Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Dig by Michael Siemsen (Book 2011)

So the story on this one was pretty interesting. The main character is this kid who is able to touch objects and know the history of its past owners. The story starts when he is given a piece of metal and is then transported into a humanoid's body that inhabited the earth during or before the dinosaur period.

The basis for the story was a good one but the whole naming of the characters in the "past" world sucked. I'm sorry it's hard to characterize a person named I-Pin or O-Wr. Jack or Alice would've done quite well. Hell I could even make up fantasy names like Shrilka or Damko or Krellsoni which would've been an improvement. Friggin' anything could've been better than what I had to wade through.

So yeah as stated the premise was good and the story was also good (present time). But everything having to do with the pre-history civilization was pretty crappy and a lot of that was because of the naming. Fix that shit if you want to sell more books.
Rating - Mid

Hugo (Family Adventure 2011)

I'm not really sure why this movie got such high acclaim on imdb. I know it was a kids movie and all but it really was just a plain Jane type of film. The story was OK...it had a good ending but it wasn't anything spectacular.

Acting was eh. Asa Butterfield was annoying and I don't think he's a very good actor. Chloƫ Grace Moretz was much better but maybe that's because she was Hit-Girl from Kickass. One thing this movie had was great visuals. I don't know how they did a lot of the camera shots since they would've been impossible to do in real life so I think everything was using a green screen. All realistic nonetheless.

Overall it was OK for kids but it really wasn't all that special.
Rating - B

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Drama 2011)

It's funny, when you think you don't want to watch a movie just because you think it'll suck, you should really just watch it to verify because you may not know what the fuck you're talking about. This movie is a prime example of this phenomena as I almost deleted it without even watching it.

All I knew about this film was that the trailer was OK and that it was based on a popular book. The movie started out slow but it quickly picked up turning into one of the best ones I've seen this year. Very good story and excellent acting, but it was hella graphic in terms of sex and rape violence. Nutty but not too over the top. The scenes were directly related to the story so that's better than what Hollywood usually does.

If I had Netflix I'd try out the Swedish version and see how that is. I've read that it's better than the US version. But either way I think Rooney Mara did a great, convincing job. She has a crazy good accent in it as well.
Rating - A

Puss in Boots (Animated Adventure 2011)

This split-off was not as good as Shrek. I never liked Antonio Banderas' character much and I certainly didn't like the new primary of Humpty Dumpty in this one neither. The whole film was well animated but it was lacking in story, refinement, any memorable characters.
Rating - D

Underworld: Awakening (Action 2012)

This one was definitely not as good as the others. The story was only exciting in the beginning when they were going over what had happened since the end of the last film. After the flashback ended, it got boring pretty quick. Kate's character meets up with some random vampire who brings her back to his coven, there is a monster-big Lycan, and there is a test tube chick who had some genetic experimentation going on. Later they meet up with a cop who turncoats to their side pretty darn fast and yeah the rest is just some nonsense fighting.

People like more tough, vampire-lycan battles not the main characters being hunted down like rats. It totally goes against what made the other three films so appealing.
Rating - C

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Quest: A Dane Maddock Adventure By David Wood (Book 2011)

Another good adventure book here. It had a fast plot, a nice set of primary characters, and a great historical background for the story. Kinda short but I think it's because I read it too fast. I'll be reading more from this author in the future. Good thing is that he already wrote a few other books with the same main characters.
Rating - High

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (Drama 2011)

There was nothing else to watch so yeah I watched this. Free of course because there is no way I'd ever really pay for such nonsense. This movie was lame just like the whole series is. Effeminate vampires, a whipped werewolf, and ugly-ass Kristen Stewart who can't act. She still hasn't learned to close her mouth we're still forced to see her rabbit teeth.

So yeah besides the continuation to the story, nobody is missing out on anything.
Rating - D

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Tablets vs Netbooks

So I've also been able to play with an Android Transformer tablet for almost half-a-year now. I always wondered what the novelty of these devices were but yeah after messing with one and a few iPads at work, I still don't know why people like them. As for netbooks I've messed with quite a few of these and they all have sucked.

First off a smaller 12" or 13" ultrabook laptop kicks the shit out of any netbook because let's face it. An Atom processor is way too slow for multitasking and the small-ass keyboards on netbooks suck too bad. Having a 10" viewing screen is way too small and yeah they overall suck. Sure it may be cool to carry them around since they are so small but from a usability standpoint they are not laptops. I can't find one single reason why netbooks will survive much longer on the market because they just aren't fun to use and an average person will always require a large, faster machine.

Next we come to tablets. When I first played with one I thought that it may be a new way to read PDFs because that is one thing an e-ink Kindle does not display well. So I loaded up a PDF book and went to reading it on a tablet. It's good that you can do the whole zoom-pinch thing and wander around the page with your finger but overall it still hurts my eyes, it's laggy, and seems awkward. For a portable web-browsing tool it's OK but it's still inferior to a regular laptop/mouse. The only 2 things that I can see it being good for is:
  1. Well-written apps that serve a specific purpose. By this I mean and well-programmed financial app (for charts or stocks and such) or perhaps some game for kids or video chatting.
  2. Watching TV shows and movies...much better than watching on a phone.
But yeah besides those two things, a computer is still better. Trying to do computer tasks on a tablet = clunky & slow. Try typing a real email or editing an excel spreadsheet. You can't tell me a laptop can't do it better and faster.

iOS vs Android

So I've been using an iPhone 4s for a few months now and I have to say that it really isn't better than an average Android phone. The iPhone had some really annoying battery bugs in the beginning and it also has this odd "first call audio will fail" thing going on. The battery bug was fixed in a patch but the first call problem still happens. Essentially it means that whenever I make a call from my phone, I will be unable to hear the speaker on the other end or even the phone ringing. I have to push the speakerphone button to hear anything and then I can swap back. Another way to get around this is the hang up and call back after the initial call = no audio. Weird. So yeah I think Apple still beats out Android manufacturers in patches since they do constantly patch their OS but it still has problems.

I don't own shit in terms of Apps on my iPhone because they cost money. When I had my Android I was always playing with new apps because they were either functionally free or I got 'em that way via the Amazon android store. It just seems more convenient on an Android as searching for new Apps on an iPhone is a bore.

The iPhone also has all of the problems that the Android had meaning unresponsive keys, freezes, necessary reboots, etc.

The main thing that is annoying about the iPhone is the fact that you can put data in (via lame iTunes) but you can't get data out....i.e. a movie. I'm sure it has to do with their anti-piracy policy but it hinders productivity. It was always easier to just install an FTP server app on an Android device and upload away. So yeah when March comes along I'll be handing down my iPhone 4s and will be buying whatever the newest Android is. Perhaps this way my phone will seem like a useful tool again.

But I will give props to the quick picture-taking abilities of the phone as well as the solid mute & volume keys. It does feel like a much more solid device. Sad how everything inside sucks. The screen is also too small. iMessage is pretty cool software-wise though if you are IMing another iPhone. But these pluses are not enough to keep me interested.

The Three Musketeers (Action 2011)

This movie sucked. I've seem many-a-iterations of this story and this one has to be the worst yet. Sure there were some attractive chicas in the movie like Milla and a few other newcomers but overall it was a silly film that was even more stupid than the Disney version.

Waste of time. But it did have airships...
Rating - D

In Time (Sci-Fi Action 2011)

If anything, what this movie shows is that you really don't have to have much talent to be a convincing actor. Justin Timberlake is not all that talented, may that be singing, acting, or whatever else he does. Although he didn't blunder up anything in this one, it really can't be too hard to be an actor as long as you just keep on saying your lines.

This movie is set in an odd world where currency and life is all controlled by how much time you have on the side of your arm. I'm not sure how a society could function economically with such a restriction in place but yeah...

The story is OK but it's very superficial. Amanda Seyfried joins Timberlake as a futuristic Bonnie and Clyde and they go about wreaking havoc on the system. It's nice to see a sci-fi film since there are so few of them around but yeah...a little more thought into the story could've done wonders for it.
Rating - C

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The Descendants (Drama 2011)

Yeah I dunno why this movie got a few terrific reviews because it really wasn't all that. It wasn't a bad movie just nothing special. It did have one thing though; ugly actors. Besides Clooney who just looked flustered in every single shot, all of the kids and their friends were pretty damn ugly. Maybe they chose these peeps to make it more 'real' or something but yeah that was one very noticeable staffing move.

The overall plot of the movie was OK. It showed how Clooney's character developed and grew to get along with his kids but yeah it was a slow drama that really wasn't impressive. Key word here is slow...gotta be in the right mood to watch it.
Rating - C