Thursday, January 16, 2020

The Man in the High Castle

The Man in the High Castle is an alternate reality TV series where the Axis powers won World War II, thanks to the assassination of Franklin Roosevelt and Heisenberg developing an atomic bomb before the Americans.  Fast forward to 1962, and America is mostly under Nazi control and the west coast is controlled by the Empire of Japan.

The series started with great promise, but it spent 4 seasons mostly being a soap opera while the main story advanced very slowly.  As I watched the final episode, my first impression was the story had not advanced much beyond the end of season 3.  However, the show figured out a way to conclude the series properly in the last 10 minutes.  The final scene is a little confusing and I'm not sure exactly what it is supposed to mean, but I suspect that it is a cliffhanger for a possible TV movie.

I did find it entertaining.  This is a very much character-driven story, and there are several characters whose arcs are significant.  However, I was expecting something a little more exciting in a science fiction sort of way, and the show never gets there.  Instead, by mostly focussing on characters and drama, the show doesn't achieve the full potential of its premise.

Rating:  B.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Video resolution

When downloading videos, I have found 720P to be pleasant to watch. Rarely are higher resolutions available, nor helpful, and my 5K monitor is a multiple of 720P.

Standard Definition, tube TV's, are 480i, therefore many of the cheap channels broadcast reruns in 480p or 480i. They look terrible. I assume that reruns are limited to this resolution. Most of them were recorded on tape which is 480i.

Some shows, like Star Trek The Next Generation were recorded on film and therefore capable of higher resolution, but not Star Trek Voyager.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Friday, November 22, 2019

Disney +


It has taken me a while to parse through all that is available on the Disney streaming service, but after parsing out the 80 to 90% that is junk, what is left is a big disappointment. It is true that the service offers everything related to Star Wars, Marvel and Disney, but almost everything worth seeing is something that I have seen already. I am left with a literal handful of good movies that I have not yet seen, plus a handful of good movies that I have seen but might want to see again, and a handful of borderline films that I might give a chance just because there is nothing else.

Having signed up for the promotion where I paid in advance for three years at just $4 per month, it is questionable as to if I am going to get my money's worth. Maybe new content will come along, for example, I know that there are going to be some new Star Wars series, but I expected this to be more like the Netflix streaming service, and not just a massive collection of every bad movie and bad TV show Disney has ever made.

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Best wishes,
John Coffey

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Disney+ streaming service



So let's talk for a minute about the Disney+ streaming service. They claimed that they would have a ton of content, like 500 movies available at launch, for $7 per month. This seems like a price deliberately designed to bury Netflix, which is the world's most popular streaming service.

I took the promotion they offered a couple of months ago, where if you pay for three years, it is only $4 per month. I'm glad I did, because I counted 580 movies, and 90% of them are junk. Disney has everything they have ever done on here, like "The Computer Who Wore Tennis Shoes" from the 1960s, and "20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" from the 1950s. (I'm told that this movie might actually be good, but I remember seeing it when I was 10 years old.)

However, through the sheer mass of titles, there is still plenty of stuff worth watching. The remaining 10% contains some of the best stuff from Disney, Marvel, and Fox, although I have already seen many of these titles. It is diamonds in the rough. Just like on Netflix, I'll be spending much time figuring out what to watch.



The Mandalorian on the Disney streaming service is good. I found myself thinking that it is just a routine western, but it is really a great mix of western and sci-fi. It is not a perfect sci-fi show, but it feels like a perfect western with plenty of sci-fi thrown in. 

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian on the Disney streaming service is good. I found myself thinking that it is just a routine western, but it is really a great mix of western and sci-fi. It is not a perfect sci-fi show, but it feels like a perfect western with plenty of sci-fi thrown in.

What happened to DON KNOTTS?

https://youtu.be/2ay6XLTJ64M

Monday, November 11, 2019

Stargate Command Shutdown reveals truth fans have always feared...

https://youtu.be/qBHY1VNJBqA

The original movie was of questionable quality, but the 3 TV series were pretty good, especially Stargate Atlantis. Stargate Universe had a very weak start, but really improved over time. Stargate SG-1 started out okay and got better with each season. It had a unique look and feel that was kind of retro and anachronistic, but it did a great job of building up the characters.