Sunday, October 09, 2016

The Shallows (Thriller 2016)

Hey, shark movie. These don't come out very often. I think it exited theaters pretty quickly so that should give you a hint. The movie was eh...the whole build-up to the main drama was OK and the whole survival concept was OK as well. I do have to mention that this chick would've been super thirsty in real life and I dunno if she would've been able to pull off a lot of the stuff that she did without H2O.

The ending was an impossible treat that didn't have the best CG, but least it was an ending. I think it's worth a rental if you're not expecting too much.
Rating - C

Monday, October 03, 2016

L.O.R.D: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties (Animated Action 2016)

So did you know that in some larger cities you can watch foreign movies on the big screen? Seems like Vegas is one of those cities and you can see them at key AMC theaters. I've been keeping my eye out and this past weekend 3 Asian movies showed up. We picked this weird-sounding film that supposedly was popular back in China; I didn't even watch a preview.

To put it lightly, I could've put a little bit more money into my 401k and would've been more satisfied instead of wasting it on this garbage. This movie was an odd animated film about some story that would've come straight out of some half-rate fantasy Asian MMO. Seriously. Think about that for a second. Picture an average Chinese or Korean MMO game, now picture the storyline and/or cutscenes, and bam you have this film. I recently saw Warcraft and at least that movie had a story to go along with it...this one was just a mess. Special powers, special mobs, fancy character titles, and a setting that had next to no backstory. I didn't give a rat's ass about any of the characters, I barely knew what was going on plot-wise, and they kept on making these very bad scene jumps that had no connecting content. Horrible movie-making.

Suffice to say this has turned me off to foreign films for a while...I'll have to be much more picky in the future and not think that only the best made it to US shores, because holy shit it didn't.
Rating - F

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Action 2016)

It has been a while since a comic book movie has tanked this bad, but every summer has to have its share of flops, right? Many months ago I read online that this movie sucked, and these days the Internet is probably right since so many peoples' opinions usually merge to become this glob rating that seems to stick.

This movie wasn't good. It didn't super suck, but man it shouldn't be considered a movie. It was a compilation of many random scenes shoved together to kinda create a story, but nothing really flowed like a real plot should. I'd even venture to say that it felt like a short story or even a graphic novel comic. Some of the content in the film was totally geared towards preparing the audience for the eventual spinoffs like Aquaman and Wonder Woman. This isn't bad per se, but it seems sorta lame to directly build it into a film, just like a hidden marketing ploy.

Anyway, this one wasn't worth a watch at all. I would've rather have taken a nap and caught up on sleep.
Rating - D

Monday, September 26, 2016

13 Hours (Action 2016)

Not too bad of a movie. It was reminiscent of American Sniper meets Blackhawk Down. Story, acting, and firefights were all pretty good and believable; well worth a rental. If you've seen any current period war movies then you already know what to look forward to. I think it was only in the theaters for a few weeks, but it probably should've been there for a bit longer. It's always a toss up with films that get pulled too early; they usually suck too bad or they need to make room for a more mainstream film, but I'd say that this one was on par with the rest of them.
Rating - B

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Out With the Volvo

So after a little under a year of ownership, I decided to move on from my 2015 S60 and this brand. The car was fine, but there were small issues that kept on adding up. The car never left me stranded, but everyone has their tipping point. Here are all the takeaways:

  • Real leather and super comfy seats. I've sat in other luxury cars and I do have to say that the Volvo seats were pretty darn good in comparison with more expensive vehicles.
  • Fairly decent MPG for the amount of HP the car had. 26 MPGish with close to 280 HP
  • Pretty quiet ride on all types of roads, especially highway
  • Acceleration with the turbo was excellent. This car was never slow and I rarely ever felt it change gears.
  • No dipstick. It had an electronic dipstick that could only be accessed if you went into a secret mode with the key fob and push-button start. On top of this, it wasn't accurate and would not give actual readings, only binary reports (OK, Overfilled, Under)
  • The headlights were quick detachable, but the battery was totally under 2 plastic covers and a strut bar, WTF. Who replaces headlights that often? The design of the headlights was good, but with the battery being so difficult to get at, it goes to show the twisted mentality of the design team
  • Uses crazy torx screws instead of a phillips or regular sockets
  • The steering wheel controls were reversed. Usually the audio controls of most cars will be on the left-hand side but on the Volvo it was on the right. Still confused me 'till the last day.
  • Doesn't have a quick detach design for the engine or cabin air filter
  • The brakes were mushy and the pedal always went down as if the master brake cylinder was losing pressure. Additionally the braking distance sucked and it felt like there was way too much weight that needed to be stopped
  • The auto-start/stop for the newly-designed Drive-E engine was totally annoying and rarely ever engaged when I wanted it to. It caused more problems than anything and I usually just turned it off when I got into the car. In hot weather it was non-functional, so good for me but kinda crappy of a design
  • The windshield washers didn't spray in a fan pattern, it only shot 3 straight streams of fluid. Very old school and not very useful in cleaning
  • There was no spare tire (call me old fashioned)
  • There was next to no real storage if both cup holders were being used
  • The rubber fins for the cup holders broke off too easily. 70% of mine were busted off
  • The USB MP3 slot would not read any songs that were purchased off of Google Play, only ripped MP3s or Amazon Music
  • And the biggest problem that annoyed me to death was that after a mandatory software upgrade, my infotainment system would randomly stop working. You would be listening to music and then all of a sudden it would just stop. Nothing would work, no steering wheel controls or directly on the console. Power-cycing the system or the car itself would not help either. You would have to wait until the car decided that it wanted to work. To make matters worse, when this would happen, the backup parking sensors and the blind spot monitoring system would also cease to function because I think they are all part of the same circuit or system. I could've brought it into the dealership for warranty work if it was actively happening, but you know how dealerships are with any intermittent issues; if they don't see it, it didn't happen
So yeah all in all I just wasn't happy with the car anymore. I felt like I was driving a quickly depreciating vehicle and that it would be better to change over to something else while it still retained some value. Even though I didn't have a garage to work on the car, it was annoying to know that so many things I wouldn't be able to touch or tinker with because of the design of the automobile. I guess some brands are just like that, but older Volvos you could mess with. Since I'm still waiting for the release and subsequent reviews of either the Toyota C-HR or Honda Civic 5-Door Hatchback, or for a house purchase so I can get a Nissan Leaf, I decided to get a sporty, impractical car temporarily. You only live once, right?

Sunday, July 31, 2016

DMV Kiosk

So I never tried one of these kiosk machines until the DMV "lost" my registration information last year after I moved to Vegas. I totally blame this city since everything goes wrong over here but yeah. Last time I got my smog test, went online and paid for my registration, then proceeded to wait many-a-weeks for a tag that never came. I complained online and also had to print out some weird extension while another tad supposedly was ordered a second time, but to no avail. After the 3rd attempt and another email, the tag finally arrived. The whole time USPS and the DMV were pointing fingers at each other and both entities were also blaming me for changing addresses.

So this time around I thought I would try out one of these kiosk machines to see what would happen. Surprisingly enough it worked perfectly. I went and got my smog test done, then went to this machine, put in a credit card, got charged $3 extra to use the machine, and bam!, it spit out my registration form and colored decal for the back license plate. This is much better than paying $12 for 2 resubmittals and only receiving 1 copy.

I will point out that I had to go to 2 Albertsons to find a working kiosk and also if you already submitted for a registration renewal online, you can perform a resubmittal using this kiosk. This box has to be the first and only attempt in order for it to work. I totally tried this last year when my registration was lost in space.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Jason Bourne (Action 2016)

After you've seen one of these films, you've pretty much seen them all. There was nothing really new about this one: lots of action, good use of tech, fast-paced plot, and more action.

It seems like forever since the first film came out. Matt Damon sure has aged since then, and Tommy Lee Jones looks like a rug, relatively speaking. They, of course, left the ending wide open for another movie but seriously...why? Even though this type of entertainment is fun and exciting, it really is just the same old stuff. Not a lot of originality anywhere anymore.

This version of cinema led to a fun afternoon, but it was 100% forgettable as well. I will remember nothing of this film come 4 days. It's a rent.
Rating - C