20130528, mardi

A. Watched Halo 4: Forward unto Dawn.

  1. 91 minutes, 2012, supposedly in HD.
  2. Watched on my high-def computer setup.
  3. Lighting problems: many.  There was often too little light to make anything out.
  4. Contrast--often too little to separate objects visually.  Characters often said, 'what is that?'
  5. #2 and #3 combine to give bad-looking, washed-out greyscale for about 30% of the film.
  6. When colour was present, it was frequently the ugly yellow-green of fluorescent lamps.
  7. It's fugly.  It's repellant It's eye-strain with no payoff.
  8. The reviews in imdb were predictable.  Die-hard Halo console fans/players loved it; those who can apply a critical eye to films generally did not care for it as much.
  9. The acting was uninspired because the screen play sucked, which meant the actors had little to work with.  Character development left me anti-interested in all characters except perhaps Lasky and Master Chief.
  10. I was quite impressed by the abject poverty on the Halo universe: short on ideas, short on plot, short on characterisation, short on economic reality, short on good exposition.  What groups actually produce anything in this universe?  Only the Insurrectionists, who are farmers by and large, the people who produce the food.  Most of the first half (plus) of the film is spent trying to convince the protagonist that it is morally imperative to kill the farmers.  Great future, folks.
  11. I gave this film one star of five.  I wish that I could have given it negative three (three steps below zero).


20130525, samedi

Yikes!  I need to catch up.

A. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
  1. Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton.
  2. Watched via AppleTV.  Great sound and visuals.
  3. 2011, 133 minutes
  4. We rated it 4 stars of 5.
  5. Great action sequences, good performances, nice dashes of humor.
B. The Raw and the Cooked
  1. The German director's culinary journey around the island of Taiwan.
  2. 2012, 83 minutes; watched on AppleTV.  Great sound and visuals.
  3. The Amis people, the Hakka people, the Han Chinese on Taiwan.
  4. Gathering food, preparing food, delivering food, enjoying food...from the standpoints of the groups listed above.
  5. We rated it five stars of five.
  6. Documentary had a lot to say about remembering one's culture through food ceremonies, about the interactions of food consumption and health, about using locally grown and recently harvested foods.
C.  Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You
  1. Toby Regbo, Marcia Gay Harden, Ellen Burstyn, Lucy Liu, Peter Gallagher, Deborah Ann Woll, Stephen Lang.  Great cast.
  2. We rated it five of five stars.
  3. Watched via AppleTV.  Lovely cinematography, fine sound.
  4. 2011, 99 minutes.


20130521, mardi

A. Over the weekend, watched
  1. Special Forces, 2011, 108 minutes
  2. French language
  3. Diane Kruger, Djimon Hounsou
  4. French woman journalist kidnapped in Pakistan
  5. Special Forces recovery
  6. Watched on AppleTV setup
  7. Great sound, magnificent visuals
  8. We rated this one four stars of five. 
  9. See 20131008, mardi for an update.


20130518, samedi

A. Last night my wife and I watched
  1. The Sorcerer and the White Snake 
  2. starring Jet Li, 2011, 93 minutes.  
  3. We watched it on our 39" HD monitor via AppleTV.  
  4. The visuals were excellent.  The sound was fine; we both used headphones.
  5. Rated it 4 of 5 stars.
B. I watch Soul Eater one or two episodes per night.
  1. 2008, 2009; anime series in 4 parts, 13 episodes per part.
  2. watched on 1920 x 1080 computer screen
  3. used the HD option via FireFox from Netflix site
  4. I'm on part 2, episode 4.
  5. Sound and visuals excellent.


20130512: Movie notes

20130512 dimanche

A. Today I saw Aeon Flux.  Charlize Theron, 92 minutes.  I rated it 4 stars of 5.
     Live action with some effects.  Some stats:
  1. Watched it on Netflix
  2. Desktop computer, Windows Vista Ultimate
  3. 1920 x 1080 resolution (1080i), 27" computer screen
  4. FireFox browser web connection.  Fine sound quality through gaming headset.
  5. Released 2005.
  6. This was visually pleasing.  The screen was smaller, but the visual crispness was fine.
B. Also today...Lockout, starring Guy Pearce.  Directed by Luc Besson.
     Live action with some effects.  I rated it 4 stars of 5.  Some stats:
  1. Watched it on Netflix.
  2. WiFi => AppleTV => HDMI => Philips VSX50 tuner => Monitor
  3. Home television monitor, 39", 1080p.
  4. Released 2012.
  5. Large screen (by my standards) and reasonable visual crispness.
  6. Sound was through monitor speakers, so only passable, with fine sounds lost.
C. Within the last week...Dead Space: Downfall, 74 minutes.
     Animated; I'll probably rate it 3 of 5 stars.  Some stats:
  1. Watched it on Netflix.
  2. iPad 1, iOS 5.1.1
  3. resolution, 9.7" screen
  4. Released 2008.
  5. Smallest screen, but excellent visual crispness.
  6. Netflix iPad app.  Sound was excellent through Apple headset for iPads.
D. Within the last week...eXistenZ, 97 minutes, David Cronenberg director.
     Live action with some effects.  Some stats:
  1. Watched it on Netflix app on iPad.
  2. Released 1999.
  3. Visuals and sound both fine; the usual with iPad.
  4. Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Willem Dafoe, Ian Holm.