Netflix on Wii – Spring

Yes, it’s true.  As I was deliberating over whether I thought a Roku player would be worth it and if I thought I could afford it, I Googled once more “netflix on Wii” and found this blog.

Following the link to Netflix, I have reserved my disc to be sent when available in the Spring.  Of course, I want it right now, but knowing that it’s coming, and realizing the first 3 seasons of Farscape are available via streaming, I’m pretty much in stream heaven.  (I’d be all the way if all 4 + PW were on, but whatevs.)

It’s only SD, but if you’re such a purist, use your laptop or go buy an XBOX.

So go reserve your disc!  I don’t know if there are limitations, but it doesn’t matter, cuz my copy is coming!  YEAH!

Princesses, Frogs, and New Orleans = Happy

John Lasseter is probably the best thing to happen to Disney since Walt Disney.  Not only does he have a command of CGI art with Pixar, he respects the beauty of the original 2D art.  We get the original formula and in my opinion, The Princess and the Frog was a huge success!

A lot of people are trying to make this movie about “the first black princess” and other PC garbage.  Being one raised on principles of judge the character, not the color, and believing the messages of Sesame Street and other kid programs that “peoples is peoples” I went into this movie looking for a good and honest story and I found one.

So, let’s get to the review.

CHARACTERS

Tiana is among my top favorite Disney heroines.  It’s probably a tie between her and Mulan.  What can I say, I like the power woman characters, and Tiana speaks to me on multiple levels, especially considering she touts the principles of hard work and effort in an increasingly entitlement society.  She’s cute, witty, hard-working and just all around awesome.

I like that Prince Naveen is basically the opposite of Tiana in character traits.  I also like that he’s non-traditional, that he’s not initially there to save a damsel in distress.  We know he’s a good guy, he just needs someone like Tiana to set the example for him to shed his less desirable traits. 😉

The villain, Dr. Facilier, I thought was the weakest in the mix, but he’s acceptable.  I don’t know what I’d offer to help make him more interesting.  He just left a lot of holes in his own plot is all I’m saying, but since he’s not the major focus of the film, I was willing to give it a pass.

There were numerous lovable characters including Ray, Louis, Mama Odie and Charlotte.  I loved them all!

ANIMATION

It’s what I’ve been waiting for.  A return to tradition, and what a fantastic place to bring to life.  I’ve been to New Orleans, and I loved seeing familiar sights and hearing about the different foods I’ve tried.  If you’ve been to New Orleans, then you owe yourself this movie at least to take a trip down memory lane.

The credits also have that Pixar stylistic touch, for those art fanatics out there.  Thank you John.

MUSIC

I’ve been a soundtrack fanatic.  But the last several years, I haven’t found as much that’s spoken to me.  (What’s the last great soundtrack John Williams did?  The last one I picked up from him was HP3).  I didn’t come out thinking that’s the best soundtrack ever.  But after a few days, I found the songs stuck in my head and had to grab them.  I still love it.  And I got it via MP3 download on Amazon.com for $7.99.  It might still be available for that.

I’m a fan of the Randy Newman style, even though I worry about him getting a little tired for sound, since he did like 90% of the Pixar stuff.  I know some people were against him because he was white, but that’s what we call racism, so stop.  His style fits this piece, deal with it.

OVERALL

They didn’t paint this to be in a futuristic lollipops and candy world.  They still addressed some prejudices we unfortunately see, whether Tiana dealing with the realtors, or views of Cajuns.  I liked that they showed it isn’t necessarily voodoo that’s evil, but the person using it (Dr. Facilier vs. Mama Odie).

Parents, what better film could you ask for than one that says you can’t just wish for something, you’ve got to work hard to make it happen.  That you’ve got to really examine what you need vs. what you want to be happy (Dig a Lil Deeper) and don’t trade what you want now for what you want most.

Loved it!  Go see it!

Rating: A+

I Phone It With Android

No, iPhone isn’t getting Android.  That’s far too stifling an environment for the Android platform.

For many of us the conversation is changing from “Hello, I’m a Mac” to “Hello, I love me some Android.”  As an avid Mac-user (I still can’t part with my lime green iMac for nostalgic reasons), when I first heard of the iPhone I only dreamed of the day when ownership of another Mac toy would soon become a reality.

Then the money came, and the T-Mo contract was running out.  Do I iPhone it?  My biggest turn off?  AT&T.  Yeah, I know, it’s not like T-Mo’s network is giving me the coverage of Verizon, but hearing the nightmarish stories from friends and that a lot of people were getting unlocked iPhones for T-Mo, I hesitated.

Second biggest turn off: Mac snobbery.

I love my Mac, I do, but let’s face it.  Mac does the same thing every time.  They grab the market on something and then make it impossible to customize and charge ridiculous prices for cool technology until someone gives them a much needed ego slap in the face.  I am a little pleased to acknowledge I’ve jumped on the bandwagon of that much needed slap: the Android platform (for me, via myTouch, but I say if it’s got Android, love it).

Google Knows, iPhone Woes

Let me be straight with you.  All I know of iPhone is what I’ve seen other people showing me and the few random minutes I ever get to play with one.  iPhone is pretty cool, but some of them apps have a hefty price tag, especially considering the apps you can get with the Android market for free.

COOL FREE APPS

Google Maps. Much like what you’re familiar with if you use the web, Google can find it for you and fast.  Plus with GPS enabled on your phone, you can follow along with a little blue dot…at least until Google Navigation, a free addition to Google Maps.  Don’t want to pay Verizon, or Apple for expensive navigation apps?  Not willing to fork out the dough for a sweet Garmin Nüvi?  Google Navigation is your answer.  Mind you, it’s still in beta testing as of this post, but I find 95% of the time it works the way I want it to, and when it doesn’t, it’ll still get you there, it might just take a street longer.  Hence, “beta” testing.  In the end, I’ve just saved $100+ to get me a road navigator (and you can buy something to hold it up in your car like a Garmin).  You can also use it to look for restaurants, shops, whatever, and read reviews about them.

Pandora. Is it free on iPhone? (I really don’t know).  Well it is here, runs like a gem, and I can get my Pandora fix anytime I want.

Geobeagle. I love Geocaching.  Check out geocaching.com for more specific information.  But once again, with this free app, I can go caching (think treasure hunting) for free, once again without buying a Garmin.  You can also look up clues via the browser on your phone, use Google Maps to get an idea of the area it would be in, and log the cache all without your computer.

ShopSavvy. Wondering if you’re really getting a deal on something?  Scan the barcode using this app and find out what it’s going for on the net.  (And supposedly local too, but less available depending on where you live).

Ringdroid. Make your own ringtones, quick and easy.  (aka, you don’t have to edit them on your computer, export them, import them on your phone…. etc.)

Shazam. Heard a song on the radio and every time you never catch the name of it?  Use this app to find out not only what it’s called, but who wrote it and the album it’s on.

Reveal. An eBook program with a lot of free classics on it, such as Treasure Island, the Scarlet Pimpernel, etc.  I also use it for scripture reading.

Amazon MP3. Just as easy to use as the iTunes Music store, with the ability to sample songs, and a quick download via linking to your Amazon account.

The list could go on and on.  There’s free apps for Facebook, Twitter, something cool called Google SkyMaps, fun free games, reminder apps, and more.  All of this available on any Android phone.

One more thing… I love the interactivity with GMail and the Google Calendar. I can edit contacts on the internet, as well as calendar items, which to me is a huge plus because it seems like the phone (even the swankiest) can be much slower than just doing it via computer. You can also color code events via different calendars. I have contacts birthdays, US Holidays, personal, and work calendars all in different colors.

Convenience
could easily be synonymous with Android.

THE MYTOUCH SPECIFICALLY

There is some small regret that I didn’t wait just a little longer to go Verizon with the new Droid, but I’m still pretty happy with my HTC myTouch.  The virtual keyboard took me all of a day to get used to and the customizable background a huge plus (especially over the non-customizable iPhone).

The camera is a step up for me coming from the Nokia 5300, at 3.2 MP, though I wouldn’t have minded a bit higher, especially considering the Droid at about the same upfront cost has 5 MP (in addition, a physical keyboard).  But the pictures are still sharp, and the video great for a phone.

Battery life can seem short if you’re constantly using the 3G network for internet access.  I ran Pandora on both 3G and wifi, and got much longer life connecting via wifi.  I was also told by a few people that the 3G was faster.  Not the case for me.  Downloads were significantly faster with wireless, though the 3G speed is still good.

The keyboard text predictor is fabulous and I find typing for me goes just as fast if not faster than having a physical keyboard.  I have noticed, however, on occasion while browsing the virtual keyboard is a bit sluggish–not enough to make me hate it though.  And I do love me some full web browsing.

The ringtones are easy enough to customize, but your alerts and alarms will take some thinking (and probably ringdroid), which I felt was a step down from my old Nokia.  Still, the phone is something I love and I promptly bought a protective hardcase for it with a swanky design.  The phone does come in 3 colors: red, black, white (I chose black).

Android Platform: A++
myTouch phone: A-

Mid-Afternoon Chronicles: Delusional Stella

I know, I promised some of these months and months ago. As one of my former roommates used to say, life happens. This goes out to any of you who found a certain supposedly handsome vampire a little creepy and questioned the integrity of the storyteller.

I just wanted to get this one out, so yep, still my sketched drawing, but it works. I’ll look into better tracing in the future, so all you purists out there chill. Anyways, enjoy.

It’s been a while

I have been what can only be described as incredibly busy and overall just needing time away from stuff I have to do on the computer. I’m not going too much into detail, but suffice it to say it’s been a pretty long and involved year. But recently a lot of great games have been coming out and I’ve watched some pretty good movies. I’ve been pimping them on Facebook, but there’s only so much you can write there and, in all reality, most of the people I know there aren’t as enthusiastic about games or movies as I am. So I want to get back into writing about the stuff I like for people who could use the information. I can’t promise posts every day (I’m still pretty busy and will be for a while), but I’ve definitely got some good stuff in mind. So be on the lookout for reviews of movies like Mongol and Charlie Bartlett and games like Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Borderlands.

Ponyo Coming to America

Ponyo hits US Theaters in August and according to a source on Nausicaa.net, will debue on over 800 screens. If anyone has info on which screens, please post, but if you’ve had Studio Ghibli films in your city in the past, it’s likely they’ll be there again. This is the largest amount of screens for a Ghibli film by far.

For those who aren’t sure what Ponyo is, check out the youtube trailer below.

Harry Potter 6 Final Trailer!

It’s too awesome for words.  Just watch it!