Poster-Forge – Click, Create and Celebrate

Poster-Forge – Click, Create and Celebrate

IMG_1702
Source: Flickr

It is always fun to take pictures of any family occasion or during our travel sojourns and glance through them reminiscing about the good times. Imagine if there was software that would allow us to create posters with these pictures? Poster Forge is the answer to the prayers of millions of people around the world. It allows people to upload pictures they have and create movie posters, or motivational posters or maybe a wanted poster. An interesting way of exhibiting hidden talent and showing off your vivid imagination is what Poster Forge offers its users.

All you need to do is download the software from Poster Forge Homepage, install it in your computer and start the process of churning out innovative motivational posters and wanted posters. They simply need to follow the motivational poster creator templates and voila, they have a one of a kind poster. Children and adults like will enjoy using this tool as it gives them the ability to put in a picture of their choice, give it a title or maybe add quotes to make it an inspirational poster. The user can choose colours based on their preferences, add borders, or maybe make a collage of pictures in one poster. Or maybe insert a unique quote contrasting the picture thereby converting it into a demotivational poster. There are many companies who like to display motivational posters around the office, and they can make use of this software to create customized posters. These posters can be printed out into small or big size depending on where it will be placed. You can even upload them on your websites, or on other sites showing off your creative skills.

With no prior knowledge of designing or graphics, one can use Poster Forge and it’s easy to follow instructions to create interesting movie posters. With a few colorful photographs, and a unique title and create your own film posters. You don’t need any additional movie poster software but this offers all services in a concise manner. Blow up the posters you have created and put them up in your room adds to the fun element of your personality. To go a step further, you can take pictures from various other film posters, and make one big movie poster with all your favorite movie clippings.

When there is a group of boys, they always enjoy pulling pranks on each other, and what better way to do it than to create a wanted poster with your friends’ picture on it. You can do away with other expensive movie poster software, and use Poster Forge. Simply incorporate your friend’s picture and add a few interesting lines and make your personalized wanted poster that you can surprise your friend with. The latest version of Poster Forge is absolutely free. This gives you the option to create nice posters and take print outs in big size and frame them for personal use or as gifts.

Crying like a baby

Crying like a baby

Classic Space - Mobile Exploration Rover
Source: Flickr

It has been an emotional evening tonight. In my earlier blog of today I indicated that I just heard news tonight that my friend Neil passed away, something that is going through my head as we speak.
Before I heard these news I had actually been watching the movie Motorcycle Diaries which has just been released on DVD. I have been meaning to see this movie for a while now, obviously because it would show great footage of Latin America, because it is about a long road trip, a true adventure – something that a travel nut like me would obviously enjoy.
But as the movie moved on to portray significant scenes of Ernesto “Che” Guevara and Alberto Granado in the workers’ selection at the mine, their visit to Macchu Picchu, their stay in the leper colony; you could really see the transformation of the characters. A transformation from a simple travelogue, coming-of-age story of two young men to their (and particularly Ernesto’s) spiritual and political awakening, planting the seed for his future philosophies and actions.
I admit I do not know much about Ernesto “Che” Guevara other than that he was a critical figure in the Cuban Revolution and in Latin American politics in general. Of course I now feel I am going to have to educate myself a little better to really get to know who this famous figure might have been.
What did move me in the movie though was the portrayal of people’s hardships, the workers, the indigenous people, the outcasts in the lepers colony and that Ernesto reached out to them. And I was touched by the actor Gabriel Garcia Bernal’s (of Y Tu Mama Tambien, Amores Perros and Bad Education fame) extremely skillful portrayal of a sensitive young man who is just experiencing a political and spiritual awakening. A man who obviously came from the privileged class in Buenos Aires, an aspiring doctor, who dedicated himself to the cause of global justice, who didn’t shy away from refusing gloves when touching and interacting with lepers, who gave away most of the little money he had on this long road trip to a poor peasant couple who had been thrown off their land.
I found the movie extremely emotional.
To be honest, I ended up balling like a baby at the end of it, I was so moved. To me the movie perfectly personifies the human condition, all the good and all the bad that we are capable of as a human race.
In light of my upcoming trip to Cuba I’ll spend some time in the next little while to educate myself about Che Guevara. Given that his name has a very strong ideological connotation, I’ll try to investigate his persona from many different angles to give myself a more well-rounded picture of this fascinating individual.
Let the world change you…..
and you can change the world.

What are Movies Now Playing

What are Movies Now Playing

Carrie
Source: Flickr

If you’re like most human beings, you enjoy a good movie. At least once in a while. Virtually everyone likes to be entertained and movies now playing are always at your fingertips. That’s what’s so great about cyberspace. You can get the skinny any time you please regarding almost anything; including modern entertainment. So regardless if you prefer horror flicks, great dramas, romantic comedies, action films or a suspenseful thriller, you can always acquire the latest film news on what movies are play now in theaters near you.

Remember back in the day when you wanted to know all the movies now playing in local theaters? It was a bit of a hassle. First you had to get out the phonebook and look up movie theaters. Then you had to call each of them to find out which films they were currently showing and listen carefully for the times that each movie played. Naturally this process was annoying for several reasons. First of all, the line was always busy on Friday nights and second of all, if you missed what the recording said in regards to a certain time, you had to listen to the entire spiel all over again. What a hassle and utter pain in the keyster. Anyway, in this modern day of Internet and computer convenience, that whole routine is out the window. Simply pop open a search engine and key in the phrase “movies now playing” or “current new releases.” Suddenly you’ll be flooded with movie trailers to watch and the times each film is showing at local theaters. Now that’s awesome!

Aside for knowing which movies are now playing, you’ll more than likely want to view a few trailers to better understand your film options. Since you’re going to fork out the cash on theater tickets and concessions, you may as well get your money’s worth. Try websites such as apple trailers. This is an outstanding place to begin reviewing current films playing now in theaters. Watch the preview and see if you’re even interested in viewing the film. Furthermore, take a peek at how critics rated the movie overall. This can sometimes effect your decision to watch a certain new release film.

Real-life Rambos Struggle with PTSD

Real-life Rambos Struggle with PTSD

A Christmas Story House
Source: Flickr

Rambo is a term that has become synonymous with gung-ho action and a persona that has become attached to the identity of movie action star Sylvester Stallone. Today, “Rambo” is a word that is used to denote military or individual aggression. It is also used to refer to a person who is heroic and, at the same, time capable of perpetrating extreme violence.

Taken from the 1982 movie that was originally entitled First Blood, the film is about the character named John James Rambo, a member of the elite U.S. Army Green Berets. Deployed in Vietnam, he fought against the Vietcong and North Vietnamese soldiers by using guerrilla tactics and jungle warfare strategy. Based on the novel where the the screenplay was adapted from, Rambo was caught by North Vietnamese soldiers in November 1971 and was subjected to inhuman torture and abuse in one of the infamous POW camps. Together with other American prisoners of war, Rambo suffered extreme episodes of physical torment in the hands of his captors. He experienced almost daily beatings, water torture, electrocution, and other forms of inflicting pain. After six months of “living hell”, Rambo was able to escape from the POW camp. After a period of recuperation, he was again re-deployed to Vietnam and was finally honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1974.

Rambo’s return to civilian life was not easy. The ’70s was a period of student activism that was characterized by the growth of the so-called peace movement and “flower power.” During that period, the United States became divided over the issue of the Vietnam War. Many student protests centered on the claim that the Vietnam War was an unjust war and that the United States was actually committing an act of aggression. Many soldiers and veterans like Rambo, most of whom were only drafted into the war, were subjected to protest, ridicule, and contempt. Civilian protesters saw men like Rambo as warmongers and anti-peace. But during that time, now many were aware of the depression experienced by many soldiers who had to fight in Vietnam. They, too, were against the war but had to fulfill their duty as military servicemen. The stress and anxiety of always being under fire and not knowing if it was already their “last day” made soldiers in Vietnam oppose the war as much as the civilian protesters.

Like many Vietnam veterans, Rambo suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. The novel depicts Rambo as a person who was deeply struggling with his past experiences in Vietnam. After losing his job as a mechanic, Rambo became a drifter and wandered from town to town. In the movie, Rambo got into trouble after a local sheriff imprisoned him for possession of a jungle knife. In jail, he was again subjected to torture. The injustice he suffered under the hands of his captors made his decide to escape. The police, together with the National Guard, launched a manhunt. However, Rambo was able to elude and deter the armed troops who were sent to hunt him. He again used his Green Beret skills to survive and deter his pursuers. Later in the movie, Rambo attacked the town center where the cruel sheriff was hiding. To avert the further escalation of violence, Army Colonel Trautman came and persuaded Rambo to surrender to him. The colonel was Rambo’s commanding officer in Vietnam.

Like the movie and the character of Rambo, thousands of Vietnam veterans suffered from PTSD. Many fell on a path to self-destruction by getting hooked on drugs and committing violent acts. Others were not able to manage the guilt, frustration, anger, and rage they felt after completing their tours of duty in Vietnam. Many veterans were diagnosed with PTSD and other psychosis.

While the movie did not show that Rambo received professional help for his struggle with PTSD, in real life, many war veterans had to receive psychological or psychiatric treatment. These veterans were made to take antidepressant prescriptions in order for them to manage their symptoms of depression, guilt, rage, and other self-destructive emotions and behavior. For many war veterans, getting through a day with some semblance of normalcy required the use of anti-anxiety medication. Their treatment was also complemented by counseling, a process that helped them vent out their anger, frustrations, and fears.

Unlike the movie, real-life soldiers are not invincible Rambos who can go through life without seeking professional help in dealing with the war-time experiences, emotional struggles, and psychological burdens.

Another installment of the Rambo movie series will be shown in 2008. It remains to be seen whether the issue of PTSD would be made a central issue in the movie since it is now a highly relevant matter. Today’s conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are producing more and more soldiers who, like Rambo, have to fight and win their own internal battles.

Want To Watch Movies On Your PSP?

Want To Watch Movies On Your PSP?

A Christmas Story House
Source: Flickr

The Sony PSP was originally developed for playing cutting edge video games. This is what the PSP can do best. It has got superb display and sound quality and a media called UMD (Universal Media Disc) for mass storage.

But besides playing games the developers had another cool application for the console in mind: Watching movies and video clips. The display of the PSP has the perfect ‘wide-screen’ format to display current movies in their full wide-screen format. It turns out that the resolution of the PSP display is able to render movies in a quality that you normally wouldn’t expect from a small device like this.

If you have even been on a flight were people left and right of you just watch the board movie you know how it is if you take you PSP and watch your favorite Star Trek episode. You know how good it feels to get all these envious looks. Some people may pretend they are not watching – others will openly ask you: ‘Hey, I didn’t know you could watch movies like that with a PSP – I bought this for my son but I thought it was just for video games.’ So many times I have heard this or a similar statement.

In general people are surprised by the quality of the image displayed by the PSP. If you hold the PSP in your hand you get a sufficient details level to enjoy an entire movie.

There are two ways to watch movies on your PSP: One is to buy movies on UMDs. These are available in most electronic shops where they sell PSP games. The discs are even smaller than the old mini-CDs that the record industry tried to establish.

However, you cannot buy all movies on UMD. Especially TV-series are not usually found on UMDs. Also, if you already have your favorite movies at home on a DVD you don’t want to buy them again. Especially since the price of a UMD can be even higher than the DVD.

The second option that is very trendy right now is to download PSP movies from the net or convert your existing DVDs and transfer the movie to the PSP.

Unfortunately UMDs are not writable so the only place where you can store a movie on a PSP is the memory stick. The memory stick was designed to hold saved games, but Sony quickly realized that people wanted to put all kinds of things on the PSP like music and videos. So now memory sticks with 1GB or more are easily available and affordable.

For watching movie you should have a memory stick of at least 1GB. Anything smaller will not give you’re the full length or quality for a movie.

Fortunately there is software available that automatically converts a DVD into the right format and transfers it to the DVD.

Turn You iPod Into A Theatre With Your Favorite Movies On Your iPod

Turn You iPod Into A Theatre With Your Favorite Movies On Your iPod

A Christmas Story House
Source: Flickr

First it was music, and it was great, then there were photos, and it was excellent, now its videos and movies then it became fantastic. After four generations, the iPod is now truly a complete multimedia.

With so much fanfare and anticipation, iPod finally released its iPod video capable of playing movies for your viewing pleasure. You now not only would be able to spend countless hours of listening to music, you can also play the movies that you want to see.

Relieve those memories on the road with your downloaded home movies. Be able to share them easily with your friends and relatives. All you have to do is plug in your iPod in a television set and you’re good to go. Sharing videos and movies have not been this easier.

You can also transfer those movie files from one computer to one another. Just by simply plugging them in a dock. With the new features of the iPod, you won’t need to bring different gadgets for your photos, music and movies anymore.

But it’s not just about downloading the video. The iPod uses their own video format so you still have to convert your movies if you want to be able to watch them on your iPod. They play MP4 and M4V file formats.

For those who are still in the dark on how to put your movies in your iPod, her is a step by step procedure on how to do it:

1. First, you have to make sure that the video is in the MP4 or MPEG4 file format. If not, you have to download a video converter to do this task. There are lots of video converters for free in the internet for you to download. After downloading, install your video converter. Generally, they have the same methods on how to convert a different video file format to MPEG4.

• From the drop down file menu, click on open file, go to the folder where your chosen file is, and open it.

• Choose the format wherein you want your video to be converted to. You can do this in the options menu. You should choose MPEG4 or MP4 as the file format.

• Then you know have the option of choosing which parts or segments of the movie you want to save and convert. You can just click on the starting point of the movie, there is usually a progress bar in the program, and where you want it to end. If you want to convert the whole movie then there is no need to do that.

• Choose the folder where you want to converted file to go, then convert.

2. Then go to iTunes, this is the software bundled with your iPod with the CD that comes with the package. Once iTunes is open, just click add file to the library, this can be found in the file menu. There you will select the folder where your converted movie is.

3. Plug your iPod video to your computer.

4. Open up a window for your iPod then just drag and drop the file to transfer it.

5. You may now test the movie by watching it in your iPod. Then you may now enjoy watching the movie in your iPod anytime and anywhere.

Then there you have it. With some accessories, you can share the videos with all your friends and families. If you have a large capacity hard disk, you can enjoy many hours of movies and videos in your iPod.

Buying DVD: Is it worth it?

Buying DVD: Is it worth it?

day 16. Warner brothers delux tour 95
Source: Flickr

There are a lot of good audio/video players available especially for movie enthusiast but is “good” enough? Guess not. Video and audio performance in all modern DVD players is excellent. Personal preferences, your budget, and your existing home theater setup all play a large role in determining which player is best for you. The budget and quality should be taken into consideration before buying the product by most consumers.

When we talk about quality, DVD is the new generation of optical technology. DVD is essentially a much bigger and faster CD that can hold cinema-like videos, better-than-CD audio, still photos, and computer data. DVD aims to bring home entertainment, computers, and business information with a single digital format. DVD has the capability to produce near-studio-quality video and better-than-CD-quality audio. DVD is vastly superior to consumer videotape and generally better than laserdiscs.

Most players support a standard set of features such as Language choice (for automatic selection of video scenes, audio tracks, subtitle tracks, and menus). Special effects playback: freeze, step, slow, fast, and scan. Parental lock (for denying playback of discs or scenes with objectionable material). Programmability (playback of selected sections in a desired sequence). Random play and repeat play. Digital audio output. Recognition and output of DTS Digital Surround audio tracks. Playback of audio CDs. Instant search to title, chapter, music track, and timecode. Durable (no wear from playing, only from physical damage). Compact size (easy to handle, store, and ship; players can be portable; replication is cheaper than tapes or laserdiscs).

The primary advantages of DVD are video quality, surround sound, and extra features. In addition, DVD will not degrade with age by overplaying it like a videotape hence it will allow you save lots of money and be able to collect your favorite movie and televisions shows for years and still be able to play it over and over again.

Most movie experts choose DVD as their preference for movie entertainment because of high quality resolution and excellent audio performance giving an excellent movie experience in their homes! Try it and see it for yourself and you’ll learn than every penny spent is worth it!

An Introduction To Portable DVD Players

An Introduction To Portable DVD Players

Vasiliy Merkurev
Source: Flickr

Portable DVD Players

Undoubtedly, DVD players are one of the most popular electronic gadgets. PDAs, plasma televisions, laptops, personal computers and cell phones are some of the other popular electronic gadgets. With the DVD players you can enjoy watching movie without conceding home comfort.

Viewing a popular entertaining movie during journey relieves you of the boredom. Portable DVD player offers you an opportunity to view your favorite movie even during plane, bus or cruise ship journey. A headphone is the common feature of portable DVD players. This helps you avoiding distractions caused by the chatters of co-passengers.

You must check for the following whenever you are buying a portable DVD player.

• Select the portable DVD player with your desired screen size

• Consider the weight and dimensions of portable DVD player

• Confirm about the disc formats (CD-RW, CD-R, DVD-R etc) supported by portable DVD player you intend to buy.

• Check for the output offered by the DVD player based on requirement (either for audio or video)

• Check that portable DVD player has built-in screen. Many portable DVD players come with this feature. Larger screen are considered as best option.

• Portable DVD players with virtual surround sound offers you clear sound and enhance the enjoyment of viewing movie.

Usually, LCD screen with 16:9 wide screen ratio active matrix is used in most of the portable DVD players.

Portable DVD Player Reviews: Many reviewers agree that picture quality, screen size, quality of batteries (life, size and connectivity) used in the portable DVD player, sound quality are the main features of portable DVD players. You will find number of portable DVD player reviews on web sites. Not necessarily all the reviews will be in agreement with the consumers as a particular portable DVD player review may be posted on the site with an aim of product promotion.

Dual Screen Portable DVD Player: As indicated from the nomenclature, these dual screen DVD players have two separate LCD screen. This type of DVD players is manufactured primarily for use of car travelers. Both screens are connected to the common DVDE playback unit via video/audio cables. Usually, screens are mounted on the back side of front seat. These dual screen portable DVD players have two sets of wireless headphones. If the batteries of DVD player exhaust, you can power it with the help of cars electric port. Two screens can be used independently as per your requirement. For example, you can enjoy the viewing of movie on one screen and your kids can play video games on other.

Dual screen portable DVD players are more popular amongst kids and teenagers. The reason behind this popularity is that children can play video games or view movie during journey and they can take it to outdoor weekends.

Best portable DVD Players: Portable DVD players with following features are regarded as best portable DVD players.

• Built-in stereo speaker system with cordless headphones for optional quiet and personal listening

• DVD players that provide movie viewing option in progressive scan on LCD through s-video or AV output connection. Some portable DVD players have feature of Dolby Digital sound decoding system with digital coaxial audio output connection

• Portable DVD players that have anti-skip protection to ensure the optimum viewing quality

• Portable DVD players with weatherproof bags. These weatherproof bags protect the DVD player from damaging effects caused by dust, moisture and water.

Portable car DVD players: Dual screen portable DVD players are considered most suitable for travelers who undertake frequent car journeys with their families. In fact, apart from necessity, it has become a symbol of status. To attract more customers, some car manufacturers offer built-in portable DVD players in their new models. Portable car DVD players are nice way to lessen your boredom during journey. You can spend some pleasant time while viewing your favorite movie and children can enjoy their video games (if you have dual screen portable car DVD player. Some of the DVD players are quipped with digital picture zoom interactive feature. 3D virtual surround, Slow motion (1/8, 1/4 1/2) and parental locks are the common features of most of portable DVD players.

The Netflix Phenomena

The Netflix Phenomena

day 16. Warner brothers delux tour 12
Source: Flickr

For years now Netflix has been providing a service like no other. They are the pioneers of the Internet movie renting era. They are the ones that started the entire concept of renting your movies online for less and for millions of people this has meant affordable and convenient renting schedules unlike those of Blockbuster and other old fashioned movie stores.
The days of driving like crazy to the rental store just to get that new release are long gone and it is primarily thanks to the service that Netflix provides. It is ingenious really. You are able to rent many more movies for less than you have paid in the past. In fact, there is no limit to the number of movies that you can rent from this particular service. If you pay the full movie rental package price you can rent as many as you can watch in a month and never pay more than the membership price. The mail is always reliable and safe which is another bonus of Netflix over some of their direct competitors.
There is nothing easier than renting movies online. All you have to do is sign up for a membership and start choosing the movies that you want to watch at home. Netflix has over 45,000 movies to choose from so it is not like you are going to have a hard time choosing the ones that your entire family will enjoy. The movies come in the mail in one or two days every time and you can watch them at your leisure. That is what makes this service so popular with your average movie watcher. Being able to take your time with each movie is priceless. You never get charged late fees no matter how long you have kept the movie.
It is important that you get to know just how Netflix works before you sign up for a membership. You will be able to start choosing movies right away. As you choose titles they will form a queue. You can arrange this list or queue any way that you want, most people arrange it so that the movies they most want to see are at the top of the list. The top three movies will be sent to your home immediately and they will arrive in one or two days. If by chance one of the movies is not available then Netflix will automatically move down to the next available movie on this list.
When the movies are sent to you, there will also be a return envelope that you can put the movies into when it comes time to return them to Netflix. For every movie that you send back another from your queue will be sent out to you, this assures that you will never be movieless on a Saturday night again! And the return package is postage paid as well so you never have to get stamps or get the package weighed or any of that regular mailing hassle.
The fact that there are so many great movies to choose from is what has made Netflix such a hit over the last seven years. They get all of the top new releases right away and they have a great selection of the old classics and cult hits. Everything from action to comedy to animated features is available at Netflix and you can get as many of them as you want per month. And look at it this way, they never close either which only adds to the convenience associated with Netflix.
Netflix has a great range of membership plans for you to choose from and they start for under ten dollars a month. There are never any hidden charges with Netflix, never. You will not have to pay any shipping either to you or back to Netflix so this is never a concern and all you have to pay is your monthly membership plan price. And for those of you who are thinking that this sounds too good to be true there is a free two week trial that is available so that you can see just how easy and convenient Netflix really is to use.

Whatever Happened To…


Source: Flickr

There are certain props in entertainment that you never forget. They become so much of your life and your heart that the mere memory of them calls up visions, feelings and scenes to play over and over in your head. Those are the movie props that transcend just the need to collect and be put in someone’s vault at the MGM studios, but are important enough that everyone should know where they are. These items aren’t just part of a picture; they are part of our common heritage, our culture and our joy. But, where are they?

There’s No Place Like Home

Ask anyone who saw the 1939 version of the Wizard of Oz what is the most vivid image they remember and they will tell you one of two things: The witch scrawling “Surrender Dorothy” in the sky, or the brilliant red ruby slippers tapping their heels as Dorothy remembers there is no place like home. Where are the slippers now? There were 6 pairs of slippers made for the movie, 5 of them for Judy Garland and one made for a stunt double. Of the actual 5 for the movie, one set resides in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC and are available for public view. Three other pairs have changed hands many times and been auctioned repeatedly (one selling at Christie’s auction house in 2000 for $666,000) and now belong to private collectors. One pair was stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and remains at large.

The Black Bird

Sam Spade, everyone’s favorite private eye took to the streets of San Francisco looking for the Maltese Falcon and some folks have been wondering where it is ever since. There was originally only one Maltese falcon made for the production but it was dented in filming and several resin falcons were produced to finish production. The original falcon is on display in the Warner Brother’s museum and available for viewing. 4 other falcons are privately owned and displayed at various venues. At one time its auction price of nearly $386,000 was one of the highest paid in the world. In February of 2007 the official replica of the falcon used in publicity stills was stolen from the second floor vault of a San Francisco restaurant where it was being displayed.

Rosebud

Charles Foster Kane lay on his opulent death bed wanting Rosebud. The mystery of its identity consumed the movie Citizen Kane, considered by many to be one of the best films ever produced. As we watch Charles Kane start out with good intentions and end a rich, morally bankrupt egoist we too can’t image what Rosebud might be. At the very end we are rewarded and humbled to know it was simply his boyhood sled a symbol of the innocence he had which was thrown into a fire. There were three sleds made for the movie, but two of them were destroyed by fire for the filming of the pivotal scene. The third Rosebud is owned by a private collector who paid $60, 500 for it in 1982. There is a solace in knowing the collector is someone likely to take very good care of it, and leave it to the legacy of film when the time comes. The collector is none other than Steven Spielberg.

Movie props go overlooked by movie goers all the time. But when they themselves become characters, it’s good to know they have found good homes.