Category Archives: Movies

The Fun World of Video on Demand

VOD website Crunchyroll.com:   I stumbled upon this website a couple of months ago after I got tired of waiting for 16GB of “Nodame Cantabile” to download from a bittorrent site.  Crunchyroll is best described as a portal for entertainment (anime, movies, TV shows, music, music videos, and video game content) from Asia that has not been licensed in the US yet.  The site offered both raw and fan-subbed content.  Content is made accessible by a combination of fees and online community participation.  I found the community participation aspect intriguing.  I imagine by participating in discussions, people would get viewing suggestions which would increase interest in more content which would cause people to purchase more bandwidth on the site.  Anyhow, for registering you can watch low quality streaming video of content.  I paid a small fee so I could watch higher quality streams.  Even though I have a cable modem, I found that the streaming was still choppy, so I decided to upgrade to downloads.  The downloads are straight downloads, without the involvement of file sharing.  The amount of content available is impressive and since I’m able to watch the low quality streams, I can preview the content before spending my precious bandwidth to download the file.

I think crunchyroll.com has a good start on things.  I like the community aspect too, even though I haven’t really been participating in it too much (I’m still timid about such things).

About the content, check some of it out!  I downloaded the Live Action version of “Nodame Cantabile” and comedy from Korea called “100 Days with Mr. Arrogent.”  Both were fun to watch and I plan to explore more content.  We’re so used to watching our own culture’s entertainment that we forget there’s a whole world out there.  It’s nice to be able to access content from other countries and cultures.  I find it interesting that the themes of love, family, good, and evil are universal and I also like to see the differences between different cultures as reflected through entertainment.

Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean — At World's End

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

I saw the movie last Friday and I thought it was the best movie I’ve seen this year (please consider that I’ve seen only 2 other movies this year — “Pan’s Labyrith”, “Spiderman 3”). The movie runs nearly 3-hours, but it is so full of action and fun dialogue (good pacing) that you don’t feel the time going by.

The story leaves off where the second movie ends with Elizabeth Swan, Capt. Barbosa, and crew setting off to the end of the world to rescue Jack Sparrow from Davy Jone’s Locker. There’s a lot going on in this movie and I really don’t want to spoil it so I won’t go into the details. I will say, though, that interweaving plot elements feel very much like anime. New pirates from all over the world show up in the movie, each with their own particular quirk — very entertaining. Of note, Chow-Yun Fat joins the cast as the Pirate Lord of Singapore. He’s plays his role with all the gusto and blustering befitting of a pirate. He was really quite fun to watch. Jeffrey Rush returns as Capt. Barbosa. He looked like he was throroughly enjoying being a pirate and the exchanges between him and Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow are (or should I say “ARGGHH”) priceless. Elizabeth Swan’s character also comes into her own and delivers some very cheesey moral boosting speeches to the pirate crew. The special effects are a character all unto themselves. Nothing really looks CG and like the last movie, Bill Nighy’s soulful eyes shine through the CG octopus “mask”. The ship battle scenes are epic and the scenes with multiple Jack Sparrow’s are nicely executed and really show off Johnny Depp’s comic ability and the screen writers’ wit (peanut anyone?). There is one special effects scene that I enjoyed the most, and it comes toward the end of the movie. You’ll know it when you see the flying wood splinters and the joyous destruction of one of the ships. I was clapping during this scene!

Yes! The third Pirates movie is why we go to the movies. It was entertaining and fun! I’m glad I took the afternoon off to see this movie and it was well worth the full $8 I paid for the ticket.