EXCELLENT Blu-ray set

02 September 2014

If you’re a fan of the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” films, this Blu-ray set is extremely, highly recommended. Me, I would have been fine having the first film separately, but the two live-action sequels ARE relics of my past, and ones I like to dabble in every few years or so, so the fact that all the movies are bundled together isn’t a huge problem for me. Plus, I kinda like that pizza box cardboard case and the goodies inside, which include:*a mini reprinting of the full Mirage Studios 62-page black and white comic adaptation of the first film made by TMNT co-creators Peter Laird (script) and Kevin Eastman (layouts) who also ink–along with the very talented Eric Talbot–the exceptional pencils by Jim Lawson*a black beanie with the old school cartoon and movie Ninja Turtles logo printed on the front*an envelope with a cool drawing of the Turtles on front, the contents inside being some pretty neat character cards, but the coolest item being a small reproduction of a drawing penciled and signed by Peter LairdBut the biggest aspects of this Blu-ray set to get excited about are the quality transfers of the films, the main reason for buying a Blu-ray Disc. All four films are recreated accurately in the digital medium with a great level of grain and detail on the first three films, and an understandably sharp, grain-free image for the CGI film.From now on I’ll only focus on the first film, released in 1990, as that is by far my favorite of the four.Taking into account the low-budget nature of this film and its use of soft light, the Blu-ray accurately brings the look of this film into the living room, as if a film reel were being projected onto your HDTV. A nice layer of natural grain, exceptional detail, accurate color reproduction, and so on–this movie looks beautiful, and alone is worth the purchase of this box set if you’re a hardcore fan of the film. The review by Kenneth Brown strikes me as odd, as I do not notice grain zapping/reduction and heavy use of edge enhancing to compensate. I’ve seen plenty of such HD transfers, and this looks NOTHING like what the reviewer describes. The grain is very natural. And the “inconsistent contrast” and “poorly resolved blacks” are due more to the nature of the lower quality film stock as well as the soft lighting. Do these “professional” Blu-ray reviewers not know anything about film???Being now a fan of the original Mirage Studios comics by Eastman and Laird, I appreciate this film even more now than I did as a kid considering how faithful it is to the source material. The tone is decidedly more adult, though not something that kids aren’t welcomed into enjoying (most of the comics were the same way, barring some exceptions like Eastman and Simon Bisley’s “Bodycount” miniseries); the story follows closely a select few issues, with any additions and changes gelling with the source material exceptionally well and being necessary for the plot to carry on without hampering (e.g., April O’Neil being a news reporter a la the cartoon series, rather than a computer programmer working for Baxter Stockman–that whole plot would not have worked here in 90 minutes for what they aimed for, and is ultimately unnecessary in this telling); Raphael is the main protagonist, with his journey to quell his anger and understand himself, standing out amongst his brothers, and his hard-shelled loyalty to his brothers and master as well as his meeting and friendship with Casey Jones driving the plot forward (after all, in the comics, Raphael in the “Return to New York” series is the one who drove the other Turtles to go after Shredder after their defeat at April’s store/apartment); implementing the Turtles’ and Splinter’s origin story in the comics real closely with, again, some necessary changes to keep the plot and film pacing flowing; and, man, I could go on and on!What I’m trying to say is, it’s faithful to the source material, it doesn’t pander to the kiddies (though again is a great movie for kids) unlike the two live-action sequels did, and in addition to that, it’s written, directed, acted, photographed, scored, and edited exceptionally well. There’s also those cuh-ray-zee special effects by Jim Henson and company, which are a marvel to behold.1990′s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is an incredibly well-made low-budget film which became a smashing success, understandably so due to the popularity of the Turtles at the time, but I believe also because of how competently made it is. Call me crazy, but I think it’s one of the absolute finest films ever made, and I thought that even before I got all nutty over the original Mirage comics. It’s not just some old flick to enjoy for nostalgia factor or to tout around on college campus while wearing a TMNT T-shirt, fondly joking about how “Radical!” the Turtles are; this is expert filmmaking at its finest, and the Blu-ray of the film is beautiful and totally faithful to the low-budget film source.One thing that I’m a little disappointed about–and this isn’t enough to bring it down a star or anything, it’s still a 5-star product regardless–is that there are no alternate or deleted scenes. The movie was originally supposed to end differently, and there were some censorship issues as well. These missing scenes and edits would be great to see. I love having the theatrical cut of the film, but I hope that someday in the future we’ll see a proper Steve Barron director’s cut.As said in the beginning: Extremely, highly recommended! While I’m not as big of a fan of the other movies, and really kind of despise the third, I’m happy to own all four of them in the best quality possible; and really, the rest of the three look as faithful as the first.

A pleasant surprise

01 September 2014

This review is based on an actual purchase, modification and wearing of the Rubies costume armor.I needed to pull together stormtrooper armor in less than a week, so I knew that doing it the proper way (assembling from a kit) would not be an option for me. After doing a bit of research I ordered the Rubies Supreme Edition Stormtrooper for just under $530 from Amazon (7th Avenue Store). The 22lb box arrived by FedEx Home Delivery 5 days later (CA to CT) just in time for my event.Based on the Amazon reviews and from a little Google searching, I was fully prepared to work on modifying of the costume when it arrived so I picked up some heavy duty velcro & elastic in advance, and had sand-paper and my dremel ready to go. Fortunately the armor was in much better condition than I expected and I only needed to make a few minor modifications in order to make it fit my 5’11″ 200lb frame.Overall I would recommend this armor/helmet combo for anyone who doesn’t want to assemble their own but is not afraid of making some slight modifications. I think that $530 is a fair price, but wish that it came with a better helmet. I can see why anyone who paid over $800 for this when it first came out would be very disappointed. But with a little bit of work (about an hour total for me) this will get you an extremely “realistic” looking stormtrooper. Please note that it doesn’t come with boots, neck seal or blaster. More details below if you are curious.ARMOR:Build quality is great for the most part. All of the armor parts are rugged and polished. The velcro and elastic used to attach armor parts together doesn’t inspire much confidence though. There are very general directions included on how to put the armor on, but I found a few YouTube videos of armor assembly to be far more informative. The trim quality was not as bad as others have mentioned, and I didn’t see the need for grinding/sanding any edges for cosmetic reasons. But more on this further below.Contrary to some reviews, my armor included the “thermal detonator” or oxygen tank as some call it, that clips onto the back of the waist belt. Perhaps Rubies decided to include this after getting some negative customer feedback?HELMET:The helmet (as many have mentioned) is the “weak link” in the Rubies armor. It looks good and is relatively accurate to the movie, except to perhaps the more discerning costumers out there. However, the build quality is not great and it has a slightly flimsy feel to it. I felt that I needed to be careful with the helmet and avoided taking it off/on with just one hand. The lenses are a dark amber color and the rounded shape will distort your vision a bit. I plan to replace the lenses with the more screen accurate green lenses that are flat and provide for better vision.FIT:I was a little worried about buying the standard version instead of the XL. Happily though the standard fit me quite well. For reference, I am 5’11″ have a long torso and broad shoulders. When buying pants I usually get size 35 or 36 waist and my jacket size is 48. If you are close to me in size, I believe the standard size will work for you.The included “body suit” is more like a jump suit and is not skin tight. It barely fit in the torso, but was comfortable and oddly enough seemed to fit better when I put it on “backwards” with the zipper in front instead of back. This also made putting the whole thing on by myself possible!I have a fairly large head – most hats fit tightly on me. The good news is that this helmet was more than big enough. The bad news is that it was wobbly and difficult to keep in the same position. I constantly had to adjust it with my hands, which had to look pretty silly. I think anyone with a smaller head will need to add more padding or a harness to keep the helmet in placeMODIFICATIONS/SUGGESTIONS:Before you do anything I suggest a little research by watching any of episode IV, V or VI to see how the armor is intended to fit – so that you can make informed decisions about modifications you may need.As for me, the first thing I did was replace the Rubies velcro in the shoulder clips with industrial strength velcro for stronger holding power.Rubies uses very stretchy elastic to attach the font chest and abdominal plates together. Same for the upper-back and lower-back (kidney/butt) plates. This didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, so I cut the elastic and used black suspenders with metal clamps to harness the abdomen/butt plates (I left some of the elastic in place to clamp the suspenders to). This makes assembling and fitting the armor SO MUCH EASIER! It frees up the chest/upper back plates so that you can assemble them before putting it on. In this manner you really can put your armor on without help from another person!

What Are Private Labels?

01 September 2014

Private labels have been used mostly by smaller companies as a way to market their products and services for a long time. It can be a win-win situation for a small company to offer its products to a bigger company who will brand the products. In return, the smaller company gets a percentage of the products sold. However, it all depends with the company owner’s goals for his company. If they are looking to earn more revenue based on volumes of their products, then private labels is the way to go. On the other hand, if he goal is for his company’s products to be recognized as his own brand, offering his brand to another company could be a bad idea.

For starters, what are private labels? These are products manufactured by one company but bearing another company’s brand name. They are available in several industries such as cosmetics, automobile, food, and many more. They are a form of reduced price alternative to brands from regional to international level brands although some privately labelled brands are now placed as premium brands. This is mainly because of their superior quality. Products that have been privately labelled can be sold not just within a country, but also in foreign countries. For this reason, they need to be high quality products that meet global standards, as well as make a positive impact on the environment. To ensure this, the products go through certification and auditing processes. In addition, a number of tests are carried out to ensure the products are safe for use. 

Click here http://www.naturesformulae.com/Private-Label-Food-Products to find out more. 

Sunglasses and Myopic Individuals

01 September 2014

Persons who are born with nearsightedness have parents who are diagnosed with myopia. Because of the weakness of the person's eyesight, he is often being bullied by individuals with normal eyesight. A pair of wooden sunglasses will at most cover the person's weak eyesight, but that will not cure his myopic eyesight, especially of the sunglasses serve as accessory lens to the eyeglasses. On the contrary, wearing eyeglasses will not affect the progression of myopia, and the person will be forced to change his spectacles every now and then. Given their physical limitations, the restrictions of myopic individuals become more obvious, as they cannot play contact sports for an extended period of time without risking their eyesight.

99.9%Satisfied!

29 August 2014

This costume was absolutely adorable on my 13 month old. I bought the 12-18 mos size and it worked out perfectly. Everywhere he went in this costume, people could not help but comment on how cute he looked. My only negative comment is that when I received the costume, the lion’s mane, around the face, shed a lot of loose pieces from when the mane was cut. It seemed like it was one solid piece and the cuts were made, but the material that frayed was not cleaned out. I sat down on two separate occasions and pulled all the loose pieces out of the mane. I finally got them all after a couple attempts. It did not continue to shed, it was just full of loose pieces from the original cutting process. I haven’t washed the costume yet, so I can’t comment on how well it stands up to the washer and dryer. Overall, I would recommend this costume! I loved how my son’s face stood out with that curly lion’s mane around it. He had Halloween portraits taken in this costume with his twin sister, who was a pink bunny. SO CUTE!!! I don’t like animal costumes that have a hood with the animal’s eyes, nose and mouth on top of the hood. I like for my child’s face to represent the animal’s face. This lion costume was just what I wanted. Aside from loose pieces left over from the cutting process, I was Very satisfied with this costume.

Exceptionally Nice ~ HEAVY DUTY KITCHEN FAUCET

29 August 2014

I was surprised how heavy and well made this faucet was when I first received it from Amazon. Even the plumber I used to install it commented as to what a nice faucet this was. He did not have any problems installing it except he did have trouble threading the flexible hose through the faucet. But with a little patience it finally went through.Some one that is handy could probably install this without a plumber. I was going to do it myself but I was having other plumbing work done, so while the plumber was here I let him do the faucet also. Yes!! Looks like I am getting a bit lazy in my old age, but so be it.Everything on the faucet works nice and smooth. The handle is comfortable and easy to adjust the water flow from high to low and from hot to cold. The pull out wand works well when you pull it out or push it back in, plus magnetically locks into place when it is in. The button on the wand to select full flow or sprinkle works well also.This looks like a good price for this on Amazon, I checked around. Plus with the free shipping and no tax how can you go wrong for this quality faucet.Check my photos under customer images on the product page, ThanxIf you are looking for a new kitchen sink check out the Swanstone QUAD-3322-076 32-Inch by 21-Inch Large Granite Single Undermount Ascend Bowl, Granito Finish which comes in 4 different colors.

Finding A Great Pair Of Skateboard Sunglasses Is Easier Than You Think!

29 August 2014

Finding the perfect pair of sunglasses is about finding something that fits your personality and of course your aesthetic appeal (how you’re dressed, how you feel, etc…). Often skateboard sunglasses will pop out at you based on what you like but you have to try them on to see what looks best and feels best. There are amazing styles to choose from and they are getting ever more creative with styling the frames, using recycled (95%) materials and a more eco friendly pair of shades!

purses are my weakness

26 August 2014

purses are my weakness in the fashion world. I like to believe that every girl has a weakness when it comes to fashion and it just so happens that mine are the purses. I can remember that even at a young age I am already fascinated with purses. They look so magical to me and too adorable to resist. I have promised to myself at a young age that I would buy and collect purses as much as possible. I have fulfilled that little promise to myself and right now I take pride in my purses collection in my bedroom. I never would have imagined that I would come to get involved in serial shopping for purses right now.

Do You Have a Friend Who Likes Sports?

26 August 2014

Do you like sports? You probably like all sports since they keep you active, and they are a way to relieve your stress. Of course, you will not be good at every sport, but at least you will enjoy playing some. However, there are some people who like sports to the point of being fans. These people are those who make sacrifices for their favorite sport team, and they will try to get the latest jersey or whatever identifies them with that sport team. For this kind of people, sports cufflinks are perfect gifts. So if you have a friend who likes a sport team, you can give him or her sports cufflinks as gifts.

Best Table for Kids

25 August 2014

Great online store where i found this table for my kids! After watching my rambunctious children destroy two tables that you can buy at the store, I decided to give this one a shot. I have to be honest, I felt like I was gambling because of the high price tag, but it was the best money I ever spent. I was shocked when the box showed up, because I thought that some of it was missing. When I opened the box, I realized that it was just compressed. The middle part which is the table, telescopes in order for you to pack it away or take it on the trip. The look of the table and the quality far exceeded my expectations. It is sturdy enough for a full-grown adult to sit on, so it can stand up to any child. About a week after we purchased it, the kids were painting (on paper) on it and I flipped out thinking that they were ruining the new table that just spent 80 bucks for. Other great tables that i was looking at! It came right off with a wet washcloth. The table material is stain resistant, which makes it nice for art and crafts. My kids use the table for everything from eating, to doing homework, or just sitting and having a drink and watching television. I would highly recommend this table to anyone who wants the kids have their own little place to sit and do projects or eat. More info on this table here if you need it.