Despite what other reviews say, the default colors of my new Dell 23″ UltraSharp U2312HM e-IPS with white LED backlight are a bit off. However, after applying tftcentral settings the colors become perfect. The only problem is obvious backlight bleeding in the bottom right hand corner when showing a black screen. My unit may have more bleeding than other reviewed units on the web, so it is somewhat worse than I have hoped. Anyway, in this price range there is no other choice that is better, and I’m pleased with this purchase.
夢遊 (Sleepwalker) (video release 2011-12-21) is a thriller that involves children kidnapping. The best thing with this movie is its portrayal of how the mothers face the death of their lost children, rather than the few scares. I also like how the dreams play a significant role at the end.
I like Final Destination 5 (死神5來了) (video release 2011-12-27) for its nice little surprise at the end. It tried to add a new type of threat that was not in the 4 other movies. It’s also the perfect movie to watch with your girl friend or wife if you want to dissuade her from having a LASIK treatment. Note: there is some Cantonese dialogue in the movie.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (神探福爾摩斯:詭影遊戲) (HK movie release 2011-12-15) has the best Matrix style cinematography (in one of the action sequences) since the Matrix trilogy. Comparing this with MI4 for entertainment value, I’d say this movie has a better story than MI4 but the latter has more exciting action scenes. It also has very interesting interactions between the two lead actors, whereas MI4 is just Tom Cruise and a bunch of expendable characters.
I like all of 新海 誠’s anime productions. 追逐繁星的孩子 (Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below) (video release 2011-11-25) exceeded all my expectations for another movie from him. Breathtaking visuals. Excellent music. Most important of all is its story – instead of just having people separate from each other, this movie explores death, and how the surviving members face the loss of their loved ones, via an imaginative environment and mythology. This is a very serious and exceptional movie.
Although the trailer of Rise of the Planet of the Apes (猿人爭霸戰：猩凶革命) (video release 2011-12-13) did not attract me, I found the movie to be a good drama. I like its hint of how humanity destroyed itself, instead of simply being defeated by apes. I also like this movie more than the 2001 Tim Burton version. Andy Serkis (the ape) acted well.
Mission Impossible (4): Ghost Protocol (職業特工隊：鬼影約章) (HK movie release 2011-12-15) has really great action and unconventional action sequences. It accomplishes the impossible feat of executing life threatening actions while being funny at the same moment. Although the plot and the actions are impossible, and there are things not explained, it is still one of the best action movies of this year.
Last update: 2012-8-21
The same problem (see below for the original article) occurred again in the second week of February 2012. Seems to be triggered by a kernel header update. (During mid-2012, there has been several months in which this problem did not occur so I originally thought this was fixed. Sadly in August 2012 it occurred again.)
This time I used the following steps when it stuck at Checking Battery State:
Press Ctrl-Alt-F1 to bring up a terminal then login
sudo service lightdm stop sudo service lightdm start
This will bring up the ubuntu desktop (but does not solve the problem on reboot), so I can do some web searches if necessary. Please note that I use a Z68 chipset PC with on-board graphics. Any other hardware configuration may very well be different in the steps required to fix similar problems.
I launched a terminal, then type:
dpkg --get-selections | grep nvidia
It only shows nvidia-common. (It is very likely you will get different results if you use a hardware configuration different from mine.) I need to reinstall this, so I typed:
sudo apt-get remove --purge nvidia-common
It reported that nvidia-common is used by ubuntu-desktop which is also removed. To get both reinstalled, I typed:
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
I made sure it also reinstalled nvidia-common. After it finished, I shutdown the PC and restarted it to confirm it can boot properly.
After Ubuntu 11.10 performed an automatic update, it refused to boot up, and was stuck at Checking Battery State. After some google searches, I tried purging and reinstalling (sudo apt-get install) the following packages:
It still did not work. Installing gdm instead of lightdm would allow logging in, but the interface is different. And some UI things seem strange. Plus unity-3D would not work.
Some people solved the problem by reinstalling the nvidia driver. However, I’m using a Z68 chipset system with on-board Intel graphics (i.e. I have no nVidia hardware), so I should not need to do it. Strangely doing a “dpkg –get-selections | grep nvidia” would show “nvidia-common”. So I tried reinstalling it, then the normal login screen can be shown. (Some people say it is also necessary to “rm -f ~/.Xauthority”.)
At this point, logging in unity-3D would be abnormal (just show a menu on top), but unity (2D) worked. Then I did the followings to recover the unity-3D:
- rm -rf .config/compiz-1/
- rm -rf .compiz*
- rm -rf .gconf/apps/compiz*
- rm -rf .cache/compizconfig-1/
- unity –reset
Toke me 3 hours to solve this.
Sector 7 (七號異煞) (HK movie release 2011-12-8) is a Korean ripoff of Alien. Although Koreans criticized it for having poor CG, I think its CG is acceptable for a Korean production. My problem with this movie is that it is not particularly effective, the monster design is a mess and uninspired, a certain scene is really fake, the heroine’s obsession is not explained to international audience (it is a common knowledge in Korea but not elsewhere), an important portion of the movie is too dark for 3D, etc.
I knew that Sigourney Weaver was good in the Alien series, but after watching this ripoff, I realize that she was so good that few other heroines can come close.