Amazon Item of the Day : Multi-region Bluray Player

 

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LG BP175 Region Free Blu-ray Player – If you need an affordable multi-region Blu-Ray that also supports  3D discs, than this is a solid, well rated option.

 

Now regarding 4K.

I personally find very little need for 4K, as I do not have a 70″ or larger screen and I’m not sitting 2 feet away from it inspecting pixels. And the difference between 4K and 1080p, while substantial in pixels (ie inreal estate), in real world picture quality is minuscule. It is not the kind of quality jump that you got from DVD to Blu-Ray.

I have 20/20 vision, and see better than most people I know, ie I don’t need glasses or contacts, so at 1080p on a 60″ or less screen, from a recommended 8 feet or more viewing distance you are talking the threshold of what the human eye can differentiate in regards to pixel count/real estate.

That is where other considerations such as how well the source is mastered ( a huge consideration, I have some DVDs that provide a better picture than Blu-ray simply because they were well mastered and the Blu-rays were not) , and contrast and dynamic range and brightness, and frame rates all come in to play to provide you a superior picture.

But as far as chasing real estate, resolution, HD to 4K to 6K to 8K to 16K, that is a meaningless numbers game in a consumer setting. Unless you are projecting on a movie theater sized screen this chasing of resolution/real estate it just so manufacturers can continue to sell you the new hotness. The new player, the new tv, the new discs.

However if you are somone who has the disposable cash, and want the latest and greatest, so a 4K player to go with your 4K tv, well then the following is the one to get.

Sony X800 – UHD – 2D/3D – SACD – Wi-Fi – Dual HDMI – 2K/4K – Region Free Blu Ray Disc DVD Player – PAL/NTSC – USB – 100-240V 50/60Hz for World-Wide Use & 6 Feet Multi System 4K HDMI Cable

This one will do 4K (if you have a 4K tv as well), Bluray, Super Aucio CD, and 3D (If you have a 3D TV or Projector).

 

If you found this post informative, then would definitely appreciate a like, subscription, or using the included links.

Thanks and have a great day! See you next installment!

Stuck at Home? Give yourself a present – Drool worthy Blu-Ray of the Day!

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I raved about this Blu-Ray previously, Francis Ford Coppola’s BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, but had to shout it out one more time. You can’t really grasp it via the picture, But this Sony Supreme Cinema Series version, is a media book/Digi-book Blu-ray, that is made out of glass.

Yes, I said glass.

The covers of this media book/digibook are made out of glass. It is just one of the nicest and coolest packaging options for a Blu-ray. And currently this Blu-ray is DIRT CHEAP! There were only 3 titles given this SUPREME CINEMA SERIES, white glove treatment, the other two being FIFTH ELEMENT & LEON THE PROFESSIONAL, though for my money (because I am not a particular fan of those movies) DRACULA is the one to own.

I can’t imagine it staying at these low, prices. If you love this Francis Ford Coppola gem, than this is the version to get. Wonderful included book, great special features, excellent sound and picture on the Blu-ray.

This is today’s Deal of the Day.

Get yours here!

DVD/Bluray Purchases for Week 1 of 2020!! Haul / Deals of the Week!

The webpage will not show this image anonymously.See my previous post where I sing the praises of this film.

The webpage will not show this image anonymously.The webpage will not show this image anonymously. Film Noir fan, so this collection of little seen noirs was a must buy. Currently re-watching 1957’s riveting SHADOW ON THE WINDOW by director William Asher (who before he became known for his tv work and teen beach movies, made three notable films, JOHNNY COOL, THE 27TH DAY, and this one). SHADOW ON THE MOON is a thriller, with very ahead of its time sensibilities. One of the earliest films to deal with child trauma, broken homes, latchkey syndrome, and teen violence. It is a surprisingly good film. Unfortunately it is a pretty bare-bones Bluray collection; no commentaries, special features etc. Usually that is reason enough for me not to purchase physical media, however in this case you do get nine well mastered films per collection, for roughly the cost of one film. And the films look great. Purchase Here!

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Bought this one, because it was described as a type of ode to THE WILD BUNCH, and it starred Woody Strode. I went for the DVD over the Blu-ray, because the Bluray offered nothing additional, arguably not even a better picture, and the DVD was half the price. Purchase Here.

THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI – An Orson Welles masterpiece, starring Orson Welles and his stunning wife Rita Hayworth, and made when their marriage was falling apart. And it is a testament to Welles as filmmaker, and both of them as actors, that none of that is in the film. Finally remasterd on Bluray and with special features and commentary, and it is dirt cheap. A no-brainer of a buy! One of Welles top 5 films, and from a filmmaker who made arguably nothing but great films, that is saying a lot. Purchase here.

I had never even heard of this movie before, but all the reviews were very strong for this 1945 film Noir imbued thriller. And being directed by the great Joseph H. Lewis  (of THE BIG COMBO fame), with a feature reach, remastered Arrow Video release made this the last of this installment’s must buy Dvds and Blurays. Purchase Here!

Today’s 11 recommended Streaming/VOD channels to be subscried to!

Today’s 11 recommended Streaming/VOD channels to be subscribed to!

PAID CHANNELS

  • AMAZON PRIME for their extensive selection of movies that simply dwarfs what anyone else is showing. They have 12, TWELVE, BigFoot movies you can watch right now!!! Dozens upon Dozens of  Spaghetti Western and Shaw Brothers movies, presented in wide-screen, that look better than they ever did in the theaters. They also have access to newer movies, and a mountain of tv shows. As well as great Amazon originals such as JACK RYAN, THE GRAND TOUR, THE ABC MURDERS, THE EXPANSE (possibly my favorite Sci-Fi show since FARSCAPE) to name a few. But it is really just their uber video store level of obscure and great genre films and tv shows, and their great interface that makes them by a long way, the paid channel I watch the most of.
  • HULU- Hulu is great for staying abreast of recent/current shows such as AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR, as well as offering some movie and tv options, that the others may not.
  • NETFLIX- From being my first paid streaming channel, this has quickly become one of the paid channels I watch the least. To the point when they did their price hike a year or two ago I dropped the channel. However another member of the Heroic Times household decided to resubscribe. And I was able to finish up RIPPER STREET, and we have used it to check out their UMBRELLA ACADEMY and currently use it mainly to watch LUCIFER. But I find Netflix does a HORRIBLE job with its interface, and really should take a note in regards to Amazon, in how to better curate and group, and direct viewers to content that they may be interested in. You get the feeling on Netflix that whatever signal you are seeking, is buried under a lot of uninteresting noise. With more competition on the way, and with our household having a 3 paid streaming station limit, Netflix is the channel that likely will end up getting dumped (again) when something better comes along.

FREE CHANNELS

  • Youtube- The channel I watch these days the most, even more than Amazon Prime is Youtube. And one reason I have a Roku over an Amazon Fire TV, besides the fact I just like Roku’s interface better, is out the box, Amazon Fire stopped supporting the Youtube channel. I will do a separate post on the many channels, within Youtube, that I am subscribed to. But they consist of everyday people putting on content more captivating than the studios can; on everything from comics to movies to knives to guns to music to books to food to exercise to how-to to everything in between. Really intriguing, and I am happy there is not a ‘comments’ section, which for years is what kept me away from the online version of Youtube. Their un-moderated hate filled comments section. So the absence of that on the Youtube Roku app, makes it finally a worthwhile viewing experience.
  • TUBI
  • SONY CRACKLE
  • PLUTO TV
  • ROKU CHANNEL
  • VIMEO
  • FOOD NETWORK
  • HGTV

Just Say No to WINDOWS 8!!! or Star Trek, Al Capone, Linux, Apple and Terrorism!

The snazzy logo courtesy of LinuxBird here.

“The acquisition of wealth is not our prime motivation, we seek to better ourselves.”

That paraphrasing of Patrick Stewart’s dialogue from the film STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT, is central to Gene Roddenberry’s enduring mythos, his conceit of a world… beyond greed.

I think as mission statements go, as core beliefs go… that is as good a one for the human race as I can think of.


“The acquisition of wealth is not our prime motivation, we seek to better ourselves.”

However with the move to an industrial society at the launch of the 20th century, and the gutting of the previous agrarian/barter model, the acquisition of wealth, the consolidation of wealth, became the driving theme of the 20th century.

And it’s no coincidence that the 20th century also became the bloodiest in the history of the world, though clearly the 21st century is on fast track for supplanting it. Never in the history of the world, have so many, died so quickly, from nuclear weapons, to biological weapons, to push button wars, and all of it driven by the 20th century deification of money.

Not to say money is not felt throughout other centuries, but not to the global, and near religious personification, that the pursuit of wealth became with the 20th century, it has become idol absolute of an entire world.

But the 21st century with concepts such as peer to peer, open source, social networking, was poised to create a model for the 21st century. A model that akin to Roddenberry’s dream, could very much usurp the industrial model, just as the industrial model had usurped the Agrarian model.

The age of technology, open technology, had it, and has it in its grasp, to bring us more in line with this slightly Utopian concept, of life lived for improvement and discovery, rather than accumulation and subjugation.

But the dinosaurs, The Microsofts, the RIAAs, the Sonys, the Disneys, have co-opted, and outlawed, and sued, and bullied and terrorized the new hope, all so they may maintain… the old terror.

Scared Dinosaurs, holding humanity back… from visionary new days. Companies,courts, and politicians… and their paid enforcement arms, all working so hard to hold onto the bloody old, all working so hard not to evolve.

Microsoft and their setting up of the DMCA, and their last couple of years of buying their way into the open-source movement, worming their way into ‘helping’ with the open-source movement, particularly Linux, all so they could destroy and extort the movement from within.

You see this on the mobile side, where their various mobile Window initiatives cannot compete with Apple or Android. They now are extorting money from companies that do utilize Android on the basis of ridiculous and innovation killing software patents.

(It’s largely recognized that Software Patents are a lunacy that need to be done away with)

It is the act of a gangster and a thug, and if IBM was allowed to act like this in the 80s there would have been no Microsoft and no Apple, because these actions exterminate free enterprise and innovation.

Microsoft has spent the last twenty years burning every bridge and every freedom, that they themselves utilized in order to be innovative and initially successful, and now completely outlawing those liberties, indeed those necessities, for companies other than themselves.

Microsoft’s time has passed. They are a dinosaur using terror and intimidation to extort customers they can no longer earn with quality. They are no different than a 20th century Capone, selling liquor and protection at the barrel of a gun.

And Windows 7 was an improvement over Vista, they had ‘borrowed’ enough of the concepts and look from other operating systems to make it one. But that said, Windows 7 was and is still inferior to any half decent Linux Distribution.

So just as they are committing extortion against Android on the mobile front, on the Desktop/Server front they are dealing with the brilliance and the growth of Linux, that is now ready for prime-time, ready to be the next big thing, to replace the sick, twisted, decaying, and immoral dinosaur that Microsoft has become…. they are dealing with this fresh beautiful new thing, by basically collaborating with hardware vendors to KILL the very ability to install Linux operating systems on your computer. They are so afraid of Linux they want to make it impossible for you to even install it on YOUR computer.

It is so sad and pathetic, that it is almost funny.

Again what if IBM had done that to them, Microsoft and Apple? We would, as a society, be the poorer for it. And we are going to be the poorer for it if we allow Microsoft to continue to get away with dismantling any innovative idea or company they can’t compete with.

Can you understand? For Microsoft to do this, for a tech, for a software person, for someone with a rudimentary concept of how companies like Microsoft and Apple came to be, it is a betrayal of not just everything that is the technology movement, it is an attack on innovation and free enterprise that must stand as one of the most blatant and disgusting that I have ever witnessed.

It is a crime. As great a crime, in its way, as US drone airplanes killing indiscriminatingly in darker lands, so that a white press can gloat about another bounty collected, another arab, another nigger dead.

Though they don’t dress it, this 21st century crusade, in those crude terms, any more then Microsoft dresses its actions as what it is, a bloody monopoly committed to eradicating your option to choose.

“Pay us or else!” That’s how business talks to consumers in the 21st century. And it is a form of war. Less bloody to be sure, but the repercussions of what it can mean to freedoms subtle and gross… is staggering.

And I… am not having it.

I haven’t used Windows in my personal computer in 3 to 4 years. I fix Windows machines and work on them for other people, but for myself Linux is the only OS/distribution I deal with. I love the freedom of it, the very thing Microsoft is working so hard to legalize and sue and intimidate away.

I’m not going back to Microsoft. And to those companies that they are intimidating, extorting, bullying, I can only tell you what I would tell anyone being bullied… you start letting people push you, and they are never going to stop.

You have to stand against them.

And maybe you win, and maybe you lose. But you teach them to pay for every foot of ground. You give them a bloody nose, and win, lose or draw… it will give them pause.

Microsoft is a pathetic, barren, immoral, and worst of all inferior and scared technology company, and they are standing in the way of a better life…for everyone.

They are protecting the rotting, diseased old, when what it is time for… is the new.

And if you’re a company, and have been on the Microsoft merry-go-round it’s scary to consider getting off of it, but it is infinitely scarier to stay at the mercy of an immoral monopoly.

There are viable open source alternatives to Microsoft’s over priced crap.

Explore them.

Not only for your own sake, but for something companies start out believing in, but lose along the way, for the sake… of progress.

That’s an idea that Microsoft gave up on, a long time ago.


“The acquisition of wealth is not our prime motivation, we seek to better ourselves.”

It’s the only goal, that will save us from all this blood.

If you’re a subscriber to this blog and want help ditching Microsoft and finding something that works for you, reach out to me… and we’ll find an answer that works for you.

We’ll be a new age Untouchables, facing the tyranny that is Microsoft’s Capone.

And maybe we win, and maybe we lose. But my God, we’ll give them reason to pause.

Here endeth the Lesson.

MOVIE REVIEW! THOR IMAX 3D… The Verdict is…..????

Well the long awaited THOR movie is finally exploding across screens everywhere, and as I mentioned in my previous posts a lot hinged on this film, not least of which is a turnaround in a string of commercial disappointments for director Kenneth Branagh.

Well having just come back from seeing THOR in IMAX 3D… my verdict….??

It’s good, I enjoyed myself. It’s nicely paced, surprisingly smart film that also hit all the notes and plot points to shut-up people who were complaining about a multi-cultural cast, particularly Idris Elba (who always brings it), for pretty much all the story reasons I surmised.

So I was expecting it be action packed, but not necessarily as inventive, and even touching as it was.

Now that said, it does perhaps not quite meet the Juggernaut action expectations built up, but a solid story and performances, make up for that.

Kenneth Branagh handling perhaps the most difficult of all comic adaptations, exceptionally well, finding that difficult balance between regal and relate-able.

THOR even in the comic books, is extremely hard to a/get right and b/command a storyline. Instead working best as the heavy gun of the Avengers, then as a solo character. So for Branagh to steer this ship safely into movie theater shores, is no small accomplishment.

That said the ending felt a bit anti-climatic, the most effective action is clearly in the early portions of the movie. But that aside, the story beats, the emotional intensity, the Shakespearean like levels of tragedy and sacrifice, Branagh hits well. Hits hard enough… to satisfy.

Now leaving the movie proper to discuss the projection of the movie. I saw this in IMAX 3D, paying rather than the normal $8 matinée price, an exorbitant $14.50 for ‘IMAX 3D’. A $6.50 surcharge.

Before seeing this movie I couldn’t get any reviews to really discuss the 3D and if it was worth it. I’ve seen my share of IMAX 3D movies, real ones and the retrofitted AMC ones, and the ones not shot in 3D but simply post-processed, ie THOR.

Outside of a real IMAX THEATER (5 to 8 stories high, viewable at better science centers throughout the world), the best I’ve seen at an AMC IMAX theater (a midget IMAX) is of course AVATAR. Cameron pushing the technology to create 3D that actually works in a cine-plex.

But beyond AVATAR on IMAX 3D, most other 3D films suffer in comparison. THOR is no exception, it looks okay in 3D, but closer to the inferior Sony backed REALD 3D process, then real IMAX 3D. Sony’s inferior REALD 3D, gives a sense of looking into the screen, but it’s unable to give a real sense of the screen coming forward into real space, your space. This is what true IMAX 3D does so well. Not only offering depth, looking into something, but immersion, the film intruding and surrounding your real space.

So THOR IN IMAX 3D, looks okay, it just isn’t great. It isn’t IMAX 3D, and therefore is not worth the $6.50 surcharge. I personally think 3D movies should be the same price as 2D movies, but particularly if you’re going to charge that premium, the 3D experience should be breathtaking, and THOR IN IMAX 3D is just okay. The 3D almost transparent, and therefore, what’s the point.

So all in all if you can see this in 3D for no price increase, go for it. Otherwise avoid and stick to 2D on a big screen, you won’t be missing anything. And may actually gain something in brightness of picture.

3D is a nice thing for the occasional viewing, for the gee whiz factor, but it is no replacement for a really beautiful rendered and composed 2D film.

Just as HDTV for all its praise is not, nor never will be the equal of 35mm film, much less 70mm film.

HDTV is like DVD, a bastard compression medium, used to compress film into something viewable into the consumer confines of a tv and a living room, rather than the commercial standard of a movie screen and theater. Similar, but make no mistake, inferior, to true film.

And whereas a 70mm true IMAX 3D movie is in no way inferior to standard 70mm film, it is not appropriate for everything.

Cinema is a language.

And just as Black and White film can speak in a way color film can’t, and why I’m a huge Film Noir fan, 2D is also a distinct cinematic language, and sometimes that flat plane is the thing.

Not being in the shot, but observing the shot, is the thing.

Just as you can do THE THIRD MAN in color, but you would lose an ineffable part of the tone by so doing, that’s the same way that David Lean’s LAWRENCE OF ARABIA in 70mm, saying things about distance and alienation, would be lost translated into the “in-your-face” histrionics of IMAX 3D.

I like 3D in all its forms, to differing degrees, but even in its best forms I understand it’s a gimmick, that should not be overused.

3D ultimately is about lying to your brain, it’s about forcing a lie onto your brain, that this thing in front of you on the screen has as much depth and reality as the person sitting beside you or the world outside the theater.

In moderation it’s a fun gimmick.

But with this recent push to 3D TVs, you risk making it something else. You risk making the exception of lying to your brain, the rule, and what long term effects this can have, particularly on children’s development, growing up exposed constantly to this new medium, what challenge or aberration to their motor skills, and coordination, and socialization?, are questions that in the rush toward a new revenue stream… too many are ignoring.

Some of these 3D TVs are coming with warnings. You should heed them, and leave the 3D in the theater. My gut reaction? Stick to 2D for the home. At least till all the bugs are shaken out.

Likewise troubling, is the Sony push to digitize cinemas, as it has nothing to do with the best picture quality and everything to do with control and maximizing profit streams. The theaters forced to go this route will see their profit margins dwindle, and find themselves ever more at the mercy of the studios. And true 70mm and 35 mm theaters will go the way of the dodo, becoming a high priced specialty item for the few to seek out.

Here ends the public service announcement. :). Back to our THOR review.

Here on out I’ll be avoiding all 3D movies, unless a/specifically shot in IMAX 3D, with the Cameron cameras, or b/if it’s something especially gimmicky and is the same price as a regular film.

So given this criteria Michael Bay’s TRANSFORMERS III, which meets criteria # 1, will be the next 3D flick I check out. Unlike some people, I’m still quite enamored of Michael Bay’s visuals and always have fun at his movies. So if any movie can visually give Cameron’s AVATAR a battle, it may be Bay’s TRANSFORMERS.

So getting back to THOR, a very good if not great movie, that is poised to be the critical and commercial hit that Kenneth Branagh was definitely needing. And stay past the credits for the easter egg, if so inclined. Nothing earth shattering, but it’s fun that Marvel continues to do this universe building. Giving people a reason to sit through the credits.

Grade is a strong B/B+.