Blu-ray 3D Is Coming To A Home Theatre Near You

Yesterday's post about the Samsung 3D television from my guest blogger, AJ, set me to wondering about blu-ray 3D so I did a bit of poking around and this is what I found.

To watch blu-ray 3D at home, you are going to need four main pieces of equipment:
  • A television, monitor or projector that will display 3D movies.
  • A pair of 3D glasses for each individual who will be watching.
  • A 3D blu-ray player.
  • And, 3D blu-ray movies or discs.
For more information about blu-ray 3D and these requirements, be sure to visit my new page, What Will You Need To Watch Blu-ray 3D Movies At Home, by clicking right here.

I think we are all pretty familiar with what 3D is in regard to movies. The movie studios are working hard to make sure we are going to have some content to watch from the comfort of our 3D home theatres. Eventually, we will be able to bring home Avatar, Alice in Wonderland, A Christmas Carol, How To Train Your Dragon and Clash of the Titans in blu-ray 3D.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Link:

What Will You Need To Watch Blu-ray 3D Movies At Home?

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Samsung UN55C8000 55-Inch 3D LED HDTV

A warm welcome to guest blogger and friend, AJ2008, who graciously agreed to write a review of the Samsung UN55C8000 55-Inch 3D LED HDTV for us. AJ writes:

Samsung has released a new range of eco friendly 3D TVs, including the Samsung UN55C8000 55-Inch 3D LED HDTV.

Our visit to the movies to see James Cameron's 3D Movie Avatar left us utterly spellbound and a 3D HD TV definitely features high on our wish list. However, in this "going green" family any new purchase requires some thorough checking out of the product's green credentials, particularly if they are electrical goods.

I was pleased to note that the Samsung UN55C8000 is more environmentally friendly than earlier models of Samsung's HD LED TVs, uses 40 percent less power than similar size 2008 Samsung LCD TVs and is Energy Star compliant.

Reviewers consistently highly rate the picture clarity and the VERY dark black screen, which they say makes the Samsung UN55C8000 look as beautiful turned off as it does when it is on. (AJ that makes me smile.)

But it is not just the looks and viewing experience. Samsung have added some extra functions that include Internet@TV; a range of apps that let you stream video, play games and view pictures; customizable widgets that give you access to BLOCKBUSTER, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Amazon Video On Demand, Netflix, Twitter, Pandora and more.

Yes, the Samsung UN55C8000 55-Inch 3D LED HDTV ticks all the boxes for my family and is definitely on our wishlist!

Thanks, AJ! You have made a solid case for the Samsung 3D HDTV. I especially appreciate your consideration of how environmentally friendly this unit is.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Order your Samsung UN55C8000 55-Inch 3D LED HDTV from Amazon.
Read some very comprehensive Amazon Customer reviews for the Samsung UN55C8000.
Read more about the Samsung UN55C8000.

Iron Man 2 Soundtrack

Yesterday, I wrote a somewhat unexciting review of Iron Man 2 but I did not mention that the Iron Man 2 soundtrack ROCKS with two high-energy AC/DC songs.  Released on April 16, 2010, the soundtrack is a work created by the people at Marvel Studios and Columbia Records and, of course, the band.

Shoot to Thrill and Highway to Hell are featured and were thoroughly enjoyed in the movie but this album actually contains fifteen classic AC/DC songs.  Some criticize it for not being a true soundtrack since only two of the songs appear in the movie but I am willing to take it as an AC/DC greatest hits compilation.  What a great way to introduce a new generation to a classic rock band!

If you occasionally like to listen to rock music, and to crank it up, you will enjoy this short sneak peek into the Iron Man 2 soundtrack and the movie. You might even want to turn your volume up but please don't tell my 18-year old son that I told you to do so!



Impressed? You can tell that I was. The music worked perfectly with the high-energy moments in the movie.  (Yes, it is too bad that there wasn't more AC/DC in the film.)

I was apparently not the only one impressed...the Iron Man 2 soundtrack debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200 and at number 1 on the UK Albums Chart.

If you are interested in owning the soundtrack, Amazon is offering it in no less than FOUR packages including the vinyl one pictured here on this page. (Vinyl really is better, you know...but then, that's another story.)

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Link:

Order your copy of the Iron Man 2 Soundtrack.

Iron Man 2 Review ~~ Was It Good or Not?

We went to see Iron Man 2 last week. My husband chose the movie as he was celebrating his birthday.  He was also interested in Robin Hood but liked the idea that there might be three less people at the theatre to see Iron Man 2 since it had been out a wee bit longer than Robin Hood.

Anyway, I have spent the time since then trying to decide if I liked Iron Man 2 or not and I would have to say the jury is still out. I did not dislike it and I liked the humour. However, I'm not quite sure about how I felt in the end...so I'm thinking maybe the story was a bit weak, that I would have enjoyed a bit more in that regard.

I'm off now to see what the experts had to say. Was it just me or was the movie a little, well, disappointing?

I'll start with my favorite movie reviewer, The Movie Mom.  She gave the film a B which is pretty respectable although not great. (A side note, she said the movie is PG-13 and recommended it for middle-school aged children because of the comic book violence, alcohol abuse and skimpy clothing.) She does go on to add that she considers it an entertaining summer movie but that it lacked the "exuberance of the original."  I'd agree.

The reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes gave Iron Man 2 another pretty good mark, overall. 75 percent.  Their consensus? "Iron Man 2 isn't quite the breath of fresh air that Iron Man was, but this sequel comes close with solid performances and an action-packed plot."  Remember with the first Iron Man movie, we were not too familiar with who Iron Man was so that added a nice dimension to the movie.

Gizmodo summarized with, "Iron Man 2 is not as good as the original Iron Man, but don't be so worried about some of those early, negative reviews—it's worlds, worlds, worlds better than Transformers 2, Spiderman 3 or some other franchise-devastating catastrophe. You'll still enjoy the movie a ton. Go see it already, just don't deconstruct it afterward."

Reading these reviews make my opinion seem a bit lower than the average so I'd like to say that if you loved the original Iron Man, you will probably enjoy Iron Man 2.  It was not in any way a bad movie, it just was not, perhaps, my cup of tea.

Let me know what you think...did you love Iron Man 2, did you hate it or were you kind of indifferent, like I was?

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

UPDATE:  Iron Man 2 was released today, September 28th, on blu-ray and DVD. Order your copy of the latest Iron Man movie from Amazon by clicking right here.

Summer Love Songs by The Beach Boys

I stumbled across Summer Love Songs by the Beach Boys by accident today when I was working on a page about barbecue aprons. Released on May 19, 2009, Summer Love Songs features twenty of the original Beach Boys recordings, remastered.

This is precisely the type of album I love to play in the summer when I'm working in the kitchen and when I'm driving. I would put this on when I am home alone (and sing along) and I would put it on when we were having friends over for a barbecue.

Summer Love Songs features many of your Beach Boys favorites including Don't Worry Baby, Why Do Fools Fall In Love, Surfer Girls, California Girls, Help Me Rhonda and fifteen more!  All except Help Me Rhonda have been remixed and the Amazon Customer Reviews are tremendous with comments like:

"This CD contains a few Beach Boys songs I had never heard before (which are excellent songs) and the songs I have heard before have been beautifully re-mastered from mono into stereo (except for 'Help Me Rhonda')." ~~ Alexander

"Been a Beach Boys fan(atic) since there was a Beach Boys. To hear them ('cept Rhonda) in wonderfully re-mastered stereo is a revelation." ~~ Junior Mintz

"...this album compiles some of the Beach Boys' best material (plus a couple of "new" cuts), and bears repeated listening. It's nice to remember when music was about FUN stuff, not politics!" ~~ Rhys M. Berryman

I am definitely thinking that this is a must-have CD for summertime. What do you think?

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Link:

Order your copy of Summer Love Songs by the Beach Boys from Amazon.

'Bake' With The Cupcake Girls, On Their Reality Television Show

There are not many television shows that a I follow on a regular basis but recently I discovered The Cupcake Girls on the Women's Network.  A reality show of sorts, it follows the daily business operations of Cupcakes, a cupcake bakery with six locations in Vancouver. 

I guess I am interested in the show because I have been caught up in the cupcake craze. I have baked a few cupakes recently and I have even written a few webpages on the subject.

The 'girls' that own this bakery started their business by breaking all the basic rules...don't start a business about something of which you know nothing...don't start a business with a friend...don't start without a business plan...don't work with family members. Suffice it to say, they broke almost all of the basic rules but they have still managed to create a very successful business with their cupcake bakeries.

I am enjoying the drama that unfolds each week...like what happens when the entire bake staff is stolen and the owners are forced into the kitchen. That happened last week's episode and it was, ah, interesting...I suppose this is one of the reasons you should not start a business unless you know something about the product. In this case, about baking cupcakes.

If you love cupcakes, you will likely enjoy this show. If you are interested in running your own business about cupcakes, a bakery or really any small business, you will find it enjoyable, too.  I figure if I watch it often enough, I will learn how to ice my cupcakes the way the professionals do it.  Curious? Watch the first episode online by clicking right here.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Watch The Cupcake Girls on W.
Read more about The Cupcake Girls W television Show.
Order this cute Cupcake Girls t-shirt from the artist at Zazzle.

Would YOU Like To Be The Merry Men's Minstrel in Robin Hood?

A very talented Newfoundland musician auditioned for and won the role of the Merry Men's Minstrel, Allan A'Dayle, in Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe's Robin Hood and it sounds like he had a lot of fun. Don't you wish it was you?  I do although I am willing to admit that I am not, ah, ideally suited for the role. However, it turned out that Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea fame was.

Apparently, it DOES matter who you know. In this case, Alan Doyle and Russell Crowe were friends, having worked together to create Crowe's discountinued 2005 album, My Hand, My Heart and Crowe asked Doyle if he would play the part.

Expert heads put together determined, I guess, that the fact that Doyle could not play the medieval flute was a small issue for someone as musically talented as Doyle.

Subsequently to winning the part, Doyle had to attend Merry Men boot camp. During three weeks in Australia and three in England, he learned the skills required to be one of Robin's men...archery, swords and horses. Doyle says that was the easy part; the acting, not so easy.  On stage you have to be flamboyant; on screen, still.

How about you? Do you think you would have enjoyed being one of The Merry Men?

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Robin Hood Movie Soundtrack






Music and Movie Treasures By Brenda - Blogged

Are You Ready For Russell Crowe as Robin Hood?

I am trying to picture Russell Crowe as Robin Hood and I'm coming up...empty. The latest version of the story opens at the Cannes Film Festival tonight and in theatres in North America on Friday.

I've heard there won't be tights and there will be lots of action.  So I'm off in search of some more information about the movie.  Let's start with the official movie trailer...



Well, I think that Russell Crowe actually manages to look like Robin Hood (rather than like Russell Crowe) in the trailer. That's a good start.

This Robin Hood movie definitely promises to be different than previous movies.  The trailer is loud and the movie is obviously more of a 'Gladiator' or action movie than it has been previously. I'm curious to know what it is rated, sometimes the fighting in movies gets pushed too far for my liking.

This story features Robin Hood returning from the Third Crusade and finding that the Sheriff of Nottingham has caused corruption and oppression in his village.  Robin gathers rebel forces to revolt against the Sheriff, which of course culminates in an epic confrontation with much swordplay and arrow-launching.  (My husband and teenage sons are going to love this one.)

What do you think? Does Crowe manage to look like Robin Hood? Does this band of merry men intrigue you?

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Russell Crowe Robin Hood Original Movie Poster.
Russell Crowe's Robin Hood Book, only available on Kindle Edition.

Can You Name These Top Five Movie Quotes???

Can you name the top five movie quotes of all time? Do you know who said them?

When I was reading about Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn earlier this week, I learned that Bogart is attributed with the most quotes on the American Film Institute's top 100 list. I also stumbled across some fantastic movie quotes...and I read and enjoyed the AFI's list.

Could I have guessed the top five movie quotes? No,  but I think I might have been able to guess two of them. How about you? Can YOU identify who said:

"Frankly My Dear, I Don't Give A Damn."

"I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse."

"You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am."

"Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."

"Here's looking at you, kid."

I'm sure if you are a movie fan, you've at least heard all these quotes before but can you identify them??? Make sure you let me know how you did and I'll try to remember to post the answers in another post in the next few days...

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Link:

Buy Movie Quotes To Get You Through Life from Amazon.

The Five Best Blu-ray Movies For Mom

Looking for the five best blu-ray movies for Mom? This is my take on the five best choices but be aware that ‘best’ has different meanings for different people.
I have chosen the best based on four criteria:
  1. Five-star overall blu-ray quality, meaning these movies all have the best sound and vision quality reviews.  You won't find better movies in that regard.
  2. Five-star movie reviews, meaning these movies all have great storylines that people really enjoy.
  3. I have thrown a bit of my personal judgement in. Since we are looking for the five best blu-ray movies for Mom, I eliminated action movies. I don't mean to say that moms in particular or women in general do not like those movies, just that I was trying to target movies that Mom would pick for herself more than ones Mom would pick to watch with a family or as part of a couple.
  4. Finally, these are all blu-ray movies that I would like to own.
On with the list!

The five best movies on blu-ray for Mom are:
  • Forrest Gump
  • Gone With The Wind
  • Hairspray
  • Ratatouille
  • The Wizard of Oz
Am I surprised? Not really, I know that The Wizard of Oz and Gone With The Wind were given top-notch transfers by the studios. I believe that Ratatouille and Hairspray were made with the blu-ray format in mind. Forrest Gump though? He was the surprise for me.

Forrest Gump is the story of a man with a low IQ who winds up being part of important events in America between the 1950s and the 1980s. It was a very successful movie with a Best Picture Oscar in 1994 and it holds the number 74 spot on the American Film Institute’s list of greatest movies. So the story is definitely a good one.

High-Def Digest says the blu-ray transfer has “stunning audio and video presentations” and a “complete host of extras.” High-Def finishes with: “Paramount has put together a Blu-ray release that is a must own for anyone.”  Which means that the blu-ray is good, too, and done in a way that is appropriate for a movie that is an American classic. Sounds like a movie I need to check out on blu-ray.

What do you think? Are there some great movies on this list for your Mother or did this list not provide you with what you were looking for?

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

(Find the blu-ray discs, on sale at Amazon by clicking the following links. Don't forget Amazon ofers FREE shipping on orders worth $25 or more.)

Forrest Gump
Gone With The Wind
Hairspray
Ratatouille * Read my review of Ratatouille
The Wizard of Oz * Read my book & movie gift suggestions for The Wizard of Oz

The ONLY Recording Of The Beatles 1966 Toronto Press Conference ~~ What's It Worth?

The last day that the Beatles ever played in Canada was on August 17, 1966. Between concerts, they attended a question-and-answer session at Toronto’s King Edward Hotel. Mr. Paul Hourigan, a photojournalist, was there and recorded the interview on reel-to-reel tape. When he made the film, he had planned to sell it for $50 but there were no takers...

Of course, Mr. Hourigan is GLAD that there were no takers because auctioneers at Bonham's feel that the film may sell at auction for up to $25,000 U.S. during an upcoming memorabilia sale.

This is the ONLY known recording of that session. The tape is said to be 14 minutes long and feature all four of the Beatles with the issues of draft dodgers, Beatles versus Jesus popularity and the band's possible break up being discussed.  On that issue, Lennon said, "We're obviously not gonna go around holding hands forever."

Is $25,000 reasonable? Mr. Hourigan certainly hopes so and there is certainly precedent and interest in Beatles memorabilia. Last July, the signed poster that hung over John Lennon and Yoko Ono in the iconic hotel bed sold for $140,000; Lennon's handwritten version of Give Peace A Chance sold for $800,000; and in 2008, a copy of the white album sold on eBay for the equivalent of $19,878 U.S.

Here's a peek at a press conference held in Los Angeles on August 28, 1966, just days after the Beatles were at the King Edward Hotel in Toronto.  I suppose one could expect the Toronto film to be similar.



I wonder if the public will ever have the opportunity to view what is on Mr. Hourigan's reel-to-reel tape.

See you
at the movies.
Brenda

Quick Links:

More about The Beatles on video.
The Beatles Remastered.
What is reel-to-reel tape?

March of the Penguins Nature Documentary

"In the harshest place on earth, love finds a way,” announces Morgan Freeman and he is right. March of the Penguins is a love story, which portrays the struggles of the Emperor penguin to survive in one of the most difficult parts of the earth, Antarctica.

March of the Penguins is a National Geographic Feature Film production from 2005. It is an Academy Award winning film and won an Oscar that same year for the Best Documentary Feature film.

Watch March of the Penguins and you will learn a lot about these handsome birds…about how year in and year out they follow the same migration path to find their mate and bear young. It is definitely a love story but also a story of survival of the fittest.

The blu-ray? Well, after reading some grumbles from the Amazon customer reviews, I was surprised to see that both High-Def Digest and Blu-ray.com recommend this film in blu-ray.

It is a wonderful nature film and is great family entertainment, deemed suitable for children from kindergarten age and up. If you love nature films, you will enjoy this one. The penguins are spellbinding.

See you
At the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Read more about March of the Penguins.
Order your copy of March of the Penguins from Amazon.

Who Was Humphrey Bogart?

The release of the movie The African Queen on blu-ray also had me curious to know a bit more about Humphrey Bogart. He, like Katharine Hepburn, was a movie legend who appeared in many film and stage productions; in thirty years, he appeared in 75 productions.

It is almost impossible to pick the best Humphrey Bogart movies because there were so many great ones. However, a look today at Amazon's bestselling list reveals the following five movies:

* The African Queen
* Casablanca
* In A Lonely Place
* The Big Sleep
* To Have and Have Not

The American Film Institute named Bogart the Greatest Male Star of All Time and he won an Academy Award for his role in The African Queen. The Film Institute also credits him with the most famous movie quotations on their top 100 list of quotes. I am pretty sure you would recognize all five quotes. They include, "Here's looking at you, kid" from Casablanca and "The stuff that dreams are made of" from The Maltese Falcon.

A quick check reveals that one more of Bogart's movies than Katharine Hepburn's has made the transfer to blu-ray but that only means you have two to choose from, The African Queen and Casablanca.  High-Def Digest says, that "Casablanca is a title you simply have to add to your Blu-ray collection." And The African Queen? It receives an equally positive review. I'll be back to write more on that movie later. It was good to discover that these two classic movies that have been given an excellent blu-ray transfer.

Humphrey DeForest Bogart December 25, 1899 – January 14, 1957. His birthday, a subject of debate.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Buy The African Queen or Casablanca on blu-ray or DVD from Amazon.

Who Was Katharine Hepburn?

The recent release of the movie The African Queen on blu-ray has me wondering who Katharine Hepburn was. I am sure it will come as no surprise to anyone that is interested in movies that she was a legendary actress who appeared in many film, television and stage productions.

However, do you know that Hepburn holds the most Best Actress Oscar wins ever? She won an unheard of four Oscars and received twelve nominations. She also won an Emmy Award and received four more Emmy nominations.

The American Film Institute has Hepburn in the number one spot as the greatest female star in the history of American movies. (Coincidentally, her co-star in The African Queen, Humphrey Bogart, takes the top spot as the greatest male star.)

Katharine Hepburn won Best Actress for her roles in Morning Glory (1933), Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968) and On Golden Pond (1981.) She was also nominated for her roles in Alice Adams; The Philadelphia Story; Woman of the Year; The African Queen; Summertime; The Rainmaker; Suddenly, Last Summer; and Long Day's Journey into Night.

Katharine Hepburn once said, "I think most of the people involved in any art always secretly wonder whether they are really there because they're good -- or because they're lucky." I think that this partial list of Katharine Hepburn's movies demonstrates that Katharine Hepburn was definitely a great actress.  What do you think?

Katharine Houghton Hepburn May 12, 1907 – June 29, 2003.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Buy African Queen on blu-ray or DVD from Amazon.

A great collection of Katharine Hepburn's movies, The Katharine Hepburn Collection, features Morning Glory, Undercurrent, Sylvia Scarlett, Without Love, Dragon Seed and The Corn Is Green.
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