Monday, 14 September 2020
Sunday, 13 September 2020
Tuesday, 8 September 2020
Monday, 7 September 2020
Sunday, 6 September 2020
Saturday, 5 September 2020
Before the Fire (aka The Great Silence)
IMDb: As a global pandemic engulfs Los Angeles, rising TV star Ava Boone is forced to flee the mounting chaos and return to her rural hometown. As she struggles to acclimate to a way of life she left behind long ago, her homecoming attracts a dangerous figure from her past- threatening both her and the family that serves as her only sanctuary.
This was an interesting little film written by and starring Jenna Lyng Adams which takes such a long time to get going. Counting away the first 53 minutes setting the scene and painting the background to the events of the last third in this 90 minute picture was a slow job. And then, suddenly, it comes to life and we're delivered up a feast of thrills, violence and survival behaviour from those involved which is indeed thrilling and chilling.
The lead is very watchable and those around her keep up, each displaying their eventual brand of nastiness. It does indeed turn into a survival tale and the audience ends up rooting for our likeable heroine. The inexperienced Charlie Buhler directs and does so with some interest, though she could have made more of those first 53 minutes! Worth a watch if you get the chance.
Hour of Lead (aka The Vanished)
There's been 1,001 of these films and TV shows made centred around a couple who have their child vanish, so any that come along now have to stand out from the crowd. And this one does.
Husband and wife, 10 year old daughter and family dog like camping. This time, the lakes somewhere in America is the venue in their gigantic Motorhome/RV, to enjoy the fishing and freedom. Pretty much as soon as they arrive there, the couple turn round and the daughter is no longer with them. What has happened to her?
The police roll up and as the couple get more anxious about the situation, they start to behave irrationally and one event leads to another as things get dark and thrilling. I'll say no more as it would spoil things for you. The film is a cut above though and there are interesting turns and surprises along the way.
Peter Facinelli of Twilight fame wrote and directed admirably. Some of the visuals of the lakes and surrounding area have been shot with some artistic leaning. Anne Heche (who I remember showed up everyone around her years ago in Ally McBeal playing a woman with Tourette's syndrome brilliantly) is the woman, and Thomas Jane the man. They both do very well and are convincing, though if you watch closely, their behaviour and mannerisms do paint the picture that all is maybe not quite what it seems. I really enjoyed it. If you can grab it, it's worth a watch.
Following some recent chat on our Projector Room Podcast about underwater thrillers-with-creatures, I grabbed some suggestions from Gareth Myles and lined up a marathon soaking..!
The Rift, 1990
Deepstar Six, 1989
The Abyss, 1989
Much of it was all good fun but The Abyss stands head and shoulders above the other three here. The first three are, well, very 1980's in terms of acting, cheesy script and delivery. They often feel like TV Movies, an episode of Night Rider (in style and production) or even, for some reason, reminding me of an episode of Land of the Giants! Females on scientific duty with skimpy tops and no underwear, sets that look like something from Dr Who and perfect 80's BIG hairdo's even when wet!
Special mention for Leviathan, the best of the runners-up as the inventiveness of the 'creature' and science is the most interesting, regardless of the above!
All of them have huge nods to Alien and it's not surprising that such a big-budget blockbuster from a decade earlier was so much better, I guess.
All good fun! Catch 'em as they come round.
Thursday, 3 September 2020
Wednesday, 2 September 2020
Monday, 31 August 2020
Episode 68 - Save Ferris!
Wednesday 5th August 2020
Episode 117 - Rusty Gold Star
Friday 7th August 2020
Episode 402 - Surface Duo Thoughts
Thursday 13th August 2020
Episode 69 - The Prestigious Host
Wednesday 19th August 2020
Episode 118 - Afters Before
Friday 21st August 2020
Episode 403 - OnePlus Nord Review
Monday 31st August 2020
PodHubUK - Phones Show Chat - The Phones Show - Whatever Works - Chewing Gum for the Ears - Projector Room
The MeWe Community Groups (follow the links to join up)
Phones Show Chat & The Phones Show - Whatever Works - Chewing Gum for the Ears - Projector Room - PSC Photos - PSC Classifieds
Ted Salmon - Steve Litchfield - Aidan Bell - Dave Rich - Gareth Myles - Allan Gildea
Sunday, 30 August 2020
Friday, 28 August 2020
- Built for speed
- Burst mode with 20 frames per second, including AF and AE between the shots (!)
- Eye Auto focus
- Colour management pre-sets for videos from their CineAlta cameras
- 21:9 (Cinema aspect ratio) 6.5" 4K HDR OLED display with a calibrated mode
- 360 Reality Audio support with hardware decoding
- Some gaming and other features that get progressively gets less interesting for me
In a sea of flagships with lower or similar price tags (I don’t know many slabs that are more expensive), the Sony Xperia 1 II does not seem to hit the usual 'high notes' that the others are designed to hit. The competition has been very well tuned over many years to appeal to what most flagship buyers are looking for. And for this reason, these devices are compromised.
Now, I'm not saying there are devices without compromises. Every consumer product represents a set of compromises to ensure the product fits a budget, size, design and functionality expected of it. In today’s world, the product management decisions around these compromises are made using data collected from various sources and customer interviews. It is no longer made by an eccentric genius founder with a brilliant idea - or a set of creative individuals trying to serve a niche and getting the backing they need to create their vision. And because the data is telling similar things to all the manufacturers, the choices they make are also similar. Unfortunately, this means that if you fall into a 'wrong niche', some of these compromises will work against you.
For me, buying this device, is buying into an idea. It's a result of loving the idea of a different set of compromises; ones that don’t take away a headphone jack, storage expansion, stereo front facing speakers, a comfortable grip or the LED notification light. To retain these features, you don’t have to compromise on flagship level performance, build quality, Qi charging, Always On Display or waterproofing. But as I said, you are buying into the idea of having all this in one device. You are not buying a device that performs the best in any of these features. In addition to the shortcomings already discussed, the headphone jack output is better than Bluetooth on my Sony XM3 headphones, though to be fair, but not by much. The speakers provide good spatial effects but are not the greatest in loudness or bass. While the 24mm camera is decent, the 16mm and 70mm options are sub-par. The Always On Display is a battery drain. The capacitive fingerprint scanner is not as fast or reliable as the one on my old Nokia 8 Sirocco. I think Sony also missed a trick in not allowing the user to pull down the notification shade with a swipe-down on the fingerprint scanner.
I really like this phone!
I place a lot of value on not having a cut-out or 'notch' in my screen. It is something that I could not get used to, even after using devices that had them for over two years. To me, it represents too much compromise for features that have zero-value to me. I would love to buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra or Samsung Galaxy Fold if this Sony did not exist, but because it does, I could not turn my back on it. And now I have grown to appreciate a different set of virtues than I first expected.
No one I know! How much money are you willing to spend on a product that is such a tease, luring you in with so many promises but ultimately ending up being a 'jack of all trades, master of none'? This is a purely personal choice, not too dissimilar to buying a BlackBerry or Huawei device today. To be honest, most people are probably better served elsewhere. I will likely jump to another device with more interesting aspects in the hardware department when it comes along. It could be a folding device that has an under-screen camera or even the promised new BlackBerry if it happens, but until then, I will enjoy driving this 'classic car' with a modern engine. I may not be zipping down the road but everything is laid out the way I like it.
Thursday, 27 August 2020
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SoundCore, the offshoot brand/firm from Anker are making some great stuff these days. I previously reported positively on the Motion+ Spea...
Motorola have been pushing their 'One' series of phones now for a while and this is their latest, alongside the One Action and Vis...
I have spent time in recent months with various QWERTY devices including the Planet Computers' Gemini, BlackBerry Passport, F(x)tec Pr...