Tuesday, May 23, 2017

This stuff happened today....

This first part didn't happen today, but a little while.  I was organized the mess on my shelf into piles and found a gift card I got from my mom last year for my birthday.  It was a food gift card known as the Ultimate Dining Card.  It's good at Swiss Chalet, Harvey's, Milestones, Montana's, Kelsey's, East Side Mario's and a couple places I haven't even heard of.  I always make her take me to Swiss Chalet, so she probably bought the card because she think I eat there all the time.  I only eat there when she comes to town and pays for dinner.

Since I haven't eaten a burger forever, I decided I was going to go to Harvey's and use my giftcard.  There aren't that many Harvey's around anymore, but I know there is one off Crowchild Trail in the Brentwood Village Mall.  I haven't been since like I don't know, 15 years ago!!  Maybe more.  I drive by there all the time, but don't ever go in.  Today was finally the day I went in and got my Harvey's.  It wasn't bad, only good because I used the gift card and didn't have to pay.  I shopped at the smallest Safeway I've every seen, the aisles were only like 15 feet long.  While I was there I discovered a crazy new store!

I saw a sign on the outside that looked old and trashy and said "CD Trader".  The mall itself is tiny, and once I went in I wasn't even sure if the store existed because the sign looked so old.  I thought maybe they closed and the sign was left up.  I found it though, and while the store is more like stall it was packed pretty tight with lots of CDs, DVDs, and blu-rays.

This is both a good thing and a bad thing.  It's bad because it makes it hard to look through stuff.  The DVDs are stored standing up, so you have to flip through the cases.  It would've been a lot nicer if they were somehow stored on the sides with spines up making it easier to see what they have.  Also, if there is four people in the store, it's too crowed to look at stuff.  I gave the place a quick look, but again there were a few people in there, so I didn't get a chance to really go digging.  I'll have to make another trip and go in the morning when hopefully it is quieter.  A quarter of the store isn't even in the store, but bins outside is the mall walkway.  They do have a website, check it out HERE.

I just thought of this, but from this moment onward we will refer to East Side Mario's as Grease Side Mario's.  Classic!

Monday, May 22, 2017

DVD of the Day II

I bet you didn't think there would be another installment of "DVD of the Day" so soon.  Don't worry like everything I start I'll do it four or five times and then forget about it and you'll never see it again.  Until then, here we go!


I was bored the other night and wanted something to watch, so I went down in the basement and opened one of my movie boxes and dug this out.  It's ADV Films "Special Edition" of the Japanese anime film Spriggan.


It's "special" because it includes the DVD and a CD soundtrack from the film all in a fancy pants box.


The disc itself is double sided with one side containing the English dub and the reverse side having 
the original Japanese version with English subtitles.  The Japanese side also includes commentaries and trailers for other ADV releases.  There are two commentaries, the first with the ADR director and engineer and the second with the actors who did the English dub.  I guess this is better than nothing, but I'd rather see something from the original Japanese production staff who actually made the film.  Just my preference.


The CD features the exact same artwork on the front as the DVD, just sized slightly different.  This is the back of the case with track listing.

I really liked the movie and even before I owned this version I had a bootleg version I bought in Chinatown.  I didn't have English subtitles, so I didn't know exactly what was going on.  The kick ass action scenes didn't really need subtitles though.  

Spriggan the movie was released in 1998 and it based on a manga series of the same name.  The manga ran for eleven volumes and adapts the Noah's Ark storyline .  Viz Communications released three of those volumes here in North America, but under the named Striker.  

I tracked down these three volumes and really like them, I was bummed they didn't didn't release anymore.  I'm also surprised with all the manga coming out now, that another publisher hasn't picked up the rights and done the complete series.

If you haven't seen this movie, then you should!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

DVD of the Day

I'm surprised it took me this long to come up with the "DVD of the Day" concept as I could literally have enough content for the next five years.  I picked up today's DVD at the thrift store and while it is of a movie I already own on DVD, this is one is an upgrade.


This is the 3 disc set for the French movie "Brotherhood of the Wolf".  It's an period "action/horror" that was released in 2001.  The movie is loosely based on a real life legend of "The Beast of Gevaudan".  This version was released a single disc and as a three disc set in Canada, I'm not 100% sure the 3 disc was available in the States.  This version is also the 152 minute version, while the theatrical version ran 143 minutes.  Either way it's super long!


Disc one holds the movie with English/French Dolby 5.1, French DTS and commentaries with the director and cast.  Of course English subtitles are optional.

Disc two has a Making Of, deleted scenes, "The Legend", filmographies and bonus ROM.

Disc three has a documentary, storyboards, an album and bonus ROM.

Since it is a French movie all the special features with any kind of dialogue are in French, but everything is subtitled.  It's nice they included all that stuff, but where is a trailer?  I love trailers.

Also is a booklet that has notes on pre-production, filming, post-production and historical references about the Beast of Gevaudan legend.  Cast and crew listings are also included.


This three disc set was released back before technology advanced enough to fit three discs in a regular sized case.  Nowadays you could fit twenty discs in a case that size.  How far we've come.

I haven't watched it yet, but I will soon.  I haven't seen it for quite a while, so hopefully it still holds up well.  I can also rid myself of the single disc version, so it is up for grabs if anyone wants it.  I remember when this was first released on DVD in Canada, the three disc version was very hard to find and was selling online for up to $100.  Luckily I found my copy for only $3.00, it took 16 years, but I did it.  Patience pays off!

If you are looking to know more there is Wikipedia, Internet Movie Database and the official website.  The official website still works and it's a real trip down memory lane mostly for the design and layout of the flash website.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

New tunes

I stopped by the thrift store just off Richmond Road because I hadn't been there in a while and also so I could go to the Vietnamese a few doors down and get a sub for lunch.  I didn't find much at the thrift store except CDs which are normally 50 cents each were on some kind of crazy sale and were 4 for $1.00.  If my math is correct that is only 25 cents each!

The best thing about CDs that cheap is that you buy just about anything and if it only has one song you like then it was still worth.  Also, for 25 cents you can buy a lot of guilty pleasure CDs you'd never pay full price or even half price for.  I got my four CDs, let me know how I did.


SHABBA!!  I had Shabba's "As Raw As Ever" on cassette back in tha day cuz that's how I rolled.  This album looks to be a compilation of remixes and such.


You know I already own this one, but it was easier to pay 25 cents for another copy than it is to actually find my original copy.  I'll just end up listening to it and then donating it back to the thrift store.

 The Blade soundtrack, mostly rap type stuff, but there is a Mantronik Vs EPMD song which is pretty cool.  Seems like every song is by an artist but then "features" anywhere from one to four additional guys.  The songs must be really good if it takes that many guys to make one.


You know I think I've actually even listened to Skunk Anasie aside from maybe catching a music video on Much back in the day.  I'm not even sure what they sound like, probably hard/angry alt rock is my best guess.  They seems totally 90's.  I think Cam might have this CD.

This Tuesday is the cheap CD and DVD day at the other thrift store.  I haven't been there in a while, so I'll probably go check it out since I still got some loose change.  I'll let you know if I find anything good.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Upgraded

I just picked a new blu-ray to upgrade from my older aging blu-ray player.  I was hoping a newer model with better hardware, firmware, and software would be better.  I upgraded from a Sony to a Sony!  My old Sony was getting on five years old I think, so it had to go.  The fact that my new Sony also had dual band wi-fi is also a big plus, Netflix needs it sometimes.


Here is my new player sitting on top of my old player.  As you can see it's definitely not as wide and slightly taller than my older player.  Both of them a super light, so don't drop it or it's toast.  

The new one plays CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and 3D players and can upscale to 4K UHD.  The front has a USB port and the unit plays multiple image, audio and video files.  In the operating instructions it doesn't note that it plays VCDs, but I tried one out and it worked so that's a bonus.


Here is my new remote on the left next to my larger old remote.  I like that they simplified it and made it smaller.  I actually never even used the number buttons on my old remote.  There is an app to download for Android or Apple that allows you to use your smart phone as a remote.


This is the main menu once the unit is turned on.  One thing I don't like is there is no ability to edit the "Featured Apps" as I will probably only use two of those apps.  In the "My Apps" section you can add (using the + button) or remove whatever apps you like.  The Opera TV app also contains additional apps.  Most of the apps pretty much suck, but I found a movie and TV app in Opera that had a couple anime movies and shows I want to checkout, the rest of the movies are pretty much trash.  I mean like actual trash, I know they are free, but you could pay me and I still wouldn't watch them.

On the bottom right hand side of the screen you see the disc tile which will tell you what movie disc is in the unit if one is inserted, the USB is the middle icon and the icon with the two screens on the right is for screen mirroring.  You can display whatever is on your phone screen onto your TV through the unit.  If it can do this then I'm sure you can stream video or audio to the unit, but I haven't figured that out yet.  It guess it's sorta the same, but they called it "miracast".

In addition to all that the player is also supposed to be able to play select Playstation 3 games by streaming from the cloud.  You need a Dualshock 4 controller and a Playstation Now account to be able to do this.  I borrowed a controller from Cody and I still need to sign up for a free trial Playstation Now account to give it a try.  It's cheap of Sony to only give you a seven day free trail, XBox used to give you a month of XBox live for free.  The Playstation Now account seems pretty pricey if the unit can only player certain games.  I will at least try it and see how it works.  I have a feeling the streaming aspect will result in some choppy gameplay and many "buffering" moments.

The first movie I watched on it was Ultraman Fight Victory because I it's short, action packed and a lot of fun.  Then last night I watched I Am A Hero, another Japanese movie.  Good zombie movie with all the craziness and zombie attack action happening at the end.  It hasn't been picked up for distribution in North America yet and I'm surprised, but it will probably happen at some point.  Since I just watched I Am A Hero, that means I'll be watching Meatballs II soon on the Crackle app.  FYI, White Water Summer is also on there.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Poppin off

It's been far too long, but finally Nabisco has graced us with a new Oreo flavour, Fireworks.


I found these at work, but haven't seen them at Safeway or Co-op.  At first when I looked at the picture of the dissected Oreo, I almost dismissed it because it looks just like the Birthday Cake Oreo that came out quite a while ago and still might be available.  I didn't like the Birthday Cake Oreo and just about passed on these until I saw the accompanying text that said, "with Popping Candy!"  Now I'm buying them!


At first taste there isn't much taste outside of an slightly off Oreo taste.  Once I chewed and swallowed the cookie I could feel the small pops of left over candy bits going off in my mouth.  Just like Pop Rocks, but much much less intense.  Overall, they don't tastes as good as regular Oreos, and the "popping candy" thing is just a gimmick.  Bring back the good flavours like pumpkin spice, gingerbread and cinnamon bun.  Or better yet Nabisco give us all the other flavours that they get down in the US!