An Ode to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

I’d been dying to see Scott Pilgrim vs. the World since I saw the first trailer for it last March. I didn’t get to see it in the theaters this summer, but I last week I finally got to sit down and watch it on Amazon streaming. Since then, I’ve watched it at least 2-3 more times.

In short, I love this movie. It’s fantastic – one of the most unique movies I’ve ever experienced and one of my favorite films of recent memory. And while I can see why it wasn’t a mainstream hit, it’s a travesty that crap like Little Fockers earn three times more than it at the box office.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World movie poster

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Cutting the Cable Part 2: Hello Roku.

Our family dropped our cable subscription last year, and I’d consider the change a success on most accounts. With just one or two reliable over-the-air channels available, our living room TV stayed quiet for months except for kids’ movies and PBS programs. Casey all but stopped watching TV except for the occasional disc from Netflix, and I continued watching the majority of my television on the 2-inch screen of my iPod Nano.

In March, our living room entertainment options expanded a bit when we began beta testing the Netflix streaming disc for our Nintendo Wii. The on-screen interface was minimal, requiring that almost everything be done from the browser on a Mac/PC, but it did allow us to watch shows and movies on-demand on a screen bigger than our 20-inch iMac. Picture quality wasn’t all that great, and we had a lot of buffering issues, but it was better than nothing.

When we moved into our new house a couple of months ago, Casey mentioned that she’d like to be able to watch something while nursing our infant, and for the inevitably long winter nights that we have here in North Dakota. After looking at a few different options, we decided to try the new Roku XDS. The Roku is a streaming-only device, gettings its content from various sources online instead of storing it locally on a drive.

Roku XDS

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8-bit Marching Band

You’ve got to love a marching band that can not only play the Tetris theme, but create the game while marching (direct link):

How many songs do you recognize?

Also, previously, Nintendo A Capella (direct link):

Quick Look at the Hulu Beta

Hulu

Earlier this evening, I received my invitation to join the private beta for Hulu, the new video joint-venture between NBC Universal and News Corporation. I’ve played around with it for a few minutes, and here are my first impressions.

First, it’s obvious this isn’t intended on being a direct competitor to YouTube. There’s no way for users to upload their own content, though you can rate and review videos. The interface is clean and simple, making it really easy to browse content by popularity, network/studio, and more.

Most important, of course, is the content. Hulu has quite a bit of it, considering it’s currently a closed beta. I count 16 different networks/studios with videos, from the big ones (NBC and Fox) to E! and the SciFi channel. And while all the currently popular shows are available, including Heroes, The Office, Chuck, The Simpsons, 30 Rock, etc., there is quite a bit of older material too. You can now get your fix of The A-Team, Airwolf, or Doogie Howser, M.D., among lots of others.

Videos for the various shows are available in either full episodes, shorter clips, or both, depending on the type of content. Hulu even lets you embed videos into your site as you can with YouTube, which gives me a great excuse to share with you what may be one of the funniest scenes I’ve seen on TV in years. It’s from an episode of 30 Rock titled “Hard Ball“: