Monthly Archives: July 2010

Percy Jackson & the Olympians – The Lightning Thief (2010)

The name alone nearly put me off from seeing this one.  It simply is not an attractive name for a movie.  The title makes you feel you’ll be watching a series of linked episodes from a bad TV series that made it to DVD.  But I was pleasantly surprised that this flick was far better that what I was expecting.  And it is a real motion picture, and not a redistributed TV series.

It’s a modernized version of some Greek myths, with a teenage hero, the son of the god Poseidon.  It’s a really well done, entertaining story, with excellent special effects, and some notable actors.  It’s an enjoyable 2 hours if you like remakes of Greek myths, even though this one bastardizes the true myths it is based on.  Still an excellent fantasy.


Fast and Economical Hard Drive

This is my review of the Seagate Momentus XT (ST950056 20AS) 2.5″ 500GB hybrid hard drive.

It’s a 7200 RPM normal spinning platter hard drive with 4GB of SSD style memory.  What does that mean?  Well it uses common hard drive technology, but is almost as fast as a true SSD (Solid State Drive) that  has no moving parts and is just a block of memory.  But “SSD” drives are still quite expensive, and the average person would never spend the money to get an SSD drive that has the capacity of a common HD yet.  I purchased a 80GB Intel X25M SSD earlier this year, for about $240 on sale.  In comparison, this Seagate Hybrid drive is about $140 at the regular price for 500GB.  That’s 6 times the size for about 1/2 the price.

I’m so impressed with this drive, I don’t know why more vendors don’t carry it, it’s hard to find.  I can only guess that this is the only hybrid HD I could find due to the marketing problems of explaining to people what it is, why pay a little more for it, and that it isn’t a true SSD HD.  It’s too bad because you will definitely see the difference in use if you are a power user, without breaking the bank with buying a true SSD.

I first upgraded from a Western Digital WD5000AAKS 3.5″ HD to a Hitachi HDS721050CLA362 3.5″ HD in my main system.  I felt a noticeable improvement in system speed and load and save times with that Hitachi Deskstar drive.  But moving to the Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid was another definite step up.  I’ll save you the benchmark numbers, as these can be found many places by professional reviewers.  But if you need convincing, go watch this Seagate video posted on the Dailymotion website.  It convinced me, and I have had the same real world speed improvements you will see in this video.

The journalist, John C. Dvorak,  has often commented and complained the past year or so that the fabled “hybrid” hard drive was no where to be seen.  And that has been true.  Well Seagate has finally put one out and I love it.

I am also trying to mainly use 2.5″ laptop size HD’s in my desktop systems now.  Why?  They are smaller so they take up less room in a system and in storage, quieter and put out less heat.  You won’t get the cutting edge capacity you do in 3.5″ drives (which are now up to 2TB in a single drive) but 500GB in a 2.5″ HD is common, and recently 1TB 2.5″ drives have been released, but I haven’t found them for sale yet.  Still I personally prefer the form factor for these 3 reasons, and with stacking mounting plates you can easily fit two 2.5″ HD’s in the space of a 3.5″ drive bay.

Operation Endgame (2010)

What the hell is this piece of crap movie?!  How did it even make it to market?

This is apparently a spy comedy.  It goes way beyond being needlessly violent.  It’s extreme senseless graphic horrific violence, with no plot what so ever.  With a little bit of comedy thrown in.  It has production values of good quality porn, and with less than porn quality writing.  It’s mind boggling that this was produced.  I can enjoy some graphic violent movies, if there is some story or reason for it, and it isn’t constant every 90 seconds and lasting for a painful length of time.  I’m embarrassed to say I wasted my time sitting through half this movie, as that’s all I could stand.  Not because I’m squeamish, but because it’s so incredibly bad.  A drunk teenager in a good mood might enjoy this flick…I said might.

The only redeeming part of this movie is the lengthy rant of insults Rob Corddry puts out near the beginning of the movie.  That’s somewhat entertaining.  I’ve enjoyed his off-beat comedy in the past.  But he can’t save this mess.

3/10 (is being considerate)

Death at a Funeral (2010)

Well I guess this was a funny movie.  It’s that kinda lame, immature, bathroom, teenage, “that’s apparently funny”, sorta humour.  Why do most black comedies always seem to have a token white guy they make fun of and make out to be dumb?  It seems to be a main-stay in black comedies.  Maybe I’m not supposed to point that out as a white guy.  Well there was also a white, gay, “little-person” they killed off and made fun off to.  I can’t claim you’ll see that in your typical black comedy.


The Ghost Writer (2010)

This drama keeps plodding along from beginning to end, and in no real hurry to get where it’s going.  Certainly not a bad movie, but be well rested to stay awake during this slow moving conspiracy thriller.  It does hold your attention in some strange way, though I found it a little hard to follow at times.  But everything comes together as the story unwinds.  It’s a definite thinker.


Repo Men (2010)

If you don’t make your car payments, the bank takes back your car.  If you don’t make your mortgage payments, the bank takes back your house.  If you don’t make your organ payments, the repo man takes them back.  A bit of a gruesome tale, but it’s actually quite an entertaining story, and keeps your attention all the way through.  An unexpected and disappointing ending however.


Year One (2009)

What happens when a down and out caveman goes on an adventure?

Very funny “ancient” comedy.  Off the wall caveman, period and ethnic humour.  I liked this movie.


Recycling – The New Retail Price Increase

So what’s more annoying these days in retail (other than poor customer service) than being charged 5 cents per bag for saving the environment.  That’s just total utter crap!  A large building supply chain started this in Winnipeg last year, with the excuse from the store employees, “Well the other chain is doing it!”  And now the large drug stores are doing it as well.  You know who these stores are.  They claim it’s to encourage recycling and be environmentally friendly.  BS!  Cheap retail bags typically cost large retailers less than a cent.  That used to come out of their cost of doing business.  Now they charge 5 cents a bag, and as far as I know, they keep the money.  Where do they claim they are passing this 4.x cents on to any environmental program to save the planet?  Instead, prices stay the same and they add clear profit to their bottom line.  I’m sure that 4 cents adds up.  It’s a complete scam based on traditional and honest business practice.  Bags were invented to encourage people to buy more product and was a lost leader.  Now they found a way to profit from it as well.  

These aren’t the budget stores that charged for bags for honest reasons from day one, for economical reasons.  These are higher than average profit stores that are hiding behind the “recycle” buzz.  And their claim to be doing so without publicly posting their donations to the environmental causes is simply wrong.

How long before they add a coin slot to the hand sanitizer pump at the doors?  Shortly after they read this if they aren’t already planning it.

At some point this will back fire on these retailers, the same way that coin slots in washroom stalls did years ago.  When the sheep in this world start to openly complain and even shop elsewhere.  Prove to me “the shopper” that you are donating these “recycle” profits to a just environmental cause, or just be honest why you are charging for bags.

Clash of the Titans (2010)

I was looking forward to seeing this movie.  I enjoyed it, but it was lacking something.  There were attempts at character building, but they well flat.  You don’t really care for, or identify with, any of these one dimensional characters.  In that respect it reminded me of the old “B” rated fantasy films of the 50s, 60s, and 70s.  All about action and a simplistic view of the down trodden hero.  The special effects are fantastic and believable.  The final action/fight scene was the least entertaining.  It felt as though they had no idea what spin to give it, so maybe they just wanted to get the end over with, since it’s predictable anyway.  Still a visually impressive piece of folklore telling.


Post navigation