Category Archives: Movies-Entertainment

The movie Bolt and Even Almighty

The family and I were watching the movie “Evan Almighty” tonight and noticed that the chief of staff in for “Evan Baxter” could have been a real life version of “The Agent” in the movie  “Bolt“.  This dude looks the same and talks the same and everything, it was very obvious right off, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the “Bolt” character was modeled after the real actor in the movie “Evan Almighty”.  The actor who did the voice of “The Agent” in “Bolt” is named “Greg Germann“.  The actor who played in “Evan Almighty” is named “John Michael Higgins“.  Compare them side by side, and the resemblances are amazing!

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Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld

This is a funny new commercial with Bill Gates and Jerry, pretty funny stuff, and apparently there are more funny commercials to come.

OTA DTS HDTV

Don’t you just love article titles loaded with acronyms and abbreviations…  Anyway, I am writing this post to talk about my upcomign experimentation with “Over the Air” “Digital Terrestrial Television” in “High Definition Television”.  When I bought my new Samsung 50A450 plasma TV with an integrated HD tuner, I was amazed to find out that I got great reception to a bunch of local network broadcast channels.  Then recently when the Beijing Olympics started and my wifes wanted to watch some of the events that were on very late at night, I realized how nice it would be to have a PVR (personal video recorder), so that we could record live TV and watch it later.

So the fun begins and I started researching options and trying to find a good HD TV Tuner card for my PC.  I ended up going with a DVICO FusionHDTV7 RT Gold PCI card.  I went with this card based on some hard to find reviews I stumbled across.  This kit comes with an antenna, but I doubt it will be good enough, so I also purchased a Phillips MANT510 amplified indoor antenna to provide better reception and quality.  I actually got two, one to replace the older Phillips antenna I already had which is connected to my plasma TV and another to connect to the HD Tuner card in my PC. 

I plan to evaluate this setup for a while and see how it goes.  If I find that reception is not good or have any problems with either the TV or PC setup, I will probably order the new ClearStream 2 DB8 outdoor antenna or one of the new model Channel Master antennas.  

Ultimately, we want to be able to watch live TV in HD, use the PC to record shows OTA live in HD and then play them back later.  This will be super easy once the new Popcorn Hour A-110 arrives in a few weeks.  I can have the PVR software record all shows and store them in shared folder which I can then stream anytime I want from the popcorn hour A-110.  Overall I have been pretty happy with the setup we had already, but adding the TV capture card and new antennas will definately boost my satisfaction, especially since the only cost involved is the initial hardware.  I have no monthly entertainment services that I subscribe to, no cable, satellite, fios TV, nothing.  I watch all my shows in HD, will soon be able to record live HD broadcasts and save them for later viewing, and you just can’t beat the price. 

Once all the new hardware arrives, I’ll post an updated with reviews.

 

Saw "The Dark Knight" last night

Last night after work, I met a friend at the food court in the mall.  After grabbing a quick bite to eat, we headed over to the AMC Veterans 24 theatre to watch the 6:50 showing of “The Dark Knight”.  We made it to the theatre just in time and it was nice that it wasn’t really packed. 

The movie itself was pretty good for a batman movie, it had good characters; the story was interesting, etc.  It was (as most reviewers have said) very dark, with a lot of things that would have been quite gory and something you might expect to see in a gory horror movie, except to get the PG-13 rating, they don’t actually show you whats being done, they either change camera angles or don’t directly show the gory details.  It wasn’t that there was a lot of gory stuff going on, but they implied what they were doing and left the rest to your immagination. 

As a batman fan, I enjoyed the movie.  There were lots of cool scenes in it and some good action and effects.  Overall it was good, but one thing really gets to me.  I don’t know what people are thinking, or what kind of parent would do this, but parents are taking their young kids to see this movie!  I don’t understand why anyone would do that, as this is a dark movie, and there are bad thing being done to people by the joker and other “bad guys” in the film.  At one point a little boy has a gun pointed at his head and both him and his family believe he is about to be shot.  Its just not a good movie for younger kids.  When I was in the theatre last night, there was a man there with his two younger boys.  One looked like he could have been 10–12, but the other one coudln’t have been more than 7 or 8.  The younger boy was scared several times during the movie, and I could see him curling up in his chair turning around and crying. 

I realize that not everyone thinks the same way, and often times common sense is often now the “uncommon sense”, but really, there is no excuse for this, movie reviews and ratings and the internet resources are all there for parents to check out before letting their kids see movies like this.  I rank this up there as a form of child neglect, honestly…  Parental neglegance or the just plan old “I don’t care” mentality about stuff like this is not good for any kid.  And you better believe that during that movie, I felt like coming up behind that guy and in true batman style pulling him up out of his seat and then making him take a good hard look at his crying son sitting a few chairs over. 

Oh and one more thing, I thought it was kind of interesting that they protrayed some batman immitators in the movie.  I wonder if this idea came from reality in that with most of the last few batman movies there have been fans who have dressed up like batman and prowled the streets of some city pretending to be batman.  I like what they did with that in the movie, even though the joker killed several of the immitators…  I think they were trying to send a message to batman immitators out there.

Its disappointing – Star Trek: The Experience is closing!

I was sad to read today that Star Trek: The Experience is closing its doors in Vegas.  I wanted to go and check it out someday (guess I waited too many somedays), but now it is too late.  At least there is hope that maybe they will re-locate closer to Florida!  The following is an excerpt from the source – Wired:

“Offering a sad commentary on the state of the Star Trek franchise, the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas will shut down Star Trek : The Experience this fall.

Part simulator, part environment, part museum and (of course) part gift shop/restaurant, the Experience opened 10 years ago during the height of popularity for the Star Trek: The Next Generation movies. The exhibit gave fans a chance to examine a Trek time line with a collection of sci-fi relics. Then visitors could talk to a Klingon over a drink after strolling across the bridge of the Enterprise.

But, the exhibit isn’t drawing the fans it once did — just as the franchise is fading off the public radar. While J.J. Abrams is hustling to save Star Trek on the big screen, it’s too late to save it in Vegas.

The collection of props, costumed “aliens” and adventure simulators was a welcome, nerd-friendly escape from the hustling sleaze and nonstop pinging of slot machines filling the rest of the town. There’s no word what will be done with the emptied retail space in the Hilton, but the museum props, ship mock-ups and other bits of Trek history will be returned to Paramount.

CBS/Paramount statements indicate the search is on for the Experience’s new home.”

Man movies

I’ve been reading a book lately (ok…its an audio book) that has been very inspirational and helpful to me.  The book deals with being a man, and what that means, and its made me realize a few things about myself that I never really thought of before.  As a side result of all this, last night I popped in the movie Gladiator.  I love the line in that movie where Maximus confronts the emperor in the collosseum where he says:

“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next”. 

WOW what a movie, makes me feel like watching Braveheart again too. 

Better fitness

On Saturday I joined a local fitness club.  I have been entertaining the idea of getting a membership to a fitness club for a while now, but when I started out looking for one, I didn’t want one of those professional performance places where its a bunch of hulk hogans running around and all that.  So I found a family oriented club and went to check it out on Saturday morning.  I was a little intimidated by the size of the place, but once the manager started showing me around, it was really quite nice.  Everyone was friendly and they offer a lot of cool programs that come as part of the membership.  It is a bit expensive, but my plan is to stick with the club for about a year, get myself in better shape and then try to get some equipment that I can use to maintain my fitness level at home.  I need to go at least 3 times a week which is going to be tough with my schedule.  I realize that if I am going to do this, its going to cost something besides money, and that is my family time.  I’m going to have to go at night twice a week and once on Saturday morning. 

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Monday night shows

Admittedly Liz and I are hooked on a few shows, specifically Heroes and Journeyman that come on Monday nights.  I also like Chuck, but thats more of a geek/tech show so Liz isn’t as interested in that one.  Heroes last night was awesome, yes slightly predictible but still a great story and an episode that gave more answers to questions raised in previous episodes. 

***SPOILER***  I did know what was going to happen when HRG (Noah) was shot in the eye, and was not surprised at the end to see the blood bring HRG back to life and fix his eye. 

Journeyman was good, the previews for next week look awesome.  The whole interaction with Dan and his brother Jack are very interesting and the characters are really starting to develop well.

Movie update

Liz and I watched a few movies we’d never seen before this weekend. Included are:

Poseidon (2006) – was an ok movie, but Liz and I can’t take much of the mass death and disaster type stories…

Catch and release – didn’t really care for this movie, thought it would be good from the description, but it didn’t hold our interest for long. Actually watched this the previous weekend (I think).

Evan Almighty – Thought this was funny, not a terrific movie, but interesting and humorous with a fairly good sory.

I’ve been trying to find a newer romantic comedy that is something good, not some of the sleezy stuff thats been coming out. But after watching that Poseidon movie with all the death and danger, I think we are ready for a musical! 🙂

fantastic 4 – rise of the silver surfer

Last night Liz and I watched the new fantastic 4 movie. I had seen it in the theatre when it first came out. She liked it and I got to catch a few things I missed the first time around. its out on blueray also, which makes me really want to get a dual hd dvd player.