Friday, October 31, 2008

Review -

I reviewed FastTvDownloads because my growing Media Center "My Movies" extension was filling up quickly with alot of my favorite movies. (nearing 2,500!!). Anyway, I decided earlier today that I was going to review instead the definitive way to download tv shows legally!

First off, this service does include a few music downloads and movie downloads but it seems to me that its main, and best focus is television show downloads. There is millions of files from a lot of new TV shows, about a couple years of watching to do folks!!

There is also no bandwidth or download limits so you can pretty much download anything and for as long as you want. Also thrown in is automatic stop and resume so that can actually download shows 24/7. Like a lot of other recent services there is also a helpful burn tool to easily burn all these shows for use on your television. The price is very cheap and definitely saves alot of gas just on running to the video store alone!


Score - 5/5 No better place to download all your favorite t.v. shows legally in full episodes!

W. Movie Review

With a production budget of 25 million, W. the story of George W. Bush has only made 12.8 million so far. This movie was very unsatisfying, It was neither hilarious nor critical enough when it came to George Bush's life. I mean, people where literally falling asleep in the theater.

As it was Oliver Stone who did the JFK movie, I expected it to be a lot more critical of Bush's huge failures in the white house. The story skipped over 9/11 and only briefly touched on the 2000 election in Florida. They basically told us what we already knew about Bush.

They also painted him out to be never good enough for his father. He is always trying to appear better than his older brother Jeb as well. I really don't think anyone feels sorry for him and don't know why Stone is trying to humanize Bush and make him out to be an ignorant southerner. You don't graduate Yale while being stupid and ignorant. They also skipped over the fact that Bush and Kerry where both Skull and Bones members. They only say that Bush was in a regular fraternity at Yale.

I wanted to get my money back after the first ten minutes, but part of me hoped they would delve deeper and make the story more interesting. No such luck. The movie title should have been "Just Claim Ignorance". Because that is what they did when it came to discussing the WMD's and justification for Iraq. They also made it like W. had a personal vendetta against Saddam because of what his father had gone through against him. Well if that was true why didn't they just shoot Saddam instead of giving him a trial?

They portrayed Carl Rove as a nerdy political adviser who could't understand people. Condoleeza Rice was made out to be innocent through ignorance as was Colin Powell who argued against going into Iraq. While Dick Cheney was played by Richard Dreyfus, so he was slightly sinister in parts, but not enough to despise him.

This movie won't catch up to its budget because it is too soft on Bush for democrats and not funny enough for republicans. It is like watching a semi documentary replay of everything Bush did in his administration but no insight into why he really did it. Going into Iraq for oil, that is not the real reason or we would have taken the oil. Control of the region may be realistic, but they didn't delve into that theory enough. It is a sub par flick and you should save your money for any other movie that's out right now.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Going to see W.

Hey guys! I am going out tonight to see "W." - I will be sure to let you know what I think of it. For those of you who are not familiar with it, it is the Oliver Stone movie about George W. Bush.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Review - 99 Million Movies

I was a little disappointed with the 99 Million Movies service. First off...there is no where near 99 frickin MILLION movies here. I would however say that there is at least a million - which is a good thing.

The service does have a lot of newer movies which is always a good thing. However, I can't help but feel that this product is sort of "tailored" to those film noir movies of yesteryear. Alot of the movies available are from the 40's and 50's - movies that have fallen out of copyright and into the public domain. Meaning that anyone can download the movies for free and legally! If you are into these sort of movies then I would think of 99 Million Movies as more of a conduit in order to find all these rare and hard to find gems. If you love film noir, 70's or 80's movies then you will love this service and I highly suggest that you buy it. However, if you are like alot of people out there and are only interested in the blockbuster movies of 2008 this is not for you.

Overall another really good service but I wish it would not have "lied" on its name...One Million Movies would have been more than sufficient!

Check It Out Here!

Score - 3/5 , if you like older, rare movies then 5/5!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Bucket List Movie Review

BOTTOM LINE: Strong, emotional and heart-felt film with superb performances from Nicholson and Freeman as the unlikely duo taking on life one more time before they kick the bucket.

THE GOOD: The idea of taking stock of your life and asking yourself if you've actually lived it to its fullest is an old one that's been given a beautiful treatment by director Rob Reiner in this film. What's so good about this film is presenting the theme, "there's no time like the present!"; even if it means in the case of Carter (Freeman) and Cole (Nicholson) that they only have six months to live. The masterstroke of the film of course was to cast both Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson as the unlikely odd couple who end up living life to the fullest in the final months they have left. It could have been all silly and contrived but instead we get two rock-solid, genuine performances from two of Hollywood's heavy-weight actors in sequences that are believable and amusing. The funniest scene? Perhaps when Freeman tells Nicholson he's never been with another woman other than his wife. Nicholson's mischievous response of, "that's definitely going on the list!" makes for a good laugh. "The Bucket List" is filled with such glorious moments, and it manages to do it while imparting a message that getting caught up in life's trivialities should never stop you from experiencing life the right way. Nicholson's billionaire businessman character is testament to that; he's been married four times, has an estranged daughter and lives alone - but he has a lot of money. Freeman has a wife, family and peace of mind - but he's poor. The two go together perfectly. One genuine surprise in the film is that you actually get a sense of what it's like for someone who's sick - early on we see scenes of Cole's character reacting to chemo treatment which are not pleasant, as we do Carter's. "The Bucket List" is a film that makes you think about life, gives you a good laugh, gives you two enjoyable acting performances, and doesn't overstay its welcome or go over the top.

THE BAD: It always seems inevitable that a film like this will enter into sentimental territory towards the end of the film and "The Bucket List" is no exception. Rob Reiner has tended to go in this direction in a number of his previous films but thankfully the sentiment is not poured on in bucket loads (pardon the pun). That said however, despite some schmaltzy scenes at the end which basically make you feel good about life and the lives of the characters, the film is blessed with having two real solid acting stars making completely believable performances; so in the end, it's not all that bad.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Film Making with No Budget Kit & Tips

One of my greatest hobbies in high school was getting together with a few friends and making a short film. The film topics ranged from the philosophical journeys of a young man growing up in rural Iowa to "Who Killed The Cheerleader?" Needless to say these were fun little "past times" to be involved in. We had our own script writer, camera crew, director, actors, everything...but NO BUDGET! However we were just having fun and would usually only show the shorts to family and friends or post it on YouTube(which back then was just starting up)!

Now, with the explosion of YouTube and other "tube" sites amateur movie making is actually becoming a worthwhile cash cow to get involved in. That is why today I am sort of leaning away from my usual review of products and services devoted to movie watching and instead focusing on Film Making - with NO or low budget.

I found a product called "No Budget Filmmaking Ultra Pack" and was instantly excited at what it might...or might not entail. This ebook of a sorts includes pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about making movies. I took a few film classes earlier in my college days and this book covered alot of the techniques I learned there - and some I had never even dreamt of. If you have ever been interested in shooting movies this is the guide for you! It includes pretty much everything you would ever need or want to know. It talks about camera angles, casting, lighting, how to find talent, how to tailor your creativity, etc. etc. If I had bought this about four years ago I can honestly say I would never have shelled out the hundreds of dollars for film school.

One thing that I didn't like however was is in "ebook" form - which for many just screams "SCAM!" But I am here to lay those thoughts to rest, this is the real deal and I guarantee you will not be let down. If this was a real book you could pick up at Walmart or Target I would rate it 5/5 but since it is in ebook and I really don't like to read off my screen I dropped it one point. Be sure to check it out though it is really interesting, especially if you don't have money. :)


Scored 4/5!

Have you made a movie using this guide? Let me know about it!! Post a link to your video in the comments field.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Saw V - Movie Review

Jigsaw is back in this fifth installment of the bloody suspense filled franchise known as Saw. Well, of course this movie starts off pretty much where the last one left off. Officer Hoffman is left looking like the surviving hero after Jigsaw's reign of terror is seemingly over. What Hoffman doesn't know is that he is not the only survivor left. Agent Strahm who is left for dead escapes a trap that was supposed to get rid of him for good. Meanwhile, at another location 5 seemingly unconnected people find themselves trapped in a room where they are faced with a new set of Jigsaw games. This leaves 2 questions to be answered, will Agent Strahm be able to foil Hoffman's master plan and can these 5 trapped people survive Jigsaw's deadly games, what will happen?


The movie does give a lot more detail on the background of Jigsaw and explains how Mark Hoffman got involved with the notorious trap setter. The movie does not take long to get started and it keeps you guessing what will happen next. Once again, even without the big named actors, the acting in Saw V is excellent. They did leave the questions that most likely will be answered in Saw VI.


Much like Saw 3 and 4, this film is really starting to get a little to far fetched. The thing that made the first 2 Saw films is that they had a certain realistic quality that seems to be fading away in movies 3, 4 and 5. Saw V comes across as if they really didn't have a real direction that they wanted to go in and was almost just making things up as they went along. Yes, they did have your typical typical bloody Jigsaw games, they wasn't that many of them, and the one's that they did have were not that great. I also felt like they did not focus enough on the 5 people that were trapped in the room. It almost seemed like the 5 people had no purpose whatsoever. Finally, I felt that the ending could've been a lot better, especially considering that there is going to be a Saw VI.


Saw V is a good movie on it's own, but the problem is, that the first 2 Saw movies set the bar so high that it seems that the makers of Saw are struggling to meet it, and this Saw is a perfect example of that. They really need to take it back to the basics in Saw VI, otherwise the Saw legacy may be in real danger. I give this one a 2 out of 5.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Movie at home/dorm for your First Date!

Sometimes guys don't understand why inviting a woman over to your place to watch a movie is a much better idea than asking her out to watching a movie at the theater; which is understandable when you are looking at these two particular choices from a logical point of view of which one is better instead of the emotional point of view of which guy sounds better.

As a man, if given the choice between a movie at home or a door and a movie at a theater given that everything is equal the movie theater sounds better because odds are its going to be on a bigger screen, with a better sound system, and a newer movie that you may not have seen yet.

However, most women don't go out with a guy based on where he is taking her rather she goes out with him based on what he has to offer.

When you ask a woman out to the movies at a theater you are essentially saying; "I don't really have anything to offer you so hopefully the movie will be entertaining enough for you to like me."

Yet, the man who just invites her over to watch a movie with him at his place is saying; "I am entertaining enough by my own self and don't need to prove anything to you."

Not to mention the fact that there is the whole time aspect of it as well.

Generally, movie dates at the theater are planned and give her time to think about it and whereas a movie at the house is a now type of thing which means she needs to give answer quickly and being that she doesn't want to miss out on anything the answer unless she doesn't like you or has something better to do is going to be yes.

In the end, if you really want to see a movie at the theater and cant go by yourself invite some of your friends along and then invite her to watch a movie or to do something afterward.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Review - MyNetDownload

I was really impressed with the MyNetDownload service.

I purchased the premium 3 year membership and was really glad I did. It was about 50 bucks but with that 50 bucks you get access to HUNDREDS of legal movie downloads. There is no limit to how many you download and absolutely no "per download" fees of any kind. The website talks about "Digital Quality Video & Sound" - which is sort of a gimmick given that the service is one would obviously think that they would be entitled to digital quality video and sound.

Another great thing is they are very adamant about a strict no spyware/adware policy which is always good for an extra piece of mind, even if you do have the latest and greatest in antivirus software. 24/7 Technical Support is pretty sweet and is something that alot of the other services out there lack. They also have one of those neat little "satisfaction guarantee" policies for even more piece of mind. Really you have nothing to lose when buying this service and you get access to hundreds..maybe even thousands of legal and free movie, music, and even game downloads.

I have been using the service for going on about a week and I really have no problems with it so far. The UI is clean and simple and very easy. They really did over deliver with this one and there is just so much to talk about here. Step by Step video tutorials, easy to burn, ultra fast download speeds always(even in high traffic times of day).

The support does take a while to get back to you with some of the bigger issues but that is to be expected with all of these types of services. Overall it is an excellent service and I really recommend it to anyone who is looking for cheap, legal movie and music downloads.


Score - 5/5!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

21 Movie Review

A friend burned me a copy of 21 and I really liked it so here is the review...

I had a great time at 21. The plot was enjoyable, the college life undercurrents were fun, and you can even find a love story in it. The use of a scholarship essay made my day, since I usually write about student loans, scholarships, and grants - icing on the cake.

The Basics: Who and What

21 stars Jim Sturgess as MIT student Ben Campbell, a math whiz who plans to go to Harvard Medical School. The movie takes place in his senior year at MIT. He has all A's, and works at a men's clothing store for $8 an hour. Why a math genius wants to be a doctor, I don't know, except that doctors make a pretty penny, and he knows that.

Ben applies for the prestigious Robinson Scholarship, which will pay all of his expenses for Harvard, a total of about $300,000. Serious cash. While discussing his qualifications with a representative of the scholarship, Ben learns what he is up against. The scholarship went to a one legged immigrant last year. He worries he doesn't have what it takes, and starts looking for other ways to make money.

At this point, we meet Kevin Spacey as slick Professor Micky Rosa and Kate Bosworth as cute MIT student and blackjack spotter Jill Taylor. With help from others on the team, they recruit Ben, promising him lots of money.

Counting Cards Instead of a Scholarship

Ben leans the simple art of card counting, and the team rules. The movie actually teaches fairly well how to count cards - not that I gamble. Truth is, you have to track the shuffles, use multiple spotters counting multiple tables to find a hot deck and so on. It can take months to actually go well at this, and the casinos watch for it in real life. Not the best way to make money for college, but appealing for some people, I'm sure.

I won't ruin the story for you - take a peek, maybe you'll like it. 21 entertained me, which is all I ask of a good movie. The card counting college team lives it up while they are in Vegas. Ben and Jill do find some time to have a relationship. Aaaah, isn't that sweet...

21 is based on Bringing Down The House, by Ben Mezrich about an MIT blackjack team in 1993, but the movie is modernized. I saw the summary version on the Discovery Channel (I think) about 4 years ago. They did win large amounts of money, but probably not as much as in the movie. And they did get shut down, by winning too much at too many casinos.

Card counting, as far as I know, is not illegal, just against casino rules. The real life team had to shut down because all the casinos knew them - and they did play many casinos, not just one.

Remember, this is a movie. You'll find a few good twists and some nonlinear storytelling. I don't recommend earning money for college like this, but the scholarship essay adds to the ending. Go see it.