What Women Want (2011)

What Women Want (2011)
Director: Chen Daming

A remake of the US film of the same name. Andy Lau  takes on the role of the male (Mel Gibson) lead character and Gong Li takes on the female (Helen Hunt) role. While the overall story is similar to the US movie this new retelling offers up a different filming location, culture, and Andy Lau plays the advertising big shot as well as Mel Gibson did.

You can watch this on Netflix 

Additional Info:
IMDB page
Wikipedia Page  


The Captains (2011)

The Captains (2011)
Director: William Shatner

This was quite the eye opener. William Shattner interviews the other main “Captains” from the various Star Trek series and even Chris Pine of the 2009 movie.

  • Patrick Stewart – Jean Luc Picard (The Next Generation)
  • Avery Brooks – Benjamin Sisko (Deep Space Nine)
  • Kate Mulgrew – Kathryn Janeway ( Star Trek Voyager)
  • Scott Bakula – Jonathan Archer  (Star Trek: Enterprise)
  •  Chris Pine – Star Trek (2009 movie)

They discuss things such as previous knowledge about Star Trek, Experiences filming their respective projects, life after Star Trek. Fans and conventions. The moments between William Shatner and (Sir) Patrick Stewart  were quite interesting. At one point William Shatner is sitting in a box waiting for one of the other Actors to arrive.

The documentary is currently streaming on Netflix, Amazon VOD or on physical disc.
Additional Info:

Wikipedia page
IMDB page
Netflix page 


Wheels on Meals (1984)

Wheels on Meals (1984)
Director: Sammo Hung

This film starts out with Jackie Chan and Biao Yuen doing some stretching and martial arts training. The two friends  run a fast food business, out of a hi-tech (for the time) food tuck. More of a Van actually. Once they run into a female pickpocket, Sylvia (Lola Forner), things get complicated and some thing fun and crazy things happen.

Sammo Hung is not only the director of this film but he plays the part of a private detective that’s not too sharp.

Notable action scenes:

  • Fight with a motorbike gang
  • Car Chase  with  our heroes in their food truck where they use sauce dispensers as weapons.
  • Our Heroes’ respective fights near the end of the film

This movie features one of my favorite Jackie Chan fights ever to be caught on film. Jackie Chan fights Benny “The Jet”  Urquidez. The movie was filmed in Barcelona, which provides a refreshing change from Hong Kong locations. Sammo Hung could really move in this film

The reason why I’m posting about this now is because you can watch it on Netflix streaming service.

 

Additional Info:
IMDB page
Wikipedia Page


Thoughts on Logitech Revue with Google TV

Logitech Revue set-top box and keyboard controller - Image source Amazon.

I recently got a chance try out this device. The Revue connects to your TV via an HDMI port. This allows both the video and audio signal to travel through a single cable. It’s meant to be a companion unit to an existing cable or satellite TV service.

 

Features:

  • 1920x1080p /60 fps, HDMI 1.3a support
  • 802.11 b/g/n wireless network support. WPA2 security supported
  • 10/100 Mb Wired Ethernet speed
  • Digital optical (S/PDIF) audio out for a Audio receiver hookup
  • 2  USB 2.0 ports
  • Built-in Logitech Harmony Link IR blaster
  • Intel Atom chipset
  • Google Android OS
  • Google chrome with Adobe flash support

This is what was included in the box:

  • 1 Keyboard Controller
  • 1 IR mini blaster
  • 1 Power supply
  • 2 pre-installed AA batteries to power the keyboard controller
  • 1 HDMI cable.
The  Netflix App built into the Revue is really good. Amazon Video on Demand is also supported. Youtube users are not left out either. The Revue is so much better than the Netgear EVA 2000 / Digital Entertainment Live  I previously wrote about last year.
There are a few negative points to this setup. One, the unit cannot be turned off or set to a standby mode. The player unit is a fingerprint magnet. With its glossy black look.  It seems to be an always on type of device. Hulu is actively blocking this device.  Although the built-in browser (Google Chrome) supports flash playback. It was not updated when the unit was placed onto the  Network/Internet. There’s probably a way to install unofficial updates and community hacks onto the unit. I’m still trying to figure out if this thing can play local video files of popular formats like MP4 without having to hack the device.
For $99.99 This thing is really worth it, especially if you uses the services I mentioned and have an existing TV service (box that has HDMI out.)

A year without cable or Dish TV service

It’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Services like Hulu, Amazon VODNetflix/Instant Streaming help make the transition much easier.  It’s probably a tougher thing to do if you have children, or a sports fan in the home. I never actually watched Premium cable channels (HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Starz) for their series, so I knew I wouldn’t miss having access to them.

I use a desktop computer as my main entertainment device now, so the first thing I looked into was how to get Over The Air local channels to playback on my computer. After some research, I picked up a Tuner card and a Digital indoor antenna. Thankfully my computer is running Windows Vista Home Premium (Windows 7 Home Premium also works), So I used the included Windows Media Center software to watch the over the air broadcast. Installation and setup went smoothly and I was able to watch Broadcast TV just fine but the signal strength/ image quality was and still is quite average.  I’m not sure if it’s the TV tuner card or the antenna (the placement or unit itself). I may have to buy a new card or Antenna but it’s not an urgent priority.

Hulu
A lot of popular broadcast network shows will appear on this service , even if it is a few days late. It all depends on the content providers. Viewing most recent content is free (with ads), which is fine, but it sometimes episodes “expire” after a certain period of time. You can use the service though any web browser that has the Adobe Flash Player plugin installed. The  Hulu Desktop Client is also another way to access the content. It doesn’t use a web browser (IE, Firefox, Chrome…) but it still needs Flash player to be installed on the computer. To access content deemed “Mature” a login account needs to be created.

Netflix
This pay service is an alright source for movies. You’ll  find a greater selection on their Disc catalog but the content here is still good. New titles are being added all the time.

Amazon VOD
This is an excellent service for purchasing and renting of streaming TV episodes and Movies. Standard Definition TV episodes are usually $1.99/ep. and $2.99/ep. for HD content. Movie rentals go for $3.99 for a 48-hour window. Movies can be purchased for $14.99. The content selection here is great.

Now’s a good time to get into Internet streaming media.

-Tony


Netgear Digital Entertainer Live

Netgear Digital Entertainer Live
Model: EVA2000

It works but I could never get higher resolution video to playback through the device.

It’s a fairly small box so finding space for it shouldn’t be too difficult. The included power adapter only takes up one outlet. The unit supports composite (cable included) or HDMI (cable not included) out for video output to your TV. If you’re using an HDTV then you should definitely go for HDMI, for maximum image quality and for the fact that Audio and Video transmit though that single cable. There are also 2 USB ports for you to plug in a Flash drive or an external Hard Drive. Netgear sells an optional Wireless adapter that attaches via the USB ports. The unit comes with a built-in Ethernet port so you can easily add it to your existing home network. It comes with a remote control (don’t lose it).

Now that the exterior of the device, it’s time to go into what it can do once it’s all setup and attached to the Internet. It has support for Youtube, so you can watch your favorite videos on there. You can also link you Youtube account (if you have one) to the device. This gives you access to your “Favorite” videos, playlists and subscriptions. If you have Windows Media Player 11 or higher installed your computer (Windows XP, Vista, 7) you can stream audio and video from your networked computers to the Netgear EVA2000, out to the TV if the following is true:

1) The Netgear EVA2000 is attached to the home network
2) The Computers are attached to the same network, set to share the media they have ( I tried it through Windows Media Player’s Media Share feature)
3) The computer(s) have to stay powered on and connected to network to stream the content

I had absolute no issues streaming the supported audio file types to the TV. See the Product page link below for details on supported file types and other system requirements. The only supported image files are JPEG and that worked for me as well. What I had a difficult time trying playback was most of the Video files I had stored on my computer. The file types were supported but I guess it didn’t like how they were encoded (Video resolution and bit rate).  I’m not going to re-encode the files just to get it to work for this one device.

The unit also comes with a Disc that has the installer for the PlayOn Media Server. You install it on one of your networked computers and it will act as a streaming media server for popular services like Hulu and Netflix, Amazon on Demand  (You need to have accounts  for each service you wish to use). It supports plug-ins for other services/sites like Revision3, for example.

The device is useful since it has access to the popular services , control via remote, audio streaming, support for external hard drives (USB), support for a lot of different audio and video formats.  The video resolution support is pretty bad it seems, even though the device itself supports a 1280x720p output. Perhaps there will be a future (online) update to resolve this issue.

-Tony

Additional Information:
Product Page
Buy from Amazon