Need a new router? Get the Asus RT-N66U


Is your home wireless lagging and disconnecting all the time?  Is the range like four feet from the router? Then you should look into the Asus RT-N66U.  Its younger brother the RT-AC66U just came out, so that means this router is suddenly affordable.

I have never had a router that sets up this easily.  You just plug it in and the first time you launch your web browser it starts the guided setup, and if you are more advanced in your skills there are all sorts of fun things you can do: setup a guest wireless network, install custom ROMs and firmware, use it as printer and file server, VPN, quality of service, and more.  The range is fantastic, I can see my network around the neighborhood, and it works with all the new 5Ghz wireless devices.

The bad points of this router are it doesn’t work on the new ultra fast AC wireless spec, for that you will need to shell out an extra $80 on the RT-AC66U, but chances are you don’t have any AC devices anyway, and you will want to upgrade your firmware as soon as you set this router up, since I hear the earlier firmware was a bit buggy, and didn’t support IPv6, and the new firmware has automatic QOS to help out your video streaming devices.

If you haven’t guessed it by now, I love this router, and I am blown away how much better everything connected to it works, and as an added plus it looks cool too.

MST3K Explores The Violent Years


The Violent Years is a movie from 1956, and it was written by the infamous Ed Wood, and like all things Ed Wood the crew of Mystery Science Theater 3000 is here to make fun of it.

The plot is pretty simple, four well to do girls have parents that don’t spend time with them, so they get bored and start committing crimes like theft, rape, murder, and high school class room destruction on the behest of the communists.  Because as we all know communists hate high school.

MST3K had a hay day with this film.  The acting is wooden, they use the same footage over and over, and Ed Wood’s script escalates the violence these girls are willing commit amazingly fast.  This fact contributes to my belief that Ed Wood was really a genius, he knew that he could not be one of the greats, so why not be remembered as the worst.  It is one of the those special bad movies where the jokes pretty much write themselves, but like pretty much any MST3K movie, your enjoyment factor depends a lot on your mood or your company

This movie like a lot of the MST3K films is streaming on Amazon Prime, so if you are looking for a funny way to kill an hour and half, then this is a great option, and it is always fun to take a moment and remember just how bad Ed Wood really was.

Can’t get a Better Neighbor then Totoro


My Neighbor Totoro is film directed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki.  It came out in 1988 in its native Japan, but did not make its way to the US until 2004, and then it was rereleased by Disney in 2006 with a new voice over.

The story follows two young girls (Elle and Dakota Fanning) and their father (Tim Daly) as they move in to a new house in the country so they can be close to their sick mother (Lea Salonga).  The girls soon meet some new friends that just happen to be forest spirits.  The largest being Totoro.

Hayao Miyazaki once again proves that he is a master of his craft.  The only negative thing I can say about this movie is that the plot is amazingly simple, and since the girls are mostly just reacting to the world around them it would be hard to call them protagonists, but it is so cute, and lovingly made that those are just minor gripes, and what kids really control what happens to them anyway.

I love pretty much every movie Hayao Miyazaki has ever done, and even then this is one of his better films.  If you want to watch something incredibly cute then this movie is for you.

Almost Star Trek’s Final Frontier


Star Trek V: The Final Frontier was made in 1989, 20 years after the end of the TV show.  It was so bad that it almost ended the Star Trek franchise.  This movie was directed by Captain Kirk himself William Shatner.  Shatner got a chance to redeem himself by directing the next movie.

The movie starts off on Nimbus III (think Tatooine).  A giant dirt hole that is supposed to be the planet of peace where The Klingons, The Federation, and The Romulans are supposed to work together to build the world, but of course they don’t and everyone just fights a lot.  A man named Sybok kidnaps the ambassadors from the three governments, and unless a ship is sent he will kill them.  Of course they send the Enterprise to help them.  Then Sybok steals the Enterprise and is off to the great barrier at the center of the galaxy to find God.

This movie has all sorts of problems: The plot is bad, the special effects are bad, the acting is bad, and the directing isn’t great.  They really just should have scrapped this one and called it a day

I am glad that in this movie they decided to go out and explore something, but it is so anticlimactic when they get there.  They build up the great barrier as some sort of impenetrable wall that nothing can get through, and then they just fly through it without any problem, and it is not just because the Enterprise is awesome because a Klingon Bird of Pray does the same thing like two minutes later.  Oh yeah there are Klingons in this movie for some reason, don’t worry they are pointless so you can forget about them.

This movie was the low point for the series for awhile, but sadly it gets worse in a few films.  If you haven’t guessed it by now, you should skip this movie.  Luckily the next movie isn’t that bad, so there is hope.

Investigate the ParaNorman


ParaNorman is one of three major stop motion animated films from 2012.  Made by Laika Animation Studio it was nominated for best animated film, and my buddy Daniel thought it should have won.  I think he was right.

Norman is a boy who can see ghosts, and unlike most people this doesn’t freak him out, but it does cause him to get bullied quite a bit, and makes him a loaner.  Things get worse for Norman as he starts having strange premonitions about zombies, and a crazy uncle that tells him he is the only one that can stop a witches curse.  This causes him to get bullied even more.  Thankfully a boy name Neil befriends him, and helps him with his troubles. It is not often a movie about zombies is so moving, but considering all the trouble our culture has with bullies, you really feel bad for the way Norman gets treated, and you are very happy for him when he comes in to his own and saves the day.

The stop motion is great, and Laika has improved since their last stop motion movie Coraline.  There are so few stop motion studio’s left it is good to see a new one doing so well.

If you are looking for a quirky film, with more charm and heart then most movies could dream of, then you should give ParaNorman a try.  I am sure you will be glad you did.