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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Maleficent


Disney's Maleficent - Official Trailer 3

I really wanted to see this movie, but being a cheapskate, I was willing to wait until it showed up on DVD. Then I had to wait for a gap in our busy social schedule so I would have enough time to think and realize, hey, Maleficent is probably out on DVD so I can order it. So I did, it showed up, and we've got an opening so let's watch it.
      We haven't used our DVD player in a coon's age, the batteries in the remote control are dead, and why can we hear the music but we can't hear what the people are saying? Seems some of the speakers in our home theater system aren't speaking. Could it be that the amp is unplugged and turned off? Who would have done such a thing? No one in MY family would have done such a thing, must have been gremlins. Or North Koreans. Plug it in, turn it on, and we still can't hear them. Punch a bunch of buttons on our reinvigorated remote control and we have something that lets us choose between English 1, English 2, Spanish and French. English 1 produces nothing but background sound and music. Spanish does the same. English 2 gives us dialog, but also gives us a narrative of what's going on, which we don't really need, I mean it's a movie, for Pete's sake, we can see what's going on. But try as we might (and we even enlisted older son, who is au currant with electronical gizmos), we can't get dialog without narrative.
    Complicated story, treachery and loyalty abound, not to mention ego and hubris. Special effects are out of this world, and what have they done with Angelina's face? She really does look like someone from the fifth dimension.
    Lana Del Rey's tune doesn't show up till the closing credits.
    I want to watch it again if I can figure out how to turn off the narrative. I'm afraid I might have to buy a new DVD player. Maybe my Zbox can do the job.

Update next afternoon: Found a fix for the audio problem. Did a little Googling. Seems there are two common audio standards. One is known as 2.0 and the other is known as 5.1. If you have an older system like mine, 5.1 doesn't work, you need to use 2.0. The language selection menu on the DVD offers four selections (as noted above). English 2 is the only one that uses 2.0, the others all use 5.1, which sort of explains why English 2 is the only one that would give us any dialog last night. Well, that's nice to know, but it doesn't really help. So I look at the DVD player menu, which is different than the menu that comes from the DVD. I poke around and finally find the HDMI audio switch that controls whether the audio is sent out to the TV or not. The TV is connected to the DVD player with an HDMI cable, which is capable of handling both audio and video. Since the DVD player is also a home theater sound system, there is no reason to send the audio to the TV, EXCEPT THAT TURNING IT ON FIXES THE PROBLEM.

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