Posts

Showing posts from 2017

Get Out – Movie Review

Image
Once in a while, you get a new movie, directed by a someone who is just venturing out, and his first effort really hits the spot.
This is Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, but you never get a sense that he has not been around for a while. On a budget more skimpy than Halle Barry’s Perle, he has manufactured a solid thriller, and that’s coming from someone who is not that fond of shock and horror movies.
It’s part Sidney Poiter’s In the Heat of the Night, mixed in with some Saw and Stepford Wives, but it feels very original, as it deals with a young black man going to meet his white girlfriend’s parents and the extended family. Things gradually begin to get creepy and feel strange as his girlfriend’s family are not really what they appear to be. He soon has to use all his wit to get out, and that’s what the plot is basically about.
It has some racial apartheid kind of humor mixed in with the strangeness and the levity it lends adds to the flow nicely. The lead is a new actor too, but afte…

Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle movie review

Image
It was 1995, and Jumanji was a very interesting movie, that had a rather unique plot, that made use of cutting edge computer graphics. I recall a scene where a car is run over by a horde of elephants and was totally amazed by how real it looked.

So two decades later, is there a need for a remake/reboot and how did it fare?

Well, this second movie serves almost as a sequel, with homage to the original, but the plot does try to differentiate itself, with a much brighter outlook and positive tempo. The original had one of the top comedians around, but Robin Williams did have a darker side and it showed in the show, with a few rather scary scenes which I felt would have disqualified it as a family movie.

The premise is similar, but you will not need to watch the original to understand or follow this instalment. Once again, four people, all kids this time get trapped in the game and need to finish it to escape. However they are transformed into different personas, and this is where the magic …

Sony UBP-X800 4K Blu-ray Player Review

Image
Sony website link

https://www.sony.com/electronics/blu-ray-disc-players/ubp-x800
 Test gear: http://peteswrite.blogspot.sg/2016/03/my-setup-march-2016.html
Important tech info:
Two HDMI outputs: one HDMI 2.0b output, one HDMI 1.4 for audio only Coaxial output Ethernet LAN, USB Audio format support with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS Decoding, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Plays almost all formats, even SACD & DVD-A Wifi built in, DNLA and streaming capability, Bluetooth Frame-and-beam chassis offers a rigid structure to eliminate micro-vibrations, as well as effective electrical shielding Supports many master-quality 24-bit audio formats, from AAC and WAV, to DSD 11.2 MHz and more Internet apps, eg Netflix and Youtube NO Dolby Vision


Sony was the last to join the 4k player revolution, and even though they have taken their time, we are grateful for their first few offerings. The X800 is the more budget offering, and it removes the analogue audio section …

Short reviews : Dark Tower, Baby Boss, The Finest Hour, Valerian and Cars 3

Another series of flights and some quick notes

I saw a brace of shows with ideas and concepts not dissimilar to earlier works, here we see a triumph of CGI and technology over a lynchpin or pillar of a good movie - the plot.

Baby boss

Not bad and it follows the tried and tested mix of humor with some adult sensitivity but this movie about sibling rivalry and a subplot of conspiracy doesn't hit the same highs as the other older big cartoon hits.

Valerian

You must admire Luc Besson for his imagination and creativity but when you compare this space adventure to his earlier Fifth Element, it doesn't not hit the spot. The plot moves along too quickly makes too many assumptions on what the audience knows or needs to know before stepping into the movie.

Dark Tower

A story about good versus evil and there's plenty of potential but again the production values are great but a credible storyline is lacking. The good guy has a puny pistol and a young apprentice and he is ex…

What can you do to keep your car battery in good shape?

Image
These days there are a lot more things in your average car that requires power. Daylight running lights, USB ports, GPS, Car Cameras etc etc
Even the start stop function uses up battery and if there's only one battery, that puts a lot of stress on it.
x
So in order to avoid a dead battery on the road, do consider: Avoid charging a lot of stuff in the car, especially with the engine turned off. Do not to use the aircon/radio/usb after turning off the engine Use a separate battery if you use a Park Mode camera Do try to drive long distances once in a while to charge the battery
What do you do to keep your car battery in good shape?

Thor Ragnarok – Movie Review

Image
Thor – what do you think of when someone mentions this particular superhero? Perhaps a good analogy will be what the kind of weather we associated with him? Brooding, powerful, slightly unpredictable, prone to flashes of anger and quick to act, with more brawn than brain? The past two installments of Thor as well as his character in the previous Avenger movies have only reinforced this stereotype, and a third outing with the same sort of outlook will probably draw less of the ticket buying public than a re-issue of some old show like Superman from 1979.
So Marvel takes a chance with a new director, who takes a totally new turn, and viola, you basically get a bit of Alice in Wonderland, mixed in with some Guardians of the Galaxy, and a bit of the Brothers and Sisters TV series thrown in too. Mix that up with a mega dose of humor and plenty of slapstick, and not forgetting to add the prerequisite amount of over the top action sequences, and now you have Thor Ragnarok.
That might be an oversi…

If Your Auto-Calibration Results Are Rather Odd

Image
Just sharing a little something
If you have some very odd measurements, check 
if the mike is held firmly there are no obstructions to the sound path, eg a headrest in the path of the rear speakersa big reflection table between the mike and the speakerkeep really really silentI recently did some measurements and didn't notice the rain outside, and in another incident, I simply moved the mike up slightly and the measurements were vastly improved. Even moving the grip position of the mike also helped. Cheers 

Aliens Convenant, The King's Case Notes, Shockwave and other short reviews

Alien : Convenant
This is like "A Series Of Unfortunate Events In Space"... There's an eagerness to skip the metaphysical, philosophical style established in it's precedent, and instead move back to the shock and scare mode used in Episode I. However the plot suffers as we move from one poorly timed event to the next. It's almost like the director said, "ok, I shall give you 20 minutes or so to go slow-mo, then let's skip the plot and move onto the scare tactics." For Alien fans, it's worth a rental, likewise for demo and surround fans.
The King's Case Note This Korean Sherlock sort of show does enough to engage you cerebrally and peppers it with sufficient humor and intrigue to keep you interested for a rental. 
Pirates: Dead Men Tell No Tales Enough action and just about sufficient humor to keep Pirate Franchise fans happy, and brings it to a conclusion. Rental at best, unless you are a action or demo fan.
Shockwave
A Hong Kong action thri…

Baywatch, The Mummy, Megan Leavey

Baywatch:
The reboot sees the prerequisite babes, bods and beach, with The Rock taking the lead, and a very pumped up Zac Affron, who is probably meant to attract the younger crowd. Add a few more fresh faces, a rough semblance of a plot that could have been pulled out of a Famous Five novel, spice it up with plenty of smut and foul language, and make sure the beautiful bodies are on full display and that's the movie. Does it work, well somewhat.. it's worth a worth, especially if the above items appeal to you, but rent first, and see how you feel.

The Mummy
Tom Cruise tries his hand at a fusion of Indiana Jones, with some Dirk Pitt thrown in, and it's spun into a Mummy based plot with elements of Jekyll vs Hyde and some elements of a superhero seasoning on top. Does it work? Well... it's a rental.. at best I am afraid. It's a case of not bad, but just not.. not funny enough, not actioned packed enough, and the delivery, chemistry are nice but just not too great when ben…

Do You Really Need To Follow Every Update Issued For Your Gear?

That old adage still applies:
" if it ain't broken, don't fix it .. " Unless there's something obviously wrong or it's a function you really desire, don't blindly upgrade or update. That goes for amps, players or even TVs. If you are really itching to do it, wait a few days, see if someone discovers a glitch or two, then plunge in. That is even more important when you can't easily restore the original firmware. Safety first.

The Shack – Movie Review

Image
Religion themed movies aren't usually associated with the mainstream, and they usually pop the champagne if they break even. One of the recent ones which defied expectation was the Blind Side, but that was primarily a sport movie with a hint of Christianity as an icing. Here is a show, with some A-listers and some veterans who aren't some old actors hoping for a quick paycheck. The people involved are certainly heavy hitters and it's overtly religious themes will polarize audiences. So was it damp squib, or a spirited hit on high? The story isn't new, a man loses his daughter to an awful pedophile murderer. He mets his maker, in three unusual forms and they try to help him find peace and answer that perennial question asked since Job lost his kids and possessions: "Where is God when it hurts?" Well, the film works simply because the actors really commit to their roles, be it the two Aussies as the husband and wife who lose their youngest, or the trio…

Handy woman tips

Image
Car
Turning on: check idiot lamp, see that it's not blue. Don't rev the engine, let it warm up a bit so engine oil can flow through the engine - You can start normally, just don't rev it, by the time you move iff, it should be ok.

Engine oil
Change engine oil 6 months or 10,000km whichever comes first - Conti cars about 15 000km between changes or one year
Some people say the more often you change engine oil the better
Specifications of engine oil: 
W - stands for winter
10 - viscosity (slipperiness) of the oil
The higher the second number, the more viscous for warm climates. Follow engine manufacturers. If too thick, more difficult for engine. Viscosity breaks down when engine is overheated (car may stop) 
When engine is overheated, send car to mechanic and ask if engine oil needs to be changed as oil may have broken down
Radiator pressure cap: DO NOT OPEN when engine is hot. Do it first thing in the morning. Radiator should always be full of water. If car is 5 years old, you may w…