Blu-Ray – The Ultimate HD Movie Watching Experience

Blu-Ray is the latest technology for optical discs, and will probably replace the previous extensively used technologies such as DVD, DVD-RAM, DVD-R and DVD-RW. It was collectively produced by major consumer electronics and media suppliers (including Dell, Apple, HP, Mitsubishi, Hitachi, Samsung etc) and the Blu-Ray Disc Association. The main purpose was to record, rewrite and playback HD movies, while also boosting storage capacity.

Blu-rays apply a different type of technology than preceding disc formats. DVDs and the like use red-laser technology to read and write data, while this new format relies on blue-violet laser – hence the name of Blu-Ray, often misspelled as Blue-Ray. The key advantage that this blue-violet laser offers is that the laser spot is more focused. This allows for tighter packaging of data, thus growing the amount of data that can be stored.

The main competitors of Blu-Rays are HD DVDs. However, these last ones can only hold 15 GB of data, while Blu-Ray disc can store up to 25 GB. With the development of 3D movies, Blu-Rays will most likely become more popular. You can write a whole 3D movie at full 1080p resolution on a single Blu-Ray disc. A good player can then pump the data to your TV screen without any problems.

Other things that Blu-Ray can provide include improved inter-connectivity, thus allowing for more complex games or educational materials, as well as more sophisticated video options. For instance, you can have picture-in-picture viewing for behind-the-scenes or comments while watching movies. You also have access to the menu while watching the film. Also, many Blu-rays have an archived version of the movie that you can watch on your iPod or other portable device. Another new feature is BD-Live. If you link your Blu-Ray player to the Internet, you can use this feature to access movie talks, forums and other interactive content. Disney has announced plans to include BD-Live on most upcoming titles.

Blu-Rays were launched in 2006, and thus far they have attained a penetration rate of about 10%. In the near future, Blu-Ray will most likely become the common technology for high-definition televisions and home theater. Because of their enhanced storage capacity, movies stored on Blu-Ray discs have better picture and sound quality. Though they are still more expensive than HD DVDs, this is likely to change in the future, making them the most convenient choice for home entertainment.

Blu-Ray is the next step in home entertainment. A few of this year’s famous movies available in Blu-Ray include Avatar, Lost – complete series, Sherlock Holmes, Africa’s Lost Eden, Alice in Wonderland, Zombieland and The Princess and the Frog. Most of the upcoming titles on Blu-Ray are family and kid’s movies. So get yourself some 3D glasses and spend some fun family time watching the newest and best movies on Blu-Ray!

Five Good Movies: A Movie List for Work-At-Home Dads

Movie Break: Watch A Movie, Dad!

A work-at-home dad also needs to relax and enjoy. From time-to-time, it is important to take a break. And what better way to do so than by watching a good movie?

Below are five good movies that you, dads, can watch – alone or with your loved ones.

1. To Kill A Mockingbird is a classic. It is one of the best movies that explore relationships on a deeper level. Something that cannot be seen in many of the movies today. The movie talks about a father who is determined to spend his life “in the service” of his children. Atticus Finch is an awesome role model. And the fact that he is a widower makes things all the more interesting.

Find a copy of the movie and you’ll realize that, yes, the American Film Institute had every right to call Atticus Finch one of the 20th century’s greatest movie heroes.

2. The Road stars Viggo Mortensen as a father who, with his son, does all that he can to survive post-apocalyptic United States. Father and son travel through every sight that tells them that life is over, and yet they continue to journey “down the road”. They don’t even have any idea what awaits them, and they have nothing really solid that can protect them from anything or anybody, like the cannibalistic bands that they may encounter. It’s a father and son movie that tugs at the heartstrings without overdoing anything.

Based on the book of the same title by Cormac McCarthy, The Road is a movie that will redefine your view of the ideal father and son relationship.

3. Field of Dreams. “If you build it, he will come.” This Kevin Costner movie is about reconciliation; about a son who will do anything to mend his broken relationship with his father. And everything happens after his father passed away. Ray, the son, builds a baseball diamond upon the urging of a voice that acts as his guide. Eventually, Ray succeeds at reconciling with his father – in the most magical of ways!

Even the toughest man will tear up at this movie!

4. In the movie My Life, Michael Keaton finds out that he is soon to die. What makes things even worst is that he and his wife were expecting their first baby! Since he was sure that he won’t be around anymore when the baby arrives, he decides to make a series of videos of himself, so that his son can watch him and get to know him. The scenes where Keaton records the home videos are some of the most poignant.

An interesting side story is Keaton’s relationship with his father, with whom he reconciles before he dies.

My Life is one of the best and most underrated daddy movies that has ever been shown.

5. Finding Nemo. This is not in the list just because you will have something that you can watch with your little boy or girl. In all honesty, Finding Nemo is really one good fatherhood movie. This fish story – the story of Marlin and his son Nemo, is one of the best examples of an overprotective father and an adventurous son.

When his son goes missing, needless to say, Marlin does everything necessary to find and get him back – even when it meant dealing with fish from the other species and crossing miles and miles of ocean water!

So, there you go! Some really good choices for you and your loved ones on movie day/night. Mind you, there are still a lot of good movies about dads! For starters, though, this movie list will do.

Happy viewing!

Why Disney’s “Frozen” Is a Bad Movie

I just finished watching the popular Disney movie, “Frozen”, for the second time. The hype surrounding the movie was obnoxious and everyone was saying that, “‘Frozen’ is one of the best movies of all time.” Watching it my first time around, it wasn’t great; the bar was set pretty high and my expectations didn’t meet up to the reality of the movie. But after my second time watching it, it has solidified in my brain that this movie is one of the worst Disney has ever produced.

There’s actually a funny history surrounding this movie. Walt Disney wanted to make this movie all the way back in 1943. “Frozen” was supposed to be Disney’s adaptation of the popular fairy tale, “The Snow Queen”, written by Hans Christian Anderson (Get it? Hans, Kristoff, Anna, Sven. Good job, Disney). “The Snow Queen” actually has, what would be Elsa, as the villain. They decided they couldn’t create the movie in the 40s because they couldn’t find a way to adapt it to a modern audience. They tried again in the late 1990s, but the project was scrapped when one of the head animators on the project, Glen Keane, quit. In 2010, they scrapped it again because they still couldn’t find a way to make the story work. Then, in 2011, they finally decided on making Anna the younger sister of the Snow Queen, which was enough for them to create “Frozen”.

“Frozen” was directed by Chris Buck (known for “Tarzan”) and Jennifer Lee (known for “Wreck-it-Ralph”). The bar was set pretty high for me seeing as both those movies were well above the standards of a “kid’s movie”. The story was going to be just like the fairy tale, but then, Christophe Beck composed the hit song, “Let it Go”. The production team went crazy; instead of trying to fit the song into the movie, they rewrote the entire plot and Elsa’s entire character to fit the song. I have never heard of an entire movie being changed to fit one song. Because of this, it’s blatantly obvious that no one could decide on anything in this movie. Since Elsa isn’t the antagonist, there really was no real evil force. The Duke of Weaselton is brought up to be the villain in the beginning when he states, “Open those gates so I may unlock your secrets and exploit your riches. Did I say that out loud?” Why do you want to unlock the secrets and exploit their riches?

The Duke has absolutely no development to the point where he doesn’t even have a name. He barely even gets screen time. So if he isn’t the villain, who is? Well, in the last 15 minutes of the movie, Anna’s fiance, Prince Hans, is brought up to be the villain, stating he wants to rule a kingdom and he can’t because of his 12 other brothers. This comes out of absolutely nowhere. There were no hints, no evil glances, no sidebars or monologues, nothing. He even gives out blankets and hot soup to every person in the kingdom of Airendale. Prince Hans even says, he will protect Airendale because Anna left him in charge and “will not hesitate to protect Airendale from treason” when the Duke states he wants to take over. I can’t stand it when they get so lazy as to just throw in a villain at the last few minutes because they couldn’t actually bring up a real villain. Prince Hans states that he wanted to take over and he was going to kill Elsa and all this other crap, but Elsa was just about to be killed and he saved her life. Why would he save her life if he wanted her dead? None of it made sense and it irked me the entire movie.

Frozen recycles animation and character models from their previous hit, “Tangled”. The main characters, Elsa and Anna, use the same exact model as Rapunzel from “Tangled”. This controversy has been huge around the internet, calling Disney “lazy” and the such. Personally, I was okay with this. Disney is known for recycling animations (which can be seen here). Even though it was really strange that Elsa and Anna had the same exact face and body structure and the only difference between them were the freckles and their hair, it didn’t bother me too much. But, during the coronation scene, Elsa says to Anna, “You look beautiful.” Pretty ironic if you ask me.

The movie starts off with Elsa and Anna playing together with Elsa’s ice magic. It’s cute at first, but then Elsa strikes Anna in her head and they have to “thaw out the ice” or something along those lines. So they ask the trolls to heal her and they wipe Anna’s memories of Elsa having magic. Then, they lock the castle doors so no one can ever see Elsa and lock Elsa away in her room to never speak to her sister again. This is where it all starts to go downhill. None of it made sense. Why would you wipe Anna’s memories of Elsa having magic? If it was easily fixed, why not just explain to her that they can’t play with Elsa’s magic anymore because it’s out of hand? She would’ve known the consequences afterwards. It’s like if you touch a hot stove; you’re curious, you touch it, you burn yourself, you never touch it again. The fear solidifies subconsciously. Even if you could explain why she needed her memories erased, why was Anna locked inside the castle doors too? Anna had no recollection of the events, even at the end of the movie, so why was Anna being punished for something Elsa did? They could have easily allowed her to talk to the townsfolk and have a good time outside the castle while Elsa was locked away.

There’s this motif throughout the movie about locked doors; they lock the castle doors, Anna knocks on Elsa’s door and she never answers, Anna and Prince Hans sing the song, “Love is an Open Door”, Anna says to Elsa, “All you know is how to shut people out.” I found the motif pretty clever until they forced it down my throat. When Anna reaches the ice castle, she knocks on the door. When the door opens, she says, “Well that’s a first.” It’s a giant punch in the chest when you think you’ve analyzed a motif and you can go on and on about how amazing the directors were for putting it in there, but then the directors hold your hand and forcefully say, “Hey! This a motif! You should totally love us for this!” I would’ve been okay with it too if they just didn’t put that one line in the movie. When you read a book and you analyze it, the author is trying to let you come to the conclusion yourself and let you discuss it. It’s the same with movies. There was no need to forcefully tell us that this was a motif. Doing so was actually counterproductive. It popped my bubble.

This lead me to the question, “Why was Anna the main character?” Here’s a checklist of every plot-moving event in the movie:

Elsa strikes Anna so they have to lock the castle gates and Elsa can never talk to anyone ever again
Elsa is becoming queen
The entire kingdom gets frozen over because of Elsa
Elsa arguably has the best song in the entire movie
Anna has to find Elsa so that Elsa can save the entire kingdom
Hans has to kill Elsa to become king

Everything centers around Elsa. So why have Anna be the main character? Anna didn’t have any real character development in the movie while Elsa was completely fleshed out in every scene that she’s in. Just watch the scene from her song, “Let It Go”The entire song is about her “letting go” of her fear and coming to terms with her powers and being herself. This would’ve made a for a better plot; a woman finally coming to terms with herself, society trying to shut her down, and her fight to be accepted as who she is. Instead, it’s about Anna trying to find her sister so her sister can save the kingdom. It’s like Phil being the main character of Hercules or Mushu being the main character for Mulan. It doesn’t make any sense. Anna isn’t as interesting as Elsa. Sure, she’s funny and relate-able, but that could easily have been Elsa. Everyone can relate to not fitting into the social norms. So I reiterate, why have Anna be the main character?

Speaking of Anna, they said the only way to save her was “one true act of love”. There were many “true acts of love.” Kristoff bringing her to the trolls, Olaf giving her that pep talk, Kristoff bringing her to Hans to save her. All of these were “true acts of love”, but none of them counted because it didn’t “fit the dynamic of sisterhood.” The whole dynamic between Elsa and Anna felt so forced to the point where I stopped caring halfway through the movie. Mostly because Anna doesn’t actually evolve as a character until the very end of the movie. Even then, the development isn’t that major.Olaf is another thing that felt so force-fed. It was cute that the snowman Elsa and Anna created when they were young became a real living being and helped Anna out on her quest, but he didn’t do much. At all. He sings a song about the summer, makes a ton of jokes, gives Anna a pep talk at the end of the movie, more jokes, then that’s it. He doesn’t really face much adversity, making him extremely 1 dimensional. It’s obvious they put him in there just to be cute and to target a wider audience. There’s a test that I use to explain 1 dimensional characters; if you can replace the character with a lamp, and the plot could still advance, then the character didn’t need to be there. I promise you, if you watch the movie again and follow that test, you’ll understand exactly what I saying. What’s worse is that he could’ve actually been a catalyst to Anna regaining her memories of her sister and finally realizing why she feels the way she does. But instead, he’s nothing but a comedic relief that has no part in the plot whatsoever.

The whole movie and plot felt so rushed and like no one could agree on anything. From the villains to the plot to the characters; it’s all rushed. It felt like they said, “Hey, “Tangled” was great! Let’s just take the stuff we used from “Tangled” and get this movie off our checklist after 70 years.” But, there is one thing that did surprise me; the soundtrack. The music was phenomenal. Every song felt very broadway-esque and fit the scenes perfectly. “Let It Go”, “Love is an Open Door”, and all the rest of the songs made my heart soar and gave me hope for the next Disney titles to have music on par with the classics like “Mulan” or “The Lion King”.

And that’s my opinion on Disney’s “Frozen”. Honestly, this movie was just plain bad. I say, wait for it to go on Broadway and see it there. I firmly believe that the Broadway musical will be light-years better than this atrocity. They’ll have more time for production, more time to explain and develop their characters and plots, and the effects will be really sick. I can’t wait to see how they bring up Elsa’s Ice Castle! If you don’t agree with any of my points, do feel free to leave a comment with your opinion! Unless you’re gonna argue that this movie wasn’t targeted to my demographic and that it was “made for kids”. I will then point you in the directions of the masterpieces known as “Tangled”, “The Lion King”, “Mulan”, “Brave”, and almost every other Disney movie before this. I would love to see what everyone else thought of the movie!