it was excellent. It was a long movie but it did not feel like it at all, had to be close to two hours. Wonderful visual effects!! I couldn’t tell where Tony Stark ended and the CGI began. I was highly entertained and not disappointed at all! I had really high hopes and saw a million different previews and I thought it might spoil it, but that wasn’t the case at all.

    If you’ve got kids who want to see it: it’s got lots of violence but less than the average violent show (or video game) and the sexual references/scenes are way less than the average soap opera (which is probably too much).

    Jon Favreau (who you might remember as the Ultimate Fighting Champion wannabe from Friends) was the director/producer and also played Happy Hogan. The movie adaption book was written by Peter David who always writes good stuff (IMHO) so I’ll be checking that out. And of course, a humorous scene with Stan Lee….

    Where did our preview tickets come from? We have no idea, they showed up in a Mark’s mailbox with no indication of how the were won or distributed. We asked a few people in the theatre where they got their’s but it turned out they all “knew someone” or got them from “an aunt/grandmother” and didn’t know the original source.

    Possible Minor Spoiler below:I swear in one early scene (at the end of one of the scenes that take place in a club) I heard a few bars from the original Iron Man TV theme song. Did anyone else, or was this my imagination?

    Later: I’m certain it was the old theme. It’s the casino scene (right after the awards ceremony) as they walk towards the car, it’s gets louder and more pronounced (horns?) and then abruptly gets cut off. The last few bars are the clearest…

    Even Later: If you’re a comic fan, stay after the credits (I didn’t) I hear there’s an additional scene with a cameo you want want to miss..

    Written By: Gary on February 24, 2008 2 Comments

    If this isn’t the cutest review of episode 4 that you’ve ever seen…

    I’m sure a few parts were re-shot, but it’s adorable…

    Here’s another cute kid video

    Written By: Gary on February 12, 2008 No Comment

    So I just downloaded the AppleTV update called Take 2 (or is it Take2?). I wasn’t thrilled with the changes that I saw in the preview because I thought the interface was pretty great. But I’ll agree that some changes for the new interface was necessary.

    Since you now can shop the whole iTunes store via the AppleTV something to surf around a larger library was necessary. They new sections fill up the cover art at a more than acceptable speed (my cable modem is 6000 down and 384 up) and it flowed pretty nicely. But a lot of the old interface is still around for the sub menus and it they really clash with each other. But I like the shopping on-line option, I’ll try it later just so I can see how well it works. I would have purchased last night’s Kyle XY episode but it wasn’t ready for download yet for some reason…

    The amount of movies and music and TV is just a little overwhelming. There’s just so many options and you can scroll in so many directions! And all the album art just looks fantastic in large high quality images!!! They need a all you can watch or listen to with the music videos, pay a flat rate and go cRaZy for a few hours.

    The podcasts are interesting, You can browse very nicely and you can view/stream but if the site is slow, you’re gonna wait a while for that hi-def video. You can select download and it’ll be there later for you. It’s strange that you can favorite a podcast, not to be confused with subscribing, but you can’t actually subscribe; this would be inconvenient if you don’t actually have a computer.

    The new Flickr photo viewing works great, but I wish there was a way to view the descriptions or titles of the photos. And I wish there was a way to look at thumbnails; for example a person has 500 photos in a folder and there isn’t a way to jump around it just goes to slideshow mode. This never bothered me with my photos, but when looking at someone else’s it jumped right out at me….

    Overall, it’s a great update in that it adds some great functionality. The new interface will grow on me (it’s not like I wouldn’t recommend it to someone). I just feel it’s missing some normal Apple consistency in the Human Interface Guidelines area…

    I’m still missing a way to build a video playlist (or a video shuffle). I’ve got hours of video podcasts and I don’t have a way to string them together as my own private TV channel. I hadn’t heard about it or this release but it just seems like a natural outgrowth of the music playlist and/or shuffle.

    The update took a while and had to reboot more than a few times installing all the features but seems like it worked just fine. I expect they’ll be a update soon to fix a few minor things, like the TV Genre of “Cops and Robberts”.

    Written By: Gary on February 3, 2008 One Comment

    This is great, it looks like Apple has semi-extended movie rental time limits. I say “semi” because once the 24 hour time limit passes you cannot go back to the beginning of the rental, but you can resume where you left off.

    This makes me very happy because I’ve thought the 24 hour was just too short. My thought from a few weeks ago was “Maybe they can do something to cripple it, maybe after 24 hours any viewed portion is not viewable any more”. It seems (at least on an iPod) that you can’t leave and do something else and still have it resume when you come back (“delete” or “resume” are your choices) your iPod is “stuck” on that screen. Maybe they’ll do it a little different on AppleTV or iTunes…?

    I think the new AppleTV software was supposed to roll out last week so it should be appearing soon.

    Written By: Gary on January 26, 2008 One Comment

    My Apple TV has been one of my favorite technology purchases and I never expected that I’d like it that much. Actually, I’d been interested in it but it took a visit to Best Buy, after happy hour, for me to finally commit to the 40 GB version. I took it back a few days later but only because I knew I needed the 160 GB version, bigger is better after all…

    Apple TV is pretty much an ‘iPod for your television’ and iPods are pretty much the standard to beat for portable media players (at least the standard for handheld audio players) so these should be selling much better. I’ve always been impressed with my Apple TV and had been surprised they hadn’t really caught on more than they have. The Apple TV interface is excellent, it’s as good as the TiVo (except it doesn’t record), you can buy videos (and music) on your computer to load it up, but that is a little inconvenient for some people. You can convert videos for it, but that’s not for the average user. I knew it was close to what people want but it wasn’t exactly there yet.

    A few weeks ago at MacWorld they announced movie rentals for the Apple TV. $2.99 for old movies, $3.99 for new ones and $1 more for HD quality. Plus, you can buy music (and music videos) on-line and view/subscribe to podcasts (for free). They changed the interface, I personally think it’s a little more complicated, but since you need to be able to browse an infinite number of music and movies I can understand it (and maybe I’ll like it too). This new interface is free to original Apple TV owners and should show up in a few weeks (I keep checking).

    I heard all this when they announced it and I’ve been mulling it around in my head, but I finally just watched that part of the keynote from MacWorld (on my Apple TV, of course) and now I really think this is getting even closer to being the media box for your TV.

  • If I can start watching a movie in about 30 seconds, why am I going to rent something from the store? (there is a 30 day wait after a DVD release)
  • Why am I going to subscribe to Netflix? (all the movie extras and plus for TV shows you I get multiple episodes on one DVD)
  • If I can purchase a song the instant I need it, why am I going to run out and buy the album? (at least I think I can purchase a song, I saw Steve purchase a music video).One of the biggest shortcomings of this (and all digital video rental systems out there) is that you only have 24 hours from start to finish. It’s just not long enough, if I start it at 8 tonight, I need the ability to finish it tomorrow at 8 or 9 in the evening. Because of that, I think 30 hours is the minimum I need to seriously consider this as a way to watch movies (at least for me). As you increase the time to 36, 48 or even 72 hours it makes this a much better option, especially for the impulse buy. I know “they” don’t want bunches of other people to borrow it and view it so they longer the time, the higher the chance of this. Maybe they can do something to cripple it, maybe after 24 hours any viewed portion is not viewable any more, that’s slightly complicated but it makes it a little more fair and might make the movie companies a little happier, IMHO…

    But TiVo has had these features for a while now: music and photo streaming from your computer for years now, podcasts (very limited menu selection) for a few years too and recently they’ve added movie / TV rentals from Amazon Unbox (but you wait hours for it to download). I wonder if there are more TiVos than Apple TVs out there??

    I’m confused about a few things:

  • Can you buy a movie from the Apple TV interface?
  • Can you push HD movie rentals down to your computer or iPod? (I don’t think they said that specifically for HD).

    Things I’m not confused about, but I’m wondering:

  • How long until I can access media from my Time Capsule?
  • How long until I can rent TV shows?
  • How long until I subscribe to TV shows at a reasonable rate?
  • How long until I can dump my cable package?
  • How long until the cable internet and DSL providers complain about the bandwidth that is being used up? FYI, where the Apple TV requirements list a “broadband connection” it also says “(fees may apply)”.
  • Is the hardware in the new Apple TV exactly the same? I know the software is going to be the same, but I don’t think they said it was exactly the same either.
  • How long until the 30 day wait before renting (after new releases) is removed and I can rent as soon as it’s out? (they don’t have a delay before music purchases).

    Complaints about the Apple TV:

  • I need a video playlist option. I want to have a way to link these video podcasts and music videos into my own personal non-stop “channel”.
  • I need a way to find this tiny remote when I misplace it. It’s so small and light.
  • It needs a regular video-out and S-video out for people who don’t yet have TVs with component video or HDMI.
  • They still don’t have a use for the included USB port.
  • I think I’m gonna need a bigger hard drive!

    Also, they announced a price drop of $70 for the Apple TV.

  • Written By: Gary on January 21, 2008 One Comment

    So I’ve mentioned this movie a few times before, mostly back in the summer of 2007 when I saw the unnamed 1-18-08 preview. I think I was pretty accurate in my original description when I originally referred to it as “Godzilla meets the Blair Witch Project“, that’s exactly what it was (except the creature wasn’t Godzilla). Lots of action, really awesome special effects. The jiggly camera action bothered some people, I was okay with it but I certainly understand why it’d be annoying…

    Cloverfield Matt ReevesThe plot needed a faster start at the beginning, they spent forever setting everything up. I thought the slow start was really odd since I thought the preview did a great job of setting everything up in about 30 seconds (rob,. party, going away, friends, explosion, monster, run) so I’m not sure why it took so long to set up in the film. I’ve got comments on the end too, but don’t worry I wont talk about those. I really enjoyed it, it’s pretty much what I expected (but with better effects) so I was happy.

    What I didn’t like was a few technical details: I thought at the beginning they specifically mentioned the video was specifically found on an SD chip, but throughout the movie it’s a “tape” and treated that way too, so I’m not sure why they bothered to set that up. And they didn’t seem to bother worrying about the camera battery as a plot problem, which I would have been okay with, except they did worry about they cell phone battery as a plot problem (and they way they handled it could have let them fix it as a camera problem too).Watch for this: At the beginning of the end credits, it looks like it’s overlaid on some (government?) documents / graphics with a 1969 date, I’m not sure what the significance of this was unless I really wasn’t paying attention to something significant during the movie (my one bathroom break wasn’t that long).

    They also showed a teaser of the new J. J. Abrams Star Trek movie, but it just showed the 1701 being built in the shipyards, not much else…

    Written By: Gary on October 4, 2007 No Comment

    I love movie trailers, I could watch them all day at the theatre, at the QuickTime site or on AppleTV. And I like TV previews for shows coming next season.

    But I can’t stand TV previews for the next week. I’ll generally leave the room if other people are watching or skip over them. Occasionally I’ll catch them (and occasional they’ll excite me) but usually I’ll pass. I think it’s that they give away too much of the plot of the show and depending on the show, I don’t feel like I need to watch it (I guess). I just watched the show, if that’s not enough to get me to come back next week the preview probably won’t.

    Speaking of trailers, have you seen:

  • Iron Man

  • The Nines (which had a very limited release, not in MI yet)
  • Beowulf
  • Feast of Love (which I didn’t realize opened last week)
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