movies

More Christian Allegory in The Dark Knight Rises: Peter Foley and Sampietrini

There was a thought-provoking article by Catholic Veritas titled The Dark Knight Rises: Sacred Art. Most of the main characters, locations, and themes were related to similar Christian names, places, and themes, but one character left unexplored was Peter Foley, the deputy police commissioner who had a rather large role in the film, considering the number of other leading cast members.

I noticed, in watching the movie a second time, a certain scene where police are martyred by the main protagonist (to the words of "Shoot them. Shoot them all."), and the camera moves to a closeup of one of the police officers (Peter Foley), laying murdered in the street, in his dress attire.

Sampietrini Officer killed in the Dark Knight Rises

An observant person would notice a few things about this scene:

For Greater Glory - Movie about Cristero War

Judging by the trailers for this movie, I think it will probably be a pretty thrilling and interesting movie that handles Catholic faith and morality well. The production value looks to be a bit higher than some other recent Catholic/Christian films, and I'm excited to see some top-notch actors and actresses in the credits, including Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria and Eduardo Verástegui.

The movie will be released June 1st, 2012 (just a short time from now). Here's the trailer:

Review: October Baby (Movie)

October Baby posterAfter receiving the typical deluge of 'new faith-based movie coming soon!' marketing emails from The Maximus Group, my wife and I decided to go watch October Baby last night.

I'll just offer a few observations here, as I don't want to get into a full-on review, especially since there are hundreds of more-detailed reviews online. To preface this review, I'm going mostly on techincal/production quality merit... the story was compelling, and the movie is worth watching, but I don't feel this movie was worth a full $10+ ticket price at a movie theater.

Ripping Movies from Blu-Ray, HD-DVD and DVD, Getting them onto Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, etc.

DVD to iPhone Apple TV and iPad - Ripping

Note: The guide below still applies, but you can now rip and convert Blu-Ray movies directly in Handbrake if you download MakeMKV (don't even need to run it) then run the following commands in Terminal.app:

<br />
cd ~<br />
mkdir -p ~/lib<br />
ln -s /Applications/MakeMKV.app/Contents/lib/libmmbd.dylib ~/lib/libaacs.dylib<br />
ln -s /Applications/MakeMKV.app/Contents/lib/libmmbd.dylib ~/lib/libbdplus.dylib<br />

Also note that iDentify is no longer maintained; I usually use the free MetaZ application to edit metadata before importing into iTunes nowadays.

For many years, I've been in search of the 'digital nirvana,' where all my videos, songs, and photos were accessible on any device, anywhere, at any time, without having to do a complicated digital dance with wires and different sychronization tools.

I am getting ever closer to the realization of that dream... today I will introduce you to a few tools I use to help me get all my videos (be they plain old DVDs or newer high definition Blu-Ray discs [edit: I found I can even rip HD-DVDs on my Mac too!]) converted and stored on my computer so I can play them on my computer, my iPhone, my iPad, my Apple TV, my Xbox 360, a Playstation 3, and do so from anywhere in the world.

There are a few key applications you need before you can do this on your own - I'll describe the programs you need for each step of the process, and how to do everything you need to do to get your videos digitized and readily accessible.

Review: Tron: Legacy - Firing on all ... circuits?

Tron Legacy and Original Logos - Blended

Avid fans of the original Tron (like myself) have likely anticipated the release of Tron: Legacy since the day the first hints of a remake appeared in 2008. A lot of pressure was on the Legacy filmmakers to not only keep the original sense of wonderment and otherworldliness of the first movie, but also bring the technology and ideas from the first movie into the twenty-first century.

The short version of this review is: you should see this movie. It is a great homage to the original, and it has enough digital effects, and just enough plot (just like the first one—the plot was never a strong point!) to keep your eyes on the screen.

Thoughts on Avatar...

Not Real - Move on with your Life
Image from Geekologie

From a friend's blog post on Avatar:

People applauded at the end of the film, which I found a bit disturbing. Visually, it was awesome. But we just saw humanity slaughtered on an alien planet. We just saw the greed of humanity at its worst. We just saw a terrible spirituality exalted as ideal. And, finally, we just saw the remnant of the humans sent back “to their dying planet,” and we cheered.

No wonder people feel depressed after stepping out of the theater and back into reality. We are scum. We are parasites. We deserve to die on this rotting planet for our sins against Mother Earth.

Converting High Definition Movies to Watch on Mac/PC

NOTE: I have since written a newer article that makes it MUCH easier to do just about everything, making use of MakeMKV. The new article: Ripping Movies from Blu-Ray, HD-DVD and DVD, Getting them onto Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, etc. &mdash I am leaving this article up for historical purposes, though, as there is some good information in here still...

This article will help you to convert HD-DVD and Blu-Ray movies to QuickTime compatible files so you can watch them in high definition in iTunes, Front Row, or QuickTime Player. The guide will also help you to be able to convert the videos into other formats so you can preserve the surround sound and the highest picture quality.

Blu-Ray and HD-DVD Logos

Converting the HD-DVD or Blu-Ray

1. Copy FEATURE_1.EVO and FEATURE_2.EVO to hard drive by decrypting them using AnyDVD, DVDFab HD Decrypter, or some other decrypter. Some DVDs use different naming schemes, but the files you need are the two largest 'EVO' files.

NOTE: I have only been able to work on HD-DVDs, so Some of the steps here don't work (or only partially work) with Blu-Ray, but I hope you can find some inspiration for getting your blu-ray files to work with Quicktime, if you so desire. Google can help you find how to get the blu-ray files ready for demuxing/conversion. Soon I will get myself an external Blu-Ray drive and start tinkering around with Blu-Ray movies... but for now I'm happy simply working on HD-DVD.

NOTE 2: I simply used the Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive, as I found one cheap locally (through Craigslist), and it works via USB 2.0. It's also quite compact! If you do so with Windows XP, you'll need to load a driver to enable support for the UDF 2.5 file format HD-DVDs and Blu-Ray discs use.