Tag Archives: movie

Bored by Superman

Our family settled in for a movie night on Friday night.   There’s usually an argument over what we’re going to watch, but for some reason, on Friday, Miss 10 says to me, “Dad, you can choose what to watch!”

“Awesome!”, I thought.

Despite them having watched hundreds.. no.. probably thousands of hours of movies and TV, there’s still much that they hadn’t seen yet.  I was thinking of filling them up on classic movies from when I was a kid.  Yep, daggy.  But staples that I think all kids need to have watched. 

We could finish off the Star Wars movies.  Maybe venture into Indiana Jones although maybe I’ll leave that for when they’re older.  They hadn’t finished seeing the Goonies yet.  Hadn’t seen ET, but it might freak them out.  Move onto Back to the Future 2 or Karate Kid 2 as they’ve seen the first ones? 

But I remembered, they hadn’t seen Superman yet.  Yet Superman is still part of modern culture – in song lyrics, sayings, etc.

Superman it was.  And it was slow to start.  Veerrrryyy slow.  I think movies back then were directed, edited and screenplayed at a much slower pace – they definitely wouldn’t be releasing something like that nowadays.

I tried to keep the kids enthusiasm and interest up, “Just wait – it gets better!”.  Well, I’m sure it does..  when he flies and all that right?

Wifey started drawing parallelisms between Superman and Jesus.  Hmm…

And then Superman flies out of his ice castle!  I’m happy – surely the kids need to see this momentous occasion in the movie. 

But they laughed!!!   “That looks soooo fake!” Miss 11 points out. 

Hmm..  yes it is.  Why didn’t I think that at their age?   Their standards are definitely higher than mine were. 

The groans continued as Superman did more tricks, flew above the clouds, drilled into the ground, etc.

Then when Superman turns back time to save Lois, Miss 11 points out a major plot flaw – “What happened to the earthquake and the other damage?”  “Good question” I had to answer.  I don’t know!  Superman definitely didn’t go back beyond the time when the rocket hit the fault line. 

Then it was all over with rousing John Williams music that the kids said sounded like Star Wars.   The final verdict?  “Boring” says Miss 10 and Miss 11.

Oh well, at least they’ve seen it – I can cross that one off the list.   I’m pretty confident I won’t get to choose the next family movie for movie night.

Have you made your kids watch your childhood favourite movies?  Were they as good as you remembered?

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Editing Sony HDR-SR7 videos on a Mac

Well… no instructional “how to” in this blog update.

Just FRUSTRATION!!!

I thought that Mac’s were meant to be an easy platform to import and edit videos on.  Well, not if you have an AVCHD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVCHD) camcorder it seems.

So I was there last night, wanting to get some footage off my Sony HDR-SR7 video camera, do some quick editing, then make a DVD.

I thought I could just start iMovie with the camera attached and all would work right?  Hmm nope.  iMovie just did not detect the camera.  The Mac OSX did as it saw it as a USB device and it mounted its hard drive.  I even followed some other people’s instructions on the web which suggested a sequence of starting iMovie, turning on the camera, plugging in the USB cable but to no success.

How can it be this hard?

So I imported the videos onto the computer using the camera supplied software in a Windows VM, which meant I ended up with .m2ts files.

Tried to import these into iMovie.   Nope – doesn’t work. 

Googling shows a stack of results for 3rd party applications to convert the video into an iMovie supported format.  And so I downloaded a trial of iSkySoft’s Video Converter for Mac and converted my videos to mpeg2 format (or I could have used the camera’s supplied software to convert to mpeg2 too).  I’m not too happy about having to transcode it into mpeg2 and then editing it after this.  It defeats the whole purpose of having a high definition digital camera in the first place!  Plus if I do non linear edits, the video will have to be re-encoded into mpeg2 again!

I need to find a way to edit in high definition resolution with quality as close to the source footage as possible.   And then only convert to mpeg2 for DVD as the last step.   Maybe I should try Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere (http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/291160-Editing-AVCHD-(M2TS)-with-Adobe-Premier)?  Or maybe I should be converting the AVCHD to Apple Intermediate Format using MPEG Streamclip or VoltaicHD.

A few useful links I found in case anyone else is having the same problems:

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1412182&start=0&tstart=0
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=545597

Anyone have problems editing AVCHD footage?  I really wonder how the average Mum and Dad deals with their AVCHD footage once their camera runs out of space??

Are downloadable movies on Tivo worth it?

It seems that the Tivo service is being expanded little by little in Australia.

First they introduced a weather page where you can look up your local city’s forecast.  It looks pretty, but it’s a little slow to navigate to.

But the big thing that’s coming is downloadable movies to the Tivo.   That’s right – you’ll be able to download a whole movie from the internet onto the TV to watch.  The first movie this weekend, “The Water Horse”, will be available free of charge, but I think they’re planning on charging in the future.  I think they plan to make it more of a “Movie on demand” type feature in the future, so I could choose from a range of movies.

I really wonder if this will pick up.  I mean – the information so far says that this weekend’s movie is 2.45GB.  This will of course will be included as part of your ISP’s internet downloads.  I’m currently on an iiNet $59.95 plan which comes with 15GB peak, 30GB offpeak = 45GB each month.   At these rates, 2.45GB works out to be $3.26 worth of my plan.   At this cost, plus plugging up my internet connection for a while to download it, I think I might as well drive to the local video library and borrow it on DVD.

And it will only get worse when they start charging for movies themselves.  I can only see this taking off if they make the movies very cheap to buy, or if they strike deals with ISPs to include the traffic as free traffic (like how iiNet has made iTunes and ABC’s iView traffic “free”).

Currently we’re on Broadband 1 type speeds (still waiting for an ADSL2 port at the exchange) with a maximum download of about 1MBit/sec.  If my calculations are correct, if I was able to achieve the full throughput, 2.45GB would take 5.84 hours to download – I suppose this could be done overnight – but this kinda ruins the whole “let’s choose a movie to watch tonight” plan.  At my current internet speeds, we’d have to choose it the night before!

How about if you had a different plan?  Let’s pretend that the casual Mum and Dad is on iiNet’s home 2 plan which is $39.95 for 10GB of downloads.   The movie then works out to be $9.78 in download costs alone!!   Whoa..

If you have a Tivo and plan to download movies, I’d definitely recommend calculating whether it’s worth it for you.   I suspect it would only be viable for people with massive download quotas.

And then it will take up valuable space on that tiny Tivo 60GB hard drive.

Oh well, we’ve already got “The Water Horse” on DVD so nothing much to look forward to…

More Asian movies on SBS

SBS is getting more and more lovin’.  I had a peek at this week’s TV guide and spotted the following kungfu and asian movies:

Monday 11pm – Come Drink With Me – another Shaw Brothers action movie

Tuesday 11pm – The Magic Blade – a Shaw Brothers sword fighting movie

Friday 10pm – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Friday 12.10am – A Chinese Odyssey – a spoof of other Chinese movies

I’m not sure how many people SBS thinks they’re going to get watching Crouching Tiger when it’s at the same time as the Opening Ceremony and probably in quite a few people’s DVD libraries, but A Chinese Odyssey would be a good way to relax and have a few laughs after the Olympics.

An excellent follow on from last week’s marathon.

Kung Fu movies this week on SBS!

A little birdy told me about something on TV this week – keep your eyes glued on SBS every night this week as they are having a load of kungfu/fighting/Asian movies!   Must be to replace the Tour de France – I wonder if they think there is some strong intersection between cycling enthusiasts and kungfu movie lovers?

Monday 28th – The 36th Chamber of Shaolin

Tuesday 29th – Beautiful Boxer

Wednesday 30th – The Smashing Machine

Thursday 31st – The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter

Friday 1st – Kung Fu Hustle

Saturday 2nd – New Police Story

I haven’t seen The 36th Chamber of Shaolin yet, but have been wanting to get the DVD for ages.  Many people regard it as one of the best kungfu movies of all time!  Better make sure there is enough space left on the PVR.