Thursday, November 5, 2009




Amazon is running a special: Pixar's Up is priced at 20 bucks for the 4 disc Blu-ray. Ok, so one of the discs is a DVD copy and one of the discs is a digital copy disc, but still. That's 20 bucks for one of the best films of the year.

But wait. There's more. If you buy Pixar's Monsters Inc. along with it for 23 dollars, they knock off 10 bucks. You can pay 33 dollars for Up and Monsters Inc together. Pretty good, right? Averages out to about 16.50 per, which would be a great price even for a DVD of a successful Disney film.

But wait. There's more. There's also a general Disney promotion where buying a third Disney movie of your choice from a list will knock off another 10 dollars from the total. You could get Up, Monster's Inc, and Snow White for a total of 43 dollars (20+23+20-10-10). This is an average price of 14.33, practically unheard of for Disney films this well respected on home video overall, let alone in a high-end HD format.

That's 43 dollars. For three Blu-rays, each of which also happen to include a DVD copy of the movie. For reference, buying each DVD edition would cost $57.50!


Up + Monster's Inc. + Cars

For 35 dollars and change. That's less than 12 bucks a piece for three Pixar movies. On Blu-ray. Cars doesn't come with a DVD like Up and Monster's Inc., but seriously? Fuck DVD.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I wish I had a reason to wear a costume this year.

What happened.

I should throw on my Spider-man costume anyway for no reason.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Beatlemania Running Wild



There are two failures I see here.

#1: Only a remaster. Where's the remix? The stereo mixes are badmouthed constantly, so why not do proper stereo remixes using the mono mix as the basis? This would give stereo mixes which are the aural equal of the superior mono mix. It's not that mono is better, it's that the stereo mix is worse! On top of this, do it in 5.1. Surround, motherfucker.

#2: No high resolution release. I wouldn't buy it on SACD or DVD-A myself, but when they remaster in a high resolution form, they should make it available in a high resolution form. There are rumors of Blu-ray and vinyl releases. But screw that. Where are those releases now? Also: screw vinyl. Analog media, even if high resolution, is too easily damaged by simply playback, and I really don't want to buy myself a turntable just to hear this music.

But they got the Rock Band game, so I can't really be mad... but now I play the waiting game for my boxsets and game to arrive from Amazon. Still surprised they actually sold out before street date. Weird.

Friday, August 21, 2009

New PS3... who cares?

So a new PS3 is coming out. Should be good. Smaller, less electricity, lower price (300 bucks, nice), and even bitstreaming HD audio (not that that matters).

But I don't care. PS3 still lacks exclusive games I care about. Not the 360 actually has it, but I already have a 360 and it's still cheaper.

But the thing that bugs me: they missed their chance for PS2 software emulation. I mean, technically they should be able to do it with a firmware update to the fat model even, but they apparently don't want it. It's terrible. It's one thing for a Super Nintendo to not be compatible with NES cartridges, but once everything is optical discs, there is NO excuse for not having software emulation at the very least. I only own one Gamecube game, but I am so damned grateful the Wii is compatible regardless. It's just asinine to ACTIVELY not have this feature. Yeah, that's right, Sony USED TO have emulation for PS2 in PS3. Older models even had whole chipsets devoted to it. Then it became software emulation. Then that was dropped too.


Oh well, at least PS3s dropping down to 300 should make them more appealing to the general masses, and once a PS3 is in their home, Blu-ray should be able to jam its foot in the door more easily. And as market penetration for the format goes up, that means the studios will finally get off their asses and bring the titles they've been sitting on.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Niche my ass!

Watchmen sold 36% in Blu-ray format during it's first week.

This means that of people who bought Watchmen during it's first week out, MORE THAN one in three persons with the movie got it on Blu-ray. This means that over 1/3 people who own this movie have a Blu-ray player.

Previous record before this for first week was like 18% or something too. Just goes to show what can happen when movies on Blu-ray are priced fairly; Watchmen was available for under 21 dollars at many places. I got my copy from Amazon for $20.50. I think I heard people getting it as low as $19.50... probably those bastards with Fry's near them. I checked, and the closest Fry's to southeast Michigan is located in fucking Illinois. What.

But I digress. People are STILL saying Blu-ray is failing to catch on. How? I can understand saying "I don't think it will replace DVD as mainstream media of choice", but to say it is failing is just totally wrong. I mean, what is the point that those people would consider Blu-ray to be successful? It's already a huge financial success, so that can't be it. Maybe 50% software market share? 50% hardware market share? I don't get it.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

If I only have two ears, why do I have 7 speakers?

Dropped a ton of cash on a receiver and some speakers. It's great. Got it because the reviews of Watchmen finally pushed me to take the plunge. And the film was great, even if the dialog was overly quiet; that just made the explosions of sound hit even harder due to the overall higher volume necessary. But I digress.

The receiver doesn't have stereo input. I don't get it. The standard 3.5 mm "headphone" jack. Can't take input from that. And that's all my computer's sound card can output, and that's how I listen to my CDs. But the thing has plenty of RCA inputs I'll never use.

So I check Amazon, and yes, they have stereo-to-RCA cables. They cost a couple dollars, and I opt to pay a couple dollars more to get it next day. I wanted them right away, but didn't feel like driving up to Best Buy and spending 15 bucks on the same product.

It came in while I was asleep yesterday. I set it up when I got home from work this morning. Shit doesn't work. Oh, one side works, but the other doesn't.

So now I listen to one side of music. Hard pans fail completely. It's like wearing in-ear headphones, except only one. One. I pay all this money for a shitton of speakers and I get ONE input to play from. Thanks.

I think I'm going to splice up my own stereo-to-RCA cable on my day off next week. I'm not about to waste more money to get this shit to work, not when I'm confident that I can handle a simple splicing of two cables.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I watch the Watchmen

Watchmen is a comic series about superheroes. It is kind of a big deal. They recently made a movie about.

This movie is coming out next week. Because I was excited for it, I looked around to see if I could get one piece of merchandise.

A smiley button with a stylized blood splatter.

Long story short, in the comic, there is a man called the Comedian. He wears a smiley button and he is murdered. When he is killed, the button gets splattered with blood, and this iconic image of the blood splattered smiley face button has become a symbol of sorts for the entire series.


So I was looking to find an official button. Not possible. They don't even make it. They make TONS of buttons for Watchmen (appealing to the Hot Topic crowd I suppose), but not a one of them is the iconic blood splattered smiley. What the hell?

Worse, like I said, this icon has become a symbol for the entire series, mostly thanks to it being used as the cover for the paperback collected edition I think. But it's not used in any of the artwork for the movie release. Instead, they have a special edition release with the Doomsday Clock colored yellow FOR NO REASON, and splattered with blood as the smiley button is supposed to be. Basically, they replaced the smiley with the Doomsday Clock (which itself is a noteworthy symbol in the series). Sucks.

Reason: As far as I can guess, it is because the original smiley graphic is copyrighted, and even though Time Warner was willing to pay to use it for the collected edition of the comic, they were not willing to pay to use it for the home video release of the movie. They weren't even willing to pay the case to get the graphic used on any of the MANY buttons they made to coincide with the film's release. Apparently, they never even made any for just the comics release either, but wow. How hard should it be to give the fans a simple button with a yellow smiley face and a small splatter of blood printed on it?

And while I'm babbling about Watchmnen, I'd like to say this: Amazon has it on pre-order for 20.50. New release Blu-ray of a high profile comic adaptation. Just barely north of 20 dollars. And people are STILL complaining about how expensive Blu-ray is compared to DVD. Check again, fool, the DVD of this movie is only a couple dollars less.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Harry Potter and the Inexplicably Titled Sequels

The next Harry Potter flick is coming this Wednesday.

Yesterday, I resolved to watch the first five films before.

I don't think I'll be successful.

And even worse, a few of my DVDs are -gasp- "fullscreen". Pan-and-scan is a bain of my existence. It's not completely unwatchable on a 4:3 TV set, but it is just completely stupid on a 16:9 set. Oh well, at least one of my two cropjob copies is duplicated in proper widescreen format in my mom's enormous DVD collection. I just need to figure out what to do for Prisoner of Azkaban. Luckily, that's the third one, and if all goes as planned, I won't get to that til Tuesday or maybe Wednesday, so I'm not gonna sweat it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The nerve of those on

There's a site called On the site people post things there that happen to them. Bad things. Things that might make a person say him or herself, "fuck my life"...

I read this one just now:

"Today, I was going to propose to my girlfriend of 3 years. I got reservations for a romantic dinner, and at the end, fireworks would spell out my proposal. The whole thing had taken weeks to plan out and had cost me a lot of money. She proposed to me at a subway station first. FML."

What the fuck. Really? What does it matter? Fuck you, bro. The end scenario is the same, a happily ever after. How dare you be upset? That just gives you a funny story to tell: "I had planned an enormous proposal, but coincidentally, my girlfriend spontaneously proposed that night before I had the chance." That's not sad or messed up, that's cute.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Why do I want to see every movie

I got a little hung up on Transformers and was super psyched on that one, but I completely overlooked everything else.

Public Enemies, the John Dillinger picture with Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. Usually I wouldn't be too excited about a crime drama, but Johnny Depp and Christian Bale only do good movies, so this can't be bad.

The Proposal... normally I wouldn't be quite so jazzed on a romantic comedy, but Ryan Reynolds is great. Doesn't matter what the guy does, I always seem to enjoy it.

Year One, written by Harold Ramis, starring Jack Black and Michael Cera. Heard it ripped off Life of Brian a little bit, but I don't care. Harold Ramis.

And of course, The Hangover. Wanted to see it but didn't think too much of it, but the reviews were pretty amazing. Also kind of cool to see Zach Galifianakis in a major movie like this. Not too many people know of him still.

I gotta get around to this shit. Coming up I got:

The live action adaptation of Blood. Never saw the anime movie, but the show was good. Should at least make for a good action movie with vampires.

I Love You, Beth Cooper. Comedy with Hayden Panettiere about a kid who embarrasses this girl he has a secret crush on by telling her he loves her during his graduation speech. Apparently based on a book. Heh.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Could well be the best Harry Potter picture yet. Is many fans' favorite book, and frankly, I'd probably put it at the top myself. There's even buzz that because the Acadamy is doing 10 Best Picture nominees that this one might actually get a nomination next year. Amazing.

Funny People. The next Apatow film... this one has Adam Sandler in it (it's also a Happy Madison production). It's about a standup comedian who finds out he's dying. Has Seth Rogen too. Can't go wrong with Apatow and Rogen; can't believe I only just saw Freaks and Geeks and only just rediscovered Undeclared to find that Rogan was on that back then.

The Ugly Truth. Don't know too much about this, but it sounds like it'll be good. Gerard Butler (Leonidas in 300) and Katherine Heigl (Alison in Knocked Up). I think it's a romantic comedy or something. I don't know.

GI Joe. Will probably flop like crazy, but it should at least make for a good action flick.

And crap, I still have these free tickets for Night at the Museum yet. I hope I remember to use at least one of them before that thing lapses out of theatres, because otherwise I'll have to use them for Ice Age or just give them away (and whoever gets them would only be able to use them for Ice Age). I mean, I do have an interest in seeing Ice Age, but I just don't even care about it anywhere near as much as the other ones I listed. Just a good thing I already knocked off Wolverine, Star Trek, Terminator, and Up.

Still wanna see Land of the Lost, Angels and Demons, and Away We Go, but I'll probably just wait til I can get a good price on a BD.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Been a while

The other day I had the worst day at work.

Saturday nights are always pretty bad. People like to stay up all night ordering room service, and asking for towels that they don't even need, asking me to park their car at 3 AM only to leave again at 3:30. But this past week, there was an annoying church group in house.

So on top of getting my butt kicked all night long, causing me to be unable to fulfill many of my normal job tasks, it was these church people all night long. Asking for sheets and blankets at 3 AM. Asking for towels at 4 AM. Food orders all night. Luggage assist requests all night. And just enough of a smattering of people wanting to park valet so that I could spend the entire night on the precipice of madness.

And normally, the bad weekend nights aren't even that bad. Not only do they not ride me as hard, but I usually walk away from the ordeal with a pocket full of cash.

Not this time. These church people don't tip at all.


Honestly, I'm not one to squabble on tips. I do make an hourly rate and it's not exactly bad considering the work, but it is just incredibly disheartening to get my ass destroyed all night long and have nothing to show for it at the end. Especially considering the tips I got this past Saturday were less in total than what I would consider a typical weekday haul. Maybe I should just actually go ahead and see about trying to get weekends off. Even on the normal weekends, it can be really rough, and even coming out of it with a load of cash doesn't make up for it for me. Not like I really need money after all. Who needs money, really?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Something is definitely wrong with me

My sleep schedule is fucked.

I just woke up from sleeping for about 13 hours. Before I had went to bed for this 13 hour trip, I had been awake for a mere 7 hours. Before the 7 hours of wakedness, I had slept for 12 hours.

Maybe I should try to find some employment that doesn't require that I be awake all night and sleep during the day. Maybe I should work on not getting off of work in the morning and spending the entire day awake when I happen to have a day off.

Maybe I should go see a doctor about my sleep issues.

Fuck it.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Piece o' junk timepiece

I recently purchased a pocket watch. I thought it would be a great way to tell time, because I had noticed that the band on the watch I used to wear every day irritated my wrist and I didn't want to mess around with that anymore.

Oh, and I still refuse to get with the times and get a cell phone.

So I put down 30 bucks for a nifty pocket watch.


Basically, it's a replica watch from the POPULAR ANIME Fullmetal Alchemist (as previously seen on Adult Swim). It looks great and the reviews indicated that the product functioned excellently as a time-keeping tool. Considering that I've been going without a watch for too long now, I figure 30 bucks dropped on this thing isn't bad, especially since I put down 80 on my last watch (which, in hindsight, was worth it for the added quality... ugh).

Flash-forward a few days and the damn thing can't keep time. It's not stopped or broken or anything, it just goes about a half-hour slow after a day. A pocket watch that can't tell time is no good for me, even though it still looks great. This is ironic, because I very nearly almost purchased a replica Power Rangers communicator watch in the past, despite it not telling time. And you know, if I could have gotten it for 30 bucks, I definitely would have. But I don't havethe same reverence for FMA that I do for Power Rangers, or rather, FMA doesn't hit the nostalgia point for me like Power Rangers does.

But I digress. I'm just bummed that my sweet new watch is a piece of junk. Anyone know any FMA cosplayers that need a watch?

edit: as of the 15th of May, the thing seems to be keeping time correctly. I do not understand, but at least the thing doesn't suck as much balls as I thought.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

35mm is not SD

People scoff at older material released on Blu-ray. Why?

They think that for something to be HD, it needs to have been created in the last decade or so wherein HD has begun its viability. But they ignore film. All movies and many older TV shows were recorded on film.

Film is an analog source. Common sizes for movies and TV are 16mm and 35mm. Some films also appear in larger sizes such as 70mm or IMAX's proprietary 70mm format.

Now, SD TV material is 640x480. HD is 1280x720 or 1920x1080. Care to guess what the digital resolution inherent to film is?

35mm is usually scanned at what is called 4K, which is 4096x3112. In the past, 2K was common, but even 2K is a higher resolution than modern TVs can display (and many people don't even have 1080p sets and are instead content with 720p sets).

The thing that set me off was people questioning why Star Trek The Original Series was being released on Blu-ray and stating flatly that there wasn't a reason for it. Ignoring the obvious things like framerate, progressive display, more accurate color, and more disc capacity, they think that the 35mm masters of the show didn't show enough resolution to be worth displaying at 1080p. Things like this are ridiculous and just make me so mad. It's one thing to say "I don't think it would look that much better and it wouldn't be worth it for me considering the price," but to flatly say that the film isn't resolved enough is just annoying and completely wrong. And it's not even that... people even think old MOVIES don't have enough resolution inherent in the master negatives/interpositives, when in fact, even theatrical prints would look good (i.e., resolved enough) if transferred and encoded on Blu-ray.

I'm not even a fan of Star Trek, but I love what they did here. Full restoration of film masters for TV shows should be more common. Not many shows have gotten it, and Star Trek is the first one to start putting them out in HD for consumers. Kinda surprised, since Seinfeld rescanned their film masters a while back too and they still haven't gotten around to putting them out. Dragon Ball Z has done it too, but again, not released on Blu-ray for consumers yet.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I'm not fat :'(

My Wii told me I'm fat. I'm not fat. My Wii is fat.

Wii Fit. Hah! More like Wii Fat.

Am I overweight? Sure, a little. But I'm not that overweight, and if I were as low as their BMI wants me to be, I'd be really unhealthy. The worst part is that I'm quite possibly in the best shape of my life the last few weeks, and even though I'm around as thin as my body can actually be, I'm 190 pounds apparently.

I'm just going to go ahead and assume the weight is all in my mighty muscles. I was roughly this size around the waist back in high school and I wasn't anywhere near as heavy, but my muscles were also much less developed. I know no one is reading this, but seriously, my biceps and triceps and pecs have improved so much that I honestly am amazed at it. An outside observer probably wouldn't be at all impressed, but there has definitely been marked improvement.

Oh, and while I'm at it, I'd like to echo a point that a show called Bullshit covered quite effectively: BMI is bullshit. Body builders who are the epitome of health are labeled as "obese" according to that shit just because of how much they weigh.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wolverine or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Prequel

The thing got leaked. I saw it. Was not impressed. Not that I was planning to see it in the theatre anyway, but I really didn't want to after seeing the work print.

Then I heard about the X-men films on Blu-ray. I had been planning on buying them so long as they were reasonably priced, and Best Buy was set to have them in store for 55 bucks on release day. Terrific. I had no qualms about paying that.

Then I heard that the individual releases had e-cash for a ticket to the Wolverine picture... but the box set didn't. "No big deal," I thought to myself. "I didn't even want to see it anyway."

But then I hear that Best Buy is doing a 2 for 35 dollars deal. Not only those 3 X-men films, but more than a few others I had been eyeballing. So I grab the three X-men films and Horton Hears a Who for about 17 bucks each. Each one of the movies comes with e-cash for one of three future Fox releases, most notably here being the Wolverine movie.

So I get a great deal on movies I wanted to buy, and I get to take the family out to see this Wolverine picture. And people say Blu-ray is too expensive. How often are DVDs available for 17 bucks on release day and come with free tickets to a sequel in the theatre? Ok, it's probably not that unusual, but it's still pretty good, especially since these X-men movies are freaking packed with extras.

And anyway, even if the Wolverine movie is just as bad as the workprint, it doesn't cost a thing and the action is top notch regardless. Just disappointing what they did with my homeboy Deadpool.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My addiction

My name is Chris, and I have a problem.

I have an addiction. An addiction to Blu-ray.

Right now, I've got a shelf here with 250+ Blu-rays and DVDs, with somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 of them unwatched yet. The shelf unit is almost totally full.

And I'm seriously contemplating buying more. I've got a cartload on Amazon ready to go with about 50.

Fifty. Even if I was getting these at insane prices averaging 10 bucks each, that'd be 500 bucks. The average price is probably more like 17~18 or so. I'll let you do the math.

At least I can take solace in the fact that I haven't got anything better to spend the cash on. No family dependent on me, no girlfriend to shower with gifts, no drive or direction to further my education, and I get by with minimal living expenses. Wait! This is a good thing?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wait... what's ffya?

Been meaning to start up something like this for a while. A place for my insane ramblings that no one wants to read or hear about.

Used to keep the crap confined to a private forum, but they got tired of the bullshit I think. Me always asking for advice then conveniently neglecting to follow through on it, bringing myself further down the road to despair. Not that you'll be seeing any of that here. I can expose my vulnerability and emotional troubles in a private forum, but no way in fuck would I broadcast it so indiscriminately.

So this seems like a better way of pulling it off perhaps. I think I'll start this off with a rehash from the last thing I posted on the private forum. An overzealous tirade about a little something I recently discovered called Seam Carving. Because I'm lazy as fuck, I will just be copy pasting. Hopefully Chardish won't ban me for leaking ffya material:

It was this time. Something called SEAMonster. If you've heard of it, yes, I know, it's old. I don't care. This thing amazed the hell out of me just now and I feel I have to make sure others are aware of it.

Basically, it's awesome and allows for free resizing of an image without destroying the quality of the "important" information in the picture. Something called "seam carving". Here's a video about it:

With the software, it can automatically detect what is "important" based on the contrast difference between adjacent pixels or you can select specifically what is important or unimportant.

The examples they showed involved reframing wide pictures into more square-like sizes, reframing skinny images into wide ones, and hey, removing individual persons automatically and seemingly seamlessly. This is freaking amazing all-around. While watching that video, my mouth was serious agape the entire time. It seemed to have a hard time identifying information to maintain the correct appearance of people (especially their face), but if you tell it what parts are important, it maintains them well.

Apparently the recent build of Photoshop has this thing built right in (although they call it "Content Aware Scaling"). Now, lately I've not been one for interweb piracy, so I don't think I could do that, but I also don't much feel like dropping hundreds of dollars on that piece of junk software either. Ah well. I suppose I'll just wait for the open source community to put something similar together.