Posts Tagged With: Reviews

Super 8

Picking a movie to watch at our house can be a real pain in the bum sometimes.  Darc loves horror movies, and I don’t.  I like dramatic movies, and he doesn’t.  The kids like kid movies, and we grown-ups don’t.  I and my son love documentaries, Darc and the MiniNess don’t.  So you can see how it can be sort of a trial sometimes.  I swear, we spend more time in the “search” menu at Netflix than we spend actually watching a movie sometimes! 

This past weekend though, we found something that was a family winner.  It had action and adventure, scary stuff but not gory.  The characters were realistic and well acted, which is saying a lot for early teens!  The special effects were done well also, which is a given, I suppose, considering Spielberg produced it.  Still, they weren’t over the top or anything like that, just appropriate to the story.

Here’s what the blurb says:

In the summer of 1979, a group of friends in a small Ohio town witness a catastrophic train crash while making a super 8 movie and soon suspect that it was not an accident. Shortly after, unusual disappearances and inexplicable events begin to take place in town, and the local Deputy tries to uncover the truth – something more terrifying than any of them could have imagined.

We guessed 1979 right off because of the music.  The music is a real walk down memory lane!  LOL 

We gave this 5 stars on the Netflix rating thing.  It was good enough that I’d be willing to watch it again, and I’m pretty sure the kids would too. 

Check it out!  I think you’ll like it a lot.  Smile,0,214,317_.jpg

Super 8

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GMail Add-ons for FireFox

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post about software or add-ons, or anything like that.  Recently I’ve come across a couple things I thought I’d share with you. 

I found Send Later, Follow Up Reminders for Gmail | Download Boomerang in Chrome, and found that there is also a FireFox version, so you know I had to have it.  As big a fan as I am about scheduling my blog posts, doing the same thing for my email has huge appeal for me.  This handy dandy little program, Boomerang, will not only send out your emails on a schedule, but it will also come back to you if you don’t get a reply to an email.  So if you were expecting someone to answer back, and they don’t, and you forget about it, Boomerang can let you know.  Pretty doggone cool! 

Boomerang also has a pay version that has a few more bells and whistles. 


I saw some reports on this one: SaneBox is Awesome and I confess I didn’t download it because it’s $5 a month and I’m a cheapskate.  I don’t generate enough email to justify it, but if I did I’d be all over this one I’m sure.  The reviews were good and it sounds like it’d be a good product for a company.


This add-on is awesome.  ActiveInbox – Business Gmail Addon to Organize Email Tasks & Folders.  I’ve been using this one for a few years now, and I even wrote a little on this one back in 2009 in a post called Twitterpated « The "Ness" in DarcNess 😉.  Back then it was called GTDInbox (for Get Things Done) and it’s still as cool now as it was then.  It really helps you streamline and organize your email.  You can also find it here: Active Inbox HQ, outside of FireFox.  I can testify that it does indeed work with the latest FireFox upgrade.  They also have a pay version that includes a few more features.


The other add-on for Gmail is also one I wrote about in the Twitterpated post.  It’s called Integrated Gmail :: Add-ons for FirefoximageIt’s also just as nice now as it was back then.  Hasn’t changed much at all, just kept pace with all the FireFox upgrades – which is no mean feat, I tell ya!  Just a year ago FF was 3.6, and now it’s 14.1!  Sheesh.  Anyway, what’s nice about Integrated Gmail is that you can have multiple Google programs open in a single tab.  Their home site is:  I love that you can collapse all the elements and that you can have everything all in one place.  And now you can even add non-Google sites, such as Amazon for example.  Talk about 1-stop shopping! 


If you try something I’ve mentioned here, I’d love to hear about your impressions of it.  And if you know of something I haven’t mentioned that’s made your GMail experience more streamlined and efficient, I’d love to hear about that too.  Smile

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Categories: FYI, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Screen AArrgh!

So I’m a little irritated.  With FireFox Add-ons, that is.  One in particular, actually.  I know, I know.  What could possibly compel me to say something negative about one of my beloved FireFox Add-ons?  Well, I’ll tell you.


Clipped on 7-July-2012, 12:43 AM from Lolcats – Funny Pictures of Cats – I Can Has Cheezburger?

Some years ago I found an awesome little add-on called FireShot.  Worked like a dream.  It’s a handy dandy little program that can take a screen capture for you and then you can save it or annotate it – add little captions to your screenshot or whatever.  I used it tons of times, several times a week if not on a daily basis.  Loved it.  A few months ago, it did its auto-update thing and without knowing it, users had a copy of the 30 day trial of the pro version.  And no one knew that until the 30 days were up and all of a sudden FireShot stopped working and users got this annoying little pop-up saying that the trial had expired and if you wanted you could go to the website and upgrade.  As awesome a program as it is, I’m not paying $35 to take screenshots and I totally resent the bait-and-switch technique they used.  R.E.S.E.N.T.  They said on their website that if you decided not to go with the pay version, the add-on would automatically revert to the free version.  Only, that didn’t work.  Uninstall, reinstall, no dice!  That made me mad.  I found a fix by editing the registry and things seemed to be working fine again.  Lo and behold, another update and the doggone thing breaks again, and this time the work-arounds and fixes won’t work.  So I uninstalled it, and not just the wimpy little “tell FireFox to uninstall this add-on” button, but the big bad Control Panel “get this crap off my computer” button.  Okay, I don’t really know if there’s a difference but the Control Panel felt a lot more official.  I broke up with FireShot

I found a couple of other little add-ons that seem to have potential but don’t have the bells and whistles that FireShot did.  Those are Screenshoter and Abduction!  Time will show if either of them are any good.  They got decent reviews so that’s encouraging.

I did learn a few weeks ago though, that Windows 7 actually comes with a screen snipping tool.  Who knew?!  Start Menu, All Programs, Accessories, Snipping Tool!  AND the Snipping Tool WILL do annotations too, at least with a pen or highlighter button.  If you put a shortcut to Snipping Tool on your Taskbar, it’s always right there for you.  Seriously. Sweet. That works not just on whatever’s up on your browser, and whichever browser you’re using, but you don’t even have to be online to use it either.     image

Also, if you use OneNote, it will go grab screenshots for you too, just click the Insert Tab and then Screen Clipping.  Really, all you need to do is press the Windows Key and S at the same time.


So, I’ll miss FireShot.  But I do have some great tools to help keep my screen captures warm on those chilly nights. 

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I can see clearly now

Once upon a time, I had great vision.  I was the b*tch who’d walk up to the vision check at the DMV and just read the last line on the eye chart.  I admit I liked seeing the confusion on the clerks faces.  :twisted:  I was lucky, and blessed, to have my 20/15 eye sight.

And then I hit 40.  Last time I went in to have my eyes checked back in ‘05, I knew I’d waved that envious 20/15 a fond farewell, and the doc confirmed I was only 20/20 then.  Average, although terrifying to me.  The slight blur where things were once crystal clear is scary, because I know it will only get worse and there’s nothing I can do about it.  I don’t know what my sight is now, but I’m probably not even 20/20 anymore.  I can get away with using mild strength reading glasses for sewing – I don’t need them for reading – yet.  But reading online can sometimes be a real aggravation because most fonts on blogs seem to be a 10 pt. font and that’s just a touch too small to be comfortable for me now.  At least, on a 1280×1024 screen resolution it’s too small.  Me, who once could read a 2 pt. font at 100 paces.  😉

But *cue the rescue music* I have come across my latest blogging hero.  Enter NoSquint.  For users of FireFox, it’s an add-on that makes blog reading soooo much nicer.  I’ve been playing with it the past couple of days and I’m so pleased.  Woo!  What it does is adjusts the blogs you read without having to use that annoying Ctrl++++++ thing.  Once you install it, you can tell it to make just the text bigger, or everything on a page bigger.  You can make it universal, or specific only to certain blogs.  You can set a default color scheme of your choice to override the one you’re reading, or everything you read.  You can choose your own default colors for links, too.  You can set it to adjust text size in increments, and with just a roll of the mouse wheel you can adjust the page.  And it sits there on the bottom of your FireFox browser so it’s right there if you come across a page that’s just too small to read comfortably or distinctly.  You can even tell it to disable background images for those pages that are too busy to see the text clearly. 

I have been so happy with it.  It’s not everyday I come across an add-on that does all I hope it does, but this one has been working great.  And I know there are some of you out there who struggle with less than perfect vision and just need a little tweak, that reading online can bring on headaches sometimes because the font’s too small or the colors too weird to read well.  I have real trouble with the black background stuff, and now it’s not a problem anymore.  Whew!  And no more Ctrl+++++!  What a pain that is!  Click the link above and give it a spin.  You’ll see what I mean.  🙂

Categories: Reviews | Tags: , , | 10 Comments

In a few years …

… I’ve changed.  A lot.  Case in point – the way I view movies.

Remember A.I.?  Yeah, that one with The Sixth Sense kid as a robot who loves his mother.  Darc saw it when we were at the library and I commented that I’d like to see it again.  I watched it when it first came out on video, back in ‘02.  What I remembered of it – and remember, I have a Swiss cheese memory when it comes to movies – was that it was a heartwarming story about a boy robot who loved his human mother and that it had really cool robots. 

The movie I watched earlier was not the same as I recalled.

Oh, the scenes were the same, don’t misunderstand.  It was the same movie.  It was my response to it that was different.  The movie I saw tonight was disturbing to me on a few levels and I didn’t come away with anything remotely like “heartwarming” as I did before.  And I know it’s because I’m different.

First off, I had to scoff at the opening scenes wherein the narrator described a world that had been destroyed by flooding caused by glacier melt caused by global warming.  I also felt a bit nostalgic seeing the World Trade Towers in the scenes of New York – which had been flooded up to the torch that the Statue of Liberty holds.  It went through my head that, “Terrorists were apparently stronger than ‘global warming’ and ‘global flooding’ and ‘two thousand years of freezing’ ever was.”  But what really bothered me was the portrayal of this little robot boy’s “feelings” as anything remotely resembling love, and anything like the child/parent relationship.

See, love is a choice, an act of will, it’s not a “feeling.”  And it’s about putting the needs of someone else ahead of your own.  Not once did robot boy ever do anything like that.  And while the feeling a child has for a parent often tends to be more selfish than that of a parent towards a child, there wasn’t anything loving in this “child’s” behavior.  It was 2 hours of him obsessing over his mother.  He was jealous at his mother’s biological son coming back home to live, he destroyed another robot who looked like him because he wanted to be sure that he himself was “the only one” for his mother.  (“She’s MINE!” he screamed at his robot “twin.”)  He obsessed about finding his mother again, and making her love him.  It was kind of stalker-ish in a weird way.  That was his mission, his goal in life – to become a real boy and make his mother love him.  And at the end, when the skinny advanced future robots “resurrected” his mother from a lock of her hair, he spent a day with her – making her coffee, playing games, just the 2 of them without the “distractions” of her husband and son, and then he curled up in bed with her when she fell asleep, holding her hand like a lover.  It was creepy.  It was all about him and what he wanted, which was to “make my mother love me.”  Purely selfishness, not love. 

And what’s with the “making robots to replace our lost children” thing anyway?  That’s sort of sick.  In case you forgot, the robot’s creator made the child robot to be a replica of his son who’d died, and the mother in the story agreed to have a boy robot because she’d been told her son, who was on life support, would never recover.  And when her real son did get better, instead of having the robot destroyed, she just dumped him in the woods somewhere and left him to fend for himself.  Oh yeah, that’s real maternal and loving.  “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about the world!” were her last words as she drove away.

Is this what passes for love in Hollywood?  Yes, that’s a rhetorical question.  It’s a pretty sad state of affairs.  How many people define love that way?  Obsessive, controlling, selfish, “what will you do for me?”  I don’t know if that’s “life reflecting art” or “art reflecting life” or however you want to arrange it.  I just know it’s wrong, and that makes me really sad. 

I noticed that the commenter over on ImDb loved the movie and raved on and on about it.  I might have felt sort of like that the 1st time I saw the movie too.  Not to the same degree as s/he did, but at one time I could have related.  So not the case anymore. 

What a difference a few years makes, no?  I probably shouldn’t watch any more movies I still retain any fondness for.  


Categories: Reviews, Thinking out loud | Tags: , , | 5 Comments


Well, Ironman and X-files both go back to the library today.  I watched Ironman again this weekend and decided I still like it as much as I did the 1st time I saw it.  Don’t look for any changes like “Iron Falcon” or anything like that, though, in homage to my new comic book hero.  I’ll always belong to Darc.  Although I admit, IronFalcon does have a nice ring to it. 

And I see now why the X-files movie BOMBED at the box office.  It was bomb-worthy.  I was an avid X-filer for almost a decade, loved Mulder, and was disgusted with this latest offering.  At best, it was nothing more than a really bad 2-part episode of the series.  Wait, I take that back – the series’ worst episodes were better than that movie. 

It was a pretty uneventful weekend.  I did, however, make an awesome roast, at my son’s request.  Can you believe it?  The world’s pickiest “What’s that awful smell, mom?” eater actually ASKED me to make roast.  For the record, I’m a good cook.  My son is NOT a good eater.  But he likes roast.  Don’t believe me that he’s not a good eater?  Okay, this kid won’t even lick the bowl when I make cake or cookies, won’t eat a burger, turns his nose up at steak, and rejects all forms of chicken except for the McNugget kind.  He won’t even put jelly on a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich.  THAT’S how picky he is.  And he asked for my roast.  Booyah!

Okay, off to the library and other assorted errands.  Back in a bit!


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Categories: Family Life, LOLz, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Another movie review

I would have blogged about this yesterday, but y’know, other stuff came up.  *cough*  Political corruption, while status quo here in IL, seemed like the better blog deal.  ;) 

Darc and I frequently complain that it seems like there aren’t any really good movies made anymore.  Decent, sure, but great?  Not so much.  We’re very picky.  No, I mean very picky.  We would drive you crazy if you were to sit down and watch a movie with us because we talk back to the screen all the time.  Yes, we do this because we are at home and can.  No, we would never do that in an actual theater.  We’re not rude.  Just opinionated.  Watch a while with us and you’ll probably hear something like, “Oh, now did you see that?  That was so stupid!  A real detective would never do something that dumb!”  Or, “Ah, I got it, that one’s the bad guy, you can tell because of the way the music changed.”  Perhaps, “How deus ex machina is that?  Yeah right, like some 20 year old crazy kid is going to outsmart the entire FBI!”  Most frequently you’d hear something along the lines of, “Hey!  I know that guy!  What else has he been in?  I can’t remember the last thing I saw him in.”  Then we’ll go through a list of recalled movies to see if one of them fits.  By that time we realize that, “Hey, I was talking and missed that part.  Let’s back it up a bit.”  Uh, yeah.  You get the idea.

The other night though, we had some new lines.  Probably less than 10 minutes into a movie we decided to take chance on, we both gasped and said, “Whoa!  I didn’t see that one coming, did you?”  Thirty minutes later, we were both so anxiety-ridden that we had to run to the smoking room just to get a grip.  Yet another 30 minutes later, we had to make another nicotine run.  I guess we don’t do anxiety well.  It happens so rarely with movies that we’re simply not prepared for it, but it hit both of us pretty hard.  That’s another rare thing because Darc has practically lost the ability to suspend disbelief. 

The movie?  Oh yeah, the movie!  It’s called, “Disturbia,” and it’s a remake of the Hitchcock classic, “Rear Window.”  I’ve never seen the original in its entirety and I’m not sure if Darc has either.  I’ve not heard anything bad about the original, and I can tell you this remake was awesome.  At least, we loved it.  It captured and held us the entire time, bonding us to the main character and cheering him on.  It’s the kind of movie that I wouldn’t mind watching again, to try to pick up anything I might have missed the first time.  And despite my swiss-cheese-memory for movies and books, I don’t think I’ll be forgetting this one for a long time.  Shia LaBeouf is endearing, and David Morse plays a really good creepy neighbor.  I think the roles were well cast, personally.  If you haven’t seen this, I’d say rent it.  If you’ve seen “Read Window,” I say watch this one, too.  This one gets 2 enthusiastic thumbs up from your Darc Movie Critics.  😉

Categories: Just for Fun, Reviews | Tags: , , | 8 Comments

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