My dad recently bought a 2016 M series Vizio and I’ve been lucky enough to play around with the TV. Aside from the weird soundbar setup issues he’s had, I have a few thoughts on the TV itself.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is finally out. This is truly the most anticipated movie of the year. Now that the world has been given ample time to watch this film, here, we, go!
The Force Awakens takes place about thirty years after Luke became a Jedi and the second Death Star was destroyed. Now he’s disappeared and the First Order (what became of the Galactic Empire) and the Resistance (backed by the Republic and led by General Leia) search the galaxy to find him.
Disney’s D23 Expo was held August 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Ant-Man is the latest installment into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s about Scott Lang as he becomes the new Ant-Man, but his troubled past catches up with him when he plots a heist with an older inventor bent on saving the world from certain destruction, so this time his criminal skills are put to good use.
This film is directed by Peyton Reed with a screenplay from Edgar Wright & Joe Cornish and Adam McKay & Paul Rudd. The film stars Rudd (as Scott Lang), Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Pena, Tip Harris, Anthony Mackie, Wood Harris, Judy Greer, David Dastmalchian, and Michael Douglas.
We’re back with another video! Check out this special 60fps on your computer for maximum smoothness. It should also play at 60fps on your phone with a Wi-Fi connection.
Big Hero 6 is the fifty fourth film in the Disney Animated Classics series. It’s inspired by the Marvel Comic of the same name, the film tells the story of a robotics prodigy name Hiro Hamada, who then in turn forms a superhero team to combat a masked villain, who’s responsible for Hiro’s older brother’s death. Simple enough right?
The good; the film is just fun. Disney keeps bringing the quality with the 3D computer animated realm.
Our protagonist Hiro (as voiced by Ryan Potter) has a great, yet familiar, arc as a character. He starts off reckless, then he finds purpose, then loses sight of that purpose, to then only sacrifice of himself in order to save someone else. It’s a very familiar character arc, but it works, and in this case, it works well.
The world building is something that has to be pointed out. The film takes place in the future city of San Fransokyo, the golden gate bridge has Asian inspired arcs, the signage on buildings has Asian writing (like Bladerunner), and there are these blimp like wind generators (I assume they’re wind generators) that are painted like Chinese dragons. There’s no time spent explaining where we are and how this place came to be, we’re just there, and I love it. It made me want to know how this city came about.
T.J. Miller as Fred, the comic relief, is amazing. His timing is wonderful, without being too much, especially his line about his underwear. And wait for the end of the credits for another great scene.
The story here is paramount, Hiro is relate-able and his journey in a sense is our journey. Then you have a great moment in the third act where he has to choose, it’s reminiscent of The Iron Giant and Wreck-It Ralph.
The bad; I honestly can’t put anything here. It more has to do with the film going audience… leave your crying kids at home next time please.
Overall, I had a blast. $56.2 million opening weekend? Looks like everyone else had a blast too. It truly is robot season in the cinemas right now. I challenge you not to love Baymax.
We also get an Asian character for the boy audience to connect with, gotta love it for that too.
The film has a screenplay by Robert L. Baird, Dan Gerson, Jordan Robert, and is directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams, they previously did The Emperor’s New Groove, Mulan, Meet The Robinsons and Bolt (collectively), can’t wait to see more like Big Hero 6.
Finally got to see Saving Mr. Banks. I feel like all the people that I would’ve seen this with have already seen it. The short of it is, Walt Disney tries to acquire the rights to adapt Mary Poppins into a film. He has to woo its author, the reluctant, P.L. Travers. Everything’s set in the nineteen sixties. Now the stage is set… GO!
The good; I love it when movies are about true events, and we know the ending already, yet… while we’re engrossed in the film we care. We all know that the movie Mary Poppins gets made, who among us hasn’t seen it? Yet while I’m watching this movie, I feel the struggles and the hurdles and then the triumph of actually getting the movie made.
The music is great, it’s got hints of the Mary Poppins movie woven in, not just as the Sherman Brothers are creating the songs, but it’s also used in the score, I couldn’t have imagined it any other way.
Everyone in the cast deliveries brilliant performances. We’re allowed the “happy ending” because we’ve gone through the emotional roller coaster. The film manages to hit all the right beats on a subject that is all to familiar, yet clouded and shielded from us. Saving Mr. Banks lifts the veil behind the magic and allows us to journey to the past.
The bad; the marketing may be off on this one. This film goes through a range of emotions, it’s not all happy and magical. Be prepared to cry, or tear up.
Overall, I highly recommend this film. The target audience for this movie are the kids that grew up with Mary Poppins, both live action and in print. Here we’re allowed to take a peek at what occurred behind the scenes and how hard people worked at creating something magical that has endured all these years. I see some Oscar noms in the future.
Wardrobe from the movie
I’m not sure if my watching habits have changed or I’m subconsciously avoiding spoilers for certain movies, but Frozen was a pleasant holiday season surprise.
Walt Disney Animation Studio’s latest effort proves to be a wonderful addition to their catalog, featuring fun musical tunes that will surely be sang along by younger and even older generations.
Frozen tells the tale of Arendelle, a Scandinavian kingdom on the the brink of destruction from a force that seemingly cannot be controlled.
The good; the musical aspect of Frozen was done well. It feels classic and natural watching characters seamlessly transition from monologues to singing.
Olaf does a superb job of bringing laughs. While there are moments of chuckling before his entrance, Olaf does comedy best. This is no small feat for Josh Gad who voiced Olaf, especially considering the character’s physical constraints as a blocky snowman with rigid twig limbs. But this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s heard him on the musical “Book of Mormon”.
The bad; the short film preceding the movie, Get a Horse!, dragged a bit. Call me crazy, but seeing a 3D Mickey Mouse in color always seems unsettling. It lacked the magic that causes viewers to discuss feelings about found in the other great Disney short films.
While the climax in Frozen felt refreshing, the closing scene left something to be desired.
Overall this is a fine flick to catch and sing along to once you know the words. You might not recognize a lot of the voices, but that’s definitely not holding this movie back from being an easy recommendation for all ages.
Disney is jumping on the early digital delivery bandwagon and releasing Wreck-It Ralph February 12, 2013, nearly a month before it’s retail disc date, March 5, 2013.
I’m not sure which services the download will be available from: iTunes? Amazon? VUDU? CinemaNow? Also unknown is what the price will be.
If Disney follows Fox, we’ll be able to buy from all those sources at $15. I watched Wreck-It Ralph in theaters in 2D and found it very entertaining. While watching CG on Blu-ray is undoubtedly the best way to experience this movie, I would definitely recommend owning this movie digitally if the price is right. You can also check out Eugene’s review.
Netflix and Disney are now buddies. That’s great news for any reasonable person that has access to the streaming service and a heart that isn’t made of ice. And unlike the offensive standard definition streams made available by Starz previously, these titles are all listed as available in HD. Check out some of these classic titles that have just been unleashed for your streaming pleasure.
Stay tuned for more titles coming out of the vault and check out this great FAQ posted at CNET regarding the new deal
12/6/2012 UPDATE: Of course another important aspect of the home theater experience is audio. I checked some streams last night (Dumbo, Alice In Wonderland, Pocahontas) and all were encoded in 5.1. I grew up watching some of these titles over and over and it was jaw dropping to see them in such high resolution. It’s like watching a painting in motion.
I saw Brave at the El Capitan, always a treat at the El Cap.
The short of it, it’s about Merida a Scottish Princess who buts heads with her mother, the Queen. They argue over who and what Merida should be and how she’ll be married off. Through the course of a contest to win the Princess’ hand in marriage Merida chooses to change her destiny, be careful what you wish for… throw in some bits and gags and there ya go.
The good; it’s Pixar, it looks amazing. They pull out all the stops with the hair and Merida is the first female protagonist as well as the first period piece in a Pixar film.
The opening of the movie is incredible. It grabs you immediately with child-like wonder and then slams the brakes as danger approaches. Merida’s learning to shoot a bow and arrow, then wanders off in to the woods. Upon arriving back to her parents… a bear has followed her, Merida’s father, King Fergus, stares down a ferocious bear – opening title card, wow, it had me from that moment.
The spine of the story is very simple and relate-able, it’s about a child growing up and wanting to be their own person, and rejecting the person their parent imposes on them. Who can’t relate to this? It seems that it’s a part of life these days, must rebel and resist… older… people… ah what the hey, money money monies.
The bad; the trailer is misleading. Honestly not much here, just that the marketing was for a different movie. You’d probably never know this from watching those excellent trailers, but the movie is a mother/daughter movie.
I wanted more story and character moments, instead we got more action and thrills. This could be because the lead is a girl so they want to bring in the boy audience with the action.
Overall, check it out. Pixar delivers again. It’s fun for everyone and there’s something for all the members of the family. The brothers never say a thing through out the whole movie, I wonder why that was. Don’t get me wrong, they were still funny on screen, but that question just kept creeping in. Oh, and stay for the credits (as you should), there’s a dedication to Steve Jobs and a scene at the very end.
Starting in February 2012, Netflix users will no longer have access to the Starz line up of movies/shows. Starz Entertainment has ended contract renewal negotiations.
That means, exclusive Starz shows like Camelot and Spartacus won’t be available. It includes movies from Disney that Starz has exclusive licenses to. Starz CEO, Chris Albrecht, cites the reason for not renewing as a “strategy to protect the premium nature of our brand by preserving the appropriate pricing and packaging of our exclusive and highly valuable content.”
One can only speculate how this will affect Netflix users and their experience. Prices for Netflix streaming service have already risen. Upset Netflix users may have to turn alternatives like On-Demand movies/TV shows from their local cable company, or Redbox rental box at most supermarkets.
See the official press release at Starz site here.
Additional information about the Netflix/Starz negotiations: