Monday, July 13, 2009

Once you get the itch, you better get some lotion for it...

After the Transformers debacle, I started thinking about what other DVDs I could get rid of.

You remember, I watched Transformers a couple weeks ago. Realized it's a piece of garbage. Want to sell both copies.

Well, I decided that there might be more DVDs to get rid of, especially as the SO and I move into our new apartment this week. And it seems there might be more than one DVD that could be leaving the collection.

Of course there's my two copies of Transformers:

Getting rid of these because I no longer can stand to watch that movie, let alone believe I used MY money to buy these.

There's also:

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Not a film I ever bought. Think it might be one that Suzy got from an ex. Too bad it's Full Screen! And if I'm going to own a Terminator movie, it'll be either the original or T2. Simple as that.

The Dark Knight: Target Special Edition

This is another one of those cases where I wanted another version but ended up with a different version. Well, I bought this special edition DVD first, but I really wanted the special edition from Circuit City... which I ended up getting a week or two after this initial purchase. And because I want this on BR, the SO will kill me if I have three copies of this film.

Duck Soup

There's nothing wrong with this film. I consider it the greatest comedy of all time, and everyone who's anyone that thinks about doing comedy either for fun or for a living will give this film all the respect it deserves. Everyone has copied the gags and one-liners from this film and put it in another production. So I love this film. It's just that I bought The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection, and that means that this film is a part of that set. So I have no need for two copies. See the trend?

Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land

The SO loves this feature, as it shows Donald learning the importance of math in everything that we do on a daily basis. It really is a cute film, but it also is a part of Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald Volume 4, 1951-1961. I sound like a broken record with this post, but it's not my fault. I already had the Treasures DVD and the SO wanted to get this DVD because it was an exclusive DVD for members of the Disney Movie Club.

A double feature: National Security and Win a Date with Tad Hamilton

These are the SO's, and again, I think they're from an ex. So I don't believe she'll miss these one bit. And I'll be glad to rid them from the collection. What's so great about them is they are stored together in the DVD case for Devil's Advocate.

Yeah, I cared so little for these movies that I put both of them in a case for which I don't actually own the movie.

And finally...

The original Star Wars trilogy

Now hear me out on this. I haven't truly decided if I'm going to do this or not. But here's what I'm thinking...

So I bought the original trilogy when it first came out as a set with a bonus material DVD.

Then they came out with the movies as individual DVDs that had both the original theatrical version and the special edition (i.e. Lucas' slaughtering of his own original vision for the films) in one case.

The original set I bought only had the special editions of the films. In theory, then, I would not have the need for the special edition only DVDs.

But there are two drawbacks to this. One, the artwork on the covers are different among the two sets of trilogies. And two, I never planned on opening the set with both versions of the film. It just seemed symbolic to keep those sealed until the moment in time when I would show these films to any future progeny of mine. I still have the original VHS copies, so whenever I wanted to avoid any special edition changes, I could pop those in.

Therefore, I'm still hesitant to sell those (as you can see in the first pic I left them separate from the "definitely selling" pile) but if I was desperate for money (or if the SO finally did snap and want to kill me) I would be willing to part with them and keep the other set plus the bonus material DVD. I am definitely, 100% not selling that away.

So there you have it. DVDs that I'm willing to sell or get rid of. A crazy new era has dawned, and I'm just trying to stay afloat. Later!

Friday, July 10, 2009

"That better be your lucky R2 poking me."

It seems like I had been waiting forever to see this movie. First waiting for it to hit theaters, then waiting until it came out on DVD, and finally for the right moment to sit down and watch it and appreciate it for what it is: a really cool movie. What the hell could I be talking about? The greatest movie to be about crazy fans for Star Wars... Fanboys!

Three reasons make this movie great. One, when I put it in the ol' BR, it filled the screen of my HDTV, meaning there weren't those stupid black borders on top and bottom. Two, the storyline kept the cancer angle (which everyone knew was the best way to go with this movie even if the movie studios tried to screw that up). Three, it's about Star Wars!

As far as the basic plot, it's very simple: four friends plan to storm the Skywalker Ranch to steal and watch a copy of Episode I before it hit theatres. What drives them to do this is that one of the guys has cancer and you never get it in plain English, but it sounds like the kind of cancer that will probably end his life in the near future.

What makes it great is not the basic plot but the journey these guys make along the way from Ohio to California, fighting Trekkies, hacking into the Ranch thanks to William Shatner, and that kickass van kicking ass! Feels like a modern-day Millennium Falcon. I don't know if I had had as much fun watching a movie in a long time, and it got me all excited to watch the original trilogy again, followed by another viewing of Fanboys. It's probably something a Star Wars fan can truly appreciate. If you oblivious to the original trilogy, you might think this is just some crappy road trip movie. But then again, you might be a Trekkie! Either way, a little bit of knowledge about the Star Wars universe probably would help.

About the only thing I didn't care for in the movie was Seth Rogen. I know, it's blasphemy! 30 lashes to the back! His characters seemed over-the-top and out of place. I don't know if I've ever thought that about him as an actor, but this was not the film for him. All other cameos were good, although the Kevin Smith/Jason Mewes cameo was a bit odd. A Bit odd.

I don't even care what the SO thought of it. This is a keeper. It may be a movie I watch once a week, just to keep me motivated for the week ahead. Yeah, it's one of those movies, one that just makes you forget about your troubles in the world. And I need a lot of forgetting (just not the SO...whew! saved my ass).


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"He's leaked lubricants all over my foot!"

You know how you get so excited over a cartoon from your past that you think that a big, live-action version of it would be so cool? That's how I felt with Transformers. Never went to see it in theaters. Not really sure why. But when it came out on DVD, that's when I knew I had to own it... well, two copies of it actually. Yeah, I know.

So intead of talking about the plot of the movie (which there really isn't one... at least a plot worth the time to write it), I thought I'd go with two stories that will explain why I plan on selling both copies of the film. That's right. I've finally found a film that can be deemed unwatchable by me, especially one that I was crazy over. Let's begin with story number one...

We begin around the time the DVD was coming out for the film. Target was coming out with a special edition of the DVD, i.e. the case was going to be a Transformers, literally, that went from a DVD case to a DVD case that looks like Optimus Prime. Well, when it came out, I remember going that night of the DVD release to buy it, only I didn't see it at the Target I regularly visit. So I thought that the DVD that was there might be the right version. Little did I know that after opening it up, it wasn't the right one!

The SO wasn't happy about that, because that meant I couldn't return it. And I still wanted the transforming DVD case. So of course we had to go back and get it, and safe to say, it was back at the store a couple days later. But this also meant that I spent almost 50 dollars on one movie!

Story number two begins a week or so ago. I'm at my BF's new house because I had to drop off the SO at a bachelorette party and wait for her until it was over so I could drive her home. Well, the BF and I decided to watch something on his BR and I said I hadn't seen Transformers in a long time, and I wanted to see what it would look like in BR. Soon enough I realized why this movie (series) was awful. The acting, the action, the jokes. It just wasn't up to par with the cartoon. And Shia Labeuf, don't get me started on him. Either you're a comedian or you're an action hero. You can't be both.

The next day at the apartment, I realized that I no longer cared for the movie and the only thing I could do is sell my two copies of the DVD. Obviously both cases have been opened, but I only watched it once on the DVD in the normal case. I had only taken out the tranforming case to see what it looked like. So, really, there should be some value left in these DVDs. And with the second one out in theatres, there could be some draw.

Yes, I'm flaunting these DVDs to try and get some interest, and I haven't yet figured out where to sell them online, but once I do, I really hope there's someone who actually loves the film and wants at least one of these DVDs. Probably 10 bucks for the normal and 30 bucks for the transforming case. We'll see, and I'll let you know how that goes.

A sad day when a man has to sell his DVDs...


Monday, July 6, 2009

"I'm like a bad penny, I always turn up."

That's definitely the sentiment most of us felt with the latest reincarnation of Indiana Jones, and with the fifth one sounding more and more like a certainty, I had to go back and view the good Indy movies, starting with Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Yes, I know the series starts with Raiders of the Last Ark and it's better as a stand-alone film than Last Crusade, but when you have Sean Connery, Last Crusade is a must-watch movie. That, and I wanted to watch an entire film instead of snippets of Star Wars with the BR (Of course the first movie I put in was Star Wars, but I wanted to save that film for a Star Wars marathon on the BR!). And at least with the third film, Indy got back to doing what he's best at: kicking Nazi ass!

Starting out, it's Utah 1912 (sounds like a rip-roaring good time) and Indy is a young boy scout keeping an artifact out of the hands of criminals, but is unable to accomplish this. We move to 1938, where he is able to capture that artifact from the same criminals and completes his adventure safely. Back at the university, he's approached by some men who wish to take him to Walter Donovan, who tells him his father is missing, after attempting to locate the Holy Grail (without coconuts, it can be troublesome...). Traveling to Venice with Marcus Brody, Indy has to find his father, locate the whereabouts of the Grail (I knew he should have made that left turn at Alexandretta), and save all mankind from the Nazis producing immortal soldiers... and of course he does it. With a name like Indiana, he can't fail...

I love this film. Definitely not as good as the first film, but better than the second and fourth installments. It has one of my favorite lines I like to use whenever I'm somewhere I don't like: "We're pilgrims in an unholy land." And with Connery saying the line, it makes it priceless.

The quality of the picture was fantastic. No, it's not BR, but it still holds up really well. And really, with older films, the whole use of BR seems pointless, as if we're trying to strip away the history of that film. But since I have yet to view classic movies in BR (e.g. Dr. Strangelove, I will remain neutral on the topic until I have watched a classic in BR).

Clearly it has hints of '80s cheesiness all over, and it's a very light film, in terms of drama. Some of the scenes seem impossible (like sinking into the pool of gasoline to avoid burning flesh) and some lines are flat-out laughable ("He chose... poorly"). But the movie does harken back to a time when I was young and I could watch this movie 20 times in a row. Not sure I could do that now, but if anyone's in the mood for watching, I will not hesitate to put it in the BR.

No doubt the SO loves the film, as she can't decide who's hotter: Ford or Connery. Clearly that's a tough decision, as you have the greatest actor versus the greatest accent. Come on, Ford is the best actor because he was able to survive not only Star Wars fame but also Indiana Jones fame to do other films that are classics (e.g. Blade Runner, Patriot Games, Air Force One). And Connery can say anything, like, "I eat my poop" and women will come flocking to him with their panties down to their ankles. So it could be the greatest combo on film (may be questionable to say, but it's always something to debate).

Without a doubt, this film is staying, and that last film with Indy (which shall remain nameless) will NEVER be a part of my collection. That is a fact, no, a theory, no, a law! Later!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Feeling a little Blu... part II

Quick recap: bought a BR with the SO not in town. Spent $567. SO not happy.

So the next day after this ginormous purhcase, I went to lab to get stuff ready for the week. I planned out everything for that week so I could keep busy and get everything necessary done before my advisor left. That took an hour or so. At that point I thought I would check to see what had to say about HDMI cables and what I needed. Little did I know that would start a chain of events I'd never be able to stop...

Come to find out that you should never pay more than $10 for an HDMI cable. I was livid. I could feel the blood just oozing out of my eyes. Yeah, my eyes, I was that mad. How could I be so stupid to spend 130 bucks on a cable, when I could get a quality cable for 10 bucks or less? I followed cnet's advice, went to Amazon, and bought a cable for 22 cents! I know, that's incredible! With shipping, it was a total of $3.20. That meant I was returning the cable, and I knew I could be back at Fry's next weekend because I would be traveling that way to take the SO to my BF's fiancee's bachelorette party.

With a much cheaper cable (like 100% cheaper), I went through cnet's review of the 4600, and it flat out said that the 3600 was just as good. The blood began to ooze out of my ears. It was as if I knew at that moment that I got hosed by the Fry guy and I wanted to zoom down there to return it because I felt so dirty by being in possession of this filth. With the blink of an eye, I left lab to go to HH Gregg's and talk to the people who sold us our TV. I told them how I wanted a BR for DVDs and he pointed out the Samsung BD P1600, and that it was the ability for Netflix streaming if I needed (through an ethernet cable, not wirelessly like the 3600 or 4600). Doubtful that I would ever use that service, I knew this was a better BR for the SO and me. The price there for the 1600 was $279.99. That sounded like such a reasonable price after dropping 400 bucks on something that looked like it could fly to Mars.

The whole idea sounded absurd after the fact, but I decided after getting out of HH Gregg's that I needed to go to Fry's to return the BR and HDMI cable. Of course I was delayed by the fact that I wanted to drive my car but forgot to grab the keys as I left lab! So with the SO's car freshly gassed up (and no cruise control), I zoomed down to Fry's to get my money back. I was able to get everything back on my debit card, but I thought I should see what kind of price Fry's had on the 1600 (I know, I never learn). $249.99! It's a shame I couldn't have bought this from HH Gregg's but this was a good deal. With the box in hand, the cashier rang it up and I swear I first thought I heard him say 300 dollars. I looked at the receipt and he priced it at 200 bucks! I couldn't believe it. A 300 dollar BR for 200!

In total, I went from spending 567 dollars to spending 317 dollars... a savings of $250! At this point, I needed to grease the wheels of my SO's heart, and the first thing I thought of was going to Border's to get her the knitting mag she had wanted. Of course they didn't have it, but I knew there was something I could get her: a large Dunkin Donuts iced coffee with coconut syrup, cream, and sugar. Bringing it to her, she knew that something was up. I told her the whole story about how I was really angry about getting ripped off and how I saved so much money and now we have a BR that will be perfect for us. Yeah I was doing everything not to permamently stay in the doghouse. And somehow... it worked.

Opening it up that week was like having Christmas in June. The smile couldn't get off my face. Only one problem... where could it go? With the cable box, Wii, and surround sound, there wasn't much room for the BR on the entertainment center. But I found room... I also found out I didn't need the A/V cable (which I returned before dropping the SO off at the bachelorette party).

And so, from this point on, I can give reviews for movies that will be in quality picture. And someday I might be able to purchase a BR disc (BRD), but what will be the first choice? My first DVD was The Matrix, but I'm not sure I want that as my first BRD. It'll come to me at some point what should be the first, and I know it'll be a good one. But until then, I have all these DVDs that need to be watched with the clarity and quality from a BR. Later!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Check out these links!!!

The SO, for some reason, has been nagging that I don't link to her blog (even though there's a link for it on the right hand side... if she'd REALLY take a look at my blog). For those of you who love movies and knitting, then you can get your knitting fill from the SO's blog.

For those of you who need a daily morning monologue (in case you don't stay up for Conan or Dave), then check out one of my best friend's blog, what he likes to call Monoblog. I'd say it's a nice start, and I can't wait to get my funny for the day from him.

There you have it, folks. Two more blogs for you to check out... once you're done perusing through mine!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Feeling a little Blu... part I

Hey everyone. Back with an update about getting a Blu-ray. So funny story...

A couple weekends ago, the SO and her friend were planning on going up to Chi-town to see the Harry Potter exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry. For some strange reason, I had to ask her if I were to go out and get a Blu-ray (BR), what would be her reaction? Would she kill me or kill me beyond recognition so not even the coroner's office would know it was my body (or what's left of it). She actually responded by saying she would be really mad but she wouldn't be completely disappointed. I was as happy as a little school girl...

It just happened that I was going to meet my 'rents for lunch for Father's Day so I would be able to hit up some electronic stores, like Fry's, and see what was available and what was in the budget (budget... hahaha!). Now I had been looking on for what was the best BR player available and what sort of prices there were, but when I get in an electronic store without the SO, my brain goes out the door.

So I'm clearly interested in a BR that will give the best quality to my DVDs, while at the same time will be good for years to come with future purchases. So I'm looking at the Samsung BD P4600. Priced at 400 big ones. Again, the latest and the greatest. Of course there's no one around to help me figure out what is good and what isn't. After about 10 minutes of looking, an employee of Fry's finally comes over to ask if I need help. I put it simply to him: "What's the best BR for watching DVDs?" With my eye on the 4600, he of course said the 4600 or the 3600 (probably because they were the most expensive). He said the 4600 has built-in Wi-fi so I can easily update the BR when needed.

This is when he went in for the kill. He asked what kind of TV I had. I puffed up the chest, metaphorically, and said a Samsung 860 series plasma, 50 inch. He was impressed with my TV, and he knew he could get me with the line: "Well, if you have the top-of-the-line TV, for high quality you'll want a top-of-the-line BR." So I naively grabbed the box. Of course now I needed a top-of-the-line HDMI cable, which he gladly led me to the Monster HDMI cables, the 900 and the 1200. He said the 1200 is what I 130 dollars! Being the idiot I was at the time, I went with the 1200, thinking I need the most expensive to have the best quality. He quickly rang me up so he could have the sale, and I went to the Cashier to make the purchase. In total, it was 567 dollars.

I felt the rush alright. So much that I forgot I'd probably need an A/V cable for hooking the BR up to the surround sound. So I dropped another $8.55 at Fry's. I felt so paranoid with it in the car all afternoon while having lunch with the 'rents and doing errands. I wanted to get home so it would be safe. During the car ride home, I thought, "I won't open anything so I can talk with the SO and decide if this is what we need."

Around 7:30 that evening, the SO called to say she was starting the trek back home from Chi-town. She asked if I bought a BR and I flatly said yes I did. She was surprised when she responded, but it didn't sound like an angry surprise. It was a "Oh, I'm so mad at you but I know that a BR is what we need so I will try to sound angry but I can't do it right now" response.

When she finally did get home, I showed her what I had purchased. She was still in shock and asked how much. That's when I felt my throat closing as I told her 567 bucks. She really gave me the death look. I quickly calmed the fire by saying I would take a look the next day at and we can go to HH Gregg to see what they tell us about what we should have for BR. Little did I know that wouldn't be the end of this debacle...

Next post: The exciting conclusion to whether or not I would ever see the light of day again, or at least my half of the bed. Tune in to find out!