Friday, February 20, 2015

5 Apps for Movie Fanatics

Texting has become enough of a social annoyance that movie theaters now ask viewers to turn off their phones before the movie begins. Everyone hates “that guy” that answers his phone during a flick, but theaters also want their customers to stop texting during movies, as the light of the phone screen can distract others. That being said, your smartphone is still a wonderful tool if you’re a movie fanatic--just don’t use it once you get to your seat! Here are some awesome movie apps you should download onto your phone if you haven’t already.

Purchase tickets, rate movies, look up showtimes and watch trailers all from this free app. Fandango has recently added original programming and a mobile ticket option to its repertoire. You no longer have to swipe your credit card at a kiosk to print your tickets. Fandango generates a QR code that the movie theater employee can scan right from your phone. Talk about saving time--especially if you’re late for the movie!


The famous movie website also has an app counterpart. Think of IMDB as the Wikipedia of movies--but with verified facts. If you’re a trivia fanatic, or simply can’t remember the name of “that guy” from a movie you saw years ago, IMDB can help you find that information and much more. Connect with fellow movie fanatics on the IMDB forums and read up on the latest movie news. You can also watch trailers for upcoming movies and read about celebrities and other entertainment events.


This app makes a game out of watching movies and television shows. With GetGlue, you can check in (much like Foursquare) and let your friends and families know what you’re watching on the small or silver screen. This app can link to your favorite social media sites and you can make friends with the other users. GetGlue awards you with special stickers after a certain amount of check-ins, or if you check in during the season premiere (or finale) of a show. You can then request a print out of these stickers, which get sent to you for free.

Watch TCM

If you’re living in the past and love the Golden Age of cinema, this app is for you. You can watch live streams of the Turner Classic Movies channel via the app as well as watch a ton of movies without any commercial interruption. View the upcoming movie schedules and plan what you would like to watch, then share your opinions with fellow movie fans. The app also connects to the site’s blog page, and you can view never-before-seen images of Old Hollywood stars and movie sets. The app itself is free, but you will need to log in using your cable service provider information. It’s worth it to have access to all of these amazing films.


This app has a number of accolades. It is the most downloaded movie app in the Apple App Store and Lifehacker.com has labeled Flixter the best app for movie showtimes. Like Fandango, you can purchase tickets and read reviews, but Flixter is connected to another famous movie website, Rotten Tomatoes. You can download and stream movies and television shows as well as check out the latest movie trailers. Add your own movie review to the mix and use Flixter to create a list of movies you want to watch or eliminate the ones you don’t want to watch from your options. Considering you can manage your Netflix queue via Flixter as well, this is one app every movie lover must have. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Classic Sports Movies to Add to Your Collection

Baseball Edition

We love “best of” lists when it comes to building our movie collection. It's hard to find the right movies to place on our shelves when we consider the vast amount of films created all over the world. So, every now and then we will give you a list of our favorite films as a suggestion. Think of it as your cheat sheet to movie research. You might not agree with our picks, but you might be inspired to watch one you haven't seen yet and then add it to your home theater library. 

Field of Dreams (1989) – “If you build it, he will come.” So many famous quotes seem to come from sports movies and Field of Dreams spawned one of the most misquoted lines in history! In 1989, Kevin Costner starred in this film that combines magic, nostalgia, and baseball. Costner's character (Ray Kinsella) hears voices that inspire him to build a baseball diamond in his backyard. This diamond brings the ghosts of famous baseball players to play in front of the small town—one of those players being the ghost of Kinsella's father. This movie is said to be the movie to make even the most macho man cry, so keep that in mind, but it's also a great escapist film that makes you wish you could build a baseball diamond of your own.

Major League (1989) – Before Charlie Sheen was dating questionable women, tearing up Las Vegas and talking about tiger blood, he portrayed Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn in the Major League movie series. This flick is about the Cleveland Indians road to the playoffs. The team ends up with a new owner that wants the Indians to lose in order to move them out of Ohio. Once the players learn about their new owner's plot, they decide to start playing well on purpose, both to spite their owner and keep the team in Cleveland. If you enjoy the first Major League movie, make sure to check out the sequel that was released in 1994. Sheen returns in the sequel and the film keeps the same tone and humor of the first movie in the franchise.

A League Of Their Own (1992) – “There's no crying in baseball!” How many times have you heard that one? Directed by Penny Marshall (of Laverne & Shirley fame) this movie sheds light on the lives of female baseball players in the US during World War II. With the men off to war, women took over a lot of jobs once only done by men—including baseball. With an all-star cast including Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, and Madonna, it's hard not to enjoy this classic. Baseball intertwined with politics and societies a lot back in the day, and this movie shows one of those instances in a comedic, yet memorable way.

The Sandlot (1993) – “You're killing me, Smalls!” Maybe you've heard your friends say it before, and I'm sure you've seen a clip of a freckle-faced redhead boy in a catcher's mask yelling “Play ball!” at a game. Well, that clip and that quote are from The Sandlot. This classic is about the summer adventures of a group of boys and their neighborhood baseball games. Other classic lines, like “You play ball like a girl!” (also used at sports games) come from this comedic and nostalgic film. For those of you that keep thinking about the good ol' days and your childhood, The Sandlot is a must.

42  (2013) – Although this was a recent entry into the world of baseball movies, it should still have a spot in your movie collection. 42 is the story of Jackie Robinson, the first black Major League Baseball player, and the struggles he had to go through to earn the respect of racist fans, players, and managers. It is a touching story, sometimes hard to watch (only because of how awful he was treated) that ends up teaching the audience a very important lesson—that baseball fans can be of any color, and from any walk of life, as can its players.

Friday, August 15, 2014

5 Movie Endings We STILL can't figure out

SPOILER ALERT! The movies in this article ARE a  few years old, so we'll hold back on saying I told you so if you continue to read on. If you haven't seen these movies you should probably schedule some time and put them in your Netflix queue-- they’re well worth watching, even if we don’t fully grasp the ending.

Inception (2010)

Christopher Nolan's ensemble cast film left many moviegoers very angry, mostly because the ending left the movie’s biggest question unanswered. In our current culture of immediate satisfaction, the obscure ending just wasn't what the audience wanted to see. In Inception, a movie about the layers of our dreams and how our reality influences them, we are introduced to the concept of a token. This item lets characters know whether they are in a dream or not. If they can knock the item down, they are in the real world, but if the item does not fall over, they are still dreaming. Well, the movie ends with Leo DiCaprio’s token (a top) spinning and spinning. Just as you think it wobbles and is about to fall the movie ends, leaving you wondering if the final happy moment between DiCaprio’s character and his family is indeed a dream or reality.

The Shining (1980)

This Stanley Kubrick film, based on a novel by horror master Stephen King, gave us some key pop culture quotes and scenes. Who could forget Jack Nicholson’s crazed visage peering through the broken door and yelling, “Here’s Johnny!” ? But believe it or not, many people have not seen the movie in its entirety--they just know the quotes.  If you have seen the movie, the ending doesn't leave you hanging as much as Inception’s ending, but we are still left with a big question. We discover that Jack Nicholson's character has actually been in that hotel for a very, very long time, appearing in photos from the 1920’s. Does that mean his wife and child are also ghosts? Is Nicholson’s character reincarnated? Is any of it real at all? People still debate the movie’s ending and its creepy scenes today.

K-Pax (2001)

This movie isn't as well known as the others on our list, but the ending is just as mysterious. In K-Pax, Kevin Spacey plays a man that claims to be from another planet. His psychiatrist, Jeff Bridges, tries to convince him otherwise, but starts to doubt his own knowledge of medicine. Throughout the entire movie we are wondering if Spacey is indeed an alien from the planet K-Pax or just a mentally ill man.  The movie explores the concept of science, psychology, and insanity, but it also makes you wonder if people that are institutionalized are actually as crazy as we think. Was Spacey’s character indeed from another planet? We don’t know.


The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

This movie brought very little closure to fans of the Wachowski brothers famous trilogy. People had a difficult time fully understanding the concept of The Matrix the first time around, and Revolutions didn’t seem to add anything concrete to the situation. The characters Oracle and The Architect didn’t clarify much of anything--instead, they seemed to have confused fans even more. Finally, at the end, the audience is left wondering: Did Neo become part of the I Matrix? Was he actually killed in his final battle against Agent Smith? We have yet to find out.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

If you could even sit through this lengthy, somewhat strange Kubrick movie, the ending will have you wondering what in the world you actually watched. The movie has very little dialogue, and we go from apes and a monolith to astronauts in a space ship without much of a bridge. People are mostly familiar with Hal 9000-but if you've seen the image of the giant baby floating in space and wondered what in the world it had to do with the movie--join the club. We still don't know if that is the reincarnation of the main character or something else entirely. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Star Wars Episode VII

Photo Credit - GeekyTyrant.com

In case you didn't already know, there's a new Star Wars movie in the works. The prequel trilogy wasn't as well received as George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, would hope. He created one of the most hated characters in Star Wars history, Jar Jar Binks, and simultaneously took away the magic and mystery of the concept of The Force by introducing midichlorians. If you don't know what those are, trust me, you're better off.

Now, JJ Abrams, of both Star Trek and LOST fame, is working on the yet to be titled Star Wars Episode VII . The film was supposed to be released next Christmas, while the other movies traditionally had May release dates, but on-set injuries and scheduling issues have delayed filming. There’s still a lot we don’t know about the next installment in the Star Wars franchise. Movie news sites are clamoring for information about the film, as breaking any legitimate news would be important for the site’s numbers and reputation. However, to keep you from being totally lost, we’re going to go ahead and get you up to date with the low down on Star Wars: Episode VII.

What We Know

Photo Credit - HollywoodReporter.com
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher will all return. That means you will once again see Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia on the big screen, albeit much older. Fan favorite sidekicks like R2-D2, C-3PO and Chewbacca will be back as well, with the original actors Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, and Peter Mayhew, all donning the respective costumes. As for the setting, the movie will take place 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi. The movie is currently being filmed in Abu Dhabi and Pinewood Studios in England. Harrison Ford was reluctant to agree to play Han Solo again, but he finally signed on only to injure his ankle. As of now, his scenes are being put on hold until he heals, which might delay the release of the film.

What We Don’t Know

There are important questions that have yet to be answered regarding Episode VII. For example, what is the story line? Big one, right? While we know the film is set 30 years after Episode VI (Return of the Jedi) and we know the key players in the original cast are coming back, will the movie focus on the characters or their offspring? The Star Wars Universe goes beyond the silver screen. The Expanded Universe (EU) is a series of video games, novels, and comic books that further explore that galaxy far, far away. In the EU, Han, Leia, and Luke all have their own families. These children grow up to become major players, Jedi and Sith, in the Star Wars world. Is that what Episode VII will focus on? We still don’t know, but we can’t wait to find out.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Independence Day Sale - Final Days to Save!

6% off your orderCelebrate Independence Day with a new Home Theater.  

Right now you can order the Octane edge in Premium Leather for up to 25% off.  Looking for a different model?  Receive up to $350 off your order, with free white glove delivery and more!   Check out our final days savings event and make this Independence day one to remember!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

World Cup Party 2014

It's almost time for the World Cup finals, and while your team may or may not have a chance at glory, you can still plan an awesome party to watch the game with all of your friends. First, make sure you have an official headcount of your guests. You wouldn't want to leave someone to sit on the floor with a living room full of awesome recliners and sofas. While you might spend most of your time on your feet cheering your chosen team, you definitely want a spot to relax during half-time, so make sure the living room is set up and ready to go. Once you have your room ready and you've got your headcount, it's time to cook and decorate—or order food. We won't judge you.

Custom Drinks

They don't have to be alcoholic, just keep colors in mind. Look for recipes for punch in different colors to match the flags of the final teams. If you don't mind serving alcoholic beverages, you can follow the same color idea but with an alcoholic recipe, or explore the culture of Brazil, the hosts of the 2014, by whipping up some caipirinhas. All you need is ice, some limes, white sugar, and some cacha├ža . There is no substitute for this Brazilian liquor, so you might have to do some online shopping. Of course, we're all hoping for the USA to make it to the finals, so don't forget to keep the Coca-Cola and Pepsi nearby.


Who doesn't love sports anthems? Just remember, you want to keep the experience global. The World Cup, much like the Olympics, is a rare event that brings the entire world together, so why not explore some different music? Sure, you can go with samba, the genre of music most associated with Brazil, but you could look up some pop music popular in the final countries and add those tunes to your playlist. Don't forget the official song of the 2014 World Cup “We Are One (Ole, Ola)” featuring Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez, and Claudia Leitte. Other songs you might have heard, especially during commercials, include “La La La (Brasil 2014)” by Shakira featuring Carlinhos Brown and “Balada” by Gustavo Lima.


You might have to get a little creative when it comes to decorations. Your local party supply shop might only have decorations for kids' birthdays, but you can still incorporate smaller items like napkins  and plates with soccer motifs. Check out online bulk supply stores for other items to decorate your home like flags and whistles. If you're into collecting items, you could also display some of your favorite FIFA 2014 collectible items around your home. Coca-Cola released collectible mini-bottles of their famous soft drink displaying the flags of the various countries involved in the tournament. Panini has released collectible stickers, and stores like Wal-Mart are carrying World Cup merchandise, especially Team USA merchandise, which is more difficult to obtain than you might realize.


Arguably the best part of any gathering is the food, right? If you whip up a batch of guacamole for your chips, place it in a rectangular dish, set up pretzels as goal posts, add a few precisely placed lines of sour cream and voila! You have a mini soccer field. There are cake pans available in the shape of soccer balls as well, and a quick Pinterest search will help you find other ways to incorporate the game into your party. However, don't forget this is a wonderful opportunity to learn about different cultures. Look up a recipe for “pan de queijo”, a Brazilian cheese bread that would be a great addition to any party. Or try to prep some appetizers from a variety of countries to keep things interesting. Either way, your guests are sure to have a good time and a full stomach.

May the best team win!