Friday, 30 April 2010

I've been having some trouble over which settings to use on my Xbox 360, regarding HD. Firstly my HDTV is native 768p so technically if I set my Xbox to 720p it will be scaled up but if I set it to 768p it will be scaled down because most Xbox games are set at 720p anyway? I have tested 768p and 1080p resolution so far and 1080p looks incredibly better—which I don't understand as my TV is 768p native? I haven't tested 720p yet (d'oh!). Then there are the colour settings—apparently YCbCr709 is the best because it displays blacks at 0 instead of 16 which is RGB default. I need to test this further. Then there are three other colour settings—standard, intermediate and expanded. Expanded produces deeper blacks and contrast and I admit this is the superior setting (imo). I just which a major publication explained this in detail as all I could find on the net were highly varied opinions from the usual internet dregs. :p
The most underrated bands and albums of all time:

1. New York Dolls
2. X
3. Latin Playboys
4. LL Cool J: Mama Said Knock You Out
5. Tabu Ley Rochereau
6. Television
7. Wussy
8. Youssou N'Dour
9. DeBarge: In a Special Way
10. Drive-By Truckers
I'm going to attempt a list of the most overrated bands of all time (I'm sure I'll have to make lots of revisions!):

1. Radiohead
2. U2
3. Oasis
4. Blur
5. The Smiths
6. Guns N' Roses
7. Black Sabbath
8. Primal Scream
9. Queen
10. The Verve

11. Massive Attack
12. Red Hot Chili Peppers
13. Coldplay
14. AC/DC
15. Metallica
16. The Eagles
17. The Band
18. Santana
19. Smashing Pumpkins
20. Pink Floyd
21. Pearl Jam
22. Gorillaz
23. Muse
24. The Dave Matthews Band
25. Elton John
26. Kiss
27. Manic Street Preachers

Thursday, 29 April 2010

TV Reviews:

Hollyoaks: This is an average at best soap with high-end production. While I prefer the more real life situations I dislike most of the characters and the acting is, more often then not, poor. The camera work creates a sheen which takes away from the characters interactions. *

Coronation Street: Some great characters who are truly believable. The camera work is good and direction is consistent. Although the plots are becoming increasingly unbelievable they balance the show well by only having one or two main plots running at one time—allowing funnier, minor plots to fill the cracks. A−

The Wire: The greatest show to have aired since the end of The Sopranos. I love every aspect of this show—the characters, the plot, the direction, the script. I can safely say this is the last show I ever OD'd on and I doubt another will come anytime soon. My favourite season is the forth when they follow the lives of the schoolchildren. A+

Battlestar Galactica: A mass of special effects and shaky camera. *

The OC: While I did enjoy this when it first aired it a part of me now dislikes it. I think the character development is great—they tie in the emotional overkill with some solid performances. The story-lines, on the other hand, are often on the brink of stupidity. I guess, teens in this situation might do that but isn't it really just about a bunch of rich kids? A−

The Big Bang Theory: This is probably the first show aimed at teens, in the last couple of years, that has any kind of potential. Although the show is stifled by canned laughter the characters are great and the cast is not bad either—I especially like Sheldon. It might get more attention if the jokes were a little more varied. A−

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: I don't get why people like this show. The police are portrayed as celebrities posing as cops. The plots are highly unbelievable (I'm sure, to make them hard to figure out) and the cast are highly irritating. They split the show into three—realizing that three have a better chance than one. They were wrong. **

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

We've just installed the new TV my mum bought a few days ago. It's a LG 42LH2000 and I am so excited about this TV as the quality is great and it's 42"!! :D :p After a couple of hours going over the settings I think I've come to a final conclusion, as follows:

Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Picture Mode: Expert1
Backlight: 79
Contrast: 89
Brightness: 52
Sharpness (H & V): 53
Colour: 53
Tint: R1

Dynamic Contrast: Medium
Noise Reduction: Medium
Gamma: Medium
Real Cinema: On
Colour Gamut: Wide
Edge Enhancer: High
Colour Filter: Off
Colour Temperature: Medium

SRS TruSurround XT: On

When I use the standard Standard setting it seem to make the image ‘pop’ more—the sharpness is higher and also the colour—but it hurts my eyes and the colour is too bright so I think following the wizard is important.
Film Reviews:

Reservoir Dogs: What I like most about this movie is the cast. The dialogue is weak and even the storyline is dull. If you imagined different actors in the same film I guarantee you wouldn't like it. I mean, it's not without it's merits. The infamous ear scene is quite climactic, if a little overrated. You can tell how talented Tarentino is but all his ideas are applied poorly. 2.5 Stars
TV Reviews:

Lost: This show actually grabbed my attention pretty strongly, when it first started. Whether that was due to the shows aggressive marketing ploy or on the shows own merits I am still undecided. Some nice characters and a great cast. The erratic plot has always put me off and I didn't continue watching after the first series. A−
Game Reviews:

Final Fantasy VIII: What a turd of a game. Nearly every aspect of this game is really, really bad. The card game—bad. The characters—bad. The storyline and script—bad. The battle systems—bad. The only thing holding this back from being a dud is that it still holds some of the elements which made other Final Fantasy games great. *
Drive-By Truckers' latest single—Birthday Boy—from the album ‘The Big To-Do’.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Album Reviews:

Drive-By Truckers: The Big To-Do:

I've always loved this band for their consistency but the songs here fall flat. This outgoing seems more like a celebration rather than a depressing forecast—although it still runs along the same themes as before. It's such a shocker—but they had to wear down at some point. *** (‘Birthday Boy’, ‘Eyes Like Glue’)
Film Reviews:

21 Grams: A slightly hodgepodge arrangement of moments which are obviously meant to look new-age artistic. I do like the story and I like the cast too but there is something weirdly off-putting about it. 3 Stars

Saturday, 24 April 2010

I've been an avid fan of Spoony for some time now and I just found this whole scenario hilarious.

Friday, 23 April 2010

TV Reviews:

The Ricky Gervais Show: At first I was apprehensive. The only good thing to come from Ricky Gervais (well, ever) was the Office and since then he's ridden on the wave of pretentious hype he was awarded by critics. The Extras thing was terribly unfunny (how on earth he got so many stars is beyond me) and his live act is a bit ‘meh’. So here we are, his first good show in years and it's actually gratifyingly good. The artist is good and the idea is simple, original and often hilarious. I will have to see how this pans out as, in the long run, the idea may only take it so far. A−
I didn't know whether to make this a blog post or just to keep it on Facebook—but as not so many people read this I am much less likely to offend someone (as I know a lot of my friends do this). Have you seen these girls going out to the club/pub/whatever wearing these nerd glasses? I'm no killjoy and, at first, I thought it was kinda funny. It has become a MEGA cliche and it's, almost, starting to irritate me! So if anyone does read this—just remember—leave those fucking glasses at home! Thank you. :p

Friday, 16 April 2010

I saw this film the other day and I think it's really important that people see it. It's about how meat and other foods are produced (primarily in America but I presume it occurs in other countries too). It's really, truly, eye-opening:

Food, INC (watch it via ZShare as there's a time limit with the Megavideo one :p)

Film Reviews:

Full Metal Jacket: One of Kubrick's worst (which is surprising). The film is too short to gain any great depth or character development (although the message is still clear). Kubrick is often too clinical for his own good. I don't mean this is an aesthetic sense—more plot related. A good film which I really enjoy every-time I see it. It would loose points if it weren't for Kubrick's patented cinematography. 2.5 Stars

Akira: One of my favourite mangas as a teenager (obviously) —although it has lost some of it's charm it's still impressive. What's disappointing is the compression of the books (which I've read) into the film, as a lot of the plot is lost and rushed. If only he'd added more key elements to the story, from the books, for the average viewer may find this plot rushed and unimportant. It's as if he made this film for avid fans as a testimony. I have the remastered version which is well worth the purchase. 3.5 Stars

I figure I haven't done a post on here in a while—I've been real busy with my music! Here are some things that I think are cool:

Friday, 9 April 2010

I've been playing this game called Dungeon and Dragons Online (DDO) and I'll admit I've got quite absorbed by it! It's similar to WOW but takes most of the board rules from Dungeon and Dragons and turns it into a MMORPG. It's a lot easier for beginners and a lot less nerdy than WOW (I really got tired of nerds on WOW). Problem is my mums PC is a little old so the graphics lag the game at times. It'd be cool if some people I knew played then we could do some of the harder levels! Did I tell you it's free?!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

While living in Japan I was always amazed by the brilliant store designs. Back in England you get a few rails and a shitty manikin in the window. Now this is how a store should be arranged!

Japanese Street Store

Monday, 5 April 2010

Film Reviews:

How to Train Your Dragon: Not a great film but a very enjoyable one. I love how they have encapsulated an entire world which makes the characters more life-like. I did think some of the facial expressions were borderline cheesy but that's what you get with animation. Although some parts of the plot were cliche it was presented in an original manor. A fun, family, movie which I would love to own on DVD. 3 Stars

Sunday, 4 April 2010

TV Shows:

Sex and the City: I can see why women like this so much. It's way too cheesy for me but it is funny, sometimes, and it does have a level of smart which is appealing. The actresses play their characters well—even the highly annoying Parker. There's something missing though. A−
Film Reviews:

Wallace and Gromit: A Grand Day Out & The Wrong Trousers: What can I say? Nobody can dislike Wallace and Gromit. Great characters, great stories, perfect presentation. I used to love this as a kid and guess what—I still love it as an adult. 3.5 Stars

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Lol—so funny! :p

Album Reviews:

Lil Wayne: No Ceilings:

Straight off you can tell this is a mix-tape. Less focused and less mean than Tha Carter III but still with all the fun. I like the perkiness but miss the seriousness. A−
I had a caramel frappuccino today from Starbucks and, at first, it was like a slap in the face—I was really alert and focused. But then after about 20 minutes to half an hour I felt craggy and sluggish. You know when something little pisses you off for no reason—that's how I felt! I can't believe the amazing power of raw foods and how much sugar affects people! I am seriously going to continue this diet—possibly indefinitely.
The new Consumer Guide's in: Consumer Guide April 2010

Friday, 2 April 2010

Obama's a lazy bastard but this is still a good song. :p

The raw foods diet has been going great—I just got my second week's worth of shopping in and I'm feeling a lot better already! I feel really awake and content. It's kinda hard to explain but you feel really calm and at peace without even really feeling anything has changed! I'm gonna keep on this track and see what recipes I can conjure up to keeps things spicy.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

TV Shows:

One Tree Hill: Although the premise of this show really annoys me I can't complain about the acting ability. I don't watch it but I can see why it's still so popular. It's a tough one to call but I don't think it quite makes an A grade. B+
Film Reviews:

This is England: One of the best British films to come out in years! Great performances all round—rarely do you find the actors actually acting! The storyline gets me every time because you come to care about the gang in the beginning until that dickhead shows up. A film everyone should see before they die. 3.5 Stars