Category Archives: Couch Potato

Sounds Amazing!

Mike and I seldom see a movie in a theatre, except for movies that are supposedly best seen on widescreen, like 300. Add to that, movies tickets, which are much higher on weekends, cost us $10 each. So we always end up buying DVDs instead and enjoying films at our own leisure, with popcorn straight from the microwave oven and soda from Cold Storage. Yep, we are cheapskates hee hee. But we do buy original DVDs.

It has become our Saturday ritual to drop by HMV and see if there are new titles out. We grab a few we could watch that night. After which, we’ll talk about how the movie could have sounded better with a proper home theatre system. The next day we’ll be out in an audio store and Mike will be checking every speaker set and like a little boy, he’ll look at me as if saying, “can we take that one home with us, puh-leeez”. So after lots of rationalising and justification, I signed on the dotted line and got him a Harman Kardon Symphony home theatre system for his birthday. Damage to credit card: Ay caramba! Expression on Mike’s face: Priceless.

The audio guys delivered it in a few days and hooked it up with the DVD player, cable box, and tv set. 4 tower speakers, 1 front speaker, 1 subwoofer and an AVR. (Harman Kardon, Mike says, is a good brand. And from my little knowledge and 2 year personal experience with my simple HK Soundsticks, I have to agree.) The audio guy tested out Babel on it. It was amazing hearing the sounds from the speaker system, every little detail comes out crisp and clear. Well, for the price we got it, I’m expecting to be blown away. And blow us away it did. We jumped when the sound of a gun being fired (in the film) blasted through the subwoofer. Awesome!
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So there it is in our living room, fitting in nicely with the rest of the stuff at home. American Idol contestants sound so much better through it and you can literally feel every heart-pounding minute of 24 and Prison Break. Funny though, lately we’ve been too busy to watch a movie with the home theatre system we’ve always wanted. Now that sounds awful.

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Fairy Tale Weekend

b000eu1q5e01_ss500_sclzzzzzzz_v53867318_.jpgOnce upon a time, I was a kid who loved tv and muppets and fairy tales. And I found them all in the series called The Storyteller. It was actually the second part of the show Jim Henson Hour, a spin-off of Muppet Show in the 80’s. The stories were based on folk tales from Europe and in true Jim Henson fashion, there were puppets everywhere, including a dog who sat by the the Storyteller and offered a sarcastic remark or two. My young eyes were mesmerised by the stories of hedgehog boys, princesses and promises, witches and curses, ravens and secret havens, enchanted creatures and dangerous adventures. There was magic, love and innocence, but it all ended without warning. A few months after the first episode, it was off the air, never to be seen again. Until yesterday when I saw the DVD collection in HMV. There were no second thoughts, I was at the cashier in no time. And in the evening, my hubby and I spent the next three hours watching the tales unfold. After more than a decade, some special effects could do with a little touch-up. But the stories still sparkled and shone like jewels on a king’s crown. Seeing them again was like finding an old favourite book or toy that I thought I’ve lost forever and discovered a few extras tucked in — a few more stories I had not seen. We watched and watched until my 35 year old eyes became 10 again. And with eyelids drooping ever so slightly, I fell asleep, like a kid basking in a weekend’s happy ending.

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