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#285310 - 01/05/10 03:20 AM Re: So what are you watching tonight? [Re: CatBrat]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11194
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Michael Cera is pretty funny on Letterman tonight, as usual.

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#285312 - 01/05/10 04:40 AM Re: So what are you watching tonight? [Re: CV]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Just watched the first two episodes of “The West Wing.” I ordered the first 3 seasons for about $15 each from Amazon. I only really liked the first three seasons so I didn’t bother getting the rest of them.

I was hooked on this show when I saw the first episode. It’s one of the few series I’ve seen where the cast just works from day one. I also love the hand cam shots walking following particular characters through the White House w/o any cuts. Talk about making you feel like your in the story!
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#285359 - 01/05/10 12:18 PM Re: So what are you watching tonight? [Re: grunt]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17768
Loc: NoVA
It's a great series. I need to get back into it--I really want to see Alan Alda.
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#285393 - 01/05/10 01:22 PM Re: So what are you watching tonight? [Re: Ken.C]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
I like Alan Alda but I thought overall the show lost a step when Aaron Sorkin left. In the early episodes it had the long uncut wandering scenes full of rapid fire dialogue but later they start using longer and longer setup shots like outdoor panoramas, musical interludes. As it became more of a standard done TV show it lost some of the magic it held for me early on. Plus I’ve never really liked Jimmy Smits.
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#285511 - 01/06/10 05:03 AM Re: So what are you watching tonight? [Re: grunt]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Just watched the Blu-ray of “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World” that I picked up a couple weeks ago. It’s easy to see why it won Oscars for cinematography and sound effects editing.

IMO the DTS lossless is reason enough to upgrade to the Blu-ray even if you already have the DVD. Simply fantastic! I’ve demoed the opening battle dozens if not a hundred times trying different speaker configurations and can w/o reservation say this is far superior to the SD version. The dynamic range seems to make the most difference. There seems to be much more below 40Hz on the Blu-ray because the Buttkicker (high pass filter set to 40Hz) was much more engaged. Also the detailed sounds stood out more during the explosions. I had never noticed the sound of the cannonball tearing the shoulder off the ships figurehead before because even though it’s there (I went back and listened) it was not as prominent on the SD.

This was one movie where I found I preferred the wide speakers over the height speakers throughout. With the wide speakers the ambient sounds of the ship, wind, water were completely enveloping. I can’t say this is unique to the Blu-ray as the SD version also does this. I just hadn’t watched most of the movie since setting up the DSX speakers.

The video is also an improvement and not just the resolution. Black levels and shadow detail are better. It’s easier to see colours in the shadow detail on the Blu-ray than the SD.

Now the bad part. Overall I find this movie incredibly boring. I still think it’s is worth owning for if for no other reason than as a demo disk. Great visuals and sound, awesome battles unfortunately burdened with characters I really don’t care about and side stories that are meaningless to the overall plot. From a story perspective I much prefer the made for TV “Hornblower” movies.
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#285512 - 01/06/10 06:36 AM Re: So what are you watching tonight? [Re: grunt]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Just watched the Blu-ray “Star Trek” episode “The Doomsday Machine.”

This was always one of my favorites because of all the space ship special effects and I wanted to see how it looked remastered. WOW! That’s how it looks. The remastered effects are a huge improvement. It’s not like “Star Wars” with the “remastered” effects this is night and day different for the better. I even noticed that the background stars are now various colours. The regular scenes are no slouches either. These are the most vivid colours I’ve seen in a TV program (note I don’t watch much TV anymore < 10 hours in the last 9 months). Some of the panels and other things in the ship look even more fake in high def but if your not trying to see that most of them don’t jump out at you.

The audio is really good on this too. Lots more ambient shipboard sounds. Very clear dialogue and good sounding music. Not a lot of surround action but you do hear pans from side to side and occasionally front to back as a ship passes over your shoulder. A healthy amount of bass in this episode when the “machine” is passing near.

IMO these remastered episodes are well worth the getting if you are a fan.
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#285525 - 01/06/10 09:35 AM Re: So what are you watching tonight? [Re: grunt]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6609
Loc: It's all about the location.
Dean, your assessment of Master and Commander is quite accurate, imo. The problem with the movie, I think, is that it never quite lives up to that opening cannon salvo scene between the HMS Surprise and the Acheron. The defining battle between the two ships later in the movie, which should have been the climactic point of the film, seems like a watered down battle of the first attack by the Acheron. Nevermind the length of the movie, it could have been 15-20 min shorter.

I kind of felt the same way about Peter Jackson's King Kong, the boat voyage early in the movie was really the highlight for me, nothing to do with Kong himself.

Both enjoyable movies, I thought, but they were somewhat lengthy and drawn out which seemed to water them down somewhat and lose some of my interest as the film progressed.
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#285555 - 01/06/10 01:36 PM Re: So what are you watching tonight? [Re: Adrian]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Adrian, I agree about “King Kong,” and remember thinking the same thing right after watching it.

In “Master and Commander” I wish they would have cut out the subplot involving the guy who ends up offing himself. And just get rid of the doctor completely. I never read the books so I’m not sure how much if at all those dominated the books but they both seemed to needlessly sidetrack the movie for me.
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#285929 - 01/08/10 02:51 AM Re: So what are you watching tonight? [Re: grunt]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11194
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I finished the first season of The Mentalist. There's a certain generic crappiness to the show, but it has its moments. Simon Baker can be pretty entertaining as Patrick Jane, and Cho is kind of a badass. I was kind of disappointed the main storyline wasn't resolved.

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#286307 - 01/10/10 08:54 PM Re: So what are you watching tonight? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11194
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
 Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
 Originally Posted By: CV
Pushing Daisies

I just watched the first episode. I liked it enough to keep watching. I'm kind of curious how much they can contort the premise.

Joyce and I used to watch it (and liked it) until we found out it was being canceled.


So you never finished watching it? If you were concerned about the story not being resolved, it is. I just finished watching the second season. Maybe some people would consider the ending rushed, but, if anything, I thought the writing could have been leaner and over in one season. There are certain things I liked about the show, but overall it didn't really win me over.

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