media, movies comments edit

Just got back from seeing Casino Royale, the 21st installment of the James Bond series.

They’ve finally given the Bond series the kick it needed to get back into the game. You could see it turning around with Pierce Brosnan, and I won’t lie, I didn’t have a lot of faith in Daniel Craig (even after seeing Layer Cake), but they really did it.

They take you back to the “early years” and show you how Bond got his double-O status, then through his first mission. It’s a really fun movie on any level, but I’m so glad to see it hold its own with other action/adventure movies that have been coming out lately. You used to have to rate Bond movies on a separate scale; you can rate this one on a scale with its peers and it holds way up.

The bad guy is great, if a little creepy, and the causes they fight for are actually reasonably believeable. There’s not really a “Bond girl” in this one. Not that I didn’t really like Eva Green, but she… I don’t know. She wasn’t really a Bond girl.

The only thing I took a little issue with (and quickly got over) was that they created a sort of a time paradox. Bond fought his way through the Cold War and kicked SPECTRE ass. But at one point, M says, “I miss the Cold War.” If Bond is just starting at MI-6, then the timeline sort of says the Cold War hasn’t happened yet. (Then again, of all the stupid inconsistencies and holes to pick up on, that’s what I find? Yeah, I let it go just like the rest. If you give up and just buy it, it’s a hell of a lot more fun.)

I’ll definitely be picking this up when it comes out on DVD. If you haven’t already gone to see it, go. It’s worth the full price at the theater to see Bond back in the saddle again.

General Ramblings comments edit

I’ve been using this program called DVD Profiler to keep track of the DVDs I have. It’s nice to have an easy to browse catalog, and it’s great to print off periodic reports for insurance purposes. Plus there’s an ad-supported free version that does pretty much everything you want it to do.

I’ve had it for a while and dig it, so I registered it for the $30. It’s a one-time thing with no upgrade cost, so I figured what the heck - I use it and like it, right?

Registering allows you to upload your DVD collection to their site. Now you can see which movies I have, and I can make sure I don’t run out to Target at lunch and get something I already have. If the family wants to see something, they can look at the list and borrow it from me instead of renting. Pretty cool, if I do say so myself.

media comments edit

For the last week we’ve been fighting with the Comcast HD digital cable box. The video will come on and then disappear after three or four seconds, leaving us with audio only. The guy who showed up last week to fix it rewired the cable outlet and that seemed to temporarily fix it. A day later, the problem was back.

A different cable guy showed up today and let us know that a recent firmware update to the Motorola digital cable boxes - something ostensibly to fix certain DVR problems - broke the DVI connectivity. Sure enough, connecting the component cables to the box gets us video back again.

Of course, that doesn’t help me because the only input I have left on my TV is digital connection (a shared input that can be HDMI, DVI, or VGA), so now I have to go get the Xbox 360 VGA cable and swap the inputs

  • Xbox 360 for cable box.

Oh, did I mention that’s a $75 custom-made DVI cable out the door? And all of my cables are totally custom wrapped and organized, so all of it has to be torn up so I can put in new/different cables? Thanks, Comcast. Even with the free month you’re giving us, it doesn’t make up for the ridiculous inconvenience. If Verizon had its broadband TV service up and running, we’d switch tomorrow. (UPDATE: I’m not the only one pissed. At least I wasn’t sent to collections.)

The firmware fix for this, which is “currently being worked on” is due out in January. That’s fantastic. Keep up the good work, guys. Hire a QA department when you get a chance. Thanks.