Logitech Brio Review

I bought the Logitech Brio to upgrade from my Logitech c910. Yeah it’s an older webcamera that shot video in 1080p. The Logitech Brio has the ability to shoot up to 4K. However this isn’t available yet as Logitech hasn’t released their own software to do so. So you have to use third party software to record or broadcast in 4K. I captured this video using the Logitech Webcam Software provided from the Logitech c910. It’s not 100% optimized for the Logitech Brio. So looks like I’m stuck for now with a camera that has great hardware, but software is extremely lacking. Hopefully in the coming months these technicalities will be fixed and I’ll have a camera that fully offers what I paid for.

Fuller House: The Complete First Season – DVD Review

“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.”

For eight season, Full House was a successful family-friendly hit for ABC. Its presence helped launch TGIF for the network, along with shows like Perfect Strangers, Mr. Belvedere, Just the Ten of Us, and Family Matters, until Full House moved to Tuesdays where it also did very well in the ratings. At the end of its eight-year run, Full House had remained one of the Top 30 shows on TV, hitting the Top Ten in its fifth and sixth seasons.

Twenty-nine years later, the original series is still in syndication, still has an audience, and many were contemplating a very serious question: What would the Tanners be up to in the 21st century? Well, the answer to that question, and many more, is answered in the new and fantastic series, Fuller House.

Thankfully, Jeff Franklin who created the original series is at the helm, which means that the characters, the tone, and the humor feels like familiar yet different; exactly what a follow-up series should be. And with 98% of the cast back for more wacky and heartfelt antics the show is a definite must-watch for fans of the original series.

I grew up watching Full House, I own the entire series on DVD, and I can tell you as a die-hard fan of the show, Fuller House is just as funny and entertaining as the original series. Yes, the show was cheesy, but that’s exactly what made the series such a joy to watch. And now that I’m older I enjoy and appreciate the series even more due to its even-keel approach to comedy. And while Fuller House does have the occasional racy joke, it’s nothing that wouldn’t be present in a Shrek or Despicable Me movie, so most of the more risqué one-liners will go right over kids’ heads.

So, what’s this new series about?

Full House’s premise was a widower (Danny Tanner) enlists the help of his best friend (Joey Gladstone) and brother-in-law (Jesse Katsopolis) to help him raise his three daughters (DJ, Stephanie, and Michelle). Fuller House is about a widow (DJ Fuller) who enlists the help of her best friend (Kimmy Gibbler) and her sister (Stephanie) to help her raise her three sons (Jackson, Max, and Tommy Jr.). Both have a similar premise, but the execution of both is very different and leads to a multitude of new storylines and subjects that the original series never explored.

Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin, and Andrea Barber reprise their roles as DJ Tanner-Fuller, Stephanie Tanner, and Kimmy Gibbler, respectively. They are a great comedy trio playing characters who are independent, strong, and very funny. It’s nice to see these three back in these roles, playing off each other, and really having a good time in each and every episode.

I was very excited that everyone – with the exception of the Olsen twins so far – from the original cast comes back in several cameo appearances throughout the season. It was nice to see all the familiar faces like Bob Saget, John Stamos, Lori Laughlin, and Dave Coulier and to catch-up with characters who seem like old friends (including Mr. Woodchuck!). Is that weird to say? Probably. I also loved the self-referential moments, the flashbacks to scenes from the original series, and the updated version of the theme song performed by Carly Rae Jepsen.

And I can’t forget to mention the very talented kids that populate the cast that include Michael Campion, Elias Harger, and Dashiell & Fox Messitt as DJ’s three sons, and Soni Nicole Bringas as Kimmy’s daughter, Ramona. Each brings a unique comedic energy to their characters that makes them more than just by-the-numbers kid characters. All of them are fantastic!

Fuller House is hilarious, very entertaining, and fun. I blew through all 13 episodes in a matter of days and waned more (so it’s good that Season Two is on Netflix!). The one thing I wish the DVD edition had were special features with interviews with the cast or with the series creator or even with Carly Rae Jepsen about updating the original theme song. Hopefully season two’s DVD will have a few extras.

I highly, highly recommend Fuller House for any fellow Full House fans who loved the original series and want to continue the fun with this ever-growing group living at 1882 Gerard in San Francisco, California. I can’t recommend it enough!

Fuller House: The Complete First Season is available February 28, 2017 on DVD!

What’s your favorite Full House/Fuller House moment? Who’s your favorite Full House/Fuller House character? Leave a comment and let us know!

London Town – DVD Review

Coming-of-age in any decade is certain to be filled with frustrations, troubles, and stresses. No matter where you go through adolescents, there are some things that are universally shares by young men and women as they traverse the rocky slopes to adulthood. London Town shows us how sometimes being forced to grow up and take responsibility even when one is not ready can be a curse, but also somewhat of a blessing in disguise.

For young Shay (Daniel Huttlestone), his teen years have brought him and his sister an absent, free-wheeling mother and set-in-his-ways father. In many ways, he and his sister are raising themselves in the tumultuous climate of the Britain in the 1970s. At 15, Shay has yet to discover an outlet for the angst he feels inside; to find a way to express his teenage views and opinions. That is until his mother send him a cassette with songs from The Clash, which opens his eyes to a world of music he never knew.

Suddenly swept up into the anti-establishment punk culture, Shay soon finds himself at odds with his parents, but also at odds with himself as he tries to rebel while still taking on the responsibilities left behind by both his parents. His newfound love of punk helps him become a stronger, more self-assured person, while he works to save his family and life from falling apart around him.

I really enjoyed London Town. I think we all have a song, a band, or a genre of music that set us off on a new path in life. Lyrics that fit perfectly into a moment in our existence that helped us through a difficult time or helped us take a path we were afraid to go down. To me, that is what this film is all about: using music as a form of expression in order to become the person you always knew you were but were never sure how to express.

London Town also includes a fantastic performance by Jonathan Rhys Meyers as The Clash’s lead singer, Joe Strummer, who strikes up a friendship with Shay. Rhys Meyers is excellent in the role, and the interview with him included on the DVD is a fascinating look at how he dedicated himself to the role to make it an homage to a punk icon.

I highly, highly recommend London Town!

London Town is available now on DVD.

What’s your favorite punk band? Leave a comment and let us know!

The Crooked Man – DVD Review

Prepare yourself for the evil that is the Crooked Man. An ancient evil whose presence arrives through the recitation of song that bears his name. Once called, all who exist in the space in which he has been revived will fall victim to his deadly ways. Can he be stopped?

When a pre-teen slumber party turns to murder, the young girl accused – Olivia – blames the one true killer: Crooked Man. The only problem is that no one believes her, and she’s quickly blamed for taking the life of her best friend. Six years later, she returns home only to discover that the past has not been forgotten, and some wounds, like resentment, continue to run deep.

Olivia soon discovers that her return has also brought Crooked Man back to life and his reign of terror begins once more. As the bodies begin to pile up, Olivia does all she can to stop this chaotic killer from sending her and her remaining friends down a pathway of death. Will she survive?

Delivering on the by-the-numbers horror movie tropes, The Crooked Man has a fun time with its kills, but I felt that the story was lacking in a lot of true suspense or even sense. I kept asking myself questions regarding the lack logic shown by all the characters, which is common in this genre but they lacked it to a higher level in this film.

I wanted more. I especially wanted more of Michael Jai White who’s only in about five minutes of the movie, which was a bit of a disappointment. I kept waiting for him to show up and you do get glimpses of him from time to time, but not enough to warrant top-billing in the film as a whole. Seeing the cover, I was excited about the prospect of seeing an African-American in a leading role in a slasher flick. Sadly, I felt misled.

While I enjoyed the film for what it was, I feel like there was a lot of potential for a stronger story involving the Crooked Man character and a chance to develop stronger characters to battle him. I mean, I get that it’s a TV movie, but I still believe that TV movies can be solid, structured stories with multi-dimensional and motivated characters.

The Crooked Man is available now on DVD.

What’s your favorite boogeyman movie? Please leave a comment and let us know!

Cohen Media Group: Come What May – Blu-ray Review

When it comes to stories about war and conflicts around the world, too often we forget about the citizens that are many times permanently affected by the violence that has come to their front door. Too often the story is about the militaries and their strategies rather than they men, women, and children whose lives are disrupted and destroyed without their consent or even knowledge.

Come What May explores humanity among the chaos as Germany invades France during the early days of World War II. Hans is a dedicated father who lives in Germany with his young son, Max. While they may be German, Hans is against the Nazi regime and the evil it stands for. Fleeing to Germany, he’s eventually arrested and thrown in jail for lying about his nationality to French officials, leaving his son under the care of the locals of the town they had fled to.

As the Nazis begin their invasion, Hans and the other prisoners are released and his mission becomes to do whatever it takes to get back to his son. Teamed up with a Scottish soldier, Hans follows clues left by his son to find him and the other villagers who have left their small town behind out of fear for their lives. As Hans dodges the threat of Nazis as he travels toward where he hopes his son and the villagers have gone, it becomes less of a quest for a reunion and more a quest of survival.

What I found most intriguing about the film was its intermixing of the German, French, and English languages throughout the narrative. As people from myriad countries merge together, you can see how it was imperative that knowing at least one other language could mean the difference between life and death, especially in the throes of war.

Come What May is a beautifully shot, expertly acted film that respects its subject and explores part of the German invasion that I haven’t seen covered that often in film form. The Blu-ray includes a variety of special features, which include:

Making of Come What May

Behind-the-Scenes with Ennio Morricone

Audio Commentary with Director Christian Carrion

Interview with Director Christian Carion and Richard Pena, former program director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center

I highly recommend Come What May. It’s an impactful film that resonates with you long after it’s ended.

Come What May is available now on Blu-ray.

American Pastoral – Blu-ray Review

The United States of America has gone through its share of evolutionary changes over its history. Some good. Some not so good. And through it all we have persevered as a nation; taking each challenge and overcoming it as a united people. Even when things looked bleak, when mores and values were questioned, and when the status quo was challenged, America survived and trudged onward to witness another day.

American Pastoral embodies this conceit: a country at a crossroads between seeming idealism and rampant anarchy. The elders content to live in a state of denial about the travesties that befall their fellow man, while the younger generation is ready to rise up and tear down the structures that have oppressed minorities, women, and other for generations.

Set against the backdrop of the 1960s, American Pastoral revolves around the relationship between a father a daughter and the generational tensions that arise between them. Seymour “Swede” Levov (Ewan McGregor) is a proud husband and father living life as the manager of glove-making factory. His past is filled with successes as is his wife Dawn’s (Jennifer Connelly) past, but they are concerned about the present and future of their daughter, Merry.

As Merry goes from being a young girl to a teen (played by Dakota Fanning), it soon becomes clear -despite their denials – that something is up with their daughter. Merry has embraced the rebellious counterculture of the decade speaking out against racism, corporate America, and Vietnam. This leaves her out of step with her more traditional parents who do their best to cope with here behavior, but the task is often too much to bear.

After Seymour suggests that Merry work to bring her message to the rural town they live in, a tragic event throws the entire area into disarray. Was Merry responsible for the atrocity? With her in the wind, Seymour takes it upon himself to solve the mystery of his daughter’s disappearance and bring her home by any means necessary.

American Pastoral is a timely and still-relevant tale given the recent political upheaval and rebellion taking place in our nation today. It asks the questions, How far is too far when fighting for a cause? and What are you willing to sacrifice to have a societal impact? For better or worse, this film speaks to these questions and also explores a myriad themes that can be seen anytime you scroll through your newsfeed on your phone.

Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut was quite impressive, especially given that he had to act and direct himself on his first outing as director. Everyone in the film does a superb job.

The Blu-ray includes two excellent documentaries about the making of the film: American Pastoral: Adapting an American Classic and Making the American Dream, along with Audio Commentary by Ewan McGregor.

I highly recommend American Pastoral. It is a well-made and timely film.

American Pastoral is available now on DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital Download.