After a decade with the Harry Potter film series the eighth and final movie is finally released around the world. I went to see it yesterday and it really is perfect. (No Spoilers)
It all seems like yesterday for me when the first movie was released, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It could have been a disaster to make a film about J. K. Rowling’s first book about the the-boy-who-lived but surpringsly it turned out to be very good. And even better, there was still atleast 6 more movies coming because that’s the number of books.
Since then the movies continued to be fantastic because of the attention to detail. While having new directors and composers through the years, which I think is good, most of the same cast has still been preserved. That’s probably the best thing about these films. Most of us have grown up with the actors and a new cast just wouldn’t be the same after all these years.
Time does indeed fly very fast and now there’s only one movie left. Take a look at the final trailer if you still haven’t seen it!
The director this time is David Yates who’ve also directed 3 of the previous movies. In a recent interview he said, “we wanted to go out with a big bang“, and that’s exactly what this movie does.
Compared to previous movies, especially Part 1, this really is a war movie with lots of action and special effects. We finally get to see the end of the story on the big screen. This is probably what we’ve all been waiting for and it’s not going to be without a big battle between good and evil. Characters die in this movie and Voldemort doesn’t give up without a fight.
Even though the last movie was splitted into two parts there were still many details left out. I can imagine the fans of the books might have mixed feelings about this but I didn’t think it was a problem. Since it’s some time ago I read the book now it almost felt like seeing the story again for the first time and I think it’s because they really did a great job the get the most important details into the movie.
Not everything is identical though. For example some parts of the big fight are a little different and some reviewers even call those scenes better than what’s really in the book.
The cast does a phenomenal job in this one, maybe the best in all of the Harry Potter movies. Especially Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint who play the three main characters we’ve come to love through the years. But if you haven’t read the story you’ll be surprised to see some of the other characters really gets to shine in this one too. Especially Alan Rickman as Severus Snape.
At the end of the movie you’ll be sad, happy, proud and tearful. After 10 years this really is the end of an era and we’re all going to miss these wonderful and magical characters.
One thing I usally find very important in these types of movies is music and Part 2 really surprised me. Composer Alexandre Desplat, who’ve worked on the last two movies, did an overall better job than he did with Part 1. But what’s even more impressive is that there are also small music pieces from the first movie! It really helps the film series to come full circle! That was one of the things I had really hoped for and I was so happy to hear the original tunes again.
This is also the only movie to be in 3D. You’ve probably already decided whether you’ll be seeing it with plastic glasses on or not but personally I think it was worth it. It added some great depth without being too much. Just don’t expect it to be like Transformers 3.
Ultimately, this movie really is everything we’ve been hoping for. For me it was far better than I expected and I don’t think it would be possible to make the last Harry Potter movie better than this. It’ll make you proud and sad at the same time because you’ve followed the characters to the very end.
The Harry Potter films are some of the best movies ever created and the last installment is without doubt the movie of the year.
If you read my blog or follow me on Twitter then you already know I’m a HUGE fan of Pirates of the Caribbean. This fourth movie, On Stranger Tides, is probably the movie I’ve been looking most forward to in my entire life. Here’s my review after I’ve watched it twice!
After the third movie which most people thought had a rather convoluted plot (I loved it) this movie is much more simple. This time Jack Sparrow is searching for The Fountain of Youth. Unfortunately he’s not the only one. The new main characters this time, Angelica and Blackbeard, are searching for it as well. Our old friend Hector Barbossa is also back but this time he has joined the navy!
It’s not the same director either. While Gore Verbinski was directing the first three Pirates movies, a new director called Rob Marshall has directed this. Unfortunately I haven’t seen any of his earlier movies but he looks interesting.
So… how is the movie?! I liked it. In fact, I liked it a lot! It didn’t disappoint me in any way but I was surprised to see something different. While this movie is still like the first three it’s also new and fresh. I think this must be because of the new director and I think he did a nice job. I love Gore Verbinski but maybe a new director was just what these films needed.
The new actors are good and I never missed Will and Elizabeth. I liked how their story ended in Pirates 3. But of course, the real star is Jack Sparrow! Johnny Depp once again does a great job playing him. For me it’s one of the best characters ever created.
And of course the movie has a lot of fun and action as well. Especially one scene involving lots of mermaids, but I think you should go see it for yourself without me spoiling too much!
Music has been one of the most important things in the movies since Pirates 1. We all love the famous Pirates tune so of course Hans Zimmer was back this time too. It’s still mostly the same but it fits the fourth movie really great as well!
I bought the soundtrack on CD too and I was a bit disappointed to find a lot of remixes and other boring stuff but this has nothing to do with the movie.
This movie was also the first one to be recorded in real 3D. And overall I think it makes for a great difference if you watch it in a good cinema. I’ve watched it two different places with two kinds of 3D equipment. I don’t know about the first one but the second used RealD and it was pretty amazing. It added some great depth to the movie without too much sticking out in your face.
Pirates 4 does not disappoint me as a true fan. I like (actually love) all the four movies but I can imagine most fans will rank this as the second best right after the first one. This one has a simple plot without too much of the fancy CGI from the second and third one.
Of course Disney shouldn’t just keep making new movies because of money. But, if they can make a fifth just as good as this one then I’ll definitely be one of the first to watch it.
Even though I don’t normally play games anymore, except if they’re really special, I decided to buy Portal 2 on the release day earlier this week. The game turned out to be very, very good so here’s a little review.
The story is a little complicated but let me try to explain it. In the first Portal game you played as Chell. She was a test subject in Aperture Science, a research company. Chell had to do several tests/puzzles which could be solved by using the Portal gun, which can make two portals. When you step into one of them, you come out of the other.
She was forced to do the tests by GLaDOS, a robot which has overtaken Aperture Science. Eventually the game ends with turning the robot off.
In Portal 2 you once again play as Chell. She awakens many years later in Aperture Science and meets a new friend, a tiny little robot called Wheatley. By accident they turn GLaDOS on again, and now she is angry.
Since this is not a shooting game, the portal gun is the key to solve all the tests, puzzles and other challenges you’ll be meeting throughout the game.
And you will be using the gun a lot! The new tests in this game are awesome. There a lots of objects to play around with and lots of them are new. This includes turrets, lasers, cubes, edgeless cubes and gel. This means the physics are very nice as well.
You won’t be spending all of your play time in the test chambers either. In about half of the game you’ll be exploring Aperture Science. It’s really amazing actually, because you’ll be learning a lot about GLaDOS and the rest of the universe.
It takes about 10-13 hours to complete the game. That’s not a lot but I think it’s perfect. And after that, you can play a whole new part with a friend.
When you’re done with the single player campaign, there is a co-op part too. You can only play this part if you have a friend who can join you. And this time you’re playing as robots!
I’ve not completed this part myself, but it’s works. In the new tests you have to cooperate very closely with the other player to solve them succesfully.
I haven’t mentioned a single bad thing in this review, so is this game good? Yes! For me it’s the best game I’ve played since Super Mario Galaxy.
Actually the best thing about this game, is the history and that’s the only part I haven’t talked much about. It’s because it wouldn’t be as awesome if you already knew it.
Go buy it! You won’t regret it.
A friend of mine has recently started a new website, ReviewsofTech, for all kinds of technology reviews. To help him, I’ve written a review of Tiny Wings for iPhone/iPod touch for his website. You can find it here.
If you don’t know The Wand Company, the maker of awesome infrared remote control wands, you might be as surprised as when I heard about them more than a year ago. That was when I did my Kymera Wand Review, which you might remember.
A few weeks ago they send me their newest product, the Kandela wand (thanks!). It’s almost like the Kymera wand, but instead this is cheaper version and only works on a included LED candle.
However, that’s really not that bad at all. Read further if you want to find out why.
Design and functionality
The first thing I noticed was the packaging. I’m sure most people don’t care about that but I think a great packaging makes you more excited when you’re just about to use it for the first time.
The Kandela wand comes in a long nice box. It was a little hard to open and I was also disappointed not to see a big beautiful manual as with their other product, the Kymera wand, but it was still pretty good.
The wand itself is very beautiful and made of plastic. That isn’t as good as wood but it still feels very good in my hand. It’s very satisfying to swing it in the air because the weight is just right.
And let’s not forget about the candle, which I think is really awesome. After turning it on it lights and looks just like a real candle, sometimes I’m even wondering why it isn’t as warm.
A cool bonus feature is that instead of turning it off, you can just blow it out with your mouth. I really like this because it makes it seem more real.
I haven’t told you what the wand does yet but I think you might’ve guessed it. Well, it’s very special because it can detect when special movements, called gestures, are done. Like a Wii remote. The Kandela wand can do three:
- Flick to turn the light on
- Shake the wand to turn off
- Double-tap the wand on the middle to set a 60-min timer
So basically the wand is used to turn on the candle! Very cool, especially if you like Harry Potter. You can watch a demonstration video here.
Unfortunately you won’t be able to teach it any signals or gestures yourself. Oh, and both the wand and candle uses two AAA-batteries which weren’t included.
After some use
Now, when I’ve been using it for some time now, I still think it’s pretty awesome. Especially the candle. It’s very nice to turn it on in the evening when I’m just working on my computer. Makes everything more cozy.
It does, however, gets boring sometimes, but then after some time it gets fun again. Guests are always surprised to see it because even though it’s simple it still feels like magic.
Compared to the Kymera Wand
They look almost the same but the Kymera is actually a universal wand remote. That means if you pay more, you’ll get a something with 13 gestures that can control more than just a LED candle. It will control everything that uses an infrared remote control.
The Kymera wand also comes in a nicer box with batteries included and it vibrates when you do a gesture with it.
I have both myself and I would defintely choose the Kymera over the Kandela. That doesn’t, however, mean you should do the same. The Kymera doesn’t come with a candle so I would probably buy both, but that’s a lot of money to lay down on infrared wands.
Just like all products from The Wand Company, I really like this product. Because you both get a wand and a LED candle I’m sure a lot of people are going to like it and buy it. It’s really fun for Harry Potter fans and just for basically showing guests.
I do, however, like the higher priced Kymera wand better, and I advise you, if you’re not interested in the candle, to read my review of it before buying the Kandela wand. But remember, both products are really awesome!
- good: beautiful, works very nice, comes with a candle, not super expensive
- bad: not as advanced as the Kymera wand
I got the Magic Mouse as a Christmas present for my MacBook Pro. It’s the newest mouse from Apple, which is currently shipping with the iMac and can be bought for 69$ (US price).
After using it as my primary mouse for some days, here’s my review.
There’s not much to say about the design of this mouse – it’s gorgeous! Definitely the most beautiful mouse I have ever seen. As simple as a mouse could possible be.
And because this mouse only works on Macs, you won’t need a stupid USB receiver, it just connects using Bluetooth.
So what’s special about this thing? It’s a multi-touch mouse! The whole top surface, except for the part under the Apple logo, is like a touch screen. The top surface also works as one giant button to click, just like on the MacBook trackpads.
The mouse itself is a little heavy but it makes it feel more solid, which I like.
As you can see, the bottom of the mouse is made aluminum. It looks very nice as well.
The mouse has several touch gestures, including scrolling with one finger and going forward and back with two fingers. This video shows the basics.
The most important thing is of course how it is to use. Personally I think it’s really good! All of the touch gestures works very well without problems. It also works decent on all kinds of surfaces, but the rubber feet can be a bit noisy sometimes, for example when using it on a wooden surface. I’ve been using on a mouse mat myself.
The mouse is very slick and low-profile and you can’t just lay your hand on it like other mice. Instead you should try to grip it at the sides with your pinky and thumb. Like my hand on this picture.
Because of that it takes quite some time to get used to, and is not as comfortable as other mice where you can just rest your hand.
I can imagine this is especially a problem for people with big hands, but I think it’s fine myself.
The only problem I’ve had, is the tracking in Mac OS X. The cursor moves pretty slowly in the highest tracking speed compared to Windows and the mouse acceleration can be a bit annoying. However, after some days of use, I’ve gotten used to it.
As many other mice out there, the Magic Mouse uses batteries. Two AA batteries were already included when I got it!
I haven’t been testing this mouse long enough to change them, but after 3 days of heavy use there still 93% of power left. I think that’s pretty decent and definitely better than other wireless mice I’ve used.
Changing the batteries is very easy. The only thing to do is to remove the little piece of aluminum as shown on the picture.
So overall, the mouse does live up to its name for the most part. I think, after getting used to it, it’s a great mouse for everyday use. The touch gestures works flawlessly and the mouse is really beautiful.
At a price of 69$ it is pretty expensive, but I think it’s worth it. However, if you’re a hardcore gamer or something else, then this mouse it not for you.
If you want more functionality instead of the standard gestures and fix the slow tracking speed, you can download a little application called MagicPrefs.
What happens when hardware and software works together perfectly? A great computer experience and that’s pretty much what the MacBook Pro delivers. Here’s my review after a few weeks of use.
Who makes the most beautiful computers? Apple. Not much to say here, because the MacBook Pro is no exception.
The whole case of the computer is made out of only a few parts. One for the lit, one for the bottom, and the rest is just the “Unibody”. That’s what Apple calls it. It’s made of out a single piece of aluminum, which makes it feel very strong and sturdy.
The machine doesn’t have many ports. On the left side there is the MagSafe for power, Ethernet, FireWire, Mini Display Port, two USBs, SD slot, audio, and a battery indicator. On the right side we have the DVD-drive and a Kensington lock slot.
Some people might need more ports, but it hasn’t been a problem for me yet.
Trackpad, screen and keyboard
Trackpads, or touchpads, are terrible on most computers, They’re too small, too ugly and overall… just bad. Since the day I turned this MacBook Pro on for the first time, I’ve been addicted to Apple’s trackpad. It’s far, far superior to other touchpads.
It’s one big piece of glass, just like the touchscreen of the iPhone. You can use fingers for all types of gestures, including scrolling with two fingers and pushing all open windows away with five fingers.
I found out that a mouse was still needed for certains tasks, like working with OpenOffice Calc.
The keyboard is also great! The keys are soft and very nice to use. And, it’s even backlit! It looks very nice, but not something I would consider as necessary. It’s nice when it’s dark, otherwise it’s just a fancy feature, I think.
When it comes to the screen it’s pretty good. The colors look nice, even from the side and it lights up very fast.
One thing you should notice, which the white MacBook doesn’t have, is that the screen has a glass surface. Something that is very nice, because the screen won’t get scratched or anything like that.
Also, it is very glossy, almost like a mirror in sunlight, but that also makes it better looking, so that’s fine with me.
Mac OS X
I’ve used Windows for my whole life, so Mac OS X was quite new for me, and still is, actually. I can’t really say much, you’ll need to see for yourself, but it’s just… a dream. It’s fast, it’s beautiful and it works awesome with the hardware Apple makes. It took about a week to get used to.
One thing everyone considering to buy a Mac should remember, is not everything work on OS X. It’s possible to install Windows, but that kind of… ruins the whole experience. I might do it in the future because of school, but I wanted a Mac so much I was willing to risk that. And I’m glad I did.
So is this product fast? The base model, which I have, features an 2.4 Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4 gigabytes of RAM and NVDIA 320M graphics, which is pretty neat. You can also buy a 2.66 model, and it can have up to 8 gigabytes of RAM.
It feels fast. I can have lots of applications open and it doesn’t slow anything down at all. It’s also turns on very fast, takes about 15 seconds, I think.
What about games? Unfortunately I haven’t really tried any games on this machine yet. If you’re very interested in more information about this, I’m sure you can just do a quick search on Google.
Awesome. That’s what I can say about the battery life. I take it with me to school every single day, and I haven’t used the charger yet, only at home. When you’re just writing documents or surfing the web, the battery can easily last many hours. I’m not sure about how many exactly, but I’ve seen other reviews saying that 8 hours is normal. And this isn’t a netbook!
As mentioned earlier, it has this awesome battery indicator on the left side. Very useful, it’s stupid to turn on a notebook just to see if has been charged, right?
It’s very hard not to recommend this computer. It just works. The hardware together with the operating system makes it a dream to use, waaaay better than anything I’ve ever tried. Not the hardware itself, not OS X itself, but together.
When people criticize Apple it’s often because of the price, and it’s true. It’s very expensive but you do get what you’re paying for. A computer that does everything in the best possible way. The normal MacBook is almost like the Pro-model but made of plastic instead. If you want to save a few hundred dollars, I’m sure it is still a great computer. Many of the specs are the same.
Others think Apple is only about “the design”. That is not true! It’s about so much more, I hope you understand that.
I know I haven’t metioned everything in here, but I didn’t want the review to be too long. Thanks!
We all know and love the Toy Story films. Buzz and Woody are great and fun characters and now, after 11 years, they are back in a new movie, Toy Story 3. According to Disney this could very well be the last of the series, so I knew I just had to see it.
Today I finally did it and I’m glad I did because it’s a great sequel, and probably the best and most emotional movie Pixar has ever created. It will bring you back to childhood!
So what’s it all about this time? Andy has gotten old and is on his way to college so he has to clean his room. Because they toys aren’t sure if Andy really wants them anymore, they sneak into a box Andy’s mom donates to Sunnyside Daycare. Woody tries to convince them to return to Andy, but the other toys think they would be happier at the daycare, so Woody leaves them alone.
Because they end up playing with small children, they are tortured and played roughly with like small children do, so they decide to escape, but that leads into some serious problems.
It’s hard to say more without revealing important parts of the movie.
The music of the movie is also great. A great soundtrack means a lot, especially in important scenes and of course Pixar knows that. When I almost had tears in my eyes in the end, it was also because of the music.
So yes, the movie is a very, very great sequel. It’s both fun and emotional, and the ending… I can’t describe it, but in the end the toys will no longer feel like toys, they will feel like someone you actually care about. Toy Story-fans should really love it, and it’s also nice for new people.
I can’t recommend you enough to go watch it. When it ends your heart will feel bigger.
This is my review of the Kymera Wand remote. I’ve seen others on the internet, but I haven’t really found a review which tells you “everything”. This is my attempt to make a nice one.
You might remember I made a post about this wand a few weeks ago, but at that point in time I didn’t know whether I should buy it or not. As you can see now I have!
What is it?
The Kymera Wand is basically a universal remote – as a wand, made by The Wand Company. It can learn up to 13 IR (infrared) signals from almost everything, which of course uses a IR remote. Like TVs and music players. All 13 signals are assigned to “gestures” which are moves you do with the wand to send out the signal again. For example “Big Swish”, which is a gesture where you make a swish in the air. Here’s a list of all the gestures:
1. Rotate anticlockwise
2. Rotate clockwise
3. Flick upwards
4. Flick downwards
5. Flick left
6. Flick right
7. Tap on top
8. Tap on site
9. Big Swish
10. Push forward
11. Double tap on top
12. Double tap on site
13. Pull Back
When a gesture is performed, the wand pulses to confirm that the gesture was done correct.
When I got the wand the first thing I was amazed about was the box. It comes in a big long white box and inside that is a smaller black box, which has “Kymera” in gold printed on. It really reminds me of Ollivanders in Harry Potter!
Inside the black sleek box I found a very nice big manual. It’s very beautiful because it looks like some sort of old parchment and it’s very easy to understand the instructions. In the middle of the box I found the wand and it was nicer and more beautiful than I thought it would be.
The pictures on the internet might show how the wand looks, but nothing can tell you how it truly is to hold and look at, before you hold it yourself! Honestly, I actually thought the plastic would a bit “cheap” but it’s a lot better than you think!
After removing a small piece of plastic the wand was ready to be used (batteries are included with Kymera Wands!). It was in “practice mode”, which basicually means I could train the gestures without sending any IR signals out (it hadn’t learned any).
I quickly learned it a signal with the “Big Swish”-gesture and I made a big smile the first time when I turned our TV on. It didn’t just control the TV, it also gave me a feeling of… real magic, as if I was holding a real wand in my hand. I learned it some more signals, and soon I was controlling everything – volume, channels, on/off etc…
Since then, I have also tried it with a music player, and that also worked very well! Hovever, I think the wand is better for a TV, so I’ll probably use it for that instead.
So is it worth it? It’s a bit expensive, but I would say yes! The wand is a great remote, and it’s a lot more fun to use than an ordinary remote. It can be boring sometimes but then, suddenly, I can’t resist to hold and use it again.
If you love Harry Potter or just think the idea behind a real wand is great then buy it. Kymera is definitely the closest thing to a real wand you can get today. It’s also very fun to show to guests and friends. If you think about 100 dollars is expensive for just a “remote” then it’s not for you.
Update: Check out my Kandela Wand Review