Tag Archives: dvd

Review: The Marine

Marine

Mark’s Rating: 1.75 out of 5 stars

Friday, Ariesna and I were originally planning on having guests over. When we found out they were all canceling due to the weather; we hit up the video store and got a couple of movies. When we got home, the first one we watched was The Marine. I’d selected it because I remembered the trailers leading me to believe it would be a fun action flick. However after watching it, I have to declare it to be a steaming flaming pile of poo. From weak fight sequences to bad acting, this movie embodies the worst hackneyed and cliched parts of every C-movie action flick ever to be made. That being said if one watches this movie, thinking of it more like a parody of the genre (e.g. in the vein of Scary Movie) then it can be enjoyable. I spent the vast majority of the film’s 91 minutes laughing as cliche after cliche was perpetrated on the screen. I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this film to any one; though it could make the basis of a good drinking game (every one takes a shot for every cliche used in the film). However one would have to be careful with such a game to avoid getting alcohol poisoning!

Ain’t Dead Yet

Today marks the completion of my third decade on this planet and I am quite pleased to be able to announce that I ain’t dead yet. 😀 But worry not gentle reader, I’ll not be subjecting you to some passé retrospective about my life. Instead, I’ll just recap today and today alone.

I was up playing Wild Arms 3 till about 3 am as I just couldn’t sleep. Most likely due to an excessive amount of munching on holiday goodies while downing glass, after glass of soda1. I found one monster to fight that took around an hour to defeat but it jumped my characters up 4-7 levels! *grin* Then when I eventually got to bed; I slept poorly. Our apartment is just too dry this time of year and our little humidifier stopped working. This causes me to keep waking up with sinus headaches and a terrible thrist. I got out of bed about 8:30 – 9 and went back to playing the video game a bit more. Shortly there after, Michelle got up and gave me my birthday present.

What’d she get me? A case of blue balls Bawls. Then after lazing around most of the day; we headed out to the local mall to meet some friends.

I’d foolishly asked a bunch of friends to join us in watching the Narina movie with a follow-up plan to eat dinner together. There was one point that I’d not factored in these plans. This year, my birthday fell on a Saturday. Just about the last Saturday before Christmas. Traffic was insane and people all around were grouchy, though we did run across some nice people that helped us get around the parking lot2. We went over to the mall a little early and bought a new humidifer and then headed down to the theater. We got tickets, met up with our friends and went in to watch the The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

*whew* What a movie! While not perfect, it was probably as good as we could hope for from a Hollywood production.
High points:

  • The actress playing Lucy was spot on. Most of the other actors cast in the movie were also quite good
  • The backgrounds were gorgeous.
  • The addition of the Nazi bombing run at the beginning of the movie really helped to give context to the time of the story.

Low points:

  • The costuming on the witch. Her outfits were ugly and just didn’t work with the imagery I have in my head for the character. Though I do have to admit the black , soulless eyes did work for me.
  • The witch was not nearly as afraid of Aslan as she should have been. In my memories of the book, the witch was terrified of Aslan but the movie seemed to put them on a more even footing.
  • Maugrim’s voice. The actor doing the voice did a fine job, but being the only character without a british accent really stuck out and annoyed me.

Overall, I’d say it was worth seeing in the theater and it is something I’ll be adding to our DVD collection when it becomes available.

After the movie was over, we headed to the restaurant. Oh, I should mention we had called earlier in the day to try making reservations but were told they don’t do that for parties of less than 8. And that they would have plenty of room for the 6 of us. When we got there; we were told it would be a 2 hour wait. We decided to switch to the Oyama Sushi restaurant. They seated us within minutes of our arrival (even though they were already pretty packed). Then they plied us with drinks until our food was ready3. We had a jolly time chatting and drinking (non-alcholic, for the most part) but all good things do come to an end and eventually we all headed home. It was a very good day and while I ain’t dead yet; I am a bit tired so good night, sleep tight and don’t let the space bugs bite!

1 a.k.a. pop to you heathens.
2 A few people threw their cars into reverse to open up bigger areas for us to drive through and things of that nature.
3 It turns out this weekend contains not only my birthday and practically the last weekend before Christmas but it’s also graduation weekend for the University! No wonder everything was so packed today! This also explains why it took so long for our food to arrive.

HP:GoF

Over the weekend, Ariesna & I went with some friends to watch Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I went into the movie with extremely low expectations1 but much to my surprise; I rather liked the movie. Sure huge chunks of the book were wacked out, but you have to expect that when you are taking 734 pages of text and converting it into a movie just over 2.5 hours long. The special effects were upto pair with anything in the prior movies. Also, although the actor playing Mad-Eye Moody didn’t look quite like I had pictured the character; he did a nice job of it. Overall, I give this one a thumbs up and it will eventually be going in my DVD collection (unlike some the previous one).

1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was such a wretched film that it nearly ruined the entire series for me.

Doctor…. who?

The Doctor

Earlier this week the first episode of the new Doctor Who series, by the BBC, was leaked onto the internet. I was able to obtain a copy and give it a quick whirl1. I have to say that I’ve not enjoyed watched the Doctor so much since Tom Baker played him and while I still miss that massive scarf; the new Doctor’s look suits very well. At least from what one can tell in a ~40 minute episode, Mr. Eccleston seems to have captured that playfully annoying essence which is so esstenial to portraying the Doctor properly. I look forward to seeing more of this new season and hope that it will be quickly released to DVD (to make it easier to get here in the States).

1 Actually, it wasn’t all that quick as I was trying to figure a way to make the AVI file into a SVCD. I came really close with Tovid but the quality wasn’t all that great to begin with and the video was totally corrupted towards the end. Still, I did get a lot closer with Tovid’s CLI tools than with Tovid GUI, so maybe with some more work I can figure this out. That’d be great as I’d really like to burn some quick&dirty SVCDs using CD-RWs to watch various downloads on my real TV rather than my PC. What can I say, the futon is way more comfortable than my desk chair.

Don’t take away my fansubs!

I’m a bit of an anime fan. I’ve bought many a VHS tape, Laser Disc and DVD in my time and I plan to buy many more… unless the anime studios shutdown the fansubbers. For those of you who might not be familiar with the world of fansubs; here’s the definition of a fansub from Wikipedia:

Fansub – short for “fan subtitled”; a copy of a foreign movie or television show (most often anime) which has been subtitled by “fans” into their native language. This has been done to provide shows that would otherwise be unavailable in one’s native language, but with the growth in the popularity of anime, fansubs’ purpose has expanded to include programs that would be commercially unviable (I.e. older or niche appeal market titles.) in one’s country or simply to reduce the amount of time one would wait to see a particular program. Also, many American anime viewers feel there is too much censorship of anime broadcast on TV, especially in scenes related to nudity, which is common in Japan (even in children’s shows) but is typically considered inappropriate in the United States.

I mostly get my fansubs from online sources via BitTorrent1. This allows me to:

  • Judge if a series will be worth the money to buy once a U.S. distributer starts selling it here.
  • See some of those niche shows that no distributer will bring over.

Given that I quite often am not fond of the “mainstream” anime that is brought over and that my budget is limited; being able to view the series completely via fansubs is a vital part of my process for deciding what series I will buy. If the anime studios force the fansubbers to stop their work; then I’ll be forced to spend my money elsewhere. Harsh, but I’ve already bought my share of crappy anime and I’m not willing to shell out ~$20/disc in the hopes that a given series won’t suck.

Oh and in case you were curious, this article over on C|Net prompted my post.

1 If you’re interested in more info on this; leave a comment and I’ll see about writing something up.

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