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Archive for the 'movies' Category

Hawk’s Shirt of the Day 2014-03-10

Hancock: Not Your Average Superhero.

Hancock: Not Your Average Superhero.

Yup, I got one.  This shirt.  I got it because I attended the premier at the Cinerama Dome in glamorous Hollywierd.  And they even gave it to me for free!

I enjoyed the movie, never saw the twist coming, liked the character’s arc (how he raised his own responsibility level), and hope they make another one.

Video Game High School Season 3 (the FINAL SEASON!) (maybe)

I’m a backer, and have been ever since the first season.  Actually, I missed out on backing the first season, but I backed the second and, most recently, the third!  Check it out here:

http://igg.me/at/vghs

Point thy browser to the above link and pledge.

So much fun!  Can’t waiittt!!!

http://www.rocketjump.com/category/vghs

vghs_featured_600x256

Hawk’s Shirt of the Day 2013-09-12

The only winning move is not to play

The only winning move is not to play

This is a Thinkgeek shirt, based on the classic movie War Games.  By the way, that movie is still good.  Unfortunately, the shirt is no longer available.

Multiuniversal

I thought this was funny:

Psyko Carbon vs. Zalman 5.1 surround-sound headphones

Psyko Carbon & Zalman side by sideShort review: Zalman wins.

Long review: Welll…

Ever since I saw this video, I’ve been wanting a pair of these Psyko 5.1 surround-sound headphones. The video explains the tech of how they worked and it looked like a good design. However, there are two major drawbacks (and one minor drawback) with the Psyko system.

Front of Psyko ampPsyko major problem #1: The sound is not as good. Why? My theory is because the sound originates in drivers on top of the headset, and then this sound needs to travel down through sound tubes, or channels, to your ears. I’m thinking that this is causing the mid-range to be reduced, leaving the headphones sounding “flat-ish” and “tinny”. The Zalmans, on the other hand, sound rich and full.

Back of the Psyko ampPsyko major problem #2: The amp generates a low “buzzing” sound, or line-noise, when the volume is cranked all the way up. Why do I need the volume cranked all the way up? Because the volume in Skyrim is low and there is no way to crank it any higher. I’ve searched. There is a way to do it in other operating systems, but not mine. Besides, in an amp, I do NOT want it generating line-noise at any volume level. The Zalman’s don’t need an amp.

Psyko minor problem #1: The headrest hurts the top of my head after about a half hour. No good for gaming, and no good for movies. If they had placed a wide band across the headrest, it would probably have been fine. But instead, they’ve got five narrow pads under each speaker driver set, and this puts too much pressure into too small of an area–at least for me. I can wear the Zalman’s all day and half the night (and have, playing Skyrim).

There is a feature of the Psyko Carbons where you can lever open the side of the earpiece so that you can hear what’s going on outside the headset. I think this is a waste. When I’ve got a headset on, I don’t want to hear anything else in my environment. On the contrary, I want my environment isolated. This may be contributing to the “tinny”, non-rich sound.

Good things about the Psyko system:

Psyko goodness #1: The spatial-positioning is excellent. Things which are in the rear channels really sound like they’re behind you. Front and center are also excellent. This is the whole point of a “surround-sound” system, and the Psyko system delivers.

Psyko goodness #2: The amp has a light for each channel. This is cool when listining to 5.1 surround-sound, and also useful for debuggin.

Creative Sound Blaster X-FiAs part of my quest for awesome 5.1 surround-sound, I picked up this cute little Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi. For some reason, the surround-sound card built-in to my motherboard lost it’s right channel, so now I just use the X-Fi and it works very well. The software that comes with it is excellent.

Links:

Zalman ZM-RS6FM Virtual 5.1-channel stereo headphones with microphone at Amazon.com. This is my affiliate link.

Youtube video explaining how the Psyko system works.

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi at Creative’s online store.

iPic Gold Class Theaters in Pasadena

iPic Gold Class Theaters in Pasadena are amazing, rich, posh, and fun. Also very expensive, but if you’ve got the coin, and if it’s for a special occasion, it’s well worth it.

What was the special occasion? My roomie’s birthday. He loved it!

It’s underground. Enter from Miller Alley, get your tix and go down two escalators. Once underground, you show them your ticket and either take a seat in the Salt lounge or go right in to your theater. You can order up a drink, or go for a full meal. Yup, Salt is a full restaurant and bar. The food is excellent! My roomie reported that the drink he got was outstanding.

We got there early so we ate in the lounge while we waited for our theater to empty out. Because my roomie got a drink I became the designated driver. I’m always the designated driver.

These theaters are small, only holding about 40 people. The seats are huge cushy recliners (look for the buttons on the inside-side of the chair) with huge armrests, blanks, pillows, and a storage compartment under one armrest. All seats are paired up, and there is a small cocktail table between and in front, with a green-lit button which changes to red when you push it to get their attention.

Inside the theaters you can order food or drinks or desert or whatever and they bring it to you. The service is excellent!

http://www.ipictheaters.com/

I did not take any pictures when inside. Why? 1) It’s pretty dark. I would have had to bring my regular camera with the flash built-in and I didn’t. 2) All pictures on the website are accurate. Check it out.

Jumper

Jumper movie posterI LOVE this movie!

Teleportation is so cool. I love the idea of traveling anywhere, instantly, just with a decision.

If some people have that kind of power, then of course there would exist a group who only wants to destroy them. And of course they would have advanced technology with unlimited funding.

I loved the fast-paced teleporting fight sequences. I loved the love story. I even loved the ending!

I’ve already got this one on Blu-Ray. Highly recommended.

Sucker Punch: disappointed

I was so looking forward to this movie.  Ever since I saw the preview months ago, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the movie called “Sucker Punch”.  I showed the preview to my friends and family.  I told everyone how awesome it looked.

Finally, the big day arrives.  I get to the theater early, get tickets, get good seats, sit through the cool previews… then it begins.  Yayyy! I think to myself, I finally get to watch the most anticipated movie of the year!

Without going in to the details and spoiling the movie, here’s the summary: the fight scenes are cool, the rest sucks. Especially the ending. The ending of Sucker Punch is the worst ending I have ever seen, of any movie.

I’m so disappointed. I will not be buying this one when it comes out on BluRay.

Mars Needs Moms

Mars Needs MomsI just have to take a quick moment here (even though I really need to get to bed) and say that this movie, Mars Needs Moms, is outstanding!!!

Whatever you need to do, go and see this movie! It’s worth it!

I saw it in standard 2D, and it was wonderful. But I’m going to go and see it again in Digital 3D. Oh yeah, it’s that good. Personally, I don’t understand why it’s not doing so well in the theaters. Perhaps because it’s so costly for a family to go and see it?

I don’t know. But I do know it’s a wonderful movie, it’s awesome, it’s an excellent adventure, and I highly recommend it. Go and see it!

The Green Hornet (2011)

I saw Green Hornet and thought they did a pretty good job on it. Very entertaining. Sometimes Seth Rogen is a bit annoying (or more than a bit), but I really enjoyed the overall storyline and how they pulled it off. Jay Chou kicks ass! In all ways. I like what they did with Cameron Diaz’s character and how she ties in to the team.

The bad guy Chudnofsky (played by Christoph Waltz) was really, really funny. Very entertaining.

The effects and stunts were fantastic. They were all really well done.

Directed by Michel Gondry. Written by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and George W. Trendle.

If they decide to make another one, I’ll go and see it. And I’ll buy this one when it comes out on Blu-Ray.

DRM sucks in so many ways

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. It’s supposed to prevent copies of movies from hitting the net. It does not do this, but it does make life more difficult for those who pay for movies.

DRM really, really sucks!I just got a new Blu-Ray disc in the mail from Amazon. I pop it in to my Blu-Ray player in my computer. I bring up Cyberlink Power DVD (Blu-Ray Edition). I hit the play button. I get this error:

DVD Error
Error Code: 8876086A
Internal error.

DRM really, really sucks!In this window, I have two options: [Close] or [Detailed]. I click the [Detailed] button. The window expands and includes this text:

The error code is undefined.

Contact http://support.gocyberlink.com. Please tell us how this internal error occurred in a detailed manner.

Upon visiting the site above and searching for this error, I come across a page which tells me that I need to upgrade my video drivers. Why? The page does not say.

I’m now trying to update my video drivers. Now I’m past the point where I had time to watch this movie (the one I paid for).

Here’s my point: Without DRM, none of this would be necessary. Has DRM prevented movies from hitting the net? Answer: No. Has DRM prevented me from watching the movie I paid for? Answer: Yes.

I think I’ll download the .torrent file for this movie so that I can watch the movie I paid for.

Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty GaloreWhat a hilarious film! I was laughing my ass off throughout most of it. Very, very creative stuff. I’m going to get it on Blu-Ray and watch it again.

The things that they can do to animate animals, the computer-generated stuff… it’s getting very difficult to tell which is which. These are some of the best animal simulations I’ve ever seen.

Written by Ron J. Friedman, Steve Bencich, John Requa, and Glenn Ficarra. Directed by Brad Peyton.

Starring Nick Nolte as Butch, James Marsden as Diggs, Christina Applegate as Catherine, Bette Midler as Kitty Galore, Roger Moore as Tab Lazenby, Neil Patrick Harris as Lou, Michael Clarke Duncan as Sam, and Chris O’Donnell as Shane.

Lots of fun. Highly recommended.

Skyline

This movie seemed to end too soon. Just when it was starting to get good, it ended. If there is a sequel, I’ll wait and rent it.

AMC Burbank 16 has a special Sat morn: $6 movies for the first showing.  This movie was worth that price.

Not recommended, though it is entertaining. I’m not going to buy it.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Scott Pilgrim vs. The WorldTruly, an epic of epic epicness!

Scott Pilgrim must defeat his new girlfriend’s seven evil exes to win her over. That line alone would have made me go see the movie. Then I saw the preview and I was hooked. There was no way that I was going to miss that.

This movie has broken through all bounds and actually created a video game reality where you can fight supervillains for the girl and you won’t take any damage, your opponents won’t take much damage, but when you beat them up enough they turn in to quarters and your friends will stand there and cheer you on. And it’s so cool that they made this universe so cool! I’ll bet that was a tough sell. But WOW, they really pulled it off!

Visuals: outstanding! Comedy: outstanding! Story: outstanding! Acting: outstanding! Everything was outstanding!!!

I’ll definitely be getting this one when it’s available on Blu-Ray! I want to watch it over and over again. This is one of the adventures I’d have if I could. It looks like sooo much fun.

Near the end: Yes, I want to continue!!!

Written by Michael Bacall and Edgar Wright, and directed by Edgar Wright
Starring Michael Cera as Scott (Pilgrim), Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona (the girl), Ellen Wong as Knives, Anna Kendrick as Stacey Pilgrim, Mark Webber as Stephen Stills, Alison Pill as Kim, Kieran Culkin as Wallace, and many other interesting people and characters.

The most outstanding preview ever

Sucker Punch previewThis is, hands down, the most outstanding preview I’ve ever seen:

Sucker Punch:
http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi107256089/

It’s got it all! Action, adventure, ass-kicking, sword fighting, machine guns, monsters, sci-fi, robots, flying ships, flame throwers, dragons, missiles, guns, nazis, martial arts, hot chicks… oh my!

I can’t wait to see this movie!!!

The Incredibles

The IncrediblesThis is, hands down, one of the greatest movies ever created. I loved it when I first saw it at the El Capitan in Hollywood, and I’ve loved it every time I’ve seen it since. I’ve watched it over and over again on DVD (sometimes by myself, sometimes with friends and family) and I’ll watch it again when I buy it again on Blu-Ray.

The main story here is about a guy who loves being a superhero. He really just wants to help. But something bad happens and superheros are told that, basically, they are not wanted. After that, things seem to go downhill for our hero. He doesn’t seem to see that he’s got an awesome family and they’re right there in front of him.

This movie is full of comedy, action, adventure, explosions, awesome lighting effects, amazing flying craft, cool doors, all kinds of buttons, fantastic music, and a slew of superheros and fantastic characters!

Written & directed by Brad Bird. Brad Bird is one of those guys I wish I could sometimes be. He’s got one of the coolest jobs around: creative movie making. Ever sit through the credits of the TV show The Simpsons? You’ll see Brad Bird’s name. Brad is the guy behind The Iron Giant, also an excellent movie.

Starring Craig T. Nelson as Bob Parr / Mr. Incredible, Holly Hunter as Helen Parr / Elastigirl, Samuel L. Jackson as Lucius Best / Frozone, Jason Lee as Buddy Pine / Syndrome, Spencer Fox as Dashiell ‘Dash’ Parr, Sarah Vowell as Violet Parr, plus a bunch of others such as Wallace Shawn as Gilbert Huph (who is always a good laugh).

Highly recommended! (in case you couldn’t tell 🙂

Moon

MoonThis was a much better movie than I thought it would be. I now wish I had seen it in the theater. It’s a story about a guy doing a long haul on the moon (three years). He’s the only crew member of a base which harvests H3, seals it into canisters, and fires it back to Earth to be used as energy. One day, he goes outside to investigate an accident and finds… himself.

Sam Rockwell does a fantastic job playing several of a very few characters. Kevin Spacey does a fantastic job playing the base computer known as GERTY, who helps run the base and take care of Sam.

The film may have been low on the budget, but I couldn’t tell at all. The effects were great, the sets were realistic, the moonscapes were beautiful… all good.

Written by Duncan Jones (original story) and Nathan Parker (screenplay). Directed by Duncan Jones.

There are a few other characters such as his wife played by Dominique McElligott, and Eve played by Kaya Scodelario, but mostly it’s just Sam.

I also loved the ending. The ending of any movie is important to me. Often, I can sit through a pretty good movie only to be disappointed by the ending, then come up with a better one. I loved the ending of this movie!

Highly recommended.

G-Force

G-ForceThis is a very fun movie! Not to be confused with anything near reality. But I think that’s the point. It’s fun, it has nothing to do with reality, and the visuals are outstanding. I’ll never look at fireworks the same way again. I’ll never look at a coffee maker the same way again, either.

Written by The Wibberleys and Hoyt Yeatman & David P.I. James. Directed by Hoyt Yeatman.

Starring Bill Nighy as Saber, Sam Rockwell as Darwin, Will Arnett as Kip, Jon Favreau as Hurley, Penélope Cruz as Juarez, Tracy Morgan as Blaster, Nicolas Cage as Speckles, Zack Galifianakis as Ben, and Steve Buscemi as Bucky.

Go for it; it’s lots of fun for the whole family.

Finding Neverland

Finding NeverlandJohnny Depp does a good job with this one. Overall, I thought it was a pretty good movie. Some parts had me crying with joy. Some parts had me crying because it was just sad. It’s a little bit bittersweet. So I won’t be buying it, and I can only recommend it as a rental. But all the production values are excellent, the acting is excellent, and the film does a very good job showing what might have been going through Barrie’s imagination. That stuff was excellent.

Written by Allan Knee (the play) and David Magee (the screenplay), directed by Marc Forster.

Starring Johnny Depp as Barrie, Kate Winslet as Sylvia Davies, Radha Mitchell as Mary Barrie, Dustin Hoffman as Charles Frohman, Freddie Highmore as Peter, Joe Prospero as Jack, Nick Roud as George, and Luke Spill as Michael.

Centurion

CenturionI thought this was an okay movie, but not great. I’m not going to buy it as I don’t want to see it again.

The story of this one soldier and what happened to him may not be so uncommon. I thought the ending was actually pretty good… relating to one soldier. The ending of other soldiers… not so good.

The fight scenes were pretty good, but the blood was a bit much. The choreography was okay. Acting and direction was all good with an excellent cast.

Written & directed by Neil Marshall.

Starring Michael Fassbender as Centurion Quintus Dias, Andreas Wisniewski as Commander Gratus, Dave Legeno as Vortix, Axelle Carolyn as Aeron, Dominic West as General Titus Flavius Virilus, Olga Kurylenko and Etain and Imogen Poots as Arianne.

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