Movie Reviews Forthcoming

One of the things that I’ve been able to do with the time I’ve had on my hands is catch up on some movie renting. Alli and I are really digging the whole Red Box thing, although it really pains me to support McDonalds, but I still can’t bring myself to subscribe to Netflix or Blockbuster.

The upcoming posts will be somewhat brief (I’ll do my best to keep them under 200 words) movie reviews of the stuff we’ve seen lately.

HandBrake

Say you have one of those nifty iPod thingies that play video and stuff. Say you’ve got a bunch of DVDs that you’d like to watch on said iPod thingy, but you’re not hip on buying another copy of the movie through iTunes. Movie studios have even resorted to “value-adding” with special features on DVDs these days by including an extra DVD that contains a digital version of the movie “For your iPod or PSP!”

Well, folks. I’m here to tell you that you don’t need either of those things. If you already own the DVD, there’s a software right under your fingertips that will enable you to rip those DVDs into a handy iTunes/iPod/iPhone friendly MP4 format. It’s called HandBrake.

HandBrake is this nice little open source program that converts those bulky discs into nice, compact digital files. It’s available for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux and has presets for all video-playing portables from early video iPods to PSPs and some I’ve never heard of. So for example, I would like to be able to watch old episodes of Friends on my computer or iPod video. Even though it’s taken me a while, I’ve been able to successfully rip 10 seasons (at about 23 episodes per season) of Friends for digital consumption using HandBrake.

Sure, it’s time-consuming (particularly naming all the episodes, using this nice OS X-only tool called Lostify), but the work is mindless and the reward is massive.

Disappointment

I can’t claim to have accomplished much this weekend.

It’s been a while since Alli and I have had a weekend to ourselves. It was a really busy summer and it seemed like we were always doing something. This weekend, we were fortunate enough to not have anything on the docket, so we did woke up early-ish and made some awesome french toast, complete with Vanilla Almond Special K baked into it. It was [COUSIN EDDIE] “gooooo-oooood.”

After that, we sat on the couch and watched Alias ALL DAY LONG. We had 2 discs of season 2 to finish and we had bought season 3 a while back and we were anxious to watch it. During the year, it was disappointing to watch because it was a new episode here, a rerun there, a missed week here…it felt disjointed. BUT, we got three discs into season 3, and I have to say…totally better than I remembered it. I’m holding out hope that I was disappointed with last season only because it was so disjointed, not because the story was all that bad. So far, my assessment is holding up, but time will tell.

We also saw Shark Tale on Sunday. I don’t know if I was in a bad mood or what, but the movie was really disappointing. Not really funny, not a great story. As far as animated fish movies go…Finding Nemo was exponentially better. That’s not just my opinion. Alli, my brother, Jake…we all agreed…disappointing movie.