Tag Archives: DVD

Jesus H. Christ – An $18 Movie Ticket For Star Trek in IMAX

Star Trek - The IMAX PosterYou know movies are getting to be expensive when it costs about the same to see it on screen as it does to buy the DVD when it comes out. Talk about fleecing the hell out of consumers. In this case, it’s the insanely expensive ticket to see “Star Trek” this Thursday night on an IMAX screen at the Regal Cinema in Escondido.

I’m hoping the experience will be good because this will be the first mainstream movie I’ve seen in IMAX since “Spider-Man 3”, a couple years ago. At the time it was the premiere feature at the Edwards Cinema in Mira Mesa which was just opening it’s IMAX theatre. Basically it converted one of it’s largest theaters into an IMAX auditorium. And I caught a 6 am showing of the movie (the third screening since the midnight premiere showing) and I was a little underwhelmed by the IMAX experience. It could just be that “Spider-Man 3” was a not quite the best film, but I do think the auditorium contributed to the experience, as I felt the screen was just not size wise up to par for an IMAX experience. All my previous IMAX experiences have been at theme parks with these giant larger than life screens, and this screen just felt average. Not quite the sensory overload experience I was hoping for.

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RENT Gets Paid In San Diego With Anthony Rapp And Adam Pascal

RENT Tour With Adam Pascal & Anthony RappOn March 11th, I caught “The Broadway Tour” of Jonathan Larson’s Epic masterpiece, RENT, hit San Diego’s Civic Theatre. I went with my friend Louie Taylor. Part of the main reason I wanted to go see RENT was because the main draw of the tour is that it has been billed as featuring original cast members, Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal who would be reprising their roles as Mark and Roger respectively. An unadvertised bonus is that another original cast member, Gwen Stewart, is also reprising her role in the tour as one of the ensemble players as a variety of characters and featured solo vocalist during “Seasons Of Love.”

As the first tour since RENT closed on Broadway in September 2008, it seems all the more poignant to see such a high profile tour with Original cast members Rapp and Pascal on board. They’re no strangers to coming back to the roles that made them Broadway stars as they both were part of the original workshop shows, transferred the show to Broadway and then later to London, then recreated their roles in the film version of RENT in 2005, and then for a limited engagement in Summer 2007 returned to Broadway according to BroadwayWorld.com. These roles have been a part of their lives off and on for the last 15 years. In the interview in the Playbill handed out at the performance Adam Pascal suspects “when we’re done with this tour, I have a strong suspicion that this will be it for me and RENT. At some point I am going to be too old to do the part.”

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Ryan’s Incredible Store Is Now Open

Ryan's Incredible StoreI’m pleased to announce the opening of “Ryan’s Incredible Store” as a compliment to Ryan’s Incredible World. Ryan’s Incredible Store is powered by Amazon.com (so you get Amazon’s great prices and incredible service) with products personally selected by me.

You can select things as varied as great books like Raymond Aaron’s “Double Your Income Doing What You Love” and Jack Canfield’s “The Success Principles” to the latest iPod and Nike+ technology to start your own running program like I am doing. Additionally, I have a small “ABBA” store for some of the recommended ABBA products as well as some favorite DVD’s and Blu-Ray discs.

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The 9 Most Incredible Things Of 2008 In Ryan’s Incredible World

Now that 2009 is now upon us, it seems that it would be good to take a few minutes to highlight what made high points for me in 2008. Taking a quick glance at the list of items that made the list this year, it seems that the very early 1980’s seem to be related to almost all of the items that make the list for this year. The influence of the 1980’s will be readily apparent as you check out the list. And I’ll point those out along the way for those who might not quite see the influence.

Without further ado, I now present My 9 Most Incredible Things of 2008, in no particular order… Continue reading The 9 Most Incredible Things Of 2008 In Ryan’s Incredible World

First Look – Mamma Mia! The Movie Deluxe Edition Soundtrack

Due to one of my local retailers putting out their stock of new releases on Sunday instead of Tuesday, I am able to offer a sneak peak to Tuesday’s US release of the new Mamma Mia! The Movie Deluxe Edition Soundtrack.

The Packaging

The Deluxe Edition Soundtrack is housed in a hardbound book that’s roughly the size of a standard DVD plastic case. When the “book” style packaging is opened it reveals a printed book attached the the front part of the cover and a heavy duty 2 disc clear plastic tray glued down the the back side. As the book tends to look more like a booklet that’s just glued to the front side of the cover, when you open it, you’ll see the back cover of the booklet and you’ll have to manually flip to the pages you want.

The discs included are a soundtrack CD that features different screen printing on the actual disc from the previously released version. Instead of a photo from the “Voulez-Vous” scene, the disc now features a shot of the main cast in their “Waterloo” scene outfits lined up with sparks flying in the background. The track listing of the CD is also printed on the disc below the image. The bonus DVD that’s exclusive to this package, also features the same “Waterloo” image except the text below the image indicates it’s a bonus DVD.

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Xanadu Works Its Magic In San Diego

Last night I took the opportunity to check out the new stage version of Xanadu that is currently playing at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego. Technically I have a ticket for the show next week, but I got an offer in my e-mail to see the show earlier through Goldstar and at bargain price, so why not take a chance and go.

The seat I ended up with was an on-stage seat. Basically how the set is structured is that it looks a little like a Ancient Greek amphitheatre with a main performance area at the front of the stage and some tiered seating towards the back of the stage where additional audience members get seated and fill out the presence on stage. Sections of the on stage seating are left empty so that the cast members can sit and be part of the background and jump back into the show when appropriately timed. Additionally some props for them are stashed in the seating for use during the show as well.

Unlike regular seats, we had to be given a briefing on what we were expected to do which is basically have fun and stay seated until the orchestra plays its final note. There would be no chances for a bathroom break and if we had to leave, we could but would not be able to return to the stage seats. And we would not be issued our copies of the playbill until after the show. The show runs about ninety minutes so no problem there. We were also issued a glow stick and instructed that we would be told by the cast when it is time to break the glow stick to activate it and wave it around.

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Deep Discount Has Big DVD/Blu-Ray Sale

DeepDiscount.com is having a big sale on DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs. Between now and November 23, 2008, there is a chance to save an additional 25% off their already low sale prices. And all orders are eligible for free shipping within the United States (reasonable shipping costs for outside the US).

With most of the latest Blu-Ray titles selling between $20-$30 on DeepDiscount.com, the additional discount brings the cost down to at or slightly below $20 a disc. This can be quite a savings if you’ve had your eye on a few items such as the lastest James Bond discs, or even Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” title. There can be quite significant savings on big box sets such as the new 40th Anniversary Blu-Ray edition of Planet Of The Apes and the Matrix collection.

Don’t feel left out if you’re not yet into Blu-Ray discs, the savings apply to standard DVDs too. There’s a vast collection of movies already released and now is a good time to get extra savings on them. Most of the Star Trek films are available for under $10 a movie before the discount gets applied. TV season sets are also eligible, and now’s a good chance to get a discount on those highly overpriced BBC sets like the latest incarnations of Doctor Who, Torchwood, and The Sarah Jane Chronicles. Even the Planet Earth series is discounted. Or favorite American TV shows like Star Trek, Desperate Housewives, or Quantum Leap.

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Mamma Mia! Soundtrack Has New “Deluxe Edition”

Amazon.com has the new “Deluxe Edition” of Mamma Mia! The Movie’s soundtrack scheduled to come out on November 25, 2008 in the United States. Although the soundtrack portion will remain the same as it was when it was released in July of this year, it comes with a hard cover booklet featuring lyrics to the songs as well as housing some unseen photos as well as commentary regarding the film and the soundtrack. Additionally the set will include a DVD with approximately 30 minutes of footage of the recording sessions as well as interviews with Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried, and original ABBA members, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. It will serve as a “making of” for the soundtrack.

The “Deluxe Edition” of the soundtrack comes out in the US, the same week that the DVD of the movie comes out in the United Kingdom. However, US DVD buyers have to wait until December 16th to get a US released copy of the movie on DVD and Blu-Ray. Australian and New Zealand consumers will be the first to get the DVD when it releases in those territories on November 6rd, however they have to wait until December 3rd for the Blu-Ray edition.

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HMV.com Takes Pre-Orders On Mamma Mia! The Movie

HMV is one of the first to take pre-orders of Mamma Mia! The Movie

HMV.com based out of the UK is one of the first online retailers to start taking pre-orders on “Mamma Mia! The Movie” with a price of £12.99 for the standard DVD and £16.99 for the Blu-Ray version. The official release date for the UK according to the HMV site is November 24, 2008. (I’m guessing that means a November 25th release date for the U.S.)

HMV is also offering a chance win a trip to the Greek Islands for UK residents who enter the contest on their website. Sounds like a great trip for two to fly from London to Greece to spend a week visiting the islands of Skiathos & Skopelos (where the movie was partially filmed) with a private cruise and a spa experience and you even get breakfasts and dinner as well as travel insurance included in the prize package. Makes me wish I lived in the UK just to enter the contest.

In any case, the chance to pre-order the movie at HMV.com is available by clicking here, and in the meantime they are also offering sale prices on the Mamma Mia! movie soundtrack, the stage show cast recording, and of course, the original ABBA albums and compilations. Free shipping within the UK, and reasonable shipping rates to the rest of the world.

21 Movie Makes Card Counting Entertaining

21 Movie Card CountingThe new movie “21” has just hit stores on DVD and Blu-Ray disc from Sony Pictures. As a dealer for a casino, I was interested in seeing a Hollywood glamorized version of what I do for a living, and I was not disappointed. Granted the perspective of the movie is a loose retelling of M.I.T. Blackjack Team story of how they made and lost a fortune card counting at the blackjack tables of Las Vegas. And the story is about the card counters, not the dealers. In any case, while the plot takes tremendous liberties with the facts for the sake of making an entertaining story, the premise is simple, that students from M.I.T. who are good with numbers spend their weekends away from campus moonlighting as high rollers in Las Vegas. They work as a team and take Las Vegas for hundreds of thousands of dollars through card counting and team work to stay under the radar.

The group employs disguises and fake names and ID cards to become different people every time they go. Profits get split and everyone stays happy. Of course, cockiness sets in and trouble sparks as one member of the team gets jealous of the new guy because the new guy is outperforming the former star of the team. Then as the new guy starts to build up his confidence, he too is unable to escape the temptations of gambling and starts to ignore the rules of the team and continues to squander away on tables that have grown cold and past the time to stop playing on that table. It becomes a race against greed and being caught. The outcome of the story resolves itself through backroom deals, begging for forgiveness, and even more blackjack. To know how it resolves itself, you’ll have to check it out.

Now as a dealer, there was some amusing aspects about the film that really only people in the casino industry, specifically table games, and fans of Las Vegas would notice. One of the things I found amusing was that for all the scenes at real tables in Las Vegas, that all the cards used are canceled cards which you would never find being used on tables for real money. If you aren’t sure how cards are canceled, when you pay attention to the movie, look closely at the edges of the cards, where two of the four corners of the cards on diagonally opposite sides of the card are rounded while the other two are more square. This becomes especially apparent when the dealer places his face-up card over his face-down card and the corners don’t line up cleanly. Continue reading 21 Movie Makes Card Counting Entertaining