Harry Potter Catchup at Empire Cinemas

On average, Empire Cinemas has rolled out the old Harry Potter movie series every Sunday and Tuesday in the run-up to Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them on 18th November. Check the Empire Cinemas Website for the full range of times at all sites if you want to catch up on any of the later films you missed.

Ultimately ITV may also do the same thing on the small screen if you really want to watch the very first film again, but that would most likely happen from the end of the month onwards. Whenever the repeats begin, I’ll let you know.


Secret Life of Pets Overview


After a summer break and having to post two videos in different locations due to hacking and forgotten passwords, I’m using the Indian Summer period to catch up on summer films as Free State of Jones won’t arrive until the last day of the month. The Secret Life of Pets general overview from its last day of full release is here. If it receives any final one-off showings I may try to see it again but otherwise it’ll be a rental catchup.

From earlier in summer the general Ghostbusters overview and Twitter commentary before the hack was here and then the Jason Bourne review here. Ghostbusters has a director’s cut on the way and for Jason Bourne I will eventually end up with the score just like the previous four films. As such those can also be follow-up reviews for the main channel when they arrive on VOD rental.

Quick Tech PSA II: Gratis Windows 10 still available

Under the Assistive Technology Usage banner, Microsoft is still giving Windows 10 away for free. Like modern browsers and antivirus software,  from the Anniversary update onwards Win 10 now installs from a 5-10Mb stub before downloading the remaining 3-4Gb at your convenience. You’ll know that it’s the more up to date version if your shutdown button has its own vertical column above the Start symbol.

So if you are starting out on Youtube and don’t want to spend enough money to buy a new mic or camera just for OS software, then you still have time to move on to Windows 10 and at least give it a try. The Redmond Giant reported that it will announce a second deadline date for this second free variant. Best of all, unlike the Student editions of its software,  the Assistive Tech version is free for everyone to try out.

New To The UK: Mike & Dave (10/8),Shallows & Nerve 12/8

Yesterday Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates landed in cinemas and tomorrow the other American summer holdovers The Shallows and Nerve get their releases following an earlier US run, in a return to UK summers of the past where properly staggered releases of more than three weeks were the norm and Free State of Jones has the longest gap with a UK release of 9th September.

For the latter movie it’s completely understandable that indie studio STX wants to ensure their film doesn’t get lost in the summer wave and personally, only having holdovers to review matches the timing of only just regaining access to Youtube at the right place and needing to get back into a solid pattern of making videos again.

Youtube Channel: Access Granted

Hello to my new blog followers and apologies for the lack of posts. A combination of the Windows 10 upgrade, hackers and making the rookie mistake of changing passwords when tired then forgetting them, all conspired to keep me locked out of the Youtube channel for two weeks, creating the knock-on effect of not being able to access Twitter in turn to tell anyone I was locked out.

I can’t blame Youtube this time but changing over to Windows 10 effectively wipes your “familiar” or “regular” PC’s cookie that Google is used to seeing when you’re trying to regain access to your password, so when it tells you to sign in on your regular device to try to make 2-Factor Authentication work, this is one possible reason for its failure. The company appears to have done some general merging behind the scenes so I will research the Google+ options to try to make sure that either I never lose access again, or can tweet about it as well as using Facebook.

That means the videos for the second viewing of Ghostbusters and the new release of Jason Bourne which were uploaded to different channels at the time will be the first mirror uploads to keep release order. When those are in the right place, Suicide Squad was the last new release on its opening weekend and as the last new Summer release I will shoot that video next, before getting back to the intended pattern.

Quick Tech PSA: Last call for gratis Windows 10 (to 11.59 29/7)

After missing out on both Windows 7 and 8 for heavily the heavily discounted UKP 40 pounds at launch, forgive the grammar but NO WAY was I not going to jump on Windows 10 for free.

I don’t work for Microsoft and I bitch about their software as much as the next person (though their keyboards and mice are great), but there is no point waking up on 30th July having to pay over 100 dollars or pounds for something you could have downloaded for free. So do the upgrade, image the drive, save the image to an external drive, let it roll into 00.01 30th July when you can roll the upgrade back for another month anyway, and keep that backup safe for later on when we receive Service Pack 1 (or the Anniversary update if that’s the same thing).

If starting out on Youtube you will want all your money to go into first the mic and then the camera, so you don’t want to have to pay for your OS on top of that when that cash can go on your background or other general expenses. Get Windows 10 free by the end of tomorrow!

The Long Goodbye To VHS: Ejecting 31/7


Last week, the world’s media in general and Collider.com in particular reported the proper official death of VHS as a newly manufactured video format at the end of this week, Sunday 31st July. From August, no more new players will be made by Funai in Japan. In the past 18 months Panasonic and Toshiba had already wound down or ceased their European production of “crossover” decks incorporating a VHS tape transport side by side with a DVD Recorder and a DVB-T/Freeview tuner to make it easy to back up treasured recordings and watch digital television.

This means that Amazon Marketplace and other general third party sellers would eventually wind down remaining stocks of any new units and Ebay would be the final place you could trade in the players. Of course head-cleaning tapes, the regular blanks for anyone still running analogue CCTV or recording long radio shows and any other associated support equipment, you would expect to find them in Pound or Dollar shops around the world as well as Ebay. Eragon was the final NTSC VHS release from Fox, leapfrogging A History of Violence by a few months. In the UK it was the second Harry Potter film in 2003 and the Extended Lord of The Rings collection were the final memorable AAA PAL releases for Hollywood films, both from Warner brothers (the latter enjoying a small increase in collectible value when the Hobbit films were released).

Despite an in-character VHS promotional video for Deadpool at the start of the year the format is unlikely to make a comeback although with the Japanese and American Ring and the V/H/S trilogy of horror films, it has been fully eulogized especially  when showcasing the old-fashioned analogue editing process in The Ring USA (2002).

In the age of digital convenience it’s the much smaller audio tape that is more likely to return in limited runs for emerging musicians and any tape Walkman in crossover mode now incorporates a USB port for digital transfer. However it’s been a golden 40 years for VHS and film lovers worldwide can all leave our films on the shelf as a collection of their own, or jump into the tape trade scene if there’s potentially money to be made at swap meets or car boot sales worldwide.

Photo courtesy of New Zealand’s Old VCR site .